Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Subhuman by Michael McBride

Unit 51 #1
by Michael McBride
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Supernatural, Aliens

At a research station in Antarctica, five of
the world’s top scientists have been brought together to solve one
of the greatest mysteries in human history. Their subject, however,
is anything but human . . .

Deep beneath the ice, the submerged ruins of
a lost civilization hold the key to the strange mutations that each
scientist has encountered across the globe: A misshapen skull in
Russia. The grotesque carvings of a lost race in Peru. The mummified
remains of a humanoid monstrosity in Egypt . . .

When a series of sound waves trigger the
ancient organisms, a new kind of evolution begins. Latching onto a
human host—crossbreeding with human DNA—a long-extinct life form
is reborn. Its kind has not walked the earth for thousands of years.
Its instincts are fiercer, more savage, than any predator alive. And
its prey are the scientists who unleashed it, the humans who spawned
it, and the tender living flesh on which it feeds . . .

Praise for Michael McBride

A fast-paced and frightening ride. Highly recommended for fans of
creature horror and the thrillers of Michael Crichton.”—The
Horror Review

McBride writes with the perfect mixture of suspense and horror that
keeps the reader on edge.” —Examiner

            The camera passed through the orifice and into a vast cavernous space, the ring of lights around the lens creating little more than a halo of illumination. The water had receded, leaving behind icicles hanging like stalactites from the vaulted ice dome. There was no way of estimating size or  depth. There was only up, down, and the unfathomable darkness in between.
“Should I keep going?” Dreger asked.
            Richards nodded, and the camera slowly approached the surface of the lake, which remained in a liquid state due to a combination of geothermal heat rising from beneath the mantle, insulation from the polar extremes by two vertical miles of ice, and the pressure formed by the marriage of the two. The image became fluid. When the aperture rectified, it revealed cloudy brown-ish water through which whitish blebs and air bubbles shivered toward the surface. A greenish shape took form from the depths, gaining focus as the camera neared. The rocky bed was covered with a layer of slimy sediment, from which tendrils of sludge wavered. It looked like the surface of some distant planet, which was exactly what Richards hoped it was.
            There were countless theories regarding the origin of life on earth, but the one that truly resonated with him was called lithopanspermia and involved the seeding of the planet by microbes hitchhiking through space on comets and asteroids, whether having survived on debris ejected from a collapsing planet or by the deliberate usage of a meteorite to plant life on a suitable world by some higher intelligence. Fossilized bacteria of extraterrestrial origin were found on a meteorite recovered from this very continent less than twenty years ago, but it wasn’t until living samples were collected from Lake Vostok that Richards realized what he needed to do.
            Ever since that fateful night sixty years ago, when he’d run into the wheat fields to escape the sound of his father raining blows upon his sobbing mother, he’d known mankind wasn’t alone in the universe. He remembered every detail with complete clarity, for it was that single moment in time that altered the course of his life. He recalled staring up into the sky and begging for God to answer his prayers, to take his mother and him from that horrible place. Only rather than a vision of the Almighty, he saw a triangle formed by three pinpricks of light hovering overhead. He’d initially thought they were part of a constellation he hadn’t seen before until they sped off without a sound and vanished against the distant horizon.
He’d been looking for them ever since.
“What’s that over there?” Connor asked.
“Where?” Dreger said.
            Connor leaned over Richards’s shoulder and tapped the left side of the screen. The driller typed commands into his laptop, and the camera turned in that direction.
            “A little higher.”
            The change in angle was disorienting at first, at least until Richards saw what had caught Connor’s eye.
            “What in the name of God is that?”

Michael McBride was born in Colorado and still resides in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. He hates the snow, but loves the Avalanche.He works with medical radiation, yet somehow managed to produce five children, none of whom, miraculously, have tails, third eyes, or other random mutations. He writes fiction that runs the gamut from thriller (Remains) to horror to science fiction (Vector Borne, Snowblind) . . . and loves every minute of it. He is a two-time winner of the DarkFuse Readers' Choice Award.

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