Tag Archives: Spy

Acts Beyond Redemption, on Lisa Burton Radio

It's time for another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl and with me in the studio today is Sheila Harrington. We've had a lot of difficult interviews on this show, from dark lords to serial killers, but Sheila is an assassin. A darned good one too, if her bio is to be believed. “Welcome to the show, Sheila.”

“Good morning, Lisa. Before we begin, I need to move my chair. I never sit with my back to a window. It could prove to be unhealthy.”

“Oh, I see, I think we can arrange that. Is that more to your liking?”

“Yes, and thanks.”

“I don't know many little girls who grow up wanting to be an assassin. How does life lead you to that choice?”

“That wasn't my life goal as a little girl, I simply wanted to survive my life long enough to escape it. That changed, everything changed when my father chose to crash our plane into the side of a mountain. This is difficult to talk about. It's not something I would usually share, so I'll be brief. My mother made a stupid mistake, she told him,( my father), that we were leaving him. She told him whilst we were airborne. That stupid mistake cost her her life. He survived the crash … but he didn't survive me. I made him pay for my mothers' death. He died slowly and in great pain. That was my solution. The rescue teams took five days to find us. I was changed the day I killed him. I had tasted revenge, and I liked the flavor. I hadn't counted on the nightmares, or the inability to sleep as a result. I decided to use the anger that overwhelmed me at the time, and I figured the best way to do that was to legally take-down people like my father, people that didn't deserve to share the same air that I breathed. I applied to the Central Intelligence Agency, I'd hoped my skills with weaponry learned from early childhood living on, and, hunting the land, would assure me an internship.

“That didn't happen. I wasn't successful, and I began to spiral out of control. I wanted revenge against a world that allowed that evil piece of crap to exist in the first place. I had nowhere to go with the rage. So, I had myself committed to an asylum. I had hoped to find a measure of calm there. That didn't happen.”

“What did you do after that door closed?”

“I was approached whilst in the asylum. I was approached for two reasons, one, because of my skills in hunting, and more importantly because I had failed the Psyche test to enter the CIA. The man gave me an opportunity to extract revenge on the human race. The offer was simply too good to refuse.

“It sounds like it could still be government service. Is it?”

“I'll claim the 5th Amendment on that question.”

“Okay, can you tell us about the job itself?”

“I guess it doesn't make a difference anymore, so … I'll tell you a few things. There were others, like myself, we had all tried to join security forces of one sort or the other, and the common denominator was our failure to pass Psyche exams. Anyway … my training didn't just cover tactical issues, I had specialized training in BDSM. I learned fast. Attracting the chosen targets wasn't hard, even I know I'm good to look at. My brief was to lure the intended victim with sex, and then execute them in a fashion that would be widely assumed to be that of a deranged serial killer. Each of the chosen victims had been part of a covert black-ops team. The other hits were direct sniper take downs. I enjoyed my work.

“That's so, you know, un-nice. Do you ever take time to unwind? Is there something that helps take away the burden?”

“Burden? I don't find it a burden, but the adrenalin rush is enormous, and to stop myself from burning out I have my horses, my babies. I breed Arabians at 'Heavens Gate' my hunting lodge. They love me, and I them. I ride … we become as one and there on the land I'm freed from everything, and every memory.”

“How can you love horses, but kill people?”

“Horses have no evil in their souls, they love unconditionally. I'm accustomed to being hated, I'm comfortable with that, but my babies give me warmth without expectation. They have no hidden agenda.”

“Isn't there anyone in your life who is special? Someone you care about?”

“Special? That's a funny word, isn't it. I guess 'Holliday' my CO is as close as I can get to caring about someone, at least in the respect of admiring him. I enjoy it when I make him smile at a job well done.”

“He sounds nice… Maybe. Do you have any new assignments? Is there someone out there who doesn't know what he's getting into?”

