THE EIGHTH TRUMPETBy Jon Land
“GATE, THIS IS CENTRAL.
Convoy is approaching.”“Roger that, Central. I can see their headlights.”At the central monitoring station in the mansion’s front foyer, Nelson leanedcloser to one of the three screens that provided a complete view of Ridgepoint Circle, theonly access road to the Lime estate. He could see the limousine clearly now, squeezed between a pair of trailing cars and single leading one. His earpiece filled with the heavy
of a helicopter an instant before a new voice came over it.“Central, this is Sky Chief. All clear to the rear.”“Roger that.”“That you, Nellie? What’s up, pulling a double shift?”“Other guy called in sick. Just call me lucky.”“I’ll think of you when I’m home and warm.” Nelson sneered, and his eyes turned to the view from the front gate camera, whichwas just now picking up the limousine’s approach. Under close observation from thechopper, the convoy’s journey from midtown Manhattan into the wooded heart of northern Greenwich, Connecticut had proved uneventful. Nelson had planned to be homein bed himself by now until orders came down assigning him to spend the night with a bank of twenty closed-circuit monitoring screens.One thing about high-tech security, Nelson reckoned, after watching a pair of armed guards usher Jordan Lime through the foyer and up the spiral staircase, was that ittotally removed anything even remotely resembling privacy. Hell, three of the twentyscreens before him broadcast views of the man’s bedroom. The billionaire couldn’t eventake a shit without being eyeballed the whole way.Of the remaining cameras, four provided pictures of other areas within themansion while ten tirelessly watched the grounds beyond. In addition to the standardlens, each of the cameras was equipped with an infrared optic nerve that received signalsfrom transmitters worn by the dozen guards who patrolled at all times. That way, if anintruder managed to somehow bypass the eight-foot-high electrified fence that enclosedthe estate, the camera would trigger an alarm and proceed to follow his path,automatically passing him on to the next camera when the grid changed. There was noroom for human error. Amazing what $25,000 a day could buy you. Nelson sat before the monitoring board and watched Jordan Lime make his wayto his third-floor bedroom. Two guards followed close behind. The stairway camera hadgiven way to the one mounted on the corridor, and Nelson focused on another pair of