Discover more from Breaking Beijing
The 2024 Invasion of Taiwan
The Future Starts Slow
Happy Almost New Year! It’s been quite the year in Sino-American relations and the world. From the 20th Party Congress and the Zero-COVID protests to the August standoff over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China hands everywhere were extremely busy while the war in Ukraine raged on the other side of the world, and supply chain shock shook the world. I’ve spent the last few months writing about the very real operational and policy aspects of Sino-American competition and the defense of Taiwan in this newsletter. In July of this year, I published my long delayed novel, EX SUPRA, about US-China conflict ranging from the fall of Taiwan to a climate-driven resource war in 2035 that rages from the Himalayas to Outer Space. All real issues that I cover in this newsletter. Anyway, I guess I did something right because it was recently nominated for a Prometheus Award for best science fiction novel. A sequel is forthcoming as well.
As a sort of capstone exercise, I decided to round out 2022 and months of bloviating about the defense of Taiwan and Sino-American conflict by publishing one of the early chapters of the book about the fall of Taiwan in 2024 for all to read. Titled “When the Levee Breaks,” this chapter covers a CAG (aka Delta Force) raid on TSMC headquarters in an attempt to deny the CCP access to the facilities while evacuating the engineers that make the high-tech chips that go into nearly every electronic device on the planet. Meanwhile, as the PLA prepares to hit the beaches, an Army Ranger-led operation to evacuate the American diplomatic mission in Taipei goes wrong and all hell breaks loose. You may consider this story not the most-likely course of action for either side, but certainly the most deadly.
Thanks for reading Breaking Beijing! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
“When the Levee Breaks”
HSINCHU CITY, TAIWAN
0230L 14 OCT 2024
Shit. Shit. Shit. “Bank right! Bank right! We got incoming!” The anti-air missile buzzed the Little Bird and John held on for dear life as the MH-6 banked 90 degrees and its dual .338 miniguns spun up. His half-chewed cigar flying from his mouth to the chaos below. That was my last fucking Cuban. John racked the slide on his rifle as the helo stabilized and hovered over its target. John dismounted, tumbling and rolling from the 10-foot jump onto the roof of TSMC Headquarters. He motioned to the Night Stalker in the cockpit to make room for the Chinooks coming in hot behind him. Tossing chem lights to mark the LZ while his team picked off the ChiCom SOF that surrounded the industrial campus, John breached the rooftop door and cleared a path down to the rally point on the fifth floor that the spooks back in Manila provided him. His Neons, what soldiers called the new NVGs for their “neon” outline of heat sources, turned pitch black hallways into acid trips. The island nation’s power plants were struck earlier in the evening and fuel imports cut off, as were its digital links with the outside world via undersea cables. All that was left were some StarLink platforms and emergency generators stockpiled by the government before the war. To the north, PLA air assault forces battled for Taipei Songshan Airport just blocks from the Presidential Palace, an airborne brigade seized Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport west of the city, and in a few hours the first landing ships would hit the island’s western beaches. In Taipei City, a member of the President’s security detail assassinated the Taiwanese President early in the evening, leaving the world unsure if Taiwan would even fight through the night.
Lost in all this insanity was 95% of the world’s high-end semiconductor production and the impending collapse of the world economy. John’s mission, along with the rest of his CAG teammates, was to evacuate the engineers who made the modern world function by printing chip designs onto silicon wafers. If you plugged it into a wall, drove it on the highway, or carried it in your pocket, chances were the chips inside were made in Taiwan. For the US, China, and the rest of the world, this made the PhDs who worked for TSMC some of the most valuable people on the planet. If the TSMC facilities and their engineers fell intact to the ChiComs, that put Beijing in the driver’s seat of the world economy and the US economy at the CCP’s mercy. John learned how to do harsh battlefield math very early in life, but “destroy every TSMC facility, save or shoot the engineers” was an order even he had a hard time stomaching. By his hand, he would be dooming the world to a decade-long global depression, with no guarantee it would save the 25 million people on Taiwan from the CCP’s wrath. No other options, the PLA forced our hand.
