WE AIM TO MISBEHAVE

From the creator of Eliza Dane (last seen in OPERATION AMSTERDAM: FLIGHT OF THE WILD ROSE) comes another tale of adventure on the high electronic seas:


It could be from the pages of a TV drama; a widow and her son seek the services of a man of action to deliver them from torment and help them realise their dreams... well, that's what they told me.

The Scammer Alliance
Alice Konan from Ivory Coast - widow of Issa Konan, Cocoa exporter killed by rebels
Sir Jean Claude Traore (Director of foreign operations), Universal Assistance Securities and Trust Inc Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire

The Scam Baiter
Malcolm Reynolds, ex-US Marine Corps pilot trying to set up an air courier business in Central Australia (Malcolm Reynolds is the main character in Joss Whedon's SF series Firefly; brutally pragmatic yet at heart an honourable man).

Let's see whose head pops over the parapet...


Alice Konan

24 November 2005
RUE 18 BP AVENUE 11 TRIECHVILLE, ABIDJAN COTE D'IVORE.

Dear Respectful,
How are you today,I hope all is well with you. I am Mrs.Alice. Konan from Ivory Coast. I am a widow being that I lost my husband a couple of months ago. My husband was a serving director of the Cocoa exporting board until his death . He was assassinated last match by the rebels following the political uprising. Before his death he has give to us documents he used to deposit the consignment with the security company here. The $27.million dollar is kept in one trunk boxe and was registered as (africa Art work) thus there is nobody that knows that it is money that is in the box. All the documents with which the money was deposited is with us (my son and I) I am looking for somebody that is capable and willing to assist us to receive the trunk box of money in his country on behalf of my son and I from the security company. I want you to do me a favour to receive this funds to a safe account in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary . I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and industrial production. We shall be compensating you with 20% of total sum after conclusion of this project, while the rest shall be for us. Your share stays with you while the rest shall be for us for investment purposes in your country. This is my reason for writing to you. Please if you are willing to assist me and my only son Michell, indicate your interest in replying soonest with your private phone number for more details.
Thanks and best regards
Mrs.ALICE KONAN & MICHEL


The murdered cocoa merchant with a trunk box full of cash variant, eh? Man, I should feel guilty every time I eat chocolate.


Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I'd like to help, but first I'd like to be sure that I was the person you meant to contact.
Regards,
Malcolm Reynolds



Three days later...

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mr. Konan,
Is my help no longer needed?
Malcolm Reynolds



Ah, a nibble... with a twist; we have a severe health problem added to the mix for extra urgency and/or pathos. Note how she urges Malcolm to stay healthy.

Alice Konan

28 November 2005

Dear Malcolm,
Thanks for your mail with content noted. I am very happy to explain more in details to you,Yes it is you i contacted not a mistake because it is very urgent as i will want to come over to your country to enable me go for better hospital treatment in your country ,in my country here we don't have good heart operation doctor's as i am very sick with heart problem and i will not like to die here Meanwhile,I contacted you so that i can use you as my late husband foreign investment partner to enable the security company contact you and arrange for the shippment of the trunk box of the money to you in your country as package so that i can come over to meet with you while my son will futher his education. However,i will want you to bring your full contact informations including your passport copy so that i can send my son to go and submitt your full contact informations with the security company for the registration of your name and contact as my family foreign investment partner,so that the security company will start the shippment process of the trunk box to you in your address in your country because i have discussed with the security company director that i want them to deliver this trunk box outside of this country which they accepted only waiting for our foreign partner's infos so that they can start the shippment arrangment.. For a better understanding the security company did not know the real content of the trunk box because my late husband deposited it as containing AFRICAN ART WORKS not as money. It is for security reasons he did it that way. It is only you and me and my son that knows it is money. I will be sending to you all the depositary documents that was issued to my husband by the security company on the day of deposit including our photos for your perusal and the contact of the security company so that you can verify by yourself. Again i will want to know if you can be able to come down here in person to enable us go togther to the security company and you see things by yourself,so that after we retrieve the trunk box we will follow you together to your country.
This is very urgent and confidential for my security reasons in your country. My number is this 0022507157883. I will be waiting to hear from you as soon as you receive this mail.
Thanks and keep fit.
Yours sincerely
Madam Konan & Son



Malcolm is of course sensitive to the poor lady's plight. But why is he needed? I of course decline to ring, as my Southern accent (see below) is not too convincing.

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I don't quite know what to say. Your plight moves me greatly, and I would like to see you receive the treatment you need. You clearly have your son's future very much at heart - that's a righteous attitude, and worth fostering. But parts of your message have me confused. You explained about the money your late husband lodged with the security firm - I don't understand why you need me to pose as beneficiary. If the company does not know the contents, how can they cause you any problems? Please explain further. I am also puzzled about how you came to choose me to contact. That's something else I would like to have cleared up. Believe me, I want to help, but I also know what I am being asked to do.
Take care of yourself, and may the Lord watch over you.
Malcolm Reynolds



Alice Konan

29 November 2005

Dear Malcolm
I am very happy hearing back from you today,you can be using this email in reaching me because it is very private and confidential. Why i need you is because my late husband deposited the trunk box as AFRICAN ART WORK which belong to his foreign partner which i will now assume is you so that the security company will know you and start the shippment process of the trunk box to you. The security company does not know the real content because they thought is gold and african art work. You don't have to be affriad because i have arrange everything the director of the security company. Please send your full contact info and the requested infos for the registration of your name and contact so that the security company will start the shippment process of the trunk box to you as my family foreign partner so that we can arrange to meet with you in your country.
Please tell me what we can invest with this money in your country? Try call me so that we can talk more better.
Thanks and GOD BLESS
MADAM KONAN
N/B: see the attached photos.


So the Security Company doesn't know that the trunk holds money. Not really original...
Said photos turn out to be familiar to the seasoned Scambaiter...


   


Time to lay out a CV. The picture I sent is of Nathan Fillion, who played Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly. "Kaylee" is a character in the show (played by Jewel Staite). For the record, the V-22 is a real aircraft, but a military one, and not yet even in service. This is where I inserted the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi (short for Semper Fidelis, "Always Faithful") before Malcolm's signature. My apologies to the Corps...

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
Well, your poor husband was a fine-looking fellow. It's a tragedy that such a one should be lost to the world. You have a fine-looking son too. Tell me, what does he want to study? There are many fine universities and colleges over here.
Since you opened up - I'd better return the favour! Full name, Malcolm Paul Reynolds. Born, Charleston, South Carolina, 15 February 1972. Occupation, pilot and aspiring company director. Former occupation, United States Marine Corps helicopter pilot. I'm currently working with a small and select crew to set up a specialised air courier company - Serenity Air Couriers - here in Alice Springs. Our main drawcard is going to be our Boeing V-22 Osprey transport, which can go faster than a helicopter and land places a normal plane can't.
Here's a picture Kaylee snapped while I was in the workshop. She should have been working too, not snapping pix... but it is a good one, to me anyway.
Could you be more specific about the contact information? So far you've only mentioned about my passport. As for the requested info - I don't think you spelled that out.
Semper fi,
Malcolm Reynolds

PS You never did get round to telling me how you chose me to contact...



