Rebels with a Porpoise
The howling wind covered the noise of
creaking timbers and bellowing, to almost bursting, black canvas
sails of the FreedomWarrior as it
knowingly raced passed the jagged rocks of Dolphin island in the
gaze of the full moon. The latest haul - in salt water tanks
hidden below deck - nervously sought out a fellow jail breaker.
The anticipation of freedom from breadcrumb row of their prison -
'Store A (Best Cod)' - had now been surpassed by the pure
excitement of returning home. School reunion for most with their
families. Gillian couldn't wait to see them - all that were left
that is. Some were no more - they had already met a deep frozen
end and were now not with a pulse but with parsley sauce.
The special cargo was loaded from the
creaking vessel and - as delicately as possible in the howling
winds - loaded onto trolleys by Oscar and his small army of giant
eight limbed, 3 hearted , bulbous headed grippers and
Once the entire load was safely locked into
position the trolleys ached and groaned into motion along the
steel railway line that led into the caves and into the pitch
blackness of the labyrinth that existed beneath the outer crust
of this forgotten Isle. The perfect lair for the organisation
self titled Rebels with a
Porpoise - United Party (or
RWAP-UP for short).
Mickey Finn awaited the delivery of his
former friends of the ocean. He was controlling his anger at the
near loss of those he promised to protect from the Pickerel
Freshly Frozen Fish Co. A promise that - so embarrassingly - he
had failed to keep. He could only hope for forgiveness and pray
that he would never again have to face the unavoidable
disappointment that he would see in the eyes of his friends his……
I was about to say people. But that would be a great insult to
this community. It was people that were the cause of the
distress, the danger and the loss of dear friends. Perhaps I
Mickey was the most evolved sea creature in
history. A porpoise born into captivity and raised to perform
tricks. However, a certain Professor could see that there was
more to this particular fish (And by "fish" I of course mean
The relationship grew close - like a father
to a son. The Professor knew intelligence and Mickey had far more
than anything from the ocean (unless Professor Stephen Hawking
was being winched away by Air Sea Rescue perhaps). To see the
stress on this fish's (And by "fish's" I of course mean mammal's)
face as it tried to connect in language moved the Professor to
tears and he swore to dedicate his work to the development of
communications between man and sea life. Had he known the results
of his life's work he would have surely taken another
The Professor had bought Dolphin island
over 20 years ago. It was useless to human beings as a place of
inhabitancy - which suited the Professor ideally. It also came
with protected waters around its coasts. It was only 5 square
miles big with just one patch of grass - about the size of 4
football pitches. The rest was just jagged rock with a lighthouse
so everyone thought. Lying off the West Wales coastline in the
Irish Sea it existed almost untouched - save for the lighthouse
construction. And the only vessels that ever docked there were
the Freedom Warrior
that was once a feared pirate ship by the
name of The Shadow
- and the light craft that brought a change
of lighthouse keeper every two months…or used to. Since Mad Jack
gained his name people had stayed clear. Food was now dropped in
by RAF helicopter for Jack. Every now and then a small team of
SBS operatives would be sent on a mission to creep up on old Jack
- just to make sure he was ok. Of late two teams had reported
Jack to be ok only then to have been lost without trace on their
perilous return. And several poachers had also failed to return
from illegal fishing within the exclusion zone around the small
isle. Legends of cannibalism and ghosts had begun to circulate
throughout the costal villages on either side of the Irish
It wasn't Mad Jack or ghosts that were
responsible for the Professor's disappearance, however. It was
the Professor's own success that brought that episode into being.
For once Mickey Finn had realised that the new invention worked
both ways that is to say that the fish could also understand the
human speech as well as humans fish - he hatched a plan. He would
pretend that it did not work until he was in a position to
organise a coup and imprison the Professor. Mickey had a problem
you see. Mickey was absolutely bonkers!
