Affair in Tibet

by Andrew Taylor

1

"You have a weak heart, you had better not come along," she said to him in the karaoke room. He made a face as if he had just eaten shit. Mickey Wang did not want to hear these words.

"The only thing my heart cannot take is your refusal dear." he said close to her ear. He had to whisper, he didn't want anyone else to hear their conversation.

"I care for you so much, that is why I'm saying this to you," she said. She had one of those smiles that Chinese girls always put on when they want to fuck you up.

"You care about me? You surely don't show it that often," he said.

"How can I? You are a married man and I am a young girl looking for my future husband."

Mickey sighed and drank from his glass. A lot of women would happily accept the position of the second wife but not this one.

"It would have been much better if we lived a hundred years ago, then the problem would be easily solved" he said.

"What would I be? First wife, second wife or just a mere concubine?"

Mickey who already had a second wife in Shenzhen didn't want to give Sun Lei a honest reply.

"Why are you so much concerned about the position? Isn't life long happiness enough for you?"

"It's not enough for me. I don't like sharing a man, especially with his legal wife."

"You know well that I can't divorce her at the moment."

The only reason they could have this conversation while sitting among fifteen of their colleagues was the exceptionally high volume of the music.

A girl with impressive tits from the HR office was singing a love song by Deng Li Jun. She stopped immediately when Mickey got up on his feet with a half bottle of Chivas in his hand ready to say something important. Everyone in the room waited for his words.

"Let us drink to the success of our trip to Tibet next week." All glasses were filled and everyone drank up.

Except Mickey. He just brought the bottle he was holding to his lips.

When it was emptied he dropped it on the floor which was covered by a thick carpet and staggered towards the adjacent restroom. When he got in he immediately vomited all over the place.

Mickey couldn't remember much of what happened afterwards.

There was someone who was wiping the vomit off his shirt with a paper towel then two people carried him back to the couch where he collapsed next to Sun Lei. He could remember her blurry features in close up as she was asking him how he felt. It was somehow more real than the background.

The dancing, singing and drinking continued for about an hour. Then it was decided that the time to pay the bill had come.

Mickey was taken back home by two of his close colleagues. They came with him upstairs and waited until he had found his keys to unlock the door of his apartment. The moment Mickey put the key in the lock they quickly scuttled away like cockroaches to avoid the embarrassment in case Mickey's wife was waiting for him right behind the door.

Their fears proved to be unsubstantial, there was nobody waiting for Mickey in the spacious living room.

He was still dizzy from the alcohol. He sat on the living room sofa and vomited on the floor. The stench of the regurgitated alcohol bothered him however there was no way he could go any further. He just lied on the sofa without taking off his shoes and fell asleep very soon.

His wife Nana got up four hours later at seven thirty. As she was accustomed to this sort of thing so she wiped away the vomit without a fuss and covered him with a quilt. One hour later the sunlight pouring in through the window woke Mickey up. He saw the freshly wiped floor but he didn't look around for Nana. He went like a zombie to the bedroom, took off his clothes and slept for another two hours.

At lunchtime he met each his wife in the kitchen. She had laid on the table an assorted variety of typical Chinese food. There were dishes with fish, vegetables, tofu and steamed dumplings.

He asked for a bowl of rice. She did as he said, then put the bowl in front of him without saying much. Both of them started to eat as if there was no one else in the room.

She cracked the silence first. "Didn't Yong Jie tell you to stop drinking and smoking?" She spoke with a calm voice without bothering to look up from her food.

Mickey looked up at her.

"How can I stop drinking and smoking? I'm a man from Jilin. In my hometown all men drink and smoke, so do most of the women. If I stop drinking and smoking I will loose much face."

"You are not in your hometown now" she said.

"It's not very different over here. You can't say no when certain people offer you a drink," he said.

"What do you plan to do? Ruin your body because of business formalities?"

"Darling I'm still 44. No matter what the doctor says I can still take a glass or two."

Nana was 35. They had no children although they had been married for eight years. Mickey was convinced that it was her fault so he was considering the possibility of finding another woman to give him a son.

The big problem was that Nana's father was the general manager at the major TV network Mickey was working for. He owed to his wife's family the biggest part of his success and he knew that if he ever left her there would be serious consequences. His father in law who was also a high rank Party official could make it sure that Mickey would get into a lot of trouble if he ever made his daughter unhappy.

Deep down Mickey was in love with his colleague Sun Lei, 28 years old, unmarried. She was always saying that she was in a relationship with a guy who worked somewhere in Zhongguancun. Even if that was the truth she didn't seem to be spending much time with her boyfriend. Maybe she was the second wife of a company manager who could only come to fuck her once a month. The rest of the time she was free to do whatever she wanted.

She was pretty cute so there were several other guys in the office who liked her but Mickey was hoping that eventually she would decide to hit it off with him. The last few months they had been out together several times and even kissed on the mouth. They discussed sexual matters in the same manner modern Chinese who try to imitate foreigners do, however everytime he suggested they lock themselves together in a hotel room she said no.

Like most Chinese girls she was pretty good at teasing. Once she told Mickey that she had a one night stand with a guy who worked in the same building. She had met him in the elevator one night after working overtime.

For the next few months Mickey was trying to guess who the lucky guy was. Every time he took the elevator together with Sun Lei he was checking the expressions of the men standing near her to her in case any traces of that sweet memory suddenly appeared on their face.

He never did find out although he strongly suspected a foreigner working at the language school on the nineteenth floor, one of those dime a dozen English teachers that you can find all over China nowadays.

"That's an interesting theory," she remarked when he confessed his suspicion to her while they were sipping on cappuccinos in a Starbucks.

"Am I right or wrong?" he asked.

"A foreigner is a good choice for a committed woman who wants to have some fun with someone from her working environment. Firstly there is no gossip-since most of these guys can't go beyond a simple ni hao when it comes to communicating in Chinese-then there is not much jealousy since he is probably messing around with another two or three Chinese ladies. He can do the job in a quite effective manner and then he has disappeared before you've even memorized his name. Believe me this is what most women want nowadays."

"You can't trust them. Most of them have sex diseases. Better choose someone from your own country."

"Like who for example, you? If I ever consider the possibility having sex with you I will probably have to change my job within two months and that is something I do not want because I really love my job."

"Why would you need to get a new job," he asked.

"Because you're going to fall in love with me, that's why. I can sense it."

"Maybe you are right. I should probably consider getting a divorce," Mickey said half joking and half serious.

"Then certainly you have more chances to have sex with me. Do keep in mind that the first marriage is always like a test-drive. You just want to take a ride and see how bumpy the road is. The second marriage is what counts most. That is when you use the experience you have acquired from the first marriage to avoid serious mistakes. The second marriage is when you want to see your life taking the shape that you want it to take." She had read this in the Chinese edition of Cosmopolitan and she thought it was quite true.

"That is a very interesting theory but my main concern at the moment is the shape of your breasts," said Mickey.

She called him a pig.

2

A few days later it was announced that they would be going to Tibet next week to cover the current events. They would shoot footage for a CCTV Tibetan special that would also be shown in Hong Kong and abroad for the purpose of calming down all those accusing the Chinese authorities for violent clampdowns in Tibet.

They decided to celebrate the occasion by spending the evening in a VIP karaoke room. Mickey sat next to Sun Lei (as usual) and drank a lot (as usual). When he found the appropriate moment to put his arms around her she told him that his heart was weak and he had better not travel to Tibet. In a sense she was not completely wrong. Mickey knew cases of people who had died in Tibet due to the lack of oxygen but there was no way he would say no to such a trip. Divorce was out of the question for this period of his life, so this would probably be the first and last time he would ever get the chance to spend five days in a row out of Beijing with Sun Lei. If anything was ever going to happen between them this would be the right time.

"Ha ha ha. What will happen if you have a heart failure while fucking me in Tibet? It will be quite embarrassing to explain what you were doing naked on top of me the moment you died."

"I'm a strong man. I will also bring some oxygen bottles if necessary."

"You should see your doctor before booking the tickets to Llasa."

The next day Mickey went to the expensive clinique he usually visited. Most of the people you could see there were rich foreigners or overseas Chinese.

The doctor Yong Jie- an old classmate and friend-told Mickey that the trip to Tibet would be ok as long as he adjusted himself gradually to the altitude and the best way to do this would be to take the train. He also advised Mickey to walk slowly especially on the first day and avoid any activities that would make him exhausted including sex.

"I suppose that smoking and drinking are out of the question," Mickey asked.

"What do you think," said the doctor with a strict expression on his face.

"I can live with that for a few days but how about I bring some oxygen supplies with me in case of any bedroom activities" he joked.

"There is a reason people in Tibet do a lot of praying and meditation. There is not enough oxygen to feed the muscles for more intense activities."

"How then do they have babies in Tibet? There's got to be some people in Tibet having sex with each other."

"The way they have sex is like the still waters of the lake. Not a single ripple breaks the surface."

"Fuck! Girls today don't like it that way."

"Remember Tibet is not a place to nurture bad habits, especially for someone with a weak heart as you."

"But you can fix me up, can't you?"

"Yes but for how long?" asked the doctor.

"It's already been three years, this means that your medicine is very good." said Mickey.

"You must also think about your wife. If you drink and smoke it worries her very much," said the doctor.

"It is not my intention to turn Nana into a widow, but this is China, there are certain things that should be done no matter what. You know that very well doctor."

"But you got to be careful. If you continue this way you will not have much time."

"Give me some Chinese medicine and don't worry about me too much. I can handle it."

The doctor gave him something for the liver and the heart plus some pills for altitude sickness.

"How is Nana?" asked Yong as Mickey was about to exit.

"I got much work to do so I'm not sure myself. Maybe you can pay her a visit. She will be kinda lonely when I go to Tibet next week."

"Maybe I will." He smiled.

"Hey you ... Be careful." Mickey pointed his finger into the doctor's face. They both laughed.

3

There were four of them on the train to Tibet- Mickey, Sun Lei and two technicians Jin Ming and Bao Bo.

There were few passengers on the train. Tourism, especially for foreigners had been restricted since the rioting began. Foreign correspondents were getting quite quirky about this. The thought they had the right to interfere absolutely everywhere. One of them who was writing an article about Tibet for an American magazine had approached Mickey in Beijing a few days earlier.

"You can find all the information you want in the Xinhua press," Mickey told him.

"I don't want a government seal of approval on my article. I want something real."

"I'll see what I can do. Maybe I can bring you in contact with some friends."

Mickey kept his word. He informed the Foreign Bureau and within two weeks the journalist had gotten deported. He was one of the lucky ones. There were several cases of foreigners who got beaten up because they were wearing "free Tibet" T-shirts. It even happened in the middle of Tiananmen Square.

Nothing interesting happened during the first day of the trip. Mickey and his three colleagues spent most of the time locked in their first class compartment eating, sleeping or playing cards. When night fell Mickey and Sun Lei managed to spend some time kissing while the other two were asleep.

On the second day a few hours after the train had entered the Tibet region, it paused due to obstacles put on the tracks by anti-government dissidents.

A group of troops appeared around the train. Mickey wanted to speak to them but nobody was allowed to exit the train. They only thing they could do was to shoot a few scenes from the inside with Sun Lei's digital video camera.

"Why don't they let us step out?" wondered Bao Bo.

"The troops are concerned about our safety. I've heard that Tibetan protestors have fired against our trains,' mentioned Sun Lei.

"What do you mean when you say our trains?" asked Bao Bo.

"When I say our trains I mean the trains of the people of China."

"So the people firing against the trains do not belong to the people of China?"

"It would be more appropriate to say they do not consider themselves as people of China. Most of them actually believe that the people of China are invaders in their territory, therefore everytime they shoot against one of our trains they do not consider it an unpatriotic act."

