Serial Saturday #14: Locally Raised Steaks

Please enjoy Part 14 of my ongoing serial, Murder In Kinmen: Locally Raised Steaks...

"Whoa there, Boy Scout," Shan said. "You want to go easy there?"

Wei-Ting shook his head and poured himself another shot of kaoliang. They had just gotten back from Xiamen and his hands were still shaking. Not only had he committed a crime, but if anyone found out it would be... Wei-Ting shudded. Very bad. Worse still, it could cause... an incident. And if that happened, then he could say goodbuey to his career in law enforcement.

"At least wait for the food to get here," Shan said. "You're gonna love it."

"What did you order again?"

"Steaks," Shan said. "Locally raised steaks from right here in Kinmen."

"Oh," Wei-Ting said. "We have cows here?"

"Sure do," Shan said. "Good ones, too."

Shan had picked the restaurant. It was in theback end of the county and looked like just another worn old building until you opened the door and stepped inside. Wood floors that creaks and dim lighting create what Wei-Ting had to admit was a unique ambience.

The doors that led to the kitchen slammed open and the proprietor, a woman with a face like a hatchet emerged with two plates in each hand. She put them in front of each of them and then retreated back to the kitchen without another word.

"Smells good," Wei-Ting admitted.

"Told you," Shan said. "Come on, dig in."

Wei-Ting unrolled his knife and fork and looked down at his plate. The steeak did look delicious. He quickly lost himself in the food, which is why he failed to notice-

"Hey kid," Pei-Shan said. "What have you been up to while I was gone?"

Wei-Ting glanced up and blinked in surprise. "What's going on?"

"This is my sister, Mei-Shan," Pei-Shan said, gesturing to Mei-Shan. The two women sat down opposite Wei-Ting and Shan.

Wei-Ting looked at Shan. "How many shots did I have?"

"Three," Shan replied.

"And just so I'm not imagining things, there's two of you?" He asked Pei-Shan.

Pei-Shan rolled her eyes. "Yes, she's my identical twin, kid."

"Kid can't hold his liquor," Mei-Shan chuckled.

"Keep up, kid," Pei-Shan said.

"You're Pei-Shan," Wei-Ting said, pointing at her. "She's Mei-Shan," he pointed at Mei-Shan. "And you're Shan?"

"It's a short 'a' in my name, Boy Scout," Shan said. She grabbed the bottle of kaoliang and moved it out of Wei-Ting's reach. "And I think you're cut off for now." 

"So what have you been up to?" Pei-Shan asked.

"I'll tell you," Wei-Ting said. "But first, you need to explain something to me."

"What?" Pei-Shan asked.

Wei-Ting called up Detective Tan's file on his phone and slid it across the table to Pei-Shan. She picked up the phone and sighed. 

"Tan, huh?"

"How did you-"

"He does this to every rookie who looks intered in homicide," Pei-Shan said.

"Is it true?"

"That I plead guilty, derailed my career at Tainan and that this was the only job anywhere I could get once the dust had cleared?" Pei-Shan asked. "Yes, it's true. And if you don't want to work this case anymore, I wouldn't blame you."

"I work for the NSB and my sister took the fall for one of our operations that went sideways to keep my ass out of a prison cell," Mei-Shan interrupted.

"There's got to be more to it than that," Wei-Ting said.

"There is," Mei-Shan said ."All you need to know is that you can trust her."

"And the rest is classified?" Wei-Ting asked.

"Yes," Mei-Shan said. "Now what have you been up to?"

"We found an apartment she had in old Amoy," Shan said. "Broke in, got her devices, a few other bits and bobs. It's not good, boss."

"How not good?" Mei-Shan asked.

"She released something on the internet," Wei-Ting said. "I've been trying to figure it out, but I can't. It just goes through the Great Firewall like it's not even there."

"Wait," Pei-Shan said. "You mean, she released something that can bypass their censors?"

Wei-Ting nodded.

Mei-Shan let out a long, low whistle. "This is bad."

"Any indication that they know about it?" Pei-Shan asked.

Wei-Ting shook his head. "No, but if they can't shut it down and traceit back to its origin point..." he left it hanging.

"This is bad on multiple levels," Mei-Shan said. "I need to get back to Taipei," Mei-Shan stood. "You too, Shan. We need to brief some people."

"What do you need us to do?" Wei-Ting asked.

"Find out who killed her," Mei-Shan said. "And quickly."

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