Monday, 31 December 1990

Anglo-Force: The Formation & The Return Of Saruman Chapter 13

On the edge of the galaxy known as the Milky Way, a huge starship entered the star system. The likes of this space vessel would not be seen in this part of the galaxy for at least another hundred years. But this vessel was from a galaxy over a thousand light years away. It had travelled for what seemed like an eternity, It’s destination was the planet Earth. The reason for it’s journey; conflict, to cause death. The inhabitants of this vessel lived for conflict, for war. A war on Earth was about to happen. This pleased them, for they wished to join this war, just for sheer pleasure. They would reach Earth very soon.
    Magus sat in his library, preparing for his ordeal. Thomas Leacock sat, watching. Magus was reading from the book of Ybo.
    “I’ve never seen that book before.” said Thomas.
    Magus gazed solemnly at him over his spectacles.
    “This book is not one I should like you to read. I have used it once before. I swore then I would never use it again. Now I find I must, to set history and the future right.”
    He found the spell he sought.
    “I must locate Morgana Le Fey. I need the remains of Winthorn.”

    Saruman sat in his throne room. Morgana entered.
    “What have you done with Winthorn’s remains?” he asked.
    “I have them in a safe place.” replied Morgana.
    “Destroy them.” Saruman snarled. “There is one spell which Magus can use to overthrow our plans.”
    “If you mean invoking the spirit of Ybo you need not worry. Magus would not dare use it. The only way to cast Ybo back into the void is to quote the last line of the Saamaac ritual; he would risk his own life.”
    As they spoke, Davros entered the throne room.
    “What do you want?” Saruman snapped.
    “I bring news of the prisoner.” said Davros.
    “McCloud?” said Saruman. “Go on.”
    “You were correct about him.” said Davros. “He is from another galaxy, and on this world he can only be killed one way. Decapitation.”
    “You mean he is the Highlander?” said Saruman.
    “Yes.” Davros replied. “He is the last of his kind on this world. Yet there are many more like him. What should I do with him?”
    “Put him in the dungeon.” Saruman ordered. “I have a feeling we will soon receive a visit from his former comrades, unless they are occupied elsewhere.
    “What do you mean?” asked Morgana.
    “I mean the next stage of my plan, woman!” Saruman snorted. “They may soon be making their way to the Kremlin!”

    A few hours after sunset, Saruman strode into his courtyard, where hundreds orcs had gathered. Saruman made his way onto a platform, and spoke.
    “My army!” he boomed. “The time has come for you to take your place in my grand design! Soon, one of this world’s largest cities will be under my control. Go! Journey to the city of Moscow! Take it! Take it for Saruman the White! Take it for the Brotherhood!”
    The cries and cheers of hundreds of orcs filled the air, and could be heard for miles around, and soon the orcs started their journey to Russia. A journey of nearly two thousand miles would take them just a few days on foot.

    As Saruman spoke to his hordes or orcs, the spaceship that had entered the galaxy mere hours earlier was near the planet Earth. Within the next hour, the vessel would be in orbit, and soon, the vessel’s inhabitants would involve themselves in the war between Saruman’s Brotherhood and Anglo-Force.

    With Magus having returned to Craigmillar Castle, this left Mr. X in charge of the force. He sat in the study at Pendragon’s mansion, when Lug walked in. H noticed the solemn look on Mr. X’s face.
    “What ails you, friend?” he asked.
    “I’m just thinking about what’s happened during the past few months, since Paul brought us together.” Mr. X replied. “Can we really get out of this thing in one piece? We’ve already lost one member, indirectly, because of this. And now one of Magus’ old friends may be killed.”
    Lug placed his hand on Mr. X’s shoulder.
    “Fear not, my friend.” he said. “Magus is wise. With him leading us, we will triumph!”
    As the two of them spoke, Burns walked in.
    “Are Magus and Leacock back yet?” he asked. “I’ve just heard from someone we’ve been in contact with.”
    “No sign of him.” replied Mr. X.

    Two hours later, Magus and Leacock returned to the mansion. They did not return using their usual method of transportation.
    “Helicopter?” queried Mr. X. “Why the hell did you return by helicopter?”
    “Because I must conserve my mystical energy.” Magus replied. “And young Thomas has yet to perfect the art of teleportation. Is Francis her?”
    As Magus spoke, Burns walked into the library.
    “Has he contacted you?” asked Magus.
    “A few hours ago.” Burns replied. “And he has given permission for both things.”
    “What are you talking about?” asked Mr. X. “What’s going on?”
    “I’m going to call a meeting.” said Magus.

