OH! For the love of books!

Episode 47 Chapters 22 and 23 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen

June 06, 2022 Jessica Season 2 Episode 47
Episode 47 Chapters 22 and 23 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen
OH! For the love of books!
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OH! For the love of books!
Episode 47 Chapters 22 and 23 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen
Jun 06, 2022 Season 2 Episode 47

Part 1 Chapters 22 and 23 Untruthful Speech

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Part 1 Chapters 22 and 23 Untruthful Speech

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Opening music

"Hello all you book worms and welcome to OH! For the Love of Books!, The show gives you a bit of narration from the books I read or ones you suggest for me to read. I'm your host, Jessica Vickery, and thank you for joining me on this journey.


1st Main Point


Here is a short recap of chapters 19 to 21

Chapter 19 Sam ends up showing up at Elli’s. So does someone else who shoots and kills Sam and Steph gets shot in the arm.

Chapter 20 Mack now doesn’t want to leave her but Nick and Nigel, both convince him it will be ok and Nick will call with updates.

Agent Johnson meets with Elli at the hospital to discuss what is going on and if he can help them.

Chapter 21 Nick goes to the operation waiting room and sees a pretty Asian girl sitting there. He decides to spark up a conversation.

Nick finds out that her brother was shot last week and is in surgery again for hemorrhaging.

He goes back to Elli and Agent Johnson and tells them about the man who he thinks may have been a shooter on the cliffs the previous week. 

Elli decides they should confirm if he was one of the 3 people Nick has seen at the Chinese food restaurant with the other shooter.

Turns out this now dead man was indeed at the restaurant with Zang.

Let’s see where we go from here.



