dustybit's Blog
For Michaela,

The following i post at the behest of someone, it's the latest turn in a game i run for some of my friends. It will almost certainly not be of much interest to anyone but should someone actually read it and be interested in playing let me know; i'm sure i could fit you in. i would though need to know an email address so i can send on all the relevant stuff...

October ‘64
Operation One; Investigate Sightings
After Austin’s previous encounter with the Long Dogs back in July, any patrols taken by the Police or Army in the North have one dose of post prophylactic rabies treatment. However; supplies of these are very short and all are told that it would be far better to avoid contact with any biological encountered rather than have a need for treatment.
Geoffrey was the first to arrive at the War Office, followed closely by Austin. Ethan did manage to arrive on time; but only just and he still looked quite dishevelled. A good deal of the briefing was actually taken by Austin himself who was far better able to tell the others what they might expect than the Ministry fellows who seemingly hadn’t actually been outside for a good few weeks. Thankfully some thought from somebody had gone into the weapon provision; presumably from the Wallace collection came too long boar spears with wide crosspieces to prevent a determined charge up the shaft. There were also; a shotgun, a heavy net and an old Lee Enfield rifle, the first of which might stop a charge, the second cause an a****l to trip or contain it and the last might prevent having to close at all.
Austin and Geoffrey each took a spear, Geoffrey the net – he found it quite amusing to act as a Roman gladiator of old, though his limited classics education couldn’t quite furnish him with the name of the class – and Ethan the rifle. Austin had from somewhere acquired a big .45 calibre Colt 1911 pistol which would also probably stop a dog’s charge but also took the shotgun any way. After the usual speech about the current levels of ammunition supply a new person arrived in the briefing room. He appeared to be armourer of some type since he informed them the team that as per the 1941edition Home Guard manual, the shotgun’s ammunition had been modified. There were two different loads that they would be field testing; in the first type the regular cartridge had been adapted, all the shot had been removed and the space filled with molten candle wax into which as much of the shot as could fit was dropped. This formed a wax and shot slug the manual said that “some pellets break away and make a slight s**tter round the main slug, which has good penetration.” For the second the shot had again been removed and melted down but was then re poured into the cartridge forming a solid lead slug. Which “at 25 yards this slug goes through a sheep’s carcass, and is a certain man-killer at 50 and even 75 yards.” Austin had his doubts about these but Ethan was quite interested in testing their effectiveness.
There had been continuing reported sightings of the long Dogs to the east of Hackney along the marshes, but at least the disappearances seem to have stopped. This could probably be accounted for by the increased levels of vigilance in the area and as well as the fact that few people now travelled alone in the area. Once the briefing was done there being no provision of transport the team started yomping north east. There was little talking and to Geoffrey at least it soon became obvious that his chosen armaments were not really designed for long marches. The Hackney Marshes across the Navigation Cut which served as a neat border to them without any tending had become quite overgrown and were now easily able to hide a whole pack of dogs. With a whole team of beaters they would probably be able to f***e any creature eastward against the river Lea and there they would be easier to pick off, but as there were just the three of them this would not be possible. Instead they would just have to go through the whole are methodically; a course that none of them were happy with. They had hoped that they might be able to find a suitable vantage point from which Ethan could most effectively use the rifle. None of the buildings close enough proved suitable though , so they opted to operate in a triangle ; Austin and Geoffrey at the front and Ethan at the back covering them as best he was able.
It was soon evident that there were several trails through the long grass which could have been from feral dogs or cats but seemed too wide. Also, the single paw print Austin found – finally his forest ranger training was good for something – was noticeably larger than most domestic breeds of dog. With the watery October sun lowering in the sky they had still not covered more than half of the large expanse, which had been in happier times a recreation ground. They retreated back over the Cut and sort shelter for the night with locals in the church on Daubeney Road. Though their first day’s hunting had been unsuccessful their spirits (Ethan especially had a lot of spirits…) remained high and would set out again at first light. None of them slept well though and all were stiff and cranky in the morning.
Starting where they had left off the day before, again they crept through the tall grass now spotted with the odd invasive shrub, tree or bush. A little before lunch time Austin’s sensitive ears alerted him that something approached at speed and he closed with Geoffrey for support. The Long Dog was far too fast for Geoffrey’s inexpertly flung net to catch it but Austin just managed to skewer it on his spear. It kicked and snarled angrily and took a long time to die whilst Austin just held the shaft as firmly as he could. It was not necessary to use a bullet to finish it though all of them would rather have done so. Once they were sure the thing was dead it was prized from the spear’s tip and they back tracked it to a little copse of trees. They were unable to sneak up to the den since the creatures were now aware of them. Two more are caught on the spears – one even was half trapped by the net – and Ethan brings down another with the rifle. Both types of adapted cartridge prove effective and in all the tally is six adults as well as a litter of three young perhaps a month old – none of them were really comfortable hurting the young but could see the sense in doing so – all of the bodies of which they burn. They could find no clue as to where they had originally come from however, but the fact that they can breed is obviously one of concern.
All succeed, Geoffrey less well than the others. Austin and Ethan get two thick stamp books (+4 food.), Geoffrey only one (+2 food.). None of them accept accommodation in the area.
Mission is a success.


