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Empire Of The Ring 133 The De Facto Power Of Terrorist Attacks 3

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"Man, he's such a funny guy. Didn't he say that all of the agents would be submitted to a disciplinary committee if we travel by flight?"
Making complaints, Jongil's face was bright, excited for a mission in a long time.
"He also wanted me to bring Insoo. I don't know what the a.s.signment is all about but you'd be suggested to become a regular agent. What're you going to do about it?"
"Well, what's there to think? The temporary field agent and the regular agent all belong to the CIA. I'd rather become a regular and be treated properly."
"I don't think it'd be easy to step out of it in the future."
"If they don't accept our resignation, we've got to do something big to make trouble."
Looking at Jongil's mischievous eyes, Youngho was reminded that he was not one to have a serious discussion with.
"Phew, why bother talking to you."
The two were chatting as they waited for the boarding time for their flight. The security check was so strict that they witnessed people who arrived at the airport late missing their flights. Since the two did not carry many things, it did not take long for them to pa.s.s the security check. If terrorists could pa.s.s through this tight security, there must be someone inside helping them.
Especially, Baku Airport was rejecting all pa.s.sengers from other Islamic countries and was being criticized in the Islamic world. Since the country's economy did not depend on tourism revenue, Azerbaijan could make such decision and it did not budge to such criticisms. Knowing that many young people from other Islamic world had become terrorists, Azerbaijan was determined to deny all of their boardings. Since President Aliyev was an authoritative leader who had been in control for a long time, he could make such an order.
Since the government also claimed to receive only Turks whom the Turkish government held responsible, the tension between the two nations was growing even though the two were brotherly countries. If common Turks wanted to come to Azerbaijan, they had to get on a s.h.i.+p.
***
When Youngho stepped in at the CIA chapter building in Frankfurt, it was a madhouse in the chapter. Office staffs ran hastily to different directions and he saw some agents he knew who were gathered. It seemed that all agents in Europe were gathered for this a.s.signment. He did not know what it was but it seemed to be big.
Jongil friendly talked with other agents but it looked like other agents also had no idea.
"I don't think they have any idea."
"Since Michael did not mention anything to a branch head like me, it should be a top secret. The CIA is now a pandemonium, I bet the conversations we'd have in here today will be retold in the hostile countries tonight."
Even though they were not double agents, the agents would slip unimportant information to hostile countries for different purposes but there had been cases that they were won over to the other side, so people were saving their words. That was why, often times, the core operation was briefed when agents arrived at the field.
When Youngho and Jongil were drinking coffee at a waiting room, agent Philip called Youngho.
"Mr. Lee, Chief is looking for you."
"Philip! Where have you been? I've been looking around but I didn't see you."
"I have a friend in the communication department but I was rejected at the door. This must be a big one."
Since Philip graduated from the CIA University, which was an educational inst.i.tute of the CIA, he had a lot more connections than Youngho did. However, even he was rejected by his old friend. It seemed that all agents would be hearing about the operation when they reached the mission field.
"Chief. You wanted to see me?"
"Hey, you should've come to find me when you arrived. You made me search for you."
'He didn't say anything about coming to see him. Judging by his personality, if I had come in a bad time, I would've gotten an earful from him.'
Grumbling in his mind, Youngho looked around Michael's room. Doc.u.ments were scattered on his desk and some were even on the floor. As he reached out his hand to pick up a doc.u.ment from the floor, Michael stopped him with his hand and pointed to a conference desk. It seemed that he was about to tell Youngho about the operation. On the desk, there was a map of different cities, there were O's and X's marked on different locations.
"Are these locations of expected future terror attacks?"
At Youngho's question, Michael suddenly looked up at him, with a strange face. He seemed to be surprised that Youngho guessed it right. Youngho shrugged and explained.
"The chapter wouldn't be so hectic if it wasn't for terror attacks. Aren't those maps sent by the headquarters?"
Michael now looked at Youngho, with an opened mouth.
"How did you know? Who told you that?"
He was astounded as if he was going to interrogate Youngho.
"Isn't it obvious that now the terrorists are ready to have a major attack after launching little spontaneous attacks all over Europe? If I were the mastermind behind them, I'd do the same. I'm frustrated since I don't know who the mastermind is though…"
Moments later, Youngho who was sipping on a cup of coffee in a relaxed manner in the Chief's room and Michael who had a face of a new employee who came his boss to get a paper signed were having a conversation alone.
"Hey, Lee. Tell me. You're keener than others. If we can resolve this one well, I can even become the Director of the headquarters."
"If you leave to become the director, what would that make me? Should I quit everything in Baku and follow you around?"
"You'd be the second-in-command."
"Chief, please stop lying. How will I be in that position? I'll be shot dead in no time as soon as I step in there full of Americans."
"Those jealous talentless morons. I'll cut them off, don't you worry."
Michael, again was mentioning the talent and jealousy. Since Michael and Youngho shared private secrets as they did information business together, they could talk to each other comfortably, making jokes and sometimes criticizing each other. Youngho and Michael's secretary were probably the only ones in the European chapter who could fend off Michael's scolding. That was why Youngho could act brazen-facedly in front of him.
"Chief, you'd already know this but with what money would terrorists attack spontaneously together? The information you received from the headquarters also seems to indicate to be cautious rather than to act upon it. Otherwise, why on earth they can't pick locations of terror attacks when they know that the attacks will happen."
"…"
"They must have a good reason for not being able to inform us about that. Personally, I'm opposed to this operation."
"What are you talking about, huh?!"
Perplexed by Youngho's opposing view, Michael yelled.
