Far Away on the Other Side
Chapter Four: Kick Them When They're Down
Author's Note: There is a cameo/reference to a friend/enemy of Rathbone's that belongs to Tim Kring and NBC.
Chon and Roy looked at the laptop not believing what they were seeing. "That is why we are here?" Chon seethed. "For him?"
Roy shook his head and put his hand on his friend's shoulder. "Okay, calm down. It may not be Lord Rathbone. How would he get here?"
"How did we get here?" Chon reminded him.
Roy nodded. "I know, but John, we just got here. You heard her. This guy's a Member of Parliament. I'm no expert but I think that takes some time to be. It's 2009! He could be descended from him! Who knew that Rathboner even liked girls, but it happens."
"Do you really believe that it's not him?" Chon asked.
"I have an idea," Roy said. He turned on the communicator. "Hey, Carter, if you can hear me, I want you to say this to Rathbone-"
Neil Rathbone and Julie Tan sat across from Lee and Carter, their fingers interlinked. "I understand that Julie has had some problems with stalkers," Rathbone began.
"Yes," Lee said."According to her, neither of you have reported it."
"Julie and I come from similar backgrounds in that we prefer to deal with our own problems in private," the MP said. He unconsciously put his hand on top of his fiancée's'. She put her hand next to his, a gesture not missed by Lee or Carter.
"Congratulations on your engagement, "Carter said. "Gotta date set?"
"Thank you," the couple said in unison. They looked from one to another.
"When our schedules permit," Rathbone answered.
Tan nodded. "Right now, we are looking at sometime in the winter." Her fiancé nodded in agreement.
"You know," Carter said. "I think I heard that name Rathbone before."
"Yes, many people have asked me if I'm related to Basil Rathbone," the MP said. "Actually, I am not."
The African-American detective shook his head. "No, I saw this on Jeopardy once-"Lee glanced at his friend confused "There was a question about a guy named Nelson Rathbone, a cousin of Queen Victoria."
Rathbone rolled his eyes. "Yes, unfortunately he was my great-great grandfather, what of it."
"Well is it true that he was 20th in line for the British throne?" Carter asked innocently.
Rathbone was miffed. Despite his modern wardrobe, his Parliamentary career, he was still Lord Nelson Rathbone at heart. "10th, my ancestor was 10th in line!" He said annoyed,"Little twit!" he thought to himself Another thought occurred to him. He chose not to display it.
From their room, Chon turned to Roy. "Now, are you convinced?"
Roy nodded. "I am now."
"Let me try to talk to Lee," Chon said. He relieved the communicator from Roy. "Lee, I need you to talk to Miss Tan about her fiancée."
"Actually, "Rathbone continued. "If you must know, I'm illegitimately descended from him. I don't qualify as a royal anyway, so the number doesn't really matter."
"How did you two meet?" Lee asked.
The couple looked at each other and smiled in that romantic "how we met" way. Neither Lee, nor Carter nor the two men listening were convinced. "Our parents were old friends," Julie said.
"I was raised all over Asia, Hong Kong mostly," Rathbone began. "My father was a diplomat and he and Julie's father –her father was a businessman- worked together on various projects. She was quite a bit younger than me, but we often attended family outings together. I returned to Europe and we parted ways. Eventually, I got elected to Parliament and was part of a diplomatic mission to Asia."
"I reunited with him at a convention almost a year ago," Julie said. "We reunited and fell in love instantly. "
"Needless to say she wasn't the same little brat that I had left behind," Rathbone quipped. Julie playfully shoved her fiancée on the shoulder.
Lee spoke to the couple. "I would like to speak to Miss Tan alone. I still have trouble with English and my Chinese is better." The inspector leaned over to Julie and spoke to her in Mandarin Chinese. "Miss Tan, I have witnesses who say that your fiancé is a dangerous man."
"Where is your proof?" Julie asked.
"If you are in some kind of trouble with him-"Lee began. Carter had taken out his translator book and tried to follow the conversation. Rathbone listened, but made no comment.
