Unholy Code (A Lana Elkins Thriller)

BOOK: Unholy Code (A Lana Elkins Thriller)
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PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR

Trident Code

“Trident Code
is scary good. The science and technology are as convincing as they are chilling, with an original trifecta of cyber, nuclear, and environmental terrorism all worked into one wild ride of a plot. And hoo boy, you’ll love to hate Oleg the Russian mastermind, who is cleverly creepy and unforgettable. Thomas Waite has big ambitions—and delivers on them.”


Dale Dauten
,
King Features
syndicated columnist

“Trident Code
is a powerful and nerve-tingling tale, and its authenticity is right up there with Tom Clancy. Waite gives us brilliant storytelling and a real winner of a book.”


Vice Admiral N.R. Thunman
, U.S. Navy (retired) and former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare

“Nobody can accuse Thomas Waite of thinking small, so if you’re looking for a fast, awe-inspiring thriller brimming with cybercrime, environmental disaster, and human dilemmas, the only question about
Trident Code
is—can you think big enough?”


Clare O’Beara
,
Fresh Fiction

Lethal Code

“Taut, tense, and provocative, this frighteningly knowing cyberthriller will keep you turning pages—not only to devour the fast-paced fiction, but to worry about how much is terrifyingly true.”


Hank Phillippi Ryan
, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins 
Clark award-winning author of 
Truth Be Told

“Lethal Code
is a compelling and well-researched thriller about a major cyberattack against America. Waite’s characters bring to life the very real cyber vulnerabilities we face every day and demonstrate that America’s cyber insecurity is a serious national security issue.”


Melissa Hathaway
, former cyber advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, now President of Hathaway Global Strategies

“No matter what you do or where you live, a massive cyberattack against the United States will impact your life. That’s what Waite demonstrates so convincingly in
Lethal Code
. He shows us the effect a hit to the country’s solar plexus would have with a tale that will leave you gasping for days, whether you’re a business person or a private citizen concerned about our nation’s defense vulnerabilities.”


David DeWalt
, Chairman and CEO of network security company FireEye

Terminal Value

“I believe with time he will be called the John Grisham of the murderous technology novels. This is an excellent beginning to what I hope is a long writing career for Mr. Waite.”

—Literary R & R

“Thomas Waite opens a window into the world of technology that even a techno-phobe can appreciate. Filled with tension, romance, humor, mystery and avarice,
Terminal Value
is a captivating tale that holds your interest right through to its surprising conclusion.”


David Updike
, author of
Old Girlfriends: Stories
and
Out on the Marsh

“Terminal Value
is a sizzling thriller convincingly set in the world of emerging technologies that even industry insiders will appreciate. Thomas Waite has earned the right to belly up to the bar with the likes of Brad Meltzer, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci. A great read!”


Paul Carroll
, author and Pulitzer Prize-nominated
Wall Street Journal
editor and journalist

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Copyright © 2016 Thomas Waite

All rights reserved.

www.thomaswaite.com

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the author.

Published by Marlborough Press

ISBN-13: 978-0-9850258-1-6

ISBN-10: 0-9850258-1-6

Cover design by Stewart A. Williams

Formatting by Dallas Hodge

Printed in the United States of America

Lana Elkins Thrillers

Lethal Code

Trident Code

Unholy Code

Terminal Value

JIMMY MCMASTERS DIDN’T MIND
working the Labor Day weekend, not when it left him at the helm of a fifty-foot carbon-fiber speedboat racing at 170 mph across the Gulf. The scorching pace thrilled him but scarcely strained the twin turbine engines, which rocketed him past oil platforms that loomed ghostly in the Louisiana mist like prehistoric creatures marching toward land on mighty steel legs.

The honey-haired twenty-two-year-old throttled up to 180, but kept his eyes peeled for debris. At that speed a single ding to the hull could mean death. He was giving the factory-fresh showpiece named
Sexy Streak
a vigorous shakedown for its new owner, who was heading down from Kentucky for the rest of the holiday weekend.

Fully pumped with the raw wonders of speed—and the engines’ sharply tuned performance—Jimmy slowed long enough to notice a coastal cruiser on his starboard side. The small open vessel was steaming toward shore, its single engine straining as if overloaded. A moment later Jimmy saw why: the little boat looked as jam-packed as a clown car at the circus.

He assumed its occupants were tourists who’d chartered the twenty-footer for the weekend without having any notion of water safety. His first impulse was to keep a healthy distance between them and
Sexy
Streak
to avoid having his beauty rammed by drunken revelers. But the U.S. Coast Guard had been calling on sailors everywhere to keep an eye on any behavior that appeared the least bit suspicious. The nation’s defenders needed all the help they could get. ISIS suicide bombers had been penetrating the country’s flooded coastlines since the nuclear bombing of an Antarctic ice shelf by Russian hackers four months ago. The strike had dislodged a massive glacier and raised global sea levels by four feet. ISIS invaders hadn’t wasted any time exploiting America’s newly porous borders and blowing themselves up on arrival. Hundreds of innocents had been slaughtered in malls, baseball stadiums, and on crowded beaches since the terrorist group had announced on the Fourth of July that it was launching a “Summer of Blood.”

Jimmy doubted the little boat was any sort of problem. It appeared to pose a threat primarily to itself. Still, he throttled
Sexy Streak
down and raised his binoculars for a closer look.

Holy shit.

Seven fully bearded men were staring at him, the one at the wheel using his own pair of binocs.

Jimmy felt an icy tingle shoot down his spine. He pulled out his phone and punched in a new three-digit emergency code set up by the Coast Guard for shoreline alerts. No connection. No signal this far out. It wouldn’t be the first time in recent weeks that a cellular network had been cybersabotaged.

He was preparing to peel away and race for the Port of Oysterton and a land line when he saw more than eyes bearing down on him from the cruiser: two men had raised automatic rifles, and were making no mystery of their target.

Jimmy ducked as bullets ripped into
Sexy Streak
’s starboard hull. He turned the boat sharply away from the gunfire, fleeing as fast as he could, trying hopelessly to outrun the bullets that whizzed by his head.

In seconds, he’d put a half-mile between himself and his assailants. He risked a glance back and saw that the little boat had adjusted its course. It was heading straight for Oysterton’s waterfront park, which was already packed for the big Labor Day jamboree.

Jimmy groaned and his stomach sank. He was no hero, and knew he should keep his distance. But he couldn’t. The bearded men had the cruiser’s inboard motor fully revved as they rushed toward the celebration, clearly bent on spilling their Summer of Blood across a bright white beach.

Jimmy swore to himself and hit the throttle hard, barreling back toward them. Staying low, he heard gunfire kick back up. He hoped like hell he wouldn’t catch a round ripping through the lightweight hull.

At the last second, racing at 115 mph with his eyes just above the dash, he swerved and sent a sizeable wake into the cruiser, then pulled away.

The heavy wave rolled the smaller craft to starboard, but it didn’t capsize or take on water.

Jimmy throttled up for another pass as the terrorists’ craft eked more speed out of its straining engine. It was on course for a beachside bandstand in the park less than a quarter-mile away. From this distance, Jimmy could see the high school band and members of the audience raising their heads and looking out across the water.

This time he didn’t think about it. He had no choice, not if he wanted to save those kids. He raced
Sexy Streak
toward the cruiser’s bow, leaving his upper body wide open so he could see better. Gunfire sounded and bullets punctured fiberglass and pinged off metal. But Jimmy kept on course, intent on sending an even larger wake at the overloaded boat.

This time he’d cut it too close. The speeding race boat clipped the cruiser’s bow, sending
Sexy Streak
careening toward the beach and bandstand, which was festooned with red, white, and blue bunting.

No longer in control, Jimmy killed the engine in a desperate attempt to slow his momentum. But it was too late. He was already plowing up the sand at a frightening speed. He glanced back and saw the cruiser following his course, coming in for the kill.

Bombs
, he assumed.
Hundreds dead, with me first
.

Screaming band members in purple and white uniforms jumped to the sand and tumbled to the side to avoid the boats, tripping over fallen instruments in their rush to get out of the way. Audience members panicked too, stumbling over lawn chairs and one another in their hasty retreat.

Jimmy struck the bandstand a second before the cruiser followed suit. The impact shattered
Sexy Streak
’s windshield and showered the craft with old boards and rusty nails, patriotic bunting, drums and cymbals, and a dark-haired piccolo player in a short white skirt with purple boots adorned with pom-poms.

BOOK: Unholy Code (A Lana Elkins Thriller)
2.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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