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April 18, 2011 / whirlingneedles

The Raid


Agent K looked out the window as the Black Hawk helicopter carrying her strike team flew towards the insertion point. Her stomach rose and fell as the helicopter’s wheels  skimmed over the tops of trees, following the rise and fall of the earth. The night was moonless, perfect for a raid on the alien compound. Agent K checked her gear one last time as the crew chief signaled that they were two minutes from the landing zone.
 
The Agency had had this site under surveillance for several months.Sheep went in, but only mutton chops came out. The intel suggested that the aliens were experimenting with various ways to create wool-less sheep. Papers smuggled out by an Agency operative in a chartreuse rubber alien suit suggested that a breakthrough  in their science was imminent.
 
Hence the strike team.

The aircraft settled to the ground and the crew chief slid open the doors. Agent K rolled out of the door and landed cat-like on her feet, running fast and low away from the still-turning rotors. She looked back over her shoulder to see the aircraft take off having deposited the Agency team. The plan was for it to retrieve the team in two hours time, just enough time to sneak up on the compound, plant a few yarn bombs, and sneak out again before they went off. Agent K hurried to the clump of trees on the far side of the clearing where the team was congregating, trying not to trip over her knitter’s gilly suit.

“All set?” asked Agent A, the strike team leader. He called roll, which was quick and probably unnecessary, as there were only four of them. Agent A, Agent J, and Agent S made up Agent K’s team.

“You have the yarn bombs, right K?” asked A.

Agent K answered in the affirmative, and the team set off. They approached the compound from over a ridge – the helicopter’s approach might have aroused suspicions if they had landed right next to the compound. Agent K moved as stealthily as possibly down the steep ridge, doing her best not the jostle the yarn bombs in her bag. They were not likely to go off in her bag, but better to be cautious.

The compound was surrounded with a chain link fence to keep the captive sheep in check, but the Agents climbed it easily. Well, Agent S snagged her gilly suit, and nearly panicked, but K managed to free her before S gave them away. Agent K grimaced at the damage to the suit, but repairs would have to wait until after the mission.

Agent A motioned for the team to halt in the shadow of a ten foot concrete wall. He kicked his right foot in a pre-arranged signal to Agent K, who began handing out the yarn bombs. Each Agent was given four bombs, then they headed in four different directions. The intel was a bit shaky at this point – there were several buildings in the compound which might contain the experiments, but might contain offices or living quarters instead. The Agency brass had decided that it was better to yarn bomb all the buildings and make as much of the compound uninhabitable as possible rather than risk missing the laboratory.

Agent K’s assigned building was an renovated barn. She glanced around, then hurried across the open courtyard, hoping that no guards would spot her. She had already seen several aliens oozing their way around the compound, and would hate to meet one in the open. Panting, she paused with her back against the barn wall. She heard no outcry, so she seemed to be safe. She watched as Agent J scurried toward his assigned building, then carefully slid back the bolt on the barn door.

Opening the door a crack, Agent K was able to see that the barn was lined with tables that were covered in scientific implements. Test tubes, bunsen burners, scales, and raw fleece sat on every flat surface. Jackpot! She’d found the lab. Just then, two aliens entered the main room of the barn from a door at the back. There must have been some kind of storeroom, because they carried a large fleece between them. They were talking in their weird alien language, and making horrible screeching sounds that passed for laughter. They wore pink rubber gloves on their tentacles to prevent coming into contact with the fleece, and held it at a tentacles-length as if it were something very nasty. They placed it on one of the tables.

How to get the aliens out of the room so that she could plant the yarn bombs? Agent K scratched her head, trying to think fast. Too bad she couldn’t whip out her needles – she did her best thinking while knitting. Aha! She had it!

Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a small wind-up mouse. She had been meaning to give it to LYSO for her cat for ages, but never seemed to remember it when she was in the store. It was just as well, and she could always buy LYSO’s cat (“Fluffykins”) another toy.

Agent K wound up the mouse as tightly as she could, then set it down on the floor, pointing it at the door on the far side of the barn. She let it go, and it squealed and squeaked as it ran across the floor. The aliens jumped, startled, then ran after it to investigate. (Good thing aliens are very gullible!)

Now was her chance. Agent K slipped through the door, pulling the first yarn bomb out of her bag. She attached it to a beam above the first table, then did the same with the three remaining yarn bombs, attaching them to the beams at regular intervals down the barn. When she got to the store room door, she peeped in.

It wasn’t just a store room, it was an office. On the desk lay a red folder labeled “Super Important Top Secret Plans for Bald Sheep. This is the only copy, so don’t lose it!!!!!” Agent K stared at it for a second, then shrugged and picked it up, tucking it into her bag. Why not? The barn wouldn’t be usable after the yarn bombs went off, but she might as well take the plans anyway.

Agent K ran back up the length of the barn and flattened herself against the wall just as the aliens returned to the main room. She slid the bolt back into place and glanced around to make sure she had left no more traces. She picked up her bag and ran back across the compound to the meeting place where the rest of the team was waiting for her.

“All set?” motioned Agent A by waggling his fingers.

Agent stood on one foot and flapped her arms, meaning “Yes, I found the lab and set four yarn bombs after distracting the aliens with a wind-up mouse.”

Agent A bobbed his head and slapped his thigh, meaning “A wind-up mouse? Impressive!”

Agent K shrugged modestly.

Agent A pulled out the transmitter for the yarn bombs from his pocket, extended the antenna, and pushed the big red button. Muffled pops signaled that the yarn bombs had gone off, spraying the rooms they had been set in with woolen shrapnel. The Agency was always looking for donations of yarn scraps with which to load its yarn bombs. Agent K knew that the barn interior would not have an inch that wasn’t covered in bits of wool, rendering it useless to the aliens.

Agent A motioned to the team, and they sprinted up the ridge. Behind them, confusion reigned as the aliens ran around in circles, trying to figure out what had just happened. Agent K watched as one of the alien scientists from the barn tried to scrape yarn fragments off his eyestalk with hive-covered tentacles, then ran after her team.

Back in the helicopter, she picked up her knitting for the long ride back to the Agency. It was another job well done.

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