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Battle Reports of the Consortium Chapter Seven
Date April 12, 2041
Author Jeff Jang
Internal Name endofdragon

April 12th, 2041:

From the Front Lines: Battle Reports of the Consortium

An Excerpt from Chapter 7: The End of the Long Dragon Syndicate

By: Jeff Jang

The following C.M.C. transmission was recorded on April 12, 2039, and made available to the public three months later. It details the newly commissioned Bishop One and Knight Five of the C-3800-E Aether on a mission in pursuit of Zachari Dahran, the self-proclaimed General of the Long Dragon Syndicate responsible for the death of Bishop Two. This is the first record in this book of these two Consortium officers, so a short biography of each will follow before the article. Of special note is the presence of The Consortium King in the communications, an unusual occurrence during a live mission. This is also an example of what makes the Knight Five / Bishop One combo a unique one: They are known for taking on the most dangerous Consortium missions and often do so in tandem. Knight Five even has her own B.U.S. and is considered as formidable as any Bishop.

Knight Five, Samantha Starkova. Prior to serving for the Consortium, Samantha Starkova served as lieutenant in the Russian Air Force. Awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation in 2018 for being instrumental in the rescue of the malfunctioning Orbital Platform "Yarost", she was one of the last active officers in the country's armed forces, right up until total demilitarization in 2029. Psychological profiles of her create an image of a woman who is no-nonsense and abrasive, and willing to do almost anything to get the job done.

Bishop One, Akiko Kobayashi. Akiko Kobayashi's credentials include her political record for the Greens Japan, for which she served for a period of four years in the House of Councillors, as well as being a Master of Onna Bugeisha, the recently-revived and modernized tradition of the female samurai. She is known for being soft-spoken and eloquent in politics, while having a reputation as one of the Consortium's fiercest warriors in combat.

** BEGIN RECORDING **

Knight Five: We are underneath the temple, King. There are many guards, Akiko spotted at least five at each entrance. He is here. Must be. This mudak will pay for what he did to Mason.

Bishop One: Patience, Samantha. Patience. We are going to bring him to justice, remember that. We are not here to kill him. Not unless we must. Not unless there is no other choice.

Knight Five: I was there at the briefing. I know what was said. Does not stop me from wanting to take my rifle and give him new breathing holes all over his chest.

Bishop One: We'll never know how he pulled off Hong Kong if we do not keep him alive. All our Intel points to--

Knight Five: Points to him being the mastermind, yes. Points to him being the only one who knew of the plan, yes. Means I can take these points and stick them in him. Does it matter if we know why he killed Mason? It will not change anything.

The Consortium King: Then we can stop it from happening again, Knight. That is the whole idea. Once we have the General then we can get some answers before sending him to Voltaire.

Knight Five: Ha. Voltaire is too good for him. We should make a viselitsa for him, dangle his ass outside the Mason Grey Memorial Institute.

Bishop One: We're not going to hang him in a cage, Samantha. I feel as strongly as you do, but we must be careful. We still have no idea what was used against Bishop Two. King, I am not seeing an entry from my side. All of the doors are guarded, and the windows all have laser fields.

Knight Five: Then we do this the hard way. The good way.

The Consortium King: I see no other choice. Aether is several kilometres out now, running those Syndicate auto-drones in circles. Knight Five, I think it is time for you to make some noise.

Knight Five: With pleasure.

Bishop One: Several guards on my end have been distracted by your... diversion. They are headed your way.

Knight Five: Yes! Diversion! We will call it this! All six guards down. One got off a shot that found a way through my B.U.S. and struck my upper arm. Nanites are already repairing it, no lasting damage.

The Consortium King: What is their status?

Knight Five: Status? What do you mean?

Bishop One: Are they alive, Samantha.

Knight Five: No. Nor will these other ones be in a second. Is this a problem?

The Consortium King: No. Carry on. Get that General, no matter what the cost.

Bishop One: The guards at the south entrance have mostly left. Only two remaining. Moving up... one remaining. None remaining. I am entering the complex. They are unaware of my presence so far.

Knight Five: These damned dolboeb are brainless! Even with their buddies piling up around me, they just keep coming!

Bishop One: Are you going to come inside, or not?

Knight Five: I am very busy out here. No reason to!

Bishop One: They've spotted me, two... no, three of them. I'm telling them to lay down their weapons... I see, they do not wish to listen. May the wind guide my... hand. May the blossom of spring protect... me. May my mind forever be at... peace. All three guards are down and my comm. scrambler should have stopped them from alerting anyone else. I believe I am still undetected. They're heavily armed, Samantha. Be careful.

