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Authors: Chris Ryan

Hunted

BOOK: Hunted
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Meet the team:
Alex - A quiet lad from Northumbria, Alex leads the team in survival skills. His dad is in the SAS and Alex is determined to follow in his footsteps, whatever it takes. He who dares . . .
Li - Expert in martial arts and free-climbing, Li can get to grips with most situations ...
Paulo - The laid-back Argentinian is a mechanical genius, and with his medical skills he can patch up injuries as well as motors . . .
Hex - An ace hacker, Hex is first rate it code breaking and can bypass most security systems . . .
Amber - Her top navigational skills mean the team are rarely lost. Rarely lost for words either, rich-girl Amber can show some serious attitude . . .
With plenty of hard work and training, together they are Alpha Force - an elite squad of young people dedicated to combating injustice throughout the world.
In
Hunted
Alpha Force go head to head with a ruthless gang of ivory poachers in Zambia.
www.kidsatrandomhouse.co.uk/alphaforce
Also available in the Alpha Force series:
SURVIVAL
RAT-CATCHER
DESERT PURSUIT
HOSTAGE
RED CENTRE
BLOOD MONEY
Coming soon:
BLACK GOLD
FAULT LINE
UNTOUCHABLE
ALPHA FORCE
HUNTED
Chris
Ryan
This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
ISBN 9781407049854
Version 1.0
www.randomhouse.co.uk
ALPHA FORCE: HUNTED
A RED FOX BOOK
ISBN: 9781407049854
Version 1.0
First published in Great Britain by Red Fox,
an imprint of Random House Children's Books
This edition published 2004
5 7 9 10 8 6
Copyright (c) Chris Ryan, 2004
The right of Chris Ryan to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
This electronic book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
Red Fox Books are published by Random House Children's Books,
61-63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA,
a division of The Random House Group Ltd
Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited
can be found at:
www.randomhouse.co.uk/offices.htm
THE RANDOM HOUSE GROUP Limited Reg. No. 954009
www.kidsatrandomhouse.co.uk
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
PROLOGUE
THE DEAL
Families of elephants lifted their trunks, sniffing the air. In a rush of wind and thunder, the white belly of the plane roared overhead. The craft was flying at low altitude, looking for the landing strip. It sent buffalo pouring into the river. Herds of antelope, zebra and springbok scattered, startled, across the plains.
The plane skimmed the tops of the trees, beginning its final descent. The moment the wheels grazed the ground, the pilot stamped on the brakes. Dust rose up in hot ochre clouds.
The plane slowed to a halt just short of where the poachers waited with their battered Land Rover. There were three of them in combat fatigues, ammunition belts crossed over their shoulders. One had a scar in the brown skin of his cheek. The other two were white - one wore a hyena tooth set in silver on a chain around his neck; the other had a dirty yellow bandanna tied around his forehead.
They heard a noise among the trees and automatically levelled their weapons. A brown hyena trotted out of the bush, long fur topped by a tawny mane on its powerful shoulders. Its jaws were clamped around the bloody, torn-off leg of a wildebeest. The poachers lowered their weapons. They didn't expect any trouble in this remote part of the Zambian bush, but they weren't taking any chances. And you never knew - something might appear that was worth shooting.
The plane door opened. A slight figure got out and walked towards them. He had delicate oriental features; wisps of grey punctuated the jet-black hair. His lightweight, sand-coloured suit showed little creasing, despite the heat and the long journey he had made.
The poacher with the yellow bandanna reached behind into the Land Rover and pulled out a dusty sack. It was heavy. He needed both hands to lift it.
The oriental man put a hand out towards the sack. The diamonds on his Gucci watch glinted in the setting sun. He touched the bulging underside of the sack, feeling the shape of the contents. It wouldn't be the first time a poacher had tried to give him a live snake to take home instead of the goods he had paid for. His eyes betrayed no emotion.
'Show me,' he said.
The poacher kneeled down and tipped out the contents of the sack. Chunks of ivory tumbled onto the golden earth - giant hollow tusks sawn into pieces. Some of them were wide like sections of drainpipe, some were small like napkin rings. Many of the bigger pieces had bloody flesh clinging to them where they had been hacked out of the faces of elephants.
The buyer nodded and smiled. His face creased around his eyes like old tissue paper. While the poacher with the bandanna scooped up the ivory pieces and put them back in the sack, the other two fetched more from the jeep.
The buyer walked the short distance to the plane and came back with an envelope. He held it out. The poacher with the scar took it and counted it. Two thousand American dollars. He nodded to his companions.
The oriental man picked up the three sacks of ivory. Although they were heavy he carried them easily and loaded them into his plane. Then he turned to the poachers and said, 'I want more.'
'We're working on it,' replied the man with the scar, speaking in pidgin French as the buyer had. 'We'll be in contact.'
The oriental man nodded. He climbed into the passenger seat and buckled himself in. He leaned out to pull the door closed and had an afterthought. 'I'll pay you three thousand US dollars if you bring me a lionskin.'
BOOK: Hunted
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