The Action Force Annual 1989 was released in August 1988.
Havoc in the Outback!
On board a Hercules transport aircraft Dusty boards a H.A.V.O.C. and straps himself. Then the H.A.V.O.C. is dropped from fifteen thousand feet. Meanwhile a Tomahawk drops a team in the middle of the Australian desert, including Hawk, Beach Head, Leatherneck, Footloose and Snake-Eyes. Ninety miles away a transport plane lands and enters a cavern in the side of a mountain. Inside is a hi-tech Cobra base. The Baroness disembarks and meets with the base commander, Brone, immediately demanding an update on the status of "Tinman" as Cobra Commander is concerned about the operations. Brone explains the "Tinman" will be ready to launch in thirty hours. It will provide an orbital weapons platform to rival any nation. The Baroness explains she is concerned because security reports showed a red-haired vagrant was found on the base, questioned and deemed harmless so released. She believes the vagrant was a spy. Brone responds they are in the middle of nowhere, but the Baroness has brought the Dreadnoks Buzzer and Monkeywrench with her to provide maximum security cover.
In the desert Hawk reflects on the limited information they have, from a field operator requesting a strike team. Suddenly the team sees a red-haired man coming towards them. It is the field operator, code-named Outback. He tells them he discovered a Cobra base a hundred miles away where a major project is nearing completion. With limited forces they head off to prevent Cobra's plans. At the base the Baroness discovers Brone is a fan of the film The Wizard of Oz and has used it as the basis for all codenames at the base. Suddenly a Viper reports an unauthorised vehicle approaching. Two Rattlers are dispatched. Outside Outback, Beach Head and Snake-Eyes use the diversion of the H.A.V.O.C. to infiltrate the base, though Beach Head is annoyed with Outback's lack of concern that the others are out gunned. In a gulley the H.A.V.O.C. is attacked by the Rattlers. Both are destroyed but Leatherneck is injured by an explosion, leaving just three active men to handle the Stingers now approaching.
Beach Head, Outback and Snake-Eyes enter the hangar and subdue two guards. They head down a corridor and find the rocket due for launching and deduce it is a satellite weapon. Realising they must destroy it the three search for what they can use. Outback studies some fuel drums whilst Beach Head discovers a wine rack and Snake-Eyes finds himself facing five Vipers. Outside the H.A.V.O.C. speeds on, destroying the last of the Stingers when four Ferrets attack. They are destroyed but one knocks out the grenade launcher. Further Stingers attack and many of the H.A.V.O.C.'s weapons have by now been knocked out. Footloose launches the scout flier and takes off to even the odds. Inside the Baroness tells Brone that as the armoured divisions have proved useless she is sending the Dreadnoks to deal with the Action Force team. They take their own vehicle. A Tele-Viper reports that an intruder has been found on level two but is proving impossible to subdue so Brone sends a squad to deal with them. On level two Snake-Eyes finishes subduing the five Vipers when the squad arrives. He withdraws to an armoured chamber to make a stand and shoots down several of the Vipers but is trapped. He loads an Armour-Piercing Teflon Tipped (A.P.T.T.) magazine clip into his Uzi and fires through the armoured door "as if it were tin-foil" and disposes of the squad.
The H.A.V.O.C. is now out of ammunition with two Stingers still coming when they are destroyed by Footloose from the top of the canyon wit a grenade launcher. He radios the others that another vehicle is coming - it is "the custom-built Dreadnok Thunder Machine". Hawk tells Dusty to get Leatherneck to cover whilst he tries to keep the Dreadnoks at bay. Dusty complies. Hawk accelerates the H.A.V.O.C., leaving the others wondering what he's doing. Inside the base Outback and Beach Head have created two dozen Molotov Cocktails from the fuel and wine bottles. Together with Snake-Eyes they throw them into the launch chamber, creating an inferno in there. Outside the H.A.V.O.C. and Thunder Machine charge each other with the latter turning aside at the last minute and crashing into the canyon wall. Hawk walks over and punches the Dreadnoks out. With the Cobra base going up in flames the Baroness tells Brone he has failed and shoots him dead before leaving. Snake-Eyes, Beach Head and Outback sprint clear of the base as it explodes.
Later the Tomahawk takes off with the Action Force team on-board bar Outback who opted to stay. Beach Head produces the cork bottle tops from the wine and starts to get rid of them but Leatherneck takes them for a hat as a souvenir. In the desert Outback watches the helicopter leave and as he walks on he hears the two Dreadnoks, left in the middle of the desert by everyone. They beg for help to get out and Outback tells them to "talk to me..."
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
Items of note
- This was a prose story with accompanying illustrations.
Items of note
- Former Action Force weekly editor Richard Starkings served as the designer for this annual.
- The annual cost £3.95. No overseas prices were printed on it.