Some forty miles northeast of WINCHESTER’s position, elements of 2nd Ranger Battalion secured the American Institute in Taiwan’s compound (the unofficial US embassy) and prepared to evacuate the remaining American diplomats, including Director (unofficial Ambassador) Felix Adams. US diplomats and their families would be evacuated via MV-22 to Subic Bay Naval Facility in the Philippines for as long as the US could keep birds in the air. No one on the ground was sure if the US military would actually fight the PLA for Taiwan, especially if the Taiwanese wouldn’t. It’s an election year, John. As a result of these complications there was no guarantee that if anything went wrong, the rescuers would be rescued. Washington hadn’t made a decision even as the fleet scrambled to form up and sail for the First Island Chain. It was in light of this hesitancy, and supposed comms interference, that Oahu neglected to inform Washington that WINCHESTER was a go. Okinawa had gone dark, and Guam remained under aerial siege. Taiwan was an “internal matter” as Beijing always liked to say. Okinawa and Guam were warning shots. Indo-Pacific Command was not about to hand over the world to Beijing just because DC blinked first.
Checking his last corner before the office rendezvous, John could hear the hushed panic of the engineers in the conference room. John knocked on the door four times and kicked it once, the designated code to identify himself as friendly. The other side of the door kicked back twice and knocked three times. Challenge confirmed. John opened the door and through his HUD counted a dozen terrified engineers and one American, presumably the spook in charge of organizing Operation Paperclip 2.0. Thirteen passengers, lucky me. John lowered his weapon and slung it on his back, shook the American’s hand and then passed assurances in fluent Mandarin to the engineers that he was here to help. He motioned to the helicopters on the roof, the gun battle outside subsided as CAG wiped their remaining Chinese counterparts from the land of the living and motioned for them to follow him.
Once on the roof, John and the graying spook counted off their passengers as they boarded the Chinook. Atop the surrounding facilities his teammates did the same, all in all some 150 engineers and their families would be fleeing their home for a land unknown. Something SFC John Petrov of Debaltseve, Ukraine was all too familiar with. He hoped their families would have a better welcome in America than he did a decade ago when he arrived in Colorado from Ukraine.
John and the spook, whose name he did not know, climbed aboard, tapped the shoulder of the rear gunner, and signaled to the crew chief that they were clear for takeoff. As the facility began to fade from view, John removed the detonator from his kit and with a solemn sigh, flipped the switch. One by one, his comrades did the same, and building by building, the TSMC campus and its accompanying hundreds of billions of dollars of cutting-edge manufacturing equipment became nothing but rubble. His mission complete, John took his seat next to one of the door gunners and tried to relax for the long, bumpy flight back to the Philippines.
“Vibe check!” Sergeant Ramirez shouted as he launched another 40mm grenade into the wood line, likely incapacitating another two PLA special operators. Less than 15 minutes ago, the Marine Security Guards at the perimeter of the compound spotted what they thought were PLA scouts in the woods. When they gave chase, the Marines took small arms fire with one dead and one wounded. Suddenly, what looked like a PLA black ops team was decisively engaged with the American evacuation force. 1LT Morris didn’t like that, especially now that with the capture of the airport a little more than a mile to his west by PLA heliborne forces, the Americans couldn’t risk flying helicopters into the city without taking hostile AA fire. The last thing anyone wanted was 13 Hours Indo-Pacific editions when Washington was still on the fence about the war. After all, DC’s indecision was the reason they were evacuating civilians in the middle of a warzone instead of several days prior. They were supposed to fly in, evacuate the civilians, and GTFO before anybody shot anybody. Too late for that, Morris thought as he reloaded and plotted the secondary exfil route out of the city.
“Eagle 1-5, this is Dagger Actual, new mission for ya, over.” Shit.
