Chapter 7

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My thanks to my wonderful Betas comments welcome.

Chapter Seven

John rubbed his eyes wearily. He’d been studying the map intently for more than an hour, and the words and symbols were beginning to merge. However, he was getting a feel for the area from which Rhiannon Philips had been taken. The village of San Paulo was one of several, about seventy klicks east of the Colombian capital of Bogotá, where tributaries of the Bogotá River crisscrossed the plateau to form fertile valleys and where people had settled. This was the Andean part of the country. Altitude might be a problem; Bogotá was 2,625 meters above sea level. But he normally acclimatised quickly so he should be okay. He’d have to be, he thought wryly.

He frowned; where the kidnappers went after they left the village was anybody’s guess. The whole area was dominated by the Cordilleras, a range of mountains that formed a part of the Andes. They could have a stronghold in one of the more remote villages higher up in the mountains, but it was equally possible that they would make for the Caribbean coast. They might possibly have headed for one of the major ports like Cartagena or Barranquilla, especially if they had drugs to get out of the country. They might have contacts in the Caribbean Islands or Central America who couldn’t be kept waiting. John’s eyes drifted across the map and rested on the word Bogotá and he wondered if they would they make for the capital. Sometimes it was easier to hide in a city.

The kidnappers would have to think on their feet. From what little Alex had told him, it was obvious that they had not planned to take anybody hostage. So whatever they did next had to fit in with their original plans. His biggest concern was that, having taken Rhiannon away from the village, they would decide taking her hostage was too big a risk and kill her.

He sighed again. He was going to need some inside information about the area and what drug cartels operated there. Common sense told him they would have to approach the Americans for intelligence in the area. He shivered slightly. He was apprehensive at the thought of having to work with the Americans. He had until recently been on their most wanted list. 

Deciding it was time to share his thoughts with somebody, he stood and walked towards Layla’s office. Her door was open and she waved him in.

“Is the Major back from Number Ten yet?” he asked, perching on the edge of her desk.

“No not yet,” she replied.

John looked at the page she was reading on the internet. It was about the DEA’s activity in Colombia. 

“I see you’re thinking like me. We are going to have to work with the Americans on this one.”

“Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it? They have the most inside knowledge about the Colombian drug trade.” 

“Yes, they do. Have you requested their help yet? 

“Yes, they are sending over an agent…” Layla paused.

“Layla, what is it?” John watched as she bit her bottom lip.

“They are sending over Frank Arlington; he is their special liaison officer in London.”

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