Psychic Warrior: Project Aura

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Overview

Mind control is only the first step...
World domination is the next...

Bright Gate. HAARP. Remote Viewers. U.S. military operations so top secret that not even the president knew they existed. Now they have produced an elite group of commandos able to leave their bodies — and their souls — to fight anywhere, anytime, using the devastating power of the human mind.

Sergeant ...

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Overview

Mind control is only the first step...
World domination is the next...

Bright Gate. HAARP. Remote Viewers. U.S. military operations so top secret that not even the president knew they existed. Now they have produced an elite group of commandos able to leave their bodies — and their souls — to fight anywhere, anytime, using the devastating power of the human mind.

Sergeant Major Jimmy Dalton is one of them. An ex-Green Beret, a man with no family, no ties, and nothing to lose, Dalton believes that the most dangerous weapon in any arsenal is the mind.

Among the first Psychic Warriors to be battle tested on the virtual plane, Dalton has seen up close the damage and destruction that the new weapons can cause. The memory will haunt him the rest of his days.

But for Dalton, for all of us, those days are numbered. A psychic cabal called the Priory is striking without warning, killing without mercy, aiming for world domination. And infiltrating the Psychic Warriors themselves....

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The author of the reader-pleasing Area 51 series strikes again.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440236269
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/7/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Sergeant Major Jimmy Dalton stood astride the Continental Divide, just south of Rollins Pass, with a wooden box containing his wife’s ashes in his backpack. Far to the east, through the mountains and hills he had just driven up, he could just barely see the high plains of eastern Colorado, a brown and golden flat haze fifty miles away. To the west, more white-capped mountains stretched as far as the eye could reach.

He was a solidly built man, as sturdy as the pines below that took the brunt of the wind coming off the high peaks. His face was weathered and his short, dark hair liberally sprinkled with gray. He wore camouflage fatigues, a Special Forces patch on each shoulder, the left indicating current assignment to a Special Forces Group, the right combat service in the past with the same unit.

He’d left his Jeep just before Needle Tunnel where the dirt road that followed the old railroad bed was blocked by large boulders. From there he had hiked upward. The divide was his favorite place, and the green valley below had been Marie’s favorite. They’d found it shortly after the 10th Special Forces Group — and Dalton with it — was moved from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to Fort Carson, Colorado, during a round of base closings.

They’d driven up into the mountains on a fall weekend. Dalton had noticed the small sign indicating Rollins Pass on the side of the Peak to Peak Highway and turned onto the dirt road. It was something they often did, taking new roads to see where they might lead.

Marie had fallen in love with the valley, the hills on either side sprinkled with aspens just turning. Dalton had been fascinated with the rail line, which ended at Moffat Tunnel, the highest railroad tunnel in the world. Even more intriguing to him was the old railroad bed that wound its way two thousand feet higher, over the Continental Divide, where the original rail line from Denver to Salt Lake had gone before the Moffat Tunnel was built. Nearby were piles of weathered timber, the remains of a three-mile-long shed that had been built over the rail line over a hundred years ago to protect it from the snow that covered the ground here three quarters of the year.

The wind was out of the west, piercing his Gore-Tex jacket with icy needles of cold. The leathery skin on his face felt the bite of the late fall air, but he had been in such extremes of weather throughout his military career — from the brutal heat of the Lebanese summer to the freezing of a Finnish winter — that he took little notice. He’d driven above the tree line two thousand feet below. The terrain at this altitude was rock strewn with patches of snow even at the height of summer. A few stunted bushes struggled to grow among the stone and snow.

Marie had always laughed at his wonder that at this exact location two drops of rain or two flakes of snow less than a foot apart on either side of the Divide would end up in oceans three thousand miles apart. Her laughter had been one of the many things he had loved about her. The last time they had come here together, as the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was just beginning its deterioration of her body, they had both known she would never be able to make the climb. They’d simply sat in the Jeep and looked out over the countryside, a thousand feet short of the Divide. It was a bittersweet memory, the beginning of the end.

He grimaced as he took the small backpack off his right shoulder, the pain from the bandaged wound in his left shoulder a sharp reminder of recent events. He set the pack down and unzipped it. The only thing inside was a small teakwood box. Carefully he took the box out. Protecting it from the wind with his body, he carefully opened the lid and removed a faded letter from an insert on the top. The paper was thin and worn, the creases sharp from years of being carried.

Washington, D.C.
July 14, 1861

Dear Sarah,

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow, and lest I should not be able to write you again I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I am no more.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution.

