Can a gifted child learn to kill in order to save his family?
From the author of the Wall Street Journal #1 bestselling "Brainrush" thriller series, comes a page-turning adventure of loyalty and survival.
A gifted 7-year-old boy and his teen siblings are ripped from their peaceful lives--kidnapped by a sinister organization determined to get back at their father. But when their plane crashes an ocean away in the bear-infested jungles of South China, the mysterious motive behind their abduction is the least of their problems, and they must lever every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels.
Important Note: This 130-page novella features the characters and continuing story from the #1 Bestselling "Brainrush" Thriller series. It is a complete story unto itself, compiled from books four and five of the series, "Brainchild" and "Smoke & Mirrors." If you've read those full-length novels, then you've already read most of the contents of this novella.
JAKE BRONSON THOUGHT his life had finally returned to normal. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Sure, he’d married the woman of his dreams, his three children meant the world to him, and he was blessed with a cadre of friends who had stood shoulder to shoulder with him in the face of unthinkable dangers. He was even back in the air as an acrobatic instructor pilot. Life was perfect. That is, until a few seconds ago, when the sixty-seven-year-old scientist beside him had given him the news.
“Someone’s coming after you,” Doc had said, grimacing behind his frameless spectacles. His usual blue-eyed twinkle had vanished. The former head of the Obsidian Project—the top-secret US government division tasked with dealing with “the Grid” of alien pyramids that had threatened Earth a year and a half ago—now led a clandestine arm of The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He looked tired after his rushed trip from his underground offices in the mountains of northern Nevada, jokingly nicknamed Area 52 by those who worked there. Doc’s shoulders slumped beneath the waves of silver hair that spilled over his collar.
“About a month ago our monitoring system decrypted bits and pieces of some disturbing chatter about you. It was scattered at first, popping up between servers in Europe and Southeast Asia. We didn’t think much of it at the time, figuring it was more conspiracy conjecture about the Grid. But in the last few days it expanded to a point that it captured our attention.”
“They mentioned me by name?”
“Not specifically. But they’re looking for the Brainman.”
Jake cringed. He’d done everything possible to maintain a low profile regarding his connection with the Grid event—when more than a thousand small alien pyramids had awakened from a twenty-five-thousand-year-old sleep, erupting from beneath the earth to circle the globe, counting down to the point when every human on the planet would be eliminated. Doc and the government had worked to divert attention from Jake, agreeing to keep his involvement—and that of his friends and family—a secret. But information had leaked out, and though Jake’s name had not been mentioned, a Swiss newspaper had run a story about the mysterious man it called “the Brainman,” crediting him with averting the world cataclysm. There had been a global outcry for more information; the population wanted—needed—a hero to thank. But Jake hadn’t wanted any part of it. Eventually, the topic had faded from the headlines as inquiries continued to be met with tight lips and false trails, and the media refocused on the knowledge that man was no longer the only sentient life form in the universe.
Jake blew out a long breath as Doc’s warning sank in. What he’d heard so far was worrisome but not alarming. They stood in the corner of the physical therapy room of the Advanced Prosthetics Technology Center, located in the basement of the main hospital on the 388-acre Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus. Therapists were assisting several patients in the large room as they performed exercises and tests designed to acclimate them to their new robotic appendages.
Jake turned his back to them and lowered his voice. “There’s more, isn’t there?” Doc wouldn’t have tracked him down to this obscure location otherwise.
Doc sighed. “I’m afraid so—”
Gasps coming from behind Jake coincided so perfectly with Doc’s comment that he thought someone had overheard. Instead, he turned to see five wide-eyed therapists and their patients all focused on his seven-year-old son.
Alex was helping the US Army veteran called Mississippi Mike take his first step in over six months. The weathered man had lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device during his last tour of duty.