Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Ultimate Solution - Part 2 (incomplete)

Ben drove recklessly all the way back to Cambridge. He knew Katie and Kyle would be back at the apartment, but he didn’t want to have to explain about Craig and the inheritance. He suddenly realised that technically, Craig owned the apartment, it had been in his parents name. He regretted fighting with him, and wanted to apologise, but he knew Isobel would be there, and he didn’t know if she would be able to resist attacking him again. Maybe a phonecall to Torchwood would get her out of the way, he thought...
He pulled up outside the apartment block, and saw Katie’s land rover parked outside. At least he could release some tension, even if it was with her.
He opened the door, and heard a commotion from the lounge area. He went in, and saw Katie and Kyle sitting on different sides of the room, making a bad attempt at looking innocent. Ben missed it completely.
“Alright mate,” Kyle said “’ow’d the reading of the will go? Ya get much?”
Ben mumbled. Katie and Kyle shared a glance. Obviously things had not gone well...
“Look, mate, I know you’re feeling bad at the mo, what with your parents and Anselm...”
“And which of you two told him about Nathaniel?” he said angrily.
“You never said it was a secret!” Kyle said.
Ben glared at him. “Surely it must have penetrated your simple chav-brain that I was trying to rescue Anselm and mine’s relationship!”
“What, by shagging the first person who shows you to your room?”
“Kyle, who told you you could have an opinion?”
“Steady on Ben...” Katie said, standing.
“And you can shut up!” Ben shouted at her. “Now Anselm’s gone, you’ve won, you get me again!” He pointed at his bedroom door. “Go on, in you go, I’ll join you when Kyle’s gone!”
“Like fuck you will!” Kyle said.
“What the hell has it got to do with you?” Ben shouted.
“Katie’s not your doormat any more!” Kyle shouted back.
“He’s right, Ben.” Katie said. “I’m over you. I refuse to be treated like shit by you any more. I’ve moved on.”
Ben laughed. “Are you insane, woman? Who’d want you?”
Kyle moved over to Katie, and took her hand. “Me.” He said.
Ben was stunned. No, he was more than stunned, he was flabbergasted.
“WHAT!?!” he cried. “You’ve chosen that chav over me?”
“Yep.” Katie said.
“What’s he got that I haven’t?” Ben asked.
“Compassion, bravery, loyalty, not to mention a massive...”
“That’s enough of that!” Ben interrupted. He stared at them. “How long has this been going on under my roof?”
“About a month.” Katie said.
Ben was horrified. This had been going on behind his back, in his own home. “Get out.”
He pointed at the door. “GET OUT!!!”
Kyle went to his room, but Ben stopped him. “You can collect your things later. Leave your keys, and get out!”
Kyle removed a bronze Yale key from his keyring, and threw it onto the coffee table. Katie did the same, and they both left.
Ben followed them, slamming the door behind them. “And if I never see you again, it’ll be too soon!” He shouted. He noticed one of his neighbours, an old woman, looking at him through a gap in the door. “What do you think you’re looking at?” he shouted, and she closed the door.
He returned to the flat, and collapsed onto the sofa. In the last twenty four hours, he’s lost his boyfriend, his nephew and his best friends. He curled up, and started to sob.

The next day Ben was woken by a knock on the door. He looked through the security peep-hole, and saw it was Jake. He opened the door, and was almost overcome by a sweet sickly smell. “Hey, Ben, sorry to be a downer, man, but I’m here for Kyle’s stuff.”
Ben squinted at him. “Why isn’t he here himself?” he asked.
“He said that it was too heavy for him here, so he’s made his digs with that Katie doll.”
“I thought as much.” Ben muttered. “You’d better come in.”
Jake went through, and made his way towards Kyles room. “Do you have any binbags, man? I forgot to bring boxes.”
Ben pulled a roll of binbags out of a drawer, and threw them to him. “Here you go.”
Jake went into Kyle’s room, and Ben followed.
Kyle’s room was a mess. There was stuff everywhere, posters on the walls and clothes on every available surface. Jake started shovelling them into a binbag, while Ben watched.
“Jake,” Ben said.
“Yeah?” Jake replied, not stopping his work.
“Am I a good person?”
“Yeah, you’re groovy, man!” Jake replied.
Ben smiled. This made him feel better. At least someone appreciated him, even if it was a smelly hippy like Jake. “Have we had any calls for Operation Delta?”
“Nothing. It’s almost as if the government is ignoring us”
Ben nodded. In the last few weeks, they hadn’t heard from anybody, not Torchwood, not UNIT. Even the Prime Minister hadn’t been in contact for a while, and he’d taken a special interest in Operation Delta’s activities over the last six months.
Ben put his hands in his pockets, and realised he was still wearing his suit from the funeral. He found a small card in his pocket, and read it. It was Chiara’s contact details.
Ben smiled. He’d had fun with Chiara, she had no preconceptions about Ben, she hadn’t judged him, and had been the perfect friend. She’d vanished from his life suddenly about a year ago, around the time the stars had started disappearing, then suddenly reappeared.
He looked at Jake, still stuffing clothes into the black bag. “Let me know when you’ve finished.” He said, and started to leave the room. He stopped, and turned around. “The alarm clock’s mine, so leave it!” he added, then left.
He walked over to the phone, and dialled the number on the card. “Hi, Chiara here!” came a cheery voice.
“Hi, it’s Ben.” He said. “Do you fancy coming over to the flat for a chat?”
“Sure, when do you want me over?” She asked
“About Five?” Ben suggested.
“Sure. See you at your flat.” She hung up. Ben sat on the sofa, and watched Jake carry the black bag to the door. “That’s, like everything!” he said, “Is there anything else?” he asked.
Ben looked round the flat. “No, that’s it.” He said.
Jake opened the door, and left, closing it behind him.

It was ten to five, and Ben was immaculately dressed. He’d spent a good hour in the shower, and had moisturised his skin, styled his hair and given himself a manicure. He had the apartment to himself again, just like it had been after he’d left the Doctor the first time, and it was just how he liked it. Chiara would come over, they would chat, have a lot to drink and probably end up in bed. Well, probably not the last bit, despite Chiara’s obvious intelligence, she’d never fallen for Ben’s charms, but it would be nice to talk to someone intelligent for a change.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Ben looked at his watch; she was early!
He went into the kitchen, and pulled a bottle of wine from the fridge. Placing it on the counter, he went to the front door, brushed his hair from his eyes and opened the door.
Chiara was stood in the door, holding a bottle of wine. She was wearing jeans and a t-shirt bearing the legend ‘The Angels Have the Phone Box’
“Hiya!” she said, “I brought wine!” she added, holding up the bottle. It was an inferior brand, Ben noticed, but he didn’t say anything. “Come in!” he said, and she did.
She looked round the flat. “You’ve redecorated!” she said “I like it!”
“Thanks!” Ben smiled. He’d got Kyle to do it a few months back, and he had to admit, he’d done a good job.
Chiara placed the bottle on the table, and fell onto the sofa. “So,” she said. “How are you?”
“My parents have died, my boyfriend has left me, my nephew wants noting to do with me, and...”

