Codename Angel

By Jason Chapman

Thriller, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Crime & mystery

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9 mins

Prologue, chapter 1


Mr & Mrs Jones

Ripley – North Yorkshire – 11:56pm
Friday 27th June 1952
The clear night sky shimmered overhead as the car drove slowly along the deserted country road.
Brian Jones glanced up and marvelled at the stars that filled the crystal clear sky. The surrounding landscape consisted of gentle slopes that gave an impressive view of the Milky Way from horizon to horizon. Jones hummed to the voice of Vera Lynn that drifted out of the radio.
He had just received a telephone call from his mother in the village of Knaresborough who had sounded very distressed. Jones' father, a World War One veteran had taken a bad fall down the stairs and had not been able to get up.
Edith Jones sat beside her husband. She was in no mood for Vera Lynn. She reached forward and turned the radio control knob until it clicked off. ‘This is the fourth time in less than two weeks your mother has asked for help. I’m getting fed up Brian why can’t Mr Quince next door deal with it.’
Jones reached forward and turned the radio back on. ‘Do you mind I was listening to that.’ He took a deep breath. ‘Sweetheart, you know how mum is she won’t knock on his door this time of night.’
‘Oh no but she decides to pull us out of bloody bed.’ Edith looked down and gently massaged her stomach. ‘She does know I’m seven months pregnant doesn’t she.’
‘Don’t be like this Edith you know how dad is with his injury.’
‘Too bloody right I do. I seem to remember Doctor Jordon telling him to use the spare room downstairs instead of risking another fall. And you’ve been going on about converting it into a bedroom for ages.’
‘Look I promise I will sort that room out this weekend so mum and dad can use it as a downstairs bedroom.’ Jones’ offered.
‘When this baby is born Brian we will have to move to Leeds. Dad promised you a job as clerk at the factory.’
‘Don’t keep going on about that you know I’m happy where I am. Mr Adams needs me and Sir Ingles has promised to give me a wage increase. This time next year I’ll be earning ten shillings a week.’
‘I don’t care Brian we have to move for the baby’s sake. We can’t live in the middle of nowhere forever.’
‘But what about mum and dad I can’t just abandon them.’
‘For god’s sake Brian we’re not moving to the other side of the world.' Edith rolled her eyes. 'It’s only twenty miles away. We’ll take the baby up there every other weekend.’
A car approached on the opposite side of the road. Jones squinted at the headlights as it sped by. ‘Ok, I know I promised you we’d move. I’ll speak with Mr Adams tomorrow but I know he will try and convince me to stay.’
‘I just said I don’t care Brian. Besides it’s more money at the factory than what Sir Ingles has offered and we’ll be able to put a deposit on that house.’
‘Courtesy of your dad.’ Jones scoffed. ‘We’ll end up owing him for the rest of our lives.’
Edith glared at her husband unimpressed by his tone. ‘No we won’t, three hundred and fifty pounds is quite reasonable; dad says we can repay him slowly.’
The car radio started to crackle replacing Vera Lynn with static. Jones reached forward to tune in the radio station. A long stretch of road lay ahead, climbing a gentle slope ending in a bend at the top of a hill.
‘It’ll be so much better for the baby, and they have some modern shops now in Leeds. We can go shopping every Saturday.’ Edith sounded excited at the prospect of moving to a bustling city. ‘Within three years you could be earning double what you’re being paid now. And you know there’s a job for life at the steel works. Those types of places will never shut down. You said last week that Mr Adams is retiring next year so there’s no point in keeping you on.’
Jones ignored his wife and kept turning the dial on the radio but the static grew louder. ‘Bloody radio I was enjoying that station.’ All of a sudden the road ahead became pitch black as the car headlights blinked out. He pushed the brake pedal and the car came to a gentle halt. The engine spluttered and then died. ‘I don’t bloody believe this!’ He shouted clenching his fist and hitting the steering wheel.
‘I thought Frank gave this car a service last week.’ Edith complained.
‘He did.’ Jones seethed. ‘I gave him two bloody shillings.’ He turned the key in the ignition but nothing happened. ‘You wait till I see him tomorrow.’ He tried the ignition again but still the car wouldn’t start.
‘Well we can’t sit here all night long.’ Edith pointed out.
Jones produced a box of matches and got out of the car.
Edith looked out of the window into the star filled sky. With no headlights the night sky seemed to glisten. A shooting star streaked across the heavens. ‘It’s a shame there’s no moon or I’d consider walking, it’s quite warm.’
‘I don’t think so not in your condition.’ Jones answered staring at the engine. Although there was no breeze the flame from the match emitted almost no light. He stepped back shaking his head. ‘I can’t find the problem. It’s like the car has died.’ He glanced up the road considering Edith’s suggestion. A bright light appeared around the bend at the top of the hill following the road. ‘It’s ok love there’s another car coming. They’ll be able to take you to mum and dads.’ Jones stepped out into the middle of the road waving his arms in the air. The light kept coming and showed no sign of stopping. He also noted that it was moving fast perhaps a little too fast for a car, a motorbike maybe. But this couldn’t be a motorbike either. Whatever was approaching made no sound. The light showed no sign that it had seen Jones who moved to the side of the road. The light then started to grow in size becoming more intense.
‘Brian get in the car!’ Edith called out glaring at the oncoming light.
Jones put his hand over his eyes to block out some of the glare of the approaching light. ‘Just a second sweetheart.’
‘Brian come on!’ Edith called out again with more urgency. A familiar fear she was unable to explain began to grow from within.
The light was now a few hundred yards away. It lifted off the road before starting to slow.
‘Brian please get back in the car, I’m scared!’ Edith’s fear peaked as she stared at the approaching object.
The light was now twice the width of the country road. It moved slowly over the car bathing a wide area in a soft blue light. Jones stood rooted to the spot looking upwards at the intense light. A low pitched humming noise filled the air. Jones could sense the hairs on his arms tingling from a static discharge.
‘Brian please!’ Edith started to cry. ‘Get in the car!’
There was a sudden intense flash of brilliant white light and then instantaneously the road plunged into blackness again. Jones rubbed his eyes, his car suddenly jumped to life. The headlights came back on. The static on the radio cleared and Vera Lynn played.
Jones took several seconds to process what he had just witnessed before running back to the car and getting in. ‘Did you see that love that was bloody amazing....’ He looked at the empty passenger seat and then out of the window. ‘Edith!’ He called out.
Jones climbed back out of the car. ‘Edith sweetheart stop mucking around.’ He walked to the front of the car and peered down the road. ‘Edith where are you? Look I’m sorry ok.’ Jones looked up into the clear sky. A tiny point of light moved across the star filled heavens then in an instant it accelerated away and disappeared from sight. Jones screamed at the top of his voice. ‘EDITH!....’

