Chapter 29 – The Flying Machines
Meanwhile about 500 metres away across the airfield, standing on the platform of the Blackbushe airfield control tower, Detective Inspector Amit Chakrabarti watched through his binoculars as the tall lanky figure of Dr. Keith Maxwell walked across to a burger van. Amit recognised him from the photographs.
Another man walked very close to him and appeared to be guiding him. He saw them purchase some food from the van and take it back to where the horses were tethered. Standing next to Amit were two Police photographers. One filmed the suspects in high definition video, while the other clicked away on a camera fitted with a long telephoto lens.
The Chief Constable was on his way, but had spoken briefly to Amit on the phone telling him that his priority was to arrest Maxwell. Amit had not been given any instructions about any accomplices.
His Police radio crackled into life. Two teams of plain clothes Police officers were now in position on either side of the car boot sale field. Their job was to move in and arrest Maxwell. Both sets of officers were armed, Maxwell was wanted for a double murder and they were not going to take any chances. However with the large number of people around, they were keen not to begin shooting unless they had to.
Greta could sense one of the new Sisters quite close. She wanted to talk to her, to confirm her theories. The King had walked away after their brief conversation and she was not sure if he had grasped the idea that they were in a different time or not.
She followed the men at a distance, she walked away from the horses towards the throng of people around the stalls. Every so often there would be terrific roar as one of the huge flying machines lifted into the sky. She ducked involuntarily every time they did, and she was slightly amused to see the King, Eustace and the following Henry all duck in unison.
But her desire to speak to a Sister overcame her fear. She pressed on through the crowds.
She could also see several of the horseless vehicles moving rapidly along the solid road. Some were parked in the field. They smelt like the food she had just eaten. It had a burnt, a charcoal like taste. The people she passed were all tall, dressed in strange clothes and some carried small objects next to their ears that they were speaking into. Some were looking at these strange objects anxiously, or smiling at them and touching them rapidly with their fingers.
As she passed, people gave her a wide berth. Many made comments about her smell. She also looked so strange with her long white hair and strange clothes. She approached a stall that was hung with wind chimes and with a sign above saying, Fortunes. She noticed two women at the stall and realised that these were both the Sisters she had sensed. But she had thought it was only one, because one had a much stronger aura than the other.
Despite their varying appearance she could tell immediately that they were lovers. The give-away was in the sensual nature of their body language as they brushed against each other in the close confines of the stall. One Sister was tall, as tall as the King with bright curly red hair and the other was shorter with long straight dark hair. Both were busy with customers as she approached, but the tall red-haired Sister must have sensed her presence and turned in her direction. Greta realised that she was the more powerful of the two Witches.
Then all of a sudden everything around her turned to pandemonium.
There were men shouting from two different directions, people ran screaming, one woman almost knocking Greta over in her terror. She could now distinguish the shouts:
‘ARMED POLICE, lay down, lay down, on the ground’
‘ARMED POLICE, lay down on the floor’
The people who were running by were shouting, ‘Guns … Police … Get-away … Move’. Some were screaming in terror. Greta didn’t know what ‘guns’ or ‘Police’ meant, but she knew it wasn’t good, people were clearly in a panic. As the crowd cleared she took in the scene before her.
The King, Eustace, Henry and the tall stranger were being shouted at by these men. Eustace still had hold of the tall strangers’ belt and was shielding the King with his bulk but with his sword drawn and raised. Henry was notching an arrow and at the same time raising his bow to aim at one of the 4 men who were crouching each on one knee with small dark metallic objects pointing at the Kings’ group. Greta knew that in a split second an arrow would kill the crouching man. Time seemed to stand still for Greta as she saw from the corner of her eye, the tall stranger raise his hands above his head and shout, ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot’.
One of the 4 men crouching with the metallic objects who was obviously in command was now shouting, ‘lay down your weapon, and you won’t be hurt, now, do it now.’
Greta couldn’t believe her ears. Here were 4 men apparently without weapons, she didn’t know what the black objects were, but they certainly didn’t carry any swords or bows; telling the King to disarm. A crowd had gathered a short distance away and they were all now pointing their hand-held square objects in direction of the weapons stand-of, some were talking into them in an agitated manner.
Predictably Henry released his first arrow with deadly effect. She had seen him kill many men in battle before, and he knew exactly where to aim. Greta saw the bloody point emerge from the back of the man’s skull. He collapsed in a heap, bleeding profusely from the fatal wound. His body twitched in his death throes. Greta had seen this familiar twitching in Henry’s victims before.
With lightning dexterity, Henry notched a second arrow which flew towards the chest of the next Police officer. The Police officer had time to move to one side but the arrow stuck into his upper arm and he screamed in agony. In normal close quarters fighting like this, Eustace would have charged as Henry’s arrows flew, and the two remaining Police officers would be dead. But Eustace remained in front of his King, protecting him because of his injury.
The two uninjured Police officers fired now within a split second of each other. The powerful bullets tore into Henry, killing him instantly. Greta involuntarily covered her ears at the unexpected loud sound of the gunshots and saw Henry fall to the ground, blood splattering from his fatal chest wounds.
The King and Eustace were startled by the loud explosion from the small hand-held objects. The saw Henry’s body collapse under their force, and were open mouthed by the powerful destruction. It was clear Henry had been killed instantly. His body lay contorted at an impossible angle. An amazingly large amount of his blood spread quickly across the ground.
However, the loud explosions also spurred Eustace into action. Greta watched as he ran instinctively with the King and Keith away from the loud explosions. Almost immediately they were lost in the crowd of running, panicking men, women and children. Greta followed the fleeing men as they pushed and shoved their way through the crowds. She watched as they reached the horses, and then pulling the spare horses behind them, disappeared into the woods.
Greta was unsure if she would follow. She dithered, letting the crowds swirl around her. The noise of the aircraft was now drowned by a new sound. It was like a child screaming or an animal in great pain, but much, much louder. She had never hear Police sirens before. She saw horseless carriages approaching at high speed with blue lights flashing on their roofs. The Sunday Market crowds instinctively turned away from the loud noises and the flashing lights and Greta was swept up in the crowd, as mass panic took over and everyone pushed towards the exit.
Within 2 minutes the first video footage of the incident was posted on You Tube. Over 400 video clips and photographs were uploaded onto the internet in the next 3 hours.