Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Season One, Episode Twenty-Three: Dead Lines

‘That’s what deadlines are. Dead lines. You cross the line and you’re dead.’
The expensive suit jacket was hanging over the rickety chair, the black tie folded neatly on the seat. Even in the flickering neon light, you could still tell these were expensive clothes, not the kind one wears to an ordinary daily office grind.
The professor had his hands tied behind his back on the other chair. He was wearing his white lab coat, but the cloth looked soiled, raspy, as if it had been scraped along a rough and dirty pavement.
Sweat covered his face as he looked up at the man leaning over him. Camry looked even more devilish up close, with his white shirt unbuttoned half way down.
‘You’re lucky I have an important meeting scheduled, so I can’t use this tie to explain to you what a deadline is. But the people I am meeting are very serious about deadlines, and so should you.’
‘It’s a chemical process,’ the professor said in a voice laden with suppressed agony. ‘If it’s three months, it’s three months. There’s nothing I can do about it. There’s nothing the brightest chemist or engineer in the world could do about it.’
Camry spat in his face.
‘I’m paying you to work. Not to find excuses for not working.’
‘Working with water is a complicated process. I need to get the balance right.’
‘You need to get the balance right,’ Camry said slowly. ‘The balance you need to get right is the one between obeying my orders and receiving a mighty bit of punishment. Do you understand that?’
Before the professor had a chance to reply, Camry smashed a fist in his face, causing his head to pop back like a basketball in some game.
‘Two months,’ Camry said. ‘Do you know what that is?’
He pointed at a table in one corner, away from the neon light. The professor strained his bloodied head to look in the direction.
‘A jug filled with your three-month water,’ Camry answered his own question. ‘Wouldn’t it be ironic if I asked you to drink it, or if I poured it over you?’
The professor shuddered and looked down.
‘Please. Let me work to develop it.’
‘Two months.’
‘Two months.’

‘It was a three because I was not in shape.’
Camry was relaxing in the rear seat of the Mercedes 700 with a glass of French Cognac. They were driving through a high-class residential neighborhood, mansions, trees, lawns with signs telling you you could get shot if you tread on the grass.
‘Our professor is going to work harder but he’ll need an extra set of eyes watching him just in case his feet get itchy.’
‘I’ll take care of him,’ the driver said.
‘That’s where we’re going.’ Camry pointed at a Spanish-style mansion, yellowish walls, red roof tiles, a round tower at one end. The wrought-iron gate turned open without them even saying or doing anything. Camry put his glass down on the fold-out table surface.
‘I’ll put a word in for our friendly professor. Such a nice and hard-working man.’

‘Camry’s the most dangerous man this side of the ocean,’ Riot said. He was leaning against the expensive Italian car as Markus Bentley and Charlo’ were standing in front of him. ‘I can only assume it was him who had the video recording on the laptop delivered to your place. He focused your attention on the guard, and you went running after the Russian.’
‘Wasn’t the Russian the man who killed my sister?’
Riot looked away over the ocean.
‘Let’s just say we shouldn’t feel sorry about this Russian passing on to another life. If there’s any justice, he will suffer miserably. The problem is, you took the bag I gave you and you drew the wrong conclusions.’
Bentley looked at the objects displayed on the roof of the car.
‘You saw the Three Elders, so you rushed off to Taiwan,’ Riot continued.
‘How do you know about Taiwan?’
‘Remember, I was your sister’s friend and colleague.’
‘I still don’t believe too much of that.’
‘You saw the red doll, and you traveled to Macau. Wrong again.’
‘So what are you saying, what should I have focused on?’ Markus asked.
Riot grabbed the bottle of water from the roof and held it upside down.
‘This magic baby.’

NEXT: Camry meets some Very Important People in Episode Twenty-Four before June 18.

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