Chapter 191 Exchange
The Brotherhood of Steel was still in its embryonic state. Hence, lots of areas still required improvement, especially due to the lack of facilities and supporting equipment. For instance, since there was no perfect logistics system at the moment, a lot of their members suffered from starvation.
This was the reason why the Brotherhood of Steel wanted to dispatch their squads to the battlefield as soon as possible. They knew that they would collapse soon if those parasites stayed on their team for too long.
For now, the soldiers from the cannon fodder camp faced the difficulty of receiving meals. The meals were usually prepared by the army chef, and each squad would send people out to receive their meals. However, if someone were to play some dirty tricks, certain squads may be deprived of their own food.
Zhou Qingfeng was finally able to recruit enough people to join the cannon fodder camp, but it was actually a very stressful day for him. He had to rally sixteen people in such a short amount of time. Hence, he felt that he would only have enough time to boost the team morale and let his men get to know each other. He hoped his squad would at least be able to engage in the battlefield.
Therefore, members of ‘Squad Hugo’ did not leave their tent for the entire day. In contrast, the other cannon fodder squads had fun until the very end. They felt that they were heading to the battlefield tomorrow, so they just went crazy. They felt that they were probably going be dead tomorrow, so they figured that they might as well have some fun before it was too late.
When night fell, the white officers came out to enforce their military disciplines and asked all the soldiers to return to their tents; no more hubbub was allowed anymore from that point onwards. Due to the lack of fuel, the entire military camp was pitch-black, and the moon was the only source of light that shined through the thick clouds.
All of sudden, in the middle of the silent night, Squad Hugo’s tent’s entrance flap was lifted up. Xu Guangrong sneaked out of the tent on his tippy toes and dashed towards the Cougar’s back door. DogMeat, who was responsible for guarding the ‘Cougar’, instantly appeared from underneath the armored vehicle and was ready to bark.
Xu Guangrong immediately put his finger on his lips and gestured him to shut up, “It’s me, I’m here to take some stuff.”
The back door of the ‘Cougar’ was open, and Roma stretched his head out the vehicle door. After staring at his surroundings to make sure that there was no one around, he handed a wooden box to Xu Guangrong and warned, “Watch out, we could cause a massive problem if we accidentally attract the others’ attention.”
Xu Guangrong nodded before he took the wooden box and ran towards the corner of the camp. Throughout the entire process, Zhou Qingfeng and Butcher were watching them from a distance with night-vision goggles. They used wireless radios to direct their men in order to avoid getting caught by the white soldiers on patrol.
With Xu Guangrong leading, all of ‘Squad Hugo’ gradually came out from the tent one by one. Everyone tried their best to stay as quiet as possible, hoping to avoid attracting attention at all costs.
Xu Guangrong then carried the wooden box with him and went to the Quartermaster’s tent. He knocked on the door of a capsule room, and the white officer, who was responsible for the food allocation of the entire camp, soon came out of it. He was pleased with Xu Guangrong’s glorious smile as he invited the latter to enter his room.
The Quartermaster turned on his flashlight and opened the wooden box that Xu Guangrong had brought. He was shocked to see the infamous ‘Canned Spam’ inside the wooden box. He then whispered, “We’ll go with the exchange rate of four to one.”
Xu Guangrong remained smiling under the dim light. The old man, who was in his forties, had a lot of wrinkles on his forehead. However, he raised three of his fingers and said, “Sir, we’ve agreed on the exchange rate of three to one. You can’t just break your promise like that… I have faith in you.”
“If that’s the case, then I refuse to proceed with the deal.”
“We’ll just continue eating the Spam then… It’s no big deal for us anyway.”
Both parties were stuck at a stalemate for quite a while. Xu Guangrong was smiling the entire time, but the Quartermaster soon began to turn indecisive. In the end, they agreed to proceed the deal with the exchange rate of three to one.
Xu Guangrong exchanged the canned Spam for some edible bread, jam, butter, chocolate, and even fresh bacon as well as canned fruit. In fact, the problem of having a shortage in resources still did not exist in the current world. A lot of people were starving only because of the difficulty in the logistics.
“We’ll also need some soybeans, green beans, rice, and flour. Please contact Miss Lena Fox at this number if you have any of the mentioned items. We’ll be able to provide you with the best price.” Xu Guangrong had lived at the bottom of society for over a decade, and hence he was familiar with this sort of negotiation. He even felt a sense of joy when he saw those white supremacists who used to be on top of the world living such a pathetic life.
When Zhou Qingfeng entered the camp with his ‘Cougar’, he brought not only a lot of ammunition but also boxes of Spam with him. After a busy midnight, his team was able to exchange all the canned Spam for more delicious meals. Although their amount of food had decreased, it was at least much better than eating canned food.
The entire camp finally woke up from their sweet dreams the next morning. Today was the day for the soldiers from the cannon fodder team to set off. More than two thousand people from all over camp were set to carry several tugboats to Queens to land on the beach. Their main goal was to cause a distraction to ease the pressure on their fellow soldiers from the Bronx district.
The entire camp was supposed to have a good meal before departing in order to boost team morale. However, they only received some canned food today. It was said that they would need to continue eating canned food even after they reached Queens. As usual, no food was allocated to Roma.
“Spam?” Marco retched after he saw the allocated canned Spam. He even almost went crazy when he saw the labeled production date, “Are you guys mad? Canned Spam actually produced in the 1940s… This is definitely the food that was for the U.S. military army during World War II.”
Marco received ten cans at once, which meant that for the following three days, he would need to eat canned Spam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“Get your blankets over here.” The Quartermaster then handed one blanket to each of the cannon fodders. He contacted Lena Fox last night and traded for these military blankets which were made several decades ago at an extremely low price.
The Quartermaster even received praises from his superior for successfully obtaining resources for the army at an excellent exchange rate. Those white officers did not even care if their soldiers were willing to use those old, lint-free blankets.
Marco received his own blanket too, which meant that even if he could make his way to the beach in Queens alive, he could only sleep with an old blanket.
“What the hell, these are definitely the leftover supplies from the U.S. military during World War II! Did they actually get this stuff from the trash dump?” Everyone that received the blankets was complaining as they hated those old blankets.
However, Marco knew that he could only put up with it; he understood that he should be grateful for surviving the cataclysm. He felt that if he had followed Zhou Qingfeng’s words in the past and led thousands of young men from Chinatown to fight their way to Manhattan, they might’ve been able to live a better life...
Is it too late now to say I regret it?
Marco sighed as he then thought of his other mission while looking at Zhou Qingfeng’s ‘Squad Hugo’, “Those guys should’ve been starving already. Will they finally recognize their situation after not being receiving food for the entire day? As long as I can force them to hand over the armored vehicles, I believe that a superior will reward me for my meritorious deeds. I’ll then be able to live a much better life.”