Chapter 40: < Protect – Episode 39 – Returner Group  >
Jina Davis couldn’t remain silent about her being the sole survivor.
No matter how powerful Allen Davis might be, he couldn’t shut the mouths of everyone in the world. And especially the Brazilian government couldn’t be silenced by buying more time with diplomatic relations with the Brazilian government.
That day eventually came.
– The full tragic story of the forced rescue mission!
– The worst rescue mission where only the president’s niece was saved!
– Would the Senate hearing call upon the president?
No matter how hard they tried to dramatize it, the fact that Jina Davis was alive was an unfavorable factor to the White House. The memorial rally for the brave soldiers, skilled agents and employees turned into a protest for the president’s impeachment. Ahn Soo Ho looked at a page of USA Today and smirked.
“I’ve seen this many times before.”
It looked just like the Korean that occupied Gwanghwamun square until not long ago. He wonders what happened to that. He took out his phone and looked through his numbers.
“Why are you calling me?”
Yoon Chul’s voice sounded annoyed.
Even after clicking his tongue, he started to tell him everything that happened while Ahn Soo Ho while he was gone.
“As soon as the companies with the rich people in their 30s decided to donate their internal funds to the nation, the investigation stopped in an instant. The president is currently releasing a public service announcement to make it look like it was his achievement.”
“That’s good to hear.”
“Is it? They’ll revolve the capital.”
“Don’t be so pessimistic, my friend. In any case, if the money goes to the government, it’s good for the people.”
If all of the rich stepped up to invest in the nation, that would have a direct effect on people’s lives. Whether that boom becomes long-term or short-term was up to the rich, but through Daesan and Korea National Association’s trouble, they gained valuable experience.
“You can’t trust politicians!”
The adhesion of politics and business was unavoidable, but if one would ask them if they could go on forever, they would all disagree. The rich being able to get rid of their clan business and the politicians sticking to their obsolete party interests was a great example of how hard it was to trust someone.
“What about Soo Jung?”
“She’s the same as always.”
Even Ahn Soo Ho acknowledges Kim Soo Jung as a tough and spirited woman. It would have been great if she was born as a man, but God decided to have her shackled. He still remembered what Kim Soo Jung said when they were in school—”It’s getting in the way of my shooting. I want to take it off.”—In the country of the courteous people of the East where their body was their parents’ body, how could she say such a such a rude thing? When she dropped out, it wasn’t just her classmates but her seniors and juniors who were also sad.
“Don’t worry. There are people guarding her, so nothing will happen. Anyway, it’s time to start pruning.
“That’s what I wanted to talk about. Lee Kyung Joon’s going to retire.”
“Lee Kyung Joon? But he was just promoted.”
“He might be going into the political world since he finished serving the minimum term. Politicians with military backgrounds start expecting it once they’ve achieved that much.”
There were many politicians with military backgrounds. Especially the high-ranking officers were welcome everywhere, but the national defense enterprises with serious monopolization were especially inviting. The public looked down upon that, but the status of the military was very high in the eyes of the Korean industrial world.
“It seems like the comrade association is pressuring the national association.”
“It’s weird, right? I thought so too. So I looked into it, and Kyung Il’s guys were definitely involved.”
The comrade association was the layman’s term for Defense Comrade Association.
As the name implies, they had close connections with the military. It was an interest group at the peak of Korean military power where only the ones above the general rank could join. The new army group, who received public criticism for being an organization of past generals, were nothing compared to these guys. That was because the comrade association welcomed armies of all categories.
“Do you remember the Anthology National Defense Foundation that’s under the comrade association? The reputation welfare association or whatever it is.”
“The memorial fund?”
“Yeah. The ones who talked about a fundraiser for the veterans. They came when we dropped out of the Naval Academy too.”
The ones who dropped out of the Naval Academy were great manpower. And even though a lot of people wanted to join the military every year, a lot of them leave as well. And the military was a violent organization where the commander could train the soldiers however they want. When they said people came back from the military a changed person, there were just as many negative issues as there were positive ones—”The military ruined people’s lives!”—That was not just a rumor.
They came up with a slogan that pitched the idea of providing veterans with job retraining which would benefit society, but that was all a bunch of nonsense. That was another form of human trafficking. The only difference was that instead of prostitution, labor, or organ extraction, they would be providing skilled killers.
It was uncertain how that was any different from raising child soldiers. If Aragon Company ran a killer curriculum for South American kids in the slums, the Defense Comrade Association used Koreans unique characteristics to train soldiers or exported substitute workers depending on the international need.
