Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Very Sinanju Christmas

From Destroyer #015  Murder Ward

* Title : #015 : MURDER WARD *
* Series : The Destroyer *
* Author(s) : Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir *

“He was halfway down the steps when Chiun halted him.
"Remo," he called.
Remo turned slowly and looked back at Chiun who waited on the top step.
"Merry Christmas," Chiun said.
"Thank you," said Remo, meaning it.
"Even if you do not give me a gift."”

Chapter One              T’was the Night before Christmas

It was Christmas Eve 2003 and CURE scheduled another of their annual Christmas presents, taking out America’s current cheapest criminal.  Remo and Chiun just arrived in Bowling Green in New York City and Remo called Dr. Smith to get directions to their target.

Hitting the one on the pay phone outside of a local drugstore, in short order Remo heard Dr. Smith answer the call in Bermuda.  Howard was visiting his sister for the holiday and CURE was still operating black, under the table of Presidential approval.

“Smitty, where do we find Michael Fieldglass, attorney at law, he wasn’t in his office as you told me he would be?  I thought you had better information that that!”

“Remo, you called just in time, Condition Red!”

“Another terrorist attack?  Where?”

“Their activities to unload their weapons begin in the hour, not too far from you at the old TriAm pier 14 in Port Johnson NJ.”

“Smitty, it’s 3pm in NYC on Christmas Eve, fighting traffic it might take hours to make our way there.”

“Remo, the fastest way there is to use your NYPD identification and use a Police speedboat from The New York Police Department (NYPD) Harbour Unit facility not to far from you on the East River.  The terrorists supplier is using an old Liberty Ship,  named ‘La Vie” refurbished to haul ammunition for the first Gulf War and later sold to a small French transportation group.  They’re delivering a payment of 50 million dollars in return for state of the art French weaponry.  Apparently the work you’ve done eliminating the other attempts to destroy New York, without us having to alert authorities and letting the holes in Homeland Security become obvious have force them to work under the communication net. All their communication has been face to face, nothing for the CURE Four to pick up anywhere. But somehow the American Aryan’s got wind of it and are planning a strike of their own once the weapons are unloaded to arm their own forces. In other words in a short while there will be a war taking place in Port Johnson, one with the potential of forces obtaining weapons that could be used too dramatically to consider. CURE needs you to eliminate everyone before the authorities have to get involved.”

“Boy, you sure have a great way of celebrating Christmas.  I and Chiun are here keeping America safe, keeping Homeland Security working and you’re in Bermuda. Great Life, well Merry Christmas to you too. Later Smitty…”

“Remo, I would also like you to retrieve the money and…”

But Remo hung up and turned to Chiun.

“Chiun, my assignment’s been changed and I’m going to have to rush to Port Johnson in Jersey.  Why don’t you go back home and I’ll see you there later.”

“Remo, no I’m coming with you. This will be the first time I’ve had a chance to see you work since you’ve become Reigning Master and I want to see if you’re technique remains pure. For the next few years I need to re-check everything you’re doing just in case any of the old habits remain.”

“Where in the annals of Sinanju does it say the Reigning Master is still learning?” Remo replied with a grin as he broke into a run.

“In the ones I’m writing. Besides, I need some exercise when you obtain Reigning Master Emeritus you still must keep improving after all some day there may be a serious threat.”

Being Christmas Eve there were no cabs in the City, but Remo shifted into cruising mode with Chiun in tow and before long they tore into The New York Police Department (NYPD) Harbour Unit grounds.

Two officers were getting off a 35 foot Dauntless Class patrol and rescue boat and Remo flashing his NYPD identification raced past them leaping on the boat. Chiun following sliced free the lines and Remo took the boat out into the East river heading to cross the Upper NY Bay towards Port Johnson NJ.  They never paused to listen to the officers left on the dock shouting at them.

