Tag: Entertainment (page 2 of 9)

Dark Spectrum – Episode 19

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I FELT LIKE AN animal that had been caught in a hunter’s trap. One I’d knowingly walked into. I’d been too bold by half, thinking I could wait around for the backup team to show. I tried to tell myself I’d waited to help Martinez’s girlfriend but it wasn’t the truth. I had hoped Shannon would come.

I shook my head. I was a fool twice over.

But if I had left, I wouldn’t have learned Sam was working with them. Given what I knew about the connection with Diggon and DataRader, I should have assumed Reed’s people would be working with Diggon. Sam’s presence was a complication I could have done without but it was something I should have anticipated.

A part of me wanted to step around the corner and take as many of them as I could, starting with Sam, but it passed. Shannon and the Diggon team were victims. I already had Mike on my conscience, I didn’t need anymore. While Sam was culpable for his actions, I needed to take out Reed. If I shot Sam, that did nothing to help the kids.

Shannon knew me too well.

It was ironic the one person who knew I wasn’t capable of doing the things I’d been accused of doing was using that same knowledge to hunt me down.

I walked backward with great care, moving each foot slowly. I didn’t remember any obstructions other than the empty bottle and that was still a ways back. Despite the cold, the palms of my hands were clammy. The grip of my pistol would have been slippery without my gloves. Sweat trickled down the small of my back.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 18

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE NIGHT AIR WAS colder than before. I took up position on the opposite side of the garbage can. With the potential for bullets, I wanted something that might provide more stopping power than a cardboard box. The can was overflowing, so I used the trash to break up my profile. My eyes were level with the top of the trashcan as I peeked through discarded blinds. I could see the Diggon team’s car as well as the back door. If I’d been hiding here earlier, the cook wouldn’t have seen me.

Several minutes passed since my conversation with Cherry. I hoped she had interpreted my tone to mean I’d left the scene and had passed that supposition on to the team. Letting my breath out, I shifted to firm up my position.

The back door opened several inches, freezing the breath in my lungs. I tensed my muscles, my finger tight against the trigger of my pistol.

The person on the other side waited for several counts before pushing it open the rest of the way. The door opened and Frank stepped out. I stiffened, concerned I’d miscalculated the trash would hide my head. His eyes went right over me without stopping.

If I were to shoot him now, that would leave me with one more Diggon operative, but it would destroy the illusion that I’d abandoned Martinez and his girlfriend. Despite my dislike for Frank, I couldn’t stomach the thought of killing him.

The big man went over the area again, this time he did focus on the garbage can but didn’t appear to see me. He spat as he hauled the door shut.

I shifted my gun to the other hand so I could flex the first. I was glad for my gloves; my hands were cold enough as it was.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 16

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

A SINGLE BEAD OF sweat trickled down the side of my head but I didn’t move to wipe it away. I breathed through my mouth in short breaths to keep the stench from distracting me. I could just make out the rear window of the car from my position.

What would I do if Shannon got out?

The thought of coming face to face with her stopped me short. I hadn’t seen her in six months and even though I wouldn’t want to react to her, I knew she would have an effect on me. I couldn’t harm her. If it came down to it, I’d let Martinez die before that happened. Or shoot him myself.

What would Shannon do if she saw me? That question was more concerning.

I’d thought about letting her know I hadn’t done the video but had decided against it. She should know that wasn’t something I’d do.

“Don’t let Martinez die,” Cherry said, it was half plea, half command. I shook my head, wondering if I should even move. I could lie, claiming I’d done all I could but I didn’t think I could do that to her. I cared about Cherry. I had a hard time lying to people I cared about. Besides, the truth had a way of coming out. It might have taken twenty years but it had caught up to Beltran.

Cherry’s anxious breathing came through my earpiece and I tried to ignore it. The four doors of the car opened and I held my breath, focusing on remaining as still as possible.

“Mike, Julio, Frank, and Jim are on the team,” Cherry said. A small amount of tension left my shoulders because Shannon wasn’t with them. All four men were former Black Brick employees. I had worked with each of them but only peripherally. Most were decent men, trying to do their job.

Frank was the problem.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 15

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE MOON CAME OUT from behind the clouds, casting the alley beside Benny’s Diner in light and forcing me to push deeper into the shadows. I wasn’t sure if there was still smoke in the air from the bombing but I could smell it. The media had been in an uproar since the attack. Three people had died in the blast. I’d been surprised, but pleased, that so few had lost their lives.

