Sunday, February 23, 2014

Death From Above part 4 (conclusion)

Chapter Twenty Three

There was almost no moon, the clouds over the dessert obscured it. Acrcoss the erie and unfamiliar landscape  Gabiji and Habinamahad moved as if a fog cloud. They flowed forward till they entered the Sunojo lands.

Silently they cautiously moved. Past abandoned homes, Past houses with inhabitants. Never hearing Sinanju mentioned just the talk of daily life. There was no sign that this had anything to do with Korea.

Three times they circled the native village, Nothing was observed or heard to give a sign.

Finally they signaled each with their hands and again started forward the waiting desert

After a long time they reached a desiccated river bed. Recognizing the crust would break under their weight and leave a sign of their presence, they started following the bed.

Suddenly a man was standing on that same crust. Standing as if waiting.

As one they stood up and advanced upon that crust.

There were sounds of continuous crackling beneath their feet.

“You sure don’t cross the Crying River very well!”

The two responded as spinning tops, small knives held alongside their arms. Swiftly they approached from two side. Sunny Joe held his ground, and then his arms shot out at each side, to guide the spinning attacks away from him.

Sunny Joe then crossed his legs and while appearing to move slowly, spun and disappeared from sight.

Rotating to a stop, the Night Tigers took flight.

Running across the night dessert. With astonishing speed they worked to get away. Then a foot appeared tripping them. They tumbled to the dessert floor.

“Long ago, the Night Tigers, were eliminated. Now you have entered these lands. Bad Luck for you, but you are not allowed here.’

 With dispatch he walked across their bodies. That seemingly light step crushed their  heads.
But this was just beginning. Sunny Joe knew they would be missed and others might retrace their path. His vigilance must be increased.


Remo not fully recovered from his encounter with Leslie, was still thinking how he would explain the encounter with her and what happened. He was walking back towards the train station at Kiev.

H Smolensk e had readily handled the other Night Tiger attacks. He decided it still made sense to travel on to Smolensk Russia.

Not clearly thinking he paid no attention to a young man drinking outside of a bar along his way.
He automatically noted the inebriation and then dismissed him. The the man began staggering along the street. He could hardly stay upright.

Remo remained in thought as he passed along the street.

 That man made to cross the street. So drunk he was almost hit by a passing car. Somehow he made his way staggering across. Then somehow he made way alongside Remo’s side of the street toward Remo.

A silver battered flask in his hand, he pulled another deep drought, falling into a swoon upon the sidewalk.

‘Bested by her touch..’ Remo thought to himself. He passed the fallen man.

Suddenly that man was on his feet and swaying. Barely functioning he made to grasp Remo’s elbow.  As he did that he swung the sliver flask toward Remo’s head.

When he grasped for Remo’s elbow it made Remo automatically counter the grab by swaying toward the man. This placed his head closer to the flask. This was a older movement honed into Sinanju from the Night Tiger development days. Unfortunately Remo’s automatic response was the wrong answer. His automatic movement trained into his system was the incorrect one. Instead of Remo being in conscious control, this automatic movement was his undoing.

Remo weaved his head into contact with the flask, making a dent.

Now Remo began to wake up his consciousness, but this didn’t help for along with the hit, there were the continuing pain from the shoulder miss stroke. The combination of events had placed Remo at half power.

Remo attempted to strike the man, but the drunken movements were so bizarre he missed, then the man fell and as he did so his foot caught Remo’s knee striking it.

The pain was intense, Remo staggered.

Into Remo’s stagger the man bounced back to his feet and turned into Remo’s shock. Then turning and driving an elbow behind him also striking Remo’s head.

Remo did stagger. He dug down and forced himself to take a breath. Energy flowed into Remo and he fought off the pain. Regaining control of himself, Remo made the decision that if he wants to do Drunken then he would do Drunk Sinanju.

The man continued to make his weaving turning strike, but this time Remo was not there. Instead he was lying on the ground. The next moment he was standing against a light pole a full 20’ in the air.

Remo noted the astonished look on the man’s face, It grew close as and Remo fell atop his head.
The man collapsed as a way to make escape. But Remo was fully atop him and then tied his body into a knot.

Remo’s finger was against his neck, “Now this is pain” and he removed that finger leaving the ball of a man incapable of moving but painful sweat pouring out from his body.

“It feels just like your body is dipped in liquid lead, doesn’t it.”

Remo’s then spoke more,” I should let the pain continue.  But I  know you want to talk to me, don’t you?”, then he lay that same finger again against the neck. There was now the absence of pain.

“I know what you are, but it’s more polite for assassin armatures to announce themselves first”

Grateful for the absence of pain he blurted out “Scott of the Driscoll Night Tigers”.

“The Driscoll Night Tigers, how many lines are in your village?”

“We are not one, rather many places and  many lines. Sinanju will end!”

“Not on my watch, you ball of a night tiger.”

Scott bit down and died.

‘That was un-fortunate, I had to let him speak to obtain information. And he used that to obtain release. Old ideas, next time I will have to remove their teeth. And that will make talking harder.
That’s the biz”. Remo continued to make his way to the train.

Along the way this time he noticed the crowd in the streets facing Police barricades. He hadn’t been concerned with them before.  Some bodies were burning. Some Police were shot. There was general mayhem. It was how Chiun had described the region. Seems them were still missing Chiun’s Hero Ivan the Good. Oh well the suffering would always be here. Might make for future business.

The train was soon to depart.

Chapter Twenty Four

Hercule took the latest news with a calm bearing. Once again the Night Tigers were defeated.
Yes, Leslie had some success, and brought confusing intelligence with her story. Without question the Sinanju bastards were skilled. In fact except for her discovering their one weakness, they would seem impossibly skilled.

His suspicion that they worked the hiding for the opponent seems not to be their key skill. But what do they have to do the things they did. Their abilities from the older art were there.

Hercule wasn’t pondering this alone. Several of the older, most skilled retired Night Tigers were looking at their details too.

Also, there was another mystery. He had not heard from his team of Gabiji and Habinamahad . He didn’t know exactly where they were only their starting point. It was inconceivable that they could not find something. Somehow they would contact them.

Leslie’s skills among his best, were descended from the art reconstructed over the centuries, but could only be used by the women in the Night Tigers. While most useful unlikely to work without great subterfuge.

Many options were not available at this time.

That left the ultimate solution. Perhaps that was best. Just do it and be done with them. Of course there was a price, but this might be the time to use it.

Hercule considered any other options.

Back in Sinanju, Chiun was standing post guarding the village. He reviewed what the lore was about Master Tsoka who once did the same, using his skills to guard. Of course this history was from the Night Tigers of 1,577 BC And he was working a family rivalry on Mu,d uring a lucrative minor contract, His contract was to guard a House of that land who conspired one day to be the king. However they had discovered that his group of Night Tigers had a flaw. While waiting their attention waivered ovet the weeks of non-action. This required that he push his Tigers with unexpected drills to allow them to keep their focus. Waiting was a trap itself, to keep the ir minds focused was the key. Then one day the attack did come and the Night Tigers or course prevailed. That was given.

But for Chiun it was worth remembering. He was using slow time to stand his guard over the village. And stand he did, he shifted between several slow time states of existence. Worrying some about Remo. After all he did train him, and now he was the Master. Responsible for the survival of the art. Though soon he should Marry and have a son to carry on further.

That would be a good time, to have a baby boy to bounce on his knee. Remo should consider this. But first this infestation of Night Tigers would have to be exterminated, after all they were Sinanju, encompassing over 5,000 years of tradition.

Chiun watched the heavens.

The train was taking Remo towards Smolensk Russia.

He was using the time for travel to help his body recover from recent events.

Taking a cleansing breath,  he settled into a trance. He remembered some of his earliest training. Chiun had him running around a large lake in New Hampshire, a very large lake. Step followed step, breath followed breath. The trail went on, his breathing followed a pattern. His steps began to follow his breathing, suddenly he found he was traveling faster. The more his breathing and running continued there was speed.

Trees flashed past.

In his mind the day was clear, it was the day when Chiun’s preparations started to make sense, and his mind controlled it all, the breathing, the steps racing, the coordination of the two, rather it became the one, one mind, one breath, one step, something Chiun called the Sun Source.

Remo was one with the movement. He controlled it,  He controlled his breathing, He entered his essence. When he did this he became more.

He turned his head and said “Chiun, I unders…” and ran flat out into a tree.

Chiun had been pulling ahead, his robes swirling across the ground, his feet not visible.
Then Chiun was standing above his flattened body.

“You start to understand, then you throw it all away to speak. You are not yet able to sustain two thoughts in your mind, never in all my years has so much been given to someone so unworthy. It is as casting pearls before a swine. This is what happens to those who eat hamburgers..”

This was the first time Remo hears this, to be often repeated when he failed.

He remained lying on the forest floor dazed.

However Chiun gave him no rest. “Now, get up and begin running again”

In pain, Remo knew what would happen if he didn’t get up, so he rose and started running.

Step  followed step, breath followed breath, the two again became one, and Remo resumed running. Swift were the steps.

