Once Mai Martin escaped from the Chinese tentacles and made it to Sebastopol, the Department of Homeland Security entangles her into traveling back to Xi’an for a nanotechnology conference, exposing her to more danger. Commander Gao assures that she’ll be protected and has nothing to fear since the prosecutor looked at the evidence and agreed she shot General Ma in self-defense. Nevertheless, Mai must face her fears about the horrible events surrounding the ghastly death of General Huang and the killing of General Ma the day they jetted away to Kyoto.
The three novellas, Human Hybrids, Dangerous Visions and Wasted Time, will be released in 2019 in a boxed set!
Promptly at 08:30 a knock at the door wakes them. By this time, the hotel staff ran yesterday’s registrations through a search filter and flagged the Beijingers, Ron Zhao, Commander Gao, and the Meiguonuren, Mai Martin. A notice was sent to the local National Armed Police who responded with surveillance orders.
“It’s the hotel techie to install the internet connection,” says Ron, “Get up.” He wraps his body in a hotel robe and steps out to talk to the man. He’s looking at his phone messages when Mai opens the door for the men to come in. Dark smudges show under her puffy, bloodshot eyes. She staggers back to the hard, Chinese bed and crawls under the duvet.
The Ethernet installation takes a few minutes. The man tests the connection for her and leaves a concealed miniature camera in the sitting room and another in the hall on his way out.
“Commander Gao is waiting for me in the dining room,” says Ron, disappearing into the bathroom. In a minute, condensation clouds the glass separating it from the bedroom.
Mai climbs out of bed, pads into the steamy bathroom and steps into the shower.
“I’m going out, what about you? Are you staying here?” he asks, lathering Mai with the complimentary mint scented shower gel.
She submits to his careful attention, dozing under the hot spray.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m skipping the morning session and sleeping. Meet you for lunch in the banquet room.”
She dries off with the bathroom door ajar, checking him out while he finishes dressing, pulling a Korean knit shirt over his head.
“I’m going downstairs to find the Commander,” he says to the open door, enjoying watching her as the fog clears in the glass enclosure.
He fastens a belt around polyester blend tan trousers and leaves her alone.
Mai rubs the clouded mirror and inspects her face. The dark smudges have dissipated, replaced by a robust glow. She wishes it was as easy to overcome the anxiety of being in the city where Huang was arrested, where he hid her that she lives and he’s dead. Frowning, she digs into her bag for a maternity tunic.
Colorful flags outside the window flutter in a cool breeze. She leans on the sill and looks down at soldiers in light green shirts and dark pants marching to musical accompaniment from loudspeakers in the courtyard below. Towering above the HQ opposite is a massive SIGINT array of microwave equipment sparkling in the clear morning.