Overlord: An Event Group Thriller (Event Group Thrillers)

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9781250013026: Overlord: An Event Group Thriller (Event Group Thrillers)

The countdown to armageddon has begun.
Some believe it began 700 million years ago, others say it started in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. Regardless of its exact origin, the war between the worlds is about to reach its final conclusion: The End of Days. As global allies fall to the wayside and nations start a mad scramble to realign their military structures, only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give Earth a fighting chance at survival: The Matchstick Man. But who is this small being, exactly? Can he outsmart his former masters? Can he be trusted?

Can the event group defeat the world's greatest evil―before it's too late?
Meanwhile, the Event Group is the one entity that refuses to accept the inevitable defeat of humankind. They've learned that the answer to this ancient war has always been afoot, and that they may even hold the clue to salvation inside their own artifact vault. But without Colonel Jack Collins leading the charge, does the Event Group have what it takes to thwart the invasion? Meanwhile, the worst fears of Department 5656 are finally being realizedand time has already run its course...

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

David L. Golemon grew up in Chino, California. He has raised three great children and now makes his home in New York. Overlord is the ninth novel in his Event Group series.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

1

 

UNITED STATES PENITENTIARY, LEAVENWORTH

LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS

PRESENT DAY

The man in the rumpled three-piece suit waited in front of Warden Hal Jennings’s desk. He stood with his battered briefcase clutched in both hands and was using it as if it were a talisman of some sort as he waited for his ruse to either pass muster, or for his deception to be found out. If he was found out it would be nothing more than an embarrassing episode and predicament he would eventually talk his way out of.

He watched the warden’s eyes as he read the letter. Without looking up at the man in the light blue suit, horn-rimmed glasses, and thinning red hair, the warden—who had been running the federal side of Leavenworth—placed his hand on his phone and picked up the receiver.

“Annie, connect me with the FBI field office in Topeka, I need a name run … Yes, tell Special Agent-in-charge Klinemann it’s for me, right. Thank you.”

The visitor in the blue suit smiled as the warden hung up the phone.

“Precautionary. It’s not that we don’t trust you … it’s more like—”

“It’s that you don’t trust me.” The man in the rumpled suit smiled.

The warden smiled and then relaxed. “Yeah, something like that. More or less. I was giving you a chance to back out of here without getting arrested if you’re lying to me. Trying to see this man you believe is here, if that man existed, could get you placed right next to him in an available cell, or worse.”

“Oh, the man exists. That’s what we do in our business, Warden Jennings—we make sure we have precise information.”

The phone buzzed and the warden picked up the receiver just as the door opened to the office and a large prison guard stepped in. He stood at the door with his eyes on the warden’s visitor. The speaker button was pushed and the phone was placed back into the cradle. Jennings wanted this man to hear his report firsthand from the secretary outside.

“Go ahead, Annie.”

“His credentials check out. Hiram Vickers, federal employee number 397-12-0989. Departmental information is unavailable but he is a confirmed employee at the Langley, Virginia headquarters facility.”

“Thank you, Annie, that’s enough. We just needed to match his identification with his story.”

The visitor watched the warden end his call and slide Vickers’s CIA identification back to him across the large desk.

“You will speak to Prisoner 275698 on his one-hour exercise period. If he refuses to speak to you that is his prerogative. The only men and women that have direct contact with him are corporate types or weapons theorists in which he has an obligation to speak to according to presidential order, and right now those orders do not include you. I am doing this as a favor to a sister agency. Any deviation from speech or any attempt to touch Prisoner 275698, and you will be shot without warning from the tower. If he refuses to speak with you there will be no comment, no persuasive banter. You will turn away from the exercise yard and exit where a guard will escort you from the facility. Are you clear on the rules?”

“Yes, very clear. I believe the man will wish to speak with me.” The visitor reached for his identification and placed it in his suit jacket.

“Then you have one hour. The guard will escort you to the exercise yard.”

The visitor smiled and nodded his head and turned away.

“Mr. Vickers,” the warden said, bringing the tall man to a stop before he reached the open door being held in place by the large guard.

“Remember, the prisoner you are meeting has no name, has no dossier; in general, he has no life inside or outside these walls. According to special order he does not even exist. If you attempt anything out of the range of description that I have outlined to you, you will be arrested and you will not leave here.”

“One of your special rules, I take it?”

“No, Mr. Vickers, not my rule at all but someone else’s. It’s another name that you may be familiar with—he’s called the commander-in-chief.”

Vickers smiled. “Yes, so I understand. But he is also a lame duck president who seems to have pissed a lot of people off.” Vickers smiled as he started to turn around but stopped and eyed the warden. “And he is also a president you may not want to align yourself so closely with in the near future. Tossing his name around will only make those men and women in power remember your name, Warden.”

The warden watched the arrogant man turn and leave his office with a smug air about him. The not-so-veiled threat hung in the air as the door closed. The man who had been in the federal prison system for thirty-one years wanted to go after the arrogant little bastard and slap him around, and for the life of him he didn’t understand why. His thoughts were interrupted by his door opening after a soft knock. It was his secretary.

“I’m stepping out for lunch, would you care for anything?” the small bespectacled woman asked.

