53. To Seoul (1)
His expectations weren’t wrong. The two men were more than happy to join the Kwang Hwi Faction.
“I’m in. Can’t live in a world run by monsters forever.”
“Count me in as well. My family went on a trip overseas, and I want to see them.”
There was no need to bring up the President.
Kwang Hwi was now able to return with some weight off of his chest. The rescue team also managed to secure a large number of ‘human resources’ his faction always lacked.
That was not all. More good news awaited Kwang Hwi as he returned back to the Dongducheon HQ.
“The surgery was finished as soon as possible.”
“How are they?”
“We’d have to wait and see to be sure, but as of now, their conditions seem stable.”
“That’s a relief.”
The soldiers were allowed to rest after a long day, but Kwang Hwi and his executives still had work to do. After taking their seats, the executives turned to their leader to begin the meeting. All executives assigned to outer defenses and the Uijeongbu forward base were assembled here, awaiting Kwang Hwi’s instructions.
Kwang Hwi cut straight to the point. “To Seoul.”
The people on the table remained composed, as if they were already expecting this. Only Jackson yelled YES in excitement. The rest maintained silent approval.
Soo Min, on the other hand, failed to conform and provided realistic criticism. “Commander, our forces number up to about 300 people. We can’t cover our occupied territories with them alone.”
He wasn’t wrong in any way. It was a valid point. However, the solution was simple too. It would be pointless to try to cover every inch since they lacked the assets to do so. Hence, all they had to do was set up defense lines around key areas and use abandoned facilities as bases.
The city would be naturally filled up as time passed.
“We’re gonna move HQ to Seoul. Our main base in Dongducheon will be temporarily closed off, and we’ll use a facility with satellite control capabilities to cover the northern areas. And of course, we’ll keep expanding our workforce.”
“Then I’m in.”
“How’s the boot camp?”
“Almost done, sir. They should be ready to see action by the time we hit Seoul.”
“So, about 50 more soldiers. I’m guessing we’re gonna need more gear?”
Kwang Hwi’s gaze was fixed on Jackson as he spoke, as if he was expecting him to open his mouth.
“Hell yeah! An Apache hel—”
“Hell is where I’ll send you to if you don’t shut up.”
Jackson’s bright smile turned into a small whimper. Grins escaped the other executives’ faces as they struggled to keep a straight face. Kwang Hwi once again proved to be the only person capable of keeping Jackson under control.
“I think we need additional armored units.”
“Approved. APC or tank?”
“Two Namer APCs.”
“Will that be enough?”
“Yes, sir. We already got a Medium Tactical Vehicle for transport, so two should suffice.”
Kwang Hwi brought up a map on the big screen, displaying it in front of everyone. It was a digital map of the entirety of Seoul. While staring at the map, he muttered to himself, “Where do we start…”
Soo Min managed to catch his silent whisper and pointed to one side of the map. “How about we start here?”
Looking down on Seoul from above, Kwang Hwi grabbed the radio.
“Dismount team, have you reached the target?”
– Dismount team. Yes, sir, we’ve arrived at our target location. Currently searching the interior of the building.
“Roger. We’re almost there.”
The lead Dragonfly with Kwang Hwi on-board entered Sangam-dong, Seoul. A lush green forest stuck out like a sore thumb amidst a jungle of grey apartments. In the middle of the forest was a decently large empty lot.
Just as the forest stood out amid the grey, the sandy field was also conspicuous in the green. With the lot in the center, there were paths branching out to each direction, and buildings were built at the end of each path.
This place was originally an oil reservoir but was transformed into a tourist attraction.
‘Oil Tank Culture Park… was it?’
The nearby Goyang City was all cleaned up, and beside them, there was even a place to hold rescued survivors. Oil Tank Culture Park, this would be Kwang Hwi Faction’s temporary HQ for their conquest of Seoul.
The ground troops had arrived earlier and were already combing through the buildings. APCs and Tanks were pulling security around the area.