Operation Two; Support Police Operation

Support for the euthanasia clinics remains mixed, but polls suggest the slight majority of the populace seem to either be in support of or unconcerned at their existence. There are however rumours that even after significant inducement by extra ration and better housing; finding staff for them has proved a problem.
For once to most everyone’s surprise Mustafa was actually the first to arrive at Scotland Yard, unfortunately once there however he found it difficult to find the briefing room; finally managing to arrive properly only five minutes late. Arthur was the first there with Elizabeth and Graham arriving almost together. Once a broad outline of the plan had been made the Police unit that would accompany the team were ushered in so that all concerned would have an appreciation of what the objectives were.
Whenever one of the clinic staff had been suspicious of an applicant after making excuses about the facility being very busy and currently back logged all had been instructed to take a description of the person accompanying the volunteer. After these descriptions had been collated it seemed that three of four individuals are acting as helpers to multiple people. Though staff have been as vigilant as they are able to be we cannot confirm that all abuses of the facilities have been prevented. The majority of those that had been however have been in the East End and North with two in FrogTown (As it has turned out there has been generally a good deal less use of the facilities south of the river, social commentators suggest that this may be due to closer community ties and and greater respect for elders amongst the foreigners resident here.). The best information we have comes from a clinic in Stepney; where the suspicious character once prevented from their aims was tailed surreptitiously by fortuitously present off duty Policeman, back to a house opposite the goods station on Gower’s Walk in Whitechapel.
The Police would do what they could to surround the building before a f***e of armed officers along with the team would make simultaneous entries at both front and rear. Observation of the building has been frequent and it seems that it was a common destination for the area’s criminals. At most it was estimated that there would be only four or five miscreants present along with presumably a couple of citizens who were being coerced. This was not to say that some may not carry a pistol or that some larger weaponry for defence of the place might not be inside. The police officers making the assault would be generally armed with a couple of Nangent pistols and truncheons, but would be covered by someone with a S.M.L.E. rifle at both front and back to prevent the escape of anyone running for it. The team were only provided truncheons but Arthur had his little pistol in a jacket pocket just in case.
Rather to Elizabeth’s surprise the building was surrounded silently and seemingly without the inhabitants being alerted, both riflemen found good vantage points which allowed clear shots and though the assault teams were understandably a little worried, everything went to plan. A loud whistle co-ordinated the entries at both front and back and what struggle there was, was short lived under the weight of the Police teams, one officer was hit across the head with a cricket bat – though will be fine after rest – and Arthur somehow managed to end up facing one of the criminals alone and is stabbed by a flick knife (5 damage.) before his opponent is incapacitated. While Elizabeth tends to Arthur the building is searched thoroughly and what seems to be a chemistry lab making some form of narcotic; tentatively identified at the scene as L.S.D. All of the gang are captured alive and are e****ted to Scotland Yard for further questioning and possible Governmental employment in the case of the chemist.
Elizabeth, Graham and Mustafa all succeed, but Mustafa only just. Arthur fails but is healed for six at the debriefing which leaves him uninjured, nor does he need to use his limited ammunition. Elizabeth and Graham receive stamps (3 food.) and a box of washing powder (1 luxury.) as well as a bonus to their next dealing with the Police of +1. Mustafa gets fewer stamps (2 food.) and a bag of toffies (1 luxury.), Arthur just gets stamps (2 food.).
Mission is a success.


Operation Three; Intelligence Gathering

Thankfully in recent months the troubles between the Mods and Rockers seem to have halted, there have certainly not been any further mass confrontations and no reported fatalities. Scuffles between small groups still persist but in the majority of cases of these no weapons are involved. As such it is hoped by the authorities that the earlier situation is no longer as acute – some social commentators suggest that this reduction in the wilfulness of the youths might be connected with the end of summer and the possibility of passions being affected by the heat. What with the recent anomalous weather though this seems unlikely and nor are there facilities available for a study of this – as once it was. This is not to say however that the Police no longer require the intelligence on factional leaders, as such the operation would certainly still go ahead and any details which might result would certainly be kept on file against any future resurgence in troubles.
It had to be said that William at least seemed a little disappointed with this; he had been taking his personal investigation very seriously and now to be told that all his efforts may no longer be of any real value was a little galling to say the least. He had been the first to arrive for the briefing, a good half hour earlier than either Harriet or Melissa, though both Women were a few minutes early themselves. They arrived together; Melissa it seemed had been interrogating Harriet on her new role as Mrs Warren Sykes. Bobby also made it on time but only just, however he did seem at least to have a genuine interest in the objectives of the operation.
Once it had been established that the team would be split into pairs there was much debate as to who would go with whom. Melissa; who still had lots of questions for Harriet, wanted to go along with her, and Harriet for her part would have been happy with this. As it turned out however the women were the only ones with some local knowledge of the areas which would see the investigation and as such needs must they be split up. William who by now had contacts with the Rockers would accompany Harriet to the North, and Bobby who was not unaware of Mod music would go with Melissa to the East End. This being an intelligence gathering operation, no weapons were issued, though two rather battered Kodak cameras were provided with hopes that the team could thus add a picture to the names and descriptions of any individuals concerned. Though it was noted that any snapping be done discreetly so as not to arouse suspicion, after all it’s not as though there could be many innocent reasons for taking photos these days.
Although Melissa was intent upon searching in Bow, Stepney and the surrounding area Bobby was insistent that they would find comparatively few Mods there. He was confident he knew a couple of places in Soho that would be more likely to be the hang out for anyone who might be organising them. He remained happy though to go along with Melissa’s plan first and out of a sense of curiosity and second to stay in her good books. He was polite enough not to say; “I told you so” when their expedition in the east had no real result. Footsore and tired though they agreed to meet up again the next day and try Bobby’s leads. Harriet and William though at least had made some headway; going once again to the 59 Club William was once again greeted by many of the patrons whom he now thought of as friends. He introduced Harriet as a friend and fellow Elvis fan and this seemed good enough so that she too was accepted by the Rockers. Subtle questioning throughout the day though, suggested that they too would need to look elsewhere; most likely Stonebridge in the north west of the city.
The next day was a good deal colder and both pairs wanted to wrap things up as quickly as they could. At Bobby’s suggestion he and Melissa headed first to the Discotheque; a club in Lower Wardour Street and then to “The Scene” in Ham Yard. Bobby it seemed was quite recognisable and his questions along with a good supply of bootleg gin got the name – but no photo – of the unofficial Mod leader; Vince Brandon. Harriet and William took longer to find acceptance at the Ace Café on the North Circular road, but eventually they too discovered a couple of names; Wayne Chisholm and Pete Fowler, and even managed to get a – slightly blurry – picture of Wayne.
All succeed, William and Melissa perhaps slightly better than Booby and Harriet. William and Melissa get stamps plus some tinned soup (3 food.) and a bag of sugar (1 luxury.), Bobby and Harriet just get stamps (2 food.) and a tin of treacle (1 luxury.).
Mission is a success.


