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James Bond and Jason Bourne have just been topped! A battle for the world is set into unstoppable motion and Hays Baker is the only one who can save it.

Hays Baker and his wife Lizbeth possess super-human strength, extraordinary intelligence, stunning looks, a sex life to die for, and two beautiful children. Of course they do—they're Elites, endowed at birth with the very best that the world can offer. The only problem in their perfect world: humans and their toys!

The one with the most toys—dies
The top operative for the Agency of Change, Hays has just won the fiercest battle of his career. He has been praised by the President, and is a national hero. But before he can savor his triumph, he receives an unbelievable shock that overturns everything he thought was true. Suddenly Hays is on the other side of the gun, forced to leave his perfect family and fight for his life.

Now a hunted fugitive, Hays is thrown into a life he never dreamed possible—fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction. He enlists all of his training to uncover the truth that will save millions of lives—maybe even his own. James Patterson's Toys is a thriller on a hyper plane—with a hero who rivals both James Bond and Jason Bourne.


Chapter 7

THIS WAS WHERE the slope began to get slippery, dangerously slippery indeed.

Outside the presidential mansion, more iJeeves butlers were escorting rich and famous guests to a long line of waiting limos. Lizbeth and I were soon settled back in our Agency-loaned driverless vehicle to enjoy the air ride through the beautiful Elite zone of New Lake City.

Glittering hundred-story buildings stretched out before us for miles, with impossibly fast-moving flying cars, trucks, and buses streaking between them. As Jinxie had said earlier, We really do run the world. In truth, we Elites had saved the planet, so why not?

Off toward the outskirts of the high-rises, you could see the dark gaps of the human slums. Sad stuff, even if you despised the humans. But maybe the president's plan would fix that once and for all. The humans had proved they couldn't be trusted under any circumstances.

Lizbeth and I snuggled together like giddy teenagers inside the limo, whetting our appetites for later on. She kept making jokes about how "beautiful" I was.

"I want you to try the new Rapture pill, Hays. Two-minute orgasms."

"Contact your physician if orgasm lasts an hour or longer," I said as I leaned in for a kiss.

Then—out of nowhere—it felt like a giant boulder had crashed into the roof of the Daimler. The impact buckled the incredibly strong titanium roof, rocking us from side to side, then bringing the car to a graceless, airbag-assisted landing on the street below.

"Hays?" Lizbeth said in alarm. "Are we being attacked? We are, aren't we? How dare they?"

At first I could see nothing outside the smashed-open windows. But I definitely heard yelling and pounding feet. Five, six, seven people coming toward us—fast.

Even as I ordered the limo to disengage our safety restraints, I could smell their foul body odor. Humans. Damn them. They must have crashed another vehicle on top of ours and forced us down, and they were now moving in for the kill. Robbery, of course, possibly rape—for both of us.

Like all Elites, I thoroughly distrusted humans. They were terminally lazy and stupid, and their flesh reeked of the greasy food they gobbled. The popular Elite term for them was skunks, although they were a bit more like hyenas, or wild dogs, in terms of the lives they led. Violence, deceit, and opportunism ruled their petty days and nights, just as it had through most of history. Hell, they had even written books about it, from Horace and Homer to Thomas Friedman and Stieg Larsson.

As Agents of Change, Lizbeth and I were dedicated to bringing fairness and justice to their barbaric ways and making them pay for their crimes. An act this outrageous—entering a restricted-access area and actually attacking Elites—made these vandals candidates for the harshest penalty there was: slow death.

I could see now that they were an ugly bunch, even for humans: grim-faced and menacing, armed with knives and scalpel-sharp box cutters, plus a few old-fashioned handguns.

My threat-assessment sensors instantly ranked their strength from lowest to highest. Three of them, I noted immediately, had biotech upgrades: enhanced musculature, joints, and reflexes. It wasn't commonplace, but it was possible—through bioengineering—to augment a human to nearly Elite levels of power and conditioning.

"Shall we?" I asked Lizbeth. Besides being a doctor of engineering and possessing a genius-level IQ, my beautiful wife was a deadly hand-to-hand fighter. Besides being a doctor of history, I was also.

"I wish I'd worn sensible shoes," Lizbeth said as she glanced at her party pumps and grimaced.

Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson

Read by Matthew Bomer

Mathew Bomer currently stars Neal Caffrey on USA's White Collar. Bomer received a BFA Degree from Carnegie Mellon University and his feature film credits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Flight Plan. Raised in Spring, Texas, Bomer is also a writer and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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