What would you do if you discovered your whole life to be a lie?
Daniel Henstock thinks he’s an ordinary schoolboy but on his sixteenth birthday his world is turned upside down. He is the world’s first one-hundred-percent genetically-engineered human - assigned the codename Tiberius - and Gregory Dryden, the man responsible, wants him back so that he can continue his deadly experiments.
Running for his life, Daniel flees to New York and is forced to go ‘off-grid’. In this near-future America, where the security-obsessed authorities require citizens to carry DNA cards, Daniel meets the feisty and beautiful Eleanor. But by falling for her, Daniel also puts her in terrible danger.
Daniel pursues the facts about his origins but is hunted by an agent sent by Dryden to bring him to heel. Can Daniel find out the truth whilst trying to evade those who think they own him? As his enemies close in Daniel must draw on resources he never knew he had to win his freedom - but in doing so he may be walking into a deadly trap ...
TIBERIUS FOUND is the first installment in a thrilling series - The Emperor Initiative - that introduces an engaging new hero that will appeal to fans of Alex Rider and Jason Bourne.
Read the first three chapters!
The blond man sat on a bench at the eastern end of the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park and sipped coffee from a takeaway cup. The cut of his light grey suit marked it as being expensive and, with one leg casually crossed over the other, he looked like a thousand other office workers across the city enjoying the mid-morning sun. He watched as a married couple with a young girl threw bread to a horde of hungry ducks.
‘Attention Alpha One,’ a clear voice said through the hidden receiver in the blond man’s ear. ‘Target has entered through the Park Lane gate. He’s heading straight towards the bandstand, no deviation. ETA thirty seconds.’
The blond man took hold of the folded newspaper next to him and stood up from the bench. The child was now crying because her parents had run out of bread and they tried to cajole her, saying that daddy would go and get more but the girl’s tears continued to flow. The blond man shook his head and turned away.
‘Is he alone?’ he asked. His clipped accent suggested a private education.
‘Check,’ the voice confirmed in his ear. ‘No shadow.’
‘Good. Keep eyes open.’
The man made his way to the elaborate bandstand, dropped his coffee cup into one of the bins and locked eyes onto his target; a man whose blue shirt was damp with sweat. He approached the sweating man from behind and smiled as he saw the man shuffle from one foot to the other, his hands fidgeting at his side.
The blond man stopped close to his target’s shoulder but kept his face turned away. ‘Don’t turn around.’
The sweating man froze.
‘I’m going to open my newspaper,’ the blond man continued, ‘and you’re going to put the information in it. Do you understand?’
The other man nodded – quick and edgy – and pulled a small brown envelope from his trouser pocket. He slid it between the open folds of the newspaper next to him.
The blond man snapped the paper shut and tucked it under one arm. ‘I hope that this is what we agreed it’d be, Michael.’ He leaned in closer, ‘For your sake.’
‘Of course it’s what you want.’ Michael turned around to face him. ‘I just want all of this to be over, Jim, okay?’
‘I said not to turn around,’ Jim hissed, the threat in his words clear. ‘And never speak my name again.’
The man turned back. Sweat beaded faster on his forehead. He wiped it away and swallowed hard. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’
‘I want this to be over too, I really do,’ Jim continued, his voice now soft and gentle. ‘I want you to be able to go back to your wife and forget that any of this ever happened. I wonder, though, what Amanda would say if she knew about you and Sophie?’
‘I’ve given you what you’ve asked for,’ Michael replied, close to tears. ‘There’s no point in threatening me anymore.’
‘I’m just letting you know that you might forget but should anything be amiss then we won’t.’
Michael shook his head. ‘It isn’t. Trust me; that’s where you can find the Tiberius file.’
Jim leaned in close once more. ‘Then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Stay where you are for five minutes then … then do whatever you want. It’s a lovely day, Mike, why don’t you go and feed the ducks?’ He turned and walked away.
Michael remained rooted to the spot. A tear rolled down his cheek and he gave a shuddering breath of relief. ‘God help me.’ He wiped the tear away. ‘And God help the boy.’
This was one of those moments that Daniel Henstock dreaded. He sat in Mrs Warner’s classroom, gripping his desk with both hands and waited for his test sheet to be handed back.
Mrs Warner was something of a traditionalist and from time-to-time she told her class to put away their Tablets and inflicted an old-fashioned written exam on them. With each test paper she handed back, the noise in the room grew louder. Some of his classmates gave a triumphant “yes!” upon seeing the mark she’d given them – a bold number written in thick red ink in the top right hand corner of the sheet – whilst others moaned.
Throughout it all Daniel faced straight ahead, concentrating on one of the garish wall posters for the upcoming 2028 Olympic Games in Sao Paulo. He caught the waft of flowery perfume to his right before hearing the clack of her heels on the hard floor.
‘Another splendid effort, Daniel,’ Mrs Warner said as she placed the sheet on his work-station, her fingernails painted a soft pink. She had given him a mark of ninety-nine percent. She had even written “excellent” under it, with three exclamation marks. Daniel managed a thin smile.
‘A shame about question seventeen,’ she continued, ‘but never mind – you’re still the top of the class.’
He smiled at her again as she moved past, handing back the rest of the sheets. He had known the answer to question seventeen, just as he’d known the answer to all of the other questions Mrs Warner had ever set. Even as far back as primary school he’d known the answers to all of the questions any of his teachers had ever asked. He read the tutorial notes and the details just stuck. One read was all it took for him to remember.
But getting the answers right all the time wasn’t always the smartest move. Getting a few of the questions wrong every now and then didn’t make him seem quite so perfect.
Daniel turned to his right and looked down the room to his friend – his only real friend – Oliver Martins. Oliver was a podgy, red-faced boy who always had his shirt hanging loose out of his school trousers. He had a huge grin on his face and held up his sheet for Daniel to see; seventy-three percent, and mouthed, ‘You?’
Daniel held up a thumb and grinned.
It was then that he caught sight of Terry Llewellyn sitting in the row behind Oliver, scowling. Terry had taken an instant dislike to him ever since they had both started at Primrose Hill Academy five years ago and when Daniel started to get near faultless results in his tests Terry’s hatred grew.
Llewellyn stood at least ten centimetres taller than the rest of the boys in his year, had broad shoulders and played rugby with a brutish enthusiasm. Daniel had overheard some of the girls in his year one day and, if there was any truth in their whispered, giggling gossip, then Terry Llewellyn was an object of desire.
