Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Big trouble in little india part 3

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I went back out of the washroom after a while and re-joined the team at the cafe.

Xuehua : You ok ? .

Jeff : Yeah…I’m fine..




We boarded the flight and we landed at Incheon after 6.5 hours of binge-watching in-flight entertainment.

Belinda has arranged for airport pickup and we bundled into the waiting van for our ride to the hotel.

Xuehua had her hands full of brochures and maps.

Xuehua : ok… ok…. Your conference is tomorrow…. You all need to prepare.. so don’t worry about me…..i already mapped out where I want to go…. I know each of us has 20kg of baggage allowance…. But I see that all of you are only bringing carryon luggage…. Which means I don’t need to worry about how much stuff I’m bringing back… hahahahahaha

We all laughed as Xuehua turned her fingers into a claw mimicking some monster as she laughed out loud while raising her them into the air in the vehicle.




The ride is about an hour and I visually took in the neighbourhood as we pulled into the driveway of the small hotel set by the edge of the Han river. The hotel has a good unblocked view of the Dongho bridge.

The heat is offset by the slight breeze coming from the riverside.

We stepped into the hotel reception and waiting for us by the check in counter is a man in his mid-twenties.
He looked engrossed in his mobile phone, tapping away on the screen.

Billy : Hi…. We’re checking in…. we have 2 rooms…

The man looked up from his phone and his eyes immediately skipped Billy and Belinda, focusing on Xuehua within a split second.

Qiang : Hi there…. I’m Qiang…I can tell you are Singaporeans…hahaha.

Billy : Haha… I can tell you are one too..

Qiang : Yeah…. Something about the way we talk right….dead giveaway… haha… can I have your passports please… let me see…..ermm… a twin room and a ….double….non smoking… right…

Billy asked for our documents and handed them over to Qiang.



Xuehua grabbed me and starting taking selfies of the simply furnished lobby.

Xuehua : I promised to send Eddy some photos everyday…

Jeff : Perhaps you should exclude me in them..

Xuehua : Haiyah….please… he’s a nice guy ok… you don’t see him all fierce and what not on the surface,….. he’s actually very nice…

Jeff : He wanted to chop me…

Xuehua laughed as she passed me her phone before heading over to a large beanbag by a wall of hand written postcards and greetings left by other tourists.

She crossed her legs and struck a Instagram worthy post as I took a photo for her.


Xuehua : I’ll protect you… don’t worry….hahah No one will dare to lay a finger on you…

Jeff : Thank you…

Billy : guys… we got the rooms… let’s go…

Qiang : do you need help with the bags ?

Billy : No need… we’re fine.. thank you…

Qiang : See you….


We walked towards the lift and I could see from the reflection of the black mirror finishes of the wall that Qiang is picking up his phone. He dialled while looking at Xuehua from behind. There was no hiding where his eyes were roaming.

They started at the back where her bra straps were, sliding down to the narrow back of he waist, before rolling onto the perkiness of her bottom. There is this healthy juggle in Xuehua’s buttocks that gives me an erection whenever I let my eyes linger for too long.



We got into the lift and I recalled Billy’s note to me before the trip.

There should be no mention of what we are there for right from the moment after stepping into the hotel. We should assumed that all video feeds within the hotel includes audio. They are always listening and watching.

Billy’s guess is correct.

We were assigned the room that neighbours a suspicious looking wall.

Xuehua : ok.. it’s almost going to be dinner time…. How about we meet at the lobby in 10 minutes time ? …. A quick unpack then we go grab some food…. After that I will be ok with my own…. Hohohohohahah….

Belinda : haha… ok…see you all in 10…

I let Xuehua open the room door and we entered the large room with a king size bed in the center of it.

I don’t want to be seen checking out the room as if I’m suspecting something so I reached for Xuehua the moment the door is closed.



I cupped my hands around her waist from behind and pulled her towards me.

Xuehua : aaahhhh…!!! Nooo!...hahaha

I smelled her hair and kissed her on her cheek.

She tapped my arms, begging me to let her go.

Xuehua : no time la…. oei !!... 10 minutes…. Hahah

She laughed as she struggled to walk forward and go about doing her stuff while I remained glued behind her like a Siamese twin.

My eyes went around the room, identifying several spot where I would put a camera if I wanted to.

The room is done up nicely, workmanship is good.

I suspect the feature wall with timber strips on the left of the bed hides a door but there’s no way to tell unless I inspect it up close. That would give us away immediately if they see us on the camera.

Xuehua : I’m going to change out into something more comfortable… let go !!... haha


I was suddenly hit with that sinking feeling in my stomach.

Although I would love to see Xuehua change, I realised that whatever she is doing would also be captured and fed into the camera.

Jeff : Go change in the toilet !

I blurted out so suddenly that Xuehua turned and gave me a raised eyebrow.

She removed her outer blouse and let it drop onto the bed.

Xuehua : Someone trying to pretend to be decent …. Hahah…. Nice…. Brownie points for you… haha

It suddenly dawned on me how stupid that comment was. If they  wired up the room, they would surely wire up the bathroom as well.

Xuehua pulled off her singlet and I saw that teasing strap of that cage bra.


3 horizontal thin strips in a seductively shade of pastel pink held onto the bra cups that supported Xuehua’’s breast.

There was no way to tell she is wearing something like that from the outside.

Xuehua : watch where your eyes are roaming Jeff….

I looked away as she turned around and remove her pants.

My cock sprung into attention as I saw a matching pair of panty, the 3 stripe bands of the panty on each side of her waist moved sensually along her skin as she bent forward on purpose to pick out her clothes from her luggage.

If the circumstances were different, I would have pounced on her already but I was feeling a lot more hesitant in that room. I don’t care if someone sees my cock or my butt. I felt a tinge of jealousy knowing that they are going to see Xuehua as well.

Xuehua changed into a casual pair of shorts and t-shirt.

She turned and looked at me as she pulled down her top to cover her breast.



Xuehua : Like what you see so far ? hahah

Jeff : They say…. If a woman is wearing matching lingerie….. that’s because she expects to show them off…. Is that true… ?

Xuehua : hahah…. Wrong…

She put her arms around my neck and we kissed again, my erection reminded once more about that tongue stud inside her mouth.

She whispered softly in my face.

Xuehua : We wear matching lingerie…. Because we expect…. To take them off… ahha

I laughed and we kissed again before she broke away, saying we better hurry.



Xuehua went to the bathroom and washed her face to freshen up.

I opened up my carry on and hung up a couple of tops.

I checked the plastic hanger I used for my shirt. At first glance, it looks like any other of those cheap plastic hanger you get at the dollar store. Sometimes you get them for free when you buy a new top.

The hanger I used is custom made using a hardier version made of denser material. It looks and functions exactly like a hanger. There isn’t anything hidden in it.

However, during the moulding,  I requested for additional grooves to be etched into the hanger. Just like when you buy a plastic model toy, you push out certain parts as per the shape you want before fixing it all together into a boat or a car.

The grooves I specified for is in the shape of a small stake.

All I need is a hard surface for support and I can break the hanger into the shape and size I wanted.

It will not be as sharp without some grinding, but I can use it as a stabbing tool easily, all I need was to add a grip, that can be easily done with bits of cloths.

Once I’m done, I can burn it all, plastic, grip and all.

Xuehua : ok I’m done… you ready to go ??

Jeff : Yeah… I need the bathroom too….


Xuehua started to unpack some of her clothes into the wardrobe and I pulled out a few pieces of pencil lead I brought along hidden in my toiletries bag.

I watched as Xuehua used a generic card instead of the hotel keycard for the power slot.

Xuehua : Like that when we come back…the room will be nice and cool. Hahha.

Jeff : You really very Auntie leh…

She opened the door and I could hear Belinda and Billy waiting for us outside the corridor.

I bent down to tie my shoelaces after slipping it on and I discreetly placed the pencil lead by the entrance. I dropped another 2 at different spots by the door.

It’s not a 100% but it’s a easy way to check if anyone has been inside the room while we’re out.

I pretended to apply a layer of lip balm on my lips with my index finger while keeping a layer of the oily balm on my middle finger. When I reached to pull the handle close, I slid it all along the handle, coating it with my lip balm.


We went down to the lobby and I could see Qiang smiling at us from the reception desk.

Qiang : where are you all going ? Need me to help call for a cab ??

Belinda : We’re heading out for dinner … it’s ok we’re fine…

Qiang : There are a few good restaurants across the road if you don’t want to travel far…

Billy : Thank you…

We stepped out of the hotel and saw a car pulling up into the only park lot in front of the hotel entrance.

Xuehua spotted a restaurant selling Jjimdak ( Korean braised chicken ) and suggested we head over.

As the group of us walked to the junction a stone throw away, I saw Belinda attempting to turn back and check out the person coming out of the car.

Jeff : crossing the road… watch out for cars…



Belinda immediately caught onto what I was trying to say.

We went across the road and while the group checked out the menu of the restaurant, I whipped out my phone and asked the lot of them to turn and look at me.

Jeff : Smile !!...

I took a shot before casually turning to face the hotel.

I took a long paranoma shot as I slowly slide the phone horizontally, capturing the hotel owner coming out of the car. Ricky.

Taking a photo in the open is less suspicious than you trying to take one discreetly.

I even orientated myself for a selfie with the hotel as the background, but instead of a shot, I kept it in video mode.

I could see Qiang coming out of the hotel to meet Ricky. They were talking and looking towards our direction.

I kept my phone and went into the restaurant.

Our food was served and while we were all slurping the chewy noodles that came with the spicy braised chicken, Xuehua kept the conversation going.

Belinda’s nervousness is starting to show.



It might sound easy to take a life but not everyone is cut out for work like this.

The very idea will mess with your head. Every second leading up to that very moment is a torture.

Owen once shared with me about 80% of trainees could not make the 1st kill. Most of them ended up as his personal guards or posted to overseas embassies.

Xuehua : so what trade show are you are heading to tomorrow ?

Belinda : It’s a packaging trade show…

Xuehua : Oh… but I thought you guys are in waste disposal…

Billy coughed and took a sip of his water.



Jeff : yes we are… and the type of packaging our clients use for their products…. Affects the method of disposal…everyone is trying to go green …

Xuehua : True… true…. Sounds like a pretty boring job though… haha

Jeff : Hmm.. it’s ok… just to pass days…

Xuehua took the chance to tease me by asking about my character from my so call colleages.

Xuehua : So…. Has Jeff ever lost his temper at work ?? would be good to know if he has anger management issue.

Billy : huh ? …

Belinda : errrr…

Xuehua put down her chopsticks and proudly declared that she will shield both of them from me if they say something incriminating, as long as it’s the truth.

Xuehua : come come… tell all.. haha…. No need to be scare…hahaha…

She gave me a naughty look, as if hoping I would get nervous.

Xuehua : Billy… you first… how… anything ?


Billy : Errr…..no….nothing…

Xuehua : Come on….what about you Belinda ?? ….

Belinda : Errrr….

She looked at me from the corner of her eye and Xuehua immediately caught onto her wrist.

Xuehua : I know that look !!!.. I know… you want to say something but you are worried about saying it !!... hahaha.. it’s ok.. just say it…

Belinda : errmmm.. ok… I …err… I once vomited….when I saw Jeff lose his temper…

Billy coughed and choked on his food as he patted his chest.


Xuehua : really !!... wow !!!... why ??

All eyes were on Belinda and she hesitated, choosing her words carefully.

Belinda : I ermm… I don’t know how to say this…

Xuehua : I know !!! he fired SOMEONE !!! terminated them on the spot… !!

Belinda : Errrrr….. I guess you can say that….

Xuehua : I knew it…I think getting fired abruptly is stressful…. I think I might cry if someone does that to me….

Belinda : ermm… yeah…

Jeff : let’s finish dinner and get to work shall we ??

Xuehua : Yes yes… yes boss….

After we are done with dinner, Xuehua said that she will not get in our way of talking shop, she’s going to grab a taxi to the shopping street at MyeongDong.

Xuehua : I’m going to be there till late… will make my own way back….



Jeff : You sure you will be ok ?

Xuehua : yes yes… don’t worry…

I sent Xuehua off in a taxi and I went back to the restaurant.

Jeff : Belinda you ok ?

Belinda : yeah… just a little nervous…

Billy : Yeah.. I can tell.. you hardly ate…

Jeff : Sitting here won’t help… go out with Billy, pretend you are a couple…. Scout around the perimeter of the hotel…. Check out the shops, cafes, everything.

Billy : ok…

Belinda : what about the body…. We don’t have a clean up crew here…. What if we get discovered…. What’s going to happen !

Jeff : Belinda… calm down… we’ll take it one step at a time… go… go walk it off…



I settled the bill and watched the both of them walk down the street.

I bought a few bottles of soju and water from a convenient stall. Heading to a back street, I found a corner and emptied the alcohol into the drain. Out of the 5 bottles of Soju I bought, I kept only 1 with it’s original content. 3 empty and 1 more bottle with about half left.

I found a nice scenic spot by the river and sat down.

I enjoyed the evening view of the river as the sun sets. There’s a lot on my mind.

Owen’s little coup weighs heavily in my head.


His budget for running the company is being cut. Something he has repeated frequently the past 6 months or so.

He has other sources of income but the biggest parcel no doubt still comes from the taxpayers. Unless there are good reasons to justify the running cost of the company, there is no way more funds will be allocated to us.

Many of us in this country has not seen or experienced war in our lifetime.

All we know are the orderliness and safety the current system has given us.


Those that lived through the Japanese occupation are well into their seventies. There are the only ones that has lived through the atrocities of war. There’s no doubt about it. Owen wants to remind everyone the importance of having people like us around.

Xuehua sent me a few messages to let me know she’s reached her destination and will try to get back by midnight.

Belinda and Billy joined my by at the bench after they are done with their walk and I wanted to know how Belinda plans to do it.



Jeff : Tell me…. How..


Belinda : I err….will suffocate him… with a pillow…

Jeff : He’s going to struggle.. he’s 86 Kg, you are 47 kg …How do you intend to address that ?

Belinda : I… while you all help to hold him down…

Jeff : We are not going to help hold him down… you are the one doing it… not us…

Belinda : Then I will stab him first…


Jeff : You can’t. Blood is messy to clean up…. We’re not back home… come on… I’m sure you’ve thought this through…

Belinda : I….i filled my contact lens case with a sedative…

Jeff : go on…

Belinda : Once he’s calmed down… and asleep… I will do it…




I asked her how she plans to get from where we are, to the point of her administering the sedative.

Jeff : And this has to be before he lays his hands on Xuehua …

Belinda : He’s already shown himself… there’s only 2 of them in the hotel…. If we wanted…

Jeff : Again… this is not about ‘we’…. Assuming we are not here… how are you going to do it…. ?

Belinda hesitated and I could see she was without an answer.



Jeff : If we have to help serve him up to you in a platter, I might as well do it on my own… no ?

Belinda : I ermm..

Jeff : Plans don’t usually go the way you want it to…. But still, you can’t approach this without a plan…

Belinda ; I have a plan…. So far it’s going the way we want it to…. We successfully lured Ricky out…. It’s obvious Qiang and Him are planning something….

Jeff : And ?



Belinda : once they make an attempt to… ermm… to grab Xuehua… we will… I mean… I will…

I exhaled and looked away.

Belinda ; Sorry… I’m… I’m a little nervous…

Billy : Come on Jeff… it’s her first time….don’t be so hard on her…

Jeff : What is the penalty for murder in South Korea ? …



Billy kept quiet after that.

Jeff : I don’t think you are ready for this…

Belinda : I am… I really am… I just need to get over the initial jitters…



I skipped over taking care of Ricky part and I asked Belinda what her plan is to get the girl we are supposed to find over to the embassy.

Belinda : Embassy has transport on standby, once we identified the girl…they will be here to pick her and us up together…. Intel suggest the girl is kept in the basement… once we take care of him… we can easily extract the girl.

Jeff : Then what ? we leave the body here at the hotel ? … how do we leave the country ? …. Our flight back is in 3 days… do we stay here ?


Belinda: We’ll switch hotels, I made reservations at another location… current spot is near our trade show…. After we’re done, there’s no reason why we should not stay closer to the tourist attractions….

I nodded.



Billy : How would you have done it Jeff ? just curious…

Jeff : I won’t do it here…

Belinda : why not ?

Jeff : Why do it here ? when you can have an embassy car bring all the Singaporeans to the embassy ? They know operators are in town… they know why we are here for… I’ll do it inside the embassy….



Belinda : What … !

I checked the time and stood up.

Jeff : Easier to clean up a mess inside your own turf then in the middle of a fucking residential neighbourhood.

Billy : Won’t the staff at the embassy be upset about….

Jeff : What’s there to be upset about ?.... we’re cleaning up a mess left by our own people in our own backyard…. Piece of cake for them to bring the bodies back home.. they do it all the time…

Billy : wow….

Belinda : oh… so…. Can we do it your way then ?? haha

I ignored them and walked towards the hotel.


I want to get back to Singapore fast, and I want to get Belinda off my back as well.
I don’t think she’s ready for this.


Belinda caught up with me with Billy in tow.

Belinda : So how ? what do we do ?

Jeff : take a walk… come back around 10.30pm and ask Qiang to help get a cab to Hongdae for you…say you want to go club…. Alight a few streets down and wait for my call….
I doused my chin and cheeks with the half bottle of soju before taking a large swig of it and held it in my mouth.



Right before I cross the road back to the hotel, I spit it all out into the ground.

Walking into the reception, I saw Qiang looking up from his phone and smiling at me.

Qiang : hi there… back so fast ?

Jeff : Yeah….yeah….

I acted a little tipsy and high as I finished up the last mouthful of drinks in front of him.

Jeff : Come… come… drink with me… hahaha


Qiang : Sure…sure… I’ll bring some snacks…

We sat down at a small lounge by the side and I opened up the brand new bottle of soju. Qiang had brought along 2 glasses.

Qiang ; Where are your friends…. ?

Jeff : erhhooh… shopping I think… walking around… I don’t know…

Qiang : I see.. haha..ermm.. what about… err. Your girlfriend ? … I don’t see her with you…

Jeff : Haiya…. Don’t talk about her… we had a little quarrel… she went off to shop on her own…

I downed a glass of soju and refilled Qiang’s glass.



Jeff : Women ah…. Don’t get it… when we men say …… we need to work… this is a work trip …… bring her along….still expect this and that…


Qiang smiled as he looked at me, nodding in agreement.

I heard the chime of a lift and Ricky walked out of it.

Qiang gestured to Ricky and introduced him to me.

Qiang ; Come I introduce my boss to you…. Ricky…

Jeff : Hey.. hellow.. hi…. Come come… join us…

I shook his hand while Qiang went to get another glass for him.

Ricky : are you ok bro… you look like you’re almost gone… hahaha…

Jeff : hello…I’m still sober ok… haha… only a few bottles…

Ricky looked at the plastic bag and I could see him smiling.



We spent the next 30 minutes talking and bantering about life back in Singapore. I slurred my words on purpose, and reacted slowly to what they say.

10.30pm



Billy and Belinda came back into the hotel and saw me drinking with Qiang and Ricky.

They did as they were told and asked Qiang to help get them a taxi.

Qiang : Jeff.. you not joining them ??

Jeff : arrr…ermmm…later..later… wait for my girlfriend come back first….



10.45pm


Belinda and Billy got into the cab


The lone bottle of soju I brought to the drinking session is long gone, replaced instead by 2 more bottles Ricky brought out.
They did most of the drinking, all i needed to do was to keep up the act of being tipsy and on the edge of passing out.

Qiang : Boss… Jeff.. quarrelled with his girlfriend earlier… let’s do something to help leh…arrange a bottle of wine or something….

Ricky : Can… no problem.. hahaha…

Jeff : No need… no need… is ok…

Ricky : I insist… Qiang…. Go get a bottle of wine and bouquet of flowers , slice of cake maybe… do swee swee la… help a brother out… haha

Jeff : No la.. is ok.. don’t need….

Ricky waved Qiang off and I could see him heading off with a grin on his face. He must be thinking that he will get his turn with Xuehua this evening after his boss is done with her.


11.15 pm.



Xuehua text me to let me know she is on her way back to the hotel.

Jeff : oh… she….she coming back,,, she coming back…. I go up… I go up…

Qiang : here here here…. Take these…
I held onto the basket of wine and flowers and thanked the 2 men before heading up to the room.

I had to keep up my act as I knew the cameras are watching.

I stopped at the room door and pulled out the key card, I peered closely at the handle and acted as if I could not find the spot to tap my card. I held the handle and the oily streak I left is gone.

I unlocked the door and opened it, dropping to my knees as I crawled my way into the room.

A couple of the pencil leads are broken.

They’ve been inside the room.

I shut the door and remained on the floor, trying to fumble my away around like a drunkard.



I saw Xuehua’s luggage in a different position than I remembered. They must have ransacked through her luggage, probably wanked off to her lingerie.

I reckon they’re going to make their move soon. Seeing the boyfriend intoxicated, they would surely not see me as a threat.



11.40pm

Xuehua entered the room to see me sitting dazed on the couch.

She dropped her bags of shopping and came over to me.

Xuehua  : Oh my god… what happened to you….ewww… how much have you been drinking….you could have called me to come back earlier dear… tsk !... haizz…

She went to wet a towel for me, when Xuehua came out of the bathroom, she saw the flowers, the wine and the box of cake waiting for her on the bed.

Xuehua : oh….hahaha… somebody has been busy… ahhaha….

Jeff : well…. A little…

Xuehua smiled and went over to the bottle.

She looked at the label before opening it. She poured it into the 2 wine glasses provided and handed me one.

Xuehua : So….. are you going to fall asleep soon ?  you look drunk already…

Jeff : I don’t think so…. It’s going to be a long night for me…



………………………………………







Xuehua : hahaha…. Really ? … how so ??

I proposed a toast and Xuehua drained the glass in a heartbeat.


She straddled me on the couch and her hands reached for my face. We kissed and I could taste the wine on her lips.

Xuehua  : are you going to undress me ? hahaha

My hands hesitated. I want to undress her but I know Ricky and Qiang are watching.

Xuehua : too shy ? hahah…

Xuehua pulled my top off me before removing hers on her own.



She kissed me again as I ran my hands up her body starting from her waist.

Every inch of her body felt so taut and firm. There’s hardly any fats in her. I pulled Xuehua closer as my tongue felt the tease of her tongue stud.

Xuehua stopped kissing me and slid down from the couch.


My heart started beating faster as I watch her reach for my pants while giving me that sly naughty look.

Before I knew it, I was naked and my erected cock standing at attention in front of Xuehua.

She pulled and threw my pants to the side of the room and spread my legs apart, parking her body in the middle.

Jeff : ernhh… aghhh.. !!

I felt that tight grip of her hand on my cock and I shivered. Xuehua brought her face closer to my dick. She looked at it but did nothing.

I could feel her breathing on my manhood and she just looked at me with a smile.

Xuehua : I expect you reciprocate ok ? hahaha…



She bit her lips for a second and I watch her take a large gulp of wine direct from the bottle.

Jeff : ernhhhgarghg….

Without warning, she went down on me, spilling wine down the sides of my groin as my cock swam in her mouth full of wine.

I could feel her lips, the wetness of her mouth filled with wine but I was keeping my senses awake for something else.

Something I’ve never felt before.

I want to know how that feels.

Suddenly there was a strong slurp and I groaned at the top of my voice.

Jeff : ernghhh !!



My eyes widened as I felt it. I finally felt it.

I moaned out loud in disbelief as I felt that cold metal stud push down onto my pee hole.

I was shaking helplessly as I reached for Xuehua’s head. She held my left wrist and pushed me back into the chair gently.

I watch as her lips sink into her mouth, and all I could manage was another helpless groan.

I can’t believe what I was feeling.

It was such a forceful suck that I could feel all the air in my lungs being extracted out the same time.

I panted as I tried to brace myself for another.



My eyes widened again as I groaned. Xuehua’s lips peeled back my uncircumcised foreskin, somehow as my skin rolled back, it rolled over the stud she had on her tongue.

Jeff : arghhh !!! agngnn !!!

Every little tug and jerk made me moan in orgasmic pleasure. The stud came out from under the skin after a couple of seconds and Xuehua started rimming my exposed and sensitive dick with her tongue.

Jeff : Oh my god…arghhh h h!!!

I felt another forceful suck combed with a cold metal push onto the tip of my cock. I was pretty sure I leaked precum from that. My fingers dug into the soft fabric of the couch as I looked at Xuehua in disbelief.

Jeff : how did you do that… ernghhh.. argnhh !!! arngh !!!

She stopped. I watch her massage her mouth for a bit as she laughed. She reach for the bottle of wine and took another sip.



Xuehua : gosh I feel so thirsty…. Haha… hmmmm…

I felt a tingling sensation in my mouth as I groaned again. I’ve never experienced a blowjob like this before. That tapping and heavy push of the stud into my cock felt like she was tongue raping my pee hole.

The tingling sensation in my spine made my whole body go soft.

Xuehua’s head started to move up and down and I could feel her stroking the base of my cock as she sucked me.

Jeff : argnhhh.. arnghhh ..!!.. arnghh!!

I was really enjoying myself when Xuehua paused.


She took my cock out and patted her own chest for a bit.

Jeff : Are you ok ?

She nodded and patted herself again. She swallowed her saliva a couple of times, much like when you are about to puke and you’re trying to hold it all back.

Jeff : Xuehua .. are you ok ? …

Suddenly she scrambled on her fours as she tried to make it to the bathroom. Before she could get to the toilet bowl, she vomited all over.

Jeff : are you ok ??  Xuehua …



She retched into the toilet bowl like a drunk trying to purge the alcohol out of her system.
I patted her on her back as she vomited. That retching sound made me feel like throwing up as well.

Xuehua : oh god… must be something I ate…

I saw the colour of her puke tinted red by the wine and it immediately connected.

I exhaled and tried to control my breathing.

Fuck this.

I’m going to march right out and end this by breaking Ricky’s neck right there and then.
Before I do that, I will beat the shit out of him.

I got up and I was about to head out when I came face to face with Ricky and Qiang right there in our room.

It happened so fast that the next thing I realised I was on the floor. My muscles tightened and I was going into spasm as I lose control of my body.

I gritted my teeth as my eyes lost focus.



I tried to turn and look but my muscles are not reacting the way I want it to. They used a stun gun on me. Fucking bastards. Qiang held the gun directly pressing it into my torso for almost 5 seconds.

Drool streak down the side of my cheeks as I managed to see Qiang and Ricky drag Xuehua out of the bathroom.

Xuehua is barely conscious.

I watched helplessly as Qiang and Ricky put her onto the bed.
My fingers are curled up, I could not clench them.

My breathing is erratic. One moment I could suck in the oxygen my lungs craved, then for reasons I could not fathom, I could not exhale. I blinked none stop. I was wriggling like a worm.

It was a while before I could make out what Ricky and Qiang were saying.

Ricky : she’s so fucking hot…. I’m having an erection just looking at her… hahaha

Qiang : Boss… I also want leh.. hahah



Ricky : fuck la.. you take the one in the basement… this one is mine…

Qiang : That one so dirty already….she’s barely alive…

Ricky : Bath for her then you fuck her la…like that also need me to teach me is it ? hahahah… fuck man… look at her tits… so soft and supple….argnnnhh… so nice to hold… ahh fuck… hahaha… god I can squeeze her breast whole night… arghh.. arghhh….



Qiang : She smells so good too.. hahaha… I think all pretty girls have their own unique smell…

Ricky : hahaha… where you smell ? …haha… I haven smell who say you can smell hahaha… go and smell that slut in the basement la… hahaha

Ricky laughed as I watch him spread Xuehua’s legs and pressed his nose onto her shorts, taking deep sniffs of her crotch area. He kept rubbing his face around Xuehua’s privates , letting out loud murmurs of approvals.



Ricky started to undress Xuehua. I saw him remove her shorts and immediately pressed his nose onto her panty.

Ricky : arghh… sniffs….. arngghhh… slurpzzz…. Fuck…sniff….. arghhhh !!

I could see the vigorous rubbing motion Ricky was doing with his hands on Xuehua’s vagina. He quickly brought his finger to his mouth, sucking and tasting her cunt juice when he decided he had collected enough of it in his hand.

Qiang : Boss… then now how… take her to the basement or what…?

Ricky : No need… I’ll just fuck her here… hahaha…hahah…

Qiang : what about him…. ?


Ricky : Hit him again with the gun… he’s too fucking drunk… we’ll just dump him by the side of the park later… he won’t remember a thing… He’ll come back and realised his girlfriend is sound asleep in the bed anyway… hahaha… he’ll sleep it off…

Qiang : hahaha.. sound asleep with your cum inside her you mean.. hahaha

Ricky : hhaha… fuck man.. this is gold… she is really the gold standard….

I gritted my teeth and I could feel the veins in my neck bulging to the point of almost bursting. My eyes started to focus and I could breathe better.
My fingers clenched and I formed my first fist in my left hand.

Qiang : Boss sure ar ? hit him again ah… ? will he die or not…. This one you buy from the black market is quite strong one leh…. The amperage is quite high…wait his heart stop how…



Ricky : fuck you la… you want to fuck his girl or not… you want just do it…

Qiang : ok ok….

I heard the click of the stun gun and I could feel myself growling like an animal as I regained control of my body.

Qiang tried to hit me again but I held onto his wrist.

Jeff : argghh !!!!!!!

Qiang : aHHHH!!!

I directed his hand back towards Ricky’s thighs, jamming the spark into the back of his leg. Ricky grunted and he went into a spasm as he collapsed onto Xuehua.

Qiang tried to fight me off but I head butted him in his nose, twisted his arm and jabbed the same gun back into his neck.

I panted for air as I struggled to lift Ricky off Xuehua.


The pain coursing through my body is slowly dissipating but it still fucking hurts like hell.

Xuehua is totally out.

Ricky is no longer moving but Qiang is still kicking about.

I dragged him over to where Ricky is. Grabbing a towel, I position the stun gun back into Qiang’s hand, and I delivered another shock directly into Ricky’s torso.

Ricky’s body jumped a couple of times before he stopped moving.

Jeff : fucking bitch.

I gave Qiang a couple of minutes to sober up before I grabbed him by his neck.

Qiang : arngh h!!! arGHH!!!!agnh !!!

Jeff : Where’s the girl… WHERE !!!

Qiang : basement ….basement !!



Jeff : Show me …

Qiang was slow to react and I slammed his head against the wall, causing a dent immediately on the timber strips.

Qiang reached for a remote in his pocket and activated the concealed sliding door, revealing a staircase.

I half dragged him by his hair as we descended down to a brightly lit basement stacked high with washed bedsheets and towels.

Qiang led me to a corner of the room where I saw a thin and frail girl chained to the bed.

Jeff : remove the chains….

Qiang removed the chains on the girl with trembling hands and I directed for him to put them on.

Jeff : put it on…


Qiang ; No please… I’m just an employee…

I swung a punch so sudden at him that it knocked him off his feet.

Qiang started sobbing and begging me to stop as I checked the naked girl.

She’s still alive but barely.

I called Billy and Belinda, asking them to come back to my room.

I slammed Qiang’s head against the wall before letting him take the place of the girl on the thin mattress.

I carried the unconscious girl back up to my room and put her beside Xuehua.

There was a knock on my door and I looked through the peephole.



It’s Billy.

I opened the door and gestured for them to come inside.

Billy : What the fuck….

Belinda : What happened ?

I lifted up my short to show them the burn mark I had on my chest.

Jeff : They tried to stun gun me twice…

Billy : Is Xuehua ok ?


Jeff : She’s fine… just knocked out…

Belinda checked on Ricky before declaring to the rest of us that he’s dead.

Jeff : Call the embassy… get it over and done with….

Billy : Where’s Qiang ? …..

Jeff : Downstairs…. Follow me…



I led both of them down to the basement after Belinda put in the call to the team at the embassy.

Belinda : They will be here in 45 minutes.

Qiang saw us coming down and he immediately started begging .

Qiang : Please… please… I’m just an employee… please…. Sobzz..sobzz.. please.. I’m sorry… I’m sorry…

I dragged a chair from the side and sat down.

Jeff : 45 minutes right…. Ok… go ahead and do it…

Belinda : what ?



Jeff : you need to do it with your own hands no ? … there he is… I even chained him up for you…. What are you waiting for ?

Belinda : but…but…

Jeff : He saw our faces…. He know who we are… he will talk…

Qiang : NO!!! NO!! NO I won’t…. I won’t…. I won’t fucking say a word… I won’t say anything… please.. please… NO!!..

I could see Belinda hesitating.

Jeff : don’t waste time… go… quick…


Qiang struggled against the bed but it was bolted to the floor. The chains rattled as he tugged at the solid links. The echo of his shout in the basement sounded louder because of the amplification.

He was washing his face with his tears and snot as he begged us to let him go.

Belinda could not bear to look at Qiang. I pulled out a metal pipe from a cabinet in the corner of the basement and handed it to Belinda.

Jeff : take it…. TAKE  IT!!



Belinda shivered as she held onto the pipe.

Jeff : Look at him…. Look at him in his eye…

Qiang : NO!!! NO!! FUCK! NO!!!! please… please NO!!!1 fuck please !!!!NO!!!!

Belinda took a step closer to QIang but his voice got louder. His pleas sounded more desperate.

He started telling us about his mother back home. That he’s the sole bread winner. He has a old grandmother to take care off. His only brother is going to the university.

Qiang : FOR FUCK SAKE PLEASE !!! PLEASE!!! NO!!!

Jeff : Very nice story no ? … huh ??


I nudged Belinda forward but her body resisted my push.

Jeff : did he think of the girls’ life when Ricky and him did what they did ? …. Did they… ?

I nudged Belinda again and I could feel her body pushing back harder.

Jeff : Go on…. Do it…

Belinda : I…i…



Jeff : Why ? …. You expect your targets to be all old men…. Half dead…. With a pacer in their heart?? … do you… ?

Belinda : I….i just…

I walked in front of Belinda and I forced her to look at me.

Belinda : I…I…


Jeff ; Look at me…. Look at me when I’m talking to you….

When she raised her head, I could see she was on the verge of tears.

Jeff : Of all the things you can do in the world…. Why the fuck would you want to do something that only sick people like me do….??



Belinda backed away from me and she dropped the metal pole.

I went over to Qiang who started kicking and trashing.

Qiang ; NO!! NO!! please NO!!! NO!!!

 He tried to kick me but his reach was limited by the length of the chain.

I pointed to Billy who remained awfully quiet.

Jeff : Billy you do it…. Owen wanted you to try…



Billy ; What the fuck…. Fuck off… no way….

I turned back to Belinda

Jeff : So how Belinda ? …. You going to do it or not….

She was literally shaking where she stood.

I went around Qiang and I put my arms around his head, securing it in a vise like grip in my arms and I slowly exerted my strength. Qiang started crying, he pissed in his pants.

Jeff : Look at him…Belinda… I want you to look at him…. LOOK AT HIM!!!



Tears streak down her cheeks as she forced herself to look at Qiang.

Jeff : Look at him fight for his life…if you can keep your eyes on him until it’s over I’ll tell Owen you did it…. I’ll tell him it’s you… he’ll clear you for the next stage…. So LOOK AT HIM!!!

Qiang : arGHH!!! argUUU!!! UGHH!!!

The choking sound that Qiang was emitting was too much for Billy to stomach.



Billy : I… I can’t look at this…. I’ll go check on the girls…

Qiang’s shoes fell from his feet as I kept up my hold around his neck. His feet pushed and dislodged the bedsheets from the thin mattress.

I could feel the fight in him slowly draining away.

Belinda forced herself to look at us but the tears never stopped flowing from her eyes.

Suddenly her hand went to her mouth and the dinner we had a few hours ago came gushing out in between her fingers.



The acidic smell of her stomach’s content filled the poorly ventilated basement.

I eased up on Qiang and let him go. He gagged as he choked on his own attempt to suck in air, going into a coughing fit immediately.

I walked slowly over to Belinda and asked her to clean up the mess together with the embassy’s team.



I helped Belinda off the floor.

Belinda : I’m… I’m sorry… i.. I can’t…

Jeff : It’s ok…. It’s what make us human…. It’s normal…. Not all of us are cut out for this…

I tapped her twice on her shoulder and went back up to the room.

Billy : I’m going to wipe the hardisk and security footages…

Jeff : ok…



The team at the embassy arrived just before 1am in the morning.
A doctor checked on the frail girl we rescued from the basement and told us she’s fine. Will probably need a few nights stay in the hospital before she can fly back home.

Doctor : she’s pregnant by the way…. Poor girl….

I asked him to take a look at Xuehua and he told me she will sleep it off. Just make sure she hydrates herself when she wakes up.

By 3am. The team wrapped up their work at the hotel. Ricky’s body and Qiang were loaded up and sent away. Billy wiped everything in the security footages.

Belinda’s contact at the embassy told us that they will send someone over in the morning to take over the hotel.



17th  July 2013
Wednesday
4.45am



I sat with Billy and Belinda at the lounge with a few cans of beer from the convenient stall down the road.

Everyone was quiet as we waited for the sun to rise.



Belinda : I erm… I’m sorry Jeff….

Jeff : it’s ok… I’m glad you didn’t do it…

Belinda : guess I’m…. I’m better off being an operator…

Jeff : hahaha…



7.30am

A lady from the embassy arrived and she will be taking over the hotel.

Xuehua is still out cold.

We packed up and a car sent us to another hotel closer to town.



10am

By the time Xuehua woke up at 10am, she has a splitting headache and in a really bad mood.

Xuehua : what the fuck happened man…arghhhh… I have a fucking headache…

Jeff : You …ermm.. you were out cold…

Xuehua : don’t give me that bullshit… I almost became a doctor…. The symptoms I’m experiencing… it’s drug induced…. Did you fucking try to date rape me ??

Jeff : What ? … why would I do that ??

Xuehua massaged her head as she buried her face in her hand.

Xuehua : How would I know…? Maybe it’s a fetish of yours or something.. !

I went over and hugged Xuehua and told her it’s not what happened.

Xuehua : then what exactly happened….



I told her a condensed version of what happened, that I realised the wine was spiked and I confronted the hotel owners. It was a gift from them.

Jeff : We discovered cameras in the room… they wanted to take a video of us having sex and sell it on the internet …

Xuehua  :what the fuck !...


Jeff : Don’t worry… it’s all taken care off… we called the police.. and everything’s taken care off…

Xuehua : are you sure ?? !!

Jeff : yeah.. yeah… 100%....


Xuehua : Oh god… I can’t imagine a video of me sucking your dick on the internet…

Jeff : hahahah …

It took a bit of coaxing but eventually Xuehua came around. I even told her I’m skipping the trade show just for her. Billy and Belinda will be able to handle what needs to be done.



The next few days were one of the best days of my life.

I dropped everything in my mind and just enjoyed myself with Xuehua.
I have never felt this level of carefreeness in  along time.


Not since I was a child and running about in the camp free from the responsibilities of being an adult.

Xuehua and I fucked of course. We fucked like rabbits in heat. We exhausted a box of condoms and on the last day, we went at it raw.

Even right before we left for the airport, we were fucking in front of the mirror with her moaning at the top of her voice.

Xuehua looked visibly embarrassed when Billy commented en route to the airport that the sound proofing in hotel these days are not as good as they used to be.



20th  July 2013

Saturday
10pm


We landed in Singapore and instead of heading home, I went direct to Xuehua’s place.
We needed to fuck again.



22nd July 2013
Monday

9.30am

I gave Owen the project report and I told him I wanted to meet.
That I needed to talk to him urgently, but he told me he’s busy.

He said he will get back to me the moment he settles the issues at hand.


I tried to reach Owen everyday.

Everyday.



Every single fucking day for the next 2 weeks. He responded to all my calls, to all my messages  but he is too busy to meet me.

He asked if we can do this over the phone and I said I prefer to do it face to face.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, maybe it’s just me missing something, I want to settle this with Owen personally. I will know if he is lying.

I even got Billy and Belinda to try and reach Owen with a variety of reasons, but he’s not free to meet them either.


There are really no new projects for us so I spent my time with Xuehua instead, working out a routine.

I stay over at her place every Wednesday & Friday, Weekends it depends if she’s available.

Sometimes she wants to meet her classmates for drawings and paintings.

Xuehua started to show up less at the chicken rice stall too.


In fact I think I saw her only about twice a week at Eddy’s stall. It’s ok with me.

I don’t mind not seeing her at the stall. I get to see her at her place.

One of the most arousing thing I did was to help Xuehua get panty liners. I did it with a hardon throughout.

Xuehua : you keep shooting inside…. Keep leaking out the whole day !!





