Title: The Tower
Ming Ming watched her Father's Chief Financial Officer slip out of her father's office to clean himself in the bathroom before he could return to the company Christmas Party as she wrangled her underwear over her knees and up under her skirt. The office seemed to have absorbed the smell of their moment together in a way that would irritate her father to no end.
Han washed himself. He didnt need to smell of the Daughter of his employer when he returned to the christmas party. The noise of water flowing from the tap masked the emergence of a shadow from the air vent overlooking the room. The knife sliced the artery on Han's neck spraying the bathroom in a distinctive red as he struggled with the hand over his mouth.
Tran pulled the trigger on his handgun, the silencer preventing the sound from echoing with any great significance. The security guard, distracted by kickboxing on a small screen, slumped backwards dead. Tran pulled the radio from his coat and turned it on.
"Secure." Tran set the radio aside and searched the control board for a particular button and pushed it releasing a security door granting entry to a dozen heavily armed leather clad shadows in black skimasks.
Ming Ming lifted a glass of champagne from the tray and walked toward her father. His minions stared at her inapropriate clothing choice and drunken stumble that cost her a shoe heel and distanced themselves from the walking career embarassment headed toward Director Chang.
"Father..." Ming Ming investigated the tight fitting suit hugging the groin of the Chief of Security in her father's shadow with her eyes and concluded he was keeping a present for her that she would open later.
"Karl," Director Chang locked eyes on his drunken daughter. "It is time my daughter was returned home."
The Terrorists rode the elevator to the thirtieth floor and stood silently as the doors opened revealing people occupying a grand hall, the christmas party oddly paused, the attention of the room focused on a screaming girl in an inapropriate skirt taking her rage out on the Director of the company.
Tran van suk raised his pistol and fired as he exited the elevator ahead of his team.
"Attention everyone!" Having executed the chief of Security attempting to escort the girl from the room Tran changed the room dynamic from one of public shame to one of sheer panic. Men and women fled the great hall, making use of every corridor radiating from it seeking refuge from the fresh hell now evolving behind them.
Director Chang stepped in front of his daughter proving that he still cared enough to place himself in harms way for her. The leader of these terrorists seemed bemused at the Director's gesture of parental responsibility.
"Chang Li," Tran raised his pistol and pointed it over the director's shoulder at the inappropriate girl. "Who is now in charge?"
Director Chang looked at his paniced employees being coralled back into the hall.
"You are in charge." Tran smiled.
"Very good." Tran shifted his gaze to the Director's daughter. "Problem child?"
Chang narrowed his eyes at the inappropriate topic as Tran alluded to some degree of interest in the matter.
Bao kicked open the bathroom door revealing a bloody red slaughterhouse. A red soaked drunk occupied the only toilet seat as though it were a throne.
"You!" Bao pointed his machine gun at the drunk, prodding him with the barrel. "Wake up!"
The faceless corpse tumbled to the floor breaking all doubt in Bao's mind.
"Shit." Bao backed out of the bloody crimson bathroom and pulled the door closed. It was a problem. Bao grabbed one of his men.
"Guard this door." Jook San was prepared to argue the situation but Bao insisted. "Just guard the door." Bao walked back toward the hall. Tran would have to be told.
The shadow emerged from the bloody camoflague and walked across the blood soaked floor of the bathroom to the door silently sliding it open to reveal an armed guard.
"You will provide the codes to your computer," Tran groped Ming Ming's thigh to the displeasure of her Father. "or your inappropriate daughter will be given to my men."
Bao loomed near Tran's ear.
"We have a problem." Tran lifted his hand from Ming Ming's Thigh and put the barrel of his gun under her chin. "What sort of problem?"
"Its one of the hostages." Bao cleared his throat. "One of the hostages is dead."
"Did I not make it clear," Tran turned to face Bao. "that the hostages were to be taken alive?"
"Yes Sir." Bao looked at the girl with the gun awkwardly jammed against her throat. Tran regarded Bao for a moment. If there was a problem it was a serious problem.
"All right," Tran released the gun from Ming Ming's throat. "Show me."
Bao turned toward the hallway that would lead to the bathroom and Tran followed.
"It appears to have happened before our arrival." Bao looked about for Jook San as he pushed open the door. "I left Jook San guarding the door."
A second faceless corpse occupied the floor of the bathroom.
"Its Jook San." Bao rolled the corpse and having checked the body looked about the bathroom. "His weapon is gone."
Tran nodded in anguish. This was a problem.
"Take Li and Pao and sweep this floor locking it off," Tran left the bathroom. "and when you are done clear the floors above us as planned."
Tran returned to the hall. Someone had evicerated an employee of the company and one of his own men unnoticed. What the hell was going on?
