Turns out it wasn’t as hard as he thought to get to Ukraine, or to Sophiaskia for that matter. A quick trip through the State Department database and Carter found groups coming and going all the time. The issue was choosing the right group that would give him a useful cover and access to the tools and communications he would need.
He would fit best with a military group, but they would be the most closely watched and controlled. What he needed was something quasi-military. He didn't have to search long. In anticipation of Ukraine joining NATO, defense contractors were sending over teams to install radars and other detection systems. Such an operation would be something where he would not stick out like a sore thumb and would have all the communications he could ever want.
One listing caught his eye rather quickly. He dialed the phone. "Amy! David here…maybe we’ll have that weekend together after all."
"Wha?...huh?" was the stuttering response that Amy Jackson made. Carter quickly pictured her in his mind. She was very good looking if not all the way to "stunning". No doubt at this moment her very green eyes were very wide and her mouth, was in the shape of an "o" which always made her lips that much more kissable. And if he knew her as well as he thought he did she was fussing with her medium length blondish hair as a stalling maneuver. She kept it in one of those cuts that really needed nothing but to dry after a shower, but she fussed with it constantly, again as a conversational technique more than an appearance issue.
He cut her off before she could say more, "Long story and definitely not for the telephone. I'll be there in a few hours, please tell security to let me through."
As he drove, Carter tried to come up with a story that would get him what he needed without revealing too much. Amy had security clearance up the ying-yang, but there was that whole "need-to-know" thing.
He pulled into the parking lot at his old employer and hacked into the CIA. Only took a few minutes before he had established an identity for himself as an operative. His story was that he was going undercover just to keep an eye on the Ukrainians – they were not completely trusted yet. Amy's group had been chosen for him because of his previous connections. No one in the group but Amy would know his real reason for being there, for obvious reasons.
Amy was not as surprised as he thought she would be when he laid the story on her over dinner. "Well, your rapid disappearance from here and the furtiveness of your behavior since you went to Washington had me wondering," was all she said. Being in the business she was in, she was used to intelligence guys. "Besides, a trip to the exotic Ukraine with my guy sounds like fun."
Carter did not know what to make of the "my guy" comment, but he knew an invitation to a pleasant evening at home when he heard one. It was about 11 before he started back to Washington. Amy agreed to handle his travel arrangements with the rest of the group, making his cover all the stronger. They would meet up in New York in just a few days for the Aeroflot flight to Kiev. The group's equipment went military transport, but the people went commercial. It was less about security than it was about lining the pockets of the still state-owned airline.