"What kind of act do they consider it then?"

"Possibly a patriotic act."

"Do you think there is a chance a single Chinese person would ever agree with them?"

"Surely not in front of a TV camera."

"So how the hell can we expect to ever find out the truth?"

"Are you stupid Mickey? Our job here is not to find the truth but to impose the truth."

At that moment another shot was fired against the windows of the train. The soldiers jumped in their jeeps and rushed toward the direction the bullet came from. Mickey, Sun Lei and the two technicians went back into their compartment to continue their game of cards.

The soldiers returned an hour later. Some of them got in the train and walk through the carriages. They hanged around for a few hours until their leader decided it would be safe for the train to continue its route.

At the Lhasa train station a company car was waiting for them to take them to the hotel. Each person had his own room. Mickey and Sun Lei were conveniently located opposite each other on the second floor while the two technicians had rooms on the third.

They could only stay in their rooms for twenty minutes. They company car would take them to the CCTV headquarters where they would get a TV van with all the necessary equipment.

Over there they met a woman who introduced herself as Li Meng. She was the news supervisor for the local channel and executive producer of the show they would be producing. She had arranged interviews with police officers, local officials, Buddhist priests and monks, and a few ordinary people.

"Do we get the chance to film any anti-government demonstrations?" asked Sun Lei.

"You will have to talk with the head of security about that matter. You will meet him tomorrow. The case now in Tibet is very sensitive so everything must be conducted under strict supervision."

"I see," replied Mickey.

"You must remember that your mission is to show everyone including the foreigners that there are no real problems in Tibet and that the troublemakers do not represent the majority of Tibet people."

"Understood," said Mickey.

The first appointment would be in two hours. They drove with the van to the Central Headquarters of Police where they met the Head of Security.

He gave an overview about those religious activists supporting a schism between Tibet and China under the guidance of Dalai Lama and his CIA supporters. He even blamed certain international peace and humanitarian organizations behind these moves.

"The only reason they have put such an effort to their propaganda campaign is because of the Olympics, otherwise they would have no such chance to exert such criticism."

Sun Lei asked him who benefits from this campaign to smear the government of China.

It is important to distinguish between two separate fractions. The first one which is rather small is made up of the Dalai Llama and his followers. We can say that their efforts to undermine the Chinese government is a continuous effort, however a very small one.

"What about the second group?"

"The second group consists of international organizations that believe that China has no right to control Tibet. The spokespeople of these groups claim that China has deprived the Tibetan people of their freedom. I have spoken with a few of them and I can tell you one thing for sure. These people have no idea about the history of China or Tibet. Also keep in mind that both groups try to use the Olympic Games to promote their agendas. This has made the Tibetan issue kind of trendy for all those free minded foreigners who will surely forget everything about Tibet after the end of the Olympics"

"What message do you have for the Tibetan people?" asked Sun Lei.

"I want them to realize one simple thing that no one out there cares for them. Hey, what has the Dalai Llama ever done for Tibet? This is a question that nobody has ever replied to me in a satisfying manner."

Sun Lei then asked about how tough the clampdown was against the dissidents.

He said that he had no idea. The military had taken charge of all operations and he was only appointed with certain duties within Llasa. Most roads had been blocked by the army making it impossible for anyone to go from one place to another and all foreign travelers had been turned back.

"Do you know that a woman appeared on CNN and claims that her husband was shot when they refused to move out of the hotel they were in," mentioned Mickey.

"This is one more of their dirty tricks. I'm certain that the man died from altitude sickness and the women received money to tell everyone in the world that her husband was shot by the Chinese Army."

Later that evening Li Meng took the team for dinner to a small Tibetan bar-restaurant with a distinctive western style and clientele. The restaurant was almost empty and this reflected on the sad eyes of the owner. He spoke to Sun Lei for a few minutes in front of the camera.

"Yeah, business is bad. That is the result of the instability caused by troublemakers. Instead of more people visiting because of the Olympics this year is worse than ever. I hope all problems will be resolved before the end of the tourist season."

"Why do you think foreigners like to visit Tibet?" asked Sun Lei.

"Turn off the camera and I will let you know," he said. She did as he told her.

"It's surely not because they can relate to the people of Tibet. Hell, they can't relate to anyone! I don't understand how these people come up with these ideas on how Tibet should be and what kind of life is good for the Tibetan people."

"So why do they come here?"

"Because they read about it in a stupid travel magazine which tells people how to spend their holidays. So they come here with their cameras and take pictures of themselves in temples and mountainsides which they show to their neighbors when they go back home. Visiting a place which their friends and relatives have not been is what satisfies them the most."

At dinner Li Meng told them the story of her life. She was born in Guangxi province, studied TV journalism in Shenzhen worked there for two years before coming to Tibet. She admitted that she didn't want to remain in Lhasa forever. After a couple of years she would go back to Shenzhen or Shanghai and get a job there.

At ten thirty they were back at the hotel.

They didn't go to their rooms right away. For about twenty minutes they sat in the lobby while Mickey gave them an overview of tomorrow's schedule.

"At ten we will meet Li Meng who will take us to a temple where we shall interview some monks. We will get back in the afternoon and talk with some of the locals. As for dinner we have been invited by a pair of local officials who will be happy to answer to all our questions about Tibet. Are there any questions?"

There were none.

Mickey told the team that they could go back to their rooms.

4

At seven minutes past eleven Mickey knocked the door of Sun Lei's room. He was holding some papers and asked Sun Lei to go with him together through some of tomorrow's questions.

"Sure, come in." She was in wonderful pink satin pyjamas. She stood aside and let him pass in. Mickey noticed that she did not lock the door after closing it.

They sat next to each other on her bed and Mickey started to read one by one all the questions she was going to ask the monastery leader tomorrow morning. At the same time his left hand was trying to find his way under her pyjama. Once he touched her soft white skin she moved a little bit closer to him.

"Did you take your heart medicine?"

"Sure. Do you think I want to die up here?"

"Can you go to the little shop downstairs and get me some orange juice?"

"Sure," he said.

Mickey quickly rushed downstairs like an obedient dog to fulfill her wish. There was no one in the shop apart from the middle age lady working there. She had the typical bored expression that is quite common among people that work night shifts in 24 hour mini markets. He bought juice for Sun Lei and mineral water for himself.

Before going back to Sun Lei, Mickey went to his room to change into his pyjamas and brush his teeth. He was now ready for action.

She was already in bed playing with the remote control when he got back. She asked him to lock the door as he came in. He left the bottles on the table and slipped with her under the covers.

The TV was showing a Hong Kong movie about a married couple talking to a psychiatrist about their orgasms. Re-enactment scenes featuring a much sexier couple frequently intercut the interview.

Mickey's penis hardened as he watched the scenes of the naked couple in the bedroom

He slid his hand under her pyjama over her flat stomach. Her skin was soft and silky. His hand moved up to her nipples that got stiff when he began to rub them. She moaned gently and let him stick his tongue into her mouth.

His hand left her nipple to help his cock get out. She noticed that and pulled back.

"There is no need to hurry. You know what will happen if you start panting on top of me." she told him.

"Don't worry, I took my medicine."

"You need two days to fully adjust to the lack of oxygen in Tibet. Until then you will have to wait."

"Can we fuck after two days?"

"Sure, why not?"

Mickey kinda calmed down after she reassured him. They kept on watching the film. It switched from the couple to a guy chatting with a hot chick in a nightclub. He was trying to impress her by telling her how he cleaned shit stains in public toilets by pissing on them.

"Do you guys really do that?" asked Sun Lei.

"Yeah," Mickey said. "But we will never admit it in front of a lady."

The film seemed to be made up of short fragments each one about ten minutes long.

The third story was about a guy whose girlfriend didn't want to have sex until marriage. The only thing the desperate fellow could do was to convince her that a blow job now and then would not do any harm. Before the end of the story both Mickey and Sun Lei were asleep.

During that night Mickey had a dream where he was in a restaurant with Sun Lei. He discovers with astonishment that Nana is also there with a man. He didn't want to be seen by his wife but he was very curious to see the man's face.

He was trying to get close to them without getting noticed when all of a sudden he woke up.

He looked around. Something unbelievable had happened in the room. Apart from Mickey everything was under ice. It was too real to be a dream. Under the thin plate of ice Sun Lei looked like Sleeping Beauty. He had no idea if she was dead or still alive.

The TV was still on. The light from the screen reflected on the icy walls. Mickey got up slowly. He could not feel any cold.

He stepped through the bathroom door and found himself in an icy corridor which led him into an open space like a cave. Mickey was now deep into the heart of frozen Hell.

There was a black man standing there. He wasn't exactly a black man, he was more like a shadow, a piece of darkness in the form of a man. A small red dot was glowing in the middle of the black man's forehead. The dot was pulsing and slowly getting bigger.

A voice in his head told Mickey that in order to combat the arch demon of icy Hell he had to activate his third eye. Mickey had no idea how to do that. The voice told him to concentrate on the inside of his forehead and repeat the words "I am the Master."

Indeed Mickey felt a slight pulse on the inside of his forehead after a while. He felt his third eye becoming bigger and bigger. At the same moment he could feel an upcoming sensation approaching. It was something like an orgasm but much stronger. He knew that something was going to pour out of his third eye once it was fully activated.

Suddenly the black man's third eye shot out a red beam towards Mickey. He felt a horrible pain as if he was being boiled alive. Flames in the color of deep red appeared around him.

The voice abandoned Mickey and his third eye shrunk in an instant to its previous inactivated condition.

The only thing Mickey could do was pray. But he did not know to whom God. Instead he shouted out loud Sun Lei's name.

Then he woke up. His heart was pounding faster than ever, and strange patterns where still floating in front of his eyes. Otherwise everything in the room was quite normal. Sun Lei was sleeping peacefully as a child. Mickey felt incredibly thirsty. He reached for the mineral water bottles.

5

The next morning Mickey and Sun Lei met Jin Ming and Bao Bo at the hotel restaurant. The two technicians were talking about the possibility of making extra cash by selling some footage to foreigners.

Jin Ming had met in Beijing a few months ago a foreign reporter who gave him her card and told him to contact her if he had any interesting footage.

"How much is she willing to pay?" asked Mickey?

"It depends on the material. I suppose we can get one hundred thousand dollars for one or two hours of footage. The price may get higher if it is highly controversial material," said Jin Ming.

"Why sell your country for a bit of cash?" said Sun Lei.

"We are not doing any harm to anyone. The Chinese people will not get the chance to view this footage and the foreigners have already seen these things many times before. It will make no difference to anyone apart from our pockets," said Jin Ming.

"Do not forget that this is the era of globalization. Do you know what this means? Everyone is selling off their countries for the appropriate amount of cash. If any foreigner coming here with a suitcase full of cash can buy a piece of China why shouldn't we be able to sell a piece of our work to the foreigners" added Bao Bo.

"He may be right," said Mickey. This thing may open many new doors for us."

"And we can all split up the money," added Bao Bo.

"Let's think about this later. We got work to do," said Mickey.

Li Ming picked them from the hotel with the van and took them to a monastery located one hundred kilometers from Lhasa. On the way there they saw a few PLA vehicles parked aside the road.

The soldiers were standing around smoking with their rifles hanging on their shoulders.

"There doesn't seem to be much trouble," said Sun Lei.

"That is true. The only ones who believe that there is trouble here are the foreigners who have been brainwashed by the Dalai Lama," said Li Ming.

The monastery was like a small village with stone houses and narrow roads on the side of a hill. After going through the main gate Li Ming drove them to a building much taller and fancier than the rest.

