Banan clamped her hands over her mouth to forcibly hold her silence lest she draw the Americans to them with her screams. She re-steadied herself back to her feet and turned to Sammie. Sammie hoarsely mouthed to her “are you ok?”
Banan nodded lightly. She removed her hands from her mouth and surveyed the room. A scream rose in her throat at the shear carnage which surrounded them. Up close, it felt infinitely more real than it did from the ceiling above. Sammie could see the scream rising in Banan’s throat and so she leapt out from her hiding spot and clamped her hands around Banan’s mouth. She whispered in Banan’s ear “Shhhh…. If you scream, the Americans will kill us both.” Banan swallowed down her terror and Sammie released her grip. Sammie frowned as she surveyed the carnage. Dozens of dead bodies, lay piled about the room but Sammie could not see Megan readily. Sammie said “We have to find them. I’m sure you’re worried about Scarlet, Steve, and Jerry. It looks like a lot of people from the dance floor tried hiding in here. There may still be hope. Maybe one of them played dead to trick the Americans and is hiding underneath the bodies.”
Silently, they both began the grisly task of sifting through the bodies. Sammie recognized several people from the bar as well as some of some of ‘Snow White’s’ dwarves. She heard Banan whisper sadly “Scarlett.” Sammie turned to look. Banan held on to Scarlett’s arm as it protruded out from underneath the dead body of the bartender. Banan grabbed hold of Scarlett’s wrist for a second and then turned to Sammie and shook her head sadly. Sammie nodded and said “We’ll keep looking.”
As they dug through, a slight coughing sound came from the back. Sammie sprinted to it and pulled away some bodies revealing Steve. He grimaced and coughed up some blood as he labored to breath. Sammie knelt down saying “Steve, Steve…” He looked up into her eyes and gasped. He said “They …” A fit of coughs stopped him. Sammie looked down across his body. Large punctures pierced almost every part of him. Banan ran up alongside her and knelt next to him as well. Sammie surveyed the room for something, anything they could use to plug his wounds even though a part of her knew it was already too late for that. The spreading puddle of blood flowing from behind Steve told her that the exit wounds were much larger than the small punctures that covered his front. Steve hoarsely whispered “They took…” Sammie knelt close and asked “Took who?” Steve drew in a deep breath. The blood gurgling from his chest bubbled as he said “Took… Megan…” Banan asked “You mean they killed her?” Steve shook his head. His head slumped for a while and he closed his eyes. Sammie almost began to stand back up when he said “No… they drag Megan away… then kill everyone. They take her… on purpose.”
Sammie’s blood froze in her veins. She asked “Why?” Steve shuddered and looked up at her. He grasped her arm and replied, as if giving some dire warning, “Bistro!” With that said, his grip released. His eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped over silently. The pool of blood spreading from beneath him began to cool as the last whispers of life escaped his body. Both women stood there, blood-soaked and shivering in shock and terror. Sammie’s mind felt as though it moved through water as the world around her spun slowly. It seemed as if everything began to tunnel in on Steve’s lifeless face. Scarcely a few minutes prior, he had been the first guy to buy her a drink at a bar and now he was dead. Megan was the first woman to show Sammie any form of kindness, well somewhat kindness in a drunken-party sense of the word, and now she had been kidnapped by Americans. All of the conflicting emotions boiled back and forth within Sammie but none over whelmed the burning question which exploded in her mind above all the rest…
“Why did the American’s take Megan alive?”
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The human race is in trouble. After narrowly claiming victory in the first invasion, an assault by advanced militaristic aliens armed with light speed capable spacecraft is a continuing threat. Even so, Chrysalis is in danger, and Whatsit is determined to rescue his fellow Chrysallamans. It's a task he knows he cannot accomplish without the help of his human brethren. With the threat of future attacks looming, the humans will have to decide whether it's best to go on the defensive at home on Earth or take the fight to its source and save the Chrysallaman race.
Four people in Brooklyn N.Y. who know little about each other and backgrounds that could not be any more different. A normal winter day for these four regular joes will turn into a full-fledged adventure that will determine the fate of the Earth with one twist. That twist is that there is a virtual world that looks, smells and feels like Earth and whatever happens in this virtual world happens on Earth, A great evil has decided to use this world for its purpose to take over Earth for himself.
