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In The National Interest by J Harvey Barker

Read Online In The National Interest by J Harvey Barker Thriller Book

Overview: On March the 8th 2014 at 12:42 AM Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappearing from its scheduled Flight. Air Crash investigators Curt Joyner and Kim Doh are tasked with uncovering the facts behind the mysterious disappearance. They are thwarted in their efforts at every turn by a clandestine operation instigated by someone named “The Protector”. If the truth of the matter were revealed the people of the United States and the world would lose faith in the Presidency and his advisors. Anarchy would ensue. Paramount to the investigation is the location of the missing aircraft. Curt and Kim travel from Asia to the Indian Ocean. Revelations there send them through Europe on their quest to uncover the truth. The protector of the United States President takes it upon himself to use any means possible to see that this information never gets out. Follow our investigators as they unravel seemingly unrelated events to uncover the truth behind the cover-up.


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In The National Interest by J Harvey Barker

Read Online In The National Interest by J Harvey Barker Book Chapter One

The matt grey drone flying at 30000 ft (ca. 9 kilometres) carved lazy figure of eight patterns in the glare of a cloudless Arabian sky. It was impossible for an observer at ground level to see or hear it from that height. It's powerful camera held a steady view of the targeted compound, with its weathered walls enclosing a few mud brick houses. A roustabout dressed in flowing robes shifted his sandalled feet in the dust and lit another cigarette, his fourth in the last half hour. He was distinctly showing signs of nervousness, at least that was the impression given to the servicemen watching him.

Five thousand miles away deep, beneath the aquamarine waters surrounding the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, sat three military personnel, dressed in the camouflage uniforms of the United States Marines. The room was in semi darkness. Illuminated by red overhead lights and the glow of the flat screen monitors mounted on the wall. Two rows of four stood against a long bench which supported black joysticks similar to those used by gamers, with computer mice sitting on dull mouse mats. The three officers sat opposite each terminal, one man, whose hand gripped a joystick, followed the assigned track moving the stick to hold the drone on its course.

Bob Chuck, of Asian extraction, call sign “Chuckles”, watched another of the monitors, keeping a wider view of the area from a satellite feed high above.

“Dust coming up from the North”. His voice was crisp without raising its volume. “Got it.” Lieutenant Bradley lifted his thumb to the hat switch on the joystick and manoeuvred the camera on the drone to peer at the sand cloud and zoomed in. “A minibus, No, two in convoy” he announced.

The eye of the radio-controlled aircraft looked down onto the targets following their approach “About two miles away”, he said, observing the quarry bounce and sway along the dusty road. “He might be using the buses as cover, keep monitoring them”, another voice from the gloom in the back of the room suggested quietly.

The military group watched the little convoy until it pulled up in a cloud of dust outside the compound. Consisting of a few mud-brick houses and out-buildings, enclosed by a mud adobe wall with double gates set into the southern side. The chain-smoker, having picked up an AK-47 from its hiding place, at the sound of the approaching buses, moved to the driver's window and exchanged words with him. There was much hand waving and pointing before the chain-smoker opened the gate to the enclosure and let the two vehicles inside.

The military personnel watched on as a group of children descended from the buses. More youngsters scurried out from one of the larger dwellings in the compound and enthusiastically greeted the newly arrived. A few moments later two women dressed in burqas came out of the house and hustled the large group of kiddies inside.

 

“Mini-Jihadists on the ground” the Lieutenant observed to no one specifically. This was a complication, but not cause for alarm at this stage.

The chain smoker returned to his vigil after hiding the AK-47, positioning it under the sack where he could rapidly reach it. Thirty minutes elapsed before the voice of “Chuckles” announced another cloud of dust was approaching. The lieutenant again took control of the joystick and targeted the new sand haze. Using the powerful zoom lens on the drone, the picture of a dusty, biscuit coloured Mercedes-Benz, filled the screen in front of him. The windows were heavily dark tinted so no one could observe the passengers from outside the vehicle.

“This looks more promising” said a voice from the gloom to the rear of the room, “Heads up everyone”.

The Mercedes was moving fast, the suspension doing overtime ironing out the bumps of the pot holed dirt track. “Chain-smoker” retrieved the AK-47 from its cover, at the first sound of the approaching vehicle. Within two minutes the car pulled up in a cloud of dust, outside the compound gates. The driver kept the engine running. Chain-smoker greeted the arrival, with motions resembling a bow and salute. A body guard who had exited the Mercedes even before it had entirely come to a standstill restrained him. A second protector had alighted promptly and was ready to open the passenger’s door. He gestured to “Chain-smoker” to unbolt the gate and when he had done so, rapidly moved a adult dressed in the traditional silver stitch style hat, the perahan tunban with a golden waistcoat and paizars, on through, shielding him with his large body. The second bodyguard reached into the rear of the vehicle, retrieving a few gaily wrapped parcels which he carried into the compound. He followed his master in to the house.

“Intel is good'' uttered the voice in the gloom, into a handset. He listened for a few minutes before saying, We have a complication Sir, Mini’s are on the ground”. He communicated this information to the unseen person on the end of the telephone line.

“Yes Sir.”

“No Sir.”

“Wilco.”

The speaker from the shadows sighed before lowering the receiver.

“And three bags full, Sir”, Bradley reflected to himself, a wry smile etching his face.

“Green Light Gentlemen” the voice from the gloom stated.

“What about the Mini’s?” enquired the third man at the bench.

“It’s an order, Mister. We have been chasing this asshole for a long time. Collateral damage is unavoidable”, he said.

“Whizzy” Johnson was the weapons officer. It was his job to put the laser targeting system onto the mark and direct the missile to it once released by the drone.

The military had instilled a need to follow orders, there could be no room for personal conscience in the Marines. “Sir” was his curt reply. Bradley worked the controller and the drone immediately responded to his inputs.

It turned to a trajectory which would enable its cameras, infra-red and visual, the best view for zeroing in.

The lieutenant flipped the electrical components on his panel and on the joystick. Instantly this resulted in a green crosshair appearing on the monitor in front of him. Using the hat control he centred the targeting reticule over the designated house.

Pushing sundry buttons the crosshairs came alive with extra information. Altitude, time to mark, wind speed, elevation and much more.

With a flick of another switch he armed the missile, an AGM Hellfire air to ground weapon capable of destroying a hardened bunker.

“Whizzy” Johnson positioned the laser which would guide the projectile onto its target.

The three servicemen each communicated their readiness for the strike.

Chuckles announced, “Clear of surrounding air and ground hostiles”.

The Lieutenant spoke, “Drone set on course, all systems operational, over to you Whizzy, say when”.

Johnson answered, “I have the missile, Fire when ready”.

Bradley pulled the trigger on his joystick.

High above the desert floor a flash of light revealed the projectiles` separation from the drone. A snaking trail of smoke streaked out behind.

Whizzy’s screen showed the missile turn to intercept the invisible laser beam projecting from the pilotless aircraft. Arrow straight, it followed the signal until it exploded into a bright red and yellow flash.

The camera on the drone revealed the devastation on the target below. The whole compound had disintegrated into piles of smoking rubble.

“Excellent job all” came the voice from the gloom. “Bring it home”.

The three military men responsible for the mass killing showed no emotion. They were just doing their job.

The morning papers the day after the drone strike screamed with banner headlines ranging from, “U.S. KILLS MAJOR TERRORIST LEADER” to “U.S. KILLS 38 WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT BIRTHDAY PARTY” depending on the partisan leaning of the newspaper. Television and radio programs reflected the same outrage. A few blamed the groups of Islamist fundamentalists for the unending war with the Western Nations. Others accused the Imperialists of the United States and it's Allies of an atrocity in their war on Islam.

Political leaders from around the globe decried the terrible loss of life.


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