Group Stalking, Identity Theft, Religion, Philosophy, Conduct

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Group Stalking, Identity Theft, Religion, Philosophy, Conduct

Forgive me for being preachy here but this problem is ever in dire need of attention.

It is unfortunate that this problem exists at all. Groups of what can only be described as bullies stalking and harassing a solitary person or target? Worse, many such bullies then steal the identity of this victim or even swap theirs to the victim.

It is often accompanied by gas lighting against the victim as well, all in order to discredit any attempt by the victim to expose the crimes against them.

Many group stalkers also conduct illegal surveillance against their victim utilizing this surveillance to steal anything creative from the victim or in seeking the means to incriminate them.

From my investigation into this activity, the main motives appear to be an effort to transfer the history and responsibility for crimes or other wrong doing from one person to another in such a way that the victim is then socially treated like the person whose identity they've suddenly been laden. Like having your identity swapped with that of one of the worst childhood bullies. Perhaps a person whom you'd long forgotten about and held no ill towards until you realized that your identity was suddenly switched with theirs. That's just one example and victims often unknowingly experience this many times over with different identities for years.

That means that the victim never benefits from their own positive efforts. It would be akin to taking the all of the overtime on the paycheque of a worker and giving it in its entirety to someone that has never worked a day in their life presumably someone entirely capable of working. All the while this was done to this poor worker, they experience harassment and abuse for the activities of the person who ends up with their overtime payments.

Pointing this out might sound insensitive on my part, but quite honestly this is almost exactly what I've experienced at the hands of group stalkers. I have no problems with helping someone to carry a bit of their burden when the going gets rough, but I won't do it for people who use that as a weapon to ruin other people's lives or as a means to force someone to pay for the blood of someone else. If you do the crime, you do the time.

Worse, in anything I've taken part in outside of my living space, I experience stalking and harassment from groups of people for no good reason whatsoever. The end result is that I cease doing those things (for instance working, volunteering, socializing) and spend most of my time alone at home. I'm certain that this is the growing case for a number of victims of this perhaps ever growing movement. Most people who protest this activity are merely labeled as "complainers".

This issue is a very real thing and one I've reported to the Federal Police in Canada several times. This crime should be investigated and prosecuted as any other crime. There needs to be a drastic change to this situation and soon. Not just for myself but for all the victims.

This message is about spreading awareness first and encouraging people not to take part in it. That includes the love/hate, blood and fire ideology often associated with such abuse. We all the right to believe or not to believe, but to have our rights violated according to the tenets of any particular belief is a violation of the Human Rights Act and consequently the law.

We aren't living under theocratic rule and always remember that believers are the ambassadors for their beliefs. The impression that others will have of your religion or beliefs is directly represented by you.

Be careful of people who attempt to abuse you in hopes that your reaction will poorly represent you, your beliefs and your convictions.

I'm a Taoist and Buddhist, but I'm far from perfect and certainly not the perfect Taoist or Buddhist. Remember that when you conduct your abuse against myself or anyone else. I'm a peaceful person, but some of the fiercest warriors in all of history were Buddhists. Some of the most self disciplined and uniquely skilled warriors in history were Taoists.

That statement is not a line on the sand, nor is it about one religion versus another and that any one religion should be the ruling belief, vanquishing all other beliefs. Its about the fact that in any dualistic paradigm, the people will eventually see the truth in any society or ideology that manufactures good people, by creating bad people to contrast them and to make them look better or vice versa.

We're all the good person and the bad person and everything in between. The truly fair person is a person who recognizes this and in all dealings and conduct remains fair. Personally if I was going to peg what all philosophers and theologians in history were trying to say, it would be that statement. Whether you believe in god, the devil or anything else or nothing at all. In such a paradigm, right and wrong still have a place as does life and death. I am not a Gnostic and I don't believe that love and hate are the same thing.

Be careful that the force with which you push someone doesn't come back at you, whether you think you were seen pushing the person or not. People will eventually be able to tell by your character whether you pushed first. Even if everyone makes a social rule out of remembering cause and effect in reverse.

Besides, wouldn't you rather start that push with affection?

Brian Joseph Johns

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Act IV

The Deal Changing Imperative


"Arrangements have been made." Steadman spoke enthusiastically to Warley.

"I'm already aware. Have you spoken with him?" Warley asked Steadman keeping his back to the man.

"Not directly. He's going along with the plan so far. He has been since the beginning." Steadman replied.

"Good. For our little press photo op, I want him to be the next shot. Then you can go with the pyrotechnics. Should impress the crowd." Warley said with a sinister edge.

"It's all in place and ready to go. Should be quite the media sensation." Steadman responded still unsure of his place in the company since their last conversation.

"That's good to hear and I suspect that it will be." Warley responded still deep in thought.

"Zek is aware I take it?" Steadman confirmed with Warley gambling that the only Man alive who could rescue him from Warley right now was confined in a World Court prison in South America.

"He'll know in due time. He's perfectly safe where he is. Why do you ask?" Warley inquired already sensing Steadman's fear and panic in the situation.

"I was hoping I could get an audience with him for an investment idea I have." Steadman said lying.

"He's fully aware of the contribution you've made to the organization. You'll be recognized and rewarded for everything you've done." Warley returned a lie to Steadman.

"Will that be all?" Steadman asked Warley trying to hide his anxiety.

"Yes. I'm afraid it is." Warley replied keeping the back of his office chair to Steadman.

"I guess I'll be leaving you now. Good day Sir." Steadman said as he got up and left Warley's office.

"Goodbye Steadman." Warley said addressing him for the last time ever.

Steadman passed the receptionist throwing her a wink and a smile as he made his way for the elevator. He was relieved to have made it out of Warley's office alive. Perhaps his paranoia over Warley was uncalled for as he'd based his fears upon nothing more than rumors. Most of Warley's past subordinates had disappeared under mysterious circumstances either running from the company or outright vanishing from the face of the Earth itself. Ironic that it's name was Future Tangent Industries for that would imply that where Steadman was going ultimately would be to the same place. To be with the disappeared except that his disappearance would be the result of the reward that Mr. Zek would cut him for his loyal service.

The elevator door opened and two large well dressed men occupied it on either side. Steadman stepped into the elevator between them as the door closed.

"Almost forgot." Steadman said nervously pressing the elevator button for the ground floor.

He smirked when it didn't light up in acknowledgement of his pressure upon it.

"Huh. Technology eh? Sometimes it works..." Steadman said desperately pressing the button trying to get it to respond for his destination.

He didn't finish his sentence before the garote encircled his neck cutting off both his circulation and breath. Thirty seconds later he was unconscious as the two men carried him to the trunk of their waiting car in the underground garage. A man dressed in a security uniform opened the trunk for them dumping Steaman's unconscious body within. An hour later and Steadman was placed in a palette and buried in a limestone landfill site. He awoke within the crate twenty minutes after it had been covered by tons of dirt. His air lasted him for fifteen minutes before he fell asleep forever.

In the mean time Warley had prepared for the single largest stock purchase in history where he would take Future Tangent Industries from the grasp of Mr. Zek and become the world's most powerful industrialist in his place. Warley never actually having met Mr. Zek had gone much further as he had in the past for his real name was not Warley. Warley was the name of his last subordinate and someone whose identity he'd taken over in order to at that time get away with scamming the most powerful industrialist in the world. Alomera Zek. In fact the man who now bore Warley's name had been taking over the identities of others since his early teens and those he'd replaced most often had disappeared.

Warley dialed his phone and a voice on the other end answered.

"I take it you've taken care of our little problem?" Mr. Zek asked.

"Yes, I have. Mr. Warley has been dealt with. He'll never rip you off again. In fact he'll never rip anyone off ever again. I'm not in charge and running things here now." Warley replied as Steadman.

"Know your place in our business and you'll go far Steadman." Mr. Zek advised the new Steadman.

"Sir I can promise you that I'll not make Mr. Warley's mistake." Steadman replied.

"I certainly hope not. Life can be far too short you know. Especially if you don't learn from your mistakes." Mr. Zek responded hanging up the phone.

The new Steadman dialed another number on his phone and put the phone to his face.

"Just before those pyrotechnics go off I want you to buy the whole thing. All the shares. I want to be the majority share holder of Future Tangent Industries when we drive Tynan And Associates into the ground." the new Steadman spoke indeed very comfortable with his growing power.

"We're ready to make the purchases and everything is set." the voice on the other end spoke.

"I'll call again two hours after the purchase are done just to verify and to arrange for your payments. Don't let me down." the new Steadman said hanging up.

"I never have learned from my mistakes but Steadman certainly has learned from my mistakes. Too bad he's no longer alive to benefit from his learning. I think I'm going to like being Steadman." Steadman, the former Warley said aloud.


Heroes In Beijing


Katya and Victor were amongst the first of he delegation bold enough to find their way from their Hotel and down into the streets of downtown Beijing. They'd decided to leave early and meet the North American delegation at their scheduled rendezvous point. They'd been aware of the watchful presence of the security team Werner had hired to protect them and thus felt safe enough to venture into the streets.

Having traveled a bit in their lives, they preferred looking for the treasure troves hidden in most tourist destinations that required a bit of investigation to find. After all if they were going to have memorabilia from Beijing they'd prefer it to be representative of Beijing itself rather than a pre-idealized Western impression of the Chinese city. As luck would have it they found their way into a small market which sold authentic hand hammered cooking woks, many of which were adorned with elaborate and decorative symbols from the traditional Chinese character set. Each was also engraved with the wok maker's signature as each one was truly unique in this age old art form. While they looked for an appropriate treasure to bring home Alicia and Norler had gone with Monique to a restaurant across the street from the meeting point. The restaurant offered local cuisine specializing in Dumplings and Wontons as part of their lunch menu. The restaurant itself also employed Wait staff who were multilingual which would help with their ordering.

