Buccaneer Chronicles

The Buccaneer Chronicles:

Written by Tony Gallichan. Plot by Karen Dunn and Tony Gallichan

Chapter Three - Escape to Danger


Tracy Collins was having one hell of a morning, not improved by having had no sleep the previous night. After she had tried in vain to contact the late lamented Eric on the radio, her ears had almost exploded at the assaulting sound of... well, she had thought it was feedback at the time. Blasting through the headphones, the noise had made her scream with pain. She had flung off the 'phones and sat there trembling with shock for what seemed like hours. Pulling herself together, she had turned down the volume of the radio and yanked the jack plug out of its socket. Tentatively, she turned the radio up a fraction. At first it seemed as though there was nothing to hear, but as she increased the volume, a small noise could be heard whispering through the speakers. She couldn't place it immediately, but after some thought, she realized that it was crying. Someone was crying. Someone small. Someone desperately unhappy.

Once she had her wits about her - not an easy thing to achieve with the three telephones ringing all at once - she had contacted her boss. After she had been subjected to a short tirade from him on the level of her intelligence, he had told her to call the police. It sounded to him as if Eric were in trouble. That made her feel one hell of a lot better. According to her boss, not only was she stupid, but now she was somehow to blame for any trouble that Eric was in. How was she supposed to know the difference between a real call and a hoax? Was she meant to ring them all back just to check that they did want a taxi after all?

The police hadn't exactly been very good about it either. She had given them Eric's last known position and they had agreed to send a car out there to investigate. They had also sent someone round to question her. She had explained what had happened to PC 452 and he had very helpfully looked at her as if she were wasting his time. Then he had wondered into a corner and asked his radio what was happening at Faldouet. The report that he got back almost made him throw up. Eric Du Feu was dead. Make no bones about it. In fact there were only bits of bone to be found. Bits of bone and large chucks of flesh. Eric had literally exploded.

That was when Tracy had burst into tears and become hysterical.

They had left her to calm down with a WPC for about a half an hour, and then questioned her closely about the events, going over it time and time again until she was sick of it.

She had finally flopped into bed at four in the morning, only to be kicked awake by her flat-mate, Tricia, at seven. The phone call she had made to the boss of her day job, Jan, had not been the best in the world either. The usually friendly Jan didn't seem to care that she had only slept a total of two hours. In fact, she hadn't believed that anything had happened at all. All she wanted to know was if Tracy was coming to work that morning, and if not, would Tracy like to collect her wages and hand in her uniform as soon as possible?

Tracy had gone to work.

When she arrived, Jan had told her that this was her last warning. She had also insisted that Tracy gave up her taxi job as she was fed up with one of her daytime waitresses coming to work looking like death warmed up. With that, Jan had stormed into the kitchen and started violently buttering bread for the day's sandwiches.

Tracy went meekly to the cloakroom and took off her coat. She needed the wage from the taxi firm to supplement the salary she made at the café. Jan was a good boss, but she couldn't afford to pay her staff enough to live on, so they all moonlighted in some form or another. Perhaps it was the knowledge that her staff couldn't give her their all that had put the sweet tempered owner of the Café Regent in such a foul mood. As she changed into her rinky dinky uniform - completely the wrong colour, it made her blonde hair look dull and her usually healthy complexion pasty - Tracy cheered herself up with the knowledge that it wouldn't last much longer. In two weeks she would have saved enough to go home to Liverpool.

And the thought made her smile for the first time since Eric had died.


Two hours later and Tracy was in the thick of it. The morning rush had been busier than usual and the queue still showed no sign of letting up.

"Four bacon sandwiches, one croissant and two cups of coffee please, young lady," said the large man in front of her.

"Cappuccino?" He had looked puzzled, then shrugged.

"Yes, why not?" And suddenly he had smiled at her - a lovely, charming smile. It was just what she needed. Then she saw his eyes, cold, calculating and with an air of superior indifference.

"Th...The bacon needs to be cooked. Give us ten minutes."

She had left Maria, the other waitress, to cope and ran off to do it personally. Somehow she felt that she had to attend to the man's order herself.

Seconds later she was back, having been hustled from the kitchen by the outraged French cook who had ranted at her about "silly English girls forgetting their place". Her mood dropping back to ground level, she had ignored the rest of the queue and began telling Maria about the night's events.


The Buccaneer was bored.

He had been waiting in the queue for a whole 15 minutes and in that time he had done some serious thinking. He had formulated three five-dimensional wave theories, a campaign of action in case...well, lets just say that the Heinz corporation wouldn't know what had hit them, and formulated a healthy disrespect for the great British tradition of queuing. Now the girl at the counter was telling him, in that annoying accent, that the food would take another ten minutes.

