Sacred stone of 2, p.1
Sacred Stone of-2, page 1part #2 of Oregon files Series
( Oregon Files - 2 )
C LIVE CUSSLER and CRAIG DIRGO
BERKLEY BOOKS, NEW YORK
The explosive first novel of the Oregon Files was hailed as “honestly fabulous” ( Kirkus Reviews). Now, Clive Cussler, creator of the bestselling NUMA®and Dirk Pitt®series, continues the adventure and intrigue with enigmatic high-seas action hero Juan Cabrillo and his high-tech spy ship, the Oregon…
In the remote wastes of Greenland, a young scientist has unearthed an artifact hidden in a cave for a millennium: a 50,000-year-old radioactive meteorite known as the Sacred Stone. But the astounding find places him in the crosshairs of two opposing groups who seek the stone for themselves.
One is a group of Muslim extremists who have stolen a nuclear device. With the power of the meteorite, they could vaporize any city in the West. The other group is led by a megalomaniacal industrialist who seeks to carry out the utter annihilation of Islam itself.
Caught between two militant factions bent on wholesale slaughter, Juan Cabrillo and his crew must fight to protect the scientist and the Sacred Stone—and prevent the outbreak of World War III…
Cast of Characters
DIRK PITT®ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER
Raise the Titanic!
The Mediterranean Caper
DIRK PITT®ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER AND DIRK CUSSLER
Treasure of Khan
KURT AUSTIN ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH PAUL KEMPRECOS
OREGON FILES ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH JACK DU BRUL AND CRAIG DIRGO
NONFICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER AND CRAIG DIRGO
The Sea Hunters II
The Sea Hunters
Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed
CHILDREN’S BOOKS BY CLIVE CUSSLER
The Adventures of Vin Fiz
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C AST OF CHARACTERS
Chairman of the Corporation
President of the Corporation
Vice President of the Corporation
THE CORPORATION TEAM (OPERATIVES) (in alphabetic order)
Supply and Logistics Coordinator
CHUCK “TINY” GUNDERSON:
Chief Pilot Fixed-Wing
Finance and Accounting
Magic Shop Specialist
Security and Surveillance/General Operations
Director of Shore Operations/General Operations
Control Room Operator/General Operations
LANGSTON OVERHOLT IV:
CIA officer who hires the Corporation
U.S. Army officer killed in Afghanistan
Mother of Chris
ERIC THE RED:
THE EMIR OF QATAR:
Leader of the country of Qatar
Archaeologist who locates the meteorite in Greenland
Assassin hired to recover the Greenland meteorite
South African death merchant
Pilot hired to fly Hughes to Mount Forel
Drunk in Greenland who rents Cabrillo a snowcat
Terrorist planning to bomb London
Leader of the team on the
THOMAS “TD” DWYER:
CIA scientist who discovers the meteorite’s danger
MIKO “MIKE” NASUKI:
NOAA astronomer who assists Dwyer
Saudi procurement official for the hajj
Pilot who transports the meteorite from the Faeroe Islands to England
Terrorist for London operation
Captain of the
the ship that delivers the bomb to England
BILLY JOE SHEA:
Owner of a 1947 MG TC Cabrillo borrows to chase the bomb
Disgraced CIA agent who delivers the meteorite to Maidenhead
Young Yemeni who will deliver the bomb
Whorehouse owner in London
Head of MI5
DR. JACK BERG:
CIA doctor who forces Thompson to talk
Air Force captain who leads the team in Medina
Army warrant officer heading the team to recover prayer rugs in Riyadh
FIFTY THOUSAND YEARS ago, and millions of miles from Earth, a planet was twitching convulsively to herald her destruction. The planet was ancient but her eventual demise had been cast from the start. She was an unstable orb with poles that constantly shifted polarity.
The planet consisted of rock and magma with a metal core. Over the countless eons since it had formed and cooled, an atmosphere was born. The gaseous layers were comprised of argon, helium and some hydrogen. Life was born on the surface of the planet—a low, base form of microbe.