"Happy to see you here today. How can I serve you?" asked the Waitress who appeared to be in her early thirties.

There was a moment of awkward pause as Alicia, Monique and Norler looked at each other waiting for one of them to take the lead. Norler decided against ordering for the Women mostly because he did not want to press the situation between Alicia and himself or to avoid the presumption of him being in charge of Monique and her dealings in Heylyn's Absence. Monique was a grown Woman and free to make her own choices. Alicia elected Monique to speak first in order to avoid any further delay or confusion.

"I'm feeling a little bit tired. Do you have coffee here?" Monique asked still used to her Western lifestyle.

"Yes. We have coffee. Would you like?" the lady said nodding to Monique affirmatively.

From the corner of her eye Monique saw a little old lady waving to her. Monique smiled to the lady and waited for her to speak.

"You tired. You need to eat not too much. Try vegetable dumpling with sprouts. You need more Yin and not to eat too much. Have tea. Always good and balance in your body." the elderly lady spoke a big smile on her face.

"Maybe an Egg Drop Soup too? That good for Yin." the Waitress asked looking both to the elderly lady and back to Monique.

"Alright. I'll take some vegetable dumplings with a small Egg Drop Soup. And some tea too." Monique responded looking back to the elderly lady who nodded back smiling profusely.

"Good. It keep you good! Keep you from heart on fire. That make you feel bad very much. Especially when you try to sleep tonight. Eat good now and feel good tonight." the elderly lady advised Monique.

"I'll have what she's having." Alicia responded smiling back to the elderly lady.

"Me too. Thanks." Norler added.

"Where's Heylyn when you need her?" Monique asked somewhat rhetorically as the Waitress disappeared to get their order.

Meanwhile somewhere a few blocks away Bryce and Doctor Briggs stepped out of their Hotel standing out amidst the mid day Beijing crowd.

"What now? We still have a couple of hours to go before our presence is required." Doctor Briggs asked Bryce who fixed his tie.

"I was kind of hoping to go to the Beijing Arts Centre and to catch a bit of a live performance there." Bryce replied to Doctor Briggs just as a pair of hands covered his eyes.

"Guess who?" a sultry female voice asked from behind Bryce.

"Well now this is a surprise. If I had to go by the feel of your hands and your wonderful smell I'd say my Wife was here, though my Wife doesn't often wear that kind of fragrance unless it's a special occasion and of course only when we're in bed. Don't tell her I told you that because I'd like to tell her myself. The last time I heard that voice was at the Looking Glass Lounge. From an attractive Woman that hasn't met Doctor Briggs here if I'm correct? Doctor Briggs, this is Doctor Zheng Ni Wong. Computer Scientist. Mathematician and Biologist." Bryce spoke without losing a step.

"Please, call me Zheng." Zheng offered her hand to Doctor Briggs.

"Zheng? Zheng, you can call me anytime you'd like." Doctor Briggs replied turning up the heat a little.

"I've heard that you're a flirt. Don't commit to anything that you're not willing to follow through on is my advice to you." Zheng replied taking charge.

"Well Doctor Briggs, it looks like we've just been owned." Bryce smiled at Zheng as she gave him a hug.

"It's so good to see you Bryce. Are you surprised?" Zheng asked Bryce.

"I most certainly am and pleasantly so. It can't get much better than to have such an attractive and intelligent colleague as yourself show up at precisely the right time. I couldn't have done that any better myself." Bryce responded.

"Geez, Bryce. leave some for me. It's a pleasure to meet you Zheng." Doctor Briggs stepped in.

"...go on Bryce..." Zheng said grabbing his arm and wrapping it around hers.

"So what ever in the world is a gorgeous computer scientist and computational biologist like yourself doing here in Beijing at this time?" Bryce asked her as the three of them began walking.

Zheng gestured to Doctor Briggs to take her other arm so he'd not feel left out.

"It just so happens that Helmut Werner hired me to come here and join you for the delegation meeting. After all Doctor Hong and I have worked together before though I've never met him in person. He's currently running a distributed computational biology research program out of Tatung University and they're very close to the area of research that Alicia pioneered a few years ago with the SY349. So it would seem that somebody put two and two together and came up with twenty two..." Zheng explained pausing at the right moment.

"...I take it that you mean Catch-22? You're just going to have to explain yourself. Remember. Don't commit to anything that can't follow through with." Doctor Briggs said jumping in on the purposeful cue that Zheng had given him and for which Bryce held his tongue.

"A Joseph Heller fan I take it? I've never read it myself but yes I was referring to his famous paradox." Zheng replied.

"In what context?" Doctor Briggs asked.

"Ironically it has to do with element number 22 in the periodic table. You see, during simulation there are results that most often don't occur in reality for any number of reasons." Zheng began to explain.

"Numerical round off error? Differentials?" Bryce asked Zheng looking to her as she flashed her pretty brown eyes to him.

"Exactly but they're engineering problems that can be dealt with by ready means. Round off error is dealt with by a more accurate formalization of numbers, while differentials as you know are dealt with by varying the trade off between accuracy and time step parameters of a simulation." Zheng pulled herself a little closer to Bryce who smiled warmly.

"You lost me at differentials." Doctor Briggs stated trying to catch up.

"Well for your sake and because you're cute, I'll cut to the chase and explain differentials some other time. In the mean time do your homework on numerical integration such as Runge-Katta or the Taylor series." Zheng explained to Doctor Briggs.

"You've heard of Euler integration right?" Bryce asked Doctor Briggs.

"Just barely. In high school geometry if I recall? It was a requirement for orthopedics. I guess for knowing joint limits and angles and what not." Doctor Briggs looked to Bryce.

"Well integration and differentials deal with the problems that arise from both round off error and the time step problem. Differentials can also deal with the gimble lock problem by representing torque force, angular momentum and angles as homogenous vectors." Bryce explained.

"Such as quaternions." Zheng added to Bryce's explanation.

"Huh? So where exactly were we?" Doctor Briggs looked to the two of them.

Zheng smiled at Bryce and then looked back to Doctor Briggs before continuing.

"We'll come back to that some other time. Anyway it turns out that when you try a simulated experiment in reality that you run into unforeseen factors whose consequences however slight can affect the final outcome. So in the simulation we simulate a biological or chemical process as if it really occurred in a lab somewhere. We simulate all of the processes such as biochemical interactions between cells and an artificial composition and mitosis itself. However, when we get to the lab with the same experiment the outcome can be quite different from the simulation in certain reserved cases." Zheng stopped to catch her breath obviously excited to be speaking with her peers after the long flight.

"You're saying it's the lab equipment you're using? What in your lab is made up of Titanium?" Doctor Briggs asked Zheng.

"I'm impressed. Some of the containment vessels we use are made of titanium because it is supposed to be chemically inert for those purposes. However..." Zheng stopped between the men keeping firm hold of their arms.

"You're finding that the titanium vessels are influencing the outcome of the experiment versus the simulation however when you add the titanium as a factor into the simulation you get different results from both reality and the prior simulation." Bryce surmised.

"Now here's the clincher. I'd recently heard that Doctor Hong has overcome this in both the lab and simulation and he solved it by using his understanding of Chinese medicine and philosophy rather than Western knowledge of chemistry and mathematics which implies that the solution has more to do with how you look at a problem rather than its constituent parts." Zheng explained.

"Well my dear, you're certainly a welcome addition to this delegation. This is certainly an important part of the proceedings and might help this out more than you can know." Bryce said to her grateful for her arrival.

"That certainly lifted my spirits about the current state of the delegation." Doctor Briggs said raising his eyebrows.

"I can't wait to speak with Alicia and Doctor Hong about this." Zheng told them as another familiar face approached.

"You wouldn't mind if I join this little party would you?" Valerie asked as she ran in her heels catching up to the trio.

"Valerie this is Doctor Zheng Ni Wong. Zheng this is Valerie Aspen, the project manager for the delegation." Bryce said introducing the two.

"Pleased to meet you Valerie. Call me Zheng." Zheng smiled cordially to Valerie.

"Thanks. Great to meet you too. So what's with all of the smiles? I mean keep them. They're great. Care to share some?" Valerie inquired of the trio eager to find out what had changed their solemn mood.

...

Heylyn woke up quickly jumping in the shower for a quick scrub then thowing her face on much like she did any other day in Toronto. She'd arrived in Beijing only six hours ago leaving with enough time for four hours sleep by the time she'd gotten her Hotel room and settled in. Upon waking she'd realized she'd slept through her alarm and had to make up for her last time by cutting corners where ever she could.

Chances are the delegation were already on their way to the meeting point and she did not want to be the late party at such an important meeting. She debated the idea of flying there herself as the Butterfly Dragon but opted against it for the risk of exposure. Instead she grabbed her makeup kit in a purse and ran downstairs to find a cab to the Forbidden City in Beijing where the delegates had arranged to meet.

The cab driver had been a younger man whom Heylyn had of course charmed. He did his best to shave a few minutes time from her trip and ended up cutting it nearly in half by taking side streets and alleys where he could. When they arrived went through her purse to pay the young man giving him three times what he would have made otherwise.


[You creep! You didn't even get the door for me!]
"你爬! 你甚至沒有得到我的門!" Heylyn yelled at him handing him his payment.

He was ready to yell back at her when he noticed that she'd given him much more money than he'd charged her.

[Hey. I think the pretty lady likes me.]
"嘿。 我認為漂亮的女人喜歡我。" the young man exclaimed as Heylyn strode away.

As soon as she arrived someone in the press immediately recognized her as Canada's Heylyn Yates, China's Ai Yuanlin Ying who'd come home to nest again.

She braced for the camera flashes and presented herself as best she could looking for the delegation.

"I'm here representing Canada and the rest of North America and more importantly the interests of the medical community through the charitable work of Tynan And Associates." Heyly announced to the press.