More people had died in the much smaller bomb on Market Street. I hadn’t gone to any of the social media websites, but I suspected many people were cursing my name. After today, more people were going to install Spectrum on their phones. Peck might be able to claim fifty percent of the smartphones in the city. If nothing else, Reed was helping Peck grow his network. Sam claimed they were fighting Peck. Reed claimed he was thinking of selling DataRader to Diggon. I had no idea what to believe. And I also didn’t care. I needed to stop them both.

I pulled out my phone and opened the Spectrum app, just to make sure it was muted. It was something I found myself doing more and more often. I had no clue how Sam had found me again but I was thinking of deleting the app.

The evening was still and the traffic mostly gone due to the lateness of the hour. A cab came to a stop in front of the restaurant and a couple with a child got out. Considering the time, I was surprised to see them out so late. I wasn’t able to tell for certain but it looked like they were heading into Benny’s Diner.

My heart sunk as the bell on the door rang a moment later. It was bad enough I was out here helping Cherry but I didn’t want a young family being caught in the middle of all this. I toyed with warning them but what would I do if the Diggon team showed up while I was inside? They were minutes away.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 14

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE SPEED OF THE crowd might have lessened by the time we’d put several more blocks behind us, but if so it wasn’t by much. It had thinned out the further I’d gone from the blast site. I didn’t feel like a sardine any longer but I was still in a thick flow of people.

I didn’t know what to make of Cherry’s request and even though I’d agreed to look in on the situation, I considered just letting the matter drop. The risk wouldn’t be worth any information she might be willing to give up.

Even if I received some intel, would I be able to trust it? She had begged for help because she had no other option.

It wouldn’t be evening for some time, so I put off a final decision until I’d gotten away from the thick of things. I needed quiet to think.

It went against my instincts but I continued to move with the flow of the crowd. In a way, it was a symbol of what my life had become. I wasn’t in control and was left scrambling to figure out the cards somebody else was handing me.

I gritted my teeth. That wasn’t going to last for long. I was going to change things.

Cars and trucks jammed the road. Some people had abandoned vehicles to escape on foot, but I was surprised at the number of drivers who chose to stay with their cars while the foot traffic swarmed around them.

I could no longer see smoke or dust from the blast site, so perhaps many of the drivers weren’t aware of what had happened. More to the point, the danger was over and as long as they were willing to wait, things would pick up.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 13

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I MOVED OUT OF the flow of foot traffic while I fished in my bag for a pair of earbuds. Once I was right up against a stone building, I replayed the video several times looking for a clue that might give me an idea of who had done this.

Had Reed Warner done this because I’d refused to work with him? Using the data they got from Spectrum and facial recognition technology, had they been able to make an almost perfect copy of me?

Peck would have been my first thought if not for everything going on with Reed, but I couldn’t rule him out. He wasn’t above hurting his own company to garner sympathy and public opinion. Bill Martinez crossed my mind as a possibility. I hadn’t seen him since the day I’d shot Beltran but we’d had a brief phone conversation. I didn’t think it was likely Martinez was behind this but considering the way he’d let Payne rampage through the city unchecked, I wasn’t about to cross him off my suspect list either.

What about Kris or Shannon?

That was my paranoia speaking, I was reasonably sure but didn’t dismiss it out of hand. Somebody had just put me in the crosshairs and I wasn’t about to take anything for granted.

The background behind my false image was dark, but I could make out the hood of a car. I couldn’t be positive but it looked like there were several others as well.

Was it an underground parking garage?

I pushed play for the third time.

The words of the video were seamless and my lips moved so naturally it might have been easy to believe I’d said such a thing and just didn’t remember it. I reached the end of the video and was about to watch it again when I noticed my image moved when it laughed, showing an exit sign in the background for a brief second.

I recognized the place. I’d been there before.

It was the old Diggon headquarters where Shannon had been kidnapped. I pulled out my phone, thinking I’d call and warn somebody. But who could I call?

Dark Spectrum – Episode 12

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Kris asked.

I didn’t reply as I pulled her so she faced me, making her no longer visible to the man’s camera. He’d probably already taken a picture, but if not, I’d just kept him from getting one.

I’d also just let him know I was onto him.

If it had just been me, I’d have let things play out, but with Kris in the mix, I felt an obligation to keep her out of as much of this as I could.

“Don’t look behind you,” I said while putting my arm around her in what I hoped was an affectionate way, “but those men are spying on us. One was trying to get a picture of you.” I guided her in the opposite direction of the men, angling across the grass to keep them from having a glimpse of her face.

I admonished myself. I’d noticed the men when they’d approached. Why hadn’t I made us move then? If they figured out who she was, she was going to be dragged into this, like it or not.

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became I had recognized something about one of the men though I wasn’t able to put my finger on it. How had they tracked me here?

