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National Security

National Security

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PINNACLE BOOKS

MARC CAMERON

Kensington Publishing Corp.

www.kensingtonbooks.com


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Book Details
 Price
 2.50
 Pages
 255 p
 File Size 
 1,326 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 978-0-78602914-3
 Copyright©   
 2011 Marc Cameron 

AUTHOR’S NOTE
A long time ago, a wise partner warned that I would find two kinds of people
in our line of work—those who would run toward the sound of gunfire and those
who would instinctively hunker down to save their own skin. Lucky for me,
most of the folks I’ve worked with fall into the former category.
In researching this book, I relied on the expertise and experience of many
brave men and women—countless soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who’ve
spent more than their fair share of duty in the Sandbox, separated from home and
family. Most of them cherish their anonymity.
Brad Abravanel’s intimate knowledge of the CDC proved invaluable. He
walked me through dozens of pandemic scenarios during our many hours at the
pistol range. When it comes to deadly viruses, Laurie Garret’s The Coming
Plague was the ultimate resource, though I believe it was the most frightening
book I’ve ever read.
Sonny C. got me started riding BMWs the moment I first saw his 1150 GS
Adventure. Many thanks to the people at advrider.com for all the wonderful
information about adventure riding, and the folks at Aerostich for producing
such a cool catalog to dream over during our long northern winters—and from
which to outfit Jericho Quinn and the Hammer Team with riding gear.
My wife, an insightful and talented writer herself, provided much needed
cutting criticism and support. I appreciate her more than she can know. Molly
Mayock, a gifted screenwriter, was a huge help with her thoughtful cinematic
comments.
Though he wouldn’t want it, Drew A. needs a hearty thank-you for many
colorful insights into his experience in the United States Marine Corps.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my agent, Robin Rue, and her assistant, Beth
Miller, for their years of patience in my behalf, as well as to Gary Goldstein, an
editor, mentor, and friend.
There are bound to be errors here—I take responsibility for all of them. Some
are unintentional, others are by design. After all, I’d hate for any of my
comrades at arms to feel like I’ve written a textbook for the bad guys.
....

