(SHORT STORY PLUS A BONUS STORY) According to Lt. Daisy Wong, space marshal, "Some guys are too Chinese for their own good." Eddie Lau, Martian big shot, wins this year's prize. Only now Eddie's devotion to his Asian heritage has put his wife in mortal danger. Person or persons unknown have kidnapped her and are holding her for a huge ransom. In desperation, he turns to Daisy Wong for help. More
(SHORT STORY PLUS A BONUS SHORT STORY) According to Lt. Daisy Wong, space marshal, "Some guys can act too Chinese for their own good." Randolph Edward Lau, Martian big shot, wins this year's prize. He is tall for a Chinese, but despite his dark-brown eyes and epicanthic folds, his complexion is Northern European. According to Daisy's research, the height, coloration, and folds are his own—no genetic engineering involved.
Lau is dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, complete with black skull cap and shoes that look more like slippers than real shoes. His hair is blond and cascades down his back in an elegant queue. His pupils are black pinpoints, marking him as an opium smoker.
All in all, he reminds Daisy of a Gwailo dressed up for a costume party.
Oh, well, to each his own. The Earth-Moon Lagrange colonies—and especially Diligence—are nothing if not a melting pot, a mélange of races, classes, and nationalities. As the first colonists learned early on, it's not the hair on the head but the knowledge inside the skull that counts. Besides, being an opium smoker herself, Daisy feels a certain kinship, one that reaches far beyond their shared race.
Only now Lau's devotion to his Asian heritage has attracted the wrong sort of attention. Person or persons unknown have kidnapped his beloved wife, Lijuan, and are holding her for a huge ransom. Even Lau may not be able to pay it, and if he does, it will ruin him. Everything he and his family have worked for will be gone. But if he doesn't pay, the kidnappers will kill Lijuan. Just to show they mean business, they've beaten her to within an inch of her life and sent him a video of their handiwork.
Lau's in a tight spot. He needs police assistance in the worst way, but he doesn't dare go to the authorities on Mars. That would only stir up adverse publicity, and in turn, that kind of notoriety would mean the end of his business empire.
In desperation, using Daisy's boss, Capt. Spaulding as a go-between, Lau turns to Lt. Daisy Wong for help. She has relatives among the most powerful criminal tongs on Mars, does she not? She could learn things that no outsider ever could, could she not? She might just succeed where no one else has a ghost of a chance, might she not?
It's heady flattery, a crushing burden of expectation.
Nevertheless, out of loyalty to Capt. Spaulding, Daisy promises Lau to do everything she can to rescue Lijuan. Besides, when it comes right down to the nature of the woman's beating, the pattern and severity of the bruising, Daisy smells an old familial rat.