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An Excerpt of a Novel by Thomas A. Taylor
Other books by Thomas A. Taylor Fiction Mortal Shield Armored Men Tiger’s Heart Last Came Anarchy Nonfiction Dodging Bullets – A Strategic Guide to World-Class Protection Just 2 Seconds – Using Time & Space to Defeat Assassins
Praise for Chance Governs All: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, bestselling author of On Killing and On Combat: Tom Taylor’s books just keep getting better and better. The characters have developed into fully formed individuals that we know and honor. The plots are unique and diverse, and the writing is superb. These are the best bodyguard novels ever written! Spencer Coursen, Coursen Security Group: This is Tom Taylor’s greatest work to date. Chance Governs All puts you in the room with the protectors as they make the real world decisions keeping our leaders safe. “Preparing Today for a Safer Tomorrow” isn’t a motto; it’s an ethos, a mindset, and an intrinsic quality captured so well in Taylor’s portrayal of an advance operation. This is a must read for the professional protector and for those who hear the call. This is as real as it gets. Hans van Beuge, CEO of Savior Protective Services, Australia: Mark Twain stated that truth is stranger than fiction. When it comes to Tom Taylor’s novels, truth and fiction symbiotically exist to create explosive, hardcore action. In his latest fast paced novel Chance Governs All, Taylor has matched the Missouri Governor’s Security Detail up against seemingly insurmountable odds. Will their training, planning, preparation and dedication enable them to prevail? Read it and get entertained and informed simultaneously. John Giduck, J.D., Ph.D., President, Archangel Group, Ltd: Tom Taylor, with his lifetime of close protection experience and harrowing adventures, has done it again. Chance Governs All not only offers a gripping glimpse into the world of elite bodyguards, but could be used as a training manual for anyone looking to enter the profession. John Rose, Holston International Training & Consulting (HITAC): Once again, Tom Taylor takes the reader into the mind of the professional protector as only a talented novelist and
experienced protector can do. The realism, tactical accuracy, and non-stop action in Chance Governs All will leave you wanting more. Dr. James P. McGee, Director of Psychology and Forensic Services Sheppard Pratt Hospital (1983 – 2002): Chance Governs All is as authentic as a reality show about elite protective services. The action, which takes place in Glacier National Park, is definitely no walk in the park. This is another great yarn by Tom Taylor about the real world of the professional bodyguards. Elijah Shaw, National Director of the North American Bodyguard Association: As a full time Protector who’s also an avid reader, I have a special appreciation for Tom Taylor and the books he writes. I enjoy the fact that as a writer he presents The Craft as realistic but also engaging. The characters act and speak as we do in the real word, a combination of necessary seriousness, but with an understanding that humor is also a component to combat burnout. Story wise, the setting is a unique one and the main character is one I would be more than happy serving on a protective detail with. In short, a great read.
CHANCE GOVERNS ALL
A Novel by Thomas A. Taylor
CHANCE GOVERNS ALL A novel by Thomas A. Taylor Copyright: Thomas A. Taylor First published in 2013 in the United States of America ISBN: 5800094092593 Cover design by Thomas A. Taylor Cover Photo: Hidden Lake at Glacier National Park, Montana CHANCE GOVERNS ALL is a work of fiction. Other than the occasional use of historical public figures, events, and quotations of historical record, the characters, events, and dialog herein are fictional and are not intended to represent, refer to, or disparage any known person or entity, living or dead.
DEDICATION To the public figure protectors at Gavin de Becker and Associates, the National Governor’s Security Association, and the Missouri Highway Patrol Governor’s Security Division. World-class protectors all.
AUTHOR’S NOTE In this story, the reader will be taken along with a high-level protective detail on a wilderness journey. How do protective details plan these trips? What are the concerns? What measures are taken to ensure the protectee’s safety? This story and the answers to those questions are not conjecture on my part. I have taken many public figures on such trips. This story is based on true experiences in those situations. I have taken principals on multiple trips into Yosemite National Park in California, Mount Ranier in the State of Washington, and -- as in this story -- to Glacier National Park in Montana. In Glacier, I have taken principals to Hidden Lake, as well as other locations in the park. These kinds of protective details present unique problems for protectors. Instead of being concerned about the protectee being hit by a taxi while crossing the street in New York City, or being chased by paparazzi in Los Angeles, or followed by a stalker in Chicago, now the detail has to concern itself with such things as rockslides, exhaustion, altitude sickness, becoming lost, or being attacked by a wild animal. A special note of thanks goes to my friend and colleague, PMC. He runs a large and highly secretive protective detail for one of the most interesting, active, and wealthy CEOs in the world. This CEO typically travels three weeks each month to locations all over the planet, and the detail must advance every stop. Many trips include visits to wilderness areas,
such as the one portrayed in this book, and PMC is an expert in these situations. He took time out of his busy schedule to review the book, and provided amazing feedback on every situation. His critical eye for detail and tactical expertise greatly improved my work. Thanks also to the unnamed professionals who provided ideas and feedback on the book. If even one protective operation for a public figure gets better because of this story, then it was all worth the effort. None of the public figures in this story are meant to portray any VIPs that I’ve protected in my career. The equipment and tactics are all real. I have not included certain protective operational secrets that are considered confidential or would endanger any specific public figure. Nothing I have written here will reveal anything terrorists don’t already know.
FOREWARD BY ED HINMAN Director – Recruitment, Selection, and Training at Gavin de Becker & Associates On March 30th 1981, Tim McCarthy, a thirty-one year old Secret Service agent and former college football player, is standing in his tailored suit outside the Washington, D.C. Hilton under a late winter sky. As his protectee -- codenamed “Rawhide” -- exits the VIP entrance and waves to the small crowd gathered across the street, he eyes the limo door McCarthy is holding open just five feet away... Crack. Crack. In less than a second, McCarthy swings 180 degrees towards the cracking sound and squares up his large frame, spreading his arms wide like a middle linebacker. Just as fast, another agent shoves Rawhide behind McCarthy’s human shield and head first into the open limo door. Rawhide, hit by a ricochet bullet, is rushed to the hospital as McCarthy coils on the concrete with gritted teeth and hands pressed against the bloody hole in his chest. Six years later, Rawhide will stand tall before a cheering Berlin crowd at Brandenburg Gate and burst through history’s door with this Cold War ending thunderclap: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” By stopping an assassin’s bullet with his own body, McCarthy took a rare leap from the unseen margins of written history and onto the front page; consequently, he is remembered, as he should be, for his heroism. Another hero that day, one who never hit the front page, is Special Agent Mary Ann Gordon, the presidential detail’s motorcade advance agent.
