The controller at RAF fylingdales cursed to himself as the end of his custard cream dropped into his mug of tea with a satisfying plop. He burnt his finger as he immediately tried to retrieve it, then surrendered to fate and took a gulp of the steaming hot tea, complete with melted biscuit and cream. He winced and put the mug down, slowly rubbing his throbbing finger.
Suddenly a red warning light flashed on the digital map on his wall, quickly followed by a verbal 'Launch detected' warning from the speaker. He stood and took a step back, his heart beating heavily. Flight Lieutenant Stanton, his watch commander burst into the room "What now?" He called, awaking the controller from his fear induced dream "Multiple launch sir!" He called.
"Get a fix!" Cried Stanton, quickly running to his workstation and picking up the red receiver. "This is fylingdales early warning, We have numerous probable missile launches from..." He looked at the controller as he tried to work out the references "Sir, there are too many, its definitely old Ivan though!" Stanton looked down.
"...Warsaw pact territory!" He contined on the phone. "Suggest Bikini Red, and alert the prime minister. This is NOT a drill!" He turned to another controller. "Have you got the possible targets yet?" He called, waiting for response on the phone. "Only on the first seven, probable targets identified as, Newcastle, Sheffield, Glasgow, Cardiff, Catterick, Conningsby and London, sir... more are coming through though, this is it.... first strike, and they've gone for a decapitation!" He said, still fixed to his monitor. "We're not the only ones, looks like missiles heading for targets in West europe and North America. Its definately a biggie!" Stanton swallowed hard as a response on his phone switched him back to life... ..."This is the commander of home defence, is this limited, i say again, is this a limited strike?" Asked his shadow on the other end of the call. Stanton looked around at the men in the room. "Negative sir, this is a Full-scale first strike!"...
The Mobalisation order came in yesterday. I spent the evening trapsing through my old kit from the loft... sifting through old photographs and digging out my old beret which now seems two sizes too small!
These are from our Roulement tour in Belfast in 1981, most taken from that fateful night in May - the Night after a certain Mr Sands' Death when the Falls Road erupted into Anarchy, and we were sent in to pick up the pieces. Something happened that night, something that made me leave the army in a flash... but thats another story for now.
The top one is Rifleman Alan Wade outside the Library on the Falls Road just before we were called down to the Divis Estate. We waited a long time, listening to the riots as they broke out. The second Photo is me and him waiting, again outside the library against our humber pig.
The third and Fourth ones were taken earlier in the day, before we set up a VCP on Leeson Street, Danny our signaller sending a radio check, while we sat around, this tour seems to involve us sitting around on our arses an awful lot, as the last picture proves!
It wont come as a major shock that not long after these photos we're taken i brought myself out of the Army, with the memories of that awful night, etched firmly in my mind. I'd given up my Rifle and Sword for what I'd hoped to be the rest of my life... but it seems the Soviets have other ideas!
If you are interested, then please contact me, or take a look at our forums
Mapping By Hendrix & Map Genorator, Models By Chroman, Dannycon, Rick Pierce & Death Octimus.