End Game

End Game

Book - 2017
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Quotes (14)


j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

As Will Robie stared out the plane window, he knew the next twenty-four hours could possibly be his last ones on earth.
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NSA-level wipe of the flash drive, tantamount to smashing it flat with a brick then setting it afire. The ones and zeroes were permanently gone, now existing only in his memory.
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Evil driving in cars had smashed into innocent pedestrians on both Westminster and London Bridges.
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He was the one who would die if everything went to shit. The eyes on the other continent might simply get a memo on how to fix the mess in the future.
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Darkness had come as the globe spun on its axis, and another part of the world got to see the light.
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He was one minute ahead of schedule. He slowed his pace. Early in his line of work was never a good thing.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

The Underground had suffered a terrorist attack on July 7, 2005, when terrorists had blown themselves up on three separate train cars. A fourth device had been detonated on a London bus. In all, fifty-two victims were killed.
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Stealth was called for tonight. Until it wasn’t.
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According to the information, the planned London op was merely a dress rehearsal for what would come later, in the United States. Just like a manufacturer did in trying to commercialize a new product, terrorists needed to work the kinks out, too.
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Vee-one meant the aircraft had reached sufficient takeoff speed and there was no going back.
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A bullet, fired from above, struck him in the abdomen. The liquid armor vest he had on hardened within a millisecond, catching the round and wringing out virtually all of its kinetic energy by forcing it to be displaced along the breadth of the vest.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

It was UMP versus UMP. But not really. It wasn’t just about the hardware. A gun was a gun. The same models worked pretty much the same. What really mattered was the software. And the shooter was always the software.
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And she was shooting over such a long distance that the earth’s rotation also came into play; it was known as the Coriolis effect. It really only mattered if you were shooting pretty much straight north or south. The bullet would fudge slightly to the left if the target was north and to the right if the target pointed south. If you didn’t compensate for it, the earth’s constant movement would rotate your target right out of the kill zone.
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For many years number one on that list had been a Brit who had killed two Afghans from nearly twenty-five hundred meters with a single bullet. But that shot had recently been bested by a Canadian elite special forces fighter who had recorded a kill shot in Iraq at more than thirty-five hundred meters.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

It was a war Reel had finally realized halfway over the Atlantic her side could never really win. We kill ten and twenty more take their place.
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“Eastern Plains. Westernmost section of the Great Plains where it notches into Nebraska. Not much out here. Pawnee Buttes, Comanche National Grassland. Rolling hills, flat farmland, one-room schoolhouses, forests, canyons, rivers, and lakes. Not much rain. Small towns. Yuma and Sterling are big cities out here. Dwindling populations. People heading to somewhere else. Never really recovered from the Dust Bowl in the thirties.”
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His blond hair was short on top and longish in back, as though the hair was sliding off his head. … His face looked like it had been out in the sun and wind since his birth. His facial features were long and slender, like narrow gullies cut through hard rock by water.
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“Legal pot and lots of guns. Like chocolate and peanut butter.” “You mean oil and water.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

When I asked what he did, he just said he pushed paper across his desk.
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Mentoring, he said it was. Printed up pamphlets and fliers and kept talking away, mostly to the young men around here who got nothing in their future ’cept the next beer, chick, or bong.
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“Why is that relevant?” “I don’t know that it’s not, so that means it’s relevant.”
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“There’s something that somebody said that didn’t make sense.” “Like what?” “I don’t know. But it’s like grit in your barrel. It’s throwing everything off.”
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The front door was locked. Robie took out her pick tools and it no longer was.
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Robie was most comfortable doing inherently dangerous things. It was only the normalcy of life that tended to bother him.
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“I’m gonna see you dead, asshole!” “I think you got that backwards,” replied Robie.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

It’s a 1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible. It’s got a 340-horsepower overhead cam V8. I think it actually gets minus miles to the gallon. It’s eighteen and a half feet long, which makes it pretty much bigger than my first home here.
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I was really hoping it would just be her.” “Shows how much hope is worth,” replied Robie drily.
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“I’ve seen more population density in an Iraqi desert.”
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You got trouble and call 911, they’ll get here in the morning to take your body away.
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He owned a piece-of-crap Datsun pickup that was older than he was. It was held together with duct tape and a Lord’s Prayer a day.
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“Hitler was only one of many. And, indeed, in terms of longevity, while he had perhaps the greatest impact on the world, he was not successful in maintaining what he had created. In fact, he was one of the worst.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

“Yes, they’re free. To live in chaos. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many people with a place at the table. Too many voices in the room. People are idiots. They don’t know what they want other than to get as much as they can at the expense of their neighbor. You think that Lord of the Flies mentality happens only after a disaster? It happens every day, stopping just short of criminal action.”
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You saw what happened after they shot up the town. The state police dropped their investigation. I argued with them until I was blue in the face, but they’re not following up. I think palms are getting greased high up. Or maybe people are just afraid.”
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“What can I say, Robie? It’s a Mars-Venus thing.” “No, I don’t think you’re in the same universe as me, actually.”
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Armageddon is there. Some folks call it WROL, meaning Without Rule of Law. Others just call it SHTF.” He grinned. “Shxt Hitting the Fan."

