Larry Bond's First Teamby Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
The New York Times bestselling author of the classic technothrillers Red Phoenix and Day of Wrath, Larry Bond has won praise for the gritty authenticity of his military-political adventures as well as for his matchless talent at generating edge-of-your-seat suspense. Now Bond debutes an exciting new series that rockets straight from the cutting/i>/i>/i>… See more details below
The New York Times bestselling author of the classic technothrillers Red Phoenix and Day of Wrath, Larry Bond has won praise for the gritty authenticity of his military-political adventures as well as for his matchless talent at generating edge-of-your-seat suspense. Now Bond debutes an exciting new series that rockets straight from the cutting edge of America's war on terror . . .
Officially designated the Joint Services Special Demands Project, "The Team" is a unique unit created to address unconventional threats in an unconventional manner, beyond the beurocratic restraints of either the U.S. intelligence or military establishments. With an almost unlimited budget, the Team, consisting of a CIA officer, two Special Forces commandos, and one outnumbered Marine--is authorized to track vital intel and then take immediate action.
A radical response to perilous times, the Team has never been more needed than this very moment: a quantity of radioactive waste, being shipped across the former Soviet Union, has gone missing. In the wrong hands, the stolen material can be converted into a "dirty bomb" capable of rendering any American city uninhabitable for centuries. With time running out, the Team must locate and neutralize the threat--unaware that their unseen enemy has already chosen a target: the island paradise of Honolulu.
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Larry Bond's First Team
ACT 1So from that spring whence comfort seemed to come, Discomfort swells.
--Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1.2.27--81OVER CHECHNYAThe wind blew without mercy. The man preparing to enter it was a man of great faith, but at twenty thousand feet in the pitch-black night, even faith had its limits.Samman Bin Saqr took a breath, then uttered a prayer of praise and trust he had learned as a boy. He edged his feet forward, poised at the lip of the apparatus that would help free him from the aircraft's slipstream. The plane held to its course, guided by the hand of an automated pilot, which was also being tested on this flight. The copilot--human--called from the seat a few feet away that they were approaching the target area.Samman Bin Saqr went by many names in the West. To some, he was Ibn Yaman, the mastermind of the attack on the British embassy in Beijing. To others, he was Umar Umar, who had shown the Australians that Sydney was not immune to suicide attacks. To the Americans, he was either Abu Akil, whose plot to blow up Independence Hall in Philadelphia had been foiled only by a dead car battery the morning of the planned attack, or Kalil Kadir Hassan, whose genius had turned an IRS tax center in Massachusetts into a fireball.The latest of those attacks, the one that had consumed the devil's tax collectors, had occurred five years before. Because he had not struck since then, Samman Bin Saqr was presumed by many to be dead, or worse, to have lost his nerve. But in fact he had spent the entire time planning and building his next operation.The idea for it had come to him one evening in Karachi, Pakistan, where he had gone to meet some associates in the Bin Laden group to discuss funding. He happened to pick up a Western magazine and saw a picture of Honolulu. And from that moment, he knew what he would do.It was a momentous decision. It had stretched his skills beyond belief. It meant locating in a place--Chechnya--he was unfamiliar with. It meant learning a great deal about a wide range of subjects and risking his life in ways the infidels could never imagine.But more importantly, it meant doing nothing against the enemies of his faith for five long years. Samman Bin Saqr was a man of belief whose whole life had consisted of sacrifice, but even he was not immune to the temptations of glory. It had proven impossible at first to obtain the materials he wanted, and several times he had nearly changed direction to execute a lesser plan.But he had not. Obstacle after obstacle had been pushed away. Allah had overseen and blessed all, in the end supplying the most coveted ingredients through the greed of the French and the idiocy of the Russians.After five years of labor, Samman Bin Saqr was nearly ready. But as the project drew close to fruition, he had begun to consider its consequences on a deeper level. From the start, the plan had called for his demise; it seemed fitting and fair that he should reach paradise as a reward for his struggles. But his death would necessarily bring the end of his organization and the scattering of its abilities.Was he not being selfish, he wondered, to choose this moment to die?To reach heaven would truly be wonderful--yet even he realized that his blow would not end the struggle with the West. On the contrary, as Bin Laden himself had taught, itwould only provoke them. It would take many such provocations until the final war began; at that point, and at that point only, would Allah assure victory. Did Samman Bin Saqr, whose plan would prove his greatness as an agent of the true Lord, not have a duty to see the battle further?After much prayer and thought, he had realized that the answer was yes. And after further consideration, work, and prayer, a solution had been found. He had now only to test it.Assuming that he could overcome his fear. Samman Bin Saqr had jumped from airplanes five times before, but never from this height in the darkness of the night. Nor had he had to pass through such a tricky and potentially deadly slipstream.His engineers had solved the problem of the howling, wrathful wind by building what amounted to an extendible tube or funnel that could expel him past the fuselage. It had been tested twice, and it worked, but Samman Bin Saqr reserved the final test to himself--it was necessary, he felt, so that he would not be surprised when the time came.He felt the plane vibrating, then saw his hand shake. To calm himself, he thought of his place in paradise.Then, still waiting for his copilot to give the signal, he pictured the American paradise covered with radioactive dust, a ghost town filled with the walking corpses, rendered unusable and unlivable for centuries to come. He heard the cries of his enemies, felt their anguish, and was at peace."Now," said the copilot.In the hushed howl as the wind kicked through the apparatus, the word sounded as if it came from God Himself. Samman Bin Saqr pushed the lever and left the plane, plunging through the whirling vortex into the dark night.Copyright © 2004 by Larry Bond and Jim DeFelice
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