- Author: James Sumner
Book online «Danger Close James Sumner (10 best books of all time txt) 📖». Author James Sumner
James P. Sumner
First Edition published in 2021 by Both Barrels Publishing
Copyright © James P. Sumner 2021
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This novel is a work of fiction. All characters, locations, situations and events are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any person, place or event is purely coincidental.
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The series will continue…
It’s all coming together…
April 29, 2020
The bright spring moon cast its pale glow over the building. It was low and unassuming, standing alone in the compound overlooking the nearby port. The gentle lapping of the sea made it seem so peaceful.
Jericho Stone knelt in the shadows behind a stack of empty crates left haphazardly beside the open loading bay. The other two were closed. Behind him, a handful of vehicles populated the parking lot.
His breaths were shallow and measured. He felt calm but focused. He stared through a narrow gap in the crates, watching the armed sentry pace back and forth across the entrance.
Jericho waited until the guard had his back to him before breaking cover. There were no visible security cameras. He stayed low, moving with a grace and agility not befitting a man of his size. Staying in the guard’s blind spot, he edged along the outer wall of the warehouse until he was a few feet away.
The guard paused just to the left of the entrance. From behind, Jericho noted his relaxed shoulders and the idle shuffling of his weight from one leg to the other. Alert but casual. Professional but tired.
Slowly, Jericho stood upright. He dwarfed the unsuspecting guard in all dimensions, looming over him. Without hesitation, he stepped forward, clasped a hand over the guard’s mouth, and wrapped one of his giant arms around his neck and throat. Ensuring the crook of his elbow was trapped under the man’s chin, he tightened his grip, forcing consciousness to leave him. Jericho guided the man’s limp body silently to the ground, then resumed his crouch and moved inside.
He headed left, seeking cover among the racks of shelving, giving him time to look around.
The warehouse was roughly twice as long as it was wide. Storage racks standing three deep lined both walls, forming a basic network of wide walkways. There was a large space in the middle for unloading trucks. On the opposite wall, another large roller shutter stood closed, which Jericho assumed led to a rear loading bay used by boats. Beside it was a fire exit.
Arching over it, looking out over the warehouse floor, was a stilted mezzanine and office space. No sign of movement there.
In the center of the warehouse, illuminated by the overhead fluorescence, were seven men. They stood in a loose circle around a small pile of crates stacked on pallets, all armed.
Jericho strained to hear what they were saying, but he was too far away. He glanced at the Tech Sleeve strapped to his left forearm. The screen displayed a wireframe blueprint of the building. He needed somewhere he could wait safely until the men left, so he could get close to the crates. Using his fingers to scroll around the screen, he saw a spot that could work. It was farther along the left wall, near his current position. All he had to do was—
Jericho rolled his eyes. He heard the voice behind him at the same moment he felt the gun barrel press against his head.
Still crouched, he spun around on the spot, resting a knee on the ground as he looked up at the guard. His face was mostly obscured by shadow. He was dressed like the others, in an unmarked black uniform. Jericho looked at the barrel of the assault rifle, which stared back at him with its deadly, unblinking eye.
“Who the hell are you?” asked the guard. “What are you doing here?”
Jericho shrugged. “Looking for the men’s room. Too many late-night lattes, y’know.”
“Get up. You’re coming with me.”
“If you say so…”
Jericho stood. The guard watched him rise up like a behemoth from the depths of the ocean. His eyes widened involuntarily. The gun barrel wavered.
“Go,” said the guard. “N-nice and easy.”
Jericho smiled. “Sure thing, Chief.”
They walked out from behind the storage racks, into the wide strip of moonlight by the entrance. A hard jab of the gun barrel in his back told Jericho to head left, toward the group of men. As they approached, the group fell silent, turning as one to look at the new arrival. They all exchanged concerned glances.
Jericho had always been a naturally big guy. His physique was the product of generous genetics and combat. But recently, at the relentless behest of his colleagues, he had begun to spend time in the gym at whichever GlobaTech facility was nearest at the time. He soon found his limits and started pushing them. Benching three