Operation Four; Liaison with Jersey Community

Natalie was quite excited with the prospect of a journey to Jersey, though not quite France proper it would be the first time she had been so close in many a year. As such she arrived at the Ministry before the rest of the team and enjoyed the opportunity to pour over maps and what reports there were on the island’s recent past. John was next to arrive; he too paid close attention to the briefing, being an American he only had the vaguest idea just where Jersey was. Thus he too had quite a lot of reading to do. Anya and Piet arrived more or less together; each was interested in learning a little about the other’s country’s navy. All of the team were already seated and either chatting or with their noses in some report or other by the time the briefing staff actually arrived.
Once again the team would be using the Chasse Marée, which had now been moved back to Tilbury since it seemed to be quite likely it might be utilised regularly by the Group from now on. Anya was quite pleased to be back on the deck of an old sail boat; reminding her as it would of her youth spent flitting around the myriad islands of the Aegean in a boat not much smaller. Piet too seemed happy enough to be aboard though it was considerably longer since he had been on the deck of something which could only boast sail power. Natalie was not as sure about the transport that was available but was determined that she would soon find her se legs.
The ministry had been researching just what happened to the Islands during the war, but they could not really offer any more information than had been gained from the islanders. It appeared that the Russians had made a very limited attempt to scout the Islands in a single boat, but had been convinced to retreat by a determined defence organised by the current Lieutenant Governor; George Erskine GCB, KBE, DSO. Though no-one on either side appears to have been hurt during the brief exchange of fire it was of sufficient strength to convince the Russians to leave. Whether they intended to return in greater numbers later on or had even actually intended a landing remains debatable. What can be said though is that all of the Islands in the archipelago have remained free of enemy activity. However, what with the disruption to the weather which seems to have been just as acute if not more so further south, food became a problem. This resulted in many of the Islanders leaving for mainland France in whatever vessels they could find, leaving very few if any sea worthy vessels available.
The Ministry wish to ascertain whether Jersey does still in fact have uncontaminated arable land, and what supplies of seed crops if any there are. The long term plan being to for any agricultural workers resident in London who at the moment are really offering only labour might be relocated and be able to put their knowledge to worthwhile use.
It was undeniably pleasant to be out on the water away from the grime, smell and depression of the city, whilst in the estuary the crew could only pretend that all was well by looking straight ahead. The effects of the war upon the city and surrounding country, even from the river were only too evident. Once though they had reached the Channel and the land was just an indistinct smudge across the horizon they were able to glory in the quiet and the relative cleanliness of their surroundings. Anya especially was enjoying herself with the salt spray on her face and the wind in her hair, she could not stop a broad and almost greedy smile spreading across her face. Piet and John too, even Natalie felt some elation at the freedom.
Though it could not be said that their arrival was to receive an official welcome, evidently their progress toward the tidy little harbour at Gorey had been noted a good while before they were in a position to moor. Rather worryingly though at least one of the small welcoming committee was armed, admittedly the shotgun the man carried was broken, but it still though held an air of menace. After an excited exchange of questions and greetings the team were e****ted to the overlooking Mount Orgueil Castle, it was here that Erskine and most of the community now lived.
The old general was quite surprised to be confronted with a party who to him were all foreigners. Though he did his best to disguise the fact, he also seemed quite surprised that two of them were Women. Though his only knowledge of the S.S.G. can only have been second hand form the last time they had been here he was very interested in seeing their I.D. cards and had many questions about the Group, its responsibilities and activities, these were asked as they toured the castle, all the way to the top where the Germans had tried so hard to disguise the lookout posts they built as turrets of the castle. Erskine was polite, if a little reserved, and though he agrees to offer a home to some of the current population of London he makes it plain that he does not want an influx of unskilled mouths. Though it is very possible that the island could produce a sizable food surplus which would be available to London, the island would require some help too. Medical supplies were all but used up, as was fuel. There are agricultural machines available which could obviously help increase yield but there is no fuel available for them.
It does therefore seem highly possible that Jersey could provide much, but it too needs help. Erskine seems to be a capable and well liked leader for the community, but implies that he would expect very much to stay in charge.
Anya despite enjoying herself fails – perhaps she was enjoying herself too much and got distracted… - all the others succeed, but no-one more than marginally. Piet, Natalie and John get stamps (4 food.) and a box of teabags (1 luxury.) Anya gets slightly fewer stamps (3 food.) and a bottle of crème de menthe (1 luxury.).
Mission is a success.

