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.”

Previous Part

0810 Hours
Somewhere South of Malaysia
Indian Ocean

The Indian Akula was lurking in the relatively shallow waters of Indian Ocean on an routine patrol when the hostilities commenced all of a sudden. Till then, it’s work had mainly consisted of avoiding merchant ships and gathering intelligence on the odd military vessel that came within it’s range. But the sudden escalation had turned a routine intelligence gathering patrol in to a combat patrol. Right now the newest submarine of the Indian naval fleet was drifting along at speed of 7 knots just outside territorial waters of Malaysia
It’s crew was on highest alert and complete silence had been enforced on deck. That meant everything that could cause any kind of noise that included music players, loud conversations were banned. Sonar crew was bent over their respective consoles intently analyzing every contact that showed up on their passive sonar. Previously most of their contacts had been noisy merchant vessels and fishing trawlers of all shapes and sizes. Some of the crewmen claimed that they could hear them from miles away even without any gadget. Presence of so many vessels provided them some cover to hide their own noise. But it also worked for the enemy in similar way. Correctly detecting and identifying targets of interest in such conditions was a herculean task even with the ultra-modern electronic gear on board. But the news of nuclear conflict in the sub-continent had changed the conditions drastically. Most of the shipping companies plying in this area had stopped all their activities in this area pending further improvements in the security situation. A few small fishing trawlers were still active, but most of the cover offered by big vessels was gone. As with normal conditions, the advantage or disadvantage of the situation affected both sides equally.

Although the sea floor had been mapped extensively by commercial as well as military organizations, no submarine crew took the task of navigating those waters lightly. The sea is shallow and sea bed highly uneven. As if that was not enough, the sea bed is littered with wrecks of countless ships making job of navigators hairy at best of the times. In a nutshell, such were the conditions under which the Indian submarine was guarding India against another sneak attack by Chinese

Captain of Akula was monitoring all the reports being fed in to his console without pause for hours. He leaned away from his console and stretched a little in order to drive away the cramps that were beginning to set in. Addressing his sonar man he remarked, “The sea is pretty quite now, isn’t it ?

Sonar man replied, “Indeed it is. It’s a fish market otherwise. No pun intended.”

“Still, don’t let your guard down. I’m sure that we are about to see some action very soon.”

As if on cue, one of the sonar crew members announced, “Sir, we have 3 faint contacts. One at bearing two-three-zero and other two at two-five-five. Approximate distance 39000 m and 38000 m respectively”

All signs of relaxation disappeared from the crew to be replaced by a renewed sense of urgency. Captain took a look at his console where the output from the submarines passive sonar was being fed. According to the map, the contacts were moving in from behind a small inhabited island .

“What’s their speed ?”

Calculating exact speed and bearing of targets at such distances has always been quite difficult. Sonar man paused for a while before answering, “Approximately 17 knots each sir.”

Even the most modern ships are practically deaf when traveling at speeds excess of 15 knots. At such speed, sound of water rushing by overpowers every other sound that might be captured by sonar under lower speeds. Therefore while traveling, submarines dash at high speed and drift at lower speed alternately. By lowering their speed they can take stock of their surroundings for any threats, then rush at high speed before slowing down again. Thereby repeating the process again and again, they can travel with a reasonable amount of situational awareness..
Captain stood up , “Good. This means that they most likely haven’t detected us yet. Turn to bearing two-four-zero and make speed 4 knots.”

Helmsman acknowledged the order at once, “Bearing two-four-zero, speed 4 knots, aye.”

The silent submarine slowed down to near drifting speeds as it turned to face the incoming vessels. Inside, it’s highly trained crew strained to capture any clue that could help them identify the possible new threats. Every class of sea vessel has it’s distinctive sound when it’s traveling. Even different vessels belonging to the exact same class and category can be identified by their acoustic signatures that are almost always unique. Navies spend enormous amount of effort and money to gather such data about their opponents. Naval vessels often stalk enemy ships and submarines for days to correctly gather such data which is then analyzed and spread in to rest of the fleet to make identification of enemy vessels easier. Once a ship has such previously collected data in it’s computers, all it has to do is to compare the acoustic signature of a suspected target against the database it carries for an accurate identification.

After a few minutes sonarman announced, “Sir, we have a positive identification on all three targets. The one on two-three-zero is Chinese SSN Type-093, serial G13. On two-five-five , we have one Type-093, serial G-18 and a Type-094 serial L21 approximately 800m behind it. Designating the targets as Bandit 1, Bandit 2 and Bandit 3.”

