the smuggler’s bible


They pop the back hatch on the little Beechcraft somewhere over the border and jettison the box. It’s about six feet long, paneled with carbon nanotubes to deaden its radar profile. Alpin is inside praying to the god of tradecraft, begging that—if nobody else—the parachute at least prove to be loyal.

Freefall and the sound of wind, followed by a sharp tug and clattering branches. When the lid hinges finally release, Alpin stumbles out and barfs from anxiety.

The only thing worse than the ride in, he thinks, staring at the twin exterior rocket propellant tubes, is exfiltration.