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The Lair of Terror
Apr 4th, 2011 at 3:34am
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The Lair of Terror
A UFO Challenge Story for the SHADO Writer’s Guild

Written by Matthew R. White
© April 3, 2010
Based on the Characters and series created by Gerry Anderson

The Character Major Vladimir Natiroff was created by Deborah Rorabaugh

Historians Note: This story opens one week after Heartbreak on the Moskva but most of the events depicted here take place two years later.

This story is dedicated to my fellow fan fiction writer and good friend Denise Felt.


The spacecraft had been designed for a one way mission, what the inhabitants of Sol 3 would call a suicide mission. Inside the two occupants knew that they would never see their home world again. It was a price that they were willing to pay if it meant the successful completion of their mission. As a reward their families had been placed on the top of the recipients list for organ transplants by the supreme sovereign himself.

In the escape capsule was a third occupant, but the body that he occupied was radically different than the two beings piloting the ship. He too would never again see his home world yet he, if the mission was a success, would inhabit the oceans of the blue watery world that was their destination. Within the time it took this world to orbit its sun once he will have attained his full size at which time he would begin his plan to draw the attention of one man; the Commander in Chief of the organization known as SHADO.

Traveling at a speed well beyond the maximum speed of most of the craft operated by the planetary forces, they were quickly approaching the outer detection ring. The timing of separation would have to be down to the pico-second.

Colonel Virginia Lake had the low watch that night. In most instances she didn’t mind but now that she had someone to go home to, she suddenly decided that this duty was something to be avoided. Virginia, you need to learn not to volunteer, she thought to herself. But Paul had begged her to switch shifts for the week as he had just met someone he really liked. Paul had covered for her in the past when the symphony was in town so it was only fair. Alec was in Groton Connecticut to check on the construction of the new fast attack sub and Ed was still on his honeymoon. He wasn’t due back for a month, the longest vacation he had ever taken. Well, he deserves it.

Virginia had put her feelings in the right place while she was in the Soviet Union, mostly because she had met the man that was going to be her husband. Vanya had asked her to marry him the day that he arrived in London to assume command of the aeroceptor squadron and she shocked everyone when she said yes. Hell, I’m not getting any younger, she thought.

The intercom buzzed bringing her thoughts back to the present.


“Colonel Lake, you had better come out here. SID is reporting a sighting, but it can’t get a positive track.”

“Is there a problem with the equipment Keith?”

“I don’t think so Colonel. According to the readouts, the UFO is approaching at over SOL 20.”

“I’ll be right out.”

At the US Navy Sub base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Commander Denise Felt, USN stood at attention in front of Admiral Richard Geddes, COMSUBPAC.

“At ease Commander,” Geddes said with a twinkle in his eye.

Admiral Geddes had know the Felt family for years and had served with her father the in the Pacific theater during World War Two. Both men were hard driving submarine commanders who had a flare for taking the war straight to the enemy. Captain Felt’s daughter had the same intense green eyes as her father.

“Is there any word from Washington, sir?”

“I’m afraid that it isn’t what you want to hear Commander. The Joint Chiefs turned us down again.”

Most people would have missed it but Geddes could see the disappointment that Felt hid so well behind the mask of self control. She’d make one hell of a poker player, he thought.

“Permission to speak candidly, sir?”


“Admiral, I’ve spent the last ten years of my life working my tail off, scoring higher on all the tests than any man in the fleet, and I still can’t get a submarine command? Do you think that’s fair, sir?”

Geddes answered in a fatherly tone, “Denise, I’ve known you since you were a baby, so we can be honest with each other. No, I don’t think it’s fair at all. Unfortunately the United States Navy, for all its talk about equality, is still very chauvinistic when it comes to the submarine service. And it’s not going to change anytime soon.”

“Admiral, I’m wasting my time then, aren’t I?”

“There is one possibility, that is, if you are interested? You would have spend a year in Groton and eventually relocate to England.”

“What is that, sir?”

Geddes pulled a folder from his desk marked TOP SECERT EYES ONLY and handed it to her.

“Take a look at this Commander.”

Geddes watched carefully as the woman in front of him looked through the folder and he grinned when her jaw dropped.

“I’ve never seen a submarine like this before Admiral. Is this one of ours?”

