EXECUTIVE REACTION is set for release on October 20, 2015. Here’s an excerpt of book four in the SPECTRE Series.
Roke Quitugua sat quietly eating his breakfast in the modest two-bedroom house. His wife and two-year-old son were still sleeping in their master bedroom. As he finished the last spoonful of his cereal, he wondered if he would ever see them again.
Roke stood from the small table and dumped the remaining milk from his cereal bowl into the sink. When he finished washing the bowl, he set it aside to dry and started toward the bedroom.
His wife, Ana, lay cuddling with their son in their small master bedroom. The two were still peacefully asleep. Roke paused for a moment and stood in the doorway admiring them. He felt lucky to have such a beautiful family.
He turned away and sighed softly, hoping it wouldn’t be the last time he saw them. After years of diligently working, his day had finally come. If all went well, he would return home to see their beautiful faces. If he were discovered early or he somehow failed his mission, he would likely end up dead.
Roke pushed away the negative thoughts and headed out toward the tool shed in his small backyard. There he found the large black backpack he had been given a few days earlier. He simply had to ensure it was at the right place at the right time and with the timer successfully activated. After that, he was home free.
He checked its contents one more time and ensured the timer powered on and off before zipping the main zipper and strapping it to his back. The pack was slightly heavy – at least thirty pounds, but despite Roke’s small frame, he managed it easily.
He walked through the hurricane fence gate and into the front yard where his scooter was parked. He steadied himself with the weight of the backpack as he sat on the scooter and put on the red helmet.
Roke made the four-mile drive through light traffic toward Andersen Air Force base. It was chilly, despite his nylon jacket and long pants. As he made the turn off the main two-lane road, he joined the long procession of cars waiting to show their identification to the Air Force Security Forces guards.
Established December 3, 1944, Andersen Air Force Base served as one of four forward operating locations for the United States Air Force in the Pacific Region. Although not home to any tenant units, Andersen routinely housed strategic bombers for deployed operations and fighters for military exercises. Roke had even seen B-2 stealth bombers parked outside many times before.
At age twenty-nine, Roke had worked as a civilian contractor on base for the majority of his adult life. He started at age nineteen, cleaning the numerous squadron buildings and bathrooms until moving into grounds keeping and facility maintenance. He much preferred working outside with his hands to cleaning toilets, but he did often miss interacting with the pilots and officers.
Roke had been recruited just a few months after his twentieth birthday to spy on the Americans. He never thought of it as spying, though. His job was simply to observe and report. For doing so, he was rewarded with a generous stipend every month. At first, it was just good spending money, but as he settled down with his wife, Ana, it became a supplement to support his budding family. He depended on that money.
As Roke waited behind the long line of cars, the adrenaline started coursing through his veins. Usually, the guards would just wave him through after showing his ID indicating that he was a Department of Defense employee, but sometimes they would perform random vehicle and bag inspections.
His handler had been clear in his instructions. If Roke suspected that he had been selected for additional screening, he was to pull the tab from the bottom of the backpack. They hadn’t told him what pulling the tab would do, but Roke guessed that it was a detonator of some sort. His family, he had been assured, would be well taken care of, and his son would grow up never wanting for money.
Roke was hesitant to accept the job, but the people he had dealt with were very dangerous. He had heard of bad things happening to the families of those who refused. The thought of dying was scary, but the thought of something happening to his beautiful wife and son was absolutely terrifying.
Roke pulled out his ID from his shirt pocket as the car in front of him was directed to pull off to the side for additional screening. Roke’s heart rate nearly doubled. They’re doing additional screening! He tried to calm himself as he rolled forward toward the guard who was still watching to ensure the car pulled over to the side.
“Good morning,” the guard said as he turned to Roke.
Roke nodded and smiled nervously as the guard took Roke’s ID and scanned it with the handheld ID scanner. He slowly reached back with his right hand toward the tab on his backpack in anticipation of the guard’s next move.
“Have a good day, Mr. Quitugua,” the guard said before motioning with his right arm across his body.
Relieved, Roke started to drive off through the staggered barricades before the guard that was screening the car in front of him stepped out to stop him. He appeared to be talking to the other guard on his radio.
Roke started to panic. In his rear view mirror, he could see the gate guard running toward him as the other guard stood in front of him holding his hand out to tell him to stop. Roke’s hand went to the backpack, this time he found the tab and gripped it as his eyes darted between the two guards.
The approaching guard stopped short of Roke. Roke turned toward him with his hand still firmly holding the tab.
“Sir! You forgot your ID!” the guard shouted as he came within a few feet of Roke’s scooter.
Roke pulled the tab in a panic, never hearing the guard’s reason for stopping him. After a brief click and an audible beep, the suitcase electromagnetic pulse bomb detonated. The initial explosive charge killed Roke and destroyed everything within a fifty-foot radius before the high power microwave bomb sent a short, high energy pulse that reached up to ten gigawatts out within a five-mile radius, disabling all unshielded electronics and power grids within its path.
EXECUTIVE REACTION is available for pre-order now!