03 Chromosome 6 by Robin Cook

03 Chromosome 6 by Robin Cook

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


March 6, 1997

7:30 P.M.

Cogo, Equatorial Guinea

“At what time did you expect your guests?” Esmeralda asked Kevin. Her body and head were wrapped in a handsome bright orange-and-green fabric.

“Seven o’clock,” Kevin said, happy for the distraction. He’d been sitting at his desk, trying to fool himself into believing he was reading one of his molecular biology journals. In reality, he was tortured by repeatedly running through the harrowing events of that afternoon.

He could still see the soldiers in their red berets and jungle camouflage fatigues seemingly coming out of nowhere. He could hear their boots pounding against the moist earth and the jangle of their equipment as they ran. Worse yet, he could feel the same sickening terror that he’d felt when he’d turned to flee, expecting at any instant to hear the sound of machine-gun fire.

The dash across the clearing to the car and the wild ride had been somehow anticlimactic to that initial fright. The windows being shot out had an almost surreal quality that somehow couldn’t compare to his first glimpse of those soldiers.

Melanie had once again responded to the event completely differently than Kevin. It made Kevin wonder if growing up in Manhattan had somehow toughened her for such experiences. Rather than expressing fear, Melanie was more angry than afraid. She was furious at the soldiers’ wanton destruction of what she considered her property, even though the car technically belonged to GenSys.

“The dinner is prepared,” Esmeralda said. “I shall keep it warm.”

Kevin thanked his attentive housekeeper, and she disappeared back into the kitchen. Tossing aside his journal, Kevin got up from his desk and walked out onto the veranda. Night had fallen, and he was beginning to worry about where Melanie and Candace could be.

Kevin’s house fronted a small grassy square illuminated by old-fashioned street lamps. Directly across the square was Siegfried Spallek’s house. It was similar to Kevin’s with an arcaded first floor, a veranda around the second, and dormers in its steeply pitched roof. At present, there were lights only in the kitchen end of the house. Apparently, the manager had not yet come home.

Hearing laughter to his left, Kevin turned in the direction of the waterfront. There had been a tropical downpour for an hour that had just ended fifteen minutes previously. The cobblestones were steaming since they’d still been hot from the sun. Into this lighted mist walked the two women, arm in arm, laughing merrily.

“Hey, Kevin!” Melanie shouted, spying Kevin on his balcony. “How come you didn’t send a carriage?”

The women walked to a point directly beneath Kevin who was embarrassed by their revelry.

“What are you talking about?” Kevin asked.

“Well, you didn’t expect us to get soaked, did you?” Melanie joked. Candace giggled.

“Come on up,” Kevin encouraged. His eyes roamed around the small square, hoping that his neighbors weren’t being disturbed.

The women came up the stairs with great commotion. Kevin met them in the hall. Melanie insisted on giving Kevin a kiss on both cheeks. Candace did likewise.

“Sorry we’re late,” Melanie said.


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