Assignment in Nowhere Paperback – 1968
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the previous volume, Brion got a call late in the summer evening from Richthofen. Manfred sounded rather embarrassed, but asked Brion to drop by headquarters. Brion told Barbro where he was going while dressing for the outdoors.
Brion's car was started and ready when Brion reached it. He drove off and two other cars fell in front and behind his. They escorted him to Royal Intelligence headquarters.
Richthofen reluctantly interrogated Brion for over an hour. Then he dismissed Brion and says that he would brief him the next morning. On the way out of headquarter, Brion saw a red-hot, man-shaped person come into the building.
Brion followed the charred footsteps of the person into the heart of the building. He eventually found the person crouched over a body. When Brion jumped him, the person stretched out a hand and sparks flashed out toward him.
A while later, Brion woke and found himself in a strange place. It looked like headquarters, but the lighting came from below. He saw no others in the building and his car outside was dead.
In this novel, John Curlon is a fisherman on Key West. Johnny wants nothing to do with the organization.
Molly owns her own diner. Things have been changing around her.
Renata is a bigshot in the Fishermen's Protection Association. He is putting pressure on Curlon.
Brion Bayard is the son of French emigres who had died in a plane crash. He was a Major in the US Army during the war. Now he is a colonel in Imperial Intelligence and married to Barbro Lundin.
In this story, Johnny takes a stool at the counter. Molly says that it had happened again. She found a platter she had broke lying in the sink without a chip missing. The whiskey stock had changed. Three heads of cabbage bought fresh yesterday were rotten in the freezer.
Johnny tries to calm her down. Then she warns him against fighting the union. He finished his breakfast and goes to his boat.
Renata is waiting for him with a bodyguard. Renata hands over papers and asks him to sign them. Johnny tears the papers in half and tosses them off the pier.
The bodyguard starts to swing on Johnny, but he knocks the man off the pier. Renata drops a .32 automatic and dives for it. Johnny kicks Renata in the head and lays him bleeding on the pier.
Two more men start shooting at Johnny. Curlon takes the pistol and fires back. One of the men is hit and drops to the pier.
Johnny takes his boat away from the pier and stops in mid ocean. He puts out a sea anchor and checks his engines. When he comes on the deck, Curlon finds a man dressed in a white uniform pointing a weapon at him.
He has Curlon drain the fuel tanks and open the scuttle valves. Then he shoots Curlon in the leg with the nerve gun. He leaves Johnny lying facedown on the deck.
Johnny tries to bail out the boat, but with little success. Then the wind rises and waves wash over the boat, All his bailing in nullifired in minutes.
As the sun goes down, Johnny remains on the swamped boat. He hears a voice out of the dark. Brion is looking at a platform riding a few feet above the sea. Brion says to follow him and steps into a doorway hanging in midair.
Curlon goes to get his knife. Then he jumps into the doorway. Brion pushes a button and the doorway disappears.
Bayand tries to explain the Net to Johnny. Then he describes the blight and says that Johnny is on Blight-Insular 3. He scans Johnny from head to toe and says that Curlon has an unusual readings. Is appears that he has multiple personas within the Net.
This tale brings another shuttle into the vicinity. It suppresses their shuttle and Bayard sets it down. He gives Johnny a remote control ring and steps out to confront the commander of the other shuttle.
The man is a Major in Imperial Intelligence. He is also an avatar of Renata. Bayard is captured and taken away
Curlon follows Bayard with the shuttle. The next installment in this sequence is Zone Yellow.
This story has Bayard as a character, but the protagonist is Curlon. The novel begins with a prologue about Johnny's ancestors. Flashbacks occur throughout the book.
Highly recommended for Laumer fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of historic characters, timeline disturbances, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin