I woke with a start. My bed, again, emptied. Camille must have left sometime in the night. It didn’t hurt my ego, she was a good lay – but nothing more. I looked around to try and figure out what the hell was making so much noise, then it clicked – my cell phone.
I walked to my desk and sat down and turned my phone to speaker. “Good morning Delta Nine.”
I yawned, “Morning Ellis.” I turned on my laptop and signed onto SIA’s link.
“Are you on?”
“Just about.” When the login completed I inserted my camera’s memory card into the side of my laptop and clicked it open. Ellis could see everything I could.
I brought up a ton of pictures from the day before of Fournier. “He met a few people yesterday. In the museum he held a meeting with a few individuals. I got a few pictures of them, but I couldn’t actually get into the meeting without blowing my cover.” I explained to her.
“That’s okay. The men are Frankford and Lyle. Two known terrorists. Anything else?”
“I followed him all day. He made some stops here and there. Nothing too important. He didn’t go anywhere I suspected he’d be hiding firearms. At around dinner he popped in at the local bar and did meet a few more people.” I pulled up those photographs as well.
“Interesting. I wonder what he’s doing in France?”
“Excuse me, Ellis, but who are you talking about?”
“The guy sitting on the right of Fournier. That’s Lee. He’s a really huge mobster in China. But it’s interesting that he’s talking to Fournier. He rarely leaves Shang Simla. Hmmm. . .” She paused. I just waited. I didn’t dare interrupt Ellis’ thought process.
“Okay, Delta Nine. I need you to make a trip.”
“To Shang Simla?” I asked, finishing her sentence.
“Of course. I need you to look for this man. . .” She posted up a new photo of the next man I was to hunt down. “Tao Yan, he runs the export business up there for Mr. Lee. I want you to track him down and Nine, don’t kill him.”
I laughed “I won’t Ellis.”
“Good.” Ellis disconnected the com and the phone.
I made my reservations for the next flight out of France to Shang Simla, China. I had plenty of time to wait for my flight. I packed everything and took the rest of the day to relax in bed and read up on my new target.
Tao Yan was definitely in the Imports/Exports business. He imported and exported everything – from drugs, to money, to girls, and even guns. He was Lee’s right-hand man and was very dangerous. I armed my gun and placed it inside my metal briefcase before heading out. It hit me, I was on one dangerous mission.
I landed unscathed in Shang Simla and headed for the most bizarre looking hotel. It was huge! I did what I did in France. I walked in with gun drawn. I checked the entire place for bugs and hidden assassins. Once I knew the coast was clear, I did my own bugging. I didn’t want to walk in my own room and not be alerted that someone was inside – waiting for me.
After checking out my room and unpacking to what I was sure to be a long stay, I headed out to check out China. I had never been to China. It probably interested me the most out of all the places I have been to. The culture, the sights, everything just looked so different and amazing.
I took some time to do some sight seeing. I was always on the lookout for Tao Yan, but I couldn’t help myself. The place was just too damn amazing not to do a bit of sight seeing. I rode around on a flimsy bike that the hotel offered me. It reminded me of the bikes from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam, where the tread of the tires were practically non-existent. It was just the rim and maybe a little rubber.
I also kept up with my fitness. It was quite nice to go out for run in the country and not have to worry about the type of air your breathing. I never ran around in Bridgeport, all the exercise I ever got was from the gym in town and the private one in SIA headquarters. But running in China, was just purely amazing. I loved every minute of it. Especially since I got an amazing view from everywhere I looked.
I still had a job to do though. I didn’t know how to go about finding Tao Yan. He seemed to be in the wind. Everywhere I looked he was missing. I tried talking to the locals, but I had very little luck. It didn’t help that I didn’t speak Mandarin. But one thing was clear, Tao Yan was in the wind.
While I was in China, I decided to check out the Kung-Fu Training Grounds. It looked all too easy. Boy was I totally wrong. I started training immediately. I soon got good enough the locals handed me a white belt. I smiled. I actually earned a belt in kung-fu.
As I continued to train and watch the other locals beat the shit out of the training dummies, I looked and watched this one guy break a board with his hand. I though, I could so do that. So I took a board and prepared myself.
I braced myself a few times. I was totally and completely nervous. Sure it looked easy as hell, but when you see that two-by-four and you know your about to put your hand through it, it makes you think. I was praying I wouldn’t break anything. Ellis would sure have me killed if I broke my hand because I was being so stupid.
So with one final sigh of resignation, I lifted my arm above my head and swung it down with such a force I thought that I would definitely break the board.
SONOFABITCH! OOOOOOWWWWEEEEEEE! My hand! My hand. Oh my God my hand! Please tell me it doesn’t look that bad! Oh shit that fucking hurt.
I heard laughter around me and noticed that quite a few people just watched me make a damn fool of myself so I headed inside. Damn stupid board!
I found this one guy kicking the crap out of a dummy in the training room. He looked me over and nodded. He then proceeded to show me how to actually fight and not do the shit that I was actually doing, thinking it was kung-fu. With a few lessons I was sent out on my own to try and redeem myself.
After learning quite a few moves from the sensei upstairs, I took my training to the next stage and kicked the hell out of the dummy. My legs were straighter and my punches were more powerful. The training was exhilarating! Now, I had the tools necessary for a fight and I was so digging it!
Kung-fu though, from what I have been told isn’t all about kicking ass like most people perceive – including me. They say its about discipline and other stuff that I couldn’t quite understand. I was told that in order for me to be a master that I needed to find my inner peace, to find my zen. So, I was sent off to search for it. I sat down in the peaceful gardens and began meditating.
Memories were brought back, and this time in perfect color. A wave of emotion was brought forward as I spotted the man that I truly had ever looked up to – David Rain, my grandfather. As I kept to my meditation, I remembered all the lessons he taught and how he never wanted me to give up. He wanted my life to matter.