"Fuck!" Tran pointed a gun at Ming Ming Chang and walked forward until the barrel pressed against her teeth. "I want the codes Director Chang...now!"
Ming Ming flinched at the pain of the gun pressing against her face.
"I cant give them to you," Chang shook his head at the ultimatum. "I dont know the codes."
"Bullshit!" Tran snarled at him. "Now give me the fucking codes."
"My father is telling you the truth." Ming Ming screamed the words. "A courier from our London Office is always present to deliver the new codes."
Tran turned his pistol on Director Chang and pulled the trigger. The Director collapsed to the floor.
"Father!" Ming Ming collapsed on the corpse of her father and grappled with his unresponsive body in a desperate attempt to awaken it from whatever nightmare they were sharing. "Oh no."
Pao pushed open the door to the stairwell. The temperature difference between the stairwell and the rest of the building was distinctive. He welcomed the warmth that seemed to flow down through the stairwell from somewhere above.
"Stairs are clear." Pao looked back into the hall as Li and Bao entered the boardroom. A blade sliced an artery on his neck and Pao was pulled backwards off his feet into the stairwell, his weapon firing randomly into the boardroom.
The corpse of Pao and shadow slipped over the edge of the railing and free falling down the well about which the stairs tightly spiralled.
"Li?" Bao pushed at his companion's corpse rolling the dead weight aside and examined the body. Li had taken the hail of bullets that had come for them both. Bao clambered to his feet and moved cautiously to the stairwell.
The shadow sliced off Pao's face adding the mask to its collection and retreated to the air vent leaving the corpse to be discovered.
"Did you get him?" The walkie talkie skwalked with the voice of Tran. "Bao?"
"Li is dead." Bao looked down over the stairwell railing, the spray of Pao's blood painted everything in a fine spittle. Pao had come to rest on the stairs a few floors down. Bao slowly descended the stairs, his gun searching for a predator he knew was there...somewhere. "Pao is also dead."
"Fuck!" Tran pointed at Saka and Bato indicating to both to join Bao in the hunt for their growing problem. The pair abandoned their position and hurried down the hallway that would take them to Bao.
The body of Pao came slowly into view as Bao descended. The now faceless corpse had bled out on the stairs, what little blood he had emptied here. Bao noticed a smear of Pao's blood around the air vent through which his killer had slipped away. He had access to any floor. Bao approached the air vent cautiously, his gun raised. He needed only kneel down and sliding into the vent, look up and down. Bao reached out to support himself with a hand and then thought better of it.
The body of Pao fell head first down the air vent failing to make contact with anything other than vent, vanishing into the distance.
Up. Bao climbed the stairs wary of a foe that was certainly now headed up.
Saka checked left noticing the corpse on the floor of the board room.
"Its Li." Saka left the body returning to Bato.
The two men reached the stairwell to find Bao climbing toward them.
"He is using the Air vents." Bato and Saka turned pointing their weapons at the air vent next to them, pulling it free. A bloody trail stained the Air vent.
Saka leaned foward to look down the shaft.
"Wait." Saka ignored Bato.
"Empty." Saka began to back out when a shadowy hand with a blade sliced the back of his neck killing Saka. Bao ascended the stairs past Batu and Saka and headed for the next floor hoping to catch the killer.
"Fuck you bastard." Bato unleashed a spray of bullets that simply penetrated the walls of the Air vent.
Bao reached the air vent on the thirty-first floor pulling the grate aside.
Bato could only watch as the corpse of Saka was dragged forward into the vent. Somehow this shadow had slipped past him. Bato leaned in to watch the body of Saka descend the shaft.
Bao fired down past the corpse of Saka at the descending shadow only to realize his mistake. Bao reached for his walkie talkie.
"Batu and Saka are dead." Bao released his walkie talkie. "Fuck."
Ming Ming smiled at the words on the radio only to have Tran grab her by the throat.
"I grow tired of the foreplay you bitch." Tran turned toward the remaining hostages, and having selected a target, fired. "Now who is killing my people?"
Chao sat at the security desk watching kickboxing as he indulged in the contents of the bar fridge in the security break area that now occupied his work space.
The sound of a second heavy object bouncing off the duct walls of the air vent in its descent came from behind him. Chao looked at the distant door to the building. It was clear for the moment. He could investigate the air vent.
From the warmth of an old blanket in the dark of the poorly lit street Jet watched the man in black leather, a chocolate bar in his mouth, stand up and walk to the back of the illuminated lobby to the grate of an air vent. Jet watched as the man in leather pointed his gun with his right hand and pulled the grill open with his left and then bowing down, entered the vent. The corpse in black leather fell backwards spraying crimson across the lobby from a neck wound and bullets randomly across the room shattering the glass windows. The sound of gunfire audible to the street. The corpse was dragged back into the vent by its feet leaving a bloody trail for all to see. Jet struggled to his feet and walked down the street away from what was happening as quickly as he could.