9 August 2013
Friday

4pm

I was about to head to the gym before I go meet Xuehua for dinner that Friday when I received the call.

Owen’s call.

Owen : Gear up… location over to you in 5mins.

I felt my heartrate go up several notch.

After a few weeks of doing nothing and just pure fucking with Xuehua, I was not ready for this.

I waited for the location and it arrived on my phone 5 minutes later.

I checked the map for the location and was surprised to see that It’s a construction site opposite a school.

A school in a new estate in the north of the island.
It’s a new estate and surrounded by construction sites.

The school is completed but not occupied yet. Owen wants me to be that at 11pm .

There goes my date with Xuehua.

I dropped her a text to let her know I’m going to be heading to Malaysia for some urgent work meeting and that I would see her tomorrow.

10pm

I geared up and took a slow drive to the meeting spot.
It’s not too late to talk to Owen.


I arrived at the carpark and I was the only one there.

I opened my boot and exhaled.

Slipping on my body armour, I checked my sharpened knife and secured it to the back of my waist.

I took out both pistols I got from the armoury. Looking around the empty carpark, I cocked the weapons and put it to safe mode.

I put the Sig behind me , within reach of my right hand.

I adjusted the position, making sure it was comfortable for me to grab it.

The other on went to a holster under my left arm. I threw on a jacket and checked my balaclava in the car mirror.

I heard footsteps behind me and within a split second, my Sig was out and pointed at that direction. The man had his palms up. He’s one of Owen’s men.

He did not say anything. He passed a earpiece and a small device the size of a lighter to me and told me to tune in to channel 6.

Jeff : Where’s Owen ?

He shrugged his shoulders and backed away after putting the stuff down on the boot of my car.

I put the earpiece on and turned in to Channel 6.



Jeff : Comms check.

Owen’s voice came on almost immediately.

Owen : Hibiki is online…. Procees to south staircase of the school across the road…

Jeff : Boss we need to…

Owen : Not now Hibiki… not now…

I cursed under my breath and I made sure the roads are clear before dashing across the road.


Owen told whoever is listening that his men have blocked off the roads.


Owen : We are 1 man short…. The moment he’s here, we can finish this… Hold position.

My senses are on high alert as I got to the staircase I was assigned to.

I could see staircases on all 4 corners of the building. There’s one more leading up to a hall in the centre.

Suddenly I heard Butcher’s voice in my earpiece.

Butcher : who is late boss ? …. There’s mosquitoes here…


Iron : You have plenty for them to suck on…

Butcher : oh yeah… you can suck on mine if you like….

Iron  : hahah… oh boy… I hope you don’t get in my way….

Owen : Shut the fuck up ….. Raptor is online…

Iron : Oh… the fastest one is late …. Maybe he’s getting slow… hahah…

Owen : shut the fuck up Iron or I’m going cut your share…

Iron  : oppsie… hahaha


The banter in my ear is just background noises to me.

My eyes scanned the immediate area around me. Owen sounded worried.

Owen : Comms check…Raptor… ?

Raptor : I’m in position… central courtyard…

I could see Raptor walking casually towards the staircase like a boss. He held a large knife in his hand and he rested one foot 2 steps up.


Owen : Iron ?

Iron  :Yeah yeah …

Owen : Butcher ?

Butcher : I’m here… I don’t do pregnant woman and kids boss…. But if gourmet gets his hands on them first… I figure it would be an act of mercy if I do…

Owen : Shut up… !

Butcher : hahahha

Owen : Gourmet  ?? …

Gourmet : In position…. North stairwell…

The nervousness in Owen’s voice is unsettling.

Owen : Hibiki ?

Jeff : I’m here…

Owen  : ok listen up…. Intel suggests that Aiko is hold up on the top floor… she is alone… her daughter is not here….take care of her…make it quick…… don’t listen to anything she might have to say….. we do not negotiate with terrorists….

Another voice joined the channel we were in and instinctively my right hand went behind my back and touched the grip of my knife.



Instead of waiting at the ground floor, I thread slowly upwards to the 2nd floor and peered out into the empty corridor.

It was a low eerie laugh.

Everyone went quiet immediately.

No one spoke.

The laughter continued.



I could not make out whether the laugh belonged to a male or female. The person spoke through something that distorted their true voice.

Voice : haha… lies…. What a bunch of lies….  Your boss…. Is lying…hahhaa…. Are you sure you are following the right man ?...


I backtracked down to the ground floor and did a visual check of the surroundings.

The technology we are using is supposed to be secured. There’s no way you can just hack your way in.

There are no amateurs on site. My colleagues knew better than to communicate with the mysterious voice.

Owen spoke 2 seconds later.

Owen : Switch channel… Bravo 21… out…

I applied the algorithm we committed to heart during training and switched the channel to 35 after applying Owen’s given figure.

Owen : Comms check.

All 5 of us replied one after another. There were no more teasing.



No more bantering.

Owen  : Stay focus… Aiko is not alone… there might be other terrorists on site….

The voice appeared again in the same channel we just switched to.

My heart started beating faster.

This is impossible.



Voice : lies….lies…. and more lies…. Haha.. the only terrorist….is you…..Fernando..….



Owen : Comms are not secured, I repeat…. Comms are not secured…. Proceed with caution….

The peace of the night was shattered by the piercing sound of the public announcement system.

It echoed through the school compound.


Voice : All of you …… have been lied to…deceived… and manipulated….  Walk away….. … you’ve been warned…. or I will….. kill you



The silence in my earpiece was suddenly punctuated by Butcher’s laughter.

Butcher : This guy has a sense of humour… hahhaa…

Iron  : I agree with you for once hahaha…  who the fuck does he think he is… hahaha…

Gourmet : Let’s get this over and done with…. Proceed with sweep from ground up…. We meet at the top….


I was about to put a step forward when I heard the voice declared publicly over the PA system.

I felt a tingle of excitement in my veins.

I felt alive.

I felt aroused. I could almost feel an erection building up in my pants and I am sure my colleagues felt the same way.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I exhaled as my right hand left the grip of my knife and went for that of the Sig.

I could feel the rush of endorphins as my senses peaked in the quiet of the night.

Voice : My name is Jane…… and I look forward…… to meeting all of you….

There was a 5 second break of silence before Butcher’s low growling laughter filled my ears.

Butcher : hahahahahahahahahahahaha……. She’s mine…...hahahahahaha … she’s fucking mine…. Hahahahah

My weapon is up as I took 2 steps up the stairs at a time to reach level 2.

I started my sweep of the 1st classroom.

Clear.

There’s no way to know for sure if the person is bluffing his or her way through.

I was about to head back out to the corridor when the tranquillity of the new estate was shattered once again. The unmistakable sound of a high-powered assault rifle opened up on the 3rd floor.

Glass shattered and I could see the stray tracer rounds lighting up the skies. Chunks of concrete chipped off freshly painted walls. The muzzle flashes of the rifle illuminated the dark classrooms momentarily.


Butcher : hahaha.. hahaha… come on baby …come on !!! Hahahaha…

The repetitive screams of the bullets piercing through the air kept coming until Butcher emptied his magazine.

Butcher : hahaha… I have her…..  I have her… hahahahahaha !!!

I gripped my gun tighter as I swept my field of vision.

I could hear the metallic grind of Butcher’s cleaver against the metal railings as sparks flew along the path he was running.

Butcher : stop running !! hahaha…hahaha come and meet my cleaver…..hahaha..hahaha…

I skipped my level 2 and ran straight up to level 3 but there were no signs of any actions on that floor. I forced myself to calm down and I moved along the darkened classrooms.

I heard a groan, followed but the choking voice of someone over my comms.

That was a gagging sound. Like someone was choking on something.

“ ergnhh!!! aRGHHK! GREKKK!! KKKEEEEE!!! KERGGGG!!!! aRKGHHHHH!!!!!eRGHH!!!! “


I continued my sweep across the corridor and stopped at the north stairwell.
It was clear.

WHAM !!!!!!!!!

The loud slam felt like someone had thrown a piano off a high-rise building.

I ran to the balcony and I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on it’s neck.
I blinked a few times.

I could not believe what I was seeing.

That body mass, that muscled torso.
I could see the twitching body of Butcher on the ground.

I can’t see his face. Not because he’s still wearing his mask, but because his head is gone.


Iron : what ………the ………fuck….


The school went quiet.


There were absolutely no movements at all.
Not a single sound.


Then I heard it.


I heard the only sound my ears could pick up.


And I’m fucking sure my colleagues are hearing the same thing.


The metallic grind of butcher’s cleaver over our earpiece.




……………………………………………………………


I pushed myself back from the railing and pointed my weapon back down the dark corridor.

My heart has never beat this fast before. Not when I’m on a project.

I’m feeling something different.


It’s not just the excitement running through my veins.

The anticipation of meeting Jane went up several notch. There is something new I’m feeling as well.

Fear.

It’s weird.
I know I’m afraid but I’m looking forward to it.

Owen : What is going on ?? What is the status ?

Iron : Butcher is dead…

Owen : What the..

Sounds of gunshots rang out from Owen’s side of the intercom. I could hear the muted shots of small calibre weapons being fired from outside the school compound.

3 seconds later Owen told us to bail out.

Owen ; Abort… get yourself out of there…. Get out… !! Our location has been compromise….



Owen wanted everyone to leave and wait for further instructions but none of us moved.

No way.

Our ego is too big to walk away from this.

Not when one of us has been killed.



Not when we have that one chance to proof once and for all who is the best among all of us.

Owen : get out !!... I want all of you to get out !!

Iron : hahaha…alright… see you in a while Owen…

The sound of gunfire got more intense outside the school compound. Jane is not working alone. There’s no way she can be at 2 places at once.



I turned a corner and came face to face with Gourmet. My left hand deflected a stab from his dagger the same time he pushed my gun away from his face.

We gave each other a scare and there is no hiding that.

We could both see it in our eyes.

Gourmet : where is she ?

Jeff : I don’t know…

A series of loud clashes came from 2 floors above us.

Gourmet and I immediately started running up the steps.


I could hear Raptor over the comms.

Raptor : argHHH!! …erghh!!! Fuck !..

This was followed by a loud crash before the labored breath of Raptor came on again.

Gourmet and I arrived at the 5th floor to see Raptor on his fours trying to work his way out from a tangled mess of tables.

Gourmet did not stop, he kept running towards the only direction Jane could have gone.

There is only 1 more staircase at the end of the corridor.



Raptor pulled up part of his balaclava, exposing his bloodied mouth.

He coughed and spit out blood and a chipped piece of his tooth.

I heard him cursed slightly under his breath.

Raptor : Fuck…. She’s fast…

Jeff : Are you ok ?



He nodded as he replaced his mask and climbed onto his feet.

I went after Gourmet , stopping shy of the 90 degree turn into the staircase.

My mind was filled with what I just heard Raptor say.
She’s fast .
The supposedly fastest guy in the company saying that Jane is fast.

I could feel myself on the verge of an orgasm.



If Jane is as good as they say she is, I’m looking forward to meeting her.

I turned and did a sweep of the staircase. There was no one in sight.

I kept my body against the wall and walked sideways down.

There’s no sign of my other colleagues either.


Jane is not stupid. She’s dividing us up and taking us out one by one. It’s the rationale thing to do.
Let’s not forget the selfishness inside each one of us.


All of us want the kill for ourselves. Imagine the bragging rights.
Just imagine being able to declare you are the one that took out Jane.

Another loud commotion pierced the silent night and I could hear Iron grunting on the ground floor.

I saw her.

I saw Jane.

She’s dressed in black, exactly the same manner in which we were dressed.



Her Balaclava alone is enough to leave a permanent scar in the minds of kids if they see it.

The black fabric of her mask is illuminated around the eye sockets. You know those glow in the dark stars you stick in your bedroom for some glow in the dark fun ?

Jane’s mask had a row of stiches glowing in the same manner.
Imagine watching a horror show with a woman that had her eyelid sewn shut, only the string used is glowing in the dark, like 2 monstrous slit.

Her mask extended backwards and I could see a budge that presumably catered for her hair.
There are no loose pony tail flying around. It’s all tied up and hidden within the mask itself.



As if the devil himself had made the mask, 2 spiked horns about 5cm long extended near her forehead.

Unlike the simple construct of the mask I used, Jane’s mask is a work of art.

A work by a very sick individual.

Tapering down her neck is a collar that held the whole mask together.

Iron : aRGHHH !! HEEERRR!!!!

Iron punched hard, driving his knuckle duster and it’s attached dagger in the direction of Jane.

She ducked most of the attempts. She’s really fast.


On her left hand, I could see the butcher’s cleaver.

Iron was punching the air most of the time. With his build and size, it would all be over for Jane if he got his hands on her.
Iron’s brute strength is no match for Jane’s agility.


Within seconds, she broke off the engagement and disappeared down the hallway.

Iron gave chase and he too disappeared into the dark.


I brought my weapon back up and heading in the direction where the action was. Then out of nowhere, I saw a dark figure jump down to the ground floor from the 2nd.

Like a seasoned parkour player, Jane dropped silently onto the ground, rolling to a stop about 30 metres away from me.



Our eyes met and I saw her tilt her head sideways as if saying she has yet to engage me before.

Fuck the knife. This is not a Hollywood show where you need to drag the run time for a physical fight.

I squeezed the trigger, sending lead through the air where Jane is.

Jeff : Fuck me…

I did not remain stationary, with each round I squeezed, I marched forward towards Jane.

Jane literally rolled and did a full somersault in mid air before diving into the back of a concrete column.



My magazine holds 10 rounds, I counted 6 shots which leaves me with 4.

I saw Jane attempt to switch her cover on the right and I sent another round over, the hot lead chipping off a small chunk of concrete and plaster.

3 more rounds in my magazine.

I closed the distance between her and myself to 20 metres.

I saw her foot extend out and I placed another shot, cursing as her foot retracted right before I squeezed off.


2 more rounds.

What happened next took me by surprise.

Jane rolled out from the bottom of the concrete column and started shooting at me.

The whistle of the bullet followed by the cracking sound of it breaking the sound barrier ringed closed to my ears.

I saw 3 muzzle flashes before I fell backwards to the ground.



The 3rd shot hit me by the side of my waist, grazing pass my body armour but the impact was enough to knock me off balance.

I fell and I knew there was no time to lose, I immediately reached for my knife and brought it up in time for the serrated edge of my friend to meet the sharpened cleaver that used to belong to Butcher.

Jane was right in front of me.

Her right hand swung her pistol towards my head but I knocked her off her feet with my right leg.


The speed at which she regained her balance is frightening, almost like a spring wound to it’s limits of tension, bouncing back with each push.

Jane kept her distance and disappeared back into the dark within warning.

Before I could get on my feet I heard footsteps behind me and Gourmet appeared.

He was panting.



Gourmet : you got shot ?

Jeff : I was wearing body armour…

Gourmet : fuck… I should have taken that from the armoury….

Gourmet’s weapon of choice is both a knife and a fork.


Unlike the fork you use for your steak, Gourmet’s fork is a foot long. A mean piece of hardened steel splitting into 2 at the end like the forked tongue of a poisonous serpent. Gourmet’s knife is like a carving blade with 2 colours. The cutting edge is in blood red while the rest of it extending to the handle is made of stone.

He’s the last person you would want to dine with for sure.

Gourmet gave chase into the dark and silence once again filled the school compound.


I went up to level 2 and kept my ears open. I could hear rapid footsteps running about above me.

I spoke into the intercom to warn my colleagues about Jane’s pistol.

Hibiki : Jane is armed…. Fired 3 shots…


There was commotion on the 4th floor again before Gourmet updated the rest of us.



Gourmet : She’s on the 4th floor…. Fired 2 more…

That’s 5.



She’s travelling light, I don’t know her weapon nor it’s magazine capacity but she can’t possibly have unlimited ammunition.

I ran up to the 4th floor only to see Gourmet at the other end.



She’s like a ghost.

Raptor : aRHGHH!!! ERHG!!! EGH!!! Bitch….!!! I’m going to kill you !!! COME ON!!! COME!!!

Raptor’s shout filled the air and stopped as suddenly as it started.

Iron : Where…where is she ??!!

There was no reply from Raptor but everyone made their way towards the direction of the noise.

It’s back on the ground floor.



Jane must know this place by heart, she literally bounced 1 floor to the other.

The terraced corridors allowed her to safely leap off the 4th and grab onto the handrail of the 3rd with plenty of space to spare. It’s one thing to do it in the day, but to do it in the pitch dark of the night, if Jane is a man, he must have balls of steel.

Crashing round of furniture filled compound. The grunts and shouts lasted barely 20 seconds.

Raptor’s grunt was quickly replaced by a hair-raising scream of pain.

Raptor : aegH HHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

It’s not just a short cry of pain when you are hit or slashed.



It’s a long skin crawling cry of pain that is sustained for a long time. It never stopped.

By the time Raptor came into sight, he was on the floor on his back clutching onto his right wrist.

Wrist.
Or what’s left of it.

His fucking hand has been hacked off. I could see it on the ground together with the butcher’s cleaver.

Raptor : aRHGHHHHHH !!!! aRGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

He was literally rolling in his own pool of blood.



I was the 1st to get there and I almost slipped onto the thick pool of blood that is spraying all over the place.

Jeff : fuck…

It’s like stepping into the set of Quentin Tarantino’s work, only this is real.

Iron arrived barely a second later and he bolted off in the direction where he saw Jane ran off to.

I grabbed Raptor’s pants and pulled out his belt.

Hibiki : Don’t move… !! stop moving !!

Raptor : aRGHH!!!! aRGHH!!!!! FUCK!!!!! aRH!!!!!!!



I did a quick tourniquet with his belt around his arm and he bleeding eased up a little but he needs medical help immediately.

Hibiki : Owen are you there !! OWEN !! we need the medical and clean up crew over here NOW!!!

There was no reply from Owen.

He has already disconnected from the channels.

I dragged Raptor away from the open and his own pool of blood.

Raptor : aRGHH!!! aRGHH!!! fCUK!!! aRCHGGG!!!!

Before I could prop Raptor up, I could hear Iron shouting away, cursing with language so coarse and vulgar that it would never have been spoken in a school compound.


I gave Raptor my Sig and tapped him several times on his face.

Hibiki : Hey… hey Raptor… stay with me…hey !...

He nodded and gestured for me to go.

Hibiki : There’s only 2 rounds left….

I could not find his dagger so I grabbed Butcher’s cleaver and brought it to him.

Hibiki : good luck…


I ran off in the direction when I heard Iron grunting his curses with each punch.

Iron : arGH!!! BITCH!!! COME ON!!! ARGHH!!! Oofffeded…

I got to level 3 in time to see Gourmet coming up from the rear.

With me coming up the front, there’s no way she can get out of this.



Iron threw a hard right hook and I saw Jane ducked it easily before delivering a rib cracking kick into his side.

Gourmet and I barely got a few steps in towards Iron when we saw Jane leaping off the side of the railing. Her hands gripped onto the metal railing for less than 1 second before she let go, dropping at least 2.5m before grabbing onto the railing on the 3rd floor with 1 hand.

I pulled out the spare pistol and took aim but she had dropped all the way to the ground floor and disappeared under the cantilevered slabs we were standing on.

Iron got up on his feet and I saw he was bleeding.

He touched his own stomach in disbelief.



Iron : fucking bitch stabbed me….arghh… with my own ..arghhh…

It was not a deep wound but upon closer inspection, he had more than one of them.
One on his stomach, one on his thigh, one under his left arm.

Iron tried to walk but he staggered and collapsed onto a table.


Iron : fuck….fucking bitch….


Raptor’s shout reached our ears as we dashed out into the corridor.

Raptor : aRGHHHHH!!!

I could see Raptor slashing through the air like a mad man.

Jane was well beyond his reach.


She’s holding my gun. With Raptor’s condition, it would be a piece of cake taking it from him if she approached him from his blindspot.

Raptor slashed wildly into the central courtyard.

Gourmet : fuck this shit !!

Gourmet ran towards the staircase and I could hear him jumping down entire thread of steps at a time with his heavy landing.


Jane held her weapon up and levelled it at Raptor.

Raptor laughed.

Raptor : come on!!!.. what are you waiting for !!!


He charged at Jane and she shot him in his knee, causing him to buckle immediately.

Raptor : aRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! FUCK!!!!

Jane relieved Raptor’s of Butcher’s cleaver as he writhed in pain.

Gourmet charged towards Jane haphazardly and she backed away from the courtyard, choosing to disappear once more into the dark.

Iron : argghh… fuck this….i’m losing too much blood…



I could see the pool slowly building up beneath his feet.

Hibiki : Get out of here…. I’ll take care of her…

Iron : hahahah… no way…. I’m not letting you have this score…hahahaha fuck ..a rnghh

I shook my head as I went out of the classroom.

I looked at the classroom across from where I stood. Jane staggered backwards and lost her balance, disappearing for a brief second, probably from sustaining a kick from Gourmet.

Gourmet swung his knife, his posture almost graceful as it sliced dangerously close to Jane’s head. His fork stabbed 45 degree downwards in a forceful thrust and with a well switch of his posture, he hammered both weapons down towards the ground.



Jane managed to duck his hit and I could see her body rolling backwards before she backflipped up onto her feet with the gracefulness of a gymnast.

Gourmet did not let up on his attack and I watch Jane duck stabs and hits rapidly, choosing which one she wants to parry away with the cleaver she was holding onto.

I left Iron alone and I started running along the perimeter of the compound. The large rectangle block is connected only at one end, forming a large U shape.

Gourmet is not one to waste his strength. Once he sees that his attack is not effective, he switched tactics.


He stopped his swings, conserving his energy as he waited for Jane to make her move.

I closed the distance between us and I could see Jane keeping a close eye at me.

She looked like she was about to bolt but I slowed down before stopping eventually.


Gourmet did a quick check and he held up his fork, signalling me to hold my position.


He knows.



He’s also aware that if I get too close, Jane will choose to bolt. She will only engage one of us at a time. I was tempted to shoot but Jane had positioned herself well. She kept her body low, her eyes trailing my every move.

If I shift to get a better angle, she will bolt, and it’s a chase all over again.

I stopped moving and kept my weapon down. Gourmet deserves a chance at this.


Jane, aware that I’m not closing in further, turns her attention away from me.



Seeing that Gourmet is not making his move, Jane shook her wrist a couple of times, not hiding the fact that she’s warming up to make hers.

The sound of hardened steel crashing against each other immediately echoed along the corridor. Jane held the cleaver in one hand while the other held one of Iron’s knuckle duster.



The way she wielded the weapons is amazing. The speed and the ease at which she swings, parries and stab is as if the whole fight is choreographed. There are no fancy moves for the camera.

Each attempt by Gourmet and Jane did nothing to mask the intention to strike a fatal blow.

Gourmet : arGHH!!!erghhhh!!!

Gourmet almost got Jane with his fork but she went in close, sending a hardened elbow up his chin, causing his entire body to stagger backwards. Before Gourmet could recover, Jane dove in with her right knee, going for Gourmet’s right kneecap.

Gourmet : arGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

He swung his knife down and Jane caught it with Iron’s knuckle duster before slashing it away with the cleaver in a heartbeat.

Gourmet grunted as he shook the pain off his leg.



Pointing his fork and knife back at Jane, he readied himself for another attempt.


I kept my eyes peeled on every move.

The moment things are not going well, I’m going to step in.

We’re not trained for extended contact with our target like this.

Yes we can hit and kill, but we depend on the element of surprise most of the time. We hit fast with awe and speed. Not go head to head like this.

Iron : aRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! BITCH!!!!!!!!!



Iron came up from behind Jane. His shout gave him away and Jane turned around in time.
He’s injury affected his body more than he care to admit. He got slow, he made mistakes he should not have made, leaving himself open like this.

Jane blocked off his clumsy attempt to stab her in her back and held onto Iron’s right arm. Her body flew off the floor, her legs gripping onto Iron’s torso as she executed her move, throwing Iron off balance and dislocating his arm from it’s socket before she hit the ground.

Iron : aRHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! aRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Iron tried to swing his good hand with the knuckle duster at Jane but she twisted it easily and sent it back down onto his right cheek.

Iron : aRGHHHH!!!! ARGHH!!!!!



Using the knuckleduster she commandeered from Iron, she hooked the stabbing blade into one of the finger hole of the duster Iron is holding on, Jane swung it outwards, causing Iron to separate the skin holding his top and bottom cheek together.

Iron : arGHH!..argghernghghgegeeg!!!

It all happened so fast. There were no time to think at all.

Gourmet ran up, charging into Jane and she disappeared down the staircase in the blink of an eye.

Gourmet ignored Iron and went straight after Jane.



Gourmet : COME BACK HERE !!!!!

I left Iron where he is and went around the other side.

When I got to the ground floor, I saw Gourmet and Jane going at it again.

Raptor is no longer moving.

I checked him for a pulse, there is none.

He bled out.


Gourmet managed to get a hold of Jane and he managed to get behind her. He was trying to put her in a choke hold but regretted immediately as his flesh met the spikes around Jane’s neck.


He lost his grip and took a kick squarely in his torso, sending him sprawling onto the ground.

Gourmet tried to get up but Jane’s waiting knee connected with his head and he was done.

I could hear Gourmet groaning on the floor.

The hit was hard enough to give him a concussion and he vomited shortly after.


He tried to stand but the moment he did, he staggered and fell back onto his back.


Iron : AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! BITCHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Iron came again, looking like a fiend fresh out of hell with blood all over his face.

Jane ran towards him, blocked his stab before depositing his own weapon into the side of his neck.

Iron collapsed immediately onto the ground like a puppet that had it’s strings severed.


I was about to step up when Gourmet rushed out into the courtyard we were in .

Gourmet : I’m not done with her !!!!



Before I could yell for him to stop. Gourmet threw his fork at Jane. She did not manage to block it in time and it sliced through her arm. It was a minor scratch but I could see the tear in her clothes.

Gourmet charged towards Jane with his knife but he was not fast enough, or rather his reach was not far enough.

Jane went for the same fork that cut her and turned it back towards it’s owner.

The moment I saw it pierce though gourmet’s stomach, I lifted my gun and fired.

I don’t miss at such distance and I hit Jane squarely on her tummy with my first shot but she’s still standing, she’s wearing a body armour as well.

I could see her staggering a little as she used Gourmet’s body as a shield.


Gourmet tried to do what he could with his knife but Jane caught hold of it and sent it back into his own neck.

I saw Gourmet’s eyes. He knew it was over.

I trained my gun at his body and fired away.

He’s a dead man, it’s just a matter of time.



I squeezed off 5 shots, running towards Jane as I did so, the impact of each hit transferred from Gourmet’s body and onto hers, pushing her back.

Jane fired as well, using my own gun against me.


I felt it on my right chest and it immediately knocked the air out of my lungs.

Gourmet’s body dropped and I could see Jane staggering back, I fired again, this time grazing her left shoulder.

I tried to aim but I can’t

My muscles are not listening to me.

I grunted and squeezed another round, this time hitting Jane at the same spot as where she hit me.

She fell, collapsing onto the ground.



I gasped desperately for oxygen. No matter how hard I sucked, I just felt as if my lungs were empty.

I could see Jane going though the same thing as me.

We were both trying to get back up.

I wanted to shout but nothing came out. My throat felt dry.

I turned and I saw Jane crawling away.



She’s heading towards the classroom.

I gasped for air and I got one knee onto the soft grass.

I can do this.

My right hand went behind and I pulled out my knife.

I turned and I could still see Jane.


She was almost on her feet and she was trying to get away from me into the safety of the classroom.


I was shaking as I climbed back up onto my feet, but I barely took 1 step and I collapsed onto my knees again, my hands supporting my body that seemed to have gotten heavier.

I sucked in gasps of air with my mouth and got up.

I could see Jane is up as well, she walked into the darkened classroom.

I took several deep breathes and I walked over to Gourmet’s body.

I pulled out his fork with my left hand and I marched straight into the dark classroom.


I could see Jane up on her feet and looking at me.


Her breathing seemed faster.

She looked damm pissed. Like a bitch about to get a fit.


Her hands were empty.
She’s unarmed.

She’s a dead woman walking.

I put 1 step forward and she gestured to my hands without a word, pointing to both my knife and Gourmet’s fork.

It’s as if she’s trying to ask me to give her one to make this a fair fight.

Are you fucking high on drugs ?

That’s what I would ask her if I wanted to but no.


No way.

We’re talking about life and death here. There is no such thing as being a gentlemen, offering the lady a knife.

Fuck her.

I’m here to kill her.

I ignored Jane’s gesture and I adopted my attacking stance.

Gourmet’s fork is up in front of me, forming a horizontal line in front of Jane parallel to the ground while I tightened the grip on my own knife.


I saw Jane shook her head as she backed off from me slowly. It’s as if she was expressing her disappointment for me not being a gentleman.

I watch her reach for something she kept behind the desk.



Her left hand produced something familiar.

Something I had seen only on pictures.

It’s the black shiny spear tip of the soul spear. It’s wooden staff replaced with a customised grip that allowed Jane to wield it as a short sabre.

From behind her waist, she pulled out her weapon of choice to even the odds.


I cursed silently under my breath as I watch Jane level her Hu Die Dao ( Butterfly knife ) the same manner as I did with Gourmet’s fork.


Fuck.



There’s no telling how this will turn out.


One thing’s for sure.

Only one of us will be walking out of that classroom.



………………………………………………………………….




I swung the fork at Jane and timed the slash of my knife. She blocked both with only her spear.
It was not meant to be a fast attack, I wanted to see how she reacts to my attempt.

Her butterfly knife hardly moved.



Her wrist is relaxed, slightly rotating her grip as our positions started to shift.
She’s watching me in the same manner as I was watching her.

Her foot came forward and the sound of metal hitting against each other rang out in the silent classroom.

There are no extended contact.

It was all a quick enter and hit, block and disengage.


I tried to feign an attack but Jane caught it and block the slice of my knife perfectly with her spear again.

Her modified spear has a longer reach than my fork by at least 2 inches by my estimate.

I switch tact and went in with my knife.

Immediately I saw her hudiedao come up in an attempt to disarm me with the weapon itself with it’s extended hook.

I retracted my knife in time and a quick swing of Gourmet’s weapon put the distance between us back to status quo once more.

She was not in a hurry.

Jane paced about the classroom, keeping well away from my kill zone.

She knows and can read how far I can strike.

I’m of a bigger built than her, if push comes to shove, my bigger physique will give me an advantage. As soon as I started deliberately on this train of thought, it disappeared altogether as soon as I thought about Butcher.

He’s so much beefier than me, yet Jane still took care of him.



A short series of quick slash and stabbing attempts played out between us, ending almost immediately after it begin. We were quick to enter and get back to our defensive position.
It felt like 2 wolves prodding each other for weakness rather than a all out brawl.

Jane pounced in, delivering a series of fast strikes with her spear and hudiedao together, I backed off, my body went into overdrive as I blocked off each strike while trying to get a quick hit of mine during the melee.

The ringing of hardened steel sounded 5 times in the dark before the room went quiet again.


Jane made another attempt to strike but I made mine at the same time.

The spear came awfully close to my nose even after I blocked it and I could feel my heart pumping away as my brain digested how close I came to getting my nose ripped off my face.



The sound of Jane’s hudiedao hitting my knife right by my ears was so loud my eardrum hurt. As soon as the sound of metal rang out in the dark, it was quickly replaced by the torturous grinding of steel as it came down to a matter of strength and dexterity.

Our arms were locked in place by the hold of our weapons for a precious 3 second and Jane tried to kick me in my kidney with her knees.

I ducked, angling myself away in an awkward angle and trying to get a kick in as well.

Jane tried to pull herself back from me but I held onto her. Using the momentum of the jerk, I tried to knee her in her stomach. Jane managed to disengag her hands and blocked my knee in time before it connected.

I tried to go in again but I saw the waiting spear and stopped myself in time.

I did not wait for Jane to catch her breath, I sent a table her way and using that as a distraction, I sliced precariously close to her face, hitting the metallic horn on the top of her mask.

Jane ducked her body low choosing to come within my kill zone. Her hudiedao came in too fast for me to block it with my knife so I jumped backwards, arching my body at the same time to avoid the blade.

I plunged Gourmet’s fork downwards, hoping to stab Jane before she could move away but it was as if she had eyes at the back of her head, a clean sweep of her spear tip knocked the fork clean away from my hand.

I blocked Jane’s hudiedao’s 2nd strike with my knife and before I could attempt a kick, she had pulled herself out of range.



I swung Gourmet’s fork in front of me, slashing the air slowly to keep Jane back at her spot.

I flexed my wrist and tried to work on my breathing.

I could feel a spike in my adrenaline.
My heart started racing and I could feel my palms starting to sweat.

It’s not about me being afraid.

It’s just our body’s response.

Fight or flight. Every animal including human will experience this. Our body sends us the signal and waits for a response.

Jane charged towards me and we started to block, stab and slash our way out of this situation. Every blow has the potential to be deadly should it land on it’s intended spot.

I landed an elbow to the side of Janes’ cheeks, it was not a hard hit but a hit nonetheless.

In return, I felt a hard knee to the left of my ribcage.



Within seconds I could feel the soreness of the knee but it faded as fast as it appeared.

I know from past experience that a hit like that will leave a bruise.

Jane came in again and I read her attack before she could attempt a hit and I deflected the swing of her spear and disarming her of it. I would have wanted to land another elbow at her body but that bitch head butted me on my face, narrowly missing my nose.

I grunted as I pushed her back.

She switched her hudiedao to her right hand and put her left foot slightly forward.

My knife and her hudiedao met several times in mid air before a series of wrist grabs and releases accompanied by grunting hard elbows and knees connected with each of our body.



Every blow I mange to land on Jane was met with an equally strong response.

I thought a punch to her chest would sent her back but she grabbed onto my wrist and bounced back with a knee to my kidney.

Her rising knee to my nose was knocked back by my right elbow only for my left cheek to feel the hammer like fist of her hand connect.

Fuck she can hit hard.

I’ve never felt pain like this in a long time.

Her jabs are fast, precise and directed to specific spots of my body.

I could punch harder but she could do it faster.

My mind could not help tallying up the hits I’ve landed and taken. I could almost picture a balance sheet appearing in front of me, crediting each hit I landed, before my credit could even add up, it was debited with a harder response by Jane.

My head started to make the trade off calculations.



It’s telling me that yes sure, you can hit her, but just expect to get hit harder back in return.

If my body could talk, it would probably be screaming at me, asking if it’s worth it to get hit like this when I hit like a pussy.


Jane knocked my knife off my hands first but thankfully I managed to twist her hudiedao off her hands 2 seconds later at the expense of a slash on my left forearm.

I don’t know how deep it is but I could work with the pain. I know my body’s ability to feel pain decreases with the spike in adrenaline. My awareness heightened, my blood vessels contract to re-direct blood to major muscle groups.

My body is doing everything it is programmed to do to help me stay alive.



The burning sensation in my arm and the warm blood flowing down my fingers a painful reminder of what would happen to the rest of my body if I’m not careful with her.

My body is drenched with perspiration and I could see Jane panting for air.

She kicked the scattered chairs and tables further apart, giving us more room to work with.

I know she’s not clearing the space for us to move, she’s clearing it so she has space to execute her kicks.

Judging from what she could do to me in such close distance, it would be safe to assume her legs can do some real damage with a good swing.

When I saw her leg coming towards me, I was suddenly reminded to what Raptor said earlier.

“fuck …. she’s fast”

And Raptor was not lying.

I could duck the 1st kick but the 2nd one came so fast I had to block it.

It came right at my face and even shielding it with my master arm, I could feel the force of that kick slamming into my right shoulder and forearm.

I returned the favour in the same manner, Jane chose to duck both kicks before attempting to land more at me.



When I saw her legs raise up, I charged in like a bull.

I could take her down and put her in submission and it would all be over.

I grabbed her alright but Jane is not a one trick pony.

Before I could wrestle her to the ground , she managed to break herself loose and I was sent to the wall with a hard jab to the side of my neck.

I gasped for air as Jane tried to wrestle me to the ground next. Thankfully my bigger physique and mass tipped the scale in my favour as I broke free before she can trip me.

I swung my fist at her only to have it blocked and answered with an elbow to the left of my cheek.

I grunted in pain and I could taste blood in my mouth.


That hit must have cut my mouth somehow.


I raised my fist and our bodies connected again.

Jane made a mistake and I managed to land 2 hard punches to the side of her head, she blocked them but it’s still a hard hit. I could see her shaking her head, trying to sober up.

Suddenly I could hear Owen’s voice over the intercom.

Owen : This is Owen… !... we’re coming in for extraction….. we’re coming in hot….! Everyone to the carpark now !!! I repeat… this is a hot extract !

Seconds later I could hear the sound of gunfire opening up again a short distance away.

The popping and hollow echo of shells being emptied at each other got closer as Jane and I continued our attempt to kill each other.



She jumped up and grabbed my body with her legs, I could tell she was going to swing herself down and take me down with her but I grunted and I could feel the muscles in ym entire body firing up as I fought the momentum and swung Jane into a tangled mess of tables.

Her legs gripped on and I gritted my teeth and swung her again against the wall, knocking her off my body.

She tried to get up but I landed a knee to the side of her ribcage, sending her flying at least half a metre to the side.

I could feel myself gaining the advantage and I rolled over to where my knife had landed.

Owen was literally screaming through the earpiece.

Owen : We are reaching in 30 seconds !!!! you guys better fucking be at the carpark !!!! FUCK!!!

The sound of gunfire came closer.

The intensity of the fight grew, no one would ever believe something like this is happening on the island.




I felt the familiar grip of the knife and fighting back all the pain in my body, I lunged for Jane who was trying to get up.

She was fast, she literally rolled over my back and went for her hudiedao but she mis-timed her grab of her weapon and missed it by mere centimetres.



I slashed at the spot her fingers were at just seconds ago, depriving her of the chance to arm herself.

She’s unarmed and I have the upper hand.



3 slashes of mine were blocked by Jane’s arm against my wrist and forearm but she’s not going to get lucky all the time. Another headbutt came by way but I ducked it.

I tried to headbutt her but she fucking orientated her spike horns at me.

I literally felt my entire world shake as I registered that fucking bruise that I just put on my own head.



Owen : WHERE IS FUCK!!!IS EVERYONE !!!! someone answer me !!!

I could hear the angry screech of 2 vehicles coming to a stop at the carpark and sporadic gun shots continue to ring out.

I could not risk losing my focus to answer Owen as Jane and I exchanged a series of kicks and blows. I felt her boot land a kick on my finger and I dropped my knife.

Owen : WHERE Is EVERYONE !!!

Owen’s shout was loud enough for me to hear his voice coming from outside the classroom.

Jane charged at me and managed to knock my off my feet this time round.

Our hands and feet immediately tangled up as we attempted to choke each other into submission. I pulled my hand loose, she extracted her leg from my hold. Jane’s arm went around my neck and I quickly inserted my free arm in between.

Both of us grunted as our bodies dragged along the hard concrete floor, kicking and smashing everything out of our way.

At moments like this I was thankful for the amount of time I spent working out at the gym.



I turned the tables around and got behind Jane’s back.

I tried to do the same to her and she fought off my attempt to choke her the same manner as I did. I could feel the spikes around her neck digging a little into my flesh but I shrugged off the pain. The way she moved is amazing. Her core muscles is so strong, she literally lifted her body up and off the ground without her feet.

Jane got loose but we were still tangled up on the floor. I could hear Owen shouting orders to his men. They must be barely 30m away.

I don’t know what happened but Jane and I were thrown against a tangled mess of toppled tables and chairs. She started punching me, and I did the same.

I caught a glimpse of Owen’s men appear at the window. He’s fully equipped in tact gear with a sub machine gun in his hand.

Before he could take another step, I saw his entire body being thrown against the window before he slid out of view.

Another came up and the suffered the same fate, his head slamming against the window frame before disappearing from sight.

Owen : Sniper !! sniper !!! sniper !!! COVER !!! cOVER Now!!!



Within seconds, the sporadic sound of gunfire was replaced by the rapid automatic discharge of weapons.

I could smell the familiar scent of smoke grenades being deployed as a fog of white smoke started to fill the school compound.

Owen : HIBIKI !!! WHERE the FUCK ARE YOU!!!

I could hear Owen trying to direct his men to load up the bodies of my fallen colleagues amidst the chaos. There’s no way he will miss them with their bodies sprawled all over the courtyard.

I broke free from Jane and I grunted a reply.

Jeff :arghh !

Before I could say anything further, I was tangled up with Jane again.



Owen : HIBIKI !! SAY again !!! ….

The boom of a high powered rifle shook the walls of the school and I could feel the scattered furniture on the floor vibrate for half a second before it rang out again.

