The letters shimmered on the plain of the yellowed paper, the moisture in his eyes fogging the squiggles into botches. Letters birthed by an ancient East German typewriter, standard issue.
David Ward coughed. The dust in these old East German Stasi — State Security Police — files penetrated his lungs. He was alone in the basement room eight years after the fall of the Berlin Wall had brought down the Stasi.
He had taken precautions not to be recognized.
A black trim wig enclosed his blond longish hair. One of those ridiculous German hats with the little feathers, as if he were about to climb the Zugspitze, held itself up next to the file. A cheap “East German” polyester suit hung loosely on his muscled body. He had even padded his flat midriff with a cushion of cloth — the typical beer belly. He could be mistaken for a gastarbeiter — foreign worker — or one of those worker drones of the former German Democratic Republic. His clothes concealed his weapons.
He pushed his disguise glasses farther up the bridge of his nose, then rose to return the file. He had people to see.