[PART 48]

Tango Raids No-Man’s Land


All we had was a single intercepted short-wave radio report and single radar tracking report that the machine was there, but it was enough for us to at least take a close look. If the Martians had landed one of their flying machines in the Mexican Lawless Zone we needed to know about it. And if we had the chance we needed to do all we could to destroy it. This was not some far-off location of solid ice like the poles. If this report was correct, this was a location we could get to and do a great deal of damage. Once again Tango got the call and Tango Teams 3 and 4 were put on tactical alert.

By this time Tango Command had considerably increased its membership in the elite fighting force. From the original team concept of 40 members per team the elite force could now boast a little over 400 members per Tango Team. Even though there were now ten times more members per team the team designation was kept in place. They were however, divided into four sections of approximately 100 men each so that Tango 3 now had sections referred to as Tango 3 Alpha, Tango 3 Bravo, Tango 3 Charlie and Tango 3 Delta. Amongst themselves on the radio during training they simply radioed “3 Delta this is 3 Bravo over!”

During actual operations their radio call signs were known only to the members of Tango. Even the upper levels of Magic did not want to know the call signs, other than the list kept under lock and key in a safe, in order to protect the identifications of Tango. Anytime Tango “went on vacation” the only people who knew about it outside of Tango were Director C and Prince and the Prime Director. There was always to be “credible deniability.”

The short-wave radio report indicated that the Martians were located 100 miles east of Ciudad Mante on the Atlantic coast of the MLZ. Naturally we could not expect the information to be completely trustworthy, but it did correspond to our rather limited radar data so we did have some confidence that it was accurate. We also had a report from an SIS asset in the area. With this in mind we sent in a twenty man Tango reconnaissance team to access the situation. If the report could be confirmed the Martian camp would need to be destroyed.


The Tango team left the Committee underground military base GAMA near Atlanta, Georgia for a flight to Galveston where they boarded the cruiser CSS Roosevelt. From there the men sailed to an as yet unfinished secret sea cave facility at Tuxpan (right on the coast of the MLZ). The three small craft which dropped them off in the darkness of a moonless night spent only minutes on the shore before heading back to the cruiser. It would be a short hike to the sea cave opening which looked all to the world to hold nothing of real interest to any off-world adversary or for that matter anyone in the area from the MLZ. It was anything but.

Moving 200 feet along a man-made metal path firmly bolted to the southern wall found the team wondering when the reception committee would show up. In the darkness of the cave they had not noticed the conning tower ahead of them less than 90 feet from their steel walkway position. When the small white and larger red lights went on it was clear that the vehicle which was to take them on the final leg of their journey into the MLZ was already on station awaiting their arrival. This would be the first time one of our sea cave tunnels was used during an actual operation.

It did not take long for the reconnaissance team to load their gear and drop into the sub. Even before they were settled in the sub was backing out of the cave sub-surface and was soon moving north along the Mexican coast towards Ciudad Mante. Their final briefing would be a short one which consisted mainly of being introduced to their SIS contact, code name “Apple” who had boarded the sub some hours before the Tango team had arrived. It is interesting to note that if the team had not needed to make contact with a Committee SIS agent at the sea cave who would be their guide into the MLZ area they would have deployed to the MLZ coast directly from the cruiser. However, all of this extra movement did make for good training.

At 1:10 a.m. the sub surveyed the coast as it maintained depth. Both the Commander and Tango leader determined that there was too much activity on shore south of Ciudad Mante so the sub moved to a secondary location north of the suspected “Martian craft area.” By 3:04 a.m. the team was on dry land, led by Apple, moving south west to the suspected landing site. Forty minutes later after moving through rather dense jungle and across several small streams the team located a clearing and as simple as that they were face-to-face with what looked to be a medium size Martian Flying Machine. That was not a surprise. The surprise came from the small caged area just behind the parked machine. The Martians had captured several dozen locals and it was clear that several had already been ‘selected’ to feed the Martians! The team counted seven dead that had been tossed into a shallow trench after they had been drained of their fluids.

It was at that point the Tango leader changed the mission from a simple reconnaissance, to a destroy and rescue mission. However, in order to succeed they would need to move fast. Daylight was only an hour away.

