The Great Thirst is almost complete! Here’s a snippet from Part Six:
“David, where are you?” Drew’s voice came over David’s satellite phone, scratchy and indistinct. He had been out to the village again with a small team, trying to be sure the cartel was not looking for the expedition or questioning the shooting incident.
David gave him the co-ordinates of the ball court, but he had to repeat it three times before Drew acknowledged.
“What’s wrong, Drew?” David asked. “Your signal is awful. We told everyone at the base camp where we were going.”
“…Not at … base camp.”
“Then the GPS should – where are you?” David demanded. David pulled his phone back and stared at it. “I’m not getting GPS on you. Is there a threat?”
“Red lights … all directions,” Drew said. “… No contact … base camp … no GPS … finished … village … started back … can’t raise anybody …”
“Try your phones and the corundum chips,” David ordered the others.
Keith already had his phone out. “Talia?” he said, holding his corundum pendant close. “Are you guys okay?”
“We’re fine,” Talia replied. Her signal was clear and strong. “Why?”
“Drew’s signal’s getting blocked,” Keith answered. “He’s on his way back to you but something’s wrong. Be careful.”
“Wait a minute ‘til I have someone check around the camp to be sure,” she replied. After a moment she spoke again. “Drew’s team here relayed reports that everything is quiet and normal.”
“Hey, look, it’s one of those cool rubber balls,” Jiggly said, pulling a round gray object about the size of a cantaloupe out of the underbrush. He tossed it back and forth in his hands.
“Do we need to go back and make sure everything’s all right?” David asked.
“Talia says everything’s fine there,” Keith said. “Maybe it’s Drew who’s in trouble. Can we find him with the ‘copter?”
“Drew made me personally responsible for your safety,” David answered. “I can’t risk taking all of you with me, if Drew is in trouble, and you’re safe here,”
“Whoa!” Jiggly stopped tossing the ball back and forth as a rumbling sound froze them all.
“What was that?” David unlimbered the machine gun hanging on a strap over his shoulder. The vibration died out and they relaxed.
“What just happened?” Talia demanded over the phone.
“We heard a rumbling, or, more like felt it,” Keith said. “Why?”
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Talia snuck her hand into Keith’s as they parted ways from the tour bus and headed back toward Veracruz.. “Are you really okay?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Keith said.
“You have a weird look in your eyes,” Talia said.
“I have a weird feeling in my head,” Keith said. “Kinda like when Jenny Kaine was in the room at the hotel. This guy … is he demon-possessed, or what, exactly?”
“I’m not sure. Keith, you threw up and passed out with Jenny Kaine,” Talia said softly.
“Not gonna happen this time,” Keith said. “Feel … stronger. Ready … but not now.”
“Ready for what?”
“Tell me, why are we bringing these two?” Anne demanded. “Are you putting assets in danger again?”
“These assets happen to be, indirectly, my employers,” Drew said. “In spite of the fact that you and I would prefer to just put a bullet in the head of whoever is back there in the cargo bin, these two have bigger fish to fry. We need to know what the plan is, for … umm … all the sub-assets. The only possible source of information we have, since we can’t hog-tie any … anyone else … is Angel.”
“We have to try to question him,” Talia said. “He’s a wild card at this point. I don’t have any idea why he’s involved. I can’t plan how to protect against a threat if I don’t know who’s doing the threatening and why.”
“What do you expect us to do? Torture him?” Anne asked.
“We need him to talk,” Talia replied. “I’m praying for wisdom about how to make that happen.”
Spanish erupted from behind them. Talia said something sharp in reply and the words choked off.
“Do I want to know?” Keith asked.
“He said, using many more words, that we wouldn’t dare do anything to him,” Talia said. “I quoted part of a Psalm to him.”
“Which Psalm?” Keith asked.
“Psalm 35:7,8,” Talia replied. “Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the LORD pursuing them. Let destruction come upon him unawares; And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.”
“Okay,” Keith said. “I’m just gonna pray now, too.”
The jeep went silent. Even Angel did not speak again.
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