Author Topic: THE LUCIFER DEVICE  (Read 1633 times)

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« on: April 30, 2020, 11:30:31 PM »

You may have seen the Handley-Page O/400 that I built HERE :-


http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=9060.msg170435#msg170435


This is the next phase of this Build, adding a weapon load to this aircraft, one with a Wellsian twist . . .


THE LUCIFER DEVICE


June 1918, and the war situation was severe and getting worse. Although the German Spring Offensive had been halted for now, no-one knew just for how long.  Likewise, although  American men and materiel were pouring into Britain, and thus France, by the day, the constant U-Boat attacks were taking a heavy toll. Already, some voices in the USA wee questioning America's commitment to the conflict, voices that were beginning to gain the ears of the politicians in charge there.
Numerous attempts had been made to neutralise the main German U-Boat base at Bruges/Zeebrugge, in Belgium. A land offensive to capture Bruges and Zeebrugge had failed, as had numerous attempts to destroy the lock gates at Zeebrugge by Naval gunfire, and two attempts to block the canal there, by scuttling ships across the entrance. A further amphibious assault using tanks, had been abandoned as impracticable. It was vital something was done, before US public opinion turned against the war, and their troops were withdrawn.
"Sit down, Churchill," Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, said, gesturing at the empty chair in front of his desk, "I understand you may have a solution to our U-Boat problem."
"I believe I do," Churchill replied, his characteristic voice already foreshadowing the events of a quarter-century into the future. "We have been working in secret on something we call the 'Lucifer Device'. I believe it offers not only a solution to the U-boat problem, but also a means to ending this war for good."
"Carry on," replied the Prime Minister, "enlighten me, if I may use the word, about this 'Lucifer Device' . . ."
"If I may, I would like to bring in one of my experts, who will explain these things, in a far, far better manner than I ever could."
"Of course, bring them in."
Churchill turned to the Prime Minister's secretary. "Please ask Mr. Wells to come in . . ."


TO BE CONTINUED




cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 06:53:52 AM »
Such a TEASE!  :smiley:

"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 08:06:26 AM »
^ ;D Exactly!
Cheers,
Moritz

"The appropriate response to reality is to go insane!"

Offline Antonio Sobral

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Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2020, 03:48:10 PM »
Catchy Title!!!  :smiley:

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2020, 10:19:05 PM »
Lucifer sends his approval!

Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2020, 11:32:06 PM »
Next part, I apologise, it's rather long . . .



