Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Number One Under Heaven (20)

Billed as a ‘green city’, the capital of Guangxi autonomous region was in fact a typically dreary, pollution-shrouded place. Nanning’s agglomeration of shop-houses, high rise buildings and residential developments, all thrown together with little or no appreciation for the science of town planning, projected a familiar, unattractive backdrop to the fundamental culture in this part of the world: money. And it was the lure of money – a large amount of it – that had drawn the co-conspirators to the 888 bar in the basement of the two-star Three Time Lucky Hotel this night. Several scantily clad girls were hanging round the necks of Nguyen and Din as they discussed – in Vietnamese, lest they be overheard – how it was that they would execute their plan. “I know some men in Guilin. Petty criminals,” said Din, gesturing animatedly as his state of inebriation advanced. “They’re idiots, but I think they could pull it off, with some proper planning and supervision. They’ll need a vehicle, which I can arrange. Also a down payment. Did you bring some cash with you, shit-head?” he chuckled. “Of course I did, you fucking shrimp-brain. How much do you need? We’ve got to move fast or we may lose the opportunity.” Nguyen was in a good mood despite his concern, playfully grabbing one of the girls as he spoke. “I reckon about ten thousand US plus expenses should be enough to get them to take on the risk, with a bonus of the same amount again once the drop has been made. We’ll arrange for them to drive South to the coast, to Qinzhou. I’ll have a boat there, waiting,” Din continued loudly, competing with the music. A menacing glance at the bartender was all it took for the volume to be lowered a little. These men had reputations. They were bad. “We’ll need money for petrol and about a thousand US to bribe Customs, if that becomes necessary,” he continued. “I’ll go to Qinzhou personally, to oversee everything. All told, I’ll need around fifteen thousand to get things started. Put another five on top of that for my troubles and we’re in business.” “I have it in my room. Let’s meet tomorrow morning for breakfast. Then you’ll need to start moving – fast,” insisted Nguyen. “And don’t fuck it up, mouse-balls! We’ll be splitting two hundred thousand US, don’t forget.” “Not bad for a day’s work,” Din laughed, squeezing of one of the girls’ tits. “You’ve got a deal, my blessed mongrel friend.”

The two men shook hands, happy with arrangements which, for the price of a bottle of vintage Petrus, would set in motion events designed to destroy the life of an innocent young child. “Now, let’s drink some mao tai!” yelled Din, at once urging the bartender to turn up the music – loud! – while gyrating his hips, to the amusement of the giggling bargirls. It was fortunate that none of these naïve teenagers was aware of his true identity, or why it was necessary for him to get out of Vietnam, quickly. For the man who at birth was named Cam Pho was not just a notorious drug dealer who was still high up on Vietnam’s most wanted list, but someone whose temper had led him to kill on several occasions – sometimes for nothing more than a wayward look.

posted by Kirk at 10:48 pm  

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