Chapter 3

Taking Action

 

   After the airliners started falling from the sky throughout Europe, Colonel Rawlings thought it was a good idea to make his way to headquarters as swiftly as the autogyro could carry him. That was the place to start, he was certain of that.

   The young Aviators of Tomorrow kept their European base of operations in a network of tunnels within the Rock of Gibraltar. As he sped over southern Spain, Rawlings spotted yet another downed Zeppelin. With a quick and practiced hand on the cockpit telegraph key, he inquired as to the well being of the survivors. Receiving a confirmation that they had already been assured of their impending rescue, the colonel continued onward.

  It wasn’t long before the monolith of the Pillars of Hercules appeared on the horizon. He signaled ahead and the upper tip of the rock slid soundlessly aside to reveal Rawlings’ personal gyropad.  The rotors spun him down to a perfect landing.

   Standing close at hand was Flight Lieutenant Johnny Ames, the tow-headed Indiana farm boy who at the age of thirteen was the finest pilot of his age on this or any other planet! “Colonel Rawlings!”, he called out in greeting. Rawlings climbed out of the cockpit and shook Johnny’s hand warmly. “What’s going on, Sir? I heard about the falling Zeppelins, what could be causing it?”

   “Johnny, I’m afraid we have a grave problem on our hands here.” Said Rawlings.

   “Grave?”

   “I won’t mince words Lieutenant, it may be the greatest challenge we have ever faced!”

   Blood drained from the youngster’s face. “You mean greater than the invasion of the Lunar Spider People?”1

  “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

  “Worse than the maniacal machinations of the Magnet Master?”2

  “Worse than that.”

  “More alarming than the super-storms of the Chinese Weather Wizard?”3

  “Oh my, far more serious than even that!”

1. As told of  in Aviators of Tomorrow book #1, The Adventures of the Young Aviators of Tomorrow.

2. Who's story is related in Aviators of Tomorrow book # 12, The Aviators of Tomorrow face the Magnetic Monster.

3. The tale of which is rousingly recounted in Aviators of Tomorrow book # 4, The Aviators of Tomorrow against the Ill Wind from the East.