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692 Never Retreat 3

 The solitary confinement rooms of the Special Operations Forces were a daunting place and were even more uncomfortable than the tiny dark cells on military compounds. There were no chairs, desks, beds, or windows. It was completely dark, and there was nothing but a small square room, so prisoners could only sit on the ground after being locked in. Being confined in there long enough could cause mental breakdowns. In many instances, the Special Ops didn't need torture to get confessions, because being held in these solitary confinement rooms could result in pushing many people's mental capacities to the breaking point.

Huo Shaoheng's expression still remained calm. As he walked in, the personnel on the way saluted him, "Chief!"

"Welcome back, Chief!"

"You've worked hard, Chief!"

Huo Shaoheng nodded but continued to look directly ahead as he walked into the Central Control Room's building. As soon as he stepped in, Zhou Qiyuan, the unit leader of the court martial, brought in fully armed officers to completely surround the building. This was the second time that Zhou Qiyuan had mobilized in the last month. The last time he had led the court martial officers on a sweep was when they had surrounded the Special Ops hospital building.

Huo Shaoheng nodded to him and brought the soldiers, as well as Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze, into the elevator. One minute later, he was already standing in front of the thick, heavy door of the Central Control Room. Although the building housing the Central Control Room was very tall, the control room was actually six floors below the basement. The building was designed in accordance with defense levels against nuclear-grade weapons. In other words, even if nuclear war broke out, the facilities could ensure smooth military communication throughout the entire nation. The value of this design in modern warfare was totally priceless.

They took the elevator down, not up. Huo Shaoheng saw Zhou Qiyuan follow him out of the elevator and folded his hands behind his back as he gave him a look. "Didn't I ask you to arrest the personnel who have been using the Central Control Room to monitor the elections and ballot counting for the last three days? What are you doing here?"

Zhou Qiyuan smiled wryly with a shake of his head. "Reporting to Chief, these people haven't come out even once."

The corners of Huo Shaoheng's eyes twitched uncontrollably, and he appeared even more lethal. "They're still inside? How long have they been in there? Are they trying to destroy the Central Control Room?!" Huo Shaoheng instantly connected the incident of Gu Nianzhi's run-in with the German Federal Intelligence Service. Although he didn't know how she did it, even as a computer expert himself, he knew that Gu Nianzhi's situation could only have occurred if she had found a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly access the intranet of the German Federal Intelligence Service. If she couldn't directly access the intranet but probed through the internet, then it wouldn't be a major catastrophe at all. Similarly, his own Central Control Room was also completely defenseless right now and could be attacked at any time! Just how important was this place? How could anybody be let in?

Huo Shaoheng raised his hand. "Fine, open the door immediately. Knock out everyone inside and take them away." He no longer dared to imagine what had happened inside for the past few days. There were moles in the Special Ops, military, cabinet, and senate, too! Their entire nation was going under! But the high-ranking officers above were still squabbling over minor things like losing face! Huo Shaoheng was extremely anxious and couldn't take it anymore. Without waiting for Zhou Qiyun to open the door for him, he kicked it hard.

Zhou Qiyuan had just entered the password and was about to push open the door. He didn't expect Huo Shaoheng to kick it open. The thick leather-clad door banged open and everyone inside was shocked. A person wearing thick glasses jumped up in anger before he saw Huo Shaoheng had entered. He immediately smiled. "When did Huo Shao return?"

Huo Shaoheng ignored him and stepped aside. He looked at the Deputy Chief quickly walking over and replied coolly, "Colonel Hu, this is hard for you, especially after all your years with the Special Ops. Take him away."

The court martial officers Zhou Qiyuan brought swarmed up, and they nearly had an officer for every person arrested. They raised the butts of their guns and knocked them all to the ground.

"Remember to take them to the solitary confinement rooms. They are not to have external contact at all. They can only be given pen and paper when writing their incident reports in the confinement rooms. You can't allow them to touch any computers," Huo Shaoheng icicly commanded Zhou Qiyuan, then called Little Ze over. "For the next three days, all the systems are to be backed up and isolated. Ignore anything else for now. The first priority is to connect to the Nandou Satellite and locate Nianzhi." To Huo Shaoheng right now, rescuing Gu Nianzhi was the most important thing, so anything else was pushed back. Also, he had no plans of cleaning up the mess here, because he needed to make the higher ups see what damage to the nation had been caused by their rash decision. Then, he could cut off some sticky hands to set an example.

"Roger, Chief." Zhao Liangze thought Gu Nianzhi was doomed. With the crimes she had committed, she would've been executed if it had been against the Special Ops... But he could sympathize with Huo Shaoheng. Zhao Liangze would also not sit idle and watch his beloved perish, either. No matter what, he would take a gamble to save her.

When Zhao Liangze began to initiate the system, the Special Ops base had entered a "wartime" state, and all personnel got into warfare positions. Special Ops branches all over the nation also received orders to prepare to engage, and systematically sort out and undergo individual investigation.