Earlier that day, Gordon drove the route from the Hilton to George Washington Hospital to ensure, if there was an emergency, she knew every turn and obstacle along the way. She knew the odds of an attack were extremely unlikely, yet she still took the necessary effort to advance the route. In the aftermath of the attack, the GW medical team confirmed that Rawhide made it to the hospital just in the nick of time. Without Agent Gordon’s advance, however -- without her extra effort and attention to detail -- history may never have recorded “Tear down this wall.” To be a superior protector, one must not only possess the courage of Tim McCarthy, but also the preparation of Mary Ann Gordon. Both their actions – McCarthy leaping into the line of fire and Gordon advancing the hospital route -- helped prevent a would-be assassin from tearing out a chapter of history and forever rewriting the story. In Chance Governs All, Tom Taylor rescues advance work (i.e. preparations made before a security detail) from the footnotes of history and places it squarely into historic relevance. Like Mary Ann Gordon, Tom Taylor knows the power of a good advance and that cutting corners can have fatal consequences. What a protector does today, Taylor contends, will save his protectee tomorrow. As you will read, Taylor’s protagonist is Lieutenant Kacey Underwood, a no-nonsense Missouri State Trooper and leader of the governor’s elite protective security detail, whose advance work in the mountains of Montana will determine whether her visiting governor returns to Missouri in a private jet or a steel
coffin. As the book unfolds, Lieutenant Underwood becomes a chameleon along Montana’s barren highways and high altitude peaks, communicating easily with everyone from ex-military state troopers to the first lady of Missouri. Through her verbal judo, sexy charm, and off-color humor, Underwood wins over influential friends and gains enough access and intelligence to tip her detail’s chances of survival in this play-for-keeps world where Chance Governs All. Throughout Taylor’s high-mountain adventure, advance work gains as much lifesaving relevance as a bullet proof vest. And Lieutenant Underwood’s fanatical preparation clarifies why history should remember not just the protectors who take a bullet, but those who are critical in ensuring that the bullet never hits its mark, or even better, never leaves the chamber.
MAP LEGEND: 1. Logan Pass Visitor’s Center 2. Hidden Lake Overlook 3. Large Pond
He rules a moment: Chaos umpire sits, And by decision more embroils the fray By which he reigns: next him, high arbiter, Chance governs all. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II, 1674 War is the province of chance. In no other sphere of human activity has such a margin to be left for this intruder, because none is in such constant contact with it on every side. It increases the uncertainty of every circumstance and deranges the course of events ... Thus together with chance, the accidental and, with it, good luck, play a great part in war. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, 1832 Our lives are immersed in a sea of chance. Everyone’s existence is a meeting point of a multitude of accidents. The origin of the word “chance” is usually traced back to the vulgar Latin word “cadentia”, meaning a befalling by fortuitous circumstances, with no knowable or determinable causes. J. P. Marques de Sa, Chance – The Life of Games & The Game of Life, 2006
Chapter 1 In planning, never a useless move; in strategy, no step taken in vain. Ch’en Hao, early commentator on Sun Tzu’s The Art of War June 16, 0935 hours State Capitol Building Office of the Governor Jefferson City, Missouri Lieutenant Kacey Underwood walked out of the conference room with a copy of Governor Stovall’s most recent block calendar in her hand. On post in the hallway outside, Trooper Craig Severson stood from his chair and dropped a half empty cup of coffee in the trash. Underwood’s calendar was covered with scribbled notes she had taken during the meeting. She stopped for a moment and studied her notes, considering the particular talents of the officers in the Governor’s Security Division (GSD), other commitments on the upcoming schedule, and each officer’s accumulated overtime. Governor William Ulysses Stovall, codenamed Ringmaster, walked out of the room with chief of staff Bradley Naylor. Without a word, they strode past Underwood and headed down the hallway toward the governor’s official office. “Ringmaster is moving to Octagon,” Trooper
Severson muttered into his wrist mike, as he followed them down the hallway. “Copy,” responded Trooper Blake Henderson. “Octagon is secure.” Scheduler Nancy Jones stopped next to Underwood. “I should have everything updated by lunch. At least he finally committed to attending the DGA conference. I’ll get the ball rolling with hotel rooms. How many will you guys need?” “I’m thinking two,” Underwood responded. “Get them for two nights prior to the governor’s arrival. “Will do. Let me know if I can book anything else.” Jones headed toward her office. “Thanks, Nancy,” Underwood called after her. She keyed her wrist mike, “Underwood to Vanhala.” Sergeant Marko Maximus Vanhala’s deep voice sounded in her earpiece. “Just pulling into Watchtower.” It was their codename for the Governor’s Mansion. “I’ll call you there.” Since the meeting room was now empty, Underwood stepped back inside and closed the door. She lifted the phone and dialed the security number for their 24-hour command center located in the bottom floor of the Mansion. “Governor’s Mansion, Officer Bullock.” “Hey, Jim, it’s Kacey. Put ‘The Viking’ on.” Several seconds later, Vanhala came on the line. “I take it the weekly schedule meeting just ended.” “Yeah, grab the upcoming schedule.”
