LEVI McPHERSON, a graduate student of analytical chemistry at the University of North Central Florida, is approached by agents of the Homeland Security’s Counter-terrorism Unit. The agency is recruiting Lee to study and expose the loopholes of screening instruments in airports. Struggling financially, he accepted the offer, making him a paid, benevolent hacker of the nation’s gateway. Yet Levi is horrified when an Airbus from Los Angeles disintegrated in mid-air.

At 40, when everybody’s career trajectory is going up, Levi’s still a poor graduate student, struggling financially. His research projects however, are worth million dollars. Researching the highly classified and heavily guarded secrets of detecting traces of explosives, what Lee know was a goldmine. The agency's offer is his financial break . So Levi tackles the problem like a scientist, detailing the loopholes of the aviation security and turning what he knew into a big time money machine.

JIM and JONATHAN of the counter-terrorism unit, where nowhere to be found after Charlotte International Airport, a hub of Delta Airlines closed abruptly because of instrument malfunctions in their security lines. And in a post-Osama Bin Laden’s era, the biggest blow to the United Stated after the 9/11 disaster comes unexpectedly when a passenger plane blew up in the skies of Washington D.C., in the heart of the nation.

Levi knew it was only the start of more troubles, so he recruits his fellow graduate students to counter the future attacks. They have to think like criminals—and scientists too. With the help of FBI counter-terrorism experts, Homeland Security and Transportation Security Agency, the team races to close and plug the loopholes Lee identified.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


 I updated the description of the professor in my book, after discussing what a professor should look like after my previous blog.

“We don’t have evidence we’re just making sure this guy is behaving” Special Agent Mowry shifted his weight in his chair.
            “Everything is under control in this lab and in this department” The professor assured the agent he’s handling the situation well and stroke his silvery beard.
            The gentleman’s silvery beard was witness to the Professor’s long and colorful career. After a large university up in Chicago conferred him his P.h.D., Chuck hung his coat and decided to work down in the sunny Florida. Without the coat, he only wears shirt and jeans. His fashions were never eye catching or even represents the profession of education. Most of his shirts were one size bigger than his body size, but he’s fit and not overweight, unlike some professors that waddle walking in the lobby.  Chuck’s an educator without the tie and rimless oval eye glass (his eyes were surgically treated with laser technology).
            Professor Chuck Morison hated bureaucracy. But he has to report to the FBI if any suspicious activities going on with his graduate students, especially students who came to the United States from countries from the Homeland Security’s “priority lists”: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. The bureau was not satisfied even with the assurance of the teacher, believing that the greatest threat to national security is homegrown terrorism. The bureau beleives that it may come from academic institutions. So from time to time, Agent Mowry visits Morison’s office to check on things. In his busy schedule, the professor hated unexpected guest, it interrupts his thought process in his task on hand.
            Get rid of the Republicans up in DC instead The professor thought.
            “You don’t handle anthrax do you?” The agent asked.
            “Our lab is not capable, but we collaborate with CDC”
            “And you’re sure Farzad never knew about this project?”
            “No” The professor said almost in a whispered scream. “Lee and Ashley handle sensitive projects, and we never discuss the results in our meetings. I have private one-on-one meetings with Lee”
            The professor continued “Why are you suspecting Farzad?”
            “He’s Iranian and a Muslim. These are the guys who baby sit a wound inflicted by 9/11. Prisoner in a strange land for being a Muslim”
            “I handle Farzad personally, so I know if problems arise.”
            “Good” The tone of the Agent Mowry’s voice was half satisfied. “Well then Professor Morrison, I have to go. I do need to talk to other researchers around campus”
            “Thanks for the visit again, you are always welcome to drop by anytime” The professor lied. He has to kiss ass with the funding agency that kept his laboratory alive and well. Without the money from the Department of Defense, funding to continue his research could have been scarce. The combination of President’s Bush policy to cut the science funding and then the 2008 economic turmoil left the country devastated, in all areas, even science funding. But thanks to the people from DOD, the Professor’s projects were well funded—that meant he can keep his army of researchers and graduate students happy.

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