A strain of the deadly Marburg virus has come up for sale on the black market, and the seller has showcased the wares by infecting an African village. APO has one potential lead: a researcher named Magrite whose success in treating Marburg victims may be the reason for his sudden disappearance.
Out in the field again, Agent Sydney Bristow and her father, Jack, close in on the kidnapper, but determining Magrite's location is only the first challenge in a chain of obstacles. Magrite has a dark secret that forces Sydney to confront her past, even as APO races to stop the distribution of a new and terrifying weapon.
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April 01, 2006
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Excerpt from Once Lost by J. J. Abrams
LOS ANGELES (THREE DAYS EARLIER)
Sydney was still getting used to the APO bunker. Once she cleared the long dim entrance tunnel that cast its inhabitants in unflattering shades of mustard, the stark whiteness of the new CIA black ops division's headquarters came as something of a shock to the senses, even after a month. Pure white walls surrounded the white partitions that divided the space into offices, conference rooms, and cubicles. Apart from the workstation monitors displaying a variety of maps, tactical data, and research topics, the only other glimpse of color came from the bloodred leather sofa in Arvin Sloane's office.
Forty-eight hours before, Sydney had been on a return flight from Madagascar, unable to sleep. It had been an eventful few days in Madagascarýwrecking Fenton Keene's terrorist dreams and eliminating the threat of a particularly nasty new bioweapon. Whatever Keene might have been planning to do with Ice-5, however, wasn't troubling her.
Michael Vaughn was.
They'd been back in each other's lives for four weeks, back in each other's arms almost that long. Despite her repeated protestations that she wanted to take this new phase of their relationship "slow," she seemed to be falling right back into their old pattern. The job required that they spend most of their days together. More often than not they were spending their nights together as well. It was all too easy to settle in for the evening, make a quiet dinner at home, and cuddle up together on the couch. This simple ritual was as close to normal as either of their lives ever got, and Sydney had long ago decided that she needed as much "normal" in her life as she could possibly get her hands on. Michael was as kind and considerate a man and lover as she had ever known. On the surface everything was fine.