The planet never really had a chance to develop complicated life forms. The microbes consumed oxygen molecules to multiply, keeping the surface and atmosphere barren of cells that could evolve. The planet’s surface rock turned into superheated liquid mush as each revolution around its sun drew it closer toward the fiery furnace. The planet revolved not in a spin around her axis like Earth, but rather in an ever-increasing barrel roll as the poles shifted, and the melted rock surface began to spread like lava from a volcano.
Each hour, each minute, each second brought her closer to her sun, and she gradually shed her skin as if the hand of God were scraping her surface with a wire brush.
The stellar dandruff that was cast into the atmosphere reached the edge of the gaseous envelope and was turned white-hot by the sun, bursting with the force of a thousand nuclear bombs. Sucked back to the surface by gravity, the reentering projectiles ripped more of the fragile crust away. More and more of the crust dissolved.
The doomed planet had only a short time to live.
As the protective covering was lost to space, the inner metal core temperature continued to rise and the orb inside began to spin. Large cracks in the surface spread and fractures formed, releasing larger and larger chunks of molten rock into space. And all the while the planet’s metal core grew with incredible intensity. Then, all at once, it happened. A massive slab of rock on the side closest to the sun gave way. The poles shifted one last time and the planet began spinning wildly.
Then she exploded.
Millions of metal orbs flew into space, their molecules rearranging themselves as they melted like solder under a flame. A lucky few made it past the gravitational field of the sun. Then they headed on a long journey into the deep reaches of space.
TENS OF THOUSANDS of years had passed since the unknown planet exploded, scattering its remains into the universe. From a great distance the approaching debris appeared blue. One piece became a finely detailed orb. Many fragments had been sucked toward the surfaces of other planets in space, but this one traveled farther than the rest and eventually came to rain down on a planet called Earth.
The single metal orb entered Earth’s atmosphere on a low trajectory from west to east. She split in the ionosphere and calved off a smaller spherical orb of pure metal. The mother meteor came in along thirty-five degrees latitude. At this latitude, it was dry and arid. The baby, lighter and smaller, was pulled farther northwest, heading toward the sixty-second-degree latitude, where the surface was covered with a layer of ice and snow.
Two different environments of the same planet brought two different results.
The mother and her molten metal reformed into a glowing orb after spitting out her young. She came over a coastline then streaked across a barren desert in a decaying trajectory. Blasting high above the sand, rocks, and cactus, the one-hundred-yard diameter, 63,000-ton nickel-iron projectile slammed into the earth, carving a one-mile-diameter crater in the dry soil. Clouds of dust headed skyward, then began encircling Earth. Months would pass before all the fallout filtered back to the earth.
The baby was pure and silver-gray. The action of the initial explosion and the molecular rearrangement while traveling through space had formed a perfect sphere that appeared like twin halves of geodesic domes locked together. Traversing farther along the planet, she slipped through space quietly, her smooth surface meeting little resistance from Earth’s atmosphere, with none of the anger and rage her mother had contained. She dropped lower and lower, like a golf ball with a topspin.
Soaring over the shoreline of an island capped with ice, it was as if she was being pulled to the earth by a magnet. Her diameter was but eighteen inches, her weight a hundred pounds. Drifting lower until she was only ten feet over the snow and ice, she lost her forward speed as gravity brought her down. Her heated metal surface melted a track in the snow and ice similar to a ball rolled by a child to make a snowman.
Energy expended, her heat dissipated, she came to rest at the base of an ice-covered mountain.
“WHAT HATH HELL wrought?” the man asked in Icelandic as he poked an object with a staff.
The man was short but formed of layers of muscle that signaled years of hard work and labor. The hair on his head and the thick beard that grew from his cheeks was a brilliant red like the fires of Hades. Thick white furs covered his torso, while his leggings were constructed of sealskin lined wit
by Clive Cussler / Literature & Fiction / Adventure / Nonfiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes