“Biggles, we are having trouble placing you, in fact your records seem to be out of date by a couple of decades. I’ll need you to help me with the details.”
 “Yes sir,” Biggles grinned then scratched his head, “Only to happy to oblige, will I need to contribute blood?”

“No, just your flying record and commissions, sorry but you seem to have fallen off the War Department radar and we need it for the regimental records.”

“Yes sir, well, I started flying with the Royal Flying Corp in 1916 at seventeen years of age, actually I was twelve, but I just added a few years so I could join the rest of the squadron down the pub.”

“Wait,” the colonel blinked, “did you say 1916. That's ninety-four years ago.”

“Yes sir, I keep trim by studying the ancient Tibetan art of drinking whiskey until four in the morning, for some reason, it's frozen my aging process.”

“I see,” the colonel said slowly. “Starting with World War One then?”

“I seem to remember I flew an F.E.2, then a Sopwith Pup, then a Sopwith Camel and finally a Sopwith Elephant.”

“Sorry,” the Colonel looked up from his notes, “did you say Sopwith Elephant? I didn’t know we had such an aircraft.”

“Yes, it was an experimental flying tank,” Biggles stroked his moustache as he remembered back, “looked like a giant hangar with wings but flew like a giant hangar with no wings - mostly downwards.”

“And the Second World War?”

“Vickers Viking Mk 4, Supermarine S.6B, Spitfires, Hurricanes, Flying Fortresses, Shturmoviks, Yakovlev Yak-7, Messerschmitts, and Focke-Wulfs.”

The colonel feverishly wrote all these down, and then looked wonderingly at Biggles, “You flew German planes?”

“I had a month’s furlough, and air commodore Raymond said  - don’t come back until I had a fresh perspective. So I took a fishing boat across the channel and joined the Luftwaffe, gives you no end of fresh perspective when you’re looking down the sights of a plane which had previously been shooting at you.”

“How many bogeys did you shot down?”

Biggles pulled out a handkerchief.

“Not boogies, I said bogeys!” The colonel yelled.

“Yes sir,” Biggles grinned, “does that include all Boche, Frogs, Italians, Russkies, Turks, Swiss, Irish, Swedes, Armenians, Japs, Finns, Czechs, Poles, Cubans, Yanks, Mexicans, and English?”

“You shot down one of ours?”

“Only a couple of hundred and only when they crossed my line of fire,” Biggles shrugged and gave his officially stupid look, “accidental and all that.”

“Well, if you did in fact shoot any of those nationalities down, then I suppose yes.”

“Do I include blimps, weather balloons, Fokkers, dirigibles, zeppelins, kites, sheep and seagulls?”

“Do you often shoot down seabirds?”

“I once read this book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and even since then I’ve had this unrelenting compulsion to blow them all to feathers and smithereens.”

“In that case, no,” the colonel sighed and rubbed his head, “just legitimate military targets.”

“About eleven million, sir,” Biggles stared at the ceiling in computation, “give or take three.”

“Three million?”

“No, just three, I keep a running tally, I crossed the three million mark about an hour ago when I shot down a flock of Cessnas.”

“Cessnas aren’t military planes.”

“Brazilian Air Force has some, well had some, now I expect they only have a navy.”

“How do you keep a score of all these kills?”

“A portable abacus, sir,” Biggles pulled out a folding abacus from his flying boot and showed it, “amazing little things.”

Biggles commanding officer rubbed his temples and looked at Biggles as if he was something that shouldn’t exist, this was so close to the truth that if he had known it would have bent reality around him.

“Biggles, are you sure this is all correct?”

“Yes sir, I’m British I can not lie.”

“Hmm,” the commanding officer thought little of this, “so, what fields of war have you engaged in?”

“Let’s see,” Biggles stared thoughtfully at the ceiling, “World War I of course, Turkish War of Independence; Third Anglo-Afghan War; Great Arab Revolt in Palestine; World War II and all of it; Malayan Emergency; Korean War; Mau Mau Uprising; Suez Crisis; The Cod Wars with Iceland - I strafed a few sheep in that one; Dhofar Rebellion; Sealandic War of Independence – we lost that one to the damned Pirate radio station; Falklands War of course, more sheep strafing; Gulf War in Iraq – we won that one; Desert Fox War in Iraq; Kosovo War in Iraq; War in Afghanistan in Iraq, and of course the Iraq War in Iran.”

“What?” the officer looked up in surprise, “The present war; here in Iraq?”

“No sir, the present Iraq war over there in Iran.”

“But we’re not at war with Iran.”

“I had trouble with my GPS one day, just give me a theodolite and a compass I say, all this nonsense with satellites and what not.”

“What happened?”

“I got lost and strafed some more sheep.”

“So basically you’re telling me you’re over a hundred years old, you have flown every type of plane that has ever been made, and fought in every war the United Kingdom has ever been in.”

“Yes sir,” Biggles grinned happily, “that pretty well sums it up, except of course for the accident with the Time Machine.”

The officer blinked slowly.

“Time machine?”

“Yes sir, at one point I was sent back in Time, hush-hush you know, with orders to kill Hitler.”

“And you failed?”
“No sir, I accidentally invaded Poland and started World War Two, right cock up that one.”

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