“No, just let me know in an hour when our friend here is done speaking with our guest. I want to make sure he and our prisoner are still in place afterward.”

Annie nodded and left. She made her way downstairs and instead of heading for the lounge area staffed for the management end of Leavenworth, she went right and headed for the small area on the grass where men and women usually ate their lunches on fine days such as this. She didn’t have to look around as she sat. Lunch for most was after the noon hour, so she found herself sitting alone. She smiled and nodded her head at two passing guards and then easily brought the cell phone to her ear. She punched a preselected number—one she had never had to use before.

“Yes, this is Annie Kline in Kansas. Is this Mr. Jones?”

She waited only a moment until a voice answered at the other end.

“Yes, Mr. Jones, this is Annie at Leavenworth. We’ve had a visitor for our special guest that was not on the official rolls of authorized visitors. Yes, his name is Hiram Vickers, CIA. Yes, sir … yes, sir, one-hour visit. Before you hang up, Mr. Jones, this man won’t be in any sort of trouble, will he, because of my actions?”

She waited as a man she had never met explained the realities of life to her from afar.

“Yes, sir, the fifty thousand dollars will come in very handy, but I don’t wish to get into trouble. I’m just telling you about a visit to an unnamed prisoner. Yes, I will forward a copy of his ID to you at your office after the warden goes home for the evening. Thank you.” She ended the call and then looked up at the imposing structure of USP Leavenworth—and wondered if her small act as informant would go unnoticed in an ever-worrisome world.

*   *   *

The visitor was passed through no less than five security checks on his way to the meeting. Each set of guards eyed him as if he had requested to visit Charlie Manson. The man’s prison number drew looks of distaste from each and every man or woman he came across. He soon found himself standing in an enclosed concrete area with high walls and fences. There was no view of the grounds outside those walls and the only evident threat was a guard tower with a uniformed man watching him with a slung Ruger Mini-14 on his back. The eyes of the guard never left the visitor.

Hiram Vickers saw the man in the orange jumpsuit standing and looking at nothing in particular other than the blue sky. Then the prisoner lowered his head and started walking the line around the walls. Vickers watched him for a moment and then approached. He was minus his old briefcase, as it never made it past the first checkpoint.

“Beautiful day for a walk.”

The tall, extremely thin man with black hair just kept his gait without looking up at Vickers.

“I don’t conduct corporate inquiries out here, so go fuck yourself.”

The man kept walking and Vickers moved to pace him.

“Saucy for a Harvard graduate—I think prison has jaded you into being something other than you are.” Vickers chuckled as the man kept walking. “I’m corporate, but not the corporate type you believe me to be. My company is a bit smaller and based in Virginia.”

Vickers could see that the man, although he kept walking, became interested: his breath noticeably caught momentarily with a hitch as if the prisoner was trying to stifle a hiccup.

“I used to have many close friends in Virginia.” He stopped and looked at the visitor for the first time. He examined the man as if he were looking at some new and strange breed of bug. “But like most, the rats ran for cover when the exterminator arrived.” He gave the man a dirty look and then continued his walk to nowhere.

“And that is the very subject I am here to see you about. It’s not the rats I’m interested in, it’s the exterminator I want to meet.”

The prisoner laughed but kept his stride even and nonstop. “If you mention the name of that particular exterminator you could find yourself my roommate here”—the tall man gestured about him at the thick walls of Leavenworth prison—“in the Club Med of the plains.” The man in the orange jumpsuit laughed and shook his head at the strange and badly dressed man walking beside him.

Vickers matched the laugh with his own chuckle. “Actually, it’s the field men I want, not their boss.”

Prisoner 275698 stopped walking and stared at the slight man in the rumpled blue suit.

“Don’t those people at Langley give you a clothing allowance?”

Vickers, although the insult caught him off guard, ignored the comment because as a matter of fact he didn’t get a clothing allowance from the cheap bastards in Virginia.

“To be more precise, Prisoner 275698, I need several of those names—and one in particular.”

“Why me? I’ve been illegally locked up here since 2006. Why should I assist the people who helped put me here—stabbed me in the back, let’s say. Why?”

“Because the man who signed your life away is having difficulty hanging onto his power.”

“Look, the president who put me away is long out of office, but his replacement still holds the key and he’s not going to give it up.” The prisoner smiled. “It seems I am not the most popular figure going in the corporate world these days.”

Hiram Vickers stopped walking and became deathly serious as he watched the man’s back.

“Things change—they can change very quickly, I think. The president doesn’t need another problem on his hands with the budget he just turned in. The draft board thing isn’t going over too well either. I think you may have some very understanding ears turned your way in the next few months, and that, my friend, is the why portion of your question. I can get you out of here and back into the fight that’s coming, and along the way maybe we can work together and settle a few old scores.”

The prisoner laughed. “You have made an enemy, I think, and whoever it is scares the hell out of you.”

Vickers didn’t return the laugh as he started walking again. He stopped and looked to the blue Kansas sky.

“My enemies are your enemies. Deal with the devil to get what it is you want most.”

“Go ahead,” the federal prisoner said. He started to walk around his exercise yard once more.