Weekend One in a rather shocking report from the Ministry of Food it was revealed that the infant mortality rate has been increasing steadily for the last seven months. Such that now the population; due to the demise of the sick and infirm as well as disease and other factors is now shrinking by a figure estimated to be two and a half per cent every month. Whilst this may have a small benefit to food supply, this statistic was a source of worry to a great many people.
Austin at special request due to the constraints of time he faced this month, found himself prior to attending the service at Down Street rushing to fill in forms to be involved in the further investigations concerning Nicholai. Despite his somewhat careless penmanship he saw his name put at the top of the roster.

Ethan woke with a very sore head to find he was lying on what appeared to be the beginnings of a sequel to his father’s Lovecroftian novel; “the Gate” which evidently he had been writing the night before. Not that he could remember doing so, however once he’d cleaned as much of the vomit off his scribbling that he could, sufficient to make it legible it appeared that it might have some literary merit.

John though he could not help but be aware of the service for Gemma, felt that as a relative newcomer who knew her only by her somewhat colourful reputation he need not attend. Instead he went to see a friend of his in the logistic section. Who after some intensive haggling and in despite of the current situation secured for him a – slightly rusty - .45 calibre 1911 pistol and a box of 49 rounds for it. (+ Pistol and ammunition, -4 food, -1 luxury.)

Piet was very busy on the Saturday; rushing around FrogTown making hurried appointments with several of his friends. He would though find enough time to attend the memorial on the Sunday.

William had much to do in following up on his official investigations at the start of the month. He returned to the “59 Club” where his arrival became quite raucous, and was asked often in a ribald fashion just exactly what was going on between Harriet and him. Despite relentless questioning though he remained adamant that they were just friends, even so many of the regulars assumed there was a little more to than this. When he managed to get a word in he spent some time inquiring about Chisholm and Fowler.

Gemma’s remains had been recovered and buried with what had been intended to have been a quiet ceremony, but saw the majority of the off duty members of the Group in attendance. Bobby who it turned out had known her before either joined the S.S.G. sang a touching version of “Abide With Me” before smoking his way nervously through three cigarettes, Anya stood quietly holding hands with Harriet; both were obviously moved greatly but maintained their composure. Austin had his arm protectively about Elizabeth’s shoulders, she too just managing to stifle tears, Melissa though perhaps due to her closeness to Gemma or perhaps her nationality could not restrain her tears and wept and wept unceasingly into Graham’s shoulder. Arthur and Natalie stood a little distant from the others, but both were affected by Bobby’s song, as too was Piet. Mustafa was almost as tearful as Melissa but no-one was really sure if this was all genuine or just some strange Turkish custom. Geoffrey too seemed to be on the brink of tears, but took a nip or three from a hip flask each time he was about to slip.
Once the funeral was over, the greater majority of the party returned to the Officers’ Mess for a wake which would pass into Group folklore. In recognition of her significance the bar offered everyone a free drink or two and next to the door through which she had always made such an entrance put a small hand painted metal plaque which read; “Gemma, gone but never forgotten.”

Week Two in an event that would startle everyone at Scotland Yard, the body of Joan Hemsley; Joseph Simpson’s former secretary was found after a quick search was mounted when she missed two day’s work in an overgrown garden just two streets away from her small shared flat. She had been strangled or possibly even garrotted and leaves an elderly and infirm mother and a father who was too distraught to identify the body. Whispers about a possible connection with Simpson’s forthcoming trial were soon rife around the Yard.

Anya wasted no time in any more beautification than donning her old Greek Navy uniform before heading over to the Admiralty to apply for the team heading to Den Helder. Someone must have been impressed since she saw her name added under Piet’s.

Austin still concerned at the absence of Nicholai went to the Latvian’s rooms in the docks. They had been searched thoroughly by various S.S.G. teams or so he had been told, but wanted to make his own conclusions. The rooms certainly seemed to have been ransacked, but oddly he found no evidence of personal v******e such as a bl**d splash, powder burn or bullet casing. He went to talk with other close by residents who at first seemed unwilling to help. He tore several stamps from a ration book though and did loosen some tongues. No-one could recall hearing any noise of a struggle or could confirm anyone entering his place.

