Jaxon has been experimenting with a Slovenian Pipistrel Taurus G4. He speculates that given enough altitude, the newly installed solar panels will work efficiently enough to charge the batteries in-flight. With the extended range, he could fly anywhere in the world nearly undetected. Unfortunately, his attempts to create a pressurised cabin make the sailplane too heavy. “Do we have time for a round of golf?”, Jaxon looks up from the engineering drawings he’s been perusing. “One step ahead of you, tee time at Club de Genève is nine AM”.
I looked forward to a bit of exercise that didn’t involve dodging bullets, or unleashing them at others. The overcast sky didn’t look promising, though the weather report did promise clearing skies. As we arrived at Club de Genève early, Jaxon and I decided to hit a bucket of balls each on the driving range at the Eastern part of the grounds. Revelling the crisp clean morning air, only the sounds of a few birds and a far off lawnmower, the world feels innocent and pure. Thwack! Perfect, the club connects to the ball right at the sweet spot. Thwack! Thwack! High and true, this will be a good game; perhaps I can win back some money from Jaxon. Before we finish the last of the balls, the beginning patter of rain can be heard on the overhead roof. My last ball lands in a small puddle already forming on the practise range. By the time we get to the clubhouse the rain has developed into a downpour. It’s raining wombats and dingos.
Brunch at the nineteenth hole, well, not really brunch, they don’t serve proper food until eleven o’clock. The Hefeweizen sales, however, start at nine o’clock in the morning. Across the restaurant, I spot a low priority assignment. Eduard is a small arms dealer. Well, that’s the joke, Eduard is a midget. What he lacks in stature, he makes up in cold-blooded ruthless business acumen. In a cruel twist of fate, I recently learned in a random text from Lucricia that Eduard is rumoured to have information about my Mandy’s disappearance those many years ago off the coast of New Zealand.
Eduard’s been flirting despicably with one of the lovely young waitresses; to her credit, she seems to revel in the attention. I concoct a plan; I’ll bribe her into luring Eduard into the kitchen for me, where interrogation will be aggressive and short, no pun intended. After extracting the intel, I’ll perform a Gutsy Grouper to finish him off. Before I am able to catch the voluptuous waitress’s attention, I watch Eduard hop off his chair and follow her toward the kitchen. This won’t cost me anything; even better!
Till varje, sin egen. I give the lovers exactly one minute to get acquainted. Counting down the seconds, I advance toward the kitchen, my right hand instinctively grasping the pistol from its home in the shoulder holster. I kick open the kitchen door, pistol drawn, safety off, about to shout “Freeze”; instead I’m frozen in my tracks.
I’m too late. Suspended and contorted as he was, Eduard was in no condition to provide information, ever. The curvy waitress had performed a Salacious Sasquatch to perfection, I almost applauded. With an impish grin, Eduard’s executioner flits over to me and gives me a hug, “Hi Majes”.
“Capucine”, I counter dryly. If there is one thing I’ve learned in this business, never question the methods or motives of another assassin. “I see you’ve completed your schooling”. Then I remembered. Tearing from Capucine’s embrace, I sprint from the kitchen to the table where Jaxon is about to tuck into a delicious looking baked treat. Smacking the cookie from his hand, I bark “Don’t eat that!”.
Three hours after the rain started, the sun is out. “See, clearing, just like the weather report”, Jaxon beams. Shortly, we are in the air, in route to our destination. Unable to reconcile cabin pressurisation and weight restrictions, Jaxon settled on oxygen masks for the high altitude portion of our journey. Jaxon powers the glider to four thousand feet before killing the electric motor. Our undetectable glide will take us around Islamic airspace through China airspace into Nepal; we hope.
Pipstriel’s Tarus G4 is a four seat electric powered sailplane. The seating is split between two pods separated by wing and a central motor pod. The central motor pod also houses a battery array that can be deployed to extend glide time by reducing total weight. I’m seated behind Jaxon in the starboard flight control pod, the port pod has our payload; luggage and, a passenger.
Sharing the flight to Kathmandu is Capucine. On condition that I get her an interview with Jae, Capucine has agreed to share what information she wrestled from Eduard before killing him.