“What are you saying, Chief?!”
The surprised men raised their voices. Even though they were politicians who were good at keeping a poker face, they could not hide their shock. The president was not exempted. Their high expectations lead to a great disappointment that crumpled their faces.
“Explain to us, Chief. What do you mean they’re not our people?”
As the Chief remained silent, the president took a deep breath to regain his composure. He asked again.
“I’m not trying to reprimand you or anything. I just want to know the reason why you believe so. Tell us the truth.”
The Chief Security Officer pointed at one side of the picture.
“If you look closely at the lower right corner, you’ll see a vehicle with a heavy machine gun. That vehicle is called K-151, a Light Tactical Vehicle that our military recently received. While a small portion are sold overseas, it’s one of the most popular models we purchase.”
“Yeah? Then how come they’re not from our military?” Someone interrupted him with a question, but the Chief ignored it and continued his explanation.
“The problem is the APC and the tank next to it.”
“What’s wrong with them?”
Everyone gazed on the screen, still confused. Unlike the absent Minister of National Defense, most people present here did not have any military knowledge.
“Those vehicles are equipment used by Israeli forces.”
The politicians tilted their head and thought to themselves, ‘Not North Korea, or China, nor Japan, but Israel? Why are Israeli forces operating in South Korea?’
“We also have another problem.”
The Chief led their attention to the screen once again. On top of the Light Tactical Vehicle, they could see a soldier of the Kwang Hwi Faction. The person in question was, without doubt, Korean.
“A Korean is operating the Israeli vehicle.”
The people gathered in the Situation Room were speechless. Their thoughts were left in shambles, unable to make any sense out of the situation. Only the president, befitting his role, quickly regained his composure.
“We’ll have to contact them.”
“Yes. We’ll need to get in touch with them first. Regardless of nationality, they have what we need the most.”
The Chief agreed with the president. Even if they weren’t part of the ROK Armed Forces, they had to check whether the Korean government could cooperate with or use them.
“Does everyone agree?”
The absent-minded Minister of Justice and other officials nodded. In the end, they didn’t have any other plans. Soon after, the president made his decision.
“Then, let’s contact them.”
Vehicles of the Kwang Hwi Faction traversed through the streets. They were running through Uijeongbu to find any useful supplies. Just a moment ago, they found a large amount of gas from the gas station. On their way, Kwang Hwi spotted something and barked an order.
The driver was taken aback from the sudden order, so Kwang Hwi shouted again.
“I said, stop!”
With a screech, the APC stopped on the road. Vehicles following from behind also came to a halt.
“Open the rear door.”
— “Opening the rear door. All members, please be on the alert.”
Kwang Hwi exited the APC.
“Hey boss, what’s the matter?” asked Jackson.
Kwang Hwi pointed afar. His men looked only to find an electronic billboard. It was an electronic billboard installed by the local government, mainly used for commercial or political advertisements. The electronic display lost its flare and showed only black letters on a white background.
|We want to talk.|
New words were being written right below it as if someone was typing it out with their keyboard on the spot.
|5F Gyeonggi Province|
Northern Government Building
Not taking his eyes off the billboard, Kwang Hwi picked up his radio.
“We’re heading to the Northern Government Building.”
After passing the light rail and the pier, they arrived at their destination. A fairly grand building greeted Kwang Hwi and his men.
The APCs drove up the sidewalk, which cracked under the sheer weight. A small staircase blocked the pathway, but it posed no challenge as the APC was designed to operate in rough terrains.
After climbing over the stairs, the APCs stopped in front of the main entrance. Fully armed soldiers exited their vehicles. Fortunately, they did not have issue with visibility as the only thing that stood nearby was the government building. Kwang Hwi, who confirmed that the area was clear, got out of his vehicle.
— “Boss, the Heron also reports the area is clear.”
“Keep an eye on it, just in case.”
Kwang Hwi and his men entered the building. As with other buildings, there were signs of damage everywhere. The men moved in front of Kwang Hwi and combed through the building.
|[5F]||Industrial Policy||DMZ Policy||Construction Technology||Emergency Planning||Emergency Safety|
He walked past the corridors. Every door had a nameplate with the department’s name on it, such as Industrial Policy or Construction Technology.
In contrast, all that Room 505 had were numbers. The keypad on the door shot a faint blue light.
‘They must have a power source somewhere.’
Kwang Hwi inputted the password he received earlier.
With a beep, the locked door opened slightly. When Kwang Hwi was about to enter, Jackson stepped forward.
“Boss, I’ll check first.”
Fortunately, the interior room was quiet. In a small room, there was only a comfy sofa and equipment for video call. Confirming that there were no threat, Jackson left the room.
Soon after, a camera in one corner of the room focused on Kwang Hwi. As the monitor turned on, an old man appeared on screen. Kwang Hwi knew that familiar face.
— “Nice to meet you. I’m the president of the Republic of Korea, Shin Myeong Lee.”
“I’m the commander-in-chief of the Kwang Hwi Faction, Kwang Hwi Baek.”
The president’s flashed a surprised look.
— “Kwang Hwi Faction… Are you not from our military?”
