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 Post subject: Scene 1 - The Sub-basement of 21 Lambeth Ct.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:28 pm 
One-Armed Skeleton
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:05 pm
Posts: 165
Location: In my Head
The sub-basement of the house at 21 Lambeth Court was lit not by one bare bulb, but by two. Recently dug by a number of His Majesty’s young, loyal, and highly discreet Corps of Engineers, the room was almost 24 foot square with walls and floor of packed dirt, shored up by timbers. The bulbs were strung on a line running from the basement and gave enough illumination to see a large green chalkboard, a large collapsing table in front of it, and eight folding chairs arranged in rows.

Six of the chairs were occupied by men, some shifting in uncomfortable silence, others engaged in amiable conversation. It was late and almost all of them had no idea why they had been brought to this place on such short notice. King & Country was a good enough reason for recruiting, but the Ministry always seemed damnably short on details to those who had already joined up. The sub-basement was damp and cool, as could be expected for being nearly 20 feet underground in early April, and no one heard the officer’s boots until he ducked to enter the meeting chamber. He doffed his hat and smiled at the assembled men.

“Evening, chaps. Trust you found the place alright?”

The newcomer stood nearly six feet tall to the top of his head, where several strands of soft grey hair had mounted a valiant defence against the onslaught of baldness. He had a crisp, grey mustache, regulation issue for Army officers it seemed, and bright eyes, though the colour could only be guessed at in the sub-basement’s light. His dull olive uniform showed no rank insignia at all, but his cap, now sitting on the table, identified him clearly as an Army man. Taking his place before the chalkboard, the officer glanced at his wristwatch.

“We’ve got about twenty minutes, so I’ll get right to it. You boys have likely had your fill of cloak and dagger tonight and would like a straight answer. From here on out, I promise you that, if nothing else. Straight answers.” He took a deep breath as the young men in their chairs leaned forward, listening with rapt attention.

“My name is Colonel Tenbridge. I am a Devonshire lad, so if that bothers you get over it. I have served a decade and a half with military intelligence and for the last year have been fighting tooth and nail with MoD to establish a special section to investigate, research, and take action with respect to non-traditional threats to Britain during the war.”

“Last night, I won my fight with MoD and was given dispensation to form the new branch, which we call Section P. Over the course of the day, the operatives of Section P were gathered for their initial briefing. That would be you gentlemen.”

“In no particular order, I would like to introduce Commander Harry Langston, MI-11, Special Intelligence; to his right, Corporal Crutcher, formerly of the The Manchester Regiment, 6th Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade; Squadron Leader MacLean, formerly of 1st Flight, No. 74 Squadron; then Niles MacDougall, of SIGINT; Chief Petty Officer (First Class) MacTeague of the HMCS Weyburn, and Staff Sergeant Wexman of the
Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry Brigade. Welcome to Section P.”

A hand shot up from one of the members, but Tenbridge waved it down.

“In a moment, in a moment. As I said, Section P is to deal with non-traditional threats to Britain during the war. Non-traditional threats is the official language used by MoD to get us a budget. It gives us, in my book, an extremely wide ambit should we need it. However, when I say “non-traditional” I mean occult and paranormal threats. That’s right, gentlemen, we’re fighting boogeymen.”

“The Fuhrer has been in contact with a mystical group known as the Thule Society since before his rise to power. He has been gathering various items of occult significance since 1935 through his own branch called Die Schwarzerachenstaffel. His scientists have been conducting research into supernatural phenomenon and paranormal powers since 1937. In war, one does not question the value of the enemy’s strategy. One learns everything one can about that strategy so that it may be thwarted. It is 1942. The Nazis have a five to seven year jump in this field. We are, as the Americans like to say, behind the eight ball on this one.”

The Colonel stopped suddenly his pacing suddenly and turned to face the men of Section P. His eyes narrowed.

“If I hear one more scoff from any of you I can have you out of this Section and on a boat to North Africa before the night is out. I am a man of single determination. However,” he said throwing his hands up in the air, “I recognize that some work better than others if they have a firm conviction. I told you that last night, I convinced the MoD to fund Section P. This is the evidence I presented to the Minister.”

Tenbridge lifted a folder from the table and laid out a series of photos and documents across the folding table at the front of the room. “Gather round! The photographs won’t bite.”

As the men of Section P gathered round, Tenbridge began pointing at various pictures.

“We think that foul beast is the result of some kind of unnatural breeding program at a Nazi research farm in Norway. We are still not certain what animals were used to create that kind of offspring.”

“This is a report of trial FW-190 fighter aircraft being constructed with wooden frames made from a grove of trees supposedly grown from a remnant of the True Cross. It suggests that such planes are indestructible.”

“This report discusses the pillaging of the Parisian holdings of William Mathers, former head of the Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult society of some repute of British origins. It claims that several of the magical texts will allow the next phase in the development of the first Ritterschlacter units, whatever those are.”

“This message and accompanying photos, smuggled recently out of Belgium, warns of increased vampiric activity amongst the occupying forces against locals. And this,” Colonel Tenbridge said, slamming a bound German report onto the table, “details an ill-fated Nazi excursion to Tunisia which almost recovered the Cup of Christ itself.”

He paused to let the information sink in.

“We must not and cannot laugh at these reports. The list goes on while our response to such research and experimentation is non-existent. Britain does not have the means to withstand any such non-traditional attack. If the Nazis have it, we must also have it or some way to counter it.”

As Tenbridge paused again, there was a dull whump from above and small showers of dust trickled down from the ceiling. Vibrations shook the sub-basement. Then another whump as another payload struck the wounded city of London.

“By God! They’re bombing again!” The Colonel stared at the lightbulb for half a second, blinking.

As though on cue, a young adjutant to Tenbridge poked his head inside the room. “Colonel, a small string of bombers made it through the fighters and are dropping on west central London, near Grange St. !”

The Colonel’s face paled. “Not Grange St.” Then he coloured again, a rosy pink in his cheeks as he grabbed his cap. “We will finish this later. Crutcher, Wexman, and MacTeague, grab a rifle and got with Squadron Leader MacLean to No. 8 Grange St. If our first task is to build an occult library for Section P, we need material. A woman at 8 Grange St. has *the* pre-eminent British collection in the field since the disappearance of Debillings and his collection in 1931. Secure that collection! If it isn’t destroyed already!”

“MacDougall, Langston, with me. Let’s move, lads!”

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