All the laughing and sneering through the
glass at the aquatic circus had driven him nuts. He had an
inferiority complex which he made up for at times with bullyish
aggression as a self defence mechanism. This latest setback would
not improve his mental state either. The Professor would see this
in his personality were he here right now. Instead he was locked
up in a glass dome hidden within the labyrinth of caves that hid
in the darkness beneath the crust of Dolphin island. Guarded
night and day by Goldie and Goldie - two special (as in
needs) giant goldfish that paced - with long strides - back and
forth the front of the glass dome. That was another of the
Professor's inventions - prosthetic human limbs for fish. He had
thought that maybe an easier way to communicate would be sign
language. And once he'd managed to perfect arms it was natural to
develop into legs and other parts. And so, basing his research on
fish/mammals on five feet in length, the average length of a
harbour porpoise, he perfected his limb attaching technique on a
variety of specially bred fish. Unfortunately for him the success
of the artificial limbs coincided with the success of the voice
box unit that allowed fish to talk like humans. Independence and
power for an ambitious teenage mammal, one would have thought, a
likely motive for the action Mickey had taken five years ago.
That, fuelled with Mickey's dislike of the fact that the dolphin
and not the porpoise always had recognition for their
intelligence, to be sure. And there was also Mickey's awkwardness
on limbs that would fit any regular harbour porpoise but not one
specially bred on a high protein diet and who grew to seven feet
in length, making the centre of gravity that much higher and the
fluidity of his movements that much less so.
From the wrong side of a glass wall the
Professor shook his head in disbelief at the morons who guarded
him. With memories of only 15 seconds - and the time it takes to
walk from one end of the glass to the other being exactly 15
seconds - the days were spent having just one conversation. 'Hi
I'm Goldie.' Said one Goldie to the other Goldie. 'I'm new here.
Wow look - that human's got a new plastic bridge! Aaaw! I wish I
had one of those. I could go under - and then I could go
'Hey! When are you going to let me out!'
yelled the Prof through the glass wall.
'Tell you next time I pass - I'm in
conversation here with…er?' Goldie looked confused. 'About turn!'
and the pair of them swung their bodies in such a way that the
heavy prosthetic leg kicked out. Gravity's pull on the weight and
momentum travelling back allowed them to swing 180 degrees and
start goose-stepping in the opposite direction for another 15
'Hi - I'm Goldie', said the other guard,
'I'm new here. Wow look - that human's got a new plastic bridge!
Aaaw! I wish I had one of those. I could go under - and then I
could go over…'
'Hey! When are you going to let me out!'
yelled the Prof through the glass wall……again.
'Tell you next time I pass - I'm in
conversation here with…er?' this Goldie looks confused this time.
'About turn.' Kick and swing…
'Hi I'm Goldie. I'm new here. Wow look…'
And so it went on - and on - and on. However - on the plus side -
they were perfect for the job as they even forgot to go to sleep
and took in food upon Mickey's visits to the Prof - which
mercifully offered a change in conversation until 15 seconds
after Mickey left. The Professor's mental state however was very
much in the debit column. In an effort to stay in control he
tried to focus as hard as possible on a plan to get conversations
upon Mickey's visits to feed him little bits of information about
exactly what Mickey was up to.
Mickey was up to his eyes in the brown
stuff at the moment. The cod that his elite forces had rescued
were also fitted with the voice unit designed by the Prof. Would
he be able to get the genuine feeling of sorrow and regret into
his voice when speaking the human language of English that was
becoming the fish version of Esperanto (by "fish" I mean of
course, fish and sea mammals).
He heard the tell tale sounds of the
screeching trolley brakes as they pulled up to the back of the
little purpose built stainless steel platform. The gush of
bellowing air lifted forward the black curtains facing Mickey and
his committee. The heavy black cloth then settling back to rest
against the lip of the platform - concealing the activity
Heavy concertina doors were now fully
folded back allowing Oscar and his team to unload the tanks onto
the stainless steel platform. In total there were six tanks -
full of live cod. They all faced Oscar and the trolleys - as this
was the only activity in view behind the black curtain. But the
mumbling sound of the human speech was penetrating cloth and
Gillian sensed something in that direction. She turned - and the
rest turned with her. The artificial light from the trolley lamp
flashed off the sides of the plump meaty fish as they all turned
180 degrees. They didn't see one of Oscar's arms stretch to a
The black cloth swept apart to reveal the
six tanks displayed upon the platform. The committee - standing
around a conference table - began to settle to silence as the
curtain parted. The seriousness of the situation flowed on the
air and touched everyone present. The eyes lost life and the
heart ached. Mickey ached the most. What on earth could he say to
these friends of the ocean, how on earth could he possibly convey
the genuine sorrow in his heart?