It was Alicia and Monique who found her, each taking Heylyn's side and a bit of the camera spotlight.

"Hi boss. I thought you'd never make it." Monique said to Heylyn herself flashing them some teeth and a bit of her leg.

"It was close. It was worth it by the way." Heylyn said looking to each of them.

"Do you care to explain?" Alicia asked Heylyn as she grinned awkwardly for the camera.

"Not now. When we've a break from the delegation at three. It's important. How are things with you and Norler holding up?" Heylyn asked Alicia sincerely concerned.

"We're fine. Its been very awkward. Especially earlier today but we got through it. Didn't we Monique?" Alicia said finding herself posing for the cameras.

"We certainly did. We learned a lot about food today as well and Chinese medicinal diets. Did you know that to many Chinese people even cooking and eating is a healthy part of medical treatment?" Monique informed Heylyn.

"So my Mother and my Grandmother often would say." Heylyn smiled leaning in close to Monique and then to Alicia for a few playful pictures.

"Well I've got my own Grandmother here in China now. She adopted me. She joined us for early lunch and taught me about what to eat, when to eat it and when not to eat and more importantly, why. Her name is Meihui. Thanks for bringing me with you Heylyn." Monique said laying a kiss of her own on Heylyn's cheek leaving a ruby red bead of lipstick.

"You're welcome. You've already been a great ambassador. Alright? Let's go earn China's trust." Heylyn said to her best friends and they made their way through the gates to the Forbidden City and towards the Palace Of Heavenly Purity where the rest of the delegation were waiting.

On their way towards the gates they'd passed a news stand where the front page headlines had a picture of Garrett Warley (whose picture in the paper bore the face of the real George Steadman) who'd been under investigation in North America for various fraud related charges dealing with his time at Future Tangent Industries. If the newspaper had been of interest to them they'd have read the following:

George Steadman had taken over as Operations Manager from Mr. Warley following Warley's mysterious disappearance. It went on to state that Future Tangent Industries was the only real competition for the medically geared Tynan And Associates and that later this year it would release a technology that would put it far ahead of anything that Tynan And Associates had ever achieved. The CEO of Tynan And Associates Walton Norler, currently in China was unavailable for comment.

Temptation Of Terror


"They've entered the complex and we're just waiting for the window of opportunity to open up on our little investment." One of Steadman's men watched Heylyn, Monique and Alicia proceed through the gates to the Forbidden City.

"Roger that. Team three is on their way to rendezvous. They'll take over keeping an eye on our package from that point. Teams four and five will maintain a distance until we're at minus twenty from our go ahead." the command center replied through their headset.

Some distance away a group of Chinese Women and Men occupied an unmarked van. The group were all well groomed and all adorned brush cuts and were of exceptional physique. They sat in front of an elaborate array of monitors and computers listening in on the communications of the first group.

"Have we got a positive ID on the package yet?" one of Men asked.

"We're not sure if they're referring to a person or a thing that one of the North American delegation is carrying." a Woman with a headset replied to the inquiry.

"Have the bomb disposal unit on standby. Have the National Guard ready too. Keep our blackout team on the press and ready to move. We don't want this to be an international incident." the Man ordered his team.

"Sir, we haven't determined if they are in fact part of the Tynan Private security detail or another group." the Communications lady replied.

"I don't care. Stay in tight with them. Don't lose their signal. Tell me if their comms negotiate a new encryption key." the Man ordered.

A few blocks away in yet another van another group watched over the other two.

"We've got a lot of traffic here. Most of it's encrypted and I can't tell if we're dealing with the Chinese delegation's security, the MSS or another group altogether. Sir, logistically I'd say that this is a very dangerous operation and that we should pull the delegates based upon that potential risk. We're in over our heads on this." one of the Communications associates spoke up unable to break the communications encryption of the other groups against which they were conducting surveillance.

"Deaf or not we're going to protect them. Just keep our clothed security detail close by and the plain clothed security on high alert. We're going to have to earn our pay today so let's do what we're trained to do and protect them." the Tynan Security Chief ordered his unit.

Steadman's group responded by putting one of their assets in the vicinity of the Tynan Security Command van. The car sat a half a block from the Security Command Center. In the car's trunk sat three M72A1 LAWS Rocket Lauchers ready for use. Three other assets watched the other vans and once they'd received the ready code, they would simultaneously deal with each van in this explosive situation.

Not long after they'd obtain the package and the real fireworks would begin.

Steadman laughed at the irony of the situation seeing as fireworks were invented in China. China did not initially create weapons with them but instead used them for amusement and magic. They were about to become victims of their own invention on a scale unimaginable and this day would be the day that brought NATO and China head to head on the battlefield. It might even herald the beginning of World War III. The blame would fall solely in the lap of the delegation. History ultimately would not be remembered for the eradication of Cancer but for the annihilation of humankind.

Heaven In The Forbidden City


Alicia, Heylyn and Monique made their way to the meeting point under the close watch of no less than four different groups conducting surveillance upon them. They played as if they'd no awareness of this fact but the truth was that with their heightened senses they were aware on a different level. It eventually took Heylyn a moment to point it out.

"We're being watched again." Heylyn announced calmly as they walked across the huge courtyard towards the Gate Of Supreme Harmony.

"I was kind of hoping it was deja-vu. Guess not." Monique responded.

"So we're at least twice as interesting as we were during our time in Bangkok." Alicia said keeping the remnants of a smile she'd experienced days ago.

"That's one way of looking at it. The question is who are the good guys, the bad guys and the neutral?" Heylyn replied.

"I'd say we're going to find that out soon enough. The question is how does this play into what Weltherwithsp told us. What should we be wary of?" Alicia pressed Heylyn.

"I can only tell you that Weltherwithsp may not be speaking in allegory at all and it might be in our best interest not to assume that duality is involved." Heylyn assured Alicia.

"We have nothing more to go on. The list of people who would benefit from the failure of the delegation is far too long to go through using the process of elimination. Those for the delegation and those against. What Weltherwithsp stated was more related to Eastern philosophy and the role that dualism might be playing at a causal level." Alicia suggested.

"We know that the more progress we make with the delegation the more of a negative impact it has on other aspects of our being. Your relationship with Norler. The attack on Professor Mattu and the delegation in New Delhi. Weltherwithsp was explaining that as a natural side effect of causality and nothing more. Like the two slit experiment in Quantum Mechanics. That our observation reduces every problem to a state of dual being. This outcome or that one and always in such a way that all the forces involved balance out in the end at some level." Alicia explained.

"That's where your wrong in that assumption. Not everything in the universe operates that way or on that level and if the observer as you say have an impact upon the outcome, then maybe the observer also has an effect upon the cause. I don't know or pretend to know the first thing about Quantum Mechanics Alicia, but what Weltherwithsp stated was more a clue about the things that break that dualistic point of view to give us a direction. For us to get our bearings otherwise we'd be running around in circles yet making no progress in any other single direction. That's what Weltherwithsp was trying to say. Don't become paralyzed and unable to act by the fact that we may think that everything reduces to two sides, this or that. The opposition of the delegation and our nemesis can likely be seen in that way. A polar opposite to what Tynan And Associates is about but what links them to their actions against us won't be dual in nature at all. What they're doing by attacking the delegation might be in response to the threat the fund poses against them." Heylyn told Alicia adding what she'd learned from Jin Hua.

"That's it! Why haven't we been looking in the direction of Tynan And Associates opposite?" Monique stopped walking as she made her suggestion.

"What? Like people who create Cancer?" Alicia asked trying to clarify what Monique was talking about.

Monique rolled her eyes.

"Do you really think that I think that way? No. I meant a company in direct competition with Tynan And Associates. One who does the same thing but in competition to Tynan." Monique answered.

"Tynan's closest competitor is..." Alicia started as she was interrupted.

"Future Tangent Industries. What's been keeping you? We've been waiting for you for fifteen minutes. What is so important that it kept you?" Valerie said with a hint of agitation and impatience on her voice.

"How long has Future Tangent Industries been involved in the medical industry?" Alicia asked Valerie.

"I don't know. Maybe a couple of years. Just before we went to Treadwater... Wait a second." Valerie said pulling her smart phone from her purse.

"Already on it. They were Incorporated and became public few months before we took Zek down on Treadwater Island." Alicia replied having already looked it up on her phone.

"Not only that but it says here in the International Business Quarterly the financial holdings company that owned them was a subsidiary of Martech International which was owned and operated by Xinc Holdings, the company through which Mr. Zek conducted all of his business world wide. During the court proceedings Martech was liquidated and distributed by court order to the three nearest competitors. During that transaction Future Tangent Industries shares were purchase and are being held by a legal firm in South America." Valerie informed them as she digested the information from her own phone.

"So our enemy now has a name but no face. Not so nearly as dangerous as the Nameless Name." Heylyn remarked.

"South America is not our enemy. Be careful, I have friends from there. You know Helena right? The model we used for your summer line last year. She's from Bogota, Columbia." Monique reminded Heylyn.

"No you're right. They're not our enemies but remember that we took down one of their biggest meal tickets and someone who'd revitalized their tourist economy in the Caribbean. There's going to be a lot of people from that neck of the woods who don't like us for that reason." Heylyn reminded her friends.

"If you're going to discuss business don't you think that you've forgotten someone?" Norler arrived to check up on the late arrivals.

"Sorry, we're just going over some details in relation to the..." Valerie tried to cover for them.

"I clearly heard you discussing business without me. What's going on?" Norler asked the four Women.

"Look, Norler. We've been keeping a lot from you and most of it is because of the fight we had the other day on the flight from India to Thailand." Alicia spoke up.

