Vaccine Nation

Vaccine Nation by David Lender

Book: Vaccine Nation by David Lender Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Lender
pulse quicken as he produced his laptop. Maybe he’d be able to make more sense out of the data than James and she had.
    Dani handed him the USB flash memory drive. He plugged it in. “There’s only one file.”
    “I know. An Excel spreadsheet, and it’s big.” She watched as the spreadsheet loaded, then opened. She searched his face for any reaction. Nothing. He scrolled left, right, up, then down.
    “It could be anything,” he said, “or nothing. It’s just a bunch of data.”
    Dani’s heart sank. “It doesn’t mean anything to you?”
    “What was Maguire working on?” Richard asked.
    “I don’t know. But you know about my last film, Drugging, and you must know that I interviewed John McCloskey, theKellerDorne whistleblower on Myriad.” Richard nodded. “And the vaccine hearings are in Washington on Monday.”
    “And you just won at Tribeca for your film, which gives you instant credibility.” Dani was searching his face again. He seemed to be thinking about it, wondering. He said, “What do you know about statistics?”
    “Nothing.”
    Richard turned the computer toward her. “See each of these columns? Each one has a number followed by a comma, followed by another number.” He looked at her for a reaction. She felt a prickle of rising excitement. “They look like paired variables in a statistical equation,” he continued. “A linear regression analysis with hundreds, maybe thousands of inputs to test the hypothesis supported by that equation. An equation to establish the first variable’s ability to predict the second variable.”
    “I’m not sure what that means,” Dani said.
    “It may be that Maguire was trying to establish a causal link between one variable and the other.”
    “Or maybe he had established it.” But what?

    Stark made it to the 30 th Street Station and caught the train to Washington with a few minutes to spare. His cell phone rang again. This fucking guy is unbelievable. He let it ring about five times because he was stuck behind some grandma who inched her way into the boarding area at the end of the car, dragging a roller suitcase behind her, then turned left into the car itself. He took a right and answered the phone.
    “Yeah.”
    “Are you on?”
    Stark thought to ask the guy if he wanted to know if he had to take a piss, but restrained himself. “Just boarded.” He remembered to play nice. “Any instructions?”
    The client paused. “Just get the data. I don’t care what happens to the girl.”
    “I do,” Stark said.
    “Our man on the train is in the fourth car. He’s wearing a—”
    “I work alone.” Stark shut the phone. The last thing he needed was some bozo who thought he knew what he was doing getting in the way. And knowing what Stark looked like so he could ID him later. He’d find the girl himself. He continued forward, rubbing his eyes.

    Richard saw Dani’s upturned face, her eyes observing him, the whole image forming a question mark. What am I supposed to do with all this? It seemed impossible that this petite woman was a killer. Still, he wasn’t involved in her problems and he wasn’t sure there was any reason for him to get involved. He knew what the therapist he hired six months ago would say. After three onoff-on-off very sexual relationships following his split-up with Kathy, the therapist had finally said to Richard, “Quit thinking with your dick.” So much for therapists using the Socratic method of questioning the client until he came to the right conclusion. He was definitely attracted to Dani; it was, he realized, probably part of why he had even bothered to get drawn into her story. He reminded himself to be careful. He saved the spreadsheet file on his hard drive and handed the USB flash drive back to Dani.
    “I don’t know what to say.”
    “Do you believe me?” Her eyes were urgent.
    “I believe he gave you this flash drive. But I don’t know what for, and I’m not convinced he was killed because of

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