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Grigori, Armored Humvees and Cows

[from Chapter 16]

Justin opened up his copy. “Last year, it looks like you took a $30 million charge for investing in new equipment. But I could not find anywhere what kind of equipment it was.”

The Russian said, “Ah, yes. That was our capital equipment purchased with a view toward enhancing our security.”

“Security?” Justin asked.

“Yes, security. You see, the more secure we are, the less our enemies can touch us.” Grigori stood up abruptly. “In fact, why don’t I show you what that 30 million bought us?” He gestured for Justin to follow him. They left the office and walked through an underground tunnel about the length of a football field. They went up a stairway and stepped out into a giant warehouse, which they had seen from the outside on the way in. Justin looked around as Grigori proudly displayed the capital purchase.

He swept the air with a muscled arm, “This is our new security.” Ten armored humvees sat beside an armored personnel carrier. It had 0.50 caliber machine guns and antitank pods on the side. “It has done wonders for protecting our perimeter.”

Justin gaped at the hardware. His stomach lurched, and he felt the blood drain away from it into the bottom of his feet, like he was cemented into place. The sinus cavities in his head seemed to swell, compressing his brain yet somehow accelerat-ing his thinking. This was beyond the pale. What could possibly precipitate this investment?

“Business is war,” Grigori's response was loud and sharp, like a crack from a rifle.

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