Huo Shaoheng stayed in the Central Control Room with only the technical analysts he trusted and awaited Zhao Liangze's location results. This result would determine his next step. He refused to believe what Zhao Liangze said. Even if he knew it made sense logically, he still refused to believe it. He would rather believe that the Gu Nianzhi who had been able to escape despite all sorts of dangers at the young age of 12, who had later grown up with him for the following six years under his painstaking care, hadn't lost her life in silence. Even if she died, she would make a big scene, because she was the same type of person as he was when it came to things like that.

Huo Shaoheng quickly thought of ways to rescue her. Should he use diplomatic means or secretly rescue her? If diplomatic means were required, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must make a move and begin diplomatic negotiations with Germany. After all, Gu Nianzhi was all too important to the nation. She had made such a contribution, and Huo Shaoheng wouldn't let her suffer for nothing. He would make sure she received the rightful status and respect. This was, in fairness, owed to her by everyone.

If she has already... Huo Shaoheng closed his eyes, unwilling to think anymore. If she had already met with an unfortunate fate, then he had no idea how to calm his mind. It was like there was a vicious beast roaring in his heart, and it always ran out of the cage imprisoning it. Crossing his arms, Huo Shaoheng slowly walked behind Zhao Liangze and suddenly saw the global tracking system on the screen before him. He rose. "That's not Berlin." He remembered Yin Shixiong reported to him that the first location determined by the Special Ops revealed Gu Nianzhi was in Berlin.

Zhao Liangze's eyes widened as he exclaimed, "No, it really isn't! Nianzhi is on a plane! She's already flown out of Germany!"

Yin Shixiong also rushed over and shook Zhao Liangze's shoulders as he shouted, "It must be He Zhichu! He must've rescued her!"

"Locate the plane. Let me see." Huo Shaoheng was feeling a bit conflicted upon hearing that it was possible He Zhichu had rescued Gu Nianzhi. Of course, he was thankful for him. He would sincerely thank whoever helped her.

Zhao Liangze initiated the satellite positioning system and could clearly see the specific video image from the coordinates. The plane was at a high altitude, so it was even easier to see clearly. Soon after, the image of layers of rolling clouds at a high altitude and endless blue skies appeared on the screen. Between the blue skies and white clouds, a streamlined airplane was quickly moving, and a bold "He" was emblazoned on the side of the wing.

"Nianzhi is on the plane right now?"

"Right, the positioning system indicates she's in there." Zhao Liangze was so excited, his voice trembled. He was now even more impressed by He Zhichu's abilities and power. Gu Nianzhi had made such a huge mess in Germany, yet he was able to safely take her away?! This was unbelievable!

However, Huo Shaoheng was very cautious and carefully eyed the plane's flight path with a frown. "That's not right. There's something wrong with the flight path. It's not coming here, but to the US. Contact the plane's communication system immediately and call He Zhichu to tell him that I need to speak with him. I'll ask if Nianzhi is up there."

...

He Zhichu's private plane was now thousands of miles up in the air. Gu Nianzhi finally awoke. Opening her eyes, she saw not a ceiling or a sky, but a plane's cabin. Frowning in thought for a while, her recent memories slowly returned.

He Zhichu came to sit by her and carried a freshly warmed glass of milk. "Awake? Have some milk."

Gu Nianzhi accepted it, but her arms were sore and weak, and her entire body was like jelly. She didn't need to look in the mirror to know her eyes must be swollen like plums. "Professor He, where are we right now?"

"On the plane." He Zhichu opened the cabin's blinds slightly, and the sun immediately shined in from the outside. Gu Nianzhi felt a sharp pain in her eyes and instinctively covered them. "Oh? Your eyes hurt?" He Zhichu quickly pulled the blinds back down and got up to bring the airplane first aid kit over to take out an ice pack for her eyes. "Here, put this on."

Gu Nianzhi finished her milk and slowly laid back down to close her eyes. He Zhichu gently rested the small ice pack on her eyes, and the chill soothed her heart. Gu Nianzhi murmured, "Thank you for rescuing me, Professor He. It must've been a huge mes?" She knew what she had done and what institution she had messed with, so walking out of that place safely was not merely a matter of simple explanations. As for what price He Zhichu paid for her, Gu Nianzhi got the chills just imagining it. She thought about how she could never repay all his kindness, even if she spent her entire life trying to.

"It's fine that you're ok now. Don't think too much." He Zhichu squeezed her hand. "Sleep now. We'll be home once you wake up."

Gu Nianzhi agreed and didn't speak again. Soon after, the phone He Zhichu was playing with suddenly rang. He looked down to see it was a German number. It belonged to the German Federal Intelligence Service. He considered it for a moment and stood up to go to another area to take it. This was his private plane, so there were many rooms that resembled a small multi-room apartment. It was very convenient and comfortable. He Zhichu sat down in the room he used as a study and took the call.

It was Reinitz calling. "Lawyer He, you sure ran off in a hurry. You're already up in Holland's airspace in the blink of an eye." Reinitz's voice was even and deep, but his tone was as harsh as metallic grating. Gone was the previous gentleness, now replaced with lethal decisiveness.