Actively working on
The ETHICAL HACKER ~ Acidemia
is a political suspense thriller novel involving the politics of power and medicine at a teaching hospital campus.
The ETHICAL HACKER ~ Verdict
is the accomplice, criminal psychological thriller novel.
Wish we could say more!
These books are a work of entertainment fiction, inspired by events in which we all feel the impact of fear .
Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. All other names, characters, places, and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
I made up every word.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
~ The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
Afroz Ahmed watches surveillance footage in his office, reflecting on how far this has come. This is not his first experience of surgical political assassination. The techniques he uses are textbook. The tenets recoiling around themselves: ride out the thing, stonewall, deny, suggest that the opponent created it all, dig into their past, and destroy their credibility. If that fails, make it up and leak it to the media; then sit back and watch as the press has their fun then get bored with it. If done correctly the whirlpool of piranhas, each clawing for a piece of meat will effectively add their own spins, ultimately leaving the opponents broken carcass adrift.
He has too much invested in this strategy to abandon it now or ever. He can spin anything and set anyone up for failure. He is not just engaged in the process; he is happy to be difficult. It fills him and provides a sense of joy to influence conflicts.
Looking at himself on the video monitor, he sees himself the way he wanted to see himself. Charismatic diplomacy practiced at the highest levels of fraud and deceit. Magnetic appeal, expansive personality, imposing yet mercurial, appears to read others thoughts. He is the expert in codes, counterintelligence tactics, and psychological operations.
“Amateurish,” he scoffed, as his eyes drifted to the card on top of the file, left under his door, that now sits ominously at the center of his desk.
“Experience shows that there have been very many conspiracies, but few have turned out well.”
~ Niccolo Machiavelli, the Prince
I was long past the point of fear, yet walking down the corridor away from Dr. Afroz Ahmed’s office my hand was trembling. My desperate need of aid and protection ended with my demotion. A three-decade career abruptly halted. The trajectory of my life transformed.
It was a difficult decision to bring Dr. Afroz Ahmed into the circle. The well-respected President has extensive executive experience. He knows the inner workings of the politics, policies, and cancerous sub-culture. His network of influential, wealthy, and well-known patrons can elevate or destroy.
His power is legendary. He forgets nothing. One tweet or lunch with him can have ever-reaching ripples of consequences.
Leaving the card and file was a risk I had to take. Playing the game at their level, I had to stand in silence and wait.
“Now, would he set the wheels in motion that will trigger the restoration of my career or its utter implosion?” I whispered to no one in particular.
Barbara Morrow began work as the Joint Commission Manager under Ethical Compliance. Her task was to prepare the organization for the Joint Commission Accreditation visit. Promoted to Compliance Project Manager after one year of planning and achieving a 99% survey outcome, Barbara is successful. In this role, she researched and implemented the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as gaining hands-on experience in the field of corporate compliance and cyber security with Hawk Enterprises.
During this time she earned her American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) credentials and was promoted to Compliance Director. After two years, she became Chief Compliance Officer and Administrator of Information Management with the retirement of her supervisor, mentor, and friend, Katrina Demetri. The current promotion to Assistant Vice President earned her the admiration of her peers, as well as a large corner penthouse office with panoramic views of the campus and surrounding venues.
This morning she arrives at her office eviscerated and visibly exhausted. Her whole body is tense, eyes full, chest and shoulders bearing the weight of her rapid pulse. The gas and bile rise in her gut and bowels, stomach churns; clearly this time she cannot ignore her body’s hypervigilant reaction.
Her elevator dream happened again.
She has lost count as to the number of times this has replayed in her mind in vivid detail and color. It is always the same. She sees herself enter an elevator and push a button, any button. The elevator goes up, and the front door slides open. There she sees a large, lush, green, pasture with black and white cows. The elevator doors slide shut. Barbara pushes another button; the elevator moves sideways, then doors open behind her. She pivots, and she sees a group of well-dressed people. She calls out to them, and they stare at her frozen. The elevator doors slip closed. As the elevator moves again, she presses another button. Now the doors open to her left side. She turns and sees two cats lapping up cream. The dream always ends the same. The next doors to open are on her right. She rotates to see herself standing and smiling, surrounded by a framework of transparent, shining light.
