Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Desert Assassin by Don Drewniak - book excerpt.


Williams was back in the van with the General and Rappaport when a figure clad in a black uniform with no markings on it entered through the open door. He was just under six feet, late forties or early fifties, with a weather-beaten face, a pronounced jaw and heavily muscled. Williams recognized him immediately. He didn't know his name or who he was, but he remembered him from the site of a massacre in Uganda.

"Thomas, James," he said without a trace of emotion. He then looked at Williams. "Williams, Major Williams?" he asked while emphasizing major.
Williams said nothing.
"Jesse," said the General, "I'm sure you are aware that this is an operation authorized by the Secretary."
"Not any more." 
Jesse was Jesse Morgan, a shadowy figure who seemingly had near unlimited power.
Morgan looked at the largest monitor which showed a resting Assassin. Looking around the van, he asked, "Where's the meteor?"
"In the lab," replied the General.
Morgan turned and looked at Williams, "It is now property of the United States


Twenty-one years in the U.S. Army Special Forces and two more years spent as a mercenary in Uganda and the Sudan was enough. Bill Williams then found home in the lightly populated desert area south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. A year of solitude ensued - solitude broken only by occasional shopping trips to Albuquerque and twice-a-week visits to a singularly unique diner - Killer Two's Diner. The peace and quiet of that year ended abruptly with the sighting of a meteor while sitting on his back porch staring out into the desert. 

More From Desert Assassin: 

Thing was a little more than two feet away from the shrub at 6:00AM the following day and there, in its path about a foot in front of Thing, was an assassin bug poised and ready. A little over an inch in length, it was dwarfed by Thing. However, it held its position as its slow-moving adversary approached. As was to be expected, Williams was mesmerized. 
During his first year in the desert region, in addition to the repair work, Williams exercised no less than an hour daily and read as much as he could about animal and plant life in the desert. He was familiar with the traits of the assassin bug. It was not afraid to engage a larger opponent and had as its main weapon the ability to deliver a sometimes lethal dose of a toxin. Assassin bugs survived by siphoning off blood from its victims, usually other insects. However, some species of assassin bugs, such as cone-nosed bugs and kissing bugs, extracted blood from mammals rather than insects. Williams wasn't certain, but he suspected he was looking at a cone-nosed bug. 
Thing finally made it to within a quarter inch of the assassin bug. The bug struck, undoubtedly attempting to inject its toxin. In what had to be no more than two seconds, Thing rolled into a three-inch ball engulfing its over matched victim. Ten minutes later, Thing rolled under the shrub and stopped. It did not move for four days. 
During the entire time of the confrontation, Williams uttered a single word, "Damn." 
He spent a significant amount of time monitoring Thing during those four days. Late into the fourth day, Thing began to vibrate and continued to do so for eighteen minutes. As the vibrating stopped, it began to flatten. When the transformation was completed, it appeared to be about the same thickness as it was before the encounter with the assassin bug and no bigger in diameter. However, it had a slightly oval shape with what appeared to be two small antennae at the end of one of the elongations. Thing then turned so that the antennae pointed toward Williams. 
Williams watched for an hour as Thing remained stationary. "What do I do now?" he asked himself.

5.0 out of 5 stars What a ride! August 31, 2014
Tightly written. Unforgettable characters, especially Killer Two and the "Assassin." A great mixture of action, comedy and twists. The ending, at least for me, was ... well, WOW!

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