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Michigan Jones: Hit Man: Chapter 13 Michigan Jones: Hit Man: Chapter 13
by Asa Butcher
2008-10-26 08:49:30
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Neither of us said a word as we performed our various morning routines, each of us thinking about our imminent visit to Hnup Wan and all of the events that had led up to this nightmare scenario. Both Zee and I could only hope that Wan could work his usual magic and uncover information seemingly lost or buried under a mountain of security protocols - if he couldn't we were definitely fucked.

Zee had never fully discussed her intimate dealings with Wan, but there was no love between the two of them, although I was counting on professional respect to get us through his heavily-guarded doors. Wan wasn't actually Chinese or have any Oriental blood in his veins; he just thought that Norman Dickinson wasn't a name that would strike terror into the hearts of his enemies… he was right.

Wan, back when he was still Norman, hit on a money-making scheme that utilised his technological acumen and complete lack of morals. He perfected an infra-red camera that could capture the heat of human bodies through any material, so he took this gadget, hooked it up to a recorder and set about filming prominent politicians and businessmen having affairs and engaging in dubious sexual acts, often alone, and then basically blackmailed them to hell.

Blackmail, extortion and sexual deviancy were only the first baby steps for Norman. He soon moved on to greater things, including the murder of an actor. Many believe that this was one of Norman's only mistakes in criminal life, although others are convinced he did it purposely, he left DNA behind at the scene of the crime and was promptly arrested by the police. However, at the ensuing court case he represented himself and managed to convince the jury that DNA evidence was not conclusive.

It was after the high-profile court case that Norman began his transformation into Hnup Wan and he even underwent painful genetic surgery in order to adopt Oriental characteristics. There are very few areas that haven't been exploited by Wan over the years - one of the more famous was a shaver manufacture, part-owned by Wan, that were found adding a chemical to their aftershave balm that stimulates beard growth and another public outrage, caused again by Wan, was the dissolving condom that led to a brief Baby Boom.

Wan was and is one helluva slippery fish and has driven numerous police detectives to heavy sedatives and the shrink's couch, and has become untouchable. Every time authorities gained a few millimeters on him he vanishes into the ether and they lose the trail, which is how my own experience with Wan began. It is hardly the brightest of anecdotes and is certainly one that I don't try to recall too often, but it seems that everybody has their own Wan story.

It had been a few years after my life as a hit man had begun when a general contract was put out on Wan's life, but there was just something wrong about the whole thing. It was more of a gut feeling than anything particular about the contract, so I hung back for a bit, made some discrete enquiries and eventually decided that the best course of action was to warn Wan. As I have said before, I do have a sense of honour and decency, which is out of whack for a hit man, but this has gained me a positive reputation over the years.

Once the word was passed to Wan via a known conduit I was actually summoned to Wan's personal imperial palace and met the man himself. Wan was still in the midst of his genetic transformation, so his face was encased in bandages, but what struck me about him was how imposing his presence could be felt the moment he entered a room. He motioned for me to follow him. We walked in silence down an impressively-decorated corridor lined with Oriental art to a heavy door covered in beautifully-carved designs behind which was a sight that almost made me vomit.

The room was packed with a dozen people, some I recognised, undergoing various degrees of bloody torture. The noise, the smells, the impact of that room was unreal and I just wanted to get the fuck out of there, but Wan placed a hand on my shoulder and said, "You now have my trust; they do not." He turned and left me alone in that room. It transpired that Wan had put out the contract on his own life to test the waters and see how people would react, and it was to my professional and personal benefit that I reacted according to my gut - a feeling that has saved my life on more than one occasion.

"Come on then, let's get this over with," sighed Zee, snapping back to reality. I finished my coffee, grabbed my lighter and hauled on coat. "Don't worry, Zee! I'm sure Wan will be overjoyed to see us…" Zee rolled her eyes and headed out of the front door, "Great," she muttered, "it's not even raining."

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