Previous Part

Behind his back, the two man patrol party continued their vigil. The two men were responsible for keeping an eye on almost whole of the sandy beach. Although some new lights had been installed, a large area was still without light coverage. Their patrol area thus consisted of irregular patches of light in a mostly dark beach being pounded by powerful waves. Walking slowly the team reached the last light pole and halted for rest. One of the soldiers took told his companion to wait while he went slightly ahead behind the rocks for a much needed leak. Standing besides a large rock, he unzipped his pants and started the work. He was at it for a few seconds when he noticed a slight movement at the edge of his eyes. If he wasn’t tied up at that time, he would have probably investigated the incident. But as it happened, he ignored it and it’d have been only a matter of debate if the outcome would’ve been any different even if he had gone on to investigate.
Just a moment after he was finished there was a small whooshing sound and an arrow pierced his neck from behind. The startled soldier dropped on wet ground gurgling his own blood. His companion met the same fate seconds later. Four men in black clothes and masks slithered out of the darkness and quickly cut the throats of dying soldiers. Each soldier was carried by two men each and their bodies were dumped carefully out of sight. Once the work was finished, one of the attackers spoke in to his communications device in heavily accented English, “Otter 1 reporting to Crocodile. Beach is clear. “

Reply in not so accented English came in immediately, “Roger that Otter 1. Good work. Rendezvous with Otter 2 and 3 at Waypoint Charlie in 14 minutes.”

The men switched on their night-vision devices and started to sprint towards heart of the base nearly a KM away. Although the route was longer, they kept to a path that kept them away from the lights.

Lt. Col Peng was nursing his third drink of the night in his bed. Despite his misgivings, the liquor was genuine and had given him a good deal of buzz. Coming after the highly stressful day he intended to enjoy each sip of the expensive whiskey. The stash of bootleg DVDs that was seized from the same smugglers was proving to be a good source of entertainment. Grasping the glass in his hand he leaned against the pillows and closed his eyes listening to the soundtrack of one of the Chinese movies. He was feeling far too drunk to actually watch it. In spite of all the crap he had to go trough, life was not that bad after all. Sighing contently, he finished his drink and slipped even more in to his bed. His first clue of the fact that something was wrong came when things suddenly went very dark and at the same time he started having difficulty breathing. He struggled desperately to get his bearings and fought against the alcohol induced stupor made even more strong by his fatigue. A sudden hit on kidneys, almost made him puke, also made him fight off the effects of alcohol on his brain. He realised that his hands and feet were bound tightly and his face covered in some kind of dark cloth. He tried to scream but a gag prevented that. Another hit in same area made him bend over himself in agony and his scream was again muffled by the gag. Rough and firm hands dragged him to his feet and started to drag him somewhere. He tried to resist and was rewarded by another vicious hit that knocked him out.

When he came to his senses, he found himself in the same predicament, his face was still covered by a thick mask and his legs and arms tightly bound. His first instinct was to shout . His throat was parched and he needed water immediately. But almost immediately he remembered his roughing up from the last night checked himself. The self restraint was largely unnecessary as his mouth was still gagged. One thing that he sensed soon enough was that he was not on solid ground anymore. By slow rhythmic bobbing of the hard metallic floor underneath, he realised that he was a prisoner on a ship. Trying desperately to get out of his restraints he started to twist and turn which resulted in him bumping in to another person. He froze immediately, fearing that it was one of his captors. Lying still, he cringed waiting for the hard hitting blow and was more surprised than relieved when none came. Instead, a set of fingers frantically poked and groped him. Feeling bewildered he turned and tried to touch the unknown hand with his. It was soon established that the man was not an enemy and both immediately set about to loosen each other’s bonds. The task was not easy and it took them almost a hour to finally break free. At last, with impatient and trembling hands Lt Col Peng tore off the mask from his face and turned to face his helper. It turned out to be one of the men from his base, Xia Shi Gila.. The junior ranked soldier immediately tried to stand up and salute his senior but Lt Col waved him to relax. Sitting cross legged on the hard floor he croaked, “What the hell happened ?”

