a novel about medicine and morality

GUNSHOTS STARTLED SAM, who’d been stuck all night in an unbearably hot, cramped attic space above the production floor. The short burst of automatic fire wasn’t unexpected and he knew from experience what it sounded and felt like, but the percussion shakes a man’s bones no matter how often he’s heard it. Sam didn’t notice any return fire, and hoped that was good news. Maybe what he just heard had been warning shots immediately heeded by whoever had illegally entered the facility.

What about return fire from security officers?

Everything might be okay or it could just as easily become the worst scenario he’d been paid to prevent. Perhaps nobody remained alive to return fire.

Sam crouched on a box, listening intently. From the catwalk he’d chosen to do his surveillance, he could see through the edges of the light fixtures into the rooms below, where throughout the night a technician occasionally checked the many rows of growing cannabis plants. It wasn’t the perfect vantage point because he couldn’t see the vault or entrance doors, but since the attic was situated above a small portion of the facility it was the best he could do without anyone knowing he was there.

The temperature required for the plants to thrive along with the summer heat had made the waiting exceedingly unpleasant, but with what was at stake, Sam did not mind.

Suddenly, he heard shouting from multiple voices coming from an adjacent room. He couldn’t hear what was being said, but he knew that it must be related to why he’d been there all night, staking out a mystery. He had to move immediately and join the fray.

As Sam stood up he nearly fell back down. Between the endless hours sitting still and the sudden rush of blood flowing to his rapidly beating heart, his legs were so wobbly they felt like the Play-Doh his kids played with at home. After steadying himself, he rubbed his eyes, now burning from the beads of sweat dripping down his forehead.

He heard more shouts and screaming, but at least there was no more gunfire. He ran across the catwalk and out a door to the mezzanine, then stumbled down a metal stairwell to the loading dock below. All of his preparation was finally about to pay off. Sam knew exactly what he had to do.