The Enigma Broker
The Enigma Series Book 8
by Charles V. Breakfield & Roxanne E. Burkey
Genre: Techno Thriller
Inexplicable drops in world markets for oil, copper, coal, and other commodities are destabilizing nations to the point of economic collapse. A conspicuous increase in production numbers for primary oil producing companies results in a call for help from governments and a large oil distributor. The R-Group quietly engages amid fears that further drops in value could devastate civilization.
Jacob Michaels is called directly by ePetro’s Mike Patrick, CEO of the multinational oil broker, due to some prior data and network security he had performed. The early investigation into the production number manipulation by Jacob, with his coworker and lover, Petra, suggests the problem is a result of hacking by a Dark Matter Organization. Where is the DMO operating, who is at the helm driving commodity prices down, and how does the search evolve into a perilous hunt which puts Jacob, Petra, and other members of R-Group directly into the path of mortal danger!?
Hidden leadership of the DMO is fierce and lethal when it comes to protecting the organization and its plans of global commodities market control. The enforcers of this agenda are quick to execute orders without question as soon as they are issued. R-Group’s advantage of leading technology resources, brilliant technologists, and years of experience may not be enough to locate the genius source bent on commodity market domination. Has cyber good versus evil from the dark net become a challenge they simply cannot win?
The Enigma Broker, by Breakfield and Burkey, the award-winning authors of The Enigma Series, takes readers on a journey from the affluence of London to the extreme poverty of Panama and everywhere in between. The layers of planning and conspiracy by the cruel DMO supply suspense and intrigue to the very end.
Quip added with his usual comedic observation, “Yeah, I see what you mean, since no one is interested in buying extreme religious beliefs or terrorism, which are free exports anyway. They really do need some more viable products that are desired exports. When your only marketable raw resource is oil, you get branded as a one-trick-pony.”
Otto and Wolfgang rolled their eyes as Wolfgang resumed, “This turn of events has added legitimate quantities of oil to the world markets, not just bogus numbers. However after being ostracized from the international markets for so long, their accounting practices have deteriorated, and they do not have the appropriate measures of financial governance to participate with other international entities. Basically, their financial checks and balances, required to play in the global marketplace, would be like having an uneducated teenager, from some backwater farming community, show up at a high society gala dressed in overalls while everyone else is in tuxedos and gowns. Their size may allow them in, but they would be hopelessly outclassed in participating with the others.”
Otto puzzled that comment for a moment and then asked, “I admit that they may not be as sophisticated as the others of the world market, but they have legitimate product to offer. Where are you going with this, Wolfgang?”
Wolfgang responded, “If the so-called sophisticated oil commodity traders are being maneuvered with bogus figures, how can this fresh entrant into the marketplace expect to compete? I believe that their systems will be so porous that whomever is boosting the other world producers will do the same to Iran, and inflate their production numbers with yet another quasi-legitimate oil source. Moreover, they won’t have the financial discipline to resist selling for an ever lower dollar per barrel price. I see them playing right into the hands of this DMO.”
Quip mused, “It’s as if this conspiracy is growing legs and walking off on its own. With everything you are seeing, perhaps we should just turn around and float downstream with the current instead of fighting it.”
Otto and Wolfgang both turned to give Quip a hard look, as Wolfgang tersely stated, “That is exactly what happened when the Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933. No one contested their illegal activities because the economy was getting boosted by the flagrant disregard of the laws.
“Now, here we are again, things are being manipulated inappropriately, but because the results favor me currently, why should I complain? This situation is no different, because the laws of civilization are being violated with the end game that we all will lose. Individuals, corporations, nations, and belligerents must be made to play by the rules, or we all end up in a world war like 1939. We are here in this place and in this time with knowledge of history that clearly illustrates that flagrant disregard for the law cannot be tolerated. The answer is always the same; either stop it early, or stop it later. The only difference is how much more effort it takes to stop it later.”
Quip nodded thoughtfully and quietly stated, “Point taken.”
