Operation Red Alert (The Iron Eagle Series) by Roy A. Teel Jr.
The Iron Eagle Series, by Roy A. Teel Jr., is a hard-boiled, mystery, suspense, thriller crime series that is expected to span 30 books. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.
Operation Red Alert is the fourth book in The Iron Eagle Series. It is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords.
Los Angeles is reeling after a partially thwarted terrorist plot left the city and county in ruins. Millions are dead and more are homeless thanks to “Rome Is Burning.” For FBI Special Agent John Swenson, aka “The Iron Eagle,” and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim O’Brian, it was a bittersweet victory. The Eagle and his team of retired Marine Corp black operatives were only moderately successful in their mission, and now the full scope of a government conspiracy has been discovered by the men—one that could destroy not just Los Angeles but the nation. ‘Operation Red Alert’ was the secret code name to stop the 9/11 attacks that was halted by the government. A re-hatched, retooled plot to kill the President of the United States is underway along with the help of a terrorist mastermind, and potential destruction of a city and nation is imminent. The only people standing in the way are the Iron Eagle and his men—intent on stopping the attacks before they happen.
Special Agent John Swenson stood looking out his office window at 11000 Wilshire Boulevard, the Los Angeles headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His office was on the seventeenth floor and had panoramic views looking out over Westwood and a large portion of western Los Angeles. His desk was cluttered with files. The building had survived the fires set nearly a year earlier, and while still heavily shorthanded after the devastating loss of life, he had a job to do with what he had to work with. He stood staring out the window when an all too familiar voice spoke up behind him. “So, what are you daydreaming about, fuckface?” He turned to see the smiling face of Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim O’Brian sitting in one of the chairs in front of his desk. He had his feet up on the desk and an unlit cigarette hanging out of his mouth. John sat down and said, “Well, look who’s climbed out from under his rock.” There was a smile on Jim’s face, and the two sat for several moments in silence. The men hadn’t seen much of each other since Operation Rome Is Burning. They had been keeping a low profile, but John knew why Jim was in his office. Jim was looking over at a whiteboard that John had next to his desk with the emblem of The Iron Eagle at the top and crime scene photographs below it. He was staring at the photos, waiting for John to say something, but silence met his stare. Jim turned and pointed to the board and made a really poor attempt at making the sound of an elephant. “It’s in the room, man. When are we going to talk about it? You’ve been ducking me and everyone else on these three cases for three months.”
John sat down and pulled open a grey case file and handed it to Jim. The file was the crime scene folder for the most recent killing John’s office was investigating. It was the murder of Lance Coswalski. His body was found floating in the marina in Manhattan Beach a week earlier. Jim handed the folder back to John and said, “I already know. I want to know when you’re going to start doing something about this.” He didn’t have any words. Three of his best friends, and the best black operatives who worked with him and Jim, were dead, and John was at a loss for words as to what to do.
Jim sat chomping on his cigarette for a long time before he spoke again. “You know this shit ain’t random. You also know that sooner or later they’re coming for us,” he said in a calm and fearful tone. John shook his head. “Not here.” Jim nodded. John pointed to his office door, and the two men walked out to the elevator and down to the ground floor. They crossed the employee parking lot to John’s car and entered it, neither saying a word. They drove through the streets and freeways until they got to Santa Monica, where John parked the car and got out. Jim followed close behind. The once scenic area, now a makeshift refugee camp since the fires. Hundreds of thousands of homeless people lined the coast of California from Santa Barbara to San Diego. There had even been spillover into Baja. Mexico was assisting in the efforts to help get America’s second largest city back online.
John started talking through the noise of the crowds of people. “Lance’s is the third death of one of our team in the past four months.” Jim nodded. “Phillip and Blake are dead as well, and Ricky is missing.” Jim nodded again. John stopped, and they sat on the steel tines of a forklift looking out at the sea. “We are under twenty-four/ seven surveillance.” Jim nodded again. “It is only a matter of time before they try to make a move for you, Jim.” “I’m not worried about it.” John looked on out to sea. “Do you know where Shabad is?” Jim asked. John nodded. “Don’t you think it’s time for The Iron Eagle to make his move?” “It’s not that simple!” Jim looked out over the seawall that held back high tide and kept the port even and accessible year round. “Well, The Eagle better make a move and make one fast, or there won’t be anything to talk about. More Americans will die; a limping city will be struck again by a terrorist that a handful of people know exists, and not only will we be dead but so will our wives. How does that sit with you, Mr. Eagle?” John nodded in agreement. Everything Jim said was true. “The low profile thing ain’t working, John. You said that we are at war. It’s time to get off your ass and get the rest of the men that we do have together and kick some political ass!” Jim had taken a cigarette from his top pocket and was lighting it with his Zippo as he was saying it. He took a drag off the smoke, and the wind off the sea blew it back in the direction of the city that was still charred ruins.
John didn’t make eye contact but said, “Shabad is waiting for The Eagle to make his move.” Jim took another long hit of his smoke and said, “No fucking shit! Well, what the fuck are you going to do about it?” John stood up and said, “Meet me at my home tonight after sundown. We will go from there.” Jim nodded and stood up and followed John back to his car. They went back to the federal building where John dropped Jim off. He called his office to let them know he was going to be out for the afternoon and drove down the 405 Freeway toward the ports. He knew what he needed to do, and he knew he needed to do it now. He set his frequency scanner to Al Shabad’s cell phone number and set up his midi recorder to pick up any calls that Al might get.