Gila was feeling dizzy from his earlier attempt to jump to attention and he plopped down on the hard metal floor. “We were attacked last night. Many of our men killed and the rest dumped on this boat. It all happened in minutes. We don’t know what hit us. ”

Peng rubbed his forehead and looked around. He realized that he had been dumped inside the engine room of Chinese patrol vessel with damaged rudder. As his junior spoke he tried to take stock of his surroundings. The port holes had been covered and only a trickle of light came through. He could see somebody moving in the feeble light. Ordering the young soldier to keep quiet, he slowly moved towards the moving man and found another of his soldiers bound and tied in similar way as they were. Working feverishly they managed to unshackle the man and then found another tied in similar way. All the men had similar stories to tell. Numerous masked men in dark clothes had appeared out of nowhere and had killed or captured all the Chinese personnel on island. Some of them had been placed on to the patrol vessel which had been towed in roughly southern direction away from the usual shipping lanes. They had heard loud explosions just minutes
after leaving the island.
Cursing loudly, Peng stumbled towards the portholes and tried to look outside. The glass had been painted black and windows sealed from outside. Ordering his juniors to find and open the door he tried to assimilate the situation. No matter which way he looked at it, he was screwed royally. His seniors will certainly take a very dim view of the incident if he ever survived the ordeal. At minimum they would just fire him. But a very long trip to a re-education camp or death by a firing squad seemed more plausible.

Few minutes later, he was out of the engine room on to the deck lost in gloomy thoughts oblivious to what was going on around him. 70 more Chinese were found bound and gagged on various parts of the ship, all repeating the same story with only minor variations. There was not a clue of the attackers though. It was like they were ghosts. He listened to them absently while looking at the night sky. Day break was still hours away and he could virtually see his life and career disappear along with the night.

Previous Part

1920 Hours
Spartly Islands

Spartly Islands is name of a group of islands spread between seas of China, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan and oil rich kingdom of Brunei. Most of the islands are small inhabited coral reefs interspersed with a few comparatively larger islands covered by dense tropical forests. Human population is sparse and most of the islands have little significance except as means of asserting the maritime boundaries of respective countries. And herein lies the catch. This whole area is believed to be one of the richest oil and natural gas fields. As such even though the islands which are next to useless by themselves are priceless pieces of real estate hotly contested by all the surrounding countries. There have been small scale conflicts and tensions between the participants since a long time. China owing to it’s size and military prowess has been particularly successful in staking it’s claim on quite a few islands, much to the chagrin of it’s neighbours. In most of the cases, Chinese military personnel just sneaked in to the inhabited islands and raised the red flag daring any of other countries to take it down. Although other countries didn’t like it a bit, they could do nothing except seething in impotent rage.

FalunGa was name of a mid sized island claimed by Chinese in similar fashion. Although it’s much closer to Vietnamese coast, Chinese had been able to stake their claim by bullying the weaker Vietnamese. North-western part of island, facing Vietnam was dominated by a extinct volcano peak, leaving an area of less than 4 square km of inhabitable land for the occupiers.
Over the years, Chinese had made the island a hub for their maritime patrol vessels in addition to an intelligence gathering outpost. A small number of Chinese patrol vessels and an occasional small frigate used the base to refuel and restock regularly. From being an inhabited island in 1970s, the place had grown to be an important military base populated by at least 300 Chinese technicians and military personnel. These were in direct command of a PLA officer of at least Lt. Col rank. During the time that hostilities started between India and China, a 44 years old Lt. Col Peng was officer in charge of base and he was not a happy man at the moment. Intelligence had suggested that something was definitely cooking. Neither of the other stake holders in Spartly Islands, Philipinese, Vietnam or Brunei had ever approved of Chinese tactics in what each country considered it’s own backyard. Each one of them had been trying to undermine Chinese and claim as much territory as possible to itself. Defiant, according to some accounts even belligerent attitude shown by Indians had given wings to many hopes to detractors of China. Something diplomatic or even military by any of the these countries was definitely on. Only what and when they didn’t know. Lt Col Peng knew that it couldn’t be a military offensive. Chinese dragon was more than capable of roasting and swallowing any body foolish enough to attempt anything like that. But he had orders to follow and these had been to step up the base security.
3 additional patrols of 2 soldiers each were added to existing 24×7 security detail and some more flood lights near the docks were installed. Although the base was still less than ideally defended, that was the best that could be done under the circumstances. Engineers and mechanics formed bulk of the Chinese population on base and those mugs could be barely tolerated with ships, guns were just not something that they could be trusted with. HQ had promised at least a platoon worth of reinforcements 2 days ago, but he hadn’t heard anything about it since then.

