Forbidden City

We had several more hours before landing, and Professor decided to tell me all about his plan. We had to make it work together with the one I prepared. Despite all the tasks we needed to accomplish, we had many customers to visit and many things to discuss.

Lextor Anderson started with the story about our uninvited visitors who were traveling together with us to China. There were two men on this plane that worked for SilSic Corp. for quite a long time. They were henchmen of Drayton Dense. Professor met with them many times during various power electronics shows and events. They were really disgusting people who would do anything to achieve their goals.

Five years ago, they offered Professor to join their lab but he refused to do so. They met him in Switzerland during one of the most important events in power electronics industry. He was offered very good money in exchange for his knowledge in power semiconductors physics. They wanted Professor to work on their new projects including the development of the new generation of power semiconductor devices using silicon carbide and gallium nitride.

That was what they said, and not what they really meant. They were after secret information Lextor kept for many years. The information, he thought, they were after this time as well. That is why they followed him to the airport. That is why they were flying to Beijing too.

Amperman Stories Chapter 6 Forbidden City

Professor Silicon took a look around. His eyes were glittering with joy. He said that as soon as we land in China, we will do our best to cover our tracks. Thankfully in a country with a population close to 1,5 billion people it was not so difficult to do. According to Lextor Anderson today we would meet his Chinese friend who would be some kind of a guide during our stay there. He knows every corner of Beijing and other cities in the country.

Professor continued with his story about these SilSic people. They offered him a job, and when he declined their generous offer, they started to follow him ever since. They popped at every industry show he was participating in, they followed him to his business trips from time to time. And then they disappeared for a while until last month when he spotted them not far from the TSemics Ultralab.

From the very beginning, they were after not the semiconductor know-how, proton irradiation technology, new semiconductor materials, and secret semiconductor equipment, but what they were really after was the ancient book. This book is said to be hidden in China. And we were going to get that book before those henchmen of Drayton Dense. That was our plan. Actually, that was just a part of Professor’s plan he shared.

Another important task for us was to attain valuable information concerning SilSic Corp. and Drayton Dense. There might be a lot of interesting data recovered during our trip. All the cities we planned to visit had many things to offer and shed a very bright light on the dark secrets of this overpowering semiconductor giant.

At this moment our plane entered the turbulence zone. It was shaking and jumping, and all its passengers were shaking, screaming, laughing, and jumping together with it. I must say that it was a very unpleasant feeling, especially when you just received your portion of dinner to enjoy. Now the only thing I wanted was for the plane to get back to normal so I could enjoy my rice with chicken, various baozi buns, and a cup of wonderful tea.

Baozi or bao is a type of yeast-leavened filled bun in various Chinese cuisines. There are many variations in fillings and preparations, though the buns are most often steamed. They are a variation of mantou from Northern China. Written records from the Song dynasty show the term baozi in use for filled buns. Prior to the Northern Song Dynasty, the word mantou was used for both filled and unfilled buns. According to legend, the filled baozi is a variation of manta invented by military strategist Zhuge Liang. Over time mantou came to indicate only unfilled buns in Mandarin and some varieties of Chinese, although the Wu Chinese languages continue to use mantou to refer to both filled and unfilled buns.

I always thought that Chinese food was something I would have problems with, however, in a few days, I realized that it was as delicious as any European cuisine. And the variety of it could satisfy even the most demanding food lover.

The plane was experiencing turbulence for another twenty minutes, and when I was starting to think there was no end to it, it finally stopped trembling and falling apart. I looked outside the window and saw a long network of wind power generators. It seemed there were hundreds or thousands of them down below. They looked like some white flowers growing on the hills and mountains’ tops. This was the beauty of clean renewable energy.

Professor finished his last bao and took a peek at the wind farms as well. He said that we were now flying above China lands. It would take one or two more hours to reach our destination.

The rest of the flight passed without any events. Our followers were doing a good job pretending not to watch us. Professor finished his plan and was working on his crossword puzzle. This was one of his crazy hobbies. No matter what he always had a small book of crossword puzzles in his pocket. For him, it was like a meditation for a Shaolin monk. Solving the puzzles allowed him to banish negative thoughts and gain strength from his mind. This time was no exception.

And I decided to finish my magazines. There could be more interesting market news besides SilSic and their shenanigans. Eventually, there were still many more companies in power semiconductors field to learn about.

In an hour or so the flight attendant declared that very soon we will start the descent. It was met with great cheer and applause from many passengers. Our long flight was coming to its end and I was looking forward to the mysteries of Beijing and other cities we were to visit in the next couple of weeks.

It took almost another hour to land at the Beijing Capital International Airport. It is the busiest airport in Asia and one of the busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic and total traffic movements. And here we finally were. A little bit exhausted after a long flight, though feeling very optimistic about our adventures in China.

As soon as we left the airplane, we lost sight of our guests from SilSic. They were not to be seen at the baggage claim, and we did not see them when we were leaving the airport. For the time we decided to leave them alone. Probably they were already lost among the thousands of travelers. The only thing we were looking for was to get to the hotel, take a shower, grab a bite, and head to the city.

We took a taxi and headed to the hotel which was located right in the heart of Beijing. This was a huge modern hotel with many bamboos around that formed some kind of a defensive fence around it. What I liked about this and other Chinese hotels was the fact that they were incredibly cheap and amazingly luxurious and spacious. There was enough space in my room for a whole family with kids and pets.

The only thing I missed here was language. There were hieroglyphs everywhere, and it was quite difficult to understand whether it was some food in a pack or some kind of a shower accessory. Anyway, it was good to finally unpack and refresh after the flight to be ready for our walk.

As agreed, in half an hour I met Professor down at the reception. He changed to his favorite shirt, pants and shoes, and was pointing his camera right at me. In this way, he was just like me. I always had one of my cameras with me no matter where I was going. You need to be prepared to take your perfect shot.

We decided to go straight to the Forbidden City. This is a palace complex at the center of the Imperial City of Beijing. It is surrounded by numerous opulent imperial gardens and temples. The Forbidden City was constructed from 1406 to 1420, and was the former Chinese imperial palace and winter residence of the Emperor of China from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty, between 1420 and 1924.

Once a symbol of power and glory now it was a magnificent museum with many towers, palaces, and gardens. However, Professor was sure that there still was much more about this place that people knew.

We walked just for five minutes when we saw the Tiananmen or the Gate of Heaven-Sent Pacification. Professor Silicon said that we have to be alert as soon as we enter the Gate. This was where our adventures had to begin.