Owen : Move in move in !!!move !!

Owen’s men must have taken care of the sniper.

I could hear it all happen.

Well, at least if I die, I know Owen came back for me if that’s any consolation.

Jane and I were tangled up and the fight soon grew ugly with a mix of random punches at whatever spots we could hit. Even if it’s a light tap to the side of her face given the small amount of space I could work with, I took it.

The gunshots paused for almost 30 seconds before it started all over again. This time round, it was more intense then before. The popping sound got closer. I could hear the muted shouts of the men outside the classrooms.

I hooked my legs around Jane and I gained a moment of advantage when one of her hold on my left wrist slipped.



I manged to straddle Jane and I pinned her wrist down on the floor in the same position that I would do to my partner when I’m about to fuck her, however that position lasted less than 2 seconds as Jane’s knees hammered onto my back hard enough for me to fall off balance.

We got up and I swung a hard back kick at her torso, even before I could finish executing my kick, I braced my body for the fist to my sternum.
Jane had ducked that swing and came up from the bottom.

I could feel it connect, knocking the air out of my lungs momentarily.

I staggered backwards and I fell, my hands touching the grip of Jane’s modified spear.



I picked it up and was amazed at how balanced it feel in my hand.

Jane rolled over to my right and picked up my knife.


The sides of the spear hit my knife and it was an intense match of blocks and stabs all over again between Jane and me.

The longer I held the spear, the more in love I am with it.
I might just get to keep this if I kill Jane.

I could hear the screech of tyres before a series of crashes happened. More vehicles are arriving.


Jane and I adopted a half crouch position and got ready to have another go at each other’s neck once more.

From the corner of my eye I could see 3 men in tactical position moving and firing steadily towards the direction of the carpark. They are pushing back steadily.

It was not long before I heard men shouting for the others to drop their weapons.

The gunfire stopped and another series of crashes sounded out in the carpark before the screech of tyres fleeing the scene rang out. Everything was over in a couple of minutes.



Jane and I started kicking and blocking each other’s fist and elbows while trying to cut and slash each other. The earlier elegance in our moves if any were all gone.

My ears could pick up snippets of what is happening outside.

Some of Owen’s men were caught. I could hear Jane’s colleagues counting them off.

This is not a good situation for me. I put the thought of having to deal with Jane’s heavily armed colleagues away. I have to deal with Jane first.

Suddenly I felt as if someone had swung a club into my back. I felt the hit before my ears registered the sound of the weapon firing.

I staggered and slashed clumsily through the air towards Jane and she easily stepped aside.
I fell forward onto a toppled table like a toddler just learning to walk.

Some fucker just shot me in the back.

I fell to the ground, and I could hardly summon up enough strength to even groan in pain.

I could barely cursed out as felt paralysed for the longest time. I forced my body to respond, grinding down my molars as I grunted with each muscle I flexed to turn around.



I gasped for air as I turned onto my back, trying to use the pressure of my weight against the new wound to sooth the pain.

I think my vest caught it but it hurts so bad that I doubt I would get back up anytime soon.

So many thoughts flashed through my head. My brain immediately came to the conclusion that this is over.

I wanted to laugh.

At myself that is.

Jane is not alone and I was naïve enough to think that I could have a one on one fight with her without anyone interfering.

My eyes drifted to the entrance of the classroom.

I could see a gathering of men outside the classroom.

About 4 heavily armed men with masks are looking in.

Jane threw my knife like a angry child venting her frustration at a TV remote at one of them and he quickly ducked and ran behind his teammates.

It’s as if she was unhappy that our fight was interrupted.



Jane kicked the spear out of my hand and made sure there were nothing within reach that I could use.

This is it.

End of the line for me. Jane paced about in front of me. She was panting hard.
Well, at least I did not go out without a fight and I’m sure I gave her a much harder time than the rest of my dead colleagues.

I almost wanted to curse at Jane, saying that this is not fair but I stopped and I ended up laughing inside my head.

When is a fight every fair ?

It’s never fair.

Jane had to content with 4 of my colleagues before she met me.

So what if I was shot in the back ?

If it had been Owen’s men who are standing at the windows right now, they wold have shot Jane in her back too.

Ego has no room during a fight for survival .

I grabbed onto the leg of a toppled table and pulled myself up from the ground. I sat up and leaned against the legs of the table for support.

Every muscle in my body was burning, I could feel pain all over no matter what I do. I don’t remember feeling like this before, probably the first time I trained with my instructors back in the jungle many years ago.



I saw one of the armed men handing Jane a phone and she took it.

She did not say anything and hung up after a while.

Jane picked up her hudiedao and kept it behind her back. She picked up her spear and pulled up a chair. She sat down opposite me and she crossed her legs.

Seeing her posture, I thought I felt a slight erection in my cock. Yes I’m aroused. It’s biological. Humans are just animals at the end of the day. We seek something primal in our mates besides looks.

It’s the ability to care for our young. If there truly is a womb worthy of my sperms, it would be the one belonging to the woman sitting in front of me.

I coughed and the laugh I almost let loose was camouflaged within it.

The irony.

My eyes searched the floor of the classroom. I could see my knife and fork a short distance away. I might still have a chance.

I saw 2 of the armed men entering the classroom. The muzzle of their weapons pointing at me while keeping a distance of at least 3m away.




I grunted and tried to get up but I fell back onto my buttocks.

I cursed under my breath and I attempted to stand up again but I can’t. The pain in my back felt worse now. I could feel the burn in my spine as the impact of the hit slowly sets in.

Jane leaned back on her chair, visibly relaxed as she shook her legs.




She’s looking at me, probably amused at my antics of trying to stand up.

I could feel my lungs filling up properly again.



I can still do this.

I know I can but my body is not moving as fast as I want it to. I’m not giving up without a fight. I dropped to the floor, gasping for air as I supported my body with my forearm.



It must have been a pathetic sight as I half crawled and dragged myself towards my knife.

Maybe one of the men would shoot me in my head before I get it and it would all be over.

Surprisingly, no one tried to stop me.

I could hear more commotion from outside the classrooms. I looked up and I could see 3 of Owen’s men with their wrists zip tied behind their backs being half dragged and pulled into the classroom.

They were made to knee down on the floor. I continued crawling towards my knife.

I gripped it but Jane’s boot came down on my hand, pinning it hard against the floor.

It fucking hurts but I refused to acknowledge it.



I’m not granting her the satisfaction of seeing me cry out in pain.

Before I even realised it, my head was slammed against the floor twice.

Fucking bitch. I could feel blood pooling inside my mouth. I think my own teeth scratched a new wound on my tongue.

I choked on my own blood for a bit as I coughed, the mask I was wearing made it hard to spit out the blood. Jane grabbed my hair but I broke free and attempted another jab into the side of her body.

That jab took all I had left within me. I regretted it almost immediately.

Jane moved back in time and I fell onto the floor.

This is embarrassing.

Jane removed both the knife and fork from the floor and passed it to one of the masked men.

I looked up at Jane, her glowing slit at her eyes looking down at me in a menacing way. She went back to her seat and sat back down.



No one did anything.

It’s as if they were waiting for something to happen.

Or rather, someone to arrive.

About 5 minutes later, I heard a tapping on the floor.

A tap, followed by the shuffle of footsteps.

The tap is pretty constant, and a walking stick soon came into view.

The stick preceded the steps of the man holding it.
I could see him limping a little, putting more weight on his left foot.

He wore a hat, and there is no doubt he is the man in charge.

Jane stood up from her chair and offered the seat to this mysterious man.

The classroom is dark, and I could only make out the figures and rough outline of everyone in the room.



The man looked at me and the rest of Owen’s men on the floor.


He spoke with a rather hoarse voice. It doesn’t sound natural, it sounded like someone with a very bad sore throat trying to speak.

Man : What…. Are all of you fighting for ??

No one said a word. The man went on talking as if he expected our silence.

Man : The man you serve…..is lying to you….

Again, this was met with a wall of silence.



He leaned forward on his walking stick for a brief moment before standing up.

Walking slowly to the 3 men on the floor, he went on.

Man : When i…… handed over …… the agency….. to him….

I felt a wave of goosebumps travel down my back as I dealt with the realisation that this is Owen’s predecessor.

The man who founded the agency itself.



Man : I told him…. To never forget….. why we do…. What we do….

He yanked off the mask of the 1st man on the ground and threw the mask in front of him.

Man : We serve…… we protect…. And then we disappear quietly …… into the night…..

The second mask came off and joined the first on the ground.

Man : We need no medals,…… no recognition……. We do what is necessary…..

He paused and the room went quiet for a moment.


Man : I have …. Always warned Owen….. that his love… for the country….. will one day be his downfall….

He went on to say that he has no doubt of Owen’s will to protect the country, but the method he employs is unacceptable.

Man : I told him to imagine the country and most of it’s population…… as a child….. they will never understand how much it takes to keep everyone safe…. They think it’s their god given right………..that the streets they walk on at night is safe…. that…. No one will walk up behind them….. and put a bullet in their head…. Just for that $50 they have in their pocket….


He pulled off the mask of the 3rd man and held it in his hand.



Man : We have enjoyed a few generations of peace…. And prosperity………and it is in times like this…. That people get complacent….

He opened his questions to the floor but no one answered.

Why the need for more money to spend in defence when the streets are safe ?

Why do we need so much resources keeping our borders safe ?

Man : Owen is planning a lesson…..for the country…. One that the country will never forget if we allow it to happen….. he has been seduced….. by an idea… by …. An organisation…. By a man…..and that very idea has taken root in his head….. a idea that promised him power beyond his imagination…..He is no longer the Owen you know….



He threw the 3rd mask on the floor and turned his attention to me.


He carried on talking as he put his walking stick in front of each step he takes.

I could see his approach and Jane noticed the change in my posture. Before I could even plan my next move, I felt the sharp tip of the spear she was holding jabbing into the side of my neck.

If I could take this man hostage, I might stand a chance but I could feel the pointed tip of the spear already drawing blood. There’s no way I will be faster than Jane in that situation.

Man : I am offering….. all of you here…. A chance…..



He stopped right in front of me before turning to face the other 3 men who he unmasked.

Man : A chance to know the truth…..or you would rather die defending a lie….


“ fuck you !! …. I will not listen to your lies !!!, Don’t believe him Hibiki !! “

The man in the middle of the 3 cursed and spat at Owen’s predecessor.

There was a muted bang and the next thing I realised was the smell of a freshly discharge weapon reaching my nostril.

There was no hesitation at all in the man’s part.



He just fucking shot the man in his head.


Man : then I won’t waste my breath on you …..

There was a series of loud clicks outside and I saw the lights in the school coming on.

The courtyard got brighter, the floodlight on the walls illuminating the landscaped field.

A masked man entered and I could hear him say the power’s back up.


Someone hit the switch to the classroom we were in and I blinked several times, my eyes adjusting to the sudden brightness of the classroom.


I was looking down when I felt the mask I was wearing being pulled off my head.

Looking up, I came fast to face with the mysterious man.



Man : You…..

That word came slowly, as if there was a deliberate drag on the ‘u’. A drag of recognition.

That face.

I know that face.

A tsunami of memories came flooding into my head as I looked at that smiling face of a man that is but a shadow of his former self.


I know him.

And from the crooked smile on his face, he recognised me.


Jeff : you……


It’s him.

A face I have not seen in a long time.


Ron.

Santa Claus in green….


I heard the drop of that metallic spear beside me and when I looked up at Jane, she started to back away from me.

I could see the tremble in her hands.


I looked at the slit on her mask that is no longer glowing underneath the white light of the classroom.




Jane’s hand went under her mask and I could hear the release of a click.

She pulled the mask off her head and I felt as if someone had just sucker punch me in the stomach.



Xuehua : you……


……………………………………………………………………



A blanket of awkward silence in the room was punctuated by Ron’s throaty laugh. He went back to his chair and I could see him looking at Xuehua and I.

Ron : you… know each other… haha… hahaha….

I did not say a word and I looked away.

Xuehua too remained quiet and she avoided Ron’s gaze.

I hated that look Ron gave me.

His look pierces through your thoughts. You could just tell from the eyes that this is someone who sees everything. Whatever those eyes lay it’s sight upon, it sees beneath the surface.



He knows something is off about Xuehua and me.

There was no hiding the look of astonishment on our faces.

He took a look at his watch and another masked man came in to whisper something in his ears.

Ron : We need to clear this place now….we can’t be seen here….

I was bundled up with my hands tied behind me and dragged into the carpark.

I was thrown into a separate vehicle from Xuehua and there were 2 guns pointing at my chest at all time. A black bag was put over my head so I could not see where we were going.

My heart is beating so hard as I tried to make sense of what is going on.

This is a nightmare. A nightmare that I will soon be waking up from.

It’s the only explanation for this.


It was a quick 20 min drive before I felt the car stop. I was dragged out of the car and led on a short walk.

There’s a distinctive smell to the place I was brought to.

It took a couple of minutes before I recognised that smell.


Rice.

Fragrant raw rice.


The bag was pulled off my head and I looked around the place. It’s a warehouse. Probably belonging to a rice distributor.

Sacks of rice were stacked up high on both sides.


A chair was brought over for Ron and he took it, enjoying the relief it offered from leaning on his good foot.

Somehow we were all back in the same position as we were in the classroom. Just that this time round, I was sitting with my hands behind my back so were the 2 remaining men from Owen’s detail.


Ron chuckled as he leaned back on his chair. He gestured with his head towards my direction, carrying on the conversation from where we left off as if no time has passed in between.

I stole a look at Xuehua, she looked as horrified as I am.

Neither of us could believe what is in front of our eyes. We just tried to kill each other.
I cannot imagine what would it be like if one of us succeeded.

Ron : This…..boy…. sorry…. My apologies…. Hahaha… you are no longer a boy…

Ron looked around at his men and spoke while shaking a finger at me.

Ron : This man here….haha…. he did something…. When he was young…. Something that I suspect no one in this room would have the balls of pulling it off… hahaha…. Of course… at that age… the lines between stupidity and bravery is blurred… but still…. He did something…. Something that earned my respect…. And I assure you…. My respect…. Don’t come cheap… hahaha..


Ron took a deep breath as he look at me.

Ron : This is going to be a tough nut to crack… hahah… he don’t break easy… hahaha…

One of Ron’s man standing behind the guy he shot came forward and he whispered something into his ears.

Ron : oh… really ? …. Let me see it…


That man left the warehouse and Ron directed his attention back to me.

I chose to remain silent. There is nothing I can say that will value add to my situation nor can I think of anything to say that will save my skin. Keeping quiet sometimes might be the best option.

I watch Ron close his eyes for almost a minute as he cycled through his thoughts and when he opened, he smiled.

He smiled and said my name.

Ron : Jeff…. I remember you Jeff… hahaha….


Ron seemed please with himself and he asked me what Owen’s orders were.

Ron : What did he want you to do…

I took a deep breath and answered him.

Jeff : Aiko Hattori….

Ron : ok…. What about Aiko Hattori…..

I thought about how to answer that question and Ron asked me to speak my mind.


Ron : It’s ok… just say it… there’s no right and wrong here… I already said…. You all are being lied to…. What you know…. What you think you know…. Might be very different from the truth…

Jeff : That Aiko is a terrorist…. She needs to be taken care off….

Ron nodded his head and I could see the twitch in his lips.

Ron : ok… ok… fair enough…. But…. Tell me….. does…Aiko…. Strike you as a terrorist… ?


I kept quiet, not willing to reveal more than I know.
I still need to figure out a lot of things here, first of which is to get out of this place alive for one.

Ron : Honestly…. You’ve seen her picture right…. Don’t you think she strikes you more as a AV star hahahah… than a terrorist….hahaha… I’m sorry…. Aiko isn’t here is she ? … she’s hot for a mother…hiak hiak….

No one replied Ron, it’s as if they knew he did not need one for the joke that only he found funny.


Jeff : We do not stereotype people… we follow orders…

Ron : jolly good… but you don’t follow them blindly…

I kept quiet and waited for Ron to go on.

Ron : good… good…..well… I’ll be straightforward about this….Owen Is lying…. And I believe somewhere inside that thick skull of yours you knew…

The remaining 2 of Owen’s men on the floor spoke out.


Man left : Do you have proof….. that Owen is lying…

Man Right : Hard evidence…. And not just base on your words…

Ron : Yes I do…. I wouldn’t have dragged my ass back up here to the surface if I didn’t would I ? ….haha … It’s so hot up here…

The men looked at Ron, puzzled with his words. He is not making any sense.


Ron : Hiro Hattori….. spouse of Aiko…. He is an employee of the company…. And Owen had him killed…..

Ron stood up and told us that Owen is secretly building an army.

An army of foreigners, with no links back to the company.

Ron : these men are mercenaries…. Thugs for hire… they have no loyalty to anyone…. Except to their paymaster….



What Ron had said so far collaborated with what I discovered on my own.

It meant I was on the right track.

Ron : The threat these men posed would have been easily handled…. After all…. A couple of dozen men…well… in a big perspective…. Would not be able to do much damage….without the right tools…..



Ron coughed a couple of times. He stopped and patted his chest. Then he started coughing again, this time round going into a coughing fit.

Someone offered him water and he took a while to settle down.

Ron : things changed….. when Owen took control of the largest drug smuggling operation in the country….. a few months ago…


Yiling immediately popped into my mind.


YIling.

The drug operation. The one I did it with her.


If everything is still running the way it was, it meant Yiling is still the person running the operation now.

Does this mean she is involved in this with Owen ?

Or like the rest of us, she is being manipulated and lied to. ?



Ron : With control of that operation, it gave him the financial muscle….to do more than he ever imagined….. but let me tell you… the biggest take away of taking control of that operation is not money…. Is contacts…. Smuggling routes….the right sources to get things beyond your wildest dream…. Get them… and get them into this country itself…. Without…. Too many people knowing of course…haha



The more Ron revealed, the worse the situation is starting to sound. The pieces start to fall into place.

Ron told us that Owen has been amassing explosives over the past few months.

It is very hard to get things like these onto the mainland no matter how well connected you are but Owen has been successful in getting small quantities of it every week.



He’s saving them for something.

Ron : He’s saving them for a wake up call he thinks the country need…. And…. Hiro….being the head of logistics…. Naturally …. Is aware of what is going on….

Jeff : How can you possibly know all these ??


Ron raised an eyebrow as if I asked something stupid.



Ron : hahah… you really expect me to leave the company I started without keeping a few spare cards up my sleeve ? hahaha….

The man that had left earlier came back into the classroom , I could see him holding a tablet in his hand.

Ron took it and I could see him swiping the tablet.

Ron : I see….

He handed the tablet back to the man and said nothing.


Ron : Hiro thought he was just helping to get men in for some wet works…. Untraceable jobs that we sometimes don’t want to get out hands dirty…. But he stumbled onto something sinister…. Something dark….he got scared…

Jeff : what did he stumble on ?

Ron : Oh… nothing much…. Your boss just wants to blow up a few schools…

Jeff : What…



Ron : schools are the ideal choice…. It’s easy to infiltrate… there’s hardly any security elements in place and it is guaranteed….. guaranteed….. to get the response Owen wanted…. It would put the whole country on edge….

Ron stressed the word guaranteed as if it was a sure thing.

The man on the left vomited. It came without warning.
I could smell the remnants of his dinner.

When he recovered enough to speak, he spoke with a trembling voice.

Man left : I….i… I have been assigned to…. To monitor the activities of…. Of a few teachers…. At a childcare facility in the north of the island….

There was a look of horror on his face. It’s as if it suddenly dawned on him that a catastrophe is about to happen and he is actively contributing to it.



Man left : this is impossible…. No way…. Owen will not do such a thing…

Ron : Everything I just said…so far…... how much of these do you know….

Man left : i…. I don’t know anything… I’m just Owen’s security detail…. i…I was assigned to that childcare facility for the past 2 weeks….

Ron : what about you….


Man right : I…. I know about the men coming into the country…. But…. But….

Ron grinned.

Ron : But there were no mention of ….. of the plans for the schools….? Haha..



Man right : yes… yes.. I … I know the men are here for some…. Covert work… but…but… no way… this is not possible…. Owen would never do anything like this…..what proof do you have ?

Ron sniffed and coughed again. He looked sick, or as if he was battling some infection. I can’t tell. He has surely lost quite a bit of his weight since I last saw him.


He sat upright and told everyone that Hiro had recorded evidence, both video and audio conversations Owen had. Hiro had the detailed plans, he knew the locations of the schools Owen is keeping an eye on right down to where the hired men are staying.


Ron : Hiro ….. was one of my many eyes and ears in the company…. And he was about to blow the whole thing wide open , but he did not get to do it in time…. Aiko was entrusted with some of the information that Hiro manage to sneak out…. She contacted me after her husband went missing…. Using channels that he had established with her if anything…. Unfortunate… were to happen..

Ron explained that while those evidence are not enough to remove Owen once and for all, but it is enough for him.


Ron : I know what I saw…. It’s not enough to convict Owen in a court, but it’s enough to make me come back and try and fix this…especially after he killed Hiro and is now going after his wife and kids…

Jeff : If this is true, why can’t you just stop Owen…. Go straight to the Prime minister… strip him of his right to run the company…. Tell him what is going on…



Ron laughed.

Ron : Oh things are complicated…. These things usually are…. I served during the reign of the previous administration…. Not the current…

Owen is one of the most well-connected man in the island right now.

His network of spies and men working for him goes beyond the magnitude Ron had when he handed the agency over to him.




Ron : I have snippets of information but not enough to end him….no one will believe anything we say unless we have proof…..and I mean something solid…….and besides…. I’m not even suppose to be here right now…. I am no longer in charge of the agency… the important thing now… is to get the plans Hiro stashed away…. Only then we will know the true extent of Owen’s scheme….then we have a chance of stopping him before it happened….

One of the masked men behind Ron came forward and reminded him of the time.


Ron : I got to go soon….i wish I could stay but Jane you have to take care of this…

He turned to Jane and asked if she could get the rest of the evidence.

Ron : they are in Hiro’s office…we need them… it’s encrypted… Aiko has the password…and Hiro has hidden them within his computer…. Among a shitload of files all in japanese…

At this point, I saw a woman being led out with a little girl beside her. I recognised her immediately. She looked like she lost weight base on the photo I saw.

Xuehua nodded.


I could not resist asking Ron why he needed to go.

Jeff : Is there someplace you have to be ??

Ron : yes there is… so do the dozen men I have with me…. I am wasting time up here on the surface…. Hundreds will die if Owen gets his way….but the responsibilities resting on my shoulders is a far greater burden….

Ron coughed a few times before adding without pausing to catch his breath.



Jeff : what the fuck ? …then you are what… just going to go ? … and leave Xuehua…. Sorry I ..err… I meant Jane… to deal with this… ?

Ron looked at me as if I said something silly.

Ron : hahah… why yes of course….you see… the thing about…. Being in management… you have to delegate task out…. You can’t do everything yourself…

Jeff : what the fuck… you want Xuehua… fuck… I mean Jane… to take care of what ?? Owen ? and his mercenaries ? alone ??

Ron : err….. what’s wrong with that ? you don’t think she can do it ?i know she’s retired for a while… but… desperate times call for desperate measures no ? do you doubt her abilities ??


Jeff : what ?

I cast Xuehua a look and I could see she immediately took offence even before I had a chance to explain.

She kicked me on my leg in the same manner she kicked her persistent friend in the carpark.



Jeff : Owww… what the fuck…

Xuehua : Answer him !!... you don’t think I can do it ??

Jeff : there’s no need to kick me like this …

Xuehua : it’s just a kick……you fucking tried to kill me.. !

I could see she was holding this in for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam.


Jeff : You fucking tried to do the same to me too !...

Xuehua : that’s because you started waving knives in front of me in the first place…

Jeff : You shot me…. even before I started waving knives at you…

Xuehua : that’s because you started shooting at me first….

Jeff : You decapitated a colleague of mine….


Xuehua : he tried to do that to me !!... I asked him to stop….he did not…. I was only defending myself…!!!

Jeff : You had to announce to the whole world you are Jane !... every asshole with their ego bigger than their head will want a piece of you….

Xuehua : tell you who I am is not showing off…. It’s a warning…. Just like the warning sign by the side of a river asking you not to swim because there are crocodiles …. And who are you going to blame if you fucking jump inside the river ??


Jeff : You are not a crocodile…

Xuehua : I would have eaten you for lunch…


Jeff : Oh yeah… cut me loose and let’s try it again… your friends shot me in the back !..

Xuehua : why are you losing your temper at me for ?? and what’s with all the vulgarities ??


Jeff : I did not lose my temper…. I am perfectly in control of my temper… ! I’m just stating the facts here…

Xuehua : then state it properly…. No need for the attitude…

Jeff : What attitude….?? There’s nothing I can do if you have a problem with the way I speak and express myself…

There was no hiding the tension in the room and I could see Ron massaging his forehead as he waved his hands at Xuehua asking us to stop squabbling.



Ron : alright… shut up… both of you….

Ron massaged the bottom of his chin and I could see him trying to put the picture together in his head as well.

Everyone just stared at Xuehua and I. I felt embarrassed out of the blue, this is fucking childish and I can only imagine how bad it looks.


We’re behaving like kids.

Ron : Okay…. Well…. It’s been a while since I got an update from you Jane but something tells me Jeff is not your regular Chicken rice stall customer is he… ?

Jane looked like she wanted to fire back a comment and she kept quiet.


It was at this time the man on the right had to blurt out something that made the atmosphere even worse.

Man right : They…. They’re dating right ?? I saw them at the supermarket…

Man left : yes they’re dating…

I saw one of Ron’s men burst out a uncontrolled chuckle for a brief moment before quickly regaining his composure when Ron stared at him.

Somehow his chuckle felt a bit off, it’s not that he finds this situation funny, I think he felt more pity for me to be dating Jane.

It’s as if his chuckle actually meant ‘good luck you poor fuck’



Of all the women you can fuck in the world you had to choose one that can kill you in your sleep. Perhaps even while you are awake.

This is fucking awkward.


Ron : Ohhhhkayyy….. this is…..awkward….

Ron scratched his head a little before turning back to Xuehua.

Ron : errrr….ermmm… tell you what… you … take him…….… and ermm… I don’t know… interrogate him…. Find out what he knows… ?? something like that ?? then bring Aiko back to the office… and get the evidence…

Jeff : What ? interrogate me ? … what the fuck do you think this is…. ?? I’m not getting interrogated by her …!


Xuehua : why are you so defensive ?? do you have something to hide ??!

Jeff : I don’t fucking have anything to hide….

Xuehua : then why are you so afraid of answering some questions ??

Ron stood up abruptly and the chair was knocked over.


The sound of the falling chair silenced the whole warehouse.


Ron : enough…. Don’t make me say it again. …..you guys are giving me a fucking headache….stop…

I could see the glare in Xuehua’s eyes. She’s angry, fucking pissed and she turned away, refusing to even look at me.

This sucks.


I don’t know why but I think I can safely say she won’t be sleeping with me anything soon.

That has to be one of the weirdest thing to cross my mind ever since the start of that intense evening.


Ron : I’ll only ask this once Jeff….. I want to clear things up a bit….why are you talking to the Japanese… ? are you planning something of your own ??

I hesitated for a while and I remembered the man who showed Ron something a while ago.

Someone must have seen me talking to Danzo.

Jeff : I went to Danzo and Nakamura because they knew men are arriving in Singapore and they want to know where they are…



Ron : what made you draw the connection ?

I told Ron about the meeting I had together with Owen a few months ago.

Jeff : men are missing in Japan…. They want to know why…and they know their men are in Singapore…



He nodded as he hobbled a few steps away and turned his back towards me.


Ron : Here’s what going to happen…

Ron spoke to the 2 men and me at the same time.


Ron : As far as the rest of the world is concerned…. All 3 of you are dead….. if not… I assure you….. If Owen knows you are aware of his plans…. You will be in a matter of time…. And I want to know about the Japanese in the country… this might be the start of a diplomatic crisis

Jeff : wait….. you don’t know that for sure..maybe……we should talk to Owen…we should trash things out…

Ron rebutted me without a change in his expression.


Ron : You want to talk….. …. to the man who killed your father ?? and ask if he is serious…. About his plans to teach everyone in the country a lesson ??

I felt as if my whole world just crashed and burned in front of me.

It’s like someone hitting me in the gut.


Xuehua turned back and looked at Ron.



Xuehua : what did you say ??

Ron : do you believe in coincidence Jeff ? …. That the timing just coincides…. The passing of your father…and Owen’s appearance….when he recruited you… ?



He gestured for the same man who showed him the tablet earlier.

Ron : I’m not going to sugar coat this…. I have no time… your father was sick…. Very bad lung issue I think…. Doctor gave him a year max….Owen could have waited…but he didn’t …

He asked his man to find the recruitment archives before throwing the tablet onto my lap.



Jeff : what….. what are you saying…. ?

My mind could not function. I don’t believe what I’m hearing.

Owen killed my father ?

All this so I can work for him ??

Ron : and to think you have been risking your life for him all these years….. well to be fair… your father was in pain… plenty of medication…. But I doubt you knew…. He kept it to himself….

Xuehua came over and cut my ties with her hudiedao but even with my wrist free, I could not move. My whole body went limp and I just stared blankly at the report that hasn’t be auto rotated on the tablet.


Xuehua : enough… stop… don’t go on anymore…

Ron : I plan to… he can read it on his own…

Xuehua took the tablet and put it aside. She shook me and I looked at her but my body was not responding.



Xuehua : let’s get out of here…

Ron : I really got to go but I want to know about the Japanese… Jane…you got this… I’m heading back…. Let me know the specific…. Get your boyfriend to help you bring Aiko to the office… get the evidence and end this…

Xuehua ignored everything Ron said. She just sighed and tried to wipe off some dried blood from the side of my lips. Blood that she put there in the first place.



Ron was about to step out from the room when the man on the right spoke again.

Man right : but…wait a minute….

Everyone turned and look at the man.

He looked confused, lost and there was this incredulous look of disorientation on his face.


Man right : why… why are you all talking about the missing Japanese…. ??

Ron turned his body towards him and asked what did he meant.


Ron : What do you mean ?

When he spoke, it blanketed the room in a thicker shroud of silence.


Everyone froze and stared at the man.

Man right : The men Owen is bringing in…. they’re Indians….

The man on the left turned and looked at his friend.

Man left : no… they’re japs… I overheard Owen talking about it once…

Man right : noooo…. I picked up a group once….. they’re all Indians…

The entire group went quiet.


Xuehua half dragged and pulled me off the floor.

3 seconds later I heard a chuckle from Ron.

He laughed as if he could not believe what he just heard.


Ron : hahaha…… hahahah…..This …. Just got ….. a whole lot more interesting….. hahahhaa.


My legs could not even bear my own weight and I collapsed back onto the floor

Xuehua : dear stand up… let’s get out of here ..!

Ron: hold on…. Hahaha…. Hold on…


He gestured for a phone and he dialled a number.

Putting his finger to his lips, he gestured for all of us to be quiet.

Ron put the phone on speaker mode.

I recognised Owen’s voice immediately when he answered.

Owen : yes ?

Ron : It’s me….


The short greeting was followed by a long silence.

Owen : why…

Ron : Because what you are doing is wrong….

There was a long pause, and Ron waited for Owen to reply him.

Owen : You know …


Ron : I do….. the japs…. The Indians…. I know…

Owen : Then why haven you tried to stop me ? you could have ended it…

Ron had a frown on his face and he kept quiet.

Owen : where are my men…


Ron : They’re dead… you know my style of working….

Owen : There is only 1 other body at the scene…. Where’s the other 3…?

Ron : I got them to talk…. Then I killed them….


Owen : where are their bodies ?

Ron : I don’t leave bodies…

I could hear Owen exhaling on the other end of the phone. He was trying to control his temper.


Owen : thank you then… for getting rid of them for me…. saves me the trouble of cleaning up…

Ron : it’s not too late to stop…


Owen laughed.

Owen : hahahah…. You have no idea what I’m doing do you… ?

Owen took this chance to take a swipe at his predecessor.


Owen : Aiko… is still in the country… there must be a reason why…. I killed a man trying to gain access to the audit department few days ago….he’s your man….again… there must be a reason why….you’re calling me…. to tell me you know of my plans….again… there must be a reason why….hahah

Ron smiled.


Owen : You called because you are trying to suss me out…. Your man wanted something inside the office…. It can only mean Hiro has something hidden in the office…. You have all the time in the world to bring Aiko out… but she remained in the country…. You went as far out as to lay a trap for us tonight…. This brings me to only 1 conclusion….


Owen chuckled, sounding please with himself for besting his predecessor.

Owen : You want something in my office….and you probably need Aiko to get it… hahahha…

Ron exhaled but said nothing.


Owen : You and neither the men nor resources to do this Ron…. Go back to that hole of yours… and leave the surface to me….

Ron : you’ve changed Owen…

Owen : Of course I have changed…. Doing this shit I do for a living changed me…no thanks to you…

Ron : I did not force you to take this up… you had a choice…


Owen : fuck off… I don’t have the time nor the patience to banter over the phone…. You’re right about Indians…. You’re right about the Japanese… and there is nothing… you can do about it….. you want something in my office ??? ….. come and get it…

Ron : last chance Owen…



Owen : I’m not falling for your mind games Ron…. I’m sorry your phone call yielded nothing… save your mind games for the kids… they don’t work on me anymore…

Ron : it yielded more than I could ever hoped for….

Owen : hahaha… goodbye Ron…

Owen hung up and I could see the look of disappointment on the faces of Owen’s men.

Ron looked at me and gave me a casual shrug of his shoulders, as if he was trying to say ‘ I told you so ‘


He closed his eyes and spent some of his time lost in his own thoughts.


Man left : you cannot go to the office….there are operators…. Hiding among the administrative staff of the audit department itself…. That place… that building… it’s a fortress…. You have to be mad to even try….


Ron smiled and got up, leaning heavily on his walking stick.

Ron : I’m not worried about getting in…. I’m just thinking about getting back out..… hahah


He exhaled and asked Jane to make sure I receive medical attention. He will be taking the 2 men with him.


I could hear everything going on around me.


My mind is processing everything but I just couldn’t move.


I can’t


I still cannot believe all these is happening.



Ron : get some rest……… we meet again in the morning……no matter how I see this…. There’s going to be some pretty big trouble in little india soon….

……………………………………………………..


I don’t remember what happened next.
I was in a constant daze. My mind could hardly function.

I knew I was half dragged along the warehouse until we got to a flight of stairs leading to the basement.



Xuehua left me on the floor as she unlocked a large blast door with a key pad on the side of the wall.

I could hear the hiss of the hydraulics as it releases the bolts in the solid frame.

I had sank down on my butt with my feet on the ground as I stared blankly at the corridor beyond. I could see a couple of people walking around. They cast us a disinterested look before getting back to what they were doing.

Xuehua took the wall opposite me and she too leaned back before sliding down onto the floor, bring our faces to the same level.



I wanted to speak but I can’t.

There is just so much going on in my head.

I almost killed my girlfriend, and the man I was working for for the past years turns out to be the man that killed my father.

Xuehua did not say anything either. She pulled off her gloves that are soaked with dried blood. I could see the bruises immediately.

The knuckles, the back of her wrist, I could only imagine the amount of burst blood vessels underneath the skin.

She saw me looking at her fingers and she brought them away from my line of sight, as if she’s suddenly aware that she’s no longer Jane in front of me.



Jeff : I…..i….

Xuehua looked at me, waiting for me to finish what I wanted to say.

She bit her lips, and pouted and I could see her holding back her tears.

Jeff : I’m…. I’m sorry…..

Xuehua : I’m sorry too…

She wanted to hug me but I could see she was in pain. The amount of abuse our bodies have been through that night is unimaginable.

I saw a man in white coat approach us from down the corridor.

He’s in his late fifties I reckon and he gave Xuehua a nod as he came closer.

When he knelt down, I could see him checking Xuehua out, shaking his head slightly.

He looked at her, starting from the bottom of her legs to her head. His hands reached out and touched her gently on her head.



Xuehua : Hi… Dr Cheong….

Cheong : You’ve grown prettier….big girl already….

Xuehua smiled.

Cheong : It’s been so many years since I last saw you….

Xuehua : it has… I’m… I’m sorry I didn’t come visit….

Cheong : that is suppose to be a good thing isn’t it…. Never a good thing to visit your doctor…

Xuehua laughed.



Cheong : and who do we have here… ?

Xuehua : Dr Cheong… meet Jeff….. he’s my boyfriend…

Cheong : Hi Jeff…. You look terrible….

Xuehua : We just tried to kill each other today….

There was a moment of silence before Cheong immediately lightened up the mood with a well-timed joke.

Cheong : I can heal the body, that’s covered under the company……….. matters of the heart is a separate charge…..

Xuehua smiled and she tried to stand back up. Cheong offered me a hand and I took it.


Despite his age, I could feel the firmness in his grip as he pulled me off the floor.

Cheong led us to his clinic. Set under the warehouse, Xuehua told me that the location has been actively in used for close to 40 years. Ron inherited it from someone else and he struck a deal with the operator of the warehouse.

No questions asked. Just money changing hands.
The warehouse operator will not bother what is going on in the basement. At the same time, they provided the perimeter security and keep people from poking around.

The heavily tattooed men shaking their legs and eye balling passer-by at the main gate works better than a commercial security guard.
The word is that the site belonged to some local triads that Ron works with.

Jeff : triads ?



Xuehua : It used to be a big group… but over the years it has splintered into many factions…..without a unifying leader… it’s a far cry from it’s former glory…now they just focus on earning money….

Jeff : I never thought they would still exist in today’s day and age…

Cheong asked Xuehua and I to undress and I felt a tinge of jealousy when I realised Xuehua had to undress in front of another man. As we pulled off tops and our vests, the extend of our injuries made Dr Cheong shake his head.

I could see the large bruises underneath the black sports bra she was wearing.

From torsos, to forearms, to shoulders and our backs. There is hardly a spot without a bruise or a scratch. Even our legs, thighs and calves were not spared the swollen reddish and purple plague of bruises.

Cheong made us take a few xrays and we waited in a small lounge.
It was sparsely furnished, a couple of old sofas with a modern looking fridge that looked totally out of place.



Xuehua and I finished a whole 1.5 litres of water each and I opened a packet of almonds to share.
There’s a lot to talk about between us but neither of us know where to start.

Xuehua : How long … have you been working for Owen…. ?

Jeff : 10 years… give and take… I don’t know…right around my enlistment period I think … how long have you worked for Ron ?

Xuehua drew her legs up and hugged them, bringing her chin to her knees.



Xuehua : Since I was 10 i think.... i don't remember.....

Jeff : What ?!!! you’re shitting me… 10 ?

Xuehua : My parents…. They passed on…. And I was…I was adopted…by my dad’s cousin…..back then….

Jeff : Eddy ?

Xuehua : no… I have no blood relation with Eddy… but he’s the closest person to being a father to me…. My dad’s cousin,…he took me in…. but things didn’t work out…

Jeff : what happened ?



Xuehua : he raped me…

I dropped the packet of almonds on the floor as I watch a drop of tear roll down Xuehua’s cheek.

Jeff : what…



Xuehua : Not only did he raped me….. he got his friends….to…. to do the same…

Jeff : you’re 10….

Xuehua nodded.

I could feel the pick up in my heart rate as I suppressed a animal like growl in my stomach.



Jeff : where are they now… ?

Xuehua chuckled before looking up at me.

Xuehua : I killed my dad’s cousin….i hit his head in with a hammer…. I hit him again and again until his face caved in…..

I got out of my seat and went over to Xuehua. I hugged her and tears continued to flow from her eyes.



Xuehua : I would have kill the rest… but I was just a little girl… I was over powered…. They beat me….and they raped me again….. I wanted to die…I wished I was dead…

I kissed Xuehua on her head and held onto her.



Jeff : It’s all in the past…. It’s all in the past….

Xuehua : Eddy….. finally found me after a few months…. He was my dad’s sworn brother….

Jeff : he saved you…..

Xuehua : He did…. He came with Ron…. And he killed everyone… with his bare hands….sobzz…

Xuehua broke down in my arms and I squeezed my eyes shut tightly. In that moment, I realised we are all broken in one way or another.

If we are not broken, we will not be doing what we do.

Xuehua : i….i tried to kill myself…. I wanted to cut myself…the pain… I just didn’t want it anymore….sobzz… Eddy…..Eddy knelt down and begged me not to….that was the 1st and last time I saw him cry….

Xuehua told me that Eddy blamed himself for being late, he should have found Xuehua earlier.



