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  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

blklizard

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The scorpion is cleaning up there! I hope he leaves some people alive to clean up the mess, would be a shame of the hotel otherwise :p
So, ancient Chinese mausoleum eh. Hmmmm, interesting.
A nasty mess is a small price to pay for the hotel owner and the employees if they could avoid a massive invasion of the Fourth Reich :p. As for the mausoleum, we still have a bit more ground to cover before we get there.

Chapter 78

[Shanghai, China]

(September 12, 2013)

Xue excused herself from her group so she could answer her phone in private. The others were discussing plans about exploring the mausoleum and she was caught up as well before the phone call. At first, she thought about not answering but, when he saw the number, she knew she must pick up. Xue made her way to the bedroom closing the door behind her.

"Hello, this is Hacker 3."

"It's good to hear from you," the other person said cheerfully, "Hacker 3."

"Just get straight to business," Xue said with a hint of impatience, "Hacker 7."

"You never checked on me after the surprise attack," Hacker 7 said with disappointment.

"You're as resilient as cockroaches."

"You might be right. Anyways, we've found Hacker 2."

Xue felt her heart stop for a beat. She took a few deep breaths. "When? Where? How?"

"Slow down with the questions." Hacker 7 paused for a moment. "We've found his corpse along with Chukchov."

"It couldn't be an coincidence."

"I agree. Hacker 2 also left something behind for you."

"This isn't the time to kid around." Xue felt herself blush.

"I'm not kidding around. His last message is to deliver this to you."

"Alright," said Xue with a more serious tone, "when can you get it to me?"

"I'm sending it right this moment. It must be important so I think it's best you go through it before you go anywhere."

"Yet you don't know what it is?"

"It's been locked and apparently you're the only one with the key. Nice talking to you."

Hacker 7 ended the call leaving Xue sitting on her bed. She waited a few seconds before there was an indication of an attachment to her mail. She opened the attachment which asked for a password. She looked at the hint and smiled. Entering the correct password, Xue began reading through the text.
 

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Chapter 79

[Beijing, China]

(September 12, 2013)

Chen and Jian looked up when the washroom door opened with the Scorpion walking out. The Scorpion held a phone to his ear and gestured that he would be taking his call outside. Once he left, Chen and Jian, with curiosity overcoming them, decided to take a peek into the washroom to check on prisoner. There was no blood on the floor which was a good sign. The prisoner, who was staring at the ceiling, turned to face them. He no longer had the composure he had earlier and, instead, looked like a frightened kid caught up in something he couldn't deal with. Chen and Jian noticed a wet cloth in the sink along with a small stack of paper on the floor opposite the prisoner. Jian knelt down to pick up the stack and skimmed through it with Chen. They looked to each other in amazement that the Scorpion got this much out of the prisoner. What caught their attention was the mention of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. Both men knew that the tomb hasn't been excavated yet due to much opposition. They were trying to figure out the meaning of it when Scorpion returned from the hallway. The Scorpion saw Jian holding the paper and asked if they read it. Seeing the nod, he smiled.

"That saves me from explaining what I learned from the prisoner." The Scorpion began packing up his tools in the washroom with Chen and Jian standing at the door.

"In the paper, you said that a base might be at the mausoleum. How can you be sure?" asked Chen.

"The call I received earlier just confirmed the authenticity of it. I'd say the timing was quite good." The Scorpion finished packing up his stuff.

"What about these two?" Jian pointed to the two prisoners.

The Scorpion pulled out his handgun to first deliver two quick shots to the man's heart. He then walked over to the prisoner on the bed doing the same. Because he had a silencer, the four shots sounded nothing more than small pops. "That takes care of them. Let's go!" The Scorpion put away his handgun heading for the door.

Chen and Jian followed after a brief look at the two corpses. Before they walked out the suite, Jian remarked about how unfortunate the hotel employees will be once they stumbled upon this. Chen countered that, at least, they won't be dealing with too much blood. The three men took the elevator down to the main floor where they exited only to be greeted by officers in uniform. The head of the officers was shouting order when the Scorpion walked up to him holding up an identification. The man read through it and immediately apologized for his rudeness. The trio was escorted out the hotel without any problems as they returned to the Scorpion's vehicle. Once they got inside, the Scorpion turned on the ignition.

"What did you show him?" asked Jian.

"An ID claiming I work for the secret police. All the officers recognize the ID as part of their training."

[Shanghai, China]

Xue rejoined her friends who were still drawing up a plan. She cleared her throat to get everyone's attention.

"Our journey to the mausoleum is cancelled!" she said once everyone looked at her. She waited for the news to settle in.

"What do you mean it's cancelled? Aren't we going to investigate?" complained Daniel. "It was your idea too."

"I know it was my idea. However, I just learned that it's dangerous and it's best we get the professionals to deal with it."

"Who are these professionals?" asked Daniel.

"You won't need to know his name or his profession. If it makes you feel better, he just happened to know a Chinese general. He says that they will investigate."

"What are we going to do now?" asked Bing.

"I haven't figured that out yet." Before either Daniel or Bing could say anything, Xue returned to the bedroom with the door closed behind her.
 

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Chapter 80

[Shanghai, China]

(September 12, 2013)

Daniel and Bing sat in the living room waiting for Xue to emerge from the bedroom but she showed no signs of coming out. Neither of them were in the mood to knock on the door. Bing decided to turn on the television to watch the news. Daniel may not understand Chinese but he recognized the CNN footage that was showing and he was shocked to see the texts that suggested several American cities were leveled. He looked at Bing seeing a similar reaction to the news.

"Looks like my home is under attack."

