korean war veteran's day out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
4 korean veterans stumble upon a terorrist plot to shoot why wont it down load

Submitted: February 03, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 03, 2008





Chapter one it wont upload all of story?????????????????????????????????

‘Top secret, case number..ah’there you are, come in, please, take a seat and make yourself comfortable, so glad you could join us, err would one of you check outside the door please, just to make sure that there is no one is listening…no? good, then I shall begin.

What you are about to hear is the true account of an incident that …well….never officially Erm.. did not take place. Now at this juncture I’m obliged to remind you about that official secret’s mumbo jumbo blah!’blah!’ blah!’ so sit back and allow me to regale you with a yarn appertaining to four British Korean war veterans, one of whom has duel nationality, yes, he’s one of our American cousin’s.

‘ oh’ before I forget, have I mentioned there is some military hardware in this tale ?, no ?, well, there is!, a venerable old war horse…a centurion… no, it’s a tank, not a soldier!…and err’ some terrorist’s, have I told you about the Erm’, no?. well, there is, but don’t let that put you off even fairy stories have bad guy’s in them.’

‘We join the story were a mr .izzy ‘duke’ Cohen of Lexington Nebraska is Emailing his three comrades confirming‘…,arriving Blackpool airport 8 a.m. sat’ morn’. Looking forward to seeing you all again.

’ Now, here we all are on the morning of the reunion weekend.’

On the edge of the sleepy village, an early morning mist has settled against the dawn. A car pull’s up outside of number 519 Leeds road ’ alerting mrs brierly of their arrival. Walk’s over to the window lifting aside the lace curtain, “jack, bert and harry are here”. Looking at her watch, “right on time”,she mutter’s quietly to herself. Jack grab’s his bag and coat in the hallway,”SEE YA’ SUNDAY NIGHT” he shout’s as he make’s his way for the door. Standing in the doorway he look’s up,briefly examining the sky, he sniff’s the air, “ ahh yes, it’s going to be a grand weekend for it”.

Harry the driver is standing beside the car holding it’s door open for jack.” Your carriage awaits you!”

“Harry old lad, how are you this fine summer’s morn’?” “morning jack ”. “ow’do’ Bert what a glorious morning for it,” “ put your bag on the backseat jack ,cos’ the boot’s full think we’ll take the scenic route, we have plenty of time for a leisurely drive”, “ is dukes plane on time Harry ? “ “it is jack, as luck would have it.”

Harry continued “ we’ll take the coastal road up through Lytham and st.ann’s then Blackpool aerodrome to collect duke.” “ they’re going to look extremely picturesque this morning.” said Bert.

“ y’know,bert, I can‘t think of a time when they haven’t ” said jack.

The coast road is deserted as the windmill come’s into view, framed against the sky, underlined by the long, broad grass verge. Harry, Bert and jack lower their window’s to get a lung full of the sea breeze.

Jack peers over Harry’s shoulder, “twenty miles an hour ?”

“while the road’s empty …no bugger about, and all the time in the world so sit back, enjoy the ride.”

Pulling up at the light’s in the left hand filter lane, “do you think that’s the only white tiled church in Lancashire,?” asked Harry.

“Possibly England,?” added Bert.

“Light’s have changed Harry,” said jack.

“What ?…oh’right, I was still admiring the church,”

They set off following the road as it snake’s round to the right, another broad piece of grass verge with sand and pebbles giving way to an uncluttered view to the sea, and almost visible through the early morning sea mist slightly to the left, another quaint seaside resort called Southport. Harry slows down, pulling into the car park of ’granny’s bay’ over looking the boating lake. The car park is littered with car’s, and people out for their early morning constitution, some walking their dog’s, a few feeding the geese and duck’s.

Car’s, their content’s taking in the view’s, with impassive face’s buried in the morning’s newspaper’s draped over the steering wheel.

“Canoe, rowing or motorboat ,?” asks Bert. “motor-boat.“ said jack.

“do ya’ fancy a go on the boating lake, the rowing boat’s were built by craftsmen some 90 year ago.”

“canoe’s ,?” enquires Harry, as he peer’s through a small pair of binoculars, “ glass fibre, and some are moulded plastic.”

“we can always pop back later, we’ve got all weekend, there’s no rush.” say’s Bert.

“Certainly can,” say’s Harry “and for now, let’s continue our cruise along the coast,” he start’s the car, reverses out of the parking spot, “and collect duke.”

They turn left out of the car park and head on up the coast on into Blackpool and the airport.

The sign above the road welcomes the traveller’s.

“The illuminations’ will look fantastic again this year,” say’s Harry.

“They do every year,” say’s Bert nodding in approval “don’t they always,” quip’s jack.

“Crikey, where did all these car’s come from,?” remark’s Bert.

“it’s open twenty-four hour’s a day seven day’s per week” said jack,

“ah’ look, there’s a parking space…now it’s gate number?”

“ Here we are lad’s .” say’s Bert pointing at the building,” it’s this way …and he’s here!”

Jack turn’s round, Harry look’s over the car’s roof. “the flight’s on time?!”

They make their way over to were duke was stood, his back to them looking at the other car park. Jack tap’s him on the shoulder, “ looking for us mr Cohen?!” duke pause’s for the briefest of moment’s and turn’s, smiling broadly.

“Jack! Harry! Bert !, much hugging and shaking of hand’s took place. “How’s the flight over ?” enquires Bert. “ well, I got here!” duke said, “Y’know lad’s there’s plenty of time for a little sail around ’grannies bay‘, and perhaps feed the duck’s as well?” jack said. “yep!” said duke

“cos’ last time you were over,” said Harry, we didn’t have the weather for it.”

“Why can’t you have a climate like everybody else,instead of weather!” said duke with a giggle.


The happy throng make their back to the car, and head back to ’grannies bay’ , stopping off at a shop to buy some loaf’s of bread ,”whole meal” insists jack. Their drive along the ’golden mile’ reminds duke of his meeting with a family from ’little bispham’, “ and the guy was a local historian and he was telling me about the origin’s of the luminations, that they started life in Morecambe shortly after the great war, the woman of the town placed candles in jam jar’s at point’s along the ‘prom’ in rememberance of loved one’s killed in the war, and with each passing year, more and more woman placed candles,until the entire seafront was emblazoned with these light’s gently flickering away.

