Cheung Wai Ho looked at the stack of papers on his antique Chinese desk. He had worked hard over the past three decades to make the Cheung Family New York's worst Asian family gang. He was now sitting in his rather extravagant penthouse office with his two most trusted bodyguards. The NYPD officers all knew where to find Mr Cheung but those who confronted him had a habit of disappearing, then mysteriously turning up dead years later.
Today he was meeting with Iranian terrorist group Al-Muhkhahr.
The group's leader Amir Shojaei had agreed to meeting up with the
Cheung Family in order to discuss a deal. That deal was that the
Hong Kong gang would deliver seven highly radioactive plutonium
rods from China to the Iranian group in the USA so that Shojaei
could commence with his dirty bomb. The plan was to then evacuate
Iranian nationals, allies of both the Cheungs and Al-Muhkhahr and
the two groups themselves. After that had happened all forms of
imaginable destruction would be unleashed on America's most
That day was a few months away however and currently Mr Cheung was needing all his attention on settling his own deal with a corrupt Korean official so that he could gain control of the plutonium rods. One of Mr Cheung's bodyguards, Mok Kwan Wai, looked over to check all was correct and well with his boss. Now pushing sixty-five Mr Cheung ought to be passing control over to his eldest son Cheung Chun Yu. Kwan Wai suspected that this daring risk by Mr Cheung was the little man's way of leaving with a bang, quite literally.
The other bodyguard in the room was a ruthless Ghanaian mercenary called Paul Aziz. He had been employed by the Cheungs for almost three years now but still none of the other bodyguards trusted him. He always seemed the type would slit your throat as you slept if you crossed him. He was still young as well at only twenty-two, compared to the twenty-eight years of age accompanying Kwan Wai.
Kwan Wai remembered growing up back in Hong Kong, the influences of the Cheung family still strong twenty years back. He remembered fighting for food with his twelve siblings and scavenging for scrap to sell so that he could afford an education. Then his mother and father were killed by the other major Hong Kong crime family, the Wongs. He was, as third oldest and oldest boy, forced to act as a father to the younger siblings with two sisters mothering them. Then, as if a blessing from God himself, Kwan Wai was adopted into the Cheung family to work as a bodyguard for second youngest son Cheung Ho Yin. As a reward for doing so his family was taken care of, drafted into various household jobs for the Cheungs.
During Kwan Wai's flashbacks he hadn't realised that Paul Aziz had wandered off somewhere until he returned a few minutes later, followed by an Arabic man and about four Arabic bodyguards.
"Ah, Mr Shojaei... I see you still don't trust me" Mr Cheung greeted the newcomer.
"Never can you be too cautious, especially with an old man like you. You might be old on the outside but my guess is you're as sly as a fox inside," replied Mr Shojaei, "Anyway, please call me Amir"
"Certainly, now onto business" said Mr Cheung, retaking his seat.
For fifteen minutes two of New York's most wanted criminals, Amir Shojaei being one of the world's most wanted, sat together in the floor-to-ceiling windowed penthouse talking about their latest plot. Any lucky sharpshooter could have taken both out before the guards could even react but none did take a crack at the office.
The Arabic guards stood around nervously, each armed with a submachine gun and a pistol. They were not going to take risks and weren't rookies. All four faces Kwan Wai had recognised immediately. One was nineteen year old mercenary and well-known assassin Ahmed Lalmas of Algeria. Another was Iran's Ehsan Nourmohammadi. The other two were also Iranian and were Abolfazl Babaei and Ebrahim Pourmohammad. To hire the four as mercenaries would have cost over a million pounds which in itself showed the importance and wealth of Amir Shojaei. He had corrupt officials in most major countries and practically ran Iran's government. On the face he was always seen as a respectable businessman who believed in turning even the worst criminals around. His truth however was much darker.
Being born into a world of poverty and murder in a rundown neighbourhood of Tehran, Iran Shojaei soon developed a love for the worst crimes around... treason, murder and terrorism. He joined many gangs before finally setting up his own in the form of Al-Muhkhahr. The gang gained over a thousand members with time and had been reportedly linked to the likes of Al-Qaeda on many occasions.
Mr. Shojaei certainly wasn't the kind of man you would generally invite to a inescapable penthouse with only two bodyguards on duty without confidence in your offer and a past history with the man himself. Both of which Mr Cheung had and was willing to exploit. Whilst NYPD were too scared to touch him the FBI wasn't. His current safety was becoming more at jeopardy with the more citizens he added to his hit list. With most homicides his people committed he escaped the justice system by his money, influence and an exceptional knowledge of American law. However, as the FBI's file on him became larger and they began looking into his connections with each murder then he and his family would have serious issues occur.
