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is a former staff member of
the Physics Division at the
Los Alamos National Lab.
He researched directed-
energy devices, such as
terawatt laser and neutral
particle beam systems, for
which he was awarded a
Laboratory commendation
for Distinguished Performance.

Dr. Gamble holds an M.E.
in nuclear science and a Ph.D.
in mechanical engineering.
He also completed a
postdoctoral fellowship in
materials science at the
Massachusetts Institute
of Technology.


The scale and sophistication of GRIT's experimental facility dwarfed every experiment Rick had ever seen or read about, even in novels. High intensity ion-discharge lamps, from fifty feet above, illuminated the workspace brighter than daylight. He squinted at the glint on an enormous U-shape aluminum tube with a rectangular cross-section. Must be a housing for one of the GAMMA RAY INTENSITY TRANSDUCER's high temperature superconducting magnets, he thought. Dr. Gregory Hazelius could have appeared any minute—

Rick stared directly at the housing, suspended on thick, wide, Kevlar-reinforced straps connected to hefty steel cables that shot upward almost three stories to an overhead crane's massive motors. Rick engaged with their hum as they progressed slowly down the crane's race. He needed this. The low frequency, inexorable drone of experimentation. This was the closest he'd ever get to meditation. But it was close enough.


Rick came seeking inspiration, but found desperation. He trembled, thinking that the fate of the free world hinged upon what appeared to be a giant mastodon's skeleton on display for archeological inspection.

Even more frightening was the fact that he was responsible for animating it. Making it a bona fide nuke killer.


"I want my own lawyer," Rick said to Armstrong.

"Mr. Adams, you are not entitled to a lawyer. We're having an off the record chat." Armstrong dabbed at his right eye and grinned. "If I decide to come down on you, it will be like a megaton of bricks and all the lawyers in Santa Fe and Boston together will not be able to save your ass."

"Like you came down on Wen Ho? That was a grand success."

"That wasn't me. Let's get to the point. The Bureau has reason to believe that you are working in league with an international espionage contingent that has infiltrated Los Alamos National Laboratory. Among other things, you intend to access national security information with intent to sell it to foreign powers and ultimately foment the Laboratory's and the United States' ruination." He rolled his hand and pursed his lips. "Help me out with the details."

"I've no idea what you're talking about." . . .

Armstrong stopped dead. Locked eyes, saying, "We found Renée's body."

Rick nearly gagged. His knees weakened.


Sam paused, trying to measure his reply. He searched for the right sugarcoated words—the kind he usually used when addressing his wife. But, his mind seemed to snap. This was not about saving Rick's life. It certainly was not about lives already tragically lost. It was about living life. About him. About living his own life.

He walked within inches of Reba's face. Eye-to-eye. The pace of his speech was slow and deliberate. But his tone, that was the thing. Never before had he spoken to his wife with unswerving certainty, with the authority of truth. "Yes, I learned a great deal from the horrific stories," Sam said. "Mostly how to conceal my heritage and isolate myself at all costs. How to ignore the pain and suffering of others for fear that I might attract it to myself. And that no one whosoever is worthy of my trust. I was taught it over and over again from a master, Professor George Goldschmidt, Auschwitz Survivor."


The scientists of the
Los Alamos National Laboratory are embarking on the most momentous program since the Manhattan Project ...
or are they?

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