Chapter Twenty Nine
Amaya is restrained, but I sense her anxiety. Dad comes along with Dr. Ted Jensen, a long time friend and brilliant neurosurgeon.
“Dr. Jensen! How good of you to look after Nikko! I hope it was major overkill.”
Jensen, “I hope so, too. She’s had an MTBI, minor traumatic brain injury, a concussion in sports jargon. The good news is, that’s all it is. Her scalp is scraped, we fixed that up fairly easily. She’ll have a bald spot for a while, but it will be bandaged for at least two weeks.”
“And the bad news?”
Jensen, “It’s hard to say. It may be nothing. I always worry when the patient loses consciousness, particularly for more than fifteen minutes. That raises the bar to a Grade Three.”
“An how many grades are there?”
“Oh, Janah did you know this?”
Janah, “Yes, I think Dr. Jensen will agree, while a three is not as good as one, it’s not, by itself, a cause for concern. It’s just a measuring stick, based on the fact she was our for more than a few minutes. I think it would be best for the doctor to explain.”
Jensen, “ The short story is, we watch what happens. There is no treatment for MTBI, if she has headaches, we recommend acetaminophen, in case there is any intracranial bleeding, aspirin and ibuprofen are not a good idea. ”
“So, what are we looking for?”
Jensen, “Amnesia about the incident is common, don’t worry about that. She may be irritable, she may have memory lapses, she will almost certainly have headaches until the brain resets itself. Based on what I know about you, you are capable of helping with that reset. I only wish I knew how, but I’ve seen the evidence. First with Sonia, then Manolo. How is the boy by the way?”
Janah, “He is to become a disciple soon. He works with our contemplative, David, and his namesake David Li with the, um…herbs.”
Janah doesn’t want to get into conversations with birds, Ted Jensen thinks we are quite strange enough already.
Dr. Jensen says to dad, “I have never been able to explain how Manolo was able to recover so quickly, his balance, his speech, and then to go on to, what, learn English, Chinese, mathematics, botany and gung fu. I recall my professional opinion to be that he would be lucky to walk without falling down. I wasted a lot of years in medical school.”
James, “Ted, Manolo doesn’t think you wasted a moment, and I’ve seen what I can only call miracles come out of your surgery. The girls have spent as many, maybe more, hours as you spent in med school and surgical residency learning to do what they can do.”
Amaya, “When can I see Nikko?”
Jensen, “She’s still unconscious. In a way, that’s good. Her brain will rest on its own. She’s not comatose, there are flickers.”
Janah, “So, can we see her?”
“Appoint a representative. I’d rather not overwhelm her.”
Janah, “That should be Daphne.”
Susan and Taylor round the corner, Susan had been crying, “What’s going on?”
I hug her, “She’s going to be fine. Janah and dad will bring you up to date, I need to go to her.”
“Why can’t we see her, what’s going on?”
Janah takes her arm, she’d settle Sis down, I leave for the room while Amaya is explaining to Taylor, I hear Black, Chan and Ning coming out of the elevator, I walk with Dr. Jensen or I’d never get out of the waiting room. Amaya and Janah will handle the troops.
In the room , Nikko is wired up, things blinking, an IV. A nurse just leaving eyes my skirt, wondering what I’m doing in the room. I’m with the hospital’s star neurosurgeon, she decides it’s best to go about her business.
Jensen, “Nothing for me here now, do what you do, I’ll be around, just ask the desk to page me.”
“I want Chan and Black to be allowed to remain in the visitors area, they will only meditate.”
“They do the stuff you and Janah do?”
Jensen shakes his head, “I’ll tell the staff to leave them alone.”
“And Amaya and I will rotate in here with Janah.”
“I’ll pass that along too.”
Jensen goes off to other patients, maybe a bit of sleep. I recall dad’s comment from long ago, he didn’t remember Ted not being in the hospital. And dad did a fair number of psychiatric consults at times of night far removed from business hours. I figure dad spent about as much time in the place as Jensen, which served over the years to increase their respect for each other.
I sigh, this isn’t the Nishiko I know. Lying in a bed, motionless, helpless. No, this isn’t going to work for either of us. I move to the foot of the bed, flip back the sheets and take one foot in my hands. I’ll start from the bottom up, as long as necessary.
“Amaya, take Chan, go to the apartment, bring Janah and I robes,” Chan and Black had shown up in robes, they are already on the floor of the waiting room, eyes closed, deep in qi mind.
