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Posted on Sep 29, 2007 in Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 34] – The Search For Doc’

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno

This is insane. Shouldn’t you be extracting information from these people? Finding out about all their plans? Using every method in the book to stop their comrades committing more atrocities?

We find that a more convivial atmosphere helps loosen the tongue. After all, you and I are having a very pleasant conversation right now, aren’t we?

I suppose so…

Let me make this clear, we’ve learnt from the lessons of the past. In World War II, the Gestapo would routinely torture their victims to get information and where did it leave them? With inaccurate data and a dead body. In medieval times, the Spanish Inquisition would use torture to get people to repent their perceived sins but if you torture anyone for long enough, they’ll confess to anything, whether they did it or not! Historically, such methods are ultimately doomed to failure.

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I don’t believe this…

Pardon me?

I’m sat here being given a history lesson. It’s normally me giving the lessons to, you know, him.  (Pauses for thought) That’s it! I’ve actually become him. I’m Doctor Sinister!

(Grabs notebook excitedly)  You are?

No no no, look, it’s complicated. I think elements of his personality have rubbed off on me…I mean, here I am complaining about the food when it’s really rather nice here.

Here at Guantanamo Bay we’ve created the most luxurious prison in history.  And it works. (Leafing through a pile of handwritten notes) For example General, only yesterday you happened to let slip that your former master, the late Doctor Sinister, apparently died trying to save the world from weapons he himself had secreted around the world. With that information, we will be able to deactivate that network of bombs and prevent any future "accidents". The day before that, you gave us lots of very informative data on the nature of his cybernetic enhancements, the location of his previous secret island base and…

Hang on.

Pardon me?

You already knew the location of the secret island base. You blew it up.

We did?

Yes, over a year ago in fact. I was there. Doctor Sinister was testing a new weapon, a stealth missile, only it failed and the next thing we knew, we were being targeted by pretty much every nuclear power on the Earth. We barely escaped with our lives.

(There is a long pause) Are you referring to an incident in April 2006? Caused quite a stir that did. It’s true a missile launch was detected, and one of our submarines was authorised to return fire, oddly enough to the very coordinates you’ve given us for the island base. But although there was a detonation…

several detonations, everyone else had a go too…

several detonations, subsequent satellite images and flights over the affected area revealed nothing.

Nothing?

Nothing at all. Not even an outcrop of rock. I mean, given your information, we’ll take another look, obviously, but according to our current data, there is no island base and there never was.

* * *

The metal egg is now vibrating quite severely and the cavern is flooded with light. The blinking lights on the surface flicker intensely and the sound of machinery inside reaches a crescendo before it suddenly stops. The egg sits there for a while, glowing. A low wailing sound begins from inside…if anyone had been there to hear it, they might have thought it to be the sound of a newly born kitten…

* * *

Guard: Your cell Sir. I’ve taken the liberty of delivering some fresh DVDs and books and charging your complimentary Guantanamo Bay iPod.

Erm, thanks. I guess I’ll see you in the morning?

You will Sir. Have a good night.

(General Menace enters his cell. It is night and a low full moon beams through the bars of his window to which luxuriant thick curtains have been fitted on either side. With a sigh, the General sits on the bed as the Marine Sergeant closes the locks the door behind him. Lifting his feet to take off his boots, there is a sudden movement in one corner of the room…)

Who’s there? (A woman emerges from the corner. She is tall, blonde, wearing a skimpy black dress and bright red lipstick. General Menace recognises her immediately…it is a face from the past, from the island base, it is Doctor Sinister’s inept Secretary…) Harmony!

Harmony: Hi honey! Long time no see!

But, how did you, I don’t…but…

I’ve been sent to get you out of here.

You have? But I don’t understand, how did you survive the destruction of the island?

Destruction? I don’t know what you mean General. We’ve been there all the time.

You have? Oh, I see what’s going on, you’re in my mind, that roast dinner with all the trimmings was drugged after all…that sneaky Major, he’s trying to undermine my will…

Oh be quiet. I’m real enough. And I’ve been sent to fetch you.

Sent? Sent by whom?

Who else? Doctor Sinister of course.

* * *

With a blinding flash and a thunderclap roar, the egg splits open. With the cavern flooded with light, a tall dark figure slowly emerges, flanked by two much smaller creatures who run out into the cavern, hunting mice. There is a deep, mocking, triumphant laugh…

34image.jpg

Is it true? Has the secret island base been safe all the time?

If so, how did it survive?

And will Harmony ever wear anything sensible?

Find out in the next stupendous episode of…The Incorrect Art of War!!

A J Summersgill and Jim Moreno.

andrew@armchairgeneral.com

jim@armchairgeneral.com

If you want to talk more sensibly about military history from any era, don’t forget to visit the ACG Forums.

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