The Omicron Legion (Blaine McCracken Series #4) [NOOK Book]

Overview

A mysterious league of elite assassins targets ninety-six of the most powerful people in America, and Blaine McCracken must stop them before the murderers bring the country to its knees
There are ninety-six names on the list. They are those of businessmen, judges, and senators—the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful. And they are all going to die. A man named Takahashi has hired the world’s finest assassins to eliminate these men in secrecy and style, crossing names off the ...

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The Omicron Legion (Blaine McCracken Series #4)

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Overview

A mysterious league of elite assassins targets ninety-six of the most powerful people in America, and Blaine McCracken must stop them before the murderers bring the country to its knees
There are ninety-six names on the list. They are those of businessmen, judges, and senators—the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful. And they are all going to die. A man named Takahashi has hired the world’s finest assassins to eliminate these men in secrecy and style, crossing names off the list without raising any suspicion. And they are killing ahead of schedule. But someone has noticed the pattern of these seemingly unrelated deaths, and she knows enough to call Blaine McCracken. Takahashi didn’t consider the rogue American agent, and that is a grave mistake. His carefully orchestrated vendetta is just the sort of thing that McCracken lives to upset. He has made a career teaching lessons to those who underestimate him, and Takahashi’s league of assassins is next. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Jon Land including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Land ( The Valhalla Testament ) launches a new cold war, this time with the Far East, in this fast-paced tale of revenge engineered by the Japanese heirs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Secret agent Blaine McCracken is called upon to uncover why a former American research compound in the middle of the Amazon jungle has been destroyed and how it was connected to a diabolical plot to assassinate 96 prominent U.S. citizens. McCracken, along with his comrades Johnny Wareagle and Patty Hunsecker, encounter 13 robotlike ``disciples'' that are part of the Omicron Legion trained to viciously avenge the deaths of the Japanese when the atom bomb was dropped. Eventually he learns that what started out as a Japanese scheme to ruin the U.S. economy has turned into an even higher-stakes battle, complete with plans for widespread destruction through the meltdown of America's nuclear power plants. Mind control, robotics, kidnapping and gruesome murders are some of the complex games facing McCracken and his cohorts as they travel from the Amazon to Washington, Rio and Japan in this first-rate suspense thriller. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453214619
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Blaine McCracken Series , #4
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 339
  • Sales rank: 111,754
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jon Land has written twenty-nine novels. His first series titles were the Blaine McCracken Novels, and he is also the author of the Ben and Danielle series and the Jared Kimberlain series. The first three books in his Caitlin Strong series—Strong Enough to Die (2009), Strong Justice (2010), and Strong at the Break (2011)—have all garnered critical praise with Strong Justice being named a Top Thriller of the Year by Library Journal and runner-up for Best Novel of the Year by the New England Book Festival. Pandora’s Temple, a 2012 McCracken novel, won the International Book Award for Best Thriller/Adventure, and was nominated for a 2013 Thriller Award for Best E-Book Original Novel. Land lives in Providence.
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Read an Excerpt

The Omicron Legion


By Jon Land

OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA

Copyright © 1991 Jon Land
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-1461-9


CHAPTER 1

BAILEY WAS WAITING when the limousine slid around the circular drive in front of the large house in Fairfax, Virginia.

"Good evening, ma'am," he said as he opened its right rear door,

The woman slid out, high heels first, her long legs and hips clad in tight-fitting black pants. "My, you're a polite one now, aren't you?"

Bailey squinted at her. "I don't believe I've seen you here before."

"Special order, lover. What the general wants, the general gets."

Bailey stiffened. "You've been briefed, I assume."

"This one'll go in the Guinness Book."

"Come this way," Bailey said, not bothering to hide the reluctance in his voice. He hated these nocturnal binges the general insisted he needed to maintain his sanity. He hated them, but never breathed a word of his contempt to the general. God, he revered the man, loved him. After all the general had been through in Nam, and with the tremendous responsibility he bore today, he deserved to indulge whatever idiosyncrasies he might have, no matter what anyone else thought.

Bailey had been there when the general had walked out of the jungle after escaping from a Charlie POW camp. He had served the general as he became one of the most powerful men in the Pentagon. Bailey held the rank of major, but he wore his uniform very infrequently these days, as did the general.

