Tag Archives: Steven M. Moore

Son of Thunder Blitz

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The Esther Brookstone Art Detective, Book Two
Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Date Published: September 2019
Publisher: Penmore Press
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#2 in the “Esther Brookstone Art Detective Series,” this sequel to Rembrandt’s Angel has Esther Brookstone, now retired from Scotland Yard, obsessed with finding St. John the Divine’s tomb, using directions left by the Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. Esther’s search, the disciple’s missionary travels, and Botticelli’s trip to the Middle East make for three travel stories that all come together in one surprising climax.
Esther’s paramour, Interpol agent Bastiann van Coevorden, has problems with arms dealers, but he multitasks by trying to keep Esther focused and out of danger. The reader can also learn how their romance progresses, as well as travel back in time to discover a bit about Esther’s past with MI6 during the Cold War.
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Praise for Son of Thunder:
“This is an exceptionally well-crafted and well-researched novel. Even though I haven’t read the previous novel in the series, I had no trouble becoming invested in the story and getting involved in the protagonists’ lives. I enjoyed the connection between Esther and Bastiann and how they seemed to balance each other out. While Esther is a firecracker, Bastiann is the calm soul that brings her back to earth while helping her fly. I also enjoyed how Esther seemed to bring a lot to the story. From her quirky personality to her great sense of humor, she made things work while having a grand time. The development of the story was great, the plot was incredibly rich and the characters were super entertaining. It is a great story and I cannot wait for more.” – 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite
Other Books in the Esther Brookstone Art Detective Series:
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Rembrandt’s Angel
Esther Brookstone Art Detective, Book One
Publisher: Penmore Press
Published: May 2017
A Neo-Nazi conspiracy threatens Europe . . .
Esther Brookstone’s life is at a crossroads. A Scotland Yard inspector who specializes in stolen art, she’s reluctantly considering retirement. A three-time widow, she can’t quite decide whether paramour and colleague Interpol Agent Bastiann van Coevorden should be husband number four. Decisions are put on hold while she and Bastiann set out to thwart a neo-Nazi conspiracy financed in part by artworks stolen during World War II. Among the stolen art is the masterpiece “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a work Esther obsesses about recovering.
The case sends the intrepid pair on an international hunt spanning several European countries and the Amazon jungle. Evading capture and thwarting death, Esther and Bastiann prove time and again that adrenaline-spiked adventures aren’t just for the young.
About the Author

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Steven M. Moore was born in California and has lived in various parts of the U.S. and Colombia, South America. His travels around Europe, South America, and the U.S., for work or pleasure, taught him a lot about the human condition and our wonderful human diversity, a learning process that began during his childhood in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Evidence of his love of storytelling can be found in his many books in the mystery, thriller, and sci-fi genres. He is a member of International Thriller Writers.
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Christian Fiction, Thriller Todd Netland's book, "Fame and Fortune Tellers," is the story of one
Young Adult Horror, Mystery, Thriller Date Published: November 15, 2019 Publisher: Top Publications, Ltd Bobby
Mystery / Thriller Publisher: Elite Online Publishing Date Published: 12-10-2019 Power Lies is a captivating
Mystery, Thriller Date Published: September 2019 Can an off-kilter doctor and private investigator save his
Suspense, Thriller Date Published: June 2019 Publisher: Page Publishing Boy Interrupted is a gripping and

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The Last Humans – Blitz

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Post-Apocalyptic Thriller
Published: March 30, 2019
Publisher: Black Opal Books
 
