by Richard Earl Rice
Genre: Speculative Fiction
A century from now, the California Republic creates a lifetime penal colony for hardened criminals on San Clemente Island, sixty miles off the southern coast. Jesse Long, a dedicated Frisco cop, finds himself exiled to the colony, for daring to take on corruption and misconduct traced to the highest levels of California law enforcement. But Jesse, aided by friends, does the impossible…he escapes from Sanclem and starts a war with the evil establishment. Only two outcomes are possible: the establishment is brought down, or Jesse either dies or is exiled once again to the island.
All six had taken their positions. Jesse, with his heart pumping, crouched on the hangar roof. He cradled a sniper system – a modified rifle with a short barrel and an accurate set of optics. It was loaded with high velocity, lightweight ammo. It was a precise, deadly weapon. He hadn’t used one since his navy days, but it still felt familiar in his hands. Davis knelt beside him on one knee, holding a beam rifle, an equally effective weapon. Butler, armed with an automatic rifle, crouched a few yards away. From their positions they had a commanding view of the third hangar, fifty yards north, across an open space. Hangar three was next in line to be searched by the mercenaries. Dunlap and Cross, both armed with beam rifles, had taken cover on the garage roof. There, they overlooked the space behind the structures. Dex waited in the space between hangars four and five. They’d only been in position for a few minutes when the mercenaries completed their search of the second hangar and sprinted to the third. Three took cover behind an abandoned truck in front of the building. Two stood by a door preparing to enter. Jesse poked his rifle over the edge of the roof and zeroed in on one of the two. His cross-hairs centered on the man’s neck, just under the headgear he wore. He knew Davis and Cross were drawing similar beads. “Stand by,” Jesse whispered. “They’re going inside.”
Richard Earl Rice is the author of several novels and a variety of short stories.Though he has dabbled in other areas, Richard's main interest is Speculative Fiction, where he extrapolates current events and difficulties from our present society into a near-term future. There, he creates worlds filled with unique problems for his characters to deal with. He tries to make his projections plausible, ones that will perhaps serve as warnings to his readers that we are living in an exponentially unstable time and significant changes can be expected that may not be good for our descendants.
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