CHAPTER 18

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North Atlantic - Near Iceland

After hopping off an Air Force C170 cargo plane, the latest in the military's pilotless transports, Sarah did something she thought she'd never do again. Board a ship owned and operated by her father's old company, Sea Lab International. The corporation was now mostly funded by the government. According to an article she read on her eBoard tablet on the flight over, Sea Lab was close to being made a government institution, all it lacked was a final vote by congress and approval by the company's executive director, someone named Ian Storm. A fitting name for the marine research and ocean preservation corporation's head man.

Sea Lab had wanted Sarah to take over the day-to-day operations after her father's retirement in the year twenty thirty-one...until it became clear she was not normal. Not long after her encounter with the Ocean Blue corporation, she'd undergone plenty of blood tests to check her for abnormal side effects of the serum she'd been injected with. The lab results came back inconclusive. Basically, they could tell her that her body was operating at optimum efficiency. They could tell her that she healed unusually fast. Faster than anyone on Earth. Period. But there was no way they could've known she'd appear twenty years old at age ninety. Before her father's retirement, they just thought she looked really good for someone nearing forty years old. Then things started to add up.

Sarah had been out of touch with Sea Lab ever since her father's subsequent death five years later. He was seventy-five, and a man among men as far she was concerned. They didn't make them like her father anymore. And for that matter, Jake Solomon, her husband fit the same mold. Jake would have been at home on this ship tonight, the cutting edge in maritime technology.

Sarah shook herself from her daydreaming. Neither of them were here now. It was just her and Wolf.

But why was she thinking of her husband in past tense? According to Admiral Jax he was still alive—the reason she was here—about to risk her life. Ever since her meeting with the admiral, Sarah had thought about taking her husband's last name again, because if he was still alive, they were still married. When they took their vows, she meant every word. With a look of fortitude etched on the smooth contours of her face, she turned her attention to the sight over the stern gunwale.

During the daytime, the frigid water swayed with a dark grayish blue that was unattractive to the eyes, but when night fell, the tumultuous swells shone like black ink under the crescent moon. The scene made her think of memories from years ago. Sarah had been here before. Not this place. But this situation. Night diving with creatures that could kill or maim with one bite. The Greenland shark was no different.

Luckily, she would be protected by the shell of a submersible.

Sarah and Wolf stood on the stern deck of the Wave Runner, a research vessel that rode the sea like a naval destroyer, a low profile bridge rising high enough to see over the bow. The ship was the newest hybrid vessel, able to go submarine beneath the surface, designed and built by Sea Lab. It had a gray underbelly that met a sleek red and white superstructure several feet above the waterline.

Sarah aimed her fiery gaze at Wolf. He shrugged his shoulders, like, what are you looking at? It wasn't his fault she still looked like a twenty something in the year twenty seventy-seven. No. But he worked for Admiral Jax, which put him high on her list of people who she thought might be better off dead. A list that seemed to be growing on a daily basis. Not that she'd actually kill someone, but...

Anyway.

"Let's go." Sarah nodded to the platform holding their sea cycles.

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