This story is set in a fictional / alternate version of Brunei. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Chapter 4: Ali
Lambak Kanan – Night
Adam and Aisyah are sitting on the couch feeling a bit awkward. Ali called them to his house and said he has a big surprise for them.
Hazwan: Berapa barat kau boleh angkat?
(How much weight can you lift?)
Hazwan is Ali’s close friend and he has been asking Adam all these random questions. He’s probably the most excited one in the room.
Adam: Inda ku tau ah. Balum ku cuba angkat barat.
(I actually don’t know. Haven’t tried lifting some weights)
Saiful: Dude, stop asking him all these questions. He clearly hasn’t fully tested his powers.
Saiful is the eldest of Ali’s group of friends and likes to claim himself as the ‘mature voice of reason’ of the group but can come across as the pessimistic one.
Hazwan: I’m just asking some questions so we know what to find when we do a test run on him.
Aisyah: Test run? Test run apa lagi ni?
(Test run? What test run?)
Aisyah is worried that they might be treating her boyfriend Adam like some freak in an experiment.
Adam: Masa ari atu dapat pulang ku angkat sikit kreta Landcruiser sampai lutut ku.
(Last time, I managed to lift a Landcruiser to my knees)
Fiqah, walks in bringing some drinks.
Adam: Eh jangan tah kan menyusah
(Oh you don’t need to)
Fiqah: Inda apa-apa. You two are our guest
(Oh no worries. You two are our guest)
Fiqah, Ali’s girlfriend, is a bit of a bookworm and an aspiring writer.
Ali finally shows up at the room carrying a placard.
Ali: Ok here it is guys. Adam, Aisyah…ladies and gentlemen…I present to you…
Ali turns the placard around.
Ali: CAPTAIN BRUNEI!!
Everyone in the room was speechless.
Ali: What do you guys think?
Saiful: That was a bit…anti-climatic
Hazwan: I think it’s a bit of a rip-off of Captain America
Saiful: *sarcastic* really?! You don’t say!
Ali: It’s meant to be inspiring. And there’s nothing more inspiring than a simple flag based patriotic costume.
Saiful: But isn’t that disrespectful? Buleh kah kami pakai bendera untuk costume? (Can we use our flag for a costume?)
Ali: I’m sure we can, there’s nothing wrong with it. We are aiming to do good, right?
Hazwan: I know someone with a car striped with our flag colours so it should be ok.
Fiqah: I like the shield. It reminds me of the Pelita Brunei logo.
Saiful: I don’t know, dude. It’s a bit corny
Hazwan: Well I think it’s cool!
Fiqah: Ok, our opinions don’t matter. *points to Adam* It’s his opinion that does .
Ali, Saiful, Hazwan and Fiqah all look at Adam, waiting for his response. He is, after-all, the one that’s gonna be the superhero.
Adam: Ok lah. Lawa jua lah costume ani
(It’s ok. I think the costume is kinda neat)
Saiful: It’s ok. Kalau kau pikir costume nya bida, cakap saja bida.
(It’s ok. If you think it sucks, you can say it sucks)
Adam: Inda eh. Aku banar-banar suka costume atu.
(No, I actually really like the costume)
Aisyah: Cemana kitani kan membuat baju atu?
(How are we going to make that costume? )
Ali: Ok, costume ani balum pulang finalize ni. Maybe the real costume inda jua lah exactly cemani. Tapi nama nya masih ‘Captain Brunei’
(Ok, this costume is not finalized yet. You know, maybe the real costume wouldn’t exactly be like this. BUT the name would still be ‘Captain Brunei’)
Fiqah: It should be spelled ‘Kapten Brunei’ with a ‘K’. Brunei kan lah sikit.
(It should be spelled ‘Kapten Brunei’ with a ‘K’. Bruneianised it a bit)
Adam’s phone starts to ring and he checks it to see that his young sister Amalina is calling him.
Hazwan: Or ‘Kapitan Brunei’!