In his mind Remo recalled the day, then he began reliving that run. His breath centered and he took off around that lake in him mind/

He was the Master. And he ran with balanced breath. Each breath  he took, each step he recalled brought him closer to the Sun, source of all. Each breath in Fullness.

The trip continued though he knew not what was his fate.

Chapter Twenty Five

Remo’s train arrived in Smolensk Russia.

He departed the train with none observing his passage, and he began to make his way outside the city towards the bombed site. No barred his passage. Remo felt that this time he was going to finally find out why this was happening.

Upon reaching the devastation there standing in the middle of the ruins was a solitary figure.

“Finally we meet. Since the day of Wang, may he be cursed, this day has been long in coming. He tried to eliminate the other Night Tigers, but was unsuccessful. The line of Gong did survive. And we have continued the true tradition.”

“Seems to me,” Remo replied, “in my case, you haven’t been very successful. For I am here.”

“Yes, there has been some annoyance at that. But we are still beyond your knowledgde, and I will finish you, yet as we speak, Sinanju has been eliminated and is no more.”

A wave of concern swept across Remo’s face.

High above Sinanju, over 20 miles away 5 drones started their decent. The first two in succession and then the final three started their simultaneous descent.

Chiun, senses heightened, noticed the descending pressure wave from the first drone’s descent. He emerged from slow time as this happened, his face turning towards the skies. He grasped a small rock in his hand.

The drone, it’s top shining in the sun, from which direction it fell, was in fact a bomb centered on the Masters Palace. The fall was preceded by a laser guidance system.

The pressure waves were felt by Chiun, centered on his home. He then observed the light from the laser guidance; At that last instance he observed the drone approaching. Then he threw the rock, it took off at hypersonic speed accelerating.

The rock flew at incredible speed into the descending drone. And when it hit just before the drone exploded, Shattered it into dust.

But at that instant the second drone fell towards the village. No sooner than Chiun dispatched the one he had the second to stop; This time he kicked a pebble at his foot. Again it accelerated at hypersonic speed into the descending drone. Again it shattered into dust.

This time there were three, coming to obliterate Sinanju. Chiun expected them, this was a very old attack pattern of the assassins of the Night Tigers, Overwhelm the enemy with multiple simultaneous attacks.

He knew there were no more rocks at hand. Chiun simply clapped his hands over his head. The resulting pressure wave sped out  from that clap, it met the drones with a shattering effect.

Sinanju was preserved. There were no more attacks. It was after all the old pattern. Remo no doubt was facing his foe.  They had fallen for toys. Perhaps their misplaced trust would help him.

Solitary, Chiun re-entered slow time and watched over the village. Nobody knew he was there, or how close Death had sought their lives.

Sinanju slumbered on in it’s sleepy way. The village this day remained secure.

“Yes, Sinanju is no more, you were inadequate to prevent this from occurring. It was the dog who barked.”

It was with cold eyes Remo looked in his direction.  “Sinanju is not dead, for I am Sinanju.”

Remo shifted slightly to the left, what happened next he did not expect.

A wall of wind struck him. So hard he was knocked from his feet. A vast force of wind.

Cart wheeling back Remo fought to gain purchase, but that wind increased in force. It left him spinning around.

Remo willed his mass to increase till eventually he found solid ground. Then he allowed the same wind go flow past his person. Now it was Remo the unmovable. He stood his ground as the force behind the winds ever increased.

Blending with the wind, Remo started to flow forward.

Now things changed again. The wind drew moisture from the air and froze it. Now the winds were filled with icy pellets. Slicing forward as if a wall of ice. Remo shifted into an anti-rhythm and made all of them miss, thousands and thousands of shards of ice.

It became evident that everything was being countered by Sinanju. The winds now stopped and Hercule began to grow before Remo’s eyes. Now greater than any man he slapped forth with his hand with incredible speed.

“Sinanju, you are nothing,” as his slap connected with Remo.

Remo, with the Sun Source resources, held his ground and stood as it had no effect.

Suddenly Remo accelerated forward with great speed. His hands stretched forward as if to strike the eyes. He, however was surprised when Hercule moved away with the same speed. He using his greatest speed could not catch him.

Hercule struck forward again and once again his strike hit. This time while Remo was advancing.. Now Remo was driven into the ground.

Time and again Remo’s attacks failed.

“Foolish man, I am Aelous, the God of the Wind, You are doomed. I allowed my avatar to destroy your home, the  Night Tigers are under my protection. Your tricks can’t save you now. “And with a mighty effort drove his foot into Remo breaking him into shards.

Then a great sound was heard.

