And a reminder that I don’t post at this blog anymore. If you want to follow me, you can do so via the blog on my author site.
This is a snippet from chapter 6 of Ambassador, from one of my favourite sections in the story. If you want to read the rest, you can pre-order the book. This page has all the ordering options.
I kissed Eva, said goodbye to her parents and followed the two guards into the rain.
Except the car wasn’t a regular driver-less taxi, but one of the very few privately-owned vehicles in the city. Nothing on the doors or windows alluded to its owner, except the driver, whose Coldi ponytail glittered in the street light. A gamra contact then, someone out of the database.
Shit. If they didn’t even trust taxis, something had happened indeed. The guard held open the door.
I settled in the back seat and forced a smile as I waved to Eva. Her face showed no concern, thankfully. No doubt everything would be fine, but just now, it would be nice if someone told me what was going on.
Doors slammed. The electric motor whined and we were off.
“Mashara, I’m sure it is time to tell me what this is about. You are aware that I no longer have my feeder?”
The guard didn’t answer immediately; he was fiddling with his comm unit. The holo-screen lit his face with a bluish glow.
“Delegate.” He bent forward, peeling the earpiece off.
I attached the device to my ear.
Someone said, “Cory?” In that warm-hued tone between male and female. Coldi.
I recognised the voice. “Amarru.”
“Where are you now?”
“I just got in the car.”
“Tell the driver to avoid the city bypass.”
“Just tell him, right now.”
“All right.” I relayed the message. The driver grumbled that he was aware of trouble.
“Amarru, can you tell me what this is about?”
“First up, there is a car behind you.”
I looked over my shoulder, but saw only an empty street. “I know that.”
“There is also a group of police at the hotel, and there is a trap on the bypass. Our bugs are better than theirs, Cory.”
“Thank you.” I made every attempt not to sound sarcastic, but I felt sick. The concepts “ours” and “theirs” were becoming horribly blurred. “Does this mean I am being targeted now?”
“Have you heard the press release from the emergency council?”
“No. I was at a family dinner.” See? I shouldn’t have given in to Eva and kept my unit. I swear every time I had no communication I missed something important. Damn, damn it.
“The meeting only lasted about an hour and a half. Must be a record. Wait, I’ll read this out.” There was some rustling and clicking. “The Emergency council of Nations of Earth has declared that following the attack on President Sirkonen, member nations must ensure full cooperation to find and bring to trial the perpetrators, and have sanctioned the use of all available means in doing so…”
“All available means? But…”
“That means using armed forces if necessary.”
A chill went down my spine. “That could mean war.”
“Danziger has just declared a state of emergency for Rotterdam. Already, there’s riots in a number of places. People are looting shops owned by Coldi. And yes, the police want to talk to you. We’ve picked up some communication to that extent.”
“Shit. Are they going to give me the same treatment as Nicha?”
“I can’t answer that, but I have an offer: we can guarantee gamra protection on a flight that leaves for Athens in about an hour’s time.”
Leave Rotterdam. Now. That was ever as strong a suggestion as she had ever given me.
“I can’t. Not without Nicha.”
“I think Nixie is doing her best on that front. Nothing I can do; nothing you can do.”
I swallowed hard. “My luggage is at the hotel.”
Buying time, surely.
“That’s been taken care of.”
I glanced over the seat. My suitcase lay in the back.