Jack McDevitt Thunderbird

ISBN 13: 9780425279199

Thunderbird

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9780425279199: Thunderbird

The Nebula Award–winning author of the Alex Benedict novels and the Priscilla Hutchins novels returns to the world of Ancient Shores in a startling and majestic epic.

A working stargate dating back more than ten thousand years has been discovered in North Dakota, on a Sioux reservation near Devils Lake. Travel through the gate currently leads to three equally mysterious destinations: (1) an apparently empty garden world, quickly dubbed Eden; (2) a strange maze of underground passageways; or (3) a space station with a view of a galaxy that appears to be the Milky Way.

The race to explore and claim the stargate quickly escalates, and those involved divide into opposing camps who view the teleportation technology either as an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research or a disastrous threat to national—if not planetary—security. In the middle of the maelstrom stands Sioux chairman James Walker. One thing is for certain: Questions about what the stargate means for humanity’s role in the galaxy cannot be ignored.

Especially since travel through the stargate isn’t necessarily only one way...

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Jack McDevitt is a former naval officer, taxi driver, English teacher, customs officer, and motivational trainer, and is now a full-time writer. He is the author of the Alex Benedict novels, including Coming Home and Firebird; and the Priscilla Hutchins novels, including Starhawk.. His novel Seeker won a Nebula Award, and he is a multiple Nebula Award finalist. He lives in Georgia with his wife, Maureen.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ALSO BY JACK MCDEVITT

TITLE PAGE

COPYRIGHT

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

EPIGRAPHS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

CHAPTER FORTY

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

CHAPTER FORTY-SIX

EPILOGUE

PROLOGUE

JERI TULLY WAS eight years old. Mentally, she was about three, and the experts cautioned her parents against hoping for any serious improvement. No one knew what had gone wrong with Jeri. There was no history of mental defects on either side of her family and no apparent cause. She had two younger brothers, both of whom were quite normal.

Her father was a border patrolman, her mother a former legal secretary who had given up all hope of a career when she followed her husband to Fort Moxie.

Jeri went to school in Walhalla, which conducted the only local special-education class. She enjoyed the school, where she made numerous friends and where everyone seemed to make a fuss over her. Mornings in the Tully household were underscored by Jeri’s enthusiasm to get moving.

Walhalla was thirty-five miles away. The family had an arrangement with the school district, which was spread out over too vast an area to operate buses for the special-education kids: The Tullys provided their own transportation, and the district absorbed the expenses.

Jeri’s mother had actually grown to enjoy the daily round-trip. The child loved to ride, and she was never happier than when in the car. The other half of the drive, when Mom was alone, served as a quiet time, when she could just watch the long fields roll by, or plug an audio book into the system.

Jeri’s father worked the midnight shift that night, and his wife was waiting for him when he got home in the morning with French toast, bacon, and coffee. While they were at breakfast, an odd thing happened. For the only time in her life, Jeri wandered away from home. It seemed, later, that she had decided to go to school and, having no concept of distance, had begun walking.

Unseen by anyone except a two-year-old brother, she put on her overshoes and her coat, let herself out through the porch door, walked up to Route 11, and turned right. Her house was on the extreme western edge of town, so she got past the demolished Dairy Queen and across the interstate overpass within minutes. The temperature, which is exceedingly erratic in April, had fallen back into the teens.

Three-quarters of a mile outside Fort Moxie, Route 11 curves sharply south and almost immediately veers west again. Had the road been free of snow, Jeri would probably have stayed with the highway and been picked up within a few minutes. But a light snowfall had dusted the highway. She wasn’t used to paying attention to details and, at the first bend, she walked straight off the road. When, a few minutes later, the snow got deeper, she angled right and got still farther away.

Jeri’s parents had by then discovered she was missing. A frightened search was just getting started, but it was limited to within a block or so of her home.