“Dagger, this is Five, send it.”
“You are to land at grid to follow, rearm and refuel, offload cargo, and redirect north to support Task Force Saigon, how copy?” Fuck.
“Uhhh rog, Dagger. Got any more details for us?”
“Troops in contact. You’ll know the fight when you see it.” So much for keeping a low profile.
“Annnd roger, Dagger. Eagle 1-5 copies all. Send grid when ready.”
The Night Stalker came up on internal comms and relayed Dagger’s message. John didn’t like what he was hearing, this sounded like Kabul all over again. And looking around, everyone else was thinking the same thing. The solemn stares at each other, then the floor of the Chinook, then the troubled swallows. If the Rangers in Taipei needed help, then they were all in trouble.
1LT Morris and his convoy managed to pack everyone into the Institute’s motor pool of sedans and vans, torched what they couldn’t carry, and tossed their remaining thermite grenades into the Institute. The Rangers weren’t about to let the ChiComs use the institute for a photo op, despite the Director’s objections. Their secondary extraction point was located due south on the campus of Tongnan University just outside the city.
Nestled between two hills and connected to the rest of Taiwan by a winding network of roads carved out of the mountains, Tongnan offered American helicopters the opportunity to maneuver and land undetected by whatever anti-air weaponry the Chinese placed in the city. The most direct route totaled a little more than 15 kliks. Should be an easy drive.
Of course, TF Saigon had several obstacles before it could reach the university campus. Aside from several river crossings, Taiwanese military checkpoints who were undoubtedly nervous and trigger happy, and PLA infiltration units hoping to ambush some unfortunate Americans, there was the issue of the impending massive bombardment of Taipei and the rest of the island. Some strategic sites had already succumbed to PLA missiles and naval bombardment. The power stations, internet hubs, several C2 (command and control) nodes in the mountains whose locations were undoubtedly given up by traitors in the General Staff. It wouldn’t have been the first time, even before the war dozens of high-level government officials were convicted in this century alone for spying for Beijing. The Swiss cheese intelligence apparatus of the Republic of China was one of the chief reasons the Americans always limited their coordination, and why there was hesitation in Washington to “do something.” The assassination of the immensely popular and pro-independence president meant not only that Washington lost a reliable ally and steadfast fighter, but it also meant the Taiwanese lost someone to rally around in their time of crisis.
So here Morris and his Rangers were, rolling around Taipei under the imminent threat of Chinese bombardment with nothing more than a few civilian vehicles and their rifles. They had no MANPADs, and their most potent anti-vehicle weapon was the handful of 40mm grenades they still had for the M320 underbarrel launchers. This was supposed to be a fast extraction, this was also supposed to happen 5 days ago, before the invasion, but they'd been told to stand down on the tarmac at the SOCOM base on Iwo Jima so many times that Morris lost count. He gripped his rifle a little tighter every time he looked up into the hazy night sky, waiting for a bomb to stare back at him.
Forced to take the long way around to Taipei, John was starting to worry about fuel consumption. The bombardment was due to begin any minute and the team still hadn’t picked up any friendly chatter on comms. Maybe we’re too late. He checked his watch again; it was almost 0430 and his head was starting to pound from gritting his teeth. He didn’t normally get nervous on ops; in fact, he held a reputation as the coolest operator on his team. But there was something different about this op. He was used to being outgunned on the ground but rolling into Taipei under heavy bombardment without air support was pretty high up there on his list of dumb things to do. Still, the Rangers needed his help, and Americans don’t leave people behind. Except for an island of 25 million people to the mercy of a genocidal regime.
