Cyberstrike by James Barrington, Richard Benham

Cyberstrike

Cyberstrike: London (Ben Morgan Book 1) by James Barrington, Richard Benham
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.4 MB

7/7/2005: Ben Morgan, a cybersecurity specialist with the Metropolitan police, starts another day at work. It will be the last normal day he ever has.

The Present: In Hong Kong, a crime overlord is offered a deal by shadowy agents from Beijing: his life for a new kind of operation in London. Morgan, now a part of an off the books cyber-terrorism prevention unit, must do everything to stop its spread.

This is a new kind of war: different goals, tactics, rules, stakes. And Morgan is caught right in the centre…

Then there was a sudden flash of light outside the carriage windows and for a brief moment Morgan wondered if the power had been switched on again and he’d seen an arc as a circuit was made. But the emergency lights were still burning, and if the power had been restored the carriage lights would have come on and the ventilation restarted. It had looked to him a bit like a flame, but more like an electric light. Or a torch.

Then they all heard a voice outside the carriage, and moments later a dim face topped by a yellow safety helmet appeared at one of the side windows, the man gesturing back towards the rear of the train.

‘Go back to the last carriage,’ he shouted, his voice muffled. Then he walked further up the track towards the engine.

‘Slowly, walk slowly,’ Morgan cautioned, fearing a stampede if everybody moved at the same time.

He went the other way, towards the front of the carriage, where the two men standing beside the door were looking around them somewhat uncertainly. What he hoped was that the sight of the worker outside the train would calm down the possibly panicking passengers in the neighbouring carriage.

‘You reckon it’s okay now?’ one of the men asked him.

‘I bloody well hope so,’ Morgan replied. ‘You go. I’ll wait here.’

He leaned his back firmly against the door and watched until about half of the passengers in his carriage had made their way out of the connecting door at the other end. Then he turned and opened the door.

Whether it was because the commuters in that carriage had seen a railway worker or simply because they knew they were now able to leave the train, Morgan didn’t know, but the people who filed past him appeared calm, albeit still apprehensive. They simply walked out of their carriage and moved steadily towards the rear of the train.

Morgan waited a couple of minutes just to make sure that the evacuation was proceeding in an orderly fashion, and then joined the line himself.

They moved through one carriage after another, everybody seeming calm. At the end of the last carriage, the open doorway showed a crowd of people walking along the tunnel, all keeping to one side and away from the live rail, although the current had clearly been switched off. A short ladder had been placed against the rear door to allow passengers to climb down it and onto the track.

It was something of a vision from hell. A handful of torches provided fitful and erratic illumination in the hands of the Underground staff as the mass of people shuffled slowly along, fearful of losing their footing in the darkness, and with the ever present threat of electrocution should the current to the live rail suddenly be restored. The drifting clouds of smoke reduced visibility and caused some commuters to cough harshly. Others were clinging onto other people as they made their way towards what they hoped was safety.

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