“Got it here.” Underwood looked at her notes. “Most of the additions we already have covered, but it looks like the Boss and FL will be attending that DGA conference in Montana on July 22 and 23.” The Democratic Governors’ Association, headquartered in Washington, DC, was one of four governors’ associations to which Missouri belonged. The other groups included the National Governors’, the Southern Governors’, and the Midwest Governors’ Associations. All groups held meetings throughout the year. First Lady (FL) Patricia Stovall’s codename was Rosebush, but the detail members often just referred to her as “FL”. “I thought he wasn’t going to that.” “Me, too, but then he hasn’t missed one yet, so we should have guessed he’d change his mind. I talked him into taking Crossbow, rather than flying commercial.” Crossbow was the codename for the governor’s state-owned Cessna Citation executive jet. “Nice! It would take at least two commercial flights to get there from here. Much easier to fly out direct on a private plane. Where’s the conference?” “Whitefish. Outside Glacier National Park. He’ll fly into the Kalispell Airport on the 21st. Looks like most of the activities are outside the park.” Vanhala scratched his head. “Why there, I wonder?” “Their governor is a big outdoorsman and he wanted to show off the park. I guess Helena and Billings are a little too low key for wining and dining a bunch of governors. I’ll give the detail leader over
there a call and see what kind of support they’ll give us. I know the Montana Highway Patrol is a really small agency. Something like two hundred troopers.” “Geez. So, who should I assign?” As assistant GSD director, Vanhala was in charge of making out the division’s monthly schedule of assignments. “I was thinking Davenport and Sawyer on advance.” “Davenport’s assigned to train the new recruit class out at the EVOC track on those dates.” Sergeant Bobby Davenport was one of the top pursuit driving instructors on the Patrol. He helped the Training Academy put new troopers through the training at the Patrol’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC), located a few miles outside Jefferson City. “The Academy will have fits if we pull him out. “What about Wiedemann?” Underwood thought it over. “The Boss mentioned they want to do some hiking in the park. Wiedemann’s still on light duty from his injury. He’s not up to a ten mile hike in the mountains.” Wiedemann had been seriously injured when a 19year-old man had attempted to kill the governor two months before. Vanhala scanned the tentative schedule. “Henderson will just be getting back from Secret Service training in DC. Severson has asked for that weekend off. Looks like you and I were going to have to work those dates anyway. How about I do the advance with Sawyer and you come out with the Boss on Crossbow?” As was often the case, both officers knew the schedule usually made out itself.
Underwood smiled at the vision of Vanhala’s 6’6” frame jammed into the seat of a commercial regional jet for five agonizing hours. “I have a better idea. I’ll fly out with Sawyer, I’ll let him handle most of the advance. He’s never advanced a big conference before. You and Mister Big can stretch out in Crossbow on the flight out.” Marko gave a grateful smile. “I can live with that. My kneecaps are in your debt. So, I’ll block you guys off for one travel day the 19th to get there, one full day of advance on the 20th, we’ll probably arrive on the afternoon of the 21st, two days for the conference, then everyone goes home, when?” “The Boss said they’d like to play in the park all day the 24th and fly home that evening, so Eric and I will fly home on the 25th. I’ll get our flights booked and have Nancy hold our rooms an extra night.” “Got it,” Vanhala said, penciling in the notes on his schedule. “What else?” “Have Eric start putting together our gear. I want the three of us to each have water purification tablets, chem lights, a magnesium fire starter, compass, and any kind of special wilderness gear we’ll need for a day hike.” “‘Two is one, one is none,’ as they say in the military.” “We won’t be overnighting anywhere so we won’t need camping gear. We should each have a small trauma kit with IBDs, TraumaDex, meds, anything we’d need for a nasty fall or twisted ankle, SAM splint, cold packs, you know. Sunscreen and bug repellant. Bring the FAT kit out on the plane with
you. We’ll leave it in his assigned vehicle, but I want a smaller version to carry with us on the hikes.” Ringmaster always traveled with a First Aid Trauma (FAT) kit about the size of a small suitcase. It contained a small oxygen tank, an automatic external defibrillator, and enough medical supplies to do minor surgery in the field. “There’s an extra 5.11 day pack in the supply cabinet. We can pack a lot of it in that.” “Guns?” Underwood thought about it. “We’ll fly out with our Glocks and knives. You can bring our pepper spray and an MP-7 on the jet.” GSD had two H&K MP-7 submachine pistols in their inventory. They were normally carried concealed in 5.11 Select Carry Sling Packs, along with extra ammo, flashlight, flex cuffs, a med kit, water bottles, extra batteries, power bars, and anything else they could stuff into them. “I’ll have Eric pick up what we need at Target or Walmart, and put it on his expense account. I’ll walk it through Finance.” Underwood nodded. “Sounds good. Once we get up in the park, I’m not sure about comms. Our cell phones may not work. I’ll take our new SPOT tracker and send a message each time the Boss changes location.” SPOT Messenger was a GPS-satellite system that enabled them to send their exact location to their command center or GEOS International 9-1-1 Emergency Response Center, and request emergency assistance. The device resembled a small orange walkie-talkie. “Surely the Montana guys will have some good commo gear that works up there.”
Underwood nodded. “I’ll check when I call them later today.”
Chapter 2 Great events hang by a thread. The able man turns everything to profit, neglects nothing that may give him one chance more; the man of less ability, by overlooking just one thing, spoils the whole. Napoleon Bonaparte, 25 September 1797, quoted in R.M Johnston, ed., The Corsican, 1910 June 16, 1112 hours Governor’s Mansion Jefferson City, Missouri Kacey Underwood sat down in the command center breakroom with a notepad and the roster of the National Governors’ Security Association (NGSA). The nation’s governors were protected by nearly 700 state troopers assigned from each state’s highway patrol or state police agency. It was an elite and closely-knit group. Due to frequent turnovers in personnel, the NGSA roster was updated twice each year. She flipped over to the listing for the Montana Governor’s Security detail within the Montana Highway Patrol, and selected the direct security number in Helena. The line rang twice before it was answered by a male voice with a slight cowboy twang. “Security, Officer Kline.” “Alan, it’s Kacey Underwood in Missouri.”