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The apocalypse kills billions—numbers so large that most survivors’ minds snap shut. Foes of the U.S. have attacked with a bio-engineered contagion that spreads around the world.  One of only a few survivors, Penny Castro, ex-USN diver and L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy, reacts differently. She fights back and creates a life for herself where death is the common denominator. On a forensic dive, she is interrupted. When she surfaces, she finds all her colleagues dead, so she has to battle starvation, thirst, and gangs of feral humans until she ends up in a USAF refugee camp. A post-apocalyptic thriller for our times, Penny’s adventures will entertain and shock you into asking, “Could this really happen?”
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 Excerpt
One week later I learned the truth in the adage that you can be a victim of your own success. Even though I’d insisted that I didn’t want any more violence in my life—the trip to the Valley was more about curiosity almost killing this cat—the USAF now considered Ensign Penny as an asset, although a reluctant one.
“I’ve never been to Vandenberg,” I told Rodriguez.
He stood before me looking a bit forlorn. Couldn’t see him well from my camp chair with the blazing sun at his back. “If it’s any consolation, I tried to dissuade the colonel because I know you don’t want to participate.”
“Why do they think I’d want to participate?”
“One major reason: we airlifted someone from the Santa Maria area who had managed to cobble together a coded message we could recognize and broadcasted it at a radio station.”
Thought of my own broadcast. Wondered if it was still hitting the airwaves. Thought a moment more. “I’m guessing he’s from Vandenberg.”
“She. There’s a top secret satellite there Cheyenne Mountain wants us to recover, and she knows where it is.”
“So La Femme Nikita will be our guide to recover something completely useless?”
“Why useless? Cheyenne Mountain doesn’t think it’s useless. She doesn’t either.”
“How are you going to put it into orbit, flyboy?”
He upended a pail and sat near but still facing me. He looked around. “We—she thinks there’s still a rocket ready to launch there.” His voice was a whisper.
“Gee, why don’t you just use it to pay back the jerks who did this to us? Or bring back the astronauts and cosmonauts for burial?”
“The rocket can’t handle that kind of payload. Besides, the satellite is more important.”
“Describe it.”
“I can’t, but it will help this country get back on its feet again.”
“You mean that no comsats are online?”
He hadn’t changed expression when I made that deduction. “They’re still up there, but the Mountain can’t wake up all of them. There’s some evidence that enemy anti-sat missiles blasted the silent ones with EMP bursts just before the others carrying the plague hit the West Coast. And they weren’t just comsats that were affected. I can’t talk about details. Many of them are missing anyway. Key people who knew a lot died at the Mountain too.”
“I’ll need details.”
“You won’t get them. You’re considered a civilian.”
“But why should I help you then?”
“Because our survivor says your brother is in the group that took over the base. She barely escaped.”
My brother is alive! “Wait! You want me to convince him to surrender? No way. I can’t do that. Is that your second reason?” He nodded. “My brother and I have been estranged for years. I don’t want to even see the SOB again…ever!”
“Would you at least talk to Rebecca?”
“Is that the woman from Santa Maria?” He nodded. “Why would that accomplish anything?”
“You’ll see. Just talk to her. That’s not her name, by the way. We created an alias just for you.”
“Gee, thanks, for all your trust.”
***
“Looks like you could use some of this,” said Ben, sitting a half-filled bottle of Dewar’s on our little camp table that evening. Made our little tent in the refugee camp seem more homey.
“Only if you share some,” I said.
He pulled up the other camping chair. “You need it more than me, although I’ll take a few sips. Want to talk about it?”
I didn’t care about national security. Alejandro had said it: I’m a civilian! I told Ben everything I knew. “What should I do, Ben?”
He took a sip—I’d already downed half a water glass—and thought a moment. “It’s your decision, but I’d consider it an opportunity.” He waved a hand in a circle. “Everything has changed. The reasons for your estrangement with your brother are irrelevant now in these terrible times. It might be worthwhile to mend fences with the gentleman.”
Gentleman? I smiled. My Ben was such a gentle soul. How could he know how Bobby had treated Mom, how he took sides with Dad, and what a controlling jerk he had been in my life?
“You’re focusing on my brother,” I said. “What about that satellite?”
“If they’ll use it to beef up comlinks, it might be justified as a way to stitch the country back together again. Right now Hannibal and his jet pilot friends are about as good as the Pony Express was before telegraph and the railroads. All the com here is pretty local, unless somebody is willing to chance bringing TV and radio stations back online. Don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
