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 ?”

Previous Part

1150 Hours
CIA Office
Washington DC, USA

Last few days had been really hard on the CIA chief. His eyes, now encircled by dark circles showed that the man had not been able to catch up on sleep for quite some time. He was dragging his feet through the corridors with slumped shoulders and lost expression. The situation for rest of CIA personnel in the office was made worse by his increasingly irritable temper. His subordinates wanted him to doze off for a few hours and get some much needed sleep, both for his sake as well as their own. But nobody was willing to make the suggestion to his face, not at this time when yellow matter had not only hit the fan but also got splashed the people passing by the windows.

Those normally predictable Indians had proved to be really unpredictable when they needed to behave the most. Not only they had nuked the hell out of one of the most vital US “allies” in South Asia, but had also picked up a fight with US’s biggest trading partner. The stock markets had tanked all over the world while the fuel prices had sky rocketed to $ 220 a barrel within two days. Governments in numerous countries had been forced to shut down trading in stock markets after stock worth hundreds of billions had evaporated in a matter of hours. Already, self-styled analysts and experts were shouting themselves hoarse claiming all kinds of consequences, ranging from alien intervention to a nuclear world war. Some of the more colourful “experts” were playing on the much hyped date of 21/12/2012 predicting end of the world. The result was a wave of mass panic and hysteria spreading all over the world which the governments had been unable to subdue. Riots had broken out in many cities causing even more panic and destruction.
Cosby was sitting on his chair staring at the documents containing all the details while a small army of agents and analysts ran around bringing even bigger piles of papers to him and other senior officials in the room. He felt drowsy staring at the sheets and felt himself drifting towards sleep. Even the strongest coffee was proving useless in keeping him awake and he inched closer and closer towards blessed oblivion, even if it was for a few minutes. His trance was very rudely broken by the 3 star Admiral who had been shouting on phone earlier.
“Hey Cosby! Cosby, wake up buddy. We are officially in deep shit now.” Admiral Adams bellowed while trying to shake the dozing spook awake.

In spite of his best efforts to sound alert and in control, Cosby could only manage a sniffled yawn, “Uh ..what ?”

Admiral jumped up and down excitedly “Have you been sleeping all this while now ? Those damned Chinese have downed a Taiwanese F-16 over Taiwan Strait !”

All the traces of sleep immediately vanished from Cosby’s eyes. “What the hell are you talking about Admiral ? Why’d Chinese do such a thing ? “

Admas just exploded, “You are the intelligence guy here Cosby. You figure it out. We had no information when Pakistanis launched that nuke on India. None when they tried to launch another one and absolutely no clue when Indians took the decision of nuking the cursed place off the world map. Do we run the biggest and most advanced intelligence setup in the world or what ? Now one of my guys in Taiwan phones and tells me that Chinese have picked up a fight with Taiwanese, and you ask me such questions ! ”

Cosby rubbed his head tiredly and groaned pitifully, “Fuc* ! “

Admiral Adams looked at the exhausted man sympathetically, but there was too much sh1t going on for him to be nice, “ First Indians destroyed Pakistan, now Chinese are about to do the same thing with Taiwan. At this rate, we’ll have no allies left in that part of the world.”

This time, a 2 star Army General, General Matthews spoke up, “He is right Cosby. We got to do something. Losing the service of those terrorist Pakis is one thing, but loss of Taiwan will really screw things up for us in that part of the world. We have to have Taiwan intact and on our side.

Adams nodded vigorously and added, “If Taiwan is lost, we can say goodbye to all the oil in Spartly Islands. Not to mention what it’s going to cost us when people all over the world see us humiliated by loss of our allies while we keep twiddling our thumbs.”

Cosby stared at the pile of papers in front of him while speaking, “True. First Taiwan, then South Korea, then Japan. these greedy Chinese will never stop. “

Adams lit a cigar and puffed on it, “For Chinese, it was Tibet first. We did nothing then either.”

Cosby retorted “Neither did Indians, who had most to lose. After Tibetans of course.”

Matthews who had been pacing the room impatiently interrupted, “Gentlemen, this is no time to discuss history. The point is, the fight between India and China needs to be broken off before it gets too serious. Much before Chinese use it as an excuse to solve their Taiwanese problem once and for all. That means right now. Every single second counts.”

Adams nodded, “You are right General. But how do we do it ? I have only two Carrier Battle Group (CBG) in near area. One is on the eastern coast of Japan which was supposed to conduct the joint exercises with Japanese. The second is in Guam for resupply and repairs. We can’t intimidate either China or India with what we have.“

Cosby who had been silent all this while gave no indication that he heard anything that the two men had been discussing. He picked up a sheaf of papers and waved it , “These intelligence reports say that a full scale rebellion has broken out in Tibet and Xinjiang.”

Matthews waved away the information dismissively, “That’s not important right now. Chinese always had that problem “

Adams disagreed at once, “ We need to utilize whatever we can General. Have you gone through the reports yet ? Tibetans claim that they’ve blown up a nuclear missile base.”