Now as the night advanced, he found himself sitting in his air conditioned office, smoking a cigar and double checking the status report he had to file next morning. The day had been very long with him personally supervising laying down of fences and trip wires, digging of trenches and shouting at the guard patrols to stay awake. To add to his woes, a medium sized patrol vessel had damaged it’s rudder while on a routine patrol and had to be taken out of action for at least 6 days. Feeling more tired than he had ever felt his whole life, he closed the file, leaned on back of his chair and inhaled deeply on his cigar. Apparently, the damned thing itself was another of infamous Chinese copies and gave him a coughing fit. Cursing incoherently in between his coughing fits he stumbled out of his chair and threw the cigar on floor in disgust.

Gathering up his belongings and files he got out of his cabin and ordered his orderly to lock it up behind him while he himself started his walk towards his residence which was nothing more than a per-fabricated shelter. But at least it had a mattress and a bed. But before that he decided that he needed to check on his men. The extended patrols were taking a toll on his men and he had no idea when fresh men from mainland were going to arrive in order to ease the burden. Carrying a small satchel which contained some of his belongings and documents, he started a brisk walk towards the nearly deserted beach where he could relax for a bit as well as check on the new guard posts he had ordered.

From the distance, he could see the newly installed flood lights on each corner of the beach gleaming brightly. Very soon, he saw silhouettes of two armed soldiers as they ambled past the harsh light spot created by the flood lights. Nodding in a satisfied fashion, he stood at a distance watching the two soldier patrol as it walked through the light into darkness and back again. Taking one last look at the area, he willed his tired legs to move back to his personal cabin to a bottle of American whiskey that his men had captured from smugglers yesterday. “Hope that doesn’t turn out to be another fake like those damned “Cuban cigars”.

Previous Part

1750 Hours
Indian Ocean

The deadly game of cat and mouse between Indian and Chinese submarines had been going on and on for hours. Nothing unusual about that. The crew had been in similar situation for much longer periods of time before. But currently, stakes were much higher. Not only their own lives, but lives of possible billions of people could be destroyed or changed unalterably by any mistake on their part. This was making them nervous. Captain of Indian Akula was aware of the fact and was doing every thing in his capacity to help his crew deal with the tension in his own stern way. The way was to keep every crew member so busy that he simply wouldn’t have any time to be scared. The trick was working but even he knew that there was a limit to it. He prayed feverishly that the situation will be sorted much before the snapping point was reached.

Sitting in his chair, he was poring over the constant stream of data flowing over his console. The two Chineses submarines, one attack and another missile carrier had been advancing very slowly towards Indian coast. Former was drifting slowly east around 23000 m in front of Akula and the other around followed it a 1000 meters behind. Some of the major Indian coastal cities and A&N; islands were already under the range of their missiles and they has not shown any inclination to launch their missiles. Indians could guess following two reasons for this behaviour,

1) They didn’t had authorisation for launch
2) In case they had authorisation, they were trying to make sure that the area was clear of any Indian anti-submarine assets before launch.

Of the two possibilities, Chinese had already been beaten on the 2nd..
Although he had upper hand in the second, he still preferred that it’d rather be first. Chances were slim but a man always has hope, sometimes the greatest power, at others the greatest illusion. To make things worse he had no way to make sure until Chinese made a move. Silently, he cursed the Chinese one more time and wished them to make a move. Even hostile, so that the unbearable tension and suspense could break.
Probably a mischievous God listened to his prayer and granted his wish. Chinese made a move, but in a totally unexpected way. It happened when sound of a fairly loud sonar ping startled the hell out of every crew member on bridge.

Sonarman announced excitedly, “Sir, we are being pinged by a submarine at a distance of 21000 m from Bandit 3 and 4. “

“Is it one of ours ?”

“No sir. Based on it’s acoustic signature, it doesn’t sound like ours or even Chinese.”

Captain arched his eyebrows at the slightly nervous sonar operator, “Then ?”
Clearing his throat he replied, “It seems to be American.”

Akula’s Commander exclaimed“ An American submarine ? Why will those idiots get involved here ? That too in this manner announcing their presence to everyone ? “

Captain reprimanded his junior officer at once, “We can discuss how and whys of American involvement later, if it’s indeed an American submarine. Right now, concentrate on the task at hand. Designate the new contact as Delta 1. Give me an update on Bandits .”

“Bandit 4 is turning towards Delta 1. 4 showing no change. No indication of any hostile intentions yet.”

“ It’s highly unlikely that our presence is a secret anymore from either.” Commander remarked ruefully.

Captain nodded gravely, “I agree. Turning to his weapons officer he asked, “ I presume that Delta 1 is still out of range of our torpedoes ?”

He replied with a nod, “Aye captain.”

