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(page 7, continued)

The damned fool. No wonder he hid it from me.

Stifling her outrage, she spoke to him soothingly, squeezing his hand, feeling it grow warmer. He remained unresponsive—though he groaned when the woman removed the tubes from the vessel in his groin. And again when she closed the incision with a few stitches. Angela found the intimacy of the procedure repugnant.

“Who’s in charge here?”

The older man dropped his surgical mask. He had an intelligent bearing. Average height; gray, bushy hair and beard; fair complexion; eyes dark and close-set.

“Dr. Emil Josten,” he said, “formerly of the Kharkov Institute for Cryobiological Studies. These are my colleagues, Dr. Yvette Garonne, Université Pierre et Marie Curie. And Dr. Luc Dow Hodaka, Universität Würzburg. We specialize in the science of suspended animation.”

Angela felt a flush of anger. “You call this science? Experimenting with a man’s life? This is criminal! This is, is—Mengelean.”

Josten remained calm. “I assure you, our work is perfectly legal here.”

“And that makes it right? What about brain damage? What about Ian’s mind?” 

“Ze risks not so great,” Garonne said. Angela turned to see her scribing figures on a chart. “Even outside ze lab, sometime people survive death forty minute, no complication.”

Josten added, “Frigid-water drownings, for example. We’ve simply taken a natural occurrence and refined it. Improved the odds.”

“Much improve,” Hodaka said, gesturing to the array of equipment and pharmaceuticals. “Thanks to Meester Baringer.”

Angela was no less appalled.

“How many times has he done this?”