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.It was certainly unfair to want to snarl at Roarke.So she snatched trousers out of the closet and jammed her legs in."Okay, I'm going to try to look at this as a good thing.I won't get any runaround or a bunch of company bullshit when I need information.But damn it." She yanked the trousers over her hips and snarled at him anyway."Do you have to own everything?"He considered a moment."Yes," he said and smiled beautifully."But that's really a different matter.Now I want some breakfast."He ordered them both a plate of high-protein waffles, some fresh seasonal fruit, and more coffee.When he settled back into his chair, Eve was still standing.Still scowling."Why do you have to own everything?""Because, darling Eve, I can.Drink your coffee.You won't be so cross once you do.""I'm not cross.What a stupid word that is, anyway." But she sat, picked up her cup."It's a big business, artificial organs?""Yes, NewLife also manufactures limbs as well.It's all quite profitable.Do you want financial statements?""I might," she murmured."Do you have doctors on the payroll, as consultants?""I believe so, though it's more of an engineering sort of thing." He moved his shoulders."We have an ongoing R and D department, but the basic products were refined years before I took over the company.How does NewLife fit in with your investigation?""The process for mass-producing artificial organs was developed at the Nordick Center, in Chicago.They have connections to Drake.I have bodies in both cities.I've got another in Paris, and I need to see if there's another health center that connects to these two.NewLife was the product Westley Friend endorsed specifically.""I don't have the information on Paris, but I can get it.Very quickly.""Did you know Dr.Westley Friend?""Only slightly.He was on the board at NewLife during the takeover, but I never had cause to deal with him otherwise.Do you suspect him?""Hard to, since he self-terminated last fall.""Ah.""Yeah, ah.From what I can gather from the data I sifted through, he headed the team that developed the process for mass-producing organs.And at the time that was implemented, the research on reconstructing human organs was cut.Maybe someone decided to start it up again, in his own way.""Hardly seems cost effective.Organ growing is time consuming and quite expensive.Reconstruction, from the little I know, is not considered viable.We can manufacture a heart at somewhere around fifty dollars.Even adding overhead and profit, it can be sold for about twice that.You add the doctor's take, the health center's cut of the operation, and still you have yourself a new heart, one guaranteed for a century, for less than a thousand.It's an excellent deal.""Cut out the manufacturer, deal with the subject's damaged organ, or a donor's, repair, reconstruct, and the medical end takes all the profit."Roarke smiled a little."Very good, Lieutenant.That's a clear view of business at work.And with that in mind, I believe you can feel safe that none of the major stockholders of NewLife would care for that scenario.""Unless it's not about money," she said."But we'll start there.I need everything you can give me on the deal you made, who was involved on both sides.I want a list of personnel, concentrating on research and development.And any and all medical consultants.""I can get you that within the hour."She opened her mouth, waged a small personal war, and lost it."I could use any underground data you can get me on Friend.His suicide seems very timely and convenient.""I'll take care of it.""Yeah, thanks.In at least two of the cases, he went after flawed organs specifically.Snooks had a messed-up heart, Spindler dinky kidneys.I'm betting we'll find it's the same deal with the other two.There has to be a reason."Thoughtfully, Roarke sipped his coffee."If he's a doctor, practicing, why not confiscate damaged organs that are removed during a legitimate procedure?""I don't know." And it irritated her that her brain had been too mushy the night before to see that chink in her theory."I don't know how it works, but there'd have to be records, donor or next of kin permission, and the medical facility would have to endorse his experiments or research or whatever."She drummed her fingers on her knee a moment."You're on the board, right? What's Drake's policy on -- what would you call it? High-risk or maybe radical experimentation?""It has a first-class research department and a very conservative policy.It would take a great deal of paperwork, debate, theorizing, justification -- and that's before the lawyers come in to wrangle around, and the public relations people get into how to spin the program to the media.""So it's complicated.""Oh." He smiled at her over the rim of his cup."What isn't when it's run by committee? Politics, Eve, slows down even the slickest wheel.""Maybe he got turned down at some point -- or knows he would -- so he's doing it on his own first." She pushed her plate away and rose."I've got to get going.""We have the Drake fundraiser tonight."Her eyes went grim."I didn't forget.""No, I see that." He took her hand, tugging her down for a kiss."I'll be in touch."He sipped his coffee as she left and knew this was one time she would be on time for a social event.For her, for both of them now, it was business.CHAPTER EIGHTAs her plans had been to dive straight into work, Eve wasn't pleased to see IAB waiting in her office.She wouldn't have been pleased in any case."Get out of my chair, Webster."He kept his seat, turned his head, and flashed her a smile [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]