1. "All really great flying adventures begin at dawn."
- Quote by Stephen Coonts
2. "Don't let the assholes grind you down."
- Quote by Stephen Coonts
4. "though the corners were routinely used to store farm machinery and fodder for the animals and occasionally to get a sensitive animal in out of the sun. Primarily the building existed"
- Stephen Coonts, Cuba
6. "both hands against the door. Feet wider apart. That’s right. Like in the American movies. Satisfied, Qazi patted the man down. What, no gun? A GRU man without a gun … Qazi carefully felt the man’s crotch and the arms above the wrists. First humor and now this! The GRU will become a laughingstock. But of course there is a microphone. Qazi lifted all the pens from the Russian’s shirt pocket and examined them, one by one. It had better be here, Chekhov, or you will have to part with your buttons and your shoes. It was in the third pen. Now turn around and sit against the door. The Russian’s face was covered with perspiration, his fleshy lips twisted in a sneer. The shoes. Qazi examined them carefully and tossed them back. Now the coat. This he scrutinized minutely. From the uppermost of the large three buttons on the front of the coat a very fine wire was just visible buried amid the thread that held the button on. Qazi sawed the button free with a small pocketknife, then dropped the pen and button down a commode. He tossed the coat back to Chekhov. And the belt. After a quick glance, Qazi handed it back. Hurry, we have much to say to each other. He unscrewed the silencer and replaced the pistol in his ankle holster. He opened the door as the Russian scrambled awkwardly to his feet. An hour later the two men were seated in the Sistine Chapel against the back wall, facing the altar and Michelangelo’s masterpiece The Last Judgment behind it. On the right the high windows admitted a subdued light. Qazi kept his eyes on the tourists examining the paintings on the ceiling and walls. Is it in Rome, as General Simonov promised? Yes. But you must tell us why you want it. Is it genuine, or is it a masterpiece from an Aquarium print shop? The Aquarium was the nickname for GRU headquarters in Moscow. The Russian’s lips curled, revealing yellow, impacted teeth. This was his smile. We obtained it from Warrant Officer Walker. Ah, those Americans! One wonders just how long they knew about Walker’s activities. The Russian raised his shoulders and lowered them. Why do you want the document? El Hakim has not authorized me to reveal his reasons. Not that we don’t trust you. We value the goodwill of the Soviet Union most highly. And we intend to continue to cultivate that goodwill. But to reveal what you do not need to know is to take the risk that the Americans will learn of our plans through their activities against you. If you are implying they have penetrated— Chekhov, I am not implying anything. I am merely weighing risks. And I am being very forthright with you. No subterfuge. No evasion. Just the plain truth. Surely a professional like you can appreciate that? This document is very valuable."
- Stephen Coonts, Final Flight