Knight Sea On Fire takes readers on a journey with former Marine RECON operator and super spy, Agent Tony Knight as he races to save the planet from the risk of nuclear war. This short thriller is a roller-coaster ride of cyber intrigue, murky geopolitics, and seductive assassins.
Blackout: Sea On Fire
“This is from way up, Knight. I hate to ask you, but are you sure you can manage this?” J.P Archer asked, her tone uncharacteristically fearful.
“By way up, you mean Pentagon, White House, who exactly?” Knight asked as he slipped out of bed, holding the phone between the left side of his face and the curve of his elbow.
J.P sighed wearily. “You don’t want to know, trust me, and I can’t tell you anyway. Just get the codes and his exact location without alerting anyone as to the governments’ involvement.”
“Alright.” Tony Knight answered. Hire a rogue to break into the North Korea systems to prevent the launch of the missiles and detect the location of the leader. If things turned awry, it couldn’t be tied legitimately to anyone in the U.S. government.
“Remember, you can’t use any of your government contacts or resources. You are on your own on this one. I’ll send you some detailed instructions via the usual secure channel. Good luck.” J.P said and hung up.
Typical J.P behavior: vague instructions, cutting him off from his usual resources; hamstringing him, go save the planet but don’t expect any help.
As the news droned on in the next room, he wondered briefly how Americans would feel if they knew they were on the verge of nuclear attack. Would they take to the streets? Hug their children?
Tony Knight walked the bathroom, wondering what the next line of action would be. He made a mental list of contacts that weren’t tied to government that would help him. He would need to travel. Japan first, of course, some thought of Dominika flickered in his head. She made some vague reference to Tokyo, and now he would be heading to Japan. He wondered if she’d be a stewardess on his plane ride. She’d pry again, asking questions. Knight had kept Dominika as on and off girlfriend because he couldn’t afford a regular relationship in his line of business. It was dangerous and tasking, and any woman would be owed more truth than he could afford to tell.
Putting thoughts of Dominika to one side, Knight began the mental process of building his team. He’d need a good hacker, and the Russians were definitely out. He would have to look inside the US for what he needed. Suddenly, he had a flashback from his lunch with a buddy at DynCorp a few months back and went for his phone. He might already have a lead if he could just find the number…
Malik’s red fez cap was the first thing Knight noticed from the entrance. The minuscule Arab slouched over a cup of coffee looked quite unassuming, but Knight knew that he was one of the best and most dangerous hackers that were not attached to any government agency. His back-story was sparse, eight years in the United States. An orphan, graduated top of his class from his country in Egypt, won a scholarship to MIT for his Master’s program. Rinse repeat, finished his Master’s sat the top of his class and moved on to Ph.D. Now the Wunderkind worked for Retr, a tech consulting firm reputed to have more than twenty governments in their client base.
“Hello, Mr. Malik. I’m Knight.”
Malik looked up, face blank, but Knight could feel the scrutiny.
“Why should I work for you?” Malik went straight to the point; Knight’s butt had barely touched the seat.
“You’re here already. You took my offer seriously. All charges against your drug dealing cousin will be dropped as soon as you deliver the goods.” Knight said, grinning, though inwardly, he wondered how he was going to make that happen. Malik’s cousin Feri was facing twenty-one years for drug peddling.
Malik nodded, calm as if it was some negotiation for a job. “Alright. I need backups and a station with…”
After breathing an internal sigh of relief, Knight began to take notes. He would get Malik what he needed. No question for now for the rest of the team. Having secured Malik, it was now time to build someone with more knowledge of government systems. There was no way Knight was going to accomplish the assignment without using some government resources; he had known it even when J.P said it.
Doris was one of his favorites on a network. She had once helped him break into the National Intelligence Agency network of computers. Wonder Woman they called her, having spent the first thirty years of her working life as a lawyer only to switch to a career in ethical hacking and computer networking at the age of fifty-three.
As Malik continued on his list of requirements Knight sent her a text message. It was a simple message stating the site of their meeting and time. He knew she was going to be there at the park waiting for him with her cute little dog yapping away at her side. The noisy little dog was a small price to pay for the job he was asking of her. She was going to help save America and perhaps avert a third World War.