"I assure you that we are very happy," Tan replied. "A minute ago you had accused me of being affiliated with the Triad and now you think that I am the innocent one and it is my fiancé who is dangerous, which is it?"
"Miss Tan, we can help you-"
"- I tell you again that both my fiancé and I are innocent," Julie said.
"I tell you again that I trust these witnesses," Lee continued.
"And I must tell you," Rathbone interrupted also in Mandarin. "That my Chinese is just as good as her English."
Lee stopped talking. Carter shut the book and glanced at his partner with amusement. "Didn't see that one coming did ya?" He asked his partner.
"Inspector Lee," Rathbone began rather testy. "This conversation has gone far enough. My fiancée has had a very trying few days. She answered your questions as did I. Without any real proof you have no reason to still be here, now please let my fiancée rest and please leave."
Both police officers looked at each other and shrugged. "You are right," Lee said. "I can see that we can do nothing more here."
"Yeah, well we're still investigating some stuff," Carter said. "So, if I were either of you, I wouldn't be honeymooning anytime soon- getting kinky in the Bahamas, mon, if you know what I mean? Gonna have to postpone the freaky deaky."
"I don't understand what you meant, but we won't," Rathbone answered dryly.
The police officers left without another word. When they were safely out of the lobby, Lee and Carter spoke to each other. "I don't trust either of them do you?" Lee asked
"So what was all that Knight in Shining Asian Armor stuff, 'your fiancé is a dangerous man?' "Carter asked trying to mimic Lee's accent, but sounding more like a character from a badly dubbed Bruce Lee film.
"Your Chinese is getting better," Lee quipped.
"Come on, man, I've been partners with you for how many years? Give me some credit. You think I'd learned something," Carter replied.
"It's what Chon told me to tell her," Lee said. "I don't know why, he didn't explain the rest. Plus, it might have given her a chance to speak against him."
"Playing one against the other, I like," Carter said, but then he shook his head. "Nah, it won't work! She's his best alibi and he's hers. Did you see the size of that rock? Listen to James Carter's Rules about Women. A guy gives a girl a rock that size, they ain't putting off their wedding until 'their schedules permit' –"He again tried to mimic Rathbone's accent- "-They're getting married soon or not at all."
"They may use their wedding as an excuse to leave town," Lee guessed.
"Right," Carter answered. The sound of Lee's cell phone broke through their discussion. "Lee," Lee said.
"Lee," Chon's voice rang through. "We need to have a serious talk. You'll never believe us."
Rathbone and Hu Li watched Lee and Carter from their window. "Now, are you convinced?" Hu Li asked.
"If I hadn't seen it, I would never have believed it," Rathbone shook his head. "The resemblance is uncanny. Of course stranger things have happened."
"Do we take care of Lee and Carter?" Hu Li asked.
"I don't think that they are the only problems," Rathbone replied. "Did you hear that comment that Carter made?"
"What about you being 20th in line?" Hu Li joked innocently.
Rathbone smirked. "And the reason that we are engaged is-? It's obvious that they met my 'friends' as well. Are you thinking what I am thinking?"
"Like you have to ask?" She said. They turned to Su Lin and Daley who up until then had been having a drink in the lobby. "Did you two see Lee and Carter?"
"Yeah," Daley said.
"Follow them," Rathbone replied.
"What will you two do while we- oh, "Daley realized.
"Let's go, John," Su Lin said as she left. Daley followed closely.
Rathbone said. "In the meantime, let's look over what we have." He pulled out a flash drive.
"Where did you get this?" Hu Li asked.
"From a little bird in Manchester," Rathbone replied. He took out his laptop. "And it only cost me 750,000. Still have your plans?"
"Like you have to ask," Hu Li responded. She held out the briefcase. "Alright," she said. "What else do we have on there? Brunhaven, we know."
Rathbone nodded as he put the flash drive into his laptop. "I think we have the information that we need."
He absently took his fiancée's hand and kissed it. "Together?" he asked.