TWO: THE NATURE OF THE DEVICE


H.G.Wells registered the faint look of surprise on the Prime Minister's face as he entered the room.
"I can see that the 'Mr. Wells' you were expecting to see was not I"
"Er . . . no . . .", Lloyd George replied, the great Welsh orator momentarily lost for words.
"That is to be expected", Wells continued, "but as I am sure you will appreciate, as a so-called 'wordsmith", and also being somewhat versed in matters scientific, I will, I am sure, be able to assist you in coming to an understanding of the facts and concepts I am about to explain to you."
"Very well", replied the Prime Minister, his demeanour restored, "please begin."
Wells reached into his waistcoat pocket, and produced a small, square, flat, leather covered box, exactly like like a coin case. Deftly, Wells opened it with one hand. Inside, cushioned by black velvet, lay a gold Sovereign coin, except this Sovereign was a deep gray colour, but with an odd purplish red tinge, as it's surfaces caught the sunlight from the office window.
"Is that a Sovereign ?", asked Lloyd George, struggling to comprehend why the coin he could see was not the bright yellow gold of all the previous sovereigns he had seen.
"It is indeed a Sovereign," replied Wells, however, it is not legal tender, for it is not made from gold, but rather from Carolinum . . ."
"And what, may I ask, is Carolinum ?" Lloyd George enquired.
"Are you familiar with the Periodic Table of the Elements ?" asked Wells.
"I am disappointed to say that I am not . . .", replied Lloyd George, somewhat sheepishly.
"That is understandable, but not insurmountable." Wells intoned . . .
Over the span of the following hour or so, Wells explained to the Prime Minister that the Periodic Table was effectively a list of the various  chemical elements found in nature, the atoms of which made up all the matter that physically existed in the world, the iron and steel of His Majesty's battleships, the water that made up the seas upon which they floated, the lead of the bullets currently being fired on the Western Front, the wood from which the aeroplanes that flew over that Front were built, indeed, even the air that these craft flew in. Everything that existed on the Earth, in the universe, even, was comprised of the chemical elements found in nature.
 He then explained that these elements were not the only ones that were actually capable of existing. That they did not exist, was because, either they were unstable, and quickly broke down, or were incapable of being produced by natural processes. However, Man's ingenuity had once again triumphed, and some of these 'new' elements had been produced. Most were, indeed, highly unstable, disintegrating within minutes or even seconds of being made, leaving behind only common materials such as Carbon or Lead. One element, however was different. Carolinum, as it was named, proved to be exactly the opposite. Once produced, it was stable, and behaved like any other ordinary metal, hence the coin.
"Look for yourself," Wells said, proffering the coin to Lloyd George. Lloyd George took the coin. His first thought was how heavy it was. "One and a half times as heavy as lead, but not quite as hard, " said Wells, " we had quite the game striking that coin ! Work started into seeing if the stuff could be used for bullets,or shells, or bombs, and that's when it happened . . ."
"When what happened ?"
"When exposed to a  combination of certain industrial chemical substances, and Oxygen, Carolinum spontaneously disintegrates. This disintegration is utter and complete, yielding only gaseous substances, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Hydrogen, along with some Carbon. This process is also hugely energetic, indeed violently so . . .
"In other words, an explosive, a bomb." interjected Lloyd George.
"We prefer to call it a 'Device', in fact we call it the 'Lucifer Device'." Churchill declared, cutting off Lloyd George in mid-sentence . . .




TO BE CONTINUED.


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2020, 01:56:46 AM »
Love it  :-*  So, poor old Charles Baskerville is vindicated!  Bring on the berzelium bomb  :smiley:
"How many moles do you suppose they're keeping?;
Don't make a sound they're not dead, just sleeping"

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2020, 03:47:09 AM »
Yes, it's my take on H.G.Wells' 'The World Set Free', ported across into the world of the Great War, and after . . .  ;)




cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2020, 01:03:43 AM »

THREE: MORE OF THE DEVICE, AND OF IT'S MISSION


"Just how powerful is this 'Device' ?" asked Lloyd George, a nimbus of understanding crossing his face.
"Very powerful, "replied Wells. "When disintegrated in the manner described above, the coin in your hand releases the same amount of energy as a standard No.5 Mills Bomb. A pound of Carolinum has the explosive power of an 8-inch Naval shell, and a hundredweight, that of a battleship salvo. We have not dared to test a ton of the stuff. . . ", Wells continued, " There is one further property of Carolinum that you should be aware of. The disintegration process is not instantaneous, but continuing, the half-life is roughly 31 days . . ."
"Half-life ?" Lloyd George interjected again. He pu the coin down, somewhat nervously. "I'm afraid I'm also not familiar with that term. "
" I'm sorry," replied Wells, "I should have explained it to you earlier on in our exposition. 'Half-Life' refers to the amount of time for half of the mass of one of our artificial elements to disintegrate, or 'decay', as we term it. For most of the elements we have manufactured, the half-life is of the order of a few second, or less. For Carolinum, it is 31 and a half days. This means that, suppose we take a pound of Carolinum, and induce it to decay, after 31 1/2 days, we will still have half a pound remaining. After a second 31 1/2 days a quarter of a pound, and so on.
"In other words," Lloyd George said, his rising voice betraying his understanding of the enormity of what had just been explained to him, "the explosion continues, until the vast majority of the Carolinum is gone !"
"Exactly !" Wells pronounced. "The more Carolinum you have to begin with, not only the larger the 'Explosion' will be, but the longer it will continue for."
"And can this process be stopped ?" Lloyd George asked, still somewhat excited.
"As far as we can ascertain, no. " Wells replied. The disintegration continues until every last atom of Carolinum has decayed. Of course, once only a tiny quantity remains, the 'explosion' will be little more than a nuisance, but it will not cease until all of the Carolinum is utterly destroyed."
"Ahh, now I understand," the Prime Minister said, calming down somewhat, "so what you are  proposing is . . ."
"To drop a large Carolinum aerial bomb into Zeebrugge harbour, as close to the lock gates as we can," said Churchill beating him to the punch. " a large enough device will produce enough explosive force to destroy the lock, and the continuing explosion should act to prevent any attempt at repairs. One of our Handley-Pages will be able to carry a suitable Device."
"I can see how this will end the immediate U-Boat menace, " Lloyd George replied, somewhat puzzled, "but I fail to see how this could end the War ?"
Churchill looked the Prime Minister full in the face. "As you well know, the Headquarters of the  German Army, and the Kaiser, are situated at Spa, in Belgium, which is also within flying distance for our Handley-Pages . . ."