Cosby interrupted, “It’s just not their claim Admiral. We know for sure that they are telling the truth. But the reprisals by Chinese have been very brutal. PLA has wiped out dozens of villages for revenge, Surviving Tibetan rebels are fighting with all they have, but they wouldn’t last much long unless they get more help.

Meanwhile in Xinjiang, Uighur muslims have declared a war on Chinese Han settlers. Approximately 8 hours ago, a mob of Uighurs laid siege to a Han settlement, burnt down dozens of houses and took nearly 200 Hans hostage. Not even one survived when the rescue operation launched by Chinese blew up. Whole province is on fire as Uighurs are fighting pitched battles with Chinese military as well as civilians.
Why not use this to our advantage ? “

Previous Part

0810 Hours
Jislan
Chinese Army Base
Occupied Tibet

“Hurry up ! I don’t have enough time for you to waste just lolling around.” An impatient and very nervous Chinese PLA Lieutenant barked at the head of three man electric repairmen team. The three men had been working feverishly trying to repair the broken generator for two hours. The massive 100 KVA generator was one of the two that formed a pair providing backup power source for the highly sensitive army base. The main power supply of the base was disrupted after a freak landslide had knocked out two towers a few kilometers away. The first emergency generator had immediately kicked in but had suffered a break down soon after. Resident electricians had expressed their inability to fix the generator forcing the authorities to call in a repair crew from outside.

The base itself was highly sensitive and was believed to be a storage site for nuclear tipped DF-21 ballistic and H11 long range cruise missiles. It was constructed largely underground inside a mountain and considered nearly impregnable against most aerial attacks. The missile silos themselves were spread about over a large area and hidden by clever camouflage.

All three men were ethnic Tibetans and not trusted much by almost exclusively Han military personnel. All of their belongings had been thoroughly checked before they entered the base and had been under constant guard of 2 armed soldiers led by an ill tempered lieutenant since then. The three men worked silently under the sullen gaze of three soldiers without much visible progress. A jumble of wires, nuts, grease and tools littered the place. After a few minutes, leader of the crew stood up and faced the lieutenant.

“The coil is damaged. It needs replacement if you want this generator to work.” he said in very good Mandarin which seemed to surprise the Lt. Glancing at his soldiers with raised eyebrows he snapped, “Then replace it. Why the hell did we call you anyway ?”

“The thing weighs 130 Kgs and costs 4000 Yuans. I don’t have it here.” Seeing the scowl on the face of already red faced Lt. He added quickly, “I do have one at my workshop that’ll work.”

“And ?” came the terse query.

“I’ll need to call somebody in my workshop to bring it over here. I’ll have this generator operational within a hour once it gets here.” the middle aged electrician seemed to be getting smaller every moment under the angry stare of the army officer.

“Then do it already you moron ! What are you waiting for ?” Lt. Exploded, showering the already cowering electrician with spittle.

“Yes sir. I’ll do it at once.” poor electrician stammered and proceeded to make the call from his cell phone but was interrupted by the army man ,” What the hell you think you’re doing ? This base is 30 meters underground. Your cellphones don’t work here. Go with that soldier and call from our line.”

“Yes sir.” the shaking electrician mumbled and followed one of the soldiers out of the generator room to the phone. The soldier escorted him to one of the phones and waited while the call was made. Once finished he again escorted the electrician back to the general room to the waiting wrathful officer. “Well ?” came the inquiry.

“The coil will be here within 20 minutes sir, Is it possible to get my assistant driving the pickup truck to get here any faster ? It took us 30 minutes just at the gates.” Electrician asked timidly

“ I’ll see what I can do with the sentries. You idiots just concentrate on fixing the damned generator. The Brigadier will have you skinned alive otherwise.” Motioning his soldiers to keep an eye, he strode out of the room leaving the repair crew slightly relaxed for a change. One of the men cautiously took out a pack of cigarettes and first offered it to the soldiers. One shook his head sternly while the other gratefully accepted.

Taking in a deep drag, the lead electrician remarked to the 2nd soldier, “Quite a stern fellow your officer is, eh ?”

Trying to be as stern as his officer, the other soldier spoke before his companion could answer “Yes and very ambitious too. You speak very good Mandarin. How’s that ?”

“My father was a trader from Henan. He came to Tibet in 1966 and married my mother same year. Learnt to speak Mandarin from him. Studied in school too.” The lead electrician replied proudly.

“And these two ?” The soldier asked, gesturing towards the other two electricians.

“Oh, this one Gyalwa is my cousin and this is his best friend Kalsang. They both know a little bit of Mandarin that was taught to them in school but not as good as me.” he flashed a grin which went unreciprocated.

