Huang arrives to the sound of barking dogs. I stand behind a latticed window and look out. The gangster's hydrogen powered Mercedes is a familiar shade of Cherenkov blue. I doubt the aircraft finish his customizers use is hot, though. I have never felt the urge to ask him why I paint with radioactives.
There is a small pack of curs trailing his automobile. The driver steps out in a whirr of door motors which is as much noise as that car ever makes. He is a big man for a Chinese, tall and rugged, wearing the ubiquitous leather jacket and track pants of big money thugs from Berlin to Djakarta. His mirrorshades have oddly thick frames, betraying a wealth of sensor data and computing power. I wonder if he ever removes them, or if they are implants. Life in this century has become a cheap 1980s science fiction novel.
The driver gives the dogs a long look which quiets them, then opens Huang's door. The man himself steps out without any ceremony or further security. If there is air cover, or rooftop snipers, they are invisible to me.
He is a small man, with the compact strength of a wrestler. His face is a collapsed mass of wrinkles that makes his age impossible to guess. There are enough environmental poisons which can do that to a man without the help of time's relentless decay. Today he wears a sharkskin jacket over a pale blue cheongsam. His eyes when he glances up to my lattice are pale as evening light.
I walk slowly to the courtyard. That is where Huang will meet me, beneath a flowering tree on a stone bench with legs carved like lions.