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PAC Staging Camp
Wednesday, August 29th, 2016, 9:00 pm
After George Peterson was fired from his job at CTF, he got an invitation from the Chinese government for a position as a tactical advisor. At first George outright refused, because the Chinese had been a threat to the US back when the US was still an important part of the international community. As the US slowly lost power, the Chinese tried to fill the gap the US had left. Unlike the US, China had become an expert at being an oppressive governments. No matter how few civil liberties the citizens had, the Chinese were able to progress. When they heard about the Midas Machine going to Switzerland they knew that while the US could not get it, they could. They were glad to get George’s help because he had been so involved with its discovery and early attempts at capturing it.
The Chinese finally got George to come by offering him 14 million Yuan. George was quickly packed and on a flight to China. Fortunately, for George, he was fluent in Chinese. After months of planning, they were finally ready. George offered to go. He did not expect much of a battle and reported it was luck that caused the Hunts and Millers to escape from CTF. This time they had no reason to flee. George fully expected to find them in Switzerland making a large fortune of gold. Even though the price of gold had reached bottom at a quarter of what it had been worth, it slowly rose again to a point where it was worth half its original value.
The Chinese had a better relationship with Germany than Switzerland and were able to set up a base of operations in the southern German city of Kempton. They were prepared to go over a month prior but then discovered the Swiss knew their plan. In fact, a Swiss delegate informed their government that Switzerland would protect the colony.
The Swiss reaction caused them to modify their plans, but also furthered their belief that the colonists were making gold and using it to pay off the Swiss government. They had very mixed feelings over the attack route because of the Swiss. Before the Swiss discovered their plan, they had hoped to attack by land, simply using trucks to enter the Hunt’s property. Now they would have to either skydive or walk in. In the end, it was decided to hike in and out. Trucks would be hidden a good distance from where the Swiss military would notice them.
Hu Fu Rong commanded a squad of twelve Jade Dragons. The Jade Dragons were considered an elite force much like the Navy Seals or the British Army Guards. The squad was made up of volunteers from various parts of the People’s Army of China (PAC). Most of them were better educated than the average Chinese soldier. As glamorous as they were to civilians, they often had to do unsavory tasks.
Rong had a reputation as one of the strictest and well-disciplined Jade Dragon commanders. His squad was older than most of the other squads. He led it for seven years. If his intelligence reports were correct about the mission, it would be easy for his squad to take the Midas machines.
As much as Peterson had insisted on coming, Rong refused. To Rong, Peterson was an untrained civilian and incapable of performing to his strict standards. Sure, Rong had been polite to him. Peterson provided helpful information, but that would be the extent of his usefulness.
It was finally time to act. Rong had already ordered his men to get ready. They got in their trucks and drove south to the border. When they got to the border, their fake IDs got them through. They were using IDs stating they were from South Korea. South Korea’s passports were the easiest of the Eastern countries to forge and most westerners could not tell the difference between the Koreans and Chinese. Of course, to Koreans and Chinese it was easy to see the difference. To them, they were as different as a Spaniard was from a German. Not only were the skin color and facial structures different, but the dress was different. South Koreans dressed very modern, where as even in 2016 Chinese dressed traditionally.
Once they had crossed the border, they drove to Zurich. They mapped out the area in detail and knew exactly where to go and what to avoid. When they arrived, they quickly went several hundred feet into the woods and got prepared. After a quick equipment check they were ready.
Each man was equipped with a QBZ-95 assault rifle. While the design was almost two decades old it had proven to be an excellent weapon, especially over its predecessor the AK-47. The Jade Dragons had special versions of the gun that was fed ammo from a 100 round drum.
Each squad member also carried a handgun of his own choice. Most had some version of a 9-millimeter handgun.
Beyond guns, they each had a canister of tear gas (chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile). They carried no gas masks, as they did not expect they would need to use the gas for anything beyond distraction. Each man also carried three grenades and a six-inch sheath knife. Their headset was hands-free and wireless. It had an encrypted uplink to Chinese-owned satellites. Even with the encryption, they always spoke in code over the headset. The headset also monitored pulse and breathing and would alert all members if one was disconnected or dead.