Xuehua : Ron, cleaned up the scene and covered everything up….and….and I …. I started working for him….

Jeff : oh my god…

Xuehua : I told Ron I never….ever want to feel weak and vulnerable…. Ever again…. That I will do anything…. To make sure no one can hurt me…

Xuehua sniffed and wiped off her tears with the back of her hand, and she chuckled, looking a little embarrassed.

Xuehua : I’m sorry…. I got a little too emotional…. You ok ?..

I nodded.

Jeff : I will be….



We were left alone for a while before Cheong came into the room with a tablet.

Cheong : ok… thankfully… no broken or cracked ribs…. The bruising will take a while to heal though….your bodies took a beating but otherwise…. Both of you are in great shape…. Painkillers….. something to help you sleep… some cream for the cuts….anything else you guys need ?

We shook our head.



Cheong : room 5B is all yours…Ron asks me to pass along a message…. Meeting at 8am…. This gives you….4 hours to catch some quick winks…

Xuehua and I walked almost naked towards the room assigned to us. She was just wearing her black sports bra and I’m in my boxers. No one bat an eyelid when they walk past us.

Xuehua and I showered together in the attached bath. It only comes with cold water and we shared whatever warmth our battered bodies could afford to spare. We kissed, we fondled with each other’s body.

By the time we dried ourselves, we were groaning in pain as we made our way to the bed.

Every position we wanted to adopt came with it’s fair share of pain. I wanted to fuck to numb my mind. Xuehua wanted the same thing but it was too painful for us.

Xuehua :argnnhhh !! god… it hurts…

Jeff : arghhh !! ouch… arguuhh… fuck…



We ended up laughing with Xuehua straddling me. My erected cock entered her vagina and I could feel that familiar gasp of her breathe on my face.

We kissed for a very long time, breathing into each other’s face.

Jeff : I love you dear… I’m sorry… I didn’t know…

Xuehua smile as she caressed my face.

Xuehua : I’m sorry… I didn’t know too…

We kissed for a while longer before Xuehua said she was only brought in onto this situation recently. She sort of recognised Owen from his past visits to the café but she did not know who he is.

Xuehua : I know you work for him…. But… not in this capacity….you… you just don’t look like….

Jeff : don’t look like what ??

Xuehua : hahaha… you don’t look like someone who can do what you can do… haha



I tried to tickle Xuehua but the pain in my arms made my movements slow. Xuehua caught hold of both my wrist and pinned them down above my head and I could feel the squeeze of her vagina walls.

Jeff : ernghhhhhh!!! Ohhh… I didn’t know you are into this… holding me down like that.

Xuehua ; hahhaa….i believe I’ve let you hold me down in more ways imaginable the past few weeks… ahhaa..

Jeff : ernnang…arghhh

Xuehua : erngh… ernhhh….

The gyrating of our bodies lasted less than a minute as Xuehua and I are more satisfied by the touch of our bodies than the thrusting of my cock into her vagina.


Looking at Xuehua in her eyes, I told her I still can’t believe how madly in love I am with her.

Xuehua : Even knowing what I can do to you in your sleep ? hahaha

Jeff : haha… especially…. Knowing what you can do to me in my sleep…

Xuehua : I think I’m madly in love with you too….. Hibiki….



She whispered softly like a seductive siren by my ears as she chuckled.

I could feel the wetness of her tongue in my ear as it slowly drags down the side of my neck.

Then I felt it.

It came without warning.

The tongue stud felt different.

It was then I realised what that stud is hiding all this while.



I froze as I felt that sharp blade on my neck running dangerously close to my artery.

I felt more aroused than ever, my cock getting so hard that I could feel Xuehua’s vagina squirming as her love hole tried to accommodate me.

When she finally got to my lips, the blade is gone, in it’s place is once again that teasing metal stud that made my knees go weak everytime she employs it on my cock.



Jeff : i…. don’t know what to say…..

Xuehua smiled and we kissed again.

When she pulled back , she gave me the sweetest smile ever and she said to me in such a soft soothing voice. It was almost like a coo you use on a baby but there is no hiding the seriousness of her statement.



It was a warning.

A warning that made me want her even more than ever.

Xuehua : If you ever cheat on me…… don’t let me find you…

Jeff : hahahhaa…

I laughed and I hugged onto Xuehua tightly rolling over so that I’m on top.

I blocked off everything in my head, I mentally shut down all the pain and so did Xuehua.

We fucked.

Amidst groans of pain came moans of pleasure.



I remembered I came raw inside Xuehua, depositing my semen deep inside her vagina as her legs griped tightly onto my back.

We felt asleep naked.

I don’t know what time it was but there was that constant knocking on the door.

I had to crawl out of bed with a splitting headache.

When I opened the door, I saw Ron and his men looking at us impatiently.

Ron : get some fucking clothes on….



I could not be bothered with myself and I walked with my cock dangling towards Xuehua. I covered her with a old looking gown before shaking her awake. She woke with a jump and her right hand went straight for my neck, clamping down before I could say anything.

Almost immediately, she regained her composure and apologised.

Xuehua saw the gathering of men outside the room and quickly got dressed while I threw on some old ill fitting pants from the cupboard.

Ron and his men did not wait for us to get ready, they were already in the room and they made themselves at home, sitting and settling down on whatever surfaces they could manage.

I could see their bloodshot eyes. They no longer mask their faces. It’s obvious none of them had any sleep.



Ron : We have to get the evidence from the office……Owen knows what we want… that building will be heavily guarded…. Let’s not forget there will be other civilians in that building as well. ….

Ron’s plan was for Xuehua to stake out the office surrounding in a couple of days time.

Ron : the bruises on your face should heal a little by then, allowing for easier cover with makeup…. You will be our eyes on the inside….. no one knows who you are….

Jeff : No.. it’s too dangerous for her….

Ron : Shut up… I make the plans… not you….

Ron turned to Xuehua, ignoring me totally.



Ron : You’re sleeping with him…. I hope you know what that means…. If he sells us out…. You will be the one to kill him….

Xuehua : Ron stop it…. Don’t say things like that…. Jeff isn’t that kind of people…. Owen killed his father for god sake….

Ron : As far as I’m concern… he is your responsibility …. Did you get anything out of him last night….? Besides the contents of his testicles…

Xuehua grabbed the table lamp and sent it towards Ron but his men caught it without hardly batting an eyelid and put it aside.



Xuehua : you can be such an ass sometimes… !!

Ron took a deep breath, aware that he might have gone a little overboard.


Ron : Owen will be busy… trying to cover up the mess from last night for the next few days…. He lost many good men too….we have a bit of time….

Ron got up and pointed at me with his walking stick.

Ron : I’m only going to ask this once….look at me in the eye and answer me…. Are you going to stop Owen …. ?

I nodded.

Jeff : Yes… whatever it takes…

Ron kept his gaze on me for a while trying to get a read on me. After he was satisfied that I was telling the truth, he nodded his head.

Ron : good….

Ron started to lay out the plan for us.



Ron : There will be questions for Xuehua when she goes back to the café…. If Owen’s people know you guys are dating, you can be sure Owen does too…. Jeff is dead…. As far as the rest of the world is concerned….. everyone will want to know how you are dealing with a missing boyfriend….

Xuehua will resume her daily routine. Owen no doubt will increase the number of people he has guarding the office after this incident. There is no way we can safely get in and out without suffering heavy causalities on both sides.

Ron : We lay low for a while….and I will be making sure Owen stays busy…Owen is aware we know something…. He knows his plan will be compromised if he does not change them…. My take is he will be changing his plans , his hit locations and probably the place he is housing his private army as well….

Ron’s plan is to keep Owen busy by stretching his resources thin.

Ron : I know the kind of jobs Owen has to undertake…. The kind that gets thrown to him…. I’m going to stretch him thin on all fronts….this is the only way….. once I’m sure his resources are stretched…. We will make our move…

Jeff : How long will this take ? a week ? two ?



Ron : No… a month… maybe two ??

Jeff : What ?

Ron : I will not send…. My men….. nor Jane… to their deaths….. storming a fortress that is filled with Owen’s men….we will do it covertly….

Jeff : What do I do in the meantime ??!! play dead ??!!!



Ron gave me a look before turning to look at Xuehua.

Ron : maybe try to be get better…. So you don’t get beaten up by your girlfriend…

Jeff : You !

Xuehua gave an irritated ‘Tsk’ at Ron and held me back.

Ron : I will be thinning out the occupants of the building in the meantime… as many as I can manage… companies not associated with Owen will be made to move…. One way or the other…. Owen cannot keep an army at the office indefinitely….

Xuehua : What about Aiko ?

Ron pointed to me.

Ron : Jeff will stay here…. Aiko’s safety is his responsibility ….

Jeff : what about you… ?



Ron : I’m leaving after this…. I will run this Operation remotely ….

Jeff : wow… you’re serious…

Ron : one day… perhaps you would get the chance to see everything from another perspective….that Owen is just another small problem in a big fucked up world….

Ron asked to speak with Xuehua in private and they left the room.

I turned to the closest man standing behind him. He was trying hard to stay awake.

I could not help but notice his weapon. There is something amiss about it.

There’s a large claw like scratch cutting diagonally across the butt of the weapon. The scratch even cut into the metallic part of the weapon housing.

He saw me looking and he swung his weapon behind his back. I turned my attention to his uniform. There were no names, nothing to identify him but there are 4 hydra like symbol etched to his collar.



It’s round with 4 serpent like lines stretching outwards all contained within a small circumference of a 20 cent coin.

Jeff : what is that ?

He stood up and walked out of the room, ignoring my question totally.

That really made me draw a conclusion of sort with the prerequisites Ron is looking for if you want to work for him.

Have a fucking attitude problem.

Xuehua returned to the room 10 minutes later and Ron left with his men.

Jeff : Everything ok ??


Xuehua : yeah….

Jeff : What’s going to happen now… ?

Xuehua : We have to bid our time….wait for Owen to let his guard down…. It’s the only thing we can do…

I nodded.

Xuehua : you have to stay here…..


Jeff : I know… what about you ?

Xuehua : I’ll be here…. At least for the next few days… hahah…




…………………………………………………………………………………..

Whenever I had time to allow my mind to wander, I would think of what Ron said. What he told me. I read the recruitment brief several times, it was all there. Written and signed off by Owen himself.

I’ve had a few good days of rest spending time with just Xuehua. We fucked so many times that I was doubtful the bruises on our body would ever recover but it did get better.



4 days after the incident she’s gone, leaving me all alone at the stall.

We have our story ready. Xuehua would be contacting Billy asking for my whereabouts. That I stood her up on a date a few days ago and she hasn’t been able to contact me since.

She was busy preparing for some art exhibition the past few days and there’s absolutely no word from me.

I could not help thinking about Billy and Belinda. Whose side are they on ?

If Owen goes to the trouble to lie to us, there’s a high chance he’s keeping them in the dark as well. Well, the way I see it, base on the scale of the operation he is planning, there’s no way he’s doing it on his own.



He will definitely have someone on the inside helping him with various aspects of the planning.

Probably someone lower down the hierarchy. I’m pretty sure he did not tell any of his top 5 operators. I doubt any of my past colleagues is that sick to start blowing up schools. If only their ego did not get better of them, they would still be alive.

No. If it wasn’t for Owen, they would still be alive.

He knew from the start Aiko had help, he just didn’t know from who but he knew. He knew she had help from someone who was good enough to kill an operator of his. That was why he sent in all of us.

He went all in and lost.



I asked around the compound for access to the internet and there was only one terminal available that is secured enough for me to use. Even then it was to be supervised.



I had to tell the staff the site I wanted to go and what I’m looking for. I was not allowed to even touch the terminal.

It was more of a formality. The staff attending to me is close to 50 years old. He typed at the speed of a snail .


When he logged into the surveillance system I had set up for my house, I was surprised to see an empty shell. My house has been cleared out.

Not even a piece of furniture remain.



I directed him to go back in time as I scanned through the archives for the past few days.

We paused when I saw Owen entering my place at 3am in the morning. He walked around my place, looking at the things in the house.

I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know what to think. Anger. Disappointment. Sadness. Regret. I don’t know.

Owen paced about for a few minutes before grabbing a bottle of whisky from my shelf.

He poured 2 glasses, presumably 1 for me.

I could see his lips were moving. He’s talking, he’s saying something but I have no audio for the footage. I never thought it was necessary.

5 minutes later, he touched my glass and finished his drink then he left.

At 8am on the day of that footage, a team came in and started clearing out my stuff.



I directed the staff to switch to another camera. One I had trained on my front door from opposite my flat.


Owen’s men stripped my place clean.

Cold and surgical, that flat is now a resource that I no longer need from his perspective.

I thanked the staff for his help and told him I’m done.

I walked around the perimeter of the warehouse everyday, there was nothing much I could do.

Eventually I settled down into a routine.

I wake up and I would join Aiko and her daughter Miki for breakfast.
They are very shy and reserved.

They hardly spoke. No matter how I try to engage them, they would just nod shyly and avoided extended conversation.

I don’t blame them.



Imagine being told the man that was initially sent to kill you is now protecting you and your daughter. That’s a pretty fuck up thing to say to a pregnant mother. I gave them space, the only time we meet everyday are during meal times.

All the staff within the small facility eat together at a small canteen.
It was a whole week before Aiko finally allowed me to help her with their dishes after the meal.

2 weeks later, Aiko trust me enough to let me read to her daughter.

Just a short reading session, but I enjoyed it. It helps take my mind of things.



I could only keep in touch with Xuehua via a landline. She would call every alternate nights at 11pm.

Security at office building has been beefed up several notches. With so many additional people, the business at the café is buzzing.

Xuehua : we sold out at 3pm… can you believe that ?

Jeff : well… Eddy must be happy…

Xuehua : he’s not… he’s fucking cursing because it’s so hectic…. Hahaha

I laughed as I played with the cord of the old phone. I felt as if I had travelled back in time. Having to speak with some high school crush on the phone, tethered to the device by that black cord.



Jeff : Eddy……

Xuehua : yeah ?

Jeff : He’s one of the 4 pillars….. isn’t he….

Xuehua laughed.

Xuehua : are you more afraid of him now ? haha



Jeff : hahaha… I’ve always been afraid of him… haha

Xuehua : your girlfriend is Jane… what’s there to be afraid of ? ….

We would end our phone banter at 11.30pm before I go for my run. I can’t leave the compound, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work out. The warehouse sits on a pretty big piece of land. It’s about 80m in length and 30m across.

With a clear perimeter around all sides, it gave me all the space I needed to get my heart pumping. I did 60 rounds every night before I sleep.

It was during this period I got acquainted with the people that ran the warehouse.

The tattooed men with blonde hair, all of them are chain smokers.
They watched in amusement from their small table where they drank their beer when I ran.

I heard one of them commented I was probably crazy.

Far from it actually.



I know my body, I need to get better, faster than I already am.

I know we’re going to the office and I’m sure Owen will be ready for us.

I’m not worried about myself, I’m worried about dragging a heavily pregnant Aiko with me.



How the fuck am I going to do that ?

Would she be covered in blood by the time we get to the office floor ?
It would be a traumatic experience for her if she had to see people die along the way up.

I found a old piece of wood to practice my knife work at the back of the warehouse. The only way I would allow myself to fall asleep every night is from exhaustion.


30th Sep 2013

It’s been more than a month since the night at the school.
Xuehua visited twice in the dead of the night before leaving right before the sun comes up.

The security at the office is still tight, there’s a drop in the number of men posted there but it’s still much higher than normal.

Ron is true to his word. Xuehua told me that 4 companies vacated their office that month.

I wonder what he did.

Owen is kept busy by Ron. He has his bag of tricks that he can employ.

A group of hackers are wreaking havoc in the country, hitting government linked sites and shopping malls. It’s Ron’s doing no doubt.



Owen has his men chasing blind leads that Ron had set up. They would not find anything. Eventually a few fall guys would take the blame so an answer could be given to the public.


31st October 2013



I lost 4kg and I look like a damm hippy with the mop of hair on my head.

It’s been more than 2 months since I had a haircut.


I found new joy being cooped up within the compound with a new friend.

A middle age man. Uncle Ben.

He saw me playing with my knife one night and he walked over with a swagger.

I will never forget the manner he spoke. He reminded me so much of a Hong Kong actor, with his slick hair and gangster like demeanour.

I saw him approaching and I was immediately on guard.

Not only is he walking towards me slowly. He had something in his hands.



He was holding onto 2 metal pole.

Uncle Ben : Xiao Peng You !!!! ( Young man ! ) …..

I looked at him, unsure of what he wanted.

He pointed at me with a metal pole of his.

Uncle Ben : Playing with that piece of wood… you will never get better… whahahahahahahhaha….

His laughter was cut short by his sudden lunge towards me.

He’s fast, and he’s unpredictable. His swings, the way he handled the makeshift weapon. You could tell this is someone who grew up in the streets.

He fought his way up in the streets literally.

I blocked off his initial strikes and by the 3rd time I ducked his swing , I could feel the rush of adrenaline in my body. He moves differently. He counters my attempt to tackle him down in a different way too.



The way of the streets. There are no proper locks or submission with Uncle Ben. He just fucking know where it hurts most.

Just when I thought I had him his hands grabbed onto my head and I felt his thumb sink into the soft side of my temple by my right eye. The pain was instantaneous, I dropped my guard and the next thing I knew, I was sent sprawling onto the ground on my back.

Uncle Ben : hahahahahahaha…. Hwhahahahaha….. again …. !! again !!! whahahhaah….

I have never felt so excited in a long time.

That was the first night with Uncle Ben and it will not be the last.

Once a week, Uncle Ben will join me at the back of the warehouse.

He fights dirty, he bites, he claws and he hit below the belt. He even stormed on my feet, he dug the heel of his shoes into my ankles.

Instead of hard hitting jabs to vital organs, Uncle Ben taught me how to inflict pain on different scale. It does not matter how you hit or how much it hurts, as long as it gives you an advantage over your opponent.



November 2013



Ron was wrong when he thought he could effectively thin out the people at the office to the point it would be easy on us.

Owen had more resources than anyone imagined.

He now has metal detector set up at the entrances of the office.

The side entrances are sealed off on pretext of upgrading works. The only way in are through the front door and the loading/unloading bay or carpark.

Xuehua told me there are a lot more security guards now but they are not from the same company engaged by the company’s management.

They are a mix of Indians and Japanese.

Xuehua : Ah Leng is pretty happy though…. With so many people,… he hardly needs to do anything…. Just watch his hong kong drama on tablet everyday….

Ron made an unexpected visit in November.



20th November 2013
10.20am



Aiko has given birth early to a boy earlier that day.

Dr Cheong delivered the baby within his clinic and no one expected Ron to visit.

After a cursory visit to Aiko and her child, Ron gathered everyone in the dining area for a meeting.

This includes all support staff, even Dr Cheong.

Ron : I’ll go straight to the point….

I could see Ron looking better than the last time I saw him. He was no longer using his walking stick. His voice got better too and there’s no hiding the renew vigour in his eyes.

Ron : I’ve kept Owen pretty busy the past couple of months…. My men… those that I can spare …. Have been trying to prod at the office every now and then….. the security arrangement currently is at it’s lowest….. it’s time for us to act….

Ron paused and searched the room for Aiko. She was sitting on a wheelchair and holding onto her newborn son.

Ron : My men will create a diversion…. At the perimeter of the site…. We are going to seal off the entire neighbourhood……
Jeff : How is that possible ?

Ron : We just need to set things in motion….. Owen will take care of the rest…

Jeff : What do you mean ?

Ron : We have a very short window of opportunity…. Once Owen knows we are there… he will respond immediately…. He will know the temporarily chaos is a diversion… our target is still the office…..

Ron told us that we can expect Owen to close off the entire district.

Ron : He will not let us leave….not with the evidence…. If I were him…. I will bring all public transport to a standstill…..cut off the flow of people in and out of the neighbourhood…..

Ron’s men put up a large map with multiple highlights of the neighbourhood surrounding the office on the notice board.

Ron : We’re right smack in the centre….Hastings road, Campbell Lane….Dunlop street… right up to Dickson road…where the junction meets at Serangoon road…. All these will be sealed off….

Ron took a yellow highlighter and cut across the map to bring attention to the junction he just mentioned.



Ron : On the other end,…. Where the streets meet Perak Road… you can be sure these will be sealed as well…. Our way out… will be by the star shaped junction where multiple roads meet… over here…..

Everyone looked at the unique shape of that cross junction Ron was talking about.



Shaped like a star fish extending it’s reach into the heart of Little India, 5 different streets converge at that point.

Ron : Head to the carpet shop over here…. You can cut through the shophouse to the exit at the back…….where the open air carpark is….Vehicular movements will be near impossible…. But I will have men stationed there to cut off anyone that may be in pursuit….




Ron used a different coloured marker and drew a line towards the HDB estate bordering Little India. The block where Xuehua is staying.

Ron : cut through the estate….. and get to the Rochor river Canal…. A boat will be waiting …. It will be the only way out of the city…. Questions….

I put up my hand immediately.

Jeff : How do you expect Aiko to do this ? She just gave birth….

Ron : Aiko’s job does not involve any heavy lifting…. You just need to get her to the terminal…. And get the evidence….

Jeff : how do you expect her to run out of this mess in her state ??

Ron : don’t underestimate what a determined woman can do….. Aiko ?

All eyes turned to her who was cradling her son close to her chest. Miki was holding onto her mother’s hand.
She spoke in a weak and accented English.



Aiko : yes…. For my husband… I can do this….


Ron nodded his head and looked to Jane and me.

Ron : Jane and you…. Has a good lay of the ground….the 2 of you will bring Aiko in….i’ll leave it to you 2 to find the best way to do it…..

I felt a skip in my heart as it dawned on me that it’s going to just be the 2 of us.

Ron : We will strike on a Sunday…. The office will have minimum occupants….

Ron planned to broadcast the evidence he has currently to all company employees a few days before we hit the office. Not only is he sending the evidence out, he planned to announce our intention.

Ron : it might sound crazy….. , but I’m hoping the smart ones will be able to see what is going on…..I hope it would make some of them think twice about stopping us.

Jeff : this is madness….



Ron : exactly…. And we’ll need someone crazy enough to pull it off….

I turned to look at Xuehua.

She had turned a chair around with it’s backrest facing forward. She sat with her legs open and arms resting on the top of the backrest.

She gave me a smile that turned to a chuckle.

Ron : I have limited resources….but I will do what I can to keep Owen’s men at the perimeter as long as I can….

Jeff : what if they are already within the perimeter itself.

Ron : Then you’re fucked…

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..




I went back to my room with Xuehua after Ron’s briefing.

I saw Xuehua pulling a trolley behind her as we walk down the corridor.

It’s been a while since I saw her and I know we’re definitely going to fuck.

Ron has set the date on 8th December. That’s about 3 weeks away.

It would give him enough time to get things ready and for Aiko to recover a little after her delivery.

Jeff : What’s inside that trolley ?

Xuehua : I made something for you…

Jeff : Really ? … like a… birthday card or something ? … a painting… ?

Xuehua : hahaha…. No…

We shut the door and we kissed immediately.

Xuehua : I missed you….



Jeff : I missed you too…

She pulled herself out of my embrace and brought the trolley case up onto the table.

When the zip was removed and the trolley opened up, I froze.

I was at a lost for words.



Jeff : What… the…what… the fuck….

Xuehua : tsk…. Can’t you say something nice…. I made it for you…

She gave me a playful kick as my hands touched the mask inside the trolley.

It’s a set.

It looked amazing.

Sitting beside Jane’s mask is another.

The curves and lines are a lot more masculine. The jaw lines are more defined. Where Jane’s mask had 2 spikes on the top, mine had none.



I do not have glowing slits for the eye sockets, mine isn’t sewn shut.

The entire construct is just a different texture and gradient of black.

It’s sleek, the eye shape with the expressionless face reminded me of the mask a mime wears. It’s terrifying the longer you look at it.

Jeff : wow….i…I’m speechless….

Xuehua : well…. I don’t think you’re a couple t-shirt kind of guy anyway…. So… hahaha… I made this for you….

Jeff : It’s…it’s amazing…. I love it…thank you…

Xuehua laughed as she asked me to try it on.



I grabbed her towards me and she screamed.

Xuehua : no !! NO!... no!! no way !!.. NO!! arghh.. ernghh !!!

She tried to struggle but I pinned her to the bed effortlessly.

Jeff : why are you pretending to struggle….? Haha

I knew if she really wanted to refuse, she could easily get out of my grip of she wanted to.

Xuehua : Because…… I know you like it….. Hi…..bi…. ki……


She said my call sign out softly like the purr of a seductive kitten. Xuehua chuckled as I removed my clothes.



Jeff : when we fuck…… call me Jeff….



She laughed and the rest is history.



………………………………………………………………………………………………….



8th December 2013
Sunday


7am

It was the first time I left the compound in almost 4 months.

And I knew the first place I wanted to go.

Chinatown.

Xuehua had rented a car. I told her I needed to pick up some kit and I drove us to the pawn shop in Chinatown.

It was too early and the door has yet to open but I know they are operational 24 hours a day if I need to get something.



I knocked on the door and looked up at the camera.

10 seconds later the heavy wooden door opened and I could see the staff giving me a nod. His eyes immediately went over to Xuehua.

Jeff : She’s with me….

He said nothing and shut the door behind me.

I could smell the aroma of spices being pounded a few steps away. Stepping into the courtyard I tried to do a mental inventory of what I have. No guns, they make too much noise and we are in the middle of a dense residential and commercial estate.

A stray round could be fatal on passerbys.



Jeff : Don’t talk to anyone…. Don’t touch anything… I’ll just be a minute….

Xuehua : orh…

I entered the courtyard and I was greeted with the familiar sight. It never changed.

The boss is still there playing with his bird.


Someone walking towards him with tea.

There are men huddled in the corner as I walk towards the waiting attendant.

I got to the attendant and waited for him to unlock the door to my locker.

He didn’t move.

He was looking past me.

Jeff : errr…. Are you going to open the door ?

The attendant stepped past me and paused.



When I turned, I felt as if time had stopped in the courtyard.

The old ladies stopped pounding chilli.


The huddled men in the corner stopped talking.

The boss stopped playing with his bird.

Jeff : what the fuck…

Everyone, and I meant everyone in the courtyard looked at Xuehua.

The boss got up off his seat and walked slowly towards my girl. He had a shocked expression on his face.



It’s like he could not believe what he was seeing.

Boss : you… you came back…

Xuehua : hi Uncle Yeo….

My Jaw dropped an inch as I watch the boss embraced Xuehua as he burst into tears.

Boss : I always knew you will be back….

The rest of the staff bowed, and I looked on in sheer astonishment. If there is an overwhelming aura that is to be felt within the courtyard, it’s one of respect.

The respect the older people are giving to Xuehua.

They exited the courtyard without a word as Xuehua smiled at them. Even the attendant left after unlocking the door for me to access my cabinet.

Jeff : fuck me….



I felt like jumping inside a hole as I watch the boss personally unlock the biggest storage unit his facility offered. The door right behind his seat.

Boss : my family owes you a debt…. We can never repay…

Xuehua : don’t say that Uncle Yeo…. That’s all in the past.

I can’t bring myself to look at this. There is nothing left of my ego after this episode.

I opened my cupboard and grabbed my knife.
A situation like this calls for both of them and having spend some time with Uncle Ben.

I started to fall in love with wielding both at the same time.

Clothes, boots, socks, cash, I had everything.

I changed on the spot, throwing aside the old clothes I brought along from the warehouse. Xuehua had gone inside her storage facility. An entire fucking room.


After I was done, I sharpened the edges of my knife on a grinding stone.

I adjusted the sheaths behind my belt and got acquainted with the weight of the knives behind me. My hands reached back and I could easily touch the reassuring grip of my weapon.



I threw on a jacket with a attached hoodie and I was good to go.

Moments later, I saw Xuehua exit her storage room. She’s dressed totally in black with matching boots. The tapered and figure hugging pants accentuated her sexy legs and beneath that windbreaker at the small of her back, I have no doubt she has her hudiedao tucked away.

Those were not the only things she carried. In her right hand held a massive cleaver. Almost 1.5 times the size that butcher wielded.


Jeff : that’s too big for you to wield. ….

Xuehua : that’s not mine…. It’s Eddy’s….

Jeff : alright…. I don’t mind some additional help….

I saw Xuehua checking out my storage cabinet.



Jeff : ok..it’s not as big as yours…. Whatever…

She did not respond. She walked past me towards my cabinet and I immediately felt my testicles shrink in half.

I backed away from my cabinet as I put up both my hands to try and calm Xuehua down.

Jeff : I…. can explain that…

Xuehua took Yiling’s heels off the cabinet with her left hand and gave me a look which told me I better have a good reason for those.

Xuehua : whose heels are these…. ?? ….



She took a look inside and at the bottom before commenting that these are not new.

Xuehua : these have been worn before…

Jeff : dear…. Listen…. I … I can explain that….

She put the heels back with a rather audible thud and accidentally pushed the photo album off the ledge onto the floor.

When the photo album fell, it opened up and that was when I was pretty sure my testicles disappeared.

The fucking wedding photo of Yiling and I took for the project is staring at us on the floor.

Yiling had half her thigh exposed and she was sitting on my lap.

I looked at the photo, back to Xuehua, and then to the massive cleaver she was holding.

Jeff : I….dear…. I can explain this…. I really really can explain this….

Xuehua : you !!! grrrrr !

Jeff : it’s from a old project… I just kept them as memento… !!



Xuehua pointed a warning finger at me and I quickly went over to hug her with only 1 arm.

My right hand immediately held onto the hand that was holding Eddy’s cleaver.

Jeff : dear calm down…. Please calm down…

Xuehua : arghh !.. let me go !!

She pointed a finger at my face and grunted that this is not over before storming out into the courtyard.

Jeff : fuck !...

I closed up and went after Xuehua, trying to cosy up to her with a smattering of apologies and chuckle.

Jeff : dear… that was really just a project… there is nothing… nothing between us… I’ve never seen her since…

Xuehua gave me a irritated look from the corner of her eye as I said the nicest things I could think of while keeping an eye on the knife she was holding onto.



Xuehua : arghhh… don’t come and sweet talk me….

A staff came with a large canvas bag for the cleaver. I took it from him and helped to bag Eddy’s knife. I know she’s not really angry, just throwing a tantrum like all girls do.

When we got to the entrance of the pawn shop, I could see all the staff gathered within the area, including the boss.

Xuehua : We’re in a hurry Uncle Yeo…I’m sorry I can’t stay…

The boss nodded in a understanding manner.

His staff opened the door and Xuehua went straight to the car. Right before I stepped out, the boss held onto me.

He has never spoken to me before.

Boss : If you hurt her….. we will no longer be able to do business together…

My jaws dropped as I looked up into the ceiling of the pawn shop as I squeeze my fist into a ball shaking it in exasperation.



Boss : She buried 14 men…. Beneath the foundation of this very pawn shop…. Before you even had pubic hair you punk….. you hurt her…. I will make sure you join them….

Jeff : wow….ermmm… ok…Uncle Yeo…

Boss : fuck you !.... call me Towkay ( boss in Teochew )

I quickly ran out of the pawnshop and into the waiting car.


What a fuck up Sunday morning.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Xuehua and I went back to the warehouse after taking a quick drive past the office.

I could see the metal detectors set up outside the entrance under temporary tentage.



It’s a Sunday and the guards are just milling about.

There’s not much activity going on for now. We went around the back and there were guards there too.

Back at the warehouse, Ron updated us that the messages and mail he broadcasted out the past few days is working. Some of the people in the company are starting to ask questions and Owen is kept busy trying to fend them off on top of the shit he needs to do on a day to day basis.

There are no exact numbers but Ron believes some operators are adopting a wait and see strategy to see how these play out.

We ate, we rested and we checked on Aiko.

At 8pm, Aiko left her kids with Dr Cheong and the facility staff before hopping into the car with us.

She was shaking in the backseat.

You could see she’s on the verge of breaking down and doing all she could to keep it all together.



8.30pm

It’s a Sunday night and the entire neighbourhood is abuzz with activity.


All the foreign workers are here in little india for their weekend break. There are people getting haircuts in the alleyways, groups of friends having picnic by any open spot they could find. Some just drank openly and peed on the streets as they caught up with friends they haven seen in a week.

We circled the office a few times before parking at the HDB estate a short walk away.

We have to wait for Ron’s signal.

I will be creating a diversion at the front door. That will draw the guards towards me while Jane and Aiko head up to the office. Aiko did a quick check of the access cards Ron had someone delivered and stuffed them deep inside her pocket.


9.00pm

Ron sent us a message, asking Jane and I to get ready.

I got out of the car and pulled the hoodie over my head. I took a slow casual walk towards the entrance of the office, checking out the yawning guards who were busy with their mobile phone.

9.20pm

I heard a loud commotion a few streets away and the noise got louder with each passing second. A couple of minutes later, there were shouting followed by a small explosion.

That’s it.

That’s Ron’s signal.

I walked towards the checkpoint slowly.

My heart was racing.

My palms are sweating. That feeling I was getting is out of this world, impossible to describe.

I could see the bored guard waving me to walk through the metal detector as I flashed him a staff pass to indicate I was an employee of the building.

As I put my foot past the detector, I smiled to myself.

I always wanted to do something like this after watching Neo do it on the matrix.

The alarm went off, the lights flashed angrily as the guard jumped to his feet.

The Indian man gestured to me, speaking in broken English.



Indian : what you have ?? what you have ??!! you carry what ??

I looked up at him and smiled.

I opened up my jacket and I saw the change in his expression as he saw the 2 large knives I was carrying behind me.

Before he could reach for his baton, I garbbed him and sent his head onto the makeshift table he was resting on earlier. I grabbed his hair , pulled him up and kicked his feet off the ground before kicking him in the face.

His friend who was smoking a few steps away came towards me with his baton raised. I ducked, grabbed his hand and threw him off his balance before relieving him of the weapon.

I bitch slap him across the head with it, drawing blood immediately before kicking him in his chest to send him rolling down the gentle slope.

I could hear the clattering of boots as I saw the men from the loading and unloading bay hurry to the entrance.


There were 3 men and they spoke Japanese.

Ok, I can do 3.




At the 1st man ran towards me with his baton raised, I saw Xuehua slipping into the lift with Aiko behind them.

A hard slap on the knuckle was all it took for me to get the 2nd baton and within seconds, I was dual wielding both metal sticks at the 3 poor chap.

It took longer than I expected but I was panting and I took a painful hit on my shoulder, but I had all 3 of them on the ground bleeding at the head and face. They were groaning and hardly moving.



I panted and caught my breath as I stood in the centre of the office lobby.

All was quiet.



Things are looking good so far.

Time seemed to crawl as each second ticked by.

I could see the reddish and orange glow of the chaos that is happening outside right now. It’s a fucking riot. The TV in the lobby is now showing live footages of what is happening.



Utter chaos has descended on little india.

I could see workers shouting and cars being set on fire.

The riot was being kept to the perimeter of the zone Ron drew. My eyes alternated between the TV which was bringing up to date happenings and the exterior of the office.


I felt the hair on the back of my neck stood on it’s end when I saw a group of 3 men running towards the office. They were carrying machetes.

Jeff : fuck…

I got ready as the 3 men charged into the lobby with no hesitation.

Men : arGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



They shouted like crazed mad men as they charged at me.

I was about to face them head on when another figure appeared near the entrance.

His massive hands grabbed onto one of them as if he was a rag doll before throwing him into the middle of the road.

I engaged the 1st man to reach me and before the 2nd one could join his friend, Eddy had his head in his massive hands before sending him face first down into the ground.



I could hear a sickening crunch and I could not make out whether is it the marble tile or the skull of the man that caused it.

I whipped my baton into the windpipe of the 1st man and was rewarded with a death bringing croak. Sweeping the baton into the back of his knees, I made sure he never stood up again.

Another man appeared, jumping like a monkey at Eddy but he grabbed him and threw him at his friend that was a few step behind, sending the both of them crashing into each other by the main door.

I could see more men approaching outside. They are smarter this batch. They did not rush into the lobby blindly.

Eddy gave me a nod of acknowledgement. There was no need to say anything.



I checked the temporary phone we got earlier that morning.

It was Xuehua.

They found the files. They need 10 minutes.

I kept the phone and told Eddy.

Jeff : She needs 10 minutes…..



Someone burst through the side entrance by the café and he made a mistake of underestimating Eddy.

Eddy :whuarrr !!!!!!!!!!!!!

His jaw like grip clamped down on the man’s face as he sent him back first towards a column. The fucking cladding snapped and there was a permeant dent. Eddy finished him off with a punch and the lifeless body dropped to the ground.

The entrance on the other side was smashed open and I saw 2 men curing in Japanese with axes kicking away the temporary barrier.

I turned to face them but before they could get close, I saw the glimpse of a trolley in their path and they tripped clumsily over each other in an attempt to avoid the cleaning trolley.



I could not believe my eyes when I saw Auntie Annie roll over the back of one of the man before using his axe and burying it into the left side of his friend’s face.

There was no time even for him to cry out in pain.

The guy she rolled over tried to use his axe on Annie but she ducked with dexterity you seldom see in people her age.



Her hands went to the handle of her trolley, I watched in awe as she tapped the brakes of her customised trolley and in a swift motion, pulled out 2 hudiedao hidden within the handle of her cleaning trolley.

The man did not even see it coming, he could only feel the pain of the 2 hudiedao buried inside his body.

Annie pulled the bloodied weapons out of his body and backed herself slowly towards the centre of the lobby.

Loud shouting was heard from behind us where the loading and unloading bay is.

I turned, I could not see anything.


I could only hear the cries of pain and agony.


Men are dying back there.


The perimeter of the office is getting crowded.


There are now about 2 dozen men loitering outside the lobby. They are all armed.

Watching.

Waiting.



I heard rapid footsteps behind and I saw the blood stained face of a man running towards us with a dagger in his left hand.

Before he could get close, i saw the hard plastic of the carpark barrier arm smash into the right of his face so hard that it sent him into the wall.

Yes the arm. That carpark barrier arm that always needed fixing.


It’s cracked and broken in several spots as I looked at the man holding it.


Leng’s security uniform has been partially torn off, revealing the faded tattoo of a 5 claw dragon on the front of his chest.

He smashed hard onto the hard plastic of the arm, cracking the cover and revealing something within.


I felt the rush of goosebumps in my body as Leng pulled out the dark silhouette of a soul spear in it’s original condition.

“ erGNHHaRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!!! “

The spear tip found it’s way into the stomach of the man on the ground and when it’s pulled out, I could smell the iron in the blood.


The gathered men outside grew in numbers as seconds ticked by.

There was another loud roar and my eyes was greeted with the head of a man being lopped off his shoulder near the side entrance where Eddy was standing at.

The sea of bodies parted ways as men scurried out of the reach of that monster blade Lala’s father was using.

That’s not a knife, it’s not a blade, it’s the fucking cutting edge of a industrial cutter with a handle bolted at it’s end.

Freddy cut a path through the gathering of men outside. Many scurried out of his way. No one in their right mind will want to be within reach of that massive 80cm piece of steel.



As the seconds ticked by I could see more and more men gathering outside.

If they all rushed us at the same time, there’s not doubt we would be dead.

Numbers always win. Period.

I was afraid and aroused at the same time.


Even as the numbers grew to almost 4 dozen men within our line of sight though the glass cladding of the lobby, my companions did not move.

They did not even fidget.


The 4 of them stood, steadfast and unmoving in the face of overwhelming adversity.

They belonged to the generation of men and women that built our nation from the ground up. They are the ones who toiled in the sun and waded through the mud so we have paved roads to walk on.

They are the pillars of strength and support from which the next generation build upon.



There are movements up ahead and I could see someone approaching.

As he came into view, I recognised him immediately.

His face. One that I will never forget.

Owen entered the lobby with 4 men holding Katanas,



Our eyes met and I could see the look on his face. His questioning look, as if I had betrayed him.

Owen : Why…..

Jeff : you need to stop…. Before it’s too late….

I could see the seething anger in his eyes.



Owen : There is no stopping this….you cannot win….. just look outside….. what do you see ??

I did not answer Owen.

He’s right.

He has the numbers.

I heard the chime of the lift to announce the arrival of a car on the ground floor.


From the click of the boots I could tell who it was.

Aiko saw the scene in front of her and I could hear her exclaim in shock.

Aiko : oh…. Oh my god….

I could hear Xuehua panting beside me. There are streaks of blood on her face and she’s holding one of her hudiedao.

Aiko was clutching onto hardisk.

Owen : you…..this explains why….

Owen turned and looked at me in an accusing manner, trying to imply I betrayed him for a girl.

