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124 Too Careless

 Zhao Liangze finally woke up at five in the evening, Vienna local time. He had gone to bed at two in the morning and had remained passed out for a full 15 hours, so when he woke up he was starving. Huo Shaoheng had already ordered room service for him. He crawled out from his bed and grabbed the food with his hand, not even bothering with the utensils.

Standing alone on the balcony, Huo Shaoheng's mind was empty and completely devoid of thought. The two A Team members had leg injuries and wouldn't be able to continue with the mission. Huo Shaoheng intended to finish it himself. The B and C Teams were on standby already.

After being completely sated, Zhao Liangze emerged from the room, fully dressed. He spoke to Huo Shoaheng's imposing back.

"Mr. Huo, we can start now?"

Huo Shaoheng did not turn and merely nodded. Zhao Liangze opened his computer and began establishing the connection with the Copernicus Global Satellite Navigation System. The password was cracked and he delved in layer by layer, until he created a secure channel for their team. This would guide them through the operation. The three targets in Vienna had already been alerted before. Their whereabouts were still unknown, but this would be the moment that the omnipotent social networking software would come into play. Zhao Liangze only took only one minute to hack into Facebook and lock on the accounts of the three mercenaries based in Vienna. People in this day and age can't survive without social networks. Even mercenaries love to pop up from time to time and post vain selfies, Zhao Liangze mused.

He was able to track status updates from the three targets all within half an hour. From Facebook's internal data, he determined the IP addresses the statuses had originated from. With the IP addresses and the Copernicus system, the three targets became sitting ducks. Zhao Liangze verified the ATA and snickered. It appeared that the Whitewater Security group had been careless-they had assumed that with the Nandou system compromised, the mission would be aborted, so they hadn't even bothered changing locations.


"Team B, we've locked on Target B! The location is east of the Vienna State Opera, in the 3 o'clock position; 300 meters."

"Roger; end of report."

"Team C, we've locked on to Target C! The location is west of the Vienna Parliament Building, in 9 o'clock position; 100 meters."

"Roger, end of report."

Zhao Liangze sent the last report to Huo Shaoheng. "Team A, we've locked onto Target A! The location is north of the Vienna's Medellin Cemetery in 11 o'clock position; estimated distance of 50 meters."

Zhao Liangze and Huo Shaoheng would carry out the mission together, with the former as the spotter. Huo Shaoheng carried a mountless Barrett M82A2 sniper rifle with a carry sling. He stood behind a stone wall not far from the cemetery and for several moments, aimed the sniper rifle at a Caucasian male laying flowers at a tombstone. It was already evening and the street lights in the cemetery lit up one by one. To prevent the reflection from the scope from alerting the target, Huo Shaoheng had removed it. He would only use his naked eye and the crosshair to align his sight and aim at the target.

The three teams had to replicate the mission in the Czech Republic and take out all targets at the same time. After eliminating the three targets together, they would then move on to Luxembourg to kill the final one. Everything needed to be carried out swiftly because they had to complete the mission before the enemy even realized who the targets were. If not, the last target could disappear for good.

"Wind velocity, 0.1 meters per second; wind direction northwest; humidity 40%; light fog, visibility normal; end of report." Zhao Liangze briefed Huo Shaoheng about the local weather. Snipers required a high level of precision, thus wind direction and velocity, sunlight, and rain were all climate conditions that needed to be considered. Any carelessness could result in deviation from the target.

Huo Shaoheng nodded and gave the order. "Begin mission in three minutes."

Zhao Liangze quickly relayed the message to the other team members, "Begin mission in three minutes."



Three minutes later, at almost the same time, dull gunshots rang from three different locations in Vienna. The sounds were processed by a silencer and were so low and short-lived that they blended in with the city's ambient noise.

In the cemetery, a lone man had been laying flowers on a tombstone when blood suddenly spurted from his forehead; a sniper bullet had struck his forehead, and passed through the other side of his skull. He was silent as his arms instinctively shot forward and the flowers scattered into the sky before raining back down on his wide-eyed corpse.

East of the Vienna State Opera, a huge man had been taking a selfie on his phone. Before he even had the chance to smile, he saw a round hole on his forehead. The phone fell with a thud, its screen shattering. He collapsed backward onto the ground and convulsed twice before his breathing ceased.

Finally, before the historical Vienna Parliament Building, numerous homeless people gathered. Although it appeared to be a bustling area, no one was really aware of anyone else. A man in hunting gear was about to turn into an alley when a sniper bullet soundlessly flew from the darkness and hit his back. It went through his chest and pierced his heart. The man fell forward and his arms turned extended as he grabbed at the fallen leaves. Several homeless people in the alleyway glanced at him and thought he was going through withdrawal. No one went up to him.


"Mr. Huo, all three targets have been eliminated. End of report." Zhao Liangze was happy to put away his equipment. Huo Shaoheng also placed his sniper back into its carrying case before putting on his sunglasses. "Let's go. We're headed to Luxembourg."

They didn't stop for a single moment and drove directly from Vienna. Luxembourg was a small duchy-although it called itself a country, it was actually a city. The final target was more cautious and had already changed his location several times prior to their arrival. This time, Zhao Liangze had the support of the Copernicus system-he had found the target's cell phone number and then used the satellite to reveal his position. This was the last target and would be a surprise attack. Instead of using sniper rifles, the team found the hideaway and blocked the exit before burning him alive inside. By the time the last target was eliminated, the deaths of the three in Vienna were still undiscovered.

"Ok, inform Big Xiong immediately: our mission is complete and we're going to London now." Huo Shaoheng had decided to go to London directly to attend the International Telecommunications Conference. It was impertinent to figure out the enemy's plan before news that the Nandou password was cracked was released. Zhao Liangze promptly informed Yin Shixiong and also texted Gu Nianzhi.

She received the message while she was writing a report in He Zhichu's office at the Harvard Law School.

"The mission is complete? Great!" Gu Nianzhi's eyes sparkled as she covertly started her computer program and connected to the Harvard intranet. She hacked into Xin Xinggao's computer in the School of Engineering and sent a latent interference command that would be relayed not only to the Copernicus system but also to the American GPS system. The interference command would quietly lie inside the two navigation systems, and when the time was right, Gu Nianzhi would initiate a sequence that would forever change the face of the entire planet's global telecommunications.