For a moment, the president could not hide his disappointment. In a dire situation, an armed force appeared but they were not part of the ROK Armed Forces. He was extremely troubled by the developing situation.
— “So, the Chief Security Officer was right.”
“What did you want to see me for?”
Naturally, Kwang Hwi did not care what the president felt. He was slightly surprised that the president and the head of government were still alive, but there was no particular excitement.
— “While it’s unfortunate to hear that you are not part of our military, we would like to make an offer.”
“You have my ear.”
— “Representatives from all political parties, including me, have been evacuated to an underground bunker at the Blue House. Please rescue us from here.”
Kwang Hwi gave the president a surprised look.
‘I had doubts, but were they really unable to evacuate?’
Sensing the doubtful stare, the president spoke with a solemn expression.
— “We’re currently hiding in an underground bunker located at Sangchunjae.”
It was a location frequently mentioned by the media, a traditional Korean building used mainly for political meetings.
— “When the disaster occurred, I was discussing pending issues in Sangchunjae with representatives from each political party. Then suddenly, monsters poured from everywhere. To make matters worse, our security team’s weapons were all destroyed. While we were able to hold out for a while, they overwhelmed us with their numbers and we hurried to escape to the underground bunker at Sangchunjae. The current problem we face is that this bunker is incomplete.”
— “It’s still undergoing construction. There aren’t enough food or defensive measures to protect us. Those creatures have already spotted us and have attempted to break in a few times. While the doors are fine, the walls have started to crack. At this rate, they will breach our bunker and we’ll all die.”
Kwang Hwi understood their rough situation. If the bunker was perfectly fine, the president would have waited patiently from inside. He would have been able to last for months. During that time, he would have sought after the remaining military or collaborators that might have survived. However, he did not have the time, so he had been quick to offer a deal to the Kwang Hwi Faction.
“A rescue…. What would we receive in return?”
The president went silent for a moment, pondering what to offer. Kwang Hwi waited patiently because he knew it wasn’t an easy decision to make.
— “According to our investigation, we heard that the Kwang Hwi Faction reclaimed Dongducheon, Yangju, and Uijeongbu.”
— “We’ll officially recognize your sovereignty in the name of the South Korean government.”
It was not a favorable term for Kwang Hwi as he had already conquered those territories. He didn’t need approval from the government.
“Is that all?”
— “On top of that, how about we offer the equipment we’re not using?”
— “Do you know Baengnyeongdo?”
“Baengnyeongdo? Are you talking about the amphibious assault ship?”
The president nodded.
— “While it’s not armed with any weapons, the construction is complete.”
‘An amphibious assault ship, huh?’
Kwang Hwi gulped quietly. While he wanted the ship, the Kwang Hwi Faction was currently unable to operate it. They did not have the trained personnel for it nor a secured port.
— “Are you interested?”
‘Well, either way…’
After organizing his thoughts, Kwang Hwi nodded.
— “If you could rescue us from the current place, we’ll tell you the location of the ship. When will you be able to get here?”
“We’ll need some time to plan the operation. Why don’t you get back to us the same time tomorrow?”
— “Tomorrow… alright. It would be great if you could help us soon.”
After making the appointment, Kwang Hwi ended the video call. The screen showing the president turned off and he exited the room. His subordinates were waiting for him outside, curious about what happened.
“Commander! Who did you talk to?”
Kwang Hwi looked around and then took his subordinates to a remote place. He had to make sure no one was eavesdropping.
“What happened inside?”
Kwang Hwi shared the details about the president’s situation and the offer the Korean government made. His subordinates listened carefully.
“Hm, a rescue request.”
“It does make sense, since their security team was disarmed.”
“Boss, are you alright with just the Baengnyeongdo? We could have obtained their satellites and more.”
Looking around, Kwang Hwi whispered in a soft voice.
“Either way, once we rescue the president…”
After listening to his plan, his subordinates flashed a devilish grin.
“So you had a plan. Well, if that’s the case…”
“You’re right boss. There’s really no need for us to uphold a fair deal.”
Not hearing any opposition, Kwang Hwi opened his mouth once again.
“First, we’ll deploy the Heron and figure out the situation around the Blue House. Then, we’ll rescue the president and think afterward.”
“Roger that, boss!”
“For now, we’ll use this place as a forward operating base. Maintain the defensive perimeter and make yourself comfortable here. We’ll have the helicopter transport the necessary supplies.”
The subordinates moved in haste. Commanding their respective team, they started setting up the temporary base.
While everyone was busy, Kwang Hwi got on top of the APC. He decided to use the APC as a command center until the base was complete.
“Heron, move to the next location. Check 1 Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul.”
— “1 Sejongno, understood.”
The Heron pilot, who confirmed the location, became speechless.
“Did you confirm the location?”
— “Is it the Blue House?”
— “Confirmed. We’ll report back once we get there.”
It didn’t take long for the Heron to arrive to the Blue House. Kwang Hwi looked at the screen installed inside the vehicle. He received the live video feed of the Blue House.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen some Keku.”
The mysterious place where the president of South Korea resided was now overrun by Keku.
— Ω —
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