Owen : all for a pussy…..

Aiko : oh my god…. Oh my god… there’s… there’s so many… so many…. Sobzz.. sobzz… oh my god….


Aiko dropped the canvas bag that she was holding onto and Eddy heard the loud clank of his cleaver hitting the floor.

He went to pick it up and spit on the floor in front of him.

Xuehua picked up the mask she made for me that she had packed inside the canvas bag together with her.

Xuehua : you forgot this….

I smiled as i dropped the 2 baton and pulled on the mask.

Xuehua tied up her hair and pulled on hers as well.

Owen had a scowl on his face when he issued the order . I could hear it. Loud and clear like a church bell on a quiet Sunday morning.


Owen : Kill them…… Kill them all…..

He backed off 3 steps before turning and started to disappear into the crowd.

I reached behind my back and pulled out both knives and exhaled slowly, trying to calm my heartrate down.

The men outside started to move.

They started to close in on the lobby where we were at.

The 4 pillars stood, undeterred at the 4 entrances of the office tower.

Aiko : oh my god…oh my god… sobzz… sobzz…

I could hear Aiko starting to cry.

Then she started to pray.

Aiko : Even …. Even though I walk though…. The valley of shadow of death … I will fear no evil…..for you are with me…..

I heard the whirlwind swing of the soul spear behind me. Leng brought his spear up and started to walk towards the loading and unloading bay.

Freddy dragged his massive blade along the tiles as he headed for the side entrance.

Eddy removed the thick steel chain around his neck and connected it to his cleaver and walked towards the main entrance.

Annie had both hudiedao up as she put each foot carefully on front of the other, threading cautiously towards the side entrance on her end.


Jeff : you ready dear ??


I heard a soft chuckle. A very soft one.



I saw the errie glow of Jane’s mask lit up the around the eyes and Xuehua’s reply told me she’s ready.

She’s more than ready.


Xuehua : When we’re working……. Call me Jane….


………………………………………………………………………….


Xuehua grabbed Aiko onto her feet and started to back away from the centre of the lobby.

We can see a high concentration of men within a 270 degree angle and common sense dictates that we try the back of the building as a means of escape.



Owen issued the command vocally, I reckon that maybe the men within a 5-8 metre radius would have registered his intent. It doesn’t look like the order was communicated throughout the men on the ground.

The first few minutes of chaos are precious. It won’t take long for the message to spread.

A lot of the hired help are looking at each other, as if unsure of what to do. The 4 men with katanas that I flagged as higher threat has retreated into the crowd together with Owen. Those are not your average grunts.

Leng : houarrrrarggg!!!

Leng’s shout was quickly overwhelmed by the sound of crying man with a large machete on his hand. I turned to check out the situation behind us. Even with his stomach pierced by Leng’s spear, he was still trying to swing his weapon at him.

Leng kicked him back and a loud thud was heard as he fell down the 1.2m ht drop down to the loading bay below.

I see a bigger number of men moving towards my left, at the same entrance where Annie is at. There was a lot of hesitation on everyone’s part. Eventually they came to the conclusion that maybe Annie is easier to deal with.

For one she is a female and she’s holding the 2 smallest knives among the group.


Annie did not wait for the men to gather and form up, she went in for the kill the same time I saw Eddy swing his massive cleaver towards the approaching group.

Freddy’s knife remained on the ground and he stood 3m away from the side entrance.

No one wanted to come within range of that monster blade.

Xuehua : the group at the back is smaller…. Less than 10…. We need to hurry…

Seeing that the front is holding, I turned and charged towards the loading and unloading bay. If Leng and I can clear a path out from the back, we can get Aiko and the hardisk out of the site.

I emerged into the loading bay to see Leng swinging his spear into the ribs of a man with a timber baton with nails driven into it’s end. I swung my knives, carving a radius of space as the gathering men retreated, shouting and cursing in languages I do not understand.

I walked briskly, taking the same path that Xuehua and Aiko would take, down the steps by the side of the ramp.



There was so much hesitation on the side of the men on the ground that we manage to cover a bit of ground despite the group surrounding us.

Leng jumped off the 1.2m platform with his spear raised.

I could see passerbys and innocent bystanders on the opposite side of the road scurrying away.

Leng and I did not pause, we kept walking. Towards the exterior of the building.

The moment anyone comes close, the determined swing of our weapons will send them back.

No one wants to die aimlessly, not even if you are paid to.

The men spoke in Hindi and Japanese, many of them sounded like they are urging the others on but no one dared approached us.

Leng and I formed a protective circle of sort as Xuehua held onto Aiko with her left arm while her right hand gripped onto her hudiedao tightly.

Someone was foolish enough to try and test the circle by running towards me with a raised baton.

I saw his approached, and timed my move. Before he could get within striking distance, I charged him, rolling towards him and driving my knife into the side tummy, at the same time my left weapon slicing through the wrist of his weapon holding hand.


“arghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “

His screams sent everyone back a step and I could see the eyes of the men filled with anger and fear on me.

I held onto his struggling body, and tried to use him as a shield for a few steps but he was too heavy to move about. His legs are giving way and I managed less than 2 metres before I had to let him go.

He fell to the ground and I could see he was crying.



No one came forward to help him.

Leng made a few false stabs at the semi-circle of uncertain men, driving them back another 2 steps as we continued making our way out.

We got out into the open, well away from the cantilevered back exit of the office building when we heard some shouts from a distant away.

Japanese.

The handful of Japanese in front of us spoke in broken English, asking the Indians to back off from us.

Leng and I stopped moving.



Something is wrong.

The men are retreating, no, they are getting out of the way, but they are doing so not because they are allowing us to leave.

They did not want to get in the way of someone else that is coming.

I saw 2 figures walking with a swagger towards Leng and I from about 30 metres away.

They approached swiftly with a semi crouch,

My eyes immediately saw the large Katanas that they are holding onto by the side and I adopted a defensive stance.

Xuehua : watch out !!



The men spread out and I could barely see the swing of the knife cutting an arc through the air.
I could only feel the whoosh of the blade ringing by the side of my ears and I engaged one of them.

The man I was entangled with shouted something and the rest of the men started to move towards Xuehua and Aiko while Leng and I were kept occupied by the 2 of them.

Xuehua : focus on your end….. I’ll take care of mine….



My girl did not need a reply given the tone in which she spoke.

Aiko was left sobbing and squatting on the ground and like a spring loaded monster, Xuehua’s slender body attached itself to the nearest chap before swinging to his back with her hudiedao buried in his neck.

Jumping off, she did a low row and blocked off a weak swing of a machete by another that tried to take a shot at Aiko.

I blocked off several strikes by the man in front of me.

His weapon has a longer reach and he knows how to use it. Leng’s advances stopped too as his concentration increased. He’s holding onto the spear with both hands for the first time, keeping the pointed edge at his opponent.

Sparks flew and the angry grind of metal against hardened steel rang out in the chaos of Little India. A distant explosion could be heard and the chanting of an angry mob reached my ears.

Every slice and stab of mine missed by just a fraction of an inch, so did the large swing of the Katana.



I took a risk and went in close, the blade came so close that I was sure the man would have sliced off a few stands of my hair if I was not wearing the mask. Our wrist and forearms locked tightly against each other and he immediately tried to trip me by throwing me down the side of his waist.

I ducked my head low and braced for the pain as I jumped up with my head directed at his face.

I could feel the cracking of his nose cartilage as the insides of my head gets shaken around hard enough to disorient me. As he stagger backwards with blood gushing down his mouth and nose, I sliced through his knuckles , causing him to drop his katana.

Spinning 180 degree in my stooping position, I used the momentum of the turn to drive my weapon into the side of his cheek. I was trying to aim for the neck but I missed.

Instead my knife went through his cheeks. His own bodyweight which was still backing away from me together with the help of gravity, dislodged my knife cleanly 90 degree through the front of his mouth, separating the flesh that held his top and bottom jaw together.

He’s still alive, as he collapsed with blood bubbling above his mouth.



When I turn to look at Leng, he has a large gash on his shoulder and his spear was on the floor, but he was holding onto the katana blade as he sent it 1/3 of the way through the sides of it’s original owner.

Xuehua on the other hand pulled her hudiedao out from the thigh of a man who still had the other lodge in his neck.

I went over to Leng and used what’s left of his old top and helped him tie it around his wound tightly.

Leng : arghh!! CCB ( curse in Hokkien ) …..aeghh…!! CB.

Out of the original group of men that were at the back to stop us, only 3 remained at the peripheral of the semi circle they had formed.

Jeff : Quick…. Let’s go…

Before we could get 5 steps in, we paused.


Xuehua : fuck !..

Another 3 men holding makeshift weapons were running towards us but it was not them that we are worried about.

Our concerns are with the other 3 behind them. The 3 with Katanas who approached at a much slower pace.

Jeff : go… GO!.. I’ll hold them off….

Leng : Ah girl…. Go !! ..



I kept one of my knife and picked up the Katana on the floor. Leng chose to arm himself with the club fill of nails as well after picking up his spear. He must have realised he needed something now for closer range.

Xuehua hesitated for a brief second before dragging Aiko along with the towards a small opening but she cursed loudly barely moving away from us.

I turn and caught a glimpse of another 2 men with Katanas that had arrived with 4 others wielding baseball bats.

The approaching group alone has effectively cut off the exit from the back of the office.

There’s no way we can fight our way through so many.

Leng : back… back… back into the lobby !...



Leng had to help drag a Aiko who was just a weeping mess by then back up the steps of the loading and unloading area.

No one rushed us from the back as they knew they had us cornered. They are slowly closing the noose around their prey.

I shut the door as I retreated into the lobby. There’s no way for me to lock it. I toppled recycle bins in front of the door. A large pot of sad looking office plant joined the bin as well.

I even used the stand which held plastic for wet umbrellas.

A couple of disused queue management stand and a wet floor sign were all added to the pile. Anything that I could use to slow them down even for a few seconds, I threw it all in front of me.



The chaos in the lobby cannot be described. The smell of vapourised blood hung heavy in the air. It’s as if each breath I take is wet and the humidity of the office lobby is now determined by how much blood was spilled.

I could see at least a dozen bodies in total in front of the entrances. Eddy, covered in blood had just send another swing of his massive cleaver on the chain 1m in front of him, driving the men that were trying to get a hit on him back.

Annie had managed to pile at least 4 bodies in front of the small entrance she was guarding by falling them exactly where she wanted them to be.

This created a temporarily barrier for the men who are trying to squeeze in from the outside. Eddy’s entrance is a lot bigger, more men are spilling into the lobby with each passing second.

Freddy’s large blade just found another victim but not without paying a small price of his own. The baseball bat hit him on the side of the face before his blade lodge itself into the side of the man’s face.



Using both hands and the body of the dead man as a tool, Freddy swept the lifeless body towards the few man at the entrance.

I was about to head over to Eddy to help him cover the main entrance when Leng shouted a warning to his friends.


Leng : watch out for those with Katanas !!

A coordinated strike happened at all 3 entrance in front of us. The longer reach of the weapon sent the 3 pillars backing away. The men held the bald in front of them, waving wildly given the limited space they have to wield them .



This coupled with the rest of the more grunt like mercenaries, they managed to force us closer to the centre of the lobby.

The moment we lost the chokepoint at each of the entrance, the men came rushing into the lobby, forcing a smaller and tighter circle.

Eddy : COME….. COME ON!!! You CB Kia ( you cunt ) COME !!! CCB ( curse in dialect )

Freddy : you want a piece of this !!! you want a piece of this…. FUCK YOU… CCB…

Annie was panting hard and I could see she was trying to catch her breath. She had multiple cuts on her forearms and shoulder. I could not tell the extend of the injury but it was obvious she’s slowing down.



I jumped forward, falling another Indian man who was not paying attention to his flank before retreating to the circle we had formed around Aiko.
Xuehua on the other hand had her hudiedao in the thigh of a man who tried to steal a hit at Freddy who managed to block off that attempt.

Our circle got tighter and tighter and the shouts of the men in the lobby grew louder so did Aiko’s scream. Shew as covering her ears and eyes as she cried, screaming in Japanese, calling out for her children.

The door I had blocked to the loading and unloading bay has been opened and I could see men entering the lobby. They moved slow, keeping their bodies tight against the side of the walls.

I swing my Katana in an wide arc, keeping the men at bay so did the rest of my team mates who had tools that allowed for a longer reach.



Still there was no way to fend off the encircling hoard

The amount of space we had left got smaller until the sides of my body were almost touching Eddy on my left and Freddy on my right.

It’s a matter of time before we lose this.

Our weapons kept coming into contact with what the men are using. The shouts rendered our own shouts useless as everyone was cursing and shouting in a different language. Every few second or so, someone would attempt to prod the defensive circle, kicking off another round of saliva spitting curse and taunt.

The shouts and mad swings of our weapons grew more out of control.

Someone tried to stab me with sharpened stake but I held onto it with my right hand after dropping the Katana, pulling him close into the circle, Eddy’s hand yank him by the hair and right into his waiting forehead. As he fell to the ground, the knife in my left hand went cleanly through his stomach as I knelt down to pick up the Katana.



Another poor judgement by a Jap was swiftly cut shot by the swing of Freddy’s knife through his face.

My eyes saw something that made my heart sank.

That’s it. This is probably the end for all of us.


I could see bodies parting on the left as almost 10 men with Katanas ran towards the lobby.

Some of those within the lobby pulled back, making space for their better trained comrades to take care of us.

Leng : fuck…. CCB !! arGHHHHHH!!!

Leng drove his spear 2 inch into the eye of a Indian who could not get away in time.

Annie blocked off an attempt to hit Leng by using her shoulder to butt the man away.

While she fell, 2 more tried to get her but Xuehua was there to make sure they don’t.



The rapid swing of her hudiedao left 1 of them clutching his neck and the other screaming with his hands trying to keep his lips from falling off his face.

More than half of the men in the lobby cleared out as the approaching elites surveyed the situation in the lobby.

Xuehua : watch out for their swings, they are fast….

Freddy : we can’t take them all… it was hard enough taking 3 down earlier….

Leng : my bones are fucking aching….

Annie : hahahah…. You think we are still in our 20s and 30s ??

Eddy : spread them out…. They can’t come at us all at once, there’s not enough space… they will end up hitting themselves…..



The men who were sent to end us spread out like what Eddy said. 3 went to each of the respective side entrance while they gestured for the rest of the ragged crew to fuck off and get out of their way.

The remaining 4 were about to enter the main door when we heard another shout.

A loud cry in a language we do not understand.

Coming down the right flank like a runaway train cutting down everything in their paths, was a 2nd group of men.

I saw Owen’s hired help tried to respond but many fell like twigs in the path of a incoming typhoon.

It was too dark and chaotic to see what is happening. As they got closer and nearer, I could hear them shouting in Japanese as well.

The men at the side entrance ran back to the front to join their original group.

It was absolute chaos. No one knew what was going on.


Then I saw it.

I saw the men that had just arrived.

The eerie glow of the street lamps illuminated their faces. All 8 of them.
Dressed all in black with a hood over their heads, they revealed themselves after their leader did so.

I know those faces.

The men with Katanas shouted and turned to face the new group that spoke the same tongue as theirs.

Standing at the front is Nakamura himself with Danzo and his men. Their own swords were raised and covered in blood.

Nakamura : HITORIMO NOGASUNA !!!!!!!!!! ( don’t let them escape … No exception ! )



Danzo & men : huawarrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Swords raised high in the air clashed and the rest of Owen’s hired men rushed back into the office lobby. Nakamura and his men blocked off the access via the main entrance together with the group they are taking care of.

The screams of men being cut down like straw filled the air and another loud explosion shook the neighbourhood a couple of streets down. Loud chants filled the street and I could see rioters passing us by, flinging bottles and stones into the other end of the street.

The men that surrounded us now are a lot more cautious. They kept looking behind them, as if worried Nakamura and his men might break through while trying to keep an eye on the lot of us in the lobby.

They encircled us on all sides.


The Katanas wielding men at left at the exit to the loading and unloading bay deliberated whether to head over to engage Nakamura and his men.

There was a 5 second pause as Owen’s men surrounded us but none of them dared to approach.

That was our opening to get out.

And there was only one way to do it. That is to fucking cut a path through the bodies that is blocking our way.


I too was hesitating.

There are countless sharpened rods, machetes and makeshift weapons of every kind pointed at us in all directions. No one in their right mind will go charging in.

It would be wistful thinking to expect Nakamura and Danzo to save us all. There is only so much they can do in the face of overwhelming numbers.

Everyone is on edge, the tension in the air is indescribable. The nerves of the men still breathing in the lobby are like a tightly stretched wire, ready to snap anytime at the slightest change in pressure.

‘Chime!’

One of the lift chimed and the arrival light lit up.

I could see the lift number coming down from the 3rd floor.



I could not believe there are still people in the office tower.

All eyes turned to the arriving lift and when the doors opened. I could not believe my eyes.
The 2 women standing in the lift had their jaws opened as the stared at the scene in front of them.

No one moved.

Standing right beside Lynn was a familiar figure I had not seen in a few months.

Yiling.

She was holding onto a large brown envelope which looked like it contained xrays and medical reports.



Dressed in a tight white tan top and faded denim jeans, the owner of the pair of heels in my storage had a fitting jacket on as well. Lynn on the other hand was holding onto the phone in her hand with the screen facing up and the speaker potion angled towards her mouth as if she was in the middle of the phone.

She was holding her white jacket in the other hand and there was a horrified look on her face as she looked at the mess in the lobby.

The Indian man closest to the 2 girls in the lift said something in Hindi before saying ‘no witness’ in English.

He ran towards the girls in the lift with his machete the same time I shouted for them to duck.



Jeff : Lynn get down !!!!

I charged into the men in front of me, kicking and slicing in an attempt to get to the lift.

My worries were overdue when I saw Yiling stepped in front of Lynn as her hand reached behind her back the same time I sent a knife into a man’s eye.

I forgot.

Yiling is no longer the twin sister of a pageant winner. She is now the biggest fucking drug lord in the country.

I saw the glimmer of a gun as she pulled the trigger without hesitation.

WHAM!



The echo shook the glass panels in the lobby as both sides engaged once again.

WHAM ! WHAM ! wHAM! …

Yiling pulled Lynn out of the lift with her weapon raised.

No hesitation, no mercy. That’s the characteristics of a fucking drug lord right there.

She went for the centre mass of the man that was a threat to her.

Yiling dropped 4 men including 1 with the Katana before I got close enough.

I twisted the arm of a Jap guy before sending my knee into his face, spinning him around, I kicked him towards the side of a Indian man, toppling both of them onto the ground.



Lynn’s eyes were wide apart as she kicked off her heels and picked up a metal rod.

Lynn : fuck… fuck… fuck …!! Arghhh!!

She raised it towards me and I blocked it with my knife.

Lynn :arghhh … fuck …

Yiling had just fired off another shot, effectively putting a 3m radius around her. She turned and I saw the gun barrel aiming right at my face when I quickly shouted out.

Jeff: It’s me…. JEFF !!!



Yiling’s weapon paused for half a second and immediately turned the other way. It buried itself into the stomach of a man that tried to disarm Yiling when she turned to me.

She emptied her magazine into his stomach before pushing him away.

Lynn : what the fuck is going on Jeff !!

Jeff : I’ll explain later.. !

I pulled Lynn away from the lift and Yiling grabbed a knife off the ground.

Yiling : What the fuck is this !!!! they must have some balls to hit us like this !! do they fucking know who we are.. !!!

I pulled Yiling away and kicked a man away and replied her at the same time.

Jeff : It’s Owen…. Owen did this…



Yiling : what ?? are you mad ? you’re not making sense !!

Jeff: No time now… we’ll talk later…

Lynn saw Aiko on the floor and she went over to her immediately.

Lynn : Aiko… Aiko…. Are you ok ? … where have you been….?


There was no time for explanation and catching up.



It’s as if the emptying of Yiling’s gun triggered another round of offensive by the men in the lobby.
Everything happened so fast.


I blocked the stab coming at me.
Eddy’s cleaver removed the hand that held the knife cleanly from it’s arm.

Freddy suffered a large gnash to his head and I went low, spinning and driving my knife into the stomach of the man that gave Freddy the injury.

Leng’s spear was pulled away from him and he grabbed onto the blade of a machete with his bare hands, stopping it from hitting Annie while her hudiedao split open the stomach of the 2 men closest to them.



Xuehua is on fire. She sprung from men to men, tripping, kicking and stabbing them in any spots she can get her hudiedao in.

Eddy : ergHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I had a chokehold around a man when I saw a Indian guy stab a makeshift dagger into Eddy’s kidney. He pulled it out and stabbed him again 3 more times before Leng got to him and turned the dagger on it’s owner.

Eddy’s suddenly fall sent more men over to attack him and in a mere matter of seconds, Eddy’s body was like a pin cushion with stab wounds and slashes too many to count.

Xuehua : EDDY!!!

I threw them man I was holding after I stab him in the back of his knee in his armpit towards the group attacking Eddy.

I jumped right at them. I lost control of my own body.



I only knew I was blocking at stabbing and slicing at monstrous speed.

I could not see the faces of the men I was killing. I had no time to look in their eyes.

I could only register the parts of their body I was sending my knife into.

Toes, calves, thighs, the stomach in rapid order before a punch to push him back.

An elbow to the nose before a quick crouch and lifting him off the ground and out of my way so I can get to the man behind him.

I lopped 3 fingers off the next man, sent my knife into his balls before slicing him across his face.



I threw my knife hard enough to bruise the face of the men next in line before reaching for my remaining knife and sending it up the bottom of his chin.

I was hit so many times that I could no long tell where the pain was coming from.

I was pulled back by Leng as he sent a stake into the eye of a man as if he was slaying a vampire.

Xuehua was trying to stop the bleeding on Eddy’s body but there were too many wounds.

Lynn had just asked Yiling for her belt as she tried to do a makeshift tourniquet around Eddy’s left thigh.



I could not even afford to catch my breath. I went right back into the fight after picking up a splintered club.

Yiling was waving the knife in her hand trying to keep the men away from the ladies.

I sent the club into the face of another man and I felt the warm gush of blood in my shoulder as another fucker just stabbed me from the side.

A hudiedao went into the side of his neck and I kicked him back into the waiting blade Xuehua was holding onto.

I turned to look at Eddy. He was no longer moving.

Lynn : fuck… fuck.. fuck !!! the whole world’s gone mad !! fuck…



Danzo came crashing into the lobby with his Katana buried in the stomach of his countrymen.

He already had multiple cuts on his body and I could see him cutting a path open for Nakamura.

Only 3 men remained in their group and I could see Nakamura was bleeding on the face. He was missing a ear as well but he is still on his feet.

Xuehua flew into a rage and her kill count kept adding up. She lost it.

She fucking lost it when I saw her smite a man on his knees so hard that his head bounced off the lifeless body of his friend with her knees.

A quick swing of her hudiedao spilled the contents of it’s victim’s stomach. Xuehua followed that up with a hard punch that sent the guts spilling out with the man still alive and crying for his mother.



She disarmed 2 men at once and despite being punched and kicked several times, she bled one of them out by severing the artery on his neck while headbutting the other.

I fought my way towards Danzo, removing a man that was facing me with his back easily from the fight.

By the time Danzo and Nakamura reached us, they were the only 2 left standing. It was obvious they were making their way towards Aiko.
The only good news by then was that no one on Owen’s team were left holding Katanas.

Danzo pulled a dagger out from his back and sent it into the palm of an Indian man. I slide towards him on my knees, my knife rising up in time to block off a machete that came dangerously close to his head.

Danzo turnd and attended to that assailant while I pulled Nakamura onto the floor and took a club on my back.

Jeff :argHH!!

I could feel the rusty nails at the end of the club puncture my body. It was pulled out and I blocked off another attempt to stab Nakamura with my knife and the same club entered the side of my thigh.



Danzo’s Katana went pass my face and into the shoulder of the man that hit me.

Nakamura regained his balance by then and he removed the head of the man and sent a slicing blade of wind right by my face strong enough to penetrate my mask.

2 men charged Danzo and he took a dagger in his left thigh. It was not a deep wound and he returned the same dagger into the guy’s ear while I threw the other onto the ground before Nakamura dispatched him to the after world with his Katana.

I was panting for air by then and half of my mask was hanging off my chin. It had ripped open somehow during the fight. I pulled it off my face and I surveyed the carnage in front of me.

By my count there’s probably about 30 men left scattered around us.

Leng was holding onto his stomach, blood gushed out none stop as he tried to lit up a cigarette with Lynn trying desperately to keep him still.

Lynn : hold still hold still !!!

Leng : fuck,.. fuck it…. I’m done….



A puff of smoke came out together with a waterfall of blood from Leng’s mouth. He was still conscious, but you could see him rapidly slipping away. The blood would not stop coming out from his stomach.

Lynn’s hands were covered with blood up to her wrist and she looked lost and helpless.

Xuehua was crying as she kissed Annie who was kneeling down on the floor. She was no longer moving but her hands still held onto the twin hudiedao, each of them buried into the bodies of the last 2 men she killed while her own body was riddled with stab wounds.

Xuehua : I’m sorry…. I’m sorry Annie…. Sobzz…

Freddy was still standing.

He was gasping for air as he supported himself on his large knife. I could see the exposed flesh and bone beneath his left knuckles. There are several bodies lying near him without their appendages that they came into the lobby with.

There was some commotion outside the office. Someone was shouting for their father.



I felt my heart drop when I saw Lala peering cautiously from the outside.

Lala : papa…? ….. Papa ??

Freddy saw his son outside the lobby. Lala looked like he just woke up form his sleep, his hair all ruffled and messy. He looked barely awake.

He’s calling out for Freddy.
Some bastard took the chance to run out after Lala and Freddy gave chase.

Freddy : arHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! ..

Lala : PAPA…..PAPA !!!

Lala had no time to even grasp what was going on when an Indian man grabbed him by putting his arm around his neck and pointing a dagger at Lala’s face.

He gestured to Freddy, asking him to drop the knife.

Another 3 men immediately went out to surround Freddy.



I gasped for air and I tried to make my way out to Freddy and Lala but 3 men move in and cut me off. My hands are covered in blood as well and the wetness made it hard to grip my knife.

Freddy was shouting at the man to let his son go and he was asking why Lala did not stay in bed as instructed.

Lala looked confused, he did not know what is going on.

Suddenly one of the men rushed Freddy and caught him off guard.

He sent his club hard into Freddy’s head before he could duck or block it off. I could see the white of Freddy’s skull as blood started spurting out near his right eye.

The rest of the men did not wait for Freddy to regain his consciousness. The began attacking Freddy one after another, clubbing and stabbing into his body like they were butchering an animal.

Freddy managed a swing of his large knife but it did not hit anyone. The knife left his hands and landed at Lala’s feet.



Lala watched on in horror as his father was butchered by the men.

I started cutting my way through the men in front of me.

I did not manage to get any of them but I got them out of my way.

I could hear Xuehua close behind me and the screams of one of the trio quickly reached my ear.

I could hear the anguish cry of my girlfriend as she shouted amdist tears and snot before taking out the 2nd man. Lala struggled and the dagger went into his cheeks.

He screamed not in physical pain. He screamed as his heart bled while looking at his father collapsing in front of him. Lala grabbed the man who stabbed him with his hands, he clenched his fingers around his neck and squeeze so hard that the man’s eyes looked like it was on the verge of popping out.


I kicked a man away from Freddy’s body and a swing of my knife sent the other 2 away. Lala smashed the man’s face into his own.

Yes he smashed his face using his own face, not the head. He hit him again and again until the dagger lodged in his cheeks got loose and fell to the floor.

Lala: ARHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH AHRHHHH!!!!! ARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

HE could not stop, I wanted to run over but someone bulldozed me to the ground.

I completed the roll and grabbed that fucker by his legs with mine, twisting him off balance, I smashed my head into his before slamming his forehead into the ground like a hard bounce of a basketball.

I grabbed his hair and smashed it onto the concrete floor again. The double yellow line by the side of the kerb gained a shade of red as more started to flow him the man’s head.



Another man jumped onto me, I was on my back and he got in a few punch to my head.

I saw the massive swing of Freddy’s knife and it entered the skull about 2 inches deep. Lala was screaming as he let go of the knife after he could not pull it out.

I pushed the body off me as Lala cried, walking around lost and disoriented.

Xuehua called out to Lala, asking him over as she pulled her hudiedao out of a man’s armpit.

Lala suddenly shouted and ran towards Xuehua.

For a moment I thought it was because she was wearing a mask and he did not know who she was but I was wrong.

Lala dashed over and pushed Xuehua onto the floor as a makeshift club was hammered down on his shoulder.

He shouted in pain as the same club went to the side of his face.



Xuehua literally lifted the clubber off his feet and throwing him down onto the hard ground.

Lala was barely conscious when I went over to him.

Xuehua screamed as she slammed both her hudiedao into the sides of the man before twisting it a good 15 degree in opposite direction and pulling it out.

Lala knelt down and looked at me, dazed and bloodied.



Xuehua : get him inside !!

Xuehua got up to clear the way for me when Lala shouted and slapped me.


Lala : AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

He smacked me so hard that I fell to the floor. As soon as I looked back up, I saw Lala’s teeh splintered as his jaw exploded.

His tongue fell out before his left eye went missing and I saw the splatter of blood paint the pavement red behind his body.

I turned and I saw Owen.

He’s shooting at us.



I crawled and ran in a zig zag manner as hot lead sped past me.

Xuehua dove into the office and I saw the full height glass of the lobby shattered with cob web like cracks appearing at several spot.

Owen kept shooting from where he stood until he emptied his magazine.

I ran in and I could see he walked towards us calmly as he reloaded.

Jeff: cover… find cover !!!

The bullets came and everyone hugged the ground, crawling to safety behind columns and reinforced walls.

Owen kept shooting into the lobby, he was not aiming to kill. He just wanted us trapped.



I could hear him shouting at the remainder of his men. He’s gathering everyone for a final push.

I turned to look at Nakamura who was refusing Danzo’s help to stand up.

Nakamura : Owen will not dare kill us…. The repercussions will be severe!!

Danzo wanted to speak but a stern look by his boss was all it took for him to keep quiet for a brief second.

Then I heard him speak rapidly in his language. I don’t know what it means but I could rpetty much guess. He did not agree with his boss and he will do what he can to get him out alive.




Danzo forcibly dragged his boss away from the lobby while shouting for everyone to follow him.

We could get a few seconds head start if we start running.

I don’t think we will make it very far in our state, Owen’s men will easily outrun us.

I grabbed Xuehua who had taken off her mask.



Jeff: look at me dear… look at me !!... take Aiko…. The hardisk and Aiko must make it out… you hear me ??

Xuehua sobbed and she shook her head.

Jeff: DO IT!! … you hear me ?? DO IT!!

I shouted at Nakamura and told him all all be in vain if Aiko did not get out.

Her testimony and her evidence will make all these right.



Jeff: Get Aiko and her family back to Japan !...

Nakamura nodded as he cursed in Japanese. Danzo let him go and he gave me a nod.

A courteous nod.



Danzo : I am sorry…. For the trouble…. My country men had caused….

Jeff : This mess…. Is on Owen…. Go…. I’ll hold them off….

Xuehua sobbed and she shook her head.

Xuehua : no…. no please dear… no… I can’t …. I can’t lose you too….



Jeff : I’ll be fine….please… go… go !!

Xuehua grabbed my by my shirt and made me swear.

She wanted me to swear I will go back to her.

Xuehua : I want to hear you say it !!!

Jeff: I’ll be fine…. I promise…. No one can kill Hibiki…


Xuehua screamed in my face as she suppressed her emotions before giving me a quick kiss and she got up after Aiko.

I pulled Lynn off Leng’s lifeless body and she was cursing and swearing.

Yiling’s face had a deep cut that will definitely leave a scar but other than that she is fine.

She looked at me, unable to believe the state I was in. A far cry from the Jeff she saw me many months ago.



Yiling : who are you Jeff…. ? who are you really …..

I smiled.

Jeff : ….. your colleague….just a little more experienced… that’s all…

Yiling : Hibiki…

Lynn : fuck…fuck !!

I pulled the both girls and sent them towards the loading and unloading bay as I wiped the wet handle of my knife.

I picked up Leng’s soul spear and I stabbed the end of it onto the ground. I needed the support. I was aching in so many spots that it would be easier to name the parts of my body that is not aching.

Owen rallied up the remaining men about 2 dozen or so.

I could hear the fight erupting from the loading and unloading bay behind me. They should be fine.



Most of the men are in front over here with Owen.

The elites are all gone.

Danzo, Xuehua and Nakamura would be able to deal with the rest.


Owen walked into the lobby and looked at the amount of bodies we left for him

Owen : This will be hard for the clean up crew….

I could feel my lungs burning as I gasp for air.

Owen looked at me with a lifeless pair of eyes.

Owen : who the fuck do you think you are……

Jeff : Would you prefer to call me Jeff….. ? or Hibiki ? ..

Owen gave the order for half the men in the lobby to go round back and stop the rest.



Owen : Get them…. They are all hurt.. they cannot make it far….the streets are all blocked off…..no one can get out of Little India today….

I swing the spear and tried to stop the group from splintering away but they were out of range. At least 10 men went out the side entrance and towards my escaping friends.

Owen : I’ll deal with you….. slowly…

Owen handed his weapon to a Japanese man and he pulled out a large knife from behind his back.

Owen : I’ve always wanted to see….if Hibiki…. Is as good as they say he is…..

Before I could get ready for Owen, I had the shit scared out of me when Lynn appeared beside me.



I thought she had gone with the rest. I did not expect her to come back.

Lynn : What the fuck are you doing Owen ?

Jeff : What are you still here ??!!!

Owen : Change is coming…. There is no stopping this….

Lynn : what the fuck is wrong with you… !

Owen : I’m sorry Lynn…. I cannot afford any witness to this…… nothing personal… I’ll deal with you after I’m done with Jeff….

I sighed as I racked my brains for ways to find an opening for Lynn to leave. I could probably distract Owen but Lynn still needs to get away from the rest of the men in the lobby.



I raised Leng’s spear and pointed it at Owen and got ready for his advance when Lynn did something unexpected.

Lynn lifted up her phone and put it to her mouth.

Lynn : You hear that baby….? …. He’s going to kill me…. if you don’t get here in time….

I turned and looked at the phone.

The timer for the call was still running. It has been running for the past 25 minutes or so.

Lynn spat defiantly at Owen.

Lynn : You’re not dealing with me……. you’re dealing with my husband and his men…



Owen looked infuriated as he shouted and came towards us with his knife raised.

I pushed Lynn aside and when Owen’s knife struck and crack the body of the staff holding the spear, I had only one thought in mind.

Where the fuck is Colonel James ?




……………………………………………………


Owen landed a kick on my thigh and narrowly missed my face with his knife as I backed away from him.

My hands moved on their own and without even realising, my knife is back up and I was feigning stabs while trying to hit Owen.

He was doing the same thing, faking a stab before attempting a punch. Lynn crawled off the ground and she picked up her phone with it’s screen already cracked in a few places.



I saw an opening and I went for it only to have Owen grab onto my arm and throwing me down the side of his waist. I did not land on my back as I cushioned the fall with my feet planted firmly on the ground and my body arched.

Slicing my knife upwards, I brought it to meet the heavy steel of Owen’s own weapon. Our forearms interlocked and we alternated with a series of knee jabs and attempts to trip the other over.

I could hear Lynn cursing as she could not longer reach her husband on the other line.


Owen got in a hard knee to my left rib before shoving me backwards where I tripped over the leg of a dead man.

I fell but immediately got right back up and into a defensive position as I waited for Owen’s next move.

He’s not fast enough to get me. This will eventually boil down to a play of stamina and see which party gives out first.

You just need to get one fatal strike in and it’s game over.

Owen relaxed and tightened his gripe on his knife. Our eyes locked onto each other.

He is thinking, I could see it in his eyes. If I could come to the conclusion that he is not as fast as I am, he must be thinking about the same thing.

I charged in with a fake left kick before swinging hard to send my right foot into Owen’s back. He staggered forward and before he can regain his balance, I kicked him again while he tried to slice me into 2 from the front.



Our knives met again and I saw the quick spark as my serrated edge dragged along the ends of Owen’s knife.

Owen : arGHHHHHHHHH!!!

Jeff : aRGHHHHHHHH!!!

We held each other’s wrist and forearm, restricting our movements as we headbutted each other.


I could feel the warmth of my bloodied head as blood streaks down from cuts and bruises.

Blood vessels burst from under the skin as we met each other’s head right on. Our hands disengaged and Owen’s right hook caught me in my jaw but it was not hard enough to put me down.

I got in a hard punch to the centre of his undefended chest that would surely knock the air out of his lungs before kicking him back. He staggered and fell, his turn to trip over the head of a man missing his left eye.

Lynn had a club in her hands as a Indian man came for her. She threw the club at him before plunging a dagger she secretly held on the other hand when the man attempted to block off the club.

Lynn : arghhh.. fuck !..

I panted for air as I put myself in between Lynn and Owen.

It was a mistake. Owen saw the weak link in this.

Lynn.

He changed his tact immediately and instead of just coming for me, he went for Lynn. He planned to kill her anyway and if in the attempt of doing so gives him a chance to get me, all the better.


Owen asked his men to get Lynn but before that order could be effectively carried out, a few of them were running back out of the lobby.
Something is happening outside.

I saw someone approaching.

A man, he was dressed casually in jeans and t-shirt. He easily disarmed the 1st Indian man that got to him before using the metal pipe he was carrying on his head. I caught a glimpse of his face. I’ve seen him before.

At Lynn’s wedding.

He’s one of James’ men.


A few seconds later, I saw a man of smaller built literally flying through the air.

He flew like a rag doll being thrown to a dog, sailing almost 2m before landing on the side of his head in an awkward angle. There was no movements from him after that landing.

I saw the mountain of a man walking briskly towards the lobby.

Lynn saw him as well.

Lynn : BOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lynn called out to the giant who just slammed another man into the ground as others waved their weapons madly around him.



James’ men are coming but it was not what I expected.

I got tangled up with Owen again as he tried to get past me to Lynn.

I was hoping James would arrive guns blazing and mowing these fuckers down for his wife but no. His men arrived one at a time, trying to make their way through the perimeter.

It’s a fucking Sunday night. Everyone is probably having dinner or chilling at home.

It’s a miracle James managed to get anyone to even respond, not to forget the whole perimeter of Little India is now cut off.

I got a cut on my shoulder while I managed so slice through Owen’s shirt, missing his flesh by mere millimetres.

Owen : argHHHHHHH!!!

Owen acted as if he was diving for Lynn but turned back and with a quick swing, sliced cleanly across my left knuckles.


I felt the pain only 2 seconds later when I dropped my knife onto the floor.

I had tried to block that swing but I missed.

The good thing about fighting in the lobby by then was there you are never short of a weapon. There are so many just lying around within reach. Lynn backed away closer to the lifts shouting and screaming at her husband’s men.

Another one had arrived and the 3 of them outside is keeping the rest of Owen’s men busy.

I grabbed a club which was essentially served as the leg of a former chair and blocked off Owen’s subsequent series of stabs and jabs.

Grabbing his last jab while his arm was extended, I tripped him onto the floor but before I could deliver a painful blow, he hammered down on my injured knuckles and my grip loosen enough for him to break free.

Jeff :arGHHH fuck!...

I panted as I see Owen’s remaining men thin out.


Owen went for Lynn again and this time round it was not an attempt to distract me.

Lynn’s new metal pipe was easily wrestled out of her hands by Owen, I charged over just in time to put my chair leg in between Owen’s knife and Lynn’s neck.
Despite the block, the speed and strength of the hit by Owen was still hard enough to send her collapsing onto the floor. If I did not get there in time, Lynn’s head would be dangling halfway off her shoulder by then.


Jeff : arghhh!!!

I threw several blows at Owen who blocked it with his armed raised.

Lynn choked and crawled on her fours gasping for air.

I could see her clutching the side of her neck that was hit. She was bleeding, but it did not look serious.

Owen elbowed me to the face and tried to go for Lynn again.

I grabbed onto his waist and tried to lift him off the ground but he was too heavy or perhaps I was too tired. I felt another fist to the side of my head and my grip got loose.

Still, I grabbed onto Owen with my legs, rotating my body and forcing him to bend the knee for a brief moment.

Jeff : Lynn !!... go!!

Lynn got up as Owen broke free from me.

I jumped him before he could grab Lynn on her hair.


Lynn was about to make her way towards the loading bay at the back when 2 lightly injured men entered from the exit. They saw Lynn and started to make their way towards her. Lynn turned right and opened the staircase door.