Commander again exclaimed with surprise , “We aren’t thinking of engaging the Americans at this stage..are we ?”

Captain grimaced inwardly at his 2nd-in command officer. “If push comes to shove, then maybe we’ll have to. But right now, it’s Chinese reaction that’s more vital.”

He didn’t have to wait long for the Chinese reaction. Before he had finished speaking, Bandit 4 had completed turning towards Delta 1’s direction and started gaining speed.

“What the hell they think they are doing ?”

Weapon’s officer spoke up tentatively, “ Chinese are within American’s torpedo range while Americans are not. I think Bandit 4 is trying to get within firing range of Delta 1.”

No one else on bridge had any better idea. In spite of it’s obvious craziness, that was the only thing that could explain Chinese action. Captain nodded and said simply,”We’ll know soon enough.”

At that instant Delta 1 responded to the Chinese charge by letting out another ping. Within seconds, sonar man announced, “ Sir, Bandit 3 is turning in our direction and gaining speed. It’s still out of our torpedo range though.”

Almost immediately another update came, “ It seems like Delta 1 has flooded it’s torpedo tubes. I believe that they have a firing solution on both Bandits.”

Captain gripped the arm rests of his chair tightly, “ What’s the status of Bandit 3 ?”

“It’s still heading in the same direction constantly gaining speed. Current speed is 11 knots and increasing.”

A lot of thoughts were currently passing through Indian Captain’s mind. What were Americans doing there ? If their intention was to sink the Chinese submarines, they could have probably done that much before Chinese knew what hit them. Even after Bandit 3 started it’s charge, they possibly tried to warn it off by firing off a sonar ping rather than a torpedo. Could it be possible that they were on Indian side or were they just trying to break up the fight ? Announcing their presence by pinging in possible hostile waters had no logic. It had also made the Chinese aware of Akula’s presence which they were not, as was the most likely scenario before. But considering the distance between them, it was highly unlikely that American’s had been aware of Akula’s presence either.
Shaking his head in frustration he again turned to his weapon’s officer, “Be ready to fire on Bandit 3 on my order.” to which he replied eagerly, “Aye captain.”

Sonar man made another announcement, “I hear splashes. Bandit 4 has launched 2 torpedoes.” Without pausing, he spoke again, “Delta 1 has launched 2 torpedoes too.”

Captain muttered under his breath, “Just what the doctor ordered.”. Then to his weapon’s officer, “ Is Bandit 3 in our range yet?”

“At current speed, in less than three minutes.”

Captain took a deep breath and ordered, “Fire tubes 1 & 2 at Bandit 3 as soon as it’s in range.”

“Tubes 1 & 2 ready for Bandit 3, aye.”

In the meanwhile, Bandit 4 and Delta 1 were locked in a deadly duel. Although seemingly brave, Bandit 4 was less than a match for Delta 1. Americans were more than a generation ahead of Chinese in naval warfare. Their torpedoes not only had longer range and higher speed, but also much better terminal guidance. Therefore, even when Chinese had launched first, it was the American Mk48s, which found a terminal lock on their target first. Once they acquired the targets, their guiding wires were cut and Delta 4 immediately made a sharp turn and launched decoys. Chinese on the other hand were forced to cut wires and disengage a little earlier than required. Superior quality of American equipment was again obvious as neither of Chinese torpedoes could lock on to their target and were instead drawn away from Delta 1 by it’s decoys. One of American torpedoes was neutralized in similar way, but the other found it’s mark with deadly result for the Chinese. The torpedo tore through the hull of submarine and it sunk within minutes.

For Indians , although the technology gap was not as stark, it was comfortable enough for them to sink Bandit 3 without much trouble.

