Willomena Kemos drove her nondescript gray Ford Focus into a parking space reserved for DEA agents. Only DEA personnel at the highest levels had a reserved space with their name on it. Active and experienced field agents like Kemos, were granted an eight-by-twelve office at the central agency in Washington DC. Her current office had one side window overlooking the parking lot and at her eye level she could see the Smithsonian building. Whenever Kemos felt overwhelmed with her workload or had an extremely difficult case she would wander over to the Smithsonian and decompress her anxiety with focus on another timeframe in history. Her favorite was the historical section depicting the rise of Adolf Hitler to power as presented in major newspaper headlines from 1922 to June 1933. Hitler can happen again when evil is observed and unchecked. It always gave her further resolve in her job to move as fast as she could against illegals in the drug world whether the drugs were sanctioned pharmaceuticals or street drugs. Addictive drugs murdered millions whether legal or not. Unsafe drugs killed an equal population in a trusting innocent public.
And Kemos often dwelled on the fact that within the corporate pharmaceutical milieu was corporate sabotage. Drug companies race to be first in line for their product registration in order to gain the major share of the marketplace. The quest for power and money seemed to produce a few individuals who threw ethics, morals, and regard for the law aside. Their goal was to destroy a competitor’s product and impede another’s drug's development even if it resulted in the death and destruction of any solid citizen who stood in their way. And now she had the Legg Pharmaceutical case or rather, the Wilson Medical Products–Legg pharmaceutical case, which she had successfully relabeled to the acceptance of her superiors. There was no doubt in Kemos’ his mind that Wilson Medical Products and their Hitler–fascistic methodology had resulted in the three murders defined in her open folder.
The phone rang just as she got settled to prioritize her daily tasks. It was her partner, Atherton Quigley.
“Willomena, I'm at your door. I’m on my cell phone.” Quigley walked through Kemos’ office door without knocking with the cell phone at his ear and smiled at her. He handed her a large cup of coffee. “I saw you arrive in the parking lot–coffeeless.”
“Sit down Ath. I heard from Purity Feinberg.” She accepted the coffee with only a slight nod of gratitude.
“I’m glad we’re working with Feinberg and Trumble again. They’re almost as good a team as we are. Quigley pulled up a gray generic aluminum frame chair–the only other chair in the office–and sat down cross-legged facing her. “So has Feinberg got her foot in Wilson's door?”
“She apparently hit it off well with Mary Murphy and Wilson's current target is an antibiotic competitor, Wormwood Drug and Diagnostics.”
Quigley folded his arms. “Does Murphy have a spy at Wormwood, like she did at Legg Pharmaceuticals? I mean, like DeCarlo.”
“We think alike Ath. It's one of the reasons why I always request you as a partner–when I must have a partner.” She raised her eyebrows and sipped her coffee.
“I can’t believe my status with you is strictly as a business associate. I'm still hopeful we have something more than that going between us. You're my favorite sarcastic redhead in all the world.” He used to say similar things to his ex-wife.
“Only you can get away with saying that. Part of being your partner is I happen to enjoy your comments.” She placed her coffee cup on a cork coaster. “Lance Trumble talks just like you but him I can't stand for some reason.”
“Probably because you can’t have him like you can have me.”
“We can talk about that after hours–if there ever is an afterhours. We can expect calls from Feinberg and Trumble at any time. I expect Trumble to get hired by Wilson both on his own merits and from what Feinberg just told me, Mary Murphy expects them to work together spearheading their antibiotic NDA. Purity wants us to keep an eye on Wormwood. She feels something is going to break soon.”
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