"Of course," Hu Li agreed. "Is there anyone else we need to involve?"
"I know someone who might, might assist us," Rathbone said. "By might, I mean if I threaten him enough."
"You're right, I don't believe it," Carter said. When he and Lee reunited with Chon and Roy and the two older men explained Rathbone's identity. "How can this Rathbone guy be your over 150 year old enemy?"
"But two guys who came from 1887, perfectly believable," Roy reminded him.
"Hey, I'm still working on that one," Carter agreed.
"That's probably why you two were sent here," Lee said desperately.
"I know," Chon said. "Why would I be sent to meet that murderer again?"
"What did he do?" Lee asked.
"Rathbone killed his father," Roy answered.
Lee and Carter exchanged confused glances. "So your father's murderer and a woman who has a connection to my father's murderer are partners?"
"How are they even friends?" Carter asked.
"Judging by that ring, they're a lot more than that, "Roy said.
There was a knock on the door. All four men glanced at each other. Carter held up one finger as he walked to the door. "Hello?" he called through the door looking through the peephole.
"Housekeeping," a voice called. Carter looked through the door at a beautiful Chinese woman standing in front.
"I think we should let her in," he said.
"She's attractive isn't she," Lee guessed. Chon and Roy smirked thinking how much that Lee and Carter reminded them of themselves.
"You got to trust people Lee," Carter said. "What is this world without trust, my Asian brother?" He opened the door and said to the woman. "Please be for me, you hot Chinese Mushu goddess!"
Su Lin smiled wickedly at the compliment. Then, before anyone could say another word she kicked Carter in the face. Lee instantly fought with the woman attacking her.
"Su," a man called. He dove into the attack only to be attacked by Chon.
Daley stood up and fought Chon. Roy punched the man to defend his friend. The four men attacked the newcomers, knocking over a lamp and a table in the cramped hotel room.
"You are all impressive," Daley said, "But I bet none of you are bullet proof." Both he and Su Lin brandished their guns. Lee and Carter aimed theirs as well. Chon and Roy stepped back, Roy wishing that he had brought his six-shooters.
There was a tense moment as all parties held their guns in play. "Hey," a voice yelled through the hallway. A red haired man appeared flanked by several other people behind him. Su Lin aimed her gun at the visitor. He fired at the female bodyguard.
"Su!" Daley yelled. He jumped in front of the bullet and shot at the man succeeding only in shooting one of his guards.
"Come on, they will bring others," the man yelled to Lee, Carter, Chon, and Roy. "Come on!" He yelled when they hesitated.
"What choice do we have?" Chon rhetorically asked. The men followed their rescuer and his entourage out of the hotel.
Su Lin leaned next to Daley. "You stupid ass," she said to the other bodyguard with tears in her eyes." You should never have done that." But she knew that she would never hear the Englishman's response in this world anyway.
Hu Li glanced at their plans while going over some ideas for their next move. Rathbone was arguing on the phone with his former fencing instructor, old friend and more often nemesis, Adam Monroe. The two had been allies for well longer than either of them cared to admit. They knew all kinds of scandals on each other, bickered constantly, and would betray each other in a moment's notice. Oddly enough, that made Adam, Rathbone's best friend and vice versa.
"So, are you going to assist us or not?" Rathbone asked his friend. Adam had been in hiding after a messy entanglement with a former ally of his. Rathbone was one of the few people who knew where he actually was. "What do you mean- I never helped you? Just because I thought that virus idea was a bit far-fetched!" He listened to Adam's voice. "Now wait a minute, who was it who let you stay in his flat during the Blitz? When all of those Germans were looking for you? I think that was me wasn't it?"
"Yes, but who almost betrayed me to said Germans?" Adam wryly asked. Rathbone could picture his blond friend sitting in some hotel somewhere probably drinking some alcoholic beverage.
"I only asked them if there was a reward for your capture," Rathbone said. "They offered good money- I had my eye on a Duisenberg- anyway, that was over 60 years ago! Will you let that go?"