"That fight was about you not being willing to give up gallivanting around in tights as a superhero. You're unwilling to focus on our life together and what we're doing for the world. You don't have to be a superhero to change the world or to make it a better place Alicia. The world wants you and what you have to share exactly as you are." Norler said directly to Alicia aware that the other three were already in the know.

"This isn't about Night Style. It's about you Norler and the fact that you're not willing to accept me exactly as I am. Don't bring the world into this. Your idea of commitment is about clipping my wings because Night Style is the only aspect of my old life that is still mine. You're so used to running the show at Tynan that you can't share your life with anyone without taking it over. If you want me to be a part of your life you're going to have to accept the fact that there are things about me that I won't give up for you, because part of being in love and making a relationship work is about accepting your partner and what you can't change about them. If you want me you're going to have to accept the things about me that you can't change as much as the things about me that you love." Alicia firmly dressed Norler standing her ground.

Norler stood silent for a moment thinking about what she had said. In considering her point of view carefully he'd suddenly realized that he'd treated her as if Night Style was like a character flaw that he somehow had to cure. He never realized that Alicia was Night Style as much as she was Alicia. They were one and the same and his accepting this aspect of her life was no different than her accepting the fact that she had accept Norler, the CEO. There were times when his candor with the public and the press was less than the repute through which he'd been iconified and she'd had to accept that in like. He'd seen his side as being the only side and realized the insensitivity he'd afforded her.

"Alicia. I'm sorry. If we're going to make this work, at least let me in on what you're planning. If I'm going to accept Night Style then you have to let me be involved with that aspect of your life as well. It's still your life, but I want to have input and say just as you have input and say to my life as CEO of Tynan And Associates." Norler told her.

"You always were the negotiator. Alright. I'll let you in. But don't you ever try to clip her... my wings again. Now give me a kiss, Mr. CEO." Alicia scolded him as she wrapped her arms around him.

A distance away and out of earshot the rest of the delegation looked on with relief.

"I guess it really is the Palace Of Heavenly Purity after all?" Bryce said.

"That's a relief. I couldn't take another moment of tension from the two of them. They're like..." Katya began.

"A pain in the heart...?" Victor said.

"Yes, but not like the pain from eating spicy food." Katya replied.

"I'd say that things are getting a little spicy now, don't you think?" Doctor Briggs said watching them kiss.

"I'm with Bryce. I can't think of a better place in the world for a kiss than in the Forbidden City and the Palace Of Heavenly Purity." Zheng's heart warmed.

Oblivious to the spectatorship of the delegation Monique broke the awkward silence.

"Soooo. What were you saying about Future Tangy Industries Valerie?" Monique turned from the kissing couple.

"Tangent... Future Tangent Industries..." Alicia said having broken the kiss to correct Monique.

Monique smiled coyly having accomplished her goal.

"One of our biggest competitors if not the biggest. They deal in more areas than just medical research like industrial chemicals and chemical engineering. In fact they're one of the lead suppliers of demolition explosives for the construction industry." Norler informed the Women.

"That would have made them the prime candidates to reverse engineer the SY349 during the Treadwater incident." Alicia added backing up Norler.

"Based upon what we know of Zek's way of doing business, we can assume that his associates may have operated much the same." Heylyn thought about Alicia's statement.

Norler pulled his phone and hit the speed dial.

"Hi, Werner. It's Norler. We think that we may be onto something regarding the attack in New Delhi against Professor Mattu and more recently at the Wat Sutat in Bangkok. What do you know about Future Tangent Industries?" Norler started.

"It's ironic that you're calling me because I just received word that the men found unconscious in the Wat Sutat were part of a private security firm used by Future Tangent Industries. Not only that but there was a recent change in their ranks. Garrett Warley was replaced by his former aide George Steadman as the Operations Manager for their medical division." Werner informed Norler.

"Steadman? He was hardly management material if I remember him correctly. He plays a great second gun but he was never possessed of any strong leadership skills. He used to work for Tynan before he was lured away to a position at Future Tangent Industries. There's definitely something wrong with this picture." Norler advised Werner.

"How's Beijing so far?" Werner asked Norler.

"Good so far. We're just a few minutes off of our meeting with the Chinese and Taiwanese delegations. I'll call you later and let you know how it went." Norler replied.

"Alright. If there's anything new related to what we just spoke of I'll call you or have someone call you to keep you updated. Good luck." Werner said hanging up the phone.

"The men you took down in the Wat Sutat were a security team hired by Future Tangent Industries." Norler told Alicia drawing a look of surprise from her face.

"How did you know that we took them down?" Alicia asked Norler.

"I didn't. I just took a guess and it looks like I was right. I'd appreciate it if you'd keep me in the loop when you can." Norler pleaded with Alicia.

"I have to agree with Norler. I mean look at how much ground we've covered just by sharing information and working together." Heylyn said looking to each of the Women in turn.

"Agreed. So let's do this as a team." Valerie added.

"What else was there?" Alicia asked Norler to continue.

"George Steadman has taken over as Operations Manager at Future Tangent Industries so there's been a recent shake up which can only mean that they're under stress resulting from Tynan's mover to get approval for the fund in Asia. They know the Asian market is huge and this literally could make or break their future. They'd certainly benefit from the failure of this delegation. I'd say the fact that they've changed their Operations Manager is a direct indication of that." Norler told the Women around him.

"You said he worked at Tynan. Did I ever meet him?" Alicia inquired.

"I think he was at the purchase announcement when Tynan bought the lab where you developed the SY349. He has light blondish thinning hair. About five foot ten?" Norler told Alicia.

"Here's a picture of him from the Future Tangent press release." Valerie handed her phone to Norler who accepted it examining the image very carefully.

Alicia reached for Valerie's phone so she could see the picture.

"Wait. That's not George. That's Garrett Warley's picture. They must have made a mistake in the press release." Norler said turning to his own phone and searching for news of the change of leadership.

"No, it's the same person in every news clip. There has to be a mix up somewhere." Norler said puzzled by the mystery.

"So now we have Future Tangent Industries putting their security detail on us after they've had a change in their operations leadership which is being run by a Garret Warley masquerading as George Steadman. All this from a company formerly part of Martech International and Mr. Zek's holdings. If we fail it would be of great benefit to them for they could move in and mop up the Asian market." Alicia stated looking to the rest of her team.

"Do you think we should bring this to the attention of the Chinese delegation?" Valerie asked.

"No. They might see it as slander against Future Tangent Industries and think less of us for it. We've got to check this out ourselves. What do you think?" Norler asked the Women.

"I agree but it wouldn't hurt to let the Chinese authorities know something about this. After all we can pretty much assume that Future Tangent's security team is running around conducting covert ops on Chinese soil. It might help us to earn their trust." Heylyn gave her opinion.

"I'm with Heylyn on this too." Valerie agreed.

"Me too." Alicia gave her nod.

"I have one question. If our delegation is full of such brilliant minds, why are we not taking advantage of that?" Monique asked.

"They don't know or suspect anything about our alter egos. If we let them in on that we'd be putting them in grave danger and great risk. The less they know in that department the better." Alicia responded.

"Yeah, but we can share what we know so far with them and get their help without giving away the fact that we're also super powered heroes." Valerie reminded her friends.

"Who said anything about heroes? We're still not out of the woods yet. We're not heroes until that fund proposal is signed and approved by the Asian Alliance." Norler reminded the group.

"Heroes or not it's agreed that we let the Chinese authorities know what we've learned so far so they're not blind. We also let our delegation in on this information as well so we can benefit from their insight. Good suggestion Monique." Heylyn looked at each of her peers.

"Alright. We have a plan. I'll call Werner right now and have him send an advisory to the Canadian and North American authorities and the Chinese Embassy in Canada. You get back to the rest of the delegation and let them know what's afoot so far and what we've learned. We'll still have five minutes to make it to the Temple entrance to meet the Chinese and Taiwanese delegates. I'll see you in a few minutes." Norler said as he dialed Werner once again.

The Women began walking to join the delegates who stood waiting for their return.

"Heylyn, I need to thank you. Again. I think that little talk that we had opened the door for Norler and I to overcome our differences." Alicia spoke with a sense of sincerity.

"You would have found the courage to say what you'd needed to say to him without me just as he found the courage to face his own misgivings against you. I'd say that the two of you found common ground enough to overcome your disagreement. Maybe you'll both be much more accepting and understanding of each others' lives. Even the aspects of your mutual lives of which you have no control. You can accept Norler the CEO. He just needs to learn to accept Night Style the superhero. It's good to see you smiling again." Heylyn's face lit up.

"I'll say. That takes a load of tension from my plate. I hope there's no left overs either." Valerie said clearly relieved.

"Alright. Me too. I'm happy to see that you've mended your relationship with Norler. Maybe its a sign of things to come?" Monique's smile crowned them unanimously and they made their way back to the delegation and Heaven.

Tradition And The Book Of Changes


The delegation walked through the Hall Of Supreme Harmony marveling at the design and architecture of the illustrious building and the complex in which it stood. For Heylyn this was like a return home in many ways and she'd occasionally notice cues linking her knowledge of the The Butterfly Dragon to the design work around her. The very design of the Forbidden City was riddled with symbolism that connected the rest of China with it's ancient and sometimes turbulent history.

They exited the Hall and proceeded towards the main walkway to the Palace of Heavenly Purity where the other delegation was waiting. Alicia, Bryce, Valeria and Norler stepped forward to make the introductions.

"Professor Bai Huang He? This is Doctor Alicia Westin, Valerie Aspen on my left here. You already know Professor Bryce Maxwell. I'm Walton Norler. Behind me from their left to right is Doctors Katya and Victor Piotr. Beside them are Heylyn Yates and Monique Defleur of West Meet East International. Beside them on the right is the beautiful mathematician and computational biologist Zheng Ni Wong. Beside her is Doctor Stephen Briggs with whom I'm sure you'll find much to discuss." Norler said getting through the first round of introductions.

