The Last Hunter - Descent (Book 1 of the Antarktos Saga)

BOOK: The Last Hunter - Descent (Book 1 of the Antarktos Saga)
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THE LAST HUNTER

 

By Jeremy Robinson

 

 

OTHER NOVELS by JEREMY ROBINSON

 

Threshold (coming in 2011)

Instinct

Pulse

Kronos

Antarktos Rising

Beneath

Raising the Past

The Didymus Contingency

PRAISE FOR WORKS OF JEREMY ROBINSON

Skip front-matter to table of contents

 

"Rocket-boosted action, brilliant speculation, and the recreation of a horror out of the mythologic past, all seamlessly blend into a rollercoaster ride of suspense and adventure."
-- James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of JAKE RANSOM AND THE SKULL KING'S SHADOW

 

"With THRESHOLD Jeremy Robinson goes pedal to the metal into very dark territory.  Fast-paced, action-packed and wonderfully creepy!  Highly recommended!"
--Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of ROT & RUIN

 

"Jeremy Robinson is the next James Rollins"
-- Chris Kuzneski, NY Times bestselling author of THE SECRET CROWN

 

"If you like thrillers original, unpredictable and chock-full of action, you are going to love Jeremy Robinson..."
-- Stephen Coonts, NY Times bestselling author of DEEP BLACK: ARCTIC GOLD

 

"How do you find an original story idea in the crowded action-thriller genre? Two words: Jeremy Robinson."
-- Scott Sigler, NY Times Bestselling author of ANCESTOR

 

"There's nothing timid about Robinson as he drops his readers off the cliff without a parachute and somehow manages to catch us an inch or two from doom." 
-- Jeff Long, New York Times bestselling author of THE DESCENT

 

"Greek myth and biotechnology collide in Robinson's first in a new thriller series to feature the Chess Team... Robinson will have readers turning the pages..."
-- Publisher's Weekly

 

"Jeremy Robinson’s THRESHOLD is one hell of a thriller, wildly imaginative and diabolical, which combines ancient legends and modern science into a non-stop action ride that will keep you turning the pages until the wee hours. Relentlessly gripping from start to finish, don’t turn your back on this book!"
-- Douglas Preston, NY Times bestselling author of IMPACT

 

"Jeremy Robinson is an original and exciting voice."
-- Steve Berry, NY Times bestselling author of THE EMPEROR'S TOMB

 

"Jeremy Robinson is a fresh new face in adventure writing and will make a mark in suspense for years to come."
--David Lynn Golemon, NY Times bestselling author of LEGEND

 

 

THE LAST HUNTER

 

By Jeremy Robinson

 

For the real Solomon, my son and inspiration

 

 

© 2010 Jeremy Robinson. All rights reserved.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and should not be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For more information e-mail all inquiries to:
[email protected]

 

Visit Jeremy Robinson on the World Wide Web at:
www.jeremyrobinsononline.com

Table of Contents

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

About the Author

Prologue

1911

 

Douglas Mawson tasted blood. The chapped skin of his lower lip peeled up like flakes of shaved coconut. The cold had started the injury, and then it worsened thanks to his habit of chewing the skin from his lip. But he was careful about it, nibbling at the still dying flesh like a preening bird. It was the sneeze that split the lip, tearing it down the middle. The sting cleared his mind, but the blood made him hungry. He looked around, hoping to see something that might take his mind off food, but he saw only white ice and blue sky.

Three hundred fifteen miles separated Mawson and his two men from camp; three thousand more from civilization. No man had ever ventured further from home, and only one of them would make it back.

Mawson, commander of the expedition, stood before a white glacial expanse. His angular face, typically clean-shaven but now covered by an inch-thick beard, hid behind a dirty tan scarf. The scarf did little to protect him against the Antarctic cold, which grated his lungs. The rest of him, bundled in a thick, beige snowsuit, felt warmer when moving. Not so much when standing still.

Dr. Xavier Mertz had stopped. He was the point man, riding on skis while Mawson followed with a dog sledge team and Lieutenant Ninnis brought up the rear with a second team and the majority of their indispensable supplies. That Mertz had stopped meant he’d seen something. Most likely something dangerous, like a snow-covered crevasse. They looked solid enough until you put weight on them. Then they could fall through like a trap door.

“What’s the problem, Mertz?” Mawson shouted.

But the man didn’t reply.

Mawson removed his hood in case the man’s words were being muffled. He asked again, “What is it, Mertz?”

The only sign that Mertz had not frozen solid on the spot was his head, craning slowly from side to side.

Mawson signaled for Ninnis to remain behind and stepped off his sledge. He petted the nearest dog as he passed, then headed for Mertz. His feet crunched over the snow and ice, signaling his approach. Still, the man did not move.

Five feet away, Mertz finally responded, his hand snapping up with an open palm. The sudden movement sent Mawson’s heart pounding. But the message was clear:
Don’t. Move.
And he didn’t. Not for three minutes. Then he spoke again. “Bloody hell, Mertz, what is it?”

Mertz turned his head slightly. “Saw someone.”

“Saw something?”

“Some-
one
.”

Ridiculous
, Mawson thought. They were the first human beings to set foot in this part of the world. So sure was he of that fact that he spoke his mind aloud. “Ridiculous.”

He stepped up to Mertz’s side. “The land is frozen. Not only is there no way a man could live here, there’s nowhere to hide.”

Mertz turned to Mawson. “He wasn’t wearing clothes.”

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