Previous Part

1420 Hours
PPN World News

In a stunning development a few minutes ago, Indian authorities blamed China for the nuclear attack on their soil that triggered a nuclear war with Pakistan. In a hurriedly convened press conference, a senior defence ministry official presented evidence to this effect that included pictures and videos of a captured Chinese nuclear submarine and it’s crew off Pakistan’s sea coast. Apart from the Chinese crew, Indians captured General Asgar and one of his aides who were apparently trying to escape from Pakistan in the same submarine. A recorded conversation between General Mao Hu, a PLA intelligence officer posted in Chinese controlled part of J&K; and Admiral (Retd.) Xedong of CPC was also recovered, According to portions of conversation played in the press conference, Admiral Xedong ordered General Hu to launch the nuclear missiles. Apparently, the nuclear tipped missiles were smuggled in to Pakistan at General Asgar’s behest as a bargaining chip against his bitter rival General Beg. But General Hu used them to launch a clandestine nuclear attack on India.
Chinese officials on the other hand refused to issue any statement on this matter. Their silence on this matter is quite suspicious considering the fact that Admiral Xedong is one of the more likely candidates for the coveted Chinese PM’s post once the current PM steps down.
If these allegations by India are proven to be true, then China will find itself in a very isolated position.
Most of it’s neighbours have already put their own armed forces at high alert preventing the Chinese from concentrating bulk of their forces against India. Russia has already condemned Chinese involvement with General Asgar and pit it’s forces on high alert.
USA too, issued a strong warning and dispatched two of it’s CBGs to the area after a Chinese warship shot down a Taiwanese fighter plane over Taiwan Strait. In a strongly worded statement, American president condemned the “irresponsible” attitude shown by Chinese military and warned them against any aggression against US allies and assets anywhere in the world. Japan too, has condemned the incident and put it’s own forces on high alert.

As if external pressure was not enough, Chinese authorities are also battling suddenly resurgent separatist movements in Buddhist majority Tibet and muslim Xinjiang. According to news reports, both provinces are in serious turmoil after local rebels in both provinces launched bloody attacks against Chinese military and ethnic Han settlers. Although China has ordered evacuation of all foreigners from the two provinces and cut off all internet services since last night, reports of continuing violence are still pouring in through various sources.

Previous Part

1200 Hours
Somewhere in India

The request for a telephonic meeting from the Chinese had come in just a few minutes earlier. If he was surprised by the event, defence minister Angad showed no indication of it. Now he waited surrounded by few of his advisers and military officers as the call was connected and voice of Chinese President Lin poured out of the phone’s speaker. President Lin unlike most of his predecessors, spoke good English making the job of a translator completely unnecessary. After some very brief and tense greetings, the two men came directly to the point. First salvo was fired by Chinese, “Mr. DM, I’ve personally followed your career graph very closely and I know it for a fact that you are a pragmatic nationalist. You do realise the enormous cost that our countries will have to pay if the current situation deteriorates in to a full scale war. Then why have you attacked our assets without any provocation ?”

DM replied, “ Mr Lin, don’t you think that a sneak unprovoked nuclear attack on my country that killed 50000 people in a matter of minutes is a grave enough provocation ? Nations have gone to war on much less. “

Lin protested incredulously, “But the attack was carried out by Pakistan ! You’ve already had your revenge. There is no excuse for you to pick up a fight with us.“

DM was silent for a while. “Yes you slimy lizard. Keep on shouting that you had nothing to do with it. Let’s see how you explain what we are releasing to the world.” Outwardly he replied, “Well, for starters, how about we having concrete proof that it was your people who manufactured, transported and launched 2 nuclear tipped missiles at us.”

Lin cleared his throat uneasily, “I’ll be honest with you. It’s not exactly a secret where most of Pakistan’s weapons come from. But what they do with them is entirely their prerogative. We can’t be held responsible for what they do with it. We have absolutely no control over anything outside our territory.“

DM smirked as he sniffed his quarry walking in to a trap of his own making, “ I’m sorry to contradict you Mr. President, but Pakistanis don’t seem to agree. Ah, why are we wasting time on verbal sparring when I have the proof straight from the horse’s mouth. Would you please wait for a few seconds.” He put the phone on silent mode and signaled his aides to play the captured conversation between General Hu and the senior CPC member. Once the player was ready, he spoke again, “Sorry for keeping you waiting, but before talking further, I’d like you to listen to this recorded conversation.”

For next few minutes, Chinese President listened to the recording with absolute silence which extended for a few uncomfortable moments after it was over. DM took the cue and broke the silence himself. “I don’t expect you to personally recognise the voice of General Hu, your senior most intelligence officer in Pakistan. But I’ll be more than just surprised if you don’t recognise the other voice. You hear him almost every working day of yours. Hundreds of millions of your Chinese citizens see his face on TV almost daily.”

When Chinese pres spoke again, the usual slight hint of arrogance was missing in his voice, “That could be a frame up by Pakis.”

Indian DM snorted bitterly, “A frame up by Pakistanis to get themselves annihilated ? This conversation leaves absolutely no doubt that your CPC and PLA planned and execute whole of this infernal operation. “

Chinese pres cut him angrily, “Xedong isn’t the whole of CPC, Mr. DM. He is just a single member.”