A fast circular reconnaissance was conducted by two man teams moving to the west and east of the camp. Returning to the covered area the men briefed the group on the local situation. The camp had only one flying machine in sight along with one walker and by count two Martian As (seen near the flying machine) four Martian Bs as well as 20 hybrids. It was soon decided to divide the group into three six man squads. One squad would plant explosives on the flying machine. (Tango members always carry explosives no matter what mission they are on.) Their secondary target would be the walker if they had time to destroy it as it was clearly unmanned at the time. A second six man squad would deploy towards the compound to rescue the hostages, the third squad moved to engage the hybrids in close combat but only after the team assigned to the flying machine had done their work. They further divided themselves into three man fire teams. The explosion at the flying machine would be their signal to open fire on the hybrids. The final two members found two overview observation locations in trees from which they could support the operation with sniper fire. Tango always employed sniper code named ‘god’.

At 4:50 a.m. after the teams had deployed to their attack positions the small groups of Tango fighters moved forward to neutralize the Martian Base Camp. After “taking out” two Martian Bs and two hybrids guarding the flying machine and human cages all hell broke loose. Somehow an alarm had been set off which alerted the camp. It was not long before small weapons fire began coming in from several directions as the teams continued to move towards their objectives. The squad moving to the west where the captured humans were being held was under attack by no fewer than ten hybrids. With rifles and hand held Heat-Rays the hybrids were keeping the Tango team pinned down until one of the Tango snipers (god 2) took out three of them from his over-site position. At that point the Tango squad made a dash for the cages firing as they moved forward. However, this move allowed the hybrids a last burst of fire from one of the Heat-Rays which killed one of the Tango team and wounded a second. Seconds later hand grenades “removed” the remaining hybrids behind the small trench they had been occupying.

It was not over yet. One hybrid that had moved to the back of the cages stood up and began firing directly into the cages. In the time it took to move into a position to kill the hybrid he was able to kill twenty and wound several of the hostages at very close range. Only a very well placed shot made by a Tango member fired between running hostages took him down. Clearly killing humans was the only thing on the mind of the hybrid.

At this point the fighting shifted to the Martian Flying Machine parked nearby. There did not seem to be any Martians still inside the machine as the team began to place the explosives. At the same time other Tango members ran over to the walker to set more explosives. It seemed far too easy to be able to just move to these machines and set explosives and of course it was. As small arms fire continued from several directions the teams set off the explosives. Both the walker and flying machine were, as far as they could see, disabled by the explosives, but because the team did not have a large amount of explosives for this mission they could not later report that the machines could not be repaired. There was little time to reflect on their work as a rumbling from the ground which was longer and much more powerful than it should have been from the explosives began to increase.

Before long the ground began to shift as the team members ran for what cover they could find along with a number of rescued hostages. Within seconds it was absurdly clear what was causing the ground to shift. A second flying machine had been buried under the camp and was preparing to lift itself out of the earth and take off! The problem was, well there were many problems, the main one being the fact that the Martian ship was rising up with at least two dozen people on top of the craft as it took off. The problem was “solved” when the flying machine tipped towards the north sending everyone who had been trying to hang on to the top of the craft hurling to their deaths.

It took another twenty minutes for the team to finish off the hybrids before setting off for their rendezvous with the sub. In all they had rescued 26 hostages, disabled one flying machine and one walker, killed four Martian Bs and twenty hybrids (3 were executed after they were wounded and captured) but had missed the two Martian As. The raid had cost Tango one dead and seven wounded. (The Tango member who had been killed was carried back to the sub.) In all it was a successful operation in and that the team had demonstrated that Tango could deploy deep behind “enemy lines” carry off a difficult mission and change the mission’s operational direction when and if it became necessary. One more Tango emblem was added to the Tango Wall of Honor.


Magic Order MO-290

Immediate: The Committee shall establish immediately two large and expanded holding facilities, one for hybrids and a second for humans found to be aiding Martian efforts. No trial or publicity will be forthcoming and no explanation is to be given to humans or hybrids being held. Larger camps are to be set up for prisoners expected to be captured during the upcoming war with Mars. Where and how many will be decided by the Committee as needed.



