The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller by A.G. Riddle
Dr. Kate Warner awoke to a terrifying feeling: there was someone in the room. She tried to open her eyes but couldn’t. She felt groggy, almost as though she had been drugged. The air was musty… subterranean. She twisted slightly and pain coursed through her. The bed below her was hard, a couch maybe; definitely not the bed in her 19th floor condo in downtown Jakarta. Where was she?
She heard another quiet footfall, like tennis shoes on carpet. “Kate,” a man whispered, testing to see if she was awake.
Kate managed to open her eyes a little more. Above her, faint rays of sunlight filtered in through metal blinds that covered short, wide windows. In the corner, a strobe light pierced the room every few seconds, like the flash of a camera snapping a photo incessantly.
She took a deep breath and sat up quickly, seeing the man for the first time. He reeled back, dropping something that clanged as brown liquid splashed on the floor.
It was Ben Adelson, her lab assistant. “Jesus, Kate. I’m sorry. I thought… if you were up, you might want coffee.” He bent to pick up the remnants of a shattered coffee cup, and when he got a closer look at her, he said, “God, you look like hell, Kate.” He stared at her for a moment. “Please tell me what’s going on.”
Kate rubbed her eyes, and her head seemed to clear a bit as she realized where she was. She had been working at the lab day and night for the last five days, virtually nonstop since she had gotten the call from her research sponsor: produce results now, any results, or the funding goes away. No excuses this time. She hadn’t told any of the staff on her autism study. There was no reason to worry them. Either she got some results, and they went on or she didn’t, and they went home. “Coffee sounds nice, Ben. Thanks.”
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