BLURB: Grace McKenna wakes up to find the world in danger – the sky is on fire and the only man who knows how the global satellite system works is languishing in a mental institute. Sent by the director of Global Solutions, she discovers a man largely forgotten by society, a man whose powers intrigue her.
Breaking Benedict Thomas out of the institute might be as crazy as he’s alleged to be, but someone is lying and Grace is determined to find out whom. Especially since those lies have put the entire world in danger…
EXCERPT: In the middle of the room was a plain, metal table with a chair on either side. One was empty. The other contained a thin man in a shapeless grey overall. His wrists were strapped to the arms of the chair, his ankles to the front legs. Long dark hair shot through with silver hung over his bowed
head. He sat utterly still and only the slight shift of his chest gave any indication of life.
“Don’t worry,” the woman said. “He can’t hurt you.”
“I never would have guessed,” I muttered, unable to keep the sarcasm from my voice. “Is that entirely necessary?”
“Mister Thomas can be… unstable.” Her expression as she stared at him verged on disgust, even hatred. “The restraints are for his benefit as much as yours.”
“You’re all heart.”
“Please, Doctor McKenna. I am aware that this probably looks… medieval to someone more used to dealing with computers, but be assured that we at Hammel MI know what is best for our residents.” She motioned at the table. “Mister Thomas has requested a private audience with you. We have agreed to monitor the conversation on closed-circuit television as long as there is no audio feed. If you will…”
I stepped into the room and she closed the door. Metal clicked as the locks were turned. Claustrophobia clenched my chest and squeezed my throat. I forced myself to breathe slowly, taking in deep gulps of air until the panic passed.
Turning to the table, I found a pair of brown eyes on me, their focus sharp and calm. This was a mad man? It was hard to believe—there was far too much intelligence in that steady gaze. I approached the table. His gaze never broke from my face and my nerves jangled as I took the seat opposite.
“You wanted to see me?”
A thin smile showed beneath the tangle of hair. “Indeed I did, Doctor McKenna.” Benedict’s rich voice belayed his gaunt appearance, the words clipped and precise. “I believe that disaster has struck the Earth?”
I glared at him. “You know that it has. You made this happen.”
The straps didn’t stop him turning his hands over, palms to the ceiling in an innocent gesture. “And how did I do that from this most comfortable of prisons, Doctor? I have not seen the sky, burning or
otherwise, since Callahan declared me insane in order to steal my royalties.”
“Nevertheless, you did something. I saw the schematics and the first satellite. The system was different, it had an addition. And I’m willing to bet that addition is what’s responsible for the sky burning.” I shook my head. “It doesn’t answer why, though. Yes, Global Solutions screwed you over, but people are going to die. The entire world paying for one man’s greed doesn’t seem fair.”
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