Tango Dragon and the Asteroid
Dust Jacket Hardcover
The first story, “Ice Dragon Rising,” explains how three young men sacrificed their own lives to create the Ice Dragon to save their world from a terrible War Lord. Broken for two thousand years, the next episode begins in 2012. “The Reluctant Hero” tells of Henry Barton-Jones, now ready but reluctant to take up the fight. Almost blinded by a rainstorm lashing deserted streets, he collides with Charlotte Masterson. She is wandering forlorn and desperate to free herself from Ricardo Bettencourt, a notorious and psychopathic but brilliant villain and drug baron.
Henry connects with his old CIA partner, and together they fight Ricardo’s global blackmail scheme as it begins to go wrong with threatening and catastrophic consequences. In “Tango Dragon and the Asteroid,” Henry finds an innocent tango school in Toulouse is a cover for a private combat-training school. Ricardo still wants to kill Charlotte but then changes his mind. In a psychopathic mind game, Ricardo deviously binds Henry and Charlotte into another grotesque but daring blackmail scheme to bleed $380 billion from the world’s governments and walk away scot free.
Charlotte hesitated, ‘Henry darling is there anything wrong? This is our honeymoon when you should be hanging on my every word, lavishing flowers and champagne on me. Yet you seem to be pre-occupied with something somewhere else and you keep looking at the window,’ said Charlotte.
‘Yes you are right darling, so rude of me. I was wondering why I need to sleep so much and why I woke with a start then fell off the bed this morning,’ said Henry.
‘Henry are you really sure you want to learn the tango darling. If you would rather not we can do other things. I have wanted to learn to dance the Tango for years but there was never the right person in my life. I know I have been dreaming of this moment, it will be so romantic,’ said Charlotte.
‘There is a lot you have to learn about me let alone the Tango. However, I promise you I will do everything to fulfil your dreams. We will Tango the night away until we drop,’ said Henry.
Although now in the shade Henry looked up at Charlotte’s eyes then his eyes darted to the window. She caught his sudden lunge at her but he moved too fast for her to block him. Henry knocked her to the floor with him landing on top of her.
‘Henry what are you doing that hurt, get off you are so rough. What has got into you?’ Charlotte said.
I’m not playing this is serious, stay down,’ whispered Henry. He rolled off her and pulled Charlotte against the wall well clear of the window out of the view from the buildings across the road.
‘Henry what is going on?’ Charlotte said. She tried to get up but Henry pulled her down again.
‘Look at the carpet in front of the window,’ said Henry.
Charlotte followed Henry’s eyes. She caught the glimpse of broken glass.
‘Now look at the wall behind were you were sitting,’ said Henry.
Charlotte made out the small lethal but now flattened bullet imbedded in the wall where she guessed her head had been as she sat at the breakfast table.
Charlotte let go of Henry’s arm and slumped on the floor staring up at the ceiling.
‘It’s Ricardo isn’t it? Charlotte said in a voice of resigned comprehension.
‘You knew he was still alive that is why you have been distracted. When did you know? Why didn’t you tell me?’ Charlotte was raising her voice with disappointment and frustrated anger.
‘Yes, I knew 3 days ago just after Chuck left our apartment. You will remember that I had a phone call, it was from Carl Cianci. He rang to tell me that when searching through the explosion and cleaning up the body parts they had found the remains of two flak jackets and only one body and it was not Ricardo’s. You warned me he was handy with his knife, it seems he was much more handy than I had realised. Carl Cianci’s assumption is that he managed to cut himself out of the flak jacket and left his cousin holding his baby. When Georgina dropped the master sensor switch. The time it took you to get to it and press the toggle gave Ricardo valuable seconds to escape. That delay gave him enough time to cut off the flak jacket and make a run for it before the big bang. Either he guessed there was a trap, had some sort of intuition and had started to cut off his flak jacket as soon as he got into the elevator. When it comes to saving his own life Ricardo never gives up. That man seems to have an endless supply of lives. I was going to tell you but didn’t want to spoil our honeymoon,’ said Henry.
