Jupiter: A Novel (The Grand Tour)
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Grant Archer only wanted to study astrophysics. But the forces of the "New Morality," the coalition of censorious do-gooders who run 21st-century America, have other plans for him.
To his distress, Grant is torn from his young bride and sent to a research station in orbit around Jupiter, to spy on the scientists who work there. Their work may lead to the discovery of higher life forms in the Jovian system-with implications the New Morality doesn't like at all.
What Grant's would-be controllers don't know is that his loyalty to science may be greater than his desire for a quiet life. But that loyalty will be tested in a mission as dangerous as any ever undertaken-a mission to the middle reaches of Jupiter's endless atmosphere, a place where hydrogen flows as a liquid, and cyclones larger than planets rage for centuries at a time.
What lurks there is more than anyone has counted on...and stranger than anyone could possibly have imagined.
intensity,” said Krebs, “can destroy living tissue.” “Or crack this submersible like an eggshell, if they have enough power behind them,” Muzorawa said. “Happy thought,” Karlstad groused. “My point is,” Krebs said, “that those creatures would not use such a high frequency to communicate. It would hurt them.” “But they might use it as a weapon,” Karlstad said. “If they’re communicating with each other,” Muzorawa said slowly, “I would think it would be visually.” “They light up like
READY TO GO, he typed. RELEASE BOTH CAPSULES. DONE. The thrusters were close to failure now. Grant felt their pain flaming across his shoulders and down his back. The underside of the cloud deck was inching nearer, nearer. The graph on his one working screen showed that they had almost achieved orbital velocity, but if the thrusters failed while they were below the clouds or even in them, atmospheric drag would pull them down to a final, fiery plunge back into the ocean. Lightning flashed
on that screen. Karlstad turned his pallid, watery eyes to Grant. “Did you think being married would get you out of Public Service?” “Of course not!” Grant snapped. “I love my wife!” “Really?” “Besides, Public Service isn’t something to be avoided. It’s a responsibility. A privilege that goes with adulthood and citizenship, like voting.” “Really?” Karlstad repeated, dripping acid. “Aren’t you doing your Public Service?” Grant demanded. Karlstad made a derisive snort. “I’m serving out a
stop at the tunnel’s entry hatch. Sure enough, two burly security guards were standing there. And there were two more at the airlock hatch. “You two get up to the entry area,” Wo commanded. “Clear the entire section of corridor between here and the infirmary.” They hustled up the tunnel, leaving the five controllers and Dr. Wo facing the sealed airlock hatch. “I’ve got to get in there,” Buono said, pushing herself up beside Wo in his chair. “The sooner—” “You can’t go through,” the director
prepare yourself for the necessary surgery tomorrow.” It hit Grant like a thunderclap. Me? Surgery? Stunned, Grant felt his heart flip in his chest. He looked across the table at Karlstad, smirking at him now. “With your shield or on it,” Karlstad mouthed silently. SURGERY With growing nervousness, Grant smeared the depilating cream over every part of his body. They’re going to immerse me in that goo, he kept saying to himself. They’re going to drown me. It had been difficult enough to chop