And that's where it ends, I'm afraid, due to spara's ignoring my, by his own description, Chatham canon storylines. This story was going somewhere, but that can wait a bit, I think...

The Ultimate Solution - Part 1

Ben stood by the graveside, sweltering in his hideously expensive suit. He looked over as Kyle, who was stood on the other side, wearing a cheap suit from a supermarket. This annoyed him, this was the funeral of his parents, and Kyle hadn’t made an effort. Katie was stood over by Kyle, her hand very close his. Ben thought nothing of this, Katie was besotted with him, despite her recent distance. He looked at Craig, stood beside him. Ben had managed to get him a suit, and he had brushed up quite well. He stood there, saddened by trying to keep a brave face, his hand in the hand of Isobel, who was wearing a long black dress. Probably a bit too showy for an occasion like this, but Ben hadn’t objected.

He glanced at Anselm, who was standing near Katie and Kyle. He’d certainly put the effort in, wearing something nearly as expensive as Ben, and was sobbing.

The vicar had finished the eulogy, and it was time for Ben to throw soil on the coffin. His parents were dead, killed by a bomb that had been delivered one Monday morning. The police investigation had failed to find a suspect, and even Torchwood had been forced to declare the case closed, even after Ben had begged them to continue. This was why Ben hadn’t invited them to the funeral. Plus he’d be worried what the family would think of Jack...

He picked up a clump of soil, wincing as the dirt clung to his fingers, and threw it onto the coffin. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he sobbed. Craig came up beside him, and put a hand on his shoulder.

The wake was held in a nearby hotel, and it had cost a lot to hire, but Ben had insisted on the best, much to the annoyance of his Aunt Camilla, who had paid for it. Ben moved from room to room, looking at the mourners. He hadn’t seen many of them in years, and he was convinced that they were only here to see what they could get their hands on. Ben sneered, it was obvious that he, as the only child, would inherit everything. While he was upset that the country home had been destroyed, there was still the house in Clifton, not to mention the family fortune. The will wasn’t to be read until tomorrow though, but Ben was confident. He was looking for Kyle and Katie, but had failed to find them. Nobody had seen them since they got back, but Ben wasn’t concerned. Those two had recently kept disappearing, and had long since given up trying to work out why.

He went up to the bar, and ordered an absinthe. As he handed over the money (he had insisted it be a free bar, but Aunt Camilla was too stingy, apparently!) he heard a voice behind him.

“Hello Ben. I’m sorry for your loss.”

He turned, and was met by the sight of a young woman in a black suit, with cropped blonde hair and an impish face. “Log time no see!” she said sadly.

“Chiara?” Ben gasped. They’d had several adventures, and she’d saved his life on more than one occasion, but he hadn’t seen her in nearly a year. “Where’ve you been?”

Chiara smiled “Oh, it’s a long story. I saw the news about your parents in the paper, thought I’d come over and give my condolences.”

Ben smiled. “Thanks.”

Chiara looked around the room. “So, where’s the gang? Still hanging around with the delightful Katie?”

Ben nodded “Yeah, and Kyle. No idea where they’ve buggered off to though.”

Chiara grinned “Probably in a cupboard somewhere shagging.”

Ben laughed. As if...

“So, is there a man in your life these days?” Chara asked.

“Sort of.” Ben said. “His names Anselm, but things are a bit strained at the moment.”

“You never did have much luck with men, as I recall” Chiara said.

Ben glared. “It’s not my fault that I only seem to attract such undeserving idiots!”

Chiara rolled her eyes. Ben hadn’t changed...

“Undeserving?” came an outraged voice from behind them. Ben turned, and saw Anselm stood ther, his face filled with anger.

“Anselm, this isn’t the time!” Ben hissed.

But Anselm wasn’t having any of it. “I’ve put up with a lot from you. You treat me like crap, you demand sex whether I want to or not,” – This drew a fair number of disapproving glances – “and I’ve just heard about Nathaniel.”

Ben gaped. Nathaniel was a young man from the 16th century Ben had met recently. They’d had a whirlwind romance, but Nathaniel had turned Ben down, despite Ben’s offer of a better life. He’d sworn Kyle, Katie and Martha to secrecy, but clearly one of them had blabbed. Probably Katie, the jealous bitch.

“Well,” Ben said, clearly trying to regain the moral high ground, “You had an affair with that Simon Sherringham!”

“Who I never spoke to again!” Anselm countered. He knew Ben believed that he’d been in contact with him since, but he’d been loyal ever since. He told Ben this.

“How can I believe you!” Ben said, his eyes welling up. “You betrayed me!”

“Oh, for god’s sake, get over yourself!” Anselm shouted. “I’ve had it with you, I’m leaving.” He turned, and left, never to return.

“Anselm!” Ben shouted, but he got no reply.

Chiara gulped, and put a hand on Ben’s shoulder. “Are you alright?” She asked.

He turned on her. “No I fucking well am not!” he shouted, then composed himself. “Sorry, as you can imagine, this isn’t the best time right now, I want to be alone.”

Chiara pulled a card from her pocket and gave it to Ben. “If you want to talk, just give me a call.”

“Thanks” Ben said pocketing the card. Chiara left, leaving Ben alone...

The next day Ben felt terrible. He’d had a few more absinthes after Chiara had left, and by the time Kyle and Katie reappeared, he’d run out of money and was sat in a corridor shovelling glacier mints into his mouth. He vaguely remembered Kyle and Katie carrying him up to his room, and after that the next thing he could remember was waking up in his clothes feeling like he’d been kicked in the head and force-fed dog turds.

He’d woken up an hour before he was due to see the solicitor, so he’d had to forgo most of his morning routine and wasn’t feeling his best.

He sat in a leather chair alongside several of the people who had been at the funeral, Craig by his side. He, in turn, had Isobel with him, who was looking around the solicitor’s office, all wooden bookcases and leather-bound law books. The solicitor, Mr Loydell sat behind a desk, peering through thick glasses, exactly as you’d expect a solicitor to do.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, standing. “We are all here for the reading of the will of James and Davina Chatham. If you are all ready, I shall begin.” There were a series of nods from around the room.

He pulled out a letter, and unfolded it.

“We, James Alfred Chatham and Davina Margaret Chatham, being of sound mind, hereby leave all our financial and physical assets to our grandson, Craig James Chatham”

Ben was outraged. “What?” he cried. “Craig? But he’s only a kid!”

“Indeed,” Mr Loydell said “Which is why, until he reaches the age of 18, his inheritance will be held in Trust by the guardian appointed by Mr and Mrs Chatham...”

Ben smiled. This was clearly him.

