The Vanity Ring - 4 - Sun on the Rocks

Summary of the amusement

Rejected by socialite Shalia Owell, who has discovered Clarity's false identity as Herbaline employee Darcy Emmers, Clarity becomes agenda and damage control assistant of Elsie Chu, the wife of Singapore billionaire Dao Bin, owner of wireless and telephony company Hunan Enterprises. Disenchanted by a rocky marriage and the lack of influence she has on the business matters of her husband, including the new health phone project to sell longevity services, Elsie Chu has purchased an expensive ring sold by a luxury jeweler, labeled 'Rose Property', which has some wireless equipment built into it to protect her privacy. Convinced that she can take part in her husband's business, she instructs Clarity to spy on Dao Bin and his moneytician Lim Li, to know more about her husband's activity.

Clarity becomes a confidant of Elsie Chu, who has begun instruction as a White Tigress, following the esoteric teachings of Madame Wa. But the cheeky doyenne does not trust her esoteric teacher completely, and she uses her ring in order to stay in touch with a secretive group which keeps her away from sexual esoteric practices, the Privilege Club. The secretive club is the group who issued the vanity ring of Elsie Chu, and instructs her to stay away from Madame Wa and instead carry out the filming of an adult film, 'Golden Lamp of Casa Mollino', to vent out the impulses of her outrageous libido.


Clarity walked away from the Chinese Embassy and turned on her decryptor, using it as cell phone to speak with Wen Jhi, the venerable head of the Enlightened Jade Dragon Society.

"I've been filed by the people working at the Chinese Embassy."

"That's good, we're on the right track," he said.

"It's good that I've been filed by Chinese authorities? They know me now, they've seen my Singapore passport, I barely convinced them to give it back to me, there's a problem. This is not undercover anymore."

"Not undercover for you, but for us, it is."

The logic was straightforward, although somewhat biased, and somewhat lacking backup for her. Clarity saw herself as a new member of the Chinese People Liberation Army, or as the person cleaning the barracks for the soldiers, someone imported from Singapore and made in Malibu, California.

"We're having a problem with the decryptor. Someone's trying to hack into it, but we're not sure how. We're pretty good at wireless, someone is using state of the art technology." Clarity told Wen Jhi about the ring of Elsie Chu.

"Try to see how it works, not sure a ring can be so sophisticated in terms of wireless equipment." The teleoperator briefed the elder about the day of the Singapore billionaire.

"Dao Bin is headed for a branch of the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation on Holland Drive. How do I get into the bank? You cannot possibly have a contact there as well?"

"We may, indirectly, we have connections everywhere in Singapore."

Wen Jhi paused to study the area near Holland Drive on his own decryptor. He answered resolutely. "No problem." Clarity was kind of scared by the answer.

"No problem?" She asked.

"The Holland Drive Branch is a Premier Banking center of OCBC, you'll go in as a member of the bank. Xiaolu will give you details at the entrance of the Botanic Gardens about what to say and where to go."

"How is it possible you know people at OCBC?" Asked Clarity.

"This bank is no coincidence, OCBC is the bank of Telval Studios, because Dao Bin proposed it, the Chinese simply agreed with that. Dao Bin is using OCBC because he can blame any problems on Telval if something goes wrong with his project. And we are involved with Telval, not with management, but with some of the films it makes."

Clarity said goodbye and turned off the decryptor. She took a taxi to the botanic garden and met Xiaolu there. The daughter of Wen Jhi explained the way to get into OCBC.

"There is a security guard inside a closed circuit camera cabin. You want to get into the cabin without the guard."

"How do I do that?"

"You're going to be his private banker."

Clarity nodded and listened, unsure of the outcome of the somewhat risky idea, receiving a pile of papers from Xiaolu. A few minutes later, she took another taxi with Xiaolu, and headed for the office of OCBC on Holland Drive. Half an hour later, the Rolls Royce of Dao Bin parked near the entrance of the OCBC office. Clarity saw Lim Li, the moneytician of Dao Bin, and professor Chang, getting out of the car together. Just as Xiaolu had said, there was a guard in a cabin near the entrance, surrounded by closed circuit television screens.

"Send him to me," said Xiaolu, "when he's ready."

"All right," thought Clarity. She took a deep breath and walked to the entrance of the bank. She waved to the guard inside the security cabin.

"Hi, my name is Clarity, I am one of the private bankers here." She extended her hand, but the guard did not move.

"I've never seen you here," said the guard.

"I've been hired by OCBC from an American Bank, Merrill Lynch. The head of the bank told me to speak with you."

"Oh," said the guard. A raise for good work, or more vacation time, was always a good thing, he thought.