Amaya, “Ning went home from the restaurant and collected stuff.”
“Dang, she’s slick, a lesson, make a note.”
Amaya, “Already tattooed on my brain. I’ll bring yours.”
A minute later the door cracks, I wave her in. “Sit here, qi into her foot, I’m showering and changing.”
Nikko is in a private room, I shower, leave my hair towel dry, slip into the robe and return to the bed, “Did they bring something for you?”
Amaya, “Yep. Jeans, t-shirt, she brought toothbrushes, hair brushes, girl stuff.”
“Then get showered, as long as you’re here you may as well work.”
In fifteen, she’s by my side. I explained that we will work up her legs, then arms, then torso, warming, moving the blood, infusing energy.
“Janah will come in after we’ve stabilized her.”
Amaya, “Is she going to be okay?”
“Yes, but we have no way of telling how soon. It doesn’t matter, we go until she’s back in form. Put your energy into her gently, later we may increase the flow, best not to get aggressive too soon.”
Amaya closes her eyes, she is lost in qi, by the end of the session, she’ll be exhausted. I’m not going to be running any marathons myself.
The nurses come in and out, Jensen stops by and watches us hands on for a while, it’s two or three in the morning. Janah comes in, lays her hands on Nikko’s head, time passes.
Janah, “Her brain is still, recovering from the trauma, there’s nothing to do yet. Take a place on the floor, meditate. Amaya, ask Chan and Black to stay in meditation, then reassure Susan and Taylor and send them home. Tell them we will call in the morning. Then come here and meditate with us.”
Everybody does what everybody does. The rest of the night is spent with the boys in meditation in the waiting room, Amaya, Janah and me in a circle around Nikko’s bed.
Dawn breaks, Chan and Black bring coffee, tea and something light for breakfast. The three of us rotate through bathroom things. Dad slipped the guys into the doctor’s lounge for showers and toiletry needs.
Dr. Jensen stops in briefly, looks at charts, opens Nikko’s eyes, “She’s doing fine, vitals are good, eyes clear,” he’s off to another patient.
I check in with dad and Dr. Epstein, there’s nothing to say they don’t already know. I call Sis, tell her there’s nothing new, she should stay at home for now.
At three fifteen that afternoon, Nikko’s eyes flutter, I feel my heart soar.
Janah, “Everyone out but Daphne. Nikko doesn’t need to be processing half a dozen people.”
They file out, I catch Amaya, point to the chair, “Sit over there, when she’s functional the first thing she’s going to want to know is if you’re okay.”
I put my hand on Nikko’s forehead, no qi, just a warm touch, she flutters again, coughs, “Amaya, water and a straw, tepid, not cold.”
She sets the cup on the table just as Nikko opens her eyes, the first thing she sees is Amaya, me beside her, a tear rolls down her cheek.
She tries to speak, I hold the glass, Amaya lifts her head ever so gently, Nikko sips, then another.
Nikko, “Daughter …is…?”
“She’s fine, handled herself like a pro, beat double time to where we exchanged cars, you and Jimmy got a police escort. Jimmy has a fractured ankle. Everyone else is good, I have bruised ribs, pretty much like you bruise them every few months.”
She lays back, “Head pounding.”
“Dr. Jensen says that’s to be expected. I’ll fetch him, see what he wants you to take. Janah will be in to help with the headache, probably don’t need anything but the white haired girl. Oh, you may not remember details of the incident, Jensen says that’s normal, no biggie.”
I leave her with Amaya, enveloped in the best medicine for her. I stop by the nurses’ station, they’d already seen the vitals pick up, Jensen is on the way.
Our family’s in the waiting room, I break the news. Susan ignored my suggestion to stay at the condo, she squeals, hugs me, then a hug-a-thon with the others.
The Murakamis had joined them, Lacy and Mrs. Epstein come down the hall, then I hear Mini explaining politely to the guard, “I don’t care how many goddamn visitors are allowed, if you don’t move aside, you gonna be in your own goddamn emergency room.”
Dad goes down to placate the guard, I turn to Sis, “Take everyone down to the cafeteria and I’ll be down in ten to give an update.”
Susan tells the others, “Nikko is doing better than expected, but we have to move to the cafeteria so the staff can do its job. Daphne or Janah will be along in a few minutes to give us the prognosis. Come on, let’s have coffee, the food’s good, there’s plenty of space.”
