Mystic

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Mystic: An Adventure from the Myrmidon Files


The pattern emerges….

A series of unexplained deaths are only a harbinger of the apocalypse to come. A mysterious figure who calls himself ‘the Immortal’ is plotting the destruction of the global economy, and only Tam Broderick and her CIA task force—the Myrmidons—can stop it.

But when the Immortal sends his followers on a quest to retrieve a medieval relic alleged to have mystical powers, the pattern becomes less clear. Is this a ruse to throw the Myrmidons off the trail? Or is the relic the key to the Immortal’s ingenious plan?

Mystic is the action-packed sequel to Destiny!

Praise for David Wood

“Dane and Bones…. Together they’re unstoppable. Rip roaring action from start to finish. Wit and humor throughout. Just one question – how soon until the next one? Because I can’t wait.”
-Graham Brown, author of Shadows of the Midnight Sun

“What an adventure! A great read that provides lots of action, and thoughtful insight as well, into strange realms that are sometimes best left unexplored.” -Paul Kemprecos, author of Cool Blue Tomb and the NUMA Files

“A page-turning yarn blending high action, Biblical speculation, ancient secrets, and nasty creatures. Indiana Jones better watch his back!” -Jeremy Robinson, author of SecondWorld

“With the thoroughly enjoyable way Mr. Wood has mixed speculative history with our modern day pursuit of truth, he has created a story that thrills and makes one think beyond the boundaries of mere fiction and enter the world of ‘why not’?” -David Lynn Golemon, Author of the Event Group series

“A twisty tale of adventure and intrigue that never lets up and never lets go!” -Robert Masello, author of The Einstein Prophecy

“Let there be no confusion: David Wood is the next Clive Cussler. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop until the last mystery plays out in the final line.”-Edward G. Talbot, author of 2012: The Fifth World

“I like my thrillers with lots of explosions, global locations and a mystery where I learn something new. Wood delivers! Recommended as a fast paced, kick ass read.”-J.F. Penn, author of Desecration.



ONE

Connecticut—Present Day

 As he did every weekday, and most Saturdays too, Thom Martiel left his office on the twenty-eighth floor of 30 Hudson Street in Jersey City at about eight-thirty p.m. He went across the street to the parking garage, got in his gold 2017 Lexus IS sedan, and began the sixty-odd mile commute to his suburban home in New Canaan, Connecticut. Sometimes he left later, on rare occasion earlier, but never before eight-fifteen p.m. Martiel stayed this late to monitor the opening of the Hong Kong stock market, which would set the tone for trading the following day, or so he claimed, but most of his co-workers believed there was a simpler explanation. Martiel was either a workaholic, with no other purpose in life but to work and earn money, or he was ruthlessly ambitious, waiting for that golden, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would propel him into the upper echelons of the investment banking world.

The latter seemed less likely. Martiel did not exactly ooze enthusiasm for his job even though he appeared to do it well. In any case, as far as anyone knew, Martiel was a content bachelor. He was sociable but showed little inclination to socialize, at least with his co-workers. What he did after leaving the office was anyone’s guess, but given that he spent fourteen hours of every day at work—most of it behind his desk, except for the forty-five minutes a day he spent in the on-site fitness room—and another three behind the wheel of the Lexus, commuting to and from work, it was reasonable to assume that he probably spent the balance of his time sleeping. He had done this every workday for the last two years, give or take a few weeks, which was the length of time he had been an executive account manager at Silver Investment Bank, Inc. It could only be assumed that he had followed a similar practice at his prior place of employment, but none of his coworkers really knew for certain. From the parking garage, he headed north to the Holland Tunnel, through it to the island of Manhattan, and then, for no discernable reason, turned up the Henry Hudson Parkway—some days he took the FDR instead—and headed north to Mount Vernon. From there, he picked up the Hutchinson River Parkway, which became Connecticut SR-15 when he crossed over the state line. The four-lane divided highway wended up the middle of the Connecticut Panhandle and continued on to Hartford. The further he got from the New York City metropolitan area, the fewer cars shared the road with him.

