Chapter 117: What Happened?
Translated by: kevin1782
Edited by: Isalee
The security at Aziziyah Camp was extremely tight. Gao Yang and company could no longer drive straight to the gate; they had to stop and get off five hundred meters away. They then needed to pass through blockades made of sandbags and barbed wires before they could reach the gates to Aziziyah Camp.
While being aimed at by machine guns, Gao Yang and company walked to the same place where they recruited mercenaries. There was no longer a crowd of mercenaries as it was just Gao Yang’s corp of five.
As the government’s side became weaker, an increasing number of mercenaries chose to leave or work for the Opposition instead. The good thing about this bad situation was that Gaddafi had to offer a higher price to attract mercenaries. He would be very willing to splurge on the elite mercenaries.
The recruitment officer was exhilarated upon spotting the five of them and took the initiative to greet them, “Over here, are you freelance mercenaries or a mercenary corp?”
Gao Yang approached him and said, “We are the Satan Mercenary Corp. We participated in the battle at Misurata.”
The officer clutched a tablet in his hand and after some swiping, he announced, “Participated in the battle of Misurata, did you? Let me have a look, Satan Mercenary Corp, found it. You have obtained good remarks, or I should say, exceptional remarks. The three commanders each gave you guys a full score. You will get the best pay, welcome back.”
Gao Yang turned to Grolev and whispered, “This feels so weird. When did they start picking mercenaries like this? Why do I feel like this is a recruitment for office clerks and not for a battle?”
Grolev shrugged, “Who knows? This is a first for me too. Maybe they wanted to experience the charm of advanced technology and gathered all the information they had about the mercenaries. Heh, does this count as advanced? I feel good though, getting paid when all we have to do is say our name.”
“You can take on a defense mission. We have already filled the positions for this mission but since you performed well, you can still join it on one condition. That is, you have to be under the command of an officer in charge. Without his orders to retreat, you may not retreat on your own.”
Gao Yang was somewhat hesitant. He could not the accept commands from a stranger, especially if the commander was most likely substandard. On second thought, if this mission involved defending an important personnel or a location, nobody would pay to recruit mercenaries to fight when they wanted to flee otherwise.
After some deliberation, Gao Yang asked seriously, “What kind of mission is it, and whose command will we be put under?”
“The mission is confidential. I don’t know who your commander is. There is one thing I need to be clear about. Your commander will not interfere with how you fight. He will only request and supervise that you defend your own area. That’s all. If you cannot agree to this very basic request, you won’t be able to receive this mission.”
Gao Yang felt the request was acceptable and said on the spot, “How much is the reward, and how do you calculate it?”
“Considering the size and performance of your mercenary corp, you will be paid twenty thousand US dollars a day. That is only the basic pay however, there are also bonuses and bounties. The bonus amount will be decided by the battle size, starting from ten thousand dollars a day with no upper cap. Bounties are self-explanatory. It can be a million dollars but it can also be only a hundred dollars. I think you understand how it works.”
Gao Yang nodded before he turned to Grolev and the rest. He asked, “What do you all think? Can we accept this job?”
Grolev said with a low tonality, “The biggest problem is that we have to accept orders from other people. This is troublesome, but this is normal for defense missions. No matter who accepts the mission, they cannot be too free. I think we can accept it.”
Lee Jin Fang said, “Ol’ Russian is right, nobody wants to hire someone who flees upon battle for an escort mission. Their request is not too much, take it.”
Gao Yang also wanted to accept this mission. Since nobody objected, he immediately turned to the recruitment officer and said, “No problem, we will accept this mission. Where should we go now?”
“It is right here. Go on in and someone will brief you.”
Gao Yang was surprised that they did not have to go anywhere else. He thought he would be sent to some covert location to protect a target from people whom he would never know. He stood corrected.
Aziziyah Camp took up four hectares with tall sturdy concrete walls filled with all sorts of sensors and surveillance devices. Barbed wires and fully equipped soldiers were stationed on both sides of the wall. Anti-aircraft missiles could also be seen everywhere with the addition of tanks every now and then. All these contributed to the ironclad defense of Aziziyah Camp.
Gao Yang could not understand why mercenaries like them would be needed in the most well-defended place in Libya. Even though Aziziyah Camp already suffered multiple air strikes, it could be considered the safest place in Libya.
