The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Act VII - Bladed Dragon, Rising Sun

Delegation Departure

Heylyn and Monique made the first leg of their journey, taking an hour flight from Seoul-Kimpo International Airport to Busan-Gimhae International Airport. During the flight both Heylyn and Monique became familiar with their aliases, studying the background of these fictitious people they'd be portraying during their investigation of the Cora Hau facility. Heylyn found many common aspects of her alias' life drawing parallels to her own, while Monique found the task a bit more challenging, becoming familiar with her own version of this perpetrated lie. 

Heylyn found herself revisiting her childhood once again, and her storybook fantasies of the field and the creatures that had once lived there. Pretending was just as much reality to Heylyn as reality itself, though she was as real and genuine as one could be. This situation called for her utilize her ability to embrace the fantastic, a feeling she'd lost ages ago somewhere in the midst of the voyage from being a little girl to a young lady.

She recalled the last time she'd been in the field as a little girl, still very captive to her Grandmother's bedtime stories. The world of her dreams was as real as reality itself. Like being in the reflection of a mirror. The dream world was the inside of the mirror of one's own eyes.

She'd been alone, looking over the flowers and embracing the peace that had come since the collectors had left the field, fleeing in terror of the Dragon.

"I can feel your breath on the back of my neck..." Heylyn, the adult spoke as she sat in the midst of the daytime field, flowers and tall grass surrounding her for as far as the eye could see.

"Then perhaps it is not my breath, as I do not breath but rather seeth, especially with what hath bereaved that which you grieve..." Weltherwithsp spoke from behind her, arching its tremendous neck, encircling her twice before coming to face her.

"Seeth? I've never heard that word. Does it have a context?" Heylyn asked the dragon.

"Not to one such a you, much ado, yet so few... It means to burn with spite, yet lack the might to see what's right..." the dragon responded explaining the word carefully to her.

Weltherwithsp untwisted the knot its serpentine body had become and hovered over her head to rest coiled in the grass before her, its wings spreading far drawing the wind much like a breath upon her neck. Heylyn realized at once from where that sensation had come.

"You're speaking in riddles again..." Heylyn toyed with one of the flowers at her feet.

"As always, for life is follies, the time between that left unseen. That makes you wonder of the yonder. Yet here you are, left to ponder." Weltherwithsp answered her in rhyme.

"So if seeth means to spite, then you're saying you have a stance against those who've hurt us? Hurt Norler? Alicia?" Heylyn asked the dragon.

"I am hardly lacking in might, yet there are times when I cannot see right. Your path is not so kempt, so much as what you've dreamt. Yet Norler life relies upon these living lies..." Weltherwithsp answered her.

Heylyn thought carefully about what it was saying to her. She considered Weltherwithsp's strength, which it had never fully demonstrated, yet it was clear that it possessed might in that manner beyond what is imaginable. So how could one so strong not see what's right?

She'd heard those terms before and their use in the same sentence, perhaps in her childhood reading. She recalled reading a book that stressed how might itself isn't right, but rather how might should be used for right. She considered the context once again, ultimately finding only mystery. Then it dawned upon her that the term might refer to chance. Possibility. The unfolding of reality and the mystery of what was to come.

She suddenly realized what he'd meant.

"You mean probability. Possibility. You mean we don't have what we need in order to know the right of this situation, and by implication, the wrong." she posed for him.

"What you seek, does so much wreak, of one such freak, of many meek, discarded lives, yet he survives to wield all of that which Norler speaks..." Weltherwithsp answered her.

"Can't we just have a conversation? Like my last time in the field. My last time as a little girl. You remember? I mean that's where we are. This is my last childhood memory of the field. Can't we just speak as friends again?" Heylyn asked the dragon.

"Of course we can Butterfly. Butterfly. In the night. In the sky. Your wings they spin. Can I come in? You'll never know, until they win." Weltherwithsp's wings flapped faster and faster until they were one with the twirling blades of the helicopter.

"Boss? Heya?! Are you there?" Monique shook Heylyn's shoulder.

"I just nodded off. I had a visitor." Heylyn advised Monique.

"You mean...?" she leaned in close to Heylyn like a friend begging for the latest gossip.

"Yes. We're on the right track. Everything we spoke of leads to that assumption." Heylyn spoke, trying to hide her sudden angst.

"We'll get through this boss." Monique encouraged.

"I know we will. Its how that concerns me." she replied still deep in thought.

The helicopter for their trip to Cora Hau had been chartered by Tynan and Associates. They'd requested it under one of their distant subsidiaries many times removed, headquartered in Busan and in a different industry from Medical Research. It was a heavily modified version of the Chinook CH-47. The rotor engines had been replaced with high efficiency motors yielding an 18% increase in fuel efficiency and lift to fuel ratio, while a pair of two hundred litre tanks had been added allowing for a one way range of eighteen hundred nautical kilometres. 

Heylyn had fallen asleep while Monique had been masking her anxiety with periodic spirals inward. Utilizing her unique ability to merge with light and darkness to balance herself secretly during their trip.

"Is everything alright?" Heylyn asked Monique.

"I'm alright. Just nervous. I mean we haven't been involved in this sort of action since Treadwater Island." Monique answered as best she could.

"And that has you worried?" Heylyn asked Monique already knowing the answer.

