The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Act VI - Heart In Seoul With Pyongyang

Heart, Seoul And Distraction

Alicia Westin

Heylyn and Alicia took point at the arrival terminal first, just behind their security detail with Monique and Valerie following closely behind them. The rest of the delegation followed shortly thereafter, much less conspicuously. Zheng Ni Wong and Doctor Briggs kept their hands tightly clasped following closely behind Bryce and Valerie. Heylyn and Alicia met the press first trying, to lead them away from the main attraction at that point which was Zheng and Doctor Briggs.

The questions flew as readily as the ammunition from any firearms they'd faced in more dangerous encounters. A situation for which Heylyn was better armed and experienced. A common experience with which Alicia had become familiar as a result of all the attention Norler had drawn during their time together thus far. The camera flashes fired, reminding Alicia of the muzzle flashes from the assailants attackers at the Forbidden City. Heylyn made room for her fellow peers and decoys before the press.

The tactic worked as Zheng and Doctor Briggs were able to slip by unnoticed.

Bryce Maxwell

"Thank you Seoul for the turn out. May I direct your attention to these marvelous women, Heylyn Yates and Alicia Weston! Two women who represent the ambition of many women throughout history and our time." Bryce said stepping back for his peers as they stepped forward.

"How did you find out about Doctor Briggs and Zheng Ni Wong?" the first question flew from a journalist.

"My dear, how long did you study journalism just to learn to ask that question rather than to ask my friend Alicia here about how she came to the realization that the SY349 might be a solution to many real health problems throughout the world?" Heylyn asked the journalist.

"Are you related to Doctor Zheng Ni Wong Ms. Yates?" asked another journalist.

"We're sisters in spirit." Heylyn responded.
"Is Doctor Briggs a part of your research team at Tynan And Associates Alicia?" another journalist queried.

"No. Doctor Briggs is a delegation expert on Eastern Medicine and Philosophy whose expertise has been invaluable. Doctor Wong's contribution in China has been immense as has her expertise in mathematics and simulation." Alicia replied.

"Is Walton Norler guilty of the assassination attempt for which he might be charged and are you involved in the current foul play foible?" another journalist asked Alicia directly.

"Walton is guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His life was saved by Doctor Huang whose injuries were minor despite his intervention. There is no assassination conspiracy originating from Walton, from Tynan And Associates or from any of its employees or contractors. Walton Norler and I are in a serious relationship I am confident to say, and will continue to be so." Alicia responded.

"Is it true that he's being held by Chinese authorities until an upcoming court date?" another question came.

"He's being treated in Beijing Hospital under the supervision of Doctor Lin Soo, the Medical program director and Chief of Surgery." Alicia responded.

Heylyn Yates and Monique Defleur

"Do you need my help here Boss?" Monique asked Heylyn.

"Could you cover for Doctor Wong and Doctor Briggs? Be creative if you know what I mean?" asked Heylyn.

"I think I get your drift. So I'm alright to use my talents am I?" Monique confirmed with Heylyn.

"As long as you can be discreet..." Heylyn responded trying to keep the press' attention on her.

"I'm on it..." Monique responded turning to find Doctor Zheng Ni Wong and Doctor Stephen Briggs.

Katya and Victor passed behind them just as Monique made her way forward to catch up.

"Did we miss the something?" Katya looked out into the array of flashes and microphones trying to look innocent.

"Maybe something happened over there..." Victor pointed off into the distance causing many of the journalists to do the same.

Monique used their distraction to catch up to Doctor Wong and Doctor Brigg.

"Found ya!" Monique responded as she ran cover for them.

Meanwhile back at the mini press conference Katya and Victor had become the life of the show. Victor had set about re-enacting a traditional Russian dance he'd done before in his youth much to Katya's amusement. She cheered him on enthusiastically as he struggled.

Left To Right: Victor and Katya Piotr

"Just like in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Remember Katya?" Victor said as he struggled profusely to keep his balance in front of the onlooking press.

"I still remember your victory dance when we first successfully isolated the metabolic process of phages more than a decade ago, though isn't this a little cliche Victor? I mean in a cultural sense?" Katya clapped for him.

"I'd say it's more... how you say...? Nostrastalgic?" Victor continued his dance.

"You mean like Nostradamus? ...or Nostalgic?" Katya said amused by her husband's play on simile.

"Hmmmm.... I never thought of it... maybe both?" Victor said as he collapsed to the floor exhausted the press' cameras flashing about him.

"You floundering fish, I've never been more proud of you..." Katya smiled leaning down to kiss him on the cheek.

"I'd say our delegation is slowly turning into a media circus." Bryce commented, raising an eyebrow upon turning to see Victor's dance.

"Slowly?" Heylyn replied beginning to clap for Victor.

Victor went about it for another minute before collapsing in exhaustion to the floor of the terminal. A moment later he was on his feet grasping for his breath.

"Whew! I haven't done that for ages. Maybe too long as my breath would say." Victor coughed.

He then raised his hands in victory (perhaps intending a pun based upon his first name) and proceeded through the terminal to the passenger pickup area. The cameras flashed about him and he took Katya's arm pulling her close as they walked.

"That should give them something to talk about for a bit rather than our friends Zheng and Doctor Briggs." Victor whispered in Katya's ear.

"Perhaps you'd like a nice back rub when we get to our room?" Katya asked him seductively.

"Only if you are the one delivering this back rub and only if I can reciprocate." Victor smiled.

"I think we we have a deal." Katya replied coyly.

Heylyn, Alicia, Valerie and Bryce quickly caught up with the rest of the group.

"Looks like Zheng and Briggs made it out safely. With any luck they're already on their way to the hotel." Bryce said to the ladies he escorted.

"Remember that we have the evening meeting with the other delegation tonight." Heylyn reminded them.

"That's going to be formal at first. It will become casual after the introductions and familiarization. I'll be giving our delegation a briefing in the hotel lounge before we leave." Valerie reminded them.

"I don't know how we're going to do this without Norler. I mean his presence alone is an inspiration and driving force. I could rely on the fact that if things went awry he could throw that charisma of his into action and get everything back on track. People trust him. Listen to him. I guess what I'm saying is that I've relied on that since we've been together. This will be the first occasion where we don't have the benefit of his presence. I'll be honest, I'm a bit troubled doing this without him." Alicia expressed herself sharing a bit of her anxiety with her friends.

"He's with us in spirit. I mean just by being around him we've all learned from him and been inspired by him. That leaves each of us with something we've gained from him. His way of thinking. I mean when we encounter future situations, we just have to remember to ask ourselves: what would Norler do? Maybe through our mutual friendship he'll be with us in another way." Valerie spoke sincerely for the first time in a long time.

"It's that kind of thinking that will do us good. Especially here in South Korea and later in Japan. There's a strong belief in this part of the world that people rub off on each other. What you do after being with someone is most often as important as what you do while you're with them. This idea is heavily tied in with the concept of Honor in Japan. In South Korea it is a form of bonding between people. Both countries are a mixed combination of Buddhism followed by Christianity with other beliefs rounding out the remainder. Even amongst the atheist population, these traditions are very strongly adhered to. The region being the foundations of early land trade in civilization through the Silk road has a history of cooperation despite their differences in belief. China, Vietnam, Laos and the Siam region which in their early history had been invaded several times nearly losing it's indigenous religions in the process became very guarded in this respect which eventually brought about the construction of the Great Wall. They've fortified their culture similarly in the face of threats most people don't see and of which most aren't aware. Japan too which had remained isolationist from the rest of the world until the late 1800s. Still this idea of the fact that we rub off on one another and our choices after we meet with someone are as important as our choices while with them. You could say they follow this idea very much. That is why so many ideologies that hold opposition to the Far East of Asia attempt to sabotage a person's behavior during or after a person has interacted with someone of a Far East culture. Believe me, I know from personal experience. A sort of hidden racism that still exists in society to this day. Not so much common in this part of the world but to be aware of it is important because your behavior after dealing with someone from this region is often as important as your behavior while dealing with them as I've said. If someone spurs you to a bad reaction or bad behavior, it could be seen as dishonoring the person or persons with whom you met. Remember this because this concept is important. It has in history resulted in the loss of big deals in business and trade, just by strategically coordinated attempts to bring out the worst behavior in a diplomat or merchant at a key moment in time to the benefit of an interloper. Defending and protecting this concept is an integral part of rebuilding the bridge between West and East." Heylyn advised her friends.

"I don't think that Doctor Briggs could have put it better himself, and this is his area of expertise." Bryce tried to compliment Heylyn academically.

"I'm just doing my part in Zheng's and Doctor Briggs' absence. Keep in mind too that this concept isn't a constricting factor to our behaviour in the sense of enjoyment. When tradition and formalities have been observed and respected, one can enjoy their time here and in doing so, you're paying a great tribute to this concept of how those you've dealt with leave a lasting impact upon you. Enjoyment and appreciation are highly valued. South Korea is a good half-way point between China and Japan, especially when it comes to these concepts. Chinese culture tends to prefer to be in control of their social privacy, while Japan is almost the opposite. South Korean traditionally are somewhere in between, but keep in mind that every person of every culture in this region are unique and distinct. I'm sure that Doctor Briggs would agree that with over a thousand different language dialects in the region, that history for the ancestry of the Far East of Asia was regionally distinct. My Grandmother used to speak of this often with me when I was a post graduate. She loved Canada, but some of her most fond memories were of her time in GuangZhou, in China. Some of her must have rubbed off onto me." Heylyn did her best to explain her understanding to her peers.

"Alicia and I have been friends since we were sixteen. Besides, I do a lot of business in Europe and the Far East of Asia with many designers, fabric manufacturers and cosmetics companies. From France and Great Britain eastwards across the board to Japan. As far as the art of the deal goes, this is mandatory to know when trading with the Far East as much as being fair in your business dealings. One area I'm thankful for is that my martial arts training didn't focus solely on fighting or defense techniques. It included history, art and culture as well. I even learned to play the Guzheng through my martial arts classes as well as studying Chinese calligraphy and reading some of the ancient languages in China. I'd say that in martial arts, that the word arts is the key word. The martial part is more about being skilled in order to protect the arts. I'd say that it's the same in traditional dojos and dojangs for both Japanese and Korean martial arts. There's a physical component for certain and a discipline with which it goes hand in hand, but there should always be a spiritual (not religious) reason as well and certainly one for the heart and mind. It's not strictly about fighting, except perhaps fighting your own self limitations. The concept of developing martial prowess came from two origins. The first being a formalized method of combat utilizing farming tools as weapons." Heylyn continued.

"Farming tools? Why would a farmer ever want to attack someone?" Valerie asked in surprise.

"Farming tools along with the discovery of the means to create fire are the foundation of every civilization. Once you get to the point that you're cultivating land for the purpose of growing food to support a local population and feed your livestock, that's usually the starting point at which a civilization requires weapons and an army to protect that growing capacity. In fact in just about every civilization the world over, the development and advancement of farming tools coincides with the development and advancement of weapons." Bryce interjected as they walked towards the baggage area.

"Precisely. In China much of the early development of civilization was spread across it's vast territories in farming villages. There were few concentrated settlements so the farmers had no local army to protect their produce. Marauding was common in the fringes of the territory against these farming communities and so they developed a martial system which employed the use of farming tools as weapons. This was the first form of early martial arts employing weapons for an organized martial system of training." Heylyn told them as they arrived at the baggage area.

"And what was the second?" Alicia asked sincerely interested as she looked for her baggage.

