In a high-security laboratory deep in the recesses of the corporate complex of the Anokil Chemical Corporation, Carl Timkin, a thirty-year-old pharmaceutical technician, hunched over his computer. Sweat beaded on his forehead and ran down his cheek. As Timkin tapped, other technicians gathered around the computer and stared at the screen as the data slowly emerged.
Ronald Beedle, Timkin’s supervisor, a graying fifty-year-old, felt his blood pressure rise as he also stared at the screen.
“That’s impossible,” he said.
Timkin muttered, “It’s a disaster of biblical proportions.”
The other technicians were too frightened to add commentary to the subject. The facts began to roll around in their minds as the evidence, the irrefutable truth, emerged on the computer screen.
Beedle asked Carrie Foster, an attractive blonde technician in her mid-twenties, “Is there any improvement in the chimpanzees?”
Foster shook her head, “All dead now…along with the lab rats.”
Beedle nodded in reluctant agreement and muttered, “Welcome to the end.”
Timkin began to interpret the data on the screen. “It’s a combination of certain carbohydrates and proteins that, in the right proportions, over time — perhaps six months to a year — triggers the disease.”
Beedle asked, “Why? I’ve never seen cancer cells multiply this fast before. What the fuck could be the ingredient that mutates the cells?”
Timkin replied resolutely, “It’s something in the Anokil.”
Beedle scanned the group of technicians who either nodded or blinked their agreement with the analysis. Anokil, the world’s most successful sugar substitute, sold under a thousand brand names and distributed to every country on Earth, was going to kill a hundred million innocent people.
Why are a bunch of people committing suicide? And, why do some acquiesce to being killed or murdered because they don’t have the courage to commit suicide?
For complex plot lovers, everything you think you know is going to happen — is completely wrong. At some point you may want to yell out to the characters that they’re going in the wrong direction.
Guess what? The suicides, murders, and the portent of mass hysteria from a worldwide pandemic, is all bullshit. (Spoiler alert!)
Everything works out great in the end for the good guys. For the bad guys and the rest of the deceased cast, not so much. But, as the hero said, “You can’t have everything. And, if you did, where would you put it all?
The second book in the Elizabeth Harvington series.