The end of 1930 also saw the publication of a book which the Committee would have preferred not see publication. Olaf Stapledon, who had some minor connections with the Committee, published his “Last and First Men.” It was a work which attempted to chronologically summarize thousands of years of Martian invasions and other interference with human affairs most of which was completely unknown to much of Earth’s populations. We had in fact been keeping much of this work about our human history as close to the vest as possible. However, when the work became general knowledge with an ending which included the destruction of the “Martian Empire” we at the Committee simply noted that it was just a piece of fiction and nothing more. To have put too much effort into suppressing this book would have given it much too much publicity. In the end the general public viewed this work as fiction and it had no effect on our work.

The end of 1930 also found Dr. Einstein meeting with Director L, Sigmund Freud who he invited to help form “an association of intellectuals – men of real stature to make an energetic effort to enlist religious groups in the fight against human war.” Freud, not one of a religious nature reported on the human “instinct to destroy and kill not unfamiliar to a Martian”. The plan was put on hold.



PENICILLIN: During the meeting Dr. Alexander Fleming released his first exciting report on ‘penicillin.’ He stated that penicillin had strong antibacterial abilities and as such it greatly inhibited the growth of bacteria. He expected that during any conflict his discovery would be able to save thousands of lives. He also added that it could very well prove to be most beneficial to the Martians, and in fact it could be exactly what they are looking for to keep their population alive on Earth. Naturally that part of his report was only made verbally. (This will be the only record – X-125)

ROCKETS: Dr. Goddard reported that his team had succeeded in launching one of his new two-stage rockets to the unprecedented (human at least) height of 76 miles above the surface of the Earth. After showing a short film of his latest efforts he was delighted to report that within two or three years he would be able to reach orbital speeds of more than 17,500 miles per hour and achieve an altitude and speed allowing him to place a scientific instrument linked to an automatic radio into Earth orbit.

ABOVE GROUND DEFENSES: Above ground defenses are still behind schedule in most areas with Africa and South America showing more than their share of difficulties. Manpower and limited local resources will need to be expanded if these regions are to complete their vital work before Martian activities are expected to increase. Committee resources will need to be increased. All other regions are expected to continue closing in on schedules within the next 22 months.

BELOW GROUND DEFENSES: Underground Committee military bases (Alpha, Epsilon, etc) are now operational and fully manned. Secondary “offset instillations” are well within scheduled construction time-lines and are expected to be “on line” within the next 24 to 28 months. Linked supply depots are to be completed and fully stocked for rotation of supplies and equipment by the end of next year in over 80% of these depots.

GENERAL MILITARY READINESS: Committee and national forces are now well within expected levels of manpower, however, most forces still lack a good deal of required equipment at all levels. Replacement of older equipment to newly developed units is well behind required levels. Close examination of both supply and development in these areas must be made leading to a higher priority if our forces are to have the required equipment needed to defend our world. This is top priority.

UFOS: Generally reports of unidentified aerial craft have been increasing for several years. Investigation and research teams are well in place to aggressively counter any publicized negative aspects of these possible encounters. Protocols are in place to debunk or ridicule any serious reports involving human abductions or general attacks on local infrastructure by potential Martian craft. We are not yet prepared to bring the general public up to date on this problem.

PRIVATE BUNKERS: The Committee has recently authorized independent companies to build private underground bunkers as long as all funding comes from private sources. No one in the Committee felt that these private bunkers would or could amount to much, but as long as people felt that they were accomplishing something in order to have some control of their future no one at the Committee spoke up to block this type of work. Needless to say it did not take long before dozens of companies sprang up in several nations around the world to complete the work.

JETS: Back engineered Martian technology is about to pay off again. Although the Martians had not fielded what we would call a “jet engine” in any of their flying machines we were able to decipher many electronic pages of technical data which have pointed our engineers and scientists in that general direction. And even though a few experiments had been successful with this type of engine to a point, the mixing of human experiments with Martian technical details is leading the way to a truly powerful jet engine that we hope will soon find its way to the manufacturing floors where our new Whitehead Jets are under design and projected to be constructed.

UNDERGROUND CITIES: New tunneling equipment has vastly sped up work at our four primary sites as well as several other underground facilities. Most of the work is well within schedule; however, several southern sites have met with cost overruns that will need to be reconciled in the months to come. Manpower (prison) forces are well within required levels, but can be increased 24% if required. Military geologic and geographic personal are augmenting these efforts. Critical hardware will be moved if the need arises.

MARTIAN BROTHERHOOD: Membership has been degraded some 50% in the past few years due to aggressive actions by Committee as well as active work of national military and police/security forces. Recruitment of hybrids by Brotherhood operatives continues, however, success in these efforts continue to be degraded due partly to increased publication of Brotherhood acts of terrorism and ongoing anti-Brotherhood efforts by the Committee. Direct wireless contact with Mars is ongoing albeit at a much reduced level than ever before. We continue to work on intercepts. Executions continue.

LAWLESS ZONES: All three Lawless Zones continue to be set aside by active military forces. Operatives in these zones continue to report lawless activities of all kinds well above acceptable levels. Reports of UFO and related activity are being documented but not at levels reported in other areas around the world. Reviews are presently being conducted on a yearly basis with the ultimate goal of transferring these areas into functioning national concerns. Carving up these areas into new smaller nations continues to be the goal. “Country Teams” have been formed for all three Lawless Zones tasked with formulating plans to bring these areas, or at least less violent sections of them, back under the rule of law. Targeted “removal” of selected individuals in these areas is continuing and is under constant review.

MLZ: Tango ops in the MLZ successfully damaged or destroyed one Martian Flying Machine and one walker. Four Martian Bs and twenty hybrids were killed with the loss of one Tango operative. Twenty six hostages were rescued with one hostage dying of his wounds before transport was completed to GAMA. A single flying machine which had been buried was able to successfully fly away with no apparent damage. At least two Martian As were able to make their escape in that craft.

RADIO: It is expected that within the next five years 75% of the Earth will have radio/wireless stations to effectively transmit news and information to most populated areas. 26 new radio relay stations across the Pacific are expected to be operational within the next 12 months.

ENERGY WEAPONS: Tesla team members demonstrated several new devices and showed two films of recent progress in this area. Usable (deployable) devices are expected to be ready for field service within 24 months.

TRACTOR-BEAM: Some progress has been made in this area however a workable device is thought to be at least ten years away. Funding will continue at this time expected to be mainly general study without any expected short term results.

MARS WATCH PROGRAMS: Several new observatories have come on line in the past few months including the new team in Chile. Results from Chile have been excellent in the deployment of spectroscopic devices attached to their primary mirror. New detailed results for Martian weather patterns are expected soon. Early data show great promise.

LUNAR REPORTS: Active lights on the surface of the moon have been reported in several (8) areas including Mara and highland areas. This activity on the lunar surface has caused grave concern. These sightings have yet to be classified as natural or Martian in nature (or possibly others). It is therefore not clear at this point if these events are volcanic out gassing or related to some type of intelligent activity. Lunar teams have been increased to the highest levels employed to date. A detailed report on these surface lights is expected in 90 days and will include several photographic plates. Lights on for short periods of time from ten seconds to one minute have been observed most actively at the south west corner of Mara Tranquillitatis, Sinus Iridum and Mara Vaporum.

WORLD ECONOMIC ACTIVITY: Generally economic activity has rebounded to near pre-Martian War levels in most areas, with the United States, Great Britain and Germany leading the way. Africa, Soviet Union and Central America lag behind. Black market activity continues in all three Lawless Zones and is increasing. Efforts are at hand to intercept such activities as resources become available. Monetary levels and funding are increasing.

NEW MARTIAN ELEMENTS: Martian document research has indicated that the Martians have discovered natural elements up to and including element 115! These are far in advance of our basic understanding of the periodic table and will not be verifiable for many decades. Symbol as Uup this heavy element is reported to have isotopes of 287Uup, 288Uup, 289Uup and 290Uup. The Martian methods of producing any of these heavy elements is not yet clear.

CAVES PROGRAM: Thousands of caves have now become part of the Committee and local national caves programs ranging from small storage facilities to full-blown operational caves ready to house (when fitted) thousands of people and supplies. Full operation of all large caves is expected to be available within 48 months. Sea caves are now minimally operational in all seven “Blue” areas. 80% of smaller sea caves are expected to be operational within the next 36 months. Supplies to these areas must be completed slowly as to not draw attention to them. Sub-surface supply is recommended.



Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 49: Chapter 8 On the offensive and I Remember.]

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