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THE DESCENT FROM TRUTH
Alex Bryson is patrolling Rocky Mountain backcountry in his job as a security guard when he discovers a woman with a baby wandering alone in the snow far from the nearest road. He takes them to shelter in a weekender cabin and sees a newscast that suggests the woman, Pia Ulmer, kidnapped the baby from its rightful parents and that it is the sole heir of Peru’s wealthiest and most corrupt family. Pia claims that she is the baby’s mother, and Alex doesn’t know what to believe. After turning her in, he continues to struggle with his budding feelings for her and remains unsure of the true story. He becomes more and more involved until finally there is no turning back—lives are on the line. He helps Pia get free from a brutal world that values money over life, and together they devise a plan to reclaim the baby. Just when it looks like they might succeed, they discover an international conspiracy that changes the game entirely.
Lying on his back in the snow, looking up at the maneuvering helicopter, Alex refused to think about the next few moments, the inevitable end of his life. Instead, he kept his mind fixed on his victory. Pia and Frederick had reached shelter. They had a chance, slim but real, for freedom.
The roar of a ground-level engine distracted him as he tried to fix the swaying helicopter in his sights. He glanced toward the sound. Pia’s snowmobile raced across the snow toward him.
The rifleman in the helicopter had a clear field of fire at the snowmobile, yet he didn’t take the shot. Alex remembered the radioed caution against harming the doe or the fawn.
The speeding snowmobile hurtled directly at him. If he didn’t move and Pia did not turn, it would hit him. The same would happen if he rolled in the direction of her turn. Paralyzed by indecision, he braced for the impact.
At the last possible moment, she turned and cut the snowmobile’s power. It skidded sideways and came to rest pointing away from him. The engine’s high-pitched whine diminished to an idling purr.
“Climb on,” she screamed.
Alex latched onto the snowmobile’s safety rail. “Go, go!”
She gunned the engine, and his backpack, still looped to his other arm, almost jerked his shoulder from its socket. A rifle bullet chewed the snow next to him as he muscled himself aboard the accelerating vehicle, but no further shots were fired. Faust might be planning Frederick’s death, but he wanted to retrieve his “property,” as he apparently thought of Pia, in one piece.
The snowmobile careened amid the boulders and side-spun to a brief halt. Gunning the engine once more, Pia maneuvered under a lone evergreen clinging to soil at the base of a large rock. If the hovering helicopter dropped low enough for the rifleman to see under the tree, neighboring boulders would block his view. Pia cut the ignition and held Alex with a strength that reminded him of the power packed into her petite frame.
Frederick started crying, and she seemed to come unfrozen. She pushed away from Alex and cuddled the baby. “Are you okay?” she asked, glancing back at Alex.
“I’m fine.” She had blown a chance to escape, had put herself and Frederick at additional risk, to save him. He had neither the words nor the leisure to express his feelings. “I’m fine,” he said again, and focused on their tactical problem.
Working with traveling carnivals and itinerant farm labor gangs during his teen and early adult years took Gaylon Greer up, down, and across the U.S. and introduced him to a plethora of colorful individuals who serve as models for his fictional characters. After several years as an Air Force officer and then a university professor with a Ph.D. in economics, Greer developed an interest in writing fiction and attended workshops at the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska, and Bryn-Mawr College. He also studied with the U.C. Davis Extension program and the Algonquian Writers Group. His most recent novel, THE DESCENT FROM TRUTH is available at www.Amazon.com and other e-book retailers. Please visit Greer at www.GaylonGreer.com