‘Like most people who’re good at sports, I suppose,’ Daniel had mused to Oliver afterwards. ‘You know, like footballers.’
‘Yeah,’ Oliver had answered with a grimace, ‘but Terry Llewellyn? He’s just a thug.’
Thug or not, there was something about him that the girls liked – something which Daniel didn’t have. Despite this, for some unknown reason, Terry took his academic success as a personal insult almost as if Daniel getting a high mark made Terry less of a man.
And Terry was not the sort of teenager any of his classmates would choose to annoy. Rumour had it that Llewellyn’s father was one of the few bare-knuckle boxers still left. It was an illegal activity – had been for over a dozen years – so Terry always answered the speculation with an enigmatic grin. The thought that it might be true only added to his reputation.
Daniel turned back in his seat, knowing that Terry would soon come seeking some sort of retribution and they were standing at the bank of lockers which sat on one side of the Academy’s second floor corridor when it happened. It was a quarter past three and the rest of the school pushed past them on their way home. Oliver reached inside his locker and pulled out a small box, wrapped in bright coloured paper.
‘Happy birthday,’ he said handing it to Daniel.
‘What?’ He shook his head. ‘You didn’t have to get me anything.’
‘It’s not much, but I know it’s something you want. Don’t open it now though,’ Oliver said closing the locker. ‘Has your mum got anything planned for tonight?’
‘She’s making out she hasn’t but I’m pretty sure she has. I’d like to get a run and swim in this afternoon but she likes to do the whole surprise party thing. I don’t think I’m going to have the chance.’
‘You’re lucky you don’t have any brothers or sisters. It’s not easy being the youngest of five, you know. I think mum and dad are fed up of birthdays and Christmases now. The best I get is an e-card and an Apps voucher, if I’m lucky. When you get home just give them a wide-eye surprised look and …’ Oliver’s face changed. ‘Don’t look now but Llewellyn and his lot are coming.’
Daniel did turn around. Terry Llewellyn, flanked by two boys of similar build; Kevin Linley and Colin Lawson, made their way along the corridor against the flow of the rest of the students. The hardness of Terry’s eyes and the curl of his lip made anyone that got close to him veer suddenly away.
‘Why don’t you get lost, Martins,’ Terry said as he reached them. He almost made it sound like a request.
Oliver stayed where he was for a moment.
‘It’s alright,’ Daniel told him. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’
‘If you want some, fat boy,’ Terry said with a smile, ‘there’s plenty to go round.’
‘Just go home, Oli,’ Daniel said. ‘And thanks for the present, yeah.’
Oliver nodded, stepping around Terry and his two thugs. With a final look over his shoulder – his eyes wide with concern – Oliver merged into the mass of teenagers leaving for the day.
‘What did your girlfriend get you then?’ Terry asked, prodding the wrapped box.
‘He’s not my girlfriend,’ Daniel replied, ‘and what’s it to you anyway?’
‘You think you’re smart, don’t you?’
‘Depends on the company. What do you want, Terry? I should be getting home.’
Terry put his arm around Daniel’s shoulder. ‘Oh, don’t be like that. We just wanted to have a chat, like.’
Daniel turned the corner on to Palmer Court and stopped to wipe his lips once more before reaching his house. The bleeding had stopped and even the swelling had gone down a little. His left eye was sore from the punch and he counted himself lucky that Terry’s effort had been lacklustre at best. Perhaps his bully was getting bored with it, after all.
Daniel turned his key in the lock and stepped into the hallway. The house was quiet. He closed the door and took off his jacket. He put the crumpled and torn remains of Oliver’s present, along with his keys, onto the table. ‘Mum? Dad? Are you in?’
He checked his reflection in a mirror. Does it look as if I’ve been punched? He ran a hand through his hair. No, maybe not. He moved over to the lounge door, opened it, and was hit by a wall of sound.
The lounge had been decked out with coloured banners and balloons. His parents stood ahead of everyone else, singing their hearts out. Oliver was also there and Daniel could see his friend was worried about what Terry had done. The singing finished and was quickly followed by hugs and kisses from his mum and dad. Daniel blushed crimson with embarrassment. He was right though – no one had even noticed the swelling on his cheekbone.
It was twenty minutes later, after presents had been handed out and the birthday cake cut, before Oliver could pull Daniel to one side. They stepped into the hallway where it was quieter. ‘What happened after I left?’
‘The usual, you know,’ Daniel answered, mumbling through a piece of cake. ‘No big deal.’
‘We’re going to have to do something about him.’ Oliver’s eyes flickered doubtfully. ‘Well, you know what I mean. Someone should anyway.’
‘Do what though?’ Daniel laughed. ‘Saying anything’ll just make it worse. Besides, I think he’s losing interest in it all – his punches didn’t hurt half as much as they used to. Look, I’m not even bruised, am I? And after term finishes I’ll probably never have to see him again. So what’s the point?’
‘Look, just forget it. If he behaves like that in the real world then he’ll have the police after him in no time. I’d be surprised if they don’t already have him on their radar. Don’t worry about him, he’s nothing.’
‘Don’t worry about him? Right. Well he picks on you, so whatever you think’s best.’
‘Yeah, just forget him.’
There was a moment or two of awkward silence before Oliver spoke again. ‘Anyway, did you like your present?’
Daniel bit his lip and glanced down at the torn, crumpled box he had left on the glass table. Oliver followed his eye. A polymer action figurine lay broken in the paper and card box. ‘What happened to it?’
‘Terry broke it?’ Oliver’s voice was strained.
‘No. He just knocked it out of my hand. It was Kevin Linley who stepped on it.’
Oliver reached down and picked the box up. The figure was a character from the sci-fi series Border Patrol. ‘But Chett Peterson is your favourite.’
‘He is and it was a really great present. Look, I’ll pay you back for it.’
‘No. It wasn’t you who broke it.’ Oliver’s face creased and it looked as if he was about to burst into tears. ‘It’s not right –’
‘A little bird tells me that you had some test marks back today,’ Daniel’s mum appeared behind them. She wore her best dress and had even put her antique pearls on for the occasion. She put an arm around Daniel’s shoulder and kissed his cheek, leaving a ruby red lipstick mark behind.
Oliver quickly hid the broken present behind his back.
Daniel turned to his friend. ‘A little bird, eh?’
‘My mum told your mum when she dropped me off,’ Oliver apologised. ‘Sorry.’
‘So?’ His mum continued. ‘How did it go?’
‘Yeah, it went well.’
‘Is that all? It just went well? What mark did you get?’
He was almost too embarrassed to say. ‘Ninety-nine percent.’
She wrapped her arms around him and kissed his face several more times. ‘You’re such a clever boy. We’re so proud of you.’
‘Mum!’ Daniel fought his way out from her embrace, his cheeks as red as the lipstick. ‘It was an easy test, everyone scored high.’
‘Nonsense,’ she answered him with a smile. ‘You’re a very special boy.’
Arthur Thomas took his usual window seat on the six forty-five Mag-Lev evening train from London’s Paddington station heading west.
He took out a sleek data terminal from his briefcase and started to update a file. The compartment filled quickly and, even in First Class, there were few empty seats. The sound of someone sitting opposite him caused him to look up. Instead of seeing Elaine Richardson, the middle-aged barrister who normally sat there, Arthur stared into the face of a blond man wearing a fashionable, light grey suit.
‘Excuse me,’ Arthur said; his voice soft and reedy. ‘I’m sorry but I believe that seat’s been reserved by Miss Richardson. Look, there’s the reservation code in the seat-back.’
The man regarded him thoughtfully for a moment then twisted around to look at the digital display. He turned to face Arthur again. ‘If she turns up I’ll move.’
‘I see,’ Arthur muttered. ‘But she always catches this train, you know.’
‘Like I said; if she turns up, I’ll move.’ Although the man spoke politely and had the faint trace of a smile on his lips, there was a distinct, underlying edge to his voice.
Arthur smiled back and gave a trace of a nod. He wasn’t a coward; it was just that he detested any form of confrontation. ‘Yes, yes of course.’
The siren on the platform sounded and the train doors closed silently. It rose on its magnetic cushion and, without as much as a gentle jolt, made its way out of the station.
‘Looks like I get to keep the seat after all,’ the man said with a broader smile, ‘must be my lucky day. I’m Jim, by the way.’
‘Arthur.’ He gave a faint smile in reply then turned back to his data terminal.
Jim continued to stare at him for a few moments before glancing at a red-headed man sitting two places behind Arthur. Their eyes met and Jim nodded once. The man produced a can of lager from his jacket, opened it and took a large swig. He stood up and, in a loud, out-of-tune voice, began singing a football song. He swung the can around and spilled beer onto the other passengers. Arthur turned at the noise, just as half of the can’s contents were tipped over him.
He raised his arms in a futile attempt to protect himself. ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’
‘Sorry,’ the man said clambering over the passengers between them, his speech slurred. ‘I’m really sorry, mate. Are you alright?’
‘Don’t be ridiculous, of course I’m not. Look at me.’
The man wiped a dirty hand down Arthur’s shirt. ‘I’m really sorry.’
‘You’re making it worse. Please, just … just go and sit back down, will you?’
‘Now there’s no need to get funny about it,’ the drunk replied, his voice gaining an angry edge. ‘I said I was sorry.’
‘I’m not getting angry,’ Arthur replied, a forced smile on his lips. ‘All I asked was if you could go back to your seat.’
‘I get you,’ the drunk replied, poking a finger into Arthur’s chest. ‘Just because you wear a fancy suit and work in an office you think you’re better than me. Don’t you?’ He jerked the can at Arthur and more lager spilled onto him.
‘Come on then.’ The drunk grabbed Arthur with his free hand and hauled him into the aisle. ‘Let’s see how tough you are now.’
At that moment a porter entered the carriage from the far end, spotted what was happening and, with a frown, made his way towards the two men.
As soon as Arthur had been pulled from his seat, and with everyone else paying attention to what was happening in the aisle, Jim snatched the data terminal from on top of the table and moved it onto his lap. From his jacket pocket he produced a small display unit with a universal connector lead attached to one end and plugged it into Arthur’s terminal.
Jim tapped on the display unit screen a few times and a message flashed “Clone Device?” Jim tapped the screen once more and the message changed to “Clone in Progress”. A status bar appeared at the bottom of the screen, charting the process.
‘What’s the problem here?’ the porter asked as he reached Arthur and the drunk.
‘This lunatic threw beer all over me,’ Arthur replied, ‘and when I asked him to sit back in his seat he became extremely violent. He was singing too and this is supposed to be a quiet carriage, after all.’
‘There’s no trouble,’ the drunk said to the porter. ‘No trouble.’ His eyes darted to Jim. No one else noticed the slight shake of the blond man’s head.
‘Do you have a ticket for this carriage?’ the porter asked the drunk.
‘Course I do.’
‘Can I see it?’
The drunk patted his pockets, spilling more beer over Arthur as he did so.
‘Oh, this is ridiculous,’ Arthur said to the porter. ‘This man clearly has no ticket.’
The drunk flashed his eyes towards Jim once more who gave another almost imperceptible shake of his head. The drunk took another swig of lager.
‘Sir, do you have a ticket?’
The progress bar on the display unit read one hundred percent and the message changed to “Clone Complete”. Jim disconnected Arthur’s terminal and slid it back onto the table.
‘Alright, alright,’ the drunk said to the porter. ‘It’s a fair cop, you got me.’ He held his wrists out. ‘I’ll come quietly, officer.’
As the porter led the drunk away along the carriage Arthur sat back down, dabbing his jacket with a handkerchief.
Jim flashed him a smile. ‘Some people, huh?’
Jim made his way through the automatic barriers at Reading station and headed to a saloon car parked close by. He sat in the passenger’s seat and plugged his display unit’s connector into a socket in the car’s central console. A panel in the dashboard spun around to reveal a touch screen. Jim tapped at the screen and a list of the copied files from Arthur’s terminal was displayed.
He selected the one titled “Tiberius”
The car driver’s door opened and the red-headed drunk from the train sat next to him. Jim opened the Tiberius file and a class photo of Daniel Henstock displayed on the screen, its time-stamp showing it had been taken three years ago. He scrolled down and Daniel’s home address and personal details were displayed.
‘Is it what we want?’ the red-head asked, all traces of his slurred speech now gone.
Jim nodded. ‘That’s the one. And it’s his birthday too,’ Jim said, pointing at the screen. ‘Sixteen today. What present do you think he’d like?’
The red-head gave a snigger. ‘Nothing that he’s gonna get.’ He fired the car’s ignition and eased it out of the car park.
Jim took a mobile phone from his jacket and in a clear voice said, ‘Call, Control.’
The call clicked through after one ring. ‘Yes?’ a cold voice answered.
‘It’s Alpha One, sir. Our Intel was correct; the old man did have the data.’ Jim paused as if to add weight to his next four words.
‘Tiberius has been found.’
Daniel stirred in his bed. He rolled over and looked at the digital clock on the low cabinet beside him. It showed ten past two in the morning and the room was still and quiet. A sliver of moonlight snaked in through a gap in the curtains and glinted off some of his triathlon medals and trophies.
He yawned and rubbed his eyes with the heel of his hand; in five hours he’d have to be up and getting ready for another day at school. He groaned at the thought – another day of pretending to be like the rest, another day of trying to avoid Terry Llewellyn and his gang of monkeys.
Another day of waiting for three p.m.
He turned back, tugged the warm duvet around him and closed his eyes. He was jerked back to consciousness a few moments later by the creak of his parents’ bedroom door opening. He raised his head from the pillow; his senses now alert. His parents had their own bathroom off their bedroom, so maybe one of them wanted a glass of water or something from downstairs.
Then he heard two soft sounds, as if someone had punched a pillow, and he was snapped into sharper consciousness. The hairs on the back of his neck stood to attention, his heart beat quickened and for some unquantifiable reason he was suddenly afraid. Then there was another sound – just the faintest creak of a floorboard from the corridor. Was it just his overactive imagination, or was there actually someone in the house?
He slid from under the duvet and stepped silently towards his large built-in wardrobe. He was only wearing an old t-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts, and felt a shiver go through him as the cold of the room touched his skin. His mum had always nagged him about leaving the wardrobe door open, but he was glad that he didn’t have to make any noise as he reached in for his dressing gown. He heard another faint creak of a floorboard – just outside his door this time – and he froze.
There was someone there.
Daniel stepped behind the open wardrobe door, putting it between him and the entrance to his room. Perhaps it was just his sudden fear but the room seemed to have got even colder. Goose-bumps broke out over his arms and, standing there, he started to shiver. He dared not move, dared not reach out for the warmth of his dressing gown. A hollow sensation gripped him in the pit of his stomach.
He heard the handle of his bedroom door turn, slow and quiet. A second later the door eased open. He doubted he’d have heard it if he’d still been asleep.
Daniel peered around the edge of the wardrobe door and saw a man dressed in dark clothes and balaclava step into his room. The man made his way silently to the bed, holding what looked like a gas-powered syringe in one hand. Moonlight glinted off its metallic spike and a drop of liquid fell from its point. The stranger’s gloved hand reached out to pull back the duvet when a thudding crash blew the bedroom door wide open.
Another man, equally dressed in black clothes but with a bare head, thundered into the room and bundled the first figure to the floor. It was like watching a movie as the two dark shapes fought a brief and almost silent battle; with swift jabbing punches from both men slamming into their opponent. The bare-headed man gripped hold of the syringe and forced it down into his opponent’s thigh. Daniel heard the psssst, as the pressurised gas fired the liquid into the man’s leg. Whatever had been in the syringe, it quickly started to take effect. The man slowed in his fight; his punches and blocks a fraction of a second too slow.
The bare-headed man slapped his opponent’s hands away and gripped his neck in the crook of his elbow. The first man reached into his jacket and pulled out a pistol, complete with a thick silencer. His opponent hooked the hand holding the pistol with a knee and forced it to the carpet. A bullet shot from the weapon – the sound of someone punching a pillow – and it thudded into the frame of the wardrobe next to Daniel.
He dropped to his knees and put his hands over his ears. He told himself that this couldn’t be happening but the sound of the two men fighting continued. He had to know what was going on, and with nervous anticipation he glanced around the edge of the door.
The bare-headed man still gripped the first around the neck and pushed with his free hand, twisting the neck violently to one side. With a sickening snap and crunch of bone the intruder’s body went limp.
Daniel held his breath. This must be some sort of dream. It had to be. A man couldn’t have just been killed in his bedroom.
The bare-headed man eased his victim to the carpet and pulled away the dead man’s balaclava: his blond hair now spiky and sweat-stained. A trickle of blood came from the corner of his mouth.
‘Daniel?’ the bare-headed man whispered, reaching for the bed, his breath ragged. ‘Daniel, it’s alright. You’re safe, but only if you come with me now. Daniel?’
Daniel moved back behind the comparative safety of the door and closed his eyes once more. Perhaps if he shut them tight enough then all of this would prove to be a nightmare but then he heard the soft tread of the man’s step on the carpet, coming his way.
The dark shape of the killer came around the edge of the door and Daniel lashed out with a fist. The man deflected it with ease then the killer reached out and grabbed at him. Daniel flailed in his attempt to free himself but proved no match for the older man’s strength and after a few seconds of struggle found himself in the tight grip of a murderer.
The man slapped Daniel across the face, the sound of the glove against his cheek surprising him more than the actual blow.
‘You have to listen to me,’ the man spat. ‘There’ll be others like him who’ll try to take you. You’re not safe here, Daniel. You have to come with me. Now!’
‘What?’ His head spun. None of this made any sense.
‘Trust me. Come with me now and it’ll all be explained.’
‘But … What about my parents?’
Even in the darkness of the room Daniel saw the man shake his head. ‘I was too late to save them.’
‘What do you mean? What’s happened to them?’
‘They’re dead, Daniel,’ the man said without any trace of emotion. ‘I’m sorry, but you’re the one who’s important.’
‘No!’ Daniel tried to pull away from the man’s grip, desperate to see what had happened. His parents couldn’t really be dead. That just wasn’t possible. ‘Mum! Dad!’
‘Daniel! You have to listen to me. We don’t have time for this, we have to go now.’
‘Mum! Dad! Help, there’s a man –’
The killer pulled back a fist and jabbed it hard into Daniel’s jaw. For a spilt second Daniel didn’t know quite what had happened, he staggered back against the clothes in his wardrobe, his hand reaching for where the punch had struck. In the five years of being bullied by Terry Llewellyn he’d never been hit that hard. He collapsed, unconscious, before his hand even reached his face.
Daniel opened his eyes. He woke to find himself in an unfamiliar bed with bright sunlight streaming in through a skylight in the ceiling. The room was neat and tidy, and a vase of fresh-cut flowers filled the room with a delicate fragrance. He raised a hand to the reddened section of his jaw and opened his mouth, his fingers probing the tender flesh. Then the memories of what had happened flooded back.