Chapter Two                         And All Through The House

The famed Dautless class patrol and rescue boat lived up to its deserved reputation. It cut across the Upper NY Bay in short order and Remo was able to locate their destination among the many docks with ease. The TriAm Pier 14 was remote in a desolate area. That was good as it would cut down on the chance of others involvement.

This would be a classic moving assassination, long ago recognized in Sinanju. When you have targets that are focused on killing each other they were not watching their backs. That is where Remo would be working.

Unfortunately about ½ mile from the Pier the Police Speedboat engine sputtered and died. Out of Gas.

“Remo, why is the boat no longer moving?”

“Little father it sounds like we’re out of gas.”

“And this is how the Reigning Master goes to work? Are we to paddle our way to our target?”

“Our target, its my work, you’re just along for the ride.”

“Ride, you call this a ride when you pick a ship with no gas?  How are you going to get me ashore?”

“I’m sorry little father but you’ll just have to walk as I am.”

Remo then stood tall and stepped off the side of the ship. Focusing on the cold late afternoon air and the density of the water, with steps that measured the force of a tablespoon of whipped cream, he began walking across the water without breaking the surface.

Chiun followed suite and instantly closed the gap striding alongside Remo. About a quarter mile from their ship they heard the first gunfire from the dock. As one they each began to race at top speed across the waters surface as if it was the hardest ground, from two men strolling on water becoming two racing blurs no eye could follow.

In an instant they were alongside “La Vie” and then they were clinging to its side ½ the way up the ship.

“Little father, these terrorists are depending on using weapons brought to America in this ship and they’ve just begun unloading them. This is a Liberty Ship, manufactured during WWII, and we’ve worked them before, especially due to their unique manufacture to piece them together as quickly as possible. Would you like to see if our knowledge is still correct?”

Chiun slowly nodded his head.

Each of them hung by one hand amid the centerline of the ship’s side.  The Liberty ships were amazing construction where primarily welding held them together. This caused a great problem in fracturing noticed as early as 1946. With this knowledge Sinanju entered the picture.

Remo’s free hand struck the ship apparently lightly but created a deep gonging sound. Chiun then counter struck, also apparently lightly to create a harmony gong. Listening to the two sounds, both Remo and Chiun looked at each other, now knowing the ship.

Their response was to drum out the traditional Korean melody “Tribute to Prince Yi”, with hardened fists.

Then they stopped, the groans from the ships thousands of welds continued the piece on its own accord until it stopped.

Of course when it stopped all the welds gave way at the same time and the ship of thousands of pieces simply dropped into the bay.

The instantaneous collapse of ship integrity into a down, created an energy vortex our Sinanju Masters could and use, turning it into an up.

The ship dropped and they flew up, unobserved, into the air in separating arcs towards the dock.

Chiun shouted his intentions to Remo before they landed. ”Toe work tonight for me.”

Remo replied back, “Variations on the Floater Stroke”.

Sinanju landed.

Chapter Three                       Not a creature left stirring, not even a mouse

On the Dock a group of 15 American Aryans were attacking the terrorist underground group and a handful of French sailors who had offloaded a Frog 03 Urban Assault Vehicle.

Both groups were ill trained and when the Liberty Ship disintegrated in the background they were so preoccupied from the sounds of bullets flying they didn’t even notice the ship’s departure. Instead they kept ducking and firing blindly towards each other.

Remo and Chiun landed lightly at different ends of the pier, flanking both groups, and prepared to complete their mission.

At that same instant a lucky shot from the American Aryan Commander, Ralph Freeze from Clark, Ohio struck one of the French sailors in the chest as he was trying to move the UAV. In death the sailor rolled forward and struck the firing button.

Immediately four Frappe Mort 67 short range missiles with incendiary warheads  fired into the air, arcing over the landscape towards Bayonne, New Jersey.

‘Shit!’ thought Remo, ‘Smitty will have a cow about that and its not even our fault.’

