OH! For the love of books!

Episode 48 chapters 24 to 25 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen

June 13, 2022 Jessica Season 2 Episode 48
Episode 48 chapters 24 to 25 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 48 chapters 24 to 25 Untruthful Speech by Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen
Jun 13, 2022 Season 2 Episode 48

Part 1 Chapter’s 24 to 25 in Untruthful Speech Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen 

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Part 1 Chapter’s 24 to 25 in Untruthful Speech Ron Cisneros and Michael Padjen 

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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 recap of chapters 22 to 23

Chapter 22 Mack, Nigel, and Derek land in Shanghai PVG Airport.

They meet up with Jack who will be their liaison and protector while in China.

They find out Zang has put a minimum bid of $100 mil on the formula.

Gus followed them to China and is told to watch them.

Chapter 23 Nigel is thinking they missed something and is trying to figure out what Sam’s roll is in all of this. 

Jack tells them the auction will be on Saturday and they need to locate Zhang before it.

Now they just need to figure out how.



Jack’s driver picked them up at the front entrance of the hotel. The vehicle was a Porsche Cayenne, definitely big enough for five. Derek yelled for “shotgun,” but Jack wouldn’t permit it. He joked locals liked to call it the “closed casket seat.” When they hit the road for Xintiandi (Shin-tin-dee)., everyone understood why. The Greater Shanghai population is 24 million. It looked to Mack, Nigel, and Derek that every one of them was in a car that morning. With eyes as wide as silver dollars, Derek couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Cars, trucks, and every other transport vehicle were fighting for a spot on the road. There was no such thing as right of way, courtesy, or rules. Vehicles would come out of side streets without even slowing down. Horns were constantly honking either as a “courteous” warning, which was a quick “honk-honk,” to a “get the fuck out of my way, ok;” one honk that lasted several seconds. There were also many others in-between. The horns had a language of their own. “This a giant game of chicken. These people have to be the worst drivers in the world!” Mack and Nigel stayed quiet for about ten minutes, fixated on what was going on. Finally, Mack spoke up, “Derek, I think you are wrong. I believe these people may be the best drivers in the world. Through all of this chaos, I’ve probably seen twenty instances where vehicles missed each other by a couple of inches, and no accidents yet. I would have been in one in less than a minute.” “I believe you’re right, Mack.” Nigel chimed in. “This is all very chaotic and stressful, but somehow it works. Jack, how long to our location?” Jack smiled and shook his head a little, knowing he had answered this question a million times. “Nigel, in Asia, there are two answers to that question. The first one is ‘about ten minutes.’ If someone gives you that answer, don’t believe them. Ten minutes could mean ten minutes, or it could mean an hour. They are just trying to get you to quit asking. The second answer is, ‘it depends on the traffic.’ That is the truthful answer. In both cases, the answer gives you no useful information. About the only thing for sure is if you get in a car, it’s going to take you at least an hour to get anywhere.” Mack couldn’t help himself as he let out a loud belly laugh. “I should have come to China sooner.” Around an hour later they arrived at Xintiandi (Shin-tin-dee) They parked the car and walked into a building directly across the street from the main entrance to the Xintiandi (Shin-tin-dee) walking street and made their way up to the third floor. The office was at the end of the hall. On the door was a sign which had both English and Chinese writing. The English version read “Corporate Offices - Crazy Zhiban’s Fine Seafood Importing.” Like in any office you would expect, the main office area was a reception desk, a copier, a tea area, and about ten desks with computers where Customer Service Reps were taking orders. Around the outside of the room were several doors to the other departments. Jack took them into his office, promptly closed the door, walked over to his desk, and reached into the center drawer. At the same time, a panel on the wall opened up. Behind the panel was a room about 30’ by 30’, with soundproofing on the walls. There were also two people behind computers, many computer servers, communication equipment, and signal jamming equipment. Jack explained all of this stuff was running off of shielded cable in conduit they installed so the jamming devices were only blocking people from trying to hack or listen in on them. He explained