Template:StoryArc Project: World Wide Red

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Operation: World Wide Red (49-50)

Souvenir

The thanks of the World

You received this joint certificate of thanks from the American and Chinese government when you put a stop to Operation: World Wide Red.

It all began when you investigated the site where a group of Freakshow had attempted to kidnap Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan, his aide Leung Linwei, and Jack Firenze, the head of the CIA's China Bureau. It seems the Freaks had run into more than they could handle, and the place was now crawling with Malta Group operatives. You rescued all of the hostages, but found out little more information.

You next saved Yasha Kristoff, a Russian ambassador who had gotten into a loud disagreement with Ambassador Zheng and was now being stalked by the Knives of Artemis. He told you that the ambassador had been acting strangely confrontational and belligerent towards the United States.

The situation at the embassy took a turn for the worse when the ambassador's aide, Leung Linwei, filed a report against the ambassador's disruptive behavior with her government, and was then abducted by unknown forces. After you rescued her, she told you that the real Ambassador Zheng had been replaced by a shape-shifting impostor called 'Moment!'

Now that you knew about Moment the shape-shifter, Crimson was able to put some information together and found the location where the real ambassador was being kept alive so that the impostor could sample his DNA and interrogate him at will. You rescued the ambassador, who told you told you how he had been replaced. He also mentioned another prisoner, a Dr. Hedia Lamarr who he had met during his captivity.

You fought and captured the shape-shifter called Moment. Though he tried to defeat you by using a combat form. you prevailed. The real Ambassador Zheng went back to work. but you were still left with a number of questions.

You next struck the Malta Group base that had been housing Moment. and found out that the replacement of Ambassador Zheng had been part of a larger operation. code-named World Wide Red. Moment's job was to destabilize U.S./China relations leading up to an attack utilizing something called Project: Wildflower. and that Dr. Hedia Lamarr was being forced to work on Wildflower. You also discovered that Malta was preparing some of their Kronos Titan to deal with threats like you.

You sought information about the Malta Group's involvement with China by talking to Jack Firenze again. only to find him under attack by Malta. He told you about some mysterious foreign operatives who had been trying to gain access to China's military.

You struck the location where the foreign agents Firenze spoke of might be. and found Malta operatives and a newly escaped Moment. After you defeated their heavy resistance. they swore that he knew nothing about operations in China. The mission was not a loss. though. You found antidote pills for exposure to Operation: Wildflower. and better still. a way to trace down the captive Dr. Lamarr by looking for certain isotopes Project: Wildflower needed.

Acting quickly. you were able to find Dr. Lamarr at the Malta base where she was being forced to work on Project: Wildflower. She explained that Wildflower was a perversion of her own work. a symbiotic invisible nanotechnology-based ecosystem that Malta wanted reprogrammed to kill on their command. If released. it could infect the entire world. invisibly placing it under Malta control. Their first strike would be to kill thousands of heroes. yourself included! As you rushed to the site where Malta was letting the nanites multiply before releasing them. Malta unleashed their Kronos Titan! Undaunted. you made it to the nanite factory and reset all of the nanites to break themselves down. nipping Project: Wildflower in the bud.

With Malta operations reeling. you helped Indigo infiltrate their network. She found out that Malta had planned to use the hero massacre from Wildflower as a pretext for starting a war with China by using Moment and their blackmail information.

You next hit the facility where the Kronos class Titan you'd seen earlier was constructed. and found out that they had made a second one. You also found out that Director 17. the head of World Wide Red. was in the city and that his cover identity was within the CIA.

Crimson used his ex-CIA contact Melvin Langley to learn the identity of Director 17. and when that contact was captured. you went in and rescued him. Melvin told you that Director 17 was none other than Jack Firenze!

Crimson and Indigo exposed Firenze and his part of the Malta Group to the world and you went in and captured the traitorous director. At the last moment he activated the second Kronos Titan to destroy the city! Through valiant battle. you were able to destroy the second Titan stop Firenze's revenge. Project: World Wide Red was over.

Find out why a Chinese ambassador would have a Malta Group gunslinger as his bodyguard

Briefing

I've become aware of a complex situation, one that bears further investigation from our combined resources. I'll tell you up front that I'll give you more detail on this one, because I got a feeling this is going to be part of something very large and very dangerous. So, if you think you can handle it, then I'd like to get your assistance to find out what a Chinese ambassador would have a Malta Group gunslinger as his bodyguard.

Mission Acceptance

Okay, let me set up the situation for you:
The Chinese ambassador to the U.S., a businessman and politician by the name Zheng Xiaoxuan, is visiting our fair city during some political talks with the American ambassador, anti-terrorism stuff. Naturally, this being Paragon City, the Freakshow decided to take the opportunity to try and grab both ambassadors and their entourages as part of some half-baked plan. Normally I wouldn't bother with something like this, but when a group of heroes went in to rescue the Ambassadors, they encountered something that caught my interest. See, the Freaks were already fighting someone when the heroes arrived. From the description those heroes sent back, it sounded like the Freaks had encountered a Malta gunslinger who was protecting the Chinese ambassador. The Freaks overcame him by numbers, and they managed to hold off those heroes and get away with the Chinese ambassador and one American, a CIA espionage type who was there to brief the U.S. ambassador. Those other heroes are investigating, but I've already got a line on where those Freaks are keeping the Chinese ambassador. What I want you to do is get the ambassador and any other captives the Freaks have out, and try to find out what Malta's interest in them is.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Your main goal is to rescue any of the people the Freakshow took hostage. That should probably be the ambassador and the CIA agent, but there may be one or two more. It's my hope that one of them might be able to shed some light on why Malta was interested in all of this.

Mission Objective(s)

This abandoned warehouse has recently seen a pitched battle. Along with the normal detritus of Freakshow habitation, there are bullet casings and spent clips in every corner, scorings from power blasts and electricity, and plenty of bloodstains.

  • Rescue ambassador & hostages
    • 3 hostages to rescue

You rescued the Chinese ambassador and the other captives from the Malta Group's agents.

Notable NPCs

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives
Badge villain freakshow.png Freakshow

Icon clue generic.png
Jack Firenze's theory
After you rescued him from Malta Group agents, CIA operative Jack Firenze told you:

'Those Malta goons attacked while the Freakshow were trying to grab us. From what they said, they were planning to make us alter the agreements to favor their agenda, but when the Freakshow attacked they had to alter their plans as well. I really owe you one. I'll make sure that none of our people have been compromised.