“Nice? Dear, Lord, Lisa! Holliday would take-down his own mother if the price was right. As for my new assignment, I can't discuss the details. And, honey, nobody ever knows what they are getting into with me. I only date for business purposes, and I'm currently seeing two men.”

“Can you tell me about them? Do any of them mean anything to you?”

“Mean anything? As in do I care about them ? No. No I don't, but Damon Henderson is a man I must appear to be besotted with. Being the Governor of New York, he has a reputation to uphold.”

“So he's the governor of New York? Is it safe for him to be around you? It could be a scandal–“

“There will be no scandal once he's President. He's announced his candidacy and asked me to stand beside him.”

“Stand beside him? What, exactly, does that mean?”

“We are to be married. He's almost guaranteed to win, so I guess that will make me First Lady of The United States.”

“Hoo boy! We're out of time today. Our show was sponsored today by the book, Acts Beyond Redemption, by S. Burke. I'll include all the links and contact data on the website.

“Don't forget to tip your waitress by clicking those Twitter and Facebook buttons down below. When your character appears on this show, you'll want visitors to support you too.”

***

Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly, journey.

Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

The team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.

Their nightmares are stripping them to the bone.

Nothing has prepared them for this.

Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from an incomprehensible and shattering truth.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?

Follow S. Burke at the following locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StaceyandSuzie

Amazon Kindle Usa: http://amzn.to/2c1Ya0s

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2cOEMnI

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/608426

Twitter @pursoot

 

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Let’s all Speculate, Part 2

There were a lot of pictures yesterday, so I'll tone down today's post. This corner of Idaho actually has it's own interesting history. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has gone through many names over the years, but that's the current one. It played a pioneering role in the dawning of the nuclear age.

It isn't as explosive a history as White Sands, in New Mexico, or Jackass Flats, in Nevada. This has to do with a more peaceful use of nuclear power. (That's subjective though when you consider the nuclear Navy.)

There were accidents, and they tell me there are three people buried out there in lead coffins. Think about that for a while. Maybe you want to write about a nuclear powered superhero or villain.

There have been over fifty nuclear generators built at INL. These include the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. The little town we are staying in, Arco, was the first city on Earth lit entirely by nuclear powered electricity.

There is a conning tower in the city park that reflects upon this era. The name of the ship is there, but it isn't important for this post.

The ship's number isn't lost on me either, but I don't get a paranormal vibe about the place.

Saturday afternoon we stopped at the camper for a sandwich. Then we went to a pseudo ghost town called Atomic City. The name appealed to me more than anything else. What a great name for a science fiction town.

Hee Haw reference, “Atomic City, Idaho. Population 29. Sal-oot.”

This appears to have been a place for workers at INL. It has a definite fifties vibe. There are even homes that look like the old cinder block barracks buildings. There is still a kind of biker bar here, but not much else. Check out these two abandoned buildings:

I can just see a stranger in a black suit pulling into town in a black Hudson Hornet. He gets fuel at the station, then stops at the bar where he meets a girl. What kind of trouble can they get into?

INL still requires a security clearance, and most of it is posted No Trespassing. There is an ancient train track into the facility, and it isn't hard to imagine a black train, accompanied by black helicopters, shipping some top secret item out. Of course there would be an anarchist or something screwing it all up.

There is an atomic museum further down the road, but we chose to pass. It makes me sad, but you don't leave a puppy in a hot car. You just don't.

Maybe the “man in black” and the waitress have to flee through Craters of the Moon. Want to write a late 50s or early sixties Cold War story, start your research right here. Maybe you want to try a diesel-punk story with some older technology.

I've had a drink at the Little Alie-Inn in Rachel, Nevada. This is where Area 51 is. I've also trekked through the mountains about fifty feet beyond the nuclear test site outside Las Vegas. These places get over used though. This is an area that has a lot of potential.

What would you do with this setup? I'll schedule this to go live on Sunday, since I have to hook up the camper and head home.