'My friends, welcome back. Please accept my
most humble of apologies and sincerest condolences.' He lowered
his head and it all went silent as the whole room joined him in a
mark of respect for the fish that he had not been able to protect
or save from a breadcrumb, cheese, parsley or buttery end.
'I will not fail you again. And I will not
fail to gain revenge for this.'
The cod just kept on flicking their tails
and kept eyes front - which isn't easy when they are on the side
of your head. Far less strain if everything was another twenty
As nobody had been nominated as
spokesperson Gillian decided to say something. 'Can we just go
'When we know the waters are again safe -
we will take you home' Then Mickey's tone changed. 'And we will
then make sure that Pickerel will never take one more fish from
our protected areas!' The threat was genuine enough.
'Gentlemen and Ladies,' he invited of his
committee to take their seats. Bizarrely the cod hadn't
questioned how these hugely over-sized sea creatures (every fish
specially bred to five feet in length to suit the false limbs)
were able to breathe air and walk around like human men and
women. Only when Felicity Quimm - a middle aged sea trout -
crossed her legs - did the rather disturbing reality register.
But the cod said nothing - fearing some crazy customisation of
their own bodywork.
'Mr Chairman?' Keith Ken piped up. 'Should
we not have privacy for this meeting now?'
'I think our friends are more than ever in
need of assurance that we as the Rebels with a Porpoise - United Party
- will act upon the needs of those who live
within the boundaries of Dolphin island. They more than anyone
have paid the heaviest price for our failings to protect and
serve. So they are welcome to stay and listen to what we plan to
rid ourselves of the threat that is Pickerel's ultra-fresh frozen
fisheries.' He slammed his right flipper on the desk - he'd seen
clips of movies where the head of a major corporation had
emphasised his determination and powerful statement with a desk
trembling thud. Unfortunately the flipper sounded more like a
fanny fart. He tried to rectify the wrong by using the left side
of his body that had had a prosthetic arm fitted - badly - and
like a well abused child 's doll the limb detached and launched
itself diagonally across the table completely knocking Felicity
out of her chair. The cod were all big eyed, open mouthed and
very, very confused.
A huge human fist crashed into the highly
polished solid mahogany desk top. The knuckles were crushingly
white. Dressed like a Mafioso Godfather the imposing and
threatening frame rose from his chair and glared. A growl and
snarl from within the goatee-beard preceded the words 'and where
is my fucking fish - H-h-h-h-evans!'
'Dunno, Sir. It's a mystery like - innit?'
The nervous, bald headed thug-like Brett F Evans pleaded.
With a mock girly voice the sarcasm spewed,
"I dunno sir. It's a mystery like, innit?" The masculine roar
returned for the next derogatory comment as spittle rushed forth
with the bellow, 'the only fucking mystery to me - h-h-h-evans!
Is what the fuck possessed me to employ the services of a
complete fuck-wet like you! Security specialist! Security
specialist?' There was a pause as an insult befitting was sought
out from the depths of Pickerel's mind. 'I wouldn't trust you to
look after a-a-a- church collection plate!' Not really worth the
'Now, Mr. Pickerel, Sir, please - let's not
get 'asty eh? The boys was new to the job.'
'And now they are out of a job! Get rid of
them - now!'
' 'ang on Sir, eh? If they go now we'll
have nobody to guard the Norwegian 'addock.'
'The…' mockingly, ' 'addock, is probably
safer on its own - without this bunch of morons looking after it.
In fact the only way I'm certain it would still be there for
freezing and packing in two hours time is if I asked this bunch
of clowns to try and steal it. Because I'm pretty sure they'd
fuck that up as well! '
'We can all make mistakes…'
'Mistakes. Yes you are right - like the
mistakes their mother's made when they suggested an early night
and took a chance on the out of date condom.'
