Category Archives: Snippits

Target Deck Excerpt, The Arab

Good news, the draft and first edit of the novel are in the can.  Now it is with a proof reader/editor for review!  In the meantime, I will be posting a few excerpts…

The Iridium satellite phone was picked up on the first ring.

Nam?” the man answered in his native language. For a moment he was confused as to where he was and who he was talking to.

“It is a Gulfstream V. The paint job is gray but there are no commercial labels or official seals. The tail number is N44982,” the caller told him.

“Good work Arturo,” the Arab thanked him while committing the information to memory.

The Mexican intelligence official had become his go between with the Jimenez cartel and himself. It was now clear that the CIA would be of no use to them. They were perfectly happy to see the Jimenez cartel liquidated. The Arab worked for vested interests who were determined to ensure that this never happened. If Jimenez went down, there was no telling how many of the drug corridors would collapse if the American set off some kind of domino effect. They had to nip this problem in the bud.

The Arab smiled. He was good at troubleshooting these types of problems.

“You are sure he is on this flight?”

“Yes,” Arturo said. “My contact in the federales personally saw him board this plane just before the pilots made an illegal take off from Cancun. I would have left the problem in your hands but before I could intervene our air force sent up a couple fighters.”

“Did you have them stand down?”

Fear clenched the Arab’s gut. On one hand if the Mexican Air Force shot down the jet it would save him the trouble, the job would be complete. On the other hand, he would be stuck with seven mad men that he would need to find a way to get rid of.

“No, I was too late but somehow they managed to avoid the fighters. The Air Force is still trying to figure it out. It may have been some type of radar cloaking.”

“But you are sure they are returning to Gran Cayman?”

“Almost certain. My sources indicate that the island was their stop off point on their way to Cancun and they were heading back in that direction when they dropped off the radar.”

“I will call you when it is finished.”

“I would appreciate that my friend,” the intelligence agent sounded uneasy. “Jimenez grows…impatient.”

“This ends today. You will hear from me soon.”

The Arab terminated the call and set the phone down.

In the muffled interior of the garage he could hear his seven charges initiating their prayers. The chants to Allah reverberated off the walls, filling the garage with their religious incantations. The Arab winced, his fingers tracing the thick scar tissue on his forearm. In the Caribbean heat it felt like the scars were tightening up on him. Soon it would be time for more plastic surgery to relieve the pain. The scars were a constant reminder of who he had been in a past life.

The Arab packed away his satellite phone and edged around the side of the Toyota van towards the prostrated Muslim extremists.

“It’s time.”

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Chapter Nineteen online

Nothing much surprised Deckard as of late.

Richie had worked fast, cutting into bunker six with the thermic lance, the horsepower provided by a dump truck they found on the base helped them pry open the doors the rest of the way.

Inside were three Mk174 tactical nuclear weapons of the type that had become almost legendary in intelligence circles. The United States and Russia were the only two nations to have successfully miniaturized nuclear weapons to the extent that they could be carried in a suit case. They were the prized possession of both country’s nuclear arsenal.

Such weapons could be smuggled into a enemy country via commercial air travel or even strapped to a military free fall parachutists to deliver to a key target. These three were the latest models, with a yield of twelve kilotons a piece.

A military base run by mercenaries. Black project spy planes. Suitcase nuclear weapons.

The Counsel of Three that owned a controlling interest in Samruk, and in Deckard, also owned the United States government, National Security Counsel and all.

Their cargo boat bobbed and dipped in the ocean as heavy lines were thrown down to them from the stern of the super liner. Samruk’s mercenaries grabbed up the ropes and secured them to hard points along the side of the ship, mooring the two vessels together.

As this was done Deckard ordered the nukes rolled off the side of the ship.

They had been his best shot at using a Trojan horse to get close to the super liner and since he wasn’t coming under fire from the two destroyers, it appeared to have worked. The nukes themselves were in hard cases with multiple redundant systems. They would be safest at the bottom of the ocean until the US Navy could recover them at a later date. There was no way he was going to risk having them fall back into enemy hands.

Deckard watches the three metal cases splash and slip into the dark waters.

His men fired several stunted, suppressed gunshots, killing members of the super liner’s receiving party.

It was time to go to work.

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Chapter Eighteen online

Adam was still trying to piece together what he was seeing. It looked like something literally out of this world. Roughly triangular shaped, it resembled a black porpoise designed for aerial flight. The nose of the aircraft, where the cockpit was located, was slightly bulbous, and tiny wings swept out on each side. I certainly didn’t look like anything designed for use by human pilots.

“What is it?”

“The result of a thirteen billion dollar no-bid contract,” Deckard answered. “The Air Force’s last manned spy plane.”

“But-”

Deckard held up a finger a someone began transmitting over their radio frequency.

“-objective Hammerhead secure,” A German accented voice said over the net.

“Kurt took down the control tower,” Deckard said to no one in particular.

Another hiss of static came over the hand mike.

