Following on from Part 8:
'This has been done to a ridiculously short timescale for a field trip,' complained Engineer Macrig as he led Adrig and Edrig towards their transportation pod.
'We have adapted it to look like a modest 717 vehicle,' Macrig continued, 'but as for all the fussy procedures, you are pretty much on your own. The licence is just a poor copy, for example, and no vehicle insurance documentation. It's crazy this short notice, but the Lady Lord has deemed it a top priority. What can be the urgency?'
'I really have no idea,' said Adrig, while smiling inwardly about his promise to bring her back one or two long-lasting passionate footballers. Concern or planning for that aspect of the mission had not intruded into his mind yet.
Edrig, on the other hand, was worrying as usual.
'Can it actually function as a motor vehicle?' he asked, while looking at the big ugly dark blue fake 717 van with a badge reading “Ford” on the front.
'Not at all!' Engineer Macrig exclaimed. 'It has just been very hastily reconfigured to look like one. It will be stuck wherever you arrive until you depart. Well... the wheels will turn, but you would have to push it, which would not be easy. So you better configure yourself to land at a suitable parking place.'
'Can you do that?' Edrig asked Adrig, and Adrig assured him that he had all the coordinates worked out, while rather looking, it seemed to Edrig, as if he had little idea how to do it at all. Adrig's overconfidence and lack of forward planning was a worry to Edrig. Pretty much everything was a worry to Edrig.
'No bother. No matter,' Adrig confidently declared. 'We'll not be down there long. Just in and out, having some fun in-between. I mean, eh... completing our mission, that is.'
'And the mission?' asked Macrig, 'What is the mission?'
'Do you need to know,' Adrig replied, with a superior tone. 'It's a need to know mission.'
'Well then all I have kitted you out with is standard gear, so I hope that is sufficient since I don't need to know anything more.'
'What is standard gear?' Edrig asked, since Adrig appeared uninterested in that issue.
'Just the standard stuff from your basic training. You remember?'
'Of course,' Edrig lied, but then was relieved that the engineer did at least reel off a list, reciting, 'Two stunners set to 717 levels, two communicators, the Basic1 versions, some cash notes for the UK, as requested, and one forged credit card good for about 10 thousand and maybe seven days before they are likely to detect it. A basic rain gown and warmth gown, all packed in 717-style wheeled suitcases, and... that's about it. Oh, a little food and drink but not much. Very minimal. Not what I would want. Not what I would want at all.'
'Perfect,' pronounced Adrig. 'We'll be fine. A small hotel, simple food, new clothes if required. Perfect. We'll be there a couple of days at most.'
'The stunners,' asked Edrig, 'Will they debilitate a footballer or two long enough to get them transported back?'
'A footballer?' enquired the engineer. 'Or two? What the hell is a footballer? And nobody told me this was a pursuit and capture mission. Just a brief and basic field trip I was told.'
'Nothing you need to know my friend,' Adrig assured him, while looking rather sternly towards Edrig. 'If we need more we will nip back and get it eh?'
'Nip back? Nip back!' exclaimed the engineer with an obvious sense of professional outrage. 'Have you any idea how sophisticated this transportation process is, or how much technology is required? Nip back!'
'Oh... Not really,' Adrig conceded. 'I am not a technical type you know. Nothing so manual. I am a sociological analyst, and Edrig is a historian.'
'Oh,' responded Engineer Macrig, rather sneeringly Edrig thought. 'A sociological analyst and a historian. That'll come in handy if your tunnelling translator coil becomes untwisted while you're out there, eh?'
'The damn thing works, doesn't it?' Adrig demanded, assuming his I outrank you tone. 'And we have emergency procedures available for extraction don't we?'
'Ach, you'll be fine, as you said, and it's all in the manual,' Macrig assured him, but rather insincerely, it seemed to Edrig. 'Just don't mess it up though lads, or the Lady Lord and her minions will be having your bollocks for breakfast and your arses with afternoon tea.'
'OK then,' announced Adrig, ignoring Macrig's comment. 'Let's go!'
'Looking like that?' asked Macrig, as he surveyed the extravagant and colourful Sample 717 1970's style clothing.
'Of course looking like this,' affirmed Adrig. 'We need to fit in unobtrusively you know. We don't want to look out of place.'