Post by waybig1010101 on Jan 23, 2016 5:05:11 GMT
A cold wind blew on the streets of a Russian City as a official looking car, tinted windows and all, parked in front of an old building with a militaristic style to it’s architecture, it was an old military headquarters during the Soviet Union days and was repurposed as a government building. From the car, adorned with Chinese flags on the hood, an old and weary man came out supporting himself in a cane. His black coat all buttoned up with the added protection of gloves and a scarf to fight the gruelling climate. Minister Hou of the People’s Republic of China, the envoy of the Defense Ministry hidden seat of power, the newly founded Yǐncáng de shìjiè bàngōngshì (Hidden World Office/ 隐藏的世界办公室)
Created after the events in the Piao Miao Zhao Mountains, deep in the Zichuan province the Chinese started taking the Hidden World issues more seriously and as a survivor of those events he was tasked with gathering forces and starting relations with nearby powers to protect the Republic from these mythical threats. Unluckily this travel wasn’t just for that purpose, as a nefarious incident in the frontier of both countries was putting their peace as stake…. a Hidden Incident. Hou already met the man who he would encounter today, hopefully to talk about peace and maybe more, they both had a similar background but in different countries, military men turned into diplomats and now both handling the Hidden World for their countries.
Minister Hou, followed by a young man dressed in very simple black clothes and sporting a bald head, one of his recruits, entered the building. Since the events in Zichuan his right knee wasn’t in the best shape and until a couple of months he would have to use a cane to walk before the surgery. Hou reached the main lobby of the building and with a broken english, more because of being winded and cold than lack of proficiency, he asked. -Polkovnik Boris Balashov? Meeting?-
The secretary, a woman in her mid-forties with a distinguishable mole on the left side of her face, adjusts her eyes away from the paperwork on her desk to glance at the Chinese minister and his companion for a moment. Judging by the size of the bags under her eyes, it is clear that the lady hasn’t spend much, if any, time on a mattress as of late. Her face contains no expressions, or signs of life. If she was lying on the floor and remain motionless, she would resemble a corpse quite easily. Without bothering to get up from her chair, she points to a dense wooden door on the right side of the corridor. She doesn’t offer any words to the men as she seems to be eager to get back to the pages in front of her, well... as eager as a someone working nonstop for a week can express to be.
Hou nods silently, he knows that look, in his youth as a young officer he saw that same look on his eyes reflected on the mirrors as he splashed water against his face in a determined, yet futile, attempt to stay awake on consecutive night shift guard duties. Without saying a word he glances at his young companion and then walks towards the door. The young bald man moves past his employer with long and graceful strides, always in perfect balance and gently opens the door, that creaks softly with every movement. Hou enters the room, hoping to find Balashov in it, as he takes off his scarf and gloves and his companion enter with him and closes the door behind him with a loud clack.
The room inside is neither large or small, but feels rather compact with a collection of various artifacts from the Cold War Era. Along the walls are various rifles and pistols, these are known to many parts of the world as tools of oppression and violence, but to their current owner, they are memorials of fallen friends and companions. In his youth, he enjoyed warfare and combat, but now the man known as Polkovnik Boris Balashov only seeks peace and stability. As Hou enters the room, the aging Russian stands ups from his desk and speaks frankly, “Leave the assistant outside.” His voice is heavy as he enunciated every word slowly.
The veteran war hero and former member of the KGB is wearing a simple black military uniform with only a single badge on his chest. Men in his position tend to display their rank with a much more elaborate attire, but he did not seem to care too much about appearances. His beard is close to a foot in length and bushy enough to make sheep jealous. His once jet black hair is now grey and white, along with lacking the touch of a comb for many weeks now. His built hints of a well trained individual, but lacks the mass of his body in its prime.. His facial structure could have been handsome if it weren’t for his deform jaw and numerous scars across his face, with the most unique one looking like a lightning bolt over his right eye.