Jim Stuyvesant, the editor and publisher of the Fort Moxie News, was on his way to the Roundhouse. Rumors that an apparition had come through from the other side were going to be denied that morning in a press conference, and Jim planned to be there. He was just west of town when he saw movement out on Josh McKenzie’s land to his right: A small whirlwind was gliding back and forth in a curiously regular fashion. The wind phenomenon was a perfect whirlpool, narrow at the base, wide at the top. Usually, these things were blurred around the edges, and they floated erratically across the plain. But this one looked almost solid, and it moved methodically back and forth along a narrow track.

Stuyvesant pulled off the road and stopped to watch.

It was almost hypnotic. A stiff blast of air rocked the car, enough to blow the small whirlwind to pieces. But it remained intact.

Stuyvesant never traveled without his video camera, which he had used on several occasions to get material he’d subsequently sold to Ben at Ten or to one of the other local TV news shows. (He had, for example, got superb footage of the Thanksgiving Day pileup on I-29, and the blockade of imported beef at the border port by angry ranchers last summer.) The floater continued to glide back and forth in its slow, unwavering pattern. He turned on the camera, walked a few steps into the field, and started to record.

He used the zoom lens to get close and got a couple of minutes’ worth before the whirlwind seemed to pause.

It started toward him.

He kept filming.

It approached at a constant pace. There was something odd in its manner, something almost deliberate.

A sudden burst of wind out of the north ripped at his jacket but didn’t seem to have any effect on the thing. Stuyvesant’s instincts began to sound warnings, and he took a step back toward the car.

It stopped. Remained still in the middle of the field.

Amazing. As if it had responded to him.

He stood, uncertain how to proceed. It began to move again, laterally. It retreated a short distance, then came forward again to its previous position.

He watched it through the camera lens. The red indicator lamp glowed at the bottom of the picture.

You’re waiting for me.

It approached again, and a sudden burst of wind tugged at his collar and his hair.

He took a step forward. And it retreated.

Like everyone else in the Fort Moxie area, Stuyvesant had been deluged with fantastic tales and theories since the Roundhouse had been uncovered, with its pathways to other worlds. Now, without prompting, he wondered whether a completely unknown type of life-form existed on the prairie and was revealing itself to him. He laughed at the idea. And began to wonder what he really believed.

He started forward.

It withdrew before him, matching his pace.

He kept going. The snow got deeper, filled his shoes, and froze his ankles.

It hovered before him. He hoped he was getting the effect on camera.

It whirled and glittered in the sun, maintaining its distance. He stopped, and it stopped. He started again, and it matched him.

Another car was slowing down, pulling off the highway. He wondered how he would explain this, and immediately visualized next week’s headline in the News: MAD EDITOR PUT UNDER GUARD.

But it was a hunt without a point. The fields went on, all the way to Winnipeg. Far enough, he decided. “Sorry,” he said, aloud. “This is as far as I go.”

And the thing withdrew another sixty or so yards. And collapsed.

When it did, it revealed something dark lying in the snow.

Jeri Tully.

That was the day Stuyvesant got religion.

ONE

O’er the hills and far away.

—Thomas D’Urfey, Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719

EVEN THOUGH HE’D seen the eerie green glow atop the mountain almost every night on TV, Brad Hollister was still surprised that evening as the hills got out of the way, and he saw it for the first time through his windshield. It was easy to understand why people had panicked a few weeks earlier, had thought it was radioactivity and fled the area. They were mostly back now, of course, assured by official sources that the radiation was not hazardous. The world had been shocked when a structure thousands of years old had been excavated on the Sioux reservation near Devils Lake in North Dakota. And shocked again when, a few days later, it began to emit that soft green light. And completely rattled when investigators discovered it was a star gate. That was the capability, of course, that stayed in the headlines. And kept the phones ringing at Grand Forks Live, Brad’s call-in show on KLYM.

Scientific teams had been transported to three locations, a garden world that the media immediately branded “Eden,” a second location that seemed to be nothing more than a series of passageways in a structure that had no windows, and a deserted space station that appeared to be located outside the Milky Way.