"No. Yes. I mean... I don't know what I mean... I mean. I'm scared. Samias left a mark on me. So did his boss, Torman. I can't help but feel anxious every time I see ocean. I can't help it though I'd bet that Valerie has it a lot worse." Monique remarked.

"You and Valerie are two very different people. The wrongs she's experienced somehow empower her with the spirit to face what's to come. She knows how to deal with it. The past I mean. Not easily but she does it. You on the other hand have some stigmas that have fastened themselves to your being as a result of the kind of people who preyed upon you. Perhaps they're not so visible to other people but they're glaring faults to you. Now if someone else is going to let a stigma regarding your person affect their perception of the quality of your character, chances are they have their own soul searching to do. Likely a lot of it." Heylyn tried her best to the sister Monique never had.

"I don't want people to judge me about then. About the kind of people I was surrounded by. I want people to like me for me, not for stigma or cliché. For the real me. The me I am now. That's the same me I was then, plus some." Monique looked out the passenger window of the large helicopter staring out into the ocean as she played with a candied mint still in its wrapper, as if debating whether to eat it or not.

The ocean at one time had harboured the home of the man who'd employed people like Torman and Samias to prey upon the unsuspecting flock of society. They'd preyed upon the daughter of a hard working Ukrainian tradesman and his wise beyond her years French Canadian wife. Honesty and sincerity somehow attracted the most devious of predators. She thought of her parents and wondered how they were doing. How they'd changed since that day eight years ago when she'd walked out of their Montreal back-split home when she'd turned nineteen.

Heylyn waited patiently for Monique's attentiveness to return from her daydreams before speaking.

Heylyn Yates aka Ai Yuanlin Ying

"When others are quick to judge you about the stigmas you've faced and overcome, then chances are that's their issues, not yours. Don't make their issues yours Monique and don't be hard on them for it. That's what makes it so hard living in the public eye. Sometimes you have to eat your proverbial humble pie, and theirs too. When you weigh yourself, make sure that you consider how far you've come, and how you've laboured to be the kind of inspiration for others that you'd always wanted for yourself. As a Woman. As a Fashion Model. Inspiring. Just like the butterflies from the field. Maybe because you think that what other people regard as vanity is not art. Like the butterflies. Frail. So unequipped to protect what they loved except through the inspiration they cultivated in others. Like your parents. Maybe you're trying to be just like your parents and you don't even know it. From what you've reminisced about them with me since leaving them almost a decade ago, they did a pretty good job at nurturing an adventurous and tumultuous heart like yours. Take their lesson and go with it. Don't take on the problems of people who let their opinion of you be determined by rumours and clichés. That's their journey, not yours and don't hold it against them. They're in the audience of people like yourself. Don't abandon them and leave them in the hands of people like Samias or Torman. Teach them. Inspire them. Be yourself and not those stigmas. Most of all don't be mystified by the words alone I've spoken to you but by what they mean. Words are just like colours in that sense." Heylyn spoke drawing from her own experience as a fashion artist and her time worn pain.

Monique Defleur

"Maybe..." Monique replied returning to her daydream.

"Maybe what?" Heylyn asked.

"Maybe I just needed the help of my best friend. She didn't let me down either." Monique considered the profoundness of what Heylyn had expressed.

"So did you get all of that from your Martial arts? You know, if you can snatch the pebble from my hand you're ready to face the challenges of the world...?" Monique giggled feeling much better.

"I guess that would make me ready to face Cora Hau?" Heylyn revealed the candied mint she'd somehow taken from Monique's grip without her knowing.

"No. That would make us ready to face Cora Hau." Monique replied.

Big In Japan

"It feels so strange being here without Heylyn." Alicia walked beside Valerie as they stepped out of the arrivals terminal and towards the baggage pickup.

"I was just going to say the same thing." Valerie agreed.

Victor and Katya Piotr (left to right)

"Hopefully not so much as it would be without us?" Katya poked Valerie's side playfully.

"How'd you enjoy the flight?" Valerie asked Katya and Victor.

"Well thankfully I was awake when we passed over Mount Fuji. It was immense and majestic to see. Like a sleeping giant. I tried to wake Mr. Sleepy pants but he kept snoring despite my best efforts." Katya laughed.

"My dear, when you've seen a real active volcano up close and personal, you've seen them all." Victor replied.

"Just because we did that microbial study in one of the smaller Javanese volcanoes doesn't mean you've seen them all. I mean you were practically running for cover every time the volcano burped for us." Katya reminded Victor.

"My dear, I was just rehearsing for the real thing. For both of our sakes. Spare me the indignity of explaining...? Please?" Victor pleaded with her passing her a wink as discretely as possible.

"We'll have to make a trip to Japan's Great Guardian Fuji before we leave. Perhaps on our own time." Katya insisted.

"Go for the late trip. Try and hit the base at about Ten AM so you hit the peak near early evening. Incredible colours and a magnificent view." Doctor Briggs suggested.

Zheng Ni Wong

"I'm surprised you didn't mention the fertility rites associated with Fuji. Some practiced local as part of Shintoism." Zheng clung to Doctor Brigg's hand as they retrieved their belongings from the baggage lane.

"Did any of you see Professor Maxwell?" Alicia asked somewhat concerned.

"I think he made it out ahead of you. He was by himself on the flight. We were in a completely different section from him." Doctor Briggs answered.

