Chapter 10:

The Meeting Part 2

The Young Knight of the Desert

Langley, State of Virginia; United States of America. 0248 hours (Eastern Standard Time)

One Alberto Pérez, the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) of the New United Nations’ Intelligence Collective, heard a beep in his office. He knew that he was to receive a visitor.

Sixty-six years old, Pérez had no hair on his scalp, dark skin, and dark brown eyes. A descendant of African slaves taken to Cuba when it was a Spanish colony, Pérez grew up during the rule of Fidel Castro. When he came of age, he was conscripted into the Cuban Revolutionary Army and saw combat in Angola when Cuba opted to aid the government created by the Communist Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) after Portugal granted Angola its independence. After two years as a conscript, Pérez opted to study at the Máximo Gómez Command Academy and graduated, becoming an officer and returning to Angola. He eventually became an intelligence officer within the Cuban military, but Cuba’s short history of military adventurism ended after World War III. When Cuba joined the New United Nations, it had to downsize its military, and that included removing people like Pérez.

Despite this, Pérez’s skills and career history got him the position of Director of the FIS. The office he currently occupied was the office of the Director of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which was dissolved, along with the foreign intelligence agencies of countries that joined the New United Nations. However, there was a need to know what other supernational unions devised, especially in the chaos that World War III created. This led to the creation of the Intelligence Collective, where resources and personnel from the old foreign intelligence agencies of the New United Nations’ member states would be put to good use. Likewise, with the CIA’s old headquarters.

Coming inside Pérez’s office was a fifty-nine-year-old man with very light skin, graying red hair, and green eyes and a woman in her late twenties with dark intermediate skin, long black hair tied in a ponytail, and dark brown eyes. The former was Stanley McAllister, the Deputy Director of the FIS’s Covert Action Center, and the latter was Alicia Caguiat, a “coordinator” under McAllister.

“We apologize for disturbing you, Director Pérez,” McAllister said.

“I assume you have something urgent to tell me?” Pérez inquired.

“I’ve received a report from our operative in the Middle Eastern League code-named ‘Beacon’. ‘Beacon’ tells me that the Eurasian Tsardom’s OVR has an operative also in the League.”

“Go on.”

“We intercepted this conversation weeks back. I’ll have Miss Caguiat play it.”

“I need you to report to me about the latest shipments the FIA will deliver to Iran,” a male voice said over Alicia Caguiat’s smartphone as she played the conversation.

“Consider it done,” another male voice replied. “I assume you’ll pay me the usual amount?”

“Because you’ve never failed me, I’ve been tasked with paying you double.”

Caguiat stopped playing the conversation. “So not only do the OVR know about the shipments, but also the fact we lent Iron Dutchman Services to the FIA?” Pérez asked.

“That is a high possibility,” McAllister answered. “We’re still waiting for confirmation from our source in the Eurasian intelligence community.”

“How many of Iron Dutchman Services are currently in Iran?”

“Wouter Vos, Anita Hamilton, Sunan Wattana, and Tarou Ganji.”

“Warn Colonel Armstrong to be prepared for further updates.”

“Consider it done, sir,” Alicia Caguiat replied. “I’ll warn Tatev Mirzoyan.”


Bandar Abbas, Eurasian Tsardom. 1259 hours (Tehran Time)

“We will not be able to achieve anything like this!” Tarou screamed after he fired his Sikiyn semi-automatic pistol into the ceiling of the lounge room of Bandar Abbas International Airport, used as a meeting room for Brotherhood of Freedom commanders. “I may not look it, but I was born here in Iran. I grew up in a Baloch community and when I was ten years old, I volunteered to drive back the Eurasians only to fail. I came back here to find if I can fight my past, but I won’t be able to do so until I’ve felt like achieving something positive here. Call me selfish for saying such a thing, but would it matter if we keep arguing only to fail?”

“And you’ve come back as a mercenary?” the same commander who argued about Farahani’s idea asked. “Do you think you’re qualified to-”

Tarou aimed his Sikiyn at the commander, shocking everyone but the General, Farahani, and Vos. “Try me,” Tarou barked. “I may be a mercenary now, but I have no love for letting people who fight for freedom lose. I may be half-Japanese and it may be the reason why I kept quiet until now, but letting the same people who would speak badly of me die wouldn’t make me any different. Are you any different?”

“You are a brave man to aim a gun at someone at a time like this,” the General remarked.

