Here’s a sneak preview of the first chapter of Sean Yeager book three – Claws of Time. As you can see, things begin to hot up for Sean, Emily and The Foundation when Darius Deveraux arrives in London and presses on with his evil plans.
While I edit, revise and complete book three, please check out the first two books – DNA Thief and Hunters Hunted – which are available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and all major online stores. Also see the website here at: www.SeanYeager.com .
For newcomers: In Sean Yeager Adventures, two factions battle each other while shipwrecked on Earth, leaving Sean and Emily to figure out why they are involved and how to find their missing fathers. As events unfold around them Sean and Emily strive to live normal lives and find out clues about their past, present and future.
Sean Yeager Adventures are action, mystery, adventures with sci-fi and wit, set on a near-real Earth. They are written for middle grade to young adult readers (8 to 17) and upwards. If you or your children like James Bond, Star Wars, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter or Alex Rider, they will most likely enjoy Sean Yeager Adventures.
Read on and find out for yourself… Note: this is an early draft and will magically change during the editing process.
CHAPTER ONE : DISCOVERIES
A solitary Hyperjet raced across a charcoal sky, tracing an unseen path above a maze of brightly lit buildings and streets. It flew between vast, metal and glass structures, banking and weaving in anticipation of each cloud-piercing tower. The pilot adjusted his control stick and throttle. He fought against a strong, gusty wind that sprayed his cockpit window with horizontal lines of rain and violently threw his craft from side to side. He raised the Hyperjet’s nose to gain height and felt his neck and shoulders press hard into his seat. Wincing inwardly, he spoke into his headset.
“ETA two minutes. Get ready, it’s blowing a gale out there!”
“Affirmative,” replied Agents Geist and Stafford in unison.
The Foundation Agents patted their harnesses and pouches several times with gloved hands, each running through a mental checklist of their equipment. Their Hyperjet levelled and approached a sharp, triangular tower that glowed turquoise in the darkness. Circling briefly, it began to hover and descend towards a gleaming spire, using a red flashing light to guide their way. Captain Shaw, spoke on the intercom.
“Okay Gents, remember this is a recon only mission. Get in quietly, collect your evidence and get out. We need to know what happened to our delivery man. The Brigadier doesn’t want any heroics, understood? I’ll circle the area and wait for your signal.”
The agents nodded to each other. They rose from their seats and took up positions at either end of the cabin.
“Understood Vixen, we’ll be as quick as we can,” replied Stafford.
“Seriously, we’re looking for a missing postman?” grinned Geist. “Ok Vixen, take us down nice and easy.”
“I’ll do my best, but it’s going to be choppy.”
“It’s our lives on the line,” added Stafford.
“You don’t say?” replied the pilot.
The agents clipped their harnesses to winch cables and waited.
“Opening doors in 5, 4, 3, 2, open.”
A deafening howl of wind and rotor noise filled the cabin. The floor split in two, revealing the flat, glowing roof of the Adastra tower. It was an area no wider than a half a basketball court and was surrounded by angular metalwork. Agents Geist and Stafford stood silhouetted against the city lights and tightened their face masks. They stepped carefully onto winch foot-plates and wrapped their hands and wrists through loops of cord at chest height.
“Prepare to drop. Are you ready? Geist?”
“Lowering Geist in 5,4,3,2, now!”
Agent Geist swung a short distance across the floor and plummeted downwards. He braced himself against the wind and held tightly to his hand and foot holds. The storm blew him in a spiral and he swung four feet above the roof.
“Geist, you’ll have to jump!” ordered Captain Shaw. “I’m not going to risk it.”
Agent Geist groaned to himself and repeated a drill he had practised a hundred times. ‘Grip, release clip, hold steady, pick your spot.’
Geist leapt feet first and landed firmly on gravel, only a few feet away from a row of blue illuminated skylights.
“Geist in position. It’s freezing down here,” he reported, pulling his assault weapon from its shoulder holster and tightening the strap around him.