    Half an hour later, the entire force gathered in the library. Magus stood near the fire place.
    “Gentlemen.” he said. “At midnight tonight, we will be setting up a base of operations in northern Vasaria.”
    “What?” shouted Star Man. “Are you crazy? Take root in the region owned by a mad man, Dr. Morbius?”
    “I have known Hans Morbius for many years.” said Magus. “He is not bothered by Saruman the White. He may be a bit eccentric, but he has what we need. A temporary headquarters, and a time machine.”
    “I’m not sure about this.” said Woodwose.
    “We have no choice.” said Magus. “We have two important missions. We must rescue Connor McCloud, and recover Captain Winthorn’s remains. Northern Vasaria is less than a thousand miles away from Sylvania. Having a base in eastern Europe is now vital at this stage. Transport planes are being gathered at Heathrow as I speak. We leave at midnight.”

    At 11.30pm, they made their way to Heathrow Airport. They went straight to Runway Seven, where a Concorde stood, waiting for them. It was being fuelled up as they landed on the tarmac. The flight engineers soon completed their preparations, and soon left the runway. As they were about to board the plane, Sir Angus Campbell-Bannerman greeted them.
    “How many people know of this?” asked Magus.
    “Just your group, the P.M., and myself.” Sir Angus replied. “We knew that you had two qualified pilots in your group, so we didn’t provide you with one. I don’t like this Magus. Hans Morbius is too…unpredictable!”
    “Not too unpredictable enough to know the current situation.” said Magus. “And with him currently being on speaking terms with the U.N., he was the perfect choice.”
    “It’s your decision.” said Sir Angus. “Good luck.”
    Soon, all were aboard the Concorde. A special section had been made for Galador, White Knight’s winged steed. No contact was made with the control tower. The Concorde was soon on it’s way to northern Vasaria.

    Unconfirmed reports flooded in to news agencies around the world. Reports of a horde of hideous monsters rampaging through Latvia. Saruman’s orcs were journeying well.
    Saruman, too, was active. He walked into the dungeons of his castle. He walked into a large room. His first sight was that of an orc about to turn a huge wheel.
    “Wait!” Saruman ordered. “You had instructions not to harm this man!”
    The orc cowered, then quickly ran way. Saruman walked over to an old piece of torturing equipment, the rack. On the rack the orcs had placed Connor McCloud. Two more orcs stood at the head of the rack. Saruman waved them away. He then walked closer to the table.
    “Greetings, Highlander.” he said. “I wonder what the authorities would do to you if I handed you over. After all, they’ve been searching for you for over forty years.”
    “You should know me by now, Saruman.” said McCloud. “After all, we first met over two hundred years ago.”
    “I do not recall this.” said Saruman.
    “Paris, 1773.” said McCloud. “If I recall, you were ‘checking’ to see if this world was ready for you.”
    “Ah, yes.” said Saruman. “I do recall someone who looked like you. You were, uninteresting.”
    “Then why take a special interest in me now?” asked McCloud.
    “Because you and I are alike.” replied Saruman. “We are not of this world. And you hold secrets that may be useful to me.”
    “I’d rather die first.” spit McCloud.
    “It matters not.” said Saruman. “I can still obtain your planet’s secrets, even if you are dead.”
    Saruman signalled for the orcs to return.
    “You may continue.” he said.
    As Saruman left the chamber, the screams of Connor McCloud filled the dungeon.