“... myself.” Loydell finished. “They also asked me to give these letters to Benjamin and Craig Chatham on the event of their death.” He pulled two enveloped from the case on his desk, and handed them to Ben and Craig.

Ben tore the envelope open, and read the letter within...


If you are reading this, then you will know that Craig now owns everything we owned. We changed the will when you told us about him. We are sure you agree that Craig didn’t have the best start in life, and we should have been more supportive of your sister, so we wanted to make sure that he would have the best chance in life if he had the fortune. As you know, we did offer to care for him, give him a comfortable life, but you decided that he would be better off with you. As you know, we didn’t agree with you on this, but at least now he is guaranteed a financially safe future.

We felt that he needed the money more than you, as you are highly qualified, and should have the pick of jobs in your chosen field. We hope you are successful with your career, and will make us proud with your achievements.

Mother and Father.”

Ben was stunned. His parents had left him nothing, and expected him to be pleased with it. He got up, and stormed out of the room.

He sat on a shair in the corridor, and pulled out his hip-flask. It was empty. He put it away, and saw Craig stood in front of him. Isobel was wandering down the corridor, looking at the paintings, a far-away look in her eyes.

“What do you want?” Ben asked.

“Did they really offer to look after me.”

“Yes.” Ben replied “but I thought I could offer you a better life.”

“You thought you could give me a better life?” Craig was stunned. “Since living with you, how many times have I nearly been killed? Living with you has been a nightmare!”

Ben stared at Craig. He’d never thought Craig was that unhappy. Sure, he’d self harmed, and was constantly going on about darkness, but he’d assumed it was part of a teenage phase, and nothing to do with him.

“But you’ve seen so many things...” Ben started. “Alien worlds, the past, I’ve taken you on digs and to lectures, trying to educate you about the world...”

“I didn’t want alien worlds or time travel!” Craig shouted. “I wanted a quiet life, a chance to come to terms with losing mum. Nan and Grandad could have let me do that, and you didn’t let them, cos you felt guilty about treating mum like shit!”

“Don’t talk to me like that!” Ben shouted, causing Isobel to look back at them. “I’ve had to give up a lot for you.”

“Like what?” Craig said. “You still drink, you still bring strange men back to the flat...”

“Shut up!” Ben shouted. “You owe me! You need me!”

“Not any more!” Craig shouted back. He held up the letter. “I own my own house now! I can live there, without you!”

“No you don’t!” Ben said. “You’re underage, you can’t live on your own!”

“I think you’ll find he can” Isobel said. She’d somehow managed to travel the length of the corridor without either Ben or Craig noticing. “Torchwood needed to legally change my age so they could hold me overnight. As far as the law is concerned, if I live with Craig, it’s legal.”

Ben turned on her. “Don’t try to be clever Isobel. I’ll fight this, and get what’s rightfully mine.”

Isobel moved closer to Ben. “You can’t win this. The law is on Craig’s side.”

Ben lashed out, pushing Isobel over. Craig flew at Ben, but was pushed back as well. Isobel rose, her eyes glowing. Ben realised he’d made a terrible mistake...

“DON’T TOUCH ME!” Isobel screamed, and the corridor filled with light. Ben fell backwards, and found himself lying in a pond in the hotel grounds. A duck was quacking furiously at him. He splashed angrily at the duck, and made his way back to the hotel.

The Ultimate Solution - Prologue

The Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire...

Davina Chatham pruned her orchids, as she did every Monday morning. She looked over at her husband, James, who was flicking through a copy of Classical Music Magazine. She could see something was bothering him, so she asked.
“Oh, nothing really, Davinia dear” he replied. He put the magazine down. “I was just wondering how our grandson is doing. Benjamin very rarely visits these days, and we’ve only seen young Craig three times.”
“Well, Benjamin is a very busy young man, doing all that work for the government.”
“Well, why are we still paying his bills?” James asked. “From what I can gather from his letters, Benjamin spends most of his time lounging around in that apartment of his. Well, ours...”
Suddenly he heard the doorbell ring. James got up out of his leather armchair, and made his way to the door. He opened it, and saw it was the postman, a young man with a cheery smile.
“You a new chap?” James asked.
“Started today!” the postman replied.
“Good.” James said, “Don’t like the other one, bloody darkies!” he took the post from the postman, and closed the door on him.
He returned to the conservatory-cum-drawing room, and looked through the post. Three bills, a postcard from Morocco and a package, about the size of a video tape.
He read the postcard. “Looks like Sylvia and Robert are enjoying themselves in Marrakesh” he called to Davina. He threw the bills on the table, and looked at the package. It was addressed to both him and Davina, and had no return address. “Are we expecting any packages?” he called.
“Not that I’m aware of,” Davina called. “Maybe it’s from Benjamin”
“Could be.” James took a letter opener from a writing table, and began to open the package.
The whole house was torn apart by a massive explosion, bricks flying everywhere, a massive fireball erupting from within. Nobody could have survived...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Unsung Heroes


Craig Chatham was writing in his journal. He preferred to write poems by hand, it made it more personal, and he could show them to anybody who asked to see them. Admittedly, the only person who’d ever shown an interest in them was Isobel, and she was still in Cardiff. He sat alone in the spacious living room of his uncle Ben’s flat, his headphones on, listening to Fallout Boy. His uncle didn’t like him listening to that sort of music, and kept trying to make him listen to some old bloke from the eighties, but he wasn’t here, he was at some concert in London with his boyfriend Anselm, trying to bring something back into their presently troubled relationship. Not that they knew how hard it was, Craig thought, at least Anselm was there, rather than in a top-secret underground facility in Cardiff.

He wasn’t completely alone in the flat, Kyle was in his room, doing something with Katie. She’d come over shortly after Ben had left, and they’d both gone into Kyle’s room, telling Craig it was “official business”. Craig ignored them, he didn’t care, he missed Isobel too much. He was just adding the finishing touches to his poem, and was considering drawing a bleeding heart in the corner of the page, when he heard the phone ringing. He expected Kyle to come out and answer it, but he didn’t. “Oh, I’ll get it then!” Craig whinged, pulling his earphones out and dragging himself to the phone. He picked up the receiver and grunted a “hello”.

“Hello, Is that Ben Chatham’s flat?” it was a polite sounding woman, with a Welsh accent. Craig recognised it at once. “Oh, Hi Gwen, it’s Craig. How’s Isobel, can she come back?”

“Sorry Craig, she’s started acting up again, broke three televisions and knocked out the power in the bay for an hour yesterday. When she’s calmed down, you can see her again.”

“Oh.” Craig replied, sadly.

“She does ask after you a lot though.” Gwen said comfortingly.

“That’s nice.” Craig said. “Is that what you phoned to say?”

“Sorry, no.” Gwen said softly. “Is your uncle Ben there?”

“He’s at a concert with Anselm.”

