Summary of the amusement
After landing at Changi airport in Singapore without a passport, with her friends Lanai and former Herbaline employee Ambi Michaels, teleoperator Clarity Nice is set aside by a woman dressed as a hostess from Singapore Airlines, Yi Ling, before reaching the customs and passport area of the airport. Yi Ling has connections with a Secret Society of warrior monks known as the Society of the Enlightened Jade Dragon, and she gets Clarity a passport with diplomatic status and a false name, Darcy Emmers, along with a badge confirming her credentials with the company which paid for her ticket, the diet and weight prevention herbal company, Herbaline.
Clarity trusts Yi Ling, who simply says she is a friend, and leads Clarity to an important Forum on health and longevity, at the Suntec Center, attended by Taoist Master Professor Chang, and Owens & Owell heiress Shalia Owell, who becomes infatuated with Clarity. Left on her own without Yi Ling, Clarity stays close to Shalia during the conference, befriending her, learning of the various insecurities of the wealthy socialite. The blond girl is reassured by the presence of Clarity, and simply wants to get her company board seat back from a stern father who disapproves of her marriage with good looking girlfriend and human sexuality university student, Jenny Owens.
Yi Ling gets in touch with Clarity after the conference, telling her that she must protect a chart which holds the mystery of immortality, known as Meridian 57, built by the monks of the Enlightened Jade Dragon Society after years of studying the Taoist Canons. Coveted by Singapore billionaire Dao Bin, and a White Tigress linked to Professor Chang, Madame Wa, the chart is part of a module inside the symbolic decryptor of Clarity, who is told by the monks that the esoteric knowledge inside the module is not ready to be revealed.
Clarity received a call from Yi Ling the following day in bed, while Shalia was showering in the presidential Suite of the Marina Bay Sands. Shalia had upgraded from the regular Suite to the presidential Suite, which priced at over four thousand dollars a night. She stepped into the bathroom with the phone offered by Yi Ling.
"We need to talk, our leader has decided to meet you. Come to Thian Hock Keng Temple entrance hall with your decryptor."
"All right." Clarity hung up and saw Shalia walking naked towards her.
"Have you gotten that Yi Lingce you spoke about, your symbolic decryptor?" Asked Shalia.
"Not yet," said Clarity.
Clarity told Shalia that she needed to work for a day or two and she stopped by the astrologer shop of Aiguo Liang to pick up her decryptor. A taxi led her to Marina Blvd., before stopping on Telok Ayer street, in front of one of the oldest Taoist Hokkien temples in Singapore built in 1839. Boasted as national monument of the city, the traditional Southern Chinese architectural style temple of Thian Hock Keng was built with stone, green tiles, showing dragons and phoenixes, and intricate sculptures of deities.
The statues of the temple included those of Moon Palace Goddess Yue Gong Niang Niang, a maiden regarded as matchmaker and guardian of personal beauty, and the Bodhisattva of Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, Avalokitesvara. Clarity walked inside the Entrance Hall, standing beside the granite tablets recording details of the Temple's History. Yi Ling appeared along one of the guided tours of the temple and she left the group to talk to Clarity.
They walked inside another room, used originally as meeting venue by visitors, such as Qing Dynasty Emperor Guang Xu. An old man showing a white long beard, wearing white loose clothes and flat sole shoes. Behind him, two monks in loose orange robe, surrounded him, holding a collar of Buddhist prayer beads, malas made of precious coral. Yi Ling pulled out three chairs and they sat down around a rectangular table made of strong wood.
"This is Wen Jhi, the head of our Secret Society."
The old man spoke English with a slight oriental accent.
"May the benefits of Zhang Sanfeng reach your health all the way to peaceful longevity." He glanced at Yi Ling. "You've met my daughter Xiaolu." The eyes of Clarity widened, thinking that Yi Ling was more than just a hostess. She was also an initiate of a Secret Society.
"Why did you contact me at the airport?" Asked Clarity.
"We want to know who uses our decryptors. We have been tracking your signal for a few months, and we knew the Yi Lingce was not being used in America. Finally, we meet. You must be careful with your name. Singapore officials do not know of your presence here." Xiaolu held on to the arm of her father.
"She's met Madame Wa."
"Did you learn about the microcosmic orbit?" Asked Wen Jhi. Clarity nodded.
"Did she mention visualizing the energy inwardly?"