-I agree, I think this meeting should stay private.- Hou replied to Balashov’s first inquiry. The Chinese Diplomat turned to his bodyguard and spoke in chinese. -Please leave this room, we will have a private discussion, stay outside unless I call you Mingzhi.- The young bald man, identified as Mingzhi nodded and with a martial bow, with a closed fist over an open palm he greeted the Russian host before leaving and closing the door behind him. Hou focused his old eyes on Balashov’s for a moment before giving a silent glance to his cane and then to a chair. -Do you mind if I sit down, my knee isn’t as strong as it was and this climate isn’t helping.-
The Chinese Minister really wanted to sit down, but doing it before getting permission would be an even greater display of weakness than asking permission, and he was too tired and in too much pain to masquerade his request as a challenge to Balashov’s hosting capabilities. And even if he wasn’t in pain attacking others wasn’t a good way to start such delicate meeting. -So what do you want with a fellow old dog of war learning new tricks Balashov?- Hou asked trying to play a naivete card to start the conversation from an equal standpoint with both sides getting the basics out in the open.
“Sit.” Balashov grabs the edges of his desk to help balance himself as he stands up. He walks over to the side of the room where a small collection of bottles are located. “First, a drink.” Without waiting for a response, he pours hard liquor into two scotch glasses. One glass contains a small amount, the other is close to full. After dropping ice cubes into his glass, which causes some droplets to spill onto the counter, he heads back to his desk and offers Hou his glass. “Let us toast to a new age.” He chugs his drink empty without any hesitations. Once he finishes, he slams the glass onto his desk. He steps around and sits back down on his chair. He looks at the minister with slightly misty eyes, but it wasn’t due to the alcohol.
“I love my country. And you…you also love your county. I’m honest. And you...you are also honest. So let us not behave like fucking bureaucrats and politicians. We shall speak truth. This room tends to have unwanted bugs with ears, but today they will hear nothing. They told me to issue threats, to place blame on your government, but I don’t believe China is responsible for harsh winter, nor the earthquakes. Now… do you think Russia is behind this?
-Thank you.- Hou sits down, with some effort, and takes the glass offered to him, mimicking his host and drinks it in a single go. A very soft smile got drawn on Hou’s face as he hears Balashov’s words. This was unheard off in their world, but hearing those words from a fellow government officer clearly meant something for Hou. -I can assure you we don’t even conceive that notion, as this kind of patterns are impossible…. except for Hidden Means.- Hou dropped the “H” word to get Balashov’s ears tingling. -We had some experience in the recent years, first minor enough for the government to ignore them, but after the incident in Piao Miao Zhao, something you might heard about, we were forced to start the office I’m currently directing.-
Hou, who had been playing with the empty glass on his hand, gently placed it down on the table and looked directly at Balashov. -We think the guilty party is similar to the incident in Piao Miao Zhao and Tianchi.... Creatures of Myth in turmoil.- The Chinese Minister slowly reached inside his coat and slid an envelope over to his Russian pair. -We have some satellite images we got from bargaining with the islanders.- He spoke the last phrase with certain disdain, talking about the Japanese of course. -I had to move some old and dusty strings to get them, but it shows the epicenter of the incident being located here.- He pointed at the northernmost extreme of China, right in the border with Russia. -So what are we going to do about this… I have a couple of ideas.- And he left hanging that thread to entice Balashov to take it.
The old soldier reaches over his desk and takes the envelope without a moment to lose. His rough gigantic hands manage to carefully open the small package as he removes the classified information inside. He proceeds to place a small pair of glasses over his disfigured nose as he delicately examines the material in front of him. His hands shuffle through different images and table chats, which most of the data matching their own recordings of the instances, however; though he never cared for the science work, even he could tell that these current figures are more detailed than the most recent ones he received from his Russian comrades. “Incredible…” he said simultaneously as his eyes open wide upon seeing a particular image that strikes the fear of God into the man’s heart. His hands begin to slightly tremble, causing the edges of the picture to crumble up. “We would need to send an army to stop this...or worse, drop a Tsar bomba.” The weight on his head appears to increase as he refuse to look away from the image. Any solution to this crisis he could come up with would mostly likely ignite a war with China. Without looking up he asks, “What is the solution?”
