Join Date: Jan 2008
The Sword of the Apocalypse book on amazon got a bunch of downloads during the free trial which I hope will generate some reviews and get my name out there more. Or rather the name of Midnight Avenger Publications resident writer Deckard Caine. Deckard has decided to tackle Maverick in a novel that will hopefully lead to a series of books about superheroes known as The Vanguard Files. So here's a sneak peak at the prologue...
It is always easy to look back and wonder how your life might have turned out had you made a different decision or taken a different path at one key moment. For me that moment was Independence Day of 1953, the day I signed on the dotted line and joined the United States Air Force. But I am getting ahead of myself. To really understand my story, you must know where I come from and how I came to make my decision.
I was born in summer of 1937, in a place called Jericho Falls, Texas. My father, Lee, was a farmer six days out of the week and the preacher on Sunday. We grew corn, tomatoes, and beans. Raised chickens, hogs, and calves. I worked in the morning milking ole Betsy and raiding the chicken coop for eggs before school and mucked out the barn stalls afterwards. I went to church and I bowed my head during prayer, I broke bread with my neighbors, and I listened to my father’s sermons from passages in the bible. But I didn’t really believe. Not in my youth at any rate. Though I never let my true feelings show. I could not bear the disappointment upon my father’s face nor did I want to feel his leather belt upon my backside. So, I kept quiet.
My mother Barbara was the schoolmarm of Jericho Falls. She taught all the boys and girls how to read, write, numbers, science, and history. Our small patch of Texas did not have a dedicated schoolhouse so my mother taught us in the church four days out of the week. I learned a lot from my mother. I learned basic arithmetic and how to write my name, Cole S. Turner. But the subject I was most fascinated by was history. Since the ancient times men had been at war with each other. These stories of heroism stuck out most to my impressionable mind. I decided then I did not want to be a farmer. I wanted to go on adventures around the world and fight the bad men.
Farming was a simple life. It was a good life. But to me it was not a fulfilling one. I met a girl when I was twelve and I began courting her. I thought me and Sally-Mae would be together forever. Then when I was fifteen I caught her in her daddy’s barn kissing Bobby Jensen. I got so angry I grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed his face into a cedar post. He turned around and took a swing at me. I was quicker and managed to move out of the way. Then I hit him square in the nose with my closed fist. He screamed out in pain as blood gushed everywhere. Sally-Mae shouted at me and told me how much she hated me for doing that. Then she ran off to fetch her pa. Bobby was okay, I broke his nose but Doctor Mason was able to set it right. Doc couldn’t fix me and Sally-Mae though. She never spoke to me again.
That was why I joined the Air Force at sixteen. America was busy with the Civil Rights Movement at home and posturing against the Soviets in what was called the Cold War. The politicians and lawyers were busy fighting segregation issues in court and no one cared whether or not a boy was old enough to enlist. At that time, there was no such thing as background checks and verification of information. They took me at my word that I was eighteen. I was packed up and sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, about 280 miles south of Jericho Falls. I attended boot-camp there and failed miserably at making hospital corners out of my bedsheets and polishing my boots. But I found I had a knack for picking up languages and so I was sent off for linguistics training at Camp Lejeune with the Marines to learn Russian. The Air Force hoped that would transfer over to intercepting coded communications and I was then moved over to flight training school. My training was spent learning how to operate all the equipment on radar planes as well as flight operations. Soon I found myself flying over the Atlantic to search for Soviet submarines that were trying to breach our Naval fleet so they could launch nuclear missiles at us. I became a highly skilled pilot and was promoted to Captain within six months of completing my training.
During this time, America went back and forth with the Soviets, each preparing to attack the other and building defenses against attacks. Enemy submarines would routinely try and sneak past our sonar. But myself and other pilots were always out there, high in the sky, watching and listening for them. I enjoyed flying but I longed to do something more. Something that would bring the fight to the enemy. I wished I had been trained as a combat pilot but I knew that I was where Uncle Sam needed me to be.
Then one day my chance came. It was the middle of winter in 1956. I was approached by Major Tom Frady. He claimed to be the head of a top-secret research division called Albatross Creek that was developing a new aircraft and he wanted me to be the test pilot. It was still not the frontlines but it was something different and I had grown bored with reconnaissance missions. I agreed without a second thought. This was another of those crossroad decisions that could have sent my life in a completely different direction. But I made my choice and now I must live with those consequences.
Major Frady informed me that American spies were able to get verifiable intelligence that the United Soviets Socialist Republic meant to make an attempt at slipping nuclear submarines past our defenses by going through the Devil’s Triangle. As a Texas farm-boy I had no idea what the Devil’s Triangle was so I admitted as much and received a hearty slap on the back from the Major. When he realized I was serious, he explained it to me in more detail.
“Okay Captain Turner” he said “the Devil’s Triangle is a region of the western North Atlantic Ocean. You should have been told to avoid it at all costs during your recon flights.”
I nodded as I recollected my briefing. I had been told to stay away from a good portion of the Atlantic but was never told why or what it was called. Only that I was not required to go there nor should I ever under any circumstances. I had never once questioned these orders but now I realized that maybe I should have learned more.
“This triangle region is full of electromagnetic phenomenon that causes our flight and navigation instruments to go haywire. There have been many ships and planes lost inside it. Even the Soviets have been smart enough to stay away until now.”
“What changed, sir?” I asked him.
Tom Frady shook his head “that we don’t know. If they have managed to work out a way for their subs to travel through the Devil’s Triangle safely then they could move within missile range and we wouldn’t know it. That is why this project is so important.”
I hesitated a moment not sure whether to believe his story about the triangle and how dangerous it was then I asked, “and what exactly are we hoping to do here?”
“Experiment M-27” he replied cryptically and did not explain further until several days later.