Z-anon-sensei Speaks #61
“The word means two different things, you know. In Tokyo it means ‘stupidity’ but in Osaka they talk about vagueness in a painting or a game of Go.” Kawabata
Radio pulled his Prius into a tight parking space in front of the Magic Tiger Dojo. He finally had a lead, but from this vantage, it didn’t look especially promising. He was in an industrial area of breweries and shipping warehouses. MTD looked like nothing but a doorway with a small sign over it in a row of offices fronting a tall warehouse building.
Xenon’s earrings had led him here. An image search on Google turned up the unique tiger’s head cut into the silver earrings as the logo of the Magic Tiger, and now here it was, the same tiger face, bright red, not very big, both preceding and following the name Magic Tiger Dojo on the door sign. Radio hadn’t been able to find anything at all about the dojo online, no website or even phone listing. The image that gave him the name came from a social media post by Robert Priest, the lease-holder of Xenon’s apartment. No coincidence there. The dojo must be the connection between them. Was the sublet just a convenient arrangement between acquaintances, or something more?
Radio walked up to the door, and knocked loudly. No answer. After a second knock, he tried the handle. The door opened and the strong smell of a locker room rushed out and over him, as if it had been cooped up inside for too long. Sweat soaked into canvas and cotton, unwashed for perhaps years. Ointments, bleach, and a peculiar tinge of peppermint and menthol— Radio quickly placed it— Tiger Balm.
He walked in, his “Hello, anyone here?” echoing in the tall open space which seemed much bigger on the inside than it looked from out in front. The room was illuminated only by a couple of small windows high up on the street-facing wall. His eyes gradually adjusted to the gloom, and he could see that the space looked a little like a dance studio with railings along one wall that was covered to head height by mirrors. Pads the size of yoga mats were scattered around, and the center of the large open floor was covered with a thin, spongy padding, duct-taped down around the edges. Posters of movies from the Wu Tang collection- many of them featuring Jackie Chan- covered most of the remaining wall space, haphazardly taped up by the corners.
“Um, hello…” he said again. The words again echoed and faded, and no one answered.
Radio stood for a minute in the exact center of the room. He could sense the students who had practiced here, their excitement and fear, some real anger and a live-combat feeling as well. He shivered, and broke off from his observation for a moment. Too many people studied martial arts hoping to learn to kill. There were some hard vibes to handle, pain and even hate. He breathed for a moment, then closed his eyes and opened himself up again to the chaos of impressions. There! He picked something up that felt solid, grounded, and he followed the thought-thread like Theseus through a maze of emotions toward what seemed like the center, the source. Soon, he had the distinct feeling of a companion moving beside him, someone else who had followed the same thread toward the same center. And he knew it was Xenon. Radio was sure now that she had been here, in the dojo, and the strong, solid feeling he sensed at the center was important to her, too.
Radio turned slowly in a circle, like a compass needle turning toward the north, and he stopped where he felt that solid feeling was strongest. He opened his eyes.
“Oh, shit!” he burst out. He didn’t mean to say that. But there standing in front of him was a short, Asian-looking man, and Radio was startled into the outburst. “I’m sorry, I mean… I didn’t think anyone was here… didn’t hear you…” He stammered to silence. The man in front of him had a thin smile on his face, indeterminate age. Dark hair but something about the eyes didn’t look young at all. Neither person spoke for a moment. The man looked at Radio closely, with that thin smile, ostentatiously scanning him from toe to head like he was buying a horse.
Before Radio could come up with anything to say, the man spoke in a quiet but certain tone. “Okay. Very good, very good,” A slight accent, maybe Japanese. An appraising nod of the chin, which featured a thin, dangling beard. “Okay. I have not had a new student since the Covid. I think you will do. ”
Z-anon-sensei says the details of ^darkplan are emerging. The Covid epidemic has moved much of the voting for this election to mail-in ballots, and Thump’s man on top of the USPS has wrecked the delivery system so that many ballots are unlikely to arrive by Nov 3, whenever they are mailed. He’s made a pretty penny in the wrecking process, too, which is just how these things go. The fact that a far higher percentage of Democrats plan to vote by mail makes this destruction-of-the-mail-system strategy a potential winner all by itself. Secondarily, hacked electronic voting machines will shift a percentage of votes in crucial states Thump’s way. That’s already arranged through Iwanka’s voting machine companies. Other back-up plans are in place for unforeseen eventualities. Thump has run rigged casinos before, albeit into the ground, and his backers control even higher stakes games than that. They all know better than to gamble, especially on something as important as an election.
As part of the necessary background noise, the war on the streets has been escalated to actual live fire. Two BLM protesters killed by a 17 year old militia kid in Kenosha, WI. One ^prowdboi killed in Portland by a protester. The militia kid is making bank from the Christian Killer Support System(tm). The ^goonies have already hunted down and wasted the suspect in the shooting of the ^prowdboi, pouring a hail of gunfire into him as if he were Pretty Boy Floyd. It’s almost like they think the election is over, and they already have the free rein that they have been promised.
Z-anon-sensei says, with no one to stop them, they do.