"This knowledge was shared with farmers by Warrior Monks, who dedicated their lives to such practices, originating from the region of India, Gojoseon and early China. This originated from Buddhism extending from as far as India and it's eventual spread to Gojoseon, through Angkor and up into China and Japan. Since in the early days much of the time of early Buddhist monks and practitioners was set aside for development of the mind and spirit through meditation, some Buddhists got together and decided that the body was as much a part of the process of enlightenment and Nirvana as was the mind and spirit (or Chi). So they developed a brutal regimen of exercise to fine tune their bodies to peak performance that is difficult for many Westerners to comprehend. Perhaps the modern athletes who practice mixed martial arts can appreciate the dedication required to endure such pursuits, both physical and mental. It could easily be likened to the kind of constant training that the JTF, Navy Seals and other mission critical forces might undergo. The difference being that a Monk's dedication continues well into their old age. These Monks were hardened beyond any fathomable measure. Slowly they began developing techniques by observing the nature around them and the beginnings of unarmed martial arts combat training began. It is said that in one instance that ten such Monks were dispatched to deal with pirates raiding the shores of China in the South China Sea. Ten were sent to deal with a hundred pirates. One Monk was lost during the battle and all of the pirates were dispatched. This could easily be taken as folklore but having seen some of the modern greats during my training, I'd be inclined to believe it. The history is much the same in Korea (or Gosojeon at that time), Japan and India. Japan and Korea had been many times in their early history, mortal enemies. Their history of martial arts developed as a result of this conflict between them strengthening the development of their martial arts through warfare with each other and a few civil wars fought during their feudal periods." Heylyn picked up her suitcase placing it on the floor beside her ready to wheeled away.

"So how did a Woman such as yourself become involved in martial arts and how does sharing these traditional secrets with us and others affect you?" Bryce asked her honestly.

"I'll take that as a compliment." Heylyn responded.

"It wasn't meant any other way but as you're taking it." Bryce replied getting his luggage.

"It was sort of a calling for myself really. I began when I was around seven years old. I started with Goju Ryu. A form of Japanese Karate in the Shotokan tradition. Goju in Japanese means hard soft, while Ryu means warrior. So it literally means hard soft warrior. I achieved my black belt around the age of nine under the strict and wise instruction of Morgan Hind Kyoshi and then continued by studying Tae Kwon Do thereafter under our instructor Hoon Kwang whom we simply referred to as "Tiger". He was another great instructor like Hind Kyoshi, both teaching about the history, culture and arts as much as fighting style. I received my black belt. I then continued studying Kung Fu and a specialized form of Wing Chun under Sifu Jinn Hua. So when you say a Woman such as myself, I take that as a compliment because other Women such as myself like Sifu Jinn Hua and many in history were in fact expert practitioners of these arts. In fact, Wing Chun was developed by a Female Buddhist Monk. Nobody wanted to fight her because she was a Woman, and she'd only take students who did challenge her. Many of those that challenged her were trained in other martial arts and experts in their own schools. She defeated them all of course as the legends go, hence they became her students. She taught them the original Wing Chun and they carried on the tradition and the school, eventually creating schools of their own, some combining it with the arts they'd previously known or sticking to her pure form. So you could say that I'm in good company with ladies like her. It's humbling." Heylyn replied confidently but modestly before continuing.

"Insofar as sharing traditional secrets go, that depends on many things. In North America there tends to be this ever growing superstition that if you express aspects of your life and your own being, or the things that you know, that you'll lose them and they'll become a part of the lives of the people listening. I really believe that's rubbish and nonsense. We listen and we learn, but we haven't learned until we are able to apply it in some way. That takes time and commitment to the subject being learnt. One could listen to a thousand philosophers over the course of a thousand days, and still be ignorant, while those philosophers will still be philosophers even having expressed their knowledge. If I speak of my knowledge of riding a bicycle, I do not suddenly become unable to ride a bicycle while the people listening suddenly acquire my skill of riding. Its much the same for anything in life. I could lecture on the subjects of martial arts or fashion for years, and those listening aren't guaranteed to suddenly become either expert martial artists or fashion designers and I don't suddenly become inept of those skills. That's because to be anything requires effort, dedication and discipline in combination with one's capacity to listen and learn." Heylyn paused again and then continued.

"Becoming a martial artist isn't a one shot deal. You don't go study for two years and then quit once you have achieved your degree. It requires constant maintenance, again both physical and mental. So listening alone just doesn't cut it. Much the same for any vocation, skill or any aspect of one's life. When you've learned through effort, dedication, discipline and application, you'll have a much easier time maintaining it, whatever your vocation. You'll never lose it, but its like a muscle. It gets weak with lack of use but never disappears. You have to maintain it to keep it relevant as a skill. So someone speaking of something doesn't mean that they lose it to the people listening, because if the people listening don't commit themselves to it through effort, dedication, discipline and application, they never had it in the first place. As I get older, my body will be less and less capable of strenuous activity. The knowledge and ability is still there, but the capacity of my body to perform these techniques becomes diminished over time. That doesn't mean that the ability is leaving my body and going to someone else's. It just means that I have knowledge contained within me about how to build and apply the techniques of the physical components of martial arts, and could even train someone else, but my body may never be able to perform them as I did when I was younger. It's always with you even when your body is incapable of performing it. A master is not a cup from which their own elements of being are poured into the cups of their students, leaving them forever with nothing. The master is a fountain or well and never empties, but can fill many cups throughout their life's journey. The students do not become fountains or wells themselves until they have pursued through effort, dedication and discipline and have realized their pursuit of such knowledge is one that never ends. No cup ever becomes full, yet no cup ever becomes empty. " Heylyn surmised.

"I have to say that I certainly agree with what you've said. The concept that something of that nature can be taken from someone just by their expressing it is just sheer illusion and rubbish. If I share my bank account numbers online in a public forum, there's a chance that someone will use them to impersonate me to take my money, but they still are not me just by wearing my name or bank account numbers. Even if they read everything about me there is to know. Likewise anyone else. It's an Honor to be in your presence. I never did well with athleticism in school in Wendy's absence but when she put it to me intellectually, I was able to shine, if not only once. If you ever teach Heylyn, I'd be honoured to become a student." Bryce responded to Heylyn.

"Bryce, would you turn down the charm for bit?! We're trying to get our luggage here." Valerie replied sarcastically drawing a bit of laughter from the rest of them.

"Thanks Heylyn. Knowing these things will come in very handy in this leg of the journey. Thanks for picking up a bit of Doctor Briggs' slack too. Poor Zheng and Briggs. I hope they're alright." Alicia said having retrieved her luggage.

"Yeah, life's tough sometimes but you have to roll with the struggle... Alright. It looks like we're in business. Let's get to the hotel and catch up with the others. We've got a busy night ahead of us." Valerie urged them.

They wheeled their luggage out to the carport and taxi pickup where a large van awaited them. Their security detail had shadowed them the whole way keeping them as safe as they could but the real test had yet to come.

Night Club And Nurse Appreciation

As luck would have it, Zheng and Doctor Briggs arrived somehow managing to remain low key in the lobby of the hotel while Monique dealt with the front desk for their respective rooms. Their hotel room doors were opened by way of smartphone software which interfaced with the hotel's management system. Monique quickly figured out the software after installing it on her phone. She then made her way back to Zheng and Doctor Briggs showing them as they made their way to the elevator and up to their rooms.

Alicia, Heylyn, Valerie, Katya, Victor and Bryce arrived shortly thereafter making their way to their rooms just in time for a short rest before the soirée. Monique rested in her bed quietly while Heylyn spent an hour speaking on the phone with the three staff she'd left in charge of her company West Meet East International back in Toronto.

Geoff had been the studio manager for the last year and director of photography in the years prior. He'd the most seniority in her company next to Heylyn herself. He'd been given the task of handling her day to day business and coordinating all current projects while Delia Welmer managed everything relating to the models and photo shoot scheduling. Meanwhile Kori Jongliyu kept the production pipeline going, producing Heylyn's backlog of designs working with the sewing and fabrication room. She also ensured that any sets in the studio were built and decorated in a timely manner. Between the three of them they managed to just barely fill Heylyn's shoes or so they'd joked with her on the phone. Heylyn happily conceded that they were probably exceeding her's by a margin by working together.

Victor enjoyed the backrub he was promised by his wife Katya. She poured on the gratification much to his enjoyment and relaxation. When she was done, he reciprocated much to her delight.

Bryce had the room entirely to himself while Doctor Briggs and Zheng spent the rest of the day together in her room enjoying their mutual company. Bryce spent most of his time catching up on the scientific periodicals he'd missed during the course of their trip. He'd cleaned and readied himself an hour before the soirée and headed up to the lounge sitting in with a guitar based jazz trio on the grand piano. It was an unannounced cameo much to the amusement of the patrons many of whom were tourists in Seoul. The Piano's rich timbres and percussive rhythm filled out the melodic presence of the Jazz Guitar, the Upright Bass and three piece Drum kit, which was played deftly with brush sticks of course.

Not long after he'd started Alicia and Valerie arrived at the lounge looking ravishing. Bryce joined them at their table after they'd finished their piece Got My Eyes On You. The guitarist thanked Bryce and the trio continued their set.

"I somehow knew I'd find you up here." Alicia smiled to him as he arrived.

"Would you mind if I join you?" he asked ceremoniously.

"Please do." replied Valerie flirtatiously.

"Thank you. So it looks like we've got the right table. We should be able to seat everyone here between this one and the neighboring one we'd reserved. So what brings you two loverly ladies up here so early?" Bryce said eyeing over the seating arrangements.

"I guess we wanted to dig ourselves in and get comfortable before the other delegation got here..." Valerie started as the Hostess arrived with another patron beside her.

"I'm sorry to interrupt but one of the South Korean delegation has arrived." the Hostess addressed the table.

Bryce stood as did Alicia and Valerie. The tiny framed Korean lady stepped over to the table and introduced herself.

Nurse Hye Sung Ki

"Hello. I'm Hye Seung Ki, Chief Nurse at the Seoul University Hospital." she said with a tiny but confident voice.

"This is Valerie Aspen our delegation project manager. Next to her is Professor Bryce Maxwell. I'm Doctor Alicia Weston." Alicia introduced her peers to Hye.

"I am pleased to make your acquaintance. May I join you?" Hye asked politely.

"Allow me." Bryce stepped over and pulled her chair out for her.

"Its our pleasure to meet you Miss Seung Ki." Bryce responded to her introduction.

"Please, you may call me Hye. Thank you." Hye replied.

"Well then you can call me Alicia." Alicia smiled sitting back down.

"...Valerie. My friends call me Valerie." Valerie responded.

"Please call me Bryce, Hye." Bryce continued taking his own seat.

"We came up here early to get comfortable and to hear a bit of the music." Alicia began their conversation.

"Speaking of which, I have to go for the next song. If you'll excuse me ladies." Bryce excused himself jumping up onto stage as the trio finished their song.

He spoke with the guitarist for a moment before taking his place at the grand piano.

"Our guest tonight Professor Bryce Maxwell is going to sing the next number. It's a little traditional jazz piece from the golden age. We hope you like it." the guitarist finished as Bryce began with a melodic piano intro.

"This song goes out to Miss Hye Seung Ki. Chief Nurse at the Seoul University Hospital." Bryce announced as he played.

[Author's note: This is a rough lead sheet, though the arrangement actually works as I've played and sang it, though I recently rewrote the lyrics after channeling my father David to help me do so, and that he did.]

12/8 Moderate tempo with a triple feel


F#m7 B7#9 Em7 A7#9 Dm7 G7#5

After the intro phrase the rest the band came in quietly and Bryce's voice emerged from the speakers.

I've been on this road a long time.

You know I've seen it all.

With every step I take,

its not often that I fall.


But when I fell for you,

there was little I could do.

I knew from the start.

Nurse that you would heal my heart...
Dm7                  G7#6    CM7


I've been a little lost,

a little broken too.

Playing this game of love,

I learned the only medicine is you



And when I fell for you,

there was little I could do.

