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Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Podcast #293: Copping the High Frontier
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 09:47

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, and the Real Keith Dunn discuss a Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Evil One and the 1987 BBC TV Series Star Cops, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:16 — Welcome! 02:20 – News: 02:24 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #292: Lost in Netflix
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 01 Jul 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, and the Real Keith Dunn discuss a Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Energy of the Daleks and Netflix’s Lost in Space Season 1, talk about media we’ve been consuming, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:21 — […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #291: Goodbye, our Victorian Friends
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss a swan song in Jago and Litefoot Forever and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:39 — Welcome! 03:12 – News: 03:15 — Doctor Who: Big […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #290: The Meddling Nerf Herder
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 03 Jun 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who: The Time Meddler and Solo: A Star Wars Story, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:05 — Welcome! 02:08 – News: 02:23 — Doctor Who: Classic series coming […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #289: Ready Podcast 289
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 20 May 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who: The Ultimate Foe and Ready Player One, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:27 — Welcome! 03:00 – News: 03:14 — Doctor Who: Eric Roberts to […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #288: When Heroes Assemble
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 06 May 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, the Real Keith Dunn and Steven Clare discuss Doctor Who: The Three Doctors and Avengers: Infinity War, recall our time at The Capitol 3 Doctor Who convention, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:23 — Welcome! […]

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Buccaneer Chronicles

The Buccaneer Chronicles:
Ghostwalker

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


Chapter Four - Deep Breathing

 

William Small was a bully in an expensive suit. Built like a colossus and with a temper like a volcano, he strolled through the intense claustrophobia, which had built up beneath the dome of the piazza and revelled in the way people cleared a path for him.

His watch said that he was impressively late for work. He would blame the car even though it was safely in his garage. His boss, Caroline, would rant at him and call him incompetent and he would stand still and take it and mentally undress her again. Before that though, he had work to do. Passing the bizarrely located Unit Insurance Services' office - what that was doing in a tourist spot was beyond him - he made his way to the Café Regent.

The manager of the café, a striking woman in her early forties, was called Jan Harvey. And her day had just taken a turn for the worse. The representative of her landlord - the States of Jersey - had just shown up. And that always meant bad news. Today was no exception. After the usual "pleasantries" he had gone straight down to business.

"Mrs. Hardy. I wrote to you on behalf of Caroline Saracin, chairperson of..."

"I know who she is, Mr. Small. Just why are you here?"

"Now, now, Mrs. Hardy. A bad temper could give the customers a bad impression. It might scare them off and then where would you find the extra rent?"

"Extra rent? You don't mean...?" She was shocked.

"I'm afraid so, Mrs. Hardy. The committee has increased your rent by 98 percent."

Jan sat down, shocked. Then anger took over.

"What gives you the right to charge that much, It's ridiculous!"

"Tourism's been very lax since the BBC stopped filming here. And the committee felt that they had been equally lax in not raising the rents in previous years. We're making up for it now. You can't expect to pay rock bottom prices for ever, can you?"

Jan slammed her fist onto the counter. She didn't notice the large man that Tracy had served the bacon sandwiches to look up and stare.

"I will not be bought!" she said.

"We're not trying to buy you out, Mrs. Hardy, " he smiled, all sickening and sugary, "Although, if you are intending to sell your lease we will, of course, make you a generous offer."

Jan glared at him, her face red with fury. She waved the knife that she had been using under William's nose.

"Keep your offers! I'll find the rent and so will all the others that you've tried to hassle. That's right. We've talked. I just didn't believe them. Huh! Well, more fool me. Now take your smarmy grin and get out of my bloody café."

He paused. The knife touched his nose.

"OUT!"

William moved casually in the direction of "out".

"I'll let Miss Saracin know of your decision. It's been a pleasure doing business with you."

She turned to go to her office, his mocking laughter following her. She only just made it before the frustrated tears began to flow.