Shaking his head in total dejection
Pickerel waved his hand up and down from a limp wrist in a signal
to 'get rid'.
Evans did not push his luck. 'Sorry boys,
innit. I think it's over for ew. Sorry butty.' He gave a
consulate pat on the back to several of the not so slightly
overweight, shaven headed, security team that until seconds ago
were the special security unit for "Store A (Best Cod)".
As Evans showed the "boyos" out of the
office Pickerel checked through a pile of invoices and delivery
notes that littered his desk. The knuckles turned white again as
he gripped a handful of paperwork before launching the crumpled
paper ball at Evans as he approached the desk.
'So where the fuck do we get the cod to
fill these orders now then?...' And Pickerel kicked his leather
studded green office chair that rolled some metres before the
wheeled legs held position and the seat and back spun several
turns. There was an awkward pause whilst the two of them stared
at the rotations - almost willing it on to one more turn. They
even made a gesture with the head in an anti-clockwise direction
as if it would add the extra few units of energy to achieve
another circuit. It was at least five seconds after the chair
became motionless that Pickerel returned to his rant. '…tell me
that? Thousands there - thousands.' The stress levels rose.
'Bloody hell H-h-evans!'
It's worth pointing out here that Pickerel
actually thought that Hevans was actually Evans' correct surname.
Ever since interview. Evans had this strange way of speaking. He
would leave an "H" sound off words beginning with "H" but add a
"H" where the word didn't begin with a 'H' but began with a vowel
- although not always - mostly. And so - after introducing
himself at interview as "Brett F Hevans" - and not wishing to
upset by correcting his possible employer - he was stuck with the
mispronunciation. And the level of emphasis on the "H" sound when
Pickerel called him was a pretty accurate indication of just how
angry his boss was with him. So a "H-h-h-h-evans" was a sure sign
that somebody' s arse was going to get well and truly kicked. Now
that Pickerel was down to a "H-h-evans" Brett felt a little safer
than he did 3 minutes ago.
Leaning over the top of his desk supported
by his arms that were locked in position and rested upon whitened
knuckled fists - Pickerel forcefully stated, 'I want to know who
did this to me. And - I want to know now. And, then, we are going
to have a little payback.' He rocked on his knuckles. 'I'm not
gonna let them make a monkey out of me'.
Evans resisted comment. But, Pickerel could
see what he was looking up and down at. The atmosphere changed
back to that of 3 minutes ago.
'What are you gonna do about it, then,
'Sir, I know the boyos might have let ew
down. But, at least ew can rely on me, innit?' Evans noticed the
rocking accelerating and Pickerel's skin colour changing from red
to mauve. 'Er - leave it er, with me,' Evans softly spoke as if
trying to calm a wild silverback as he backed away to a safer
distance. 'Best get some replacement cod first though, eh? Got my
best fishers on it tonight - guaranteed.' He was almost to the
door. 'And then, like, I'll go an' find some tidy boys 'oo can
look after it properly for ew .' He slowly and steadily reached
out behind to take the door handle in readiness of a leap to
safety. 'innit.' And in a flash he was the other side of the door
shouting 'you 'ave my h-assurance! And when an h-Evans gives 'is
word - hit his 'is bond!'
In between the growls and groans of
frustration Pickerel managed a 'stupid little welsh prick.' And
then he sat. A bad mistake when only moments earlier you had
kicked your chair metres away from its usual position. Evans
heard the crash…and decided to keep on walking.
Oscar used his dexterous skills to slot
back into place Mickey's detached left limb. However, it had
locked it into position a little high and now appeared to be
giving a gay Nazi salute. This was not the time to see the funny
side in anything and Mickey could do no more that huff and puff
dejectedly. Oscar shrugged four of his Octopuses equivalent of
shoulder areas and upturned ends of his suckered arms.
