Opposable (2nd Edition) by Kirk E. Hammond (The Halteres Chronicles Book 1)
English | 2020 | Fantasy | ePUB | 3.3 MB
RULE OF THUMB
The Arca Trochia, a shifty, omniscient mega-fungus two billion light years from Earth, impregnated Dr. Vanderbilt’s mind with thought spores, ideas, Sparks. The first Spark told Dr. Vanderbilt to document every detail of the Arca Trochia’s home world; Halteres. The second Spark told him to attach bionic, opposable thumbs onto his cats.
PAY ATTENTION. THIS IS SERIOUS.
the Sparks search the cosmos for habitable planets and germinate in fertile minds. Once rooted, they create portals allowing for instantaneous travel between the two worlds. They call these discovery channels, Spires. Dr. V thinks these ideas are his, and what he doesn’t know, will kill us all.
EARTH’S FATE COULDN’T REST IN WORSE HANDS.
Can psychotic, cyborg cats, a pyromaniac alien, the punk rock alchemist, a spaghetti-strapped, pistol-strapped merc, and a severed head convince the oblivious Dr. Vanderbilt that he and his cats hold the key to thwarting the imminent alien invasion? It’ll take every gram of effort (and drugs) the multi-species, trans-galactic cadre of misfits can score to knock some sense into Dr. V as they cut a swath of debauchery through the Rocky Mountains and Southwest on their way to head off the attack.
ALIENS, PREPARE TO ABDUCT SOME LEAD.
The door is weak like you, Pops.
My hunting knife stabs through the door frame. Its serrated blade tickles the lock, trying to unlatch it. Unable, the blade retreats.
Patton studies the door’s grain, looking for weaknesses. I peer at the same area. We stare at the same point in space, from opposite sides. If not for the door, we would look into each other’s eyes.
Pockets of air pop within the fire downstairs. The cabin trembles with dying light. Patton’s pupils widen, dilated with hate. He’s still an animal, a slave to instinct, hunt and kill.
You can’t control it, right Patton?
I’m in complete control. I want my fang back.
Rain pelts the screened window, its castoff blurring my vision. His view sharpens. He claws at the door with metal lathes, coiling ribbons of wood falling from knotted wounds. Lightning unveils snapshots of my crypt. Only the door separates paralyzed limbo and stalking perdition.
Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.
A pinhole appears in the middle of the door. He peeks through, toying with me, batting my nerves, a wounded mouse in his grasp.
The knife’s blade stabs through the door. Firelight bleeds from the breach. His ravenous eyes shimmer in the fractured darkness. I sense his malicious anger. Lightning flashes, unveiling his nasty grin, minus one fang.
Rain rips through the screen in a rusty mist. The forest’s needled silhouettes attack—unbearable, unstoppable. The storm’s strobe renders images in a series of flashes, rapid-fire dread.
Gleaming claws creep through the rift. Lightning ignites the hate in Patton’s eyes. The size and color of an albino cheetah, he oozes through the door. He leaves my knife behind, carrying eight of his own.
Stepping onto the bed, his steel claws shred fabric. He heaves above me, three feet tall on all fours. I see what he sees: my fear, my regret, my demise.
He crawls under the quilt and between my legs. Dropping his weight, he coils and twitches. Ready to strike, his warm, wet fur quivers.
My fang? his thoughts crucify.
Jolting, weight lowered, he lands on my naked chest. He must weigh well over one hundred pounds.
Patton, what have you become?
You did this. You made me what I am.
Dirty rain blinds me. I see only what he sees. I look dead before him. My shallow breaths wave the image. Staccato atmosphere flashes, cinema torment, my own snuff flick.
No more games, Pops.
Metal claws protract. He clears my eyes with prosthetic hands, making me watch both sides. He stares, makes me stare. His eyes project my dire relegation. My eyes reflect the strobing horror. The images coalesce and incinerate.