“Maybe having the whole country connected wasn’t a good thing,” I said. “People would just get on their soapboxes and proselytize and other people would get angry about it and do the same thing. Smaller groups might get along better.”
“From a sociological and anthropological point of view, you might have something there. Homogeneous tribes got along because members who didn’t were thrown out. That’s easier to do within a small group. But even Native Americans, Egyptians, Macedonians, Greeks, and so forth formed cities, states, and empires, ones often evolving into despotic regimes.”
“Ben, I don’t need a history lesson about why human beings suck,” I said. “Small groups are like big families.”
“And big families can be ripped apart by contrary actions and opinions,” he said. “Yours is a case in point.”
“Which is why I’m very happy to have had the opportunity of choosing my present one,” I said with a smile. I’d long ago decided that Ben and Sammy were my family. Talk of my brother disturbed me.
***
I spent a night of insomnia thinking about my choices, even in the throes of my drunken stupor. I didn’t want to make a decision. I didn’t want to think about the USAF, the Navy, my government, or my brother. And I didn’t give a rat’s ass about Cheyenne Mountain.
The next day, Alejandro took me to see Rebecca. I think he would have done it even if I’d committed right away, but not doing that made it also a meeting for her to try to convince me.
I was left in a small conference room somewhere in some base building in Edwards. Figured it belonged to security because it looked like an interrogation room in my old sheriff’s substation. Waited about five minutes until there was a knock at the door. A woman entered, moved slowly around the table, and took a seat opposite me.
“You can call me Rebecca,” she said, placing hands palms down on the table’s edge. She seemed to be focused on the wall behind me, her gaze about six inches over my head. Huh? I then noticed the hands. They were prosthetics, maybe the best I’d ever seen, but prosthetics nonetheless. “You have heard the general outline of our problem. I’m here to answer your questions.”
“I’ll call you Becky,” I said. “You were picked up in Santa Maria? Were you at Vandenberg?”
“Yes. I’m a scientist. I was working there and living in Lompoc.”
No expression. I stood and went to the window to peer through the blinds and bars at an expanse of tarmac, much of it now sprouting weeds in the cracks of the asphalt and concrete, about the only thing that managed to grow without water, although even the weeds looked dry. Her eyes didn’t follow me.
She continued. “It’s no different than other bases. Andrews and Edwards are in better shape, though.”
“You follow my sound. Are you blind?”
“I’d probably be called just ‘legally blind’ years ago, but that definition was used by the authorities. Now it doesn’t matter.”
“Did that happen on Vandenberg?”
“Yes. A small group wreaked havoc, especially among the scientists. We were blamed, you see. I and a few others escaped.”
“Did you build military satellites?”
“Some of them. The one we want to launch in particular. Do you want me to elaborate on what we’ll use it for?”
“Military communications?”
“For now, the government is the military, and it’s handling most of its communications piggybacking on the military’s. This satellite will aid in that process and help bring the country back together.”
“And you think that’s a good thing?” I watched her body language. I had some interrogation training when I became a deputy. She didn’t realize that I was interrogating her; she probably thought she was there to convince me.
“It will help. It’s not the complete answer.” Her sideways response to my question annoyed me. “There will be no quick solutions.” Roger that! “We’re doing the best we can.”
“We? After all that happened to you, you’re still ready to aid the government? Don’t you think they share some of the responsibility?”
“Perhaps. After careful analysis, though, I think they don’t share much culpability.”
“You’re blind and with prosthetic hands, and you still say that?”
“Our government didn’t do that, Penny. I lost my eyesight and hands in an explosion caused by the group I mentioned. I survived. Many of us didn’t.”
“OK, why me? I have no favorites in this fight. I just want to live whatever life I have left in peace with my family.”
“Your brother was one of the leaders in that group.”
I returned to my chair and buried my head in my folded arms on the table. Oh, Bobby, what have you done?
I felt like crying because I could understand Bobby’s sentiments. I often figured that somehow our government had failed us. Supposed the Vandenberg scientists and technicians were the obvious scapegoats. Maybe all over the world? Maybe in whatever country or countries that launched the missiles carrying the plague? Politicians will pay scientists tons of money to do their dirty work, but that didn’t mean they were responsible. The politicians were like the pimps, the scientists like their whores.
“OK, tell me what you want me to do,” I said to Bec.
About the Author

