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Authors: Chris Ryan

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Blood Money

BOOK: Blood Money
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Table of Contents
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.
Epub ISBN 9781407050041
Version 1.0
  
ALPHA FORCE: BLOOD MONEY
978 0 0994 8014 3 from January 2007
A RED FOX BOOK 0 099 48014 X
First published in Great Britain by Red Fox,
an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
This edition published 2005
3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4
Copyright © Chris Ryan, 2005
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
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the
prior permission of the publishers.
Papers used by Random House Children’s Books are natural, recyclable
products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing
processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.
Typeset in Sabon by Palimpsest Book Production Limited,
Polmont, Stirlingshire
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,
in Australia by Random House Australia (Pty) Ltd,
20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney, NSW 2061, Australia,
in New Zealand by Random House New Zealand Ltd,
18 Poland Road, Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand,
and in South Africa by Random House (Pty) Ltd,
Isle of Houghton, Corner Boundary Road & Carse O’Gowrie,
Houghton 2198, South Africa.
THE RANDOM HOUSE GROUP Limited Reg. No. 954009
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Printed and bound in Great Britain by
Cox & Wyman Ltd, Reading, Berkshire
Meet the team:
A
lex
– 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 . . .
L
i
– Expert in martial arts and free-climbing, Li can get to grips with most situations . . .
P
aulo
– The laid-back Argentinian is a mechanical genius, and with his medical skills he can patch up injuries as well as motors . . .
H
ex
– An ace hacker, Hex is first rate at code-breaking and can bypass most security systems . . .
A
mber
– 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
Blood Money
Alpha Force are in southern India racing against time to save a young kidnap victim . . .
Also available in the Alpha Force series:
SURVIVAL
RAT-CATCHER
DESERT PURSUIT
HOSTAGE
RED CENTRE
HUNTED
Coming soon:
FAULT LINE
About the Author
CHRIS RYAN joined the SAS in 1984 and has been involved in numerous operations with the Regiment. During the first Gulf War he was the only member of an eight-man team to escape from Iraq, three colleagues being killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his remarkable escape in the adult bestseller
The One Who Got Away
(1995), which was also adapted for screen.
He left the SAS in 1994 and is now the author of many bestselling thrillers for adults, as well as the
Alpha Force
series for younger readers. His work in security takes him around the world and he has also appeared in a number of television series, including
Hunting Chris Ryan
, in which his escape and evasion skills were demonstrated to the max, and
Pushed to the Limit
, in which Chris put ordinary British families through a series of challenges. On Sky TV he also appeared in
Terror Alert
, demonstrating his skills in a range of different scenarios.
ALPHA FORCE:
BLOOD MONEY
Chris Ryan
RED
FOX
P
ROLOGUE
:
T
HE
K
IDNEY
M
AN
Tagore Trilok followed the manservant down the dark corridor. The servant’s leather sandals squeaked faintly, but otherwise his feet made no sound on the plush red carpet. They were in a mansion on the outskirts of Chennai, southern India, the home of a rich man. The walls were dark mahogany panels. A golden cobra stood on a chest, looming out of the rich-coloured wood, its hood spread like a threat. The ceiling fan above beat a moving shadow on the cobra like swaying palm fronds. Trilok reckoned the snake must be solid gold.
Above the sound of the servant’s sandals, another noise was growing louder. Once Trilok had noticed it, he couldn’t hear anything else but the wet, liquid gurgle. He shuddered.
It was the sound of a man’s blood being pumped out of his body and around a machine.
The servant opened the doors at the end of the corridor – big double doors. The bedroom was large, another rich haven of mahogany, with yellow silk at the windows. There was a solid bed, decorated with intricate carvings and littered with brocaded cushions. In the bed was a small figure, as dark and still as the mahogany around him.
This was the client.
He seemed to be sleeping, but Trilok’s eyes were drawn to the dialysis machine – a white unit just over a metre high, with a screen and knobs and dials. It was such a bleak piece of laboratory equipment, out of place in the finely furnished room. Tubes ran from it and under the silk bedcovers. Trilok knew they went into a hole in the man’s abdomen. The tubes were dark – dark with the blood that was flowing out of the man’s veins. It passed through all the filters and machinery inside that white metal tower and eventually returned to his body. His kidneys had failed, and every drop of blood had to flow through that metal vampire. It sucked out the impurities that his body could no longer remove.
The machine hummed and churned like a fridge. No matter how often he saw it, the process put a chill in Trilok’s heart. And he saw it often. All his clients depended on these cold machines. They wanted him to find them a kidney so that they could have a transplant and live a normal life again.
The man in the bed stirred and opened his eyes.
The servant spoke. ‘Sahib, Mr Trilok to see you.’
The man sat up carefully, so as not to dislodge the tubes. ‘About time, Mr Trilok. You were supposed to come this morning.’ Although he looked weak his voice had an edge of anger. He dismissed the servant with a wave of his hand.
When they were alone, Trilok said, ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t keep our earlier appointment, Mr Gopal. How are you?’
The man snapped back at him, ‘How do you think? Look at me.’
Trilok swallowed. Sometimes the clients were abrupt. Particularly the high-caste ones. Trilok smiled apologetically; tried to look gracious. ‘Hopefully I can help you, Mr Gopal.’
Gopal shifted position in the bed, his eyes rolling as though he had already tired of the meeting. ‘I don’t want empty promises, Trilok. This won’t be easy. I’ve already had a kidney transplant but it was unsuccessful. I want another but the doctors say it could take years to find a match because the first transplant ruined my immune system.’ He moved again, his eyes screwed up with pain. When they opened again, Trilok noticed that the brown irises were surrounded by yellowed whites. His clients always looked like this. The pollutants built up in their bodies and seeped into their eyes like a stain.
Trilok answered patiently, ‘I will do my best, sahib. But it’s more difficult. Your immune system is more sensitive since the first transplant was rejected. Now not as many people will match you.’
Gopal waved his hand, like he did when he was dismissing the servant. ‘That’s why I’m paying you to find one. And do it quickly. I can’t wait for years. I’m an important man. I can’t live like this. Look at me. I’m tied to this machine. I have to keep still for hours. I’m in pain.’
Trilok started thinking aloud. ‘I can start by calling some moneylenders; they go around the villages and they know who can’t pay their debts. Usually somebody is willing to sell—’
Gopal cut him off. ‘I don’t care what you have to do. Just get me a kidney. I don’t care where you get it, so long as it’s a live donor. A nice, healthy live donor. No dead bodies, do you hear? Don’t try to cheat me – I know transplants from dead bodies don’t take so well.’
BOOK: Blood Money
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