THE ANGRY DOVES
By Dorian Scott Cole
Copyright 1980, 1987, by Dorian Scott Cole
This book is copyright material, not public domain, and all rights are reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form, in any media. This book may not be sold or included in any collection. The reader may make a printed copy of this book for his personal use.
All characters in this book are a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental
The next morning William met Samuel and the two new men at the Embassy. Still fresh on his mind was dinner the previous evening with Kenza. They had talked long into the evening, and there was still no doubt that they still held the same chemistry for each other. William was also certain of one other thing: Kenza did not trust him. But despite that one sore point, he was beginning to have reservations about going on a mission. He wished he had more time to develop his relationship with Kenza. He tried to shake those thoughts from his mind as he met the new men.
"William, I want you to meet two of the best men around," Samuel began. "This is Paul Schaefer. Paul, William Duvall. Paul is one of our State Department Intelligence Operatives, one of our best: nineteen years in the field, mostly in Central and South America. He's going to widen his experience a little, then move to Washington in administration, if I don't steal him first."
Paul extended his hand. He was lean and tall; four inches taller than William's five foot ten, with dark hair that was combed to hide a receding hair line. His face was narrow with a bit of a hawk nose to it, but his broad smile made it a friendly face. His voice was mellow but his grip was strong. William guessed they would get along well.
"Your name rings a bell," William began. "I think I heard your name
mentioned around the States my last trip there. Weren't you the guy who set up a drug sting operation in Central America and exposed a lot of politicians?"
Paul nodded. "That's why I'm no longer there, they're all gunning for me."
William laughed. "It'll be a pleasure working with you."
Samuel continued the introductions. "Gerald Volz, US Army Special Forces - Green Beret. Veteran of Vietnam; a lot of joint missions there with the AIS. Specialist in explosives, survival, and equipment. He can get certain things for you from the Army."
Gerald stood rigidly, at ease military style. William extended his hand.
He was William's height, but of broader frame and more muscular. He had short, sand colored hair and a rectangular face. His handshake was firm, but accompanied by no smile. William could tell he was all business.
"I've long admired the Green Beret, but never had the privilege of working with them. I'm looking forward to it."
He replied with no sign of emotion, "Same for me, Wil."
"William, please, I don't like nicknames."
Gerald nodded. "What is the chain of command here? Am I low man on the totem pole? Do I get the mess cook and trash details? "
William was taken aback for a moment. It had been some time since he had been in the military, and he wasn't used to thinking in those terms. "We're a team, Gerald. I will lead it, but we will work as a team."
William thought he detected a small sign of relief in Gerald's face.
"Team concept worked well in 'Nam." Gerald said flatly.
"Let's uh, sit down, gentlemen," Samuel said.
Paul and Gerald sat on the sofa, and William and Samuel sat in chairs, leaving the desk chair vacant.
Samuel continued, "William raised the question, 'Why can't we get into
this camp?" You two have been studying our information. What do you say?"
Paul sat forward. "It's the terrain." He began using his hands to describe the terrain. "The camp sits about a half mile back in a canyon. There are enough trees so it can't be seen from the outside, but they can see quite clearly into the desert. The canyon forms a horseshoe around the camp, about a mile distant to the farthest point to the rear. The aerial photo doesn't show topical differences very well, but the camp is shielded on three sides."
William doubted Paul's explanation was his own. He knew if he was going to depend on these two for his life, he had better find out what they knew.
"Strange place for a camp, wouldn't you think? Why not on a hilltop? Armies take hills, not valleys."
Paul shrugged. "Who knows terrorists. They're unpredictable."
William looked at Gerald.
"Is this a quiz? I don't like being tested?" Gerald replied.
"Terrorists are terrorists, whether in the Mid East, or Vietnam. Tell me what you know about terrorists," William directed.
"They don't work like the US Infantry. They are usually in small bands. Secrecy is their friend. If they're found and attacked, they're doomed. Put them on a hill, it's like announcing them to the world. But no one can see them in that valley, and with a small, enclosed space to patrol, no one can sneak close enough to check them out. Satisfied?"
William nodded and looked at Paul. "Any idea how to find out who is supplying them?"
Paul raised his hands in front of him defensively. "I'm out. Terrorists and paramilitary things aren't my area of specialty. Ask me something about collecting information from local resources, or setting up a sting."
William gave him a friendly smile. "Sorry, Paul. I just wanted to get straight who I could depend on for what."
Gerald answered again. "They're smart. They have been there for at least six weeks, and almost no one leaves. Supplies and probably recruits are brought in by truck. The trucks are stolen, so we don't know where they originate. AIS men have tried to follow the two who are drivers. They go into Beirut, ditch the truck, and get lost. They aren't seen again until they are near the camp in a different truck with fresh supplies."