Bing didn't bother turning his head. "I would agree with you there." Bing listened to the reporter taking in all the information.

The two men continued watching the news until the reporter switched topic. The next news report was still on USA explaining the declaration of war by Latin American nations. There were already reports of an attack on the San Diego Naval Base seeing many ships sunk along with high casualties, both military and civilian. Bing looked from the corner of his eye from time to time seeing Daniel struggle to suppress his anger. Bing knew he would feel the same if China was in a similar situation. Both of them were so preoccupied that they didn't hear the bedroom door open. It was only when Xue stood between them and the television that they looked up. Xue did a small stretch.

"That was a good nap," she said.

"You had a nap?" asked Daniel.

"Don't worry, I was busy as well."Xue handed over a piece of paper she stuck in her back pocket. "Here, read it."

Daniel grabbed the paper and started reading with Bing looking over his shoulder. There weren't much on the paper but Daniel knew the significance of it. On it, Chukchov's body was found along with one of the 13 Hackers.

"What can we learn from this?" asked Bing.

"That's the good news. We could trace to whoever hired them. They are likely the same people that killed Daniel's mother."

"How long?"

"These things take time. We might have a breakthrough by tomorrow."

"Good," said Daniel as he stood up.

"Where are you going?" asked Bing.

Before Daniel could say anything, his stomach growled. There was a short awkward silence before the trio laughed. Bing offered to pay for the meal as he walked to the door.
 

sebas379

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The easy way or the hard way, answers will come :)
 

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The easy way or the hard way, answers will come :)
No one picks the easy way :p. Otherwise, these stories would be over in a few chapters.

Chapter 81

[Berlin, Germany]

(September 13, 2013)

Ulrich and Bernhard were eating lunch when Ulrich wrote something on a piece of napkin passing it to Bernhard. Bernhard chuckled before he nodded. Ulrich went to the front counter to pay for the bill while Bernhard headed for the washroom. Ulrich asked for the receipt and went to the washroom. When Ulrich entered the washroom, he went to the stall where Bernhard was standing in. There was a man knocked out laying unconscious on the toilet. Both men drew their weapons and took a few quick strides out the backdoor. Ulrich caught the man watching the back door and shot the man as he reached for his weapon. Knowing that more agents would be arriving soon, the two men ran to a vehicle in the parking lot. The door of the vehicle just happened to be unlocked and, when they opened the door, no alarm went off. Without an ignition key, Bernhard would hotwire the car once he sat down in the driver's seat. Once he got the vehicle going, Bernhard stepped on the gas seeing the vehicle fly out of the parking lot swerving onto the main road receiving many honks.

"Where do we go?" asked Bernhard while he navigated the vehicle onto the passing lane rushing past all vehicles.

"Safe house 3," said Ulrich. "It's the closest."

Bernhard drove in silence while Ulrich kept his eyes behind them. It seemed like they weren't followed since Ulrich couldn't spot any vehicles tailing them. Ulrich was still keeping an eye out behind him when he suddenly feel himself lurching to his left as Bernhard took a sharp right. Moments later, there was a large explosion that could have sent Ulrich flying had he not put on his seat belt. The vehicle ground to a stop in a ditch with Ulrich bleeding slightly. He turned to his brother seeing that he has already died from the explosion. Hitting his fist on the dashboard, Ulrich released his seat belt so he could open his passenger door but it seemed to be lodged in place. Angling slightly, he delivered a kick that dislodged the door allowing him to climb out. By then, there were several civilians that parked their vehicles nearby rushing onto the scene. A few of them came over to help Ulrich who was unsteady on his feet. When they carried him to a nearby patch of grass, the vehicle Ulrich was in suddenly burst into flames followed by a large explosion. Ulrich cried for the first time in a long time as he grieved for his brother's death. The police and ambulance soon arrived onto the scene. Ulrich was treated for his relatively minor injuries before he was escorted by the police to the BND headquarters for some questioning. Ulrich followed the police officers without any resistance and, during the ride to the BND headquarters, he wept quietly in the back while staring up at the clouds in the sky. He thought back to a conversation with his brother when they were still kids.

"I wonder what clouds look like in Germany, Ulrich."

"They are the same as here, stupid."

"I bet they are more beautiful. It's our home after all."

"We will return, brother."

"I hope so. Japan is okay but I want to go to my home. To where my ancestors were born and raised."

"You don't seem to trust the Japanese."

"They are different from us, Ulrich. They would betray us because we share nothing except ideology."

"Who can we trust?"

"Germans. Our own people are the only kinds we can trust. Yes, there are a few that would betray their countrymen. However, I would still trust them more than I trust the Japanese."

"If you say so, brother."

 
Last edited:

blklizard

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Chapter 82

[Berlin, Germany]

(September 13, 2013)

Ulrich was brought into a room in handcuffs. He allowed his captors to lead him while keeping an eye out for his surroundings. He would be seated in one of the two chairs with a desk in between. He sat down and rested his hands on the desk. He was going to took a look around the room when the only door to the room opened with a man entering. The man sat down introducing himself as Felix but, before he could get past the introduction, Ulrich asked him a question.

"Were your men responsible for that grenade?" Ulrich looked straight at Felix's eye checking to see if the man was lying or not.

Felix shook his head. "We wanted you two alive. I can reassure you that none of us actually wished you harm if you two cooperated."

Ulrich maintained the eye contact awhile longer. He then looked away and stared at the ceiling. "I assume as much."

"You had a hunch we weren't responsible?" asked Felix with puzzlement.

"I doubt the BND could get together a team that quickly. So, what do you want to know?" Ulrich said when he lowered his head so their eyes met again.

Felix was taken aback by the question. "You are willing to cooperate?"

