Atlanta X-Men Homicide Squad #4
IT'S DIE HARD MEETS THE SIEGE
IN THIS ACTION THRILLER
Atlanta. Near midnight. A lone driver with a goal and little time to complete it. He needs help from Malcolm Hobbs, but there’s a problem. He’s suspended from his post as Sergeant of the APDs elite X-Men Homicide Squad, and that’s bad timing for his visitor. After the meeting Hobbs, compelled to serve and protect, launches his off-the-clock investigation.
With a flawlessly executed plan from the highways to the midtown and downtown surface streets, Hobbs encounters a deadly team of rogue military operatives who seize the city. Despite coalition efforts from the government alphabet soup authorities, the metropolis’ best hope may fall on Hobbs’ assaults against this invading force of evil.
With a city on the brink of chaos, Hobbs combats his most intense life-threatening enemy yet and risks all to save the people of Atlanta and the rest of America from a doomsday countdown.
THREAT NEXUS IS LIKE...
A clear night as the stars twinkled high above the masses. Ignored by most except those who glanced up for whatever reason, Philip Reddinger had a reason as he sat beside the driver.
The atmosphere of the Earth. Layers of gases known as air surrounded the world and held in place by the Earth’s gravity protected the planet’s inhabitants. Beyond the shape of its atmosphere lay outer space, the home of various natural celestial bodies and artificial objects.
Mysteries of the universe. The unknown. But not all outer space possessed unsolved enigmas. He didn’t serve one, but he believed that a God existed that created man with intellect, imagination and intuition. In addition, this God made man with free will, personal choices to decide his destiny with or without His divine help. Some people lived within the laws that governed societies around the globe. Others lived independently of those laws and engaged in the cycle of sowing and reaping. Forces in place in the world mete justice against those lawbreakers of sowing and reaping. But sometimes at an exorbitant cost. On tonight, from the far reaches of space, that collision was in motion. Philip Reddinger’s plans made sure of that.
Interstate 75 South
The black BMW 6-series Gran Coupe motored the highway at sixty-five miles per hour. It darted amongst the drivers of every make and model of car, van, SUV, and truck.
The BMWs driver exited off I-75 South onto Howell Mill Road. He continued south on it and viewed his rearview mirror. A series of violent coughs almost jerked the car off into others before him and in the adjacent lanes headed north. With wincing and a cleared throat, he steered the Bimmer back on course again before he viewed out the rear and side view mirrors with as much stealth as possible.
He passed DeFoor and Chattahoochee Avenues along West Atlanta. The BMW zipped best it could as it passed the Atlanta City Water Works Reservoir that rested on both sides of Howell Mill Road. He studied his rearview again.
He saw them.
A pair of white nondescript vans fifty feet back held his attention. At the intersection of Howell Mill and Hemphill Avenue, the motorist cut a sharp left onto Hemphill with three unique streets paths from which to choose.
He looked at his rearview once more and darted the BMW to the far-left lane and punched the gas. With a roar, the sports performance vehicle followed a small semi-circle of a path with a dead-end street to its left. The driver dismissed that way and floored it along the same stretch of road before he cut a quick left and sailed along the curved road for another few seconds. It ended with a decision to drive left or right onto Bishop Place. He had no choice since to the left presented another dead-end road. He eased the BMW out onto Bishop to the right. Nothing behind him. Warehouses dominated the scene. In seconds, he halted again.
Which way onto 17th Street? If he drove left, he’d run into Howell Mill Road where he traveled last. No, he sped up and took the right turn onto 17th.
The driver passed a section of the Reservoir again, heading east back toward Midtown and where he wanted to finish his destination. He smiled before the uncontrolled coughs took center stage. Amidst the traffic as he passed the Northside Drive intersection, he spotted at least one of the white vans stopped at the Bishop Place/17th Street intersection. He ceased to smile at that and as the traffic lights gave him favor; he zipped around the wide circled S-shaped road southbound. A quick right onto Mecaslin Street sent the Bimmer due south for a few blocks, and in a matter of moments, it passed a news station on its right and a restaurant on its left.