I knew from the start,

Nurse you healed my heart...
Dm7                  G7#6    CM7


I know it makes no sense,

the other girls, they want insurance

When all that I wanted was a heart that's true,

but your night time chatter

and your bedside manner

leave me wanting more of you in the morning


And now I'm on my feet again.

I'm feeling like myself.

And it was all because of you my love,

That I can get on that horse again.


And when I fell for you my dear,

there was nothing I could do.

I knew from the start.

Nurse that you healed my heart.
Dm7                  G7#6    CM7


Nurse. You healed my heart.
Dm7    G7#6          CM7#11 13

Bryce finished drawing an applause from the audience and a few tears from Hye's eyes.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Wade Sunny on guitar. Jeong Joon on upright bass and Steven "Stewart" Morgan Sensei on percussion." Bryce introduced the band one by one, each stepping forward or standing for the applause.

"Nothing like an old classic to heal the heart. So where were we?" Bryce said as he returned to the table.

"I think you were about to get the Hostess to bring a tissue for Hye." Valerie replied with accented sarcasm.

[Author's first draft note: Tuesday April 18, 2017 3:00PM Update proceeding]

"Forgive me if that was a little bit over the top but I really feel that there has been no mention of the importance of Nursing in any approach to healing. Certainly a big part of Western medicine and one that we've neglected on this journey. Hye here is the first delegate representative that we've encountered from the field of Nursing. If the left leg of medicine are Doctors then surely the right leg must be the Nurses. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to get the Hostess to bring a tissue for Miss Hye." Bryce announced to Valerie and Alicia.

Alicia grabbed his arm as he walked by stopping him.

"Forgiven. I can honestly say that's why Norler made the suggestion that you be a member of this delegation." Alicia admitted to him.

"I'm not surprised. After all the man obviously has great taste in the company he picks not to mention Women. I'll thank him myself when he's on his feet which I'm sure will be soon." Bryce smiled and winked at Alicia continuing towards the Hostess.

"Let's hope." Alicia whispered.

Bryce returned to the table a moment later.

"She's bringing one for you now." Bryce assured Hye who thanked him.

The Hostess arrived with the tissue leading three more guests, a lady and two more men. The guests thanked the Hostess and introduced themselves as Bryce stood. It was the lady who stepped forward first.

Professor Areum Iseul

"Hello. I'm Professor Areum Iseul from the Seoul National University. I see you've already met our Chief Nurse Hye Seung Ki?" Professor Iseul smiled gesturing to Hye.

One of the men, the younger one in his early forties stepped forward introducing himself.

"Pleased to meet you. I am Doctor Joon Myung from the Asan Medical Center." he smiled genuinely and earnestly accepting Bryce's handshake as the last guest waited before introducing himself.

"I'm Doctor Kyung Chul. I'm the Chief Physician at Asan Medical Center here in Seoul." a well dressed Korean man in his late forties said introducing himself.

"I'm Doctor Alicia Westin, Chief Of Research for the SY349 program at Tynan And Associates." Alicia stood greeting the new arrivals at the table.

"I'm Valerie Aspen, Project Manager for our delegation." she smiled throwing a bit of charm as she introduced herself.

"I'm Professor Bryce Maxwell at your service. I've heard much about your pioneering work here in Korea. Especially with regard to the integration of traditional dietary medicine as an integral part of treatment." Bryce said to his peers as they were seated.

"Much like China, food has always been an important part of the medical practice here in Korea. Since our relations with the West over the last fifty years and the integration of Western medicine with both our traditional and modern practices we've lacked an official program that sought to exploit that feature of treatment. It was actually Hye and Doctor Chul here who proposed merging traditional Korean dietary treatment with our modern facilities and methods. Dietary traditional medicine has always played an important role in our culture. It only made sense that it become a part of modern treatment as well, where applicable of course." Professor Iseul replied to Bryce's observation.

The Hostess arrived with a few more guests.

"I'm Doctor Zheng Ni Wong." Zheng said introducing herself.

"I'm Doctor Stephen Briggs. I assume that we're fashionably late?" Doctor Briggs asked.

"No. You're fashionable early by twenty minutes." Valerie replied to Doctor Briggs as they made the rounds of introductions.

Heylyn and Monique arrived a moment later with another two men following behind them.

"I'm Monique Defleur. Pleased to meet you." Monique said smiling to the delegates at the table.

"I'm Heylyn Yates." Heylyn introduced herself following Monique through the rounds before taking her seat beside Alicia, Valerie, Monique and Bryce.

Professor Iseul stood.

"You must be Advisor Gun Kwan Suk?" Professor Iseul asked.

Advisor Gun Kwan Suk

"Correct. I'm Advisor Gun Kwan Suk of the North Korean Ministry of Medical Affairs. This is my personal escort who shall remain anonymous. He is required to accompany me at all times during this delegation. I have been assured by your representatives that my assumptions are correct." Advisor Suk announced perhaps a little defensively.

"I'm Professor Areum Iseul from the Seoul National University Hospital. We welcome your presence at these meetings Advisor Suk. Please if you will be seated." Professor Iseul responded diplomatically.

"Thank you Professor. I'm familiar with you and your peers here. Perhaps you will introduce me to the Western delegation?" Advisor Suk responded.

There was a moment of silence as the table became acquainted with the diplomatic pressure they'd be under.

Professor Iseul patiently went through the pragma of introductions once again and the tensions at the table eased. Advisor Suk's escort sat quietly beside him looking over the table's occupants in detail.

"Please do not be intimidated by my escort. It is a diplomatic requirement on all foreign dealings outside of North Korean soil. To prevent any representatives from defecting or giving up information deemed as a national secret to foreign powers. Rest assured that I am a loyalist and here strictly as a representative of North Korea's medical interests as part of the region. Perhaps we should keep our discussions to the matters at hand so as to avoid international embarrassment for either of our delegations. Something for which I've seen that you have quite a knack already." Advisor Suk spoke perhaps trying to ease tensions through bluntness only elevating them slightly.

"I can assure you that what the press has to say about the personal lives of our delegation's membership has nothing to do with the scope of the goals of our delegation. That comes with the territory as I'm sure you'll agree. There have been many times I've seen North Korea plastered across the headlines in scandal that may have been largely misinterpretation of the actual truth at it's source." Valerie responded in defense of Zheng, Doctor Briggs, Bryce, Norler and the recent events at the Forbidden City.

There was another moment of intense silence. Valerie's heart began to speed up as she questioned her response. Perhaps he might have been intimidated that a Woman had confronted him rather than a Man. She held her emotionless glance waiting for a reply. The table lay poised precariously close to teetering over the edge.

"Well stated Miss...?" Advisor Suk began.

"Valerie. Valerie Aspen." Valerie gave her name, her heart still beating fiercly.

"Well stated Miss Aspen. I apologize if I offended any of you. Perhaps my sharp sense of humor should wait until we are more familiar. Your statement was due and considerate. With that in mind these negotiations should go smoothly so long as we stick to the agenda and stay away from scandal and our political differences." Advisor Suk smiled still withholding an edge of sarcasm that made her uncomfortable.

Both Alicia and Heylyn could see that Advisor Suk recognized the pressure they were under and was using it to usurp the power of discussion for himself. There seemed no malice intent. Perhaps it was the playful sarcastic humor to which he'd referred. North Korea had been a pin cushion for world disapproval many times before. That had likely resulted in a firm stance to foreign relations that probably manifested itself in the hardened and defensive attitudes of it's foreign representatives. Advisor Suk was no different. He was just using this impression to his advantage and it was a power that the world had given them. It certainly wasn't as simple as one side is the good and the other side is the bad as most people are led to believe. He was a diplomat on foreign soil where the many tensions of recent history had left scars on either side. Some of these scars were still tender for both parties. Not to mention the importance of the principles of governance and how it becomes manifest were at hand. It was in these few moments that they'd received a lesson in diplomacy that they could not have been taught any other way other than experience.

"So it is my understanding that you seek approval for your miracle cure, the SY349 treatment by way of a fund that pays for its costs across all income boundaries so as to make it available globally. For the sake of our dealings, specifically here in East Asia?" Advisor Suk confirmed.

"That's correct. That's exactly why we're here." Alicia replied confidently.

"The fact that it was voted down the first time holds no bearing to you in these proceedings?" Advisor Suk asked.

"That fact is of the utmost importance. We're here to ensure that Eastern medical principles are preserved and that both Eastern and Western medicine can coexist and benefit from one another. This miracle cure is at the current forefront of Western medicine. It needs to be available to everyone everywhere despite income levels and boundaries." Alicia replied staying her ground.

[Author's first draft note: Wednesday April 19, 2017 12:00AM Updates proceeding]

Into The Night

"I hope that we haven't missed anything important. Sorry we ran a bit late." Katya arrived moving quickly on her heels practically dragging Victor behind her.

For moment the tension seemed to pass with their distraction easing Valerie's concern.

"You're not late by our clock. There's still ten minutes." Professor Iseul stood as did Bryce.

"Good. I hope that we're not interrupting. Please let us be seated. Oh, I forgot. I am Doctor Katya Piotr." Katya managed a playful curtsy for the guests.

"And I am Doctor Victor Piotr at your service." Victor said bowing in jest, his arms spread wide.

The table got through another round of introductions and finally settled into silence.

"...As I was about to say, have you given any thought to what this is going to mean for Korean healthcare and the state of healthcare in East Asia? In this another Western attempt to monopolize the East and rob us of our cultural identity by instilling your superior Western values?" Advisor Suk asked continuing his pressure right from where he'd left off.

"I can assure you that our goals are about getting this treatment into the hands of everyone. This is the front line for this issue. If we put a price and market value on the right to health, especially when it comes to the future treatments the genetic sciences will allow, we'll be making the process of natural selection dependent upon market system and economy. The market prices for such treatments will determine who gets to live and who doesn't. We believe that when a ground breaking medical treatment that has a high success rate is available, it should be available to everyone. The research and development has to be paid for though or nobody will develop such treatments. Health care standards are not the same the world over nor is there universal coverage everywhere. What we propose with this fund is that it will cover the cost of any treatment that employs use of the SY349, given its track record and success rate. Tynan And Associates is creating the fund itself. Your support and vote in the Asian Alliance is needed to implement coverage in the Far East. Your vote will make this cutting edge treatment available to all of your citizens. We believe that despite its high rate of success that it can be improved. Given our research we believe that much of the treatment would work well with existing Eastern philosophies from India all the way through to Japan and augment the effectiveness. You could say it's where our two systems of medicine meet and finally benefit one another. The fund is about making sure that is available to the people. Everyone. Imagine being the Medical Advisor that brings that kind of healing ability to your people." Alicia responded throwing Advisor Suk a bone.

"What I think Advisor Suk is speaking of is, will this treatment replace our current practices with Western practices?" Professor Iseul challenged.

"No. Not at all. It is the same as giving you another tool to fight disease. In fact one that you can improve with your existing traditions and knowledge. We expect that you will share what you learn if you improve the treatment by combining it with your existing traditions." Alicia replied.

"Our traditions combine many different aspects. Just what do you mean when you say by combining it?" asked Hye.

"One of the aspects of this treatment is a remarkable breakthrough that actually seems to be tied in with the placebo effect." Alicia explained.

"Wait... are you trying to sell us on the idea of charging people for a placebo? Are you trying to sell us the Emperor's new clothes? Selling us nothing for something? Do you take us for fools?" Advisor Suk responded.

"No. What I am saying is that the SY349 treatment has some remarkable qualities. It is applied in two stages. The first stage is in the form of an ingestible pill which we call the marker. It is quickly distributed throughout the body to each and every cell, painting them with an enzyme making them receptive to the stage two treatment. The stage two treatment is applied in the form of a spray which contains the radioactive isotope. This isotope has some remarkable qualities when it is received by the marked cells. It affects cellular mitosis giving the RNA messenger access to the original first copy of it's originating genome. The prime genotype through Quantum Dynamics. So when the cell reproduces, it using this other copy of the genome for error correction and even improvement." Alicia continued explaining the properties of the SY349 to the delegates.