“Which would explain why his mobile is switched off.” Gwen said. “What about Kyle, or Katie?”

“They’re in Kyle’s room, I’ll just get them.”

He put his hand over the mouthpiece of the phone, and called to Kyle. No response. He went to the door and knocked. Still no reply. He knew they were in there, why weren’t they answering? Still, they were dealing with official business, and this obviously came under that subject, so he reasoned that he might as well just go in. He turned the handle, and pushed the door open. “Kyle, Katie, It’s Gw...” is all Craig managed to say before he realised what he was seeing. Kyle was lying on his back on his bed, shirtless, his lower body covered with duvet, and looking flushed. Katie was sitting on him, completely naked. They both turned and saw him, and time froze. Craig looked at Kyle’s shocked face, then at Katie’s face, then her bare chest, then at the floor. “Uh, sorry” he grunted, and quickly left, closing the door behind him. He turned away from the door, stunned. He knew that Kyle and Katie had been friendlier than before, but this...

The image of a naked Katie still in his teenage mind, he remembered that Gwen was still on the phone. He held it to his head, and spoke. “Er, Kyle and Katie are a bit, er, busy at the moment, can they call you back.”

“Not really, it’s important. We’ve had a report of a Weevil in Cambridge.”

Craig had seen Weevils in the cells of Torchwood, and Jack had told him stories of Weevil hunts. This was clearly bad. “Can I do anything?”

Gwen hesitated. “Craig, I need you to get Kyle and Katie to stop whatever they’re doing and get them to go to the old Woolworths in Cambridge City Centre. Jack and Ianto are on their way, they should be with you in about two hours, but that Weevil needs catching before it gets out.”

“Will Do!” Craig said as authoritatively as he could, and put the phone down. At the same moment, Kyle came out of his room, a look of anger on his face. “What have I told you about going into my room!?” he shouted.

“That was Torchwood on the phone, there’s a Weevil on the loose.”

Kyle stopped, then pointed a finger in Craigs face. “We’ll talk about this later.” He went back to his room, and shouted “Katie, get your knickers on, we’ve got a Weevil to catch!” He grinned at Craig. “I’ve always wanted to say something like that!”

Five minutes later, they were all in Katies Landrover, heading into town. Craig and Katie were deliberately not looking at each other. “So, how do we deal with this Weevil?” Katie asked, looking out of the window.

“What would Uncle Ben do?” Craig asked.

“Phone Torchwood?” Katie suggested

“They phoned us.” Kyle said.

“Phone UNIT?” she offered

“Then why didn’t Torchwood phone them?” Kyle replied. “Well, that’s our usual options covered, I think we need to come up with a new plan.”

The Land Rover pulled into the loading bay of the old Woolworths on Cambridge high street, and after a minute of lock picking, they were in.

They walked through the small loading bay and entered the main store. It was dark, and completely empty, all the shelving and tills gone. A mezzanine at the back that used to house a cafe was shrouded in darkness.“I used to come here all the time.” Katie said. “Hardly ever bought anything, but still...”

“I always used to nick the Pick-N-Mix” Kyle confessed. He pulled out a torch and pointed it at the doors to the staff areas. “I think we should go that way.”

“Hang on,” Katie said “Who put you in charge?”

“Fair enough,” Kyle said, offering the torch to Katie. “Where shall we go first?”

She took the torch, and pointed it at the same doors. “Through there.”

They found them locked, but a quick shove from Kyle got them open. They could smell something, like animals at the zoo. The Weevil was in the staff areas.

Kyle reached into a holdall, and pulled out a tranquiliser gun and some aerosols. “Weevil Spray” he told them, hanging the aerosols to Katie and Craig, and they headed up the stairs.

They tried the staffroom first. It was empty, all the tables and chairs had been removed, and all that remained were a few posters about heavy lifting, pension schemes and old magazines. Kyle pointed towards the kitchen area, and they moved silently over. Apart from a damaged fridge, there was nothing. Suddenly, they heard noises coming from outside. Cocking the gun, Kyle went ahead, leaving the staffroom and heading for the sound, Katie and Craig close behind.

They came to a door with a small glass window in it. Kyle peered through it, and saw it was the kitchens for the cafe. There was something moving inside.

He turned to Katie and Craig, and whispered. “It’s inside.” He pulled a net from the holdall. “I’ll shoot it, you get the net over it.”

“What if it tries to attack us?” Katie asked. “We don’t have guns?”

“Use the sprays. They should calm it down a bit.”

Kyle placed his hand against the door, and prepared to push it. “Good luck!” he whispered, and pushed the door.

The Weevil was huddled by a cupboard, chewing on something. Kyle hoped it was only a rat, or some abandoned food. Moving around the stainless steel units he saw it was a human arm, the fingers slightly chewed, but identifiable. He stopped, and managed to stop himself from crying out. He turned to Katie, signalling to her to keep Craig back. He was just a kid, he didn’t need to see any more death than he had to.

He turned back towards the Weevil, and realised it was looking directly at him. It snarled, showing off a mouth of vicious pointed teeth, and got to its feet. Kyle held up the gun, and fired. There was a “pfft” sound, and a dart appeared on the Weevils chest. It stopped, looked at the dart, and pulled it out of it’s flesh. Kyle turned to the others. “Change of plan. Leg it!”

They ran for the door, followed by the Weevil.

“So, what’s our back up plan?” Katie cried as she ran along the short corridor towards the stairs.

“Ain’t got one, I thought this one would work.” Kyle said.

“I’ve got a plan!” Craig said.

“Is it any good though?” Kyle asked.

“Better than yours.”

Kyle considered for a second. “Fair enough. What is it?”

The Weevil saw the humans go down the stairs, and followed. It had to be careful, stairs were easy enough to go up, but going down them was tricky. One wrong step and it would fall. Not that it mattered, Weevils healed a lot quicker than humans, and even after a nasty fall it would be alright.

It reached the bottom of the stairs, and lurched out of the door the humans had gone through. Suddenly, it was unable to move, covered in an invisible skin...

The net held. Kyle and Craig held it in place by the doorframe a few seconds longer, then let go. The Weevil fell forward, and tangled itself further in the net. Katie moved in, and sprayed the Anti-Weevil Spray in its face. It roared, struggled, then settled down. Kyle pointed the gun at its chest, and shot another tranquiliser dart into it. This one stayed, and after a minute, the Weevil fell asleep.

Kyle dropped the gun into the bag, and turned to the others. “Well, that was easy!” he said. Craig and Katie glared at him. “Well, it took us...” he looked at his watch “Ten minutes to defeat this alien menace.” He nudged the Weevil with his foot. “Usually takes Ben much longer!” He grinned, and Katie and Craig grinned back.

While they waited, Kyle took Katie to one side. “Could you go back up and check something for us?” He asked


“That Weevil was chewing on an arm, could you see if the body is up there?”

Kate looked horrified. “Can’t you go?”

