Unfortunately, at times reality mirrors fiction. As the story of the Ebola crisis develops in the news, I went back to the scene in my thriller, The Riviera Contract, published in year 2013. Hayden Stone’s companion CIA case officer Sandra Harrington tells him that the terrorists intend to spread the Ebola virus throughout major US cities. You may find the following excerpt interesting if not unnerving:
Stone recalled images of the village of Mnemdo, on the border of Sudan and the Congo. Three years before. His team hadn’t needed map coordinates to find the sad collection of huts; they’d just headed toward the circling vultures. He remembered standing in the center of the village and feeling the eerie silence broken only by the scavengers arguing over the corpses scattered on the hard-baked ground. The three CIA technicians, one still barely alive, lay in a low-hanging thatched hut. Blood flowed from all their orifices: even, it seemed, from the sockets of their eyes. Before the last man died, they watched him go through mental and physical convulsions. He had pleaded for them to shoot him. Instead, they’d waited for him to die, and then burned the village and all the bodies.
“I understand it’s bad shit. No cure, right?” Sandra asked.
“So far, no. In Africa, some say it’s bad Juju. Even the scientists don’t know where it originates, only that if a person touches or eats a piece of contaminated bush meat, say a chimp, they can catch the virus.”
“What are the chances they’ll spill some of it?” Sandra said, more to herself. “Best for the French to wait for those biohazard people.”
“Handling Ebola is tricky. All research is done in a maximum biological containment setup known as Biosafety Level Four.”
She studied him. “You know a lot about it.”
“I was exposed to it, so I learned all I could.” Stone thought for a moment. “The way I see it, Hassan plans to ship the virus to the States and then spread it. God knows how. Can you imagine the number of deaths? Horrible deaths?