Observing the cold response, the three electricians didn’t try to make any more small talk and smoked quietly. Lead electrician stared at the floor and the series of events that had brought him to this place flashed before his eyes one by one. The story of a Chinese father was a lie. Both his parents had been ethnic Tibetans who had suffered greatly under the iron fist of Chinese communism. His father, a respected writer and painter in Tibetan society had been arrested and tortured after he expressed dissent against Chinese occupation and influx of Han settlers. His son was born just 4 months after he was arrested . He was released after spending 4 years in a jail without trial under the condition that he will stop every dissenting activity against the Chinese rule. Once out of jail, the reunited family had immediately collected it’s belongings and began a long and arduous journey south towards freedom in India. His mother lost a foot to dreaded frost bite and was barely alive when exhausted family reached a small hill town named Dharmshala in India. The health complications related to the traumatic journey haunted her for rest of her life.

Wangdak, as he was formally named, spent first few years of his childhood helping his struggling family survive the new life in a strange country. Stories of suffering born by Tibetan people like his parents filled his heart with anger with each passing day. Then he heard about a special Indian military unit consisting of ethnic Tibetans raised by Indian government. As soon as he was of legal age, he applied and got selected. The hardy Tibetan boy passed out of military school as a highly trained special forces soldier expert in many languages and explosives. His first few years in Indian army were spent in routine protective duties and occasional intelligence gathering missions which although challenging, didn’t engage him enough.

Realizing his expertise and hunger soon enough, his seniors had offered him a job as an Indian spy in Tibet. He had jumped at the offer and had sneaked in to Lhasa under the guise of an electrician. His training as special forces soldier had come in handy and he had managed to set up a fairly robust network of spies all over his native nation of Tibet. He waited for years, biding his time to do his bit for freedom of his people when a series of events, helped in no less deal by his own planning had brought him inside the highly secure missile base.

Another Chinese soldier arrived after a few minutes and addressed the electricians, “Your truck has arrived. It’s in the parking floor. Come with me if you want to get your stuff inside.” Wangdak nodded at his two colleagues and followed the soldier out of generator room. They snuffed out their cigarettes and moved towards the door as if following their senior, but stopped at the door. Gyalwa glanced once outside watching Wangdak go and closed the door. One of the guards seemed surprised, “What ? You aren’t going to help him ?”

Gyalwa glanced at him and merely shook his head. This prompted a grunt from the soldier,”You guys haven’t said a word all this time. Are you both dumb ? And open that damned door. Who told you to shut it ?” Gyalwa merely stared back, not moving a muscle. This caused both the soldiers to lose their temper and both moved menacingly towards the unarmed electrician.
“Do you want to die you fuc**** moron ? “

The angry rant was broken in middle as the furious soldier choked in his own blood that suddenly started gushing out of his throat. Kalsang had moved in silently and used a sharp screw driver to sever the jugular vein of the distracted soldier. Before the other soldier could react, Gyalwa pounced on him and broke his neck in one clean jerk. They then stripped the Chinese soldiers of their uniforms and exchanged them with their own clothes. They were still collecting weapons when there was a knock on the door and voice of Wangdak came in, “I’m here with coil.” Without waiting for an answer, he opened the door and walked in along with another man pushing a cart carrying a big crate. The new man, glanced at the two Tibetans dressed in Chinese PLA uniforms and flashed a grin. “How’s it going soldiers ? Everything going according to plan?”

Gyalwa nodded, “Yes and let’s begin what we came here for right now.”

The new man smiled again, “Of course. Help me open this crate first.” The four man team at once started dismantling the crate .With practised hands of experts they started screwing out panels and wires of the components and started collecting small white packs out of their cargo. Within a few minutes , four man team man had collected nearly 100kgs of military grade high explosives out of the faux motor coil. Once this was done, a small timer based detonator was attached to each bundle of explosives. This whole process was over in less than 10 minutes.
Once the work was done Wangdak distributed the explosives and said, “Remember what I told you earlier. Each bomb in it’s planned position. We need to place them in exactly the right positions to take down this base. Now hurry up.”
Each man then collected his share of primed explosives and started placing them in and around generator room. All four men then walked out in to the parking floor and climbed in to their truck.
Klasang started the ignition and looked around at his 3 companions, “We ready to go ?”

Wangdak nodded and the truck slowly moved out of the parking floor in to the road that led to the base. They soon passed the sentry gate without getting challenged. As soon as they drove past the gate, the normally quiet surroundings were shattered by a loud rumble. Explosives planted by the Tibetans had exploded right on time and had ripped through command and control building constructed under the mountain. Explosions first caused the roof of generator room’s floor to collapse, triggering a domino effect burying each floor under the one directly above it.
Command and control center which happened to be the second one from last floor, was completely destroyed with near 100% causalities. Some of the warheads which were not mated to any missile were also buried. Although most of the missiles were not damaged, the capability to use those missiles was lost for a long time. Chinese couldn’t possibly use those missiles for days if not weeks.

Gyalwa pumped his fists jubilantly and laughed loudly, “I wish we could destroy those missiles too. More fireworks.”
Wangdak slapped his shoulder and replied, “Well, that’s the best that could be done under circumstances, but don’t worry. War has just begun. We are going to see plenty of action. This Chinese dragon will soon join the list of extinct species.”