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To give you a flavour of my book Global Raider here is an extract from Chapter 2. Extracts will continue every Tuesday and Friday.

Extract from CHAPTER 2

“I must inform you, gentlemen, Operation Fireback is now active,” he said, watching them flicker in apprehension as they realised the binding commitment.

“You could have told us.” The speaker was Dalvarral of the Defense Department.

“We agreed the operation would be run only on a need to know basis. You didn’t need to know, till now.”

“You certain Khalid bin Qasem will bite?” Ratner, an assistant director with the Science and Technology Directorate of the CIA said, observed Jake with convex eyes.

“You told me your department was getting a lot of electronic chatter, that’s al-Qaeda worried over the money they put in,” Jake said. “Well, thirty minutes ago I terminated Khalid’s source of information. To obtain lock-on, he must act before any navigational codes are changed. That’s effectively after GR4’s penultimate test flight. If he obtains lock-on during the test, he’ll siphon enough information to strike again on the inaugural flight.”

“Are we sure?” Ratner asked.

“Defeat or humiliation of American’s ultimate weapon will give him world acclaim. Every country supporting Islamic militants will fund him. To win he has to bite, because if he doesn’t, al-Qaeda will bite him.”

“Then why arrest Perry, for God’s sake?” Dave Shalk of the FBI pointed his finger, the nail manicured, his hand white and soft. “I threw you the guy because the FBI knew him as an Internet paedophile, ideal for blackmail. If you’ve arrested Perry, he’ll talk, Khalid will find out. He may back off or sell the information we passed. That’s long term damage.”

Jake resisted the temptation to snap the man’s finger off.   “I said, his information source was terminated. I saw no point in creating paperwork over this.” Jake watched the FBI man shrink back, saw him realise. The finger wavered.

“We have no jurisdiction over the police,” Shalk warned. “If you commit a crime, don’t get caught.”

“We are at war.” Jake looked between them. “That’s total commitment. You’ve all given input. FBI finding Perry as the patsy, CIA’s infiltration tipping him to al-Qaeda for blackmail. But it was me who had to set the sting while limiting damage. I placed two guys in his department, guys of his sexual inclination, which made it easier for him to recruit them, security men who could smuggle stuff out. That way Qasem only got what we wanted. Both Perry and his boss, Crawley, had access to lift classified data from the loop. The fact they’re both shirt lifters makes it look like a faggot conspiracy. And you’re right, Perry would have talked. So exit Perry, job done. I had to protect my men and our own interest. And you did hint at Heaven’s approval.”

“I said Heaven had been informed of a covert operation to wipe Khalid bin Qasem out, to destroy a group central to the terrorist circuit,” Dalvarral said. “They made no comment. You might note, this meeting is not held in a Government office. Don’t that tell you something?”

“Deniable operation, glory or bust. Perry got run over by a truck.” Jake watched the three crows draw down their hoods. Knowledge compromised them. He felt nothing but contempt. “If you join battle, gentlemen, ain’t no point pussy-footing behind the stockade. Since 9/11 we’ve been at war. If a traitor hands secrets to the enemy, he pays the consequences. You don’t like it, you’re in the wrong game.”

“Don’t doubt us, Jake,” Ratner said. “But on home ground we got limitations.”

“Al-Qaeda brought the battlefield here and set the ground rules. Let’s not forget, we play a double game using a double-edged sword. With Government approval the security of Walsh Industries is my responsibility and as Walsh developed Global Raider or GR4, so security on the aircraft is also mine. On your suggestion and with your co-operation I’ve allowed a controlled leakage of information to ensnare an enemy. That puts us into a conspiracy, gentlemen. And those in a conspiracy stay close, or fall by their own hand.”

“Double-edged swords cut two ways, Jake. We have to ensure it doesn’t bounce back. We are all involved,” Dalvarral said.

“In that case, I suggest we all take a firm grip. Perry is dead. Fortunately I lifted the documents he carried and replaced them with others to which he had sole access. The upside is Dr Max Crawley, Perry’s boss, is going to shit himself when he learns his chief assistant is the source of a major leak. That leaves him vulnerable as planned. The downside is, Wat Walsh will also hear. That causes problems.”

“So we cut Walsh in.” Ratner tapped the table and sat back.   “He’s a patriot and it will make our lives easier.”

Jake shook his head, listening to the grind of traffic as it passed outside. “Last time Khalid crossed with Walsh, you guys let Khalid execute the man’s wife. That’s a lot of rage to suffer, even for a patriot. Wat Walsh don’t forgive or forget. Your agency’s got no credit with him, that’s why he’s paranoid over the safety of his daughter. He don’t trust the security services. The first hint of Khalid and he might well lock down, ground GR4 and kill our operation. He has that power.”

Shalk made to speak but Dalvarral interrupted him. “Walsh and his daughter are important, but small fry. Expedience surpasses them both. What do you advise?”

“Perry’s death will out the supposed impossible, enemy infiltration. If Khalid is suggested I’ll need to satisfy Daddy Walsh over the absolute safety of Juliet Walsh. I’ve been planning to shift her to a secret place under maximum security, but now I’ve only got nine days to persuade her, otherwise this could fold.”

“You saying the whole operation is dependent on some spoilt brat?” Shalk’s finger was outstretched again. “For God’s sakes, lock her up.”

“Juliet Walsh don’t lock up or shut up easy. Of course, I could remove her father’s paranoia by throwing her under a truck. Alternatively, you guys could use influence in your departments and get me some co-operation from Heaven. And I mean immediately.”

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