Reign of Evil, the third installment in Weston Ochse's series starring the Navy SEALs who handle supernatural threats, with film rights optioned by MGM
Legend holds that when Britain is in its darkest hour, King Arthur will return to save the country, if not the world. That legend is dead wrong. When a Grove of Druids sacrifice the lives of a group of innocents, including the fiancée of a member of SEAL Team 666, the ancient king is brought back from the dead and sets his sight on subjugating humanity and cleansing his land of all who are not true Britons. Because of political sensitivities, Triple 6 is ordered to stand down, but that order is ignored by one of them seeking his own vengeance. Now, the members of America's elite supernatural-hunting team must decide what is more important: their orders or their loyalty to their own team member.
Film rights to the SEAL Team 666 series were optioned by MGM, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson signed on to star in the feature film adaptation!
About the Author
WESTON OCHSE (pronounced ‘oaks’) has won the Bram Stoker Award and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In addition to his previous SEAL Team 666 novels, his work has appeared in comic books and magazines such as Cemetery Dance and Soldier of Fortune. He is a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer and current intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He lives in Arizona within shouting distance of the International Border.
Read an Excerpt
Reign of Evil
A Seal Team 666 Novel
By Weston Ochse
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2014 St. Martin's Press LLC
All rights reserved.
22,000 FEET ABOVE MARANA AIRFIELD. NIGHT.
JUMPING OUT OF AIRPLANES INDICATES A SEVERE LACK OF BOREDOM was scrawled on the inside cabin of the plane in permanent ink. Jack Walker loved night jumps. In fact, it was his favorite part of being a SEAL. Sure, the free travel, the government rations, the shooting, the fun of getting your ass kicked by supernatural creatures you didn't even know existed held their own special places in his heart, but those were nothing like the feeling of leaping out into the blackness of the night sky and becoming one with the universe.
He stared down the hull to the open door. Red and green lights rested above it. Both were off. Outside was total black.
Sam Holmes, his commanding officer, was with him because it was time to recertify Jack for High-Altitude High-Opening jumps. Not that there was any doubt that he could do them — SEAL Team 666 had sure done their share of them lately — but with all free government food and travel came the necessity of paperwork.
Triple Six had experienced a much-needed rest over the last five weeks and Holmes wanted to make certain everyone was current in their certifications, so this week had been filled with glorious physical fitness tests, rifle and pistol range qualifications, medical exams, SCUBA re-quals, and HALO, HAHO, free-fall, and static-line jumps. Where regular military units made sure their equipment was battle ready, whether it be a tank or a ship or a plane, in the SEALs the men were the equipment.
Laws, YaYa, and Yank had been certified the previous evening. Jack would have joined them, but he'd had to appear in traffic court in Los Angeles to try to contest a speeding ticket on the 405. Not that he wasn't speeding; he was just hoping that appearing in his shiny dress uniform might earn some leniency from the hopefully patriotic judge. It had been a waste of time. Jack had been ordered to pay the full fee and received points on his license and wasted a day.
So much for patriotism.
Most important for Jack, once he recertified in HAHO he could go on some much-anticipated leave. Jen had gone to England a week early to spend time with an old college roommate from Bard. She planned on spending time with her friend now so that she and Jack could see the country together once he arrived. They still hadn't set a date for the wedding, but they were thinking about spending their honeymoon in England. This trip would serve as a reconnaissance to see if there was any place with which they might fall particularly in love. As Jen said, only a SEAL would recon his own honeymoon.
But that had to wait. Jack was already a senior parachutist and had almost enough jumps for master parachutist wings. Still, the U.S. Navy in all her wisdom wanted a checkmark on a list in a file. There was no other thing to do but comply.
Normally he'd conduct the jump with the other SEALs of Triple Six. HAHO in and of itself wasn't difficult once you learned and practiced, except for the sheer bulk of equipment, oxygen tank and mask. What was difficult was for all the SEALs to stay together so that they could hit the target simultaneously. With nearly forty thousand feet of room to drift apart, the chances of screwing it up were astronomical. But this was just a certification jump. He and the others would practice another time.
Jack and Holmes were the only two passengers in the rear of the DCH-6 de Havilland Twin Otter. The seats had been removed and replaced by a single bench along the port side. Jack sat with his equipment hanging to the floor. He carried a one-hundred-pound pack in front. His HK416 was attached to the front. The oxygen tank rested on top. A hose ran from the tank to the mask he wore. He'd been pre-breathing 100 percent oxygen to purge the nitrogen from his blood for ten minutes so he wouldn't experience hypoxia or the bends. A helmet and goggles rested on his head. He stared at the altimeter gauge on his left wrist and watched it creep past 24,000 feet. His MC-6 parachute served as a seat cushion, which he leaned back against.
