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  Ariion XXIII

Ariion Sanders, a disabled teenage girl, is inspired by a homeless man she meets in a New York City jail. The man, Cameron Littleheart St. Lawrence, has been arrested for bank robbery, but without convincing evidence, the judge is forced to release him. The bumbling bank robbers have their loot stolen from them, and they think Cameron took it. After they kidnap Cameron, Ariion hatches a plan for his rescue; however, her scheme goes awry, and she finds herself in deep trouble. 

                                                              Excerpt from Chapter Three

Miss Sanders folded her arms and stared at her daughter.

Cameron folded his arms and stared at Miss Sanders. Finally, he asked, “What kind of work do you do, Miss Sanders?”

“I’m an arbitrageur. I’ll spell that for you if you want to look it up.”

“Arbitrageur,” Cameron said. “One who engages in arbitrage. The word comes from French, and today it means the purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on another market in order to profit from a price discrepancy.”

Miss Sanders looked at her daughter.

“You must be happy,” Cameron said, “you’re not involved in the Pfizer-Merck merger.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Pfizer has made a hostile bid for fifty-one percent of Merck stock.”

Ariion turned to her mom. “Isn’t that the deal you said—”

Miss Sanders stopped her with a hand on the girl’s arm, then spoke to Cameron. “I know about the merger, but why should I be happy not to be involved?”

“Merck’s new Alzheimer's drug has some interesting side effects.”

“No, it does not,” she huffed. “That drug has been in clinical trials for almost five years, with no adverse effects. And what do you know about anything anyway?”

“I bet he’s right, Mom,” Ariion said. “And I know you said you were working on that deal.”

Miss Sanders ignored Ariion’s remark. “What does he do, read the National Enquirer before he spreads it out on his park bench to sleep on it? Or does the information ooze into his brain while he’s snoring under it?”

Ariion and her mother looked at Cameron, waiting for an answer about how he got his information.

He shrugged and winked at Ariion before speaking to her mom. “It seems it takes about four years for residue from the active ingredient to settle in the back of the eyeball, causing irreversible retinitis pigmentosa.”

“And this you know because…”

“The report will be published in tomorrow’s edition of Ophthalmology Review Journal; a Harvard publication. You may have heard of Harvard University.”

Ariion grinned at her mother.

Miss Sanders narrowed her eyes on her daughter, but she spoke to Cameron. “How do you know all this?” She turned to Cameron. “I guess you have a computer stashed under your park bench, with a Wi-Fi connection?”

“That would be nice, but no. However, the New York Public Library has hundreds of computers available to anyone who can type, even with their thumbs.” He paused, watching the color rise in her cheeks. “If you do a Google search on Merck and Cernax, you’ll find a summarized excerpt from the article.”

“Even if that article is going to be published–which I doubt it is–one small report in an obscure magazine doesn’t mean Cernax really has that side effect.”

“I agree, but when the media plays up the report, Merck’s stock will tank, and Pfizer will bail on the deal, leaving a few arbitrageurs with egg on their pretty faces and their trading accounts minus a few million bucks.”