It had been 2 weeks since we had retrieved the latest diary entry on the last stage of “Your Mission”, and therefore it was high time that we got on with the next phase seeing that the planet was still at risk from the dreaded anti-matter bomb. You can read all our mission blog entries here. It took us the best part of an hour to get the Morse code from the diary entry transcribed into the computer so that we could run it through the decoder that we found on the internet. By the time Shar had finished reading out all the dots and dashes for me to type in I think she had gone a little strange… or should that be strange-er?
The deciphered message told us of wolverine latest attempts at hiding the code numbers needed to deactivate the anti-matter bomb. He had provided some coordinates and described that at that location we would find a fallen birch tree that he had used to hide the next number we would need. The coordinates took us to another place that we had never been before, Northaw Great Wood which is only about a 30 minute drive around the M25 for us. Shar identified a likely looking parking area using the satellite maps online and we set off aware that the Muggleovians would more than likely still be hunting us as well as the bomb.
After an uneventful drive, Shar is getting pretty good at evading the detection of the Muggleovian road squads, we parked up and hunted around for “yellow markers” that had been mentioned in wolverine’s last entry. We quickly found a board showing a map of the wood and displaying different walking trails that could be followed and one of them was yellow…bingo! We set out into the woods following the yellow markers that could be found every 100 metres or so. We kept an eye on the GPS that was tracking the coordinates that wolverine had supplied and whilst the distance initially went up as we moved away from our target along the path, it then started decreasing steadily as we looped back around. The woods were a delight to walk through, although we all commented how, in the winter, they would no doubt be extremely muddy. We were glad that the ground under foot was mainly dry as this meant we would leave no tracks as we walked… Also it meant that the washing machine would have an easier time of it when we got home.
It took us about 30 minutes to get to a point where the arrow on our phone was pointing off the path and showing only a distance of around 80 metres to our target. We left the track and headed into the trees careful to disguise our entry point as we went. The terrain was not easy going with lots of dips and depression to negotiate. Again this looked like it could get seriously wet at certain times of the year with evidence of a small dried up stream running through the trees too. Even though the satellite coverage was not great we arrived at the coordinates presently and immediately spotted the fallen tree described by Wolverine. It was huge and we split up and started searching every nook and cranny of it in trying to find our next clue container. The tree had fallen into a depression and so some parts of it were sticking out across the ditch and were quite high in the air. Sam spotted an excellent hole in the tree but it was very high up and there followed a scary few minutes while I edged up the fallen trunk to a point where I could stick my hand in. We all felt sure it was going to be the hiding spot but there was nothing in there. Deflated we all went back to our individual searches. Shar widened her area of searching, now not convinced we were in the right place. Another 10 minutes or so and Sam was starting to get disheartened, thinking that maybe we wouldn’t find it. I was not prepared to give up, I knew it was just a matter of time.
10 more minutes passed and Shar came back saying that she was about ready to give up. I muttered, “Soon” and carried on feeling my way around parts of the tree that I swear I had already searched. I was so convinced I was just about to find it and I told myself when I did I would savour the moment and just leave my hand on the container and enjoy the feeling of having brought the search to a successful end, before telling the others. Sam announced that he was giving up and as I slid my hand under one part of the tree and up into a slot, my heart skipped a beat as I felt the familiar texture of hardened plastic. I smiled to myself and just stayed there for a second or too. “We can’t give up now” I said to Sam. “Why not?” he said a little sulkily. “Because I have found it” I replied pulling out the container for all to see. Shar called out in disbelief wanting to believe me, but knowing I have a bad habit of playing evil jokes from time to time. We all sighed with relief as I passed over the container and Shar pulled out the next diary page from inside.
We had our second number to add to the deactivation sequence… and another set of coordinates and some research to do back at headquarters before we could continue our mission any further. With relief in our hearts and smiles on our faces, we made the tiring trek back to the car. In total we walked around 3 miles to retrieve this next clue and we were all ready to head home for a special agent “father’s day” dinner of burgers, chips and corn on the cob.
Our next leg of the mission looks like it will take us to a place called Standon which is about an hour’s drive away and as well as the promise of an interesting retrieval of the next clue we have to find out some local information about a geological curiosity called pudding stone. The quest to complete this mission is fast become an epic journey and one that we are now fully committed to; not only to save the world, but also to have the prestigious bragging rights of actually claiming this smiley.
Agents signing off…for now