A worried expression clouded faces of everybody present in the bridge. Type-093 were the latest Chinese nuclear attack submarines designed and manufactured with significant help from Russia. Although Akula was more than a match in one-on-one combat, presence of two made the conditions slightly more difficult. But thing that really gave everybody the goose bumps was presence of Type-094 SSBN. The submarine which first entered service in middle to late 2000s was capable of carrying 16 JL1 SLBMs with an approximate range of 2500 KM. It would’ve been a grave threat if that submarine could come within launch range of any major Indian city or even Naval base at Andaman.

As of now, the lone Indian Akula was the only Indian asset that could intercept the speeding Chinese. All other ships including sole operational aircraft carrier Virat were too far away to help. If the Chinese were to launch any SLBM, only the Akula could stop them for now.

Captain ordered his helmsman to come near the surface and send out warnings to rest of the fleet.
Once the message containing bearing and number of enemy submarines was sent captain ordered the speed to be reduced to zero and lay still gathering all the intelligence they could before making any move. Validity of his decision was soon proved when his sonarman announced presence of another Chinese Type 093 submarine at bearing two-one-zero. It was traveling at lower speed and thus comparatively quieter . It was detected as it increased speed, most likely to keep up with rest of the fleet. As soon as he had finished announcing the presence of fourth submarine, sonar man announced again, “Sir, all of the enemy submarines have increased their speeds to 24 knots.”

The way they were traveling, the Type-094 would’ve been close enough to launch it’s missiles at A&N; islands in little over 1 hour and on to Indian mainland in another 4. Time was of the essence and the sudden increase in speed as they traveled towards Indian coast suggested that they meant to do exactly that. Indians would lack any other choice except to intercept and destroy the Chinese submarines, except for the fact that there were not enough Indian assets in the area.
While he was still contemplating his tactics his communications officer handed him over a paper containing the latest directives received from HQ. It was brief and self-explanatory as most military communication is supposed to be. He was ordered to intercept and destroy enemy submarines before they could launch their missiles. No help was coming for at least 4 hours. He stared at the paper slip was a few seconds. Even if any ship or plane could come to help, Chinese submarines would’ve launched their missiles and exited from the area.

His second in command, a Lieutenant Commander stood by expectantly waiting for orders. Captain put the paper slip away and took a deep breath before addressing the crew, “All right men. We have our orders to intercept and destroy the incoming Chinese submarines before they can launch any of their missiles. Some of our ships and planes are coming to help but it’ll take some time. If the Chinese decide to launch before help arrives, we are all that stand between another nuclear attack on our nation. I want all of you to be completely alert and on your toes. That’s all for now. Man all battle stations.”

As ordered previously, Indian Akula was lying completely still in water as the Chinese submarines came closer and closer still completely oblivious to the enemy’s presence. Indian crew watched nervously on the display screen as the four blips denoting the four Chinese submarines passed by their position one by one within minutes of each other. 2nd in command commented,” They are not slowing down at all.”

Captain answered, “ It’s their slowing down that should worry us. They can’t fire while traveling so fast. ” He waited for a few minutes for Chinese to pass and then turning to his helms man he ordered, “Helm, make speed 12 knots. Match bearings with Bandit 3.”
The Indian submarine slowly engaged gears and started started following it’s still oblivious quarry.
He didn’t want to increase speed by too much for two reasons. First, he wanted to be 100% sure of the enemy’s position. Gaining too much speed would’ve put a penalty on his situational awareness. Second, he wanted to be as sure as possible of not giving away his location to any other enemy submarine that might be following the ones in front of him. But very soon, the Bandits reached near the range limit at which they could be accurately tracked and targeted by Akula forcing it to increase it’s own speed.
But unlike the racing Chinese who were dashing like there was no tomorrow, Indians took pauses between their speed bursts to slow down and listen before rushing again.
It was in between such pauses that they detected the Bandit 3 and 4 slowing down while 1 and 2 still raced ahead. With mounting anxiety Indians noted that the Bandit 3 was very near the range of launching it’s missile on some of the major coastal Indian cities. Keeping their own speed at a comparative lower figure of 8 knots,, Indian crewed listened intently to any sign of missile launch preparation by Chinese. Bandit 3 was still traveling too fast too launch it’s own missiles, so they waited matching their own speed to that of Bandit 3. One immediate loss of this approach made itself visible soon enough. Bandit 1 and 2 soon went out of range of their tracking sonar and torpedoes. But it also evened out the odds somewhat, leaving Akula with only two enemies to take care of instead of four.