It was around the time of their third bridge crossing that the first screams of PLAAF jets could be heard by TF Saigon. The first bombs impacted on the other side of the city, no doubt close air support for the force en route to the presidential palace. The convoy could only go so fast as the roads clogged with civilians trying to flee the city. They’re on an island, where are they running to? Morris thought to himself as he guided the convoy through the traffic as the times between explosions across the city began to pick up. Taiwanese air defense systems dueled with Chinese close air, but most were destroyed soon after firing their first missiles. The high-density radiation sensors the PLA had in orbit and across the Strait guided their missiles onto the antiquated Taiwanese air defenses, often collapsing the buildings on which they stood in the process. There was no such thing as target discrimination to the PLA. To the Chinese Communist Party, the Taiwanese could surrender or face annihilation. To the Taiwanese, knowing what the CCP did in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, both options felt like annihilation.
Morris woke up underneath the sedan. He could hear gunfire and explosions, he felt blood running down his left cheek. He wiggled his toes and reached for his rifle. He wasn’t pinned. He looked to his left, he’d been thrown from the sedan as it flipped, he guessed. His ride was now partially mounted atop the bed of a pickup truck. He blinked and flipped onto his stomach, picking his head up he saw Ramirez dumping more 40mm rounds into what he assumed was a PLA gun truck. The paratroopers caught up with us. Morris collected himself and brought his mind in sync with the battlespace. There were wounded and dead all around him. He could see the faint lights of Tongnan University in the distance. So close. Director Adams ran up to him, covered in blood and out of breath.
“Morris, right? Glad you’re still alive kid. The other officers are dead. This has all gone to shit. My sat phone won’t connect to DC. Most of my staff are bleeding out and your Rangers tell me we’re almost out of ammo.” Shit. Easy, Pete. This is what you trained for. Take a deep breath, get your Rangers to a defensive position, and contact Dagger. They’ll know what to do.
The Rutgers Class of ’21 graduate couldn’t believe he was caught up in all this. He was supposed to be kicking in doors and hunting terrorists, not getting overrun and getting his shit kicked in. He took another look at his surroundings as traces whizzed by overhead. His Rangers were holding their position. All that training pays off. One of the vans was burning and there looked to be some fluid leaks. The wounded had little cover, but the convoy was on the right side of the bridge when the bombs hit. The main PLA force could only get so close with some stragglers on Morris’ side. He took a deep breath and found his command voice.
“Listen up Rangers, we’ve got about half a klik from the LZ and are foot mobile. Save what ammo you’ve got and focus fire on our east. We’re gonna clear a path for the wounded until our ride gets here.” Without saying a word, the NCOs collapsed their lines and began pushing east, forming a protective perimeter around the wounded. Civilians that weren’t dead or injured helped carry the rest out. As Morris counted everyone out, the faint whop whop of MV-22s carried across the valley. Then so did the anti-air missiles.
He counted at least 6 missiles and heavy machine gun fire racing in the direction of the 3 MV-22s closing in on the LZ. Two outright missed, and one fell for their flares. Two more hit the lead bird and one clipped the second. The first exploded in the air, sending debris all over the LZ with the second losing control of their rotors and flailing wildly into the third. Whatever attempt at a controlled landing failed and both crashed down between Saigon’s position and the LZ. Fuck. Morris scrambled for his HF radio in the sedan, cleaned off the blood, swallowed, and prayed this worked. They were out of options.
“Dagger, this is Saigon Actual, formerly Red 6. I’m the only officer left. Casualties at about 50%. ChiCom air hit us as we crossed the last checkpoint. Break. Our ride out just went down and am checking for survivors. Break. I know we didn’t plan for it, and this isn’t an official designator…but Broken Arrow.” 1LT Morris felt his hands and voice shaking. “Do you hear me, Dagger? We are about to get overrun. Broken fucking Arrow. Send someone. Fucking anyone. We got ChiComs everywhere and no way out.” 1LT Morris drew and popped off a few rounds from his pistol and clipped another ChiCom as he waited Dagger’s reply.
“Saigon, this is Dagger…Options are limited. Wait one.” Like we have a minute, motherfuckers. The PLA on the far side of the bridge looked like they were searching for a way around the wreckage.