“Ah, Kacey. I was expecting your call. We’ve heard from most of the other governors coming to the conference. Tell me you guys are gonna be here.” “Wouldn’t miss it for anything. I haven’t been chased by any grizzlies lately.” “No problem there. I heard the park rangers shot a female grizzly with rubber bullets yesterday on the parking lot at Logan Pass. She was trying to eat a car full of Japanese tourists. She ran off with a very nasty look on her face.” Underwood got a cold chill at the vision. Maybe they would take both MP-7s. “Thanks for sharing that story, Alan. I won’t be able to sleep tonight.” Kline laughed. “You guys will love it. You can get out of that suit and enjoy the great outdoors for a few days.” “Well, the Boss is all excited. We don’t let him out much. What’s the set-up for security?” “You’ll have a state trooper for a driver and a new Chevrolet Suburban for transport. Kalispell and Whitefish didn’t have enough, so some troopers are picking up a new one at the dealership here. Are you guys renting something, as well?” “Yeah, I’ll call for a rental at the airport after we talk. We’ll try for an SUV, if they have any left. Use it for follow-up or advance duties.” Kline nodded. “I’ve already alerted them to hold some SUVs out for us. Call Hertz at the airport and ask for Michael. He’ll fix you up.” Underwood made a note. “Where’s the conference?”
“We’re taking over a four-star resort in Whitefish for the conference. The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. It’s about the highest rated in the area. My governor likes to rough it in the old lodges inside the park. He wanted to use the Lake McDonald Lodge, but DGA flew in, took one look, and said ‘no way’. The rooms are tiny, rough cabins with no cell service, and only WiFi in the lobby. I love the old lodges in the park, but that would have been a disaster for this group. The Whitefish location has anything you want. Most attendees will stay there and most of the meetings and events will be on the property. That place books full months ahead, but the governor quietly blocked off that weekend several months ago, planning to host a DGA conference there. The only folks there should be governors, their families, security, staff, and some attendees. Any press that show up will have to stay at another hotel. Is your guy coming in commercial or private?” “He’ll arrive on the state jet on the 21st. Eric and I will come by commercial flight on the 19th. Do you guys have a head count yet on how many governors are coming?” Kline referred to his attendee list. “There are twenty-one Democratic governors in the U.S. and its territories. Looks like the nine governors definitely coming are: Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Maryland. Six say they ‘might attend’: Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, and California. And six say they definitely won’t come: Hawaii, New York, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Delaware, and Massachusetts.”
“You can scratch California. He won’t come. And Connecticut probably won’t come either. We’ve done all the DGA events and I’ve never seen them attend. You’ll be doing good to get half of them there.” Missouri had hosted several governors’ conferences over the years and Underwood knew how much work was involved. Kline only had a month to get everything nailed down. Kline grunted. “That’ll work out better for us. It’ll free up some officers for other duties. We’re stretched pretty thin on warm bodies.” “You’ve got your best trooper reserved to work our detail, don’t you, my good friend from Montana?” Underwood asked in a sultry voice. “Right now, I’ve got a young handsome trooper, who has relatives in Missouri. We thought he’d be a good match for you guys. He’s a sharp kid, but tell me what you need.” Underwood thought about it. “I have a governor and First Lady who want to go hiking in the deep mountains of Glacier National Park, and take close-up pictures with mountain goats and grizzlies. Eric Sawyer is one of my team coming out for the advance. He’s a former scout-sniper with the Marines, and hunts and goes camping all the time. As for me, I once passed out from a mosquito bite. You know Marko Vanhala. He’s from Finland and can survive in a snow drift for a month with no food or water, but I don’t think he’s ever been to the park.” “Got it. You need a real mountain man. Eats bark and shits toothpicks. Well, in that case, scratch the kid. I’ll assign Trooper Nick Hardee to you.”
“Oh, Nick Hardee, good name for a mountain man. I like him already.” “Nick is a former Army Ranger. Did multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he got out of the military, he was a park ranger in Glacier for four years before he got on the Patrol. He knows the park inside and out.” “Yes, yes, we like Nick very much.” “I’ll email his cell phone number to you. You guys can start chatting. Whatever you need, he’ll make it happen.” “Tell me about comms in the park.” Kline chuckled. “You’ll have service around the airport and in Kalispell and Whitefish. Once you enter the park, it really starts to drop off. When you go hiking, don’t expect any service around Logan Pass or anywhere in the deep woods.” “What would you recommend? Send up a smoke signal for help? I thought the only people still using smoke signals was the Vatican, when they pick a new Pope.” “I’ll make sure Nick has a state-of-the-art Irridium satellite phone and wilderness Garmin GPS. We don’t want our good friends from Missouri getting lost out here.” “You’re the best, Alan.” “It’s your Homeland Security dollars at work, Kacey. Might as well get some use out of it.” “Any other words of wisdom before I let you go?”
“Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.” Underwood smiled. “And never squat with your spurs on.” Kline frowned. “How would you know?”
Chapter 3 The sharp general takes into account not only probable dangers, but also those which may be totally unexpected. The Emperor Maurice, The Strategikon, c. 600 AD Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat ... He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 500 BC
July 15, 1640 hours Missouri State Highway Patrol General Headquarters (GHQ) Jefferson City, Missouri Kacey Underwood flipped through the final draft of the intelligence report she had prepared for the Montana trip. She couldn’t think of anything else to put into it. The case seemed clear from a protective point of view, but she knew it would likely be a pointless exercise. She grabbed an extra copy and left her office. She stopped at an open door thirty feet from her small office and tapped on the door jamb. Secretary Michele Anderson looked up from her work.
“Is the Captain available?” Underwood asked. Hearing her question, Captain David Armstrong called out, “Yeah, come on in, Kacey.” Underwood stepped into his office. “I need about fifteen minutes.” As usual, Armstrong’s desk looked like his filing cabinets had exploded. He had commanded the Governor’s Security Division for most of Governor Stovall’s first term in office. When Patrol Superintendant Stuart Moss promoted Armstrong to Captain and moved him into GHQ as his special assistant, Underwood had been assigned to take over command of GSD. But Armstrong served as Underwood’s commander, and maintained a daily awareness of what was going on with GSD. Armstrong saw the serious expression on Underwood’s face as a signal this was more than a casual visit. He waved his hand. “Sure. Close the door.” Underwood slid a copy of the intel report across to him. “I wanted to bring you up-to-speed on the intel for the Montana trip.” Armstrong flipped through the 25-page report. “That’s a lot of intel for a simple trip to Montana.” He dropped the report on his desk and studied Underwood. “What’s going on?” Underwood sat forward in her chair. “You probably remember the detail leader in Montana, Alan Kline.” “Yep. Good guy.”
