Michael Crichton meets Dan Brown in this novel of the real secret code hidden in human DNA. Nobel Prize--winning geneticist Joshua Ambergris has made an astounding discovery that will shake the foundations of science: He has discovered a coded text hidden in human DNA. Before Ambergris can change the course of history by announcing his incredible discovery, he is brutally murdered in his office at Triad Genomics, an international biotech company. Ambergris has left behind a labyrinthine series of clues that ultimately reveals the truth: There is a message from a much earlier, more sophisticated human civilization encoded in the human genome! Who planted this code eons ago? And why? And can it be decoded before it's too late? Ambergris's protégé, Christian Madison, and his assistant, Grace Nguyen, must follow the serpentine trail to uncover a global conspiracy of silence, secrecy, and murder that spans the breadth of human history. A shadowy group known only as the Order guards the ancient secret enciphered in the mythologies and architecture of Earth's oldest civilizations and encoded into the very fabric of human DNA. Ambergris's clues lead Madison and Nguyen through the mysteries of the Maya and ancient Egypt, the forgotten knowledge of Sumeria, and the enigmas of modern science. Pursued at every turn by Ambergris's killers, Madison and Nguyen race to uncover the secrets of the Genesis Code before the Order can carry out the final, sinister step of a genocidal plan. Driven by scientific fact and new interpretations of ancient writings, symbolism, and mythology culled from thousands of years of human history, The Genesis Code digs deeply into the questions of the real nature of the human DNA code.
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Christopher Forrest is a civil litigation attorney in private practice in Sarasota County, Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, St. Thomas University College of Law, and Harvard Law School's program of instruction for lawyers.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
THE GENESIS CODE (Chapter One)
4:32 A.M., June 11
Manhattan, New York
The clock on the bedside table read 4:32 A.M.
And still no sleep.
Dr. Christian Madison, Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford and nonlinear mathematics from Columbia, hated taking pills.
Especially sleeping pills.
They left him with a sleep hangover in the morning, feeling groggy and dulled. So he tossed and turned, hour after hour, longing for a few hours of unconsciousness.
Time heals all wounds.
How many well-meaning friends and colleagues had trotted out that sad refrain? Madison had lost count.
Time had brought no healing. His memories of Justin were as sharp and penetrating as ever. Most nights, after the world became still, he would just lie in the darkness and remember.
Madison would remember the crushing sense of helplessness that tortured his soul as his six-year-old son's withered body consumed itself.
Madison hated cancer.
He HATED cancer, with terrible raging anger buried in unexamined quarters of his mind.
The sheets were damp from night sweats. Madison kicked off the down comforter. He flipped his pillow, exposing the cool side beneath.
Madison closed his eyes and prayed for dreamless sleep.
Across town on the thirty-fourth floor of the Millennium Tower in lower Manhattan, Dr. Joshua Ambergris peered at a flat-panel plasma screen with weary eyes. He punched at his computer keyboard with two index fingers.
An antique mahogany desk clock ticked away the minutes toward four-thirty A.M. The silence of the early morning hours was deafening.
How long have I been awake? Forty-eight hours? Fifty-six?
Ambergris wiped a trail of perspiration from his forehead and pushed his fingers through a mop of dark hair, longish and peppered with invading streaks of gray marching outward from his temples. At forty-three, Ambergris was an undeniable giant in his profession. A Nobel Prize-winning geneticist and a founding partner of the global biotech titan Triad Genomics, he was both rich and revered.
A faint noise broke the silence.
Ambergris froze, his eyes darting toward the open door of his office. His heart thumped in his chest.
The noise did not repeat.
Dr. Ambergris glanced nervously around the room. His spacious office was a study in contrasts. A sleek, state-of-the-art computer workstation adorned a seventeenth century French desk. Leather-bound volumes rested on metal bookshelves next to stacks of technical journals. On the desktop, piles of books on Hebrew mysticism, the great Pyramid of Giza, and ancient mythology held down the corners of computer printouts detailing lengthy sequences of genetic code: ACT GCT GAG TCT AGC TGT CAG AGC TGT GAA GTC GAG CTA GTC ACT GCT GAG TCT AGC TGT CAG AGC TGT GAA GTC GAG CTA GTC ACT GCT GAG TCT AGC TGT CAG AGC TGT GAA GTC GAG CTA GTC. The margins of the printouts were filled with Ambergris' handwritten notations.
For a moment, Dr. Ambergris' eyes lingered on a framed photograph on the wall opposite his desk. The image captured his father, Maximillian Ambergris, a prominent historian, shaking hands with President Lyndon B. Johnson at a reception at Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History.
Hanging next to the photo was a reproduction of images from the Dresden Codex, a pre-Columbian Mayan text. Rows of Mayan hieroglyphs were arranged in a grid above a rendering of two intertwined serpents. On the credenza below, a diagram of the Mayan calendar rested atop an astronomical chart detailing the precession of the equinoxes.
Dr. Ambergris turned his attention back to the computer screen.
With several rapid strokes, Ambergris finished typing. His finger hovered over the enter key.
Perhaps the most astounding discovery in the history of mankind.
Humanity's oldest secret.
A shadow fell across the plasma screen. From the corner of his eye, Ambergris was startled to see a figure standing in the doorway. He quickly pressed the enter key.
The man in the doorway cleared his throat.
Ambergris pivoted in his chair.
A wiry Asian man dressed all in white leaned casually against the door frame. His hands were covered by latex surgical gloves. The intruder's silky black hair fell across his muscular shoulders in long braids. Inscribed in red on the snowy white fabric of his left pant leg was a single character from the Japanese alphabet.
Ambergris felt a cold chill dance across his clammy skin.
It's over. My time has come.
The intruder held up a long syringe, tapping it several times with the nail of his forefinger. A thin stream of liquid spurted from the long needle as he cleared air bubbles from the murky fluid.
"Good evening, Dr. Ambergris. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance," said the man with the needle.
He smiled pleasantly. "You may call me Mr. Arakai. In fact, I insist that you do."
Ambergris clutched the arms of his chair with white-knuckled hands.
"If you're going to kill me, just get it over with," said Ambergris.
Arakai smiled. His amber eyes glinted with malice.
"Have patience, Dr. Ambergris. Let's have a little chat first. The killing will begin soon enough."
Arakai removed a long, thin knife from within the folds of his jacket. His fluid movements revealed a tattoo on the inside of his left wrist.
A tattoo of two intertwined serpents.
THE GENESIS CODE Copyright © 2007 by Christopher Forrest
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