COMING JUNE, 2012
the Second Book in the Spectra Series
It was created, but can it be destroyed?
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be changed. The chilling question for Dean Weston is: into what? By the time Dean comes face to face with the foreboding truth, it is too late. A mad man’s quest for ultimate knowledge and power has spawned true evil; an evil capable of tearing down moral barriers and leaving one thirsting for vengeance and retribution.
As this evil consumes those closest to Dean, he becomes unknowingly vulnerable, leaving him and the woman he loves in immeasurable danger. Struggling to destroy a malevolent energy life form he barely understands, Dean finds his own humanity coming into question. As his moral fibers start to unravel, Dean grasps at one last thread of hope and does the unthinkable.
Sam waited in the dark, bathing in the bubbles of fear percolating off the two pathetic bitches that were gifting him with their presence. With eyes shut and chin lifted, he let himself melt into the intoxicating warmth surging through him as each bubble burst onto his skin, flowing in a turbulent wave to his soul. It was like drying off in the noon sun, each bead of water tickling as it took flight.
He felt reborn but with a sixth sense. A sense so acute all the others seemed pointless, superfluous. He felt the energy of things, inanimate things, so there was no need to see. Sound sang through his bones like a tuning fork, so there was no need to hear. When he hungered, he hungered for energy so there was no need for taste or smell. Touch, however—ahhh, touch is different. When he set his hand on something, anything, dead or alive, it erupted an explosive feeling in him. Every nerve in his body was now an energy conduit leading to… hmmm, leading to what? It was in his mid-back. Something he’d never felt before. It was hot.
It was so damn hot that his front pocket felt like it was dialed to high, baking the frost right out of his symbol of righteousness to the point that his pants were becoming sodden. He reached in and gave it a squeeze. It was spongy, like a dense cake—a torte perhaps.
Sam could feel them getting closer. Like two blind mice, they were pawing around, squeaking their insecure twinges of panic. He decided to wait. After all, having the upper hand put time on his side. Let them stew in their succulent vat of terror. They’ll become tender and juicy, energized.
A war started to brew inside Laura’s head. It seemed like she was back in her dream. But was she the predator or the prey? It wasn’t clear. She felt it was close. The energy started to crawl up her fingers and the sickly chill with it. She could hear the voices in her dream whispering: consume it or it will consume you. The image of the wolf flashed before her like it was about to sink its bared teeth into her throat. Its breath smelled like rotten flesh. This isn’t real. It can’t be real. Then the taste of blood wet her mouth. She started to gag.
“Laura, you o…” Matt stopped talking and turned to face her. “What is it? Are you hearing things?”
Laura dry heaved and put her hand over her mouth. She had to fight it. She had to taste the blood and fight it. “It’s coming,” she said in a hardly discernable whisper.
Matt held out the resonator and looked around. He cocked his head to listen. Out of the silence came Laura’s shrill scream. Almost instantly, the bioscanner sounded.
Laura covered her face with her palms. “Stop it. I can’t fight it for long!” She parted her fingers only enough to see a yellow-orange glow rise above the cardboard city like it was dawn. The orb climbed high in the sky, casting its fiery imprint on Matt until he looked like Lucifer himself. Unable to speak, Laura’s eyes screamed her last desperate word—fire—but Matt just stood still like a burning effigy. The taste of blood thickened in her mouth, pasting it closed. She couldn’t breathe. Her chest heaved. Finally, a gasp surged into her lungs like a dam burst. With that, she screamed, “Fire!”
Matt tossed his head back in a fit. His eyes were wide with horror. He aimed the resonator and pulled the trigger just as the orb disappeared.
An ear-piercing screech ripped through the room like a crack of thunder as the resonator discharged its power. Matt twisted his head toward Laura and the bright light rising from behind her. He pushed her out of the way and fired again, this time right into center of the entity. The color of the orb changed from yellow-orange to purple, and it grew to over twice its size and then disappeared.
“Where’d it go?” yelped Laura. “Where’d it go?”
Matt looked around in a frenzy, his head whipping back and forth like he was watching a tennis match. And then there it was, rematerialized right in front of Laura with the intensity of a purple sun. Before Matt could fire again, it passed through her like a spirit descending to hell. At the same second she felt it emerge, the purple light faded to nothing. It was gone.
“Laura!” Matt hollered.
Laura shook; stunned and paralyzed in fear. Her thoughts and emotions had been ravaged, and she felt her humanity draining away. As the person she once was held on by a thread, she came to a realization. She’d been right. This demon couldn’t be killed, and there was only one way to win, one way to save her soul. There was one thing left to do. Her revelation gave her power. Once again she could be the predator, the wolf. The taste of blood had stayed with her but was no longer repulsive. It was sweet. Laura took the flashlight and hurled it toward Matt’s head with all her strength.
The light scoured the room in a search and rescue pattern before ricocheting off Matt’s forehead and throwing his head back with a jolt. “Fuck!” Matt buried his face in his hands, and Laura made her break.
* * * *
By the time Matt regained his alertness, Laura had almost a minute’s head start. He saw her exit the Warehouse, and he raced after her. His implant had signaled several times, and he finally answered it as he ran. It was Dean.
“The bioscanner went off. What’s happening?”
“I fired at the thing. It didn’t kill it. It turned purple and got bigger then passed through Laura. She attacked me and took off. I’m after her. Hurry!”
As Matt burst into the corridor, he saw Laura disappear into the Hazmat Room. He bolted. When he arrived in the room, Laura was standing by one of the anti-matter containment units. The safety had been deactivated, and her finger was on the control switch.
“What are you doing Laura? Get away from there!” he yelled.
“No!” she screamed hysterically. “This is the only way! You saw what happened. It can’t be killed! This thing’s consuming me. It’s consuming us. This is the only way!” She looked down at the panel, her finger on the switch.
“I can’t let you do this.” Matt put the resonator down and pulled his laser pistol from his holster. It was set for a non-fatal injury. “Back away, Laura!”
Laura’s eyes widened and her body stiffened. “It’s here,” she said with a short breath. “I’m running out of time. I can’t fight it anymore. It’s coming for us.”
Matt felt a chill. It was cold enough to stop time. It was just like the day before in the Repair Room but far more intense. It was overpowering. Images from his nightmare flashed through his mind and the voice returned: Karen’s voice. “Retribution,” she said—her dying word.
Matt narrowed his eyes as the corners of his mouth crawled up into a fiendish smile. Laura, the love of Dean’s life, stood before him, her arm stretched out as though she was about to receive a ring. Instead, her dainty finger rested on a switch that could damn the whole place to hell. He looked into her eyes and saw her anguish. It was same look that was frozen into Karen’s eyes when he found her butchered on the floor of her apartment; the person who Dean cast aside. Speaking not one word, he flicked the switch on the laser pistol to kill and fired.