"He knows we have the rest of the day off. I think. Maybe he already made his way to the hotel?" Zheng suggested.

"Alright. I just wanted to make sure. Lets make our way to the passenger pickup area." Alicia grabbed her bags and stepped over to the escalator.

Doctor Steven Briggs and Zheng Ni Wong (left to right)

Zheng struggled with her trunk despite its wheels before Doctor Briggs gave her a hand.

Katya and Victor bore light loads each only carrying a small suitcase between them. Doctor Briggs joked to Zheng that Katya and Victor probably had a colony of phages carrying the rest of their luggage. Zheng laughed profusely pulling herself tight to him.

"Keep it simple. I follow Einstein's lead on my wardrobe. One, maybe two suits is enough." Victor said holding up their small suitcase between himself and Katya.

"So long as you keep them clean." Katya replied for the entire delegation.

"They make the phages do the cleaning..." Doctor Briggs continued quietly, nudging Zheng, as she struggled to walk still in laughter.

"Does that mean they pay them microbial wage?" Zheng quietly prodded Doctor Briggs, drawing intense laughter from him.

"Maybe if we were traveling to Mexico and had a diet of beans, corn burritos and chili. This is Japan. A veritable gastro-intestinal paradise!" Victor responded, deep in thought of the culinary possibilities.

"If you like seafood and rice noodles and after you adjust to the diet." Katya replied.

"That's actually an interesting point." Doctor Briggs acknowledged.

"How so?" Alicia asked Doctor Briggs.

"Well dietary wise it is actually quite remarkable, though it depends upon where your ancestors are from." Doctor Briggs replied quickly.

Valerie Aspen

"I hope this isn't some sort of cultural ego-centric pride coming out in you?" Valerie responded.

"Not at all but certainly a very important point especially with regard to diet. I mean you have to consider these factors when you're dealing with history and culture." Doctor Briggs clung to Zheng's hand as he pulled her trunk for her.

"Especially when you're running a sweatshop with phage labour..." Zheng quietly joked, nudging Briggs again, bringing out his laughter in full.

Victor paused, looking quizzically at Doctor Briggs before speaking.

"Why do you think I referred to Japanese food as a paradise for our digestive system?" Victor asked.

"Well that's the tricky part..." Doctor Briggs offered.

"Alright. I'm confused here. You mentioned Mexico. Should I be wary of the water for microbes or something like that?" Valerie asked.

"No. Not at all. Japan has some of the most modern infrastructure and civic facilities there are in the world today, at the very least on par with those in populated Europe and North America. I think that Doctor Briggs is referring to the dietary considerations of those whose ancestors inhabited certain parts of Europe and the Americas versus those whose ancestors inhabited the world's rice patio. Namely Southeast Asia and Japan. There are great differences between two types of grain. Those produced by wheat growth and those produced by rice. The diets of Europe are primarily influenced by the cultivation of wheat whereas in Southeast Asia and as far west as India, the common provider of carbohydrates was from rice versus wheat or Seminole. The population of Southeast Asia developed a capacity for digesting rice based proteins more so than wheat based proteins. In fact, many westerners have inefficient means of digestion of rice based proteins when compared with those from Southeast Asia. Our digestive systems are different enough to accommodate the fact that our sole means of carbohydrate production were from two different sources of grain. Some of us can better digest pasta and other starches that start as flour from grown wheat while others are more capable of digesting carbohydrates and proteins found in rice. You've got to how you say... have the right guts? Our stomach and guts are literally quite different when it comes to dealing with either of these two starches and their very different protein structures. These digestive tract traces are found in some aboriginal ancestry in North America, which gives credence to the Bering Sea land bridge between Southeast Asia and North America through what is now Alaska." Victor explained as best he could and in his best English.

"Pardon me, but if I remember my history correctly, the wide scale cultivation of rice only began over the last four to six thousand years and that's long after the last ice age. If anyone with this newly adapted diet made it to North America through the Bering Straight, they must have been good swimmers. So you're saying that I might experience digestive problems as a result of the fact that my body may not have developed an efficient means to digest rice proteins over wheat proteins? What about the fact that when it comes to complex carbohydrates such as wheat, potatoes and rice, our bodies are very efficient in metabolizing energy from these sources versus other energy sources such as glucose? When we eat complex carbs they produce long term and sustained energy for the body regardless of whether they originated from wheat, potatoes or rice. So I don't quite get your point. Where do the differences in digestion come into play?" Alicia put her foot down throwing her scientific knowledge at them.

"China, Korea, Japan, Siam, Khmer and Indonesia developed very differently in terms of their digestive capacity and this is reflected as a result of the spread of Buddhism throughout Southeast Asia from about two-thousand five hundred years ago. Keep in mind that's a religion or ideology if you prefer that regards eating beef as a pseudo sin against the Cow, who lay down and bore her milk for the Buddha according to their records and beliefs. That's actually why cows are so prized and protected in India. They're as much a part of the enlightenment as the Buddha and a key figure in his story." Doctor Briggs took it upon himself to address Alicia's inquiry.

"I see a bit of ideological dogma coming. So are you trying to convert us to Buddhism?" Valerie asked honestly if not defensively.