He wondered if he had done something to offend her primitive human emotions and wished that, just for once, Blanche would have cheese in her sandwiches.

"Excuse me, miss..." Tracy turned round.

"It won't be a moment, I'll just get you your coffees." And she went to the espresso machine.

"Humans." Thought Macfadyan. He wondered if he should indeed had some tea instead and considered giving the waitress one of his hard stares, decided against it and adopted an air of total dissatisfaction. He looked round the piazza, taking in the jewellery shop, the pubs, the aquarium and the stage show, currently alive with huge, outrageously proportioned animals singing to a crowd of enraptured children. He didn't like to think of the way it had been built - a great lump of steel and glass balanced carefully on top of the existing superstructure of the old fort like a huge, upturned, white soup bowl.

"Huh, they think that this is bad - just wait until they see Greenwich." He thought.

His attention was drawn to the conversation between the two waitresses.

"... I tell you, Maria. All I heard was this really loud noise, you know, like feedback. Then there was nothing. Just this sound like a child crying. God, Maria, I was so scared. I didn't know what the hell had happened. Then they tell me that Erics dead. Thank heaven I'm going home soon."

Now that was interesting. Macfadyan stared at her, his eyes piercing her back. Somehow, she felt his gaze and turned, expecting the worst. Instead she found herself facing the large customer whose fashion sense was still stuck in the worst part of the early eighties. A sense of foreboding flooded through her...

A bell rang behind her. The bacon sandwiches were ready...

Once he had sorted out some Jersey coins from the avalanche of Centaurian credits which were weighing him down and paid for the food and drink, Macfadyan made his way to the table that he and Cre'at were sharing, only to find that Blanche had finally joined them, looking a little green around the gills.

"A little to much for you?" he said.

"I never went on one of them before - though I'm gonna again as soon as the floor stops moving. That my food?" She snatched the plate of sandwiches from Macfadyan's hand.

"Hmmf. I shall have to instil some basic manners in you, child."


"No, Cre'at. Simple discipline should suffice. An education can do wonders for even the most...primitive of brains."

"Bog off!" chuckled Blanche, uneasily. Since his regeneration, she had never been able to work out if Macfadyan was joking about some things.

The Buccaneer's face took on the look of a hunter that has just sighted his prey.

"The girl who served me seemed concerned about something more important than my order. " He looked affronted for a moment.

"She was more interested with her conversation. A very peculiar conversation it was too." His face became grim.

"Someone died last night, in strange circumstances."

Blanche paused between mouthfuls. Then she slammed the sandwich down. Cre'at, sensing trouble moved away slightly. When Blanche lost her temper there was no telling just what she would do. He suspected that it was instability in the cloning process and had said as much to Macfadyan. But the Time Lord had brushed his suggestions away saying that this was how he remembered the original Blanche and they should be true to her memory. As usual, Cre'at kept his observations to himself. On some subjects, Macfadyan just could not be told.

"We're supposed to be on holiday." Blanche shouted, " I should have known that something like this would happen. I suppose this is one of your great attempts at a master plan? God, why can't you just live day to day like the rest of us? I mean, that's just typical. Here we are, supposedly enjoying ourselves and you find death. I bet you knew something was going on. Actually, no...I bet your gonna say you know what's going on even though you don't. If I could be bothered, I'd worry about you. But you're just not worth it."

Macfadyan produced his fob watch and consulted it.

"Hmm, not bad. A rant lasting all of thirty seconds. Blanche would have been proud."

"I'M BLANCHE!" she screamed.

"Of course you are, child. How could we ever forget it.?" He patted her hand in a patronising way. "As a matter of fact, I know nothing about this. The reason we are here is because I need a break. I've...well, I've been having rather a hard time of it lately. We all have. We came here for the sake of rest. To recuperate, that's all."

She thought about it.

"You're being straight with me?" She asked him, hopefully.

"Strange as it may seem to you, child, yes. Though I will say that if I wanted us to investigate this death then we would. Is that clear? Now..."

He smiled at her.

"You go to the beach. I'm going to broaden my already wide horizons."

"You what?"

"I'm going to the German Underground Hospital. I don't advise that you come. You may find that some of your future is non too pleasant. There's a poster for it over there." He pointed across the piazza. "Go and have a look, then tell me if you want to come. Cre'at, you might find it very illuminating."

The metal head floated down form the piazza's support struts.


"Not quite. Something slightly different. It will be an eye opener for you."

Macfadyan leant back in his chair and took a contented swig of coffee.


Ghostwalker: Chapter Four