This is a work of fiction.

All of the characters, organizations, and events
portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously.
Copyright © 2012 by Thomas M. Kostigen
All rights reserved.
A Forge Book
Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Forge® is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kostigen, Thomas.
Golden dawn / Thomas M. Kostigen.—1st ed.
p. cm.
“A Tom Doherty Associates book.”
ISBN 978-0-7653-2933-2 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-4299-4319-2 (e-book)
1. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—Fiction. 2. Prophecies—
Fiction. 3. Nuclear terrorism—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3611.O74924G65 2012
First Edition: October 2012
Printed in the United States of America











The voice was as scratchy as the static on the telephone line
that connected them across continents.
“I never make a mistake. I know it is him; your uncle. He’s working
for us now.” The voice was rushed. The information came in staccatolike bursts.
British News’s star foreign correspondent Michael Shea gripped the
phone in his hand tight and pressed it hard against his ear. The noise of
the London newsroom that usually reminded him of why he liked to report from the field was lost, shut out. He was focused on the words coming through the phone. Shea was consumed by the possibility that for
once he might be able to catch his uncle, Sean O’Shaughnessy, in the
act, the act of terrorism.
“My uncle is in Chechnya?” Shea asked quickly, fearful the line
would go dead.
He needed a location. He began to write things down. He’d get there,
wherever his uncle was.

• 15 •


“Dac, no. He’s in Iran. A meeting is set. I have the details. I can tell
you . . .”


He was standing across the road. In plain sight. Seemingly
unarmed. An easy target. After more than a decade and through the
dozen countries he had been chased, Shea’s uncle now stood within a
stone’s throw.
His informant had been right. “Lake Urmia. Northern Iran. Just over
the Turkish border.”
Shea had sneaked into the country easily.
His uncle was standing next to one of the more powerful Chechen
rebels, the commander, it was reported, who was directly responsible for
the infamous Moscow subway bombings.
It was no secret within certain underground circles that Iran was
supplying Chechen rebels with arms and training. But why remained
something of a mystery. Moscow had been a staunch ally of Tehran in
the face of international criticism over Iran’s nuclear power program.
And as the world knew, Russians and Chechens were enemies.
Shea snapped another photograph of the Chechen commander,
Alu Abramov, standing next to his uncle. It was difficult to see much of
the Chechen’s skin. He had a full beard that curled down to his chest.
His dark hair covered much of his forehead, too, touching down to
meet his unibrow, and fell below his shoulders. His eyes looked black.
The fur on his hooded parka blended in so much that Shea had to fo-

• 16 •


cus his lens on Abramov’s flat nose to find anything remotely lightcolored on the Chechen’s face.
He pressed the shutter on his Canon PowerShot SX20 that he had
switched off auto mode to make sure he got the shot. Click, the face.
Click, Alu shaking hands with his uncle. Click, his uncle.
He and his uncle looked frighteningly alike, despite the twenty-year
age difference. Shea, thirty-three, his uncle fifty-three years of age. They
both had dark brown wavy hair. They both were six feet tall and about
the same weight: one hundred eighty-five pounds. Solid. Muscular. Their
strength also resided in their chiseled cheekbones, and their eyes. Their
eyes were deep-set and smoky. They were tools that could stare a man
down with a flash, or, with a twinkle, catch a woman’s fancy.
Shea zoomed in on his uncle’s. He tried to gauge them. Chariots to
the soul, he thought.
His uncle’s eyes were searching.


Shea often wondered how two people who physically looked
so alike could see the world so differently: Shea, a prominent correspondent for the leading British news service, and his uncle Sean, one of the
most famous terrorists alive. One trying to enlighten the world, the
other trying to light it afire.
He zoomed the lens back out and took another wide shot with his
camera. Click—nothing but black. Shea took the camera away from
his face to see what had blocked his view.

• 17 •


A twenty-four-vehicle motorcade had arrived in front of the singlestory brownish stucco building that looked as if it dated back to the
Ottoman Empire. Shea’s uncle and Abramov were standing in front of
it, and a motorcade had pulled up. The black cars waving the Iranian
flag and the black sunglasses of the security team that jumped out were
giant clues to who had just arrived.
The Iranian president’s arrival was unexpected and just landed Shea
the biggest story of his career. It also put him at unexpected and extreme risk.
Shea began to rub the back of his neck.


“Down!” Shea barked, slumping in his seat. Munjed, his cameraman, was seated next to him on the driver’s side. Shea pressed on Munjed’s shoulder, urging him to quickly duck low.
He and Munjed had been almost inseparable for the past three years,
coworkers and best friends. An unlikely pairing—Munjed being a short,
fat, and disheveled Palestinian whereas Shea was obsessively neat and
well dressed—they covered each other’s butts. They had saved each
other’s lives too many times to count—one cautioning when the other
became careless. In the Middle East, danger, like a desert wind, was
sudden. And it often took more than one set of senses to feel it, see it, or
hear it.
Munjed did what he was told and crouched lower in his seat. “Wow,
is that who I think it is?” he asked.
“ ’Tis. The president of Iran. In the flesh.”
• 18 •


