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
EXCUSE ME while I digress. I was only three when my parents were killed, murdered by one of the most evil alien creatures ever to have set foot on Earth—The Prayer by name—who just happens to be Number 1 on The List. Even in those three short years, though, my parents had managed to fill my brain with all kinds of interesting and useful information, which surfaces from time to time—anything from a fantastic recipe for barbecue sauce (the secret's in the sugar) to, say, the speed you need to travel to escape Earth's gravity (around 25,000 mph). It's usually really simple stuff like that—but sometimes it's the bit of knowledge that could save your skin.
Right now I really, really hoped my dead father was about to offer survival tips instead of cooking tips.
"Dad...what? I'm kind of tied up right now," I answered him in my thoughts.
I could still feel the greasy tentacle choking me, feel the wall and ceiling pressing against me, but at least they weren't getting tighter. I wasn't gasping for breath either. Miraculously, I was able to open my eyes.
One at a time.
If I had been able to move the rest of my body I would have reeled in shock. Staring right into my eyes was Dana, her mouth twisted into a circle of horror. But here's the really strange thing: she was totally motionless.
I tried to speak, struggled to touch Dana, but my body, my head, my face, were immobilized. Not just paralyzed, but completely frozen.
That's when I realized something that was easily as fascinating as a meeting with the Dalai Lama. Not only wasn't I suffocating, but I wasn't breathing. Then it hit me.
Time had stopped.
My father's voice rang out again in my skull, stronger this time. "Very good, Daniel. I knew you hadn't forgotten. Even though you were only two when I taught you how to dive below the surface of the flow of time. Well, I'll see you later, champ."
Wait! I thought. What do I do now? But my dad's voice was gone.
I had no idea how I'd made time freeze, but my father's words had stirred something—a distant memory. Rotating stars, spinning planets.
I remembered Dad hanging a mobile over my crib. A model of Earth's solar system—spinning, slowing, stopping. And then it started to spin in the opposite direction—in reverse. It was all coming back to me, the knowledge slowly trickling in like an Internet download.
Imagine that your brain is a spotlight that casts a sharp focus on whatever you're looking at, or thinking about, or feeling. I had to defocus, widen that beam until it shone on everything. It's even harder than it sounds, and I was out of practice.
Usually when I use my powers, I have to concentrate, but this time it was just the opposite. First I relaxed, let my mind go limp—not an easy feat when the girl you care about most is going to die right before your eyes.
Hold on, Dana.
I felt my brain detach itself from all my sensations right down to the taste of sweat in my mouth. And that's when I saw Dana's left eyelid flicker. Her expression was changing, becoming less terrified, but not in a way I'd ever seen a face change before.
I was turning back time.
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.