    The journey on Concorde to Vasaria took about three hours. They landed at Dr. Morbius’ private airport. As they disembarked, they were greeted by the ‘owner’ of northern Vasaria.
    “Greetings to you. Magus.” said Morbius.
    Magus walked over to Morbius.
    “Is everything arranged?” Magus asked.
    “It is.” replied Morbius. “All of my staff and family have taken a short holiday. The region is yours.”
    Burns walked over.
    “What about the time machine?” he asked.
    “It is in my home.” said Morbius. “The enhancements have been made by myself.”
    “Good.” said Magus. “Your home will be our headquarters. I will prepare myself there.”
    “Then I will leave.” said Morbius. “We agreed, if you remember, that I will not involve myself in any actual conflict.”
    Morbius turned round, and strode away.
    “It gives me the creeps just to be near that guy.” said Mr. X.
    “But he may have given us hope.” said Magus. “Now, to his home.”
    Magus, Burns and Mr. X entered the large building, and made their way to the library. Burns walked over to the large desk in the centre of the room, where he noticed something.
    “It’s a map!” he said. “A map of Sylvania!”
    Mr. X joined Burns.
    “It’s a fairly recent map, by the looks of it.” said Mr. X “But how come? I thought nothing had been heard from Sylvania for over a century!”
    Then, Burns noticed an envelope, addressed to Magus. Burns handed it to him. Magus opened it, and after reading it, he smiled.
    “What is it?” Burns asked.
    “The map was drawn with help from an American spy satellite.” said Magus. “It seems that Dr. Morbius pulled a few strings for us!”
    “But I thought…” started Mr. X.
    “He said he would not involve himself in any conflict.” said Magus. “This is not conflict. He’s merely, like he said, pulled a few strings. This map will be a great help.”
    Magus spent the next few hours studying the map, familiarising himself. He noticed something odd; an absence of towns, villages, cities even. He wondered what had happened to them.
    As he studied the map, Star Man, White Knight and Woodwose walked in.
    “What is it?” asked Magus.
    “We’d like to know when we’re going to Sylvania, to go after your old friend.” said White Knight.
    “What?” said Magus. “Just you three against Saruman’s hordes? Impossible.”
    “We can’t just sit around here.” said Woodwose.
    “There are two things that must be recovered from Saruman’s fortress.” said Magus. “Connor McCloud, and Captain Winthorn’s remains. To send you three alone would not be prudent.”
    Burns then came into the room.
    “A strange aircraft is approaching, Phineas.” he said. “And it is friendly!”
    “Poseidon has arrived!” said Magus. “Come!”
    Magus quickly left the chamber, and walked outside. As he left the building, he saw Poseidon and Jock Muir leaving an Atlantean aqua-plane. Magus greeted his former comrade.
    “I’m glad you could join us.” said Magus.
    “Stingray has some news for you.” said Poseidon.
    “N.A.S.A. has reported strange radar readings.” said Muir. “A vessel is orbiting Earth above Moscow.”
    “The Dalek ship?” queried Magus.
    “No.” said Muir. “The Daleks are stationed near America. This is another, much larger vessel.”
    “Good.” said Magus. “Keep in touch with your contact.”
    “No need.” said Muir.
    Muir lead Magus into the aqua-plane.
    “As you can see. “ he said. “I’ve got all the equipment I need here.”
    Sophisticated electronic equipment lined the walls of the aircraft.
    “As always, Jock, you have outdone yourself.” said Magus.
    Muir re-entered the aqua-plane, and sat himself in front of the main screen. After entering a few things into the computer, he noticed something odd. He called Magus.
    “Will you look at that!” said Muir, pointing to the screen. “A huge crowd has just entered Russia.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Magus. “I can’t tell a bloody thing from this computer screen!”
    “I’m saying that a group of about two thousand people have just entered Russia, on foot, by the looks of it.” said Muir. “And with this stuff, I can tell you where they came from!”
    Muir went over to another computer, and keyed in some digits.
    “Would you believe me if I told you they were from Sylvania?” said Muir. “And if I told you that they showed no human life signs?”
    “Orcs perhaps.” said Magus. “Can you tell where they are heading?”
    “I’m no miracle worker!” said Muir. “Can’t you?”
    “Alas, not at this moment.” said Magus. “If my calculations are correct, and if they are orcs, by the time my students get to them, they should be about thirty miles from Moscow.”
    “Your students?” said Star Man. “You can’t send boys to do men’s work!”
    “But the men will be otherwise engaged.” said Magus. “My students will only be there to watch them.”

    Within the hour, the Warriors, Magician, Axe Kid, Lightning Kid, Cosmic Kid, Changer and Marvel Boy left Vasaria.
    “You must remember our orders.” said Magician. “We are not to engage the orcs, of they are orcs.”
    “So we’ve just got to watch them destroy Moscow?” asked Lightning Kid.
    “Those are our orders.” said Magician.
    “I do question whether these orders are wise.” said Cosmic Kid. “Our main aim as a group is to protect the innocent. How can we do so if we cannot engage their attackers?”
    “I know what you mean.” said Magician. “But we must follow our orders.”
    The conversation did not continue. The Warriors continued on their journey.