Lost City, стр. 1

Lost City

by Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos

For "spine-tingling adventure on the high seas, nobody beats Clive Cussler!

(Chicago Tribune)

Over the past few years, Clive Cussler's NUMA Files novels, written with Paul Kemprecos, have become critical and fan favorites, each received more enthusiastically than the last. About the most recent triumph, Publishers Weekly wrote, "Cussler's multitude of fans arrive at the table expecting a roiling stew of seafaring adventure, exotic travel destinations, cutting-edge science land] a splash of romance. In White Death, they will find their expectations extravagantly fulfilled!"

And they will find them fulfilled again in Lost City. An enzyme that will dramatically prolong life has been discovered two thousand feet down in the North Atlantic, in an area known as "Lost City." But why are the people attempting to harvest it getting killed? Why are the scientists in a remote Greek laboratory disappearing one by one? What does this all have to do with a body found frozen in the ice high up in the Alps? For Kurt Austin, leader of NUMA's Special Assignments Team, and his colleague Joe Zavala, it's clear they have their work cut out, but it may be even bigger than they think in fact, it may be their greatest challenge ever ...

Rich with all the hair-raising action and endless imagination that have become Cussler's hallmarks, Lost City is an exceptional thriller one of the best yet from "Clive Cussler.

CLIVE CUSSLER is the author or coauthor of twenty five previous books, including, most recently, the Dirk Pitt novel Trojan Odyssey, the NUMA Files novel White Death, and the Oregon adventure Golden Buddha. He is also the author of The Sea Hunters and The Sea Hunters II; these describe the true-life adventures of the real NUMA , which, led by Cussler, has discovered more than sixty ships, including the long-lost Confederate submarine Hunley. Cussler divides his time between Colorado and Arizona.

PAUL KEMPRECOS co-authored the NUMA Files novels Serpent, Blue Gold, Fire Ice, and White Death, and is the Shamus Award-winning author of six underwater detective thrillers. A certified scuba diver and a former newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor, he lives in Massachusetts.

Visit the NUMA website at: www.numa.net

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

DIRK PITT ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER

Trojan Odyssey

Valhalla Rising

Atlantis Found

Flood Tide

Shock Wave

Inca Gold

Sahara

Dragon

Treasure

Cyclops

Deep Six

Pacific Vortex

Night Probe

Vixen 03

Raise the Titanic!

Iceberg

The Mediterranean Caper

KURT AUSTIN ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH PAUL KEMPRECOS

White Death

Fire Ice

Blue Gold

Serpent

OREGON FILES ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH CRAIG DIR GO

The Golden Buddha

NONFICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER AND CRAIG DIR GO

The Sea Hunters II

Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed

The Sea Hunters

LOST CITY

A Novel from the NUMA files

G- P. PUTNAM'S SONS * NEW YORK

CLIVE CUSSLER

with PAUL KEMPRECOS

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Neal Iverson, associate professor of geology and atmospheric sciences at Iowa State University, for his guided tour of the Svartisen, Norway, subglacial observatory. The books of H. Rider Haggard and Ben Bova provided unique perspectives on the implications of immortality. And a thank-you is in order as well to the SEAmagine Hydrospace Corporation for the use of its remarkable SEA mobile k'

PROLOGUE

The French Alps, August 1914

HIGH ABOVE the soaring majesty of the snowcapped mountains, Jules Fauchard was fighting for his life. Minutes before, his plane had slammed into an invisible wall of air with a force that jarred his teeth. Now updrafts and downdrafts were tossing the light aircraft about like a kite on a string. Fauchard battled the gut-wrenching turbulence with the skill that had been drilled into him by his strict French flying instructors. Then he was through the rough patch, luxuriating in smooth air, unaware that it would nearly prove his undoing.

With his plane finally stable, Fauchard had given in to the most natural of human impulses. He closed his weary eyes. His eyelids fluttered and drooped, then slammed shut as if weighted down with lead. His mind drifted into a shadowy, uncaring realm. His chin slumped onto his chest. His limp fingers relaxed their grip on the control stick. The diminutive red plane wavered drunkenly in what the

French pilots called zperte de vit esse or loss of way, as it slipped off on one wing in a prelude to a tailspin.

Fortunately, Fauchard's inner ear detected the change in equilibrium, and alarms went off in his slumbering brain. His head snapped up and he awakened in a daze, struggling to marshal his muddled thoughts. His nap had lasted only a few seconds, but in that time his plane had lost hundreds of feet of altitude and was about to go into a steep dive. Blood thundered in his head. His wildly beating heart felt as if it were about to explode from his chest.

The French flying schools taught student pilots to fly an airplane with the same light touch as a pianist's on the keys, and Fauchard's endless hours of drill proved their worth now. Using a feather touch on the controls, he made sure not to overcompensate and gently coaxed the plane back on an even keel. Satisfied that the plane was stabilized, he let out the breath he had been holding and gulped in air, the arctic cold striking his lungs like shards of glass.

The sharp pain jolted him from his lethargy. Fully awake again, Fauchard summoned up the mantra that had sustained his resolve throughout his desperate mission. His frozen lips refused to wrap themselves around the syllables, but the words screamed in his brain.

Fail, and millions die.

Fauchard clamped his jaws shut with renewed determination. He rubbed the frost from his goggles and peered over the cockpit cowling. The alpine air was as clear as fine crystal, and even the most distant detail stood out in sharp relief. Ranks of saw-toothed mountains marched off to the horizon, and miniature villages clung to the sides of verdant alpine valleys. Fluffy white clouds were stacked up like piles of newly picked cotton. The sky was luminous in its blue intensity. The summer snow capping the jagged summits was bathed in a soft sky-blue pink from the lowering sun.

Fauchard filled his red-rimmed eyes with the magnificent beauty, as he cocked his ear and listened to the exhaust sound produced by

the eighty-horsepower, four-stroke Gnome rotary engine that powered the Morane-Saulnier N aircraft. All was well. The engine droned on as it had before his near-fatal nap. Fauchard was reassured, but his close call had shaken his self-confidence. He realized, to his astonishment, that he had experienced an unfamiliar emotion. Fear. Not of death, but of failure. Despite his iron resolve, his aching muscles further reminded him that he was a man of flesh and blood like any other.

The open cockpit allowed for little movement and his body was encased in a fur-lined leather coat over a thick Shetland wool sweater, turtleneck, and long underwear. A woolen scarf protected his neck. A leather helmet covered his head and ears, and his hands were enclosed in insulated leather gloves. Fur-lined mountain climber boots of the finest leather were on his feet. Although he was dressed for polar conditions, the icy cold had penetrated to his bones and dulled the edge of his alertness. This was a dangerous development. The Morane-Saulnier was tricky to fly and required undivided attention.

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