The sudden increase in the bidding price by 1,000 dollars put Rick on his guard.
He had wanted to continue bidding to push up the price. He took a glance at the cardboard boxes and he observed the duos expressions. He shook his head slowly, which meant he has decided to back out of the bidding for the unit.
However, another sinister thought came to his mind.
"I heard that there were some heavyweight bikes in a unit for this auction," Rick said loudly. "Do you think they could be contained in those boxes?"
The treasure hunters considered his words, but nobody came forward to bid.
Someone asked, "Do you have any insider news? Share it, Dog Ears, whats inside this unit?"
Rick was someone who valued his integrity and reputation. It was hard for him to promise anything, as he was not 100 percent sure if it were true.
He replied, "I am unable to guarantee anything. But, if there is only one unit that might contain heavyweight bikes, it would be this unit. Just look carefully at the edges of these boxessome of them have oil stains on them"
"New motorbikes would not have oil stains on them. Do you know if the news referred to old motorbikes or new motorbikes?"
"Should we gamble? What if there are really motorbikes in there?"
"Dont be silly pal; dont place your hopes in Dog Ears. If he knew the motorbikes were in there, would he really let it go for 4,000 dollars?"
With his hands on his waist, Hans looked impatient. "Anyone want to bid? Any bid will do. Even if you only bid a dollar more, I can let you have the unit."
Many treasure hunters seemed to want to bid. Some appeared to be absorbed in their thoughts, weighing their options, but still, no one placed a bid.
With that, Ricks evil attempt ended in failure. Obviously, many treasure hunters knew Rick very well. If there were valuable heavyweight motorbikes in the unit, 4,000 dollars would not daunt him.
And so, Hans and Li Du got the unit at 4,000 dollars.
The father and son team had a sly smile again. Li Du reckoned that the Ricks knew what was inside the unit.
The smile might be that they were expecting to put Hans and Li down, as the unit only contained old parts that were not worth much.
Anyway, Li was optimistic about the unit; no matter what, it was not a wasted trip.
The last unit contained mostly old, broken electrical appliances and furniture. Li was not interested in such a unit; it went to Turis.
Now that the auction was complete, they went to pay and then were making their way to their unit.
Lil Rick came over to them and said, "Theres a learning opportunity for you both; want to come and check it out?"
Li Du glanced at him sideways. "Learn what? Learn about DNA gene mutations or learn about how to raise other peoples kids?"
Lil Rick was provoked by Li Dus words. "Okay I admit: you have a way with words. But treasure hunters require good eyes and ears, not a mouth, Chinaman. You need to be taught a lesson!"
"Then you better be fast, dude. Godzillas not here yet."
Lil Rick could not pluck up enough courage to raise his fist at Li Du; he had heard stories about Li from the other treasure hunters that Lis attacks were super-fast, and no one had managed to hurt him so far.
The majority of the treasure hunters were curious about what those cardboard boxes had inside them. So they stayed behind to watch.
They gathered at the entrance of the unit while Godzilla worked on gathering the trash items to free up some space.
Hans and Li Du opened up the boxes and the various motorcycle parts were revealed.
The Ricks were here as well. "Wow, such good luck, youve got the heavyweight bikes!" Lil Rick said in a condescending tone.
At first, the treasure hunters were full of envy. But when they looked closely enough, their facial expressions became more passive.
"These are all old parts. Li, Big Fox, these things arent worth much," someone said.
Li Du held up an exhaust pipe and said, "But we could still earn some cash, right? So many motorbike parts at only 4,000 dollars is not that bad of a deal to me."
"Yeah, you could earn a good two to three thousand dollars," Rick laughed sarcastically. "Dont forget: we are treasure hunters, not cleaners."
"Come on fellow treasure huntersfollow me, let me show you the true charm of storage auctions!"
The crowd of treasure hunters knew Rick must have gotten something good when he said that. They proceeded to make their way to unit 42, and gathered at the entrance. Ricks men were packing up the unit as well.
Rick spoke, "As we all know, being a treasure hunter not only requires you to have a good eye for detail, but also good ears. You need good ears to listen to important information.
"For this auction, I heard there was a storage unit which had belonged to an HCV patient. He was a wealthy man. Last year, he bought medicine which could rid him of his HCV"
Immediately, a shout came from the crowd: "Sofosbuvir! Sofosbuvir from Gilead Sciences, right?!"
HCV was the acronym for the Hepatitis C virus. It was a viral infection that affected the liver.
Before the availability of Sofosbuvir, Hepatitis C treatments involved a six to twelve-month treatment that provided recovery rates of 70 percent or less, and was associated with severe side effects including anemia, depression, severe rashes, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Sofosbuvir was discovered in 2007. It was on the World Health Organization's list of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.
It worked by blocking the Hepatitis C NS5B polymerase. Clinical trials had proven that Sofosbuvir had a recovery rate of over 90 percent (depending on the severity of the Hepatitis C virus).
However, a powerful medicine like this cost a lot as well. The price of Sofosbuvir could easily cost 84,000 dollars for a course of treatment in the United States.
The cost of one such pill was 1,000 dollars, and its revenue hit 10.3 billion dollars within a year of its launch.
So when Rick mentioned a "wealthy" man and a "medicine that could rid him of HCV," everyone had guessed the identity of the medicine, for its name was too notable!
Rick seemed satisfied as the treasure hunters gave him envious looks. He nodded slowly and had a proud smile on his face. "Thats correct! Everyone, it is Sofosbuvir!"
"This unit has Sofosbuvir?"
"How many of them?"
Lil Rick quickly answered, "According to what my dad has heard, this unit has a complete course of treatment of Sofosbuvir. Not only that, theres interferon and ribavirin as well."
Sofosbuvir is often prescribed together with ribavirin or other medicine. The entire course of treatment could go up to an estimated figure of 94,500 dollars.
The treasure hunters had mixed expressions: some were envious, some regretful and some were jealous.
Hans spat out, "F*ck, so thats the reason why we were invited for a spin with the ICE officers!"
Ricks men found the oak cabinet. After they unlocked the drawer and saw the medical records, they called out for Rick.
"Boss, over here, the goods are here!"
Rick was elated, he took out the medical records and the package with clear golden letteringSofosbuvir!