Chapter 1396: The Only Clue
With Jiang Chen’s permission, Matthew picked three trucks from the garage and replaced them with new nuclear fusion cores. He selected a few fallout shelter residents who could drive and drove towards the fallout shelter escorted by two guards and fifty mercenaries.
After Jiang Chen went back to the Governor’s Mansion, he walked straight into Zhou Guoping’s office.
There was a rancid stink of oil permeating inside the room, and empty cans were thrown everywhere as they scattered around on the ground, the only thing that looked clean was the chair. Obviously, Black Skull didn’t cherish this new home, or rather, he didn’t plan to stay here for long.
When he walked to the desk that originally belonged to Zhou Guoping, he sat in his chair, then swept the empty cans and some strange medicine boxes on the table down to the ground. At this moment, he suddenly noticed that the corner of the table was engraved with a capital letter D by a knife or other sharp object.
He examined this letter for a while, then put the thought aside, and opened the desk drawer.
The documents in the drawers were neatly stacked. Since they were not thrown into the corner of the room as wastepaper, there was a high probability that no one has touched them.
Jiang Chen took out a document, flicked the dust on it lightly, turned open the first page, and followed the line of words.
It was a financial statement detailing every import and export order between the colony and North American survivor settlements in August and September. It was evident that Zhou Guoping had done some work and did not spend his days in North America messing around. Every line of large financial expenditures was detailed with remarks and Zhou Guoping’s own signature.
Jiang Chen tried to find some clues from this, but unfortunately, other than the trade volume, as of the end of September, the relationship between the colony and the “National Guards” and “Minutemen”, the two major local forces on the West Coast, seemed to be good. He could not identify more clues.
The only thing that was certain now was that Zhou Guoping might have gotten into trouble with someone he shouldn’t have gotten on the wrong side of, or he discovered something so incredible so that that person or force had spent so much effort to take out the entire colony, and even blocked radio communications between the West Coast and Pan-Asia.
If those people really tried to conceal something, then it was likely that the valuable information was already erased before Black Skull walked into this office.
Just then, there was a knock on the door outside the office.
After Zheng Shanhe received permission from Jiang Chen, he pushed open the door and walked in.
At the instruction of Jiang Chen himself, he went to the colony’s dungeon to interrogate the predator leader Black Skull. Originally, he thought it would take a lot of effort and even prepared a plan, but he didn’t expect this guy to spill out everything so easily. He told him everything he knew and only begged the NAC not to kill him. He stated he did not take down Outpost Town himself and he only took advantage of the situation…
“This quickly?” Jiang Chen tossed the financial report onto the table and looked at his captain, “Black Skull has already confessed?”
“Yes, we didn’t even use any tools. He confessed everything immediately after he saw me, and even explained the locations of their fallout shelters in the Nevada desert and their lock codes… This is?” Zheng Shanhe asked curiously when he saw the document on the table.
“It’s the colony’s financial statement for September. The last item of financial expenditure shows September 25th. If there is no problem with this financial statement, then we can conclude that Zhou Guoping probably got into trouble. Let’s not talk about this. Tell me what you got from him,” Jiang Chen said.
Zheng Shanhe nodded, then reported his findings from the interrogation to Jiang Chen.
“Your guess is correct. The colony was indeed not taken over by Black Skull. The confession of Black Skull was basically consistent with Rodney’s statement. They were here to sell slaves to Outpost Town, but they realized that no one was here. In order to avoid offending the NAC, they waited outside the fort for three days before sending someone in to investigate. Only then did they confirm that the entire fort was empty.”
“Is there any other information?” Jiang Chen was somewhat confused, “Isn’t it weird that such a big fort had turned into an empty city, and they just decided to live here and made themselves feel at home?”
“I specifically asked about that,” Zheng Shanhe smiled bitterly. “He originally thought NAC abandoned the colony and withdrew. After the NAC cargo ship arrived at the port, he began to wonder if something went wrong. However, when he saw the canned food on the cargo ship, he immediately put all doubts behind him.”
“AS Order will arrive in about two weeks. I suggest that during this time it is better for us to stay put,” Zheng Shanhe cautiously suggested to the speechless Jiang Chen, “If those people are hiding in the dark and can make the entire colony disappear silently, there is no reason they won’t do the same to us.”
“If they could, they would have done it a long time ago.” Jiang Chen tapped his index finger on the table, sorted the clues in his head, and said, “From the time I hired those two scavengers to go to Liberty City and Steel City to spread news, I have been wondering if those hiding in the dark would do anything. However, it came surprisingly that they didn’t pay attention to us at all. Everything from us gathering mercenaries to taking back the colony, everything happened so smoothly.”
Sweat droplets began to form on Zheng Shanhe’s forehead as the thought frightened him.
Until half a minute ago, he still admired Jiang Chen’s decision to retake the colony without using a single soldier. Now, he could somewhat understand why when Captain Lu drank with him after the handover of the captain, he looked so relieved…
“Then what should we do now?” Zheng Shanhe gulped down and asked.
He was worried that Jiang Chen would make another dangerous decision.
He was not worried about himself, since the military government would take care of his family.
But if anything happened to Jiang Chen…
It was difficult to say whether his family in Wanghai could see the sun the next day.
“We’ll decide when the third person I sent out comes back. I won’t make a move in the meantime,” Jiang Chen said without a change of expression, “Blood Axe is very important. Before the colony disappeared, he showed up in the drugstore in Chinatown with the colony permit and purchased supplies. If I remember correctly, he was going to help the colony go out to find something. In addition to the nutrient supplies, he purchased iodine.”
Zheng Shanhe let out a sigh of relief in his mind.
He also agreed to stay put for now.
In any case, waiting for the expeditionary force to land in North America was the safest choice.
After Jiang Chen asked Zheng Shanhe to leave, the office returned to its previous silence.
He focused on the capital letter “D” engraved on the corner of the table again. With a frown, he connected the clues in his head.
The predator named Blood Axe.
Are the clues connected somehow?
There was also the intelligence of the two Chinese scavengers from the National Guards and Minutemen. Whether it was Steel City or Liberty City, their troops were frequently patrolling, and it was a signal of an imminent war.
Who are they guarding against?