An Excerpt from Suicide Seeds: Murder is a Growing Business


SUICIDE SEEDS
Murder is a Growing Business
A Biotech Company connives to distribute Suicide Seeds in West Africa.
A Suspense Thriller



A few hours had passed and Lloyd sat comfortably in Chambers' office, glad his induction was over.

“Lloyd,” began Chambers, sounding authoritative, “there are to be no cock-ups on this operation. I have here a list of all the major players you will have to contact without fail.” He passed a sheet of names across the desk. “Stick these on your laptop and make a backup. All of them are important connections and we need their support. Our ace in the pack is the government advisor, a man named Bathurst. He can swing it our way. This lot on board and we’re home and dry. I’m not going through the names with you right now, but what they handle is carefully listed. So, study it well. I’ve also included government reports and forecasts up to the present day and ten years forward. You’re going to be really busy. The new Gambian company will be called, NewCrop (The Gambia) Ltd. Now comes the important part.”
          Lloyd sat upright. “There’s more?”

“What I’m about to tell you must not leave this room. Understood?"

“Understood.” Lloyd nodded.

“Secretly, we’ve been working on a couple of new strains of Golden Rice, linked in with drought resistant properties. Development is at an advanced stage. Field trials in The Gambia would be ideal, but we all know how long these things can take. Need I say more? Steps are being taken to ensure success, and not too many questions get asked. It’s been intimated that if the terms are right, we will get the green light.” He let his last sentence hang in the air, and fixed Lloyd with a strange look.

Lloyd experienced an inner jolt. “Isn’t that illegal?”

“If the Gambians don’t mind, then I’m certain we don’t. That just leaves the question, are you up for this or not?”

Lloyd hardly heard himself saying, “I can do it. You know that, or you wouldn’t be talking to me the way you have. Whatever deals you arrange with the government is your business. Provided it doesn’t cut across my daily sales performance and I’m kept informed, I’m your man.”

Chambers smiled and Lloyd noticed the beads of perspiration on his top lip, and the unmistakable reek of garlic and cognac floating across the desk. Chambers had had a good lunch.

Opening a desk drawer, Chambers produced two thick spiral bound dossiers, both marked Strictly Private and Confidential

“These are for you, and elaborates what we just discussed. Field Trials are lengthy and expensive, and just as likely to be wrecked by those Greenpeace loonies. With complex genetic engineering, we’ve developed three new products, all highly drought-resistant. Also, they will assist in reducing diseases like Hepatitis B by replicating human vaccines. One will be applied to bananas. They eat a lot of those in West Africa. Another will be applied to groundnuts, which are important to Gambia’s GDP. But the jewel in our crown is about to be a new strain of rice. We call it GRX. This beats hands down all other known varieties, wherever and whatever. Gambia imports a hell of a lot of rice. Its own Faro type is far from sufficient. GRX has been developed by our Dr. Alain Flaubert. He should get a fucking Nobel prize. We have a world first, a copper-bottomed, one hundred percent reliable, resistant to everything strain. It’s the Holy Grail of biotechnology!” Chambers' fist hit the desk.

Lloyd’s eyebrows shot up. This was a breakthrough.

Chambers stood up. “Can you imagine what this will do to this company? GRX takes less than half quantity to reach the WHO’s recommended RDA, at half the cost. Get this into African bellies and vitamin deficiencies would be a thing of the past. We can charge what we want for it, and all other varieties become history. Lloyd, these people need us. We are on the verge of an African agricultural revolution. We will get very rich, very rich indeed! We would be the world leaders and patented to the hilt. We would be unstoppable!” Chambers gasped for air as his vision took hold.

Lloyd shifted uncomfortably in his seat at the unexpected tirade. Something didn’t feel right. It was all way over the top, but he had made a commitment personally and socially, and he would see it through. It was not the time for lofty moralising or conscience wracking. It was time to get on with it.

“You ready for this?” boomed Chambers, pointing a finger at Lloyd which resembled a javelin.

“More than ready,” Lloyd replied, hiding his uncertainty.

“Deal done then, Lloyd.” He thrust out his podgy hand and shook Lloyd’s with vigour.


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