The Fallen (Derek Stillwater Series #3)by Mark Terry
Twenty world leaders meet for the G8 Summit at the beautiful Cheyenne Resort in Colorado Springs. But an ugly plot lurks beneath the surface: a terrorist group, The Fallen Angels, plans to wreak havoc on the Summit.With the Secret Service, the FBI, Homeland Security, the military, and security from twenty different governments on-hand, shouldn't the resort be the safest place in the world?It seems impossible that a terrorist group could infiltrate the Summit. And yet they do. Within minutes, twenty world leaders are taken hostage, and Richard Coffee, the group's leader, makes his first demand: release twenty detainees from Guantanamo Bay, or he'll execute one leader each hour until his demands are met.Only one man can disrupt this plot. Derek Stillwater is that man.Working undercover as a maintenance man at the resort, Stillwater will wage war on the world's deadliest, most sophisticated terrorist organization, picking off the terrorists one by one-until he comes face-to-face with an evil force from his past, Richard Coffee, The Fallen Angel himself.
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By Mark Terry
Oceanview PublishingCopyright © 2010 Mark Terry
All rights reserved.
Lieutenant Charlie Walker tracked the van rolling down the road toward Checkpoint Delta through his M24 sniper rifle's scope. He had the crosshairs centered on the driver's head, finger caressing the trigger. Pow! he thought. Pow. Pow. Calm. Like target shooting. Not real flesh and blood. Not a person. Not a human being. Just a target. He rehearsed the kill in his mind. Two shots through the driver's head. Shift so he could watch the passenger jump out. Pow. Pick him off. Anybody in the rear? Shift to the right, catch them as they scrambled out of the back.
Wearing a ghillie suit, a Nomex flight suit camouflaged with leaves and brush, he hid on a hillside overlooking Cheyenne Hills, a sprawling five-star resort outside Colorado Springs at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. A member of the Colorado National Guard's 19th Special Forces Group, Charlie was invisible among the shrubs and underbrush that covered the slopes.
Darkness covered the hillside, the sun still blocked by the surrounding mountains. The thin Colorado air was cold for mid-June. At sunrise the temperature would jump dramatically. It would be damn near impossible to lay out in a ghillie suit in scorching eighty-degree sun. He wasn't looking forward to it. It would be a long, hot day. Already he was coated with a slick of sweat. His stomach grumbled. He had a peanut butter energy bar in his pocket and a canteen of lukewarm water. But he knew a cold six-pack of Coors was waiting for him when he was done.
He also had to pee. When this van passed through, he would crawl over to a stand of aspen and relieve himself. He had considered the aspens for his sniper nest, but it had a partially obstructed view of Checkpoint Delta. In the hot daytime sun, he might consider it, at least part of the time. The open sunlight would be brutal.
Charlie peered through AN-PVS 7B night vision goggles, everything glowing green. He slowly swiveled his rifle, tracking the vehicle, a red panel van. The National Guard manned checkpoints at strategic sites along all entrances to Cheyenne Hills in preparation for the G8 Summit. The summit officially began at ten a.m. with the arrival of twenty heads of state and their entourages. Checkpoint Delta was just west of Cheyenne Hills West, one of the fancy castle-like resort buildings on the west side of Double Mirror Lake.
The red panel van slowed to a stop by the checkpoint. Charlie focused the crosshairs of his rifle sights on the driver's-side door and waited. How many times tonight? Twenty? Thirty? A hundred? Over and over during the night he repeated the routine and nothing exciting happened. He didn't think it would. This G8 thing was a big, big deal. The Secret Service ultimately ran security, overseeing Brigadier General Frank Cole's command of the National Guard troops. From what Charlie could see, Cheyenne Hills was zipped up tighter than a plastic baggie.
Charlie had only two minutes to live.CHAPTER 2
Sergeant Sandy Kosell stepped around the barrier at Checkpoint Delta, holding up her hand to the approaching red panel van. A white sign on the door advertised Rowan & Ogilvie Spirits & Fine Wines. Traffic through the night had been sporadic, as expected.
Although they all knew the importance of security for this event, a part of her — the less professional part — thought this was boring. What terrorist would be crazy enough to try to attack an event like this? F14 fighter jets enforced a no-fly zone with a seventy-mile radius around Cheyenne Hills. Nothing larger than a blue jay was entering this airspace except for commercial flights into Colorado Springs Airport, and that was going to be shut down when the dignitaries flew in and out. Every road into the resort had multiple National Guard checkpoints.