All done on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, so then as the use of electricity spread, the candles are replaced with light bulb’s, then the idea spread’s to other coastal town’s,”

“Morecambe ?,” the other’s said “and many moon’s later, they are uniquely Blackpool’.” they stare up at the brightly coloured cartoon character’s. dulled by the daylight. “it’s fantastic what they can do with a bit of moulded plastic,” Harry said thoughtfully.

“I wonder what condition she’s going to be in, Harry continued, “after all it’s been …what, ten year?”

“Try nearer twenty,” added duke.

“I hope she hasn’t been used for target practice,” said Bert mournfuly.

“Come on lad’s, cheer up,” said duke ,” look, we’ve arrived. I fancy a go on a motor boat .”

“ it’s nearly eight,” said Harry examining his watch, “ and we don’t have to be at weeton army camp till’ nine thirty, I do hope …y’know, used her for target practice.” “what,? retired her to a firing range?” duke interrupted, “to live out her day’s being filled full of holes by squaddies with the latest anti-tank weapon,”

“well, if they have theres nowt’ we can do about it, we retired, remember? I just wish we hadn’t flogged the ‘privateer’ to ‘them’ …evaluation my arse!” said jack.

“ lad’s, we are going to a reunion,” Jack enthused. “not a funeral,she may be in box’s full of bit’s, or she my not, anyway I can’t imagine that they’d be asking us over to view a wreck,or a box of bit’s,and they did say it was going to be a special occasion so let’s stop worrying and enjoy the weekend.”

They pull into the car park over looking the boating lake, and stop next to the ice cream parlour

As they get out of the car duke go’s to buy the ice cream’s, while the rest get the loaf’s out of the car boot, they spread out and start feeding the duck’s, when the bread was used up,the saunterd down to the lakeside kiosk and clambered aboard their respective motorboat’s for a gentle pootle around the lake,and small island.

As they were the first one’s on the lake,the man in the ticket office didn’t bother setting his stop watch, besides,it’s good for business,cos’ from the road you can’t tell if the tiny ticket office is open,it’s too small. Thirtyfive minuet’s flashed past, and soon they were on their way back across blackpool heading in a north easterly direction soon braught them to weeton army camp and a barrier,and a couple of serious looking guard’s, the four veteran’s held up their visitor’s pass’s for scrutiny, one of the guard’s flipped over a couple of page’s on his clipboard,”right then gentlemen, follow the road round to the left and the follow the sign post for the adjudant’s office and you will then be given the itinerary for the entire reunion weekend enjoy your weekend with us gent’s.”

The barrier is raised and the veteran’s make their way to the adjudant’s office.


Drawing to a halt outside of the adjudent’s office they climb out, captain wixey is already waiting.

Greeting each of the veteran’s with a smart salute,then a shake of the hand.

Formal greeting’s over with, an informal chat as he walk’s them over to a large slab of a construction,unmistakably military.

Entering through a side door they are the inside a humongous space with an echoey, vast, chilly atmosphere all of it’s own.

Over from the darkness came a soldier,who introduced himself to the captain as artifisser staff sargeant macdonald, the ‘charge’ of the veteran’s is formerly handed over to staff macdonald in a flurry of salute’s. Captain wixey leaves, and staff’ macdonald turning to the veteran’s, with a beaming smile,

“gentlemen,will you please follow me.”

“Imchias,this place is beautiful,” the boss of the terrorist cell,Javindar gave a heavy sight,” it’s a crying shame we are to wipe it off the face of the earth, it’s proximity to the g.z. zone is most unfortunate.” standing in the tent doorway looking at the floor, and the clutter laid out in front of him.

solcat you are a pig! How can you live like this, tidy this place up.” he pick’s his way over to a space.

Javindar pick’s up a contraption and begins to unfold a camping chair to sit in.he stares down at the nylon fabric half covered spindly chair arm’s, “people buy these thing’s?!” he mumbles.

“This is a big tent Imchias,how many bedroom’s has it got?”

“It can comfortably sleep six.”

“Good…good.” said Javindar looking around him,nodding his approval.

“the rest of the family will be arriving shortly, and I think that’s them now.”

The sound of two large vehicles of the off road variety put in an appearance,mohamad is nearest to one of the tent’s window’s, glancing over at Javindar,he nod’s, it’s them.

The three occupant’s of the first off roader climb out and without speaking,start to unload rucksack’s and sleeping bag’s and the like. While the second one,it’s window’s blacked out, appears lifeless,then the passenger door open’s and a woman, European appearance, carrying a small rucksack walk’s over to the driver of the first vehicle, and without acknowledging each other,the ruksack is passed to him,she walk’s back to the second off roader wich immediately drive’s away. He stroll’s over to the tent were he is ushered inside.

Javindar rise’s slowly from his seat. He smile’s, “mr narot,so glad to see you,have you braught it ?”

He nodded,staring blankly at Javindar.

“And is that it?”

Mr narot hold’s the ruksack up to head hight, “ as they say in the movies the package has been delivered .” lobbing the ‘package’ over to Javindar. With a look of horror he catch’s the bundle.”What the hell are you playing at?!”

“It’s perfectly safe you idiot.” said mr narot nonchalantly.

“You trying to get us all killed?” Javindar hissed.

“Calm down, I haven’t primed it yet!” said narot, nearly losing his cool.

“What, oh yes, but of course…how stupid of me, although I still think you can’t be too careful with these bloody thing’s.”

He kneel’s down and undo’s the strap’s,and gingerly remove’s it’s content’s,an attache case!

“Courtesy of our…errrm, alies!, said narot now smirking.

“One step closer to an Islamic state.” Javindar whispar’s, stroking,caressing the black case.

He look’s up at Imchias, and almost spitting, say’s,” and one more step closer to our flag flying over number 10.”


Staff’ MacDonald lead’s the veteran’s into the gloom of the hangar, peering into the dimness harry think’s he can make out the outline of…or is it a ?, no, it’s a bit too dark.

