This excerpt introduces a character who, while not a Commando, will become very important to their hunt for the Mole in the Security Network. The character of Carey Feldar is based in large part on a very dear friend of mine whom we always joked would have made an excellent reporter. No one got to the bottom of an issue more thoroughly, even if he was a bit of a conspiracy nut…
“Trooper’s Crusader” – Excerpt from TAMIA (Underground, Book #1)
Barely five minutes after she settled herself into one of the plush lounge chairs, she heard someone enter the room, and looked up to find a man in his mid-thirties leaning against the doorframe, a curious expression on his stubbly face. His strawberry-blond hair was in disarray, and his half-hearted attempt at a suit was rumpled enough to convince her that he’d slept in it at least once.
“You’re the lady asking about the Altura piece?” He sounded suspicious.
“Yes. My father left some paperwork—”
“I’m not as gullible as Pete, out there,” he snapped as he stepped the rest of the way into the room, and the glass door slid shut behind him.
Tamia straightened instantly as a shot of fear skimmed through her veins. “Who the hell are you?”
She gasped. She’d heard of him. Carey Feldar was one of print news’ top-rated war correspondents during the Divide, and the troops were always eager to talk to him. He was sympathetic to their troubles – “the Trooper’s Crusader,” they called him. Feldar won four Pulitzers for his coverage of the disaster in Montreal. “The Carey Feldar?”
He smirked. “There sure as hell ain’t two of me, honey. And I’m the man who snapped this pic,” he held up the clipping she’d given Pete. Feldar’s eyes narrowed. “I know who you are, too, Lieutenant.”
“Captain,” she corrected automatically, and then sighed. “Okay, so I was there. I didn’t really want to advertise that fact, Mr. Feldar.”
“I’d already figured that out, but I think I’m going to enjoying hearing why.” A brief grin slashed his face, and was gone. “And congratulations on your promotion.”
She glanced around. “Is there somewhere else we can talk about this? I need some information from you, about that photo.”
His gaze fell to the clipping in his hand again, and he frowned. “Why do I get the feeling it isn’t aesthetic appreciation that brought you here?”
“Because it’s not,” she confirmed grimly. “It’s a lot more important than that.”
He looked resigned, but interested. “So what’s in it for me?”
“The chance to help prevent another war.”
He smirked. “Haven’t you heard, Captain? War means news. Why would I want to put myself out of a job?”
“Because you’re playing a game with me, and maybe even yourself, right now. You’re the Trooper’s Crusader, and that wasn’t a title you earned, or ever took, lightly.” She met his green eyes head-on, reading the discomfort there. “You saw enough of war and death to never want to see more.”
His shoulders slumped as he nodded. “All right, you got me there. Let’s go on up to my office. I’ve got plenty to show you.”
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