Debriefing

I'm glad to see you were able to take care of this, Character. I'm sure that the Chinese embassy will send you some kind of certificate of thanks for your part in all of this.

Now, one of the hostages you rescued, Jack Firenze. I've heard of him; he's the head of the CIA's China Bureau. That makes him top brass, a real insider. Which makes me wonder why he would be here advising the U.S. ambassador in person for these talks. They're important, sure, but it's odd that they'd send a top man like him to do this in person when a subordinate would be fine. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I got the feeling that there might be more going on here than we know. I'm going to keep looking into this. Check back with me later.

Protect a Russian ambassador from the Knives of Artemis

Briefing

After that incident with Malta, the Chinese ambassador, and the Freakshow, I've been keeping my eye on several of the people involved. Notably, Jack Firenze and Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan. Firenze's life has been pretty dull, but there's been a development with the ambassador. It seems that someone he was talking to, in this case a Russian ambassador, has been targeted by the Knives of Artemis. I could use your help to protect the Russian ambassador and find out why he's being hunted.

Mission Acceptance

The Russian ambassador is named Yasha Kristovitch. He's a Gorbachev-era reformer with a talent for finding amicable but uneven compromises and rarely giving ground over things he believes in. He's actually been in Paragon City several times over the years, even lived here for three years back in the 90's. Now, he was seen going in to the Chinese embassy, where he got into a very loud disagreement with Ambassador Zheng about something. The Knives started hunting him shortly after that. They got his limo, but he got away. Your goal is to find him on the streets before the Knives can finish him off. I've pulled some strings to get the area isolated with an emergency force field; a quick trip on the Light Rail should get you there.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Yasha Kristovitch isn't a young man anymore, but he knows Paragon City. He just might be able to evade the Knives long enough for you to find him.

Mission Objective(s)

The Russian Ambassador Yasha Kristovitch is somewhere among these streets, but so are the huntresses who stalk him.

  • Protect Russian ambassador
    • Protect Kristovitch

You were able to protect Yasha Kristovitch from the Knives of Artemis.

Notable NPCs

  • Yasha Kristovitch (Hostage)

Enemies

V badge KoA.png Knives of Artemis

Icon clue generic.png
Yasha Kristovitch's evening
After you saved him from assassination by the Knives of Artemis, the Russian Ambassador Yasha Kristovitch told you:

'You have my thanks, Character. This is certainly a strange end to a strange day, but it is better than I might have seen otherwise. This has been an unusual day in general. First, Zheng throws out all that we had agreed to speak on, and then he starts talking about curious topics. He talks about decadence of America, he talks about how America is threatening his country and stifling its growth. He talks greatly about defense forces of Japan, as if testing my reaction. All very worrisome, and all very unlike Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan. He is not a communist hard-liner or a military expansionist. He is a businessman and as close to capitalist as he can be. I, of course, cannot reveal details of all we spoke about, but it would have been a most disruptive position to take in negotiation.

'When I tried to calm him, he grew bellicose and belligerent. I left before I was thrown out.'

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! You'll pay for interfering with our hunt, Character.

You will be ambushed by 4 waves of Knives of Artemis either during the mission and/or after rescuing the Russian Ambassador, Yasha Kritovitch. (If ambushed after the rescue, you can, of course, simply exit the map since the mission is now over.)

Debriefing

Yasha Kristovitch is back at the Russian embassy safe and sound, and under protective guard. That will slow down the anti-terrorism talks some, but I doubt that was the point of all this.

Yasha Kristovitch's description of his talk with Ambassador Zheng has me worried. Firenze said that the Malta Group agents who grabbed them were interested in altering how the talks went. He thought it was all over and done with, but the way Zheng Xiaoxuan's been acting, I'm starting to wonder. I still have leads to look in on. Check with me again later.

Save Leung Linwei and find out what she's seen

Briefing

The situation in the Chinese embassy has just gotten worse, Character. Do you remember Leung Linwei? She's the assistant to Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan, you rescued her from the Freakshow at the same time you rescued the ambassador. Well, since the ambassador has been behaving erratically, I've had Indigo monitoring the embassy. It seems that Ms. Leung just filed a complaint against the ambassador with the Chinese government, and she filed the hell out of it. Multiple copies through multiple routes, and according to Indigo, who is far more proficient with the language than I am, it went beyond being sternly worded. After doing this, Ms. Leung disappeared. Or really, I should say that she was abducted by forces unknown. I want your help to save Leung Linwei and get some idea of what she's seen to cause this kind of reaction.

Mission Acceptance

Now, like I said, officially speaking Ms. Leung has 'disappeared', but between Indigo and myself, we know that she was abducted by unknown parties. Forunately, Indigo was able to tail a van that left the embassy for some nearby caves, after being loaded with an ambassadorial-aide-shaped bundle. That's where you're going. In the meantime, Indigo will keep an eye on the embassy in case something else strange happens. I got a theory about who's responsible and why, but let's see who you find in there first. Take out the leaders of the kidnapping operation and find Leung Linwei. Then we might get some answers.

Unnecessary Solicitation

If there are any answers in there, Leung Linwei is going to have them, as might whoever her captors are. What I want you to do is take out whoever is in charge of those kidnappers and rescue Leung Linwei.

Mission Objective(s)

The damp chill air of this cavern clings to every surface. Every step seems to echo far into the labyrinthine darkness.

  • Defeat lead kidnapper & his crew
    • Rescue Leung Linwei

You rescued Leung Linwei from the Malta Group and defeated her captors.

Notable NPCs

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! Spread out and attack! The target is Character!

You will be attacked by 1 wave of Malta Operatives upon defeating the above minions.

Icon clue generic.png
Leung Linwei's story
After you rescued her from Malta Group agents for the second time, Leung Linwei told you:

'Character, I owe you my life a second time. Perhaps in return I can help you, though it will be helping me as well.