I’d been careful and hadn’t spoken a word since my altercation with Reed’s men. I’d doubled back countless times and had taken routes through shopping malls and supermarkets just to make sure I didn’t have a tail. I checked above us and was glad to see there wasn’t a drone nearby.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 10

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I HAD THE CAB stop when we passed a gas station I remembered from the night before. I preferred to take a bus or walk, but as I had somewhere to be in a few hours, I justified the expense. Money wasn’t tight as long as my accounts weren’t discovered by law enforcement. I dreaded every time I needed to go to an ATM. The cameras recording my every move bothered me. I realized the chance of somebody reviewing the footage and recognizing me through one of my disguises was remote but it was still a risk.

I’d been careful to alter my voice when telling the cabbie my destination but had smiled when he took a call on an old flip phone.

Spectrum didn’t work on those.

After that, I’d engaged the man in conversation. It felt good to converse without the threat of some silent app picking up my conversation and alerting the police to my whereabouts. I’d become so used to giving gruff one-word responses, that I was surprised when I realized a grin had split my face.

Had I missed human interaction so much that a conversation with a cab driver named Jeremiah Thompson was the highlight of my week?

It turned out that I had.

“Take care,” I said before stepping out of the cab. I slung my messenger bag over my shoulder. It was a little bit heavier because I’d put in a spare pistol. I felt naked without a subcompact Glock strapped to my ankle. In a strange way, it was a relief to no longer have the gun I’d used to kill Beltran. Under normal circumstances, I might have tossed it off a bridge but considering there was a video of me shooting him, it hadn’t made sense to get rid of it. If I were arrested, they wouldn’t need a gun to convict me.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 9

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

MY PHONE BEEPED, ROUSING me from a fitful sleep as it chased away my dreams. I stared at the yellow ceiling, reliving the previous night and wondering what I might have done differently.

In the heat of the moment, I rarely doubted my actions. It was usually obvious what I needed to do, so I acted, wrangling with the consequences afterward.

I wasn’t so sure that acting on instinct and falling back to my Black Brick training was the best way for me to operate but I was yet to come up with a better way when the bullets started to fly.

The doubts always came later, most often in the dead of night.

It had taken me hours to fall asleep. Once I did, questions plagued my subconscious, keeping me from ever reaching a restful repose. I had turned that situation with Reed into a bloody mess quickly.

My phone beeped again but I ignored it.

Two men were dead and another was wounded. I’d have thought that with all the death I’d seen I would have become used to it by now but every single one bothered me. The faces of the people I’d killed haunted my dreams.

Even Beltran.

A man I knew the world was better off without. Now that I was awake, I reviewed my actions without the warped logic that prevails when trying to sleep and was unable to come up with an alternative way out of the situation.

Before I’d attacked Sam, I’d already learned enough to know I would never work for Reed. He’d done a careful job of constructing his public image but he’d made no effort to hide who he was.

My phone beeped and I sat up, taking a deep breath and coughing. My apartment smelled, there was no getting around it. But it was cheap and the old woman who was my landlord never turned on the television or read a newspaper. Her children didn’t live with her and she never had visitors. I was convinced the smell alone made my allergies worse but considering my need for anonymity and my status as a fugitive, my pad was a veritable paradise.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 8

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

“SIR,” SAM SAID, HIS back straight and his eyes wary, “we cannot work with this man.” His face was red. He still held the knife with the blade pointed at me.

“He’s not the terrorist he’s made out to be,” Reed said. “You’re making me regret I brought you tonight.”

“If word gets out—”

“And how would that happen?” Reed’s voice was cold. He clasped his hands in front of him, staring straight at Sam. While Sam was bulkier, Reed was a head taller. “Would you be the leak? No one from my leadership team will say a word. I’ve tried each of them. They won’t go against me.”

Sam looked away and muttered something I didn’t catch. I was surprised Reed let his men speak so openly.

I assumed he meant the DataRader leadership team but perhaps he was referring to something else. It was becoming apparent Reed ran a criminal organization of some sort. It was a safe bet to assume those who had been here tonight worked for both.

The argument had distracted me from attacking Sam. I wasn’t going to leave the man unbloodied if I could help it. An eye for an eye. Wasn’t that what the Bible taught? I thought of Sister Bautista and imagined her frowning.

She had condemned the idea of an eye for an eye.

Her lofty principles might have worked for her. They may have even worked for me if I hadn’t been brought up by a criminal and set on a pathway of wanton destruction.

“This won’t work—”

“Quiet, Sam. I’ve had enough of your insubordination.”

Sam clapped his mouth shut. His free hand rested on his pistol but he made no move to pull it out.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2019 DAN DECKER

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