"I'm sorry, Nelson, dear boy," Adam said. Rathbone glowered. He hated it when Adam took that patronizing tone with him. "But I just can't seem to leave right now-"
Rathbone could hear another voice in the background. "You're not alone are you?"
"No," Adam said. "I'm in here with an old friend."
"How old?" Rathbone said wryly. "Most of the women you used to date must be in their 80's or 90's by now."
Adam's voice was tight, "If you must know she's a time traveler, now if you will excuse us."
"A time traveler," Rathbone said sarcastically. "Well that's original! While you are banging your time traveling twinkie, what weapon am I supposed to use against our enemies, sarcasm?"
He could hear Adam's voice getting softer and then he heard the other person's voice yelling in the background. "You tell that twit if I ever see him, I'm going to kick the crap out of him!"
Adam returned to the phone with a sly manner in his voice. "I can't wait for you to meet her."
"I'm not deaf," Rathbone said through clenched teeth. "I heard her."
"Anyway," Adam said. "That's your problem, not mine. Dance on your grave?"
Rathbone rolled his eyes. He knew talking to Adam would be a lost cause. "Not before I dance on yours, Old Man," he said in their familiar sign-off. He hung up the phone and sank down onto the couch.
"Bad day," Hu Li asked dryly. Rathbone didn't respond. Instead, he rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Just wonderful," Rathbone replied. "It's you and me then."
Hu Li nodded. She had never met Adam Monroe, but she had a feeling that the man couldn't be trusted.
She then heard the sound of "Time of the Season" on her cell phone. The Chinese woman dropped the plans as she saw Su Lin's name on the I.D. She glanced at her fiancé confused and answered the phone. She spoke in Mandarin to her servant. "Su Lin, what's the matter?" she said. "Calm down and explain it to me." She listened to her normally unflappable bodyguard's hysterics as she tried to interrupt. "Su Lin, calm down or I am going to come over there and slap you, then I am going to fire you!" She listened again, but this time her voice was quieter. "I see. He was very loyal. Well return as soon as you can. What? Alright, we will come for you. We will discuss this later." She hung up the phone.
"What is it 'Lie?" Rathbone asked.
"Su Lin and Daley followed our friends," she said. "They attacked them, but Delvane and Xia's men followed them. They were both shot. She was shot in the leg, but Daley's dead."
Rathbone lowered his head. John Daley had been a loyal servant and in some ways a good friend. "It changes nothing," he said slowly, his voice hoarse. "We must continue on. We had better find out the rest after we get her. We'll do this later. In the meantime, hide all of this." He indicated the plans, the flash drive, and their laptops.
"Of course," Hu Li said.
Roy, Chon, Carter, and Lee sat in the car facing each other. Anytime, any of them wanted to speak the red-haired man sat between them holding his gun on his lap.
"Where are you taking us?" Chon asked.
"That is none of your concern," the man said.
Chon looked closely. The man's hair was a different color, but the face was unmistakable. "I remember you! You were the man who Roy and I met at the warehouse!"
"Then you were the same man who came after us," Lee said pointing at Carter who nodded, confirming it. "Who are you? You can't keep us here!"
"I'm afraid you gentleman have no choice," the man said.
"What are they going to do to us?" Roy asked Carter.
"Well, if they are anything like the guys that kidnapped Lee and me," Carter said, "They will bury us in the middle of nowhere and cut off our eggrolls."
Roy gulped. "I don't want my eggrolls cut off, Chon!"
"No one does," Chon reassured his friend wryly.
"We'll never get home again," Roy mumbled. "We'll never see Lin and Falling Leaves again."
"Or Pei Pei," Chon said sadly. "I'll never even get to see Meiling."
Lee glanced up at his new friend. "Did you say Meiling?"
"Yes," Chon began. "She –well it's a long story, why do you ask?"
Lee shrugged. "Well, that's odd because Meiling-"
That was as far as he got when the car pulled over. Shannon gave each man a blindfold. "Before we begin, I am going to have to ask you put these on," he said.
