by Dale Cox
Will Lt. Teresa O’Brien, first woman to fly “spook missions,” avoid the terrorist assassins sent to stop the spy planes by killing the pilots?
A young Latina Navy test pilot, pushed to the limit, becomes the first woman to fly “spook missions" from the secret Groom Lake Air Base in Nevada. Her success in locating a terrorist base enrages the Wahhabi al Furan, who plot to kill her, and her fellow test pilots.
Selected as the first woman to fly a Mach 7 spy plane, Lieutenant Teresa O’Brien faces intense hostility. The three resident male test pilots don’t intend to coddle a woman neophyte with only 1900 hours, forced into their ranks by a powerful Congresswoman. How to sink her career requires clever planning and, before she reports in, Major Rick McQuilkin is assigned the task. McQuilkin meets O’Brien and, instead of the expected female wrestler type, he finds an attractive young woman with a friendly smile. She proves more capable than expected, a quick learner with several years experience flying off Navy aircraft carriers. This upsets his designs for cutting her out of the program. Terri in turn discovers that Rick is more vulnerable than his macho exterior reveals. Although he tries to hide them, serious problems could ground him and he still carries deep scars from the bitter split with his long-time girlfriend.
A Wahhabi assassin, poised to kill Lt. O’Brien, is thwarted by a stranger’s intervention. The CIA/FBI team investigating the failed assassination receives hints of more lethal missions involving nuclear weapons. A young hooker, servicing a Saudi Prince, reports that seven jihad warriors are preparing to cross the radioactive nuclear test site, attack the secret base and kill the four test pilots.
Taurora is based on an actual Mach 7 plane first revealed to the American public by an article in the Wall Street Journal in 1992.
The author, a former Navy test pilot, holds two official transcontinental speed records, Los Angeles-New York and New York-Los Angeles, and was a contender in the Mercury astronaut program.
- Dale Cox, May 2012
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