Alice Konan

29 November 2005

Dear Malcolm
Infact i am very happy for your understanding and the infos you brought now and i have to send my son to go and submit your informations to the security company and my son told me this morning as he just come back that the director advised him to inform you to contact them so that they will inform you their procedures and their date of arrival schedule. Please i will like you to contact the security company immediately with their address as they are expecting to hear from you because your full name and contact has been registered with them as my family foreign partner. so below is the address of the security company.
Name of company: UNIVERSAL ASSISTANCE SECURITIES AND TRUST INC ABIDJAN COTE D' IVOIRE
Contact person: SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE (Director of foreign operations)
Tel :+22505412752 Tel/Fax :+22522423701 /+22522523652
Email:(universal_trust_secu@mail2coastguard.com)
Please don't fail to contact the security company immediately as you can see that my health is nothing to write home about so the best and the only thing you can do for us is to recieve this consignment immediately and send money to us from the box and as soon as you conclude with them,i will then send to you the BOX KEY TESTED CODE. But the most important thing you should bear in mind is that NEVER YOU ALLOW THEM TO KNOW THAT IT IS MONEY because of the security of the money because my late husband told them that it is african artworks for his foreign partner so this is what you will tell them if they ask you the content of the box.
See the attached documents that was issued to my late husband by the security company on the day of deposit. Please this is very secret and it is for your eyes only. Kindly explain to me and tell me what we can invest with this money in your country.
My son is reading MAXX COMMUNICATION and he is very happy that we are going to be with you soonest in the USA his dream home.
Don't forget to include your phone and fax number you write to the security company.
I await your urgent reply and keep me informed as soon as you contacts them.
Yours sincerely,
Madam Konan
N/B: CONTACT THE SECURITY COMPANY AND TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE FAMILY OF MR ISSA KONAN FOREIGN PARTNER. THAT YOU WANT THEM PROCEED WITH THE SHIPPMENT PROCESS OF THE TRUNK BOXES CONTAINING (AFRICAN ART WORKS)THAT IS IN THEIR SECURITY VAULT TO YOU IN THE STATE. JUST WRITE THEM THIS WAY AND CALL THEM ON PHONE AND GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY.




Don't mention money! Roger that. "MAXX Communications"? Oh, and they think Malcolm's in America. Doesn't '.au' mean anything to those mugus?


Build up a service background and image as a man of action. Some folksy advice wouldn't be out of place too. And while we're about it, put the geography straight.

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I understand that you have a sense of urgency - but just a couple of things I have to verify with you. Make haste slowly was one of my Pa's mottos, and it's a good one. Trust me, if you've ever flown an AH-1 Cobra into a target-rich (and SAM-rich) environment, you always try to stay one step ahead of where you're going. Sure keeps you out of a body bag.
Firstly, just what info have you passed on to the Security Company? I don't want to tell them the wrong thing. Secondly, I don't want to spoil your son's dreams, but I'm no longer living in the USA. Serenity Air Couriers is to be based in Central Australia.
Semper fi,
Malcolm Reynolds



Alice Konan

29 November 2005

Dear Malcolm
thanks for your email, the information i forwarded to the security company states that you are the foreign investment partner of my late husband and you are empowered to receive the deposited 2 trunk box consignments of my late husband to keep it in a safe place in your country because of the present political instability of this country,
please do not disclose the content of the trunk box to the security company because for security reasons the trunk boxes were deposited in the security company by my late husband as AFRICAN ART WORKS so please bear in mind that on your contact and discussion with the security company always let them know that the trunk boxes contains Art Works to be used for Show Biz.
send to me urgently your direct telephone and fax numbers.
I am a bit confused because you gave me your adress in the USA South Carolina and now you are saying something about relocation to Central Australia,please call the security company and tell them your prefered place to receive the shipment either in USA South Carolina or CENTRAL AUSTRALIA.
secondly,if you can fly down to Cote D'Ivoire to claim this trunk boxes and my late husband partner it will be appreciated.
Name of company:UNIVERSAL ASSISTANCE SECURITIES AND TRUST INC ABIDJAN COTE D' IVOIRE Contact person: SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE (Director of foreign operations)
Tel :+22505412752
Tel/Fax :+22522423701 /+22522523652
Email:(universal_trust_secu@mail2coastguard.com)
I await your urgent reply and keep me informed as soon as you contacts them.
Yours sincerely,
Madam Konan


Now did I say that Malcolm Reynolds was living in South Carolina? "2 trunk box consignments..." - wasn't it just one? How come the head of some dime-store security firm has a knighthood? What are the odds on that?


Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs Konan,
Sorry if I confused you but I was born in South Carolina. I am living in Australia.
There'll be a problem with this matter since the day after tomorrow the new Osprey is being delivered to Mascot Airport and I absolutely cannot delegate that business. I will contact the company, sure, but any resolution is going to need to be slotted into my work schedule. I am very sorry for this, but my crew and the investors are relying on the successful establishment of Serenity Air Couriers. Flying to Cote d'Ivoire might be a problem too, as I will find it difficult to take any time off from establishing the business at this early stage.
We don't have a fax yet. I've told Inara to expedite this but she isn't getting any cooperation from the phone companies. In any event, since I'll be on the move a lot, I won't have a fixed phone number either. We'll just have to work around this.
Semper fi,
Malcolm Reynolds


"Inara" is also a character from the TV show (played by Morena Baccarin).


Let's get the Security Company clued in...

Malcolm Reynolds

Attn: SIR JEAN-CLAUDE TRAORE (Director of foreign operations), UNIVERSAL ASSISTANCE SECURITIES AND TRUST INC, ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE

Sir,
Please be informed that I, as foreign investment partner to the late Mr. Issa Konan, am empowered to request the release of two trunk box consignments of African Art Works deposited into your care in February 2003.
Please confirm that you retain possession of said items (reference number UATC/721/003).
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Reynolds



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I contacted the security company (I cc'd you so this should not, I hope, come as a surprise) but they have not replied to my contact.
As I mentioned before, I'll be out of touch for the next two days at least, as the new Osprey is being delivered, and I have to be there. I can only hope that you'll be all right.
Semper fi,
Malcolm Reynolds



Here's the rest of the scammer crew... Well, they were bound to ask for some cash, but $1200 seems a little low. There's probably plenty of time for more, though... They sent me a form in Word format with spelling and syntax errors - as you'd expect.

Well, WESTERN UNION was going to show up sooner or later.



