“This is what terrorists call synergy,” said Zed.
The burley chief of the CYA’s Ajakar Station slapped his hand on a map on the world that was hanging on the wall. Victor jumped slightly at the sound but nodded at his new chief, a former Louisiana running back who took up most of the space in his office, and not just physically.
He and Zed were in Ajakar, the capital of the West African country of Pigallo, a former Italian colony that had joined its African brethren in a fit of independence in the 1960s.
“The Brotherhood is here.” Zed pointed to the Republic of Zuzu, just north of Pigallo. Zuzu was a large country with a small population and was made up mostly of sand. It was proving an excellent hideout for a group that was quickly becoming a major threat to the United States.
“These rebels are joining forces with the Core, here.” He pointed halfway across the world to Rubblestan, in the Middle East, where the United States had deployed 200,000 troops after the Core had attacked its homeland. “The Brotherhood is getting weapons, training, and money from the Core. And the Core gains an extended presence across Africa.”
Zed turned away from the map and looked directly at his newest case officer. “Victor, why are you here?”
Victor stood in his worn out cargo pants and New York Fire Department T-Shirt and summed up the attributes that would serve him well in the fight. “I’m a native Italian speaker. That’ll give me some leverage dealing with our sources here. And I’ve got more than ten years of counterterrorism experience.”
“No,” Zed said. “It’s because you’re already fucked up.” Zed returned to his desk and sat his solid frame down. “Ten years in Africa. You already know African logic. I don’t have to explain to you why you can buy underwear, a toaster, and new wiper blades from the same guy at the intersection outside the embassy. Or why a sheep rides on top of a car. You already get that.”
Victor leaned against the wall. “It’s convenient shopping, and where else is the sheep going to ride?” [End of Excerpt]