33. Emergency Mission
“This is a rebellion, a coup d’état!”
“We refuse to acknowledge such unlawful and unwarranted use of military force!”
“Immediately yield the command of all troops and equipment to us. If you do so, we will consider offering you a position!”
Kwang Hwi’s face creased with annoyance. The high ranking officers he brought from the 26th Division’s military base were all shouting nonsense that pricked his ears, driving him up the wall.
“What should we do with them?”
His subordinates asked for guidance as they couldn’t overstep their bounds. The current situation was somewhat similar—yet also different—to the time he found the General Officer at the Dongducheon General Hospital. The General Officer had quickly grasped the situation and surrendered to Kwang Hwi, even offering a UAV. Afterwards, he’s been quietly living with them without kicking up a fuss. On the other hand, these stubborn idiots were giving him an attitude. Kwang Hwi couldn’t tell whether they were obstinate or really that dumb to go against him.
“Despite being prisoners, they sure do like to yap.”
“That’s right, boss. They don’t know their place at all.”
“Boss! You’re not planning to listen to their nonsense, right?”
His men raised their concerns at his continued silence. Before they went to Africa with Kwang Hwi, they were once part of the ROK Armed Forces. Having been sent out there for a politically motivated reason, most of his men did not have a favorable impression of military officers.
“Now, now. Everyone relax.”
Soo Min did his best to calm the men down. When Kwang Hwi’s right-hand man joined the conversation, the rowdy ranks and files did their best to regain their composure.
“Boss, this issue also pertains to how we will deal with the government in the future.”
Even though the military was gone, the people in front of him were the top brass of the division. Kwang Hwi Faction’s relationship with the government would depend on how he dealt with them. Even so, Kwang Hwi didn’t dwell too much into it.
“Take care of them in a quiet place.”
“Based on the Geneva Convention… Mmm!”
Kwang Hwi knew what the officer was trying to say. He wasn’t stupid, he just didn’t care. The military officers, including the Major General, struggled with all their might, but their limbs were already tied up. On top of that, his men were pointing their guns behind the officers, so any exertions they did were all in vain.
His subordinates forcefully dragged the flailing officers away. They were going to be executed in a secluded place and the timing was just perfect since it was late at night. Nobody would discover their clandestine affair.
“Will this be fine?”
“We can’t just leave them be.”
“But, boss! Our relationship with the government…”
“That’s if the government still exists.”
Ignorant fools like them were bound to cause trouble later. The Kwang Hwi Faction did not have people lying around to keep an eye on them. To make matters worse, it would be problematic if the former Korean soldiers had a change of heart. All in all, it was better to nip it in the bud.
Even if the government didn’t collapse, how would they know? Even better, what could they do? For a powerless government, the fully armed Kwang Hwi Faction was necessary. They would have to beg to not have guns pointed at them. Might was right during these chaotic times.
“Is the fortification process complete?”
“Yes. There won’t be another incident like before.”
“And the anti-aircraft radar?”
“Um… We can’t seem to activate it due to some unknown error. The engineers are looking into it. They say it’s a simple setup problem rather than a technical malfunction.”
“Finally, what about the vehicles we brought from the 26th…”
Suddenly, a notification appeared in front of Kwang Hwi.
『Evacuate all members of the Kwang Hwi Faction into buildings within 15 minutes.』
『Failure: Complete Annihilation of Kwang Hwi Faction』
‘Hole up inside buildings?’
A sudden notification popped up to issue an emergency mission. Kwang Hwi didn’t even question its validity. Just like the previous one, the system never caused any harm to him or his men. While he didn’t know who was behind it, he knew the system was set up to assist him. Therefore, he believed there was a good reason for evacuating and he better do it pronto.
“All members, immediately hide in the nearest building. Prevent any civilians from leaving the cover.”
『Time left – 14:47』
『Time left – 14:46』
『Time left – 14:45』
Thankfully, it was the curfew time. No civilians were outside doing other activities, so only the troops deployed outside had to evacuate.
“I repeat. All members must conceal themselves in the nearest building without delay!”
Perhaps because Kwang Hwi spoke with such urgency, no one questioned his instructions. There was a small commotion outside as soldiers on night patrol hurried back in. The troops spread across Dongducheon City quickly hid inside the nearest building. After evacuating, the men reported back.
— “Southern Wall Security Team has evacuated.”
— “Northern, Eastern, and Western Security Team have fully evacuated.”
— “HQ Security Team has completed the evacuation order.”
— “Night Patrol Team 2 is inside. Waiting for further instructions.”
『Time left – 04:42』
『Time left – 03:35』
『Time left – 02:17』
There wasn’t much time left. Kwang Hwi picked up the direct line connected to the power plant.
— “Executive member of the power plant, Ho Cheol Shin reporting.”
“Brigadier General, Kwang Hwi Baek speaking.”
There was a loud gasp from the other end at his introduction. Ho Cheol promptly addressed him with respect.
— “Commander! Greetings!”
“Cut off all electricity supplied by the power plant.”
— “Pardon? What do you…”
— “U-understood. We’ll cut off the power supply.”
Taken aback by the sudden request, Ho Cheol couldn’t help but ask why. However, Kwang Hwi firmly restated his order, shutting down his question. Across the receiver, Kwang Hwi could hear people getting busy. He could make out the sound of people running around and tapping on their keyboards.
『Time left – 01:05』
『Time left – 00:52』
『Time left – 00:33』
— “Power supply shutting off in 10! 9! 8! 7! 6!”
