20: FROM POINT A(LPHA) TO POINT B(RAVO)

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Public air transportation was not a normal means of traveling between countries as far as Rebel and I were concerned. If we had to fly, either one of LASAR's contacts or one of our own were used. That way we didn't have to go through checking, or security, or anything that might pose as a hindrance to our travels.

Needless to say, airports in general are a hindrance so far as we are concerned.

We'd cleared out and wiped down our car in a lot outside of the airport before calling a taxi service. From there we were on our own, and essentially unarmed. It felt wrong. I didn't feel vulnerable -- the feeling had never occurred to me before, and it certainly wouldn't here -- but it felt off. I was used to being armed, sometimes excessively, and now I had nothing.

No handgun tucked into a hidden holster in my jeans.

No daggers slipped inconspicuously into my clothes.

No anything.

I took minor solace in knowing that Rebel was also unarmed, and Team Bravo would be as well.

Rebel was shuffling through both of our passports and a wallet of money as we stayed in line, his focus on the details of our travel as I surveyed the room. When I spoke, it was in Russian, with the intent of not being understood by passers-by. "Moments like these, I almost miss having comms."

Rebel chuckled at that, looking up at me in amusement. "You hate comms."

I shrugged a shoulder noncommittally. "Only in group settings."

"Which, of course," he continued to smile out of humor, "is the only time when they are necessary."

I huffed at that, shooting him a look.

He ignored it, as he tended to, instead passing me my fake passport and ID before pocketing his own. "You said our connecting flight is Amsterdam, right?" he asked, still in Russian. We were next in line to buy our tickets.

I nodded, eyes slipping away from the woman behind the counter and resuming my study. No one looked unusual, or conspicuous. No one seemed dangerous. There were families dotted throughout the crowds, some with screeching children, others with teens engrossed in their technological devices. Then there were business people, wearing crisp dress suits and toting expensive looking luggage. There were individuals in civilian clothes; couples with intertwined hands.

But no Team Bravo.

Rebel tugged my arm when the lady called "I can help who's next!" and the two of us stepped forward to the counter.

She wore a too-big, too-bright smile that didn't reach her exhausted eyes, her hair pinned up perfectly, her clothes neat. "Buying tickets?" she asked.

Rebel answered, explaining our desired travel plan, all in English. He played the part of the charming tourist well, as he always did, allowing me to remain in my stony silence as I watched our surroundings. I tuned out their conversation, contemplating whether Legion and Sergeant could already be at the gate . . . though our flight didn't leave for another two hours . . .

When Rebel was done, he chirped a cheery, "Thank you, ma'am," before reaching for my hand and tugging me along, away from that line and toward the lengthy one for security.

"Did she ask why we didn't have luggage?" I asked absently, tugging my hand away from him so I could brush my bangs out of my face.

"She really didn't seem to care," Rebel shrugged. "But, I told her we were returning to South Africa and had shipped all of our stuff home ahead of time."

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