"Where does this other prime genotype come from? Is it hidden in our cells already?" Doctor Chul verified with Alicia in amazement.

"No. It's existence is the result of the interaction between the stage one marker and the stage two isotope. It exploits the Quantum soup that make up the atomic particles of the cell and genome itself." Alicia tried to explain to them getting close to the limits of her understanding of the SY349's mysterious operation.

"These genome copies are manifestations of a genotype from another universe. Another time/space manifold if you will. It doesn't damage our space/time at all. It merely remembers or foretells of the same genome in another part of space time. The genome is recalled from either direction of time. Forwards or backwards. Actually in this case the direction of time seems to be irrelevant. Even subjective which is both bizarre and beautiful if you think about it." Bryce interjected.

"So how is it that you expect that our traditions might affect this or improve it?" Doctor Myung leaned forward in his seat.

"One of the most amazing qualities is the aesthetic design of whatever the second stage is applied to has an effect upon cellular mitosis. So in other words, artistic design can shape the effects of the SY349 and this is tied in with the artistic tastes of the person being treated." Alicia struggled to explain herself effectively.

"So I take it this is where the placebo effect ties in?" Professor Iseul confirmed.

"Precisely. The fact that the aesthetic design of whatever the stage two treatment is applied has an impact is an important cue that tells us that the subjectivity of the treated has an effect upon the treatment. A very measurable effect. In fact, that's an area that we haven't even begun to explore." Alicia assured them.

"And you feel that given this nature, that the treatment could benefit from Eastern philosophies?" Heylyn asked strategically more for the benefit of the other delegation.

"Absolutely. It's miraculous that at the very boundaries of where our Western science can take us that we find ourselves once again returning to some of the foundations of Eastern philosophy. We can benefit from each other in this way." Alicia finished.

"I move that we will continue this discussion tomorrow. You have given us much to consider." Advisor Suk seemed taken back.

"I agree. In this short conversation we've covered much ground. Let us examine this in detail tomorrow. The rest of tonight is about relieving some of the tension so we may have fresh energy tomorrow." Professor Iseul suggested.

"I'd say the best way would be a dance? Shall we?" Bryce offered his hand to Professor Iseul who smiled for him.

"I'd be delighted." she replied.

"What's up Doc? Are you up for it?" Zheng asked Doctor Briggs.

"I wouldn't have it any other way." Doctor Briggs accompanied Zheng to the dance floor.

"Shall we?" Victor asked Katya.

"We shall. But do not pull what you pulled in the airport terminal here on the dance floor." Katya reminded Victor.

"Despite your massage I'm still very sore from that. We'll stick to less strenuous dance, ya?" Victor grabbed his wife's hand bringing her out to the dance floor.

Doctor Myung asked Hye out to the dance floor who of accepted graciously.

Doctor Chul in turn asked Valerie who too accepted.

Advisor Suk sat quietly in his chair eyeing the delegation.

"Well I guess that leaves us to hold the fort." Heylyn said to Alicia and Monique.

"Forget that! I'm dancing with or without a partner!" Monique jumped up and onto the dance floor by herself.

Alicia and Heylyn looked at each other for a moment. Both stood simultaneously running out to join Monique on the dance floor.

Another moment later and Advisor Suk joined them while his escort kept a close eye on him.

The Life Of The Night (In South Korea)

The night had found both her and Heylyn dancing and singing the Alma Mater of the high school they'd attended together. Monique had tried to envision the two of them in school but instead watched their display for an approaching thirty something approximation. The night had become an enjoyable fog to her and in light of Norler's situation it was the first time she'd spent with her friends in a long time.

Hye, the Korean Nurse and Professor Iseul had even joined them on the dance floor. Hye had kicked her shoes off for comfort much to the admiration of the many men who'd eyed her thin and curvaceous legs. Monique had watched Heylyn in amusement not used to seeing her boss letting loose in such a manner. In the end Alicia, Heylyn, Monique, Valerie, Zheng, Hye, Professor Iseul and Katya had danced up a storm while Bryce, Doctor Briggs, Doctor Chul, Doctor Myung, Advisor Suk and Victor had talked shop. Their tongues and inhibitions loosened by alcohol, music, good service and environment.

Alicia had remembered the dance she'd talked her friends into, each of them taking the role of one of the four amino acids: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine and turning the spectacle into a dance much to Heylyn's amusement.

"We're experimenting! Come on!" She'd encouraged.

Once her friends had understood what Alicia had been implying they played along happily enjoying every moment. A friendly thought experiment between peers on the dance floor.

Doctor Chul had managed to lure Bryce, Advisor Suk, Doctor Briggs and Doctor Myung into a heated debate about the benefits of dietary medicine. They'd debated the issue from their respective areas of expertise much under the influence of Soju. In the end it was Doctor Chul and Bryce who'd trumped the debate with their combined knowledge of Medicine, Biology and Quantum Physics.

At the moment of their victory Bryce had tapped his ally Doctor Chul on the shoulder when he'd realized that the Women were simulating the genetic formation of amino acids through RNA on the dance floor. Doctor Chul had nearly choked on his Soju when he'd seen Hye and Professor Iseul taking the positions dictated by such a nuclear structure. The ladies danced as if it was natural to them, making the science and medicine of it appear like art.

Bryce spied a tear emerge on Advisor Suk's eye as he marveled at the creative inventiveness of these free minded Women and Scientists. His peers.

"Never underestimate the power of art and the dance. Nor the beauty of the female mind." Bryce responded a smile stretched across his face.

"No doubt here my friend. Just admiration and wonder." Doctor Chul replied.

A moment passed.

"...and a healthy quantity of Soju." Bryce smiled at Doctor Chul who patted him on the back.

"Drink up boy. Its good for you in moderation." Doctor Chul responded.

"I guess I'm moderating. I've only had two and that was an hour ago." Doctor Myung said clearly amused by his peers.


Alicia awoke startled by the ringing of her cellular phone a little shocked to find herself in her hotel room.

"Hello?" Alicia answered the phone groggily.

"Hi honey. I'm awake." Norler replied almost oblivious to their time apart.

Alicia held her breath for moment unable to speak. The tears welled up in her eyes. Perhaps the tears she'd held for Norler when he'd fallen to the sniper's round.

"Its alright. You don't need to answer right now. I'm alright. How are you babe?" Norler asked.

"I'm good. I... I'm so... I..." Alicia responded choking on her own speech.

"I'm going to be here for a couple of weeks. Doctor Jin Soo told me about what had happened. She told me that there's going to be a legal hearing here. I haven's spoken to Werner yet but I'm calling him next. You're the only one who knows I'm awake." Norler spoke to her intuitively.

"Honey. So much has happened. Someone tried to hurt you. They tried to hurt Professor Jing Jie too. Future Tangent Industries seems to be involved though we don't have the evidence we need. Remember the identity mix-up you pointed out? We think that's somehow connected." Alicia cried to him.

"Those are pretty serious charges. Are you sure?" Norler asked her verifying.

"Yes. Heylyn and Monique uncovered evidence at the crime scene at the Forbidden City that link Future Tangent Industries to the ownership of the vans which employed the gun men used in the attack. Whoever did it tried to make it appear as if Tynan was responsible..." Alicia explained.

"Alright. I'm going to speak with Werner. You continue with the delegation and use your heart Alicia. Stick with your friends. They're your best advisors in this situation. If you need to use your other identity. You know the one that I mean, you do it. I support you and your choices all the way honey. Do whats right. We're standing up for more than just our own rights. These are the rights of all people. I'm healthy and I'm fine. We'll be together soon." Norler said with confidence from his bed in Beijing.

"Promise me that you're fine." Alicia asserted.

"I promise Alicia. I'm fine. We'll be together again.  Bye. We'll talk soon." Norler said with presence and confidence.

"I love you." Alicia replied.

"That's the only reason why I'm alive. You know I love you." Norler replied.

"Talk soon?" Alicia asked.

"Soon Alicia. You know it. Bye." Norler answered.

Alicia called Heylyn first and then Valerie letting them each know the situation. Within the hour the entire delegation was aware and the news began to spread throughout the press.

Alicia and the other ladies had managed to stave off the after effects of alcohol by keeping herself regularly hydrated with water during the the prior evening's events. They'd also enjoyed a healthy and well balanced meal before dancing for the night. She surmised that with a combination of regular hydration and physical activity like dancing her body felt great the next day.

Bryce, Doctor Briggs and Doctor Chul on the other hand were a little under the weather. They'd still managed the early continental breakfast but had stayed away from anything that would further dehydrate them, instead opting for water and fiber rich foods such as fresh fruit and juice.

"So how does this great news affect our current itinerary?" asked Zheng.

"For now we'll be continuing as we've planned. Norler will be advising us at a distance. A representative at the University of Beijing has been in correspondence with Seoul University and they're working on getting us a portable video conferencing system before today's late afternoon meeting." Valerie told the delegates.

"Norler will only be taking part as long as he has energy. He's still very drained as a result of surgery and recovery. Doctor Lin Soo will be present to advise on such decisions." Alicia added.

"What about our discoveries with regard to the alleged involvement of Future Tangent Industries in the latest attack?" Monique asked.

"Werner has a legal team working on this around the clock. They have an investigative team in Beijing right now. Arrived a few hours ago. We've given them our evidence and they have access to the same evidence that the Beijing Security Service does. They'll be building Norler's defense from this and the case against Future Tangent Industries." Valerie replied answering Monique's question.

"What about the misidentification of this Steadman person on Future Tangent's staff?" Heylyn asked looking to Alicia and Valerie.

"We're going to have to check that out ourselves. We're at a bit of a loss because Norler is the only one who remembers what Steadman looks like. He says we me at one of the presentations that him and I attended a while ago and that I'd recognize him once I'd seen him. He says their not the same person as they're touting him to be. That's something we'll be checking out between  here and Tokyo." Alicia said thinking hard about what Norler meant.

 "Where does that leave the rest of us?" Bryce asked taking a healthy sip of his water.

"We'll be doing everything together. We'll travel together. Attend the meetings together. The only thing we won't be doing together is what Heylyn, Monique, Valerie and I are better equipped to do. I'd rather not discuss that here but I'm sure you know to what I'm referring." Alicia addressed them.

"If that situation is related to the SY349. I mean that of which you four are capable. How is it that we know that the SY349 is stable enough to be used on other people?" Zheng asked an honest question a look of concern on her face.

"The SY349 that made us is not the same SY349 that is distributed for treatment. They are two different versions of essentially the same thing. However. The SY349 Series One operates in both directions of time, the past and the future when referencing the optimum RNA generations for cellular mitosis. Series Two operates in only one direction of time. The past up until the present which means its RNA referencing can recall branches in genome that are unmodified or bypass harmful dormant sequences. The effect is that it can only exceed what is possible with the patient's current bodily health by a small margin versus the Series One formula." Alicia explained.

"Just enough to overcome Cancer or other degenerative diseases is what you are saying?" Katya verified.

"Exactly. But that effect is shaped by the design of whatever the garment that the formula is applied to. As I stated before, the patient takes the SY349A pill and wears a garment or jewelry of some form treated with the SY349B formula and that shapes how the treatment affects their body. It is still a mystery to us the possibilities of this relationship between the effects of the pill and the garment to which the treatment is applied. The Series Two formula never has negative effects. It either heals the patient to varying degrees or it doesn't work at all. The Series One formula theoretically could be very dangerous in the wrong hands." Alicia looked to each of her peers at the table as they listened.