"Yeah, why would we want to see how we died?" Carter quipped.
"Let's just say that we don't want you gentlemen remembering where you have been. After you," Shannon said as he led them out the car door.
The four men walked led by their assailants. Carter bumped into Roy. "Watch it, boy!" he said
"It's me redneck," Carter said.
"Sorry," Roy replied. "I thought you were one of these guys."
Shannon led the men into a doorway then undid their blindfolds. They stood in an office, with plush red carpeting and fine Chinese furnishings. "This is from the Ming dynasty," Chon gasped.
"Whoever they are, they're loaded," Roy whistled with approval.
"You could say that, Mr. O'Bannon. I apologize if Shannon frightened you. He has a tendency to overexert himself," said the man at the door. All four men jumped in fright, but turned to see an elderly Chinese man with salt and pepper hair look at them. Another man, a white gray-haired man followed close behind.
"Welcome this is Robert Delvane," the man pointed at his companion. "And I am Xia Lao."
"I know who you are," Lee said warily. "One of the Triad lords."
"I'm surprised you know that much, Inspector Lee," Xia remarked.
"What do you want with us?" Roy asked.
"Patience, Mr. O'Bannon, all in good time," Xia replied.
"How did you know my name?" Roy asked.
"We know many things about you gentlemen," Xia said. "And you are just the men that we need."
"What do you need from us?" Lee asked warily.
"We wish to speak to you gentlemen about exterminating a couple of monsters of ours," Delvane said.
"Monsters?" Carter said. "Hey we ain't no Men in Black."
"Ssh," said Chon, Lee, and Roy.
"No, two monsters that you know rather well," Xia said. "Jennings!"
A rumpled red haired man sauntered in, smoking a cigarette. "Pleased to meet you, Jerry Jennings," he shook their hands. "Reporter and spy." He handed the men a folder. "I'm sure these two will be enlightening."
"Julie Tan," Lee said the same time that Chon said. "Nelson Rathbone!"
Among pictures of the couple, Jennings proudly held up a piece of paper. "This part is the most interesting, wouldn't you agree?"
The four men looked down at the paper. Two names with dates were written on them.
"Nelson Rathbone 1852-1887. Reborn 1887.
Hu Li 1979-2001. Reborn 2001."
"I don't understand," Chon said. "What does this mean?"
"We can do better," Delvane replied. "We will show you."He took out a knife. "Detective Carter, could you do me a favor and stab me in the hand?"
"Say what?" Carter asked.
"Go ahead," Delvane said. "I don't mind."
"You suicidal, man?" Carter asked.
"Just indulge me," the mysterious Englishman replied.
Carter sighed and pierced the man's hand with the blade. "Now come on, you can do better than that," the Englishman taunted. This time, the detective pricked Delvane's hand with the blade's tip. "Weren't you a 'gangsta' once?"
"Hell no," Carter said.
"But you had a prison record as a young man," Delvane said.
"Yeah armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon," Carter noticed that his friends were glancing at him. "Anyway, what the hell difference does that make?"
"Figures that a man with your, um, coloring would need to break the law-"the man began.
"That's it!" Carter interrupted. This time, he shoved the knife into the man's hand.
Delvane held up his hand and calmly removed the knife from the palm. "Should I scream in pain?" he asked. The four men gasped as the wound on the Englishman's hand closed with no blood forming.
Roy stammered, trying to regain some humor in the situation. "Cute trick, I saw the Davenport Brothers do something like that once. That ain't nothing special."
Chon fixed his friend with a look. "How did this happen?" he asked.
"Let me begin at the beginning," Davenport said. "I will go on until the end and then I will stop."
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," Lee replied absently. "'The King of Hearts' I believe."
The Englishman nodded. "Very good, Inspector. Though I can never tell the story quite as well as Professor Dodgson, he was an excellent storyteller."
Carter snorted. "Another old guy? Why am I not surprised?"
"Hey," Roy exclaimed. "You and I are about the same age!"