They got out of the van ready to start shooting this wonderful place when a monk appeared and asked them to follow him.

"Don't worry, you will have plenty of time to shoot the temple and the surrounding area," he said.

"You got to interview the leader of the monastery first," said Li Ming.

They were taken to his office which wasn't much different from any provincial party headquarters. He was short, bald, about fifty-five and dressed in the traditional orange garment. He introduced himself as Zhong Dong in perfect Mandarin. Sun Lei was the one that would interview him.

"You know, we have lots of things here. Computers, internet and even mp3 players so we can listen to music in the night time when everyone else is sleeping. I bet you can imagine who gave us all these things."

"Who?" asked Sun Lei in an unconvincingly innocent manner.

"The same people who built the schools, fixed the roads, brought the tourists and increased the average income."

He made a small pause then continued.

"It's a shame to read all those things on the internet about the Army blocking all the roads and refusing to allow food delivered to the monks who are starving to death. How could the foreigners know that it's the other way round? The Army is the one that brings us the food. I cannot really understand them. They will accept everything they hear on the television as the absolute truth while at the same moment they cannot see what is obvious. Dalai Lama has never done anything for the people of Tibet. He never cared about them. The only thing he wants is power and fame."

"So there are no supporters of Dalai Lama in Tibet?"

"There are a few. Some of them have even starved themselves to death in an attempt to show the world how cruel the Beijing government is.

"Can we talk to one of them?" asked Sun Lei.

"They are too weak to talk with anyone," replied the monk. "We got to feed them with a tube."

He then talked about the peaceful life everyone leads in Tibet thanks to the presence of the PLA that makes sure no problems come up. He said that he has never been to Beijing and his wish is to visit the Great Wall.

After the end of the interview they were allowed to film around the monastery. Sun Lei wanted to speak to some of the monks but none of them got too close.

They drove back to Lhasa. Li Ming returned to the TV station and the team walked around the streets interviewing random people.

"The Tibetan people embrace the progress of China," said a girl working in a restaurant.

"Let us see further development," said a young man on a motorbike.

A middle aged man in a small shop selling cigarettes and wine joked about how his sales would boost if the Olympics were held one day in Lhasa.

A girl from Yunnan working in a hotel told them that she usually makes enough money to send to her parents in Yunnan but these days things were a bit tough because tourists are not allowed to enter until the situation has been stabilized.

Some PLA troops passing by refused to make any comments.

They went back to the hotel to have a rest for a few hours until dinner time.

6

At seven o clock they were driven to a two storey Sichuan restaurant. The girl at the reception desk took them to a VIP room. Ling Meng was already there with two middle aged men. She introduced them as Mr. Wang and Mr. Zhang. They were both Party Officials.

"We have been here for ten years. In Beijing everyone thinks we're doing a good job so I don't think we will be getting a transfer back to our hometowns any time soon," said Mr. Wang.

"Last year we visited Beijing to take part in a Party leaders meeting at the Great Hall of the People. We stayed at a hotel in Wangfujing," said Mr. Zhang.

"Those were great days. Do you remember the limo that took us to the Great Wall?" said Mr. Wang.

They both laughed.

"Shall we drink?" asked Mr. Wang.

"Of course," said Mickey. "This special occasion requires nothing but drinking."

"I can see that the peculiarities of Tibet have not affected you at all." said Mr. Zhang.

"This place is a part of China and I'm a Chinese man. If I can drink in Beijing, then I can drink in Tibet," said Mickey.

"That is true. It's the foreigners who drop dead from altitude sickness. An American guy was put on life support because he went jogging. Do you remember that Mr. Zhang?" said Mr. Wang.

"Oh yes," added Mr. Zhang.

"To tell the truth I'm not so immune. My doctor has advised me to keep away from intense activities," said Mickey.

The two of them looked puzzled.

"Why is that?" asked Mr. Wang.

"I have a weak heart. I have been told not to drink or smoke," said Mickey.

"Don't worry too much. Do you think everyone in this town is healthy? I myself have been suffering from lung and liver dysfunction since the first year I came up here," said Mr. Wang.

"Most high rank party officials come from other places of China," said Li Meng.

"What about local party members? Are there any?" asked Sun Lei.

"There are a few of them. Many people that work in the local media or police Party members. We even got temple leaders that are Party members," said Mr Wang.

"Amazing," said Sun Lei.

"That is something the foreign media always forget to mention, he he," said Mr Zhang.

"True," said Sun Lei. "It seems that they are too busy interviewing the Dalai Lama."

"Now you've just mentioned the name of a big troublemaker," said Mr Wang as he put down his glass of beer.

"I didn't want to spoil our appetite but I would appreciate it if you told me a few things about his supporters here in Tibet," said Sun Lei.

"I don't think he has many supporters in Tibet," said Mr Wang in a very confident manner.

"The people do not want to be ruled any longer by religious elite," added Mr Zhang.

"They want highways, bullet trains, fast food restaurants, KTV's, dvd players. Who can give them all this stuff?" said Mr Wang.

"Do they really want all this stuff?" asked Sun Lei.

"Wouldn't you want all this stuff if you never had it before in your life?" said Mr Wang.

That phrase struck a chord in Sun Lei. Until that moment she had never thought seriously about what she really wanted. It was most probably the same for most of the people from her close environment.

You just work and consume, and when you are not doing either of these two things you are probably sleeping therefore you don't have enough time to think.

"I am wondering what we really know about these people. How can we be sure about what they really want?" she said.

"I know because it's my job to know these things," said Mr. Wang.

"Can you please tell me what is it they really want? It's impossible for me to get this information. They will only tell me what I want to hear," said Sun Lei.

"I will tell you one thing young lady," said Mr. Zhang. "They do not want the Dalai Lama back. They've had enough of those slave owners. You can pay a visit to Nepal and see what's going on there. You can bet that the best thing that could ever happen to that place is to be freed by our Red Army."

"Come on. There got to be some troublemakers in Tibet," says Sun Lei.

A shadow swept over Mr. Zhang's face. Li Meng pretended that she had not heard that last sentence. She transfixed her eyes on the pair of chopsticks resting against her dish as she waited for Mr Zhang's diplomatic reply.

"Sure there are. Troublemakers are everywhere, you can even find them among the highest ranks of the Party," replied Mr. Zhang.

"Can we get the chance to meet one?" asked Sun Lei.

"Why would someone from CCTV want to interview a dissident? Does your attitude show a lack of loyalty?" said Mr. Zhang.

"No. I want to use it as a disclaimer. To show the Chinese people what happens to one's mind when he is influenced by the ideas of Dalai Lama and his foreign friends," said Sun Lei.

Mr. Zhang got skeptical for a while, then a smile swept across his face.

"That is not a bad idea," said Mr. Zhang. "Tomorrow we will take you to a place where you can talk with such a person."

"Thank you very much," said Sun Lei. She smiled and raised her glass.

7

Mickey was half drunk by the time they went back to the hotel. They sat in the lobby for ten minutes to discuss their plans.

"What you did was great. You are a genius," said Bao Bo to Sun Lei.

"This is the opportunity we were waiting for," said Jin Ming.

"We will make a watered down version of tomorrow's interview for CCTV and sell the harder version to the foreigners. I'm sure that foreign bitch is willing to pay a lot of money for this," said Bao Bo.

"Really?" said Sun Lei.

"Yes. Anything that makes our government look bad is popular in the west. Nowadays a lot of Chinese writers and filmmakers who are hated by the Chinese government because of their rebellious attitude are quite popular in the West." said Mickey.

"Yeah. What was the name of that film that was shown in France last year? The one about Tiananmen with a lot of fucking in it," said Bao Bo.

"Summer Palace," said Mickey.

"Isn't this film banned in China?" asked Sun Lei.

"Sure, but you can find the pirate dvd everywhere," said Mickey.

"I bet you watched it together with your wife," said Jin Ming.

"No, I watched it with your girlfriend," chuckled Mickey.

"I'm leaving, goodnight everyone" said Sun Lei.

Their vulgar loud laughing was echoing in the hall as she walked away. They were become more and more like foreigners she thought as she was going up the stairs to her room.

The moment Sun Lei left the topic immediately changed to fucking foreign women. Mickey was the definite champion having fucked two Caucasian women-a hooker from Eastern Europe, an overseas student from France, a Filipina English teacher and a Japanese lady.

Bao Bo had fucked a Korean girl he met in University in Beijing. Jin Ming hadn't done anything yet with a foreign woman but he confessed his dream was to sleep with a German or Swedish lady.

"You know, there are lots of foreign women that come to China because no one in the West wants to fuck them. You should take advantage of that," said Mickey.

Mickey got up from the sofa to declare that he would be going up to his room.

Five minutes later as he was changing into his pyjamas he heard a knock on the door.

It was Sun Lei. She entered the room, took off the green robe she was wearing and got under the blanket.

"Come over here quickly," she said.

"Wait a minute, I need to brush my teeth."

She turned on the TV. She found a mandarin language singing contest for foreigners on CCTV.

"Good choice if you want a few cheap laughs," said Mickey as he was getting in bed with her.

"Look at the blonde guy with the blue eyes. He is so handsome and he can speak excellent Chinese," said Sun Lei.

"He is a fucking penniless student. If you go to Wudaokou you can find hundreds like him," said Mickey.

She put her hand on his chest. "Why are you getting jealous Mr. Mickey?" she said in English. "I'm here with you, aren't I," she asked.

"Indeed you are. What do you intend to do about it though?"

"It depends on how much can you take."

Her hand went under his pyjama and squeezed his cock. It became stiff immediately. She pulled down with both hands his pyjama pants and his underwear. She jerked him for a while then opened her mouth and swallowed his cock. The movement of her lips up and down over his red swollen cock was simply too much for Mickey at this moment. He warned her that he would be exploding pretty soon.

"I want you to finish on my face," she said. She pulled his throbbing member out of her mouth and waited for the thick white droplets to splash over her heavenly features. When this happened she welcomed it with an expression that was a mixture of happiness, stupidity and holiness. Mickey was amazed since he had never seen such an expression before, probably because he had never ejaculated on a woman's face before.

She lied on her back staring at the ceiling with a calm expression as she waited for Mickey to bring a towel from the bathroom. He wiped her face gently, following the lines of her face. Then he put the towel aside and got ready to sleep.

She pulled her pyjama pants down to reveal her shaved pussy.

"Can we leave this for tomorrow night?" asked Mickey.

"Right Boss."

She turned her back to him and ten minutes later she fell asleep.

8

The next morning they drove with Mr. Zhang, Mr Wang and Li Meng to a monastery that was about 150 kilometers out of Llasa. The altitude was above 4500 meters but it didn't seem to bother Mickey.

There was Army gathered around the monastery.

"What the Hell is going on?" asked Sun Lei.

"I will bring the leader of the operation to say a few words to the Chinese people," said Mr Zhang.

About ten minutes later a three star commander of the PLA who introduced himself as Wong Jia Jin took his place in front of the camera next to Sun Lei.

"Can you please tell the Chinese People what is happening?" asked Sun Lei.

"The leader of this monastery is under direct orders from the Dalai Llama. Under the orders of the Dalai Llama a local Communist party member is being held hostage and they will not release him unless they get the chance to speak in front of a TV camera to the entire Chinese nation," said the captain.

"Can't you just storm in and bust their heads?" asked Mickey.

"We have information that they are armed with weapons provided by Taiwan. A soldier of the PLA was shot on the shoulder earlier. For the moment we want to avoid any unnecessary bloodshed," said the captain.

"We are representatives of a major TV network, maybe we can get in and negotiate with them," said Sun Lei.

"That may not be a bad idea. But first we need to get approval from Beijing."

