Monday, 19 March 2012

Radio Silence - (2) Mosquito 1



Episode 2
Mosquito 1

After a near mid-air collision, airplane pilot, Christopher Khouri, agrees to secretly meet his friend, Detective Moore where he learns about a mystery.

Christopher Khouri shuffled through the throng in Times Square, Downtown searching for Avis. Even at dusk, hawkers were busy calling out their wares. He felt a tug on his sleeve; it was her urging him to stand in the street: a traffic jam of handcarts, cars, bicycles and pedestrians. He tried to move to a less congested spot, but she persisted, “This is the safest place. Satellite microphones can’t hear us in this crowd.”

If his childhood friend had not been a police Detective, Christopher would have written-off Avis Moore as crazy, especially when she added: “Radio signals are being manipulated. We are under a terror attack.”

A woman nearby sucked her teeth in disgust as she looked at her cellular phone.
“Mi tyad a di drop call! From weh day not even one of me cell phone dem a work.”

Avis spoke directly into Christopher’s ear: “Every telecoms company on the island has an upsurge of dropped calls and internet service disruptions. Air traffic controllers are reporting that communication with satellites are being deliberately blocked at the ionosphere.”
“I barely escaped a mid air crash today because of radio silence,” said Christopher. “We were blaming the air traffic controllers. Who could do that?”
“Someone we know.”
“So go arrest them.”
“It’s complicated.” Avis cupped her hands and showed Christopher the words on her phone screen: Reggie Quito. “Our intelligence intercepted this correspondence from a foreign law enforcement agency. It is a code name.”
Christopher whistled. “Mosquito Reggie from down the road? Reginald Bowers?”
“It must be,” she hissed. “He turned our nickname for him into this alias. You know he has a PhD in atmospheric electrical something or other.”
“You are the police, call him in.”
“Kit, Reggie is our friend, let’s give him a chance to explain. Maybe he is in trouble.”  
“He is trouble. I nearly died up there. Do you even know where he is?”
“My guess, in a lab on the deserted cay, Great Goat Island. He knows it well from fishing trips with his father and uncles. Also, years ago he told me that he landed his plane on the old military airstrip over there…you do know that Reggie has a pilot license?”
“Nothing Reggie can do would surprise me. But living on that unhealthy, vermin-infested swamp is another matter. If we do find him, and if he is tampering with the ionosphere, then what?”
“We convince him to stop before he is arrested for terrorism.”
 “We have anti-terrorism laws in Jamaica?”
“No, but countries with whom we have extradition treaties, do. Let’s go tomorrow. We don’t have much time.”
“The one time I flew there, I barely found enough clear space to land the chopper. An airplane needs a smooth runway.”
“Mosquito Reggie lands there,” she reminded. “Thought you were a better pilot than he.”
By 7:00a.m. the following day, Christopher and Avis were already in Papa Romeo flying over the mangroves of Great Goat Island.

By Gwyneth Harold

Gwyneth Harold is the writer of the young adult novel, Bad Girls in School