The Seventh Element Read online

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Text copyright © 2016 by PC Studios Inc.

  Full-color interior art, puzzles, and codes copyright © Animal Repair Shop Voyagers digital and gaming experience by Animal Repair Shop

  All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

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  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.

  ISBN 978-0-385-38673-9 (trade) | ISBN 978-0-385-38675-3 (lib. bdg.) |

  ISBN 978-0-385-38674-6 (ebook)

  eBook ISBN 9780385386746

  Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.






  Title Page



  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15


  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  About the Author

  For Chloe and Griffin—

  I’d miss you if you went into space to save the world.

  On board the Light Blade’s transport ship, the Clipper, the Omega team began shouting at the same time as they strained against their seat straps.

  “Where is she? Where’s Piper?”

  “Oh no!”

  “How could we?”

  Siena was the first to break down. Sobs racked her body. Tears flew out of her eyes.

  Next to her, Niko began to rock back and forth in his chair, faster and faster. His mind sped back to the first day they’d all met. Piper had used her motorized wheelchair to pull him from the freezing water during their first competition at Base Ten. Then she had helped him recover from what should have been a fatal sting from the deadly Stingers on planet Infinity. That meant she’d saved his life twice. And he hadn’t saved hers. Not once. Both he and Piper had trained to be medics, to help people. It no longer mattered that he had planned to tell Anna that holding Piper wasn’t right. He should have acted.

  With a gasp, Niko yanked himself free of his straps and began running up and down the length of the transport ship, a journey of about ten seconds. He knocked over the extra coats that Anna and Ravi hadn’t used on their failed mission to planet Tundra, now a hundred miles below them. He pushed through swarms of ZRKs that had raced into the Clipper alongside the crew, and got a gash on his arm courtesy of one of the many nails that hadn’t been fully hammered into the wall.

  Niko knew Piper couldn’t be hiding anywhere, but he had to look. The Clipper was tiny in comparison to the ship they’d just fled, but it would have easily accommodated all of them plus Piper. The Clipper could have fit ten Pipers, along with the air chair that had been specially made to allow her to travel in space. But there was no doubt—she was not on board.

  He began tossing aside the crates that blocked the small back window. Maybe the Light Blade had a safety feature that would isolate a fire. It was possible, right? After all, their knowledge of the ship was on a need-to-know basis, and Colin—the alien clone in charge of the Omegas—rarely thought they needed to know anything.

  Siena, Anna, and Ravi joined Niko. “Maybe the ZRKs were able to put out the flames,” Ravi said, his voice tight with fear. “Those guys can do anything, right?”

  But it only took one glance to see that the ZRKs—who did everything from cleaning up after them, to patching holes in the hull, to keeping the ship pressurized while traveling at Gamma Speed—must have had their limitations. They clearly couldn’t stop the super-hot liquid metal the crew had taken from Meta Prime from seeping through the floors and walls, igniting the oxygen that pumped through the vents. The Omega team members watched with sinking hearts as flames shot out from the back half of the ship, filling the sky with ash.

  Colin was the only one facing the direction they were heading, rather than the direction they’d come from. He muttered and cursed as he piloted the ship toward the Cloud Leopard. All his careful planning, all their hard work, and they’d had to abandon their ship along with the elements they’d collected. The elements, when put together, would have created a source of power great enough to give him control over every living creature on Earth, or anywhere else he chose to take it. The safety of the little blond human was the least of his concerns. Now he’d have to figure out a way to wrestle the Cloud Leopard from the Alpha crew and from Chris, the brilliant alien he’d been cloned from and his arch-nemesis.

  In the midst of his grumbling, Colin realized something. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that they were headed to the Cloud Leopard. He would have eventually had to go there to steal the zero crystals that his team had failed to retrieve from Tundra. And his team had also come up a few hundred Stinger spores short on Infinity. Once he had control, he would ditch the crew, turn the ship around, and go back to Aqua Gen to replace the Pollen Slither that was currently burning up back on the Light Blade. It was the only element so far that the Alpha team did not possess.

  Colin leaned back in his seat to enjoy the last few minutes of the ride. Yes, this would work out just fine. Plus, the Cloud Leopard was a much nicer ship.

  Anna heaved herself away from the window and ran up to the front. “Move!” she shouted at Colin. She tried to push his hand off the glass pad he was using to control the ship. Anna had made a lot of hard decisions on this trip—it was all part of being a leader—but this was an easy decision. No way they were leaving Piper behind.

  Colin’s hand didn’t budge. His muscles were solid and unmovable, like a boulder. Anna realized she’d never actually touched him before. His skin felt cold. She yanked her hand back in surprise.

  “Fine!” she snapped, flinging herself into her original seat. “I’ll just take over from here.” She slipped on the pair of flight glasses tucked into the armrest and prepared to wrest control of the ship. They were only a few thousand feet away from the docking bay of the Cloud Leopard. None of them had seen it up close before. If they hadn’t been breathing heavily already, the sight of it would have taken their breath away.

  “Stop!” Colin barked. “If you’re trying to take us back to the Light Blade, that’s a suicide mission!”

  The others had joined them near the control panel.

  “I don’t care!” Anna focused all her might on getting the ship to turn around. It bucked and shook but didn’t change course.

  “Go, Anna!” Ravi exclaimed. He almost offered to take over, but Anna had mad flying skills and a look of determinatio