And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government and to pay that debt.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break. And yet my love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield.

The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me. And I feel most deeply grateful to God, and you, that I’ve enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes and future years when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and see our boys grown up to honorable manhood.

If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish, I have sometimes been. But oh Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I shall always be with you in the brightest day and the darkest night. Always. Always.

And when the soft breeze fans your cheek it shall be my breath. And the cool air at your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me. For we shall meet again.

Sullivan Balue

Tears rolled down Dalton’s face, as they did every time he read the copy of the letter. Even though he knew the words by heart, he read them again, just to see the handwriting, to bring back the memories. Marie had sent him a copy of the letter when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. She’d sent it with every letter she wrote, hoping one of them would get through, knowing that it would touch his soul. It was written by a Union officer from Rhode Island to his young wife a week before the Battle of the First Bull Run. He was an officer who was killed in that first major battle of the Civil War.

Marie knew Dalton had always had a fascination with the War Between the States, brother against brother in savage fighting. A war with many causes, some noble, some not so noble, but still in Dalton’s opinion a good war — as good as any war could be — given the root issue of slavery. A good war — Dalton shook his head. He wished he had served in a good war, but he doubted he had. Even in the Civil War the soldiers had been the ones to pay the price of the folly of those who led them. The vast majority of Southern soldiers were poor farmers who didn’t own slaves; in the Northern army, the rich bought their way out of service, hiring the poor to replace them in the ranks. The cause may have been noble, but the methods weren’t, and it was the foot soldier who paid the price.

Decades earlier, Dalton had been held prisoner of war for five years in the Hanoi Hilton, and Marie had waited for him then, as she had during all the subsequent deployments. He’d fought in El Salvador, Grenada, Lebanon, Somalia, and Iraq. And now, most recently, the strangest battle of all, as a Psychic Warrior assigned to the highly classified Bright Gate project. He had helped destroy a rogue Russian Psychic Warrior who had threatened the world with nuclear destruction. In the end, it had turned out as all previous battles had, with man against man, face to face.

Even this last fight, though, had been bittersweet. He had lost most of the team he had led, and the opponent, a Russian named Feteror, had turned on his own country due to the barbaric treatment he had endured, being enslaved to a computer, his body surgically whittled down to the mind and little more. When Dalton had learned the true nature of Feteror’s condition, he’d had a greater understanding of the Russian’s actions.

There was another aspect to the letter, though, that had been an integral part of their marriage — their inability to have children. They’d been tested many times over the years, and it always came down to the fact that injuries Dalton had received during torture while being held prisoner had removed his ability to father a child. They had discussed adoption, but with all his deployments it had never seemed like quite the right time and the years had gone by. He felt as if he had taken everything from Marie and given her little in return.

Dalton turned his face to the east, toward the valley she had loved, the letter in his hands. “I never thought you would be gone first,” he whispered.

He kicked a rock, sending it tumbling down the scree and boulders to the west. Anger stirred, followed by guilt. And then something else touched his mind, the gentlest of touches, like a single snowflake landing on warm skin and vanishing quickly. It was so brief he wondered if it had been real.

Dalton closed his eyes. The wind gusted. He folded the letter and slipped it in the lid, then picked up the box. The strange feeling came again, stronger, and this time he had no doubt. Thirty-two years of marriage, even with all his deployments, had built a bond between him and his wife that not even death could completely sever. He’d felt this before, when he was being held prisoner in Hanoi. And he had seen her spirit, her essence, when he visited her in the hospital while operating on the virtual plane as a Psychic Warrior. He had let her go then, let her out of her misery.

He could sense her again. She was here.

Sergeant Major Dalton opened his eyes and smiled, guilt and anger forgotten. “Marie, I feel you.”

He opened the lid and the wind took the ashes, blowing them out over the valley. He watched them until there was nothing left to see.

“I’ll always love you.”

Dalton turned to leave, but paused as something else touched his mind. Marie, once more. He was puzzled for a moment, not quite understanding. Then he realized she was warning him. Of treachery and betrayal. He stood still for several minutes, hoping there would be more, but all he felt was the wind. He shivered, then pulled the collar of his jacket up around his neck and headed toward his Jeep.

It was already dark over the East Coast of the United States while the sun set on Jimmy Dalton as he drove down from the mountains. The deep blue of the water off Florida’s east coast was far removed from the white snow of the Rocky Mountains.