He scanned the rooftop through the weapon’s scope. There were no signs of life, only air conditioning units, some solar panels, a few aerials, a gantry crane and the appalling weather.
“Why did we have to pick tonight of all nights?” he muttered, shivering in the cold.
Geist stayed low to the ground and crept a short distance across the roof.
“Vixen, the coast is clear. Give Stafford a shove from me.”
Geist kept watch over the rooftop, constantly scanning for movement. He peered up for a moment at the noisy shadow hovering above. A dark figure fell rapidly from the Hyperjet’s belly. It jerked to a halt, and began to swing in circles. Geist flipped his weapon onto his back and ran across to help. He grabbed Stafford’s winch plate at shoulder height and steadied it.
“Come on Twinkle-toes, show time!” he joked.
Agent Stafford leapt from his platform and fell sideways.
He landed on a blue skylight. A hairline crack extended from the front of his right boot and forked violently across the glass. Stafford stretched out to spread his weight and slowly crawled off the glass on all fours. He rolled onto the gravel.
The two agents waited in silence for an alarm to sound, but there was nothing. Above them, their winch cables rose and vanished into the night sky.
“Geist, Stafford, what’s your status?”
“Vixen, we’re down in one piece,” replied Agent Geist.
Stafford nodded ruefully.
“Vixen withdrawing. God’s speed Gentlemen.”
“Stay close, Vixen,” added Geist.
“This is Vixen, wilco and out.”
Sean and Emily crept into the family room at Kimbleton Hall. A log fire flickered invitingly in a large grate. Above it, on a stone mantelpiece, stood a plain ceramic clock with Roman numerals. It was nearly seven pm.
“Where’s the remote, Em?” asked Sean. “Our film’s on soon.”
“Wherever you left it silly,” replied Emily, slouching into the most comfortable armchair and lying back with her legs curled up.
“Ahh! Where is it?” complained Sean, scouring the room.
He overturned scatter cushions in a frenzy and threw them in a heap.
“Phew!” he said, finding the controller beneath a purple sofa.
There was a creak at the door and footsteps rippled through the wooden floor.
“Not so fast you two,” announced a familiar voice. “We’ll be catching up with the news, if it’s all the same with you?”
Sean hissed under his breath, and hid the remote behind his back.
Emily’s mother, Mrs Campbell, entered the room with her dog, Braveheart, bounding along beside her. She was followed by another set of footsteps.
“Sean, hand over the remote,” ordered Mrs Yeager. “Now!”
Sean grimaced and pretended not to hear. He turned on the TV and selected a movie channel. The film was Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of his favourites. Emily giggled.
“Now look here, Sean,” began Mrs Yeager. “If you want any time on your computer this month, you’ll hand me the remote this instant!”
“Oh, Mum!” complained Sean, throwing the TV controller onto a chair beside her. “It’s so unfair…”
“Enough!” snapped Mrs Yeager. “There’s something on the news I want to see.”
Mrs Yeager selected a news channel and turned up the volume. The first program was an advert.
“That’s right, buy one bottle of Aqua Vervier and get three bottles absolutely free! Aqua Vervier, feel the goodness of life inside you!”
“Stuff and nonsense,” muttered Mrs Campbell.
“If it’s that good, why are they giving it away?” added Mrs Yeager. “And what’s wrong with tap water anyway?”
“It tastes disgusting for a start,” replied Sean.
“And it’s full of chlorine and calcium,” added Emily.
“Calcium’s good for you, my dear,” corrected Mrs Campbell.
“Chalk?” replied Emily.
“Shoosh!” snapped Mrs Yeager, increasing the volume to an almost deafening level. “This is it!”
“Today, an exciting Egyptian discovery was announced by the British Museum. Over to our reporter James Morgan.”
“Boring,” complained Sean.
Mrs Yeager ignored him and leaned forwards in her chair.