Harriet despite Warren’s insistence that it was cold and she would only catch a chill for no result spent the majority of the week staking out the docks. Warren who after being brow beaten just accompanied her was right; she did but he certainly wasn’t going to remind her he’d assumed she might. Aside from becoming something of a regular face there she did not witness anything untoward.

Melissa filled forms at Down Street to be included in the Nicholai investigation. Her diligence paid off and she was added to the roster.

Ethan still a little muddle headed did manage to find his way to the War Office, where despite some very poor form filling saw his name put at the top of the team roster for “Create Forward Base.”

John amused himself no end by arranging some of the boxes he referred to as “furniture” in his flat into a mini assault course which he then proceeded to traverse whilst jumping rope. It was fun and he even felt a good deal more agile as a result (+1 agility.), though his downstairs neighbour was not happy about the noise if her banging on the ceiling was anything to go by.

Graham crossed to the Ministry of Food, some rather cursory form filing saw his name added to “Investigate Rat Problem.”

Arthur busied himself about B.E.R.B.I.C.R.U. running various diagnostic programmes on his newly built – if generally second hand – computer. After three hot, sweaty days he was convinced it was running within its specifications and found that he could make decent toast with the heat from the processor in about seven minutes.

Elizabeth along with Graham managed to make it to the Ministry of Food. With comparatively little effort she saw her name added to his on the rat mission.

Piet along with some friends from FrogTown went once again to visit some of his old crew in the camps.

Natalie filled forms at the War Office; though she did not really like the way that many of the ministers and soldierly types look at her, but managed to ignore them enough to see her name put at the top of the roster for “investigate lights in the sky.”

William found himself at the comparatively cramped library at Down Street, and even got a desk to himself. He picked out several weighty tomes on the earth sciences and settled in to read. Though he made no great mental leaps he was at least warm.

Mustafa made last minute plans for his safari/ hunting trip/ reckless endeavour. And though the guards at the barricades were suspicious of the little troop he led and their pram; since they had the required documentation couldn’t stop them leaving. They did though doubt they would see them return, and rather rudely were already organising a book before they were out of earshot.

Geoffrey quite literally went to see a man about a dog. Having been taking notes on the form at the track he was hoping to find the owner of “Hero of Connaught” and make an offer for him.

Bobby filled forms at Down Street, he didn’t seem very interested in doing so really, but nevertheless he saw his name added below Austin’s on the roster for “Further Investigations re Nicholai.”

Weekend Two saw a small euthanasia clinic in Stepney fire bombed, this occurred at night so there were no casualties but fire crews working with limited resources were unable to prevent two other adjoining buildings catching. These were evacuated with only a few minor wounds; it was only the arrival of a persistent rain which enabled the firemen to control the conflagration. Later there was an unsubstantiated statement (Which was not received in the usual, accepted manner.)claiming that it was an act perpetrated by the C.D.A.

Anya returned once again to her local pool to practice her swimming. She was beginning to become aware though that the pool was unheated…

Austin spent some time introducing himself to some of his neighbours whom he had never usually had the time to visit. At first most were hesitant to talk with him, but he was eventually able to discover that one of them had witnessed a man that they’d never seen before hanging around Austin’s digs last month. Once he’d parted with a few stamps (-1 food.) he even got a sketch and description of the miscreant which he was told was a good likeness.

Harriet was prompt to attend her interview with the internal investigation team. Although she was a little worried, it turned out she needn’t have been; they were happy with all she related (though they took copious notes.), and filed these away with a letter from Dr Kovacks which confirmed his trust in her good conduct.

Melissa got up incredibly early fretting a little, and was waiting outside Graham’s place when he left to go for a run. As it was though he was pleased to see her but concerned how upset she looked. She asked if he might move into Gemma’s old room at least for as long as she felt “unsafe”. He was certainly not going to refuse and once they’d informed his landlady he was leaving they spent the rest of the weekend moving his belongings to Melissa’s place.

Ethan though aware that he was expected to attend the internal investigation interview was disinclined to do so. He wrote a shaky note on the back of a torn envelope and asked a neighbour to deliver it, and tried very hard to look ill – which really wasn’t hard – as he did so. The interview team were not impressed by his claim of having flu and sent a note to the Ministry of Food concerning a possible infectious health risk. Later the same day a worried looking man in a paper mask knocked at Ethan’s door, but he was conscious enough to realise what had happened. The man from the Ministry, after a cursory investigation of Ethan from some feet away was convinced – though he certainly didn’t make any real tests – and put a quarantine order on the building for a week which two special Police officers were detailed to maintain. Ethan had dodged the interview but he will almost certainly have to attend another at some point in the future and his reputation with the neighbours will probably have suffered a bit…

John as Austin had earlier made his way to Nicholai’s rooms in the docks. He certainly didn’t see the errant Latvian, but after some questing of the neighbours (-1 food.)discovered much the same information as Austin had. After his going over the mess in the flat, there is really nothing pertinent that any further search of it may produce; the scene now having been far too contaminated.

Arthur strolled out as far as Tottenham for a look around, though he got a little wet in the rain he was comfortable navigating around the area.

Elizabeth after some quite aggressive rummaging in Bethnal Green found a few tins of soup some of which were even undented. (+2 food.)

Piet went to see a friend and provide him a few stamps so that he might do some research for him. (-2 food.)

