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Logan, who was known as Mr. Guardian's aide, was actually a superior of Ahn Soo Ho's in the mercenary world. But in a world where ability was everything, talking about superiors was a waste of time.
Logan's real name was Logan Chase Young, and he was 44 years old this year. He was from Hartford, and he loved his hometown very much, but he was actually born in St. Angelo of Texas.
Then why did he grow up in a small town called Hartford instead? It was because his parents got divorced. And in most cases, the mother took custody of the children over the father.
Right after his boss' marriage in Hawaii.
After being forced to take a vacation from Ahn Soo Ho, he went back home. He normally would have gone to Hartford to visit his mother, but he couldn't ignore his sister's news that his father pa.s.sed away.
She lived in El Dorado south of Saint Angelo.
Did the settlers who moved West 150 years earlier for the Gold Rush just remain there? Or was it the republic of Texans that fought with Mexicans back in the day? Many people thought of cowboys and white old men when it came to Texas, but the father that Logan remembered was a mannerly man.
Seeing how his mother fell for him instantly, his father had some skills. Then why was Logan still single? He wondered if he should get a DNA test.
Logan arrived at Saint Angelo Airport. He rented a car and then headed over to El Dorado. As soon as he left the city, he was faced with a wasteland. He learned while being in Korea that many young Koreans dreamt of going on road trips around North America.
But Logan wanted to warn them to stop having such crazy dreams. He didn't think coming here was worth risking their lives. What even Americans had a hard time with was coast-to-coast trips in North America. It was usually safer indoors in America as well. That might have been why people used cars instead of airplanes there.
As soon as you left a city or village in America, the public safety dropped drastically. The kind of dangers one could face in the middle of the road was crazy. Texas Chainsaw Ma.s.sacre wasn't just a fictional movie.
‘You can never be too suspicious.'
He drove for around 2 hours. He started to see familiar sceneries. People thought there were a lot of real estate offices in Korea, but that was nothing compared to the States. To be frank, the activity regions never perfectly aligned between the two. They not only sold houses and buildings, but they also took on redevelopment projects to increase scale.
Real estate development in America probably wasn't going to die down in 100 or 1000 years. Logan had also heard of Emerald Development Plan's approximate outline. He wasn't an expert, but he was confident it was going to succeed.
‘The ultimate DMZ.'
Emerald City was going to establish a forced confrontation between North and South Korea. On top of that, it was likely going to be used to mediate between America, China, j.a.pan, and Russia. Same went for the rest of Emerald City.
‘He put one in every region.'
He developed a DMZ in Southeast Asia, India, and Africa, where America couldn't enforce too much control. To be frank, Ahn Soo Ho's intentions were quite explicit.
Logan's rental car entered the center of El Dorado. That was because he thought of buying a present. He never would have done this before, but after enjoying some retirement time, Logan softened up. After spending time with innocent boys and girls looking up to the stars, he realized the world wasn't as dark as he thought.
He didn't think marriage was an entirely bad idea. But that wasn't because he was jealous of his boss' wedding. Even in America, the mid-40s wasn't a young age to get married. He didn't have any interest in getting married before, but now, he wanted to meet someone serious.
‘I'd love to meet someone like the boss' wife.'
He knew that finding someone like that was almost impossible. Logan parked in the parking lot of a shopping mall. It wasn't Christmas, but since he hadn't seen them in 8 years, he couldn't go empty-handed.
He laughed bitterly.
Did Korea's culture get the best of me?
‘It's not that bad living as a Korean.'
Logan and his underlings obtained their Korean citizens.h.i.+p after working for Ahn Soo Ho, but once his boss renounced his, he returned to being American. It wasn't up to them to determine if that was legally possible. That was up to the lawyers that Ahn Soo Ho paid so decently.
All countries, including America, welcomed him to become their citizen. They wanted a direct line that would connect them to Ahn Soo Ho.
