Polar Quest

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-06
  • Publisher: Gold Eagle
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When archaeologist Annja Creed reluctantly agrees to help an old colleague on a dig in Antarctica, she wonders what he's gotten her into. It turns out that her former associate has found a necklace made of an unknown metal depicting three snakes. He claims it's over forty thousand years old--and that it may not have earthly origins.As the pair conduct their research, Annja soon realizes she has more to worry about than being caught in snowslides. Because everyone is hiding something--from her friend, to the U.S. military personnel guarding the site. With no one to trust and someone out to kill her, Annja has nowhere to turn. And everything to lose.


The LC-130 Hercules turboprop plane jumped and dropped as the turbulence buffeted it about the sky. Annja Creed, dressed in extreme-cold-weather gear issued to her by the U.S. military, clutched at the armrests on her seat. She felt as if her stomach were on a roller-coaster ride and had forgotten to inform her.She swallowed the rising bile in her throat and felt the plane lurch again. "This is getting ridiculous," she said. She unclasped her seat belt and tried to stand, bumping her head against the interior bulkhead in the process."Damn."If the plane was going to crash, she at least wanted to see it coming rather than sit trapped in her seat. Annja clawed her way forward toward the cockpit.She passed one of the crew on her way. "Is it always like this?"He grinned. "Yup. This time of year, it's always stormy down in these parts. You get used to it after a few trips.""Wonderful," she said, not feeling any better about the turbulence.She made her way to the flight deck. "Hi."The pilot turned. "You're supposed to be strapped in, Miss Creed. It's not exactly safe for you to be roaming around."Annja smiled. "I got the distinct impression that it wasn't safe sitting in my seat, either.""We're totally fine," the pilot said. "This is run-of-the-mill updrafts, turbulence and assorted atmospheric anomalies.""Anomalies?" Annja asked.He shrugged. "We don't really know what to call them. But they come with the territory of flying near the bottom of the world."The copilot glanced at her. "You're in no danger."Annja smirked. "Guess I figured if the end was coming, I wanted to see it rather than hide from it."The pilot nodded. "Understandable sentiment. I'd be the same way. If you want to, you can stay as we make our approach.""How much longer?" she asked."Maybe fifteen minutes. We come in low and fast, so make sure you hold on to something when we hit.""Hit? You guys sure do have a great way of putting things.""Well, we don't so much land as we skip and slide to an eventual stop. Those skis underneath our wheels are there for a reason," the copilot said.Annja nodded. When they'd taken off from the Air National Guard base in New York, she'd noticed the long skis on the underside of the plane. Without the benefit of a proper runway, aircraft going to Antarctica sometimes had to land on skis.It was the first time Annja had ever done this and she wasn't quite sure what to expect.The flight to New Zealand had been a long one with three in-flight aerial refuelings supplied by KC-130 supertankers. Annja had watched the experienced crew guide the plane to within a quarter mile of the flying gas station, take on a full tank of gas and then continue on its way.She looked out of the cockpit glass and could see snow falling. The pilot pointed to the instrument console. "Wipers, please.""Wipers." The copilot switched them on and they flicked the flakes from the glass.The plane felt as if it was starting to descend. Annja could hear flaps grinding in the cold blasts of air outside. The pilot kept the throttle up. Suddenly, Annja felt very much out of place.Best just to let these guys get done what they need to get done, she thought. She turned and headed back to her seat.She passed more crew members. One of them was drinking a tumbler of coffee. "Can I get you some?" he asked.Annja shook her head. "No, thanks. Not sure my stomach will let it settle right now."He grinned. "We'll be down in about ten minutes. You can have all you want then."Annja sat down and secured her seat belt. As she glanced around the dimly lit interior of the plane, she thought back to the letter she'd received in her mailbox shortly after returning from her latest dig. The letter had been sent from a colleague she'd once worked with: Zachary Guilfoyle. Zach had always been obsessed with prehistory on the planet, and his quest for the strange had made him something of an untouchable among other

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