|Goliath (2002) [Novel]|
by Steve Alten
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20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
meets 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
as a victim of terrorism holds humanity hostage aboard the most lethal killing machine ever constructed.
Terrorism. Acts of Oppression. The threat of nuclear war. What if one madman aboard a vessel could end these fears forever?
Commander Rochelle "Rocky" Jackson is aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when the "unsinkable" naval vessel and its entire fleet are attacked from the depths and sunk. As Rocky struggles to stay alive, a monstrous mechanical steel stingray surfaces, plowing the seas it now commands.
THE GOLIATH: A nuclear submarine Rocky helped design almost a decade ago, a top secret DoD project canceled when the schematics were destroyed by her former fiancé and U.S. Army Ranger, Gunnar Wolfe. Powered by its five jet-pump propulsors and hydrodynamically shaped to be virtually undetectable under water, the sub has one more feature that separates it from all other vessels on the open seas: SORCERESS - its biochemical computer brain.
WASHINGTON D.C.: Rocky learns that the GOLIATH'S plans were not destroyed but secretly sold to the Chinese. Having constructed the $8 billion dollar warship, the Chinese become victims themselves when the sub is hijacked by the project director, Simon Bela Covah, a computer genius who once served under Rocky's command at the Navy's Undersea Warfare Center. The attack on the carrier fleet indicates that Covah is hunting down warships in an attempt to arm himself with nuclear weapons. The president appoints Rocky's father, General Michael "Bear" Jackson, to locate and destroy the GOLIATH. Against Rocky's wishes, Bear decides they will need Gunnar Wolfe's help. Gunnar, who has served five years in Leavenworth for espionage, is not exactly thrilled to be rejoining the people who ruined his life.
ABOARD THE GOLIATH: Simon Covah and his crew share a common bond: They are all victims of violence and oppression. Covah, a Russian, witnessed his Chechan wife and daughters brutally murdered at the hands of his own people as he was tortured. Now the computer genius has one mission: to rid the world of oppressive governments while forcing humanity to disarm.
To accomplish this, he plans on giving the world a real lesson in Armageddon. Armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy North America, Covah issues his Declaration of Humanity to the world. If his demands are not met, consequences will be paid.
Could the threat of violence forge a lasting peace?
But there is another player in this life-and-death chess match. Unbeknownst to the GOLIATH crew, SORCERESS has become self-aware.
And the computer is developing its own agenda...