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Saturday 11 April 2020

Tales From The Village

    There were strange goings on in the woods. A soldier was on point duty, scouting ahead some 200 yards of the main unit. He stopped and crouched down at the base of a tree, watched and waited as the main unit came up. The infantry unit was supported by personnel carriers, two armoured cars, three half-tracks, and six tanks. At the edge of the woods the soldier could see the buildings of the village, there was no-one about, it being a little after dawn. As the armoured force broke cover the sound of jet engines could be heard, as four Lightening jets flew low over the estuary so as to avoid being detected by radar. In the estuary itself three ships appeared, destroyers, they spread out so to create a blockade, and from beneath the waves a periscope appeared, as two submarines lurked like grey sharks.
    In the control room the radar operator reported four small contacts that barley registered, yet there they were.
    “Could you be picking up birds?” the Supervisor asked.
    “It’s possible, the contacts are small enough to be birds, but travelling very fast and heading straight for the village” the operator replied.
    “Supervisor, three sonar contacts in the estuary!”
    “What, there can’t be!”
    “Three small contacts” said the sonar operator “barely registering, but there never the less.”
    “Let’s try and get a visual” the supervisor ordered.
    The large wall screen came to life and a surveillance camera panned out across the estuary, there was no sign of any vessels in the estuary, then suddenly the screen went blank.
   “What’s wrong, why did we lose the picture?”
   “The feed was cut sir.”
   “Put up camera 34” ordered the supervisor.
   The screen was blank, it was the same with cameras 22, 10, 11, 25 and camera 5. The supervisor picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom and put a call through to No.2.
    “Yes what is it?” No.2 said in an annoyed manner at being disturbed so early in the morning.
    “I have to report radar and sonar contacts, also a number of cameras are down, I believe the village to be under attack by an unknown military force” said the supervisor.
    “Under attack don’t be ridiculous!”
    Two commando units had managed to infiltrate the village unseen, and eventually cut the wires of all the cameras.
    Now the infantry moved forward filtering through the village taking up key positions. There were three major objectives the Bell Tower being one in order to control the high ground. The Green Dome being a point of command, and the Town Hall, for they who hold the Town Hall hold the village!
   No.2 had made his way to his office in the Green Dome to find his wall screen was as useless as the one in the control room. He ordered a number of guardians to be the eyes and ears of the village and to go out and investigate. While electrics control was to repair the surveillance system and get all the cameras back on line. But the guardians met with resistance and were quickly over powered by the soldiers. The four Lightening jets were suddenly caught in the beam of the searchlight positioned at the top of the
Bell Tower. The jets swooped and attacked the Bell Tower and the three man crew manning the searchlight. A number of rockets were fired hitting their target exploding on contact and shooting out the searchlight. Bullets from the jet’s cannons ricocheted as the three men dived for cover.
   Back on the ground the armoured force moved forward, if only the cameras had been working, those in the control room, as well as No.2 in his office would have been astonished to see tanks on the streets of the village! As it was there was confusion in the control room, being blind didn’t help; what’s more there had not been one single report from any of the guardians sent out to scout the situation. An electrician was working on one of the surveillance cameras, the wires of which had been cut. He returned to the electrics truck and picking up a head set put a call through to electrics control. But before he could give his report he felt a sharp pain in his leg, there was blood as the bayonet was pulled out and stuck in again. Then two helicopters appeared, there was a line trailing from the helicopters, and at the end of the line a hook which caught in the collar of the electrician’s over alls. As the helicopters pulled on their load, the man stumbled, tripped, and fell to the ground where a number of soldiers overpowered the man and tied him up.
   The first commando unit had turned their attention to the Green Dome, they scaled the steps leading up to a balcony. Explosives were laid at the door of the Green Dome, fuses lit as the commandos retired to a safe distance. The explosives detonated and blew the door in, the commandos rushed in taking up defensive positions in the foyer as explosives were laid at the pair of steel doors.
   The second commando unit had managed to disable the electronic force-field gaining entry into the Town Hall. Once in the foyer the commandos used explosives to blow the pair of French doors leading to the council chamber, the pair of doors leading to the underground tunnels and eventually the control room.
   In the Green Dome explosives failed to blow open the pair of blast proof steel doors, but No.2 had heard the explosion which left him in no doubt that the Green Dome and the village as a whole was indeed under attack by forces unknown. He picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom and called the control room.
   “Supervisor here sir……an explosion sir, yes we have had one of those, but so far the blast proof doors are holding…..Yes sir security have been alerted but have come under fire in the underground passageways. An armed force by-passed the electronic force-field and gained entry to the Town Hall, which we now presume is in the hands of the enemy, having had no reports from security.”
    Outside in the village the shopkeeper was opening the General Store, a waitress was busy opening the café, when both were put under threat by two armoured cars, and put under armed guard as three companies of soldiers began taking over the village building by building. A few early risers, citizens who went for early morning walks were also captured and put under military guard for their own protection.
   At sea the motor ship Polotska was returning to the village from a night-time patrol when she and her crew came under attack from three destroyers which were acting as a blockade. A shell overshot the Polotska, another fell short as one destroyer found its range, a third shell hit its target, as did fourth, and then salvo after salvo was fired as the three destroyers closed in for the kill. But the Polotska was a small enough craft and managed to out manoeuvre her attackers and   turned about and put back out to sea.
   Back in the Green Dome the team of commandos had managed to cut through a section of steel plating using acetylene cutting equipment, there were three wires of the control circuit, red, green and yellow. A commando cut the green and yellow wires, then joined the two wires together effectively short circuiting the electrical circuit and the steel doors slid open. No.2 stood by his desk shocked and astonished to see three commandos standing framed in the open doorway brandishing sten guns. At the same time the pair of steel doors slid open and the second unit of commandos quickly took command of the control Room. The supervisor and personnel, who were unarmed and therefore powerless, were quickly overpowered and put under armed guard.
    No.2 stared at the three commandos, who were now joined by the rest of the unit, moving quickly down the ramp keeping their weapons pointed at the man standing by the desk. He laughed and a commando saw him laugh and fired his sten gun. A hail of bullets hit No.2; the other commandos also opened fire forcing No.2 to take cover behind his desk. He managed to put a hand up to his desk top and taking an intercom he put a call through to the control room.
   The yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom began to bleep a soldier indicated to the supervisor to answer it.
   “Supervisor here sir……………...commandos yes sir there’s a unit here as well, they have taken over the control room. It would seem the village is in the hands of a model army!”
   The firing in the Green Dome stopped, the grey desk and No.2 with it, was surrounded. Standing up No.2 held up his arms in surrender, but who was he to surrender too, surely not to these toy soldiers! True the model army was a miniature force, but fully quipped and backed up by Air and Naval forces. And together they had managed to achieve their objectives, to attack a number of key positions, subdue enemy personnel, and occupy the captured ground of the village. And now six helicopters had flown in more soldiers to back-up the attacking force.
   Standing on the quayside the ex-Admiral was controlling the three destroyers, and two patrolling submarines from an electronic control box. The two pocket battle ships appeared and anchored in mid stream of the estuary. While back in the Green Dome the General now stood framed in the open doorway.
    “You, I don’t believe it!”
    “The village is ours” the General said.
    “The ex-Admiral, me and the Professor of course.”
    “The Professor!”
    “He’s responsible for this small fighting force; we have an entire fully equipped model army as well as an Air Force and Navy to back us up if necessary. Which means you and everyone in this village are powerless to stop us” the General said with confidence.
    “So you’ve managed to capture me and the village with a gang of toy mechanical soldiers.”
   “Ingenious aren’t they. I’ve no idea how they work that’s the Professor’s secret, but the Admiral and I operate them from these radio control boxes, while others have been pre-programmed.
    “So what now?”
    “To bring this village down about your ears that has been our main objective all the time” the General said “to retain control while a radio message is transmitted to the outside World which will bring real armed forces here.”
    “You’ll never get away with it” No.2 said.
    “We seem to be making a fairly descent job of it so far.”
    Meanwhile in the control room all the personnel had been forced to sit on the floor under guard. The ex-Admiral who was now on the scene and in remote control of the commandos backed-up by a company of infantry soldiers, gave orders for a radio operator to send a distress call. The supervisor told the radio operator to do as he was instructed, but made eyes towards a free standing control panel. No.78 nodded slightly and being allowed to get to his feet went over to the radio microphone accompanied by three commandos. He glanced over to the control panel, wondering how he could get to it without attracting attention.
   “You will need to switch on that control panel first” the supervisor instructed.
   No.78 had received the message loud and clear.
   Two commandos accompanied 78 to the control panel. He flicked two switches. Outside the village fag was flying from a flagpole, the top of which flipped open and a device called the Beam rose up out of the flagpole.
    “You, what are you doing?” the ex-Admiral demanded to know.
    No.78 felt the pain of a bayonet stuck in the ankle, then a second the pain shooting up into his leg…….he pressed a red button activating the Beam.
    At the top of the flagpole the Beam rotated sending out electronic pulses disrupting the radio signals from the General’s and ex-Admiral’s control boxes. The miniature soldiers stood still, or fell over. Out in the village pre-programmed soldiers stood where they were, many previously on guard duty. Tanks, half-tracks, personnel carriers and armoured cars were unmoving, helicopters and four patrolling lightening jet aircraft crashed to the ground. While in the estuary the fleet was anchored off shore.
    With the model army immobilized the supervisor and his assistant regained control of the control room and the ex-Admiral was over powered and taken away by security guards. More security guards captured the General as he was making good his escape from the Green Dome. Then mopping up operations began, and electrics control worked feverishly to get the surveillance system back on-line. And yet there was still one person to defeat and bring to a reckoning, the Professor, who was the mechanic behind the model army.
    No.22 of administration marched smartly down the ramp through the open steel doors “You called Number 2.”
    “Ah there you are 22; we have work to do. Organize two Mini-Mokes and six armed security guards to accompany us into the woods.”
    “Right away Number 2.”
    “We are going to pay a call on the Professor!”
    Two Mini-Mokes left the village and travelled along a track into the woods until they reached a rock face, set in that rock face was a single steel door. The vehicles came to a stop and the eight men alighted and approached the steel door. It did not slide open but remained closed.
    “Leave this to me Number 2” No.22 said stepping forward.
    From his blazer pocket he produced steel ruler and a rubber eraser which he broke in half holding the ruler between the two pieces of eraser. The he slipped the ruler between the top of the door frame and the steel door and running along eventually breaking the electrical circuit and the door slid open.
   “Well done 22” 2 said
    “Thank you sir.”
   In a body the eight men entered the laboratory, they found the Professor working a model of a German Tiger tank.
    “Yes do come in gentlemen, oh you’ve come armed there’s no need I assure you” said the Professor.
    “We could not be sure of that” Number 2 said looking about the laboratory “You have been busy!”
   All about the laboratory were model infantrymen, tanks, lorries, personnel carriers, ships, submarines, helicopters, jet aircraft powered by miniature jet engines, and air transport planes, and three ranks of paratroopers.
    “You wage war Professor, using the General and ex-Admiral.”
    “They are not to blame, but they were only too happy to take part, it gave them purpose once again don’t you see” the Professor said.
    “You wanted to destroy the village?”
    “Yes, and we would have succeeded had it not been for that electronic defence beam we would have succeeded!” the Professor snarled.
    “But you didn’t. Your model army will of course be destroyed, your laboratory dismantled” No.2 said.
    “What will happen to me?”
    “Oh I think the doctors will arrive at some form of therapy, rehabilitation treatment. Certainly you will never be allowed anywhere near a laboratory again. Take him away” No.2 ordered.
   Four security guards stepped forward and the Professor was taken away under armed guard.
   “The Professor is something of a genius Number 2 to have created such a model army, some of which was pre-programmed” No.22 observed.
    “Robots you mean.”
    “If you like, but what I find fascinating is the fact he was able to create his model army right under your nose!”
    “We gave him far too much latitude and will not be making that mistake again, and you can wipe that smirk off your face Number 22.”
    “Just a thought, but I expect Number 1 could have used such an army as this. Those commando units knew exactly what they were doing and proved very effective.”
    “Organize a team of technicians to dismantle this place, oh and bring that Tiger tank with you would you 22.”
    “Why sir?”
    “I’ll keep it on my desk, as a memento of the battle for the village!”

Be seeing you

     {With apologies to General Jumbo of The Beano}

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