Authors: J.S. Frankel
Tags: #adventure, #fantasy, #paranormal, #young adult, #science fiction
Something’s coming. It’s big, very big... and it
Harry Goldman is back once more, and this time he’s
living the domestic life up in the Catskill Mountains with
Anastasia, his transgenic girlfriend. At the end of
Rise of the Transgenics,
he went through the same process as
Anastasia did. Now he’s the same as she is, and their only wish is
to be left alone and to live their lives in peace.
Their peace is shattered by the arrival of a
pig-man named Istvan. It seems that Istvan escaped from a
laboratory in Hungary where yet another scientist was conducting
transgenic experiments. In short order, the young couple is
confronted by Szabo, a giant of a man who is more shark than man.
He has plans not only for himself but also for others who wish to
become as he is.
This is something that Harry cannot allow.
Soon he, Anastasia and Istvan are circling the globe and making
stops in Hungary and Serbia. Their journey ends in Russia where it
all began. There, Harry meets the real brains behind the
transgenics program and is once more involved with his girlfriend
in a battle against those who’d destroy society, a battle that
could very well cost them their lives.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places, and incidents either are products of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely
Copyright © 2015 J.S. Frankel
Cover art by Carmen Waters
All rights reserved. Except for use in any
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Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books Inc
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Harry Goldman smelled grass, dirt and flowers. It was
night and he was running through a field, seeing nature up close,
not as person looking down from the vantage point of five feet or
more, but from the viewpoint of an animal slipping and sliding
through the foliage at ground level on all fours, legs moving in a
ceaseless, effortless rhythm. It was a distinct joy to be outdoors,
in his element, alive and free.
He remembered emerging from his cabin at
dusk, seeing the world unfold before him. It’s a big change from
being cooped up here, he thought as he examined the greenery,
nosing around a clump of clover just outside the cabin porch. It
was tiring being kept inside all the time, a stultifying existence.
Four walls, wood, stale air... this was better. A person was not
supposed to live indoors all the time. It wasn’t healthy and it
wasn’t natural, not in the least.
Here, he could be as one with the natural
order of things. He looked behind him at the open door, expecting
his girlfriend, Anastasia, to be there. “Anastasia,” he called out.
“Are you coming?”
No answer came from her, and that perturbed
him. In the past, she had always waited for him, had matched him
step for step. Now, though, she wasn’t around, and he felt a sudden
sense of loss. A second later, the bad feeling vanished and he
looked at the greenery in front of him. She would catch up to him
This being summertime, he sniffed and tested
the air around him. Cottony warmth enveloped his body, caressed his
fur and comforted his soul. When he inhaled the clean, sweet air, a
sense of happiness filled him. The world lay swathed in darkness.
Only the stars, pinpricks of light, sparkled and illuminated the
landscape along with a full moon. The forest beckoned.
Running on all fours was an odd, although
welcome sensation, unlike any he’d ever had. It was a liberating
feeling, something he couldn’t easily define, yet exhilarating in
its own right. Freedom—yes, that was the word—it was freedom to go
and do what he pleased. This is how it has to be, he thought as he
nosed through a thicket of grass, easily brushing aside the blades
His body, small, sleek and powerful, moved
with speed and economy. It was a revelation, movement being so
easy, and he felt his muscles, compact, tightly coiled and yet
flexible, work under his fur and propel him along. His legs ate up
the dirt at a speed unknown to man. Another revelation occurred,
and it had to do with his senses. Sharp beyond compare, they picked
up the minutest sounds of the night.
There the call of a whippoorwill, the squeak
of a field mouse searching for a tasty morsel, the mole digging and
grinding in the dirt as it sensed him—all those sounds came at
once. For anyone or anything else, it might have caused confusion.
Not for him, though, as he differentiated them in his mind and
marveled at how wonderful his new form was.
Harry had become a cat. Cats were small
creatures, but fast and clever and agile, and they were natural
hunters. Even though he was an animal, he did not let nature rule
him. Instinct was not his master. Intelligence was. A real cat had
few wishes in life other than food, warmth and exercise when it
felt like it and not much else. Domesticated cats sometimes gave
their owners purrs and rubs of affection, but that was in exchange
for the creature comforts they could obtain.
Harry, though, was different, as he possessed
a human’s intelligence. It would have been easy to catch one of the
smaller animals out there. They could not match his speed or
agility, but he did not wish to kill them. He was searching for
something else, something larger, but did not know what it was. No
matter, as he sensed that it would reveal itself in due time.
Up ahead, he smelled a rabbit’s warren. His
eyesight, sharp and able to discern the faintest of movements,
detected three brown rabbits foraging for food. They nibbled on the
stems of some flowers, and as he slunk toward them, his feet
padding quietly and purposefully over the soft ground, he wondered
if they knew of his presence.
