This is the first chapter of The Found World, the brand-new pulp by my alter ego, Hugo Navikov. It’s a quasi-sequel to Spinosaurus, but you don’t need to have read that to love this new one. (It’s a good read, though! Check it out!)
The man sitting alone at the center of the middle bench seat of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter barely looked out either window at the jungle foliage as they landed a few hundred feet from the clearing made for the carnival. Six heavily muscled commandos in tactical gear sat three across on the bench in front of him and the one behind. Up front sat the pilot and the also—heavily muscled commander of the paramilitary troop. The man’s name was not Lathrop, but that is what he went by when on assignment. The mercenaries were under his nominal command, but they were not under his employ. The people he worked for had contracted these “soldiers,” much to his dislike. The fact that they were paid by the same entity didn’t mean he had to sit next to the beasts, however.
If Lathrop had been given his druthers, it would have been himself and the pilot in a much less ostentatious mode of travel. His tasseled attaché, which matched the tassels on his pair of Bolviant Verrocchios, was his weapon of choice. It was loaded with ammunition—contracts and legal papers that served as modern letters of marque, enough to take down entire governments if his employer wished. But not just ammunition: within the galuchat attaché case were untraceable bearer bonds each worth millions of dollars and pre-signed deeds to properties in Dubai and Tokyo worth even more. It contained carrots as well as sticks.