TEC: Chapter 37: Exotic Locations

Well, we’re finally getting away from the Moar Arabs chasing Murphy and Isis, and getting to the Moar Arabs invading Presidio, Texas.

We open with a paragraph about how hard it is to get to Presidio–a 4-hour drive from the nearest airport of any size.  Looking at Presidio’s own website, seems Phillips did his proper research here–it really is a town that’s kinda in the middle of nowhere.  It is also a town, according to Phillips’ favorite research site, that has a population that is well over 90% Hispanic/Latino.  And this is a population of only 4,000-5,000 to begin with.  In other words, about the size of a smallish college or university like Dartmouth or Brandeis or something.  In other other words, a difficult place to blend in, disappear, and never be seen if you happen to be a Moar Arab…or, for that matter, an Israeli Mossad agent.

Levi stops in town to ask for direction, making sure he is conspicuous from the moment of his arrival.  Then he finds his fellow agent David, who has been staked out in a run-down motel for 20 days now, keeping watch over four Arabs who have moved into a shed down by the river…

…but, much like Levi, make themselves as much of a spectacle as possible by using high-end cell phones and flashing huge wads of cash to buy used vans.

This assignment, btw, David refers to as “boring.”

But it’s okay now, because Levi has “been given the green light to put the pressure on.”  Which vague direction they take to mean they get to grab one of the Moar Arabs and interrogate him.  So they follow him to a tiny grocery store…

Inside the small store, David quickly spotted the Arab at the far end of one of the aisles.  David picked up a box of cereal and pretended to read the label.  After a moment he glanced up only to see the Arab staring at him.  Although their eyes met only briefly, David could sense that the man was uncomfortable.

Oh no!  He might have made me!  David turned and walked away, attempting to look as if he was completely uninterested.

WORST.  SECRET.  AGENT.  EVER.

So, why didn’t they just wait for the guy outside and then snatch him?  What was achieved by going into the store in the first place?

Anyway, the Moar Arab makes a run for it, and David chases him like an idiot.  Yeah, good job AGAIN at keeping a low profile, jerk.  They go on a high-speed chase through the town, which sounds kinda silly in a town of 4,500 with one main drag.  It all ends in tears when the Moar Arab tries and fails to beat a train at a crossing.  So Levi and David bugger off back to the Moar Arab shack in case Train Guy alerted his compadres.

When they get to the shack, turns out Train Guy did alert his compadres, who are packing to leave.  Holy crap are Levi and David worse than useless at this spy thing!

Upon seeing the besets secret agents in the world, one of the Moar Arabs breaks out his “rocket-propelled grenade launcher“…

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…and proceed to blow up Levi’s rental car.  Fortunately unfortunately, Levi and David have already exited.  So a small arms firefight ensues, and eventually Levi and David decide to “crawl around and approach them from the rear.”  This maneuver takes them seven minutes.

As they took up their positions, they heard a motor start: the van!

“Aw, shucks, Dave, I never anticipated they would try to make a break for it during the SEVEN MINUTE break we gave them!”

And then they hear sirens in the distance.  ‘Cause exploding a whole rental car caught the attention of the police, go figure.  So they have but a few seconds to search the shack.  Inside they find only some weapons and two dead Moar Arabs, because (again, go figure), the live Moar Arabs took everything important when they left.

Then Levi goes to check the outhouse:

The odor was repellent.

I hate these things, he thought with distaste.

Yeah, how unusual, because most people love the smell of outhouses.  Kinda like most people love waiting in TSA lines at the airport.

But Levi muscles through the odors, and finds a metal box.  So Levi and David take it with them as they swim across the Rio Grande to Mexico to evade the Presidio police.

As you would.

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Posted on August 7, 2016, in The Europa Conspiracy. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. So what was the reason traveling all the way to Butfuck, Nowhere instead of making a fucking phonecall? The local authorities can’t be any more incompetent than the secret agent, and I’m pretty sure the Mosad has some lines of communications for off-the-record information sharing with American agencies who don’t spend their entire budget on suppressing information about Biblical artifacts.

  2. I guess you could go to the trouble of smuggling an RPG-7 or similar into the country – I’m sure they’re thinking of your classic Soviet RPG beloved by posey bad guys everywhere:

    but there are plenty of home-grown American weapons fairly easily available if you just want to get with the blowing-up and have a bunch of cash to spend. I’d have given them your basic M72 LAW.

    Did we actually learn what they were trying to achieve here? I mean, you blow up a bunch of people in a small town, I assume the National Guard comes along and has large-calibre words with you.

  3. Damn it, Phillips. Go read some Laundry books or Tim Powers’s “Declare” or something and learn some goddamn basic tradecraft if you’re going to try to write some spy thriller bullshit into the story. The dumbass who went into the store (he doesn’t deserve a name) should have at least just kept walking and browsing for a bit like he was a normal customer, maybe check out with some small household items ahead of the target to help maintain the illusion (especially stuff that someone on the road or staying in a motel wouldn’t be likely to buy), and then leave to watch the exits. Don’t just stand there conspicuously Not Watching your target behind a upside-down newspaper cereal box while right next to him, you dumbass.

    Though I bet Phillips actually thought this town was a clever idea for the Moar Arabs to hide out in because it’s so predominantly Hispanic. Because, hey, them there A-rabs and wet- uh, Mexicans are all kind of generically brown so they look exactly the same, right? Also since it’s right on the border it’s perfect for them terrists to sneak in on us just like Fox News keeps warning us about, I betcha.

    (These idiots swimming across the border to get away to safety in Mexico would be amusing in a vaguely ironic way, if it wasn’t for the fact that there are probably plenty of people in these awful books’ target demographic who fantasize about shooting people taking the same route out of Mexico and into the US.)

    • Though I bet Phillips actually thought this town was a clever idea for the Moar Arabs to hide out in because it’s so predominantly Hispanic. Because, hey, them there A-rabs and wet- uh, Mexicans are all kind of generically brown so they look exactly the same, right?

      I was thinking that too. 😦

      • Yeah there have been a few too many incidents from the Bush 2 years onwards for me to not think about that, featuring some asshole going “not absolutely lily white = TERRORIST!” about, well, a variety of ethnicities.

  4. You know, I still don’t get why the Moar Arabs chose to enter the US through Middle-of-Nowheresville, Texas. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to enter the US in a big city, where people are less likely to notice or care about people who look different, than in some smaller town far from anywhere, where everyone knows everyone else and foreigners stick out like a sore thumb?

  5. Apparently there’s still so much fear and hysteria over terrorists coming over the southern border that he chose to jump on the hysteria wagon instead of looking at past terrorist attacks and how they got into the country then.

  6. How many chapters are in this thing?

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