They had been wearing civilian clothes when they arrived but quickly changed into dark camouflage jumpsuits. The suits were made of a light bullet-preventive material. The material was thin but solid. It would stop most bullets shot from a distance. A bullet shot at point blank range would go through the suit’s material. It could not stop brass bullets with Teflon covering either, nicknamed ‘cop-killers’ by NBC. The truth, however, is that the ‘cop-killer’ bullets were developed by police to get through thick objects like windshields. Since their invention, no police officer wearing a vest had been killed by one of these bullets penetrating a vest.
Each member had a hand-held computer with an encrypted satellite connection. Rong pulled his out and quickly found the closest Chinese military satellite. He set it to block all signals that were not encrypted using their private encryption keys.
When they were ready, Rong split them into three groups. The groups separated with Rong’s in the center. They headed towards their target.
When the heat sensor alarm went off on Aaron’s hand-held computer, as well as Sarah’s, it was 2:30 am. They both, of course, were sound asleep. Since bears often went in search for food nocturnally, they both expected it to be their friendly neighborhood bear. Aaron sat up, “Stupid bear.”
He picked up his computer and read the alarm data. It showed that five human-sized bodies had passed the sensors. Then the screen updated, six . . . then seven and eight.
“Oh, crap, multiple readings. This could be it.”
He quickly found his earpiece and got it into his ear, then said after tapping it, “Alert Activate.”
The sound could be heard from the neighboring tents. While they were sound resistant, this sound easily cut through the dampening the tent walls provided. He also heard Spencer break into tears. He took out the alert device the Swiss had given each of them and activated it. Over the earpiece, he said, “This one may be real, Folks, I’ve called in the Swiss. We have . . .” he looked again at the computer “ten . . . make that twelve readings, all of which are from the far side of the entrance. Get armed and dressed, then congregate at the kitchen tent. Anybody with kids, head for the Swiss now. If you move fast enough, you should make it safely. Their only objective will be the builders.”
On the other side of the tent, Keith and Kara were getting ready. The Hunt family was all in the big room of their tent. Usually they changed or got dressed in the small chamber of the tent for privacy but in this case, except for turning to dress, they ignored modesty. After getting dressed and armed, the four of them headed to the kitchen tent. They were the first to arrive. Carmen and Jared arrived next. Michelle had taken Spencer towards the Swiss. Yuri and Oliver arrived next, within a few seconds of each other. The mothers were leading the children to the Swiss. Samuel arrived with his oldest son, Mike.
Sarah wanted to send her kids, but after herself and Aaron they were the best trained. They needed to protect the builders and stall the raiders to prevent them from getting the young children. Mike was a little older than Kara was so it was pointless to try to send him away. Carmen, of course, was the best with the builder, so she was needed.
Out of the group Carmen, Jared and Oliver were the only ones who preferred the use of the builders. Aaron said, “OK, this should be all of us. The Swiss should be on their way, so stow your builders when they arrive and use your rifle.” Fortunately, all three had brought their rifles, too. “They seem to be heading in from near the groundbreaking site. Carmen, Jared, and Oliver, can you wall us in using the builders? Use the gold setting in case they survive to tell the tale. Leave only an opening in the direction the attackers are coming from. Create a bottleneck by making the opening a narrow passageway barely large enough for one man to fit.”
Oliver worked on the rear making a twenty-foot tall gold wall while Jared and Carmen worked on the entrance. When they were finished, it was as if they were in a roofless igloo of gold.
Sarah said, “Make a roof while we wait.”
Aaron nodded then said, “Everybody else, find a well-covered position that you can target the entrance from.”
Within a few seconds, they all found or made spots for themselves. Meanwhile, Jared was finishing the ceiling.
Aaron said to Jared, Oliver and Carmen, “Each of you find a buddy to stay behind. Be ready in case they send something explosive or gaseous in.”
