Posts Tagged ‘young adult’

THE ORPHAN FACTORY (The Orphan Trilogy Book 2)  is 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. It’s also the prequel to The Ninth Orphan, the first book in the bestselling trilogy.

 

The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy Book 2) by [Morcan, James, Morcan, Lance]

For fans of the thriller genre.

 

★★★★★  “An eerily relevant lesson in our media-saturated world.” -Gapers Block Book Club, Chicago, Illinois

 

THE ORPHAN FACTORY (The Orphan Trilogy, #2)  is exclusive to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/  

 

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An epic, atmospheric story that begins with twenty three 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.

 

The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy Book 2)

THE ORPHAN FACTORY (The Orphan Trilogy, #2)

 

Prologue

An old vagrant hummed tunelessly to himself as he warmed his bony hands over a fire he’d lit minutes earlier in a drum long since blackened by perhaps a hundred such fires. Certainly more fires than he, or any of his street cronies, could remember. He stopped humming when, across a busy thoroughfare, a gravel-voiced busker began reciting poetry.

“Stormy, husky, brawling,” the busker rumbled. “City of the big shoulders.” He was reciting verse from the works of hometown poet-made-good, Carl Sandburg. The poem was appropriately titled Chicago. “Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.” The busker, a long-haired Vietnam veteran whose only concession to his military past was his VSM service medal which he still wore with pride, looked directly at the old vagrant opposite.

The vagrant imagined the busker smiled at him, though he couldn’t be sure in the fading early evening light. Even so, he flashed a toothless grin in the other’s direction.

Soon, the old man was joined by half a dozen street pals. All homeless like him, they appeared like disheveled ghosts out of the shadows, attracted partly by the warmth of the fire and partly by the busker. They listened intently to the poet’s words that flowed effortlessly from the busker’s mouth. Words that painted images so vivid in their minds it was as if the men were watching a kaleidoscope of their own youth.

“Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,” the busker continued. “Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs.”

Several passersby paused to listen, but none bothered to drop a donation into the hat that lay at the busker’s feet. Finally, as the busker finished his recital, a business executive threw a quarter into the hat without breaking stride. Encouraged, the busker launched into another Sandberg poem.

Listening to the busker delivering further verses about his beloved Windy City, the old vagrant couldn’t help but note the irony: there wasn’t a breath of wind on this still Chicago evening.

The vagrant’s parents had always assured him the city’s misleading nickname had nothing to do with the weather. His mother had insisted the Windy City  label came from the longwinded speeches given by the city’s Nineteenth Century politicians, while his father claimed the moniker had been mischievously bestowed by competitive New Yorkers in their attempt to win the World Trade Fair of 1893.

To add to the contradictions, even though it was February, it was an unusually mild winter’s evening. The vagrants gathered around the fire warming their hands did so more out of habit than necessity on this occasion.

Chicago’s streets were busy and the mood downtown was fairly upbeat. President Jimmy Carter was due to visit the city and greater Illinois the following day. Word had spread: the President would be here soon, and come hell or high water he was going to receive a right, royal Illinois welcome.

As Chicagoans went about their business, hurrying home after a long day at the office or heading out to sample the city’s nightlife, none were remotely aware of the sinister, Nazi-like experiment taking place virtually under their noses.

Despite the experiment’s seventy five million dollar price tag, only a select few knew about it. Those in the know did not include the city’s Mayor or any state politicians; at Federal level, not even the President knew about it.

The experiment was taking place in a laboratory in the concealed basement of a renovated warehouse just off North Michigan Avenue. Seven pregnant women were in various stages of labor in the lab that served as a makeshift maternity hospital.

Like some Orwellian nightmare, the women were giving birth in clockwork-like fashion, almost in unison.

Small teams comprised of doctors and white-coated geneticists assisted the women. A specialist induced latecomers. In the lab’s far corner, two suited men looked on expectantly.

The numerous personnel in attendance were all in the employ of the Omega Agency, a recently formed and highly secretive outfit which would one day become the world’s most powerful shadow organization.

