A discussion about my Killshot character Reno led to me starting some action fiction. While I have done so before, this is more straight-up action, without speculative elements. I’ve got the story mapped, but maybe only a third done. A teaser is below.
What action fiction have I written, you ask? Shame on you for forgetting.
What is Killshot? Glad you asked.
And now, here’s the teaser:
Arrivals at the airport consisted of one small room. After each flight, bodies packed it. One of the four ceiling fans turned slowly, uncertainly, and with a fair wobble with rotation. The other three showed no signs of life. Each body in that room sweltered; most also sweat. Three lines had formed on one side of the room and a cluster on the other. The lines led to passport control. The cluster watched luggage tossed into a pile in the centre of the room.
He only had his carry-on pieces: a rather large backpack and a messenger bag. He stood in the “Other” line while most stood in the “Visa” line. The gentleman in front of him argued. He was in the UN. He didn’t need a visa. The thug in the suit (a very nice suit, and much more fashionable than the uniforms worn by the other thugs at passport control) ignored his protestations and refused to return his passport.
“One hundred dollars.” He had repeated that as an answer for every argument UN Guy voiced. Sure, the thug worked for the government, but damned if he’d take its currency. American dollars, post-2008, crisp and clean and no sign of wear, only 100s–he made certain UN Guy understood this.
Ignoring UN Guy wailing to someone on his cell phone, Reno offered his passport to the be-suited thug.
“Mister Reno, you need a visa.” Suit-Thug pronounced the name as though Reno were in the old west, a gambler, or an American city. No one ever read it right.
“Page twenty-one,” Reno said.
“It’s no good.” The thug didn’t even bother to look at him. Reno obviously bored him. “You need a visa. One hundred dollars American.” He went on about the specifics. Reno already knew them.
What was the point of arguing? From out of his pocket, Reno drew a single, pristine one-hundred dollar US
note with only a single fold. Thug took it, slapped a visa in the passport, filled it in from the information on the ‘no good’ visa, stamped it and sent Reno on his way.
Bags had to be searched. Other thugs in other uniforms had to intimidate Reno with their hard looks and sneers. Reno swallowed it all, gave nothing back. He knew their kind and they honestly weren’t worth a bead of sweat.
Passing through the gauntlet left Reno outside. Crossing a road, Reno entered the ‘waiting room,’ a covered area with tables and chairs and vending machines that looked like they had seen worse abuse than the rest of the airport.
The country had been independent for a year, autonomous of six before, and a war zone for at least the two decades preceding that. One really couldn’t expect much, not even at the capital’s international airport.
At one of those plastic tables, sitting in a battered plastic chair, Reno’s fixer waited for him. Abraham Deng, big and bald, used the name Ibrahim whenever he needed to play Muslim. As far as Reno knew, Deng hadn’t been back to this city–to his home country at all–since 2006. Deng didn’t say a word, just gestured to the parking lot with his chin and started walking. Reno followed.
Inside the Prado (right-hand drive so it came from Kenya or Uganda, as likely had its driver) Deng turned on the CD player and the AC. Reno stashed his bags in the back seat and settled into the front.
“Surprised to see you here,” he said to Deng.
“I could say the same.” Leaving the airport, Deng drove straight through the fork. The right would have taken them to the main UN base. Straight took them a lot of places.
“Who are we going to see?” Reno checked the glove compartment. He pulled out a NORINCO knock off of a P226. He did a quick inspection. The piece looked tip top, with a full magazine and one in the chamber.
“You remember Alor? The big captain?”
Reno did. Back when he had ran guns and trained commandos, Captain Alor had been a sadistic military intelligence tough. With arms almost as impressive as his expanding gut, Alor had connections and a willingness to do anything to please. Last Reno had seen him, back in the summer of 2005, Colonel Alor had a future far brighter than his intellect intimated. “You’re working for Alor?”