Parahuman (Parahuman Series)

BOOK: Parahuman (Parahuman Series)
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PARAHUMAN

 

S. L. HESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL
RIGHTS RESERVED.

Parahuman Copyright @ 2014 by Sara
L. Hess

Cover art by Fiona Jayde Media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is a work of fiction. The
names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the writer’s
imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real.
Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, local or
organization is entirely coincidental.

 

Parahuman

(Book One)

    

    

    
Laney’s life
irrevocably changes the day she meets Devan. He’s the new guy in town, the new
kid in school, and is applying at her dad’s Wilderness business. She doesn’t
know what it is about Devan; he’s extraordinarily tall, has weirdly colored
hair, wears sunglasses everywhere, and he is way too serious and literal. She’s
pretty sure that he wouldn’t know what a joke was if it came up and bit him in
the butt.

     Despite Devan’s irregular looks and curious behavior, or maybe because
of them, Laney finds herself very much drawn to Devan. She’s not put off by his
grave exterior; in fact, she finds it rather endearing and beneath it hides a
gentle and humorous soul. However, it doesn’t take her long to realize that he
isn’t your average, everyday seventeen year old boy, and she doesn’t come to
that conclusion just because he ends up saving her life a few times.

     Devan’s entire life has revolved around making rational and logical
choices; that is until he meets Laney. She ignites a mixture of powerfully
intense emotions in him, emotions he’s unfamiliar with. She doesn’t just work
her way slowly past Devan’s walls of reason and logic, she smashes them to
smithereens. However, Devan has secrets, dark and dangerous secrets, and he is
being hunted which could put him and anyone in contact with him in danger, so
he tries to keep his distance.

     Danger stalks Devan and Laney thrusting them together in a perilous
situation, and in the process of eliminating the threat certain abilities that
Devan have kept hidden are revealed. He is shocked when Laney helps him; not
only that, she promises to keep his secrets.

      However, it becomes apparent that the danger isn’t over and that those
hunting for Devan are coming closer to finding him. The only way to keep Laney
safe is for Devan to leave, but before he can do that he finds out that Laney
has a threat of her own, and he won’t leave until she is safe.

    

Prologue

 

 
 The man and boy stumbled blindly through the dark forest.

    
Well…the man stumbled blindly; the boy had no difficulty penetrating the inky
black layers of the night. For that reason the boy had taken the lead, and was
trying his best to guide the man over fallen branches and around trees without
taking them too far out of their predetermined course…no need to add additional
mileage to their already twenty-five mile trek.

     However,
the boy could only do so much for the man as the forest floor succeeded yet again
in its endeavors in tripping the man with another dead tree branch. The man
resigned himself—and his knees—to more abrasions from the unforgiving ground,
when suddenly, the boy stopped and instead of hard prickly earth the man’s
chest slammed into hard sinewy flesh. Exhausted and out of breath, a near
silent grunt was the only sound to pass the man’s lips at the impact. The boy
took the man’s weight seemingly effortlessly, guiding them both down into a
crouched position.

    
“What…” the man croaked out before stopping himself, remembering he shouldn’t
be talking.

    
Looking around the man was unable to determine the danger. Unlike the boy he
had no special ability in penetrating the murky shadows covering the woods. He
was also unable to hear anything over his thunderous heart beat and deep
gasping breaths. Clamping a sweaty, shaking hand over his lips he attempted to
suppress the wheezing emanating from his mouth. 

     The
boy leaned over and whispered in the man’s ear—not at all out of breath the man
noted enviously. “Two hundred and eighty yards to the south.”

     More
sentries!

     The
man looked reflexively to the south, although there was no possible way he
would be able to see anything from such a distance in these woods, particularly
in this degree of darkness. Heck, he wouldn’t have been able to perceive
anything from that distance in the daytime in a forest this dense. There wasn’t
even a flashlight to be seen weaving around in the dark to give him some kind
of hint as the sentries all had night vision goggles. Something he would have
given his right arm for tonight.  

    
Keeping cupped hands over his mouth to stop any sounds from carrying, the man
whispered. “Are they coming this way?”

     Any
other person would have had a hard time making out his words, but not the boy.
“They’re going in a south eastern direction…away from us.” Well
,
that
was something at
least. “We should wait here for a moment; let them get
a little further away before we continue.”

