THE 4400® WELCOME TO PROMISE CITY by Greg Cox Read Free Book Online

Book: THE 4400® WELCOME TO PROMISE CITY by Greg Cox Read Free Book Online
Authors: Greg Cox
don’t understand,
he thought.
What’s happening?

    Then the orb unfolded like a flower blossoming infast motion. The very fabric of reality seemed to twist and contort before Richard’s eyes. A blinding flash lit up the corridor, forcing him to look away. He squeezed his eyelids shut against the sudden glare. Grogan swore obscenely. “Holy crap!” Keech exclaimed.

    The flash was over in an instant. But when Richard opened his eyes again, he was amazed to see four strangers standing in the hallway where the orb had been only seconds before. All four—two men, a woman, and a young boy—were dressed entirely in black, like cat burglars or commandos. Ski masks concealed their faces. One of the men was panting hard, like he had just run the marathon. The woman stretched her limbs, as though she had been cooped up in a cramped space for far too long. “Thank God!” she exclaimed. “I couldn’t take much more of that.”

    “What?” the tired man quipped. “Too cozy for you?”

    “Shut your mouths!” Grogan barked. Overcoming their shock, the guards drew their sidearms on the intruders. “I don’t know who you clowns are, or where you came from, but don’t move a muscle!”

    The second man, an African-American from the look of him, stared at the guns. “Careful with those.” He sounded not at all concerned by the weapons pointed at him. “You’re playing with fire.”

    “Wha—?” Grogan squealed. The metal gun turned redhot in his grip. Flesh sizzled. Yelping in pain, the guards let go of their weapons. The molten guns crashed onto the floor. Grogan clutched his scalded palm. Keech sucked on his burnt fingers. The men whimpered pathetically.

    The black guy turned to the woman. “Your turn.”

    She obliged by cracking her neck loudly. At first Richard thought she was still stretching, but then the guards clutched their own necks in response. Their faces contorted in shock. They dropped limply to the floor. Grogan landed only inches away from Richard. Only his ragged breathing assured Richard that the unconscious guard was still alive.

    Sanchez nodded in satisfaction. He spit a mouthful of blood onto the floor of his cell. He glanced at the boy, who appeared to be no more than twelve years old. “Billy?”

    “I’m on it,” the kid chirped. A pair of horn-rimmed glasses were fitted over his ski mask. He dashed forward and searched Keech’s body until he found the guard’s keycard. “Bingo!” Hurrying over to unlock Sanchez’s cell, he had to stretch to reach the scanner. “Bet you’re anxious to get out of there!”

    “You have no idea.” The prisoner exited the cell. He gave the boy a friendly slap on the back. “And I hope you never do.”

    Meanwhile, the woman scooted into Richard’s cell. Stepping over Grogan’s sprawling form, she helped Richard to his feet. “You okay, Mr. Tyler?”

    “I—I think so.” His battered brain, which had been coming to terms with death only moments ago, struggled to catch up with events. “Who are you people?”

    “Your guardian angels,” the woman replied. “Sorry for calling it so close. We just got wind of your danger.” She extracted a slender carrying-case from a pocket of her vest. The container opened to reveal a syringe of glowing chartreuse fluid.


    She uncapped the tip of the syringe and squirted a droplet from the tip.

    “Wait a second,” Richard said. “What are—?”

    Before he could finish, the woman jabbed the needle into his upper arm. The sharp pain jolted Richard out of his daze. He clutched his wounded arm as she withdrew the needle. “What was that for? I’m already p-positive!”

    “Just a booster shot,” she explained, tossing the empty hypo aside. “To help you overcome the inhibitor.”

    Was that possible?
he thought, recalling how a similar shot had woken Shawn Farrell from a coma last year. Richard closed his eyes and concentrated. Was it just his imagination or could he already

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