These four regular joes will turn from normal everyday joes into Earth's only hope as they try to prevent an alien race called the gloobas from taking over the world using virtual reality as a weapon. Get ready for an action-packed adventure where the enemies are not human and watch our heroes explore a virtual world that will break the rules of nature and science. Little do our heroes know they will fight in a war that was once fought over one thousand years ago and the time has come again for the war to commence once again between good and evil. These four distinctive people (Angel, Maria, Dayvon and Luis) will have to put aside their differences as they will travel to places including New York, Hollywood, the Arctic Core and even outer space. To raise the stakes even higher our heroes will only have 10 days to reverse the effects of the virtual world to Earth otherwise, the world may not survive or be under alien rule.
Is this what World War 3 has in store for the people on Earth. Is Earth due for another dark age similar to the fall of the Roman Empire? If our heroes fail Earth will fall and nobody will know why or how. Prepare for an adventure where anything can happen will happen, along with plenty of Romance, time traveling and our heroes will even see paranormal forces that will either hurt or help them and an ending that will make you cry!
“Who’s there?” Carl muttered, his eyes slowly opening to narrow slits. The squeal in his head subsided, as did the song. The sound was replaced by distant howling that hung in the cool air the same way that his breath rolled out from his lips.
The mattress felt stiffer than a slab of concrete. With a grunt, Carl tried to roll to his side. Every muscle in his body lit ablaze with a fire that grew hotter, no matter how he positioned himself. Every joint swelled, making it impossible to form even a loose fist. He gave up and flopped flat on his back.
Carl looked up to the ceiling; in the center of the stained canopy, a drop of water clung to a dark patch of mold, clawing its way towards the corner. The damp scent of rot caught in his nose, causing him to cough, sending sharp pains through his abdomen. When the coughing stopped, he wanted to clutch at his sides, but it was easier to stay still.
Carl tilted his head. His eyes trailed towards the room’s barred entrance, which was framed with crumbling plaster. Pieces of stucco remained on the concrete floor, reminding Carl of his vision during lunch at Informacorp. He let out a sigh, watching his breath condense in the cold air, slowly floating away and dissipating into obscurity.
He tried to move his leaden arm, but the weight was too difficult to overcome. When is this going to stop? he wondered. He had no desire to stay in this ugly world with its bland gray palette. All of it so real. Carl wondered if he was crazy, if he would ever be able to escape this delusion. If I am crazy, he wondered, would I be able to recognize it? The idea sent his mind reeling, unable to discern an answer that didn’t lead back to the beginning of a cruel paradox. A stabbing sensation in his intestines abruptly took him away from his internalized argument. There was no question about the reality of pain. That much was certain.
Eventually, the agony in his belly dulled, giving Carl a chance to scan the room for clues. He wasn’t sure what to look for. Or even what questions needed to be answered. Those questions, he decided, were too numerous to sort out. Some hint, any hint about his location would suffice for the time being. But from within the gray confine, there were no indicators as to his whereabouts. Carl closed his eyes and continued to lay still.
Every night, Jade is rattled by a recurring dream—a dream that’s as real as the research institute where she lives. When flames fall from the sky and an alien ship crashes into Earth, Jade becomes government property and at the mercy of scientists. After all, she’s imprinted with an intelligent alien metal that could be the answer to all of Earth’s problems.
However, in the wrong hands, the metal implant could become the deadliest weapon known to humankind.
Kept underground for sixteen years, Jade fights to keep her sanity and understand the intelligent organism that is wrapped around her spine. When a new company takes over the science institute, Jade’s alien symbiont warns her of imminent danger.
Then Jade meets Aric, the lone survivor from the spaceship. They form an alliance that will change their personal destiny and they put a plan into motion that will alter the future of mankind.
Book One of THE IMPRINT TRILOGY.
The adrenaline-racing second book in The Imprint Series
Fugitives from Startech, Jade and Aric follow their map to Dieter Copeland's house in the backwoods of Rutherford. While in hiding, Dieter teaches them how to connect with their alien metal. But their teacher is keeping his own deep, dark secret--a secret that could affect both their lives.
