A UFO Story
Written by Matthew R. White
© April 12, 2010
Based on the Characters and series created by Gerry Anderson
The Character Major Vladimir Natiroff was created by Deborah Rorabaugh
Historian's Note: The events depicted here take place immediately after the episode "Timelash", written by Terence Feely, and encompass the episodes "Mindbender", written by Tony Barwick, and "The Long Sleep", written by David Tomblin. The story contains dialogue from those episodes. Certain dialogue also refers to the short story "By Invitation Only" written by Catherine Stewart. It may be found in the SHADO Library. The reader may wish to refer to them as a referent.
December 1, 1984: 16:00Z
"Commander Lake," Henderson addressed her formally, "I am relieving you of your command."
Virginia Lake shot Henderson a venomous look as she held his eyes with hers.
"On what grounds, General? Unless you can charge me with gross dereliction of duty; you need the unanimous vote from the commission."
"You don't think I can get it?" barked Henderson.
You don't have it yet, and testimony from two officers is required to bring a dereliction charge. Lake did not raise her voice when she responded, however her tone was chilling. "Do you have two officers who will stand in support this action?"
Henderson, staring back, said nothing.
I didn't think so. "Now if you will excuse me, I'm needed in control," she said as she walked over to the desk to open the doors.
The General interrupted, "Just a minute Commander, I want some answers."
She spun around to face him; her voice masking the anger she felt, "General, I don't have time for this."
Heatedly the General asked, "Why are you wasting time and resources to track down this one UFO when we could have an invasion from within on our hands. Do you really except to find Straker alive? He has been missing for over a week. The aliens have probably gutted him like a catfish, and left him for dead. You've lost your objectivity; I don't care what the computers say. And one more thing, don't think for a minute that just because your father and I were friends that I will tolerate from you what I put up with from Ed Straker. As much as you may not believe it, Straker had always held my utmost respect."
Lake held his eyes with the characteristic icy blue glare that was her birthright. Her expression was one of tightly concealed fury. "General, that's as far as you go. You know as well as I do that if the aliens get off planet with either Straker, or the knowledge he possess we can kiss any benefit from the last six months of upgrades goodbye. As a matter of fact, I didn't have any hope of finding him alive until twenty minutes ago, and I will be damned if they are going to use him against us. He wouldn't have it and neither will I."
"And what will you do if the craft lifts off before Foster can get into position?" asked the General his voice lowered slightly.
"My duty, General, whatever I have to." Lake walked out of the office with the general in tow. "Lt. Ford, get me Colonel Foster."
General Henderson watched, but said nothing.
"Yes ma'am." Ford replied.
A few moments later the image of Paul Foster came on the vidscreen. "Foster here."
She flipped up the microphone, "Paul, what's your status?"
Seated in the command mobile Foster looked at his map, "We tracked the UFO to an area near Urquhart Bay on Loch Ness. Straker's utronic transponder indicates somewhere near the deepest point. It's at least 750 feet deep and the visibility is very poor. I will have the other mobiles in position for a depth charge attack in about twenty minutes."
On the vidscreen Virginia nodded, "Thanks, Paul keep me posted."
"Will do, Foster out."
Lake walked over to the command console where Colonel Grey was plotting SHADO's assets. "What is the closest aerial asset we have to Loch Ness?"
Grey looked at the electronic map, "Captain Ellis in Sky 5. She is flying combat air patrol over the base."
She nodded and walked back to the communications console. "Lieutenant, get Captain Ellis up please."
Ford switched the console to Sky 5's frequency. "Yes ma'am," he replied. "Sky 5 from SHADO control, come in please."
The voice of Gay Ellis crackled from the speaker, "Sky 5 answering; go ahead control."
She flipped up the microphone, "Gay, it's Ginny. How's your fuel status?"
"I just met up with the tanker; I'm fully laden."
"We've located the UFO that we believe has Straker," said Lake, "it's in the middle of Loch Ness. Colonel Foster is setting up for a depth charge attack now. But if it lifts off before we're ready…" she paused.
Captain Ellis knew what may be asked of her. "Understood; Sky 5 out."
Below the icy waters of Loch Ness the alien craft began to rise. The water above it roiled as the cone shaped spinning craft broached the surface. In a moment it was airborne and climbing rapidly.
On the eastern shore of the loch, the SHADO team watched in dismay as the alien craft rose from the surface. "Foster to SHADO control, UFO lifting off! Unable to interdict'"
Virginia Lake reached for the transmitter control, "Sky 5, from control. The UFO has lifted off, go for intercept."
Gay Ellis checked the attack data being feed to her from HQ; she was going to have to hustle to catch it. She switched on the utronic transponder receiver to help her home in on the UFO. Five minutes later she was at 60,000 feet flying at Mach 5.
She spotted the alien craft coming out of the clouds below her. She keyed her mic, "Have visual contact, confirm go for intercept."
In the control room Virginia's voice was distressed as she ordered, "Intercept and destroy."
Captain Ellis brought her jet into a dive and closed on the alien craft. She triggered a missile off. 10 seconds later an explosion wracked the side of the alien craft. A dark red plume was emitted as the cone shaped craft spiraled down towards the North Atlantic. She was hit with a feeling of dark foreboding.
Captain Ellis' voice came over the speaker, "Direct hit, it's going down," she paused, and then added, "No signal from the Commander's transponder"
Virginia knew that could only mean one thing; tears began rolling down her face. "Colonel Grey, take over for a few minutes please," she said as she walked toward her office. Once inside she closed and locked the door. She sat down at the desk and looked down at the diamond ring on her left hand as a tear landed on it. Quietly she said, "Goodbye Ed…" She felt as if the best part of her had just been ripped away. As she recalled the last nine months and the events that brought her to this point, she laid her head down on the desk and began to cry in earnest.