Thursday, June 02, 2005

Code Name: Ah-Seng

The Note

Something stank.

I checked my calender. Yeap. Three days since my last shower. Still, that didn't explain the note on my table.

"Meet me behind Hideout if you want to crack the conspiracy.


I silently cursed my luck with cool nightclubs. I had to play this carefully. If I got anywhere within 7 steps of Hideout, that would mean the end of my cover.

But for a chance to crack the conspiracy? I had to risk it.

I took a swig from my hip flask to steel myself. As always, I cursed my alcohol-intolerant chinese genes as I swallowed the mouthful of teh-o peng. That did the trick.

I had a bad feeling about Hideout. In my line, you learn to heed your bad feelings. Especially when they involve chio-bus. And Hideout had chio-bu's aplenty. Which made me all the more suspicious. From experience, there were two possibilities:

(a) Missionary was telling the truth; or
(b) It's time to get my annual STD test done again.

I eliminated the second possibility almost immediately. The doctors did mention that, thanks to the antibiotics, my rashes were clearing up well.

It had to be the first. Missionary had to be telling the truth. Which means I had to go.

God help us all.

The Meet

The alley was dark but clean. A part of my brain reminded me that this was Singapore - dirty alleys were illegal, and hence could not exist. I shook my head and took another shot of teh-oh peng to clear it.

I thought I had left that behind me. Apparently not. The BCG scar still itches, and my head's not been clear since the day I shook off Gah-men conditioning. Apparently, the conditioning's deeper than I had ever expected.

All the more reason I needed the answers. And the answers were right in front of me.


Missionary flickered in and out of existence. It was most disconcerting. One moment he was standing before me. The next he just disappeared - and I couldn't even remember why I was standing behind Hideout.

I knew a little about Missionary, save that he was a high-ranking civil servant and gay. His little flickering trick was the interaction between two contradictory proclamations - he exists because a minister once acknowledged the existence of gay civil servants. Yet he doesn't exist because Singapore refuses to acknowledge the existence of gay lobby groups, gay rights or gay-dominanted media. Missionary now exists in some terrible in-between world of existence and non-existence.

I once asked Missionary why he calls himself Missionary. His answer - Deep Throat was illegal in Singapore. Apparently, I was not the only one bearing scars.

I summoned my courage to greet him in the Forbidden Tongue.

"Eh, Siao Eh, Hor Bor?"

Missionary hissed a crisp Brit warning "Are you mad?! You'll bring the MDAMen on us! You have no fear of being censored?"

I sighed. You can take the civil servant out of the gah-men...

"Okay, fine. What do you have?" I leaned casually against the side of the alley.

Missionary responded in hushed tones, "Do you know about"

Before I could give my usual smart-alecky remarks, Missionary cut in with bitter undertones, "Nothing. You know nothing."

Missionary looked shaken. I stirred. A salty fellow, Missionary does not frighten easy. "Watch out, old chum. It's a trap. There's a mole deep in the Resistance. His code name is Ah-Seng. Watch out for him."

"Ah-Seng? You mean....James Seng?! It can't be! No one would be so dumb to give a person a code-name that's his actual name!"

Missionary smirked bitterly, "No one, except..."

Of course! How could I be so stupid! We know who we're dealing with - to expect originality from them would be foolish!

Missionary dropped a second bomb on me. "I think Ah-Seng's a construct. A droid. A robot specially designed and programmed to infiltrate the Singapore blogger community. I have evidence."

Okay. That -was- a little far-fetched.

Missionary rambled, obviously agitated. "He has to be a robot. He has to be. What kind of a flesh-and-blood man speaks in HTML?!"

I blinked. "Actually, I know lots of geeks who talk like that."

Missionary looked nonplussed. "Ah, but how many people only leave the house when World of Warcraft servers are down for maintanence?"

I facepalmed. "Dude. I do. In fact, I'm here only because it's a Tuesday, and the servers won't be up for another 2 hours."

Missionary was just about ready to launch his retort at my snarky comment when he cocked his head to the side and yelled to me, "The Silencer! He's found wait, he's still tracking us! Run! I'll try to stall..."

The "Eh, you yell like that, confirm kenah track down one!" died in my throat, hushed deader than Singapore's opposition parties. I saw the pool of red spreading in Missionary's chest. Spurred on by my survival instincts and my du-lan-ness of being deprived of laying verbal smackdown, I ran in the direction of Hideout.

If the Silencer had one weakness, it would be his like for Hideout. He would not risk it shutting down. But could I get there in time?

I knew I was doomed. Cos you know, I only got D7 for my Track-and-Field CCA.

-To Be Continued-

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Shortphat K said...

Ha! Brilliant!

Anthony said...

Why thank you.

ahmad said...

Masterfully written, my hat's off to you.

Anthony said...

My thanks, ahmad. :D

Anantya said...

hahahaha..i love the reason for his "flickering"..hahahahaha..

Missionary now exists in some terrible in-between world of existence and non-existence

Anthony said...

Thanks anantya!

More corny commentary if and when I get my act together.

silvermyst said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. that is so funny!

Gloria said...

Absolutely Brilliant.

And I probably speak for Gloria and myself. You should go into creative writing, except you probably have only a limited audience for your Singlish/detective noir style.

Gay civil servants may/may not exist part was a stroke of genius but you prolly don't need me to tell you that.

Anthony said...

Thanks Tor. As you may know I consider praise from you high praise indeed.

The detective noir style just begs to be abused doesn't it? It just fit the whole sgblogconspiracy thing so well I had to use it. :D