Wednesday Evening May 22, 2019 – Shanghai

 “Ladies and gentlemen, we have begun our descent into Shanghai PVG airport. Please turn off all portable electronic devices and stow them until we have arrived at the gate. In preparation for landing in Shanghai, be certain your seat back is upright and your seat belt is fastened….Blah…blah…blah.” Derek thought the flight would never end. Fifteen hours in the middle seat with Nigel and Mack to the left of him, two strangers to the right, playing their phone games, and a family behind him with two, very unruly toddlers. Between the “beep, boop, bop” of the phones, the kids behind him crying and kicking his seat, not to mention his leg cramps; he wasn’t sure he would be sane when he exited the plane. The only saving graces were he could watch movies the whole way and drink as much alcohol as he wanted. When the plane finally reached the gate, almost everyone immediately started fighting for a spot in the aisle. Derek had to wonder, where in the hell did they think they were going? At the same time, making her way to the back of the plane, fighting through the gauntlet of impatient passengers and ducking luggage being pulled out of overhead storage, was one of the flight attendants. When she arrived at their row, she looked down at Nigel. “Mr. Shackelford?” “Yes?” Passing a piece of paper to him, “I was asked to give you this.” Turning around, she headed back to the front of the plane. Mack was also watching all this unfold. “Well, that was interesting. What does it say?” “It only has a name on it and that he will meet us in the receiving area outside customs. Mack, before we get out there, I feel like I need to first thank you for coming along. I truly appreciate it. I know you’d rather not be a part of this mess. On top of that, I also need to ask a big favor; I know one of the biggest reasons you came was to help translate, but please be careful by speaking English as much as possible. No one must know you can speak Mandarin. If people here think you don’t understand what they’re saying, it could be invaluable for you to be able to eavesdrop.” “No problem, I understand. I’ll be keeping my ears open and mouth shut unless, of course, we need directions, or I can help get Derek laid. Deal?” “Deal” Mack, Nigel, and Derek made it through immigration, luggage, and customs in less than an hour which, for Pudong International, was about as quick as it got. Outside in the receiving area was a mass of people with their signs waving. Most of them had a person’s last name or business name on it. After some searching, Nigel saw the one with “Shackelford.” As they walked in that direction, the sign holder could see they were coming his way. Hand held out, “Mr. Shackelford, good to meet you. My name is Zhiban Wang. Everyone calls me Jack.” “Jack, good to meet you. This is my son Derek, and my associate, Mack. Please call me Nigel.” “Good to meet you guys; I will be your liaison and protection while you are here in China. Your friend Talia Levy requested my help. She is monitoring the situation and standing by in case we need her. Talia told me she filled you in on your cover stories. As a review, you are in China to make contacts with seafood importing companies about doing business with Serendipity, which we will do to legitimize the trip. You are also planning on vacationing a little bit just in case we have to travel around. I hope you studied the rest of the cover; you may need it. Your visas are good for thirty days. That should be plenty.” As they walked to the car, Jack filled them in on his remarkably fascinating background. He was born in rural Mongolia, which made sense when you saw him. He was taller than average, lean, and muscular. He also had a strong forehead, nose, and jawline, sporting a rough beard that was heavier at the chin and mustache areas. He was what you might expect to see in a National Geographic article on the Kazakh Eagle hunters in the Altai mountains of Mongolia. He did present himself as much more metropolitan though, with his custom suit and nicely coiffed hair. Jack grew up as a miner’s son. Their family didn’t have much. He didn’t even have proper shoes until his late teens. He was a smart kid, but a little bit of a troublemaker. In his early teens, the party authorities told him he would be going to the mines to work due to his lack of attention at school. Upon hearing that, Jack immediately apologized and begged for one last chance to do things right. He knew he had more to do in life than be a miner. Fortunately, for him, his was granted. That unusual act of kindness from the village leaders changed his life forever. You could also say it sealed his fate. Jack moved on to be the top student in his village. He was chosen to represent the village at Peking University in Beijing, where he excelled in international business and English. He bonded with an American English professor on loan from the North Carolina State University. They became good friends. When he graduated his professor and friend recruited him to come to the States to get his Master’s degree. After three tries and failures at a visa, the fourth was the charm but required the intercession of a US senator. China Immigration finally gave him the go-ahead. While in the US, Jack earned his Master’s in finance and went into banking, working in North Carolina for one of America’s largest banks. Within the next few years the CIA recruited him as an asset. They set him up in his own international trade business in the seafood industry and moved him back to Shanghai to start his business. “I know you guys are probably hungry and beat. We’ll grab some food on Láowái Lu (Foreigner Street), and I’ll drop you off at the hotel, which is nearby. We can go over the details in the morning.” The rest of the ride was pretty quiet for a couple of reasons. The biggest was that Mack, Nigel, and Derek were awestruck. Jack decided to take them on the scenic route via the Pudong District, under the Huangpu River, and through the Bund. In Pudong they were able to go past The Jin Mao Tower, which houses the world’s highest hotel, the Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Shanghai Tower. The latter being the second tallest building in the world. Passing into the Bund, you could see architecture that depicted the Western influence of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Beyond, in all directions, were skyscrapers as far as you could see, all different shapes, sizes, and colors. It was like being in a futuristic science fiction movie. Mack thought to himself, “This is why I wanted to come to China.” Both Foreigner Street and the hotel were located in a part of the city on the other side of the Huang Pu River, called Hongqiaou (hōng chow). It is an area where many, mostly Western ex-pat, enclaves are located (thus, a place you would not be surprised to see a “Foreigner Street”). The street itself is located in a vibrant, fun area of town with an international blend of restaurants and bars, including a couple of very typical Chinese bars. Jack warned the guys to try to stay away from those bars, if possible. As a warning, he gave them the skinny on how they operated. Once in the bar girls serve you as much as you can drink while playing dice games with you, mixed in with some flirting for tips. They drink soft drinks, making you think they are inebriated too, finally reeling you in by asking you to play pool when they know you are past your drinking limit. The final blow happens when they pool shark you out of the rest of your cash. After a short walk, they took a seat at the Thai restaurant. Nigel couldn’t hold himself back any longer, “What have you got so far, Jack? Anything relevant?” “Not a lot. I’m hoping for more tonight so we can discuss it in the morning. We know Zhang is in Shanghai and has been spotted in this area more than once. We have seen some cryptic messages on the dark web indicating some especially important biomaterial will be auctioned off on Saturday, which is three days away. We also are fairly sure this is what we are looking for because whoever is running the ad is requesting some very concise information, including bank account numbers. They also require that a minimum of $100 million be deposited in those accounts. Your friend Talia’s people are looking into it.” “Jesus, my wife was working on something worth $100 million?” “Probably much more than that to the right people or, should I say, wrong people, considering a hundred million is the minimum. I hope to know more in the morning.” “OK” Silence returned as they finished their pad thai, larb gai, and basil mu. Of course, several Singhas were enjoyed by each of them. Jack picked up the bill and they headed back up the street towards the car, which was parked at a knockoff mall called Pearl City. Jack smiled and shook his head. He always did that when he was around Pearl City. It never ceased to amaze him how all the foreigners with money wanted cheap knockoffs and would negotiate over a dollar. Yet, relatively poor Chinese citizens would spend a fourth of their yearly salary on a real Gucci purse with no negotiation at all. It also amused him China proclaimed they had eliminated these markets before the Olympics to appease America. In reality, they had only moved them from the outside to more legitimate looking indoor locations. They never intended to eliminate them. Too many citizens were making money off of the gullible Westerners. As they walked past the Brazilian churrascaria near their car, unbeknownst to them and not more than a hundred feet away, another conversation was going on in the back of that restaurant. The topic was them. “Yeah, cut me off some of that tenderloin, and a few of those chicken wings. Zhang, has anyone spotted those guys?” “Gus, first let me tell you, I’m not here to discuss finding and killing your new best friends, I’m here to make sure you know you are being paid to keep eyes on them until this deal is done. Once I’ve sold the package and am safely off the mainland you can do what you want. Remember, whatever that might be, I don’t know you if you get into any trouble. Do you understand?” “I understand.” “We know an Asian met them when they arrived. We lost them in traffic after that. We’ll have to start checking the hotels. That may take a while. There are thousands of just four and five star hotels here. We are not even guaranteed they are in one.”“Well, your guys better get on it. I can’t protect you or take care of my business if we don’t know where they are. By the way, that package better fetch what you think because your bill just went up a mil. I wasn’t planning on coming to China.”