I could hear her shouting as she scrambled up the stairs. Then men staggered and went after Lynn.

I caught a glimpse of James men from the outside. They are almost through.


The giant Lynn called Boon had the face of a men in each of his hand as he ran towards the glass façade of the ground floor lobby.

I heard the sickening crunched of bone against laminated glass as Boon stuck the men like notices onto a pin up board. Only this time there were no pins holding them up, only the blood from the ruptured blood vessels in the back of their head.

The 2 men slide down to the floor one after the other, their hair leaving a vertical line of blood painted by their sweaty and blood-soaked hair.

I punched Owen, he punched me.

I kicked him, and he did the same.

We threw each other around before Owen broke free. He raised his knife at me and got in a good slash on my left shoulder while I manage to land on diagonally up his chest.

Both of us staggered and lost our balance partly because of the pain our body had just registered with our brain.

Everything happened within a matter of seconds.


Owen clutched his chest and I could see him biting down his teeth to endure the pain. I guess it’s been a while since he felt something like this.

There’s both a stinging and burning feeling in the left side of my body. It fucking hurts and my arm is wet with my own blood but I could still hold this for a while more.

Owen looked at his men slowly reducing in numbers and he decided to go into the same stairwell Lynn went into barely seconds ago.

I dashed in after him and we flew up the stairs 3 steps at a time. Every step we took we left a trail of blood splatters.

I could hear Lynn’s scream from above.

I assumed she’s heading for the clinic on the 3rd floor.
If she gets there, she can barricade herself in.

I arrived at the 3rd floor and I saw Owen grabbing 1 of the 2 indian man that had Lynn pinned to the floor to ask him to hold me back. The 2 fuckers had Lynn struggling on the floor and they were trying to rape her.

Her top was partially torn and I could see a bra strap totally snapped and Lynn was screaming with half her breast exposed.

I did not allow the man time to even get in my way.

I jumped and pushed myself off the wall on the side for added leverage before smashing his face in with my right knuckle while still holding my knife. Swinging my body around like a whirling devilish I slammed the pointed edge of my knife into his neck even before he hit the ground.

The second man saw his dead friend and he froze. I could see the fear in his eyes as he put up his hands trying to indicate that he’s surrendering. He just plastered his body against the wall and crab walked right passed me speaking in a language I don’t understand.

Owen was trying to kill Lynn but she had kicked him in his chest, adding to the pain that he is already experiencing from a cut by my knife.

Lynn cried and tried to crawl towards me and I saw Owen coming in for another attempt.



Lynn : argHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

I dropped my knife and I pulled Lynn by her hair and torn clothes towards me with barely a second to spare as Owen’s knife hit the ground where Lynn’s back was at moments before.

I steppe over Lynn and kicked Owen’s knife away from his hand but it did not work. I kicked his hand alright, but he was still holding onto the knife. I jumped back as he swung it at me.



I blocked his stab with both hands, pushing his wrist downwards as our body gets slammed against both side of the narrow corridor.

We were locked in place and our legs never stopped trying to inflict maximum pain on each other.

Lynn got up and saw we were both caught in a deadlock.



She grabbed my knife and ran towards Owen.

Lynn : aRHHHH

Jeff : Lynn !! NO!!! STAY BACK!!!

Owen saw her approached and swung my back against her hard enough to knock Lynn against the wall.

Lynn : arGHH!!

I broke free but Owen pushed me against Lynn again, this time harder and I could feel the back of my head hitting Lynn’s forehead. Sandwiched between Lynn and Owen, I kept my attention on the knife Owen is holding.

He switched hands and he stabbed under my left armpit in an attempt to first get rid of Lynn. My right arm reached behind and yank Lynn to the right and avoided at fatal stab only to feel the blade slice upwards and ripping into the underside of my armpits.

Jeff : aGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

My right hand managed to grab onto Owen wrist before I turned my body 180 degree so my back faced Owen, kicking myself off the wall, I slammed Owen’s back against the dry wall partition of Lynn’s clinic.
Both of us collapsed onto the floor together.

My left arm felt as if I was dipping it into a pot of boiling water as I went over to get my knife from Lynn.

Owen : aRGHHHHHHHHHHH

Jeff ; aRGHHHHHHHHHH!



The grind of steel was drowned by our shouts.

Lynn tried to run towards her clinic but Owen managed to grab hold of the ends of her hair, yanking her back. He had a fistful of her hair and it was enough to jerk Lynn back towards him.

Lynn : erGNHH!!!!!!!

I flipped my knife cutting side up and detached a chunk of Lynn’s lovely locks and set her free in a swift stroke, the suddenly release of the pull sent Lynn tripping forward and onto her knees.

Owen went low and my knee knew what to do. I went for his face.

Owen deflected my right knee and shove me against the wall with his entire bodyweight.

He was still trying to go for Lynn.

I saw an opportunity to get Owen, excuting the same swing I did earlier, I grunted as I sent my knife towards Owen’s kidney.

I felt the plunge of my knife in soft flesh immediately.

Before I could bask in satisfaction, I was hit with a wave of horror.

Owen : ahahhahahaha….

I stared at Lynn who was being held towards me like a human shield. My knife was buried in her stomach just above her belly button.



Owen : ahahahah… hahahahaha !!!!!

Owen made an attempt to grab my wrist but he missed. I held onto Lynn’s body and kicked Owen back while holding onto the knife.

Lynn : uuuhhh…. Ughhhhhhhh!!!

Owen : hahaha…hahaha.. oh boy… oh boy… ahhahaa…. You … are fucked now… hahaha.. hahaha….

I could not speak. Lynn was looking at me. She too could not bring herself to even move.

The body of the Indian man that just surrendered minutes ago flew out from the stairwell and against the wall.

Owen saw that and he started running towards the fire access panel at the end of the corridor with his knife. Smashing through that glass panel, he grinned at me before climbing out and disappearing to the side.

Lynn was shaking as we looked at each other.



Jeff : don’t move… don’t move… don’t take it out… you cannot pull this out…. !!!

Lynn swallowed a gulp of saliva and I could see tears rolling down the side of her cheeks.

Her lips were shivering.

The sound of men fighting their way up from the stairwell got louder.

Jeff : fuck…fuck… no… fuck…I’m sorry… I’m so sorry….

Lynn shook her head gently and it looked like she wanted to say something.



Jeff : You’re clinic is here.. it’s right behind you….it’s right behind… tell me what to do !!.. tell me what to do !!!

More tears rolled down the side of her eyes as I watch the spread of blood starting to appear from the sides of the wound I had just inflicted.

Jeff : no… no!!... help !!! HELP!!! Someone fuckign help!!! arGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Lynn shook her head as I asked her where should I apply pressure.

Jeff : What should I do… tELL ME!!! TELL ME!!! DOC!! Tell me what to do… arGHHHHHHHHH!!!

My fingers were shaking. I’ve never trembled like this before.

Lynn shook her head.

Lynn : I….. I don’t know…..uughh…i… I don’t know….

Jeff : you must know… you must know !!! fuck !!! arghh !!

I have never felt panic like this before in my life.



Lynn slowly sank to the floor and I helped her lean against the wall.

Jeff : I’m going to go call for an ambulance…. Wait here… wait here !!!

Lynn : no… no wait…Jeff.. wait… ugghhh..ughh…

I looked at Lynn struggling with the pain and the first sign of tears started to appear in her eyes.


Lynn : I..i…I don’t think…i…uuuuuuggghhh

Lynn coughed and while there are no blood spurting out of her mouth, I saw the pressure did it’s damage on the wound I inflicted. More blood started spilling out of her wound and onto the floor.

Jeff : …arghh.. I’m sorry…Lynn… I’m sorry… fuck !!!! FUCK!!! GOD!!! FUCK!!! …..stay here… don’t move… don’t fucking move !!!... I’ll use the phone in your clinic….

Lynn grabbed my hand forcefully and held me back. She shook her head at me. I could see she’s afraid.

Lynn : don’t… don’t…. it’s ok… it’s ok…

Jeff : let go Lynn…please… I’ll get help….

I wanted to break myself free but she was gripping onto me too tightly. I’m afraid if I was too rough on her, it might make her injury worse.

Lynn’s bloodied hand touched my face and she shook her head at me.

Lynn : i…..i….. I know my body….. I know….nothing….too deep… it’s too deep….uggg

Blood was fucking bubbling from Lynn’s stomach as I held onto her.

Jeff : aRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! FUCK ….FUCK!!!! Somebody help please.. !!!! aGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Lynn : It hurts …. It …… so painful… it’s so painful….buuurrr.. sobzzz…

Jeff : stop talking… stop….i’ll call for an ambulance… we can save you…. Arghh.. aghhh !!!

Lynn stopped talking altogether.
Her eyes looked at me and I could see a sudden drop in the level of consciousness in her.

She’s still awake but I could see the fight in her was gone. It’s as if she had accepted her fate.

Jeff : Lynn… Lynn please… don’t… don’t… please….Lynn… FUCK NO!!!..

I felt a gentle squeeze in my hand.

The hand that Lynn was holding onto. It’s like she was asking me to listen to her.

I heard her soft whisper.

A soft gentle whisper that was barely there. I saw her look down. She looked down at her own stomach and the way she cradled it, I felt like killing myself.

She held the bottom of her tummy as if she was cradling a baby.

Jeff : oh fuck… fuck… no please… please don’t tell me … please don’t say it… no !!! Lynn fuck !!!

Lynn nodded her head and she confirmed my worst fears.

Lynn : Pro….promise me something….please…

I broke down and I wept.

I can’t fucking believe what I have done.

Lynn’s bloodied hand touched me on my cheeks.

Lynn : Tell my husband…….

Jeff : No… no please… don’t….

Lynn : Tell… tell my husband…… that….that he is right….it’s a girl.

Jeff : fuck no… no please Lynn… I’m sorry….

Lynn : He already…. He already chose her name …haha…haha… even before… before knowing the sex…of the baby… He knew…… he said he knew….

I hit my head against the wall as I started to choke on my own breath.
I could not bring myself to say another word by then. I did not know how painful it can be when your heart shattered into so many pieces. I felt as if I could never be whole again.

Lynn : promise me…promise me you would tell him….

I held tightly onto Lynn’s hand as tears streaked down her cheeks. I could see the colour draining from her face.

Her breathing became a laboured and she was trying her best to endure the excruciating pain her body is in.

Lynn : tell him….. Lynette and i…..Lynette and I ….. will always… always love him…we will always be there…..with him….

I felt the hot flush of emotions rushing into my head. I was at a lost.
I don’t know what kind of answer to give Lynn.

If I agreed, it would mean I accepted that she is going to be gone soon, yet I can’t bring myself to say no to her in such circumstances.

I felt a weaker squeeze on my hand. Lynn’s eyes never left mine.

Lynn : Promise…..Promise me…. ?



I nodded. I nodded several times and I begged Lynn to tell me what to do.

Jeff : there must be something in your clinic we can use…. Tell me please…!! You’re a doctor !!!... tell me !

I felt the grip on my hand go limp and I felt my whole world collapsed in front of me.



Jeff : Lynn …..Lynn ?

My trembling hand shook Lynn slightly. The colour was gone from her cheeks, I was kneeling in a fucking big pool of blood. It had spread beyond the spot where Lynn was sitting and it kept growing wider.

I checked Lynn for a pulse and there was none.



I sank to the floor and I wanted to scream.

It’s Owen.

It’s fucking Owen.

He used Lynn as a shield. That fucking coward.



I would have gotten him in that attempt.

I could hear my own heartbeat slamming against my chest as the only image in my head was that of Owen.

I will fucking squeeze the last breath out of his body if it’s the last thing I do.

I laid Lynn down on the floor gently and I pulled out my knife.

I heard the men crashing through the door at the end of the corridor. Boon stepped through first with half a spike club buried in his left shoulder.

Our eyes met. Barely a second later I saw James .

He was holding onto the arm of a man while smashing his face against the door frame.

My eyes met his as well.

They saw me.

They saw Lynn.



They saw me crouching over her lifeless body with the knife in my hand.

Boon : aRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boon charged towards me as I watched James sank to his knees.


Boon was 2 steps from me before I realised how this must look like to them.

I braced both my arms to receive Boon’s kick and even then I could not imagine how much strength that kick contained. I went straight against the wall and his large hand hammered me into the ground.

I left a kick to my stomach as I rolled a few metres away down the corridor.


The pain I felt from the kick was nothing compared the pain I could feel from the anguish scream I heard from James :

James : ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was the most painful cry I’ve every heard in my life as I blocked off the next 2 attempts by Boon to kill me.

James broke down as he shouted, scream and cried in disbelief.



He stood up, buckled and fell before crawling like a lost toddler before hugging onto the body of his wife.

I felt as if my right shoulder was about to be ripped apart as Boon pulled the buried club from his own shoulder and sent it into mine. I pulled it out and threw it at him before rolling backwards and regaining my footing in a defensive position.

I can’t die here today.

Not now.

Not before I kill Owen.

There was no time nor opportunity to explain anything.



I landed a kick in Boon before throwing both fist hard enough to push him back a few steps.

James had scooped Lynn up and he was screaming and running towards the exit staircase.

I ducked 3 continued fist from Boon, each one leaving an imprint and a bloody dent on the partition walls of Lynn’s clinic.

I was sent flying back by a hard knee and that hit made it hard for me to draw my next breath.



Boon grabbed me and picked me up as I tried to fight my way out of his chokehold. I saw the glimpse of a figure appearing at the other end of the corridor.

Xuehua was running towards me having come up the staircase on the other end.

Bouncing herself off the wall, she leapt and latched herself onto Boon.

I felt his grip loosen a little and I managed to break loose to see him throwing Xuehua against the wall.

Boon came swinging his fist and elbow at the both of us at the same time, with each block and deflection, the 3 of us literally smashed up the walls lining the corridor. Dusts, cracked plaster, splintered laminates and even the fibrous insulation of the dry walls were left exposed as we went into a frenzy, destroying everything within our path.


Xuehua saw an opening and she rolled over with her feet extended to trip. Using her entire body weight, she brought Boon to his knees before I kneed him in the side of his face against the wall.

The impact was hard enough to disorient him for a few seconds.

I saw Xuehua reach into her boots and a dagger emerged. It rotated on her well practised grip and the sharp end went straight for Boon’s throat.

Jeff : NO!!!


I pushed my arm in front of Boon’s throat ant the dagger went through my right forearm leaving a millimetre of it scraping the throat of Boon.

Boon’s eyes were left widened as he held onto my forearm, realising that half a second later, that dagger would have gone through his throat.

Xuehua : what is wrong with you !!!!

Jeff : No…it..it was an accident…


Xuehua pulled the dagger out of my arm and I looked at Book holding onto his neck before checking to see a little pin drop of blood.

I looked at him and I told him I’m sorry.

Jeff : It… it was an accident… i… I didn’t mean to….to…. I was going for Owen….he.. he used Lynn…


I saw movements at the end of the corridor again and James walked back through the door this time round with automatic weapons.

Xuehua : run !!!

James : aRHHHHHHHHHH!!

I heard the automatic weapon go off but we kept to the side of the wall, crouching low and using Boon’s massive body as a shield before making our way down the stairs entire flight at a time.


I could hear the whistle of lead as it sped past me and into the concrete walls.

Xuehua and I broke into an all out sprint, running into alleys and corners before heading towards the carpet shop Ron had told us about.

Xuehua directed me to the route the took earlier and I just followed, running as fast as my battered body could manage.



We never stopped.

Ignoring the stares, we got form curious bystanders, we headed straight for the river.

There was a small boat waiting for us.
It’s engine was left running and Yiling was in it.

Xuehua and I jumped into it and Yiling floored the OBM, pulling the small vessel along the river and down the canal.



Neither one of us spoke. The engine of the motor was too noisy for us to speak anyway.

10 minutes later we came to a makeshift dock and we disembarked. Nakamura and Danzo were crouched at a corner. Aiko was sitting near them.


Danzo : we have our ride coming anytime now….

Xuehua : I will bring Aiko back….to her kids… before sending them to the Japanese embassy….

Danzo nodded.

We parted ways at a open air carpark and within an hour, we were back at the warehouse.

The moment I got out of the car, I vomited.


Xuehua : dear what happened ? Lynn got hurt ???? the big man…..we were fighting… I remember him… he was at Lynn’s wedding….. Is he Owen’s men too ?

By the time I look back up at Xuehua, my eyes were red and tears rolled down my cheeks.


Xuehua : are you ok dear ?? what happened ? Lynn got caught by Owen’s men didn’t she ??

I shook my head.

Xuehua : then ? say something… tell me what is going on…!


Jeff : Lynn is dead…

Xuehua gasped.



Xuehua : who ? ….who did it...… Owen ?

I shook my head.

As our eyes met, I could see Xuehua saw my answer even before I spoke.


Jeff : Me…..


……………………………………………………………

Xuehua gave me a squeezed on my shoulder and sat down beside me.
I could not help but notice the difficulty in which she was trying to set herself down, she too suffered multiple injuries.
Jane is human too.

Her face was bruised in several spots as if she just suffered a bout of domestic violence.



Small splatters and droplets of blood fall around us as we leaned against each other.

It took her a while to start talking as the realisation set in.

Xuehua : We were fighting our way out…. But Lynn….. she said her husband’s men are coming….she ran back in… she wanted to wait for her husband….she said he was reaching soon…..Lynn did not want him to arrive only to panic trying to find her…..

Xuehua told me that they barely made it to the carpet shop, and they could not stop Lynn from heading back into the building.

Xuehua : Once we got to the carpet shop…. It was pretty much all clear…. Ron had a man there waiting for us…He held the line and allowed us to get through before clearing out….. we made a straight run all the way to the river…..then I went straight back…. I’m… I’m sorry… if only I was faster…

Jeff : It’s not your fault… it’s mine… I…. I was careless…


Yiling came running out into the compound from inside the warehouse and she saw an image of me sprawled on the floor with Xuehua beside.

Half of her face has been bandaged up and she was holding onto 2 phones.

She looked around as if she was looking for someone. Our eyes met and I shook my head.
The message has been delivered.

Lynn did not make it back with us.

I saw Yiling back up a couple of steps as her eyes watered before her hand went to her mouth.

Yiling : no….no way… what happened ?

I felt Xuehua’s head on my shoulder and I could hear her starting to cry as well.

I was suddenly reminded of her loss. The 4 closest person to her in her life who practically raised her had died. They died because she asked for their help. Yiling knelt down onto the floor and I watch both her phones fall out of her hand as she looked down onto the floor, wetting the dry concrete with her tears.

She was shaking.

Yiling : I….. I shouldn’t have…. Shouldn’t have scheduled my checkup with Lynn….i shouldn’t have….fuck…. I could have done it on any other day….i could have….fuck….



Dr Cheong came out of the warehouse with a few assistants and helped Xuehua and I onto a pair of wheelchairs before wheeling us into his clinic. Cheong himself went to pull Yiling off her feet before leading her somewhere else.

He was talking to her but I could not make out what was being said.

When we got to Cheong’s clinic, I could see it was all set up to receive us.

It was near impossible for us to even undress without worsening the injury we were came back with. Cheong had to cut through tops and our pants while trying to access the damage.

It was chaos in the clinic with people all over the place. I remembered Cheong calling in extra doctors for help before his face towered over me.

Cheong : You’re too dehydrated…. I can’t even find your fucking veins….when was the last time you drank anything ??

I did not even have the energy to answer that question.



He was holding onto my wrist before another doctor took over. I’ve never seen him before but he asked Cheong to head over to Xuehua. I could feel the drop in my consciousness as I feel every part of my body getting denser.

Someone sprayed some icy cooling liquid on my right hand before I felt the needle go into my body. Buttons were pressed, stuff were beeping all over. My entire left arm was lifted and put onto a cold stainless steel table.

I felt more liquid on my arm before someone was rubbing it down with a foul smelling solution.



My eyelids felt heavy. The rapid conversation around me got a bit muffled.

Then everything went black.

I don’t know how long I was out but when I came to, I saw Cheong talking on his phone.

I was bandaged at several spots, my entire left arm is sore and I could feel the throbbing ache that never seem to go away.

Cheong saw me come to and he asked me a few questions.

Cheong : Are you ok Jeff ? …. Do you know where you are… ?

Jeff : I’m aching all over…. Yeah I do… … at the warehouse….


Cheong : ok…I got to run…. Another patient is coming in….

He left the room without a word after.

It took me about 10 minutes before I got up and I held onto the bag of drip that was hooked up with me.

I staggered into the wheelchair and slowly wheeled myself out of the room.

I wanted to find Xuehua.


I find myself at a unfamiliar section of the warehouse. Probably one of the lower levels. I wandered along the corridor before coming face to face with Ron and his men walking briskly towards me.

Ron did not even say hi, he gestured to me and one of his men took over the control of my wheelchair and started pushing me after the group of men.

We made a couple of turns before coming into a formal meeting room set like the board room of a listed company.


I saw Xuehua inside the room and she waved at me.

The room slowly got more crowded and I assumed Ron was waiting for the key staffs of his team to be present before starting the meeting. Yiling came in shortly after, she had changed out of her old clothes that were splattered with blood.

5 minutes later, the doors were shut and Ron updated everyone in the room about what had happened the night before and what is happening after the incident at little india.

Ron : What happened last night….is going to leave a mark in the history of the country… it will be one of the biggest coverup engineered to keep the public from knowing what had transpired in the heart of Little India……. Aside from a few intelligence agencies which have dormant assets in the area, as far as the public is concerned, no one will know a slaughter has taken place in that building…..


The agreed story that the government would be selling would be a riot has taken place.
The media will be carefully controlled and only curated footages of the riot will be released.

Anything else will be scrubbed from the internet.

From shaky hand held cameras to mobile phone footages, everything will be taken care of by the special media branch. Actors & directors have been mobilised in the middle of the night to re-enact scenes that would help hold up the story.

Even footages which sounded like regular citizens talking in the background have been produced. None official videos and footages tend to feel more credible when spread through unconventional means.


Ron : the disinformation has already started…. And people are already soaking up the story we sell them…..the whole idea of a riot is enough to keep tongues wagging for a while….

Small edits and cuts of training footage involving burnt ambulances and overturned police cars will also be edited in to lend credibility to the story.
A dozen of Owen’s imported foreign talents that have been arrested will have their faces published with stories fabricated about them being drunk and rowdy. The cause of the riot will be pinned on them.


Most of the Japanese involved are dead, the few arrested has been swiftly handed over to the embassy. With the Asean – Japan commemorative summit meeting taking place in a few days times, the leaders decided to bury this in order not to complicate things.

They will form a special team to sort this out after the summit.

Witnesses that saw what happened will be paid off to keep their mouth shut. A set of numbers will be given to them that will magically happen to be the winning lottery numbers for the next draw.

Strict contracts that stipulate the payout will last as long as they keep their mouth shut has never failed before. A tried and tested method for many years, it is something the authorities has employed many times over the years.

A sweet 5 million lottery draw. Winnings split between a few lucky men and women.


A lump sum plus pay-out for life, everyone would take it.

No one ever rejected an offer like this, or rather, from my perspective, it was either this option, or they might have just sent Owen’s men after you. Get paid to keep your mouth shut, or maybe, just maybe, meet with an accident.

Accidents happen everyday.


Ron told us that as of the count at 11.30am that morning, 39 dead and at least 3 dozen more injured.

Ron : Aiko’s evidence have proven instrumental in proofing what Owen has done. … we have everything….. maps… locations… the amount of explosives…. Where and when to strike….. everything…..i paid a visit to the Prime minister in the middle of the night…. It’s done….there’s no way Owen can wriggle his way out of this and he knows…. Hiro has all the location in his secure drive….Owen made him rent a place opposite every childcare and school he wanted to strike…..We have maps, diagrams… right down to the staff arrival timings…

It was also made known to all that Owen had disappeared after leaving Little india.



Ron : All his operations are being brought to a close…. His doings have been broadcasted to all operators that are in the field and those that aren’t. It’s up to the individual to digest and come to the conclusion on their own…. And I am confident… that the sensible ones know what they are seeing.

From administrative staff to Owen’s personal security detail, the information has been passed down.

Ron : The alternate site for operations has been activated and all of Owen’s staff that we manage to contact are being debriefed right now. …. We activated the emergency mobilisation for the entire company….more than 95% have reported in…. we believe that the other 5% are probably those Owen has managed to convince to join him…. Anyway…. Resources are really stretched at the moment…. On top of trying to cover up the little india incident, we still have to find new management to take over Owen .

Ron told everyone that the current base we are in will serve as the coordinating headquarters for the hunt for Owen. We could have done it at the new site for the company but Ron is pretty sure there will be factions loyal to Owen within that site.



They might be feeding Owen information that we don’t want him to know.

Ron : We have to find him…. By hook or by crook… we have to…. He is definitely still in the country….we know he will try to leave….and we have to make sure we stop him…..

After another few minutes of general updates, Ron dismissed everyone and asked to speak with Xuehua and I alone.

He even asked his men to wait outside.

Ron was not someone who minced his words and he came for me at once when the door to the room is closed.

Ron : What the fuck is wrong with you Jeff ?? what happened with Lynn ?

Jeff : It…. It was an accident….

Ron : I know it’s an accident….. we got the CCTV footage….


Xuehua : Where is Lynn now ??

Ron : Her husband and his men got her out …. Her body is at the morgue….

Ron sighed and I looked at the day old stubble on his chin.

Ron : Here’s what is going to happen…. You are going to stay here… both of you…. Without my orders… you are not allowed to leave this compound or I will personally kill you….Lynn’s husband is devasted…. He’s out for blood…..and the best thing we can do now is keep out of sight……

Ron turned to Xuehua and told her that the bodies of the pillars are safe. His clean up crew extracted them early during the cleanup. They are being cleaned and prepared before a private ceremony will be held for them.

Ron : I’m sorry for your loss Jane….but I’ve always said the same thing….. doing the things we do…. When our turn comes…. We have to accept it…

Xuehua did not say anything.



Ron spoke in a softer tone, saying that he will inform her when their bodies have been transported to the warehouse.

Jeff : What about Lynn’s wake ?

I asked a little abruptly.
I had to.

I’m not about to just hide and pray this goes away.

There’s also the things I promised Lynn I would tell James about.

Ron : Are you fucking out of your mind ?? …. You show you face there you are dead…. Many times over…..

Xuehua : It was an accident….



Ron :You think James care it was an accident ?? …. All that is in his head now is Jeff just killed his wife and his unborn child….if this isn’t going to fucking get you killed, I don’t know what will…..

Ron went on to say that he will be putting both Xuehua and I under strict house arrest.

Ron : You do not…. I repeat…. Do not step out of this fucking compound….or I will kill you….


With that he left the room while pulling out a vibrating phone from his pocket at the same time.

I saw Yiling standing outside the door waiting for us after Ron walked away.

She walked in and shut the door.



Yiling : I’ve just spent the past few hours trying to put everything together….. Owen has been using my operation as a cover to bring those weapons and explosives in…… on top of the drugs I was smuggling….

YIling went on to say that half the men under her employment works for Owen.

Yiling : They are all dead now….

Xuehua : How… ?


Yiling : I’m a drug dealer remember…. I have some cards to play….

It appears that Yiling has been using the resources and money to build up her personal detail of enforcers. People who are loyal to her but seemingly given low positions in the organisation so they will not attract attention.

She knew she could not depend on the people Owen is assigning to her for the business. Doing the things she do, she needed some assurance.



So right from day one, she started building up her own team of people that are loyal only to her. Ex-convicts, former drug addicts, it doesn’t matter, as long as they knew where their loyalty lies.

Yiling : Only my core team remained now….. and everyone was recruited by me personally…. With no relationship to Owen….

Jeff : so now what ? you continue being a drug lord ?

Yiling : I have to…. It’s the only way to keep things under control….be the biggest player…. I spoke with Ron about this…. He is agreeable… he will be linking me up with a former contact he had at the drug agency…. I will be coordinating directly with him with regards to the company’s operation….

Everyone of us went quiet after that and I saw Yiling stole a peep over her shoulder before saying that she will be leaving the warehouse in a bit.



Yiling : I need to head back to my place and start cleaning up….i’ll find out about Lynn’s wake ….and see what is going on out there right now…. . I have a lot of questions… but I guess this is not the time…

Yiling gave me a hug and I realised at that point she did not realised the kind of relationship I have with Xuehua.

A hug that lingered a little too long.

Yiling : Take care Jeff…. Here… take this….

She passed me a phone and said she will update me once she gets any information.

Yiling left the room and I kept the phone.

I turned to Xuehua who was looking at her feet but said nothing.

If not for the solemn mood we were in, I was pretty sure Xuehua would be throwing a fit about me being so close to Yiling or the hug being a little too affectionate for comfort.


There was nothing much I could do in my state and I wheeled myself back to my room as Xuehua said she needed to be alone for a while.

En route back to my room, I saw Dr Cheong walking out of another room, his white coat had blood stains on them. Shortly after, Ron came out of the same room.



Cheong : I stopped the bleeding.. but his foot is gone…..it has to go…. A close friend of mine is on his way… he’s good with this…. It’ll be a clean cut…..the only thing we need to worry about would be an infection setting in…..

Ron : I see…. Ok…

Cheong : He’s dehydrated…. Definitely malnourished….but other than that, he’s tougher that he looks that kid….

Ron : Thanks bro…. don’t know what I will do without you….

Ron gave Cheong a tap on his arm before they parted ways.

Someone in that room will be without a foot before the day is over.



Cheong gave me a thumbs up with a questioning look, checking to see if I was feeling ok and I nodded.

Jeff : Who’s in there ??

Cheong : A kid….passing information along to Ron….while working for Owen….but towards the end…. He was found out… his left toes were all smashed one by one….before that… the nails were pulled out….one every day…. They were about to start on the right leg when Ron’s men got to him in time….

I felt a lump in my throat as Cheong walked passed me to busy himself with other stuff.

I pushed my wheelchair to the front of the door.



I had a sinking feeling in my heart that I might know who that kid is.

Using whatever strength I could muster with my left foot, I pushed against the door while wheeling myself into the room.

2 nurses looked at me, so did the guy lying on the bed.

Our eyes met.

The left side of his face has been badly scarred and when he saw me, he cried.



He started to cry.

Billy looked like he had been through hell. He’s lost at least a good 5 kg by my estimate and his entire face had shrunk so much I could see his cheekbones protruding. The scar on his face is caused by burns, someone burnt him.

I wheeled myself towards Billy and we said nothing.

He just nodded at me.

Jeff : what happened…. ?

Billy : i….. I got careless….

That was all was said.

One of the nurse asked me to leave and told me that we could talk later.



I went back to my room and exhaustion set in once more. I blacked out and slept.

I woke up when my dressing were being changed.

Cheong was in the room as well.

Cheong : hungry ?? you need anything ?

I shook my head.
I have no appetite despite having nothing to eat for a while.

Cheong : Jane is waiting for you….i’ll bring you over after we’re done here….

Jeff : How is she ?

Cheong : You mean…. Physically ? ….. mentally ? …. Or what ?

I gave Cheong a questioning look and he sighed.

Cheong : Physically, she’s fine…. Going to have some scars for sure…. But nothing life threatening….

I waited for Cheong to go on but he didn’t, so I added the ‘but’ for him.

Jeff : but ? ….. you’re not done…


Cheong cut off the excess part of the bandage and pulled off his gloves.

Cheong : The baby is fine…

I could not believe what I was hearing.

My heart literally stopped beating for a few seconds.

Jeff : What ?

Cheong : Jane is pregnant…. Has been for a while now…

Jeff : what….


Cheong : What do you expect….? You guys are fucking like rabbits when you were here the past few months….

I could feel myself choking up. I can’t breathe.

Jeff : You … you meant…. You meant Xuehua….. went….. went out to little India…. Pregnant… ?

Cheong : She made me promise not to say until you all got Aiko and the evidence out…. That’s done…. I kept my promise… but….you guys have a lot of talking to do….

Jeff : How…. How far along is she… ?


Cheong : It’s still early….6 weeks ish give and take…. We just detected the foetal heartbeat a few days before…

Jeff : fuck….

Cheong : yeah… … it can be overwhelming…. I’m a father too….come… she’s waiting….

I was in shock the entire journey from my room to the small chapel at the lower basement of the warehouse.

When I was wheeled in, I saw Xuehua sitting along at a bench. The photos of Eddy, Leng, Freddy and Annie neatly lined up on a table.

I looked at the interior of the small and neat room.

Names etched in gold were lined up on the black marbled wall claddings.

Names that will not make it’s appearance in the history books of the country despite what they have done.

Cheong : I’ll leave you guys to talk….
The moment Cheong left, I felt a surge of anger.

Why didn’t she tell me she was pregnant ?

Jeff : Why did you keep it from me…

Xuehua : What could you have done even if I told you ?

There was no hiding the angst and spite in the question and reply from each of us.



Thankfully both of us knew how to practise restrain and nothing more was said after.

Xuehua and I just sat quietly in the chapel and we said nothing. Almost an hour passed before I held her hand.

She broke down and cried.

……………………………………………………………………………….



11th December 2013

Wednesday



For the past few days, major news channel kept repeating the incident on little india.
Even foreign media were reporting the chaos in the seemingly orderly Singapore.
Some questioned whether the current administration is losing it’s grip on it’s people.

Talk shows featuring academics and public talked about what happened, some commented that in such a fast paced society and the stress of city living might have contributed to the pent up frustration the foreign workers are feeling.

Some quarters are blaming the influence of alcohol and the easily availability of bootleg alcohol in shops.



Everyone was assigning blame.

The people needed someone to blame, or rather, something to blame.

After a week of media hoohaa, the finger has been pointed to the main culprit of the riot.

Alcohol fuelled rage.

Yes. We blamed alcohol for the riot and restrictions will be put in place not just in Little india, but throughout the country.



If not for the seriousness of the incident, I would have burst out laughing.

Only in Singapore can we get away with something this absurd.


I was up and walking for a day or so and I took the time to really explore the warehouse and it’s numerous basements.

It went down a total of 6 levels and I could only access 4 of them.

I did not even know the scale of the facility despite being cooped up there for months.

The facility had it’s own armoury and there were no guards.

All you need is a key.

And you won’t fucking believe who is holding onto the key. The fucking janitor. Mr Wee.

Mr Wee looked you’re your average 60 year old smiling retiree who is doing what he does to pass time. The staff for respective rooms and departments manages their own housekeeping. Mr Wee does the general areas including corridors and emptying the trash for the lift lobbies. He waters the plants too.

It makes sense to keep support staff to a minimal. It’s a secret facility after all.

Mr Wee seldom talks, he just smiles politely and nods at me. I guess not being a talker is also part of Ron’s criteria if you want to be on his team.

I would not even have known that room is the armory if I did not pass by it accidentally while looking for the lift back to my floor.



It was a small unmarked room with just ‘room 001’ on it’s label.

The janitor’s cleaning trolley was parked outside with the door fully opened.

I looked in and I saw Mr Wee brushing a layer of oil onto the weapons on the racks.

He gave me a wave and I returned one, after all he’s someone I see on a daily basis.


I paused for a few seconds and I could see an array of weapons and toys I that would come in handy. There are no additional locks or chairs for the pistols and rifles on the racks.

I could see the ammunition boxes stacked on a pallet on the corner of the room as well.

Mr Wee was sitting on a couple as he brushed the oiled brush down the barrel of a rifle as if it was the same as him sweeping up some dirt along the hallway.

I want to get out of the warehouse.

Everyday I’m in there meant another day that Owen could have gotten away.

I went to visit Billy who has regained his consciousness after his surgery.
He’s still weak but he could speak in short sentences.

Billy : Belinda’s dead….


Jeff : Owen ?

Billy shook his head.

Billy : me…

That answer left me dumbfounded for a while as I tried to come to terms with that it meant.

Billy helped to fill in the blanks, saving me the trouble of trying to guess what happened.

Billy : i… I was careless…. Belinda…. Heard me… reporting to Ron….

Jeff : and….?



Billy : she got careless too….i saw her message to Owen in her phone….

Jeff : You and her….are you guys….


Billy : It’s complicated…… she burnt my face with an iron…..

Billy went on to say that Owen’s men came for him.



They never expected Billy to be a threat but he managed to wrestle a weapon off 1 of them before shooting twice in her stomach and killing one other guard.

Billy : I wished I had paid more attention to my unarmed combat instructor….but it’s never my area of interest…. I’m still the computer guy… haha…



I could hear the bitterness in his joke and I did not laugh.

I could see he’s seriously affected by what happened, and it would take some time before the reality sinks in.

There is one thing though I needed to ask Billy, I want to ask him where Owen is.

Jeff : do you know….where is he …?

From the look in his eyes, I could tell right away he does.

Billy : I might….have an idea….but I can’t be sure….

Jeff : where ??

Billy : an Industrial building in woodlands….near a wood or paper recycling factory… it’s right across Malaysia…. Where the channel is narrowest…..it would be easy to slip through the border….

Jeff : There’s no way he can make it across the border with the heightened security…. Not this week….



Billy : It will eventually die down…. You can keep the channelled locked up 99 times… he just need you to look away once… and that’s it… he’s gone….

Jeff : I’m not letting him get away….not like this…

Billy : What are you going to do ? … you can’t possibly go look for him alone ? … he’s got at least a couple of dozen men still working for him at least…..

Jeff : I don’t know…. i need to kill him…. I have to…

The door opened and a nurse came in to check on Billy.

I made my way out of the room and told him I’ll visit later.



Heading back out onto the surface, I casually strolled along the perimeter of the warehouse.

I could see Ron’s men and their vehicles parked at the entrance of the compound.

A couple of them were eyeing me.

Even the tattooed men that works for uncle Ben cast me a look that pretty much told me I better not try to leave the compound.

I carried on my walk, trying to adjust to the pain still plaguing my left arm.

My wounds are still a little swollen and red but my fingers are fine.


As long as I’m well enough to run and pull a trigger, I’m good to go.

I was about to go look for Xuehua when the phone Yiling gave me rang.

Jeff : Hello…

Yiling : It’s me….


She told me that she has dropped by to visit Lynn’s family, blending in with the other colleagues that were taken care off by Dr Lynn.

Yiling : It’s pretty chaotic…. Her husband is devastated ….. he looked like a ghost….practically half dead….. Lynn’s parents… they… they’re too affected to even greet visitors properly…it’s terrible….


The wake had just started that day and will last for 3 days for ex-colleagues and patients to pay their respects.

Jeff : Where is it held ?

YIling : It’ll be at Lynn’s parent’s place…. A private property…. Just a few street away from my place…..

Jeff : Can you get me there…. ?


Yiling : As long as you can get yourself out of that compound…. I will get you there ….. but Lynn’s husband will probably kill you…..

Jeff : I need to talk to him…

Yiling : In this day and age…. I think you can consider something call a phone…

Jeff : I….i don’t know…. I think I need to at least say goodbye to Lynn….

Yiling : you won’t make it in….. not with the amount of people there…..

Jeff : Then get me as close as you can… I’ll take it from there…..



YIling hesitated for a while before saying that she can have a car waiting for me outside the warehouse compound tomorrow night.

Yiling : The car will be there from 1-3 am, parked on the next street….. if you are not out….it’s gone….


Jeff : good enough…. Thank you…

Yiling : Wait…

Jeff : Yeah ?

Yiling : My first kill…. Back then… were you…..

Jeff : i’m just there to make sure things don’t go wrong…. You can never be sure when it comes to unstable character like Benson….


Yiling : I see….

Jeff : Thanks for the help Yiling…. I appreciate it…

Yiling : Just don’t tell Ron it’s me….

She hung up without saying goodbye and I kept my phone.

I went to look for Xuehua who was in her room just staring into thin air.

I went straight for a kiss on her forehead and asked her if she’s feeling better.


Xuehua : much better… how about you… ?

Jeff : me too….

I asked if she is ready to talk about the life growing in her stomach and she nodded.

I told her I am prepared to be responsible for the baby.
Jeff : I’ll marry you…. We’ll start a life together….


Xuehua : There is no room for us in this country anymore….. not after what we did….

Jeff : then we’ll go to another one… someplace where no one knows who we are…. We’ll start afresh….

Xuehua : easier said than done…


Jeff : If you don’t try… you never know…

She touched my face and looked into my eyes.

Xuehua : What’s on your mind… ?

Jeff : Nothing….

Xuehua : Don’t lie to me…..


I smiled and held her hand but said nothing.

Jeff : promise me you would no do anything that will put the baby in harm’s way….

Xuehua : Only if you promise me you won’t do anything stupid….. like trying to go to Lynn’s wake and talk to her husband….

I smiled.

