Stephen Quinn is a man with a unique ability. He is able to enter the minds of others. It is an ability that may kill him. A brilliant scientist, Quinn is recruited to work at GenTech, a secret government corporation experimenting in genetic research. Quinn believes his work is for the benefit of mankind; the government however has other plans for Quinn's breakthrough discovery. After a tragedy befalls the research center, Quinn is reeducated and relocates to Minneapolis, where he accepts a job as a special crime investigator for the police department. Teamed with Charlene—Charlie Todd—the pair must help track down a mysterious killer who appears to be draining the blood of his victims. To capture the murderer Quinn must enter the mind of the madman, but the horrors he finds there may kill him...and there is only one person who can save him.
|Publisher:||Whiskey Creek Press|
|Sold by:||SIMON & SCHUSTER|
|File size:||468 KB|
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He woke to the murmur of sing-song whispers in a white room so bright it seemed to burn his face. He was dressed in a white gown, as were the others floating around him. A warm radiance streamed through the transparent panels above him. Somewhere in the distance he heard doves coo.
He thought: I died and I'm in heaven.
An angel hovered around him, leaned over him. Her eyes grew wide with excitement.
"He's awake," the angel said. "Someone get the general."
Now he understood. He wasn't dead. He was in a hospital.
Realizing his location, he became aware of other sounds: the soft murmur of conversations, the constant whisper of hospital machinery, the steady pings of the heart monitor.
He swallowed and his throat burned like fire. A tube had been shoved down his gullet. Another tube grew out of his wrist and was attached to a crystalline bag hanging from a chrome stand.
Pinpoints of pain pricked at his face. He touched his right cheek and found it covered with gauze. Beneath the bandage he felt the sticky goo of infection as it leaked from the wound.
He tried to recall what happened, but all he remembered was a supercharged flash followed by chaos.
The door opened, letting in a blast of cold air, and a man walked rapidly into the room. He rushed to the patient's bedside.
"You're awake," the newcomer said. He was dressed in dark clothing and wore a surgical mask over his mouth and nose. The rest of his face was silhouetted against the skylight. "Can you hear me?"
The patient nodded. He heard the man, but his voice sounded distant and hollow. It was the drug, he supposed, that was being pumped into him,distorting his hearing. "Are you death?" he asked the Shadowman.
"No," the Shadowman chuckled. He found the question somewhat amusing. "I'm here to help you. I'll take care of you."
"Okay," the patient rasped. He closed his eyes and fell back to sleep.
Six months later...
He woke in an old warehouse. The place stank of harsh chemicals, but there was an underlying stench of rotting wood and decaying flesh. A bluish glow from the computer monitor in a corner supplied the only light in the dim room.
He was naked and strapped to a pine table. Next to him stood a strange contraption reminding him of the thing he saw in the woods behind grandpa's house. He was only a boy, but he remembered his grandpa told him it was a 'cooker'. He would be quite a bit older before he realized grandpa was a bootlegger.
A shunt, about eight inches long, protruded from the artery of his neck. He knew this because if he rolled his eyes to his right he saw the last inch of the metal tube. Attached to the end was a length of clear tubing that plugged into the top of the contraption. The liquid flowing through the tube was red.
That was when he realized what was happening. He tried to scream, but his throat was so raw he only produced a raspy squeak. It was loud enough to alert the man sitting in a wheelchair in front of the computer. He spun around, and the cold glow of the monitor shadowed the right side of his face.
"Shadowman?" But Shadowman wasn't there. Yet, the man with the withered legs knew the dark figure was never far away.
The captive moaned again.
"You're awake," the man said, rolling the chair toward the table. "That's not good. Not good at all. Someone might hear you."
He reached under the table and pulled out a rag soaked in a pungent fluid. He placed the stinking cloth over the captive's mouth and nose.
The captive struggled, but he was too weak; his captor was too strong and he succumbed to the forced sleep.
Later, in the wee hours of the morning, his body would be found crammed in a trash barrel behind the adult bookstore.