Captain Jin Joo Ha had tried to reach out to Yohan and apologize, but Yohan avoided him and ignored his requests. He had no intent on reconciliation. Yohan wanted justification to get rid of them: a plan that would give them a flawless victory, and which required perfect timing.
A few days passed and the naval command changed their strategy. They must have realized that Yohan was purposefully giving them the cold shoulder and no longer tried to offer their services. They also didn’t try to strongarm the camp into providing them with food and entertainment. Without the friendly facade, they seemed more like antagonists now.
“Ah! That scared me. They’re at it again. Damn those bastards.” A woman who was working in the fields was frowning. The navy men were knocking loudly on doors and, when there was no answer, they would kick open the doors if they were locked.
Officially, they were ‘scavenging’. They entered buildings that appeared to be empty and looted whatever they could find. The constant sound of doors and windows breaking put the camp members on edge. Naturally, the recon team members had already scavenged everything worthwhile on the island. In the end, if the sailors wanted to eat off the island, they had to fish or sneak some fruits off the trees that belonged to the camp.
Still, the navy refused to leave. Instead, they were vigilantly looking for an opportunity to take over the island. Yohan was grateful for this. He didn’t want them to back away easily. The fact that other people knew their location and the value of the island was a huge risk. Tensions increased steadily. It was like the Balkans before and after World War II. Finally, after four days had passed, a big incident occurred.
“What’s going on?” Yohan arrived late to the scene. He quickly surveyed the scene and understood what was happening.
People were gathered around someone’s home on Sindo 2-ri. The crowd was divided into two sides, with the camp members on one side and navy men on the other. The officers sneered at the crowd, chin high in the air and eyes looking down at them. They could hear the clicking of heels approaching as more sailors were coming.
‘Let’s see…’ Yohan examined the expressions on the navy men. Instantly, he could tell that this incident was no accident. ‘I guess they’re trying something new.’
The navy had failed to gain the trust of Yohan and the camp members and, after flailing about impotently for four days, they decided to reveal their true colors. It was the classic ‘make a big scene to draw a crowd and then show them how helpless they are’ strategy. On Yohan’s side, the person who was making a big scene and confronting the officers was Hyuk. He was glaring at the navy men while shielding a woman behind him. Yohan could guess what had happened, but he asked anyway.
“What’s going on?”
“This bastard was sexually harassing Yoon Hee.”
“Jeez, what are you saying? I told you, I thought it was an empty house.” The officer shrugged, clearly making up a lame excuse.
“Of course it wasn’t empty, I was in that house! And—and you touched me!” Yoon Hee screamed.
“I told you, I was looking under the blanket to see if there was anything there. Anyway, that’s beside the point. You attacked me before you even heard my side of the story. Are you trying to get back at us for what happened last time?”
‘Perfect target and situation.’ Yohan was extremely satisfied with the scene before him. The navy had graciously helped him gather a crowd of camp members and were actively antagonizing them. On top of that, out of all the people they could pick, they targeted Hyuk.
Hyuk was a warrior of justice. Yohan knew that, if Hyuk got angry, his righteous rage would affect the camp members as well. It was the power of being an idiot of virtue. If it was Yohan in his shoes, the camp members would probably think ‘what sort of scary thing is he going to do now?’ but, if it was Hyuk getting angry and causing a scene, they would probably think ‘the other side is wrong.’ Yohan knew that this mentality was unfair to himself, but that was the reality of the situation. And it was working in their favor right now.
‘If anything, a soldier should be protecting those that are weaker than them. Instead, the officer is taunting the victim. That’s unforgivable.’
Yohan decided to wait for the main actors to get on the stage. The captain and his officers walked toward the crowd slowly. Yohan stepped out to meet him.
Pistols were proudly displayed in their hip holsters. Even the other sailors, who were normally unarmed, had weapons. In total, around 14 people had guns.
