She’d expected the building to be a bit gloomier. These sort of shady meetings always went down in dark alleyways or derelict buildings, but this seemed to be the exception.
Maphira stepped into Tiffany’s Playhouse of Fun and scanned the expansive play cafe with growing suspicion. Having a secret meeting in a place like this just didn’t feel right.
She approached the counter, watching as countless children ran around without a care in the world. How many years had it been since she’d stepped foot in one of these places? The last time must have been when she was twelve, for Rylee’s tenth birthday party. She’d dragged her heels because she was almost a teenager, dammit, and was far too old for these sorts of silly childish places. In reality, she’d actually had a pretty fun time, though.
Why had contacting a website intended for businesses offering residential solar rooftop system sales to complain about Robotopia brought her here? It was strange. If Maphira had spidey senses, they would have been tingling – she was sure of it.
The receptionist eyed her cautiously, likely noting that Maphira had brought no child with her. There didn’t seem to be any parties going on, so why would a single woman come to a play cafe in the middle of the day?
“I’m here to meet a friend,” Maphira said. “They’ve already gone in with their kids.”
Although the receptionist seemed suspicious, she waved Maphira through anyway. She would probably be watched closely, so it was better to behave.
Now, where was the person she was supposed to meet? Table 15, with a code phrase of energy storage for businesses near Melbourne. She spotted the designated table. At it sat a woman who was perhaps in her forties. Her grey hair didn’t quite reach her shoulders.
Maphira approached. “Is this where I come if I want energy storage for businesses near Melbourne?”
The woman nodded and stood. She passed Maphira and whispered in her ear. “Come with me. Stay at least ten metres back and keep it casual, so it’s not obvious you’re following me.”
Intrigued, Maphira did as instructed. Time to learn the truth.