EPILOGUE
Northeastern Afghanistan
Sheikh Husseini al Farooq used an olive wood walking stick to negotiate the
rock-strewn trail in the mountainous region near the Khyber Pass, southwest of
Jalalabad. The evening was cool, the shadows barren of the air he so desperately
needed. The wizened old coffee bean of a village headman moved down the path
with the dexterity of a mountain ibex. His barrel chest swayed back and forth as
he waddled swiftly on short, crooked legs toward the dark entrance of a stone
hut built into the side of the cliff.
The sheikh stopped, resting on the stick to catch his breath. He knew where
they were going now so it didn’t matter that the headman outpaced him. Another
man might have been embarrassed that the old man was faster considering the
fact that he carried the sheikh’s two heavy bags. But Farooq was used to others
doing the work for him. He was accustomed to opulence, fine silks—and getting
exactly what he wanted.
All that had changed because of an infidel named Jericho.
Two days after the unthinkable capture of his servant Zafir Jawad, a source
from Baghdad sent word to Farooq’s safe site in the mountains of Northern
Pakistan. He was now the most wanted fugitive in the Global War on Terror.
The messenger had flaunted the news, as if it was something of which to be
proud. But Farooq knew better. His friends in the Saudi government had turned
against him at once. With a bounty of five million U.S. dollars on his head, he
didn’t know whom to trust. Government spies in Pakistan could be purchased for
a cup of strong coffee. Iraq was out of the question, and the Saudis had made it
clear they would be happy to have him beheaded and collect the easy reward. He
had embarrassed them, and for that, there would be no forgiveness. From the
time he’d heard the news, he’d been constantly on the run.
At length, he hiked up the hem of his long woolen coat and started after the
headman, panting at each treacherous step until he collapsed inside the filthy
little hut.
Farooq spoke only rudimentary Pashto, but like many of these unlearned
border people, the headman spoke smatterings of at least four languages—his
native Pashto, Persian Dari, Pakistani Urdu, and thankfully, Arabic. They all
came in handy in his opium-smuggling trade. If pressed, he probably spoke
enough Russian and English to ingratiate himself with military patrols.
Once they were seated on threadbare, lice-ridden cushions, the headman’s
stooped wife brought in a wooden tray of butter tea and flat bread. Small dots of
indigo dye tattooed her forehead, cheeks, and chin. The more dangerous of the
two, the old woman made no effort to conceal the scowl in the jade of her flint
hard eyes. Farooq accepted the strong tea with both hands and offered a smile to
the woman. Afghan females in general were vessels of a fiery temper—
extremely volatile if left unchecked. In Farooq’s experience, green-eyed Pashtun
women were the worst.
“I am in need of a place to set up the computer,” Farooq said at length, taking
the time to finish his foul-smelling tea before getting down to business.
The headman smiled, tipping his cup to lips covered by a sparse mustache. It
was the color of the chalky rocks outside his rough home. The air in the confined
room was full of smoke and the sour odor of human confinement.
“Ah,” he sighed in a nasal, high-pitched voice. “You have a computer, but you
would need a satellite phone to connect to the Internet.”
“I was told you could help with that,” Farooq said, impatiently pursing his
thin lips.
“You know the Americans often monitor signals sent up on satellite phones?”
For an illiterate drug smuggler, the headman had an excellent knowledge of the
ways of the world. Though he lived in a stone hut, decades of fighting Russians
and Americans alike had taught him to keep up with technology.
“I am aware of this,” Farooq said. “I plan to send no messages that will bring
American Predators to bomb your homes. I will be looking at nothing of interest
to them.”
The headman sat motionless, like one of the stones that made up his house.
“You can help me, then?” Farooq finally said, breaking the silence.
“Indeed,” the headman said. In the corner, his green-eyed wife muttered
something under her breath. He ignored her. “Our valley is perfectly suited to
speak with the night sky.”
He waved a weathered hand at his wife, motioning her out of the corner where
she lurked in the shadows. “Here, pour our friend another cup of tea and then
fetch me the phone.”
Farooq accepted the second cup, peering into the greasy sheen under the glow
of the smoking oil lamp. Taking a sip out of polite necessity, he set the cup to
one side and unzipped his computer case. He’d been trying for a week to connect
to the Internet, one of the many things he’d taken for granted back in the
Kingdom. It was important he find out about this man Jericho.
The old woman produced a black phone, roughly the size of a brick, rolled in
a greasy woolen rag. The headman took it and the two men went outside, into
the gathering dusk. Pinpricks of light began to appear as stars filled the
darkening sky. Farooq opened his case and booted up his computer while the old
man cranked a rusted Chinese generator next to the front door of his hut. Next,
he turned on the satellite phone and waited for a signal. Surprisingly, he got five
bars almost instantly.
The old man took a dented square tin from his pocket and held it toward
Farooq. It was naswar, Afghan snuff—a potent mixture of pulverized tobacco,
lime, and indigo. Farooq raised his hand, feeling a little sick at the thought of
putting such a mixture in his mouth. He bowed his head to politely decline.
Grunting, the old man opened the tin and tucked a pinch of the dark powder
inside his bottom lip behind rotten teeth.
The computer finally connected with a familiar ping. Farooq settled in as
comfortably as he could on a flat boulder with the computer in his lap and began
to type. Reflections from the screen flashed across his face as he searched every
database he could think of. He only needed to find out who this Jericho was.
After that, he could go to him and exact a proper revenge for Zafir’s death—for
ruining everything. Farooq still had money. Not as much as he would have liked,
but there would be enough for his purposes, stashed in a safe deposit box in
Pakistan along with an Uzbek passport no one knew about but him.
Farooq knew little about the man he hunted. Iraqi insurgents had placed a
price on his head early in the conflict. According to his informants, they dubbed
him the Ifrit—what the Americans would call a genie—because of his ability to
appear out of nowhere and inflict so much harm on them. His given name was
Jericho and he was thought to be a member of the U.S. Air Force.
Farooq searched every military website he found but none of them were useful
—until he happened on a link to an Air Force Academy alumni page. He clicked
through dozens of years of graduation lists, checking seven different cadets
named Jericho before he found one who had graduated with high athletic honors
with a degree in foreign languages—Chinese and Arabic.
His name was Jericho Quinn.
Farooq’s fingers trembled with bottled rage as he continued to type. He
followed link after link and came up with nothing. He had a name, he even had
the state where the infidel grew up—Alaska—but he could find nothing more
than a few swimming scores from secondary school. There seemed to be nothing
about the man once he’d left the university.
Clicking through the pages, Farooq suddenly stopped. A smile spread slowly
across the bones of his narrow face as he read an article from an Alaska
newspaper dated just weeks before.
Madeline Quinn, daughter of Kimberly and Jericho Quinn, won a
prestigious seat in the Anchorage Junior Youth Symphony ...
Jericho Quinn had a little girl and now Farooq knew where to find her.
....


Table of Contents

Title Page
Dedication
PROLOGUE
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24
CHAPTER 25
CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
CHAPTER 29
CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
CHAPTER 32
CHAPTER 33
CHAPTER 34
CHAPTER 35
CHAPTER 36
CHAPTER 37
CHAPTER 38
CHAPTER 39
CHAPTER 40
CHAPTER 41
CHAPTER 42
CHAPTER 43
CHAPTER 44
CHAPTER 45
CHAPTER 46
CHAPTER 47
CHAPTER 48
CHAPTER 49
CHAPTER 50
CHAPTER 51
CHAPTER 52
CHAPTER 53
CHAPTER 54
CHAPTER 55
EPILOGUE
AUTHOR’S NOTE
Copyright Page

Screenbook
National Security.MARC CAMERON
....
PINNACLE BOOKS are published by
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018

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