Lt. Cmd wondered aloud, “Why the hell those escorts raced away from the SSBN ? Shouldn’t they be guarding it ?”

“They probably want to sanitize the area first or plain old diversionary tactics only. One of our anti-sub planes is patrolling that area I hope our guys get a fix on them soon enough.“ navigating officer guessed.

The chase went on for a few minutes more after which both Bandit 3 started to slow down and lowered it’s speed to 5 knots. At the same time it gradually started decreasing it’s depth even more slowly. Bandit 4 too slowed down after gaining getting nearly a KM on Bandit 4 and deployed it’s towed array sonar. This forced Akula to reduce it’s speed further to avoid any chance of getting detected on the much sensitive towed sonar array.

“I have a really bad feeling about this.” Captain remarked .

“So do I. I don’t like this one bit.” Lt. Cmd replied.

Previous Part

0615 Hours
2 November 2012
Delhi Class Destroyer
Arabian Sea

In spite of near complete destruction of Pakistani’s military, Indian military personnel were not relaxing. One of venerable Delhi class destroyers was patrolling the Arabian Sea, south of Gwadar, Pakistan which had been burnt to ashes only a few hours before. A group of technicians and operators on board the ship’s bridge was bent over their consoles watching every thing with full concentration.

Sonar operator announced, “We have an underwater contact at grid sector C221, around 31 Km from our current location.”

“Do we have any assets in that area ?” Captain asked.

“Negative sir. A Shark is on a combat patrol 50 KM south, but we have no submarines operating so close to Pakistani coast at this time.”

“ Any identification of submarine?”

“Not really. Parts of our under-water sensor array have been damaged due to the nuclear explosions. We don’t have a 100% fix.”

“Looks like we’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. Turning to his communications officer he ordered, “ Designate the suspected contact as Bandit 1. Launch Sea King immediately “
To navigation officer, “Make speed 10 knots and bearing on an intercept with the bandit.”

A few minutes later comms officer reported ,“Sir, Sea King from Delhi has begun dropping passive sonobuoys .”

“Any progress ? “ Commander asked .

“Not yet.”

Commander nodded and waited silently. There was no escape for Bandit 1 unless Indians made some mistake or if it was really lucky. He didn’t believe in luck and he was not making any mistakes, not in such a situation for sure. He didn’t have to wait long. Within 5 minutes, report of the contact came in via the communications officer, “ Sea King has made the contact sir. It’s a Chinese Type-09 nuclear attack submarine. At it’s present speed of 11 Knots, it’ll enter our waters in less than 2 hours.”

“Shit!” WSO exclaimed, “These subs can carry nuclear tipped SLCMs.”

“In current situation, we are assuming that it is carrying nuke missiles. There is no time left to play games .” Turning to his navigator he asked, “ How far is Bandit one from our current location. ?”

“We’ll intercept on it’s estimated path in 50 minutes.”

“Good. Keep our current course and instruct Sea King to keep following it. .”

As soon as he finished the sentence, slightly panicked voice of sonar operator broke in,”Sir, Bandit 1 is coming up to a possible SLCM launch depth.”

WSO announced after a few seconds, “Sea King has a firing solution on Bandit 1.”

Although Sea King carried two A244 torpedos, their size and impact was much too small as compared to much bigger ones carried by the ships and submarines. But it was the only choice that Indians had at that moment as both of the bigger vessels, Delhi destroyer and Akula submarine were too far away.
Captain weighed his options. He could choose to wait for the Delhi destroyer for it’s bigger and longer ranged torpedoes and depth charges and risk the Chinese submarine launching it’s missiles and running away before the ship could even come within firing range. Or he could order the Sea King to drop it’s much smaller torpedoes right now. Although the smaller torpedoes were not an ideal weapon to sink the Chinese submarine, he didn’t have the minutes to wait for a sure-shot kill.
“Order Sea King to launch it’s torpedoes right now.”

