As a young girl, Portia Oakeshott dreamed of being a dinosaur veterinarian, caring for the reconstructed Australian dinosaurs roaming the preserve near the south pole of her home planet, New New South Wales.
Today, the company’s mission to deploy a new breed of Kunbarrasaur runs into religious fanatics protesting the restoration of extinct species.
Fanatics capable of sabotage.
Can Portia face down the fanatics’ leader, or will the opposition triumph?
Sample of “Kunbarra and the Whiteants”
The White Witch of Bendugu
The guards came for Meredith Doppler around ten in the morning. They led her from her bungalow, and she wondered if she was being marched to her death. The prospect didn’t bother her. Not that she wanted to die, but she had resigned herself to the possibility since the last plane took off for Liberia. She looked up at the clinic, bullet holes in its concrete block walls, its windows dark. A cold, dusty wind blew from the north, into her face. The flag of the Sierra Leone Liberation Front, checkerboard corners of blue and green separated by a white cross, hung from the pole in front.
They led her to the east entrance and down the corridor on the first floor. Meredith saw the impending irony as the guards led her into the office suite. Two more guards and a rebel captain stood in front of the door to her office. Former office. Her escort surrendered her, and one of the new guards roughly frisked her while the other stared. The captain opened the door, grabbed Meredith around the upper arm and led her in.
“Sir, I have brought the white witch.”
Caulker sat behind the desk. Meredith recognized him from the SLLF’s homepage. The rebel leader wore clean, pressed fatigues; he had to look sharp for the stories aired by The 700 Club. In his Oxbridge accent, Caulker said, “Thank you, Captain. Dismissed.”
“She is no threat. Dismissed.” The captain backed out and shut the door. “Please be seated.”
“Thank you, General Caulker.” She sat facing the desk. A glance out the window showed a CNN satellite feed truck and a Christian Coalition observer’s jeep parked outside the compound’s gate.
Caulker flipped open a file folder. “First, for the record, you are Dr. Meredith Doppler?”
“You earned an M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Southwestern in ’14? Your thesis was on the elucidation of genetic pathways in brain development?”
“And you are the director of this establishment?”
“I run the clinic, yes.” Ran the clinic. Her stomach felt hollow, that her decades here were now in vain. At least she had a chance to persuade Caulker to keep her work alive.
Caulker cleared his throat. “Our intelligence has long known of the mysterious compound at Bendugu. We first thought it was merely a works project to enrich President Kamara’s home village. But as our army pushed further into the hills, the villagers we liberated told strange stories about women in Bendugu fertilized in a hospital with armed guards. Needless to say, this struck us as odd. Why did Bendugu have fertility problems? How many hospitals need to be ringed with razor wire? We hypothesized, but nothing we imagined resembled what my men discovered yesterday. Those youths with malformed heads are clones, are they not?”
“I was at Cambridge during the furor over the first successful human cloning–that was ’17?”