"Yo, Allen, get in here!"
It was Korunov. His head bobbed out the weathered orange door of the ger which served as our HQ. Ex-KGB counterintel guy. He'd spent a lot of time at the USA-Canada Institute, back when that was still cranking, and spoke with damndest accent. His voice was part Alabama cornpone and part Ukrainian street hustler, squeaking out of a two-hundred kilo butterball.
Hell, he must have been thin once. Nobody starts out life that kind of fat.
Korunov considered himself a man of the world. He was also the paymaster of our little unit, so when he yo'd, I ho'd.
Nichols and Korunov were crowded into the ger along with Batugan our Mongolian controller back in UB and the only man to get off the Antonov upon arrival. As always, the pilot remained on board to keep his points hot. Plus Hannaday was there. He was an Agency cowboy I'd last seen on the wrong end of a Glock in Kandahar two years earlier. Whipcord thin, still wearing the same damned Armani suit.
How the fuck had that spook gotten into the camp without me seeing him? My legs still ached whenever it got chilly. I briefly considered firing off my Stinger inside the ger, just punching the warhead into Hannaday's chest, but that would have pretty much toasted us all.
"Stow it," growled Korunov. Two hundred kilos or not, that man could and did snap necks.
"What's he doing here?" I wouldn't meet Hannaday's gaze. "He's worse trouble than the insurgency."
Batugan gave me his oily smile. I don't think he had any other kind, truth be told. "Mr. Hannaday has bought out your contracts."
"My contract wasn't up for sale to him."