Fault Line [Kindle Edition]

Fault Line [Kindle Edition]

by T L Scott


Publisher T L Scott

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Crime Thrillers, Literature & Fiction/Action & Adventure, Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


This fast-paced novel has Bill and his soldier buddies teaming up with local law enforcement and agents from the FBI to eradicate a gang that has invaded the very fabric of his hometown.

Sample Chapter

Late summer is a wonderful time of year. The sun has eased back from the blistering intensity of July. It now warms the skin instead of frying it like an egg in a skillet. The air has lost some of its sweltering quality. A cool breeze stirs the air and then rolls gently through the park.

This green oasis of nature is a favorite place for kids of all ages. People play catch with Frisbees while others toss a baseball back and forth. Tired mothers stand at the ready, keeping a watchful eye on their tireless toddlers at play. Young couples lay on blankets, basking in the sun as much as they are basking in their love. People feed the ducks by the pond. Joggers make their way along the path which winds around the promenade and continues on its serpentine route through the park. The rhythmic cadence of their footfalls add to the natural rhythm of the day. At the south-eastern corner of the promenade, a black lab races along the green expanse of grass. It launches into the air and catches a Frisbee with effortless grace.

Bill is taking it all in. It feels good to be back home. The smell of fresh-cut grass combined with the morning breeze helps him to relax like he hasn’t been able to do for so long.

“Man, you got ‘a get the Shelby. If you’re going to get a Mustang you might as well get the best,” said Sam. He was from Virginia Beach and had grown up around muscle cars. His dad taught him some of life’s most valuable lessons while tinkering under the hood of one project after another. When it came to cars, Sam knew what he was talking about. His favorite project had been rebuilding a 442 with his dad and uncle. It had been the first time his dad had involved him in the restoration of the engine and transmission. Before that, he’d mostly done body work and been the one to fetch what the men needed. In fact, looking back, it was that restoration more than anything else which had led him to decide on being a 63B, light vehicle mechanic.

“Listen, man,” said Sebastian, “I still haven’t made up my mind. Yeah, I love the Shelby, but that Camaro is awesome too.” He held up his hands to forestall the complaints he knew were coming. “Before you say that it can’t compare with the Mustang, think about after-market work. With some fine-tuning and a little tweak to the computer chip, she’d be sweet! Now toss in a new transmission, and it would scream!” Sebastian was an Army brat and had spent most of his childhood in Germany. He had always been good with electronics and had initially come into the Army to do that. Once he was in the Army himself, he learned about the things the guys in EOD did so he cross-trained and became an 89D.

“It still wouldn’t be the same grumbled Sam.”

“To tell you the truth I’m leaning toward the Beamer. I’ve been reading about the M3, and it’s a complete package. I like the way it rides so low to the ground. It really hugs the road.” Sebastian scooted to the edge of his chair while he was talking. “It's got 425 horsepower pushing around 4000 pounds. Get this man; it goes zero to sixty in four point five seconds!”

“Your right man, said Tommy, that M3 is sweet.” He was leaning back as usual. His normal pose and attitude, in general, was relaxed. “For me though, I’m going to get a Range Rover.” Tommy was from Atlanta and would be going there to visit his Mother after the wedding. Like the rest of the guys, he hadn’t been home in over eight months. He was an only child and in-spite-of his tough exterior, he had a soft spot for his mother. She had made a lot of sacrifices for him. His dad died when he was young, and she’d raised him as a single mother. He owed her a lot and tried to respect her sacrifices by becoming the best man he could be. He had big shoes to fill. His father had been a great man. Tommy constantly strove to become better. One day maybe someone would think that he’d been a great man as well.

“You’re all crazy,” said Raul. “The classics are the best. I’m gonna get me a ’78 Monte Carlo and trick it out. Picture, it man, lime green, chrome rims, at least 32’s, and full hydraulics, a true hopper.” He crossed his arms and sat back with a smug look on his face. When none of the guys showed any reaction, he quickly sat forward on his chair again and put his hands on his knees. “You’ve got to be shittin’ me guys. You don’t know what a hopper is?” He held out his hand palm down and bounced it up and down, small at first then bigger and bigger bounces. “Sweet right?” he asked leaning back again with a big smile. Raul was a proud New Yorker. As much as he loved his city he knew he had to leave her to find himself. He’d seen too many friends die over stupid things. He wasn’t afraid to die. Dying was easy, he wanted to make something of himself. That was hard. He had to work at it all the time. He knew what he needed to do the first time he heard a presentation by an Army recruiter. He’d never been good at school. He wasn’t bad at it; he was a C student. He just wasn’t interested in what they were teaching him. That was funny. Most of his teachers tried about as hard as the kids. Everybody was coasting through. School was a place he had to go to so he could get out of there. He wanted to go out and make a difference. The Army needed soldiers in the infantry. It turned out to be a good match.