“He’s running lead on the DGA conference and we’ve been talking. The conference is being held in Whitefish, near Glacier National Park and we’re traveling through Kalispell on the west side of the state.” “Chelle and I vacationed in the park about ten years ago. It’s an incredible place.” “Kline says so far there haven’t been any threats on the conference. They’ve been keeping it very low key. There will be a few open events, but most of the meetings will be behind closed doors. Hopefully, not much press coverage.” “What’s the agenda?” “Kline just confided to me the big agenda item will be gun control. DGA wants to get behind the White House and New York on a big gun grab. They want the governors united when they get together in August for the Summer NGA meeting.” The National Governors’ Association (NGA) held two meetings each year. The Winter meeting was always in Washington, DC. The Summer meeting was always hosted by one of the states. The upcoming NGA meeting would be held in Seattle. Armstrong nodded. “But Ringmaster has been pretty conservative on gun control. He hasn’t backed any legislation to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.” Underwood shrugged. “He’s into his final term now, and he’ll be more outspoken on how he really feels, which is to modestly support the White House agenda. The president and New York governor are bending the thumbs back on all the Dem governors.
The Colorado governor is leading the charge on a ban that’s includes even a popular style of shotgun used by most bird hunters. Ringmaster’s under a lot of pressure to support them.” Armstrong frowned. “So you’re telling me a bunch of liberal governors are going to meet to secretly conspire against gun owners, and they’re going to do it in the backyard of many anti-gun control, anti-government mountain men with a history of violence.” “That about covers it. Montana is a very Libertarian state. People mostly want to be left alone and their hottest issues are often government regulations. They get set off by environmental issues, everything from killing off wolf packs and bison herds to running power lines and interfering with logging operations. Some statistics show ninety percent of Montana’s citizens own firearms, so any attempt at gun control is going to cause a rebellion.” Armstrong grunted. “So what’s the threat assessment?” “I’ll cover it chronologically to give you some background,” Underwood stated. “Unabomber Ted Kaczynski operated out of a remote cabin in Lincoln, Montana, from 1971 until he was arrested in 1996. He sent sixteen package bombs in total, killing three and wounding twenty-three.” Armstrong nodded. “He was mainly against modern technology or something, wasn’t he?” “Yes, sir. Then we had the Militia of Montana in the 1990s. They were very active during the government sieges in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco,
Texas. They operated out of the Kalispell area and claimed to have more than 12,000 members. They petered out after the Y2K threat didn’t pan out like they predicted.” Armstrong shook his head. “I remember seeing all the news footage of them training in the woods with their assault weapons. The media had everyone freaked out, like there was a gun nut in camo behind every tree in Montana.” Underwood continued. “In 1996, there was the 81-day standoff between the FBI and Montana Freemen in Jordan, Montana. It finally ended peacefully when the members surrendered.” “Remind me what that issue was.” “The Freemen were a Christian Patriot group. They had a scam involving liens and bank fraud, and lived in a place they called ‘Justus Township’ with their own system of justice. They rejected the authority of the federal government.” “Oh, right. What else?” “In 1998, Russell Weston attacked the US Capitol, killing two Capitol police officers. He was a resident of Rimini, Montana, and a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic with many delusions: the federal government had placed land mines on his property, he was a clone, President Clinton had sent a Navy SEAL sniper to kill him, he and Clinton had made a movie together, the CIA left him money in a candy box in his refrigerator, he had received the Congressional Medal of Honor, he was commander of all the armies in the world, his water was poisoned with a special gas, and he had a plutonium isotope
chip in his teeth that kept him alive. His reason for driving to Washington was he believed he had invented the ‘Ruby Satellite System’ time machine, which Congress was hiding in a secret safe inside the Capitol, it was being controlled by cannibals, and he wanted to get it back. He believed when he died, the machine would ‘time reverse sweep’ him back to life.” “Immortality, the power to control time, and the feds are out to kill me. Just a boy and his run-of-themill grandiose delusions and paranoia.” “He also had fixations on the Unabomber, the JFK assassination, and Black Heva, which is a plague-like disease that results from human corpses rotting and turning black.” “I think he was on to something there. Okay, what else?” “If you recall, the Winter 2012 issue of alQaeda’s online magazine, Inspire, described how to build an ember bomb to start forest fires, and called for jihadists to start fires around the world. The article specifically said, ‘It is difficult to choose a better place other than in the valleys of Montana where the population increases rapidly. In the year 2000, a fire that is considered to be the biggest in the American history flared up in one of those valleys.’” Underwood looked up. “The 2000 wildfires were the Northern Rockies’ worst in 50 years. In Montana alone, nearly 1 million acres burned, more than one-third of that in the Bitterroot National Forest, which covers westcentral Montana and eastern Idaho.” Armstrong snorted. “I remember the instructions to construct the ember bomb were so complicated they also recommended using a cigarette or
magnifying glass. Do they think jihadists were behind the Montana fires?” “No, but there were widespread fires in Greece and other parts of the world that analysts say were likely the work of jihadists.” “So, what’s the status around Montana now?” Underwood flipped a page in her report and referred to her notes. “The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified twelve extremist hate groups in Montana, including White Nationalist, neo-Nazi, Christian Identity, Klan, and Racist Music groups. There are two White Nationalist groups and a Klan group in the Kalispell area. Recent news stories have identified a growing population of white supremacist groups in the Flathead Valley, which is where we’re going.” “White Nationalist. What does that cover?” “They espouse white separatist ideologies and the inferiority of non-whites. Groups like the KKK, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, Skinhead, and Christian Identity could all be described as White Nationalist groups.” “What does Kline have to say about them?” Underwood shrugged. “He pointed out that we have twenty-one extremist hate groups in Missouri, including all the same groups as Montana. He reminded me that our governor has been attacked by Phineas Priesthood terrorists, as well as a group loosely-affiliated with al-Qaida, and yet we operate safely in this environment every day.” Armstrong scratched his cheek. “He has a point.” Armstrong swiveled around and stared out his
window for several seconds. “I guess you’ve already talked to Ringmaster about this.” “I flew to Kansas City with him yesterday. I got through half the briefing before he waved me off. You know how he is.” Armstrong grunted. “Once he gets his mind set on doing something, you can’t talk him out of it.” Armstrong swiveled back to face her and sat forward. “Okay. I appreciate the briefing. I’ll bring Colonel Moss up-to-speed. I don’t see enough to prevent Ringmaster from going. As long as the meetings stay out of the news there shouldn’t be a problem. If your meeting pops up on CNN and things get heated up, you can always pull the plug and head to the airport.” Underwood nodded her agreement, feeling a little better. “You can bank on that.” “So, you’ll have three GSD and one MHP officer on your team. Too many or too few?” Underwood knew he was playing devil’s advocate. The number of officers assigned to any detail and the costs they incurred were often criticized or questioned by upper command or the news media. This was a game Armstrong often played with her. “I’d say just right. We’ll have the expense of two hotel rooms, one for me and one for Sawyer. Marko will crash in Sawyer’s room when he arrives. Marko won’t incur an airfare since he’s on the state plane, so he basically will only incur a few meal expenses and bank some more overtime.” Armstrong countered, “But why go in two days before Ringmaster’s wheels down? How much can there be to do in some small backwater in Montana?
