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 tiptoed back to Elsie Chu's bedroom and briefed the doyenne on the conversation between Lim Li and Shalia Owell. The older, wealthy socialite was combing her hair and admiring her chubby features.
"Lim Li is getting some money from O&O. That's not so good. I'm not sure whether I should tell my husband."
"If you'd like to be more involved in business matters, it may be a show of goodwill to him." Elsie Chu took out the Viauget pink gold ring out of the night table drawer, and slid it on her ring finger.
"He's not supportive at all. Lim Li lied to Shalia Owell. I'm not involved with any shareholder meetings attended by my husband."
The billionaire's wife looked at her ring, disappointed. She wanted to change the attitude of possession, which was the theme of the ring, for one of cooperation with her husband. That's what Madame Wa was telling her to do. But the meditations and the talks were not working, they could not change her personality. She longed to be loved for who she was, with all of her flaws, including her extravagant taste for spending lavishly on dresses by Alexander McQueen, Tory Burch, Sonia Rykiel, and Diane Von Furstenberg, and for her insistence for calling the interior designer three times to change the penthouse furniture. That drive to do something on her own, also included buying the expensive pink gold ring, a purchase she had not shared with Dao Bin.
"I don't want to be the wife of Dao Bin. I want to be Elsie Chu, the owner of something."
She sounded almost desperate, thought Clarity, when everything around her was abundant. Clarity supported her, and understood why Elsie Chu did not share everything with her husband. Dao Bin had an overwhelming personality oozing an outrageous confidence, and his wife needed more space to do things on her own.
"Lim Li never shares anything with me about the funds of Hunan. I have no clue of how much money we have."
Clarity wondered whether Elsie Chu would be welcome by the monks of the Enlightened Jade Dragon Society, where the hierarchy of members seemed more flat, and disregarded levels of wealth all together. She spent the day doing shopping errands for Elsie Chu, clipping two newspaper articles on her written in the Singapore Reporter and The Straits Times, one that mentioned the wealthy wife's attendance at the Singapore Repertory Theatre and a second one commenting on her presence during a Photography Exhibition on the nomadic Nenets of Siberia. One of the articles mentioned the fact that Elsie Chu was attending the event on her own, asking readers where her husband was, hinting that her marriage was not solid. The teleoperator got into the older woman's bedroom at night, after a good dinner in the lower floor of the penthouse. Elsie Chu read the clippings, slightly annoyed by the one commenting on her marriage, ripping both of them in a paper shredder. She had reached a decision on whether to share more information with her husband.
"I'm not saying anything to my husband about the deal that Lim Li has made behind his back. Let him figure it out."
The next day, Elsie Chu woke up Clarity. She seemed nervous and excited at the same time.
"We're going to the airport."
"Why? What's happening?"
"The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Owens & Owell is coming to Singapore to sign the deal for the health phone. My husband wants me to go and welcome them."
A dark grey E-Class Mercedes came to pick them up at the door of 'Wilkinson Vue'. At the airport, Elsie Chu met with a high level manager of the Changi Airport Group, the restructured organization dealing with airport operations which came out of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The airport official took them to an airside operations vehicle painted yellow, and drove the vehicle itself to a landing area near Terminal four, where there was a parked Learjet 45 corporate jet belonging to Owens & Owell. Coming down the staircase of the Learjet, Clarity saw the slim silhouette of Shalia Owell, and behind her, an entourage of several men and women, all of them belonging to the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee of the conglomerate.
"This is as far as we go, you cannot talk to them," said the official. Elsie Chu's brown eyes turned over in their orbit.
"What do you mean? We have an important meeting with these people."
"Infocomm is checking some things, they want to check their passports and wireless equipment. There seem to be some problems with wireless frequency allocations in Singapore, and they don't want problems at the airport. I'm afraid you'll have to do the same in a different area of the airport."
Clarity saw Elsie Chu grab her pink gold ring, turning it several times, nervously holding on to it. A second airside operations vehicle came to a stop near the learjet staircase. The Malibu teleoperator recognized the stocky demeanor of Barand Kishin, the Infocomm official who was investigating Owens & Owell and Hunan Enterprises.
"You can meet your guests after the search takes place," said the airport official.
"This is appalling."
Knowing how precious the symbolic decryptor was sought for its Meridian 57 module holding information on longevity, Clarity had opted for leaving it under a sweater, in a drawer assigned to her in a credenza of Elsie Chu's bedroom. She showed the airport customs and Infocomm officials the disposable phone given to her by Elsie Chu, and they threw it away after looking at it briefly. The doyenne took out her King Talker smartphone, and two officials began to examine it at close range, turning it on and off a few times. After several minutes, Kishin gave the order to his team to leave the airport, empty handed. The airport official relaxed.
"Passports are all set, nothing unusual with the wireless equipment. You can meet your guests now."