'My friends we must perhaps take more
forceful action against these fishers who illegally lower their
nets into our waters. Perhaps we need to strike out at this
Pickerel - this human evil that feeds our fish still alive into
the choppers, slicers, mashers and freezers. And for what does he
do this?' he panned the room 'That's right - for profit - to make
sure he can add on a few pennies to the price tag by living up to
his slogan "so fresh when frozen you can hear their last breath
when they cook".
'Outrageous! The Man's an animal………… and by
animal I of course mean mammal!' raged Eddie Lumberjack - who
ironically was a Pickerel - from Nova Scotia with an extremely
bad sense of direction. 'An insult to my families good name!'
Several committee members mouthed the words "Lumberjack?????" to
one another. Eddie spotted one or two in puzzlement and mime and
started his nervous twitching and neck stretching. 'And by family
I of course mean Lumberjacks…………….er - I mean species. Pickerels
- yes - that's what I am...' He goes bolt upright in his chair -
almost to attention '…and bloody proud of it.'
'When you've finished?' If Mickey had had
eyebrows they would have been raised at this point. 'Thank you.'
He took in a breath and blew it out of the side of his mouth. His
time with the Professor making him more human than fish at times
(If I hadn't said fish instead of mammal this occasion it
wouldn't have made any sense at all - would it?)
'What are WE going to do
about it then - Mr. Chairman?' Keith Ken asked in his drawn out
boring monotone way (the reason he was given his name). He really
was a miserable old trout and never had anything positive to say.
All he did was pick faults in other's efforts.
'As I recall WE don't do
anything much at all,' chipped in Owain Shifty - a Bala Shark,
'all you do is pick faults in other's efforts.' (See - I told
'How dare you!' and then Keith Ken leant
over to Hilary Warbonnet and sneered, 'See - I warned you all
about letting the likes of him in.'
'What's that you're saying about me you
'Everyone calm down please! We are not
going to get anywhere unless we can come up with some…' he looks
at Keith Ken, 'positive action. Now let's relax, give our voice
boxes a rest and think about what WE are going to
The committee looked to one another for the
'Erhmmm!' Gillian flicked her tail rapidly
- hoping that this would help in attracting the committees
attention. 'May I ask…who WE exactly
The committee looked insulted by the fact
that she didn't know. They all looked to Mickey.
'Well - we are of course the
Rebels with a Porpoise - United
Gillian and the rest of the cod sought
recognition from each other of this title but only found
puzzlement and embarrassed head shaking.
'You must have heard of us - surely?'
Mickey hopefully queried.
Not a flicker.
'The Robin Hoods of the Irish Sea?' He
Just more head shaking and puzzlements in
'No? Nothing?' Imploring now, 'at
The atmosphere was thick with uncomfortable
embarrassment. A suddenly feisty Gillian broke the pressure,
thank goodness. 'Are you the ones who fitted us with a
'Yes - that's right. We gave you the
opportunity to have a voice in what we do? How we represent you.'
Mickey excitedly claimed.
'No - I mean are you responsible for this
thing in our throats?'
Mickey picked up on the negative tone in
Gillian's voice. He sheepishly responded 'In a way we are, yes.
Every fish wanted one.'
'But we didn't ask for it?'
'Well you didn't say?'
'We'd need a voice box for that? Did you
not notice that we were swimming away from you
when you caught us to fit them'
'Er - ok - point taken.'
'Anybody sense the panic and
Mickey was like a scolded child looking
humbly down as his prosthetic leg kicked away and scuffed the
floor. A scolded child with a gay Nazi salute that is. 'Sorry -
thought you'd want one.'
'Well we didn't. We were quite happy as we
were. So don't even think about giving us those arms and leg
'Good.' She had stunned everyone with the
powerful display. She surprised herself as much as
'Weak Chairman allowing a woman cod (can't
get Joan Rivers out of my head now) to speak to him like that,'
whispered Keith Ken under his breath. But loud enough for Mickey
to register it.
'And you have every right to ask these
questions.' He panned the audience. 'But of course you would need
to be able to write or speak in order to ask them,' he forcefully
stated in an attempt to regain some credibility.
Gillian couldn't respond and just thought
it through in silence.
