That the girl is still unconscious worries him much. It’s a spacious bungalow, large as a mansion, that he’s in, built within the vicinity of a private Manila village. It’s a modern estate owned by a parliament member. He has not seen the room for him, but W.K. doesn’t really sleep. He takes naps, just like a cat. A nap is as good a rest, as any other sleep. It’s a familiar line of his, whenever he’s feeling particularly sharp or witty. W.K. doesn’t wonder where Tick might be.
‘Hey, W.K. * I’ll be having a movie at the home theater.* Don’t you bother me with your crazed ninja noises. And, call me before you do any kung fu on the girl, ok?* You doing kung fu is better than a movie.* CAPE-PAO* WOW WOW WOW. That’s so cool, ya.* Catch you later, Mr. K. Buh bye.’
This was the last that he’s heard from Tick, and from over four hours ago. W.K. didn’t do ninja. He didn’t do kung fu, either. W.K. is an intelligence agent, who could do almost anything that he’d like to do, with a yard of string. W.K. can pick a lock with a piece of string, kill a man with a piece of string, or even skin a rabbit with some string. Just string. This is all he needs and all he will ever be needing. Tick thinks it’s kung fu that W.K. is good at because sub-agent Tick has watched W.K. catch bullets with a knotted string.
This was 2 years ago, and it was the one occasion when Charles had to fight off bullets. The one occasion when W.K.’s opponents actually had the proper amount of stupidity that’s usually required in an armed fight, as a kind of skill.
‘You know, only a skilled idiot will use a gun.’, said W.K. He knots a yard of black string from his sock. The knot isn’t a full knot. It shouldn’t be. It’s how W.K. catches bullets.
W.K. knots a yard of black string from his sock, and the knot is not a complete knot. Then, swift as you’d have The Flash end a comic book with lightning, W.K. collects bullets with his string, amidst a backdrop of tall trees and what looks like a wilderness of monkeys. Backdrop’s set in just the farthest fishing village, built on the edge of a nameless island.
One thing’s for sure, though: W.K.’s in Sabah. He can’t believe that he’s doing this because he has to save Tick’s life. If you ask W.K., the world’s a better place without young men like Tick.
But Tick, who was only 18 years of age at the time, has just found out that his wife has given birth to a baby girl, in Ampang. He’s in a net, with a host of silver gray monkeys to keep him company, and he’s sobbing like child. The net’s hanging from a tree that’s standing on a cliff.
‘Save me, Mr. K. Please save me. I’m a daddy boy now. Save me W.K. or I’ll kilya. My god.I swear, I’ll kilya myself. * * * * *’ Tick declares, in between sobs.
So W.K. captures bullets until there aren’t any left for him to catch. The other side has run out. These things are too predictable for W.K. He rests by the trunk of a large rubber tree, catching his breath. He looks at his hands, checks if his manicure has been ruined. All nails still have their full coats of clear varnish, Nangyat would be pleased. (Nangyat always beams with pride when Tick talks about this day.) W.K. waits for his opponents to surrender. He doesn’t wait long.
The five men who kidnapped Tick, demanding a large ransom for W.K.’s side kick cum assistant, come running from the woods. W.K. quickly gets into a martial arts fighting position. He’s prepared for, and expecting a battle. The men stop running. They’re not far from where W.K. is positioned. They momentarily ignore W.K, and his prepared-for-battle stance.
The men, wearing battle fatigues and strings of garlic around their necks, lay their firearms in front of W.K. Then they turn away from W.K. They utter some prayers to Allah. When they’re done with their prayers, they turn to face W.K. again. W.K. is unsure of what’s happening.
Then the men’s faces light up in big and rather toothless grins. They rush towards W.K. and start to grab both of his hands for handshakes. All 5 of them, they keep shaking his hands in a congratulatory manner.
‘We surrender, ok? But well done. Well done. You’re very good. Very, very, good. It’s an honor to be captured by one such as you. How do you do that? How did you do this? We surrender. We surrender. Very good. You’re very, very good. By the way, what is your name?’
The men utter different combinations of these lines, but these lines are what they have to say. You can almost imagine what these lines, from these men, were doing to W.K.’s infamous temper. W.K. wanted to beat them up, after the race that they’d just given him. He wanted to pull a net over each of these 5 fellows, string all their eyelashes together –W.K. can be very dark and very morbid, at times-, and give them an alligator each, for company. He’d like to take them all to a lake and sink them. The nets, the 5 men, the alligators.
But, W.K. sees that the sun is about to set. He’d like to have a bowl of hot, steaming congee and shrimp. He’s hungry, and he doesn’t like how his lavender colored, silk shirt from Italy, has been torn near an armpit. He doesn’t like how he smells of monkeys and of fish.
W.K. asks the kidnappers to sit still. They obey him. They’re all very quiet and still as he calls the police. The SWAT team will be coming from KL. He goes to where Tick is hanging. W.K. opens the net and takes out the monkeys. He closes the net. He leaves Tick inside.
‘Mr. K! Don’t leave me here. I’d like to see my girls.’, shouts Tick, with a hoarse voice.
‘ Sorry, dear Tick, but you can’t pay for my shirt. Congratulations, lovely that you could make a baby girl. Oh and yes, you threatened to kill me. I trust that you’ll be using the time in that net, Daddy-yo, to feel some remorse over it, ya.’
W.K. walks towards the speedboat that’s anchored nearest to the shore. He thinks about the bowl of congee that’s waiting for him. He boards the boat in a leaping stride, and drives away from Sabah. The kidnappers wave their goodbyes at W.K.. They’re all in a net. The net’s hanging from Tick’s tree, and Tick’s not pleased but what can he do?
Sometimes, W.K. says certain things and does certain things which can make any person certain of one thing about him. W.K.’s a really cool guy.
(to be continued)
That the girl is still unconscious worries him much.