"Yeah in looks," Carter reminded him.
"If you two are finished," Xia said.
"We're finished," Carter and Roy quipped mischievously sounding like two naughty schoolboys.
Chon gave Lee a confused look. "Don't look at me," Lee remarked. "He's your friend."
"Anyway," Delvane said. "As Detective Carter confirmed, I am an 'old guy' as is my colleague here," he motioned to Xia. "Centuries ago, Mr. Delvane and I were part of a group that was once known as the Hellfire Club. He was the son of a lord and I was a servant of the house, though Mr. Delvane had always treated me like a brother."Delvane nodded at the compliment as Xia continued the story. "When we turned to adulthood, we joined the Hellfire Club. The group dabbled in black magic, and early science, then known as alchemy. When combined some of our arts, we were able to give the gift, some would say curse, of immortality to some of our members including Mr. Delvane and myself."
Delvane continued. "By the 19th century, some of our group had split up into splinter factions, such as the Isis-Urania Temple, but that was much later" Carter and Roy were about to laugh at the second name Urania, but Delvane, Xia, and their friends silenced them with a 'don't either of you dare look.' "Many, like the two of us felt we could do more to shape the world around us. So, we formed a group to help the political and business world. We called our group, the Scardo Committee. Many groups both legal and illegal reported to us. "
"Such as the Triad," Lee guessed. "Or the Mafia, The Yakuza,-"
"Yes, yes, "Delvane said getting irritated. "We worked with those groups when we have to. Mostly, we practiced humanitarian and philanthropic duties intending to use our abilities to aid humanity. We often recruited men and women who were very wealthy and very involved with their circles and who shared our ideals. Not everyone was given immortality, in fact by the end we rarely did except for noted exceptions. Long story short, in about 1887, we were badly mistaken when we made that exception."
"Nelson Rathbone," Chon said.
"' Humanitarian and philanthropic duties', "Roy smirked. "Boy, did you get the wrong guy!"
"I did say that we were badly mistaken," Delvane repeated.
Chon shook his head. "But that doesn't make sense, you still had the ability of immortality and you gave it to him. He didn't act like someone who could not die."
"The person has to be at the point of death before we gave it to him. You aided us in that pursuit, Mr. Chon," Xia replied. Chon looked down not knowing that to say. "At first, he did not believe us. It took a former associate of ours to show him the truth. Anyway, Rathbone continued to work for us for a number of years, but eventually the power went to his head."
"What do you mean, eventually," Roy said under his breath.
"He often plotted against us," Xia said. "We thought that we could rein him in, but we were proven wrong."
Delvane nodded. "Our group eventually decided to try again, fixing all of the difficulties that we had with Rathbone. This time we found a young woman whom we could restore life to."
"I know where this story is going," Carter said.
"That woman was Hu Li" Lee said. "Her name is now Julie Tan."
"Her name always was Jun Li Tan," Xia answered. "Hu Li is the nickname. She was in fact married to Ricky Tan."
"What?" Lee couldn't believe it.
"After Tan separated from the police force, he and Miss Chen Jun Li, a former courtesan and the mistress of one of the Triad lords were given to each other in marriage. His marriage was kept a secret from those who knew except us of course," he said. "Unfortunately, though we could have revived her, we needed some assistance to replicate some parts of her, so we had to call a partner, Alfred Brunhaven."
"That's the missing scientist from the pharmaceutical company," Lee said. "The one who set off the blast."
"She probably did it herself," Chon reasoned.
"Unfortunately, something happened that we did not foresee. Hu Li and Rathbone had worked together and were lovers. We don't know whether their affair began during or after her marriage to the rather unfortunate Mr. Tan. But it still remained that, he seduced and partnered with her. They planned on destroying our associates to gain as much power as they can. There are no limits to their ambitions. They plan to kill more."
"What do you need with us?" Roy asked.
Delvane and Xia looked at each other. "We would like you to assist us in capturing Rathbone and Hu Li."