This was where this deal came into place. With Shojaei agreeing to evacuate all his known associates and his family from the country he could start fresh in a new country; he liked the idea of either Belgium or France. Here his sons could establish their family name and add another place of influence on their global crime network. Mr Cheung liked Belgium even more so as he already had links there and he could imagine a happy, rural retirement in picturesque countryside where his name meant nothing to locals. That would a dream end to three decades of terror and destruction that had seeped out of the little Chinese man's cold heart. Those proud three decades work would then pass to his eldest son Cheung Chun Yu.
"So, Mr Cheung, I assume all is in order to complete the shipments. I would happily add another million to the total payment should the shipment arrive within a fortnight" concluded Mr Shojaei before beginning to leave.
"Should my deal with Park Eung-Ju be completed in the coming days then the shipment will certainly be on it's way. However, I must fly it first to Seoul, then to an airstrip in Dubai and finally one in Algeria before it can begin it's high-speed transport over the ocean. This should roughly take around six or seven days according to the cargo ship's specifications so I should have this all done in around ten to eleven days hopefully" explained Mr Cheung.
"Ah, good. It's been a pleasure Mr Cheung" replied Amir Shojaei before he and his bodyguards vacated the penthouse.
As soon as they'd left Mr Cheung breathed a rather audible sigh of relief and slumped at his desk. Immediately Kwan Wai rushed over with concern but the little Chinese man waved him away, informing him that he was just relieved that the meeting was finished… the tension had been unbearable.
Only minutes after Mr Cheung had concluded his meeting a black sedan pulled up outside and the Chinese criminal's eldest son, Cheung Chun Yu, stepped out. He casually approached the penthouse, catching the eye of the leaving Mr Shojaei. The two continued their heated stare as the past one another, a painful past history between the two to be blamed.
"You're working with scum like him!" roared Chun Yu, slamming his fists on the antique desk as soon as he walked into the penthouse.
"Now, Chun Yu, he is a valuable ally and I fail to see why this partnership offends you in such a manner" calmly responded Chun Yu's father.
"Why does this offend me… maybe because that piece of street trash killed my fiancée! Maybe that's why!" yelled Chun Yu, tears welling in his eyes as he remembered his late fiancée.
"Bah, that's old news… and she wasn't worth anything anyway. She was a regular commoner. No commoner should be granted into a household with such reputation as the Cheungs" scolded Mr Cheung.
"Wasn't worth anything! She was the one person I loved! She was my everything, and you… you order her slaughter by the hands of the monster who just left!" raged Chun Yu, with little a reaction from his father.
"Son, if you continue with your little tantrum I'll have to ask my bodyguards to escort you to somewhere where you can have a bit of a time-out to think about your actions wisely. I can't be having my family act like three year olds can I Chun Yu" said Mr Cheung calmly, though his tone was threatening.
"You call us a family but you are no father to me!" called Chun Yu as he stormed from the penthouse office.
"Son, you'll soon regret those words" replied Mr Cheung coldly without looking up from his paperwork.
"Sir, I think the boy was speaking with his heart not his head. You shouldn't be too hard on him. I mean, he is still grieving for her" said Kwan Wai cautiously.
"Oh, and why should I be taking parenting advice from a guard. Do you think I'm a bad parent… is that it? Well, your services won't be required anymore so please… leave my family for good Mr Mok," snapped Mr Cheung aggressively, "Oh, and one last thing. Should you think of going to the authorities about the bomb then you won't make sunrise that morning"
"Sir, I didn't…" started Kwan Wai before he was interrupted.
"Make it easier for everyone and just leave now" ordered the cruel little Chinese man, still without looking from the vast sheets of paperwork littering the desk.
Kwan Wai bowed his head and left, preparing to collect his belongings and vacate the Cheung family residence. He couldn't believe he'd lost everything from a split second's indecision. He had lost everything and he was being banished from the one good part of his life.
But then again, he knew the rash temper of Mr. Cheung's eldest son and as long as he could escape the country to somewhere overseas he'd be safe. Well, everywhere but Belgium. But Kwan Wai continued looking at the positives. He had stashed over four thousand US dollars in a train station locker twenty-five miles out of town in case a clean getaway was needed. He knew that nobody had ever known about the money but he suspected they'd have trashed his house and car so he'd need another transport method and fast. The dirty bomb was set for just over a fortnight's time and by that point Kwan Wai needed to be in a foreign country with all American ties to him cut clean. He certainly didn't want the FBI or Interpol tracking him down and questioning him... that would mean certain death for him and more worryingly, his family.
But then, whilst planning his escape, he remembered his father's dying words. As his father lay in agony he had spoken alone to Kwan Wai with a clear message.
"In hardship and terror only a coward runs, a real man stays and fights to his last drop of blood. Are you a man Kwan Wai... or a coward? If you truly are a man then when you stare at death directly in the face you shall welcome him with open arms, knowing no more could have been done by yourself" Kwan Wai's mind repeated.
His father's final words to him sparked a rather devious plot in Kwan Wai's mind which involved him standing for his American allies and ending the cruel reign of Hong Kong's Cheung family here in New York. He was to protect the 'Big Apple'!