The fact that both warring factions were so incompetent reminded him what trash today’s terrorists were. By Sinanju standards, one of the biggest sins was getting oneself killed plying ones art.  The world kept calling the thugs and warped personalities in action today, terrorists when they were really very lucky incompetent fools.

Thank goodness they really didn’t know what real terror was. But this was happening here in America, the country paying Sinanju’s bills, America a country that Remo fought to defend time after time and once more needed his efforts.

Remo made to enter the variations of the Floater Stroke.

At the same time on the other side of the pier Chiun didn’t stop to understand his targets. There was nothing to understand, there was just his technique.

Tonight he slipped out of his sandals and stood preparing. On his left foot his middle toe began to stand straight up. Now he was ready for Toe work.

Chiun was the first Master of Sinanju in 2,000 years to revive one of the Great Wang’s private techniques. The study of the use of the individual toes to destroy ones opponent.  In Toe Work, it was important to keep switching toes and switching feet target after target.

And the toe strokes were not just straight in strikes, instead different planes and fractals of toe movement were to be used.  This was arcane and advanced Sinanju.

Chiun stepped out behind two attacking terrorists, so intent on their opponents they didn’t hear his approach, as if they had ears to hear it.

Chiun delivered the left middle toe as a strike to the rear of terrorist #1’s neck, shearing his head off, but before it detached itself from the neck, the second terrorists had his lungs punctured with his right little toe, collapsing his heart.

Without breaking stride Chiun kept moving forward toward the others.

Returning to Remo, where the floater stroke had no energy behind it, instead it created energy where there was none inside the body of the opponent, for Variations on the Floater Stroke he released his entire body so there was no base to be found. Instead he moved forward with a non-focused rolling motion, releasing palm strokes and finger strokes that floated gently in mid air, assuming of course you can see hands moving 4,000 miles per hour.

His first target, a member of the American Aryans was surprised when he noticed a thin man with dark hair standing toe to toe before him as he was depressing his M-16’s trigger. The man was smiling as his hand seemed to float towards the barrel of his gun.

Unfortunately the gun barrel didn’t stop the hand, nor did the bullet being propelled forward in the barrel. Instead the hand entered into the barrel, split it in two, including the 223 round firing forward. Then the hand kept leaping forward through his body.

The shock so swift and intense he never felt his death as the floater stroke imploded him.

Sinanju’s assassins kept their forward pressure, meeting terrorist or American Aryan and then finishing same.  Each other also aware of the progress and technique of the other.

As there was no doubt of the outcome they met in the middle and all of the evil do-ers that remained were their corpses.

“Chiun, very great technique tonight. I was very impressed at your Toe Work.”

“Remo, I would be remiss not to mention you have full mastery of the Floater Stroke. Of course that still leaves many other techniques to keep an eye on. Can we go home now?”

“Eventually, I was short with Smitty but I think he wants us to return the money the terrorists brought to pay for their weapons. I also have to get rid of the bodies and weapons by dumping them in the river.  Let me do the cleanup and check out that truck to see if it has the money.”

“Money, can we keep it?”

“No, its not gold so its not real anyway, just paper for Smitty.”

Chapter 4       The Children were to be nestled all snug in their beds

At St. Jude’s International Home for Children, over 300 hungry children sat down for their dinners. Afterwards they would go caroling, attend an evening Mass and then get to bed hoping Santa would bring them something for Christmas.

The orphans really wanted homes and families, instead only having the Sisters of Care and each other.  But the Church and donations provided enough to eat, the Sisters took care of their educations and souls, and on Christmas enough toys were found for everyone to receive something for their own.

Dinner was just finished and all the children dressed for their evening outing singing carols around Bayonne.

Sister Victoria stood on the stage to announce the route for their travels when suddenly the roof exploded, showering timbers and flaming debris into the dining hall.

Where those children should be safe, instead a most unexpected brand of hellfire struck, explosion following explosion.

Yet Sisters being Sisters ignored the danger, moved the children out the doors calmly rank after rank of them.  Their voices remained calm and the children acted as if it was one of their regular fire drills, troopers all, marching out into the cold December evening.

