The night lights of Macau glistened in the bay, each wave reflecting back the illumination of thousands of florescent bulbs and flickering neon. The Macau gambling trade was truly impressive, and bright casinos and glimmering spires of hotels catering to wealthy tourists and businesspeople dominated the skyline. From a distance, it was beautiful. From up close, it was exciting.
However, the waves also reflected one light that wasn't from the massive amounts of electricity the area used.
The flames continued to devour Shòuhài Zhě's home as he looked on helplessly. The firefighters had done all that they could, but the flames had simply grown so fast that by the time they had gotten there there was little they could do but contain the blaze. As he watched decades of his own history and over a century of his family's go up in smoke, he felt someone walk up beside him. Turning to look, he saw a man that was both taller and younger than him by a significant amount, dressed impeccably in a stylish business suit. Without looking, the man addressed him:
"What a pity. It looks like you really should have taken our offer to move you out in a hurry. Now you'll have to move anyway, and, since you declined my company's offer, you'll have to do it with your own money." The man turned then, and didn't try to hide the smirk on his face.
Shòuhài Zhě, shaking with pent-up rage, growled, "Why you... Mr. Chen, how could you do this to me? I wanted to keep living as I have until I passed away, was that too much to ask? My grandson is in university, and he's going to become a computer programmer, and have a better life, so he wouldn't need my home. I'm an old man, with not many years left. Why couldn't you wait?"
David Chen shrugged helplessly. "I have no idea what you're talking about, old man. I certainly didn't have anything to do with this blaze. Sometimes fires just happen, you know, and when they do they clear out all the ancient and outdated trash to make way for the new. It's just an accident. You know how dangerous old buildings can be. I'm sorry for your misfortune," he added at the end, dripping with insincerity. He turned and began to walk away, then looked back over your shoulder. "Speaking of unsafe, I wouldn't trust that old boat of yours either. It could spring a leak at anytime. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it had slipped its mooring and was sitting at the bottom of the bay right now." With that, David Chen walked away.
The fire from Shòuhài Zhě's house were now reflected in the old man's tears, as well.
Nova Ramirez walked pass a hawker's push cart, the steam from it smelled of pork and coriander, wafting past her as she reached the carport of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. By the time she reached the glass doors, she realized she was starving. The building felt nothing like outside. It was clean, chilled from the air conditioning and the savory smells of street food were replaced by faint tropical flowers.
The stunt woman pressed for the elevator, taking out a key card out of her cropped jacket. It was simply a white piece of plastic with the hotel's logo and a metallic strip.
Inside the elevator she used the card as identification and with a ping, the Penthouse button started to emit a faint green glow. Within the second the gold mirrored doors closed.
This was probably the strangest casting call she had ever been a part of.
It was a long ride up to the 117th floor, but the card allowed to her to move past the hotel's 109th floor lobby unoticed. Nova wondered who she would meet. She wondered what kind of job awaited her, and she wondered if she could grab a midnight snack from the push cart after the meeting.
"Hello?" Nova called out to the dimly lit room, her senses suddenly heightened at the silence, "Anyone here?"
Oliver Dickens treaded softly around the 117th floor penthouse, trying to gauge his employer's character and motives.
The lavish accommodations suggested that it was a person of considerable means, and yet the time of the meeting (a bloody unholy hour it was) hinted at motives perhaps not so straightforward.
Espionage perhaps? Or maybe something else not exactly smiled upon in the light of the law? Whoever it was that hired him definitely was well-informed and had connections...and impeccable timing.
He had been in Hong Kong for an assignment only to be unceremoniously fired midway through said task. Disgruntled and confused, Oliver had planned to leave Hong Kong on the next flight out, only to be intercepted by his latest and most mysteriously employer.
Oliver was pulled out of his mulling by a distinctly female voice calling into the room.
Straightening out the hoodie he had opted to wear over a t-shirt and jeans, Oliver made his way toward the source of the lovely sound and found himself face to face with a young woman whom he would later come to know as Nova Ramirez.
"Good evening luv, name's Dickens, Oliver Dickens. I'm afraid you and I are the only ones here at the moment. Don't rightly know how many others will be joining us but I assume you're here for the same reasons I am. Now if only I knew what those were..."
((Got the baton from Tanya to be Lynn, so honored!)) =D
Lynden Park was in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, fingers flickering across the keyboard of her laptop like a normal post-teen might between college and a stable job. She stood out a little from the crowd in her knee-length boots and ‘Chikako Watanabe’ bangs. All she was missing was a white fur coat and yellow breton stripes shirt and she could consider the floor her runway, but she was way too demure for that.
She was checking camera feeds she had set up wirelessly in the suite. Two were already there, her good sense told her to wait for three before she went up to introduce herself. But then again, she hadn’t gotten a confirmation at all today from Canaan Todd.
She took a glance at the corner of her screen to check the time. Four hours now since Canaan last checked in with her. He should have messaged an hour ago, at least that’s what she figured he would do as neurotic as he is with time and schedules.
Park shifted in her chair. Ten more minutes--if nothing from Todd, then she was heading up to at least raid the complimentary minibar.