Martiel had just rounded the bend at Putnam Lake when he noticed headlights in the rear-view mirror, approaching fast. This was not particularly unusual. He always maintained a discreet sixty-eight miles an hour using cruise control, but that was too slow for most drivers on the open road. He stayed in the right lane but monitored the other vehicle’s progress as it closed the gap. The car was in the same lane as he, coming up fast enough to make him shift nervously in his seat. He turned off the satellite radio, which was playing light classical music, and sat up a little straighter, readying himself for a little defensive driving in the event that the other driver didn’t change lanes to go around. He relaxed a little when, just a hundred or so yards behind him, he saw the car swerve into the left lane. A moment later, it blew past him like he was parked in his driveway and raced ahead, toward the old North Street overpass. He couldn’t distinguish make or model—only that it was a silver sedan. Martiel shook his head but stayed alert. There were more headlights in the distance behind him, and they too appeared to be getting closer.
Without any warning, seemingly without reason, the silver sedan swerved right, straddling the dashed line separating the lanes, and then the road ahead was bathed in the bright red glow of brake lights. The car was suddenly no longer a moving vehicle accelerating away from him, but an obstacle, partially blocking both lanes directly in front of Martiel. Because he was still in a heightened state of awareness, Martiel did not give in to the reflexive urge to swerve or stomp on the brakes. Instead, with almost preternatural calm, he tapped the brakes, disengaging the cruise control, releasing the Lexus from constant acceleration, and turned the wheel ever so slightly to the right. As he did, he saw directly ahead of him, the upright stone buttress supporting the overpass. Despite the sudden braking maneuver, the silver sedan had not come to a complete stop but was slowing, giving up the last of its momentum. In an instant, Martiel saw that he would not be able to get around the other car before he reached the overpass, which was no doubt the other driver’s intent. The person behind the wheel of the silver sedan had intended for him to swerve into the abutment.


In a rush of understanding, Thom Martiel knew that the other driver was trying to kill him. He did not allow himself to dwell on the question of motive. The other driver’s purpose was plain enough, so the only thing Martiel needed to concern himself with was staying alive. He had nowhere to go, but as he looked ahead, Martiel saw that there was just enough room between the stone corner and the sedan for him to pass, provided the other driver didn’t anticipate the move and attempt to narrow the gap. Realizing that the killer might do exactly that, Martiel stomped down on the accelerator. The 241 horsepower turbo-charged engine roared, and the computer controlled eight-speed automatic transmission immediately downshifted, giving him all the on-demand power he needed. The Lexus surged forward like a rocket. Martiel gripped the steering wheel as if hanging on for dear life, and kept the car moving straight, threading the needle, and just like that he was through.
As he emerged on the far side of the overpass, Martiel eased off the accelerator a little, but then just as quickly resumed applying steady pressure, pushing the car as fast as he dared. A glance in the rear-view confirmed his suspicions that the silver sedan was moving again. Chasing him. He searched his memory of the road, trying to think of a way to elude his pursuer. The next turn-off was a good three miles away which, given his current speed, he would reach in less than two minutes, but first, he would have to negotiate a long sweeping bend in the road. In fact, he was practically there. Martiel glanced at the speedometer. He was pushing ninety. During his regular commute, he took the curve without making any adjustment to his speed, but he was going a lot faster now, faster than he’d ever driven.
A mistake at this speed would be catastrophic, but he didn’t dare slow down. Not with the headlights in the rear-view getting closer with each passing second. He had outwitted the would-be killer once, but that had been luck as much as anything. He did not think he would be so lucky the next time. Gripping the wheel again and gritting his teeth, he plowed ahead into the curve, hugging the outside of the right lane. Alarms sounded and indicator lights flashed, warning him, as if such a warning were needed, that he was going too fast, pulling too many Gs. But now there were two sets of headlights, almost side-by-side, in the rear-view. Gritting his teeth, he shifted his foot to the brake pedal, applying steady pressure as he went into the turn. The car slid dangerously close to the wooden guard rail, but the car’s dynamic integrated safety systems compensated for his flawed human reflexes, keeping the Lexus on the road and in his control.
But he was slowing down. And the headlights behind him were getting closer. He kept his eyes on the road ahead. Once the curve was behind him, he could open it up again. And the cars chasing him would have to slow down as well. A few seconds later, the road straightened, and Martiel checked the rear-view. He was partly right. One of the cars seemed to be falling back, slowing down even before reaching the bend. This was an illusion, however. It wasn’t that the trailing vehicle was slowing down, but rather that the lead vehicle was going faster. The headlights were approaching so rapidly that, if he hadn’t known better, Martiel would have believed that it was actually a low flying jet fighter. No way was he was going to outrun them. His heart began pounding. The exit was still a good fifteen seconds away, and he was going way too fast to take it. But if he slowed down…
Wood, David (2017-04-23T23:58:59). Mystic: An Adventure from the Myrmidon Files (Kindle Locations 213-223). Adrenaline Press. Kindle Edition. 

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David Wood