— “5! 4! 3! 2! 1!”
A black veil covered Kwang Hwi’s eyes after the last exclamation. All the lights that lit up the ground went out. In an instant, the entire city of Dongducheon was covered in darkness.
『Time left – 00:05』
『Time left – 00:03』
『Time left – 00:01』
As soon as the timer reached zero, a black shadow engulfed the sky.
Tens of thousands of bird-like creatures filled the sky. They looked more like bats than birds. While flying, their gazes were fixed on the ground, as if they were looking for some prey.
The faint moonlight was completely cut off by a giant bird monster in the sky. It was bigger than the Mi-26 he had obtained recently. As a matter of fact, its body was larger than most transport aircraft. The birds that were gazing on the ground raised their heads in unison and let out loud screeches.
The quiet sky became noisy as the uncanny birds shrieked. The giant bird monster, however, continued to flap its wings in silence, not joining his brethren. As the birds flew away from Dongducheon City, it revealed the moon once again. Without the birds covering the sky, the moonlight shone over the city. Only 10 minutes passed by. Yet, they were the longest 10 minutes, feeling like an hour.
『Emergency Mission Complete』
『You have evacuated all members in time. No casualties recorded.』
『For completing the emergency mission, ‘Pantsir-S1’ has been rewarded.』
It was only then that Kwang Hwi was able to lift the emergency protocol.
— “Lifting the restriction. Electricity… has been resupplied!”
The city that was hiding in the darkness regained its original brightness, shining like a pearl under the night sky. After a short break, the guards returned to their positions.
『Would you like to deploy Pantsir-S1?』
『Please confirm the location to deploy the vehicle.』
As always, Kwang Hwi chose the Dongducheon City Hall’s parking lot. An anti-aircraft vehicle with a lion emblem revealed itself. Although its design was a bit crude, it looked very reliable.
『One of the best-performing short to medium range air defense system developed after the 2K22 Tunguska. It’s able to intercept missiles, precision munitions, helicopters, and stealth aircraft within a 20 km range. It can track up to 20 objects at once and shoot down four targets simultaneously using 30 mm autocannon and the Russian 57E6 missiles.』
To purchase it from the Merit Shop, Kwang Hwi had to unlock the [Aircraft] category and pay a large amount of MP upfront. So he had no reason to refuse such a weapon given to him for free.
“Next time we meet, I’ll take you down from the sky.”
While he couldn’t say the same to the thousands of birds, he knew the Pantsir had the capability to take down the giant bird monster at the very least.
“Can you really… stop them?”
“I have to.”
The rescue leader was carrying a little girl. He was her brother and her only support now.
“Now, why don’t you let your brother go?”
After gently patting his little sister’s back, he managed to convince his sister to release him. Soon after, he joined the ranks of men who were moving in haste. More than half of their group were women, leaving only a handful of men who could effectively fight.
‘Would we be able to hold out today?’
The rescue leader grabbed onto the baseball bat that was leaning against the wall while mulling over the upcoming battle. Currently, they were staying inside a large mall, so it was easy to find something that could be used as a weapon.
He quickly grabbed onto the roof’s railings. On the road right below the H mall, there were thugs holding torches. The number of flames rapidly increased, perhaps their tactic to increase the pressure. One became two and two became four. As the yellow light grew, the looming darkness retreated, conceding a small area to the wolfish humans.
‘Their numbers increased again.’
There were more than a dozen of them. The biggest man among them, who was in the center of the group, held up a loudspeaker.
“How have you all been?”
The rough voice resonated in the vicinity. The people who had escaped to the roof flinched at the question.
“It’s time for your payment! Come on! Give us all of those young women!”
A burst of lascivious laughter followed as the crowd that surrounded the man cheered. In contrast, the rescue leader made a solemn expression, just like his companions. A few of the strong-willed women raised their voices.
“Get the fuck out, you human-trafficking gangsters.”
“Do you not know shame!?”
They threw all sorts of insults, but the men shrugged their shoulders, not caring a bit.
“Human-trafficking? It’s just a transaction! All you have to do is give us the women and some food! In return, we’ll guarantee your safety! How simple is that? After all, what the world lacks the most right now is safety!”
The rescue leader shook his head.
“We can’t accept those terms!”
“Tsk. I knew this would happen. You leave us no choice!”
The man who clicked his tongue turned around.
“Let’s go collect our payment.”
Grinning, the men walked up. Even though they weren’t as burly as their leader, they didn’t look any weaker. They had blue translucent shields and batons in their hands. The survivors gaped their mouths in shock. ‘Police’ was clearly written on the shields the gangsters held.
‘So, they raided the police station.’
The gangsters were subjugating powerless civilians with police equipment. It was an absurd and ironic situation. Behind the riot shields, relatively smaller men followed. They looked like a bunch of ordinary people who had joined the gang after the government was incapacitated. The rescue leader bit his lips at the spectacle. To him, those people made him feel sicker than the gangsters.
“Tear it down!”
The men swung their batons at the glass door. The door only lasted for a moment before cracks formed all over it. Soon after, the cracks extended and shattered the glass helplessly into the floor.
Behind the glass door, a wall made out of carts was erected. Several carts were stacked on top of each other to form a barricade, but it didn’t hold out for much longer against the strength of the gangsters. The cart wall tumbled down, presenting a path to their incoming doom.
— Ω —
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