Elevator’s ding, I catch Mini, “Hey handsome. I’ll be sure to tell Nikko you’re here, she’ll be pleased to know.”
Mini, “Chuck sends his best. You know, if there’s any….”
“Mini, between you and me, there’s nobody left to kill. We cleaned house.”
“I’ll be downstairs wit’ the rest. Oh yeah, Quiet man is here, downstairs, to represent. And Mr. Vitalli says her money is no good at the cart from now on.”
The cart is a food cart, abundant in Manhattan, Vitalli’s is one Nikko is particularly fond of.
“Dang, you and the Jamaicans, she will be touched, and it isn’t easy to touch Nishiko.”
Mini gets in the elevator, I return to the room.
Dr. Jensen, “Best possible news, awake and her brain works. Give her all the acetaminophen she needs for now.”
He checks her eyes, has her follow the light, squeeze his hand, he pops her toe, she feels it.
He takes me aside, “I’m not worried about what she remembers or doesn’t, I’m not going to ask. The signs are as good as it gets for a violent bang on the skull. James can certainly call me, but I think I’m done here. She needs rest, the pain relief necessary, and quiet. Minimal visitors for a few days, then she can decide as long as she doesn’t press it. She may not be back to normal in two weeks, but in a month, I think this is done.”
I hug him, he smiles and leaves. Man, what a doc, brilliant, compassionate and doesn’t mince words.
I turn to Nikko, “You heard what I heard, well, I suppose, can you mental?”
I get a fuzzy reply I take for a ‘yes.’
“We’ll drop the mental for now, it’s too stressful for a brain in recovery. If you didn’t catch it all, Jensen says you are going to be fully recovered in a month to six weeks. Until then, you have to do everything I say.”
She flips me the finger.
“Well, he did say you need to rest, not too many visitors at first. I promise to keep everyone informed, and you can chill with Amaya without a stream of well wishers. When you’re recovered, we’ll have a dinner for the entire crew. Just so you know, Mini, your folks, the Jamaicans and all our people are here, you got a ton of pals girl.”
Nikko nods, a glimmer of a smile, she’s tired, falls asleep, the best possible thing.
“Amaya, I need to update the family and friends. Sit with her, no treatments, she needs to sleep as much as possible. Janah knows what to do about headaches, you can help with that.”
Amaya kisses me, I go down to the cafeteria.
It looks like a Christmas party of our friends. Even Dominic Marconi from our favorite Italian restaurant showed.
“Nikko is going to fully recover,” the hoots and applause may have reached Nishiko five floors up.
“What she needs from her friends is understanding. She can’t see a stream of visitors, as I’m sure you understand. But it is helping her heal to know you are all here, she sends her gratitude. What I will do is let each of you know what the best time to visit is. Then, in a couple of months, when she’s up and at it, there will be a major party on the roof of Chapmans, with food from the Village Diner, Vitali’s and Dom’s place. We will dance and sing, and eat and eat and eat. Nikko wanted to see all of you today, the doctor had to draw the line.”
I stay and visit for a half hour, then leave them to visit with each other. I don’t recall such a mixture of our friends in one spot, ever. It would be interesting to hear Mrs. Epstein’s take on Quiet Man and Mini. And interesting to hear their take on Mrs. Epstein.
Chapter Thirty One
The nurses get used to four monks on the floor in meditation, Amaya attending to her mom.
Some recalled Janah and I from a long ago session with Manolo, but most of the nurses are younger than those days. Why people in robes sit on the floor doing nothing baffles them. Then Nikko is up, in a chair down the hall and out to the patio. Followed by, the next day, up on her own roaming the halls. I’d put our friends on a schedule, enough to help Nikko pass the time, not so many as to get in the way of rest and relaxation.
On the third night, Nikko says, “I want to go home.”
Janah, “That’s what we’ve been waiting to hear.”
“I could have said that two days ago.”
Janah smiles, “Two days ago, we wouldn’t have believed you. Today we do.”
We pack up, discharge her. The hospital won’t let her walk out, she has to be wheeled, but she walks into Chapman’s, where over a hundred girls stand silent, they bow to her. She returns the bow, we get on the elevator. Sis and Taylor are in the apartment, everything in order. Then Sis and Amaya arrange her, Nikko sleeps in her own bed while Amaya sits in a chair next to her.