'The ambassador has been behaving very erratically. I was concerned that he was becoming a danger to our people achieving a beneficial outcome in these talks. So I lodged a formal complaint. When the ambassador found out, he grew very angry. When he realized that I had used so many channels to ensure my complaint got through, he became furious. He shouted and yelled and then, while he raged, he began to change. He was already not the Zheng Xiaoxuan I had worked with, but now before my eyes his body rippled like water and he began to shift between monstrous forums. I was overcome with revulsion and fear. I ran, but I did not get out of the embassy before these men caught me.

'They brought me back before the thing that was masquerading as Zheng Xiaoxuan. It looked almost like him now, but was sweating profusely. The soldiers called it 'Moment'. It told them to dispose of me, and make it look like the Freakshow was responsible. As they were dragging me out, this Moment creature said that it was losing cohesion, and that it would need to visit the real ambassador soon. This may mean that the real Zheng Xiaoxuan is alive, but after seeing that monster, I do not have much hope.'

Debriefing

Leung Linwei is safe for now. She refused protection in the Chinese embassy and has requested to be put in protective custody by Freedom Corps. She should be okay. If what she said is correct, particularly about the shape-shifter called Moment, then it could explain something. I've heard of Moment before, he's bad news in a big way. An amoral metamorphic mercenary and spy, he's been rumored to exist in intelligence circles since the late 80's, but no one's gotten close enough to confirm his existence. If he's involved, this might be even bigger than it looks. I've got to double check some things with Indigo. Check back with me soon and I'll see what we can put together.

Find the real ambassador

Briefing

I've asked Indigo to keep an eye on Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan and the Chinese embassy. They've gotten really quiet, but she did tail a car with the ambassador in it to a nondescript warehouse in town. She thought that she'd gotten foxed, because the ambassador wasn't in the car when it stopped, even though the same number of people who got in at the embassy entered the warehouse. She left them there, but after hearing what Leung Linwei had to say about the Ambassador's changes and the shapeshifter Moment, I'm starting to wonder if the ambassador who got in the car also got out of it at that warehouse, but didn't look like the ambassador at that time. I suspect that warehouse might be where the Malta Group could be keeping the real Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan. I want you to hit that place and try to find him.

Mission Acceptance

Contrary to Leung Linwei's concerns, I'm pretty sure that the real ambassador is still alive. I did some digging on Moment, and found something interesting. The rumor is that Moment can't hold on to a new form for long until he's had time to adjust to it. In order to do that, he's got to keep synching up with DNA from the original until his body 'learns' the form and can duplicate it down to the DNA itself. If that's true, what it means is during an adjustment period, he's got to keep going back to the original source, who has to be kept alive. In this case, that would be Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan. If the ambassador is alive, then rescuing him becomes your primary objective here. Whether he's living or dead, though, you'll need to defeat every last Malta operative in that base or else Moment and Malta will be alerted that we're on to them.

Unnecessary Solicitation

You need to find the ambassador, dead or alive; and defeat every Malta agent in that base to keep them from finding out. It ain't easy, but I never told you it would be.

Mission Objective(s)

You spot a Malta agent and follow him into a sub-basement of the warehouse. You emerge in a high tech facility hidden beneath the city streets.

  • Defeat all Malta agents in base
    • Rescue the real ambassador

You rescued Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan and defeated his captors.

Notable NPCs

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Icon clue generic.png
The real Ambassador Zheng
Once you rescued him from the Malta Group, the real Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan told you:

'I did not know if I was going to live to see another day, Character! Many in our government think that America's masses of uncontrolled meta-humans are a danger to stability, but that is because they have not seen heroes like you in action. True champions of the people, in the same tradition as our stories of Wuxia and legendary heroes. It is a shame that so many of my people's meta-humans were hunted down or went into hiding during the cultural revolution. It will be a long time before we truly recover.

'But that is not important right now. These men who abducted me, they called themselves the Malta Group. They took me shortly after the Freakshow attacked. They had a strange man with them called Moment. He clasped my hand and changed shape to look just like me! This 'Moment' has come back several times since then, to 'synchronize genetics', he said; and interrogate me for information. From what he's asked, I am very worried about the problems he could be causing while he hides behind my face! You have my thanks a thousand times over, Character. I must contact my government and explain what has really happened.

'Wait! There is one last thing. I was not the only captive here. There was also a woman, a Dr. Lamarr. I wasn't able to speak with her, but I believe that she was being forced to work on some kind of project, though I am more of a business man and politician than a scientist or engineer and so can tell you little about what sort of project it could have been.'

Debriefing

The real ambassador is a smart one. He put himself under protective custody with Freedom Corps until he can prove his identity, or someone can catch the shapeshifter who's pretending to be him. He knows that if he just showed up without any support over at the embassy while Moment's still in control, he'd have no guarantee that it would go his way. He's planning something with Leung Linwei, but it might be wise if other forces handled this, and by 'other forces', I do mean us. Indigo and I will try to find the perfect opportunity.

Meanwhile, I'll also check into that Dr. Lamarr that Ambassador Zheng mentioned seeing while he was a captive. I think we're starting to get close to the larger picture. Check back with me soon, there's gonna be a lot more before this is done.

Catch the shape-shifter 'Moment'

Briefing

Thanks to you, Ambassador Zheng is safe and sound and under Freedom Corps protection. The problem is that the shape-shifter who was impersonating him is still in charge of the Chinese embassy, and still causing trouble. However, because you were thorough and made sure that none of the Malta agents holding the real ambassador were able to get word out that you freed him, this presents us with a window of opportunity to catch the shape-shifter 'Moment'.

Character, It's time to put an end to this situation, but don't think that this one is going to be easy. I highly recommend you take some allies with you on this.

Mission Acceptance

Glad as always to see that you can follow through. Here's the situation:
Indigo has been monitoring signal traffic around the Chinese embassy, and it just paid off. Seems that Moment, disguised as the ambassador, is going to an Asia-Pacific business conference. From the looks of things, this could be the best chance to catch him off-guard. He'll no doubt be heavily guarded, but this could be our best shot. You'll need to defeat and capture Moment, and you'd better make sure to catch any men around him too. He is a shape-shifter, so you don't want to give him a chance to get away.

Unnecessary Solicitation

You'll need to catch Moment himself to finish this. Make sure to catch any of the men around him, too. We don't want to find out he got away somehow by disguising himself as a subordinate.

Mission Objective(s)

Everything explodes into chaos the moment you enter the building! Malta Group operatives remove disguises and ready themselves to attack!