Then staff’ macdonald switch’s on the light’s …to assorted gasp’s, and a few “berluudey ell‘“ It isn’t.. it, it is, I’d recognise her anywere,”

Then all four exulted, “ IT’S THE PRIVATEER!”

“yes,” staff’ said with a giggle. “That motif is a bit of a give away!”

Duke’s the first, he walk’s over to the tank. He stand’s like a statue, staring, not saying a word.

He reach’s out, gently stroking the stone cold metal, looking up at the turret.

“After all this time,” he breath’s, “nothing’s changed.”

One by one they walk zombie -like, wondering round the armoured hulk, patting it,.

Then came the question’s, “Where did ya’ find her ?” asked Bert.

And then Harry “ Was she in one piece when you found her?”

“Why this particular tank…. And why us ?” asked jack inquisitively.

“Jack,” said duke ,” you took the word’s right out of my mouth.”

“gentlemen, I’m here to answer any and all question’s ,” said staff’ macdonald.

“And, while I’m doing so, we can have a play around inside, because a too have a few question’s that I think you lot can answer,now, who want’s to lead the way?”

Staff ‘ is the first up onto the war horse, he then reach’s down to give each one a hand up…but they are already clambering aboard their old landship scampering in through the hatch’s, staff’ watched the year’s simply fall away,harry,duke,Bert and jack, all looked like young recruit’s, with the demeanure of sqauddies a third their age. Once in side staff’ joined them.

They were sat in their respective place’s, duke in the driver’s seat,in the turret, harry the tank’commander,bert the gunner, and jack, he wear’s two hat’s, wireless operator,and loader.staff’ sat at the back,out of the way as the gang fiddled and tweeked and rummaged round. Jack switched the wireless equipment on,”bloody ell’ it work’s!”

“Yes,that’s what I’v been Itching, just Itching for month’s, to ask you all…It’s this tank, and everything contained here in!…what the blue blaze’s was going on here ?, what where you?!”

A stony silence descend’s, then duke speak’s. “We were mercenaries !”

“WHAT?!” exclaimed s staff’.

“Mercenaries! After regular army service.“ Staff throw’s his hand’s in the air,”the privateer!. The privateer,! of course It all make’s sense, that explains everything!” “Oh, you’ve noticed then!”said Jack.

“Noticed!,noticed!, how could I not notice the uprated gun with the sophisticated gunnery, the diesel rotary this thing is simply bristling with highly advanced eaves dropping, electronic counter, and counter-counter measures that was light year’s ahead of the game, and that’s another thing, electronics’ in the early fifties!?…the transistor isn’t invented till’…”

“Prototype’s,” harry interupt’s , “ humble prototype’s.”

“And they didn’t always’s work!” added duke.” We were all to happy to help our respective government’s beside’s,” said jack, he went on.” our choice of a diesel engine was so it didn’t interfere with the onboard electronics‘ which were still in their infancy and as and when owt’ failed we ran for home.”

“”We needed help with the Erm’, logistical side of our little venture, said Harry and the C.I.A,and six’,

Were all to ready to help with ammo, and fuel dump’s y’see we had to have our own supply line cos’

We just couldn’t use regular ammo and stuff, couldn’t use anything of their’s, we were irregular force

And you can’t run an outfit such as our’s unless you have some serious heavy weight backing.”

“O.k., but why a centurion tank?” asked staff’

we had to blend in,and we made the best, just that bit more special.”

“Your own tank ? didn’t anybody notice?” enquired staff’.

“No,” said bert.”There was a war on, and we are … were soldier’s of fortune, and war is big business

And we were given a mission, and it was Intelligence gathering, jamming radio and radar and in the course of said mission if an enemy tank threw down the gauntlet, well we were only too happy to oblige, weren’t we lad’s?”

“How did you locate the ‘privateer’?”asked harry.

“err,” started staff’, “Well, contact’s, y’see it all started a number of year’s ago I’d heard the story I just thought it was simply that, a story. But this story remained, lurking some where at the back of my mind something would happen to trigger the memory, and start me thinking, so, I decided to play at being Sherlock Holmes, starting with the internet, but chiefly my contact’s, it’s all took nearly a year…or two, now, she’s been extremely well cared for.came complete with not just the usual box,or box’s of spare’s , or in this case with a project a large as a tank…a container full of spares!”

“What ?, “ exclaimed bert.”y’don’t mean one of those dirty great big thing’s they put on a ship?”

“Yes.” said staff’ “I have the container parked at the rear of this hangar, let me show you,”

Everyone climbed out and followed staff’ to where the container is situated. Staff’ removes a key from around his neck,unlock’s the huge door’s,dented, with peeling paint, they gave out a loud groan and squeek as they were wrestled open.Staff grabbed a large torch just inside the door.

“Open sesame!” he said. “quit a comprehensive tool kit and spare part’s bin,wouldn’t you say?”

They follow staff’ in one by one, he switches the torch on and almost straight away he notice’s something in the beam. “Hello, I’ve not seen these box’s before and they’re unmarked, he grab’s the one of the rope handle’s, but whatever it is, it’s very heavy. He see’s a small crowbar propped up in the corner next to an angle grinder. He use’s it to prise’s the lid off one of the box’s and is shocked to find amunition.

“hundred and twenty millimetre if I’m not very much mistaken, and there are a few box’s.”

He move’s around and open’s some other box’s.

“And here we have ammo for the machine gun’s, I shall have to make arrangement’s for it’s disposal.”

Bert, and Harry are rummaging about,they drag a old tarpaulin off …some more box’s!

Duke and jack are peering over their comrades shoulder’s.

“Now these,” remark’s duke, these, I do know what’s in them,”

“And that’ll be your ‘pin up’s’ of miss Inchong 1951and 52!” quip’s jack.

Over jack’s shoulder,off in the distance, duke see’s movment,”jack.” duke nodded at the hiker’s.

“Staff’ MacDonald, are we still on ministry of defence property?” ask’s jack inquisitively.

“Yeah’. he said slowly, staring at the shell’s.