Once he was in the Army, he decided he liked the camaraderie and worked hard to become better. He graduated his courses at or near the top of the class. He found that he liked to learn. This was different than school back at home. This was stuff he wanted to know. These instructors really cared about teaching you. They got up close and personal. These lessons were going to keep him and his buddies alive. He decided to try some college classes after he settled into his first posting at Fort Bragg. He finished his Bachelor's degree in three years and was working on his Masters in adverse psychology. Along the way, he also completed Army Sniper training. He had a real knack for observing and analyzing. He was also very good at taking action when it was the right time.

Bill sat back and listened. He was usually the quiet one of the group. These were his friends, and he knew he was damn lucky to have them. It was funny that two years ago they hadn’t known each other. They came from different walks of life. Each man had decided to join the Army for his own reasons. At the core of it, each man was looking for the same thing. Each of them wanted to become better than what they were. Over the past two years, they’d become as close as any brothers. Being in battle together does that; especially when they had saved each other’s lives too many times to count.

Bill watched the tranquil scene of normal life play out in the park across the street. A large, black crow was working on a crust of bread. It would attack the prize a few times with its beak, then raise its head, darting it from side to side to make sure his perimeter was clear. The crow was cautious. He made sure his prize was still safely his. Satisfied, it returned its attention to the bread, stabbing its beak into the crusty morsel. Suddenly, it dropped the meal and launched into the air.

The unmistakable crack of a gunshot shattered the tranquility.

Instinct and experience guided Bill’s eyes over his left shoulder. Reflex and muscle training went into action as he gracefully continued the turn with his body, rising fluidly off the chair, his eyes searching for the aggressor. He dropped to a kneeling position to minimize his exposure to the potential aggressor. His right knee hadn’t made contact with the red bricks of the patio when his eyes locked on target. His right hand clasped the grip of his Sig Sauer SP 2022 Nitron. Having identified his target, he began clearing it from the holster. His left arm, now clear of the seatback, came around for a two-handed grip. He locked in on the confirmed threat and brought his weapon to bear.

A man stood over a woman in the middle of the two-lane road. She was down on her knees, gesturing with her hands fiercely. Bill couldn’t make out the words they were saying from this distance, but it was obvious he wasn’t asking her out on a date. The man was holding the stock of what looked like an AK 47 with his right hand, waving it around menacingly, while shouting at the woman. His long, stringy, brown hair, whipped around his head. He punctuated his agitation by thrusting the gun up and down.

The woman raised up off her heels and said something. Whatever it was, caught his attention. He stepped closer to her and bent his thin frame down so that his face was only inches from hers.

She shrank back from his leering face. Whatever it was she said next, he must have found it amusing. He tossed his head back and laughed, then started dancing around her. He was doing a kind of high-step, his knees pumping high while he jabbed the rifle sharply up and down. He was really getting it too. He completed his circle of her and stomped his heavy boot down, ending his dance. He threw his head back and howled like a wolf. Bill had to give it to him; the guy had some good lungs. He made the howl last a long time.

The man took in a deep breath as he rolled his body back forward. He snugged the butt of the gun into his shoulder and sighted in on the woman. The black barrel ended inches from her upturned face. Her jet-black hair blew back from her face in the gentle breeze. It, and the angle she was facing prevented Bill from seeing her face.

Bill admired the way she faced the man that was about to take her life. She looked proud and strong. Even if she was seconds from meeting her maker she wasn’t going to cower. He respected her for that.

