East Meets West Pt. 01 Ch. 05byOldSarge69©
This is the conclusion of Part One, and I hope you have enjoyed reading. Again, please start with chapter one before reading this. Part 2 has been written and is in the process of being edited and will be posted soon. I again want to thank BeachBaby179 for her numerous suggestions and clarifications in making this story much better. It is very easy, when you are writing, to get so involved you let things slip. BeachBaby, you not only caught all those but forced me to look through the story with a fresh set of eyes. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
East Meets West, Part 1, Chapter 5
I let another two weeks pass before I finally sent an email to Colonel James, letting him know that Jiao and I were okay. He told us to sit tight until we heard from him again.
During those two weeks Jiao began teaching me the Chinese marital art, wushu.
This is a little embarrassing . . . okay, VERY embarrassing.
Before I was shot, I was in pretty good shape. Actually that is not correct, I was in GREAT shape. At least three times a day, I would do at least 300 pushups. I would also usually do 400 or 500 sit-ups on a slanted board. I would do 100 pull-ups two or three times a day. I would run anywhere from three to nine miles – most of that over steep mountain roads. I was actually in better shape physically than when I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp.
Within a week after getting shot, I started exercising again even though Jiao kept telling me it was too soon. By the time the second group of MSS agents attacked the meadow I was back to doing 100 pushups and all the rest, but now would just run to the chained gate and back.
By any standard you wanted to use I was in GREAT shape again.
The Marine Corps taught me different forms of hand-to-hand combat. While in Afghanistan I was taught other techniques of hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps I didn't have a "black belt" but I knew I could hold my own against nearly anyone.
I was tough and I knew it.
When Jiao finally agreed to begin teaching me, I knew my biggest problem would probably be not hurting her. I mean she is barely five feet tall and weighs a whopping 90 pounds soaking wet. I was over eight inches taller and outweighed her by almost 100 pounds.
At first I kept making fun of Jiao because she was going so slowly.
I even made the mistake of saying one day, "Well, if some slow, little old grandmother ever attacks me I'll know what to do."
She flushed, grimaced and then starting grinning at me.
"Well, come on Jack, attack me!" she said.
I began moving at about quarter speed.
"Is that the best you can do?" she asked as she easily sidestepped my "attack."
I went about half speed.
"I thought Marines were supposed to be tough," she taunted me.
I kept speeding up and she kept taunting me as she easily sidestepped each "assault."
I finally went at her full-speed, knowing I could "pull" my punch at the last second.
The next thing I know I was flat on my back.
I rolled over and this time I really meant it. I was tired of being taunted, tired of being ridiculed and really mad about her flipping me on my back so easily.
The second time I landed on my back about 15 feet away!
Jiao actually had to help me up, then had to help me hobble over to the bed so I could lay down. It was two days before I could walk normally.
Much more humble now, I continued to take lessons from Jiao until I am now the equivalent of a third degree black belt. But as she often reminds me, Jiao can still whip my ass any time she wants.
After my e-mail to Colonel James, another week went by before the microphones again picked up the sound of a helicopter, but this time there was only one, and three men stepped out when the chopper landed.
One was an Army Major General, another was a Marine Corps Lieutenant General who looked somewhat familiar, and a third was a major, whom I recognized immediately. The major was my old company commander from Iraq. I quickly did a search on the Internet, and realized the Marine Corps General was the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
All three men walked into the old cabin, where the Army general started talking.
"Jack, I have to assume you are probably listening to us, and are probably watching us.
"My name is Major General Brandon Wells, but you know me as Colonel James.
"Ghost, there is no longer any danger but we need to talk," he said.
I immediately asked Jiao if she was sensing anything, and she said she was sure he was telling the truth.
"I can't sense any danger from any of the three," she said.
Jiao and I had spent many hours discussing what to do if anyone came back, and both realized that we could not stay where we were forever. Sooner or later, the food would run out, or one of us could become sick.
It took about 30 minutes for me to exit the mountain stronghold, and approach the cabin.
