The ship’s launch approached slowly. Captain Yamoto’s eyes strained to pierce the lifting fog, seeing the dock and its surroundings in shades of gray. As he drew closer he could make out a tall, lean man standing on the dock awaiting him. There were suppose to be two men here to make the exchange, he thought, appraising the stranger.
Every bit the pirate, Yamoto surmised. This mercenary of the Lady Lin seems very calm, the word that came to him was, serene. As the launch docked, he drummed his fingers nervously on the wooden box beside him, relieved that the jade disc would soon be this stranger’s misfortune. It lay there in the box and Yamoto couldn’t help but think of it as a sleeping serpent coiled and tensed for action.
Yamoto’s grandfather had acquired the rare, green jade disk with the gold dragon inlay-ed while he was commanding a small expeditionary force in China. It was said to plague its owner with various misfortunes, but who believes in such superstitions in this enlightened age, Yamoto, with very good reasons. After fifty dormant years in Japan it was time to send the serpent back. A storm gathering, ready to strike.