Kyle looked over at Craig. “Need to have a word with Craig about earlier.” He held out the gun. “Take this, I’ve drugged this one up so much it’ll sleep for hours, so I won’t need it.”

She sighed. “Very well!” and headed to the door.

Kyle walked back to Craig, and sat on an abandoned basket.

“Hey, kid, nice plan back there. Real credit to the team. Ben’ll be proud!”

“Don’t call me Kid.” Craig mumbled

“Sorry mate.” Kyle replied. They sat in silence for a minute.

“Craig,” Kyle said suddenly. “about what you saw earlier...”

Craig suddenly had a flashback to a naked Katie. “Yeah...” he said awkwardly.

“Would you mind not telling Ben.”

“Why do you want to keep it a secret?”

“We have reasons.” Kyle said. “Katie and Ben have a history, one she doesn’t like to talk about.”

Craig had heard Ben talking about how he and Katie had had an ‘understanding’, but he thought that was over.

“Are you and her in love?” Craig asked.

Kyle considered this. So far, he and Katie were simply having fun, they enjoyed each others company a lot more, they understood each other...

“Sort of. It’s complicated.”

Craig shrugged “Tell me about it.” He looked at Kyle. “At least yours doesn’t turn into a powerful alien once a month!”

Kyle laughed. “You so do not know anything about women!”

Katie returned to find them both laughing. “What’s so amusing?” she asked.

“Craig’s cool” Kyle said, “He won’t tell Ben.”

“Good.” Katie replied. “The longer before he finds out, the better!”

“Who finds out what?” came a loud, American voice from the back of the shop floor. They turned, and saw the long coated figure of Captain Jack Harkness standing silhouetted in the doorway.

“Alright Jack, we’ve got you your Weevil!” Kyle shouted back.

Ianto emerged from behind Jack, and helped Kyle lit the Weevil’s prone form and carry it out of the shop. Katie took Jack to one side. “Jack, we found human remains upstairs.”

“Any idea who?”

“No, but it’s weird, it was only an arm, with the fingers chewed off. No way of identifying it.”

Jack thought about it. “I could take it back to Cardiff, see if there’s a DNA match on the database...”

“Thanks” Katie said, “It’s upstairs, in the kitchen.”

“Ianto will fetch it, won’t you.” Jack said loudly, looking at the recently returned Ianto.

“Naturally.” Ianto said grumpily, and went upstairs, pulling a bag from his suit pocket. Jack looked around the shop floor. “Where’s Ben?”

“Concert in London with Anselm. We had to catch the Weevil ourselves.”

Jack nodded, impressed. “Good work. Looks like Ben’s out of a job!”

Katie laughed. “Talk like that and he’ll never let us out on our own again!”

Jack laughed too. Craig wandered over. “Why are you laughing?”

“Never mind.” Katie said. “Actually, credit where it’s due, it was Craig’s plan that let us catch the Weevil!”

“Really?” Jack said, impressed for a second time. “Ben’s definitely out of a job.” He put a hand on Craig’s shoulder. “Tell you what, do you want to come back with me and Ianto, help us write up the report, then maybe you can spend some time with Isobel?”

Craig grinned.

“I’ll take that as a yes, if that’s alright with the grownups?”

Katie nodded. “I’m sure Ben will be fine with it. Anyway, it’ll be nice to have the flat to ourselves.” She shot a sly look at Kyle, who had just returned to the shop floor.

Jack spotted the look, and grinned, nodding. “Ahh, you two are...”

Katie blushed. “Yeah.”

“Good for you! Anyway,” He said, clapping his hands together “We need to head off, so see you around!”

He turned, his coat swishing as he left. Ianto said a quiet goodbye, and followed behind, a plastic bag containing the arm in his hand

“Bye.” Kyle said, and he and Katie were left alone.

“So, what shall we do now?” Katie asked.

Kyle looked around the shop. “Leave, go back to the flat? Ben will be wondering where we are...”

“Sod Ben.” Katie said. “Let’s do it. Here!”

Kyle stared at Katie, and grinned...

Steven Callard sighed. He’d have to report back, and tell his supervisor that Ben Chatham had failed to turn up. He thought of the trouble he and the others had had capturing the Weevil, transporting it to Cambridge without being detected, getting it into the Woolworths, making sure it had enough to eat so it didn’t escape, not to mention all the cameras he’d had to install and the tricky business of contacting Torchwood without being traced. And all he had to show for his efforts was footage of Ben’s friends. The boss wasn’t interested in them, just Ben Chatham. The operation had been a complete waste of time, and the boss would not be happy...

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Two Become One - Part 4


Part 4

Craig was terrified. Lanyon was muttering to himself, banging his fist on the bottom of the skip. Craig wanted to ask him if he was alright, but he decided hat it would be best to stay quiet. Lanyon suddenly shot Craig a look, then leapt across the skip and loomed over Craig, his limbs forming a scaly cage. “What are you looking at?” he hissed.
“N-n-nothing.” Craig stuttered.
“You’re wondering why I want the diadem if he wants it to stabilise our mind, aren’t you?”
Craig nodded. If this side of Lanyon was talking, it might bring out the other, nicer side again. Hopefully...
“Cos over the last few years, I’ve gotten stronger. The frustration of interstellar travel, the fact that the Camellan government decided to destroy such a powerful telekinetic manipulator, it has made even the mild-mannered side of my psyche irritable, and that gets passed on to me. When the diadem is reassembled, I will dominate, and use it to take my rightful place.”
“But you, the other you, didn’t seem to have that ambition.”
“He wants power, like anybody else. He just doesn’t realise it yet.” Lanyon sneered. “Academic awards and fame, being the best in your field, such small-scale aims.” He loomed at Craig again, closer, so Craig could see his reflection on Lanyon’s eyes. “Over the years so many people walked all over him, his wife, his colleagues, as soon as the accident happened they all distanced themselves from him, refused to protect us. Once we have the diadem, it’s time for a bit of revenge.”
Craig could see his point. Since he was little, he’d had a bad life, mum never being there, ignoring him so she could meet her dealer. Then, when she died, he’d been dumped on her brother, his uncle Ben, who kept leaving him on his own, or dragging him into danger. He always felt that nobody understood him, and were out to get him. Deep down, he knew it wasn’t true, but he still got angry. Was Lanyon any different to him, or even Isobel? When she was angry, whole towns knew about it. Unlike Lanyon, though, she had Torchwood helping her to overcome her anger issues.
“What time is it?” Lanyon screamed in Craig’s face.
He looked at his watch. “11:30” he told him.
“Then we need to contact Mr Chatham, don’t we!” Lanyon said.
“How are we going to do that?” Craig asked.
“Were would he go if he was waiting for something?”
Craig considered. “Probably the flat.”
“Then we shall go there.”