Supervising the eerie experiment was Omega’s own Doctor Frankenstein – better known as Doctor Pedemont, the brilliant biomedical scientist responsible for the radical science behind it. Over the past few years, with the help of his team of geneticists, Doctor Pedemont had painstakingly selected the fetus’ genes from thousands of sperm donations combined with the genes of his female subjects. The donations had come from another medical experiment referred to as the Genius Sperm Bank.

The motivation behind the Genius Sperm Bank, which had been initiated over a decade earlier, was to advance the breeding of super-intelligent people. The bank was stocked full of semen donations solicited from many of the world’s most intelligent men.

Benefiting from the efforts of some of Omega’s elite operatives, Doctor Pedemont had unlawfully obtained hundreds of samples from the Genius Sperm Bank. Then, taking the best of the sperm donations, he’d artificially inseminated the very women who were now in the process of giving birth. This meant each child that was about to be born effectively had one mother and numerous fathers.

The legalities of the entire operation were of no concern to Omega. Although still in its formative stages, the agency was already above the law.

A tense Doctor Pedemont and three geneticists fussed over the first mother-to-be, a young redheaded woman, as she entered the final stages of labor. The two suits observing from afar waited anxiously as the geneticists used advanced scientific equipment to monitor the birth.

The redhead gave birth to female twins. They arrived six minutes apart. Doctor Pedemont picked up the first twin. After removing the umbilical cord, he placed the newborn baby on a set of scales. “Number Five,” he announced. “Born 7.43 pm. Weight seven pounds, thirteen ounces.”

One of the geneticists recorded the doctor’s findings in a file labeled Number Five. Sadly, this would be the closest the girl would ever have to a real name.

Doctor Pedemont gave the baby to another geneticist then grabbed her newborn sister and weighed her. “Number Six. Born 7.49 pm. Weight seven pounds, one ounce.”

The advent of twins was no accident, of course. Their arrival had been planned for, like everything else that occurred within the Omega Agency.

The next baby was born minutes later to an African-American woman. It was a boy who was clearly of African descent. However, he had a much lighter skin tone than his mother, indicating most or all of the sperm donations inseminated into the woman were taken from Caucasian men.

“Number Seven,” Doctor Pedemont announced. “Born 7.56 pm. Weighs exactly five pounds. A few weeks prem, but is perfectly healthy.”

Because Number Seven was a premature birth, one of the geneticists immediately placed him in an incubator. Number Eight, who was born quarter of an hour later, was a healthy girl of Oriental descent.

When Number Nine was born, the mother, a beautiful dark-haired woman with striking green eyes, reached out to Doctor Pedemont to indicate she wished to hold the boy she had just birthed. The doctor looked around enquiringly at the two mysterious suits who remained in the corner. After discussing it between themselves, the older of the two nodded.

Doctor Pedemont looked back at the newborn’s mother cautiously. “You know you’ll never see him again, Annette?”

Annette nodded forlornly. She fully understood the ramifications of her agreement with the Omega Agency. Doctor Pedemont reluctantly placed Number Nine in Annette’s arms. The baby boy reached out and placed his tiny hand on the ruby that hung from a silver necklace she wore.

“Sebastian,” Annette whispered tearfully as she looked into her son’s eyes. “I name you Sebastian, after my father.”

Anxious to avoid further bonding between mother and son, Doctor Pedemont took Number Nine from Annette and handed him to one of the geneticists who, without ceremony, jabbed a needle into the boy. Predictably, Nine started screaming. His mother looked on resignedly.

Later that night, two more boys and another girl were born. Like Number Nine, all three were Caucasian.

As Number Twelve, the last of the newborns, was weighed, the two suits approached a relieved Doctor Pedemont. They looked more relaxed now. The older of the two, a short, stocky, dapper individual with heavily pock-marked skin, reached for the doctor’s hand and shook it firmly. This was Andrew Naylor, the Omega Agency’s hard-nosed director who was known for his foul temper as well as for his lazy eye, which never quite managed to focus on whomever he was addressing at the time.

“Congratulations, doctor,” Naylor mumbled without even a hint of a smile.