You’re just running up extra expenses on the GSD budget.” “We’ll burn most of the first day just getting there. Plus Kline says there’s a security briefing early on the morning after we arrive for all the assigned Montana law enforcement officers. I want to attend to see what we can learn, get a feel for the operation, and hear the latest intel.” Armstrong shook his head. “But for a two-day conference in the mountains, some governors will only come in with one officer and then use the Montana trooper as their driver. Why do you need three GSD?” “First of all, I’ll have two principals, Ringmaster and Rosebush. Three GSD allows us one escort officer for each, plus an advance officer, who can also drive follow-up. I can guarantee Rosebush will split off during the meetings and go hiking or shopping. The MHP driver and I can take her, and that leaves Marko and Eric and a rental vehicle to escort and drive Ringmaster, if he wants to take a break from the meetings. We can’t do this conference with less than three GSD, especially when you consider the threat assessment. There’s a high probability we’ll -- at a minimum -- have to deal with some protesters.” “But MHP will have a ring of security around the lodge. You’ll be completely safe there.” Underwood smiled at that line. Protected sites around the world were successfully attacked all the time. “As you well know, Captain, we will likely be leaving the property each day -- to sightsee, to hike, to shop, whatever -- and we’ll leave all that protection behind. Plus, MHP will have a ring of protection
around the meeting rooms, and an outer ring around the lodge, but it will be not be to the level of repelling a sustained attack. It’s Fudd’s Law: If you push on something hard enough, it will fall over. They’ll have a reactive force available, but some of it will likely be twenty or thirty minutes away, so if the fecal matter hits the fan...” “You’ll be on your own for a while,” Armstrong acknowledged. He seemed satisfied with her responses. It was about as good as it gets for an assignment like this. “How will you handle security when they’re in their room?” “Eric and I are taking the Pelican case with our new wireless surveillance gear. Once we get the keys to their suite, we’ll bug their doors so it signals us when they’re opened. We’ll stick wireless cameras up to monitor the hallway outside their room. We’ll set up a mini-command center in my room. We’ll put a panic alarm next to their bed, along with a flashlight, and one of our radios in a charger. We’ll have our radios on a different channel so they won’t hear our chatter, but we’ll scan his channel in case he calls. The rooms probably have smoke alarms, but we’ll put up our own. We’ll put two smoke hoods in their room, and we’ll each have one.” “Taking the new SPOT tracker?” “Yep. If I push the ‘SOS’ button, it’ll be for a good reason.” Armstrong nodded. “Make sure Watchtower alerts me on any emergency. I want to be their first call. Also, email the contact info to me for my counterpart in Montana. I’ll give him a call and make sure we’re all on the same page. As always, I want
your team to wear body armor, even though it may be hot in the park. And I’d recommend you take both MP-7s. You don’t want to get into a firefight in the middle of nowhere and only have one long gun.” “Good point. I love it when a plan comes together.” Armstrong spread his hands and smiled. “So, do you have any good news about this trip?” Underwood stood to leave. “Yeah. Kline says there are only about three hundred angry grizzlies in the park.”
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Praise for Mortal Shield: Gavin de Becker, bestselling author of The Gift of Fear: “A terrific novel .… You’re about to board the precarious roller coaster protectors ride every day— sometimes smooth as you climb up high, sometimes getting to take in the impressive view for a moment, and sometimes diving into a steep freefall, with turns you learn about only after they’ve spun you around a few times.” Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Killing and On Combat: “A rip-roaring read from someone who has actually done it and seen it. If Tom Clancy had actually been there, placing his life on the line for politicians, and if he wrote a fiction book about it, this would be the book!” Robert Oatman, author of The Art of Executive Protection: “Tom Taylor has given us a real thriller and an invaluable inside look at executive protection from a true practitioner’s perspective.” Dr. James P. McGee, Director of Psychology and Forensic Services Sheppard Pratt Hospital (1983 – 2002): “In addition to being a terrific yarn, Mortal Shield is
also a great primer in protective services.” Former Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service: “Mortal Shield describes the ‘oil and water’ relationship that is all too common among public figures and those who must protect them. Taylor has the experience, the knowledge, and the willingness to tell this story only as a cop can tell it. And he proves once again that cops write the best cop stories!” Bridget DiCosmo, SE Live: “There is enough pulse pounding and nail-biting in the just under 300-pager to keep the reader hooked, and the novel moves along at a fast clip. The first scene is razor sharp and sets the pace for an exciting read.” Morley Swingle, author of The Gold of Cape Girardeau and Bootheel Man: “Mortal Shield is a memorable and eye-opening novel … Like Joseph Waumbaugh with street cops, Patricia Cornwell with medical examiners, and Tony Hillerman with Navajo Tribal Police, Taylor knows his material and weaves it into a good story.” Publishers Weekly: “Full of authentic detail about protective operations, Taylor’s debut gets off to a good start…” St. Louis Post Dispatch: “The book teems with technical detail about the
intricate choreography of protecting a governor—and the frustration of protecting a governor whose priorities place politics ahead of prudence.” Heather Shaw, ForeWord Magazine: “This is Taylor’s first novel, but there’s nothing amateur about it. It walks and talks just like SOF (special operation forces) . . . Mortal Shield is a kind of anecdotal manifesto of why some people choose a career where death is not a penalty for failure but the ultimate sacrifice for success. Taylor is at work on a sequel: this is definitely a series that will interest fans of Clancy and Flynn.”