Cheyenne Hills itself was crawling with Secret Service agents and Bureau of Diplomatic Security agents from the State Department. Her team even met a couple of Israeli guys, Mossad or something, and some spooky Russian agents with flat eyes and serious bad attitudes. There were leaders from twenty countries coming to this thing, and each one had a slew of their own security people.
She didn't think anything was going to happen here.
The van slowed. Kosell saw at least two men inside. She kept her M4 carbine ready as she cautiously approached the driver's side. Three of her fellow soldiers covered her back. Sandy had the laptop out, ready to double-check the van's security pass.
The doors opened and a man stepped out on the far side of the truck. She got the driver, the talkative one. Lanky, broad-shouldered, in black slacks and a lightweight windbreaker, his eyes snapped with energy and charm. A straw cowboy hat tilted at a cocky angle on his head. He seemed vaguely familiar to her, but she didn't know why. He was good looking in a bad-boy sort of way that she found appealing.
He grinned at her. "Hey, good morning." A touch of Texas laced his voice. "Are we in the right place? This Cheyenne Hills?" He laughed. "Like I don't know from all the other checkpoints. You're not gonna frisk me, are ya darlin'?"
Kosell relaxed. Just a good ol' boy who was a little stuck on himself. She smiled back, willing to play the game. "Only if you want me to, sir."
The Texan said, "Well, now, there are worse ways to spend the evenin' than bein' patted down by a pretty gal such as yourself."
Sandy felt herself relax even more. But something from her briefing popped into her head. Look at their hands. This guy's hands were tucked into the pockets of his windbreaker. And it was also a little unusual for people to actually get out of their vehicle. She straightened up, back to business.
"Sir, please —"
Both hands popped from his pockets. With a nonchalant toss he threw one object at her, the other over her head. The man on the passenger side of the van also flung something. She raised her weapon. The man spun so his back was to her. A massive flash of light, like being at the center of the sun, exploded around her with a sizzling pop. An acrid odor bit at her nostrils.
Disoriented, Kosell stumbled. Blind, but unhurt. "What —?"
Then she thought — flash grenade!
The last thing she felt was a silenced bullet exploding into her skull.CHAPTER 3
Lieutenant Charlie Walker watched the red panel van slow to a stop. The National Guardsman — a woman — walked forward, hand up. Even from a distance, he liked how she looked — oval face, blonde hair tucked under her helmet. Her three backup spread out a little bit so they could cover the vehicle. Doors opened on each side of the van and two men climbed out.
The guy on the driver's side looked casual, nonthreatening. Charlie kept the sights of his scope on the driver, just below the brim of his cowboy hat. Pow, he thought. Charlie moved his crosshairs directly onto the cowboy's chest and said, "pow" in a soft whisper.
The cowboy pulled his hands from his pockets. He tossed something directly at the woman, and threw something else behind her. On the other side of the van the other figure also tossed something. The rear doors of the van popped open and two, no, three figures —
A surge of adrenaline burned through Charlie's veins. Something was —
The world exploded in an electro-chemical flash. It was a silent flash from Charlie's distance, but that didn't matter. The night vision goggles he wore utilized infrared, heat, and light magnification. He was watching through the LM setting, the apparatus magnifying light intensity by hundreds of times. The flash of light turned his world into a green-white explosion that seared his eyes before the circuit breaker cut in and compensated.
In the brief explosion of distraction and blindness, the man in a matching ghillie suit, who had been silently stalking him for the better part of the last hour, leapt up and fired a silenced bullet into the back of Charlie's head.
The man rushed over and studied Charlie for a moment before he reached down and removed Charlie's radio set and whisper microphone. He focused his own goggles down toward Checkpoint Delta.
When the flash grenades exploded, the four National Guardsmen were momentarily blinded for about thirty seconds. An eternity as far as trained assassins were concerned. The two men outside the van and the four who leapt from the now-open doors raised their silenced assault rifles and ruthlessly gunned down the soldiers in an eerily soundless display of violence.
It took far less than thirty seconds.
Four of the assassins moved in an unhesitating, rehearsed manner, dumping the bodies of the guardsmen into their Humvee, which was pulled off to the side of the road. The four assassins wore identical camo and took up the post alongside the barricade, almost as if nothing had happened.
The leader of the assassins — the cowboy — said into his throat mic, "Check in by the numbers."
Up in the hills surrounding the resort, additional members of the group called in, confirming that they had taken out their snipers as well.
"One here. Cobra."
"Two here. Chacal."
"Three here. Vibora."
The assassin who had so deftly taken out Lieutenant Charlie Walker said, "Four here. Lobo."
