I slammed the laptop shut and cut the video feed. Rastilav had arranged the skype session, hoping to scare us into submission. His pride got the better of him, and ended with the opposite. Here is how it happened.
“I see you’ve met Marika Sokol, pity. I’ll have to admonish her, she’s slipping, you’re still breathing.” Then, as if he’d said nothing more than if he had complained about the weather, sipped his tea. I took a drink of my coffee, and tried to think of a heavy response.
Otecko did it for me. “A charming threat, but don’t pretend Mr Ambassador. You are glad she failed, or else you would be her target. Maybe not for a bullet, at least not right away, but she would have put herself ahead in the battle for your group’s leadership.”
His cheeks turned red, but he caught himself before he responded. “There are some in my group that are like you Americans and your coffee. You are over caffeinated actors who jump when you should use patience.”
It was a deliberate insult, designed to attack our country, our business, and our abilities, but it didn’t work. What Louis Rastilav missed was the American resolve. He meant to throw us off, instead he triggered something else.
Otecko didn’t move, knowing I had this. “Mr Rastilav, regardless of what you think, I can promise you one thing. You call us actors, so I’ll stay with the analogy. In a movie, the guy who says the last word before the credits roll is the winner. I can promise you, the last words in this play we’ll be read by a coffee loving American!”