“And, is there a public right of way through here?”

“No, why?”

“We’ve got some heading this way, and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion this lot aren’t hiker’s.”

The five watched, as the group drew nearer the lad’s made their way out of the container.

“Can anyone else make out what some of them are carrying.?” said staff’ half whispering.

When the uninvited closed to about 50 yard’s, three of them raised ak47’s into their shoulder, without

Blinking aim straight at them.

“ good afternoon gentlemen,” sneered Javindar.

“now what have we here?, four civilian’s and a colour sergeant,”

“I’m a staff sergeant!” snapped staff. “what?” “I am a royal electrical mechanical engineer artificer staff sergeant.” “shut up, now, what does the British army want with four old men….an open day?” “new recruit’s!” say’s one of the cell’ who erupt into laughter.

“first, I think, we search them, o.k., you’ve seen it all a thousand time’s on the TV. So you will know what to do….spread em.’ “ he said in a mono tone voice. The lad’s look at each other, blankly, then see what staff’ is doing and copy him. Spread eagle against the container wall they feel hand’s feverishly groping their shoulder’s, collar’s, side’s, pocket’s, ankle’s and everywhere else in-between.


“ Now turn around….so…what are you four old men doing here?…what, the rest home is full?”

“we’re here for a reunion,” duke said. “yeah, a Korean war veteran’s ‘get together’ with our old tank.”

Offer’s Bert. But Javindar isn’t listening, he’s looking directly at duke, then walk’s slowly over to duke

“that accent… that…your voice, you are an American.” he hiss’s. “what’s your name?” izzy stares him in the eyes. “mr Caine, Michael Caine” jav look’s him up and down.” my only wish is that I had more time for you. who mentioned a tank… where is it? “ “ it’s over there in that hangar.” said staff. One of the cell’ goes to investigate. Minuet’s later he’s back, with the news’s, “a very old tank, a rust bucket!”

“now, I will ask you all one more time, what are you doing here?” “we really are here for a…”

“salim, we have not got a lot of time so you may take the short cut… err, leave out all the pleasantry’s, get straight to work, you see, gentlemen, you were just too quick with the answer’s.”

The glint in salim’s eye is replaced with something else, a deep darkness behind his dead eye’s. he removed, from his pocket, something black, sort of square, he then squeezed it’s side, it buzzed, crackled loudly, as a thick arc of electricity danced menacingly between it’s two shiny metal prong’s “you understand gentlemen, that it’s nothing personal…just business!” no sooner had he finished talking than the tazer ceased working. Salim stopped smiling.

Jack noticed something as he watched, something else, about salim. A deep darkness appear behind the dead eye’s. this is a torturer, olive skin tone, sallow face, the stained teeth, this is someone who revels in his ’work’…no, not ’work’… a vocation. For a moment duke and Bert thought their ordeal was over, but it was short lived. As one of the cell’ hand’s salim a knuckle duster. He slowly start’s to grin.

Two of the cell walk up to duke, they each grab an arm.

“you first!” he walk’s over to duke. grab’s a handful of his hair, force’s his head back, punching him in the mouth, dislodging a tooth, and splattering some blood. “ what are you doing here?”

“we’re,. we’re,” duke splutter’s, “a reunion …” Javindar standing with his hand’s on his hip’s, staring at the ground. “I will ask you again, what are you doing here?”

“ HE’S TELLING THE TRUTH!” Harry shout’s, and is knocked to the ground. As he’s immediately hit in the stomach with the butt of a rifle. “ I didn’t ask you a damn thing!” spat Javindar.

Still looking at the ground, “salim…” he mutter’s. salim throw’s his shoulder back, to line up a blow to duke’s rib’s.

After he’d finished with duke, it was now Bert’s turn, this isn’t about extracting information…this is gratuitous violence…torcher for amusement purpose’s. Harry and Jack are forced to watch.

At the point of a gun the veteran’s are man handled unceremoniously bundled into the container

and the door’s slammed shut. In the total darkness they stood still. Listening.

Staff’ found his torch, “ duke, Bert how are you two feeling?…any broken bone’s?”

“ I’ve lost a couple of teef” said duke,” I’ve had worse…I’ll live!”

“Bert?” “ naah, I’ve only had the wind knocked out of me…I’ll be as right as rain in a few minuet’s.

He hit’s like a girl!”

“I suggest we use the box’s to sit on an’ try to get comfy cos’ I think we’re going to be here some time.” staff suddenly point’s to a spot on the wall, turn’s off the torch, and slid a box aside to reveal….a hole! Staff peer’s into it to see if there is anybody stood directly outside or in front.

He then inches forward, cautiously, to get a better view, and to listen. “rotary diesel engine.” Harry whisper’s “no, rotary engine‘s!” “one wasn’t enough,?” “yep! I fitted four o‘the bugger‘s…with four turbo charger‘s,“ “ so you’ll get four time’s the power?” well you’d think so, but, well with one turbo, that dump’s too much power all at once to the drive wheel’s, now with four,it’s a smoother power delivery.” “ohhhh’….right,that’s clever.”

Staff’ switched the torch back on and move’s along the container’s wall,then back again,looking through some more holes,dotted about the place. He shine’s the torch along the wall as Harry and jack

Move some canvas sheet, he find’s a spy hole, about the size of 10p coin. They each select a rusted, gnarled spy hole, slightly twisted this way and that, to watch and listen.

Their sense’s hightened by the incarceration. Javindar spoke in hushed tones, as he told the cell’ why they are here,and what happened next,what he said next, a nightmare of biblical proportion’s unfolding right in front of them.for the briefest of moment’s it could be a joke,a joke of the sickest magnitude, “who the hell carry’s a briefcase on a terror mission?” whisper’s jack.

