The Ghost Military-Industrial Conference was always a strange event. It moved to a different place every month, but Sheep could swear that everything was the same. The cigarette burns on the carpet remained in the same exact position every time he came. Still, it was time to do business.
"Hello there and welcome to the Conference. Please take a seat as we prepare for the reports!"
Ghost leaders and generals sat in their command chairs as the projector flickered on. Sheep took one by the High Commanders. Even a five-star like Sheep had his own superiors.
"Unfortunately, our comrades Greystone and Vendiator could not attend personally. However, new status updates in the Mediterranean and South America conflicts are being fed live to the projector."
"It's always a challenge retaking the Falklands," High Commander Jameston said to his group. "The Phantoms mount chaffs and EW systems to reduce the effectiveness of our SAM sites. A combination of systems have been implemented and surprisingly trusty old Dvina is more effective than our modern missiles!" Officers laughed around him as the irony of the situation presented itself. The Cold War SA-2 Guideline missile system, the pioneer of the anti-aircraft missile field, would and could take out more advanced aircraft than concurrent AA systems. It was so obsolete that it was so effective.
"Anyways," Jameston continued. "we have Argentina and Brazil and Chile, the ABC Powers back in the day. Using these countries, our positions have pushed the frontline into Central America. Heavy fighting in Nicaragua but the Red Line is moving forward to Panama, where we can grip Phantom shipping. 57% of their economy relies on that canal. 57% of their economy will collapse with that canal."
"Reporting for duty, Holden," Sheep stated as a Commander sat down. High Commander David "Winters" Holden was always a respected figure for Sheep. He had earned the nickname "Captain Winters" back in the day because a mission on his original squad would give you a decade of experience but take two decades of your life. Sheep was once a Michman on his original squad.
"At ease, Bashar," Holden slowly replied. He was outwardly an old man, but was still as sharp and fit as those under his command. "Conference still entertaining?"
Sheep shrugged, and said, "The best parts are the speeches but that's only half of the event."
"Any progress in Taymyr? The Eastern Front?"
"Pro-Phantom Ukrainian Prime Minister assassinated, three warheads acquired, taking over Eastern Europe," Sheep listed. "Just another day in the office."
"Pretty hot in the Mediterranean," Holden said. "We're swapping Morocco a lot. One day the Strait of Gibraltar is ours, the next it isn't. Still, the Northern African Alliance is with us and they're providing much needed manpower. A lot of dealing with warlords though."
"I see that a lot of money is on the bargaining table?"
"Well, the Phantoms are a nuisance to them. They have seized much of the territory that the warlords own and disrupt their military operations. Our job is just to give them some training and the deal benefits both of us. While we're officially not allied or connected with the NAA, they give us manpower that we train so they have more experienced soldiers to combat the Phantoms. We get a 30/70 split between the forces they send to us to train. So far, this has worked in our favor of providing reinforcements to the Mediterranean theatre while also keeping the African Front a farther proposition than ever."
"I'm not surprised if the mastermind of the plan is you yourself."
"Yes, I saw the potential and drafted it myself. Anyways, part of our training program is the reintegration of child soldiers. There are also psychological stability courses that are mandatory along with malnutrition prevention classes. Eventually, these men will be reintegrated back with their fellow Africans and will improve their living conditions with our training. All of these skills also line up with making a true disciplined army of formidable soldiers, so our training also works both ways with us and the warlords' men. They're all good material, strong, confident, and able to stomach any hardships that come in their path. They deserve a better life than what they have now."
Sheep was impressed by Holden's thinking. Of course, such a high ranking officer had to be smart to get to where he was today. He was relieved to see the regard for human life in the "Captain Winter's" cold, calculating mind. However, Sheep could still observe that the High Commander always got a bit carried away with explaining his plans. But still, Holden was as shut as a clam when facing Phantom interrogators. When he did talk, it was said by many that he managed to trick the Phantoms and their heartrate sensors to spread misinformation during their sessions.