“In a manner of speaking, we paid for it, but it falls under the jurisdiction of a multinational force. If you accept this positing it will involve a transfer from active duty navy to a special status. That’s all I can say for now. Bottom line is, this sub will be commissioned in a year, and she needs a captain. Are you interested?”

“Yes, sir. I am.”

“Good. The commanding officer of this organization will be here in two hours to interview you. He just happens to be here on his honeymoon. Why don’t you go grab yourself a cup of coffee and be back here before fourteen hundred?”

“I will, sir. Thank you Admiral.”

“Dismissed Commander.”

Commander Felt snapped to attention, “Aye, aye sir.”

She turned on her heel and walked out of his office. Geddes smiled when he heard the hoot in the hallway.
« Last Edit: Apr 14th, 2011 at 2:51am by Matt »  

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Re: The Lair of Terror
Reply #1 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 3:50am
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Chapter 1:

“How’s it going Joe?”


Colonel Joseph Kelly quickly walked up the gangplank on to the graving dock and took his friend’s hand in a firm grip.

“The ship is looking good Joe. You’ve done a hell of a job here. I understand that she launches next week,” said Freeman.

“Launches, yes,” said Kelly. “But we still have almost a year’s worth of fitting out before she can take her maiden voyage. And that will be followed by six months of sea trials. She still needs a skipper Alec.”

“Ed is interviewing Commander Felt today, and well…I suppose I can tell you now. The interview is just a formality. Straker has had his eye on this woman ever since the plans were laid down for this ship. He wanted the best fast attack tactics person that he could find, so he searched the US Navy, the Royal Navy, and the Red Banner Northern Fleet and her name was at the top of the list.”

“I didn’t think that women were allowed to serve in the US submarine service?”

“They’re not. This woman has been fighting an uphill battle with the Joint Chiefs for over four years. I think it was her tenacity that impressed Ed,” said Alec.

“It’s going to take more than tenacity to drive the most advanced submarine on the planet,” said Kelly. “Do you know anything else about her?”

“She has quite an impressive resume. I’ve seen it. Trust me Joe, she comes very well qualified. Hell even Ginny was impressed with her.”

Kelly nodded. Virginia Lake was known throughout the organization as being a difficult person to make an impact on and her opinion carried a lot of weight with the Commander.

“When can she get here? We are at the point now where we need to have the sub’s commanding officer involved with the outfitting and training.”

“A couple of days I’m told, assuming that she accepts the position.”

Joe Kelly could not imagine anyone turning down a chance to command this technological marvel.

“Did you get it Colonel?” asked Straker over the phone.

Virginia cringed inside at his tone knowing that he wasn’t going to happy with her answer, but she steeled herself and said, “We didn’t get it. The UFO came in so fast that it lost control during reentry and crashed into the sea. Skydiver 5 is in the search area now, but if the craft went down in the Tonga Trench, we’ll never find it without sending down a DSV.

“What did you say the approach speed was Virginia?”
His voice was lowered somewhat and she allowed herself to relax.

“It came in at over SOL 20. At least that is the information that we got from SID. We never did get a positive track until the UFO was past Moonbase. I don’t like it Ed. The last time something like this happened it was because an alien was trying to defect.”

“I take it that the craft was alone?”

“Yes,” she said, allowing some of her frustration to show. “We didn’t even pickup a hint of another trace. It makes no sense at all. Why travel all this way just to commit suicide?”

The silence on the other end of the line might have made someone think that the connection had been broken, but Virginia knew that the Commander was thinking.

“Where is the closest DSV to the Tonga Trench?”

“The UNSS Akron is about two hundred fifty miles south of the target area. I’ve already ordered them to start heading north.”

“I agree, keep me posted, would you Colonel?”

“Of course, sir.”

Commander Felt arrived back at the Admiral’s office just before two in the afternoon. She was surprised to see the door to his office closed and she double checked her watch.

“The Admiral is expecting you Commander. You can go right in, said his yeoman.

Denise tapped on the heavy wooden door and opened it.

“Ah Commander Felt, please come in,” said Geddes.

Denise was confused by the Admiral’s lack of formality in front of the air force two-star General seated in front of him, and she was shocked when the General stood to greet her. Fortunately for her, training kicked in and she came to attention in front of the Admiral.

