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The Anaconda Complex Paperback – April 19, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
"The Anaconda Complex is a unique and much recommended pick for thriller readers."--Midwest Book Review
From the Author
Excerpt. All rights reserved.
From a stand of oak trees the two men in black balaclavas lurked and watched United States Senator John Stockwall of Texas stroll on the flagstone path from his winding asphalt driveway to the front door of his Tudor-style mansion in McLean, Virginia. It was a twenty-minute drive from DC. He had avoided the daily ritual of traffic congestion due to the lateness of the hour.
It was dark, the cool fall air crisp. The moon hung low in the sky.
Stockwall fished his keys from his trouser pocket as he approached the door. His three-acre yard was surrounded by a spiked, black, wrought-iron fence that had an electronically operated gate at the driveway's entrance. He had no reason to suspect that intruders had breached his security.
The two men clad in black tracksuits stole through the trees toward Stockwall, his back to them. He inserted the key into the front door's lock. He opened the door. He had sixty seconds to deactivate the programed security alarm in the foyer. He walked toward the alarm, the door ajar behind him. He knew his wife would not be here. She was at some meeting or other. She was always at some meeting or other.
The two men stood in the doorway. One had a suppressed H&K MP5 in his hands. The other held a roll of duct tape in one hand and a sap in the other. The two men waited for Stockwall to disarm the alarm. Stockwall punched in the code with his forefinger, unaware of the intruders' presence. He punched in the last number and lowered his arm.
That was when the man with the duct tape lunged at him. The man brought the metal and leather sap down hard on the back of Stockwall's head.
Stockwall staggered to his knees, reaching for his head, his face a mask of pain.
The man dropped the sap. In economical, fluid movements, he tore off a length of the grey duct tape and secured it around Stockwall's mouth. He tore off another strip and bound Stockwall's hands in front of him. He bound Stockwall's legs at the ankles.
The man with the MP5 led the way out the front door. Following him, his accomplice frog-marched Stockwall.
The two men did not speak. MP5 motioned with a twisting of his black leather-gloved hand toward Duct Tape. Duct Tape understood. He dredged the senator's SUV keys from the senator's trouser pocket. He flipped the keys to MP5.
Unable to make the catch, MP5 bobbled the keys. He cursed, leaned over, and inspected the lawn in front of him for the set of keys. He found them, snagged them, and made for Stockwall's silver SUV parked in the driveway.
The senator seized his opportunity. He bolted free from Duct Tape and slammed him in the head with his bound hands. Duct Tape reeled backward but did not go down. Stockwall tried to hop on his bound legs across the lawn into the impenetrable darkness of the trees.
Duct Tape ran him down with ease. Duct Tape spun Stockwall around and hammered Stockwall's face with a right cross that decked the senator.
MP5 tapped his suppressor impatiently against the SUV's driver's side door to signal to Duct Tape to step on it.
Duct Tape glared at Stockwall and kicked him in the stomach. Groaning, Stockwall writhed on the cold grass.
MP5 tapped his machine pistol's suppressor again, harder this time, against the SUV's metal door. He waved at Duct Tape.
Duct Tape took note. He kicked Stockwall in the stomach again, then yanked him to his feet and propelled him toward the SUV.
MP5 opened the tailgate door of the SUV. Duct Tape shoved Stockwall into the vehicle. Duct Tape climbed in after him. Duct Tape unwound more tape. He tore off a strip. He wrapped it around Stockwall's eyes.
Duct Tape tried to close the rear door behind him. It would not shut. Looking back he realized Stockwall's feet were protruding over the tailgate. Duct Tape hauled Stockwall farther into the vehicle and shut the door.
MP5 fired the ignition. He turned the SUV around in the driveway's apron in front of the garage. He headed for the security gate. Slowing down at the gate, he opened the SUV's console and withdrew a remote control device. He pressed the red button on the black plastic remote.
The wrought-iron gate swung open electronically.
MP5 sped out onto the street.
Stockwall started writhing around and kicking the tailgate as the SUV accelerated. Duct Tape elbowed him in the face then dredged out a plastic case not much bigger than a deck of cards from his rear tracksuit pocket. Duct Tape flipped open the case and removed a hypodermic needle. Holding the needle upward, he pressed the plunger with his thumb and watched as fluid squirted out of the tip.
Satisfied there was no air in the hypo, Duct Tape injected the sedative into Stockwall's jugular. Emir Azam had told him if the serum had an air bubble in it, Stockwall would die from an embolism.
Duct Tape removed the needle from Stockwall's jugular. At least Duct Tape thought it was the jugular. It could have been the carotid artery for all he knew. He had no medical training. He was simply carrying our orders. In any case, he knew the drug would knock Stockwall out.
In fact, Stockwall's kicks were losing their clout already.
In another minute Stockwall lay motionless. Duct Tape chucked the senator's cheek and smiled.
"He's out cold," said Duct Tape.
The driver, Tariq, nodded and removed his balaclava. He was five foot eleven, thirtyish, and had a swarthy complexion. He sported a short black beard, more stubble than beard, really.
Duct Tape removed his balaclava as well. His name was Ramirez. In his late twenties, smooth-shaven, Ramirez was an inch shorter than Tariq but had a heavier build.
Tariq drove the SUV onto Dolley Madison Boulevard. A mile or so onto it he pulled over onto a tree-lined turnout. He got out of the SUV, circled around to the back, and lifted a jack out of a well near the tailgate.
He jacked up the left rear tire a few inches to make it look like he was in the process of changing the tire. He stepped to the tailgate, pulled a screwdriver and a Pennsylvania license plate out of his tracksuit, and switched license plates on Stockwall's SUV.
Tariq repaired to the front of the SUV and switched license plates there, too.
He tossed the jack back in the rear well, closed the tailgate door, returned to the driver's seat, and pulled back into traffic. He steered the SUV onto the George Washington Memorial Parkway and followed the Potomac River down to Ronald Reagan National Airport.
In twenty-odd minutes Tariq arrived at the airport's long-term parking lot. He pulled into a parking space beside a beat-up white van in the dim-lit lot. He got out of the SUV and scanned the lot for witnesses. He did not see anyone.
He unlocked the side door of the van, while Ramirez pulled open the side door of the SUV. Tariq and Ramirez hauled the unconscious Stockwall out of the SUV and into the van.
Ramirez locked up the SUV. Then he and Tariq piled into the front of the van. Tariq drove out of the airport.
A half hour later he pulled the van over to the side of the road and switched its Virginia plates with Massachusetts ones.
In a matter of minutes he fired the van's ignition and headed west.
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Top customer reviews
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I do not feel bad leaving a bad review on the account that this author has NO respect for a thriller readers common sense. Thus I have no respect for Mr.Cassiday. Thankfully this author, if you can call him that, never received a dime from me. I read what I could for free and I still feel ripped off.