Story 14 - Mission Africa.
After breakfast, Sylvia and Ross went together to our house to listen to the music of Camille Saint-Saens, while I held down the fort. With the growing tensions in the world, it had become imperative that someone was standing by
and man the coastal surveillance equipment at the fort day and night. Besides, I needed to check with Fred about my travel plans, to find out whether Tony had been able to get the twin goose that he was hoping to get - twin goose meaning a twin engine turboprop plane with amphibian capability, a limited production long range plane
that had been kept in inventory for secret missions.
Fred's answer was a big yes on all counts. He got the goose, the itinerary, clearance papers, flight plans with approval, everything. "According to plan, the goose will take you to the Azores, Tripoli, Khurtum, Nairobi, and from there deep into Sub-Saharian Africa," said Fred. He wished us a good journey.
Tony arrived with the goose in late afternoon. The next morning, before the first light of dawn, we were off towards the Azores, to Ponto Delgada.
"When we discover the needed principle," said Ross as he and Sylvia ferried me to the goose, "I am certain that our discovery will also meet Anton's needs, and Nicolai's..."
"And probably others' as well," added Sylvia.
"I think we have made that discovery already, during the last few days," I replied. "That should count for something, we just have to implement the rest," I added.
"It's a good start," Ross agreed.
"I love you for that, all of you," I said as I climbed out of the boat and onto the floats of the plane. Tony had the engines already running.
Our takeoff was into the north wind. The goose lifted off easily.
As soon as we were airborne, Tony throttled back to conserve fuel. By then, a faint glow
dawned on the horizon.
"How much fuel do we have?" I asked.
"Enough to get us to the Azores with two hours in reserve. Why do you ask?"
"I want you to circle back and fly low over our beach once more. I just got this gnawing feeling during takeoff that we
might not make it back to here again. I would like to see Ross and Sylvia once more before we leave. Maybe they are still on the beach."
Tony shook his head, but he obliged me. He banked the plane sharply to the West and circled low over our beach three times, as low as he dared. Sylvia and Ross could be seen waving to us. I doubted, though, that they could see us waving in return.
"What was this all about," Tony asked after he had leveled the plane, going East.
"It came out of a sudden fear, realizing that since the entire world-financial system is teetering at the edge of a cliff, it might be coming down while are away. If that were to happened, we could be stuck in Africa."
"So, what's the problem?" said Tony and grinned.
"That's serious, Tony. With the dollar wiped out we won't get fuel, or food, or anything."
"Don't worry," said Tony, "they'll get us back home."
"If we live long enough," I replied. "You don't understand Africa, do you?"
"What don't I understand?" said Tony. "Africa isn't in danger of any nuclear war that might be unleashed during
such a chaos when the whole system comes cashing down. Anything short of that we can manage."
"The Africans would probably welcome a nuclear war among the western powers as this would get us off their back," I
said to Tony. "I am afraid, a global financial breakdown might have the same effect on them. Africa is being exploited and looted by us in countless ways,
and the general population is helpless against that. Our money buys us the law, and the law affords us status, protection, and an open door to rape the continent. All this rests on
our money. If the money goes, everything goes. Everything evaporates. At the midnight hour the coach becomes a pumpkin again, the princess becomes Cinderella, and we become a bunch of hated foreigners that have made their lives miserable for a long time. Being free of us, the Africans will take back what is theirs, and the tide will turn against us in a big way and kill us."