“I am created Shiva, the Destroyer, the Shatterer of Worlds, the dead night tiger made whole by the Master of Sinanju, Who is this dog meat that challenges me?

With that mantra sounding Remo was reconstituted and grew in size. Then larger than Aelous he stood before him.

So you took an avatar. Not enough young one.”

Both Gods struck one another but with little effect.

Last time I sent you away, why have you returned?”

“My reasons are my own, I will not let you finish your dance.”

My dance which will change all time continues at my own pace, you can’t change that.”

“Yes I will, and these night tigers have become my tools. They are most useful.”

With greater force Aelous struck. Shiva however didn’t move.

I am unto the Destroyer, I will enter into this game, be forewarned, I may conclude my dance soon. Till that day I am also Sinanju.”

Then with a sweep of his hand he struck Aelous and then he was gone.

Remo stood facing Hercule, the presence of the Gods was gone.

“The night tigers are no more.” And his hand flashed forth striking Hercule on the neck.

His head separated from his body. Slowly it fell over into the ground.

Remo was aware he slew the head but the body of the night tigers still remained. He would have to remain continually aware they might be back any time.

But first he had to call Sinanju and be sure Chiun was safe, then there was Sonny Joe to check on.

He made his way back to the station. There he found a phone, and with the assistance of a special phone card called the Bank of Sinju, There he connected with Hyunsil and briefly talked to her, then she hurried to the Horns of Welcome and spoke to Chiun.  He hasted to the phone.

“Chiun it is done, for the time being. I need you to go to Sunonjo and meet with me and my father, There is much we have to discuess.”

Some time later there was a campfire on the dessert plain in Arizona. Gathered around it were Chiun, Sonny Joe and Remo.

“…so while that has ended this threat, the Night Tigers still exist. The threat to Sinanju remains. They are aware that something in around here and thus another threat to their existence. Apparently Wang left us loose ends.”

“You will not denigrate Wang, ever!”

“Now I like him too, but this threat will continue, and who knows where it will surface again.

“I will protect our village here in the dessert. Someday Winston will succeed me.”

“I accept that, Chiun and I are going back where I work for Smith, and news from the Assassins News Bureau will be available to you too.”

“We are Sinanju in the end.”

It was a featureless room, somewhere.  The elder Night Tigers made a choice for their new chairman. It was she who survived this meeting with Sinanju.

“I vow, the Night Tigers will succeed. We will refine our arts further. With our knowledge we have learned what doesn’t work and what does. As did our father’s we move with deliberate speed, though it take time. We will return at a time of our choosing.


Author’s note: I am pleased to have taken this trip into Remo’s life. Once again I must reaffirm my pleasure for all who have authored the tales that I have enjoyed for 40 years. While I enjoy these efforts, I am aware how much I lack as an author, I don’t develop my characters enough and concentrate on the hero’s of Sinanju too much. I only hope the Destroyer returns to print.

Will another tale come from me? I can’t say for sure. For one thing although this is my Destroyer universe I try very much not to touch the current story lines used by the authors. Of course if any of these efforts interest them they have my complete permission to borrow them.  I only touch on satire, I continue to believe Sinanju is real, and although I wither I keep working on my minor arts, fragments of the sun source.

At no time in the writing of this effort did I bend my elbow, my strokes remain clean, and I always try and breathe to fullness.

By my hand,

Victor Smith
This 22nd day of February, this year of the horse, 2014

Apparently I was not done,,

The fire in the dessert had burned down to embers, the three were ready to depart.

Remo spoke: “There is one part of the story where I have not been complete, but in honesty I have to tell it.”

Chiun remarked: “You must not hold back, it is always necessary for the survival of Sinanju.”

“I knew that, it is just embarrassing……and when I reached out to grab Leslie she took that opening to attach and she followed up the descending arm and touched my neck. It was incredible, for I could not move. I was immediately paralyzed by her movement, paralyzed with pleasure. Pleasure that continued. Only by digging down into the Sun Source did I finally counter it. And then weakened she used a refinement of the Night Tiger’s technique to escape. I did not dispatch her.”

Chiun immediately answered “I told you that white women would harm you! You should marry a nice Sinanju maiden and have no need, that and produce a son.”

“Chiun, get serious. I was open for attack and an attack by a Night Tiger.”

Sonny Joe held his own counsel.

“Along with refinements to their arts, they also have trained women. What else might they do.”

“No female should be trained in Sinanju!”

“It certainly is something else we have to worry about. And who knows what else they do.”

The embers died, the night enclosed the three, There was total silence as they strode away.

Analysis for the Chairman’s eyes.
We have initially assessed rhe attacks used against Sinanju.

