Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: [Pargons Of Virtue: book #1] Day #5

Enjoy Day #5, by reading the rest of my post.

The first thing that we did was try to subdue him. We brought out the poles with the collars attached, just as if he were demon possessed. He sidestepped them, and then swatted them away. He even laughed and gestured for us to bring on more.

My platoon commander, Commander Tomlin, said, “So, he's using kung-fu, eh guys? Let's show him a thing or two.”

Unfortunately, it was easier said than done. Every time we thought that we cornered him, he would squeeze through some how. He was just so squirrelly. We finally had him up against a shop window; one of us on each side, and a couple of us in front, but he just hopped between our poles, as if he were doing a high jump. Trying to catch this guy with the poles and collars was like trying to catch a mouse with pole. He then grabbed my pole, and pulled it towards him.

I did not expect that, so I stumbled towards him. He then used the pole to parry the attacks of the others, and all while still holding onto his own sword.

I took back control of my pole. I just held onto it and leaned back a bit; not too much, because I knew that he would let go and let me fall, if I leaned back too much.

He used his side a few more times to swat away our attacks. He never once lost his smile, and that upset me the most.

Paladins are well trained, but we can never anticipate what we are up against. Who would have thought that we would spar with poles and collars?

Commander Tomlin said, “Okay, boys. Bring back the poles. Swords out.” Swords were a little cumbersome, in that we could cut pretty badly, and they were a little weak compared to using rifles and machine guns. We tended to use them, when we could restrain the combatant without guns. In the case of the kung-fu guy, there were too many people around: we didn't want stray bullets ricocheting off of brick walls, and then injuring innocent people. Paladins must be defenders, and harm no innocents.

Some of our guys covered us, while we tucked away the poles. I do not think that they needed to, though, because the karate guy would have waited. He wanted this.

Commander Tomlin stepped forward, and said to him, “Why are you doing this?”

“Why not? You come into our neighbourhood, and push us around and demand taxes? We have had enough!” His smile finally disappeared, as he said it.

His words caused us to pause. Paladins never collected taxes. I could imagine one of us picking something up and dropping it off, but that would be us doing a good deed, when we are on the way.

Tomlin said, “There has been a misunderstanding. We don't collect taxes. If you put your sword down, and go down to the drill hall with us, then we can talk about this.”

“Yeah, right. You beat us, and then force heavy taxes on us, and now you want us to walk to your drill hall? Never!” He then swatted his sword three times to demonstrate his skills.

He made eye contact with me, so I pulled out my sword. The blade, rubbing against the metal sheath, rang beautifully. The craftsman, who designed it, designed it to ring middle C on the piano, just as if it were a tuning fork. The others prepared to assist; each sword zinging beautifully.

With my feet in a lunging stance, I stepped forward bit by bit, with my sword pointed straight ahead.

He lunged at me. I parried. I would up and swung. He blocked. I swung again and again, always aiming for his right arm. I hoped that I could disable him, so that we could capture him and bring him in for questioning.

He was fast. Every time I found an opening, he blocked my attacks.

While I kept him occupied, Reed, my firing team partner, jumped in, and tried to trip him. The kung-fu guy swiped repeatedly at Reed, and would have sliced his hand off, had Reed not backed off a little. The kung-fu guy held us off. Every time he would up for an attack, he used the motion to block one of our attacks. He had a good reach as well. Several times he grabbed our wrists, and pushed our swords away.

The others looked for openings, but he kept kicking them way. With one sword, and a spare hand, and one leg, he was able to stand his ground against a total of five guys, before he even began to show signs of being challenged. I honestly wanted to recruit the guy.

I noticed that he always seemed to gravitate to the shop window. I said, “Guys! See if you can wedge him away from the window! I think that he's using it to cover his back.”

Three paladins brought out poles, and pushed them between him and the window. He ignored the poles, but that would be his downfall. Then again, with six guys keeping him occupied, push away three poles would be a bit of challenge. Three other paladins waited to receive the other ends of the poles. The six paladins used the poles as a big fence, and pushed him away from the window. Other paladins came between the poles and the window. All of this happened, while the six of us still kept him busy. He could have sneaked through the poles, I am sure, but with so many of us attacking, he would not have made it. The paladins between the poles and windows thrusted swords and poles at him, forcing him to reevaluate his plan.

The fight moved into the street, but by then, a couple of paladins had already diverted traffic. With more space to surround him, and more guys poking at him from a distance, we were finally able to get a collar on him. That paladin leaned on his pole, and pushed the kung-fu guy down on the street.

The kung-fu guy would just not give up. Even while down on his belly, he continued to parry.

A paladin finally got the kung-fu guy's arm on the ground, using a pole. I wrestled the sword loose, by using my blade and guard to pry his sword out of his hand.

