Cover image for Atlantis : Bermuda Triangle
Title:
Atlantis : Bermuda Triangle
Author:
Donegan, Greg, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
297 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780425174296
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Mass Market Paperback Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
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Central Library X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

When a nuclear missile is launched from the waters of the Bermuda Triangle, ex-Green Beret Eric Dane must lead a team into the mysterious depths to confront an enemy which has but one objective--the total annihilation of all life on Earth.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Viking warriors, Green Berets, priestesses and CIA agents populate this second installment of the Atlantis series. The evil forces that legend says destroyed Atlantis have returned to wreak havoc on the modern world; their first assault: consists of firing a nuclear missile from the waters of the Bermuda Triangle into a major fault in the Atlantic Ocean. America reacts by sending ex-Green Beret Eric Dane and a team of experts on an underwater mission to confront the Dark Ones. Meanwhile, Ragnarok, a first-century Viking, helps the priestess Tam Nok search for a powerful weapon to defeat the wicked Valkyries and is drawn into a parallel universe with Dane. Told in alternating chapters, the two stories converge for an unsatisfying conclusion in an underwater graveyard for ships, planes and other craft that have disappeared into the depths of the Bermuda Triangle over the centuries. The contemporary side of this militaristic SF tale is packed with long, technical digressions that slow the novel's pace, but the chapters on Ragnarok and Tam Nok's quest contain solid dialogue and evocative descriptions of fantastical enemies and ancient lands. Donegan's battle scenes will keep action readers happy, but those who prefer more well-rounded characters will be disappointed. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One The Present The missile broke surface undetected in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle gate. It was a Trident II, a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertially guided ballistic missile with a range of more than 4,600 statute miles developed by Lockheed Martin for the United States Navy. The Trident II was a more sophisticated version of the Trident I, upgraded mostly in terms of having a significantly greater payload capability. Forty-four feet long at launch, it was 6.9 feet in diameter, weighed 130,000 pounds at launch, and cost the taxpayer over forty million dollars each; which didn't add in the price of the nuclear warheads in the nose cone.     As it punched into the air, an aerospike telescoped out of the front of the missile, reducing frontal drag by 50 percent. The first stage, made of a very strong, very light material called graphite epoxy, released and fell back into the ocean.     The navigational system of the missile was designed to link with global positioning satellites to confirm location and direction, but this Trident didn't do that. Its course had been determined before launch.     Six thousand feet up, the Trident came out of the gate into clear air, just as the second stage fell and the third-stage motor kicked in. It was already traveling in excess of 20,000 feet per second.     The third stage burned for forty seconds and then released. The missile still had to reach its apogee and start coming down, but it was already 400 miles from its launch point.     The first detection of the missile was made by a satellite linked to the U.S. Space Command deep under Cheyenne Mountain outside of Colorado Springs, but it was already far too late as the information was processed and forwarded to the War Room at the Pentagon.     Just after kicking over and beginning its descent, the nose cone of the Trident exploded open, and the eight nuclear warheads encased inside separated in their own MK5 reentry vehicles, in a linear spread pattern.     The warheads splashed down into the Atlantic along a 300-mile-long line.     With no detonation.     The warheads drifted down into the relatively shallow water of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge until they touched bottom.     Then they exploded. "The last time we met, you were pointing a gun at me," Foreman said.     Dane stared at the old man on the other side of the conference table, noting the changes the years had etched. Foreman had aged well except that his once-thick snow-white hair was thinner than Dane remembered. Foreman's face was narrow, hatchetlike, with clear eyes. His body was slim, the suit he wore well-tailored. If anything, the old man looked too thin, almost sickly.     "You were lying to me then," Dane said, reaching down to his left and rubbing Chelsea's ear. The golden retriever cocked her head and pressed against his hand.     Eric Dane was of average height and had thick black hair with a sprinkling of gray along the sides. He wore glasses with thin metal frames, his face angular and attractive. Just over fifty years old, he was as lean as he had been in his twenties when he had last met Foreman at a CIA forward staging base in Laos prior to going on a cross-border mission where Dane's entire team had disappeared.     "Withholding information," Foreman clarified. "Lying is too strong a word to be used for the situation."     