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
Book One | ENDANGERED SPECIES
YOU'RE PROBABLY WONDERING how I know the true identities of the owners of the Game Consortium. Fortunately, they're not the only extraterrestrials with outrageously advanced high-tech devices. Allow me to introduce you to Exhibit A: a transcript* of a transmission I'd managed to intercept between Number 7 and Number 8 on my Intergalactic Frequency Sweeper 3000:
Male voice: Hello?
Female voice: It's me. Are we still on schedule?
Male voice: Yes, just two more hunts to conduct, and we should be able commence Operation Decimation.
Female voice: The Mahlerian, then our special friend?
Male voice: Yes, of course.
Female voice: What a week this is going to be—three legendary species will fall!
Male voice: We're making history, my dear.
Female voice: You're not at all worried about our friend?
Male voice: In some ways, him least of all. His behavior to date has been quite predictable. He's proved himself to be rather dull and unsophisticated.
Female voice: Well, let's hope he stays that way. If we manage to pull this off ahead of schedule, we may earn quite a hefty bonus from headquarters.
Male voice: And then we can stop this ridiculous charade. I'm so sick of pretending to be human, I could explode! One more stupid press conference, and I may just pull out a blaster and go alien on their butts!
Female voice: Relax, dear. Within the month, we'll have to change their scientific name from Homo sapiens to No-mo sapiens.
[snorting sounds, then an increasingly loud buzzing sound]
* This dialogue was translated from Kornish, a dialect most often used by certain clans of deep-space Outer Ones.
This little exchange had been keeping me awake since I'd first heard it and was precisely why I had come to Tokyo. That snippet had made it clear that Number 7 and Number 8 were possibly about to wipe the human species off the face of the earth. And on a personal note, I was pretty sure that yours truly was the "special friend" they mentioned. In other words, they knew all about me, and they weren't exactly shaking in their alien booties.
According to The List computer—the alien-tech laptop that has been my bible since I started this gig—going after an alien in the top-twenty deadlies is basically a crapshoot in terms of whether you're going to live or die. But The List isn't some all-knowing machine. It's just an encyclopedia of what we alien hunters and our friends upload into it. Kind of like an ultrasecret wiki about superpowered psychopathic aliens.
All The List had to offer about Number 7 and Number 8 was that the pair had spent the past few years masquerading as Earth's ultimate power couple. In human disguise, they were known as Colin and Ellie Gygax, founders and owners of the Game Consortium, the biggest and most clandestine video-game corporation in the world.
The rest of the info I had was courtesy of Google: the video games created by the Game Consortium were so addicting that phrases like "brainwashing" and "mind control" were sometimes used by concerned parents and teachers when describing them. There were even stories of kids who acted out some of the scenes in the games and landed themselves in detention—or worse.
But GC hadn't technically broken any laws—yet—so governments had done nothing to stop them. I knew it was time for me to act. Unfortunately, the GC's computer systems had proved impossible to hack from the outside. These guys were about twenty times more tech savvy than I was, so electronic surveillance was not exactly easy.
If I wanted to find out more about this place, I would have to get behind the scenes.
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.