Working with Uncle Sam.

The phrase ‘Joint Task Force’ is guaranteed to elicit the same two word response from anyone in the office. No, it’s not what your thinking, those are usually reserved for the answer to the question.

“With whom ?”

“C.I.A.”

“Oh for a moment I thought you were going to say ‘The Directorate of Science and Technology.’

“…..er….well….they might be present.”

The C.I.A’s Directorate of Science and Technology have more in common with our Psy Ops team than anyone would care for, and worryingly, more money.

Within the community, ours, not yours, it’s well known that the Psy Ops team is little more than daycare for individuals who’d otherwise be on a watch list. If they weren’t working for us they’d probably be answering uncomfortable questions in front of an ethics committee, but the simple fact is they get results, and in todays world, and on todays battlefields, we need them more than ever.

That said trying to get everyone to play nice is harder than it sounds, with this in mind, one of the American delegation has to give the joint team a pep talk. Our section head has given us a three line whip, we will listen, we will behave and under no circumstances will we mention cats.

Why ? Well, its not nice to rub your colleagues noses in their failures, even if it is funny.

 At the height of the cold war, the science and technology boys came up with the idea to deploy cyborg cats to eavesdrop on the Soviet embassy. They proposed to surgically implant a miniaturised receiver / transmitter in the cats ear and sort of let it wander around, picking up what it could. So, 20 million dollars later, Robo kitty was ready for action, and according to sources, ran straight into the path of a taxi, which was unfortunate for all involved, none more so than Mr fluffy.  Now our cousins, vehemently deny this, merely stating that ‘Acoustic Kitty’ was cancelled due to operational issues, apparently training cats is harder than it looks. They have been a little sensitive regarding the whole affair ever since.

“Howdy, you all can hear me down the back ?”

Section head stands beside our guest with a death stare and arms crossed.

Mr C.I.A. continues,

“The intelligence community has always been closely linked, hand in glove, so to speak, with those developing cutting edge technology, both real world and cyber tech, for what purpose I hear you ask ?”

The silence is broken only by the sound of Alan opening a packet of ginger nuts.

“……as I was saying, for what  purpose ? To gain information and greater understanding of the motives and tactics and agenda of the enemy….whoever they may be,”

“Whom.”

“Sorry ?

“Whom ever they may be,”

“And you are ?”

“Alan.”

“Well thank you…er….Alan…., Whom.…ever they may be,…er…this coupled….with…er… an aggressive military campaign will ultimately lead to their destruction.”

You could have heard a pin drop if it wasn’t for the sound of a certain packet rustling.

“…so with this in mind, we at the directorate of Sci tech feel that cooperation is the best tool we have available to crack this nut. After all our motto is – Strength by design.”

Now that’s all well and good, but nobody has the faintest idea what our American friend is rabbling on about. We have the uncomfortable feeling that, whatever he means, we’re going to have to work with either Psy Ops or direct sci tech or whatever they call themselves, the prospects of which are equally daunting.

“That’s simply wonderful, we’re looking forward to it already.” 

 States Alan out of the blue. Our American friend is all nods and smiles as he looks around the room oblivious to the sea of stony faces.

Alan smiles and shouts out,

“Cave ergo feles !”

Mr C.I.A smiles even more, that’s the spirit, cooperation that’s what we want.

“….Cavo….what ..what was that ?”

“It’s our motto,” explains Alan, “it means – We prepare for battle.”

“Thats excellent, we prepare for battle, is that latin ? I need to write that down.”

Head of section is almost beetroot at this point.

“Thank you Alan, and thank you Mr [CENCORED], that’s all for today folks, Alan, if you could see me after please.”

Cooperation, cementing special friendships. ‘Cave ergo feles.’

(Translation – Beware of the cat.)

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