Through his goggles, Number 4, Lobo, saw the cowboy — The Fallen Angel — nod in satisfaction and climb back into the panel van. A moment later he heard The Fallen Angel say, "First perimeter. On schedule."
Number 4, Lobo, began a slow crawl to a different location in his ghillie suit. He wanted to move a good distance away from the dead National Guard sniper. Nobody would see the body, the way it was camouflaged, but in the rising heat of the day it was going to stink and attract flies and maybe even vultures.
He considered a stand of aspen. Yes, that would work. A nice shady area.CHAPTER 4
The cowboy they called The Fallen Angel drove the van for Rowan & Ogilvie Spirits & Fine Wines along Pikesview Road and turned into the entrance to the Cheyenne Hills Resort. It was a sprawling, five-thousand acre complex surrounding a small lake split by a bridge. The main complex, The Cheyenne, was a meandering stucco castle, ten stories tall at its main tower. The leaders of the G8 — or G20, as the summit had become — would be living in The Cheyenne for the duration of the summit, scattered among its many wings and floors.
The Fallen Angel, who had been born Richard Coffee, grinned at that. They wouldn't be living long.
He didn't head over toward The Cheyenne, however. Instead he cut left and drove past the tennis complex toward Cheyenne Hall, the International Center, and Colorado Springs Hall. It was a three-building complex where the actual meetings of the G8 Summit would be held.
There was another roadblock. This one was manned by Secret Service. They all wore black camo, their MP5s and Uzis held loosely in their arms. One of the agents approached with a mirror held on a long handle so he could check underneath the vehicle for bombs. Another agent stepped forward with a German shepherd on a leash.
The lead agent, Larry Ferrigno, was a broad-shouldered, muscular man with a jowly face and blotched skin from too close a shave. Coffee watched his face, noting the habitual look of suspicion and skepticism. Remembering his research, Coffee knew he had to be careful with this one. Ferrigno was a pro, a dedicated patriot. The Fallen Angel had not found any obvious weaknesses or exploitable quirks in his life; at least none they could leverage in a relatively short period of time.
Ferrigno said, "Please step out of the vehicle, gentlemen."
The Fallen Angel and his partner, who was designated El Tiburón, clambered out. Ferrigno said, "You have your paperwork and identification with you?"
Nodding, The Fallen Angel handed it over to Ferrigno. Ferrigno rolled his shoulders as if to relieve tension as he looked over the credentials. "What's inside the truck?"
"What it says," The Fallen said. "Dom Pérignon, Krug, several cases of wine. They wanted extra, just in case."
Ferrigno nodded. "We were told about the last-minute order." He chewed on his lip, watching his team go over the truck. The agent with the mirror said, "Clear."
Ferrigno nodded. "How's it going, Matt?"
The agent with the German shepherd reappeared a moment later and shrugged. "Seems okay."
Ferrigno appeared relieved. "Okay. You're clear. Go around to the loading dock. The agent there, Vincent Silvedo, will walk you through security."
The Fallen Angel and El Tiburón climbed back into the van and drove toward the loading dock. "It worked," El Tiburón said. He was a dark-skinned man, Colombian, with a narrow face, thick mustache, and long-fingered hands as delicate as a girl's.
"Yes." The Fallen smiled. "Of course it did." He took off the cowboy hat, tossed it behind him and ran a thick-knuckled hand through his straw-colored hair. Of course it did.
The dogs couldn't sniff through a vacuum. The van was refrigerated. The refrigeration unit contained a compressor. Built into one end of the van was a heavy, steel compartment. In it were guns, C4 plastic explosives, detonators, ammunition, and gas masks. The compressor sucked the air out of the compartment, effectively sealing it.
After loading the gear into the compartment, they had washed down the interior of the van with bleach, then spilled several bottles of wine and champagne on the floor, mopped it out with detergent, rubbed in some oil and grease and mopped that out as well.
But the compartment was only part of their cargo. The champagne bottles themselves were even more important.CHAPTER 5
The Fallen Angel backed the van into the loading dock area. It was large enough to accommodate two full-sized semis side-by-side, with a loading platform at the back. Unlike many loading docks, it could be shuttered with rolling steel doors. He and El Tiburón climbed out and were met by Vincent Silvedo, the Secret Service agent. Silvedo also wore black camo and carried an MP5. The man looked like a walking muscle, his upper body a taut V that stretched his tight black T-shirt and vest.
"Any problems?" he asked, scratching at a bristly five o'clock shadow.
