Disaster Strikes Home: Book One of the Outline Part Series

Overview

Following an earthquake that destroys the White House and kills the entire executive branch of government, a news reporter claims, "America is under attack." David Leone is a brilliant chemist in Washington, DC. He is the world's youngest Nobel Prize winner, an honor he won for his work with molecular bonds; he lives a quiet life with his experiments until this so-called attack. Now, he is forced to leave his home as DC tries to recover.

Martial law is declared. General Hugh ...

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Disaster Strikes Home: Book One of the Outline Part Series

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Overview

Following an earthquake that destroys the White House and kills the entire executive branch of government, a news reporter claims, "America is under attack." David Leone is a brilliant chemist in Washington, DC. He is the world's youngest Nobel Prize winner, an honor he won for his work with molecular bonds; he lives a quiet life with his experiments until this so-called attack. Now, he is forced to leave his home as DC tries to recover.

Martial law is declared. General Hugh Freeman of the United States Joint Council is appointed national leader. David is prepared to wait out the Washington evacuations, but he is soon approached by men who need his help. Apparently, the earthquake was no natural disaster. Creatures from the center of the earth have come to claim what they believe is theirs.

Because of David's knowledge, the government needs him to stop this unforeseen threat. Once a scientist, David is given a gun and expected to become a hero. But the creatures from below are clever. The military can't stop them, so it is up to David to find a way to save mankind, the Earth, and his own faith in the power of science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475976250
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 2/21/2013
  • Pages: 148
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Read an Excerpt

DISASTER STRIKES HOME

BOOK ONE OF THE OUTLINE PART SERIES


By D. W. J. BURKE

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 D. W. J. Burke
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4759-7625-0


CHAPTER 1

February 2


My name is David Leone, and this is my story. I live in Washington, DC and it was exactly one year ago today when I discovered a method to transform the molecular bonds, in a way that we have never been able to control, creating things previously impossible. Most people found this hard to believe, but I managed to get one organization to believe in my method, Fornsworth Inc., a small research firm in Virginia.

Four years ago I lost my mother and my father in a deadly car crash, only 2 miles from my house in Baltimore, Maryland, leaving me and my sister alone when I was only 19. I was appointed her legal guardian until she was 18.

I had just begun my chemistry honors thesis, on molecular bonding when my parents were killed. A few months later Fornsworth Inc. came along, after hearing about a theory I was developing. Their owner and funder, a billionaire living in the heart of Virginia gave me a "small" cash grant of 1.5 million dollars, plus an extra half million a year, to construct my own lab, pending I could turn this theory real. All I had to do was keep researching. With this money, I quit my 3 jobs, dropped out of university, and began working for Fornsworth, and about a year later, I was fully funded, to purchase my own area to call home. So I bought an old building, in DC, built my lab in the basement and rented out the 6 apartments on the floors above. After completing the initial research, there was very little for me to do in the way of working with my theory, and aside from a few new applications I would create with it every few weeks, it led dormant.

Before Fornsworth funded my project, I was working on campus, working at my parents' old store, and doing tutoring on the side, just to try and break even. With the money they gave, I closed my parents' store and moved it with us to DC, as part of their memory, and I still do what I can to keep it open whenever I can, but that usually consists of 9-5 Monday to Friday, and sometimes Saturdays.

Just six months ago, I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the work I had done, and in addition to the initial work I was doing to keep my funding flowing, I was now expected to go even further, and cure every disease on this planet.

Now my sister, Janie, and I live happily here. When not tending the store, I am working hard away at my pet project. I had to reduce the hours to about 40 a week so that I could attend my projects as well.

You are reading this because I have decided to make a journal following my endeavors, as my investors are coming in 2 weeks and I want to record every moment of what I believe will be humanity's biggest change. I was told that although my ideas are great, they are useless if I don't produce. Lucky for me however, I recently made a major breakthrough allowing me complete control of anything I wanted. Before, I only could change the bonding properties, but now, I can almost play god. I would need another million dollars to make this idea from just a prototype blueprint to a working design, but for now, I at least have something to show them.

"David, come on, I've got to be to school in an hour, hurry up!" The text on my phone from Janie reads.

I pick up my cup of coffee, lay down the blue prints and walk upstairs to our apartment, seeing Janie almost ready to go, cell phone in hand.

"Yeah, yeah, hold on a minute, I'm on the way to another breakthrough." Although the world may view my work as miracles, to Janie, it's just another thing her big brother does, and it doesn't amaze her anymore.

"Whatever, just hurry up, I'm meeting Ja—, I mean ..." She stops herself.

"Oh, okay, so Jake is the unlucky guy!" I say, with only a hint of sarcasm in my voice. She has had a friend Jake for a while and recently, she has been spending much more time with him, so I put two and two together. "Well lets BOTH go meet him!" I say with no actual desire to meet her new boyfriend, but I enjoy teasing her.

