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Serial M for Mossie

Discussion in 'Scribblings' started by tirial, March 1, 2018.

  1. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    M for Mossie​

    “Kelly, we’d just like to know where the plane came from? Can you help us with that?” Wilkins strived to keep his voice level. His own daughter was eleven, he reflected and in a few years he would be going through this with her. Eyeing the bomber jacket and scarf flung over the back of the chair he reflected that fortunately, the chances of him ending up in this precise situation with his daughter were very slim.

    “I. Flew. The. Plane. That it? You’ve got a confession. Can I go now?” Wilkins' headache was back full force and he welcomed the knock on the door.

    Prologue: 2016
    Chapter 1.1: 2104
    Chapter 1.2: 2014
    Chapter 2.1: 2014
    Chapter 2.2: 2014

    (Original post May 16th 2018: Is there a way to add an index post to this? [Mod Note:] As you can see, yes, yes there is! One of the Mods will update here with the Threadmark when new content comes up.[Mod Note])
    Flash Harry likes this.
  2. Threadmarks: Prologue

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    RAF base, North Yorkshire

    “Sir, if you are ready, do you think you can avoid losing your temper this time?” Station Commander Wilkins nodded as the nurse looked at him severely.

    “Yes. I’ll be fine.” He took a breath, straightened his jacket and walked back into the room. Sitting down as the nurse entered behind him and closed the door, he looked at the room’s other occupant and sighed.

    “Kelly, we would like to help you but we can’t unless you tell us what happened,” he began. The teenager stared at him sullenly and said nothing. One booted foot pushed against the table edge and baggy black combat trousers clinked as she rocked the chair back and forth. The row of empty piercings, save for one silver stud at the base of each ear, completed the picture of a drop out but he knew she was smarter than that.

    “Kelly, we’d just like to know where the plane came from? Can you help us with that?” Wilkins strived to keep his voice level. His own daughter was eleven, he reflected and in a few years he would be going through this with her. Eyeing the bomber jacket and scarf flung over the back of the chair he reflected that fortunately, the chances of him ending up in this precise situation with his daughter were very slim.

    “Kelly, you are an unlicensed pilot flying an uncertified aircraft over the Yorkshire dales. You could be in a lot of trouble.”

    “I’m not unlicensed!” she protested, stung, in her thick Manchester accent. ”Got a student licence and everything. Says here. Look.” She thrust the licence she had pulled out towards him. “Seven hours in a Cessna 172. And I clocked over one hundred in the simulator.” Her glare was indignant, and Wilkins fought the urge to rub his forehead feeling a headache coming on. If the situation had not been so delicate he would have shouted. He wished she was over sixteen and he could have got away with it. Instead a glowering nurse prevented him from really putting pressure on the kid.

    “Kelly, that licence does not allow you to fly solo.”

    “So? Who else knows how to fly that plane?” He nearly snapped back that that was what he was trying to find out, but he knew where that line of questioning went. She would insist she had flown it, he would argue, tempers would fray, and the nurse would pull him outside for another little chat. The base nurse was inconvenient but she was here as much for his protection as Kelly’s. It was not often he had to interview fourteen-year-old girls who had been flying in restricted airspace. Particularly not in planes like that.

    “Kelly, the plane was not registered. They can pull your licence for that.”

    “Yeah, and then I turn sixteen, the records get locked and I’ll just get it back.” She was entirely too smug, he considered.

    “Actually if this goes to court you could be banned from flying for years and loose your licence permanently. Do you want that?” he snapped. The smirk vanished from her face and she leaned forward, throwing each word at him.

    “I. Flew. The. Plane. That it? You’ve got a confession. Can I go now?” Wilkins' headache was back full force and he welcomed the knock on the door.

    “Come in.”

    “Excuse me sir, but Miss Chandler’s parents are here. They’ve brought legal representation. Wilcott, Fox and Ledger.”

    “Oh. Which partner?” Wilkins asked. He knew Geoff Fox quite well.

    “Err. All of them sir.” As Wilkins glanced back across the table, Kelly smirked at him. He wondered, not for the first time, how many people had been in on this.

    “Fine. Just don’t leave the area,” he said, giving up. As the crewman escorted her out, he gave in and put his head in his hands. Fourteen or not, she had become a hit on base once word of what she was accused of had filtered out, and his chances of tracking down which one of his personnel had phoned her parents was slim. The nurse coughed, drawing him back to the present.

    “Oh, sorry. Thank you Amy. You can go back to the medical bay.” The civilian nodded and left, and Wilkins picked himself up and headed back to his office, trying not to show how tired he was. When he got back there was a junior officer waiting outside the office.

    “Sir. You said you wanted to see me as soon as I got back?” The younger officer saluted, and Wilkins returned the gesture before unlocking the door and gesturing him in. Once they were both sat down he began.

    “Any news?”

    “Yes sir. The airport says they are considering dropping all charges. They say that given the age of the pilot…” Wilkins did not really listen to the rest.