Missions were going out regularly, mostly to Eden and the station. A team of eight journalists, accompanied by two Sioux security escorts, were on Eden now, expected to return that evening. And a group of scientists were scheduled to head for the same destination within the hour. Brad’s callers wanted him to make the trip, and he’d been assuring them he would eventually. But before he climbed onto the circular stone, with its gridwork surface, and allowed them to send him off to another world, he wanted to watch the operation. Not that he was scared.

The emerald glow brightened as he drew near on Route 32. Eventually, he turned off onto a side road, cleared a police unit, and began the long climb to the summit. A bright moon hung over the sparse land, and a bitter wind rocked the car. Eventually, as he approached the summit, the Roundhouse became visible. A bubble dome, it stood on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the vast sweep of land that had once contained Lake Agassiz. Thousands of years ago, Agassiz had covered most of North Dakota and a large section of Canada.

The building lay below the level of the surrounding granite. Someone had gouged a space in the rock to make room for the Roundhouse. Brad’s callers were entranced by the theory that the construction had been orchestrated to place the star gate level with the ancient shoreline. Curved struts anchored it in the rock. The surface resembled a beveled emerald plastic.

It was surrounded by several temporary structures, which had been erected to support the science teams and the security effort. The area was sealed off by a wired fence. A gateway provided access to cars and trucks.

The gates were down. Brad lowered his window as he pulled alongside the security booth. A young man in a dark blue Sioux uniform looked out.

“My name’s Hollister,” Brad said, handing over his driver’s license. “They know I’m coming.”

The officer checked the ID, touched a computer screen, nodded, and gave it back. “Okay, Mr. Hollister,” he said. “Park wherever you like.”

·   ·   ·

A SECURITY GUARD opened the front door for him. He proceeded down a short passageway, past several doors, and entered the dome. This would have been the place that filled with water at high tide, allowing the occupants to take a boat out onto Lake Agassiz. That, of course, was very likely the boat found recently buried on Tom Lasker’s farm, which had led to the discovery.

There were about twenty people, plus three or four uniformed security guards, standing around talking, a few seated at a table. Most were casually dressed, as if preparing for a camping trip. There was also a TV team. A second entrance opened into the chamber from the far side, where everyone was gathered. During the Agassiz years, it would have provided the access for the incoming tide. It had also been, according to the experts, the preferred entrance for the original occupants, the front door, looking out onto a beach. April Cannon was near the transporter, talking with a reporter. The transporter consisted of a circular grid, large enough to have supported Lasker’s boat, and a control device, mounted several feet away on the wall.

April had been the source of his invitation to come in and watch. Brad had known her a long time. She held a doctorate in biochemistry and was a director for Colson Labs, the last time he’d looked. She’d been conscripted by Sioux Chairman James Walker to coordinate the off-world missions, and, as she put it, that had overwhelmed everything else in her life. April had been a guest on Grand Forks Live a couple of times. When she saw him come in, she excused herself and started in his direction.

April was an attractive young African-American, with her hair draped around her shoulders, animated features, scintillating eyes, and a persuasive manner. Brad had always suspected that, had she gone into sales instead of chemistry, she would have been wealthy by then. “Perfect timing, Brad,” she said. “We’ve got some people coming in any minute now.”

“Hi, April. Where are they now? Eden?”

“Yes. They’re all media types. After they get back, we’ll be sending out a team of scientists. Biologists and astronomers.”

“Have they figured out where the place is yet?”

“No. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and they’ll do it tonight.” She shook her head. “We know it’s pretty far.”

“I guess it would have to be.”

She laughed. And turned away. “It’s starting.” The front area, near the transport device, brightened though Brad could see no source for the light. “Anyway, glad to see you, Brad,” she said. “The show’s about to start.” She went back to the transporter and joined one of the Sioux, who seemed to be in charge of overseeing the recovery process. A wave of excitement swept through the crowd. A few people started moving closer to the stone grid. The security guards moved in to keep them at a distance.

