When Dr. Julian Lambert receives millions in funding for his water-bottling operation deep in the Amazonian rainforest, workers and owners alike celebrate their good fortune. All except one man—Lambert’s mysterious foreman, Manolo—who whispers a grave warning: Opportunity is not the only thing money brings…
Manolo knows the price of success in this lawless part of the Peruvian jungle—a place where good intentions and noble pursuits often suffer violent deaths. He understands the news of Dr. Lambert’s windfall will spread like blood in the ocean, which can mean only one thing: Sharks are coming.
A new work of short fiction from the Derringer-nominated author of Ballistic and The God of Speed.
“Gentlemen, we are a marketer’s wet dream.”
Julian watched four venture-capitalist heads bob up and down in agreement.
“Pure Amazonian rainfall, captured directly from the forest canopy and funneled through a four-square-mile network of our lightweight, recycled plastic trays. The perfect geography of this valley, which allows all of the captured water to be fed downhill into progressively larger pipes as the network converges. A bottling plant with our patented filtration system here in the narrow basin of the valley. No pumping or energy-sucking hydraulics, which allows for the plant to be almost completely solar-powered. Raindrop-shaped bottles specifically designed to compost thirty percent faster than our competition’s packaging.”
Julian ambled around the long table, gesturing as he spoke. He felt the finish line of a day’s worth of presentations pulling him forward—which made the rainforest heat and humidity penetrating the makeshift conference room almost bearable.
“That’s just the easy part. Keep in mind, the plant employs local labor exclusively—from neighboring villages within a ten-mile radius. We pay a generous wage, and the workers are happy to help in any way, regardless of their specific role. For example, our shop foreman knows the forest terrain better than local jungle guides, and personally helps with exploring new sections for tray placement.”
He nodded to Manolo, standing in the corner, dark eyes studying their well-dressed guests.