6. Hide and Seek

Ryu did have a headache. The headache was Miura, or what was left of him. Miura, whom Ryu would later discover was not really Miura at all, now had the key to the Consortium’s caustic, money-fueled, geo-political nervous system in microchip form. It was the proof that they had, in reality, created every enemy they professed to deplore. Christian had created it. It was his insurance policy, his ace-in-the-hole. Carlyle had removed it from my father’s possession, sold it to the yakuza for a pittance and they were trading it back to the Consortium for a fortune. Ryu was to supposed to handle the drop, a drop that—as I later discovered—involved Christian’s top dog hold on the organization, a family trust, and a very dead me. But the ersatz Miura had interrupted that plan, and Ryu, who had fumbled the ball, was in trouble with his yakuza brethren. His only way out was to find Miura, whom he’d thought he had killed, and recover the chip. Fortunately, or unfortunately for Ryu, Miura left a very big trail. That trail led to the Republic of Haiti, of all places, home of Vodou and hounfours and zombies.

Though Ryu was a member of the Japanese underworld, nothing had prepared him for Haiti—for the poverty and the inconvenience, for the dark faces shut tight against inquiry. The theft, Miura’s flight—all these were embarrassing things. And there was me. Ryu was supposed to kill me that night at the love hotel. He had made a mistake. He had dallied, and Miura had stopped him before he’d achieved his purpose. At this point, I’m sure Ryu was very confused. He’d killed Miura in the alley behind the club. But the big yakuza was clearly still in business . . . interfering, wrecking the plan. He had to find Miura.

zombie art courtesy of Bart Frescura, copyright Bart Frescura