They were seated in a conference room inside CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia. Sin Fen sat next to Foreman. She was an exotic-looking Eurasian woman, whose past Dane knew little about except that somehow she had gotten hooked up with the CIA man and his obsession with the gates. That she had some sort of strange mental abilities, Dane was certain, just as he knew he had some. But the extent of hers was as unclear to him as his own.     Foreman would be leaving shortly for a high-level meeting in Washington with the president and the National Security Council to discuss what had just occurred in the Angkor gate in Cambodia and the other gates. The invasion of Earth from the "other side" through the gates at Angkor Kol Ker, the Bermuda Triangle, the Devil's Sea off the coast of Japan, and other locations around the world had been stopped by Dane with the destruction of the main propagating beam of radiation and electromagnetic interference in Cambodia. Beyond that, they knew little more than they had before the bizarre invasion started. Who the invaders were, other than the term the Shadow , why they were invading, where they were coming from; what they wanted; there were many questions that had not been answered yet.     The shocking reappearance of the submarine Scorpion --listed as lost in U.S. Navy logs in 1968--was being kept under wraps, but Dane knew it could not last much longer. They could not explain the fact that not a man in the crew seemed to have aged a day in over thirty years. Nor could the crew explain it. As far as they were concerned, just minutes had passed between the time they last radioed Foreman in 1968 that the reactor was going off-line as they entered the Bermuda Triangle to the moment Dane appeared on the ship two days ago, transported somehow from the middle of the Angkor gate to the submarine.     "Why do you still need me?" Dane asked.     "Because that mission you began thirty years ago never ended," Foreman said. "Because you stopped the invasion through the Angkor gate."     "For the moment," Sin Fen added.     Dane glanced at Sin Fen. Her mind was a black wall to him. Then back at Foreman. There, he could tell more, but not as much as he would have liked. He knew the old man was telling the truth, but he also sensed there was so much Foreman didn't know or was holding back. Based on his experiences with the CIA Operative, Dane knew it was likely a combination of both.     "I put everything in my report," Dane said.     "Also," Foreman continued as if he had not heard, "we lost the Wyoming inside the Bermuda Triangle gate."     "Other submarines have been lost in the gates," Dane said.     Foreman steepled his fingers. "Not one with twenty-four Trident II ICBMs on board. With each missile carrying eight MK5 nuclear warheads rated at a hundred kilotons each. That's 192 nuclear warheads. And our friends on the other side, whoever or whatever they are--the Shadow, as your man Flaherty called them--seem to have a penchant for radioactive things. We defeated their weapons in this first assault, but we might not do so well against our weapons that they've captured."     "Great," Dane said. "We get the Scorpion back, the Shadow gets the Wyoming and its nukes."     "We have you," Foreman said. "You have some sort of power, some sort of attachment to these gates. You made it in the Angkor gate and out again. Two times. That's once more than anyone else has ever done."     Dane simply stared at Foreman without comment. He felt as if he were in a whirlpool, being sucked against his will into a dark and dangerous center. And to be honest, he wasn't sure how hard he should swim against the power drawing him in or if he was even capable of resisting.     Foreman slid several photos across the table. "The top one is the Angkor Kol Ker gate. Then the Bermuda Triangle and other gates around the world."     Dane looked at the first photo. It was a satellite image of Cambodia. There was a solid black triangle in the center, about six miles long on each side. It was located in the north-central part of the country, in deep, nearly impenetrable jungle.     "Each gate is now shaped the same and stable at that size," Foreman said. "That solid black is something new, and we don't know what it means. It's never been reported as long as we have recorded history. No form of imaging can penetrate it. Ground surveillance from those visually watching the gates say the fog has coalesced into solid black. Sensors sent on remotely piloted vehicles, whether going via ground, air or sea, simply disappear into the black and cease transmitting. And they never come back out, even if they are programmed to return.     "The Russians--and this is classified, as is everything else we discuss--sent a team into one of the gates on their territory near Tunguska two days ago. The team hasn't come back and is presumed dead. The Japanese are still missing one of their destroyers that went into the Devil's Sea gate.     "I'm afraid that, although we stopped the propagation, it went on long enough to allow this thing to gain a solid foothold on our planet at each of the gate sites. That's something that never happened before."     "That we know of," Sin Fen added.     "It means they're waiting," Dane said.     "They'd" Foreman asked.     "The Shadow."     "For what?" Foreman asked.     "To attack again," Dane said. "They've got their beachhead. Maybe that's all this last series of events was about." He turned to Sin Fen. "Do you agree?"     She nodded. "That is the sense I have."     Foreman tapped a finger on the top of the conference table. "I've been thinking about that. The `again' part," Foreman clarified. "As Sin Fen noted, there is much about the past we don't know. That abandoned city you found in the center of the Angkor gate--Angkor Kol Ker--it must have been attacked a long time ago. And we have a long history of ships and planes disappearing into the Bermuda Triangle and Devil's Sea. No one knows how long these gates have been active, but a lot of evidence points back to at least as long as ten thousand years ago, when Atlantis was destroyed."     "You really believe that?" Dane asked.     "About Atlantis? Don't you now?" Foreman threw back. "After all you've seen and heard?"     Dane reluctantly nodded. He remembered Flaherty telling him the same thing--that the Shadow and the Ones Before were waging a war and it spilled over onto Earth every so often. That during one of those battles, Atlantis had been wiped off the face of the earth. There were also the markings on the side of the watchtower that Beasley, the Cambodian expert who had traveled with Dane into the gate, had deciphered. They indicated that the people who founded Angkor Kol Ker had traveled from somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean in order to escape the Shadow.     "It looks likely," Dane agreed.     "The key," Foreman continued, "is that we have to assume that this has happened before: the gates opening, the Shadow trying to come into our world and take it over. And it's always been defeated. Even though Atlantis was destroyed so utterly it is just a legend, the rest of the planet survived. And it appears that there were survivors from Atlantis--the people who started civilization at Angkor Kol Ker, in Egypt, China, Central America, and other places."     "So?" Dane said.     "We stopped it this time, but we didn't defeat it. What we stopped was just the first assault, and another one is coming."     "You sound as if a new attack has already started," Dane said.     Foreman nodded. "It has." He pulled more imagery out of the top secret file. It showed a Mercator projection map of the entire world. Dane studied it. There were lines drawn through all the oceans.     "What am I looking at?" Dane asked.     "Lines of activity propagated by the gates in bursts," Foreman said.     "Radioactive?" Dane asked.     "No," Foreman said. "Low-level electromagnetic spectrum activity, barely enough to register. We think the Shadow is doing its own kind of imagery."     "Looking for what?"     Sin Fen leaned across the table and placed a long, thin finger on the map, tracing the lines. "The Mid-Atlantic Ridge." The finger jumped North America. "The Pacific Rim along our West Coast all the way around to the coast of Japan and down to Australia. The Mediterranean, bifurcating through both the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. The Antarctic Plate all the way around the bottom of the world. The Himalayas where the Eurasian Plate meets the Indian Plate. Those are just the major lines. As you can see, there are Several smaller ones, here in the Caribbean, the Philippines. The Shadow is checking all the lines where tectonic plates meet," Sin Fen concluded.     "And this, I assume, is a bad thing," Dane said.     "We have to believe it is." Foreman ignored the sarcasm. "We have no idea what's going on inside those gates or what is on the other side or what they are up to.     "We need to look to our history and try to discover how our predecessors dealt with this," Foreman continued. "We believe people in the past faced the same problem we're facing, and they succeeded in stopping the Shadow."     "The people at Angkor Kol Ker didn't succeed very well," Dane noted. "Nor did the people Of Atlantis."     "But the Earth wasn't overrun or destroyed," Foreman noted. "The Shadow tried to make its big push out of Kol Ker this time, but maybe the last time this happened, they tried their main effort somewhere else, and it was defeated. Or there is a pattern to their assault, and we've only met the first wave."     "But do you have any idea where this happened? Or who fought this battle?" Dane asked.     "The Scorpion didn't come back by accident," Foreman said. "There's something or someone on the other side of the gate that's trying to help us. The Ones Before. The same force that sent your teammate Flaherty to you at Angkor Kol Ker. It sent the Scorpion back to us with a message."     This was news to Dane. "What message?"     Foreman pulled a photo out of the file folder and pushed it across to Dane. It was an image of the sail of the Scorpion , the tower that held the periscopes and small bridge used when the sub was on the surface. Foreman slid a second picture, a close-up of the side of the sail. Something was etched in the metal, strange lines that Dane didn't recognize. He had gotten off the submarine in the dark, cross-loading directly to a Navy helicopter to be flown here. The etching must have been discovered the following morning. Below those lines was a drawing that Dane looked at for a while before he recognized that it was a map.     "What is this?"     "On top, runic writing," Foreman said. "It took us a little while before Sin Fen saw it and was able to recognize the language and decode it. On the bottom, a map. It also took some time to determine exactly what the map was of, because the scale and details are not exactly correct--or what I should say is--correct today."     