– Initiating landing procedures.
The signaler waved his signal baton around with vigor, guiding the helicopter in landing. The Dragonfly slowly touched down on the lot.
An official approached from afar, wading through the strong wind.
“Commander! We’ve finished acquiring the base.”
“Alright. Show me the way to the situation room.”
The official led the way in front.
[T6 Community Center]
This space originally housed a cafe for tourists and several staff offices. However, it was now being transformed with various equipment by Kwang Hwi’s soldiers. They must’ve managed to do some cleaning as well because the place was slightly neat and organized.
The officials themselves were installing critical equipment, mainly dealing with encryption and security.
“Is the monitor connected?”
“We’re setting up power!”
“Comms system is linked up.”
“Call HQ and request CCTV access to this area! Make sure we get all of ‘em!”
Overall, the place was still chaotic, but that didn’t stop Kwang Hwi and his officials from immediately starting their meeting. At least, the necessary equipment for a meeting was prepared.
“We should hit Mapo-gu, Eunpyeong-gu, and Seodaemun-gu first.”
“The monsters in those areas?”
“All three areas are overrun by these guys.”
The screen blinked, and a strange monster showed up on display. It was a new type of monster never seen before.
It was tall and built solid like a sculpture, and its full-body armor looked intimidating. A helmet protected its face, a vest shielded its torso, and leather pants with steel plates on top wrapped its lower body, offering both protection and maneuverability.
The armor seemed to have dual functionality, as it also had sharp spikes attached to it. For offense, it held a short javelin in its hand, with several of them equipped on its back. It was even wearing something similar to boots, and they had long steel spikes protruding at the end.
“I’m not sure how sturdy those spikes are, but it’s probably better not to find out.” Whilst tapping his finger on the table, Kwang Hwi opened his mouth. “We’ll deploy APCs and Tanks and engage them from a distance. The choppers will only provide air support for contingencies.”
Unlike their armored units, the AH-6 Littlebirds fell behind when it came to defense. It was entirely possible for them to be taken down while flying low by one of those javelins.
After almost losing pilots from the Chinook crash, Kwang Hwi wasn’t willing to risk any more uncertainties.
The Namer APCs rolled forward on its unending track. At the left of the APCs was the Mapo District Hall, whose structure seemed too grand for a mere district hall.
The driver abruptly stopped the vehicle. Tagging alongside, Track No. 3 slowly came to a halt as well. The gunner immediately got to his job, working the fire-control system.
The camera zoomed in closer and clearly showed the monsters on the screen. The distance between the vehicle and the monsters was automatically calculated and displayed.
“Target ‘Armor’. 12 o’clock 700 meters.”
– Track 3 good copy.
700m in front of the APCs were armored monsters, hence the name, ‘Armor.’ Around five of them were sighted. They were huddling together in the middle of the intersection. It seemed as if they were trying to do something with their hands, but it was hard to tell.
“Seoul Main, this is Seoul One. Five Armors detected near Mapo District Hall. Requesting clearance on further action.”
The response was immediate because Kwang Hwi was observing from the situation room.
– Seoul One, Seoul Main. You are clear to engage.
The gunner grabbed and shifted the control stick. The autocannon gun moved correspondingly towards the Armors.
Along with the rattling of gatling guns, the two APCs opened fire at the same time. The 30mm round shrouded in kinetic energy pierced straight through their steel armor.
The Armor’s back was facing the APCs. When the bullets riddled its body, it slouched forward, and blood squirted out like a water fountain. It fell lifelessly to the side from its seated, hunched position. Once an opening was created, it uncovered what the monsters were fiddling around with.
“They um… they’re grilling uh… people and eating them.”
A person was tied to a tree on the side of the road, and a fire was lit below them. The person tied was already dead, their body burnt to a crisp. The Armor they just dispatched was in the process of eating someone that was already cooked.
Off to the side, there were some alive human captives.
