Quantum computers are the next big thing. A router capable of allowing those computers to talk to each other, securely and near instantaneously, will be worth billions of dollars. As the first “Quantum Router” nears completion, the lead inventor is murdered. When the surviving creator doesn’t believe the story of his ‘suicide’, she hires Trace Conner, a master Ninjutsu instructor, for protection. The simple bodyguard job quickly evolves into non-stop action as kidnapping, murder, and high tech treachery chases them around the world after the enormous prize.
Exclusive excerpt from Trace Conner Book 3 ‘Frost Giant’
Turning the next corner, Alejandro saw a large man with long, blonde hair waving at him from down the block. A child, with a hoodie pulled over their head, stood next to him.
“Is that the actor who plays Thor?” He wondered as he got closer. “He is a lot bigger in real life.”
Pulling the bus to a stop, he opened the doors and the big man leaned in.
“Good morning,” Alejandro said. “Can I help you?”
“Ah, yes,” the blonde answered with a slight accent that sounded almost like a Viking. “My little guy here is supposed to start at St. Mary’s today. The director, Mrs. Flannigan, said that he could ride the bus in.”
“I didn’t get a notification for that,” Alejandro replied. He looked again at his watch, it was too early for anyone to be in the office, so he could not call and check.
“It was last night when I spoke with her. The studio got me in touch with her.” The big man replied.
“I’m sorry, I can’t just take a child that I don’t have on my list,” Alejandro said.
“How about if I ride with him,” the man flashed a movie star smile to the moms on the bus. “I can have an Uber meet me there and take me to the set.”
A quick look in the mirror told him that the moms all liked that idea a lot. Assuming that he would be outvoted, he nodded his assent.
The big man stepped on and Alejandro saw that he had to be almost the height of a pro basketball player, well over six feet. Alejandro closed the door behind him.
“Which one is Isabella?” The big man asked.
“Why do you ask?” Alejandro said guardedly.
Instead of answering, the blonde reached out and grabbed him by the throat, pulling him up and against the seatbelt with only one hand. As he squeezed, he turned to see the women on the bus begin screaming.
Alejandro struggled violently, but he felt as if a steel cable had been wrapped around his neck. No air escaped, no words.
“Why do you want my Isabella?” Alejandro’s brain screamed.
He tried desperately to reach the small bat beside his seat, kept for possible problems. Finally, he grabbed it, pulling it up and over, he swung at the giant.
With an almost casual motion, the attacker grabbed the incoming club and wrenched it free. Tossing it aside.
“What can I do?” Alejandro’s mind struggled as he grew weaker. “How can I protect my baby?”
While his right hand held the driver, the big blonde pulled a knife that looked like it was homemade, out of his waistband and easily sliced through the seatbelt. Allowing him to pull the man completely out of the seat.
“Shut up! Shut the fuck up!” Screamed the child in the hoody with a deep voice, brandishing a big, black pistol.
The hood dropped back, the scruffy face of a dwarf visible. The politically correct term, ‘a person of restricted growth’, didn’t matter to the terrified bus-riders.
Once the screaming died down, the big blonde looked calmly around all the people.
“Which one is Isabella?”
The struggles from the driver lessened and the giant squeezed harder. There was a violent spasm from the driver and the sound of vertebrae popping, then he went still.
The giant looked into the now lifeless eyes and dropped the body in the aisle.
Alejandro Vega had no way of knowing it, but he had just saved his daughter’s life.
“Which one is Isabella?” Louder now, but not shouting.
“She’s not here today. She spent the night with Courtney.” A stunning brunette finally said in a shaky voice.
“Where does Courtney live?” The large man said in an eerily calm voice.
“Right next to the school,” the same trophy wife replied.
“How are we going to get to her old man if we don’t have the girl?” The little person asked.
“That man right there is her dad,” the brunette offered.
“Fuck!” The blonde shouted angrily, pointing. “That’s Alejandro Vega?”
The dwarf quickly pulled the dead man’s wallet out. He showed the driver’s license to the giant as he nodded his head.
With another curse, the large man turned and squeezed into the driver’s seat, finally reaching the controls to move it all the way back. He reached over and opened the door, letting his smaller accomplice off.
“Follow me,” he said as he shut the door again.
Placing the bus in gear, he began to drive. He took Laurel Canyon Boulevard, turning onto Mulholland drive. They traveled on this until they reached a straighter stretch of the mountainous road. The blonde opened the door, took his foot off the brake and accelerated. He tapped the shift lever into neutral and the bus continued to pick up speed. Then he climbed carefully out of the driver’s seat, keeping the big vehicle on the road.
The bus riders all began to scream, with no idea what was going on. Children and adults both cried.
Still steering the rapidly accelerating bus with his long, left arm, he moved onto the top step of the entry. With one last check of the bus’s path, he waved goodbye to the pretty brunette and jumped off the hurtling vehicle. He hit the ground hard, rolling repeatedly to absorb the impact. He stopped just in time to see the short bus crash through the guardrail and sail over the cliff. He smiled as he stood and walked to the sporty vehicle that pulled over next to him.