"It is a pleasure to meet you. Allow me to introduce our delegates. On my left we have Professor Jun Ling Jie, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chinese Medicine. She'll advise us on issues of tradition and morality with regards to our ways versus those of the West. Beside her is Doctor Jiao Lin Soo, the Medical Director at Beijing Hospital. She's the youngest person ever to have achieved that position at the age of thirty one. We're very proud of her. Doctor Waitak Te Kong is someone you may already know having recently made news with a discovery achieved through distributed computing and simulation at Tatung University in Taiwan. I'm Professor Bai Huang He of the Peking University International Hospital. We welcome you to China and the Forbidden City." Professor Huang He finished the introductions.

"The purpose of our visit should be obvious by this point. You're already aware of the Fund Proposal and the prior vote. We're here to appeal any prior decision with regards to the fund and to open the doors between the East and the West in terms of our respective medical traditions." Norler addressed the issue at hand very directly.

"We'd been advised of your sometimes direct approach to negotiations. At least in terms of how we do things. We understand that this trip has already been pressing for your delegation but we mustn't dispense with the formalities. We will get to these matters in due time." Professor Ling Jie replied addressing Norler's direct approach.

"Forgive me for saying so but we think that pressing the time importance of this issue is in line with Chinese tradition and values, for the longer this process takes the more lives there will be at risk. Whose life do you want to play with in this regard? The lives of your daughters and sons?" Alicia took a much bolder approach.

"Your itinerary is already set. If we discussed all the issues at hand in just five minutes here and now and resolved what took years to grow in terms of the gap between the East and the West, your flight to South Korea would still leave and arrive at the same time for which you'd prepared ahead of time. Your flight from there would leave for Japan soon thereafter all according to your schedule. So getting to the point quickly presents no time benefit to the realization of the fund. It only serves to relieve each of  you of the stress associated with the investment you've already made in making this work. There is no time lost by the presence of formality for that is what separates from our other nature. The nature which would hinder such negotiations. We must foster both carefully and in balance for the moment we favor one is the moment we set the future rule of the other." Professor Ling Jie responded to Alicia's comment.

"I have a question for your delegation. Why did you choose the Forbidden City as our meeting place?" Valerie asked hoping to break appease both sides.

Professor Jing Lie looked momentarily to Professor Huang He. Heylyn noticed Professor Huang He's eyebrow elevate slightly at Valerie's interest.

"The Forbidden City is one of our treasures here though not only for it's grand architecture and dazzling beauty. It is a reminder to us of our history. There is much symbolism hidden within these walls. One could literally spend a lifetime investigating and trying to understand such mysteries and many have. Like a journey in which one travels for years and finds themselves no farther from their starting point or closer to their destination yet has seemingly learned more than such time would allow. Perhaps this is not unlike your own journey to see us here in the Far East? If not, why then have you really come to see us. What brought you to China?" Professor Jing Lie spoke considering her words carefully, her accent thick and embracing.

"We chose to come here to build a bridge between us. Between the West and the..." Norler began one of his charismatic rhetoric filled orations only to be stopped.

"Please Mr. Norler. Not from a script. Not from what your P.R. advisors have asked to you to say. The bridge you speak of has always remained. In your own history the only times we'd not allowed you in was when you brought with you that which would harm us both. So you could say that the bridge has always been there though at times throughout history neither of us were worthy of it's crossing. Perhaps now after so much has transpired we are both ready to embrace once again? Ready to accept the bounded history which each we have traversed. Why in your heart have you come on this journey here?" Professor Jing Lie spoke not so easily beguiled.

"Are you saying that we in the West are not worthy of your audience? That the reason for divisions of past have to do with our problems and mistakes?" Alicia spoke sounding a little bit offended.

"No. What I have said is an honest question and we've both tread through the precarious and sometimes treacherous journey and arrived each with our own scars and often of our own doing. You are no lesser, we are no greater. I assume that your comfort in being able to speak so candidly at the risk of your delegation Doctor Westin, is because of your long standing friendship with Heylyn Yates. Ai Yuanlin Ying as we know her. That is good because you regard speaking with us like speaking with a close friend rather than a distant acquaintance with whom you'd rather bite your own tongue than speak truthfully. Again I ask you why you really came here?" Professor Jing Lie walked looking forward, her hands folded behind her.

There was a long pause as the delegates looked to one another as if unsure of what Jing Lie was asking them. Heylyn stepped a bit closer to Alicia and nudged her side. Alicia looked to her friend mouthing the word what? Heylyn mouthed her own words. Go on. Say it.

"We're here... we're here because for the first time in our history... for the first time in my life... I've seen something that could change the world. Not just one part of it, but all of it. It's something so powerful as to give life or to mend it, yet so fragile that if it was kept from others based upon their level of income or other social demographics that it could be misused to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. It's the doorstep that every Doctor in the world knew that we would one day arrive, and here we are. We've discovered something that puts the power into the hands of those who wield it the ability to decide who gets to live and who doesn't. A power that nobody should wield and a right that everyone should have. Not just one part of the demographic or subsection of the globe. Everyone. We all knew that day would come and it did. Now we've gone from being Scientists, Doctors, Physicians and Researchers to understand the immense responsibility that we have in ensuring that it is available to everyone. That it isn't misused by those who want to prune the genetic tree and shape the future of humanity by their criteria. Clip a few people with bad genes from it. A few poor people here. A few sick people there. A few with special needs here. A few of another culture there. It's capable of saving so many lives that it is also capable of taking. We're here knocking at your door and hoping that you'll see this for yourself as a people with a long history and understanding of medicine through your own unique perspective. It's important that you embrace this idea and the fund. For us to do this it has to be paid for by some means because it takes someone's time, effort and technology to produce. That production, research and development has to paid for and the time of the people who work on it needs to be paid for otherwise nobody would work on it. More importantly nobody could work on it and if we don't do it that way, someone else will come along and set a price for it that only the privileged could afford. When that happens then the power to give life has a price tag and that price tag means that economy and demographics can be used to prune the genetic tree. Our business model does not support that idea at all nor do we as moral human beings. We're here to ensure that everyone can reap the benefits of this discovery despite those demographics. We need you to be on board for this to happen. That is why we came here from Canada. From and for the work of our peers in North America, South America, Europe, Oceania and Africa. To the Far East. To India. To Thailand. To Myanmar. To Laos and Cambodia. To Korea both South and North. To Japan. To Taiwan. To China." Alicia said speaking from her heart and very much a heart with wings.

Norler leaned in close to whisper something in her ear.

"We are so going to have a romantic week long stay in bed vacation when this is done. Not to mention I'll be giving you a lifetime of massages any time you ask." he moved closer but kept distance enough to hold the tension between them.

"I'm going to hold you to that." Alicia replied in whisper.

Professor Jing Lie spoke with Professor Huang He in their native tongue and dialect of Hebei Mandarin. There was more silence before Professor Huang He spoke.

"Many have arrived on our doorstep throughout history. Sometimes to ask for something from us. Sometimes to demand it. Sometimes to take it by force. We're grateful for the diplomacy of the twenty first century but yet still guarded for many reasons most of which our recent history and transition would likely speak. We must consider our position and that history before we can give you any decision. We've seen the research. The years of papers Doctor Westin has written on the subject. We as Doctors and Scientists, your peers are certainly in support of the creation of this fund. Convincing the Party is not going to be as easy as we'd like it to be but you have our support. Our views are certainly in line with yours that this technology should not be kept in the hands of those who'd use it to decide the fate of so many lives, families and lines of ancestry. Any time that decision has fallen upon the hands of even a few people, it almost always ends in bloodshed and genocide. All of us the globe over have dirtied our hands with that crime at one time or another yet has any generation ever learned from it? Many speak of high ideals yet so few act thereupon. Sometimes to speak is to act as to remember is to fuel the fires of a written history and record. We therefore agree that this power to decide the fate of so many based upon demography, social class or any other number of factors as you say would sew the seeds of a new form of genocide. You have our support for the fund though we here have our own people to convince for our support to make it to the final vote. We'll do everything that we can to ensure it passes. Everything. We'd like to see a more open attitude in the West with regard to our forms of medicine. We hope that this acceptance will foster cooperation between us. Medicine. Trade. The possibilities are many and we have much to learn and share in the way of prosperity." Professor Huang He assured the delegation.

"We agree for certain. I guess that really takes much of the stress off of us for this leg of the journey and in China. I guess we're free to talk shop as of this point, though I'm with Valerie in wanting to learn more of your history." Norler addressed the Chinese delegation.

"Professor Jing Lie. Thanks." Alicia said sincerely looking over to the Professor.

"For what may I ask?" Professor Jing Lie inquired.

"For pushing aside the rhetoric and regimen so we could really get to the heart of the matter. For allowing me to speak so freely." Alicia said to Professor Jing Lie.

"I can't accept the credit for you speaking freely, but I do appreciate the gratitude." Professor Jing Lie responded.

"You too Heylyn. A little." Alicia nudged Heylyn's shoulder slightly as they walked.

"Just so you know, I'm getting in on some of reward from Norler. A romantic week in bed? A lifetime of massages? I want a piece of that you know." Heylyn joked with Alicia.

"I can't believe you heard that? Did you...?" Alicia asked her in disbelief.

"You know how good my senses are. Yeah I listened in. Really listened in." Heylyn replied.

"Well little miss my senses are so good, I hope you've been keeping an eye on things around here. I mean there's definitely something going on. Not just our security team either. There's a lot of plain clothed agents running around. I mean why would so many people be carrying concealed weapons?" Monique said slipping in close to Alicia and Heylyn as Norler and Professor Maxwell began a conversation with the Chinese delegation.

Heylyn looked around taking notice of what she'd missed only a few minutes early since her last sweep. Heylyn gestured to Valerie urging her closer. Valerie politely excused herself from Norler's side and joined her friends.

