Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 26

El Nariz smirked behind the American's back. He was paler than most Colombians, and spoke English like a native, so he could pass himself off as a relatively eccentric American. That was what gave him enough of an edge to be a spy.

He was called "The Nose" because he sniffed things out. He was like a bloodhound when it came to tracking down American troop movements. He'd been called El Nariz for so long he had almost forgotten his given name. Almost.

It was a common ailment in spying, though. Spies had to become whatever persona they had taken on, including thinking of themselves as that name. El Nariz set about to trick both his government and the Americans. It was a typical cautionary tactic of spies. His government only knew him as El Nariz. The Americans knew him as “Joe Hecht”.

The Colombian government had essentially created “Joe Hecht” out of thin air. Passports, driver’s license, birth certificate, a past, a whole life. But the man never existed. He was created solely as El Nariz’s cover story.

They’d made “Hecht” a captain in the American army, a high enough rank to learn important things, and yet low enough not to draw attention to himself. El Nariz had spent several weeks just trying to earn the trust of the men around him before he started any actual spying.

He’d just pulled off his first successful mission. He’d been speaking with an American general, Paul King, who had been at Tijuana as El Nariz understood. King had outlined the troop movements to El Nariz in the guise of “Joe Hecht”.

Had he actually been the American captain, he would have had an excellent idea of how the troops were to progress. Then he could get on his scanner, issue orders to all of his lieutenants, and carry it all out to the letter. He did this in, in order to protect his identity, and, besides, if he didn’t the troop movements would have changed and the information he had would have been useless to Colombia.

He got onto his secure radio line and called Bogota. He let the capital city know where the American troops were headed. (He had exact locations of his regiments, but only a general idea of where the whole American force was headed).

There was, however, an exceptionally important piece of information, far more important than mere troop movements which he passed on. The Mexicans had been searching for a very long time in hopes of finding the American scanner station from which the Americans were observing Mexico. If the scanner station were to be knocked out the scannerless Mexicans would be on a level playing field with the Americans, and would probably be able to just about take over all of America. King had mentioned to "Hecht" a railroad where one of the stops was the American scanner station. All an army would have to do was follow the tracks and then knock it out. He told Colombia.

From there he had no idea where the information traveled. Perhaps Colombia would try to send troops to the American position. If they could break through the Brazilian lines they could send troops up to Mexico and inform the Mexicans where the Americans were going. Perhaps they would just inform the Mexicans where they were going and let them handle it.

It hardly mattered to El Nariz. He’d completed his end. The rest of the work was in the hands of his superiors. International intrigue was often too complex even for spies.

The Americans had no real need for spies. They had enough scanners. Latin America, however, had a decided lack of the wondrous little mechanical devices. That’s why they had to employ spies like El Nariz.

He smiled at the idea that because of how technologically backwards his country was, his job was secure. Then he frowned. If the Coalition won this war, all their countries would gain great technology and lots of it. And he was aiding the war effort. In a way, by doing his job he was dooming his job.

He decided he’d start exploring other career opportunities when he was done spying on the Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your e-mail address in the box below and click "Subscribe" to join Stephen Kozeniewski's Mailing List for Fun and Sexy People. (Why the hell would anyone ever want to join a mailing list?)