It is taught in school and written literature that Chinese Emperors arose from the ancient wars was a selfish desire to rule the entire world.
All Chinese emperors were worshipped as the heavenly being, like a Catholic pope or an Anglican Arch-Bishop, the emperor would command the hearts and minds of those he rules over. Ruling and protecting them from the Mongols and establishing an advance civilisation in an ancient tribal past world.
From the forging of bronze swords, shields and towers to architecture and water systems that is now common in the 21st century.
The Chinese kingdom was incredibly blessed by the presence of Emperors.
Until World War 2 where the last emperor sided with the Japanese and in the cultural revolution the heritage was lost.
2017 marks the 50th year since the death of the last emperor.
The Han Chinese, numbering in the billions scattered across the world, a new empire is being born from the heavens with one to lead the new world into a new era. An era that would outpace the current civilizations and become the envy of all now and future.
An era that will push mankind to live in the stars and beyond.
Except one thing...
... One tiny tweeny little detail.
So tiny that no one saw coming. Always could have seen it in hindsight. Everyone had all the clues.
That tiny little exception would control man kind for years to come.
"Love is over..." followed by cantonese poetry of romance remembering that flowered and the withered pain of losing the spark from an old 90s Cantonese Jazz lyric by Anita Mui.
The saxaphone lays out the colours of decadence and bold smooth dark chocolate with hints of spicy lime and ginger to ears of relaxed patrons.
The night lights of skyscrapers across Victoria harbour fill the bar's ceiling with a confetti of soft magenta and citron illuminations. The bar's pool a level below adding a splash of wavy cyan reflection as models from across the world lay on heated recliners showing off their perfectly toned bodies hoping for a sugar daddy to rescue their attention.
The club, a blend between traditonal rosewood chinese design mixed in with bold contrast LED lighting of futurism, the glass floor illuminated white to display a real Koi aquarium with a holographic sea bed filled with sea-grass that waves as the Koi swim through.
John, 5 foot 12 Chinese with an Australian English accent in basic Business attire, seated at an illuminated bar overlooking Hong Kong's pre-Christmas prepared Victoria Harbour on a cool early November friday night.
Sipping a tall glass of orange juice occasionally looking back at his target, a local Hong Kong born citizen, Sam. Dressed in an eye catching white business attire, legs spread across for the whole bar to feel his dominance. With two hostess by his side, body guards seated away from him, with Remy Cognac half empty and cigars mellowing smoke in the ash tray.
Jimi bald shiny head with thick glasses, 5 foot 11, a cultured Australian accent, unknown to John and seated next to him, sipping shots of whisky and honey vodka rests his back onto the wall looking at John's target.
"Hey OJ drinker, want a shot of whisky? My shout." asks Jimi.
John sternly replies "No."
Jimi nods with a smile speaking bold and slow "You know ... you're kind of obvious. Not drinking alcohol to have a sharper aim. You see you're not the only one that wants to put a bullet in his head."
John turns over staring at Jimi, flicking his pistol under his jacket pointing to Jimi "You work for him?"
"No no no..." replies Jimi "I'm after the bounty, want him dead just like you. Oh and by the way you're not the first. Sam is protected by some strange shield. It's invisible so you can't shoot it. The fact you've bought OJ means he already knows you're going to try. Need any more hints Mister Obvious?"
John is instantly mentally cornered by Jimi's assessment. He's wide open with Sam visually inviting John to take a shot. He replies "I'm not in it for the bounty. It's ... complicated." His face tenses up, sweat drips from his forehead as he struggles to think of a exit strategy that would allow him to attempt this mission again. The weeks of planning all flushed down the toilet hole in one moment. John visable torn whether to run for his life or just fluke a shot and hope it's enough to end Sam.
Jimi slides a shot of Vodka over to John.
"I don't drink" replies John.
Jimi smiles "Just drink, relax. It's friday. It's your first kill right? I'm just looking for a weakness to get past that invisible shield. It's only Vodka with a bit of honey."
John looks at Jimi buying as much time as possible, weighing up his options. He takes a sip at the shot of Vodka.
With haste sculls the rest.
Jimi pours more shots of pure Vodka, switching them around like a magician before handing them to John.
John relaxes a bit taking a deep breath, resting his back on the edge of the bar, feeling the thumps from the billionaire's party below. Jimi whispers "See, it's not so bad is it? Never met a man feeling relief drinking water and honey."
