Erik Bransom crept along a dank alleyway, soft, warm rain dripping from the brim of his hat to mix with the fetid rivulets beneath his feet. With several leads to pursue, his starting place was with the Filipino landlord. In Cebu City, on his own reconnaissance, he was an army of one. No backup. No margin for error.
He froze as a back door flung open and an angry couple emerged, arguing hotly. Hopefully, their differences would resolve quickly, or the rain would drive them back inside. He flattened even more tightly to a slimy wall as headlights turned into the narrow passage. Relief! As the car backed around onto the silent residential street, the angry man strode away in the opposite direction.
Stepping forward to continue his mission, he emitted a moan and dropped in the mucky swirling river of the alley.