The Kwang Hwi Faction’s troops’ faces twisted in disgust.
“The hell are you waiting for?! Shoot!”
One of the monsters quickly got up and jumped out of the way, but it was staggering. A round had busted its kneecap through its armor. Had it not gotten up in time, its chest would’ve been turned into a mangled mess.
The sudden onslaught showered blood on the prisoners, who shouted at the top of their lungs. Irritated at the noise, the crippled monster tossed the screaming prisoner into the fire.
It all happened too fast, and the soldiers failed to respond. The prisoner was swallowed in flames in seconds. The screaming ceased in seconds as well.
The Merkava Tank entered the scene, joining its Namer brethren. The Seoul Two squad trailing behind the APCs had joined the fray. The tank’s long barrel raised slightly and aimed towards the monsters.
Locked and loaded.
The limping Armor stopped limping and was sent flying. The rest of the Armors jerked their heads back. Their eyes fixed on the sight of their companions, now torn in half by the explosion.
A gruesome sound escaped the monsters’ mouth. At the same time, the Armors’ hands reached behind them, and they held the javelins on their backs. They arched their arms back, ready to swing. As they stored up power to throw the javelins, their forearms, which seemed soft at first, tensed up with veins popping out.
The arms were swung forward from behind the shoulders, and all of the monsters’ strength was channeled into the javelins.
The javelins flew into the air.
“Incoming projectiles! Brace for impact!”
Sensing the attack, the gunner shouted urgently. All crew members except the driver fumbled frantically and grabbed onto something.
The javelin flew towards the tank and bounced off the turret like a toy. The turret was clean, all except one barely visible scratch. No signs of penetration or any real damage were to be seen.
Even in the midst of all that, the loader stayed focused on his role. A new round was already loaded.
A deafening boom shook the battlefield, and one of the Armor’s head blew up as it was getting ready to toss its javelin once more. The scene was similar to that of a rotten watermelon blowing up. The insides were scattered all across its surrounding, staining the glass window on a nearby building with thick blood.
A bullseye indeed. The tank commander gave a thumbs up. “Good job!”
– Enemies approaching!
Once the monsters realized their javelins were useless, they charged towards Kwang Hwi’s troops. The APCs were quick to respond and let their autocannons do the talking.
The monsters quickly reached out their hands and lifted the taxi cabs by the road, using them as shields. Nonetheless, the cabs were penetrated through, and pieces of metal sprayed about the battlefield.
The autocannon rounds going through the cabs found rest inside the monsters’ shoulders. Their steel plates were blown off, along with chunks of their flesh.
Blood flowed down from the wounds and painted the asphalt red. Although their faces scorched up from the pain, the monsters did not cease their charge. Even they knew it was too late to give up and run away.
– 500 meters!
– On the way!
White fumes exited the gun barrel. The round left the smoothbore and landed squarely on an Armor that was using the cab as a shield.
The explosion ripped through the air, and the monster was sent flying. The cab in its hand had already turned into a rag by the autocannon shower earlier. It had lost its effectiveness as a shield long before the 120mm tank round shredded it apart, along with the Armor seeking refuge behind it. It was super effective.
The Merkava Tank spun around to aim at the last Armor, who rushed behind a building to seek cover. The MG253 Smoothbore gun followed its movement and fired. Like a popping water balloon, the building spilled its contents outward. Office stationeries, glass shards, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and all sorts of objects poured out onto the street.
The Armor carefully peeked out from behind the building. It was unscathed due to the building tanking the damage.
Everyone was now focused on it. 30mm rounds dug up the ground near the monster, and the autocannon bullets pierced everything.
“It’s running away!”
The Armor had recognized its inferiority and began running. The APCs continued to lay waste, but the buildings provided cover for the monster.
– Give chase and eliminate it.
As the APCs and tanks accelerated to finish the human-eater, the glorious sounds of engines mightily echoed out.
— Ω —