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The Gene PoolPrologue
Geoff Burke hung up the phone and leaned back in his chair with a grimace. This was unexplored territory. Never before had he been forced to do business this way. He’d always been able to keep it nice and clean. With no one getting hurt.

You could always argue (and Geoff Burke knew there would be plenty of sanctimonious prats who would queue overnight to make the point) that job losses, closure of public resources and the apparent squandering of council funds all resulted in people ‘getting hurt’. But until now no one had ever been physically injured. While he supposed it could be argued it was a crime, he could counter that by claiming it was victim-less.

Until now.

It was her own fault, the stupid meddling cow. She had no one to blame but herself. There was too much at stake for him to risk it all going pear-shaped just because one interfering bitch had chosen his venture as a target for her personal crusade. The last time, she’d been remarkably successful in stirring up public opinion. So successful, he had been forced to let the matter drop. Drop – but only into temporary slumber. The plan was far from dead. There was too much to gain.

Burke had had to wait ten years. Ten long years, during which all he had been able to do was dream and scheme and tread water. But now the opportunity had come back round at last. You have to learn from your mistakes. This time that damn woman would be dealt with before she got a chance to climb back onto her soapbox. Either she had to be neutralised (nice clean word that) or she had to be too busy elsewhere to interfere.

It hadn’t been an easy decision. Even a man as ambitious as Geoff Burke has some moral scruples. After all, there was a whole wide world of murk between the dodgy dealings involved in making vast sums of money and the chain of events he had just set in motion with that one phone call. But she’d left him no choice. Without her in the picture, shouting the odds, co-ordinating the campaign and digging into potentially dangerous territory, it would be a win/win situation. Heads, he won. Tails, everyone else lost.

Those no-hopers who found themselves out of a job, and the ones who depended on the council for local services because they couldn’t afford to pay for private facilities, they would all lose. But those people were already losers, without any contribution from him. He came from the same background and he’d managed to pull himself up and out. If they couldn’t do the same that was down to their own lack of ambition and imagination. If they argued their consciences would never allow them to follow his example, well more fool them. They deserved whatever they got. You make your own future in this life. And you wouldn’t get anywhere if you factored the needs of a bunch of losers into your equations.

Geoff Burke was a man who was going places. And he intended for his pockets to be full to overflowing when he got there.

So long as that woman was dealt with first.

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