The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Epilogue
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead or undead or mythical, or actual events is purely coincidental. This doesn't include the accreditation which often appears at or near the bottom of this text as part of the credits indicating authorship, artwork or any other contributions to its creation.
Please note: The Japanese honorific O'Sama which translates to the term "Great God" is in no way related with the Islamic name: Osama or Usama and I make that clarification with all due respect to both Japanese culture and Islamic culture. The names literally have very different etymological origins from two distinct world cultures who've developed independently of one another. This applies to any references to Japanese honorifics in this story or any other works found here on Shhhh! Digital Media, and the term O'Sama refers strictly to the Japanese term rather than the Islamic name.
Everyone has a right to believe their religion as they choose, including non-religious beliefs (such as Science). Nobody has the right to enforce the rules of their religion upon other non-members, nor to replace the identity of non-members in such a way that makes any non-member subject to the rules of a religious trope doing so.
Journalists and reporters crowded themselves into several cliques outside of the Seoul City Hall, though the majority of their activity was occurring from within. Inside of the main building and just outside of the Council Chamber a group of reporters were fenced off away from the entrance as participants in the day's event arrived one at a time. They formed a fairly quickly moving line as they were queued inside for a second body search. The first having occurred as they entered the main building.
Security was at an all time high given the nature of events that had occurred within the last month. An attack was conducted upon the Forbidden City in Beijing, China resulting in a number of casualties, though no deaths fortunately. Another incident on the island of Cora Hau at a Future Tangent Industries facility had once again resulted in minor injuries and property damage, but no deaths. The last major incident however involved one of the largest mobilizations of military class equipment for use in a terrorist attack upon the Japanese Imperial Palace by renegade employees of the same Future Tangent Industries and their Private Military subsidiary.
That incident was stopped by the team work of the Armed Forces of more than twenty countries operating in Japan. It was a convenience that so many had been in training with the Japanese Defense Force at the time of their need. Other law enforcement organizations such as the RCMP, the FBI and China's own PAP (People's Armed Police Force) had been instrumental in dismantling the attacks and conducting raids at several locations within Tokyo, assisting Tokyo's own finest. Remarkably, there were no deaths, but there were over fifty nine serious injuries as a result of the gunfire exchanged between the groups.
Future Tangent Industries being at the center of the whole investigation had cooperated with investigators and yielded information regarding the building of an organized crime empire, using the same blackmail techniques employed by Alomera Zek only years earlier on the Island of Treadwater located west of the Gulf Of Mexico. Though Future Tangent's reputation would be tarnished by these activities, it would be allowed to continue to operate as a business after an internal audit and investigation by the financial securities department of the World Bank, though at a limited capacity. This would continue for a probationary period of three years, with a review and audit occurring every year.
Tynan And Associates would also be investigated and audited, though mostly as a precaution and to appease Future Tangent's lawyers who'd negotiated this when they agreed to a deal. Tynan And Associates agreed to the conditions, reasoning that it could only benefit from such an effort as Helmut Werner had put it. This in turn became free marketing via the news when it was reported throughout the world, with many news affiliates even directly quoting Mr. Werner's statement. Tynan's stock value even jumped perceivably as a result.
Nearly a month had passed as the delegates recuperated from their voyage and the action that had caught them off guard. On this day they arrived together in several vehicles and made their way from the drop off point through the first security check and into the Seoul City Hall main building. They headed directly for the Council Chamber where the meeting would be taking place. As they approached the line, Valerie made her way over to the press area for an official statement.
Alicia, Heylyn, Monique, Zheng, Katya, Victor, Briggs and Bryce followed suit, standing near to Valerie in case they were needed.
"Jeong Chunmin, TV Chosun. Ms. Aspen, how has the recovery of your delegation gone?" asked one of the reporters.
"Thank you for asking Mr. Chunmin. We're all doing very well and have each managed to recuperate, though I'm sure that most of our delegates would tell you that they were ready for action again a few days in. I'm also glad to report that the members of the Eastern Delegation are all healthy and fully recovered as well. This includes the Professor Kong, who was shot by the same round that nearly took the life of our own Walton Norler," Valerie answered the question sincerely.
"Seyo Anyay, TVN Seoul. Ms Aspen, can you explain Mr. Walton Norler's fast recovery given that the nature of his injuries were nearly fatal. Is it true that the SY-349 may have been used for his treatment?" Ms. Anyay asked Valerie.
"Thank you for the question Ms. Anyay. Mr. Norler's recovery was thanks in large part to the state of the art treatment he received in Beijing from a Chinese medical team. Had he not found his way into their care as soon as he did, he wouldn't be with us today. As far as whether the SY-349 was part of his treatment is beyond my knowledge as I'm not a Doctor. I'm a Business Specialist and Analyst so it wouldn't make sense for me to comment on the specific details of his recovery. I think that we can all agree that we're very happy that he's still with us today," the press began clapping in response to Valerie's answer.
"Ms Aspen? Gyong Buo, SBS TV. What can you tell us about George Steadman and has he been apprehended yet?" asked the reporter.