The wealthy doyenne approached Robert J. Owell, apologizing profusely to the father of Shalia for the delay. Clarity saw the scene from ten feet away, trying to not to show up in front of Shalia, who was arguing with an airport official about how expensive her 88 Tauri cell phone was, and that tweaking with it meant more work for her afterwards to readjust everything which had been changed by authorities. Elsie Chu ordered a 19-seater coach for all the entourage of the conglomerate, telling the driver to head for the office of Dao Bin at Republic Plaza.
The meeting started at five in the afternoon, in the main conference room of Dao Bin's office. With everyone seated, Dao Bin threw a look of inquiry at Clarity, who was seated beside Elsie Chu.
"Who is that woman?"
"This is my assistant, Clarity Nice. She is here with me." Dao Bin whispered a few sentences to Lim Li. Shalia Owell got up and looked at her father.
"I want to talk to her."
Shalia pulled Clarity aside out of her chair, before Elsie Chu could react.
"You're going to get burnt if you don't leave all of this. In fact, you should leave Singapore." Clarity was not intimidated by Shalia, who simply wanted to make clear that she had more power than her in the presence of her father.
"You're just following Madame Wa." Shalia Owell lowered her voice to a whisper, ensuring no one around was hearing what she was saying.
"Yeah, I happen to like what she offers."
"The real place to learn esoteric knowledge is the Enlightened Jade Dragon Society," said Clarity.
"No, my nature is more suited by the left hand path." It was the first time Clarity heard the term.
"What on earth is the left hand path?" Asked Clarity.
"The left hand path is the path of the White Tigress. It takes into account the individual, accepting individual flaws, such as self-centeredness. The person is the center of the rituals, which may include group rituals. Eventually, the person can find the goddess within, not without. That's what the White Shade Lotus Society offers. You've joined a right hand path Society. God for them is outside the individual, it's nature, the universe. I just don't believe in that."
Clarity kept talking to Shalia about her practices at the Health Institute with Madame Wa, in order to listen to the conversation which was taking place around the table.
"All right, let's begin," said Dao Bin. "We have gathered here today to create a new joint division to build a wireless device called a health phone. Total investment is one hundred million dollars, and we would like to create a joint venture between Hunan Enterprises and Owens & Owell." Robert J. Owell provided the first answer to the billionaire.
"We have been discussing this for several days now with the executive committee, after talking to Shalia, who has been here a few weeks, understanding the market. Our market studies show there will be demand for the health phone. The new O&O Nuvoni health and longevity body analyzer division will be based in Singapore. But we are still considering the joint venture, a few issues remain. The wireless market here is quite active, and there is a lot of regulation from the Media Authority. A lot of regulation in our view." Dao Bin ignored the last comment.
"Singapore is a good place to establish the health phone, but we want it to be based in China. As my colleague, Mr. Lim Li, has told your daughter Shalia, we have agreed with Chinese authorities to distribute the health phone in China and Asia. The market is huge. It is imperative that we work with the Economic Counsellor's office of China. They are financing about half of the initial investment, forty million dollars. We would like Owens & Owell to put sixty million dollars as initial investment."
Robert Owell did not like being bullied into a position of low leverage in a joint venture.
"The Economic Counsellor's office is a front for Chinese Military presence and interest in the venture. We have been told by Shalia that you can recover the rare earth metals stolen from one of our containers. Where are they? If we find them and our insurance company pays for damages due to the theft, we may put up the money up front."
"They are in a private storage area, extremely secure, in Singapore, called LeFreeport. Our partner, Taoist Master Professor Chang, has some charts and indications there as well that we have purchased with the forty million dollars. These charts and practices come from the Tao tradition and span hundreds, if not a thousand years. They may provide the key to lengthening the life span of a person, well beyond one hundred years. The buyers of the health phone will be interested in this type of offering, which no one else does."
Dao Bin paused, and added.
"You should consider your daughter as the president and director of this new health division."
Dao Bin knew that his wife kept contact with the blond socialite. Elsie Chu had suggested to Shalia Owell that she stay at the Marina Bay Sands and had provided every indication for night clubs, shopping areas and restaurants, so that the daughter of Robert J. Owell had a good time in Singapore. Having an easily influenced person as Director of the health phone project on the Owens & Owell side was in his favor. Shalia Owell stepped into the conversation.
"Can I dad? I'll report to Donovan and learn some logistics from Dale Irwail. This is a good way for me to learn about the business."
Robert Owell was reticent to take decisions hastily, but he enjoyed seeing his daughter take a prominent role in Asia. The market of China was huge, and working with someone belonging to their military establishment was expected. He spoke with Grove Shemkey and Donovan Carthill for several minutes, and reached a decision that his daughter did not expect.
"We're signing. But we want to see the stolen rare earth metals. If we dislike any of your business practices, we're out. We didn't like the welcome by the Media Authority at the airport."
Dao Bin poured himself a glass of Kors vodka George V edition, sold for over twenty thousand dollars a bottle in a crystal bottle container with gold details, and handed another glass to the owner of the global conglomerate.
"To the new health and longevity Hphone."
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE, THE VANITY RING
All characters over 21
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.
Or how the merchant of longevity
can sell a claim to live longer by monetizing wisdom