 TO BE CONTINUED


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 06:36:07 AM »

FOUR: ORFORD NESS


"Lovely morning, welcome to Orford Ness." Wells addressed the Prime Minister. It was 8'o'clock. The air was still chilly, but the temperature would soon rise as the sun climbed into the blue, cloudless sky above the Suffolk coast. Lloyd George mumbled something anodyne in response. As far as he was concerned, it most definitely was NOT a 'lovely morning'.  He had been unable to sleep on the overnight train to Ipswich, and the car journey from there to the RAF Station at Orford Ness had been anything but comfortable. And he still hadn't had any breakfast.
"I apologise for the early hour", Wells continued, "but we like to set these things off early, before too many of the locals are out and about." Lloyd George surveyed the scene. Apart from the huts and hangars of the experimental station, there was no other sign of human habitation. "We're going to go up into the dunes for the actual demonstration, then it's back to the Officer's Mess for breakfast". Lloyd George's ears pricked up at the mention of breakfast. "It's in the nearby Hotel", Wells continued, referring to the Mess. "They've retained the Chef's services, he's excellent!", Wells kept speaking, as he moved off towards a squad of armed airmen, "Do keep up, or we won't get to see the fireworks!". Feeling a little brighter now, Lloyd George followed  closely behind him.
Walking briskly, the two men followed the quartet of armed guards across the corner of the shingle beach airfield, towards the barbed wire perimeter fence. As they approached the fence, a waiting sentry opened a gate in the fence, allowing access to a narrow track leading into the coastal dunes. The track was narrow, only wide enough for single file, and threaded it's way between the taller dunes. Two of the guards led the way, followed by Wells, and then the Prime Minister, the remaining two guards bringing up the rear. As they went, Lloyd George noticed that some of the dunes seemed to be emitting purplish grey smoke from their crests. Drawing Wells' attention to this, Wells replied "Old tests. When we've made all our measurements, recorded all our data, and the explosion's died down a bit, we fill the pits in, and let the Carolinum decay away. The sand contains these things remarkably well. Good job too, otherwise it would be like Hades hereabouts!".
Presently, rounding a large dune, they came across a large, freshly excavated pit, about 100 yards across, and 30 yards deep, resembling a shell crater. Stationed around the crater rim were several heavily built steel boxes, about the size of a large garden shed, with a door on the side facing away from  the crater, and vision slits in the side facing towards it.
The leading guards approached the nearest shed, and one of them opened the door.
 "In 'ere, if you please, gents,", he said, in his best posh East End accent. Wells and the Prime Minister entered, the friendly guard clanging the steel door shut behind them. With a metallic 'clunk', the door was fastened shut. Before Lloyd George could speak, a sliding shutter in the door opened, and our friend the guard addressed the two 'prisoners'."We'll soon be ready for the orf, gents." he said, cheerily, "make yourselves at home!".
"Thank you, Doolittle", replied Wells, as the shutter clicked shut again.