John asks "Thanks. You can have the bounty, but tell me more when you said I'm not the first."
Jimi venomously giggles whilst shaking his head "Last week we were at the Recon Bar. Sam has seen me week after week, he knows I'm up to something. But last week they made their first move... " Jimi pauses whilst looking to the ceiling whilst taking down a shot of whisky
" ... The CIA."
"Really?" replies John.
Jimi replies back "Yes. Yes it is and there's two agents sitting to our right. Discussing business."
John looks to his right to find two caucasian and three asians socialising. John looks back to Jimi "How do you know they're CIA?"
Jimi opens his hands with a bewilderment and sarcastic facial expression "Oh you know, you should ask me directly. You want to know who I'm working for right or how I know they're CIA?"
"Both" answers John.
Jimi massages his hand "Let's start of with how I know they're CIA. It's a wild guess. They have american accents and they've been following Sam around the last 3 weeks. Wild guess right, looking for the smoking gun?
I'm certain they're CIA because you cannot control the subliminal context and message you deliver. For example just now I over heard them talk about the global Real Estate crisis in real proper financial lingo. The catch phrase was 'It'd be good if we pulled investments out of this sector'. "
Unable to discern the evidence presented by Jimi, John asks "What's wrong with that?"
Jimi smiles "I'd short the mother fucking REIT. Businessmen are opportunists and hedgers, it's obvious those two blokes are bloomberg readers rather than traders or portfolio holders. Oh and whilst we're at it, they're listening to our conversation." Jimi lifts the glass of Shochu at the table smiling. The two agents nod pretending it's part of networking.
Jimi turns back to John "They're on do-not-engage mode. They're harmless for now."
Patrick, one of the agents, leaves the table walking up to the bar joining Jimi and John. He swipes his card at the bar smirking at Jimi.
"Boys, it's on us. I still owe you one for last week..." reaching out his hand at Jimi.
Jimi shakes his hand "Jimi. Yours?"
"Patrick. Patrick gullible, if you know what I mean," replies Patrick, he reaches his hand out to John but John turns the other way refusing to acknowledge his presence.
Jimi stretches his neck. "How can I help Patty?"
"Tell me how to take Sam down. I'll double the black market bounty," replies Patrick.
Jimi ponders for a second replying. "Costs a lot to train an agent up these days right? A million or two million a pop? You lost 8 last week ... to Sam. I'd be a bit more patient to ensure a win-win outcome. However, I work for Richard. You know, the one that escaped out of your hands a few months ago?
Oh, you didn't hear that from me."
Patrick's heart skips a beat, he takes a step back. "I ... I see."
"Changes everything doesn't it?" asks Jimi "Thanks for the drinks. If you'll excuse me I'm doing business here with John here."
John feels a sudden shock from his heart, shivers crawling across his skin.
"How... how do you know who I am?" asks John.
"Open book" replies Jimi "Open book mate. You're so open. However, you wouldn't be here if you thought you had a chance to take down Sam right?
The fact that you don't recognise me tells me you've lost your memory of your past. But seeing how tight and arrogant yet the face is somewhat relaxed. Do you even notice it yourself?
Muscle memory. Maybe it's familiarity. Either way, your flesh remembers me not your memories."
John replies "Tell me then. Who am I?"
"You're a father with a loving wife and child." answers Jimi "You also have a terrible older brother. The one that caused your memory loss. But it's ok for now. I have your family at arms reach. They're ... safe. For now. He's protecting them one way or another."
"Why?" asks John as he breaths heavily as he tightens his fist "Why would he do that?"
Jimi shakes his head looking directly at Sam. "You tell me! It seems he did it to protect the family.
Could you blame him if he was?"
John acknowledges and softens his fist. He picks up another shot of pseudo vodka then leaves the bar towards the bathroom, wobbling as though he's drunk.
Sam waves of a hand, one of his bodyguards follows John to the toilet pulling out a pistol with a silencer as he enters the bathroom. Patrick is distressed after hearing the details over his earpiece. Sam hearing the same information from a difference source, on the other hand, cracks his knuckles, chugs down a glass of cognac, then lifts himself up from the couch.
The elevator door opens. Two Chinese teenagers pull out automatic rifles firing their rounds at Sam.
Glass shatters across the entire bar, parts of the rosewood furniture shredded by the bullets and the glass koi aquarium flooring turn red with the automated system turning on holographic directions to various exits scattered across the bar.