Sir Jean Claude Traore

01 December 2005
FROM OFFICE OF SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE UNIVERSAL TRUST SECURITIES AND SHIPPING ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE
ATTN:REYNOLDS MALCOLM
SIR,
Following your informations which was well received in this office. We hereby provide you with our procedures concerning shipment of your consignment to your indicated address. You should fill the attached form, being the change of ownership form which will be notorized by law court thereby confirming you the legal beneficiary of the said consignment before the shippment of your consignment will be carried out.
Upon the completion of the form you should send it back to the legal dept. of this Reputable Firm with the sum of US$1.200 which Covers the Nomalisation/Re-validation of OWNERSHIP CERTIFICATE in your name for onward Shipment.
Effect CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE PAYMENT via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER or MONEYGRAM
C/O Barr. Dominique Kanga
Accredited Attorney
UTS Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire
Tel:+22507205670
for proceeding t the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and PROBATE COURT OF COTE D'IVOIRE for the Legal process.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)





Add a little uncertainty. Tell them that their attachment won't open...

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
Regrettably the attachment you provided would not open. My office IT expert could find no fault in our system. Please resubmit soonest.
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Reynolds



Sir Jean Claude Traore

03 December 2005

ATTN:REYNOLDS MALCOLM
SIR,
Have you been able to furnish the needed information to our Accredited Attorney?
Urgent answer needed
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)
UNIVERSAL TRUST SECURITIES AND SHIPPING ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE



Alice is sicker, please hurry!

Alice Konan

04 December 2005

Dear Malcolm,
Sorry for not getting intouch to you since this days,i was very sick and could not be able to stand up in other to access my email box. i want to know if the security company has replied you or not?if they have not reply to your message please i will want you to call them on telephone to enable you discuse with the security company director and direct him on how you want the trunk box to be delivered to you.
My dear Malcom,do this as soon as possible because my condition here is getting very bad and i will not want to spend this Xmas in this country because i may die which will not be better for my son's future and i need to see you face to face so that i can talk to you face to face in your country. I am very tired now will like to have some rest while waiting to hear from you about the development and try to update me as soon as the security company get to you.
Thanks and have a pleasant weekend.
Madam Konan



Sir Jean Claude Traore

05 December 2005

ATTN:REYNOLDS MALCOLM
SIR,
Following your informations which was well received in this office. We hereby provide you with our procedures concerning shipment of your consignment to your indicated address.
[Repeats exact letter of 01 December, specifying payment options.]



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I have just returned from the East Coast with the newly-delivered Osprey - see below - and it came as a double blow to read the Security Company's reply. They claimed that they'd attached a form but my computer would not read it and Kaylee was quite sure that our system wasn't to blame. I replied to the company's message and told them to resubmit the form.
I hope for your sake that they hurry up about it.
Semper fi and may the Lord watch over you always,
Malcolm


The pic I enclosed was a real one of a V-22 at a Marine Corps base in the US. There was not much detail that could give it away, though...




Well, they left me an opening, a little more time to lose.

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs Konan,
Good news! The Security Company has come through with a viable copy of the form. However, I need you help with parts of it. The company wants me to supply a "Zip Code" for your late husband's (and I assume, your) country of origin (Cote d'Ivoire). I cannot find a code of this type on either of the forms you supplied. Please help me here. Also, they want my nationality and Zip Code. While I am still an American citizen, my current address is in Australia. What is right here?
Semper fi,
Malcolm
Alice Konan

05 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
I received your message and informing me of the good news that you have been contacted and sent form by the security company. this is the Answer to your needed information to supply to them.
NAME OF DEPOSITOR: MR ISSA KONAN
NATINALITY: REPUBLIC OF COTE D'IVOIRE
ZIP CODE: 225
NAME OF NEXT OF KIN: MASTER MICHELLE KONAN
DATE OF DEPOSIT: 16/02/2003
CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS DEPOSITED: AFRICAN ART WORK
SECURITY CODE: YXZ/CCP
REF . N : UATC/721/003
PURPOSE OF DEPOSIT: FOREIGN PARTNER'S CLAIM.
Your Nationality must be your Country of Origin USA and adress in USA also then you can also include for them your present Australian Adress and advise them where you will want them to Ship the Trunk box.
Please go ahead with them so they will finish and ship the trunk box immediately,my health condition is bad now,i wait for your quick reply with another good news that concerning the date of the shipment of the trunk box to you.
Madam Konan



Alice Konan

06 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
I want to know if you have send the info to the security company.
Please do that so that they will proceed immediately to enable them conclude and give you the shippment schedule.
Awaiting
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I have the form all but completed, but I cannot fill it out exactly as requested. I have no current address in the USA (I left Charleston in 1989 and spent the next ten years in the military at various Naval and Marine bases worldwide). My current address is in Alice Springs, Central Australia. That is all that I can supply.
Semper fi,
Malcolm Reynolds



No way would I send a passport. Let's see if they buy this.

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
I attach a copy of the form as requested. However, some parts have not been filled out - I cannot provide a signature on this document format, and on the counsel of my legal advisor I have not included the passport copy. Also, I would request an invoice for the requested fee before I can remit the $1200 mentioned in your original message.
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Reynolds



Alice Konan

06 December 2005

Dear Malcolm,
I read your mail with content noted. You can send your current address is in Alice Springs, Central Australia.It is ok and give them the telephone number also so that as soon as you concluded with them and they inform you of their schedule then you have right to them where you will want to go and receive it.
Just send your current address is in Alice Springs, Central Australia and get back to me. Don't you have telephone where i can call you so that we can talk or you prefere it through mail?
Awaiting
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs Konan,
Weird - not quite ten minutes ago I sent the form to the Security Company. I hope that will get things moving at last! There's a motto that all servicemen everywhere know - "hurry up and wait". I hope it won't come to that. I gave the company address details here. I hope that it's acceptable to them!
My address here is 2/33 Stuart Drive, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0870. At this stage I'd rather not give you my phone number as Inara, my partner (and secretary) is very possessive - she only tolerates Zoe and Kaylee (two of my staff - actually maintenance experts - now there's a sign of the times) because they work for me and she knows I am strictly professional on that score. Even Jayne - who does security, and is a guy, despite the name - doesn't watch over me quite as closely.
So, for now at least, let it be email.
Semper fi,
Malcolm Reynolds


"Zoe" (Gina Torres) and "Jayne" (Adam Baldwin) are also Firefly characters. Maintain the image of Inara's possessiveness at all costs.


Alice Konan

06 December 2005

Dear Malcolm,
I am very happy the day way you are following this transaction. May GOD IN HEAVEN bless you more. i hope to see you soon in Central Australia to enable us celebrate together as one family so that my son can futher his education.
Please don't forget to update me as soon as you concluded with the security company. I will aswell want you to speak with the director of the security company on telephone.
Awaiting
Madam Konan



Seems my passport ploy worked.

Sir Jean Claude Traore

07 December 2005

SIR,
Your Attached Form received,but nothing has been done yet until receipt of the CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE. Note,attached herein with this letter is Copy of our Proforma Invoice for your perusal and effectance of your CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP Fee. Effect CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE PAYMENT via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER or MONEYGRAM with the name below :
C/O Barr. Dominique Kanga
Accredited Attorney
UTS Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire
Tel:+22507205670
for proceeding t the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and PROBATE COURT OF COTE D'IVOIRE for the Legal process.
Forward to this Office Copy of Payment Receipt while Copy goes to the Accredited Attorney's official email for Immediate proceeding and Onward Shipment of your 2 Trunk Box Consignments.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)



Must also head off phone communication...