Outside the children were formed into their choirs. Sirens from Police Cars, Ambulances and Fire Trucks were heard.

Across the street Hook and Ladder Company 5 were just setting down to their own dinner when they saw the old orphanage across the street burst into flame.  Instantaneously moving into action, one crew grabbed their gear and moved for their trucks, the  rest charged across the street and tore into the orphanage looking for children. They couldn’t see all the children were out on the far side of the building.

Joining them three patrol cars from the Bayonne Police Department pulled up first and rushed inside to join the firemen.  Likewise three of the younger Sisters also raced inside to seek out any other children or Sisters inside.

Inside the older construction of an orphanage 150 years old worked against them. It was turning into instant conflagration. Additionally the missiles that struck from the terrorist encounter contained some delayed fuses, finally exploding driving the flaming debris horizontally across the floors.

The end result was the entire orphanage lost, two Sisters, two Firemen and one Police Officer also giving their lives searching for any other survivors.

For the children and surviving Sisters, for the families and friends of the fallen, Christmas was gone.

As the cold grew worse the town officials decided the best course of action was to keep the children together so they would know each other was safe. Busses arrived and they were taken to the Lincoln High School, which had been an old Civil Defense shelter. There were cots and emergency supplies to turn the double gymnasium into a shelter for now.

Nobody was happy this night.

Chapter 5       Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter

Locating the truck with the $50,000,000 as Remo completed the rest of the cover-up, till Smitty’s specialists from the CIA would make sure no sign anything had happened, Remo and Chiun entered it and began their drive back to Connecticut.

Following Avenue C into Bayonne, Remo was surprised to see a traffic backup on Christmas Eve.

Chiun first noted the smoke in the air and the glow in the dark air on the other side of town.

Finally Remo neared the Lincoln High School and saw a very sad police officer directing traffic around the area.

Rolling down his window he asked, “Officer, what’s the problem, why the traffic tie-up?”

“Big fire on the other side of town, lighting struck a Catholic orphanage and it burned entirely down.”

Remo’s knuckles turned white as he grabbed the steering wheel more tightly.

“And the children what about the children?”

“The Sisters got them out ok, but several of the Sisters, several brother fire fighters and my uncle died inside. We’re moving all the orphans here for the night, the busses are just arriving. Thanks for asking, please move on.”

Remo was silent in pained shock.

Chiun reached quietly for his hand.

“Remo, we must move from here. Drive up this street a little and pull over. Give yourself some time.”

“Father it couldn’t have been lightening, it had to be those missiles that were fired in the fire fight.”

“Remo, you may be right, but we are only Masters of Sinanju not Masters of the Universe. You and I can do what we are trained to do. This is a problem we can’t resolve.”

“Little Father, I love you and am pledged to preserve the village. But I’ve also been an orphan. I know what they’ve lost. First their families, their lives and now the only one safe place they had left all gone.  You know how I’ve been trained. If something is more sacred than the village, it is children. I must do something and right now.”

“But Remo, what can we do.”

Remo sat silent in thought.

“First we go and watch what’s happening.”

Silent wraiths they were gliding from the cab of the truck. Silent they stood in that night watching the children straggling off the busses. Older children pulling younger children along. Officers Police and Fire together carrying the youngest, the remaining officers forming a line guarding Lincoln High.

Then Chiun was as to step forth. “Remo that young boy is Korean! He’s Korean!”

“Little father, they are children from all lands and races. They share something deeper that I feel with them, deeper than family deeper than blood, the fact they’re orphans.”

“This night I, Remo Williams, Reigning Master of Sinanju, vow they will not suffer anymore.”

“Remo, how will you do that?”

“Simple Little Father. You’re going to become Santa Claus and I’m going to be Rudolph your elf. Together we’re going to give them the magic of Christmas.”