Praise for Armored Men: Gavin de Becker, Bestselling Author, The Gift of Fear: “Armored Men offers the best journey through real protection, providing the exciting parts without the long hours. Tom Taylor is the only novelist who actually knows protection - and that shows on every page.” Jeff Marquart, co-author of Just 2 Seconds Using Time & Space to Defeat Assassins: “Armored Men reads like a Hollywood action script ... only told by an author who has really done it – all of it. It is a rare treat to read such a compelling and riveting story that is also clearly based in real-world experience. A true insider’s view into the world of those who put their lives on the line for others - for a living.” Bob Duggan, President of Executive Security International (ESI), Ltd: “Seldom do close protection professionals ever get their story told by someone who knows the business better than most who are in it. Taylor knows this story well because he has spent a long career protecting others and he is exceedingly good at it. The fictional elements of Armored Men are riveting and describe a fear and foreboding that we will live with for a generation. It is a story of our times. At ESI, we gift new students this book and urge them to read it and pass it to friends. “ John Giduck, JD, Ph.D., author of Terror at Beslan, co-author of The Green Beret In You and
SHOOTER DOWN!: “Too many years ago America lost the iconic cultural example of untainted heroes who never hesitated to place themselves in danger to protect the innocent. Tom Taylor has lived that life, that of a modern paladin who daily placed the lives of others before his own. In Armored Men he has brought back a realistic tale of just such men, proving to all that honor, duty, and code continue to exist within the ranks of our nation’s most elite.” John Weisman, seven-time bestselling author of the Rogue Warrior series: “Like all seasoned high-risk protection professionals, Tom Taylor understands that keeping your principal alive starts with thorough advance work, great intelligence, painstaking attention to detail, and thinking like the bad guys. His authoritative, exciting novel Armored Men provides ample evidence he appreciates that action-adventure thrillers demand no less. Well done, Tom!” Tony Scotti, author of Professional Driving Techniques: “Armored Men has exceeded my expectations. Although a fictional account of a Governors Protection Detail, Taylor has found a way to bridge the gap between fiction and reality to the point where the book is hard to put down. The realism of the team’s motorcade operations could be used in a classroom environment. The book could and should be used as a textbook.” John Farnam, author of The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning: “Taylor’s writing style is engaging and suspenseful,
and the knowledge-base is impressive. I couldn’t put it down.” Dr. James P. McGee, Director of Psychology and Forensic Services Sheppard Pratt Hospital (1983 – 2002): “Taylor is a legendary figure in the world of executive protection and Armored Men tells what that world is really like. His novel is so authentic it should be classified TOP SECRET!” John Rose, Holston International Training & Consulting: “Taylor has done it again! Strap in for a wild heartpounding story that will have you cheering for the good guys and wishing you could join the fight against the villains. You ask where all the heroes have gone. They are here in Armored Men!” Hans van Beuge, CEO of Savior Protective Services: “Armored Men is total high-speed, low-drag infotainment. For anyone in protective operations or wishing to be thoroughly entertained, Rule No. 1 is read everything written by Tom Taylor. The book is sensational.” Dave Grossman, Lt. Col. (ret.), author of On Combat and On Killing: “Tom Taylor’s book puts us inside the minds and the lives of these Armored Men, this elite order of a modern knighthood who form the bodyguard of democracy. He tells a tale of warriors who love their nation, who love our way of life, enough to willingly die in the act of protecting it.”
Praise for Tiger’s Heart: Gavin de Becker, Bestselling Author, The Gift of Fear: “Every page of Tiger’s Heart arises from real-life experience. Tom Taylor gives us a fascinating inside journey through the kinds of things we read about in the news - and the things we never get to read about - because they’re kept secret. A great read that delivers authentic insight.” Dave Grossman, Lt. Col. (ret.), author of On Combat and On Killing: “Tom Taylor is one of the great warrior-wordsmiths of our times and Tiger’s Heart continues to give us great characters, gripping plots, and authoritative insights into the workings of the law enforcement community. Kacey Underwood is a character we have learned to love and respect in Taylor’s first two books, and now she is called upon to face new challenges with courage, integrity, and humor. It just doesn’t get any better than this!” John Giduck, JD, Ph.D., President of Archangel Group and author of Terror at Beslan, SHOOTER DOWN!, and When Terror Returns: “With Tiger’s Heart, Tom Taylor has resurrected and corrected Orwell’s famous quote, by proving that we in America sleep safely because men AND WOMEN stand ready to protect us. In a spellbinding fashion, drawing on his own years spent putting his life on the line protecting others, Taylor wraps the challenges, threats, fears and victories of a warrior’s existence in the romantic visage of heroine Kacey Underwood. A book for men and women alike!”
