How far will collateral damage from a CIA drone strike reach?
When a suicide bomber shatters the peace of a winter afternoon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., former pilot and undercover Cerberus operative Nick Baron receives an eerie invitation from the chess app on his phone—a mysterious figure named The Emissary wants to play.
Nick and his covert unit—the Triple Seven Chase team—soon find themselves drawn into battle against an unknown opponent who has resurrected an ancient order of assassins: the legendary Hashashin. And there is a long-awaited prophecy being fulfilled by a series of violent attacks which may culminate in a final apocalypse over Jerusalem.
As the Triple Seven fight to stop each attack, Nick tries to keep The Emissary on the hook by playing their digital chess game. The lines between the game and the fight begin to blur, as every time Nick loses a piece on the board, he loses one of his men. And if Nick cannot find a way to stop the terrorist mastermind, a checkmate may kill millions…
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
James R. Hannibal is a former US Air Force Stealth Bomber pilot with over a thousand hours of combat experience including over-watch, close air support, and HVI captures. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Middle
Eastern Studies and earned a Master’s of Science from Central Missouri State University in Aviation Safety Sciences. His flying career included the A-10 Warthog, B-2 Stealth Bomber, MQ-1 Predator, T-38 Talon, T-37 Tweet, and the Boeing 737, 757, and 767. When he is not flying or writing thrillers, James occasionally reviews for the New York Journal of Books.
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Website – http://stealthcommand.com/
“Nick . . .” she warned.
Nick waited impatiently through the obligatory hugs and greetings. He held his tongue while his dad pulled his grandson Luke from the stroller, knowing the effort and time it would take to get the eighteen-month-old strapped back in. He watched the faces in the crowd. None of them seemed threatening or nervous. In fact, most of them looked like they were enjoying themselves. He wondered what that felt like.
Nick took one of his dad’s bags and finally got his little group of soft targets moving toward the exit. Miraculously, they made it to the parking garage unscathed.
By the time he pulled Katy’s black Jeep Cherokee onto Massachusetts Avenue, a light snow had started falling, adding to the few inches that had already accumulated on the trees and rooftops in the past few days. Streams of tiny flakes ghosted across the street in sidewinding wisps, blown by a light wind. Another front was moving in, this one stronger and colder than the last. Nick sighed. It was going to be a long month.
A delighted squeal erupted from the backseat, and Nick glanced in the rearview mirror to see his dad tickling Luke. At the same time, Katy squeezed Nick’s knee—not to say I love you, but to say Make an effort to play nice or suffer the consequences. He frowned at her and then coughed. “Ahem. So, this is very exciting.”
“Oh, yes,” replied his father, glancing up from his grandson. “I’ve been waiting for Avi to call me for years. The lecture tour is going splendidly.”
“I’m glad you’re happy, Dad.”
The speaking engagement was a nice distraction, and a necessary one, but Nick did not say that—he didn’t need to. They both knew it. Earlier that year, Nick’s mom had lost her battle with lymphatic cancer. This would be Kurt’s first Christmas without her in forty-three years.
Kurt, a professor of Hebraic Studies at Denver Seminary, had received an invitation to speak on Talmudic archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as their satellite campuses in New York and Germany. He started with New York, and with two days to kill before continuing on to Germany, he had taken Amtrak’s famous Acela bullet train down to Washington, DC, to see his grandson. The university’s travel office graciously booked his next flight out of Dulles. They booked the return through Dulles too. The older Baron had announced a few days ago that after he came back, he was planning to stay through the New Year.
Nick knew he was supposed to be happy that his dad wanted to spend the holidays with them, but they were both type A personalities, tending to clash when forced together. Since Nick was a teen, his mother had acted as a buffer. Now she was gone.
“You’re going to miss the tunnel,” said Katy, pointing ahead at the exit for the Third Street Tunnel that ran beneath the Capitol Mall.
“We don’t want to take the tunnel.” Nick glanced into the rearview mirror with a forced smile. “Dad wants me to drive across the Mall so he can see the sights, right Dad?”
Kurt looked up from his grandson and frowned. “How many times have I told you not to assume, Son?” He paused to scratch that ridiculous goatee and watch the exit for the tunnel pass behind them. “However, since you’ve already missed your turn, I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of your city.”
Nick gritted his teeth and jerked the jeep left onto First Street. Yeah, it was going to be a really long month.