He then walked away with Mr. Zhang without saying anything else.

"This is our chance," said Bao Bo. "We will walk in there and get all the footage we want."

"You're just a reporter not a super agent like James Bond. If you step inside there you will be in deep shit," said Jin Ming.

"A civil war is ready to erupt over here and we are the only ones capable of preventing it. We just need to give face to both sides and that's it, we will become rich and famous," said Bao Bo.

"I hope it's easy as it sounds," said Sun Lei.

"Someone give me a cigarette," said Mickey.

"Why don't you take your pills instead, it may improve your..." said Sun Lei.

"I know, I know," replied Mickey. "It's just that I feel this enormous strain and I don't know any other way to release the tension."

Before Mickey had the time to find a smoke, Mr Zhang came back with someone familiar. It was Zhong Dong, the Party member monastery leader. Zhong Dong told them that he was going to lead them into the monastery."

"Two of you will be going in. One cameraman and one interviewer."

Sun Lei stepped ahead ready to follow the monk.

"You're not going anywhere," said Mickey. "It may be unsafe. I'm the one going in."

Bao Bo already had the camera mounted on his shoulder.

"I'm ready for action boss," he exclaimed.

"You better be careful in there," said Sun Lei.

Bao Bo pointed to the monastery gate.

"That may seem like an ordinary wooden door but it may be the gate that will lead us to the golden path of success."

He smiled to her as he quickly scuttled behind Mickey and Zhong Dong through the gate.

That was the last time she ever saw him.

9

Once through the gate Mickey only noticed some monks holding wooden canes. He wondered where were the weapons that the Taiwan government supplied to the monastery.

Zhong Dong spoke to one of them in the local language. The monk led them through the yard to a single storey building. It was the dining hall of the monastery spacious enough to feed two hundred monks. The tables were long and narrow with long benches on both sides. There were several groups of monks in the restaurant that moment. None of them were eating although a lot of them were drinking tea or water out of wooden cups.

The monk with the stick led them to one of the groups. It was the biggest one. One of the monks that seemed to be the leader got up and stared at Mickey and Bao Bo with enthusiasm.

"Are you filming now?" he asked Mickey in Mandarin.

"Sure," said Mickey.

"I would like to deliver my speech. Where should I sit?" asked the leader.

"You don't need change seat. We can do it anywhere you like," said Mickey.

The leader sat again among the monks.

Mickey noticed a small metal object on the table right next to him. The leader noticing Mickey's expression gave a pleasant smile.

"Please don't worry about that. It hasn't been fired for decades. In 1959 I took it myself out of the hands of a dead PLA soldier and kept it hidden carefully in the monastery all these years. This week I took it out of its hiding place for the first time. I suppose the bullets are still inside the weapon but im very doubtful if this thing can still fire a shot. Anyway, it was very helpful when the time came to scare this reptile."

The leader pointed to another table in the far end of the dining hall opposite the entrance Mickey had come in through. There were about seven monks on that table and among them was a man in a gray suit. He looked like a bureaucrat and he was obviously not a local. His arms were tied behind.

"May I talk with him for a few minutes," asked Mickey.

"You may," replied the leader. "But first I must deliver my speech."

Bao Bo sat down and put the camera on the table about three meters away from the leader. He did some adjustments that lasted for half a minute then he told the leader to start.

Mickey also took out the mini camera turned it on, pressed the record button and put it on the table.

The leader stared at the camera lens and started his story.

"I am Ge Sang, leader of Palhpuh monastery in Tibet. We are now surrounded by the Red Army. I don't know for how long we can remain safe but first let me explain to you the reasons leading to this situation."

"A few days ago three monks from this monastery got arrested by the police because they verbally harassed a soldier of the PLA that spat in front of them. In custody they made further negative comments against the PLA and the Beijing government. I myself had no idea about their arrest or the reason they had gotten arrested. Yesterday on the second day of their disappearance I received a visitor. His name is Li Guang and he is a local official for the communist party. He told me what had happened with the three monks and furthermore demanded that I give him a name list of all the monks in this monastery. When I asked why, he explained that all monks would be questioned and if any supporters of Dalai Llama were found they would be arrested. I told him there were no supporters of the Dalai Llama in this monastery and that everyone abides to the rules set by the local government. He was very surprised by my word saying that the behaviour of those three monks wasn't very loyal to the local government.

Li Guang asked me if I approved of their acts. I told him that I didn't. I also told him that there was a great difference between the harassing of a spitter and serious anti-government activities. I think that the harassing of the spitter was the result of the personal offence one takes when certain rules of conduct and good taste are violated."

Ge Sang took a pause to drink from this cup.

"Upon hearing this Li Guang got furious. He said that it is definitely anti-government activity if you harass a spitter that wears the uniform of the PLA. I asked Li Guang if a soldier should be allowed to spit while wearing his uniform and he replied 'of course! It's pretty normal for Chinese men to spit in front of others' then he told me to hurry up and bring him the name list.

I decided that the only option I had was to use armed force and keep him as a hostage until the matter was resolved."

"Please tell us what do you want to be done in order to free the hostage," said Mickey from outside the camera frame.

"I want the three monks to be officially pardoned and set free. I want members of Amnesty International and CNN to be brought to Llasa and escort the monks back to the monastery. I want the local government to sign papers in their presence guaranteeing the safety of this monastery and its monks. Then Li Guang will be freed."

"Fine," said Mickey as he picked up his camera and turned off the record button.

"I will go out to negotiate with the Army. The cameraman with the camera will remain here until I come back, but before doing that I will need a statement from Li Guang on my mini camera to show those outside that he is in one piece."

Ge Sang allowed Mickey and Bao Bo to sit alone with Li Guang. Both cameras were turned on.

Li Guang first said hello to his wife and children, then he described his current situation as the result of a misunderstanding and called those in charge to find a peaceful solution to the problem. He said that the monks had treated him well and finally made a joke that he was not well accustomed to the primitive toilets of the monastery so he wished he could go home as soon as possible.

Mickey gave a signal to Bao Bo to leave. Without a word Bao Bo got up and left taking the camera with him. He went to another table and sat. Immediately some monks started addressing the camera.

"Do you think those outside will really set free the three monks?" asked Mickey.

"They will not risk anything in front of live TV," replied Li Guang. "Not with all the foreigners watching."

"Problem is that it's not live TV. Nothing has been transmitted."

"That was their only hope. If they find out I'm in deep shit."

"Don't worry, no one is going to tell them."

Before going out Mickey spoke with Bao Bo.

"This is the chance we are waiting for," said Mickey. " I will go out and tell the Army there are no weapons in the monastery. The PLA will storm in the monastery and start killing monks and we are going to capture everything on tape. This footage is going to be worth millions. The foreigners are going to pay whatever we ask them for."

"What if they don't allow us to walk away with the footage?" asked Bao Bo.

"You will replace the tape at the last moment with an empty one or you can pretend someone knocked you down and shattered the camera."

They smiled to each other as Mickey walked to the gate.

10

Quite predictably, the moment when Mickey told Wong Jia Jin there were no weapons inside the monastery apart from a rusty gun that hasn't fired a shot since 1959 an armoured jeep crashed through the front gate and the PLA troops ran enthusiastically in the monastery yard.

Fire bombs were thrown by the monks to the soldiers who responded by rapid fire. More than twenty monks got killed along with Ge Sang, the hostage and Bao Bo. A young lieutenant took the camera out of Bao Bo's grip, removed the tape and threw it into one of the fires that had started all over the place. To be 100% percent sure things wouldn't fuck up he then threw the entire camera in the fire. Now there was no way that what had happened today at Palhpu monastery would ever come out.

That night only Mickey and Sun Lei went back to the hotel. Jin Ming had decided to take a late plane back to Beijing.

Mickey put the mini digicam on the table.

"This is all we got? How much are we supposed to make money out of it?" asked Sun Lei.

"I think CNN will give us one hundred thousand."

"RMB?"

"No, dollars you stupid. I will contact the CNN lady immediately when we go back to Beijing."

"Why would she agree to give us so much money? We do not have any action scenes, it only shows what happened before the soldiers attacked the monastery. It will be a miracle if we can get five thousand rmb," said Sun Lei.

"The footage in this camera contains the last words of Ge Sang before he got executed by the PLA. His words will be enough to convince everyone that the Beijing government is a bunch of liars. Furthermore we have also recorded the last words of Ge Sang and the brave Bao Bo who sacrificed himself in order to bring out the truth."

"What's to become of us after we give the tape to CNN?"

"We can decide when we're in Hawaii. Returning to China may not be a good option but we can surely find another place equally worthwhile," said Mickey.

"I love the idea," she said as she wrapped his arms around him.

Their lips met and their tounges came out searching for each other. Mickey let his tounge go over her face. He stuck it into her ears then he slid down the side of her neck.

She had took off her jacket and now was getting out of her blouse. He bit and sucked her perfect white breasts and the same time he unbuttoned his shirt. They both fell on the bed and slid out of their trousers. Mickey licked her tummy and he stuck his tongue into her belly button. He removed her underwear gently and although he was too old fashioned to lick her pussy he did let his fingers sink in the folds of the flesh hidden between a delicate bush of hair. She was wet enough so he decided it was time to stick it into her.

He spread her legs open with his hands and pulled her pelvis towards his.

She jerked back awkwardly.

"Do you have a condom?" she asked.

Mickey seemed angry with what she said.

"I am a Chinese man, not one of those sex diseased foreigners. Don't you trust me?"

"I trust you but I don't want to get pregnant. If you want to do the job you should wear a condom."

He reached in his wallet and took out a Durex. He always carried two or three condoms in case he he wanted further services from the hostesses at the KTV he usually went with his male colleagues after work.

Mickey put on the condom and let his cock slide inside her wet pussy. She moaned and this made his cock even harder. He thrust his body forward and her helpless moans became louder.

"Push it, push it" she begged like a teenage girl in a Japanese cartoon.

His fingers pinched her light coloured nipples. He was moving faster and faster and she moaned louder.

"I'm gonna fuck you harder than a foreign bastard," he said as he looked into her eyes.

"I wanna cum, I wanna cum," she said.

"I will make you cum."

For the second time in her life since that one night stand with that foreign teacher in jian wai soho, Sun Lei discovered the true meaning of sex.

It was probably the successive encounter with death and success she had that day that brought her such an intense orgasm.

As Mickey observed the holiness in her expression and sensed her bodily spasms he also came. He felt a tremendous power going through this body.

It was something unlike anything else he had ever experienced with a woman. He could understand that orgasm wasn't about bodily fluids but about possesing and getting possesed by a higher force of nature that exists within us all although we seldom get the chance to access it.

Indeed Tibet was a magical place. That night both of them came to understand the tremendous potential of their sexual energy.

Sun Lei felt Mickey collapsing upon her but she didn't stop moving her pelvis back and forth since his cock was still inside her. She got kinda annoyed with the saliva dripping on her neck from his mouth. She pushed him back.

Then she screamed when she saw his distorted features. She didn't scream the way someone who enjoys getting fucked very hard. She screamed in the same way they scream in horror films.

Mickey was dead on top of her. He had forgotten to take his heart medicine at six 'o' clock.

Epilogue

It was embarrassing for Sun Lei to explain how Mickey had died but at least no one accused her of being responsible for his death. The next day she took the plane to Beijing.

She didn't attend Mickey's funeral that took place a few days later. Word was that she had to take an urgent trip out of the country.

The last speech of Ge Song was an international hit. It was shown on CNN news channel. The broadcasting provoked outrage against the policies of Beijing from all over the world.

Political activists marched against Chinese embassies in many American and European cities. It was even mentioned by the Dalai Llama in his meetings with world leaders.