Removing the blood stained tissue from his mouth . “staff, can you pass me the torch, and the crowbar please, methinks…methinks I’ve found something.” he hang’s the large torch on a wire coat hangar that has been bent into a make shift hook. Positioning it on a overhead rail so it shone down illuminating… the thought’s began to race through his mind. He tilt’s the crate over, turn’s it round, examines the faded, partially damaged lettering, he tipped the crate over and rotated it some more times then sat the curios box back down,” it can’t be… it simply cannot be!” he whispered to no-one in particular. He wince’s, Dabbing the last of the blood away from his mouth. He slowly reach’s for the crowbar. He give’s the crate one last wipe, brushing, with the flat of his hand, a slow, almost reverent caress. “what…after all these decade’s!” he spin’s

the crowbar in his hand a few time’s, then, thoughtfully stroking it across his forehead. Then, in an almost dream like state, with careful,delberate move’s prize’s the lid off in a methodical manner. Lifting off the top and placing it to one side.

He remove’s the three layer’s of packing. Ah‘ now …now he remembers, remembers as though it was only last week not five plus decade’s ago …just round the corner of his memory.

Remembering Inchong dock’s??? Saturday morning. 1954 ?They were shipping back home ??? Is when he last set eye’s on the content’s. pondering the wrapped,concealed artifact’s tightly,securely packed.

The aroma of gun oil fill’s his nostril’s. He pick’s up, unrolls the largest of the bundle’s out of it’s oil stained cloth, Then another. Till’ all the piece’s, all the componant’s of a rifle… a Winchester repeater rifle, but not just any old rifle, oh’ no, this is his own personal rifle. Duke has forgotten about his busted lip and the three missing Incisor’s, and bruised rib’s ect. Duke see’s in the top left of the crate another,separate shape, a more rounded …..his Stetson! Reaching over he pick’s the package up, smiling, he unravels the bundle to reveal a stetson that his grandfather had given to him, looking

Inside the hat he read’s ‘shield’s’. American made. Turn’s it over, to view the badge a faint

Sun-burst pattern, hand sewn gold ’4’ emblem, crossed sabre oval patch. The fourth Pennsylvania

Cavalry. The double strand gold bullion hat cord and the gold acorn’s glinted resplendently.

And yes it is a bit wiffy’ , but it’s nothing,the fresh air will cure that, get rid of the oily aroma.

He doesn’t waste a moment in assembling his rifle. And that start’s with cleaning. Locate’s the cleaning kit…a few hundred round’s of ammunition, “wow!” he mutter’s, “Isn’t this a godsend!?”

Staff’ look’s over his shoulder, when he hear’s duke clattering about.”you alright duke, you seem to..err,…err, what ya’ got there?!” he whisper’s , “ this staff is one Winchester repeater complete with three hundred round’s of ammo’ wich I had pack away in…” he put’s the rifle into his shoulder, lower’s it cock’s the weapon a few time’s,feeling,listening. “nineteen fifty four.” “And it’s remained in that box ever since,untouched!” “yep! Remarkable aint’ it.” he now start’s to load the rifle.

Harry whisper’s as loud as he dare “staff you’d better listen this!” he put’s his ear to the small hole just in time to hear the cell’s leader give the final briefing.

“And now we enter the ‘end game’, you have trained long and hard for this moment, you will know me well enough to know I don’t go for long speech’s. I know how eager you are to strike at the infidel. The briefcase amire has braught with him “ amire hold ’s it up hight. “ Is no ordinary briefcase

This is a nuclear bomb!” shock surprise, turning quickly to subdued cheer’s and battle cries.

“This is the first of many,many, atomic device’s in our possesion, and we are the first to destroy a british army base, but that is only half our mission. In a couple of hour’s a passenger jet will be arriving at nearby blackpool airport, but this is no ordinary jet with ordinary passenger’s,this jet we are going to shoot down is the royal flight,so you will know who’ll be on board. Our atomic mushroom cloud will be our welcoming display for them on entering our airspace!”

“We must get out of here.” said staff, forgetting to whisper. “shush!” said Harry. “they’re still there!”

“no,” add’s jack, “ no they’re going.” Staff’ grabb’s the torch from duke and move’s over to where the ‘stilh-saw’ is’ is sitting.” “this, if it’s fitted with a metal cutting disc, yes, we are in luck.”

He pull’s the orange starting handle, nothing, he tries it again.lift’s it to head hight and shake’s it vigorously. “ At least it’s got fuel,” he tries several more time’s, nothing. Looking around he spot’s a tool box …and a spanner!, a spark plug spanner! “ is the fuel getting through,” bert ask’s. “errm,yeah! I’ll check the plug.” he extract’s it…and it’s filthy. “ I’ll hazard a guess, it need’s gapping”

The ‘stilh -saw’ put back together is given another few pull’s, then some more, but it’s stone cold dead.” it probably hasn’t worked for year’s…I thought it might have seized up.” “when the bomb goes off…” “At least it’ll be quick!” “can I try something,” said Bert. “we’ve always’s made our own luck.” he pick’s up a large hammer from the tool box.”WORK YA’HEAP OF CRAP OR I’LL BELT YA’ WI’THIS!. .let it think about it, mull it over for a moment.” Bert then tries starting it, nothing. He tries some more but….he give’s up. Harry step’s foreward quickly picking the saw up and suddenly pulling at the starting handle and with a loud’ BUZZ‘, ‘ROAR ‘and ‘CRACKLE,’ the little 2 stroke engine spin’s into life. Revving it gently, “Y’SEE SOMETIME’S THEY JUST NEED TO BE SURPRISED!” such noise in the confine’s of the container and everyone put their hand’s over their ear’s. “ OVER HERE,THIS WALL” staff’ shout’s pointing out were and the size of the cut to be made.

Harry give’s the section a cursory glance, and with a roar and a shower of spark’s the process of slicing through the steel prison. Daylight begins to become visible along the gap left by the saw. Now slicing downward’s.seeing the cut’s joining up has the prisoner’s smiling broadly.

Harry, on the last incision,the last couple of inch’s to go…then drop’s with a heavy CLUNK!’ with it’s dead weight, then an almighty WHUMF’! THUD’! as the sheet of currogated steel crash’s into the ground. As harry is about to hit the kill switch the saw cut’s out.it’s disgarded as they climb out

Half blinded and dazzled In the afternoon sunlight. Shielding their eye’s they follow staff’ over to his

office inside the hangar. “ we can ring the necessary people and department’s from my office.”

