The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 20 -

But Lord De Clare was no simple-minded corporate raider,
obsessed with the amassing of power to feed a maniacal ego.
The rumors were, Lord De Clare was a "seeker" in a much
greater game of hide and seek, and I didn't like the idea of
him seeking me.

"Jerusalem was rocked today as suicide bombers struck the
city causing hundreds of casualties. Callers representing
the Holy Jihad movement claimed responsibility saying `the
day of judgement is at hand.'"

The screams of victims swirled from the overhead speakers
like shrieking ghosts as I entered the sterile glass and
steel office of the "thirty something" Rick Kendall.

He seemed older to me now. Not just in years either, but
in manner. Gone was the brashness and the bravado. The job
had turned him prematurely gray and the crisp lines of his
expensive Italian suit only made him look wrinkled and

As I walked to his desk I scanned the monitors that
filled his office with economic chaos, starvation and
general havoc. "Is this what you do?" I asked. "If I had to
look at this all day I'd be under the desk, not at it."

"Somebody has to maintain the outposts of civilization,"
Rick answered, still distracted as he ran one hand through
his hair while the other nervously punched the buttons of
the black telephone on his desk.

"Benny. Did you see any missiles?" He said frantically as
the voice at the other end of the phone struggled vainly to
explain. "Then look closer. Look for the launchers, or the
technicians, or the technicians' wives for god's sake.
You've been to China. You know what they look like. They
stick out."