Saiful: Kapitan Brunei? Macam Kapitan Cina tu
(‘Kapitan Brunei’? That sounds like ‘Kapitan Cina’)
Adam: Sorry ah, adi ku menelipun
(Sorry, my younger sister is calling me)
Adam leaves the room to take the call.
Amalina: *over the phone* Hello. Abang di mana? Di rumah?
(Hello. Where are you? Are you at home?)
Adam: Inda. Abang di rumah…kawan.
(No. I’m at…my friend’s house)
Amalina: Ok. Buleh abang ambil kan Amal? Amal di rumah kawan Amal ni. Kawan Amal inda dapat mengantar balik.
(Ok. Can you pick me up? I’m at a friend’s house. My friend couldn’t drive me home)
Adam: Bah ok tu. Ada abang mengambil karang.
(No worries. I’ll pick you up later)
Amalina: Inda. Boleh abang ambil Amal sekarang ani? Amal bagi location nya.
(No, can you pick me up now? I’ll give you the location)
Amalina: Sekarang ani ah. Emergency.
(Can you pick me up as soon as possible, yeah. It’s an emergency)
Adam can sense from the her tone that something is wrong.
Adam: Ok. Abang ambil Amal sekarang ani. Share saja location nya
(Ok, I’ll pick you up right now. Just share the location)
Adam returns to the room and tells Aisyah that they have to go now.
Saiful: And the shield? What’s that gonna be made of?
Adam: Sorry ah, kami tepaksa berinut dulu. Ada emergency.
(Sorry, we have to make a move. There’s an emergency)
Ali: Ok tu. Just message-message saja kalau ada apa-apa.
(No worries. Just message us if there’s anything)
Adam: Ok tu.
(Sure, no problem. Assalamualaikum)
As soon Adam and Aisyah leaves, Saiful turns to Ali.
Saiful: I think he doesn’t like your idea.
Ali: He’ll warm up to it.
Telanai – Night
Ridzuan takes out his eskrima sticks.
Ridzuan: I’m not moving anymore, Auntie Mar. I now know what I want to do. It’s time to use what I have to help my country and help my people.
Marina: That’s very good to hear, Ridz. Go ahead and do what you believe in. Now, are you ready?
Marina suddenly lunges towards Ridzuan with her eskrima sticks and they engage in combat. Turns out, ‘Auntie Mar’, Ridzuan’s filipina maid/driver is also Ridzuan’s trainer.
Ridzuan: But there’s a problem.
Ridzuan blocks Marina’s attack.
Ridzuan: I cannot do that as myself. I cannot do that as Awangku Ridzuan.
Marina unleash a series of strikes to which Ridzuan blocks them all effortlessly
Marina: Why not?
Marina goes for a strike to the head.
Ridzuan: Because people know me.
Ridzuan dodges Marina’s stick and walks away.
Ridzuan: People have pre-conceived judgment about me and my family. We are constantly being highly judgemental of people, which in turn makes us really paranoid of getting judged by others. It’s just this bad never ending cycle that we Bruneians have. And all you get is skepticism and hatred that doesn’t benefit anyone.
Marina: Then your job is to prove to them that you’re not who they think you are.
Marina tries to strike Ridzuan again and Ridzuan just blocks her every move.
Marina: Prove to them that you are not just a spoiled rich kid and is actually a good man with good intentions.
Ridzuan: Auntie Mar, changing perception of Bruneians is near impossible. But…
Ridzuan pushes Marina back.
Ridzuan: …I found a solution.
Marina: That is?
Ridzuan: What if I can be someone else, something else…
Ridzuan unleash a fury of attacks.
Ridzuan: …Something new, something that people don’t have any pre-existing judgment on…
Her age doesn’t seem to deter Marina as she is capable of blocking Ridzuan’s attacks.
Ridzuan: …Something that transcends the boundaries of mere family background.
Ridzuan notice that Marina is beginning to get overwhelmed by his attacks and backs off.
Ridzuan: I need to be something that’s more than just a guy, more than just a name. I need to be an idea or a symbol.
