Buccaneer Chronicles

The Buccaneer Chronicles:

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

Chapter Six - Parish Hall Inquiry


He was sitting on a small hillock. Around him the vegetation burned, flames roaring into the night sky. The air was filled with the sound of Gregorian chanting.

"Mmmffpph!" said Macfadyan.

"Are you alright, sir?" came a voice from the strange, blurry mess hovering above him. "You appear to have fainted."

"I never faint!" came the reply. Shakily, Macfadyan climbed to his feet. He looked around. Good. Back in the twentieth century. Blanche and that tour guide woman were looking at him with slight concern showing on their faces.

* You lost consciousness for a total of ten point three seven seconds. * Said Cre'at from above them. The tour guide let out a small shriek.

"What the hell..? I thought that was a balloon or something. What is it?"

* I am a Sot'm, Earth guide person *

"Er, he's the latest thing in, um, America. Sort of a floating personal organiser." Said Macfadyan, using his usual explanation for explaining Cre'at.

* Not "thing", Cre'at. * the head intoned.

"He's just a little, er, literal. Don't pay him any attention, child."

"Macfadyan, what happened? C'mon, spill the be...er, tell us." Blanche was a little worried. Yes, Macfadyan was the biggest pain in the arse since that bloke with the beard they had met in London all those years ago, but, somewhere deep down, she still cared for him in her own small way.

"I'm not sure." Now there was an admission! "Some kind of mental time slip. Brought on by..By.." he tailed off. Then his face cleared. "Come on, you two. Back to the ship. There are a couple of things that I want to check out."


They waited for a bus back to St.Helier, the capital of Jersey, for twenty minutes. Despite Blanche's best efforts, Macfadyan would not be drawn on his experience though, as the pallor of his skin showed, he was still shaken by it. Then...

"Right. I have had enough of this. Why is human transport so inefficient, hmm? I mean, why is it that there is never a mode of transportation around that I can use without complaint when I need one?"

* Taxi! * Cre'at floated out into the road and slowed a cab that was just pulling in.

" Hmmf!" said Macfadyan. "Sheer luck, that's all." And with that, he marched to the taxi and started the process of calming the driver down, explaining Cre'at to him and persuading him to take them back to St. Helier. Watching him, Blanche couldn't help but giggle.

Once they were underway, Macfadyan pushed his hat over his eyes and appeared to doze.

"Don't mind if I have the radio on, do you mate?" said the driver. He was rewarded with a vague hand movement. Taking it as an affirmative, the driver tuned in to Radio Jersey. After a few minutes of inane pop music the news came on.

"The family of Andrew Fay, the little boy who went missing last night, have been talking of their relief at his safe return. Though they have no idea just where he went to, Andrew himself seems to know how he returned..." The voice changed from that of the newsreader to a little boy, "... the bear brought me," Macfadyan opened one eye and peered at the radio, "he was all big and furry and he smelt nice and he was really nice and he took me home. I like the bear. I hope I see him again."

"Do they have bears over here then, Mac?" asked Blanche from the back seat.

* Bears? * Asked Cre'at.

"Ursine creatures and no, Blanche, they don't. You know, this holiday is getting rather interesting."

"No, Macfadyan. No. It's a holiday. Please! We need it." Blanche said.

"I'm sorry, child. But, as you will understand shortly, the holiday might well be over." He turned to the driver, " Tell me, fellow, do you have a local newsletter that I might peruse?" The driver gave him a look before returning his eyes to the road.

"In the glove compartment there's a copy of the Jersey Evening Post."

Macfadyan opened up the cubbyhole and took out the paper.

"Hmm, latest edition, good." And he started to read the cover story about Andrew Fay. Then his eye caught a sidebar. For no reason, the hairs began to rise on the back of his neck. Then...

"A change of plan. Driver, please take us to St. Saviour's Parish Hall."

* You do not wish to go to the TARDIS? *

"No, look at this." Macfadyan turned around and thrust the paper under Cre'at and Blanche's noses.

* Car boot sale at St. Mary's Church? * Asked a puzzled Cre'at

"No, no, no. Look again. There's a meeting at St Saviour's tonight held by the Jersey Anti Development Committee. And look here, a spokesman mentions a Caroline Saracin." At the sound of the name, the taxi driver gave a loud snort.

"That bitch, huh!"

"Do you know her then?" asked Macfadyan.

"There isn't a cab driver who doesn't." Macfadyan looked at him expectantly.

"About two years ago she somehow managed to get the fee we pay for our carriage licenses increased by over one hundred percent. A large number of my mates went under, simply lost everything. She's the worst thing to happen to this island."

"So I gather. It seems that she makes a habit of upsetting people."

"Well, I know one thing. She'll never get a taxi again. Not here in Jersey and not in any of the other Channel Islands. Here we go, mate." He steered the car into a full car park. " That'll be five quid fifty if you please."

Macfadyan rummaged through his pockets, paused in concentration for a split second then removed a wallet from his coat pocket. Giving the man a ten pound note and telling him to keep the change, (which at least put a smile on the man's face) he got out of the car, closing the door behind him.

"Now that's what I call a building," said Blanche.

She was right. It sat at the top of a slight rise, cars parked around it like chicks around their mother. A huge building, not in height but in ground area, it was L shaped, old fashioned and made entirely of granite.

A crowd of people flocked around the entrance, all eager to get in and make themselves heard. The "renovation" of La Houge Bie Neolithic burial mound into a larger tourist attraction had incensed the people of Jersey and this meeting was one of twelve, one for each parish. Each meeting had been packed out and feelings had run high.

"Are you now going to explain just why we are here? In fact, I'd like an explanation for your fainting earlier whilst we're at it." Said Blanche.

"Child, I do not have to explain myself to you. Not now. Not then. Never." Came the reply. Blanche sighed. Macfadyan was in one of his "moods". One last try.

"Mac, please. We're on Holiday."

"Not any more. Too much has been said and heard. Think, girl! A bear? Returning a child to it's home? Utter claptrap. And there's something else. A feeling. I had it at Fort Regent, I had it at the hospital and now I'm starting to get that same feeling here. And I'm worried."

"You? Worried? That's a first."

"Yes, worried, child. Emotions at this meeting may run high. Remember the hospital, everyone getting edgy? Well, imagine a group of people twenty times larger and instead of getting edgy, they get angry."

Blanche nodded slowly.

"So, if you're afraid of fainting again why are we here?"

"No, no, no. I didn't faint. I was reliving a memory. A memory of someone who died in that underground hell. It seemed as though I was actually there. The emotion was so real, so..." he stumbled for the right words to make Blanche understand. " So pure. Strong. Real. And there may be something like that here. After all, isn't anger one of the purest emotions?"

"Right," said Blanche, slowly, "So you want to...?"

"I'm hoping I, er, faint." He saw her small smile of triumph. "And hopefully, the emotion will be strong enough to allow me to communicate."

* With what? * Said Cre'at, back from his inspection of the graveyard in the church across the road.

"Er, well, when I know I'll tell you. Come on, it's starting".

And with that he led the way into the hall.


Ghostwalker: Chapter Seven