Al Shabad was working the controls of the port crane in San Pedro when the cell phone in his jacket started vibrating. “Yes,” he said as he was using one of the controls to stack one container onto the other. A male voice told him, “The cargo is ready for delivery,” in perfect English. He hung up the phone, and after setting the container down, radioed he was going to lunch. The climb down from the port crane took several minutes. When he reached the bottom, he saw Ricky Park dropping a container for loading at the port’s edge. He waved to him, and he waved back. Al walked over to the cafeteria and ordered some lunch then walked out of the port gates to his car with his cafeteria tray. He sat in the front seat eating his meal when his phone buzzed again. He answered with a mouthful of food, his thick Middle Eastern accent hard to understand as he spoke. “What?” he said calmly. He recognized the voice on the other end of the line immediately.
“So, the cargo is ready for delivery?” Al sat silent. “Cat got your tongue, Al?” The voice was taunting him. “How did you get this number?” There were a few moments of silence, and the caller said, “Al…you’ve had the same number for over a decade. You don’t need to hide. You have the government to protect you… or do you?” Al looked around his car in all directions, but there was nothing out of the ordinary. “Where are you?” he asked. “Somewhere you never thought I could get, Al. Somewhere you never thought I could get.” There was a look of panic on his face. “You don’t want to go down this road with me,” Al said, trying to sound intimidating with a quiver of fear in his voice. “Oh, Al, you spent so many years protected. It’s time for you to pay the price.” “Fine. Not my family.” “That’s all up to you now, Al. I want the cargo. You give me the cargo, and I will release your family.” There was a moment’s pause as Al stared out the windshield of his car. He waited a moment too long and heard the scream of his daughter on the other end of the line.
“Leave the cargo manifest at Cherry Cove on Catalina Island just off the pier next to Pike’s Boat Rentals by midnight. I will tell you where you can find your daughter after I verify the manifest. If you fail to do as instructed, you will find what remains of your daughter in pieces on your crane. I’ve already fucked her, Al. You don’t want me to dismantle her.” The line went dead. He started the car and headed for his home. He pulled into the drive and jumped out of the car only to find the front door to the bungalow wide open. He ran in, and the house had been ransacked. There was blood pooled on the floor in the kitchen and chunks of long black hair that he recognized as his wife’s. The rooms of the children were destroyed, and two of his daughter’s favorite stuffed animals were left in a sexually explicit position. He screamed as he ran out the door back to his car with his cell phone in his hand. He jumped into his car and raced down the street and back to the freeway headed for the port.
The Iron Eagle sat parked in a corner alley watching the whole thing unfold. He had intercepted Al’s earlier call. He knew Al couldn’t go to the police. He could only call those he worked for in the hopes of getting back his family and not giving up the manifest. The Eagle watched as Al’s car sped down the street to the freeway and listened to his phone calls back to Washington, knowing that Al was going to get no help from D.C. and that his daughter would be the first of his family to be killed and dismembered after the killer had done the unspeakable to her. Al’s wife and son would be next, and then the killer would move on to Al himself to get the cargo he wanted and to stop the government’s plans. The question The Eagle asked himself out loud was, “Do I really want to help you, Al, or do I wait to capture your nemesis when he’s finished with you?”
About the Author:
On May 11, 1995, at 30, Roy’s life was irrevocably changed. After walking into the hospital, he was admitted and later received the worst possible diagnosis – Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. His doctors gave him two years to live, and he left the hospital in a wheelchair. After battling Multiple Sclerosis for nearly 16 years, Roy began devoting his energies and passions to the full-time art of storytelling. His disability has brought with it an unforeseen blessing. He can finally take medications to alleviate some of the pain from his MS and focus on the pleasures of character creation and the joys of putting words to paper.
As an author, Roy A. Teel Jr. is very diverse, and his works include both fiction and nonfiction. His previous works include The Way, The Truth, and The Lies: How the Gospels Mislead Christians about Jesus’ True Message (2005), Against The Grain: The American Mega-Church and its Culture of Control (2008), Light of Darkness: Dialogues in Death (2008), and And God Laughed (2013).
In 2014, Roy began publishing The Iron Eagle Series, a hard-boiled, mystery, suspense, thriller crime series that is expected to span 30 books. The main character, a former Marine Corps Black Operative turned rogue FBI agent, hunts serial killers in Los Angeles. Each novel addresses different subjects, and while fiction, all titles deal with real world subject matter. “The Iron Eagle Series” is not about things that can’t hurt you. What happens in these novels can happen to any one of us if we let our guard down and/or are in the wrong place at the wrong time. To learn more, go to IronEagleSeries.com
Roy lives in Lake Arrowhead, CA with his wife and children. Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
*Content Warning: The Iron Eagle Crime novel series contains mature subject matter, graphic violence, sexual content, language, torture and other scenes that may be disturbing to sensitive readers. This series is not intended for anyone under the age of eighteen, reader discretion is advised.