“Are we utterly secure?” Keung demanded softly.
“Rest easy, my friend. My position does give me some privileges.”
“I never doubted it, but if this were to leak out…”
“You can speak freely.”
Smiling faintly, Keung inclined his head at the desk. “That Sony pocket recorder you keep there, I really wouldn’t want to use it. I really wouldn’t.”
Chuckling, Chen opened the drawer, pulled out the recorder and extracted the SanDisk chip.
“It was never on.”
Keung nodded and pushed back his glasses, having made his point. Friends or not, one can never be too careful.
“You know, America never ceases to amaze me. To have allowed their financial barons to take over fiscal and national interest policies…Never mind. They’re recovering from the Global Financial Crisis they created. Albeit slowly, but it won’t take them long before they are again the dominant world force. I want to deny them that opportunity.”
“I wouldn’t mind seeing that either, but how do you propose doing it?”
“Cripple them economically.”
“We’re already squeezing hard, my rash friend.”
“Not hard enough.”
“Didn’t we discuss this the other night? If I remember correctly, I told you that any such move would also mean crippling the world’s economy, which in turn would harm us just as badly.”
“You did tell me. However, I have a plan that will produce so much infrastructure damage it will take America decades to recover, if at all, leaving us to step into the resulting economic and political vacuum, emerging as the only viable world superpower without incurring any international wrath.”
Chen chuckled. “You have a fire-breathing dragon tucked in a basement somewhere?”
Keung nodded, understanding how absurd the idea sounded, and chilling in its potential. An inner voice told him to consider carefully what he was about to do, but he would not be swayed.
“Not quite, but something equally effective.”
“Okay, I’ll humor you. What do you have in mind?”
“A tsunami that will sweep their eastern seaboard.”
Chen frowned and stared. “A tsunami? You’ll just wave your hand—”
“I will need some help to bring this off. That’s why I’m here.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you, or you wouldn’t be wasting my time with fantasy.”
“You know about the Hawaiian Kilauea volcano and the slippage of its western flank?”
“I know the volcano has been active for decades, but I didn’t know about any slippage. Not my area of interest.” Chen’s eyes widened. “Wait a minute. You want to induce a flank collapse?”
“Yes, but not in Hawaii. We do something like that there and we’d get smeared as well. No, the place we want is the Cumbre Vieja Volcano on La Palma, part of the Canary Islands off Morocco. Its west flank is very unstable and it wouldn’t take much to get it moving. A displacement of 120 cubic kilometers will create a sufficiently powerful tsunami to cause severe damage to the American eastern seaboard.”
Title: Proportional Response
Author: Stefan Vucak
Genre: Political Drama / Thriller
A political drama that will leave you gasping!
In a joint exercise with the Korean navy, Admiral Pacino’s son is one of the casualties from a North Korean missile strike.
Conducting negotiations with North Korean in an attempt to normalize relations, the Secretary of State learns that the CIA is secretly funding a faction to topple the Supreme Leader. Furious, President Walters fires the CIA Director and installs a replacement.
In the Yellow Sea, the United States and South Korea commence their annual joint naval exercises. A North Korean corvette launches a strike against an American destroyer, causing casualties. In charge of the exercise, Admiral Pacino learns that his son is severely wounded. He dies a day later.
Although Pacino understands the need for restraint by everybody, he is dismayed to read that the President is more interested in making a settlement with North Korea than acknowledging the lives lost—on both sides. To remind the administration and both Koreas that every life is valuable and should not be thrown away in a diplomatic gesture, he mounts a strike against unmanned military installations in the two Koreas. Summoned to Washington to face a hearing, Pacino’s flight is sabotaged and his aircraft crashes.
President Walters understands what Pacino has done, but faced with ‘big picture’ considerations, he cannot condone the action. The reformist faction topples the Supreme Leader and the new leadership makes overtures to America to hand over their nuclear warheads and dismantle long-range missiles.
Surviving the crash, Pacino faces charges that would see him serving time in Leavenworth. However, his action has struck a responsive chord with many in the military and the public. Although nothing could be done to save his career, President Walters does not want Pacino crucified.
The hearing exposes the heartless treatment of veterans by the government and the military. To limit political damage, the Navy awards Pacino administrative punishment in lieu of a general court-martial. Appreciating Pacino’s qualities, Walters offers him a position as Advisor to the President to get things fixed.
A stunning geopolitical thriller that examines American foreign policy and national values.
Stefan Vucak has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels, which includes With Shadow and Thunder, a 2002 EPPIE finalist, and five contemporary thrillers. He started writing science fiction while still in college, but didn’t get published until 2001. In 2010, he decided to branch out into contemporary political thrillers. His Cry of Eagles won the coveted 2011 Readers’ Favorite silver medal award, and his All the Evils was the 2013 prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner. Strike for Honor won the gold medal.
Stefan leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry, which took him to the Middle East working on cellphone systems. He applied his IT discipline to create realistic storylines for his books. Writing has been a road of discovery, helping him broaden his horizons. He also spends time as an editor and book reviewer. Stefan lives in Melbourne, Australia.