“Saigon, we are diverting elements of Task Force Winchester to your position. Two Lightnings from the George Washington are available but need time to get on station. Winchester will buy you that time and give you a ride out. Hang on, son.” It’s better than nothing.
“Copy all, Dagger. See you on the other side.”
“Saigon, this is Winchester, do you read? We are entering your AO and are flying blind.” The Night Stalkers hoped the valley didn’t obstruct their comms. And that they weren’t too late.
“Winchester, sure as hell glad to hear from you. We got trouble.” Heavy machine gun fire rang out in the background.
“Don’t worry Saigon, we’re on our way. What’s your grid?” John checked his gear as he eavesdropped.
“Dismounted and half a klik west of Sierra Lima, our birds went down around the same time our convoy got hit. What a fucking mess. I got too many wounded. We are combat ineffective. ChiComs everywhere. I say again, LZ is shit hot.” Broken Arrow would’ve been a shorter transmission.
“Roger Saigon, we ain’t scared. Can you mark targets for gun runs?” Speak for yourself, Night Stalker.
“Uh, we got chem lights and pen flares. Be advised, red air and MANPADs present in my AO, over.”
“The whole island’s got red air, now. We love a challenge. Winchester is two mikes out. Mark your targets and take cover. Standby for guns. Danger close.”
John gritted his teeth and fumbled around for his cigar, forgetting that he lost his last one several hours ago. Gone were the engineers and their families, they were likely well on their way back to Subic Bay by now. John wasn’t sure if he was going to make it back. He couldn’t get past the feeling in the pit of his stomach that this op was different. Not just the rescue mission but all of Winchester. What the hell are we doing out here? Oki is gone and Guam is under siege and we’re afraid to fight back. Didn’t DC know we’re at war, whether it’s convenient for them or not?
The only air support anywhere nearby was the George Washington Carrier Strike Group that fled Yokosuka Naval Base in fear of Chinese strikes on their base three days ago. Last John heard they were somewhere west of Iwo and staring down the PLAN, daring them to sail east. John wondered if INDOPACOM HQ was still playing the quiet game with DC. He knew the PACFLEET commander wanted to duke it out with the ChiComs, he’d heard him say as much in a brief. He hoped whoever was on the GW was of the same mindset if they needed it. The Chinook lurched and shifted right. 12.7mm rounds flew through the window next to John. Game time.
The pair of F-35Cs sped across the quiet early morning seas at an altitude of about 20 ft. The wake from their afterburners rising higher than their wingtips. The callsigns under their cockpits read “WaveRider” and “Herricane.” Loaded for bear with air-to-air and air-to-ground armaments, the Navy pilots maintained radio silence on their approach to the big island. The sun was just starting to rise behind them, and streaks of missiles and plumes of black smoke awaited them over the horizon ahead. They were two of the best the Navy had, and the mission demanded their best. Somewhere east of Taipei there were Americans pinned down by the PLA. Their mission was to clear the skies and slow the PLA ground forces until the Americans could evacuate. No one else in their squadron was even aware of the mission. They had a direct line to the Admiral and the frequencies for their protectees once they were on station. They were a rescue mission that didn’t exist for an actual mission that didn’t exist either.
The Chinook ramp dropped, and John ran out the back rifle at the low ready. The black of night was starting to fade but the creeping morning sun still hidden by the mountains. Bullets whizzed and snapped all around him and his team. The Little Birds’ gun runs either hadn’t suppressed their targets or there were simply too many to suppress. John flipped on his IR laser and painted a machine gun team for the next run. The .338s spun up and buzzed overhead, as the pilots swayed their craft left and right, dodging machine gun rounds and RPGs. The birds were too close for the PLA shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and too low for the truck-mounted systems. John’s team pushed the line forward, providing space for the Rangers, few remaining MSGs, and their civilian charges to regroup.