Holmes sat beside him. He wore a chute, helmet, and mask but wasn't carrying a simulated combat load.
"I know you're aching to get this over with, SEAL," Holmes said through their intra-mask com system, "but slow is smooth and smooth is fast. We're not going to rush anything."
"I'm okay. Last thing I wanted was to spend a week with two chatty Cathies. Talk about feeling like a third wheel."
"Just so. Slow is smooth and —"
"And smooth is fast, I know."
Holmes held up a hand. "Hold. Getting a call from Laws."
Walker watched Holmes. Through his mask, he could only make out the SEAL team leader's eyes. But several times they flicked in his direction. Walker felt worry creep into his system. He'd had a finely honed sense of trouble ever since he was orphaned and left on the streets of the Philippines as a child.
Holmes spoke for perhaps two minutes, then turned to face Walker.
"What's the news?" Walker asked.
Holmes shook his head. "It's bad. We're going to cancel training."
Butterflies with switchblades kamikazied in his stomach. "How bad?"
Walker went through the list of all the worst things that could happen. He was stunned at how few there really were. He glanced at Holmes and then he knew. The emptiness was so complete it was as if his insides had been torn out, leaving the vacuum of space.
He couldn't keep his voice from cracking as he said, "Jen?"
Holmes closed his eyes and nodded.
Walker gulped for air. He felt like he was falling. How ironic he wore a suit made for it and it wasn't helping. "How?"
"They don't know. She and her friend and a group of others were all murdered visiting Stonehenge."
Suddenly he had something to grab on to. "Did you say 'murdered'?"
"Do they have the —"
"They have no idea."
"By 'they' you mean MI5?"
"What about our intel? Do we have any?"
"If we did I know it's well above our pay grades."
"To hell with pay grades. She was my fiancée ... and I want to know. I need to know."
"We may never know."
"Regardless, this exercise is over. Team leader to pilot."
"No!" Walker felt a sense of panic. He had to have something normal. He needed something planned. He had to jump. He glanced at the open door, then back at Holmes. "Let me do this."
The voice came from the cockpit and through their com systems. "Team lead, this is pilot. What's your command?"
Holmes gave him a steady gaze.
"What? You think I'm going to kill myself?" Walker felt his lip curl. "You think I'm going to swan-dive so I can be with Jen in a better place? As romantic as that sounds in movies, it's bullshit. Someone has to be alive to pick up the pieces. Someone has to be the one to get revenge." He paused and couldn't keep from one last desperate whisper. "Is she really dead?"
"Yes, son. She's really dead."
"Let me jump. Just let me fucking jump."
"Team lead, this is pilot; I say again, what's your command?"
"Pilot, this is team lead; continue mission."
When they reached altitude, the light above the door blinked red.
Walker made to stand and move, but Holmes gripped his arm. They both wore masks, but Jack could feel the intensity in his commander's eyes.
"We'll get through this, Jack. We're your family. We'll help you any way we can." Holmes held on for a moment, then let Walker go.
They both stood and crouch-walked to the door. When the light turned green, Walker stepped out and let the wash carry him back and down. He knew Holmes was right behind him, but there was no way to see him. Not through the darkness. Not through Walker's tears.
Fifteen seconds later he deployed his chute and felt it jerk him free of his fatal fall. He stared at his altimeter and watched as it indicated his descent. Sobs overtook him at 25,000 feet. At 21,000 feet he thought about pulling the release on the chute. Maybe there was a heaven. Maybe there was an afterlife. God knows he'd discovered that there was so much more to this world since he'd joined Triple Six. If there were demons and shape changers why couldn't there be a heaven?
Holmes's voice brought him back. "Walker, you're off course."
Walker checked the GPS compass on his other wrist. He was way off course.
Holmes's voice was filled with urgency. "Walker, what are you doing? We talked about this."
He guided his MC-6 in the proper direction. "Course corrected," he said, then nothing more.
