No Survivors: An Accident Man Novel

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9780143116561: No Survivors: An Accident Man Novel

The Accident Man returns in a heart-stopping race to prevent a global holy war

Tom Cain's The Accident Man introduced Samuel Carver-a man hired to make bad things happen-to rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Now, Carver is back in a new adventure that takes him from the war rooms of Washington, D.C., and the palaces of the French Riviera to the Arctic peaks of Norway and the war-torn Serbian countryside.

Carver finds himself lying broken and damaged in a Swiss sanitarium after rescuing his lover, Alix Petrova, from her Russian spymaster. But when Alix's former employers force her to leave him and seduce an American military official, Carver emerges, shockingly and violently, as his former self-just in time to discover a Texas billionaire's messianic plot to destroy the world.

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About the Author:

Tom Cain is the pseudonym of an award-winning journalist, with 25 years’ experience working for Fleet Street newspapers, as well as major magazines in Britain and the US. During the course of his career he has conducted in-depth interviews with senior politicians, billionaire entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes, movie stars, supermodels and rock legends. He has investigated financial scandals on Wall Street, studio intrigues in Hollywood and corrupt sports stars in Britain. The first Western journalist to cross the border into Serbia after the US bombing campaign of 1999, he has lived in Moscow, Washington, D.C. and Havana, Cuba. He edited four magazines, published over a dozen books, wrote film-scripts and was translated into some 20 languages, before beginning the ‘Accident Man’ series of thrillers. No Survivors continues the story of Samuel Carver, a former British special forces officer who now ‘does very bad things to even worse people.’

Tom Cain lives with his family in Sussex, England. In his spare time he is a fanatical supporter of West Ham United FC and the Washington Redskins; a fan of 24, Life on Mars, Flashman, Elmore Leonard, Oldboy and The Black Book; a lousy guitarist but a half-decent singer; and an enthusiastic, but unsubtle gardener.

Canadian readers may be interested to hear that Tom Cain is the brother-in-law of Steven Erikson, the Vancouver-based author of the ‘Mazalan Book of the Fallen’ series of fantasy novels.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Copyright Page

PREFACE:

 

PROLOGUE: - March 1993

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

 

FIVE YEARS LATER: - January 1998

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

 

FEBRUARY

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

 

MARCH

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

 

APRIL

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

 

GOOD FRIDAY

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Chapter 79

Chapter 80

 

EASTER SATURDAY

Chapter 81

Chapter 82

Chapter 83

Chapter 84

Chapter 85

Chapter 86

Chapter 87

Chapter 88

Chapter 89

Chapter 90

 

EASTER SUNDAY

Chapter 91

Chapter 92

Chapter 93

Chapter 94

Chapter 95

Chapter 96

Chapter 97

Chapter 98

Chapter 99

 

POSTSCRIPT:

Acknowledgements

VIKING
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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(a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,
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(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
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New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

 

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

 

 

Copyright © Tom Cain, 2008

All rights reserved

 

Originally published in Great Britain as The Survivor by Bantam Press.

 

Publisher’s Note
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business
establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Cain, Tom.
No survivors : a novel / Tom Cain.
p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-101-01445-5

1. Nuclear terrorism—Fiction. I. Title.
PR6103.A365N6 2008
823’.92—dc22
2008028475

 

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

PREFACE:

These Are the Facts. . .

On September 6, 1997, the Princess of Wales was laid to rest on an island in the Oval Lake at Althorp, her ancestral home.

 

On September 7, 1997, General Alexander Lebed, former National Security Adviser to Russia’s President Yeltsin, appeared on the prime-time American television news program 60 Minutes. He revealed that his government no longer knew the whereabouts of many of their small-scale nuclear weapons, commonly described as suitcase nukes.

“More than a hundred weapons out of the supposed number of two hundred and fifty are not under the control of the armed forces of Russia,” Lebed said. “I don’t know their location. I don’t know whether they have been destroyed or whether they are stored or whether they’ve been sold or stolen. I don’t know.”

