The First 750 Words

The First 750 Blog Carnival

The Alberta Connection, a Ryce Dalton Novel

The Alberta Connection, a Ryce Dalton Novel by R. Clint Peters


Fiction – Adventure

After watching ‘To Hell and Back’, the Audie Murphy Story, for the fifth time when he was eight years old, Ryce Dalton decided he wanted to join the Army.  However, when he was fourteen, his goal was to become an Army Ranger.

With only sixteen years as an Army Ranger, Ryce has retired.  Injured in an off-course, low-level practice jump that slammed him into a granite cliff, Ryce has concluded that command opportunities are nonexistent. 

He has joined the Joint Border Task Force, a combined Canadian-American group formed to prevent national secrets leaving the US .  The group has been given the task of finding how four laptops stolen from the Pentagon are crossing the border, and who they are going to be given to. 

Can Ryce keep those secrets from reaching the enemies of America ?

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Alberta Connection Final

Ryce Dalton gazed through his spotting scope for perhaps the tenth time in the hour.  A small cabin stood directly in front of him.  A woodshed to the right of the cabin almost overflowed with cut and split firewood.  A swiftly flowing stream gurgled in front of the cabin.  Far to his right, Ryce could see flashes of light glinting off a medium-sized, glacier-fed lake.  Occasionally, between the trees, patches of the dirt road leading to the lake could be seen through the scope. 


 The ridge where Ryce was positioned was a little over a half mile from the cabin and extended to more than one thousand feet above the valley floor.  He was painfully hidden in a small copse of trees two hundred feet below the crest of the ridge.  He was unable to move until it was dark and the lights had gone out in the cabin.   He had learned to use zipper baggies. 


 The cabin was the suspected hand-off point for smugglers transporting secrets across the border into Canada .  The Montana-Alberta border was relatively close.  It was two miles to the lake and then two miles up a dead-end canyon.  At the closed end of the canyon, the trail climbed a shale hog’s back approximately the same height as the ridge Ryce now occupied.  Once over the hog’s back, the trail was a twenty-mile walk in the park. 


 Ryce squinted through the viewfinder of his spotter scope and spun the focus knob.  With the crosshairs centered on the cabin, the range finder indicated it was 1,130 yards from his position. With the right sniper rifle, he knew several people who could make that shot.  Oliver Pendergast II was one of them.  Ryce chuckled.   Oliver Pendergast did not like being called Oliver.  He liked O2 much better.  Ryce had not seen or spoken to O2 since departing Afghanistan .  


 Ryce had been on the mountain for twelve days.  A partial road washout had prevented his insertion team dropping him closer than six miles from this observation post.  He hoped the road had been repaired, although he did not mind hiking.  The US Army Rangers effectively introduced its members to the concept and love of hiking.   


 Ryce scoped the road leading to the cabin. The road crossed the stream several times on large corrugated steel pipes.  The last pipe, in front of the cabin, was clogged with trees, forcing the stream to flow over the road.  Ryce shivered.  If he needed to get closer to the cabin, he would get wet.  


Ryce checked the cabin once again.  A faint stream of smoke drifted up from the chimney. The Dodge Ram 4-wheel drive pickup was still parked near the front door.  The scene was still peaceful. Ryce chuckled to himself.  He might even be able to dig into his MRE while it was still light out.  Eating an MRE using the Braille method was highly over-rated.


 Ryce picked up his smart phone and synchronized it to the conversion box.  The nearest cell tower was over twenty miles away and on the other side of three mountains.  The box turned the cell phone into a satellite radio.  Ryce kept an eye on the cabin as he typed his report for the day.  He had only enough supplies to last for two more days.  There were no signs that the group in the cabin had plans to go anywhere.  Ryce closed the text message with, “What would you like me to do?


 As he was waiting for a reply, Ryce detected movement on the road to his left, out of sight of the cabin.  A Black Suburban came to a stop, blocking the road to the cabin. Ryce swung his scope around to the Suburban.  Four men exited the vehicle and began to walk toward the cabin.


 All four were wearing forest camouflage with jump harnesses and side arms.  They were also carrying automatic rifles with the distinctive outlines of an M-16.  Ryce was puzzled when he noticed they were wearing running shoes instead of normal military-style boots.  Ryce frowned.  They might be carrying M-16s and wearing camo, but they were not trained military personnel.  Ryce did not know who was sneaking up on the cabin, but he was confident that they did not know what they were doing.

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R. Clint Peters was born in 1948 in a small town in central Washington State . Many people will not recognize him as R. Clint Peters, which is his pen name. Most people will know him as Ron Peters.

R. Clint Peters (Ron) was first introduced to writing in high school, where he was told by his English teacher that he had an ability to write. Unfortunately, it took almost 40 years to use that ability.

R. Clint Peters is the author of 7 completed novels, and at least six that are in-process. He has written several series, including The Pendergast series, The Ryce Dalton series, the Klete Wilkins series, and has started two new series, the Nixon French series, and the Brinkerford series. Additional information can be found at

R. Clint Peters now lives in Mesa , AZ. He likes fishing, camping and trying to grow a garden. Perhaps the best thing about growing a garden in Arizona is not having to cook the vegetables; they are cooked when they are pulled out of the ground.

R. Clint Peters is the blogmaster of The Book Reviewers Club blog and webmaster of The Book Reviewers Club website He can also be contacted on Twitter




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