Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Page 99 -- Falling Star - The Watchers by Philip Chen

Page 99 from Falling Star - The Watchers
A Roswellian Thriller
By Philip Chen
Reprinted with Permission. Copyright 2010 by Philip Chen. All Rights Reserved

Book Description: The World is at risk; not the ordinary risk seen every night on prime time news, but a horrific one that portends the possibility of total annihilation. Mysterious objects have been found buried deep in the murky depths of the ocean. Despite massive governmental efforts to uncover their real meaning the objects remained silent for decades. But something has happened. These objects wake up and start sending messages to outer space. Mike is pulled back into a clandestine world that he thought he had left behind to help decipher these messages. But he is attacked by gangs of ordinary looking Americans and must fight for his very life. Who are these attackers? Why have they targeted Mike and his colleagues in the secret agency? On top of these interwoven threats, Mike learns that a revered friend has died. With the death of this friend, is mankind's last hope for understanding the signals lost forever in the silt and muck of the ocean bottom? Mike's personal journey through 1960s America forms a backdrop to unraveling this mystery.

The banker was dressed in a dark blue cotton shirt with white stripes, starched white collar, and white French cuffs anchored by simple gold links, bright red paisley braces holding up custom tailored gray pinstriped suit pants, and a blue and red-patterned tie. He wore a gold school ring with a garnet stone from Mr. Jefferson's School for Boys on his right ring finger.

The arduous climb to the top had its price, which the banker had paid, though it was not readily evident in his outward appearance, or even to him. He enjoyed his office, his position, and his attainments. He lived for the power and prestige that these things brought to him.

This morning, however, there had been a strange feeling, a gnawing sensation; a premonition that something was not right, that something had been left undone. He had shrugged off the feeling as simply lack of sleep.

The perennial SystemGraphon deal was in trouble, again, and he had endured too many late night negotiating sessions, trying to put it back on track. The SystemGraphon, a "career deal," seemed never to go away; it just wouldn't close.

Aloysius Xavier Kang Sheng Liu, his thinning gray hair combed back over his head, was in charge of Project Finance. Aloysius. He had been given that cumbersome moniker by his diplomat father upon their arrival in the United States in 1950. Someone called him "Mike" on his first day in grade school and that nickname had stuck throughout the years.

His rise at Smedleys had been spectacular, marred only by the often-unquiet jealousy of Ivy Leaguers who could not understand how an outsider could attain such position. To them an "outsider" was anyone who could not claim to have grown up rich in Connecticut or Western New Jersey. To have been born into the right circles and to have received the proper education at Exeter or Choate, finished off with a sojourn at Harvard or Yale or, in the exceptional charity case, Wharton -- in short: white and rich. Certainly, an outsider could never achieve high stature at Smedleys; that was only reserved for [...]

Born in China, but raised in Washington, D.C., Phil Chen has an eclectic background. He is trained as a mechanical engineer with degrees from the University of Virginia and Stanford University, and as an attorney with a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota. He is a registered professional engineer and has been admitted to the Bars of New York and Minnesota. He has lived in many states in the U.S. and abroad in South Africa, where he started and ran a private equity fund. In his career, Phil has been an ocean research, energy, and environmental engineer, a hyperbaric chamber operator, a trial attorney, a financial services attorney, an investment banker, an equity fund manager, business executive, a cartoonist, a webmaster, and an aspiring novelist. He and his wife currently live in New Jersey, but are looking at retirement destinations. His two children are out of the house and on their own. One is a doctor and the other a business executive. His grand-daughter is the twinkle in his eye.


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