Serial Saturday #13: An Apartment In Old Amoy

Please enjoy Part 13 of my ongoing serial, Murder In Kinmen: An Apartment In Old Amoy


Wei-Ting was five minutes late. The apartment building was in an older district of Xiamen, right beside one of the lakes that used to be the old harbor back in colonial times when the British had the run of the place. His head was spinning as he walke dup the steps and opened the door to step into the lobby.

Pei-Shan had narrowly avoided a prison sentence after agreeing to testify against the other four cops in Tainan City, but how was she still a cop? That was the question that Wei-Ting couldn't shake. How could you be a party to something like the destruction of evidence and a network of bribery and still wear the uniform? Who was Pei-Shan, really?

You deserve to know the people you're working with. Tan's words again.

But did he really know Pei-Shan? The Tainan City PD had been the tip of a very large, ugly iceberg that had taken down judges, KMT big wigs, and even a member of Parliament. There had to be more to the story- but at the same time, what if Pei-Shan was still on the take?

His phone vibrated in his pocket and he fished it out. There was a text message waiting for him.

You're late. Center elevator. *Now.*

As instructed, Wei-Ting didn't say anything to her. She leaned forward and pressed the button for the tenth floor and the door slid shut.

"You're light," she snapped.

"It took me awhile to find the place," Wei-Ting replied. "I'm sorry."

"When we get up there, follow my lead," Shan said. "We're pretty sure the MSS doesn't know abou tthis place, but with her father under suspicion and up in Beijing, I don't want to take any chances. We're going to have to be fast."

"Okay," Wei-Ting said. The elevator slid to a halt on the tenth floor and the doors opened. Shan strode out moving quickly down the hall, Wei-Ting a pace or two behind her. Moving with confidence and exuding an undeniable presence of belonging there, she came to a halt at the door and reached into her pocket to produce a key card. 

"Now we see if our geek squad is as good as they say they are," Shan whispered. She held up the key card to the lock and with a click, the light on the door lock turned green and she opened the door.

Wei-Ting followed her inside and stepped to one side so she could close the door. "Did we just break into an apartment?"

Shan gave him a withering look. "It's not a real crime if you're behind enemy lines."

"No, I'm pretty sure a crime is a crime," Wei-Ting said. "Whose apartment is this?"

"It's hers, Boy Scout," Shan replied. "Keep up. You start in the bedroom, I need to get her devices downloaded."

Wei-Ting moved into the bedroom as Shan headed toward the desk where a laptop was sitting open.

The bedroom was sparese. Bed, dresser... Wei-Ting slid open the closet. "Empty." There was a faded framed photograph on top of the dresser, but- "What's this?"

There, on the nightstand was an envelope. Wei-Ting picked it up. The sender had only put his initial, 'R' above an address in someplace called Des Moines. He opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. "Dearest Temperance," he read aloud.

"Hey Boy Scout," Shan called. "Come here."

Wei-Ting walked back into the living room, letter in hand. "Found a love letter. She have an American boyfriend?"

"I don't know, but come look at this," Shan said, pointing at the screen. "It's drone footage of the camps in Xinjiang. Bosted on Sina Weibo, WeChat...  everywhere. How did she do this?"

"The censors haven't taken it down yet?"

"No, it seems like every time they do, a hundred more pop up to replace it." Shan leaned back in the chair. "I'll be damned."

"What?"

"She found a crack in the Great Firewall and exploited it. I don't know if they can close it."

"You think that would be enough to get her killed?"

"I think it'd be enough to get us killed if anyone finds us here," Shan said. "We need to get out of here. Now."

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