TO BE CONTINUED.


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2020, 10:28:29 PM »
Just wondering, as this back story is rapidly turning into  a Novel, could a Mod bod please transfer the 'story' posts to the 'Stories' board ?
It will keep this thread clear for the actual build posts, will I will be doing, once I've written the story, to get things sorted out in my mind . . .

cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2020, 11:07:17 AM »
... as this back story is rapidly turning into  a Novel...

Excellent! Leaning back, getting comfortable ...  :D
"How many moles do you suppose they're keeping?;
Don't make a sound they're not dead, just sleeping"

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 06:42:00 AM »

FIVE: PRELUDE TO FIREWORKS . . .


Of course, as Prime Minister, Lloyd George would never have felt fear, or panic, in those first few seconds inside the totally dark metal box. He was however, somewhat concerned . . .
He heard Wells moving about in the pitch darkness. "Let's shine a little light on the subject", he said,and with another metallic noise, a shaft of bright light appeared. Another followed, then another, and another, until it was light enough to see, inside the box. Wells had opened the five viewing slits in the front of the box, along with 'windows' at each end.
Lloyd George could now see what his 'prison' was like on the inside. Along the front wall, the vision slits were about seven feet off the floor, and three feet below the ceiling. A low platform ran the full length of the box below the slits, such that a person standing upon it, could look out of them. On the floor of the box were four seaside deckchairs, complete with striped fabric. These had obviously been 'borrowed' from elsewhere. Finally, on the opposite side, close to the door, was a small table, upon which stood a candlestick telephone. Wells was looking out of the slit just to the right of centre.
"Come and look," he exclaimed, "and I'll explain . . . ".
Lloyd George mounted the low step, and looked through the central slit (He was Prime Minister, after all). In the centre of the pit, about 50 yards distant, and 20 feet below him, was a black sphere, approximately six inches in diameter, supported by a roughly made wooden tripod. At the top of the sphere was a short cylinder, about an inch and a half long, and the same in diameter. What appeared to be a length of cordite fuse sprouted from the top of the cylinder. The whole thing looked like nothing so much as a cartoon bomb, indeed, the only thing missing, was the word 'BOMB', painted in white on the sphere.
Wells began his explanation. " What you see is today's test version of the Device. Inside the sphere, is another, smaller sphere of pure, solid, Carolinum, the 'Core', with a space between it, and the inside of the sphere you can see, which we call the 'Case'. The Core is coated with a layer of 'Inducive', which when exposed to oxygen, triggers, or 'initiates' the Carolinum to decay. At the moment, the space between the case and the core is a vacuum. When air is allowed to enter the space, the oxygen contained within it will react with the Inducive, and initiate . . ."
"But how," Lloyd George interrupted him, " is the Inducive coated onto the, erm, Core, without the whole thing going up ?"
"That," Wells replied, "even I am not allowed to know, save that it is a very time consuming, laborious, expensive, and dare I say it, dangerous process." "Would I . . ." Lloyd George began, conscious of his position, and by now, genuinely curious as to the inner workings of this curious 'Device. "I doubt it," Wells cut him off, "It is enough for you to know that this thing exists, and to know what it can do . . ."
"Where was I," Wells asked, rhetorically, picking up his narrative. "Ah, yes. The cylinder on top of the device contains a small explosive charge. When detonated, by means of the slow fuse that you can see, the explosion will blow the cylinder off the sphere, this will allow air to enter the space within the sphere, and the decay of the Carolinum will be initiated . . ."
At this point, Wells was interrupted, by the the ringing of the phone on the table. Wells hopped across to it, and answered. After replacing the receiver, he turned to the Prime Minister. " Two minutes to go. Keep watching !" Lloyd George did as he was instructed, while Wells closed the box's side windows, as well as the viewing slits that they were not using.
Lloyd George could now see that on the box on the rim of the pit opposite them, a red flag had been raised. Also, along the duckboards, leading from that hut, down into the pit towards to the tripod with the device on it, was slowly advancing what at first sight, appeared to be some sort of monster . . .
Lloyd George soon saw that it was in fact a person, but a person clad in what was basically a suit of armour. By now, Wells had regained his place at his viewing slit, and was continuing his explanation. " We're only using half an ounce of Carolinum today, so the force of the 'event' will not be that great. We had to find a reason to justify today's test, so what we are testing, is actually the design of the airborne device's case. The technician there, will have enough time, after lighting the fuse, to return to his box, before the device initiates. The armour is just a precaution . . ."
Looking on, the Prime Minister could see that the technician had now stopped, about two thirds of the way to the device, at a short wooden post, set next to the duckboard. He now also saw, that the fuse ended at this post, and was attached to it's top. As he watched, the technician lit the end of the fuse with an ordinary match, turned, and began his slow shuffle back to the rim of the pit, and safety.


