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polyhedra,” she replied, her voice now sedate.Dan Brown Deception Point Acknowledgments With warm thanks to Jason Kaufman for his superb guidance and insightful editorial skills; Blythe Brown for her tireless research and creative input; my good friend Jake Elwell at Wieser Wieser; the National Security Archive; the NASA Public Affairs Office; Stan Planton, who continues to be a source for information on all things; the National Security Agency; glaciologist Martin O. Greenburger Associates, and John Pike at the Federation of American Scientists. "The second man raised his rifle and pointed it at Brophy's head. Just do it."Trembling, Brophy adjusted his transmission frequency. "Now get yourself and your dogs into the chopper."At gunpoint, Brophy maneuvered his reluctant dogs and sled up a skid ramp into the cargo bay.Geologist Charles Brophy had endured the savage splendor of this terrain for years, and yet nothing could prepare him for a fate as barbarous and unnatural as the one about to befall him. The aircraft landed fifty yards away, kicking up a stinging spray of granulated snow. When the chopper doors slid open, two men descended. This morning Toulos was busy — a cacophony of clanking silverware, espresso machines, and cellphone conversations.As Brophy's four huskies pulled his sled of geologic sensing equipment across the tundra, the dogs suddenly slowed, looking skyward."What is it, girls? Beyond the gathering storm clouds, a twin-rotor transport helicopter arched in low, hugging the glacial peaks with military dexterity. They were dressed in full-weather whites, armed with rifles, and moved toward Brophy with urgent intent."Dr. The maitre d' was sneaking a sip of his morning Bloody Mary when the woman entered.For the record, there are over two hundred species of diatoms that thrive under Arctic ice shelves. “ Clearly you know more about Arctic fauna than I do, and you agree there’s plenty of life underneath us. “ Mike, I’m not licking your damn jacket.” She looked into the hole. “ A lot of sea creatures are attracted by heat. The plankton may have been drawn instinctively toward the temporarily warmer environment in the shaft.” Corky nodded. Has it occurred to you that even if there is a crack‑which I can assure you there is not‑it is physically impossible for any sea‑water to be flowing into this shaft.” She stared at both of them with pathetic disdain. Then she peered through the oculus, pointing the device toward the light emanating from the other side of the dome. Everyone was looking at her now, their skepticism obvious. “ There’s a perfectly sound rationale for the presence of salt and plankton.” She gave Tolland a wry look.Fourteen species of autotrophic nannoflagellates, twenty heterotrophic flagellates, forty heterotrophic dinoflagellates, and several metazoans, including polychaetes, amphipods, copepods, euphausids, and fish. So why are you so skeptical that we saw bioluminescent plankton? “ Might I ask why droves of alleged plankton decided to swim into this alleged crack? He turned with a practiced smile."Good morning," he said. "The woman was attractive, in her mid-thirties, wearing gray, pleated flannel pants, conservative flats, and an ivory Laura Ashley blouse.Her posture was straight — chin raised ever so slightly — not arrogant, just strong.

Norah Mangor stood at the extraction shaft beside Tolland, Rachel, and Corky and stared into the pitch‑black meteorite hole. There should be no salt.” Norah carried the sample to a nearby microscope and examined it. The dilemma appeared minor when compared to the overall scope of the meteorite, and yet, as an intel analyst, Rachel had witnessed the collapse of entire theories based on smaller snags than this. “ We’re trying to sort it out.” Corky sounded almost gleeful.

Positioning himself in front of the screen, Delta-Two placed his hand on a mechanical joystick and gave it a short jerk.

A thousand meters away, hidden deep within the building, a surveillance robot the size of a mosquito received his transmission and sprang to life.3Rachel Sexton was still steaming as she drove her white Integra up Leesburg Highway.

Even as it promises answers to some of our oldest questions, it poses still others even more fundamental. In an instant the animals disappeared, dragged howling out of the chopper.

President Bill Clinton, in a press conference following a discovery known as ALH84001 on August 7, 1997Prologue Death, in this forsaken place, could come in countless forms. Brophy was already on his feet screaming when the men grabbed him. Numb with fear, Brophy swung his fists, trying to fend off the powerful hands pushing him outward. Moments later he was tumbling toward the chasms below.1Toulos Restaurant, adjacent to Capitol Hill, boasts a politically incorrect menu of baby veal and horse carpaccio, making it an ironic hotspot for the quintessential Washingtonian power breakfast.

“ Mike,” she said, “you’re cute, but you’re insane. Bioluminescence‑one of nature’s most ingenious defense mechanisms‑was a natural response for plankton in distress. You might recall the big cliff at the end of this shelf? If there were a fissure into this shaft, the water would be flowing out of this shaft, not into it. No cracks.” Tolland glanced across the dome toward the crowd gathered around the press conference area. It’s registering three percent brine‑which is totally impossible. “ Norah’s ice data is screwed.” “ Bite me twice,” Norah whispered.

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