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Somewhere in the back streets of Yokosuka, a few blocks from the naval base, is the Hideaki karaoke bar. The neon sign above the doorway entrance has been missing since Typhoon Kirogi years before. But word of mouth has made Hideaki the place in Yokosuka for sailors on shore leave, at least any sailor with a keen ear for improvisation and the ability to count in 11/8. Because Hideaki is the world’s first Eric Dolphy memorial karaoke bar.

Herman Rand, on the long walk from the train station to Huntington Village, is unsure if he can even find that backstreet shop again. Blatant rip-off, The Postman, Kevin Costner, brand new DVD, wouldn’t play. If the price wasn’t so jacked up it wouldn’t matter, but local Wal-Mart now had it at nearly half the cost. By luck, second time round the block, he finds it next to the Italian deli, inconspicuous store front, as if intentionally hiding from customers.

There’s no-one but the clerk inside. “You’re selling faulty goods, this doesn’t play.”

“Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached” (Hindu sloka)

Passing women porters, some sauntering, gigantic terracotta vases upon their heads, others resting under banyan trees, the branches falling down like melted wax, Percival Head-Wood, musing to himself, wondered if for the natives, or maybe even the banyan trees, the summer heat before monsoon was unbearably hot too. Percy pulled his mind back from reverie; yes, the heat was sweltering, but he was starting on a mission for King and Country, he must pay attention.