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 spent the afternoon and early evening with Shalia in the Suite of her hotel. The blond girl was very insecure about the role she played in the large multinational company that her father led, and more than anything she wanted to recover her board seat while preserving her marriage with Jenny Owens. The presence of Clarity reassured her, because Clarity was in her twenties like her, and because the teleoperator was working for Herbaline, a company that was making money. To Shalia, Clarity was successful, she wanted part of that success, and to know how Clarity had gotten there. The rich socialite was in Singapore to inform Owens & Owell of new developments in the health and wellness industry, but she lacked credibility and immediate support from her parents, the Board of Directors, or the Executive Committee. Clarity provided some of that support, allowing her to vent out all the pressure coming from her family. The rich member of the global business establishment stepped closer to Clarity and kissed her on the lips, while unzipping her pants. Clarity found the sweet breath of the girl enticing. The tongue swirling in her mouth awakened a lewd sensation in her stomach.
"How did you get the job at Herbaline?" Asked Shalia.
"I simply took one of their courses on communication," said Clarity. She felt the hand of Shalia get under her white panties and let the girl pull on the cotton fabric, leaving her shaved flesh exposed.
Shalia threw Clarity on the bed, unbuttoning the teleoperator's shirt, throwing the shirt and the badge of Herbaline on the floor. They frolicked in bed for more than an hour, practicing the sixty nine position, Shalia impressing Clarity with the deft, suave motions of her tongue on her own intimate parts. Around seven in the evening, Shalia kissed Clarity and got up naked, bending in front of Clarity, reaching for her toes with her hands.
"I'm having dinner at nine tonight, wanna come? Meeting Dao Bin, I have nothing to offer him, but I want to make some kind of deal with him and his company, Hunan Enterprises."
"Go ahead and shower, I'll take a taxi and meet you there, I have to send a few emails for work."
At nine in the evening, the lobby of Swissotel was humming with people, mostly executives coming from India and the U.S. or Europe. Clarity saw the booth of the concierge busy providing indications to a couple who wanted the scoop on nightlife in the city. Coming out of one of the elevators, she noticed the sleek, thin silhouette of Lim Li getting out into the lobby on his own. She looked outside and saw the Rolls Royce of Dao Bin waiting outside. She had a daring idea. Seeing a coat hanger a few feet from the concierge, Clarity noticed a spare concierge coat hanging besides guests' coats. She donned the concierge spare coat and slid through the revolving door of the luxurious hotel, in time to open the rear Rolls Royce door facing the hotel to Lim Li. The moneytician of Dao Bin ignored her and stepped into the car. Noticing the rear window stayed open, she kneeled down near the window as though examining the rear tire of the electric vehicle, and overheard the moneytician of Dao Bin speak with the driver.
"The government of China is after the technology of human longevity, there is a lot of money involved with this. I'm just not sure how the boss will tap on it yet."
The driver blurted out wo zhi dao le, which meant I see, in Chinese, and continued in English.
"Dao Bin is not stupid. Gonna smoke a cigarette outside." The billionaire owning the impressive car did not smoke and forbid his driver to smoke inside. The driver opened the door and stepped out, noticing Clarity kneeled besides the rear tire.
"What are you doing here?"
"Simply checking the tires."
Clarity tapped the rear tire, saying the pressure definitely looked quite appropriate for a car with that weight.
"Get off," said the driver.
Clarity got up and disappeared inside the lobby of Swissotel. Hiding behind a large marble column and a tall plant reaching eight feet, she took off the concierge coat and put it back in place. A hand tapped her shoulder, and she jumped, startled by the presence behind her. It was the man from the Pentatone exhibit.
"The monks cannot meet you. They're being watched closely."
"Singapore authorities, and people working for Dao Bin. Get your decryptor here in Singapore, you're going to need it, we can get in touch more discretely with it."
"Where do I pick it up? What address?"
"Pick it up here, give the name of this cafe."
The man gave her a piece of paper with the name of the local docks written on it and another name below.
"Go to the docks and ask for this place, this is the place where you can pick up your decryptor. When you get there, tell the owner you want to meet the distributor of Pentatone in Singapore, he'll give you the package and know how to get in touch with us."
The youthful oriental graduate disappeared through the revolving door of the hotel, leaving Clarity on her own. She made a collect call to the U.S. from the hotel, speaking to her friend Cynthia Stevenson, the daughter of the company where she worked as teleoperator, Stevenson Garden Products. Cynthia knew her landlord in Malibu and was able to reach his office to get keys to her apartment, after Clarity wrote an authorization for her friend, signed by her.
"Send the decryptor Fedex, with a lot of bubble wrap, so that it doesn't break during the trip."
"What are you doing in Singapore? Last time I saw you, you were in Orange County. You know that Heather is not working at Herbaline. She didn't like their vacation schedule. She's back to work at Stevenson."
