Torn between past mistakes and her affinity for impossible relationships, Codi Emery is cast into a web of deception and intrigue. Her new assignment in a compartmented facility, shrouded in extreme defensive measures and secrecy, pits the young intelligence analyst against her emotions and naivety on what’s best for her career, and herself. Serendipitously, Codi discovers an Arcanum program of clandestine operatives sanctioned not by the government but the ire of a select group of patriots with a bold plan to rewrite history. She struggles against competing factions, her loyalty and her core beliefs. When she confronts her findings, something beyond her nightmares, the quest to understand the line between honor and treason puts her at risk from a rogue element. Only the strength and determination of a young maverick marine can save Codi from herself.
Graham switched off his mike, flipped up his visor, and offered an awkward grin. “You scared the shit out of me.” He turned his intercom back on and explained, “That concludes test Seven Charlie of the Silent Thunder system. General Adkins, Mr. Thurman, I assume now that we’ve successfully destroyed an encapsulated target, we move to our next objective.”
“I see no reason to delay the program,” a deep bass voice confirmed. “Yes, move to the next stage. We need to make the device man portable and eliminate the requirement for all this protective gear. In a tactical environment, it’s impractical to expect soldiers in combat to…”
“Ahhhhhh.” Graham turned toward the sound of an afflicted animal, but instead found Jones clutching his temples. “Stop it.”
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Please, the pain. It’s drilling into my…” Jones slammed his head against the helmet again and again. Graham reached out, grabbed him by the arms, and followed him to the floor.
“No, no, dear Lord, make them stop.” Jones collapsed. His legs quivered as if he were experiencing an electrical shock. He kicked twice, whimpered several times, and finally curled into a silent ball of flesh drawn tight into a fetal position. Where a human had stood moments ago, a body lay with blood spewing from every orifice in its head.
Through the speaker, Thurman demanded, “What the hell’s going on back there?”
Graham pressed his thumb and forefinger beneath the corpse’s throat. “He’s dead.”
“Jones. His body’s twisted like a pretzel and there’s blood oozing from his eyes, his ears—Jesus, it’s coming out of everywhere. His brain must have hemorrhaged.”
“But how? He wasn’t anyway near the convergent apex of the beams.”
Graham fell back against the console and wrapped his arms around his knees. He fixed on the pool of blood expanding outward into a circle around the skull of his young friend and slowly rocked back and forth.
The deep voice broadcast from the speaker. “Graham, answer me. What the hell’s going on down there?”
But there was no response until one of the Marines leaned over and replied, “Witt here, General. We have a condition three alpha. I recommend you send…”
Graham had tuned out of his surroundings. He closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind, but the streams of red crawling down the face beside him were too indelible, leaving an image that would be permanently buried into his psyche.