We circled. Could this possibly be what that woman, deranged and half mad with grief and hope, had been telling us about? Certainly the squat, shining black thing that was ... well, parked, on the ice beneath us -- there was no way it was of human design. And even if it was, how would it have got here.
"That's it!" she said excitedly. "That's where my daughter is!"
Perhaps. If she was still alive. We had all been regaled of stories of mysterious 'Management' and the aliens that had abducted young Michelle. But they were the sort of thing that Americans were always saying: maybe the trend was catching on over in Britain.
"We'll take the copter round," I promised, trying to remain patient. Once, twice, three times we circled the black ship which apparently was manned by aliens. On the fourth we landed, and sent five of our best men out there, armed to the teeth. "I'd send more," I explained to Sophie, who had led us on this wild goose chase, "but I don't want them to think we're opening hostilities."
"As long as Shelley's okay," she said. I resisted the urge to say, If you cared so much why did you send her to a loony bin? It would not be helpful at this moment in time. "They will get her out, won't they?"
"I hope so," I replied. We followed the troops on video until they entered the building, and watched as they confronted three strange aliens. Okay, so that part of the story was true, unless they were a hoax. But it was all in a day's work. I was head of the Extra Terrestial department, specialising in Unidentified Flying Objects. We'd monitoring this particular anomaly for some days now.
The next thing, though, made me stand up and take notice. "Chief, we might need a bit of back up over here," they said, radioing through. I sent another ten men down, although they were nervous and impatient to get out now that they'd seen the aliens.
When we looked again they were storming a control room. Computer screens -- drat, they'd seen us -- and a young girl, dressed in a curious outfit and looking at them like they were her saviours. Which, of course, they were.
"That's her!" exclaimed Sophie. "That's Michelle!"
"Bring her in," I said through the radios. "That's our target. Any other humans on board?" They panned around with the camera to reveal another man. "Bring him too. It's time we got them out of here and dealt with this threat."
Then I shut the link, turning back to Sophie. Her cheeks were flushed red with joy. "Well, my dear, it looks like all our efforts have come to fruition." I smiled a rare smile. "Well done. You've got your daughter back."