A Congo Conspiracy
Humanitarian aid for Dekese came from all over the world and in many shapes. Water, food, clothes and medical supply. Nobody thought twice about distributing his unclaimed luggage containing what appeared to be ordinary sandwiches. “AS-SFTPA2 will be a game changer if it held up in humans”, the boss told him. He didn’t care if his boss made billions, for as long he was paid his share.
When little Diana died in her hands, trace amounts of blueish mucosa had stained her shoulder. The last few coughs of the 6-month-old must have brought them there. Right then, young Kisakye vowed to find out what happened.
“War is a hydra with many ugly faces. Terror, violence, suffering, death.” Dr. Kisakye Eriyo had to pause for a second, agonizing memories burned behind her eyewalls. Forcefully, she held back tears, she must be professional now.
She had encountered the beast too many times to not know its true master, profit.
Wars are not started on battlefields, but in boardrooms. And the murderers do not wear blood-stained uniforms, but custom-tailored suits so expensive they come with their own Swiss lawyers.
“Dr. Eriyo?” the judge inquired.
“One of those faces is not often talked about; deception”, she continued. “Nobody is looking for a murderer in a warzone. Especially if they present themselves as saviors in disguise, as Mr. Severin Soriote.”
“Objection, your honor” One of the suit attachments cut her off.
“Overruled” The judge had received her technical report beforehand, so did the jurors. The testimony is more for emphasis than novelty.
“Dekese’s people have been suffering conflict for years, epidemics all too common in Congo. When they first investigated the returning Ugandan soldiers, they feared the symptoms pointed to Ebola. Fever, diarrhea, muscular pain, followed by swelling headaches, confusion, external bleeding.”
Dr. Kisakye Eriyo held up photos of bedridden men, some closer to death than life.
“Uncharacteristically for Ebola, only about 10% of adult men died. However, that number was 100% for newborn babies.”
She allowed herself a single tear. Next, she held up pictures of around half-a-dozen dead babies, with a magnification to blue-stained tissues next to them.
“The difference in survival depends on the development of the immune system, which is still incomplete in newborns”, she explained. “In medical school, we learned that infected mucosa presents itself with either yellow or greenish for bacterial or viral infections, or even red to black by oxidized blood residue. Yet the newborn’s mucosa was blue, I’ll never forget that.
Blue does not happen naturally.
Yet blue happens in biotech, by proteins introduced in bacteria to overexpress certain genes. Blue as quality control that the gene cargo was successfully delivered, so to say.”
She held up laboratory pictures of Mr. Soriote’s company, obtained by warrant 2 years ago, and scientists holding blue bacteria Petri dishes.
“The innate immune system in adults destroyed these bacteria without trace, after weeks of Ebola-like symptoms. In newborns, the bacteria infected the lungs like tuberculosis, the very disease they were developed to protect against. A proper clinical trial would have cost Mr. Soriote billions, which was too much for such a risky experimental product. In 2001, he decided Dekese lives were cheaper, including my sister’s.”
Kisakye finished her part.
The long arm of history would finally bend towards justice again.