"Not at all. Besides I'm more agnostic myself. I just don't know when it comes to that stuff. I am saying only because the spread of religion is also the spread of certain dietary restrictions according to the prevailing religious dogma, like the Buddha suggesting don't eat beef. If we were on the West shores of the Dead Sea in Israel then it might just as easily have been Moses telling us not to eat pork or in Medina, Saudi Arabia, Al-Baqarah telling us not to eat the flesh of swine. Both beef and pork are made up of proteins resulting from the production of muscle in livestock animals that are still in use by many different countries. In essence eating those animals circumvented the need for certain regional cultures to develop a specialized digestive system for dealing with the regional grains as part of their diet. By eating beef and pork, the cows and pigs are actually taking care of this specialized digestion for humans. In essence, livestock in countries where they're a food source, have become an elementary part of the human digestive system. So the impact of religion upon the diets of many cultures actually affected the development of the digestive system. The spread of different religions had such an impact upon local dietary practices that it actually affected gastro-intestinal evolution measurably in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Aboriginal cultures as well, though their dietary restrictions were more based upon living in harmony with the natural supply. In other words, sustainability was built into their indigenous religion." Doctor Briggs addressed his audience as they reached the peak of the escalator.

"What does this have to do with rice and wheat?" Valerie asked stepping in way over her head.

"Not much if you don't think about it and love food of all kinds. Remember that the success of certain regions was directly influenced by their diets and vice versa. So because Buddhism became one of the predominant religions in Southeast Asia, it affected the population in terms of dietary mixing. How do you say...? That is when you eat a complex carbohydrate with an animal protein versus a plant based protein. You eat them both in the same meal. Like meat and potatoes. Rice and fish. Spaghetti and meat sauce. Animal protein is just predigested plant or grain protein but to make it useful to any human body, it must first be digested. When our digestive systems contain both this animal protein and the protein of grains from either rice or wheat, our digestive systems must produce very different enzymes to break down each different kind of protein. Dense animal proteins such as beef and pork take the longest but yield the most efficient proteins and energy for use in muscle construction but at the cost that when mixed with grain protein during digestion, that protein must go through a completely different digestive process to be useful to our bodies. So while we digest the meat, the rice or wheat must wait in line to be properly digested. This is not so much the case with fish, as it is not a dense protein and much easier to digest and also requires less calories to digest. So rice or wheat does not have to wait in line as long to be digested. Because beef and pork ceased to be the primary source of animal protein in many Southeast Asian cultures as a result of the spread of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Kabalah, and Islam, the digestive systems of the Southeast Asian population changed to accommodate this difference in diet. Over about three thousand years of course." Katya explained.

"Exactly. So Many from Southeast Asia have developed unique functioning in their digestive system for dealing with rice and fish protein rather than just rice and either beef or pork protein. In Japan, beef and pork are as popular as they are in China, but there is enough of a Buddhist population to have had an effect upon the regional digestive systems of the people. Even the spread of early Christianity to the region had an impact as early Christians mostly tended to be vegetarians though eating fish and sometimes poultry as an exception. Fish protein provides a whole host of anti-carcinogenic properties along with essential amino acids that are very relevant in healing the body as a result of exercise or natural muscular degeneration. This very same trait in the digestive systems of the Southeast Asian population as it evolved is also present in indigenous Inuit and Native populations throughout North America though a lot of their protein also comes from other game animals such as seal, caribou, elk and deer. This is evidence to further support that migration occurred between Southeast Asian and North America through the Bering Straight." Doctor Briggs dragged Zheng's trunk to the passenger pickup area.

"Yeah but most of the modern Chinese diet is based upon a holistic view of food and medicine. Especially Yin Yang and Five Element theory. China's diet is a bit more complex than just the spread of a few common religions in the region. Korean and Japanese dietary medicine have little in common with those of mainland China. Look at India's diet in comparison with even that of its closest neighbours and you'll see that there was something else compounding the evolution of diet with the spread of the main religions here. Sure they contribute a great deal overall especially when it comes to spiritual commitment which can have a tremendous impact upon diet. India's integration of diet into its medical practices rivals those of China yet the two regions have a completely different understanding of dietary medicine, though this understanding is not contradictory or competitive. Its complementary. It's incredible the diversity in these different concepts of medicine especially when it comes to diet despite the fact that they've been historical neighbours for thousands of years. I have a feeling some of you will really start to appreciate that, after the meals we've been privileged to during this trip. You may not realize but to the locals in India, Thailand, China and Korea, what we've been eating of their regional foods is as much a part of medicine as visits to the local Doctor." Zheng grabbed onto the other side of the handle waltzing their baggage together much like a couple might bracket a child on either side.

"Well I don't know about you, but I'm certainly looking forward to a Sushi extravaganza. I could eat a hundred rice rolls right now." Valerie replied.

"I suspect that after a few days here you'll probably have eaten more than two lifetimes worth of fish and noodles. Both are rituals around here." Doctor Briggs assured her.

As they approached the passenger pickup area, a man wearing dark sunglasses approached them.

Hiroyuki Ruichi Hori-San

"Hello. I am here to greet you as recommended by your friend Heylyn Yates. I am Hiroyuki Ruichi Hori-San, a representative of Kawaī kao Cosmetics. Heylyn asked me to assist you during your visit to Tokyo. You may call me Hiroyuki or Ruichi or even Hori if you prefer." the man bowed for the delegation as they approached the passenger pickup area.

Valerie and Alicia immediately returned the gesture, bowing several times for Mr. Ruichi.

