Isobel desecrates the last pristine reef to create a treatment for her son's rare genetic disorder.
Luk's daughter contracts a bizarre new virus that leaves her screaming.
When the virus strikes children worldwide, CDC researcher Nadine uncovers the truth.
The children aren't sick. They're changing.
Isobel cursed. South Pacific sun stabbed her eyes into a squint and she slapped shades on her face as she headed for the launch through air so salty she could taste its tang in the back of her throat. Travis, her crew liaison, looked up at her approach.
“Doctor Fallon. You ready to go?”
“Yes.” Isobel rubbed sunscreen onto the fair skin of her arms. “Tell the divers to get started while we’re gone.”
Travis peered at her. “We aren’t supposed to approach the reef until the Nlaantu give their final permission. It took a lot of wrangling to get them to agree to this meet. If they find out you jumped the gun, they might send us packing.”
Isobel grunted. “Picky, are they?”
“Something like that.”
Whatever. Gabe needed that coral. The medicine it would create. Isobel wasn’t leaving here without it.
She stepped toward the starboard railing and peered out across the water. The Nlaan island chain—a string of atolls, ring-shaped islands formed by reefs atop dormant undersea volcanoes—stretched beyond what she could see from this perspective. The closest one, in the distance off the Pasteur’s starboard side, held their potential harvest site.
A narrow cay breached the Pacific’s surface on the atoll’s curve. Seabirds gathered there or flew overhead. Must be good hunting. She pointed and turned to Travis.
“That’s our target?”
“And where is the island where we’re meeting with the Nlaantu leaders?”
Travis came to stand beside her. “You see that bigger island past the sand bar?”