4-1

Soon they were heading out of the city. "Y'know there's alot of big black vans and police cars aboot." Said the Professor to the group hiding in the back of the Landrover. It's just as well we're heading off the beaten track shortly."

"Well, I think we're mair than just a bit lucky that we've no been stopped already." Colin's voice was edged with exhaustion and hangover. "Jist where exactly ur we headin' Prof?"

"Good question. Ah huv a nice wee 'but an' ben' up in the hills. I've goat some equipment stowed up there that jist might come in handy. We only need an hour's grace to try and sort Johnny oot o' his predicament."

"Colin's right Wullie, I think we're mibbe bein' followed. They could a' stopped us half a dozen times in the last hour."

"Aye. Could be. Jist as well this is where we turn off." The Professor swerved the landrover muddily through a narrow entrance, narrowly missing the precariously balanced drystone dyke which marked the boundary of a forestry plantation. The forestry track, which lead up into the hills, was deeply rutted.

Above the cacophony of the old Landrover the Professor shouted out to his passengers. "I've been working away up here for years. My own project. The but an' ben's really an old shepherd's bothy. There's a big, quartz-rich, stone circle a couple o' hundred yards up the hill. It's so far off the beaten track that no many people know about it. It's situated on top o' one o' the biggest electromagnetic and gravitational anomalies in Britain. I've been researching it for years. It sometimes does strange things at certain times o' the day: dawn; dusk; and midday. It's a very strong source of earhtlight phenomena. I've been refining equipment that can induce very powerful spinning electromagnetic fields, vortices. Y'see, Johnny, I heard about project rainbow, way back. I was trying to recreate and examine some o' the effects."

Detective Chief Inspector Haiggert and the detective sergeant had followed them at a discreet distance, catching the occasional glimpse of them on the winding hill roads. They passed the turning without seeing them turn off. However, when a turn in the road gave them a clear view for the next couple of miles Haiggert twigged they'd missed them. "D'ye think we've missed them, son? Turn the car round."

"Sir, there's a helicopter flying low over the hills back there. Looks like RAF."

"Aye, and there was a wee track leading intae the Forestry Commission land about half a mile back. Let's take a look."

They parked the car on the narrow grass verge on the opposite side of the road ftom the track and climbed out to take a look.

"Aye. Look here." Haiggert bent down to take a closer look. "See, theses ruts have been cut fresh. This mud's very wet and sloppy. They went up here alright. We'll never get our caur up there, though." He paused. "Here give me your telephone, let's hope it works up here."

The connection was far from perfect, but it was enough. Hello, RAF Loch Arbor? Aye. Good. This is Detective Chief Inspector Haiggert, Stratchlyde Police. Is Flight Captain Tommy Boyd on duty by any chance? Ah. Is he oan the base? No? Well is he reachable at all? This is an real emergency!" He looked at the Sergeant, bit his tongue and said, "It's a Code blue Fox situation. Jist tell Flight Captain Boyd. Now, if possible!"

"Sir. What do you mean by a Code Blue Fox situation? We're well out of our territory and our depth as it is!"

"Aye! You're right there. But, I'm gonna see this through. The Blue Fox used to be jist aff Pitt Street in Glasgow. Tommy Boyd an' me used tae go winchin' there as lads. Somethin's up alright. You can bugger off if ye want." Another two helicopters with US Airforce markings appeared, hugging the contours as they flew up into the hills.

He listened to the phone. "Good, hello.. Tommy? Aye it's me. Tommy, answer me this, are you up in the Cairngorms right noo? Thought so! I'm there an' aw, same business, ah think. Ah need a lift pronto. Could say it's tae see justice gets done."

In the fluorescent yellow, Air Sea Rescue SeaKing. Haiggert turned to Flight Captain Tommy Boyd. He switched on the intercom in the helmet the winch man had given him. "It's all about some young American lad. The group of students and deadbeats he's way met up with some professor fae Dundee, William Watkins. Y'know that `Hour Wullie' character. The time travel guy."

"Aye ah know him, Jock! Our flight quite often run errands for him up here. He's been doing some private research near his wee bit but an' ben for years. That's where he'll be heading."

We'd better make tracks then! Ah've mair than half a mind to arrest the lot o' them. Kinda put them into protective custody so tae speak!"

copyright, AndroMan 2003.