ONE ROUGH MAN
They call it the Taskforce. Their existence is as essential as it is illegal. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government. Protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Built around the top operators from across the clandestine, intelligence, and special forces landscape. Designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. Trained to exist on the ragged edge of human capability.
Pike Logan was the most successful operator on the Taskforce, his instincts and talents unrivaled-until personal tragedy permanently altered his outlook on the world. Pike knows what the rest of the country might not want to admit: The real threat isn’t from any nation, any government, any terrorist group. The real threat is one or two men, controlled by ideology, operating independently, in possession of a powerful weapon.
Buried in a stack of intercepted chatter is evidence of two such men. The transcripts are scheduled for analysis in three months. The attack is mere days away. It is their bad luck that they’re about to cross paths with Pike Logan. And Pike Logan has nothing left to lose.
The target took a shortcut, unwittingly shaving another four minutes off of life as he knew it. His appearance surprised me, because I had parked in an alley specifically to get out of his line of march, figuring he’d go the long way around the block. He was about fifty feet back and walking at an unhurried pace. A minute later he passed me, unaware of my existence. He was so close that I could have flung open the door and knocked him to the ground. From there, it would have been easy to thump him on the head, throw him in the back, and haul ass. That would have been a bit extreme even for me, so I let him go. Better to stick with the plan.
I keyed the handset of my radio. “All elements, this is Pike. Target just passed by my location and intersected Twenty-second Street. He’s crossing it now.”