Mei finds herself standing in front of a table. Across the table, Candyman stands, with Wolfir and deBois on either side. He speaks, but the words are muffled, as if he’s speaking underwater. Still, she gets the feeling that this is somewhere she’s supposed to be. She looks around the room and recognizes it as Candyman’s lounge in Cabrini-Grean, where she first met the Father. Father…Father.
“Yes, Father, I do solemnley take these vows.”
Initiation. Mei suddenly realizes where she is – being inducted into the Desiderium Cartel, a new family. And this man, this man is her new father.
She bows, having just spoken solemn vows. Candyman – Father – speaks again. His voice still muffled by this feeling. Like choking – no, like drowning. Mei can’t figure out why she feels like she’s drowning. She’s covered in sweat – how? That doesn’t make sense either. Her skin is artificial. She’s knows she’s supposed to do something.
There’s a cup on the table, filled with wine. A golden goblet, jeweled with rubies and emeralds. This must be for the ceremony. Mei picks the cup up and takes a drink.
Candyman continues to speak, and Wolfir and Hugh bore their eyes deep into Mei’s soul. As they do, the wine sinks down Mei’s throat. It feels like fire and ice at once, followed by an eruption in her stomach. At this, her body begins to feel heavy, and sink into the ground. The cement below her is like quick sand, locking her in place at the knees.
“Candy…Father, what’s going on?”
As Mei speaks, she feels that now it is her voice muffled as if drowning. Candyman laughs, along with Wolfir and Hugh. Their voices clear, like the ding of the elevator behind her.
Craning around, Mei sees a face she fears like none other – One Eye Wei, Dragonhead of the Hong Kong Wo Shing Wo.
He laughs as he exits the elevator. When he places his muscular hands around her neck, Mei can only think to herself. “This is the death I deserve.”
Mei awakes in a start, breathing heavily. It takes her a few seconds to get her bearings – she’s in her apartment. She sends a wireless signal to the window dimmers, allowing a bit of the neon glow from outside find its way in. After a glass of water, she lays her head back down on her pillow.
She thinks in Malaysian, not even caring to practice her English. “Another sleepless night. I shouldn’t worry so much about this, he’s already had chances to sell me out.”