ETHAN ARKWRIGHT — SUB-SAHARA — 2016
What a book! The story is crazy and utopian but that’s beside the point I want to make. You will love that utopian battle for some extraterrestrial source of energy that has such an immense life span that we cannot even predict its end. Beautiful. And it comes from under the sand of the Sahara, like oil and natural gas, from a city that was still there in the 1950s built around a metal pyramid that contained this supreme source of energy praised, cherished and adored like a god by the people who accepted to die in the room where it was exposed due to some ultrafine invisible deadly poisonous sand or dust. The role of the Nazi is purely secondary and some kind of romantic fallback to the standard evil symbol.
But the book deals with geopolitical global considerations that are surprising in many ways.
A British private though connected to some state services group of adventurers financing some archaeological venture in the south of the Sahara, in Niger precisely, get informed that a hurricane has completely uncovered an ancient city with a metal pyramid in the middle and that they are proceeding to it and the obviously added containers around the midriff of this pyramid. The main archaeologist plays it double and informs a competing but absolutely violent and uncontrollable group to sell her discovery to the better bidder.
The British team then encounters various groups and have to defeat them in some twelve hours or so. First the Chinese attack even before the British team reaches its destination. They are fast and radical but they are defeated of course; Isn’t it natural? Good riddance. Apart from the fact it is not exactly what the Chinese are doing, military intervention and strikes to destroy any competitor, it is funny how nasty this quick episode is and there is no explanation of how they managed to be informed about the move of this private secret British team: there is always a fink or a fissure in all secure situation. Sad, as Trump would tweet.
Then they are confronted to the challenging violent brutal competitor, Titan. But the British team is so naïve that they do not even see that their intervention as Red Cross doctors is a loincloth on the aggressive intent of these Titan assassins. In the meantime they have to defeat a detached unit from the Nigerian army. Easy again, since the Nigerian army is both underequipped and not very brave.
The Titan team, which is only a vanguard, creates havoc but the British team is more creative and they of course manage to take over the whole situation and control the next stage. The only thing they get out of this is that Titan had been informed by one of the members of the initial archaeological team, and this understanding is going to be essential since they have to make sure the betrayal will not succeed and that the source of energy they will recuperate will remain in their own hands. It is in fact the leader of the initial archaeological team who is the double agent, hence the finkish traitor to the people who paid for her initial venture. She is a stoolie canary in other words.
Then they enter the pyramid and have to go through all kinds of traps to recuperate the source of energy that contains an element that is unknown and hence is extraterrestrial, if that is possible, but let’s suspend our disbelief. While the leader of the British team is liquidating the remnants of the initial Titan team, the team inside the pyramid is successful and manages to find their way out in tunnels, after they have been rejoined with their boss who can take over the last leg of the operation.
When they come out they find the Nigerian army, with the French Foreign Legion as their main supporters, in fact their real bosses, and behind a second Titan team that has come to recuperate the source of energy. These Titan people cause a stir that eliminates half the Nigerian army and the French Foreign Legion, as well as half of their own members.
Of course the British team who had managed to securely hide the source of energy in the underground escaping tunnels, fools everyone and distributes the fake source of energy in a certain number of lead containers whose content is verified to be highly radioactive, let’s be NBC for a minute, and the party poopers all go away with their prizes. Unluckily for them these lead containers contain a tracker and as soon as the various parties are gone drones take off from the top of the pyramid, or so, and destroy all the outgoing convoys, except one on the Titan side because they had two vehicles but only one lead container. So the British team picks the real source of energy from where it was hidden and they chase the Titan team, save the only survivor and use their plane to go back to Europe with the promise of paying the mercenaries and releasing them as soon as they arrive in their first stop in Libya, with no strings attached.
Mind you the Americans are only mentioned because they are the worst of them all since they will probably arrive on the site but when everything has been cleaned up and after the battle. The Americans are not ready to become great again, if they ever do.
Conclusion. The Chinese go fast and are first but they are defeated in two seconds. Then the locals, the Nigerians, are ineffective and not very courageous. Then an alternative competing hostile British team using mercenaries is really subtler than the central British private team and fools them at least two or three times but are defeated in the end and their boss is deep-fried in phosphorous. A hot burning hot ending for a man used to massive killings. Then the Nigerian army and their “allies” the French Foreign Legion are just ineffective and easy to fool both by Titan who is following just behind them and by the British team who is just setting a plate of goodies in front of the greedy Frenchies. Should I say it is a plate of French fries with frog legs? I guess I could. And the Americans are the final and totally ineffective dummies who come last for sure and only get the bones of the turkey that everyone else ate, stuffing, dressing and all side dishes, before the Americans were able to even approach the site. Thanksgiving is no longer what it used to be.
Thanks goodness! Only the British people are on top, provided they are on the side of the official state system, but governed by private enterprise imagination and creativity. In other words, only the British can dominate the world if they are deeply and resolutely Brexiteers. And Brexiteers they are, ending their adventure in some kind of all male gentry club on Pall Mall in London drinking some good spirit and smoking some Havana cigars. Maybe that aspect is a little bit excessive and nostalgic, nostalgic of the good old Empire time when there was only one other empire, the French colonial empire. It did not last very long from WW1 to WW2 and we know the catastrophic result of this rivalry. The British will always dream of the world as an eternal and repetitive Falklands campaign.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU