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Saturday 25 September 2021

Attempted Escape


    No.12 having arrived at the Green Dome walked through the foyer acknowledging the diminutive butler on his way through the open French doors, up the short ramp and through the opening pair of steel doors, then walking sprightly down the ramp, the steel doors closed behind him, he approached the desk in the centre of the domed chamber.
    “You’re about early this morning Number 12, what have you for me?” No.2 asked from the relative comfort of his chair.
    “This” No.12 said producing a gas gun from his blazer pocket.
    This alarmed No.2, he was about to hurl himself out of his chair, but thought better of it.
    “That’s right, sit back in that chair, one squirt you’re paralysed, two squirts you’re dead.”
    “What do you want, whatever it is you must realize you’ll never get away with it.”
    “You and I are going to take a little helicopter ride.”
    “You must be mad!” No.2 said sneering.
    “You are my ticket out of here” No.12 impressed upon his former superior.
    “You’ll never get away with it, you think you can simply walk out of here?”
    “Yes, to the taxi that will be waiting at the bottom of the steps, then the taxi driver will drive us to the helicopter, it will be arriving in about fifteen minutes, so we’ve not long to wait.”
    “Even so a lot can happen between the Green Dome and the helicopter” No2 said.
    No.12 thrust the gun in No.2’s face “Well it had better not, for your sake!”
    The pair of steel door opened and the butler stood in the door way.
    “I don’t think we want any tea do we Number 2?”
    No.2 thought for a moment, then thought better of it “No, no tea thank you.”
    “The butler stood looking on for a moment or two then withdrew.
    The steel doors closed.
    “Have you seen the film the three ten to Yuma?”
    No.2 shook his head.
    “Or the last train from Gun Hill?”
    Again No.2 shook his head.
    “No, I didn’t take you for an American western film man” No.12 glanced at his wrist watch “time to call for a taxi, and make sure it’s all you do.”
   No.2 looked at the gas gun No.12 was brandishing and gingerly picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone.
    “Number 2 here, could you have a taxi waiting for me at the steps of the Green Dome in five minutes” and he put the telephone back on the desk.
    “That’s good, now don’t make any sudden moves”
    Meanwhile in the control room.
    “Did you hear that?” the supervisor asked of his assistant.
    “Yes I did sir.”
    “I wonder why Number 2 needs a taxi?”
    “Perhaps he’s going somewhere” No.10 suggested.
    “Evidently” returned the supervisor somewhat thoughtfully.
    In the Green Dome No.12 checked his watch again it was seven minutes to the hour.
    “I say again, you’ll never get away with it. Stop now before things really get out of hand.”
    “Time, time to go, if you will be so good as to walk just in front of me.”
    The two men walked up the ramp and through the opening pair of steel doors and through the pair of open French doors into the foyer. There was no butler so they walked on, the front door opening automatically, they stepped out onto the balcony. They stood at the balustrade a moment and watched as the taxi arrived in the road below. Citizens were across the road in the cobbled square, and pedestrians and cyclists passed by in road. No.2 and No.12 walked down the steps, the driver of the taxi started the engine as the two men climbed into the back seats.
    “Where to?” the taxi driver asked.
    No.12 pressed the gas gun into his ribs.
    “The helicopter is due to arrive, I want to meet it” No.2 told the driver.
    The taxi moved forward and down the road, round the corner at the end, passed the café, left round another corner and passed the Town Hall, down the hill towards the Old People’s Home. The journey was being observed on the wall screen by the supervisor.
    The taxi turned left round the hair-pin bend and came to a stop by the lawn. The sliver grey Alouette helicopter was just arriving, flying across the estuary; it made its approach so to land on the lawn by the sea lawn. As the rotor blades began to slow a tall lean man dressed in a black suit, overcoat, and top hat stepped out of the cabin, onto one of the floats, and down onto the ground. As the courrier went on his way, he was passed going the other way by No.2 and No.12, the pilot was just making the helicopter safe when he was accosted by the two men.
    “If you would oblige us to get back into the helicopter” No.2 said brandishing the gas gun.
    No.12 made a small nod towards the pilot.
    The pilot did as he was told, and was joined in the cabin by the two men. The engine started the rotors began to turn, slowly at first then faster until the helicopter lifted off the ground and taking to the air flew out across the estuary.
    “Where are we going?” the pilot asked.
    “Not to the landing stage that’s for sure, towards the hills” No.12 ordered.
    “This is your last chance” No.2 told him “go back before it’s too late.”
    “Not a chance!”
    “Too bad!” 2 said regretfully.
    In the control room the supervisor watched the taxi arrive at the lawn as the helicopter was arriving, landing on the lawn by the sea wall. The supervisor having watched the events, then tipping an Observer, on one end of the steel See-Saw, the nod, the Observer in turn pulled on the handbrake by the side of his monitor. This had the effect of stopping the helicopter in mid flight, then full remote control was achieved and the helicopter turned back towards the village. 
   No.12 was hit by sudden panic as the helicopter changed its course; he put the gas gun to the back of the pilots head “What’s happening, turn back towards the hills.”

   The pilot said nothing; he simply took his hands off the controls which appeared to be working themselves.
   “The helicopter is being flown remotely” No.2 said; now hand over the gas gun if you please.
   Approaching the village No.12 could see two Mini-Mokes arrive at the lawn and a number of security guards in grey overalls and white helmets alighted. The helicopter made its final approach, hovered a moment then landed back on the lawn. The engine turned off, the rotor blades began to slow, the security guards, brandishing white truncheons moved in. A man wearing a light grey piped blazer stepped lively towards the helicopter. Through the clear Perspex of the cabin he could see the helicopter pilot slumped in his seat, as were the two passengers, and there on the floor a gun containing nerve gas. No.22 called for a gas mask, he opened the cabin door examining each of the occupants, but all three were quite dead.

Be seeing you

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