"Things are going so good. What now?" Valerie asked afraid that something had gone wrong.

"We have company. A lot of company." Heylyn replied.

From the unmarked Future Tangent Industries van one of the men addressed the other members of his team.

"Confirmed. Professor Huang He just gave the word on their support for the delegation." a man in front of a communications computer spoke.

"Alright. I guess that means we're going ahead with the operation after all. Let the teams in the Forbidden City know. Pull the rest out to their vantage points. Take us to our designated area in the zone of safety. When the delegation has left the north gates, we'll start the show." spoke the team commander.

"Roger that." the communications man began notifying the operatives by team.

The Palace Under Watchful Eyes


The members of the delegations continued their trek north to the Palace Of Heavenly Purity.

"Decisions like this would have gone through a much different process of approval in our history." Professor Jing Lie continued speaking with Bryce as Doctor Briggs and Doctor Zheng Ni Wong joined them.

"You must be referring to the Court advisors?" Bryce asked Professor Jing Lie.

"During Imperial rule right up until the revolution our leaders relied on such advisers. The so called Sages. Philosophers. Court magicians even. They would often combine their knowledge and experience with the results of many different forms of divination to come to their advice for the Kingdom. Sometimes with startling accuracy. There are still many who rely upon such means." Professor Jing Lie answered Bryce.

"Are you referring to the I Ching?" Doctor Briggs asked.

"Yes in some context. There are many books of changes as the West might know them. Many have been lost to history and the records. The most common deals with divination using a series of trigrams which could be discerned by their selection from Yarrow stalks of varying lengths. A random selection process much like dice or tarot cards of the West. An interpretation would be applied to each series of trigrams of which there are a possible sixty four. Through their interpretation the future could be divined. The Sages used them to advise the Imperial court on matters of administration, finance and even war." Professor Jing Lie answered.

"I understand. During the revolution it became a liability rather than an asset to be one of these Sages from what I understand?" Doctor Briggs asked.

"You're referring to the people's revolution. To many students around the time of the revolution the Tao Te Ching became a symbol of their revolution. At least that's what a friend told me." Heylyn spoke of what she'd learned from mentor, Jinn Hua in Guangzhou.

"Well at that time much of the establishment was symbolized as being and run by the old who did so with the old ways. Of course to many people the Tao is Yin and Yang. The battle between two polar opposites over the hearts and souls of the land which has its own. So it was that the young students made up most of the drive behind the revolution against the old. Each side has its own ignorance and arrogance and yet time only flows in favor of neither. So the young waged war with what they themselves would eventually become. The elderly of the established order. By the time you've aged to join the elderly after having waged a war against it, you begin to realize that you've become what you fought. Of course much paranoia takes its course for you know your own enemy because at one time it was you. A vicious cycle that finds the emerging order in conflict with the young and often students. The students themselves come to ideas that the old symbolize the system and the ways of the old, and must be overthrown. Yet this understanding of duality is only the door mat of the Tao and it is what keeps conflict alive, for in conflict there is control. Whose compass points in the right direction when forward to one is seen as backwards to the other? How far a journey can such people make for they'll always arrive exactly at the point from where they departed having traveled no distance at all." Professor Jing Lie spoke sounding very much like Jinn Hua to Heylyn.

Bryce and Doctor Briggs looked at each other in astonishment.

"You have remarkable insight into these concepts." Doctor Briggs commented.

"That is both the curse and blessing of age. It is not unlike the western tales of the Arthurian legends. To ascend to rule by overthrowing the ways of old. Arthur pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone. A lowly squire who is not of the blood or heritage of a King. By pulling the sword from the stone he has overcome the barrier of tradition and the ways of the old. He brings a new hope establishing the round table to bring justice to the land. Through treachery and deceit he is beguiled into producing a child with his own half sister, Morgan Le Fay. When the sword that forged his rule and that symbolized his sense of truth, justice and honor breaks as he uses it for revenge, he must redeem himself by seeking the Grail. This pursuit of the Grail costs him nearly every Knight that founded the Round Table. Upon finding it Sir Galahad returns from his quest having redeemed Arthur. The lady of the lake returns Excalibur anew and Arthur dies killing his own offspring Mordred and the Mother of his illegitimate heir Morgan Le Fay who have essentially just challenged the established order. Excalibur is returned to the lady of the lake and the order of the land is restored and the cycle begins anew. It is the same tale. A tale of the young challenging the established order by challenging the rules of that order to usurp its power only to misuse it and draw the ire of the next generation who will once again overthrow the established order but not before the order has redeemed itself by some quest worthy of their redemption. The question to ask is whether it is intended as a tale of caution to heed those that might challenge the established ways, or whether it is a road map that always seems to lead to the same outcome in a cycle that has been in place for a very long time. Would challenging this idea lead to the same place yet again because it too symbolizes the established order? These are the questions of philosophy and we both know those ideas transcend our origins here. It would seem we are not always as different as we would like to pretend to be yet so different that we will never cease learning from each other." Professor Jing Lie addressed her peers.

"To be aware of that cycle and to look beyond is what philosophy is all about. For instance I'd say that to seek a way that does not divide the young and old but unites them while recognizing their differences is one way through this problem. How we relate to people is forged by the experiences of our lifetime. That's what divides us by age and generation and those concepts are what foster innovation by establishing new experiences and new ways of thinking about the same problems and solutions. The internet is breaking that barrier already by establishing a place where we keep our collective knowledge. The knowledge of ages and the living generations who all can peruse and share that medium. Even how we use that tool is indicative of our generation. Our experiences. Our demographics. It likely factors into big data and analytics. Information technology and mass data." Bryce added.

"Yes, but this is also a tool which can divide us by not keeping those barriers where they should be. Some boundaries are meant to be traversed by all and some are meant to be protect some. Like the barriers between our homes and our community. There are times when we should have few barriers with community in some aspects, but in personal life there should be barriers between our neighbors and our community. Just as there should be some barriers between young and old. If not to protect either from exploitation by the other." Heylyn spoke giving her point of view.

"I agree with Heylyn. I mean the internet is vast and overwhelming sometimes. It can be used for many purposes and a social life is certainly amongst the forefront of such uses. How though do you guarantee someone is who they claim to be? How about age? I mean both sides of the fence need protection in that regard. The old seeking to exploit the young. The young seeking to exploit the old. It can happen both ways." Zheng expressed.

"I think that when it comes to sexuality on the internet, that's going to be one of the biggest draws but one of the least addressed. That's certainly an area where there needs to be some boundaries to protect the youth from exploitation for certain and from peer pressure or market forces that would lead to exploitation. I'm a married man and I'm not saying that I haven't seen things on the internet of a sexual nature, but I believe that there should be boundaries as Heylyn has stated to protect the young from exploitation. I mean there's many on youtube who use that medium to broadcast their own channels. Some of whom are in their teen years and are impressionable and chasing the numbers associated with viewership much like a television station tries to draw viewers. Drawing those viewers is almost a form of peer pressure because if your peers and fellow broadcasters are older, and are able to offer content that includes something that might be more geared to adult and mature viewers, the younger broadcasters competing on the same market might consider exploiting themselves to follow suit so as not to lose viewers. There's no guarantee to an older viewer that they aren't viewing a younger broadcaster that if they'd known more about that broadcaster's age and situation they might not have so readily checked that content. Likewise there's peer pressure generated by the older broadcasters which results from the demand they create by offering content that might be more geared to adults that some broadcasters that are much younger might be tempted to follow suit hence exploiting themselves. I speak as someone who has no children." Bryce said speaking with some insight.

"You mean to tell me that the newspapers that we read on a daily basis are wrong in offering up page three girls, sunshine girls or last page girls? Many of those Women are in their late teens. As young as seventeen or eighteen. They're being gawked at by guys and girls three or four times their age. In Britain they're topless. This is more about how different cultures understand and accept the taboo of sexuality and how it relates to age. It also relates to our concepts of sexuality, morality, gender and age. We spoke this topic in India. Don't you remember? The Kamasutra? The age of ascension?" Doctor Briggs spoke reminding the delegation.

"Yes but is it necessary to turn Women into a purely sexual object? I mean come on Stephen! If that's the peer pressure and market forces that we expose young Women to, that's how they'll be shaped and how they will perceive society wants them to be. How they'll be able to earn enough money for food and to support themselves without ever having explored other avenues like what they have to offer by way of their mind. Their education. Not by how big their bra size." Zheng said scolding Doctor Briggs.

"Who said that an intelligent Woman is not sexy? Who said that sexiness is determined by bra size? Besides that's a moving target and one that changes more often than we are aware. That's subjective and how we see the members of the sex we're attracted to is subjective as is what attracts us to such people. It's like arguing over what color is better, red or blue. It's possible to be sexually attracted to a Woman without objectifying her as a sex object." Doctor Briggs responded to Zheng's mild attack.

"Yes but I think that what Zheng was saying is that a younger Woman might not have the experience or confidence to come to her own conclusions on that concept. Confidence is important when it comes to this issue. I mean confidence in being able to withstand peer pressure and retain one's own sense of self and comfort with their own views and opinion rather than to be manipulated by outside forces which aren't always looking out for their best interests. I used to have a weight problem in school and I was very self conscious of it. If I hadn't learned to be self confident with the help of a friend, I might have gone a much different path in life. So self esteem and confidence is of vital importance for young people being able to withstand such incredible pressures that information technology brings with it." Alicia spoke addressing their argument.

"We'd not be having this conversation because if Alicia's path had been different and she hadn't the confidence to pursue her education and become a researcher, there would have been no SY349." Norler told the group.

