himalaya gene preview

book preview of THE EVACUEE


 


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HIMALAYA GENE


 

A new terror is
gripping the population – rapid premature aging. Falling life expectancies have
forced Governments all over the globe to breaking point. They have turned to
medical research as the only hope for the future. Medical research labs are now
under the control of intelligence agencies given the enormous potential of
breakthrough therapies.
The new cold war is not an arms race; it’s a medical research race.
When a genetic research lab hidden in the Himalaya Mountains is unexpectedly
destroyed and its leader, Professor Donald Sable, the world’s leading anti-aging
researcher is found murdered, rumours of a revolutionary new anti-aging
discovery spark a desperate search. The U.S. Anti-Cancer Intelligence
Department, led by Jack Kenrick, dispatch their best agent Daniella Scolaro to
Pakistan to follow Sable’s last movements.
But when Scolaro and her team unexpectedly go missing, her lover, Professor
Taylor Wells, America’s brightest cancer surgeon, backed by marine special
forces Captain Talbot lead a mission to find her.
After a daring rescue, Wells finds amongst the people of an isolated village in
the Hunza Valley a long history of extreme old age. His curiosity leads him to
take up the hunt for the secret of their longevity. Suddenly, he finds himself
inextricably caught up in an ancient Hunzakut ritual that promises to unlock the
secret of aging. In the race to unlock the secret, he must first survive a
deadly betrayal.

In Store Price: $30.00 

Online Price:   $29.00


ISBN:


978-1-921406-71-3

 
 


Format:
Paperback

Number of pages:
317


Genre: Fiction



By the same author
:
Bali Tide
The Milan Paradox

 

Author:
Paul Froomes

Imprint: Poseidon

Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2008

Language: English

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About the author
  

Paul Froomes graduated with a Bachelor
of Medicine and Surgery Monash University in 1989 and completed a post-graduate
degree in liver research from Melbourne University in 2001. 

He has published research papers in
peer-reviewed medical journals and has presented research at national and
international conferences. 

He lives in Melbourne, Australia with
his wife and two children where he is currently working as a physician in both
public and private practice. 

Himalaya Gene is his third novel.   

       


Chapter One

 


 


GAT 5
Genetic Aging Team Research Facility


Swat
Valley, Himalaya, Pakistan

 

 


Professor Donald Sable cut a lonely figure as he meandered on a mule along the
snow-covered pass. Dressed in the heavy cotton pantaloons, overshirt and
embroidered waistcoat of a Pakistani herdsman, he looked almost commonplace.

The day had been clear and sunny. Now, what fading light remained threw shadows
that accentuated the jagged contours of the peaks. Dusk turned the Himalaya
steely-grey, almost crystalline. Magnificent and unforgiving, the mountains
soared all around him like pillars of the evening sky.


Biting cold stung his body. Sable grimaced against it as he dug his heels into
the mule’s flanks, urging it forward. It whinnied and stumbled on some loose
stones. Righting itself, it continued down the narrow pass. Sable checked the
two bulging saddlebags and was relieved to find them intact.


Matted with icicles, Sable’s long grey hair stuck to his face. He pulled his
coarse, woollen throw, up over his head to protect against the bitter wind.
Ahead of him, the concealed entrance to the GAT 5 research facility was a
welcome sight. Its myriad solar panels were configured along the natural contour
of the land, and were ringed by artificial ice berms obscuring them. Just
looking at the mound concealing GAT 5 gave no clue to the existence of the
multi-level genetic research facility carved into the earth beneath. The natural
lie of the land looked completely undisturbed.

It
was Sunday.

While
the other scientists of the Genetic Aging Team were still working hard, Sable
and half the security detail were supposed to be enjoying a weekend layover in
the nearby city of Gilgit. Just three marine security guards were left watching
the facility on a video surveillance monitor from an underground bunker
opposite.

Sable
climbed off the mule and unloaded his saddlebags, making sure to avoid the
security cameras on this clandestine visit. He accessed the compound via a
disused fire escape located at the rear of the facility, well out of view of the
marine bunker. It was supposed to have been filled on completion of the
facility. But like so many other jobs, it had been left unfinished by the
Pakistani workers. It took him straight to the facility’s solar-hydrogen power
plant.

