cab of her truck, watching the exchange and regarding Megan quietly. She spoke now to Megan, her voice no longer as abrasive as before.
‘Talyn is beyond our reach. We cannot travel that far into the interior.’
‘Not to mention the fact that we can’t protect you,’ Lieutenant Kelsey pointed out. ‘Talyn is probably as dangerous a place as you’re likely to find in Mordania.’
‘That’s right,’ Megan replied, ‘and my friend’s somewhere out there in the middle of it. I appreciate your concern, sir, but I came here to find someone and that’s what I’m going to do.’
Megan looked at the faces of the aid volunteers and the soldiers and she realised that she had inadvertently gained their complete attention.
‘Let’s get this stuff unloaded and get the hell out of here,’ she said instinctively.
As though they were her own employees, the entire gathering split eagerly to complete their work. As Megan walked away with Callum, she saw Sophie watching her quietly from her vantage point by the truck.
Sophie turned quickly away from Megan’s gaze and began calling orders out to her volunteers.
‘Megan? Is that you?’
Megan struggled to hear the American accent over the distortion plaguing the telephone line.
‘Yeah, it’s me Frank. Listen, I need some information.’
Megan was sitting in Martin Sigby’s room, using the correspondent’s satellite phone in the flickering light of a dozen or so candles. It had taken several minutes of intense bargaining to persuade the defensive Sigby to let Megan use the damned device, including threats of withholding the footage that Callum had gathered during the day.
‘Anything Megan, name it.’
‘Find out if Amy had any friends in Mordania, specifically family accquaintances. I’ve uncovered evidence that she may have been looking for someone, and that she disappeared whilst doing so.’
Megan was acutely aware of Martin Sigby listening in as she spoke. The correspondent was preparing for his nightly live broadcast from the hotel roof, no doubt with the distant flashes of conflict glowing against the night sky behind him for maximum impact. Frank Amonte’s voice reached Megan’s ear from New York city.
‘They didn’t mention anything before, but I’ll check it out and get back to you as soon as I know anything.’
‘There’s something else,’ Megan added in a whisper. ‘I need you to do a search for an employee of Medicines Sans Frontiers, a Sophie Vernoux.’
‘What’s her connection to Amy?’
‘There isn’t one Frank, it’s just a hunch.’
‘Will do, take care out there okay?’
Megan shut off the phone and looked thoughtfully out of the windows into the darkness of the night. The distant sound of an artillery shell pounding a hillside rolled through the blackness.
‘You’re looking for someone,’ Martin Sigby said.
‘And people say you’re dense.’
‘The footage,’ the correspondent demanded, holding out a stubby hand.
Callum, sitting on the edge of the bed nearby, stood up and loomed over Sigby for a menacing moment before handing him a slim Flash–Ram drive. Sigby grabbed it and then rushed across to his laptop, plugged the drive in and accessed the video files.
Megan and Callum watched as Sigby viewed the twenty or so minutes of footage. The correspondent looked around at them only once, as Callum filmed Megan’s ascent toward the rebels on the hill.
‘Oh my God,’ he murmured as he watched.
When the video reel ended, he turned to look at Megan.
‘Incendiary,’ he said, quite awestruck. ‘This will cause a storm back home.’
Megan stood and turned for the door.
‘Enjoy your fifteen minutes,’ she said, opening the door to leave with Callum following.
‘Wait.’ Sigby shot up from his seat.
Megan turned cooly as Sigby glanced briefly at the laptop before speaking.
‘Let me use your name,’ he said. ‘You did a hell of a thing there and you deserve the recognition.’