The party members awaken mid-morning and partake of a meagre breakfast prepared by some of the womenfolk from the village. The resistance members supplies aren’t going to last too long with this many mouths to feed.
They find that Vaclav and his few remaining resistance members are planning what to do with the refugees – it’s quite a major logistical exercise that they are going to take care of.
Vaclav offers each of the party members a sad, tired smile as he sees them.
“I never got a chance to thank you last night for the help that you have provided us with,” he says. “Yes, a lot of good people died last night and I am afraid that more good people will die in reprisals, but this is the price that must be paid for freedom. These twelve innocent people all owe their lives to you and, on their behalf, we thank you.”
“Although my comrades and myself still have much to do here, your mission here is complete,” he continues. “I am sure that you are needed elsewhere for other missions. So we will contact our controllers to arrange your extraction as soon as possible so that you can return to England.”
Vaclav has a word with Oldrich, who Piotr understands is the radio operator the cell. He heads out of the cave, heading for where the radio transmitter is hidden in the woods where it is possible to get better reception.
Oldrich returns around an hour later and speaks with Vaclav in private. Vaclav nods and then comes to address all of the party members.
“I am afraid that you will not be leaving our country immediately. I am sorry to say that there is another very urgent and important mission that needs to be undertaken urgently in Prague.”
“How far away are we from Prague?” asks Bruce.
“Just 15 miles as the crow flies,” Vaclav replies. “It will take less than a day to get there, so it will not be a long journey.”
“Who has ordered this mission?” asks Bruce. “With respect, cobber, we don’t work for the Czech Resistance. Our orders come from a bit higher up the chain of command.”
“The orders come from Frantisek Moravec and have been approved by the S.O.E. also. You are welcome to check with your superiors.”
“We will take you up on your offer,” says Taffy.
“Very good,” Vaclav says. “Oldrich can take you to where our transmitter is located or you can use your own. The codename for the mission is ‘Operation Anthropoid’. This is all of the information that I have apart from the fact that I am to get you to a specific safehouse above a greengrocers in the Smichov district of Prague.”
“I will go and check,” says Taffy, bringing the radio that was dropped with them wishing to use this instead of the resistance’s own radio. He then disappears along with Oldrich.
The pair of them return with the radio another hour later.
“It’s legitimate,” reports Taffy. “We are to take over Operation Anthropoid and are to liaise with the ‘Three Kings’. This is all of the information that they were prepared to reveal over the air, even though all of the security codes were correct.”
“The ‘Three Kings’ are my controllers who told me that they need your services.”
“This is really all of the information that I have. Obviously you can understand the need for secrecy as they are the most wanted men in the Czech Republic – well, they were until last night, anyway. If you have any more general questions, however, then please ask. Otherwise I need to start arranging your safe transport to Prague immediately.”