"Yes, but I do have a prerequisite."

"Let me hear it first. I cannot promise anything."

Ulrich smiled. "I will release to you all I know as long as I'm given the chance to avenge my brother."

Felix stared back concluding a few seconds later that the man before him was serious with his proposal. "Let me speak with my superiors."

Felix exited the room leaving Ulrich alone in the room again. Ulrich kept his eyes on the door waiting for Felix to return but he would be greeted by a surprise. A different man entered the room and sat down in the seat Felix was in. He was smiling at Ulrich's shocked expression.

"Long time no see," said the man. "I'm grieving for Bernhard's death but now's not the time for tears."

Ulrich finally got past his shock. He started laughing out loud and the man joined in. Ulrich allowed the emotions to go through his system before he started speaking. "Ferdinand, I'm either going crazy and talking to a ghost or you are the real deal."

"I'm real, my friend. Before we carry out our revenge, let me tell you what happened that day."
 

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Chapter 83

[Berlin, Germany]

(September 13, 2013)

Ferdinand spoke of the mission in Berlin that he was sent on. There were a total of five men in the squad with him the only German and the rest all Japanese. The mission demanded them of stealing a chip containing important technological data. Everything was going smoothly until one of the Japanese operative tripped the alarm. The safe which the chip was kept in was really close which created a dilemma for the squad. In the end, they had Ferdinand go open the safe and place the chip in a machine they brought with them while the Japanese operatives would cover the entrance. Ferdinand agreed with the plan and opened the safe without any problems. He put the chip into the machine but, when he tried to contact his squad members, he received no response. Having heard no gunshots, he knew that the two sides haven't engaged in a firefight yet which didn't explain why his squad wasn't responding. After another minute of trying, Ferdinand took a look at the small machine he was given and, to his horror, the screen showed that transmission was completed. Apparently, the machine was reading the chip and transmitting the data to the outside. In other words, Ferdinand was a sacrificial pawn used by the Japanese. Now, he was alone in the safe without backup. Ferdinand thought about giving up but he removed the idea from his mind. There was a good chance that the security entering the building had all intentions of killing him. He looked around and concealed himself behind boxes. He bid his time until he finally escaped days later. He would give himself up at the BSD knowing that the organization would be his best chance for paycheck against the Japanese.

Ulrich listened to the story quietly with his fist tightening at the end. "What was in that chip?"

"The chip contained advanced designs of future carriers. There are still many flaws with the design but the main idea was creating a hovering carrier. I know it sounds absurd but-."

Ulrich quickly cut him off. "It's not absurd at all. They have already developed a warship called the Archangel."

"But," said Ferdinand with disbelief, "that can't be. So they named the warship after the warship in the anime."

"Yes, I heard that they are near completion and testing will take place soon."

"How could they test something large without China noticing."

"They have every intention of testing its weapon capabilities against the Chinese. While the armaments on this Archangel pales against those in the anime, I fear it's still exceptionally dangerous with the Japanese navy supporting it. Of course, it doesn't help that two Chinese generals died lately. The Chinese government won't have an answer to an all out war."

"I see. That makes a lot of sense. We will have to contact the Chinese to relay this information." Ferdinand gestured for Ulrich to follow him out the room.

The two men exited the room with Ferdinand in the lead. They would stop before the door in the next room where two soldiers allowed them both access. Ulrich entered the room noticing Felix standing behind a fearsome man who smiled at Ulrich. In his gut, Ulrich knew that it would be best he didn't cross this man. He was shown to a seat opposite the man who would later introduce himself as the Hornet. Ulrich waited as the Hornet made his call to China to his contact there. He knew that, once the call ended, they would get down to business.
 

sebas379

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I know I have said it a lot lately, but that's not good for the rest of the world.
German technology merged with Japanese fanatics and floating carriers is bad, bad news.
At least it explains why the US fleet seemed so outgunned earlier.

But I wonder how long this Reich-Japanese alliance of sorts will hold.
 

blklizard

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I know I have said it a lot lately, but that's not good for the rest of the world.
German technology merged with Japanese fanatics and floating carriers is bad, bad news.
At least it explains why the US fleet seemed so outgunned earlier.

But I wonder how long this Reich-Japanese alliance of sorts will hold.
Looks like I made it clear things aren't going well :p. You will find out about this alliance soon enough (just not wanting to give away spoilers).

Chapter 84

[Xi'an, China]

(September 13, 2013)

Scorpion and his squad moved out from an underground base. Chen has specifically picked the squad members for Scorpion who approved of the men under his control. Scorpion knew that information on the enemy might be hidden in the Mausoleum which the organization made into a base. The day before, Chen has already done a series of checks on the opposition of the excavation and, to his horror, the men were paid by the Japanese government. On first glance, the link wasn't that obvious but careful cross-referencing allowed Jian to find the money trail. They concluded that, to keep the underground base a secret, the Japanese government has been actively opposing excavation by funding people that would work for them for the right price. With that knowledge, the Scorpion offered to lead a squad into the base and eliminate the enemy there and acquire the computers inside. With the ambassador already alerting the organization of the suspicions by the Chinese government, the Scorpion had no doubt that the organization might already be planning a full evacuation for their members in the mausoleum. Scorpion's main mission would be to kill all or, if possible, capture a few of the organization members for interrogation. Without wasting any time, Chen called up many specialists he felt suitable for the mission who were assembled early on the thirteenth.

