The Lethal Agent
The Extraction Files #2
Mable Wilkinson is close to getting everything she ever wanted. She has a home in a facility in New York, a job extracting parasitic insects, and she's even made some friends. If she can keep up this pace for a few years, she’ll earn a lifetime of security for herself—and for Hadley.
But that doesn’t mean her job is easy. Each time she begins to discover something about the bugs, they strike again, wreaking havoc on the world. Researchers are dying with increasing frequency, and Mable is powerless to stop it.
As the mounting bug attacks threaten to destroy humanity, Mable realizes she’s out of time. Her team has only days to find a solution before the human race loses its homeworld—if the bugs don’t infect them first.
Other Books in This Series
"I am going to do here is tell you again, that if you love Sci Fi or even if you do not, this is an amazing book! A wonderful conclusion and pretty much one of those series I will always go back to read on a regular basis! It is already on my “Obsession” list for sure!" ~Nadine, Am Kinda Busy Reading Book Blog
"Let Ms McCoy take you on a voyage into a possible future of our world, and how the seemingly young raw recruits of Silas Arrenstein are the only chance at stopping the infestation and possible death of the human race. Ms McCoy has written a brilliant Suspense Sci-fi, the series reminds me of a few of my favourite reads as well as some of my favourite Films..." ~Karen, A Thousand Lives Book Blog
"As for that science fiction, it and the world building around it are solid. I think folks who want a deep escape will find it here. The science is amazing, but not so farfetched as to be impossible, and the enemy bugs, well, they are terrifying, but also plausible. Nothing feels like an afterthought. It’s all purposeful and woven in with a finesse I’d expect from the sci-fi greats." ~Trish, Pure Textuality
"Riveting, fascinating, and even frightening, I may never look at bugs the same, again. A great Science Fiction read with a few twists you won’t see coming!" ~Dianne, Tome Tender
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Without an access badge, Mable had no choice but to knock at the single door on the uppermost floor of the facility. She pounded on the door for a full five minutes before Dr. Quincy let her in, just as she’d hoped.
“You’re not to be here,” he said, not unlike a robot.
“I’m supposed to learn about the bugs. You study them. This is where I should be. Ask Arrenstein.” Mable hadn’t exactly asked permission before coming up, but she hadn’t exactly planned on coming here, either. She’d only wanted to get away from Theo and ended up in the elevator.
Still, now that she was here, it seemed like a good enough idea.
Quincy walked back to his desk and commed Arrenstein. His face hovered in holographic projection a moment later. “Got an update, Quince?” he asked, clearly confused why he was getting a comm so late at night.
“One of your recruits is here in the lab. She hasn’t been given access.” Quincy pointed the tablet toward Mable so Arrenstein could see her.
“She’s fine. As long as she’s not bothering you, I don’t have a problem with it.” Mable breathed a silent sigh, not only because she would be allowed to stay, but because Arrenstein trusted her.
Under her arm, she felt her own tablet vibrate with a new ecomm. As Quincy finished with Arrenstein, she glanced at the message: WHERE ARE YOU?
She wasn’t in the mood for Theo. If he didn’t believe her about the Scholar woman, then he had a low opinion of her capabilities. The last thing she needed was someone in her ear telling her she wasn’t smart enough to do this.
Quincy’s jaw was set even tighter than before. He stood with arms crossed, waiting for her to say something.
Mable hadn’t had any real questions in mind, at least none she could think of right then. Instead, she asked, “I want to know more about the Slight. How it infects the host, how it chooses a host.”
Quincy turned and walked into the depths of the lab without a word. Mable hesitated a moment, and then followed. Arrenstein said she could be here, after all.
He stopped at a shelving unit against a wall. Unlike the others, it held a mere dozen jars, all small with yellow liquid inside. Quincy pulled out three jars and set them on the table, hitting a button to illuminate the surface. “If you can figure it out, I’d be very interested to know.”
Then, he disappeared in the labyrinthine lab.
Her tablet buzzed again. CAN WE TALK?
Mable set down her tablet on the far corner of the table and spread the three jars before her. They were identical from what she could tell. Each held a small bug, about two inches long, with a diamond head and kite-shaped body. It looked like a miniature manta ray she’d seen in pictures as a kid. Beneath the wings, they each harbored four pairs of legs. Antennas twice as long as the body curled in the liquid.
She was tempted to open a jar and remove one, setting it flat on the light table so she could properly evaluate it. Then she remembered what happened when Arrenstein opened the jar, the way the bug turned to dust in the liquid.
In her Biological Interdependence class at the Atlanta Youth Center, the instructor had given them a tour of a massive storage space of preserved animals and plants. Each sat in a jar of yellow or clear liquid—sea stars, grasshoppers, turtles—all kinds of extinct creatures that were killed and collected before the war.
Another student had asked what would happen to the specimen without the jar, and the instructor replied, “The liquid halts the decomposition process. Removing the liquid would merely start it again. The animal would be susceptible to bacterial breakdown in the presence of oxygen.”
She’d thought almost nothing about it at the time, but here, in the bug lab with jars before her, it was impossible not to link the two experiences.