“General, I’m not scared of you. Truth be told, I honestly don’t know if I should feel sorry for most of you once you win. Would you attempt to resurrect the Islamic Republic due to your hatred of the world outside Iran? That commander saying that I have no right to say such a thing is right since I did become a mercenary. I really don’t know what I want but for a month, I’ve lived in a society that managed to gain the will to tolerate people regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, I feel sorry that countries like Iran wouldn’t do the same because of manipulations from foreign powers.”

No one said a word because of what Tarou had said. “Getting that out of the way… I will allow Commander Farahani’s plan to attack Bushehr.”

“General, if I may,” Bakhtiar said as he raised his hand again. “Might I assist Commander Farahani in attacking Bushehr? My cell operates in Ameri, so I figured that if we can assist Commander Farahani, the sooner we can assist later on.”

“But what about preparations?” Esfahani asked.

“Three days,” the General ordered. “That should be enough time for every cell to prepare for the overall offensive. No more, no less.”

Unbeknownst to the cell leaders and the mercenaries, “Šap” was still able to receive the recording of the conversation in the lounge room with the “cockroach” she inserted into the room.


1337 hours

As the cell leaders began to leave Bandar Abbas, Farahani, Tarou, and Vos almost reached Jamshid’s Skytrain. Suddenly, the former three hear steps and stopped. They turned to find Bakhtiar and a burly man carrying an RPK light machine gun joining them.

“You’re returning to Jam?” Bakhtiar asked.

“We are,” Farahani answered.

“Mind if we join you? Qazvini and I also came to Jam, and we left our vehicle there.”

“The more the merrier,” Vos added.

The Brotherhood members and the two mercenaries boarded the Skytrain. Jamshid started it up and despite the damage the runaway took ten years before, he was able to get the Skytrain into the air.

“Where did you get that rifle?” Bakhtiar asked Farahani as the former pointed at the rifle being carried by the latter.

“Mr. Ganji here took it from a Eurasian soldier he killed near Banak,” Farahani answered.

“And what happened in Banak?”

“We were to receive another shipment of weapons from the FIA. We were nearly discovered by a patrolling Eurasian Walgear pilot, so we left our truck for the pilot to find so that we can kill him. Not only did we take his rifle but also, we took his Walgear too.”

“I guess I was to right to support you.”


Jam. 1450 hours

“We’re almost to Jam,” Jamshid said to his passengers.

“We have a problem,” Vos said as he and Tarou looked over their respective windows.

“What is it?” Farahani asked.

“We practically have an army waiting for us at the airport,” Tarou answered.

Without saying a word, Tarou and Vos moved as Farahani and Bakhtiar left their respective seats to see what the former two saw. To their horror, they saw many Eurasian troops waiting across what used to be Jam International Airport, which included Walgears and armored personnel carriers.

“Not good,” Bakhtiar added. “We’re better off surrendering.”

“I have an idea,” Tarou interjected.

“What is it?” Farahani asked as he turned to Tarou.

“I’ll talk to Jamshid about it first,” Tarou replied before going to the cockpit of the Skytrain.

“What do we do?” Jamshid asked as he found Tarou going to the cockpit.

“Keep flying to the airport,” Tarou answered. “Act normal.”

Everyone else on the plane was shocked by Tarou’s words. “Are you out of your mind!?” Farahani exclaimed.

“This is half of my idea,” Tarou answered as he reared his head to Farahani.

“An idea that will lead us to World War IV,” Vos remarked.

“Just do it!” Tarou shouted to Jamshid.

“G… Got it,” Jamshid replied with his fear evident in his tone.

Tarou then left the cockpit but moved past the astonished Vos, Farahani, Bakhtiar, and Qazvini. “Where are you going now?” Vos asked.

“You’ll see in a matter of minutes,” Tarou answered as he stopped and turned to Vos before continuing to the door.

“Really, that’s the second half of your plan?” Vos asked as he saw Tarou open the door.

“That’s right,” Tarou answered as he turned to Vos before jumping off.

Vos and Farahani rushed to the door only to find Tarou already falling into the airport.

“Is he always like this?” Farahani asked as he faced Vos.

“Always,” Vos answered.

As he neared the airport, Imperial Eurasian Army infantrymen spotted Tarou. Many were shocked that man was about to fall right in front of them. Some attempted to ignore only for Tarou to appear closer and not falling to his death as they assumed.

One infantryman slowly attempted to get away from Tarou. “V… Vernis’!” the infantryman shouted.

As he got lower, Tarou managed to control his legs. Seeing the scared infantryman below him, Tarou moved his legs forward, aiming them at the infantryman. The infantryman tried to flee, but it was too late as Tarou pressed his legs against him.