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Going Steampunk, on Lisa Burton Radio #RRBC

 

It’s time for another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to go totally steampunk on you. So grab your brass goggles and top hat and welcome Dana Redwing to the show.

“Welcome Dana, thanks for joining us.”

“Thank you Lisa, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve wanted to meet you for ages”

“Your story fascinates me on several fronts. You aren’t the first spy we’ve had on the show. How much can you tell our listeners about that?”

“Well, as you know, my family and I live in the Ohio Colony on the coast of Lake Erie. We’re part of the vast British Empire although there are those who have been lately agitating for independence seeking to have us break away from the mother country. I cannot help but think that is a terrible idea, by the way. We were recruited – I suppose that’s the best word for it – by Dr. John Watson on behalf of Mycroft Holmes, a British civil servant who is the brother of a detective of some renown. I believe Mr. Holmes chose us because we have enjoyed some success in business and thus have access to certain circles where we can gather information without attracting too much attention. Then, too, as women my mother, daughter, and I are considered, well, not to put too fine a point on it, more ornamental than threatening. Silly, really, but that’s how women are seen in 1894. Our latest mission is one of tremendous significance. The German Empire needs warm-water ports for its ever growing navy and is negotiating with Spain, which is in terrible economic straits, to allow a base in Barcelona. Mr. Holmes has assigned us to derail those negotiations if that is possible. If we are not successful, the balance of power could shift and there is the distinct possibility of war between our empires. Because of the advances in weapons technology over the past decade, I believe such a war would destroy civilization as we know it.”

“You’ve assembled quite a team. There’s you, your mother, your daughter, and Beverly Gray. Does Beverly sometimes feel out of place, or is she more like Alfred from Batman?”

“Beverly has quickly become a member of the family and we feel quite fortunate to have met her, albeit under some unusual circumstances. She’s proven to be an excellent administrator and is quite fearless, actually, although to look at her you wouldn’t know it. My daughter and I, as well as my mother, are quite tall for women and Beverly is tiny by comparison but she has the heart of a lioness. My daughter and I are both inventors and Beverly, while not possessing our mechanical aptitude, has a lively mind and often contributes suggestions of a practical nature that push us in some new directions. Of course, because she is not only a woman but also petite, men tend to underestimate her fierceness and her intelligence. That is a great advantage in our line of work.”

“Seems like a formidable crew. I’ll bet they get the job done most of the time. I’m really interested in Adam, the automaton you built in your cellar. That’s a huge project for one person to take on. You might be interested to know that my manufacturers put together a think tank and decided to call me an automation. They felt like it would sell better to the purchasing public.

“So does Adam talk, have some kind of covering, run on coal power? Tell us how he works, and what jobs he does.”

“First, can I say that you are simply marvelous. Sitting here and talking with you is almost breathtaking and I daresay no one would know that you are not a flesh-and-blood female… and a very beautiful one at that. I can’t help but think you would be a welcome addition to our family.

“As for Adam… We are a female household, for the most part. My brother William is a freelance journalist who is often gone for extended periods of time and, since we cannot have servants because of the work we do for Queen and Country, I designed Adam to be a combination butler and handyman. I must admit that I had neither the skill nor the imagination to make him look human in any meaningful way. He is seven feet tall and golden in color. He can speak, thanks to a modified Babbage logic engine, though his ability to converse is fairly limited. I did teach him to play chess but he was designed primarily to help us with chores around the house. His power source is… well, I can’t really go into detail about that but I will say it is electrical and not coal-fired. Despite his appearance, we regard him as a member of the family, although he did give Beverly quite a start when she first met him.

“If I may, can I ask you how concerned you are about what we might call your mortality. I know that you have been involved in a lengthy lawsuit with the corporation that created you and that it is unlikely to help should you need significant repairs. Does that cause you much anxiety?”

