The headquarters were as dense as a black mountain range covered in dead silence. The ground was full of equipment left by the soldiers, and the pungent smell of gas and smoke filled the city. In the buildings were the hiding soldiers. The atmosphere was dead and lifeless, and all of the soldiers stared out the windows with eyes that looked lost.
Even though they could not see the army of the Six Nations on the horizon, everyone knew that countless missiles were aiming right at them. The headquarters could turn into the sea of fire at any given second.
No one knew where their fate would lead them.
Everything would depend on the final judgement based on the Germinal Organization. Maybe there was a slim chance of surrendering.
In the end, not everyone embraced the idea of sacrificing for their country.
In the underground command room of the headquarters, the screen displayed the situation right now. The single blue dot represented the lonely headquarters, while the red field, which represented the Six Nations, covered the entire continent. There was nowhere for them to run.
The leader, who wore a mask, stood right in front of the screen with his hands behind his back. The senior officials quietly exchanged eye contact, but no one spoke. The room was dead silent.
"What do you plan to do?" a senior official asked after a while.
The leader shut his eyes. While everyone was worrying about the next step, the leader replied with a hoarse voice, "Launch all the nuclear missiles."
Everyone was stunned by the words. A bald senior official who had a considerable amount of power shouted, "The Six Nations have already lock us down, and there's no way we can bring them down by launching the rocks. This is suicide!"
"So what? Do you want to beg for mercy in front of the Six Nations?" The leader's expression did not change. "Don't forgot the vision of the Germinal Organization. There can be no defeat. Death is the only way."
All the senior officials had great hatred toward the Six Nations. However, in the face of death, not everyone could stand their ground in their belief. Moreover, from the situation, being suicidal would not achieve anything. There was a chance that the Six Nations would break their promise and kill them after they surrendered, but there was still a slim of hope that they could survive.
"I disagree," the bald senior official yelled as he stepped forward.
The leader turned around and glared at him and the officials behind. "Is there anyone who agrees with him?"
Some officials look right back at the leader, and some lowered their heads, but all of them replied with silence.
Facing the line of life and death, the leader and the officials had a disagreement, as if there was a huge cliff that separated them.
"What if I insist?" the leader said calmly.
"Launching the nuclear weapons requires two keys, the system authorization, and your fingerprint and iris," the bald man replied. "You have the authorization, but you only have a key, while the vice leader has the other key, and he is on our side."
The leader looked around and asked: "So, where is he?"
"Of course he is not here. We won't give you any chance."
The leader shook his head. "Looks like you made your decisions long ago."
"Don't be reckless. We still have the chance to bring the uprising again as a nation, so we should not simply sacrifice our lives…" The bald official tried to persuade the leader, but he suddenly stopped with his eyes wide open. As he was talking, the leader had taken out two keys that were needed to launch the rocket, and one of them was supposed to be with the vice leader.
"How… how did you…"
"Oh my god! Put it down now!"
"Why is the key with you‽"
"Where's the vice leader?"
No one could believe what had just happened, and the room turned into chaos.
The leader held onto the keys without saying anything.
"Return the key right now. We won't let you do whatever you want." The bald man tried to suppress the fear on his face. His voice shook slightly as he made a hand sign behind his back.
The leader shook his head and looked at the crowd. "Meggal, you secretly had conversation with Maple. Dorios, you made some compromise with the Oridina. Newt, Raylen promised to provide protection…"
The leader mentioned most of the people in the room, and seeing everyone's shocked expression, he slowly said, "The consequences of surrendering for you, of course, will be different from the normal soldiers. So, don't act like you are full of righteousness. Do whatever you want."
The officials' expressions changed, and they felt the fear of the leader rise in their bones.
Even though the leader had always been intimidating, at least, the officials could still guess what the leader was thinking. However, ever since they started losing the war, it had become harder to grasp what the leader was thinking. To be exact, it was right after Zero escaped the encirclement that the leader changed.
As if he was a lake without any bottom, suffering loses after loses, the leader had remained calm like a still pond. Nothing could make him rage anymore.
The door opened, and a dozen executive officers surrounded the senior officials.
These executive officers were all part of their army. After the war started, there were countless injuries and casualties for the executive officers, but the officials had all had the brains to protect their own interest and power. The main ideal of the Germinal Organization that gathered the people was hatred, not loyalty toward a certain person.
The officials did not say anything. The bald official gave the signal, and the executive officers moved forward and prepared their attacks toward the leader
Covered in colorful beams, the leader sighed.
"Guess I'll send you all to see the vice leader."
In a land far away from the headquarters was the base of the Six Nations. Thousands of armored troops awaited their command, and jets were hovering above the ground. The sound of engines cut through the sky, and the shockwave vibrated the tents and equipment on the ground.
The missile vehicles were on standby, and multiple satellites and radars closely observed any sign of the missiles in the headquarters and movements in the sky. As soon as they saw anything that was flying into the sky, they could instantly take it down. Then they would resort to violence and use everything they had to turn the headquarters into a wasteland.
In the battle command center, all the representing military officials were antsy.
"There's only seven hours, thirty-two minutes, and eleven seconds before the time limit, and they still haven't responded," the representative of Ordina said. "I think that we should extend the time for the Germinal Organization to think carefully and not do something stupid."
No one replied.
Raylen officer said with a cold expression, "We have already contacted four of the senior officials in the Germinal Organization. They were still trying to convince the leader."
The other representatives nodded with agreement. They all did something similar. When they are pushed back against the wall, quite a number of the Germinal Organization's senior officers were willing to surrender in exchange for safety.
The obvious bargain that the Six Nations wanted was to make the Germinal Organization surrender and save the hostages from danger.
"It's already been more than an hour and twenty minutes since the last contact. They haven't reported back to us since then."
"Don't worry. We still have time."
The officials from different nations were chitchatting with each other while they waited for the response. Giving a choice for the Germinal Organization meant that they would have to wait for the result.
An officer from Hesla suddenly asked, "So in the end, who is the leader of Germinal Organization? According to the intelligence from Dark Net, the leader came from the Gollum, the country that had fallen. The former identity of the Germinal Organization was Mimok, but we searched through all the files and still couldn't find the exact identity of the leader."
Bennett had given the information that Hannes found to the Six Nations, thinking that they could find more details given their power. However, the search was still met with a dead end. The leader was like a ghost without a past, and the files that stacked as high as mountain did not include his name. The only information that they had was what Hannes had found.
"Didn't Raylen conquer Gollum? Do you have any intel?" Stardragon's official asked.
Raylen's official shook his head. "We even searched for files on the list of civilians in Gollum back when it still existed, and none of them matched with the leader. We also sent some people to visit Gollum's original territory, and they didn't find anything. I wonder if the intel from the Dark Net is true…"