Inside staff’ rush’s to the battery of light switch’s.flick’s each one on. But the place remained immersed in darkness. He tried the switch’s again. “ a fuse must have blown!” run’s to the desk and his phone.lifting the reciever to his ear expecting to hear the dialing tone but there’s nothing. He press’s the PART OF PHONE!!!!! Still nothing. Quickly,he pull’s the top drawer were he keep’s his mobile phone. Switch’s it on but it display’s a garbled message. Suddenly the office is light up by a

large torch. “I thought we might need this.” said jack “I think they’ve cut the power.” “and the phone’s are dead as well” said staff. “even the mobile phone.”

“And there’s this,” duke place’s the briefcase on the desk. “bloody thing ‘asn’t gone off!” said Bert.


“Staff, look at your watch, y’see, that’s not working either,and it’s this that’s caused it,it only partialy detonated other wise we’d be pushing up the daisy’s.” he fiddled with the lock’s of the case.

“Cheap!…rubbish! bloody lock’s!…gotya’ ya’bugga!” Click! Click! Lifting it’s lid he present’s it’s innard’s. “see the timer some eight minuet’s ago we should have died…” jack interrupt’s. “least it would have been quick!” I watched a program on the discovery channel and it was all about the err,

Electro magnetic pulse,which is given off by the atom bomb when it explode’s and it ‘s this pulse that kill’s all kind’s of battery’s,computer’s,all manner of thing’s that have a computer chip,I think they said if something is turned off, it’ll survive, but I’m not too sure, can’t remember all of it, and it’s knock’s out everything within something like a 2 or 3 mile radius ?”

“The ‘privateer’!” said harry. “eh’” bert said. “we have a radio on the privateer…”

“And it was shielded !” “ so it’ll still work!” They pile out of the office. And make a bee line for their tank. In the torch light they climb into their tank.”Where’s staff’?” ask’s duke. “he’s opening the hangar door’s to get some light in here…oh’bloody ell’ “ said jack. “ there isn’t any bugger listening, so there’s no point in even trying to send a signal.” “what?” all line’s of communication are down, there’s no one to talk to, our’s work’s,but nobody else’s does.”

“so,what are we to do to stop the terrorist’s ?” just then staff slip’s in through the turret’s hatch.

“I’m ahead of you lad’s on that score,a situation has arisen and there is nobody at this very moment in time capable of stopping em’ …are you chap’s thinking what..” Harry interrupt’s “ we load up,fire this thing up and go and …” “ elininate them.” added Bert, chillingly. “we have the fuel, the ammo

We have the capability.” “he’s right,” said jack. “ we are completely alone,we must act now, there is nobody we can ask for help, we are on our own…we can’t even call up re-enforcement’s.”

“right, let’s get the tank out in the open.” said staff. “we have just gone to def’ con’ veteran’s and staff’

Mode!” “let’s wup’ ass!” said duke, smiling broadly. Sliding into the driver’s seat and engages the quad rotary diesel engined behemoth, she rumble’s into life. From her exhaust’s she emit’s a rasping snarling guttural, growl.

“o.k. sweet ‘art “ said duke trying to sound like ‘bogart’, “jus’ like ol’ time’s.” throwing open the hatch he see’s staff’ already in front giving him hand signal’s to guide him, reversing out of the hangar.


Daylight now flood’s in the hangar. As the ‘privateer’ come’s clattering, clunking and squeaking out Harry, jack, and Bert are ferrying the box’s of ammo’ for the main gun, 50 calibre, and bow-gun out of the container and stacking the on th grass. Ready for loading. The tank is positioned. engine switched off. “right lad’s, You know what to do,you’ve been here before. let’s go an catch some bad guy’s!”

Staff’ stood back and watched them briefly. It’s as if they’d never been apart. He sensed something,

He’d noticed it before, an invisible bond. A ‘something’ that is created…no, forged through battle.

Bonding that is only made by that unique chemistry, a grisly chemistry only available on the battle field. A feeling of urgency washed over him. The airport ! ..and it’s only two an’ half mile away!

“and it’s all ‘cross country’ so we won’t need rubber track’s.” “ I’d forgotten ‘bout that.!”

Harry said thoughtfuly. “ we know this area very well. I know the spot‘s they‘ll use for the attack.” “we’ve finished loading, we have 200 hundred round’s per machine gun but, only 6. 120 millimetre

round’s all high explosive, oh’ and canister round’s.” “ And when we run out.” said bert.” we can run them over!” “ it may come that.” “I couldn’t quite hear where he said they fire the s.a.ms’ from?” “ I did.” said harry.” about a quarter of a mile south east of singleton.” “jeez’!” exclaimed duke. “ “ we’re gonna’ av’t’shift. Which one do we hit first ?” “singleton it is.”

They climb aboard manning their post’s. Harry, in the commander’s cupola. He stare’s down at staff.who was looking about him in a sort of daze. He walked over to the container, stopped,took his beret out of his pocket. Unrolled it and put it on. He looked around him for a second time. watch’s as the ‘privateer’ set’s off, without him. It get’s a few hundred feet and stop’s. Harry look’s back, and whistles after staff, above the roar of the engines. And beckons him over. Y’DIDN’T THINK WE’D


Grinning he scamper’s in through the turret hatch. Jack hand’s him a throat mike and headphones.

“wireless…bloody ell‘! you think of everything!” “full ahead both, duke,!” said harry.

The intercom crackle’s into life. Bert is listening in for any ‘traffic’ between the vehicle’s. ” lad’s! I’ve got a fix on them, there’s a number of em’…” I’m also tuned in to their chatter’…the traffic twixt’ all five motor’s,” “five!, I didn’t think there’d be that many target’s, right lad’s we’ve got our work cut out for us this time.” “ I’ve got em’ on a heading of nor’ nor’ east” “ That’ll take them right under the flight path.” said Harry. “ predictable! So bloody predictable, I bet it’s near err…

Full ahead both, duke, so predictable!” Staff look’s around for something to hold onto. “does duke usually drive this fast!” “ no,” said Bert. He‘s normally a sedate sort of driver. Now, Harry, he’s capable of er’..much greater velocity’s than this.” “jeez!,” staff said adjusting his headphones. “ but for now,” said harry. “duke is in gang buster mode.”

