This is Tepic’s account of the rescue of Gadget from Van Creed captivity – it is possible he was a little carried away……
The four scouts dashed out of the beach-head, securing the ground for the main party. Privates Nat, Cyan, Janet and Tepic separated to the compass points, scanning the area for the enemy – it was all clear, and the word was passed back. Captain Bookworm stepped forward, quickly followed by Lieutenants Scottie and Sky, our medic Dr Sonnerstein, Specialist Canis and our Transport Officer Avariel.
Without delay, our bold Captain ordered us onwards, through the hostile territory on our rescue mission, to release one of our top scientists from enemy captivity! It was a long and arduous journey, the scouts fanning out in front of the others, checking it was safe before advancing. Spotting an airfield just short of our destination, we secured it for later, with Ltnt. Scottie bravely taking to the wheel of a small airship and doing aerial surveillance.
We knew our objective was near, and expected stiff resistance, after all, Gadget had many secrets the enemy were desperate to discover. So Captain Bookworm decided we should take them by surprise, going over the treacherous mountain paths! The going was hard and cold, through deep snow and steeps slopes, without the assistance of T.O. Avariel, some of our party may not have made it, but working together we were sure we could overcome anything!
Eventually, there below us was the grim and forbidding prison where our comrade in arms was undergoing unspeakable torchers. We could see the general lay of the land.. there was a path down the side of the slope before us, leading to a raging torrent of a river, crossed by a rickety old bridge. There was a black satanic mill between us and the prison, a blessing as it would provide cover as we made our approach. To the right was a witch’s caravan, with grim and dreadful carvings all over, surrounded by murky, evil looking undergrowth.
Private Tepic crept down the slope, keeping low, snuck across the bridge and along the side of the mill, till he could see the prison, and the window behind which he knew his friend was suffering! Having checked the area was clear, he reported back to his beloved Captain, and appraised her of the situation. The officers and Technical Specialists quickly made plans for the assault, while the Scouts waited eagerly for their assignments.
Private Cyan was given the task of approaching under cover of the caravan, supported by Private Tepic, while the rest of the unit gathered by the side of the mill. From their position, the two Scouts could see there was only one entrance to the fortress, and as things looked quiet, Cyan bravely advanced, quickly glancing in the barred windows. Tepic stood guard, terribly aware that with all the actions previously, he was down to his last four bullets!
A miracle! Cyan reported back that the prison was unoccupied, save for their lost comrade! Captain Bookworm ordered her troops forward, breaking through the door and taking up positions inside that den of iniquity so as to sell their lives dearly if the enemy should spring a trap. The officers could see Gadget in his desperate state, the fiends had drugged him and torchered him to make him give up his secrets, and he had been imprisoned with two of his marvelous clockwork creations, but the door was strongly locked.
The officers were in a quandary, as the only way of opening the lock was by shooting it off, the key not being found, but that would undoubtedly alert the enemy, who would try to thwart the rescue attempt! To come so far, only to have their hopes dashed at the last minute! It was time for action, and Tepic stepped forward, taking a small roll of tools from inside his jacket – this was a job for a common soldier, not something officers would know about! After several minutes of concentration, there was a click, and the heavy door swung open.
The Doctor rushed in to attend the grievously wounded Gadget, and after stabilising him, T.O. Avariel took over to transport him back to base. The officers ordered all the papers and other equipment be bundled up, and the clockwork marvels brought with us, then the troops quickly returned to the airfield, where the Captain had arranged our evacuation by airship back to New Babbage!
Back at base, the support team of Caprain Enjinne and Supplies Specialist Scald welcomed the returning troops eagerly, and the mission was a success. Some of the research they had hoped to retrieve was still missing, but Gadget was safe… errr… if a bit loopy. It was time for medals and congratulations…. errr… as long as Field Marshal Tenk never got to hear about how the lock happened to open…….