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Ruins of Haeju, Sinister Empire

ChoA made her rounds of the city walls as the rebels regrouped inside Haeju. While she could not deny that her abilities made her the inarguable best choice for the job, she still resented the assignment somewhat. She did not have the temperament for the job. Regardless, they did not think that the assailants they had faced at the port were likely to have given up the chase entirely. If they wanted to survive another encounter, they could not be left unawares. ChoA looked towards the distance, back towards the port. Here eyes widened in surprise as she perceived a battle taking place. The battle was between the new, unfamiliar enemy, and the most familiar of enemies.

Sinister.

Symphony Hall, Sinister Seoul

(Beethoven's Eroica plays)

High Majesty Sinister sat in the place of honor, high on a balcony, as the Sinister Symphony played for a full crowd. Beside him sat the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior. Only Sinisters were in the crowd, of course, the crowd becoming a pattern of ashen grey skin and fine black suits. The lower minister, McDowell, was brought in by a pair of escorts. Sinister did not look at him, but instead continued to look down at the performers. McDowell was visibly nervous, sweating profusely.

“I’m quite angry, you should know.” Sinister said. “My attendant asked if that meant I wanted to cancel the performance. I thought I made him to know better. Anger does not rob me of taste.”

“Angry, your majesty?”

“My Squadron Sinister discovered a Reich force within my territory. A heavily armed, elite black ops unit. Completely unauthorized.”

“I swear, I didn’t-”

“I know you didn’t know.” Sinister tapped the side of his head. “Telepathy. Your mind is an open book. And you know what I think of it?”

“W-what?”

“Genre trash.”

Before McDowell could say anything more, his escort set upon him, beating him to the ground with the butts of their rifles. High Majesty Sinister spoke now to his Ministers.

“All people like him to be eliminated from the Empire. The Reich has tested our sovereignty for the last time. The Bureau too. No more associating with neanderthals.” He spoke calmly. “No more humans.”

Three Months Later Ruins of Haeju, Sinister Empire

A caravan of hazmat-wearing men approached the walls at the dead of midnight. A group of three came from inside, weapons ready. Once the identities of everyone were ascertained, they were escorted inside. They were lead past a large pit, down the remaining unblocked hall. An empty chamber awaited them. An elevator. One of the three escorts pressed some buttons and began the descent. After a few minutes, a light turned blue. The elevator operator removed her headgear.

"Is that safe?" One of the new arrivals spoke, voice audibly skeptical.

"Absolutely" ChoA replied. "The Undercity of Haeju was like a giant bomb shelter. Completely protected from the radiation above."

"You'd think there'd be Akkaba remnants in it."

"This was the Horseman of War's residence. He didn't much believe in non-combatants. When he went to battle with Sinister, he brought everyone with him." ChoA continued. "Which does mean there wasn't much in the way of weapons left behind. But this place is relatively self-sustaining."

"I suppose that explains how you've been able to taken in so many refugees."

"Sinister cutting ties with the rest of the world was a mixed blessing. It took the pressure off of us directly, but with the slums being purged, people need us more than ever." ChoA's voice was noticeably agitated. "We've been here for three months. Three months we've stayed put. Driving me crazy."

"I thought you found a weapon here?"

"Its a little more complicated than that. What's your name?"

"Boris."

"What the hell is a Boris doing here?"

"The Sinister Empire took half of Russia, remember."

"History isn't my strong suit." The elevator slowed to a stop, and the doors opened. "Well, Boris, here we are. Welcome to the heart of the rebellion."