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.
A cluster of cameras triggering their flashes stopped the caressing sensation of Shalia's warm and soft hands on Clarity's breasts. Shalia looked away from Clarity and withdrew her hand from under her shirt and sweater. She grabbed Clarity's hand and left a U.S. twenty dollar bill on the bar counter. American money was accepted during the convention, as most guests carried U.S. dollars and not Singapore dollars. Clarity made her way behind Shalia, past onlookers, to get a direct view of the attraction. A Rolls Royce Silver Seraph, painted grey, powered by an electric engine, was making its way with a humming noise along the corridor of the exhibition center.
Inside the flamboyant car, wealthy mogul and local billionaire Dao Bin Chu was giving indications to the driver to veer a steep five degrees to the left, to catch up with Professor Chang, who was leaving the convention center, followed by Dr. Wustemans. The luxurious vehicle accelerated to a maddening three miles an hour for thirty seconds, then slowed down from three to one mile an hour. The rear window rolled down, showing the fifty five year old face of Dao Bin, holding an L-shape self portrait ivory cane offered at cane auctioneer Kimball Sterling and bought by himself at the improbable bid of ten thousand dollars.
"Professor Chang, I am Dao Bin. I listened to the debate with Dr. Wustemans from a VIP chair in the first row. I want to know what is the method you intend to use to lengthen the life span of the human body."
Clarity made a step aside to avoid stepping on a wealthy patron of the exhibition center who was keen on knowing the year that the Rolls Royce had been built and whether the electric engine car was available for sale. She saw Professor Chang walk along the Rolls Royce, his head slightly tilted towards the rear window.
"The method is inscrutable," said Professor Chang.
"It can be inscrutable in general, but at some point, it has to be scrutable to me. I would like to be your business partner and help you put in place the project. It can start with me, in fact, it has to start with me and my own longevity," said Dao Bin.
"You are not convincing me that you are going to dedicate all the resources needed to put in place the project I envision."
"My resources are abundant, like my body, I convinced the exhibition center to build this Rolls Royce for me. Let's do business together Professor Chang. My wife Elsie is a great fan of yours." Dao Bin was a chubby guy.
Professor Chang stopped and grabbed a gin tonic from a waiter serving drinks. The Rolls Royce stopped and the driver, wearing white gloves, stepped out of the driving seat, cupped a rum and coke and placed it on a silver platter which unfolded out of the rear window, with chips and snacks falling on the platter from a pouch stitched on the ceiling of the car. Shalia began chatting with the driver, asking him whether he'd seen the electric-powered Rolls Royce at the Dubai duty free airport area. Owens & Owell had offices in Bahrain and a trading center in Dubai, and Shalia was looking for business opportunities that would bring new dollars to the bottom line of the company, and some indication to the O&O Board of Directors that she could be trusted with a board seat. After the family fiasco of her marriage to Jenny Owens in Bahrain, she was hiding the marriage documents and keeping the relationship, deemed improper by both wealthy families, low key.
"A pistachio Professor Chang?" Asked Dao Bin. The billionaire stretched his hand out the window, holding the bag of Sam's Choice bought from a Walmart store in the U.S..
"No thank you, your friendly attitude is somewhat suspicious to me, a pistachio is not enough to buy my cooperation."
"Very well, Professor, you'll speak to my assistant, moneytician Lim Li, he deals with issues involving money, he is a real expert at valuing most things, from dry nuts imported from the US, to a deal like ours."
A woman pushed Clarity towards the rear wheel of the Rolls Royce. She peaked inside the car through the rear window and saw Dao Bin holding his cane, pushing down. A springlike effect built-in the rear seat pushed up Dao Bin straight up. The roof of the car elevated one foot and the mogul lowered his head, as his body lifted up and to the right, 'jumping' over his assistant Lim Li. The moneytician moved to the left, grabbing the top of the rear door, stretching his head out the window. To his right, Dao Bin was holding his cane, impassive, looking at a small screen in front of him showing a level one sudoku.
"Professor Chang, let's talk. You are the first Taoist member willing to reveal secrets of internal energy circulation, what is generally known in Singapore upper class pompous cocktail talk as the microcosmic orbit."
Chang took a sip of his gin tonic, grabbing one of the ice cubes in his glass with one hand. With unexpected hand-throw dexterity, he threw the ice cube inside the Rolls Royce, into a small silver champagne ice bucket laid out on the tray along the pistachios, holding a few mini bottles of Laurent Perrier and Moët et Chandon champagne.
"The microcosmic orbit assumes you believe that chi exists."
"We believe that it exists, but we need you to show that to us. We are willing to pay you a hefty amount."
"You know that when the orbit is open, there is no return to your body as it was, not feeling the orbit that is."
"We did not know that, but it does not change our mind," said Lim Li.
"I will contact you if there is interest on my part to become involved with Dao Bin. Tell him I will think about it."
The moneytician turned his head to the right, speaking a few words of Chinese to the mogul sitting next to him. He swung his head again, to the professor.
"He says you are wise to do that."
"It's one of the reasons I opened the microcosmic orbit in my own body," said Chang.
"We will stay in touch then, we know you are staying in an apartment above the Institute of Long Health here in Singapore. Goodbye, Professor Chang."
The driver of the luxurious car got inside and drove away at one mile an hour. Pressing a button on his driving wheel, he anchored several hooks under the Rolls Royce onto a platform which moved the car down a wide and curved mechanical escalator designed by architect Santiago Calatrava.
Shalia made several calls to New York, speaking about Dao Bin with Board of Directors secretary Grove Shemkey, one of the persons in charge of the company's Executive Committee who acted as advisor to the second and third generation family owners of the company, Robert J. Owell and Clarence Owens III. Shemkey advised Clarence Owens and Donovan Carthill advised Robert Owell. Clarity walked past several stands showing medical equipment, aimed at physicians attending the symposium who could recommend it at the hospitals where they worked. A name drew her attention in one of the stands, it said 'Pentatone Scale Health Longevity Equipment and Services'. Clarity remembered the name corresponded to the name of her decryptor, and that Pentatone was headed by warrior monks. Casually, she brought the conversation to the monks and mentioned that she owned a decryptor, telling the man, that she wanted to meet the monks. The man, a recent graduate of James Cook University in Singapore, grabbed Clarity by the arm, taking her behind the stand, away from the crowd. He stared at the badge of Clarity for a few seconds and made one phone call, speaking Chinese, which Clarity did not understand.
"Where did you find the decryptor?" He asked.
"In Las Vegas, at a Strategic Surveillance Center."
"You have to show it to us, we want to know what's in that decryptor now, it's not a regular one. Do you know anyone here?"
Clarity hesitated and then blurted the name of Yi Ling, describing her Singapore Airlines uniform. She also remembered that the only client in Asia of Stevenson's new shower division was in Singapore, and mentioned the name of Lamond Liew, and of the Bennington Salm hotel, the four star hotel which had ordered one hundred showers from Stevenson.
"What should I do now, where should I go?" Asked Clarity. The business graduate pointed to her friend Shalia.
"Keep close to your friend, she is meeting Dao Bin for dinner tonight, we will get in touch with you, directly or through the woman called Yi Ling. Meet us tonight during dinner at the lobby of Swissotel, the place that has the Jaan restaurant on the seventieth floor."
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE, MERIDIAN 57
All characters over 21
BANANA HUMOR for Adults previously released:
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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.