“The desert, the high desert—need I say more?”

The prisoner looked up at the guard tower where the large officer’s eyes never left the two men strolling casually in the yard.

“I don’t know what it is you’re talking about.”

Vickers stopped cold in his tracks and chanced reaching for the prisoner’s arm, an action that drew the immediate attention of the armed guard, who shook his head at Vickers.

“The people I seek are in the high desert—or should I say, under it?”

“Again, I don’t know what it is you speak of.”

Exasperated, Vickers nearly reached out and slapped the man but remembered the very lethal looking Mini-14 the guard had on his back.

“Well, I thought I could count on a patriot such as yourself to want to get the hell out of here”—he gestured around him at the exercise yard—“and get into the fight that is surely coming at us.”

“What’s happened?” the man asked, suddenly becoming interested.

“Oh, that’s right, you’re no longer kept in the loop on Operation Magic, are you, Mr. Charles Hendrix II?”

Hendrix wasn’t surprised at all that this man mentioned what in this prison was unmentionable: his name.

“They deserve the fate they created for themselves. Nonetheless, Mr. Vickers, you have my attention.”

“Good, that’s a start. Now, the name of the man who really put you here, who is it?” The two men commenced walking once more.

“He’s dead … does that surprise you that I know this? Even I still have sources, my friend; my attorneys are not what they seem sometimes.”

“The name, Hendrix,” Vickers hissed.

“Lee, Garrison Lee. He’s quite an old enemy of my family—an enemy since 1947. But as I said, he’s dead and I curse the ground that particular Boy Scout is buried in.”

“Garrison Lee, the former U.S. senator?”

“One and the same.” Hendrix smiled and looked at his guest. “He was a little bit more than the history books will ever reveal.”

“We’ll discuss that at length later, after you’re a free man. Now, what is the other name I need?”

“Compton, Niles. He’s attached to the National Archives and works in that facility you mentioned underneath the desert in Las Vegas.”

“Yes, I know, underneath Nellis Air Force Base. Niles Compton, huh?”

“Dr. Niles Compton, yes. And do not, and I mean it, try to match wits with the man. He could outthink you in his sleep.”

“A lot of people, much to their regret, thought the same thing about me, Mr. Hendrix.”

Hendrix smiled down at the rumpled man. “Is that right? Well, this man has the muscle of the federal government backing him, and he hangs around with some very salty people.”

“It’s one of those salty people I am seeking. Collins, Jack, colonel, United States Army. Ring a bell?”

“Outside of his famous appearance in front of the senate oversight committee when he threw his commander and several high-ranking politicos underneath the proverbial bus, no. I take it he’s running the Group’s security for Compton. God knows military men are only good for little else.”

Hendrix saw the disappointment in Vickers’s face and knew he had the man. “I do have a name that will lead you to this colonel you want so badly.”

“Who?”

“Well, at the time of my arrest he was a commander in the Navy.” Hendrix’s eyes narrowed to slits. “That is one arrogant son of a bitch I wouldn’t mind seeing…” He looked around. “Gone. His name is Carl Everett, a Navy SEAL.”

To Vickers it felt as if he had a chance at getting his life back after reaching a starting point.

“Now, quid pro quo, Hiram. I need a name myself, and it could be a name that interests you and your bosses far more than the ones you asked about. But before I tell you the name I want, tell me: Why do you need to find this Colonel Collins, especially with the shit storm getting ready to engulf the entire world?”

“I have to find him and kill him”—he looked over at the taller Hendrix—“before he finds and kills me.” Once more Vickers looked away. “I may have inadvertently killed his sister.”

This made the man formerly known as Charles Hendrix II purse his lips and shake his head.

“I can understand your consternation, especially since this Group buried in the desert is the favorite of every president of the United States since Woodrow Wilson. And they protect this Group, Mr. CIA man—and I mean protect it.” He chuckled at V...

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Description du livre St Martin s Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Some speculate that the war between the worlds began 700 million years ago, but the war is now upon us. The plans of a million years are finally ready for what we have always known was coming - Armageddon. The war flares to global brightness when the first alien strike in history hits China. Only one being in the world can possibly give Earth a fighting chance at survival - a small alien called the Matchstick Man. While the Matchstick Man searches for the real motivation behind the invasion, the Event Group learns that the answer to this war is buried here on earth, and they may even hold the clue to salvation. The fate of the planet depends on a few good men and women in this action-packed thrill ride from New York Times bestselling author David L. Golemon. N° de réf. du libraire AA99781250013026

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Description du livre St Martin s Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Some speculate that the war between the worlds began 700 million years ago, but the war is now upon us. The plans of a million years are finally ready for what we have always known was coming - Armageddon. The war flares to global brightness when the first alien strike in history hits China. Only one being in the world can possibly give Earth a fighting chance at survival - a small alien called the Matchstick Man. While the Matchstick Man searches for the real motivation behind the invasion, the Event Group learns that the answer to this war is buried here on earth, and they may even hold the clue to salvation. The fate of the planet depends on a few good men and women in this action-packed thrill ride from New York Times bestselling author David L. Golemon. N° de réf. du libraire AA99781250013026

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