  • Defeat Moment & his men

You have defeated the shape-shifter Moment and broken his grip on the Chinese embassy.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

Debriefing

You did a superb job on this one, Character. Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan and his assistant Leung Linwei are back in control at the Chinese embassy, and Moment is in custody. Thing is, that still leaves us with two loose ends:

First off, Moment seems to have been working for Malta, but why would the Malta Group want to try to destabilize relations between the US and China?

Secondly, Ambassador Zheng mentioned a Dr. Lamarr who was also in captivity. I did some checking, and there is a Dr. Hedia Lamarr who went missing from Lawrence Berkeley Labs over a year ago. That might be a match, but the missing Dr. Lamarr was working on some kind of environmental clean-up technology. That doesn't sound like something that would interest Malta, so if Ambassador Zheng did meet her, and she's being force to work for Malta, then why?

I know I've had to leave you with some dangling questions in the past, and I will probably have to do so again in the future. This time, however, I think I'm gonna need your help on these loose threads. Indigo and I'll get to investigating, so check back real soon. It ain't over yet.

Look for clues to Malta's motives at a Malta base

Briefing

While the situation at the Chinese embassy is back to normal, that doesn't mean that this is all over and wrapped up. Indigo is looking for more information on that Dr. Lamarr, and while she's doing that, I have some questions about Moment and the Malta Group's motives I would like to have answered. Now, I know a place that might have some of those answers, but I'm pretty sure that they won't want to share them no matter how nicely you ask. I'd like you to go in there and look for information on Malta's objectives in the least nice manner as you can muster. Are you in?

Mission Acceptance

The base I'm sending you to experienced a surge of activity just before they switched Moment and Ambassador Zheng. My guess is that they had Moment staying there up until that point. They'll probably start destroying information soon, so this could be our only chance to find out what's going on. Your objective is to search the place for any intel you can find about Malta's overall plan. Be thorough, but don't worry about taking out every last soldier.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Your objective is to search that base for any intel you can find about malta's overall plan. Be thorough, but don't worry about taking out every last soldier.

Mission Objective(s)

Hidden deep under the streets of the city, this hidden lab was all but undetectable.

  • Search Malta base for clues
    • 3 clues to find

You found several key pieces of information at the hidden Malta base.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! We have a perimeter breach!

You will be ambushed shortly after defeating O.R. Support unit 04.

Icon clue generic.png
Last remnants of scrambled data
You're able to stop this machine from erasing itself, but are only able to find a few fragments of its previous contents. Those fragments definitely indicate the outlines of a much larger plan:

'... control of this operation has been given to Director 17 by the Council of Directors. Director 17 has placed the final phase of this operation under Red Division. Three special branches of Red Division have been set up and assigned control over each part of Operation code-name: World Wide Red.

Group Kingdom Red:
Assigned to mission phase 1 - Destabilize US/China relations.
Group Kingdom Red has been assigned special operative codename: Moment until completion of phase 1.

Group Omnivore Red:
Assigned to mission phase 2a - Complete Project: Wildflower on schedule.
Also assigned to mission phase 2b - Activate Project: Wildflower on schedule.
Group Omnivore Red has been given control of Dr. Hedia Lamarr until the completion of Project: Wildflower.

Group Dreadnaught Red:
Assigned to mission support.
Duties: 1 - Protect Director 17
2 - Prepare Kronos class Titan Cyborg Units for use in Operation: World Wide Red.'

Icon clue generic.png
Damaging dossiers and documents
You found these dossiers on several prominent Chinese politicians in a safe on a Malta Group base. They range from the mildly scandalous to corrupt to nearly treasonous. With all of this material available for blackmail, Malta could probably keep a lot of politician's mouths shut about any actions they had Moment take disguised as Ambassador Zheng.

You notice that much of this blackmail material was dug up by Moment himself. Several pages have hand-written notes in small cursive lettering with funny stories, small details, and humorous sketches of various interesting people Moment met while gathering this information.

Icon clue generic.png
Reports on Asia
These stacks of reports detail what the Malta Group knows and believes about the state of affairs in Asia. The reports center a great deal on China, detailing Malta's main worry: That the Chinese have been building up a massive force of government-controlled paranormals to use in an attack on a western power. The report focuses on the gap between the number of trained paranormals in western armed forces and what it assumes the Chinese have. Throughout, the report mentions the cancellation of the Might for Right Act and the 'disastrous' effect it had on controlling America and the West's meta-human community.

Debriefing

It's times like this that I don't mind being called paranoid. As I suspected, this is all part of a larger plan. Let's review what we know so far:

First, we've put a stop on phase 1 of their plans, to destabilize US/China relations. We know how they were doing it, but we still don't really know why, particularly because Malta's afraid of what they think is a meta-human power gap. Why antagonize someone you're afraid of? It has to tie into the overall World Wide Red operation, so the more info we have either way it could give us a better idea of what's going on.

Second, Operation World Wide Red has something to do with Dr. Hedia Lamarr. Dr. Lamarr went missing over a year ago, we have to assume that she's been in Malta's control since then. All Indigo's been able to dig up on her work is that it involved either pollution control or mining, and ecosystems. I'm going to tap a few resources of my own, see if I can find anything. I think this project wildflower is going to be the key to this.

And third, whatever this is, it's going to be big. This Director 17 is one of the top men of the Malta Group. They've assigned a full third of their effort just to protecting him. Well, protecting him, and preparing Kronos class Titans. So it's safe, I think, to say that this is only gonna get harder. We're gonna need your help more a lot more on this one Character. Keep in contact with me, I should have more for you soon.

Check with Firenze about any strange operations his people have seen in China

Briefing

I like to see loose ends tied up, and the Malta Group's fixation on china keeps on bothering me. So here's what I'm thinking. Do you remember Jack Firenze? That CIA guy you saved from Malta back when they were switching that shape-shifter called Moment for Ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan? I figure he owes you one for that, so it might be a good idea to check with Firenze about any strange operations his people have seen in China.

Mission Acceptance

It's unlikely he'll know much about the Malta Group per se; knowledge of its existence is rare even in the intelligence community, but he might know if any strange intelligence networks have been operating in the area. You might also want to keep your eyes open. There's a good chance that Firenze may still be a target for Malta.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Your main objective is to meet with Jack Firenze. He might have some information that can help figure out what Malta's interest in China really is.