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

But hey, I figure if they’re that rich they must know what they’re doing. And it’s not my place to second-guess somebody who made that much money. They must be smart, right?” “Or they inherited it,” pointed out Malloy. “Or they get to operate on an uneven playing field because they paid off politicians to write the laws to favor them,” added Reel.
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Who wants to trek up a mountain to get to a rich person if they just have to turn the corner in Manhattan and throw a brick through a window and follow that with a gun or knife?
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“Now, what you’re about to see is the pinnacle response to prepping short of owning an island and employing your own army. I also refer to it as the extreme end of the survivalist’s spectrum. On doomsday this is where you want to be.”
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Separating the wheat from the chaff.” “Or the clamshells from the pearls,” amended Reel.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

“Any conversation with that man you can guarantee that he found out more about you than you ever did about him. Except you had no idea he did until long after it happened.”
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“Well, places like this are to ensure that highly successful people survive and then come out and work to rebuild the world,” …
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How do you know a politician is lying? He has a pulse.
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… the Oppidum in the Czech Republic. They’re calling it the ‘Billionaire’s Bunker.’ It has an aboveground estate and nearly eighty thousand square feet underground.
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“I don’t like government folks,” continued Randall. “They just get in the way of people that know what they’re doing. They mess every damn thing up. It’s like we’re living in a communist country sometimes. I can take care of myself. I don’t need the damn nanny state holding my hand while it sticks the other hand in my wallet.”
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“Who the hell do you think you are? Do you know who he is? He could buy and sell you.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

I mean he’s a big, strong guy but he’s soft too. I mean you can just tell. Punch him in the nose and he’ll go crying to his momma.
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“I have no problem with rich people,” said Robie. “I’ve met rich and poor and people in the middle of the pay scale who are great, and I’ve come across people along that same spectrum who are jerks.”
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She looked back at him with an expression akin to a fist coming right at him.
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“What? What did you think?” He glanced up at her. “That I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore.”
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“We need to do something.” “What?” “If I knew that I’d be doing it,” she snapped.
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“I’m not lying on a couch and you’re not my shrink.”
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Combat is totally indiscriminate. It kills those who are incompetent and those who are unlucky. And everyone in between. You’ve got survivor’s guilt.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

Right now she didn’t know which was more dangerous, Iraq or eastern Colorado.
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What was the end game here? You were always supposed to have one. You never started a mission without a concrete goal firmly in mind.
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“How does a Caltech chemist end up doing this?” asked Robie. Fitzsimmons looked sheepish. “I have to admit, I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad. And I thought, why not? I’m a smart guy with special skills. I was making peanuts at my old job. Why not go for the brass ring? I just decided to do it on a much bigger scale.”
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There’s this stuff going around now, heroin laced with carfentanil, or elephant tranquilizer.
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You got all these idiots trying to mix anything with stuff like fentanyl to give the big bang and they don’t know what they’re doing and they end up snuffing people left and right. And what business survives by killing its clients?” “Ask Big Tobacco about that,” retorted Reel.

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

Heroin, coke, and pills are bulky. And easily tracked. Fentanyl on the other hand? You can ship enough Fentanyl to OD a hundred thousand people in a manila envelope. Two flakes of the stuff are lethal to an adult.
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“You won’t find it. Truth doesn’t exist.”
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… a chemist geek named Arthur Fitzsimmons from Caltech doing his very best impression of Walter White from Breaking Bad.
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… a mixture of emotions fighting for supremacy on his features until one finally won out. Empathy.
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“I was an ROTC commander in college.” “Yeah, where I’m sure you killed quite a few kegs of beer,” said Reel.
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“I’m a good businessman. But people cheated me.”
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“This is a nightmare.” “No, a nightmare is what’s coming for the rest of these assholes.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

“You really hate the guy.” “Hate doesn’t really cut it.”
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“This is the JV team,” said Robie. “We left the varsity down below.”
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“Remorse for what? I’ve done nothing wrong.” “You call drug trafficking and murder right?” said Robie. “I’ve got nothing to do with the drugs.” “So you’re just doing this out of the goodness of your heart?” “I get paid a fee for professional services.” “And the killing of innocent people?” “They’re nobodies. Who cares? It’s not like I’m killing people who matter.”
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“Everybody’s entitled to a trial.” “Not everybody.” Randall looked incredulous. “It’s in the Constitution, you dumb-ass. And you call yourself a Fed. Jesus.” “Yeah, but you have to be alive, right? No dead guys go on trial. I mean, what would be the point?”
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“Then you just like killing people?” said Reel. Patti looked at her. “Don’t you?” “It’s my job.” “Well, it’s part of my business, so I guess we’re more alike than not.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 06, 2017

It would have been difficult to say who was the better shot, Robie or Reel. It might have depended on the day in question. But this day, not one sniper in the world had more motivation to bring down his target than Will Robie.
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“I think now is the time to tell the absolute truth,” replied Blue Man.
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… We’ve made our beds. We have to sleep in them. Separately, …
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“When I said the truth, I meant it,” replied Blue Man. “She deserved to know, no matter how much I didn’t want to tell her.” “That must have been hard,” said Robie. “The truth is hard, Will. Far harder than a lie.”
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… And if someone can’t act on love, then what does anything else really matter?”
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The truck drove as the night enveloped them. Yet perhaps for Will Robie and Jessica Reel there was now a seam of light somewhere inside the darkness.


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