Natalie spent some time in the records room at Down Street to dodge the rain; she made a lot of notes.

William went across to the Air Ministry with hopes of scheduling a meeting for later in the month; he was allowed to return the next weekend for an interview with some of the technical staff.

Geoffrey though he did not know it was following Arthur out to Tottenham, he got just as wet which must have distracted him since he was just as baffled by the local geography as ever.

Bobby spent some time in rehearsing with his new band, but actually spent more time arguing over a name for it…

Week Three finally saw the start of the trail of Sir Joseph Simpson. As is the norm these days no public access was permitted to the trial itself, but large crowds had gathered at the courtrooms. They were strangely subdued as he was e****ted into the building by three Police Officers. As yet no public announcement of the verdict has been released.

Austin spent a good deal of time at St James’ in discussion with various officials of differing importance and later on some time at Down Street too. He did at last manage to track down the always busy Boniface who agreed to talk to the R.A.F. officially regarding some technological device. (-1 luxury.) As well as organising an investigation into the targeting of members of the Group.

Harriet with Melissa perhaps a little unwisely considering the sniffles she acquired the last time; again spent time down at the docks trying to look inconspicuous near the barges which carry food to the camps. Unseen by the pair of Nats who were guarding one such barge and despite the cold and cramping limbs they settled in to wait. At almost exactly midnight the guards exchanged nods and headed off. Ten minutes later a group of six men arrived and each took a sack from the vessel. This took less than a minute and then they were gone. At precisely a quarter past midnight the guards returned to their vigilance. Melissa though had overheard the men discussing “the Leader” and his plan for next month.

Ethan made an effort to catch up with a friend for a quiet chat.

John once again set up his impromptu assault course, and getting perhaps a little over confident decide to try it again with a blindfold. This time all he got for his troubles though was quite a few bruises on his shins.

Graham on waking and finding a note from Melissa saying that she was off to help Harriet in the docks, set off to try and find them and offer his support. As it turned out he didn’t make it that far. Aware that he was being followed, he stopped and turned to face his pursuers one of whom asked gruffly; “Are you Cardew?” Rather unwisely perhaps to which he replied in the affirmative, and the two men set upon him with boots and a rounders bat. When he came to it would be to learn that he had a sore head, black eye, two broken fingers on his left hand and a lot of bruises. (-3 hits.) He didn’t really feel much like looking for Melissa after that and staggered back homeward instead.

Arthur once again hit the books on the library at Down Street. He read and read but could not manage to cram sufficient further knowledge into his already packed skull to see an increase in his general intelligence.

Elizabeth found time to hit the bars in the Admiralty gymn. (+1 agility.)

Piet was sure he’d seen Melissa and Harriet heading for the docks, but somehow managed to lose them despite his best efforts. He looked around for a little but only noticed a couple of jumpy looking soldiers, who moved him on saying the area was restricted.

Natalie went to see Perrin, the French physicist. He was still quite saddened by the loss of his daughter, but despite this seemed genuinely pleased to see her. They chatted long into the night on subjects as diverse as nuclear physics, madeleines and bree, both felt better for the company. (+ specialist research contact.)

William also went to see an old friend for a couple of jars and some catching up.

Mustafa wasn’t back yet…

Geoffrey spent the week intimidating ferocious looking dogs in his efforts to improve his general bravery. All this got him though was a bite on his right shin. (2 rolled -2 hits.)

Bobby spent some time chatting with some logistic clerks, one of whom he discovered also appreciated Roy Orbison. (+1 logistic contact.)

Anya spent a pleasant evening with Arthur Bernard; a young logistic corpsman who had noticed her and introduced himself. He is perhaps three or four years her junior, maybe a little naïve but handsome in a rugged outdoorsy way. He must have used up a good two weeks rations trading for what delicacies he could to impress her. Though Anya was not immediately attracted to him, his company was comfortable and polite and he was undeniably attentive.

Weekend Three there had still been no official announcement from the authorities concerning the Simpson trial, however on the Sunday a statement was issued by poster which stated the trial had been halted due to “some witness testimony now coming under suspicion.” Colonel Sir Arthur Young in particular and Scotland Yard in general have both been strangely subdued on the matter.

Harriet wandered out to Islington on her usual scavenge for the Parish poor, unfortunately despite her knowledge of the area things did not go well. Somehow she managed to find herself in a blind alley which was blocked by two very grubby men who took no notice of her pleas to be left alone. Though desperation and adrenaline saw her evade their attempts to grab her, the left sleeve of her coat was torn off in her escape. (12 rolled. -1 modifier to next action in the North, due to sense of foreboding/ panic.) Warren was horrified when she arrived home sobbing.

Melissa concerned for Graham after his misfortune in the week, decided she would stay in and pamper him a little. He had intended to go and do some boxing practice at the Air Ministry gymn, but really didn’t feel up to it. Melissa traded a bottle of sweet sherry for several kettles of boiling water and insisted that he have a bath to relax. He wasn’t going to refuse, there being a new bar of soap too. He was still more delighted when afterward she offered him a massage and some brandy. One thing led to another and Monday morning saw them waking together in her room, both a little embarrassed but very happy. (Melissa; -2 luxuries. Graham and Melissa; + a rather jolly time.)