Mission Objective(s)

This is one of several small government offices scattered about Paragon City. Though it should be completely unremarkable, the sounds of heavy weapons being readied alerts you to impending danger.

  • Meet with Jack Firenze
    • Find Jack Firenze

Your timely intervention saved Jack Firenze from the Malta Group.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs


V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! Don't let them get to Firenze!

Upon reaching the second floor of the building, you will be ambushed by Malta Operatives.

Icon clue generic.png
Jack Firenze's latest theory
After you saved him from the Malta Agents, CIA China Bureau Chief Jack Firenze told you:

'My people haven't seen any strange foreign networks operating in China, but I have been getting reports of some strange things. There have been foreign agents meeting with certain politically minded elements within the Chinese military. We haven't been able to gather much information about what's being talked about, but if I were to hazard a guess, they might be discussing plans for a covert coup de tat of all or part of the Chinese government. This "Covert group" you mention could be trying to gain favor with these rogue military elements so that they'd have access to China after the coup.

'Our signal intelligence boys have traced some of this information to a nest of unknown agents in the city. I'll give you what I can. Maybe we can help each other out on this one.'

Debriefing

What Firenze said could fit the facts we know. I'll see if I can corroborate the details of the info he gave you. I'll let you know when it's time to go in and check it out.

Check out Chinese/Malta connection

Briefing

I ran some checks on the information Firenze gave you about those foreign agents working in China with a base here in Paragon. Everything seems legit, but I'm surprised neither Indigo nor I caught any trace of it before this. That makes it all the more important that you check out what's going on in that spy nest and investigate the connection between China and the Malta Group.

You might want to take some back-up with you on this one. I have a bad feeling about this mission. Give me the word when you're ready to go.

Mission Acceptance

Firenze's info pinpoints the site, but his people had no idea what you could be facing in there. Whatever you run up against, you're looking for more clues about Malta's overall plan. Search anything you can find for information or documents. Also, take out the base's leaders and shake them down for information, too. Someone's gotta know something.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Search anything you can find at that base for information or documents about Malta's goals and operation World Wide Red. Also, take out the base's leaders and shake them down for information, too.

Mission Objective(s)

The cracked plaster and moldering carpet of this place makes it seem like an unlikely home for a spy organization. Perhaps that unlikeliness is what would make it work well.

  • Defeat base leader & his crew
    • 2 clues to find

You defeated the base's leadership and found several clues.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs


V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! There's Character! Director 17 says that's our priority!

You will be ambushed immediately upon entering the mission.

Icon clue generic.png
Strange medication
You found these bottles of strange pills inside a Malta base. The pills are a metallic grey in color, quite large, and are filled with a shimmering gel. The instructions on each bottle are to take the pills after being exposed to a 'bloom' to prevent infection by Project: Wildflower.
Icon clue generic.png
A materials request form
You found this e-mail on a computer in a Malta Group base. It requests a new supply of several rare radioactive isotopes for Dr. Lamarr's work to help regulate the 'bloom rate'. After the request, the author spends several paragraphs complaining about how Dr. Lamarr has become harder to manage as Project: WIldflower draws near completion. The author also mentions Dr. Lamarr's growing distress about the weaponization of her research.
Icon clue generic.png
The missing connection
After you defeated them, one of the Malta Group soldiers broke down and taunted you:

'We don't know about any China connection. Director 17 just told us to move operation to here and wait to take you out when you showed. We know every move you're making, Character! You might as well give in to our control and join the winning side.'

Debriefing

I just checked, and yeah, Moment had escaped just hours before you got there. That's too much just to be luck. Malta is watching you. Every coin has two sides, though. Now we know that whatever they're planning, Malta is worried about you getting closer to it.

This wasn't a total wash. You got some valuable information. I'll check into the contents of those pills; that might tell us what they were designed to protect against, which could also be a lucky break. They're radioactive and traceable. I'll get Indigo on it quick. Knowing what to look for could lead us right to Dr. Lamarr and Project: Wildflower before it's too late. The last thing is a question that we can't answer yet: Is Firenze being played by Malta? If so, is that part of Operation World Wide Red? I'll let you know when the first of any of these leads pan out. We're close. I just hope we can get there in time.

Check out Project: Wildflower and look for Dr. Hedia Lamarr

Briefing

Jack Firenze's information may not have turned up a connection between Malta and China, but it did end up giving us a way to find Dr. Lamarr and Project: Wildflower. Indigo took the list of isotopes you found and was able to trace them to a Malta lab code-named Omnivore Red 1, hidden in some caves under the city. I've confirmed through my own resources that resources for Project: Wildflower were sent to this same base. Logically, the next step is to send you to this base to check out Project: Wildflower in person, and look for Dr. Hedia Lamarr.

Make no mistake, Character, Malta is not going to want to give up this project easily. All the information we've gathered tells us that this base is going to be defended by some hardcore commandos who will not give an inch. I think we still have some time before Project: Wildflower is done, so I highly recommend you call in all the reserves you can.

Mission Acceptance

Your main objective is to find out what Project: Wildflower is, and sabotage it or destroy it. In order to do this, you'll probably need to find Dr. Lamarr and see if she's willing to help. We have found a major clue about what Wildflower could be, thanks to you. Do you remember those pills you found? The ones that were being given to Malta soldiers in case they were exposed to Wildflower? Well, they're not vitamins. They're some kind of symbiotic short-lived nanotechnology. My source hasn't had time to do a full analysis, but he thinks they're designed to destroy other nanites in a human body. This meshes with what else Indigo's been able to find out about Dr. Lamarr's work. It seems she was working on developing a kind of artificial nanotech ecosystem that could live in parallel with normal life. The idea was to use these as a way to clean up pollution without hurting the environment any further. I have a bad feeling that whatever Wildflower is now, it's not going to be about recycling.

Stop all Wildflower agents

Unnecessary Solicitation

Your main objective is to find out what Project: Wildflower is, and sabotage it or destroy it. In order to do this, you'll probably need to find Dr. Lamarr and see if she's willing to help.

Mission Objective(s)

With the information from Indigo and Crimson, you've found the secret entrance to this laboratory complex hidden beneath the city.

