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       An Extra-Ordinary Beginning, p.1

           A.D. Winch
 
An Extra-Ordinary Beginning


  The Adventures of Eric and Ursula

  An Extra-Ordinary Beginning

  A.D. Winch

  ***

  This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service (UKCS):

  Registration No: 292412

  Published by A.D. Winch, 2014

  3rd edition

  Text copyright A.D. Winch, 2012

  Book Cover image copyright K.J. Winch, 2012

  ***

  ***

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Contents

  Chapter 1 – Painful Memories

  Chapter 2 – On the Rooftops of Paris

  Chapter 3 – Parents Pet Project

  Chapter 4 – The Competition Entries

  Chapter 5 - Au revoir

  Chapter 6 – Finding the Treasure

  Chapter 7 - Turbulence

  Chapter 8 – The Meyer’s Cellar

  Chapter 9 – Back to the Desert

  Chapter 10 – Prague Anglo-International School

  Chapter 11 - Opening

  Chapter 12 – Christmas Cheer

  Chapter 13 – The Race around Champex Lake

  Chapter 14 – Recovery Time

  Chapter 15 – The Thaw

  Chapter 16 – Breaking News

  Chapter 17 – Reporting Back

  Chapter 18 – Return to Saint Denis

  Chapter 19 – Back from the Dead

  Chapter 20 - Pursued

  Chapter 21 – Who are you?

  Chapter 22 – Professor Larsen’s Story

  Chapter 23 - Explanations

  Chapter 24 – House Arrest

  Chapter 25 – Escape to Pompeii

  Chapter 26 – Under Observation

  Chapter 27 – The Missing Pod

  Chapter 28 – Rendez-vous

  Chapter 29 – Victory or defeat?

  Chapter 30 - Reunion

  Chapter 31 – Disc Five

  Chapter 32 – Three months later

  About the author

  Discover other books by A.D. Winch

  Connect with me online

  Preview of Book 2: Survival Instinct

  Acknowledgements

  Note from the author

  ***

  Chapter 1 – Painful Memories

  The explosion ripped through the European Space Station with the speed of a bullet. Over one hundred metres of metal, plastic, complicated circuitry and solar panels were silently reduced to a billion new satellites orbiting the earth. Hidden amongst the debris were two platinum pods. They had been shot away from the space station just before the explosion; into the Earth’s atmosphere and onto their programmed locations.

  Moments earlier Professor Larsen had blinked back a tear. She watched through sky blue eyes as her lifetime’s work left her forever and escaped the coming disaster. She had expected this to happen, had accepted the fact and was only thankful that it had taken them this long to find her. She hoped she had done enough.

  In the Main Control Room at the European Space Operations Centre in Germany, everybody was in shock. The sudden disappearance of the biggest European space project in history was met with disbelieving gasps and then the control room came to life. Technicians, scientists and computer experts searched hurriedly for the cause of the problem. No one believed that a space station could suddenly vanish. Computers were rebooted, millions of lines of software code were scanned for bugs, radar positions were checked and the tracking stations of the ESTRACK network were contacted. The two stations in Australia were unable to locate the missing satellite, and the same was true of those in Kenya, French Guinea, Sweden and Spain.

  In desperation, NASA was contacted. They did not answer the call.

  It soon became clear that there was no glitch in the system. A powerful telescope in Belgium was trained on the coordinates where the space station should have been. As these images appeared on the large screens, the hurried conversations began to peter out as people turned to look.

  A hush fell over the room, broken only by the voice of a skinny scientist who wouldn’t give up on the woman who had always been there for him. Speaking calmly, patiently and expectantly he repeated the same words over and over again.

  “Professor Larsen, this is ESOC, please come in. Professor Larsen, this is ESOC, please come in. Professor Larsen...”

  Tears streamed down his cheeks.

  Alexander wiped his eyes so that the other passengers wouldn’t see he had been crying. The memories of over ten years ago still haunted him, and his fears from that terrible day in the Operations Centre had made him paranoid that he too was being hunted.

  The two platinum pods had raced towards Europe, but Alexander had found only one of them. He had buried it and had to hope that it would never be dug up. The pod’s priceless cargo was fortunately intact and had to be hidden. It couldn’t be buried, but Alexander had concealed it where, he hoped, no one would think to look.

  He had done his best to cover his tracks, but Alexander doubted that only he knew of the full events surrounding the explosion. Every day he worried that the platinum pods would be discovered by the people he feared most – people who would exploit its cargo for their own, unknown purposes. He had to find the second pod and its cargo before they did.

  “Mr Almas, please put on your seat belt. We’re about to land,” instructed the air hostess.

  It took a second for Alexander to realise that she was talking to him. He was always slower to respond when travelling under a false identity.

  The plane began its final descent into Paris.

  Back to Contents

  ***

 
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