“And if you want to STAY Tong Elite, I suggest you stop asking so many questions,” scolded the veteran Tong Elite with the long hair to the two rookie Tong Elite following close behind him.
The three pairs of handmade Italian shoes echoed through sterile hallways of level 23 of Han Tower as the group hurried to fulfill their orders.
“I just don’t understand what we’re doing here,” whined one of the rookie Tong Elite.
“There’s no way that Chang Sing trash could bypass all the security and the guards,” agreed the other rookie, “They would have to be the most cunning sons of …”
The group turned the corner to find Wang Chi and the Chang Sing waiting for them. The last thing the rookies saw before they fell unconscious were the fists of Longshot and Destiny. However, the long-haired Tong Elite proved a much more formidable foe. It was Tiger-heart’s job to handle him.
Tiger-heart did indeed catch the Blademaster by surprise but his extensive combat training kicked in and he was able to avoid Tiger-heart’s punch by a hair. The Tong Elite then entangled the Chang Sing’s outstretched arm then forced him to the wall using Tiger-heart’s own momentum against him. Tiger-heart didn’t resist but instead he lengthened his stride and ran up the wall to flip himself over. Unfortunately, the Tong Elite’s spinning back fist connected with Tiger-heart’s jaw. The pain just made Tiger-heart angrier. He grabbed both sides of the Tong Elite’s head threw his knee into the bridge of his foe’s nose. The Tong Elite slumped onto the floor.
“Thanks for the help,” grumbled Tiger-heart as he massaged his jaw.
“Sorry, you were too close for a clear shot,” apologized Longshot.
“I knew you had a handle on it,” smiled Wang.
A creaking door caught everyone’s attention. A lone Tong Elite came out of the restroom down the hall. The Chang Sing gasped as they noticed the alarm button was right next to the door.
“My turn,” whispered Wang as he leaped over the bodies on the floor.
The Tong Elite spotted the intruders and leaned to push the alarm. But before his hand made contact, a sword pinned his sleeve to the wall. Wang Chi felt a wave of relief but realized he had overextended himself and was in perfect position for the Tong Elite to strike him with his free hand. Wang prepared himself for the pain. The punch hurt more than expected. Then Wang returned the favor wholeheartedly. The Tong Elite dropped to the floor, his hand still held up against the wall by Wang’s sword.
Wang rubbed the side of his head as the remaining Chang Sing approached.
"Thanks for the help,” joked Wang.
“I knew you had a handle on it,” responded Tiger-heart.
“This should be it,” claimed Tech-edge referring to a nearby door.
Tech-edge held up his PDA to the door lock and ran the security bypass programming.
"You know what the ironic thing is about this?” asked Tech-edge.
"No, what?” answered Wang.
“Behind this door may be one of the greatest accomplishments in history – human cloning,” Tech-edge continued, “Dr. Wei would have received the Nobel Prize.”
“He’s a Genetic Engineer PhD from Yale. His father was a Taoist alchemist. He combined alchemy with Western science with much success. He disappeared about a year ago. I heard that Chang kidnapped him, forced him to make these clones, then killed him to keep him from talking.”
“Just one more heinous act by Chang.”
“Luckily, Dr Wei had many other successful experiments…”
Before Tech-edge could finish his sentence, the large doors opened to reveal a small room with large clear water tanks in each corner. Each tank held a floating and unconscious clone.
“By the gods,” whispered Grey-wise as he and the others inspected the cloning tanks.
Tech-edge found a door on the opposite side of the room.
“This is probably the door to the main lab,” stated Tech-edge, “It looks like it may take me a couple of minutes to get into it.
Longshot inspected a computer in the corner of the room.
“This looks like a direct terminal to the main server,” he announced, “I’ll see if I can get that information on Chang.”
“Good luck,” responded Tech-edge.
Everyone else took the remark to mean that hacking into a Han computer was not going to be easy but Wang noticed something else in the tone. It was almost as if Tech-edge was laughing at Longshot. Wang wondered what Tech-edge would find so funny. The answer was infuriatingly clear.
Wang grabbed Tech-edge and threw him against the wall so hard that some of his stored gadgets fell out of their pouches and onto the floor. Wang stood back and pointed his sword at Tech-edge. Everyone froze in shock.
“There is no information on Chang is there?”
“Damn, you Dragon Servants ARE smart.”
Wang rushed Tech-edge grabbed him again and threw him against another wall. Wang pressed his blade lightly onto Tech-edge’s throat.
“You’re right I don’t know if that information is here. I doubt a guy like Chang would even keep that kind of information on a computer”
"So it was all a lie.”
“Not everything. Chang is experimenting on Wing Kong clones. They’re planning something big. I didn’t think I’d even get close without running into Tong Elite. I needed you guys to help me get into the labs. This is something that could affect us all.”
“We’ve got our own war to fight. We’re not going to help you fight yours. We’re out of here.”
“That’s right leave and play it safe like you’ve always done. You think you can fight a war against Chang by running away at the first sign of a Tong Elite? Your guerilla tactics will slow them down but you’ll never stop them. You think you can play nice with Chang and Chinatown won’t be torn apart? Little China is falling apart right before you. But maybe you can save part of it. Don’t you think it’s time to pick a side and take a stand?”
The doors opened.
“I’m sorry,” apologized General Chang, “Did we interrupt anything?”