'In answer to your first question,' Mickey
pointedly announced, Rebels with
a Porpoise - United Party or
RWAP-UP if you like - are a committee of sea life dedicated to
the upholding of our freedom to swim in our own protected seas.
And we are sworn to take action against those who abuse our
rights. Our members are…' He swung his body to the right in an
effort to point his gay Nazi salute in Felicity's direction -
which was furthest away to his right. Remembering moments earlier
she ducked quickly. Mickey's arm stayed on and up but the hand
was embarrassingly jangling and he now looked and sounded like a
Cornish folk dancer. When his sigh subsided he continued. 'This
is Felicity Quimm our statistician.'
The response from the cod suggested that
they were thinking 'What the fuck is a statistician?'
'Numbers and stuff' helped Mickey. He
twisted slightly to his right in the direction of Colin Quimm.
'This is her son, Colin. A young trout who represents the young
life of the seas' There is a bigger gap between Colin and Owain
than between Colin and his mum - so Mickey had to swing further.
He did it quickly enough to cause the fingers to rattle on his
arm. In frustration he sucked through his teeth and clicked like
a - well - like a porpoise. The look to Oscar suggested
disapproval. So Oscar moved to a position behind Owain and held
out two upturned tentacle covered underarms to indicate "this
"Owain Shifty - a Bala Shark - is our
contact for supplies on the mainland - having settled in back
home in the Bala reservoir. (After escaping from an aquarium in
Blackpool Tower Owain went back home - as he thought. Nobody had
yet to explain to him that it was just a name and that he really
originated from Thailand or Indonesia. The names given to fish by
humans was somewhat confusing for them - just ask the Frogmouth
Catfish about it's attempts to find it's parents).
Oscar moved behind Eddie Lumberjack.
'Eddie Lumberjack - our strategist.'
The cod as one went 'Uhhh?'
'He plans stuff.'
'You already know he is a Pickerel… "and
proud of it"' It was an attempt at humour which fell flat on its
face and only gave Keith Ken something else to whinge about under
Oscar - not yet fitted with prosthetic
limbs suckered along past Mickey to the other side of the
committee table in order to point out those to Mickey's left.
First left was Keith Ken.
'This is Keith Ken our secretary…' and
before the cod can go 'Uhhhh?' again he quickly adds '…who looks
after the money and takes minutes. Notes!' he added quickly.
'Keith Ken has vast experience as he is an old trout.'
'And a miserable one at that!' Owain chips
To Keith Ken's annoyance this re-occurring
aged joke is still enjoyed by the rest of the committee.
Oscar moved on one.
'Hilary Warbonnet who represents the
females - Gay and Lesbian Fish movement too. She is a Rainbow
Oscar moved to behind the next
'And this beautiful Angel Fish is Lava
Bread Candy. She is our eco warrior and makes sure that all our
lovely plant life of the sea is looked after by us. After all, it
is going to effect all of us in some way - someday - isn't that
Lava Bread Candy sweetly smiled beneath a
headdress of seaweed and welcomed the cod with a, 'Peace sisters
Oscar stood behind the last member.
'And last but not least it's Buster. Buster
Bubble is the newest member of the committee.' Buster started to
inflate rapidly. 'And it looks like he would like to say a few
Buster let out the air in one large puff.
Excitedly he introduces himself, 'I'm here as the researcher and
journalist. We soon hope to send out announcements and news
reports sonically throughout our waters. Keep everyone up to date
with what's going on. Hi - nice to meet ya!' He remembered the
reason the cod were there. 'better in other circumstances, of
Mickey surveyed the committee. 'So this is
us, WE, the Rebels with a
Porpoise - United Party. So it
is WE that have to find a way to stop what has occurred from
ever occurring again in our waters.'
'And what if you fail…….again?' Gillian
'We won't. Chivers will see to that.' He
looked around the room. 'Come forward my friend.'
The translucent form of Chivers, the
jellyfish, crept from his undetected hiding place. The super
stealth spy and instructor for the Dolphin island special fish
force approached Mickey and a tentacle offered a salute which was
returned in kind by the porpoise with a limp-wristed, rattling
prosthetic left arm. A right flipper would have been a far worse
insult believe it or not.