“Yes Mark, a team of international archaeologists, based here in London, has discovered a long-lost Egyptian temple, with the aid of satellite technology. In this image, you can clearly see a complex of buildings hidden beneath the sand.”
Sean and Emily studied the TV screen. It showed a black and white image with two blurred squares. Inside the squares, were some shadowy lines and around them were a group of irregular blocks.
“That could be anything,” joked Sean.
“So James, have there been any finds at this new site?” continued the anchor man.
“Yes Mark, the team have announced the discovery of a significant number of artefacts, many of which will be displayed in a special exhibition later this month. What is remarkable, is that this site is hundreds of miles from any other Egyptian ruins. Of course, its location is being kept a closely guarded secret.”
“Amazing,” said Mrs Yeager.
“More mummies? Don’t we have enough of those already?” asked Sean.
Mrs Yeager scowled.
“It wouldn’t hurt you to take more interest in history young man,” she replied. “The sooner you go back to school the better.”
“Oh Mum!” groaned Sean.
“Or we’ll have to find you both another tutor,” added Mrs Campbell. “After what happened…”
Emily sighed, and glanced first at Sean and then towards her mother.
“Actually, I’d like to go back to school Mum,” she said.
“Hmm, we’ll have to see my dear,” replied Mrs Campbell
The news program moved on to its next story and showed a home-made video of a meteorite striking a parked car. The car had a huge dent in its roof and exploded shortly after impact.
“And this is only one of a number of incidents,” said the reporter.
“Why? What happened?” asked Sean.
“Listen,” said Mrs Yeager.
“Locals here say that last night there were an unusually large number of meteorites, some as large as a tennis ball. This video was recorded by a tourist and shows a meteorite destroying a parked car.”
“And what other damage have they caused?” asked the anchorman.
“Well Mark, we have reports of houses being hit, a school bus, some trees, and several commercial buildings.”
Sean and Emily giggled.
“What’s so funny?” asked Mrs Yeager.
“We can’t go back to school because a meteorite could flatten it,” laughed Sean.
“Why? Is your school in America?” asked Mrs Campbell.
“Erm,” replied Sean sheepishly.
Mrs Yeager laughed.
“You have the attention span of a gnat, Sean. The reporter was talking about meteorites in America. Okay, you can watch your film now,” she said.
“And I’ll make you some popcorn my love,” added Mrs Campbell.
“Yes!” cried Sean pumping his fist. “Thanks, Mrs Campbell!”
Two men wearing full-length, black trench coats entered a dimly lit restaurant. It was situated in a quiet London side-street. Although it was early evening, and already dark, its first customers had yet to arrive. The men studied several rows of immaculately prepared tables and a handful of eager waiters. Satisfied that the restaurant was safe, one man returned to a waiting limousine, while the other held the door open for an older, distinguished gentleman.
“I’ll wait here, Sir,” he said.
The gentleman nodded, and gave his coat to a waiter. He sniffed at the green ceramic up-lighters and informal décor. It was a bistro at best. In the centre of the room, stood an impressively large aquarium containing a sunken ship. It was brightly lit, in shades of yellow and blue, with constantly rising bubbles. It appeared to contain lobsters with their claws bound. A figure walked towards him.
“Ah Minister, thank you for coming,” announced a tall, slim, white-haired man, who reached out to shake his hand.
“Mr Deveraux, a pleasure as always. Alas, I am pressed for time. I have some important reading to do before tomorrow’s Cabinet.”
“Of course, Minister, of course,” smiled Darius Deveraux. “Shall we?”
A waiter led them to the best table in the virtually empty restaurant. It was set with glasses, napkins, and a small table lamp. The Minister for Interior Affairs sat with his back to the aquarium, and reached for a breadstick.
“So Mr Deveraux, how can I be of assistance?”
Darius Deveraux sat opposite wearing tinted glasses. He beckoned for the menu, and offered the Minister a small bowl of olives.
“I’ll be direct, Minister, it’s The Foundation. I’m concerned they are a great danger to the public.”
