Bjorn focused on his PC again, re-reading the sentence about Pedro and his alleged involvement in the corruption scandal in Portugal. It was hard to believe that the man he had met at the building site was the man described in that sentence. He seemed so ordinary in every way. There was absolutely nothing extraordinary about the man's appearance.
But beyond the purely superficial, the man had been quite remarkable. He had shown a real interest in both Bjorn and his fellow visitors, and his uncanny frankness about Bjorn's schedule for the coming week was flattering in a way. Pedro, the man alleged to have corrupted a prime minister, had shown a personal interest in everyone, and a particular interest in Bjorn. And that made no sense, and a lot of sense at the same time.
Pedro was no doubt a man with above average people skills. He made everybody feel special. He might not even be able to help it. It might be something he just did without even thinking. And this simple personality thing was probably what made him as good as he was at what he was doing. So even though it may not be very important for Pedro to flatter people like Olga and Igor, it was something he just did. It made no immediate sense to be that way, but why not? Why not make everyone feel special if that's something that comes easily and naturally?
But Pedro's particular interest in Bjorn was more than just instinctive flattery. It was deliberate, and difficult to comprehend, particularly considering Pedro's involvement at the very top of society. Why would someone with a personal connection to the foreign minister be interested in Bjorn's schedule? Bjorn was neither rich nor powerful, yet Pedro had detailed knowledge of his weekly schedule. It made no sense, and it felt a little spooky. If it was not for the fact that Pedro had come across as a rather likable character, it would have been down right scary.
Bjorn clicked on Pedro's name in the article in front of him, almost as if drawn to it by an external force. But the short article that it brought up was virtually unchanged from last time he had been reading it. It contained the same dated picture which held little resemblance to him, and the facts were almost as limited as last time. However, Lundby was mentioned. Lance security was also mentioned. And the corruption scandal in Portugal had a brief mention too.
Bjorn could not quite remember if any of this was mentioned last time he looked for information on Pedro, but he felt sure that the article had been edited. He would certainly have remembered if Pedro's alleged connection to the Portuguese prime minister had been mentioned. Someone had added to the article. Someone out there was keeping an eye with him. And why not? It would have been rather strange if such an important figure had no mention at all. The odd thing was not that the man had a mention in Wikipedia, but rater that his mention was as brief as it was.
Returning to the article on the empire, Bjorn clicked on the link to Ingunn, a woman that he vaguely remembered reading about in connection with some weird anarchist activity. And the article on the woman was surprisingly long, with numerous pictures and a long list of references. The contrast to the article on Pedro was striking, a consequence, no doubt, of the different strategies taken by these two people as regards their public visibility.
Ingunn was clearly someone who must have liked and enjoyed the attention that she got from her activities, while Pedro was just as clearly doing his utmost to stay out of the limelight. And from a brief reading of the article on Ingunn it was clear that Pedro's strategy was by far the wisest one.