Sonar operator confirmed the two torpedoes hitting water. They acquired their target within seconds and started homing in by themselves. Chinese didn’t miss the sound of torpedoes hitting the water and immediately started taking evasive maneuvers. The submarine immediately put itself in to a deep dive angle on full throttle and launched decoys. This way it was successful in diverting one of the A244, but the other one found it’s mark and hit it’s target near propeller on it’s port side. The explosion tore a hole in to the submarine’s hull and damaged the propeller shaft assembly beyond repairs. There was also some damage to one of it’s bigger ballast tanks which was just emptied a few moment ago as the submarine was coming near to surface. As the water started to seep in, the submarine started listing dangerously to it’s side owing to imbalance in weight. It’s Chinese crew was forced to seal off most of it’s rear area and empty rest of the ballast tanks. The submarine came to the surface a minute later still listing slightly to it’s port side and lay still. Although it was not completely destroyed, the fact that it was tilted on it’s side ensured that it could not launch any of it’s missiles.

Sea King hovered in a tight circle with it’s crew keeping a close eye on any movement while waiting for it’s mother ship to come close enough to launch a boarding party.

On board the destroyer, a round of congratulations and pats on the backs was in progress when the sonar operator nearly jumped out of his seat, “ I think I just heard gun shots from insides of the submarine! “

Although everybody in the bridge seemed bewildered, Captain seemed looked amused, “Gun shots inside the submarine ? Are you really sure ?”

“It surely sounded like gunshots to me.” Sonar operator replied looking slightly embarrassed.

“Hmm. We can’t rule out anything at this time anyway. Turning to his comms officer he ordered, “ Try contacting the submarine before we try boarding it. ”

The comms officer had been trying everything but had no luck getting any response from the Chinese. He replied, “We are getting no response sir. It’s like either they are not answering deliberately or their communication gear is damaged.”

“Very well. Looks like we’ll have to board the submarine. Are our men ready for it ?”

His 2nd in command replied, “A ten man team is getting ready as we speak. They’ll be ready to go in 5 minutes.”

Captain nodded approvingly, “Good. Cut open hatches of the submarine if you have to. But do it quick. There is no time for us to waste.”

A heavily armed team of 10 men from the ship boarded two boats and climbed atop the tilted submarine, while the destroyer and it’s Sea King kept watch. They banged on the hatch shouting at the Chinese inside to open it. Still getting no response, they started cutting open an entrance using blow torches. They had just started the process when the latch was unlocked from the inside and a motley group of Chinese sailors peeked out cautiously. One by one they climbed out with their hands raised and were immediately taken in to custody. No man from either side knew any common language. Although they tried communicating by sign language, the idea was soon dropped and the Chinese were quickly bundled off to the destroyer. Indian team then decided to take chances and entered the submarine. In spite of the unexpectedly easy entry, they were not expecting a real cake walk

Leaving 2 men to guard the exit, rest of the team started advancing towards the bridge. The fact that the already cramped submarine was was tilting to an angle made their advance a bit more complicated. Nevertheless they kept advancing and reached the bridge without facing any opposition. There they were greeted by the sullen faces of a few Chinese seamen. Except for 2 officers carrying handguns, rest of the crew was unarmed and they all surrendered without much persuasion.
One of the officers knew a little English and he tried talking with Indians. Using gestures and some broken English, he took them to the living quarters where a large group of Chinese sailors was gathered around the Captain’s cabin chattering excitedly. On seeing one of their officers guiding the armed Indian party up to the door, they fell quiet and spread around the door.

Leader of Indian party, Chief Petty Officer Lakshman faced the Chinese officer and asked for reason behind the spectacle. Chinese officer in turn pointed towards the door and said, “Captain ! Our captain inside.”

Lakshman first looked at his team mates then asked, “Ask him to open the door. He will be treated honourably and fairly.”

Chinese shook his head vehemently, “We have Pakistani. Pakistani has Captain inside. We need help to save Captain.”

Somebody from the Indian team exclaimed, “What the hell is he talking about ! He has Pakistanis on board ? For what, cooking pork ?”

“Keep quiet and let me try to understand the situation.” Lakshman snapped and turned to Chinese officer again, but Chinese were unable to explain anything more beyond vague gestures.

Getting frustrated with the logjam, Lakshman banged on the door and shouted in Hindi. He was startled by somebody shouting from inside in same language, “Who the fu** is it now ?”

Lakshman shouted back, “We are from Indian navy and this submarine along with all it’s crew is under our control now. Open the door and come outside with your hands up in air. You will not be harmed.”