Bert tap’s staff on the shoulder.”y’know there were occasion’s when I was convinced that this dirty great big thing was capable of flight.” “some fifty odd’ ton,” said Harry. “simply defying the law

Of gravity.” “lad’s!, lad’s!, we ‘ave em’ “ Bert shifted about in his seat. ‘bout a mile, dead ahead.” “right…let them have it!” Harry said, calmly,coldly. Bert tap’s staff on the shoulder again, and nod’s at the ammo’ compatment.his face blank. This is real. He catch’s a glimpse of Harry cocking the 50 caliber machine gun. Staring menacingly ahead.

He couldn’t but wonder at these pensioner’s, duke driving this tank like he’s in a formula one, or a chariot race, he’d have to think about that un’!.

Bert, and jack operating a battery of electronics that look as if they’d been nicked from the star ship enterprise’. No, no,he’s glad he’s on their side! He’s remineded of what the ‘Iron duke…Wellington said, when he observed his troop’s just before the battle.’I don’t know what they do to the enemy,

But they scare the life out of me!’ this was as they say ‘it’ and the rule’s of engagement do not exist

The terorrist’s tore that up when they crossed sword’s with …with these men, when they are at an age when they should be playing ball’s’ or pottering about in the garden, planning an excursion to the local garden center…but deffinatly not manning this beast of war!. Getting old is compulsory…growing up,

Well that’s optional !“ These old men never started any of this, but he knew,deep down that they were going to finish it.

And, it is going to be on their term’s. “god help em’” staff muttered. “what?!” said jack calmly “not

even god can help them now” there it was again that componant, a glint in his eye’s, this is frightening. Then, it came, the message. Crackling over the intercom. With it’s electrifying effect.

“There they are lad’s. “we have them, watch an’ shoot!, watch an’ shoot!” Harry let’s rip with the 50 caliber heavy machine gun, a short burst, it’s just a ranging shot. Now, it’s followed by a longer burst.

It’s unmistakable chug! Chug! Chug!. Staff dodged some of the hot spent cartridge’s cascading down.

Then, jack look’s at staff. And nodded at the ammo’ compartment. Numb with everything that’s happening, he reach’s over, slide’s out a 120 millimeter shell high explosive. it’s weight, It’s icy coldness travelled up his arm’s making him feel most uncomfortable. This, he’d never signed up for. “got a hit on one!” Harry’s voice broke the spell. He saw shower’s of spark’s fly as the armour piercing bullet’s

Tear through the rear most off roader’ vehicle. This alerted the other’s to the arrival of the ‘privateer’. As the motor’s accelerate trying to out-run their persuer’s.

Weaving about wildly, harry was about to fire another burst at his first target when it started to slow,

Then ‘wumph’ red and orange flame’s spewd out of the window’s. As the ‘privateer’ hurtle’s past, harry train’s his gun on the now fiercely burning wreck with it’s cache of chard burning body’s.

He though for a second. Five motor’s, and if each one has say, three, four or even five rocket propelled

Grenade’s!,there could be some twenty five r.p.g’s to dodge! He smile’s inwardly. “I like those odd’s!”

He mutter’s to himself.

In hot pursuance of their quarry, harry bring’s his gun to bear down on the three remaining motor’s.

They crashed straight through a thicket hedge,narrowly missing a large oak tree. Harry duck’s the lower branch’s. Some snag’ on the 50 cal’ he clear’s away’s the branch’s, the ‘privateer’ lurch’s left, then right. Duke see’s a window wind down and a terorrist lean out holding an r.p.g. trying to aim, but the motor weaving about made aiming impossible and the rocket fire’s wide. Now, it’s Bert, and jack’s turn. Main gun loaded.the undulating ground isn’t a problem for them.

The gun, and the tank move sinuously together. Jack, his face buried in the gun sight’s fire’s. The 120 millimetre gun. It recoil’s violently. The shell hit’s! vaporising the Toyota. Harry see’s the sun-roof on the next pick up’ opening and a terrorist pop’s up clutching an r.p.g. he fire’s without taking aim the rocket head’s straight for the ‘privateer’ striking a glancing blow to the turret. Duke aim’s the tank at the last of the pick- up truck’s and accelerates hard. Lunging forward, close’s rapidly Accelerates again Smashing into the rear right of the motor. The tank’s track carving up bodywork as if it were paper

And snapping one of it’s wheel clean off, sending it crashing into the other motor, duke slows down, pull’s back a couple or three tank length’s to give harry a clear view of the motor.

The driver try’s to shake the tank off by driving through a clump of tree’s forcing the ‘privateer’ to do a sharp right turn, now following parallel to the motor. Harry swing’s the 50 cal’ round, and taking careful aim fire’s off a volly of bullet’s shredding the motor. exploding bullet’s lighting up the Toyota’s cabin with eerie flash’s. Round’s hit the petrol tank causing a massive blast sending the blazing motor somersaulting, smashing, and splashing into a large pond. Half quenching the fire.

“O.k. duke, stop.” say’s Harry. He peruse’s the flaming wreck. “we aren’t about to find any intel’ in that little lot!….right, let’s get the other’s. you know where to head for duke?” “yeah!” and with that the ’privateer’ retrace’s it’s path of destruction.

Bert and jack busy themselves locating the two remaining motor’s. within minuet’s they’ve got a fix!

“full-ahead both, duke.” “ we need to be heading south westerly” jack said. “They have stopped.’bout a mile an’bit away.” “ but that’s…hmm’wonder if they know summut’ we don’t, right then, let’s go an’ sort em’ out!” minuet’s later, they stumble across the terorrist’s driving through a meadow,slowly,

Fenced in by a tall, impenetrable thicket hedge. There is one way out. And the ‘privateer’ is blocking it. Hemned in, they are sitting duck’s. On the command “fire!” the main gun, bow and 50 cal’

Open’s up. But luck is on the side of the cell’, harry’s gun jam’s, the pick-up start’s to zigzag.


