June 26th, 2006

"Good evening, gentlemen. Mei Ling. Or should I say good morning?"

The recent redesign of The Onion has opened up a lot of its archives (which used to be locked behind a paywall), including one of my favourite "columns", the briefings of Department Head Rawlings.
Gentlemen, Mei-Ling, we are in crisis as of seven minutes ago, when space station UCCCPZ-5476-43-B failed to crest the horizon over Gdazny. Even if our adversary's NKVD-trained orbital-warfare officers have been uncharacteristically slow on the uptake, we must assume that the Uzbekistanis have, by now, discovered the disappearance of their Rasputin orbital kinetic-energy-weapon platform.
The five short columns build up into a rather enjoyable hi-tech SF super-spy thriller involving malevolent half-brothers, strange chthonic devices, and a stolen orbital weapons platform. Fun stuff that leaves you wondering just what the rest of the story was - or could have been, as the last Rawlings column was posted nearly two years ago.

I wonder if the the Department for Special Acquisitions and Liquidations has gone on to bigger and better things, as certainly the anonymous author had to be familiar with SF technobabble, and the conventions of the conspiracy theory (and of course the wide screen spy novel). Perhaps someday we'll see a carefully renamed Rawlings walk onto the pages of a book...

After all, what did happen in Barcelona? And what is Mei Ling's role in this?