He sat up with a start, his heart racing once more. He leapt out of the bed and went to the bedroom door – it was locked. He raced over to the window, pulled the heavy curtains aside and tried to open it. It was locked as well, and had a wooden shutter blocking the view to the outside. The noise of a key being turned in the bedroom door brought his attention back around. He cowered between the bed and a chest of drawers, his knees tight to his chest. The door opened and the killer from last night stood in the doorway.
The man saw Daniel cowering on the floor and held out a pacifying hand. ‘You don’t need to do that,’ the man said, his voice calm and measured.
Any other time Daniel might have thought that the man’s expression was one of embarrassment.
‘There’s nothing to be scared of while you’re here,’ the man continued. ‘I’m sorry about your jaw, by the way. I hope I didn’t hurt you too much.’
Daniel tried to control his breathing. ‘Where am I?’
‘Somewhere safe. I brought some of your things,’ he said pointing at a pile of folded clothes on a chair close to the bed, a pair of Daniel’s boots underneath. ‘I didn’t have much time so I hope they’re okay. Why don’t you get dressed then come downstairs? There’s breakfast ready, and the professor will answer your questions. I’m sure you’ve got plenty.’
The man looked down at the carpet awkwardly as if he didn’t quite know what to say. ‘There’s fresh coffee. Or juice, if you’d prefer. Come down when you’re ready.’
The man turned away and stepped out of the room, closing the door behind him.
With slow, nervous steps Daniel made his way down the stairs, dressed in the clothes the man had brought. The sound of the killer talking to someone else drifted along the hallway. Daniel stood on the stairs, facing the front door – a way out. He darted to it and turned the latch but the door wouldn’t open. He pulled and tugged frantically at it but the door was securely locked.
‘Daniel.’ The voice was that of an elderly man, warm and soft.
Daniel turned to see a man who looked as if he was in his late sixties, standing in the kitchen doorway. He had a grey-white beard, wore a smile and had his hands tucked into the pockets of a beige cardigan.
‘It may be difficult for you to understand,’ the old man continued, ‘but there’s no need to be scared. You’re safe, for now.’
‘If I’m safe then let me go.’
‘I will,’ the man replied, nodding, ‘I will, but first you need to listen to what I have to say. I know that all of this must seem like a nightmare to you, God knows it would to me, but if you’ll afford me a few minutes I’ll try to explain it all. If we meant you any harm it would have been done already, don’t you think?’
Daniel stared at the old man’s eyes, trying to gauge the honesty of his words. ‘What do you want with me?’
‘Come and sit down,’ the man said. ‘Have some breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, don’t you know?’ He turned and walked back into the kitchen.
Daniel stood for a moment looking down the empty hallway then made his way slowly to the kitchen door. Daniel could see open fields through the window – wherever he was, he was no longer in the city. The old man sat at a large wooden table, a cup of tea in his hands and a large brown envelope next to him. The killer lounged against a cabinet a few paces farther in, drinking a cup of coffee.
A plate of scrambled eggs and bacon sat on the table along with a glass of orange juice and a steaming cup of coffee. The old man gestured toward the empty seat opposite him. Daniel sat down cautiously and eyed the food with suspicion.
‘It’s not poisoned,’ the old man said with a smile. ‘It’s all local food; the eggs are from my own chickens, the bacon from a farm just a few miles away. It’s all really rather good. My name’s Alan Cuthberts, by the way.’
‘He said you were a professor.’
‘That’s right,’ Alan said. ‘At least I used to be. But not for many years now.’
‘Why …’ Daniel stifled a choke. ‘Why did you kill my parents?’
‘We didn’t. The man who tried to take you last night committed that terrible act. I can only apologise that Simon here reached your house too late to save them.’
Daniel flashed a glance at the other man. ‘Are they … are they really dead?’
Alan took a deep breath. ‘I’m afraid so, yes.’
‘Why would someone want to kill them? What did they ever do?’
‘Nothing at all. I said that I’d tell you everything and I will, however grim the truth may be. This will be difficult for you to comprehend, Daniel, but Joshua and Elizabeth were not your real parents.’
‘Don’t be stupid. Of course they were. Why would you say something like that?’
Alan took a large swig from his cup and shook his head. ‘I’m not lying. I gave you to them, a long time ago. They were lovely, dear people; good friends of mine and I grieve with you at their loss. I had thought that any trace of who you were, who they were, had been erased. I thought that you were all safe. It would appear, however, that wasn’t the case.’
‘I don’t understand. What’re you talking about?’ Daniel stood up, knocking his chair over. ‘I saw him kill someone last night!’ Daniel pointed at Simon. ‘How do I know that it wasn’t him who killed my mum and dad?’
‘You’ll just have to take my word for it,’ Alan answered. ‘And I know that under the circumstances that’s asking a great deal of you but nevertheless, you have to believe me. Simon had to kill that man in order to protect you.’
‘But why? Why should I need protecting?’
‘That’s a very good question, Daniel, and one I had hoped you would never have to ask. Please, sit back down and I’ll explain.’
Daniel glanced at Simon; although he looked relaxed Daniel sensed that the man could leap into action at a moment’s notice. There was something hard and cold about his eyes. Daniel was sure that last night wasn’t the first time the man sipping coffee had killed.
Daniel turned back to the professor. The old man did seem genuinely upset at what had happened. Either that or he was a brilliant actor. Daniel decided that if he was to get anywhere near finding out what the truth was, then behaving like a ten-year-old wasn’t the way forward. He picked the chair up off the floor and sat back down.
‘Thank you,’ Alan said. ‘Late yesterday evening we found out that a data terminal belonging to a government official had been cloned; the information which it held, copied. One of the files contained your name and address.’
‘Why would … What? I don’t understand.’
‘Have you ever been ill, Daniel?’
‘Any colds? Flus? Have you ever had the measles or chicken pox?’
‘I … I don’t think so.’
‘Have you never been ill at all?’
‘Not that I can remember.’
Alan smiled. ‘You’ve never been ill.’ It wasn’t a question.
‘I broke my arm when I was seven. I fell out of a tree.’
‘But it healed in a couple of weeks or so? Am I right?’
‘Yes.’ Daniel’s heart began beating fast. ‘How did you know?’
‘Even the swelling from Simon’s blow has gone down.’
Daniel put a hand up to where he’d been punched. ‘What’s going on?’
‘I knew you as a child,’ Alan told him. ‘In fact, if there’s anyone who could claim to be your real father, it would be me.’
