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 next morning talking to Lamond Liew at the four star Bennington Salm hotel, the place which had ordered one hundred showers from Stevenson Garden Products. She told him that she was there for a few days, a few weeks at most, on business, and that she'd lost her credit card.
"You can stay here if you need to," said Liew.
Comforted by having negotiated an additional good place to stay, which did not involve people she did not know, Clarity glanced at the piece of paper that the graduate working for Pentatone had given her at Swissotel, which had the name of the docks and of a ship scribbled on it. She stepped off the taxi and walked towards the gate of Jurong Port, the port operator which handled general cargo, bulk, and containers. The paper said to look for the MV Mairangi Bay, a container ship owned by the P&O Navigation Limited company, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation company. A worker from the container area read the piece of paper and shook his head.
"The Mairangi Bay has not docked, most of the sailors go to the On the Table cafe for brunch in Pasir Panjang when they dock here. If you are looking for someone working as crew for that ship, you can go there and ask the owner."
Clarity was hungry, after drinking only a latte for breakfast at the Bennington Salm. She took a taxi and instructed the driver to head for Pasir Panjang. Twenty minutes later, she stepped inside the spacious cafe. She sat down and looked at the menu, ordering the Big One, a full brunch dish of pork sausage, sunny side eggs, baked portobello, mixed salad, bacon, and ham, offered at a reasonable sixteen Singapore dollars, about twelve dollars U.S. As she waited for her dish, Clarity stood up and walked towards the counter. She asked the waitress about a package sent to her name.
"Yes, we have a package, it's all paid." She reached under the counter and took out a FedEx package. Inside, Clarity found her decryptor.
"Thank you," she said, placing the item in her back pocket.
A few minutes later, her dish came and she rushed to eat the sunny side eggs and the salad. Just as she was enjoying a nice smoothie, she saw a thin silhouette hovering on her plate. The moneytician of Dao Bin, Lim Li, had found her. Lim Li sat across from her on the table, ordering a bacon and ham sandwich. Two heavyweight men, sweaty, looking as though they'd come out of a sumo wrestling ring, appeared under the doorstep of the cafe, settling in a chair at the bar counter. Both were wearing stand-collar, dark grey nylon jackets with ribbed cuffs, zip pockets and a stowaway hood added for weather-ready convenience. The only way to distinguish them was the wording written in white on the back of the jacket. One jacket said Yaocho, which meant fixed bout, in Japanese, and the other jacket said Komusubi, the lowest of three sumo ranks in official sumo ranking. They waved at Lim Li and asked for two menus.
"Who are they?" Asked Clarity.
"Jeng and Mao Sei, they are part of Mr. Dao Bin security. Both of them are former sumo wrestlers, rikishi who ended their career in a sumo comedy act called shokkiri. That's where Mr. Dao Bin found them." Clarity waved back at both thugs, grabbing a piece of her toasted brioche.
"Mr. Dao Bin is impressed by your knowledge of emotion, and by your connections," said Lim Li, "he wants you to work for him. He is particularly interested in buying a tool you mentioned the other day, your symbolic decryptor. We want to know the warrior monks who are working on the chart you mentioned called Meridian 57."
"The decryptor is not for sale," said Clarity. Lim Li took a bite of his sandwich, making a thumbs up sign to the waitress serving, indicating the dish was good.
"What is your professional position at Herbaline?"
Clarity made an effort so that her face would not veer pale. She wasn't comfortable with the fact that she was wearing a false name in Singapore. With two henchmen hired by Dao Bin watching her closely, her negotiating and general position was not particularly solid.
"Human Resource vice president," she lied. The lie was there to protect her general wellbeing. You could lie to a thug, to get him off your back.
"If you work for us, you don't have to work for Herbaline anymore. Think about our proposition, Ms. Emmers. Mr. Dao Bin never makes the same offer twice."
Lim Li got up and spoke briefly to the waitress at the counter, leaving a generous tip for the place.
"Your meal is paid," said the moneytician.
