It was cold, and it was dark, and she was beginning to wish she was somewhere else. Crouching behind the tail of a small airplane parked about 30 yards from where he was, she watched him busily removing the canvas cover and guy ropes from a similar aircraft. He was working by the dim light that spilled from two distant security lights and a head torch he was wearing.
She thought he was maybe preparing for take-off, but why was he working in the dark? Surely he would need more light than this. At the very least, he would need runway lights, wouldn’t he?
Ten minutes ago, she’d thought about giving it up as a bad job, and leaving him to it. She had been thinking maybe following him hadn’t been such a brilliant idea, but then it had occurred to her that whatever he was doing out here, he had to be up to no good. If she could just find out what it was, maybe she would have some leverage; something she could threaten to use against him. Then he would have to listen, wouldn’t he?
As she concentrated on watching him, she was taken by surprise as a small figure appeared beside her. She felt the sharp stab of a hypodermic needle plunged into her neck, and then, remarkably quickly, she found she couldn’t move and everything was going black…
The pilot was not a happy man. Carrying an unconscious passenger all the way to France wasn’t part of the deal, and she certainly shouldn’t be in a heap on the floor of the tiny cockpit. But when the boss points a gun at you and insists you are going to do as you’re told, your options become severely limited, and he had no doubt the threat was genuine. So here they were, bumping along the runway, struggling to get off the ground because of the additional weight he hadn’t bargained on carrying.
The engine was screaming as they felt the wheels lift from the ground and they were airborne at last. The pilot focused his attention on the controls as they lifted away from the airfield and began to climb into the darkness. He’d done this plenty of times before, but it was always risky and required total concentration.
He thought he heard a grunt from the body curled on the floor, but the boss would have to deal with it. He had his hands full flying this thing in the dark. Such was his focus, he was suddenly shocked to hear the aircraft door bang open and feel air rushing all around him. The tiny airplane jerked violently to one side and it took all his skill and attention to keep it under control.
By the time he was able to look across to see what was happening, all had become calm again and the door had been closed. To his horror, he realised the unconscious girl was gone.
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