Asked to investigate a multi-national agri-chemical firm in Norfolk, the team stumbles across another conspiracy. Nox Therapeutic – essentially a front for the cIA – have been losing chemical warfare experts to this firm for some time. They’ve also tracked similarly skilled chemical and biological weapons developers defecting from the Ukraine. Sanctuary are hired to investigate.
On site, following the guidance of ex-Sanctuary employee Eddie Joyner, they test the soil around the labs and find it saturated with organophosphates, a form of chemical fertiliser but also the component in various nerve agents. Investigating the comings and goings of the staff lead them to the potentially corrupt CFO, Katherine Altone, whose husband has been kidnapped in Marrakesh, while visiting an AgriWealth site in the Sahara desert. Further exploration of the offices and lab reveals connections to the Romanian Mafia (to the point where they murder the Romanian HR director), links to the Klopstock & Bilreuth Bank and shipping crates to Morocco via HDG shipping. They also find evidence that the site has been producing a class of drugs called ‘myeloproliferatives’, drugs designed to counter-act the over-production of red blood cells. Joyner is assassinated by a red-headed motor-cyclist.
Taking up Katherine’s plea to rescue her husband, they travel to Morocco. In Casablanca, they find shipping containers full of serum and soil, which has geological origins in the Carpathian Mountains. There, they’re contacted by a frail, elderly man who identifies himself as Augustus Darville, who lives on the yacht Countess. He informs them that he represents a group opposed to the people they’re investigating, a pan-global conspiracy. He helps them by equipping them and offering them future help. While they’re at the marina, they spot a well-dressed blonde man observing the same yacht, but he rebuffs any attempt at contact and seems skilled enough to avoid having his photograph taken.
In Marrakesh, they arrive just in time to see Altone being abducted by Romanian Mafia. They chase the helicopter south across the desert, fending off an attack on the road. At the site, they find Altone being slowly drained in a laboratory. Rescuing him, they flee, but are briefly pursued by an indescribable creature of immense power and barely escape with their lives.
They do a deal with Altone, flipping him as an asset at the expense of his wife, who he replaces on the AgriWealth board.