Good news, the draft and first edit of the novel are in the can. Now it is with a proof reader/editor for review! In the meantime, I will be posting a few excerpts…
The Iridium satellite phone was picked up on the first ring.
“Nam?” the man answered in his native language. For a moment he was confused as to where he was and who he was talking to.
“It is a Gulfstream V. The paint job is gray but there are no commercial labels or official seals. The tail number is N44982,” the caller told him.
“Good work Arturo,” the Arab thanked him while committing the information to memory.
The Mexican intelligence official had become his go between with the Jimenez cartel and himself. It was now clear that the CIA would be of no use to them. They were perfectly happy to see the Jimenez cartel liquidated. The Arab worked for vested interests who were determined to ensure that this never happened. If Jimenez went down, there was no telling how many of the drug corridors would collapse if the American set off some kind of domino effect. They had to nip this problem in the bud.
The Arab smiled. He was good at troubleshooting these types of problems.
“You are sure he is on this flight?”
“Yes,” Arturo said. “My contact in the federales personally saw him board this plane just before the pilots made an illegal take off from Cancun. I would have left the problem in your hands but before I could intervene our air force sent up a couple fighters.”
“Did you have them stand down?”
Fear clenched the Arab’s gut. On one hand if the Mexican Air Force shot down the jet it would save him the trouble, the job would be complete. On the other hand, he would be stuck with seven mad men that he would need to find a way to get rid of.
“No, I was too late but somehow they managed to avoid the fighters. The Air Force is still trying to figure it out. It may have been some type of radar cloaking.”
“But you are sure they are returning to Gran Cayman?”
“Almost certain. My sources indicate that the island was their stop off point on their way to Cancun and they were heading back in that direction when they dropped off the radar.”
“I will call you when it is finished.”
“I would appreciate that my friend,” the intelligence agent sounded uneasy. “Jimenez grows…impatient.”
“This ends today. You will hear from me soon.”
The Arab terminated the call and set the phone down.
In the muffled interior of the garage he could hear his seven charges initiating their prayers. The chants to Allah reverberated off the walls, filling the garage with their religious incantations. The Arab winced, his fingers tracing the thick scar tissue on his forearm. In the Caribbean heat it felt like the scars were tightening up on him. Soon it would be time for more plastic surgery to relieve the pain. The scars were a constant reminder of who he had been in a past life.
The Arab packed away his satellite phone and edged around the side of the Toyota van towards the prostrated Muslim extremists.