The agent finished her report, and he thanked her, tossing a "good job" as she walked away and while he watched her backside. He checked his watch, wondering if he could get in a nap before the next principals' briefing. When he saw the time he wondered if UN representatives were always late or was it just this particular one?
"She was rather attractive, wasn't she?"
Munro smiled and wondered if mind-reading was one of Mai Fisher's talents. He turned to greet her. All thoughts of younger women left his head. She looked rested, relaxed, dark eyes luminous, dark hair in a severe French braid. She had dressed in what passed for the UN Security Force's utility uniform—dark blue commando sweater, dark blue pants tucked into Lady Magnum combat boots. She wore her body armor under her sweater, and the ubiquitous Beretta was holstered at her right hip. Insignia on her turtleneck bore the initials "UNSF," and the epaulets at her shoulders showed a colonel's rank. God, he was glad to see her.
"Don't you do anything the usual way?" he asked.
"The usual way is boring." She pointed to the ID badge clipped to her gunbelt. "I did check in and get the appropriate identification, though I saw at least three ways I could get around your security."
Munro felt his defenses come up before he remembered she liked to pull chains. "I hear you got a new job," he said.
She shrugged, and he thought he saw some emotion in her eyes. "Well, yes. It keeps me from being the idle rich."
"Chief of Security for the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Republic of Yugoslavia is big. That's quite a cherry job. You made it sound like nothing much."
"Compared to what I used to do, it is nothing much, but I'm with Alexei. And that's important to me."
"You miss the old life?"
"Let's see. Do I miss skulking about, eavesdropping on people, roughing up bad guys, getting slapped around, shot at, followed, threatened? You bet your ass I do. We get an occasional spike of intrigue at The Hague, but mostly it's gossip. Who's fucking whom, that sort of thing."
"Do I detect some bitterness?" The look she gave him made him drop the question. He pointed to an epaulet. "Do I have to call you Colonel Fisher?"
"You do, and I'll shoot you. The rank came with the job. Alexei says it gives me credibility, but there was a reason I didn't stay in the British Army. So, your message said you needed my help. Official, this time."
"Yes, it was. The request specified your arrival two days ago."
"You know I rarely jump at the command of the U.S. government, but I'm here now. What's the threat you need my help with?"
"We've downplayed it, kept only among a close group of need-to-know folks, but we believe it's a credible threat from a white supremacist group. Their message indicated they'd be coming to the Mall to kill all interracial couples."
All joking left her face. "You have a name for this organization?"
"New Patriot City."
Munro thought Mai Fisher might have paled, but he decided it was the artificial lighting. She stepped closer to him and lowered her voice.
"It's not Patriot City's prophet Elijah. He's dead."
"That was the Christian Identity preacher from the Oklahoma City thing?" Her indication of surprise was a raised eyebrow. "When I put in the request through your Mr. Nelson, he sent someone to brief me. Oh, and the threat came from a woman, not a man."
"Unusual. Patriot City didn't believe in putting women in places of authority. How did she make contact?"
"A letter to me."
"My position as coordinator was announced in the press."
"Do you still have the letter?"
"We dusted it for fingerprints. None. Not even a partial."
"I want to read it."
"I have a copy here…"
"No. I want to read the original and see the envelope. What was the postmark?"
"No surprise there. How did you know it was a woman?"
"She signed the letter, 'Sarai, Aryan Mother.'"
Munro watched as she considered what he had told her. That shadow of emotion crossed her face again, but she recovered.
"I still find it interesting it's a woman," she said. "Elijah had a very distinct opinion of the role of women, and heading up New Patriot City was not one of them. You know, you really need Alexei here. He was the one undercover in the original Patriot City."
"He didn't come with you?"
She gave him a coy smile, something he wouldn't have expected from her. "What's wrong, Munro? Afraid you won't have me all to yourself?"
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