Daniel stared at the old man. ‘You’re my father?’
‘Not in the biblical sense of the word, no. But it was me who created you.’
It took a moment for Daniel to process the old man’s words. He let out a short laugh. ‘What?’
‘I used to work for the government, Daniel, many years ago now.’
‘You created me?’
‘I’m sorry, perhaps that wasn’t the kindest of words to use,’ Alan continued. ‘Let me explain. I was in charge of a team of scientists researching the possibility of complete gene manipulation. You were the result. The reason why you heal so quickly, why you’ve never succumbed to any illness is because, on a genetic level at least, you’re pure. Any defects in the genes, any abnormalities, any flaws which would allow a virus or infection to take hold were all scrubbed away. Negative genes were removed and positive genes introduced or enhanced. You’re not immortal, Daniel, at least I don’t think you are, but barring any accidents you should live a very long life.’
‘Are you telling me that I’m some sort of mutant?’
‘No, not at all, and you must never think that. But you are incredibly important. Which is why, when I found out what they had planned for you, I hid you away.’
‘What do you mean, “What they had planned for me”? And who are “they”?’
‘They were the government department in charge of the programme and to them you were nothing more than a lab rat; the next stage of forced evolution. It was only after you were … born, for want of a better word, that I found out what their real scheme was.’
Daniel’s throat suddenly went dry and he found it hard to swallow. In the back of his mind he knew that he wouldn’t like the answer to the question on his lips.
‘What was their real scheme?’
‘They intended to let you live for a short while,’ the professor answered, ‘no more than six months, and then dissect you like some sort of animal. I inadvertently saw a document that Dryden had written to his superiors which laid out, in graphic detail, exactly what they intended to do.’
‘Gregory Dryden, he was the man in charge of R-section; the government’s secret research department. I should’ve known from the first day I met him that he wasn’t to be trusted. He told me that the Emperor Initiative had been created to help mankind; to lead the way in eradicating hereditary defects, to pioneer the war against illness. He spoke of Nobel prizes and wondrous achievements, while all the time he simply wanted a test subject – a human being – which he could cut up like a specimen.
‘I wasn’t prepared to let him do that. I destroyed my research material, stole you away from the lab and set fire to the building. To cover my tracks I made it look as if one of the reactors had failed. It was my hope that, as far as they were concerned, we had both died that night along with all trace of the Initiative. It would appear now that was obviously not the case. Someone in the government must’ve found out who you were and where you lived. It was only a matter of time before Dryden caught wind of it, and so here we are.’
‘This doesn’t make any sense.’
‘Sense or not it’s the truth and I’m so terribly sorry that you ever had to find out.’
Daniel sat quietly, trying desperately to understand. ‘So what happens now?’
‘You have to become invisible again,’ Alan answered. ‘You need to hide. Only this time not even I should know where you’ve gone.’
‘How will I do that?’
‘I have a passport for you and a counterfeit DNA card to match.’ The professor pushed the envelope across the table. ‘Simon will take you to the airport but it’s you who’ll have to decide where you go from there. No one else must know.’
Alan reached down to the side of his chair and lifted up a cloth hold-all. He pushed it across the table.
‘Money, Daniel, for you. I’ve implanted the bag with a device which, if it’s put through an X-ray machine, will make it appear that the contents are clothes. If anyone should open it up, well, then they’ll see what it really holds.’ He patted the bag. ‘There’s enough money in there to enable you to live very comfortably for quite a while, but it’s up to you to choose a life which won’t attract any attention.’
‘You make it sound so simple. I don’t want to go somewhere else. I don’t want to … I want to go home.’
‘I’m afraid you can’t. Ever. If you do they’ll get to you and I won’t be able to stop them. Leaving the country is your only option.’
‘And then what am I supposed to do?’
‘I can’t tell you that, and I don’t want to know. Only you can decide what happens now. You must never let your personal details get onto any database; you must never hold a genuine driving licence, never have a credit card. You must be invisible. I won’t be responsible for them finding you again. And the sooner we can get you out of the country the better.’
‘I’m only sixteen.’
‘I know, and it’s a terrible burden that I’m placing on your shoulders, but believe me – it’s the only way. If they find you, and they won’t stop looking, they’ll commit unspeakable acts which they’ll excuse in the name of science. You’re not a creature serving the greater good: you’re a boy, an innocent.
‘It’s my fault that you’ve had to suffer already. It’s my fault that Joshua and Elizabeth have been killed and I’ll not permit you to suffer anymore. Have some breakfast, I know that you’re probably not very hungry but you need to eat something. You’ve got a long day ahead of you, my boy, and you need to keep your strength up.’
It was late into the evening and the corner office on the twenty-third floor of London’s Brinkley House lay dark and quiet when one of the monitors sprang into life, with a high pitched beep. The screen displayed “Trace DNA Match Located” with a passport image of Daniel along with a flight code number. The name “Tiberius” flashed red.
A door to the office opened and Chris Matthews entered the room, the light from the corridor behind him concealing his face. He took a look at the screen, pulled out a mobile phone and dialled a number. The call was answered before the second ring.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you so late into the evening, sir, but we’ve just received a Red Flash message. Tiberius has been located, departing from Heathrow to America.’
He listened to the brief response. ‘Yes, sir, I’ll notify D-section at once.’
Daniel sat in a window seat half way along the Economy section of the United British flight to Dulles International Airport. On his lap he held the zippered bag given to him by Alan Cuthberts. If what the old man had told him was true then, apart from the clothes he currently wore, the contents of the bag were his only belongings.
The false passport and counterfeit DNA Card had got him through airport security and to the rest of the world he was now John Smith.
He gripped the material of the bag in both hands, so tightly that his knuckles began to whiten. It was hard to believe that less than a day ago he’d been celebrating his sixteenth birthday with his parents, his foster parents if the professor was to be believed. The only concerns he had were the stupid childish problems of being bullied which, in comparison to his situation now, were almost laughable. He closed his eyes and forced himself to believe what was happening was real, and not some terrible nightmare.
‘Would you care for anything to drink?’ a woman’s voice asked, breaking him out of his thoughts.
He opened his eyes to see a stewardess with a trolley. ‘Oh, no thanks.’
‘Are you meeting your parents in Washington?’ she smiled.
Daniel looked at her and felt tears welling up in his eyes. ‘Yes,’ he managed to say before turning to face the window. He gazed out into the night sky and told himself that crying wouldn’t make things any better.
