NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 27

Not according to plan

In the spy business, it pays not to make solid plans, just have an idea of what you might do, and execute it.

When it goes wrong, as it inevitably does, then you can always say, “I knew it was going to fail” and feel good about it.

Expecting a plan to work without it going south is like winning the lottery.  What are the odds?

What you can rely on every time is human nature.  Yes, sometimes the bad guy is thoroughly bad and goes off the reservation, but that’s the exception.  Counterspy measures always include an element of ‘what’s in it for me’ when an opportunity comes up.

So, David and Susan get captured.  It’s the easiest way in.

Then Susan escapes in the middle of a freak storm with torrential rain that has a visibility range of ten feet at best.  Enough time for her to disappear.

It’s all part of the plan.

Others search for her, while David is taken to the main compound, assessing the odds and situation as he goes.  He ends up in a cell, left to ponder his fate, and then dragged out for interrogation.

Not exactly part of the plan, but he does learn something new, and quite disconcerting.  Someone close to him is a traitor.

Words written today, 3,541, for a total of 66,956

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 28

You’re a sight for sore eyes

Here’s the thing about stubborn people.

Whether right or wrong they eventually get what they want.

It’s clear to David by the time he reaches the compound, that firstly the girl who was supposedly a prisoner is not there, probably wasn’t there in the first place, but that’s no surprise, secondly had they caught Alisha, then she would be on display when they arrived, and thirdly, there was always the weasel type interrogator bristling with overconfidence waiting in the wings.

And if there was a fourthly, it would be that he would receive ‘the softening up’ process before the first interrogation.

He was not disappointed.  The second in so many weeks, or what felt like it, the bruises on the bruises were like a badge of honour.

But that’s the problem with weaselly interrogators who think they hold all the cards, when the tables are turned, they become cowered cowards.

He underestimated David’s resolve.  He underestimated Alisha’s determination to remain uncaptured, and he didn’t know about David’s secret weapon.

That is until they came knocking on the door.

His overconfident interrogator, thinking that he held all the cards and that David would be leaving in a body bag, spills the beans.

Words written today, 2,776, for a total of 69,732

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 26

I ought to be on holiday

Now that David has finally worked out what it is that Prendergast wants, and what is required to get back to living in the London residence, though he’s not sure he really wants to go back, arrangements are made by Alisha’s trusty assistants.

Of course, Alicia has to go too, despite the short recovery time, but it seems everyone wants to get back to work, and David realizes that being at the coal face is really what he’s been missing.

Nigeria is probably not the best place to be going, and the head of station there is a rather odd fellow who doesn’t quite understand the subtleties of secrecy.  He’s also Prendergast’s man and that means he can’t be trusted.

David pulls in some old friends he used to work with, and the team assembles in Lagos, and will be travelling to the vicinity of the guerrilla’s camp in the Nigerian Delta by float plane landing near a village whose people have been having trouble, and who will take them by boat to the ‘back door’ of the camp.

It seems the villagers have been petitioning the Queen to help them as members of the Commonwealth.  It provides David and his team a perfect excuse to go there if anyone is asking.

All of this works like clockwork.  And the means to gain entry is simply enough, they are going to present themselves at the gate, and allow themselves to be ‘detained’.  As for being shot on sight, David understands the local warlord ‘type’; he would use David and his team as a bargaining chip with the British Government.

Not that it was going to happen, the warlord was about to discover what war was really like.

Words written today, 3,123, for a total of 63,415

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 27

Not according to plan

In the spy business, it pays not to make solid plans, just have an idea of what you might do, and execute it.

When it goes wrong, as it inevitably does, then you can always say, “I knew it was going to fail” and feel good about it.

Expecting a plan to work without it going south is like winning the lottery.  What are the odds?

What you can rely on every time is human nature.  Yes, sometimes the bad guy is thoroughly bad and goes off the reservation, but that’s the exception.  Counterspy measures always include an element of ‘what’s in it for me’ when an opportunity comes up.

So, David and Susan get captured.  It’s the easiest way in.