"So where is this formula locked up?" asked Doctor Briggs.

"Here." Alicia said tapping her head.

"And that's what Future Tangent wants?" Bryce asked astutely.

"Just like Zek wanted from his estate on Treadwater Island." Heylyn answered.

"I understand your concern now. We're with you one hundred percent." Zheng replied.

"As are we. Aren't we my darling?" Victor said to his wife agreeing with Zheng.

"That we are." Katya replied firmly.

"Werner has some people back in Toronto looking into Future Tangent Industries. They have an Asian branch that operates offshore for legal purposes and to get around international laws regarding their research. They purchased the island of Cora Hau privately for this purpose. It's north of the Marianas and accessible only by helicopter or boat for resupply." Valerie informed them.

"I had some of my studio hands check into their dealings in Asia. Apparently they're trying to garner a veto against Tynan's deal with the Asian Alliance with the help of a contact they have in the Japanese House Of Councillors." Heylyn announced to the table.

"I thought the early signs were that the Japanese were supporting the delegation?" Valerie said looking at both Heylyn and Alicia with a look of shock on her face.

"They absolutely do, but they've got to make the sell to their House Of Councillors just the same as the other delegations have to sell the idea to their respective Governments. Future Tangent Industries is trying to undermine that through one of their contacts who in fact is a member of Japanese House Of Councillors. They want the Asian Alliance to dump us, I mean Tynan and go with Future Tangent Industries instead. The thing is they have no cure like the SY349. Future Tangent is not promising any fund that will revolutionize medicine or treatments in the region. This is just how they're doing business." Heylyn advised the members of their delegation.

"Let's hope that we can have success here in Korea and then onward to Japan." Valerie pressed the table.

"I propose that we split up the delegation. I think that we should be investigating the Future Tangent angle a bit more closely." Heylyn announced.

"What are you proposing?" Alicia challenged her.

"Heylyn's proposing that she and I investigate Future Tangent Industries in person and try to get to the bottom of their dealings. Find out about this Steadman person and where he comes from. Who he is." Monique answered.

"...I was going to volunteer myself but I'd much rather have you accompany me Monique." Heylyn agreed to Monique's proposal.

Alicia thought about it and for a long time the table was silent.

"We've got this covered between us. Some of the most brilliant minds of time are here amongst us. Heylyn and Monique's suggestion is just what we need to break them open. To find out what they're up to." Valerie urged Alicia.

"Alright. But I talk to Norler first. They attend this afternoon's meeting and they leave tomorrow for Cora Hau Island." Alicia agreed.

"Now this is really starting to get interesting. What can the rest of us do to help with this situation?" Bryce asked.

"Yeah. I'm in." Zheng said leaning forward.

"You already got our answer, or do I need to give you the Russian dance again?" Victor asked pulling his chair out.

"No! No. It's alright." Valerie responded quickly.

"Good. Then let's get down to business and science." Alicia said as they began outlining their plans.

History, Art And Culture

"A good choice though I would have assumed we'd have been meeting for our first foray into Seoul at the Statue Of Peace. After all it is a symbolic land mark given the presence of Advisor Suk." Katya said as the delegation walked the front stairs up to the National Museum Of Korea.

"It also sits in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. It would be considered saber rattling if we did attend the site. Let us say that it is a site dedicated to Women who often fall victim to sexual abuse and are often used as sexual cattle during times of war. I discussed this with Valerie and Professor Iseul and they agreed that we should keep this visit away from such matters. After all South Korea and Japan have been very active council members in the United Nations movement for Women's Rights. To make such a visit would be to open scars that might set Women's Rights back a step. Turn it into a circus rather than a serious matter that deserves careful attention. I'd say we avert such issues given our track record with publicity lately." Doctor Briggs spoke answering Katya's question diplomatically.

Zheng pressed herself against him and their hands momentarily clasped.

"Well coming to the Museum makes sense. It's right on track with what we're here to discuss. A good mixture of history, art and cultural influences that forged the region." Alicia agreed with Doctor Briggs.

"I'm hoping that this teleconferencing system works. One of the students is scheduled to meet us here at the top of the stairs. If it works as they claim, Norler will be here with us in a little more than spirit today." Valerie added clearly unfazed by the hike up the stairs.

"That's music to my ears." Bryce responded trying to keep up.

Alicia looked back to see Bryce hiking up the massive flight of stairs before the museum. She stopped on the steps and waited for him. Not far behind him were Katya and Victor who were not used to the climb.

"Whew! This must be part of the South Korean physical education program funding?" Katya remarked sarcastically.

"At least its a nice day for this my beautiful wife." Victor replied.

"You try walking in these heels." Katya commented.

"You insisted. I tried to tell you this morning but you insisted." Victor quickly responded defensively.

"Its formal." Katya said keeping on her toes.

"Semi-formal. Casual footwear is alright." Valerie reminded her.

Katya stopped on the steps pulling a compact pair of bright pink court sneakers from her purse.

"Thank you Valerie." Katya said as she pulled the heels off and stepped into her sneakers.

"That's quite fashionable with that day dress, Doctor. Careful. You might start a trend." Heylyn admired her combination of dress and footwear.

"Good darling. Now could you please carry me." Victor said pinching his wife's ticklish side much to the amusement of the rest of the delegation.

"Race you to the top." Zheng said to Doctor Briggs who was startled by her sudden burst of energy as she took the steps two at a time.

He ran up the stairs trying to catch up with her.


The phone rang piercing the darkness of a quaint downtown condominium. Werner rolled over groggily and reached for the phone.

"Hello?" Werner said rubbing his eyes.

"Is this Werner?" a voice on the other end of the line asked.

"Who is this?" Werner asked a little cautiously.

"It's James from the Legal Department. I have some news. Important news." James responded excitedly.

"What is it son?" asked Werner who was twenty years James' senior.

"Police pulled a body from the lake about twelve hours ago." James started.

"I'm sorry to hear. Where is this going son?" Werner asked impatiently.

"The body was identified as that of George Steadman. You know? From Future Tangent Industries?" James said trying to get to the point.

"Again, I'm sorry to hear. What's the relevance?" Werner pressed James.

"It's George Steadman but not the George Steadman running the Projects Division for Future Tangent Industries. It's a different one, but the same person. I mean they're sharing the exact same identity." James tried to explain to Werner.

"Has anyone approached the other one? The one still alive about this?" Werner asked.

"Who's calling at this time?" Fern, Werner's wife asked.

"Just a minute honey. Its important..." Werner assured her.

"That's the funny thing. The other George Steadman, the one we've been trying to contact since finding the identity of the body seems to have fled to one of Future Tangent's remote operations in the South Pacific. He fled to a place called Cora-Hau." James informed Werner.

"That's not all. It seems they've arranged for an emergency meeting with representatives of the Asian Alliance to be hosted at Cora-Hau. I think they're going to try to beat us to the deal signing table Werner armed with all the dirt about our delegation members they've drudged up in the last few weeks." James' voice took on a serious tone.

"Thanks for letting me know. I'll get this over to Norler and Alicia just so they have a heads up. In the mean time make sure we have a verified identity on this other fellow. The one masquerading around as George Steadman. Once you have it, we'll need everything about his background and time with Future Tangent. We're going to need all of it for the court hearing and our case against Future Tangent Industries. Get back to me when you have it. Bye for now." Werner spoke assertively.

"I'm on it right away. We'll talk soon." James answered with a renewed vigor before hanging up.

Werner lay back down as his Wife snuggled up to him.

"Is it serious?" Fern asked Werner.

"No more so than it already was. Let's get some sleep." Werner replied pulling his wife close.


Norler sat in bed while the two technicians finalized their tests of the conferencing equipment.

"So are we ready yet?" Norler asked them patiently.

"We're just calibrating the cameras." replied Wen as he adjusted the angle of one of the cameras.

"You see, we're not just sending a video image of you but a holographic image with an eighty degree view able area from side to side." Xiao said eyeing Norler behind her black framed spectacles.

"A hologram? I thought that technology was a long way off?" Norler asked the technicians.

"Not really. The University of Beijing is partnered with other Universities around the world. University Of Waterloo. University Of Toronto. Montreal. Vancouver. All in Canada. MIT and Yale. New York all in the United States. University of São Paulo in Brazil, South America. University of Praetoria in South Africa. Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Paris, France and many other places in Europe. Moscow in Russia. Mumbai in India. Jerusalem in Israel. Amman in Jordan. Vietnam. Australia. Taiwan, Korea and Japan of course. You name it. Not to mention we work with a number of large well known tech firms on cutting edge research. This is one such project collaborated upon integrating voice recognition, real-time translation technologies and of course holography and holo-presence." Xiao explained as she adjusted her glasses nervously blushing at Norler.

"I thought you needed more cameras for holographic imaging not to mention hours just to make one image?" Norler commented looking perplexed.

"No. Just three cameras. Special cameras. They have depth and heat tracking sensors." Wen said pointing to the three lens on the camera he was adjusting.

"The data and visual output from the three cameras are combined. From this we can extrapolate a three dimensional model of your face in real-time one hundred and twenty times a second. The model is then texture mapped with the visual output from the cameras and turned back into compressed data stream which is sent via satellite to the holographic projecting computer in Seoul, South Korea." Xiao explained the process to Norler.

"But how does the receiving computer produce a hologram?" Norler asked her.

"By using LISPEC." Xiao said assuming he'd heard the acronym before.

"The next logical question would then be is what is a Lispec?" Norler asked her.

"Oh. I'm sorry. You work with so much high technology in your research investment firm I just assumed you'd heard of it. LISPEC is Laser Intersection Spectography. The holographic projector contains a series of special variable multi-colored multi-phase lasers. The lasers themselves are invisible. Each laser's frequency is set to oscillate out of phase from the others. The lasers are directed by high speed motorized mirrors to project the holographic image a half a meter from the projector in space. Where two of the lasers overlap the difference in phase creates a harmonic resulting in a visible pixel in the air. One that we can see with our eyes. Where multiple lasers overlap the harmonics produce the color and intensity of the three dimensional pixel through the same technique. Put all of the pixels together and we have a full motion hologram." Xiao turned back to the computer mouse and began running the calibration sequence.

"I'm impressed. Great to see the results of so much collaboration. Maybe we can get the same attitude going for the field of medicine world wide. How long have you been studying this?" Norler asked her.

"I'm a senior student doing my last year in the University of Beijing before my first internship while Wen here is working on his second year in the Computer Engineering program. He's coming along quite good. Wen initially worked on the camera system for the field of materials stress testing. The first generation cameras were used to stress test passenger jets for unseen damage to their wings after each flight. Wen worked with the optics team in one company to modify them for relatively high speed synchronized photography. A requirement of telepresent holography. The process is being miniaturized so that it can be used in surgery. A high quality real-time holograph can be broadcast to the other side of the world allowing surgeons to collaborate during risky surgerical procedures where the expertise of many can be combined for one operation." Xiao smiled.

"Xiao, you should be a teacher. I'm sure we'll be speaking to each other again in the future." Norler smiled and nodded to her making her blush.

A nurse entered the room "Save some of your energy for the conference meeting Mr. Norler." she spoke as she brought him a tray of liquid nutrients.

"I'm feeling much better thank you. At this rate I'll be ready to leave in no time." Norler happily accepted the tray taking a sip of the concoction through a straw hoping to quell his growing hunger.

"I didn't just come in here to feed you Mr. Norler. You have a call from an outside party and I'm a little hesitant about whether I should allow you to take it." the Nurse looked at him maintaining a stern presence.

"Now why would you want to do that?" Norler asked her trying purposely to charm her with a boyish smile as he folded his arms.

"Do I have to remind you that you have serious internal injuries that are going to take a while to heal. Not mention the effects to your Chi." the Nurse seemed unmoved by his attempt at jest.