 

On February 23, 1998, Osama bin Laden used the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi to issue a declaration of war against what he termed “the crusader-Zionist alliance.” Bin Laden declared, “[The] crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. . . . On that basis, and in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.”

 

On October 20, 1999, the FBI released Project Megiddo, a long-term investigation into fundamentalist Christian cults who “believe the year 2000 will usher in the end of the world and who are willing to perpetrate acts of violence to bring that end about.” In its section on “apocalyptic religious beliefs,” it noted, “Many extremists view themselves as religious martyrs who have a duty to initiate or take part in the coming battles against Satan.” The report also commented, “There is no consensus within Christianity regarding the specific date that the Apocalypse will occur. However, within many right-wing religious groups there is a uniform belief that the Apocalypse is approaching.”

 

This much is true.

 

Everything and everyone else in this book is pure fiction.

PROLOGUE:

March 1993

1

The airport mechanic was a shade under six feet tall, and the body beneath his overalls and padded cold-weather vest was lean and athletic. The single line that bisected his strong, dark brow suggested a determined fixity of purpose, and his clear green eyes conveyed a calm, almost chilly intelligence. A woolen knitted cap covered his short brown hair. The lower part of his face was hidden behind a beard.

There was a badge on his chest. It gave his name as Steve Lundin.

The badge was fake. The mechanic’s real name was Samuel Carver.

No one in the hangar batted an eyelid when Carver unscrewed the hatch at the tail end of the executive jet and hauled himself up into the rear equipment bay for a standard preflight inspection.

This area was not reachable while the jet was airborne. It was simply a place filled with ugly but functional components, much like the basement of a building. Things like bundles of wires linking the plane’s electronic circuits, the cables and hydraulic lines that controlled the rudder and elevators, the accumulator holding the hydraulic fluid that got pumped out through the system, the pipes that carried super-heated, high-pressure air off the engines and sent it for use in the plane’s cabin heating system. None of these things were much to look at, or remotely exciting, until, of course, they went wrong.

The air pipes were what interested Carver. They were covered in thick silver-colored cladding, held with plastic clips, and they formed a network through the plane via valves and junctions, pretty much like a domestic water system. So he messed with the plumbing, loosening one of the junctions so that the hot air would leak from it. The junction in question was barely a hand’s breadth away from the hydraulic accumulator.

By the time Carver closed the equipment bay hatch and walked away, the fate of the aircraft was sealed.

There was a TV on in the passenger lounge, the CNN reporter having a hard time holding back his tears as he stood in front of a blackened, burned-out church.

“We can’t show you what it looks like inside the smoking charnel house behind me,” he said, an undertone of barely restrained passion coloring his lyrical Irish brogue. “The scenes are too appalling, too sickening. The charred and mutilated corpses of four hundred innocent women and children lie in there. The scent of their burned flesh fills the air all around.

“While Western politicians turn their eyes away from this insignificant corner of West Africa, a ten-year civil war has descended into genocide. The rebel forces mounting this ruthless campaign are better-trained and equipped than ever before. Their leaders are showing levels of organization and strategic planning far ahead of anything they have displayed before. Somehow, somewhere, these merciless killers have acquired new resources, new expertise. And so, as the village’s few survivors search among the corpses for their loved ones, one question comes inevitably to mind: Who is backing the rebels? For whoever they are, and whatever their motivation, they have the blood of an entire people on their hands.”

 

 

 

“Shit, this boy’s a friggin’ comedian!”

Waylon McCabe slapped a hand against his thigh as he addressed the three other men in the room. Most of the time McCabe’s eyes were cold, narrow slits in wrinkled folds of leathery skin that seemed permanently screwed up against the glare of his native Texan sun. Now he was letting his guard down, opening up a little, taking it easy with his buddies.