 

The German Underground Hospital is a huge cavern hollowed into the side of a large hill in the parish of St. Lawrence. An irreversible memento to the German occupation during the Second World War. The entrance is a gigantic white archway with a large red cross painted above it, leading into a badly lit tunnel. There is a gift shop and a café where once guns would have nestled. You can buy tea towels, a sticky bun or your own genuine imitation post card showing scenes from the hospital when it was in use.

Blanche was captivated. She was so glad that Macfadyan had allowed her to come. The sights. Sounds and smells of this almost twig light world made her nauseous, yet she wanted to see more. The displays of individually lit photographs taken during the war adequately told a story of horror. Seeing the people immortalised in wax was worse. Each figure was a masterpiece. Each face was etched forever with lines of fear or pain. Each sound, which bubbled from the hidden speakers, related the futility and barbarity of war, the shattering of innocence. The violence of man. And all this was in her future. Would mankind never learn?

She listened amazed as the owner, a woman called Emily, related tale after tale from what she referred to as "an historical abomination".

They reached a scenario portraying a huddle of men chiselling into the walls with small pickaxes. Emily stopped the tour and pointed to a small brass plaque.

"This is the site of one of the worst cave-ins during the construction of the hospital. Five local prisoners of war, forced to dig with almost Stone Age tools, were killed when the roof fell in. The plaque tells you their names and ages."

Everyone in the tour group automatically looked at the tiny writing. She heard a very Time Lord-ish sigh from beside her.

Blanche did not envy Emily her job. Having to spend the entire day looking at images of dead people would spook her no end. She peered at the eyes of the nearest waxwork. It seemed to peer back at her and Blanche shivered and looked away.

Oh shame! She had just been stared down by a mannequin! That was almost as bad as loosing to Cre'at in a game of "mercy". Though Cre'at claimed to be an Olympic champion at the sport so perhaps that wasn't so bad.

The little group was getting restless now. They all looked more than a little nervous. One of the children was starting to cry and was hoisted up into the safety of his father's arms.

"This was bloody weird," thought Blanche. The place was really getting to them. Come to think of it, she could feel herself trembling and had to fight to control it. This was ridiculous. She had been through an awful lot in her travels with the Buccaneer, terrible things had happened to her, including dying. This place shouldn't be getting to her. But it was. There was something in the air. Something heavy. Evil. The Buccaneer would say and he would be right. She looked at him as the tour moved on/ He was studying the postcard that he had bought from the gift shop. He seemed calm enough. Mind you, he always had that slightly calm, slightly smug expression on his face - well, unless he was shouting. Cre'at too looked calm. Mind you. He always looked calm. His was a face that you wouldn't want to play poker against.

Macfadyan, though, was feeling neither calm nor smug. There was something wrong. Something that could not be pinpointed, but kept jumping from one place to the other. The feelings of the crowd were too strong. Even an extremely display such as this shouldn't have caused such a reaction. It bordered on the hysterical. He watched as the sobbing child was carried on to the next part of the tour and, motioning to Blanche to follow them and not to tug her "balloon" - in reality Cre'at pretending to be helium filled and "fun", he looked around, turning full circle. There was a prickling feeling at the back of his mind.

Fear.

Horror.

Pain.

He rubbed his temples, trying to ease the sudden headache that assaulted him. Then it was there, like a knife, the worst emotion of all - hate. He gasped and tightened his grip on the postcard. He looked at it closely. It showed this very room as it was during World War II.

"No, no, no. The angles wrong."

He moved across the room to one of the photo displays and looked again.

"Ah. Yes. Just right." The feelings of hate and pain were stronger now, as if something were trying to break through.

Something was...

Something...

There was a great pain in his head, a light so bright that it blinded him and he was elsewhere. Yet he was still in the same place.

People moved around him. Men lay injured in rough metal beds. Smatterings of German drifted from wall to wall. The place reeked of sweat and death.

And in the bed nearest to him, the bed in the postcard, someone was dying.

 

Ghostwalker: Chapter Five