Jeff : ok… I promise…


I went off in search of the only person I could think off that can help me get out of the compound after dark.

Uncle Ben.

He was huddled over a old computer with a cigarette in his mouth trying to figure out how that shit work when he saw me walking towards him.

Ben : What you want… ? I not free to play today….. we going e-invoice…. You know bo… now everything all electronic….collect money harder than delivering rice…


I looked around to make sure we are alone and I asked Ben if there’s a way out of the compound without going through the front door.

He looked up at me and held the almost finished cigarette in between his middle and index fingers.

Ben : Ron said you are not suppose to leave the compound….i’m not going to piss off my biggest tenant that pays me rent every month…..

Jeff : I’m not asking you to help me…. I just want to know if there’s another way….


Ben laughed and he finished the last puff of his cigarette and snubbed it onto the overflowing ash tray.

Ben : we’re surrounded by other warehouses on all 3 sides….you can try climbing into their compound but let me tell you something…. Ron owns all 3 of them… and I have no idea what the fuck are in those buildings…. Hahaha….. they all supply soy beans though…on the surface at least…

Jeff : But ?

Ben lit another cigarette before leaning back on his chair and putting his leg on his table.

Ben : Why ? why do you want to leave… ? it’s a shit storm out there right now…. I don’t remember seeing Ron so stressed out before….

Jeff : Just want to make something right….

Ben continued looking at me as he filled his small office with smoke.


He put his leg down and stood up, gesturing me to follow him.

Ben brought me to a tool shed tuck at the back of the warehouse fashioned out of a old shipping container.
It’s a makeshift workshop for simple carpentry works.

We entered and Ben used his legs to removed a large trunk covering a hidden trapdoor.


Jeff : Where does this lead to?

Ben : It’s just a small tunnel…. Structurally unsound though….. dug by some of my former workers when they were trying to smuggle rice out…. Those fuckers…. It’s less than 20m…. but it cuts diagonally into the clearing over there….

I looked out and saw a small patch of forested area covered with trash and sparsely spaced out trees.

Jeff ; thank you…


Ben : don’t….. I shall pretend we didn’t have this conversation…. Good luck…. Whatever the fuck you are planning to do…


8pm

I followed Mr Wee to the pantry. The pantry serving the staff working at the base also doubles up as the locker area. A row of lockers stood facing the cabinet where I always made my cup of coffee.


I entered the pantry and there were several staff chilling in the small lounge. I made myself a cup of coffee while keeping an eye on the locker Wee is using via the reflection on the oven.

Wee threw his fanny pack with the keys and attached tool belt into the locker before pulling out a change of clothes.

He chatted briefly with some staff before leaving the pantry.

Now all I need to do is wait.


I made another cup of tea and brought my drinks to Billy’s room.

He had a old laptop with him

Jeff : Where did you get that ?

Billy : told one of the nurses I work in IT…. She wanted me to help reformat her laptop and get some pirated programs installed….. hahah… I told her no problem… just leave it with me…


He turned the small 14 inch laptop over to me and showed me the site which he thinks Owen is at.

Billy : Here…. I don’t have much information for this but….. here….you got credit card or not…. We can buy the building plans online…

Jeff : Do I look like I have a credit card with me ??

Billy : then no plans…


I thought about it for a moment before giving Billy an email address to log into.

Jeff : J23112217eff@**mail.com.... Password #443frtYYt!

Billy : ok…. Done… here….

Jeff : Go to the webdrive… inside the folders… the pictures….of the credit cards… use this 1….


Billy : woah…. Where the fuck did you get these….

Jeff : Don’t ask… use this… and delete it…can only do it once….

5 minutes later, we downloaded the floor plans of the 5 story industrial building base on what the architect submitted to the authorities.

We will not know if illegal modifications were made after they took over but at least the main structural elements will remain.

The staircases, the lift cores, and major mechanical services, those you can’t change. It doesn’t make sense to.

Billy : ok… here….

We spent the next few minutes looking at the site plan and the access roads.
The safest approach would be to go into neighbouring plots and start making your way across from there. I can’t exactly go in guns blazing from the front door.


Billy : take this….. from this unit… you climb over here… then climb 1 more… you will be closest to the staircase at the back….barely a 5m run into the building…

Jeff : ok… makes sense…. I spent a while longer looking at the drawings, trying to commit as much as I could to my memory.

I pushed the laptop back to Billy and we shared a look in the quiet room.


Billy : good luck…


Jeff : See you when I see you….

I gave Billy’s face a tap before leaving his room. I told him to check the email i just gave him before i close the door. I'll be in touch if i can.

I went back to the pantry with the used cups. The moment I realised it was empty, I went straight for Wee’s locker.


It’s a simple metal locker with a dial lock. I could not be bothered to be discreet. I used the back of a fork and jammed it into the side of the cabinet, then I pried the flimsy cabinet open with brute force.


By the time Wee comes in the next morning, it would all be over or I will be dead.


I’m about to raid the fucking armoury, who cares about a locker in the pantry.

This place is so laid back, if not for the men Ron posted at the entrance, this place would feel like a resort.

I grabbed Wee’s fanny pack and unzipped it. The large bunch of keys is lying right on top.



I took it and put it into my pocket and I quickly shut the locker.

9pm

I sat in my room and I practised my breathing.

I needed to calm myself down. There’s so much on my mind.

10pm

I took out a piece of paper and I wrote a letter to Xuehua. I gave her a list of emails and password that she can log into together with the locations of where I keep my stash around the island including the neighbouring countries.



The money I have stashed away will be enough for her and the child at least until he or she is independent.

There is nothing personal or touching in the letter. I can’t bring myself to write anything like that.

I kept the letter in my pocket and I made my way to Xuehua’s room.

She was up and doing some stretching when I entered.



I waited for her to be done before we embraced for a hug and kiss.

Xuehua : you feeling better ? ….

Jeff : A little… how about you ??

She nodded her head.


We cuddled in the bed and just look at each other.

We never did anything, just looked at each other.

There is so much I want to say to her but I can’t bring myself to.

This is going to be one of the most selfish thing I will ever do. Walking away from a woman that loves me who is carrying my child.

Many more will die if someone like Owen is left alone.



11.30pm

I pulled myself out of bed and Xuehua woke up.

Xuehua : where are you going ??

Jeff : I promised to check in on Billy ….. I’m going to head over… be back in a bit… you rest first…


Xuehua nodded and I gave her another kiss on her forehead.

I touched her hands which were resting on her stomach.

I spent a few moments looking at Xuehua before slipping the letter I wrote about my money and stash by the side of her pillow.

I left her room and made my way to the armoury.


The corridors are empty. Most of the staff working there keep normal office hours.

I went to the door marked ‘room 001’ and stared at the bunch of keys on the key ring.

Fuck. There’s got to be at least 50 keys.

They all looked about the same and they are labelled with colours, some had Chinese words written on it, a couple had glue marks, one even had a sticker of a smiley face.


I started trying everyone while keeping an eye out for anyone that might be coming down. The arrival of the lift would be noisy enough to alert me, so will the opening of the pressurised staircase door.

My only worry is some staff who happen to be working late in their office happens to open one of the many doors along the corridor only to catch me in the act.

It took almost 10 minutes and I went through 39 keys out of the 50 before getting the right one.

I heard the snap of the bolt and I let myself into the room.

I switched the lights on and got to work immediately.



You could never go wrong with a M16 rifle. I took the bolt carrier out and made sure the parts and pins are all in place before assembling it back together.

There are no spare magazines in the armoury, so I started removing those from other rifles.

I opened up the ammunition boxes and started grabbing the brown boxes of 5.56 rounds and putting them on the table.


I kept my eyes on the door and started loading the magazines.

After I’m done, I took 3 Sig P250 pistol from the rack and started to load the 9mm rounds.

I found 2 spare magazine for the pistols and I filled them as well.

I took 2 smoke grenades and noticed that they were 1 year past expiration date. Well, I’m not going to eat it, who cares if it’s expired.

There are heavier weapons, even a sniper rifle, but I’m not lugging a machine gun into the small tunnel Ben showed me.


I’ll consider myself lucky if I can get what I stole safely out of the compound.


By the time I switch off the lights of the armoury and made my way back up to my room, it was coming to 12.15am in the morning.

I took a few pain killers and I used a bedsheet to wrap up the weapons I took into a bundle.


I drank as much water as I could and continued to work on my breathing.

Each time I inhaled and breathed out, I cleared my mind of all other thoughts and distraction.

There is only one person I am focusing my thoughts on.

Owen.



12th December 2013
Thursday

1.10am

I made my way out my room and up to the surface level of the warehouse.

Most of the lights are off except fro a small trail leading to the front gate.

I kept out of the light and thread softly towards the tool shed.



After making sure the coast was clear, I entered the shed and opened the trap door.

I could smell the wet earth and there is a stench coming from the hole.

Using the light from Yiling’s phone, lowered myself into the tunnel.

It’s wider than I expected and after a few metres, there are tarps on the ground which made it easier for me to crawl.

Barely a minute later, I reached the end of the tunnel and a couple of sacks of what looked like mouldy rice sat at the foot of the exit serving as steps.
I pushed the cover of the tunnel away, made out of plastic sheets and old mattress, it gave way pretty easily. I emerged out onto a clearing and stepped onto a deformed plastic bottle.
I froze.

The manmade sound stood out in the quiet of the small clearing.

I went further into the treeline and walked parallel to the road while keeping my eyes open for Yiling’s vehicle.

The road is empty except for 1 car. It’s engine is running and there’s a man smoking in the driver seat.



I dialled the last number Yiling called me with.

Jeff: What’s the carplate number….

Yiling : 1132 , red corolla …

Jeff : ok…

Yiling : burn this phone…. My man will have another one for you….

Jeff : ok.

I hung up and went up to the vehicle.



The man looked at me without a word and put out his hand.

I gave him the phone and he hit a few button, satisfied with what he got, he removed the battery and took out the sim card.

He gave me another phone and started driving.


30 minutes later I arrived at a familiar location. It’s been a while since I saw that large mansion.

Yiling had beefed up it’s security and the gate that now stood at the door is a heavy duty sliding gate with it’s own crash barrier that can be activated if required.

I was driven up to the entrance of her house. The water feature has been removed. She had made some changes to the front yard as well.

Beside a few men smoking outside the property, I saw 3 larger female looking at me from the inside of the house.


Yiling walked out dressed in jeans and a while long sleeve shirt with the 1st 2 buttons undone. I could see a singlet underneath, but it doesn’t look liked she was wearing a bra.

Her hands are in her pocket as I got out of the car and she stood bare foot at the porch looking at me.

Yiling did not wait for me to reach her, about 3metres away, she turned and entered the house, I could see the silver grip of a pistol behind her back.


The female guards she has with her inside the house looked mean and professional. I have no doubts she got her money worth.

Everything within the property is in order, it gives out no other vibes except absolute control.

Exactly what I would imagine a local drug lord’s place would be like.

What I did not expect to see though were several photo frames of our pictures lining the walkway on level 2.


Yiling led me to a room and I could see she had some clothes prepared for me.

I got changed into clothes more suited for the task I’m about to embark on and Yiling had a body armour prepared for me.

It’s a little ill fitting but beggars can’t be choosers.

I swop out the bedsheets for a black duffle bag Yiling provided for the rifle.


Using masking tape, I reversed the 2nd magazine and taped it to the 1st on the side, that way, I can just switch it over when I’m done with the 1st.

The last 30 round magazine went into my back pocket.

I don’t have any holsters for the pistols.


I put one behind my back and stuffed the spare magazines into the pocket of my cargo pants.


I opened the wardrobe and looked for things I could use.

It’s all Yiling’s clothes.

I saw her drawer containing her workout clothes and I pulled out a cross back sports bra in black.


I removed the padding and threw it aside. Putting my leg through where the arms should be, I pulled it upwards my thigh, I held the excess ends of the elastic material and tied a knot, securing the sports bra to my right thigh.

I took the pistol and slid it into the bra cups, letting the ends of it jut out. I lifted my leg and tested out my movements. The tension created by the elastic material between the weapon and my leg is enough to hold it in place.

I started looking through her drawer for another black sports bra.


There was a knock on the door before Yiling walked in when I pulled out one in dark grey.
The only one that is not neon in colour.

Yiling : Can’t believe you are in the mood to play with my bra….

Jeff : I’m not playing with them… I’m wearing them…

Yiling : hahaha…

I repeated what I did for my left leg and slid the pistol into place.

Yiling : You going to walk out like this ??....

Jeff : Why not….


As I walked out of the room, I felt Yiling hold onto my arm.

I paused and look at her.

Yiling : Be careful…

Jeff : I will… give me the address to Lynn’s wake….

Yiling : I’ll drive you there…. It’s just a few streets away…. I can walk back after…. The car is yours….


When we got down to the ground floor, I realised all her staff were out of sight by then. No one stood between us and the car that I came here in.

The driver was gone as well but the engine of the vehicle is left running.



Within a minute, after getting into the vehicle, we were cruising down a small road leading to Lynn’s parent’s place.


2.20am

Yiling shut off the headlights before stopping the vehicle after letting it cruise another 50 meters or so. We got off the car and entered another smaller property.

Yiling : the owners migrated…. I rented this for short term…. It gives us a partial view of Lynn’s parent’s property….. it’s not much… but better than you walking through the front door….



We kept the lights of the property switched off and took the stairs to level 3.

The 1m wide window overlooked the lawn of Lynn’s former home.


I could see temporary shelters set up along the large property. The glaring white lights that illuminated the tents a stark contrast from the soothing warm light the owners of such proprieties usually deploy.


We’re about 30m from the wake. The spot offered me a partial view of the main tent where a large portrait of Lynn smiling is displayed.

I could see a few men parked at the perimeter of the property.

Yiling : What now…. ?



Jeff : You have Lynn’s number right….

Yiling nodded as she searched her phone for it.

If there is one thing James would keep, it would be the line that belongs to Lynn.

The one connection that he could afford to keep with him.

A familiar number to call. To send a message to in the middle of the night.

It would be something I would do too if I were him. It doesn’t matter if she’s passed on.

I will keep paying to keep the line until the day I die.

That number belongs to my wife, no one else can have it. I can picture James calling his own phone using Lynn’s number, just to listen to it ring, to see her name appearing on his display screen.

I could even see him sending himself messages, or just forwarding old messages Lynn sent before.

I felt a painful stab in my heart as I relived how fucked up a person I am.

I fucked up.

Period.



I have no excuse left to use.

I fucked up because I was careless.


I dialled Lynn’s number and waited.

5 seconds later, it was answered.

James : yes…

I hesitated for a brief moment as I listened to James’ voice on the line. It’s the voice of a broken man.

Jeff : It’s me…

3 seconds later, I saw flood lights lit up the entire compound of the property.



Automatic weapons emerged from under the tables as James’ men fanned out from the main tent in tactical formation.

Jeff : I….i…I called to say…..to…

I froze on the line. I could not even bring myself to say what I wanted to say.

James said nothing, absolutely nothing and I could only hear him breathe on the other end of the phone.


I took a deep breathe and I told him Lynn made me promise to deliver a message.

Jeff : I…. I promised Lynn….. to….to pass along a message….

I looked away from the wake for a moment as I tried to keep my emotions in check.

Jeff ; She… wanted me to tell you …. That you are right… you are right all along……. It’s a girl…..

I could hear James’ breathing got heavier, like that of a patient with respiratory problem.

Jeff : she…wants to let you know…. That.. Lynette and her…. Will always be there with you……

James breathing got faster and louder to the point it sounded like someone suffering from a panic attack.



Then he started shouting into the phone.

James : FUCK YOU!!! FUCK YOU!!! You hear me !!! FUCK YOU!!!! … I will kill you !!! I will fucking kill you even if it’s the last thing I do…… I will kill your girl…. I will make you watch her die…. Then I’ll fucking kill you !!!!

I hit the end call button.


Yiling took the phone and immediately removed the battery and sim card from it.

Yiling ; We have to go… now….

I turned and looked at the partial potriat of Lynn smiling at the wake.

Jeff : I’m sorry Lynn…. I’m truly sorry…. I’ll get Owen…. I promise…



We exited the property and got in the car. I drove along for a couple of minutes before Yiling directed me to drop her off at a small junction.

Yiling : I’ll walk back from here….

Jeff : You sure you’ll be ok ?

Yiling : yes… don’t worry bout me….


I nodded and we shared a parting look.

Yiling : look Jeff…. You need a ticket out of this country….. just ask… I can arrange it…

I nodded.

I put the car in drive and made my way towards woodlands.


I stopped 1km away from the building Billy flagged to me and made the rest of the journey on foot.

I could see the building come into view as I got closer.

Climbing through neighbouring properties, I cursed each time I felt the pain of my old injury as I lifted myself over the low wall.


I slowed down when I entered the compound neighbouring the property Owen is supposedly at.

Removing the rifle from the bag, I slung it across my shoulder.

The entire area is quiet.

The only sound were the songs of the crickets and the occasional calls from toads from the nearby wetlands.


I saw the spot Billy and I identified on the drawings.

I was about to move when I thought I heard something. I quickly swung around and took aim with my rifle. Retreating to a column I lowered myself and waited to see if there are any other signs of movements.

Perhaps I was too jumpy.

Checking to make sure the coast is clear, I ran towards the wall separating the 2 industrial property and I cleared it in 1 go, landing squarely on my feet.


I ran towards the door that will lead to one of the exit staircase and paused.

My eyes swept the compound for any signs that I was discovered.

I exhaled slowly and my thumb flicked the safety switch of my rifle out from safe to semi.

I opened the door and went in, my rifle pointing upwards as I ascended each step.

I stopped at the 1st landing and listened.



Nothing out of the ordinary.

I went to the vision panel of the door opening to level 2 of the building and I peered out.

It was just a large empty warehouse with pallets of unused construction materials scattered about. I’ll clear it floor by floor just to be sure Owen is not here.



The moment I pulled the door back , I hear the shriek of the alarm.

The piercing ring shattered the silence of the building and I could hear men shouting and the hammering of boots down the staircase.

My thumb instinctively reached for the selector lever and gave it another push to the auto mode.

I pointed my weapon towards the direction of the boots coming down.



I exhaled and waited for a couple of seconds.

The shouts got louder. Someone was giving orders to secure the building.

I could hear foot steps all about from the floor above me.

Amidst the shouts and confusion, I heard a familiar voice.

Owen’s voice.


He’s just 1 floor above me.

A man appeared on the landing in front of me and I squeeze the trigger while running towards him.

I felt 3 hard recoils immediately on my shoulder as the rounds slammed into his body, sending him against the parapet wall. His friend, barely a second behind him fired at me but I managed to duck out of his line of fire.


He squeezed off 4 rounds before I popped my head back out and squeeze off another burst of fire, sending him against his friend’s body.

The door behind me burst open.

I send the butt of the rifle into the face of the man trying to grab me before kicking him back. Turning towards the sound of approaching footsteps from above, I lit up the entire stairwell as I emptied my magazine, sending the men scurrying back upwards.


I hit the release catch of the weapon and reversed the prepared magazine, slamming in another full cartridge. I shot the man I rifle butted in the face before running into the open area of level 2 towards the staircase on the other end of the building.

Before I could get there, the door burst open.

I took aim and squeeze the trigger, cutting down 2 men immediately while sending the rest back into the confined space of that staircase.


Fuck. I wasn’t expecting so many men.

I fired a few burst to keep them from breeching through the door.

If both sides come in at the same time, I’ll be flanked and dead in no time.

Turning back to the 1st staircase I came in from, I emptied the rest of the rounds at the door, making sure whoever is behind it stay away.

Releasing the catch of the magazine, I slammed in the last of my rifle ammunition.


I ran towards the 3rd staircase located at the further end of the building.

Pushing through the door, I came face to face with one of Owen’s man.

He managed to grab hold of my rifle muzzle, angling it well away from his body.
I squeezed off burst of rounds into the stairwell, the heat from the discharging bullet proved too much for him as he screamed and let go of the muzzle.


He’s a lot bigger than me. I did not manage to employ my rifle for the kill as he grabbed onto the body of the weapon before kicking be back into the empty building. I staggered backwards, landed on 1 knee as I pulled out the pistol from my right and sent a few rounds into his body before he could use my rifle against me.

I heard the whistle of a round speeding close to my head before seeing the wall shatter at several spots in front of me. I rolled to my left and fired my weapon while on the ground at the direction where the shots came from.


Quickly picking myself up, I reloaded and was about to head into the 3rd stairwell when I saw something eerie at the building across the one I was one.

Before I could react, several rounds from a high powered rifle slammed into the bodies of the men charging out from the 1st 2 staircase.

Many dived for cover as the rounds kept coming form the opposite building.

Barely 100m away perched on the 4th floor, I saw the eerie glow of Jane’s mask staring at me.



The muzzle flash never stopped as she kept the men pinned down on the corner of the level.

I picked myself up and started running up the steps 3 at a time, coming out to level 3. It was empty.

I ran up to level 4 and I could see a typical office furnished with system furniture, cubicles of various height and sizes took up the entire floor.


I pushed the door open, with my weapon raised. Someone came in from the left, I deflected his knife upwards and shot him from under my left armpit.

Kneeling down, I avoided his friend’s attempt at hitting me through the body of the man I just shot.

I pushed him away as I rolled right into a cubicle.


The footsteps approached and the moment I saw the foot of the man in pursue of me, I shot him in his feet, then his kneecap before turning my weapon up towards the bottom of his chin and squeezing the trigger.

I emptied the rest of my rounds at the end of the corridor, driving the men back into cover.

Reloading the last spare magazine into my weapon, I continued moving forward in the dark office in search of Owen.


Man : arGHHHHH!!!

I felt a round slam into my left side and I was thankful for the armour Yiling provided. I turned and fired back while falling to the ground. I missed the 1st 3 shots but landed the 4th into his stomach.

I grunted in pain as I shot him in his arm as I got up before removing his windpipe with another.


I saw the swing of a large knife at me from the right.

I managed to avoid it once while the other was deflected with the weapon I was holding.

I jabbed him in his throat, twisted the knife off him before kicking his body back from me and into a potted plant.

Pulling out the weapon on my left , I emptied 2 rounds into his body and he went limp immediately.


Another man dashed out from a office to my right and tried to disarm me. I held onto my weapon and elbowed him in his face but his grip is too tight.

I let go of the weapon and went for the last one behind my back.
Holding onto both his arms with my left armpit, I felt my old wound tore up as I squeezed the trigger with my right hand, putting one in his waist before finishing him in his head.

Every couple of steps I took, there was someone coming at me.


I got entangled with a large man, our combined weight toppled a panel of the cubicle as mangled keyboards and monitor screens fell all around us.

I head butted him in his nose before holding his left hand down, angling his weapon away from me. Swinging myself around, I kept my body away from hi firing weapon as he emptied his rounds into the cushion of a toppled chair.

I turned and shot him in his eye, completing the rounds in my weapon.



I took his, removed the magazine and checked the number of rounds left.

3 more plus 1 in the chamber.

I was panting really hard by then and I was barely 1/3 of the way across the office floor.



I saw an outstretched hand with a pistol raised, I twisted it away from me and fired the weapon back at it’s owner, hitting him in his lungs.

Kicking his leg form under him, I shot him in his head as I pulled the pistol her was holding free.



I felt another round slam into my back and one grazing my left thigh as I fell to the ground. I turned back and was an injured man holding his left arm shooting wildly at me.

I sent 2 rounds his way into his chest and threw the empty weapon away.

I gritted my teeth and got up on my feet.

I checked the revolver. It’s too dark to make out how many rounds was spent as I looked at the cylinder. I pushed it back in and continued moving forward.

I caught a glimpse of Owen and I started shooting.

Jeff : aRGHHHHHHHH!!!

A man came at me, charging me to the floor.



I saw his gun come up and I barely managed to keep it from getting a straight line up at my head.

My ear drums felt as if it had been shattered as he fired his weapon right by my face and into the carpeted floor.

I wrestled him off me and while I did not manage to get his gun, I managed to drive my boot hard enough into his nose.

Grabbing his forehead, I sent him backwards onto the floor while punching him in his eye.



Picking up his weapon, I fired 1 round into his head and continued making my way towards the direction where I last saw Owen.

There was a series of loud cracking sound, as if someone had taken a hammer and started smashing the windows.

I saw the muzzle of a rifle come up and it started sweeping the office.

Chunks of ripped off furniture and computer parts flew as I crawled along the floor of the office. The sound of gunfire ensured a constant buzzing in my ears.

I crawled to the end of the cubicles and fired into the shin of the man holding the rifle.

His cries of pain was cut shot as I shot him again on his right lung before finishing him in his left eye.

I looked towards the windows and realised the panels had all been shattered.

It was then I noticed the ropes and spare carabiners near the ledge.


I ran towards the window and looked down only to see Owen getting into a boat by the wetlands with 2 high powered engine.

The narrow channel is now abuzz with activity.


The shit storm I started has attracted the attention of the nearby coast guards.

I could see 2 patrol boats approaching with it’s mega spot light trained on the industrial building I was at.

The boat Owen is on fired up it’s engine and sped through the channel towards Malaysian waters.

It got more than half way across before the coast guards realised what was happening.

Their spot light only managed to follow Own for less than 10 seconds before he disappeared into a maze of mangrove channels.

Jeff : fuck.. FUCK!!

I kicked the parapet wall as I cursed out loudly.


The door to the office crashed in and I quickly swivelled around pointing my weapon at a glowing mask that seemed all too familiar.

Xuehua ran towards me and before she embraced me, she slapped me.

I felt the sting on my cheek and I knew I deserved it.

Every bit of it.

Xuehua removed her mask and I could see her fuming mad at me.

She slapped me again as the boats of the coast guard cast anchor just beyond the shallow coastline.

Xuehua : do this again… I will kill you… you here me ? !!!

I nodded as Xuehua jumped and held onto me.


Jeff : how did you know where I am…. ?

Xuehua : I put a gun to Billy’s head…

I could hear sirens in the distance approaching the building.


Xuehua : We need to go…… now…..

Xuehua and I started running down the steps and we scaled the wall into the neighbouring property.

We continued scaling walls, leaping over low fences and putting in the distance between the site that is soon to be swarm with law enforcement officers.

Xuehua pulled me down another road, away from the vehicle I arrived in and towards a scooter.

She had prepared clothes, we ditched the dark get up and pants and my body armour. Xuehua dismantled the rifle and threw the parts into the overgrown shrubs, she kept the firing pin in her pocket.



Pulling on casual t-shirts and shorts, we put on the helmets and she fired up the engine.

We scooted calmly out of the industrial estate, looking just like any of the staff in the area that had put in a few extra hours.

Xuehua did not stop until we arrived in the middle of a housing estate in Yishun and she went up to the middle floor of the multi- storey carpark.

We ditched the scooter and the helmets before holding hands and walking calmly down the staircase. She threw the firing pin of the rifle into the bin as we emerged like any couple out into the void deck of a sleepy housing estate.

We settled down onto the bench beside a playground to calm ourselves down.



Xuehua: Ron has half the base out looking for us… he’s fucking pissed….

Jeff : James… he’s bent on killing me…. You too…. We have his entire team of special operators looking for us…..

Xuehua laughed.

She gestured with her head back towards the direction which we just fled from.


Xuehua : Now the local law enforcements are after us too…. After that shit you pulled….

I exhaled and looked up into the starless skies.

We’re truly fucked now.

Jeff : I’m sorry dear… I got you into this…


Xuehua : I chose to be in this with you….

Jeff : This isn’t exactly what I pictured the start of fatherhood to be….

Xuehua : You mean…. Both of us…. Sitting at a playground….not a dollar in our pocket…. haha

Jeff : being hunted practically by all sides….hahah… we’re fucked….


Xuehua’s fingers crossed with mine as she rest her head on my shoulder.

Xuehua : They won’t get us…. They won’t…. we’re too good for them….

Jeff : we can’t win this fight….

Xuehua : no we can’t…..


Jeff : Where does that leave us then… ?


I turned to check the time on a community clock tower a short distance away.

It’s coming to 4am in the morning.

Jeff : They’ll be going all out to hunt for us now….


Xuehua : You cannot hunt the hunters….

Jeff : haha… I believe given the circumstances… the tables have turned….

Xuehua : I’m tired dear… let’s just leave….

Jeff : if we go down this road… we’ll always be running…. Are you sure… ?

Xuehua: as long as we’re together….. you’re the only one left in my life anyway….



Xuehua and I turned our head at the same time, looking up towards the buzzing sound coming from a man made object.

About 30m in the air diagonally to our right, there was a drone. It’s red camera light flashing at us as it maintained it’s position.

Jeff : they’re here….

We stood up as the 2nd drone flew in from another angle.


Xuehua : I’ll say…. We have a few minutes…. Give and take….

Jeff : You ready to start running Jane ? ….

Xuehua : not that we have much of a choice…..hahah…


20 metres to our right we saw 2 man running towards us.


It was obvious who their targets are.

Xuehua and I took one each.

I tackled one to the ground while Xuehua led the other on a run around the playground before jumping in for a right hook.

I drew the knife from the man’s belt as I kneed him in his kidney. Sending him to the ground with a kick to the side of his knee, I placed the knife against his neck, drawing blood immediately as he remained still while his twisted arm remained locked by me.


Jeff : Tell them….. we’ll kill everyone they send after us….



I shoved him to the floor just as Xuehua twisted and dislocated 2 of the man’s finger before hooking his leg out from under him, sending him crashing onto the bouncy body of a rocking seahorse.


Xuehua ran towards me and we turned towards the quiet estate and we started to run.



……………………………………



Barely 3 blocks away after we started running we heard the roar of a motorcycle engine as it ran parallel to the side of the road that we are running along.
It charged towards us, mounting the kerb and turfing. I barely pulled Xuehua out of the way as the man jumped off the bike, letting it cruise for a few metres before dropping onto the pavement.



He kept his helmet on which helped in protecting his head but with Xuehua and I working together, he lasted barely 30 seconds before he knelt down with his back facing us and clutching onto his groin where Xuehua just kneed him in.

I went to lift up the motorcycle while Xuehua emptied the man’s pocket and took his photo together with some loose change that totalled less than $50.

We hopped onto the bike and rode off without helmets.

As we rode towards Seletar airport, we saw a couple of cars heading in the opposite direction apply their brakes when we sped past.

It’s only a matter of time before they catch up.

I took a gamble and sped down the entrance to the expressway. Sengkang is just one exit away.

Thankfully we made it without picking up a new tail.

I went straight to the temple where I have a storage account.



Xuehua and I ditched the bike 2 blocks away and made the rest of the journey on foot.
I could see construction works and cameras being put up at the lift lobbies of the housing estate.

We’re lucky it was still being introduced in phases.

In a matter of years, the entire island will be covered by a intricate network of cameras that will make movements like this impossible.

There will be no place else to hide.

I entered the temple and saw the caretaker cleaning up the altar and replacing the offerings of fresh fruits to the deities.

He saw me arriving and went to the back room with me.



I emptied out my stash and told him I needed a ride.

Caretaker : Car is on level 3B just around the bent….. will you be bringing it back or we will need to pick is up…..

Jeff : you will need to pick it up…

Caretaker : pick up has an additional surcharge of $750…..plus the car usage for 24 hours…. Total of $1750…..

He rattled off as he opened a drawer before pulling out a set of car keys and a GPS location token. I counted out the cash and handed it to the caretaker.

Caretaker : Activate the device after you are done….we will handle the rest…. Dispose off the car keys…..

Jeff : Thank you…

Caretaker : will we be seeing you anytime soon …… Hibiki…. And Jane ….

I froze and I looked at the caretaker.

How the fuck does he know who I am ?

He smiled and pulled out a tablet, activated the screen and orientated it towards me.

Ron put out an alert to all the underground storage for Jane and me.



Caretaker : I’m not the only one that knows…. They burnt you both….

Jeff : $250000 ? they’re paying 250k for both of us….. ??

Caretaker : a bit of an insult isn’t it.. ?

He kept the tablet and got up to light some incense for the deities.

Caretaker : our reputation…. As bearers of secrets….. is priceless….. Ron…. Of all people should know….

Xuehua : you….you know Ron ??

Caretaker : Who doesn’t ? …. Haha….. underground storage….shadow banks… private gunsmiths….muscle for hires…. Ron… enabled a whole parallel universe for people and trades like us to survive and thrive…. As long as we follow the rules….


Xuehua : Why are you helping us then….? You would be in his good books for turning us in….

Caretaker : hahaha…. He rearranged some fruits before opening a new bag of candies into a dish….250k… is nothing…. To people in trades like us…and Ron knows that…. No one will put decades of reputation on the line for such money….. which…. In turn….. tells us something….


Jeff : What is that ? ….

Caretaker : Ron is giving you a way out…. And the burnt notice is but a message…. That we should do what we can to help….

Xuehua : Are you serious…. ?


Caretaker : Ron has to answer to his superiors too… putting a red notice out…. Takes care of that… but his superiors…. Has no idea of the kind of world we operate in….they would never know the message that is so obvious in this….

He turned away from us and went on to sweep up the ashes left by the incense around the base of the altar, a clear sign that the conversation is over.

I took the car keys and the caretaker called out after us as we left the temple.


Caretaker : Good luck…

I checked the car plate number and we hurried to the carpark. I would have expected a non-descript car that will blend into the roads but it’s a fucking S-class cabriolet in red.

Xuehua : well…. I guess this justifies the 1750 you paid….

I looked at the car plate of the 7 cars lined up in a row with the same premutation of 4 digits of 1688, from Toyotas to Hyundai, even a 12 foot truck, it was obvious they all belonged to the same owner.

He could have just given me the silver Toyota.

I looked at the key fob in my hand and I hit it again just to be sure it was the S class. There’s no indication of any kind that would have told me in advance what car I am getting. It was just a piece of plain black plastic.

Jeff : fuck it… let’s go…


Xuehua : well… I guess the last place they would be looking would be a couple in a S class…

I pulled out of the carpark and started to make my way to Bukit TImah. Yiling’s place.

Inside the stash I took out from the temple, there’s a phone with a burner sim card I bought off a construction worker heading back to his country for good.

I called Yiling and asked if the ticket out of the country she offered earlier is still valid.

Yiling : of course…. The whole world is looking for you by the way….

Jeff : I know… Can you arrange a way out for 2…. ?


Yiling : of course….. keep this line open… I’ll call back in a bit to give you the location…

Jeff : Is your place safe for us ?

Yiling : I’m sorry…. No… anyone with a connection to you has been placed under watch…. Including me… there’s 2 cars parked in right in front of my place…. I’m not sure who they belong to…

Jeff : thanks for the help…

Yiling : consider it a favour….haha…. perhaps one day I might ask one of you…

Jeff : haha…ok…

I hung up and I could see Xuehua eyeing me from the corner of her eye but she said nothing. She asked for the phone and she made a call to the storage facility at Chinatown.

She asked for some stuff to be sent to the open carpark at Mt Vernon sanctuary.
Xuehua : you want anything from your cupboard ??

Jeff : Yes… there’s a black bag at the very bottom…. Just that… and a sketchbook…there’ only one in the cupboard… thank you…

Xuehua told the pawnshop about what was needed and told me to head over to the open carpark of the sanctuary with funeral halls spread out throughout the sprawling compound.

We were both tired and exhausted by then and we pulled into a lot.

Opening the window slightly, we decided to catch some shuteye.

It was not uncommon to see people sleeping in the car at that place.

Some of the family members of the deceased stay over at the hall throughout the duration of the wake.

We will look just like any other couple catching some quick winks.


10am
The phone I was carrying rang and I jumped.
It was from the pawn shop at chinatown.

I handed it over to Xuehua who answered it.

She said nothing and hung up after 2 seconds. Right about then, a large white van pulled into the carpark.

Xuehua got out of the car and the van pulled into the lot beside us.

I opened the boot and the things we requested from the storage was loaded into our car by a staff of the pawn show.

After he was done, he got into the car after giving Xuehua a nod and drove off.

We were starving by then but we were did not want to show our face anywhere too public.

We went down to Kallang and ordered our meals via a drive through at the fast food restaurant. Then we went to the open air carpark of Kallang Leisure park.

The wide open space allowed us a 360 degree unblocked view of anyone heading towards us.

We ate quietly in the car. Halfway through my burger I turned to Xuehua.

Jeff : I can’t believe how fucked up a father I am…..there’s hardly any nutrition from this shit we are eating….

I gestured the the sad looking burger in our hands.

Xuehua laughed.

Xuehua : I’m kind of digging the sugary coke now though….


2pm
I got a call from Yiling and she told us were to go.

Yiling : Go to Changi Jetty… 5pm…. My man Lucas ferries people over to Pulau Ubin….

Jeff : Are we crossing from Ubin ? that place is heavily patrolled….

Yiling : Yes… even more so for tonight….. I’ve arranged for a major bust to go down tonight… there’s a dealer I want to burn….

Jeff : what ? …

Yiling : He’s coming in with 3kg of Heroin…. Coast guard and the narcotics agency will be there in full force…

Jeff : And we are going to walk right into it… ?

YIling : The most dangerous place is the safest…. No one knows about this as of now…the authorities are on standby,,, I have yet to made known the location of the bust to them…. Get to the jetty and board Lucas’s boat to Ubin…. You will not land on the island….

While the bust is going on and the action is going on with officers swarming the boat that the trafficker is coming in from Malaysia, we will be transferring to a boat that is making it’s way to pengerang.

Jeff : What about passport and identifications… ?

Yiling : you don’t clear the immigrations …. Another boat will link up and take you along another route to a private jetty…. I have car and some money waiting at the carpark…. You’re on your own from there…

I hesitated for a while before thanking Yiling for making the arrangements.

Jeff: i can’t thank you enough for this…

Yiling : it’s a favour… from a drug lord…. You better return it next time…

Jeff : hahah…. I’ll be sure to…

Yiling : alright…. Go get ready…

I hung up and I told Xuehua about the arrangements.

We finished up our meal and drove over to Changi early to stake out the spot.

It’s a quiet afternoon at the jetty. The place is hardly crowded on weekdays.

Xuehua and I went to the row of shops selling camping gear and supplies and we bought some necessities for a long drive. From portable cookers to sleeping bags, even a tent for 2.
Fishing rods, cutters, utility pliers, salt pills, fire starters, basically anything that we can buy and fit into the large canvas bag we got from the shop.

We don’t know where we are going yet in Malaysia.
It’s a big country and it’s easy to disappear. It’s just a matter of where.

The hunt for Owen is not over, but we have more pressing matters on hand.

With so many parties looking for us, if we get caught, it’s all over.



Survivor is the only thing on our mind now.

I feel really weird and excited right now. It was a feeling that is difficult to describe.
Like that anticipation of being able to get away from it all, similar to the game of catch you play back in school. As you get older, your area of play gets bigger, from the neighbourhood playground to an entire HDB block.



The thrill of running away from the catcher, with him hot on your heels as you tore up the steps and jumping down entire flights of stairs, it was pure adrenaline.

Xuehua and I are running from a chaser of unimaginable scale.



Ron and his men, James and his men, the authorities who has probably been fed information about us.

As we sat inside the car with the boot full of gear, we held each other’s hands. Our eyes scanned each car that comes close and everyone that came within a 10m radius.



4.45pm
Yiling dropped me a message to start looking for Lucas. She will be releasing the tip off at 5pm sharp.

Xuehua and I left the car and took all our belongings. I activated the GPS tracker for the S class and left it in the glove compartment.

If anyone cast us a glance, we looked just like a couple of campers heading to Pulau Ubin for a couple nights of fun and fishing and to reconnect with nature.

As we approach the jetty, a few men were actively waving us over, asking if we are heading to Ubin.



They don’t start the trip unless the minimum number of passengers are reached, or if you are feeling generous, you pay the full fare the ferry operators will make if he gets a full load.

Usually people settle with just waiting for a while.

Boats usually get filled up.

Operator : hello hello….handsome….. Ubin ? Ubin ? …. For 2 ?

Jeff : I’m looking for Lucas…..

The operator pointed me towards a man smoking a cigarette wearing a straw hat standing 10 meters away.

He saw me and Xuehua and he put out his fag with the underside of his shoe.

Jeff : hi…. Yiling sent us…

Lucas : follow me….



We followed Lucas to his boat which is moored on the extreme side of the row of tugboats with it’s engine running.

Sitting inside the ferry are 12 others. A mixture of men and women carrying incenses and fruits offerings. It’s not uncommon for people to head to the temple on the island to pray.

However, the moment we got on, we observed a couple immediately heading down below deck without a word.



The people on board did not speak, they tried their best not to look at us.

The maximum capacity of each bumboat is 12. The 2 below deck will replace us the moment we switch boat so Lucas will arrive at Ubin with a full load.