Once the survivors were accounted for, the civilians and wounded were loaded onto the first Chinook, the Rangers and CAG collapsed their lines around the school track field. Establishing defensive fields of fire and coordinating priority targets, they held off the PLA, but until the Lightnings arrived, the Chinooks couldn’t take off again. John hoped they would arrive before the inevitable PLA mortar teams got a fix on their position.
Waverider and Herricane flew without active radar. The hard deck no more than 50 feet above the road from the coast to their objective. Using the faint morning light and car lights to guide them through the valley once they were feet dry, the duo finally flipped on their radios to make first contact with Winchester.
“Any Winchester element this net, this is Waverider, we are one mike from your last known position, how copy?” There was chatter on the other end, but it was partially consumed by gunfire and explosions.
“Waverider, this is Eagle 1-5, good to hear from you. We are near bingo fuel and have red air in vicinity. Patching you through to our ground element to coordinate fires.” Red air meant a dogfight. A dogfight meant breaking from the protection of the valley. It meant American fighter jets over Taipei. So much for subtle.
“Waverider, this is Winchester 6. Welcome to the battle net. My men have marked two enemy mobile SAMs less than a klik from our position. Do you have visual?” Waverider caught the pulsing IR strobes in her sights and lined up a shot.
“Duck and cover Winchester, Fox 1 away on Tango 1.” The missile slid off the rail and made for its target, the ensuing secondary explosions confirmed a good kill.
“This is Herricane, brought you ground pounders some presents. Fox 1 away on Tango 2.” Herricane’s missile made direct impact and turned the highway ramp under the SAM site into a pile of rubble.
“Good kills, ladies. Expect you have enemy air running CAPs in the West. Don’t need you to kill em, just distract em while we get out of here.”
“We’ve got your six Winchester, make for home base and pour a few cold ones. We’ll see ya there.” As the jets made for another pass through the valley to get eyes on their dance partners, John caught a squadron of J-20s screaming in from the northwest. Here we go.
“Everyone on the birds, now! We are leaving!” The remaining operators and Rangers hustled themselves and their gear aboard just as the first missile slammed into one of the Lightnings right overhead.
“This is Herricane, I’m hit. Gaining altitude and punching out. Don’t wait for me.” No one gets left behind. John watched Herricane’s chute deploy no more than half a mile from his position…on the other side of PLA lines. Waverider was now 4 on 1 with the PLAAF’s best.
“This is Waverider. Don’t listen to Herricane. Get her out of there and get yourselves gone. I’ll lead these fuckers away. No one gets left behind.” Waverider’s afterburner lit, and she gunned it through the valley as the J-20s gave chase. John jumped off the Chinook and gave chase for Herricane’s position. He didn’t wait for the rest of his team. She saved them, now it was his turn.
Herricane woke up in a tree and the wreckage of her aircraft burning not far away to her left. Checking her surroundings, she found herself not far from Tongnan University. She could still see the helos. Wait, why can I still see them? They should’ve left by now. More PLA fighters raced across the sky and the bombardment in the background was beginning to pick up. She reached for her utility knife, cut her straps, and switched on her IFF beacon.
“Herricane, this is Winchester 0-3. Are you with us?” This was a new voice.
“0-3, this is Herricane. Get back on that bird and get out of here.”
“No can do Herricane. You saved our asses. We gotta repay the favor. What’s your name, Herricane? I sure hope your parents didn’t name you that.”
“You first, 0-3.”
“You can call me John. I’m zeroing in on your position. 2 mikes out. Just gotta cut through some ChiComs first.” Herricane heard a burst of gun fire and some screams. Must be John’s work.
“Alright, John. You can call me Rachel. I take it those screams were you?”
“Yes ma’am. Just stay hidden until I get there.” John pulled his sidearm and dropped two more paratroopers, tossing his remaining grenade into their gun truck.