"Not per say. I probably could have. I felt chi for the first time." Wen Jhi's reaction remained inscrutable.
"She teaches Taoist knowledge in a wrong way. She uses way too much aroused energy in her teachings. That can lead to problems. The Lesser Heavenly Circuit should be taught without aroused energy, and without visualizing the energy in the body. We threw her out of our group several years ago. She is not an authentic White Tigress."
One of the monks brought a jug filled with fresh water and some glasses, while the other monk counted breaths on his garland.
"Do you have the decryptor?" Clarity took it out of her pocket.
"It's very dear to me," said Clarity.
Wen Jhi turned on the Yi Lingce, using a module that Clarity had never used, which was written in Chinese characters.
"You are using five percent of its capability."
"Why did Herbaline send me here?"
"Herbaline has layers above regular management and company activity. We are aware of those layers and know that Coley Manglove and her supervisor, Mattelson Stive are investigating the area of emotion, which is one of our specialties. They want esoteric knowledge that can be applied to their business activity, and they want you as their informant. You were supposed to meet Madame Wa here at the airport. We prevented that."
Wen Jhi lifted his head and signalled to one of the monks to move towards the door leading to the meeting room.
"There are very few decryptors like this which are built by us. Our interests lie in informing governments, officials, politicians and world leaders, of the potentiality of the human character. We offered this Yi Lingce to the American government hoping they would gain understanding of practitioners of the Taoist tradition. Are you willing to do this? The decryptor is very powerful, it can lead a person to destruction if wrongly used, because it explains how symbols are used in various hidden practices. We do not allow anyone who does not agree with our principles to use it."
"I am not familiar with Taoist practices, but I like all of the material I found in the decryptor. I like to learn and I can see this is a useful Yi Lingce."
"Are you willing to work for us?" Asked Wen Jhi.
"What does that entail?"
"Protecting the knowledge of the Meridian 57 chart. You cannot reveal our identity or that we are the makers and ultimate holders of the knowledge stored in the decryptor. We do not want Madame Wa or those associated with Herbaline to learn about what we do. We also want to know more about what Dao Bin has in mind with the rare earth metals he stole. He is in touch with Professor Chang and we do not like what he does. He does not teach Taoist material properly, and he is creating problems with those who learn what he teaches. Just like Madame Wa. He is easily tempted with money, and we know that he is after our chart."
"I've been told by your daughter to stay close to Shalia Owell. Why are you interested in Owens & Owell?"
"We need rare earth metals to build our decryptors. And Dao Bin stole a shipment meant for Owens & Owell and for us. We were able to get some of those rare earth supplies in one container, but Dao Bin has gotten a few additional containers. We want to know how he will use the metals." Clarity poured some water on her glass and drank.
"And Shalia Owell?"
"Miss Owell is a voluble, chatty, gabby woman. She is influenceable, and Madame Wa is ensuring her mind is filled with Professor Chang teachings. We want you to be a good influence on her and advise her of the dangers she is facing by listening to Madame Wa."
Clarity wanted to be sure that there were no more threads attached to the words of the Secret Society's sage.
"When can I leave Singapore?"
"When you have decided whether to keep or abandon the decryptor. And when we think you have provided enough service to us to be a reliable member of our Society. The passports you received are yours, you are free to use them. We have connections with many embassies and that helps us move around discretely. Some countries regard us as dissidents, China in particular, but we are determined to pass on the knowledge transmitted to us in the right way, to the right people."
Clarity looked at her decryptor, admiring a paragraph translated in English, flowing through her decryptor screen, of the Sutra of the Inconceivable Secret, words allegedly coming from the Buddha himself. She pressed a button and the characters turned to Sanskrit. She was not ready to lose the Yi Lingce or abandon it. The notion of the Mysteries intrigued her and she was increasingly seeing links between the various Mystery traditions, which helped her face everyday life, and brought balance and wellness to her quest for spiritual knowledge.
"Good, I will let you know. I want to keep the decryptor, I worked very hard to get it." Wen Jhi showed a nearly imperceptible smile.
"Very well, do not use the features of the decryptor labeled with the word Meridian in Chinese characters, traditional Chinese medicine is very complex. We will stay in touch with you, do not seek us. My daughter will take you where you need to go after our meeting."