Scorpion had a dozen men under his command. These men were highly trained and disciplined seeing them obeying Scorpion's command without hesitation. Scorpion has already given them a brief summary of what they would be facing in the mausoleum. After the summary, the ride to the mausoleum was a silent one as every member was mentally preparing for the mission. The fact that they didn't know the layout of the base meant they were heading into enemy territory blind. The squad had to be ready for anything with Scorpion carrying the biggest burden since he knew what was at stake. Chen and Jian wished him good luck and commented that they had faith on him. Still, the man was nervous knowing that he was facing operatives that might be professionals like him. One thing he didn't share with Chen and Jian was his puzzlement over the purpose of the secret base. Having a base deep into enemy territory was a good idea but, considering the network they had, it seemed odd that they would require a base. Scorpion knew he might find the answers at the mausoleum. When he looked down at his watch, he saw that he had only ten minutes before they arrive at the mausoleum. He stared around the vehicle looking at the other squad members who all stared down at the floor. These men were getting their concentration together for the tough battle up ahead.

[Berlin, Germany]

Once Hornet finished his call, he provided Ulrich an offer he couldn't refuse. Hornet explained that they needed to strike at the heart of Japan and Ulrich was the most suitable man. Ulrich was offered to lead a squad that would operate in Japan, Kyoto to be exact. Since Ulrich was familiar with the base, he seemed the ideal candidate for the job. Ferdinand would be his right hand man in the mission. In addition to Ulrich and Ferdinand, five more specialists would be joining them in the mission. The squad was expected to dress up as businessmen who would arrive in Kyoto by a private jet. They would then be operating alone with the sole objective of halting the invasion of China. When Ulrich expressed his concern that he might attract attention, Hornet assured him that Ulrich was reported to have died with Bernhard. To be on the safe side, Felix offered to invite a friend to add some makeup that would make it tougher to recognize Ulrich. Hornet went through a few things on his list before he made his call for the other squad members and the private jet. The paperwork would be completed once they arrived at the airport. Hornet wished the two men luck and had Felix escort them to a vehicle waiting outside. They would set out immediately and, if they needed rest, they could sleep on the jet. Once they were in Japan, they might not be getting much rest until their mission was over.
 
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Chapter 85

[Xi'an, China]

(September 13, 2013)

While Chen and Jian were waiting at the Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, Scorpion was waiting in the vehicle with his squad for nighttime to arrive. Trying to enter during the day would be a foolish decision considering all the things that could go wrong. Once the sun finally set, Scorpion went over his plan once again before opening the back door. He would make his way to the mausoleum with his squad tiptoeing behind him. Since he memorized the layout of the fences and guards that protected the outer confines of the mausoleum, Scorpion was able to get his squad into the mausoleum without alerting a single guard. Scorpion has considered getting the guards to work with him but he was worried that one of them worked for the organization which would alert them. Once they were inside, the squad took a deep breath as they prepared for the tougher part of the mission. Their first difficult task was to find a way into the inner sanctum of the mausoleum and still keep their presence a secret. They didn't know what mechanisms the enemy used or even how many operatives the other side hade. Scorpion paused briefly to give his squad members a chance to back out but everyone was determined to succeed the mission. Without another word, Scorpion led the way into the darkness with his hand in contact with the wall the whole time. A short while later, Scorpion realized that it was pitch dark in the tunnel which meant that their eyes couldn't get adjusted to it. He listened, as he walked, for the breathing of his squad members and, for the time being, their breaths were calm and steady.

They made their progress down the tunnel to only be stopped by a wall that blocked their path forward. Scorpion felt along the smooth surface almost certain it was manufactured by the Japanese. Few minutes later, Scorpion was starting to lose hope that he could find the mechanism to open it. The wall, or door, seemed to lodge well in place with no spaces for even a crowbar to apply leverage. Just as he was considering his options, Scorpion realized that the wall began to open and the squad heard two voices on the other side. The squad members quickly pressed themselves against the walls to remain out of sight while two stranger exited the inner sanctum. Scorpion made his way inside as his squad members did quick work with the two strangers. Scorpion took a short while before he found the switch to the wall which allowed his squad members to get in. The contrast in brightness between the inner sanctum and the tunnel was large enough that the squad needed several minutes to adjust. Once they adjusted, Scorpion led the way into the heart of the mausoleum where important information were likely being kept. The squad members kept their eyes peeled but they encountered no one other than the two men that opened the wall. It took the squad several more minutes before they reached rails that encircle the platform. Scorpion looked down from his vantage point seeing enemy operatives working away with packing things inside crates. He knew that the Japanese were doing an evacuation hoping to not leave anything behind.
 
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Chapter 86

[Xi'an, China]

(September 13, 2013)

Scorpion gave the signal for his squad to spread out so they could cover as much as the base as possible without overextending. They would all pull out their weapons aimed below as they waited for the second signal. Scorpion waited a few seconds before he gave the second signal by opening fire. The squad members followed suit seeing heavy fire pouring down below. The Japanese operatives had hardly any cover and many of them were dead before they could react. The few that did react tried to duck for cover but, faced against professional soldiers, they stood little chance. Some hid behind crates but they were surrounded and the crates gave them limited cover. The entire massacre lasted only a few minutes before all Japanese personnel working to pack away things were either dead or badly wounded. Scorpion didn't waste time checking on the enemy head count and, instead, sprinted to a room across from his vantage point he suspected was the office. Scorpion kicked open the door and opened fire on the two men that reacted too slowly to point their weapons at him. With two quick shots, he shot the two operatives dead. He then proceeded to the computers where he connected a device sent by Xue by mail the day before. A light came up the device which began blinking multiple times before the light went off. Scorpion returned back to the platform where several of his squad member returned with the report of the battle. All but two Japanese operatives were dead while the surviving two will need some medical care. Scorpion gave them permission as he hoped to get more intelligence out of the survivors. The rest of the base was searched but nothing of interests came up. Thus, the squad, with two prisoners taken with them, left quietly through the back as several bombs were detonated inside the base that pretty much leveled the mausoleum. The explosion would taken many by surprise but, by then, Scorpion's squad would have been long gone.