The infantryman was pushed onto the tarmac. As a result, Tarou did a mid-air flip unintentionally and landed.

“Strelyayte v nego!” shouted another infantryman.

The shooting had started. Despite being one man, Tarou managed to eliminate those in his way and, as he saw an armored personnel carrier, he simply charged against it.

The commander of the armored personnel carrier, despite the insanity of one man charging against him, boarded his vehicle’s Pecheneg general-purpose machine gun and attempted to fire at Tarou only for Tarou to jump high enough. This astonished the commander into not firing, but it was to be a fatal error and Tarou landed on top of the armored personnel carrier.

The commander aimed at Tarou again, but the latter saw him and shot him with his Sayf. Tarou got closer and as he reached the hatch that the commander occupied before shooting him; he heard and saw a pistol being fired. Regardless, Tarou fired back. Immediately, he moved closer and saw the one who fired attempting to fire at him again, only for Tarou to find his right foot and shoot it.

Seeing the wounded crew member, Tarou shot him again. Another crew member attempted to fire his carbine, a shorter variant of the assault rifle wielded by Eurasian infantrymen, but Tarou shot him immediately.

Getting inside, Tarou found the corpses of the armored personnel carrier’s crew that he killed. He examined each corpse until he found a key from one of them, which convinced Tarou that the last corpse he found was that of the driver and that he was the one who used a pistol against him.

Using the key, Tarou started up the armored personnel carrier despite many Eurasian soldiers firing at it. Undaunted, Tarou charged at the rest of the Eurasians.

“He’s crazy!” Farahani exclaimed as he saw Tarou charging at the Eurasians with the armored personnel carrier he stole. “He just stole a BTR.”

“He’s not going to last,” Vos said.

“Close the door!” Jamshid said as he turned his head to Vos and Farahani.

“What on Earth for?” Farahani asked as he faced Jamshid.

“I’m going to get us closer.”


1534 hours

Below, Tarou continued driving around Jam International Airport in a circle with the BTR he stole. Despite the infantry firing at him, Tarou was able to prevent the SH-6s and other BTRs from firing at him, with the former having destroyed some of the latter two by running them over.

Suddenly, he heard the engines of the Skytrain. As a result, Tarou stopped and getting up through the hatch where the Pecheneg was located at, he saw the Skytrain getting lower and that Farahani and Vos jumped out.

“Umeret!” a Eurasian infantryman shouted, forcing Tarou to use the Pecheneg.

While Tarou fired, Vos and Farahani reached the BTR, assisting him.

“Get back in the driver’s seat!” Vos shouted to Tarou. “We’ll join you shortly.”

“Thanks,” Tarou replied before he disappeared inside the BTR.

“I’ll cover you,” Farahani said to Vos while firing his rifle.

Vos then jumped onto the BTR and boarded it. From the top, he used his Sayf to help Farahani. “Now you get in!” Vos shouted to Farahani.

Without saying anything, Farahani immediately climbed onto the BTR while Vos continued to fire back. After Farahani made it to the top, Vos was to go inside with Farahani, opting to use the machine gun. However, he heard the sound of fact-moving wheels and turned his head in the direction where they came from.

To his horror, an SH-6 neared the BTR. However, the Skytrain neared them as well, with Bakhtiar and Qazvini also jumping off the plane.

“No, no, no, no!” Farahani shouted as he saw Jamshid push the Skytrain toward the SH-6. The Walgear turned only for the Skytrain to be rammed against it, forcing the pilot of the former to eject.

As a result, the Skytrain stopped yet it sustained heavy damage. Farahani looked on with sadness upon seeing what Jamshid did, but this was interrupted by the remaining Eurasian infantrymen firing.

In his anger, Farahani finally used the Pecheneg against them, killing them. However, he didn’t see that among the Eurasian infantrymen, two wielded RPG-2000 rocket-propelled grenades. Miraculously, they were killed by Bakhtiar and Qazvini.

“Mersi,” Farahani said to Bakhtiar and Qazvini, with Tarou and Vos appearing from the right side door.

“Vahid, I’m sorry about-” Bakhtiar said.

“It’s alright,” Farahani replied as he cut off Bakhtiar. “Jamshid did that for all of us.”

“But what do we do ?” Qazvini asked.

“We get the weapons from the dead and our respective vehicles,” Vos answered.

“Does that mean we must separate?’ Bakhtiar asked.

“You gave to go back to your men like we have to do with ours,” Tarou answered.

