Machine of Vengeance

Chapter 05

The beatbox rhythm of low-life scum gangsta rap blares at a bowwow volume as purple haze lights cast their glare on the ocean surface. A group of jet skiers witheringly zigzag along the coast at dawn. Words written in super bold Ming-style typeface dance in the wind on the banners that they fly. Words like: 「大きな魚」big fish,「漁業」fishing industry,「横浜御縄談合」Yokohama Ropeway Clan.

All of the riders are black skinheads; the relentless yakuza gang, the Yokohama Ropeway Klan, wearing matching stadium jackets and wielding clubs in their hands. Well, those boys sure do get up early.
They’re off to surround unlicensed fishing boats and put the screws to them for not paying taxes because everyone must conform and submit. If they let boats like these slide, weeds will get mixed in with the grass.

But beyond the business at hand, what happened to their clan last night was a hard dose to swallow. The massacre and pleading on their knees weighed heavily on their souls. Jermaine and Divo hadn’t awoken from the ninja reality shock and were still laid up in bed. Among the nose-for-news fishermen, some might have learned of the incident. If the clan gets taken for the fool, their days are over.

Kingpin Smith thought to himself with bloodshot eyes scanning the horizon. “Any boat will do. Even one already under our protection. We got to press our point and show our gang’s brutality. We’ll pick a fight, surround them, and club them. If we let people mess with us, our days are numbered.”

“Boss! Over there!”
“Whasdat?” Smith peered in the direction of where his henchman pointed.
A junket boat? No, a raft? Nay! Some kind of wreckage with somebody is clinging to it. A survivor?
“How do you want to handle it? It’s a person.”
Smith scratched his chin and thought. Then he spoke, “I smell profit.”

Taking the initiative, Smith reeved his engine to full throttle. The jet ski smashed forward throwing back a massive wake and water mist.
He thought to himself. “We ain’t the only ones shit out of luck. Our unsteady family needs the decisive power of a leader now.”
Before their very eyes in their gang’s do-or-die moment, they closed in on the survivor.

Kingpin Smith parked his jet ski. Facedown and fastened to the floating wreckage, his face of the survivor was impossible to make out. Clothed in red-black rags, he resembled a vagrant and was heavily injured as well.
“Was he wrapped in a bamboo mat and thrown in the river for dead by his brethren? Did he wash out to sea from the river? What a let down.” Feeling disappointed, Smith went to search the man’s pockets.

But the survivor grabbed his hand. He was awake.
“Aiee!?” Smith swallowed his scream. The hand that held fast to his had the strength of a bench vise. “What the fuck?”
“Where am I?” The man raised his head. His hellish stare sent chills up Smith’s spine.
“Old Tokyo Bay.” Consumed with fear, Smith swiftly replied.

“Take me to my back-alley doctor. Take me, now.”
“Yes, sir.” Smith readily replied still shaking in his boots.
The survivor had those eyes; the same fierce eyes as the demon from last night. No, actually, his eyes were a hundred times more horrific.
“Boss?” One of Smith’s henchmen peered over from behind.
“Shut up! Lady luck is on our side after all!”
“I said shut up. I’ll fill you in later. Just do as I say!”
Smith whispered in the survivor’s ear. “I’ll take you. I’m really sorry. Please let me live. Don’t do it.”

Smith quickly pulled up the survivor and laid him on the back of his jet ski. Then without even looking back to the boys in his gang, he zoomed off at full speed. The dumbfounded faces of the gang members reflected in his rearview mirror.
Smith thought to himself. “Holy shit. I’m done. Done with everything. What comes around goes around. Inga-oho! This is karmic retribution.” Then large tears rolled down from his eyes.

Smith remained lost in thought. “I’m done. If ninjas exist then so does Buddha. Buddha has met me on my path of evil. And he’s testing me with another ninja.” Smith accelerated his jet ski with all his heart. “I’ll go legit. I’m done with dealing illegal men-tai. I’ll make good with the people I turned into junkies. So just don’t do it. I can’t stay in this life. I got it. Kyoto.”

“I’ll do like he said and escort him to his doctor. Donate all my assets to a drug rehabilitation facility. Then, I’ll escape to Kyoto. Become a Buddhist. Study Zen and become a monk. I’m gonna turn my life around. I’ll make a clean break. Inga-oho! Karmic retribution here I come.”

Suffering from an outbreak of a serious case of ninja reality shock, poor Kingpin Smith was on a new kind of rampage, one driven by obsessive ideas of redemption, atonement and penance. While praying, he zoomed along in his jet ski. All of this was unbeknownst to the ninja killing Grim Reaper who rode in back.

Next episode is …