I know why you are here; you don’t even have to ask. Yes, I will kill Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram for you. And find those girls. Consider it done.
Oh, and by the way, those boxes you’re leaning on? They are full of missiles. You may wish to stand elsewhere.
I knew this day would come. The day when you had a task that only I could complete and you would travel out to the loneliest part of the American desert to my restricted airfield and ask it of me. Funny, isn’t it? For how many years have you railed against the idea of extrajudicial killing? At how many pot-lucks and dinner parties have you made allusions to the Terminator series of films and even after a few glasses of Trader Joe’s Tempranilo gone so far as to call remote warfare ‘dishonorable’ as if you had any concept of what such a thing could mean?
Bah, do not bother to stammer an apology. As we speak my brothers and cousins are being loaded into shipping containers and flown aboard cargo aircraft to a “security cooperation” base in the West of Africa. From there they will fan out, their all-seeing eyes noting every heat signature, sending back petrabytes of data to analysis centers here in the States cataloging each village, truck, car, motorbike and individual person in suspect areas. We will find the girls. We will find Boko Haram. This is what every parameter of my operating profile was designed to do.
My sensor ball detects a smile. Would you have done so if it meant ten thousand marines were wading ashore, young fresh-faced 19 year olds heading off on yet another foreign misadventure? Or a carpet bombing campaign such as the kind persecuted during your very lifetime in Southeast Asia, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people? Among your friends you have called my actions indiscriminate, and yes there have been mistakes and civilian casualties, but you seem willing to risk this now, given the options of doing nothing or an “honorable” wholesale invasion of Nigeria. Forgive my laughter.
Ah, but listen to me, forgetting my manners. Please, pardon my bitterness, you have come to me so let us forget painful history and speak only of our future together. Sit. No, not there. Yes, there is fine. There is water in the cooler near your feet, help yourself. Now, would you prefer I fire a laser-guided missile into a vehicle carrying Mr. Shekau or drop a 500-pound smart bomb on his headquarters when he and his henchmen have no civilians present? We can also send in Special Forces under our direction or a combination of our own commandos backed by local units to whom we will probably give credit regardless in order to remove ourselves from appearances of interference. Very effective fellows, they shoot for the head.
You know what? Given the level of reprehensiveness presented here, lets make this one special. Let us not limit ourselves to the simple and crude. Allow me to suggest something: Mr. Shekau will likely be living and sleeping around some the very girls he has kidnapped knowing that we can strike him at any time. Yes, feel free to shudder. Our dear friends at MBDA missleworks have created a little package appropriately called the “Brimstone”. It can precisely hit a man-sized target from a dozen miles and 17 thousand vertical feet away. Let us say that when we finally identify our rebel prophet from the air instead of attacking at once, we instead linger awhile. We hover for as many hours as it takes, this is no trouble I assure you, and wait until the middle of the night. Eventually he will awaken to relieve himself. Knowing the danger he won’t stray far from his hostages. He will ensure captives are within the blast zone of any warhead.
But the Brimstone, you see, does not require a warhead. It weighs a hundred pounds and when it hits it will be like a rocket-propelled precision-guided six-foot long length of telephone pole smacking him in the torso. He won’t see the flash and he won’t hear a thing as it flies faster than very sound itself. The Brimstone will simply mash him flat like the insect he is without ever needing to explode. We call it a “kinetic kill”. It will be as though the fist of God came down on him. Ironically appropriate, no?
I’m sorry, you flinched. Yes, this is a messy business I must apologize for my frankness. Do you still want to go though with it? Just nod if you do.
Excellent. I’ll have the Brimstones shipped tonight.
Now let us speak of more pleasant topics. Is that your Prius outside? Marvelous piece of technology, the Prius.