Although technically, I do play the parental role in our relationship, I don't want to be a dad, and instead, I'd just rather be her brother. She's a smart girl, she's sensible, and despite her raging hormones, I do still trust her.

When I make the comment about her new boyfriend, she immediately gets flustered. This look is even more exaggerated on her, as it stands out against her platinum blonde hair, and her steel blue eyes. Despite her tall, slender figure, she can still look pretty mean.

"Oh no, no way! You can drive me there, but then I get out of the car, and you drive home, and get back to your science stuff."

"Prototype, to cure terminal illnesses" I correct her, as snarky as possible "And I think I might stay for a bit. After all, I am friends with the physics teacher, though she'll probably be a little late, so I might just hang with you. Come on let's go!"

"David, you are staying in that car! Get out of it and so help me God." the demanding tone she uses when she can't tell I'm being sarcastic is ringing louder now, so I chuckle and let it go.

"Alright lover-girl, let's go."

When we both get in the car, we end up getting stuck in traffic, as we do every morning. Despite the beautiful view I lucked into when I bought this old building, I didn't quite plan for all the interruptions of the traffic. Looks like another police convoy, so I turn on the radio and I am greeted by the too happy voice of the morning news anchor.

"The President has called a meeting with the entire US congress, as well as his cabinet, to discuss a two trillion dollar uranium exploration and potential mining project just north of Death Valley, California. State governors from both California and Nevada are campaigning against this proposition as it creates a risk to the wildlife in the area ..."

Irritated by yet another cash cow, based off of nothing more than possibilities, I change the radio station to Janie's.

"Maybe you can explain this to me, they can afford a couple trillion to pull off this mining joke, something that will probably hurt the environment and not benefit people at all, but when I ask for a measly one million dollars, they shoot me down like bin Laden's private jet. I'm moving to China."

"Yeah, well everyone wants money, and everyone but you gets it. You know I know nothing about this." Janie says with a smile, before turning up the music. It's her way of saying that I'm ranting again.

As we pull up to the school, she seems eager to jump out early, and the second I stop, she hurriedly says "Bye, See you after school, you can go now, bye!"

"Yeah, remember, keep it PG13!" I yell to her as she leaves the car. Not screaming, but enough so people around might hear.

When she shuts the door and she turns around trying to hide her embarrassment, she takes off to her group of friends outside the high school's main entrance, which is my signal to turn my attention back to the road.

I look in my mirror as I turn to pull out into traffic, and I see a couple black suburban with red and blue lights flashing, a little ways behind me. This clearly is another dignitary or government official on his way to that big meeting. I know it's not the president, as it seems like most of DC gets shut down for those, and fortunately, it looks like this is just another VIP too important for traffic laws.

As the convoy passes me, I notice something unusual about it, the fact that in the middle is a vehicle flying the small hood flags of a military officer.

Oh well, that's my tax dollars at work, I think to myself. As they pass on by, I merge into traffic and head home, trying to ride the wake of the convoy as far as I can.

The rest of the ride home is quite uneventful, as is true for most mornings. It isn't until I reach the set of street lights across from my building. As I sit in the front of the line of traffic—thanks to the VIP too good for traffic laws—waiting for the long red light to change, my pocket starts vibrating. I quickly pop out my cell phone and open it up to see that I have gotten a text message. Checking the light again to see it is still red, I open the message, and see it is from a call back number of 911, with nothing in the message area.

Text messages aren't a rarity for me, since I get many a day with my teenage sister who still doesn't have a license, but I can't say I have ever gotten one from 911, and usually from what I've heard, they still don't take text messages, let alone send them. Before I can respond, or do anything to the text, I hear a horn behind me, and I look up realizing that the light has turned green.

The usually short drive to my garage seems lengthened ten-fold as my mind races to figure out why I'm getting such as strange message. When I pull into the garage, I park my car, and walk outside, to call 911 in hopes of understanding why they sent me a message. It could be something like a system glitch, or there could be an emergency of sorts, I don't know, but it never hurts to check. I punch in the emergency number and hit talk.

"Office of Unified Communications, please state your emergency" The almost robotic male operator says to me.

"Hello, my name is David Leone, and I just received a text message with a call back number that was 911. The message had nothing in the message area, just an empty box. Do you know why this happened?"

He drags out his words in an obvious attempt to search up the problem "Uh, Mr. Leone, I'm getting that you're by the White House, is this right?"

"I'm at my apartment building, across from the White House. Just so you know, I don't require any police or anything, I just want to know why you texted me." I reply.

"Mr. Leone, I am checking into it right now, but it appears the White House emergency system has gone under a slight malfunction, alerted us, and uh, actually, I am looking at the call list right now, and fourteen more people have reported these texts as well. I'm sending someone over to figure out the problem now, and" he pauses for a second while he seems to be taking something in, "Oh wait, I just received an alert from my supervisor that a small electrical surge caused one of our dispatching computers to malfunction, and activated an emergency alert to all mobile phones in the region of the white house. Usually when this happens however, there is a message input by the operator, but since this was automated, that's the reason why. There is nothing to be worried about. Have a safe day."

