Front-line, behind-the-scenes military adventure that will steal your breath and take you deep inside the world of the nation's most lethal human weapons-from an Air Force Combat Crewmember who's seen the light . . .
Whether on a call to rescue or a call to arms, close to home or in the most inaccessible places on earth, the U.S. Special Forces elite pararescue teams are first on the scene, first to put their lives on the line. Along with his unit of ten, Air Force Master Sergeant Jason Johnson is licensed to kill but prefers to use his powers for good-until murder on the job makes it personal.
A series of deadly events has made it terrifyingly clear that the nation-and its fiercest protectors-are in danger.
A weapon of unmatched power is aimed at the United States and hidden thousands of feet beneath one of the most isolated spots on the planet. It must be destroyed at the source and it's going to take a thermonuclear charge to do the job-hand-placed by the cream of U.S. covert forces, the suicide squad known as the Brotherhood of Death.
Excelling in infiltration, intimidation, and assassination, armed with top-secret, high-tech gadgetry, these handpicked warriors are the last resort. Johnson knows their lethal drill all too well. He's been there before and now he's being called on again. But this time he wants the man behind the killing machine. And he'll stop at nothing to get him, even if it makes this mission his last.
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February 25, 2002
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Excerpt from The Lucifer Light by Michael Salazar
CHAPTER 1 0130 THURSDAY / 16 SEPTEMBER 1999 PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE / FLORIDA Hard rain pounded on a blue, six-passenger Chevrolet 3500 4x4 truck parked on the flight line. Ten Air Force pararescuemen were stuffed inside, watching as a big Hercules HC-130 aircraft taxied to a stop in front of them. The Blue Team leader, Master Sergeant Jason Johnson, glanced at his new PJ pup, Dan Murray, a normally gregarious person who now sat oddly silent. He pressed his lips together in a tight smile, remembering himself as a young PJ. Nudging Dan, he asked, "First real world rescue mission?" "Yeah." A shy and slightly embarrassed smile appeared on Dan's face. "Who's your teammate?" "Alex." Jason tapped Alex Abbey. "Hey, Alex, if it's okay with you, I'd like to take Dan with me. You can go with my teammate, Doug." "It's cool with me," muttered Doug Lutz. "No problem," Alex said with a nod. "Hey, Doug, I talked to your girlfriend, and she's bummed 'cause we're both gonna be gone at the same time." "I know. That's too bad, because her dog's in heat. You could've serviced them both." "Work time, guys," Jason said as the HC-130's ramp and door opened. The loadmaster guided in the truck until it backed close to the edge of the ramp, then the PJs jumped out and quickly tossed their gear onto it. In minutes all the equipment was stowed and strapped down on the airplane; then the 4x4 drove away. Jason was the last man to climb onto the HC-130. The loadmaster closed the ramp and door, allowing the plane; to taxi back toward the runway. Securing his gear, Jason dropped onto a red webbed seat and buckled himself in next to Mac Rio, the loadmaster and Jason's best friend. "Yeah? So what's the deal?" A phone call to his apartment in Satellite Beach had woken him, ordering him straight to the alert truck. Mac frowned and asked, "Haven't you been watching the news?" "I was asleep, thank you." Jason had known Mac for years. Together they had flown the world to famines, war, and natural disasters. Mac, with few exceptions, was the closest thing to family that Jason had. Mac waited until the plane was safely airborne before he spoke again. "Hurricane Floyd really knocked the shit out of North Carolina. Man, day and night we've been hauling rescue gear from all over the country to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, but ain't nothing stopping the Tar River from flooding. It's swelled to over thirty feet-it floods at the nineteen-foot level. Now the river's become a wall of rushing water and they need all the rescue support they can get. This is our eighth and last lift for the night. We're dropping you off at Pope. "Over thirty thousand homes have flooded and there's hundreds of people trapped in the rising water, and it's getting worse. If the people don't get out somehow, they're going to get swept away in the flood in a matter of hours and drown. Your choppers and crews are already there and are just waiting on you guys to get into the action." Jason nodded. Hurricane Floyd, a category five storm, had come ripping out of the Atlantic Ocean and made a beeline for Florida, causing the biggest mass exodus in Florida's history. But Floyd had turned at the last minute and torn into North Carolina. The call for help came quickly for the 920th Rescue Group at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, as it did for every other rescue asset available in the country. The rescue group's H-60G Blackhawk helicopters were fitted with a myriad of night vision systems, plus they had primary hoist capabilities. True to their motto, the group was ready at a moment's notice. Once again, PJs and everyone supporting them were about to put their lives on the line so that others may l