In the next few months, WHISTLER HOUSE PUBLISHING will be releasing Novel 2 in my TRILOGY OF TREASON. For my readers who have been waiting far too long to see this book, I am beginning a series of weekly excerpts to start you reading this story that is very close to my heart. Not only does it follow up to THE CONSUMMATE TRAITOR with a plot related to those original characters, it deals with a heartless drug scandal that has already affected too many lives, both military and civilian.
Canadian Forces Trenton Air Base, April 5
Scurried movement around the giant cargo aircraft flicked across Kendra's peripheral view. Fascinated, she hitched the strap of her Liebeskind satchel back over her shoulder and focused on the logistics crew rolling a forklift, a dump truck, and a trailer carrying tires and water purifiers up the loading ramp into the tail. Last in was a white Jeep, with identifying black UN lettering across its hood. Like the Volkswagen Beetle, the jeep had not changed in basic design since WWII. A crewman drove it into the heart of the Antonov’s mammoth belly.
A strong breeze mussed Ben’s sandy-colored hair as he shifted his portable digital camcorder and aimed it at the aircraft. “I want you in the foreground of this shot.”
Holding the grip, he beckoned to her with his left forefinger. “Look into the camera and take pity on me, eh. Keep that silly scarf tucked inside your vest.”
Kendra hesitated, but thought better of it, unzipped her khaki vest, crisscrossed the pink scarf over her chest before tucking the ends into her belt and pulled the zipper back up. She angled herself in a model’s stance, left shoulder and foot pointed forward, and clutched her favorite satchel at waist level. It had become her trademark, along with her scarf.
The first time she had seen the designer bag made of python leather, she had paid a king’s ransom to have it, but over the years it outlasted all her purses. Nothing could replace its versatility. She flung her head back and tipped her face toward the camera. “There. Satisfied?”
Ben grunted. “Smile like you mean it.” He took the shot and then slipped the camera back into its carrying case on the ground beside their backpacks.
“That tote you’re….”
“Satchel,” she corrected.
“Satchel. Someone could grab it. Is your passport in it?”
“Not to worry, fearless leader. My mother bought me a canvass passport pouch I tie around my neck and wear under my shirt. I’ve put my ID, credit cards and travelers’ checks in it as well. Someone will have to kill me to steal it. She also got me a Timex…” Kendra raised her left wrist to show him the watch. “No big deal if someone steals it.”
He raised his brow. “Smart mother. So why carry a satchel too?”
“Make-up, dry shampoo, personal soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, two towels, tape recorder, notebooks, extra pencils . . .”
“Everything but the kitchen sink.” Bemused, he shook his head. “OK. This charter…” He pointed to the Russian aircraft. “What do you know about it?”
“It’s called Bravo Air Cargo – BAC for short.” Kendra unzipped the satchel and consulted her notes. “Vova Borisushka, a Russian, owns it. As well as former Soviet transport aircraft, he has amassed separate fleets of Cobra and Apache helicopters for military use.”
She flipped to another page. “Apparently the UN signed a contract with him five years ago, and then under rumors he was a gun runner, cancelled. The logistics officer told me Canada is not the only country stretched beyond the armed forces’ capacity to respond, so BAC is back in the UN’s good graces supplementing military aircraft for its missions in theatres of operation around the world.”
Chapter Three to be continued...