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... the dimming of the light (part 17)

... the dimming of the light (part 17)

By PeterHunter

… the dimming of the light… (Part 17)

Peter Hunter

Day 21

… six Aérospatiele Puma helicopters of the French Army Aviation division lifted off near the modern terminal building and clattered into the light fog over the English Channel…
… leaving a dusky trail of kerosene fumes in their wake - before heading north in a loose Vee formation…
… climbing steadily from the airfield at Cherbourg on a mission engaged more out of fact-finding than help - the French, like much of the world were curious to know what had happened to Britain…
… what, who, still existed and what potential still remained on the island?
Apart from the flight crew of pilot, co-pilot and attendant… there were twenty personnel in each aircraft. Five were Special Forces solders - each armed with a submachine gun and two hundred rounds of ammunition. The rest were a mixture drawn form many skills, mostly selected from the medical professions… doctors, paramedics, nurses… others specialised in germ warfare detection, rare diseases and new viruses that were known to be evolving.
All… including the military personnel wore protective bio-chemical overalls and masks… as it they might encounter highly infectious germs or viruses…
… and some were equipped with Geiger counters…
They seemed equipped for almost anything… except a mission of mercy…
Approaching landfall on the south coast just east of the Isle of Wight, one of the pilots radioed to the formation leader that he detected an unusual vibration in the tail rotor and requested permission to return to the airfield at Cherbourg…
… this was granted…
At a speed of one hundred and thirty knots… height five hundred metres above sea level… the remaining five helicopters flew relentlessly northeast, seeing virtually no sign of activity on the ground… passing over the South Downs covered by some patchy mist before sighting a deserted Gatwick Airport…
… then above Reigate they made visual contact with London…

(To be continued…)

© Peter Hunter 2012

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12 Dec, 2012
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