"This is Valerie Aspen. I'm Alicia Westin. That's Katya Piotr and this is Zheng Ni Wong. This gentleman here is Doctor Steven Briggs and beside him is Victor Piotr. As you know, Walton Norler is currently undergoing treatment..." Alicia began explaining the situation with their delegation.

"Forgive me for interrupting but I am well aware of the current state of your delegation. Heylyn asked me to come as an advisor especially given the delicate situation that we have involving a dedicated supporter of Future Tangent Industries with our House Of Councillors. Politically this could prove an extreme setback for your delegation and Future Tangent Industries as well as the man in question may take advantage of this during your time here with televised ads against your delegation. Future Tangent Industries have campaign money invested already." Mr. Ruichi explained.

"Somehow that doesn't surprise me. So we're going to be in for bit of a rough ride while we're here?" Alicia inquired.

"Let's hope not. There is a growing public interest in the delegation though especially with the events that unfolded in the Forbidden City. We are so relieved to hear that Norler is recovering and healthy." Mr. Ruichi expressed his sentiments as a man approached from the other side of their waiting car.

Professor Bryce Maxwell

"I hope I didn't give you a scare. I was off the flight first and took advantage of that to contact an old friend here in Japan. Another physicist and part-time musician like myself." Bryce walked over from the waiting mini-bus.

"I was wondering where you were. I wasn't quite used to your silence during the kind of conversation we recently had." Alicia smiled.

"You can be sure that I'll make up for my absence and silence." Bryce responded.

"Well you can get in on it while we travel as it is an interesting topic and I'm most interested to know your views on the subject." Katya insisted.

"I think we can all fit into one mini-bus comfortably in the absence of three of our fellow delegates." Valerie urged them.

The driver from the mini-bus assisted the delegation in stowing their baggage before they boarded and departed for their rooms at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu.

The mini-bus could hold twelve adults quite comfortably and hence were as much so for the delegation riding within. They were a marvel of Japanese ingenuity both in their aesthetic and design. The mini-bus was slightly wider than most other vehicles in its class, allowing for five seats to be situated side by side, albeit staggered fractally in such a way that averted hindering the leg space of passengers while still allowing them to turn and face each other when speaking.

There were two rows of five seats, each row facing the other though separated by a small circular fridge which dispensed various beverages and treats, all Japanese of course. The fridge was on a spindle so it could be turned by those browsing its contents. Their seatbelts allowed them enough reach to use the fridge.

"I'm really liking this bus." Valerie commented as she browsed through the fridge eventually pulling a multi-coloured florescent can from it, Japanese Hiragana characters almost jumping out from the colourful background.

"These are built in Japan, designed by one of our most prolific automobile designers: Atake Musabi. In Japan, Engineers and designers are heralded as icons, even celebrities by your standards." Hiroyuki explained to them.

"Almost like Johann Fjordson?" Valerie confirmed.

"Similar, yes. Mr Fjordson is an innovator and entrepreneur and certainly a futurist and visionary as an electric automotive designer. He's the same kind of Engineer as was someone like Henry Ford. Someone who designs things, that lacks the qualification endorsement of the educational institution, yet innovates and inspires the Engineers in his employ with whom he often collaborates. He has the respect of many. Atake Musabi and many other Engineers in Japan are held in esteem for their vision. In this sense, art and engineering have become intertwined very much in Japan, though we see this happening more and more throughout the world. In my industry, cosmetics, art and presentation are of the utmost importance." Hiroyuki explained.

"Forgive me for interrupting you but I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. You are the first passengers in this particular mini-bus as our company received it only last week. Our Tokyu district manager kept it in reserve for your arrival. It is true what Hiroyuki says of Engineers in Japan, however remember that one of the key design elements is modularity. Something very significant in Japanese design." the driver spoke over an intercom.

"Thank you Totaru. He's a trusted friend of mine and my family here in Tokyu. What he says of modularity as a design element is true, and you'll find that most Engineers see it through the eyes of both an artist and a scientist. Modularity lends itself to the obstruction of art, so balancing between the two is of the essence." Hiroyuki continued.

"You're speaking of form and function. A dichotomy where one doesn't outweigh the other." Doctor Briggs stepped in.

"Yes, but there is a slight difference with how Japan views form and function. Form should never interfere with function for function is the reason by which anything exists. Even in all of nature will you never find a thing that is not without function. Modularity is the replication of function as a time and resource saving utility. When combined with standards, modularity allows for competing industries to work together rather than solely against one another and creates micro-markets and economies that benefit the whole or a country's economy and even the world economy, though our goal is to look after ourselves first, and to foster world prosperity. That creates more markets. Modularity is a key component of any industry or technology in facilitating that goal." Hiroyuki further elaborated.

"You've definitely got my attention. Especially in the area of modularity. That's a common feature of any functional information based system, including DNA and RNA. Please do go on." Alicia interjected.

"Thank you Doctor Westin. Modularity is an obstacle to form, because it implies pattern and to the appreciation of the aesthetic, pattern is the biggest obstacle. In cosmetics, we're working with the human body. Its only modular and pattern based form is that of the fact that the human body is a mirrored reflection of itself. Down the middle." Hiroyuki answered Alicia though addressed the delegation.

"We have two eyes because the information encoding for an eye is contained in our DNA, but not as two separate eyes. Its contained with the encoding for one eye, with the second eye being a mirrored reflection of the data of the first. Actually, within our body reuse is a form of information compression." Alicia explained.

