I touched down into heat. It wasn’t as bad as DC in summer, but compared to DC in winter, it was pretty warm. Maybe 80. Warm and dry.
Actually, not unpleasant. Except for being almost as crowded as the red line during rush hour. Loki had somehow arranged for a visa that looked as legitimate as my passport, and was every bit as fake. It got me through customs, at any rate, and a very tanned looking Thruor was waiting.
“Mr. Otter sent me,” I said like a catchphrase. “He thought you could use an extra brain on the matter.”
“I think I can.”
“Any progress on finding her?” That sounded innocent enough as I slung my duffel over my shoulder.
“No. We can talk while waiting for our boat.”
Boat? I wanted to squeak. I didn’t. “Alright.”
She led me to a ticket office where I handed my duffle over to a porter who didn’t seem in a particular hurry.
Thruor shrugged. “Depends on how many people they have. But this place has one advantage for you.”
She was heading into a shaded bar. “Sierra Leone has no drinking age restriction.”
I laughed a bit. “And what do they drink here?”
“Mostly, pretty vile herbal infusions. But this place has better. Trust me.”
I did, and she ordered us glasses of palm wine and fish balls with rice. I was hungry after the flight, so wasn’t about to argue with food.
“So…” I sipped the wine. “Any leads?”
“She’s not in Freetown. She’s in Kenema. I was about to head there when I was told you were coming.”
“Kenema.” It meant nothing to me.
“It’s the other side of the country.”
“Of course it is. Can’t we get him to come get his own girlfriend?”
Things here at least seemed to be more normal and relaxed. Or maybe I had no clue what normal and relaxed was.
“It’s supposed to be a four hour drive, but locals told me to allow six. The roads are good, though.”
“No dirt tracks?”
“Not the major roads. Get off them and I’d imagine it gets pretty bad, though.”
Then, finally, we were escorted to a ferry and sped across the water to the city proper.
I glanced around and decided Africa wasn’t that bad…but I hoped to be gone from it soon. Because that meant we had finished what we came to do.