Fiction Fest: Joel Narlock’s ‘Drone Games’ brings October excerpts to a close

Drone Games 2x3 WEBHollywood and the publishing world have brought audiences a slew of “what if” disaster scenarios over the years. Time to add another to the mix.

Joel Narlock’s “Drone Games” creates a scenario that’s too frightening to consider, and that could have easily been ripped from today’s headlines.

Johni Christiansen, a US commercial airline pilot, said, “As I prepared my 777 for departure from Heathrow Airport in London to Dulles International, I found myself scanning the perimeter fence lines for drones! [‘Drone Games’ is] a fascinating and realistic novel that really got me thinking!”

May the events portrayed in this novel remain only in our imaginations.

Drone Games” is available in bookstores and from online retailers.

EXCERPT:

From the author: The White House. Secretary of Homeland Security Thomas Bridge has just informed the president that a second commercial aircraft, a United flight from Chicago to Denver, has crashed over Western Iowa. For the second time since flying was invented in 1903, the United States is faced with the prospect of halting air traffic across the nation. The message is clear. Stop flying—ruin the economy. Keep flying—more people will die.

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“What is happening to our country?” the president said soberly.

“Sir, it has to be done,” Bridge gently prodded, careful in his tone so as not to appear to be ordering the president, although that’s exactly what he was doing.

“Tell me again . . . are there no alternatives?”

FAA Administrator Elizabeth Slavin quietly handed Bridge a folder entitled: National Security Plan for Air Traffic Shutdown. It had been prepared for this precise situation.

“Mr. President, with all due respect, two planes and a total of 260 people have been lost. We are, for all intents and purposes, under siege. Both flights appear to have been deliberately targeted with warnings announced beforehand. We were powerless to stop them. However insidious, someone, somehow, has devised a way to carry or plant explosive devices on commercial aircraft and presumably detonate them at a time of their choosing. It is unbelievable. And if such devices have somehow managed to elude our detection capabilities, for all we know there could be tens or even hundreds poised for similar detonation. It is my duty to now admit the possibility that the prior London aircraft bombing attempts and even the mysterious downing of TWA Flight 800 may have shared circumstances. That plane, in particular, could very well have been the first test. We may be facing a perfected tactic so revolutionary that none of our security systems can pick it up. Donaldson is in his grave, but I believe he was dead right.”

Bridge had wanted to get that out for years. He never had a good enough foundation. Commander William S. Donaldson III was a United States Navy pilot and Vietnam War veteran with more than twenty-four years of experience in nearly all phases of naval aviation. He challenged the US government’s conclusions on what caused Flight 800 to crash into the Atlantic Ocean on July 17, 1996. The Boeing 747-100 literally exploded in midair shortly after takeoff from JFK International Airport, killing everyone on board. Hundreds of witnesses reported evidence of offensive targeting that originated from either the ground or the water. There was also an indisputable presence of the explosive compound PETN around a gaping hole in the plane’s fuselage.

“It’s got to be attached to a passenger who is somehow getting on board. What if we simply disallowed all carry-on luggage or hand searched each and every pers—”

“Mr. President,” Bridge interrupted. “You once told me that I could speak my mind with you as long as it was respectful and from my heart. I hold you to your word. You’re micromanaging. There are no alternatives. You have the authority and more than enough evidence. Shut it down.”