Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 641
“Mr. Ian, the United States has a short history but has achieved great prosperity today thanks to our audacity and courage. We were ridiculed for purchasing Alaska and watering war zones around the world with the blood of our young. Our fatherland became a superpower like that. That great fatherland is being challenged militarily by the Soviets and economically by the Japs. Now, we need a breakthrough.”
Hathaway pressured him. Ian nodded imperceptibly.
“Davis, where is the inertia magnetic fusion reactor research now?”
“I have no words. The Alamo laboratory spent $3,000,000,000 over the past decade to raise the critical temperature by a mere 20 degrees Celsius. Currently, the superconductor’s critical temperature is minus 235 degrees Celsius.”
Ian lowered his head apologetically.
“That’s a shame. Will it be possible to raise it to minus 100 degrees Celsius?”
“No,” said Davis certainly.
It was not going to be easy to reach minus 200 degrees Celsius this century, let alone minus 100 degrees.
“It can’t be helped. Over the past century, humans have become bizarre animals that mass-spend resources and energy. Oil will be depleted someday after fueling industrialization and supporting human society. Energy expenditure is skyrocketing, and we need to do something. If you two are fine, I won’t oppose it either. No one expected us to stroll on the moon. Doing something is always better than inaction. Let’s do it. If the project succeeds, the Russians may sell Kamchatka to us.”
“Kamchatka! Hearing its name alone makes me happy.” Hathaway giggled.
“Hahaha. Mr. Davis will be the next Seward.”
Herman giggled too. Seward was the U.S. Secretary of State who purchased Alaska in 1867. He was criticized for buying the useless frozen wasteland, but the booing turned to cheers when a gold mine was discovered in Alaska in 1887. When massive amounts of oil, gas, and iron were subsequently discovered, he became a hero.
However, Russia became a laughing stock for 300 years. The Soviet Union was very much like Russia at the time. With excessive military spending, their weak economy wobbled. A thousand hydrogen bombs were no use. If the United States of America successfully develops a fusion reactor, it would be another moment of shame for the Soviets.
“Davis, can we lend the Mambasa area?”
“We can’t.” Davis shook his head.
“Mambasa is near the okapi preservation area. The jungle of Ituri is a treasure trove of many species, like the okapi. Hundreds of animal rights activists and the United Nations will criticize us. Even though Mobutu, with his weak political foundation, wants to sell it, he will have a hard time doing so.
“How shall we do it?”
“We cannot make it a concession, but we can procure the development rights.”
“There is also Ntaganta, who is seeking any chance.”
“Do we have to care about animal rights activists who care about some mongrels? They only have mouths, never hands and feet. So we can bribe them easily. The real problem is the Russians and their minions on the prowl.”
Herman didn’t look pleased. Davis smirked. It was what Herman would say. The main concern of the oil developers was not development failure but environmental activists. He well understood his aggression.
“A well-organized opposition always subdues the silent majority supporters. First, I will make an excuse. Northeastern Zaire is a red zone full of rebels, armed guerillas, and voodoo groups. I will spread the rumor that a high-quality gold mine has been discovered. Ntaganta will salivate. He needs money for his armies.”
“In this scenario, we will provide information that Ntaganta, after procuring the gold mines, is bulking up his forces to Mobutu.”
Hathaway discerned the point right away.
“Yes, Mobutu, while anxious, cannot help but rely on the United States. We can procure the resource development rights in exchange for ousting the rebels. We can use military force in the guise of self-defense.”
“This reminds me of Chile’s Allende. I feel like America is acting like a band of thugs,” Ian muttered.
“How selfish.” Herman chuckled. Hathaway summarized what had been said so far.
“A drunken girl is anyone’s target. No one can blame a country for acting on behalf of its interests. A country’s elites should take care of their nation’s interests. Otherwise, they are traitors. For our nation’s glory and progress, we can do anything, no matter what anyone says.”
“What you say is true to some extent. ‘Everyone lived happily ever after’ happens only in fairy tales. Europe’s wealth and progress are thanks to colonizing Africa and India. Japan’s wealth is thanks to colonizing Korea. The United States is quite civil compared to Europe and Japan’s greed,” Davis said with a smile, but nothing was smile-inducing in what he said.
“Great. Let’s name this project Green Flow. The jungle of Ituri is a green world. Nuclear fusion is a clean source of energy. It fits.”
Ian and Herman agreed with Hathaway’s suggestion.
“That’s it then. What is the composition of the troops we will deploy?”
“To officially deploy the Marines, we need the president’s approval. I’d like to mobilize 15 Shadow teams as an advance party.”
“Fifteen Shadow teams! Are you kidding?”
Hathaway flinched. The DIA had 30 Shadow teams in total. The Shadow teams were elite squads made up of re-trained special-ops agents. A Shadow team consisted of a leader and ten teammates. Fifteen such teams would be a regiment-like force. They have only been mobilized three times so far: the assassination of the Chilean president Salvador Allende, Operation Cuckoo in Syria, and the exploration of the Ituri jungle in Zaire.
“There is a native American proverb that says that one raises a hound to use it in the hunt. The jungle of Ituri is also known as ‘The Dark Forest.’ The nature there is incomparably harsh compared to Vietnam. Major McFee was leading two Shadow teams, but they were decimated in three days. No green berets or rangers can move there. To protect the advance party, one Shadow team would not suffice. So I’d like to deploy Black Shadow too,” Davis added.
The committee members only perceived the MK Project as an ESPer training program. They didn’t know the existence of Predators, which were gene-modified bioweapons. The being that decimated the Turtle, Octopus, and Serfund that had been hidden 200 meters underground and the Shadow teams armed with cutting-edge technological weapons was like a pesky obstacle to them.
