Here is another Installment in the Prospector Bob Saga by my friend Chuckaroobob
Title: Re: Prospector Bob's Quest
Roy Booker shivered just looking out the window of the canteena. The night was sharp and cold, the stars crystal clear in the sub-zero temperatures. "It's a night not fit for man nor beast," he thought as he turned his attention to the smoky interior of the room. Through the thick haze he could see quite a crowd of what could only be described as thugs and undesireables. There were some Turks in the corner, their cheap suits and fezes would make them look out of place anywhere a carpet market in Isnatanbul. And who could all these unshaven thugs dressed in untreated furs be? They looked like nothing more than the Mongol Horde making a comeback. Some of those guys were so huge they probably dragged their knuckles when they walked! Over near the fireplace were a few Monks in bright orange, waving prayer flags and spinning prayer wheels, effectively keeping all the other customers at arm's length. What were all of them doing out here in the hills of Kyrgyzstan? Roy had a pretty good idea. The same thing as he was doing. Roy thought back to the informant, a seedly little man called Karl Lenin. Obviously he hadn't just sold the information to the highest bidder, he had sold it to each and every bidder, every two-bit hood within 500 miles! The only poeple not here were a gypsy and a dancing bear! The whole town was filling up with toughs, and you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out things could get ugly in a hurry. As his eyes adjusted to the gloom he moved over towards the bar, sat in a stool on the end and ordered a beer. Roy had been watching the nearby railyards for a week, and was starting to get concerned that whatever emergency had called him out here from his posting in Grozny must have already passed without anyone in the Agency being aware. One of the bartenders opened a window so another could pass in kegs of beer from a storeroom out back, and as the haze cleared due to the sudden wind Roy became aware of four tall red-headed women seated down the bar, wearing sable hats and coats, drinking shots of vodka. Pale complexions like fine porcelain, sharply chiselled features, manicured nails, movements efficient and graceful. One was smoking what could only be a hand rolled Cuban cigar. The tallest among them was speaking, reavealing even white teeth, and a flash of gold in one corner. "Oh, yeah, they're local," Roy thought to himself. The nearest one, the others called her Natasha, was now speaking, what was it she had said? It sounded like "Muse an sqirril mus dye." Roy picked up his beer and held it to what little light there was, checking for crystals in the bottom of the glass. What did they put in this stuff anyway? He thought back to his doctor's advice regarding the posting to the Back of Beyond, as this region was known back in the world: "Drink nothing except good whiskey!" The four women turned to look at him, inquiring expressions on their faces. Holy Smokes, had he spoken out loud? He eyed the beer again, taking not of a small bug floating in the foam. It must be stronger than he realized. Roy put it down on the bar, tipped his hat to the ladies, and made his way out into the night.