"Even if our agents were deployed to expected attack locations, they won't be able to stop the terror and many might get injured. That will also put you in a bad position."
"That's why I'm trusting your sense. Stop speaking nonsense and pick the locations."
"It's not like it will help me think when you keep insisting."
"Oh, shut up. You need to come up with the best possible location before going back to the hotel, or you can stay here all night."
Since the two trusted each other, they could have this kind of conversation. Michael still insisted that Youngho would pick a spot but his spirit was not as strong before. Although he did not care to become the director of the CIA headquarters, he hated it being dishonored as a former military man. If he loses his agents through this operation, he would leave a blemish on his career. To Michael, who was waiting for his retirement since he was getting close to his sixties, it would be like a bold out of the blue. That was why he was grilling Youngho.
***
The terror expected locations received from the headquarters were Frankfurt where Youngho was at, Berlin, Paris, and Istanbul. Youngho first exclude Istanbul, since it had been a major city of terror attacks. The place was protected with full police forces and terrorists would not make a huge impact in there. He also crossed out Paris because it had been exposed to several terror attacks recently, that the city was thoroughly checking each travellers and as they tightened the security. The rest were Berlin and Frankfurt and it seemed that Frankfurt would be the best place to attract the world's attention. When Youngho landed at Frankfurt Airport, he had a feeling that the security was somewhat loose, so the city had the perfect condition for terrorists to make their move. Especially, the CIA's European chapter was in the city, n.o.body would guess that terrorists would dare to launch attacks in here but that might be the tricky point.
Because Frankfurt was the center of Germany's economy, the terrorists would make the most impact when they attacked the city. Youngho, who had been beating his brain until the evening, went into Michael's room. As Youngho appeared, Michael called the heads of the information team and a.n.a.lysis team as well.
"…For these reasons, I think Frankfurt would be the most convincing place for terror attacks. We need to tighten the security in the airport and also for the sites of automobile exhibition and trade fair."
"That was great, Lee."
The meeting lasted for one hour and Michael finally smiled at the end. The other two team leaders also looked satisfied. Michael immediately ordered through the interphone for his secretary to contact the chief of the German Police Department, and Youngho could finally return to his hotel room. As soon as he took a shower, he fell asleep as if he was dead. Until Jongil woke him up in the morning to have breakfast, Youngho slept for nine hours straight. Since he used all of his energy in the chapter, he had been mentally exhausted.
"Why do you sleep so long? Are you getting sick?"
"It's because I was mentally tormented by Michael yesterday. Did you see his face? His cheeks were sunken in. Let's finish eating and go to the trade fair."
"Are you out of your mind? We need to wait for the next order. Where would you go when the chapter is in chaos?"
"That is where we'll be working today. Tomorrow, we'll be going to the automobile exhibition fair."
"Jeez, grandpa Michael had become finally insane."
Since Michael's daughter had a child, he was right. However, if he heard what Jongil just said, it would be better for Jongil to just resign and quietly go home. Michael hated being called a grandpa, he even told his grandson that he shouldn't call him his grandpa but his name.
"Hey, don't mention that in front of Michael even as a joke."
"Man! That's great. We can finally resign. We should tell everyone that Michael is a grandpa."
"Forget about our resignation. What if he gets a heart attack or sudden increase in blood pressure? You think I put up with him with other reasons? He grabs the back of his neck whenever he's stressed and my heart falls when I see that."
"But he likes you so much. It's like he's looking at his own son."
"Man, who said I want to be his son? I can only put up with him since I see him once in a while. Look at the staffs in the chapter. They try their best to avoid him."
"Phew, anyway you should be a subject of study."
"Who are you talking about? You are the same."
"Why do you mention me? I've been good and quiet ever since I got here."
Although Youngho was making jokes with Jongil, his head was full of worry since he had concluded that there would be a major terror attack in Frankfurt.
With the help of German police officers, Youngho learned and searched the weak spots of the fairground. Since he had advanced senses, he was going to find out ticking bombs by hearing but he gave up after trying for two hours. He realized that no one would use such old-fas.h.i.+oned bombing device now. They'd use detonator to set off the bomb, although in reverse, terrorists might use old-fas.h.i.+oned bombs because there were jammers that could disturb electronic signals.
"Didn't you feel any physical change after putting on the ring?"
"Nope. I don't feel anything except that I sleep better and digest foods better."
"You're helpless."
As Youngho expected, the ring was useless for such insensitive persons like Jongil.
"What? Does the ring show you anything?"
"Don't you feel anything like improvement in vision or hearing?"
"Whoa, the ring must have all sorts of functions."
"Man! It's useless for you. Just give it back to Zeynep."
"You're taking it away now? I'll give it back later. I can't give it away since right now, I need to protect you."
"You don't think that I'm the one who's protecting you?"
Jongil smirked at Youngho's remark, he looked Youngho as if he was being absurd.
"Wait, does that mean your senses had been improved a lot? Is that so?"
"Remember how far we were at the Siberian train from the engine. I told you I saw some images of people but I could see everything."
"Yeah, you did. I thought you saw a phantom."
"My senses began to develop as I started meditating. I just wanted to know if you also felt any changes."
"…"
"The terrorists might not use detonators because of the jammers. Then, they might be using time bombs and I wanted to find out with my senses."
"Will they give up suicide bombing attacks?"
"Well, for that, we can only trust German officers. If they do security checks well, that can stop primary terrors but if the terrorists have installed devices in here beforehand, there is no other way to find them but to search for them. Let's try!"
"Man, it's like the Blind men and an elephant."

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