Nikolaus sat in his office going over the construction specifications. He had been a member of the Reformed Nazi Party for many years and worked with the many different factions who all claimed to be the Reformed Nazi Party. His current job was a vice president position for a biotech company whose name he couldn’t even remember. He didn’t need to remember it. The name was printed everywhere. Corporations were just chess pieces to him. He had both built and crushed dozens of them.
Most of this corporation’s upper management were loyal party members. They let him do whatever he wanted because he was higher in the party than they were. To do what he did for the party, Nikolaus could never be a celebrity or public figure. His lot was to work in the shadows, making sure all of the details were taken care of. He also made sure that his signature was never on any documents relating to his current project. Signoff came from those higher in the company when he told them to sign.
The current project was the type that would make one famous if discovered — the kind of famous that gets you executed after a lengthy public trial. Nikolaus was very much aware of the risks involved. He had split the building of the thing across several different contracting companies run by loyal party members whose employees were mostly loyal party members. In truth there were only a couple of thousand loyal party members spread across the entire country. The rest were party members when the sun was shining. Still, he was impressed what only a thousand people could accomplish when they worked in secret and remained focused.
A secured facility for both research and manufacturing was how the project was presented to the board of directors to get initial funding. It had been the decision of the party that this facility should be built by a corporation with stockholders rather than just the party or a privately held company. When you spread the blame around from the beginning you reduced your chance of going to prison or being executed. This blame had already spread to the bulk of the financial institutions on America’s Wall Street.
The corporation had manufacturing and research facilities scattered around the globe. They were big suppliers of various medical products and a few patented drugs. In Wall Street’s eyes, the biotech star was once again rising.
It wasn’t a well kept secret that several black-ops contracts were being worked on by the corporation. With all of the concern about terrorists using biological or chemical agents to attack large populations, business had been booming for the lines making antidotes. Even if an attack never happened, every government had to stockpile enough for all of their citizens. Some of the products would keep only three years in storage unless the storage was kept at or below -60C.
The cost of keeping millions of doses stored at such a temperature was very prohibitive for most countries. Now the company was offering “storage provider” contracts. Countries either too poor or unwilling to spend the money up front could pay the company an annual fee in the millions of dollars range. The company promised to have on hand in storage the number of doses needed by the largest population participating in the contract. The company would airlift the doses to the country in need within four hours of being notified about the attack.
Because wind can carry a biological or chemical agent a long way, there were five separate “storage provider” contracts, also referred to as plans. Countries chose which contract they wanted to participate in. The fees for the plans were determined by the largest population participating in the plan. Each country was instructed to join a plan that didn’t have neighboring countries in it. The plans would protect only as many people as they had doses. Other plans might offer to sell some of their doses, but if they didn’t, you would have to wait for production to get scaled up cranking out the product you needed. In short, everyone was banking on al-Qaeda never getting strong enough to launch a biological agent high enough into the atmosphere to cover more than one continent.
Had the citizens of any country participating in the plans heard of this, they might have thought it ghoulish, but insurance companies play the statistics game every day. Human lives are meaningless numbers on a spreadsheet to them. They were banking on two things. The first was that al-Qaeda couldn’t pull it off. The second was if they did pull it off, everyone would be dead anyway, so no fear of being sued. Everyone that is, except the leaders who chose to join the plan instead of providing in-country storage. They built their own little freezer and hooked it to their data center UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The taxpayers paid for that little project as well — they just were never told about it.
The beauty in all of this was it allowed Nikolaus to be in charge of building a new secured facility with acres of both refrigerated and frozen storage. Because the facility would be storing a commodity which was beyond any price once an attack happened, it had to be highly secured. If you are going to build a highly secured facility, you should also put some research labs, sleeping quarters, etc. In the compound so you can do all of your government-funded or secret projects there. The dorm-like settings allowed for the building of communal showers. Last, but not least, the only way to keep your secret projects truly secret is to have a large incinerator on site as well.
Everybody on the board of directors knew this would be a location for some clandestine operations. Every one of them understood that they didn’t have clearance from the various governments involved to know what projects were going on there. They swallowed this pill because the cash influx from the “storage provider” contracts alone gave them the largest stock option bonuses they had ever had. Once the facility was fully operational, the following year’s option would be even bigger.
Nikolaus made certain some of the labs were of “pilot plant” size. It was easy justifying the creation of them since the company had routinely set up pilot plants for new drug or chemical lines working out the production kinks before adding the line to an existing factory. The board of directors didn’t know it yet, but this company was poised to become one of the largest suppliers in the world of stem-cell and whole-blood products. The profit generated by producing new stem-cell lines would be staggering.
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