Logan was in the electronics department when he heard a familiar voice from behind him.
His big sister of 5 years hadn't changed since he saw her last 8 years ago. But she was wearing something strange on her side. The thing that Logan met eyes with blinked at him and then held onto her pants.
She didn't want to let go.
“What? When did you get pregnant? Is she your daughter?”
“What are you talking about, Logan?”
Rosaline stood with a cart full of toys and stared at her little brother dumbfoundedly.
“She's your daughter.”
‘Look here, big sis! What are you talking about? I've always been single! What are you trying to do here?'
“Yeah. That's what it said.”
“So a little kid came here by herself in a taxi?”
“No, she used a service center.”
“Ha! No way.”
What kind of crazy person could send a little kid by delivery?
‘I'm about to lose my mind here.'
After returning home with Rosaline, Logan heard a welcoming name from her big sister's lips. Christina McQueen. The queen of Saint Angelo High School was still fresh in his memory over 20 years later.
Unfortunately, Logan's school years weren't very enjoyable. He lived under a single parent after his parents' divorce, and the vacant spot his father left was quite big. There were precious things that a mother couldn't teach her son.
After graduation, he saw her again for the first time 8 years later at his father's funeral. It was an unexpected meeting, and both Logan and Christine had changed a lot.
“I remember that, Logan. She was the only beautiful girl that came as your friend to our father's funeral. I was happy to see that spring came for my forever single brother.”
“What are you talking about? My partner back then was Miss Arizona!”
“That girl who debuted through p.o.r.n? How many times have I told you that b.i.t.c.hes like that are just after your money?”
“Isn't enjoying ourselves all that matters?”
“Did you get shot in the head or something? If you just want to have s.e.x, buy your women.”
“If I got shot in the head, I would have died! And that's not something a lawyer should say.”
“Don't worry, Logan. A bullet would just bounce off of that brick head of yours. And as a woman, let me tell you that there are tons of b.i.t.c.hes in this world.”
She kept saying the word “b.i.t.c.h”. At 49 years old, Rosaline had a feisty personality that won over that of Logan. She talked as if she was from Harlem, but she actually graduated from Stanford University and worked at a large firm in California.
But once their father pa.s.sed away, she gave up her honor and moved back to Texas. The only people who could threaten Logan in this world were Ahn Soo Ho and Rosaline.
“Explain this to me.”
Logan pointed at the little girl with his chin.
“Shouldn't you be the one to explain, little brother?”
“How could this girl be my daughter? I've never even seen her before.”
Rosaline shrugged and then handed him a piece of paper. On the paper was a photo of Logan from when he was younger and an address. He knitted his brows. He didn't understand what was happening. If she was Christine's daughter, it was more normal to look for his mother in Hartford instead. And more importantly, he didn't have much history with Christine.
‘Did a stork bring this kid or something?'
But that was just a storybook story. Rosaline handed a can of beer to his little brother.
“Give her mother a call.”
“I don't know.”
“You don't know her number?”
“You looked pretty close at Father's funeral.”
“Come on! I already told you I came with someone else that day!”
“Forget that prost.i.tute.”
Logan got mad at her for worrying about his dating life when she wasn't married either. He was about to chuck his can, too.
“I need to look into this.”
Logan tried to push the little girl aside, but she wouldn't let go of his leg. Rosaline watched with a suspicious look on her face.
“Is she really not yours?”
Logan lost his temper but quickly quieted down. Logan was only able to escape the little girl 4 hours later in the middle of the night. After putting her to sleep, he said goodbye to Rosaline and raced back to Saint Angelo.
His destination was the air force base in Saint Angelo.
Once he got inside after a security process, he was faced with a friendly face. Jake Young was his big brother and group captain. In contrast to his big sister, his big brother had changed a lot with a lot more white hair.
“What brings you here out of the blue?”
“Are you still mad?”
