Shimmer In The Dark: Destiny Nexus

Shimmer in the Dark: Destiny Nexus Cover
Shimmer in the Dark: Destiny Nexus Cover

 

This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him?

Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Warning: Some strong language.

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Excerpt from Destiny Nexus

Chapter One

 

Seated in a US military installation concealed deep below the Nevada desert, Niall Kearey pushed tendrils of his consciousness into a mountain situated deep within the heart of the Middle East. He sensed a thrumming; an alteration in the magnetic flux. The UN suspected a weapons-grade uranium plant existed somewhere inside this mountain range, but without hard evidence the inspectors had been reluctant to stir up the volatile brew of politics and saber-rattling required to force an inspection.

Seemed their suspicions had been well-founded.

“Closing in on target,” he said, partly to relieve his growing tension. “Think we have something.”

He caught Jacqueline’s whispered, “Dieu soit loué.”

Dr. Jacqueline Biron had invested a lot of hard work into this project and judging from the intensity of her aura, she needed a successful outcome from this mission as much as he did.

She glanced at him from the neighboring work station. “Need another signal, Major.”

Niall leaned back in his chair. The array of visual displays blurred as his eyes glazed over with concentration. He tried to ignore the throb from the electromagnetic disruptor protecting this section of the Groom Lake base. He knew from personal experience the device obstructed remote-viewing of the immediate vicinity, but it didn’t prevent him from remote-viewing out and he’d gotten used to its disorienting effect. Usually he barely noticed it.

Usually.

Just not when geomagnetic forces eleven thousand miles away chased his mind between the crystalline atomic structures making up an uplift of Jurassic rock. The juncture between limestone and granite pulsated with a life of its own. Around his physical person, the underground facility pressed against his consciousness.

Sweat broke out on Niall’s brow; his dual realities too close for comfort.

Fucking rock everywhere. Crushing him.

He flexed over-tight back muscles, took in a calming breath, and focused on forming an electromagnetic burst large enough to register on the US satellite monitoring system targeting the area. He compounded its intensity until the electromagnetic map reported a blip on the screen.

Jacqueline tapped the flatscreen monitor. “Good. Locator signal identified.”

Niall shifted his perspective and glanced at a screen showing the region he was remote-viewing. Jacqueline pinpointed the exact position of his electromagnetic marker. He had a couple hundred more yards to go.

If her calculations were right.

He raised his voice. “Someone check the air-con.”

“The AC’s working fine,” Jacqueline said. A note of amusement softened her reply. “You can still remote-view the access tunnels.”

Her original suggestion, one he should have followed.

“I’m nearly there.” He could withstand a direct route through the mountain for a few more seconds. He nudged his consciousness deeper into the rock and bounced off the energy fields in the vicinity.

Relief flooded him as the oppressive rock opened into a man-made vaulted space. He scanned the lines of tall, thin centrifugal vats extending far into the huge cavern. Polished metal coiled around the cylindrical vats, which were connected to an overhead collection system by colored piping.

“Target confirmed,” he reported. He differentiated between the electromagnetic fields of the illicit production machinery and the natural magnetic flux of the rock. “Good call, Doctor. This anomaly isn’t obvious.”

“Those new sensor modifications from your off-world friends have transformed our survey capabilities.” Her voice dropped. “Do the Astereans approve of their technology being used for this kind of mission?”

“Sohan wants to maintain a neutral stance on geopolitical matters. What they don’t know . . .” Niall didn’t like deceiving the Astereans, but in this instance his loyalties sat squarely with his home country.

The door opened and General George Towden entered GBI’s main lab. Niall straightened, careful not to lose his mental link to the underground uranium factory. He’d had his fill of evaluations, liaison duties, and covert intelligence gathering from a distance. He wanted action, but the general had kept a sharp eye on him, ever since the president approved Niall’s return to active duty despite two long and unauthorized absences. This mission might make the difference.

“As you were, Major,” Towden said. “Report when ready.”

“Sir.”

Niall completed his scan of the neat cascade of tall, silvery cylinders. “I estimate two thousand centrifuges, sir. No hostiles present.”

“Proceed.”

“Sir.” Niall focused his eyes on the live satellite feed and tuned out the physical distractions around him. “Constructing magnetic engine.”

Across the Red Sea and far into the Persian landscape, he gathered the magnetic flux of the mountain and created a perpetual magnetic engine. If he went a little further, he could harness the dark energy inside his spherical engine and create a bridge, a portal between Groom Lake and their target. A path existed through the shimmering quintessence of space into a dimension where space-time folded in on itself with varying degrees of predictability. However, a full-scale Special Forces invasion was unnecessary when Niall offered a more subtle solution.

