Chapter 37: < Protect – Episode 36 – Aragon Company  >
The powerful press of the States, Washington Post released an investigative report a few days ago.
“Aragon Company, who gains profit through blood and death, is a devil incarnate.”
While the expenditures of national defense were stirring up the media, the leaders who controlled the American economy had a secret meeting. Aragon Company, who was based in the States but had their foundation in South America, dreamt of a civilian police force as well as a civilian intelligence service.
“I think Mr. Guardian is involved.”
“I apologize. He is involved.”
No one could lead or pressure Aragon’s agenda.
“Didn’t one of Cruze’s fools say he could fool them?”
“Did you really believe that?”
“No, but… this is too quick. I thought we could have them captured in a month or two. What do we do? Are we going to negotiate?”
“Yeah… We know their rules.”
In the world of mercenaries, Ahn Soo Ho’s word was the rule. No matter how much money Aragon Company had, it didn’t matter if they didn’t have the mercenaries to do the deed.
“Scrap the secret mission.”
“The members will hate that.”
“If you want to fight with them, I won’t stop you.”
“Don’t joke about that! We’d be lucky to have empty hands of grain. In any case, the secret mission’s evil reputation is partly on us too.”
Just like the Russian doll where a smaller doll comes out of the bigger one, a shell company couldn’t be kept hidden forever. They were planning to deal with Aragon Company’s dirty secret mission department, but Ahn Soo Ho’s involvement just sped things up.
The civilian police force could be set up with PMC even if Aragon was out of the picture.
“What if Mr. Guardian keeps digging?”
“You don’t know Soo Ho. He’s not doing this for justice. He’s actually pretty much like us. But…”
“A lonely wolf. Wait, is he a lonely killer whale?”
“A killer whale?”
“If you stick out your hand at the cute thing, he’ll pull you down into the water.”
The so-called meeting ended in no time. The vice-president of Genesis Quantum, Michael Tobal talked to his friend, Thomas Chenyabin, who was the vice-president of United Aircraft.
“The remaining issue… is Vitali.”
“I don’t know. Is it necessary to deal with him?”
“It’s dangerous to keep irritating the Russians.”
“That’s true. But internal transactions are legal in Moscow.”
“The political members will use them as hunting dogs. After the fall of the Soviet Union, their new ideology is money.”
Modern Russia, which shed the past of a celibate society, put blind faith in capitalism. They were reborn as completely different people.
“In contrast to Soo Ho, Moscow can be negotiated with.”
“In the end, all variables conclude with Mr. Guardian.”
“Just because he won’t negotiate doesn’t mean he’s out of line or stubborn. It’s possible that he’s more trustworthy than anyone. If I have to call someone when my life is in danger, I’ll call him without any hesitation.”
Ahn Soo Ho, who didn’t know that people were talking behind his back thousands of kilometers away, sat across from James back at the American consulate in Sao Paulo. Due to the special operation director’s strict orders, the last special forces to be dispatched were held at a camp. No matter how respected the one in charge was, halting an operation midway was like suicide in politics.
James quivered at the pressuring phone call.
“General, are you threatening me? I think you’ve misunderstood. I’m not your subordinate. Go to the White House and get a signature from the National Security Advisor. Yes, yes. I’ll listen if the president makes the order himself.”
He hung up the phone forcefully.
“Those damn old men!”
“What is it?”
“They won’t believe me when I say Aragon is up to no good!”
“Well, it’s not like we have any proof or witnesses. Since they’re one of the top defense contractors, there are probably many departments and generals involved. I bet plenty of people are willing to lick their assholes.”
Aragon, who secured tens of billions of dollars’ worth of defense contracts, gave preference to reservists, generals, officers, and soldiers. It became normal for these connections to look the other way as long as it wasn’t breaking the law.
“We have a witness. Jina Davis.”
“Don’t. She can’t testify, James. We can’t do that to a hurt woman.”
“Are you making me the bad guy?”
The kidnapping was bad enough, but after running away and almost getting raped, how could she be in her right mind? Jina Davis was going through a hard time. If she doesn’t recover now, she could be gone forever.
With Ahn Soo Ho’s fast actions, Aragon’s sneak attack became something that never happened. The problem was that the International Cooperation Agency got hurt along with the kidnappers. It was vague whether it was a shootout between kidnappers or if they were gunned down by armed groups from the slums.
“The Brazilian government won’t do an investigation or cooperate.”
“I’m sure they won’t.”
If one would look at the series of events following the International Cooperation Agency’s kidnapping incident, there were more than a few police officers and cooperators who helped Aragon with their crazy stunt.
“Even if we make them negotiate through threats, they’ll leave the important ones and sacrifice the small fries instead.”
Just like an earring that could be used for both the nose and ears, they were able to make it fit depending on the situation. But the big problem was with Jina Davis, who was the only kidnapped to survive. The fact that only the niece of the president survived was surely going to stir up some controversy. If people suspect that she only survived because she was the president’s niece, that would make a fatal blow on Allen Davis.
Also, since all the American soldiers and kidnapped individuals died except for one survivor, it was a very humiliating situation. It was obvious that the American media would see it as a mistake on the Davis’ administration’s part.
“I don’t know why they went so far. It’s not like they’re short on money.”
“Who knows? Greed can never be satisfied.”
If someone was in possession of something valuable, they would be asking more of it. After having more it, they would still ask for more.
