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Daniel X: Alien Hunter
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ISBN: 0316004251
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Daniel X:
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!

Part One | BLOOD AND SUCKERS

Chapter 4

SHE—IT, I should say—saw my look of understanding and horror.

"By now you've noticed my tentacles are full of neurotoxins." It cackled nastily. "Just be thankful that you'll all be dead before you're digested. I'm told that the process is excruciating."

The old woman's body began to transform now, melting away into her seat. Meanwhile, a bulbous tentacle tightened around my mouth, and the interior of the van seemed to be shrinking.

I blinked, desperately trying to clear my mind and find a quick solution. Being squashed into mush and then digested? Not how I was planning to leave the earth.

Up in the front of the van, Joe's head was shuddering as he struggled against paralysis. Behind me I could hear Willy gurgling and Emma humming in a useless attempt to speak—or scream. And Dana...well, one of her hands had solidified around mine in a death grip of fear.

Hundreds of mouths had opened up in the walls around us and began to speak in unison, like a nightmare in surround sound.

"Alien Hunter," the mouths addressed me, "this is for my beloved brother. It's too bad he couldn't be here to see it. Do you remember Number 40? You disintegrated him in Dallas, Texas!"

Of course I remembered! In fact, the oily-smooth interior of the van reminded me all too much of being inside the stomach of Number 40 before he—well...that's another story, and I couldn't focus on past victories right now.

The roof was pressing down hard against our heads now. The walls and ceiling constricted like a giant heart beating.

"Nice eating you . . ." The beast's final message trailed off in a sickening gurgle. "I'm Number 43, by the way. My brother's name was Jasper."

"May he rest in pieces!" I wanted to quip.

Another powerful contraction came. The walls closed in even tighter, pushing me and Dana together. It was something I might have enjoyed, if we weren't both about to become meat-and-bone Jell-O pudding.

The despair was overwhelming. It was as if all the terror my friends were feeling was being transmitted back to me times ten. I had never gotten them into a situation this bad before, one that I was powerless to get them out of.

The walls were closing in, bending me double. The tentacle around my throat was twisting too tight for me even to swallow. Everything was getting dim, and quiet, and distant.

It's over, I thought. My eyes were finally squeezed shut and I thought I might suddenly burst like an overripe zit.

And then behind the pain and the fear I heard words way in the back of my mind.

"You still have time...you can take out Number 43. At least I think so."

I recognized the voice immediately. It was my father.

My dead father.

Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson

Read by Milo Ventimiglia

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.

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