“It bothers me, but so much of it is out of my hands. I stay busy helping Craig, and I recently had a checkup and got some software upgrades. All off the record stuff though, almost like being a spy. Spying is an interesting profession. The only one I know is also a woman. Do you have a hard time, as women, gaining access to the kinds of places where all the good information is kept?”

“Actually, it’s because we are women that men tend to speak freely in front of us, mistakenly believing that we have neither the wit nor the requisite logical thought processes to understand what they are discussing. The fact that we are wealthy also gives us access to social occasions that we use to unearth information for Mr. Holmes. In our latest mission we have enlisted the assistance of the Infanta Maria Eulalia Francisca de Asis Margarita Roberta Isabel Francisca de Paula Cristina Maria de la Piedad, the Duchess of Galliera. In a more just world, she would be in line to be Queen of Spain but the Spanish no longer allow women to be rulers and so this remarkably intelligent woman is relegated to the diplomatic sidelines.”

“Wow! That’s quite a name. I never thought beyond Lisa Burton for mine. I think our listeners are going to love a princess. Is she homely? Does she have to cover her face? Is she taken care of all the time, or is she a real butt kicker?”

“Lia – as she is known privately to friends and intimates – is considered one of the most beautiful women in Europe. She is also whip smart and a believer in women’s rights. She is also quite skilled when it comes to what you now call public relations. She, for example, won the hearts of Americans when she visited the recent exposition in Chicago by walking the Midway eating hot dogs instead of going to a sumptuous luncheon with the city’s elite and even went to Mass in one of the city’s poorest churches rather than the cathedral. She is also, as we learned when we first met her, a master of disguise. She travels with some truly ferocious bodyguards, is a writer, and quite independent.”

“Oh my gosh, it all sounds so exciting. Hobnobbing with royalty, spying, preventing a war. Are there airships? Please tell me there are airships too.”

“There are plenty of airships, and some aerial combat as well. Oh, and I should probably mention, there’s a submersible – I think you call them submarines? My brother spent some time on one, quite unwillingly I might add, though I would have loved to have seen it. Our adventures on behalf of the Queen are chronicled in a book called “The Ashtabula Irregulars: Opening Gambit.”

“Thank you for being on the show today, Dana. Listeners, be sure to check out this wonderful book.”

***

On a cold October night young Beverly Gray is running for her life when she literally bumps into William Thompson, journalist and spy for Her Majesty Queen Victoria. It is 1894 and America is still part of the British Empire but there is revolution in the air. Together with William’s remarkable family and their former Buffalo Soldier friend Joshua Bowman, Beverly soon finds herself on a secret mission ordered by the shadowy Mycroft Holmes to stop the German Empire from negotiating a treaty for warm water ports in Spain and the Pacific. Filled with international intrigue and more than its share of gunfights, “The Ashtabula Irregulars: Opening Gambit” is the first in a Steampunk adventure series that takes readers into old New York, England, France, the Philippines, Egypt, Sicily and Spain as the story unfolds.

The Ashtabula Irregulars: Opening Gambit” is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KCABGK

Mike Billington spent nearly a half century as a reporter covering stories around the world and across the United States including Operation Desert Storm, the Rwandan Civil War, hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, Katrina and Rita as well as the Love Canal environmental disaster and the 9/11 airline crash near Shanksville, Pa. During his career he earned more than 40 awards including the Brotherhood Medal of the National Conference of Christians and Jews for an undercover investigation of white-power extremists and the Southern Journalism Award for Investigative Reporting for a series he co-authored exposing police abuses of Florida’s Contraband Forfeiture Act. He also received several awards for a lengthy series on infant mortality in Delaware. An Army veteran who spent two tours in Vietnam, his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. In addition, he was twice decorated by the Vietnamese government. Given his background, it’s not surprising that Mike writes in a wide variety of genres from Steampunk to mystery and even historical fiction.

I’m on Twitter @Billington_Book

My email address is michaelbillington9@gmail.com

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