Chapter 6       The Luster of Mid-Day to Objects Below

“Remo, whatever you’re thinking of you can’t use the wealth of Sinanju to try and solve this.”

“Little Father, I’m not Reigning Master for nothing, I think I have a better idea anyway. First lets find a phone I want to place a call to Geneva and the Bank of Sinju’s Board of Directors. Let’s see that the Chief Executive Officer can actually do.”

“Not your Bank of Sinju CEO drawing account. Again you..”

“No not that, I have another thought. Let me place the call and then we’ll talk.”

After about an hour of discussion and several phone calls Remo approached Chiun with his news.

“… so you see Little Father, this answer will work. That covers one of our problems and I know you and I can do the rest. Are you ready to turn in your robes for a red cape?”

“I’m not Santa Claus. I’m not dressing in that ridiculous costume.”

“Nope, but you will be Santa tonight no matter how you’re dressed. Lets head off for the City, I want to visit the new World famous Restaurant Row, they’ve closed for the evening and they’re having a group employee Christmas celebration.  Let’s see how they handle a visit from a couple of angels.”

Vincent Tappino of Vincent’s Bayonne Cab’s was looking for his shift to end to get home to his wife. He knew it was strange to see two lightly dressed strangers, one Caucasian the other oriental, hailing a cab, but a fare was a fare.

Once they got in Vincent’s cab he tried to tell them he couldn’t go into the city, he needed to get home to the missus, but when he heard they only wanted to go to Restaurant Row, just off of the Hudson Tunnel in the City, even after they were told it was closed Christmas Eve, and he saw the $10,000 they stuffed in his pocket, he realized he really didn’t need to get home to his wife that early tonight.

Instead he gave her a call and told her he’d be a little late, but he’d be bringing something special home with him. After all spring $1,000 on her and she’d be happy and he would have money for some fun, too.

Thus in a short while he pulled up at the world famous Restaurant Row, where any food specialty in the world was to be had, for a price of course.

Inside the largest establishment, Francis’ Down Home French Kitchen, hundreds of cooks, servers, maitre’d’s and all the rest were partying hard. In the kitchen the elite of the elite owners and cooks gathered to toast another year of success.


A voice was raised above the din, standing before them was a stranger, a lone man dressed in black.

“Think of me as the ghost of Christmas present. I’ve come to tell you your future.”

“Hey Mario, get rid of this bum!”

The bodyguard rose and moved  toward the stranger only to find himself spinning as a top on the strangers upraised finger. Suddenly he was placed sitting on the food on the table, unhurt.

“As I said, think of me as the ghost of Christmas present. Let me tell you your future. Today a horrible tragedy struck an orphanage in Bayonne, Jersey. It burned down and the children are spending the night and day at the Bayonne Lincoln High School. That’s over 300 children and their Nuns.”

“All of you are going to make a very quick choice. You will all start cooking and tomorrow treat the kids to a feast like they’ve never imagined and in turn each of you will receive $100,000 on the spot now, or you will be on the receiving end of whats going to happen to this table.”

The stranger dropped his hand as slowly as a feather floating to earth. The difference was when the hand touched the table it split in two down the middle. Dumping Mario on the floor with the food, too.

“So which will it be, will each of you give your Christmas to feed the children and receive $100,000 cash, tax free, or will you join the table.”

The owners all lined up with their hands out.

“Hey this is good, we all love kids anyway. But what about our help, we can’t do it ourselves.”

“When you go out those doors you’ll see the answer.”

They gathered their money and walked together out to the full party.

Instead of their employees making merry, they saw all of them sitting on the floor, crying.  A small oriental standing before them.

“Please boss, we’ve got to help those children. Can’t we feed them tomorrow, please.”

Individual after individual joined in the plea.

“Everyone, lets get back to the kitchens, fire up the stoves and ovens. We’ve got a Christmas feast to deliver.”

Remo and Chiun, satisfied looks on their faces walked back into the night for Vincent’s cab and a return ride to Bayonne.