Bailey led the woman through the foyer and up the staircase that circled toward the second floor. She walked behind him, but Bailey was careful to keep her in his peripheral vision. He'd been a Green Beret long before shedding his uniform, and some things stuck.

On the second floor he stopped at the third closed door they came to. "This room leads directly into the study. The door is on the left side."

The woman winked at him. "Like I told you, I've been briefed, lover."

"I'll be outside the whole time."

"That's up to you."

"When he's finished with you, you will leave straightaway."

"Just the way I like it," the woman said, and disappeared into the room adjoining the study.

Bailey assumed the stance of his silent vigil, regretting he could not move far enough from the study to obliterate the sounds that would soon be emanating from within.

Inside, General Berlin Hardesty sat eagerly in his leather chair, two yards away from a thirty-five-inch television. He heard the woman in the adjoining room and raised the remote control device that lay upon the chair's arm. He knew the placement of buttons by heart, and went through the proper sequence without even glancing down. The first button turned the room to black, the second lit it a dull gray from the blank picture on the television. A third sent an unseen VCR whirling and brought the screen to life.

For all the technical wizardry, the quality of the television picture was notably poor. Grainy and hollow, too much contrast. The picture focused on a young woman lying naked on a bed of crimson sheets masturbating feverishly. The camera drew shakily closer to her, locked on her face.

The woman was Vietnamese.

General Berlin Hardesty's fists clenched briefly, then he groped for the pair of small headphones perched upon the other chair arm and fitted them over his ears. The sounds of her moaning filled his ears. Hardesty smiled in anticipation of what was to come.

Seconds later a pair of masked figures strode into the shot. Surprise filled the woman's face. They dragged her from the bed, where the camera followed them to a chair. The men thrust her naked form into the chair and strapped her arms and legs to it. The woman was still struggling. Her protests filled the general's ears through his headphones. The camera zoomed in on one of the masked figures whipping forth a knife, then panned to the bulging eyes of the woman who suddenly froze. Her screams must have been too much for the microphone because they dissolved into static at their crescendo.

The general's thoughts burned with visions of the past, of being tortured by the Vietcong during his six months as a POW. When he had at last escaped and emerged from the jungle, the memories of the pain had proven to be as real as the pain itself. Psychiatrists said he had to put it out of his head, to displace it on to something else. How right they were. The pain of others proved the only way to vanquish his own. And the pain of a Vietnamese—well, that transformed relief into ecstasy.

On the screen, the masked man sliced off the woman's right nipple. The sounds of her agony drove Hardesty to moan with pleasure. As if on cue, the door from the room adjoining the study opened, and the nude form of the woman emerged. She glided toward him, her path illuminated by the dull haze of the television. She took her position in front of the general and crouched down. The picture's dull light splotched over her as she slid her fingers over Hardesty's crotch and found his zipper. His hands were working through her dark hair now. He could not say whether she was Vietnamese or not. Close enough, though.

On the big screen, the woman strained agonizingly against her bonds as her left nipple was severed.

Hardesty gasped as the woman took him in her mouth. Onscreen the masked figure drew the girl's head back to expose her throat. Blood slid down from the right corner of her mouth. Terror and pain had silenced her rage, but her whimpers were delicious in the general's ears. The camera drew in to capture her pleading face, then pulled back to include the knife poised for its next thrust. Hardesty's hands dug into the head sliding back and forth over his groin.

Mira drew her hands upward, smiling to herself. Men were weak creatures, truly weak, so vulnerable to pleasure, so lost in it. This was the first of her allotted victims. How fitting that the kill would allow her to make use of the most special skills she had developed over the years.

And the special weapon.

She had gotten the idea watching a television commercial for artificial fingernails. A bit of glue, press on, and voila! Mira made her own, frosted the tips with melted steel, let them harden, and then filed them razor sharp. A glancing twitch to any major artery was all it would take.

Mira waited. She could follow the action on the screen from the general's responses. She knew his moment would mirror that of the blade being drawn across the throat of the Vietnamese girl.

It was all Mira could do to keep from laughing as her fingers of death crawled up his chest.

Hardesty watched the steel blade touch the throat of the woman on the screen. In his ears her final pleas emerged weakly, hopelessly, in that bastard language. Her breath would be rank with their awful food. Her skin and hair would smell of the oils of that filthy country.

Just like the guards. Just like the guards!