“Thank you,” a beaming Doctor Pedemont responded, taking care to avoid eye contact with Naylor as he found the other’s lazy eye highly disconcerting.

Naylor’s companion, Special Agent Tommy Kentbridge, patted the doctor on the back in congratulatory fashion. “Well done,” Kentbridge said. Tall and ruggedly handsome – physically the polar opposite of Naylor – the special agent was one of Omega’s young stars. As a field operative, he had the sort of record most agents twice his age would be proud of. Although only in his early twenties, Kentbridge had been assigned to manage the products of this agency experiment. Like it or not, he would be the nearest to a father any of them would have.

It was a long-term experiment and no-one knew exactly what the outcome would be. The experiment was known in Omega circles as The Pedemont Project

 

Product Details

 

THE ORPHAN FACTORY (The Orphan Trilogy, #2)  is exclusive to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/

 

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In our top rating thriller novel THE ORPHAN UPRISING (The Orphan Trilogy, #3)  our central character, the ninth-born orphan known as Nine, is forced out of retirement when his former masters at the Omega Agency abduct Francis, his young son. 

The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy Book 3)

An excerpt from the novel follows. It describes the moment the former operative realises Francis is being abducted. The action takes place in the Marquesas Islands, in remote French Polynesia, where Nine and his wife Isabelle have been hiding out since dropping off the grid five years earlier. Nine is jogging high in the hills overlooking a picturesque bay in the tropical island he now calls home. These days, he exercises for the sake of his health as he has a relatively common heart condition called stenosis.

The excerpt follows: 

Nine was following a well worn path that took him high into the steep hills overlooking Taiohae Bay. He could just make out his wife and son down near the waterfront. Francis was playing an impromptu game of soccer with his newfound friends while Isabelle and the other mothers sat in the shade, looking on.

The sweat was pouring off him as he ran up a steep incline. Sudden shortness of breath prompted him to slow to a walk. He thought nothing of it, putting it down to the heat. You’re getting old, Sebastian.

Still looking down at Taiohae Bay, he noticed an inflatable craft approaching the distant waterfront at speed. It was manned by two men and appeared to have come from a floatplane Nine had seen touch down on the water a short time earlier out in the bay. He watched as the inflatable nosed up onto the beach and two men jumped out. They began walking purposefully toward where Francis and the other children played.

Something about the pair bothered Nine. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but it didn’t seem right. Even from a distance, he could see the two weren’t your average tourists. Besides the dark sunglasses they wore, there wasn’t a camera, sun hat or beach towel in sight. They looked more like business executives in their white shirts and long, dark trousers. One even wore a tie.

Nine found himself growing apprehensive as he continued to watch the pair closely.

The former operative didn’t know it, but he wasn’t the only one observing the two men. His spiritual master, Luang, had noticed them around the same time Nine had. The elderly monk was watching from the entrance of the temple Nine and Francis had visited a short time earlier. Like Nine, he thought the two strangers seemed out of place.

Luang’s suspicions grew when the men purposefully marched up to one of the boys. He recognized the boy as Nine’s son. “Francis!” he shouted.

The boy, who was now playing quite close to the temple, looked at the monk and innocently waved.

Luang motioned to him with his hand. “Francis, come!” He motioned to him again.

Francis suddenly noticed the two strangers approaching. They were only a few yards away. Sensing they meant him harm, he sprinted toward the kindly monk and the sanctuary of the temple. The men began running after him.

Only now did Isabelle and the other mothers notice anything untoward from where they sat some distance away. Immediately concerned, they hurried to investigate. The island women began shouting at the strangers. Isabelle screamed when she realized it was Francis the men were chasing.

Fear drove Francis’ legs. The terrified boy ran as if his life depended on it. He reached Luang just before the strangers could catch him. The monk took Francis in his strong, wiry arms and threw him inside the temple. “Hide!” he ordered.

Francis ran to the rear of the temple and hid behind the statue of Buddha while Luang drew a long ceremonial sword from its scabbard that hung just inside the temple’s entrance. An exponent of the Muay Thai martial art, Luang was no slouch with a sword either – as the two strangers were about to find out.

