The latest offering from the out-of-control behemoth that is Clunge Publishing, the author turns his hand to the aviation-themed actioner. Vulture Squadron (2009) tells the dramatic true story of an elite RAF unit that was so secret that not even its crews knew they were in it. Possibly based on a true account, the story is set in a fictitious Middle Eastern country called Afraqistan. The crews are restless. They've been in-theatre for weeks and have grown heartily sick of Five Star accommodation and gourmet scoff. Flight Lieutenant Brad Scabbard has had enough and decides to find out just what the hell is going on.
'Come in!' Scabbard entered the air-conditioned opulence of the boss's office. 'Ah Scabbard, come in my boy and pull up a sandbag!' The squadron prided itself on its familiarity with the 'old man'. He was nearly time expired and had been in the 'flying club' since Pontius was a pilot and had seen action in virtually every post-war conflict - and some. 'What's on yer mind laddie? I've been hearing that all's not well with the rest of the boys.' Scabbard looked sheepish. 'The thing is boss... we've been in this godforsaken hell-hole for weeks. We've achieved nothing. There's only so many pool parties, barbecues and piss ups that a man can take. Even the British Airways trolley dollies are getting bored with the same old sweating, leering faces every time we turn up at one of their bikini parties.' The boss nodded, stroking his luxuriant moustache. 'Don't worry Scabbard, your time has come!'
Scabbard looked puzzled. 'It's like this lad. For the past five years, you - and the rest of the boys - have been part of an audacious experiment. You are all members of an elite unit that does not actually exist.' Scabbard was aghast and stammered 'But I... don't understand sir.' The boss continued. 'It's perfectly simple. You... and the rest of the squadron do not exist. Not even on paper. It's all about deniability see? Deniability is the key. I don't exist, you don't, we all don't and we're not actually here. Which, suits the Whitehall mandarins perfectly, because your nights of tossing it off around the hotel bars are over. You're going on a mission Scabbard. It's risky and dangerous, but I think you're the badger for the job. What do you say to that?'
'Bugger me boss. That's epic news. I've been in ten years and have dropped nothing more than my trousers. I'm... honoured to have been picked for this most arduous mission.' 'Good' replied the boss 'I'm glad you're pleased. Briefing's at 05:30 tomorrow. You'll be flying alone, so you can leave that homosexual Navigator of yours back in the hotel.' Scabbard was elated. He'd show them - especially those rough Army Air Corps types who were always sniping at their flying prowess. 'Thank you sir. I won't let you down!' Scabbard got up and was about to leave when the boss spoke. 'Oh... and Scabbard! You won't be coming back from this trip I'm afraid. Sorry old chap... orders. Goodbye lad.'
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