“-Objective White is secure.”

“This is Six,” Deckard responded. “Where is it?”

“Bunker number two.”

“Prep it for demolition immediately. I want a ETA as soon as possible.”

“Roger.”

Deckard released the hand mic and took a deep breath.

“They found the virus’ catalyst,” Adam said voicing their thoughts.

Samruk’s commander nodded, a wave of relief washing over him.

“And this thing?” the intel specialist said pointing towards Aurora.

“Obviously they are planning on a war with whoever is left after their depopulation holocaust is complete. Looks like we pretty much fucked up that part of their plan already.”

Deckard craned his neck looking around.

“What is it?”

“They probably have the strategic bombers and attack helicopters in another hanger.”

“But what is the purpose behind Aurora?” Adam asked. “I worked in intel and I never even heard of this thing.”

“You’ve seen the high resolution pictures it took, you were just told they came from spy satellites to help keep the project compartmentalized. This baby was developed about ten years ago to help fill in the black spots not covered by our satellite network. Also, as you know, those satellite orbits are monitored and highly predicable. Training areas get sanitized and sensitive equipment gets stored under over head cover when US spy satellites come in for a look so they built Aurora as a counter.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“That’s because their isn’t anything else like it anywhere. It actually functions in contrary of several known laws of physics. Conventional scientists would never believe it exists which has helped keep it secret. Aurora operates in the mesophere where there is extremely little oxygen and nearly all anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems are ineffective. Aurora exploits this defensive gap by utilizing a plasma funnel in front of the intake valves to increase the intake of air.”

“What?”

“That’s what I said. This is a spy plane but theoretically other models could deliver nuclear or other hyper velocity weapons on targets, that or drop out of orbit to put a free fall team over enemy territory.”

“And you know this how?”

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Chapter Fifteen online

Deckard punched a button on the keyboard and another video popped up. This one showed the CEO on the phone in his office. Overlaid on the video was the voice on the other end of the phone, taken from a separate tap on the line. The voice was unmistakeable, it belonged to the president of Kazakhstan.

They were talking about liquidating the Kazakh national bank and turning the reigns over to shareholders in the United States.

“I’ve got it all Kareem,” Deckard said pausing the video. “Hard evidence. Government collusion with Samruk’s corporate leaders to assassinate bankers and journalists who are not on board with your program. Selling Kazakh mineral wealth to European nations dirt cheap in exchange for kickbacks. Funny money Washington Consensus loans with the IMF. Plans to eliminate ethnic minorities so you can build a new oil pipeline. I’ve got it all.”

The Ministry of Justice official looked like he was about the be ill.

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Chapter Seven

Chapter seven is now online.  Get ready to meet a mob boss from Taiwan who rents white body guards as a status symbol, a Colombian banker in Ginea Bassau who knows who the American drug lords are, and the perfect assassin who lives five separate lives at the same time.

Here is a sample:

Mousa Zerktouni was one of five separate names attached to five separate lives committed to his photographic memory.

The Mousa alias was French-Moroccan. Others were British, French, Saudi, and Indian. He spoke the languages that accompanied each name, each identity. Each had an entirely different life that went along with the name. Families, schools, lovers, career highs, and personal lows. They were all seared into his mind with laser precision, his recall being tested regularly by his handlers.

His fingerprints were not his but had belonged to a Chinese cadaver and were surgically grafted into his fingers one by one allowing him to bypass the biometric systems in various airports without raising any red flags. Likewise, his face had undergone numerous reconstructive surgeries making it nearly impossible to ascertain what his real age was.

He was deniable, invisible, and if need be expendable.

Chapter Seven

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Chapter Seven preview

“What do you do different?”

“I keep my money in banks. The right banks,” he replied exhaling a cloud of smoke.

“You give the bankers a cut for laundering your cartel’s money.”

“Of course, this is how it has always worked. Haven’t you ever wondered why some cartels in Mexico get a free pass while others have the entire Mexican army deployed against them? Unlike in the US the border is tightly controlled on the Mexican side to protect the corridors. It is much the same for us. If you know you’re place you will be allowed to operate. This is the price of doing business.”

It was a long shot but with the information Deckard had given him and what he had uncovered on his own Adam intended to follow the money.

“What are the right banks?”

“The gringo kind,” Edwardo laughed.

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Chapter Six uploaded

Offering his hand Kurt helped the next Kazakh up the slope preventing him from sliding back down. Grabbing him by the belt the German’s bicep flared as he lifted and flung him onto the embankment. The Kazakh stood up dusting himself off when the hand of god seemed to swat the mercenary right out of the air, literally tearing him to pieces.

With his face now splattered with his comrade’s blood Kurt rolled out of the way as large caliber rounds tore apart the ground he had occupied a fraction of a second before, churning up a cloud of dust in their wake.

The noise was deafening, the twin barrels chewing apart everything in their line of fire. What had become sporadic PKM bursts now ceased completely, the assault’s momentum now lost.

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