The Inner Cadre - Chapter 8

(Lt. Col. Paul Doggett resumes the narrative)

My father's text continues with an account of events which culminated in the ghastly tragedy of 31st March 2006: I will always view the deaths of Prince Adrian and Natalie Benson with mixed feelings. However, the monstrous and depraved ambitions of the Talabashi hordes reminds me of an old adage: 'There are times when action must favour the greater good of the many rather than meeting the needs of the few'

I now return to my father's typescript ...

In Britain and Europe we should be very thankful for our standards of living when compared to that of billions of less fortunate people who not only have to endure harsh privations, but who also suffer prolonged torment inflicted upon them by their barbaric leaders. Before I deal with the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Prince Adrian and Natalie Benson, I will tell you a story about a country where even to be seen smiling was regarded as a sin.

When the Soviet Union occupied Suzukstan in 1979 at the behest of that country's government, the ensuing guerilla war united the hitherto warring Islamic factions: their success was a major factor which contributed to the USSR's withdrawal during 1998/89. However, Suzukstan remained unstable as the old differences between the Islamic coalition forces re-emerged. One particular group, the Talabashi, gradually gained ascendancy and by the end of 1999, the whole country lay at their feet.

This scourge transformed Suzukstan into a wasteland which was effectively insulated from the outside world. Only visitors from two adjoining states - upon which the country depended for raw materials and trade - were allowed to walk on Suzukstan's hallowed ground, and in 2002 the Talabashi annexed these neighbours. This action provoked little response from the rest of the world. Despite distaste and contempt for these zealots, the newly enlarged and self-sufficient Suzukstan was stable and - at least on the surface - did not pose any threat to South West Asia and the Middle East.

Between 1996 and 1999 MI6 had lost many agents operating in Suzukstan: consequently, they were forced to abandon monitoring activities in that region. The savage reprisals meted out to the populace once it became known that one of their particular community had supplied information to MI6 (and/or other intelligence organisations) precluded further such activities.

We were deeply worried about rumours that the Talabashi were stock-piling weapons from the former Soviet Union and supplying arms to their acolytes throughout the Middle East and South West Asia. Of particular concern was the situation in Q'rai where the Talabashi were emerging as a formidable opponent of this abbatoir nation's chief slayer, Sodom Maddafi.

It was plain that MI6 had no intentions of re-establishing their contacts in Suzukstan, but following a discussion with my colleague Sir Donald Vale, Director of the Joint Intelligence Committee, the following course of action was agreed.

Sander's International Investigations Ltd. - henceforward abbreviated to SIIL - had an operations centre in Bombay, India. A team of five employees with experience in undercover surveillance, plus a comprehensive knowledge of the languages and geography of Suzukstan (including its two satellite states, Borpal and Kalikstan) would be sent to the region on a fact-finding mission. The handful of remaining MI6 'sleepers' were concentrated in the remote provinces of Greater Suzukstan, Borpal, and the team would endeavour to establish a network with the objective of finding out whether arms traffic was, as suspected, flowing through the area.

The north-western frontier of Borpal adjoined the former Soviet republic of Kurdastov, and I felt it would be appropriate to commence investigations there. It was not possible to contact these informants prior to their arrival in Borpal: all forms of radio and telecommunications were proscribed, and the penalty for possessing these items was summary execution.

I will not weary you with details of the team's intensive training for the mission, the problems encountered en-route to Borpal, the failure to contact any of the 'sleepers' whilst travelling through the country and, not least, the extraordinary precautions undertaken by SIIL in order to minimise the grave inherent risks.

Each group member carried a miniature transmitter and digital camera which relayed their data to SIIL's communications satellite: in turn, the encoded material was beamed to the company's head office in London for decyphering and analysis.

It was in early September 2005 when the team reached the south-east boundary of Borpal and, as they progressed north-westward, it soon became apparent that something was wrong. Every settlement and village encountered was deserted. The province had been transformed into a vast emptiness which was only relieved by the occasional sheep or goat.

Each member of the unit was expert in survival techniques and deep undercover penetration but the lack of native human presence was disquieting. It was not until mid-September when contact was made with an occupied village deep in the foothills of the Pamir Trans Alai mountains.

The inhabitants, wearing a collective demeanour of sheer terror were initially reluctant to provide food, shelter and the opportunity for a long-overdue rest. However, hospitality was eventually granted to the mission.

Twenty hour later, during 17th September 2005, an earthquake measuring 5.5. on the Richter Scale struck the North-West area of Borpal, but the village being over seventy miles from the epicentre suffered only minor damage. The SIIL unit offered to give the community some assistance. The commander, Sam Greenshaw, pointed out that he was able to summon outside help via his satellite transmitter if they wished. There followed a heated exchange between Greenshaw and the villagers' spokesman which concluded with the latter's demand that the team accompany him to a certain location some three miles away.

The earthquake had re-opened an unfathomably deep fissure in the ground approximately one mile long and fifty yards wide. Prior to the upheaval, the crack had been filled in such a way that, to anyone unfamiliar with the area, no natural anomaly in the terrain would have been suspected. The revelations were briefly described, and extensively photographed - in what was to be Sam Greenshaw's last transmission:-

There must be millions of corpses in this fissure, and I mean millions! I think I understand why we came here. That 'quake was no fluke - it was an act of God. We were meant to see this and report it to the outside world!

Neither the team nor the villagers were seen again. Through the good offices of a friend in The Pentagon, a US Army spy satellite took photographs of the region during October 2005, Detailed computer analysis confirmed my worst fears: the fissure was no longer evident. Sam Greenshaw's images were testimony to the Talabashi's gift of death to those who failed to understand their vision of a pure Islamic wonder-world free from infidels. I confess to having wept upon viewing this unbelievable manifestation of evil at its blackest.

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