T.G.I.F.: Current Threat Level

Threat Update @threat_update Monitoring trends and crunching key metrics to evaluate existential risk. Powered by science. Patents applied for.

Homebound from Baltimore. Amtrak 2150.


5:30 a.m. Return from Baltimore on Amtrak’s first run of the day.  The Quiet car is sparsely populated. Light rain falls. The train rumbles north to NYC . . . Boston last stop.

At Penn Station, commuters fill the empty seats. A Suit takes the open seat next to me. He opens his laptop, twists in his earbuds and settles in. I glance over. Millennial. Blue navy suit. Sharp red tie. Country of origin? Non-U.S.

Five minutes pass.

He grabs his laptop and walks to the back of the train and disappears into the next car. I’m happy for the elbow room. I return to my emails.

P.A.: “45 minutes to the Stamford Station.”  On Time.

I scan the morning papers.

40 minutes to the Stamford Station.

I hadn’t noticed his black duffel bag on the floor – black straps, logo-free and hulking motionless in the shadows.  A black umbrella rests on top. The aisle seat remains empty.

30 minutes to the Stamford Station.

I return to my reading, but my eyes are drawn to the unmarked bag, the umbrella and the empty aisle seat. My ears are alive. Ticking? Flashing digital countdown timer?

20 minutes to the Stamford Station. [Read more…]

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