    
Although relieved at having a moment of rest the man was anxious, they had
little time to waste. They had been running all night and they were only a few miles
from their destination, but with daylight only an hour away concealment would
be harder to come by.
The
Company
was sure to have reinforcements
on the way, which included additional ground patrol, helicopters, and infrared
detectors.

     Any
second the choppy sounds of helicopter blades would be cutting through the
night. The thought triggered an overwhelming urge to run through the forest
unchecked in a panic, either that or hunker down till it all blew over. Neither
was an option if they wanted to remain free, alive, and intact. 

     “We
can go now.” The boy’s statement broke into the man’s musing.

     The
man hauled his body up from the ground with a groan, legs trembling at the
effort. He really wasn’t in any kind of shape for a twenty mile getaway hike.
Heck…he wasn’t in shape for a five mile hike. He was a scientist for pity’s
sake. His average workout was
maybe
a mile on his treadmill each
night…well, more like every other,
other
night.   

     “Are
you going to be okay?” The boy’s tone became overly anxious.

     It
was difficult at times for the man to keep in mind that the boy was only ten
years of age. He didn’t look like a normal ten year old. Already six feet tall,
topping Sam by three inches, he had the physique of a fully grown man. His
facial features were soft like an adolescent though, giving his overall
appearance an otherworldly quality.

     Moreover,
his background didn’t contain the same activities as other children. For one
thing the boy had never been outdoors before…ever. His first steps outside the
facility tonight had caused him to seize up from an overdose of new sights,
sounds, and smells. He had been like a deer caught in headlights. Thankfully,
the boy had adjusted quickly, just as he had been trained to do, or else they
would have never gotten this far. 

     “I’ll
be fine.” Taking a deep breath the man somehow kept his legs underneath him,
albeit unsteadily. “How much further do you estimate we have?”

     Through
the forest canopy the night sky could be intermittently seen through breaks in
the tree tops; stars littered these small heavenly islands, but they didn’t
provide any sort of light. A push to the button on his watch revealed that it was
four twelve in the morning; only two hours till dawn. 

     “A
little over five miles,” the boy answered.

     There
was no reason to doubt the boy’s words, he was a walking pedometer. Actually,
it was more accurate to say he was a walking computer. Mathematically he did
everything effortlessly, and anything he learned or saw became imprinted in his
brain, never to be forgotten. The boy
was
expertly designed.

    
Taking hold of the boy’s shirt tail the next four miles sped by with no signs
of sentries. The sounds of helicopters could be heard in the distance; however,
their presence was an incessant source of dread, geared to find them at any
time.

     Fingers
of light were beginning to lighten the sky making it much easier to see when
the boy halted abruptly. Crouching, the boy pointed to the west which was to
the front of them, and held up three fingers placing one to his lips.

     Three
guards headed straight for them…bad luck…and close enough to where it required
silence.      

    
How
far?
The man signed. American Sign Language was only one of the many
languages the boy knew.

     Two
hundred and thirty yards
. The boy signed back.

    
Eventually the man was able to
identify movement as the guards came within normal human eyesight. They were
stationed about twenty-five yards apart from each other, headed in their
direction.   

     The
man and boy had laid themselves out on the ground attempting to blend into the
vegetation. The man’s heartbeat began to beat like thunder in his ears; either
that or the helicopters were coming closer.   

    
Only
if necessary.
He signed cautiously to the boy.

     The
boy nodded in agreement. The morning light revealed non-human eyes before they
switched back to the guards. Anyone else would probably have a chill racing
down their spine from the sight of those predatory eyes, but the man was
accustomed to them.   

    
Static resounded through the forest causing the man to jerk in surprise.

     One
of the guards lifted a walkie-talkie from his belt. “Walker here.”

    
“Location?” The voice on the other end asked.

     “Four
miles west of quadrant sixteen,” the guard answered.

    
“Anything to report?”

    
“Negative.”

    
“Starkweather and Nelson still with you?”

    
“Yes.”

     “Stay
in sight of each other and keep your eyes open. A chopper is coming your way
and we want to know who’s in the area.”

    
“Roger,” the guard acknowledged.

