Janurary 30th, 2016 13:30. Seoul, NIS safehouse hospital ward.
Namgoong-won's hospital ward had been full of NIS agents since this morning. Today was moving day into the NIS office, and everyone was here to move all of Namgoong-won's computers and mechanical equipment. Despite it being a Saturday, Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin also came into work early to help him pack.
"Namgoong! Manager An just told me, but did you know you're receiving an award soon?"
"Yes, you know that broker you found? Charles Lee? They arrested him yesterday, and they're going to bring him back into the country this morning."
"Oh, that? All I did was work on what Manager An ordered..."
"Anyways, congratulations! The NIS Secretary and the Director of the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation wanted to meet you. I'm sure Manager An will feel proud because of that. Ho, ho, ho."
"This is all thanks to you, Assistant Manager Lee. You were always on my side cheering me on and helping me."
"Oh, is that so? You're gonna treat me when you get the award then?"
"Ha, ha, ha. Of course!" Namgoong-won laughed as he looked at Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin, who had a bright smile and was happy for him. He wasn't aware, but the way Namgoong-won's heart thought of Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin's was changing from a workplace superior to a loved one.
* * *
Janurary 30th, 2016 21:00. Jeon Nam Mokpo-si, a motel room.
The motel outside of Mokpo was dingy and seemed to be at least 30 years old. An old TV in room 302 was broadcasting news everyday about the Navy's defense industry corruption scandal that shook Korea.
The reporter onscreen said, "The Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation released a statement about the corruption scandal regarding the introduction of the Aegis system and ships ten days ago. They've made quick work of the investigation and arrests of suspects. We'll now go to the reporter on the field for more details, Reporter Han Hee-won."
"Yes! This is reporter Han Hee-won from the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation. Two days ago, Ex-Director Nam Tae-gyu, Ex-Secretary Jung Oh-kyung, and Ex-Purchasing Business Manager Kim Hyun-pil were arrested. Yesterday broker Charles Lee, a central character, was arrested in the Cebu Philippines. He was brought back into the country this morning. A joint investigation is being conducted with the Philippino government in the hotel room he was arrested in to search for hidden assets. Charles Lee acted as a bridge between the supplier and the Defense Industry Department; it's believed he's related to other corruption scandals and will be investigated for further charges."
"Reporter Han Hee-won, the immediate arrests of so many people in such a short time are shocking citizens. Are there any announcements regarding the identity of the additional suspects?"
"Yes. According to the spokesperson for the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation, this corruption scandal has issued over 20 arrests warrants; however, the identity of those suspects hasn't been...."
Suddenly the TV turned off.
A half-drunk man in his 50s with a dazed look was holding a remote as he sat leaning against the corner wall of a small musty room filled with soju bottles.
It was three-time elected Congressman Lee Youn-bak, who was still in office. The congressman was stuck in this old, dingy motel room because he was one of the suspects mentioned on TV. In the 19th Congress, he had immunity from arrest and would not have gotten a warrant until an arrest agreement was made with Congress. However, the 20th Congress has had a trend for giving up immunity, and a law was passed to nullify it.
Congressman Lee Youn-bak disappeared after the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation's announcement last week. He travelled all the way to this remote location in Mokpo to stowaway to China. After he heard about how the director was arrested, he had given up.
Congressman Lee Youn-bak stared at the powered off TV and closed his eyes in thought.
Why did I accept the bribe and bring my life down like this? I had enough money as it is, and I also had the honor of being a three-time elected congressman. I had a happy family with two lovely daughters, why... Damn money, greed for money is limitless.
He began to sob as he remembered when he was elected as a third-time elected congressman for the 18th Congresswho took millions as a bribe when he was the Director of the National Defense Council.
A couple of hours passed. It was late at night when the congressman stumbled towards the window and opened it. Besides the dimly-lit streetlights in the dark, the cold night air was the only thing that greeted Congressman Lee Youn-bak. The congressman closed his eyes for a bit, breathed in the cold night air, pulled out a pen, and began writing in a notebook. After he jotted down a couple of lines in the notebook, he left it on top of the old TV, entered the bathroom, and filled the tub with water.
My dear wife, I am sorry. I wish I can take some of the pain with me, but I am so sorry I cannot do so. Hye-young and Hye-soo... I hope you can forgive your father.
The next day, Congressman Lee Youn-bak's suicide was spread as breaking news within and outside the country. The citizens of Korea were in shock again, as they believed the honest, hard-working three-time elected congressman's motive for his suicide was his guilt for being involved in the defense industry's corruption scandal.
* * *
February 1st, 2016 09:00. Seoul NIS Counter-terrorism Investigation Unit One office.
It was Namgoong-won's first day in the NIS. Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin was taking him around the office and introducing him to other employees.
"We're finished with Investigation Unit One, and the next office is Unit Two. There are a lot of dumb middle-aged men here. Ho, ho, ho."
As Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin was teasing and frowning to frighten Namgoong-won, a large man approached.
"Huh? Assistant Manager Lee, you're smiling in the office. Have things have changed since I saw you last?" Ma Dong-suk, Department Head of Unit Two, spoke as he walked over towards them.
