Excerpt for Coastline by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Copyright © Arno Le Roux 2017. All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronically, electrostatic magnetic tape or mechanically; including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author. Although this is a fictional work, both the locations, organisations and events are factual. The characters and times in the story line are fictional; therefore, all resemblances to actual people present or past are purely coincidental. Should you wish to contact the Author: arnoleroux1970@gmail.com

"Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. Freeing yourself from all other distractions..." - Marcus Aurelius.


After the telecoms-, energy- and food investment sectors, the rapidly growing global security world, is by far, for serious investors with a large risk appetite, coming in vogue, reminiscent of the frantic gold rushes of yesteryear. Investor buzz words such as 'increasing demand for security', 'upbeat growth prospects' and 'resilient' are often discovered, standing at attention, in high level investing prospectuses. Feeding off our paramount need for privacy and safety, this sector has taken on the characteristics of a growing mutating kicking and screaming tentacled organism.


Anne, for a strangely refreshing but untimely change, found herself many timezones apart from what had become her home in recent years. As much as she craved the desolate all-year warm, waterlogged stretch of eternal foamy waves that washed the lily white beach and dense green island growth that obscured the heli-pad and subterranean laboratory, security was seemingly compromised. The natural alarm systems offered by the uncharted deep blue saline waters teaming with massive hungry sharks, in addition to endless jagged rows of coral reefs and poisonous creatures, permitted safe passage to the island only by air. Her isolated home and clandestine work, allowed her unhindered research and solitude that only the back of the world could offer. Anne was itching with curiosity as to how her new recruits chose their stock and how exactly the end-user's certificates for the armament orders they had placed, would be issued. Thirty capable individuals had applied for a mission to replace a 12- member squad that had mysteriously disappeared into thin air recently, and things on the untamed and yet unnamed island had been precarious to say the least...

Chapter 1

"Angus I think we can turn back to the shore now. The boys are hungry. Also, I didn't bring sunscreen, it's going to be a hot one today." Anne lifted her cap slightly, preventing the warming morning sun blinding her, and turned her head to spot the beach. The terrified tanned man in the back was overjoyed that he was on her side. He gave the front edge of his out-of-place-cowboy hat an appreciative tip, forced a smile and allowed his gase to get lost, counting the foamy low waves back to the waiting white beacg sand.

"Don't you think by finishing the hardest work early, it frees up the day and we end up being more productive Angus. Or is it just me?" Anne said, not for the first time, much in her rhetorical way.

Angus nodded in agreement and smiled, lifted his sunglasses so she could see him, then lowered them again.

One would be pardoned for stereotyping old spectacled, grey haired and slow walking Anne as someone living out her golden years under blissful and peaceful nostalgia.

Not having missed her taxing hour-long rowing session followed by a brisk 5km early run in forty years, at heart she was still the outdoor-loving farm-girl turned sailor of decades before. But global politics mimicked commerce and prevailing technology, and forced people like Anne into buried obscurity...

WINTER, the French Security Expo at 8am, and droves of curious, overly talkative crowds were seeking warmth. Being squashed through the bottleneck at the doorway, Anne thought of the irony of an international Security Expo held, designed but with only a single access controlled point followed by a lengthy narrow passage for the mass of excited invitees.

'For a Security Expo, they really didn't think this one through...' Anne thought as she pinched her handbag tighter under her arm.

"Joyeux Anniversair!" A mother right next to her excitedly hugged and kissed an apparent friend whose birthday it had been, and momentarily let go of her boy's little hand.

"Dammit!" Anne came up from a bent position where she had in a flash, pulled the woman's toddler up by his upper arm. The little guy had tripped over the loose cuffed end of the large rubbery carpet, placed to wipe snow off the visitor's boots, and he had almost been trampled by the fast advancing masses behind.

"Excusez moi!?" Anne pulled at the father's sleeve, then in a sudden reflex, blocked his blow with her elbow poking sharp into his forearm. The red-faced, in pain and embarrassed man; who at the time had just about enough of the pushing crowd, swung a blow in Anne's direction, realised too late that Anne had actually saved their son.

"Merci, merci, merci...!" Both parents thanked quick responding Anne but then drifted apart from her as the ocean of visitors diverged between the food stalls, exhibition centre stalls and the VIP's queueing up outside the auditorium.

"Merci!" She heard the grateful mother repeat her thankfulness over the humming noise before they disappeared into the warmly dressed crowd.

To the right of Anne, having passed the first of many glamorous lit up stalls, she thought how typical it had been of most exhibitions of this nature - The endless noisy queues, housed the "fans", while the rest were grouped in bundles, occupying the aromatic food stalls. Anne referred to these gun fans jokingly as the tyre-kickers of the arms and surveillance industries. The welcoming warmth inside had many remove their coats which hung annoyingly over their arms as they battled to cram more glossy brochures into their files. Others that had previously visited paid for lockers to safeguard valuables and excess documentation. She passed a lively but serious looking, fit and tattooed attendees; displaying navy, infantry or other well earned permanent logos, who had been asking about delivery time frames mainly, and openly hinting at discounted prices based on volume.

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