Five days pass, she’s getting stronger from Janah and Chan’s work, up and around the apartment, then on the roof with David Li and Miyako. Ning comes everyday with food from Fong’s, from Mr. Vitali or Marconi’s. Nikko isn’t obstinate, she knows she needs to eat, drink a lot of water, move about. It’s trying, her head with a dull ache, then intermediate pounding, but she gets stronger. In a month, she’s teaching and demonstrating forms at Chapmans.
Janah, “I’m not sure she’s one hundred percent, but I’m sure she’s ninety. Keep an eye on her, no blows to the head, other than that, let her go at it.”
Her headaches are gone, thanks mostly to qi and Tylenol. Since I can be in her head, I know if she’s toughing it out, she isn’t, her head doesn’t hurt. Good enough.
We let the stream of visitors in, Nikko’s parents had been there all along, Sis of course. Lacy, Mini, who made Nikko’s day, Chuck, Juju, Quiet Man and Timothy, Mr. Vitali, Dominic and his parents, Detectives Marsconi and Jocelyn, a steady stream of Chapmans girls, the Paladin Security crew, finally the Mayor and his right hand man, Mo.
Mayor, “You mighta heard, I’m running for Governor. I’ve run out of terms, and I’m a political animal, so I gotta give it a shot.”
Nikko, “If we voted, we’d vote for you. I’m sure Janah has been generous.”
“Very. Like after what you did for my niece, she’d have to give me a dime, but she did anyway.”
“She likes you. It isn’t politics, she doesn’t care about that.”
He laughs, “Good thing, if she ran for Governor, I couldn’t win.”
Nikko usually doesn’t smile, and she doesn’t now, “No, you couldn’t. She and Daphne could charm the socks off Darth Vader. But you’re safe, they won’t run for office.”
The Mayor, “What can I do?”
“Janah trusts you. Don’t lose that trust.”
He nods, message delivered and received. He’s political, doesn’t mean chronically dishonest. If he stayed political, he’d be fine with us. If he slid into dishonest, he wouldn’t. He’s a decent guy in a messy business of promises made, seldom kept, we understand that.
At the door, Janah says, “Mr. Mayor, Mo, we appreciate your taking time.”
“I was concerned when I heard, real happy to see she’s recovering.”
“Mo, any other concerns, you have our number.”
Mo nods, they go back to the chaos of city politics.
Janah, “Nikko, we haven’t discussed it, I don’t see the memory in your head, I presume it’s still a blank.”
“I remember everything until we got out of the car and confronted the second two. I had a dream last night about David’s bird friends, the falcon pair and blood.”
“The Peregrine took Slim’s eyes, then you severed his spinal column.”
“Don’t remember. Where are my knives?”
Amaya, “Cleaned, sharpened and back in storage,” nodding to the storage lockers along one wall.
They double as additional seating, padded on top. Five bins, five feet long, four wide, hinged lids. Inside are five locked steel boxes. They hold weapons, our normal refocusing paraphernalia, lighting, IV stands and lines, syringes, needles, picture wire, rolls of duct tape, our working clothes, the suitcases we use to haul it around.
Nikko, “Good. I’ve gotten fond of those blades, glad not to have lost them.”
“Amaya scoped the scene. Collected shuriken, the knives. We didn’t leave any useful threads. The local cops have their suspicions, but two of the men have arrest records and a history of violence, the other two have no recorded existence. The official line on the dead guys is drug violence, a handy non-explanation the public buys every time. The cops don’t have to make arrests, nobody cares if drug guys kill drug guys. You and Daphne were an attempted mugging by men who thought two girls were easy prey. Names withheld to prevent potential retaliation.”
Janah, “The next best explanation is terrorist activity, but they use that one sparingly since it creates anxiety about terrorist activity they don’t uncover.”
“The two extras were a surprise. Obviously they did a good job of staying under our and the birds’ radar, remarkable in itself, only the best can hide. The second two were formidable. If the Peregrine hadn’t hung around, we could have had a bad situation turn even worse. I was having trouble getting to Slim, who you don’t remember, even with Janah and Chan reinforcing me. Without their help, he might have killed me. That was sure his intent. I kept going long enough for the Peregrine to act, bet that threw is murdering ass a curve, then you finished him.”
“You managed to cut him, he dodged a fatal stab, then Jimmy took a shot and got floored for his trouble. Amaya mentaled me to clear the way, the Korean was standing behind the open door of the Taurus, she backed the SUV right through the door, and imprinted the Korean on the wall behind him. They may never get all his guts out of the brick.”
