Susan Burgher sat in the back of the Chinese helicopter. She sipped black coffee and wished the light from the window wasn’t quite so bright. The activities of the night before were showing and she didn’t like it at all.
Across from her the State Safety agent was on the phone. As the helicopter suddenly slewed to the left and made a turn Susan tilted her coffee cup to keep it from spilling. She looked at the agent from behind her sunglasses. “What’s going on?“
The agent studied her from behind his sunglasses for a long minute. Finally he said. “You got lucky.”
“What?”
“First of all, you’ve been banned from the People’s Republic of China.”
“Banned?!” Her loud exclamation caused a spike of pain and Susan leaned back, her eyes closed. He went on.
“Yes, and you’re lucky. My superiors tell me that if we thought you were involved in this or planning something you’d be arrested and tried for espionage.” He sat back, shaking his head. “But you’re too stupid to plan anything. I’m to escort you to a plane and send you back to America. If they’ll let you back in they can have you.”
Then he turned and looked out the window, thinking about the whole situation. It was a mess. But he was lucky. He’d done his job and couldn’t be blamed for events.
Besides, he had a feeling this would all die away. Whenever the men in the black suits and cars were involved it usually did. They had… connections. Those who didn’t let their matters slowly go away tended to have bad luck. Very bad luck.

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