'Chivers here has already accepted the
responsibility for training our crack troops for quicker response
time to those illegally entering our waters. Thanks to the
contacts of Owain Shifty - the new high tech radar and tracking
system has been supplied and is installed. It will alert us of
any further attempts by Pickerel to take our friends from our
seas - should our natural instincts fail us.'
As the light shone through Chiver's body it
created a rainbow from him to the tank from which Gillian watched
with great admiration. She realised now whom it had been in the
darkness on the Freedom
Warrior who calmingly spoke
softly and confidently to the rescued haul on their journey back
to Dolphin island. The odd blast of moonlight through a porthole
causing a rainbow in the shadows. Trusting Chivers felt a far
more reasonable ask than to trust in this committee and it 's
'Not long now boyos - soon have a grin on
the face of that miserable old bastard.' Evans confidently said
'Ehhmmm!' The creeping Pickerel
'Errr. You fit and well then?' Evans asked
with false concern and a great degree of nervousness.
'Thanks for your help by the way,' the
sarcasm oozing with threat, ' I must remember to repay the
compliment sometime.' Pickerel left an uneasy pause before
querying, 'they near yet?'
'Yes, sir. They're just h-about to h-enter
the h-exclusion zone. Should 'ave another load of lovely plumb
juicy cod before morning.'
'So which one are they?' asked the boss
trying to work out the flashes and bleeps on the screen of the
tracking system and radar.
'That's's them 'ere. See that red flashy
thing…that's the Red
'I can see that! Imbecile.'
'No - I mean it's the Red Flash. That's
the name of the boat like - innit.'
'How original. And I suppose the secret
mission is called "Operation illegal cod fish".'
Evans is shocked. ' 'ooo told ewe?'
Under his breath and with a despondent
shake of the head Pickerel lamented 'incredible - quite
'Any 'ow - see this line 'ere? That h-is
the fishing boundary 'round that poxy island which h-is the big
green blob 'ere. H-as ewe can see they are just about to cross
the line - by 'ere look - see?'
'Let's just hope they are a bit better at
fishing cod than the amoebas you employed were at looking after
them - eh?' threatened Pickerel.
'Top boys these. Top I tell ewe.' He
attempts to divert the threatening gaze by grabbing a radio
handset. 'Red Flash can ewe 'ear me - h-over?'
After a lot of crackling the Irish twang of
Cap'n Phil O'Sheet swept across the air waves. 'Hello base - dis
is me Phil O'Sheet - Cap'n of the Red Flash speaking to
'Hello Phil boyo - this h-is Brett F
h-Evans 'ere. 'ow's it going butt?'
'All is well here t'anks very much. D'seas
a bit choppy but it won't be a problem for me an' me crew here.
Soon be lowering dem nets and filling up dem tanks fa ya.'
Evans turned to Pickerel as if expecting
some kind of recognition.
'It isn't done yet. And they had better not
mess it up.' A finger jabbing the chest accompanied the
Evans turns back around. 'Cap'n Phil - keep
us h-up to date 'ere butt on ewer progress - right? Over'
'Aye, aye. Over'
The red flash on the screen crosses the
white line of the boundary.
Wooa! Wooa! Wooa! Wooa! Went the siren -
and the flashing red lights on the walls gave accompaniment.
Chivers gave a salute and left - followed by special services
operatives who had been hiding in the shadows unnoticed until
'No cause for alarm people!' advised Mickey
over the noise.
'So why the alarms then?' moaned Keith
'Just our new warning system! Chivers and
his boys will meet up with the rest of his team patrolling the
perimeter!' he proudly assured. He whispered to Oscar an
instruction and Oscar gave signal to his team to reload the tanks
from the platform back onto the trolleys. 'My friends we will
report to you later with the outcome! For now our team of movers
shall take you to more comfortable surroundings! Don't worry -
everything is under control!' He then gave signal to the
committee to join him elsewhere. They duly followed his lead to a
back room. Gillian could make out the radar type equipment that
lay within. The black cloth slowly closing across the platform
afforded her that short glimpse at least.