Nikko actually smiles, “Amaya comported herself as a samurai. I will delight in telling Hanshi of her fearlessness.”
Amaya, “All I did was stomp the accelerator, the car did the work.”
Even Nikko has to laugh. A smile and a laugh inside of a minute, who says miracles don’t happen?
Nikko, “What now?”
Janah, “You mean the rest of them?”
“Yes, was it just the four guys? Or more?”
“Don’t know. We really didn’t know they had any groups at all until recently. Shadows are not known for sociability.”
Amaya, “There was the guy with the extortion operation.”
“He was a loner with a group he controlled. They weren’t pals, it was a business deal. That said, your point is a good one. How many criminal organizations have a Shadow as boss?”
Janah, “Lots of corporations have sociopaths in the executive suites. Besides qi skill, and the ability to mentally control people, there isn’t much difference. In a very real way, an executive’s control emanates from their power over careers. The difference is that people can quit. A Shadow doesn’t allow that.”
Nikko, “Back to my question.”
“For now, there’s nothing to do. We don’t know where they are, the birds are on the hunt, and if they sense a Shadow, they will report. That’s just random chance. I don’t expect them to find many.”
“I doubt we can handle many, not the real deals.”
Janah, “No, we can’t. Best to be realistic. One a month would be a handful, more keeps us burning our own qi to exhaustion. Chan and I were tired from the last two, and we weren’t even on the scene. We took two injuries, Daphne got beat up even with Chan and I sending energy. Let’s be confident, but pay attention. For instance, it’s no crime to decide to back off and wait for a more opportune time. In fact, it’s a sign of maturity and intelligence. Let the Shadows wallow in overconfidence. Stealth and patience can be our best ally.”
Amaya, “Stealth and patience are underused strategies. Mrs. Murakami taught me geisha, which is a version of stealth and patience, and a dose of distraction.”
“I hadn’t thought of it like that, that’s very good. I gotta get my stealth and patience game on.”
Janah, “It isn’t your nature. Fortunately, you do pay attention to Nikko, Amaya and me. If we suggest you think twice before barging in, at least you’ll listen to us.”
“I’m impulsive, I try to recognize it. It works sometimes.”
We are quiet for a bit, then Janah says, “We never fully answered your question, Nikko. What now is we continue with our lives, the temple, the property, Amaya has numerous creative enterprises and the Chapmans’ course. Qi meditation, martial arts, teaching and practice. We live the lives we love. The work will show up. No matter how much we do, we aren’t ridding the world of Shadows or saving the planet.”
Chapter Thirty Two
We have dinner, grilled vegetables and mock duck in garlic sauce, nicely charred flank steak, mashed potatoes with a hint of grated Romano and aged Asiago. If anyone wants something sweet, there are walnut sugar cookies, or me.
Amaya, “You are steaming to a boil, I adore your passion for me. Make love to me, slowly. I want to feel your hands, lips, tongue, everywhere. We can sleep late.”
The young sylph is an erotic genius, she reads my thought, “I have perfect SAT scores, Sexual Arousal Techniques,” she giggles at her joke.
I take a long while to thoroughly verify her assertion, turns out she’s right.
It’s nearly nine thirty when we start to stir, then to the shower, then to coffee and tea.
Janah is in my head, “I replayed part of your late evening, yikes! I had to stop or I was going to come in and jump you. Nikko and I are at the building, she’s doing a review of numbers and has an appointment with a prospective tenant. Then we’re going to the temple.”
“Amaya and I are going there soon.”
Amaya decides we will walk. We stop at the condo first.
Susan, “Hi, come in, how is Nikko?”
“Nishiko is doing beautifully, plenty of treatment from Janah and Amaya, me when I get a chance. She and Janah are at the building, then meeting us at the temple.”
“No further problems?”
“No, we aren’t sure, we’re thinking this group may be done, that four is all there are. Actually, Janah thinks they may have connected just to track us. Most Shadows are loners.”
“You are on guard anyway .”
“And you need to be cautious, we don’t know if they have an idea of you or Taylor, but they have been tracking us. If there are others, anything is possible.”
Susan, “I stay alert since the appearance of the first crew. Taylor is out more than I am, but she has a life to live. We can’t go around with bodyguards all the time.”
“Well, actually, you do, you just don’t know it. Particularly Taylor when she’s out.”
Susan is surprised, “I haven’t seen anyone.”
Susan, “Dang. I’m being monitored by David’s friends?”
