What if the DNA of Jesus Christ was discovered and cloned in another human?
What if that human was a killer?
Mysterious blood has been discovered on the remains of an ancient religious artifact. Some believe it is the blood of Christ. And experiments with specific genes from the blood have brought surprising findings. Now it's time to introduce those genes into a human.
Enter Michael Coleman: multiple killer, death-row resident . . . and, if he is willing, human guinea pig.
There are no promises. The effects may kill Coleman or completely destroy his sanity. He agrees to the experiment, with results so astonishing that the research must continuebut not in prison. Given a new identity and new employer, Kathryn Lyon, Coleman reenters society. And that's when a plot far darker than science alone could construct begins to emerge.
Blood of Heaven is a nonstop page-turner that looks deep into the heart of man, examining the nature of good and evil, flesh versus spirit, and the ever-growing controversy over genetically determined behavior.
About the Author
Bill Myers (www.Billmyers.com) is a bestselling author and award-winning writer/director whose work has won forty national and international awards. His books and videos have sold eight million copies and include The Seeing, Eli, The Voice, My Life as, Forbidden Doors, and McGee and Me. Bill Myers trabaja con los jovenes y es un escritor/director cuyos libros y peliculas han ganado cuarenta galardones nacionales e internacionales. Es el cocreador de McGee and Me, y autor de la serie Forbidden Doors, la serie My Life as..., The Seeing. Cuando no le esta hablando a personas que han experimentado lo sobrenatural, esta entrevistando a grupos de jovenes de todo el mundo o haciendo un par de peliculas. Su sitio Web es www.BillMyers.com.
Read an Excerpt
Blood of HeavenChrist's DNA Has Been Discovered ... Now It's Time to Introduce It into a Human.
By Bill Myers
ZondervanCopyright © 2003 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneYou dis me."
There was no response.
"You hear what I say? You disrespect me."
Michael Coleman didn't have to look up from his Thanksgiving meal of turkey loaf and yams to know who was talking. It was Sweeney. Big, brooding, tattoos across the back of his bald head. As a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, he had been convicted for stabbing a Jew to death during last year's Nazi rally in Omaha. He'd come onto the Row a week ago, and this was his move.
"You hear me, Cole?"
Imperceptibly, Coleman tightened the grip on his spoon. He cursed himself for not slipping a homemade shank into his waistband before coming to mess. He'd known a power play was coming; he just hadn't expected it so soon. Still, if a spoon was all he had, then a spoon would have to do. Already his senses were tightening, sharpening. The contrast between the orange yams and the green fiberglass meal tray grew vivid. The eight other men stopped eating and looked in Coleman's direction. In the sudden silence, the hum from the overhead heating duct grew to a consuming roar.
"Sit down." Coleman's command came strong. He was grateful he didn't have to clear his throat. That would have betrayed weakness, and weakness could spell death.
Sweeney shifted slightly.
Coleman finally raised his eyes. But not to Sweeney. It was to the inmate sitting across from him. A young black man, almost a boy, who'd made the mistake of hitting a white man one too many times in a bar fight. He wouldn't even have been here if he could have afforded a real lawyer. The kid quickly rose and moved out of the way so Sweeney could take his seat.
This was Coleman's gauntlet. If Sweeney obeyed, if he sat, that meant he honored Coleman's position and really did want to talk. If he didn't, then this was clearly a challenge of Coleman's authority.
Sweeney didn't move. Coleman wasn't surprised. His heart pounded-but not in fear. This was exhilaration. An exhilaration he would carefully hold in check until the perfect moment.
Again Sweeney shifted, but this time to brace himself for what was coming. "You disrespect Garcia and me."
Hector Garcia was the weakest on the Row, which made him the most vulnerable. A bomb freak, he had inadvertently killed an elderly couple who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thanks to Oklahoma City, that put him near the bottom of the prison food chain, barely above a child molester.
Sweeney had come onto the Row and immediately made Garcia his punk. No one seemed to mind, not even when he forced Garcia to shave his legs and start wearing jockey shorts dyed pink from cherry Kool-Aid. But after the boy's third or fourth beating, Coleman finally drew the line. He knew Sweeney had clout: major outside heroin connections. In fact, he'd even heard that Sweeney was supplying one or more of the baton-wielding hacks inside, which would explain why they looked the other way during Garcia's beatings.
Still, enough was enough. Maybe it was the memories of his own childhood, his own father. Coleman wasn't sure. But he had passed word down the chain of command that there would be no more beatings. And now Sweeney stood there, not only challenging his decree, but his position as well.
Coleman had several options. Talk it out, which would be read as weakness, or-well, there was really only one other choice. And by the electricity shooting through his body and the razor-sharp focusing of his senses, he knew there was no time like the present.
Sweeney didn't know what hit him. Coleman's five-foot-eleven frame was off the bench and going at him before the man could move. Deliriously out of control, adrenaline surging, Coleman was a wild man, punching and stabbing and tearing and kicking in a euphoric, overwhelming rush.
He barely noticed the hacks descending on him, pulling him off, doing their own brand of kicking and beating. Nor did he really care-although he couldn't help noticing that at least one of them was Sweeney's client. He saw Sweeney stagger back to his feet, flashing a newly acquired, toothless grin and brandishing a pair of aluminum knuckles. Coleman tried to move, but the hacks held him in place as Sweeney came at him. Apparently the man had more connections than Coleman had thought.
There was some solace that it took two guards to hold him as Sweeney did his work. But even as the punches fell and consciousness slipped away, a plan was forming in Coleman's mind. It would take more than this to oust him from power. This was child's play. An excuse for revenge. And revenge would come swiftly. It always did. For Michael Coleman, revenge was not a dish best served cold, but rather piping hot, full of rage, and in a manner they would never forget. That was Coleman's style. That was what made him great. That's why they feared him.
