32. Who are you again? (2)
From above, a strong gust of wind blew against the trees planted in the ground. A colossal helicopter blocked the sky, letting everyone know of its presence.
“It’s fucking big.”
The gathered men nodded, seeing eye to eye. As Jackson stated, it was an unbelievably big helicopter. Kwang Hwi focused on the barely visible fuselage and found a red star was imprinted on it.
“It’s the DPRK’s helicopter.”
The helicopter didn’t seem to have any mounted weapons or rockets. Hovering at a low altitude, it didn’t look like it had any intention of attacking. At such heights, it was even possible for the Kwang Hwi Faction to shoot it down.
— “Boss. Reporting from the Situation Room. We’ve received communications from the unidentified helicopter.”
“What are they saying?”
— “They have stated zero intentions of engaging in a battle with us. Instead, they have surrendered.”
“First, have them land on the Dongducheon Training Center.”
— “Copy that.”
While Dongducheon High School was closer, the SPGs were still deployed there. Therefore, the next empty lot available was the training center. Over the radio, Kwang Hwi overheard the exchange of words. An unfamiliar voice with a thick accent agreed to the request.
“Let’s head to the training center.”
Peeking out from the vehicle, the traffic controller raised his traffic rods. As the Light Tactical Vehicle headed toward the training center, the traffic controller swung his rods without a rest.
Seeing that, the DPRK transport helicopter slowly followed behind the vehicle. Upon arriving, the dark training center brightly lit up. The chopper carefully descended after securing visibility. A dust storm was swept away by the strong breeze. In the meantime, armed soldiers were arriving one after another, encircling the newcomers.
— “Team 2 has arrived at the north.”
— “Team 8 has arrived at the south. Dispersing troops.”
— “Team 9, ETA one minute.”
Kwang Hwi had his subordinates manage the troops. Numerous assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and an autocannon were all aimed at the helicopter. It was impossible to get away after being exposed to such a level of firepower.
As the rotor slowed its rotation, it came to a complete halt. The door on the side opened under the watchful eyes of the soldiers. DPRK pilots, who were wearing dark green military uniforms, revealed themselves.
After coming down the stairs, the pilots raised their hands and turned around. Forget the gun; they didn’t even have a knife. The pilots were totally weaponless. Kwang Hwi picked up the loudspeaker.
After the pilots widened their distance from the helicopter, Jackson walked up to it. A single team covered his back, vigilant against any sudden change. After inspecting, Jackson reported back.
— “Boss, the helicopter is clear.”
Kwang Hwi walked up to the pilots.
“A-are you the commander of the ROK Armed Forces?”
“While I am Korean, I am not affiliated with the South Korean military.”
“Who are you?”
“W-we are pilots, part of the helicopter unit…”
Their story was similar to the defectors found earlier today. Without warning, all their weapons had turned into scrap metal. The only thing left intact was the transport helicopter without mounted guns.
Hiding in a secluded place, the troops held out for a while. Despite their efforts, though, the monsters somehow found them and raided their base. They could only last for so long. Once their last line of defense was breached, the few pilots ran away using the helicopter. While deciding where to go, the men saw the city light and crossed the border.
“P-please save us. We won’t do anything bad.”
“We will even give this helicopter. So, please accept us.”
Kwang Hwi glanced at the chopper.
Amongst the mass-produced helicopters, it was the biggest model that had similar transport capacity as the U.S. C-130. It could load up to 20 tons, twice as much as the famous Chinook.
If used for transporting soldiers, up to 90 people could board it. Just to operate this beast, five pilots were needed. It was a Soviet transport helicopter that highlighted its beauty and massive size. While Kwang Hwi had heard North Korea was operating a few, it was his first time seeing one.
“We’ll accept you only if you work for us.”
The pilots briefly glanced at each other. Naturally, they had already prepared their answers.
“We will fully cooperate.”
“Please leave it to us!”
Soo Min urgently walked up to Kwang Hwi. He frowned, having his back against the pilots and intentionally spoke with a loud volume.
“Boss, they are North Koreans. Even though they are saying they’ll be of service, there’s a good chance they’ll change their mind depending on the situation.”
Hearing that, the surprised pilots rejected the notion at once. They were flustered as they spoke.
“T-That’s not true! We will never betray you!”
“I-I will even sacrifice my life to express my loyalty!”
Kwang Hwi deliberately made a solemn expression. While the two were acting, the North Koreans looked like they were about to wet their pants. As the overwhelming silence continued, the pilots became even more desperate.
“Then, let’s do this. If you complete the task, we’ll accept you as one of us. You’ll need to receive some training, but it won’t be too difficult for you soldiers.”
“W-What should we do?”
“Shout out loud so everyone here can hear. Say ‘Kim Jong-un is a bitch’ loud and clear.”
Not only were the North Koreans silent, but even Kwang Hwi’s subordinates and other men also could not hide their astonishment. Even so, he was looking at the pilots with a calm expression.
“What are you doing?”
“So, you want to die?”
Kwang Hwi reached out for his Glock wrapped around his waist.
“K-Kim Jong-un! How dare you look down on our general…”
A gunshot rang and a pilot collapsed onto the floor. Blood trickled down from the bullet hole in his forehead. Kwang Hwi turned around to the other pilots. The silence pressured them and they gulped their saliva.
“… Kim Jong-un is a bitch.”
“K-Kim Jong-un is a bitch!”
“One more time!”
“Kim Jong-un is the son of a bitch!“
Perhaps they were under the heat as they added more insult. Kwang Hwi, including others, nodded with satisfaction.
“Boss, I’ve recorded them.”