"My Chi? I don't feel too hot or cold. My head is not as foggy as it was when I first awoke not to mention the acupuncture treatment an hour ago left me feeling very well balanced thank you very much." Norler nodded to her reaching for his nutrient concoction again taking a long and healthy swig.

"Alright. I will let you take this call but you better not be telling me what you think I want to hear. This is for the benefit of your health after all. I'll have the call directed to your phone." the Nurse said as she turned to leave the room.

"Thank you Nurse. Did I mention you have the cutest smile?" Norler said to her as she left.

"I'm warning you!" she replied clearly impatient with his boyishly playful nature.

"I think she likes you. As a person I mean." Wen said to Norler.

"Really? What ever gave you that idea?" Norler responded.

"Just a guess really." Wen answered Norler holding something back.

"Are those cameras ready yet?! I need them to finish the calibration!" Xiao said sharply to Wen.

"Sorry." Wen said focusing himself on his task.

"I need you to hold still for a moment Mr. Norler!" Xiao said to him impatiently.

"I'm as still as I can be for you Xiao my dear." Norler smiled scrunching his face up trying to make her laugh.

He spied the smallest hint of a smile from one corner of her quivering lip as she struggled not to laugh.


"Doctor Westin? I'm Taeyoo Sung. I'm supposed to meet you to setup the teleconferencing system?" Taeyoo held out his hand shakily as he bowed for Alicia.

Alicia looked at Taeyoo's boyish face realizing he couldn't have been more than twenty.

"So you're the technical genius whose going to bring Norler to us for this meeting? I'm Alicia. Just call me Alicia." Alicia accepted his hand shaking it lightly.

"I imagine we're going to be walking around in the Museum a bit first before we actually proceed to the arranged meeting room where Advisor Suk will be meeting us. You'll be hauling the equipment all that time. Maybe what I'll do is have them give you access to the meeting room first so you can set up while we accompany the Korean delegation for a tour of the Museum." Alicia advised Taeyoo.

"That would be most gracious of you." Taeyoo said bowing for her.

Heylyn leaned over to Monique.

"What do you think? He's kind of cute isn't he? He might be your type. He's got a good future. He's smart. Polite." Heylyn commented to her quietly.

"I don't know. I might be a little bit out of his league technically you know." Monique said to Heylyn obviously joking.

"Come on, you're only a few years older than him. I hear that many guys love older Women. I mean look at Alicia and Norler. Zheng and Doctor Briggs." Heylyn nudged her.

"What? Alicia and Norler are only a year apart if that. Zheng and Doctor Briggs are well. Special. Lets just put it that way. Besides if that's the case then why don't you date him?" Monique retracted.

"He doesn't look quite like my type but he's cute and obviously very eager to please." Heylyn whispered back to Monique.

"I'm still getting over my breakup with Derek." Monique reminded Heylyn using it as an excuse.

"I have to get in on whatever you two are saying. Sounds juicy." Valerie pressed herself between them as they waited at the top of the stairs for the Korean delegation.

"I was just encouraging Monique to go after a younger guy. Like the technician over there." Heylyn said to Valerie observing Monique blush slightly.

"What? You're cougarizing Monique already? She's only twenty seven." Valerie replied.

"Gotta start somewhere." Heylyn replied.

"Dare I ask what you are talking about?" Bryce asked the three Women.

"Oh... Cougars and other wildlife." Valerie replied.

"Yeah. That's we were talking about." Monique agreed clearly embarrassed.

"I've always wondered how Women who date younger men ended up with that label myself. I mean my wife is a few years my senior and nobody ever regarded her as a cougar or robbing the cradle." Bryce said to them bypassing their ruse completely.

"Well I have to say that your wife has done an excellent job training you. You turned out great and such a gentleman too." Heylyn smiled flirtatiously for Bryce.

"Yes, I was but a lost stray when she found me. A few years later and Rex Harrison would likely eat his own hat by comparison. Of course I'm referring to My Fair Lady." Bryce smiled for the three of them.

"A bit before my time but I've heard of it. Watch it buster. You weren't alluding to my life before I was employed as a Model by Heylyn are you?" Monique said seeming offended.

"Not at all my dear. As a matter of fact the best of us have experience from a variety of social circles and paradigms. It does a person no good to be accustomed only to one way of life and one social circle. Pretentiousness may have many faces but it often only bares one mask. As a matter of fact I'd say that you have valuable experience applicable to your membership in this delegation. Now insofar as dating younger men, that's a call that you're going to have to make yourself. As a man in just such a marriage I'd highly recommend it though I really think that you should go by your own instincts and tastes." Bryce said to Monique honestly.

"You caught us right while we were trying to corrupt this young and malleable Woman to our ways." Heylyn smiled once again.

"I'm with Heylyn on that one." Valerie buddied up to Heylyn.

"Who are you calling malleable?" Monique said sharply.

"I'm sorry to interrupt this but I'd like to introduce you to Taeyoo Sung, the technical wonder that will be setting up our teleconferencing system to bring Norler back into the delegation for this meeting." Alicia presented Taeyoo.

"Hi. I'm Taeyoo." Taeyoo bowed for them each in turn.

Monique looked to Heylyn smirking at her playfully before punching her lightly in the shoulder. She stepped forward charmingly and introduced herself.

"I'm Monique. Monique Defleur." she purposely accented her curves for him.

"Most gracious to meet you Monique." Taeyoo bowed for her accepting her hand blushing profusely to the point that he remained bowed until his complexion cleared.

"What's so funny?" Alicia said as she observed Heylyn, Valerie and Bryce staving off their laughter.

The Archaic And The Stoic

As Taeyoo erected the holographic display much to Monique's amusement. Bryce examined the contraption in amazement trying to figure out how it might have functioned.

"I can see your projection lenses but where's your screen?" Bryce asked.

"We don't need a screen for this technology." Taeyoo replied still somewhat shy of Monique's smile and piercing eyes.

"So it is holographic? How have your team overcome the projection surface problem?" Bryce asked rubbing his chin thoughtfully with his hand.

"We create pixels in thin air. Our process uses the frequency variance of two or more intersecting beams to create a pixel." Taeyoo answered paying careful attention to level the projection tower at one half of a meter or one foot and seven and a quarter inches.

"Yes but even assuming that the modulation between the two or more intersecting beams is creating a frequency in the range of visible light, it still needs a medium to reflect off of to be seen." Bryce posed the question astutely.

"They could be using Argon?" Heylyn responded carefully recalling Alicia's chemistry tutoring in high school for which Heylyn paid by making Alicia's Graduation Dress.

"Precisely. That's it." Taeyoo answered.

"I'm impressed that you remembered that Heylyn." Alicia smiled to her life long friend.

"Good teacher I guess?" Heylyn replied.

"And a bad dresser at the time fortunately for us both." Alicia responded drawing a chuckle from the room.

"I'm curious, does the machine then spread Argon into the room?" Bryce asked Taeyoo.

"It doesn't need to. There's already Argon gas in the atmosphere." Katya answered Bryce's question.

"But less than one percent if I remember correctly." Doctor Briggs responded looking around the room.

"At that density you'd be finding it just a little difficult to find a consistent surface for projection." Victor said thoughtfully nodding to Katya.

"We send a small electrostatic charge through the air at the same time the projection of each frame occurs. This lines up the Argon evenly across a one meter cube about half a meter away from the projector. By the time the frame has been projected into this cube of evenly distributed Argon and the viewers have seen it, the Argon falls back into the chaotic effects of fluid and gas dynamics until the next frame. This occurs sixty times a second at a resolution of about a quarter pixel per cubic millimeter or two hundred and fifty pixels per cubic centimeter. It was our team in Seoul who designed the device for aligning the Argon spatially during projection. The timing circuits were designed in Russia by the University Of Moscow. Most of the micro-controller software was done in China at the University Of Beijing while the system software was designed at MIT in the United States. I believe that University Of Toronto also designed the Projection Lasers collaboratively with Beijing. Universities in Tokyo, New Delhi and Praetoria also contributed to the project. So it was a group effort." Taeyoo explained.

"I can't wait to see it in operation." Bryce replied very impressed with the device and Taeyoo's knowledge of it.

"That's assuming that it's not on the fritz today. We've had some problems that result from temperature variance in the room which affects the ability of the device to line up the Argon as needed. That's why I've asked them to turn the fans off in here." Taeyoo explained as he went back to work running the diagnostics.

"We are anxious to show you a little bit of our art and history. If you will please follow me we would like to proceed with the tour of the Museum." Professor Iseul beckoned the delegations to join her as she proceeded out of the meeting room and into the Museum.

Professor Iseul led them from the meeting room as Taeyoo continued setting up for their holographic conference with Norler. Monique flagged Heylyn as she was leaving. Heylyn approached her trying to remain inconspicuous of separating from the rest of the delegation.

"What gives?" Heylyn asked her.

"I want to stay here and chat with Taeyoo a bit. I could probably learn a lot more directly from him about South Korean culture than I could from a tour. Besides, I don't exactly have expertise to contribute to this delegation." Monique said hanging onto her chair.

"That's nonsense. You have a point of view as a professional who appears in photographs of monthly and quarterly fashion publications world wide. Do you think that doesn't lend you some insight? I'd beg to differ." Heylyn advised Monique.

"I know. I just feel... out of place with the delegation. I mean here we are gallivanting around the Far East of Asia and I've barely been out of Toronto or Montreal. The delegates are all PhDs and Professors and graduates of programs I've never even heard of. I mean where do I fit into all of this?" Monique said looking down as she spoke to Heylyn, perhaps afraid of making eye contact.

"You don't need a degree to have a point of view. Education sure helps the opinion that you might form about issues by challenging those opinions and forcing you to consider them in real life. However others will never have the same point of view as yourself exactly because they've not walked the road that you have. Nobody has except yourself. Therefore you have insights that even a PhD might not have or have come to by their education or experience. In other words we all have value in our insights but owe others professionalism and merit with the skills we offer them. Just know the difference Monique. You're a part of this delegation whether you like it or not. We want your opinion. It has helped us already more than once. I'll cover for you for now. If you want to stay here, then so be it. Just know that you're important for more reasons than the fact that you can transform yourself into a streak of light or a cloud of darkness. We're here because of our experience rather than our pizzazz. Now be good." Heylyn winked at Monique and continued after the delegation.

"That's so boring... but alright. I will." Monique replied as Heylyn disappeared into the Museum.

Monique turned back to Taeyoo trying to appear sultry.

"So what do you do around here in Seoul at night?" Monique asked him.

"Me? I work. I code and eat Kimchi. On Friday I might drink Soju. I don't know. It depends on what is happen. Maybe it sounds too... too... cliché?" Taeyoo smiled keeping his eyes on the holograph projector.

"We can work on that..." Monique replied sitting down closer to Taeyoo.

History And Seoul Arts

Professor Iseul led the delegations striding beside Bryce who listened intently while observing the various displays. Alicia and Valerie were followed by Katya and Victor who in turn were tailed by Heylyn, Zheng and Doctor Briggs. Hye, Doctor Chul and Doctor Myung followed them. Advisor Suk and his personal escort walked directly across from Professor Iseul and Bryce as if in some imagined diametrical opposition.

"The Museum is divided up between the various eras of Korea's long history. From the Ancient era followed by the Dynasties and then finally modern day Korea. We'll start on this floor which illustrates much of our ancient history." Professor Iseul began.

"Maybe you could start by telling us how far back were the first signs of a people in the Korean Peninsula?" Steve asked Professor Iseul already knowing the answer himself.

"If we look back to the Paleolithic era as depicted in this display, there's much archaeological evidence supporting the idea that a tool using people inhabited the peninsula as early as seven hundred thousand years ago. Most such tools were chipped rocks, which were often used as tools for digging, foraging, cleaning animal hides and many other uses. It wasn't until about three hundred thousand years later in the Neolithic era that we see organized culture starting to emerge. Pottery and other wares produced by early tribes and villages." Professor Iseul explained.

