From Freedom's Banshee



From my novel Freedom's Banshee:


...Bob needed a break. One of his many intelligence duties required him to sit at a row of computer monitors and track bank accounts for terrorist cells in the area. After a couple of hours of blinking lights and colored numbers, his head was swimming. He leaned back in his chair, took off his headphones, and gave his scalp a brisk rub with the tips of his fingers. He shoved his chair back and went to the entrance of the canvas hut. As soon as he opened the door flap, the 115-degree heat and brilliant sun hit him in the face like a champion boxer. Even with polarized aviator sunglasses, he had to squint. He held his hand over his eyes until they had a chance to adjust. After a couple of minutes, Bob went out into the clearing in front of the intelligence tent and trudged up the sandy berm that helped protect them from bomb blasts and looked around.


Every time Bob took this little stroll, he was always struck by the curious placement of the intelligence tent, right next to a sprawling refinery. A simple barbed wire fence and a sign printed in three languages that read, “Keep out. Lethal force will be used. Operated and managed by Global Energy Resources, Inc. (G.E.R.I.)” was all that protected the refinery from insurgents and terrorists. Hmph! If I were CEO, there would be armed Army outposts every hundred yards. This is crazy!


Bob looked up past the refinery to the little cluster of mud huts just on the other side. Damn! The sand was rising high over the roof tops to the northwest. Another shamal. I hate this place!...


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