Bill increased the pressure of his trigger finger. Seeing the man tense his shoulder and bring his right elbow out to the side triggered Bill to engage fully. A split second before applying the final amount of pressure, the dancer jerked to the right. He fell in what seemed like slow motion, Bill knew better. This was what he called battle speed. As the man fell, bullets sprayed out from the barrel of the AK47 in a deadly arc. In this case, it was good that the rifle shot up to six hundred rounds-per-minute. It quickly ran out of ammo before anyone was hurt by this madman. With the guy out of the fight, Bill scanned for more threats. Seeing none, he did a quick check on his friends. Sam and Raul were both covering down on the baddie.

Bill kept his weapon trained on the inert form in the road, from his kneeling position. He cut his eyes over to Tommy and Sebastian and saw they were taking cover behind the decorative fence that separated the café from the sidewalk. He could see they were at a loss. They were used to being in uniform and reacting as they were trained to do. When their finely-honed reactions came up with a missing weapon, they didn’t have an answer, for a beat. This wasn’t Iraq or Afghanistan; it was Texas, and yet war had found them here.

Bill kept his weapon pointed at the bad guy as he ran over to the woman. She was still on her knees in the middle of the road. The bad guy hadn’t moved since he’d hit the pavement. Bill saw why. A pool of blood spread out from his head. The blood looked black on the asphalt road. A smaller puddle was congealing under his torso as well. Bill wasn’t taking any chances. He’d seen men get up from wounds that should’ve killed them outright before.

He slowly circled the body, keeping his eyes on the man’s hands. If they so much as twitched, Bill would drop the hammer. His finger skillfully had four of the seven pounds of pressure squeezing the match grade trigger. It would only take a small fraction more to dispatch the man, if needed. He kicked the rifle away from the corpse and then looked at the woman. She was staring at the body.

Bill couldn’t see her face from his angle. Her black hair was loose and partially covered it. He could see that she was shivering in-spite-of the warm air.

A crowd was beginning to form. Sam and Raul were still training their weapons around, searching for any more potential threats. Sebastian and Tommy were keeping the small crowd that had formed back, maintaining a loose perimeter defense. They were doing their best to keep the look-e-loos away from the scene. Of course, in this modern day, most of the people had their phones out, trying to catch it all on video. It would be up on social media before the authorities had a chance to arrive on the scene.

“Are you okay ma’am?”

She raised her obsidian eyes to his and said in a calm voice, “I think so.”

“Are you hurt?” Bill asked her

“No, . . . I don’t think so,” she replied shaking her head slowly.

“Are there any more of them?” He asked as he cast his eyes around.

“I don’t know,” answered the woman. “I don’t know who he is.”

She looked down at her lap, and her body sagged down. The steel that had held her up seemed to leave her. “He was really going to kill me,” she murmured.

They both knew she’d spoken the truth. Bill didn’t see any need to say anything further on that point.

“What’s your name ma’am?” He asked her in a gentle tone as he reached out his hand to help her up.

She took it and let him help her to her feet. Once she was sure she wasn’t going to fall back down, she squeezed his hand a little and responded; “My name is Isabella, thank you.” She said looking him in the eye.

“You’re welcome,” he replied simply.

There was something about this woman, something more than her beauty. There was a feeling of strength that radiated from her. He tore his gaze from her beautiful eyes and looked around at the scene developing around them.

More people had gathered on the sidewalks on both sides of the street. Traffic was at a standstill. Cars were lined up with their doors standing open. Their drivers had abandoned them to get a better look at the aftermath of the violence that had played out in their small town. Small children were standing with their parents. Some parents were trying to cover their children’s eyes, but the curious little ones weren’t having it. Bill wished he could cover the body up. Not to give the man his dignity but to lessen the macabre interest that had overtaken these people. He knew better though; he knew the police were going to conduct an investigation. Back here, that meant collecting forensic evidence. As if on cue, the shrill notes of a siren cut through the still morning air. All together less than three minutes had passed since the first shot had been fired, and the discordant wail sounded the arrival of law and order.


Excerpted from "Fault Line [Kindle Edition]" by T L Scott. Copyright © 2018 by T L Scott. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

T  L Scott

T L Scott

T. L. Scott grew up in a small Midwest town. A fan of storytelling from a young age he could always be found with a book in hand. A true fan of RL Salvatore, Isaac Asimov, JRR Tolkein, Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, and Tom Clancy. The written word fired his young mind with adventures of lands both real and imagined. It has always been the characters that he has been drawn to. He has traveled to places great and small and to this day he can still be found with his nose buried in a good book.

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