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One: T-minus 4 days 5 hours


LUCY HARTMAN DROPPED HER sunglasses to the tip of her nose and narrowed her eyes from beneath a ball cap embroidered with bold white letters bestowing complete authority over the bloody shite she’d just stepped into. “Explain to me again how he got away," she said, posturing an assertive stance. "And don’t tell me he tricked you.”

    Valuable seconds knocked off the clock before a crimson-faced security guard replied: “He had…an accomplice.”

     Bloody hell.


     Lucy unbridled her hands from her hips. “Well, mates," she huffed, "that’s not going to fly this time.” She pushed her sunnies back up her nose, turned and unshaded the pair of incompetent sentinels with a long stride.


     Paradise my ass.    


Hurricane warnings typically make front-page news in the Caribbean, unless a more sinister storm evolves into full-blown murder.

     Unfortunately, no amount of technology can predict when a maniac might terrorize a small Caribbean island. Unlike HEWS (Hurricane Early Warning System), which can detect the creation of a hurricane from conception, the best a person can do when a killer is on the loose is to hide behind locked doors and stay tuned to their local news station.


     The weather channel can take a back seat.


     Jayson L. Riley, radical adventurer and CEO: Eye of the Storm non-profit disaster relief agency, sat stiff as a cobra in a high-back leather swivel chair blinking moisture into his weary eyes—eyes transfixed on the two large flat-screen monitors at his HEWS console—witnessing the birth of a hurricane; a seedling off the west coast of Africa. The National Hurricane Center hadn’t yet investigated—their classification of a potential hurricane would begin with labeling it an Invest, ironic given how he used to track storms for investment advantages. When the NHC did recognize it, it would be labeled Invest 92L - Atlantic basin. HEWS, on the other hand, had already labeled it Study 92L. Nothing to be concerned about yet, Jayson decided, unlike the report of an escaped patient from the mental health unit. He took his eyes off the analogous image of an ultrasound displaying the budding hurricane when a reporter mentioned the fugitive’s name. His spine tingled; both threats were potentially deadly. His heart galloped in anticipation of which threat might cause the most damage.


     He knew the psychopath personally. 


     An image of destruction vaporized in his head when his hurrican-sidekick, Hunter—a nickname he’d apparently earned on a tour of duty somewhere—shot up out his seat at the console next to him and padded across the lounge to the galley, leaving moist footprints in the dark teak flooring like Bigfoot. He stood bearishly before a three-door, polished stainless-steel fridge—a triptych of modern technology. “Ready for a beer, mate?” he said, opening the left-hand door, removing two cans of Budweiser before Jayson had a chance to reply. “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” he said, laughing like a seal, shoving the door closed with his elbow.


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