16 Abduction by Robin Cook

16 Abduction by Robin Cook

Author:Robin Cook [Cook, Robin]
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

To Perry and the others the air taxi looked the same as the one they’d been in the day before, but Arak said it was a newer model and far superior. Regardless, it whisked the group in a similarly effortless and silent fashion from the visitors’ palace grounds into the bustling city.

“Immigrants usually spend an entire week in the conference room before venturing out like this,” Sufa said. “It can be taxing to the intellect as well as the emotions. We hope we’re not pushing you too fast.”

“Do you have any thoughts about this?” Arak asked. “We’re certainly open to suggestions.”

The group eyed each other, each hoping another would respond. As Sufa intimated, the situation was stupefying, especially with the cloud of other air taxis zipping by in every conceivable direction. The fact that there were no collisions was astounding in and of itself.

“Doesn’t anybody have an opinion?” Arak persisted.

“Everything is overwhelming,” Perry admitted. “So it’s hard to have an opinion. But I believe from my perspective, the more I see, the better. Merely experiencing your technology like this air taxi makes everything you’ve said more credible.”

“What are you going to show us?” Suzanne asked.

“That was a difficult decision,” Arak said. “It’s why Sufa and I took so long arranging things. It was hard to decide where to start.”

Before Arak could finish, the hovercraft came to a sudden stop then rapidly descended. A moment later the exit port appeared where previously there had not even been a seam.

“How does the door open like that?” Perry asked.

“It’s a molecular transformation in the composite material,” Arak said. He gestured for everyone to disembark.

Perry leaned over to Suzanne as he got up. “As if that’s an explanation,” he complained.

The air taxi had deposited the group in front of a relatively low, windowless structure sheathed in the same black basalt as all the other buildings. Its sides were about a hundred feet long and twenty feet high, and they slanted in at sixty degrees to create a squat, truncated pyramid. There was little pedestrian traffic. Even so, the moment the secondary humans appeared, a crowd began to form.

“I hope you people don’t mind being celebrities,” Arak said. “As I’m sure you realized from last night, all of Saranta is thrilled about your arrival.”

The gathering crowd was boisterous but polite. Those closest to the visitors eagerly put out their hands in an effort to press palms with them. Richard and Michael were happy to oblige, especially with the women. Arak had to act like a border collie to get the group through the door, particularly the two divers. The crowd respectfully stayed outside.

“I’m liking this place more and more,” Richard said.

“I’m glad,” Arak said.

“Everyone is remarkably friendly,” Suzanne said.

“Of course,” Sufa said. “It is our nature. Besides, you people are extraordinarily entertaining.”

Suzanne glanced at Donald to see his reaction. All he did was give an almost imperceptible nod, as if his suspicions were confirmed.

Inside, the group found themselves in a large square room with a black interior instead of the usual white.



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