Today I am so pleased to welcome Trina Lane to Joyfully Jay. Trina has come to talk to us about her latest release, Zero Control. She has also brought along a great giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Rick scrubbed his hands over his face and hair. How had this happened? How had he gone from the elation of finally discovering the source of the problems with Oracle and finally having good news to report, to sitting alone in an interrogation room? Rick looked around the less than luxurious accommodations where Special Agent King had deposited him. At least he’d got himself a reservation at one of the special rooms somewhere on the third floor—of the NSA instead of the stockade. Carpenter had been an especially constipated asshat today, and Rick didn’t know what all his blustering had been about. Neither did he understand why the code he’d copied onto the jump drive differed from what he’d seen on the server. And what was with that drone business? Rick knew nothing about drones. Like, not anything! He’d crashed after, like, a minute when playing Ace Combat on Masterson’s Xbox.
He paced the room. What would the motive be for someone to hack into a requisition platform and a medical drone? Were the two even connected? King had said, no wait it was Carpenter, that the keystrokes they’d found in the log of the drone hack had belonged to Rick. If whoever was behind the Oracle hack was the same as the drone, why leave an identifying path at all? And why set Rick up to take the fall in one but not the other? They’d stayed completely anonymous in Oracle but left breadcrumbs in the drone? And what, if anything, did all this shit have to do with some developmental weapons system Rick had yet to even identify?
“None of this makes any fucking sense!”
The door opened, and Rick spun around to find King standing in the doorway. “So let’s talk it out.” He gestured to the chair at the table. “Please sit.”
Rick eyed the chair and the one-way mirror that took up a good portion of the wall opposite him. He didn’t know who was watching, but if he had any hope of not getting thrown in the stockade by the end of the day, it was probably best to cooperate. He sat down and met King’s eyes across the table. They were an attractive pair of green eyes. Rick estimated King was somewhere between 30 and 45 depending on how well he took care of himself. He didn’t appear to be a fitness freak, but clearly saw more activity than desk basketball while he sat at a computer all day.
“Sergeant Major Rick Davis. Thirty-eight years old. Originally from San Diego, California. Enlisted at seventeen with your parents’ permission. Initially, your MOS was twelve-Yankee-geospatial engineer but you requested a transfer into cyber division after your initial contract had been served in 2008. There are a few notes in here about deployments to Iraq. Lost several members of your unit because of an attack on the forward operating base in 2007.”
He forced himself to continue meeting King’s gaze. “Yes, sir. I remember.”
“Why the request? All your performance evaluations showed exemplary service with the five-one-two. Were you that eager to get nominated for OCS? Thought cyber might be the niche to get your foot in the door? Oops, guess that never happened.”
Maybe he should rethink the whole King being a reasonable person assessment?
“No sir. I’ve always been good with computers. Thought I might put those skills to use for my country.”
“Right. Rebooter. Isn’t that what the guys in your unit called you back then?” King looked down at the thin folder of papers sitting on the table. “Tell me something, Rick. Can I call you Rick?”
That seemed like a rhetorical question, so he elected to use his Article 31 right to remain silent.
“Great, Rick it is. You’ve served twenty-one years. Achieved the rank of sergeant major. You’ve impressed enough brass to be put in charge of an entire battalion at U.S. Cyber Command.” He whistled softly. “That’s impressive. You know what I don’t see anywhere in your file? A single mention of personal life. Past or present. So, either you are one of the few, the proud who have escaped the stereotypical relationship dumpster fires of military service personnel or you’re a loaner with commitment issues. Now normally I wouldn’t care, but here’s the problem. Statistically, loaners and those who can’t form meaningful relationships outside of hyper-focused environments are more prone to aggressive behavior.” He leaned in as if to share a secret. “That’s psychology geek-speak for terrorist.”
Rick leaned in and whispered, “Good to know, sir.” He settled back in his chair. “Is there a question in that monologue?”
King smiled. “I like you, Rick. In fact, based on everything I’ve read in your file there is no reason I should suspect you of any wrongdoing. That’s also why I wanted to meet you, because I think these files are a bunch of malarkey. I’ve been conducting investigations for a long time. Reading about a person on paper rarely provides as much information as looking them in the eye. Today in Colonel Riggs’s office I met two men. On paper, both appear to be all the Army could ask for. One I trust and the other I wouldn’t let feed my goldfish.”
Rick held back a smile.
“Which one do you think you are?”
“Well, I know which one I want to be, but then again, I’m also the one sitting in this room. So….”
“Fair point. Can you at least tell me why someone is determined to make me believe you are a danger to little Nemo?”
Keiji Pacheo knows there is something very wrong with one of the smart weapons his company has fast-tracked for production. Something has to be done to protect millions of people from being targeted. But apparently, he is the only one willing. He needs help or artificial intelligence is going to run amok and destroy the world!
Sergeant Major Rick Davis thought it was going to be just another day at work, but he quickly finds himself defending his professional integrity, fleeing from the NSA, and racing around the world with a crazy, but seriously hot, software engineer. He never expected a cyber defense gig for the US Army to turn into a real-life action movie. Therefore, it’s only logical to ask just what IT gods he’s pissed off.
Together Rick and Keiji have to figure out who they can trust to help them navigate the unexpectedly dangerous world of cyberwarfare. Along the way they discover there is nothing so simple as hitting reset or flipping off the power when the problems spread to other military systems. Keiji has to rely on Rick’s skills to keep them alive, and Rick needs Keiji to stop the first set of smart weapons ready to deploy. Can they really make a difference when it seems like the whole world is against them?
Trina is a scientist with a passion for history, music, and photography, she loves to travel and experience new places but is terminally shy around people she doesn’t know. When the zombie apocalypse occurs you’ll want to find her because she’s a crack shot, and promises to take out those nasty decomposing flesh eating vermin before they have a chance to make your their snack. Her favorite aunt gave Trina her first romance novel in middle school, and made her promise not to tell her mother. Her first romance novel was published in 2009, and her love for this genre has only increased. Her choices in reading and writing material are as diverse as her Apple Music library, which contains music from Mozart to Metallica. Her one concession is all stories must have a happily ever after ending—did we mention she’s incurably romantic? She’s the mother of a very strong willed and sweet little boy who frequently makes her smile and grimace within seconds of each other. She firmly believes that the sweetness comes from her and the other part is her husband’s fault. She loves to hear from readers and her greatest wish is that we all strive to achieve bigger dreams.
To celebrate the release of Zero Control, Trina is giving away 5 e-copies of the release! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
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