The second in three articles covering the many locations in the Shatterhand Code details the travels of Simon Ashcroft, a former Australian intelligence officer turned security contractor, and Casey Irvine, an American human resources manager on vacation in East Africa.
Together they travel across three continents while mysterious forces chase them across multiple urban and rural environments. All the while their enemies seemto know their every move before they do.
But before Simon teams up with Casey, he has a couple of solo adventures to complete in East Africa.
Arusha, Tanzania (Foreign Hostage)
Arusha is a northern Tanzanian city on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley. Mount Meru, one of the tallest mountains in Africa is a striking backdrop to this high altitude and temperate city. Arusha is a major international diplomatic hub and multicultural city with African, Arab, Indian and European citizens.
Before the events of Threat Intelligence, Simon Ashcroft is on a mission in Tanzania hunting the financiers of a South East Asian terrorist organisation.
Investigations lead him rich wildlife reserves. But in Africa, wild megafauna attracts poachers. Men who kill other men and animals for the prize of tusks and rhinoceros horns sought in the markets of China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Comoros, Indian Ocean (Foreign Hostage)
Comoros is an archipelago of volcanic islands situated off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and northwest of Madagascar. The nation comprises three major islands and many smaller islands. Until 1975 it was a French colony. Today it’s a poor Sunni Islamic independent nation.
Several months after the events in Tanzania but before Threat Intelligence begins, Simon travels to Comoros to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a wealthy architect, and comes face to face with one of the world’s most barbaric terrorist organizations.
Port Harcourt, Nigeria (Threat Intelligence)
Threat Intelligence opens in the polluted oil fields of the Niger Delta. Several multi-national companies in the southeast of Africa’s most populous country drill for oil with both onshore and offshore rigs. Oil spills, leaky pipes and fiery ruptures caused by sabotage, mismanagement, corruption, bunkering and rebel forces has turned the mouth of the Niger Delta into one of the world’s worse environmental disasters.
Simon Ashcroft is now a security contractor for a local oil company. We an executive under his care is killed by MEND forces, Simon’s day escalates out of control.
MEND, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one a militant group fighting the Nigerian government and the oil companies in the region. Heavily armed they patrol the Delta on speed boats attacking refineries, bunkering oil and kidnapping westerners.
Mombasa, Kenya (Threat Intelligence)
While Casey is on a safari vacation in central Kenya, she comes under attack from wildlife poachers. Simon saves her and the two race across Kenya pursued by police and the local army. Everyone with a gun is trying to kill Casey. She has no idea why and Simon doesn’t either.
They eventually reach Mombasa, one of the oldest cities in East Africa. Over a millennium, numerous groups including Omanis, the Portuguese, the British and the Swahili people have occupied the city.
In Mombasa, Simon and Casey recover after a midnight battle with hyenas and seek passage on a container ship, to escape the forces still hunting them.
Mumbai, India (Strike Matrix)
With a population of 21.4 million, Mumbai is the fourth most populous city in the world and the wealthiest city in India. It is home to movie stars and gangsters, and several of Asia’s biggest slums including Dharavi which is the setting for a major action sequence in Strike Matrix.
Mumbai is a central location to the series and where many of the various plot threads converge. Simon, Casey and Peri are drawn together first as enemies and then later as allies as the mystery deepens and the conspirators behind the Shatterhand Code reveal their real objectives.
As Simon, Casey and Peri prepare to leave India, they team up with Conner Rafferty, an Irish journalist conducting his own global investigations into the mysterious Shatterhand Code, which I’ll cover in Part 3 — Conner Rafferty.