They did not, as they continued feeding on
the juicy morsels in front of them. He approached them without
fear. The largest of the rabbits, a male, twitched his nose up and
down in a rapid motion and turned in his direction, yet did not
run. In fact, he and the others regarded him with an air of calm.
The smallest of the lot, a young doe, hopped over and sniffed his
In turn, he gave her coat a quick examination
with his nose. How unlike them, he thought, as he nosed around
their space yet shied back appropriately, for he did not wish to
Ordinarily they would have fled at the sight
of a predator, but he was not interested in them. This was also a
dream, and in dreams one could do as they wished, go anywhere they
wanted and were not bound by the rules of time and space. As for
Harry, he’d already gotten the scent of the rabbits and had no
further interest in them. With a quick spring, he moved on, tested
the environment with his nose and left his scent upon the
A sound of scampering feet made him turn
around. The rabbits had gone and they’d left in a hurry, not
bothering to hide their trail and not taking care to keep silent.
What could have spooked them? He arched his neck and put out his
tongue as if to taste-test the air. The night air carried the smell
of animal droppings. It came from up ahead. Venturing further on,
he found that they’d been made by a stray dog. However, they were
dry, which meant that the dog had long vanished from this area and
he did not feel as if it would return.
Since nothing of note was behind him, he
continued on, his feet picking up speed and moving tirelessly. He
bounded over a small bush and found himself in a clearing, just
open space and nothing else. The sounds of the night abruptly
halted and then vanished. A void of silence filled his ears. He
stood in the empty patch of grass and wondered what had happened.
This was not how a forest should be.
He began to run again toward a thicket, but a
second later, he stopped once more and his ears twitched. His
nostrils dilated, he inhaled, and now the smell of danger permeated
the atmosphere. Nothing that he could pinpoint right away, no, but
there was definitely something out there.
After backing away and reassessing the danger
by nosing around, he found nothing and set off again. He reached
the thicket and entered a forest. Trees were everywhere and blocked
off his path. His heart began to speed up as the sense of
uneasiness within him mounted. He sniffed at a patch of moss near
the base of a tree, smelling ammonia, droppings and something
It was the pungent smell of blood. Heavy and
thick, its redolence painted the air. Harry stopped once more,
confused, for who was doing this and why would there be blood now?
No one answered his mental question. He tried to speak, but found
that he could not. He’d always been able to speak, but now his
vocal chords refused to work. Disconcerted, he continued on his
way, searching and wondering and internally questioning what had
A feeling of impending doom settled over him,
oozing through his fur into the very essence of his being. Afraid
now, he backed off, the hair rising all over his body, and he gave
a low moan of anger mixed with fear.
You,” a voice said from up ahead.
Harry stopped in his tracks, his eyes growing
wide. The trees abruptly split apart, rent by a giant hand that
uprooted and then tossed them aside as a child would discard an
unwanted toy. The person he’d been searching for had found him, but
the individual who’d uttered the command was not a person. It was a
thing well over six feet in height, towering over the plants and
bushes and it blotted out the night. “You are dead!”
The hand—not a hand, but a giant claw—reached
for him and only one thought ran through Harry’s mind. Escape!
Wheeling around, he made a mad dash for the cabin. Four walls and
artificial space or not, it offered safety and security. That was
what he needed most.
The bushes and plants sped by in a blur and
his breath came fast and hard. His heart thumped painfully in his
chest, but he paid it no attention. In a blind rush for safety, he
didn’t bother trying to plot a zigzag course. A feeling inside him
spoke of a predator, something that could not and would not stop
until it had found its prey.
And he was the prey.
The sound of heavy, menacing footsteps from
behind him grew louder and shook the earth. The vibration, heavy
and hurtful, spurred him on, but no matter how fast he ran it
seemed as though the footsteps got ever closer...
Yes! The cabin loomed up ahead, the door
open. With a leap, he ran inside. Desperate now, he threw his
weight behind the door, legs scrabbling for purchase on the slick
wood. With an effort, he shut the door, backed off and looked
It was a sparsely furnished place, just a
table in the center of the room, a couple of chairs and a sofa.
Harry first hid behind the table, but realized that it would offer
no shelter. He then changed his mind and headed for the sofa. It
was big, it was solid and it would hide him. He’d be safe now,
Or would he? The door began to shake and
shiver under a series of smashes from the creature. Its roar made
the windows tremble. Harry began to back up, the hair on his body
rising in rage and terror, and the latter was winning. Any thoughts
of running away stopped as with a sudden blast of sound, the door
exploded off its hinges and flew across the room to smash into the
You,” the monster bellowed in a voice
that bespoke of a demon from the depths of hell. “I have come for
At first, Harry thought of leaping to his
left, but decided to stay where he was. The monster snuffled
around. As if by magic, its snout seemed to increase in length. “I
can smell your fur,” it said and a second later, the sofa flew into
the air and landed with a crash at the other side of the cabin.
“There you are,” said the creature with a sense of