Wen Jhi got up and left the room with the two monks who served as his guards, and with Xiaolu, who told Clarity she'd be praying in another room for a few minutes before leaving. Left on her own in the meeting room, she walked towards a statue of Confucius placed near a wall. Clarity read the tablet written on the Chinese sage. Kong Zi, the Chinese name of Confucius, taught the value of wisdom and human character, and of developing one's own thinking. Relying on a hunch, she disobeyed the recommendation of Wen Jhi and began exploring her decryptor.
Clarity wondered how the monks were so well informed, and thought that her decryptor might have some of the answers. The Meridian module led her to a file labeled Meridian 57, which showed a diagram relating the five elements of Taoist philosophy, fire, earth, metal, water and wood, to the twelve organ system in the body. The physical organ module of meridian 57 fed into an emotion module linking hundreds of emotions with each of the twelve organs. She reasoned that by lengthening the amount of time the various organs worked in the body, it was possible to lengthen the span of a human beyond one hundred years. And also to determine what a person felt, since for Chinese Taoists, emotions were stored physically in the various organs of the body. In a corner of a screen, she found an icon labeled cross match locator, and she typed the name of Singapore in the search feature. A map of the city's southern area showed up, with several names being familiar. The name of Telval Film Studios appeared on the map, north of the Marina Sands hotel area.
Telval Film Studios had an office on the twenty fourth floor of one of the tallest skyscrapers in Singapore, Republic Plaza. They were casting actresses for an adult feature called 'Golden Lamp of Casa Mollino'. A list of candidates was shown below. Her decryptor's cross match feature indicated that Hunan Enterprises was a new tenant of the building's twenty eighth floor. She probed one level deeper and found a file with the whole business history of Dao Bin, including his daily agenda. Written in Chinese characters, there was a name on the agenda of Dao Bin that day. She walked out of the room and shared her thoughts with Xiaolu. The dissident was quick to spot the meaning of the pictograph, used by the monks to conceal the name on the agenda.
"This symbol means Department of Foreign Investment of China. Dao Bin is probably receiving one of their delegates."
The daughter of Wen Jhi paused a few seconds to match the characters with the Economic and Commercial Counselor's Office of the Chinese Embassy. The matching of locations with Telval might not be coincidence only. Clarity decided to investigate Hunan. She spoke to Xiaolu about possible covers for her to get inside the building.
"My father is not going to be happy with you delving into the meridian module of the decryptor, but I think I can arrange something for you. We have connections at the honorary consulate of Mali on the thirty second floor of the building, and the honorary consulate of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the fifty eighth floor of that building."
After a quick call to a consular officer of Saint Vincent, Xiaolu made an agreement to let Clarity in for a day as support staff to the office. Officially, Clarity was working on a study of Asian communications infrastructure led by the Institute of Social and Economic Studies. Xiaolu gave her a black wig and a cap. Later that day, a badge from the Saint Vincent consulate came in by courier. Xiaolu placed a photograph of Clarity inside the plastic cover and gave her the badge.
"I told my friend at the consulate that you'd be out of their office most of the time, so they won't look for you. Just leave the badge with security when you leave. And don't tell my father I arranged any of this."
Clarity thanked Xiaolu and promised not to tell Wen Jhi about her investigation. She took a cab to the Southern end of Raffles Place in the downtown core, the business district of Singapore, and told the driver to stop one block before the entrance of the Republic Plaza building on D'Almeida Street. She had no problems with security, and took the elevator to the fifty eighth floor. A man opened the door, a young consular employee in his late twenties, wearing Masunaga black grey glasses, the consulate liaison of Xiaolu. He was interested in the practices of Xiaolu's Secret Society, and the two had met through the Tanglin International Center, the quarters of the International Organisations Programme Office. He checked Clarity's badge and led her to the consulate door.
"Hunan Enterprises is on the twenty eighth floor. Staff orders a mid day lunch every day. The worker hired by the building owners who brings in the food as waiter has been dismissed for the day. Simply take his place to make your way in."
Clarity nodded and began walking towards one of the elevators. At eleven thirty in the morning, she made her way to the twenty eighth floor and found a food trolley on wheels filled with sandwiches, fruit platters, a platter of smoked salmon, fresh roast beef uncut, and various drinks. She donned a waiter coat placed on the trolley, adjusted her cap and rang the bell of Hunan Enterprises. An attractive secretary welcomed her and led her to a conference room. The mogul of Hunan Enterprises, Dao Bin, was talking to a Chinese official. Fortunately for Clarity, they were speaking English. Clarity walked a few feet away from the two men, and began cutting the roast beef in pieces with a meat slicer. The Chinese attache wearing a grey flannel suit and handkerchief in the left pocket turned the page of a report he'd prepared a few days earlier. The name Jian Xiong, his own name, was written on it.