TO BE CONTINUED.


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 07:18:39 AM »
Slow shuffle?  :smiley:
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 05:41:48 PM »
You try running, when you're wearing armour, and not used to it . . .   ;)


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 03:59:14 AM »
The suspense builds...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2020, 08:25:33 PM »
I was always advised that you should never run.  Your fusing should always be long enough to allow you to reach a place of safety at a fast walk.  You never run in case you trip.

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2020, 05:51:03 AM »

SIX: A GRAND OLD SHOW INDEED


The Prime Minister continued to watch, fascinated, as the flare from the burning slow fuse continued to make it's way along the fuse's length, slowly inching towards the top of the Device. A small movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention, and, glancing to his right, Lloyd George saw that the armoured man had gained the safety of the rim of the pit, and was moving behind his metal box. Looking back to the fuse, he saw that the sparks were nearly at their destination, moving along that part of the fuse that draped over the sphere, then finally reaching top of the cylinder, and disappearing inside.
"This is it !", Wells said, half whispered, yet emphatically. There was a loud popping sound, and the cylinder jumped off the sphere, shooting vertically upward, and disappearing from Lloyd George's field of view. For a second, nothing happened, then there was a brilliant flash of intense red light, filling the box with it's glare, even through the meagre area afforded by the two open viewing slits, followed by the sound of an almighty explosion, but high pitched, more liked the crack of breaking glass, than the boom made by explosives. Lloyd George ducked down instinctively, closing his eyes in the process, and as he did so, he heard the pattering of debris against the iron wall in front of him. He opened his eyes again. He had expected the red light to be gone, but it persisted, albeit now flickering and pulsating. The sound continued, too, but now mixed in with it was the sound of, the Prime Minister could only imagine, what being in the vortex of a tornado would be like. He attempted to look out of his viewing slit again, but the intensity of the light was just too great to bear. Also there was a fierce blast of hot air coming through the opening, which threatened to burn his eyes.
"Here," said Wells, jauntily, "Take these." He handed Lloyd George a pair of ironworker's goggles, the lenses of which were nearly opaque. Lloyd George donned them, and once more peered outside.
The tripod and the Device were gone. He now also saw, on the floor of the pit, a large, shallow, black iron pan, that he did not recall noticing previously. The red light, considerably dimmed by his goggles, was emanating from something randomly moving across the surface of the pan. This same something also appeared to be the source of both the continuing noise, and  of the hot wind. All the while, clouds of purplish-grey smoke rose into the air.
"you'll need these as well," Wells almost quipped, and from his jacket pocket, produced a pair of folding opera glasses. He deftly flipped them open, and handed them to the Prime Minister. Lloyd George took them , and with some initial difficulty, looked again at the hellish scene in the pit.
Through the magnifying lenses of the opera glasses, he could now see what the 'something' was. A brightly glowing, molten sphere skittered across the surface of the iron pan, richetting off the sides whenever it came into contact with them. occasionally liquid gobbets would fly off from the sphere and move a short distance away, before, almost magically, moving back towards the main body and re-combining with it. And all the time, the red light continued to glare, the noise continued, and wreaths of smoke billowed away from the molten blob. For a second, Lloyd George struggled to bring to mind where he had seen something similar to to this, and where he had seen it. Then he remembered. Beads of water, dropped onto hot iron plates, behaved in exactly this fashion.
The sound of Wells' voice stired him from his reverie. "That is a ball of molten Carolinum. The energy for the heat, light, sound and motion all comes from the disintegration of the Carolinum atoms themselves, and the non-gaseous decay products, mixed in with the Carolinum. The gaseous decay products, of course, are escaping in the form of the smoke we can see. Because the weight of the Carolinum is so small here, it's able to move about as the gases escape. A large mass, such as would be used in a weapon, would be too heavy to do this, and would thus sit there, immobile, a molten, boiling mass . . ." Lloyd George interrupted him. " How come the iron pan doesn't melt ?" he asked. "There is not enough heat produced by the small amount of Carolinum present," Wells replied. "The iron pan conducts the heat away too rapidly for it to get hot enough to melt. A large, stationary mass, as I have just described, however . . ."
Wells was interrupted again, this time by the telephone. Wells crossed the box to it, and answered. After a few, inaudible words, Wells called out to Lloyd George. "Have you seen enough ?" Lloyd George had, rather. While the ironworker's goggles had made the blinding red glare tolerable, the lack of any hearing protection meant that the continuing noise was becoming intolerable. It was also getting increasingly hot inside the metal box, which was  increasingly resembling an oven, with each passing minute. And he still hadn't eaten.
 "I have, thank you," he intoned loudly, over the continuing cacophony. Wells almost shouted into the telephone mouthpiece, "You can stop it now, then tell Chef to get ready !"


