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Chapter 209: < Protect – Side Story – Logan’s Adventure  >
As soon as Rosaline saw Hannah, she hugged both her and her stuffed bear. Hannah didn’t want to stray too far from Logan, but she still hugged Rosaline with both arms. They looked like mother and daughter. The second eldest brother, who was just watching with his arms crossed, slowly approached Logan.
“I found her.”
“No, what I mean is… Okay, fine. That’s all that matters.”
That was all that really did matter.
Logan learned from Ahn Soo Ho that bringing results made people ask fewer questions. Success was a spell that covered everything. No matter how much effort Cuba was making to become democratic, it couldn’t change its habits overnight. The residents who were afraid of the police all kept their mouths shut, and the journalists of Cuba were too amateur to threaten the government.
For now, at least.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I have to find her mother. Any updates?”
“The New York prosecution is planning to cooperate with the federal prosecution.”
“The federal prosecution is getting involved? Then…”
“The FBI will get in on it, too.”
“Well, it should have been handled by the FBI, anyway.”
“That’s true… But if the FBI gets involved, unnecessary politics will happen.”
The American federation investigative authorities were at the center of the war. Every case they handled had a large influence over political matters. It was New York that was in charge of Kenneth Burn’s murder case, but if the FBI got involved, it would become a huge case that would be broadcasted live on television.
Majors came with both pros and cons.
Logan checked the continuous information he received from Korea on the Kenneth Burn murder case. It wasn’t any ordinary case.
The dark world called her Star Fox.
While Holland was a good broker that knew how to use the media, Caroline managed a women’s-only intelligence agency using the badger game. Ahn Soo Ho hated pimps the most, but her way of recruiting had no force.
Were there more men or women in this world that were dissatisfied? The two genders were pretty similar. What was important was that more men took that rage and put it into action than women. It was funny to differentiate crimes by gender, but most of the terrorist attacks were committed by men.
‘Same with Kracek, and this time, it’s Caroline…’
Someone was calling upon all of the retired tyc.o.o.ns back into the world. At first, he thought it was under the intention of the Angola circle, but since they wanted to control human civilization, that didn’t make sense.
‘But… that’s not for me to worry about.’
Was he turning into Ahn Soo Ho in that sense as well? He always said he didn’t have to worry about world peace. He also said to leave the difficult problems of the world to the smart people who wanted to change the world.
‘There are many smart people besides me who’ll worry about that.’
Logan’s problem was how he was going to get to Hannah’s mother as well as his friend, Christina McQueen.
“When there’s an amber alert, does it only go off in the state, Ethan?”
“It depends on the danger level. In this case, it was just in Texas. The problem is… the child welfare branch is coming in.”
“Because Hannah’s legal guardian is her mother.”
No one here was able to explain why a little kid was hundreds of kilometers away from her hometown. No matter what excuse they gave, child welfare was able to make it illegal. And they would definitely try to take Hannah away. Texas Rangers had great power in Texas, but when it came to children matters, they were unable to fight.
“I’ll take care of that.”
“This is why power is good.”
“If you’re jealous, you should freelance, too.”
Ethan shook his hand. If he really wanted more money, he would have gotten a job at a civilian company.
“Are you going to go to New York?”
“Yeah. After I meet with Mom.”
Ethan groaned in an uncomfortable manner. The second eldest brother was the closest to Rosaline while being very distant from his mother. Ethan’s jerk-like personality and his mother’s vanity didn’t go well together.
“Do you still hate her?”
“You probably didn’t know this, but I had no choice back then.”
“We’re only two years apart, you know. People might think you’re 10 years older than me.”
Both Jake and Ethan tried to act like the older brothers. And he thought that was cute. But the fact that he thought of men in their 50s as cute might have suggested that he inhaled too many fumes over the years.
Logan left quietly.
It was best that Rosaline took care of Hannah again. Since Jake and Ethan was there, she probably wasn’t going to be taken again. He felt bothered about child welfare, but he could resolve most things by using his boss’ name. Ahn Soo Ho’s power was capable of even taking on child welfare.
‘I’d better resolve New York quietly.’
It was hard for him to make such a fuss like he did in Cuba. But on his way out of picking up his unopened bag from inside, he shook his head at the Young’s looking at him with vacant faces.