Ethan felt a strange compulsion to go to the junction of Campden Hill Road and Peel Street in Kensington not far from the covered reservoir. Though it was cold and drizzly, he stayed all of Saturday and returned to wait again for some of the Sunday, but no-one approached him or took much notice of his presence.

John asked quite a few quiet questions around St James’ and Westminster.

Arthur spent much sweat and brain power on writing a cataloguing programme for B.E.R.B.I.C.R.U. it seemed to be working well after a couple of tests.

Natalie on both nights sat atop Guy’s Hospital looking south trying to spot “lights in the sky” which had been reported. On the Saturday despite the chill she stayed all night and did see fleeting glimpses over an area close to Dulwich and West Norwood. On the Sunday though, she saw nothing.

William had his scheduled meeting with the R.A.F. technical staff at the Air Ministry.

Mustafa still had not returned…

Bobby stayed in polishing off a half bottle of brandy and a full packet of cigarettes (-1 luxury.) but even with eyes red from lack of sl**p and too much smoke, penned three very memorable songs for his band.

Anya went back to the baths for more exercise, even though the water seemed even colder than it had last weekend. There were only two other swimmers there, a good deal less than she was used to.

The Dogs

Attempts at promoting racing to a younger audience had it seemed been forgotten, and the crowds were small due to the colder than normal weekend. Even so Austin and Elizabeth were both here for a day out, and though their paths did not cross Piet was also here with Miep. Everyone was aware that Geoffrey was here though and was betting heavily. Piet broke down a book of ration stamps for Miep who delighted in reading the card and picking dogs with the prettiest names, which was probably not a great system.

Race One in a major upset Hero of Connaught takes an early lead to take the line; Long Don does well to stay in contention to take second, an unfavoured Rex the Runt takes third and a seemingly underperforming Scrinter just beats Barnabus to fourth. Miep loses, Geoffrey wins.
Race Two Julius Seize Her romped home for the win, Albright ran well but never challenged for the lead, White Cliff runs well enough to beat Beecham’s Powders and Ragged Eared Dog trails home. Miep and Geoffrey lose, Austin wins.
Race Three saw another upset. No-one was surprised to see Legs XI triumph, but he only just beat Prussian blue whom Miep had picked. Jack a Dandy beats a very poor running Lord Walden’s Fancy who only just beat off Cock of the North. Miep loses, Geoffrey wins.

Week Four questions were being asked by the unusually attentive about the absent Mustafa. There were very few in the Group who didn’t find him at least a little annoying. Strangely though to some at least his absence left them feeling rather unnerved, maybe the mysterious little Turk and his often bumbling attempts to look efficient really did make more a difference than he or anyone else for that matter had ever assumed…

Harriet though still a little shaken was at Down Street filling forms for the Nicholai investigation. Seemingly though; she must have been a little less thorough with her paperwork than usual. Her name was not added to the roster.

Melissa found her personal investigation into Joan Hemsley’s death frustrated by officials at Scotland Yard.

Ethan for once sober, if still a little frayed around the edges had an appointment to keep.

John to make something of a change decided to work on his upper body; doing a rigorously long set of push ups. Unfortunately this did not see any real improvement in his physique. Still as least it kept him warm and didn’t upset the neighbours.

Graham wandering around in Tottenham got quite lucky. Not only did he come across a few packets of powdered stock but also a serviceable if rusty .38 revolver and a few rounds for it. (2 rolled; +1 food, + pistol.)

Arthur arrived early at the Admiralty to sign up for the exploration of the Dutch naval base at Den Helder, his efficient paperwork and credentials – such as they were – saw his name added to the roster underneath Anya’s.

Elizabeth went to the records office and asked for as many maps and reports by the sewerage workers as they could find for her. Though she was not permitted to take any of these away she made copious notes. (+1 bonus on mission success, next month.)

Piet continued his morale maintenance operation upon his remaining crew in the camps. Though was perhaps not so successful this week as he had been earlier in the month.

Natalie using a surprisingly large room in the house that Perrin had been provided after he agreed to help the authorities, practiced her ballet – something she’d not done in years – to the eager if inexpert piano accompaniment of the physicist. Though she saw no improvement in her balance or agility there was much laughter and she felt considerably more at ease with him.

William arrived a little later than Harriet at Down Street and requested the forms for the same mission, which it had to be said was nearing capacity. He though was unaware of Harriet’s misfortune and applied himself to claiming a spot as leader on the operation. He had more success and his name was added at the top of the roster in a command position. This filled the roster entirely.

Mustafa was still not yet back…

Geoffrey arrived at Down Street just in time to see the team roster for the Nicholai investigation being taken down from the notice board, it now having reached capacity. Now rather stuck for something to do, he went home and read Biggles till bedtime.

Bobby was out and about in FrogTown, ostensibly scavenging for cigarettes or alcohol. As it turned out though; his progress in this regard was impeded by his meeting with several old friends from the business. They chatted long into the evening, but weren’t going to let an old friend go empty handed and gave him a quarter pound of “Drum” and a half bottle of Captain Morgan rum. (+2 luxuries.)

Anya feeling it was the right thing to do after seeing Brandon earlier in the moth went to see her ex-husband Sir James.