Chapter Seven           With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment

Vincent left them off and returned home for the evening with his wife.

Remo and Chiun stood outside of the Lincoln High School watching the police and fireman standing guard over the children’s temporary home.

“Well that’s two tasks down. Next we have to have a real Christmas miracle, a visit from  Saint Nick.”

“And how do we do that Remo?”

“We just have to give them oodles of toys and clothes. I have a plan for several blocks west, just about a half mile from here, I saw a Toys R Us and a Kids R Us which is closing. Here’s what we’ll do.”

Remo separated from Chiun. Chiun softly slipped into the back schoolyard, an outdoor basketball court. Before long a bicycle flew across the moon and into Chiun’s hands, to be softly deposited on the ground. Then Balls and Bats, Dolls and Cars, Toys, Computer Games, a mountain of toys were flying across the skies, one after another. Each caught by Chiun and neatly stacked on the grounds.

Remo entered Toys R Us, kept the door open, and jimmied on the first cashier station. He literally skated across the toy store floor, grabbing toys, and giving them an underhand snap so their bar tag would cross the scanner as the toy flew out the door and rose to cross towards Lincoln High School. This continued for about 90 minutes, till he realized he had more than enough toys for the kids.

Remo then saw the bill, opened one of the suitcases he brought with him and left the amount in cash plus 10% from Santa.

Then he hurried next door. This Kids R Us closed that day and its store contents were all packed to be shipped out. In this case he simply grabbed carton after carton and flipped them towards the school. Eventually he ran out of cartons, picked up the shipping invoice, noted the cost shown and left cash again.

Racing back to the school he was worried about Chiun, he had worked him hard. But reaching it he didn’t see Chiun resting, instead the school doors were open and Chin was racing toys inside and placing them across the school stage, covering it. 

Joining in, Remo started moving the cartons of clothing for the kids to the far wall, opening them displaying what was inside.

When they finished and made way to leave Remo caught Chiun finding a ball of silver and gold and quietly slipping alongside the sleeping Korean boy, leaving it with him on his cot.

Now 4 am, there were still several tasks to complete.  Remo and Chiun, carrying a suitcase made their way to Hook and Ladder Company 5, where tired firemen were grabbing  some sleep, or a cup of coffee, after a trying night.

Unnoticed they approached the commanders office. Inside a shell shocked fireman sat trying to pull himself together after the nights losses.

“Sir,”  he looked up,  tiredly

“We and all America are very proud what your men and the Bayonne Police Department did today. The losses will not be forgotten. I have here a small token of $5,000,000 for the families of the firefighters and police who have fallen tonight. It can’t replace the lost, but it can help repay what can’t be repaid.”

“Who are you?” the now awakening commander spoke. “This is a magnificent gift.”

“Well in one sense we’re the Spirit of Christmas, in another sense we’re not here at all. In fact you won’t remember us, you’ll only find the money in a few minutes, you’ll protect the families of all who have fallen, now and always.”

Remo leaned forward, put a finger against his throat, and whispered softly.

Then they left.

Chapter Eight            The sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas too!

The sun of Christmas morning would be hitting Bayonne New Jersey in moments. Tragedy or not, Children would soon be wakening to Christmas morning.

Remo and Chiun slipped yet another time into the school. In the school office the Sisters were sleeping or holding silent vigil. The children were still asleep. Mother Superior was in the Principal’s Office.

“Sister, it is time to awake.”

Mother Superior Janet raised her tired head. Standing before her was a tall, thin man with thick wrists, dressed in black, except for a green elf cap. Beside him in Yellow robes was an extremely elderly Korean gentlemen with a red Santa cap sliding off his head.

“Who are you and why are you here?”

“Sister, we’re here to thank you for saving the orphans. They need so much and all of you labor so hard to give them what they need. I think we can help you preserve the spirit of Christmas today and for the future.”

“Please don’t speak, we have much to say and there is very little time before the children awaken.”