“Naval officers,” Yohan said, calmly, “I can no longer stand by and abide your violent ways.”
“Oh Yohan, I think there’s a bit of a misunderstanding.”
“That may be the case. However, before we talk it out, please disarm yourselves.”
“How dare you!” a senior officer shouted as he took a step towards Yohan. Captain Jin stopped him.
“Are you giving orders to the Korean navy?”
“Orders? You’re not being fair. If anything, we’re the ones that are being persecuted right now. All we want is to protect ourselves from violence. Either disarm yourselves or get off this island right this instant.”
“Violence? That’s outrageous. Who are you to tell us off? You said it yourself that you’re not even native to this island.”
“We are the ones that cleared the zombies, gathered the supplies, and managed the fields.”
“According to the law, what you’re doing is illegally occupying private property.”
The conversation escalated in intensity, but Yohan was getting bored.
‘Come on, pull out your gun. I need to bait them harder.’ Yohan just needed one person to fall for his trap. He needed to make them more angry.
“To be honest, the government has fallen. What’s the point of having soldiers? You’re no better than a violent armed group.”
“You bastard!” One of the senior officers whipped out his gun and all the spectators froze.
For safety, Yohan’s gun was currently not loaded. With his left hand, Yohan made a dramatic motion to wipe the sweat off his brow. As he did so, he shifted to hide the fact that his right hand was slowly moving to his thigh pocket.
In one fluid motion, Yohan pulled out his pistol from his thigh pocket, loaded it, and fired. The senior officer who was pointing his gun at Yohan didn’t even have time to blink. Yohan calmly moved his gun to the captain, who fell backward with wide eyes as a bullet entered his forehead. One by one, Yohan fired at any sailor with a gun.
More gunshots rang out. Sweeper and Jung Hwan were behind Yohan and could clearly see what he was doing when he wiped his brow. When Yohan fired his first shot, it was their go signal. Jung Hwan and Sweeper stabbed the sailor that was closest to them in the neck and took their guns.
“Everyone, get down!”
“Ahhh!” The camp members quickly got on the ground and covered their heads.
Meanwhile, the sailors were still recovering from their shock. They ran into each other as chaos ensued. More gunshots rang out and, within minutes, the middle of the village had turned into a battlefield. Unarmed sailors tried to fight back, but they ended up getting turned into swiss cheese. Without the captain and their senior leadership, the battle was a massacre.
The navy barely managed to fire a few bullets and all their shots missed wildly. Meanwhile, the recon team members fired back with well-trained, mechanical precision. Ha Jin popped out the blade from his prosthetic arm and stabbed the sailors that ran at him, turning them into skewers.
“Block their retreat! Block them!”
Pio, Verda, and So Hee blocked the sailors who were trying to run away. The sound of joints breaking and arrows flying filled the air. Someone tried to attack Jung Hwan with a blade, but Blackie the dog charged in and bit the man on the leg. Jung Hwan took advantage of the distraction and pistol whipped his would-be assailant. Sindo was filled with bloody screams.
Within minutes, there were no longer any navy men left standing on the island. It had started as a battle, but ended as a massacre. Some were still struggling on the ground, but Sweeper and Ha Jin put them out of their misery with their knives.
Yohan stood at the entrance to the village, which was stained with blood, and lit a cigarette. Smoke escaped from his mouth and nose as he replayed the battle in his head. It was a fight between a group that tried to get what they wanted through force and a group that was prepared to fight and kill them the moment they met.
The result was obvious. It was a one-sided battle. Yohan’s group were veterans of war. Not only have they been fighting zombies almost every day, but the majority of them also fought the Gold Moon Gang, Baek Jong Soo’s biker gang, the old man’s special forces mercenary group, and the Seoul Survival Union.
They were used to killing other people in order to ensure their own lives. They were true soldiers who were ready to kill when necessary. Despite knowing that there may be ramifications for their actions in the future, they were already prepared a long time ago to end the lives of the innocent sailors if it meant that they would be rid of the corrupt captain and his officers.