  • Stop all Wildflower agents
    • Find Dr. Lamarr

You rescued Dr. Lamarr, who told you the truth about Project: Wildflower and how to stop it.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! Support 01 said it encountered Character! Seek and destroy!

You will be ambushed after defeating some of the Zeus class titans.

Icon clue generic.png
Dr. Lamarr rescued
After you rescued her from the Malta Group captors, Dr. Hedia Lamarr told you:

'I'm glad to see you, Character, but I wish you'd arrived sooner. Wildflower is complete! They're going to release it! I can't believe this is happening!'

'When these men first came, they were disguised as members of the government. Everything checked out; they said they wanted to see if my nanotechnology could be adapted for all kinds of uses. I was so excited. It was supposed to be a top secret government research position. By the time I realized that they weren't with the government at all, it was too late. Oh, I should have just made them shoot me rather than let this happen.'

'My original idea, you see, was to make a kind of artificial symbiotic ecosystem. It would have been so neat! It was designed to stay within defined borders, police its own growth, and not interfere with normal life. You wouldn't even be able to see it! All the while, it could collect pollutants or even build things. I figured it was decades away, but what a thing to devotee your life's work to!'

'But these people, they wanted to reprogram the nanocology into a weapon. Something they could have spread invisibility over the entire world, and then activate at any time to kill any infected target. An invisible distributed global assassin. That's what my life's work was to them. That's Project: Wildflower.'

'They were going to start by killing powerful heroes they're afraid of or can't control. They had samples and files on thousands of heroes, and can kill them all with the press of a button. The biggest mass hero death since the Rikti War, and it would be all my fault.'

'The development on Wildflower is already over, Character, but it's not too late to stop them. I know where they've set up the nano-breeders. I can help you get there. If we can reset the Wildflower nanites to disassemble each other, we can snip Wildflower off at the bud before it blooms.'

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! Upon exiting this mission, you will be ambushed by the Kronos Class Titan (Giant Monster).


File:Badge villain malta.png Master of Olympus
Hero
You have destroyed the Kronos Titan, showing Malta that the Heroes of Paragon City defend their turf.
Villain
You have destroyed the Kronos Titan, showing Malta that you are a force to be reckoned with
Stop Project: Wildflower

Mission Objective(s)

Much of the interior of this older office building has been converted into a high-tech production machinery for nanites. As you enter the lab, you hear a muffled cry for help, and find that Dr. Lamarr is gone!

  • Stop Project: Wildflower
    • 8 computers left

You have shut down Project: Wildflower. The nanites are consuming each other, and the world has been saved from the Malta Group.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

NPC Text:

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! We won't let you stop us, Character!

Expect a Malta ambush on one of the floors of this mission.

Icon clue generic.png
Targeted hero data files
You found these data files on one of the nanite control computers used to program Project: Wildflower. These files contain all of the information needed for the Wildflower nanites to target specific people for assassination. You notice that the Malta Group had assigned your death a very high priority.

Debriefing

Every time I think I'm paranoid enough, my enemies find a new way to show me different. This plot was big, even for Malta. An entire separate nanotechnology ecosystem, spread all over the world and ready to kill at will. It's no lie when I tell you that without your work, there's no way Indigo and I could have handled this alone.

Dr. Lamarr is safe, but she's going to be busy for a long time. Malta got very close this time, and that will worry a lot of people. Currently she's heading to the CDC. A nanite plague isn't really a disease per se, but they're the closest thing with the resources and authority to help her make sure nothing like this will happen again. That woman's a true genius. Shame it worked out against her. Just born about 50 years too soon, I suppose.

Well, there's still plenty of work to do. We've stopped Project: Wildflower, which means that Malta's Operation World Wide Red has been blunted at least. However, we still don't know if Wildflower was the core of World Wide Red or just an element of it. And what did China have to do with all of this? And is there still a chance to catch Director 17?

There's still more left to this, Character, so I hope you'll be ready for it.

Meet with Indigo to help hit Malta operations

Briefing

With Project: Wildflower destroyed and their plan to increase U.S./China tensions stopped, The Malta Group is probably reeling. Which makes this the perfect time to hit their operations while they're trying to recover. Indigo's got a target and an operation in mind, but has asked for your help to do the job. I can tell her to expect you if you're interested.

Mission Acceptance

Indigo requested you meet her in person for security. She'll have all the details you need when you talk to her.

Meet with Indigo

Unnecessary Solicitation

Indigo requested you meet her in person for security. She'll have all the details you need when you talk to her.

Mission Objective(s)

  • Meet with Indigo

Briefing

It's good to see you, Character. I've found a small facility that's being used as a front by our 'friends'. It was used as a secure data transfer node until recently, but with all the trouble they've had with your interference in Operation World Wide Red, they haven't finished fixing things there. This presents a perfect opportunity to compromise part of their network and do some snooping. What I need you do to is to physically infiltrate that base, defeat any and all Malta operatives there so they can't sound the alarm, and then use a little device I'll give you to get into their network. Easy!

The guard should be light, so this one shouldn't be too much trouble for you.


Icon clue generic.png
Security cracker
Indigo gave you this cobbled-together device. Once it's connected to a computer network, it should allow her access no matter how secure the network's connections might be.
Defeat all Malta agents at company

Unnecessary Solicitation

According to Indigo, she needs you to place some doohickey on a computer connected to Malta's network. You'll also need to take out any Malta operatives in that location so they can't warn anyone and shut their network down before she's infiltrated it.

Mission Objective(s)

This appears to be a normal office, until you notice the thin layer of dust on all of the office supplies. No one has used this as a place of business in some time.

  • Defeat all Malta agents at company
    • Compromise the network

You cleared out the base and compromised Malta's computer network.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

Debriefing

Another job well done, Character. Indigo sends her regards. She's also sent along the first batch of data she's been able to pull. She doesn't know how long she'll have until they discover the tap, so she's working as fast as she can. This first bit should knock your socks off.

She found part of Malta's overall plan for Operation World Wide Red, or what the plan would have been if you hadn't stopped it. They wanted to destabilize US/China relations, then use Wildflower to kill off select heroes, yourself included, and have China take credit for it through their fake ambassador. With relations already unstable, they could move on with their plan and start pushing for a limited war between the US and China by employing compromised intelligence personnel to fake reports. By the time anyone realized what was happening, it would be too late. The war would be on, and they could bring any hero they wanted under their control once they got a new version of Might for Right passed.

