Demons and Druids
Daniel X's hunt to eliminate each and every intergalactic criminal on Earth is always relentless, but this time, it's getting personal. Number Three on the List of Alien Outlaws takes the form of raging, soul—possessing fire. And fire transports Daniel back to the most traumatic event of his life—the death of his parents.
In the face of his "kryptonite", Daniel struggles with his extraordinary powers like never before, and more than ever is at stake: his best friends are in grave peril. The only way to save them is to travel back—through a hole in time—to the demon's arrival during the Dark Ages. Rip-roaring action and humor sets the pages afire in this gripping time-travel adventure with an Arthurian cast—and countless other surprises!
Prologue | DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
I BET I can see London from here, I was thinking.
I was literally 150 feet in the air above a grassy field, outside a charming little village called Whaddon. I'd been in England only a couple of days, and I still had some of that excitement that hits you when you go to a new place—until it turns dangerous and deadly. Which was about to happen in a millisecond.
Because before I had time to take a good look around, I started to fall.
Whipping around end over end, I saw the early twilight stars above blurring and the ground rushing up at me like it was about to swallow me whole.
I could hear voices shouting, but it was impossible to tell what they were saying over the blistering wind surrounding me.
Maybe I should have been worried, but I'll admit it—I was enjoying myself. That is, until my good friend Willy kicked me hard in the face.
Willy, Joe, Dana, Emma, and I were playing soccer. Our own version, in which I was the ball.
That's correct. I, Daniel X, had transformed myself into a soccer ball. Usually you'll find me in human form, but occasionally I morph. It's just one of my interesting, sometimes flabbergasting powers.
Luckily, soccer balls don't have nerve endings, I thought as I flew back into the air, reaching new heights this time.
"And Willy controls the centered ball beautifully, shooting a deft pass to Joe. He takes it up the line. But—no! Dana sweeps in with a well-executed slide tackle and steals it!" Joe always liked to deliver the play-by-play for our games. And just about anything else we did.
"Pay attention, Joe," said Willy, grimacing. "We're getting creamed by girls."
Dana, in the middle of passing me to the other end of the field, cracked up. Lanky Joe is the least athletic of my four friends, but when he shuts up even he can play soccer better than most of the guys in the World Cup.
Dana kicked me hard, and I once again savored the rush of flying through the night sky—until I saw Emma's pale, round face rushing right toward me. She caught me easily on her forehead, and juggled me there for a moment as she turned to the "goalposts," two towering oak trees at the end of the field.
Then Em bent her small, nimble body back and "headed" me straight up in the air. Way up. I relaxed into free fall. Below me, Dana and superjock Willy were racing toward the goalposts.
Dana got there first. As I came down, her blond hair twisted around her as she jumped and spun like a top, fell backward, and aimed a scorching scissor kick right at the goal. The teeth-rattling power of her kick took me by surprise.
"GOOOOOAAAAAAL!" screamed Joe from the other end of the field in his best super-stoked announcer's voice.
I had already overshot the goalposts by at least a hundred feet when I realized I was headed straight into the tree-lined gorge that bordered the field.
I focused for a second, and—without even a "pop" or "zap"—I was back to being myself—a teenage kid—again. I grabbed on to an overhanging tree branch as I flew past.
Hanging one-handed over the gorge, I frowned at Dana. "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" I called to her. "Tried to launch me into the briar patch."
She laughed in the way only she can. "Daniel, you look like a hopelessly depressed orangutan."
Before I could come up with a snappy reply, Joe's voice rang across the field. "Okay, you two, now can we get going? London's not going to walk to us! We have a monster to catch."
Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson
Milo Ventimiglia stars in the hit NBC show Heroes and previously starred in Gilmore Girls. Upcoming films include Lionsgate's Game, alongside Gerard Butler (300) and with Laurence Fishburne in Armored.