Last Night in Hong Kong
Cigarette smoke billowed into the cool night sky, getting caught in the branches of the blossoming tree in the center of the small graveyard. Two light brown, almost yellow eyes looked at it gradually fading away as the tall man sitting on the bench underneath the tree let out a long sigh, blowing more smoke through the branches.
Today had been a very long day for Shaojie Zhang and this was the first moment of it he could sit down and be at ease.
He knew many of his ‘esteemed colleagues’ found it rather odd he was most at peace at a local graveyard. He always returned the question; why weren’t they at peace with Death, considering their occupation? That usually shut them up.
His phone rang as he sighed and pulled it from his pocket. Guess his day wasn’t over…
“Zhang here.” He answered.
Chilong, my man
Came from the other side. Only one person who addressed him like this.
“What is it, Boss?” He answered. Liu Wei. His superior and at this point, the only person he trusted even the slightest.
I know it’s late… but could you do me this final favor for the night?
“I’ll be there shortly.” He said before hanging up and putting out his cigarette with a sigh. No rest for the wicked.
Within a few minutes, he was in his boss’ office. Dark and bare, like always. Just a desk and a few chairs. It did help the black bag on the desk stand out, though. The large chair in the back turned around, revealing an elderly man dressed in an all white suit. It looked almost garish but something about the man was… intimidating. And the white added to that.
“You called?” Zhang asked.
“I need you to make a delivery.” Wei said, gesturing to the bag.
“At this hour?” Zhang asked.
“Yes at this hour.” Wei said. “My recipient insisted and with the amount of money he offered, it was an easy ‘yes’.” Zhang sighed, looking at the bag. It looked so… unassuming.
“What is it, anyway?” He asked.
“Nothing special, though I would appreciate it if you didn’t pry.” Wei said, handing Zhang a piece of paper. “Here’s the drop off point.” Zhang took the paper, still looking at Wei skeptically.
“What’s in the bag?” He repeated.
“Don’t you trust me?” Wei asked, voice gaining a dangerous edge. And despite his usual calm demeanor, Zhang swallowed. Wei sighed. “Shaojie. You’re one of my best men. You’ve been nothing but loyal ever since I saved your ass when you were just starting out.” He gestured to Zhang’s face as the other man’s hand went to the scars on them, grazing them with his fingertips. “So please. By now you should know I won’t send you out unless I’m absolutely sure you can do this.” He gestured to the bag again. “Now, if there aren’t any other questions…”
“No Sir.” Zhang said, taking the bag, slinging it over his shoulder and leaving.
So there he was, walking through one of the darker, quieter parts of the city with some unknown goods to some unknown recipient. This rang warning bells in his head, but he tried to quench them. His Boss gave these order. He trusted his Boss. He had to if he wanted to survive on a more… mental level. Having no one to trust could really eat away at a person. He knew all too well…
A skittering sound got him out of that train of taught. It sounded like footsteps but far to soft for an adult. A kid…? At this hour? He stopped and turned around.
Nothing. Just an empty street. He placed his hand on his handgun. Was he being followed? By what? He started to recall recent events. An Alien Invasion, of all things.
Zhang shook his head. That couldn’t be it. What would Aliens want with the Triads? He turned to keep walking but once more, he could hear that almost inhuman walk. This time he didn’t stop but turned a corner quickly and started to rush through the backstreets. Even in the near abandoned streets, it would be hard to keep track of him. Once he was sure he wasn’t being followed again, he stopped, leaning against a wall and sighed in frustration. The fuck was going on? What did they want from him?
His eyes wandered to the bag. Did they want… whatever was inside? Why? His hand hovered over the bag as he took a deep breath. He hated to betray Wei’s trust… but he had to know.
Taking deep breath, he opened the bag and looked inside…
He almost instantly closed it again, eyes furious at what he’d seen.
A piece of alien technology.
He didn’t know what it was or how Wei got it… All he felt was anger towards his Boss. He sent him out with this?! And didn’t even tell him what it was!? He clenched his fists as they started shaking. He started walking again, but not at the drop off point. Oh, no…
“Why are you back here? You don’t have all night.” Wei said as Zhang entered, no, stormed into the office.
“You dirty, lying son of a BITCH!” He said, slamming his hands on the desk. Wei just sighed.
“You looked inside the bag, didn’t you? After I specifically told you…!”
“You sent me out with some fucking alien artifact and didn’t even bother to tell me?!” Zhang retaliated.
“Shaojie, calm down…”
“Don’t fucking patronize me.” Zhang interrupted him. “What? Were you afraid I wasn’t going to do it? Were you afraid I was going to be the smart one and tell you to not get us into this shit?!”
“Yes!” Wei said, getting up from his chair, letting his own frustrations out. “Because even after all these years, you’re still obsessed with doing things right. For fuck’s sake, Shaojie, we’re criminals. Not telling you something is the least you should expect from me.”
“Not from you…” Zhang said, suddenly a lot softer as he looked down. “I trusted you… Only you. And you’re telling me that’s all down the drain?!”
“If you want to make it melodramatic…” Wei said before sitting back down. “Now, you still have about an hour to make the delivery, so if you hurry…”
“Like Hell I will. This… thing doesn’t belong to us or whoever you sold it to.” Zhang said. Wei started laughing, of all things.
“And what do you suppose we should do? Hand it over to the fucking authorities?” He mockingly said as Zhang looked away. “You’re pathetic, Shaojie. Maybe they DO call you Chilong because...” He turned to Zhang, who now aimed his gun at him. “Really?”
“This ends here.” Zhang hissed, having just about enough. Wei just sighed, seemingly unfazed.
“It sure does. How about you calm down and do your damn j-...!”
A gunshot interrupted the sentence and silenced Liu Wei forever.
Zhang was frozen for a while. Before he shot again.
He had to keep himself from emptying the entire clip into Wei’s body as he started shaking.
“Bastard…” Zhang harshly whispered before leaving the office, slamming the door behind him.
Back at the graveyard, a cigarette in his mouth once more. Zhang wasn’t at ease though, far from it.
He just killed his Boss, a rather high ranked Triad member. He had an Alien device on him that he was supposed to drop off to God knows who, and he was pretty sure the Aliens themselves were searching for him. Things were, for lack of a better word, fucked.
Then why didn’t he feel regret?
He was nervous, sure. Maybe a bit anxious. But he didn’t regret what he did. This was the best course of action.
He glanced at the bag, still slung over his shoulder. This… thing. It had to be dealt with. But how? He didn’t know how to deal with Aliens. That was the job of that military organization, XCom.
XCom… He took his phone. While he didn’t know directly, it wouldn’t take too much digging to get into contact. It really was the only thing to do. Let them handle it. That said, he wondered what they would do with him? Just leave him behind to be killed by either the Aliens or his old friends? Arrest him and hand him over to the authorities? Maybe he could barter…
Zhang took a deep sigh as he dialed the number. It was really the only choice he had, considering the circumstances.
Zhang was looking at the graves after the phone call. Quiet again. Dark again. If all went ‘well’, this would be his last time seeing this place. He closed his eyes, letting the peace of the place ease his mind.
Noise. A LOT of noise. Some sort of plane landing nearby. People filing out and approaching him with loud, abrasive steps.
“Hm.” He mockingly said as they approached him, not turning around. Not yet... “You must be my contacts.” With that he turned to them, to what was now becoming his life. “No one who fears reprisal would make an entrance like that...”