"And send them to you?" Lee asked. "If Hu Li and more than likely Rathbone are involved then they have to be arrested."
Delvane looked at him squarely. "Inspector Lee, you are not as naïve as you seem. What court would charge either of them for the fullest punishment that they deserve?"
Lee looked down. He knew. Rathbone and Hu Li were rich. They would get away with a light sentence if that. "What do you want from us?"
"Just catch them," Xia said. "And bring them to us. We will do the rest."
"What's in it for us?" Carter asked.
"For you and Lee," Xia said. "You will have the captures of a lifetime and I will be glad to give you any information of my other former associates. I no longer wish to be affiliated with them anyway."
"And us?" Chon asked.
Delvane nodded. "One of our numbers sent you here. We can bring you back to your own time."
Roy, Chon, Carter, and Lee were led outside the office to give them a few minutes to "talk it over.""What do you guys think?" Roy asked.
"Well you know my rule," Carter said to Lee.
"Which is?" Chon asked.
"'Always follow the rich white man'," Lee quoted. "So which white man?"
"Well I don't trust either of them," Carter said. "But Rathbone's got my vote."
"I don't trust those two either," Lee said. "But I'm an officer of the law. You are too, Carter. We can't ally with anyone who is affiliated with the Triad and that includes Xia Lao."
Carter shook his head. "Come on, Lee. Sometimes you have to work with these guys to get the real bad guys. "
"That's probably what Ricky said once," Lee reminded him.
"Yeah, but I ain't him," Carter snapped. "Besides, they saved our lives remember? Rathbone and Hu Li's people tried to kill us and they did it before remember?"
"That doesn't make Mr. Delvane and Mr. Xia any more trustworthy," his partner reminded him.
"My gut says that these guys are the one that we can slide with, know what I'm saying'?" Carter replied.
Roy shook his head. "I don't know,"
Chon looked at his friend in surprise. "Roy, how could you say that? You know what Rathbone did!"
"Yeah and believe me I ain't President of the 'Little Lord Sissy' fan club myself," Roy reasoned. "But isn't it convenient that these guys come from nowhere with a story like that? I don't know something tells me that ain't right."
Chon shook his head. The normally calm Chinese man was actually fighting hatred. "No, Roy, what 'ain't right' is that murderer is walking around free receiving no punishment when he deserves it! He kills my father, tries to kill his own family and my sister! He shouldn't walk. Don't you understand? They are the dragons that the old man told us about?"
"So we are two for and two against trusting these two," Lee said pointing at the direction of Xia's office. "Now what?"
"We don't know what these men are capable of," Chon said. "But we do know what Rathbone and Hu Li are capable of and that they are dangerous. We can agree on that at least."
"I say we trail them and their posse," Carter said.
"Sheriffs still round up people for catching crooks?" Roy asked.
"No, Cowboy," Carter glared. "Their people, their boys, their entourage?"
"You lost me, again," Roy answered confused. Carter rolled his eyes.
"Well, whoever they hang out with," Lee said. "Let's find them before they do anything else. We can discuss what to do with them later."
Rathbone and Hu Li entered the hallway. The hotel was deathly quiet. Rathbone used various moves to the desk clerk. Charm and when that didn't work bribery, but she told them that two men named Lee and Carter were staying in room 217. The millionaire and politician crept down the hallway, their guns ready in case they needed to use them. They approached the door of 217 with trepidation.
Rathbone stood on one side of the door and Hu Li on the other. The Englishman nodded as Hu Li quietly knocked on the door. "Su Lin?" she called.
"I'm in here," an exhausted and pained voice replied. Hu Li nodded and opened the door. Su Lin sat on the floor, blood emerging from her injured leg. Her face was pale from the exertion and her eyes tear stained from the grief. Nonetheless when she saw her female employer, she cleared her throat and tried to retain her composure. "I have failed you, madam," she said.
Though inwardly she was saddened by what her bodyguard had been reduced to, Hu Li managed to remain as impassive as ever. "Don't talk like that," she said. "You did well. Can you stand?"
