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Books: Cyberdrome

by Joseph Rhea and David Rhea

Mathew Grey is a brilliant scientist who accidentally unleashed a plague that threatens the planet. Riddled with guilt and running out of time, he uses a dangerous technology to enter a computer-generated world called Cyberdrome, hoping to unravel a mystery that could be the key to Earth's survival.

Alek Grey is a software hacker with the unique ability to outsmart the best Artificial Intelligence programs of his day. When he is called in to help, he is shocked to learn that both his father and ex-fiancée have become trapped inside the simulation, unable to be removed without risk of brain death.

Alek knows of only one way to rescue the people he loves, but will he risk all of humanity to save them?

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Read an excerpt

Maya ran up the sloping jungle floor as fast as her tired legs could carry her. The warm, humid air made her struggle to breathe and her heart threatened to explode, but she couldn't stop-no telling how far back her pursuers were. Speed, and luck, were her only assets.

When an arrow zipped past her right ear, thudding into a large Mahogany directly ahead, she knew her luck had just run out. She ducked behind the tree, then spotted a better hiding place and dove headfirst into a thick tangle of liana vines and ferns. She tried to roll but her foot caught on a vine, dropping her hard on her left shoulder and knocking the wind out of her.

Spikes of pain shot through her arm almost making her cry out; instead, she rolled to the side and breathed a single word: "Hide." Her skimpy animal-skin outfit began to stretch and flow like liquid, rapidly covering her from head to toe in a thin material.

Peering through a series of eye slits in the fabric, she saw a large, half-naked man standing in the ferns looking down at her. Behind him were two others, a male and a female, both stretching their wooden bows tight and taking aim.

Maya froze, not even daring to breathe. Her clothing's ability to mimic the color and texture of whatever was behind her-much like the skin of an octopus-could save her, but the slightest movement at this range would give her away.

After a few tense seconds, the woman-girl actually, since she looked much younger than Maya-stepped through the vines and surveyed the clearing. A moment later, she turned and whispered something to the others. Maya heard the translation in her ear: "You missed her! Get moving!"

The men disappeared into the trees and after one more glance around the area, the girl bolted after them. You people are fast, Maya thought. No wonder you caught up to me so quickly.


Maya gasped when she heard the voice in her ear, but then realized that it was just Dobson calling on her earphone. She tried to sit up but her arm and shoulder pain forced her to lie flat on her back. Staring up at the dense rainforest canopy she whispered, "I'm here."

"What the hell did you do down there?" came the response she expected. "My scanner shows multiple locals in your area and they're all coming up the hill right toward us. Didn't you say this was going to be a simple recon op?"

"Just shut up and get me out of here," she replied. She didn't need a grunt like Dobson chewing her out over the mess she had just created. Her boss would be doing enough of that later.

Dobson was right though. This should've been a simple scouting mission. Since the villagers in this valley were genetically identical to the aboriginal people of South America, Maya had assumed being born in Argentina to a mother of native blood, her black hair and light brown skin would help her blend in with the locals. So much for blending!

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