Knight Five: Yes, I can see that. .50 calibre mounted on the wall out here. Maybe it is time for me to--

Bishop One: Go inside. Yes, I think you've made enough noise out there. Many of the guards are leaving their posts.

Knight Five: Right. Two more at the door. One down. Oof.

Bishop One: Oof?

Knight Five: Took a... shotgun to the chest. Stung a bit but nothing my suit can't handle.

The Consortium King: Knight, your vitals spiked there. Are you still alright?

Knight Five: Da, da. Nanites are doing their job. I am inside. Don't see any more guards.

Bishop One: I have seen several civilians around, but no more armed guards. Surprisingly, the General has not appeared to taunt us over the loudspeaker. That is his usual method.

Knight Five: I've got a few guards here. Six of them, main entry way. Sure would be a beautiful place if it wasn't full of scum.

Bishop One: I can hear your distraction off in the distance. I've found the entrance to the air vent that was in the plans. Samantha? Are you going to be able to catch up?

Knight Five: No, go. I am tied up here. More guards, and I am pinned down.

Bishop One: Do you need a hand?

Knight Five: Nothing serious. I am good. You get into the vents, this way they think it is just me. Maybe they will not watch the General as closely. Go!

Bishop One: Acknowledged. I'm in the vent now. Not a lot of security in here. I don't think they ever anticipated someone getting past the outer security.

Knight Five: It appears their guards are getting smarter. They aren't coming into open fire any more. Maybe just the ones outside were... vot der'mo.

Bishop One: Samantha? What's wrong? I'm almost to the heart of the complex now.

Knight Five: They appear to be setting up some sort of cannon.

Bishop One: Get out of there, Sam!

Knight Five: It's ok. Find the General. I've still got few tricks up this sleeve that they have yet to see.

The Consortium King: Keep your head down, Knight Five. You've got incoming.

Bishop One: What was that? The whole castle just shook?

The Consortium King: That would be Stormbird opening fire on the upper ramparts.

Knight Five: Stormbird? But I thought she was in Singapore? Why didn't you tell us?

The Consortium King: Our discussion about poker, Knight? I believe it was, an Ace in the Hole? I didn't want you too overconfident.

Knight Five: HA! Well, we could definitely use the help. The ceiling just crumbled on their... Oh wait, Stormbird is still firing and it's turning toward--

*Static*

Bishop One: SAM! Come in, Knight Five... COME IN!

The Consortium King: We still have life signs on her but it looks like she is unconscious. Complete your mission, Bishop, and do it now.

Bishop One: On it. I believe I'm above the inner sanctum. There's one figure in there. It must be the General. Going to drop down and engage. I'm going to patch my C.M.C. into vocals.

Bishop One: General. Rise and face me. You will pay for the death of Bishop Two, and the murder of three thousand civilians. Your time has come.

"General Ibadah": You have been misled.

Bishop One: Draw your blade.

"General Ibadah": If this is what you must have, Bishop of the Consortium, I will grant it.

Bishop One: May the wind guide...

"General Ibadah": My hand.

Bishop One: May the blossom of spring...

"General Ibadah": Protect me.

Bishop One: May my...

"General Ibadah": Mind forever be at peace.

Bishop One: Do not mock me, General.

"General Ibadah": I was trained in the way of Onna Bugeisha as you were, Bishop. I am not mocking your litany. I am reciting my own.

The Consortium King: Stand down, Bishop.

Bishop One: STAND DOWN? Are you kidding me?

The Consortium King: That is not a male voice, behind the mask.

Bishop One: Who... who are you?

Woman in Red: One who has been deceived, as you have been. I do not know where the General is. I had no part in the murder of Mason Grey. You have killed most of my guards, those who had sworn their whole lives to protect me. I surrender. The Syndicate is dead.

Bishop One: But... who are you?

Woman in Red: The last of the Mystics. Take me, now. I will answer no more questions.

The Consortium King: The guards are all surrendering, Bishop. Your conversation was broadcast through the castle. Aether's on her way back to pick you up. Stormbird's already retrieved Knight Five; she's a little battered but she'll be O.K. We will find this General. He cannot hide from us much longer.

**END RECORDING**

The Woman in Red, who remained unidentified, was sent along with all higher echelon members of the Long Dragon Syndicate to the Voltaire Crater Prison. The real General Ibadah was found and captured several months later at the same last stand where the White Tiger was killed. He remains in solitary confinement to this day.

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