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Steven M. Moore is a native Californian who lived and traveled abroad before settling on the East Coast. The reader can observe in his fiction the great appreciation he has for diversity in character and culture and our common hopes and desires. His fiction work contains many novels in the mystery, thriller, and sci-fi genres, including four series and young adult novels. In The Last Humans, he returns to his native California to ponder a possible future.
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Mystery, Thriller, Sci-fi A Mary Jo Melendez Mystery, Book 3 Published: October 2018 Publisher: Carrick
  Science Fiction The Chaos Chronicles Trilogy Collection Publisher: Carrick Publishing Published: November 2017 Near-future
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Goin’ the Extra Mile – Blitz

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Mystery, Thriller, Sci-fi
A Mary Jo Melendez Mystery, Book 3
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
 
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Mary Jo is back. Her domestic bliss is rudely interrupted as a mercenary tries to kidnap her adopted children. She and husband Mario have a theory about why: after fighting off CIA and SVR agents in the previous novels in this series, it’s now the Chinese government that wants the super-soldier technology of her MECH friends (“Mechanically Enhanced Cybernetic Humans”) who are hiding in France…and they will stop at nothing to get it. With action taking place in China and France, this novel returns to the international action of the first to round out the trilogy.
Other Books in the Mary Jo Melendez Mystery Series:
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Muddlin’ Through
A Mary Jo Melendez Mystery, Book 1
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
Published: August 2014
In this international mystery/thriller, ex-USN Master-at-Arms Third Class Mary Jo Melendez struggles with restarting her life until she is hired as a security guard for an R&D firm with Pentagon contracts. She is framed after a violent break-in and lands in prison. She escapes, struggles to clear her name, and seeks revenge for her sister and brother-in-law’s deaths, during a journey that takes her around Europe and South America and tests her many skills as well as her faith. On the way, she makes new friends that restore her belief in human goodness, and even finds romance.
In this international mystery, thriller, and espionage tale about conspiracy and betrayal, Steve Moore creates yet another strong female protagonist whose adventures illustrate his keen interest in the world around him and the people who populate it.
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Silicon Slummin’…and Just Gettin’ By
A Mary Jo Melendez Mystery, Book 2
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
Published: February 2015
Mary Jo Melendez is back in this sci-fi mystery thriller. The protagonist of Muddlin’ Through takes a permanent security job in the Silicon Valley after bouncing across the U.S. through temp jobs. Her future isn’t all bright, though, as she discovers she has a stalker. Moreover, two teams of agents, U.S. and Russian, are in hot pursuit because of what she knows about the cyborgs she saved in the first book in this series. She hires a PI for surveillance and protection who becomes a new love interest. The two match wits against her pursuers. Will this ex-USN Master-at-Arms survive this time? Will she and her new romantic interest be able to end yet another conspiracy.
About the Author

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Steven M. Moore was born in California and has lived in various parts of the U.S. and Colombia, South America.  He always wanted to be a storyteller but had to postpone that dream to work in academia and R&D as a scientist.  His travels around Europe, South America, and the U.S., for work or pleasure, taught him a lot about the human condition and our wonderful human diversity, a learning process that started during his childhood in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
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Christian Fiction, Thriller Todd Netland's book, "Fame and Fortune Tellers," is the story of one
Young Adult Horror, Mystery, Thriller Date Published: November 15, 2019 Publisher: Top Publications, Ltd Bobby
Mystery / Thriller Publisher: Elite Online Publishing Date Published: 12-10-2019 Power Lies is a captivating
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The Chaos Chronicles Trilogy Collection – Promo Blitz

 

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Science Fiction
The Chaos Chronicles Trilogy Collection
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
Published: November 2017
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Near-future dystopia, interstellar flight, first encounter, space battles, AI, and more–find them in this new sci-fi bundle.
 