With a new sense of purpose I left my trance and looked around. It was getting late. I knew I had to head back to the hotel and search out every lead on my computer till I could locate the whereabouts of Yan. It was the only way. I was not going to give up my search, no matter how long I would have to be in China.
I noticed the sounds of footsteps behind me as I walked, and the pauses when I stopped. It wasn’t paranoia. I knew there was someone behind me. I dared not to look. I dared not to acknowledge that I knew there was someone there. I played the role well, and acted like I didn’t have a care in the world. That I was ignorant.
I took a chance and went down on my knee to tie my shoelace, I looked behind me and spotted this guy shifting and walking towards me with a cigarette. He paused at me as he passed and tilted his head. He even gave me a smile as he past. My heart started to race. Who was this guy? He wasn’t that scary looking, but still, all the alarms in my head started to go off. I tried not to panic as I finished tying the knot on my shoe.
Paranoia crept in as I got to my room. I checked the place and made sure there wasn’t anyone in it. I took out my gun and stood against the wall. I would stand there all night if I had to. I don’t know what it was about that guy following me, but something was off and my head was telling me not to sleep or eat until morning when I could check him out more thoroughly.
I didn’t have to wait long for someone to sneak in my room. He was all suave and everything as he opened the door and drew out his own gun with a silencer. I turned on the light just as he was in shooting distance for me. “Drop it!” I ordered.
“It seems I have underestimated you Rain.” He said as he dropped his gun.
“It seems so.” I replied. “Where’s Yan?”
“How do you think it will feel Mr. Rain? Your first kill, isn’t it? Are you sure you want to go down this route? There’s no turning back. You’ll never forget it.”
“I don’t plan to.” I sneered. “Now, where’s Yan?”
He grabbed my arm and flipped me to the floor. We fought, using anything and everything to our advantage. Guns were shot more than once. Punches were made, and wrestled on to the floor. We broke lamps, some little relics, and many other things. The bed was tossed. One of the chairs broken – over his head might I add. The fight lasted a good while. Everything I learned from karate helped.
Somehow I got my gun back from where it was tossed and I was on top of the man in seconds. I smacked him with the butt of my gun and yelled, “WHERE’S YAN!”
He just smiled at me and laughed. I put my gun right up against his temple and asked my question to him again.
He snickered. “You don’t have the –”
I shot him dead. It only took one bullet to shut him up. I dug through his pockets, took his gun. With the small kit I brought with me I also took his fingerprints. The only thing I found even remotely interesting was a note – it was in Chinese and I couldn’t read it.
I took out my laptop and slid his fingerprints through a scan. The name popped up, Jiang Lu – an assassin who’s known associates are Tao Yan and Lee. This peeked my interest a bit. They must have made a connection to who I was in France and sent this guy to kill me. Which means, my cover with Fournier was totally and completely compromised. Did he know I was SIA at the bar? Shit.
After using Google and other sites to decipher the note I discovered it was some type of address. I was half tempted to call Ellis and tell her about the assassin, but I also knew if I did she would pull me out of China. That was one thing I wasn’t ready to do. I wasn’t going to give up my mission to a better and more qualified Delta just because of one dumb-ass assassin.
I found myself heading to this gorgeous palace type place. I wasn’t quite sure what it was when I got there. Inside was pretty barren. No one was around. It took me quite a while to figure that there was a secret entrance to an underground tunnel. So, that’s how Yan gets around, I thought. It would make sense as to why I never could find him.
The tunnels were blocked off by multiple rooms, each needed to be open with a key. It took me a long-ass time to get through the maze of doors that led to some very interesting places.
I found treasure in quite a few places. Being as adventurous as I was, I took some of the loot that looked promising. Hell, if I could do it in Egypt, I could most definitely do it in China, right?
However there was just one tiny problem when I came to another door, you had to open it by pulling a switch from inside the wall. I looked in and sure enough it looked like the scene from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. I shuddered. I hate, and I mean I hate creepy crawlers and snakes – especially snakes.
I took one deep breath and plunged my arm inside. I tried to ignore the feeling of bugs and other things inside as I searched for the switch. Once I found it, I pushed it down and watched as the door unlocked before my eyes. I took my hand out and did that dance that Willie did in the movie. Did I mention how much I hate bugs and snakes?
I walked through the door and was met with a gun pointed at my face. My own gun was out and pointed at the shooter. We stood there in silence for what seemed like eternity, but was probably only matter of minutes. Both of us gauging the other and that quick finger on the trigger.
Finally I spoke, “You Yan?” Though, I knew he wasn’t, I still had to be sure.
He didn’t say anything in reply, he just kept his gun on me.
Still no reply. I took aim and fired. One in his shoulder and one in his leg. The gun dropped and the guy didn’t even have a chance to fire.
I was on top of the shooter in seconds; dragging him and throwing him up against the wall. I looked straight at him and asked again the question that was on my mind. “Where’s Yan?”
He chuckled and laughed. I smacked him with my gun and held it right under his chin. “Where is he!?!” I yelled again. He just smirked and laughed. I punched him again with the butt of my gun. “I WON’T ASK POLITELY AGAIN, WHERE IS YAN!?!”
“Cairo1.” He answered.
I fired and put the end to the man’s miserable life even before I had the chance to process what he said. His body tumbled to the floor and I walked away.
Egypt stayed on my mind. I knew where I had to go next, but did I want to? No, not really. I hated the thought of going back to that place. The thought of returning scared me more than anything. Yet, I knew I couldn’t give up this quest no matter what. I had to find Yan and that meant I had to go to Egypt, the last place I ever wanted to be.
1. Connery, S. (Actor). (1971). Diamonds Are Forever. [DVD].