“Don’t think about going alone this time, Logan.”
“Yeah. We couldn’t help with Cuba, but we can go with you this time.”
“It’s been a long time since we’ve gone to New York. Where do you want to go, Hanna?”
“I can’t believe you went to New York for your Honeymoon, Ethan.”
“What about you? You went to California for yours.”
“I had no choice. My wife is obsessed with Disney.”
They started talking amongst themselves. Logan sighed deeply.
“I’m not going there to have fun.”
“I know, Logan. It’s just that…”
Hannah escaped from Rosaline’s grasp and hugged Logan’s pants.
It had been multiple months since the New York terrorist attack.
New York had almost recovered. Since Americans liked to commemorate things, they put up events for the sacrifices in Central Park and other areas around New York. The scandal and disputes following the US President’s resignation were still going on. The way the powers of the nation fell to their doom was refres.h.i.+ng but also sad.
America’s democratic crisis was a thing before, but Americans had never been in so much pain. There weren’t many politicians who could say that the system was functioning properly. Bureaucrats were in the process of tumbling down.
As soon as Logan got off the plane, he was greeted by one of his underlings who should have been on vacation. Logan looked around and then laughed bitterly. The punks came to America for vacation and were training with the direct troops.
“Did Kosi tell you?”
“Kosi? No, Sir.”
“He’s probably with his daughter again.”
Ron, who had to work while everyone else went on vacation, liked to hang out with his daughter in his free time. In America, it was possible to be charged with collecting p.o.r.nography, but Korea was pretty easy-going in comparison.
Some of the members who were obsessed with fast internet downloaded p.o.r.nography, and the reason why Star Tower’s data center went on overdrive was because of the p.o.r.nography along with the malicious codes. That was also why Kosino and the underlings kept a safe distance between each other.
“h.e.l.lo. Let me escort you.”
Greg appeared out of nowhere. He spoke with Logan’s accompanying party, and some of them even helped them with their bags. Since the cars were already ready to go in the parking lot, it was hard to refuse. Richard, who was in charge of transport, got into a different car. Logan sat in the pa.s.senger seat and asked Greg.
“Did you look into it?”
“Yes, Sir. It’s complicated.”
“Holland Corporation went bankrupt and Patrick is screwed. The loan sharks are after him and Christina McQueen is getting dragged down with him.”
“How dangerous is it?”
“She sent her daughter to you and then disappeared.”
“How did she send that little girl all the way to Texas?”
“One of her friends is a private investigator.”
Not all investigators were Konan. Most of the people in the investigation field didn’t care about helping the people. They were just thugs that did things for people with money.
“The order is weird.”
“The fact that she didn’t go to the police?”
“I remember the New York police to be quite decent.”
“That’s all in the past.”
The American police weren’t all connected like it was in Korea.
“It wasn’t for the police to handle, and the first one to sniff it up was the CIA.”
“And how is Kenneth Burn a part of this?”
“Mr. Burn, who also lived as a thief, was getting ready to enter this side of the world.”
“And Caroline was okay with that?”
“No, she was against it. I heard she was very strongly against it.”
That was a normal response from a parent. For an average monster, it was impossible to survive in the brutal world and then retire safely. Caroline had also committed many horrible things in the past.
“Was Kenneth one of Patrick’s loan clients?”
“Yes, Sir. Since Carol declined, he needed someone else’s support.”
“And he chose an a.s.shole for that support. Was Patrick the culprit?”
“It was probably one of the thugs under his command.”
Holland Corporation went bankrupt, but Patrick had funds that he had pocketed. Logan tilted his head. It was insulting to compare him to Ahn Soo Ho, but he was also a rising star who had what it took to make an attempt at the throne.
“Why did they go bankrupt?”
“They put everything they had on New York real estate insurance. But after the New York terrorist attack…”
Greg slit his throat with his finger.
“Huh? Then shouldn’t they have earned money?”
“That would have been more normal… but the world is pretty abnormal.”
New York suffered great damage as a result of the terror. Of course, most of the damage was due to the riots that broke out, but it was right for insurance companies to take responsibility for the loss endured.
That was what the court judged.
The insurance companies’ union could appeal, but if they did, they would have had to face off against raging New Yorkers. They decided that putting an end to it and suffering some loss was better. However, the insurance fraud suspicion of the Huxley Group that an FBI agent proposed raised even bigger issues after the head of the investigation resigned.