‘I’m sorry darling; after all you have just saved my life again. It was a bit of a shock and my arm hurts where you fell on top of me. Come to think of it how did you see a bullet coming towards me,’ asked Charlotte.
‘It was just lucky; I was talking to you and looked up into your eyes. As my view came up I saw a curtain move in the window across the road I made out the end of the barrel of a rifle. Ricardo must have seen my eyes looking in his direction so he made the connection and he took the shot immediately whether he was ready or not. His shot was spot on but a fraction too late.
‘But I did not hear anything, ‘said Charlotte.
‘You did not hear the glass break or the bullet hit the wall as you were distracted by me falling on top of you. That is a professional assassin’s small diameter bullet, which punches a tiny hole in old 4mm window glass and makes little noise and then imbedding itself in a soft plaster and brick wall. If it finds its target someone can be dead and others in the room have no idea for several seconds or even minutes given the right situation. Those seconds are vital for a sniper to make his getaway. If Ricardo escaped the elevator explosion back at the CERN those few seconds enabled him to live by the skin of his teeth,’ said Henry.
‘So Ricardo is even more deadly than before. Now he is like a wounded wild animal that is hurting and unpredictable,’ said Charlotte.
Charlotte stood up. ‘I suppose there is no more danger for the moment. I hope I can go to the bathroom or are we back to the days when your pal Tom and his CIA buddies. When I was not allowed privacy in my own lavatory. That is just great. I am married to a super human who flies with his pet dragon at the speed of light, saves people from certain death but he cannot catch one crazy killer.’ Charlotte flashed her eyes at Henry, turned on her heals made for the bathroom and slammed the door behind her.
The bathroom door opened. Charlotte stood at the door and hesitated. Henry was alert and sensing the tiniest vibrations from her face, eyes or body. She had repaired her makeup and looked her most stunning wearing his dressing gown in such a way that suggested every promise that lay beneath the fine silk garment. She walked towards Henry holding his eyes and all his attention. He felt he was on a roller coaster being accelerated in a fearsome spiral. Charlotte gently pulled at the tie around her waist so her legs opened the garment all the way up. A moment later she melted against Henry’s body and pressed her lips to his lips. At that instant his mind exploded into a billion stars with the feeling he was being transported to some distant galaxy where they both were safe from Ricardo.
‘Hello, Ted Marshall speaking,’ said the gruff voice.
‘Master Sergeant Instructor Teddy Marshall?’ Henry said. There was a deadly silence.
‘Who wants to know,’ came the curt reply.
‘Do you remember Lieutenant Charlotte Masterson?
There was a momentary silence. Henry heard a feint expletive come over his phone.
‘Do I remember Charlotte Masterson, are you crazy? Forgetting Charlotte Masterson would be like forgetting Christmas, your worst nightmare and the most beautiful woman I have ever clapped eyes on all wrapped up in one package. No man in his right mind could ever forget lieutenant Charlotte Masterson,’ said Teddy Marshall.
‘I don’t know if you have any idea who you are preparing to play ball with. Teddy Marshall is no one’s teddy bear, believe me. He does not just look tough he is tough. I swear that man forgot he has a soul. He can or at least he could eat you, me and a couple of Canadian Grizzly bears for breakfast all at the same time,’ replied Charlotte.
‘Good, that is the kind of person we need in our team,’ said Henry. They left their Hotel immediately and walked to the meeting point.
‘Why on earth did you choose this place, it is so crowded?’ Charlotte asked.
As a young forester and entrepreneur I was motivated in creating my own group of companies. It was a good life of inspiration and freedom to push the boundaries of outdated thinking of those times. Twenty five years of hard work and the stresses of success developed to the point of life and career changing burnout. I had no option but to let go and live the pain of watching all I had created crumble around me. Despite facing a wall of overwhelming resistance, somehow, I had to start my life again. The day came without warning, my destiny faced me head-on. On a stormy night outside a remote mountain chalet, I stood facing the Ice Dragon. Since then my purpose and passion has been writing stories about the new Master.
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