Austin requesting a crossbow from the armoury at St James’ spent some time in target shooting at the range in the cellars. His efforts though were not sufficient to increase his already excellent marksmanship.

Weekend Four finally saw the return of Mustafa’s now somewhat depleted hunting party. Of the nine volunteers; three had not returned at all and of those who did one was injured but still mobile. Much to everyone’s surprise he also had three deer carcasses, one on his handy wagon and the other two hanging from poles carried by a pair of his helpers. Mustafa really didn’t look any the worse for wear either, it would remain to be seen however just how the community would react to the loss of some of their number.

Harriet even despite her earlier misfortune whilst scavenging tried once again to rustle up some victuals for the parish poor in and around Hammersmith. She was a little more shaken than she had imagined though since she could not concentrate sufficiently to find anything.

Melissa with Graham helping out in the background, once more chaired the U.S. morale committee meeting. It was a little better attended than the last one since she had tried hard to make St James’ feel a little like home with paper bats, cobwebs – most of which actually hadn’t needed to be faked – and pictures at least of jack o lanterns. Considering the difficulties everyone had fun and at least one “ghost” story to tell. The apple bobbing was a bit of a disappointment though; once the one apple she actually been able to find had been bobbed to destruction the replacement potatoes weren’t really as convenient.

Ethan once again found his way to Peel Street, led by a compulsion he couldn’t understand or justify. Once more he waited and waited but with no result. Turning for home and not really paying attention he collided with a tall brunette girl in high leather boots. She apologised quickly and then hurried away; he though is left with the distinct feeling he knows her from somewhere…

John returned to the docks, crisscrossing it repeatedly hoping for some insight into Nicholai’s disappearance. Once or twice men who were talking animatedly if in hushed tones would stop when he approached; they were all politeness when he asked his questions but still no-one seemed willing or able to offer any information.

Arthur started at last on the mammoth task of cataloguing some of the Group’s records at B.E.R.B.I.C.R.U.; he would have his work cut out unless he could find an assistant. Tobin once given brief instructions agreed to help when he could but there was still a vast amount of work.

Elizabeth was scavenging too, but she headed out to Tottenham. As it turned out though, she had no more success than Harriet.

Piet had some jobs to attend to in the Dutch quarter.

Natalie perhaps a little boldly tramped out to Bethnal Green, no-one really paid her much attention though and she was able to concentrate on finding her way, such that she was confident in her ability to navigate the area in the future.

William had a private meeting with some acquaintances.

Mustafa returned with his deer and after dividing up two of the a****ls between his helpers was left with a good supply of meat for himself (+5 food.) which he smoked rather haphazardly in the shed where his still was. This didn’t leave him much time to run it though and he could only manage to get a couple of bottles from it. These did taste better than the last batch, with a strangely smoky flavour. (+2 luxuries.)

Geoffrey too headed out to Tottenham, where his path crossed with Elizabeth’s. They greeted one another cordially but both were eager to be scrounging. He though didn’t have any luck either.

Bobby in an attempt to try and boost morale a little headed to the Officer’s Mess with his band, where they held the first of what they hoped would become a regular gig. No-one was sure how he’d managed it but at the back were a group of teenagers who had earlier been posting hand drawn fliers for the event. Those who attended were impressed by his talents as a singer but most thought the band need a little more practice than he did.

Anya once again returned to the swimming baths, where she – despite the cold which she found harder to ignore – continued her breath control exercises. She was not sure she would be able to continue swimming into November unless there was a major change in the weather.

Austin had a lot of trading to do with his friends in the logistic sections; he held several books of ration stamps and a few odd cans and packets. Leaving later he carried five bottles of various types instead. (-10 food, +5 luxuries.)


Challenges

Geoffrey may challenge William over his taking the last spot on the Nicholai investigation.

Operations for November ‘64

Austin, Bobby, Melissa and William all successfully applied or “Further Investigations re Nicholai”. William is posted as leader.
Piet, Anya and Arthur successfully applied for “Investigate Den Helder.”
Ethan applied for “Create Forward Base”, John is chosen for his physical strength and this filled the minimum requirement. Natalie though is added due to the language support she may be able to provide.
Geoffrey, Mustafa and Harriet are chosen to “Recover Lightship.”
Graham and Elizabeth both applied successfully for “Investigate Rat Problem.”
Natalie has already been accepted for “Investigate Lights in the Sky” which it is assumed will be attempted in December or January.

Other Rulings

November has five weeks.
Mustafa and Bobby have been selected to attend interviews regarding the internal investigation. This will again be in weekend two.
Usual bonus to the first three respondents, I will start chasing the rest when I have seven or eight replies.

Race One
1 Cock of the North 12-1
2 Beecham’s Powders 8-1
3 Rex the Runt 11-2
4 Julius Seize Her 4-1
5 Albright 3-1F
Race Two
1 Ragged Eared Dog 30-1
2 Lord Walden’s Fancy 15-1
3 Jack a Dandy 6-1
4 Long Don 9-2
5 Legs XI 3-1F
Race Three
1 Barnabus 20-1
2 Scrinter 12-1
3 White Cliff 8-1
4 Prussian Blue 6-1
5 Hero of Connaught 4-1F


Posted by dustybit 2 years ago
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