"This is a subject that historically is not discussed, though with the revolution of nineteen fourty eight things had changed significantly. Since the nineteen nineties and a cultural revolution in some of the bigger cities like Hong Kong and Beijing in China, sexuality is discussed and it has come a long way, but it is still regarded as the subject of those involved for a secret lover is one of the most highly considered treasures. Hence the open discussion of sexuality is sometimes seen as giving away one's treasures by revealing their secrets whereas what you don't discuss is seen as what you protect and therefore treasure even though that is often not the case. Many use those ideas to take advantage of our ways in that regard. Taking our treasure from us while leaving us with secrets that we would never protect as treasure at all because they're more like the refuse of others. Perhaps another barrier between West and East. One that is known by few and those who do, often use it as a means to deposit their trash upon our culture. Some might say that's a form of cultural exploitation." Doctor Lin Soo spoke for the first time addressing both delegations as they slowly walked together.

"How do you feel about the issue of sexuality from the perspective of a Woman and a Chinese resident in relation to what we were discussing?" asked Doctor Briggs eager to get another point of view besides Zheng's.

"Sex and love historically have been regarded as utilitarian in China. Only a necessity to maintain a household and a another chore. Insofar as a Woman being a sex object? There are pressures present that direct Women in that direction just as it is likely in the West. I think that the movement to recognize that regardless of the path a Woman chooses, whether it be a home maker and housewife or a an educated professional like a Doctor, or of the vanity arts like a model that a Woman can be as sexual an object as she so chooses and allows. The more Women that realize that it is their body and that they have the final say as adults about what they do with it, the more Women might be empowered rather than someone else determining and wielding the power of their sexuality for them." Doctor Lin Soo answered Doctor Brigg's question much to his chagrin.

"You look disappointed Stephen." Zheng said to him playfully.

"Not disappointed... per se. I half expected a different answer maybe from yours. You're both successful and Chinese but from different upbringings ultimately. I expected a bit of a different answer and that's based upon my understanding and my area of expertise. After all I'm required to keep up with regard to Eastern and Western societies and their demographics. Knowing people and what issues might surround introducing new ideas and ways to their corresponding societies. So I'll take it as an eye opening experience and a lesson." Doctor Briggs answered.

"There's no sense in taking it any other way Doctor Briggs. I mean its still a Woman's body and her power and gift I might add to give that up to whom she chooses or even to give that power to the lover of her choice. No less empowering and no loss if you've earned her respect and love I'd imagine." Bryce smiled to him and Zheng reading their proximity very accurately.

"So we could surmise once again that this problem of age has much to do with confidence and the self esteem of youth so as to reinforce their belief in themselves and their independence. No easy task for any parent in this day and age seeing as the time that you need to start reinforcing that is the very age when they are most dependent upon their parents. I have this feeling though that if the old watch out for the young and the young watch out for the old, we might not have to fear a smiting by the younger generation when we reach our retirement age. Likewise the younger generation might not need to fear being bested by an older, wiser and much more knowledgeable opponent. Put the two together and you'd have a pretty unstoppable society of course keeping those boundaries in the right places as I said to protect from exploitation either side. Now that should be a book of new change?" Heylyn summed up their talk.

"I was wondering if I could have a say as a model? After all, it's my body that's often in front of the cameras not only as a sex object but as a object to sell what what I'm wearing on a lifestyle and look. A life and line of work that I know and love." Monique asked the group.

"Your opinion is always welcome." Alicia assured Monique.

"Well, you were talking about exploitation and I thought that I'd give you my views. I agree that its all about confidence but also environment. Maybe that's what makes confidence and independence so important because any young Woman has be able to maintain it alone and sometimes in a hostile environment. If you grow up in the wrong area you might be at more risk than someone else just based upon the environment. Maybe that's why confidence and self esteem makes such sense. That's because for any Woman at all there would be risks regardless of where you start in life. Peer pressure can come from so many different places now and being able to stand against it and independently requires confidence. There's nothing wrong with wielding the power of your own sexuality but even that has a time and place. An age when we are in charge of whom we share that aspect of ourselves with a mate but rounded with confidence so as we don't give that away to someone who doesn't deserve it or who does not share our goals in life. As a model I guess I share some aspects of myself with the public but even I keep some things on reserve for that special someone. There are some people who make a living being exploited in one form or another and that's alright in my opinion so long as the means by which that occurs and how is always their choice and they are in full understanding of the consequences if any." Monique added.

"That's the point. If everyone knew the consequences they'd likely not make the choice depending upon what that choice entailed. That's what exploitation by age is about. It can be someone older seeking to trick someone younger into a compromising position that profits others having little or no return for the compromised. Likewise it can be someone older who is tricked into a compromising position by someone younger that has little or no return compared to the cost of the older person. It works both ways so it's better if we have each other's back." Bryce looked to Monique smiling.

"Perhaps our trip here will break down many obstacles to our very different understanding of the world and society." Monique suggested.

"We welcome this open and fresh point of view and certainly with regard to this topic, but I'm sure that Doctor Hong is eager to speak with you as you are to speak with him." Professor Ling Jie reminded the delegation.

"Good because we too have many questions and this is more in our area of expertise." Katya said a little bit uneasy with the topic they'd discussed.

"You seem eager to change the topic?" Doctor Briggs inquired of Katya.

"It is really a personal issue. I'd prefer if you didn't speak to my Wife of this matters..." Victor asked Doctor Briggs.

"No Victor. It is alright. He doesn't know how things were during the Russia's reform. In the early days the economy was rough and just starting. Many rackets and scams abound. Much exploitation too of Women. Some not so bad and others very bad. There is nothing wrong with a Woman who is intelligent or educated or both who seeks to profit by presenting her beauty or body for money in some way... to a degree. Some take this a little too far and don't appreciate the beauty of a Woman in this regard and it can go a bit far. My sister had problems with people who did this in such a way during the reform as there were many Women seeking work but not all were aware of what such work entailed. My sister was one such Woman and it took her a long time to break away from such people. She eventually found a nice man to settle down with who accepted her despite this scar in her past history. Things of that nature can make a Woman like a marked person. Nobody wants to be with again. She was fortunate to find a good man who accepted her regardless and she built a new life. In the last decade and a half Russia has changed drastically and Russia is now home to a people that seek comfort and predicable income. A steady job and profession. A steady household and solid families as their economy has grown strong. I always kept in contact with her so I had a direct line on all the happenings. You understand?...maybe?" Katya addressed Doctor Briggs and the delegation through her Russian accent.

"That explains much as to why we didn't hear from you. Don't be afraid to speak ever with us Katya. It's not just the qualities that we think people will like about us that make strong bonds of friendship both domestic and international. Its the qualities that we think people won't like us for that bond us sometimes even more so than the ones we want to advertise about ourselves. Besides, people who need the help of getting away from such volatile situations need other people to be able to deal with those issues openly. Some of the worst travesties in history are the ones that were kept under the carpet. Often they're the most long lived." Bryce said drawing from his own life experiences.

"This applies as much here as it does anywhere. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to break new ground in proud China. To give to pressure is sometimes regarded as weakness and a way to break the foundations of society. With the taste of revolution still fresh in our society after nineteen forty eight, it has taken some time for us to regard these issues though China is definitely a leader when it comes to Women's participation in society. From our earliest Taoist and Buddhist temples and Monks to our administration. Women have always been the cornerstone. Always considered the balance to the Yang which is the masculine aspect. So Women have always been regarded as equals." Professor Huang He responded.

"Though in early history the role of Women in China was one of subservience within the household under a Man's rule. This was challenged with the leadership of China's first Woman Emperor Wu Zetian who changed much about society with regard to this arrangement and the power structure which had long been the domain of Men only. With her leadership and the efforts of the Buddhist and Taoist temples of the land, they'd managed to change that impression in China and inspire and grow one of the greatest trade dynasties in China's history. Here up until recently she was regarded as a tyrant, but much has been uncovered that overthrows that impression and her accomplishments during her rule were remarkable. Perhaps for the obstacles that she had to overcome it required her to sometimes like a jiàn {sword} more so than a flower. Since her time marriage slowly became another manifestation of the Yin and Yang forces. Two equals that are both needed, becoming one and part of a much bigger whole." Professor Ling Jie agreed with Professor Huang He.

"It is said that this too was seen in the yarrow stalks and the trigrams, predicted by an early Sage that predates the Song dynasty. It is like this line from an ancient song. The Summons Of The Soul from Songs Of The South:

Their long hair and thick tresses now fall in splendid disarray.

Two lines of eight dancers in perfect symmetry begin the dance of Wu,

Their outspread sleeves as straight bamboo, swaying downwards.

Winds and strings crescendo wildly to the drum beat,

And the palace halls rock and shake as the musicians begin the
exhilarating airs of Ch'u;

Songs of Wu and ballads of Ts'ai resound to the grand pitch-scales.

Men and Women now sit together openly,
without reserve;

The entirety of the piece says much of the time. It reminds us that there is a hidden truth to her impact upon our history." Ling Jie continued adding a melody to the song much to the amusement of the delegation.

"Perhaps will come a day when Women and Men of all nations will be able to sit amongst one another. To dance and to love one another. A special soul bound to another's despite borders and culture. By the will and decree of the lovers involved. Openly. Without reserve." Doctor Briggs spoke feeling Zhang pressing herself to his side as he did.

Discoveries And Minds In Like As Distance


"So Doctor Hong, one of the real reasons that some of us made this trip was of course to get a chance to speak with you about your team's accomplishment. You know the one I speak of?" Bryce asked somewhat invitingly tweaking his bow tie as he did.

"Yeah. Fess up. I'm looking forward to hearing this too." Zheng added increasing the attentiveness of the others towards Doctor Hong.

The group stopped just outside the entry gates to the Palace Of Heavenly Purity where they stopped for a moment. Doctor Hong very obviously was taken back by his colleague's interest, his face turning a slight shade of pinkish red with the attention.