"I'm coming in gentlemen, and I am armed," I warned them, before entering the cabin.
I will try to make a long story short.
There were actually two traitors. The one Jiao had killed, and his immediate supervisor, who was an assistant director of NSA. They had only caught the second traitor two weeks ago.
The State Department had also spent many long hours of discussion with the Chinese ambassador to the United States, and the Chinese had called off any remaining search for, or interest in Jiao.
Part of their agreement was that the U.S. had agreed to share Jiao's research with the Chinese government.
The other part was the implied threat that if anything – anything – happened to Jiao, the man responsible for taking out two separate groups of MSS agents would be sent to China where he would be given free rein to engage in his own one-man war against high ranking governmental officials.
The old carrot and the stick. Jiao's research was the carrot, and I was the stick.
During the weeks that Jiao and I were in the mountain stronghold, she had told me all about the research she, and her late husband, had been engaged in. After his death, she had continued his groundbreaking advances in nuclear power plant design.
As a comparison, Jiao told me that the only two new nuclear reactors that had been approved in the U.S. since Three Mile Island were at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Those two reactors, when they were built, would generate 2,200 megawatts of power – enough to provide electricity for about one million homes. The cost to build the two reactors, without even factoring in any cost overruns, was $14 billion.
Jiao and her husband were working on what has been called "pocket reactors." Much smaller, much less nuclear waste generated, much easier to operate, and much, much cheaper.
While the pocket reactors would "only" generate about 400 megawatts of electricity, as compared to the 1,100 megawatts each of the reactors in Georgia would generate, they would only cost about $1 billion.
"For that same $14 billion dollars, generating 2,220 megawatts of power, you could build 14 pocket reactors, each providing 400 megawatts, or a total of 5,600 megawatts of power," she said. "And from what I have been reading about some of the construction techniques that will be used in Georgia, I think it would be easy to tweak that up to 500 megawatts each, or 7,000 total megawatts of power."
"In China, over 70 percent of all electricity is generated from coal, which pollutes the air," she said, "while 20 percent is from crude oil that mostly has to be imported. Natural gas produces three percent of the electricity, while hydro-electric, nuclear and wind-power account for a little over seven percent.
"That is vastly different in the U.S., where coal produces 42 percent of electricity, natural gas is 25 percent, and nuclear is 20 percent. All other sources only produce 13 percent of your power.
"China wants to build 100 pocket reactors as soon as my research is done, which will generate 40,000 megawatts of power. That will have a tremendous impact in reducing coal emissions, as well as the amount of crude oil being imported."
Jiao said that after the initial 100 reactors are built, China planned on adding 20 to 30 new reactors each year, until nuclear power provided well over 50 percent of their electrical use.
No wonder the Chinese had been interested in either getting her back, or eliminating her!
Jiao had already told me that before she left China, she had already destroyed or hidden all the research notes she and her deceased husband had spent years producing.
"They were desperate to get either me or our research," she added.
Now with the promise that all of Jiao's information would be provided to them, the Chinese had called off the hunt.
General Wells suggested we stay where we were for another week or two, to make absolutely sure there were no more attacks, but then we should be safe to come out of hiding.
The two Marine officers were simply along to provide some familiar faces, and in a little while they all said they would be leaving.
Before they left, General Wells asked if there was anything we needed.
I was still wearing the earphones and microphone Jiao had provided, so I took those off and asked the General if we could take a short walk outside.
When I told him what I wanted, he grinned and said he would see what he could do.
After they left, and I returned to the mountain shelter, Jiao was very curious about what I had discussed with General Wells. Since I knew where every camera was, it was easy to avoid those, plus the microphones built in.
I told the General that I planned on asking Jiao if she would marry me, and if she said yes could he cut through all the red tape and send someone out to perform the ceremony?
I wasn't really sure just what I could offer someone as smart as Jiao, but I knew that I absolutely loved her, and she had told me enough times that she loved me as well, and . . . I simply could not imagine any future that did not include the two of us together.
"Jiao," I told her, "you are the smartest woman I have ever met . . . you are probably one of the smartest women on earth, based on your I.Q.