The elevator began to descent from the thirtieth floor. Tran released his hand from Mei Mei's throat and grabbed at his radio.
"Chao?" Tran released the radio walking slowly toward the elevator. Tran watched as the express elevator stopped at ground floor and after a while it began its upward ascent. Tran signalled his remaining men into position and waited for the elevator to arrive.
"Bao." The radio squawked with Tran's voice. "Express Elevator is coming up from the lobby. Chao is not responding." Bao walked quickly toward the hall abandoning his position in the stairwell.
The elevator chimed and the doors slid back revealing three faceless corpses in black leather.
"Check them carefully." Tran signaled his men forward. The hostages screamed at the sight of three faceless corpses in the elevator.
"Silence!" Tran van Suk pointed his weapon at the distressed hostages and looked at Bao. "Take the hostages up to the roof."
"All of you up." Bao pointed his gun at the hostages and waved it in the direction of the hallway. "To the stairwell."
Ming Ming Chang moved to be with the other hostages but was grabbed from behind.
"Not you." Tran grabbed the back of her neck and the billion dollar flower withered at his touch.
"Dong," Tran looked at the hacker dragging the corpse of Director Chang into his office. "This better work."
"Up the stairs," Bao pushed at the hostages. "To the Roof."
Bao followed them up the stairs and out onto the roof, the wind gusting at better than twenty kilometres an hour across the crowded helipad. Bao walked to the edge and looked down. Police vehicles had gathered at the front of the building.
"Tran!" Bao clutched his radio. "Police are here." A kick to his back and Bao fell forward descending with a scream into a police vehicle which imploded at the impact scattering officers.
Bao would keep the hostages on the rooftop. Tran signalled the remaining men.
"It is time."
Dong brought up the mainframe. Protocols regarding transfer of codes appeared. Dong pulled the scanner from its drawer and pointed it at Director Chang. The software scanning his eye recognized him instantly as being deceased. The computer alerted London automatically that Director Chang was deceased and began transfering access to his daughter Ming Ming.
"Sit." Tran pushed Ming Ming into the seat in front of Dong allowing him to complete a scan of her eye. "Good girl."
Dong continued through the codes transfer app. Dong's phone pinged with a message.
"London courier code retrieved." An explosion from the hall. "Just in time." Tran dragged Mei Mei from the chair out into the hall leaving Dong alone.
Dong shut down the computer and hoisted his mirror mainframe off the floor and returned it to its case to the sound of some compressed air cannon firing from the hall. Their exit strategy had activated. Dong walked quickly to join his compatriots.
Tran's men waited, each in harness. The one closest to the window locked on a cable that anchored itself through the door of the elevator and the distant rooftop of a second building. The others followed stepping out one after the next.
With all his men on the cable headed to safety Tran could only watch as machine gun fire from the roof top cut through them and they reached their destination dead.
"We have a problem on the roof." Tran pulled his gun and headed toward the stairs that led up to the roof top. "Prep the girl."
Dong pulled the tranquilizer gun from his case and injected Mei Mei who collapsed unconcious. Dong pulled a black bag sufficient to take a human and laid it out next to her body watching Tran vanish around a corner.
Tran Van Suk made the slow ascent up the stairs to the roof top helipad as he grasped his gun. The wind tore at Tran agressivly as he emerged from the stairwell.
The helipad was littered in faceless corpses. The hostages were dead. Bao was gone. And so was the killer. In the distance a police helicopter flew toward the building.
Time to leave.
Dong lifted the human parcel and hooked her to the line allowing her to slide out the window. He watched her slide down the cable into the distance and turned to retrieve his computer case. A naked woman soaked in blood standing inches from him slashed his throat. Dong toppled backwards out the window and fell toward the street below.
Tran van Suk entered the hall to the sight of a naked and blood soaked woman allowing Dong's computer case to slide down the cable to its destination. Dong was gone. She turned to look at him. It was Mei Mei. Tran raised his gun and walked forward closing the distance.
"All ours..." she smiled at him examining him closely allowing him to come closer.
Somehow she was in league with this other killer. "Drop the weapon." She threw it aside and showed him the palms of her hands. Tran grabbed her by the throat and she submissivly put her hands behind her back.
"Who are you working with Mei Mei?" The woman brushed her face against Tran until she reached his ear and whispered.
"Mei Lin." Tran jerked back and Mei Lin made use of the opening and slashed his throat with the knife she kept between her cheeks. "My name is Mei Lin."
Mei Lin disarmed Tran and having pushed him down to the ground sliced off his face to add to her collection.