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Sunday 21 August 2011

Report from Libya

You may recall from my last blog post two weeks ago that I was called by MI6 for an assignment in Libya.  I’ve been there ever since.  Anyone who has been following the news will know that a real war is happening here.  Followers of this blog will suspect that more is going on than you will hear about from CNN.

Soon after my arrival in Tripoli, where I was staying under cover as an oil-company executive, three Apostates tried to kill me.  In my work for MI6, I’m used to being shot at, but rarely with silver bullets.  These Apostates were mean and armed to the teeth (literally).  Last Sunday, I lured them into a trap by sunbathing at the hotel pool in a string bikini, with my twin Berettas concealed under the towel.  It was evening before they came.  Under the full moon they approached with the intention of making a meal out of me (I was already broiled to well-done by the sun) and Bang! two went down with silver between the eyes.  The third turned tail and fled.  That was a week ago.

I later learned that the third Apostate had escaped over the border into Egypt – probably heading for the secret Temple of Sutekh in the desert west of Karnak.  There he would no doubt find reinforcements. 

The day after the incident at the pool – and yes, there are still luxury hotels operating in Tripoli – I was called to act as MI6 liaison to a CIA listening post near Zawiya.  The Americans use these to monitor Libyan military communications and to co-ordinate the air strikes against Gaddafi’s troops.  There I met Cynthia, a very attractive CIA operative, fluent in Arabic and an electronics expert.  We hit it off quite well, which led me to enquire via Facebook/Twitter whether the CIA has a DADT rule (Google it, if you’re unsure).  I thought it would be too forward to ask her directly.

Some of you may be shaking your heads and thinking What about Lysandra?  After all, she has been your Companion for three thousand years!  How can you do this to her?  My answer is simple: Lysandra has been missing since 1945.  Just how long do you expect me to remain celibate?

On Tuesday, the rebels took Zawiya (about 45 km from Tripoli), so we moved forward with them.  The listening post is mobile, of course, but I can’t tell you anything more about it, since Gaddafi’s troops tend to target that sort of thing.  After a day of setting up at the new location, we finally got some time off and were planning to go out on Wednesday evening, when I received word that a CIA spy-satellite had picked up five targets crossing the Egyptian border.  They were moving too fast to be human, but their straight course toward Tripoli led the analysts to doubt that they were animals.  The satellite couldn’t deliver a clear enough image to make positive identification, but for me there was no question as to their nature.  

Just the same, I ordered up a Blackhawk for a night recon into the desert to have a look.  Cynthia remained behind, as she has no field training.  For more than six hundred kilometres we followed the Apostates’ route as plotted by the satellite, but found nothing.  Twice I had the pilot set down at likely-looking hiding places.  At one of them I caught the odour of Apostates, but the scent was several hours old.  I had lost them.

Returning to Zawiya, I found a message waiting from my section chief, saying that I was being transferred to Syria to deal with the escalating situation there.  Naturally I was annoyed by this, on the one hand because the Apostates would need to be eliminated, and on the other because things were just beginning to go somewhere with Cynthia – if only these bloody interruptions would stop.  During the course of the day on Friday, however, Assad announced that he was ceasing military operations against the population and it looked like the situation in Syria might be resolving, so I called London and requested permission to stay in Libya and see the business through to the end here.  Permission granted.  (Unfortunately, it has turned out that the reports from Damascus were false, so I may yet have to go there.)

A little over thirty-six hours ago, I received intelligence from a reliable source that “five Egyptian nationals” had arrived at Gaddafi’s headquarters in Tripoli.  I doubt that these will be the only Apostates surrounding the dictator, so it seems that the affair will soon turn nasty.  As I can’t really request silver-loaded ordinance from NATO for the next air strike, I will have to take care of my furry friends personally.

Yesterday the rebels moved inexorably toward Tripoli, so there was generally a relaxed atmosphere among the Yanks at the listening post.  Cynthia was in high spirits as well, so I thought to take advantage of the opportunity and asked if she cared to spend the evening together.  It seemed that our oft-postponed rendezvous would finally take place. 

In fact, the night started out quite well, but just as Cynthia began to reciprocate my affections, our tryst was rudely interrupted by an incoming artillery round.  There’s nothing like high explosives to ruin the perfect date.  Then she received a call on her satellite phone, ordering her to the temporary CIA headquarters at Al Ma’murah, where they needed an electronics expert to calibrate the fire-control systems and help with target acquisition for today’s air strikes.

After she left, I had a little time on my hands to write this, but am now preparing for an incursion into the outskirts of Tripoli with a contingent of rebel troops.  Someone has to deal with the Apostates there, and it seems I’m elected. 

As a Glamour Werewolf, I generally like to go everywhere in style, but this isn’t really the time or place for Gucci.  So today’s fashion is likely to be a burqa, accented with a cartridge belt and an AK-47.

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