"It was nothing really. Well it was a team effort as Doctor Bryce said. I think that we all believed that it was an obstruction of mind and a way of looking at the problem that was the real obstacle." Doctor Hong began.

"You're being modest on purpose Doctor Hong. So how did you overcome that hurdle. The problem of simulation especially with regard to chemical engineering in terms of the bonds? In simulation versus reality?" Alicia asked Doctor Hong.

"You've peaked my interest too." Victor said folding his arms somewhat skeptically.

"Victor and I shied away from simulation for a long time. He always argued that there were so many factors in the real world that simulation could never be used productively in biology and especially in work evaluating and modifying the genome of phages. Don't mind him. Really Doctor Hong. How did your team do it." Katya asked Doctor Hong while Victor held his stern face.

"More often than not is is a way of looking at a given problem than the parts of the problem itself. The fact that the world is very complex plays no part in making simulation impractical for research because with enough fast hardware and efficient programming models you can do just about anything." Doctor Hong advised the delegates.

"But don't most simulations take longer to run than real time?" asked Doctor Briggs.

"Not at all. In fact with fast enough hardware you can run simulations that operate many times faster than reality. Not only that but you can run many such simulations concurrently on the same hardware quite often which means you can run many experiments in parallel. So the incentive for overcoming the complexity problem is also a financial benefit. You get many laboratories in one simulation but you always need real world laboratories because simulation is never a replacement for a lab. It should be a tool present in any lab." Doctor Hong explained to Doctor Briggs as the others listened.

"You know, my cousin plays video games all of the time and they're simulations. I mean there's things that happen in those games that is very similar to what happens in real life. Are they linked in any way to what you do?" Monique asked Doctor Hong.

"It's funny you should mention because video games were the number one market force that resulted in the creation of hardware complex and fast enough to run medical and engineering simulations and eventually to make that power affordable to labs everywhere." Doctor Hong looked to Monique in recognition of her question.

"I thought that computing power of that kind came from weather tracking bureaus, automobile manufacturing and military?" Alicia looked to Monique and then back to Doctor Hong.

"Well that's not entirely true. They did have a big role in making simulation accessible on a global scale but it took the market forces of modern home computing and console hardware to result in hardware that is powering most medical simulations. That hardware upon entry into the new millennium was running MRIs, Gene sequencing computer stations and microsurgery hardware. It was showing up in more and more places. As far as automobile manufacturers go, they've always used simulation at least for design. It was an engineer at one car manufacturer that came up with a way to do parametric curves on a computer. Something that opened the door to none planar geometry which again led to many areas of application in simulation. Weather simulations too are the area that you run into factors making accurate simulation of real world events nearly impossible. That's why weather reports are given as probabilities. The market for fast computer hardware was strongest in the consumer market from the mid 1990s onward and resulted directly in many medical imaging breakthroughs. The early gaming and business markets drove for the creation of fast mathematical hardware and the math co-processor was born. I mean you can't very well recalculate a ledger with a hundred thousand entries and wait all day for it to finish. So the math coprocessor was a logical step that led to modern graphics and geometry processors. The first non-gaming application for those processor was medical imaging. So one could say that computer gaming led directly to technology that saves lives." Zheng patted Monique on the back for her question.

"Many of the nodes for distributed computing projects such as World Community Grid and BOINC run on the systems of gamers because their hardware is actually quite good for it. There's many volunteers too from the gaming community who donate their computing time for projects that run medical simulations. For everything from pharmaceutical engineering to gene sequencing. A number of breakthroughs have been yielded in many areas of research as well." Bryce pointed out.

"So that still doesn't explain what your team did." Victor looked piercingly at Doctor Hong.

"Victor! Lighten up. My husband is likely more grouchy from all of the traveling. Please do explain more." Katya said pushing herself in closer to Victor trying to lighten his mood making Norler chuckle a bit.

"As you already know we discovered the problem when we tried to simulate the lab process of producing a particular enzyme needed to initiate mitosis artificially despite what the cellular clock wants. We had set it up to use every factor that was part of the laboratory including the equipment and what it was made of, how much energy potential it had in terms of static electricity and according to relative humidity and temperature of the lab. The air purity as well in particles per million cubic micrometers, basically a cube with sides of a hundred micrometers each. We had factored everything into the simulation meaning that the simulation program itself factored everything we'd included as a mathematical model. We'd done the experiment in the lab and had run into snags with our process. Given the time heavy approach to the experiment we decided it would be more economical to simulate because we could run it faster than real time. In something called phase time which can be either faster or slower than real time. When we ran the simulation, it did not do what we expected which should have mirrored our own results in the real world experiment. Instead we were getting erratic anomalies. The chemical bonds would not form on some of the atoms and we wouldn't end up with molecules that were required for the final enzyme. We looked at everything. The model used to simulate the atomic forces that bind atoms one to the other. The make up of the lab equipment. It wasn't until we looked closely at titanium that we discovered something that wasn't factored into the simulation because it hadn't been discovered." there was a pause as Doctor Hong cleared his dry throat.

"We discovered that in the simulation the artificial titanium lab hardware was affecting the production process of the enzyme by ionization." Doctor Hong continued.

"I though titanium was inert?" Alicia asked sincerely interested in Doctor Hong's findings.

"Yes it is inert. Usually. Except for a special case involving interaction with a radioactive isotope we used as part of the process." Doctor Hong's replied.

"So how did you overcome that quality and discrepancy in your simulation? I mean few robust simulations go so far as to simulate ionization unless you're dealing with weather prediction?" Zheng asked Doctor Hong.

"Well we weren't dealing with something as well funded as accurate weather forecasting but this particular obstacle was imperative to the success of our project and our progression through the next milestone. That is in terms of our project life cycle." Doctor Hong explained, his throat feeling dry from speech.

"So how did you make the simulation fit the discrepancies with the lab experiment?" Alicia thirsted for the answer.

"By modifying the system model with regard to how we deal with the micro and the macro. The alpha and the omega so to speak." Doctor Hong answered.

"Sorry?" Alicia verified she'd heard correctly.

"We modified our physics model to regard everything in the simulation as being the same thing or part of it rather than distinct pieces of it. We utilized wave slash particle duality in a physical experiment. That is we regarded the interaction of atomic forces on the molecular scale as being both wave like in terms of probability and particle like in terms of Planck determination." Doctor Hong introduced the concept to Alicia.

Alicia thought for a moment about Doctor Hong's explanation. One of the important parts of creating the SY349 had to do with the enzyme that initiated mitosis artificially. When creating the enzyme in the laboratories of Tynan And Associates she and her colleagues had used Caesium for the process which had presented no problems in the lab. That part of engineering the SY349 had been the smoothest part of the project. Seeing as Doctor Hong's process was similar it had a few points which were highly optimized comparatively to her process.

Doctor Hong's phone suddenly rang and he answered reflexively. He spoke in disbeliefon the phone as a security team approached both delegations.

"We've been asked to escort you out of the Forbidden City." one of the security team spoke addressing Norler and Professor Ling Jie.

"What? Why? Is there a problem?" Norler turned to the security team leader.

"There's a high risk situation unfolding. Please accompany us." the security team leader gestured to the rest of the delegation to follow them as another part of the team took up their rear.

"I'm sorry Doctor Hong, we'll get back to conversation again after this delay." Bryce assured Doctor Hong as he remained calm.

Alicia looked to Norler. Norler looked back to her.

"So?" Alicia asked him.

"You make sure that you come back in one piece. I don't want to spend that romantic vacation alone." Norler replied to her.

She leaned over throwing her arms around his neck and kissing his cheek.

"Love you." Alicia said as she let go and made her way to Heylyn.

Monique and Valerie were already there. They spoke quietly to each other.

"There's something going on. There's a lot of activity." Heylyn advised.

"Did you bring your costume?" Alicia asked already having hers on under her clothing.

"I did." Monique replied.

"Me too. It's a bit hot but I have it on." Valerie answered.

"I have what I need." Heylyn said still looking around to ensure their perimeter was safe.

For a moment time seemed to stand still as the first explosiong threw them to the ground. It was not inside of the Forbidden City itself but near the front entry gates. It was followed shortly thereafter by another not far from the first. There were screams as panic set in amongst the tourists. The security force scrambled to their feet helping the delegation to theirs. By that time Heylyn, Alicia, Monique and Valerie were already gone.

Heylyn and Monique took to the air first flying as fast as they could towards the gate and the source of the explosion. They'd quickly put their masks on and discarded their over garments unnoticed. Alicia and Valerie took off running for the gates unnoticed in the commotion and hidden by the crowd. They too had their masks on drawing a little bit of caution from the crowd around them.

"It looks like we flushed them out of the wood work. Warley errr... Steadman was right. It is the anomalies from Treadwater." one of the mercenary teams from Future Tangent Industries was already out the door of the van.

It was one of their teams which had rocketed the Tynan security team vans which had yielded two large explosions and started the chaos. The Chinese security forces would still need a bit a time to respond to the crisis giving the Future Tangent team the time it needed to finish it's mission.

"Does anyone have a clear shot at Norler yet?" radioed the one of the Future Tangent team members to a corresponding team inside of the Forbidden City.

"Both delegations are in cover right now but they should emerge in about a minute or two." responded a plain clothed security team member.

"Take the shot as soon as you have it. Likewise with Professor Ling Jie. Remember to drop the gun as soon as you have and run. Make sure nobody sees you." the Future Tangent team leader replied.

The assault team left their cover and started running in the direction of the delegation. Each member of the team were in plain clothes and looked like tourists themselves. That was the plan. To get in and out undetected in the fray caused by the decoy of the exploding vans. To get Alicia, Heylyn, Monique and Valerie away from the delegation so they could do their dirty work.


Continued in The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Act V

Copyright © 2018 Brian Joseph Johns

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