Several important looking men clustered over a low relief map the size of a small swimming pool mumbling in deep tones to one another. Darkness pervaded the edges of the room, the only real illumination coming in sharp demarcated cones

from a recessed ring set into the ceiling. Soundproof panels deadened one's perception of hearing, the ventilation system unobtrusively keeping the room at a comfortable 73 degrees at all times. No phones, no computers, nothing to distract the men from their mumbling. A hidden door swung open into the chamber, bringing the men's attention to it. Daniel Tortuga strode into the room. He was an imposing figure. Tall, dark haired with a full beard and mustache, so unusual for a military man. Solidly built with broad shoulders accentuated by his rank. Not many men would want to tangle with him in hand to hand combat. Not many men, if they were intelligent, would care to tangle with him on any level. He was a new breed of soldier. Strong, smart and dangerous. His cover of archeology had done well for him, the bleeding heart liberals would be more than happy to fund his "work" and help him out of diplomatic hard spots he may find himself in, demanding his release with protest, denying the outrageous charges of espionage. In past decades, spies were pretty much hung out to dry if they failed, disavowed by their own government, denounced as traitors if push came to shove. Daniel stopped before the low table and annouced to the men,

"She'll be coming."

No one murmered.


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