Taillights cut a pool of red in the dark where three African heavies in police uniform manned the makeshift roadblock. A fourth figure loomed over the driver-side door two cars up. The cops held their rifles clumsily. Probably they were cops, Raines thought. Criminals in the West African Republic handled weapons better than the police did. The cops moved alongside and scrutinized his car, then took up positions at the rear. Raines decided against running the blockade, though he doubted the rifles were loaded. He checked his mirrors, all black; his watch, a faint glow. He tapped the wheel. Half past midnight. Fifteen minutes since he’d left home. Twenty since the Ops Center informed him of the cable requiring immediate action.
The big cop waved him up, palm downward, fingers beckoning with im- patience. Raines lowered his tinted win- dow before the cop could tap it with his dirty hand. Sweat- and booze-reek poured through the window on the humid air. The cop grinned. His big, round face glistened with sweat in the red-tinged dark.
“Evening boss,” Raines said.
Read Full Story (Posted to Umbrella Factory Magazine, September 2012)