The pickpockets of Barcelona are justly famed for their ability to extract whatever they want from anywhere; why are they suddenly stealing cheap cellphones in preference to laden purses? What does this have to do with Gaudi's fantastic unfinished cathedral, with mega-yachts, with the long-ago Caliphate, and modern-day terrorists? Interpol and their super-hacker consultant Dom Montain would like to know; so would the Romanian-born police interpreter Maria whose tale this is. If you read my novel hackoff.com, you already know Dom. Whether you read hackoff.com or not, I think you'll enjoy meeting Maria.
"The Interpreter's Tale" is a long short story. It was just released today as an Amazon Short. You can buy it from Amazon for reading, printing, or downloading as a PDF for just 49 cents, the price of all Amazon Shorts.
Below is a teaser from the story. However, I'm NOT planning to run the whole thing as blog posts this time. It'll cost you $.49 to find out how it ends.
Usually the leader’s first choice is what happens. But last time Allah did not will it so. The local cell in Barcelona was incompetent; that in Madrid excellent. As the leader feared, the Basques were first given credit for the attack; but this myth was soon dispelled. Spain, as he said it would, recognized their power and elected politicians committed to withdrawal from Iraq.
One does not question the decisions of the leader, even if one is respected enough to be in The Cave (The location of The Cave is always changing. Sometimes it in Afghanistan, sometimes in Pakistan; but it is always The Cave). If one is very respected, one may ask to be informed by what wisdom the leader has made his decision. One has asked to be enlightened of the wisdom by which a further attack on Spain is planned after the success of the operation in Madrid and the quick capitulation of the Spanish, Allah be praised.
“The Spanish are still infidels,” the leader reminds them. “They have troops in Afghanistan even though these troops are cowards who are prohibited by protocols from actually fighting. Their culture remains degenerate. They respect neither the Prophet nor those who worship him. There must be a clear lesson that partial capitulation will never be accepted nor will it be proof against our power.
“Allah willing,” he continues, “ a new time has come. The Caliphate will be restored. This time it will not succumb to the bickering and rivalries and impieties which led to the downfall of the old Caliphate. The world will be united in the one true faith as the Prophet tells us that it must be. It is our honor to be the means to this end. A new lesson is needed and, Allah willing, shall be delivered.” He turns in a way which indicates that this discussion is ended.
But then he turns back. “Certain mistakes were made in the last operation,” he says. “Our men were prepared to be martyrs but they did not have to be. Worse yet, some were captured before they could be martyred. Allah did not make them strong enough and the infidels learned much more than they should have. These mistakes must not be repeated.”
“What are those mistakes that we may avoid them in the next operation?”
“Those who have a need to know already do know. There is no need to spread the knowledge further.” He turns away again and this time the conversation really is over.
The rest of the story is here.