they also used a combination of VPN’s to keep anyone from tracking their IP address. “This will be our home away from home for the next couple of days. We have all the equipment and personnel necessary for tracking, hacking, and, hopefully, bidding on that box full of danger. I’m going to let Andy here, who is our head tech, show you around and explain the operation. I’ve got to head over to Pudong for a short meeting. I should be back by 3:00. Over on the table, you’ll see three phones; each has a sticky note with your name on it. Take the phone with your name. I have programmed my number into each of them.” “You will also see belts and rings. Find one of each that fits and give Andy the tag off it so he can log which one is yours. The belt has a GPS built into it so we can track you around town if necessary. It could be especially useful if you spot Zhang and are able to follow him. The rings are backups. They are part of an active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system with a range of about 200 meters. It’s a common technology that uses electronic tags placed on objects, people, or animals to relay identification to a reader. You might find it at an automatic toll booth where you place an RFID tag on your dashboard, and the reader notifies the DMV to charge you when you pass through. Unfortunately, we can’t fit a GPS into something as small as a ring due to the battery and antenna size requirements. We have also hacked ourselves into the Chinese government’s facial recognition cameras. If something goes wrong with the belt or you are in a place where GPS won’t work, we hopefully can use the camera system to locate the area you are in, and then use the RFID to determine your exact position.” Derek was confused and curious. “So other than using the GPS for tracking Zhang if we find him, are there any other reasons you’d want to have our locations at all times? Aren’t you over-reaching a little on our privacy?” Jack couldn’t keep from laughing. “Ha! My friend, as they say in the States, ‘you aren’t in Kansas anymore.’ You lost your right to privacy the second you stepped into China. Don’t be fooled by the ease in which you get around. The Chinese government is trying to watch every move you or any foreigner makes. They currently have over two-hundred million cameras in place, most of them tied into a facial recognition system. They are primarily there to track Uighurs, a Muslim minority in this country. They are considered dangerous by the government, and are being watched very closely. Jaywalk as a Han, and you lose 10 points on your social score, or at a maximum, lose your driver’s license. Jaywalk as a Uighur, get sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor in a concentration camp.” “No shit?” Derek was in shock. “No shit Derek. If the government knows where you are, we need to know it too.” “When you guys finish here, you can head across the road to the walking street. There’s about any type of food you would want. I’d suggest Paulaner for a good sandwich and German beer.” Jack left them in Andy’s hands. “See you at around three.” Andy proceeded to show them around, explaining what each piece of equipment was and what it did. They understood about 20%. After about an hour, they had about enough. Mack was the first to speak up. “I’ve got a headache, why don’t we go grab a sandwich and a beer. We can come back to this when we finish eating.” Nigel was quick to answer, “I agree.” They all grabbed their new phones and headed to Paulaner, sitting down at an outdoor table and ordering a beer. After the beers arrived they toasted the occasion and each took their first sip. Just as they were getting comfortable, the phone in Nigel’s pocket started ringing. It was from Jack.  “Sorry to bother you, but I just got a call. One of my associates called and said he spotted Zhang in the garment district. I thought you guys might want to go down there to see if you can find him. Make sure you are as discreet as possible if you do. See if you can follow him a little to track where he is going. I’ll meet up with you as quickly as I can. If you don’t see him, you can always go shopping.” “How do we get there?” “You’ll have to take a taxi. Just tell the driver Lujiabang Lu. They’ll know where you need to go. It is a very popular place.” “OK, we should be fine. Well guys, you better chug.” They all finished their beers hurriedly and headed for the main entrance, hailing a taxi. They jumped in. Grabbing his collar, Mack looked at the taxi driver and said, “Lujiabang Lu.” The driver shook his head in a yes motion and took off. Mack couldn’t help himself, “duōjiǔ dào shìchǎng.” (how long to the market?) As serious as he could be, the driver looked at Mack and answered, “shí fēnzhōng.” (ten minutes). Mack gave the same look to Nigel and Derek, “We might be screwed.”