“At ease Commander, he said. “May I introduce you to Major General Edward Straker.”

Denise looked at him for the first time and she felt her knees suddenly seem to go weak. His eyes were the most gorgeous shade of blue that she had ever seen and his features could only be described as beautiful. Get a hold of yourself, Denise, she thought, realizing that she must be looking like a star struck teenager. She knew that he must have noticed but, to his credit he didn’t react.

“How do you do, sir,” she greeted him confidently, somehow able to find her voice.

“My pleasure, Commander Felt.”

And his voice, almost musical, she thought. And the uniform, absolutely sexy, but what in the world does an air force general know about naval operations.

“Please, have a seat” said the Admiral.

Denise sat in the chair next to General Straker and she was finding it quite challenging to stay focused on the Admiral. Straker seemed to radiate an intensity that she had never seen or felt before; it was like an electrical field that charged everything and everyone around him, including me! And though he seemed relaxed, he was also alert, as if he could spring into action at any given moment.

“So Commander, you are probably wondering why an air force general is interviewing you for a submarine command?” Straker asked calmly.

So he reads minds too, cute.

“The thought had occurred to me, sir,” she answered dryly.

She could have sworn that she saw a hint of a smile behind his mask.

“Well Commander, things are not always as they appear,” he said handing her a folder.

She took the folder and opened it to the first page and her jaw dropped to the ground as she examined the first image. In shock she looked at the Admiral and then back to Straker.

“Is this what I think it is? An extraterrestrial spacecraft?” she asked once she found her voice.

“It is,” he said in a voice like ice. “What you are looking at is a blowup from the first photographic evidence of extraterrestrial contact.”

Denise looked back down at the photograph. The cone shaped object was nothing like the flying saucers of science fiction fame, the stuff that she wrote about in her spare time. “How long ago was this taken sir?”

“That image is a single frame blowup of a movie that was recorded in 1969.”

“We’ve been visited by these things for over fifteen years, sir?”

“Well, only the ones that get through,” he said somewhat smugly.

Why haven’t we heard anything about this if they have been… She stopped in the middle of her thought realizing for the first time that that these visitors were hostile.

“So we’ve been involved in an interplanetary war for over fifteen years,” she said.

“You don’t miss much do you?” asked Straker.

“It helps keep me alive, sir.”

This time she was sure that he had cracked a grin, but it was gone in a microsecond.

“To answer your question Commander Felt, yes, we are at war. A conflict with an enemy that inhabits a planet light years from Earth, an advanced civilization that we still know very little about. My position is Commander in Chief of a multinational military force known as shadow.”

“It sounds almost gothic, sir,” she added.

“Ah yes, SHADO is an acronym, Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization. We have a base on the moon, a fleet of submarines, space-interceptors, land and sea based aeroceptors, a string of satellites, and ground vehicles. Our headquarters is located in London.”

Denise could feel her head beginning to spin as she absorbed all she was being told. Anyone who was asked to be part of this organization would have to be the cream of the crop.

“Why me, sir?” she asked deciding to go on the offensive.

“Well, besides the fact that Admiral Geddes here as spoken highly of you, your test scores are in the stratosphere, and not just in the United States Navy. The results show that you are uniquely suited for the position I have in mind. You saw the artist’s conception of the submarine earlier today.”

“I did, sir. It’s incredible. Quite frankly I have some trouble believing some of the specifications.”

This time Straker did smile broadly, “The ship’s name is Scorpion and she’s the first of her kind Commander. When she puts to sea she’ll be the most advanced submarine ever to sail. And she is yours, if you want her.”

Denise didn’t hesitate for even a fraction of a second as she realized that all her hard work had finally paid off.

“Yes sir! I’d like to take her out.”

Straker extended his hand, “Congratulations Lieutenant Colonel Felt. Welcome to SHADO.”

As long as Denise lived she would never forget that moment, her dream come true, and also the intense look in those beautiful blue eyes.

In the depths of the Tonga trench, the alien escape capsule opened to disgorge its lone occupant. A self destruct mechanism would eliminate any left over evidence that something might have survived the crash into the sea.

The creature was slightly over two meters long, a very small fraction of the size that it would finally attain. With eight arms and two long tentacles, it resembled a giant squid. The similarities ended there, as this specimen would greatly dwarf its cousins.

