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- Kurzbeschreibung<p>Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the Amarantin civilization was annihilated just as it was on the verge of space flight. Scientist Dan Sylveste is determined to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself and he forges a deadly alliance with the cyborg crew of a spaceship. But as Sylveste closes in on a secret, a killer closes in on him. A "Locus" Best First Novel of the Year. (June)</p>
- AutorAlastair Reynolds
- VerlagAce Charter
- Seiten592 Seiten
- Gewicht277 g
- LeseprobeOne<br>Mantell Sector, North Nekhebet, Resurgam, Delta Pavonis system, 2551<br />There was a razorstorm coming in.<br>Sylveste sood on the edge of the excavation and wondered if any of his labours would survive the night. The archeological dig was an array of deep square shafts separated by baulks of sheer-sided soil: the classical Wheeler box-grid. The shafts went down tens of metres, walled by transparent cofferdams spun from hyperdiamond. A million years of stratified geological history pressed against the sheets. But it would take only one good dustfall one good razorstorm to fill the shafts almost to the surface.<br>"Confirmation, sir," said one of his team, emerging from the crouched form of the first crawler. The man's voice was muffled behind his breather mask. "Cuvier's just issued a severe weather advisory for the whole North Nekhebet landmass. They're advising all surface teams to return to the nearest base."<br>"You're saying we should pack up and drive back to Mantell?"<br>"It's going to be a hard one, sir." The man fidgeted, drawing the collar of his jacket tighter around his neck. "Shall I issue the general evacuation order?"<br>Sylveste looked down at the excavation grid, the sides of each shaft brightly lit by the banks of floodlights arrayed around the area. Pavonis never got high enough at these latitudes to provide much useful illumination; now, sinking towards the horizon and clotted by great cauls of dust, it was little more than a rusty-red smear, hard for his eyes to focus on. Soon dust devils would come, scurrying across the Ptero Steppes like so many overwound toy gyroscopes. Then the main thrust of the storm, rising like a black anvil.<br>"No," he said. "There's no need for us to leave. We're well sheltered here there's hardly any erosion pattering on those boulders, in case you hadn't noticed. If the storm becomes too harsh, we'll shelter in the crawlers."<br>The man looked at the rocks, shaking his head as if doubting the evidence of his ears. "Sir, Cuvier only issue an advisory of this severity once every year or two it's an order of magnitude above anything we've experienced before."<br>"Speak for yourself," Sylveste said, noticing the way the man's gaze snapped involuntarily to his eyes and then off again, embarrassed. "Listen to me. We cannot afford to abandon this dig. Do you understand?"<br>The man looked back at the grid. "We can protect what we've uncovered with sheeting, sir. Then bury transponders. Even if the dust covers every shaft, we'll be able to find the site again and get back to where we are now." Behind his dust goggles, the man's eyes were wild, beseeching. "When we return, we can put a dome over the whole grid. Wouldn't that be the best, sir, rather than risk people and equipment out here?"<br>Sylveste took at step closer to the man, forcing him to step back towards the grid's closest shaft. "You're to do the following. Inform all dig teams that they carry on working until I say otherwise, and that there is to be no talk of retreating to Mantell. Meanwhile, I want only the most sensitive instruments taken aboard the crawlers. Is that understood?"<br>"But what about people, sir?"<br>"People are to do what they came out here to do. Dig."<br>Sylveste stared reproachfully at the man, almost inviting him to question the order, but after a long moment of hesitation the man turned on his heels and scurried across the grid, navigating the tops of the baulks with practiced ease. Spaced around the grid like down-pointed cannon, the delicate imaging gravitometers swayed slightly as the wind began to increase.<br>Sylveste waited, then followed a similar path, deviating when he was a few boxes into the grid. Near the centre of the excavation, four boxes had been enlarged into one single slab-sided pit, thirty metres from side to side and nearly as deep. Sylveste stepped onto the ladder which led into the pit and moved quickly down the side. He had made the
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