361 GOAs First Special Mobile Force

    The cross, like the circle and the line, is one of the oldest symbols in human history. It could be seen in cave paintings of many ancient civilizations. The cross has many variations to its form, a split cross is one of them.

    Inside the quiet hotel, the LED tv had been switched off. Gu Jun used a black marker to trace out the symbol on A4 paper. In his semi-illusory state, it was this symbol that he saw. He was sure of that. The experience halted due to a pounding headache. During his study into occultism, he did look through some literature on the philosophy of symbols before. The current academia had no consensus on the meaning of these ancient symbols. They might be nothing more than the prehistoric man's artistic expression.

    "The signal gave me this symbol but what for?" Gu Jun thought aloud. The man behind the voice might be evil and this was part of his wicked plan. But what if, as the voice claimed, they were innocent? When Gu Jun first returned from the Dreamlands, he received intervention from the future. It was a tremendous help during the King of Yellow's incident.

    "I saw this last time on Dirty-minded Yu's painting and this time it was on a tv screen... Both of them are a form of pictorial medium. Is that one of the conditions required? It requires a medium to transmit this symbol? Or is there something special about Dirty-minded Yu's painting? She said the painting was of the sky... Sky of nothingness..." He decided to have a deeper chat with Wu Siyu about this but then another warning came into his mind, 'Telling others might weaken the symbol.'

    In the end, after much contemplation, Gu Jun decided to keep this to himself for now to see if the next signal would return with greater clarity. If he was grasped by madness, he wanted to see for himself the face of madness and not drag others down with him.


    Even during the lunar new year, GOA continued to work. Since its announcement last August, both GOA and WMO had achieved actual progress through the joint effort to combat Mutated Scale Disease and multiple months of negotiation. GOA's goal was to combat dark forces and eliminate evil organizations all over the world. They would pour in their elite force into any member country that faced such problems. The situation would be swiftly dealt with and contained so it would not spread to cause a global emergency. The main focus was often to find the source and vanquish them. To achieve that, an effective Special Mobile Force was necessary. Through former experience, a team of small elites was more crucial than a large army to forge a way to victory.

    GOA's first Special Mobile Force was still unnamed but it would consist of the best agents from each member country. The current member number was fixed at around 20 to 30 people. On the seventh day of new year, at Phecda's headquarters, the representatives from various countries gathered inside a large conference room. They sat along the side of the conference table and turned to look at the large monitor. The monitor consisted of a brief introduction and a headshot of the few members Phecda intended to join GOA's first Special Mobile Force.

    Lou Xiaoning, Deng Ximei, Ma Feng, Peacock, Malachite

    Seeing the list, the other representatives frowned.

    "This...""Why is Mr. Gu not on the list?""What is the meaning of this?" Other than Russia who already knew the truth, representatives from the US and UK showed great dissatisfaction and confusion. It was not that these offered members were not good enough but how could it be the best Mobile Force without Gu Jun? They knew about Gu Jun's heavy injury and coma but hadn't he woken up already? After all, it was Phecda themselves who claimed that his recovery was going well.

    "Ladies and gentlemen." Elder Tong interrupted sternly, "Please quiet down for a moment and I'll explain. Gu Jun's health condition is very complicated. You should understand why Phecda released positive information about his recovery. But to tell the truth, the opposite is true. Unfortunately, he needs a break from the frontline." The official statement of Gu Jun's perfect convalesce was merely to scare the cultists..."Yes, that means that Gu Jun won't be joining us any time soon."

    A blanket of silence fell over the room. The representatives looked at each other, this was truly bad news...

    "How bad is his situation?" Frank Davis, the representative from FBM asked. His face under white beard wrinkled.

    "Very bad." Elder Tong's tone lowered. "I'll put it this day, Gu Jun now suffers from symptoms of PTSD." The faces of the other representatives darkened. For a moment, they did not know what to say. They knew what PTSD meant, especially for someone who had to interact with the supernatural often. It was like a candle was snuffed out. No longer how bright it shone before, now it was nothing but darkness and wax.

    Even Yao Sinian felt the gloom draped over him. Gu Jun's holiday had started less than a month ago but the recovery shown was not optimistic. There were many reports of his paranoia, like suspicion of people in his room and presence of enemy during family outings. He tried to be reasonable but... This was definitely not a good sign. Many PTSD victims were eventually pushed towards drug use and alcoholism due to reasons like these.

    "Let's be frank. Will Mr. Gu ever return?" Gaiman Ashe from the UK asked. Everyone wanted to know the answer.

    "No one can tell for sure." Elder Tong sighed helplessly. "But for now, we can only hope that our hero can have some peaceful days ahead and that is already the best we can pray for." The group was silent. It meant that... There was probably no more hope for Gu Jun. This was good news in a way for FBM because the loss of Gu Jun would be a big blow to GOA and Phecda, but Davis and Ashe found themselves unable to find joy. The loss of Gu Jun would also be a great loss to the world too.

    "Even without Gu Jun, the five we sent are the absolute best of the best." Elder Tong changed the subject, "Especially this Deng Ximei, she has immense potential." The other representatives were given some time to get to know the five better through their profiles. After Phecda, the other representatives revealed the choice of their agents to join this first Special Mobile Force. Each country sent about 3 to 5 agents.

    For Russia, there were Maxim Kuznetsov, Karina Sokolova, Ivan Nikilov... From FBM, Helen Claire, Sam Watt, Danny Austin...


    Gu Jun did not tell anyone about the second signal that he received. Three days later, when he slumbered on the couch in front of the tv, the third signal appeared. Even though the content was similar to last time, everything was clearer.

    Finally, Gu Jun revealed this information to Wu Siyu and held her to secrecy. He had his friends at Phecda research into the symbolism of the split cross. He did not explain the true origin of the cross, he merely said it was something he saw in an illusion. He requested the organization to pay attention to its various iterations.

    Due to his PTSD, Gu Jun's words were not treated as seriously as before. However, Phecda still sent some members to look into the split cross but they found nothing. The symbol was not known among any of the Phecda's files on evil organizations. This lowered Gu Jun's credibility even further.

    Another 3 days passed but the signal did not return. There was no sign of it on the following day either.
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