A bit of White Lies prose, using characters from Echo Team.
Ian slouched lower in the back seat, trying to make himself invisible as Amelia kept driving the company sedan as casually as she could with a stolen government server in her trunk. He folded the map over and tried to make heads or tails of it, but without being able to see out a window he just didn’t know for sure where they were.
“I’m coming up on the checkpoint,” said Amelia as she slowed the car and shifted the gears gently, “you might want to disappear.”
Ian sighed and reached down to press the button cleverly concealed where the cup holder should be. Amelia smirked as he groaned and tucked his legs up to his chest. The seat literally swallowed the large man into its smuggling compartment, taking up a space that wasn’t quite in the trunk and wasn’t quite in the passenger cabin. As he disappeared, he quickly quipped, “Next time I drive.”
She adjusted her rear view mirror to check her lipstick. It was perfect, like always. It was just a routine she engaged in right before dealing with high risk situations. She pulled up to the checkpoint and rolled down her window as the soldier motioned for her to do so.
“Just coming back from the… ” she shifted her eyes slightly to notice two soldiers taking places around her car, one at the rear and one at the passenger side. The upraised gate posts boxed her in and she didn’t like the feeling of being trapped. The soldier at her window had one hand on his pistol but it was still strapped into its holster with Velcro, “…opera. Is there some kind of problem?” She was certain her Belarusian was perfect, like a native of the country. Nobody would guess she was born in Iowa.
The soldier didn’t draw his gun but kept his hand there. It made Amelia swallow more dramatically than it should have. The soldier’s single eyebrow was atrocious and his cheekbones too high. He spoke Ukrainian but the language was similar enough to Russian that she understood well enough, “there are demonstrations in Kiev and we have orders not to let anyone leave without authorization. Papers, please.”
Amelia had papers but she knew they wouldn’t pass even a casual inspection. The demonstrations in the Ukraine would lead to revolution. It was her team which helped incite those demonstrations. But her exfil was waiting over the Belarus border and she didn’t have time for this. She risked a glance at her purse resting in the passenger seat, where a loaded compact pistol waited. She looked back at the soldier and smiled, deciding lipstick would work better than lead in this case.
"Are you really going to make me late for dinner with my father just because some people are letting off steam in Kiev?” she pouted slightly as she reached into her purse, nudged aside her Ruger, and retrieved her falsified papers. She prepared herself for a gamble.
Amelia passed the documents to Unibrow, the corner of her red lips raised subtly. She explored his face slowly before bringing her eyes to his. She noted he quickly looked away from her gaze, then her lips, then pretended to look intently at the papers to hide his discomfort. And there it was. Unibrow was now so intent on avoiding that look on her face that it was all he could think of. She doubted he even saw the documents.
Ian could hear the dialog, but he feared this wouldn’t end well. He had forged those documents in a hurry. This wasn’t their initial plan and he’d had to improvise without proper tools. The pilot in Gomel was the nearest way out, and wasn’t even someone he knew he could trust, but it was all they had. He hoped Amelia could sell this.
Amelia noticed the soldier to her rear was inspecting the license plate and speaking into a radio hanging from his shoulder. He had meaty hands and a wide neck, but his waist was small. The soldier at her right was young and nervous looking, his eyes shifting between Unibrow and Meathands.
“Where are you meeting your father in Gomel?” asked Unibrow as he handed her back the documents. So that’s how he was going to catch her up. Nice try.
Amelia offered a smile, “His flat, of course. Nothing is open this late in Gomel. I swear those people just don’t know what a night life is.”
Unibrow snorted agreement, then nodded to the others. They backed off. Amelia resisted sighing. Ian didn’t.
“Go ahead ma’am,” he pressed a button in the shack and the gate posts disappeared into their ground compartments, “enjoy your dinner.”
As she drove across the border she cleared her throat. Ian took the clue and emerged from the smuggling compartment, unfolding his long legs, “How the hell did that work?”
“Because I willed it so,” she allowed herself a moment of smugness.
“Don’t forget it,” she mused, “and no, I drive. This time and next. End of discussion.”
Ian didn’t argue, though he thought Thomas might have something to say about that.