Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers on 7-15-2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Rick Dial has the potential to be a hero. He just doesn't know it yet.
Rick's high school football team couldn't be stopped when he was leading them as their quarterback. He was going to Syracuse on a scholarship. But then his dad abandoned them and a terrible accident left him crippled.
Certain his old life is completely lost, Rick spends months hiding away in his room playing video games. He achieves the highest scores on so many games that he's approached by a government agency who claims to be trying to thwart a cyber attack on America that would destroy the technological infrastructure of the entire country. The agents say that the quick-thinking of a quarterback coupled with Nick's gaming experience make him perfect for this assignment. The problem is that there are no extra lives and this isn't just a game . . . but Rick doesn't have many other options at the moment.
Entering "The Realm" gives Rick the one thing he thought he'd never have again: a body that's as fast and as strong as he ever was before the accident. But the more time he spends in The Realm, the more questions he has. What secrets are these agents keeping from him? What really happened to his father? How many others have gone into The Realm already . . . and failed? And perhaps most important, is he the hero they think he is?
Rick’s Dial streaked through the vastness of space, starlight and gunfire blazing all around him. The seat of his battlecraft shook beneath him as he pressed the button to unleash another deadly barrage from his two forward guns. He caught one glimpse of the pilot of the Orgon ship veering in toward him from starboard, then his shot struck home. There was an orange blast of flame and scrap metal. When it was over, both the Orgon ship and its pilot were gone.
That was the last of the guardians. Rick righted his battlecraft and zoomed in toward the mothership, which now hovered in the endless darkness undefended. He held the Fire button down. His forward guns bucked and spat death in a continual rattle. The black wall of the mothership frayed, chipped, and then burst apart. The landing bay was laid open to the vacuum of space.
As Rick guided his craft in toward the interior landing strip, he could see the insectile Orgon crewmen screaming in terror as they were swept from their battle stations into the infinite emptiness around them. He kept firing. The last parked crafts of his alien enemies exploded, killing whatever crewmembers were still on board.
With that, it was over. None of the giant bug-like creatures were left. The landing bay was clear.
Rick slowed his craft into a sleek glide and headed toward the centerline. He touched down effortlessly. The moment he did, words flashed on the television screen:
New High Score! New Record Time!
Rick nodded with grim satisfaction. He laid the game controller aside on the sofa and reached for his crutches.