"Thank you again Doctor Westin. In cosmetics, we often employ Doctors as consultants when developing new products. Modularity exists in just about everything, but the essence of form is to conceal it." Hiroyuki surmised.

"Now we're into my field here. Its a hidden illusion that hides the fact that the least information and effort was used to create something, for the human senses and cognition are the best detectors of pattern of which we know. The neurons in our nervous system and brain have essentially evolved for one thing as a network: the determination of pattern from noise. This is something that has taken AI researchers decades to comprehend let alone implement in any working designs." Alicia elicited.

"Nature uses fractal compression to obscure its use of modularity and even that itself is obscured by another layer of dimensional abstraction and symmetry, at least by what we theorize in Quantum Physics. This topic is very much related to the second law of thermodynamics though, and certainly the core reason that neural networks are the best, temporally speaking, in distinguishing between pattern and entropy." Bryce added.

"Yes, I agree with Professor Maxwell. Nature's design of neurons is remarkable, if not impeccable considering the range of problems they're capable of addressing by that very mark. Distinguishing between organization and the completely random. That which is devoid of any information content whatsoever." Katya backed Bryce.

"Cells are themselves an example of modularity in nature. Every organ in the human body is made up of them. A tremendous example of reuse, yet it took modern human beings thousands of years to recognize this aspect of form obscuring function." Alicia continued.

"Modularity has been a key feature in software design for decades now however modularity in its physical form rather than information form comes with its own baggage. Modularity in industry requires standards that sometimes constrain innovation inside of a discrete design concept. For companies that innovate beyond a long adhered to standard, there's a substantial risk in bringing their innovation to market as innovations that transform a particular design in terms of modularity take time for the entire industry to adapt, and that's all driven by the market. If your new design falls outside of a particular class of modularity, then you're taking the risk of challenging that design concept to expand or change. Its true that modularity has really changed the way that industries can work together, but adherence to any standard needs to be amortized against the need for innovation." Zheng explained to them.

"True. That's certainly evident when it comes to the transformation of external storage medium. My teachers used to listen to their music on phonograph record, then cassette and 8-track tape came along. 8-track tape didn't didn't catch on with most of the public, but found a market in those with automobiles in the nineteen seventies. Cassette tapes went on to become the rulers of portable music in the nineteen eighties with another Japanese innovation, walkmans. Movies were all recorded and contained on tape as well. VHS tape was the cassette standard for movies, a standard that one company took a risk to challenge with a superior quality product called Beta. An example of a company taking a risk proposing an innovation to storage medium that required a slight redesign of modularity for recorders and players, a market dominated by the home consumer. Beta unfortunately never caught on in North America or Europe and eventually faded away. Only a decade later, that would change with the compact disc, the first digital format optical rather than magnetic based storage medium. One of my first gigs as a graduate of the Physics program was developing and tuning lasers for optical readers. Quantum mechanics plays heavily into optical storage formats and optimizing their capacity and performance. That's all related to lasers. So the compact disc caught on for both music and video and as the computer market grew, it became the defacto standard for external digital storage. Compact disc itself has changed many times over, and other standards challenging its dominance have come and gone. It's market though eventually shrank thanks to high bandwidth internet. These are perfect examples of modularity in industry and how design standards can sometimes become entrenched." Bryce agreed.

"Whatever the mechanics behind it, this is a recognized element of Japanese design. Modularity allows for cooperation. Form allows for the concealing of the reuse of function. For instance, did you know that these chairs upon which you're seated were designed in Canada. The rotary fridge is designed in Finland. The electronics are Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese. The chassis, body and wheels of this vehicle are all of Japanese design and manufacture as is the layout. Yet thanks to modularity, elements of the design can be selected from other manufacturers who've already perfected that aspect of design. The vision of Atake Musabi is the entire vehicle and its function, all wrapped in its form. Its realization is a market built of cooperation. Hence, Atake Musabi is worshipped for his work as an engineer as much so as an artist. Really, Musabi-san represents the whole of the company that designed these vehicles. He represents the iconification of every employee. To admire him is to admire all the employees." Hiroyuki surmised.

"In Japan, you'll find that employment and being part of a company is much like being part of a clan. Companies are legendary and draw respect from others. Being an employee and upholding that vision is a great honour. Introducing oneself as an employee of a company draws great respect. That associated with the company, very similar to being associated with a clan. This element of Japanese society likely draws its origins from feudal Japan. Serving under a Shogun or Daimyo was of great honour and drew respect from others, drawing from the reputation of the Shogun or Daimyo. Business and companies have become the new Shogunate, with each company being a clan." Doctor Briggs explained.

"Very good Doctor Briggs, though there is a local movement that seeks to draw itself away from traditionalism." Hiroyuki looked to Doctor Briggs.

"You mean the anti-globalist movement?" Doctor Briggs asked.

"No. A movement seeking the next chapter in Japan's history while discarding its traditions. A social movement more so than anything. Many revere Japan for its mystical history, and many westerners have been drawn to Japanese tradition, without fully understanding the social dynamics of how modernization has changed the Japanese sensibility and regard for its own history and traditions." Hiroyuki continued.