Jake hated that his little brother quit the military and became a mercenary. This had happened more than 10 years ago, but he still had a grudge.
“I need to use your phone.”
“This isn't Verizon… Sigh, fine. Do what you want.”
Jake was going to say something, but he backed down. Logan pressed the b.u.t.tons on the phone that was brought to him. After punching in a pa.s.sword, he put in the phone number to ARS one more time.
It was Hans who was on duty today.
“I need information on Christina McQueen. American, graduated from Saint Angelo High School, and I don't know her social security number. Also, she's my cla.s.smate.”
“Cla.s.smate? Oh, was she your first?”
“It's not like that, so don't start any rumors.”
“Don't get all worked up.”
“One moment, please!”
He hung up as soon as Logan's voice grew serious. He then sat across from Jake.
“Do you think you'll get a star this year?”
“I don't know. We'll see.”
Jake had been awaiting his promotion for a few years. It was very difficult to obtain stars in the American military. Performance and ability were important, too, but political ability was also an important standard. In Was.h.i.+ngton D.C., politicians, soldiers, police officers, and even street cleaners needed to be good at politics.
“What about you?”
After following Ahn Soo Ho around, getting a star or two didn't matter anymore.
“What about the kids?”
“About time you asked. They're good.”
In contrast to his big sister, his big brother got married earlier, and his kids were already entering college next year. He sent them Christmas presents every year, but he hadn't seen their faces in 8 years.
Logan, who instinctively reached for the phone at the sound of the beep, flinched. It wasn't the phone but the interphone. Jake picked up a different phone.
“What is it? Yeah. What? Okay. I'm coming.”
Logan felt a sense of anxiety at the frowning face of his big brother.
“A gunfight was reported in El Dorado.”
“Rosaline is hurt.”
The crime rate in Texas was very high. But more than crimes committed against the residents, the motorcycle crimes that occurred on the highways as well as illegal immigrants were more common.
The Texan community was very tightknit and was very exclusive to foreigners, even more so than Georgia or Louisiana. They thought foreigners tainted Texans in some way.
For the last 150 years, the Young family had established a great influence over the Texan military, police, and legal authorities. Jake stepped down from a position that made it highly likely for him to become a star, but Rosaline was a legal representative that was very well known in Western America. Same went for the youngest, Logan, and the second eldest brother was a famous Texas Ranger.
As soon as Logan got out of the car, he was. .h.i.t by a punch from his brother, Ethan. Logan saw it coming, but he didn't block it and rolled on the ground.
Jake talked Ethan out of it.
“Let go, you b.a.s.t.a.r.d! How dare you get into trouble as soon as you get here?”
Logan ignored him and went toward the ambulance. He saw Rosaline laying on a stretcher. From what he heard, she was. .h.i.t, but she wasn't shot by a gun. He took off the respirator from her face.
“There were seven of them. I got two of them though…”
In the midst of the gunfight, Rosaline managed to take down two of the unwelcomed guests. She was an impressive warrior. When it came to using shotguns, Rosaline was more skilled than Logan.
“Rosaline, you should have gone into fighting, not law.”
“Stop the nonsense and find her.”
He knew exactly what he had to find. After all, she didn't see the little girl around anywhere.”
“Can you promise me, Logan?”
“Yeah, I promise.”
“You have to bring her back, okay?”
Rosaline continued to shout while being reeled into the ambulance. The three brothers watched as the ambulance took off. Logan looked at the bodies that his big sister caught. The bodies were a mess from gunshot wounds, but he immediately recognized the tattoos on their bodies. Jake noticed the look on his little brother's face and asked.
“Do you know them?”
Logan's phone vibrated just in time. He excused himself and answered it.
“What is it?”
“Logan, did you get into trouble during your break?”
“Stop the nonsense and get to the point.”
“Christina McQueen… I mean, Christina Holland. Does Holland remind you of anything?”
“Amsterdam, Benefit, Kensington Warrior.”