Sam with his right hand held out with a bright confident smile continues to stand whilst the bullets all deflect from his invisible shield hitting any bystanders that are not under cover.
Jimi hides behind the counter with the bar tender. Strangely he gathers all the alcohol graded 40% or above and throws them across the floor near Sam.
As the dust settles the teens stop firing believing they've completed their objective. To their surprise, Sam has walked forward to their position unscathed. Opening a packet of cigarette and lighting it in front of their face.
"You think a two million US dollar bounty can be bought for a peanut? What are you ... Monkey?" Asks Sam, lifting his hand in a karate chop position then dropping it onto the teens right arm severing it like a slow cooked pork flesh melting off a bone.
In severe pain the teen falls to the ground attempting to stop the bleeding. The other teen yells in Cantonese "Hum Ga Chan!"
At that moment Sam makes a few more swings and both teens fall to the ground with a pool of blood reflecting the night Hong Kong sky.
Sam intensively looks at Jimi pointing him out with his cigarette "When are you going to make a move?"
Jimi brushes off the glass from his jacket"I want to surprise you. That is if you let me live another day. Thoughts?"
Sam shakes his head laughing "you think I'm stupid to let you live? Game is over. Over for you!"
Sam dashes forward attempting to chop Jimi's shoulder with his hand, but Jimi evades to the side. Sam's hand hits the wooden bar bench and makes an impossibly small unnoticeable dent with a bit of steam evaporated from the droplets of water on the bench.
Jimi notices it.
He also noticed each time Sam stepped forward , his invisible shield also stepped forward as though it also had legs, making footprints from the cracked glass scattered across the floor.
Jimi wasn't sure what that shield is but he has deduced a number of available options, silent and calculating his opportunities whilst he remains abnormally silent.
"Wang!" Sam cries out towards the toilet "what is taking so long?" He motions the other guards to go to the men's toilet. "I can take it from here"
Jimi pulls out a lighter and ignites the floor from the spilled rum. As the flames bounce off the shield , two image of shoes emerges.
With a lighter and blowing gunpowder proof rum, he sprays a large flame at the invisible shield. A large translucent Terracotta Warrior with two hand-maces emerges for a brief minute whilst the flames burn off the rum .
Jimi takes a step back changing his stance, the terracotta warrior guardian also changes stance to match the defence.
Jimi looks around his surroundings, the CIA no where to be seen. He puts on a thermo glove on his right hand, gloveless on the left. He picks up two glass bottles, one filled with water with his right and the empty one with his left.
Sam rushes over to launch a frontal kick. Again Jimi dodges to the side, using his momentum he kicks Sam's leg. However the guardian reaches out with his mace blocking Jimi's swipe kick.
Jimi retreats backwards rethinking his strategy. He takes a deep breath and begins to feel pain in his leg. Where the Terracotta warrior block his kick is now bleeding with a bludgeon wound. For now, Jimi is unable to use his right leg.
Jimi attempts to retreat further with the to the window in a hope that Sam would carelessly walk over for Jimi to pull him into the pool and attempt to drown him.
Sam strikes at Jimi's neck but is blocked by the empty glass bottle. Sam is perplexed that his hand does not cut through the glass through to Jimi's neck.
He uses his other hand to take another swing at Jimi's arm. This time it's blocked by the bottled water with the cap facing Sam's face.
Both Jimi is Sam are locked. Jimi smiles "Looks like you don't know your ability."
The bottle cap of the water bottle bursts open with burning hot water sprayed onto Sam's face. In that split second of opportunity he grabs Sam's shirt attempting to pull him over.
But he's too heavy. Or rather.
The guardian is holding Sam down.
Jimi feels a massive slap to the right of his body by a concrete palm sending him flying across the glass ridden dance floor.
On the ground Jimi looks around. The Bar tender still on the ground with hands to his head, arms shaking and refusing to look. The two hostess still hiding behind the sofa.
One of Sam's guard rushes out of the toilet with the automatic rifle firing all rounds cutting the toilet door into wood chip.
Then a figure emerges. The whole body bloody with bullet wounds slowly closing up. Open wounds healing and regenerating before their very eyes.
Lifting his head, John reveals his bloody face.
The body guard again sprays a round at John. But this time it's blocked by an invisible shield just like Sam.
John cracks his knuckles and stretches his neck.