                                                           CHAPTER 25 

“Well, I guess we weren’t as screwed as I thought. Ten minutes only meant thirty in this case.” Nigel paid the thirty RMB taxi fee and gave the driver an extra fifty, refusing to take back the change. He didn’t realize he had made a new friend with that tip. It was hard for the three of them not to stop and take it all in. They were in an older part of Shanghai with mixed business and residential properties. Much of what they had seen so far was superhighways or modern, more westernized areas. They could see the landscape changing as they made their way from Xintiandi (Shin-tin-dee) but now were out of the car. They weren’t observers through a windshield anymore, but right in the middle of the chaos. The most significant sensory impact on Mack was the smell. It was a mixture of aromas coming from the street food vendors, car exhaust, fabric from the clothing shops, laundry hanging out of all the windows, drying in the sun, the leftover rain from an earlier shower, and a little garbage and sewage mixed in. It wasn’t a good or a bad smell, just so different from what he had ever smelled in his past. If he had to put a word on it, it would probably be exotic. Nigel was hit first by the sounds. It was a cacophony of sirens, car engines, horns honking, construction, and street vendors all addressing them in broken English; “DVD, watch, best price for you, high quality, do you need a suit, come in and look?” Two things struck Derek. The first was the number of high-rise buildings being constructed. He had heard some westerners joke the night before that China’s national bird was the crane. Now he knew why they were laughing. He could see the buildings were going up with astonishing speed. So much manpower was being thrown at the projects. Workers were hanging off the bamboo scaffolds like vines from a trellis. The second thing Derek noticed was the women. He usually wasn’t particularly attracted to Asian women but, for some reason, the more accustomed he became with their type of beauty the more he was taken by it. He wasn’t sure though just  yet if being away from home and in his late twenties weren’t the major driving factors for his current overly reactive libido. “Derek, Mack, we need to make ourselves small here. If Zhang is around and sees us, he’ll surely get the hell out quickly. I’m sure he knows we are in Shanghai, but probably isn’t aware we are this close. If we can spot and trail him, we may be able to find out where the research is, or at least be able to get info we don’t have right now. We also need to watch for that big bastard Peralta who is probably traveling with him by now. He should be easy to see, even in this crowd.” “Just how are we going to make ourselves small, dad? There are people all over the place. We probably won’t even see him or Peralta coming.” “We won’t see them coming if we keep moving through the crowd. What we need to do is find a store and observe from there. We can move to a few different spots while we’re here to cover all directions. Let’s use the crowd to our advantage. The first thing I’m going to do is head over to that street vendor and buy myself one of those “Hard Rock Shanghai” baseball caps. “Don’t you think that’s a little cheesy, dad?” “Not if it hides part of my face.” Mack and Derek relented. Derek ended up with Harley Davidson skull cap, and Mack ended up with a Tottenham Hotspur baseball cap and added a fake Rolex to his bounty. He was so proud he had been able to bargain the vendor down from $100 to about $60 American. Little did he know he could have gotten it for half that, and the vendor still would have made a livable profit. It didn’t matter. Mack was able to buy a Hotspur cap, his favorite soccer team in the Premier League. He had already heard the Rolex knockoffs were cheap, so he didn’t care if the vendor could do better. In his mind, it would have been a crime to negotiate any lower. Being a Brit and fancying himself as a soccer connoisseur, Nigel had to speak up at that point, “You got be kidding, Tottenham?” “Yeah, is that a problem?” “Liverpool all the way, baby.” They laughed at the idea a Yank and Brit were trying to one-up each other on soccer while in China. Three hours and five stores later, they decided to move to their last spot down on one of the main streets, a little coffee shop named T-One. They would be able to case the main intersection from there and get some much-needed caffeine. Jetlag was kicking in hard on all of them. After thirty minutes and a couple of cups of coffee each, Derek spotted Zhang. He exited the Sunshine apartment building next to