1

"You have a weak heart, you had better not come along," she said to him in the karaoke room. He made a face as if he had just eaten shit. Mickey Wang did not want to hear these words.

"The only thing my heart cannot take is your refusal dear." he said close to her ear. He had to whisper, he didn't want anyone else to hear their conversation.

"I care for you so much, that is why I'm saying this to you," she said. She had one of those smiles that Chinese girls always put on when they want to fuck you up.

"You care about me? You surely don't show it that often," he said.

"How can I? You are a married man and I am a young girl looking for my future husband."

Mickey sighed and drank from his glass. A lot of women would happily accept the position of the second wife but not this one.

"It would have been much better if we lived a hundred years ago, then the problem would be easily solved" he said.

"What would I be? First wife, second wife or just a mere concubine?"

Mickey who already had a second wife in Shenzhen didn't want to give Sun Lei a honest reply.

"Why are you so much concerned about the position? Isn't life long happiness enough for you?"

"It's not enough for me. I don't like sharing a man, especially with his legal wife."

"You know well that I can't divorce her at the moment."

The only reason they could have this conversation while sitting among fifteen of their colleagues was the exceptionally high volume of the music.

A girl with impressive tits from the HR office was singing a love song by Deng Li Jun. She stopped immediately when Mickey got up on his feet with a half bottle of Chivas in his hand ready to say something important. Everyone in the room waited for his words.

"Let us drink to the success of our trip to Tibet next week." All glasses were filled and everyone drank up.

Except Mickey. He just brought the bottle he was holding to his lips.

When it was emptied he dropped it on the floor which was covered by a thick carpet and staggered towards the adjacent restroom. When he got in he immediately vomited all over the place.

Mickey couldn't remember much of what happened afterwards.

There was someone who was wiping the vomit off his shirt with a paper towel then two people carried him back to the couch where he collapsed next to Sun Lei. He could remember her blurry features in close up as she was asking him how he felt. It was somehow more real than the background.

The dancing, singing and drinking continued for about an hour. Then it was decided that the time to pay the bill had come.

Mickey was taken back home by two of his close colleagues. They came with him upstairs and waited until he had found his keys to unlock the door of his apartment. The moment Mickey put the key in the lock they quickly scuttled away like cockroaches to avoid the embarrassment in case Mickey's wife was waiting for him right behind the door.

Their fears proved to be unsubstantial, there was nobody waiting for Mickey in the spacious living room.

He was still dizzy from the alcohol. He sat on the living room sofa and vomited on the floor. The stench of the regurgitated alcohol bothered him however there was no way he could go any further. He just lied on the sofa without taking off his shoes and fell asleep very soon.

His wife Nana got up four hours later at seven thirty. As she was accustomed to this sort of thing so she wiped away the vomit without a fuss and covered him with a quilt. One hour later the sunlight pouring in through the window woke Mickey up. He saw the freshly wiped floor but he didn't look around for Nana. He went like a zombie to the bedroom, took off his clothes and slept for another two hours.

At lunchtime he met each his wife in the kitchen. She had laid on the table an assorted variety of typical Chinese food. There were dishes with fish, vegetables, tofu and steamed dumplings.

He asked for a bowl of rice. She did as he said, then put the bowl in front of him without saying much. Both of them started to eat as if there was no one else in the room.

She cracked the silence first. "Didn't Yong Jie tell you to stop drinking and smoking?" She spoke with a calm voice without bothering to look up from her food.

Mickey looked up at her.

"How can I stop drinking and smoking? I'm a man from Jilin. In my hometown all men drink and smoke, so do most of the women. If I stop drinking and smoking I will loose much face."

"You are not in your hometown now" she said.

"It's not very different over here. You can't say no when certain people offer you a drink," he said.

"What do you plan to do? Ruin your body because of business formalities?"

"Darling I'm still 44. No matter what the doctor says I can still take a glass or two."

Nana was 35. They had no children although they had been married for eight years. Mickey was convinced that it was her fault so he was considering the possibility of finding another woman to give him a son.

The big problem was that Nana's father was the general manager at the major TV network Mickey was working for. He owed to his wife's family the biggest part of his success and he knew that if he ever left her there would be serious consequences. His father in law who was also a high rank Party official could make it sure that Mickey would get into a lot of trouble if he ever made his daughter unhappy.

Deep down Mickey was in love with his colleague Sun Lei, 28 years old, unmarried. She was always saying that she was in a relationship with a guy who worked somewhere in Zhongguancun. Even if that was the truth she didn't seem to be spending much time with her boyfriend. Maybe she was the second wife of a company manager who could only come to fuck her once a month. The rest of the time she was free to do whatever she wanted.

She was pretty cute so there were several other guys in the office who liked her but Mickey was hoping that eventually she would decide to hit it off with him. The last few months they had been out together several times and even kissed on the mouth. They discussed sexual matters in the same manner modern Chinese who try to imitate foreigners do, however everytime he suggested they lock themselves together in a hotel room she said no.

Like most Chinese girls she was pretty good at teasing. Once she told Mickey that she had a one night stand with a guy who worked in the same building. She had met him in the elevator one night after working overtime.

For the next few months Mickey was trying to guess who the lucky guy was. Every time he took the elevator together with Sun Lei he was checking the expressions of the men standing near her to her in case any traces of that sweet memory suddenly appeared on their face.

He never did find out although he strongly suspected a foreigner working at the language school on the nineteenth floor, one of those dime a dozen English teachers that you can find all over China nowadays.

"That's an interesting theory," she remarked when he confessed his suspicion to her while they were sipping on cappuccinos in a Starbucks.

"Am I right or wrong?" he asked.

"A foreigner is a good choice for a committed woman who wants to have some fun with someone from her working environment. Firstly there is no gossip-since most of these guys can't go beyond a simple ni hao when it comes to communicating in Chinese-then there is not much jealousy since he is probably messing around with another two or three Chinese ladies. He can do the job in a quite effective manner and then he has disappeared before you've even memorized his name. Believe me this is what most women want nowadays."

"You can't trust them. Most of them have sex diseases. Better choose someone from your own country."

"Like who for example, you? If I ever consider the possibility having sex with you I will probably have to change my job within two months and that is something I do not want because I really love my job."

"Why would you need to get a new job," he asked.

"Because you're going to fall in love with me, that's why. I can sense it."

"Maybe you are right. I should probably consider getting a divorce," Mickey said half joking and half serious.

"Then certainly you have more chances to have sex with me. Do keep in mind that the first marriage is always like a test-drive. You just want to take a ride and see how bumpy the road is. The second marriage is what counts most. That is when you use the experience you have acquired from the first marriage to avoid serious mistakes. The second marriage is when you want to see your life taking the shape that you want it to take." She had read this in the Chinese edition of Cosmopolitan and she thought it was quite true.

"That is a very interesting theory but my main concern at the moment is the shape of your breasts," said Mickey.

She called him a pig.

2

A few days later it was announced that they would be going to Tibet next week to cover the current events. They would shoot footage for a CCTV Tibetan special that would also be shown in Hong Kong and abroad for the purpose of calming down all those accusing the Chinese authorities for violent clampdowns in Tibet.

They decided to celebrate the occasion by spending the evening in a VIP karaoke room. Mickey sat next to Sun Lei (as usual) and drank a lot (as usual). When he found the appropriate moment to put his arms around her she told him that his heart was weak and he had better not travel to Tibet. In a sense she was not completely wrong. Mickey knew cases of people who had died in Tibet due to the lack of oxygen but there was no way he would say no to such a trip. Divorce was out of the question for this period of his life, so this would probably be the first and last time he would ever get the chance to spend five days in a row out of Beijing with Sun Lei. If anything was ever going to happen between them this would be the right time.

"Ha ha ha. What will happen if you have a heart failure while fucking me in Tibet? It will be quite embarrassing to explain what you were doing naked on top of me the moment you died."

"I'm a strong man. I will also bring some oxygen bottles if necessary."

"You should see your doctor before booking the tickets to Llasa."

The next day Mickey went to the expensive clinique he usually visited. Most of the people you could see there were rich foreigners or overseas Chinese.

The doctor Yong Jie- an old classmate and friend-told Mickey that the trip to Tibet would be ok as long as he adjusted himself gradually to the altitude and the best way to do this would be to take the train. He also advised Mickey to walk slowly especially on the first day and avoid any activities that would make him exhausted including sex.

"I suppose that smoking and drinking are out of the question," Mickey asked.

"What do you think," said the doctor with a strict expression on his face.

"I can live with that for a few days but how about I bring some oxygen supplies with me in case of any bedroom activities" he joked.

"There is a reason people in Tibet do a lot of praying and meditation. There is not enough oxygen to feed the muscles for more intense activities."

"How then do they have babies in Tibet? There's got to be some people in Tibet having sex with each other."

"The way they have sex is like the still waters of the lake. Not a single ripple breaks the surface."

"Fuck! Girls today don't like it that way."

"Remember Tibet is not a place to nurture bad habits, especially for someone with a weak heart as you."

"But you can fix me up, can't you?"

"Yes but for how long?" asked the doctor.

"It's already been three years, this means that your medicine is very good." said Mickey.

"You must also think about your wife. If you drink and smoke it worries her very much," said the doctor.

"It is not my intention to turn Nana into a widow, but this is China, there are certain things that should be done no matter what. You know that very well doctor."

"But you got to be careful. If you continue this way you will not have much time."

"Give me some Chinese medicine and don't worry about me too much. I can handle it."

The doctor gave him something for the liver and the heart plus some pills for altitude sickness.

"How is Nana?" asked Yong as Mickey was about to exit.

"I got much work to do so I'm not sure myself. Maybe you can pay her a visit. She will be kinda lonely when I go to Tibet next week."

"Maybe I will." He smiled.

"Hey you ... Be careful." Mickey pointed his finger into the doctor's face. They both laughed.

3

There were four of them on the train to Tibet- Mickey, Sun Lei and two technicians Jin Ming and Bao Bo.

There were few passengers on the train. Tourism, especially for foreigners had been restricted since the rioting began. Foreign correspondents were getting quite quirky about this. The thought they had the right to interfere absolutely everywhere. One of them who was writing an article about Tibet for an American magazine had approached Mickey in Beijing a few days earlier.

"You can find all the information you want in the Xinhua press," Mickey told him.

"I don't want a government seal of approval on my article. I want something real."

"I'll see what I can do. Maybe I can bring you in contact with some friends."

Mickey kept his word. He informed the Foreign Bureau and within two weeks the journalist had gotten deported. He was one of the lucky ones. There were several cases of foreigners who got beaten up because they were wearing "free Tibet" T-shirts. It even happened in the middle of Tiananmen Square.

Nothing interesting happened during the first day of the trip. Mickey and his three colleagues spent most of the time locked in their first class compartment eating, sleeping or playing cards. When night fell Mickey and Sun Lei managed to spend some time kissing while the other two were asleep.

On the second day a few hours after the train had entered the Tibet region, it paused due to obstacles put on the tracks by anti-government dissidents.

A group of troops appeared around the train. Mickey wanted to speak to them but nobody was allowed to exit the train. They only thing they could do was to shoot a few scenes from the inside with Sun Lei's digital video camera.

"Why don't they let us step out?" wondered Bao Bo.

"The troops are concerned about our safety. I've heard that Tibetan protestors have fired against our trains,' mentioned Sun Lei.

"What do you mean when you say our trains?" asked Bao Bo.

"When I say our trains I mean the trains of the people of China."

"So the people firing against the trains do not belong to the people of China?"

"It would be more appropriate to say they do not consider themselves as people of China. Most of them actually believe that the people of China are invaders in their territory, therefore everytime they shoot against one of our trains they do not consider it an unpatriotic act."

