A Betrayal of Butterflies
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by David Toft
Description: Only one person wants Gordon Aldridge to succeed in his mission of bloody revenge, and Gordon's ultimate survival is the last priority on that person's agenda.
eBook Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc., 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: March 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [265 KB]
Reading time: 161-226 min.
Gordon looked from Dan to the agents and smiled. They could have been a comedy duo. Salvietto: tall, well muscled, dark-haired, and sun tanned. Buckley: short, skinny, mousy-haired, and pale-skinned, with thick-rimmed spectacles that he had to continually push back over the bridge of his nose.
Buckley cleared his throat and adjusted his glasses. "Things are dropping into place nicely." He pulled a map from the middle of his partner's stack and opened it out on the table.
"Ireland." He stabbed his finger down onto the map. "We'll have six hundred thousand troops in place by the end of next month--any more and the place is likely to sink." He looked around the table, begging appreciation of his joke.
Gordon watched him straight-faced, determined that no argument was going to sway his decision.
"The Russians have close to two million men massing on the Uzbek border. They'll launch a second front as soon as we move."
Gordon smiled, sensing his opening.
"Australia, New Zealand." Buckley's finger started a world tour. "South Africa. They're all mobilising their reserves."
"You see," Salvietto interjected. "We really don't need any more help."
Buckley flashed his partner a look that suggested he'd gone off script. "This is about a lot more than your personal vendetta. The future of the whole of Europe is at stake. What we really don't need," he said, staring into Gordon's eyes, "is for your taking out Ahmadzai to increase their security and therefore their readiness. That can only result in more Americans being killed, or the whole invasion being postponed."
Gordon glanced at Dan too quickly for his adoptive father to have time to disguise his victorious grin. He'd been about to sell his plan as offering a diversion. Buckley had headed that one off, for the next month and a half anyway. His eyes scanned the self-satisfied grins around the table. Suddenly he was angry. They'd ganged up on him, even Hillary. His stomach swirled. Jesus! No! He stroked his hand across it, and it settled. Dan's grin had disappeared, replaced by alarm.
"Have you found whoever killed Foster yet?" Gordon looked at Buckley.
The agent shook his head. "No."
"Then they still have people on the inside of our military in Ireland."
Buckley looked at Dan, his eyes pleading for support.
"You're not going to hide a six-hundred-thousand-strong invasion force. They're going to be on full alert anyway. So I'm still going." Gordon too looked at Dan. "Within four days, or I start killing the ones who are putting obstacles in my way." He stared across the table at the two agents. "Starting with you two... I think we're done here." He sat back in his chair and watched uneasy glances meet each other around the table.
Salvietto folded the map, stuffed it back into his briefcase together with the rest of his papers, and stood. "You can't go around threatening federal agents."
Gordon looked up at him. "I won't even have to leave this room. There'll just be a tragic accident."
"Come on." Salvietto looked at his partner, then stormed out of the room.
Buckley scampered after him.
"Now that was a bit strong," Hillary said as the door swung closed behind the two agents.
"I meant every word," Gordon retorted, looking her straight in the eye. "And anyone who tries to stop me had better look out." He pushed back his chair and stood, looking at them in turn. "Anyone." He left the room without looking back.
In the corridor he leaned back against the wall and looked up at the ceiling. Could he really kill his parents in order to clear his path to England and Ahmadzai? He didn't want to. It wouldn't do any harm to let them think I might though.