Stingray: Battle Stations! – A Gerry Anderson A21 News Story

Jail-break at W.A.S.P. HQ! The guards on duty at Marineville’s maximum security detention center raised the alarm shortly before first light yesterday morning. Gadus, the notorious undersea criminal, had escaped from his holding cell and was clear of the detention centre before the personnel on guard noticed anything was amiss.

The moment the alarm was raised, Commander Sam Shore ordered a battle stations alert. Security shutters sealed off vulnerable sections of the W.A.S.P. base, and security was on instant readiness, poised for action in the event that the criminal attempted to sabotage vital parts of the installation.

Stingray was at sea on routine patrol when the alert was called and Captain Troy Tempest was ordered to return to base to assist in the hunt for Gadus. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Horatio Fisher and Officer Sara Coral were detailed to spearhead the search.

They began by investigating the interior of Gadus’ holding cell, where they discovered the bars on the window had been melted off their hinges, as if by some powerful acid. Outside, they found a fresh set of tracks heading away from the detention centre into the trees, before the prints disappeared on the rough ground. Fisher was about to call for additional guards to follow the trail when Coral spotted a piece of torn material snagged on a checkpoint barrier in the opposite direction.

The pair quickly realised that Gadus had attempted to leave a false trail before doubling back and making for the Eastern sector. The darkness would have done much to conceal his movements, so they picked up their pace, rushing down one of the access roads that led deeper into the base.

As they rounded the edge of a low building, a troop-carrying helijet soared overhead, making for the nearby airfield. In the glare of its powerful lights, Fisher spotted a familiar sight. The door of the building had been left hanging from its hinges, its sturdy lock useless, much like the bars in Gadus’ cell. Motioning Coral to follow, Fisher peered inside the dimly lit room. He drew his stun pistol and Coral followed suit. Then, with a swift movement, they lunged inside.

The empty room yawed back at them. If Gadus had been inside, he was already gone. The pair searched the rest of the room for clues and to their dismay they noticed an operators key for a single-person mini-submarine had been stolen. That meant that the rogue criminal was headed for the auxiliary craft pen.

Fisher radioed the control tower for additional support, but was informed that the guards at the pen weren’t responding. Breaking into a run, Coral spotted them first, sprawled on the ground near the surface entrance to the pen. Both guards were alive, but unconscious. They appeared to have been struck from behind. Coral radioed for an ambulance and Fisher tore down the passage to the pen, just in time to see hear the roar of motors and see the small agile craft with Gadus at the helm diving under the surface towards the launch tube.

In the tiny vessel, Gadus smirked with triumph, he had outwitted the Terraineans and won his freedom. Now he would plot his revenge on the W.A.S.P. and return to wreak havoc once again.

The hexagonal auxiliary ocean door lay ahead, no doubt sealed by the launch control crew to prevent his escape. he whipped out a hand and stabbed the fire control button. A pair of micro-torpedoes blazed away and shattered the heavy door so that it blew outward in a spray of bubbles as Gadus’ craft passed through unimpeded. He was clear of Marineville and would soon be back at his home base.

He guided the craft swiftly towards a rocky outcrop and was just beginning to enjoy his victory when a light source ahead caught his eye. Suddenly, like a huge gleaming fish, Stingray reared up over the top of the outcrop, heading straight for the small submersible on a collision course.

Gadus swung the controls hard over and the vessel lurched wildly. Then it hit Stingray’s wake turbulence and bucked off course before crashing straight into the wall of rock it had been trying to avoid. The impact knocked Gadus senseless and the last thing he saw before blacking out was the dim shape of a diver exiting Stingray’s forward airlock.

It is with relief that Marineville reports Gadus is now back in custody in an improved holding cell. Further scientific investigation into the mishap revealed that Gadus’ species has the ability to secret a highly corrosive substance at will that is harmless to their own bodies, but devastating when applied directly to metallic objects. The new accommodation Gadus has been assigned to will prevent him attempting to use the same trick again.

Written by
Andrew Clements

A writer, film maker and self confessed Gerry Anderson fanatic. Free to good home.

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