“While Kyung Il traveled around the world as a diplomat, he looked into the truth behind the overseas Koreans with military experience. And the messages asking for that manpower is mostly…”
In the South Korea-United States alliance, Korea was always the weak link. After the Vietnam war, the States continued to send love calls to Korea. That means they thought that the ones with military experience were familiar with the field, so they could be easily used and then thrown away.
“Was that their aim?”
“I don’t know.”
Ahn Soo Ho hung up and got into the helicopter on top of the hotel roof that was headed to Sao Paolo. It was China that liked to flaunt their big cities, but they were just central areas. If one had to pick the top three cities that were actually big, Sao Paolo was in the top three.
Aragon Company’s South American headquarters was also in Sao Paolo. Rather than putting Aragon on the blacklist, the American government selected a scapegoat and sped along the corruption investigation of the Brazilian government. The first objective of the investigation group formed by the White House and the assembly was the hostage incident that took place 3 years ago in Argentina, which was quite absurd.
As soon as the internal document of the security service brand, Commando was exposed, another corporate war washed over Korea and Daesan Group’s story came back up to the surface. In global business, it was not all about making good products with good skills and selling them.
In a battlefield full of plotting and conspiracies, the lives of people weren’t important. As soon as the true face of globalization came out, the States was the first one to go down. It was as if they poured oil on a fire that had already started due to the repeated rescue attempts.
“The employees and mercenaries are turning themselves in after hearing Cruchek’s killing. What’s funny is that it’s not Aragon Leadership, but Commando Agency who’s being dogmatic.”
Ever since Brazil began their military dictatorship in the 60s, their military authorities became strong, and even as a democratic country in the present, their influence didn’t weaken. The minister of public order, Leandro was a successful information commander and a legendary person in the world of mercenaries and information.
“Organizations like the DEA, ATF, FBI, and CIA were all involved. They strongly asked for them to repatriate the Americans by using national security as an excuse… but they can’t send them back that easily.”
“It sounds like everyone’s angry.”
“Since they meddled in domestic affairs.”
Brazil’s National Assembly was currently angry at the most recent situation. Since the international society was out to get Brazil, there was no way for them to not be insulted.
“Don’t worry, Soo Ho. I don’t have any grudge against you.”
“Should I tear up and say thank you? So when will you stop screwing the States over? You could get hurt.”
“I’ll have to be careful.”
“You mustn’t have called me just to talk nonsense.”
As soon as Ahn Soo Ho ushered him to get to the point, Leandro pressed a button to make the glass transparent. His facial hair was so long that he looked like an unidentifiable hobo, but Ahn Soo Ho recognized him immediately.
“We caught him near Rogers.”
“More like he turned himself in.”
“I…can’t deny that.”
The man was a famous agent who was famous since the Soviet Union. Even if tigers lose their teeth, it still couldn’t become a cat. Ahn Soo Ho went into the interrogation room and sat across from Djorkaeff. The man in handcuffs smiled with his eyes as soon as he saw him.
“Tsk, tsk! This is no way to treat an elder. Hey! Take off his handcuffs!”
As soon as Ahn Soo Ho clicked his tongue, the guards came in and took off Djorkaeff’s handcuffs. His eyes turned into the shape of a moon. He was smiling.
“You should have come to me if you were having problems, Chucky.”
“It was impossible. Vitali’s eyes and ears were all around you.”
“That’s just an excuse. It was because of your family, right?”
Maxim Ivanovich Djorkaeff was the third best agent of Moscow before Vitali was reinstated as the key member of the Russian government. If CIA had known his existence, they would have dispatched their best team to kidnap him. That was how valuable Djorkaeff was as an agent.
“Did you join Aragon?”
“No. I’m like a special advisor. I gave them overall advice about various topics.”
He stared at Ahn Soo Ho without a word. His eyes were asking this question—”What are you going to give me for my answer?”—It was a very simple question.
But whether Djorkaeff answered or not, Ahn Soo Ho didn’t stop thinking. He understands it now. The reason why he looked for him while he was on sabbatical and discussed a South American issue.
“Sell sensitive information so that Moscow will get uncomfortable.”
If Ahn Soo Ho hadn’t appeared, the kidnapping incident in Sao Paolo would have gone the way Aragon intended, and Djorkaeff, who hid in South America, wouldn’t come out.
“Since there’s something I want from you too, you don’t have to apologize, Soo Ho.”
“What? Do you want guaranteed safety?”
“No, that’d be greedy.”
