It’s morning, and the sunlight is filtering through the shutters of my house. After travelling for months through the South American continent I found my home on a Rio de Janeiro hillside in the Santa Teresa district. It’s colonial, built in the 1850s, and was once the birthplace of a former president. Or so I am told. Yesterday the shipment of my furniture came the long way from Paris. It’s been sitting there for over a year waiting for my call. With the help of Jasmine, my trusted housekeeper, we’ve started to unpack my belongings. It’s strange, like unearthing a time capsule. There are photographs and memories of the time Carl and I had together. I also found the book of our baby son. He is still with me to this day. But life goes on, and I have made my peace with the past. Or perhaps I should call it a truce. During my escape and travels I have collected past events in these words that now stand as testament to what I’ve bourn witness to. They are in their most rudimentary form, but will soon find a publisher to expose the enigma that has haunted my city for so long. Luckily I had made sure copies survived of the letter and the film. They sat on a USB stick in one of the vases. I unearthed them again yesterday.
I didn’t watch the film, but I sent it to a friend of mine working for a news agency. He will withhold it until my material is published. In my research, always under assumed identities and fake IP addresses, I’ve uncovered the trails that lead to the Network. I have not enough information to expose their true identity nor their vast operations yet, but it is only a matter of time. It leads to a world I touched momentarily. A world where Cyril, Madame Douleur, Michelle Dehasse, Leila Girard, Marie Laroche and myself inhabited. We lived it, preyed on it and eventually got consumed by it. But perhaps the strangest of all that I remember, as fragments of events are unfolding before my eyes, are the words of Hans. A businessman far away from wife and family, seeking something different. Seeking something that happened to be me. Before I left, he said, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid.”