Kabul International Airport was for civilians. It was big and it was loud, and despite  the dangers often touted to would-be tourists about the area, despite the problems, despite the unrest, it was bustling with people.

Shouting taxi cab drivers, porters demanding a tip for moving baggage three feet on a shaky trolley with squeaking wheels, passengers looking bemused and not a little frightened… This was Kabul. Built in the 1960s, the airport saw around 100,000 people arrive and depart every year. Now that Alexa was one of them, she felt as lost as they did.

Luckily for her, though, she spoke and read Pashto – one of the official language of Afghanistan – so if and when she needed to, she would easily (she supposed, but she knew never to assume) be able to find help.

Oratleast garner enough respect not to be lied to or fobbed off with wrong directions. Her guide and contact had not been named in the documents she had received from Arazi. She knew he or she wouldn’t be, butasalwaysshewishedshehad at least a clue. Strangely, Alexa often felt that this was the worst part of any mission – if she made a mistake here, the whole of the rest of the plan would be thrown off course. As she waited, luggage tight to her side, she saw a commotion up ahead.