[Shanghai, China]

Xue checked her phone seeing a notification. She excused herself from Bing and Daniel as she returned to her room. Xue worked away at the keyboards until they gained access to a hidden server where the data acquired by Scorpion were sent by the device. Searching through the data, Xue realized that it would be too daunting of a task to go through everything by herself and decided to call up a few friends. She split up pieces of the data assigning each piece to a friend that agreed to help. As for herself, Xue picked what she viewed as the juiciest bits of data. Xue left the room briefly to get a bottle of juice before she returned to the room where she stayed until she deciphered the codes and interpreted all the information. Her friends finished at roughly the same moment so she spent a short time to repackage everything. Xue then sent the entire package to Scorpion and left a hidden copy in the hidden server. She stretched to loosen her muscles as she made her way out the door. As she walked into the hallway, she saw a gun pointed at her chest. She stepped back a moment as she took a good look at the man. The man was smiling at her.

"So, what did you learn so far, sweetheart?"

"What did you do to the other two?" demanded Xue.

"You'll be joining them soon. Don't worry."

The man's smile sent a shiver through Xue's spine as she was forced back into the room with a gun pointed to her.
 
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sebas379

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And thus the mausoleum was no more. I wonder what they found...
 

blklizard

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And thus the mausoleum was no more. I wonder what they found...
Yes, we will find out soon enough. However, we must first deal with this gunman ...

Chapter 87

[Shanghai, China]

(September 13, 2013)

Xue backed away slowly trying to think of what she could use for a weapon despite knowing such resistance was futile. The gunman before her was a professional if he could get a jump on Bing meaning that she stood little chance. Still, she felt relieved that she sent the decoded data to Scorpion so what she learned wasn't lost. Xue reached for the mouse.

"Don't move! I know what you are trying to do. I'm afraid my client won't like it if his data is sent elsewhere."

"Why does it matter? You're going to kill me anyways." Xue looked defiantly at the gunman who started laughing.

"I like that." The gunman gestured with his weapon. "Move away from the computer. That's an order!"

Xue slowly complied hoping that her hesitation would convince the gunman that the data was still in the computer. The gunman kept his weapon trained on Xue as he slowly shifted to the computer.

"Sit down in the corner there and don't even think about escaping." The gunman waited to Xue to sit on the ground before turning his attention to the computer.

Xue took a few deep breaths to calm her nerves as she searched for a way out. As she looked around the room, she stopped at the blinds. Taking a few more breaths, she dashed for the blinds. The gunman reacted to the movement by shooting at the doorway multiple times only realizing moments later that Xue wasn't running through the doorway. Xue reached the blinds and opened them praying that her plan would work. The light from outside momentarily blinded the gunman who backed out slightly. Then, he went still for a few seconds before collapsing onto the ground. Xue watched as blood flowed out from his head wound. She then turned to the window to see the shattered glass with a hole in the center. Next, Xue burst out the room to check on Bing and Daniel who were on the ground. As she closed in on Bing, she felt a hand around her ankle. She screamed as Bing laughed.

"Good job, sister."

Xue recovered and knelt down to check on Bing. "You look fine."

"Took bullet to the chest is never a good feeling. Luckily, Daniel is fine too."

Xue turned to see Daniel sitting up rubbing his chest. He noticed he was being watch and returned a smile. Bing sat up and took off his shirt revealing bullet-proof vest. He took off the vest and set it aside.

"I see you remembered the blinds," said Bing.

"Thank your friend for me," replied Xue.

"Don't worry, I'll treat him to a few drinks for that."
 

blklizard

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Chapter 88

[Xi'an, China]

(September 13, 2013)

Scorpion and his squad arrived at the Xi'an Xianyang International Airport where they met up with Chen and Jian. As Scorpion handed over the prisoners, Jian excused himself to answer a call. Scorpion looked suspiciously at the man knowing he didn't hear a ringtone. He watched Jian as he entered numbers into his phone before putting it to his ear. As Jian was heading to a quieter part of the airport, Scorpion walked over to his squad giving orders to two of his men to tail Jian and report what they find. The two men began heading towards Jian as Scorpion returned to talk with Chen about the success of the mission. The two men chatted for awhile when they suddenly heard a gunshot nearby. By instinct, they, along Scorpion's squad, pulled out their weapons to investigate. They would find one of Scorpion's men down on the ground while another gave chase to Jian. Scorpion took aim and fired seeing his bullet find its mark in Jian's leg. Jian collapsed onto the ground and, before he could recover, the man giving chase immobilized him. Chen looked to Scorpion for an explanation.

"He was making a call. Why would he lie if he didn't have anything to hide?"

The two men walked up to Jian who tried to resist. Scorpion knocked him out and ordered two of his men to get him to their vehicle. Meanwhile, he returned to check on the man on the ground who, with his vest protecting him, was slowly regaining consciousness. Scorpion then walked over to where Chen was standing.

"Don't take it so hard. Sometimes, those you trust the most are the ones you must be wary of."

"You don't understand. We grew up together. We were inseparable. I'm still struggling to believe this." Chen tried his best to suppress his emotions.

"Well, we will find out soon enough."

"Just tell me the results. I don't want to know the methods you use." Chen walked away like a tired old man with Scorpion looking at him sympathetically.

