Serial Saturday #12: The Ferry To Xiamen

Please enjoy Part 12 of Murder In Kinmen: The Ferry To Xiamen...


Pei-Shan stared at her sister in shock for a moment before she spoke: "Shit."

Mei-Shan grinned. "Watch your language, Pei-Pei."

"Don't call me that," Pei-Shan said, irritably.

Mei-Shan rolled her eyes. "Well, we can't have a conversation out here. Come on downstairs. We'll talk there." She started walking toward the spiral staircase in the corner and, reluctantly, Pei-Shan followed.

"What if I don't want to talk to you?"

"Are you still sore about what happened in Tainan City?" Mei-Shan rolled her eyes. "I don't see-"

"You don't see what the big deal was?" Pei-Shan was incredulous as they walked down the staircase. "I derailed my career by falling on the grenade of a botched NSB operation to keep you out of jail. Not a big deal at all."

"Well," Mei-shan said as they emerged downstairs. "Your country appreciates your sacrifice."

"Lucky me," Pei-Shan replied, trying to keep the bitterness out of her voice. "I get to work homicide so far way the burds don't want to live there and you get to keep playing spy games and living your best life."

Mei-Shan chuckled as she sat down at the mah-johng table in the corner. "You think I'm living my best life?"

"Well, I know I'm not," Pei-Shan said, sitting opposite her. Mei-Shan began to idly turn the tiles and shuffle them around the table and Pei-Shan wondered, not for the first time, where it had all gone wrong between them. Growing up, they had been the best of friends and now this was the first time in five years they had been in the same room together. 

"Tell me about your murder victim."

"There's not much to tell," Pei-Shan said. "She was stablled on a beach. Fisherman found the body and called it in."

"Did she have her phone?"

"No."

Mei-Shan frowned. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, Mei-Mei I'm sure," Pei-Shan replied. "I've only been a homicide detective for seven years now."

"Don't call me that," Mei-Shan replied.

Now it was Pei-Shan's turn to grin. "Why do you care about a dead girl's phone so much? Was she one of your secret agents?"

"We weren't interested in the girl," Mei-Shan said. "But we are now."

"Well, who's your big target then?" Pei-Shan asked.

"Her father."

***

This is really bad idea, Wei-Ting thought as he made his way onto the main deck of the ferry and found a booth with a table toward the bow of the ferry boat. Shan had convinced him though: if he wanted answers about this murder case- his first murder case, he was going to have to assist her and by extension the NSB in doing... something. Shan had been pretty vague about that part of it. She just have him an address across the water in Xiamen and told him to meet her there at four o'clock the next afternoon.

So, here he was, on the ferry to Xiamen. The ferry link between the mainland and Kinmen was still fairly new and relations were still good, so the ferry was crowded with tourists an dbusiness travelers heading for Xiamen itself or points beyond. Knowing the demographics, Wei-Ting had decided on a simple business suit and a shoulder bag for his laptop.

He settled into his seat and as the ferry blasted three times on it's horn and began to inch slowly away from the dock. He put the shoulder bag on the table and pulled out his laptop, wanting to appear as if he was working on something important and keep up his pretense of heading across the water on business. He reached down further in his bag to pull out of his power cord and his hand closed instead on the flash drive.

Wei-Ting had forgotten about it. A few things had happened since Detective Tan had insisted that he take it back at the station. You deserve to know who you're working with. The words echoed in his ears. He glanced around. Early afternoon was not a particularly busy time on the ferry, so there weren't that many people on the main deck. He thought about it for a moment and then, as his laptop finished booting up, he plugged in the flash drive.

He accessed the file and waited as it loaded for a moment and then his jaw dropped:

TAINAN CITY PD CORRUPTION SCANDAL REVEALED, FIVE OFFICERS CHARGED.

The headline was from five years before and there on the front page, being led away in handcuffs was the unmistakeable figure of Detective Pei-Shan.

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