Chapter 41: < Protect – Episode 40 – Returner Group  >
How were agents trained and managed before they retire? People mistakenly thought that people who work with the CIA became killing machines like Jason Bourne, and people who work with the MI6 got beautiful women and nice cars like James Bond. 99.9% of agents started working in the office and finished their careers as agents, working in the office. Only 0.1% of agents became like Jason Bourne and James Bond.
Ahn Soo Ho held a secret meeting in the slums of Rio that was also known as the City of God. If this place wasn’t a temple of drugs it could have easily looked like a high school reunion. But the ones Ahn Soo Ho invited were big shots with reputations of their own.
There was an information line in the West under CIA’s Deputy Director Jeremy Eaton O’Hare consisting of the MI6, DGSE, BND, and FSB, and there was also another Asian line consisting of China, Japan, Iran, and Pakistan. One would think Mossad would fall under the United States-Israel alliance of the West, but they were not welcome by either side.
Same goes for the United States-Japan alliance.
The diplomatic relations between China and Japan might have seemed to be the worst, but China and Japan actually had a friendly relationship. The China-Japan opposition was just created by the media. It was almost a miracle for the influential people of the information world, the mercenary world, and the criminal world to be gathered in one place. That was because they included people who were wanted by the FBI, those who were fighting with their lives at risk, as well as those being chased down by the international court of Interpol. Ahn Soo Ho cleared the air by clapping his hands.
“Let’s not brag about whose guns are bigger.”
They laughed quietly at his joke.
“We know your guns are the biggest and strongest, Soo Ho.”
“Sucking up won’t get you anything. I’ve been investing too much money in my hometown these days.”
“Really? Do you want some help?”
“I don’t want dirty money.”
“Why are you being like that? We only do legal businesses these days.”
All of them were people who had the mindset that they could do anything as long as they didn’t get caught. They weren’t normal.
“What’s today’s topic? Aragon?”
Ahn Soo Ho shooked his head.
They sounded uncomfortable.
All the organizations had problems regarding retirement reversal, and it was very rare for it to be resolved properly. Especially the States and Russia’s Returner problem was very serious. The defects could just be killed, and the agents who reached their retirement age or got into an unfortunate accident had to be respected.
Just like how retired generals worked as lobbyists, retired agents got involved in all sorts of national security. Of course, most of them kept their patriotism and enjoyed their retirement in peace. But there were still quite a few who couldn’t give up the thrill and pleasure of the power of finding the opponent’s weakness and shaking them down.
The problem was that if a retired agent loses his ways, he could become a terrorist in an instant. If one would look into those who were hired by Returner, they were very fishy troublemakers. The first time was hard, but the second and third time was easy. The agents who lost their belief of patriotism transformed into monsters.
“If Aragon had kept Returner under control, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“Calm down. The thing is, there isn’t much we can control since they know too much of our strategy.”
“Are you an amateur? You know that if you use your underlings, there’s always a way.”
There was not a single person there who didn’t know that.
“Chucky’s no longer here. So it’s less likely that you’ll get caught up in a scandal.”
“What about Leandro?”
“He can’t prove anything.”
Brazil’s Minister of Public Order was a great man, but not a single person here was afraid of him. Ahn Soo Ho immediately got rid of the recording of the conversation that took place in the interrogation room. Ahn Soo Ho’s job was done. The only thing left was for the others to fight.
“I don’t want to get involved any further.”
“Didn’t you make a promise with POTUS, Soo Ho?”
“What? Jina Davis? I did more than enough by sending her back alive.”
POTUS was a slang way of addressing the president of the United States.
“What about Aragon?”
“Why would I clean up after your mess Eaton? I’m only overlooking it because you’re crazy. If you weren’t, I might have flipped DC upside down. Shut the hell up while I’m being reasonable.”
Jeremy coughed and backed off.
In order to keep stupid customers stupid, one would need to turn the other cheek to sensitive topics. As soon as Ahn Soo Ho flicked his finger, the curtains opened to present tied-up people on their knees. Seeing how their lips and eyes were injured, there was fighting involved.
“Aragon South American Division? Commando Agency? Whatever you call them, they’re the ones involved. Feel free to do whatever you want with them.”
“There are fewer people than I expected.”
“That’s because I only brought the ones who were still alive.”
“Where are the rest?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t ask.”
In response to Ahn Soo Ho, Gospel answered in his stead in a funny posture with both of his arms curled in. He wanted to leave PCC and CV, who carried out Aragon’s sneak attack, in their living states, but it was tabooed to expect too much from thugs. He wanted to commend them for at least keeping half of them alive.
“Let’s start talking about our political affairs, everyone.”
Ahn Soo Ho tapped his calculator.
“It’ll be around two billion won.”
“Do you accept goods?”
Ahn Soo Ho prefers cash because the calculation was clean and simple. There were people who were working for him, friends who helped, and contractors like Gospel whom he made deals with. Ahn Soo Ho believed that payments should be clean and simple regardless of what the relationship was.
“A private jet. It’s a Boing 747.”
“747? That costs a lot to maintain. I’m too lazy for that.”
“We’ll do all of that for you forever. But…”
“Deduct a billion.”
“Are you kidding? I could get three 747s with that money.”
