Kate Allison and Lyle Goldman are corporate mercenaries. They work for high paying clients to handle the messy business corporations would rather keep out of the public eye. After a stretch of bad jobs, they finally get a lucky break.
It is the easiest job they've had in months: a simple object recovery mission with payment that is almost too good to be true. About time the get an easy payday, right?
Things go sideways almost immediately and they find themselves fighting to stay one step ahead of the company chasing them. They are hunted, betrayed, and protecting one of the most important assets they've ever come into contact with. The truth they discover not only represents a billion dollar investment for the company, but a key to a dangerous genetic future for humanity.
Coming September 2018!
Engineering humanity is no longer a dream...
It's our Nightmare.
Rippling waves crashed against the side of the twenty-seven-foot fishing vessel, The Lonely Spirit. They were the only sounds diminishing the silence of the night, apart from the occasional gust of wind ripping across the deck.
Quinn Walden enjoyed the isolation of the empty deck, which was why he didn’t mind taking the night shift as the topside guard. Sure, it was colder up here, but it kept him from having to constantly tell his crewmates below deck that he didn’t want to gamble.
He enjoyed watching the way the ship’s flood lights cast shadows upon the water. The waves flickered in chaotic and beautiful ways the captivated him. The way they moved was rhythmic, almost poetic, a pattern separate to the shadows they danced upon.
Quinn pulled his coat tighter about his shoulders and blew into his hands. He would need to refill his thermos with coffee before too long as well as take a piss over the side railing. Maybe a smoke too, if he could bum one off of the guys below deck.
He’d run out a couple of days ago but refused to buy them when the ship left France. The corner shop he’d stopped in only had the packs with the impotence warning label in stock. Give him the deformed baby or lung cancer, no problem, but he’d be damned before he’d pick up a pack with the impotence warning label.
An occasional glimpse of the surrounding waters lit up the night as the moon slipped through the clouds, but other than that they only had the floodlights and motion sensors to stave off the dark. GPS controls kept them on course and radar kept them from bumping into anything, but that wasn’t why Quinn was up here.
He was here to make shoot anyone that tried to rob them.
Not that he expected such. This night, like the rest of the journey, was calm and serene. If it hadn’t been so cold the conditions would have been perfect. He’d been on twenty of these trips from France to Atlantic City and not once had anyone come after their cargo.
There was always a first time for everything, of course, and that was why he had his rifle and night vision scope. Any ships got to frisky and he would send warning shots. If those didn’t work, then…well…
He would get a chance to put his military marksmanship metals to the test.
Quinn buttoned his coat tighter and leaned against the railing of the ship, listening to the ocean and breathing in the salty air. The motion used to make him sick, but he’d adapted.
The heavy door that led below deck suddenly flew open. Music poured out, interrupting the calm night and ripping Quinn out of his reverie. He looked over in annoyance, leaning up from the railing, but he couldn’t see the doorway from where he was standing.
“Cut out that damn racket!” he called out, annoyed. “I can’t hear myself think.”
The door closed again, but now there was someone else out here in the cold night with him. He glanced to the side and saw Jimmy Pitts coming toward him, rubbing his hands together and scowling at the wind.
“I don’t see how you can stand this weather,” Jimmy groaned, leaning against the railing beside Quinn and staring out at the sea.
“Not much choice, is there? No one else wanted this shift.”
“We would have rotated.”
Quinn waved the concern away. “Nah, man. It ain’t so bad.”
“I would have asked for more money taking all the night shifts. A larger cut.”
Quinn shrugged. It wasn’t a bad idea, and maybe something he could take up on their next run.
“Maybe,” he said.
“I don’t know why we bother. We haven’t seen another ship for three days, and even if one did come into range we would pick it up on radar long before you could see anything. You might as well just come inside.”
“Nah, I’m good.”
“You sure? I’m sure the guys would agree—”
“You’re out of money, aren’t you?”
Jimmy laughed. “Yeah. I was hoping you could front me.”
“Like the last time? I’m still waiting to get paid back.”
Quinn smirked and shook his head. “Sure.”
“Really, though, having you up here over night is useless. During the day—”
“This was what the client expects, so this is what he’ll get. I’m not about to piss on our orders and jeopardize my cut because of a little cold.”
Jimmy didn’t reply except to offer a shrug. He reached into a hidden jacket pocket and drew out a flask. “Suit yourself. Tomorrow morning we’ll dock and be done with this bullshit run anyway. Next one isn’t for a couple of weeks and the weather is supposed to be a lot warmer.”
“You staying local?”
“I was thinking about it. Couple of casinos I could hit up in the area.”
“You’ll be broke in a week.”
“Most likely. You?”
“Heading back to Detroit for a couple of weeks. Haven’t seen Sally or the new baby in months.”
“Fourth,” Quinn corrected. “Third girl.”
Jimmy whistled, handing the flask over to Quinn. “You Catholics sure do pump them out.”
“More mouths to feed,” Quinn replied taking a swig before handing it back. The liquid burned down his throat. He wiped his mouth with the back of his glove.
“I hear that.”
A minute passed in silence, the two of them just staring out at the waves. Quinn realized that his friend didn’t want to leave him alone, but Jimmy was practically shaking he was so cold.
“Don’t worry about me, man. I’ll stay out here, and you can go back inside. The cold doesn’t bother me.”
“I’m sure,” Quinn replied, reaching over and patting Jimmy on the back. “I might stick around for a day or two with you when we land. I’ll play some slots.”
Jimmy scoffed. “Slots? You should be playing the tables.”
“I prefer my games to come with a lot of bells and whistles.”
“To each his own, I guess.”
Jimmy turned to head back below decks and then hesitated.
“Need a nightcap?” he asked, offering up the flask again.
“Just hang onto it. Only a bit left anyway.”
“Nah let me just finish it off and—”
Quinn attempted to unscrew the lid of the flask with his gloves, but it was slippery. In the process, he lost control of the metallic canister and it dropped out of his hand.
It hit the deck with its first bounce and went over the edge of the boat with the second. Both men gazed after it in awe, unwilling to speak.
Finally, Quinn gulped and pushed himself away from the railing. He cleared his throat.
“I’m not going in after it.”
“For God’s sake, Quinn. That was a gift from my brother. You’re buying me a new one.”
“And a bottle of whiskey for my troubles. It had better be expensive and—”
“Let’s not go too far,” Quinn said, laughing. “New flask…no problem.”
“Fine. I’m going inside,” Jimmy replied, rubbing his hands again and blowing on them. “If you want to stick around out here and freeze your nuts off, that’s your own problem.”
Quinn nodded as Jimmy walked away and then leaned his back against the railing. After a moment the door opened and closed again, leaving him along once more. He glanced up at the clouds.
Go inside and play poker with men he didn’t really like? No thanks. Most of the hired hands of this crew were just a bunch of lazy idiots, not even real professionals. Most didn’t even have military experience. Quinn might have been dishonorably discharged, but he was still worth any five of those men.
No, he would rather stay out here in isolation with his thoughts and his rifle. Out here he was calm. Out here he was safe.