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
To be honest, it would be a short meeting - there's not much out here for a young man seeking to further his education. It's a beautiful country, don't doubt it, but the universities are in Sydney or Melbourne. You mentioned that Michel wanted to study "Maxx Communication" - I'm thinking you meant "Mass Communications". That could be a few things - could you put me in the clear? I might be able to recommend a couple of places for him.
I'll see how the Security Company handles the form I sent them before I try to speak to them. My accent - I still have a bit of a Southern drawl - might be confusing for a non-native speaker, and I understand that Cote d'Ivoire is a former French colony.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
The Company responded today with an invoice for the charges mentioned - they seem to have accepted that I won't be sending my passport - with the prevalence of identity theft around, I do not want uncontrolled copies of my passport out there. They also didn't worry about the form being unsigned. Are you sure they're secure enough? Anyhoo - I'll be heading to Western Union today - if there is a branch here. Failing that, I may have to head to Adelaide (nearest big city). It'll give me a chance to really test the Firefly.
If I seem to go on about the Firefly, it's probably because the Osprey-class transport is a both a challenge and a dream to fly - a challenge because the transition from horizontal to vertical flight is one of those breath-catching moments you never tire of; a dream, because the Firefly is the best of its type. You'll have to take a flight in it (at least one) when you get here. Promise me you'll give it a try. I'll be in touch.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Alice's son Michel is now "Michelle" - the feminine form. Poor lad, does he have any problems with that?

Alice Konan

07 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
thank you for your email,first you are right ,my son Michelle will like to continue his education in Mass communication,i don't know about invoice you requested from security company but as they have sent to you it is good and i want you to comply with them on anything they want you to do for the quick completion of this transaction,the form you said you send them without your passport,i can say it is you that knows best what you sent to them,may be you send them your identification information good enough and even equivalent to your passport,and secondly your photo has earlier been submit to them,as far as i know they are very secure and my boxes has been their since deposited and it is very safe and the security company itself is a standard security and one of the biggest security companies here.please do very fast and finish with the security company,if they request anything from you,send it to them so they will conclude as quickly as possible and so that they give you the shipment schedule date because i am very anxious to know the date of the shipment because of my health.I have the believe that i will also fly on the firefly jet as you have promised ,after i have come over and taken some good medical treatments.
please tell me the good news and arrival date of the trunk boxes as they have sent to you invoice that you said of their fee they need ,please settle very quickly with them and inform me this is no problem because immediately my trunk boxes is deliver to you you will be reimbursed with anything that you spent,
Cote D'Ivoire is a French colonial country but the security company is international security organisation they deal with foreigners mostly so almost everybody working with them speaks and understand English very well so this will not be a problem you can call the director of the security company and talk with him as soon as you send them the fee as you said so that you also make sure the fee got to them. please keep me informed immediately you finish with them,
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I've told the Company that I will send the money to them by Western Union transfer, though it cannot be done before tomorrow as there is no Western Union office in Alice Springs - which is odd considering it's a major tourist centre.
I'll have to do it from Adelaide - I filed a flight plan this afternoon, so I'll fly there tomorrow as part of the Firefly's acclimatisation process. Fortunately the Osprey as a class isn't too weather-sensitive (unlike the Apache - I'm glad the Corps left that junkheap to the Army) so there should be no problems. That phase should be finalised by tomorrow.
Just so you know; the Osprey-class is not a jet. Have a look at the pic I sent you - note the huge propellers at the wingtips. They are oriented vertically for take-off, then swivel into a horizontal position for forward flight. The Firefly does 450 knots all out, over twice the speed of the fastest military helicopters and three times faster than most civilian models.
If all goes well, SAC should have a comfortable niche carved out in five years or less.
So, I should be able to contact you tomorrow with good news.
Semper fi,
Malcolm


For the record I have no idea if the Apache gunship is good or bad. I just thought a little USMC pride was in order. By the way, the Osprey is not nearly as fast as that.


Sir Jean Claude Traore

08 December 2005

SIR,
This Security Firm is writing to for an (INQUIRY)
Were you in Receipt of the Invoice sent to you yesterday?
We still wait on your Compliance with your Transaction CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE of US$1.200 to proceed on the Legal processing and Onward Shipment of your Consignments.
Forward to this Office Copy of Payment Receipt while Copy goes to the Accredited Attorney's official email for Immediate proceeding and Onward Shipment of your 2 Trunk Box Consignments.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)



Another delay is mandated. First the Security Company...

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir:
Problems have arisen with the Western Union transfer process.
More as it comes to hand.
Malcolm Reynolds



... now Alice, with more detail.

Malcolm Reynolds

Mrs. Konan,
We have a problem.
I visited the Western Union office at Adelaide Airport and filled out the forms to transfer the money as requested by Sir Jean Claude. However, as the details were being processed, something clearly went wrong, and the supervisor came over.
He explained to me that "Universal Trust Securities And Shipping Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire" had been red-flagged by Western Union as it was listed as a front company for "advanced fee confidence tricks". He was pretty loud about it and I had to tell him pretty strongly not to shout at me.
I asked him to explain but he didn't say any more. He told me to stop harassing his staff. I told him to learn some gorram manners. We didn't part as friends, believe me!
What could he have been talking about?
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Alice Konan

08 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
thanks for your email to me,i don't really understand what you are talking about,please do not mind the Western Union office this security company is know and i have been their and my son Michel fluents to the security company till today also, may be people use their reputable name in doing some other things as the western union stated but this is their main head office where my trunk box was deposited and it is intact.
I don't want you to waste much time in this,please I want you to come to Cote D'Ivoire so that we can go to the Security Company and you see things for yourself,but if you cannot come please my dear feel free and do not listen to those people this is not like they think,you can come i will be very happy if you can come down yourself and we retrieve the trunks and fly back together to Australia. i called the security company and they said that the money is to revalidate of nomaiising the documents in your name to ascertain legal procedure and they said it is very important you send the money,please you can send the money to the name of my Son MICHELLE KONAN he has his identification card and passports he can go and get the money from Western Union or Moneygram to get the money then he will go directly and give them the money so they will do the process of legalising in your name and they will ship the trunk box.
i need urgent good news from you now,please it is very important that we talk on telephone,please send to me your direct telephone number and give me time to call you.please don't reveal anything about this transaction to any body for security of me and my son to avoid people from looking into our affairs when we come over and do not mention about security company again to the western union office because it may also be risky,they may decide to trace when the trunk box arrive Airport and they may do something funny.
i attach picture taken of one of the trunk box by my late husband before he locked it and deposited it in the security company.
Tell me if you can fly down,I will be very happy if you can come down here.
I await very Urgent.
Madam. Konan,



I ignored the request for a phone number and barrelled on.