Ben was indeed in his flat, although he preferred to refer to it as his apartment. He, Anselm, Kyle and Katie had been waiting to hear from the strange alien creature for hours, and despite Katie’s protestations, Ben had insisted they drink some wine. Three empty bottles stood on the coffee table, and Ben was trying to explain to Anselm why Bowie was better than Dylan. Kyle looked at the clock on the wall. Five to midnight. If the alien was going to contact them, it was going to be soon...
Suddenly, the window blew in, shattered glass flew everywhere, and a rock bounced across the room. Ben shot out of his seat and ran to the window. “Bloody Chavs!” he started to shout, but once he’d reached the window he saw it wasn’t chavs. It was Lanyon. He was stood in the courtyard of the apartment block, and had Craig by the scruff of the neck. “If you’ve hurt him...” Ben shouted.
“Come down here and bring the crystal with you!” Lanyon shouted. “Or he dies!”
Ben turned and looked at the others. They said nothing, but Ben knew they didn’t want him to hand over the fragment. After a few seconds, he snatched up the fragment, and headed for the door. “Ben...” Katie said, causing him to turn.
“What?” he replied testily.
“Do you know what you’re doing?”
“No,” Ben admitted, surprising himself “but I have to do it, for Craig’s sake.”
Katie nodded, and Ben left the room.

Ben entered the courtyard, and took in the absurdity of the location. The courtyard had been intended for a communal patio, but had ended up as simply somewhere to leave the bins and bikes, with a big gate in one corner. Lanyon’s large, scaly form stood in the middle of the binbags, and Ben could see Craig was awake, uncomfortable but alive. “Has he hurt you Craig?” Ben called to him, but Lanyon shook Craig so he couldn’t answer.
“He’s unharmed.” Lanyon replied. “Do you have the fragment?”
Ben nodded, and held it out. Lanyon reached out for it, but Ben pulled it back. “Release Craig!” he demanded.
Lanyon considered. “Very well.” He answered, and let go of Craig, who fell from Lanyon’s grip to the floor. Ben went to help him up, but Lanyon stepped in between them. “The fragment!” he demanded, holding out his hand. Ben slapped it heavily into Lanyon’s outstretched hand, a look of anger on his face. “Here, now leave us and this planet alone!” Ben shouted, going round Lanyon to get to Craig.
Lanyon ignored him. He had the final fragment. He reached into a pouch on his belt, and pulled out the other fragments.

“What’s happening?” Anselm said, trying to see past Katie and Kyle through the window.
“He’s handed over the fragment,” Katie said “Now we’re in trouble...”
“Why?” Anselm asked
“Because, you imbecile, he’s got all the bits of whatever it is he’s after. When he puts them together, he’ll destroy us all...”
“No necessarily...” Anselm countered...

Lanyon placed the fragments on an abandoned table, and began putting them in place. Using a tool he’d pulled from the same pouch, he started attaching the pieces together...

Ben was hugging Craig, ignoring Lanyon’s actions. “I was so worried” He said. “But you’re safe now.”
“What about Lanyon?” Craig asked. “Has he got all the fragments?”
Ben pulled back, and looked Craig in the eye. “He told you his name? Did he explain his plan?”
“Yeah,” Craig said. “He wants the diadem to fix his mind.” He told Ben the story that Lanyon had relayed to him in the skip.
“So we could be lucky, and his mind will be fixed.” Ben said. He suddenly felt a large weight lifting from his shoulders. He hadn’t doomed the world; he’d simply helped a fellow academic.
“If the nice version is dominant...” Craig reminded him. But Ben wasn’t listening. It had taken a lot of soul searching to hand over the fragment, he thought he’d been endangering the entire world just to protect Craig, and the chance that there was a silver lining was too great for him.
Lanyon had just fitted the last piece into place, and was just re-attaching it when Kyle came hurtling through the door. “Ben!” he shouted, “We’ve just thought of something!”
His interruption was ignored though, as Lanyon held up the diadem, and announced “Soon I shall be one, and the Universe will regret ever doubting me!” He placed the diadem on his head, and waited.

Nothing happened.

Lanyon took it off, checked the diadem for any missing parts, and placed it back on his head. Still nothing.
“Why isn’t it working?” Ben said, confused.
“That’s what I meant,” Kyle said. “Anselm realised something. The helmet thing won’t work.”
“Why?” Ben asked. Lanyon was rechecking the diadem, getting more and more irritable.
“Jake said it contained a load of delicate circuitry, right?”
Ben realised “So when the diadem was smashed the circuitry was damaged!” He looked across to Lanyon. “So why did he think he could repair it?”
“Why did we?” Kyle said. “Too many films with powerful artefacts being broke up then reassembled. Just cos it works in films doesn’t mean it works in the real world!”
He suddenly ducked as the diadem flew at his head, smashing against the wall. Lanyon’s angry side had fully asserted itself. “FIVE YEARS!!!” he yelled. “FIVE FECKING YEARS!!! I’ve been shot at, imprisoned, beaten and living off crap for five years, and it was all for nothing. Oh, the universe is going to pay for this!” He turned on Ben. “And it’s going to start with you...” He moved towards Ben. Ben started to panic, and moved between Lanyon and Craig. Suddenly, there was a loud crackling noise, and Lanyon’s body began to glow. His eyes bulged, and evaporated, followed by the rest of him. All that was left was a fine powder on the paving slabs.
Ben blinked. What had happened?
“Where’s he go?” Kyle asked. He shouted up to the window which Katie and Anselm were hanging out of. “Did you see anything?”
“No!” Katie shouted back.
“Ah well.” Ben said. “The world is safe, that’s the important thing.”
“A monster that’s about to kill you just went ‘Poof!’ before your eyes for no reason, and you’re not slightly bothered?” Kyle asked, staring at Ben in disbelief.
“Maybe I have a guardian angel” Ben said. “Point is, Craig is safe. Now, let’s get back inside. All this noise is going to have annoyed a lot of my neighbours, so I don’t want them to know it was me!”
Laughing, then went inside, leaving the dust to drift slightly in the wind.

Just outside the courtyard gate a young woman with short blonde hair stood, slowly dismantling a large, advanced looking gun. She’d not wanted to use a disruptor, but it didn’t produce a visible particle trail, so she could use it without being seen. Just a shame it was so bloody heavy... Once it was stowed, she pulled out a mobile phone and called her bosses.
“Hi, it’s me.”
A muffled voice spoke at the other end.
“Yeah, he did need rescuing.” She rolled her eyes.
She looked around her.
“I wasn’t seen.”
She nodded, listening to the new instructions from the other person.
“Right. I’ll maintain observation, then reintroduction can begin.”
She put the phone in her bag, slung it over her shoulder and began walking down the street. Chiara hadn’t seen Ben in over a year, but soon he was going to be seeing a lot more of her...