“Then we’ll see you at Ameri.”


Tehran. 1638 hours

“General-Gubernator, you called for us?” Vladimir Mirov asked his uncle Aleksandr as the former returned to his office with his subordinates.

“I did,” Aleskandr answered before returning to his computer. “Now please take a look at this.”

Aleksandr gestured to his nephew and the subordinates of the latter to a projection screen on the left side of the room. The projector connected to the computer of the former showed a video from a drone and that the video had “Jam” in both Cyrillic and its Romanization. The video was that of the fighting that had occurred more than an hour ago.

“T… This is… ” Mirov said incompletely, as he was stunned by what he and his subordinates were watching.

“I was shown this earlier,” Aleskandr said. “Earlier today, I was told that the plane had a suspicious passenger carrying a briefcase. I sent a unit because I assumed that it was ferrying rebel leaders. From what you’re seeing, I was right.”

Aleksandr then stopped the video. Both he and his nephew, along with the subordinates of the latter, resumed facing each other.

“In addition to that, I’ve received additional information from Šap,” Aleksandr added. “The Brotherhood will be planning an offensive in three days.”

“T… Three days?” Mirov asked.

“That’s right. In addition, the cell to whom those mercenaries are attached to will attack Bushehr with the help of another cell operating in Ameri. This could our chance to eliminate those rebels.”

“Not yet, Dyádya Alik. I have an idea and yes, it will require the cooperation of every unit here in Iran with your word.”

“And what would that be?”


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. 1956 hours

“Incoming!” shouted Kazem as he saw a BTR approach the headquarters of Frahani’s Brotherhood of Freedom cell with a pair of binoculars.

“What is it?” Ghasem Madani asked as he with Saman Dabri joined Kazem.

“I see a BTR- Hold on, I’m also seeing the truck.”

“Give me that!” Ghasem ordered as he took the binoculars from Kazem and used them. “It’s the truck Commander Farahani and those mercenaries took with them.”

“What does that mean?” Saman asked.

“They’re back,” Ghasem excitedly answered as he reared his head to Kazem and Saman.

As the BTR and the Sadko neared the abandoned village, Saman, Kazem, and Ghasem rushed to help them stop before the village. Driving the BTR was Tarou with Farahani seated beside him. Driving the truck, now filled with rifles taken from the Eurasian soldiers killed in Jam, was Vos.

The two vehicles then stopped. Tarou, Farahani, and Vos got off, only to be rushed by Saman, Ghasem, and Kazem.

“Commander, you’re back,” Ghasem said.

“I am,” Farahani replied.

“What’s with the BTR?” Saman asked.

“I’ll explain that later,” Farahani replied to Saman. “For now, we must hide these vehicles.”


2039 hours

Yusuf al-Saqqaf, Anita Hamilton, Sunan Wattana, and Armin arrived at Farahani’s room with Farahni himself, Tarou, Vos, and Saman with Ghasem leading the former four inside. As the former four stop, Ghasem closed the door then stood beside al-Saqqaf.

“What’s this about?” al-Saqqaf asked.

“I’ve been given a new order,” Farahani announced. “In three days, the entire Brotherhood will conduct an attack throughout Iran. I suggested that we attack Bushehr.”

“Are you out of your mind!?”

“I know. Most commanders at the meeting same the same thing. Luckily, the General understood my intentions behind the attack.”

“But we don’t have enough manpower, firepower, or preparation time for such an attack,” Armin voiced.

“We do now,” Vos replied. “Earlier, Commander Farahani, Mr. Ganji, and I took a substantial amount of equipment needed for this offensive.”

“This offensive will be launched in three days,” Farahani continued. “We will use that time to continue preparing the recruits into an adequate fighting unit. Other than that, we will have the assistance of Commander Bakhtiar’s cell.”

That Commander Bakhtiar?” Saman asked.

“Yes,” Farahani answered. “Three days from now, we are to meet up with Commander Bakhtiar’s cell in Ameri before we launch the attack on Bushehr.”

“That’s enough time for me to work those recruits,” Ghasem replied.

Farahani then turned to al-Saqqaf. “Mr. al-Saqqaf, have you finished the organizational chart within this cell?” Farahani asked.

“I have,” al-Saqqaf answered as he went up to Farahani and gave the piece of paper he wrote two days before and gave it to the latter.

“Impressive,” Farahani said as he looked at the paper. “I’ll make the announcement tomorrow.”

“I apologize for asking this but… if we’re attacking Bushehr in three days, might I be allowed to infiltrate the air base during the attack? I need to find a stationary communicator to contact FIA headquarters.”