Su Lin shook her head, but Hu Li helped her stand. The older woman leaned on her younger employer for support. Hu Li had known her bodyguard for years, and always looked upon her as a protective older sister. It was odd that she was the one as the protector. Though technically, Hu Li no longer needed a bodyguard, she still appreciated Su Lin's protection and required her services.
Rathbone stood over his assistant, his face showing no emotion but inside was another story. In the many losses that he had endured over the past century, this one cut him the most. Besides being a loyal assistant, John was in many ways like a son to him. He had proved to be a very valuable aid and employee. "Sorry, John," Neil said to Daley's body. He cleared his throat. "We had better leave."
Hu Li nodded, but Su Lin scowled. "You are going to leave John here."
"He would do the same to me," Rathbone said. "And I wouldn't ask him to do any less."
Su Lin looked over at her employer. "Can't either of you revive him?"
"We can't," Hu Li replied. "They gave it to us, but did not tell either of us how it was done."
"One of their little tricks," Rathbone said sourly.
The MP was about to say more when the door opened and a guard appeared. The guard aimed a gun and called into a cell phone. "Mr. Shannon, they are here, Repeat-"
Hu Li moved her assistant onto a bed and kicked the man in the mouth knocking him out. Two other guards appeared aiming their guns when Rathbone took his small gun out from his sleeve and Hu Li took out her gun. The two shot the guards point blank. "Any other questions," Rathbone asked.
Hu Li leaned on her bodyguard as Rathbone shot at the guards coming after them. "Go on, they want you and they will catch you," Su Lin said. "I slow you down. Go, Madam; Sir."
"We had better do what she says," Rathbone told his fiancée. He opened the fire escape as Hu Li shot at another guard. Neil pushed Julie through the door. "Lady first," he said.
"Thank you," Hu Li said before she left knowing that she would never see her servant again.
Su Lin nodded and turned to Rathbone. "You had better look after her. If you don't, I will be reincarnated into something that will kick your ass."
Rathbone gave a tight smile then followed his fiancée out the door. Su Lin waited until they left, then cocked her gun shooting at the guards. She gave a scream as she hobbled to the guards shooting. She felt rage, then nothing.
1. Adam's "time traveling twinkie" is not as one would suspect, Hiro Nakamura. It is in fact Livia Beale, from the short-lived NBC series, Journeyman. Livia and Adam were another of my couples that I could always picture getting together and I am making slow progress on a fanfic that not only undoes some stuff from the third season of Heroes, but also brings up Livia and Adam together.
2. I used both the real ages of Aiden Gillen and Zhang Zhiyi at the time of their movies to determine the ages of the Destructive Duo. So, Rathbone was 35 and Hu Li was 22 (Wow, Rathbone was robbing the cradle! Of course literally. :D)
3. The Davenport Brothers, Ira (1839-1911) and Henry (1841-1877) were two American magicians who caught fire during the Spiritualist movement. They claimed that many of their illusions were caused by spirits.
4. I couldn't resist an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland quote, it's one of my favorite novels and Alice is my favorite female literary character. Of course as many know, Lewis Carroll's real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. (I know Delvane was quite old to remember a children's book so fondly, but pretend for a minute he and Dodgson were old friends and he listened to him tell the story)
5. The group the Hellfire Club was real and existed in Britain and Ireland during the 18th century. The real Hellfire Club did not as far as anyone knew practice black magic, but more of just went wild, had group orgies, wild parties and scoffed at practiced religion. They were one of the first clubs to induct men and women as equals, though.
6. The Isis-Urania Temple, that Roy and Carter find so amusing was the first temple inducted by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded by William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell McGregor Mathers. The group began in 1887-1888, and combined several religious studies, and magic uses. Among their members were W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker, and most interesting, Aleister Crowley.
7. The Scardo Committee uses the names of the Scardo Society and the Committee of Foreign Affairs, the two conspiracy groups that are found in the excellent novel, Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell.