A typically mundane day of delegating responsibility for Kristi Johnson gets turned upside down when the emergency flash message reaches her that there had been a suspected terrorist bombing in St. Louis, Mo. while hovering above the scene, through the news copter traffic below, her worst fears are realized, she makes the call to the Department of Homeland Security recommending raising the national terror threat level to RED for the first time in history. What follows is a hair raising rollercoaster ride through the heretofore unimagined world of a nationwide National Emergency. The characters in L.C. Beys debut novel come from all walks of life, but they must navigate this locked down society of curfews, check points tracked movements and fear . Kristi and her FBI tactical team have very little time to decipher the cryptic clues left behind at the crime scene taunting them into recognizing that the terror spree was far from over, the hubris of the terrorist indicating that he was much smarter than their best and brightest... Volume one sets up the landscape of this pre Marshall law America, showcasing the strain inflicted on relationships of all kinds, the high tech investigations and the way human nature makes for strange bed fellows when said humans are stretched to the limit. Join us for the ride as we trailblaze the country in the midst of Threat Level RED !!!
Mr Corbin-Bey is the author of From The Inside, a book of poetry previously published, he is an Ohio Native that currently resides in Atlanta, Ga, USA. his use of strong female protagonists is most likely the product of his growing up the youngest of six with five older sisters and a very industrious mother and father
The author introduces the characters with great intrigue, this early in the book its really hard to put down...
Threat Level Red
Both men climbed aboard the special internal train that whisked the VIPs to the diplomatic baggage area outside the perimeter of airport security. The diplomatic pouches and luggage was not inspected and the underground access was reserved for limos and diplomatic transport only. The tall man with the regal bearing took off his custom made Gargoyle sunglasses revealing his off-puttingly intense hazel eyes.
He offered his diplomatic passport to claim his pouches and, after stacking everything on the luggage cart wheeled it out to the waiting limo. Robert was driven to his five star hotel and shown to his suite; he was pre-registered so there was no stop at the front desk. Although they both arrived at the same time, his luggage was already inside his door when he arrived earning the bellman a healthy tip.
He opened one bag and took out a digital text pager. The old fashioned technology still had some uses. The coded message of random numbers was a jumbled contact number that he needed to call within fifteen minutes of checking into his room. This number he dialed through the hotel phone, knowing the number would be disconnected immediately after his call. The phone rang twice; it was answered with “Yes, the clock is ticking,” Then disconnected. That was his confirmation that his assignment was still a go, and that no order had come down cancelling any further action. Robert relaxed just for a minute, he knew he would be getting an encrypted email on his cell phone any time now giving him coordinates and times for the “meeting”, The euphemisms in his trade were almost humorous - almost.
Walking around the bed he looked at his bags, the tall diplomatic bag had a lock on it very few people had ever seen. The key looked like a small corkscrew, and the tip had a tiny sensor chip that was like no other. Twisting the key deep enough into the lock released the cylinder, twisting the cylinder in the correct combination pops open the top of the bag. Inside were the tools of his trade; on first look his trade looked to be photography or astronomy, the high tech lensed “cameras” he pulled out would indeed accomplish these goals easily.
But the remaining hard ABS plastic cases got to the heart of his profession. The .50 caliber BMG sniper rifle with three five round magazines was accurate to 1700 meters, close enough to a mile for government work…especially if he actually worked for the government.
This was the reason his employer of the month insisted and arranged that he travel on diplomatic passport; diplomatic bags were never searched. This made procuring the correct tools for a job much more efficient than having them dropped at the hotel or going on a scavenger hunt to put them together – which he had also done. This option gave him ample time to physically reconnoiter the kill zone; to create a box from which the target could not escape. From one thousand meters in, no matter the weather, it was the equivalent of a slam dunk in the NBA by a seven footer. Roberts’s phone chirped twice, that signal always sent shivers down his spine; assignment confirmed, target acquired, location is set with backup location planned. In all of his years as a hitter he had never had to avail himself of the use of the backup location, but it was procedure.
Slipping his tools back and locking his bag, he walked over to the wall socket where his phone was charging and opened the Ocean digital minicomputer phone, the mail was there. Completing the prescribed ritual of de-encryption took about one minute; the result was a map of a small block with a pocket park in front. The main feature of the park was a mini gazebo…this was ground zero. The target would be speaking from here at approximately 2:00pm tomorrow. Time check confirmed 10:30am local time. According to the attached text, the kill zone was ten miles south east of his current location. The map showed a basketball court within two blocks of the zone; Robert was going to work out. Memorizing his coordinates; he popped open a garment bag and removed a pair of knee scraper shorts, a light weight sweat suit, a pair of size fifteen Nike Lebrons and a headband. A pair of Oakley MP3 shades rounded out the ensemble.