Carmen got behind Keith, Jared got behind Aaron, and Oliver got behind Sarah. Except for Carmen and Keith, choosing the Hunt was the best decision as they were the best trained. Carmen and Keith were becoming very emotionally involved with each other, and if one got hurt, both might become incapable of fighting. It did not matter enough to mention since wherever they were they would see if the other was hurt. Moreover, they did work well together.
Once in position they waited. Oliver left his builder on the gold mode. Jared and Carmen switched to oxygen in case the Chinese brought gas.
Michelle was alone carrying Spencer until they arrived at the trucks. The trucks all had keys in their visors. As she got into the car, Tara arrived with her kids. Tara said to her, “Let me drive so you can watch Spencer.”
Michelle moved over as Tara’s kids got in. Once Tara was in and had the truck started, the other mothers and children started arriving and filling the other trucks. The road into the camp had been paved for the construction vehicles but had several sharp bends forcing them to stay under 35 mph. The road was long and it took several minutes to get to the end. As she drove, Tara whispered to Michelle so Tara’s kids wouldn’t hear, “Shouldn’t we have passed the Swiss by now?”
Michelle thought about it then said in shock, “What if we are heading to a trap! What if the Chinese got to the Swiss?”
Tara nodded then whispered, “There’s not much we can do if that’s the case. These cars are bullet-proof, so at worst we turn back and hope we can make it to the men.”
After several more minutes passed, they finally reached the road where one of the Swiss was standing, smoking, at the end. Michelle said, “What are they doing?”
Michelle recognized the soldier and knew the Swiss had not been attacked, but why had they not responded? Tara drove to the little office, which was a big trailer. Michelle and Tara got out. Soon after, the other mothers and children arrived, following them inside.
Two men in fatigues were sitting inside at desks with computer equipment. They were both tall, but one was thin while the other was built like a body builder. Michelle demanded, “Why aren’t you responding? We’re under attack!”
The two men looked at each other dumbfounded. The thin one said, “I will get Ernst!”
He ran out, and a minute later, he came back with Ernst. Ernst said to Michelle, “Is it true, you’re under attack?”
She nodded, “Yes, and Aaron used your device to alert you!”
Ernst turned to the thin man who shrugged and said, “We did not get the alert. We have been having trouble with our sat connection.”
Ernst barked at the man, “You should have informed me! Order our men in – NOW.”
After a few minutes, the two men gathered the forty Swiss soldiers and got them headed to the camp. Ernst and the two men stayed with the mothers and children. Ernst quickly apologized to the group of them. He also said a larger force would arrive within twenty minutes.
Rong’s men slowly worked their way to the camp. They expected little to no resistance and did not spot the heat sensors. The heat sensors were fairly small and hidden high inside tree knolls. They were solar-powered and wireless. The sensors used radio waves to send signals.
Rong’s group was the first to spot the golden igloo. They quickly discovered it only had one opening. Rong gathered his group then over the headset said, “We have a problem. They have an igloo-like structure. This won’t be as easy as the tent scenario we planned for. Peterson said they could make gold walls, but this is incredible. The satellite images from earlier should’ve picked this up. Everybody get into a position to see the opening. Remember; kill all adults and anybody armed. My group will send in a canister of gas.” By all adults, Rong meant anybody who looked like a teenager or older.
After his squad was in place, he ordered a canister be thrown in.
Some of Aaron’s group were sore from their positions, but with their adrenaline pumping nobody paid attention to discomfort. Everybody was silent the entire time they waited. Finally, they heard some noise outside. A canister was tossed into the opening and landed a few feet from where Carmen and Keith were.
As soon as the canister stopped, gas streamed out the top. Before it could reach anybody, Carmen turned the released gas and then the canister into oxygen. After a minute, two more cans were thrown in. Before any gas was released, Jared and Carmen turned them into air.
After a minute, two of the Chinese ran in. Both were shot down by Aaron as soon as they became visible.
Rong had expected the gas would send them running out. When they did not come out, he had to assume they were wearing masks or had been immobilized. Nevertheless, when the two men went in, their headsets’ vital signs monitor showed they both died.
Therefore, they had avoided the gas and killed his men. The chokepoint was too severe to send more men in. Instead, he tried using some grenades to put holes into the gold. He had no success with the grenades against the gold, so he sent grenades into the igloo instead.
After the explosions stopped, there was a pause. Then the grenades started coming in. First, it was just two. Both were stopped by Jared and Carmen before they exploded. Then four were thrown in, one of which exploded before it landed. Fortunately, Oliver made a wall sealing the igloo just as the explosion reached the entrance.
Oliver asked, “Now what?”
Aaron said, “If we don’t finish them, they’ll be back.”
Carmen said, “Let’s cut through them with the builders. Forget about the guns and the gold. Just turn them into air. None will survive, and if any do, they’ll sound crazy anyway.”
Jared said, “She’s right. We’re wasting time, and the Swiss will be here any minute. When they arrive the Chinese will flee and be more prepared next time.”
Aaron said, “Can you hit them before they see and hit you?”
Jared said, “They won’t hit us if we keep the builders on. We can continuously build oxygen in about a ten by ten foot wall. If the three of us go through with these walls, we briefly move the wall forward to hit a target. We will see them, they will see us, but when they shoot into the walls their bullets will turn to oxygen.”
“When you move the wall forward, won’t you be vulnerable? What about above you, some of these people might be in trees.”
Carmen said, “It’s a risk we have to take. If they come back and we’re unprepared then we’ll be in far more danger. We have surprise on our side this time and we have to act now.”
Aaron said, “Fine, only it can’t be you three.”
Carmen said, “But we know how to use the builders best!”
Aaron said, “Oliver and Jared can go, but not you. I’m sorry, but you’re too young for us to lose you.”
Aaron could not let her go. She was the smartest of the new generation. The colony would need her, as his generation got old. She also needed to have children. The colony would not survive if the children did not have children of their own. Even Jared was a bad idea because he was raising Spencer, but all the other men had children too. No, Jared would have to do.
Carmen started to argue, “But who-”
Aaron cut her off, “I will. I know the builders well enough and I know how the military works. I’ll do it.”
Carmen seemed to want to keep arguing, but there was no time. She nodded acceptance sheepishly and walked over to Aaron. She made a few setting changes then handed it to him. “There, it’s all set. Press the build button to make the wall, and hold the forward button to make it move forward. When you release the button it will go back to its starting position.”
Aaron nodded in understanding. Oliver, Aaron and Jared walked to the opening and stood with their backs to each other.
Jared said to the others, “Get back in case this doesn’t work.”
The others headed to the other end of the igloo. Aaron said, “Find cover. Some of them may try to pass us.”
Sarah said, “Good luck,” as she found cover for the teens.
Jared said to the Oliver and Aaron, “On three: One . . . Two . . . Three.”
Three invisible walls formed in front of them. The walls from Jared and Oliver’s builders cut through the igloo, as they were the closest to the entrance. Immediately, the Chinese opened fire. The bullets were stopped by the builders.
Most of the Chinese were hidden. Three were shooting in front of Jared and four were shooting in front of Oliver. Jared pressed a button on his builder’s display and a huge section of land disappeared in front of him. The three men who had been in front of him were gone, as were the bottoms of the trees. The tops of the trees were still there, however . . . falling. As the trees fell, Jared’s wall retracted and the tree’s remains were destroyed. It looked like bulldozers had pushed through and scraped away some of the land. Unlike bulldozers, there was no dirt, trees or rocks piled at the end or on the sides. Jared’s wall had retracted, and the four men in front of Oliver were still shooting into Oliver’s wall. Oliver did the same as Jared had done, and the four Chinese soldiers were gone.
With the walls back in place forming a triangle, they looked for more soldiers. They walked out of the igloo, fully destroying its opening. As they finished getting through, a can of tear gas was thrown at Jared’s wall. It disappeared as soon as it hit the invisible wall. Then Jared spotted the person who threw it behind a bush. Jared’s wall moved forward as it had before and destroyed the area where the man had been.
