29 September 2006


Dear Sarge,

Things in A. did not turn out for the best. McAllen turned out to be softer than his file led us to believe. When I got him out of the Taliban prison, (no big deal, just a few bribes) he was already broken. He kept babbleing about how the '67 Ford Mustang his brother owned was the greatest of all cars. Sad. I took him to the transport and Carter promised me to get him to our connection in Pakistan safely. He should be back in Canada by now. Visit him and tell me how he's doing. It would be best if he could get back on his feet...

Wouldn't it? Sometimes I wonder.

It is good to be back in the desert. The emptiness is comforting. It isn't as oppressive as the jungle, where the sniper sits waiting, a mere five meters from your head, the sound of his excited breathing as he imagines your head exploding into a million pieces the only thing that gives him away. No, give me the desert. The howling of the wind at night reminds me of the demons that surround us even during the day...

LeForte managed to elude me with the help of some sympathetic villagers. I hanged twenty sympathizers in that village. Wailing women, old men hiding the faces of the children, forcing the teenager at gunpoint to put the noose around his neighbor's head. The Banality of Evil indeed. Where did it come from? What will it lead to?

I have no leads. I am in Qutar. Awaiting further orders.


22 September 2006

In Which Sarge Addresses the Purpose of It All


Berlin: the thump from the bass from the underground club beneath us is like blinking neon through a window and still Smitty is wiring and re-wiring the communications devices for tomorrow as if he were surrounded by a still sea.

Riga is half a memory of fog and double-cross, but the information is in the houndstooth coat.

The information is in the houndstooth coat.

I told you once that I only felt truly alive in Africa, but amidst the curving streets of these old and cobbled cities I feel myself come alive again in the intrigues of our world. It has been years since my training in the wilds of the Canadian Rockies, but I feel myself almost as eager now, as if, even in this profession of corrupted souls and the teeming morass of amoralism, I have some dirtied scrap of idealism left. I hold it carelessly in my hand, it is the thing that might, one day, undo me or save the bones of my thoughts. Perhaps yet, it will do some good for the things we try so hard to believe in.

In Riga the churches, topped with their odd, almost rustic vanes, made a key for which only the morning fog could trace and everywhere there seemed to be the suggestion of a shadow that might undo me, undo all of us really, for Reynolds, Hyland, Comstock and Dawes were there as well. I felt the weight of leadership press upon me while everything else around me floated on the breath of Riga's morning, and truly I wondered if the double-agent LaStrue had flipped us again. Only in this game do the cheaters get to re-join the table; we, you and I, know that it is the innocent who are most likely to die. But let us not speak of that for now.

Still, near the Cats' House in the Old City there was the street vendor with the one leg and I, on my own, wondering idly if I still was a commander of men or if I was so soon to be undone, asked idly for directions to the nearest tram, little did I know the carnival of flesh that awaited me in that terrible basement I was led into.

I shot my way out, human cargo about me and with me, and the words of the fool Nesberait still echoing, I shot my way through a backyard's garden and found the boat and we were off to Stockholm, scarred, half-men with secrets that have driven them half-mad and made them wanted by too much of the world stared at the white caps of the waves and maybe found a few moments of tranquility in the contesting rhythms of the sea and the boat. By early evening we were at the safe house in Berlin. Only Reynolds is still to be heard from, Comstock and Dawes are to Nice and from there I will rendovous with them in Cairo, but Reynolds' work is of a more sensitive nature, or so I hear from the gossip that passes for information here. I wonder if he will not be meeting up with Nwargo?

Hyland has just cursed under his breath, the bass thumps on and I stare at the ceiling while I write to you, the computer perched on my knees. Sometimes I wonder what this is all about, but then I remember the next thing that must be done, and I know it must be done. What bigger picture can we form in this world of next moments?

I know soon you will be back in Berlin. I leave this letter for you, and when you see it, know that I too, who am now in Cairo, loved this little octagon of a room too, know that I too wondered if I would be able to sleep through the heartbeat of our neighbors. I hope you appreciate the Russian tea I stocked, in Riga it was cheap and of exceptional quality. Take care to add the milk first.

with best regards,