Direct Fire: A Jake Mahegan Thriller #4 by A.J. Tata

In DIRECT FIRE, terrorist cells are gathering in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Hackers are emptying the nation’s banks of millions of dollars.  And their final act of vengeance will bring the whole world to its knees.  Author and Brigadier General AJ Tata explains how close we are to this fictional novel becoming real world fact…

A.J. Tata:  “The technology depicted in Direct Fire and my previous book, Besieged, exists today. Private companies and governments are deploying nanotechnology in ways only envisioned previously in science fiction stories. Small satellites, or “nanosats,” the size of a microwave oven are deployed in space presently. Weaponized, unmanned aerial systems are the number one threat to forces in combat today. Think of the danger in commercial, off the shelf technology such as small drones improvised to carry an explosive device flown remotely by a “pilot” as he steers the drone to a dining facility filled with soldiers. That is happening today.

Autonomous vehicles, whether ground or aerial, are in the force today and can be weaponized. The code to make ground and aerial systems communicate is Misha’s invention, based on her autistic ability to rapidly understand things such as swarms of birds in flight or schools of fish and how they all know when to change direction at the same time. Agencies such as the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) have been experimenting with nanotechnology swarming for years. We are very close to warfare governed by machine learning and artificial intelligence.”


“Former army paratrooper and ex-Delta Force Operative Jake Mahegan turned his head slowly and looked in each direction.  To his left was a man holding a pistol and to his right was another man holding an AR-15 assault rifle.  The assault rifle had a rail with a Maglite attached beneath it and an infrared aiming light secured on the opposite side.  Neither man wore night vision goggles, but the presence of the high-tech device gave Mahegan some insight to his adversaries’ capabilities.  This was not their first rodeo.

Both weapons were aimed directly at him.

“It’s going down right now,” the man to his right said in a thick Middle Eastern accent.  “Everything, all at once.”’


 Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata, U.S. Army (Retired), commanded combat units in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the 10th Mountain Division.  His last combat tour was in Afghanistan in 2007 where he earned the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star Medal.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed Jake Mahegan series, including Direct Fire, Besieged, Foreign & Domestic, and the Threat series, including Mortal Threat, Hidden Threat, Rogue Threat and Sudden Threat.  He is a frequent foreign policy guest commentator on Fox News, CNN, NBC and CBS News.  He has held various leadership positions in North Carolina.  He most recently served as Secretary of Transportation for the State of North Carolina.

Visit A. J. Tata online at:

Twitter:  @ajtata

Instagram:  ajtata_author