"All I know is guns. Just guns and how to use them and I don't know what that makes me . . ."
Jiao interrupted me and said, there was an old Chinese proverb, which itself is based on an even older Buddhist proverb that goes, "God gives every man the keys to the gates of Heaven. But the same key also unlocks the gates of Hell.
"How you live your life determines which one of those gates that set of keys unlocks," she said.
"Someone else said much the same thing, although using entirely different words," she continued.
"Alan Ladd, from the movie Shane," she said, then Jiao did another incredible impersonation: "A gun is a tool, Jack; no better or no worse than any other tool: an ax, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that."
Jiao then resumed her normal voice.
"Jack, you are the best man I have ever known. I mean that – the best man I have ever known. I think I fell in love with you the first time I saw you standing on the porch at the safe house. I was SO mad at you for not taking your shot, but even as I was hitting you, I think I was already falling in love with you.
"But Jack, do you know when I knew for sure that I was in love with you?"
I, of course, answered that I didn't.
"I knew that I loved you when you stopped the car, after I told you about the sterilization . . . you stopped the car, came around to my side and just held me in your arms. You didn't say anything, you just held me.
"I fell asleep in your arms Jack. I don't know if it was ESP, or woman's intuition, or just your heart talking to my heart.
"I knew right then that I was safe. That you would always take care of me. That we . . . you and I . . . would always be together – ALWAYS!"
Then an impish grin covered her face, and I could see a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.
"You know Jack, my ESP is really working overtime right now.
"I could make it easy for you and simply say 'Yes,' but I want to see it like in the movies!
"I want to see you get down on your knee and ask . . ."
So, I dropped down to one knee, took her hands in mine and said the words:
"Jiao, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
"Jiao, my love, will you marry me?"
And Jiao was in my arms kissing me like crazy, and saying over and over: "Yes, Yes, YES!"
After a dozen "Yeses," and about two dozen kisses, Jiao again looked at me with an impish grin.
"What? Now why are you looking at me like that?" I asked.
"I believe this is the part where you are supposed to give me a ring?" she inquired.
"Oh My God, Jiao," I exclaimed, "Oh My God! I never even thought about a ring . . . Oh, Shit . . . sorry, didn't mean to say that. Oh My God, why didn't I think about that? Oh, Shit . . . sorry, didn't mean to say it again."
Jiao is laughing her ass off at me.
"Jack, Jack, it's okay," she insisted. "I knew you didn't have a ring, that's why I brought it up," she said, continuing to laugh at my reaction.
"How long did the General say it would be before we could leave?" she asked.
I told her probably about two weeks.
"Okay," she said, "I'll give you a two-week, what do you call it . . . grace period? (I nodded yes) I'll give you a two-week grace period – PROVIDED you make love to me at least five or six times a day."
You know, there are times when you just have to do your duty!!!
Two weeks later, General Wells flew back in, only this time he brought an Army chaplain with him, and the General was the witness when Jiao and I were wed.
A month after that, Jiao and I were driving through the Australian Outback to get her daughter. General Wells and the Department of Defense also cut through all the red tape, and Jiao was now officially a United States citizen, with a U.S. Passport.
The word, Meili, in Mandarin Chinese means beautiful and graceful, and that is exactly what Jiao's daughter was – beautiful and graceful.
I was amazed at how tiny she was!
I hadn't even brought the car to a full stop when Jiao jumped out and ran to meet Meili, who was running to her Mom.
Mom and daughter were both crying. Hell, I was crying. Just to see the love between these two was amazing! I knew how much Jiao had missed her daughter, and it was obvious that Meili had missed her Mom just as much.
I just waited in the car to allow mother and daughter to reconnect, but finally Jiao stood up and waved me over.
When I walked up, Meili hid behind her mother.
I knew Meili was 12, but she was so tiny she looked more like an eight-year-old! All I could see of her was one eye, peeking around behind her mother, and her nearly shoulder-length jet black hair. Her eyes were green – well at least the one I could see was green.