Ahn Soo Ho didn't accept complicated requests. By complicated requests, this referred to using violence to resolve certain issues in countries of unstable politics. This usually involved thug behavior, and if anything got in the way of business, countless tribes ended up becoming annihilated.
“Your cla.s.smate is unofficially Patrick's wife. A girlfriend, a lover, a second wife.”
Jake flinched at his brother's cussing, and Logan gestured to his big brother that it was okay.
‘So this is a battle of succession or power.'
This was a fight between international thugs fighting over rights. Right after Ahn Soo Ho came off the throne, things were quiet for a little while, but after the European terrorist attack, New York and London terrorist attacks, and the Nigerian war, everyone in the mercenary and intelligence worlds started righting in order to win over the leaders.h.i.+p.
“Look into Cimel Tech.”
“Because two guys died right in front of me.”
“So it finally happened.”
“It wasn't me.”
“Then who was it?”
“Oops! Yes, Sir.”
Logan's underlings knew very well of Rosaline's reputation. As soon as he hung up, Jake approached right away.
“Cimel Tech? Isn't that one of our national defense contractors?”
“They're the hunting dogs raised by them.”
Logan smirked at Jake's innocent question. He suddenly thought of Ahn Soo Ho's words. Most military soldiers were too naïve. The US military wasn't a clean organization, and those who led it were an abode of demons.
“You don't have to know.”
“What if I insist?”
“Then you'll lose your promotion.”
Knowing the secret before his promotion and after his promotion made all the difference. If Jake found out a fatal secret of the US military, he had to kiss his promotion goodbye. Jake thought about it and then answered with a stern look on his face.
“Listen to me, Jake. There's no good in knowing.”
“f.u.c.k! Logan, tell me.”
He had never heard his proper brother—Jake—say a curse word in his life.
“f.u.c.k! f.u.c.k! f.u.c.k!”
The man who kept cussing over and over was stopped by his boss. But his face was filled with dissatisfaction.
“I thought that woman lives alone! But two of them died! Is she a GI Jane or something? What did the ones at the top say?”
“That there was a mistake.”
“Those f.u.c.king b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!”
A mistake. They talked easily of it because it wasn't them who were victims.
‘This was supposed to be a little fun to be had during a break.'
This was a simple training session that they had as soon as they returned from vacation in Cancun. But two of the team members died. By the hands of a woman in her 50s. And she used her gun as if she was a professional.
‘Anyway, we secured what we were after.'
Since they secured the goods, they just had to run. As a result of the gunfight, the police were all over the police. He was taken aback because not only was the police there, but the military was there as well.
Why was the military there when it wasn't a terrorist attack? He realized motels weren't safe either and moved places every day. Just the fact that he wasn't a native made him the subject of suspicion and report.
‘I'd better change my escape plan.'
He normally would have used an airfield, but that was not available. And if he decided to use the roads, the military would catch him. It might have just been easier to cross the Mexican border at this rate.
‘Okay. Maybe I should go back a little later.'
It was safer to use a smuggler to cross the Mexican border and then go through Cuba to illegally enter through Florida. He moved quickly. He went to a pub to hire a smuggler. As soon as he gave the bartender enough money, he got a good response.
“Are you trying to cross, Sir?”
“Five adults, one child.”
“A child is a bit…”
“Because there's an Amber alert, Sir. That's not you… is it?”
“Bulls.h.i.+t. So are you going to do it or not?”
“20,000 dollars for two people, no discount.”
He put a bag on the counter.
“10,000 dollars and I'll give you twice the amount if we arrive safely.”
“Wow, feisty. See you behind the pub in one hour.”
As soon as the man left, his smile disappeared.
“Call him and tell him we found him.”
“But if we do this… our credibility…”
As soon as the bartender looked troubled, the smuggler smirked.
“There's no such thing in this field. And this one is really dangerous. How could he mess with the Young family of Texas?”
