Before the war, Wanghai city was a major metropolitan in the world . It possessed the biggest technology park within PAC as well as a countless research facilities .
Because of this, after the war erupted, Wanghai city immediately became the focal point between PAC and NATO in the east coast battle . It was the obvious destination for nuclear and biological weapon attacks . Damage was especially brutal within the city center where it was blown into a scorched piece of land, where only extreme mutants or already dead zombies could survive .
On this piece of wasteland, the city center became the synonym for danger . Even the strongest hunting teams had not stepped into this forbidden territory . The countless number of zombies, the nest of zombie eaters, the unimaginably powerful mutants… The risk and reward tradeoff of exploring the zombies dominated area was not justified by any means .
As to when the city center would be relatively safer, it was during winter .
In the winter, most of the mutants would go into hibernation, thus, the only trouble that remained was the zombie .
But despite this…
"City center? Other than nuclear craters and scrap metals, what else is there?" A council member with a square frame glasses scorned at the thought .
"Perhaps there is a lethal weapon left by the preceding government? Or perhaps a USB containing mysterious codes? Regardless what there is, our neighbor is clearly interested . We have enough evidence to believe that they have strong reasons for putting their nose up our business from thousands of miles away," Cao Jinsong smiled .
"If they just want to go into the city center, why don’t they negotiate with us?" Zhao Chenwu frowned as he said in an undertone, "We don’t have to fight, we could work together . For example, providing supplies for their army for a commission amount…"
"What do you think the Northern Alliance Area is? A hunting team stationed at our place? Provide supplies? They could just raid us . They are not merchants, they are bandits under a military government . " A council member mocked .
"Disregarding whether if they could beat us or not . Even if they win, would they have enough force left to enter the city center? I agree with Councilmember Zhao’s perspective, their action is unusual . Perhaps there is some hidden truth we don’t know about . " A sophisticated-looking council member added .
"It's because of arrogance . " Feng De sneered .
"But arrogance has nothing to do with intelligence . They choose to start a war knowing cooperation would be the best choice, unless-"
"Unless that treasure is tempting enough," Cao Jinsong opened his mouth, the fingers that were crossed together in front of his face covered his nose . "They believe the value of the treasure, and believe that if we know about the treasure, we would fight for it with all our forces . Even the reputation we built for over 10 years cannot guarantee our honesty . "
"Then what is that treasure?" someone asked .
"I personally lean towards the possibility of it being a weapon," a mysterious smile flashed across Cao Jinsong’s face . He then lowered his voice, "If there is a super weapon that could instantly suppress a base or even a city-"
"That’s impossible, if a weapon like that really existed, then it must have been a top priority during the war . " Someone rebutted .
"I agree . Also, how do they know that the city center of Wanghai really possessed such thing?"
As to other council members’ rebuttal, Cao Jinsong didn’t mind as he smiled with collectedness .
He took a momentary pause before he continued .
"We are all unfortunate people who didn’t manage to get into the fallout shelter . I know that you all are no strongers to that war . I am talking about the sky-based weapon that destroyed the Holy Shield - the God’s Cane . "
When they heard the name God’s Cane, everyone held their breath .
That was a long time ago, but even today, after ten something years, they could not forget what happened that day .
The dome that covered the sky evaporated under the blue particles, followed by airdrop soldiers that fell like rain .
Zhao Chenwu looked at Cao Jinsong in disbelief as he spoke disheartenedly, "Didn’t that thing get blasted into pieces? I remember the PAC special force captured it and NATO initiated self-destruction-"
"Based on my super computer’s data-modeling analysis . . . " Cao Jinsong took a graphite chip from his pocket and waved it in between his fingers before he put it on the table .
The hologram image displayed again, the web-like structure simulated the earth, as well as the sky-based weapon hovering on top – God’s Cane .
"259 kilograms of TNT’s self-destruction, the weapon parts would fall in the middle of Wanghai city . " The web-weaved God’s Cane turned red as it drew a trajectory and pointed at the location on earth in Wanghai city .
"If they acquired the parts of God’s Cane, repaired it, and fired it into space again, it will become the sword of Damocles (1) that hangs above all of us . It will become our eternal nightmare . "
Followed by his last words, the hologram image disappeared, and the atmosphere around the conference table turned cold .
Everyone’s expression took a turn .
Other than fear and anger, it also carried a hint of greed .
"What do they want to do…"Zhao Chenwu squeezed those words out .
"Conquer, or enslave . " Cao Jinsong’s finger gently tapped on the table, "They want to continue their dictatorship outside of the Northwestern area . Other than this, I can’t think of any other reasons . "
"Resistance is necessary . The freedom’s spirit will not bend for dictators, that is without a doubt . There are only two choices in front of us . "
"First, before they come to Wanghai, explore the city center by ourselves . If there really is a super weapon, we can use it against them . "
"Second, protect our treasure and fight our invaders until the last drop of blood . "
"Then, by tradition, let’s vote . "
Cao Jinsong smiled mischievously as he pressed the vote button .
. . . .
The final vote resulted in an absolute landslide victory of 2:8 to the second option – fight against the invaders .
Even during winter, it was risky to explore the city center . They might end up paying a price for this if they do not find the weapon, or if the treasure was not a weapon to begin with . Even if was is a weapon, it could not be used in a short period of time because of the need for repair . This would indubitably increase the variables in the war .
Most of the people chose the safer option . To first eliminate the external threat before exploring the treasure within the ruins .
After the meeting, the council members began to depart .
When Zhao Chenwu walked out of the chamber, Zhao Chenwu’s eyebrows furrowed . Su Lei, who was waiting at the door, saw her boss leave . She immediately greeted him .
"Is there any problem?" As the right and left hands of the boss, Su Lei asked .
"No problem, I just think something is not right . " Zhao Chenwu said in an undertone .
"About our business?"
"No… Hopefully it is just my illusion . "
Seeing his colleagues leave in brisk steps, for some reason, uneasiness began to sprout in his mind .
(1) The famed "sword of Damocles" dates back to an ancient moral parable popularized by the Roman philosopher Cicero in his 45 B . C . book "Tusculan Disputations . " Cicero’s version of the tale centers on Dionysius II, a tyrannical king who once ruled over the Sicilian city of Syracuse during the fourth and fifth centuries B . C . Though rich and powerful, Dionysius was supremely unhappy . His iron-fisted rule had made him many enemies, and he was tormented by fears of assassination—so much so that he slept in a bedchamber surrounded by a moat and only trusted his daughters to shave his beard with a razor . (Courtesy: History . com)