Passage Graves

Passage Graves by Madyson Rush Read Free Book Online

Book: Passage Graves by Madyson Rush Read Free Book Online
Authors: Madyson Rush
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Retail
pressure wave that had pulsed through their testing grounds earlier that morning.
    Donovon turned to Thatcher and winked. His Irish cheeks were as perpetually rosy as his disposition. “All we have to do is reset a few calibrations. Fortunately, Sonja sustained no damage from the ‘resonance echo.’”
    Thatcher lifted an eyebrow. “It was a resonance echo, then?”
    “Nobody knows for sure.” Marek shrugged . He looked over at Bailey, who was kneeling in the grass crouched over a field computer trying to block the sun’s glare from his screen. “We’ll be ready in five, right Ballistics?”
    Bailey didn’t respond. Only in his early twenties, the asocial genius had a handful of Oxford doctorate degrees under his belt: nuclear chemical engineering, applied vibrational physics, fluid mechanics. When it came to weapons technology, he was a complete Anorak. He knew everything.
    “Ballistics?” Marek chucked a pebble at the back of Bailey’s monitor and signaled at Thatcher. “Show some respect, man.”
    Bailey looked up from his computer. “Sod off, mate. If you’re in such a hurry, then give me a hand.” He adjusted his black horn-rimmed glasses and tossed a clipboard across the grass to Marek.
    Before Marek could grab it, Thatcher picked it up. She studied the chicken scratch of formulas. “Okay, Marek, four times 6.8 meters squared times the full sphere at r squared…”
    “1.8496.” He could do the math in his head. “That’s Sonja’s sound intensity along the axis of propagation.”
    Golke stopped fiddling with the conductor components of the can non. “In other words, ‘boom.’”
    Bailey mocked Golke’s thick Greek accent. “You so funny , Golke! You try make joke?”
    Golke briefly met Thatcher’s eyes and turned a turnip shade of purple. Although handsome, with a dimpled face and a mane of thick black hair, the scientist suffered from an Achilles’ heel of acne that destroyed his self-confidence. Golke was the newest addition to the team. Hiring a sound equipment technician had been Donovon’s idea. Director Hummer got onboard after learning the engineer was willing to work for free.
    Bailey finished calculating the computation. “1.8496.” He nodded at Marek, minimally impressed.
    “How you like them math skills, doc?” Marek wiggled his eyebrows at Thatcher. “And you thought all I was good for was pickin g up a few dead birds.”
    “A few?” She shook her head. “Now I am questioning your math skills.”
    “Smart arse,” Donovon chirped as he helped Golke adjust Sonja’s range.
    Thatcher’s cell phone rang. She unclipped it from her belt and stepped a way from the group.
    From the corner of her eye, she could see Marek run a finger across his neck, signaling the worst. Hummer’s reaction would depend ent irely upon his mood, and Hummer was never happy.
    “This is Thatcher.”
    “Everyone in Stenness—dead,” Hummer’s voice cut out.
    “Sir ?” she asked, confused.
    “ —shock wave you felt—everyone in Stenness is dead.”
    Thatcher looked at Marek, then at the cannon. She backed away from the acoustic weapon.
    “Disarm Sonja immediately,” Hummer ordered. “ We leave for Stenness at 1700.”

Chapter 11
    SUNDAY 5:40 p.m.
    Stenness, Orkney Island, Scotland
     
    “Bloody hell!” The Land Rover flattened another sheep carcass on the roadway. Hummer was driving. Armored inside and out, tightlipped and devoid of emotion, he was the perfect military mechanism for suppressing a disaster of this magnitude.
    The vehicle reached the hillt op overlooking Stenness valley.
    “Looks like a war zone,” Mar ek whispered, sitting beside Thatcher.
    Stenness was unrecognizable. Blanketed with sterilized plastic, the out-of-date community had joined the present day in a sudden violent rush. White tents bubbled over the expanse, providing makeshift laboratories, containment rooms, temporary living quarters, and storage for the swarming National Chemical Emergency Centre

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