The first man to enter the temple was the younger of the two. Confident the monk would offer no resistance, he hadn’t bothered to draw the pistol he carried on him as he stepped inside. He didn’t even see the steel blade that slashed his arm open to the bone. Screaming in pain, the wounded man threw himself to one side just in time to avoid a second slash that would have taken his head off.

Luang turned to face the second man too late to avoid the gunshot that ended his life. The monk was dead before he hit the temple’s concrete floor.

The sound of the gunshot galvanized Isabelle and the other women into action. Shouting to attract the attention of menfolk in the vicinity, they started running toward the temple. In her pregnant state, Isabelle was left far behind.

The women were still some distance from the temple when the older of the two men emerged with a struggling Francis under his arm. He was followed by the younger man whose wounded arm hung limply at his side. His once white shirt was blood-soaked. The older man pointed his pistol at the advancing women who by now were swearing obscenities at the pair. The sight of a pistol had no effect on the women, so he fired a warning shot above their heads, stopping them in their tracks.

Only Isabelle wasn’t deterred. “Francis!” she screamed as she ran toward the men whom she now knew were intent on abducting her son.

With a squirming Francis still under his arm, the older man ran off toward the beached inflatable craft, closely followed by his wounded partner.

“Mama!” Francis screamed.

Isabelle tripped and fell heavily. By the time she struggled to her feet, the men were already pushing their inflatable into the water. She was powerless to resist as they fired its engine into life and sped off toward the waiting floatplane.

“Mama!” Francis’ plaintiff cries reached his mother, but she was powerless to help.

High in the hills above the bay, Nine had started running as soon as the men began chasing after Francis. By the time they’d bundled the boy and their inflatable into the floatplane, Nine was already down at sea level and sprinting toward the waterfront. His lungs were burning and his legs felt like lead, but he ignored that. All he could think of was Francis.

The previous few minutes had seemed like a nightmare to Nine. There was no obvious explanation for what he’d just witnessed. Falling back on his training, his mind worked at a thousand clicks per second as he tried to figure out what was happening and who was behind it. It could only be Omega! He figured the Omega Agency must have discovered his whereabouts. But how? And why Francis? Why not me? There were so many questions and no answers.

Nine drove himself to run faster.

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As he neared the waterfront, he felt a searing pain in his chest. Nine knew immediately what was happening. He was having the heart attack his specialist had warned he’d have if he overdid things.

Despite his condition, he had the presence of mind to note the description of the plane that was now taxiing out into deep water in preparation for take-off: it was a de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter floatplane of the type favored by the Air Command of the Canadian Forces because of its excellent search and rescue capabilities.

The floatplane was the last thing Nine saw before everything went black.

Product Details

To read more about The Orphan Uprising  go to Amazon: http://amazon.com/dp/B00BFC66DM/

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Our coming-of-age spy thriller, The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2), is available to Kindle users at the reduced price of 99c via Amazon.com and Amazon.UK until Feb. 17th PST.

4.6 Star average review rating

This top rated thriller is the prequel to The Ninth Orphan, book one in The Orphan Trilogy. It’s an epic, atmospheric story that begins with twenty-three 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. Embark on another frenetic journey with Nine, the ninth-born orphan, as he goes on the run across America.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

In the late 1970’s, in Chicago, Illinois, the secretive Omega Agency initiates the Pedemont Project – a radical experiment utilizing genetic engineering technologies – to create twenty-three orphan babies with the plan to turn them into the world’s most effective assassins.

One of the prodigies will rebel: meet Number Nine, an orphan with a mind of his own.

In 1998, when Nine reaches adulthood and graduates with honors from the Pedemont Orphanage, he is already an adept of the deadly espionage arts. Ordered by his Omega masters to assassinate a survivor of the Jonestown tragedy in Guyana’s Amazon rainforest, Nine is forced to draw upon all of his advanced training just to stay alive.

After 38 reviews, The Orphan Factory maintains its 4.6 Star average review rating on Amazon.

