Muzzle Flashes ~ An Excerpt from The Gate by D L Cross

Hey everyone. Staci Troilo is a frequent visitor to my site. She  has a brand-new release, written under a new pen name, D. L. Cross. In The Gate, she delves into the world of Sci-Fi. Please welcome back, Staci, aka D. L.

Thanks for inviting me here today. I’m excited to share an excerpt from The Gate, Book 1 of the Astral Conspiracy series in the Invasion Universe.



The bullet impacted the man’s shoulder and spun him around before he hit the ground.

The shot heard round the mound started a chaotic exchange of gunfire. Landon’s ears rang from the deafening reports. Muzzle flashes like strobe lights blinded him in the dark. Shouted orders and primal yells warred with the thundering tempo of his own frenetic pulse.

A bloodcurdling shriek of desperation rang over all of it. “NO!”

His arm was nearly ripped from its socket as his captor dragged him through the park. Soon the sounds of warfare faded, replaced with the rustling of brush underfoot and the occasional pant or wheeze — embarrassingly, only from him.

It took much less time to leave the park than it originally did to enter it. Soon he was standing in front of three black military-grade ATVs. He was shoved into the middle one, someone put a hood over his head, then they pulled out. As they sped away, someone secured his hands in front of him with zip ties.

“Where are we going?”

No one answered him.

“Who sent you after me?”

Still no reply.

“What do —”


At least he got an answer that time.

“Hey, man. How bad is it?”

Landon puzzled at the meaning of the question until he realized it was asked of someone else.

“Sore, but I’m okay. The vest stopped it. Gonna have a bitch of a bruise, though.”

Maybe Landon could use that weakness to his advantage at some point.


Someone grunted. “Didn’t make it.”

There were some murmured curses, then they rode in silence.

The hood was hot on Landon’s head, making it difficult to breathe. He took small comfort in the fact that someone somewhere needed him alive. But that didn’t necessarily mean all in one piece. So he remained quiet and bided his time. The answers would present themselves soon enough.

Soon the vehicle screeched to a stop. He was dragged out and forced up a set of stairs. Someone shoved him down onto a cushioned seat, but he banged his elbow on something hard. “Hey!”

Landon suffered a sharp pinch in his neck, then his world went dark.


He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

Universal Purchase Link | More Information | Invasion Universe Newsletter


D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website:

27 thoughts on “Muzzle Flashes ~ An Excerpt from The Gate by D L Cross

  1. Loved the excerpt, Staci. Actually, I loved the whole book. Alien invasions, Roswell, Incas, a mysterious gate–I was riveted from page one. This is my kind of science-fiction!

    Liked by 2 people

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