Have you ever wondered how safe the information you share online really is? With the onslaught of customer credit card info breaches at retailers such as Target and Michael’s, you’ve probably at least given it some thought.
Denver Acey’s “The Quantum Breach” will make you second guess how and where you share personal information while entertaining you with a technothriller story line.
“The Quantum Breach” is available in bookstores and from online retailers.
“Ever seen one of these?” Patrick asked rhetorically. “It’s an ankle monitor. It’s used for tracking people under house arrest, but this one is more sophisticated than what’s used on common criminals,” he said, handing it back to Magic. Stepping over to Tanner, Magic reached down and securely snapped the device onto Tanner’s right ankle. “It has a GPS transmitter, so we can track your location anywhere in the world within a couple of feet. Inside the cuff is a small, tamper-resistant electrode. If you try to remove or destroy it, an alert will immediately notify us. you’ll have this on your ankle the entire time you’re here, as will your parents at their safe house.”
Tanner was relieved to hear mention of his parents. “Where are my parents? Are they okay?” he asked.
“They’re safe. We’re holding them as collateral to make sure you do your work,” Patrick said. “But don’t lose your focus worrying about them. Keep your mind here, on present matters. That’s the best thing you can do for them right now.”
Patrick’s cell phone suddenly rang, echoing loudly in the large house. He motioned for Tanner, Charles, and the others to go outside, so he could take the call in privacy. Stepping out onto the front porch between his escorts, Tanner shielded his eyes from the bright morning sun. “Where are we?”
“In the mountains,” Magic responded sarcastically.
Charles spoke next, redirecting the focus away from Magic’s failed attempt at humor. “As you can see, there’s nobody around. you could walk for hours in any direction and only manage to get lost,” he said as he led the group around the cabin toward a small barn at the back of the lot. “That’s our utility shed,” he said, pointing to a smaller building that complemented the exterior of the larger cabin. “Inside we have a generator that is fed by an underground fuel tank. Next to the barn, you can see a propane tank that heats the furnace and water heater. Two satellite dishes on the house provide our communications. We are completely self-sufficient here. No need to go to town for anything,” Charles announced triumphantly.
“We’re also completely secure here,” Michael said. “We have motion sensors hidden at ten, fifty, one hundred, and one thousand meters around the house. The road in has several cameras that relay video back to our command center. It’s all state-of-the-art stuff. We can tell if a squirrel farts a mile out. We also have a significant arsenal in the barn that could hold off a small army. Nobody is coming to your rescue.”
Tanner wasn’t sure why he was getting the lecture, but in bragging about their fortress, his captors were also inadvertently disclosing other bits of information. These guys were professionals and were definitely backed by someone with extensive funding to execute such an elaborate operation. Interesting.
Finished with the ad hoc tour, the kidnappers escorted Tanner back inside to Patrick.
“I assume you noticed all the security precautions we have. You won’t get away,” Patrick said. “But, still, I can’t realistically believe that you won’t try to escape. So I’ve thought of another fail-safe.”
Reaching into a cabinet drawer, Patrick pulled out a large pair of pliers. Suddenly the other kidnappers reached for Tanner. He fruitlessly tried to shake off his attackers, but it was no use. Patrick forcefully grabbed Tanner’s right leg, securing it the same way a blacksmith holds a horse’s leg when shoeing the hoof. Removing Tanner’s shoe and sock, Patrick gripped Tanner’s big toe in the vise of the pliers.
“This will hurt,” he said as he forcefully jerked on Tanner’s big toe. Tanner’s scream blasted out of the house and into the open meadow. Unfortunately, nobody was around to hear it.