Toronto Shakedown is an environmental thriller that takes place in the not too distant future along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. A team of young hackers, electrical engineers, physicists and geologists at Tyger Geosciences discover that their world is about to be shaken apart.
The criminals that are shaking up society are led by Stephan Dubenium, a wealthy Canadian who owns Dubenium Nuclear Services (DNS), one of North America’s leading nuclear services firms. He also owns a US company, Draco Energy Services which is about to launch three massive hydrofracking projects in Ohio and Pennsylvania run by two brothers, Draco and Kevin Isotelus.
The book’s action takes place over five days. Below is a quick overview of a few of the key events on the first day, Friday, March 7.
The book opens in the heart of fracking land, eastern Ohio, with Hedda Fessenden coaxing her ancient van up a rocky logging trail in Little Beaver Creek Park in Ohio. Hedda is a talented, attractive geologist who has detected rare popup formations, anomalous thermal springs and recently activated faults in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She warns local drillers to shut down their fracking projects. She is threatened with arrest. Her discoveries and environmental activism cost her dearly. She loses her research funding and is forced to return to her Cabbagetown flat in Toronto. To make matters worse, her laptop is stolen from her vehicle.
She meets Dave Michell, a co-owner of Tyger Geosciences who has been ordered out of Ohio by the Ohio Highway Patrol. Hedda leads Dave to the rare popups which are located in Rock Bridge Park in Ohio. Dave recruits her to join his earthquake research group in Rochester, New York. She will work with Robert Farley, an Afro-American astrophysicist who has identified heightened solar electric activity at several impact craters in the region.
Toronto Shakedown is as much about misanthropic hydrofrackers as it is about arrogant nuclear services professionals such as Stephan Dubenium, the Canadian owner of Dubenium Nuclear Services. We meet him as he is receiving a banned de-senescence treatment, hoping to extend his half life so he can outlive his competition. Stephan has an interesting phone call with Draco Isotelus, Dubenium’s partner in the United States. Draco is the Director of the Ohio Department of Resources and CEO of the hydrofracking company, DES. Draco wants Dubenium to sideline Dave Michell whom he sees as a direct threat to the three massive hydrofracking projects he is about to launch.
The scene shifts to Canada and the Rouge River Generating Centre outside of Toronto where Sven Tyger, CEO of Tyger Geosciences, is presenting a feasibility report to Ombrillo, a partner company of Dubenium Nuclear Services (DNS). Sven learns that Ombrillo is planning to turn Canada’s oldest nuclear plant into a modern, nuclear facility that will have no human operators and serve as a base for breeder reactor submarines. (A nuclear engineering company has actually developed plans for these commercial reactors.)
The day ends at Serpent Mound in central Ohio where Professor Robert Farley and his ten-year-old daughter, Janey, view a spectacular light show caused by streams of solar protons descending into the impact crater adjacent to Serpent Mound. The event is a rare occurrence of earthquake lights, proof that something serious is afoot on planet earth.
Day Two, Saturday, Black Swans Circle
The team at Tyger Geosciences assess the earth signs that are becoming as ominous as the actions of Draco Isotelus.
Day Three, Sunday, Seeking Ground Truth
The Tyger Geosciences’ team goes on the road to test their hypotheses, find answers and build alliances.
Day Four, Monday, Power Plays
The battle is afoot. Traps are set. Nature’s black swans circle.
Day Five, Rock and Roll, Tuesday,
The swans descend and survival is the only game that matters.