Tetsuya Hamazaki sat patiently, marvelling at his recent change of fortunes while considering his options for the future. An up-and-coming manager in Jinsei's South-East Asian division, Tetsuya had been invited to the 'unofficial' Hong Kong meeting of Jinsei executives to discuss the chairman's latest foolishness. However, on the day before the meeting he had been abducted from his hotel room by a pair of crazed women with guns. He ha found out on the way that he was abducted to gain information on the Zero Zone invasion - which, ironically, he knew virtually nothing about.

Although not what he had expected, Tetsuya had the wisdom to count this as a blessing. With a bit of negotiation and luck, he could find himself well-placed with his new minders. He went over what he did know in his head, while waiting for his 'interrogator' to return. On the whole, the situation hardly seemed like one of captive and jailer. He was in an expensive Neo York hotel room, well furnished and tastefully decorated, with a pair of suited guards waiting out the door. He had his usual clothes, was well-fed and looked after, and even had access to room service. The only difference from his previous situation was that the guards were to keep him in, rather than anyone else out.

The door swung open and a young, blond man appeared. Tetsuya remembered him as Mark Konig, a Spycorp agent who'd been debriefing him since they'd arrived here. He had an open, friendly face and dressed in casual clothes, far below the standards of such an expensive hotel. Mark smiled at him as he approached, then swung around a chair and sat facing him.

"Okay, I've had a chat with my superiors, and we can continue," he said in a warm tone. His brow furrowed, and he frowned at Tetsuya. "Now what was this about 'Guildenstein' anyway?"

Tetsuya regarded him with cold indifference before going on. "Guildenstein, from what we know, is the code name for a special operations group within the Jinsei heirarchy that operates under the direct control of Chairman Quincy himself."

"So which division are they with?" Mark asked. "Japan? Neo York? Where?"

Tetsuya shook his head. "It's not quite that simple. They're de-centralised. Rather than being employed under any 'Guildenstein division,' the members of the group are from all different divisions, and perform extra tasks for the chairman as well as their normal job."

Mark rubbed his chin as he considered this. "So it's more like a secret club than anything else."

"You could say that," Tetsuya conceded, thouroughly unimpressed by his young companion.

Mark frowned, then simply shrugged as a smile emerged on his face once more. "You said Guildenstein was responsible for the invasion, right?" When Tetsuya nodded, he asked "How does that work?"

"The commander of the Zero Zone forces was the first man to be recruited into Guildenstein by the chairman himself, from what little we know of the group. Most of those involved in supporting and supplying the operation are also members of this group."

"And the soldiers?"

Tetsuya shook his head. "They simply follow orders."

Mark nodded. He stood and started pacing the room, occaisionally glancing back at Tetsuya. "So..." he said after a while. "What does this 'Guildenstein' want, anyway? And why invade the Zone?"

"We don't know," Tetsuya said simply. Mark turned to stare at him, and he continued. "The chairman's objectives are unknown to all but Guildenstein's members. What we do know is that the cost - monetarily, as well as in manpower and resources - of this whole debarcle is slowly but surely ruining Jinsei."

Mark frowned once more, his brows furrowed in concentration. "That doesn't make any sense. I mean, there's got to be a reason. Why does the chairman want to wreck his own company?"

Try as he might, Tetsuya could not answer.

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