Jackson, who had returned, gave Kwang Hwi a camcorder. It had perfectly captured the scene where the North Korean pilots slurred at the North Korean leader. Although it was uncertain whether or not Kim Jong-un was still alive, the pilots could not betray him anymore.
“Welcome, soldiers. Jackson, I’ll leave them in your care once again.”
Jackson led the surrendered pilots away, and they followed his footsteps with a look of defeat. No matter the circumstances, betraying their country would be a blemish on their hearts.
“Tell the engineers to look at the condition of the helicopter.”
It was a helicopter larger than the Chinook. While it would be difficult to deploy it for battles, it was perfect for transporting troops. It could even carry more than half of all forces in the Kwang Hwi Faction.
“I’ll leave all the matters to you, Soo Min.”
“Have a safe trip. We should be able to complete the fortification process by the end of the day.”
Kwang Hwi was the last person to get in the APC. All other members were already on board. He was greeted by an ample empty space.
— “Our commander is in. As of now, our vehicle is Turtle-1.”
The rear door closed after his entry. The faint vibration caused by the engine could be felt from the seat.
— “Orders received.”
The Light Tactical Vehicles led the way. Immediately following it was the Namer Turtle-2. Turtle-1 quickly trailed behind. In the rear, Medium Tactical Vehicles and large box trucks joined the ranks. In the carrier compartment, the grenade launcher was mounted alongside fully armed soldiers.
Kwang Hwi Faction’s destination was the 26th Division’s military base located at Yangju. It was not too far from Yangju City Hall and was not explored yet. They were also scheduled to visit the medical unit nearby.
— “We’ll arrive at our destination shortly.”
The front gate, which should have been tightly shut, was wide open. As if there was a battle here, many of the obstacles were destroyed and the guard post was already demolished. Traces of blood were left on the ground, evidence of some fight taking place not too long ago.
Kwang Hwi Faction passed through the wide-open gate. Even after entering the army base, the APC did not have to worry about being attacked by the Monkeys. All vehicles stopped at the large military training grounds.
“Let’s do it.”
Armed soldiers left the transport vehicles and got going. They were tasked with dispersing to find the survivors and supplies.
— “Boss! We found them!”
“What did you find?”
Immediately, the men had dug up edible supplies. Most of the food stored in the Post Exchange and cafeteria was rotten, but military MREs were perfectly fine. Being made for emergency consumption, they were not affected by the weather. Having such a long shelf life, MREs had many uses. Even so, the men did not only retrieve food.
— “We’ve found soldiers hiding inside.”
Some troops were also found hiding in the warehouse that was transformed into a temporary shelter. As if there were a high-rank officer amongst the survivors, the radio became loud.
— “Oi, where did you come from?! I’m a Major General!”
‘Why am I getting this feeling of déjà vu?’
Although Kwang Hwi Faction wasn’t associated with the ROK Armed Forces, the person in question was a two-star general. The situation could quickly deteriorate as the men had all served the military once. Kwang Hwi promptly issued an order.
Their indecisiveness completely disappeared as the men brilliantly restrained the Major General and others.
When they tried to stand their ground, the men fired into the air. The noisy Major General stopped resisting at once. Kwang Hwi sent out the vehicles to carry food and survivors.
— “Boss, this is Team 12.”
“Team 12, report. What’s the sitrep?”
— “We’ve checked the Air Defense Team, but most of the equipment was out of commission. Even the M61 Vulcan and K30 Biho were unusable.”
“It’s unfortunate, boss.”
Kwang Hwi’s subordinate let out a sigh, looking extremely disappointed. Anything considered as a weapon was rusted, and there was no exception.
— “However, it seems like the anti-aircraft radar is fine. We would need additional people to check on it.”
Kwang Hwi’s face became bright at the surprise. It would be great if they could acquire at least an anti-aircraft radar. Just a few days ago, they didn’t even know how a DPRK helicopter had approached them.
“Copy that. We’ll send some technicians, so be on standby.”
The engineer sitting inside the APC stood up. She was a precious member of the Kwang Hwi Faction.
‘Would there be any user manual guide lying around?’
After some time, reports came in one after another.
— “Boss, this is Team 7. We found a group of Light Tactical Vehicles. They are fully operational.”
— “Commander, we have secured some bulletproof vests and combat gear used by the military police.”
— “Secured radio equipment from the Information & Communication Center. Returning shortly!”
— “Team 2, reporting! None of the ammunition is usable.”
— “Multiple corpses… found at Maintenance Depot.”
“Collect all the bodies and cremate them. That’s the least we can do out of respect.”
The search continued throughout the morning. In the meantime, the transport truck made multiple trips from the Dongducheon HQ. There were a lot of supplies that were unearthed and had to be preserved.
When the search was completed to a certain extent, Kwang Hwi ordered the men to block the entrance to the 26th Division base. Eventually, it would act as a replacement headquarters to the destroyed Yangju City Hall. The doors were closed and the broken chains were replaced. On top of that, a warning was also pasted.
This facility is under the control of the Kwang-Hwi Faction.
Trespassers may be attacked.
In the afternoon, they all headed to the 26th Division’s boot camp located elsewhere. A small group of survivors was found there, as well. They were a mix of civilians and soldiers. Somehow, they managed to make a spear out of iron pipes, but in front of Kwang Hwi Faction’s guns…
“We surrender!” was the natural and only response possible.
Unfortunately, aside from human resources, there wasn’t much else to gain. The bulletproof vests they wore were damaged beyond repair by the Monkeys and they barely had any food left. In a single day, Kwang Hwi Faction had plundered all of the 26th Division. It wasn’t until late at night that they were able to return to the headquarters.
— Ω —
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