Russia had decided to get rid of him a long time ago. That could change if Ahn Soo Ho strongly insisted, but the brown bear with hurt pride was going to overlook Djorkaeff and target the people around him.
“Can you keep my family safe?”
Djorkaeff accepted the fact that he had to die in order for Russia’s search to end. But he couldn’t choose to die so easily because he was worried about the difficulty his family would have to go through. Ahn Soo Ho shooked his head.
“I can’t. I don’t use a person’s family as a means of transaction. You know that.”
“I know. That’s why I trust you, Soo Ho. I’ll tell you everything if you protect my family.”
Ahn Soo Ho had no choice but to nod to Djorkaeff’s earnest voice. He finally loosened up and leaned back on his chair.
“Have you heard of the Ultra Program, Soo Ho?”
“It’s an American spy program that was running before mindreading.”
The mind-reading program was a 21st-century cyber technology that the American military and the American information association were operating together. Beyond analyzing information that was recorded with wiretapping and hidden cameras, they aimed to predict human behavior. More funding was starting to go toward expanding the computer servers than training spies.
“Ultra is a monster that the Cold War made. If a fancy performance by the space program was able to catch the attention of the world, a hidden spy game was just as intense.”
The reason why the U.S. military’s Ultra program was top secret wasn’t only because of national security. It was because that program was anti-human and was strongly against universal vocational ethics.
“Don’t be surprised. The original form of Ultra Program came from Nazi eugenics.”
“Hm. Which one should I be surprised at?”
Djorkaeff laughed loudly as soon as Ahn Soo Ho tilted his head.
“Anyway, it wasn’t just the Americans who took the German scientists. We brought a lot of German scientists to Moscow and started a program similar to Ultra. The Cold War turned everything into a war. We even battled over who was the most horrible.”
“Oh! You know it too!”
“I’ve heard rumors… but I didn’t know it was real.”
With their research called Mutant X, the Soviet Union quickly got ahead of the States. That was because the Soviet Union didn’t care about human rights or vocational ethics as long as they got their results. They didn’t care if thousands of people died for their research’s sake.
“The Soviet Union leaders were all crazy bastards.”
The results produced by a society that encouraged the use of fear was shocking.
“I don’t know what the American values are, but the Yankees discarded Ultra. But they poured their heart and soul into strengthening their spies. The birth of CIA…It’s true. It could be all thanks to there being too many crazy bastards in this world.”
“What’s your point, Chucky?”
Ahn Soo Ho made him cut to the chase.
“Aragon conducted human experiments in South America.”
“If you know who they are, this will be a lot quicker. They applied more developed drugs and procedures than what was used in the Cold War.”
“They’re crazy, but they’re not stupid. They knew monopolizing on such appalling technology would bite them in the ass. So they sold it as soon as they could. Think about it, Soo Ho. What if you had a subordinate who did whatever you asked? That’s tempting for those in power.”
If one would brainwash a person with drugs and program them using cutting-edge procedures, could they still be called human? For soldiers who lack humanity, receiving orders and following through were the reasons and goals of their life.
“Who do you think Aragon contacted first?”
Ahn Soo Ho smiled bitterly to Djorkaeff’s question.
“Isn’t it obvious? The CIA?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Thanks to the firm principle of civil control, the Ministry of National Defense was subjected to continuous inspections which means they didn’t have secret funds to manage such a crazy program. However, the CIA was different. They had sufficient funds to invest in a black ops agent.
“That’s not all. They bought whatever got in the way. FSB, MI6, DGSE, Mossad, Germany Federal Intelligence Agency, China Public Safety, Japan Internal Investigative Service, Saudi Information Bureau, Iran Intelligence Agency, and even cartels and mafias.”
He finally understood what Vitali meant by everyone having been dragged into it.
“What a mess. What a dirty mess.”
“Yeah. I just want to get out of the sewer and live in freedom.”
Ahn Soo Ho, who looked at Djorkaeff’s piercing eyes, sighed as he left the interrogation room. Leandro was on the phone with an excited look on his face. Since he overheard what they were talking about in the interrogation room, Brazil might be getting ready to get in on it too. Ahn Soo Ho, who went back onto the roof to get in the helicopter, took out his phone.
“It’s me. Send him off in the least painful way.”
After he hung up, he got in the helicopter and looked at downtown Sao Paolo as it grew distant. An hour later, Maxim Ivanovich Djorkaeff was found dead in the interrogation room.
His face looked serene.
< Protect – Episode 39 – Returner Group  > The end.