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Different (a Manon Maxim Novel)

DIFFERENT
A Manon Maxim novel.
(original title: ANDERS, Een Manon Maxim roman)
(Translator from Dutch: Ester Magis)
1.
So here I am, sitting in Jabar’s private jet, and on my way to New York to bring a devil into
line or, when it comes to the worst, to get his memory blotted out by Diedie.
I’m having a book with me to kill time and to take my mind off things. Although it isn’t my
first order, I’m still nervous. So much could go wrong and I hate making things hot for an
otherkind. They are, after all, just like me and not fully human.
The view is a real bore and the book can’t hold my interest, so I decide to keep the pilot some
company. Automatically, I reach for my side where my pistol used to be. O f course I’m not
having it on me right now. The airport security of Ostend would not thank me for that, even
though I have a gun license. It so happens that it is only legitimate in Belgium. I’m missing
my Glock 17 and my, yet illegal, blackjack that’s normally in the inside pocket of my leather
jacket.
I put the book on the empty chair and stand up. It still feels odd to be the only passenger in an
airplane. It’s a Falcon 900C that purrs like a spoiled kitten. I’ve been told that normally it can
seat for about eighteen passengers. Nevertheless, Jabar made it redecorate in order to fit five
luxurious grey leather armchairs, a suite, a large bathroom and a kitchen. Originally, the type
was called Mystère, but it didn’t appeal well to the American market. Too bad, because I
think the first name fits us best.
The cockpit’s door isn’t locked. It would have no use. A locked door, even though it would be
armored, doesn’t stop me.
I open the door and look inside. „Tony, I’m here to keep you company. Is that alright?’
„No problem, Manon. Make yourself comfortable.’
The co-pilot isn’t present at the moment; he probably retired to the sleeping cabin. I’m taking
his seat, which is at Tony’s right hand. The view from the cockpit is far more fascinating than
the one from the little windows where I was sitting first. I’m taking a seat and enjoy myself,
impressed by the mass of clouds we’re flying through. Tony is being relaxed, sitting back in
his chair, but he’s staying focused. These buttons, pointers and signs, I fail to see what it’s all
about. The only thing I know is that this jet can fly about 1000 feet higher than a Boeing and
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