"What kind of act do they consider it then?"

"Possibly a patriotic act."

"Do you think there is a chance a single Chinese person would ever agree with them?"

"Surely not in front of a TV camera."

"So how the hell can we expect to ever find out the truth?"

"Are you stupid Mickey? Our job here is not to find the truth but to impose the truth."

At that moment another shot was fired against the windows of the train. The soldiers jumped in their jeeps and rushed toward the direction the bullet came from. Mickey, Sun Lei and the two technicians went back into their compartment to continue their game of cards.

The soldiers returned an hour later. Some of them got in the train and walk through the carriages. They hanged around for a few hours until their leader decided it would be safe for the train to continue its route.

At the Lhasa train station a company car was waiting for them to take them to the hotel. Each person had his own room. Mickey and Sun Lei were conveniently located opposite each other on the second floor while the two technicians had rooms on the third.

They could only stay in their rooms for twenty minutes. They company car would take them to the CCTV headquarters where they would get a TV van with all the necessary equipment.

Over there they met a woman who introduced herself as Li Meng. She was the news supervisor for the local channel and executive producer of the show they would be producing. She had arranged interviews with police officers, local officials, Buddhist priests and monks, and a few ordinary people.

"Do we get the chance to film any anti-government demonstrations?" asked Sun Lei.

"You will have to talk with the head of security about that matter. You will meet him tomorrow. The case now in Tibet is very sensitive so everything must be conducted under strict supervision."

"I see," replied Mickey.

"You must remember that your mission is to show everyone including the foreigners that there are no real problems in Tibet and that the troublemakers do not represent the majority of Tibet people."

"Understood," said Mickey.

The first appointment would be in two hours. They drove with the van to the Central Headquarters of Police where they met the Head of Security.

He gave an overview about those religious activists supporting a schism between Tibet and China under the guidance of Dalai Lama and his CIA supporters. He even blamed certain international peace and humanitarian organizations behind these moves.

"The only reason they have put such an effort to their propaganda campaign is because of the Olympics, otherwise they would have no such chance to exert such criticism."

Sun Lei asked him who benefits from this campaign to smear the government of China.

It is important to distinguish between two separate fractions. The first one which is rather small is made up of the Dalai Llama and his followers. We can say that their efforts to undermine the Chinese government is a continuous effort, however a very small one.

"What about the second group?"

"The second group consists of international organizations that believe that China has no right to control Tibet. The spokespeople of these groups claim that China has deprived the Tibetan people of their freedom. I have spoken with a few of them and I can tell you one thing for sure. These people have no idea about the history of China or Tibet. Also keep in mind that both groups try to use the Olympic Games to promote their agendas. This has made the Tibetan issue kind of trendy for all those free minded foreigners who will surely forget everything about Tibet after the end of the Olympics"

"What message do you have for the Tibetan people?" asked Sun Lei.

"I want them to realize one simple thing that no one out there cares for them. Hey, what has the Dalai Llama ever done for Tibet? This is a question that nobody has ever replied to me in a satisfying manner."

Sun Lei then asked about how tough the clampdown was against the dissidents.

He said that he had no idea. The military had taken charge of all operations and he was only appointed with certain duties within Llasa. Most roads had been blocked by the army making it impossible for anyone to go from one place to another and all foreign travelers had been turned back.

"Do you know that a woman appeared on CNN and claims that her husband was shot when they refused to move out of the hotel they were in," mentioned Mickey.

"This is one more of their dirty tricks. I'm certain that the man died from altitude sickness and the women received money to tell everyone in the world that her husband was shot by the Chinese Army."

Later that evening Li Meng took the team for dinner to a small Tibetan bar-restaurant with a distinctive western style and clientele. The restaurant was almost empty and this reflected on the sad eyes of the owner. He spoke to Sun Lei for a few minutes in front of the camera.

"Yeah, business is bad. That is the result of the instability caused by troublemakers. Instead of more people visiting because of the Olympics this year is worse than ever. I hope all problems will be resolved before the end of the tourist season."

"Why do you think foreigners like to visit Tibet?" asked Sun Lei.

"Turn off the camera and I will let you know," he said. She did as he told her.

"It's surely not because they can relate to the people of Tibet. Hell, they can't relate to anyone! I don't understand how these people come up with these ideas on how Tibet should be and what kind of life is good for the Tibetan people."

"So why do they come here?"

"Because they read about it in a stupid travel magazine which tells people how to spend their holidays. So they come here with their cameras and take pictures of themselves in temples and mountainsides which they show to their neighbors when they go back home. Visiting a place which their friends and relatives have not been is what satisfies them the most."

At dinner Li Meng told them the story of her life. She was born in Guangxi province, studied TV journalism in Shenzhen worked there for two years before coming to Tibet. She admitted that she didn't want to remain in Lhasa forever. After a couple of years she would go back to Shenzhen or Shanghai and get a job there.

At ten thirty they were back at the hotel.

They didn't go to their rooms right away. For about twenty minutes they sat in the lobby while Mickey gave them an overview of tomorrow's schedule.

"At ten we will meet Li Meng who will take us to a temple where we shall interview some monks. We will get back in the afternoon and talk with some of the locals. As for dinner we have been invited by a pair of local officials who will be happy to answer to all our questions about Tibet. Are there any questions?"

There were none.

Mickey told the team that they could go back to their rooms.

4

At seven minutes past eleven Mickey knocked the door of Sun Lei's room. He was holding some papers and asked Sun Lei to go with him together through some of tomorrow's questions.

"Sure, come in." She was in wonderful pink satin pyjamas. She stood aside and let him pass in. Mickey noticed that she did not lock the door after closing it.

They sat next to each other on her bed and Mickey started to read one by one all the questions she was going to ask the monastery leader tomorrow morning. At the same time his left hand was trying to find his way under her pyjama. Once he touched her soft white skin she moved a little bit closer to him.

"Did you take your heart medicine?"

"Sure. Do you think I want to die up here?"

"Can you go to the little shop downstairs and get me some orange juice?"

"Sure," he said.

Mickey quickly rushed downstairs like an obedient dog to fulfill her wish. There was no one in the shop apart from the middle age lady working there. She had the typical bored expression that is quite common among people that work night shifts in 24 hour mini markets. He bought juice for Sun Lei and mineral water for himself.

Before going back to Sun Lei, Mickey went to his room to change into his pyjamas and brush his teeth. He was now ready for action.

She was already in bed playing with the remote control when he got back. She asked him to lock the door as he came in. He left the bottles on the table and slipped with her under the covers.

The TV was showing a Hong Kong movie about a married couple talking to a psychiatrist about their orgasms. Re-enactment scenes featuring a much sexier couple frequently intercut the interview.

Mickey's penis hardened as he watched the scenes of the naked couple in the bedroom

He slid his hand under her pyjama over her flat stomach. Her skin was soft and silky. His hand moved up to her nipples that got stiff when he began to rub them. She moaned gently and let him stick his tongue into her mouth.

His hand left her nipple to help his cock get out. She noticed that and pulled back.

"There is no need to hurry. You know what will happen if you start panting on top of me." she told him.

"Don't worry, I took my medicine."

"You need two days to fully adjust to the lack of oxygen in Tibet. Until then you will have to wait."

"Can we fuck after two days?"

"Sure, why not?"

Mickey kinda calmed down after she reassured him. They kept on watching the film. It switched from the couple to a guy chatting with a hot chick in a nightclub. He was trying to impress her by telling her how he cleaned shit stains in public toilets by pissing on them.

"Do you guys really do that?" asked Sun Lei.

"Yeah," Mickey said. "But we will never admit it in front of a lady."

The film seemed to be made up of short fragments each one about ten minutes long.

The third story was about a guy whose girlfriend didn't want to have sex until marriage. The only thing the desperate fellow could do was to convince her that a blow job now and then would not do any harm. Before the end of the story both Mickey and Sun Lei were asleep.

During that night Mickey had a dream where he was in a restaurant with Sun Lei. He discovers with astonishment that Nana is also there with a man. He didn't want to be seen by his wife but he was very curious to see the man's face.

He was trying to get close to them without getting noticed when all of a sudden he woke up.

He looked around. Something unbelievable had happened in the room. Apart from Mickey everything was under ice. It was too real to be a dream. Under the thin plate of ice Sun Lei looked like Sleeping Beauty. He had no idea if she was dead or still alive.

The TV was still on. The light from the screen reflected on the icy walls. Mickey got up slowly. He could not feel any cold.

He stepped through the bathroom door and found himself in an icy corridor which led him into an open space like a cave. Mickey was now deep into the heart of frozen Hell.

There was a black man standing there. He wasn't exactly a black man, he was more like a shadow, a piece of darkness in the form of a man. A small red dot was glowing in the middle of the black man's forehead. The dot was pulsing and slowly getting bigger.

A voice in his head told Mickey that in order to combat the arch demon of icy Hell he had to activate his third eye. Mickey had no idea how to do that. The voice told him to concentrate on the inside of his forehead and repeat the words "I am the Master."

Indeed Mickey felt a slight pulse on the inside of his forehead after a while. He felt his third eye becoming bigger and bigger. At the same moment he could feel an upcoming sensation approaching. It was something like an orgasm but much stronger. He knew that something was going to pour out of his third eye once it was fully activated.

Suddenly the black man's third eye shot out a red beam towards Mickey. He felt a horrible pain as if he was being boiled alive. Flames in the color of deep red appeared around him.

The voice abandoned Mickey and his third eye shrunk in an instant to its previous inactivated condition.

The only thing Mickey could do was pray. But he did not know to whom God. Instead he shouted out loud Sun Lei's name.

Then he woke up. His heart was pounding faster than ever, and strange patterns where still floating in front of his eyes. Otherwise everything in the room was quite normal. Sun Lei was sleeping peacefully as a child. Mickey felt incredibly thirsty. He reached for the mineral water bottles.

5

The next morning Mickey and Sun Lei met Jin Ming and Bao Bo at the hotel restaurant. The two technicians were talking about the possibility of making extra cash by selling some footage to foreigners.

Jin Ming had met in Beijing a few months ago a foreign reporter who gave him her card and told him to contact her if he had any interesting footage.

"How much is she willing to pay?" asked Mickey?

"It depends on the material. I suppose we can get one hundred thousand dollars for one or two hours of footage. The price may get higher if it is highly controversial material," said Jin Ming.

"Why sell your country for a bit of cash?" said Sun Lei.

"We are not doing any harm to anyone. The Chinese people will not get the chance to view this footage and the foreigners have already seen these things many times before. It will make no difference to anyone apart from our pockets," said Jin Ming.

"Do not forget that this is the era of globalization. Do you know what this means? Everyone is selling off their countries for the appropriate amount of cash. If any foreigner coming here with a suitcase full of cash can buy a piece of China why shouldn't we be able to sell a piece of our work to the foreigners" added Bao Bo.

"He may be right," said Mickey. This thing may open many new doors for us."

"And we can all split up the money," added Bao Bo.

"Let's think about this later. We got work to do," said Mickey.

Li Ming picked them from the hotel with the van and took them to a monastery located one hundred kilometers from Lhasa. On the way there they saw a few PLA vehicles parked aside the road.

The soldiers were standing around smoking with their rifles hanging on their shoulders.

"There doesn't seem to be much trouble," said Sun Lei.

"That is true. The only ones who believe that there is trouble here are the foreigners who have been brainwashed by the Dalai Lama," said Li Ming.

The monastery was like a small village with stone houses and narrow roads on the side of a hill. After going through the main gate Li Ming drove them to a building much taller and fancier than the rest.

