When Daniel X discovers that a duo of evil extraterrestrials is plotting to control kids around the world through videogames, he's determined to take them both out of commission. This pair of wicked game masters wants to destroy the human race by turning brainwashed videogamers into an unstoppable army of doom! They're also running an endangered species hunting club on the side, and their next target is none other than Daniel. He'll have no choice but to turn to the aliens' rebellious son who needs help to stand up to his malicious parents. But can Daniel trust the progeny of this treacherous twosome? Or will it be "Game Over" for the alien hunter?
Book One | ENDANGERED SPECIES
HELLO! Buenos dias! Bonjour! Konnichiwa! It's me, Daniel, here with the critical life lesson of the day: There's absolutely, positively, no such thing as too much practice or preparation. Not when it comes to sports, not when it comes to acing your math test, and definitely not when it comes to issues of mortal combat.
Having just died a horrible bloody death in a dusty urban parking lot, I'd clearly forgotten this lesson.
I mean, if you don't even take the time to learn the commands before you start playing a high-end video game like Crown of Thorns IV—the celebrated first-person battlefield shooter with 140 million copies sold and more than twenty million totally obsessed kids playing online at any given moment—you should at least bring along some butter and jam. Because if you're going to be toast, you might as well make the most of it.
Of course, I could have cheated. After all, I am the Alien Hunter, legendary destroyer of the most evil extraterrestrials on Terra Firma (that's Earth for those of you who are new to this stuff). I'm gifted with the ability to create and manipulate anything I can understand, which definitely would include something as basic as cheat codes. I could have given my character Iron Man–style weapons and armor, or I simply could have put my character in a less dangerous place on the battle map. But, like with any game, if you break the rules, it kind of detracts from the experience.
Plus, I was trying not to call attention to myself. I was hanging out at the Game Consortium, Inc., flagship store in the high-rise Shinjuku ward of Tokyo, acting like a normal, human teenage boy, doing things that normal, human teenage boys do when they want to play a video game. That includes drooling, grunting, hooting, and standing in line for more than an hour just to have a shot at the latest GC product offerings, as if I were waiting to get onto the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. Which is kind of what this place was like.
It was the most high-tech space I'd ever seen, outfitted wall-to-wall with the most cutting-edge gaming software ever devised. Like something you'd expect to see in a secret underground bunker or in NASA's flight command center. The images on the floor-to-ceiling screens and at the holograph stations were crisper and more vivid than reality itself.
The kids waiting in line for a console were all agog in a freaky trance—sweaty, shaking, pale, wide-eyed—like hard-core drug addicts desperate for a fix. I couldn't blame them. The GC's game offerings were truly revolutionary. They always seemed to have better graphics, greater depth of play, and way more addictive hunt and battle scenarios than their competitors in the gaming market did.
How, you might ask? The explanation is actually pretty simple. You see, the GC was run by a couple of very, very clever aliens: Number 7 and Number 8 on The List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma.
In other words, by not one but two of my most devious mortal enemies.
Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson
Milo Ventimiglia stars in the hit NBC show Heroes and previously starred in Gilmore Girls. His films include Gamer alongside Gerard Butler (300), and Armored with Laurence Fishburne.