“Man, I swear he’s about to cry, just to show how sensitive he is. But I’ll bet he don’t care about a bunch of dead niggers, any more ’n I do. He’s just in it for hisself, thinkin’ on the prizes he’s gonna git for being such a damn humanitarian . . . hell, he might make almost as much money outta this war as me.”

“I seriously doubt that, boss,” said one of the other men, swigging from a bottle of Molson Canadian.

“Well, I don’ know, Clete,” replied McCabe with a grin. “Sure, my diamonds’ll pay better. But you gotta consider the costs. He ain’t had to ante up for guns ’n’ ammo, instructors to train them native boys. . . . Here, throw me one of them beers afore I die of thirst.”

McCabe was a long way past sixty, but for all the lines on his face, he was still tougher and possessed of more energy than most men half his age. He had spent the past three days on the northern coast of the Yukon and Northwest territories. From there on up to the North Pole it was pretty much just ice. Now he was sitting in a private room in the terminal at Mike Zubko Airport, right outside the town of Inuvik, waiting on the plane that would take him home.

He was trying to decide whether to pursue his hunch that there were significant oil deposits in the region. The major corporations had all pulled out of the area. Oil was cheap, extraction would be expensive, and the local Eskimos—Waylon McCabe was damned if he’d call them Inuits; screw them if they felt offended—were getting uppity about their tribal lands getting despoiled. The way they saw it, the upside wasn’t worth the aggravation.

McCabe, however, looked around the world at where all the oil was, and where all the trouble was, and saw they were all pretty much the same places. Sooner or later, between the towel heads in the Middle East and the Commies down in South America, supplies would be threatened. Meanwhile, there were billions of Chinese and Indians buying automobiles and building factories, so demand could only go up. High demand and insecure supply would mean rocketing prices, and fields that were only marginal now would become worth exploiting. At that point, who gave a damn what a bunch of seal hunters thought? A few bucks in the right pockets and that problem would be solved. And anyone who refused to take the money would soon find out they’d made the wrong decision.

There was a knock on the door, and Carver walked into the room. His normal relaxed stride had disappeared. The way he carried himself was tentative, his expression hesitant and nervous. He gave the clear impression that he felt uneasy in the presence of a man as wealthy and powerful as McCabe.

“Plane’s checked, filled up, and ready to go,” he said. “Don’t mind me saying so, sir, you’d best be on your way. There’s weather coming in.”

McCabe gave a single, brusque nod that at once acknowledged what he’d said and dismissed him from the room.

Carver paused briefly in the doorway, though nobody seemed to notice or care.

“Have a good flight, sir,” he said.

2

The plane was routed out of Inuwik to Calgary, three hours and fourteen hundred miles away to the southeast, most of it over mountainous wilderness.

The moment the engines were fired up, air started leaking from the pipe, gaining all the time in temperature and pressure. It was directing its heat right onto the hydraulic accumulator, which was filled with very sensitive, highly flammable fluid. As the minutes rolled by, and the plane rose to its cruising altitude at around thirty thousand feet, heading out over the Selwyn mountain range, that fluid got hotter and hotter. Finally, about forty minutes out of Inuvik, the temperature became critical and the accumulator burst open with an explosive blast that shook the rear of the plane. The airframe was strong enough to withstand the detonation, but the flames from the burning fluid greedily found more fuel in the plastic sheaths around the wires, the ducting within which the circuits were bundled, the cladding around the air pipes—all manner of combustible materials.

The crew barely felt or heard the explosion over the juddering of air turbulence and roaring of the jets. The first thing the pilot knew for sure was the warning light telling him that fire had taken hold in the rear equipment bay. The second was that there was nothing whatever he could do to put it out. From this point he had a maximum of seven to eight minutes before the flames ate through the control systems for his rudder and elevators.

 

 

 

The moment McCabe’s jet left the ground, Carver got into the three-year-old Ford F-250 heavy-duty truck h...

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