“…Did you kill them all?” Pio and Verda came back, eyes wide.
The majority of the sailors were either dead or dying on the ground. The only ones that were still alive were the ones stopped by the Camp Maria members and So Hee. They had targeted the sailor’s legs and tied them up.
“I’m more surprised that you managed to stop them all without killing a single person.”
Naturally, Yohan didn’t condone murder, but, once a fight broke out, it was expected that the enemy had to die. Injured people could turn into zombies at any time and cause an unfortunate incident. Yohan looked at the battlefield and his new comrades with mixed feelings. He would need to correct their mentality. For now, he ordered them to destroy the heads of the sailors who were already dead.
“Ong. Take care of the rest of them on the ship.”
— “Yes sir.”
“Wa—wait, Yohan.” Hyuk had finally registered what had happened. He probably didn’t realize that things would turn out this way with so many people dead. Yohan was familiar with Hyuk’s weak heart.
“You did well.”
It was troublesome for Yohan to take care of Hyuk’s mental health after every fight. However, since Hyuk was the number one contributor this time, Yohan wanted to reward him.
“Thanks to you, I realized how evil they were. We had to get rid of them. If we left them alone, they definitely would’ve pillaged us.”
‘What’s with this guilty conscience of his?’ Yohan just wanted to simply say ‘you did your part and, thanks to you, we saved everyone’, but instead he had to dress it up for Hyuk.
“Of course. They would’ve arrested us under false pretenses and then raped and looted all the camp members.”
“People with power who can’t be controlled tend to be like that, Hyuk. Those bastards are just as bad as the New Millenium Church and Seoul Survival Union. No, they’re even worse. They came to us with innocent smiles and the desire to take everything we have.”
Hyuk listened to every one of Yohan’s words and nodded vigorously.
“What’s the use of even having soldiers these days?” Sweeper remarked. He had a satisfied look on his face as he piled up the corpses.
Even though the whole encounter had cost them some food and ammo, it wasn’t so bad, considering what they had obtained. Yohan got the chance to see his new comrades fight and identified some potential issues. Yohan wasn’t leading a group of stupid, naive people who rescued everyone they saw and performed good deeds. They scavenged and protected what they had built up themselves. He protected his carefully curated camp members and, in return, they put their trust in him.
However, it was easier said than done. After this encounter, it was likely that some people would feel uneasy about the power of the recon team. They might be sad or angry that they had killed innocent sailors. At the same time, there was no denying that the recon team had achieved a flawless victory.
‘The recon team is strong. The recon team is powerful. I’m glad they’re not the enemy.’ This was what every camp member was thinking.
— “Clear.” Corporal Ong reported back, right on schedule. Yohan smiled as he wiped off some blood from his weapons.
“Hey boss man, it’s really creepy when you smile in a situation like this,” Sweeper commented.
“What? I think it’s kinda sexy,” Saeri interjected. Yohan frowned.
‘What the hell are they on about?’
The recon team quickly finished cleaning up the bodies and sent the camp members back to their homes. With their chores done, they could finally go and collect the spoils of the battle. Yohan knew that he shouldn’t be smiling after they had killed so many people, but he couldn’t help himself when he thought about the trophies he had acquired recently.
“A warship and a helicopter. Who could’ve imagined?”
“Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. There’s no way we can operate this.”
Unfortunately they didn’t have anyone who could operate the ship. Yohan doubted they would be able to steadily provide fuel for it anyway. However, he was more interested in the crumbs than the cake. While the canons were a pipedream, since they required experts to maintain and operate it, the mounted machine guns and anti-aircraft units attached to the main deck were a different story.
“It’s a Mistral.”
The Mistral was a surface-to-air portable guided missile launcher. It also happened to be Yohan’s speciality when he was in the air force. He had tons of shooting experience back on the Daecheon shooting range.
— Ω —