"Thank you for the question, though I can't really answer that. You likely have more information about that subject than I do. We worked closely with the investigators for the first week after our recovery, about twenty days ago. We gave them everything we had that was pertinent to the case and even some stuff that likely wasn't, just to be safe. As far as I know, his whereabouts are still unknown. Next question?" Valerie answered and immediately looked for another one.
"Jackie Osoto, Arirang TV. What are these reports we've heard from witnesses making references to a Butterfly Dragon-lady or other large winged creature? We've had corresponding descriptions from several witnesses. Can you tell us anything?" asked Ms. Osoto.
"You must be from the tabloids..." Valerie said, drawing a round of laughter from the rest of the press.
"No Ms. Aspen, I'm very sincere and I take journalism very seriously," Ms Osoto responded.
"I'm sorry Ms. Osoto, but these reports may have been of a large camera drone, I know there were a few operating in the area, especially for security purposes and likely some by the press. The delegations were a considerable news story, so maybe that's the case? A large bird? I know there are several large sea avians native to this region. It would be neat if the stories are true and in such a case I'd certainly love to see an investigation into this. A flying butterfly woman dragon that solves crimes? What a good role model for women, with the exception of the violence. How about we instead focus on some of the real world role model women in the sciences, medicine, business, leadership and certainly the single mothers at home all over the world struggling to make a living in order to ensure that their children have a chance in this sometimes cruel world? Better yet, why don't each of us focus on making this world a little bit less cruel and a bit easier for those single moms?" Valerie smiled having sincerely pulled a rabbit out of a hat, while distracting from the topic of the question.
"I'll second that..." Alicia stepped in beside Valerie.
"Me too!" Monique on her other side.
Valerie waited for the applause to die down before speaking again.
"Look, I'd love to stay and answer all your questions but we're time limited here. I will however give you over to Doctor Alicia Westin, who is ready to make a related announcement. Alicia?" Valerie stepped aside and gave center stage to Alicia.
"Thank you. I'm going to give you over to Ai Yuanlin Ying, my best friend forever whom you know as Heylyn Yates," Alicia stepped aside as Heylyn stepped up front and center.
"How are you!?" Heylyn asked, bowing for the press who returned her sentiment.
|Ai Yuanlin Ying aka Heylyn Yates|
"We've got to get in there and get this done. Thank you again. Hopefully we'll see you again with some good news," Valerie stepped away from the front and headed to the line with the rest of the delegation.
"Ms Aspen, are these announcements part of a Tynan strategy to ensure the outcome of the vote?" asked one of the reporters.
"We think we've got a pretty good shot at this, but we'd like to have the deck stacked in our favour. Wouldn't you?" Valerie answered, very much the business strategist.
The delegation continued on their way into line and quickly filtered into the chamber.
The council chamber itself appeared as just about any other council chamber might appear the world over, though it had touches of South Korean design that made it stand out. The walls were lined with images, paintings and photography of South Korean history and pertinent moments in its development. One of the most overlooked aspects was the fact that if you looked at the chamber from overhead, you'd see that its circular design had eight tiers in all with three rows. The four corners of the council held tiers that matched the corners of the South Korean flag, though few were aware of this fact.
Seoul had not been the first choice for the vote, and other cities were evaluated long before they settled upon their final decision. The Asian Alliance wanted a city that was distinctly Asian, yet with a modern image and strong economy. Tokyo had initially been one of the front runners, and certainly was prepared to host the meeting. Bangkok and Hanoi too were evaluated for this purpose. When Seoul was suggested, the Alliance vote was unanimous. It seemed to represent a middle ground between the west and the east, yet it retained its heritage as a distinct East Asian city with prominent sites representing its history and tradition. Regardless, the vote would ultimately benefit all the member states of the Asian Alliance, and one way or another, reflect the direction their collective compass pointed them towards.
As the delegates finished with the second security check, they sought the tier in which they'd be seated.
"There we are, over there. Werner and Norler are keeping the seats warm for us," Bryce pointed out to Valerie and the rest of the delegates.
|Nurse Sung Ki|
|Advisor Gun Kwan Suk|
Advisor Gun Kwan Suk eyed Norler, perhaps in admiration of his freedom just to be. Norler didn't have to dance between what his company wanted it to be and what the world expected it to be. In fact, Advisor Suk estimated that Norler's intimacy was followed out of his own relaxed virtue. That their flawed system somehow gravitated to charismatic leaders, picked for their muse rather than their astuteness.
Norler eyed Advisor Suk, perhaps feeling the empathy of the tense position that life had thrust upon the Advisor. Born into a regime the world despised and forced to lead it like it was the best, his only audience ever the extreme of either side. Advisor Suk lived a polar life from the start and that with which few could relate. Yet seeing Norler's eyes in the distance, he suddenly realized that he was not so alone as he'd imagined. Norler was nearly as lonely as he, though for reasons far less dissimilar than he'd pretended. They both loved women they secretly feared they'd truly never know and given their dissimilar circumstances, matters of which they could not speak for very different reasons.
Doctor Chandra Bohdi looked on from her vantage point, eyeing the two men, Advisor Suk and Walton Norler.
To be continued...