Synopsis: Joel was just a regular ol’ park ranger, minding his own business when Yukihiro, a recently retired assassin for a Tokyo yakuza family, burst through a window and into his life.

Now, he’s trapped quite figuratively in a web of deceit and danger that goes beyond the usual ‘hilarious misunderstanding’ and driven straight to ‘running away for dear life’.

Will Joel survive the adventure? Will Yukihiro ever explain what it’s all about or why Triads want him dead? Or will everyone just be eaten alive by bears?

Previous Chapter: Chapter 7 – Caught By The River

Index

Next Chapter – Chapter 9: In The City

Chapter 8: I’m Waiting For The Man

Nathan was screwed. He was completely and utterly and fully screwed. And not even in the good way.

He had returned to the Organised Crime Unit’s office that morning. His boss had made him take yesterday off to recover and make sure he wasn’t going to come down with pneumonia or some other infectious disease he might have caught from his little dip in the Atlantic, and then take out the rest of the team with his germs. “Have a Lemsip and take it easy, it’s the run up to Christmas after all. You can come in a bit late tomorrow,” had been his exact words.

Following his boss’ orders hadn’t exactly been a good idea for Nathan right now. This was why he was pacing back and forth in front of his boss’, Chambers, office: apparently he was in the middle of a meeting with another detective about another important case that they had coming up. Nathan remembered them talking about it once one day during Assignments. It was something about setting up a task force in conjunction with the Vancouver office to deal with a secret underground group of extreme sports jewel thieves.

It was another ten minutes of pacing, stomach churning and lip chewing before Chambers let his extreme sports following detective go, and let Nathan into his office.

The office itself was rather austere and minimalist, with a couple of black bean bags sitting in front of Chamber’s desk for any visitor to sit in. There were some grey filing cabinets, and Chambers himself sat behind a great, dark desk that was adorned with one photo frame that faced him, a desktop computer and a cuddly moose toy who wore Hawaiian print shorts and a red ribbon tied around one of his antlers. Chambers himself had a very minimalist air about him. He used the minimal amount of words that he could, and was dressed in the same dark grey suit that he had been wearing for the past twenty years if the police station rumour was correct.

“Report,” he barked, not looking up from some paper work that he had spread out of his desktop keyboard.

Nathan took a deep breath. He obviously wasn’t in a good mood, and Nathan wanted to walk away from this meeting with his head intact. Trying to as much dignity as he could on top of a bean bag, Nathan took a seat in front of his boss’ desk and tried to sit up as straight as he could on top of a bean bag.

“Sir, while I was away on assignment on Prince Edward Island, a call came in for me here at this office, saying that they had a tip off. Head Office told them I was out and asked to take a message, but they said that they wouldn’t give any details if they couldn’t speak to me directly, and just left a false email address to give to me,” Nathan said, trying to stay calm.

Chambers looked up from his paper work. He didn’t exactly make much effort to hide his boredom, as he probably already knew all of this.

“And?”

Nathan licked his lips.

“Sir… I’ve tried to contact the email address, since they left no other point of contact. I think… I think that this might be the breakthrough we were waiting for on the Sun Kee Fong case. I think that Liu’s contact might have finally come through for us, but I’m not able to raise him now,” Nathan said slowly

Chambers sat up slowly, his back ramrod straight and laced his fingers together, almost in the eerie manner of a mad scientist rather than a police chief, staring into space.

“I was under the impression this case was on hiatus for a lack of evidence. We could not prove that Yoshida and Sun Kee Fong were in bed together, and the case was dropped. This was over two years ago now. Why would this Ohno character, whoever they are, choose to contact us now? And how can we be sure he isn’t sent to us by Yoshida as a distraction, or it isn’t just a very clever wild goose chase?”

“We can’t tell. For all we know,  it IS a clever con cooked up by a bored school kid, or the out of office message means he’s already been assassinated by Yoshida’s men and we’ll never find out what he had to said… HOWEVER, I do think that it would be worth contacting Liu about this. He might be able to shed some light on the subject, or tell us if Yoshida is trying to make a move again,” Nathan said, pushing for Chambers to hear him out.

If Chambers decided now that it was all a waste of time and a wild goose chase, then the case would probably get shut down permanently. But if Chambers decided that it might have some merit… He had to hear him out.

“Liu has been very quiet of late. We have no assurances, and I won’t be able to guarantee protection for him from the Chief. You know this, Hart.”

YES! Chambers was going to hear him out a bit more… Nathan attempted to stand up, and give it the full “Few Good Men” treatment, but jumping up from a bean bag was slightly harder than he had accounted for. Instead, he hunched forward, and hoped that it appeared that that was what he had originally been going for.

“I know, but we all knew we were taking a risk with this assignment. If this is solid, then it could mean the dismantlement of two major crime families who have their claws into several locations… I think it’s worth the risk sir. Liu wouldn’t have encouraged this guy to come forward with this information if he didn’t think that we could take them down.”

Chambers nodded, making a loud hmming noise as he considered what Nathan was saying. Eventually he nodded, and Nathan knew that he had clinched the deal.

“We will have to be careful… This matter is no longer under our jurisdiction alone, we’ll need to be careful how we tread from here on out. See if this ghost of yours can be contacted first. If not, you may have to harass our friend in the Gao. I will deal with the Chief and see what resources he will allow us to pull on to get this done. I will try to lean on him concerning Liu, but he has prior records, he’s hardly an innocent in all of this,” Chambers said slowly, with some finality. “Understand?”

Nathan nodded. He understood precisely what his boss meant. He understood precisely what was at stake if they screwed this operation up, and his job was probably at the top of the list. As much as he liked Liu on a personality level, his family was most likely involved in some of the biggest illegal gambling scams on this seaboard.

“I understand sir, completely… Under the radar, and keep it discreet.”

Chambers’ eyebrows twitched, and his head jerked to one side. It was as much of a dismissal from a meeting as Nathan was likely to get. Standing up from the slightly uncomfortable bean bag, he waited until he had stepped outside of his boss’ office before he allowed himself to exhale. He was nearly knocked over by James yanking on his jacket – it could be the middle of the Gobi desert in the middle of the day, and James would still insist on pulling on a jacket.

Nathan’s mouth hung open to give James an earful, but his partner cut him off before he could get a word out.

“Grab your stuff together Hart,” he called from the other side of the office now. “There’s been an incident in the Golden Lotus, beat officers are down there now cordoning the whole damn place off.”

Apparently no-one wanted Nathan’s job to be easy.

Previous Chapter: Chapter 7 – Caught By The River

Index

Next Chapter – Chapter 9: In The City

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