The waitress wrapped his sandwich in aluminum foil, and two additional sandwiches for Jeng and Mao Sei, before the three of them left the cafe.
The waitress insisted on serving a new green tea to Clarity, to dip a banana nutella muffin, one of the dessert specialties of the cafe. After drinking several sips, the head of Clarity began turning in dizzy circles, she was feeling very drowsy. The realization came before she passed out: The tea was clouded with a sleep-inducing substance. A couple sitting a few tables away from Clarity lifted their heads when the Malibu teleoperator slipped into unconsciousness. The woman walked to the bar counter and gave a five hundred dollar note to the waitress, to buy her silence. The oriental man lifted Clarity on his shoulder and carried her through the back door of the bar, placing her body in the back of a van. The van disappeared in the streets of Pasir Panjang, veering north on Henderson Road and West, towards Leng Kee Road and Commonwealth Ave. After a few minutes, the vehicle turned left on Queensway, and stopped at a local shop near the Temasek Club Golf Driving Range.
At On the Table, Lim Li stormed through the door looking for Clarity, glaring at the waitress.
"Where is the girl? Did you put the drowsiness pill in her tea?"
"She left on her own and called a cab, said she wasn't feeling well."
Jeng, the thug wearing the jacket that said fixed bout, lifted the waitress one foot in the air.
"Speak, you are not telling the truth. Where is the young woman?"
He shook the waitress several times, turning her back to them in an implausible one hundred eighty degree move, throwing her in the air and holding her hips. The waitress, grabbed by Jeng, facing the counter, thought that it was better to say something that would calm the thug, before the floor caught up with her from a height of several feet.
"A couple picked her up, they left that way," she said.
Lim Li followed the finger of the waitress to the back door and made his way to the back alley of the cafe, followed by Mao Sei. They walked around the area, knocking on doors for several minutes, until they realized that the teleoperator had disappeared.
"We need that decryptor," said the moneytician. He turned to Mao Sei. "Find me that girl."
Clarity woke up inside an astrologer shop, surrounded by a large Chinese compass made of lodestone and magnetite ore, known as a south pointer, which was built during the Han Dynasty in the second century before Christ. A man was staring at her.
"Where am I? Who are you?" The hands of Clarity reached out and felt the fabric of a nice sofa. She realized she was lying down on the furniture, her legs out. The middle aged man stared at Clarity, sliding her decryptor on the table. A woman served warm tea to her. Clarity got up from the sofa and sat on a chair around a table.
"Nice tool, Pentatone is a good brand."
"You know them?" She was referring to the warrior monks.
"We are members of the Society of the Enlightened Jade Dragon. We have heard of you. You are Clarity aren't you?" Clarity was surprised that the couple knew her real name. She went along, as they seemed friendly.
"Yes, Clarity Nice."
"Your decryptor has been sending us some information about you since it began to be active. This is an item which was sold to the National Security Agency in the U.S by one of our local relays there, there's only a few of these made in the world. We use decryptors to be informed of the activities carried out by security and surveillance agencies in the world, in exchange they serve our purpose, or at least, they agree to listen to us."
"To end war conflict, we believe in trade, in free trade, work for everyone and learning, and in tracing spiritual knowledge dating back hundreds and thousands of years. We do not agree with a world-view that includes belligerent defense agencies watching everyone, including regular citizens and rival agencies, all ready to fund war."
Clarity watched the woman place eight Chinese trigrams made of three straight lines, on the cast bronze plate of the oriental compass. The teleoperator had seen the trigrams in the oriental module of her decryptor, they came from the Chinese I Ching, or Book of Change. Looking at the thin needle of the compass, she realized that she was talking to the descendants of ancient Chinese alchemists. She grabbed her decryptor, realizing it needed an adapter to function in Singapore, as the item had a cable built for U.S. plugs. The man handed her an adapter built for Singapore plugs, and Clarity began charging the device on an outlet.
