The two dozen young Asian women and girls were huddled together in the far corner of the metal shipping container. Dressed in the most rudimentary of clothes; shorts, blouses and flip flops on their feet, it had been some time since any of them had showered or bathed. Their untended body odor mixed with the smell of vomit and overflowing human waste buckets. Several sobbed as the Chinese Snakehead smuggler swung open the large metal door and yelled into the container which sat on the back of a semi-trailer. The man clambered up the temporary wooden steps and entered the container, still yelling in Mandarin Chinese.
“What is all this crying and noise? I told you to be quiet or else.” The average build Chinese male then produced the “or else” from inside his belted loose legged trousers. He had made his own version of the traditional Cat O’ Nine Tails from a section of broom handle and strips of cheap leather. The women cringed from the knowledge of what could come next.
“They’re dead,” a female voice rang out. Then several slender feminine arms and hands were pointing at two prone figures concealed in the shadows near the front entrance of the container. The Snakehead, cursing, produced a small flashlight to augment the single light bulb suspended from the roof of the shipping container. His flashlight reveled two small figures, still just considered girls as they had not yet reached their sixteenth birthday. He cursed louder as he saw they were not moving.
“Lee Chin, what’s all the noise? What is wrong?” The voice resonated with tone of one used to command, of being kowtowed to in his daily life. Before the Snakehead could formulate an answer in his now panicked mind, a figure ascended the steps and entered the container. He looked toward Lee Chin, who began a panicked stutter.
“Th-th-the two girls, here, Boss…” He still had his flashlight illuminating the two bodies.
The Boss, dressed in a tailor made dark suit with silk shirt and tie, carefully knelt down by the two bodies in the detritus on the container floor. He tried not to soil his suit nor his highly shined shoes as he examined the motionless girls. With an expert touch he felt the necks for a pulse and swore. Slowly the nearly six foot tall slender but muscular Chinese man known as the Boss stood up. He produced a silk handkerchief and wiped the fingers he had used to check the pulses one at a time.
“They are dead,” said the Boss as if he were discussing a menu at a restaurant.
Lee Chin panicked. “It’s those North Korean dogs we got. They must have done something to them. I said we never should have agreed to smuggle North Korean sluts. They are nothing but trouble and very ugly.”
A female voice in Mandarin Chinese resounded from the group of cowering females.
“No. He lies. It’s the food he brought. It made them sick.”
The Boss turned his head lazily and looked at the source of the comments. A young and attractive Chinese girl nearing womanhood was standing out from the huddled mass. She stood with her head held high, as if daring someone to try and break her spirit as she pointed to a makeshift table.
The Boss looked where the young female was pointing and saw some dishes, pots and cans. He strode over and looked at the remains of a meal. His nose wrinkled in distaste, and he bent over and picked up an unopened can from a box on the floor. The Boss looked at the rusty and bulged lid. In one quick and fluid motion he rifled the can at Lee Chin’s face. Somehow the Snakehead flunky raised his left arm up far enough to absorb the can rather than have it smash into his face. He howled in pain.
“You worthless pile of pig sh*t,” the Boss hissed at his injured henchman as he approached. “You pocketed the money I gave you for food and supplies, and then went American-style dumpster diving behind the Asian businesses, didn’t you. Didn’t you?”
“Boss, I, I, I, I’m sorry. I was just trying to save us money…”
The open hand slap resounded like a pistol shot and Lee Chin stumbled back, almost falling from the force of the blow.
“Us? You talk of US? As if we are partners? Why would I partner with pig sh*t?”
“Please, Boss,” Lee Chin tried to bow and kowtow to the Boss. “I’m sorry! It will not happen again.”
“That’s true.” The Boss said. With one smooth motion he pulled a chrome plated Tokarev pistol from an inside the waistband holster of his suit pants and shot the Snakehead underling between the eyes. The high velocity bullet made a thirty caliber-sized hole as it entered, and a larger exit hole as the projectile tumbled sideways while transfixing the brain. Pieces of brain matter, skull, and blood splattered the walls of the metal shipping container. The now two legged piece of meat flopped to the floor, blood flowing from the ruined head.
The Boss spit on the body. “You pig fu**! I spent my time and treasure in bribing Chinese officials and Yankee round eye barbarian longshoremen at the Port of Seattle, so as to get my merchandise here, at the warehouse, in secret. And then, let a piece of shit like you damage it, or damage my operation? I think not.”
The Bosses three body guards had dashed up the temporary wooden steps at the sound of the gunshot, weapons drawn. Two ethnic Chinese plus one large and stocky Mongol, none were as tall as the Boss, who was a bit tall for most Chinese.
“Clean up the bodies,” the Boss snapped.
“Where do you want them, Boss?”
“Give them to our new friend, Sir Kahn. He will dispose of them for me.”
At the name of Sir Kahn, the two ethnic Chinese men paled a bit. The stocky Mongol flashed a feral grin.
The Boss looked over at the young Chinese girl, woman, (it was hard to tell her age in the poor light and dirt). He beckoned with left hand as he put his pistol away, used the fingers down method many Asians preferred, opening and closing his fingers into to his palm.
“Come here,” he ordered. As the he did, the Boss noticed his suit jacket, silk shirt, and tie were spattered with the dead Snakeheads blood. He cursed, this time in English.
“Sh*t. Even in death, the pig causes me problems.” He looked up at the Chinese female.
“Well, hurry up,” he said in Mandarin. “I do not like to waste time.”
As she approached, the Boss could tell the young Chinese female was very attractive despite the poor light and dirty clothes. Jet black below shoulder length hair which she had somehow kept combed and brushed framed a pretty Chinese face with clear skin. Somewhat high cheek bones and a nice, feminine nose by Chinese standards were displayed to the Boss as he produced his own small flashlight. He also noticed that her eyes did not seem to be the typical dark brown. Then he saw why they were special. They were green.
“You have pretty green eyes. What is your name?”
“Lin Daiyu.” She looked straight at him when she answered. No bow, no kowtow.
He tossed his soiled suit jacket at her and began to strip off his silk shirt and tie. She caught the jacket but still glared at him.
“Your age,” the Boss asked. Daiyu did not answer.
He wadded up his shirt and tie and tossed them at her face. As she went to catch them, he stepped in quick and grabbed her left ear. A quick harsh twist and he had her on her knees.
“There are two paths we can take, Lin Daiyu. One is the path of pleasure, the other is of pain. Now, Your Age!”
“Turned sixteen yesterday,” she replied through tears of anger and pain.
The Boss grunted. She had fire, intelligence, and beauty, he thought.
“You would be of marriage age at the beginning of the last century.” He paused, letting go of her ear. She grabbed it and rubbed it, now no longer meeting his gaze with defiance. He put out his hand. She took it and he helped her up.
“I think, my green-eyed lovely, that I can groom you for better things.”
The Boss turned to his three bodyguards, who were supervising other flunkies to get the three dead bodies out of the container, and barked out orders.
“When you are done, take Lin Daiyu to the limo. We will take her to Madam Chou’s Massage Parlor and have her cleaned up.” He looked at Daiyu. “No, you will not work there, my jade beauty. Hmmmm. Jade in English. A nice new name for you. One we can provide identification papers for easily.” The Boss paused for a minute, took her right hand and kissed it.
“If you are as intelligent as I think you are, I think I can provide some challenging work for you beyond giving so-called happy endings.” The boss said with a smile. “That is, if you promise to cooperate, not run away.”
The Boss squeezed the hand of the young woman now known as Jade hard. “You will not run away, will you?”
“No, Boss. I will not,” she answered without delay.
“Good.” He said. Then he smiled again. “Once you get to know me, and I you, I’ll let you know my name.”
He released her hand, looked up at the Asian women still clumped together in the corner of the shipping container. He sighed before he spoke.
“Now I must arrange for decent food and clothes for your comrades. Something Pigsh*t should have arranged before this.”
He looked into Jade’s beautiful green eyes. “Here in Seattle, good help is often hard to find.”