Proof Through the Night: A Supernatural Thriller

Proof Through the Night: A Supernatural Thriller

by Toby Quirk

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Overview

A board of depraved billionaires, called the Directorate, has masterminded all the mass shootings in America and brainwashed thousands of doctors, professors, and politicians. Driven by a perverted patriotic zeal, they now control all the nation’s most influential institutions.

Their deranged strategies have exploded into a violent battle where demons and thugs clash in deadly combat against angels and heroes for the soul of America.

If Sandy Baker's band of commandos loses the battle, the nation will never again enjoy its lost moral dignity. If she wins, truth will prevail over the hidden source of chaos that enrages all true patriots.

Proof Through the Night offers hope to an outraged generation by revealing the unseen powers bent on destroying this sweet land of liberty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595559128
Publisher: Elm Hill
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Toby Quirk, Lt. Colonel, US Army, (Ret.) is an ordained minister, author and speaker. He lives with his wife, Linda, north of Boston.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Akebe Cheron prayed into the somber grayness above the Pacific Ocean. "My Lord Ogoun, master of the darkness, grant me patience to deal with these inferior underlings. They exist in blind ignorance of you, my god. I give you thanks for overseeing our master plan to shape America into a herd of mindless sheep. I am eternally grateful to you, Ogoun, for enlisting me as chairman of the Directorate, endowing me with your black power and secret wisdom. As my board of directors travels to my yacht today, I ask that your mighty hand would hover over our world-shaping deliberations. Amen."

"Samuel," Akebe shouted across the expansive deck of his 100-meter superyacht, Medusa, "get over here and clean this up."

The deckhand quickly bagged up the remains of the chairman's pig sacrifice to his Voodoo God.

* * *

Old Gabriella watched the sand crab desperately try to escape from the seagull's beak, slashing his pinchers at the gull's eyes.

"Mr. Crab, for nine decades I've watched your ancestors struggle to escape seagulls' clutches. You are not going to win this one."

The Atlantic had calmed down from last night's spring rain. Gabriella felt the gentle rhythm of the ocean lapping against the granite shelf below her ledge where gulls dined on sand crabs all summer. She set her face to the soft breeze. Her thick black hair danced on her shoulders.

"Up you go, Mr. Crab," she said.

The seagull soared into the soft morning twilight with the flailing crab in her beak. At the perfect altitude, she let it fall and smash open on her rock table. The gull swooped gracefully down to her breakfast. She turned one of her black eyes in Gabriellas direction.

"Most coastal folks consider you a troublemaker, dear bird, and I'm sure all the crabs think you're evil. But you and I know you're one of the Master's fine creatures. Enjoy your breakfast. I'm receiving another assignment."

Gabriella stared at the glimmering horizon and listened. "Protect Anna Stone" said the voice.

"Let me see how I can stop these evil murderers one more time"

* * *

Akebe watched Donald Snow pilot his seaplane through the white shroud of cloud cover to Medusas starboard boarding platform. He grinned as the pudgy director of Weather and Agriculture waddled up the gangway.

"Greetings in the name of American excellence," said Akebe.

"Hello Akebe; great venue," said Donald.

The two men shook hands and Akebe offered Donald a scotch.

"No ice, Akebe, just neat. Thanks"

Donald Snow: pudgy, white, and bald was the physical opposite of Akebe Cheron, a full-blooded Nigerian from the Yaruba tribe, tall, raven-skinned, and muscular.

"So, Akebe, how goes the vetiver empire? How fascinating that your Haitian grass generates such substantial profits."

Akebe inspected Donald's face for traces of sarcasm. "Western culture cannot satisfy its lust for luxury, my friend. Perfumers and their overindulgent customers can't get enough of my rare fragrant vetiver oils. The prices of perfumes like Le Labo's Santal 33 and Ermenegildo Zegna's Florentine Iris keep soaring.

"Here comes Olivia" said Akebe over the thundering clack of helicopter blades. "Frances O'Donnelly flew in with her"

* * *

Doctor Anna Stone put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, dried her hands, and called upstairs to her husband and daughter. "I'm taking off now."

"Okay, bye," said Paul.

Anna's mouth bunched up when she was perturbed. "Hey, you guys forget something? I said I'm leaving the house now."

Paul appeared on the landing with Melissa perched on his hip. "Mommy wants her kisses," he said.

He made his way downstairs. "Oh, I forgot to tell you something your daughter said yesterday."

"What?" said Anna.

"So we're picking up the clothes from church. Four boxes of stuff from the clothing drive, right?"

Melissa twirled her little pink finger in her father's ear.

"Cut it out, kid."

The four-year-old grinned at her mother.

"Anyway, we put the boxes in the van, right? And deliver them to Salvation Army. I strap the kid in her car seat and guess what she says?"

"Can't imagine."

"She says, 'Daddy, are we thieves'?"

Anna looked at her little cherub, shook her head, and laughed. "Where do you get this stuff?"

Paul leaned over. He took the left cheek, Melissa took the right, and they gave Anna her kisses.

"I'll see you tonight."

* * *

"My god, that helicopter makes a racket," said Donald.