The contractors were concluded in each case with standard Night Tiger technique.

The Night Tiger attacks were not successful, no survivors. The method used unknown.

Leslie did survive the attack. Under standard hypno induction recall, she did not recognize what was done against the other two Night Tigers. His response was incredibly swift and fluid. They just died. She took advantage of the opening and used the one step. It worked.

That in itself is compelling. Lee Joe and Rei discovered this procedure. As husband and wife the 37 steps developed to give pleasure to his wife. At the completion the one was for her to return the favor. Actually we discovered after much research the 37 steps have sensitized the man to receive the stimulus of the one.

Later research the original 37 were found useful to control the female. The one was not as useful. We developed a number of other step routines, but they all work the same way just fit some situations Today men are not told of the one, unless the wife choses to do so. The one is mostly reserved for special uses such as domesticating some males.

However, it appears this works against our foe.

I’m speculating here but perhaps their nervous system in enhanced, so they are already stimulated permanently prepared for the one. We should proceed carefully.
For if this is true it might explain their power, suggent attacks, and assist us to find our own ways do use this power.

I will keep you current on further research. Who knew?

Team Research

Death From Above part 3

Chapter Eighteen
Remo woke up in his bed in the copy of the Master’s house of Sinanju to top of the Bank of Sinju. It had been so for two weeks. The daily review of notes from the Assassins News Bureau awaited him along with tea Alphonse provided him. There was no news of the Night Tigers. Lately many times during early training ,with Chiun, came to mind.

‘When one Typhoon threatens , the other Typhoon is quiet’ came to mind. There was no question the Night Tigers were being quiet. They had previously led him into attacks, not competent ones, to test how their skill differed.  To date he had responded with Night Tiger skills to lead their minds in a different direction.

But tradition from the scrolls be damned, next he would suffer their attack no longer. The Master was going to respond with the Sun Source. He was planning on controlling the next situation, exploding at them.

But first another day, another tea.
The same sunrise in a different part of the world,  Hercule Geneve had just received word that the next attack was prepared.

The Dae Hun Night Tiger Teams were in position. The word was  given and three predator drones were launched. This time there were simultaneous attacks to Bellarus outside Minsk,  Then the Ukraine and Kiev. Finally Russia and Smolensk. Except for being in the Russian sphere if influence there was no other connection that they might discern.

Whatever the reason they were executed with daring precision and what appeared perfect timing.

Remo received word of the attacks and Remo decided that Minsk was the place he would start.

Chapter Nineteen
The sky was azure and clear, Gabiji and Habinamahad spent weeks moving through the South West deserts and badlands. Everywhere they found no trace of the older one, the past Sinanju Master.  However they were a credit to their training and did not falter. Then they chanced upon a single hut with one old resident.

Approaching the hut, they found he was waiting for them. “Good day visitors. I can see you are hunting and have thirst, come in and drink. I wish to have words with you.”

“Hello in turn, we have been seeking someone. Perhaps you could help us.” They countered.

“I am a former leader of my people, the Havasupai. Long ago it was foretold that I must meet you. We are a peaceful people, I was tasked to live a long time for this to occur. To live as the leader I was given a long live by our gods. Now I will answer your questions as this will spare any others from suffering at your hands. I am old and have little life left and I must do this to protect the people.”

“We don’t know your gods. They are not from our home. What we seek is simple. There is an old man,  a chief in your eyes from the Eastern Lands, that we seek. We believe he has passed this way, Have you seen any such person?”

“No one that is from such a place passed this way. But the legends foretold you should seek the path to the Sunojo people.  There you will find what you seek, your death. The trail begins down the gully and turns south. I already know my life is forfeit, for those people have a powerful protector.  By doing this you will not bother the People.”

“Our Death, you know not what you speak. We are of the Dae Hun Night Tigers, it is we who give death.”  Both brothers struck out and he was gone.

As they looked at each other, they both remarked. “Sunojo! This can’t be a coincidence.” Let us follow this trail. They quietly followed the land towards the trail.

“We should have tried to find out how far we have to go.”

Chapter Twenty
In Geneva, Remo was out of options. It had been weeks since Lisbon and the only leads which had turned up were the 3 bombings. He decided that he would go to Belarus at Minsk and look there first.

Again he took the train, careful not to be seen by any. It was after dark when he arrived, Minsk was the Capital and largest city in Belarus. Remo knew the City from the Masters scrolls. Sinanju had worked the city from  1313 working for The Grand Duchy of Lithuania resolving some minor matters in Minsk.

Other tasks, other Empires followed in time until the Idiocy of the 2nd World War and the free help. That dolt of an assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had even lived there for a time. But what Russians did in their empire wasn’t his concern.