“They did all this just to make more money?”
“Mercenaries are simple. It’s just that their current situation is complicated. England and France are just as screwed as the States now.”
James let out a bitter laugh.
Even though they were able to save the president’s niece, half of the kidnapped individuals were members of the UN from England and France. The American president was screwed but the same could be said for the English prime minister and the French president as well. Everybody sucks! If one would have to pick who was the most screwed, the States was a little further ahead.
“The States will be okay, James.”
“That’s comforting, Soo Ho.”
The States definitely made a mistake. But since the system would keep running, the wounds would heal themselves over time.
“It’ll get noisy with all the investigations and what not.”
“Do you think the truth will come out?”
Ahn Soo Ho shooked his head. If he stepped up, finding evidence wasn’t very difficult to do.
“But why should I?”
He has no reason to do what the Yankees should be doing.
“It’s not like I’m fighting for justice.”
Jina Davis was saved, the American troops that were supposed to be annihilated were rescued, and it was notified that Aragon was behind the kidnapping. It was up to the States whether they believe it or not. Ahn Soo Ho bet that the States would just bury the whole thing about Aragon. No matter how much they want to rip the White House to shreds, they would try to cover up anything that would hurt National Security and taint their image.
That was because government contracts need to go through a process with the assembly, so there had to be quite a few congressmen who were involved with Aragon Company like they were with the military. Even though Aragon was a powerful force in the international world of mercenaries, since they were being managed by Americans, they were considered as an American company. And the fact that an American company kidnapped, threatened, and murdered people would be a nightmare for the American Government if the world found out.
“Neither the White House or the assembly would want to acknowledge it.”
Compared to this, the president’s sex scandal is nothing.
Ahn Soo Ho got up to the soldier’s message. He was escorted to the special operations headquarters. He was welcomed by Lieutenant Hawthorne when he went inside. Ahn Soo Ho responded with a smile.
The inside of the special operations headquarters was desolate.
Normally, there would have been three or four soldiers taking care of communication, but the video conference wasn’t going to be protected with just average security. Ahn Soo Ho could recognize many of the faces on the screen. The first one to open his mouth was a typical middle-aged man.
“I’ll be direct, Soo Ho. What’s your solution?”
“Are you getting right to it?”
“We don’t have time.”
The American president, Allen Davis looked at the camera with a serious face. If anyone but Ahn Soo Ho had pointed at Aragon as the ones behind the kidnapping, they would have just laughed. But due to his achievements in the world of mercenaries, he had more confidence than that of the White House.
“Whoa, calm down, Allen. I don’t want you to collapse of a heart attack.”
Ahn Soo Ho calmed him down and scanned the faces.
“Since everyone started investigating, I’m sure the truth will come out soon. The problem is that you’ll be put in harm’s way when it’s released to the public. That’s one hundred percent certain.”
One would think that top politicians could change the world however they want but that was not always the case. Once a person climbed to the top, they would age quickly. Why? Because they would have to deal with shitty situations and be stressed all the time. The line presidents would use all the time was,
Politics was tiring in every country.
“I have two solutions to offer, everyone. First, expose Aragon and establish an international investigation team. Pull out their roots.”
The response was immediate.
“Aragon is an international civilian-military company. They’re mainly active in South America, but they’re pretty powerful in Africa and the Middle East too. They’re a big company that provides security services to NATO. They know a lot of sensitive information.”
“That’s true. There’s no one, more experienced in planting agents in troubled areas than Aragon.”
It was the English prime minister who went with the French president’s opinion and gave supporting statements. Ahn Soo Ho, who took turns looking at everyone, just shrugged.
“The first solution won’t work. Then let’s go on to the second one.”
The first one was something that was used when serving justice. He knew they wouldn’t accept it.
“There would be too much collateral damage.”
This was why they were saying that the belly button was bigger than the stomach. Or the saying, that fish didn’t live in water that was too clear? They all had different standards of justice. Some didn’t allow jaywalking, and others turned the other way to urinating on the streets. The standard depended on whatever they were comfortable with. Rather than justice, it was the profits that came out of it that matters most.
That was what most elite politicians were doing.
“We’ll have to weed out the rotten apples.”
Everyone turned serious to what Ahn Soo Ho said.
“Oh! Is that possible, Soo Ho?”
“It won’t be easy, and it’ll cost a lot.”
“I don’t care how much it costs. We’ll set you up with a team in every country.”
Seeing how they were unanimous, they had to be involved with Aragon as well. That might be the reason why Aragon did such horrible things. People said power was more addicting than drugs, and that wasn’t wrong. Once people got a taste of power, they couldn’t turn back.
And it was best for them to stay that way.
“Sounds good. I feel motivated by all of your support.”
He looked happy, but no one smiled. The States, England, France, Germany, Russia, and even China and Japan supported Ahn Soo Ho. Now that he had the support of the greatest leaders, he felt ready to create a bit of a commotion. This was like an international pardon similar to having an international driving license.
It was not necessary, but it was good to have.
He stopped everyone from concluding the meeting.
“I forgot to mention one more thing.”
Ahn Soo Ho thought he flashed a nice smile, but he was obviously smiling in an evil way.
“It’s ten million dollars per head.”
‘Stupid… I mean, respected clients.’
< Protect – Episode 36 – Aragon Company  > The end.