The
Umass technology used in the power plant was state-of-the-art. Up until now,
solar-hydrogen generators had only used the electrical portion of the sun’s
light particles to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. These Umass
generators now also harnessed the thermal energy produced by the infrared
portion of the sun’s light spectrum.

Using
the thermal energy from the infrared light, the generators were capable of
heating water to 600 degrees Celsius. The superheated water vapour was then
injected into an alkaline solution and forced to split into hydrogen and oxygen,
using sunlight’s electrical energy. The process doubled the efficiency of
conventional hydrogen generators and produced twice as much hydrogen-energy per
photon of light used to make it. However, the quantity of hydrogen – highly
flammable hydrogen – generated every minute, posed its own risks.

It
was this risk that Sable hoped to exploit.

Sable
hobbled his mule and carefully unloaded the contents of the saddlebags. Each bag
contained a detonator and twenty pounds of plastic explosive. He struggled for
longer than expected carrying the forty pounds of Semtex plastic explosive
inside the facility. He was not as strong as he’d been in his youth. And he was
tired and chilled. Panting, he dragged the explosives down the corridor and
carefully placed the two bundles under the volatile hydrogen fuel cells of the
facility’s solar- hydrogen generators. Next, he set the radio-controlled
detonators. A devastating chain reaction would be triggered once the initial
explosions had ignited the volatile hydrogen.

The
detonators had a range of one mile.


Climbing back on the mule, Sable urged it back along the track away from the
facility. Now, forty pounds lighter, the mule moved faster.

When
he had crossed the first narrow mountain pass about a mile away, Sable knew he
was out of danger. Reaching inside his coat he pulled out the remote detonator.
He was sorry for the deaths that he was about to cause. Of the twenty scientists
inside the facility, any one of them had the ability to rediscover what he had,
and that must not be allowed to happen. They all had to be sacrificed.

Sable
clenched his jaw and hit the ignition button.


Seconds later the ground shook. The mule shied. An ear-shattering blast ripped
through GAT 5. Three years of research into the genetics of senescence went up
in flames and with it, the only people capable of salvaging the secrets it
contained.

Sable
closed his eyes. It was done.

A
glowing jet of yellow hydrogen flame speared out into the night sky. The once
state-of-the-art genetic facility imploded, gutted by forty pounds of plastic
explosive that had ignited the hydrogen forming a superheated fireball.

‘What
the!’ the three marines in the bunker



screamed together. Their cries cut short as the blast threw them backwards into
the concrete wall of their bunker.

They
fell to the floor unconscious.

Sable
dug his heels into his mule. He had to make Gilgit within the hour or he would
miss his plane. A mile down the road he reached the narrow pass 6,000 ft above
sea level. He dismounted, put on his neat Quasar II skydiving parachute, slapped
the mule on the rump and watched it disappear down the track.


Taking one last look in the direction of the carnage, Sable turned and ran hard
at the edge of the mountain pass. He launched himself over the edge. His body
sprawled out into the thin air, plummeting towards the valley one thousand
metres below.

Then
he pulled the cord.

The
chute cracked open, at once checking Sable’s freefall with its bright canopy.
Suddenly, he was sailing with the icy wind towards Gilgit – the chill piercing
to his bones. He wrestled with the handles, and guided the parachute towards the
airstrip just outside the city.


Descent was rapid.

A few
yards off the ground, Sable yanked on the handles to flare the chute and slow
his fall. He hit the ground, slid to a halt, dumped the chute and ran towards
the nearest hangar.


Inside, a local Pakistani pilot sat at the controls of an old single-engine
Cessna. He waved a hand nonchalantly when Sable appeared in the hangar entrance.
It was time to start the engine. The single propeller whirled into life as the
engine coughed and spewed black smoke. In minutes it was purring evenly.

Sable
climbed into the co-pilot’s seat and buckled up. ‘Punch it, Yusuf. I’m anxious
to get out of here!’ he puffed.

‘Sure
thing.’ The pilot put out his cigarette and taxied out of the hangar.

In an
hour they would be in Peshawar where Sable would board a commercial flight,
hopefully before anyone discovered he was missing.

 

 

 

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