There were many checkpoints and maze-like walls inside the camp as well. Every checkpoint was guarded by a large number of troops. Gao Yang and company soon entered areas that they did not go to last time. They would get checked every time they went through a checkpoint. Much to Gao Yang’s confusion, their satellite phones were not confiscated.
Gao Yang and company were taken to the border of a large plain before they stopped. Then, Gao Yang glanced at his surroundings to see a large plain with large tents scattered all over with a building near the edge. About two hundred meters away from each corner of the building was a small cluster of huts. There were makeshift sandbag formations armed with at least two anti-aircraft machine guns and anti-aircraft cannons. There were camouflage nets on the building and all of the formations.
It was apparent that the formations on the four sides were to defend the building in the center which was not that tall. At that time, Gao Yang felt a little uneasy — because from what he knew, this place should be Gaddafi’s famous Aziziyah Palace.
Gao Yang and company did not have to wait for long before a person wearing a lieutenant colonel badge came and took over. He signed a piece of paper and got the people who escorted Gao Yang and company to leave. The lieutenant colonel stared at Gao Yang and the rest a bit before saying, “Follow me.”
The lieutenant colonel wasted no time to talk and brought them to the formation situated in the northwest, straight to the door of a small hut. He said while pointing to the short doorway, “I am Ibrahim, you will be under my command over the next few days. You will be living in this room, and you may not leave the house unless you have permission or are on a mission. Food and drink will be provided. Specific details will be explained to you by someone.”
The lieutenant colonel did not say anything else and left at once. He entered a hut after turning around two bends and slammed the door.
Gao Yang and company looked at each other and entered the hut allocated to them. Their hut did not have a door; the exit was no more than half a meter wide and no taller than one and a half meters. The inside of the hut had about eight square meters of space with only two bunk beds and nothing else. There were holes drilled in the meter thick concrete walls all around for firing, and it was very obvious that the hut was actually a fort.
Tribo lightly sighed, “At least we’ll feel really safe living in this kind of housing.”
Gao Yang almost cried, “Stop talking nonsense. Are you dumb? We were obviously tricked. This is definitely Gaddafi’s palace, a prime target for NATO air strikes. Furthermore, we are basically defending an empty target.”
Grolev smiled wryly, “Seems so. I can bet that Gaddafi’s definitely not here. Otherwise, the guards here are too relaxed. Nobody told us what we should be doing either. They just chucked us over here. This is definitely a trap and we fell for it.”
Jin said with an awkward expression, “Why involve so many people if Gaddafi’s not here? This is unreasonable. Do you think Gaddafi is playing the art of war? Warfare is based on deception.”
Gao Yang shook his head. “Gaddafi must be silly enough to live here to wait to be bombed. In addition, it is no secret that Gaddafi loves living in tents. Do you see any lady bodyguards or camels outside those tents on the grassy plains? If there aren’t, then Gaddafi is definitely not here.”
One could see the sandbag formation through the holes. Grolev peered outside a bit and said, “There are at least fifty men outside, seemingly all in position, but everyone looks relaxed. Fine, we are definitely defending Gaddafi’s decoy.”
“Then, can we still get the money?”
Fly only cared about whether he could still get the money or not instead of the fact that they were defending a decoy.
Gao Yang smiled, “Perhaps, but I unfortunately have to tell you that even if they don’t give us a cent, we can do nothing. Look at those guards out there. If we dare cause trouble, they will kill all of us without hesitation.”
Gao Yang just finished when they heard someone yell from the other side of the doorway. “Hello, my unlucky dudes, can you let me in? Let me have a look at which poor bugs fell into the trap. I should have knocked out of courtesy but there are no doors here for me to knock on.”
Gao Yang frowned and replied loudly, “Please come in.”
A heavily built black bent his back to enter the hut with much effort. He was at least six feet and four inches tall, with an American style desert camo outfit. His shiny bald head almost reached the two-meter high ceiling, and he looked absolutely oppressive.
Although he was bald, the black kept a beard. The snow-white beard was a tell-tale sign that this man was not young anymore.
The black man glanced at Gao Yang and company and bellowed, “Good afternoon everyone, I am very happy to see you all. At least I am not the only one to make a stupid choice with the addition of you all. My name is Harris, you can call me Big Dude. I would be happy to accept it if you call me Flamethrower too because I am quick-tempered, haha. Whatever you call me, just don’t call me a blackie. I welcome all of you to the land of despair, my friends, on behalf of the Black Fire Mercenary Corp.”