If there was a heaven then he had time to get there. Time probably moved a lot differently in such a place. It might only be a moment for Jen. Then a voice reminded him that it could also be an eternity, but he ignored it. What had initially seemed a comparison of love and revenge and a question of which was stronger had been reconciled. Love was revenge's fuel and by god he'd loved Jen like no one else. He pictured her waiting for him by the famous San Diego statue of a sailor kissing a nurse. The way Jen's red hair had lain against the white nurse's uniform she'd rented from a costume store. The way she and Jack had kissed, mimicking the statue. That had been a hell of a day.
By the time he hit 10,000 feet he knew what had to be done. By hook or by crook he was going to find out who killed his fiancée and when he did he'd do the same to them and everyone else involved.
He'd do it or die trying.CHAPTER 2
BROMLEY, ENGLAND. MORNING.
Member of Parliament Gordon Miller felt like his head had been stoved in and his brains replaced with porridge. He and that sweet little waitress from Lions Head had drunk enough G&Ts to fill a water tank last night. Now, waking up to the frigid morning and an even more frigid realization that he'd failed to respond to not one but twenty-seven texts from his dear wife, especially the last one, which said: You might as well go fuck yourself because you're never going to fuck me again, made his morning complete.
She'd said the same thing twice before and it had proven expensive to get back in her good graces. Real fucking expensive. He'd have to test his mettle and see if her golden triangle was worth it this time.
The bathroom door opened and Veronica stepped out naked, her raven hair still dripping. She held a towel to it as she regarded him, already in his suit, chewing breath mints and guzzling water.
"You gonna run out on me, governor?"
He shook his head. She had the dark skin of a Gypsy and the night moves of an alley cat. He wanted nothing more than to have another go at it, except for the fact he was fresh out of little blue pills. What's a fifty-five-year-old overweight MP to do? Plus, he needed to get home and not with the smell of strange on him.
"Sorry, luv. Mother called and wants me home."
She gave him a smile much like the one she'd offered him in the pub. It promised absolutely everything. "We going to do this again soon?"
Gordon couldn't help but smile. "I hope so. Just need to figure it out."
"Don't leave me hanging, governor. A girl loves to be treated like a woman by a rich man. Especially a rich man who's on television as much as you."
So she knew. So much for his pretense of being a simple businessman. And the damn girl was smiling again. "I'll take care of you."
"I'm sure you will."
She turned and went back into the bathroom. He couldn't help but watch. Even if his body wouldn't cooperate, his mind was creative enough to fill in the blanks.
His cell phone buzzed. He checked it. Wifey.
Your shit is on the back porch.
His fingers hovered over the phone as he prepared to answer her. But then it buzzed again. His secretary had sent the schedule for the morning, including an updated time for his conference with the Muslim League about increased funding for their defense account. What another pain in the ass. Not that he didn't mind their considerable support to his campaigns, but they insisted on taking an incredible amount of his time. Still, if he wanted to remain in office this was something that had his full support, which also meant he couldn't afford to miss the appointment.
He texted his secretary to confirm. He also asked that she text his wife and tell her that he'd worked late and stayed at the office. Roxy was a good secretary and would do it with no questions asked. Of course, she'd expect a significant holiday bonus.
Damn but this was proving to be one of his more expensive days. It was barely dawn and he already owed three women. He couldn't help but chuckle. Of course he could have it the other way. No job. No women. No sex.
He took one more gulp of water, then stood. He straightened his tie in the mirror by the door, then grabbed the keys from his overcoat pocket. He left the room and entered the cold Bromley morning. The wind whipped the fog in the parking lot, making it move as if great objects were passing through. A ship's horn broke the early morning. So did the barking of a dog.
He had to search for his Mercedes. He'd been in such a rush to get into Veronica's knickers he hadn't paid much attention to anything else. He chuckled. Yet another reason he was proud to not be American. Them and their damned paparazzi. If he'd been in the American Congress he'd never have a chance at these dalliances. The first time he'd try he'd be on Facebook and Twitter and Twatter.
There. He spotted his car three rows up.
Dogs began to bark incessantly. As if in answer, a baying came from deep within the fog. The dogs barked madly. He turned in a full circle. What was going on with the dogs? One thing he hated was strays. Not a time to be bit if he could help it.
The baying came again, this time followed by a horn. It didn't sound like a ship's, though. Was there a foxhunt nearby? Why would someone do it in this weather? Never mind that the hunts had been made illegal.
He became aware of figures moving within the fog. He only caught fragmented glimpses of them, but they seemed to be carrying weapons. The fog billowed and covered the cars.
The baying came closer, now with the sound of claws scraping against the pavement as the hidden creatures bore down on him. He had a moment to think, then turned and ran right into the side of a car. The impact drove the air from him. He fell but clawed his way to his feet.