Two Become One - Part 3


Part 3

Craig was feeling dizzy. He’d been nearly crushed, carried across fences, gates and through a tunnel, and was now sitting in a large skip in an industrial estate on the edge of town. The stranger was sitting in the skip too, panting and wheezing, and clearly in some distress. Craig wondered if it was something to do with the gravity, or the atmosphere, when the stranger suddenly looked up at him, and fixed him with a stare.
“Are you alright?” it said.
This threw Craig. “What?”
“Are you alright, I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
“Erm, no, I’m fine.”
The stranger threw his head back. “Oh thank goodness. I was worried...”
Craig looked at the stranger. It was definitely the same one, same scaly skin and black eyes. “You were worried? You threw that bloke pretty hard and didn’t worry about him.”
The stranger stared at him. “Did I? Oh no...” He put his head in his hands again. “I hate all this, I just want it to stop!”
“All what?” Craig asked. “Who are you?”
“My name is Lanyon, I used to be a scientist on a planet far from here. I was quite successful, won several awards, before all this started.”
“Before all what?”
“We were working on harnessing telekinetic energy; we built a special diadem made of crystal with a Usapium lattice. It was going to revolutionise the universe...”
“So what happened?” Craig was still finding it hard to believe this was the same creature who had probably killed the barman and had dragged him through a plate-glass window.
“The test subjects had been focused mentally, but when it came to the demonstrations, I insisted on being the one to show it’s potential. The night before, though, I had discovered my partner was unfaithful, I was angry, but didn’t want to let that get in the way of our achievement. That was a mistake.”
“During the final demonstration, I saw my partner’s lover in the audience, and I just erupted. I turned the power of the diadem on her.” He shook his head. “So much blood... The anger in me must have caused an overload, because it fed back into my head, affecting my psyche. It split my personality, the anger, the fury, the repressed side of my character all magnified, many, many times, I can’t control it once it starts”
“So, like the Incredible Hulk?” Craig heard himself say. He liked to think he was sophisticated, and wished he’d said Jekyll and Hyde, but he doubted that Lanyon knew of either of them.
“I threw off the diadem, and ran. I spent a year in hiding, hoping that somehow I wouldn’t hurt anyone. Unfortunately, I did. Lots of people. My moods would switch at any time, one minute I’m helping someone, the next I’m attacking them.” He grabbed his head, and grunted. Craig backed away, nervously “If I can get the diadem repaired, I might be able to fix the damage.” He looked at Craig. “Where is the final fragment of the diadem?”
Craig looked back at Lanyon. He looked pathetic, pleading with him for a piece of broken crystal.
“I... I don’t know.” He said. He knew his uncle wouldn’t want him to talk, so he was pleading ignorance.
“You’d better not” Lanyon said, a touch of malice in his voice. “Because if you do, I’m going to rip your head off.”
Craig stared in terror. The evil side of Lanyon was back. He had to be careful...

Katie and Kyle were sitting in the relatives room of the A&E. Frank was awake now, but the nurses were concerned about him, as he kept babbling about monsters. Katie knew what this meant; the owner of the crystal fragment had come back for it.
Kyle sat next to her, his hand on her shoulder. “He’ll be alright.” He kept saying. Katie was starting to find it annoying, but she didn’t say anything. Recently she’d been feeling a strange attraction to Kyle. She wasn’t sure if it was just some sort of lust for a “bit-of-rough”, or a rebound thing after coming to terms with Ben, or even a proper emotional attachment, but the one thing she did know, she really liked Kyle...

Kyle’s bottom had fallen asleep. The plastic chairs in the relatives’ room were not built for comfort, clearly, and he kept shuffling. He would have taking his hand off Katie’s shoulder, but he didn’t want to. Since their incarceration in the cell on the Dalmanite spaceship they’d been close, and Kyle had had some pretty shocking dreams about Katie. He wasn’t sure if it was just some bizarre fetish for a dominating bitch, or something more. All he knew was he really liked Katie...

Katie and Kyle turned to face each other. They said nothing, and started to lean towards each other...
Suddenly Ben burst into the room, followed by Anselm and a rather harassed looking Nurse. “Katie, Kyle, it’s got Craig.”
“What has?” Kyle asked.
“Some sort of alien creature. It may have killed that fat disgusting man from the Mermaid, and now it’s got Craig!”
Katie looked stunned. “What, Barry’s dead?” She really couldn’t stand the dirty old pervert, the way he would try and cop a feel at any opportunity, but dead?
“Oh, probably. But it’s got Craig!”
“What does it want?” Kyle asked.
“It wants that fragment of crystal we found.” Ben explained. “I think it’s part of some ancient weapon.”
“Well, we can’t give it to him then!” Katie said. “Who knows what damage he’ll do?”
“He’s got Craig, I can’t take the risk.” Ben said firmly.
“It’s him or the world though if you’re right.” Kyle said.
“Of course I’m right. Look,” he said, tears forming in his eyes “Craig relies on me, I need to help him, and if that means handing over part of a mighty weapon, that’s fine by me.”
“I take it you have a plan to stop him once he has the fragment.” Anselm asked.
Ben turned and glared at Anselm. It wasn’t like him to doubt him.
“Of course,” he answered, pulling his mobile from his pocket “I’ll just give UNIT a call, and they’ll sort him out.”
“You know,” Katie said “One day UNIT won’t be there to save you, you’re going to have to think of a back up.”
“I have, actually.” Ben said smugly.
“Phoning Torchwood isn’t a back-up plan...” Katie responded sharply.
“Look” Ben said defensively “I’m in charge here, I’ve saved the world more often than any of you-” “More like UNIT, Torchwood and the Doctor have” Katie muttered “- and I think you owe me some respect.” He came very close to saying that he had a first from Cambridge, but he managed to stop himself. That argument had ceased to mean anything now Katie was better qualified than him, Anselm had one from Bristol and Kyle was completely unimpressed by it, so he hadn’t used it in ages.
Kyle moved toward Ben, and placed his hand on Ben’s shoulder. “Look, mate, I know you’re worried, Craig’s a good kid and knows how to look after himself. He’ll be fine.”
Ben shrugged off Kyles hand. “He’d better be...”

