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Daniel X: Watch the Skies

Daniel X takes on the wildest threat the world has ever seen—someone whose craving for fame could destroy the planet!

LIGHTS
All's quiet in the small town of Holliswood. Television sets, computers, and portable devices are aglow in every home, classroom, and store. Yet not all is perfect. Evil is lurking, just out of sight, behind the screen.

CAMERA
Residing in this sleepy town is a villain with more ambition than the world can withstand. Twisted beyond reason, he is dead set on throwing Holliswood into chaos and documenting the destruction of every person in it, including Daniel X.

EXTERMINATION
The only person who can stop this made-for-TV tyrant, Daniel must use his extraordinary power to save the town. But this devilish director has assembled an all-star team of his own creation and vows to stage the most spectacular finale the world has ever seen. Can Daniel X stop this deranged outlaw—or will he find himself on the cutting room floor?

Prologue | NIGHT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR SIDE OF THE PLANET IS POINTED AT OUTER SPACE

Two

THE BOY FUMBLED for his clock radio. It was blaring some superlame old seventies song by one of those awful disco bands his mom sometimes played in the car. His sister must have changed the station and turned the volume up full blast as a prank. He'd get her back—later, in the morning, when he'd had some sleep.

He punched the snooze button, but it didn't shut off. He flicked the switch on the side, but it didn't shut off. He picked up the clock from his bedside table and saw that it was just past eleven thirty. She was going to pay for this.

He reached down and pulled the cord out of the socket...but it still didn't shut off.

"What the—?!" he said, and rubbed his eyes with his free hand.

The clock's glowing display now read, "DANCE."

And then the disco song started over, and a voice loud and screechy enough to cut through all the noise said: "DO THE DANCE!"

"Now that's freaky," said the boy, and just as he started to get really scared, a blue spark leaped out of the alarm clock and up his arm—and he bolted out of his room.

He knew what he had to do.

In the hallway he collided with his father but didn't say a word. And now his mom and sister were pushing at him from behind, and the entire family tumbled down the front stairs to the living room.

It was weird, thought the boy, because he was pretty sure he hated dancing.

But now he couldn't stop himself. He strode to the center of the living room and somehow knew exactly what moves to make, and—except for the look of terror in his eyes—he boogied his heart out like a pimply, pajama-wearing John Travolta.

His mom, dad, and sister didn't look like they were having too much fun, either.

In fact, the only fun in the house was being had by the five grotesque alien beings filming the family from behind the eerie lights, high-tech microphones, and multilens video cameras set up in the adjoining dining room.

They were laughing their slimy heads off. Not literally, but if one of these horrific creatures had actually knocked its own block off, picked it up from the floor, and eaten it, the boy wouldn't have been surprised.

"By Antares, they're good," one of the monsters said, slapping one of its six scaly knees. "It's just like Saturday Night Fever!"

And then the fat one in charge—cradling the bullhorn in his left tentacle, nearly crushing the cheap folding canvas chair with his weight—replied with a sigh.

"Yes, it's almost a shame we have to terminate them."

Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson

Read by Milo Ventimiglia

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.

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