This new sci-fi bundle takes the reader from an Earth dominated by multinationals and policed by their mercenaries to colonizing another planet and the first encounter with ETs. And beyond, far into a future with space battles, ESP, AI, and more. This three-novel bundle provides hours of sci-fi entertainment in just one ebook.
About the Author

Steven M. Moore writes sci-fi, mystery, and thriller books and sometimes combines these genres as he does in this trilogy. He is a full-time writer, and his many books illustrate his perpetual love of storytelling. He was born in California and lived in many other places, both in the U.S. and abroad, experiencing diverse peoples and settings that often define his near-future mysteries and thrillers and extrapolate well into his sci-fi. He currently lives with his wife in NJ.
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Post-Apocalyptic Thriller Published: March 30, 2019 Publisher: Black Opal Books   The apocalypse kills billions—numbers
Mystery, Thriller, Sci-fi A Mary Jo Melendez Mystery, Book 3 Published: October 2018 Publisher: Carrick
Mystery, Suspense, Thriller Date Published:  February 5, 2017 Publisher: Carrick Publishing An environmental activist is

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GAIA AND THE GOLIATHS – BLITZ

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Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Date Published:  February 5, 2017
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
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An environmental activist is murdered on a street in Manhattan after a protest. NYPD homicide Detectives Chen and Castilblanco get the case. While pursuing the clues to find those responsible, they discover the activist’s boyfriend is in danger because he has key information that will expose an international conspiracy involving Europe, Russia, and the U.S. As the tangled web unravels, an old nemesis of the detectives makes his appearance.
Other Books in the Detectives Chen & Castilblanco Mystery Series
Published: October 2015
NYPD detectives Chen and Castilblanco continue their adventures in this sixth novel in the series. Castilblanco’s relative Teresa and Nasir are an item, but Nasir kills Teresa’s taunting and jealous ex-boyfriend in a fight. When they look to Nasir’s friends for help, those friends kidnap the two fugitives who become involved in a terrorist plot.
While the two detectives try to find Teresa and prove her innocence, a case in a different precinct involving a different Castilblanco relative surfaces. The cop’s uncle, other detectives, and the Coast Guard help sort things out, including the connection to an old mafia family.
Published: 2010
The murders of a Wall Street broker and a Navy SEAL in Manhattan only miles and minutes apart seem unrelated, but two homicide detectives discover a connection. As the strange cases merge and they chase down the killers, even with federal stonewalling, they uncover a terrorist plan to destroy two American icons and generate a financial crisis bigger than the Wall Street implosion of 2008. Hiding in the background are webs of international intrigue taken from today’s post-9/11 world.
Published: March 2012
Steve Moore gives a new meaning to “narco-terrorism” in this new thriller that has your favorite NYPD homicide detectives Rolando Castilblanco and Dao-Ming Chen thwarting another terrorist plot, as they did in The Midas Bomb. Castilblanco uses his old Navy SEAL skills to good effect and Chen takes on a new sexy and independent role against the combined forces of al Qaeda, a Mexican cartel, and neo-Nazi militia members.
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Published: May 2013
With Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder, Steve Moore continues the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series.” The sleuths of The Midas Bomb and Angels Need Not Apply will embroil you in action and suspense yet again.
As a mystery novel, it is a dark probing into the nexus the crime underworld sometimes enjoys with the rich and powerful. Chen is arrested for the murder of a senator in circumstances that seem to leave no doubt of her guilt, but Castilblanco helps prove her innocence.
With this new crime novel, Steve continues the saga of your two favorite detectives as they and their companions fight the corrupting influence of the illegal weapons trade.
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Published: March 2014
Aristocrats and Assassins continues the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series.”
NYPD detectives Chen and Castilblanco leave their comfort zones once again. Chen goes to China where she helps the DEA track down a money laundering scheme. Castilblanco is in Europe on vacation with his wife. They meet up to thwart a terrorist who’s kidnapping members of the European royal family. What relation does he have to the money laundering scheme? Why does he have a vendetta for Castilblanco? What’s his real agenda? Join Chen and Castilblanco on a tour of Europe you won’t find in Frommer’s.
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Published: November 2014
Chen and Castilblanco are back in the Big Apple.  They begin to investigate the murder of a SOHO art dealer, delve into the shadowy world of art thieves, and discover that stolen artworks can be used as collateral to finance some dark entrepreneurship.  The Collector is book five in the Detectives Chen and Castilblanco series.
Excerpt