A saloon car screeched to a halt at the entrance to Brinkley House, its boot lid flipping open. Three men, all dressed in black combat clothes, hurried out of the building. Each of them put a large bag into the open boot, the last man slamming it shut. They climbed into the car and, with another screech of tyres, it sped off.
Miles Brennan sat in the front passenger seat and twisted around to face the man behind him. He was in his late forties, with short-cropped dark hair and a square chin. Experiences of a lifetime spent in the army were etched onto his face and gave his grey eyes a cold appearance. He activated a Tablet and its screen lit up, displaying Daniel’s image along with flight details.
‘Our target’s name is Daniel Henstock,’ he told the other men. His voice was tinged with a Scottish accent. ‘He’s sixteen years old, travelling under the alias of—’ he gave a brief derisory laugh ‘—get this, John Smith. His flight left Heathrow forty-five minutes ago, en route to Dulles International. We reach Northolt in …’ He turned to the driver for an answer.
‘Twenty-five, thirty minutes,’ the driver replied, his eyes never leaving the road.
‘We should reach Northolt in fifteen minutes,’ Brennan stated. ‘With any luck we’ll get to Washington before him.’
The driver cast a quick glance at Brennan and pushed down harder on the accelerator, weaving the car through the evening traffic.
‘Can’t we just get U.S. immigration to hold him?’ one of the men in the back asked.
‘And what do you suggest we say to them? That this sixteen-year-old boy poses a severe international threat? Get real. Look at him; a gust of wind would blow him over. It’s not our job to know why he’s wanted but Upstairs want as little publicity over this as possible, so that means not involving our American friends. We go in, snatch him and return him in one piece; standard Rendition protocols. Any questions?’
‘Yeah,’ the other man in the back asked. ‘Why’s Dave driving like a girl?’
Daniel stared out of the airplane window onto the silver-streaked tops of the clouds. It all looked so peaceful out there, so calm. Then a sudden thought came to him – what was he going to do once he got to America? Where would he go? There was a great deal of money in the bag, supposedly, but it wouldn’t last forever.
He hadn’t had the chance to have a look at the bag’s contents before getting to Heathrow, so perhaps now was a good time. He got out of his seat and made his way along the aisle to the nearest toilet. It was empty so he went into it and locked the door. Bright florescent light lit up the compartment.
Daniel lowered the toilet seat and put the bag onto it; just looking at it now made his heart quicken. He drew back the zip and opened up its sides. It was crammed full of bundles of money, all high denominations; dollars, euro, yen and sterling. There were others that he didn’t even recognise.
Daniel reached into the bag and started to empty the bundles out. He’d removed about a third of them when he discovered a side panel on the bag’s interior. He prised the Velcro fastening open and found, hidden inside, a digital earpiece unit attached to a DNA encoder pad. He pressed his thumb onto the pad and after his print had been scanned it flashed green. He put the unit into his ear.
‘Hello, Daniel,’ the professor’s voice spoke to him. ‘I’m hoping that you’ve discovered this before you land, wherever that may be. As I’m recording this you’re asleep upstairs in my house and I wish that you could be at peace like that all the time. The reality, I’m sad to say, is likely to be far from it.’
Daniel heard the sound of someone moving past the toilet door, and female voices talking to each other; two of the stewardesses.
He paused the recording until the sound of the voices moved away.
‘The one most vital piece of advice I can give you is this – trust no one,’ the professor’s voice continued. ‘Beneath all of the money in the bag, under a false bottom, is another passport and DNA Card. I want you to leave the ones that I gave you, will give to you I mean, under your seat or somewhere else where they won’t easily be found.’
Daniel began to empty the rest of the money from the bag.
‘It may be paranoia on my part but the original documents may have been compromised, and the men who killed Joshua and Elizabeth might already know where you are. Along with the new documents is a retinal lens case, use it as soon as you can; it’ll return a fake scan compatible with the DNA card, should anyone submit you to one. I’ve also included a fingertip laminator. Likewise, use that as soon as you can.’
Daniel emptied the bag and lifted up the false bottom. He pulled out an envelope with the new documents in, the plastic retinal lens case and a poly-ceramic laminator.
‘Be under no illusion, Daniel,’ the professor’s voice continued, ‘that these men will stop at nothing to return you to their labs. We must not let that happen. You must never try to contact me, whatever happens; it’d be far too dangerous. I shall pray that you are alive and well, and that you remain so for many years to come. My God it’s good to see you grown to be a man. I never thought I’d see that. Goodbye, Daniel, my boy, and good luck.’
Daniel took the earpiece unit out and put it into the garbage slot. His original false passport and DNA Card followed.
He froze at the sound of loud banging on the door. ‘Hey, are you gonna be in there all day?’ a man’s voice shouted. ‘Come on, buddy.’
‘Yeah,’ Daniel answered, his voice shaking. ‘I’ll be out in a minute. Just a little flight sick, you know?’
He put the new documents into his jacket pocket and opened up the retinal lens case. He held the open case up and forced himself to keep his eyes open as the tiny machine sprayed a thin polymer coating over them. It was over within a second but his eyes watered and for a few moments his vision was blurred.
He put the retinal case into the garbage slot then one at a time placed his fingers and thumbs into the laminator; his fingertips being coated with a thin film which was undetectable to the naked eye. The laminator went into the garbage as well.
He hurriedly returned the money to the bag, and pressed the toilet flush. He turned to the small mirror and hardly recognised the blue-eyed person staring back at him. It was amazing the difference the change in eye colour had made.
Daniel opened the cubicle door and stepped out into the aisle. A large sweaty man stood in front of him.
‘’Bout time, kid,’ the man said pushing past him into the cubicle. ‘Thought I was gonna pee myself.’
The dark shape of a small, sleek jet cut through the clear night sky and barely made a sound as it travelled at near super-sonic speed. The shape and construction of its wings and fuselage made it invisible to even the most advanced radar.
Brennan, along with his two men; Davis and Lithgow, sat in comfortable seats around a glass-topped table, a holographic image of the airport at Dulles between them.
‘We’ll land on this runway,’ Brennan said pointing at the display. He sunk his hand into the holograph and shifted its focus. ‘Enter the main Terminal building here and make our way through to immigration control. The target’s DNA Card will register as counterfeit and if the Americans follow standard procedure they’ll take him to one of the interrogation cells here.’ A section of the holograph pulsed red. ‘We’ll make our way through to this location,’ he pointed at the highlighted section, ‘and retrieve our man. Extraction will be through the reverse route. Any questions?’