Scorpion waited for Chen to be out of sight before he retrieved his suitcase. He went to the washroom within the airport briefly before returning to the vehicle. He allowed his squad to get some rest once Jian was restrained. After that, Scorpion would start the process of extracting information from his prisoner. In the airport, Scorpion received the message that Xue has decoded the information but he didn't bother opening it. With Jian as a mole, there was no doubt that he extracted false information from the base and those they killed were left for dead. Jian was the key to their puzzle and Scorpion wasn't going to be easy on the prisoner.

[Kazakhstan airspace]

Ulrich and Ferdinand went over their plans and backup plans as they prepared for the mission. Their squad members were getting some sleep and, while both Ulrich and Ferdinand knew they needed some as well, they wanted to be ready for anything. The Fourth Reich wasn't any organization and one misstep could easily result in death. Ulrich updated Ferdinand on the changes within the organization since he was abandoned in his final mission with the Fourth Reich. The two of them drew up a few more backup plans before they decided that they needed rest. The private jet required another seven hours to reach Kyoto so they had plenty of time. Meanwhile, the pilot of the jet was communicating with the Hornet who was calling from Berlin. The pilot was told to proceed with his mission but, once he delivered his cargo, he would make an extra trip to Qingdao. The pilot was only notified that he would pick up another cargo but he wasn't told anymore than that.
 
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blklizard

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Chapter 89

[Xi'an, China]

(September 13, 2013)

Scorpion entered the hotel room where Chen was sitting on the bed. Chen looked up faking a smile but Scorpion could tell he shed a few tears. Scorpion sat down beside Chen.

"What do you want to know?" asked Scorpion.

"When did he defect?"

"The year you became general. They wanted someone to keep an eye on you and Jian looked like the best candidate."

"So, they eliminated the two generals that were harder to control." Scorpion could see the anger rising within Chen.

"They weren't taking chances and eliminating those two generals would aid their agenda." Scorpion took out the notes he took. "Want to see them?"

"No, I'm alright. It might be better in your hands." Chen stood up and walked over to the pot of tea he brewed earlier. The tea has cooled but Chen felt he needed a drink.

"I need your authorization to mount a covert operation on Japanese soil."

"Where do you have in mind?" Chen turned around with all seriousness.

"Sappora," Scorpion answered simply. "Jian revealed that a secret base is located there. The Archangel, their most powerful warship, is located there. Taking down the warship would be the first step in halting their invasion.

"Do you know when they plan to launch the invasion?"

"In two days. We don't have much time left." Scorpion scribbled down a few notes and handed them to Chen.

Chen looked through the list. "Is that everything?"

"Given we are racing against time," Scorpion said with a nod, "this is the best we can come up with."

After a brief hesitation, Chen nodded back before he left the room to make a call.

[Qingdao, China]

A Caucasian man walked through the street under the cover of darkness until he stopped outside a building. He looked around to check if he was followed before he knocked. The man that opened the door gestured him to enter and closed the door quietly. The man was relieved to see all his old buddies in the room. He sat down in the only empty chair as the last person to attend the meeting. The leader of the group, seeing that the squad was assembled, pulled out a map and spread it open on a table.

"Hornet called earlier today. Our operation begins tomorrow and we must get to the airport at two in the morning. Our gears are all at the designated locations so we just need to get them before we board the private jet. We will be sent into Tokyo where we will be alone. Any questions?" The leader looked around but no one had anything to ask. "Good, all of you will get whatever sleep here and we will head out in an hour."
 

sebas379

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Hmm, sounds like a plan. If a commando attack could take out that Archangel ship, it might give the Americans a chance.
That is, if they still have a fleet. Perhaps in the Atlantic base at Norfolk...
 

blklizard

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Hmm, sounds like a plan. If a commando attack could take out that Archangel ship, it might give the Americans a chance.
That is, if they still have a fleet. Perhaps in the Atlantic base at Norfolk...
I'm afraid the Americans will simply be nursing their wounds at this time. Other than Jack and his group, the American government doesn't even know who nuked them.

Chapter 90

[Kyoto, Japan]

(September 14, 2013)

Ulrich and his team got off their jet with their expensive suits on. They would later arrive at one of the best hotels in the city where they quickly changed into everyday clothes. Because they didn't risk bringing weapons with them on the jet, they had to get all their gear locally. Luckily, there was a German military shop opened in Kyoto. Unknown to even the Japanese government, top grade weapons were smuggled to this store from Germany where, should a situation arise, it could be quickly distributed. The shop was set up after the Cold War because the German government feared that Japan, with their lack of remorse towards their war crimes in the Second World War, could spark a new world war. The German government hoped they were overthinking things but, with the development of situation in Japan, they realized that their precautions were mandatory. Thus, the military shop became the first stop of Ulrich's team where they got all the gear they needed for their mission. The team had a quick bite to eat before the prepared for the mission into the organization base.

[Qingdao, China]

The leader of the group, Heinz, double checked all their gears before boarding the private jet. His squad was excited seeing none of them got any sleep after their brief meeting. The pilot relayed the message from Hornet to Heinz that they were expected to jump off the jet into Tokyo Bay. They would then swim to Tokyo and perform their operation. When asked how his squad was going to avoid detection, the pilot claimed that a small device was installed into the jet engine to imitate malfunction. He stated that there was only a small window of opportunity for the squad to get into the water without being spotted. To improve their chances of success, the team would be in the lower compartment where they would be closest to the water. A small door has been designed for such a mission. Heinz made sure he had all the information down before joining his squad in the lower compartment. The jet would take off moments later as they knelt in the darkness. Heinz shared the information he received and, after that, they stayed silent for rest of the journey. The headset Heinz wore was connected to the pilot so that the squad could be informed of when to prepare their jump.