Someone yelled behind him, then sounded a horn.
The baying was now all around him.
He held his hands up in front of him.
"Okay. Okay. Enough of this." An animal brushed his leg. "Do you know who I am?"
The fog parted for a moment and he beheld a man dressed all in green, like a hunter. He wore holly-patterned clothes and an iron crown on his head. But what drew the MP's eyes was the great rack of horns on the white stag the man rode. Even as the MP stared, the man brought a hunting horn to his lips and blew. The stag's eyes blazed red, then the beast lowered his antlers and charged.
The MP screamed and turned. He managed four steps before the tips of the antlers pierced his back. The pain caused him to stagger, but he was unable even to fall. The stag lifted him and picked up speed. Soon they were careening through the fog, baying beasts running all around them. He wanted to scream for them to stop. He wanted to beg them to let him go. But amidst the clatter of hooves and the blowing of the rider's horn, he felt his spirit ripped from his body. By the time the stag shook his great head and dislodged Miller's body many miles later, he could barely remember who or what he'd been. All he knew was that there was a hunt, he was part of it, and it gave him so much joy that he bayed.CHAPTER 3
TUCSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. DAY.
Timothy Laws watched as Jack Walker reached airport security, then was waved through. Such a fucked-up thing to happen to such a great couple, Laws thought. The universe was a fickle bitch. As was their controller. Holmes had been on the phone for two hours last night trying to get clearance, but Alexis Billings had ordered them to stand down. Where SEAL Team 666 might be able to go into places like Myanmar or Mexico with little political blowback, conducting operations in Mother England was another thing altogether. They were forbidden to lift a finger, England was handling it, and they were not to get involved. End of story.
But no one said that Jack Walker couldn't go on a little Bereavement Leave to England. And no one asked permission either. After all, it was an administrative function, which could be approved by the team leader.
Holmes grabbed Laws's shoulder. "Let's go. We don't want to miss our flight back to San Diego."
Laws turned and confronted him. YaYa and Yank stood nearby and stepped forward. "Listen, why don't you put us all on leave? I'm feeling bereaved."
"I'm fucking bereaved too," Yank said.
"Me too." YaYa placed his right hand on Yank's shoulder. "Bereaved times ten."
Holmes lowered his gaze. "As am I, but we can't all take leave."
"Why not?" Yank asked. The white scars on Yank's African-American face stood out when he was angry and now they looked like a road map of rage. "There isn't a place on the planet we can't be in twenty-four hours. In fact, if the balloon went up, it would make it easier if we were in the same place."
Excerpted from Reign of Evil by Weston Ochse. Copyright © 2014 St. Martin's Press LLC. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book leaves me hungry for more Seal Team 666. It was by far the best. Loved every aspect. Between the unexpected events that take place, to meeting a new team who combat the same type of threats, and how they deal with them aswell as there history was awesome. I'd love to see a big screen adaptation of these books. I really hope to see the series continued.
It has been a very long time since I could pick up a book and finish it in 4 days. There was no way I could put this one down without having immediate " I need to know what happens next! " syndrome. People will stay up and binge watch a TV or movie series and this is what I just accomplished, but with a book. Reign of Evil is the absolute best of Weston Ochse's SEAL Team 666 series. As I was reading, it felt like watching one episode of "24". Jack Bauer could wreak havoc if you happened to be away from the TV for a couple of minutes. Now we have Jack Walker and Team 666 along with it's dwindling British counterpart, Section 9. It was a very cool surprise because I hadn't considered other countries having their own SpecOps Supernatural Beast Busters. There was so much mythology, folklore, and possible double crossing characters that you had no idea who would try to beat 'em all. I won't provide any spoilers, but if you've seen the Denzel Washington movie "Fallen" with John Goodman, you should get a glimpse into the raging battles that ensue. Weston has a way to insert parts of the story that make you think outside of the book, which I believe lend to his high and tight story telling. If you've not read the other SEAL Team 666 books, I suggest you buy them all and read them in order. You certainly don't have to read them in succession, but it helps understand the characters and their interactions with each other. I wish I hadn't read it so quick because now I'll have an anxiety ridden wait until the next appearance of the Navy's secret monster hunters. Recommended? YES. Get all three! (SEAL Team 666, SEAL Team 666: Age of Blood, and SEAL Team 666: Reign of Evil. When you're done with those, grab a copy of Grunt Life. Trust me.