We finally held his legs down and cuffed his hands behind his back, but he still would not give up. He kept squirming. Six of us loaded him into the waggon.

We wiped the sweat off our brows, and patted each other on the backs.

# # #

John said, “I can't believe that it took so many of you to restrain him. I thought that paladins are supposed to be awesome and powerful, and great sword fighters.”

“We are, but we don't always want to kill. Remember what I said earlier? In this case, we judged him as guilty, but there was something there, that meant that he didn't need to be killed. He got his day in court, and went to prison, but ultimately, he wasn't a major threat. He appeared to be a bit crazy, but he was probably...frustrated.”

“At what?”

“It turns out that somebody was going around, threatening him and his family and neighbours. He just went...well, not crazy, but you know.”

“I don't know. You seem to have let him go pretty easily.”

“What was he supposed to do? Where could he turn, when the people entrusted with protecting him were threatening him and his family?”

“I don't know...what about calling the RCMP or CSIS?”

“It turns out that the bad guys were passing themselves off as RCMP and CSIS, too.”

“I can't believe that you are defending a guy, who went berserk in public.”

“I'm not. I'm just explaining why it was inappropriate to kill him.”

“I see. Well, what happened to the fake paladins, and fake RCMP and CSIS guys? Since you didn't kill anybody, did somebody else kill them?”

“Nope. They killed themselves.”

# # #

We threw the kung-fu guy into a cell. We gave him a chance to rest over night, so that he could recuperate a little, and think about his actions. In the morning, we processed him, but he never told us anything about himself, or why he did what he did. That being said, he was a little more cooperative, in that he didn't struggle, when we tried to move him.

Reed only liked to play the tough guy when we dealt with demons. He also wanted me to get some experience in interrogations, so he left this to me, while he stood by. The interrogation room was brightly lit, clean and uncluttered.

In a firm, but calm manner, I said, “I am Corporal Smith. This is my partner, corporal Reed. What's your name?”

He stared at the table, as if we were not even there.

“Do you understand English?” I was certain that he was ignoring us. “Hello?”

He did not even twitch or blink.

I was beginning to wonder if he was deaf, then I remembered that he responded to us yesterday. I then thought that maybe we injured him, then I remembered that we told him where we were taking him, and then he swore at us and said, “Oh, what a surprise.”

I said, “Maybe nobody explained this to you. We are here to protect the community, and we might be able to help you if you explain yourself to us.”

He snorted.

I personally found that insulting, because I always was open and honest with people. “We tend to have ways of finding out what we want. It's in your best interest to help us.”

“Oh, really? Then why should I help you, if you can find what you want, anyways? Hm? Hm?” That smile came back again.

“Because, you saving us time means you going back to your life and routine much more quickly. It also means that we can support you.”

He snorted again, and looked back at the table.

What we didn't tell him yet was that a lady had filed a missing person's report during the night. Her description matched that of the guy in front of us. In a few more minutes, she would be coming to identify him. Having him identify himself, would have made it much easier on us, and we might have been willing to protect his privacy as much as we could. Because he resisted, we did whatever it took identify him, and figure out his motive.

A paladin knocked on the door.

I made eye contact, and gestured for him to come in.

He opened the door, and lead a woman in. She appeared to be a thin timid lady. She had on ordinary clothes that person could buy at The Bay. She looked like an ordinary person that could live in or near Chinatown.

I watched the kung-fu guy, who looked at her, and snorted again. He put on that defiant grin that he had yesterday. I actually scratched my head over that one. I expected him to be ashamed, or to order her to not say anything.

Normally, I preferred to interview people together, to see their reactions to each other. However, most of the time, we needed them to be apart, to ensure that they get their stories straight on their own. I gestured her to step into the hallway. Reed locked the room, and I lead her one door down.

She took one look at the empty room, which was just like the other, and she hesitated. She panicked.

I said, “Ma'am, we just want to ask a few questions. We don't intend to do anything else. There's nothing to be afraid of.”

She shook her head, and stepped away from the door.

“How about we go to that desk?” I pointed to my coworker's desk, who was not there at the time. I did not have my own, at the time.

She nodded, but she kept her arms clutched to her body.

I was going to put my hand on her back, but I was concerned that it might scare her to death.

We sat down. I gave her a chance to get used to the surroundings. Reed sat on the edge of an adjacent desk.

I started with, “What is your name?”

“Mei Shi Lee.”

“How do you spell that?”

“Chinese is m e i. English is m a y.”

I scribbled this down. “What is his name?”

“Jui Shi Lee. He is called Frank in English.”

“How do you know him?”

“We are married.”

“How long has he been missing?”

She paused, and furrowed her brow. “I already told all this to man on phone.”

“Yes, I understand. I wanted to ask again, just in case that man didn't write something down. Maybe he didn't ask a good question.”

She looked away in disappointment. “When he go?”

“Not soon. We don't know when. He has been charged with endangering the public.”

“He such a good man. Please let him go.” When she spoke, she seemed like such a caring lady.

I shook my head. “I can't. When did he disappear?”

“Yesterday, at about lunch. He went to buy milk.”

“Do you know why he is here right now?”

She shook her head.

I found her to be a contrast to Frank. She seemed easy to talk to, while Frank seemed difficult, even when he did talk. “Ma'am, has anybody tried to harm you, in the last little while?”

She furrowed her brow again, and shook her head.

“What about in the last year?”

She again shook her head.

“Two years?”

She shook her head.

Now I furrowed my brow. I figured that it was possible for Frank to hide his interactions with the collectors from May, but it did seem odd.

“Do you want to see you husband now?”

She nodded.

“Come.” I led her to the interrogation room.

She hesitated to go in. I realized that this fear seemed consistent with the mistrust that Frank portrayed.

I could not make any promises, but I could not imagine arresting her. “Ma'am, we don't intend to arrest you. You could speak to him for a few moments.”

She entered in, and Reed followed with an extra chair. He was an arrested man, so we kept her a short distance away.

They spoke to each other in Chinese. Frank definitely knew her.

After a few rounds of them going back and forth, I said, “I need to ask the same questions again.” I looked at her, and said, “What's your name?”


I looked at him, and said, “You?”

He just looked at the table.

She said, “Frank.”

“Ma'am, I want him to answer. Please only answer the questions that I ask you.”

I turned to him, “Is that true?”

Frank said, “What do you care? Why don't you just punish me?”

“Try me. Talk to me. I care about everything.”

“You come into our neighbourhood. You threaten me, and you now force me to speak to you? What do you expect me to say? You want me to accept the blame for all of this?”

I came into your neighbourhood?”

He snorted and shook his head.

I did not know how to interpret this. He could not have possibly meant me, but I scribbled it down, just in case. I then looked to Reed for some help, but he just leaned against the wall, with his arms crossed.

I looked back at Frank, and said, “Okay...for what?”

Frank looked at me with confusion.

“You said, quote, for all of this, unquote. What is 'all of this?'”

Not surprisingly, he did not talk.

I yelled for the paladin outside the room.

He opened.

I said, “I'll need you to watch these two for a few moments.” I then gestured for Reed to follow me the hallway. “I don't know what to do. He's not cooperating. Other than the accusations he makes of us, we don't have any serious issues. He could just be making all of that up. Maybe he's deranged. What should I do?”

“We have to pursue justice, right?”

“Yeah, so?”

“So, we need to look into everything that we can. Go over it, little by little. What do you know?”

I looked over my notes. “I don't know. They could both be lying.”

“About everything?”

“Well, they do seem to know each other.” He never reacted in surprise or confusion, when he saw her, or when she tried to talk to him. I scribbled that down, and reflected for a moment. “Maybe we need to separate them, and then see how he reacts to those whom he definitely doesn't know.”

“It's a little unconventional, but it would be interesting.”

I opened the door, and gestured for May to come out. “Please go home. We need to speak with him privately, again.” When she was out of the way, I asked a volunteer to pretend to be his wife.

The volunteer's name was Chun. She spent a few hours each week, cleaning up and making coffee in the drill hall. She also helped with basic paper work. She could speak Chinese, so maybe she could pretend to speak privately.

The tricky part was getting her to do it in a way, without lying. None of us were actors or actresses, so I was honestly expecting this to blow up in my face. With my hand on the door handle, I went over the plan one last time. I figured that we needed to hurry through this, because there were probably lots of holes in our little performance. If we gave him too much time to think, then he would probably catch on. I opened the door, and comforted myself with the fact, that it was him who was not cooperating, and that I was trying my best. Reed could always take over, anyways.

Before sitting down, Chun said, “Are you okay? What happened?”

She reached out to embrace him, but I yelled, “Don't you dare touch him!”

She flinched. I wanted to tell her that I was just acting, but I held back. “Sit down over there.”

He barely looked at her. He looked at me defiantly. “What do you take me for? A fool?”

That was the reaction that I was hoping for, but I wanted to see what else I could get out of this.

Chun looked at me, and said, “When can he come home?”

“I don't know, Ma'am. It will be up to the judge. He's already guilty of serious misdemeanours.”

Chun looked at him, and said, “Are you okay?”

He said, “What do you care?”

“Did they hurt you?”

“Go away! You are not fooling me.” He looked at me, and said, “That is so silly, that it is insulting.”

I said, “And that is enough. Let's go.” I gestured for her to leave with us.

After thanking her profusely and quietly in the hallway, I said to Reed, “Okay, so he didn't accuse us of trying to fool him before, but now he does. He takes pride in taking us on, just like when we fought in the streets. Right now, he probably wants to see if we can extract information from him. Maybe he feels that he has nothing to lose.”

“You're right. You got it.”

I looked up into the corner of my eyes, as I thought. It would be interesting to see how much he cares for the other woman. “If May comes in again, then I want to yell at her, in front of him, to see if he starts to defend her.”


“I think that our next best move is to figure out how much truth there is in what he says. Perhaps we could do foot work in the neighbourhood, and ask if any of them recognize me or any of us. Maybe they have similar attitudes and stories.”

“That's exactly the right thing to do.”

“Maybe May will tell us where he works. Maybe we could find some coworkers.”

# # #

John said, “That sounds kind of cool. I never thought that Paladins did that kind of stuff.”

“We liked to say that investigation and detective work are the jobs that we always do that we are never supposed to do. It just happened all the time.”

John nodded.

“It's all part of the idea that we have to judge righteously. We can't just pick and choose who is on our side, and who isn't. Anytime somebody has done something wrong, we need to deal with him.”

“So, what happened with Frank?”

# # #

Frank got a free lawyer, then went before the judge, and plead guilty.

According to May, he worked at the Wooden You Teak furniture factory just north of Hastings St, not far from where he lived. She said that he worked hard, and had no problems with his coworkers or his boss, and was never late.

We drove up to the factory. It seemed run down. Some trim dangled from the roof. A gutter piece was missing. There was a missing gutter pipe, as well. There were water stains coming down from the roof. Lot's of paint had peeled from the walls.

We knocked on the doors of Wooden You Teak, and explained ourselves. They seemed understandably uncomfortable. They acknowledged that he did work there until the day we arrested him. We showed Frank's mug shot around the factory, and people confirmed his Chinese name, and that his English name was Frank. They seemed to have a high esteem of him as well. So, Reed and I felt that May's claims were reliable.

The inside seemed run down as well. The factory was dimly lit. The workers seemed to be putting in an honest day's work, and the company seemed to be taking care of them.

When Reed and I went back to the car, we stared out the wind shield, as we sifted through what little we knew. We then drove off to his neighbourhood.

This time people were uncooperative. They shook their heads at the first question that we asked and shut the door. I could not tell if they understood me or not. I could not tell if they recognized us or not. I sensed a fear in them, which would support what Frank said.

We went from Frank's home to the intersection, crossed the street, came back, and came back up to his house. All of them reacted the same, or did not bother opening the door, or just weren't home.

As we stepped back on to the sidewalk, Reed said, “Okay, let me take over for a bit. Maybe we need to be a little bit rougher.” Reed looked at his watch, and led us to an intersection.

I was curious about what he had in mind. I checked my watch. It was 3:05.

He said, “You stand there and look north and east, and I'll stand here and look south and west.” He stood facing just west of south, and looked down just as he said. I stood almost in front of him and looked down just as he said. Our positions allowed us to talk while we watched.

“What are we looking for? Kids. Scared women. Anybody who doesn't like the look of us. People who are happy to see us. People who don't even care about whether we are here or not.”

“Which happens to be everybody. What are we supposed to do, when we find somebody?”

“Interrogate him.”

I blinked a couple of times in disbelief, but I trusted him, and was eager to see what would happen.

A kid rounded the corner, coming south. He was probably coming home from school. After a few steps he looked up. When he saw me looking at him, he quickly crossed the street.

I said, “Hey, there is something here. The kid saw me and crossed the street. He suspicious of me...or us.”

Reed turned to see where I was looking. He whispered, “Okay, let's give him a few more moments. I don't want to chase him around.” When the kid almost arrived at the intersection, Reed whispered, “Okay. Let's go.”

We crossed the street. The kid darted back. We gave chase, and grabbed his backpack easily.

Reed said, “Why are you running, kid?”

The kid said, “Please. Please let me go.”

“I'm Corporal Reed. This is private Smith. We just want to ask you a few questions.”

The kid struggled, and began to cry.

“What's your name?”

“Please. I didn't do anything.”

Reed shook him a little. “I said, 'What's your name?'”


“Do you recognize us?”

He looked at my face, and back to Reed, and then shook his head.

Reed tapped his badge on the left side of his armour, and said, “Are there people like us trying to hurt you?”

He didn't answer, but he started to cry. In a way, that was all I needed. The thought of people impersonating us to harm innocent people made my blood boil; Reed's too. I wondered if it accidentally came across as anger towards the boy.

The boy was leaning so hard against Reed's pull, that he said, “Franky, I'm not going to hurt you. I have to let you go now, but if I do, then you'll fall. Stand up straight.”

Franky straightened out a bit, and Reed let him go safely. He tried to pat the boy on the back, but he had already dashed away.

The end. Thank you for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment