Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters I have borrowed from M. . I do own Illya and Aggie Madison. This story follows on from "Spy School".
Oscar was back at school after his sick absence. As far as the school was concerned he had had an accident during an adventure training course and hit his head. Today he was in the school canteen trying to eat something brown. A few weeks ago, he would have eaten anything on a plate, but now that there was someone at home who could cook, it was getting harder to stomach the awful slop produced by the school cook. Maybe he should start bringing in sandwiches.
Rose and Carrie came over with their trays. Rose had sensibly chosen a salad. No cooking required there. Carrie had picked the same brown sludge as him. "Can you remember what this was called ?" asked Oscar, poking the stuff with his fork.
"Yeah. It was spicy mince," said Carrie.
"Minced what ?" asked Oscar.
"Ooh, who got fussy all of a sudden then ?" teased Carrie. "Sounds like someone is getting his dinners cooked for him now."
"Aggie's a really good cook," agreed Oscar. He gave up on the brown sludge and put his fork back down.
Carrie shrugged, picked up her fork and took a mouthful. She moved it around her mouth and then stopped. "Mmm," she said, putting her hand over her mouth. She put her fork down and struggled to swallow the food. Then she drank all of her water. "That was revolting. What do you think it was ?"
"Roadkill ?" suggested Oscar.
"Oscar !" complained Rose. "Some of us are trying to eat around here you know !"
"Well, what do you think we were trying to do ?" complained Carrie. "Should have picked the salad. I'm bringing a sandwich tomorrow, definitely." It was then that their communicators started to flash.
Down in HQ they gathered expectantly around Frank in front of the screens. "Ah team. We've got a new mission," he said turning to the screens and typing some commands into the computer. "These, are the Skolsgard Islands off the coast of Norway, up in the Arctic Circle," he said pulling up a satellite image of a group of small islands. "Recently there were a series of incidents on the islands. The Norwegian government became concerned after communications were lost with the inhabitants. When they went to investigate they found the people in the town on the main island running wild, smashing up the town or hiding in their houses, suffering from hallucinations. They were unable to find any obvious natural causes. We suspect that someone may have been testing a new chemical weapon on the remote population of the islands.
"Is everyone there alright now ?" asked Rose concerned.
"Yes, thankfully everyone recovered within a day, but there were a lot of minor injuries due to fighting and broken glass etc." reported Frank. "If it happened again there could easily be deaths and goodness knows what would happen in a more densely populated area. We have to find out who is carrying out these tests and stop them."
"Why us ?" asked Carrie. "Don't the Norwegians want to find out for themselves.
"Of course they do," agreed Frank. "However, there were reports of strangers on the islands earlier who were speaking English. The Norwegian government have asked our government to investigate. Hence our mission."
"It's not just that," pointed out Carrie. "Oscar might blend in, but I don't look very Norwegian do I ?"
"That's not going to be a problem," explained Frank. "There is a small science station on one of the islands which is used by visiting groups studying the wildlife. You are going to be that group for the next couple of weeks."
"Cool," said Carrie. "How are we going to get there then ?"
"You are going to go by submarine," said Frank. The science station's boathouse has been converted to allow the mini-submarine to dock in secret. Turning to Oscar he said, "Oscar, can you still remember how to operate the mini-sub ?"
Oscar screwed up his face slightly. "I could do with a refresher course," he said.
Rose rolled her eyes upwards. "I suppose that means Oscar is Captain again," she groaned.
"Only of the submarine," said Frank. "Since this is probably a science based mission, I'm putting you in charge of identifying and eliminating the chemical weapon, if there is one of course. Carrie's physical skills are going to come in very useful due to the terrain of the islands. You are going to need to take climbing equipment. How's your Norwegian Oscar ?"
Oscar pulled another face. "It's pretty rusty. It's not one of my main languages," he said. "I'm going to have to do some serious revision if we're relying on my language skills," he added.
"That's what I guessed," said Frank, smiling. "There isn't going to be time for that. Not to worry. We're sending you with one of our probationary agents who has excellent Norwegian. Come in Agent," he called to the side of the basement. Out of the shadows walked Oscar's new friend Illya.
"Illya !" Oscar grinned. "I didn't know you spoke Norwegian."
"You never asked," replied Illya, grinning.
"Illya has completed his MI9 training in record time," said Frank, sounding impressed.
"Well, I have done most of it before," explained Illya. "But you can think I'm great if you like !" he laughed.
"Right, you're leaving tonight," said Frank briskly. "Plenty of time to catch up on your journey. Oscar I need you to come with me for a refresher on the mini-sub. Everyone else, I want you to gather any information you need on the islands, your cover activities and decide what equipment you are going to need. Any questions ? No ? Good. Get started !"