“Yep. And so is Taylor. If anything serious happens, then there will be monks.”
“How do they have time?”
“It’s part of their training, silent surveillance, blending so well they disappear. Janah and Nikko are being watched now, as are Amaya and I.”
“I’d feel better if Taylor has human coverage.”
“I’ll arranged it. You and she will have to check in if you go out, give them time to get here. Unless you want twenty four hour coverage.”
“No. And not small stuff, the grocery, things nearby. Mostly when Taylor is on a shoot. They drag her all over town. The monk can travel with her. Can you arrange a female, she can be a personal assistant, bodyguard would scare the people she works with. If nothing happens in a month or so, then we’ll drop it.”
“I’ll let you explain to Taylor, we need to get going.”
After gung fu, I go to shower, take my dirt covered gi to the laundry room and go to Tan’s hut. Amaya is in lotus, her mind empty.
Nikko watches practice, Janah to the office to sign a few papers and then to receive disciples. They have questions regarding Buddhist teaching, requests for family leave, Janah dismisses one for major slacking during his second year. Once a disciple, not always a disciple. The status is granted a year at a time. This one had been cautioned twice. He missed practice sessions, slept thorough meditation, slept during meditation and his coursework was unsatisfactory. Not a good example for students, who look to disciples to learn how to act.
The message is direct, Janah says simply, “You are released.”
The now former disciple starts to say something, Janah stands, the short interview over. He gathers his few possessions in a duffel bag and leaves.
Master Kahn, “The boy is not suited, you do him a favor. He is likely relieved.”
Janah, “Their willingness to serve is in their actions, easy to see. They can’t let go, so many years to get to disciple, they cling to what they do not, in their hearts, want. I only deliver the message he already received but tried to ignore.”
“You find everything in order?”
“Master Kahn, your age belies your energy and diligence. Daphne is an organizational marvel, and she never finds anything out of order in our temple.”
“You have the place running like a quantum clock, no one on the kitchen staff would consider letting Master Sylk down. The students remind each other that Master J might appear at any time, and refuse to let our home become shabby or dirty. There must be a hundred coats of paint on the walls by now.”
Janah smiles, “Do you need anything? I mean, you don’t have to wait on me to decide, you are Abbott.”
“I prefer us to read from the same text. Anything substantial, I would like to continue to discuss first.”
“As you wish. I have a request. I need a female disciple, a skilled fighter, to keep watch on Susan and her companion. Particularly her companion. Taylor is a fashion model, and is frequently all over the city doing photo shoots. We don’t want someone who is obviously a bodyguard. A female she will tell people is her personal assistant. Taylor is well known, it isn’t unusual for someone in her position to have an assistant.”
“You are concerned about Shadows.”
“Yes. We have no reason to think our family is a target, but Shadows are devious and skilled. We may just not know.”
“You should have a Sensitive. There are only two as disciples, one a master. You have one in mind?”
Janah, “It would be good to rotate all three, but we can’t be changing personal assistants, it wouldn’t smell right to her agency or colleagues. I think Disciple Zi Sŭ. We may want one of the others for Susan, not yet however.”
Master Kahn, “Do you want to tell her?”
Janah, “Yes. It’s not a command performance, she can decline. I don’t know of anything she’s doing that this would keep her from or slow her progress.”
Master Kahn, “No. It is good training, real world watchfulness, using her sensitivity with distractions all around. And an advanced disciple, likely to test soon. She may not be able to blend in the crowd so easily.”
He’s saying obliquely that Zi is quite striking, she’s struck me several times, both physically, she quite a good martial artist, and visually, she’s lovely.
“Where is she now?”
Master Kahn thinks for a second, “Calligraphy. Sensitives excel in the art.”
Janah bows to Kahn, goes to speak to Disciple Sŭ.
Janah, “I have a request,” she explains the need, Zi is delighted.
“For now, there is no Disciple Sŭ, you will need to be Zi. We don’t want Taylor’s associates to start wondering about a Shaolin monk as a personal assistant.
Zi, “One small difficulty. I have the robes and everyday uniforms only. Not even cosmetics.”
“We have four girls with closets full of clothes. Amaya will dress you up, it’s not a problem.”
Zi is a monk, she’s also a girl. Getting to be a girl, girl, not a monk girl will be fun for her, her eyes twinkle. Janah hopes the work is nothing but playing dress up for a while. No Shadows, no problems.