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Violet Night

Sander (Sandy) Pinard is caught-up in a crunch between information technology and the highest levels of covert operations, political ambition and corporate greed. As an integral member of a clandestine communications sub-culture of the intelligence community, Pinard is teamed with Gloria Kelly in making the final connections to an ultra-secret ultraviolet satellite network that, when operational, will hand the most powerful in the nation, absolute power. But Pinard cannot do it without using and deceiving Elliot Bowman, the unwitting inventor of a super plastic material vital to the operation of the network, code name Violet Night. Elliot and his wife Julia are Pinard's old college mates and best friends. Trails of life, love, betrayal, death and treachery lead the players from the explosive beginning to the implosive conclusion.

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release

Daniel B. Jeffs

     Daniel B. Jeffs has an extensive background in the criminal justice system. He holds a law degree and a teaching credential. Dan wrote AMERICA'S CRISIS: THE DIRECT EDUCATION AND DIRECT DEMOCRACY SOLUTION, BLACK ROBES ON WHITE HORSES, a legal/political thriller, VIOLET NIGHT, a techno/political thriller, and he co-wrote THE KAMIKAZE EQUATION, a high-tech thriller.

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Chapter 1

North of Aguila, Arizona
August, 1983

THE SILHOUETTE of a giant saguaro cactus stood silent against the orange sunrise. The Sonoran Desert seemed ageless. Pristine. At the foot of the saguaro a kangaroo rat crouched frozen, vulnerable to the hypnotic stare of a western diamondback rattlesnake. As the snake's coiled tension tightened to strike the rat bolted safely away, frightened by the harsh whine of motorcycle engines.

Two young men riding dirt bikes came screaming over a rise, catching air as they raced toward a mesquite-lined dry wash. Suddenly, the lead motorcycle turned and stopped. The second rider shook his head, slowed and stopped beside his partner.

"Hey, Chuck!" he yelled. "What the hell did you stop for?"

"For that, Eddie," Chuck answered, pointing beyond the wash.

"A cabin at our spring?"

"Wasn't there the last time we were here. Let's check it out."

They took off down the slope and across the wash toward the cabin. As they slowed their approach, they could see it was a newly built modular structure nestled among the greenery of an oasis next to a group of large boulders. Chuck scanned the area. There were no vehicles around. No tracks, trails or roads leading to the cabin.

They hadn't seen the helicopter take off, its blades whirling silently in the distant sky as they cautiously stopped their bikes in a large, circular wind-blown area near the cabin. Chuck slapped Eddie on the shoulder.

"Looks like a chopper landing area. There's a diesel generator wired to the cabin. Bet it's a drug lab."

"I don't like it. Let's get the fuck outta here," Eddie said, warily eyeballing the open front door.

"No way. We gotta see what's in there. Might be worth our while."

Chuck eased his bike toward the cabin followed reluctantly by Eddie. They parked their bikes, approached the open door and looked inside.

"Hello?" Chuck called out. "Anybody here?"

No answer. They stepped inside and discovered a sophisticated, but unusual lab.

"Pew!" Eddie snorted at the strong odor of solvents and plastic compounds.

"This is some bad shit… I don't think it's a meth lab," Chuck said, looking over containers of resins and epoxies in containers labeled "Devchem." He moved to a lab table and examined a mortar and pestle containing ground-up brown material. He noticed a pile of flat bean pods nearby. He poked around several mixing dishes and samples of hardened plastics.

Eddie checked out the other side of the cabin containing a bed and make-shift kitchen area. He walked to the back window.

"I don't know what this is, but it's no drug lab," Chuck said, shaking his head. "They're doin' somethin' with plastics… Why out here?"

"There's…a guy out back!" Eddie said, his voice breaking.

Chuck quickly joined him at the window to see the back of what appeared to be a middle-age man dressed in western clothing. He was kneeling at the edge of an artesian well with his head down as though he was either in trouble or praying.

"Let's just split," Chuck said, turning to move away.

"Come on, man," Eddie said, grabbing his arm. "He might need help. We can't just leave the dude out here to die,"

They went out the back door and cautiously approached the motionless man.

"Hey, mister!" Chuck called out as he moved up behind the man. "You alright?" He froze suddenly, staring at the burnt and bloodied separation of hair on the back of the man's head.

Eddie moved up and stooped over to look at the man's face. "Oh, man… Jesus Christ!" he cried out, straightening up in horror at the sight of the man's forehead blown out, his wrists duct taped to his legs. Eddie staggered back and dropped to his hands and knees, heaving.