Hi followers! Remember to give me a break on this first draft from Book Two. The sequel to The Man Who Could which is still in final edit. I feel on this go around I won't have to do so many drafts to get it right. Currently my first book in on Draft 13 and has now taken almost two years to get to that point. I expect Book Two to progress much more rapidly with what I have learned from Book One, as long as I can make the time to write. Let me know what you think of this first chapter which starts off from the point of view Katherine Ryder, my main protagonist love interest. I can see a off-shoot of my Joe Werner series with Katherine as the headline of her own book soon in the future. Serious potential with ideas already swirling about her own story. Hope you like it...
Oct 2021 - United Kingdom – Katherine Ryder
Chapter One - Raytheon
Katherine hated these middle of the night phone calls; they were never good. Somewhere in Europe, something had happened that forced a call from Interpol. Katherine Ryder, lead investigative officer of the UK division. She rushed off to Bristol airport which took just under an hour, boarded a plan to Heathrow, and then upon arriving jumped into a waiting black rental Vauxhall Insignia sedan.
Dragging along her duffle bag full of papers, camera’s, and miscellaneous forensics equipment. Katherine also brought her signature guns. A Pamas G1. A French version of the 9mm Beretta FS, a side-arm widely used by the French police. She also brought a case with her which had a Spectre M4 Italian made submachine gun with a 50 round capacity that could fire 850 rounds per minute. Just in case.
Her mind wandered during the hour long drive up to Harlow. I wonder if this is another Marque involved case? Please don’t let them have overnight workers. Nothing could have prepared her for the carnage she saw as she drove up to what was once the pride and joy structure for Raytheon’s Complex Weapons Systems design headquarters.
It was now 4 a.m. as she arrived. The fires from the explosion still lit up the sky. Plumes of smoke illuminated by the fires below gave the appearance of winged dragons surveying their domain.
Numerous fire trucks and police vehicles were on scene. Katherine was directed to pull over by a security guard who verified her identification before allowing her closer to the scene. As she got out another explosion rocked the area from deep inside from what was now left of the building. Where once stood a four-story modern building of glass shaped like a Stealth Bomber, now stood only outer frame support beams. The blast had collapsed the internal floors upon each other.
It was already being called a tragic accident by the first responders on the scene, but something wasn’t right in Katherine’s eyes. Hmm, an explosion did take place inside, but from the looks of several pieces on the ground, there are burn marks on the outside of pieces that were facing out. Katherine thought. If this was all caused by an internal explosion with the traditional outward projection, the burn and heat marks would have been on the inside of the pieces as they were blown away from the explosion.
A flat front piece of the building the size of a computer monitor, lay face up on a nearby unlucky cars boot that it had damaged upon landing. Katherine put on some gloves from her bag, proceeding to pick up the piece. The heat signature on its outer surface was something she had never seen before. Almost like it had been cut by heat, but definitely not a laser. That heat melted the surface like ribbons in motion and left it warped. Its edged melted. This contradicted the precision look of a laser.
Just then a man walked up and introduced himself as officer Matthew Hunt of the Harlow Police Station, a part of the Essex Police force. Katherine returned the etiquette and told Officer Hunt that she was now in charge of the operation per Interpol and the Ministry of Defense (MOD) which she represented. Due to a little incident involving a nuclear bomb on UK soil last year, she had been elevated to a special standing within the UK listing her as both a commanding officer in the MOD and within Interpol.
The only one of her kind. She had earned the accolades with her American team the previous year which saved millions of UK lives and brought justice to the mastermind of the operation. She knew they had got lucky. That mastermind ended up only being a chess piece of a much larger terrorist organization called the Marque. Plus, it would never have been accomplished if they didn’t have Joe Werner along for the ride. A legend now in the MOD and DOD, and Katherine’s boyfriend now.
That real story of what happened and how they accomplished it would never be believed by the masses, so the DOD created an alternative story more likely to be accepted by the people and one the governments involved would aggressively protect.
I need to get my mind back on the current situation, Katherine thought. This blast pattern just doesn’t make sense, it’s almost like it went in before it went out. Another piece was found farther past the parking lot, and it too had the same markings on it. Like some kind of laser went into the building and then set off an explosion inside causing the more visible traditional outward blast associated with that kind of internal explosion.
I don’t believe this is any accident, Katherine thought, as a gurney squeaked by headed towards an ambulance. A body lay covered by a blanket; its outline illuminated by the strobing lights of the nearby first responders’ vehicles. Only the burned feet of the victim was exposed to the dark and cold early morning air, a shoe on one, the other laid bare.
This just officially became a murder scene.