We don't have to worry about that so much, thanks to you, but the men who attempted to perpetrate this scheme are still at large, being protected by the Dreadnought Red group. Which brings us to the second part. When you were heading to stop Project: Wildflower, Malta activated a Kronos class Titan cyborg to attack you. Turns out that was a local boy. It was assembled here in Paragon City by the Dreadnought Red group. Indigo's working on where it might have been put together. Once we have that, we may be close to Director 17 himself.

Investigate Crimson's target for info about Director 17

Briefing

Character, I've got a target for you that could take us a step closer to finding Director 17. Tell me when you're ready, and we can begin to put the last traces of Operation World Wide Red in its grave.

Mission Acceptance

Indigo and I have pinned down the location where the Malta Group assembled that first Kronos class Titan cyborg. The bad news is that they have parts and supplies to make at least one more. Indigo thinks that the place may contain valuable intel, and I agree with her. Your first objective is to search for that. I also think that the base commander, code-named Dreadnought Red 3-9-0, might also have some information. Your second objective will be to defeat him and his men.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Your first objective is to search that Titan assembly base for any intel. Your second objective will be to defeat the base commander, code-named Dreadnought Red 3-9-0, and his men.

Mission Objective(s)

In a sub-basement hidden beneath an ordinary warehouse, you've uncovered an advanced robotic fabrication plant. Just the place to assemble a Kronos class Titan cyborg.

  • Defeat base leader & his men
    • Search for useful intelligence

You defeated the leader of the Titan assembly base, and found some valuable information

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

NPC Text:

Combat Start:
Icon clue generic.png
Message for Director 17
You found this message in a Malta Titan assembly base. It's a memo from the assembly base's leader to a field agent to make sure that Director 17 has been notified that a second Kronos class Titan has been made ready ahead of schedule to be used against you. Even more important, though, are the special instructions for where and how to deliver the message. The field operative is instructed how to make sure that Director 17 receives the message covertly at his cover job working in the CIA.
Icon clue generic.png
Dreadnought Red 3-9-0's curses
After you defeated him in the Malta Group Titan Assembly base, Dreadnought Red 3-9-0 cursed:

'You think you've won, Character? Hardly! You're already too late! We've finished a second Kronos class Titan, and it will crush you at the Director's orders. This is one base of many, one base we can afford to lose. You'll never stop the Malta Group! Never!'

Debriefing

They've built a second Titan. I was afraid of that, and all that you've found confirms it. They probably rushed it into production after they had to deploy that first one. That's some kind of bad news, but at least it's good to know about it. What's better, however, is the other piece of information you found. Director 17 is hidden within the CIA, and still in town. I'm going to tap some CIA resources and see if I can narrow the list of possibilities, or even force Director 17 out into the open.

Liberate the ex-CIA informant from the Malta Group and find out what he learned

Briefing

Now that we know that Director 17 is in the CIA, thanks to you, several encrypted messages Indigo had intercepted make more sense. I activated one of our resources, a former CIA agent, and sent him in to use his old contacts and try to connect who was sending those messages with who was receiving them. My plan succeeded better than I anticipated, and Malta Group agents jumped our man, taking him prisoner. I need you to liberate our ex-CIA informant from the Malta Group and find out what he learned.

He's going to be under heavy guard, but I don't think it's anything you can't handle. Well, maybe you and some friends.

Mission Acceptance

As I said, our plan worked better than I had planned. When those Malta operatives grabbed our man, they tipped their hand that he found out something important. What Malta didn't know is that Indigo monitored their whole operation remotely, thanks to their compromised network, we know exactly where they took him, and we know that they plan to interrogate him before they kill him. Our operative is a tough one to crack, so we should have some time. But don't dawdle. All you need to do is go in and retrieve our man and learn what he knows.

Unnecessary Solicitation

Our operative is a touch one, so we should have some time. But don't dawdle. All you need to do is go in and retrieve our man and learn what he knows.

Mission Objective(s)

Indigo's information has led you to this old warehouse. The black vans outside show that this is the right spot.

  • Find abducted agent
    • Rescue captured agent

You saved Melvin Langley and learned the true identity of the Malta Group's Director 17.

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

Icon clue generic.png
The True Identity of Director 17
After you rescued him from the Malta Group, ex-CIA clerk Melvin Langley told you:

'I did just like Mr. Crimson told me, and was able to trace who had sent the messages Miss Indigo had seen and who they went to. When they grabbed me, I knew I was right. You're not going to believe this, Character, but Director 17, one of the very board members of the Malta Group, one of the leaders of Malta's post-Cold War new guard, is none other than:

'Jack Firenze, head of the CIA's China affairs bureau.'

Debriefing

I can't believe I didn't see that coming. It's so obvious, if it had been a snake it would have bit me twice for good measure. Firenze. Jack Firenze. Here I thought he was just incompetent. It all makes sense now.

This all started off when the Freakshow tried to grab Firenze and ambassador Zheng Xiaoxuan. Those Freaks ran into Malta troops, right? I bet that gunslinger was there as Firenze's bodyguard. When you rescued Firenze from those Malta agents back at the start of this, you weren't rescuing him at all. He was probably there to make sure the switch went okay or to give Moment new instructions. Then the next time you talked to him, he sent you into a trap deliberately. That worked out for us, though, I doubt he knew you'd find any information there, or that I'd be able to use it. Everything's been pointing to him from the start.

Well, Mr. Director 17 of the Malta Group is in for a big surprise. This might take a bit of time to prepare, but I guarantee you that it's going to be over soon.

Deal with Jack Firenze, aka Director 17

Briefing

Character, it's time to deal with Jack Firenze, aka Director 17 of the Malta Group. This won't be easy, and we know that he has another Kronos class Titan under his command. If he activates it, there might not be much time before it can cause a lot of damage. Gather your resources and block out some time. When you give me the go-ahead, it's on.