The Fallen Angel shook his head. Silvedo had been an easy recruitment — a combination of flattery and bribery. Hammering in on the man's vanity, his ego — passed over for two promotions, obviously they don't recognize your abilities, but we will, Vincent, oh yes, with us you'll rise to the top. And we'll make you rich in the process.
The Fallen Angel reached over to a control panel inside the truck and flipped a switch, cutting the power to the compressor. "We'll just unload things and you can point the way."
Silvedo's teeth flashed. "Excellent." He studied his notepad and scribbled something, then handed the paperwork to The Fallen. "Show this to Agent Bannister inside."
The two men unloaded the truck, moving the bottles of wine and champagne onto dollies. Once everything was properly loaded, Silvedo handed each of them a packet containing the black pants, shoes, white shirt and jacket of the catering staff. Richard Coffee and El Tiburón stepped into the van and quickly changed clothing while Silvedo kept watch.
Once dressed, The Fallen Angel knelt by the lockbox, turned a handle, waited a moment as the vacuum released and air hissed in. It opened with a sucking sound. The contents were in three crates labeled Dom Pérignon, but instead contained weapons and explosives. He removed the three crates and hauled them to a waiting dolly. He looked at Silvedo.
"Absolutely." Silvedo grinned. "This is going to be fun."
The Fallen Angel locked eyes with Silvedo, who instantly calmed down. In a low voice, The Fallen said, "Discipline."
The Fallen nodded. Had Silvedo been too easy? Had he overlooked something when he recruited him as a sleeper years ago? Too late now. But Silvedo wouldn't survive the day. He would make sure of it personally. "Very good," he said. "We'll see you inside."
The Fallen Angel tapped his throat mic. "Second and third perimeters breached. On schedule."
He and El Tiburón pushed their lethal cargo into the loading area of the International Center.
Excerpted from The Fallen by Mark Terry. Copyright © 2010 Mark Terry. Excerpted by permission of Oceanview Publishing.
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.
Meet the Author
Mark is the author of the Derek Stillwater series, which includes The Devil's Pitchfork, The Serpent's Kiss, The Fallen, and several standalone novels. He is a contributing essayist in Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads. When not writing, Mark practices guitar, lifts weights, bikes, runs, and studies Sanchin-Ryu karate, in which he holds the level of black belt.
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Be warned! Once you start reading Mark Terry's "The Fallen," you won't want to stop until the end. That's because this book is packed with action and I mean A-C-T-I-O-N. Terry sets the novel at the Cheyenne Resort in Colorado Springs, at the G8 Summit where twenty world leaders will be meeting. Before the summit begins, a terrorist group, "The Fallen Angels," is already picking off security forces and inserting themselves in their places. The group is led by Richard Coffee, a disenchanted former Army Special Forces operative who aims to secure the release of his comrades detained by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. Breaching the resort's inner security proves easy for The Fallen Angels since Coffee has recruited many of the G8 members' own security people to join his cause. And once inside, The Fallen Angels hold hostage the G8 leaders, threatening to kill one leader an hour until their demands are met. Meanwhile, Dr. Derek Stillwater, working undercover at the resort as a maintenance man, is the government's only hope for a good outcome. Stillwater specialized in biological and chemical warfare and counterterrorism in the Army Special Services and worked with Richard Coffee before Coffee's fall from grace. Long thought dead, Stillwater is very much alive, but does he have the smarts, strength, endurance and downright luck to pick off Coffee's men and end the siege? Author Terry's chapters are short, but the action is long in this gripping novel. He surprises readers with page-turning twists and turns. I found Derek Stillwater to be a world-class hero and I can only hope that Terry continues to tell his story. I highly recommend action junkies read this one. They won't be disappointed.
The story begins with a group of The Fallen Angels taking over a checkpoint to the G8 Summit, a gathering of the world's top leaders that are meeting at the Cheyenne Resort in Colorado Springs. It is the site of the G8 Summit where the world's top leaders are meeting. The Fallen Angels are terrorists who have plans of their own for the summit. The US military, FBI, Secret Service and Homeland Security are working together with the security groups of the foreign diplomats to make this event very secure but things do not go according to their plans. In steps Derek Stillwater, a former FBI agent who is now working undercover as a maintenance man at Cheyenne Resort. As such, he has pretty much free reign of the resort and knows all the nooks and crannies. He also knows the head of The Fallen Angels, Richard Coffee who manages to capture the 20 leaders within minutes of their arrival and demands that 20 detainees from Guantanamo Bay be released. Stillwater's girlfriend gets involved and proves quite helpful along with a former Russian acquaintance. Stillwater uses his knowledge of the enemy, the floor plan of the resort and his plain ingenuity to try to stop this plot. Terry has written a true thriller that has an intriguing plot filled with action and interesting characters. Derek Stillwater is a likable hero and I would love to read more books centering on him and his adventures.