After thanking him, I hang up the phone and start to open shop on the main floor. It is edging towards nine o'clock now, so I am expecting Mr. Wilson to come down, just as he does each morning, to pick up some breakfast and have a chat with me before heading off to the park.

Mr. Wilson is an elderly man who knew my parents before I was born. My father was born in DC, and lived here half his life. Mr. Wilson lost his wife and his son in a plane crash, not ten years ago and since then, was living at a senior's home. When I received my grant, and bought this place, I called him up, and moved him into the third floor apartment, just above mine, rent-free as he cannot work anymore, and doesn't make enough from his pension to afford rent in the city.

He is quite the fascinating man: he is a 72 year old former metro police officer, and he has quite the knack for birds. As a former SWAT team member, Mr. Wilson has quite the stature, standing at least six-foot-five and aside from a slight limp and the wrinkles, looks just as intimidating as he did in the pictures from years ago. A few on-the-job injuries have left him much weaker than his youth, and that is about the only thing that has changed from the stories I was told as a child. Just like clockwork, Mr. Wilson steps right into my shop from the back door to the fire stairwell. I can tell he was quite the handsome man in his prime, but since the loss of his son and wife, combined with the wear and tear of his job, he's withered down to a respectable old gentleman.

"Why good morning Mr. Leone, and how are you this morning?" he says with a gravelly bass in his voice.

"'Morning Mr. Wilson, I'm fine, just dropped Janie off at school. Here for your bagel before heading off to the park today?"

"Actually I think I will be staying home today; my nephew is coming into visit me." He says quite gleefully, as he doesn't usually get any visitors, with most his family living in Maine.

"Well that's great to hear. Here's your bagel, and I will see you later on today I'm sure" I say as he waves a thank-you and walks backup to the apartment floors.

Before the foot traffic gets too heavy, and people start coming in for their coffee break, I decide to go into the backroom, and continue drawing up the plans for my sponsors.

CHAPTER 2

February 3


My project representative from Fornsworth is due here in just two days, so I have to make sure everything works fine in my prototype and is neat and tidy in my presentation. Today is a cool Saturday and Janie will be in bed until at least noon. No complaints from me; it means I can clean up and get ready in peace.

I will be opening the store at 10:00AM today, an hour later than weekdays, but only because of the increased media presence since these government meetings have continued longer than expected. It's only 6:30 now so I have three more hours to myself. I think I will have a little downtime though and start working on my project at 7:30.

After pouring a cup of coffee, and putting my bread in the toaster, I turn on the TV, flicking to the news, in hopes of finding more about what's on the go with this mining plan they've got. To my surprise though, there is no story, but instead what looks like a burning building, with the Caption "DC High School Explosion"

I check again in shock to make sure this is indeed a news channel, and I lean forward, looking at the aerial shot from the helicopter above. The building is completely destroyed; nothing but a crater blown in the middle of it, with just corner walls left standing, blackened by the raging red inferno.

Fire trucks and firefighters dot the outskirts of the blaze, while their futile attempt to control the fire and extinguish it goes without any reward. There is thick smoke rising up starting to block out the image, eerily similar to what the entire world watched on 9/11, when it switches to a ground camera, I recognize the building.

I put down my coffee and turn up the TV immediately.

"What you are seeing now is what is left of Foxhound High School, a new high school, which was opened only last year here in DC. The details are still coming in, but 911 calls came in after what is believed to be an explosion that happened at the center of the school. I was speaking to a witness earlier who declined to be on camera, but he said that the school rumbled, and collapsed before a fireball engulfed the center of the building.

"The DCFD is still combating the fire after 2 hours and are saying that they fire is still unable to be contained at this time. Superintendent Hill of the DCFD said that they are unsure of any cause at this time, and Police say they do not believe this to be a terror attack, but are not ruling anything out at this time. Almost immediately, police sealed off the area, closing it to non-emergency personnel."

I look at the screen and watch as what looks to be part of the front wall of Janie's school stands charred to almost pitch black and the red flames visible through holes where windows once used to be. I don't even know what to think at this point.

Despite, my obvious confusion towards what is happening, I decide it is best to tell Janie now. I go into her room and wake her up. When place my hand on her shoulder, and nudge her awake, she responds like all teenagers, not too pleased to be awoken.

"What do you want? What time is it?" She mumbles to me as she looks at the clock. "Janie, I was just watching the news, and your school was destroyed in an explosion early this morning" I tell her bluntly and straight to the point.

I watch silently as her eyes widen, and she pulls herself up, obviously shocked by the news I just shared. After telling her it's on the TV, she pulls the sheets down and comes out to the living room with me to watch the TV, grabbing only her cell phone from the bedside table ...
(Continues...)


Excerpted from DISASTER STRIKES HOME by D. W. J. BURKE. Copyright © 2013 D. W. J. Burke. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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