Strike Zone (Dreamland Series #5)

Strike Zone (Dreamland Series #5)

by Dale Brown, Jim DeFelice

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Only tomorrow's technology will keep America strong today.

In the Nevada desert, the high-tech future of warfare is being conceived and constructed at a top-secret military facility called Dreamland. This is where miracles are born.

An Asian war that would have escalated into a nuclear nightmare has been halted, thanks to the raw courage, unparalleled skill, and total commitment of the Dreamland force. But an analysis of radar data has revealed the presence of an unknown super-weapon in the area: a robot warplane with terrifying capabilities, dubbed the "ghost clone." Though strikingly similar to Dreamland's own U/MF Flighthawk, no one knows where this fearsome instrument of destruction originated, but a rogue nation possessing a squadron of them could wreak unimaginable havoc on an unsuspecting free world. Now nothing less than a brazen, brilliantly conceived deception will lure the ghost clone out of hiding—and only a daring strike on enemy soil can avert a tomorrow too terrible to consider ... if it isn't already too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062087843
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Series: Dreamland , #5
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 626,001
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.35(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Former U.S. Air Force captain Dale Brown is the superstar author of 26 best-selling action-adventure “techno-thriller” novels: FLIGHT OF THE OLD DOG (1987), SILVER TOWER (1988), DAY OF THE CHEETAH (1989), HAMMERHEADS (1990), SKY MASTERS (1991), NIGHT OF THE HAWK (1992), CHAINS OF COMMAND (1993), STORMING HEAVEN (1994), SHADOWS OF STEEL (1996), FATAL TERRAIN (1997), THE TIN MAN (1998), BATTLE BORN, (1999), WARRIOR CLASS (2001), WINGS OF FIRE (2002), AIR BATTLE FORCE (2003), PLAN OF ATTACK (2004), ACT OF WAR (2005), EDGE OF BATTLE (2006), STRIKE FORCE (2007), SHADOW COMMAND (2008), ROGUE FORCES (2009), EXECUTIVE INTENT (2010), A TIME FOR PATRIOTS (2011), TIGER’S CLAW (2012), STARFIRE (2014), and IRON WOLF (2015). He is also the co-author of the best-selling DREAMLAND techno-thriller series and writer and the PUPPET MASTER series, and is a technical consultant of the Act of War PC real-time strategy game published by Atari Interactive, and the Megafortress PC flight simulator by Three-Sixty Pacific. Dale’s novels are published in 11 languages and distributed to over 70 countries. Worldwide sales of his novels, audiobooks, e-books, and computer games exceed 15 million copies.

Jim DeFelice is the co-author, with former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, of the multi-million-copy bestseller American Sniper, the source for Clint Eastwood’s film starring Bradley CooperHis other books include Omar Bradley: General at War; Rangers at Dieppe; and West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express. He lives in upstate New York.

Read an Excerpt

Dale Brown's Dreamland: Strike Zone

Chapter One

Bright Memorial Hospital, Honolulu
3 September 1997
0302 (all times local)

It looked like an arrow as she turned to get away from it. Breanna pushed hard on her control stick, but the plane barely responded. Caught with little forward momentum, the Megafortress waddled in the air, finally managing to jerk its nose back to the right just in time to avoid the missile.

A second and third homed in. Breanna Stockard put her hand on the throttle slide, desperate to get more speed from the power plants.

It was too late. She could see one of the missiles coming at her right wing, riding the air like a hawk. Bree had ECMs, flares, tinsel -- every defensive measure the experienced Megafortress pilot could muster was in play, and still the hawk came on, talons out.

And then, just as it was about to strike the fuselage in front of the starboard wing root, it changed. The slim body of the Russian-designed Alamo missile thickened. Wings grew from the middle, and the steering fins at the rear changed shape. Breanna was being tracked by an American Flighthawk, not a missile. For a moment, she felt relief.

Then the robot plane slammed into the wing.

