She approached me one evening to ask me on a date. I'd seen her around the office before--some friend of some other official or something, I was never clear what she actually did there, officially speaking. I agreed, and it wasn't long before I realized she was simply trying to ply me with wine and romance in order to gain access to me--my secrets, my clearance. I told her I wanted none of it.

She made a very impassioned plea--something she'd been saving, I think, in case her charms didn't work at first. If I could help her I could save millions. I won't lie: her cause seemed just and fair. If it didn't I would have turned her in right there. But it was more than my job and my life was worth to help her, especially going only on her word that it would be done, that I would be safe. As it was I merely declined and warned her not to try anything further.

I was out of town when I saw her face on the news--one of our top officials had been murdered, and she was even now being taken to jail. She made no attempt to escape when they found her. She was to be brought to justice. They flew me back home to be questioned by the prosecutors--did I know anything?

The questions seemed to last all night. I thought of the justice of her cause, the necessity of what she did. I thought of what she'd asked me to do, of the danger she could have put me in if I'd said yes. And I thought of the danger she had put me in just by asking me, and my not telling anyone--all she'd have to do is speak my name or give me a glance and they'd know. Of course they would.

What else could I do? I asked for immunity if I testified. They granted it. I became part of a long string of witnesses, unmasking a conspiracy--she didn't act alone, and the trial brought everything down. Everything she did and worked for would be undone in short order.

She sort of disappeared from the news after the trial. They sentenced her to death, of course, but that takes forever in our courts. It could be months or years before the execution--and the anger of the mob died as soon as it came. Sometimes I'll skim the headlines for her name, though. I'll always wonder what could have been.

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