“Black Shadow?” Hathaway jumped.
Black Shadow was top-secret. Only four psychic Haunters and six mechanic Haunters were produced by the collaboration between the DIA and Area 51. They had not passed a thorough internal examination and had never been deployed in any actual operation so far in the history of their department.
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“It can’t be used. It’s a secret that will attract quite a lot of attention from the public once revealed.” Ian waved away.
Herman nodded too.
Lithium and fusion reactors were important, but they still didn’t warrant the use of Black Shadow.
“That’s a shame.”
Davis stepped back. He mentioned Black Shadow just to deploy them in addition. He didn’t lose much.
“Isn’t that the jungle where an agent named Black Mamba rescued Areva hostages?” Hathaway asked.
“That’s just something one journalist from a French private TV network claims. Even Black Shadow cannot roam freely in that jungle. Even Kotcheff would not use such hyperbole in his movies. One agent decimating hundreds of rebels and rescuing 20 hostages?”
Davis denied it firmly. He didn’t believe in the existence of Black Mamba. A human cannot become a monster while retaining their intellect. Haunters proved that. He also didn’t believe in the existence of Black Mamba because of a strong intelligence agency.
The United States has the most intelligence agencies in the world—the independent CIA and 16 other organizations. The problem was that they were closed off from each other and reluctant to share information. As a result, the CIA didn’t inform Davis properly, who was in the DIA.
“Frogs are loud creatures by nature. Mitterrand must need some hero figure to raise his dropping approval rating.”
Hathaway agreed, too. There is a limit to a human’s capacities.
“A voodoo cult in Rwenzori disappeared. We suspect that the DGSE must have made some kind of transaction with them,” Davis trailed off.
He was intent on finding any sign of the Predators who had disappeared. Nothing else interested him. If Hathaway got involved, it only added to his already taxing workload.
“Let us confer.”
The three members moved to the small conference room.
“Davis, we give you all the clearances regarding the execution of Project Green Flow, including the mobilization of the 15 Shadow teams. You will have to do without Black Shadow.”
Davis received the documents politely.
“May you not disappoint us oldies.”
“Of course not, sir.”
After discussing a few more matters, the lights turned off in the conference room. In the underground bunker of Los Alamos, the worst operation in history had just been approved. The executor, Davis, moved the academic societies under the supervision of the Committee.
The vast area encompassing the Rwenzori mountain range in East Africa and the jungle of Ituri was a treasure trove of resources covered with gold and uranium mines. The failed Mobutu regime failed to control the eastern part of the country, 1,800 kilometers away from the capital. Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda, bordering Zaire, also had unstable politics and weak militaries.
Around a meat plate abandoned by the cook, various insects were bound to gather. On a messy battlefield where government forces from four countries and armed warlords intermingled, Davis was going to pour fuel onto the fire.
Suddenly, there was a plentiful supply of high-quality gold ores in the Kigali gold refinery. Many indigenous people visited the jewelers holding quartz and pyrite with high gold content. The rumor arose that there was a gold mine in the jungle of Ituri. Bloodlust could already be smelled in the air.
The Soviet Union and Japan had intelligence satellites and knew the strategic importance of lithium. The KGB and CIRO detected the United States’ moves and acted on them. It hadn’t been a week since the initiation of Project Green Flow.
Zaire, the owner of the coveted treasure, didn’t know anything. The Korean government also never discussed the future energy problems. They were busy enough suppressing pro-democracy protests.
On the Sakura shore, 50 kilometers south of Shizuoka Prefecture, on four square kilometers of the plot, stood Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant. The plant was run by Chubu Electric and had five reactors. Two were launched in 1976 and were pressurized heavy water reactors, while three were later built and were boiling water reactors. Both use deuterium oxide for cooling and retardant.
Heavy water reactors have inferior efficiency to boiling water reactors. They also handled the cooling water in a more complicated way. But the Japanese government continued to use them because of Plu-Thermal (the system to reuse plutonium fuel in the boiling water reactor.)
Plu-Thermal allowed the economical use of nuclear fuel. With re-processing, it yielded plutonium. Highly pure plutonium can also be used in an atomic bomb. Plu-Thermal didn’t pose any technical obstacles, unlike Monju, a fast-breeder reactor, but if an accident happened, it gave off a massive amount of plutonium with a half-life of 24,000 years. It was a double-edged sword.
Main Control Room, Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant
“Is the cause still unidentified?”
Close to midnight, an enraged roar erupted. There had been an error in the second pressurized reactor’s water supply pump. Three hours passed, but the cause was still unidentified and remained elusive.
Ishihara was tasked with the cooling and retardant, but the security guards were timid. Thirty had been checking the control equipment and pumping facilities, but the cause remained elusive. Their faces were dripping with fatigue, but they didn’t dare complain.
“The second reactor’s core will be exposed in an hour!” Kaeda roared.
The fuel rod would be exposed when the cooling water stopped being provided. Before that happened, they needed to turn off the reactor. The loss from such was problematic, but the bigger problem was their use of Plu-Thermal and Tritium Trapping, which happened behind the local residents’ backs.
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The Plu-Thermal needed to be approved by the governor of Shizuoka first, but Chubu Electric got tacit approval from the CIRO and surreptitiously extracted plutonium and tritium. When the halting of the nuclear power plants was known to the outside, as they examined the causes, the two operations were going to be exposed. The local residents will be enraged, which could escalate into an international conflict.
“Find the cause, Ishihara! If you can’t, you may as well jump into the sea right this moment.”
“Yes, sir!” Ishihara and his crewmates responded quickly and jumped out of the room.
Kaeda kicked the console.