Even though CIA’s deputy director, Jeremy was holding the gun, the cost was obviously going to come from various countries. In all honesty, 2 billion wasn’t even that much for Ahn Soo Ho to ask for. Even after excluding the tactics team, information team, and the planning team, the cost of supplying contractors, middlemen, and smugglers, it would cost at least 1 billion dollars.
Did they want a discount because they were poor? No way.
“Just tell me the reason.”
“Your name was mentioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee.”
Ahn Soo Ho clicked his tongue at the mention of the Senate.
“How involved are they?”
“K-Street’s lobbyists are getting angry with Fitzgerald taking the lead.”
K-Street was a term that referring to the lobbyists and interest groups of Washington D.C. They judged that the White House’s power was weakening because the lobbyists were attacking the assembly. Since the fiscal year was almost over, they were probably strictly managing their money. Even if it was the White House, it was hard to give Ahn Soo Ho such a big amount of money in the current situation.
“Fine. But I need to get everything the Ministry of National Defense owes me.”
“I’m sure Pamela will handle that. That has nothing to do with us.”
The CIA didn’t care if the Ministry of National Defense got all their money taken away. As soon as the funds with the States was wrapped up, the other countries advanced quickly. The last one to join the negotiating table was very unexpected.
“Please forgive me, Soo Ho.”
The Russian ambassador, Vitali Andropov started off with an apology, but Ahn Soo Ho wasn’t particularly interested.
“What about Chucky’s family?”
“They’re already being moved to South Korea. We’ll pay for all of their settlement costs.”
The brown bear’s quick and unexpected adulation made him smirk.
“You must be very anxious, Vitali.”
“I know the politicians made Maxim into their scapegoat.”
“And it’s very likely that you’ll end up like that too. Do you know that?”
“Yeah, I do. That’s why I’m preparing.”
“By using the Red Sea Trading Company?”
Vitali didn’t answer.
“Is that why you’re investing in Gaius?”
“I’m not sure.”
Ahn Soo Ho squinted at his vague answer.
“The honest brown bear has turned into a clever fox.”
“Time changes everyone. I’m still patriotic to my country, but I’m very suspicious of people.”
“I hope you survive until the end.”
The transaction ended there. Ahn Soo Ho planned to leave Brazil before someone went back on their word. The goods Jeremy offered was already ready to take off at Rio International Airport. Even though he didn’t enter Brazil through a normal procedure, since he was a VVIP, there was no departure screening. There were people who tried to stop him from getting into the private jet.
“Who are you?”
“We’re from Pearson and Watson.”
Pearson and Watson was a top lobbyist group of K-Street. Ahn Soo Ho took a note from them and showed a peculiar expression.
“What does this mean?”
“It’s our sincerity. None of our clients want to go against you.”
They appeared as if they didn’t expect Ahn Soo Ho to approve so easily.
“So is this an overall approval, Mr. Ahn?”
“Yeah. But bring anyone who’s responsible for the double contract to me.”
He got rid of the bothersome lobbyists and got in the private jet.
The beautiful and friendly flight attendant caught his eye more than the dark pilot, after all, he was just like any other man. However, he couldn’t be too careless. That was because the ones who gifted the private jet was the CIA. Logan and his entourage finished their cabin inspections before Ahn Soo Ho and enjoyed the first-class service of the plane.
“What about the check?”
“There are no abnormalities. Anyway…”
“I told you to ask me if you have any questions, Logan.”
“What are you going to do about the double contract issue?”
“There’s no need to go there. I’m going to make them come to me. Don’t worry. Someone will pay the price.”
“I’ll trust you, Soo Ho.”
Logan nodded to what Ahn Soo Ho said.
As soon as take-off was announced, everyone got into their seats. The seats had been designed to be very comfortable since it was such an expensive private jet. Was this why the rich prefer private jets? Ahn Soo Ho closed his eyes. He was headed home. It was a short mission that was barely 2 weeks long, but it felt like it lasted longer that.
Until a few months ago, Korea didn’t give him any inspiration. But this time, he was excited to go back. Why was that?
“Maybe it’s because of Mom and So Hye.”
And then the Ho Brothers came to mind. Yoon Chul, Kim Soo Jung, Choi Jung Yeon, as well as Han Kyung Il, Kim Min Shik, and Jung Sol Ji came to mind. There weren’t that many people who he could call friends and family.
“Am I getting old?”
If someone heard what he was thinking, they would have gotten mad saying and that he was still young. However, he started to feel sick and tired of blood and death. Sabbatical years existed for a reason. However, once the private jet arrived in Incheon, they had to face another undesirable situation.
They were dressed up in suits, and they carefully but confidently approached and showed their IDs.
“We’d like to escort you to the Blue House.”
“I don’t want to.”
He accidentally told the truth. The men were taken aback. He wanted to say—”F*ck you”—but there were too many eyes watching. So he smiled brightly. But he was just only pretending to.
“Tell them to come to me.”
The evil smile hidden behind a human face didn’t discriminate.
“It’s ten million won a minute for my consultation, and I don’t take cards. Only cash!”
‘Time is gold, my friends!’
< Protect – Episode 40 – Returner Group  > The end.