They continued walking as she spoke.

"It was in this time between fifteen hundred to three hundred B.C that the first socio-political structure started to emerge and fledgling micro-societies were born in the peninsula. There is evidence to suggest that there was interaction or at least influence occurring between the different civilizations of the East. Much of the early Korean pottery bears resemblance to that of the people of the Sungari and Amur river basins in Mongolia. Likewise with the Jomon people of Japan." Professor Iseul continued.

"There were also the Baiyue people in Southern China if my memory serves me correctly. There's seems to be much evidence that the people of the area were trading goods and possibly sharing technique with each other." Doctor Briggs added.

"That is correct Doctor Briggs. I'm impressed." Professor Iseul commented.

"Rubbish. Perhaps that is Western doctrine designed to keep us fighting with one another over who came first?" Advisor Suk said skeptically.

"Don't be too sure. There's a lot of evidence to support this hypothesis and actually it saves face for us in each distinct society." Professor Iseul conjectured.

"My dear Professor Iseul, truth I find, is never so unifying. If it were would not the North and the South be one glorious nation without the need for our unique cultures of the East to sacrifice our history in favour of globalism and satiating the ever debt ridden U.S. economy?" Advisor Suk responded.

"With all due respect Advisor Suk, you refer to tradition as if it is regarded as a liability by the West. Likely because the colonies expanded beyond their European ties to embrace a new world, hence foregoing their ties to their own ancestors in favour of rationalism and the republic?" Doctor Briggs responded feeling the tension growing between delegations.

"If tradition were not a liability in the eyes of the colonists then aboriginal peoples of the West would not be clamoring for a future and trying to find themselves in the midst of a global corporate giant." Advisor Suk spoke seeming to savor his challenge of the delegation.

"Nor would they fall prey to those trying to reap the benefit of their claim for their own political agenda in order to divide us. If the Spanish had not come to North America, then the English would have. If the English would not have come to North America then the Dutch would have. If the Dutch would not have come to North America then the French would have. If the French would not have come to North America then another nation would have. Eventually. It just happened to be Western Europe that answered that call first. The resounding question is that if we look at the history of Europe, the crusades and every other war in the name of our differences, then how can we guarantee that the Aboriginal peoples of North America may not be at all if not for the fact that we'd arrived there first?" Doctor Briggs responded his tone sharpening slightly.

"Tradition is the road upon which we always tread. Without it we would be lost, yet sometimes it's weight is far too much to bare." Professor Iseul added.

"Tradition is the echo of what we perceive our ancestors want of us. Lore and oration is the language of their experiences trying to break through that barrier of understanding and interpretation which is blurred by the passage of time. It requires us to empathize with them while considering what we've learned without them. Progress is about reconciling the past with the present, though not to hide our mistakes but to progress from understanding them and their consequences. Your words in this regard hold no progression. They only thrust the weight of the justification for dissent amongst the Aboriginal people in relation to the sacrifice of their tradition and their land for the purposes of gaining public favour for your regime. Our delegation isn't here to gain public support for a smear campaign of your regime. It's here to acknowledge and acredit the fact that East Asia has a medical tradition from which the entire world can benefit in terms of tradition. That tradition may help us uncover the greatest mystery with regard to Western medicine and it's resulting SY349 formula." Bryce stepped forward backing up Doctor Briggs and Professor Iseul.

There was a tense moment of silence where nobody's eyes crossed paths. It was as if the entire museum was paused in time. Alicia thought about Norler, wishing with all of her heart for his presence.

"Impressive Professor Maxwell. It seems you, Doctor Briggs and Professor Iseul might make good states-persons at some time in your career. Harsh scrutiny tends to breed strength of character don't you think?" Advisor Suk relished at his influence.

"I'd consider our European history as the parenthood of what was to become our Western Civilization. Perhaps offspring that both Europe and Asia can take pride in rather than trying to rouse us to conflict?" Doctor Briggs posed somewhat defensively.

"As someone who has spent her life healing the ill of health problems in a modern health care facility, cannot you Advisor Suk as a qualified Doctor of Western Medical training and Eastern tradition seek resolve rather than remorse? Haven't we all despite our political and ideological differences shared the burden of that price by the cost of life?" Nurse Hye spoke passionately, her heart struggling to reconcile the cost of Eastern and Western life of her own family's liberation during the Korean War.

Her tears stung momentarily as the exhibits reminded both her and Advisor Suk of their connected past and its price of their differences in lost life.

There was another awkward pause but this time Alicia broke the silence.

"So what happened to bring about the transitioning of these early people into the Kingdom of Gojoseon?" Alicia asked trying to take the momentary tension down a notch and to get the thoughts of her colleagues in the Korean Delegation.

"That was covered in the Three Kingdoms, which besides archeological evidence is the only account that we have to go on." Professor Iseul answered Alicia.

"Three Kingdoms? I thought that was a Chinese literate work?" Valerie asked.

"There was also a Three Kingdoms era in Korea emerging from the birth of the Kingdom of Gojoseon and actually Three Kingdoms as well who fought to unify Korea in a similar fashion to that of our Chinese neighbours during their unification period." Professor Iseul informed Valerie.

"Similar to the clash of tribes that arose in Canada during the early 1800s between the British, the French and the First Nations. Three Kingdoms each of their own. Same with our neighbours to the south in the United States though they started as one who eventually became two, the North and the South. Sound a little familiar? You see we've all lived this history at various points throughout the ages and I'd prefer to say that we're not as different as we pretend to be, but perhaps enough so as to be of great benefit to one another. Today we're all nations of many different people still grinding our teeth over the outcome of the centuries past. Maybe its time that we move forward remembering the path behind us rather than projecting it onto to the path ahead of us?" Alicia spoke sincerely and directly addressing the tensions of moments ago.

"Are you trying to set an agenda to see North Korea merged with the South? Under whose leadership and regime do you propose this unified Korea be run?" Advisor Suk queried Alicia a piercing look in his eyes.

"We're merely saying that as time goes on and as our nations progress, that what we witness as scientists and citizens locally mirrors the nature of history across the globe in more we ways than we often realize. Our nations each have yet to evolve into something they'll each become in the future and there's no stopping it. Progress is far too powerful a force for any regime with which to contend. There's no telling the exact future. Us being here today and now is a sign of things to come. The internet and global communications have been breaking down the almighty door isolationism for two decades now and many nations have changed as a result. Those changes have allowed us to progress in many ways by working together in every which way except one: the medical practice. Mostly because of the destruction of this philosophical bridge which is now in the process of being spanned once again by physicists and mathematicians the world over who are asking the same kind of questions East Asia were asking thousands of years ago. What is the nature of the body and mind? Of consciousness? Of reality? We're here because we need to understand the answers that your civilizations found and apply them to a new generation of medicine that will benefit the world over. More so we're here to make those benefits available to everyone in the world through a fund. That's why we're here. When Norler first spoke of his idea, he was labeled a lunatic. A commie. A left wing zealot using the United Nations and low GDP nations to promote the agenda of the company that employs him. Every nation that takes part in this will be a part of something revolutionary and that's how they'll be remembered though it is imperative that every nation does take part that we've spoken with in the East. Could we put aside the dividing politics and differences of our nations and get through this together. Change and progress are forces that we cannot stop and we'd like to see future generations have this monumental health challenge met before they are even born. If we can achieve this together, then there's nothing that we couldn't achieve the same." Alicia finished feeling a familiar presence within her.

Somewhere out there she knew Norler was thinking of her.

"We will keep any further discussion to the agenda set forth by your delegation. We will refrain from regional and world politics for the time being should you respect my wishes that we do not discuss the policies of North Korea during these proceedings." Advisor Suk acknowledged Alicia's oration.

Alicia looked to Bryce, Heylyn and Valerie. They each nodded in turn. She turned to the other side to find Zheng, Katya, Doctor Briggs and Victor. They too nodded in approval. Alicia turned to face Advisor Suk once again.

"Agreed." Alicie responded.

"I suggest that we move up stairs for a few more exhibits and then to the meeting room where we can discuss this matter with Norler." Professor Iseul interjected waiting a moment for everyone to acknowledge.

Nurse Hye finished wiping her face with the kerchief provided by Bryce. Doctor Cheul looked the group over then looking down. Doctor Myung started eagerly towards the stairs stopping to wait for his colleagues.

They continued their tour of the Museum before adjourning to the meeting room for their lunch before they began their holographic conference with Norler.

Holographic History In The Making

Taeyoo stepped away from the holographic projector.

"We're live." he addressed the delegates.

A moment later an image appeared before the delegates. The image itself was slightly grainy though it looked as if someone had taken a volume of space from Norler's hospital room in Beijing, shrunk it and laid it out on the table before them.

"Hi honey. Can you see me?" Norler said looking to Alicia his smile growing.

"Perfectly. How do you feel?" Alicia replied holding back her tears.

"I'm raring to go and eager to know how talks have been going, but lets start with introductions." Norler replied from his hospital bed.

Each of the Korean delegates introduced themselves to Norler after which he introduced himself formally.

"I'm happy to see that you've met your Western counterparts, both in an official and leisure environment. I would like to say how glad I am that you were able to make time from your busy schedules for our delegation and I won't waste any more of it. You've taken time to discuss the history and culture of the region which would underline the reason for us being here today. That is to do with the fact that we need the partnership of the Asian Alliance to progress our respective systems of health care and medicine by creating a fund which will allow the patients to receive the SY349 treatment under the supervision of medical professionals around the world. Asia's part in this has to do with the distinct philosophy behind Eastern Traditional Medicine which in turn may help us in solving to medical mysteries. The first one is the nature of the placebo effect and how we can use it effectively in treatment. The second reason and the one that motivated this delegation is that we wish to benefit from the perspective of Eastern Medicine with regard to the functioning and mechanics underlying the SY349 treatment. One of the doors that will open up between us if we are successful with the creation of the SY349 fund is that Tynan And Associates is prepared to enter into a research agreement with the Asian Alliance on the condition of approval by the Canadian Senate under the guidelines of our respective trade agreements. The resources of the United States division of Tynan And Associates will of course be bound and subjeect to any U.S. trade agreements with the Asian Alliance. This will revolutionize medical treatment the world over and you have a chance to be a party to it, or a barrier. That's what we're offering." Norler got right to the heart of the matter.

"Mr. Norler, we are certainly in support of the creation of this fund and are eager to utilize the SY349 for treatments locally however there are some concerns amongst us that this may be a thinly veiled attempt to Westernize our traditions and systems of medicine for purposeful exploitation rather than for the honest treatment of patients and the furthering of our respective techniques of medicine." Professor Iseul responded to Norler's oration.

"I agree with Professor Iseul in this regard and you understand that upon my presentation of this matter to our own Ministry Of Foreign Affairs that there will be much skepticism that the nature of these deals is an attempt to undermine our own political system by injecting us with Western values. It will be a hard sell and one that I am not confident to make. I myself am skeptical about your real motives. Similar deals have gone sour in the past. Convince me that me putting my weight behind this is not going to lead to my subsequent execution for treason. My superiors would never want the North Korean public to have the impression that we are dependent upon western technology for the health of our people." Advisor Suk spoke honestly with regard to his situation.