The general saw the knife begin its arc, saw the spurt of blood leap toward the camera. The woman's gasp filled his ears. His pleasure in that instant was so great that he felt only a slight twinge at his throat. In the next instant the screen was splattered with his blood, seeming to mix with the blood of the dying woman. Hardesty's last thought was to free the air bottlenecked in his throat. He realized the gurgle in his ears was his own, since the Vietnamese girl was silent. She stared blankly at him, just as he stared at her. Soon his corpse was lit only by the pulsing glow off the television screen, which had turned to static with the end of the tape.

Bailey didn't enter the study until he was sure he heard the sound of static. His key slid the deadbolt aside, and he opened the door and burst in. What he saw shocked and numbed him.

The general was sitting in his chair, blood pouring down his chest from the neat tear in his throat. His dead eyes bulged open. Bailey saw the open window. His soldier's mind took it all in, prioritized his actions. Using the phone on the general's desk was the first order of business. The woman was gone; she could only be found by marshaling forces that would lead to embarrassment and disgrace. The number he dialed had nothing to do with alerting them.

"Disposal unit required," he said. Coolly he provided the general's address.

"My God," he heard the voice mutter. "How many?"

"One."

"Stay on scene. Thirty-minute arrival time."

Click.

Bailey pressed the button only long enough to get a fresh dial tone. Things would get cleaned up; the general's good name and reputation would be preserved through it all. But the complications created by his passing could not be denied or ignored. Bailey knew what he had to do next. He calmly punched out another number.

"Section Twelve," a voice said.

"I need Baxter."

"One moment…"

"Baxter here."

"Do you know my voice?"

"Yes."

"I'm with the general. We're running at Code Seven."

"Oh…Christ!"

"Listen to me. You know what has to be done. Shred Omicron. Every file, every paper. It never existed. You hearing me?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then get to it, son…And don't fuck up!"

CHAPTER 2

CARLOS SALOMAO LEANED across the table. His eyes darted around the restaurant as he spoke again in a hushed voice.

"You must understand, Senhor McCracken. They would kill me if they knew I was meeting with you."

Blaine McCracken leaned across the table also, his arms nearly resting against those of the Brazilian. "Just who are they, Carlos? You haven't told me that yet, either."

"Não sei, senhor. I don't know…at least not for sure. It would be best if we start from the beginning."

"That means with Johnny. I want to know where the hell they've got him stashed."

"Please senhor. I must tell it my way."

Blaine shrugged and pulled back. "Muito bem. As long as you tell me first where I can find Johnny Wareagle."

Carlos Salomao's eyes continued to scan the nearly empty restaurant. Every time the door opened, his shoulders tensed and his spine arched. Meeting in downtown São Paulo had been his idea. McCracken had expected him to choose a spot where he felt more at ease. Unless there wasn't one.

"He is being held at a jail outside the city. We call it Casa do Diabo."

"The house of the devil?"

"Many years ago prisoners were tortured within its walls. It is just a jail now, though fear of it still discourages crime."

"If anything bad's happened to Johnny, I'll teach the jailers plenty about fear."

McCracken had flown into Cumbica Airport some two hours before, after a flight lasting more than half a day. He had returned from London to Maine early Thursday. His Thanksgiving at home was uneasy, with Johnny Wareagle nowhere to be found. The call from Carlos had come yesterday evening, Friday, with a shadowy explanation as to why the Indian hadn't been around as planned. Blaine had been able to make a Varig flight out of Kennedy Airport with a single stop in Miami. But if one hadn't been available, he had been fully prepared to charter a jet to make the trip.

Carlos Salomao did his best to look Blaine in the eye, but his eyes kept drifting—first to the unsightly scar running through McCracken's left eyebrow, then back in the direction of the front door.

"Senhor McCracken, your friend is in jail because Brazilian customs officials denied him entry into the country. He lacked a visa. They had no choice, but he took exception to their denial."

"By exception, you mean…?"

"Several of the police officers attempted to restrain him. He injured a number of them."

"Which doesn't tell me what he was doing down here in the first place."

"I sent for him, senhor, just like I sent for you."

"You sent for him? Just who the hell are you, Carlos?"

Salomao tried to smile and failed. "I am many things, much like you."

"What do you know about me?"

Salomao looked confident for the first time. "Before Vietnam or after?"

"Let's try after."

"Let's see…You spent the rest of 1972 in Japan and then joined the CIA. You led the covert U.S. assistance effort for Israel during the October Yom Kippur War of 1973, then remained in Israel until the early part of 1974. From there, you took part in activities in South America, Africa, Germany, and Italy. You were suspended from active duty following an incident of gross insubordination in London, 1980."

"Like to hear about it, Carlos? British feet dragging cost a plane load of people their lives. I decided to voice my displeasure by shooting the groin area of Churchill's Statue in Parliament Square. Won me the nickname 'McCrackonballs'."

"Senhor, I—"

"And yours are next on my hit list—unless you tell me how you happened to come by some supposedly classified information."

"I am in the information business, senhor. It is how I found your friend."

"Found him for who?"

"I am part Tupi Indian, senhor. I was born in the Amazon Basin. I left, but my roots remain strong." Salomao's lips quivered. "Just over a month ago, three members of my tribe vanished in the woods. Since then, the killings have continued. No matter what steps they take, no matter what defenses they erect, some nights one or two of my people disappear. Sometimes hunters go out during the day and never return. When they are found—what is left of them, that is—it is terrible, senhor. They believe a demon has risen from the underworld to punish them, a demon they call Ananga Teide, the Spirit of the Dead. They asked for help, but only a special person from outside the tribe would be trusted."

"Johnny Wareagle…"

Salomao nodded. "They accepted him as the living incarnation of Tupan, the Tupi god. He came down here to help, but he never got the chance to try. Now he is in Casa do Diabo—and there he will remain for a considerable time…without your help."

"And how do you expect me to bring this off?"

"With your influence perhaps. And if that falls short…" Salomao's shrug completed his thought.

"Yeah, bust him out so he can go up to the Amazon and finish what you called him down here to do. Thing is, I know he never would have told you or anyone else about me."

"Não. I was able to get a look at his passport. Your name was listed as next of kin."

Blaine smiled in spite of himself. "Close enough."

"I am responsible for this, senhor. It is a wrong I must right."

"Bullshit, Carlos. If you knew Johnny Wareagle at all, you'd know that he's not about to walk away from an unfinished job. He'll head straight for your Tupi tribe even if he has to plow through the whole Brazilian militia en route. And since you're so up on my file, you know that I'll be with him."

Salomao didn't bother denying it. "What I don't know, senhor, is whether the two of you will be enough."

São Paulo is a thriving, bustling metropolis, the center of Brazil's banking and commerce. By far the largest and most modern city in South America, it seems a combination of the pace of New York and the expanse of Los Angeles. Skyscrapers dominate the horizon in jagged concrete clusters, while below, the din of screeching brakes and honking horns are common sounds within the ever-present snarl of traffic.

Because of this traffic, the drive from the airport had taken an interminable sixty-five minutes. But the traffic was lighter leaving the city; eventually giving way to a freshly paved four-lane divided highway leading north to Atibaia. As the miles sped by, the modern look of the city gave way to simpler and more rural forms of construction. Whitewashed stone and terra-cotta replaced steel and glass as the dominant building base.

The jail Johnny Wareagle was being held in, on the outskirts of Atibaia, was rectangular in structure and three stories high. The building had the look of an old fort, except for the chain-link fence topped with barbed wire that enclosed it and the blacktop parking lot within. Blaine's papers were found to be all in order and, after a casual frisk revealed him weaponless, he was escorted down a long corridor. The walls smelled of must, mold, and age. McCracken figured the mere running of his finger across them would cause the years to peel back, layer by layer. He felt his nostrils clog with the dust filling the air and noticed that the loose-grouted floor tiles were producing a rattling echo underfoot. His escort opened the door to a small windowless room and told Blaine to enter.

McCracken did as he was told, but elected not to take one of the two chairs at a thick wood table. Except for these, the claustrophobic cubicle was barren.

Christ, Johnny. What the hell happened?

It made no sense, none of it. Johnny Wareagle was the most rational man Blaine had ever known, and their friendship stretched back over twenty years. Always, though, it was Blaine coming to Johnny, his mystical Indian friend, for help.

Until today. The tables had turned now. It was Wareagle who needed help, and Blaine was here to provide it.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Omicron Legion by Jon Land. Copyright © 1991 Jon Land. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
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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  • Anonymous

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    ~RadiantClan camp 2~

    For the cats that are locked out if result one.

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