"Long story, doing all right, got a free trip to Asia, and a passport from Singapore."
Cynthia said that she certainly was meeting the right people. While Clarity was in Asia, Clarity's U.S. passport was being issued by U.S. authorities, at the request of the captain of the City of Wellington, Harvey Opreim, who was doing her a favor by saying that she'd lost the passport during a stay in Acapulco. U.S. Customs and Immigration were taking some time to issue the document, because they were checking the file of Clarity. Regular procedure they said. Clarity was hoping that her stay at the Bellagio in the hotel surveillance center was not preventing the issue of her U.S. passport. In either case, to have a good passport like the document issued by Singapore authorities was certainly welcome, it was good backup.
"Your gadget will be in Singapore in one day." Cynthia agreed to pay for the cost of sending her decryptor, a hefty one hundred dollars charged for the express service.
"Thanks Cynthia, don't forget the charger, I need it to get the thing working after a few days of using the battery."
With one thing settled, Clarity took the elevator and reached the top floor of the hotel, taking in the breathtaking view of the docks and water and of large boats slowing moving in and out of the Bay of Singapore. The restaurant was kept by the talented chef Kirk Westaway, who had out-cooked nine other candidates and replaced departing French chef Julien Royer. The food was delicious. She reached the table of Shalia, who was eating some appetizers with Dao Bin.
"You're late," said Shalia.
"I was admiring the Rolls Royce of Mr. Dao Bin," said Clarity. The billionaire squinted, swallowing an appetizer.
"Darcy Emmers is a good friend," said Shalia. "She is an expert on emotion and uses her expertise within human resources, for the employees of Herbaline, the herbal products company." A waiter stopped at their table, carrying a bucket filled with mini bottles of Laurent Perrier champagne, the preferred sparkling wine of Dao Bin. Shalia looked at the menu and opted for meat.
"I´ll have the roasted duck." Clarity nodded. "For me as well, make that two, please," said the teleoperator. Dao Bin lifted his face towards Shalia, with an expression verging on disapproval.
"Three roasted ducks for me," said the mogul.
"Three?" Asked Shalia.
"I like to have the last word in negotiations, one roasted duck for me, one for my wife, one for my moneytician. He shares his roasted duck with the driver of my electrically powered Rolls Royce, and my whole team is loyal to me. Feed the hand who helps you is the saying I follow."
"Your wife is part of your team?"
"She is as useful to me as my Rolls Royce."
With those cryptic words, he took out the latest issue of Tatler Singapore, and showed Shalia a photograph of his wife Elsie Chu, attending a Repertory Theatre fundraiser gala, wearing an Isabel de Pedro dress, Tiffany hoop earrings, and Roger Vivier pointy-toed stilettos. Elsie was a member of the Prince Albert II of Monaco foundation, and a veteran fundraiser for the Singapore National Gallery. Singapore high society considered her a cheeky doyenne living in a cocoon of luxury, working the social scene of the city in her luxurious Audi A8. They began to talk business and Shalia gave the mogul a copy of the Owens & Owell annual report. The mogul leafed through it indifferently and placed it on the table. He spat out a flat sentence, sounding resolutely in command.
"What can you do for us, Ms. Owell? I'm not sure our business interests have anything in common."
"We want to make a cooperative deal with you, we have resources which can help you put in place the project you'd like to carry out with Professor Chang."
Shalia was simply saying something to keep the conversation going, without knowing what the deal would be. Dao Bin threw an appetizer which hovered above Shalia Owell, into an aquarium filled with exotic fish, for good luck.
"Even if it means antagonizing Singapore authorities?" Shalia pondered the question, and answered a resounding yes. Dao Bin showed a minute smile which blended seamlessly onto the features of his large square-like face.
"We may be able to do business then, the amount of money needed to carry out the project I have in mind is substantial, and my company Hunan Enterprises is fully invested at the moment, without a lot of spare cash for new projects. My project involves the notion of human longevity in various aspects, including the building of an exoskeleton for the army of China."
Clarity ignored what an exoskeleton was. The mogul was happy to provide an answer he'd been studying for months.
"An exoskeleton can double or triple the physical strength of a soldier. It provides arms of steel and artificial legs over the real legs, which allow a soldier to run longer and last longer in combat. Singapore does not like the idea of me getting involved with China's military. Owens & Owell can adopt the role of an intermediary with them perhaps, when the project is under way, also providing some investment cash."
Shalia Owell looked at Clarity, who was taking notes on a napkin with a pen she picked up at the symposium.
"I'll have to run your geostrategic request with the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee," said Shalia, "we don't generally do deals with the military."
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE, MERIDIAN 57
All characters over 21
BANANA HUMOR for Adults previously released:
Nook, Apple Ipad, Samsung Galaxy Tablet,
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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.