A grenade was thrown towards them from behind a part of the igloo. The grenade fell down between the three invisible walls. Aaron moved his builder up to meet the grenade and destroyed it. Aaron extended the wall through that portion of the igloo. As the wall destroyed that portion of the igloo, a man behind it was briefly seen before he met the same fate as the igloo’s wall.
They waited for another attack. Then they walked forward. As they walked, they heard the sound of trucks behind them and the igloo. Shots were being fired behind the igloo, and then the sound of the trucks grew closer.
Aaron said, “It’s the Swiss! Turn the builders off and hide inside.”
Oliver said, “What if it’s not the Swiss?”
“Who else could it be? They weren’t shooting at any of us.”
Without further argument, the three of them rushed into the igloo and hid their builders inside the kitchen tent. When the trucks finally appeared, they proved Aaron correct. It was the Swiss.
The Swiss quickly got out of the trucks and ran into the igloo. The leading Swiss officer said, “Is everyone OK?”
Aaron said, “Yes, we’re OK,” as everybody inside the igloo came out from under cover.
The officer said, “Where are the Chinese?”
Aaron replied, “Didn’t you just shoot them?”
The officer shook his head, “There was only one. He destroyed one of our trucks. We’re lucky we didn’t lose anybody.”
Aaron said, “Well, they might have fled when you got here. Please look for them.”
The Swiss secured the area and found the Chinese trucks. The lack of bodies continued to disturb them. Eventually Ernst drove in with the women and children. It had been about two hours since the battle, and Ernst had several questions. He talked to Aaron alone. “What happened here? What is this giant gold structure?”
Aaron replied, “It was a part of the building we are making. As you can see, the Chinese ruined the entrance. We might have to start over from scratch or even re-design.”
Ernst pointed at the sections of ground that were missing and said, “What happened here?”
Aaron was prepared for the question. It made sense to ask. “We were doing some bulldozing. It was only just started today, which is why it looks so fresh.”
“Why are there no bulldozer tracks? Where is the dirt?”
Aaron shrugged, “How should I know, I just manage this thing. The hired help probably moved it elsewhere. Does it matter?”
It did seem to matter to Ernst. Ernst would need to explain what had happened. On the other hand, the extra platinum alone would pay for far more than the military was doing to protect them. Ernst did not seem fond of being a personal protection service, but considering the help to the treasury it was worth it. Not that any amount of money would pay for the loss of lives, but it certainly proved they were a vested national interest.
Ernst would have heard of the Midas machine, so Aaron was not surprised that Ernst did not ask about the gold. “Where are the Chinese? We have their trucks but we can’t find them, alive or dead. That one we killed has no identifying marks except a tattoo of a green dragon. From the look of our trucks . . . we barely survived! He may have been part of the Jade dragons. There’s no way to tell, unless of course the Chinese will help. They won’t though. They’ll say that he’s from another country.”
Aaron said, “I guess you scared them away. Maybe they thought their trucks were compromised and gave up on them. I heard your helicopters flying above us; did they find any sign of the Chinese?”
Ernst shook his head no. “We can find no trace of them. If they are still here, they have hidden their heat output. If they are part of the Jade Dragons, it is unlikely we scared them. In fact, we are lucky to all be alive.”
While adrenaline had kept everybody moving, the past two hours were fairly slow paced, and the families were getting tired. Aaron suggested, “We should be safe now. Whoever they were, they’re probably too scared to return. Thank you so much for scaring them off and saving us.”
Ernst stiffened, “Pardon me, you must all be tired. You should be safe now. We’ll leave.” Ernst saluted Aaron and then left. Within half an hour everybody was back in bed.
The next day the igloo was removed. Aaron and Sarah felt that there was little chance the Chinese would be back, so it did not serve any useful purpose.
From this point on the builders became the preferred weapon. They all practiced strategies similar to what they used when the Chinese attacked. A turtling approach, using five people with a wall in all four directions and one going up became the preferred group defense. Even solo walls proved effective as long as the opponent was kept on the other side of the wall.
Copyright (C) 1998-2001 East Coast Games, Inc. and 2001 - 2006 Forest J. Handford