Jimi lifts himself up with a glass bottle. Whilst the guard reloads focusing only on John, Jimi strides forward behind the guard, using his body momentum he smashes the back of his head instantly putting him to sleep.
"I knew there was something special about you" remarks Jimi "I'm out of ideas John".
John with his jacket shredded and bloodied steps forward pushing Jimi aside and facing Sam directly.
"Need a hand?" Asks Jimi.
John stubbornly replies "No. Go away!"
Sparks fly as the two invisible terracotta warriors fight with their weapons clashing.
Sam attempts to slash John but misses. They continue the fight with John attempting to assess the situation with the two teens cut to pieces on the ground.
He notices Sam's face burnt red from the fight from Jimi but can't piece together what Jimi knew.
Turning around Jimi throws a bucket of melted ice from the bar forcing Sam to block the bucket with his hands.
Sam decides to ignore being wet, then immediately steam appears from his hands. Immense burns being with his skin beginning to peal off.
Jimi yells "You're weak to water. Don't you know your own ability?"
John strikes forward with the back of his hand knocking out Sam's jaw, then moving behind Sam to finally execute him by driving a large force in a single punch onto the joint between the spine and skull.
"What's that move?" Asks Jimi.
John wipes his hand "It's the most humane way to kill them. I think." pausing for a moment "Thank you."
Jimi stretches his hand to shake his, but John refuses. Instead he turns around to pick up a Jade Amulate from Sam's body.
"I don't know who you are. But thank you. This is good bye, you can keep the bounty." replies John as he rushes to the elevator.
Jimi pulls a bottle of real Vodka out. "You'd wanna stay around for a few minutes... " pausing for a few seconds whilst John presses the down button for the elevator.
The elevator door opens.
John stops without walking into the elevator. The elevator doors close.
Jimi replies whilst filling shots with Vodka. "You forced my hand. You've forgotten me right?"
John standing facing the closed elevator door. Neither responding or breathing.
"You've forgotten everything right?" asks Jimi. "You're on a mission now right? Working for someone? Or Collecting jade thingies that pop out when one of these strange people with invisible walking chinese golems die."
John snaps back "You know nothing!"
"So tell me then." replies Jimi " You disappeared 6 months ago. You have an extended family, a wife and child all worried about you. I'm just a simple private investigator trying to piece everything together. I take it what ever you're dealing with now, you can't do anything else till you've finished right?"
"Yes" replies John "It's best to consider me dead. Better I don't remember than myself worry."
Jimi walks over wrapping his arm across John then leading him to the Sofa to talk further.
"Mate, I didn't want to reveal myself. I'm Jimi by the way. This Jade Amulet you picked up. What is it?" asks Jimi as he bandages his injured leg.
John rebukes "Nothing you need to know. Begone."
The Bartender walks over with a bucket of ice with a bottle red wine and orange juice.
"Arigato" replies Jimi as he insists "Look I know what I saw. I can help the world prepare and that'll save lives. Tell me a little."
John pulls the amulet out then absorbs it into his chest. "A gift. We kill each other, the last one standing collects all gifts and becomes the high emperor."
Jimi smiles lifting a glass of red wine in the air "Nice. Cheers, congrats! So you can use it right?"
"You're not very talkative. But Sam there doesn't even know what he had." replies Jimi.
John asks "You know more about it than Sam. Is it water based gift?"
"What?" interrupts Jimi
John replies "The five elements. Fire, Water, Wood, Metal and Earth. Is it water?"
Jimi ponders with a sarcastic face "I don't fucking know! Neither. He separated flesh from the teenagers before. The ability to create a vibrational signal that excites moving particle. That is a powerful microwave at the edge of his hands. I would call it Fire because it's about exciting electrons."
John ponders "Hence why it is weak against water."
Jimi is perplexed but answers directly "It's obvious Sam's hands were controlling some sort of microwave that created pressure by exciting local particles which increased the temperature and hence the pressure differential meant body parts explode. You can see from the cut parts of the kids, the bones still retain their structure."
John looks down "I see. "
"Hey mate, cheer up. You want water right? We team up and maybe we can catch a water type pokemon. Deal?" asks Jimi whilst handing him a business card.
John picks up the card, dropping it into his wallet. "No thanks. It's for your safety." again walks to the elevator. As the door opens again he asks Jimi "If my family is ever unsafe. Let me know."
Jimi shakes his head "You idiot, you picked up my card without giving me yours. How the fuck am I suppose to contact you?"