“Fuck that, John. I don’t wait for anyone. I’m moving to you. If I can just get out of this tree. Shitttt.” Rachel grabbed her right wrist; her right hand was burning and bloody. It looked like the skin had been clean stripped off in the crash. Undeterred, Rachel used her remaining hand to cut herself loose and catch herself in the 10-foot fall from her spot in the tree to the ground. She cut off one sleeve of her jumpsuit and wrapped her right hand tight. Not exactly sterile, but it’ll do for now. The Chinooks were taking off in the distance. What the fuck? But before she could scream out for help, a squad of PLA pulled around the corner of the building across the intersection from where Rachel fell. She fumbled for her pistol and clipped one before ducking behind the tree.
“John you there? Looks like your ride is leaving.”
“Chinooks are clearing out, but two Little Birds are staying for us. I’m a block from your position.”
“Good to hear it John but you’ve got a squad of ChiComs between me and you. I clipped one.”
“Thatta girl. Where they at?”
“You’re not seriously gonna take them on by yourself, are you?”
“Why not, seems like fair odds?” She liked the attitude; he’d make a good fighter jock.
“Well, they’re currently trying to surround me, and my tree isn’t exactly good for cover.”
“So, they’re in the open is what you’re saying?” Rachel smiled.
“Yes, yes, they are. And their backs are turned to you. Go loud.” She braced and tucked herself behind the tree as tightly as she could to avoid stray fire.
“Roger that. Hope you got your running shoes for what comes next.” John peeked around the corner and found a half dozen ChiComs creeping up on the tree, shouting in Mandarin for Rachel to surrender. Two others were treating their wounds. They were still armed. John rushed them and knifed one while knocking the other unconscious with the butt of his rifle. For the remaining six, he counted 8 rounds left in his last mag and six bodies. He lined them up best he could and popped three before the others knew what hit them. The last three turned and John rushed, striking another with two rounds. On the third trigger squeeze, his weapon jammed. Shit. He pulled his sidearm and squeezed again, striking one in the forehead and using his body as a shield from the last soldier’s rounds. The rifle burst caught his comrade’s limp body and then a shot rang out and dropped the final shooter. As he fell, John saw Rachel there with her pistol in hand.
“Couldn’t let you have all the fun, John.”
Several months later once John and the Unit were cleared of any wrongdoing in the fiasco in Taipei, John sat down on his couch, afraid to open the envelope in front of him. In the months after Taipei, John and many of his fellow soldiers were at a loss for what had happened. It wasn’t unusual that they couldn’t tell anyone about their missions, it was unusual that DC had decided to bury the whole incident as soon as the Taiwanese surrendered a day after Operation WINCHESTER. The fleet was ready, the Chinese were moving slower than had been predicted. Sure, we’d lost some of the fleet around Guam and Oki, but that was to be expected. Instead, the headlines read “US Stays out of War. Peace in Our Time. China Unified.” John had personally killed dozens of PLA soldiers and destroyed billions, if not tens of billions of dollars’ worth, of industrial capital that couldn’t easily be replaced. They’d lost aircraft, ships, civilians, soldiers, sailors, Marines, and 25 million formerly free Taiwanese now living under a dystopian, genocidal regime. How was this peace? When did the bad guys ever stop when they got what they wanted? John didn’t know, but he intended to do more than just follow orders and keep his head down. In front of him was a letter from Georgetown University. John took a shot and tore it open. “Mr. Petrov, the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service is pleased to invite you to join our program this coming Fall…”
If you enjoyed this story, check out the rest of the novel, EX SUPRA. It’s the story about the war after the next war. From the first combat jump on Mars to the climate change-ravaged jungles of Southeast Asia, EX SUPRA blends the bleeding edge of technology and the bloody reality of combat. In EX SUPRA, the super soldiers are only as strong as their own wills, reality is malleable, and hope only arrives with hellfire. Follow John Petrov, a refugee turned CIA paramilitary officer, Captain Jennifer Shaw, a Green Beret consumed by bloodlust, and many more, as they face off against Chinese warbots, Russian assassins, and their own demons in the war for the future of humanity.
Thanks for reading Breaking Beijing! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.