     The
man’s pulse rate shot up triple time. It looked like the thundering in his ears
wasn’t just his heartbeat, a helicopter
was
getting closer. Infrared!

     He
gave the boy a hurried hand signal.
Necessary!

    
The boy nodded.

     All
the guards carried automatic guns that could convert to either tranquilizers or
real bullets. Hopefully these were set to tranq’s. On the other hand, maybe
they should hope for live ammunition, at least it would be a quick death
compared to the one if they were caught…at least in the boy’s case.

     The
guards closed in swiftly—along with the helicopter. The shrubbery, in addition
to the black clothing they wore, was sufficient concealment that the guards
never looked twice in their direction. Unfortunately, hiding wasn’t going to be
enough. The whirling sound of the helicopter could be heard coming their way,
getting louder and louder. The vibrations pounded through the air settling into
their bones.  

     The
boy looked to the eastern skyline and then back at the guards, one who was
about fifteen yards parallel of their hiding spot. As they continued past an
additional five yards the boy suddenly burst up, running toward them.

     The
sentry’s backs were to the boy but he didn’t attempt to sneak up on them. He
didn’t need to. In a fraction of a second the boy was on the first guard
without the guard even becoming aware of him. Grabbing the man’s head, the boy
gave it a sharp twist and continued by him on the way to the second sentry. The
first guard dropped to the ground, unmoving. There was no snap of bone
indicating that the boy had only rendered the sentry unconscious rather than
dead.

     The
second guard, hearing movement, accomplished a half turn as the boy ran past
him with a clothes line to the upper chest. The guard did a three hundred and
ninety degree rotation in the air before landing on his back, out cold. The boy
remained on his path to the third guard, without a break in his stride.

     By
this time the third sentry had some inkling of the threat coming his way and
was able to raise his gun as he turned, but the threat was no longer on the
ground in his sights. The boy had left the ground, jumping about fifteen feet
into the air, and was coming down on the guard from above. He struck the man in
the torso with his feet knocking the guard to the ground, and the breath from
his body no doubt. The boy drew his arm back and struck the guard in the face
rendering him unconscious.  

     In less
than four seconds the boy had taken down three military professionals without
breaking a sweat. It was an astonishing display that would have left anyone
dazed, even someone that knew what he was capable of, however, the sound of the
helicopter was almost deafening at this point which converted any daze into
acute panic.

     “Dr.
Bursa, come quickly.” The boy yelled, waving him over.

     The
man jumped up, stumbling over to the boy on pathetically shaky legs. The boy
draped what felt like two hundred pounds of dead weight over his shoulders.
“Hold him up until the chopper gets out of sight.”

     The
boy than ran over to the second guard. Hauling him up the boy propped him up
against a tree and hooked the guards vest on some nub of a branch sticking out
of the trunk causing the guard to hang suspended in a vertical position. He
then sprinted over to the first unconscious guard and hefted him over his own
shoulders.

     At
this point the man had his feet braced apart and was trying his best to breath
as gravity forced her injustice down upon him. As a distraction he began
reciting the Magdalene Theory at the same time watched the boy walk
nonchalantly around as though another two hundred pounds upon his shoulders was
nothing out of the ordinary…which it wasn’t for him. It was just another part
of his unconventional rearing.  

     “Here
it comes, just hang on.” The boy called over the helicopter’s chopping sound.

     With
the weight of the guard on his back the man was unable to look up at the sky,
but he could hear the helicopter passing over. The canopy concealed them from
the eyes of the helicopters’ occupants, and the infrared scan would pick up
only three heat signatures on the ground, not distinguishing that it was
actually five separate ones.

    
Finally, the chopper blades began to fade and the man grunted in relief
releasing the guards wrists, letting him slump to the ground in a heap. The boy
did the same, but was more conscientious of the guard’s well-being, setting him
down more carefully. It said a lot for the boy’s character that he made this
effort, especially as these people were out to dissect him piece by piece.

     “When
these guards don’t check in we are going to be inundated.” The boy stated
anxiously.

     The
sound of static broke the silence of the forest. With alarm they both looked
down simultaneously at the unconscious sentry’s walkie-talkie…then they ran for
their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK: Parahuman (Parahuman Series)
7.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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