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The Poisoned Pen
U.S. govenment geologist, Fred Sager, is transferred to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on the Big Island and becomes immersed in a diabolical plot by a power-crazed U.S. Navy Admiral to rid the major islands of the civilian population to build, instead, a mega-military stronghold against the perceived Asian threat. One problem: the Admiral's plan may touch off all the giant volcanoes in the island chain. Can Fred stop this plan through the myriad government red tape?
Truth IS, indeed, stranger than fiction – the news events of 1996 appear as nebulous dots on the page until, when correctly connected with the appropriate lines, a horrifying picture begins to form. Using his expertise in geostatistics, Fred is able to identify the pathways of potential devastation. An untimely and dangerous field trip on the active Kilauea volcano sets the stage for “An Unlikely Journey.” Guarded by an ancient Hawaiian spirit, our hero is entrusted with a glimpse of the end result of the government’s strategy, should their ill-conceived plan proceed to fruition. But can he convince the numerous layers within the bureaucracy to stop before time runs out, or has he become a man with a price on his head? Fred’s new gal pal, a femme fatal with a murky past, says she can help. If true, she’s been less than truthful about her role in the grand scheme of things, as well as her own career plans within the government. It looks as if nothing can stop the powerful U.S. Navy Admiral in his quest to create a mega-military deterrent against the perceived Asian threat. Unauthorized, secret missions by Los Angeles class submarines and the deployment of high tech mobile mines establish the framework for triggering a catastrophic matrix of chain reactions that will threaten millions of innocent people, including the military itself. t. The harder Fred tries to break through the monolithic bureaucracy, the more at risk he becomes. Even the suspicious circumstances surrounding the untimely death of the Admiral himself seemingly cannot prevent the diabolical events that have already been set in motion. Stopping the momentum becomes synonymous with discovering what technology was being used to control these weapons and, as the clock keeps ticking, it is turning into no small task. What will it take to unlock the launch code for disaster? Can it be accomplished in time?
The newspaper section was still quiet and, beginning where I had left off, Admiral Martz had taken his next step... a major detonation on Loihi. This time he had triggered a genuine earthquake, a devastating tremor on November eleventh, Vetern's day. I According to the paper, the tsunami that followed was the beginning of the end.
This time, the tremor had changed the complex and long inactive interconnections between the island's chain of volcanoes. Deep within the earth the tectonic plates had been jolted from quiescence into an inchoate system capable of awesome devastation. The intestines of Haleakala, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea, after thousands, or millions, of years, had become united and now coalesced as one. Engorged with billions of tons of white-hot magma from the earth's core, the massive power of all three major volcanoes made Loihi resemble a misbehaving brat. Still, the world's experts believed it was the brat that shifted the inner workings of the subduction zones, rift zones, and cross-connecting faults so that they aligned as perfectly as a brand new Rubik's cube.
It was Mauna Loa's septum, ironically, that ruptured first. A week later, she erupted at her summit, shattering the occlusion that had been sealed for centuries. Her red-hot saliva melted tons of snow and, mixed with the melt water, the resulting froth formed horrendous mudflows that streaked down the mountain in a single massive avalanche, submerging the vestiges of Hilo and the surrounding communities.