It was a real page Turner that was hard to put down.
299 pages, and it was like a thrill ride! This was the first Derek Stillwater episode, so now I will have to read the others.
a very good read... I'll look for more Mark Terry books
Another great read in the series. Derek Stillwater comes off a bit like Superman but does have a common man spin on him that makes the book belivable. All in all a good read.
"The Fallen" by Mark Terry is a suspenseful novel that packs more action into its 279 pages than an entire season of the TV show 24 and whose hero, Derek Stillwater, is reminiscent of a less angry Jack Bauer. The G8 summit is getting ready to begin in Colorado Springs and with 20 of the world's leaders planning to be in attendance, no expense has been spared to make this gathering as safe and secure as possible. But despite all the precautions, a terrorist group called The Fallen Angels, manages to infiltrate the summit and take everyone hostage. The leader of the group, Richard Coffee, has agreed to kill one world leader every hour if his demands are not met and the FBI, Secret Service, US Military and Homeland Security are scrambling to come up with a plan to stop him. Luckily undercover agent Derek Stillwater is on the inside and has no desire to see his old foe win this round. Does one man have what it takes to stop an entire group of terrorists on his own? "The Fallen" is a thrilling roller-coaster ride from beginning to end with more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco. Mark Terry has created a likable and engaging hero in Derek Stillwater and, while this is the 3rd book in a series, it truly stands on its own as a highly entertaining, political action thriller that any reader would thoroughly enjoy.
The economic summit of the expanded G20 is being held at Cheyenne Resort in Colorado Springs. As expected security is extremely tight as the American agencies along with their counterparts from the other participating nations are everywhere insuring no terrorist incident occurs. However, in spite of the safeguards seemingly within seconds of the opening gavel, a group breaches security and takes hostage all twenty leaders and others. Led by Richard Coffee, the first demand is the freeing of twenty detainees from Guantomino Bay prison; for every hourly delay one of the leaders will be executed. There is little choice except to give into Coffee's demands. However, posing as a maintenance worker, undercover black ops agent Derek Stillwater is the last hope. His plan is to eliminate the enemy efficiently one at a time and effectively neutralize the adversaries until he meets his former compatriot Richard "The Fallen Angel" Coffee. The Fallen is an exhilarating thriller that grips the audience with the initial grab and though somewhat changes pace never let's go of the reader's attention. The story line is a fast-paced adrenalin rush, but ironically it is the debates between various leaders as to how to react to the terrorist abductions that makes the tale super. Thriller fans will want to read the Fallen who have legitimate complaints against their respective governments betraying them and ponder whether kick butt Cheney would say no negotiations with terrorists if he or one his family were the expendable hostages. Harriet Klausner
The G8 Summit is coming up and 20 leaders from around the world will be in attendance at it the Cheyenne Resort in Colorado Springs. Security is extremely tight, with multiple agencies trying to coordinate with each other. But someone with a grudge against the US plans to make it a summit that the world won't soon forget: the Fallen Angel. Formerly an operative for the United States, Richard Coffee has returned to get revenge with his band of intelligence outcasts, who are among the best in the world at what they do. What Coffee doesn't count on is the presence of an old friend turned foe: Derek Stillwater. Working undercover as a maintenance man at the resort, Stillwater is called into action when the Angels implement their plan to take over the summit and hold the leaders for ransom. It isn't money they want though; rather it's the release of all their fellow Angels from Gitmo. However, things change when Coffee's 2nd in command kills him and plans to release a biological weapon unless his new demands are met. Can Stillwater do what he has to stop this new threat or are the odds against him simply too much? The Fallen by Mark Terry is a very well done, albeit formulaic novel. The hero, Derek Stillwater, is your classic hero with a mysterious past about which few facts can be confirmed. Terry uses the familiar G8 summit as his backdrop and creates a sense of realism that few authors can match. Protests occur at nearly every international meeting of world leaders and the G8 summit is no exception. I think it is just a matter of time before something similar to the events in Terry's novel happens in real life. Of course, in the novel, the mysterious hero is already in place to beat the odds, save the girl and prevent disaster. Terry does a great job of creating a scenario that while very formulaic is still very interesting and engaging to read. I completed the novel nearly in one sitting and I predict many who pick up this book will do the same. I heartily give this book 5 of 5 stars.