Operation: Cricket (Part 3)

Operation Cricket Part 3

Following the events of Operation: Cricket Part 2, the agents along with Tom Williams of the Mancunian Army of Liberation in Exile find themselves locked in a large cavern base in Alderley Edge.  A large turntable in the centre of the cave for the railway gun while it is and the targeting engine are located in seperate different bays.  The agents can see a large control room containing a number of men in bottle green uniforms.  The agents are approached by a man dressed in tweeds who instructs them to follow him to one of the lifts.  They take the lift down to a lower level where they emerge into a ring corridor.  There are a number of people busily moving equipment around.  The agents reach a small room dug out of the rock.  The man in tweed cranks an electric box to turn on the light.  In the middle of the room is a large piece of granite rising out of the ground.  In the centre of the rock is a sword, rusty and covered in moss and what appear to be barnacles.  The man in tweeds, a Professor Barnstaple instructs the agents to wait there.  Tod grabs the man from behind, pressing a knife into his back and urging him to be silent.  The light in the room goes out and the agents retreat into the corners of the cave.  Tom approaches the sword to try and examine it further in the dim light from the corridor; it appears to be stuck firmly in the stone.  Tom attempts to pull the sword free, the sword does not give and suddenly the lights in the corridor go out and the sound of the lifts ceases.

Archie reaches for his torch.  Tod and Harvey search the man in tweeds and find some papers.  Tod threatens the man with his knife and the agents question him.  They discover that the man is an academic who has been invited to examine some artefacts discovered during the digging of the defences at Alderley Edge.  They also find out this is not the first time an electrical failure has resulted from attempts to remove the sword.  There is a sudden crackling from the lights and some of the agents feel a cold chill.  Tom takes another look at the sword, this time being thrown to the ground when he tries to remove it, prompting further crackling.  When Tod leans down to check on the man in tweeds, he discovers warm blood around his feet and the academic’s head is missing.  When the agents look back to the sword, they find the man’s head impaled upon its handle and agree it’s time to leave.

The agents proceed in the dark, deciding not to use the torch so as not to draw attention.  As they head out, the see cigarette butts spread about in the darkness.  The agents take a ladder up a lift shaft.  Tom, weakened by the electrical surge from the sword, falls.  He takes down Eric and Harvey with him.  A torch flashes onto them.  They are questioned, but manage to avoid suspicion.  The torch goes off again.

The agents make it to the top of the ladder.  Some of the lights from the caverns and the control room are back on but main hall of the upper level is still in darkness.  In the darkness Eric fleetingly sees the face of a pale woman but she seems to disappear.  The agents observe that some of the lifts are working on auxiliary power.  Archie is enthusiastic about using his explosives to create a diversion by bombing the lifts.  Tom and Eric will create a diversion in the control room to drive the men out into the lifts.

They are stopped by a corporal asking where they are going.  They tell him they have some important information to take to the control room.  Trying to bluff their way through, Eric tells the corporal they have heard there is a suspicious device in the sword room but that they have no further information.  The corporal leaves them with a guard at the bottom of the lift shaft and takes the information to the control room himself. The other agents see the corporal with a Regular Army officer leave the control room for the lift and take their cue and detonate their charges in the lift shafts around the central cavern.

The lift containing the corporal and Army officer is jammed stuck and Eric and Tom see their decapitated heads pressed against the mesh.  The private who was waiting with them is spooked and starts firing his machine gun wildly around the cavern, blazing bullets in every direction.  There are other pistol and rifle shots in response and the agents do their best to take cover.

When the firing subsides, Eric and Tom take the lift up to the control room while the other agents take cover and take pot shots at enemies in the central cavern.  They make the control room where most of the bodies are lifeless.  They try to question two civillians about getting out with the gun but they are unable to help being effectively catatonic.  Tom inspects the controls, there are banks of machines with punchcards alongside them.  There is a machine making prints and a vacuum tube feeding down into the cave containing the computing engine.  The machine is embossed with an emblem of a Corinthian helmet.  They pour fire into the computing device to try and destroy it.

They head back down stairs and the agents reconvene.  Taking the ladder, they go down a level where things are in order and the officers are commanding their men to remain calm.  They are stopped by an officer, asking their business and tell him they have been sent to secure the room.  He tells them to take a post.   They observe a steel shutter drawn over the armoury.  They intend to breach the armoury and use shells to make their exit through the reinforced steel doors.

Harvey begins firing at the five guards minding the armoury doors.  The other agents follow suit and take out the five guards and their officer while Archie prepares an explosive.  The explosive splinters the iron shutter.  Six more guards run out through the smoke from breached armoury.  The agents fire into the smoke, taking out most of the guards.  Tod finishes off the last man standing with his bayonet.

Archie leads them on into the secure room.  Tom pushes a trolley of shells into place to barricade the doors.  There are dozens of shells in the room and an elevator to take them directly up to the railway gun.  Archie starts cutting mercury pencils to explode the shells.  Tod questions his strategy fearing that the agents may not have time to escape before the base explodes.

Tom takes a charged cylinder up in the lift shaft.  He kicks the bomb out into the room containing the railway gun and dives back into the lift shaft, avoiding gunfire from the guards.  The agents hear a series of explosions above them.  They all head back up to see the railway gun ripped apart.  They enter the central cavern and fall in with the coughing guards and officers.  A gap has been torn in the steel door and the agents crawl through into the woodland outside.  As the make their getaway they hear an almighty bang as the base explodes. Looking over their shoulders they see the Edge topped by a  crown of  fire as the explosion’s gas escapes through the air vents of the base.

They’re a long way from the home and undoubtedly the explosion wil bring other governemnt forces running – can the ALFIES team escape the scene of the crime and get home?

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Comments (1)  

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