The mysterious killing of one of the most despised men in the entire Thompson-Nicola District brought relief for many of the beleaguered detainees locked up inside the detention centre. The NAP searched every square inch of the area surrounding Ron Storey’s home. The murder weapon had disappeared. No fingerprints had been found at the crime scene. Nicole took delight in the fact that some individual or group of individuals had had the courage to take out the demented, sadistic human trafficker. She, along with the other female inmates, was hopeful that Storey’s death would bring an end to the regime of terror and abuse that had taken place under his watch. But then again, Janet Paynter was almost as depraved as he had been and she was next in line to become commandant.
Nicole and Bridgette stood in line in the facility’s cafeteria. Nicole had barely slept a wink over the previous two nights. She had just been faced with the most difficult decision of her life. Barring a massive uprising, becoming Frank Carragher’s sex slave was about the only way she would ever get to hold Arielle again, much less gain any freedom. Not a minute passed by where she didn’t have Jake on her mind. Oh, to be in his rugged arms once again…she quickly snapped herself back to reality. Fantasizing about things she couldn’t have-at least not right now-only made everything worse. The women found a place at the end of a long table.
“The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways,” Bridgette stated as she sipped coffee.
“What do you mean?”
Nicole took a bite of the scrambled eggs on her plate. They tasted like rubber. Bridgette leaned in closer.
“The very thought of being alone with that fat control freak would give anybody the willies. What I’m trying to say is, we’ve just been presented with an opportunity to end this illegal occupation much sooner. Let’s face it. The chances of some foreign military force coming in here to liberate us are slim to none.”
Nicole glanced at her best friend puzzlingly.
“I can only imagine that Carragher has taken advantage of numerous women,” Bridgette continued. “From what you’ve told me, this nutcase desires the love and affection of a ‘real woman.’ You can slip into that role without a hitch. Think about it Nicole. You’ve just become part of the resistance.”
“I never thought of it that way,” Nicole said as she drank her coffee. She was quite nervous. “I just don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize Arielle.”
“Simply play the part. And be discreet about it. Most likely, when Carragher begins to trust you, he’ll lower his guard. He’ll probably get you to work for him. Mailing correspondence, handling confidential files…jobs like that. Once you’re in the inner sanctum, so to speak, keep your eyes and ears open. If at all possible, try to find out who the members of the resistance are in the city here.
The booming, ear-piercing roar of the engines of three massive Lockheed Hercules planes had a range of a couple of kilometers. Frank Carragher, Major Toombs, Lt.-Colonel Mullen as well as a handful of high-ranking NAP and British Army officers stood by as the huge wheels of the Norwegian Air Force planes landed on the tarmac at the Kamloops Airport.
A group of six members of the British Parachute Regiment stood rigidly at attention. Brian Vance was among them. It was difficult to stay focused in the burning August sun. Colonel Bjorn Karlsen walked down the steps of one of the Hercules planes. A dozen Norwegian Army officers were with him. One by one, Norwegian troops unloaded off of the three planes. Vance studied their fair Nordic features; blonde and light brown hair, blue eyes. Like him, many were young men who enlisted simply out of a sense of nationalism or perhaps a desire to see the world. Most wanted nothing to do with the conflict that was ravaging every corner of the globe. They just did what they had to in order to survive.
Karlsen and his officers walked up to Carragher, Toombs and Mullen.
“Good afternoon Colonel Karlsen.” Carragher greeted the Norwegians with a polite, professional smile. “Welcome to Kamloops. I trust your journey here was good.”
“It’s a short trip from Edmonton to here,” Karlsen said.
“Colonel, I’m not sure if you’ve ever met Lieutenant Colonel Allister Mullen. He’s the commanding officer of the local contingent of the UN force here. British Parachute Regiment.”
“I don’t believe that I have,” Karlsen said as he shook Mullen’s hand. “I have trained with some Paras before. I certainly have a high degree of respect for your outfit.”
“Well, you know the Paras are undoubtedly one of the toughest elite units on the planet,” Mullen responded a bit vainly.
“Colonel Karlsen, this here is Major Dan Toombs. “Major Toombs is in charge of the North American Police contingent for the Thompson-Nicola District.”
Toombs and Karlsen shook hands.
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that we will be working with some very professional, highly knowledgeable people,” Karlsen stated as he looked around at the other Norwegian officers, who nodded in agreement.
“I just spoke with General Nilsson,” Carragher stated. “If this country ever hopes to live long and prosper, as they say in North America, it is imperative to root out and eradicate all troublemakers and terrorists. Your troops will be lodged on base here along with the British and NAP forces. We have a beautiful old house close to downtown reserved for you and your officers. Please, come with us and we will help you get settled in.”