Parry St. Amand is an ambitious medical professional who thrives on challenge, barely tolerates life in Washington, D.C., and ignores the occasional taunt of family concerned by her intractable single status. Fulfilled in most ways by the trappings of a successful life, Parry is dogged, in quite moments, by a question whispered from deep within, a voice demanding to know, "Is this all there is?" On a late October workday, orthopedist Rand Szabo, the brightest star in the firmament of University Medical Center's stellar surgical staff, interrupts Parry's lunch-and her life-urging her to join him on a medical mission team due to leave shortly for impoverished Central Europe. Without her to replace a second surgeon, who's dropped out, the trip will be cancelled. If she signs on, the recovery of patients abroad is all but assured. Given only hours to decide, Parry follows the dictates of her conscience, and life as she knows it changes forever. Days later, exhausted after a series of surgical marathons, the team is roused from sleep to learn that there has been a military coup d'etat. New leaders have announced a radical policy shift, no longer allying themselves with the United States, but offering instead generous bounties for any American found in country-living or dead. Plans rapidly evolve to spirit six team members to safety using local vehicles and drivers. Parry, Rand, and former Army Ranger, Jake Spangler volunteer, of necessity, for the arduous task of hiking out. Through snowstorms, frigid nights, and a vast rural landscape fraught with danger, the three struggle to survive medical crises, military intrigue, and a final, run-for-your life race to freedom MISSION is an adventure, beginning to end. A.M. Cormier, a freelance writer/editor and former medical radiographer, lives and works in a suburb of Washington, D.C.