[Sea of Japan]

Scorpion and his new, hastily assembled team rode out in a motorboat from Vladivostok. Scorpion had a few Russian friends who were able to get them entry into Russia and the ride with little hassle. The motorboat itself was remodel to hit higher speeds than average motorboats while devices were added to minimize the sound it made. The Russians also provided the gear the team needed to carry out the mission. Scorpion and his team went out before midnight giving them lots of time to travel in darkness. Using a GPS and a compass, they slowly navigated their way until they were heading in the direction of Sapporo. Scorpion hoped to avoid the Japanese patrol for as long as possible. Upon discovery, they would need to abandon ship and swim the remaining distance. The less distance they needed to travel, the more energy they would have for the upcoming mission. The motorboat made steady progress eastwards with no signs of Japanese patrols. Scorpion was still scanning the waters for any signs of light when a helicopter flew over their boat. Scorpion and his team hid as they waited for the search light to come but it never came. The helicopter kept flying towards the mainland. The motorboat would continue moving quietly over the water for several more hours before it encountered a Japanese patrol. Scorpion and his team have, by then, already dived into the water as they swam the remainder of the distance. Last time he check, Scorpion realized that they were only a hundred meter from their intended target. Scorpion was puzzled how they got so near but he wasn't complaining.
 

blklizard

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Chapter 91

[Kyoto, Japan]

(September 14, 2013)

Ulrich's team was dressed all in black as they waited in a dark alleyway. Ulrich and Ferdinand were keeping an eye out for the entrance to a building across from them. Two guards were posted at the entrance but they were yawning at times. Ulrich and Ferdinand waited patiently for the patrol jeep that circled the building to pass by before they made a move. Armed with assault rifles that were equipped with silencers, they fired a quick shot each that saw the two guards collapse. The entire team moved quickly in the open until they arrived at the entrance. Ulrich took a quick peek inside and, upon seeing no one, led his team into the lion's den. The team ran all the way to the elevator door which suddenly opened. Ulrich and Ferdinand, without hesitation, blew out the brains of the two men exiting the elevator. Next, Ulrich talked into his microphone while his men dragged the corpses out the elevator. Moments later, all light within the building went out with Ulrich and his team putting on their night vision goggles before entering the elevator. When he spoke into the microphone again, the elevator began descending to the lowest floor of the building. The team waited restlessly in the elevator until it stopped. Ulrich and Ferdinand would take the lead with their guns pointed outwards. As soon as the door opened, they opened fire at the four nearest guards dropping them. Ulrich gestured to his team to spread out as they began their assault into the underground base.

[Tokyo Bay, Japan]

Heinz and his squad waited patiently in the dark for a few hours when Heinz heard over his headphones that they were only minutes from their destination. Few seconds later, their jet began to shake violently as though it encountered massive turbulence. Heinz was counting in his head and, as he approached zero, he heard the pilot giving them a go. Heinz opened the door before him and jumped out feet first. His squad followed suit seeing everyone in the water within fifteen seconds. The cold temperature of the water jolted the men but they immediately recovered. Heinz would take the lead as the squad began their swim to the abandoned section of a harbor. As for the pilot, he crash landed into the water managing to keep his jet afloat. Japanese authorities were already in motorboats that surrounded the jet completely. When the pilot opened the door, several Japanese officers jumped aboard with their weapons trained on him. The pilot stayed quiet unless he was asked a question. He stated that his engine malfunctioned which forced him to perform an emergency landing. When asked about passengers, he claimed that he had none which matched what he wrote on papers. The Japanese officers would detain the pilot for further investigation but they completely missed Heinz's squad which, by then, has made it to an abandoned warehouse.

[Sapporo, Japan]

Scorpion and his men had a brief nap after they arrived on land. They rented a few cheap rooms in a motel where they caught some sleep while making some further preparations. Scorpion wanted to confirm a few things with Chen but he didn't dare risk giving away his position. Thus, he shared his concern with his team allowing them to vote on the final decision. Once they came to an agreement, the team moved out as soon as the sun set. Sticking to the shadows, they got to their destination without getting any unwanted attention from local law enforcement. Scorpion scanned the surroundings of the supposed base of the Japanese warship not surprised one bit that it was well hidden. Scorpion caught sight of a few dead squirrels that seemed to have died from electrocution. As he was looking for an entrance, he got lucky when two men exited from an opening which they covered up. Scorpion gestured three men to follow him as they went to intercept the two men. Few minutes later, Scorpion learned from his two prisoners the safest way they can get into the base without being detected. Further questions confirmed that the warship was indeed below them and it was scheduled to fly around midnight.
 

blklizard

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Chapter 92

[Kyoto, Japan]

(September 14, 2013)

Waiting in the shadows, Ulrich and his team took a careful look at their surroundings. Since downing the four guards, they haven't seen anyone else in the vicinity. When they proceeded forward, they encountered a few more guards which they dropped instantly. Thanks to their silencers, their shots could easily be mistaken as footsteps in the underground tunnels so no one within the base was any wiser. Ulrich's team moved swiftly down the passageway until they stopped outside a dimly lit room. Inside, they could hear several men cursing with tools pounding machinery while some held flashlights to provide some illumination. Ulrich knew that the backup generators were located in the room and, following the power outage, technicians were sent to this location to fix the problem. These technicians made the assumption that the generators were at fault which was the reason why they were still hard at work. Worried that they would eventually learn that the problem lies outside this room, Ulrich led his team to silence the technicians for good so that their assault remained a secret. He was the first to leap from the shadows and shoot into the masses of technicians along with a few guards. Within seconds, everyone within the room were dead and Ulrich went to turn off all the flashlight returning the room to darkness. The team then proceeded down the passageway as they ventured closer to the heart of the operation, the Fourth Reich Central Command.