Here’s a sample of Amazon reviewers’ comments:

I loved getting to know more about Nine and his early years, his rivalry with 17 and interaction with other orphans, his self discovery and his ability to survive in a dangerous and deadly world. I am now looking forward to reading the third and final novel in this thrilling trilogy. –Pat O’Meara

Fast paced and never boring. I was drawn into the plot almost right from the beginning. –S.C.M. Hartstra-van Kan

Action and drama prevail in this exciting story. –Sheri A. Wilkinson

This novel explains how the orphans were produced and why and how they were trained…An awesome read. –“Westerntarheel”

A very well written, multifaceted book that is a joy to read. The authors have taken a genre which has been attacked from many angles and woven a modern, distinctive adventure. I am now going to re-read The Ninth Orphan.  –S.J. Hailey

An exceptional read, well written with just the right amount of explosive excitement that makes you sit up and take notice. Looking forward to the first and last in the trilogy which gives me the excuse to read the second one once again. –D. Catterall

The authors remind you The Orphan Factory is available now through to February 17th PST at the sharply discounted price of 99c. It’s available via Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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As America – or President Obama at least – seems intent on attacking Syria, I’m reminded of a quote from The Orphan Factory, book two in our conspiracy thriller series, The Orphan Trilogy. In it, Omega Agency Special Agent Tommy Kentbridge asks a young Nine, the ninth-born orphan, “Why else do you think we are permanently at war in various regions all over the world?”

Perhaps the question would be better directed at Obama?

President Barack Obama

Obama soon to announce a new offensive?

Kentbridge, who is Nine’s mentor and the closest thing to a father figure the lad will ever know, also asks, “And why is it the citizens of this country, one of the richest on earth, get poorer each year?”

Good questions – even if we, the writers, say so ourselves!

Here’s some more from The Orphan Factory:

Special Agent Kentbridge 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.

The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2), is available via Amazon as a Kindle ebook via: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/

 

Happy reading!Lance & James

 

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This week’s review of our coming-of-age spy thriller The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) in Chicago web publication Gapers Block has thrown the spotlight on Chicago.

Chicago, the ‘City of the big shoulders’ as hometown poet-made-good Carl Sandburg once called it, is home to the twenty-three orphans who are raised in Chicago’s Pedemont Orphanage. It’s not just any orphanage. It’s home to genetically-engineered orphans who are raised to become the deadliest intelligence operatives the world has ever seen. Their purpose? To help the clandestine Omega Agency achieve its dream of establishing a New World Order.

     

If reader response is anything to go by, Chicago-ites seem to resonate with The Orphan Factory. Not surprising given their hometown figures so prominently in this novel.

The novel’s prologue sets the scene. Have a read and enjoy…

 

Prologue

An old vagrant hummed tunelessly to himself as he warmed his bony hands over a fire he’d lit minutes earlier in a drum long since blackened by perhaps a hundred such fires. Certainly more fires than he, or any of his street cronies, could remember. He stopped humming when, across a busy thoroughfare, a gravel-voiced busker began reciting poetry.

“Stormy, husky, brawling,” the busker rumbled. “City of the big shoulders.” He was reciting verse from the works of hometown poet-made-good, Carl Sandburg. The poem was appropriately titled Chicago. “Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.” The busker, a long-haired Vietnam veteran whose only concession to his military past was his VSM service medal which he still wore with pride, looked directly at the old vagrant opposite.

The vagrant imagined the busker smiled at him, though he couldn’t be sure in the fading early evening light. Even so, he flashed a toothless grin in the other’s direction.

Soon, the old man was joined by half a dozen street pals. All homeless like him, they appeared like disheveled ghosts out of the shadows, attracted partly by the warmth of the fire and partly by the busker. They listened intently to the poet’s words that flowed effortlessly from the busker’s mouth. Words that painted images so vivid in their minds it was as if the men were watching a kaleidoscope of their own youth.  

“Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,” the busker continued. “Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs.”

Several passersby paused to listen, but none bothered to drop a donation into the hat that lay at the busker’s feet. Finally, as the busker finished his recital, a business executive threw a quarter into the hat without breaking stride. Encouraged, the busker launched into another Sandberg poem.

