Whitley Strieber: The Grays

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Whitley Strieber The Grays
  • Название:
    The Grays
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Tor Books
  • Жанр:
    Фантастика и фэнтези / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2006
  • Город:
    New York
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-0765352590
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    3 / 5
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The Grays: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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We are not alone. Millions of people are confronting aliens that authorities say do not exist. Whitley Strieber—author of the legendary, #1 bestselling book , which details his own close encounters—now returns to the riddle of aliens with . A triumvirate of Grays, known as the Three Thieves, has occupied a small Kentucky town for decades—abducting its residents and manipulating fates and bloodlines in hopes of creating an ultra-intelligent human being. Nine-year-old Conner Callahan will face the ultimate terror as he struggles to understand who he has been bred to be and what he must do to save humanity. Though the Grays have slowly begun to make themselves known, Colonel Michael Wilkes, the head of a select group of government and military officials that have been monitoring the aliens, will do anything in his power to keep them a secret. Wilkes will set in motion a sinister plan to ensure the survival of humanity, but at what cost? The fate of the human race lies with one woman, Lauren Glass. Her uncanny ability to communicate with the aliens and her relationship with the last remaining captive gray may be the only way to save humankind. The Grays

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Whitley Strieber

THE GRAYS

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to those millions of people around the world who, like me, have faced the enigma of the grays and are also left with the certain knowledge that they represent a genuine and spectacularly provocative unknown. It is my hope that this work of fiction will penetrate into that unknown and draw its secrets into discovering light.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Grays has been many years in the making. I have not the words to thank Anne Strieber for her patience, her great courage, and her willingness to travel with me on what must seem like a quixotic journey indeed, seeking to find in fiction the truth about the grays, which is too elusive to bring to genuinely sharp focus in factual narrative.

I would also like to thank my agent, Russell Galen, whose faith in this project kept it alive, Tom Doherty and Bob Gleason of Tor Books, who were willing to say yes and have provided me with such useful discipline and insight, Cary Brokaw and John Calley, whose enthusiastic support have been an inspiration, and Aaron Craig Geller, whose attention to detail and story sense so helpfully illuminated my efforts.

PART ONE

Night Flyers

Who’s in the next room?—who?
I seem to hear
Somebody muttering firm in a language new
That chills the ear.
No: you catch not his tongue who has entered there.

—THOMAS HARDY “Who’s in the Next Room?”

ONE

BECAUSE WE KNOW IT IS there, danger in an obvious place—on a battlefield, say—is often far less of a threat than it is on a quiet street in a small town. For example, on a street deep in America where three little boys rode interlocking figure eights on their bicycles, and on a sweet May evening, too, any danger would be a surprise. And a great and terrible danger—impossible.

Not all of the boys were in danger. In fact, two of them were as profoundly safe as anybody else in Madison, Wisconsin, on the scented evening of May 21, 1977. The third boy, however, was not so lucky. Not nearly.

Because of something buried deeply in his genes, he was of more than normal interest to someone that is supposed not to exist, but does exist—in fact, is master of this earth.

It was too bad for this child—in fact, tragic—because these creatures—if they could even be called that—caused phenomenal trauma, scarring trauma… to those of their victims who lived.

Play ended with the last of the sun, and lights glowed on the porches of Woody Lane, as one by one the boys of the lane retired.

Danny rode a little longer, and was watched by Burly, the dog of Mr. Ehmer. Soon Mr. Ehmer himself came across his lawn. His pipe glowed as he drew on it, and he said, “Say there, Danny, you want to come night fishin’ with me and your Uncle Frank? We’ve been getting some good’uns all this week.”

Danny was a lonely child, saddled with an alcoholic mother and a violent father, so he welcomed these chances to be away from the tensions of home. He could take his sleeping bag and unroll it in the bottom of the boat, and if his line jerked it would wake him up. But not tonight. “I got Scouts real early,” he said, “gotta get up.”

Mr. Ehmer leaned back on his heels. “You’re turnin’ down fishin’?”

“Gotta be at the park at nine. That means seven-thirty mass.”

“Well, yes it does. It does at that.” He drew on the pipe again. “We get a sturgeon, we’ll name ’im for you.” He laughed then, a gentle rustle in his throat, in the first gusts of the wind that rises with the moon. He left Danny to go down the dark of Woody Lane alone, pushing the pedals of his Raleigh as hard as he could, not wanting to look up at the darkening sky again, not daring to look behind him.

As he parked his bike and ran up to the lit back door, he was flooded with relief as he hopped on the doorstep and went into the lighted kitchen. He smelled the lingering odor of fried chicken, felt hungry but knew there was none left in the house. He went into the living room.

He didn’t stay long. Love Boat was like a religion with Mom and Dad, and then came Fantasy Island. He’d rather be in his room with the Batman he’d bought from Ron Bloom for twenty cents.

At the same moment a few miles away, Katelyn Burns, who adored Love Boat, watched and received advice from her mother about painting her toenails. Very red, and use a polish that hardens slowly. They last longer, chip less, good on the toes. Next week school was out and she wanted—had—to paint her toenails for Beach Day.

A magnetism of whispers that Katelyn assumed were her own thoughts had drawn her to Madison, Wisconsin, and to this shabby apartment near the water. An easy place, Madison, the thoughts whispered to her, for a divorcee to find a man. An easy place, they most certainly did not tell her, from which to steal a child, carry her out and take her far, so that when her screams started, there would be none to hear her but the night wind. And so it would be this night, after the Love Boat sailed away and silence filled the house.

As Saturday evening ended, the moon rode over houses that, one by one, became dark. Madison slept in peace, then, as the hours wore past midnight.

Sometime after three, Danny Callaghan became aware of a change around him, enough of a change to draw him out of sleep. He opened his eyes—and saw nothing but stars. For a moment, he thought he’d gone night fishing after all. Then he realized he was still in bed and the stars were coming from his own home planetarium, bought from Edmund Scientific for nine dollars. It was a dark blue plastic sphere with a light in it. The plastic was dotted with pinholes in the pattern of the night sky, and when you turned out the lights and turned the planetarium on, magic happened: the heavens appeared all around you.

He hadn’t turned the planetarium on, though, and that fact made the acid of fear rise in his throat. He opened his mouth to call for his dad, but there was no sound, just a puff of breath. As the stars crossed his face, twisting along his nose and across his eyes, his tears flowed in helpless silence.

The only sounds were the humming of the planetarium’s motor and the breeze fluttering the front-yard oak. Dan sat up on the bedside. Like a man buttoning his coat for a journey, he buttoned his pajama top, until all four big buttons were neatly closed. A thought whispered to him, “Stand up, look out the window…” He clutched the bedsheets with both hands. The old oak shook its leaves at him, and the thoughts whispered, “Come on… come on.”

Then he knew that his toes had touched the floor, and he was up in the flowing stars. Then he floated to the window. As he moved closer, he saw it sliding open. Then he went faster and moved through it. He tried to grab the sash as he passed, but missed. Then he was moving through the limbs of the oak that stood in their front yard, struggling and grabbing at them.

He got his arms around one, but his body turned upward until his feet were pointing at the sky. He held on with all his might, but the pull got stronger and stronger. “Dad,” he yelled as he was dislodged and drawn into the sky.

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