An experimental high-tech program is stolen and the Department of Defense courier found dead, with no obvious signs of murder. Colonel Thomas, head of security for MIGIsoft contacts the FBI and begins to look for answers. As the unexplained death toll rises, Colonel Thomas reaches out to Trace Conner, a Ninjutsu teacher, for his expertise. What starts as a security evaluation, becomes a life or death struggle in corporate espionage. Can a modern-day Ninja prevail against a far more experienced killer?
Read below for an exclusive excerpt from:
‘Wet Work (Trace Conner Book 1)’
The first man was hard looking. Trace got a bad feeling off of him. He was trying too hard not to look at Conner and he quickly declined the offer of help. The next two men came in together, talking and laughing, but there was something off about them as well. Neither of those men looked at Conner and they also declined help. At almost exactly twenty minutes, a fourth man entered the club. He was almost Trace’s height, about six feet. A slight Asian cast to his eyes, like the other men that had just entered. He looked around, spotted Trace and headed directly towards him. Trace finished looking at his phone and put the cell in his pocket.
“Eric Wan”, the last man said, holding out his hand to Conner.
Trace didn’t move, standing with his hands loose. “You were supposed to come alone.” He said coldly.
The man froze, trying to decide what to do. He was blown before he had started. The other men all looked at him to see what he would do.
“Oh, wait. You’re the team from the DOD, aren’t you?” Trace said suddenly.
‘Eric’ smiled big and relaxed a little. “Yes, you were expecting us right?”
“Yea, can I see some Id?” Trace asked.
“Sure.” Eric pulled the identification wallet out and flipped it open with his left hand. “Here you go.”
“Great!” Trace said a little too loud as he reached for the ID to examine it. That was the word that would trigger everyone to move. As Trace reached for the wallet, his right-hand went past and grabbed the outside of ‘Eric’s’ hand, shoving it hard back into the fake DOD man’s face, Trace took satisfaction in hearing the crunch of cartilage behind the nose. Trace’s left hand landed on the back of ‘Eric’s’ right-hand as he attempted to pull his pistol from a cross draw holster. Instead of trapping it, like Trace had done to Luka, he allowed the fake Eric to pull the weapon free. As it came free, Trace rolled the man’s fingers back towards the inside of his wrist. Hyper-extending the tendons of the fingers and popping the weapon loose. Trace quickly tossed the gun across the room to an empty corner.
At the same time Trace had begun the weapon strip, the two men that had been speaking together drew their weapons and sighted on Larry and Tommy, but too slow. Zack was already in motion. He took both men with head shots. The third man ducked behind the safety of the counter, firing as he went. They would have had a stand-off, but Sue ran at the end of the counter and dove, sliding past the opening, she put four rounds into the man.
Meanwhile, the fake Eric had not stood still. As his gun sailed across the room, his left knee came up, hitting Conner hard in the ribs, once, twice. He heard Conner grunt hard, then he used his left elbow, the one Conner had bent backwards, bringing it across the side of the consultant’s head. He sent Conner sprawling.
“Muy Thai.” Trace thought, “Damn, he’s fast, that really hurt. Same ribs Luka shot.” Using the energy of the strike, Trace continued the momentum, rolling to create some distance and then standing. “Hold fire.” He said looking at the all the Marines with their weapons out, pointing at the impostor.
“Kelsi said to be careful with you. He told me not to kill you until I had the drives. I don’t see what he was worried about, you’re not that tough!” Fake Eric spat blood at the floor and moved forward. Hands up, bouncing slightly, definitely Muy Thai. Fake Eric pushed forward off his left foot, his right knee coming up hard, looking to collapse Conner’s left side.
Trace did the last thing fake Eric expected, holding his own hands up to create a shield for his head, he turned to the inside of Eric. Using his own right knee to strike Eric high inside the right leg, almost to the groin. As fake Eric staggered, Trace shot both hands in to the would-be killer’s neck. Trace dug his thumbs deep in to the muscles and nerve bundles running down the sides of Eric’s neck. Gasping in pain, unable to command his own muscles, Eric dropped to his knees, hands weakly pulling at Conner’s iron grip. The man finally went limp, relaxing. Trace released his grip and moved to reposition. Fake Eric threw himself sideways, in an awkward roll. It was enough, he pulled a dark folding knife that flicked open. Trace saw instantly that it was a karambit style blade, wickedly hooked, it mimicked a tiger’s claw. Trace prepared to counter the blade, when fake Eric, became dead fake Eric. His head exploding before Trace’s eyes. Looking around Conner yelled, “damn it Tommy! We needed him alive!”
“Hey, you’re the one who taught me to just shoot someone skilled with a knife! That dude was skilled! You’re welcome!” Tommy yelled back.
“Aaaaah!” Trace yelled at nobody. “I really wanted him alive. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!” Looking at Sue now, he asked, “are any of them alive? Any at all?”