Listening to the busker delivering further verses about his beloved Windy City, the old vagrant couldn’t help but note the irony: there wasn’t a breath of wind on this still Chicago evening.

The vagrant’s parents had always assured him the city’s misleading nickname had nothing to do with the weather. His mother had insisted the Windy City label came from the longwinded speeches given by the city’s Nineteenth Century politicians, while his father claimed the moniker had been mischievously bestowed by competitive New Yorkers in their attempt to win the World Trade Fair of 1893.

To add to the contradictions, even though it was February, it was an unusually mild winter’s evening. The vagrants gathered around the fire warming their hands did so more out of habit than necessity on this occasion.

Chicago’s streets were busy and the mood downtown was fairly upbeat. President Jimmy Carter was due to visit the city and greater Illinois the following day. Word had spread: the President would be here soon, and come hell or high water he was going to receive a right, royal Illinois welcome.

As Chicagoans went about their business, hurrying home after a long day at the office or heading out to sample the city’s nightlife, none were remotely aware of the sinister, Nazi-like experiment taking place virtually under their noses.

Despite the experiment’s seventy five million dollar price tag, only a select few knew about it. Those in the know did not include the city’s Mayor or any state politicians; at Federal level, not even the President knew about it.

The experiment was taking place in a laboratory in the concealed basement of a renovated warehouse just off North Michigan Avenue. Seven pregnant women were in various stages of labor in the lab that served as a makeshift maternity hospital.

Like some Orwellian nightmare, the women were giving birth in clockwork-like fashion, almost in unison.

Small teams comprised of doctors and white-coated geneticists assisted the women. A specialist induced latecomers. In the lab’s far corner, two suited men looked on expectantly.

The numerous personnel in attendance were all in the employ of the Omega Agency, a recently formed and highly secretive outfit which would one day become the world’s most powerful shadow organization.

Supervising the eerie experiment was Omega’s own Doctor Frankenstein – better known as Doctor Pedemont, the brilliant biomedical scientist responsible for the radical science behind it. Over the past few years, with the help of his team of geneticists, Doctor Pedemont had painstakingly selected the fetus’ genes from thousands of sperm donations combined with the genes of his female subjects. The donations had come from another medical experiment referred to as the Genius Sperm Bank.

The motivation behind the Genius Sperm Bank, which had been initiated over a decade earlier, was to advance the breeding of super-intelligent people. The bank was stocked full of semen donations solicited from many of the world’s most intelligent men.

Benefiting from the efforts of some of Omega’s elite operatives, Doctor Pedemont had unlawfully obtained hundreds of samples from the Genius Sperm Bank. Then, taking the best of the sperm donations, he’d artificially inseminated the very women who were now in the process of giving birth. This meant each child that was about to be born effectively had one mother and numerous fathers.

The legalities of the entire operation were of no concern to Omega. Although still in its formative stages, the agency was already above the law.

A tense Doctor Pedemont and three geneticists fussed over the first mother-to-be, a young redheaded woman, as she entered the final stages of labor. The two suits observing from afar waited anxiously as the geneticists used advanced scientific equipment to monitor the birth.

The redhead gave birth to female twins. They arrived six minutes apart. Doctor Pedemont picked up the first twin. After removing the umbilical cord, he placed the newborn baby on a set of scales. “Number Five,” he announced. “Born 7.43 pm. Weight seven pounds, thirteen ounces.”

One of the geneticists recorded the doctor’s findings in a file labeled Number Five. Sadly, this would be the closest the girl would ever have to a real name.

Doctor Pedemont gave the baby to another geneticist then grabbed her newborn sister and weighed her. “Number Six. Born 7.49 pm. Weight seven pounds, one ounce.”

The advent of twins was no accident, of course. Their arrival had been planned for, like everything else that occurred within the Omega Agency.

The next baby was born minutes later to an African-American woman. It was a boy who was clearly of African descent. However, he had a much lighter skin tone than his mother, indicating most or all of the sperm donations inseminated into the woman were taken from Caucasian men.