"We have decided to offer you a Premier Life Generation insurance plan that will cover your retirement needs. A guaranteed monthly income of six hundred Singapore dollars for life, wealth transfer for up to three generations, your loved ones will receive an inheritance when you pass on."

She handed him a page given to her by Xiaolu. It was an authentic insurance plan from the bank. The eyes of the guard brightened.

"Simply go talk to the lady over there outside, she's got all the papers for you, you simply have to sign." The guard hesitated, but got up to take a look at Xiaolu.

"I'll watch the cabin for you, it won't be over fifteen minutes," said Clarity. The guard saw Xiaolu wave at him insistently.

"All right, don't touch anything."

He opened the door and let Clarity inside the cabin. Clarity nodded, watching the guard walk towards Xiaolu. As soon as he left the cabin, she turned on the closed circuit television camera of the bank's three conference rooms, and zoomed in on conference room A. The moneytician of Dao Bin, Lim Li, was there talking to professor Chang. She placed the earphones in her ear and listened to the conversation between Lim Li and Chang. Spying was becoming a familiar activity for her.

"You have reflected upon my spiritual knowledge?" Asked Professor Chang.

"I have spoken with Dao Bin and with our partners for this project. We want to pay for the knowledge that will allow a body of a hundred years of age to work well as though it was fifty years of age."

"That is worth forty million dollars, U.S. dollars. I also want one million dollars immediately, paid in palladium squares, delivered to the same place where the rare metal containers are being held." Lim Li nodded and took out the briefcase given to him by Dao Bin. The briefcase was so light that it bounced once on the table.

"Here is an advance." Chang opened the suitcase, and grabbed the ten bills of ten thousand dollars, counting the money.

"There is only one hundred thousand dollars here," he said, "and it is Singapore dollars, not U.S. dollars. The suitcase is mostly empty."

"It is a partial down payment."

"It is not palladium," said Chang.

"You are right," said Lim Li. The moneytician closed the suitcase and bounced it on the table before bringing safely back under his chair. The money would be used to pay the person who had the palladium for Chang. Something was slightly out of place, though, thought Lim Li.

"You are leaving with nothing, then," said Lim Li.

"Right now, I'm leaving with nothing, but you have to get the palladium for me. Do you know where to take it and deliver?"

"Yes, we took the rare metal containers there." There was a brief confusion between them about the next step.

"All right then," they both said at the same time, lifting their bodies slightly out of their chairs to show the other person that he had taken the initiative to leave first. The person who left the bank first was obviously in charge.

"I was talking about the palladium, not the rare earth metals," said Chang.

"Palladium is not a rare earth metal." Chang nodded, thinking that Lim Li was being brief and secretive on purpose. His own intuition told him to be succinct and to the point, although the lack of clarity about his payment request might mean he would end up with the suitcase and only ten thousand Singapore dollars.

"You can leave now," said Lim Li. Chang opted for being polite, letting the implicit agreement take form and cleanse the cloud of confusion regarding his payment. He got up and shook hands with the moneytician.

"Good bye. Next time, fill the suitcase with palladium." Lim Li nodded. As soon as Chang had closed the door, he turned on the speakerphone and gave instructions to a clerk in China to transfer forty million dollars, U.S. dollars, using the piece of paper that Dao Bin had given him. The number corresponded to an office in Nantong at the Bank of Communications, or BoCom, the seventh largest commercial bank in China. Shareholders of the bank included the Ministry of Finance, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited, known as HKSCC, Capital Airports Holding, and the Ping An Life Insurance Company. The clerk in charge of wire transfers was a BoCom employee but acted on behalf of China's Eastern Military Theater Command, headed by a comrade of General Tian Yazhou, who was the head of the Western Military Theater Command.

"We need an additional sixty million," said Lim Li. Can you transfer sixty million dollars as well?" The bank clerk answered with a firm negative.

"No, you told us that the price of immortality is forty million dollars." Lim Li pondered the answer a few seconds, again confused with the statement.

"Immortality is worth forty million, but we also need sixty million dollars to fund the lab that will carry out the experiment, and the health phone device that will allow a person to reach immortality, all the components, raw materials, and the logistics involved. I was told we had access to unlimited funds."

"No, General Tian Yazhou has capped the unlimited funds at forty million dollars."

Lim Li agreed reluctantly to the lesser amount. He was in partial trouble. He had to find sixty million dollars and explain the lack of funding to Dao Bin for the most important project ever undertaken by him. There was a reason now to talk to Owens & Owell, he thought.


All characters over 21






BANANA HUMOR for Adults previously released:

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