This sequel to The Third Thaw continues to follow the lives of those who came to Planet K851b as frozen embryos raised by guardian robots.
After re-establishing human civilization, the society of New Munich has reached, roughly, the technological equivalent of 1950’s Earth.
When a rocket ship from Earth lands in the desert, the Thaws discover two frozen astronauts. One of them, Anastasia, has lost all memories of her past, including language abilities. She must re-build her mind, learning everything from scratch. In the process, Anastasia is plagued by questions about her true identity and purpose.
Meanwhile, Horst, the leader and captain of the Third Thaws, returns from an expedition paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord injury. Now the head of a pharmaceutical company in New Munich, Horst desperately seeks a way to repair his spine, using advanced robotic capabilities.
Joining these two interwoven stories is Chet Gurke, a successful businessman and now the first news announcer at New Munich’s fledging television station. Chet has a passion for wanting all the newest and shiniest things…including the beautiful Anastasia.
Despite Anastasia’s lack of interest, Chet will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including revenge on Horst.
Charles Timoshenko felt uncomfortable sitting inside the church; the wooden pews made his back ache, and this church – this cathedral – was so much bigger than St. Nick’s. The Washington National Cathedral, a massive neo-gothic structure rising 301 feet with a nine-bay nave, dwarfed Old St. Nicholas, the Ukrainian Catholic church he had attended in Chicago.
As a kid, Charles had practically lived at St Nicholas where he had spent five days a week at parochial school, Saturdays at Ukrainian school, and Sundays at church as an altar boy. Not surprisingly, he had been devastated when his parents decided to leave the parish in 1967, just because the church had switched to the “new” Gregorian calendar.
How many baptisms had he been to in his life? Hundreds? Thousands? But today’s “blessed event” wasn’t exactly a baptism – or was it?
At the request of the President of the United States, Charles and his family had flown to Washington, D.C. for the “frozen embryo blessing” at the Episcopal Washington National Cathedral. It was a Tuesday, a middle-of-the-week day chosen to avoid the normal parishioners. This ceremony was not for the public; it was being held under the tightest security, and guests were sworn to utmost secrecy. If news got out to the public, there would be anarchy!
Only the previous month, in August, Charles had turned seventy years old. It was his personal target date for retirement as a structural engineer. His wife, Elise, was seven years younger. She was still “into” her job, although, lately, she had become less enthusiastic because of her meager raise. She said she would work for only another three years.
But the sad truth was that even if they were both to immediately retire, they would have only four years of retirement - tops .
Already translated. Translated by Tomas Ibarra Cervantes