enTWINed – Ch 10 (A Thai Fanfic)

WARNING: This chapter contains disturbing scenes of human trafficking. Read at your own risk.

Laem Chabang Port, Chonburi

Late at night at the Laem Chabang docks, the only sounds were the chirrupings of insects juxtaposed with the humming of sodium lights and refrigeration equipment. At 70, Saman was grateful to still be employed at the yard despite his ever-increasing aches and pains. A night watchman’s job was relatively uneventful, with only the occasional trespasser or drunk employee to relieve the monotony.

He was walking his final beat at the CD-1 Warehouse area when a faint sour-sweet scent drifted across his path. As it was coming from a group of containers scheduled for loading the next day, he decided to investigate.

His footsteps echoed as he paced between the narrow pathways between dark orange boxes stacked four high. Coming to end of one the rows, the smell was markedly stronger, along with an increased buzzing sound. Both stirred a long-forgotten memory inside the watchman.

Many years ago, in his youth, he was part of the Queen’s Cobras, fighting alongside troops from the United States of America and other countries during the Vietnam War. The aftermath of combat and the never-ending heat combined to create charnel fields of rotting flesh and insects. The horrifying smells were something that was long embedded in his mind.

As he turned around the edge of a container stack, Saman suddenly stiffened, and almost blindly reached for his cell phone at his belt. A black sluggish fluid dripped from a corner container, covered in a cloud of hovering flies. He backed away until he was out on the concrete tarmac before dialing 191 with a shaking hand.

Once done, he blindly dove for a nearby shrub and vomited over and over.

~ ~ ~ ~

In a lavishly-appointed office in the upper levels of a sleek office building, an older man leaned back in his chair, a phone to his ear, while he idly played with a sparkling letter opener. His voice, however, was anything but relaxed.

“What happened with that last shipment? How did the container manage to get displaced? Do you have any idea of what kind of trouble this is going to cause me? Not to mention the delays.”

His hand stilled as he leaned forward, his eyes burning. “You do what you have to do to clean this up immediately. I don’t care how many people it takes, there had better not be any evidence that even hints of my involvement. Do I make myself clear?”

The person on the phone was quick to agree, and the man’s forehead smoothed.

There was a quiet knock on the office door. “Call me when everything is done,” the man said, before disconnecting the call.

“Come in.”

His secretary walked in, several binders in her capable hands. She gently placed them on his desk.

“These are the contracts for the Nonthaburi condominiums. And the blue folder is last month’s Accounting reconciliation. Is there anything else you need at this time, Khun?”

He grunted. “This is fine, thank you.”

Once she left, he spent some time staring out the glass wall at the skyline. Despite this unfortunate setback, his side business was still going well, and he was happy with the overall progress.

~ ~ ~ ~

At police headquarters.

“The temperature in the container reached well over 60C inside, and with just a handful of water bottles and little air flow, the women probably succumbed to the heat. Out of 23 women, all but three were dead by the time they were discovered.” The detective used a tablet to display a series of gruesome photos on the large screen. “None of the girls have any identification on them besides some sort of number written on their arms in permanent marker. We will more than likely need dental records for positive identification due to the condition of the corpses.”

Tik, sitting with the others at the conference table spoke. “How are the other three victims?”

The presenter gave a slight shrug. “All three are currently in critical condition, with heat stroke and accompanying cerebral edema. It is unknown whether they will wake up, and if they do, the extent of any brain damage.”

“What about the container itself? Do we know who or what owned that container?” Tik thought maybe there might be a clue there.

“We checked with the port’s Operations Manager. According to their records, the container arrived from Pattaya three days ago. The submitted manifest states it was supposed to contain office machines parts and circuit boards.”

One of the officers shuffled through the paperwork in front of him. “We traced ownership through several dummy companies ending in an abandoned warehouse outside Pattaya City. We believe a local gang was used to vet the space, and we are in the process of rounding up the leaders for questioning.” The man grimaced. “But whether we can uncover the leader or the head of the trafficking ring is hard to say.”

Tik nodded. It was not an unexpected answer. He was handed another tablet.

The officer continued. “This is the storage contract for that container. There are 15 containers total in the order. We checked out the others. Of that total, four of them shipped out five days ago, bound for Macau Container Port on Coloane Island. They arrived two days ago. Manifests stated they contained delivery trucks.”

“We contacted authorities in Macau and China this morning to see where those containers are and if they were inspected upon arrival. We haven’t heard back from them as yet, so we don’t know if they have been picked up or it they are still at the terminal.”

With a sigh, Tik looked up from the electronic device. “What about the ones left at the dock here?”

“Empty”, was the simplest answer.

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LINK TO CHAPTER 1

About Shukmeister

I have a great fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough, 80's science fiction movies, and thunderstorms.

Posted on January 29, 2020, in enTWINed: A Thai Fanfiction (NaNoWriMo 2016), Lakorn Information, My Fan-Fictions and Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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