Most of the software he writes is based around online anonymity.
It serves as a reflection of the man.
He has been in and out of too many small Southeast Asian hotels with suspiciously stained sheets, stared at himself in the mirror and seen a face that is intimate to him like gray avatars. He’s not sure who he is anymore. He never brings a woman - or a man, for that matter - back to the hotel with him. This is not for the lack of opportunity.
He could pay for it, if he wanted it that much.
And he wants it, on occasion. Touch.
He makes most of his money in pornography - and the type that needs online anonymity to survive. He knew this would happen; because he is not that naive, because such activity is the lifeblood of his business. He receives a percentage of the proceeds, for providing the safest communications. He rents them the stage. He tries not to think about it.
And assassinations, and drug trade.
But for the hundreds of thousands, there is part of him that will room only at the dirtiest hotels, and stay awake rather than sleep over the bed, swiveling around in a cheap plastic chair with his laptop, alone, wanting touch, feeling sick because of it, so he plays bejeweled, and waits for the sun to rise. Loneliness weighing his limbs like sleeplessness. A row of designer suits hanging in the closet that he hired a stylist to select for him; and when he wears them he appears half Moriarty, half Mycroft, and he hopes that when she sees this it scares the shit out of her.
A journalist in the PRC snaps a photo that catches Alan talking on his mobile and standing behind their Minister of Industry and Information Technology. He is laughing.
He likes to be sure the pictures that leak back to her all show him smiling.
He stares at himself in the mirror. He’s not sure why.