Thursday May 23, 2019 - Shanghai

The sun was just beginning to rise over Shanghai. Because of the city lights it is sometimes hard to tell exactly when the day was starting or ending, but today was a rare clear day in the city. You could see the sky. The hues of pink, orange, and purple were blending on the horizon and the metropolis was starting to wake up. “Dad, would you go back to bed? It’s only 6:00 AM.” “Sorry, Derek; my mind is racing. I can’t shake this feeling we are missing something important. Why was the project so secretive? If it had the potential for so much good, as your mom said it had, why not go public and open up the study to more resources rather than having it go on secretly in a back lab?” “Maybe it was the potential for something bad they were worried about, Dad. She did say their motives were to introduce it when the time was right, using it as a tool for political and power reasons.” “That makes sense on the face but there’s still something missing. If the project had been made public, yes, the entire world would have known about it, but there would have been better security and data backup. More than likely there wouldn’t have been a reason to steal it or kill people to get it. Also, the same political and power goals could have been achieved. The other thing that is bugging me is, why would the CIA be interested in stealing the information? Shouldn’t they have been in on the secret and hanging around to protect it, not set your mom up to steal it for them? Right before Sam got shot, he was arguing with your mom about reporting the details to the FBI. I’m not sure why. Now I’m not so certain we were the main targets the second day Gus showed up. The bullets went to Sam first. I’m wondering if Gus used that opportunity to deal with Sam then handle us at the same time?” “So, you think Sam may be the inside guy?” “I’m not sure son, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.” Jack had told the guys to meet him at the breakfast buffet at 8:00 AM. Mack had been on the phone with Nick, so it was a little late. They ordered coffee and went to fill their plates before talking. After finally chasing off the waitress because she kept coming back to top off their coffee, Jack started the conversation. “We’ve determined it is Zhang holding the auction on Saturday. Your contact Talia and her crew have been turning over many stones but have not come up with anything significant. She said the only sure way we may be able to track down the location of where the auction is originating would be someone coming forward with information or joining the auction, both being longshots.” Taking a second to stop devouring the star and litchi fruit on his third plateful, Mack looked up, “So how would joining the auction help? Won’t these guys be using multiple VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks) and be monitoring bank accounts? Even if we somehow got through to their IP (Internet Protocol) Address they’ll be protecting themselves with firewalls and other anti-virus software. I’m clearly not in the spy game, but know enough about this stuff to be concerned they’ll see us coming long before we locate their IP.” “Right now Talia is convinced this may be the only option and worth the risk. If that box disappears, we won’t hear about it, or its contents again, until it’s too late. The issue she’s having is finding a $100 mil to set up a bank account. That must happen before we do anything. We need to put a plan together. We’ve set up shop in the New World area called Xintiandi (Shin-tin-dee). It is a place frequented by Westerners, so locals shouldn’t notice your presence. It also has easy access to the elevated roads and city loops and has the added feature of having a perfect mix of restaurants, including the best dumpling restaurant in town.” That finally got Derek’s attention, “What’s a fucking dumpling?” Nigel laughed so hard; milk came out of his nose. He gained his composure and glanced over at Mack and could see he was distracted. “Mack, how’s Steph? Was Nick able to update you on anything? I haven’t had a chance to talk with Elli.” 


Yay we made it to China, and so did Gus, now Elli, Steph and Nick are safe for the time being.

And I have to say $100 mil is a boatload of money!

I wounder what will happen in the next and last few chapters I am doing.

And stay tuned for a very special episode you won’t want to miss.

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Outro Music

Well, that concludes my episode for today. I want to thank you all for taken the time to listen to me talk. I hope you have enjoyed this episode. If you like my podcast Subscribe to my show or “Please send me an email to jessvicvoice@outlook.com  that’s (spell out the name). With suggestions of books for me to read on the show. Thank you again, and please join me next week on “Oh, for the love of books.” and as always, dream big and keep reading!

Chapter 22 Untruthful Speech
Chapter 23 Untruthful Speech