Infinite Exposure – Pt. 36

Infinite Exposure cover

A panel van arrived at the second camp late in the afternoon. Both the special security team and the lab technician team had arrived earlier. Special security escorted the van to a special pilot plant building at the back of the campus. There were no windows in this building and it had special sound-absorbing insulation inside.

The two occupants in the back had recently been released from the interrogation camp and now were to be disposed of. The foreign interrogators believed the subjects were going to be sent to an isolated prison where no records would be kept. What they thought didn’t really matter. In a few hours, there would be no evidence these men ever existed.

Nikolaus was somewhat saddened that both were men. He had hoped to get the place fully operational, but they needed female subjects for that to happen. There would be little profit in the disposal of these two, but he would see how the team functioned. As a trial run, two was an adequate number. The security team would remain outside of the building making sure nobody entered until the products were created and the bodies taken to the incinerator; he was not worried about them. He was worried about the lab technicians. They had the dirty work and might not be up for it.

In the 1960s researchers first discovered that bone marrow contains at least two kinds of stem cells. One population, called hematopoietic stem cells, form all types of blood cells in the body. Years later they also discovered bone marrow stromal cells, which generate bone, cartilage, fat, and fibrous connective tissue. While the press was all blushing with news about stem-cell research, most were focusing on embryonic stem cells. There was a thriving black market for the other stem cells, and complete bone marrow itself. Some diseases could be cured only with a bone marrow transplant.

The blood type and DNA of these two had been documented when they were received at the interrogation camp. There had been plenty of time to find very wealthy people who needed both, and could use what these two had to offer. Tonight two of them would have donor material air lifted to their hospitals. All of the bone marrow would be removed from these two men, once the saline pump had replaced all of their blood with saline solution. Their blood was to be harvested and sold on the blood market as well. At some point the men would expire. Once everything had been harvested, they would be incinerated. It was a shame no wealthy customers could use the other internal organs. Black market hearts were worth twice their weight in gold. Liver and kidneys sold well normally, but the blood tests had to match.

Nikolaus needed to see how the lab techs handled this. If any of them wavered, the special security unit would have to put them down and incinerate their bodies. The team was too new to be asked to harvest one of their own. Many of the techs were loyal party members who had been groomed for exactly this task since birth. They were taught the party philosophy before they even went to school. Once they were in high school and interested in medicine, they were all made an offer. College would be a free ride, but you had to pass and work for the party. Technically, they didn’t have to graduate. They had to know their way around a body, but they didn’t need any skill at saving lives.

Two separate options were available to women prisoners if their ovaries were still working. They would be allowed to live in the special, highly secured dorm, fertilized every other month and have an abortion on the following month, until they stopped producing eggs. This option was available only to the ones who cooperated. Those who didn’t cooperate would simply have their ovaries harvested while blood and bone marrow were being harvested. The lab techs would fertilize as many eggs as they could from the ovaries, then harvest the stem cells. Nikolaus left it up to the technicians as to how the fertilization was to occur. Parentage didn’t matter in this endeavor.

One thing was still nagging at Nikolaus. These two men had been found as a result of the post-September 11 investigations. Their email had led to Nedim. Reporters had been sniffing around in various countries trying to get leads on investigations or clandestine efforts to hunt down al-Qaeda. They had lost the scent of these two long ago. All records of their having been followed, arrested, or questioned had been purged completelyso completely it was no longer even on off-site backup media. What was bothering Nikolaus was an email from Hans telling him reporters were sniffing around in Pakistan and seemed to believe some clandestine operation had a mole handling email for al-Qaeda. Nikolaus had left the handling of it up to Hans and the man in the suit; they could kill the reporters or let it play out. If they killed the reporters, it needed to look like al-Qaeda did it.
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