-I know a group of individuals with a very particular set of skills, a group that helped us in Piao Miao Zhao and handled the situation in Tianchi without our involvement, as we were too busy in the organization and recruitment for my current office.- Hou once again searched for something inside his coat, this time around from the opposite side putting 1 photograph on the table. -Eve Harper, professional monster hunter, leads a private mercenary operation specialized on this kind of situations.- He points at another photo. -Garo Takayama, former JHWAB, a veteran monster hunter with years of skills and experience, he currently works with Harper.- The next photo slid over the table spinning a couple of times. -Falken Degiraz, freelance mercenary, annoying like no other man but quite capable.- The final photo was dropped on the table. -Alexander Stevenson, dangerous, deranges and lethal he is a hunter with experience and is extremely proficient.-
-Whatever the problem is I think they are the best equipped to handle it.- Hou looked at Balashov’s eyes. -The Chinese government will hire them as a olive branch extended to your country.- The Minister stood up with noticeable effort, his cane creaking under the force he was using to stand. -I can contact them as soon as I get in my car.-
“So I am to place my faith with these misfits?” Looking over the pictures of the individuals and back at the one that almost gave him a heart attack, he couldn’t feel easy about the decision. After weighing the options available to him, he finally settles on Hou’s proposal. “Very well, send the misfits to resolve issue.” Looking back up he continues to speak, “I suggest you contact them when you get back home if you wish to use telephone.” The look in his eyes alone would inform the minister about the threat of electronic spying. Pointing to a camera on the wall he comments, “As I said before, there are unwelcome bugs with ears here. Sadly, those insects are crawling everywhere these days. I have a man from America to thank for making the creatures deaf.”
Laughing to himself he remarks, “Oh, how things change over time. As a youth I could not have imagine the results of the past leading up to today. Yet again, I am surprise that I got to live for so long to begin with.” His hand moves to the handle of his desk’s drawer and opens it. Slowly he retrieves a heavy suitcase and offers it to his honorable guest. Once more his hand travels to the drawer, this time pulling out a small metal box. He opens the box, but the angle prevents Hou from seeing the inside. Keeping his hand near the box, Balashov says, “That suitcase is very important. Promise me that you will take it and follow the instructions inside. However, do not open it now. Wait until you are back home. And I have another favor to ask of you.” His facial expression could not be described by mere words alone as it would fail to deliver the raw emotion that the proud man exposes to his fellow man.
Hou took the briefcase and left. He couldn’t refuse Balashov’s request and nodded to it as he closed the door behind him. Mingzhi bowed to him with Martial Discipline shining on his eyes. The pair walked to the main lobby and the Minister moved closer to the desk before leaving, whispering something to the secretary.
10 Minutes Later
A gathering of cars and flashing lights surround the building. Soon the sound of heavy rifles and boots follow shortly after. A man wearing a blue suit emerges from the last car to arrive at the scene. The manner in which this man carries himself clearly showcase his authority, yet there something else that follows this leader. Issuing orders left and right, he slowly walks to the front door as his troops get into position. He stops momentarily as he is an arm’s distance away from the door. A smug smile appears on his face as he reaches for the door’s handle with his left hand. A minute earlier…
Inside his office, Balashov takes a deep breath and forces his body to stand perfectly upright with immense effort. He glances around his collection one more time. The memories of each object begins to play throughout his mind in chronological order. During this mental journey, his face remains unmoving as he reflects on both the good and bad times of his entire life. At the end of memory lane, he turns his attention to the Russian Flag and offers the grand flag a proper salute while saying the national anthem. As he approaches the final words, his right hand reaches for the inside of the box.
At the instance in which one hand is inside a small metal box, another man opens a door, and becomes a witness to the explosive passion of a true patriot. Much later people will describe it as a preview of hell, with burning corpses and rubble decorating the ground. Nothing alive for miles could have miss the bang that sound could barely keep up with. Meanwhile the massive smoke reaching the sky above signals the heavens of their new martyr.
5 Days Later.
A cold wind blew in the northernmost region of China. The dry taste inside his throat was telling the Minister, standing outside one of the recyclable HQ, similar to the one he used in Piao Miao Zhao, on his hand a crumpled newspaper had as it’s main story “Massive Explosion in Russian Government Building: 15 Casualties. Terrorism or Arson?”. He called the cavalry already asking for their expertise to deal with the current situation. He fulfilled Balashov’s request and took his secretary, who was also his wife with him to China.
The briefcase he gave him contained documents on the coalition that took his life, money, his will and a gun, with the words “No Surrender” engraved to it’s barrel. Balashov was a strange man. He overworked his wife to the brink of complete exhaustion to hide his intentions even from her, to that point he was compromised with keeping the peace and stopping the coalition that wanted war. There have been rumours… whispers about the coalition trying to stop his efforts, sending mercenaries to stop his own. That was a bad idea.
Soon the Hunters would arrive and the Hunt would start again. And no force on Earth was able to stop this group… Unless they start in-fighting.