“We’ll provide the funds, equipment and transportation, but you will have to get a crew together on your own. One week or we send our own crew.”
“Thank you!” Laura couldn’t help but sigh with relief. “I will have them ready on next Sunday.”
She stared at the phone a moment before hanging up. Her father had been gone almost a month without contact and they hadn’t even been planning a search. Now she had to rely on the company who had been intending to leave him lost. Still, they saw dollar signs when she gave them proof that he’d found the cure to the pandemic. The company had his notes and research data, but no sample. The fact that she was now cured of a world killer was the physical proof and they were now desperate to get the actual materials.
A few quick calls and she had almost everyone she needed. Herself as the chemist, a general biologist, a botanist, a few men to work as general laborers, a professor who could act as an interpreter and all she needed now was an Entomologist. If dad’s notes weren’t accurate, then it was most likely an insect would be runner up to a plant as the source of the curative.
“Sorry, I absolutely can’t do it that soon.”
Laura was crestfallen. She didn’t know anyone else who could fill the role and wasn’t about to trust the company with her father’s safe return. “It’s for my father, Dr. Harris Foster.”
“I understand that and know his work, but I have a well paid tenure to maintain and they won’t allow me to disappear on short notice this time of year.”
“So I’m sunk.”
“Actually, no. I know of another man in my field. Talented beyond belief, but a bit eccentric. He hasn’t been able to hold down a job, so the easy money might get him in. If not, he’d jump at the chance to explore the Amazon on someone else’s dime.”
“Can’t hold a job…?”
“It isn’t for a lack of skill, I assure you. He’s just more interested in field work and lacks the patience to build up a history of dependable work habits to get it. Mostly he just goes from grant to internship and back again doing work for whatever group is willing to fund him. Still, good man. I’ve worked with him a few times directly myself.”
“Alright.” She sighed, “Give me his name and number.”
“Grant Barrister,” He began, but didn’t get to the number before she blurted a response.
“Are you kidding me? Grant?”
“You know him?”
“Know him? I used to date him when he was interning under my father.”
“Oh. Still want the number then?”
“Not really, but what choice do I have.”
Jotting the number, she hung up. Her father’s fate rested in the hands of her absent-minded ex. Wonderful. Deep breaths. Dialing. Five minutes of conversation and he was in. They were going to find her father!