The Paperback Is Out -- Winter in San Diego
Quick Book Update
If you were waiting for the paperback version of Selected, it's available on Amazon, you can get it here
For those that have read the book, I am eternally grateful, and I hope you enjoyed it. The next one will be even better, I promise. When you have some spare time, please leave a review on Amazon. It's the best way to help other readers find the book.
This was a bit of a lazy week in terms of reading and writing. Have no fear, all is well at the Catranch. Rich and Pam have been enjoying the relatively cool weather and lounging by the fireplace.
In lieu of going through he motions on the traditional reading, writing, and life sections, below is a preview chapter of the sequel to Selected. Don't worry there are no spoilers, this chapter is likely going to get left on the cutting room floor. I wrote it to get a better feel for what will propel the storyline of the sequel. Enjoy.
Preview Chapter - Mr. Anderson and General LeMae
Mr. Anderson strolled through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on a sunny Friday afternoon. He walked into the Shakespeare Garden section of the park and took the time to admire the green grass and chirping birds. Fifty yards in front of him he spotted the man he knew as Mr. White sitting on a park bench. Mr. White’s real name is Brad Turner, the brother of the President of the United States, Susan Turner.
Mr. Anderson sat down on the bench next to Mr. White and asked, “What did you find out about General LeMae?”
Mr. White raised his eyebrows, “you could have at least attempted to make some small talk about the weather.” He paused, Mr. Anderson continued his cold stare.
Mr. White continued, “Alrighty then. As you suggested, I started by scanning his cabin in Idaho. I found a flash drive with what appears to be research on you and Pacific International’s contracts with the United States government and foreign countries.”
Mr. Anderson interrupted, “What kind of research are we talking about?”
Mr. White shrugged his shoulders, “It’s laid out chronologically, each year is organized in it’s own folder. The folders start the year you resigned your commission from Army. The documents span from the time of your son’s death in Afghanistan and go all the way through your rise to CEO at Pacific International. The last document is dated six months ago.”
Mr. Anderson stared down at the green grass for a moment and let the silence linger.
He turned his attention back to Mr. White, “What specifically is in the documents?”
“Mostly it contains copies of Pacific International’s government contracts. Also there are copies of contracts from every company Pacific International has done businesses with in the past.”
Mr. Anderson pursed his lips and nodded, “Do you have the flash drive?”
“I do. But I haven’t got to the most interesting part yet. There is a network diagram showing the relationships between Pacific International, the United States, foreign countries, and all corporations Pacific International has done business with in the past.” Mr. White paused before continuing, “There are also scanned copies of handwritten notes from General LeMae. Based on the notes it doesn’t appear he has drawn any conclusions but he is circling around the idea of collusion between Pacific International, the United States and several foreign governments.”
“Anything else I need to know?”, asked Mr. Anderson.
“Yes. After General LeMae met with you at your house, he went directly to the White House. I don’t know what happened in the White House but he left that evening in the Presidential motorcade.”
Mr. Anderson tapped his finger on the bench, “Good work.”
“That’s all I have for now,” Mr. White handed the flash drive to Mr. Anderson. “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but General LeMae certainly has more copies of this data.”
Mr. Anderson folded his hands on his lap and stared out into the park. “General LeMae needs to be eliminated. Do you want the job?”
Mr. White took a moment before answering.
“What’s the time frame?”
“As soon as possible.”
“I need three weeks.”
“Why? You’ve had him under surveillance for the last two months. You can’t tell me you didn’t see this coming.”
“He’s a four star General, not exactly an easy target.”
“Fine. And I need all copies of those files destroyed.”
Mr. Anderson abruptly stood up and walked away.
Mr. Anderson began to sweat as he walked through the park on the way back to his car. In he car he dialed the Chief Scientist for The Enlightenment Project. While the phone rang, he cursed the Bay Area traffic, chauffeur service was not an option for this trip. Mr. Anderson was the only person not involved in the experiments that knew the location of the laboratory. Keeping it that way was essential to the success of the project and the future of the human race.
The speaker inside the car came alive, “This is Dr. Fielding.”
“Dr. Fielding, this is Mr. Anderson, I will be at the lab in forty five minutes. Please be ready to share the current status of the experiment. I’m especially interested in the progress on the antidote.”
“Yes sir. I’ll have a summary prepared to discuss upon your arrival.”
“Thank you Dr. Fielding,” Mr. Anderson ended the call.
Mr. Anderson parked outside of an unmarked gray building in the Industrial District on the East Side of Oakland. He walked to the side of the building, scanned his badge and entered the building. The hallway was wide with cream colored walls and fluorescent lights. The hallway had the creepy feeling of the waiting room in a doctor’s office.
Mr. Anderson continued walking, he heard the metallic clunk of a deadbolt unlocking. Dr. Fielding stepped into the hallway.
“Mr. Anderson, thank you for visiting the research center.” He motioned with his right arm towards the open doorway, “please follow me.”
Mr. Anderson followed Dr. Fielding into a medium sized conference room with no windows. The main table at the center of the room had twelve chairs and a television screen on the wall at the far end of the room. Dr. Fielding projected his laptop onto the screen.
“Please have a seat, can I get you anything? Coffee, water?”, asked Dr. Fielding.
“No thank you.”
“Alright, then I’ll get started with the presentation.”
Mr. Anderson raised his hand, “Dr. Fielding, I appreciate you putting together a presentation for me, but I’d rather hear the progress from you. Do you mind just giving me an informal update without the slides?”
Dr. Fielding stuttered, “Ummm … yes sir … I … I can do that.”
Mr. Anderson smiled, “Thank you.” He looked Dr. Fielding in the eye, “Dr. Fielding, there’s no reason to be nervous. We’re all friends here.” He paused, “So, how have things been going?”
Dr. Fielding took a deep breath and exhaled. “Well, things have actually been going very well. As you remember from our last update we have moved on from children to adult subjects. We were able to replicate the success with children on adults. The only difference is that adults need to be exposed to the materials more frequently to maintain effectiveness over time.”
Mr. Anderson smiled, “What about the antidote?”
Dr. Fielding sighed, “There are some complications. Based on our initial round of testing, the antidote does not appear to be effective on approximately ten percent of the population.”
Mr. Anderson interrupted, “But to be clear, you were able to create an antidote?”
Dr. Fielding nodded, “Ohh yes. The antidote has proven effective. The patients that do not respond to the antidote all have the same genetic markers.”
“So … in theory you could know in advance whether or not the antidote would be effective on a specific person?”
“Yes. The test is quite simple, we just need a sample of their DNA.”
“When will the materials be ready for widespread distribution to the public?”
Dr. Fielding slightly pulled back in his chair, “we’re still having same problems with controlling patient’s reactions after exposure … but we’re close to solving the problem.”
Mr. Anderson nodded, “Good.” He locked eyes with Dr. Fielding. “Distribution to the public will begin in thirty days.”
“But sir … we haven’t discussed a distribution method … or if we can control reactions to the virus. What we’ve done is only an experiment.”
Mr. Anderson put his hand up. “Dr. Fielding, let me worry about those details. You agree that the work you’re doing will result in a better world for your children?”
Dr. Fielding nodded, “I do.”
Mr. Anderson stood up, “then let me worry about the details. History will remember you as a hero.”