Scene Fifty Nine
In which there is a perfect photo opp
Clare strided out of her tent. She was beaming; in her mind’s eye she saw herself, whipping hair framed against the sunset. This is an adventure, she thought, negotiating successfully with a borderline hostile opponent. Mr Kanke exited the tent after her, he was smiling slightly too, she thought that was a good sign; both of them were walking away happy.
She walked with him back to the choppers, and was gratified to see all the pilots scrambling to get back before they did. Many people had just been waiting around for them to appear, and that mde her feel like a rockstar; people were actually standing on each other’s shoulders to get a better look at her.
Don’t let it go to your head, she warned herself, if this man thinks that he can take advantage of you then he will crush you like a bug. She kept herself alert, watching her companion for any sign of what he was thinking. She had watched him back in the tent as well; he had been looking for any sign of weakness from her, but then he had stopped. She didn’t think she had shown any weakness.
Even while she was alert she was happy, she felt as though she had completed some kind of life’s goal, which she had never known she had. The sunset was golden and its light spilled over Mr. Kanke’s monstrous helicopters like molten gold.
Mr. Kanke put his first foot on the rung of the helicopters stairs, and then he turned and extended his hand. Now Clare felt like a world leader. This place is filled with reporters, she thought, I hope someone takes a picture of this. She took his hand and they shook, his hand was surprisingly soft. Then he was in the helicopter and was disappearing into the sunset.
Clare watched until the helicopters had almost disappeared. Then she noticed Frankie and Andrew standing to either side of her, my loyal lieutenants, she thought. “Had a nice day boys?” she asked, the way she had used to in high school.
“Yes Sah” said Frankie, “What are our new orders Sah?”
Clare was amused that he had assumed that there would be new orders, there were of course, but she hadn’t given it away.
“Collect everyone together” she said, “We’re going home. Oh and boys? Tell everyone to expect a huge bonus”