Two Become One - Part 2


Part 2

Katie and Ben were still arguing over who should have the fragment when her phone rang. She pulled it out of her bag, and turned away from Ben, looking at the screen. It was Mary, the departmental secretary. Katie was supposed to be on her lunchbreak, so why was she phoning? Katie answered it.
“Hello Mary!” She said, brightly.
“Oh, thank God!” Mary said, with relief in her voice. “Where are you?” she continued.
“With some friends,” Katie answered, confused “just having a spot of lunch.”
“We thought you’d been taken.” Mary said.
“What’s happened?” Katie said, concerned.
“Someone broke into your office, smashed up the Lewis collection, and attacked Frank.”
“Shit,” Katie said “is he alright?”
“Only just.” Mary replied “he’d been strangled and thrown about a bit. He’s at Adenbrookes now, the doctors are looking over him.”
“Is there anything I can do?” Katie asked.
“Just get back to the department, see if anything is missing for the police.”
“Will do.” Katie said, “See ya.” And she hung up. She turned to Ben. “We need to get back to the department now.” She filled the group in on the details, and they headed out for the car. “And bring the fragment” she said “it belongs in the collection, and if anybody notices it’s missing, there’ll be trouble.”
“Katie, do I have to remind you that I am in charge of Operation Delta?” Ben said indignantly.
“Ben, my friend was nearly killed, my workplace is smashed up and I seem to remember that today you’re supposed to be looking through the collections. Now, if we don’t return, someone might connect your presence in the collections earlier with the attack. Do you want to be a suspect?”
Ben tried to think of a clever reply, but nothing came. He mumbled something, then pulled out his hipflask.
“Come on, you lot, we need to get back to Cambridge.” Kyle said. Leaving Jake in the lab, they all piled into the land rover, and headed back to the department.

Katie’s office looked like a bomb had hit it. Papers, books and boxes were strewn across the room, the computer had been smashed and her chair was lying upturned in the corner. “I see no difference” Ben commented sniffily.
Katie peered through the doorframe, looking at the devastation. A policewoman was with her, asking questions about if the door had been closed, where she’d been, if anything was missing. She looked around the office, but couldn’t tell if anything was gone. Clearing up and checking would have to wait until the forensics team had finished. They went into the collection. Here the damage was less, only a few of the drawers had been damaged, their contents tipped onto the floor. “We were in the middle of cataloguing these” she told the policewoman “Ben, is there anything missing?”
Ben glanced at the pile of pottery. If was impossible to tell, but he had an inkling what the thief had been after. “No” he said. The policewoman sighed. “Well, we think the thief was after something very specific. He obviously didn’t find it, otherwise it would be missing.” She pulled out a card, bearing the Cambridge constabulary crest and some details. “Call me if you find anything missing when you tidy your office.”
Katie nodded. “When can I go and see Frank?” she asked.
“It’ll be a few hours, we’ll let you know.” The policewoman said.

It was getting dark outside when the police had left. Kate had wanted to go and see Frank, but the police wanted her to look for anything that might be missing. Katie had managed to clean up most of the papers in her office, Kyle and Craig had helped, while Ben stood to one side, occasionally picking up a sheet of paper and asking where it went. The office looked much as it had before, and Katie was able to assess the damage. The computer’s monitor was smashed, but the hard-drive was intact, she was pleased to see, and most of the artefacts she had on the shelves had been left. She then realised what was missing.
“Our picture is gone.”
“What picture?” Ben asked.
“That one we got Anselm to take on my birthday, you, me and Kyle in the Mermaid. It’s gone!”
“Why would a thief steal a picture of us?” Kyle asked.
“Was the frame worth anything?”
“No, cheap thing from Woolies.”
“Then that can only mean one thing.” Ben said ominously.
“What?” Katie asked, infuriated. She hated it when Ben went all dramatic.
“Your thief knows we have the crystal fragment, and he’s going to be looking for us.”
“He’ll be heading for the Mermaid then” Kyle said.
“We’d better get over there.” Ben said.
“Actually Ben, I want to go and see Frank? He’s hurt, and it’s our fault.”
Ben glared at her, but she gave as good as she got. This battle of wills went on for a few seconds, then Ben gave in. “Alright,” he said “But be quick.”
“Kyle,” Katie said “can you drive me. I’m a bit shaken after all this.”
Ben was about to protest, but Kyle interrupted him “Yeah, alright.” He answered quickly.
Before Ben could protest, they had left the room, and were on the stair.
“There’s something funny going on with those two.” Ben said. He had hoped that Kyle would come with them. Craig was only a kid, and Anselm was frankly useless in a fight, and Ben wanted to be in a position of strength then they met their attacker, but he was certain that his mental abilities would enable him to find a solution. Checking the battery level on his mobile, he lead Craig and Anselm out of the office, and they headed to the car park.

Barry Tuck was in his element. A group of young women were in the bar, and they’d clearly had more to drink than they could handle. He wiped a sweaty palm on his trousers, and grinned. He knew he wasn’t the most attractive man in Cambridge, he was often mistaken for that fat drunk comedian off the telly, but in his mind, he could turn on the charm, and they would fall at his feet. Admittedly, he’d had very little actually success, but he was ever the optimist. He lifted the hatch in the bar, and was about to make his way over to their table when the front door opened and in came a tall, thin figure. It looked left and right, and headed towards him. He put on his best smile, and prepared to greet the stranger.
“Hallo there, I’m Barry Tuck, like the bloke what used to do ‘Points of View’, welcome to the Merm-”
He was cut short by the stranger, who grabbed him by the neck and lifted him off the floor by a clear foot, knocking over a table and causing the girls to scream and run for the door. Barry could see this was no ordinary client. He had large, black eyes, and scaley skin. Barry tried to make some comment about eczema, but all he could do was wheeze. “Where are these people?” the stranger shouted, holding up a picture of three people. Barry looked at it through wide eyes. “Tha’s Ben Chatham, wiv his mates, the pikey lad and her with the big jugs.”
“You are an idiot.” The stranger told him. “Where can I find these people?” he shouted.
“We’re right here!” came a voice from the door. The stranger turned, and saw the blonde man from the photo, flanked by two others, one smaller, dressed in black. “Where is the Crystal Diadem?” he screamed, throwing Barry across the room. He hit the bar, flipped, and crashed into the bottles, showing the place with broken glass, and fell limply to the floor. Anselm gasped, and dodging round the stranger, ran to the bar.
“Who are you?” Ben demanded. “I am Ben Chatham, and whatever you are planning to do, be sure that I will stop you!”
“I don’t care who you are, give me the Crystal Diadem!”
“I don’t have it on me.” Ben half-lied. It was actually in the car, but he didn’t want the stranger to know this.
“Then I will make you tell me!” The stranger cried, and reached out and grabbed Craig. Ben tried to stop him, but he wasn’t quick enough.
“You have until midnight to provide me with the Crystal Diadem, or he dies. I will tell you where to meet me!” Pulling Craig close to him, he threw himself through the window and ran down the street, as police sirens grew louder. Ben looked around him. The place was a mess, and if the police found him at the scene, they might make a connection with the attack at the university, and assume he had something to do with it. He didn’t have time for UNIT or Torchwood to arrange his release, he needed all the time he had to save Craig. He walked over to the bar, where he found Anselm peering at Barry.
“Is he still alive?” Ben asked.
“Only just. He’s had a very nasty knock, and there’s blood everywhere” Anselm answered, slightly shaking.
“The police will be here any minute; they can take care of him.” Ben said “We have to get out of here, now!” He grabbed Anselm’s arm, and dragged him out to the car. Ben hit the accelerator, and they were round the corner as the first police car arrived.