the coffee shop and started walking towards a silver Mercedes E-Class parked on the street. They couldn’t make out the driver. Fortunately for them, they had already paid for the coffee and were quickly headed for the door. It was later in the afternoon and rain had started falling again. There was a mass of humanity and no taxis in sight. Everyone wanted out of the storm. If a cab showed up, it would get surrounded. The person pushing the hardest would eventually get the taxi. This moment may possibly be the only chance they’d have to follow Zhang before the auction; it looked like they had lost their opportunity. They weren’t going to give up just yet. All three were out on the curb waving their taxi hands, hoping for a miracle, when Mack noticed a cab headed their way with its headlights flashing. It passed several crowds of similar hand wavers, and in a split second, it pulled over next to them. The front passenger-side door flew open, and a hand started motioning them in, while the driver yelled, “xùn!” (fast). The hand belonged to the same driver Mack had tipped so generously earlier in the day. This opportunity was either a monumental coincidence or the driver had been on the lookout for them all afternoon. In any case, it didn’t matter; karma had smiled on them. In his best Mandarin Mack smiled at the driver, pointed at the Mercedes, and said, “quiche zhuīsuí!” (follow that car). “It’s after three; I’m going to call Jack and let him know what’s going on.” “Hey Jack, it’s Nigel; we spotted Zhang and are following his car. We’re in a taxi.” “Hand your phone over to the driver. I don’t have the GPS tracker with me.” The driver proceeded to talk to Jack. You could tell by how he was craning his neck and looking out the windows; he was looking for street signs. “What’s he doing, Mack?” “The best I can tell is he is telling Jack where we are and which way we are headed.” The driver handed back the phone to Nigel. “Nigel, he’s going to use your phone to talk to me and keep me posted on your location. Give it back to him and I’ll be right behind you guys when he finally stops.” “Will do.” For another 15 minutes, they stayed behind the Mercedes. They could see they were entering an even older part of town with very narrow streets, a large park, and what looked like a temple of some sort. The driver continued to talk to Jack. “nǎli?” (where is this?) Handing Nigel’s phone back to him, the driver answered Mack’s question. “Yuánlín Yuyuan.” (Yuyuan Gardens), pointing to the park; “Chenhuang Miào” (Temple of the Town of God), pointing at the temple. “Mack, I heard what he just told you. Hold tight. I’m no more than five minutes behind you. Give the phone back to the driver.” Mack noticed the Mercedes driver had been on the phone for some time. He also could tell they had pretty much been going around the block. At that point, they were directly behind the Mercedes. “I think we’ve been made guys.” The Mercedes passed through the intersection just ahead of them and slammed on its BRAKES. The taxi driver followed suit. Zhang had hemmed them into the intersection. Zhang’s door opened, and he started getting out. That was the last thing they remembered until they came to their senses, about a minute later. The taxi driver was alive but out cold. They had been broadsided by a typical, K01 Chinese work truck. It was empty and its driver was gone. “Mack, Derek, you guys OK?”“I’m fine, just a little woozy.” “Derek, how about you?” No answer. Nigel looked across the car to where Derek had been sitting against the other door, which now stood wide open. Derek was not in the seat. Nigel and Mack scrambled out of the car as quickly as their beat-up bodies would allow, screaming for Derek, who was not answering. As they exited the car, they could see Derek was gone. He hadn’t been thrown from the taxi but removed, and likely in the hands of Zhang. “Oh my God, what am I going to tell Elli?” Nigel was in shock and had a concussion. The sounds that had aroused his ears earlier in the day were now just a roar. Somewhere out of that roar he could hear a faint voice which started getting clearer. It was Jack. He was running down the street towards them. “Mack, Nigel, are you OK? Where’s Derek?” 


I really don’t think I would drive in China. It would be horrifying. 

Have you ever seen the show Don’t drive here with Andrew Younghusband? I think China was on it.

So what happened to Derek? Did Gus take him?

Grab the book and find out how it all plays out.

You will not be disappointed! And stay tuned for a very special episode you won’t want to miss.

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Chapter 24
Chapter 25