25. Call for Help
Spotting the group, Jackson innocently waved his hand.
Those who had escaped from Yangju City absentmindedly greeted Jackson. They were weirded out by his enthusiasm. After all, these were chaotic times, and anything that appeared too good to be true should be avoided.
Jackson asked with eloquent Korean, startling the audience. They didn’t even have time to react after seeing a burly foreigner speaking their language so fluently.
‘Is he insane? Does he not see the monsters in front of him?’
The leader could not hide his bewilderment. The man appeared oblivious to his surroundings. He even wondered if he was just playing tricks.
“There are monsters, as you can see.”
Jackson grinned and beckoned to his comrades. The soldiers inside the carrier compartment pointed their guns from the vehicle. The leader could not believe his eyes at the spectacle. There were guns and they weren’t rusted like the ones he saw at the police station.
‘Where did they find such weapons?’
The monkey monsters looked at the new group, sensing the situation was becoming unfavorable for them. At this moment, both parties were bewildered.
With a command from Jackson, the oh-so-familiar sounds of gunshots rang out. Feeling surprised and surreal, the leader took a step back. Unable to do anything, the monkeys were rapidly shot down.
Seeing a few charging at him in desperation, Jackson drew his gun and aimed. It was an accurate one shot one kill. The monsters fell short of escaping and all were eliminated.
As relief washed over them, the survivors collapsed onto the ground. They had mixed feelings at the moment. The sudden reversal of the situation overwhelmed them. The leader gulped as the guns pointed at the monsters were now being pointed towards them. Jackson asked them sternly, his previous lax attitude complete vanishing.
“This area is controlled by the Kwang Hwi Faction. What business brings you here?”
“Kwang Hwi Faction?”
The whole ordeal made the head of the leader spin. He stopped his colleagues from brandishing their weapons, not that it mattered. It was an unfavorable fight. The opposing side was armed, pointing their guns from inside a military truck. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t do anything to these soldiers with just blunt weapons. Before they could take a step forward, they would be drilled with holes.
“We came from Yangju City and were being chased by those monkey monsters.”
Jackson’s eyes narrowed at the answer and he deliberated over it for a while.
Yangju was a city south of Dongducheon.
“Please discard your weapons. I’ll contact my superior.”
The leader signaled everyone to lower their weapons carefully. Jackson picked up the radio after seeing everyone was unarmed.
“Boss, Jackson speaking.”
Kwang Hwi quickly responded.
— “Did something happen?”
“We’ve encountered survivors from Yangju City: a small group of five.”
— “Bring them with you.”
“Roger. We’ll return immediately.”
Jackson beckoned to the survivors.
The survivors boarded the Medium Tactical Vehicle with nervousness. Their weapons were discarded on the ground, but no one thought of bringing it with them. Kwang Hwi Faction did not collect weapons and it was pointless to amass them when they had guns anyway. The soldiers gave the survivors a cold glare. As always, they were fully alert.
“Now, now! Let’s go back!”
Jackson sensed the tense air and opened his mouth to ease both parties. The Medium Tactical Vehicle turned and headed to the Dongducheon City Hall.
“Was there something like that before…?”
The survivors thought aloud while feeling perplexed. There was a solid wall erected at the entrance to the city, a barrier built to ward off monsters. It was freshly made, less than a week old, and surrounded the entire city that Kwang Hwi Faction had acquired.
On the gray wall, there was a symbol of a fierce lion with its mane fluttering drawn on it alongside a warning notice.
|Kwang Hwi Faction’s Controlled Area|
Stop immediately! Be unarmed and follow our instructions!
The truck momentarily paused at a routine checkpoint. Everyone’s attention was focused on the guard standing on top of the wall. Jackson hollered at him from inside the vehicle.
“Greetings, Major Jackson! Opening!”
Being one of the few high-ranking officers in the Kwang Hwi Faction, everyone knew Jackson. The guard promptly saluted and followed the order.
