Book two in The Orphan Trilogy is a prequel to The Ninth Orphan. It’s an epic, atmospheric story that begins with 23 genetically superior orphans being groomed to become elite spies in Chicago’s Pedemont Orphanage and concludes with a political assassination deep in the Amazon jungle.
With an average review rating of 4.7 out of 5 Stars on Amazon, The Orphan Factory is a coming-of-age spy thriller that sets a frenetic pace. Join Nine, the ninth-born orphan, as he flees his Omega Agency masters and goes on the run across America.
As Amazon review site My Scribe World says, “Buckle up for another wild ride in The Orphan Trilogy.”
Here’s an excerpt from The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2):
The special agent reached into his pocket and pulled out a color photograph, which he handed to the orphan. Nine could tell by its faded color it was old. It was a portrait photo of a dark-haired, green-eyed woman. Nine instinctively knew the woman was his mother, and not just because she was wearing the same ruby necklace Kentbridge had given him a few months earlier and which he now wore around his neck.
“Sebastian,” Kentbridge whispered.
After a moment, Nine tore his eyes away from the woman in the photograph and looked into his mentor’s eyes.
“Sebastian,” Kentbridge repeated, a little louder this time. “That’s your real name. Your mother named you that when you were born.”
Nine suspected Kentbridge was playing mind games with him. He’d expected that as he was aware Omega’s strategy for dealing with any form of internal dissension was to either terminate the subject or else reprogram them. Given he was still alive – and knowing they’d already invested too much in him to kill him – reprogramming him was the only option. Even so, the information he was being given about his past was so arresting he found it impossible to ignore. “Wish I’d never been born,” he cursed absentmindedly as he studied his mother’s image once more.
“You weren’t born,” Kentbridge reminded him. “You were created. There’s a difference.”
Nine thought on that, but no witty reply came to him.
“Your life has a purpose, Sebastian,” the special agent continued. “You should be grateful for that, believe me, because most ordinary citizens just drift through life with zero direction.” Kentbridge nodded toward the fishermen beneath the bridge and council workers enjoying a morning tea break beyond them, indicating he considered them ordinary citizens.
Having had a taste of the world beyond the orphanage and Omega, Nine didn’t agree. However, he remained silent.
“I want you to know I take full responsibility for what happened.” Kentbridge said. “I’m not angry at you. I was at the time, but now in the cold light of day I can see what motivated you to bust out of here.”
Nine noticed his master was talking to him for the first time ever like an adult. He didn’t know whether that was part of the reprogramming or whether his bid for freedom had earned him some respect. Whatever the case, gone was the patronizing tone Kentbridge had always used when talking to him and the other orphans.
Nine gave Kentbridge his full attention.
“I take total responsibility, Sebastian, because in hindsight I can see my mistake. I never told you or the other orphans the purpose of the Omega Agency. Or what we are fighting for.”
What we are fighting for? Nine thought that was obvious. World domination to line the pockets of Naylor and his cronies.
“It’s not about greed,” Kentbridge said as if reading the orphan’s mind. “We are the resistance. The last bastion of hope for freedom.”
“Then who are the bad guys?” Nine retorted with more than a hint of sarcasm.
“The fascists. They took over this country straight after World War Two. Kennedy was the last president who knew anything about this. All those who followed him have been in kept the dark.”
Kentbridge was certain all of the US presidents since JFK had been puppets. The lack of any real decision-making power presidents had was reflected in a long-running joke within the agency: One could place a monkey in the White House Oval Office and everything would run just fine.
Nine looked skeptical.
“I’m serious,” Kentbridge insisted. “Why else do you think we are permanently at war in various regions all over the world? And why is it the citizens of this country, one of the richest on earth, get poorer each year?”
The special agent had long-since realized America was not the unified country most people thought it was. Due to his position, he was aware of the extremely fragmented, corrupt and sick state of the nation. He also knew that sickness was entirely due to the conflicting agendas of the various shadow organizations that had infiltrated most Government departments and agencies. Within each power group – be it Congress or the Military-Industrial Complex – there were huge divisions as each of the secret factions strived to be top dog.
Kentbridge explained all this to Nine.
The orphan thought about the Nexus Foundation, and wondered where it fitted in. As long as he could remember, Omega had been fighting or at least competing with Nexus, and he’d always wondered why. Now that Kentbridge was being so open, he decided to ask. “And what about Nexus?”
“Nexus has taken advantage of the malaise that has beset this once great nation. When the Constitution was still respected and followed to the letter, an outfit like Nexus could never have gotten off the ground and there’d be no need for an agency like Omega. Nexus sees us as a threat to its ends and is determined to destroy us, you see.”
Again, Nine wasn’t convinced, and his expression reflected that.
“Think about it, if Omega stood for anything but liberty and the greater good, why would any well-meaning, patriotic group try to prevent us from achieving our goals? I mean, there’s a whole raft of destructive agencies out there Nexus could target. Why pick on us?”
Nine had to admit it was a good question.
To order The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2), or view the Amazon reviews, go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/
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Happy reading! – Lance & James