DM retorted, “But that single man is the senior most member of CPC, ranking just marginally behind your nephew, who just happens to be your most likely successor for the post of Chinese president two years from now. Don’t you honestly think that it’s too much of a coincidence ?“

The reply was just the same, “I still believe that it’s a conspiracy against us by a single isolated element. “

“ No Sir. The conspirators were Chinese and it’s us who had to pay the price. I absolutely refuse to believe that anything of this scale can be planned and executed without implicit knowledge and approval of numerous senior CPC and PLA officials . We have more than just circumstantial evidence to back up our claims. We have testimony of the Chinese personnel captured from your submarine as well as Gilgit from Pak Occupied Kashmir. ” DM paused for a moment anticipating a reply from the Chinese but when none came, he continued, “You can’t refute their testimony as well as the pictures of two nuclear tipped ICBMs that we captured from Gilgit.”

Indian DM’s monologue was interrupted by excited voice of Chinese pres, “You captured what from Gilgit ?”

It was the turn of DM Angad to be surprised. “Is the smartass playing with me or what ?” Glancing at his aide, who looked more bemused than surprised he shrugged imperceptibly and said cautiously, “Two Chinese DF-21 ballistic missiles each armed with 100 KT Pluonium based warhead. Along with 11 technicians and 91 soldiers belonging to PLA’s 811 Missile Brigade.”

Chinese Pres was furious instantly, “You’ve captured our missiles and men from Pakistan too ?”

DM replied in same tone, “All of J&K;, including Gilgit and Aksai Chin is Indian territory. If you ever had any doubts or counter claims, clear them now. All of Pakistan occupied Kashmir is now under our control. You Chinese had no business bringing your men and missiles in Gilgit, even if it was under Pakistani control.”

Angad could hear Lin gnashing his teeth on the phone line in self-righteous anger, “But it was under Pakistani control Chinese couldn’t have been there with their approval.”

Angad was beginning to enjoy the conversation, “Well, that still doesn’t shed any light on why’d you send two nuclear missiles to Pakistan in violation of all international treaties and rules. Were they stolen by Pakis or what ? God forbid if these missile fall in hands of Uighurs or Tibetan nationalists. With so much chaos, anything is possible. Don’t you agree ?”

Chinese pres was incredulous, “ Is it nuclear blackmail ?”

All traces of diplomatic civility vanished from the conversation, Angad replied with a hard edge in his voice, “ Think of it what you want Mr. President. We’ve already suffered a unprovoked nuclear attack. Pakistan was just your pawn. None of us will rest until we have our revenge.”

Chinese Pres almost shrieked, “But this is madness.”

“Nuclear deterrence is called MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) for this very reason. We’ll take hits, but you’ll not escape unscathed either.”

Lin changed his tone all of a sudden, “ Listen Mr Angad. I’m the President of China and all of this was done without my knowledge or approval. An unwanted war is not in any body’s interest, except the conspirators who planned all this.”

Angad replied coldly, “You do realise that it’s no time to play games Mr. President or act innocent. ”

Chinese pres protested weakly, “I’m not playing games. All this was done without my knowledge. I never planned or approved any such operation. “

People present in the Indian side exchanged confused glances. If Chinese president was indeed telling the truth, it was much stranger than the reality. DM Angad looked at the confused faces and answered, “I don’t have anything except your word for it and I hope that you will understand my predicament. I can’t just act based on your personal promises when lives of billions are at stake.”

Chinese Pres took a deep breath and replied, “I completely understand and I also want these tensions to end. None of us want a completely unnecessary war at this time. Economy of both of our nations will be set back by decades if this thing gets out of hand.”

Indian DM replied , “ There’s more on stake than just economy.”

“True.” Lin conceded.”I’ll do everything in my power to stop this madness. You’ve done whole world a great favour by showing me the real face of some of my compatriots. I’d like to return the favour by declaring a unilateral cease fire and cessation of all hostilities.”

DM was blunt in his reply, “I’d like to trust you on this Mr. President, but owing to events that transpired earlier, any such offer will be meaningless until we see some real result on ground as well as your government and military.”

Under different conditions, Chinese would have considered such response to be a major insult, but things were indeed different. “I understand it quite well. Still, I reiterate my statement. I hope a more lasting peace agreement will be reached between us as soon as I am finished with what I intend doing to Xedong and his associates. Goodbye.”

With this, the conversation between leaders of two warring nation came to an end. DM cut the call and looked at the small group present in the room. “Well. What should I make of it ?”