TO BE CONTINUED


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2020, 02:45:20 AM »
Great stuff!  :smiley: :smiley:
"How many moles do you suppose they're keeping?;
Don't make a sound they're not dead, just sleeping"

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2020, 06:08:06 AM »

SEVEN:  MORE POWERFUL THAN I HAD ENVISAGED . . .


"I thought it couldn't be stopped . . ." Lloyd George said, turning away from the viewing slit towards Wells.
"It can't, " Wells replied, but as it is such a small amount, it can be contained, until the decay peters out. How else did you think we were going to be able to get out of here !" he continued jokingly. By now Wells was back at the vision slit. "Come and see this," he called to Lloyd George, who soon joined him.
Approaching the rim of the pit was a tracked, armoured vehicle. Attached to the front of the vehicle, which resembled an unarmed tank, was the jib of a crane. Hanging from the crane, in turn, was a large metal bell. As they watched, the armour-clad man reappeared, and made his way once more down into the pit. By the time he reached the floor of the pt, the crane had reached it's edge. Gesticulating stiffly with his hands, he guided the crane's operator as the jib swung out across the pit, until the bell hung suspended vertically above the iron pan. With a final stiff wave of his arms, the bell dropped rapidly, but still in a controlled manner, over the pan, the bell's edge fitting neatly inside the pan's rim. Instantly, the red glare vanished, and the noise level reduced by at least half, dropping in pitch into a less frightful rumbling roar as it did so.
"That'll contain it until things dies down somewhat," said Wells, "now where's Corporal Doolittle ?"
Almost as he finished speaking, the shutter in the door clicked open, and Doolittle addressed them.
"How was that then, Gents," he asked, his voice cheerily chipper. "Capital !" replied Wells, "a grand old show ! Now if you be kind enough to release us from our confinement . . ."
With another 'clunk', the door was unlocked and opened, and both Wells and the Prime Minister stepped out into the cool morning air. "Right then," Wells spoke again, as they formed up with their guards for the walk back to the station buildings."We'll go and get that breakfast, and then afterwards, we're off to Martlesham Heath, to see the Device proper !"
The stiff march through the dunes back to Orford Ness base helped the Prime Minister's condition immeasurably. The noise from the test they had just witnessed soon petered out, along with the Prime Minister's headache, to be replaced by the crying of the seagulls overhead. Likewise, the breeze from off the sea helped Lloyd George to cool down, it had been hot in that iron box, especially once the test had commenced. Before Lloyd George realised, they had reached the perimeter fence of Orford Ness proper. With a cheery wave, the sentry opened the gate, and waved their party through. Then they were crunching across the shingle to the line of huts, that constituted the only permanent buildings on the airfield. As they drew near, an officer appeared from one of the huts, and marched briskly towards them. As he came up to them, he stopped, and saluted smartly. Wells stopped, followed by the Prime Minister, the guards continuing on to the Guard Room, some distance away.
" Good Morning, Station Commander, " Wells addressed the officer. " Good Morning, Wells, good morning Prime Minister."
 the Station Commander replied, "Was it what you were expecting ?" he continued, addressing Lloyd George.
"Quite the contrary," Lloyd George replied, it appears to be a great deal more powerful than I had envisaged."
"Indeed," intoned the Station Commander, "Shall we go to breakfast, and we can discuss things further there."