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
Thank you for your reassurance, but it was still a shock, and not helped by the Western Union supervisor acting like a jerk. The only guy I've ever been madder at was a looter in Somalia - he was stealing medicines intended for starving children, but he never did that again. I put a .454 Casull round through his face. There was almost nothing left of his head.
Anyway...
Is there another way that I can do this? Will the company take a check? Do I tell them about the Western Union blacklist?
Travelling to Cote d'Ivoire would be a last resort as things stand. I'll contact the US embassy in Canberra and see if I can hurry up my passport application. Last I heard it was still a week, and with Christmas almost upon us they'd be snowed under (ha ha). Maybe they'll cut some slack for a former officer in Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.
I hope you can keep going. Alice Springs is a very restful town and it'd be a good place for you to recuperate. Tell Michel that Australians are good folks and he'd do fine here.
Semper fi,
Malcolm


Another exploit to add to the Reynolds image; for what it's worth, the .454 Casull is a real handgun, but definitely not USMC issue.


Alice Konan

08 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
Secondly I also suggest Incase you cannot fly to cote d'ivoire and may be you don't want to go to western union or moneygram money transfer because of their manners of approach,
You can contact the director of the security company and ask them for their account or account of their lawyer so that you can transfer them the money,it is also safe.
I wait very urgently
Madam. Konan,



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
I'll probably do that (the lawyer approach I mean) - it's a good idea to have a backup plan). It does mean telling the Company that someone has got them blacklisted - but I suppose they'd better know sometime.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Michel is Michelle again...

Alice Konan

08 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
thanks for your urgent reply
please write to the security company immediately and inform them that you cannot remit the money through western union because of the blacklist of the western union,i hope they will understand your reasons. but if you prefer to send the money through my son Michelle name you can do so through western Union.
request them to give you their account or account of their lawyer so that you transfer them the money so that the process will be completed very quickly,please christmas is at hand and i would not want to remain here until christmas and Michelle desire also is to be in Australia before this Christmas
please contact them and request the account from them and get back to them.
I await very urgently i am angry
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs Konan,
I told the Company that there were problems with the remittance; we'll see what they suggest.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
Further to my previous message - remittance via Western Union is ruled out as your company is apparently on a Western Union blacklist as (to quote a Western Union supervisor) "a front company for advanced fee confidence tricks".
Mrs. Alice Konan has assured me of your bona fides and I wish the process to continue.
Please advise.
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Reynolds.



Wow! A bite!

Sir Jean Claude Traore

09 December 2005

FROM OFFICE OF SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE
SIR,
This is Ridiculous & Unbelievable,
You mean the Western Union Agent Supervisor in your country is Scandalising the name of this Reputable Firm?
This is a very serious issue.
Please be patriotic and furnish us with the contact details of the Western Union Office and the Supervisor Incharge who Imposed this SCANDALS,he must be Called to BOOK.
Concerning your Transaction,you are safe and as the case may be.
You have 3 options to conclude this Transaction and have your Consignment Shipment Dispatched in good fate:
1.Place you Travel Schedule and Fly to Cote D'Ivoire with the Cash at hand to our Office
2.Proceed to Moneygram and effect the transfer via fast money transfer with the same name of our Accreited Attorney earlier provided.
BARRISTER .KANGA COULIBALLY
ADRESS : ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE
3.You can effect the Payment via Bank to Bank using our BROKER'S RECEIVING BANK ACCOUNT stated Below :
BENEFICIARY-MR.CHARLES UGOCHUKWU
ACCOUNT NO:12200727210
SWIFT CODE:SGCICI AB
BANK:SGBCI
2 PLATEAU BRANCH
CITY:ABIDJAN
COUNTRY:COTE D'IVOIRE.
Do not forget to furnish us with the contact details of the Western Union Agent Supervisor who imposed this Scandal on our firm it is a GOVERNMENTAL ISSUE and not INDIVIDUALLY,JUSTICE MUST TAKE IT'S PLACE.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
It took me by surprise too. Unfortunately in the heat of the argument with the supervisor I neglected to take his name. All I can give you is that the office was located at Adelaide Airport.
Now, about your advised options: -
[1] This is being considered. There will probably be a few days (best guess 5-6) before I could take a flight - reissue of passport and business pressures mainly dictate this.
[2] There is no Western Union office in Alice Springs, nor is there a Moneygram office, according to the business directory - unbelievable for such a popular tourist site, but that's how it is.
[3] I'll check with the local bank, they must have the facilities for that (though I can't guarantee anything).
More as it comes to hand.
Malcolm Reynolds



Alice Konan

09 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
thank you for your emai to me,i am sorry i replied late,i have been busy with a pastor who camr for prayers with me and my son Michelle in the hospital,have you heard from the security company as you say that you have written to them.
please tell me very quickly and inform me what is happening.Mitchelle extends his greetings to you.
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs Konan,
The Company boss was as mad as a cut snake. I wasn't surprised. When he'd said his piece he made some suggestions. One was not feasible - no Moneygram offices in Alice Springs! When this is done and dusted I am going to lobby the local authority to get these facilities here!
A direct bank transfer was suggested - why this couldn't have been from the start?
A flight to Cote d'Ivoire was mooted so that is still on the table.
My regards to Michel. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



"Mrs Konan" forgets to be ladylike for a moment...

Alice Konan

09 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
thanks for your updates,it will be very good you help those people to implement the use of fast money transfer systems in their rural areas,but from the look of things Alice Spring is a big city i wonder why they lack all these common facility that makes life earsier.
if the security company suggested to get the money through bank transfer,do not waste time,just request them to give you their account immediately so that you can transfer them the money and forget about all these shit from the western union,since it is the only thing they need to arrange document in your name for the shipment of my trunk box.Mitchelle is in good health and he extends his warm regards to you only that he's worried and becoming bored because of the present political situation of this country,he is very worried and always disturbs me about leaving this country.
I wait for your very quick reply.
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs Konan,
Calm down there, I say! This is not a good thing for you, with your heart trouble and all... and as for the language, I think Michel is getting into bad company and you've picked it up.
Actually Alice Springs is not a big city - 30,000 at most. I suppose of course that depends on your definition of large. As an American I see the Alice as a town - but that's just me.
The bank transfer may present a minor problem inasmuch as I (and SAC) are loaned up to the limit. I hate to go to the bank as they can be real assholes if you're not cashed up. However, there is a way out - I might be able to call in a favour from an old buddy in the Corps. Sergeant Apone set up in real estate after he mustered out and I helped him at a crucial time, so if he can grubstake me (and I'm 99% sure he will) we're cool. I'll contact him and arrange a Western Union transfer (ha ha), then see if I can get the Commonwealth Bank to get the folding stuff to the Company as arranged. This, however, will probably not be before Monday. In the meantime, Alice, please be calm. Hymns are good; then there's one that another old buddy, Corporal Ferro, used to say in tough times; "I am a leaf, floating on the wind..." Afraid that's all I can remember.
Tell Michel that I'm working on it.
Semper fi,
Malcolm


"Apone" and "Ferro" are actually characters in Aliens. "I am a leaf, floating on the wind..." came from Serenity. The last time it was said, someone died horribly.


Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
Measures are in hand to make a Bank Transfer on or before Monday. More as it develops.
Thank you for your patience.
Malcolm Reynolds



Alice Konan

10 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
thank you for email you send to me,i have understand that the Alice spring is small and not much big as i thought,i heard your advise and i taking it very easy to protect my health,i hope you conclude this whole thing on monday as you said in your email and i have an advise as you say that you will look for common wealth bank to arrange western union transfer to the security company,for us not to have the same kind of embarrasement again,you can use name of your small boy MICHELLE KONAN adress ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE MICHELLE can pick the money and take it to the security company so that they will do the process and ship the trunk box,I am happy and encouraged with your words of advise to me and michelle.you send the money transfer information to me and also send to the security company and tell them that due to the past embarrasement from the western union office that you have send the money to me and Michell will bring it to them.
Michelle extends his warm regards and greetings to you.
Thanks and have a pleasant week-end
Madam Konan



Another monkey-wrench is due. Ah, this is fun!

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
There are words you can call me and I deserve many, but "prize fool" would be the polite phrase about me right now. I rang my old buddy Greg Apone - remember how he got into real estate? Well, would you believe he moved to Louisiana last year? Would you believe he's so short right now after Katrina that I almost ended up lending him some money? He turned it down.
I felt about two inches tall. I don't feel much taller now, telling you this.
I'm going to sleep on this (it's after midnight here) and think over my options.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Mrs. Konan,
All cash options are closed out. The visit to Cote d'Ivoire option is all that's left - the cost of that I can put on my credit card and that can be paid off after the deal is done. I'm checking out flight data. I'll be in touch when I know more. Tell Michel all this is going to come to a finish soon and he'll be free to experience Australia at his leisure. What are his hobbies?
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
I am obliged to come to Cote d'Ivoire to settle this business - a date is not yet fixed - please advise on the pre-requisites.
Yours Sincerely,
Malcolm Reynolds



I thought they'd stack on some extra cash eventually - but $23,450? Good grief!

Sir Jean Claude Traore

13 December 2005

FROM OFFICE OF SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE
SIR,
Sequel to your electronic mail,
Your Arrival to Cote D'Ivoire to conclude your Transaction will be very nice as it will help you carry out every arrangements and move with your Retrieved Consignment.
In the process where by the Change of Ownership was done,we expected receipt of your Consignment Demurrage Fee via our Courier Agents Upon their Arrival on Delivery of your Consignment to you,but as it is this ,
The Basic Pre-requisites to your arrival to Cote D'Ivoire Includes the Following
1.DEMURRAGE FEE : US$12.800
2.DIPLOMATIC TAG FEE US$3.850
3.INSURANCE PREMIUM COVER US$5.600
4.CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE US$1.200
TOTAL :US$ 23 .450 (Twenty Three Thousand Four Hundred & Fifty US Dollars Only)
You are expected to Arrive to our Office here with the Sum of US$23.450 to achieve a maximum and securitised conclusion and departure with your Consignment without problems.
Confirm receipt of this Letter and Do not hesitate to furnish us with your Arrival Schedule,
Note,your Consignment Shipment File has been Arranged for Transaction Conclusion in this Yuletide Season.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
Thank you for the information.
I would like to know why the demurrage of $12,800 on two trunk boxes of art works could be be justified. Two of the other charges need clarification as well. Why are you charging for insurance premiums? And what is a "Diplomatic tag fee?" Please explain further
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Reynolds



In the middle of this, stack on a spurious war wound - hey, why not? Add a further bit of detail from Somalia - won't hurt.

Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
I told the Security Company that I would be visiting at an undisclosed date, and they replied with a list of costs. I haven't had this big a shock since I took a hit to the leg in Iraq.
They quoted charges of $23,450!
1.DEMURRAGE FEE : US$12.800
2.DIPLOMATIC TAG FEE US$3.850
3.INSURANCE PREMIUM COVER US$5.600
4.CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE US$1.200
Now, I know that this is important to you (and HOW important), but I cannot escape the impression that someone is trying to profit from your misfortune. The numbers are outrageous.
How can they justify such a high demurrage fee for two boxes of art works? I have no idea what a 'diplomatic tag fee' is, and they should not be charging us for insurance in anyway shape or form - if they are, it should be included in demurrage, and someone is double-dipping!
It's probably not coming across on my writing, but I am boiling mad. They are trying to steal from you; and that is pissing me off big time. I can still see the look of smugness on the face of that Somali looter as he was piling stolen children's' medicines into the back of a truck - and I can also see that smugness change to stark terror just before I shot him. His buddies were the same, but we took them down easy. I sleep well at nights.
I do not know what to do about this. You have a high opinion of the company; this should change things. If not, then I think you have become too accustomed to being ripped off, and that is a shame.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Sir Jean Claude Traore

13 December 2005

FROM OFFICE OF SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE
SIR,
Your mail is acknowledged,
1.Your Consignment has been in our posession for some years and the Demurrage Fee was supposed to be Over US$12.800 but due to the fact that the Original Depositor made some Upfront Demurrage Part Payment,that was exactly why the Fee depreciated from what it is supposed to be after deduction of the previously deposited Part Payment Fee by the Late Depositor of the Consignment.
Note,it is Valuables and we have been taking good care of this until date and it is normal and inline to the Security Routine that every Consignment in Vaults accumulates demurrages as you may wish to know.
2.DIPLOMATIC TAG is a very essential and vital COURIER Tag which gives the Consignment free passage from any Air Port around the World until destination !!
Without this Diplomatic Tag there will be problem even at the International Air Port here,because the Customs will not allow the Consignment Passage if there is no such Immunity on it(DIPLOMATIC TAG)
3.INSURANCE PREMIUM is a must to have the Consignment Covered and Insured for International Despatch to maintain security and avoiding embarrasement of scanning Consignment when not INSURED and having no DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY.
All these are for your Security and maintainance of the good Reputation of this Firm.
If you are not acquainted of this and you arrive and have your Consignment retrieved by paying only our Demurrage Fee and along the Line at the Air Port you have problems this Office will be the one to be held responsible and this may also rise to embarrasement to yourself we don't want this to happen to our reputable customers
The Basic Pre-requisites to your arrival to Cote D'Ivoire Includes the Following
1.DEMURRAGE FEE : US$12.800
2.DIPLOMATIC TAG FEE US$3.850
3.INSURANCE PREMIUM COVER US$5.600
4.CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP FEE US$1.200
TOTAL :US$ 23 .450 (Twenty Three Thousand Four Hundred & Fifty US Dollars Only)
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Sir,
I wish to comment on your points:
[1] The consignment has been in your possession two and a half years (February 2003 to the present). I do not know the amount paid in demurrage fees by Mr. Issa Konan, but that aside, the final fee that you are levying - $12,800 for two trunk boxes - seems far too high. Please send me a list of your fees and an explanation of how they were levied on this consignment.
[2] I do not comprehend the need for 'diplomatic coverage'. These crates contain art works. Why are the Cote d'Ivoire authorities empowered to stop their export?
[3] What has an "Insurance Tag" to do with diplomatic immunity? Why is there apparent duplication with the 'Diplomatic Tag'?
Please send me an invoice for the requested fee, with a full breakdown of costs.
Malcolm Reynolds



Sir Jean Claude Traore

13 December 2005
FROM OFFICE OF SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE
SIR,
Your mail is acknowledged,
Attach herein is the Cost Invoice for your perusals and arrival arrangement.
Tried so many times to reach via your telephone number but the number you supplied to us happened to be an Invalid telephone number according to the switch board here.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)





Sir Jean Claude Traore

14 December 2005
FROM OFFICE OF SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE
SIR,
We write to inquire,if you are in receipt of our INVOICE sent to you yesterday.
Thank you for your co-operation.
SIR.JEAN CLAUDE TRAORE(Management)



Malcolm Reynolds

Yes.


Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
Are you OK? Respond please,
Malcolm



Now the lad is Michel again.

Alice Konan

14 December 2005

Dear Malcolm
Sorry for not getting back to you,i am not feeling better even to talk..I don't know what to do now,i may die here but everything is in GOD hand. I send Michel down to the security company to go and know what is going on and he has not come back.
Tell me when are you coming down? You know it is very urgent because of my condition so that we can follow you along to your country. It is very important we follow the instruction of the security company so that everything will go normal as GOD want it to enable us rejoice and celebrate togather.
I nee to have some rest now and will wait for michel and don't forget to update me as soon as you receive this mail.
Madam Konan



Malcolm's visions for the company are of 70 mm rockets, laser-guided missiles, and 20 mm cannon shells.


Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
There are two problems with the Security Company.
First off, I truly believe that they are inflating the fees because I am a foreigner and they think I won't make a fuss.
Secondly, I am at my wit's end about paying their gorram fees. I had plans about using my credit card (current limit, AUS$42,000) to come over and settle the fees. However, with the cost of the flight, and the fees, I would be stretched to the limit. I would have almost nothing left for contingencies and travel expenses, even assuming those scumbags don't dream up some other way to gouge us.
I hope Michel can talk some sense to the Security Company. I think of that place, I get visions of how much they deserve a volley of FFAR70s, Hellfires and 20 mike-mikes.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Alice Konan

14 December 2005

Dear Malcolm,
My son just arrived back now from the security company and he told me that the security company director told him that all the fees that they gave to you is the normal and the exact fees that we most pay before they can release the consignment to you and for our security reasons. Just tried your possible best to see that all is well so that after everything is concluded we will go to a hotel to lodge with the boxes and we will open it and you will have to reduct your expenses and get also some enough money for our first before we travel.
please get ready very quickly and tell me the particular date of you coming ,i want your very quick reply and date you will come.i hope it is possible that you will pull the money from credit card when you come.
i wait very very quickly
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice:
Do you believe in telepathy? THAT'S WHAT I WAS THINKING OF SUGGESTING!
I'll have to check flight details, make the booking - do I need a visa for Cote d'Ivoire? Don't you worry about that - I'll find out and let you know soonest.
I still want bad things to happen to that company. Some day they will.
Semper fi,
d Malcolm



Why the claim that pilots don't need visas? Does the lad assume that I'm just going to fly into Cote d'Ivoire in my private plane?

Alice Konan

14 December 2005
Ok, check the flight details and give me your arrival schedule so that Michel will come to welcome you at the airport. About the Visa,i don't have any idea,but as you are pilot i don't that you will need a Visa. Please check it out and get back to me.
Madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
Sure thing. But I will need a visa as the Firefly hasn't the range for trans-ocean flights.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Alice Konan

16 December 2005
Dear Malcolm
thank you for your email to me and information,i have noted your arrival Schedule as you write it below here but i want to know the name of the Air Line.
secondly you must try to inform the security company and also send to them your arrival schedule so that they will be aware,though i have forwarded the schedule to them but you must have to inform them officially yourself so they will wait for your coming.
About you coming down with your friend Jayne is also good but i hope he will not demand for any percentage from the total money? Is not that we are not going to compersate him but it is for my security reasons.
Please try to inform me as soon as you are moving so that my son will go to wait for you and your good friend.
I will be waiting to hear from you.
Thanks and Remain Blessed
Yours sincerely
madam Konan



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
Here it is. Flight VU-823, arriving Abidjan at 0950 on 20 December.
Trying to get flights at short notice is like pulling teeth. Luckily my passport arrived Monday (in the fuss I forgot to tell you) and I took a flight to Canberra to the Ivory Coast consulate to get visas for myself and my assistant Jayne Cobb.
A word about Jayne. He - yes, he - is also a former Marine. I ran into him when I was doing a post-action report on an Iraqi base we took out (Gulf War One, if you must know). We'd hit (and destroyed) nine T-72 tanks, three BRDM-2 scout cars, and ten soft-skin vehicles, with 100+ enemy KIA. Own losses: none. I recall he'd picked up an AK-47 as a trophy and he noticed the date stamped on the receiver; 1961. So he started singing "Happy Birthday" to it... I had to bring Jayne along. When I spun a story about an investor in Africa, Kaylee and Inara insisted, and I decided not to press the point. He's reliable and good-natured... sorta.
Please do me a favour. Book accommodation for us at a medium-range hotel. I want something reasonably secure for settling this.
Stay the course, Alice, and we'll soon be done.
Semper fi,
Malcolm


The details of the Iraqi base strike were culled from a couple of missions in the FPS game Delta Force 2. The thing about the AK-47... something I witnessed once. I attached a picture of Adam Baldwin as Jayne.


Malcolm Reynolds

Sir,
Expect payment in full on or after the 20th of December
Malcolm Reynolds



Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
I told the company - it felt wrong, somehow; sorta like feeding sharks...
With regards to the flight - I ordered online (via the South African Airways website) and that was the info. IIRC it's coming in from Accra. It should be OK. You have our pix, you'll see us!
Jayne's getting a cut from my share - the rest, once all is done and dusted, will go into expanding SAC. It's my dream, and I want to see it grow. I'll name the second Osprey after you, I think. How would that be? You'd have to christen it, of course! Don't forget about the hotel, now.
See you both on the 20th.
Semper fi,
Malcolm



Alice Konan

17 December 2005
Dear Malcolm
thank you for your email to me and i am happy you have informed the security company,thank you so much and we are waiting for your arrival,you mentioned Accra ,is the plane transiting Accra before Abidjan?are you stopping over their?
i have a very big dreams and aims of seeing the osprey named after my name. i will make arrangement of the Hotel secretly through my doctor but he will not know why i needed and must be in a condusive and safe place. what is IIRC is it the name of the flight i want you to send to me the flight number,the name,time of departure from your destination,time of arrival to abidjan pm or am. you can reach us on this telephone number : 0022508740854
Me and Michell we are Extending our warmest regards to you and your friend Jayne,we are very glad waiting for your arrival.
Madam Konan & Michell



"Gifts!" the Lads are thinking, "We forgot the gifts!" Last minute panic ensues. Of course, on the timeline that I'd set up, Malcolm and Jayne were en route to Perth with no email access.
Again it's Michelle...