Jiao had already told her daughter that we were married, and that I was now her step-dad, but Jiao had also told me how shy Meili could be around strangers.
When I had asked Jiao if Meili spoke English, she laughed.
"You Americans always think other people are like you, and only speak one language," she gently admonished me. "Meili speaks three different dialects of Chinese, also French, Russian and German – all fluently. She also speaks English. But England English, not American English."
Jiao also told me that Meili had both a higher I.Q. than she did, and also was exhibiting greater ESP powers at an earlier age than Jiao had. She also told me that she had never told anyone – anyone – about Meili's ESP.
I knew that Jiao was telling me – in essence – that I would never be able to fool Meili. She was both smart enough, and perceptive enough, to spot any insincerity immediately.
I would have to speak from my heart.
I walked over to the girls, and dropped down to my knees. I then reached over and grabbed Jiao's hand in mine.
"Hello, Meili," I began, "My name is Jack. I know that your Mom has already told that we are now married, but I want to tell YOU how much I love your Mom and always will. And I hope that you will understand that I already love you, just from what your Mom has told me about you.
"And I hope that one day you will love me as well."
There was no reaction. Meili continued to hide behind her Mom.
I had a sudden inspiration.
"Meili, do you like magic?" I asked.
For the first time since I had walked over to her, Meili displayed a little emotion. Her one eye I could see lifted slightly, and she looked up at her Mom and said something in Chinese.
Jiao laughed, and said that Meili had told me "I am a scientist, I don't believe in magic."
One of the snipers I had trained with once showed me a trick he used to pass the time, and keep his fingers limber – especially important in cold weather when limber fingers could mean the difference between softly squeezing a shot off, and jerking slightly.
I pulled a silver dollar out of my pocket. I had actually spray painted it flat black, so sunlight would not reflect off it.
I don't know if you have ever seen the trick where magicians "walk" a coin across their knuckles, but that is what I started to do.
"Okay, my pretty scientist, let's see if you can figure this out," I said.
For the first time, Meili eased out from behind her Mom.
I spent several minutes walking the coin across the back of my fingers, using only the knuckles.
Meili was studying my hands very intently.
Suddenly, the coin disappeared.
"What happened?" I asked. "Meili, did you take my coin?"
Meili giggled, and spoke to me for the first time.
"No," she said, "What did you do with it?" It was amazing to hear a prefect British accent coming from this tiny little Chinese girl.
"Me?" I exclaimed, "Me? I didn't do anything with it."
I opened both hands, and turned them over for Meili to see that I was not holding the coin.
"I think you must have it," I told her.
By now Meili was laughing, and kept insisting she did not have my coin.
"Wait," I said, pretending to examine first one side of her head, then the other.
"I think it see it," and then reached over and "pulled" the coin out of her ear!
"How did you do that?" I asked her, and by now Meili was really laughing out loud.
The next thing I knew, Meili's skinny arms were around my neck and she was giving me a big old hug. Then she kissed my cheek.
"Will you teach me how to do that?" she very politely asked.
I assured her that I would, then I looked up at Jiao. The tears were running down her face at seeing the two people she most loved in the world learning to love each other.
I have to tell you that as soon as Meili put her arms around my neck and kissed me, I was completely gone.
I knew that while she might not be my blood daughter, in every other way that counted, she was and would always be MY daughter.
We spent several weeks in Australia before flying back to the United States. We had a two-week stop in Hawaii, enjoying that island paradise, before flying on to Texas where we met with Rutledge's attorney Huntsell Boone.
While in Texas, I received perhaps the biggest shock of my life.
Huntsell, or "Hunt" as he preferred to be called had asked me to stop by so I could sign some paperwork relating to the death of Rutledge. "Just a simple formality," he had said.
That "simple formality," was actually a guise to get me to stop in Texas for the formal reading of Rutledge's will. As it turns out, Rutledge named me his heir, leaving me the bulk of his fortune, including his mansion in North Carolina.
A couple of his nephews and a niece each received around $1 million, but I received something like $30 million, plus all his extensive land holdings, including the "English castle."