Posted by: marky48 | November 2, 2012

Heat Wave Synopsis

Mark A. York

Thriller

mark_y48@msn.com

76, 000 words

Eccentric AP reporter SAM EMORY arrives at a global warming conference in Alaska, where only feet away an assassin executes a U.S. presidential candidate who was pro-green energy. Emory’s best friend, JACK SHELDON, an Alaskan wildlife biologist, and Jack’s girlfriend, ROBIN LAMPSON, also witness it. Their friend LAWRENCE TISDALE JR., an eco-philanthropist, is present, and later he emerges as the Democratic candidate, filling the void.

JAMES E. BRADLEY, the director of World Tech Institute, an energy research and policy conglomerate, and DR. AMANDA BALLANTINE, an astrophysicist and science director for WTI, fear energy regulation. Bradley is compelled to control world energy markets by any means. When environmentalist Tisdale Jr. wins the election, and his VP choice is Bradley’s college roommate, Bradley sees opportunity and places the president-elect next on the assassin’s list. At Tisdale’s Montana ranch, Secret Service agents find explosives but remove them before they explode.

Emory tracks the killer from the Chena conference to Washington, D.C. Emory becomes an AP White House reporter, and he is obsessed with this murder, sensing its connection to the triggered avalanche in Greenland that almost killed him and Sheldon, and did kill Tisdale Sr. three years earlier. Sheldon and Robin accept positions in Tisdale’s administration.

Robin Lampson’s father, former Alaskan senator RICHARD LAMPSON, who was convicted for conspiracy, is released from federal prison. He had associated closely with WTI in the past. Emory distrusts both him and Robin, which puts a strain on his friendship with Sheldon, especially when Emory hounds him to get information on WTI from the former senator. Sheldon does believe Lampson had prior knowledge of the Greenland murders, and he can barely be civil with him, even though Robin won’t marry Sheldon until they can get along.

A stalled Gulf Stream bakes the U.S., and amidst food and energy shortages; heat-caused power failures; and outbreaks of Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and Yellow Fever, Bradley and Ballantine plot to derail Tisdale’s ban on coal. When Emory digs into Bradley’s business affairs, Bradley dispatches rogue assassin, NICK VOLTEK, to stalk Emory. Voltek offers an anonymous tip, luring Emory into a clandestine meeting on Roosevelt Island, and he attacks Emory with a warning and a taser.

Violent lightning causes a fire in the tinderbox of Rock Creek Park, and it spreads out of control. Thousands evacuate D.C., including Sheldon and Robin, who escape to Senator Lampson’s Virginia farm. The two men finally have a real conversation, and Sheldon asks for Robin’s help to get her father to turn state’s evidence against Bradley and WTI.

Emory survives the taser assault only to find the city engulfed in flames. He escapes, and against his editor’s orders, flies to Colorado to collect potentially damning information on Bradley and WTI at their Aspen lab. On the commercial flight to Denver, Emory spots Ballantine, whom he recognizes as the WTI scientist he had confronted during a speech she gave that denounced CO2 as the cause of the climate disruption. He wants to get information on Bradley through her but first, over drinks, they flirt (and more).

The president evacuates the imperiled White House for his Montana ranch. On Bradley’s orders, Voltek follows Tisdale and makes a failed attempt on his life, but as in Alaska, Voltek escapes the Secret Service. In Aspen, after a heated interview at WTI with Bradley, Emory hacks into the wireless network and downloads archived e-mails that incriminate Bradley in the conference and Greenland murders. Emory sends the files to Sheldon and the FBI. Meanwhile, Ballantine orchestrates an e-mail hack of her own on a university climate database, and she posts out-of-context quotes in order to smear consensus climate scientists. She also devises a system, using an untraceable cyber attack, to disable power plants that are undergoing natural gas retrofitting.

Later, Emory and Ballantine hook up at the St. Regis Hotel, but Voltek poisons Emory with puffer fish delivered via room service. Ballantine gets Emory, who is paralyzed and near death, to the hospital, but then Bradley orders Voltek to move Emory to a private clinic in a secluded canyon west of Aspen, where Voltek holds him hostage.

Sheldon takes the files to the FBI and then flies to Aspen to confront Bradley. At Robin’s urging and with Emory’s e-mail evidence, Senator Lampson turns state’s evidence against Bradley with an FBI-monitored call. Voltek kidnaps Sheldon, who escapes on Aspen Mountain with Voltek’s Glock pistol that he lost during the tussle. Later, during an argument about Voltek’s incompetence and letting Sheldon and Emory escape, Voltek kills Bradley by forced overdose. Ballantine witnesses it, and Voltek lock her in a closet.

Sheldon finds the remote clinic and rescues Emory, who is heavily drugged, but Voltek confronts them in the parking lot, where Sheldon kills the assassin with his own Glock. The next day, Emory, Sheldon and the FBI, with warrant in hand, find Bradley’s bloated body at his WTI desk and Ballantine tied up in the closet.

Ballantine gets probation and public service for her role in disseminating bad science with intent to stall climate legislation. A salting effort in the North Atlantic works temporarily, and the heat wave lifts, but the country is badly damaged. After a climate treaty passes, Sheldon and Robin marry in Chena, Alaska the following summer. Emory and Ballantine move in together, and she works on green energy. There is hope that the efforts will start a reduction in CO2 back to a safe level, but there will be more disruptions to come before the climate is stabilized.

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