Operation: APHID (Part 2)

Operation: APHID (Part 2)

In the back of the Salisbury pub the agents discuss how to proceed. While they are formulating a plan of action Betty bursts into the room in a panic and urges them to hide quickly. The agents take cover. Ken and Colm squeeze under the bed, Peter jumps into a broom cupboard and Dr Proctor dashes out into the privy. They find their hiding places just in time as BUF troops led by a man named Wormwood storm into the pub and demand to speak with the landlord. The BUF tell Tim Davison the landlord of the Salisbury that they are looking for ‘reds’. Wormwood gives a description of Colm to Davison who denies all knowledge of the agents. Wormwood threatens ‘disruption’ at the Salisbury should Davison be found to be lying and the BUF troops leave.

The agents emerge from their hiding places and agree that they need to find somewhere else to hide now that the BUF have wind of them. Davison initially says he cannot help them further, then remembers something and tells the agents that he needs to go to the railway station to call someone who may be able to help. He leaves to make the call. The agents are suspicious and become concerned that Davison may be about to double cross them. They decide to leave before he returns. To remain discreet the agents leave one by one to meet beneath the railway arches. Ken, Colm and Dr Proctor arrive safely at the meeting place and Peter is about to follow when Davison returns. There is a confrontation between Peter and Davison who demands to know where the other agents are. Peter attempts to downplay their absence but Davison fears he may have been betrayed to the BUF and Peter eventually reveals the location of the agents.

Davison calls the agents out of their hiding place to tell them his friends are on their way as a group of burly men pull up in a meat wagon. They are carrying white sacks which they dump in the warehouse by which the agents have been hiding. They instruct the agents to join them and the agents board the wagon. A short time later the wagon pulls into Elliot’s abattoir. As they exit the wagon they are addressed by a man in a bloodstained white coat, called Fred who is displeased that the agents have angered his friend Davison but offers them food and shelter under a pig pen with a false floor. Dr Proctor observes a church hall across the road from the abattoir which is being used as a makeshift morgue. The agents realise that their hosts must be the suppliers of the secret ingredient for Betty’s special hotpot.

The agents are left alone in a room. A butchers boy waits outside the door but they are free to leave. They take a tram from the abattoir to Piccadilly Gardens where they had previously arranged to hold their second meeting with GOPHER’s mistress. As they reach their stop they find that the BUF are performing spot checks on passing vehicles. Dr Proctor is the first to leave the tram and a BUF member of a Manchester Constabulary led joint checkpoint interrogates him. Dr Proctor holds his own but the Constable in charge insists the Doctor book into the nearest hotel as he has not been able to provide an address he is visiting in Manchester. This is observed to be a charade which the Constable is getting refugees to check into a fleapit hotel and pocketing backhanders from the establishment. The hotel room overlooks Piccadilly Gardens.

The other agents wait around Piccadilly Gardens. When GOPHER’s mistress arrives, Peter approaches her and she suggests they hold their discussion at a local cinema. Ken discreetly follows to provide cover. Peter attempts to gain more information about GOPHER and determine whether he can be trusted. GOPHER’s mistress gives nothing away for fear of being double crossed. Peter and the mistress arrange that in 24 hours they will meet to carry out the extraction. The meeting ends and the agents reconvene to formulate the plan they will put into practice 24 hours later. The agents leave GOPHER’s mistress a note at the dead letterbox containing the details as agreed during the discussion in the cinema.

The plan in essense forumlated in co-operation with Fred is for an Elliot’s Abattoir lorry on it’s routine collection of porkers from Farms around Frodsham to carry out the Team, GOPHER and mistress hidden behind or within barrels – some of which will contain slurry to deter searching. The carrying of slurry is not that unusual as Elliot’s has a slideline selling it as fertiliser. Once a close to the seige lines the team will consider contacting Liverpool lines and effecting the next stage of the extraction.

Twenty-four hours later, Dr Proctor meets GOPHER and his mistress in a tea room. GOPHER is the same man the agents observed sitting nearby during Ken’s very first meeting with the mistress. GOPHER is noticeably nervous. The group take a tram back to the abattoir. Dr Proctor explains to them that they will be sedated to assist the extraction. They are told the child will be collected next. (This is a falsehood the Agent’s have decided extracting the child is too risky and hope ‘C’ can extract the information he needs when Gopher is in Liverpool.) The passengers have little choice but to agree. Once sedated they are tied and gagged and placed in slurry barrels. The agents also climb behind the barrels and hide under tarpaulin.

Ten miles into the journey the vehicle is stopped by auxiliary police for a routine search. One of the barrels is heard being opened followed by the sound of somebody being sick. The driver is warned to watch out for the stricter Royal Highway Patrol Group (RHPG)  patrols in the area who shoot before asking questions and told to move on. Six miles further on the truck comes to a stop for the second time. The agents hear machine gun fire and there is a cry from one of the barrels. Four men board the truck to investigate the barrel showing traces of blood. The agents emerge from their hiding places bearing arms and Dr Proctor shouts for the driver to drive on.

All hell breaks loose – a cliche but true. Most of Peter’s shots go wide as he blazes away with a Browning High Power and Colm accidentally shoots a gaping hole in the roof of the lorry with his shotgun. Ken and Dr Proctor are more successful and eventually the four enemies (eccentircally uniformed and equipped members of the RHPG) are taken down. As the agents turn their attention to the front of the truck, they realise that this is the group of men in the large heavily armed truck they first spotted patrolling when they arrived in Wilmslow. The men have a .50 Vickers mounted on their truck trained on the Elliot’s  lorry. Dr Proctor searches felled enemies for grenades in the truck, Peter empties his pistol to no avail and Ken takes out the gunner with a well placed head shot. Colm brawls with a RHPG officer struggling with one of the Elliot’s men and the butcher’s boy grabs a dropped pistol to help the agents out. Dr Proctor despairing of finding a grenade takes down the driver of the enemy vehicle with a tommy gun taken from a fallen foe.

The agents are unhurt but the heavy machine gun and the spray of smaller bullets have ripped the tin truck apart. Dr Proctor checks the passengers and discovers that GOPHER’s mistress has been wounded. They drive on for a brief time then pull over so that Dr Proctor can treat the wound. He successfully extracts the bullet. The dead are thrown from the rear of the truck and a bounty of weapons and uniforms collected. Then the rear axle of the truck collapses with a load crash rendering the vehicle useless.

The Team is  between the hamlets of  Norton  and Crowley just off Norley Lane, east of Frodsham – their transport is smashed, one of their extractees in wounded and there is a RHPG hot on their heals and hungry for revenge.

Published in: on February 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm  Comments (2)  

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