Artificial Horizon

The Sequel to HIGH GROUND Coming in 2020

Michael Babcock was the first pilot to shoot down an orbiting satellite from a military fighter aircraft. He should be in the history books. Instead, forced into retirement, unable to find work as a test pilot, unknown even to his family he is quietly creeping toward the edge of his sanity.

He has kept his hand in by flying museum aircraft for air shows and exhibitions. It’s not the same, but flying classic warplanes sets his imagination free on the wind. It gives him a sense of exhilaration that is as close to happiness as he can find now.

Nearing the end of the air show season he has pulled an assignment that brings him back to Maine, back to the scene of the night that changed his life forever.

He has been entrusted to fly one of the most celebrated historic aircraft, a combat-ready Supermarine Spitfire Mark 19 owned by the Eagle’s Head Air Museum. The Spitfire: the iconic emblem of Britain’s resistance in the Battle of Britain. Fewer than two dozen remain in the world in airworthy condition. The high performance aircraft is worth millions and is entrusted to only the most experienced pilots.

On a clear fall afternoon Babcock eases the Spit off the runway at Eagle’s Head, banks out over the sea—and disappears.

Two days later, a few miles down the coast from Eagle’s head in Leitrim, Maine, a frightened young woman arrives at the Brandt Mansion seeking the help of Esther Brandt and her friends Margaret Haart and Ruth O’Connor. She has never met Michael Babcock, she tells them, but she believes she has the missing Spitfire, disassembled and stored in wooden crates in the back of an apple barn in Damariscotta she recently inherited from her Uncle.

“Uncle Bill told me, ‘when the pilot and plane go missing up to Eagle’s Head to come and find you. He was dying. I thought he was delirious.”

“When did your Uncle die, dear,” Esther asked tenderly.

The young woman looked visibly shaken, closed her eyes and said, “Two years ago.”

ARTIFICIAL HORIZON, sequel to HIGH GROUND, coming in 2020.

Read free sample chapters of HIGH GROUND

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