citizens promenade around the Piazza, to the casual observer this might seem to
be a completely pointless exercise. And yet the purpose of the exercise is to
be seen! Essentially the village-on-the-estuary gives the impression of being a
coastal holiday resort, and since Victorian times holiday makers have enjoyed
strolling along the promenade.
In the control room the supervisor stood watching the large wall screen.
“Why do you think they waste their time doing that?” No.60 asked.
“It keeps them occupied and out of our hair” the supervisor replied.
“I saw a chap sitting in the stage coach the other day.”
“I asked him what he thought he was doing.”
“What did he say?”
“He said he was waiting for Dick Turpin to come along and rob him!”
“And did he?”
“The funny thing is he did. A man wearing a tricorn hat, long cloak, mask, brandishing a pit of pistols said stand and deliver.”
“What happened then?”
“The man in the coach handed over his valuables.”
“And what did you do?”
“What would you have done with a flintlock pistol pointed at your head?”
“I’d have handed over my valuables.”
“That’s just what I did.”
“And Dick Turpin, what did he do?”
“He rode away on his black hobby horse!”
The Observers who had been listening all burst out laughing.
“Quiet” the supervisor shouted.
A quiet hush fell in the control room.
“I want you to go to the bureau of visual records and get the surveillance footage for the day this happened, I want to see for myself” ordered the supervisor.
“Just at that moment the pair of steel doors opened and two figures emerged standing on the gantry.
“Stand and deliver, deliver we say!”
The supervisor, No.60, and the Observer all stopped what they were doing and looked up at the two masked figures masks, cloaks and black hats, both brandishing flintlock pistols.
“Don’t be so damned ridiculous!” the supervisor said.
“Is it carnival?” one Observer said.
“No” said another, “it must be April the first.”
“Who are you?” the supervisor demanded to know.
“That’s him” No.60 said “the highwayman Dick Turpin.”
“Don’t be ridicules” the supervisor said “Who are you?”
“Me, I’m Dick Turpin and this is Doctor Syn, alias the Scarecrow. Now hand over your valuables.”
“Call security” ordered the supervisor “they’ll soon sort this pair out!”
No.60 crossed to the steel see-saw and made to pick up one of the ‘L’ shaped telephones. A shot rang out, and a lead ball shattered the plastic phone.
“The next” said the Scarecrow “goes in your head!”
“Now” said Turpin descending the stairs and holding out a sack “your valuables if you will.”
“We don’t have any valuables” the supervisor said
This vexed Turpin.
“Search them” the scarecrow shouted from the gantry.
No money or valuables were to be found in nay pocket of anyone in the control room.
“There’s nothing” Turpin shouted dashing up the steps.
“Then we shall be gone” said the scarecrow in a deep gravelly voice.
The pair of steel doors opened and two security guards stood framed in the doorway, they brought down their white truncheons onto the pistols the two highwaymen held, then down onto their heads as a scuffle broke out into a vicious fight, which resulted in the two highwaymen getting away chased by the security guards.
The supervisor picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone “She’s not going to like this.”
“What did you say?”
“The control room personnel were held up at gunpoint by two highwaymen!”
No.2, a middle aged woman sat in the black global chair hardly daring to believe a word the supervisor had said “And you expect me to believe that?”
“It’s not rag week is it?”
“Two security guards appeared and did attack them, and when the highwaymen escaped they gave chase” the supervisor explained.
“Where are they now?”
Suddenly the urgency became real to No.2 as the two highwaymen came bursting into the domed chamber through the open steel doors.
“I suppose you think this is highly amusing!” No.2 said sternly.
“Amusing no” Turpin said.
“Why?” she said.
“Why?” asked the Scarecrow “because that’s why!”
“And now we have…..you” Dick Turpin said “even you must be worth something.”
“Your ticket out of here I suppose.”
Turpin cocked his pistol and pointed it at No.2’s head.
“That’s not the way” the scarecrow said “you know what we agreed.”
The pair of steel doors slid open and four security guards armed with Thompson machine guns entered the chamber.
No.2 smiled “I think it no longer matters what you both planned, lay down your weapons and explain yourselves.”
Suddenly the tall figure of a man in a white coat rushed into the room.
“Is this your doing doctor?"
“I’ll take them back to the hospital” the doctor said, he was quickly joined by two medical orderlies.
“You are not going to take us, Turpin” the Scarecrow said raising both his pistols.
“Not alive!” the Scarecrow said.
Dick Turpin raised his pistols BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, four loud retorts and two men lay dead on the floor.
“I shall require a full report as soon as possible, and doctor you had better have an explanation for all this, and it had better be good!”
Be seeing you