Niall shifted his focus back to the GBI lab and created a second engine. Towden stepped back as a baseball-sized glowing sphere materialized in mid-air. The general eyed the vibrant ball of shifting light, his expression alive with undisguised wariness.

Jacqueline held out a magnetometer towards the hovering energy. “Point five Tesla. Please increase by forty percent.”

Niall made the adjustment.

She checked her device again and nodded. “Can you reproduce the same field on-site?”

“No problem.”

He dispersed the test engine and returned his attention halfway across the world. Deep inside the mountain, Niall increased the EM output.

“Reversing field.”

He dragged his remote engine across the gas centrifuges, specifically targeting the ring magnets atop each of the rotating cylinders. The reverse magnetic field initiated a demagnetization process that would be hard to detect or stop. Niall suppressed an outright grin as he considered the damage he was inflicting on this ultra-sensitive equipment—electromagnetic sabotage. Add that to his resume of dirty deeds done in the name of the greater good.

“How long do you think it will take them to realize what happened and replace these magnets?” he asked.

“In theory, weeks, probably months,” Towden answered him. “We anticipate a period of discovery when the uranium fails to meet the required grade, followed by arguments with the ring magnet supplier, attempts at recalibration, and then a whole new procurement process. We have scheduled dedicated satellites to monitor the above-ground facility. We’ll see how long it takes them to notice. Of course we’ll prime the UN to ask some damn awkward questions. Try and get the inspectors back in. It buys time.”

Niall rose to his feet and faced the general. “Reversal complete, sir.”

Towden’s expression relaxed. “Good job, Major.” He glanced to Jacqueline. “You too, Dr. Biron. It’s possible you both scratched one country off the WMD list for at least another year.” His eyes darkened as his gaze rested back on Niall. “Major Kearey, your presence is requested in Washington by order of the Armed Services Senate Committee. A jet is on the runway ready for take off.”

“Is there a problem, General?” he asked.

Towden skewered him with a stare. “You tell me, Major. Is there a problem?”

“No, sir.”

“Good. You’re dismissed.”

Niall stood to attention, glad when an aide diverted Towden’s scrutiny with a request for a signature.

Jacqueline grabbed her bag. Her face gave nothing away, but Niall detected anxiety in her aura. The emotion jumped out at him now his devious mind no longer pretended auras did not exist in the real world.

“I’ll come with you,” she said. “Sean’s got a few days off. He’s arriving this evening and my apartment’s a wreck.”

Niall doubted that very much. He waited until they were climbing the concrete stairs to the surface. “What is it? Don’t forget the CCTV.”

Jacqueline tucked errant strands of jet-black hair behind her ear. “Uncle Charles chairs the Armed Services Senate Committee. Be careful. He thinks you used me and he wants to find out who else was in on it.”

Niall grimaced. He’d skirted the oily senator to deal directly with the ruling council of the Vercingetorix. The secret society had wanted Niall’s data orb bad enough to pull the chain on their senatorial guard dog. Seemed their latitude might be running out.

“The Armed Services committee doesn’t know about the Vercingetorix, does it?”

Jacqueline shook her head. “You can’t say anything. Charles won’t allow the Vercingetorix to be exposed to the American political process. They have operated international governance for centuries without anyone being the wiser. The V will cut you down if you try to compromise them. Don’t go there, Major. Your family is safe. Keep it that way.”

“I intend to, but if your uncle wants me to steer clear of the Vercingetorix, I can use that to avoid certain questions. If things go sideways, Jose knows the drill. I’m putting him on standby to activate secondary measures if I don’t contact him once the hearing concludes. I’m not letting the V manipulate my family.”

“You’ve made plans to disappear? Again?” Jacqueline swatted his arm. “Merde!”

“I went rogue. I went outside the chain of command and a data orb might not be enough to save me when my superiors discover the full story. I’m living on borrowed time and I don’t know how, or when the truth will win out, or what the fallout will be.” He glanced at her. “Jose’s got instructions to take you, too.” Her fine-boned face paled. Concern enlarged her rich-brown eyes and made him add, “I promised to protect you, Jacqueline. That hasn’t changed.”

He pushed open the exit door and a car engine roared to life.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.

“The less you knew the better. Try not to worry. Jose and I have it covered. I’m going to have to come clean at some point, but I want to pick the moment.”

A moment when his loved ones were safe and he could make a quick exit through the nearest wormhole. It might not be necessary, not if he proved his value. One thing he knew to be a dead cert. If he went down, he was dragging the whole goddamn Vercingetorix to hell with him.

Copyright Ceri London 2014

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