Most people do not carry the fate of the world on their shoulders. Sam Greenhut does.
By the year 2230, the world is no longer dependent on fossil fuels. All power is harnessed directly from the Earth’s core. A clever integration of neural technology and wireless energy gives rise to the Global Network (GNET), revolutionizing society. Diverse industries operate efficiently under the umbrella of a neurally connected world economy, powered by an unlimited geothermal fuel supply controlled not by Presidents, Sheikhs nor Monarchs, but by a Corporate Federation run by seven individuals.
This is the state of the world when the Corporate Federation charges Sam Greenhut with ensuring GNET’s unquestioned reliability and integrity.
Sam sees a world whose population is totally dependent on GNET, as if the previously admired trait of self-reliance was weaned from the gene pool. Inevitably, the insatiable demand for energy prompts a reckless decision by Corporate Federation board members to expand the geothermal energy lattices. Despite Sam’s protest, the choice to exceed the cautionary “Greenhut Limits” precipitate a string of earthquakes that destroy GNET and plunges the planet into the chaos known as “The Upheaval.”
What happens next fundamentally alters the destiny of the planet and catapults Sam into the center of The Seed – book one in my science fiction trilogy, Future’s Edge.
After delivering these words in a calm, professional manner, Bill Strong waited. He was a formidable physical specimen with a chiseled physique, sharp eyes, and a calm, but overtly suspicious demeanor. What made Bill intimidating was not his physical appearance as much as his reputation for being able to out-think and out-guess an adversary. If you did something wrong and found yourself in Bill’s sights, there was no escape.
Despite Bill’s presence, the perpetrator made a mad dash to escape.
Is he stupid? How crude to try to make a run for it. He’s easy to track. He’s now in Sector 18b.
Bill smoothly cycled through a series of neural commands.
Shield enable, Sectors 25a through 27j – Got him – Narrow the field – Good – Security breach file 343, pick up perp held in Sector 26f. He’s in the pocket.
Bill was delighted to have finally found the source of the recent information leak. Wheeler was careful about sensitive information being revealed to the public, especially when it had to do with rates of world energy consumption. With corporate security on the way to pick up the suspect, Bill started back to his office, encountering Sam making his morning rounds at the NCC.
“Hey buddy, how are things going this fine day?” asked Sam, congenially.
“We found our leak. Just waiting for Security to get him.”
“Good job. Who was it?”
“Peter Gilles,” said Bill.
“You suspected him for a while. Were there any problems?”
“Well the dammed fool made a run for it. I don’t know what he expected to accomplish, but I think all the excitement is over. Have him held in a security pocket.”
“Well, now I’ll have to replace him. Too bad. It’s not easy finding someone with his expertise,” Sam lamented.
“I could never figure out why you needed someone with experience in sonic phenomena,” remarked Bill.
“Whenever something goes wrong here, many alarms go off. I was never happy with the way they sounded. We hired Peter to design an assortment of sounds that would help us identify the type of problem we’re experiencing more intuitively. It’s quite subtle, but we found it helps improve response time. Now we’ll need someone else to finish this work. Damn difficult finding people with this skill. Took us over two months to find Peter,” replied Sam.
“Hey, Bill,” said Sam, changing the subject. “When we get another day off, can you join me on Deliverance?”
“I normally wouldn’t miss a chance to be on Deliverance, but it’s a busy time for me now. Can’t Jeff help you out? He lives on the boat.”
“No, we need to change some of the lines and check rigging tension. I need muscle for this type of work. It’s the one thing Jeff can’t do.”
“Okay Captain. I’m in. After that last sail, I’m not surprised to hear some work is needed.” Bill paused. “Sam, I love being on Deliverance. It’s the only place I can let my guard down. You know me – always paranoid.”
“That’s why you’re good at your job. Always thinking of what could go wrong. Anyway, I’m glad you’re part of the crew.”
“Me too. Sailing is so therapeutic. It helps me learn to trust others. Too often I feel defensive –I can never let my guard down.” Bill changed the subject. “I have to get back to my office. Need to file the report on Peter. Care to walk with me?”
“Sure. I have some time. Let’s go.”
Bill stops in his tracks. “Wait!” Report. “Son of a bitch. He somehow breached the security pocket and is on the loose again. We’re having trouble tracking him. I’ll meet you in my office. This shouldn’t take too much longer.”
Sam looked at Bill. He had the face that showed he was deep in neural interactions. Sam referred to it as the “neural face.” Better let him do his job, Sam thought.
Once again, Bill resumed his neural interactions.
Research, Peter Gilles … Sonic phenomena expert … Worked for the Military Alliance’s weapons division … A loner … Level 18 Master Technologist … Many scientific papers … Oh no! Method to breach Tansford Shield with sonic projections … Sonic interference patterns disrupt neural tracking mechanisms …
---I Googled some of the terms mentioned and would like to learn about those parts that are real science.
---Bonus points for garnering my husband's interest. :-)
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Mort lives on the Jersey shore with his mate Mary Ann. When he’s not writing, Mort is an avid sailor, a wood sculptor, and a charter member of the Arts Society of Keyport. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he added his technical, artistic, and project management skills to the design and implementation of three, free form concrete sculptures that replaced destroyed public art in the town of Keyport, NJ.