Aric and Jade grow closer, falling more in love, but being on the run has its drawbacks. When it becomes apparent that Startech will stop at nothing to recover their technology, the pair comes face to face with imminent danger, their fears and the truth behind the company that threatens their existence.
Ultimately, as Jade and Aric fight for their lives, they discover there is only one place they can go...
When you're a janitor, life can get a little routine. When you are a janitor at Area 51, life can be a bit more interesting. When you're a janitor at Area 51 and everything goes wrong, life can get downright terrifying.
Join Jose as he attempts to be the last line of defense for Earth as this lowly janitor and his friends take on aliens and killer houseplants in Janitor 51.
Stowaway to the Stars tells the story of Larry, an undercover agent for the Interstellar Exploration Programme, who stumbles on a covert operation by Zilon, a ruthless member of the Galactic Union. He finds himself framed by the Ziloni and a fugitive from the Union.
Karen is seeking the man responsible for the death of her sister. But one simple case of mistaken identity and a reckless decision suddenly sees her life in turmoil. She discovers that she is a stowaway on Larry’s spacecraft and her future is now irrevocably linked to his.
Larry’s future looks bleak. His only chance of finding evidence that will clear his name entails a near-suicidal invasion of a Ziloni military base. Karen has no choice but to accompany Larry on his mission, where she is thrown into the strange environment of the Union. Together they face the ultimate test as they battle with the collective might of the Ziloni and the Galactic Union.
Larry eased the thrust stick most of the way forward and the speed began to build. The arc of the Earth moved backward across the canopy, slowly at first but progressively faster until it was out of view, the cabin lights brightening to compensate for the loss of Earthlight. He trimmed the stick to maintain the thrust and settled back for the ride out to the hyperspace boundary.
A few minutes passed peacefully, then a voice behind him shattered the silence. ‘Hello, Grant. I bet you didn’t expect to meet me again.’
He leapt up and spun round. It was the girl from the bar, now sitting in his rear seat and pointing a gun at his head.
Her face was expressionless as her eyes bored into his. ‘I’m going to make you pay for what you did to Rachel. I know you’re responsible for what happened.’
Larry’s jaw sagged as he stared back at her, dumbfounded. How in the name of the seven saints had this strange girl managed to get aboard his ship, why was she mightily pissed off, and why did she seem to think his name was Grant? Before he could frame a suitable reply, a siren on the control console blared.
His world turned upside down for the second time. One glance at the viewscreen told him the worst. He had an incoming missile! And no guard missiles deployed. Shit, he was in deep trouble.
Larry made a rapid decision. A girl waving a pistol at his head or the absolute certainty of death in a couple of seconds from the missile - it wasn’t a contest. He spun back to the controls and located the red trace warning of the incoming missile approaching from the right. He’d have seen it seconds earlier but for the distraction of the damned girl.
‘Hey, arsehole, I’m not finished with you. Listen –’
How could this be happening to him? It was like a nightmare. And the stupid Earth girl who was distracting him hadn’t the faintest concept of what was going on. ‘Lady, shut up and let me concentrate, or you’ll get us both killed.’
He slammed the stick hard left and back. The ship’s gravity compensator had masked the earlier manoeuvring and bone-crunching thrust of the fifty gee drive out toward the hyperspace boundary. But it whined as it struggled to cope with the rapid changes of direction, and the slight lag made him clutch the top of the instrument panel to avoid being thrown about. He was vaguely aware of clattering behind him as the girl was thrown off balance by the same uncompensated forces.
The missile overshot, but a second red trace appeared on the display and an instant later the siren went off again. He slammed the stick the other way, bracing himself again. That missile passed by on the left, but even closer. The girl shouted something else. Forget about her, she probably wouldn’t kill him, but those damned missiles would if he didn’t get his defence missiles deployed fast.
"That's lovely, okay, look this way, marvellous, hold it right there." I look around me to locate the source of the words ringing in my ears as I approach the grand, stately venue of this year's biggest event in the fashion calendar.
It crosses my mind that I might be about to stumble upon a fashion shoot as I enter the piazza, only to discover a group of amateur photographers jostling for pole position to get pictures of anyone among the cluster of people crowding the entrance who might be wearing something vaguely fashionable or different.
I stop and watch with amusement the parasites with their rocket-fuelled egos, posing and posturing for the camera-wielding onlookers and their ever-extending and retracting lenses.