"Slick!" William exclaimed, and stood up. "Let's add up what we know. The leader is a politician from Beirut, or so we think, who is popular with the people. He is starting some kind of terrorist training camp, but doing it out of sight and out of reach in Syria. He's smart enough, or has enough bright help, that he can keep even the AIS from getting close enough to find out what he is doing. Now, we need someone who can be a spokesman for the Palestinians. Think he is worth getting to know?" William looked at Paul and Gerald individually.
"The guy has a strong commitment to something." Paul answered.
Gerald was leaning forward, staring at the floor. "He may be too damned smart. You can't trust terrorists, even when you think you have them on your side." He looked up. "But if he is that smart, and he is stirring up trouble, I would rather have him on my side than against me."
William looked at Samuel. "I think we have a mission."
"It's yours," Samuel replied.
William looked back at his team. "Fellows, we need a plan. We need to find out what they are planning. Somehow we have to get information."
Paul smiled, shook his head and sat back. "Just let me know where I can help."
"What would be the repercussions if we plucked one of these supply runners and interrogated him?" Gerald asked.
"I think that kind of conflict is out. The less we become involved in physical conflict with these people, the less chance of starting something. Let's keep it in mind, but as a last resort."
"Then if they won't come to us, we'll have to go to them," Gerald replied.
William looked at the two of them for a moment. "Then let's focus on one thing. I'm going into that camp."
Paul frowned and sat forward. "Do you remember what happened to that Arab agent the AIS sent in there? They carved his head off with a sword and dumped him in the desert."
"I know," William said in subdued tones. "But there has to be someway to get in there, and we're going to find it."
Gerald smiled. "You got balls, William."
William looked at Paul. "Any objections?"
"Reservations. I'll support your plan, whatever it is. But I'm not walking into that camp if the potential for combat is there. I'm not trained."
"Fair enough," William replied.
"So, let's meet somewhere for about four hours tomorrow morning, where we won't be spotted by anyone keeping watch. We fly out Friday. In the meantime, Gerald, I would like for you and Paul to move, secretly, to another hotel. We'll meet there."
"Why?" Samuel asked.
"I've been here long enough that other organizations know who I am. I know who the KGB man is here. I watch him. He probably knows who I am. Case Workers can't stay anonymous forever, and we're not effective if we rotate. They watch the Embassy, so be careful you're not spotted or followed. The KGB
will discover what we're doing, if we're not careful."
"You can give some thought to getting in that camp, Gerald.
"Paul, when we leave here, we need to set up somewhere to use as a base for planning our operation. Let's stay outside the Middle East. Anyone have any trouble with Munich, Germany?"
No one responded affirmatively.
"Good. Paul, would you fly to Munich tomorrow and set us up in a hotel. Some place where we can hide all day and have meetings, but slip out easily for supplies. Make reservations in four different names for four different days so we can change rooms frequently just in case we're seen and bugged."
"Consider it done," Paul replied.
"Samuel, can we fly military to Munich? That will keep unwanteds off our tale."
"Certainly. I'll set it up."
"Any questions? Ok, that's it, we're set."
Samuel rose. "Any problems?"
"Just one," William replied. "Did you tell these two what a wicked slave driver I am to work for?"
Samuel winked. "No, but I should tell them you have no sense of humor."
He shook their hands. "Good luck, gentlemen. See you Friday."
As they were leaving, William motioned Samuel back inside. "There's been an unusual turn of events you should be aware of," William began. "My girl friend of sixteen years back showed up. We're seeing each other."
Samuel's reply came without hesitation. "I see that as a plus. You're less vulnerable with a female companion. I wish you better luck than last time."
William had reserved the afternoon for Kenza. They had arranged to meet at Beach of Nations for a picnic lunch, since the beach would be free of weekend revelers. They walked across the beach toward the rocks and the hillside.
"Let's kick off our shoes," Kenza said, and took hers off. "I love the feel of the sand on my feet."
William had forgotten how hot the sand gets from the afternoon sun. He had no sooner taken off his shoes when he was hopping around like crazy trying to cool his poor soles, with Kenza laughing hysterically. He slipped his shoes back on. They sat under a scraggly tree and spread their picnic lunch.
"How was the meeting this morning?" Kenza asked.
William looked down. "I'm going to have to go out of the country Friday, probably for several weeks."
Kenza gave him a dirty look. "For someone who is trying to earn my trust, you're bloody going about it the wrong way." She threw down the shoes she had been holding and stood up. She turned away from him and held her head.
She seethed, "Ouuuu!" She turned back toward him and kicked sand on him. "You're name is not in the tely registry. Not in Kenitra, Tangier, nor Rabat."
"You're spying on me?" he asked.
"I checked you out," she said proudly. "You don't have an address, either."
William stood up and brushed the sand off of himself. "I'm really sorry. There is a very good reason why I haven't told you everything."
"Just what is it you do for a living? Something bloody evil, I suppose."
"I work in intelligence. I was a CIA operative. It was the CIA that I quit a few weeks ago."
Kenza glared at him. "Are you telling me the truth? Can I trust this?"
William nodded, while looking her in the eyes. "Until four months ago, I had a Rabat address," William explained. "When I left the CIA, I moved to the hotel here, with no forwarding address, to keep the bureaucrats out of my hair for a while. I like it here. So, do you still doubt my character?"
"And just what are you doing now?"
"More of the same, for the State Department."
The frown started to leave her face, and then she laughed. "You're kidding, aren't you. This is a joke. You know I don't trust you, so you're making sport of me."
William shook his head, dead serious.
"You're kidding... aren't you?" Her smile became one of amused enchantment. "You're not kidding." She became excited. "A real secret agent type. How long have you been an agent?"
"When I left the Air Force, I arranged to come back here in Naval Intelligence. I stayed with them four years, and then joined the CIA. They sent me back here as an operative."
Her face lost its smile. "You did that for me, didn't you?" she asked seriously.
She ran her hands through her hair, a very puzzled look on her face. "You're either the most faithful man I've ever met," her eyes locked in on his, searching him, "or the world's cleverest liar."
William shrugged and lifted his arms in despair. "My work is secret. There is no evidence of it laying around. I don't know what to show you."
"Why did you even tell me you're an operative? Don't you keep that kind of thing secret?"
"What did you want me to do, lie? Close personal friends find out sooner or later. Besides, it always impresses the ladies." He winked at her and smiled.
She laughed and pushed him away. "Where are you off to when you leave?"
He chuckled. "Now that I can't tell you."
"Now you're being secretive again."
"Missions are very secret. Only people who must know are informed."
"Is there any reason why I should trust a shifty eyed secret agent?" she asked. A devilish look came over her face. "But I do kind of like your style."
William liked her reply. It held promise. "What can I do to prove to you I'm an operative, so we can go on."
"Capture me like a secret agent would," she said, and jumped up and ran merrily onto the beach.
William gave chase clumsily in his loose shoes, which he had not bothered to retie. Finally he kicked them off, braving the hot sand. All around the north end she went, lithely twisting and escaping his grasp like a young doe escaping through the forest. She dodged behind a thigh high boulder. William leaped over it, tackled her, and pinned her arms against the ground in the shadow of the rock.
"Is this the way an agent captures someone?" she asked playfully.
"Depends on who it is," William teased.
"What does he do next," she asked wistfully.
"If she's breathing heavily like you are?" They stared into each other's
eyes. They invited him. He kissed her.
"You agents work fast."
"No, we just don't take long to recognize heavy breathing." He tried to kiss her again. She stopped him.
"We're on a public beach. Act your age."
"I am," he replied, and kissed her passionately. She responded with equal passion.
They walked back toward the picnic spot.
"When was the last time you were in Tangier," William asked.
"Oh, it's been years. Why, has it changed?"
"Why don't we find out?"
She stopped walking and looked at him. "This sounds suspiciously like a pass."
"The sand is burning my feet again."
She smiled. "That's it, evade the subject." They continued walking.
William continued, "About Tangier. I would like to spend a lot of time with you while we both have time."
"Do you remember our trip back from Azru that time?" She laughed. "Your French was so pathetic. It's a wonder we communicated at all."
"Was that when the cycle quit?"
"Lucky for me you spoke both French and Arabic."
"And was learning English, for you," she said, rubbing it in.
William's thoughts went back to that day and he began reminiscing about the events...
They were on the planes, in the middle of nowhere, when the cycle started
sputtering and died. William tried to restart it, but it wouldn't fire at all. He looked at the sun; it was near dusk. It could be a long night, if he didn't get the cycle going. He looked at Kenza. The last thing he wanted was for her to be in danger, alone on the road.
"Bad gas?" he guessed aloud.
"Petrol?" Kenza asked, trying to understand what William was saying.
William nodded and began checking the fuel tank and carburetor bowl for dirt or water. There was none. He began checking the wiring. As he worked, he saw a man coming toward them from a hut across the open field.
He nodded toward the man, pointing him out to Kenza. "Who is that? Danger?" he asked, wondering if she knew what the word meant.
She seemed undisturbed. "American name, Nomads."
"Nomads." William had heard about them. In the summer they farmed the common land on the plains, but in the winter they took their sheep into the mountains to graze. They were mostly from the Burbur tribes.
The man arrived and he and Kenza conversed in Arabic. And then the man pointed to the Vespa, and then himself, and nodded his head. He picked up a wrench from the ground and loosened a gas line, allowing a little gas to flow.
William knew immediately what the trouble was: vapor lock. He had been warned about the problem, but so far his had never done that, so he had forgotten. He got on and tried the kick start. It worked.
"How did he know?" William asked Kenza.
"Same same all time," Kenza replied, meaning it was a common problem.
The man spoke again in Arabic to Kenza.
Kenza listened for a moment, then turned to William. "With him we eat?" Kenza asked.
William wasn't thrilled at the prospect of eating in a hut, especially
after seeing meat hanging in the open with flies crawling over it in roadside markets. "I don't know; we ought to be getting on to Kenitra."
"No refuse. Dishonor," Kenza warned him.
"Does he want money?" he asked Kenza. He took some coins out of his pocket and turned to the man. The man frowned and shook his head quickly.
"La!" Kenza said to William, using the strongest form of the Arabic "no."
"With him we eat," she insisted.
If he could fix a Vespa, yet lived in a thatch hut, maybe there was a chance he could cook. He shut off the engine. "Thank-you. Ok, we will."
Approaching the grass hut, William saw a motorscooter parked under the front awning. The inside of the hut, they found, was carpeted over the bare earth. There were caravan type trunks in the back of the one room home.
Reaching in one, the man brought forth an elegant white embroidered cloth and an expensive silver tea service. They sat cross legged in a circle on the carpet and he arranged the service in the center.
From another trunk he took a small kettle, a fist size chunk of sugar, and a wad of mint leaves. To William's dismay, the man put the entire giant size chunk of sugar in the kettle with the rest. He added water, and suspended it over the open campfire where his wife had just begun to prepare the evening meal. He was certain the tea would be sickeningly sweet. Would the man slit his throat if he gagged?
Kenza touched William's leg to get his attention. "Drink three cups. Must drink three. Dishonor."
She could not have been less comforting. William decided he had better find a better way to endear himself. "That is a very nice tea set."
"His best. Very proud. Honor," Kenza replied.
William was impressed the Moroccans could appreciate the finer things,
while appearing to be paupers. "Compliment him. Tell him I like it."
"Like?" she asked.
"No, no. If a thing you like, he give to you. Do not talk of this."
William was surprised at the boundlessness of Moroccan hospitality. "Say, 'I am pleased and happy for him to prosper." Kenza didn't understand, and William went over the words several times.
Finally Kenza turned to the man and spoke to him. He smiled, nodded and replied to Kenza.
"He say, 'He have honor...for you."
William decided honor must be very important to them, since Kenza had already learned the English word and was using it profusely, especially around other Arabs. The thought that he might somehow offend their honor made him even more fearful. He decided the safest thing to do was to say nothing.
The man brought the tea and poured it. William prepared himself for the worst, determined to drink it no matter how foul it tasted. He sipped it gingerly and found it quite palatable. By the time he had finished one cup, he knew he could drink two more.
After they finished the tea, the man's wife brought in a large bowl with a grey glob in the middle and a sauce in the outside ring. She also produced a loaf of bread which William wondered how she had baked on a campfire. He was glad for the flickering campfire light. He would not have to eat with the sun revealing every minute detail.
"What is this?" he asked Kenza.
"Couscous," she replied.
He had heard of it - the most common Moroccan dish, of which there were a hundred varieties - usually vegetables in a casserole, sometimes with meat.
William looked around for utensils. "No fork? Spoon?" he asked. "Knife?" He had seen cowboys in movies eat peas balanced on their hunting knives. "Chopsticks?" he asked in desperation.
Kenza laughed. "Look," she said, raising three fingers on her right hand.
"Pray," Kenza said, nodding toward the man.
"That should help."
The man bowed forward with his arms extended, nearly prostrate, then raised them toward heaven. "Bismi Allah," he said. Then he dipped his fingers into the cous cous, rolled some into a ball, and popped it into his mouth with his thumb. He then dipped the bread into the sauce and ate it.
William reached toward the bowl with his left hand, three fingers extended. Immediately everyone winced. Kenza grabbed his arm. "No. Is bad. Not clean. Pour le toilette." She pointed to his right hand. "This hand."
Embarrassed he asked, "This hand?" as if he had three. He felt like a naughty child who had no manners.
"I'm not sure I can get through this meal without a fatal mistake," he muttered, as much to himself as to Kenza.
After the meal, with much smiling and shaking of hands, their genial host saw them back to the cycle.
"So what time are you collecting me in the morning?" Kenza asked, as William finished reminiscing.
Next: Chapter 8