Munjed whistled softly. “And here during Ramadan when he is
supposed to be at home with his family praying. Tsk-tsk. What a bad
“I hear he is really a secret Jew,” Shea quipped.
Munjed laughed. “Don’t let him hear you say that.”
Shea thought, If he could hear me I’d say something much more offensive. Perhaps I’d ask him if he’s ever visited a concentration camp.
Shea’s mind sometimes wandered like this. He’d have entire conversations in his head.
Shea angled his camera lens so he could see across the street. The
battered old Mercedes he and Munjed were in was parked no more
than fifty yards away from the motorcade on the roadside. The Iranian
president had stepped out of the back of his car and was standing on the
Shea and Munjed were vulnerable where they had parked. They
had picked a location appropriate to spy on a clandestine meeting between two terrorists, not one that would hide them from a presidential
security detail. And if they were found, they were as good as dead.
Munjed decided that he just couldn’t sit there without filming. Shea
apparently was thinking the same thing. “Too bad we aren’t getting
this,” he said to Munjed, lightly masking his request.
“You got it, boss. Let’s show the world.” This was something Munjed said whenever he and Shea uncovered a big story. And this was no
doubt the biggest story they had ever uncovered: the president of the
Iranian Republic clandestinely meeting with two very dangerous international villains. The world would demand to know why.
Shea had in mind a different demand: retribution.

• 19 •


Munjed sat up, turned, and reached to the backseat for his
camera. It was over before his fingers made contact. Bullets sprayed the
inside of the Mercedes. They ripped Munjed’s chest wide open, and
his guts began to spill onto the floor. Shea froze, but only for an instant.
He reached over for Munjed and yet another bullet spray landed. He
slumped back down in his seat and looked at the man who was the
closest thing to family he had in the world. “Munjed!” Shea reached
for his friend. He knew it was too late. Munjed was dead and gone. His
eyes were wide open in the death stare. Another short burst of gunfire
hit the windshield and forced Shea to scramble out of the car. He would
have to leave Munjed behind. Now he had to save his own life.
Shea stayed low and out of sight as he ducked out of the passenger’s
side of the Mercedes. They had parked next to a brick wall and Shea’s
choices of escape were limited. There was nowhere to run in front of
him—the presidential security detail had parked one of its black SUVs
ahead and agents were scrambling out. But behind him he had noticed
an alleyway. He slinked along the ground to the rear of the car to get a
better view. When he peeked his head up over the trunk to gauge just
how far away the alley was, an elbow caught him in the face. A left
hook then crushed his temple, and he stumbled onto one knee. The
blows, though, weren’t hard enough to put him down, and he steadied
himself as he stood. Facing him was an agent of the Iranian Secret
Ser vice, the agency known as SAVAMA. The agent was dressed in the
secret agent uniform of dark suit and sunglasses. The agent paused,
• 20 •


and this was his first and last mistake—not continuing the assault on
In a flash, Shea pushed off his back foot, lowered his hips, and landed
a front kick to the agent’s groin. He then landed a brutal punch to the
man’s skull. A left knee to the face sent the agent to the ground.
Shea knew how to fight. As a brawler growing up on the mean streets
of Belfast to the many war zones he covered as a foreign correspondent
to the Krav Maga studio where he learned the technical aspects of that
brutal Israeli form of self-defense, he was well schooled in close combat.
Shea also knew when it was time to run. And that time was now.
He spotted the alley’s entrance and sprinted for it.


Go! Go! Go! Run, Michael. But don’t look back. Don’t look.
Just run.
Shea turned his head to see if he was being chased. He met those
searching eyes.
Idiot! He chastised himself. He snapped his look away.
Three SAVAMA agents, now in V-formation, were running after
him. Shea focused. He figured he had ten seconds to get lost.
He made it to the alley in five seconds flat. A staircase was just a few
feet to his right, and he made his way up two steps at a time.
From his perch on the rooftop, Shea, breathless, could see down to
the road and the alley’s entrance. They would be coming. It would be
just a matter of seconds before he was found. There was only one way
to escape.
• 21 •


Don’t think. Just do it!
Shea stood at the roof’s edge on the opposite side from the stairs.
Do it. Do it now!
He jumped.
Midflight, he ignored his own advice again and thought about what
he had just done. Words didn’t come this time, only fright. He crashed
onto a corrugated-steel overhang below and crashed again onto the
ground. Nothing broken, just bruised; he stood and brushed himself
off. When he looked up, a SAVAMA agent was looking down at him
from the rooftop. It was a brief stare, not more than a second, but it sent
a chill down Shea’s spine. Darkness. Then the agent was gone.
Shea had landed in yet another alleyway. These old villages and
towns were full of them, and some dated back to 2000 B.C.
Nice going, Michael. You jumped straight into the cradle of civilization and you don’t know your way out.
The place he was in looked as if it hadn’t changed in centuries. It
was all dim, dank alleyways that stretched thirty or more feet high.
Shea sprinted as far as the alley would take him. He ducked right
where the alley came to a T. This is what he needed—choices. The more
choices there were the better possibilities he had for losing his pursuers.
Left. Go left. Jesus, you’re like a rat caught in a maze. Run, you fuck,
He ran for several hundred feet. Then the alley came to a dead end.
He heard running feet behind him. The SAVAMA agents would close
in on him at any moment.
He couldn’t go back the way he came. Shea’s escape route was limited to finding an open door. Having spent a significant period of time
in the Middle East, Shea knew that apartments lay beyond those doors.
And usually the homes built into the walls of ancient cities had doors
on both sides. If he could get into a home from this side of the wall he
could get out the other side.
• 22 •


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