“I understand your concerns,” nodded the Minister. “But you realise they have friends in high places, including the Prime Minister?”
Deveraux stretched his pale face into a half smile.
“I can tell you are not a supporter of The Foundation, Mr Deveraux?” added the Minister.
“My concerns are that they spend public money, and have a record of causing damage to public property.”
“Well, let me allay your fears, Mr Deveraux, The Foundation does not receive a penny from the Government. It is entirely self-funded.”
The Minister accepted a copy of the menu and sighed. He scanned it briefly.
“I am relieved to hear it,” replied Deveraux, focusing on the Minister through his glasses. “However, my sources tell me that The Foundation are reckless. Only a few months ago they destroyed an entire shopping mall.”
The Minister raised his right hand in acceptance.
“And the whole affair was thoroughly investigated. It was caused by eco-terrorists. The Foundation was cleared of any wrongdoing.”
“How convenient?” scowled Deveraux. “And who was backing these ‘eco-terrorists’ I wonder?”
Deveraux nodded to a waiter, unseen by the Minister. From the aquarium, there was a gentle sloshing of water. The Minister looked up with a quizzical expression.
“I believe that someone’s chosen a lobster,” he explained. “Are you partial to them?”
The Minister shook his head, and returned to examining the menu.
A waiter stood behind them, and flipped open the aquarium’s lid. He appeared to mentally choose a lobster, but looked startled and quickly backed away. He composed himself and approached the Minister.
“Are you ready to order?” he asked.
The Minister peered over his reading glasses and gave an audible ‘huff’ as he breathed out. Deveraux noticed the waiter’s eyes glow red and nodded to him.
“I need another two minutes,” replied the Minister, shrugging as he returned to his deliberations.
Behind him, a dark shape slowly approached the front of the aquarium, sending lobsters scuttling in all directions. The creature completely covered the shipwreck with its muscular bulk. It was covered in dark, mottled scales, with here and there a few luminous green stripes. It stretched out and extended several long tentacles above the waterline. Using its suckers it climbed and reached over the edge of the aquarium’s thick glass wall.
With a sudden whiplash motion, the creature hurled a lasso-like tendril around the Minister’s neck. The Minister sat bolt upright with a startled look on his face and gasped. His veins pulsed and protruded on either side of his throat.
“Are you alright, Minister?” smiled Deveraux.
“Feel my pain!” wheezed the Minister, with his eyes rolling upwards inside his eye sockets.
“Excellent choice, Minister,” added Deveraux. “I knew you would see it my way. The Foundation simply cannot be allowed to continue. Are we clear on this matter?”
The Minister struggled to reply and Deveraux did not wait for a response. He stood and leaned over the table, steadying the Minister’s head with his left hand. The tentacle released its grip and withdrew to the aquarium, as quickly as it had arrived. Deveraux ignored it, and picked up a napkin with his free hand. The Minister groaned quietly as if in a trance, his eyes now shut. Stepping around the table, Deveraux dabbed at a red puncture mark on the Minister’s neck and raised his shirt collar to hide the evidence. Next, he gently lowered the Minister’s head to rest on the table, beside his plate. Deveraux waited a moment, before walking confidently across the restaurant towards the bodyguard.
“I think the Minister needs your help,” he called.
The bodyguard stopped reading his newspaper and crumpled it in two. He looked disgruntled, as if someone had disturbed his rest. Deveraux spoke calmly.
“He seems to be over tired,” he added.
“Leave it to me, Sir,” replied the bodyguard, speaking into a microphone inside his sleeve, and glancing across at his superior.
By now, the Minister was sitting upright and babbling incoherently with a wide grin on his face. The aquarium had returned to its yellow and blue glow, with red shapes wandering slowly across its gravel bed. A waiter stooped to wipe the polished oak floor with a napkin, while another poured water into a bulb-shaped glass in front of the Minister.
“It’s been a long day,” smiled the bodyguard. “He’s barely eaten.”