"The man you spoke to a few days ago, the supplier who refused to provide rare earth metals is in jail. He was the owner of a company mining rare earth metals from the coal mines in Baotu. The next person has been appointed by our office. He will be more receptive to your purchase orders."
Dao Bin smiled. He knew that working with Chinese officials would eventually pay off. Serving the interests of China was the right way to lower the cost of rare earth metals imports. China produced ninety five percent of all rare earth metals, and Baotu contributed two thirds of that.
"Was he telling the truth?" Jian Xiong used a green light laser pen to point to a stock market graph, featuring the supplier's company, spiking in the period spanning the previous three months.
"We think he wanted to increase the price of his metals and of his company. We added a new license to prevent the company from operating. The Chinese government is taking control of the company."
"What is the goal of the inscrutable State Council of the People's Republic of China?"
"We want to be a key player of the health phone market, to beat the Americans and reduce our own health care costs, using chi-based health care. And we want to be pioneers in related exoskeleton technology which can be used by our military branch. Where are you with your investigations on the Enlightened Dragon Society?"
Jian Xiong did not like Taoist groups. He was a conservative who breathed and lived according to the official Communist party rule of political order and progressive capitalism. He waved at Clarity to get a plate of roast beef. The Malibu teleoperator brought a dish of roast beef with baked potatoes and onions to the Chinese official and served a second plate to Dao Bin, ensuring her cap was in place.
"We are still trying to get observers into their tight network. They are opaque and well informed. But we have an esoteric connection that can replace their findings."
Jiang Xiong did not believe in esoteric knowledge. He added some salt to the roast beef and began eating.
"I believe in longevity. Have you found meridian 57?"
"No. But Professor Chang has similar knowledge. He will make a deal with us and we will use his knowledge to build the chi-based health phone."
"We want to see a prototype of the hphone as soon as possible. And we don't want the monks of the Enlightened Dragon operating in China."
Dao Bin ate a few onions with his meat and pressed a button which brought the conference table closer to the office window. Another button opened the large glass window and a current of fresh air filled the room. The Singapore billionaire threw some bread to a small platform attached to the building's window. Immediately, a few pigeons flew to get the bread.
"We are confident of our know-how. With rare earth supplies firmly in place and controlled by the invaluable workers of the State Council, the complete chain of components is secure. Important people will buy the new health phone and the sphere of influence of the State Council will be increased."
Jiang Xiong rubbed an apple on his jacket and got up, leaving some of his roast beef intact.
"Good, simply ensure you are not the pigeon feeding on the Enlightened Dragon's information. We should be ahead of what they know, I'm not sure it is the case now."
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE, MERIDIAN 57
All characters over 21
kindle, second generation, one of the items similar to the pentatone decryptor.
BANANA HUMOR for Adults previously released:
Nook, Apple Ipad, Samsung Galaxy Tablet,
Iphone, Android, Smartphone, Kobo Books, pdf, Kindle.
THE MALIBU CASE.
Or Whether Corporate Nudity should be part of the Dress Code.
THE ACAPULCO COCKTAIL.
Or How a single Drink can turn Thirst into A Traction with the Law.
THE CAYMAN AIR BANNER.
Or Going Where Your Money Goes to Keep an Eye on How it disappears.
THE BAHAMAS LOTION.
Or Discerning When the Notion of a Lotion is not Beauty but Dependence.
THE ABU DHABI CHANNEL.
Or Whether renting pleasure is different from owning it.
THE BAHRAIN BRODERIE.
Or Whether a Wedding can be Arranged as a Matter of Levity.
THE BELLAGIO WIKILEAK.
Or How to Rely on Information before the Information relies on You.
THE CUBAN RENEGADE.
Or Whether gold can be backed by a Renegade,
when money is backed by the cap of Castro.
THE SUGAR BABY.
Or Whether sugar can turn to salt when someone overlooks the honey.
THE MARBLE TOUCAN.
Or How those who want you to leave your place are those who should leave in the first place.
THE OUTDOOR SHOWER.
Or How a shower can bring good weather to the bottom line.
THE EMOTION SCALE.
Or looking at how you feel to let others choose how you think.