"What? When did I not laugh? Sometimes..." Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin stopped speaking, as she also thought she didn't laugh that much.
"This is the new guy? Hey, you're pretty good-looking. Ah-ha! Is it because of him? He, he, he."
"Hello, sir. I am Namgoong-won, who just joined. Great to meet you."
"Oh! Yes, Hello. I am Ma Dong-suk, the department head for Investigation Unit Two."
"Sir! Hey, Namgoong-won. You don't have to greet him! Let's go!" Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin hastily pulled on Namgoong-won's arm and tried to get away from Ma Dong-suk's gaze.
"Why? Don't I have to greet Unit Two as well?"
"Do it next time."
Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin's face was already red by the time she was dragging Namgoong-won away from Ma Dong-suk, who was laughing heartily.
* * *
February 4th, 2016 09:30. Seoul Jung-ku Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation conference room.
The Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation's recent performance was outstanding. They were only founded three months ago, but they were able to uncover damning evidence for the defense industry's corruption scandal from five years ago, amounting to trillions of dollars, and it truly was an amazing feat. Despite their achievements, the conference was being held in a dark mood.
"The 25 suspects for the Navy's new ships and systems corruption scandal have all been arrested, excluding the defense industry businessman CEO Ahn Hyo-jin, Executive Koo Jin-ook, Director Ahn Dong-gil, Lizzy Ahn, and the deceased Congressman Lee Youn-bak."
Director Ahn Chang-gil spoke after Director Ahn Kyung-hoon's report was finished. "Lizzy Ahn... Do we know her whereabouts?"
Manager Jang Soo-won from the second investigation unit answered Director Ahn Chang-gil's question. "We have confirmation Lizzy Ahn is residing in her home in LA. Currently our unit is keeping watch on her. We can arrest her whenever the order is given."
Director Ahn Chang-gil glanced at Director Ahn Kyung-hoon and asked again, "Director Ahn, what do you think? Do you think we can immediately arrest Lizzy Ahn and bring her to Korea without the US government's cooperation?"
Director Ahn Kyung-hoon took a moment to think before answering. "I believe it would be difficult. Lizzy Ahn is a US citizen, and we have no jurisdiction to arrest her. Even if the arrest was made, it would be difficult to transport her back to Korea through normal means without alerting the US government. Why don't we officially send out a document to the US justice department asking to bring her back into the country?"
Director Ahn Chang-gil leaned back and pondered for a moment.
Lobbyist Lizzy Ahn was a US citizen and had deep relations with the Aegis system's supplier, Lockheed Martin, and other American defense industry businesses. Also, her adoptive father was a senator of the US Senate, so he had a large influence over US politics.
The Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation concluded an official request for a rebate to the executives of Lockheed Martin. The repatriation of Lizzy Ahn would not agree with the US's national interests, and it would cause problems with US-Korea relations, creating restrictions when buying American military equipment.
Director Ahn Chang-gil, who had already received the report, rested his chin on both hands and began to speak. "That's too difficult. The current status of our country doesn't seem to be enough to reach Lizzy Ahn."
"So, does that mean the case for Lizzy Ahn and Lockheed Martin is on hold?"
"I'll make a decision after meeting with the president. I'd like everyone to cooperate with the prosecutor's office in processing all the evidence and suspects so they can set a date for trial as soon as possible."
* * *
February 5th, 2016 05:30 (UST 4th 16:30). USA a building in the suburb of Washington, DC.
There were 13 black-clothed, masked people sitting at a semicircle table. On the other side a man was sitting down. It was the Director of Area 51, Howard Harley.
The entire wall was black. The lighting was dim, making the black-clothed and masked people seem like grim reapers from hell. The table's center read: "United States Supreme Security Council."
"Director Harley, I read the report about the hacked 28 SS-level national secrets and 2 SSS-level secrets. Has the incident been taken care of?"
Director Howard Harley showed anxiety and nervousness, which seemed contrary to his large stature. He answered without being able to meet the eyes of the black-masked people. "Yes, I took care of it. This hacking incident wasn't by a country's organization or a hacking group, but rather an individual who succeeded merely by chance. We've eliminated the hacker and his family; we've also destroyed the leaked data through an explosion. We're keeping watch on the Korean government and businesses through our agents from the Korean branch of the CIA to check if any data have been leaked."
This time the black-masked man sitting on the left side spoke. "Director Harley, security for Area 51 must be tightened because of this incident. If Korea creates new technology from the leaked data, then Director Harley, you must take responsibility with your life."
Director Howard Harley answered with a shaking voice to the sharp-toned, black-masked man. "I apologize. Currently, we're operating a dual security system as a solution to the access protocol. Also, this would never happen, but if Korea does create new technology, we'll ensure it will be shut down before release."
This time the black-masked person seated in the center spoke with a feminine voice. "Easier said than done. The secret we have kept for 70 years has been leaked. The situation is beyond serious. However, the obligation for this incident will be put on hold. The committee will give you full support, so send in a report for the necessary supplies and human resources for surveillance."
"Thank you, Chairman."
Despite the cool temperature of the building, Howard Harley was sweating profusely like a waterfall. All he could think about was running out of the building.