Mission Acceptance

Okay, Character, here's how this is gonna go down:

I just had Indigo send all of the evidence she and I have gathered about Jack Firenze's true associations to the right people. A whole lot of the right people. A catch this big needs a very large net. Firenze is currently in an emergency debriefing, trying to figure out who was responsible for letting Langley get away. He'll know in a few minutes that not only has his cover been exposed, so has the entire World Wide Red operation and the existence of the Malta Group. Firenze's going to lock himself down and await extraction. Too bad for him, extraction ain't coming. Or rather, it will, but Indigo's re-routed them to the wrong building.

I tell you Character, I love that girl like a daughter.

That's where you come in. Firenze's going to sit tight waiting for an extraction that won't be coming. I want you to hit him while he's waiting.

Firenze's going to be well protected by some of the baddest things that Malta can muster. I don't care. I want him caught. I want all of his bodyguards caught. I want the other directors of the Malta Group to know not only that they are not untouchable, but that they can be caught and brought up for their crimes.

I know you understand me. I leave it up to you to make sure they understand even better.

Capture all Firenze's men

Unnecessary Solicitation

I want Firenze caught. I want all of his bodyguards caught. I want the other directors of the Malta Group to know not only that they are not untouchable, but that they can be caught and brought up for their crimes. I want them to know that they are vulnerable.

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! Concentrate all fire on Character! Protect the director!

You will be ambushed immediately upon entering the mission.

Mission Objective(s)

You're angry at having been duped by Jack Firenze. You won't be leaving here without him in tow.

  • Capture all Firenze's men

You defeated Jack Firenze!

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! Concentrate all fire on Character! Protect the director!

You will be ambushed again on one of the higher floors.

Icon clue generic.png
Jack Firenze's revenge
After his defeat, Jack Firenze, aka Director 17 of the Malta Group, cursed you by saying:

'Where were you getting your information? Tell me! Who was helping you? How were you able to tear down so much, expose so much? You so-called heroes never understood. Now you've ruined it. I've already seen the news. they call us a criminal conspiracy in the intelligence community. They'll all search for us, try to weed us out just to protect their jobs. We would have brought a new era of peace and security through this war. We would have brought everyone freedom, freedom and democracy under our control.'

'But it's not over! Even if this is the end of me, I still have one card left to play. When I realized extraction wasn't coming, I activated my second Kronos Titan. it will crash right through the War Wall, and level this area of the city! Not even you can stop it! Ah-ha-ha-ha!!!'

Stop Kronos Titan & entire crew

Unnecessary Solicitation

That second Kronos Titan could smash down the War Wall and level part of the city! You've got to stop it! Destroy the Titan and defeat all of the support personnel so they can't get it up and running again!

Mission Objective(s)

This small patch of forest is already aflame from the Kronos class Titan's attack on the War Wall! Malta operatives and engineers scramble about, ready to attack you and defend the Titan.

  • Stop Kronos Titan & entire crew - 1:30:00

Success: You destroyed the Titan and defeated its support crew.
Failure: In the end, the Titan's unfinished systems weren't enough to breach the War Wall. With its damaged frame still under emergency repair by its support crew, it headed out to sea.

EdLetter.png Editor's Note:
  • This timed mission begins immediately upon exiting the previous one.
  • Despite the description, this is a defeat-all.
  • Red Kronos 02 is not a giant monster but does count for the Master of Olympus Badge.


V archetypeicon stalker.png Ambush! You will be ambushed twice on this map. Once at the entrance and again near the mid-point of the map.

You're going down, Character!

Enemies

Badge villain malta.png Malta Operatives

Notable NPCs

  • Dreadnought Red Kronos 02 (Arch Villain)

Debriefing: Success

The wreckage of that Titan is being recovered by the city. I hear the War Wall engineers were sweating bullets before you showed up. They didn't know if they'd have been able to stop that thing.

Firenze is in captivity and cursing your name. He's too smart to talk, but what he has to say is almost less important than what he represents. Firenze's capture and exposure has shown the rest of the Malta Group that they are not untouchable and invisible masters. Now they'll have to worry about threats from more traditional law enforcement. Which means that they won't be able to spend as much time dealing with unconventional threats like Indigo and myself.

Thinking about it that way, I suppose you could say I exposed this operation for selfish reasons, but I prefer to think of it as enlightened self-interest. Either way, I have you to thank. I'm just a paranoid old spook with too much blood on his hands and too many regrets, Character, but you are a true hero.

One last thing. It's just a funny bit of irony for you. Remember how one of the reasons Malta was so afraid of China in the first place was because they thought that china had far more meta-humans in their armed forces than we did? A super-human gap, they called it. If they'd really paid attention to their intelligence instead of seeing what they wanted to see, they would have known that most of China's meta-humans perished or went into hiding during th cultural revolution. Mao Tse Tung was too afraid of them destabilizing his vision of China. America may have one-third China's population, but it has twice as many super-humans, and four times as many in the military. Not to surprising they'd make that mistake, though. They thought the same thing about Russia for decades.

Debriefing: Failure

The city's engineers were able to reinforce the War wall, and it doesn't look like that second Kronos Titan had the staying power of the other one. Seems like it wasn't completed when Firenze ordered it deployed. It was last seen headed out to sea towards the Rogue Isles. I'm more than happy to let them deal with it.

Firenze is in captivity and cursing your name. He's too smart to talk, but what he has to say is almost less important than what he represents. Firenze's capture and exposure has shown the rest of the Malta Group that they are not untouchable and invisible masters. Now they'll have to worry about threats from more traditional law enforcement. Which means that they won't be able to spend as much time dealing with unconventional threats like Indigo and myself.

Thinking about it that way, I suppose you could say I exposed this operation for selfish reasons, but I prefer to think of it as enlightened self-interest. Either way, I have you to thank. I'm just a paranoid old spook with too much blood on his hands and too many regrets, Character, but you are a true hero.

One last thing. It's just a funny bit of irony for you. Remember how one of the reasons Malta was so afraid of China in the first place was because they thought that China had far more meta-humans in their armed forces than we did? A super-human gap, they called it. If they'd really paid attention to their intelligence instead of seeing what they wanted to see, they would have known that most of China's meta-humans perished or went into hiding during the cultural revolution. Mao Tse Tung was too afraid of them destabilizing his vision of china. America may have one-third China's population, but it has twice as many super-humans, and four times as many in the military. Not too surprising they'd make that mistake, though. They thought the same thing about Russia for decades.