Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Station 332 (Cymic Parasite Breach, Book 2) by Darcy Coates

Release date: February 25, 2016
Subgenre: Science Fiction, Alien Invasion

About Station 332


For Charles, responding to Station 332's emergency help request starts out no different than any other mission. She's been paired with a near-retirement medic, Robin, and a lax mechanic, Jay. Their job is simple: check the station, kill any threats, provide assistance if needed, then return to Central.

But this is unlike any assistance request Charles has been on before.

Someone or something has destroyed the station, smashing the control panel and upending equipment. They find two bodies--murdered--in the bedroom, and the third staff member is missing.

Robin labels it a murder-suicide, but Charles has doubts.

Something is killing Central's best fighters, leaving humanity defenceless. It's spreading quickly. And the danger lives closer to home than anyone ever expected...

Station 332 is a short story in the five-part Cymic Parasite Breach series. Each story can be read independently.



“Airlock pressurising,” Jay’s voice crackled in her ear. Charles heard a quiet hissing as the moon’s toxic atmosphere was pumped out and replaced with oxygen. Robin still hadn’t moved from the window.

“Aaaaand… done.”

Charles and Jay removed their helmets, placed them on an empty shelf, and unzipped the restrictive space suits. Robin finally pulled back from the window and took off her own helmet.

“Something up?” Charles asked.
“Turn your guns on,” she said.
Jay and Charles glanced at each other. They grabbed for the small handguns tethered to their suits and pressed the power buttons.
“Should we open the door?” Jay asked as Robin hung up her suit. The older woman’s creased face looked far more alert than Charles had ever seen it. Robin nodded, Jay re-plugged a cable, and the interior doors parted, letting them into the control station.
Charles did a double take. Part of the control panel had been smashed; the metal was dented inwards, and its little buttons and light covers bugged out of their holes. The chair was overturned, and something dark was scuffed over the tile floor. Charles stepped in front of her team and raised her gun. The hallway beyond the control centre was dark and empty, and the only thing she could hear was her companions’ breaths.
“We need to search the building,” Robin said, her voice a barely audible whisper. “We’ll start with the sleeping quarters.”
Charles nodded, led them through the open doorway into the hall, then turned left. Virtually every station was arranged in the same format: the kitchen and living areas were to the right, the work areas could be found through a hallway straight ahead, and turning left would take them to the sleeping quarters and bathroom.
Charles pressed the hall’s light switch, but the ceiling lamps stayed dead. Either the power had cut out, or the lights were broken. As she heard plexiglass shards crunch under her boots, she assumed it was the latter.
Two dozen paces brought them to the bedroom door, which stood ajar. Charles nudged it open with her foot, slipped a hand inside, and pressed the light switch.
One of the lights spluttered, flickered, then died in a shower of sparks, but the second bulb turned on, casting strange shadows over the scene before them. Three walls each held a plain bed with a storage unit fixed above it. Two of the beds were made, but the third had its blankets mussed. A large object lay in the middle of the room.
Jay swore under his breath then gagged. Robin only paused for a second before pressing past Charles to approach the decomposing body.
It was a man—Charles thought it was, anyway; the body was so bubbly and saggy, it was hard to be sure. He’d fallen on his back, his legs twisted awkwardly under him, arms flung out to the side. His remaining eye was milky white and bulged out of its socket, and his jaw hung open, almost as if it were dislocated, to display white teeth poking out of darkened gums. A pool of tar-black blood spread around his head like a toxic halo.



About Darcy Coates:

Darcy Coates is an Amazon bestseller and award-winning author. She loves haunted houses, ancient graveyards, mysteries and suspense - and her books reflect all of these passions.

She lives on the Central Coast of Australia. When she's not writing you can usually find her on a bushwalk, spending all day in the library or researching local urban legends. (There is significant evidence that suggests a giant panther roams through the woodlands near Darcy's home.)

Her favourite author is Stephen King, but she's also a fan of Shirley Jackson, Mark Z. Danielewski, Beth Massie and Barbara Michaels.

Darcy co-habitates with three cats and two humans. As much as she would like a fourth cat, she knows that would be treading dangerously close to crazy-cat-lady territory.

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