[Tokyo, Japan]

Inside the abandoned warehouse, Heinz's squad quickly changed into dry clothes while hiding their wet ones in a crate. Every squad member inspected their equipment learning that everything was working fine despite getting soaked in water. Heinz and his squad waited inside the warehouse as they watched Japanese authorities escort the pilot in a motorboat. They waited until the situation died down before they made their move into the city. The squad didn't have to move far as they stopped at the nearest manhole cover. The squad then descended into the sewers where Heinz pulled out his GPS. The squad navigated in silence through the twisting and turning sewer system until they arrived at a dead end. Heinz walked up to the wall feeling the surface until he felt a small slit. Using his finger, he traced the outline of the slit revealing a circle. Giving the signal for his squad to be ready, Heinz waited a few seconds before he pushed down the switch. At first, nothing occurred with only the sound of running sewage in the background. Next, there was a quiet rumbling which grew louder eventually ending with a click. A small opening formed before the squad and Heinz, taking a deep breath, placed his fingers in the opening to pull open the door. On instinct, he ducked as the squad opened fire behind him through the gap.

[Sapporo, Japan]

Scorpion learned of a backdoor that was meant to be a fire exit. The backdoor was located in a large shed that held the tools for the maintenance of the nearby playground. Scorpion and his team checked to see themselves in the clear before one of his men opened a lock with a lockpick. The team got inside closing the door behind them and struggled to get proper footing in the tight space. Scorpion did as the prisoner told him and, moments later, a door was revealed before him. Scorpion's team pulled out their weapons as they took a few breaths. Scorpion was the first through the door only to find the hallway before him deserted. The prisoners explained that no cameras were installed in this hallway because the higher ups saw it unnecessary. So, the team could move freely along this hallway without any worries. As they walked the hallway, Scorpion noticed a few panels that were painted the same color as the wall. With the proper tools, he quietly opened the panels revealing messy circuitry. Scorpion allowed the electrical specialist in his team to take a look who smiled minutes later claiming that he could cut the power of the base with what he had. Scorpion allowed the man to do his work while he and the others took up positions in case some unexpected guest dropped in.
 
Last edited:

blklizard

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Chapter 93

[Kyoto, Japan]

(September 15, 2013)

Ulrich stopped his team in its tracks. They were approaching the heart of the Fourth Reich headquarters but no guards have been spotted since they killed the four by the elevators. The fact that they haven't encountered any other personnel since they passed the room with backup generators was odd indeed. A blackout should attract more attention when the opposite seemed to be the case. Ulrich looked around with puzzlement and whispered his concern to Ferdinand. Ferdinand looked around with the same concern in his eyes. He nodded a split second later and gave orders for a retreat. The team quickly backtracked but, as they were about to turn a corner on their way to the elevator, they found the passageway blocked off by steel doors that won't budge. Meanwhile, steel doors closed behind them sealing them off from the heart of the headquarter. Ulrich tried to communicate with those outside but there were indications that their signal was jammed. With no reinforcements, Ulrich led his team down the path dictated by their enemies. As soon as they reached a dead end, smog exited from the walls into the passageway until there was no visibility. Ulrich tried to think of a solution when he felt something sharp hit him in the side. He pulled out the object noting, from its shape, that is was a dart. A couple of seconds passed before the agent on the dart point knocked him out. The other team members met the same fate as they collapsed one by one.

[Tokyo, Japan]

Heinz waited as he laid low on the ground. The seconds passed by with him surprised when he was hearing bullets hitting steel surface. He risked a look ahead of him seeing what appeared to be robots that stood just inside the opening. Because his squad was further back, they couldn't identify what was inside the opening and continued to fire away. It took him a few more seconds to also recognize that the robots didn't have arms but, instead, gun barrels that were aiming for his squad. He turned to shout for his men to duck but his warning came too late as the robots opened fire. Heinz watched in horror as his squad was mowed down. Heinz knew that there would be no survivors so he decided to die valiantly along with men he worked with for nearly two decades. Heinz reached for his weapon but he failed to pull it out. One of the robots fired something that hit him in the shoulder. Heinz felt his muscles getting paralyzed which indicated that he might have been hit by a taser gun. Strength was quickly leaving his body resulting in him unable to move. With a last ditch effort, he tried to detonate the grenade strapped to his hip but, by then, the paralysis has rendered him immobilized. Heinz lost consciousness a minute later. The last things he remembered before he was out was the sound of footsteps that led to several arms lifting him off the ground.

[Sapporo, Japan]

Scorpion was listening for footsteps when he heard the electrical specialist cursing. The man never finished his curse as a large explosion cut him short. Everyone in the vicinity was blown to pieces while Scorpion, who stood the furthest from the electrical specialist, was sent flying. Scorpion was knocked out briefly by the blast but his injuries would soon jolt him awake. He looked down at the many wounds he received by the flying fragments of the wall. He could no longer feel his legs and his left arm while having some control over his right arm. Without hesitation, he reached for his dagger with his right arm. Before he could make contact, Scorpion felt an arm locking his arm in place while something sharp, like a needle, pierced into his neck. Scorpion made a few futile efforts to shake himself loose but whatever was injected into him was already working. Scorpion felt his eyes getting drowsy while his movements felt a lot more sluggish. Once he stopped moving, he heard the man behind him saying "goodnight" in Japanese. As he entered unconsciousness, he heard laughter from the same man which was followed by him barking orders to his men. Scorpion knew that he failed his mission and cursed himself for underestimating his enemies till he was completely out.