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DescriptionI am the destroyer. It is the will of Allah. Vengeance will be mine...
Vincent Petersen, a high-ranking executive for international biotech organization engaged in research and production of genetically modified crops, is assigned to West Africa to spearhead a new operation in The Gambia. But instead of bringing better crops to starving nations, Agri-Vest is engaged in something far darker, and Vincent finds himself embroiled in an international web of corruption, murder, and terror. Agri-Vest's product? A secret, non-reproductive seed of rice called GRX. A seed that will destroy all other rice on the continent and assure Agri-Vest's dominance. A seed that could destroy much more than just the competition. A terminator seed...
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He was twenty yards from her when a scimitar flash of yellow-orange light cut through his eyesight.
He couldn’t reach her.
The exploding turbulence added more despair to his reeling sense of consciousness.
A cascading fireball rose, hurling debris and body parts into the sky. He attempted to fight for control, but with mounting horror he knew she was beyond help. He tried reaching her, his arms raised high against the scorching heat. He fell to his knees. There was nothing he could do for the twisted blackened shape that had been his mother. Orange flames flickered, burning out to a crackle, spitting out malicious sparks like tracer shells into the agonized darkness.
Senses closed down and he knew she was gone.
Screaming, he dragged himself upward while staring at the smoldering remains. Pain locked around his mind and body. He would never forget that pain.
A new emotion scoured through him…vengeance. They were responsible. They were the collaborators and sons of colonialists who raped the land, stole resources, and made killing machines and guns. They got richer and his people got poorer. They would pay.
He would wait for as long as necessary. His mission had begun.
* * *
An arid harmattan wind swept over the ocean, scattering and cutting across the yellow beach. Above it, on pockets of air heated by an unforgiving sun, flew the only black cloud, a squadron of vultures.
The she-dog lay tightly cocooned, fitting precisely into the sand hole she had dug earlier, allowing its damp texture to cool her from the heat of the sun. Hidden behind her, unseen, asleep, was her only surviving pup.
Soon the sea would wash away her shelter as it always had.
The man wearing mirrored sunglasses advanced close to her. As he drew nearer, he tightened his grip on the heavy wooden club.
Vincent Petersen ignored his calls, letting them go to voice mail. He disregarded the stream of encrypted analytical data spewing from his computer. Pausing, he swiveled around in his blue leather chair, not caring for the views across the River Test. He was instead intrigued why Charles Collins, his chairman and CEO, wanted to see him immediately.
Vincent strode briskly into Collins’s office.
“Good to see you Vincent, have a seat.” Collins waved at a chair next to his desk. He leaned forward toward Vincent, who couldn’t help noticing how large Collins had grown around the waist.
Collins patted the desktop. “Like my new desk, Vincent? It’s made of Vitra Baobob and I thought it would be good for the company’s image of Third World commitment. Anyway, I won’t beat about the bush. We have a proposition for you.”
“I’m listening.” Vincent’s heart raced with the rush of adrenaline through his veins.
“What I’m about to tell you is in strictest confidence.”
“We’ve recently established a major tie-up with certain elements close to a West African government, which will facilitate a rapid expansion in our genetically modified crop development program. It will be a shining opportunity for Agri-Vest and also for the country concerned. It will remove any potential food shortages and there will be no repeat of the Zambian disaster of 2003. If you remember, they stopped importing genetically modified products, and the population virtually died of famine. What with water shortages all over Africa, plus climate change, other governments are sitting up and taking note. The people we have been dealing with will be making a government announcement shortly to muster support from farmers and agriculturalists across the country. This exercise has not come cheaply, as you may imagine. If we get the support we expect, we will see a massive rise in our share price, sending it into orbit.”
Vincent steepled his fingers. “That’s intriguing.”
“Initially the Board and I remained silent about this, but that won’t last much longer. That’s why I’m talking to you.”
Vincent remained impassive.
“The operation is due to commence in the next couple of months. There isn’t much about this business you don’t understand, and that’s why we want you to head it up.” He grinned with amusement, staring hard into Vincent’s eyes. “I don’t expect an immediate answer, but seventy-two hours would be OK. The operation will be based in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia. All expenses and accommodation will be taken care of. We are also sending out a small team of junior- and middle-management people to assist you.”
“Wow.” Vincent felt his heart pound. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Don’t say anything, because there’s something else I need to tell you.” Collins looked conspiratorially left and right, then leaned closer and let his voice drop to a whisper. His pudgy pink fingers tapped the shiny desktop. “As you know, I’m due to retire in the next couple of years or so, and we’re actively looking for my replacement. If this goes well, I’m recommending you for the job.”
The Terminator SeedBy: Ken Fry