    “And this has nothing to do with the fact they currently have possession of the aircraft? Have you managed to get a look at it yet?”

    “Sir, to be honest, only with the airport engineers hovering over me. They say they are in the middle of their own investigation and don’t want us to disturb anything. Frankly sir, I think they’re worried we will hurt it.” As the junior officer finished sardonically, Wilkins shook his head.

    “So in short, after screaming at us for weeks about the ghost on their radar, now it’s parked in their hanger they suddenly want to drop all charges?”

    “Yes sir. They claim that our engineers aren’t certified on type and might damage their property.”

    “Their property?” Suddenly things became clearer. “Did someone sign the rights over in exchange for them dropping charges?”

    “I don’t know sir. They claim that ownership is business confidential and does not concern us. Sorry sir.” Wilkins waved off the apology. It seemed for the right inducement anything was possible.

    “Any luck with tracing the other pilot?”

    “No sir. Everyone involves swears blind that she flew it. They might be telling the truth.”

    “No. Seven hours in a Cessna does not let you pull off a perfect Split-S to evade a police helicopter.” Wilkins did not mention the radar evasion, low flying, aerobatics, or night flights. He did not need to.

    “Sir, she did spend every night for months visiting a veteran bomber pilot. He could have taught her.”

    “With no way to practice? She’d have killed herself before she got that good. No, there was another pilot. Keep investigating. Dismissed.” As the officer left, Wilkins flipped his notes open. He had to add the results of today’s unsuccessful chat with Kelly, and the odd actions at the airport. The folder was slightly loose and as always the photographs, stills taken from a gun camera and blown up, fell out. He picked them up, staring blankly at them. There were definitely two people in the cockpit but the blur made it hard to see details, and with the number of accomplices emerging as he dug into the case it could be almost anyone.

    He paused for a moment, admiring the picture. Snapped at night, it had come out beautifully, the dark shape of the aircraft stark against the fields. It had been a full moon, as most of the flights had been, and the edges of the straight blunt wings were rimmed in silver. The radar wires extending from the nose could be made out, although the cannon he would expect below them were missing. At the front the rounded nose and two propellers on the wings could be made out as, one wingtip raised, the aircraft banked to follow the line of the hills. He grinned slightly, admitting to himself that he could not blame the airport for their overly possessive attitude. If it had fallen into his hands it would be going straight to a specialist arm of the RAF, and the civilians hushed up, much as they were trying to do to him. He flicked through the other photographs quickly before he put them back to write his report. They all showed the same thing.

    The hills of Yorkshire wreathed in the last of the spring frost and above them, a perfect de Havilland Mosquito Night Fighter Mark II, skimming the dales at less than two hundred feet.
  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry Member

    I'm hooked.
  4. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    I've added a Theadmark, so if this serial continues, I can mark where each part is.
  5. Tregaron

    Tregaron Active Member

    When does this update, and is there a way to follow it?
  6. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    You can use the "Watch Thread" button at the top to get alerts. I was gpoing to try and do this weekly for a start. There's 60K words written, but some of it will need expanding from notes.
  7. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    Where's the next bit!::geek::
  8. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Blame real life. It's been a pile-on this week.
  9. porridge

    porridge Member

    Well don't leave us hangin' too long.
  10. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    I begin to understand why fiction boards have rules banning thread bumping asking for updates. We're considering one. for now: Posts about the story good, posts asking for more story slappable.
  11. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry Member

    How about a few diamonds for an update, dolly?
  12. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    Weren't you borrowing off her a few weeks agoo_O::suss::?
  13. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    I apologise for the delay. I got a new idea, scribbled it down and I am currently 14,000 words into a new manuscript (which is half a notebook and I have two more full notebooks to type up. DragonSpeak, please keep working).

    What is annoying is that the first three chapters are done apart from notes at the very first one. Beginnings are hard. I will try to get something done, no promises.

    [mod-edit]Updated 14th May by mod at poster's request: Four updates are ready and will be going up Friday mornings once a week.[mod-edit]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2018
  14. porridge

    porridge Member

  15. Threadmarks: Chapter1.1

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Chapter 1.1
    Manchester, 2014

    “F****** b*stard.” Trev spat. Ram agreed.

    “Could’ve negotiated. If the company says ten percent pay cut or we close, what twerp demands a rise? If Mike’d done his job, we’d have jobs.”

    “S’al right for ‘im,” Steve chimed in. “E’s off t’ the Birmingham plant.”

    “Twenty years of dues, and this is what he f****** leaves us with.” Trev kicked the nearest crate.

    “What are we going to do?” Ram asked.

    “God knows.” Trev replied, disconsolately. Two kids, a wife, a house they could just afford and him only ten years off retirement.

    “Think these locker thingys 'r worth anything?" Steve asked hopefully. "Me ticket says I got a set of tools'n'car models."

    “Better ‘n nothing.” Trev shrugged philosophically. “You never know. Someone might have left their loot in there.”

    “Yeah, but then you have to report it,” Steve objected. There were a few sniggers.