“First, last night was a senseless tragedy. But we will try to make something magic rise from it. You will notice the suitcases piled around the room. They will take care of most of your financial needs. There’s about $45,000,000 there, build a new, safe, fireproof orphanage with it. Later today NYC will be providing an endless feast for the kids and you Sisters. We’ve found a place for all of you to stay the next three months. Cinabar Cruise Lines has their newest Shepard of the Disney Seas liner in the New York Port as a stopover for their final shakedown cruise. Cinabar will be hosting the children for a three month cruise. You’ll be able to teach them there and see a part of the world that orphans rarely see. There will be no cost for the three months. We happen to know the banker that financed the ship and they’ve convinced Cinabar to give the ship to the children as they train their new crew. After all if they can take care of 300 kids they can take care of anybody. The Disney Corporation is also hosting the kids for an entire week in Disney World, supporting their cruise line decision.”

“My God, thank you both.”

“Sister, there isn’t enough that can be done for these kids, but we know you Sisters know what they need. It’s not cash or baubles, nor is it freedom, instead love and the discipline you’ve always instilled give them the freedom to grow into adulthood, away from pain.”

“There’s one more surprise, would you wake your Sisters and have them greet the children with one of the Christmas hymns and you’ll see what we mean.”

“O’ and by the way, we were never here, just the spirit of Christmas and the smallest of miracles, the largest which was you saving all of them last night.”

Mother Superior Janet, now awake only notice the suitcases filled with money, her visitors forgotten and all the events they foretold were locked in her dream memories. But they gave her assurance that the day would be magic.

Then leading the sisters, they threw open the doors to the gymnasium, singing “Hark the Herald Angles Sing!” only to be stunned beyond belief.

Sunlight streaming through the high gym windows fell on the stage filled with toys. The children hearing the singing awoke with a start and like the oldest of Christmas cartoons rushed the toys in glee. More than enough fore everyone.

Somehow in the middle of the floor a gigantic Christmas tree stood, fully decorated, lights now blinking merrily, and two very small angles standing tall atop the tree.

The children didn’t see, but the Sisters all noticed the clothing on  the other wall. The most important needs of the day were settled.  They didn’t even notice truck after truck of catered food arriving for the Christmas morning breakfast.

Unnoticed, in a far corner, Remo and Chiun stood, silently, watching.

Chiun paid most notice to the awakening Korean boy. The boy saw the ball and grasped it tightly, singing to himself.

“Chiun, our time to be here is gone, now its time to return home. Merry Christmas Santa.”

Chiun, tears streaming from his eyes, left with Remo.

Chapter Eight            Happy Christmas to All and All a Good Night

The cab turned onto Billy Goat Bluff in Stamford, Connecticut. Home for the holidays.

“So you see Little Father, Smitty can’t miss what he never knew we had. All bases covered, we presented those kids with a Christmas miracle, the best one I’ve ever known, I didn’t spend the treasure of Sinanju, or even touch my CEO drawing account. All accounts squared.”

”Son, that is a real Master work you’ve done. This story will be one of the highlights of the scrolls of Remo, the White Master. Of course first you have to write all of this down.”

Remo groaned as the cab pulled to a stop.

“Thanks buddy, keep the change.” And Remo gave the cabbie $500.

But before they could climb the stairs to their house Chiun stopped and turned towards Remo.

“Being Christmas I haven’t forgotten the holiday of the Roman Church you celebrate. Wait outside here a minute and then come inside.”

Remo puzzled as Chiun slipped inside. Would it be another small tree covered with shredded golf ball? What would Chiun consider a Christmas Gift, especially after last night.

The minute passed and Remo came inside.

There sitting in a chair before the fireplace, facing the door was his daughter, Freya, her golden hair streaming in the sunlight. Behind the chair stood his son, Winston, slowly turning into a man. Beside him on the left was his father Sunny Joe  and there standing on the right was Chiun.

There are no words left…

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night….

Seasons Greeting,

Victor Smith

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