Colin O’Brien, Staff Sgt. Brenton Wilson-Davies, and Thelma Mae met their handler Robin Zaehner at the British Embassy in Tehran for an operational briefing. Robin introduced the trio to their pilot Wing Commander Bob Doe, an eccentric American oilman working in partnership with British Petroleum, Jean Getty, and a Geologist working for Mr. Getty named Alistair Cook.
Zaehner introduced the group to each other and explained their missions. The three agents were to go to the town of Marand about 79 km northwest of Tabriz. There, agent Mae was to work as interpreter and special envoy for the Crown to help Getty secure oil rights for British Petroleum. O’Brien was to help a British team set up a field hospital in the town to help BP’s interest and establish goodwill with the local population. Staff Sgt. Wilson-Davies was to recruit and train local fighters in sabotage and special operations against Soviet interests in Northern Iran, Armenia SSR and Azerbaijan and Wing Commander Doe was to fly the crew to their destination and help establish a makeshift runway near the town where British planes could land in case of Soviet aggression in the region. The crew equipped themselves and met at the Tehran airport to fly to Tabriz and then go via convoy to Marand.
An hour-and-a-half into the flight, a strange weather system developed to the northwest. The pilot revved up the engines to gain as much altitude and speed as he could. Wilson-Davies as co-pilot and navigator plotted a northeasterly course to outflank the approaching storm that took them deeper into the Elburz Mountains. The freakish storm was too fast for the Ford Tri-Motor 4-AT-B to outrun and before long, the “tin goose” was shaking, rattling and bouncing furiously in the battering winds and flashing thunder.
A lightning strike tore through the starboard engine and knocked it out of commission. Doe struggled to keep control of the plane but the winds were too strong. Thanks to his expert piloting skills, however, he managed to evade crashing headlong into a mountain peak, but the summit’s rocks ripped a large hole into the plane’s fuselage. The hit knocked Mae into the airplane’s ceiling and was ruffed up and bruised. The other passengers managed to keep themselves safe. The plane however, was out of control and plummeted to the mountain below. Doe and Wilson -Davis, stabilized the plane just before hitting the ground, but the mountain ripped off the starboard landing gear sending the plane to into a sideway crash.
Wing Commander Doe suffered a severe head wound and was unconscious, but besides the bruised and battered Thelma Mae, the rest of the crew seemed in good shape. It was as dark as night outside besides only being noon. Cook and Davies found a flashlight and went outside to survey the damage and make sure the plane was not in danger of going up in flames. Discarding the threat of an explosion, the crew waited out the storm inside the plane.
After the storm, O’brien tended to Bob Doe’s wounds and managed to bring him back to consciousness. Cook took a closer look at the plane’s damage. The fuselage was badly damaged and their supplies had fallen out of the plane. The starboard engine was damaged but repairable with the right parts as was the starboard landing gear. The radio, however, was burnt out from the lightning strike. The crew waited until nightfall and Wilson-Davies used a sextant to get their exact position. Using the plane’s navigational maps, he found that they were about eight to ten miles away from the small mountain village of Masouleh.
In the morning, Mae attempted to scavenge for food, but there was nothing to be found at this elevation. The crew tightened their belts and started their trek down the mountain to reach the town. Although hazardous and treacherous, the crew managed to make decent headway down the mountain. Around mid-day they heard the sound of distant wolves but were unable to determine their location or distance. They reached the tree line after several hours of travel and rest of the day went by uneventfully. Tired and hungry, the group managed to start a fire, set camp and draw up a guard order.
Right before sunrise, a large Worg leaped into the camp intent on securing an early breakfast. Alistair Cook was on watch however and had noticed the movement in the surrounding woods. As the Worg leapt to tear him apart, the mild mannered, introverted scientist, leveled his pistol and shot the giant beast between the eyes; dropping him with one shot. “My father taught me to shoot and hunt as a boy,” he explained to the dumbfounded group.
After feasting on Worg meat, the group set out once again. By early afternoon they spotted the town in the distance. However, the area seemed deserted and overgrown. The group found the village abandoned. The buildings showed signs of not having been inhabited for years. The group searched the town and empty buildings and concluded that the people had left in a hurry. It took several hours, but the crew managed to find supplies to repair the airplane: sheet metal, a weld machine, a car hood, wiring and the like. The group was uneasy however after finding clawed footprints in the snow of what appeared to be bi-pedal humanoids. As sundown approached the group did not think it safe to travel in the mountains with the supplies, so they established a perimeter and settled in the abandoned mosque in the center of town.
Around 3 AM while O’Brien was on watch, he heard a sound of shuffling feet outside the mosque. He looked through one of the holes in the walls and saw grayish skinned creatures with glowing red eyes, black ooze dripping from their fangs and claws. The creatures broke into the room from all directions. Some crashed through the walls, footsteps could heard from upstairs, others clawed their way from the ground. Heavily outnumbered the group did their best to hold their ground against the creatures. Getty was nearly grabbed while he slept but managed to leap out of the creatures’ grasp just in time. The near death experience was too much for him and his eyes widened in panic and terror. Mae let out a deafening horror-filled shriek that made everyone’s hair stand on end, but she fired her gun at one of the approaching fiends. The creature exploded in a cacophony of blood and gore; bathing Mae and others with bodily fluids and guts. Mae was traumatized and ran toward the barricaded exit. The wing commander was badly wounded by surrounding ghouls. Wilson-Davis moved upstairs to prevent attacks from above. Getty, terrorized by the score of ghouls pouring into the room, stabbed wildly at the beasts with a makeshift wooden spear. O’brien and Cook were surrounded, and fired their pistols. Dead ghouls exploded in a storm of blood and gore as they died, but they badly outnumbered the party. Cook was knocked down by three ghouls, his screams drowned by the sound of the ghouls feeding on his flesh. Wilson-Davis opened up from the stairs with his machine pistol after he killed the ghouls pouring from upstairs. He killed the three ghouls feeding on Cook, but it was too late-Cook had already been ripped to pieces.
The terrified Mae managed to remove the barricade from the door and fled outside and was confronted by two ghouls. In her terror, she managed to evade their attacks and after a brief confrontation managed to kill the fiends. O’brien took care of the ones surrounding him, and just as quickly as it had begun, the body of twelve ghouls laid on the ground dead.
The group rested until sunrise as best they could and made their way safely back to the airplane. They repaired the plane as best they could and made it safely to Tabriz.