When the train arrived in Minsk, after a calm ride, Remo quietly left it behind and made his way near Kankea in order to view the wreckage of the house. Moving silently as the assassin he was neither man nor beast noted his passing. Upon arrival he saw the area strange quiet for the weekday, but he supposed that the novelty had wore off. There except for a team of Government Inspectors looking into the wreckage the location was empty. He also saw several large white dogs rooting through the wreckage too.

It did not take Remo long to observe the inspection team wasn’t focused on any particular items, but really watching the area. It was obvious to Remo, based on the debris field that the blast had forced the house to blow outward. It was likely that the cause was that drone Chiun described. That brought a feeling of loneliness to Remo. He wondered where Chiun was. Again he noticed the Inspectors were going over the same ground as before. Now he focused on what they were really focusing on, the entire area. If they were looking for him, well he would give them something to look at.

Slowly Remo picked up a rock and threw it to the side of the debris. He noted, all 5 sets of eyes followed the motion. Gradually he walked into the center and made his presence known.

In unison all 5 switched the focus to Remo. As one they drew swords and held them high.

Again in unison they step towards him and created the original Night Tigers attack, the Wall of Steel,

Remo thought, that night have been effective long years ago, and while certainly deadly, that was the past and he was Sinanju, as they would find the real deal.

The group stepped forward and the blades shifted, became more unto a wall of steel, intermingling their slices to become one with nary an opening.

Remo focused on those blades, holding himself in no fixed position, but fluid. As he was focused to the blades, he did not consciously note the dogs , formed a pack behind him. They were Codobra Fighting Dogs, which hunted in a pack. Deadly together ,silently creaping behind Remo. Then they sprang toward his legs from behing.

The dogs leapt forward and found Remo, without thought, had flowed past their lunges. Remo focused on the blades, finding them moving through space in unison mirrored those movements.

When they thrust forward, he retreated. If he slightly advanced, they retreated. At the same time the dogs kept leaping towards Remo and his body wove in space and they kept missing.

It didn’t take long, and Remo began to move with conviction. He entered ‘Lodestones’, the Masters of Sinanju Challenge Trial.

Should one possess eyes that could see it, Remo was in a strange dance. Simultaneously flowing into his attackers swords as well as casually shifting and flowing with his body and the dogs.

His motion started to control the Night Tiger attacks as well as the attacks of the dogs.

Suddenly he leapt high into the air, over the swordsmen as the dogs leapt forward. The dogs had thrown themselves on the swords as Remo landed behind the middle attacker. His finger thrust into the back of that neck, and that one was dead. Before another noticed him move attackers 1 through 4 were dismissed. Leaving one to question.

Remo’s hand flashed out and shaved into that man’s brain. His brain was shaved and he was left paralyzed but able to talk.

“I am the Master, explain yourself.”

“I don’t want too, I must not….We are/were the Dae Hun Night Tiger Team. We are to extinguish Sinanju. Your existence is repugnant, thus we have been taught. There are many of us, we are just the first.”

“Explain where you are from”, Remo replied.

Suddenly he died. It was as if he was programmed to do so.

No one to question, No information except they were many. He must review the oldest scrolls and learn more about the Night Tigers. He was sure this was not the last attack and he realized their stories while the base art behind Sinanju left a lot of knowledge missing.

He turned to walk back to the station and only then noticed the slain dogs.

“Wonder what they were doing here!”

Chapter Twenty One
Chiun swiftly moved through the water. He had been traveling this way for weeks. Plenty of fish for food. Water took more work, but Chiun found an answer, and when in became time to rest he had Master Sip’s answer. It was efficient though boring. A new answer was needed. There was Sinanju to protet, Remo to guide, and revenge to deal. Time to do more.

As he swam he heard a Child’s song that his mother sand to him, and that he in turn sang to his son.  Jaem jaem jaem jaem jaem" more of a nonsence rhyme he opened and closed his hands in time to the music. The chant matched the rhythm he used to switch move his body through the waters. It had been weeks and except for a brief rest period daily, he kept moving. As he passed occasional fish were his diet. And a growing school of scavenger fish followed his movements. Large predator’s learned to give him wide bearth. A pod of whales also traveled along his way.

He did not glance at his surroundings, wrecked ships, lot’s of trash that had not been in the sea when he was younger. He innately knew where to find Sinanju, just to find a more efficient way to travel.  .  Jaem jaem jaem jaem jaem" as he continued along his way,

Finally he surfaced, on the horizon was a Korean Trawler. Chiun swam toward the ship and in a most dignified manner climbed its side in the Sinanju manner. One minute the deck was empty, the next minute he stood on the stern.