Breakfield and Burkey started writing non-fictional papers and books, but it wasn't nearly as fun as writing fictional stories.They found it interesting to use the aspects of technology that people are incorporating into their daily lives more and more as a perfect way to create a good guy/bad guy story with elements of travel to the various places they have visited, either professionally and personally, humor, romance, intrigue,suspense, and a spirited way to remember people who have crossed paths with them. They love to talk about their stories with private and public book readings. Burkey is also conducting regular radio interviews with other authors,which is interesting. Her first interview was, wait for it, Breakfield. You can often find them at local book fairs or other family oriented events.
The original series is based on a family organization called R-Group. Recently they have spawned a subgroup that contains some of the original characters as the Cyber Assassins Technology Services (CATS) team. The authors have ideas for continuing the series in both of these tracks. They track the more than 150 characters on a spreadsheet, with a hidden avenue for the future coined The Enigma Chronicles tagged in some portions of the stories.Fan reviews seem to frequently suggest that these would make good television or movie stories, so the possibilities appear endless, just like their ideas for new stories.
They have completed book video trailers for each of the stories,which can be viewed on YouTube, Amazon's Authors page, or on their website, enigmabookseries.com. Their website is routinely updated with new interviews, answers to readers' questions, book trailers, and contests. You may also find it fascinating to check out the fun acronyms they create for the stories but summarize on their website.
How You Decided To Pursue Your Dream of Book Writing?
This is a great question and actually has a rather involved answer. Let us take you back several years to explain.
When Burkey was in high school, she wrote a lot of poems. It was the typical fresh look at the world and people when youth discover they have an opinion. Several of the poems made it into the school paper and others were notated on yearbooks, along with other fond comments.
Breakfield had a turn as editor of the school paper which was so successful and controversial, the advisor was called on the carpet by administrators for not keeping a closer eye on the students. The school newspaper episode was a perfect example of the expression “the inmates are running the asylum”. This instilled a sense of accomplishment, opinion, and righteousness into the team and Breakfield.
Both were good in studies with writing papers a major component. Their paths crossed as professionals when we ended up at the same company. Burkey went on to work on her Master’s program using one of those tuition reimbursement vehicles offered by the employer.
Burkey wrote several technology oriented white papers to help supplement some of the college expenses. After several of these, she suggested that Breakfield jump on the band wagon. Together they wrote several white papers on relevant for the times technology subjects including software piracy, upgrades and migrations.
With this experience as well as careers in technology we continued to write technology non-fictional white papers as well as two non-fictional technical books. Technology exploded and began gaining inroads in so many avenues and started the shift of business driven changes to consumer driven changes. At the same point the freshness factor of technology non-fictional writing caused Breakfield to bow out of the writing and do some career shifting.
Burkey started working on a fictional path which leveraged her knowledge of technology but allowed a fun story to be the focus. Back to the poetry side of travel, romance, intrigue and a layer of suspense. It occurred to her at one point that Breakfield might have some creative fun with this fictional side. She recalled a famous paper they had created for their MIT graduate boss which was riddled with contrived acronyms which he almost took seriously and realized her fictional story needed Breakfield’s security expertise and his humor. She has moments of humor, but they are a mere flash in the pan compared to the humor Breakfield can deliver.
Burkey presented Breakfield with a good start on The Enigma Factor. After reading, he started to have ideas on how it could be expanded, improved and other great ideas. It’s all about timing and we had a comfort level in our jobs so time was made for pursuing this fun avenue of leveraging our technology background and using all the people we had met for character development. Yep, we’ve met a lot of crazy characters.
Fortunately we put our planning into practice to create the first book The Enigma Factor. Breakfield’s wife helped edit the creation and a book was born. We have been writing roughly two books a year since then and refining our skills along the way. We love storytelling from a perspective of engaging our readers and helping them think. More than one raving fan has commented, ‘Wow, after reading this book, I took a new look at my passwords.” Or, “That was so much fun, what are you going to come up with next.” The newest book in the series, The Enigma Source is scheduled for release August 19, 2018.
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