    “Right? Who’d do that round ‘ere? You telling me that if you opened that storage locker and found a whopping great pile of cash you’d tell the coppers?” Trev looked round at Ram, who seemed to agree with him. Steve looked at his feet.

    “Prolly not,” he admitted.

    "Good lad. You're learning." Trev clapped him on the shoulder, with a grin. He had no idea what to do with the lockers he'd been offered: Number 36, a large locker towards the back that hadn’t been opened in lord knows how long and locker 226, a set of ladies' clothes from the 50's. The hell use were those to anyone? Maybe a museum might want them. So much for a retirement bonus. Thank god he didn't have to pay delivery.

    “Bit of a risk,” Ram said, elbowing Trev as they shuffled off the bus. “What if there’s drugs or something in there?”

    “Nah. They’re too choosy about their clients. ‘Sides anyone with something that valuable in there would’ve emptied the locker when they were told to.”

    “True. So they want us to handle a boatload of old junk for them.”

    "You can always say no."

    "To free stuff?" Ram sounded scandalised, and Trev laughed.

    His mood got worse on the way home as he mulled the situation over in his head. He turned briefly towards the pub, then carried on home. Putting it off wouldn't help any. Sal would be waiting and they needed to decide what to do. Maybe he could get benefit or something, but another job seemed unlikely in this climate.

    God knows what he’d tell the kids.

    Fumbling the key in the lock he stepped inside. Sal was finishing the washing up and there was something already in the oven for dinner. He stopped for a moment uncertain of what to say. She and the kids depended on him and he had a crushing feeling he had let them down. Thirty years of work and not even a pension to show for it.

    “You OK? You look dreadful.” Sal asked as she caught sight of him.

    “Lost me job.” He hadn’t meant to blurt it out like that. “They’ve closed the warehouse.” He collapsed into a seat at the table as Sal hastily poured two coffees and sat down next to him. Slowly he ran through what had happened this morning.

    “I don’t know.” He concluded. “I feel like such a prat. I’d been telling people their jobs were safe, cos I listened to Mike, and now this.”

    “We’ll get through it.” Sal said, gripping his hand. “We always do.”

    “Not this time. It’s all gone. Even me pension.”

    “We’ve enough in the bank for a few months. Something’ll come along.” Sal tried to hide her own nerves. Manchester was a bad place to be unemployed.

    “Doubt it. Not a lot of work for an unemployed foreman.”

    “Well look. On Monday you get down to the job centre and sign on.” Sal said, and Trev grinned wryly.

    “Picked up the paperwork that on me way home. But we can’t afford the house on what they’ll pay, and your job don't cover it.”

    “Then if you can’t find a job we sell up," she said quietly, putting a hand on his arm. “but after all we went through to buy it.”

    “Yes, but if we keep it, it’ll drag us down with it. The market’s bad but if we can sell now we get a tidy little lump of cash. If we wait three months and can’t sell, the bank’ll take it and we get nothing,” Trev said. He was trying not to think of Ram and his wife in their recently purchased house. “We can’t take everything so we need to decide what to sell.”

    “Better to move now," she agreed. "Kelly’s starting her GCSEs and Greg, well Greg’s just finished his.” It was a small white lie, but neither of them wanted to say that the change of scenery would be good for their son. Falling in with a bad crowd he’d gone off the rails in the last few years, racking up convictions for car crime, and nothing they had done had stopped him. Now he was sixteen, he could face jail for some of the things he had done. "Know anyone we can rent from?”

    “Hardly. My parents are in Marbella and they can only afford their own bills. Not a lot of work out there either.”

    “Maybe me Dad.” Sal grimaced. “I’ll have a word. The house is huge. Dad only uses a few of the rooms. He could open the rest up for us.”

    "Means quitting your job," Trev said, and she shrugged practically.

    "It won't pay the bills, and they can't give me more hours. I can look for something better, but there's no chance round here."

    "So it's move to Yorkshire at our time of life." Trev sighed. He could stick it out until he got a job. Then they'd rebuild. He promised himself that.
    Angel, Flash Harry and jessica like this.
  16. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you for the new chapter.

    I should warn for language, but I can't believe a group of Manchester warehouse workers would be laid off without some foul language either.

    We don't have a board ruling on this, so what should be the stance on swears in fiction? For now, I've starred it out.
  17. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    A pleasant Friday surprise, I see.

    While it should be kept to a minimum there are characters that will swear and situations that will call for it. I would suggest either starring the words, or the Georgian solution of using hyphens and restricting vowels, e.g. G-d, D-mnd.
  18. porridge

    porridge Member

    Red it, like it, more!
  19. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    There's little swearing from here on, so it shouldn't be a problem. What do people think of the length of excerpts, longer or shorter?

    Also I am not sure what to do about politics, as this was originally set 2008-2011. I can either set the timeline back to then, or have to include referendums...and several characters will be on opposite sides.
  20. porridge

    porridge Member

    Short'n'regular is better than longer'n'never here.

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