Chapter 1

Prime Minister’s memo

Downing Street – London – 11:28am
Monday 28th July 1952
Professor Ralph Frederick adjusted his bow tie as he waited patiently outside the Prime Minister’s office. He glanced at a mirror and waved his hand through his short brown hair. His wife Elizabeth had gone out of her way to make sure he looked his best that morning. ‘It’s not every day you get to meet with the Prime Minister Ralph you have to put on a show here.’ She tugged on his tie.
‘Careful Liz darling, I need to be able to breathe when I meet with him.’
‘I wonder what he wants to speak to you about. Perhaps you’re in line for the top job at the Royal Society.’ Elizabeth said excitedly.
‘Norman already has that job remember love. Besides you act as if this were the first time I have met with Mr Churchill. I was on his scientific advisory council during the war.’ He winked at her playfully.
‘Yes I remember, the result being our marriage.’ Elizabeth finished his bow and kissed her husband on the tip of his nose. ‘Say hello for me and Susan please.’
Fresh out of Cambridge, thirty eight year old Ralph Frederick was handpicked to work at Bletchley Park. While at Cambridge Frederick had demonstrated a remarkable gift for being able to understand complex mathematics and coded sequences. When the German army began its relentless march across Europe Frederick was assigned to a government scientific advisory team. When the Enigma Machine was captured Frederick and Alan Turing had played a key part in breaking the Nazi device which had blighted British shipping.
It was late July 1940 while on official business to the War Office Frederick encountered Elizabeth Greenwood one of the Prime Minister’s cabinet secretarial staff. After several weeks Frederick plucked up the courage to ask her out to an evening at the Cinema where a film called Gone with the Wind was playing. Unfortunately due to the Third Reich’s merciless bombing Ralph and Elizabeth spent most of the night in an air raid shelter. Tragically Frederick’s parents were unable to make it to one of the many shelters set up around London and were killed that night.
They were married in August 1941 but were unable to enjoy any honeymoon due to wartime restrictions. After the war, Frederick surprised his wife with a trip to Paris. Our long awaited honeymoon as he called it. The Fredericks lived 38 Miles outside Cambridge on the Norfolk Cambridgeshire border in a quiet leafy village called Emneth. In September 1947 Elizabeth gave birth to a baby girl named Susan.
Frederick was finishing up for the weekend at Cambridge where he lectured, when an unexpected telegram from London landed on his desk.

