According to Reginald’s diary, he had been working on a top secret program called ‘Project Prometheus’. Further confirming Harry’s worst suspicions; it was commissioned by the U.S. military biological warfare division. That fact pretty much destroyed the company’s public pretense of conducting benign research on vegetables.
Gruber confessed that he objected to the inhumane, unethical research he was being forced to do, but his protests fell upon deaf ears. The military wanted DNAtech to develop a genetically engineered weapon that could be used to contaminate enemy food supplies with. Harry read Mr. Gruber’s frightening entry with a shudder:
“The deadly parasitic ‘Prometheus’ enzyme (dubbed after the Greek myth about the character who disobeyed the gods and gave fire to humans) works on a microscopic level. It replaces the enzymes in the digestive system and completely takes over the breakdown of nutrients. Any being that ingests the destructive microbe will essentially starve to death. (That is; despite having a voracious appetite and consuming mass quantities of food.) Just like any other parasite, the ‘Prometheus’ weapon completely neutralizes all consumed food and the energy it produces for the consumer. A terrible, insatiable ‘fire in the belly’ slowly drives the person to madness as they starve to death.”
He felt sick to his stomach. It was no wonder DNAtech was so anxious to keep their monstrous research a secret! It clearly violated international laws forbidding biological warfare and experimentation. The Government was behind the illegal research and would probably do just about anything to keep a lid on it! Maybe Reginald Gruber threatened to expose their research and they ‘snuffed him out’ to keep him quiet!
Harry closed the shades and phoned Dave from his mobile; while trying to suppress the quavering in his voice. He realized how paranoid he was acting but for once, it was completely justified. He suggested they grab a bite to eat at a secluded diner. Dave could tell there was something wrong but wisely avoided mentioning it over the air.
Harry used a very indirect route to the diner to make sure he wasn’t being tailed. At one point a dark sedan seemed to be following but it turned off and pulled into a gated driveway. He met his partner and led him away from the other tables. At first Dave was skeptical, but after hearing the disturbing details of Gruber’s biological engineering project, he was convinced.
“Jeez Harry! What should we do? This is the kind of conspiracy shit that could get us killed! What ARE we gonna do?”; Dave declared. The wild look in his eyes didn’t help them avoid attention.
“I think we need to leak it to the press. Only from them can we hope to get the word out. Once it is spilled; we will be safe. Until then, we have to watch our backs.”
“I know a reporter at the paper!”; Dave offered.
“The town newspaper? No, we need worldwide coverage for this story. They could easily cover it up locally. Come to think of it, I don’t remember reading about Gruber in the obituary news column. They must have already suppressed his death announcement. I’ll call someone from ‘USA Today’ from my cell phone on the way home.”