Olivia Kingston, director of Food Production, piloted the AW119 to the yacht's helipad, cut the engine, and climbed out of the cockpit.

"Yes," said the chairman, "and my crew has to secure the deck furniture or the downwash scatters everything into the ocean."

"Greetings, ladies," said Akebe, "in the name of American excellence."

"Frances, our director of Education Control, how good to see you," said Donald.

"Hi, Donald, Akebe. Quite the boat," said Frances.

Akebe handed each lady a glass of Chablis. "Thanks," said Olivia, her khaki shirt, slacks, and aviator sunglasses somehow incompatible with her New England patrician visage. "Akebe, what a grand vessel."

"100 meters of pure luxury," said Akebe. "I could live out here indefinitely. But we have important work to do on the continent, eh?

"Ah, must be our director of Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals," said Akebe, looking over the port side to the northeast where a high-performance motor yacht approached. "He'd be sailing from Puget Sound — Romano Goldstein."

"And another boat to the southeast. Look at those beautiful sails," said Frances.

"Okay," said Akebe, "all present and accounted for. That's Randal Sanford, our director of Business and Finance."

In a few minutes, the six billionaires who formed the Directorate's executive board assembled on the bridge.

"My crew will show you to your staterooms. Make yourselves comfortable. Chef Gerard will serve us a sumptuous dinner in the saloon at sixteen-hundred before our meeting," said Akebe. "Do not discuss any Directorate business until we get to the saloon. My security team has shrouded that room with security measures that protect our highly classified conversations from prying eyes and ears, all right? See you all at four."

* * *

Anna cruised through her hometown of Cabot, Arkansas, and swung up the onramp to Route 167 South toward North Little Rock. Winter was all through with Arkansas. For the first time since November, Anna opened the Camry's moonroof, pressed the buttons to lower the windows, and let the spring air ruffle her long auburn hair. Willie Nelson's version of Uncloudy Day blasted out of the new Kenwood sound system Paul installed for her birthday. Traffic was light on Anna's familiar commute to North Little Rock.

About a half mile before her exit onto Kiehl Avenue, Anna saw a ragged mother ahead sitting on the guardrail cradling a baby in her arms. What the heck? Anna clicked off the music. She pulled into the breakdown lane, stopped the car, and jogged back to see if she could help the woman when the shock wave knocked her on her face before the explosive roar reached her ears. She flew into the air and smashed hard onto the pavement. Shards of asphalt and concrete dust fell all over her back. Still conscious, Anna inspected her skinned palms, elbows, and knees. The woman and baby had disappeared.

* * *

Akebe's crew set up the saloon as a combination boardroom - dining room. At four o'clock, each member of the board sat comfortably in leather seats with wine glasses and an array of appetizers before them on the thick glass table.

"I suppose we must wait for Randal," said Romano Goldstein, "late as usual."

"Please," said Akebe, his Haitian accent barely perceptible. "Tell the waiter your wine preferences and enjoy some hors doeuvres. I particularly like the seared steak lettuce cups."

"Akebe," Frances O'Donnelly said, "I have a quick question while we're waiting."

"Yes, Frances."

"As far as I know, we never resolved the question about these radical Muslim groups in the Middle East — ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the others. Are they in any way affiliated with us?"

Akebe nibbled on his doeuvres. He looked up at Frances, knowing how strategically her mind worked.

"Frances, we must consider ISIS and the fifteen other radical Islamist groups who are working toward a worldwide Caliphate as long-range competition. However, as you know we've used their publicity as cover for our operations. Over half of our assassinations have appeared to be the work of radicalized Muslims."

Frances nodded and laid a piece of brie on a cracker. "Right. Thanks."

"Glad you could join us," said Romano to Randal Sanford as he took his seat.

Akebe ignored the adversarial body language between Goldstein and Sanford. He filled his wine glass with pinot noir, lifted his glass, and said, "A toast to American excellence."

"To American excellence," the Directorate's executive board repeated.

Chef Gerard announced the menu, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present: glazed salmon with pineapple salsa, green beans, rice pilaf, assorted breads, and sorbet for dessert, along with several wines."

After the meal, the cigars, and snifters of Remy Martin all around, Chairman Akebe Cheron began the official proceedings with their organization's pledge.

"Let us stand."

All stood and recited, "We are the Directorate. We humbly accept our role as the overseers of the free world's institutions, and where necessary we will carry out our duty to prune out those hindrances that prevent the healthy advancement of the American culture. Duty. Honor. Oversight. Always loyal to the Directorate." They took their seats.

Each executive poured over the spreadsheets from the operations center. The successful entries were highlighted in green, the failures in red. Alarmed at what they were reading, they murmured their surprise and looked at Akebe.

"Tonight we decide if our current operations officer, Andrew Johansen, lives or dies. You have seen the monthlies. In the last month out of seventeen attempts, only two succeeded at removing an obstructionist. So, directors, tonight you will present two items: first your reports on your areas of expertise, then state your position on Johansen's termination. I'll go first, then around the table to my right."

