Phoebles returned just as the howling Met Snatch Squads and an angry clutch of Les Chats Souterrains emerged from the sewers. Once on the surface they assumed a nasty tight wedge of burly coppers with shields interlocked and truncheons poking out… and charged. It was a tactic that had worked well for the Roman army and had lost none of its effectiveness in the intervening years.
Boz raised one eyebrow. “I meant you to go too.”
“I know, but…”
Heavily out numbered now the defenders battled on, periodically releasing small groups to escape through the surrounding, winding alleys and passages. One catapult crew remained with a fast dwindling supply of bombs. A ski-masked mob of Anarcho-Syndicalists – from no detachment known to Boz or Phoebles – rushed on to the barricade, unsuccessfully urging others to follow and crying “No retreat – stand firm!” They planted a Confederación Nacional del Trabajo banner securely into the rubble, “Rally to the flag!”
“I thought you said no last stand?” queried Phoebles.
“I did… and I don’t know who the hell this bunch are.” Boz was shouting above the battle’s din. “I’m pretty sure they weren’t at the planning meeting.”
Despite the confusion, no one rallied. Perhaps there were too few to rally.
From his rooftop vantage point Ginsbergbear could see the circle of Nationalists tightening on his comrades. Riot Police were hammering on the main doors of the Town Hall and his position would soon become untenable. It was time to go. He picked up the X Ranger 1075 and headed for the stairs.
Separated now from the few remaining defenders Phoebles and Boz were standing back to back, one magazine left in Bozzy’s AK47 Aquafire and the last two ping pong balls in Phoebles’ Burp® gun.
“Not exactly going to plan, eh, y’old bugger.” muttered Phoebles.
“Ah, but you’ve not heard my Plan B yet, pal.”
Softly the distant, tinkling notes of Die Walküre drifted on a gentle breeze that was just beginning to clear the daylong fog.
“That’ll be the Plan B where we’re unexpectedly rescued at the eleventh hour I suppose?”
Headlamps and ice-cream cones flashed as the Vicecream van, lately returned from its Scottish adventure, still sporting heavy-duty tyres and bull bars and with a newly fitted Audi turbocharged V12 diesel engine grumbling under its bonnet, careered westwards along Cable Street and burst in on the scene.
“That’s the one!” replied Boz.
With the Kittens of Chaos balanced precariously on the roof-rack lobbing a fusillade of smoking baked potatoes down onto their hapless victims – the van had also recently been equipped with a gleaming coal fired King Edward Bake-King jacket potato oven – Aunty Stella gunned the Vicecream van through the rear ranks of besiegers and slewed round to halt within inches of the lucky pair.
“More spuds, more spuds, we’re running low on ammo up here!”
“Get in… Now!” she commanded.
The duo piled through the open serving hatch.
Nationalists were all round the van and advancing up the lower levels of the barricade.
“We’ll never reach anyone else.”
Consuella Starcluster dominated the highest point on the pile. With bodice bursting to reveal her ample and heaving breasts and waving a Spanish Republican flag, she was totally surrounded by the mysterious masked Anarcho-Syndicalists and a tightening circle of Metropolitan Riot Police. And she was screeching defiance…
“¡Vare a la mierda!”
“¡A hacer puñetas!”
“¡A tomar por el culo!”
“¡Descojonarse, mearse de risa!”
Turning to look down at the euphonically Wagnerian vehicle she produced a fully loaded Saturator STR100 Lightning Strike super hand cannon from under her full skirts and proceeded to carve a swathe through her would be captors. Springing gazelle-like down the rubble she reached the Vicecream van, vaulted through the hatch and spun round to continue firing on anyone who had been stupid enough to pursue her. Aunty Stella jabbed the accelerator pedal, wheelied the van through a tyre smoking handbrake turn and was gone.