SecondWorldby Jeremy Robinson
Lincoln Miller, an ex-Navy SEAL turned NCIS special agent, is sent to Aquarius, the world’s only sub-oceanic research facility, located off the Florida Keys, to investigate reports of ocean dumping. A week into his stay, strange red flakes descend from the surface. Scores of fish are dead and dying, poisoned by the debris that turns to powder in Miller’s… See more details below
Lincoln Miller, an ex-Navy SEAL turned NCIS special agent, is sent to Aquarius, the world’s only sub-oceanic research facility, located off the Florida Keys, to investigate reports of ocean dumping. A week into his stay, strange red flakes descend from the surface. Scores of fish are dead and dying, poisoned by the debris that turns to powder in Miller’s fingers and tastes like blood.
Miller heads for the surface, ready to fight whoever is polluting on his watch. But he finds nothing. No ships. No polluters.
Instead, he finds a cloudless sky full of red particles dropping like snow and coating the ocean with a thick film that stretches to the horizon. When a dead blue whale collides with Aquarius, Miller begins a harrowing race to escape the affected area. Cut off from the rest of the world and surrounded by death, Miller makes his way to Miami, where he discovers just one survivor and the awful truth: the strange phenomenon that robbed the air of its life-giving oxygen was an attack by an enemy reborn from the ashes of World War II. And they’re just getting started. Miami, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo have all been destroyed. Millions are dead.
And if Miller can’t track down and stop those responsible in seven days, the rest of the world is next.
- Brilliance Audio
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- 2.81(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.39(d)
Read an Excerpt
WEDNESDAY—AUGUST 8, 2012
The microwave door flew open and Rachel Carter reached her hand in.
The spoon, left in the bowl of oatmeal and heated along with the cardboard-flavored breakfast, had been shooting off blue sparks when she noticed it. Without thinking, she grabbed the spoon. A millisecond later, her mind registered the stupidity of her action, along with the searing heat. Her arm reacted quicker than her fingers, flailing backward. The spoon soared across the kitchen, weighted with expensive organic oats, and smacked against the stainless steel fridge, where both breakfast and spoon clung like Silly Putty.
Rachel turned on the tap and ran cold water over her pulsing index finger and thumb, her glare fixed on the spoon. It slid slowly toward the floor.
“You okay, Mom?” asked her ten-year-old daughter, Samantha.
Samantha walked past the fridge, paused, stepped back and looked at the spoon. She turned to her mother with an eyebrow raised. “Fine?”
Rachel forced a smile that communicated a single message: don’t ask.
Samantha shrugged and pulled a chair up to the counter. She climbed onto the chair, then onto the counter.
“Get down from there!”
“I made you oatmeal.”
“You’re gonna make me puke, too, if I have to eat that sludge.”
With two granola bars in hand, she jumped down from the counter, swung the chair back to the table, and began unwrapping the first bar. Jake, the younger of the two siblings, strode into the kitchen, still in his footie pajamas, which he wore most days. “One of the advantages of being homeschooled,” he was fond of saying. Samantha tossed him the second granola bar and they sat at the table, eating in silence.
Rachel sighed. She couldn’t complain. At least they were eating granola bars and not fast-food egg and sausage sandwiches—which she suspected her husband, Walter, had been sneaking on his way to work. Again. She looked at the microwave clock.
“Walter, you’re going to be late!” she shouted after noticing the time. He worked for a big downtown marketing firm and had a major pitch to make that afternoon.
Walter slid into the kitchen, moving fast. He opened the cabinet, reached up, and took down the granola bar box. Empty. “Ouch. Epic fail.” He looked at Rachel, who nodded toward the kids. Her grin said it all.
He took in their barely contained smiles. “Traitors!” He sighed. “I guess I’ll just get something on the way.”
“I’m sure you will,” Rachel replied, drying off her still-stinging finger.
Rachel stared intently at him, trying to convey her annoyance over his bad eating habits, without actually having to spell it out for him in front of the children.
Seeing her expression, Walter laughed. “I have no idea what you’re talking about! Now get out of my head, woman!” He grabbed his bag and headed down the hallway for the front door.
“Love you!” Rachel shouted as the door creaked open.
There was no reply.
No customary “Love you, too.”
No closing door.
No starting car.
She was about to go check on him when Walter slowly backed into the kitchen. He had his iPhone out and was tapping the screen madly. This wasn’t an uncommon activity, but the dire look on his face was far from normal. Rachel held her breath. The kids stopped giggling and watched their father.
“What is it?” she asked. “Did the job fall through already?”
Walter shook his head and kept on tapping. Then he stopped. “This is wrong.”
“What?” she demanded, growing worried. “Is the phone broken?”
He stared blankly down at the screen. “It’s happening everywhere—all over the world. Wait— Crap, I lost our Wi-Fi connection.”
“The 3G network is down, too.” He met his wife’s eyes. “It must be disrupting cell service.”
She took his face in her hands, willing his stunned eyes to meet hers. “Walter! What are you talking about? What is happening?”
He glanced toward the still-open front door. She followed his gaze and gasped.
The kids hopped out of their chairs to look.
“It’s snowing!” Jake shouted, running for the door.
“No!” Walter jumped forward and snagged his son by the sleeve. He looked at Rachel, his expression alarmed. “Close any open windows. Tape the seams. Use the duct tape.”
She nodded, feeling sick, and they both set off around the house, closing doors and windows. Samantha and Jake went into the living room, climbed onto the couch, and peered curiously out the bay window.
“Why can’t we go out?” Jake asked. “It never snows here. I want to play in the snow!”
“Dad says it’s not snow.”
Jake looked grumpy. “Well, how does he know?”
“Because, silly, snow isn’t red.”
Copyright © 2012 by Jeremy Robinson
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