Extinction Ashes by Nicholas Sansbury Smith Read Online (FREE)
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“What is that?” Javier Beckham asked. He pressed his face against a window of S.M. Fischer’s private jet.
Captain Reed Beckham looked over his son’s shoulder, watching in disbelief at something he never thought he would see.
A nuclear-tipped missile launched from a submarine roared through the night, leaving a billowing white vapor trail cutting through the sky. Even as the missile vanished, the shock made him grip the hand of his wife, Doctor Kate Lovato, even tighter.
She was just as awestruck, staring in disbelief.
“That’s no tactical warhead,” Beckham said through clenched teeth.
“I thought President Ringgold said…” Kate began to say.
“Something must have changed,” Beckham replied softly.
“Was that a space rocket, Dad?” Javier asked.
“No, it’s a missile,” Tasha said, her face painted in fear. She and Jenny had clustered around Beckham’s son.
Computer engineer Sammy Tibalt craned her neck from her lie-flat seat. Sweat dripped down her forehead, and she could barely open her eyes. The bandages covering the bullet wound in her abdomen had bled through.
“Stay still,” Kate said.
The engineer was lucky the bullet seemed to have missed any vital organs. It had gone clean through, skimming her side and causing mostly superficial damage.
“You don’t want to reopen that wound,” Kate said.
“Ah, shit this hurts,” Sammy said, grimacing.
“We’ll get you more painkillers soon.”
The other ten passengers watched out the starboard windows as a brilliant light bloomed somewhere on the east coast. They included Master Sergeant Parker Horn and his girls, S.M. Fischer, Fischer’s men, and a few lab technicians, plus the two German Shepherds Ginger and Spark. A flash of white burned away the dark night, followed by a growing orange fireball.
How close was that to their plane’s destination?
Truth was, he had no idea where they were going. They had spent the past few hours in the air, and now it was nearly midnight. Their first landing zone had changed last minute after the pilot received classified coordinates for a second location on an encrypted line. He had told them he’d been ordered not to share them with anyone.
Beckham wasn’t bothered by exactly where they were headed. He only cared that his family was headed somewhere safe.
If a safe place even existed now.
“The EMP from the nuke won’t affect us, right?” Kate asked, returning to her seat.
“Most aircraft are equipped to handle an EMP blast,” Beckham said. “I’m assuming this one is, too. And even if it’s not, we should be far enough to be safe.”
He was more worried about the effects of radioactive fallout. The radiation around the impact site could poison everything for years or decades depending on the altitude of the burst.
“Let’s get back to your seats,” Kate said to the kids. Her voice was surprisingly calm, but Beckham knew she was concealing her fear.
Ginger and Spark swarmed around Javier and the girls. Horn stood and herded them behind a curtained partition near the tail of the plane.