He was here. But so were they, he thought. A flash of white that hadn’t belonged to a car caught his rearview. He wasn’t sure if it was a van. He turned right onto 14th in a quick and as quiet way as possible. In the mini blur, he passed up a mosque, an urgent care, a gas station, a big golf course, and then his eyes went wide.
At the 14th Street and McMillan Street crossing, he zipped in with a smooth right turn… security gate and intercom call box.
Was there over one though?
This seemed like the sole access. He coughed several more times. This time blood came from his mouth. He fell against the steering wheel horn which pierced the busy Atlanta night life for several seconds. He grabbed ahold of himself. Walkers jogged to help him, but he waved them off with a weakened smile and nod. They returned them and left him to his own devices. As his eyes watered and breathing challenged, he perused the call box numbers. After a few seconds, jackpot. Call box for apartment number 509.
The Midtown Lofts housed 240 one, two, and three-bedroom loft units near the intersection of 14th Street and Northside Drive in Northeast Atlanta. North of the Georgia Tech campus, and just south of the Atlanta City Water Works Reservoir compound, the young complex granted easy access to Interstates 75 and 85 North and South.
Malcolm relaxed on his black leather recliner before his massive 75” HDTV flat screen mounted at a two-wall intersection. His recent suspension from the APD X-Men Homicide Squad still settled in his stomach like spoiled buttermilk. Yeah, his spirit, and soul hadn’t felt much comfort either. Precinct grapevine said a fair number of fellow cops loved the fact that he decked his underling, one Detective Orlando Queen, sir. Many agreed Queen mouthed off too much, and the time passed that somebody buttoned it. Cops even supported his toe-to-toe with Police Chief Davis. On her way out after a majority of the APD revolted because of dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, his colleagues praised his stance in setting her straight. The confrontation had nothing to do with pay and benefits, but that majority backed his play just the same. Truth told Mayor Ronald Fleming harbored the blame as well spurred on by an increased ego that believed the city of Atlanta revolved around everything Fleming. He and Davis over time became a bad combination. Big city power politics at its worse.
Then to top that, his inferiors and superiors alike supported the Blue Flu epidemic. God only knew what that posturing generated in the coming days, weeks, and months. As for his team, the X-Men, well, one for all and all for one. They took time off and left the state to visit family and friends. He wanted to go somewhere, but no. He kept his eyes out for his city. Crazy as it sounded and where his situation landed him today, he believed he owed Atlanta. Maybe not so much Chief Davis, but yeah, the city. So, he wasn’t bored but getting more comfortable with a lack of homicides to solve and to supervise. No personality clashes and–his call box intercom buzzed.
He moseyed over to his landline phone that rested upon his computer desk between a pair of thick white columns that separated the living, dining, and his computer room. His cell charged next to it. He dressed in a tight dark blue sweatshirt and matching pants with white Nike sneakers. Despite his temporary unemployment from the APD, he hadn’t stopped his workout regimen. At a thick and pleasing to his eye and others, six-foot, two-hundred and ten pounds, he still presented an imposing figure to any lawbreakers. He pressed the intercom button.
“Hello?” He heard breathing but nothing else.
“Hello, is anyone there?” Silence. “Okay, let me inform you I’ll call the–”
“Police, considering the citywide strike per se?”
“Who is this?”
“Why call the police when–” interrupted coughs “you are the police, Homicide Sergeant Malcolm Xavier Hobbs?”
"THIS WAS A GREAT READ. I FOUND MYSELF INVOLVED IN THE PLOT AND AT EASE WITH THE CHARACTERS FROM THE VERY FIRST PAGE. I COULDN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE, I HAD TO FIND OUT WHERE THE LAST TWIST IN THE PLOT WOULD TAKE US. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN MALCOM HOBBS CAREER. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ACTION THRILLER TO EVERYONE."
"THIS WAS A GREAT BOOK. THIS ISN'T MY USUAL GENRE OF BOOK, BUT CORTEZ LAW III HAS MANAGED TO ADD A NEW GENRE TO WHAT I READ. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ONE AND ALL."