Sunday, February 23, 2014

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.

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