"I think you'll find that's an ongoing movement everywhere and one that is on one extreme end of the spectrum. Humanity is always in a tug of war between tradition and revitalization. The I Ching in China, translates to mean "The Book Of Changes", which is an exemplary explanation of this fact. Constant change is here to stay. Even that very statement says more than a thousand words for it is a concept that cannot be pictured, yet one that can be perceived. The pyramids themselves were built in defiance of time and change, and despite the fact that they still exist, they're very weathered for having made such a protest especially having been built on the back of labourers. The Temple Of Solomon is another example. The Great Wall Of China is another example as are the remaining castles that populate Japan from the Feudal era. All of that which humanity builds is a protest against time and change itself. It is the defiance of those who will not allow themselves to disappear. To cease to exist. To take away their legitimacy is only to immortalize them as much so as it is to deny ourselves of tradition." Doctor Briggs stepped up.

"I am not opposing what you are saying Doctor Briggs. I am informing you that there are elements in society, in this case Japanese society that would rather do away with tradition." Hiroyuki conjectured.

"It is the extreme that will do away with us all. However there is a point in the middle at which we can all meet." Doctor Briggs responded.

"Once again, I agree Doctor Briggs. We are dealing with change and it is an element here and now, in Tokyu as much so as it may be everywhere. Please to be aware. All of you." Hiroyuki advised them.

"I'm reminded of something that my history teacher, Mr. Reill said to me once when speaking of the vigor of upcoming generations in the midst of their ancestry and denial of tradition. It goes: I do not agree with your traditions. I do not agree with all of what you've done in our history, yet I will never take one step forward without you, for I am here at this point by your steps, and those of your ancestors. We're forever bound in this journey together whether I like it or not. Yet, no matter the effort of future generations, together or independent, we will not cease to be." Bryce Maxwell spoke.

"Ironically, it has always been those who remove the history and existence of others that disappear from it themselves." Doctor Briggs reminded them.

"When it comes to the ages that have past and those who have come and gone, we are all eventually lost amidst the mass of details. So live to your fullest while alive and within whatever your bounds may be. Even my employer, Kawaī kao Cosmetics' byline is: Mi rareru. Yoku sugosu. Translated to English that means:   Be seen. Live well." Hiroyuki surmised.

To be continued...

I am Brian Joseph Johns and this is

Author's Notes And Thank Yous: 

I always like to say thanks to the inspirations in my life that keep me (mostly) sane. This is just a convenient spot where I can do such a thing.

This really is where the story will take a turn in some elements from the original draft which I wrote just after publishing A Piano, A Full Glass And The Disappearance Of Time in the summer of 2016, while working for a Landscaping company (for a great employer named Tyson), still under the payments of Canada's and Toronto's social safety net called Ontario Works. Even struggling writers, coders, artists and composers have to make ends meet.

This story will take a different turn from the original version released back in 2018 on Shhhh! Digital Media for it will lead into what will become The Butterfly Dragon III: The Two Dragons. This book will return to form, while accentuating function and confront duality head on.

Suggested Reading And Viewing:

If you liked the concepts visited in these chapters, I suggest reading the following:

Sabine Hossenfelder: Science Without The Gobbledygook - a great resource for aspiring physicists, mathematicians, scientists and explorers seeking to learn more about the universe and what we know thus far.

Chaos: The Making Of A New Science by James Gleick 

Grammatical Man by Jeremy Campbell (thank you to Stephen Sampson who introduced me to the book, though I'd already been a big fan of both the science of information and entropy).

Information Science entry on Wikipedia

Voltaire Almighty by Roger Pearson

Cellular Automaton by Jon Von Neumann and many others.

Thermodynamics by Science

The Emperor's New Mind by Sir Roger Penrose

The Perimeter Institute - The most inspiring physics and science platform of my lifetime. The home of many real Bryce Maxwell's. From what I hear, they have a working Von Neumann machine producing an entirely new Bryce Maxwell every two days. On the odd days, they produce Alicia Westins, because you can't have Bryce Maxwell without having Alicia Westin.

On Cosmetic Philosophy:

Kr Tiger - A South Korean video blogger whose expertise lies in cosmetic massage and cosmetic physiology.

Yasuko Kawamuro - A Japanese expert on traditional health and massage.

Shiseido Cosmetics - Legendary real world Japanese cosmetics company

Switch Scissors - Switch Scissors is a cosmetics channel that is difficult to pin under one category. Switch Scissors is a true artist in every sense.

On Japanese Studies:

Insofar as pursuing the principles of Japanese design, I'd suggest committing oneself to a Japanese school of study, albeit for martial arts or design art or even Reiki. Martial arts are highly recommended as they are driven by ancestry and connect directly to the original Budo, with some connecting directly to the Samurai curriculum. This topic overlaps some philosophies exemplified in the Netflix Show Cobra Kai. Ironically, I am a former student of Okinawan Karate-Do aka Goju Ryu and Goju Jujitsu Ryu as well as Aikido. I recommend the following sources for factual information about martial arts, with a focus on Japanese martial arts.

Orthodox Bloods - The Traditional Official Home Dojo Of The REAL Goju-Ryu, a martial art that inspired The Karate Kid series of films and the spin-off series Cobra Kai. A martial art which Ai Yuanlin Ying aka Heylyn Yates aka The Butterfly Dragon, some of my childhood friends and I studied back in the 1990s. I continued my training through Goju-Jujitsu Ryu in 2001, a martial art combining the hard/soft style of Goju-Ryu with the grappling techniques of Jujitsu. The Orthodox Bloods site is the real thing. You'll see why the peaceful and relaxed training regimen make it one of the deadliest martial arts systems in terms of hand to hand combat.