 

Excerpt from Steven M. Moore’s Gaia and the Goliaths, #7 in the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series”, Carrick Publishing, 2017:
Chapter One
Dr. Guillermo Sanchez ran with EMTs as they guided the gurney through the halls on the way to one of Bellevue’s ORs.  His job was to stabilize the shooting victim for the surgeon, but stabilize wasn’t the right word in this case.  The young woman flat-lined twice before the surgeon arrived.
“Wash up, Guillermo,” said Dr. Wilson. “I’m going to need your steady hands.”
Guillermo Pedro Sanchez was ending his first year as ER intern.  He had already informed Wilson where the gunshot wounds were.  The most serious ones were around her left breast.  Had they done damage to the heart?  The flat-lining indicated that they had.
He was in the seventh hour of his first shift.  Unruly black hair and a need for a shave combined with a blood-stained smock made him look like an old-fashioned Italian butcher from an old ethnic neighborhood of New York City, but he had grown up in a rich family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  A brother and sister had attended Harvard all the way through to MBAs and now worked in the corporate world.  He was the youngest and had attended Tufts; he’d always wanted to work in an ER.  Now he was an intern in one of the busiest.
They were soon embroiled in the operation.  The abdominal cavity was filled with blood—a massive leak somewhere threatened this woman’s life.
“Let’s do a transfusion,” said Wilson, “and patch tears if we can.”
“Is it her heart?” said Sanchez.
“I can’t see a damn thing.  Suction!”
They worked feverishly.  Desperate minutes became intense hours.
***
Gaia Papadakis’s last memories were about a dark street near NYU.  She had been a bit tipsy.  After the protest march, they went to a bar to celebrate.  No one was arrested during the protest, but all the same they made the news on all local TV channels.
People were now interested in global warming despite naysayers in big corporations and the nation’s capital.  Many were also asking questions about oil spills, fracking, and pollution from power plants.  Her group Clean World tried to guide and coordinate the dialog.
Many conservatives supported companies Clean World was protesting against, while progressives were more on the side of protesters when not beholden to corporate donors.  Many energy companies were owned by one huge energy conglomerate, Wilson-Myers Energy Corporation.  Emotions ran high during the protest, but she gave the cops more credit than some co-marchers—the former kept the march peaceful and seemed impartial about whom they hauled away when tempers flared and violence ensued.
She had recognized some opposition leaders and activists trying to appeal to spectators; they played on people’s fears, focusing on loss of livelihood if the conglomerate’s companies went under.  She knew their argument was specious—she had written white papers that proved the conglomerate could, in a period of ten years or so, improve their environmental record without losing revenue.  Other white papers showed what would happen to the Earth if conglomerates like Wilson-Myers didn’t change their polluting ways.
Most in the crowd, though, ignored the opposition and were friendly to protesters.  She knew Wilson-Myers hated that and the progress environmentalists were making.  The conglomerate was spending money right and left to stop them and writing most of it off to advertising.  That same money, probably even less, could be used to change its bad environmental record.  It was a question of priorities.  Companies spent tons of money trying to “educate the population”—translation: attack science and deny global warming.  And they had sycophants in Washington to push that agenda.
At the bar, they had toasted their better-than-average success with the protest.  She left around 2 a.m.  Her small apartment wasn’t far away, so she walked.  She was city and street smart, but her shooter was more efficient than your average gang member or mugger.  An SUV sped by and a shooter sprayed her body with an automatic weapon, leaving her sprawled on the sidewalk and her mind fading into darkness as she still wondered why.
***
“We’re in trouble,” said Wilson, glancing at monitors.  “We need to give her an artificial heart, but there’s no time!”
            “No repair’s possible?” said Sanchez.
            “Let’s try to pull her through,” said Wilson.  “We’re heading for a train wreck here!  Full replacement, ladies and gentlemen!”
            More hours of painstaking, mind numbing surgery.  Another cardiac surgeon joined Wilson, and another intern arrived to help Sanchez clamp, suck out fluids, sew stitches, and keep an eye on instruments, although OR nurses also helped in that too.  The team grew; it was a team effort.  Wilson was the quarterback marching his offense down the field with time running out.