* * *

Andrew Johansen, the Directorate's operations officer, leaned back in his black graphite ergonomic office chair, eyes glaring at the six-foot, high-definition screen on the wall above his operations console. He kept playing the North Little Rock explosion over and over searching for Anna Stone's red Camry, but no matter how many times he analyzed the video, he could not see any vehicles crossing the bridge on Highway 167 when his explosion went off.

Then he widened the view and there it was, Anna Stone's car. It was stopped by the guardrail fifty feet away from the smoking crater. He ran the recording again and saw his target lying on the pavement, covered with grey dust.

"Maybe I got her," he said.

Andrew zoomed in on Anna's prone form. He leaned forward and peered into the big flat screen above his console. Are you dead? Are you dead? Please, be dead.

"Oh, crap. You're moving. You're alive. You're getting up. Why can't you just die like you're supposed to?"

Andrew banged his fists on the console. He put his hands against his temples and leaned his elbows on the countertop.

Despite his fury at the blown assassination attempt, Andrew still remembered to post the false notifications on the internet giving ISIS credit for the bridge explosion in Arkansas.

"Got to be some explanation."

Something went wrong again. He flicked the space bar on one of his keyboards activating a spreadsheet listing all current operations. In the last five weeks, only two of seventeen hits were successful. All six of his squads had at least two failures. Bravo and Echo Squads had three each and Delta Squad now had three failures, including this one.

So far Andrew was able to lay the blame on his squad leaders, but now he was sensing a need for a more definitive strategy to deflect responsibility away from him. In this risky line of work, the consequence for poor performance was terminal, literally.

One of the phones on his console buzzed. It was Bubba Whiting, the leader of the operational unit in charge of Anna Stone's assassination.

"You messed up, idiot," Andrew shouted into the phone.

"I don't ignite the charge, Andrew, I just identify the target and place the explosives. And as you can see I did an excellent job," Bubba said, his voice not displaying the slightest concern. "Stuff happens."

"I'm going to put this to you in terms your Neanderthal mind can absorb, Bubba. Your squad has failed three attacks in a row. Your earlier successes mean nothing in the face of all these failed attacks. America deserves better."

* * *

Akebe Cheron's eyes scanned each director's face for traces of betrayal as he reported on his ever-increasing control over senior governmental officials. He briefed the board on specific departments: Defense Department, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and all law enforcement agencies from the US Attorney General, the FBI, right down to police officers on the streets.

"I estimate an increase of our hypnotic control over government agencies from twenty-five percent this time last year to forty-two percent this year. Too slow for my liking. We gained the most control in the area of the White House. Today's president continues to advance a communist agenda, weakening our local police forces and ushering in an unprecedented era of chaos. The US military suffers from indecisive senior leaders who fall impotent to our hypnotic stream. Devoid of any coherent strategy, these DOD bumblers have infected the military culture with social experimentation rendering every US war-fighting unit nondeployable.

"The rest of my report dovetails with all your departments, since government now controls every aspect of American life. I will hold my comments on those specifics until after your briefings.

"Now about Andrew Johansen, our operations officer. Here's how we will proceed: Romano, since you trained and recruited Andrew, I will ask you to recuse yourself from the final vote, but your comments on his viability are most welcomed. I will have a vote on his continuation or termination when it comes time for that.

"I will say this: you can see from the reports there's a fly in the ointment, my comrades. You know where that expression comes from? Anyone?" Vacant stares from the directors.

"Well, if you illiterates knew your Bible you would recall Ecclesiastes, the tenth chapter, the first verse, and I quote, 'Dead flies make a perfumers oil ferment and stink; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor'" said the chairman.

"A fly?" said Olivia. "Whoever or whatever prevents our pruning operations from succeeding is more effective than a bug. Our system is broken. We need to examine every link in this chain and find out where the disconnect lies."

Randal Sanford agreed. His voice slurred from the wine, "There's a fly. A real aggressive, dangerous fly, and it has corrupted our systems. Some evil cockroach keeps attacking our operators."

Donald Snow asked, "What does our operations officer have to say about all these failures? Fifteen losses against two wins — pathetic."

"Finally, the right question," said Akebe.

CHAPTER 2

Bubba Whiting occupied his favorite table at the Generator Coffee House and Bakery on Shackelford Road in West Little Rock. He devoured his second piece, their famous chocolate walnut pie, and a cup of iced coffee. "Yeah, so what are you sayin, Andrew?"

"I'm not sayin' anything, Bubba — I'm doin'."

Bubba dropped his cell phone as the glass wall that separated him from the sidewalk exploded from the gunfire of three AR-15 automatic rifles. One round grazed his right shoulder and Bubba screamed, the pain searing his right side. He went to his knees next to two women who lay bloody beside him. He watched the three men in ski masks fire their weapons with grim smiles fixed on their mouths. Bullets zipped and cracked over Bubba's head. Then everything went black. He never heard them yell, "Allah Akbar," or saw them jump into the van they had stolen that morning and drive away before the North Little Rock S.W.A.T. team responded to yet another "Jihadist" mass shooting in America.

* * *

An urgent knocking at the saloon door.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Proof Through The Night"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lt. Colonel Toby Quirk.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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