As it swam through the waters of the South Pacific it began to formulate a plan for carrying out its mission. While technically a member of the Architeuthidae family its genus was unknown to Earth having been genetically altered to carry out its mission.

Unlike any other of its kind the creature possessed a level of malevolence attainable only by a sentient life form. Unlike an instinct driven animal, this creature would have a reason and purpose for its every action.

It came upon a grotto in the wall of the trench and decided that it would make a perfect lair, for now.

“We searched the entire projected crash area with the DSV,” Colonel Lake said to her boss over the phone. “We found most of the wreckage just south of the trench.”

“Anything of value?”

“I’m afraid not. There wasn’t a piece down there any bigger than one of your glass paperweights,” she said. “I sent the DSV down into the trench on the odd chance that something might have slipped down the canyon wall, but I’m not holding out much hope.”

“Well, it can’t hurt to check every possibility,” he said, pausing for a moment. “Virginia, how are you doing?”

She flushed at his sudden change in demeanor, but to her credit she kept her voice steady.

“I’m okay now and I didn’t think I would be for a while. I’ll be honest with you Ed. I had considered requesting a temporary transfer back to New York while I was in Moscow. Had I not met Vanya I would have.”

“I never meant to hurt you…”

“I know that. I knew it the morning you told me. Please don’t be sorry about it. The past few weeks I’ve heard you happier than I can remember. As it sits, it was the best thing for both of us. Strange?”

“Yes, it is. Virginia, you have been a good friend, I would have been deeply saddened to lose that friendship.”

“Thank you,” she said.

An uneasy silence came between them before Ginny broke the tension, “So tell me about Commander Felt.”

“I think that you will like her, she charts a straight course.”

Virginia chuckled, “How are you going to feel having two women under your command that are so direct?”

“Outnumbered,” he said in mock seriousness. “I’ll be coming back next week. When I do I need you to meet our newest submarine commander and go over our tracking equipment and procedures with her. And tell Lt. Colonel Stepanov that he is flying out with you. I need him to be familiar with our New York operation. Major Hebert can cover the London squadron while he is away. And keep me posted on the search, I don’t expect you to find anything, but if you do I want to know about it.”

“Yes Commander. Enjoy the rest of your honeymoon.”

“Thank you Colonel. Good night.”

Ginny hung up the phone shaking her head. He never ceases to amaze me, she thought. The New York operation was almost a carbon copy of HQ, where Stepanov was scheduled for orientation. By reassigning him the Commander had just given them a gift.

Virginia reached for the intercom, “Keith, would you ask Colonel Stepanov to come in here please?”

“Yes ma’am.”

A few moments later Ivan Stepanov entered the office and Virginia closed and locked the door. She stood and went to meet her fiancée allowing herself to be gathered in his arms.

“I have to go to New York next week when Ed returns from Hawaii.”

“So what else is new? You have job to do. I knew that when I ask you to marry me,” he said.

She smiled when he spoke, “Your English is coming along nicely. Soon you will be able to earn a living working for the BBC.”

His English had improved considerably thanks to both Ginny’s and Major Natiroff’s gentle coaching.

“Vladimir has said same thing. Maybe I can tell you my hearts…” he paused seeming to look for the right word.


“Yes, heart’s desire. Maybe I can tell you in your own language one day.”

“Vanya, the language of love is universal,” she said as she reached up and kissed him deeply.

“I’m going to be missing you Virginia,” he said when the kiss had ended, “How long until you return?”

She looked up at him smiling broadly, “No you’re not. You’re coming with me.”


“Yeah, truly,” she said pulling him in for long another kiss.

Standing in the SHADAIR terminal at the Honolulu International Airport, newly minted Lieutenant Colonel Denise Felt watched the very modern SST as it rolled up to the gate. She still found it hard the fathom that this plane was here just for her. At least I won’t have to fight for a window seat, she thought.

Half an hour later the jet was rolling down the runway carrying SHADO’s newest submarine commander. Inside the cabin, Denise found herself pondering the cost of sending a supersonic aircraft to deliver one passenger, and she was just beginning to realize how important each and every member of this organization really was and how lucky she was to be a part of it.
« Last Edit: Apr 14th, 2011 at 2:49am by Matt »  

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