Lucas started to pull out of the jetty and no sooner than that, I saw a flurry of activity at the jetty. Even as we pulled further away from mainland, I could see the flashing of sirens as the officers arrive.

They will all be there waiting for a dealer arriving from Pengarang.

I heard the honk of another bumboat as it pulled up on our starboard midway towards Ubin.

The tyres of the boats connected against each other and Xuehua and I quickly made our move, jumping over to the other one.

Our belongings were passed over with the help of the passengers on board.

The entire switch took less than 30 seconds and we are off.

The boat we are in chugged by slowly past a couple of coastguard vessel which is keeping an eye on another approaching boat that is heading towards the Jetty.



The captain of our boat cruised by and he gave the guards a cursory wave with cigarette in hand.

I could hardly breathe as I held Xuehua’s hands as we literally crawled by the guards and towards the open seas via a easily guarded narrow channel flanked by solid beams driven into the sea floor.

The warm sea breeze only felt comfortable when I turned around and realised the patrol boats are as small as a speck of dust on the horizon.

I turned and looked at Xuehua who too looked visibly relaxed.



We’re almost there.

As we got closer to the jetty in Pengarang, another leisure vessel pulled up.

Xuehua and I switched boats again. I dropped the key for the S class into the water just before it started moving.



6pm
The chap driving the boat brought Xuehua and I to a private jetty and he helped us bring the bags down before throwing us a key.

He pointed to a old Proton Waja in grey and quickly pulled away.

Xuehua and I took the bags and loaded it into the vehicle.


I entered the vehicle and started the engine, feeling the soothing cold air of the air conditioner hitting me immediately. The gas tank is full.

I opened the glove compartment. There’s an envelope with almost 20k in Ringgit in it with a prepaid phone. There’s also several maps of different Malaysian states.

There’s only 1 number in it’s last dialled and I hit call.

Yiling picked up within the 1st 3 rings.


Yiiing : all good ?

Jeff : Yeah… we made it through…. What’s the situation back home… ?

Yiling : no one suspected anything…. They are still looking for you guys which meant they didn’t know you are no longer in the country…..

Jeff : That’s good….

Yiling : I have some news about Owen…. From some contacts in Malaysia…. There’s been chatter about someone important crossing the canal in the middle of the night….


Jeff : Where is he now… ?

Yiling : He passed through a few towns…. My contacts spotted him and his men… they are headed for straight the Thai borders….

Jeff ; He’s going to go to Thailand ?

Yiling: From the looks of it yes……. There’s no way of telling how accurate these chatters are but it seemed he has linked up with some groups with operating bases along the border ot Thailand and Malaysia….


Jeff : I see……

Yiling : Ron has started sending out operatives to root out what’s left of Owen’s outfit in the country……

Jeff : He approached you ??

Yiling : yes…. I accepted…. Not like I need to get my hands dirty personally nowadays anyway… hahah… I have people willing to do it…. All for a couple of grams of coke…


There was a moment of awkward silence before Yiling spoke again.

Yiling : there’s a old laptop… some prepaid sim cards and phones in the bag under the passenger seat….i wish I can helped more… but this is the best I can do….

Yiling : alright…. I guess this is it then…. Good luck Jeff….

Jeff : I won’t forget what you did for us…. I owe you one Yiling….

Yiling : hahah…. Good bye Jeff…….

Jeff : goodbye….



I heard the line go dead and I removed the battery and took out the sim card before throwing them out the card window.

Xuehua : now what… ?

Jeff : I don’t know….

We looked at each other for a few seconds before bursting out laughing.

I put the engine into drive and we made our way to Johore.

Xuehua was checking out several spots on the map but we could not decide where to go.

We could not decide if we want to go all the way north to the border near Thailand or just find a quiet town to lay low.

I drove aimlessly, stopping to get a quick bite at a rest stop before arriving in the town of Pontian.

My fake identifications is more up to date than Xuehua’s since she’s been out of action for a while. I went ahead and got us a room in a small hotel in town. It looked like we are the only occupants when we checked into the room.

The owner barely cast us a look and he did not ask questions when only 1 passport was produced.

Once we got the room, we started to plan for a longer-term solution.

We need clinics, hospitals, basically healthcare facilities. Preferably all within a small town where pace of life is slower and no one asks that many questions.

We discussed several possibilities when Xuehua looked at the map of where we are and suggested staying right where we are.

Jeff : you mean in the hotel ?

Xuehua : of course not you silly… what about this very town we are in….Pontian….

Jeff : The only thing I know about Pontian is their wanton noodles….

Xuehua : I’m pretty sure the ones here are more authentic…..

I looked at the location of where we are right now. There’s a hospital in town.
Banks, fast food, supermarket.

Everything you need.

Jeff : Let’s read up about it on google and see what we can find….

We spent the next 30 minutes trying to find information about the town and there’s not much information we could find about it.
Xuehua : well… it’s not exactly a tourist hotspot…. Most people head to Kukup for the chalets ……

Jeff : yeah…. Why not Kukup ? ….i kind of like the idea of living in one of those water chalets….

Xuehua : right…. A place that is practically swarming with Singaporeans….

Jeff : forget I said that… ok fine… I’m good with this place….. let’s do a bit of exploring tomorrow before we decide….


2 days and plenty of driving around later, Xuehua and I made up our mind.

We’re going to call this place home for a while.

We paid cash to rent a place from a salon owner that is in the midst of winding up.

It’s actually a shopfront but there are living areas at the back.

I liked it because it faces the sea although the quality of the water is a far cry from the shade of blue I have in mind. There’s 2 exits as well with 2 roads serving the place.

Neighbour is a provision shop while on the other side is a bakery.

It’s perfect.

I just need to make some modifications to the entrances to beef up security and we’re good.

I kept the tinted glass shopfront but I got a contractor to add metal reinforcements at the back, effectively putting in a solid gate behind the glass door.

The back door too was replaced with a solid fire rated door and a metal gate.

Security cameras, alarm system, knives, not the cooking type. You can easily pick a few up from the supermarket at the gardening section.

The quality is not as good as what I wanted but as long as it’s sharp, it will do just fine.

I spend on the security but when it comes to doing up the space for the baby, I splurged.

The front of the salon has been converted into a simple living area. A couch and a wall hung TV, a small coffee table.

Then there’s a small dining table that will comfortably sit 4.

After that I made use of a existing partition to create the sleeping area. It’s big enough to fit a queen bed and still have space for a separate baby corner.
A corner for my baby daughter.

Space is something Malaysia have no lack off.

The only weird part about our configuration is we have to head towards the kitchen through the bedroom.

The kitchen is tucked right beside the rear exit opposite the bathroom.

It’s nothing fancy, we aren’t exactly chefs and there’s plenty off eateries around.
Just need a cozy spot to cook simple meals and to prepare milk.




We moved in 3 weeks later and we are all set for our new life. I’ve ditched the car Yiling gave in a neighbouring town and rented a new one for our daily needs.

The 1st few nights I could not sleep.

I stayed by the door with knives in hand sitting on a chair as I kept watch.



Any slight movements, any noise at all, I would jump.

I had followed the news closely in Singapore, the aftermath from the riot is starting to die down. The attention of the public has already shifted from the riot to the high profile kidnapping of a old lady who happens to be the mother of a large supermarket chain.



Every morning I would be woken up by Xuehua and I would jerk myself from sleep, panting and gasping for air. There’s a couple of times I would scream as I got up gripping both knives in hand.

Xuehua would hug me as she waited for me to calm down.

As each day past and her tummy gets bigger, I get more jumpy.

Every night when I close my eyes, I would see Lynn. Then I would see James coming for Xuehua and me.

I’m not afraid to die but the fear of knowing that Xuehua and my unborn daughter is going to be in danger keeps me up at night.

This is karma, I’m sure of it.

I accept it.

You cannot go around taking lives and expect to get a good night sleep from then on. I have taken many lives, and on nights when I could not sleep, a part of me felt that it was the souls of the dead coming for me.



It’s ok.

They can come for me.

Just don’t fucking touch my wife and my daughter.

I guess this is the reason why for people like us, remaining alone with no other connections has to be a decision you make right from the start. We can’t afford to have a connection, or even a pet.
It makes us weak, we lose our focus.

Everyday became sort of a routine.

We would have a simple breakfast at home, before taking a stroll along the streets and retreating indoors when the temperature gets higher in the afternoon.

We knew from the start that our accent and the way we speak would give us away immediately to our neighbours. That we are not locals, so there was no need to hide the fact we are from Singapore.

Naturally this will rouse the curiosity for the quiet town but we had a good story ready.



When Ong, owner of the provision shop asked about why we are here, I put on a little embarrassed and dejected look and told him that, our families forbade our relationship.

He looked shocked as he looked at Xuehua before turning to me.

Jeff : She comes form a good family….while… I’m just… you know…. Average… her parents objected fiercely…..

Actually that was all I told him and I allowed him to form the rest of his opinion. I never expected our Korean drama like story to spread like wild fire.

Within a week, the story of a star crossed lover hiding from a powerful family in Singapore began to spread. It got a little absurd when our bakery neighbour, Mr Koh, offered us free loaves of bread.

He told us if we needed any help with anything, feel free to let him and his wife know. Their kids are all grown up and working abroad, they are willing to lend a hand.

Xuehua and I had a bit of difficulty piecing the most up to date version of what the small town thinks of us and we had to compare notes to form a bigger picture.



Xuehua : Ok…. From what I gathered …. The story now is you impregnated the daughter of the largest developer in Singapore…..while she is dating the son of the 2nd largest developer….. then for some reason, I choose to give it all up for true love…. And we are seeking out a simple life…..we have to hide…. Because the father of the so call son I was dating…. Is actively looking for me….. …. So he can force me to have the child adopt his surname….and everyone is helping to keep hush about the new Singaporean couple in town……


Jeff : what … the… fuck……

Xuehua : hahahaha…. I pieced this together from the fish seller and vegetable seller’s version…. The surname part came from the fried noodle stall…. What is your version…. ?


Jeff : You’re the daughter of some minister…..we had an accident and I knocked you up…. And I am actually the son of a Opposition political party….. us tying a knot would set off a political scandal…… so we have no choice… we have to run….

Xuehua laughed so loud that I had to ask her to calm down.

Jeff : calm down…. For god sake…. Stop shaking your tummy like that… !!! stop !!

She just kept on laughing and clutching her tummy.

Jeff : Stop laughing… it’s too loud for the baby !!! …stop… or I’m putting you in a choke hold…. !!!

It only made her laugh further as she struggled to get to the bedroom.


Jeff : I haven told you the version about you being underage yet….

Xuehua : Me ??? underage ??!! hahahahahaha….hahaha what the fuck….

Jeff : Stop using the word fuck !!... the baby can hear you !

Xuehua : You are using the word fuck too….

Jeff : It’s different….! I don’t have her inside me !!!


Xuehua : hahahahaa.. hahaha..


March 2014

I started to feel a little better from the month of march. Although I still stayed up every night well past 3am, I managed to catch some sleep thereafter.

The allure of the small town and community started to grow slowly on me.

There is this warmth , this neighbourliness that I cannot find in Singapore.

The pace of life is slower, the cost of daily necessities is lower too. Money is not an issue for us, although most of my money is still in various stash in Singapore, I have a couple of storage stash in Malaysia as well.


Xuehua’s relationship with the pawn shop is a true blessing. The boss made arrangements for drops in Pekan Nanas where I could easily pick up.

Together with what we made out of the island with, Xuehua and I still have about 140 thousand SGD in cash with us in the house.

Jeff : I stashed away more than 1 Million…. Over the years…


I had more, but you know, as a guy, don’t ever show all your cards if you get what I mean. Keep half for yourself.

I only realised how far off I am from Xuehua when she told me she has storage in Hong Kong, South Korea & Taiwan & in Japan.

Xuehua : It’s not a lot… about 1 Million each I think… if I remember correctly….

I stared at her with my mouth slightly apart.


What the fuck.

Xuehua : Eddy….he has a semi D in Yio Chu Kang….a Condo in Ang Mo Kio…..and a strata unit in a shopping mall in town… all rented out..….. plus the safe deposit boxes… his storage stash….and a stake in a gold shop in Chinatown….

I put up my hand and told her it’s ok.

Jeff : dear it’s ok…. It’s ok… don’t need to tell me all these…..

Xuehua : But I haven even started on what Leng and Annie left me…… Freddy gave all to Lala,….. and since Lala is no longer with us…. It all goes to charity…….. Leng is quite a spendthrift…. But he has 2 condos…



Jeff : ok… I need to go….err… get some fruits for dinner….please stop…

Xuehua : hahaha….. I can be your sugar mummy….. if you are nice to me….

I ignored her and walked out the back door as she chuckled playfully.

Well, we have more money we can possibly spend, the only challenge is getting to it.
We’ll worry about it when the time comes.


Still, if I don’t start working, tongues will bound to get wagging.

I started asking around for ad hoc work. It’s not about the money, I needed to take my mind off things a little and also to put on a front.

Ong offered me 750RM a month if I could help him make some deliveries and I accepted it.

I start work at 7am and I’m usually back at the provision shop by 11.30am for lunch with Xuehua.


June 2014

I experienced for the first time in my live an oasis of calm and peace.

Xuehua and I stood at the edge of the beach alongside seafood restaurants doing a roaring trade. Families gathered for dinner while we watch the birds and crows picking out the mudflats for a snack.

It did not matter that the waters are not a shade of azure blue, I don’t mind the floating clumps of rubbish entangled by the roots of mangrove trees at the side.

The uneven sidewalk, rusty signages. The occasional roar of a motorcycle with 3 passengers on board and cars with bonnet & doors so rusty that the scrap yard in Singapore would turn it away.

It’s a far cry from the orderliness we experience back home, yet it is among this chaos, this disorderliness of the little details we take for granted that I found peace.

I don’t mind not having a sheltered walkway, I don’t mind that the pavement I walk on has a hole so large that it would swallow up your dog. I don’t mind the overgrown shrubs, the turf of green coming out a choked drain.

I only know that I am happy.


Happy to be away from it all, happy to have Owen out of my head at least for a while.

One month before the due date of my daughter, I finally found enough courage to take a peek into the last few pages of the Sketchbook Gwen left behind.

I flipped to the Sun Wukong I drew, my fingers tracing the outline as I recalled the past.

It felt like a lifetime ago.

I flipped the page to see a picture of me Gwen drew.

She drew me leaning against a tree with a variety of fruits growing above while her sister and her play just a few steps away.

I flipped the next page and I noticed the distance between the figures that represented her sisters and me got closer.



We are now sitting together on a table and the girls are eating what appears to be noodles.
I have a pair of scissors in hand and it’s as if she was trying to say I’m helping them to cut the noodles into more manageable length.

I felt a tinge of emotion as I looked at the table filled with food.

The drawing offered me glimpse into her head, what she was thinking about.
There was no hiding the level of innocence in that drawing. The simple things she wanted in her life.
A table full of food and someone taking care of her and her sister.

I would hardly give a scene like this a second look if I passed a table like this in a restaurant or a foodcourt.
It hit me hard, knowing that the simple act of someone helping her cut her food into more manageable portions is something that she and her sister did not have the luxury of experiencing.

I wonder what went though her head when she herself saw such a scene.

What kind of sins did she commit in her previous life to be deprived of such love from parents?

Nothing prepared me for the last page and I froze.


If the previous page was a sub conscious projection of what Gwen wanted for her childhood, the last sketch has to be an ambitious attempt in trying to find meaning in her life.

No longer am I cutting noodles, watching the sisters play or taking on the role of Sun Wukong.

The roles were reversed.

Instead of a fit and young Hibiki, I stared at an image of a old man sitting down on a wheelchair. In his hand held the same sketchbook I was now flipping through.

I am no longer the man protecting Gwen.

In the last picture, she is all grown up, wielding the ‘Ruyi Jingu Bang’ , The weapon of choice for Sun WuKong.

Standing in front of her is the same shadowy figures that once terrorised her and her sister.

It envisioned her all grown up and ready to take on the role of protecting me. There’s even a speech encased in a bubble, ‘ My turn’

I shut my eyes and felt the warm roll of tear down my cheeks.

Gwen oh Gwen.

You been dealt a shitty hand in this life, I can only hope the next would be better.

I took the sketchbook and went to a local studio. I chose to frame up the last 3 pages of Gwen’s drawing in the living area.



When Xuehua saw the drawings I left on the display shelves, I told her about my project, my encounter with Gwen.

She cried and held onto me.



Xuehua : I want our daughter to be kind…to be loved…..

3 seconds later she added.

Xuehua : but I want her to know she can fucking throat punch and twist the arm off anyone that tries to bully her…

I laughed.


Jeff : I’m sure you’ll teach her well…. Haha

Xuehua : aren’t you going to do your part…? As a father …. ?

Jeff : I’ll just make sure anyone who hurts her goes to the bottom of the sea….. I found a few spots in town where I’m pretty sure we can dump a few bodies and no one will ever know…. There’re alligators in the canal…..




1st August 2014
10.00am

I waited anxiously at the hospital for the arrival of my daughter as I sat beside Xuehua.

As her contraction began, the look on her face made me want to take a few steps back. It’s like she wanted to kill anyone within reach.

Xuehua :aRGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!FFFFuuu….

Jeff : No… no!!.. no more cursing !!...

Xuehua : aGHHHHHHH!!1… fish………what the fish…. !!! arGHHHH oh god !!!

It went on for an hour and I was pretty sure one of the glare Xuehua gave me during that hour was the result of her mentally visualising strangling for cumming inside her raw.

I felt my legs go weak when I saw the arrival of my daughter.

I was shaking as she was bundled up and handed over to me.

Doctor : are you afraid of blood… you’re shaking….

I could not even bring myself to reply him as I took over our daughter with shaking arms.



Jeff : wow….

It was the most humbling moment in my life. To hold a newborn in my arms.

Her eyes were closed and I could see her body heaving hard, trying to fill her tiny lungs with air. I brought her over to Xuehua and the first thing she said was that she looks like me.

Xuehua : so unfair….


As the nurse cleaned my daughter up, I stared at her while her tiny eyes fought to open up, just that tiny bit.

So this is how it feels like to be a father.

That very word seemed to have taken on a whole new meaning to me at that very moment.

After a cursory check to make sure she’s ok, Xuehua and I reunited at the ward.


I could not stop looking at my daughter.
Every time she opened her eyes I would wave and try to get her attention like a desperate guy trying to impress a lady.

2 days later, we left the maternity ward and we hired a confinement nanny.


Neighbours visited, many offered help.

For the first time since we moved, we unlocked the gate and let visitors in freely.

There was a big party for the 1st month celebrations and I knew I was ready for a new life when I totally forgot who I once were until I saw a bottle of empty Whisky by the side of a road.

A bottle with the worn out label barely hanging onto the glass bottle.

A Hibiki.




8 November 2014
Saturday
11.30am


I was just done delivering some provisions and was in the midst of returning the truck to Ong’s shop when I jammed the brakes 2 streets before my place.

My heart rate raced as I looked at the empty streets.


There’s not a single car in sight. Something that is not possible, I have never seen an entire street without a car. I looked at the rows of shops, everyone had it’s shutters down.
I started breathing with me mouth as I put the truck into drive.

The neighbourhood is dead quiet.

It was high tide and I could see 3 leisure boats anchored at the front of my house about 200m away from shore.


My eyes searched the immediately surroundings and I have this foreboding feeling in my heart.
I turned the van into the street when I stay and I saw all the shutters are down as well including the provision shop and the bakery.

The entire street has been cleared.

Not a single car remained.


I turned the truck into the lot in front of my house and I could see the door is not locked.

I looked towards my left and I saw him.

There’s no hiding that massive body of his.

Boon stood about 50 meters away, under the swaying leaves of a palm tree that is bent at a weird angle.


My heart slammed against my ribcage as I looked to my right and I saw 3 more men I recognised at Lynn’s wedding. They were parked at different coke points and they were all stationary.

They did not move.

My throat felt parched and dry as I walked towards the door slowly.

My hands shook as I pulled opened the door and saw the lock to the gate cut.


The lights in the living area are switched off but I could see the spill of lights from the bedroom.

I walked slowly towards the bedroom and pushed opened the door.

I heaved a sigh of relieve when I saw Xuehua sitting upright on her bed. She was not moving but she’s fine.
I looked over at our daughter, she’s sleeping soundly in her crib barely 2m away from me.


Xuehua’s eyes drifted slowly to me and I could see the desperation in them.

I entered the room and I saw him.

James.

He sat on the armchair by the side of the room, he held a Sig with a attached sound suppressor in his right hand.

He was waiting for me.


Our eyes met and his weapon slowly raised up, pointing towards Xuehua.

Jeff : It was me…. It was all me…. Please….

James looked like shit. He lost weight, he’s unshaven. His eyes looked tired, like that of a hunter that has not rest for long periods of time.

I put 1 step forwards and he turned his weapon towards me.

Jeff : I… I’m unarmed….


He said nothing.

Xuehua : we can take him dear…. We can take him together……we’re faster than him…..we can take him….

Jeff : No… shut up….

I glared at Xuehua and I pleaded with her not to go on.

Her eyes started to fill with tears as she shook her head at me.

Xuehua : No… don’t… please…..


Jeff : Shhh…. It’s ok…. It’s ok….. let me handle this…..

I turned back to James .

Jeff : It’s me….. I killed Lynn….. I stabbed her because I was careless. !!! It was me…. It was me all along… it has nothing to do with them…..please….

Still James said nothing.

His eyes are that of a dead man.


A man with his heart and soul ripped out while the empty shell is forced to continue on.

I put up my hands and repeated that I was unarmed.

Xuehua : please dear…. Sobzz.. sobzz… please… we can take him…. We can win….

Jeff : We cannot win dear…. We can’t !.... this is the end of the road….

Xuehua : No…. please don’t…..sobzzz….


I sucked in a deep breathe and I looked at James.

Jeff : It’s me…. I’ll pay for Lynn’s life with mine…..

James finally spoke.

It came out cold, lifeless and hoarse.

James: You took 2 lives from me….. it’s only fair if I do the same….


Jeff : Please… no… it was an accident…. It’s me !!! it’s all me !!!.... I plunged the knife into Lynn !!!... I’m the one holding it !!!... I watched her die in my arms and I pulled the knife back out of her lifeless body !!! it was all me !!!!

Emphasising the accident seemed to have caught James’ attention. There’s no guarantee he will let Xuehua go after he kills me but it’s a gamble I am willing to take.
I don’t know him but I am pretty sure he will not kill a innocent baby.

Jeff : It’s me…. finish this and end it….


He started to orientate his body towards me and I could see his feet taking position, shoulder width apart to counter the recoil of the weapon when he fires it.

I looked at Xuehua who was crying and shaking her head at me, pleading with me not to go ahead with this.

James pointed his weapon at me and I stared down the barrel of his gun.

James : Any last words….


Jeff : May i….. may I hug my daughter and my wife one last time….

Xuehua went into an all-out brawl and had to cover her own mouth for fear of disturbing the baby’s sleep.

I took a step forward and James retreated, giving me space to move.

Inside his head Xuehua and I are not your regular run of the mill parents. We are killers, like him.
James : I have the best sniper….. the country has ever trained….. looking into this room…..


Jeff: No… no…. it’s ok… I’m not doing anything… I’m not trying anything…. I’m not armed…. I’m really not armed…..

I gestured to Xuehua and my daughter with both hands.

I just want to hold them one last time.

The talking, the sobbing, the noise we’ve been making is finally causing my daughter to stir.
I saw her kick off her soft toy as her mouth open as she started to cry.

James’s weapon never left my head, his finger is already curled around the trigger.

I looked at Xuehua and my daughter kicking angrily inside the cot, demanding to be picked up.

Jeff : SHhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. shhhhhh… it’s ok baby…. It’s ok… sHHhhhh….

I picked her up and tried to hush her gently in my arms.

Jeff : It’s ok… shhhh.. shhh.. it’s ok Lynette… it’s ok… Papa’s here…. Papa’s here….

I knelt down slowly and brought my daughter towards Xuehua.

James : what…… did you just say ???

My daughter started crying louder and Xuehua was patting her on her body gently.

James : WHAT…!!! DID YOU JUST SAY !!!

His raised voice started my daughter as I held her tighter.

Jeff : It’s ok Lynette… it’s ok…. sHHH…. Shhh.. Papa, Mama is here…. It’s ok…

I did not answer James as I watch him point his weapon at me, shaking the muzzle at me as he demanded for an answer.

His muzzle shook and the way he held the weapon is unsteady.

James : What…… what did you call her ? ….

I could not bring myself to reply him and Xuehua did the talking, her reply coming out almost like a suppressed scream.

Xuehua : We…..sobzz…. we….sobzz…. we decided to name her…. After …. After Lynn’s daughter…. Sobzz… sobzz… …



That was all she managed to say before she held onto me and cried.

James staggered backwards and I could see tears filling up his eyes.
He looked up to the ceiling before grabbing his head with both hands, when he looked back at us, he broke.

His face scrunched up and he broke like a dam.


Holding onto the end of the bed frame, James cried without a single sound with his expression that of a silent scream into nothingness.
The pain on his face added onto the guilt I was already feeling as I kissed my daughter and my wife on their forehead.

The door to my place opened, someone entered from the rear door and I could hear the front door opening as well.



Boon stepped into the bedroom, a modified shotgun in hand.

He saw James sprawled on the floor.

He went over and helped him up but James’ legs would not hold his own weight as he cried out for his deceased wife and his unborn child.

Boon took the weapon away from him and his men helped him out of the room.

I don’t care anymore.

I don’t give a fuck about anything in the world anymore. I don’t even give a fuck about Owen.
The only thing I want to do is to hold my wife and daughter.

If he wants to shoot me in the head, then the last image I will go out with before my world turns dark forever will be the image of my wife and my daughter.

We did not move from where we were for almost an hour because Lynette fell asleep in our arms. It did no bother me that my arms were numb, I could no longer feel my legs, of my back is aching.



I finally knew first hand what it was like to want nothing in the world except to be able to hold the ones you love.
When I stood up to get some milk for my daughter, I saw both doors to my place shut.
I handed the bottle to Xuehua and I stepped outdoors.

Cars started coming back into the streets.
Everything is starting to go back to normal.

I saw Ong outside his provision shop, he saw me coming out and he hurried over to ask if we are ok.

Ong : they say got bomb threat…. Cleared out the few streets…. Turn out to be a hoax…. Crazy one…. Nowadays….

Jeff : We’re ok….

Ong : good good….. lucky nothing happen….don;t know which idoit make such prank calls…. Sighhh…..

I looked down the streets and towards the sea. The boats are all gone and there are no signs of James’ men anywhere.

I don’t know what this means. There is no telling if he would come back one of this days and just put a bullet in my head.

Which is why I told myself I have to live each day to the fullest.
Everyday could be my last.

Every breathe I take could be the last.



I stopped looking over my shoulders. I stopped staying up late at night to keep watch.

What will be will be.

As the days turn to weeks, and weeks to months, Xuehua and I slowly put the episode behind us.

She takes great care of Lynette, while I continue working for Ong and doing some odd deliveries for the fishery nearby. I would leave home at 4am in the morning to head to the fishery with a small truck before sending the day’s catch to various spots and market.
By 1pm, I would be back home.

Xuehua and I lived a simple life, there was no need for any luxury.

Her contacts managed to get us fake documents that will stand up to strictest scrutiny.
I’ve never been happier.

When Lynette turned one, we needed a bigger place. We shifted into a modest 2 storey house with a small vegetable plot.



The greatest joy in my life would be to come home and see my daughter wobbling out the door trying to balance herself while getting to my arms.

1 October 2015
11pm

Xuehua and I had just put Lynette to bed.

I was unpacking some tools when I pulled out a knife.



Xuehua was reading a book.

I pulled out a few more and pulled them out of the sheath.

Xuehua looked at me from the corner of her eye with an eyebrow raised.

I gripped both knives in my hand and looked at Xuehua who was smiling.

She gestured with her fingers at me, asking me to hand her a set of knives as well.



Without a word, we went to the large living area.

The lights are all off, the room is dark except for the spill of street lights coming in the windows.

Jeff : It’s time to decide once and for all..

Xuehua tied up her hair into a tight bun behind her while holding onto the blades of the knife with her teeth.

Xuehua : you’re not my match ….. hahaha


Jeff: Only one way to find out….

Holding up my knife in front of me, Xuehua mirrored my stance.

As sparks flew and the sound of metal scrapping against each other sounded out in the living room, I realised we have both gotten slower. Every hit felt more painful than I last remembered.

Xuehua managed to disarmed me first and I started to rip off her clothes.

Xuehua : no… NO!!... don’t play cheat… !... dear !!! hahaha


Not only am I ripping off her clothes, I yanked off her bra as we kissed, our sweaty bodies grinding against each other as we fucked in the living room.

I came as Xuehua held onto me in the sitting position, cradling my face in her palms. Looking at her, I realised how lucky I am to have her.

Perhaps I do get a fairy tale ending after all.




13th March 2017
Monday

4pm


It was a day no one will forget.
I came back home a little late that day because I went out for lunch with friends from the fishery port.

The TV was on in the living room.


I stepped in with a bag of Xuehua’s favourite jelly and I saw the grave look on her face.

Jeff : What happened ? are you ok ?? … Is Lynette ok ??

Xuehua : We’re ok…. Look at this…


I turned to the TV and I could not believe what I was seeing on the screen.

Jeff : what the fuck….

It was a scene of absolute carnage.

Terrorist has bombed the country, hitting several childcare centres.


I brought my hand to my mouth as I saw footage of civil defence personnel running in and out of the centres.
A row of body bags lined the street as everyone chipped in to help. From passerbys to residents, everyone lent a hand.

The streets are in chaos, the country was literally brought to it’s knees by the attack.


Jeff : This is Owen…. It must be….

Xuehua : I thought we stopped the attack….

As the deathcount for the attack started to stack up, I saw tearing parents and limbless kids crying in pain. It was difficult to watch.

Jeff : We didn’t stop the attack…… we merely delayed it….


Major news outlet continued their coverage of the situation in Singapore. World leaders offered their condolences.

The organisation responsible for the attack issued a statement. LFO or aka, Liberation from Oppression. The message was first broadcasted on radio, then it was spread throughout the internet via forums and chatroom.

Eventually a video of it came online and spread like wild fire.


I looked at the broadcast message and I could feel my blood boiling.

I could see the taunt in the message.

Aside from the typical logo and emblem of the organisation behind the person reading the script, I saw something.

Something that was put there for me, or perhaps for Ron, or maybe for someone in the know, I don’t know.


There’s a line of text made up of repeated acronyms of the group but what caught my attention was the question mark at the end of it.

LFO?LFO?LFO?LFO?LFO? LFO?LFO?LFO?LFO?

It would have appeared to be some sort of a design but I could not help but read it as a taunt form Owen.

It’s as if it was his way of letting us know it was him and there is nothing we can do.

Looking for Owen ?

It’s as if he was posting a question to all of us who tried to stop him in the past.

I switched the TV off and closed my eyes.

My daughter came to me with a trolley of toys and I got off the sofa and pretended to shop for groceries with her in a make belief supermarket.

When we head to bed that night Xuehua asked me what are we going to do ?

Xuehua : Are you going to look for him ?


I smiled as I held her in my arms.

Jeff : I’m not doing anything…. I can’t keep the whole world safe…. but I can keep the 2 of you safe…..

Xuehua : but… don’t you feel ….. we could have….


Jeff : that was in the past dear….we have Lynette now… if we go after Owen… and something happens to us….who will take care of her ?

Xuehua : sigh….. I can’t help but feel….. maybe we could help…. Maybe we could have done something…..

Jeff : These people…. That Owen is mixing with… they are mad men…. With nothing to lose…. i don’t know….. I love our lives now….

Xuehua : alright…. Get some rest….


……………………………………………………………………….


We followed the news closely the following few months as the country and her citizens picked up the pieces after the bombings.

Malaysia was also hit at several locations, igniting a wave of public outcry.

So many innocent dead.

I heard from one of the fishermen that his cousin staying at Pengarang swore a mini war took place at that town a few days after the bombing in Singapore.

He told me he saw people in the field firing at each other and even a helicopter firing it’s rockets inland.

Ong’s nephew told him he saw troops massing at the beachfront and there were reports of gunfire throughout the day.

Many times I was tempted to reach out to my contacts back home and try to find some information about what is going on.
Min Joon and Hamid knows I’m on the run.

I had dropped them a mail 3 months around arriving in Malaysia. I told them I need to lay low for a while and I will not be back in the country anytime soon.

Both emailed a contact number that I can use if there’s an emergency in Malaysia and I needed help.

I dropped Billy a mail too, letting him know we’re ok and he will not be hearing from us in a while. I asked him to help me send hampers every Chinese new year to Min Joon and Hamid.

I’m sure I would be able to get a better picture of the situation if I asked.

Any one of those 3 would be able to give me information that the mainstream news is unable to give.



Then again, so what if I know ?

What can I do ?


1st December 2017.
Friday
1.15pm



Like any other Fridays, I wanted to get home early.
We would usually take the car our further, heading over to Johore for dinner and spend some time in the huge shopping malls.

When I turned into the street I felt something was off.



A long line of vehicles are parked by the side of the street, their license plate told me they were all Singapore registered vehicles.

I pulled over and I quickened my steps towards my place.

I counted at least 9 cars.

My heart sank as I thought about James changing his mind and decides to come and kill me now.

As I got closer to my place, I could hear Lynette laughing.

At 3 years old, everything is funny to her.

The gate was wide apart , so is my front door.



I saw Lynette bringing a plastic plate full of fake fruits to Boon who was trying hard to squeeze his body into a small stool in front of a small table.

James held onto 3 ice cream cone with a variety of coloured playdough stacked all over the top and he just looked at Lynette with a constant smile.

They saw me arrive and I noticed several more men hanging around my place.

Lynette : Papa !!!

She ran over to me and I held onto her tightly.

I saw Xuehua step out of the house and right behind her stood a familiar figure.

Ron.

Ron : hi Jeff….. we need to talk….



My daughter wriggled out of my arms and she ran to get her apron, trying to make Boon wear it as she laughed at the top of her voice.

Ron : she’ll be fine…. Please…. Join us….

I stepped into my house and I felt my heart stop beating when I saw who is sitting at my dining table.


I looked at Xuehua who shrugged her shoulders, indicating she is not sure what is happening as well.

I went over and I shook the hand of someone who up till now, I have only seen on TV.

Our Prime minister.

Welly Chin.


Welly : I’ve heard a lot about you….. Hibiki…..

I looked at Ron who just gestured me to the chair.

Ron : sit please…. All of you….



Ron gave a signal to his men and almost everyone came into the house, crowding around the dining area. Boon stood behind James who looked a lot better than the last time I saw him.
Lynette is sitting at the living room, someone gave her a lollipop and Peppa pig was streaming on the TV. That was all it takes to keep her glued to the screen for 30 minutes at least.

There are men standing guard outside the door from what I could see.

Ron sighed as he looked at everyone gathered around.




Ron : we are fighting a war….. on many fronts….

He paused and let his words hang in our heads for a bit so it could sink in.

Ron : with an enemy …. That knows how we work… that know how we think….

Everyone looked at Ron who was tapping his fingers on the table as he spoke.


Ron : Edward…. Fernando ….. Chan….. we killed Edward a few months ago…..Fernando….. or… Owen…. As some of you know him as…. Has just crossed into Malaysia … from Thailand…..


Ron added that intelligence suggest that he will not be taking a risk to come over into Singapore and that he will be operating and commanding the terrorist cells from Malaysia.

Ron : if we want him…. We have to fight him…. On his turf…. In a foreign country…. Using unconventional means……

Ron turned to Xuehua and me.



Ron : Jeff….. Jane…. We hope you can come back….take over the operations of the company….

All eyes turned to us as I never expected Ron to make me such an offer.

Jeff : What ?

Ron : We hope you can lead the team… and start hunting down the operatives that Owen has been sneaking into the country….



I shared a look with Xuehua and I did not know what to say.

This was definitely the last thing I have on my mind.

Jeff : I…. but….why….. ?

Welly turned to me. I could see the weariness in his eyes, the weight of the burden on his shoulders constantly pushing him down.


Welly : I asked Ron a simple question some time ago….i asked him…..where….? …. Where can I find….. a few good men…..to do the things I want to do…. To the people responsible…?

Welly sighed, looked away for a second before turning back to face me.

Welly : Ron’s answer to me was……the things I want done…. Cannot be done by good men….


Sporadic laughs broke out among the group, even James managed a weak smile.

Welly : so I changed the question….where…. can I find the baddest…. The worst…..Mother ……….fuckers………… this country has ever known….. to do what I want………… to those fuckers that murdered the innocent children !!!!


Welly’s fist was clenched and I could see him trying to control his emotion.

He exhaled slowly and I felt Xuehua take my hand in hers .

I looked at her and I could see it in her eyes.

She wants to do it. She nodded her head at me and in turn, I gave Welly a curt nod.

Xuehua : 1 condition….


Welly : what is it ?

Xuehua : stop saying the ‘F’ word in my house…..

It took Welly a second too long to react before he looked over at Lynette who was still engrossed with the TV show and he laughed.

Ron : good…. This is a good start….

Welly : So….


Pointing to James and his men, Welly added.

Welly : I have a team of bulldozers….. they will mow everything in their path down….no matter what it takes…..

Looking over to Xuehua and me, he continued ;

Welly : I have a murderous …… assassin couple who is going to take charge of the remaining operators from the company….. and they are going to start picking off Owen’s asset in the country…..


Pointing back at James, Welly added with an incredulous look on his face.

Welly : He…. Has convinced a group of stupid mother fuu….

He paused as Xuehua gave him a frown.

Welly : this… stupid group of mad men…. led by a old warrant officer….that are crazy enough to procure illegal firearms…………… and start a mini war with Edwards’ men in their home turf….



Looking back at Ron, Welly stood up and asked.

Welly : what are we waiting for ??? ………..


There was a beeping sound coming from the watch of Ron’s men. In fact the alarm went off for 3 of them all at the same time.

I looked at the time and noticed at it was 2pm in the afternoon.

Everyone looked at the 3 men who checked their watch and silenced their alarm.

Ron tapped his fingers on the table in a slow, deliberate manner as he considered his next move.
Looking back slightly at his men, he asked if it’s time.

Ron : time’s up ?

Ron’s man : Yes sir….




Ron looked at Welly before addressing the rest of the table.

Ron : 10 years ago on this day…..i was given 60 men…all on death row…. For a variety of crimes ranging from drug trafficking… to murder….

Ron stood up and told us that out of that 60 men. There are only 3 left.

Ron : the alarm earlier….is the timer… that tells me they have done their dues…. And paid their debts….. their freedom…. In return for their service….

James spoke out for the first time.

James : Are you letting them back up to the surface ? …

Ron : yes….

James : you’re mad…. hahahaha

Ron : We are dealing with a mad man…. And what better men to send after him… ?

Jeff : who are you sending after him ?

Ron smiled.

Welly : I hope you know what you are doing….

Ron :The Nagas are under control… the breech has been sealed… only pockets of them remain…. It’s time their skills are put to better use….

Jeff : Who are these men…. You are talking about… ?


Welly stood up and put on his sunglasses, signalling that the meeting is over.

James got up as well and got ready to leave.

Ron stood up as well.

No one replied my question and Ron added that his men will be in touch to arrange the for the relocation of my family base to Singapore.

Lynette saw the group getting up and she quickly got up, trying to stop the men that were playing with her from leaving.

Boon walked over to me and he hesitated for a brief moment before thanking me for saving his live from Xuehua’s dagger a few years ago.

Boon : Thank you…..

Just as he was about to leave, he turned and said something that sent a chill down my spine.

Boon : I don’t scare easy……but Ron’s Naga hunters……the 3 of them scares the shit of out us….

He gave Lynette another candy and she made him promise he will be back to play with her before letting go of his massive leg.

Xuehua held my hand as we watch the group of men depart our residences.

Xuehua : Well ? …..

Jeff : I’m fucking afraid of Boon…. He’s a fucking Giant…………….now………. I can’t wait to meet the men that scares Boon.


Xuehua : and I assure you…. I am a lot more scarier if you don’t stop using that ‘f’ word at home….

I turned and Xuehua raised an eyebrow at me with folded arms as I smiled and hugged her.

We kissed and Lynette ran over to give us a hug with her open arms.

Lynette : Family hug !!!



I carried her up and she asked why I am smiling.

I held Xuehua’s hand and we looked at our daughter together.

Jeff : Because it’s time for us to go home…………




…………………………………………………………………………………..



The end……





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