Ridzuan: I’m not gonna be Batman.
Ridzuan sounds offended as if Marina was not taking his ambitions seriously.
Marina: But you are going to be wearing a mask and fight bad guys, am I right? Just like what you did to those guys that beaten up that poor girl. Please let the police handle this.
Ridzuan: I am letting them handle it but it’s not enough. I helped my police friend get information on this new underground drug trade and the evidence showed that this is something big. And the cops and the narcotics guys need all the help they can get.
Marina: And they need you?
Ridzuan: I have the skills and the resources to help
Marina: Then join the police! Join the narcotics!
Marina strikes and almost caught Ridzuan by surprise!
Ridzuan: No, I need to be outside the system.
Ridzuan backs off. He needed a bit of a breather.
Ridzuan: Free from the restrains of procedures and regulations
Marina: Free from regulation is just another way of saying ‘doing something Illegal’. How do you fight criminal if you’re gonna act like one?
Ridzuan: I’m not gonna be a criminal. I’m gonna be something that criminals are afraid of.
Marina: Sounds like Batman to me.
Marina sits on the chair at the corner.
Ridzuan: No, I’m not gonna dress up like a Bat. But you know what those criminals say about me? I was so quick and all dark that they believed that they were attacked by a ghost. Called me a Lembaga Hitam or a Hantu Balau, whatever that is.
Marina is drinking from her water bottle and just can’t believe what’s coming out of Ridzuan’s mouth.
Ridzuan: We Bruneians are superstitious especially these gang members. They may act tough but deep down they’re the most easily scared people. If I can dress up as a black figure that’s out to haunt and punish them….
Marina: Just promise me that you’re going to co-operate with the police?
Ridzuan: I’ll leave the evidence to them.
Marina slams her water bottle on the table.
Marina: Ok, so you wanna dress up as a ghost and tie up the bad guys and leave the evidence to the police. And then you repeat that again and again. Until when, Ridz?
Ridzuan: The endgame is to inspire others to stop being ignorant and stand up against these bad people.
Marina: Sounds like Batman to me!
Ridzuan rolls his eyes and finally sits down.
Ridzuan: Remember when we were in Paris? There was this hero named Nightrunner.
Marina: Oh I remember Nightrunner. You couldn’t stop talking about him. He was another crazy guy inspired by Batman as well.
Ridzuan: That’s not the point. The point is that he inspired the people to stand up for their neighbourhood.
Marina: This is crazy. You cannot do this alone.
Ridzuan: That’s why I need Auntie Mar’s help.
Marina: You do know that Batman’s butler was an accomplice too, right?
Ridzuan: Is that a yes?
Marina sits there in silent and contemplating on Ridzuan’s plan.
Amalina’s friend’s house – Night
Adam and Aisyah arrive at the location that her sister Amalina sent through the her phone. They see her waiting at the porch. A guy walks out of the house calling her out.
Drugged up dude: Amal! Awal jua! Balik tia kau ani. Boring eh.
(Amal! You’re gonna go home now? Don’t be such a bore)
Amalina ignores him and goes straight inside the car. She seems terrified.
Amalina: Jangan tah di layan tu.
(Ignore that guy)
Aisyah: Amal ok?
(You ok, Amal?)
Amalina: Awu. Lakastah kami balik.
(Yes. Now can we get out of here?)
The guy throws a brick at the car windshield.
Drugged up dude: OI! TULI KAH! INDA KAMU MENJAWAB AKU KAH?!
(OI! YOU ALL DEAF?! YOU’RE NOT ANSWERING ME?!)
Amalina pleads Adam to drive them home. Adam believes that it’s not worth the fight and cares more about the safety of his sister. As he reverses his car, he notice that another guy comes out of the side door of the housewith a drugged up girl. He slams the girl to the wall and is pulling her pants.
Adam slams the brakes!
Adam: Syah, telipun polis sekarang ani.
(Aisyah, call the police now)
Adam gets out of the car as Aisyah immediately calls the cops. Adam shouts at the would be rapist.
Adam: Oi! Jangan kau macam-macam!
(Hey! Don’t you dare!)
Drugged up guy: Nah, inda jua kau tuli tu! Pandai jua kau menyaut tu.
(So you’re not deaf after all!)
Adam ignores him and walk up straight to the girl that was about to be raped. The rapist punches Adam, only to hear the sound of the bones cracks from the impact of his fist to the Adam’s near invulnerable face. DAMN, that must’ve hurt!
Adam picks the drugged up girl and brings her back to the car.
The drugged up guy gets up on Adam’s face.
Drugged up guy: Inda ku peduli kau ani abang nya kah atau bapa nya kah. Kau inda kana invited ke parti ani so jangan tah kau kemari macam baie!
(I don’t care if you’re her brother or her dad, you weren’t invited to the party so don’t you come here acting like a fucking prick!)
Adam shoves him away and he flies back to the garage! Siapa sebanarnya yang macam baie ani?
The police arrive shortly after and discovered that the kids were in possession of the Khayalan-7 or K-7 drugs – the newest drug craze in town.
Amalina apologised to Adam and said that she didn’t know the group of people she was hanging out with was involved with the drugs until she was invited to this party. Once she found out, she immediately called Adam to pick her up.
Adam asks Amalina whether she heard from her ‘friends’ about where they got the drugs.
Telanai – Night
Ridzuan looks at the various prototype gadgets that he dug up from the Bukhari Enterprise archives he obtained from his half-brother Bakhri.
Marina: Based on the intel, the meeting point will be here tonight *points at a remote pier by the Brunei River on the map*
Ridzuan: *testing the voice modifier* How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Marina: Sounds good. You ready?
Ridzuan: Oh, I’m ready. But they’re not.
Discreet pier by the Brunei River – Night
A group of men is transferring boxes of K-7 drugs that just arrived.
One of the men sees a White Cloth gliding from one tree to another.
Man 1: Ok kau, bui? Kanapa?
(You’re alright, dude? What’s wrong?)
Man 2: (whispers) Aku nampak kain putih tadi trabang
(I saw a floating white cloth)
Man 1: Ah?! Banar wah?! Palui!
Boss: Oi! Kemari untuk bekeraja, bukan untuk becerita
(Oi! You guys came here to work, not to talk)
The guys are startled by the sudden appearance of a high pitched female laugh that surrounds them. They are shitting their pants!
One of the guys sees a black figure with long hair and red eyes standing behind the boss.
Man 2: Subhanallah!!!!!
BAM!! The black figure knocks down the boss. The two guys start running until a black thing swings by and snatches one of them. The lone survivor trips and falls on the ground.
A demonic voice fills up the night sky. HANTU BAAALLLAAAAUUUU!!!
Backyard of an abandoned house – Night
Meanwhile at another part of the country, a group of kids meet at the backyard of an abandoned house to exchange K-7 drugs.
Adam arrives at the scene wearing an Orange Brunei Shell Petroleum coverall – with the BSP logo replaced with the Panji-Panji/emblem of Brunei Flag – and a yellow helmet and goggles. It was a quick and cheap Captain Brunei costume that they can come up with on short notice.
Adam: Bahapa kamu atu? Be dadah? Jangan tah be-dadah, lai. Umur masih muda, buang masa saja tu dadah ah. Baik tah kamu beskulah, belajar banar-banar.
(What are you doing? Drugs? Don’t do drugs, kids. You guys are still young, don’t waste it on drugs. Just stay in in school and study hard)
The kids are clueless – who the hell is this guy?! And why is he wearing a coverall and a helmet at midnight?!
Adam: Bagi saja aku dadah atu dan balik tah kamu
(Just hand me the drugs and go home)
Adam looks more like a crazy BSP worker than a superhero.
Kid 1: Eh, si tahi jua kau. Kami punya kali ni ah. Bali sendiri wah, baie!
(Who the hell are you to take ours? Get your own shit!)
Adam: Cemani saja, bagi saja aku dadah atu dan balik tah kamu. Nada banyak cakap, nada banyak masalah.
(How about this, just hand me the drugs and go home. No hassle, no problem)
The kids refuse to give in and Adam snatches it from them. One of the kids punch Adam in the face! Adam goes down and they all laugh.
Kid 2: Apa rasanya, baie!
(You like that, motherfucker?!)
Adam was of course acting like he got hit because he did not want the kid’s hand to break.
Adam stands up and tries to snatch the drugs again. The kid goes for another blow but Adam catches his fist and throws him away with one arm!! Holy Shit! The other kids proceeds to attack Adam and they all get flung away easily. One kid surrenders.
Adam: Sekali lagi aku bagi tau kau. Bagi aku dadah atu dan balik tah kau ke rumah, ok?
(I’ll say it one more time. Hand me the drugs and go home, ok?)
The kid nods and hands Adam the drugs.
Adam: Thank you. Selamat malam.
(Thank you. Good night)
Adam turns around and walks away.
Kid 3: Siapa kan kau ani? Apakan kau ani?
(Who are you? WHAT are you?)
Adam stops and turns around to face him.
Adam: Panggil aku Kapten Brunei
(Call me Captain Brunei)
The kid is confused. What the f–
Adam drops the drugs on the front door of Jabatan Regulasi Narkotik (JRN) headquarters late at night with a note ‘from Kapten Brunei‘.
Meanwhile, Rahman and his police team arrive at a pier on the remote part of the Brunei River to find a group of men tied up and a box full of the K-7 drugs. One of the men tells the police about them being attacked by a black ghost – by a HANTU BALAU.
Akmal: Apa kan Hantu Balau ani?
(What’s a Balau Ghost?)
Rahman: Hantu Balau bah. Inda kau ingat kah cerita Catatan Misteri di RTB dulu?
(Don’t you remember the Balau Ghost from that show Catatan Misteri that used air on RTB?)
Akmal: Never heard of it.
While the police tries to make sense of what just happened, Akmal has an idea of who might be responsible for this.
Amalina, Adam’s sister, fears that she is going to be threatened by her former friends who might see her as a traitor for helping the police with the K-7 drug case. She hears about a new self defence workshop for girls organized by Liza aka Dayang Dinamite. She decides to sign up.
With the gangs and media associating the night attacker with a ghost known as Balau, Ridzuan decides to adopt Balau Man as his superhero name.
Bandar Seri Begawan – Night
It’s past midnight at an empty downtown backalley. A lone man wearing a hood sits by the side, repeating a chant under his breath. A gush of wind passes by carrying a newspaper page that lands on his lap.
The page tells the story of a mysterious encounter with a figure that calls himself ‘Kapten Brunei’.
The hooded man smiles.
His eyes glows red.
END OF VOLUME 1
Might also be interested in:
Captain Brunei – Initial Idea
(The original post where I first talked about my Captain Brunei idea – Dec 2010)
Captain Brunei – APJP
(A friend of mine adapted my idea from the link above and created this other version of Captain Brunei – Feb 2011)
Richard Grayson (Nightwing)
Batman Begins – Bruce Wayne: “As a Symbol I can be incorruptible”
Cerita hantu Brunei – Balau
Cerita seram Brunei – Balau
Brunei FM: Mode Seram – Balau
Drug syndicates using new tactics to lure youth
Brunei stays alert though drug situation under control
Contraband, drugs found during joint operation
Brunei a transit point for drugs
Is the drugs situation really under control?
Making Brunei youths wary of global drug trafficking syndicates
Anti-drug campaign crucial for the youth
NCB recruits youths in anti-drugs drive
NCB nabs 5 youths for drug abuse
College to youths: Say no to drugs
Knowledge key to fight drug abuse
Drug abuse prevention best for Brunei
Drug smuggling trails identified
Editorial Getting help of public to fight crime
Imams urge public to help fight crimes