“Number Seven,” Doctor Pedemont announced. “Born 7.56 pm. Weighs exactly five pounds. A few weeks prem, but is perfectly healthy.”

Because Number Seven was a premature birth, one of the geneticists immediately placed him in an incubator. Number Eight, who was born quarter of an hour later, was a healthy girl of Oriental descent.

When Number Nine was born, the mother, a beautiful dark-haired woman with striking green eyes, reached out to Doctor Pedemont to indicate she wished to hold the boy she had just birthed. The doctor looked around enquiringly at the two mysterious suits who remained in the corner. After discussing it between themselves, the older of the two nodded.

Doctor Pedemont looked back at the newborn’s mother cautiously. “You know you’ll never see him again, Annette?”

Annette nodded forlornly. She fully understood the ramifications of her agreement with the Omega Agency. Doctor Pedemont reluctantly placed Number Nine in Annette’s arms. The baby boy reached out and placed his tiny hand on the ruby that hung from a silver necklace she wore.

“Sebastian,” Annette whispered tearfully as she looked into her son’s eyes. “I name you Sebastian, after my father.”

Anxious to avoid further bonding between mother and son, Doctor Pedemont took Number Nine from Annette and handed him to one of the geneticists who, without ceremony, jabbed a needle into the boy. Predictably, Nine started screaming. His mother looked on resignedly.

Later that night, two more boys and another girl were born. Like Number Nine, all three were Caucasian.

As Number Twelve, the last of the newborns, was weighed, the two suits approached a relieved Doctor Pedemont. They looked more relaxed now. The older of the two, a short, stocky, dapper individual with heavily pock-marked skin, reached for the doctor’s hand and shook it firmly. This was Andrew Naylor, the Omega Agency’s hard-nosed director who was known for his foul temper as well as for his lazy eye, which never quite managed to focus on whomever he was addressing at the time.

“Congratulations, doctor,” Naylor mumbled without even a hint of a smile.

“Thank you,” a beaming Doctor Pedemont responded, taking care to avoid eye contact with Naylor as he found the other’s lazy eye highly disconcerting.

Naylor’s companion, Special Agent Tommy Kentbridge, patted the doctor on the back in congratulatory fashion. “Well done,” Kentbridge said. Tall and ruggedly handsome – physically the polar opposite of Naylor – the special agent was one of Omega’s young stars. As a field operative, he had the sort of record most agents twice his age would be proud of. Although only in his early twenties, Kentbridge had been assigned to manage the products of this agency experiment. Like it or not, he would be the nearest to a father any of them would have.

It was a long-term experiment and no-one knew exactly what the outcome would be. The experiment was known in Omega circles as The Pedemont Project

 

The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) is available via Amazon as a Kindle ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/

For more info about The Orphan Trilogy (The Ninth Orphan / The Orphan Factory / The Orphan Uprising), go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/SterlingGateBooks

 

Happy reading! –Lance

 

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In this week’s edition of Chicago web publication Gapers Block, Book Club reviewer Kathryn Pulkrabek says:

Reading, writing, and espionage? It’s back to school for 23 genetically-altered orphans being trained as cold-hearted assassins as part of the shadowy Omega Agency’s Pedemont project in The Orphan Factory by James Morcan and Lance Morcan.

Beginning in a Chicago warehouse in the 1970s, this prequel to the Morcans’ The Ninth Orphan recounts the origins of Number Nine, the spy who will eventually rebel against Omega and live life on the run. The inclusion of actual events (such as the Jonestown massacre and Bill Clinton’s presidential election) lends authenticity to the story, while the ease in which they are manipulated by Omega shows that seeing is not necessarily believing– an eerily relevant lesson in our media-saturated world.

The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) is available via Amazon as a Kindle ebook at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M9WWKW/

It’s one of several young adult novels reviewed in Gapers Block’s Book Club this week. To view them all go to: http://gapersblock.com/bookclub/2013/08/20/in_the_the_book_of/

 

Happy reading! –Lance

 

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