Jesse Encamp - Karate By Jesse - A sincere exploration of Japanese Karate-do system of martial training through the eyes of a self described martial arts nerd. Jesse Enbamp is the sincere heart of martial arts and his videos are a joy to watch and a great source of learning.

Martial Arts Journey - Sensei Rokas - Very much a speculative journey into martial arts from the point of view of an Aikido Sensei, who is attempting to diffuse the myth from fact with regard to martial arts. We must take in all points of view when it comes to this subject in much the same way that if one isn't aware of all possible attacks, how can they possibly defend?

Yasuko Kawamura - Specializing in acupressure and massage, Yasuko's videos highlight an aspect of healing found in East Asian culture. Her videos tend to be focused by topic/ailment and go directly to the treatment method. A very practical approach to anyone looking to try such treatment methods safely.

My views on martial arts is that they were developed during constant feudal wars and that we can never measure their true merit without experiencing the rigors of combat those who developed and practiced these systems lived through. Considering the fact that Shaolin Warriors, Samurai, Kenshi and Ninja all continued to exist through hundreds of years of war, is direct testament and proof that martial arts work and that MMA comes closest to approximating the skills of those who actually fought in wars without the aid of gunpowder. MMA however lacks one important element: weapons Kata and weapons training, the key components of feudal martial arts. Those combatants were literally fighting for their lives. Their combat skills must have been legendary, yet the legacy of martial arts is to avert combat by being so prepared for it that none would choose to fight. Martials arts is about the love of life, one's body and health.

Mount And Blade Warband: Gekokujo - Video game and mod combination that allow you to live in the feudal era of Japan. Raise your own army and pledge yourself to one of the local Daimyo or Shogun.

小屋。- An inspiring look at the life of a liberated female Japanese woman whose interests include body building.

On Chinese Philosophy:

It is difficult to describe the entirety of Chinese philosophy in one book, and the philosophy itself is infinite. Well beyond never ending consumption. There are various treatise on the I Ching,Yin Yang and Five Elements though the best way to understand is through immersion.

Dao Shi by Dao Shi

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (or Laozi).

Tapp Brothers - committed trainers specializing in whole mind/body fitness, starting with physical training, including Shaolin consulted and approved programs.

Korean Food

Soon Films - Just one example of the creative and inventive food vendors in Korea.


This is how I de-stress after the worst of abuse and torture from negative or abusive people. Without ASMR, I'd literally be dead. ASMR saved my life. ASMR is definitely of a medicinal and healing nature.

Here are some of my Eastern inspired and favourite channels in no particular order:

TingTing ASMR by TingTing. Some of the best role play ASMR, TingTing really goes out of her way to produce incredible sets and production, not to mention costumed role play.

Rose ASMR by Rose ASMR. Rose is a creative person (an incredible dancer too) and this is one of her outlets.

Catplant ASMR by Catplant ASMR. Inspired ASMR and role plays focused on maximizing tingles. Very effective.

ASMR China by ASMR China 🐱🐱🐱 She has cats that are very obviously living in heaven.

GwenGwizASMR by GwenGwiz Another awesome ASMRtist specializing in creative role play and daily sunshine.

KimmyASMR by KimmyASMR. Kimmy's ASMR is awesome, especially when she speaks, as is the case with many ASMRtists, she's great to hear speaking. Amazing the healing quality of the human voice.

Other Inspirations... (In no particular order)

Princess Margaret Foundation - World renowned Cancer research foundation.

Tesla - Could Johann Fjordson be Elon Musk?

UN Foundation - The world effort to stop COVID-19 needs your support.

Happy Beginnings - World Massage as a healing institution. Clinical touch really does work. It heals.

ปุ๊ แอ๊บแบ๊ว - A simply inspiring and definitive Buddhist woman from Thailand.

Jik's Magic - Jik is a professional expert masseuse operating her own YouTube channel in Vietnam. She's really magic leaving me to wonder if this wouldn't be better posted with A Lady's Prerogative?

Yu Hirose - The Spark Of Joy. A Japanese channel by a confident woman and sexually liberated content producer that provides unique content for the enjoyment of all.

Kittisaurus - My favourite of all cat channels. This has to be the funniest cat channel I've ever seen.

Kitten Lady - A real life cat Doctor that has nine times nine lives.

ラフィエルチャンネル. - A unique and down to earth Japanese channel by a woman vlogging her daily life in Japan.

Wondoo TV - Again, another cosmetic and therapeutic massage channel in Vietnam (though with a Korean URL).

Relax Hunter - Another Vietnamese massage video channel really illustrating the extent of this unique healing therapy.

에스제이SJ (SJ Massage) There's something very healing about massage, either experiencing it first hand or even watching it and learning from it. This channel is a great relaxation and educational tool in that sense.

Thank you to Jennifer Linda O'Neill and her (former) employer Allan Slaight. I hope you liked the Tiger, Jennifer. 😺😉

Don't ever let anyone force you onto the side of hate means love or love means hate. I personally despise people like that and will do everything I can humanly do to stop them from filtering my expression through such a scheme.

Sincerity before polarity.