THE VARIANT EFFECT
VARION was a popular medication that could cure anything from Anxiety and Depression to Schizophrenia and Zoophagia. Everybody took it back in the day, because there were no side effects … AT FIRST. By the time they learned about the Variant Effect it was too late.
The old building in a rundown part of town was a perfect place to find a body, but Joe Borland knows they’d never have dragged him out of retirement if it still had its skin. It’s been twenty years since Borland battled the Variant Effect, and twenty since he let his partner get skinned alive. Now they are ordered back into action to meet a terrifying new threat.
The Variant Effect Returns in MADHOUSE 1 – Ziploc City!
Just over a year has passed since the Variant Effect returned and Skin Eaters started hunting again.
During the last six months Metro citizens have been quarantined with the National Guard at the gates ready to shoot anyone who tries to leave the city. The authorities have asked for calm but the panicked public knows a dangerous and more virulent form of the infection is moving through every neighborhood.
The old Variant stationhouses have reopened to meet the threat, and the frantic fighters of 9-Squad are climbing the walls. Everyone’s a little on edge.
The veteran Captain Hyde is recovering from a serial killer attack but the squad doubts his tortured mind will heal. Beachboy’s promotion to captain has intensified his “death wish” and Wizard is haunted by her part in their fatal love triangle.
Joe Borland’s talent for carnage has given him something to live for, even if others have to pay for his survival with their lives. And ringleader Brass paces the cage wondering if he’s been accidentally imprisoned, or if his Bezo bosses have sentenced him to death with the rest. Good thing he’s been working on “Plan B.”
Start on the ground floor of the MADHOUSE with Ziploc City, first step in the final chapters of The Variant Effect Series.
The End Continues in The Variant Effect MADHOUSE 2 – Gas Light!
Borland and Beachboy deliver Lazarus scientists to Bezo Headquarters and find things in upheaval, so the rest of 9-Squad is called in to provide security.
The Variant Squad is still shaken from the last twenty-four hours with a rising body count and wounds that need to heal, but their Bezo bosses have put Lazarus specialists in charge of efforts to halt the Variant Effect and end the Metro Ziploc.
Borland and Hyde are suspicious of the changes but cannot override their orders or abandon their squad to a dubious mission opening derelict research labs underground.
To make matters worse, Brass is down there overseeing a top secret project of his own, and reporting unusual phenomena that lend some truth to the rumors that the HQ basement is haunted. The squad must investigate but all the signs point to something more terrifying than the dead.
Borland and the frazzled 9-Squad must decide who they can trust as lethal forces gather, and avenues of escape begin to close. The only way to save their skins and protect the public from annihilation may involve a terrifying descent into darkness.
Continue to explore the MADHOUSE with Gas Light, second stage in the final chapters of The Variant Effect Series.
The Variant Effect Ends in MADHOUSE 3 – BURN!
The Variant Squad barely had time to get back on its feet before the screaming started. Someone was getting skinned alive, and they knew it. But many of their comrades have just fallen to their deaths, and others are still missing, so Captain Beachboy knows that answering the cry for help would be suicide.
Skin Eater packs are still hunting on the levels above and below them, and it’s only a matter of time before their ugly craving returns and they attack again.
And that’s not the end of it.
A murderous Kill Squad sent by an unknown enemy must have followed them underground. It has the Lazarus team’s innocent blood on its hands, and Beachboy suspects the unknown assassins are committed to spilling 9-Squad’s too.
And the old myths about the basement are proving true. Something with an appetite for pain is haunting the bunker complex and feeds its hunger through the Biter packs.
It has also poisoned the place with the Varion molecule that causes the lethal new form of the Variant Effect, forcing the squad to remain sealed in their bag-suits.
And they’re running out of air.
Variant Squad veteran Joe Borland knows that there are forces within the squad that might not want to win the battle underground, and would prefer leaving his bagged-comrades buried with the incriminating evidence they have found.
So he’ll have to pick a side when his life’s on the line.
In the meantime he and Beachboy take the squad survivors on a desperate search for a rumored escape tunnel while dark forces gather on all sides, and a secret clock winds down to doomsday and the final Variant Squad protocol of Ziploc, Gas and BURN!
Explore the MADHOUSE to the END with BURN, third stage in the final chapters of The Variant Effect Series.
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