Alice Konan

18 December 2005
Dear Malcolm
thanks for your email and update,we are waiting for your arrival,Michelle is by my side as i am writing you now,he says that you should get him some gift items ,like Face caps ,T-shirts X-Large,Jeans Size 34-35 ,wrist watches and necklaces and perfumes for me also.The Hotel reservation has been made by Michelle at 50$ per day he booked for 2 hotel rooms in your name and Jayne's name. Michelle is extending his regards to you and he is also happy that you are coming very soonest to take us away from here with our trunk box, We wait for your quick response
Thanks and Remain Blessed
Yours sincerely
Madam Konan



Alice Konan

18 December 2005 Dear Malcolm
Michel says that he forgot tell you to bring NIKE CANVAS for sports size 45 or 44 and half.
Bye
Madam Konan


I take size 9 in shoes. Michel (who has suddenly reacquired the male spelling) must have bloody big feet.


Malcolm Reynolds

Dear Alice,
You left that a bit late! We board in an hour!
I'm sorry, but no can do. Never mind - when you get down under we can go shopping in Sydney, or Melbourne - the Firefly can get you anywhere!
Semper fi,
Malcolm.



Michel is Michelle again. I wonder if this confuses him.

Alice Konan

21 December 2005
Dear Malcolm
thanks for your email and updates, i am pleased and I and Michelle we are wishing you a safe flight to cote d'ivoire to see us face to face tomorrow.ok we can go shopping when we get their. wishing you a safe flight and journey mercy to this place amen call us as soon as your flight arrives here : 08740854 we are waiting impatiently to see you tomorrow.
Madam Alice



Now go quiet and let them stew for a bit.

Alice Konan

21 December 2005
Dear Malcolm
Where are you now? I am very worried for not hearing from you. My son waisted time yesterday waiting at the airport from morning till night. Please call and tell us your possition.
Madam Konan



It was here that Malcolm left off the Semper Fi before his name. It should have been a hint that things had gone wrong.

Malcolm Reynolds

Madam Konan:
I am back in Alice Springs after an unexpected departure from South Africa.
I never even made it to Ghana.
I am very angry.
Malcolm Reynolds



Alice Konan

21 December 2005
Dear Malcolm
I really don't understand what you mean by this, My son suffered waited all day long at the Airport yesterday ,you never wrote to inform me or the security company,you never call either me or the security company,what kind of human being are you? You keep dissapointing me all these while why why!! If you are really not interested in helping me,please tell me Immediately because this shock is causing me a lot of problems and pains now and the security company wrote an email to me and told me that you are making jokes of me that you never wanted to help and you never even moved an inch from your place talkless arriving South Africa,he said their personnels and body guards who they sent to the Air Port to equally welcome your arrival and bring you to their offic with Michelle said they were their until the arrival of the Air Line from Australia via South African Air transiting Nigeria Ghana and final destination Cote D'Ivoire,I wonder why you chose to be so flexible in your speeches. What brought to you disspointments in South Africa that made them drop only you and your friend Jayne back to Australia,I still wonder.
write and explain more to me and also call the security company and advise them on your next action and decision.
Madam Konan


Can you hear the long sobs of the autumn violins that wound your heart with a monotonous languor?*
Note the reference to "personnels and body guards". There was never any hint that they'd be along for the ride.
*(Fairly free paraphrase of the opening lines of Paul Verlaine's Chanson d'Automne, most famously used as a code-phrase to signal the imminent Allied invasion on 6 June 1944)



Let's see if staying in character can soften the blow.

Malcolm Reynolds

Madame Konan:
Your precious security company has its head up its rent-boy ass. Let me tell you the full story. When we arrived at Jo'burg to make the connection, Jayne got taken aside on suspicion of using a false passport, I guess because his name is Jayne.
I got pulled in too 'cos we were travelling together.
They interviewed us separately - two detectives named Van Niekerk and Xhowana (one Afrikaaner, one Bantu) put me through the wringer. They asked questions about drug smuggling, diamond smuggling, and mercenary enlistment - that last because Jayne had his Marine Corps discharge papers (he always carries them to prove he's actually called Jayne). It had me rattled.
I told them several times that I was on the way to Cote d'Ivoire to confer with an investor, which didn't seem to get through to them, until Van Niekerk said, "This money wouldn't be in two trunk boxes in a security company, would it?" I was too surprised to say anything.
They showed me a file six inches thick of printouts of emails wanting partners to smuggle money. They told me about 419 scams. I saw your photos in there, except that you were supposed to be wife of Daniel Arap Moi, or Maryam Abacha; and that trunk box most of the time had something to do with "wash wash maga".
They were very understanding after that - arranged our flight home.
I am back now, $6000 poorer, and really, really pissed off.
What have you got to say for yourself, Alice Konan or whoever you really are?



No, it didn't...
I read this out to a friend (the one who put me on to Scamorama). He was in tears of mirth ("choose to be a parrot", "all these stories of yours are just like filty rags and water poured on stones", and "a bird in the sky like you" especially)


Alice Konan

22 December 2005
Malcolm
I know you have always been a talkative right from the onset. How can someone of your type that calls yourself a man can be talking like a fool? Do you know whom i am ?who is abacha and daniel arap? even you if lost 1M $ that s no money to me it is because of your ignorances and your follishness that made me invite you to come here and see things for yourself,and you choose to be a parrot. Really there is scams all over which my late husband was a victim some couple of years ago and i am protecting your interesting by inviting you to see everything i am telling you before investing your hard earned money, Infact radio is better than you ,even a woman is more better and secrecy than you. all these stories of yours are just like filty rags and water poured on stones to me because i know you weren't serious for one day,my regret is only giving you information of my consignment and having my son and the security personnels suffered waiting for a bird in the sky like you.. I have informed the security company not to honour any of your communication with them again even your telephon call though i kow you have no money to make calls.
SEND ME A LETTER OF WITHDRAWAL immediately and I thank God the OWNERSHIP was not CHANGED in your name before this your cork and bull stories.
WAITING FOR WITHDRAWAL LETTER
Madame Konan:



OK, gloves off, go for the throat.

Malcolm Reynolds

Whoever you are,
Stop pretending, and put an end to this bullshit, you mugu dumbass.
Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Cobb, Kaylee, Zoe and Inara are all fictional characters, though they are all far more genuine than you.
I know who you are - a self-deluded little jerkwad who thinks that he's the smartest man alive. Give it up, you mugu asshole, you have all the brains of a cumquat. There is no late husband, no trunk box full of money.
I was laughing all the way through your sad and shabby little scam, and sharing it with my friends, who thought that you deserve a chapter all of your own if there ever was the definitive book on the World's Dumbest Criminals.
Here's the withdrawal, all right - it's just too bad your father didn't.



They must have been struck dumb - all that they sent was this little squeak of a comeback.

Alice Konan

22 December 2005
asshole son of a bitch
Bastard



Malcolm Reynolds

Ooh, wassamatter?
Did I upset little bubba sucker mugu?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Malcolm and the Firefly head off into the sunset, leaving the smoking ruins of a scam.
"Target destroyed."



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