The man inside the room laughed ironically, “I could’ve never expected to be in a situation like this even in my wildest dreams.” He snorted again and shouted with renewed anger, “Their damned captain is still alive. Tell all these Chinese ******** to fu** off otherwise I’ll snap his neck like a chicken. And I need medical attention for General.”

Indian team outside shared quizzical glances. This was way beyond strange even for them. Feeling slightly bewildered Lakshman replied, ““What General and who are you? “

Man inside the cabin laughed again, “You still don’t know ? Well, that doesn’t matter. Get these idiots off the boat and send an unarmed medic inside right now.”

“We have Chinese crew of this submarine under control. We assure you of your safety and full medical attention. Just open the door and let us in.”

“You’ll first get these Chinese out of my eyesight and then send a medic inside as I said earlier.”

Lakshman was getting irritated, “Do you realise that you are in no condition to demand anything ? This submarine is leaking and will sink in a few hours. You can stay locked inside and first watch your General die then drown with him to your watery grave. Or open the door like a reasonable person and let us help you.”

“I don’t care about dying, friend. But I have something that will prove very valuable to you. If I die, the information dies with me. Now you decide if the information that I carry on me is valuable enough for you or not.“

Lakshman sighed resignedly and gestured his men to start rounding up the Chinese “Alright. I’ll get them out of submarine right now. As soon as the last Chinese is out, you’ll open the door and let us in.”

“Fair enough. I’m waiting.”

But the Chinese didn’t oblige easily. As soon as Indians started escorting them out, the Chinese sailors started shouting and refused to budge. Neither side could understand what other was saying and it was only after the Indians threatened to gun down some of more unruly members that the Chinese started to file out one by one with angry expressions on their faces.

Indian boarding party received a fairly big surprise when they entered the Captain’s cabin. Inside they found a Pakistani army officer with a gun pointed at a terrified and bound Chinese submarine captain. Another Chinese officer in PLA General’s uniform lay dead on the floor with 3 bullet wounds while a Paki army officer, who was at once identified as General Asgar himself was spread unconscious on a table. He too had been shot once through chest. The Paki officer was unarmed and everybody taken in to custody. Once at the ship, interrogation started immediately. The captured Paki officer identified himself as Lt. Zia, a trusted aide of General Asgar. The story he told his interrogators was nothing like anybody expected.

According to him, General Asgar had ordered the launch of first nuclear missile as soon as the Chinese had informed him of the arsenal’s arrival. By this, he had expected to shift the blame to General Beg and force him to step down under the threat of similar nuclear strikes on Pakistan as well as India. What he hadn’t counted upon was the duplicity of Chinese. Within minutes of the first launch, Pakis had intercepted a communication between General Mao Hu and a senior CPC member in China. CPC member was quoted as ordering General Hu to fight to the last Paki. When General Asgar confronted General Hu with the intercept, the Chinese at once kidnapped Asgar and moved him and his aide to the submarine berthed at Omara. Loyalties of numerous Paki army officers had been bought earlier without anybody being wiser and Chinese faced no opposition while they took a Pakistani general hostage inside his own country. They had then ordered the launch of remaining missiles and planned to escape under the confusion. But the swift retaliatory strikes by India had put a spanner to their plans. Additionally their submarine took some damage by the nuclear attack at Omara.
With most of their plan screwed up, Chinese had no further use left for Asgar and meant to execute him as soon as possible. But Mao and Asgar somehow overpowered their captors and had managed to shut themselves inside the cabin in same condition as the Indians had found them. To strengthen his claim, Rashid provided Indians with a memory card containing the captured communication between General Hu and his senior in CPC.

Previous Part

0409 Hours
2 November 2010
Falcon 1 AWACS
Skies near Pakistan’s southern coast

News of successful interception of M11 had just came in and the atmosphere of anxious gloom disappeared. MC allowed himself a wry smile and said a silent prayer in thanks. Their work was not yet over though. They were still monitoring anything that could be of interest. The silence was broken by voice of radar operator, “Sir, we are detecting multiple missile launches from the sea.”

“That must be our boomer. “ MC answered excitedly. “How many launches ?”

“Still counting, 7,8,9,10.” A white faced operator turned towards MC, “My god ! They’ve launched almost everything they had. Weren’t they carrying nukes ?”

MC glanced at the young technician and answered, “I don’t know. That’s above my pay grade.”

