Island of Menorca - in the Balearic Sea - off the coast of Spain
The ever-present drone of night sounds from the jungle masked Special Agent Chin-Sun’s approach to the secluded and vine covered Spanish-style villa. She flipped on her night vision goggles and watched the darkness transform into ghostly white. As she drew closer, she could hear voices coming from just up ahead. She shouldered her Browning SS-56 Assault Rifle and crouched down a little lower—listening.
She could smell the cigarette smoke before she spied the two armed guards that were coming up the path in her direction. She ducked into the thick undergrowth, drew her twin suppressed Glock 17s, and waited. When the guards passed by her position, she silently rolled out behind them, stood up, raised both guns and fired twice into the back of their skulls.
The lifeless guards crumpled to the soft jungle floor with barely a noise made except for the familiar thwick, thwick sound made by her suppressed weapons. Chin-Sun dragged the bodies off the trail and then continued towards the back of the ancient villa. She turned off the NV goggles and easily disarmed the crude alarm sensor on one of the windows to the kitchen using her compact multi-tool.
Once inside, she made her way through the kitchen and entered the study. A bookcase completely covered one wall with shelves lined with hundreds of dusty tomes written by long-dead authors. The red velvet curtains were closed, but she could see there was one man sitting in a studded leather chair behind a large oak desk with the back of the chair turned towards her. She raised her weapon and pointed it at his head and approached cautiously.
As she moved closer, she noticed the large exit wound in the back of his skull. She walked around in front of him and saw that he had been shot squarely in the center of his forehead. She went into a crouch and scanned the room for any evidence of the shooter. When she was satisfied no one else remained, she quickly checked the other rooms and discovered two other men killed in the exact same fashion.
Her old partner, Jae Jeong assigned Chin-Sun this mission two days ago. He was recently temporarily re-assigned by NIS cgief executive Suh Hoon to oversee the select few operatives or “sanitizers”, like Chin=Sun, that had been selected after intensive testing and scrutiny for the new squad created from within the NIS. The National Intelligence Service was the South Korean equivalent of the C.I.A. in the United States. They handled the delicate situations like…extractions, abductions…and executions.
Her assignment was to parachute on to this island and retrieve an encrypted USB data stick that was recently stolen from a French diplomat by a low-level terrorist group while he was visiting his favorite brothel in Nice. She was to terminate the group and leave no trace of her presence.
The data stick in question supposedly contained the locations of all the safe houses around the world that the French Secret Service currently had in operation. The radical group who stole it stupidly put it up for sale to the highest bidder on a Hamas underground website.
The NSI’s expert intelligence gathering unit monitors these sites for just that purpose. They discovered the ad and tracked the group here to the sun-bleached shores of Menorca; a beautiful tropical island in the Balearic Sea, located about 250 kilometers west of Spain.
Chin-Sun went into the master bedroom and found a safe that was wide open and empty. The USB stick probably used to be kept in there and someone had very obviously beaten her to it.
Excerpt from Dead Flow
Present day - Mauna Loa Volcano - Island of Hawaii
The mountain rumbled again, and a fissure appeared in the cavern’s ceiling. Jake hurried over to the far wall and shined his Maglite to reveal a truly fantastic sight. Like Jonathan Evans described, the dusty wall was covered with a myriad of primitive artwork and paintings. Jake coughed from the accumulating sulfurous dust, and quickly took off his rucksack and removed his 35mm Nikon camera, the kind which still uses rolls of film. He attached the flash and started taking picture after picture of the wall. The rumblings were getting closer together now, and for the first time Jake was a little worried. Like his father warned, he won’t be discovering or protecting any more artifacts if he is buried alive on Mauna Loa. After snapping about three rolls of film, he removed his movie camera. It was a digital model, and Jake only gave in to new technology because you couldn’t get movie film developed anymore. He quickly filmed the wall in its entirety. He put the movie camera away and started removing his rubbing paper and charcoal pencils. Another jolt reverberated through the cavern and sent Jake to his knees. His pencils scattered across the cave floor. Another huge crack appeared in the center of the wall in front of him. He still needed to take rubbings of the etchings of what appeared to be a map in the south corner. He got to his feet, grabbed his pencils and slapped the paper against the strangely carved hieroglyphics. His black hair was almost completely covered with volcanic dust. Debris and particles kept falling on him from the roof of the cave like new fallen snow. He rubbed furiously at the strange etchings, trying to finish before the whole mountain collapsed on top of him. He got the rubbings as best he could and packed it all away and threw on his rucksack. He put the Maglite in his mouth and slid through the small opening which led to the first chamber. The walls started rocking back and forth and the lava rock cracked and crumbled all around him. As he almost made it to the cavern’s exit, he felt the mountain roll under his feet. There must have been a minor eruption higher up by the caldera. The rocks in front of Jake started separating and half the wall tumbled down and blocked the tunnel opening to the outside. “This isn’t going quite the way I thought,” muttered Jake to himself. He started digging furiously at the rocks blocking the exit with his bare hands. His fingers split open and bled as he tried in vain to break through. He lay on his back, drew his legs back and kicked as hard as he could against the rocks. They didn’t move an inch. He sat back and assessed his current predicament, the Maglite still clamped tightly between his teeth.