Then Susan escapes in the middle of a freak storm with torrential rain that has a visibility range of ten feet at best.  Enough time for her to disappear.

It’s all part of the plan.

Others search for her, while David is taken to the main compound, assessing the odds and situation as he goes.  He ends up in a cell, left to ponder his fate, and then dragged out for interrogation.

Not exactly part of the plan, but he does learn something new, and quite disconcerting.  Someone close to him is a traitor.

Words written today, 3,541, for a total of 66,956

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 25

The plot thickens

David and Susan are planning and executing rendezvous, a rather odd thing to do since they are married, not illicit lovers, but Susan likes the idea of escaping her security team, something that is at odds with what Prendergast expects.

Of course, his security chief seems to think that Prendergast simply wants him to do a simple job in quid pro quo for a job Prendergast is supposed to do for him:  free his daughter from a despotic African terrorist that the man once worked for, and failed.

This is the story being peddled to David by the man who accompanied Susan’s agent to France and is backed up in part by Alisha’s investigative team.

David torments another of his team and then sets himself at odds with the man himself when Susan tries to have a discrete lunch with Prendergast.

That sets off alarm bells for David.

Prendergast is far too involved with Susan for David’s liking.

But, it seems if he is to get rid of the security at Susan’s he is going to have to find the daughter, and she is in Nigeria.

It seems that was one of Prendergast’s objectives, to get David to rescue her, but what happened to the notion that he just ask?

In the meantime, the security team’s England base is found, one of Susan’s newly acquired properties, and David has surveillance installed.

He also has new eyes on the castle, and the renovations, because he suspects something else is going on there.

And then there is Alisha at her most seductive best, injured or not.

Chess pieces being moved by various people across the globe, David sets off for Nigeria, to see a rather doubtful contact, of Prendergast’s recommendations.

/Just like the old days, wheels within wheels.  All he knows for sure is that he needs three people watching his back.

Words written today, 4.776, for a total of 60,292

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 26

I ought to be on holiday

Now that David has finally worked out what it is that Prendergast wants, and what is required to get back to living in the London residence, though he’s not sure he really wants to go back, arrangements are made by Alisha’s trusty assistants.

Of course, Alicia has to go too, despite the short recovery time, but it seems everyone wants to get back to work, and David realizes that being at the coal face is really what he’s been missing.

Nigeria is probably not the best place to be going, and the head of station there is a rather odd fellow who doesn’t quite understand the subtleties of secrecy.  He’s also Prendergast’s man and that means he can’t be trusted.

David pulls in some old friends he used to work with, and the team assembles in Lagos, and will be travelling to the vicinity of the guerrilla’s camp in the Nigerian Delta by float plane landing near a village whose people have been having trouble, and who will take them by boat to the ‘back door’ of the camp.

It seems the villagers have been petitioning the Queen to help them as members of the Commonwealth.  It provides David and his team a perfect excuse to go there if anyone is asking.

All of this works like clockwork.  And the means to gain entry is simply enough, they are going to present themselves at the gate, and allow themselves to be ‘detained’.  As for being shot on sight, David understands the local warlord ‘type’; he would use David and his team as a bargaining chip with the British Government.

Not that it was going to happen, the warlord was about to discover what war was really like.

Words written today, 3,123, for a total of 63,415

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 24

So what’s been happening?

Surveillance is in full swing, both at home and at the external office.

David discovers that Susan has a stepbrother, firstly by overhearing a conversation at the external office where works as the architect of the Russian palace rebuild, a man he has seen before.

He has a rather interesting name, was born in East Berlin to the same father, and different mothers, and has to go on a field trip.

David can see an opportunity to talk to him and follows him to France.

But, someone else is there which takes him very much by surprise and injects a sinister undertone to the visit.  Not everything is as it seems.

It’s also a chance to interrogate one of the new security team, accompanying him on his field trip, one that yields some very interesting information about the leader of the security team, and not-so-good news for the bodyguard.

When David returns, Alisha is discharged from the hospital and insists on helping David with the surveillance of the external office.