Office of the Prime Minister.
Winston Churchill.
Requests an audience with Ralph Frederick. Professor of Astrophysics Cambridge University. Regarding matter of a scientific nature.
Monday 28th July 11:30am

Frederick took a deep breath before knocking on the door of the Prime Minister’s office. There was a short pause before a voice beckoned him in.
Winston Churchill was staring at a newspaper as Frederick approached the large reading desk and stood patiently. Finally the Prime Minister looked up. ‘Sit down please Professor.’
Frederick sat in a chair opposite the Prime Minister.
Churchill handed Frederick the newspaper he was reading pointing out an article. ‘What do you make of that?’
Frederick reached into his inside jacket pocket pulling out a pair of turtle shell reading glasses. He peered at the newspaper article. ‘Flying saucer kidnapped my wife.’ Frederick smirked as he read the article. ‘It looks like another silly story about flying saucers sir.’
‘Yes that’s what I thought.’ The Prime Minister answered abruptly. He put a large cigar to his lips and lit it. He got to his feet and stepped out from behind his desk. ‘Unfortunately these stories about flying saucers and men from Mars seem to be all the range these days.’
‘Surely Prime Minister you don’t think there’s any truth to these stories. It sounds as if the press have nothing better to do. It’s all a load of codswallop if you ask me.’
‘I don’t know what to think.’ Churchill said taking a drag from his cigar. ‘We have been inundated by these reports in the newspapers. Even our military pilots are reporting strange objects in our airspace.’
Frederick nodded.
Churchill pointed at a piece of paper on his desk. ‘I’m sending a memo to Lord Cherwell at the Air Ministry to look into this nonsense. Henry Tizard has had a team working on this flying saucer problem since the summer of nineteen fifty.’
Frederick looked across the desk at the memo.

What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the truth? Let me have a report at your convenience.
28th July 1952

‘Well if anyone can get results on this it’s Henry.’
The Prime Minister shook his head. ‘I’m only doing it to quash any public interest on this matter. The sooner people have an answer the better.’ He gestured at the newspaper. ‘Stop any more ridiculous stories from being fed to the public. I don’t want them thinking we are not in control of our airspace. Besides I’m not happy with the progress Tizard and his team have made. They have had two years and have yet to produce anything solid. They’re working in conjunction with the CIA but quite frankly I don’t trust the Americans.’
‘Do you think the Americans could be withholding information?’
Churchill nodded. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised.’
‘I must say Prime Minister I’m a bit puzzled as to why I have been summoned here today if you already have Henry working on the issue.’
Churchill walked back over to his desk and sat down. The chair creaked under his weight. ‘I want you to conduct a separate investigation away from the prying eyes of the press. Henry’s group has attracted unwanted attention. I believe there could be a leak.’
‘So you do think there’s more to this.’
Churchill nodded slowly. ‘The war has been over seven years. Yet as a result of Hitler and his Nazi rabble there have been major advances in technology. Talk of rocket ships into space and cities on the moon are becoming more common. Added to that we are in the midst of this cold war and we have no idea what the Russians are up to. Both America and Russia are building these atomic bombs at an alarming rate so they can blow each other to bits. Tensions in Korea are becoming more volatile every day and we are caught smack bang in the middle of it all.’ The Prime Minister shook his head. ‘I don’t like it one bit.’
‘Do you think the Russians or the Americans could be behind some of these flying saucer sightings?’ Frederick suggested.
Churchill pointed a finger at Frederick. ‘That’s what I want you to find out Ralph; I need to know if it’s either the Soviets or the Yanks.’
Frederick nodded. ‘Yes certainly Prime Minister. However, if I may be so bold as to ask. It’s one thing not to trust the Russians. But America, aren’t we their closest ally?’
‘Huh! You know what the Americans are like, they take sides with whoever’s winning. It’s like you just said they may be holding out on us. Besides there have been rumours coming out of America since the late forties that they might even have captured one of these so called flying saucers. I have spoken to President Truman on this matter but he hasn’t been very forthcoming about sharing information.’ Churchill took another drag from his cigar. ‘We need to get started immediately so I am giving you a free rein on this Ralph. I want regular reports on your progress. I want you to use all methods to find out more about these dammed flying saucers. The sooner we get this matter wrapped up the better.’ The Prime Minister paused taking a long drag from his cigar. ‘You are a Cambridge man are you not?’
‘Yes sir. I studied there and now teach at Trinity College.’
‘Former member of the Cambridge Apostles and now an Angel.’
‘Uh.. well.’ Frederick stumbled over his words.
Churchill waved his hand grinning. ‘It’s alright Professor your secret is safe with me. My former private secretary Edward Marsh was a member. He did a little digging around for me the other day. I thought it might be useful if former Apostles made up this group given your code of secrecy.’
‘That is a very good idea sir.’
‘Good, as from now you are to head up the science division of The Angel Committee. I have contacted Malcolm Chambers and said you would meet with him an hour from now. I am confident you will be able to find suitable people for your team. I want this group kept under wraps. Don’t want to ruffle Tizard’s Feathers.’
‘I will keep you informed at every turning point Prime Minister.’
Churchill nodded. ‘So how’s Elizabeth and Susan?’
‘They are fine, Elizabeth sends her regards.’
‘Fine woman you married there Ralph. Proud to have her as a member of staff during the war.’
‘Thank you Prime Minister. If there is nothing else to discuss I will get on with the matter in hand.’
Churchill gave a dismissive nod ‘Carry on Professor.’



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