“What on Earth for?”

“It’s concerning how the Eurasians sent that Walgear team from their navy. That could mean they found out through someone in the FIA.”

“Very well,” Farahani said before facing everyone else. “Anything else?”

“No,” everyone else in the room answered.

“Then good night.”


Kansai City, State of Japan. July 28, 2030; 0607 hours (Japan Standard Time)

“You’re up,” Jake Crawley said to Tatev Mirzoyan as he caught about to leave the Iron Dutchman. “We’re receiving a call from Maria Clara. You need to answer it before jogging.”

“Fine,” Tatev replied.

Tatev later reached the bridge of the Iron Dutchman. Going to a particular table, Tatev sat down on its accompanying chair and opened her laptop. She found a square on her laptop’s screen but this time it contained the flag of the New United Nations, which comprised a representation of the world’s continents centered on the North Pole by way of an azimuthal equidistant projection that was colored white while surrounded by cyan.

Inside this square that was the New United Nations’ flag were two smaller squares colored gray. Each square respectively had the words “Answer” or “Do Not Answer”. Tatev chose “Answer” and the square became black. Only the words “Maria Clara” and “Sound Only”, both of which were colored red, appeared on the screen.

“Miss Mirzoyan, do you read me?” a female voice asked on the other end of the laptop. “It’s Maria Clara. I’ve come to contact you with a warning.”

“This is Mirzoyan,” Tatev responded.

“Thank God. Listen to me, someone in the Middle Eastern League’s FIA told the Eurasian Tsardom’s OVR that the former hired Iron Dutchman Services. Mr. Vos, Dr. Hamilton, Miss Wattana, and Mr. Ganji are in danger.”


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. 0510 hours

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have an urgent announcement to make to all of you,” Farahani proclaimed to the recruits at the abandoned village. “United Command has declared that there will be an offensive in three days.

“I know two days isn’t enough to finish training you, so now I ask this: today and tomorrow, you must give me your best. Because for our part, we are to attack the Eurasians at Bushehr. I’m asking too much of you, but if it means freeing Iran, we must make this sacrifice. Speak now about this or forever hold your peace.”

Not a single recruit spoke despite the risk that came with their first mission. “Good. Now, we will begin organizing this cell. Including the mercenaries working with us, this cell consists of twenty people. Therefore, we will be divided into three groups.

“I will personally command one group and naturally, we’ll call it Command Group. Lieutenant Armin Khadem, Sergeant Ghasem Madani, Tarou Ganji, Sunan Wattana, and Anita Hamilton will answer to me.

“Group A will be commanded by Saman Dabri, a Lieutenant and my second-in-command, with Manuchehr Farahmand as Sergeant. Also in this group will be Jaleh Javadi, Arash Beg, Leila Alam, Kazem Jalili, and Hooman Asadi. Mr. Beg will be given the rank of Senior Volunteer and assist Sergeant Farahmand in manning the machine gun and as for Miss Alam, Miss Javadi, Kazem, and Hooman, all of whom will be given the rank of Junior Volunteer, will respectively be the Walgear pilot, sniper, RPG wielder, and RPG assistant.

“Now, Group B will be commanded by Mr. Wouter Vos, whom I already made a Lieutenant. Mr. al-Saqqaf will be given the rank of Sergeant and will serve as Group B’s RPG wielder with Ehsan Rajaei as a Senior Volunteer and he will handle the machine gun. Mahan Kadivar, Houshang Davani, Bijan Javadi, and Kamran Ghorbani, all of whom will be given the rank of Junior Volunteer, will serve respectively as the assistant machine gunner, sniper, Walgear pilot, and RPG assistant.

“This will be our organization for the coming days, so I expect you all to remember this. I will now let Sergeant Madani take over.”


Shiraz. 0736 hours

“So this is the plan you devised?” Tigran Pavlovich Nazarov asked he looked over a map of Iran marked with blue and red drawings with Vladimir Mirov.

“Da,” Mirov answered. “Those rebels will launch their attack in three days and we must prepare for it.”

“And why can’t we simply intercept this attack now that we know about it?”

“Kapitan, I am about to tell you the real reason why I’m here and with the exception of me and my team, this information must not leave this room.”

“I understand.”


Vernis – Russian for “Get back”. Cyrillic: Вернись

Strelyayte v nego – “Shoot him” in Russian. Cyrillic: Стреляйте в него

Umeret – Russian for “die”. Cyrillic: Умереть