From the Science-Fiction/Thriller Novel, Xperiment By Dan Skinner
Geoff found another video online about the young founder of RLS Pharmaceuticals. It was also from 2010, and was titled The Politics of a Boy Genius. It had been recorded at a conference on global warming in Cancun, Mexico. Geoff watched it on his phone while soaking in the tub.
Standing at a podium in front of a crowd, Robert Lindell Seuthers was dressed less formally. Still wearing the white button-down and tie, he’d discarded the jacket. He looked larger, like he’d filled out more. His hair was a bit longer and he had a five o’clock shadow that added an attractive touch of maturity to his face.
“Man’s existence on this planet is enabled by a fragile correlation between him and the elements. We co-exist with every living thing on Earth: animal, vegetable and mineral. Each holds a unique and vital purpose in the preservation of life. It’s called balance. The planet gives us nourishment, clean air to breath and fresh water to drink. We’re nothing more than caretakers of a garden. For man to remain healthy, to survive, the garden must flourish.
“In recent years we’ve lost sight of the infinitely tenuous nature of this balance upon which our very survival depends. For instance, without the honeybee to pollenate the flowering plants, whole species of vegetation will die out. The vegetation which acts as our air purifier, keeping the planet’s atmosphere breathable; the vegetation which feeds us. We now know that the honeybee population is dying out, a calamity for which man is ultimately responsible. A direct link between the bees’ dwindling numbers and the pesticides we’re using has been established. You’ve read my articles outlining my own efforts to correct this. That knowledge does nothing to curb the way many corporations and certain political organizations are continuing to behave in the name of profit and in defiance of balance. They are, for lack of a better term, raping our planet; poisoning our precious food and water supply to inflate their bottom lines. Fighting them is like taking on the proverbial bogeyman.
“The crime is that in the name of greed, these corporations and their protective political entities are marching steadfastly in a hellish procession, purposefully destroying the planet for the sake of their quarterly revenue reports. They strip our forests, churn choking gases into the air, and dump poisonous chemicals into the water. As they destroy the world… they destroy us as well. It’s no different than lining us up in front of a firing squad.”
The impassioned look on Seuthers’ face was as gripping as his words. “How are they able to get away with this? By spending fortunes brainwashing the masses into believing that to question their motives is unpatriotic and that the scientists and scholars trying to warn the world are liars. The idea of global warming leaves a bad taste in their mouths because acknowledging it would hinder their self-serving objectives. Their solution to intellectual debate is to ridicule science and the underlying facts, calling them instruments of evil in a battle against some holy
design known only to their God. It has become a dangerous theater of the absurd. Real science versus their mythological burning bush.”
Seuthers walked out from behind the podium, hands in his pockets. It was clear he wasn’t speaking from notes, but from his heart. “We’ve reached a tipping point. We watch the polar ice caps melt, causing all manner of species to lose their homes; being forced to hang precariously on the precipice of extinction; without realizing that each one of these creatures, just like the honeybee, helps maintain the balance that allows us to survive. As we continue to wipe them out, as the food chain slowly disappears beneath us, the same extinction is most assuredly creeping up toward us. We cannot continue this devastation without eventually destroying ourselves. It is inevitable.”
There was something hypnotic about Seuthers’ eyes. Every time the camera moved in on him, Geoff experienced the feeling of being drawn into them.
“We’re not talking about one grandma forgetting to put a plastic bottle in the recycle bin. We’re pointing out the existence of a fully-armed, corporate-backed, pseudo-religious, political monster wilfully and without conscience destroying the planet and humanity itself.”
He pointed directly at the camera and it felt like he was aiming squarely at Geoff as he continued, “It’s time for you… and us, to prohibit this monster its free reign. If it comes at us with teeth to devour us, we must build a bigger monster with sharper teeth to take it down. It is an unnatural force that brings with it the power of death and destruction. It must not lie wounded; we must annihilate it to return stability to our planet.”
There were videos of similar speeches by Seuthers on a variety of his other causes: equality, nuclear regulation, and gun control. The one thing they all had in common was the summation. That a corporate-backed, pseudo-religious political entity was behind real evil in the world and it had to be slain.
What stuck in Geoff’s mind was Seuthers’ repeated reference to “the stench of evil.” It brought to mind the smell of the thugs chasing Danny, the offensive aroma of his former boss and the odor of the men who ran the gun shop across from Dollar Bills. Was it conceivable… the experiment made it possible to smell… evil?
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