High Noon (Here I Am - 11)

At last, Maria reached the temple and landed the jet in the pond of the Jōdo-shiki garden, destroying a nearby garden shed that had stood for a thousand years.

She opened the hatch and breathed in the smell of rich mahogany. She loved Hong Kong, but the air was cleaner here, moist and fragrant. Bullfrogs bitched at each other with low rumbles, but everything was peaceful.

This hardly seemed like the place for a criminal mastermind.

Maria had seen photos of the temple and walked towards the oldest, the Phoenix Hall, built in 1053 by an opium-addled betel nut importer for a wayward mistress.

There was a noise from within the hall. Out of the shadows, a figure appeared.

“You?! How?”

The man laughed, making his black mustache twitch. “Why so surprised?”

“I’m just shocked you haven’t died of syphilis yet.”

Uma-Chimpo fixed his grey eyes on Maria: “I know how to bring your boy back.”

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