At the Table

Joint-post with mathypi

Nepal-China Border.
January 1976.

"So the unknown man calls me a fool? What is your name?" Rai said while attempting to challenge the dominant man at the table.

"My name is no concern. I have rejected who I once was, just like our mutual friend. What matters is our cause." The man in the shadows clearly wanted an answer. He didn't sound very impressed with the attitude of Charles.

"What is the financial future of a citizen of Nianzu?"

"The financial future? Mr Rai, are you trying to see how much I would pay you if you accepted my offer? The people of Nianzu are well provided for, they have good lives." The man pauses. "Better than that of a British agent."

"I am loyal to my family first and then to the pound, dollar, yuan, or gold bullion. What can this so-called country of Nianzu offer me? You should consider your response in light of the dilapidated bunker we find ourselves in at this moment. I am not cheap,"

"We respect the history of this bunker, why rid it of it's history? Why pretend it's something it is not. We can offer you money the likes of which you have never seen before."

"Until I see the cash, you're a lacklustre Bond villain to me. Are we playing make believe here?"

The man in the shadows let out an irritated grunt. "I will admit Mr Rai your attitude is testing my patience. I could have easily kept you locked up in that cell but I gave you an opportunity, I give you food. I don't appreciate it."

"Okay, what's the opportunity?"

"To abandon Great Britain. To join us enlightened in Nianzu, fight the good fight!" The man in the shadows slammed his fist against the table.

"Well, why don't you give me a tour around and continue your pitch. You better show me some money too."

"Maybe another time your actions have not been very helpful to you. They've left a bitter taste in my mouth so to say."

"Fine. Come on Poe, let's go."

"Where do you think you're going?" The man in the shadows barked from across the table.

"I inquired about your facility and nation. You declined to provide further information. We're done here." Rai stood up and gestured for Poe to do the same.

"You're not going anywhere Mr Rai, neither are you Mr Poe. Guards!" A small troop appeared at the man in the shadows' command. Their weapons ready.

"What, you think you can shoot two UK citizens on Chinese soil?"

"This is Nianzu!" the man in the shadows roared. Charles elbowed the guard behind him and grabbed his rifle. He pointed it at the shadows in the direction of the voice. The man in the shadows started to laugh. "If you're smart you'll drop that."

"I want a tour."

"What do you wish to see?"

"The compound. I'm surprised you aren't appreciating my interest in Nianzu. Now give me a tour or I'll practice my aim in your direction."

"Lower the gun and I'll consider it."

Rai lowers the gun and says, "Fine, but this rifle stays with me."

"Then I'm sure you won't mind if one of my armed friends joins us. Purely for security."

"Show me the way." said Rai. Suddenly the man in the shadows started to roar orders in Chinese, a guard went to the right hand side of him and another joined you at your side. "Let's go!"

The man in the shadows stood up, finally he was visible. His skin was pale and somewhat scarred. He was balding, large and broad. With a moustache lurking above his lip. The Covered Man joined him, standing beside him. Poe got up to and approached Rai. "Gentlemen if you'd follow me," the Man in the Shadows said.


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