Once the door was half-open, the Medium Tactical Vehicle entered the city. It was relatively quiet here, aside from the few guards on duty. The roads were clean of monster carcasses. In less than five minutes, another wall came into view that blocked their path and, just like the outer one, the inner wall also had guards deployed on it. The inspection quickly ended. This was primarily due to the fact that Jackson was the sole Black American in the Kwang Hwi Faction and they could identify him from afar.
“We’ve already received orders from HQ. Please enter.”
A guard reported to Jackson while making way for the vehicle. Beyond the wall, an entirely different scenery came into view. While there weren’t many people, it looked like civilians were walking on the roads. The people neither looked mistreated or starving. It was evident that they had a decent life and it was almost as if they had entered a small town from the times bygone.
Naturally, there were no monsters or their corpses in the picturesque scene, a testament to the strength of the faction. Occasionally, there would be discolored bloodstains on the streets, which the civilians mopped. The survivors from Yangju City looked at the scenery as if they were country bumpkins who were visiting a city for the first time. What’s more, the city even had electricity. It was the complete opposite of what they experienced at Yangju.
The Medium Tactical Vehicle came to a screeching halt in front of the Dongducheon City Hall. A group of soldiers were there to meet them, likely informed of their arrival ahead of time. Jackson led the Yangju survivors out of the vehicle and into the building.
While following Jackson, the survivors saw the APC and SPG stationed at the parking lot.
“Boss, this is Jackson. I’ve brought the survivors.”
Kwang Hwi greeted the survivors while comfortably reclining in his seat. Soo Min was standing right behind Kwang Hwi. Chairs were prepared ahead of time for the survivors.
“I’m Kwang Hwi Baek, the commander of the Kwang Hwi Faction.”
“Nice to meet you. My name is Sang Woo Hong.”
“I’ve heard that you came from Yangju City. Is that true?”
The leader did the introduction and told his story. He recounted how the city was suddenly attacked by monkey monsters and how people were utterly massacred. The policemen tried to take action but couldn’t do much without their weapons. In the end, they were effortlessly slaughtered.
“That’s why the five of us looted the hardware store to arm ourselves. At first, we somehow managed to survive for two weeks in the city. But as time went by, without any help, we realized it was only getting dangerous, so we fled.”
“And you were chased by these monkey monsters?”
Kwang Hwi tapped his finger on the table. Based on the story, Yangju City was occupied by a different type of monster, referred to as the ‘monkey monster’. Using their small and agile bodies, these beasts would launch surprise attacks from blind spots. Their claws were their primary weapons, and some could even paralyze its victim.
“How many are there?”
“We don’t know…”
The survivors had no way of knowing the monsters’ numbers. They didn’t have the necessary equipment for this. In contrast, Kwang Hwi Faction had the UAV.
‘Yangju City, huh? There must be at least a few thousand.’
A rhythmic tapping sounded in the room as Kwang Hwi organized his thoughts. He then raised his head.
“Do the monsters eat people?”
“Eh? No. Even though they kill people, they don’t eat them.”
“So, they don’t eat people…”
It was unexpected or rather shocking information, to say the least as the Keku and Black Wolves ate people. Kwang Hwi had thought that the monkeys would do the same.
“There’s something else that’s pretty strange, too.”
“Strange, you say?”
“Two days before we fled the city, the monsters captured the people and took them somewhere. They killed the men who resisted and seized the powerless women.”
Kwang Hwi signaled to Jackson, who took the survivors and left the office. After an aptitude test, the survivors would be assigned new jobs. Kwang Hwi thought they were suited to be soldiers. They had to be experienced in combat to flee from a city overrun by monsters. On top of that, all of the men were healthy adult males.
Soo Min, still standing behind him, asked Kwang Hwi.
“Boss, what do you plan to do?”
“First, let’s check what’s going on.”
There was no reason for Kwang Hwi to take any immediate action. They were still in the process of converting Dongducheon City into a fortress and needed a few more weeks to train the new recruits. It was not the right time to visit Yangju City.
“Then, I’ll deploy the Heron first.”
Just before Soo Min was about to leave the office, the radio on the table sounded.
— “Southern Wall Security Team reporting! A number of unidentified monsters are approaching from Yangju City!”
— Ω —
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