Lightning ripped across the northern California sky, then splintered down through the rain and disappeared behind our neighbor’s house. Letting the door slam shut behind me, I ran away from the warmth of our porch light into the darkness of our backyard. My mom would’ve killed me if she’d caught me outside that late at night. Especially in a thunderstorm, and on the night before my fifteenth birthday, with the big party she had planned for tomorrow. But I had to get out of the house before I fell asleep and they came for me. And they were coming!
A gust of wind blew my hair against my face. I swiped it out of my eyes just in time to see a plastic lawn chair tumbling through the air. I covered my head with both arms, but a leg of the chair smashed against my elbow. Ouch!
I dropped onto the wet grass, pulled my knees into my chest, and rocked nervously back and forth. Water soaked up through my nightgown and my underwear, making me shiver.
None of these things mattered, though. Because something far worse was happening inside my head. A memory of me as a little girl, on the night my grandpa Dahlen disappeared from his cottage, was trying to claw its way into my consciousness. And I didn’t want to think about that night. Ever.
Still, I couldn’t stop it, which didn’t make sense. I was awake, and outside, where I was supposed to be safe, yet the aliens from my dreams were somehow messing with my thoughts, rearranging things, trying to make me think about that night! But how?
And why? It happened eight years ago, and my grandpa was dead now.
Although, before he disappeared, he’d—
No! Stop, Courtney! I yelled at myself.
I bit my fingernail and took a deep breath, hoping to calm down.
No luck. I was remembering the musty old-books smell from my grandpa’s bookcase. Butterflies rushed into my stomach and I sprang to my feet.
“All right. Is that what you want me to do?” I shouted into the rainy darkness. “Remember my grandpa? What happened that night? If I do that, then will you leave me alone?”
I wiped the rain from my eyes, and suddenly it was like I was right there, in the cottage. His notebook sat on the plaid couch, opened to a map he’d drawn of the ancient wormholes linking the alien world to our own.
I stumbled backward over a tree root and my butt hit the ground; my head clunked against an even bigger root. Oww! I started to sit up. But suddenly the memory I’d been running from took over the screen in my mind. I fell back into the wet grass and watched the scene unfold as if I were seven years old again, right there in the cottage.
It was raining outside, and the air smelled like old, musty books and burnt hamburgers. I glanced over at my grandpa Dahlen. He was busy in the kitchen, forking ears of corn out of a pot of boiling water. Standing tiptoe on the comfy reading chair, I reached up to the bookcase and ran my fingers along the dials of what he called his ham-radio/alien-transport machine.
“Courtney!” Grandpa stared at me over his steamed-up glasses.
“Fine.” I plopped down on the reading chair and crossed my arms over my chest. Then I lowered my eyes. Blood was seeping through my shirt again from earlier in the day, when my grandpa’s nun friend had stopped by with a guy with a tattoo gun. They’d come to give me a tattoo. I hadn’t wanted a tattoo! But my grandpa had told me it was important, and the way he’d said it, I’d believed him. So now I had a blue mark on my rib cage that looked like four dead bugs arranged in a square.
“So tell me this, Grandpa,” I said. “If these aliens who visit you are really your friends, then why do they make you keep everything secret?”
He turned away from the steaming pot and eyed me with suspicion. “Because people are frightened of what they don’t understand. And frightened people can be dangerous, Courtney,” he said. “Now come sit down for dinner.”
I slipped into a wobbly kitchen chair, rested my elbows on the wooden table, and stared down at my burnt ham- burger. “Mom doesn’t believe in aliens, so does that make her dangerous?” I asked.
Grandpa chuckled. “Your mother is only interested in facts and evidence. Even when she was a child, she had no tolerance for intangibles. Or even comic books, for that matter. Can you imagine?” He set a plate of corn on the cob in the center of the table, then sat down across from me. “But dangerous? No. I think we’re safe from her.” He flashed me a wink.
I winked back. People always told me that I shared his silvery-blue eyes. Hearing someone say it would make my mom cringe, though, because she thought Grandpa was crazy. And the last thing she wanted was for me to turn out like him. But she and my dad were spending the weekend with their old law school friends on Lake Tahoe, so they’d dropped me off with Grandpa on their way.