Dr. Philip O'Brien had a problem. His briefcase was packed with so many papers and files that it left no room for the framed picture of Beth and the kids. Now what? Here he was, CEO of the fastest growing biotech firm in the Pacific Northwest, and his brain was gridlocked over what to take and what to leave behind on a forty-eight-hour business trip. In anger and contempt over his inde-cision, he pulled the core group's "Toxicity of Epidermal Growth Factor" out of his briefcase, tossed it on his desk, and scooped up the photo.
He turned and headed out of his office toward the elevators. Tall, on the downhill side of his forties (though the gray hair made him appear closer to mid-fifties) he still had a boyish, Jimmy Stewart charm. Except for the quiet padding of his Nikes on the carpet and the occasional brush of blue jeans against his briefcase, the hallway was absolutely silent. Just as it should be. No one worked holidays at Genodyne. Except for Security, and the die-hard kids down in Research, the six-story complex would remain closed until Monday. So would the manufacturing plant a quarter mile away. That was O'Brien's style, his vision from the beginning. Happy employees make relaxed employees make imaginative employees make significant breakthroughs in genetic engineering-a theory spawned in the brain of a Berkeley biochem student back in the early eighties. But after dozens of patents and one, soon to be two, products out on the market, it was a theory that had led to a hundred seventy-five million dollars' worth of business last year alone.
Biotech companies come and go. Of the fifteen hundred or so that had started, only fourteen had actually placed a product on the market. And for good reason. With the public paranoia over genetic engineering, as well as impossible FDA guidelines and innumerable testings, it cost between one hundred and three hundred million dollars to develop a single drug. But, as Genodyne had proven, once a drug hits the market, it can become a blockbuster overnight.
O'Brien passed on the elevator and took the stairs. So why was he here? Why had he, head of this flourishing, feel-good company, rushed through Thanksgiving dinner, leaving his wife and two kids alone for the remainder of the weekend? O'Brien arrived at the next floor landing, pushed open the door, and beheld his answer.
"Glad you could make it." It was a twenty-four-year-old kid, well built, with black hair that always hung in his face, and, according to Sarah, O'Brien's twelve-year-old daughter, a major babe. "The freezer and lab equipment have already been loaded. The jet's been on the runway half an hour. Where have you been?" It was Kenneth Murkoski. Murkoski the Terrible. Murkoski the Ambitious. Murkoski the Boy Genius.
"I had some pumpkin pie to finish."
The man-child didn't smile. "Got a call from Lincoln. There was an incident on the Row."
"That's what they called it."
"Was our guy involved?"
"Big time. They said we should hold off a few days."
"I said, 'No way.'"
"Kenny ..." He saw Murkoski wince. He knew the kid hated the name, so he used it only when necessary. He'd handpicked Murkoski right out of M.I.T. almost eighteen months ago. He was the country's brightest, best, and most ambitious. He was also a showboat and publicity hound-a volatile combination, but O'Brien had decided to take the risk. Actually, he hadn't had much choice. Having to continually oversee Research and Development, Manufacturing, Administration, Sales, Marketing, and Logistics had sapped all of O'Brien's creativity. If the company was to survive, O'Brien needed a blue-skyer, some fresh blood (not to mention fresh brain cells) to run the Gene Therapy Division. In short, he needed someone who would think like O'Brien used to think back when he'd had time to think. Of course, that meant more than the usual amount of fires to put out and ruffled feathers to smooth. (Murkoski's social skills were as underdeveloped as his humility.) It also meant losing control of more and more of the details-details that O'Brien occasionally felt Murkoski deliberately hid from him. Still, despite the risks and frustrations, the kid was worth it. Even now.
"You sure we're not pushing too hard?" O'Brien asked. "What did they say?"
"What could they say? They're not playing around with some 'B' league biotech firm anymore. We've got the whole Mom-and-apple-pie U.S. government on our side."
"But if they suggest we wait, what's the hurry?"
Murkoski scowled but was interrupted by the ringing of a phone. He reached into his Italian linen sports coat and pulled out the cellular as he answered O'Brien's question. "By the time we get there, things will settle down. The truth is, it will probably make him more willing to play ball with us." He turned and spoke into the phone with a demanding, "Yeah?" The expression on his face shifted, and he turned to walk away. "So what are you saying?" he asked, lowering his voice. It was obvious the kid wanted some privacy, and O'Brien was happy to oblige. Besides, he wanted to check in on Freddy before they left. So as Murkoski continued his conversation, O'Brien headed down the hall.
A biotech company landing a government contract in gene therapy research was unheard of. So was the amount of money they were throwing around. But this was big. Very big. And, in less than a year, the results had proven staggering. No wonder Murkoski kept pushing. It wasn't because of competition-who was there to compete with? It was simply impatience. What they had uncovered, when it was finally developed and ready for the public, would quite literally change the world.
Excerpted from Blood of Heaven by Bill Myers Copyright © 2003 by Zondervan
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Table of Contents
What People are Saying About This
Now this is innovative. Bill Myers has played a great game of "What if?" -- creating a compelling story of grace triumphing over judgement and Christ's sinless nature displacing a man's depravity. A bold new twist on an age-old theme, Blood of Heaven is an enjoyable and provocative read. I wish I'd thought of it!
With the chill of a Robin Cook techno-thriller and the spiritual death of a C. S. Lewis allegory, this book is a fast-paced, action packed parable for the 90s.