She wasn't able to see clearly the
committee in the radar room watching one big red flashy thing
crossing a white line boundary thing. Nor was she able to see the
twelve little blue flashy things heading off the big green massy
thing - so wouldn't know that this was Chivers and his elite
forces entering the water and swimming as fast as they could
towards the big red flashy thing. Nor would she know that there
were already twenty other little blue flashy things hanging
around the white line boundary thingy near the big red flashy
thing. Mickey had done a good job putting it all together
considering he only had one arm - and a badly fitted prosthetic
arm at that. Indeed, he also had the use of two flippers but…well
- I'll let you paint your own pictures here.
Brett F Evans had two good arms.
Unfortunately, he really was a "stupid little Welsh prick" and
hadn't done such a good job in connecting everything up. He had
no little blue flashy things at all on his screens. So he was
unable to give any warning at all to Cap'n Phil O'Sheet on
Flash. With Pickerel breathing
heavily over his right shoulder he anxiously watched and even
more anxiously listened. The words "poor catch" with an Irish
twang would very highly likely be the last words he would ever
From the Captain's balcony Phil O'Sheet
surveyed the crew's activities. 'Right den lads - get dem nets
ready! Ten more minutes and we'll drop dem in. You dere! Make
sure now dere's enough water in doze tanks! We don't want doze
little fishies to go dying on us before we get back t' port now -
The crew got on with the necessary
preparation. They were totally oblivious to the activities of
another crew almost on board. The moonlit shadows provided the
perfect cover for the special fish forces that were creeping up
the dark side of the boat. Tentacles and arms pulled and slid
over timbers, metal and rope. Molluscs and jellyfish crept into
position and waited for the signal from Napoleon Alexander - the
team leader. He patiently watched in admiration of the
proficiency of his troops to carry out their orders. Chiver's
training had been worth the investment into this elite group. Now
it was time to test their nerve and their patience. Could they
just observe from positions inches away from the enemy or would
they crack - or maybe strike without order. They were well
trained - there was no doubt there. But - this was the first
mission for all but the team leader. And he had only been part of
a team lead by Chivers on two previous low key missions. So he
was about to feel a whole lot of pressure…literally. For as he
admired his own skills he failed to sense the suckered arm
wrapping around close but without touching. Only until it was all
around and could then suddenly grip hard - which it did.
'Concentration at all times' whispered
Chivers into Napoleon Alexander's hearing system. You should have
known I was there.
Napoleon Alexander couldn't answer - the
grip was too tight to speak.
'Take a position up there by the captain.
Wait for my signal. ' Chivers eased the pressure off the grip.
Napoleon Alexander followed instruction. He was as disappointed
in himself as Chiver's must have been in him. But those moments
to highlight the failures of tonight would need to wait until
after the action due to take place next. He slid silently into a
position near the bridge - awaiting the signal to strike. Chivers
checked - using silent signals - that they were all ok and ready
to go. The first phase of the attack was given the green light. A
rookie operative was given instruction to take out seaman
Phil O'Sheet - took a double take. Surely
there was a man at the nets a second ago. He shook his head and
chuckled to himself. Then out of the corner of his eye he caught
a flash of yellow Wellingtons as the wearer was yanked away from
his position at the nets. This caused a little searching of the
grey matter. Did it really happen? His hearing became keener all
of a sudden. A muffled cry - he could have sworn he'd heard a
muffled cry? But of course - it was the howling wind playing
tricks. He chuckled to himself once more. 'Flaming e-jot,' he
cursed of himself. You'll be seeing ghosts next so ya will if ya
not be careful.'
The yellow oils of seaman #3 suddenly
dulled. It was as if a dark mass had wrapped itself around him.
This wasn't surprising to Chivers. He had just given the signal
for a member of his special team to wrap their dark massy body
around him. Numbers 4, 5 and 6 followed almost together and right
in front of the Cap'n as he peered eagerly through the sea spray
covered window of his bridge. Surely the wind wasn't violent
enough to lift three men clean off their feet like they were made