“Are they a powerful family?”
“They have a famous Texas Ranger and a military lawyer. Not even the Red Stars want to mess with the Young's. You can't look down on them for being from the countryside.”
Not even the bike gang, Red Star, wanted to mess with the Young family.
“They'll get caught even if it's not us.”
All of Texas was after them.
The man felt like something was fishy after leaving the pub. People normally got suspicious when he called a high number, but they accepted it without hesitation.
‘No one's following me either.'
Smugglers were so careful that they put a man to monitor a big client. Something was wrong here. The G.I. Jane's skilled gun shooting skills and the Texas police and the military's movements were strange as well.
‘If that's the case, the item we secured is no ordinary item.'
The headquarters were tricking him about something.
As soon as he got back to the motel and turned the door handle, he felt a chilling sensation up his spine. And that was the last thing he felt in his lifetime.
One side of the motel blew up in smoke.
And there were people watching that sight with binoculars.
Item secured! Tail removed!
Don't leave any trace! Disperse!
30 minutes later, Logan stood in front of the motel fire. Jake spoke cautiously,
“They cut the tail off… right?”
“An illegal organization like that exists in our country?”
“As long as they don't leave any evidence, they can do anything. Don't forget. We lost our president through a.s.sa.s.sination.”
“But still… How did you know?”
Logan answered with a bitter laugh. Working with Mr. Guardian made him face harsher realities than this. Money and power, the public was so focused on the power of secrets that they were unable to face the truth head-on.
“I just… know.”
This was the truth. During his time with Ahn Soo Ho, he witnessed countless secrets. It was possible that he knew more secrets than Hector Garcia himself.
Logan took out his phone.
“I think Cimel Tech was a camouflage. The place where the funds came from is somewhere unexpected.”
“NTA, near Sanchez.”
“There's been a problem.”
“What is it?”
“They tried to kidnap the punk in order to threaten the witness…”
He looked like he was about to pull the trigger in response to his subordinate's frustrating behavior.
“They messed with a Texas Ranger. They dispatched the cleaning team, but it's highly likely that they noticed the cutting of the tail.”
It was best that they controlled the distribution network in Texas for the time being. However, if that was it, he wouldn't have sounded so cautious.
“The prosecution and military are on the move as well.”
“The woman that had the child is famous in the legal field. On top of that, one of her brothers is a Texas Ranger, and another brother is a group captain in the military.”
“Didn't you investigate beforehand?”
“It was our mistake to leave it to Cimel Tech. I apologize.”
“Well, Yankees probably know Yankee towns best… Anyway, that's too bad.”
They had to shut down their distribution network. But that didn't explain why the subordinate was so anxious. They took pride in the fact that they trained their members to not fear anyone, including the US Military's special forces.
“Is that all?”
If he was trembling just because of that, he needed to be re-educated. However, what he said next made his face stiffen as well.
“The youngest brother of the injured woman… is Logan.”
“Logan? Not that Logan.”
“That Logan. On top of that, he's in Texas right now.”
“Oh, my G.o.d.”
At first, he was sad that they were unable to kill the woman that could be another witness, but now he felt relieved.
He wasn't afraid of a Texas Ranger.
He wasn't afraid of the US Military's special forces.
And he wasn't afraid of the US police or prosecution either.
However, that didn't apply to Logan. To be more exact, he was afraid of the man who employed Logan. Sanchez of the biggest drug cartel in Columbia felt worried.
‘This is dangerous.'
They dispatched a bunch of goondas in response to requests from the triad and yakuza, but if they were up against Mr. Guardian, it was a whole different story.
“Take our hands off of it.”
“That'll result in a great loss, Sir.”
“Loss? No, that'll result in profit.”
After all, the dumb Chinese and j.a.panese didn't know who was after them.
“The dumb monkeys have no idea what kind of monster's tail they stepped on.”
< protect="" –="" logan's="" adventure="" =""> The end.