A TV camera approached, and its lights went on. The illumination was directly over the grid. It expanded into a cloud, and Brad thought he could see something moving inside it. Everybody was leaning forward.

The light kept getting brighter. The cloud enveloped the grid. Then it stalled and simply floated there, so bright it was difficult to look at. And, finally, it began to fade.

It left someone standing on the grid. A young woman in a security uniform. “Welcome home, Andrea,” said April, as the cloud disappeared.

It was Andrea Hawk, who, like Brad, ran a call-in show when she wasn’t on duty at the Roundhouse. She got some applause, waved to the audience, and stepped quickly out of the way. Moments later, the light was back.

Another woman, this time in fatigues, wearing a knapsack and a hat that would have made Indiana Jones proud, emerged. “Aleen Rynsburger,” said a guy standing off to one side. Brad knew the name. She was a Washington Post columnist.

One by one they came back, seven reporters and one more security escort. All with wide-brimmed hats. He was relieved to see the process didn’t look like a big deal. The light comes on, and somebody steps out and waves to the a...

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Descripción Ace Books, United States, 2015. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Nebula Award winning author of the Alex Benedict novels and the Priscilla Hutchins novels returns to the world of Ancient Shores in a startling and majestic epic. A working stargate dating back more than ten thousand years has been discovered in North Dakota, on a Sioux reservation near Devils Lake. Travel through the gate currently leads to three equally mysterious destinations: (1) an apparently empty garden world, quickly dubbed Eden ; (2) a strange maze of underground passageways; or (3) a space station with a view of a galaxy that appears to be the Milky Way. The race to explore and claim the stargate quickly escalates, and those involved divide into opposing camps who view the teleportation technology either as an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research or a disastrous threat to national if not planetary security. In the middle of the maelstrom stands Sioux chairman James Walker. One thing is for certain: Questions about what the stargate means for humanity s role in the galaxy cannot be ignored. Especially since travel through the stargate isn t necessarily only one way. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780425279199

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Descripción Ace Books, United States, 2015. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Nebula Award winning author of the Alex Benedict novels and the Priscilla Hutchins novels returns to the world of Ancient Shores in a startling and majestic epic. A working stargate dating back more than ten thousand years has been discovered in North Dakota, on a Sioux reservation near Devils Lake. Travel through the gate currently leads to three equally mysterious destinations: (1) an apparently empty garden world, quickly dubbed Eden ; (2) a strange maze of underground passageways; or (3) a space station with a view of a galaxy that appears to be the Milky Way. The race to explore and claim the stargate quickly escalates, and those involved divide into opposing camps who view the teleportation technology either as an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research or a disastrous threat to national if not planetary security. In the middle of the maelstrom stands Sioux chairman James Walker. One thing is for certain: Questions about what the stargate means for humanity s role in the galaxy cannot be ignored. Especially since travel through the stargate isn t necessarily only one way. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780425279199

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Descripción Ace Books, United States, 2015. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Nebula Award winning author of the Alex Benedict novels and the Priscilla Hutchins novels returns to the world of Ancient Shores in a startling and majestic epic. A working stargate dating back more than ten thousand years has been discovered in North Dakota, on a Sioux reservation near Devils Lake. Travel through the gate currently leads to three equally mysterious destinations: (1) an apparently empty garden world, quickly dubbed Eden ; (2) a strange maze of underground passageways; or (3) a space station with a view of a galaxy that appears to be the Milky Way. The race to explore and claim the stargate quickly escalates, and those involved divide into opposing camps who view the teleportation technology either as an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research or a disastrous threat to national if not planetary security. In the middle of the maelstrom stands Sioux chairman James Walker. One thing is for certain: Questions about what the stargate means for humanity s role in the galaxy cannot be ignored. Especially since travel through the stargate isn t necessarily only one way. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780425279199

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