Nightmare Spawn: Nightmare Series Book 5
Nightmare Spawn: Nightmare Series Book 5
Nightmare Spawn: Nightmare Series Book 5
Nightmare Spawn: Nightmare Series Book 5

Nightmare Spawn: Nightmare Series Book 5

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A terror from beyond lurks within a shadowy English town...

Reporter Denny Purcell is on the run. After exposing the existence of monsters known as Interlopers, she has earned the wrath of their queen, Casandra. Implanted with an alien parasite in her spine, Denny has managed to fight the queen’s telepathic control for now. The sluglike symbiont grants her psychic abilities, but each day, she fears she may lose her mind and become Casandra’s slave.

When Denny travels to the Northern English town of Fordham, she uncovers massive Interloper activity in the area. But she is not the only one hunting the sinister invaders. A clandestine government agency known as the Task Force contacts her with shocking new intelligence: Cassandra herself is lurking in the shadows of the nearby Interloper nest.

Using her new abilities, Denny and the Task Force stage an assault on the terrifying monsters’ headquarters, hoping to end the nightmare once and for all. But Denny has a secret objective, one she has kept hidden from her new allies. And she’s willing to strike a deal with Cassandra to make it happen.

As human and alien blood alike is spilled, Denny must decide. How far is she willing to go to reclaim her humanity?

PUBLICATION DATE December 21, 2018



Chapter 4: Under the Surface

“What do you mean, you can’t be sure?” Frankie demanded. “Denny’s pretty damn sure, and she knows more about this whole subject than you!”

Trent made placatory noises, but persisted with his argument.

“I lead a relatively small organization dealing with a big problem,” he pointed out. “And you come to me with a rather alarming report. But no actual, physical evidence.”

Frankie started to protest again, but stopped when Gould put his hand on her arm. The meeting was not going according to plan. She had expected Trent to be delighted at reports of Interloper activity, or ‘Code Nine’ as he insisted they call it. Instead, the leader of the Task Force seemed unwilling to credit Denny’s story.

Makes me think she’s right about him, Frankie thought. Or at least he’s got some weird agenda.

Comstock, the security chief, spoke for the first time since Frankie had insisted that ‘friggin’ Lopers are taking over some crummy English town’. He had raised an eyebrow at that. Now he raised a hand and got the nod from Trent.

“It’s worth checking out, sir,” he said. “Obviously we can’t send a full tactical squad, but I would be happy to go along with Frankie here. And maybe Doctor Gould, as another person Ms. Purcell knows might reassure her.”

“Quite so!” Trent said, eternally upbeat. “Excellent notion, Comstock. And if it turns out that there is something serious going on, we’ll have a tac team up there pronto.”

“But,” Comstock went on, “we have to consider other possibilities. Doctor Zoffany’s report on the symbionts has raised an interesting possibility.”

Zoffany looked puzzled.

“What are you referring to?” she asked. “All I’ve really accomplished is show that blending of human and Interloper tissue is possible.”

“In rodents,” added Frankie.

Comstock nodded curtly.

“And that means Ms. Purcell could be under Code Nine control right now. She might be conveying a totally bogus account of activity in Fordham to lure us into the open, make us divert resources hundreds of miles away from the real threat. It’s a classic tactic. Get your enemy to send his forces on a pointless expedition. Or into a trap.”

Seeing Frankie’s expression, Comstock moderated his tone, sounded slightly more compassionate than his usual clipped delivery.

“It’s hard when it’s your friend,” he said. “But she could literally be living in a fantasy world, everything she sees and hears fed to her. And, completely sincere, she passes it on to her closest friend. Providing your enemy with bogus data is as old as warfare.”

“That’s total BS,” Frankie began, but Trent was already nodding energetically.

“I think that is a remarkably astute observation, Comstock,” he said. “What a splendid team I have! And yes, I know, Ms. Dupont – you don’t believe your friend could be compromised in this way. Let us hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

Trent looked at Zoffany.

“While I don’t like to send one of my top brains away, I feel that, as you also know, Ms. Purcell, you should go and examine her. See how far the process you identified has become.”

Seething, Frankie kept her opinions to herself for the rest of the meeting. She could see some advantage in having Gould and Zoffany with her, but did not trust Comstock. Apart from a general aversion to military types, the Englishman was obviously loyal to Trent.

Later, as she went through preparations for what was being called ‘the operation’, she faced another unpleasant truth. Part of her had found Comstock’s argument horribly convincing. She had not spoken to Denny face to face in months. Frankie went back over their conversations, wondering if much of what she had been told had been untrue.

But she seems the same, Frankie thought. Could she be under Cassandra’s control, and still seem like the person I know?

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