All right. Very well,’ he rapped, passing the receiver to Yates.
‘Trouble, sir?’ asked Yates, replacing the telephone in its compartment below the seat.
‘Not sure, Yates,’ said the Brigadier with a frown. ‘That was the defence secretary. It seems that our passes into Legion International come with one or two qualifications.’
Lethbridge-Stewart nodded. ‘We have precisely one hour to complete our inspection and then we have to be off the premises.’
‘But why, sir?’
The Brigadier sank back against the red upholstery. ‘To – and I quote – “enable the facility to go about its important work undisturbed”.’
Yates shook his head. ‘Somebody up there likes them.’
The Brigadier sighed in exasperation. ‘Very well, Doctor. While you’re playing toy soldiers I’ll see about sorting out this situation. Captain Yates...’
‘We’ll use this room as our HQ. I want to see Benton right away.’
Yates saluted smartly. ‘Right away, sir.’ He turned smartly on his heel.
The Brigadier turned to Yates. ‘Captain Yates! Fire at their feet. See if they react.’
Yates nodded. ‘Right away, sir.’
Yates nodded. ‘What I wouldn’t give to be facing a gang of straightforward monsters right now.’
Yates was surprised. ‘Sir?’
‘Right,’ said the Brigadier. ‘Get this transport turned round. We’ll give it a couple if minutes and then we’ll storm the place.’
Yates looked worried. ‘And if we hit the civilians, sir?’
The Brigadier’s mouth set into a thin line. ‘Then we hit the civilians, Captain. The Doctor’s explained just how dangerous these creatures are. We have to do whatever it takes to get in there and stop them.’
Yates nodded. ‘Yes, sir.’
He reached down and put the truck into reverse. Within moments it was facing back towards the aerodrome.
The Brigadier nodded his approval. ‘Now they’ve seen us retreat in force. The last thing they’ll expect is one of our trucks to come back. We have to drive through them, if necessary.’
Yates gave a solemn nod and reached for the gear lever. To his surprise, the Brigadier leant over and stopped him. ‘Move over, Captain,’ he said quietly.
Lethbridge-Stewart didn’t look him in the eye. ‘I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. Move over.’
Yates shuffled over, allowing him to take up his position in front of the steering wheel.
‘Operation Trojan Horse, eh Captain Yates?’ said the Brigadier.
Yates nodded. ‘Yes, sir. Operation Trojan Horse.’
In the truck, Yates suddenly pointed ahead. ‘Look, sir!’
‘Seems like as good a place as any,’ muttered the Brigadier. ‘Come on.’
‘Right, sir.’ Yates moved swiftly to the parked trucks and ordered all the men out.
‘Now, Yates,’ said the Brigadier, turning to his deputy. ‘If we can just get the creature into that passageway...’
Yates nodded. ‘I know what to do, sir.’
He turned to Yates who was once again crouched at his side. ‘Any luck?’
Yates shrugged. ‘I’m not sure, sir. There’s no way of telling... ah!’
The R/T set gave a positive-sounding squeal and Yates thrust it into the Brigadier’s hand.