Dr. James P. McGee, Director of Psychology and Forensic Services Sheppard Pratt Hospital (1983 – 2002): “Tom Taylor is the elite in the annals of protective security and he also writes a hell of a yarn. Tiger’s Heart grabs you on page one and never lets go, and you’ll be blindsided where it ends.” John Weisman, bestselling author of KBL: Kill Bin Laden: “When it comes to writing about the ins and outs of high-risk protection, Tom Taylor is the master: full stop, end of story.” John Rose, Holston International Training & Consulting: “All great story tellers transport the reader to the scene visually and allow them see the action as it unfolds. Tom Taylor does this one better: he puts the reader into the head of the main character, Kacey Underwood, as she takes the reader on her traumatic journey. Get comfortable. You will want to read Tiger’s Heart in one sitting!” Hans van Beuge, CEO of Savior Protective Services: “Tom Taylor is revered by protective agents worldwide as an authoritative, master practitioner on all matters pertaining to protective operations. He is also a superb writer and I seriously recommend arming yourself with Tom’s latest high-velocity thriller, Tiger’s Heart. It is definitely top caliber!”
Jeff Marquart, co-author of Just 2 Seconds Using Time & Space to Defeat Assassins: “I have known the author, Tom Taylor, for nearly 15 years. Tom is a different kind of writer: He is the real deal. He has protected many of the world’s most atrisk public figures over his 39-year career, and he writes with a creativity and perspective of someone who’s actually done it – all of it. Tiger’s Heart is a story of courage and true heroism. And it’s a story of hope and loyalty and brotherhood among Sheepdogs, the warriors who put their lives on the line every day to protect others from the world’s Wolves.”
Praise for Last Came Anarchy: Gavin de Becker, Bestselling Author, The Gift of Fear: “Last Came Anarchy is a fascinating and compelling thriller that also teaches. You’ll stand at the edge of the cliff alongside the protectors who lean over that cliff every day. Sometimes, they even jump off and repel down the side. Hold on tight.” Jeff Marquart, co-author of Just 2 Seconds Using Time & Space to Defeat Assassins: “Tom Taylor has done it again! Each of his books has been better than the previous work, and Last Came Anarchy is his best yet. I know you’ll agree.” Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Killing and On Combat: “Tom Taylor is our generation’s Joseph Wambaugh, and Last Came Anarchy is his best yet! A real cop and a great wordsmith, writing gripping page-turners that give a powerful insight into the reality of the world we live in. If you like Brad Thor and Tom Clancy, you’ll love Tom Taylor!” Hans van Beuge, CEO of Savior Protective Services, Australia: “Tom Taylor extricates the Missouri Governor and his Security Division off the X once again in his latest thriller. Written in his masterful, trademark style, Last Came Anarchy is classic Taylor, fully-loaded with an incendiary-paced storyline based on real-world violence and danger. Not just a novel, more like a literary Close Protection simulator!”
John Giduck, Ph.D., J.D.: “Tom Taylor has produced a work of ‘seeming’ fiction so real that it may yet prove to be haunting in its prescience. Only someone who has spent a career studying the motivations and behaviors of society’s predators could accomplish the creation of a story line and antagonist in such detail. If made into a movie, Last Came Anarchy will be the blockbuster of the year.” John Weisman, bestselling author of KBL: Kill Bin Laden: “Once again, Tom Taylor has written the sort of truth that is best told in fiction. Last Came Anarchy is an executive protection specialist’s handbook, masquerading as a novel.” Tony Scotti, CEO of Tony Scotti Associates: “By far this is Tom’s best book. The attention to detail is incredible, and like all good novels it builds to a ‘can’t put the book down’ ending. Last Came Anarchy is a must-read book, not only because it’s a great novel, it’s also packed with valuable ‘lessons learned’ that can only come from someone with Tom’s background and experience.” John Rose, CEO of Holston International Training & Consulting: “In Last Came Anarchy, Tom Taylor keeps the reader on the edge of their seat through the twists and turns faced by professional protectors saddled with a less than noble protectee. Last Came Anarchy would make one hell of a movie!”
Dr. James P. McGee, Director of Psychology and Forensic Services Sheppard Pratt Hospital (1983 – 2002): “Last Came Anarchy is another great read from Tom Taylor. The plot is right out of today’s headlines and it has the authenticity of a ‘live-from-the-scene’ news report.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Thomas Taylor worked on protection teams for four governors while with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. In 1989, he was selected to be Commander of the Governor’s Security Division, a position he held for eight years. He has worked senior positions in protective operations for the Pope, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and every U.S. President since Gerald Ford, handling protective assignments in Israel, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Ireland, India, Italy, Greece, Turkey, The Philippines, Thailand, Canada, The Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. Following the September 11 attacks, Taylor was named the Patrol’s Anti-Terrorism Coordinator. After leaving the Patrol, he headed a team of anti-terrorism specialists that evaluated the vulnerabilities of Missouri’s most critical assets. Taylor served two terms as president of the National Governor’s Security Association (NGSA). In that capacity, he was Senior Security Consultant for the National Governor’s Association (NGA) in Washington, D.C., and helped formulate security plans for NGA events nationwide. Taylor has trained hundreds of people in dignitary protection and survival tactics and is a regular instructor at the Advanced Threat Assessment and Management Academy at UCLA’S Conference Center. He was selected to serve on the Development Team for the MOSAIC Threat Assessment System currently used by the U.S. Supreme Court, the CIA, the US Marshals Service, and agencies protecting governors of twelve states. Thomas Taylor currently works as Special Projects Manager for Gavin de Becker and Associates, a firm
that advises and protects high-risk public figures. He served as detail leader for the large security team protecting Arnold Schwarzenegger during his campaign for governor of California. The Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) in Florida published Taylor’s book, Dodging Bullets - A Strategic Guide to WorldClass Protection, in 2000. His name appears in the acknowledgments of Gavin de Becker’s bestsellers The Gift of Fear and Fear Less, and also the 1998 Secret Service report Protective Intelligence and Threat Assessment Investigations, for his assistance in reviewing these documents. In 2008, Taylor coauthored a groundbreaking book on public figure protection, Just Two Seconds – Using Time and Space to Defeat Assassins, as well as his debut novel, Mortal Shield. His follow-up novel, Armored Men, was published in 2010. His sequel, Tiger’s Heart, was published in 2011, as well Last Came Anarchy, published in 2012.
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