Flash Ops: Trial by Fire

Book Cover



Carter Blake

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A retired Special Forces soldier gets brain implants that allow him to upload information directly to his brain. He is "tailored" for each mission and quickly deployed to the Middle East to save a kingdom and an entire banking system. Written with real-world research set against real-world events


Action,Sci-fi,Historical Fiction,Suspense/Thriller,Other,Crime

Short Summary

Mike O’Brian just retired after 20 years as a legendary Special Forces soldier. Facing an uncertain future as a civilian, he is pressed back into service by a shadowy intelligence group, only this time for a private company and with cutting-edge technology behind him – and inside him.

Mike covertly parachutes into Bahrain, uncovers the Bahraini royal family traitor, derails the plot to destroy the banking system, destroys the terrifying plot weapon, and single-handedly kills the jihadi council responsible for the plot and the death of an American sailor.


Cape Cod, Cambridge, MA, Bahrain, Persian Gulf

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Voyage and Return

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Other

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Mike O’Brian

Age: 38

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Modest,Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Patriotic,Confident,Decisive,Selfless,Faithful,Skillful,Flexible,Romantic,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Strong Moral Code,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Jimmy Thurbers

Age: 39

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Modest,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Patriotic,Decisive,Blunt,Selfless,Engaging,Faithful,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Sarcastic,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Norman Hastings

Age: 62

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Engaging,Educated,Secretive,Visionary,Skillful,Outspoken,Blunt,Patriotic,Strong Moral Code,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Sadiq al Fiiq bin Furmuz

Age: 34

Gender: Female

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Villainous,Narcisstic,Confident,Criminal,Power Hungry,Skillful,Greedy,Secretive,Manipulative,Lone Wolf

Development Pitch

Flash Ops: Trial By Fire is the first in a planned series. It is a gripping, page-turning story of action, science, technology, intelligence, and romance. Based on real-world research into technologies used to help people suffering from PTSD and other traumas, the story is set against real-world events, using a highly-trained soldier as the protagonist and a cast of characters that flesh out the story concisely but with color and context. The initial pacing and voice of the story keeps the reader engaged, wanting more, all the while giving off an increasing sense of urgency until the final action-packed operations sequences give the sense of the blinding speed, technological prowess, and uncanny accuracy of modern special operations. While a very good book, Flash Ops: Trial By Fire's vivid writing and superb scene-setting is ideally suited for a film production. The action and character development flow from scene to scene and lead the reader (viewer) along the road to knowing more and wanting to know more about each character.

About The Author

Carter Blake is the pen name for a highly decorated, retired, 35-year Naval Intelligence Officer, civilian intelligence officer, and federal civil servant. He was assigned to duties around the world, from tactical units afloat and in the field to the highest levels of strategic national intelligence. He served in both DESERT STORM and IRAQI FREEDOM, and was one of the Intelligence Communities foremost experts on Iran, dating back to 1987. He currently lives in the Colorado mountains with his two rescue dogs.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Male Leaning

Group Specific

Lower Cape Cod community, Bahraini community, scientific community, banking, intelligence community, special operators.

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Amazon

Year Published: 2017

Hard Copy Available







Mike is about to retire from Special Forces after 20 years in the military. He is recruited by a mysterious private firm that places him back in the Middle East. Using brain implant technology Mike is able to download his training and skills for each mission. He must take down a traitor within the Bahraini royal family.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

Pace: FAIR


Structure: EXCELLENT

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The narrative is reflected quite well especially in the development pitch. Because the real world tech is explained in the pitch it could be removed from the logline in order to help make the logline shorter.

Draw of Story

The idea that there is technology to download information into people's brains is controversial and unique. The setting of Bahrain is fresh and the action is fast paced.

Possible Drawbacks

The depiction of women is a bit flat and or static. It also seems biased as Connie is negged for being a powerful business woman who gets straight to the point but in doing so doesn't "have a personality" when many of the men on the operation don't really socialize while on missions while doing their job either.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Mike is a retired special forces soldier who gets brain implants to work for a private Middle Eastern security firm. The technology is only partially science fiction and has real world roots.

Fanbase Potential

For an action film with new techonology (that isn't external weapons related) this could have a large audience. The cross-genre inclusion of the science fiction could potentially increase the viewership even further.

Awards Potential

Given its genre this is unlikely to have awards potential outside perhaps the special effects or sound mixing/editing categories.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

Being more explicit in what technology is being used and how it improves each mission would make the unique science fiction element more apparent. At present Mike is told he'll be ready and then he is ready but without comparison to his old soldier life and how the mission is impossible without the technology, it is hard to compare and marvel at the downloaded information in how it gives the security firm an unparalleled advantage.

Lead Characters

Mike is a reliable and unshakeable soldier able to keep his cool and do his job in the toughest of situation. He doesn't need help but also is able to follow orders in team hierarchy.

Uniqueness of Story

The idea of fighting with military technology that downloads the information and skills needed but the soldier consents to the tech is unique. But the execution of how the technology is working is hard to decipher, and the pacing is slowed by explaining more how it works and the world it functions in beforehand rather than in its actual use on the Bahraini mission.

Possible Formats

Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

Changing the structure of the brain implant explanation to be more concrete after the fact during missions rather than abstract before the surgery might help make the pacing quicker in the beginning of story. Giving Mike and the supporting characters inner conflicts and transformation outside of getting implants would help showcase the stakes and add more tension to the missions.