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Rated: 13+ · Novel · Thriller/Suspense · #2239852
Prologue: The scene of criminal activity which evolves into international espionage.

          Defeating Leyton's alarm system was child's play. Now, the foreign agent, code-named "Cassiopeia" by the CIA, stood near a large bay window which looked south over the moonlit Atlantic. After sweeping her long hair into a hair tie, she extracted a cylindrical device from her rucksack. The brass tube of the telescope felt cool through her latex gloves as she slipped the unit over the front lens.
          Cassie flipped a switch on the canister and a small red light appeared on top of this night vision enhancer. A few seconds later the light turned to green. She scanned the ocean due south of her location and found her quarry, three Zodiacs flying small triangular reflecting flags. Cassie squatted down and spread a map on the wood plank floor with Castle Lighthouse, miles south, pointing away from her. Using her pencil flashlight, she marked the boats' location with a red dot.
          Up behind the telescope again, she swung the front of the brass tube further east. Come on!" she pleaded. Scanning slowly she spotted her real target. The faint glow of a sloop's halyards skimmed lightly over the ocean swells. The weather report predicted a brisk offshore breeze which could challenge the best of sailors. And, she was after one of the best.
          Cassie noted the position of the sailboat on her chart, raised her throwaway cell phone and retrieved a text message. After pressing the send button, she whispered. "Good job, Cassie," and swung the telescope slowly toward the three boats which were still close inshore.
          It only took only seconds to see the flags bobbing in the moonlight north of Jackman Shoals. The boats were already heading roughly in the direction of the sailboat. "Excellent!" She breathed her thought which sounded more like a sigh.
          For months she had planned this operation after learning that Cyrus Leyton would test his prototype device which could revolutionize naval surface warfare. At first, her employers only wanted the device's specs, but after informing them of the test, they ordered her to steal the prototype itself.
          Not wanting break her cover or at worst be captured, she decided to use her employer's mercenaries to do the actual stealing. However, she and the team leader didn't get along from the first coded message. They had never met in person.
          Phillipe' tried to take control of the mission and after she informed her employers, they still insisted on using his team and the rest was history. Now, she watched through the telescope as the three Zodiacs sped over the ocean swells. Their flags bouncing wildly in and out of the wave troughs; she figured their speed at over thirty knots.
          If Phillipe' weren't careful, Leyton would see them far enough away to call for help from the U.S. Navy security fast boats which cruised two miles to the east of Grief Bay. Cassie watched as the three green blips quickly converged with the slower moving sailboat in her lens. They raced up behind the larger craft as the sailboat seemed to change course; Leyton had seen his pursuers.
          Ten miles to the southeast of Cassie's perch, Cy Leyton, on board the Dulcinea, had indeed seen the boats behind him. He turned the wheel to starboard to run closer to the wind, but he knew it was too late; he realized the boats would cut him off.
          Leyton grabbed the radio mike and pressed the transmit key. "Damn!" He cursed out loud. Static told him it was being jammed. As he leaned forward to replace the mike, a burst of bullets smashed into the compass, spraying glass shards all around the cockpit.
          Leyton ducked down as the lead boat pulled abreast; a gunman in the bow was taking careful aim at him. Instinctively, he whipped the steering wheel hard over toward the first boat. The wind pivoted the bow quickly, and caught the pontoon boat amidships, swallowing the screams of the three men aboard the smaller craft.
          Seconds later, two more streams of automatic gunfire slammed into the cabin splintering the canted teak deck. Another Zodiac swung close aboard and a gunman leapt into the cockpit, weapon raised, but Leyton had moved forward crouching behind the cabin roof. As the pirate aimed his machine pistol, a silent flash erupted beneath the sloop's waterline lifting the thirty six foot sailboat out of the water.
          Miles away behind the telescope, Cassie was following the action as the green blips converged as a blur of swirling green tracks. "Something is wrong." Cassie mumbled. "Oh, Phillipe', you fool!"
          The images swung apart once more and merged a second time as the sailboat turned toward the rocks of Grief Bay and Jackman Shoals. Suddenly, there was very bright white-green flash which erupted in the middle of the lens where all the boats had been.
          At that same instant, the men in the Zodiaks watched their comrade on board the sloop disappear in a ball of yellow flame which shot up from beneath the sailboat shattering the fiberglass hull, shearing the aluminum mast in two and driving the forward half of the sloop bow first under the waves.
          As the sound and flame of the blast mushroomed up into the night sky, the boom of the explosion reached across the waves and echoed off the black granite cliffs west of Grief Bay. For several seconds the wreckage hovered on the surface before it slipped quickly under the swells sending a cloud of steam into the air.
          When the mist dissipated in the steady offshore breeze, all evidence of the sailboat's existence evaporated in the blustery sea breeze. For a very short time, the two remaining boats circled in vain looking for survivors before turning south and moving quickly out of the area.
          Inside her perch in the beach house on the cliff, a shaken team leader closed her eyes looking away from the telescope after the magnified flash burned across her retina. Temporarily blinded in one eye, Cassie took a deep breath, letting her vision recover.
          In seconds, her training kicked in; she collected her device from the telescope, placed it gently back into her rucksack, recovered the chart and quickly used her pencil flash to scan the area for evidence that she had been there. A minute later she had rearmed the house alarm system and walked out on the bluff behind the stone house.
          Removing her dark wig, she stripped off her latex gloves and picked up two heavy stones. Tying the stones into the wig, she tossed the package out into the noisy surf far below. The sea breeze buffeted her face before she walked around the house to the two cars parked in the driveway. The home owner's blue Viper gleamed in the moonlight as she got in her sedan and drove off into the night.

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