"Well, this decryptor ended up in Las Vegas in a surveillance center, in a lower floor of the Bellagio hotel. I sort of rescued it along with a supercomputing consciousness called Evans. Evans simply disappears at times, not sure how the supercomputer module works."
"It is not prepared to include a supercomputer. Did you figure out the symbolic module?"
"No, most of it is written in Thai, and I don't know Thai. I use the phrase book to learn a few words, but it's very slow."
The woman gave Clarity a cup filled with hot water, to go along with her tea.
"They gave you a sleeping pill, this warm water blended with a herb will help you get back to your senses."
Clarity inquired about the Secret Society. She was interested in learning about their esoteric knowledge, including their sacred sexuality techniques. The woman, called Cixi, listened intently to Clarity. Her husband, named Aiguo Liang, began asking her questions about her day of birth and personality, which identified the chi energy of her month of birth. Like anyone interested in joining the secretive group of adepts, she would be tested before being accepted as member of the woman's branch, the White Tigress Enlightened Society. The woman's wing of the group was an inner group exclusively for women, within the Enlightened Society of the Dragon. Roles were shared equally between men and women, but the physiology of the woman was different, and esoterically, it meant a different group, solely women, paid attention to the needs of women in the Society.
"Do you know the harem of women known as the Skyline of Kuala Lumpur?" Asked Clarity.
"Yes, we are in touch with them." Cixi looked at her husband, whose first name, Aiguo, meant patriotic.
"It is a delicate matter." Aiguo Liang continued.
"Adult content is often defiled and the harem you mention is involved with adult films. So are we, through them. There is a rival White Tigress Society that disagrees with some of our principles, in particular as to how sex should be practiced among men and women and couples. The group is headed by Madame Wa, she is a dangerous woman. She also knows about the Skyline of Kuala Lumpur, that's why we are careful with that group."
"Why is Madame Wa dangerous?"
"She has connections with Herbaline, sells some of their herbal products here. We dislike Herbaline, their sales methods are aggressive. Madame Wa is the connection of Herbaline in Singapore. We got in touch with her through our informant before you landed a few days ago, telling Madame Wa your plane was landing one day later, giving the name Darcy Emmers. Then, we sent Yi Ling to meet you instead. Yi Ling is a member of our Society."
"So Madame Wa was looking for me at the airport, and she is looking for me now, she is looking for Darcy Emmers?"
"Yes, and she wants to know your chart of emotion and your personality chart. She has instructions for you coming from Herbaline, but we do not know those."
So Clarity owed all the good things and connections in Singapore to the Enlightened Society of the Jade Dragon. Things were starting to make sense.
"When can I get back to the U.S.?"
"Your ownership of the decryptor means that you may be one of us now. You cannot leave just like that and return to your home place. We have to ensure that you share our values. Unless you want to return the decryptor to us. We'll make good use of it."
Clarity reached for the cup of hot water, and pondered her choice. For the first time, there was an alternative to being in Singapore and simply following indications offered by people she barely knew. She glanced at the white decryptor, thinking that she had worked very hard to find it in Vegas, carrying out missions for the U.S. government in the Bahamas, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. And the place where she worked, Stevenson Garden Products, was not promoting her. The decryptor was like a reward for being employee of the month.
"I want to keep it, it's beautiful, never seen something like it."
"Then you cannot share anything you learn from us, or from that, with anyone."
Aiguo Liang took out a white cable with two USB ports, plugging a USB end into her decryptor, and the other into his own laptop. For several minutes, all the content of Clarity's decryptor was downloaded to Aiguo's computer. She checked the cell phone that Yi Ling had given her and found two messages on the voicemail. Her friend Lanai was working at the National Library Board, in Singapore, looking at a collection of rare books on spiritual sexuality. The other message was from Shalia. The rich board member wannabe wanted to know where she was. She wanted to have dinner with Clarity and then go out to the Zouk Club on Jiak Kim Street, in Singapore Riverside, considered by many one of the best night clubs in Singapore.
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.