Ram had never been to Havana, despite the fact that travel to Cuba had been legal for decades. His table in the large open window gave him a corner’s-eye view of the entire plaza. Thousands filled the sidewalks, thankful for the late evening break in July humidity. Singling out anyone in this crowd would be tricky, but Ram needed the practice.

“Señor Baliga?”

The heavy Afro-Caribbean accent was just over his left shoulder. Ram finally recognized his cover with a surge of his nervous system. He turned awkwardly to face the voice, spotting the still-closing door of the side entrance as his chair loudly scraped the earthy tiles.

“Forgive me for startling you, Señor,” the man apologized.

“It’s fine,” Ram replied, his voice heavy with breathy adrenaline. Definitely needed practice.

“You come with me now?” He looked older than Ram had imagined from the voice.

Ram set down his beer in the puddle of its sweat on the table. “I guess so,” he answered, “assuming you still need something from your dead brother.”

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