Slicing through that water, the United States Coast Guard cutter Warde kicked up a phosphorescent wake. With a ten-person crew and a length of eighty-two feet, it was one of the Guard’s smallest patrol boats, but more than adequate to handle the tasks that confronted it. The crew was experienced at their job and knew the waters between Florida and the islands off its east coast quite well. There were two main types of incident they dealt with — refugees from Cuba and drug runners from South America and the islands in the Caribbean.

In the small bridge set back from the ship’s main armament — a twenty-five-millimeter cannon — Lieutenant JG Mike Foster stood just behind the helmsman, scanning the surrounding ocean through night vision goggles. The lights on the control panels were dimmed so that they wouldn’t interfere. He turned as a bright green glow almost overloaded the light enhanced in the goggles. His radar operator — Rating Second Class Lisa Caprice — had lifted her head up from the eyepiece.

“Target, bearing two eight zero degrees, range five thousand meters, sir.”

“Size?”

“Looks like a forty footer. No beacon.” She put her head back down and peered into the eyepiece.

Foster shifted the goggles in the direction she had indicated. “Heading?”

“Also along the coast, heading north, sir.”

There was nothing out there that he could see. At five thousand meters he should be able to easily pick up the ship’s lights with the goggles, which amplified ambient light.

“She’s running dark,” Foster informed his bridge crew. “Wake up the off-shift. I want everyone on station.” He ordered the helmsman to make for the other ship.

Foster grabbed the radio handset. “Unidentified vessel, this is the United States Coast Guard cutter Warde. Please stand by and prepare to be boarded. Over.”

He waited but there was no response.

“Range four thousand meters,” Caprice said.

Foster could see the other ship now, a darker object against the black ocean. An expensive pleasure yacht with sleek lines, cutting through the water, all running lights out. He picked up the handset, but as soon as he clicked the Send button, a burst of static came out of the speakers.

“What the hell,” Foster muttered. He switched frequencies, then moved to another radio and picked up the handset for the satellite radio.

“Key West CG station, this is the Warde. Over.”

Warde, this is Key West. Over.”

“We are in pursuit of an unidentified vessel that refuses to respond to our hails.” He then gave his location and heading, and his headquarters in Key West acknowledged. “We seem to have strong interference on our FM bands,” he added.

He picked up the other handset and tried once more, but the result was the same. He tried to raise his headquarters in Key West again, but the radio couldn’t break through the wall of static that had descended upon them.

“Could they be jamming us?” he asked his electronics specialist.

“I haven’t heard of anyone doing that,” Caprice said. “But you never know what these people will come up with next.”

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2003

    Excellent 2nd Story, However...

    Loose ends from the first 'Psychic Warrior' book get answered. Unfortunately, where this book ends leaves a WHOLE lot of openings to a third novel (or more). Almost all the questions from Book One get answered. 'Almost' because ya just never know what will happen in the virtual world. It does help to read the first book before this one, even though there are recaps of what was previously discovered and introduction of new characters. The writing is good. There are several 'page turning' chapters that make you want to keep reading. Excellent action sequences Hopefully, there are plans for a third book in this series; I don't know if there are or aren't. Otherwise, you'll think you've been watching the 'Matrix' trilogy and will be scratching your head wondering what was that all about when you finish 'Project Aura'

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting military science fiction thriller

    Sergeant Major Jimmy Dalton has been with the military during the bad (Viet Nam War), the Good (Reagan and Bush I administrations), and the ugly (Carter). Over the years, he has fought heated battles and psychic wars. However, he has just faced his most difficult combat ever in the mountains of Colorado: saying goodbye to his now deceased beloved wife. <P>Dalton realizes he has no time to really mourn because his country needs him once again. The psychic warrior learns he must battle on a virtual plane the deadly Priory. This group of psychics has combined forces with their goal being a world oligopoly controlled by them. Only Dalton and his team stand in their way, but his side has a mole ready to sell them out to the enemy. <P> PSYCHIC WARRIOR: PROJECT AURA, the sequel to PSYCHIC WARRIOR, is an exciting military science fiction thriller that takes war onto a totally different plane. The story line is exciting as the virtual war heats up around the globe and governments are as criminal and cold as the cabal is. However, with the exception of Dalton and his memories of his wife, the rest of the cast, especially the Priory members, seems more like Manga cartoon characters so readers could not care less what happens to them. Fans who enjoy an in your face (mind) action packed thriller will welcome Robert Doherty¿s terrific tale. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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