“Pay grade or not. Even a kid knows that at least half of those missiles were nuke tipped.” technician thought silently.

“How much time left to impact ?” MC asked.

“Still tracking their trajectory sir. Can’t say anything right now.” came the reply.

MC nodded, “Alright. Only nukes serve these Paki buggers right.” then thought to himself, “Only 6-8 nukes wouldn’t be enough.”

He need not have worried. An armada of ballistic missiles was pouring down on various other Paki targets from Indian mainland. Unfortunately for Pakis, they didn’t have any kind of defense against this kind of attack.

0410 to 0600 Hours
Terrorist Islamic Mullahcracy Of Pakistan

First to go was the Omara naval base as it was the nearest. A Plutonium based 10 KT warhead exploded 300 m above ground and every structure that existed turned to ashes within a moment. Two Agosta submarines which were moored on the docks were thrown meters away like toys by the shock wave. The heat also vapourised a large quantity of sea water and a massive cloud of steam bellowed upwards. The crumpled submarines lay like broken toys on the newly dried sea bed before
water came rushing in and washed them ashore like soda cans. All the civilian vessels unfortunate to be near by disappeared like they never even existed.

Next to go was Gawadar port. Warhead and yield blast were identical, but effects on ground were much more spectacular. Dozens of ships, most of them Chinese just vanished after the heat from the blast turned them in to vapours. A major fuel and gas dump, most of which was underground caught fire and the ground was rocked by 100s of sympathetic explosions, wiping out every indication of the fact that something man made had ever existed there.

Effects were similar on Karachi port. The three strikes on 3 naval targets wiped out every naval asset and most of shore based defences of the Pakistani armed forces.

Next target was the the nuclear weapons storage base at Wah. Constructed almost entirely underground on a rocky soil, it was considered to be almost impregnable. This base like a few others was targeted by three 20 KT+ nukes. But instead of exploding in mid-air,the specially constructed warheads made out of depleted Uranium and Tungsten penetrated nearly 30 meters underground before exploding. The resulting explosions hit every structure over ground and under
ground with the force of Richter 10 earthquake. The structures that happened to be in the middle of two or three shock waves crumpled like sand castles burying everything and everybody under tons of concrete and rock. Even the structures hit by 2 or less waves were damaged irrevocably. Within seconds of the explosions, the ground exploded upwards like a volcano, throwing up enormous amounts of radioactive and molten dirt and rock hundreds of meters in to the air. Not a single person was left alive. The adjoining air force base was laid to waste by 2 short range Agni-I missiles

All the other major nuclear weapons storage sites in Dera Nawabshah, Sargodha, Gujranwala
Fatehjang, Masroor, Quetta and Kamra were taken out almost similarly by a mix of nuclear and conventional explosives.

Sui gas plant, target of numerous Baloch nationalist attacks was taken out by a Prithvi missile carrying a thermobaric warhead. All that was left of the multi-million dollar facility was a scrap heap of twisted metal.

Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore cantonments were devastated by a mix of nuclear and non-nuclear air-burst and underground explosions. Causalities in these 3 cantonments were near 70%, the rest being too seriously injured to be of any threat to anybody else or any of use to
Pakistan. Numerous terrorist camps near LoC in Muzzafrabad, Gilgit and other parts in Pak Occupied J&K; were razed to ground using artillery and air strikes.

Paki Army men and Rangers deployed on Indo-Pak borders were one of very few survivors to escape from the armageddon. Even then, their efficiency was severely compromised by near complete destruction of their leadership, bases and supply lines. A large number of such survivors abandoned their positions or surrendered to Indian armed forces all over the border.

Civilian causalities although high by the numbers, were comparatively light considering the scale of attack. Even then, almost 10 lakhs (1 Million) civilians perished in the attack. Thousands more kept dying every minute after that for want of medical and material aid. Already weak civilian infrastructure of the country collapsed and riots and mass flights from populated centers started happening. All pleas of help from international community fell on deaf ears as aid agencies were wary of sending their workers in a nuclear war zone.

Four Chinese bases in PoK were not spared either. They were targeted first using Brahmos missiles to neutralize most of their anti-air assets then bombed to dust by repeated air strikes. Dazed survivors, many of them civilians had no where else to go as Indian SF had cut down all of the communication lines. With most of their defences destroyed and facing gruesome executions by mobs of locals thirsting for revenge, most of them either ran away in panic or chose to surrender to Indian army wherever they could find them.