“Indeed,” replied Deveraux with a smile. “I do hope the Minister will be okay.”
The bodyguard grinned.
“I’m sure he’ll be fine after a good night’s sleep, Sir.”
Agent Geist unclipped a pouch from his webbing. He opened its cover and selected a cutting tool and a spray can.
“Looks like the shutters are pretty strong,” he said. “Lucky for you.”
Geist leaned over the row of skylights. It extended for several paces in a large rectangle, like an ornamental glass pond. Beneath it, he noticed a grid of interlocking metal fins that formed a solid barrier. A faint blue light glowed through some punched holes in the metalwork.
“What do you mean?” asked Stafford, inspecting the glass.
“Or you’d be freefalling into the lobby” explained Geist. “Splat!”
“But it’s toughened glass,” said Stafford. “It cracked, that’s all.”
“Here,” said Geist, passing Stafford a sonic cutter. “We’re behind schedule. Try not to break it.”
Geist motioned for Stafford to cut an adjoining panes of glass. Meanwhile, Geist cut a large oval hole. His sonic-cutter squealed at a high frequency, barely audible to humans. Using a handle with two suction cups, he removed the unwanted glass and laid it on the roof, beside a row of heat-exchange units.
The rain had stopped, but a strong gust of wind nearly blew Geist off his feet. He crouched and leaned into the storm, until the wind had died down.
“So how are we going to get through those shutters?” asked Stafford.
“Watch and learn. If this gel doesn’t work, we’re aborting the whole mission,” replied Geist.
Geist leaned over the first hole and sprayed a fine gel onto the shutters. The aluminium fins spluttered and fizzed, throwing steam and bubbles of noxious vapour into the night sky.
“Stand back!” he ordered. “Or it’ll melt your face.”
Stafford staggered away and nearly lost his balance.
“Of course, that might be an improvement,” chuckled Geist.
Satisfied with his work, Geist repeated the exercise on the second hole.
“Okay, let’s find something firm to hitch onto,” he said.
After several minutes of preparing lines, harnesses and clips, Geist tested their anchor points and nodded.
“Scanners on,” he said.
Stafford shuffled forwards and sat on the window frame, with his legs dangling into an empty space.
“No signs of movement below,” he reported.
Geist sat beside him. A cavernous atrium stretched out beneath them for hundreds of feet. He could just make out a row of elevator shafts in the dim light. Geist felt his heart pounding and checked his harness and line for the third time.
“Remember, we’re heading for the first balcony on the right,” he said. “Last one down is buying drinks!”
Agent Geist cast off into the chasm and whirred down his line, swinging gently as he went. He braked by wrapping his boots around the rope and squeezing with his legs, as the floor approached. Geist landed softly, and quickly detached himself. He took up a position with his back to the wall, and brought his weapon up to his shoulder. Through his scope, he noticed a line of elevator cables and a handrail. Only one of the elevator cars was visible. It was glass-walled and empty.
“Quiet as a crypt,” he reported, scanning the rest of the balcony.
Geist watched Agent Stafford land a short distance away.
“What kept you?” he joked.
“My need to stay alive?” replied Stafford grimly.
“It’s gonna cost you,” grinned Geist.
Geist watched Stafford pull out a sidearm from his thigh holster and check that it was loaded.
The building was strangely quiet and even the gale outside was now a distant rumble.
“Where’s the night watchman?” asked Stafford.
Geist crawled to the edge of the balcony on his hands and knees and peered down into the main lobby. Far below, he could just make out a lone orange spot against a cool grey background. In front of it, stretched a wide, curved desk.
“In the land of nod by the looks of it,” he replied.
“Vixen, we are in position, over,” reported Stafford.
“I copy that,” replied Vixen.
Geist rose to a crouched position and scanned each end of the short balcony through his assault weapon’s sight. It had a neatly carpeted floor with fake plants and little else.
“Okay Houdini, work your magic,” he said.