They got out of the van ready to start shooting this wonderful place when a monk appeared and asked them to follow him.

"Don't worry, you will have plenty of time to shoot the temple and the surrounding area," he said.

"You got to interview the leader of the monastery first," said Li Ming.

They were taken to his office which wasn't much different from any provincial party headquarters. He was short, bald, about fifty-five and dressed in the traditional orange garment. He introduced himself as Zhong Dong in perfect Mandarin. Sun Lei was the one that would interview him.

"You know, we have lots of things here. Computers, internet and even mp3 players so we can listen to music in the night time when everyone else is sleeping. I bet you can imagine who gave us all these things."

"Who?" asked Sun Lei in an unconvincingly innocent manner.

"The same people who built the schools, fixed the roads, brought the tourists and increased the average income."

He made a small pause then continued.

"It's a shame to read all those things on the internet about the Army blocking all the roads and refusing to allow food delivered to the monks who are starving to death. How could the foreigners know that it's the other way round? The Army is the one that brings us the food. I cannot really understand them. They will accept everything they hear on the television as the absolute truth while at the same moment they cannot see what is obvious. Dalai Lama has never done anything for the people of Tibet. He never cared about them. The only thing he wants is power and fame."

"So there are no supporters of Dalai Lama in Tibet?"

"There are a few. Some of them have even starved themselves to death in an attempt to show the world how cruel the Beijing government is.

"Can we talk to one of them?" asked Sun Lei.

"They are too weak to talk with anyone," replied the monk. "We got to feed them with a tube."

He then talked about the peaceful life everyone leads in Tibet thanks to the presence of the PLA that makes sure no problems come up. He said that he has never been to Beijing and his wish is to visit the Great Wall.

After the end of the interview they were allowed to film around the monastery. Sun Lei wanted to speak to some of the monks but none of them got too close.

They drove back to Lhasa. Li Ming returned to the TV station and the team walked around the streets interviewing random people.

"The Tibetan people embrace the progress of China," said a girl working in a restaurant.

"Let us see further development," said a young man on a motorbike.

A middle aged man in a small shop selling cigarettes and wine joked about how his sales would boost if the Olympics were held one day in Lhasa.

A girl from Yunnan working in a hotel told them that she usually makes enough money to send to her parents in Yunnan but these days things were a bit tough because tourists are not allowed to enter until the situation has been stabilized.

Some PLA troops passing by refused to make any comments.

They went back to the hotel to have a rest for a few hours until dinner time.

6

At seven o clock they were driven to a two storey Sichuan restaurant. The girl at the reception desk took them to a VIP room. Ling Meng was already there with two middle aged men. She introduced them as Mr. Wang and Mr. Zhang. They were both Party Officials.

"We have been here for ten years. In Beijing everyone thinks we're doing a good job so I don't think we will be getting a transfer back to our hometowns any time soon," said Mr. Wang.

"Last year we visited Beijing to take part in a Party leaders meeting at the Great Hall of the People. We stayed at a hotel in Wangfujing," said Mr. Zhang.

"Those were great days. Do you remember the limo that took us to the Great Wall?" said Mr. Wang.

They both laughed.

"Shall we drink?" asked Mr. Wang.

"Of course," said Mickey. "This special occasion requires nothing but drinking."

"I can see that the peculiarities of Tibet have not affected you at all." said Mr. Zhang.

"This place is a part of China and I'm a Chinese man. If I can drink in Beijing, then I can drink in Tibet," said Mickey.

"That is true. It's the foreigners who drop dead from altitude sickness. An American guy was put on life support because he went jogging. Do you remember that Mr. Zhang?" said Mr. Wang.

"Oh yes," added Mr. Zhang.

"To tell the truth I'm not so immune. My doctor has advised me to keep away from intense activities," said Mickey.

The two of them looked puzzled.

"Why is that?" asked Mr. Wang.

"I have a weak heart. I have been told not to drink or smoke," said Mickey.

"Don't worry too much. Do you think everyone in this town is healthy? I myself have been suffering from lung and liver dysfunction since the first year I came up here," said Mr. Wang.

"Most high rank party officials come from other places of China," said Li Meng.

"What about local party members? Are there any?" asked Sun Lei.

"There are a few of them. Many people that work in the local media or police Party members. We even got temple leaders that are Party members," said Mr Wang.

"Amazing," said Sun Lei.

"That is something the foreign media always forget to mention, he he," said Mr Zhang.

"True," said Sun Lei. "It seems that they are too busy interviewing the Dalai Lama."

"Now you've just mentioned the name of a big troublemaker," said Mr Wang as he put down his glass of beer.

"I didn't want to spoil our appetite but I would appreciate it if you told me a few things about his supporters here in Tibet," said Sun Lei.

"I don't think he has many supporters in Tibet," said Mr Wang in a very confident manner.

"The people do not want to be ruled any longer by religious elite," added Mr Zhang.

"They want highways, bullet trains, fast food restaurants, KTV's, dvd players. Who can give them all this stuff?" said Mr Wang.

"Do they really want all this stuff?" asked Sun Lei.

"Wouldn't you want all this stuff if you never had it before in your life?" said Mr Wang.

That phrase struck a chord in Sun Lei. Until that moment she had never thought seriously about what she really wanted. It was most probably the same for most of the people from her close environment.

You just work and consume, and when you are not doing either of these two things you are probably sleeping therefore you don't have enough time to think.

"I am wondering what we really know about these people. How can we be sure about what they really want?" she said.

"I know because it's my job to know these things," said Mr. Wang.

"Can you please tell me what is it they really want? It's impossible for me to get this information. They will only tell me what I want to hear," said Sun Lei.

"I will tell you one thing young lady," said Mr. Zhang. "They do not want the Dalai Lama back. They've had enough of those slave owners. You can pay a visit to Nepal and see what's going on there. You can bet that the best thing that could ever happen to that place is to be freed by our Red Army."

"Come on. There got to be some troublemakers in Tibet," says Sun Lei.

A shadow swept over Mr. Zhang's face. Li Meng pretended that she had not heard that last sentence. She transfixed her eyes on the pair of chopsticks resting against her dish as she waited for Mr Zhang's diplomatic reply.

"Sure there are. Troublemakers are everywhere, you can even find them among the highest ranks of the Party," replied Mr. Zhang.

"Can we get the chance to meet one?" asked Sun Lei.

"Why would someone from CCTV want to interview a dissident? Does your attitude show a lack of loyalty?" said Mr. Zhang.

"No. I want to use it as a disclaimer. To show the Chinese people what happens to one's mind when he is influenced by the ideas of Dalai Lama and his foreign friends," said Sun Lei.

Mr. Zhang got skeptical for a while, then a smile swept across his face.

"That is not a bad idea," said Mr. Zhang. "Tomorrow we will take you to a place where you can talk with such a person."

"Thank you very much," said Sun Lei. She smiled and raised her glass.

7

Mickey was half drunk by the time they went back to the hotel. They sat in the lobby for ten minutes to discuss their plans.

"What you did was great. You are a genius," said Bao Bo to Sun Lei.

"This is the opportunity we were waiting for," said Jin Ming.

"We will make a watered down version of tomorrow's interview for CCTV and sell the harder version to the foreigners. I'm sure that foreign bitch is willing to pay a lot of money for this," said Bao Bo.

"Really?" said Sun Lei.

"Yes. Anything that makes our government look bad is popular in the west. Nowadays a lot of Chinese writers and filmmakers who are hated by the Chinese government because of their rebellious attitude are quite popular in the West." said Mickey.

"Yeah. What was the name of that film that was shown in France last year? The one about Tiananmen with a lot of fucking in it," said Bao Bo.

"Summer Palace," said Mickey.

"Isn't this film banned in China?" asked Sun Lei.

"Sure, but you can find the pirate dvd everywhere," said Mickey.

"I bet you watched it together with your wife," said Jin Ming.

"No, I watched it with your girlfriend," chuckled Mickey.

"I'm leaving, goodnight everyone" said Sun Lei.

Their vulgar loud laughing was echoing in the hall as she walked away. They were become more and more like foreigners she thought as she was going up the stairs to her room.

The moment Sun Lei left the topic immediately changed to fucking foreign women. Mickey was the definite champion having fucked two Caucasian women-a hooker from Eastern Europe, an overseas student from France, a Filipina English teacher and a Japanese lady.

Bao Bo had fucked a Korean girl he met in University in Beijing. Jin Ming hadn't done anything yet with a foreign woman but he confessed his dream was to sleep with a German or Swedish lady.

"You know, there are lots of foreign women that come to China because no one in the West wants to fuck them. You should take advantage of that," said Mickey.

Mickey got up from the sofa to declare that he would be going up to his room.

Five minutes later as he was changing into his pyjamas he heard a knock on the door.

It was Sun Lei. She entered the room, took off the green robe she was wearing and got under the blanket.

"Come over here quickly," she said.

"Wait a minute, I need to brush my teeth."

She turned on the TV. She found a mandarin language singing contest for foreigners on CCTV.

"Good choice if you want a few cheap laughs," said Mickey as he was getting in bed with her.

"Look at the blonde guy with the blue eyes. He is so handsome and he can speak excellent Chinese," said Sun Lei.

"He is a fucking penniless student. If you go to Wudaokou you can find hundreds like him," said Mickey.

She put her hand on his chest. "Why are you getting jealous Mr. Mickey?" she said in English. "I'm here with you, aren't I," she asked.

"Indeed you are. What do you intend to do about it though?"

"It depends on how much can you take."

Her hand went under his pyjama and squeezed his cock. It became stiff immediately. She pulled down with both hands his pyjama pants and his underwear. She jerked him for a while then opened her mouth and swallowed his cock. The movement of her lips up and down over his red swollen cock was simply too much for Mickey at this moment. He warned her that he would be exploding pretty soon.

"I want you to finish on my face," she said. She pulled his throbbing member out of her mouth and waited for the thick white droplets to splash over her heavenly features. When this happened she welcomed it with an expression that was a mixture of happiness, stupidity and holiness. Mickey was amazed since he had never seen such an expression before, probably because he had never ejaculated on a woman's face before.

She lied on her back staring at the ceiling with a calm expression as she waited for Mickey to bring a towel from the bathroom. He wiped her face gently, following the lines of her face. Then he put the towel aside and got ready to sleep.

She pulled her pyjama pants down to reveal her shaved pussy.

"Can we leave this for tomorrow night?" asked Mickey.

"Right Boss."

She turned her back to him and ten minutes later she fell asleep.

8

The next morning they drove with Mr. Zhang, Mr Wang and Li Meng to a monastery that was about 150 kilometers out of Llasa. The altitude was above 4500 meters but it didn't seem to bother Mickey.

There was Army gathered around the monastery.

"What the Hell is going on?" asked Sun Lei.

"I will bring the leader of the operation to say a few words to the Chinese people," said Mr Zhang.

About ten minutes later a three star commander of the PLA who introduced himself as Wong Jia Jin took his place in front of the camera next to Sun Lei.

"Can you please tell the Chinese People what is happening?" asked Sun Lei.

"The leader of this monastery is under direct orders from the Dalai Llama. Under the orders of the Dalai Llama a local Communist party member is being held hostage and they will not release him unless they get the chance to speak in front of a TV camera to the entire Chinese nation," said the captain.

"Can't you just storm in and bust their heads?" asked Mickey.

"We have information that they are armed with weapons provided by Taiwan. A soldier of the PLA was shot on the shoulder earlier. For the moment we want to avoid any unnecessary bloodshed," said the captain.

"We are representatives of a major TV network, maybe we can get in and negotiate with them," said Sun Lei.

"That may not be a bad idea. But first we need to get approval from Beijing."