As soon as it seemed like the scandals could reignite, the federal government created a team and made it an open investigation. That was how it all began. The stinginess of whistle-blowing was the same in Korea and America, but America at least protected its informants.
‘Some people knew about the New York terrorist attack beforehand, and in order to make money, they invested in insurance!’
That caused a big sensation. The people’s court didn’t only exist in North Korea.
“This is the American people’s court.”
“You’re talking like you’re not American yourself, Logan.”
“I won’t be soon enough. What about you?”
Greg shrugged in response.
“Since all of New York citizens got up, and the media focused on it like crazy, not even the media lobbyists could do anything. As a result, Holland and other investment groups died. And what’s funny is that…”
“The FBI agent that first raised the suspicion is someone we know.”
Logan laughed. He had seen her in Hawaii before he left. He heard that she was once with the FBI but did it start because of this incident? What a small world.
“Boss laughed at the news, too.”
“So how far along is Caroline?”
“As soon as the transport troop was annihilated, she started acting herself.”
If she started acting herself, that meant she was serious.
“What’s her number?”
Logan picked up the phone in the car and pressed 3. The line rang.
“Yes, it’s me. You remember my voice.”
“Do you have the child?”
She got straight to the point.
“I’m sorry. But I need that child, Logan.”
“Don’t cross the line, Carol. Let’s meet in person.”
“In one hour at Central Park.”
Caroline hung up without waiting for an answer. After sending his party to the hotel, Logan headed to Central Park by himself. Once he got to Bethesda Fountain, he saw a middle-aged woman waiting there. She was past 50, but she was taking good care of herself.
Logan quietly approached and sat next to her.
“I’m sorry about your son.”
She immediately changed the subject.
“How’s Soo Ho?”
“He just got married.”
“Oh, really? I’ve been so busy these days. Come to think of it, that must have been the invitation I didn’t open. I’m sorry.”
“Please send him my congratulations.”
“Why don’t you call him yourself.”
“No, I don’t want to hear any scoldings.”
She was a strong and elegant woman. There weren’t many women Logan acknowledged, but she was one of them.
Logan also got to the point.
“Please leave Christina McQueen alone.”
“I’ll find Patrick Holland for you.”
“I’ve lived as a lunatic for a long time now, Logan. I lived in a world where you can’t survive unless you’re crazy.”
Caroline shook her head and changed the subject.
“It was a blessing that such a crazy b.i.t.c.h could become a mother. Kenny… was the biggest happiness in my life, Logan. That child saved me from blood and death.”
She conceived him at 40 years old. Marriage was becoming more and more postponed over time, but childbirth was something that couldn’t be put off. There were many men, but she didn’t get married. Her occupation made it hard for her to maintain a marriage, and she had too many enemies to let her guard down.
“When I couldn’t get rid of Kenny, I thought something like this could happen.”
The best way to perfectly protect a child was to stay with the mother. Caroline took him to every mission, and as a result, he grew up to become a skilled man who managed a killing corporation.
“I should have raised him like a normal child… but I was suspicious of everything.”
She felt like everyone endangered her child.
“I… I ruined my own child.”
“That’s not true, Carol.”
“No, it’s true. I killed my son.”
She took out an old photo from her pocket and stared at the mother and son within it. She stared for a while. But then her eyes went from watery to sharp.
“Was it Hannah? I’ll give up on her, Logan. But not the child’s mother. The first one to find her wins.”
“Are you challenging me to a battle?”
“Yeah. Let’s make it fair and square.”
Logan sighed deeply.
“Do you mean it?”
“I didn’t think I could be this crazy either.”
Going against Ahn Soo Ho’s aide was like going against Ahn Soo Ho himself. And the punishment that Ahn Soo Ho could give put everyone in this world in fear.
Caroline got up.
“Patrick Holland and those who know him.”
She had nothing more to lose, but she feared Ahn Soo Ho as well. But she gathered up her courage.
“I’m going to rip them to shreds. I’m going to kill them all.”
Logan was unable to stop her from leaving. She seemed determined. Caroline was simply breathing on the rage and hatred that transcended death.
Was she hoping to die in his hands?
< Protect – Logan’s Adventure  > The end.