Kim, the North Korean arms dealer, looked across the ample rosewood and silk chairs and sofa in the living room of his suite to his bodyguard and motioned with his head to send him to the door.
“We did not order anything.”
“Compliments of Viktor.”
The arms dealer hesitated then nodded. His bodyguard opened the door cautiously and waved a metal detecting wand over the man as he wheeled in a polished wooden cart laden with a basket of fresh lychees, a plate of tempting desserts, and the customary bottle of champagne in an ice bucket.
The man from room service was a local, so they could assume he was not from Viktor’s “inner circle” but Viktor notoriously used gangs of local organized crime.
He snatched a knife from the cart and attacked the bodyguard. Even though there was a crazed look in his eyes, suggesting that he was under the influence of some drug, he wielded the knife with skill. It was, however, as if a lucky beginner was fighting a hardened professional. The guard had to dodge three or four times before blocking a knife thrust with the metal detector and striking the attacker’s throat. The attacker arched backwards while slashing at the outstretched arm; the guard spun to avoid the knife and caught the attacker by the wrist. He swung the man effortlessly into a wall against which he crashed and lay crumpled
As the attacker slumped to the floor, another man moved silently into the doorway. “Was that too easy?” he asked as he raised his silenced Glock 19 and shot at the bodyguard who sprang at the same instant to relative safety behind the furniture in the living room
The arms dealer wasted no time in firing his 9 mm Beretta. He did not miss, not even when a second gunman rushed into the room.
“You really should try the egg tarts. They are better than what you get in Hong Kong,” purred a heavily accented voice from outside the door. “By the way, your marksmanship has improved greatly but there are three more of us and we have something—”
There was a short pause as guns clattered and curses were muttered. A door had opened by the staircase.
A shrill whistle blew.
“Stop! Police. Drop your weapons.”
The arrival of the police surprised everyone inside and outside the suite of rooms at the quietly stylish hotel that had served as Kim’s base of operations. Even so he maintained his usual calm facade as Viktor and his crew cursed. The police brought with them the odor of officious authority that blended well with the whiff of sulfur.
In a few minutes, all the attackers and those attacked were taken, separately, into custody.