Breanna shook herself awake. The pale green light of the hospital room threw ghost shadows across her face; she could hear the machine monitoring her heartbeat stuttering.

"Damn drugs," she said.

They'd given her a sedative to help her sleep, fearful that her injuries would keep her from resting for yet another night. Breanna had bruised ribs, a concussion, a sprained knee, and a twisted neck; she was also suffering from dehydration and the effects of more than twelve hours exposure to a bitter Pacific storm. But the physical injuries paled beside what really ached inside her -- the loss of four members of her crew, including her longtime copilot Chris Ferris and Dreamland's number two Flighthawk pilot, Kevin Fentress.

Breanna rolled onto her back and shoved her elbows under her to sit up in the bed. She was angry with herself for not flying better, for not avoiding the Chinese missile that had taken her down. The fact that she had sacrificed her plane to rescue others was besides the point. The fact that the Piranha mission had been a stunning success, averting war between China and India, mattered nothing to her, at least not now, not in the room lit only by hospital monitors.

She should've saved her people.

Her father would have. Her husband would have.

She ached to have them both here with her. But her father, Colonel Tecumseh "Dog" Bastian, and her husband, Major Jeff "Zen" Stockard, had been called back to Dreamland, to deal with problems brewing there. She was sentenced to sit in this bed until her injuries healed.

"Damn drugs," she muttered again, reaching for the control at the side of the bed to raise it.

What the hell had that stupid dream been about? She'd been taken down by a missile, not a Flighthawk. The Flighthawks were U.S. weapons, not Chinese.

But as they were going down, before she gave the order to abandon ship, Torbin Dolk had said something about a Flighthawk. What the hell had he said?

"I have a U/MF at long range."

Those were his words, but they had to be wrong. Their own Flighthawks had been lost, and there were no other Megafortresses with their robot scout fighters nearby.

What the hell did he say? Had she got it wrong?

The confusion and static and storm of the shoot-down returned. She closed her eyes, wishing she hadn't failed.

"Damn drugs," she said, playing with the bed control in a fruitless effort to make herself more comfortable.

Outside Taipei, Taiwan

Chen Lee waited until the chime of the antique grandfather clock at the far end of his office ended, then rose slowly from his desk, following a ritual he had started many years before. His movements were weighted by eighty years of exertion, and so it took longer for him to cross the large office than it once had, but the familiarity of the afternoon ritual filled him with pleasure. He had long ago realized that, no matter how much wealth one had -- and he had a great deal -- the more important things, the things that gave life meaning and value, were less tangible: family affection and respect, dreams and ambitions, ritual.

Chen Lee went to the chest at the right side of his large office and took the bottle from the top, carefully pouring two fingers' worth of Scotch in the glass tumbler. He had developed a taste for single-malt Scotch as a young man during the last days of the war with the communists when he'd been sent to London as part of a delegation working to persuade the Western allies that Mao must be stopped at all costs. The mission had been a failure; worn out by the World War, the British couldn't stop their own empire from slipping through their fingers, let alone send an army to help Chiang Kai-shek and the rightful rulers of the great Chinese nation. Not even the Americans were willing to help them until the communist treachery was made obvious in Korea. Even then, the only assistance they would begrudgingly afford was to prevent the invasion of Taiwan by the mongrel bastards who had marched among the peasants, pretending moral superiority when all along practicing opportunism.

The tingle of Scotch as he took his first sip reminded Chen Lee of his bitterness, and he welcomed it wholeheartedly. For it was only by acknowledging the past that he could look toward the future.

Much had changed in the nearly fifty years that had passed since his stay in London. Chen Lee had left the government to become a man of business ...

Dale Brown's Dreamland: Strike Zone. Copyright © by Dale Brown. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Strike Zone: A Dreamland Thriller 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, plan to track down earlier titles in the series. The only problem with this epublication is that three pages are blank that should have had print, irritating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taken again. B&N clearly states 448 pages and in reality there is only 257 pages. Although none were blank as others report, it is missing near half the book. I wonder if they will buy back my Nook?
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