The 120 m.m. round miss’s them, thudding into a large tree. Blowing it to smithereens.

“Canister round’s!” said Bert. Harry slide’s down, and shut’s the hatch. As the turret rotate’s. Spitting out the deadly ordinance. They explode spewing out small sharp metal fragment’s, and shard’s.

Duke attempt’s to ram the vehicle. But it turn’s too quickly. The canister round’s moderate effect.

Harry slip’s back behind the 50 cal’ and start’s to clear the blockage. Only to watch the cell’ nip round the side of the tank. Heading straight for the gate out. Only the bow-gun, and canister’s having done some damage to bodywork, and taking out the window’s. Harry see’s oil on the grass.” we’ve seriously damaged it, it’s leaking oil, how much ammo‘ ?” “3 round’s of 120,” said jack. “ ‘bout 200 for the bow-gun, an‘ a handful of canister ” Bert said. “make each shot count ,hard about duke.” he clear’s the blockage. But it’s too late. They vanish from sight. “Now all we do is to follow the trail of oil.”

“To an area south-east of singleton, using mile rd, weeton rd, and Fleetwood rd as the boundary.”

Rumbling out of the meadow,they swerve left. Slowly picking up speed. The black engine oil

Pointing the way. They follow for a couple of miles back toward’s weeton army camp when the oil trail run’s out just short of the wide expanse of woodland to the northern edge of the barrack’s.

Harry catch’s a glimpse of the solitary off roader’ crawling along the track leading through the wood’s.

“they’re about nine hundred yard’s ahead.” said bert. “I’ve just seen them!” jack notice’s the path bend

To the left. He take’s a chance and fire’s,watching the glowing shell head for it’s target, and the pick-up turn, and disappear along the track, the round explode’s in the tree’s. when the smoke clear’s the

target is gone. Hurrying to the path duke see’s it’s only wide enough for normal vehicles. Crashing into the wood’s the ‘privateer’ clear’s a path. Duke glance’s at the Speedo’ 25! 30! 40!

Harry take’s cover in the turret from the low branch’s. The bow-gun isn’t affected by the whipping of the low flying branch’s, but bert has to pick his moment as the Toyota drive’s recklessly along the twisting track. “wait for it!, waite for…” letting rip with a long burst Bert watch’s the tracer-round’s

Ripping through the motor, ricocheting off in different direction’s. The Toyota disappears round a bend. “It’s slowing down!” said duke. They round the bend and the pick-up come’s into view and bert give’s it a another prolonged burst, suddenly they’ve cleared the wood’s and the motor drop’s down into a dip. followed by the tank. In the distance the Toyota does a hand-brake turn stopping abruptly

The pick-up is now facing them. And the four terorrist’s jump out brandishing r.p.g’s and a.k’s . Duke floor’s it! Heading for the pick-up. A rocket is fired hitting the turret. jack has clear aim on the pick-up.squeeze’s the trigger obliterating it. Bert, still firing, gun’s down one of the cell’, harry fire’s off all the canister round’s simultaneously, at thirty feet they detonate. Shrapnel tearing through the

Terrorist’s face’s and body’s. duke drive’s the ‘privateer’ at, and over the burning remain’s of the pick-up stopping to check for survivor’s, the tank slows to do an about-turn’ avoiding the body’s duke set’s off at cruising speed, bert and jack plot an intercept course for the last of the cell’.

“eye’s down and look-in for…It’s ‘im, it’s jav’, we ’av ’im an’ he’s tryin’ t’contact the other cell’

Jav has stopped an e’s setting up shop’ on a patch twixt’ mythop rd, and the main rd were we have er’

A wall of tree’s, an’ another line of tree’s…hmm’ let’s see, a big fat rain-drop shaped, erm’ clearing

About the size of three football pitch’s. nearly surrounded on all side’s by a wall of shrub’s an’ bush’s

An’ tree’s,varying in size to shield them from the world’s vulgar gaze.”

A sense of urgency add’s Impetus to duke’s driving. They are running out of ammo’…and time.

“hold on tight lad’s!” said duke “I’m going to floor it, see what retirement’s done to her!”

“would this be an unofficial land-speed record attempt duke!?” said staff’.

“he’s going for a personal best!” added jack “does it often then?!” “what?” “the record attempt,

Does he try it often ?” “he most certainly does!” “ wish he’d try for it when we aren’t about!”

Said harry. “ I’m getting to bloody old for this!” “fifty five tonnes!, he should ‘ave joined the royal

Soddin’ air force!” The miles pass. Bert’s the first to ask. “ ‘ow fast this time duke?!”

“fifty eight em’ pee’ aich’!” “funny, it felt more like fifty-nine!”

“salim, we’ll spread the vehicle’s out, you move your vehicle three hundred metre’s over in that direction. Salim stare’s at the expanse. “ where, exactly!” “over there you imbecile! I swear, salim

Your father was an American!” “ Javindar.. look!” he look’s round to where salim is pointing.

In the distance, a column of pale blue-ish grey and black smoke rose high in the air.

“ Imchias has been victorious in destroying the tank!, now let us prepare the sams’…the royal flight

May have the very best of err’ electronic counter measure’s, to defeat our surface-to-air missile’s,

But it will prove no match for two missile’s!” “what?!” salim grunted. “look, one missile can be easily be dealt with by the e.c.m. but two sams’ will overwhelm…” jav’ noticed salim’s blank stare.

“salim, just go an’ get ready! You….. “ he sighed heavily. Jav’ climbed on the back of the pick-up truck. And scanned the sky, with binoculars’, for the approaching aircraft. “What’s is this?, what do we have ..? THIS IS IT!, IT’S COMING!… it’s about 12 miles distance.”

Jav’ spit’s out order’s to the other three terrorists. “you, stay here with me, you two help Imchias!!

“This is the only place they can be hiding.” “I’ll jump out an’ reccy’ the area.” said staff’

“should everything go pear-shaped and ya’ can’t make it back,” said harry. “dive under the tank for cover, cos’ we’ll let-go’ wi’ everything, the tank’ll protect ya’ from the canister round’s.” and with tha

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