Barbara pursed her lips, her breathing finally normal. She mulls this dream sequence over and over again. “What am I trying to tell myself?” she asks out loud, although no one else is nearby.
From the moment I informed Barbara Morrow, I became an instrument, a mask of sanity amid the lies, rage, and spin. That many-headed monster of threats and intimidation performed its hokey pokey dance. The vortex polluted, I am in imminent risk.
The inciting incident and cover-up began five years ago. Unethical conduct by a senior medical administrator, sex for admission and letters of recommendations, fraudulent faculty tenure evaluations, drug diversion, are the Hollywood Boulevard of hidden truths that require self-reporting. They don’t, and no one holds them accountable.
I am the invisible witness, the observer. I saw and heard things that forced a merger into madness. The subtle behaviors of functional narcissistic sociopaths and their cumulative harm is a dangerous process demanding the highest ethical and professional behavior of all participants. These people’s behaviors are cancer. The rate-limiting step of conduct tolerance determines the speed of metastasis. Harassment, obstruction, discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, hostility, retaliation is learned and accepted patterns of behavior.
“Why?” my mind churned. “Reflection is my constant companion. Is it possible to change views acquired in the course of decades of living?”
As a human being, I have seen suffering. Logic compels me. I never doubt patterns. Cancer must be cut out, removed, and dismissed.
“An ethical hacker,” I whispered. “That is the situation fate has placed upon me.”
I step out of the elevator, and Ms. Morrow’s office is in plain sight.
“Hello, do you have a moment?”
“Of course,” she replies.
“When facing difficult choices, do you pay attention to your conscience, our inner GPS compass?”
“The problem is one of perception. This is the so-called theory-meet-theory paradigm. Here, take a look at the creation story my son wrote. He took his cues from Jack and the Beanstalk. This one is fantasy-centric yet is has core truths.”
‘The Capturing team had us cornered. These giantesses specialize in capturing tiny people. Their cultural meme allows for hostages and forced labor. Giantesses pillage towns and villages, taking the people. Specifically, they seek lightweight men and women with large and soft feet. This feature makes it easier for the giantesses to grasp and hold a person without damaging or killing it.
As they eye us and move in for the snatch, one of the giantesses sneeze releasing copious amounts of slime. We run toward the river of slime and body surf across the floor under her legs, through the door, down the spiral staircase, and crash land on chairs covered with a gummy, gluey, steamy, and smelly giantess feces. And that is how I ended up in the emergency room with a chair stuck to my behind!’
“There is no valid argument for or against the reconstruction of the history presented here. The significance is we all get covered in slime!”
“Certainly, you must do what you think, feel, and know is right,” I pressed. “Each of us has an internal sense of right and wrong; physiological programming as in an early warning alarm system of danger and consequences.” I lectured. “It is for protection, guidance, and survival.”
“Not necessarily,” Barbara countered. “We can ignore, mute, and warp our conscience. It is an insidious world system process. Many people are very comfortable with following and obeying the status quo and conforming. It is easier to have an authority to tell you what is right and true rather than think for yourself. It saves reputations, careers, and relationships.”
As I turned to leave, Barbara announced, “You are invited to the hospital’s Board of Trustees meeting today. We expect to see you there.”
“Officially, we continue to engage in discussions and remain highly committed to resolving this matter. Informally, yes, do not say another word.”
“Brendon Burchard wrote, ‘Sharing and teaching is a true art that ignites a deep well of passion within the human spirit.’ Slime suffocates your Soul.”
In a clear, composed voice I delivered my four-word statement, “I respectfully request reinstatement.”
The dark oak door to the conference room closes behind me.