With none to observe him he walked towards the cables holding the fishing nets that lay behind the ship. His hand slightly  moved and the cables parted. Lines snapping and many thousands of fish now set free for miles behind the ship.

Suddenly alarms sounded. The crew the Captain rushed to the stern. No seeing Chiun, they started groaning about the lost fish. But, before they spoke further they heard Chiun.

“Captain, I require you to take me directly to Sinanju.”

Everyone stared, then a new young crew member began to rush towards Chiun to strike him, his anger was great. He raised his arm, but stopped. His head just flew across the deck.

The crew stood in shock, but the Captain dropped to the floor in a very deep bow.

“O’ Master, Direct me!. Where do you require that we to go?”

“Proceed the East China Sea, then pass through the Yellow Sea and then into the Korean Bay until you reach the Pearl of Korea, Sinanju.’

“Master I will do so.”

“Then I will be on the bow watching. Please bring me some tea and plain rice”

The Captain hurried to follow the orders.

The Captain Lee had received training at the Fishing Fleet Academy regarding the Master. All commands from him were to be instantly obeyed. Since the time of Kim-Il Sung it had been so and this Captain Lee Lee was not to be the exception. Of course the separation of the crewman’s head from his body made the lesson more reasonable.

Chiun sat in a cross legged stance on the prowl and watched the ships advance. The sea gave way before the trawler. Behind the school of fish followed Chiun’s presence. Additionally to the Scavenger fish in the school, there were groups of sharks following at a distance. Chiun was the top preditor in the sea and they all knew it.

In time they approached the East China Sea. A ship started to move in their direction. It was the Rainbow Warrior V, the current Greenpeace Fleet Flag ship. The first ship had been sunk by the French in New Zealand in 1985.

As that ship approached a demand was heard. “Turn to, No vessel will harvest fish in the East China Sea again. We are opposed to all fishing platforms. Protecting the fish is foremost for a safer world.

The Captain Lee was quiet worried. He hastened to confer with the Master.

“Most Nobel One, this vessel is 20 times our size. We are unarmed and they clearly have guns, How can we get past them.”

“Send them a message, I require passage to Sinanju, immediately. I will brook no interferrance.”

The Captain Lee sent the message, but the ship did not turn away.

“O’ Master, they do not move! Are we to do?”

“I will deal with them.”

Chiun seemed to flow to his feet, then he mad his way down the side of the trawler. It was a clear day with calm seas. If Captain Lee was seeing clearly the elderly Master of Sinanju was walking across the water towards the much larger ship.

Then the Master strode before the bow, he could not see what Chiun did but the entire prowl of the ship was sheared off, and Chiun made his way back to the trawler. It still appeared that he was walking on the water. Then he boarded the trawler, assumed his sitting position at the front of the ship and directed Captain Lee to resume their voyage.

As they left the sinking ship behind, they paid no notice to the entire crew leaving the ship and entering the water so swiftly did it sink, no one had time to make the lift boats.

The schools of Sharks seeing feeding, immediately struck, and shortly there were no survivors.

After the Sharks left, the large group of Scavengers took over, in short order there was nothing left.

The Greenpeace ship served it’s original purpose, protecting the environment. feeding the fishes.
At no time were any fishes injured, and they continued to follow Chiun on his way,

In time the transit was complete and the Horns of Welcome were visable. Sinanju lay beyoud. Smoke was coming from the homes and rising in the damp, crisp air. For the time being Chiun knew all was still right.

Beside the Horns Hyunsil was waiting for him.

He disembarked the ship and made his way ashore. She began to chant, “ "Hail, Master of Sinanju, who sustains the village”

Chiun stopped her, “I am no longer the Master, never forget this is so. I need you to make sure none know of my return. I will be standing here, at guard over the village. I will need you to bring me rice daily and some tea would be nice. There are evil ones at work.”

Out at sea, the trawler out of sight, none did note that the fish had returned to the Bay. Sinanju once again had fish, but that fact becomes another tale.

Chapter Twenty Two                       Something New - Rapture

Remo made his way by train to the 2nd site at Kive ,in the Ukraine.

This time he found no one, and upon inspection there was no evidence how the attack was done. Patiently he waited 24 hours but none was forthcoming. After those preliminary attacks, then the more serious attack last time he expected to face another challenge.

He reviewed what Night Tiger tactics he could recall, though most of his instruction was on post-Wang Sun Source. Such times made him wish for earlier, simple days.

