Lucas is sent to Earth to test Cade Foster's warrior potential. - - - Quatrain 99, Century 1: "Heed the call to the island of commerce / Cut be watchful of footsteps that lead unto battle / Look to the light to guide thee / The hacking blade has a double edge" This quatrain had had me and Eddie baffled for some time until Eddie began receiving a series of e-mails at the Paranoid Times from a man named Harold Shanley who claimed to have escaped from an alien experiment. The poor guy sounded out of his mind; seems he became delusional enough to shoot his own kids. His descriptions took me back to my own nightmare. As much pain as I felt at losing Hannah, I'm sure his was 100 times greater. I knew I was the only one who could help him, and I also knew that any information he had could undoubtedly help me too. I had to find him before the Gua did. According to the origins of his sporadic e-mails, Shanley was making his way across the country, the most recent was from an Industrial Trade Zone called Cosgrove Island. I decided to meet him there. Cosgrove Island looked more like the final resting place for tin can tankers and old cargo containers than the bustling port of activity that I was expecting. The place was almost totally deserted, except for Shanley, whom I found cowering inside a cargo container -- and the Gua. That's right. The aliens were there. The whole thing was a set-up. Shanely was for real, poor guy, but he was beyond any hope of salvation. They put him on the island knowing I would come after him. But more importantly, lying in wait for me was the biggest challenge I had yet to face: Lucas, the Gua's ultimate warrior. She was blond and beautiful and it took all my human strength not to give in to her female charms. While I always used to say I enjoyed a woman who went after what she wanted, especially when what she wanted was me, this wasn't what I had in mind. It seems her orders were to test my abilities before making a final recommendation to the head of the Gua on when to launch the second wave. Now I don't need to tell you how thrilled I was to be back in the role of human lab rat for Gua experimentation. I decided there was no reason to sit around and remember old times, I needed to find a way off that island fast. I was trying to think up my escape when who should show up but Eddie. What a pal. Once he figured out he had been tricked by the Gua's computer, he left the sanctuary of the Airstream to come to my rescue. How's that for a role reversal? I'm not entirely sure what he thought he would accomplish when he got here since he showed up with no weapons, no supplies, not even any food. But, all the same it shows his heart was in the right place. And that's why I'll bet on the humans every time: they got heart. But unfortunately, all the heart in the world wasn't going to save us. With no apparent way off the island we were just two sitting ducks waiting for Lucas to take her best shot. If there is one thing I have learned about the Gua, however, it's that they are overconfident. And Lucas was a prime example. In this situation, the underdog always has the advantage. Superwarrior or not, Lucas was going to need more than just her hyped up DNA to beat me and Eddie. With a little human ingenuity and a junkyard full of almost worthless crap Eddie and I needed to come up with a slingshot to take down this extraterrestrial Goliath.moreless
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