... checking traps and gathering anything else of value that they could lay their hands on. We two were supposed to pack everything to be ready for pick-up by our other vehicle. Actually, that makes nine men. I forgot to include that driver." The man nearly panicked when he realised that he had made a mistake with the number and thought we might start in on him. Because of this, I believed him, and that meant this was almost over. That drunken fool that I had bumped into first must have been the partner of the man in the clearing, and it explained why he was alone. All we had to worry about was whether the vehicle would turn up before the authorities.
"Did you make contact with anyone by radio or phone?" I asked.
"We were to check in at certain times, in fact, right about now."
"Pretty much means that we won't be seeing anyone else if they don't get a call," Midnight said. "So you had better see to it that they do." Shi hauled the talkative one to his feet and gave him a shove in the general direction of the equipment.
"But we had already reported that one of us hadn't called in," he said nervously.
"Tell them that he was found drunk in the bushes. It's true enough."
Our helpful captive dug out a uni-com. 'I have got to get myself one of those,...