The two other men shook their heads. Brennan pushed a button on the table top and the holograph disappeared.
‘Our target is due to land and be at immigration control by zero one thirty hours,’ Brennan pressed a finger to his earpiece. ‘What’s our current ETA at Dulles?’
There was a crackle as the pilot pressed his communicator. ‘Current anticipated landing time is zero two hundred hours, sir,’ the pilot replied, ‘at the earliest. There’s severe blue-jet lightning coming up from storms over the Atlantic. We have to re-route around them. Nothing we can do about it, I’m afraid.’
‘And I’m afraid that your arse’ll be on the line if you don’t get us there before zero one thirty.’
‘We’ll do our best, sir.’
Daniel clutched the bag as he waited in line at immigration control. There were about fifty or so people ahead of him and the wait only increased his worry. An argument at one of the booths between a French man and the officer held things up even more and did little to ease his anxiety.
Brennan’s jet taxied to halt, close to a waiting car. The jet’s hatch opened and Brennan, Davis and Lithgow stepped off the airplane; all three wearing uniforms of U.S. Immigration Officers.
They climbed into the car and it sped off toward the Terminal building.
The closer Daniel got to the front of the line the quicker his heart thumped in his chest, and the dryer his mouth became. At last it was his turn.
He stepped up to the empty booth and handed the officer his passport and DNA Card. The officer inspected the document and compared its holographic image to the boy standing in front of him then swiped the DNA Card through a digital reader. Fear gripped Daniel and panic almost took over. He glanced around; there were seven armed guards within eyesight. If he ran he wouldn’t make it twenty metres.
‘Sir, place your hands on the pad,’ the officer told Daniel, nodding at a white touch-screen.
Daniel placed the cloth bag on the floor and put his hands on the pad.
‘Spread your fingers wide and keep them pressed firmly onto the screen until I say otherwise.’
The pad scanned his hands, highlighting and then isolating the tips of his fingers.
Brennan swiped a card through an external reader and a door leading into a brightly lit corridor opened. He entered the Terminal building with barely a pause in his stride and headed towards immigration control, Davis and Lithgow a few steps behind.
Daniel stood with his hands on the touch-pad and felt like his heart was going to burst. The officer consulted his security screen; it still hadn’t confirmed Daniel’s identity. He frowned, swiped the DNA Card once more and tapped at his keypad. Still no confirmation.
‘Central, we may have a code forty-three violation at booth nine,’ the officer said into a communicator. He turned back to Daniel and unclipped the firearm at his hip. ‘Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remain where you are. Keep your hands on the pad and away from your body. Do not move. Do you understand me?’
Daniel felt bile rise in his throat. ‘Yes.’
The DNA Card was no good, or the laminator hadn’t worked. Whatever it was, something had gone wrong. He fought the urge to vomit. The officer at the booth waved at one of the security guards and Daniel turned to see the armed man walking towards him; his automatic rifle primed and ready for use.
The immigration officer’s console suddenly flashed green. The officer looked at the screen then turned to shake his head at the approaching guard. ‘Central, this is booth nine. Cancel my last report. Repeat, cancel my last report.’
The officer handed Daniel back the passport and DNA Card. ‘Thank you, sir. Apologies for the delay; it happens sometimes. I hope that you have a pleasant stay.’ He waved the next passenger forward.
Daniel forced a smile, picked up his bag and pocketed the documents. With trembling steps he made his way across the concourse and towards the main arrivals lounge.
Brennan and his men entered the immigration hall, and quickly scanned the queue of people waiting to go through passport control.
‘Can’t see him,’ Davis said.
‘He may have already gone through and been taken to the detention block,’ Brennan said. ‘Check their system.’
Davis approached a vacant terminal, swiped a security card and accessed the security system. He shook his head. ‘Nothing coming up.’
‘All right then,’ Brennan replied. ‘Both of you do a detailed check on the line. Let’s pick him up before he reaches the booths.’
The two men moved off and began to check the line passenger by passenger. Brennan went up to a security desk and flashed an identity card to the officer.
‘Hi there,’ Brennan said in an American accent. ‘Can you tell me if flight UB7034 from London Heathrow has been cleared yet?’
‘Sure, hold on a moment,’ the officer replied. She typed at a screen. ‘It landed forty-five minutes ago. It’s been swept and is ready for a three a.m. outbound.’
‘All the passengers off?’
‘Yeah. It’s a secure walkway from the plane to the building here. No report of any passenger still on board. You looking for someone specific?’
‘Nah,’ Brennan answered with a smile. ‘Just checking.’
He moved away from the desk and tapped his ear communicator. ‘Immigration confirms that the target’s departed the plane and is in the building.’
‘I’m near the end of the line,’ Lithgow replied. ‘He’s not here.’
‘He’s not here, sir.’
‘Copy that. The boy’s not here.’
Brennan spun around, scanning the hall for any sign of Daniel. ‘Then where the hell is he?’
Daniel closed the taxi door with a satisfying thud. He looked back through the window at the front of the airport. He’d only ever flown within the UK before, but this looked just like all the airports he had ever seen; cold, and made out of glass and metal.
‘Where to, buddy?’ the driver asked.
‘I’m … I’m not sure.’
‘Gotta take you somewhere, kid. You got no family or nothing?’
Daniel shook his head. ‘Take me to a hotel,’ he said. ‘A nice one, but not too close.’
The driver twisted in his seat and eyed him with suspicion.
‘I can pay,’ Daniel told him. He dipped into the bag and pulled out a five-hundred dollar bill.
The driver smiled and turned back around. ‘Yes, sir. One nice hotel coming right up.’
The taxi pulled away from the airport and Daniel relaxed into the soft fabric of the back seat.
For the first time in twenty-four hours he felt safe, but also knew that from this point on he was on his own.
‘Tiberius Found’ is his first novel published in paperback and ebook formats, and is the initial book of a three-part series: The Emperor Initiative, with the subsequent instalments to be released in 2014 and 2015. 2014 will also see the release of his first “Oliver Drummond” supernatural adventure novels set in the 1920s: ‘Oliver Drummond and the Four Horsemen’, which sees schoolboy Oliver ‘Bulldog’ Drummond pitting his wits against occult groups, ghosts, murderers and traitors who want to gain control over the horseshoes from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
He currently works in the Adult learning environment with the intention of becoming a full-time writer in the near future and lives in the UK with his Welsh Terrier, Ceiwyn.