TO BE CONTINUED
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: THE LUCIFER DEVICE
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2020, 05:42:27 AM »

EIGHT:  BREAKFAST . . .


It was a short, pleasant drive to the Hotel that had become the Officers' Mess, in the open-topped staff car. Even more pleasant was the sight that greeted them as they entered the genteel surroundings of the dining room. A large, freshly cooked  breakfast buffet awaited them, along with several attentive waiters. "They also serve . . ." quipped the Prime Minister, to which Wells chortled quietly in agreement. The Station Commander's face, it has to be said, displayed a look of barely concealed embarrassment . . .
After juice, croissants and coffee, or, in Lloyd George's case, toast, marmalade and (strong) tea, it was on to the cooked breakfast. Lloyd George took the traditional approach, of fried eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, and mushrooms. Wells surprised everyone by demolishing a huge plate of kedgeree, followed by another, this time of Finnan Haddie. Redgrave, the Station Commander, chose an unusual dish, a grilled beef steak, topped with fried eggs, and served with a 'cake' of fried, shredded potato, which he called a 'hash brown'. Neither the Prime Minister nor Wells having ever seen such a dish served at breakfast, they quizzed Redgrave accordingly. Redgrave explained that he had been introduced to the dish by some American officers visiting Orford Ness, and that it was now quite popular amongst the RAF personnel, both at Orford Ness, and Martlesham.
As the waiters cleared away, Wells began to speak. "So, Redgrave," he asked the Station Commander, his innocent tone hiding the fact that he already knew the answer, "what's the plan for the rest of the day ?"
"Well," replied Redgrave, " we'll taking a drive over to Martlesham, where you'll be able to take a close look at a flight-worthy Device. You will also get to see the Device loaded onto a Handley-Page aeroplane.
Don't worry, the Device will be inert, and cannot go off. We're carrying out a final test today, a simulated mission, culminating in a drop just offshore from Orford Ness. You will see the aircraft take off from Martlesham, then return here in time to witness the drop test. There will be time for a snifter in the Mess afterward, before your train back to London. You'll be back in Downing Street for dinner . . ."
"What do say to that, then",exclaimed Wells, addressing Lloyd George. "I think that all sounds most enlightening," he replied. "Right-Ho, then, shall we get moving, Gentlemen ?" asked Redgrave. Wells and Lloyd George both nodded their assent. "Very well, I'll have Doolittle bring the motor round, and then off we'll go."


TO BE CONTINUED


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .