Character – PmPang Mo.

A sharp suited limo driver is sent from the Shingbo Development Corporation to collect Dr Jaq Silver.

Extract from The Chemical Reaction

A grey limousine pulled up a couple of hours later, the young male driver impeccably turned out in a well-cut black uniform with gold braid, sunglasses and peaked cap. He introduced himself as Pang Mo, and although he spoke limited English, his hand gestures were perfectly eloquent.


The deputy mayor bellowed something at Mr Smiles.

Jaq watched closely as he translated. Conflicting emotions passed across his face.

‘Pang Mo made a detour on the way here, yesterday?’


‘Your driver.’

‘Yes, I asked the driver to go past the Krixo site.’ She pulled the brochure from her bag. ‘I have heard a lot about it.’

Mr Smiles stuttered as he translated. A young man, barely out of university, he had not faltered until now. The deputy mayor appeared to bat his words away with abrupt hand gestures before barking back.

‘We have no Krixo site in the industrial park,’ Mr Smiles translated.


Jade jue cup

Jade JueA Khotan green jade jue cup, 12cm, Quianlong (1736-1795)

Promethium metal – Atomic number 61, atomic mass 144.913


Named after the immortal who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to humans, in Greek mythology Zeus punished Prometheus for the theft of technology by chaining him to a mountain top where an eagle tore at his body and ate his liver. Every night the liver grew back so he could suffer again the next day.

The discovery of the last of the rare earth metals was announced in 1947.

Most promethium is used in research. with a little promethium used in specialised atomic batteries the size of a drawing pin used for pacemakers, guided missiles and radios.

Back to Neodymium

Forward to Samarium

The Chemical Reaction by Fiona Erskine is published by the PointBlank imprint of Oneworld and is available here