“Well, if these alien things are real living creatures, then did God make them?” I asked. “Or are they just imaginary?”
I smiled proudly. I was about to finally get the truth from him.
“How’s your burger?” he asked.
“But you didn’t answer—”I started to protest, when a bang on the front door made me jump.
My grandpa ran over and covered his ham-radio/alien-transport machine with an afghan.
More quick pounding! Grandpa shoved his notebook under the couch.
I tried to read his expression, to see if he was frightened or just cleaning up, but he wouldn’t look at me. He rushed to the door and glanced through the peephole, and I held my breath.
When he unlocked the door, three men barged into the cottage.
I immediately recognized them as professor friends of my grandpa’s from when he’d taught at Berkeley. But what were they doing out here at night? I mean, hadn’t they heard of cellphones?
They stared over at me. “Hello, Courtney,” said one, a tall man with a thick beard and black suitcoat.
I shot my grandpa a pleading look, like Make them go away. But he quickly shook his head. I stomped into the guest bedroom and slammed the door.
“They’re coming,” one of the men whispered, loud enough for me to hear. He sounded worried. Which made me worry. About what, though, I wasn’t quite sure.
I bit my thumbnail, and it tasted like wormy dirt from the woodpile. Gross! I wiped my mouth with the bottom of my shirt.
“She’s not safe,” another man said.
Not safe? I froze. “She”? As in me? My heart started racing, and suddenly I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.
I grabbed the black metal latch of the window next to me and opened it. The chirr-chirr of crickets filled the bedroom, and I breathed in the smell of wet leaves. Pressing my face against the screen, I glanced up at my grandpa’s ham radio tower, standing tall along the side of the house. The siren on top of it glistened with rain under the silvery moon. It would sound off if any bad guys snuck into the backyard and tried to mess with my grandpa’s things. Or that’s what he’d told me, anyway.
Suddenly a familiar shiver trickled down my neck. Oh wow!
I turned away from the window and locked eyes with Astra. “Nice of you to show up,” I said.
She was a few years older than me. Like eleven, maybe. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to the closet; her eyes shone bright green against her pale skin and black hair. She bit into her plump bottom lip, which meant she was worried about me. “You think I’m going to climb out the window and run away?” I asked her.
She didn’t answer. For an imaginary friend, she wasn’t very talkative. But she seemed to show up whenever I was in trouble. And there was no getting rid of her; our minds were connected. My grandpa said she was probably a real person somewhere, and that we shared consciousness because we came from the same bloodline. As crazy as the idea seemed, I liked to think that there might be someone real out there who would understand me if we ever crossed paths. Most people just thought I was weird like my grandpa.
“I’m glad you’re here,” I told Astra.
Outside my door, I could hear the men pacing around on the creaky wooden floor boards.
“When?” my grandpa asked.
“We don’t know,” another man said.
I didn’t like the sound of that. My stomach tightened with nerves. I sat down on my bed and rocked back and forth, staring at Astra.
“You’re crying,” she said. Or I could hear her voice in my head, anyway.
“No I’m not.” I swiped my cheek. Then I looked down at the spot of blood on my shirt. “I got a tattoo,” I said, trying to change the subject.
A siren wailed outside. The alarm! I jumped up, turned toward the window. But the bedroom door burst open behind me. I spun back around, and my grandpa stood in the doorway.
“Grandpa! What’s happening?” I started toward him. He quickly shook his head and then pressed his finger to his lips: Stay quiet.
Grandpa looked scared. And he was never scared. My heart pounded against my rib cage. Astra was gone. This was bad.
Bright light lit up my grandpa’s face. It was coming through the window behind me. Oh no! I whipped around to see who was there, and someone grabbed me from inside the room.
I started to scream, but a hand covered my mouth. My feet lifted off the floor. Frantically I twisted my head around to see who it was, but I was being dragged backward, down the hall, into the bathroom. Kicking at the bathroom wall, I bit into the hand covering my mouth, and for a second my head was free. I whirled around to see my grandpa, his finger gushing blood from where my teeth had cut into his skin.
“Grandpa? What are you doing?”
He whispered something in my ear. Then he lifted me up, ignoring my flailing legs.
The next thing I knew, I was underwater. Screaming!
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