The first sequel Holborn sees us re-join Tracy and The Commander some three months after Hainault in the last few days before Christmas.
Their relationship has developed so far that Al Longton is now running a book on when they are going to get married, however all thoughts of this and Christmas are soon put on hold when a dangerous, armed and highly professional gang of robbers strike at some of Haychester's key public buildings using unusual means of entry. Also we see something of the future as The Commander and Tracy are about to take up new positions in the London Transport Section of the Security Service, an area that is covered more in the second sequel Waterloo.
It was just like any other ordinary lorry, a blue Ford Cargo, the tatty remains of old sign writing on its slightly faded sides. Had there been anyone around, it is doubtful that they would have afforded it the slightest glance as it made its way discreetly through the quiet dark streets of the city of Haychester.
The clock of the magnificent city cathedral chimed in the twenty-third hour of the day as the lorry slowed outside the County Headquarters of the Department of National Security and Civil Defence, the United Nations inspired National Police Service that had been at the forefront of crime fighting in the United Kingdom for the last fifteen years.
As they slowly passed the entrance of the 1960's style concrete main building, the passenger, a man in his late fifties, greying hair matching an untrimmed moustache, leaned forward from his seat and looked out of the side window.
"Seems quiet enough, I think we can proceed," he muttered to the driver in a gravely voice, having surveyed the fairly quiet scene in the distance. It appeared that some form of official function was coming to a close, but few people were now around.
"Let's go," said the passenger, tapping the driver on the shoulder. The lorry pulled away, making its way down the dual carriageway, across a deserted roundabout and around to the back entrance of the large site occupied by the Haychester Technology College.
The passenger got out of the lorry and walked over to the wooden gate that blocked their path. Looking around, he could see no one nearby so preceded to unlatch and pull open the gate. Once open, he gestured to the driver of the lorry who accelerated through, the passenger grabbing the open passenger door and climbing back in as it passed.
Although the site did have bulkhead style security lights, those that did have working bulbs where old and ineffective, effectively leaving it to the dipped headlights to pierce the darkness of the night, picking out the weaving narrow driveway that led to the rear entrance of the College's main technology block.
As they pulled up outside the entrance, the driver extinguished the truck's lights. "We have four minutes once we are though that door" the grey haired passenger informed both the driver and those waiting in the back of the lorry.
The passenger looked at his watch, straining to reflect any light off it in the darkness. "Lets go" he told the driver, who proceeded to move forward, turn then reverse the vehicle up against the doorway.
The passenger got out and walked briskly to the rear of the lorry. "Come on, out" he called to the occupants, raising the shutter type door with a characteristic loud clatter.
In moments ten people, all dressed in identical plain blue overalls and balaclavas joined him from the back of the lorry.
Two of the men carried between them a large case that was put on the ground adjacent to the main doorway. Opening the case revealed a complicated set of equipment, the key components of which appeared to be two thick black electrical cables on internally mounted reels, these having large electrical crocodile clips at their ends.
The second man who had carried the case from the lorry quickly identified a cable attached to the top of the doorframe. Using wire strippers produced from his pocket, he exposed two of the wires that ran through the cable before attaching one of each of the leads from the case to each of the exposed wires by means of the crocodile clips.
Jumping down he indicated to the man kneeling by the case that they were ready and then joined the others stood a little distance away. Using the controls within the case, the man kneeling set a voltage through turning a dial, then after releasing a red safety switch, pressed a large black button, unleashing first a magnetic burst down the cable followed within seconds by an electrical surge supplied by the large batteries built into the device.
The sparks emitted from where the crocodile clips made the connection soon died down and with that, the leader gave the signal to proceed.
Another member of the gang stepped forward and produced a lock picking kit before proceeded to work on the door, the expertise of this individual showed as despite the complexity of the lock, in just a few moments it was open and the group were making their way through the entrance hall to the elevator.
The light from the elevator shone out into the dark corridor as the doors opened on the second floor of the building. The grey haired man, the leader of the group, identified the group's target, a secure laboratory in the northwest corner of the building. At his signal, the group moved forward and into the laboratory. Shining torches through the wire glass window set into the door, they could see around the dark interior of the room, their light being concentrated on a stack of rigid equipment cases over by the windows.
"There should be eighteen cases, three manuals and a control unit," the leader instructed, consulting a list he had taken from his breast pocket as the door was opened. The others quickly set about lifting the heavy black cases, the corners capped with silver metal protective pieces.
Within a few minutes, the cases were being loaded into the lorry using its hydraulic tail lift. Whilst loading continued, two of the men watched the dark night surrounding the building, guns pointed outward in case of any unwanted interruption.
The driver watched in his rear view mirror as the last of the cases was loaded aboard and the men returned to the inside of the truck. The leader called in the two lookouts before hopping up on to the open tailgate of the lorry. He took one last look around, seeing that all was clear, he banged twice on the side of the lorry and at this signal, the vehicle departed again into the night.