"That's exactly what we're saying. Your people would not be dependent upon western technology at all. The treatment has properties that can only be explained by the examination of the SY349 formula by Quantum Physicists and Eastern Philosophers. Our best Quantum Physicists including Professor Bryce Maxwell here have reached the limits of objective understanding with regard to what we can garner about the functioning of the SY349. We're dancing on the boundary of what may have been called sheer quackery by some scientists only a few years ago. We can only further this understanding and therefore its effectiveness by giving access to it for strict use in treatment to Medical Practitioners of East Asia. Part of this effort will also be conducted by those who design the garments to which the formula is applied hence examining its functioning with regard to the subjective and aesthetic properties of what it is applied to. Heylyn Yates is already a large part of this aspect of the project and she even suggested that we take it to the East for the input of philosophers and Eastern Medical professionals. Our first impressions were to get the input of India, Malaysia, China and Japan. Upon closer examination and with the help of professionals like Doctor Briggs here, we found that the entire region is fertile with a resounding philosophy that echoes the mysteries of the SY349. After all you only need to examine some areas of research that have been undertaken in the region some of which are slightly similar to Shamanic philosophies found in South America, which provides the pharmaceutical industry with forty percent of the chemical components for modern pharmacology. The work of Doctors Katya and Victor Piotr with regard to Phages as well, which may be the most effective defense we have against antibiotic resistant super-bacteria. Only a few generations ago many of these areas of research would have been laughed at. Now they are cutting edge and when combined with Western medicinal technology they have proven to be the most effective forms of treatment but we have reached the limits of objective research with the SY349 and this requires an innovative approach to how we understand it. If you think that by asking you for your help that western medicine isn't swallowing the humble pill, then you're gravely mistaken. We are coming to you because we need you. Take that sales pitch to your Ministry Of Foreign Relations and they might be more receptive at the diplomatic bargaining chip it may engender you with which in turn might turn out better for the people of North Korea just as it does for the rest of the Asian Alliance. This is a health issue and one of quality of life." Alicia echoed Norler's enthusiasm for the delegation.

"I agree with Alicia on this issue. Its true. History is riddled with the bodies of dictators and despots who stood in the way of social progress in the name of control while elevating those who embraced and accepted it. Even those who meant well and had the best intentions for their people who stood in opposition to such forces usually ended up at the wrong end of a firing squad or at the end of a rope. The difference can often be seen in the level of violence afforded such revolutions and the direction of that violence as both sides of that fence become blind with fear and rage. Look at the French revolution and the violent executions that targeted their Imperial line. Even that of those who did not deserve such an end. What about the Russian revolution? The Romanian revolution? Those leaders and their court thought they were pretty secure and certainly all powerful within their regimes and yet when they'd halted social progress or tried to control it for their own benefit which often resulted in gross corruption, they fell to the rage of their own people in a violent end. Their deaths celebrated. Yet other countries like Great Britain managed to keep the strength and wisdom afforded them by their own Royal line while paving the way for democratic process and Governance by representation. Even China during its revolution did not devour its remnants of their Imperial line, instead integrating them into their society. Likewise Japan who still have loyalists to the line of the Emperor to this day and the significance of its heritage and tradition despite the devastation of World War II. Those that are still with us today serve to remind us that to embrace progress while remembering from whence we came is the hallmark of visionaries and the heart of those whose concern is for the people of their respective nations. Better to guide the horse safely through progress than to be thrown from it and trampled by trying to stop it. This is history's lesson from which every nation should learn and its current student is North Korea. The leadership caught between being an enemy of the world and the enemy of their own people, should pay particular attention. The price of ignoring that recurring history lesson is often lined with the bodies of the violently purged and the bloodshed of many people, most often those who tried to hold progress back. Those who embraced it hence freeing their people have often been raised to sainthood amongst those of their respective nations. Do you remember Boris Yeltsin standing atop of that tank standing down the coup almost singlehandedly? He was half drunk of course but that is not the point. He stared the devil in the eye and said not today, not during my guard! Likewise Gorbachev and the destruction of the Wall and during the collapse of the U.S.S.R. If either of those men were facing the other direction, where would they be now? I'd suggest for the record that they'd certainly be vilified or outright forgotten. So consider our delegation as a necessary part of progress though please do not misinterpret that as a threat but more so as an opportunity. The lives of many people may hang in the balance. I know we agreed not to speak on issues regarding the politics of the region but this issue is far too important for me or any of us to hold our tongue. If you are offended by what I've said, we will strike it from the record and I'll hold my tongue or if you wish I will remove myself from the delegation." Bryce spoke addressing Advisor Suk, finally mustering up the composure and words to get his point across.

Advisor Suk stared at the table clenching his fists. He looked to his security liaison who arched his eyebrows nervously. They both knew that what Bryce had said was inherently true.

"Professor Maxwell. There is much irony in what you say for in speaking it in my country and within earshot of certain authorities you may find your fate similar to those of the history of which you speak. Perhaps the media will ever be given a different story of what was actually said or who was involved and how the events unfolded but for certain you would disappear. Maybe not die, just disappear perhaps tortured for years after which being released in another part of the country with a new identity and a corrected view point. The leadership of any regime as you've mentioned often lives in fear of the power of its people and therefore must become more terrifying than this power in order to control it and contain it. Being sandwiched between world opinion, diplomatic dynamics and the ever growing enlightenment of the people and their possible steps to procure their independence makes the regime paranoid and unpredictable. The real power isn't the regime at all. It's the forces of world opinion, diplomacy and the threshold at which the people will boil over and take their country. The regime lies to each side of this equation while trying to contain them both all the while afraid within their depths. I would ask that Professor Bryce's testimony and mine be stricken from the meeting up until this point so as to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. Perhaps now you can see the immense pressure that I am under, assuming that my liaison here does not inform on me about this meeting." Advisor Suk looked to his security liaison.

He did not dare speak instead sitting still his gaze unwavering. After a few long and tense moments he nodded his head indicating that he would hold his tongue. Both men understood that they could be tried for treason if word of this meeting ever left this room. Their lives were both literally in the hands of every member of the two delegations and the holographic technician.

"Perhaps these words spoken here will make it to the North Korean regime and leadership through other avenues that would be less threatening and hopefully received by that leadership. Perhaps this is the chance in history to have a truthful memorial as being the liberator of the peoples rather than the oppressors. As such you have my word that our delegation will not reveal the contents of this meeting prior to this time." Professor Iseul assured Advisor Suk and his liaison.

"Likewise you have my solemn oath that the membership of our delegation will keep the contents of this meeting up until this point in time to ourselves and never reveal them publicly." Alicia offered her promise.

"I agree absolutely and have the assurances from the technicians on my end that they too will hold their tongues." Norler added nodding his head.

"Taeyoo?" Monique asked the technician of whom she'd become fond.

"I most certainly will keep this quiet." Taeyoo bowed low for the delegation members.

"I must say that this has replenished my hope for all the people's of Korea. North and South alike. Maybe one day will walk amongst each other despite the borders between us." Nurse Hye said once again remembering the price of their independence and freedom today.

"With that understanding out of the way, I would say that you have my support and the support of the health and welfare of the peoples of North Korea. Whether our vote is given is in the hands of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our leaders who I am sure would love the benefits to world opinion afforded by their assisting the western nations medically." Advisor Suk announced.

"We too agree to support the vote in the Asian Alliance. You have the support of entire delegation unanimously." Professor Iseul assured Norler, Alicia and the delegation.

"Then I say that we could call this meeting adjourned. Thank you for your time and support in this crucial matter to the future of world health. Thank you to our technicians both here in Beijing and in South Korea for the use of this experimental holographic technology. I would say that it was a very effective way for us to meet each other given the circumstances. Alicia honey, we'll speak later. I miss you." Norler addressed the room, then blowing Alicia a kiss.

"See you soon." Alicia whispered to Norler who caught the movements of her lips from the holographic receiver on his end.

With that both delegations stood and left the room making their way to the pickup point of their transportation.

"I would say that was a success." Valerie smiled keeping her expression somewhat hidden.

"You could say that." Monique replied looking over to Heylyn.

"Alicia? How about you. How do you feel?" Heylyn asked her best friend.

"Ecstatic and sad in a way. I mean this is where we have to part for a while." Alicia said turning to Heylyn.

"Don't worry, Heylyn and I will be done in Cora Hau in no time and rendezvous with you in Tokyo before you know it. Then we'll deal with Norler's court hearing and trial." Monique assured Alicia showing no sign of doubt or fear.

"That's assuming that you find the evidence we need for the case hearing. You know that Norler's freedom depends upon it." Alicia reminded Monique sticking to reality.

"If its there, we'll find it. We'll find the connections FTI may be using to influence the Asian Alliance vote. I am certain that once we present this evidence that convincing the Chinese authorities of the conspiracy involving Future Tangent Industries will be trivial to say the least." Heylyn's determination was apparent now.

She had been quietly observing during the progress of the delegation meeting trying to find any possible links within either delegation and their problem at large. She was satisfied now that Advisor Suk was an honest man in a difficult situation though he'd certainly proven his sense of honour and dedication to the well being of his people. During the intense moments of that meeting they'd experienced a complete epiphany with regard to their understanding of the tension and politics of Southeast Asia and their importance to both world peace and global progress. Western saber rattling would more likely result in the risk of death and make it easier for North Korea to vilify the West as an enemy of the people and redirect their growing pressure of the need for a reform and social progress against the very people of the world who supported their liberty. Perhaps if the leadership recognized this vital point in history as an opportunity to come out of this as heroes of the freedom and progress of their people rather than oppressive tyrants the growing tensions in the area would instead explode the world world economy into an unprecedented era of growth world wide.

The situation reminded her her of Jinn Hua's lessons with regard to the history of China's isolationist policy, and the immense change brought about by the Imperialists and rulers who supported outside trade and commerce such as Wu Zetian of the Tang/Zhou dynasty of (684 A.D. to 705 A.D.) and the Emperors following the Mandate Of Heaven era which started the Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. –1644 A.D.). The flourishing Chinese economy grew during these times as did their contribution to the sum Asian, Middle Eastern and European economies. In turn this contact enriched China and may have helped to spark a renewed vigor with regard to their strong sense of identity and humility in Southeastern Asia. Perhaps the Southeast Asian peninsula was on the brink of just such another era.

Heylyn thought about her offices and studio back home in Toronto wondering how the staff were doing handling her job while she was away. She trusted them ultimately though that did nothing to quell her curiosity. She missed her home as well but most of all her studio. She missed showing up at the cafe for her morning Chai Latté with Monique and their trip to West Meet East International. She missed it all.

Then the thought occurred to her that Weltherwithsp might have something to say with regard to the subject. She'd been surprised by the fact that she'd not seen or heard from Weltherwithsp since their flight to Thailand. Weltherwithsp had made itself scarce and sometimes most often for reasons beyond Heylyn's understanding. She was certain that with their impending incursion to Cora Hau that she'd be hearing from the Ancient Dragon sometime soon and she was not too far from the truth.

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

Copyright © 2018, 2020 Brian Joseph Johns

Character Facts And Notes:

Rest In Peace Wayne Buttery aka Mr. Wade Sunny (you were in my books from the beginning) a peaceful soul from whom we all should learn.

Bryce Maxwell is inspired by David E. Schindler and Raymond Nadon, two men who should be the inspiration of all gentlemen.

Hye Sung Ki loves dance clubs. Her favourite dance club band is Black Pink. Her favourite performer is SOMI. She really loves being the enticer.

Advisor Gun Kwan Suk's favourite song is 68 Guns by The Alarm. It represents his Nationalist spirit.

Professor Areum Iseul's favourite song is Constant In Opal by The Church.

As a post note, I a 52 year old man spent most of my night during and after writing this chapter dancing to Trance and post industrial dance music for most of the night. FYI, when I danced, I actually mixed it with real Kata (Heian, Kobudo and Sanchin from what I remember). Please, no matter how old you are. Remember to live and don't let anyone take that right from you, nor your love for living.

As long as we're alive, we truly know we're breathing. As long as we're breathing, we know we're truly alive. So breath. Breath is the greatest gift you'll ever have.