“I’m on it,” replied Stafford.
Geist stood guard, and watched Stafford run past him to examine a door with a long vertical bar for a handle.
“Where’s the keypad?” asked Stafford.
“Come on, we’re running out of time!” complained Geist, turning around.
Stafford scanned the wall looking for signs of heat and shook his head.
“Do you have any burn gel left?” he asked.
“Sure do, but we’re under strict orders not to leave any mess behind.”
Geist reached into his map pocket and pulled out a pencil-shaped device and threw it to Stafford.
“Magnetic impulse detector,” he declared. “There has to be a locking mechanism somewhere.”
The device flashed green, as Stafford swept the wall on the left-hand side of the door frame.
“Set your blaster to impulse, should do the trick,” suggested Geist.
Stafford fired his blaster at the wall. His weapon hummed quietly, but nothing happened.
“More juice,” muttered Stafford, adjusting the power level.
Stafford fired again and a short flash emerged from a tiny crack in the wall. A small gap appeared in the textured wallpaper and a square flap became visible. Stafford pulled out his combat knife and prised open the outer casing. “Looks like a manual override,” he explained.
“Then fuse some wires, Houdini! We’re late for dinner!”
Instead, Stafford reached inside the wall box and flicked a switch.
The door opened inwards with a sudden rush of air. Geist approached and peered into a dark corridor.
“It’s all clear! Come on!” he said.
The moment Geist took his first steps into the corridor, another door hissed open a few strides ahead. He raised his weapon, fearing the worst.
“Wait!” called Stafford.
But he was too late, Geist passed the inner door, and began to scan the interior.
“Stone cold,” he reported. “I can’t see a thing in here for the fog. It’s colder than outside.”
Geist crept forwards, and switched his helmet scanner to sense heat and movement. The room was dark and full of dense vapour. He noticed a cold, blue pattern on his headset, but no sign of activity.
“And it stinks of chlorine. What is this place? A swimming pool?” he complained.
“That’s what we’re here to find out,” replied Stafford. “Come on Geist, raise your game.”
Geist inched slowly forwards through the fog, and heard a dull metal ‘clang’ beneath their feet.
“What was that? Did you drop something?” he asked.
Stafford, turned towards him, with his weapon and visor glowing bright red.
“It’s our boots,” he replied, tapping his foot against the hard floor. “We’re on a metal walkway.”
“I don’t like this,” said Geist. “Take your readings, and let’s get out of here!”
“Sure,” replied Stafford. “Just a little further.”
Agent Geist noticed a tiny flash of red light at ankle height on his left. Stafford took a step towards the beam.
“Stop!” he cried.
The inner door slammed shut behind them and hissed. It was followed by the howl of overhead fans. Soon, the fog began to swirl around them. Geist turned to his right. On infra-red he noticed a distant orange spot, it was joined by a second, then another. A row became visible, then a second row. He flicked his headset to ultra-violet and his stomach sank like a lead weight. Geist realised in horror that they were standing in a vast gallery, four floors high that stretched as far as the eye could see. Each floor held several rows of stands, and each stand held a dark figure wearing a mask, tubes, and a combat suit.
“Stop!” he ordered.
Stafford stood with his weapon raised. Around him, a pale orange glow illuminated the clearing fog on all sides, and a series of dull thuds echoed through the gallery. Geist peered into the mist and saw the distant outline of a dark figure. Behind it stood another. One by one, the figures moved, with their eyes shining red. His infra-red sensor glowed with a patchwork of heat patterns, changing from pale yellow to orange and then crimson.
“Hostiles ahead,” he reported. “This is going to get really messy.”
I hope you enjoyed Chapter One of Sean Yeager Claws of Time (book 3 in the series). Please stay tuned for more news about Sean Yeager books.
For more information, take a look at the website at www.SeanYeager.com
Books One and Two are available from Amazon UK and Amazon US in print and e-book formats. Book Three will be ready in 2017.