He then walked away with Mr. Zhang without saying anything else.

"This is our chance," said Bao Bo. "We will walk in there and get all the footage we want."

"You're just a reporter not a super agent like James Bond. If you step inside there you will be in deep shit," said Jin Ming.

"A civil war is ready to erupt over here and we are the only ones capable of preventing it. We just need to give face to both sides and that's it, we will become rich and famous," said Bao Bo.

"I hope it's easy as it sounds," said Sun Lei.

"Someone give me a cigarette," said Mickey.

"Why don't you take your pills instead, it may improve your..." said Sun Lei.

"I know, I know," replied Mickey. "It's just that I feel this enormous strain and I don't know any other way to release the tension."

Before Mickey had the time to find a smoke, Mr Zhang came back with someone familiar. It was Zhong Dong, the Party member monastery leader. Zhong Dong told them that he was going to lead them into the monastery."

"Two of you will be going in. One cameraman and one interviewer."

Sun Lei stepped ahead ready to follow the monk.

"You're not going anywhere," said Mickey. "It may be unsafe. I'm the one going in."

Bao Bo already had the camera mounted on his shoulder.

"I'm ready for action boss," he exclaimed.

"You better be careful in there," said Sun Lei.

Bao Bo pointed to the monastery gate.

"That may seem like an ordinary wooden door but it may be the gate that will lead us to the golden path of success."

He smiled to her as he quickly scuttled behind Mickey and Zhong Dong through the gate.

That was the last time she ever saw him.

9

Once through the gate Mickey only noticed some monks holding wooden canes. He wondered where were the weapons that the Taiwan government supplied to the monastery.

Zhong Dong spoke to one of them in the local language. The monk led them through the yard to a single storey building. It was the dining hall of the monastery spacious enough to feed two hundred monks. The tables were long and narrow with long benches on both sides. There were several groups of monks in the restaurant that moment. None of them were eating although a lot of them were drinking tea or water out of wooden cups.

The monk with the stick led them to one of the groups. It was the biggest one. One of the monks that seemed to be the leader got up and stared at Mickey and Bao Bo with enthusiasm.

"Are you filming now?" he asked Mickey in Mandarin.

"Sure," said Mickey.

"I would like to deliver my speech. Where should I sit?" asked the leader.

"You don't need change seat. We can do it anywhere you like," said Mickey.

The leader sat again among the monks.

Mickey noticed a small metal object on the table right next to him. The leader noticing Mickey's expression gave a pleasant smile.

"Please don't worry about that. It hasn't been fired for decades. In 1959 I took it myself out of the hands of a dead PLA soldier and kept it hidden carefully in the monastery all these years. This week I took it out of its hiding place for the first time. I suppose the bullets are still inside the weapon but im very doubtful if this thing can still fire a shot. Anyway, it was very helpful when the time came to scare this reptile."

The leader pointed to another table in the far end of the dining hall opposite the entrance Mickey had come in through. There were about seven monks on that table and among them was a man in a gray suit. He looked like a bureaucrat and he was obviously not a local. His arms were tied behind.

"May I talk with him for a few minutes," asked Mickey.

"You may," replied the leader. "But first I must deliver my speech."

Bao Bo sat down and put the camera on the table about three meters away from the leader. He did some adjustments that lasted for half a minute then he told the leader to start.

Mickey also took out the mini camera turned it on, pressed the record button and put it on the table.

The leader stared at the camera lens and started his story.

"I am Ge Sang, leader of Palhpuh monastery in Tibet. We are now surrounded by the Red Army. I don't know for how long we can remain safe but first let me explain to you the reasons leading to this situation."

"A few days ago three monks from this monastery got arrested by the police because they verbally harassed a soldier of the PLA that spat in front of them. In custody they made further negative comments against the PLA and the Beijing government. I myself had no idea about their arrest or the reason they had gotten arrested. Yesterday on the second day of their disappearance I received a visitor. His name is Li Guang and he is a local official for the communist party. He told me what had happened with the three monks and furthermore demanded that I give him a name list of all the monks in this monastery. When I asked why, he explained that all monks would be questioned and if any supporters of Dalai Llama were found they would be arrested. I told him there were no supporters of the Dalai Llama in this monastery and that everyone abides to the rules set by the local government. He was very surprised by my word saying that the behaviour of those three monks wasn't very loyal to the local government.

Li Guang asked me if I approved of their acts. I told him that I didn't. I also told him that there was a great difference between the harassing of a spitter and serious anti-government activities. I think that the harassing of the spitter was the result of the personal offence one takes when certain rules of conduct and good taste are violated."

Ge Sang took a pause to drink from this cup.

"Upon hearing this Li Guang got furious. He said that it is definitely anti-government activity if you harass a spitter that wears the uniform of the PLA. I asked Li Guang if a soldier should be allowed to spit while wearing his uniform and he replied 'of course! It's pretty normal for Chinese men to spit in front of others' then he told me to hurry up and bring him the name list.

I decided that the only option I had was to use armed force and keep him as a hostage until the matter was resolved."

"Please tell us what do you want to be done in order to free the hostage," said Mickey from outside the camera frame.

"I want the three monks to be officially pardoned and set free. I want members of Amnesty International and CNN to be brought to Llasa and escort the monks back to the monastery. I want the local government to sign papers in their presence guaranteeing the safety of this monastery and its monks. Then Li Guang will be freed."

"Fine," said Mickey as he picked up his camera and turned off the record button.

"I will go out to negotiate with the Army. The cameraman with the camera will remain here until I come back, but before doing that I will need a statement from Li Guang on my mini camera to show those outside that he is in one piece."

Ge Sang allowed Mickey and Bao Bo to sit alone with Li Guang. Both cameras were turned on.

Li Guang first said hello to his wife and children, then he described his current situation as the result of a misunderstanding and called those in charge to find a peaceful solution to the problem. He said that the monks had treated him well and finally made a joke that he was not well accustomed to the primitive toilets of the monastery so he wished he could go home as soon as possible.

Mickey gave a signal to Bao Bo to leave. Without a word Bao Bo got up and left taking the camera with him. He went to another table and sat. Immediately some monks started addressing the camera.

"Do you think those outside will really set free the three monks?" asked Mickey.

"They will not risk anything in front of live TV," replied Li Guang. "Not with all the foreigners watching."

"Problem is that it's not live TV. Nothing has been transmitted."

"That was their only hope. If they find out I'm in deep shit."

"Don't worry, no one is going to tell them."

Before going out Mickey spoke with Bao Bo.

"This is the chance we are waiting for," said Mickey. " I will go out and tell the Army there are no weapons in the monastery. The PLA will storm in the monastery and start killing monks and we are going to capture everything on tape. This footage is going to be worth millions. The foreigners are going to pay whatever we ask them for."

"What if they don't allow us to walk away with the footage?" asked Bao Bo.

"You will replace the tape at the last moment with an empty one or you can pretend someone knocked you down and shattered the camera."

They smiled to each other as Mickey walked to the gate.

10

Quite predictably, the moment when Mickey told Wong Jia Jin there were no weapons inside the monastery apart from a rusty gun that hasn't fired a shot since 1959 an armoured jeep crashed through the front gate and the PLA troops ran enthusiastically in the monastery yard.

Fire bombs were thrown by the monks to the soldiers who responded by rapid fire. More than twenty monks got killed along with Ge Sang, the hostage and Bao Bo. A young lieutenant took the camera out of Bao Bo's grip, removed the tape and threw it into one of the fires that had started all over the place. To be 100% percent sure things wouldn't fuck up he then threw the entire camera in the fire. Now there was no way that what had happened today at Palhpu monastery would ever come out.

That night only Mickey and Sun Lei went back to the hotel. Jin Ming had decided to take a late plane back to Beijing.

Mickey put the mini digicam on the table.

"This is all we got? How much are we supposed to make money out of it?" asked Sun Lei.

"I think CNN will give us one hundred thousand."

"RMB?"

"No, dollars you stupid. I will contact the CNN lady immediately when we go back to Beijing."

"Why would she agree to give us so much money? We do not have any action scenes, it only shows what happened before the soldiers attacked the monastery. It will be a miracle if we can get five thousand rmb," said Sun Lei.

"The footage in this camera contains the last words of Ge Sang before he got executed by the PLA. His words will be enough to convince everyone that the Beijing government is a bunch of liars. Furthermore we have also recorded the last words of Ge Sang and the brave Bao Bo who sacrificed himself in order to bring out the truth."

"What's to become of us after we give the tape to CNN?"

"We can decide when we're in Hawaii. Returning to China may not be a good option but we can surely find another place equally worthwhile," said Mickey.

"I love the idea," she said as she wrapped his arms around him.

Their lips met and their tounges came out searching for each other. Mickey let his tounge go over her face. He stuck it into her ears then he slid down the side of her neck.

She had took off her jacket and now was getting out of her blouse. He bit and sucked her perfect white breasts and the same time he unbuttoned his shirt. They both fell on the bed and slid out of their trousers. Mickey licked her tummy and he stuck his tongue into her belly button. He removed her underwear gently and although he was too old fashioned to lick her pussy he did let his fingers sink in the folds of the flesh hidden between a delicate bush of hair. She was wet enough so he decided it was time to stick it into her.

He spread her legs open with his hands and pulled her pelvis towards his.

She jerked back awkwardly.

"Do you have a condom?" she asked.

Mickey seemed angry with what she said.

"I am a Chinese man, not one of those sex diseased foreigners. Don't you trust me?"

"I trust you but I don't want to get pregnant. If you want to do the job you should wear a condom."

He reached in his wallet and took out a Durex. He always carried two or three condoms in case he he wanted further services from the hostesses at the KTV he usually went with his male colleagues after work.

Mickey put on the condom and let his cock slide inside her wet pussy. She moaned and this made his cock even harder. He thrust his body forward and her helpless moans became louder.

"Push it, push it" she begged like a teenage girl in a Japanese cartoon.

His fingers pinched her light coloured nipples. He was moving faster and faster and she moaned louder.

"I'm gonna fuck you harder than a foreign bastard," he said as he looked into her eyes.

"I wanna cum, I wanna cum," she said.

"I will make you cum."

For the second time in her life since that one night stand with that foreign teacher in jian wai soho, Sun Lei discovered the true meaning of sex.

It was probably the successive encounter with death and success she had that day that brought her such an intense orgasm.

As Mickey observed the holiness in her expression and sensed her bodily spasms he also came. He felt a tremendous power going through this body.

It was something unlike anything else he had ever experienced with a woman. He could understand that orgasm wasn't about bodily fluids but about possesing and getting possesed by a higher force of nature that exists within us all although we seldom get the chance to access it.

Indeed Tibet was a magical place. That night both of them came to understand the tremendous potential of their sexual energy.

Sun Lei felt Mickey collapsing upon her but she didn't stop moving her pelvis back and forth since his cock was still inside her. She got kinda annoyed with the saliva dripping on her neck from his mouth. She pushed him back.

Then she screamed when she saw his distorted features. She didn't scream the way someone who enjoys getting fucked very hard. She screamed in the same way they scream in horror films.

Mickey was dead on top of her. He had forgotten to take his heart medicine at six 'o' clock.

Epilogue

It was embarrassing for Sun Lei to explain how Mickey had died but at least no one accused her of being responsible for his death. The next day she took the plane to Beijing.

She didn't attend Mickey's funeral that took place a few days later. Word was that she had to take an urgent trip out of the country.

The last speech of Ge Song was an international hit. It was shown on CNN news channel. The broadcasting provoked outrage against the policies of Beijing from all over the world.

Political activists marched against Chinese embassies in many American and European cities. It was even mentioned by the Dalai Llama in his meetings with world leaders.

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