All Systems Down by Sam Boush
Publisher: Lakewater Press
Publication Date: February 8, 2018
Genre(s): Military, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
That’s all it takes.
A new kind of war has begun.
Pak Han-Yong’s day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he’s labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.
And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.
Brendan Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there’s a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.
Brendan will do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.
In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.
Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage.
For fans of REVOLUTION, Tom Clancy, and Thom Stark’s MAY DAY, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller which presents a threat so credible you’ll be questioning reality.
Sirens blared across all twenty-five decks of the USS Gerald R. Ford.
Lieutenant Kelly Seong grabbed her Flight suit from the wall and slipped inside, practiced hands buckling the straps of her Aramid coveralls. “A goddamned drill at 4 a.m.,” she mumbled as she attached her flotation vest and checked her oxygen mask and survival gear. Not that she really needed to. The equipment hadn’t changed since her last flight five hours earlier. But protocol kept her alive.
Red lights flashed, and the boing, boing, boing of the alarm ricocheted along the corridors of the ship. Sailors ran to stations. A petty officer shouted orders to passing swabbies. Despite the cacophony, men and women hurried through the upper decks with purpose. General Quarters drills occurred frequently. Every Jack and Jill on the Ford supercarrier had an assigned station and knew where to be.
Well, nearly everyone. Kelly exhaled sharply. Where the fuck was Orion?
“You seen Beetlejuice?” she asked a cadre of her squadron mates. The men shrugged and raced on, a playing-card spade peeking out from the back of the flight helmets they carried under their arms. They were Black Aces. First to fight, first to strike.
Orion, as far as she was concerned, hadn’t yet earned the ace on his helmet. He was what they called a “nugget,” a first-tour aviator fresh from naval flight training. Technically, he was her weapons systems officer. The wizzo. In the cockpit of their Super Hornet, he engaged air-to-air or ground targets and operated the laser- and satellite-guided ordnance. In a “turn and burn,” Kelly would make the turn while he dropped the burn. She would if he were any good. Unfortunately, he was as green as a grasshopper’s right nut. And here she was, expected to mentor the bastard.
She checked his bunk then the hangar deck. Alarms blasted too loudly to call for him, and the rush of hundreds of sailors made it hard to spot his little cornbread head. The other airmen of the Black Aces beat feet to the ready room. GQ brought the supercarrier alive, even in the dead of night.
Not that the ship ever really slept; 24 hours a day, the “Jerry” hummed with activity. At any given time, two-thirds of the four thousand souls aboard would be awake, working on the floating fortress currently cruising two hundred miles east of Honolulu.
Kelly beelined past the flight lockers toward the ready room where the rest of the squadron would already be waiting. If her wizzo couldn’t get his ass in the saddle he’d suffer the consequence. Over her career, she’d seen better pilots than him wash out.
She peered in the ready room. Not there. Then back to the lockers.
“Jesus, what time is it?” Orion Bether shouted above the din, in that whiny voice that set Kelly’s fist to balling up all on its own.
He slinked over to his locker and was now making a hash of getting into his flight suit. Just like a fucking nugget.
She punched him in the shoulder. “Beetlejuice!” she shouted. “Where the fuck you been? You look like shit, by the way.”
“Ouch!” He groaned, massaging his shoulder.
Like Kelly, Orion had been pulling twelve-hour shifts, though that was no excuse for the bags under his eyes and his generally un-shipshape appearance. His sandy blonde hair, short and squared, still managed to stand up like a sailor’s happy sock after a six-month deployment. He dropped one of his Nomex flight gloves, revealing, most glaringly, that his flight suit hadn’t been fastened at the crotch.
“It’s balls thirty. And for fuck’s sake, if you’re going to button salute a boat goat, at least get her to buckle you up at the end.”
Orion reached down and cursed, fumbling to pull the strap closed while juggling his helmet and flotation vest. Kelly didn’t wait for him, leading the way to the ready room. He hopped after her.
“She’s no boat goat, Moonshot. She’s a 2-10-2 if I’ve ever seen one.” Then he laughed that obnoxious cackle of his. A girl who was just a two on a scale of ten when on land could easily be a ten out on deployment, where the ratio of men to women was forty-to-one. When they got back to land she’d be a two again. Few Navy men were below fucking an ugly girl at sea.
“Listen up!” The call spun them around in salute. Mike Montez stepped into the room right behind Kelly and Orion. The squadron commander was a short guy, black hair, usually calm as a pickle in a salt bath. But in the light of the hangar deck, his dark cheeks were flushed, eyes excited. “Black Aces,” he said, “this is not a drill. I’m going to repeat myself. This is not a drill.”
About the Author
Sam Boush is a novelist and award-winning journalist. He has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized marketing agency. Though he’s lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice. He is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.
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