From the Kiev train station he slowly made his way to the site of the attack.  By this time he was used to seeing the devastation, and this location seemed the same. As Remo closed on the sight he saw the young woman. Leslie Saint who he had met on his trip through Madrid earlier. This time she wasn’t a pleasant diversion. She was soundly bound and that was in the old Sinanju manner, where releasing her bonds would cause the ties to choke her to death. The Knots of Ultimate Freedom. This caused Remo to stop and think.

When he was doing so a man approached him from either side, at angles of signt so they only would slightly register to the normal man. But Remo was the Master of Sinanju. He ignored their presence. The first man made knives appear in his hands and began an attack. Remo held his ground, and batted the attacks away. While this was happening the other man approached an occupied Remo and made to walk through Remo’s legs using a subtle lower body attack. Without looking Remo grabbed his hand and he was moved into supersonic speeds and his body floated around to impel itself unto the first man’s knives.

That attacker simply released the knives and the body tumbled to the ground. Immediately two more knives were in his hands.

Remo held his ground, if fact he hardly had moved.

The man with the knives went for the direct strike. Remo’s hands moved without seeming to move, and the knives disentigrated before him, he simply resonated his movements with the knives and then countered them. The Damascus steel in their core simply became undone.

Having no knives the attacker folded his hands into themselves and moved into a hand kite towards Remo. As he moved his leg flashed towards Remo. Remo’s lead hand slid down into the hip and he countered by removing his leg.

The attacker fell to the ground in pain.

Remo reached out gingerly and touched his ear, “Now there is no pain, you will die. But I can make the pain come back. Tell me who you are  and why these games.”

“I am a Night Tiger, one of many, We work to avenge our ancestors. Now I will die.”

And he did.

Remo realized they were under a death compulsion. He would not find things out this way.

Then, he turned and saw Leslie again. Slowly he approached her tied body.

Then his hand flew out and the ties parted, so fast, they could not accomplish their purpose.

“Leslie, you are now safe. What were you doing when they caught you?”, Remo questioned.

He bent down and lightly lifted her up.

She raised her arms to meet him. Then lightly touched his neck. The effect was astonishing. Remo froze at the touch. To his enhanced nervous system it was from shock as his body entered an endless oraganism. Such was his rapture, he could’s even breathe.

“What was I doing, I was waiting for you. I am one of the Night Tigers. My art dates back to Rei in the beginning. It won’t help you, but she discovered this when her lover Lee Jo was practicing the art of the 37 Steps with her. From her accidental touch she discovered that all men are susceptible to the  One Step.  Sinanju’s Art is not an immunity to this. As you appear t be more than an average man, you are even more a target for it’s power.

Remo remained locked in silence. His rapture was complete. All he could barely accomplish was a plea to Chiun.

‘Little Father, you didn’t teach me this. Sinanju does not have the answer to this.’ As his immobility continued, still he did not breathe.

However from deep inside his being he still heard Chiun. ‘With breathing comes everything. You must breathe to fullness, and all will be granted.’

Most uncharacterictly, Remo un-breathing broke out in a sweat. Every fiber of his being locked in rapture, his full attention was trying to will himself to breathe.

Leslie gathered up her leg into the Night Tigers Heron Stance, but as she did so, she was captured at the strong effect her touch had. More so than on other men. She prepared to deliver an ending kick.

Remo watched her movement, in slowing motion. He made to enter slow-time as his lungs struggled to breathe. With his every fiber of being he tried to breathe. He still could not. As he continued moving deeper into slow time, his rapture continued. The voice within continued . ‘Just breathe my son’.

Then with supreme focus he took a breath. With the inrush of air, the spell was lifted.  Her leg had begun to kick at him and seemed slowly moving in his direction.  With his breath he returned to fast-time, and the rapture had begun to clear,

Still feeling the effects, Remo shot his arm out in a floater stroke,, toward her hip joint, to dis-member her. However, not fully recovered from the incident he did not have the full focus of the Sun Source behind the blow. Simply he missed, something the Master never did do.

Leslie in mid kick shifted to the side, and then seemed to float into a 360 circle of frenzy removing herself from that place. Bearing in mind the older assassin creede [‘ Those who fight then run away live to fight another day.’ She had knowledge of the Sinanju art. That would be enough for this day.

Where the forces of the floater stroke that missed would severely injure the  one who threw it, this strike was flawed. It was a supremely painful. Moment. But pain was a lesson telling you that you were alive. Alive would have to be enough this day.

A most unusual experience experiencing pain, Remo raised himself on one arm and worked on his breathing. He started to think what Chiun would say when hearing this. Still a painful lesson was a lesson none the less. And he had gained insight into one of the Night Tiger tools, although at personal cost.