After nine hours of surgery, they had the victim on an artificial heart.  That would only be the start of her odyssey.  She would now go on a list of patients who needed a heart transplant.  That was another race against time.
            “Good work,” Wilson told Sanchez as they were cleaning up.  “You have a fast and sure suture technique.  Maybe you should change to surgery.  By the way, I’m sorry I ignored your questions in there.  I’m afraid I become less professorial when I’m saving someone’s life.”
            “No need to apologize,” said Sanchez.  “They were stupid questions.  Her heart was beyond repair.  What chance does she have now?”
            Wilson glanced at him, raising a bushy eyebrow.  “Don’t become emotionally involved, Guillermo.  You need to maintain a professional detachment.  There’s only a ten percent chance she’ll make it.  She’s likely to throw a clot, for example, considering circumstances.  And we might not find a donor in time.”
            “It seems so unfair.  What is she, mid-twenties?”
            “If she’s more than thirty, I’d be surprised.  She pissed someone off enough she might as well have been a grunt in the Middle East invading a terrorist camp without a gun or body armor.  Yeah, it’s unfair.  You can be a recluse most of your life but still have a truck mow you down crossing a street in Manhattan.  What about a surgery internship, if I can change the subject?”
            “I can help more in the ER.”  Sanchez smiled.  “I’ll have lots of practice in Manhattan.”
            “Are you just afraid of overspecialization?  You’d be an ER surgeon soon enough.  You can help sicker people as a cardiac surgeon on ER call.”
            “I’ll think about it.  But you can’t determine my skills just from one session.  I didn’t do very much.”
            “Often enough you provided a skilled third pair of hands when I needed them.”  Wilson looked around and lowered his voice.  “That other intern was all thumbs.  Between you and me, he’s not going to last long in this intense environment.”  He raised his hands and flexed his fingers, watching water drip off.  “I’ll take these any day over a robot’s.”
            Sanchez thought that was a bit egotistical but said nothing.
***
“You’re too young to be a doctor,” Gaia Papadakis said, her voice a raspy whisper.  Sanchez had just removed the tube from her throat.
“You’re awake.  You’ve been through a lot.”  He took her pulse again the old-fashioned way.  “A bit weak.”  His thick eyebrows arched.  “How do you feel?”
“I feel like I was run over by a subway train.”
“Something comparable on the street and right here in the ER.  You’re lucky to be alive.  You were in good shape, though, and that helped.”
“I work out when I can.  Gym and jogging.  Do you work out?”
“When I can.  Don’t talk too much.”  He showed her the call button.  “If you have a problem, use that.  Someone will come running.  Don’t be timid with the morphine pump either.  Control your pain.”  He waved toward the door.  “I have some other patients to see.  It was a busy night in the ER apparently.”
“What happened?”
“Other than your being shot, I don’t know.  About that: when you’re up to it, NYPD will want to interview you.  Don’t worry about it, though.  They have to go through me first.”
Nice smile, she thought.  God, he’s young and handsome.  Where’s he been all my life?  He had beautiful curly locks like her Zorba.  She wanted Alessandro by her side holding her hand now that the doctor had reminded her of him.
“Did you participate in my surgery?”  He nodded.  “Say, can you hand me my purse?  I’d like to check my smart phone.”  He handed her the purse, watched her rummage around, but turned to the PA system’s speaker over the door when his name was called.
“I have to go.”  She nodded, flashing a tired smile.
She watched him leave, deciding it might be worth being shot in order to meet him.  Sorry, Alessandro, you’re thousands of miles away.
            Hours later in midafternoon, she woke from a deep sleep feeling panic.  She knew something was wrong.  She took her last gasp as she fought her descent into sweet oblivion.
About the Author

Steve Moore is an ex-scientist who has lived abroad and seen a lot of the world. His fiction reflects his interest in the human condition and how good people everywhere react and fight evil. He is now a full-time author who lives with his wife in New Jersey, but he has resided in Colombia and Massachusetts and other states in the U.S. He’s a native Californian. He loves to hear from readers and authors.
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