Dane found the writing interesting and almost familiar. In between two horizontal lines, were a series of vertical and curved slashes. "What language is this?" he asked Sin Fen.     "Norse," she answered. "The language of the Vikings."     After all the strange things he had experienced in the past month, Dane didn't even ask how Viking runes ended up Scratched into the metal on the side of a nuclear submarine that had disappeared for over thirty years. "What does it say?"     "This is the literal translation." Sin Fen handed Dane a piece of paper: Here find the shield to defeat the Valkyries and those who follow the dark ones I have done my duty It stops the forge of Vulcan Revenge me     "Vulcan's forge?" Dane asked.     "The power of the gods breaking through the crust of the Earth," Sin Fen said. "The Shadow might have used the instability of the Earth's surface along the juncture of the tectonic plates to destroy Atlantis."     "Who wrote this? Who has done his duty?" Dane asked.     "Your guess is as good as mine, but the important point is the Shield stops the power of the Shadow."     "There's not much information about this Shield," Dane noted.     "The Valkyries," Sin Fen said, "are part of Norse mythology. They were the handmaidens of the gods and were reported to devour the flesh of the dead on the battlefield."     "Monsters of legend," Dane said out loud.     Sin Fen nodded. "You ran into the seven-headed Naga of Khmer legend in the Angkor gate. And other strange creatures. It appears there is more truth to the Valkyries than simply legend."     Dane looked at the sheet. "'And those who follow the dark ones'? Does that mean those who follow the Valkyries? Or humans who worship them?"     "That's not clear," Sin Fen said. "There are only sixteen characters in the runic alphabet. And it was not used very extensively, so there isn't a great body of work to draw upon to even be sure the translation is correct."     "Great," Dane said.     "According to legend," Sin Fen added, "the runic alphabet was given to the Vikings by the god Odin. The word run means mystery, so even the Vikings' might not have been too sure about their own written language. Modern scholars aren't certain where or how it originated, but they have noted some similarities between Viking runes and the runes used by other ancient cultures."     Dane put two and two together, "So the runic language might have come from Atlantis?"     "That is possible," Sin Fen said. "Of course, by the time of the Vikings, the original writing was probably greatly corrupted and simplified. The height of the Viking expansion was about eleven thousand years after the great dispersion from Atlantis. That's a long time for a language to survive, even in a bastardized form."     "Where is the `here' the message refers to?" Dane asked.     "That's the other strange thing," Foreman said. "Someone went to a great deal of trouble to etch that map into the metal. God knows how long it took, but it appears to have been done by hand with an edged tool."     "Where was the crew of the Scorpion while this was being done to their ship?" Dane asked.     Foreman shrugged. "Where was the crew of the Scorpion for the past thirty-one years? To them, no time passed between going into the Bermuda Triangle and coming out."     "Maybe they weren't on board the ship," Dane wondered out loud.     "I don't think we'll ever know exactly what happened," Foreman said. "What is important right now is that they came back with this map."     "Are you sure that's all they came back with?" Dane asked.     "The ship's in quarantine at the Groton sub pens, being gone through with a fine-tooth comb to try to figure out what happened to it," Foreman said. He tapped the photo, bringing attention back to the map. "It isn't exact, at least according to what we know now, but it's rather remarkable if it's the work of someone who only could write in runes, which means the message is probably over a thousand years old. But the ship is only thirty."     To Dane's eyes there was something wrong about the map, though. The proportions were off, and he couldn't get oriented on the continents.     Foreman reached into the file and pulled out another sheet of paper. "This is called Piri Reis's map. It dates back to the sixteenth century. Compare the two."     Dane slid the paper next to the photograph. "They're almost identical."     "Yes," Sin Fen said. "Which raises another problem. The Piri Reis map was drawn at Constantinople in 1513 by an admiral in the Turkish Navy. It emphasizes the west coast of Africa, the east coast of South America ending in the Caribbean, and the northern coast of Antarctica. Which is intriguing, given that Antarctica wasn't discovered until 1818. Not only that, but the Piri Reis map and the map drawn on the Scorpion both show an Antarctica without ice covering it. The last time that Antarctica wasn't covered by ice, as near as scientists can tell, is, at the latest, 4000 B.C., and most likely much earlier than that."     Dane leaned back in his seat and looked down at Chelsea. She pushed her head against his thigh, her golden eyes regarding him calmly in return. He envied the dog her ignorance and the innocence that stemmed from that. "How can that be?" he asked Sin Fen.     "Piri Reis, in his notes, readily admits that he didn't survey the map himself but rather copied it from other maps. It appears that the ancient seafarers had a much more extensive knowledge of the world than we have ever suspected. At least some of them did. Much of that knowledge was lost when the great library at Alexandria was burned and sacked.     "What is also strange," Sin Fen continued, "is that the map shows the use of longitudinal coordinates, something that wasn't invented--at least we thought wasn't invented--until the eighteenth century."     "Why Antarctica?" Dane asked. "Why would a map be centered around that continent?"     "Perhaps because that is where Atlantis was," Sin Fen said. Before Dane could say another word, she continued. "Albert Einstein had a theory about this. I know, you've never heard of it, but trust me, it is true. He believed that Antarctica was ice-free about twelve-thousand years ago because it wasn't centered on the south pole as it is now. Rather, it was farther north in the center of the Atlantic."     "You're joking, right?" Dane asked. "How the hell did it move to its present location?"     "I'm not saying this is fact," Sin Fen said. "But who am I to argue with a theory of Albert Einstein's? He called the process by which it moved `earth-crust-displacement,' and scientists we have consulted say there is something to his concept. It also ties in with the theory of plate tectonics--which is accepted by scientists as fact today--and that ties together with the Shadow scanning the lines of tectonic faults.     "If Atlantis was originally located in the Atlantic, it was over the juncture of four major tectonic plates. That meant it wasn't solidly anchored to the planet beneath it. It would have taken a tremendous amount of energy, but it is possible that the land was ripped free, maybe even completely submerged, before drifting--and drifting is a rather weak word for what happened as we're not talking about drifting on water, but rather on the magma of the planet below--to its current location at the south pole.     "Antarctica, the land itself, is now actually below sea level. Most of it is covered by a layer of ice several miles thick. It's only recently that we've mapped what the land underneath the ice looked like and it looks a hell of a lot like what's shown on this map."     "Is this Shield in Antarctica?" Dane asked.     "No," Foreman said. "Note the rune marking on the map right here. It is the Viking symbol for weapon." He reached across the table and tapped the photograph. "We correlated that with the Piri Reis Map and with current maps. That spot is right on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle gate. Just north of the western tip of Puerto Rico."     "Then what is the connection between that site and Atlantis?" Dane asked.     "We don't know that yet," Foreman said. "Although it's possible this site was between Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle gate, which would be the logical location for a Shield."     "This site is in the water?" Dane asked.     "It appears so," Sin Fen said.     "And?" Dane said.     "We think that spot is very important," Foreman said. "It is along the line where the Caribbean tectonic plate intersects with the North American plate and close to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is formed by the North American Plate meeting the Eurasian and African Plates."     "Have you checked it out?" Dane asked.     "We've done satellite imagery of it," Foreman said. "Just ocean on the surface. Nothing there. What we're looking for must be below the surface. I'm having some other special checks run that might tell us something more, but there's nothing like having someone put a set of eyeballs on it."     "I ran a reconnaissance for you once before," Dane said, "and everyone who went with me died or disappeared."     "We have a better idea what we're dealing with now," Foreman said.     "Do we?" Dane retorted.     There was the buzz of a cellular phone. Foreman pulled one out of his pocket and flipped it open. "Foreman."     Dane studied the map, wondering who would have taken the time and the energy to scratch it into the metal on the submarine.     After a terse acknowledgment, Foreman flipped the phone shut. "I have to go to the War Room immediately." Foreman stood, abruptly ending the meeting. "Sin Fen will accompany you."     Chelsea had gotten to her feet, her head pressed against Dane's side. Dane ran a hand through her golden hair. "Accompany me where?"     Foreman was gathering up his files, stuffing them in the briefcase. "To the indicated spot, of course. To find this Shield."     "But--" Dane began, but Foreman cut him off with a wave of the cell phone.     "That was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Tilson. A Trident II missile, obviously from the Wyoming , was fired out of the Bermuda Triangle gate twenty minutes ago. The warheads impacted in the center of the Atlantic Ocean along the North Atlantic Ridge, where the tectonic plates meet. All eight warheads detonated. We're still assessing what of feet they had."     "Is the Shadow attacking?" Dane asked.     Foreman shook his head. "We think it was a test." He headed for the door. "Remember, they have twenty-three more Tridents with one hundred and eighty-four nukes left to carry out an all-out assault." Copyright © 2000 Robert Mayer. All rights reserved.

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