They are ensconced in a hotel room opposite the office, and her closeness brings problems for David of a different sort.

More is learned about why the new security team recommended by Prendergast is at Susan’s, and what might need to be done to help get rid of them, sooner rather than later; something that involves an estranged wife and missing daughter.

But just how are all of these titbits of information and characters connected, in what David no doubt believes is another of Prendergast’s elaborate schemes.

Words written today, 1,978, for a total of 55,516

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day25

The plot thickens

David and Susan are planning and executing rendezvous, a rather odd thing to do since they are married, not illicit lovers, but Susan likes the idea of escaping her security team, something that is at odds with what Prendergast expects.

Of course, his security chief seems to think that Prendergast simply wants him to do a simple job in quid pro quo for a job Prendergast is supposed to do for him:  free his daughter from a despotic African terrorist that the man once worked for, and failed.

This is the story being peddled to David by the man who accompanied Susan’s agent to France and is backed up in part by Alisha’s investigative team.

David torments another of his team and then sets himself at odds with the man himself when Susan tries to have a discrete lunch with Prendergast.

That sets off alarm bells for David.

Prendergast is far too involved with Susan for David’s liking.

But, it seems if he is to get rid of the security at Susan’s he is going to have to find the daughter, and she is in Nigeria.

It seems that was one of Prendergast’s objectives, to get David to rescue her, but what happened to the notion that he just ask?

In the meantime, the security team’s England base is found, one of Susan’s newly acquired properties, and David has surveillance installed.

He also has new eyes on the castle, and the renovations, because he suspects something else is going on there.

And then there is Alisha at her most seductive best, injured or not.

Chess pieces being moved by various people across the globe, David sets off for Nigeria, to see a rather doubtful contact, of Prendergast’s recommendations.

/Just like the old days, wheels within wheels.  All he knows for sure is that he needs three people watching his back.

Words written today, 4.776, for a total of 60,292

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 23

People change don’t they

The thing is, how much can they change in what sort of timeframe?

I guess at this point of the book it’s a little odd to be worrying about the main characters’ background stories, but I figure it’s better now than later and having to contemplate a major rewrite.

I guess it’s also a by-product of flying by the seat of your pants.

Well, not so much this time, I did have a rather extensive outline for the paths the two characters would take, along with a general idea of Susan’s newly acquired eccentricities, but you know what it’s like when you’re writing, sometimes the story takes hold of you and it’s trying to tell itself, and not exactly as you were envisioning it.

OK, I know I shouldn’t let it get out of control, but it was an amusing interlude, and gave me a new idea, not totally out of reach from where we were going.

Of course, there are the minor players, and one decided to come along and try to steal the show.

Well, for a few paragraphs there, they did.

It’s a delicious role and a character actor would make it stand out as memorable

But…

More on those changes and what they might mean tomorrow.

Words written today, 4.058, for a total of 53,538

NaNoWriMo – 2022 – Day 24

So what’s been happening?

Surveillance is in full swing, both at home and at the external office.

David discovers that Susan has a stepbrother, firstly by overhearing a conversation at the external office where works as the architect of the Russian palace rebuild, a man he has seen before.

He has a rather interesting name, was born in East Berlin to the same father, and different mothers, and has to go on a field trip.

David can see an opportunity to talk to him and follows him to France.

But, someone else is there which takes him very much by surprise and injects a sinister undertone to the visit.  Not everything is as it seems.

It’s also a chance to interrogate one of the new security team, accompanying him on his field trip, one that yields some very interesting information about the leader of the security team, and not-so-good news for the bodyguard.

When David returns, Alisha is discharged from the hospital and insists on helping David with the surveillance of the external office.

They are ensconced in a hotel room opposite the office, and her closeness brings problems for David of a different sort.

More is learned about why the new security team recommended by Prendergast is at Susan’s, and what might need to be done to help get rid of them, sooner rather than later; something that involves an estranged wife and missing daughter.

But just how are all of these titbits of information and characters connected, in what David no doubt believes is another of Prendergast’s elaborate schemes.

Words written today, 1,978, for a total of 55,516