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Staggering Stories Podcast #259: British Robots Invasion of Earth 2150AD
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 1966 film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. and the 2017 film The Lego Batman Movie, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:15 — Welcome! 02:01 – News: 02:20 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #258: That Osgood and Kate Sound
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss possibilities for the next Doctor on Doctor Who, review the first three Big Finish UNIT New Series boxsets, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:20 — Welcome! 01:42 – News: 02:04 — […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #257: Holistic Double Banking
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller discuss BBC America/Netflix’s ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ and Douglas Adams’ time on Doctor Who, play some games, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:20 — Welcome! 02:14 – No news […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #256: The Double Whammy
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Feb 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller discuss Peter Capaldi’s departure from Doctor Who and the legend that was John Hurt, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:25 — Welcome! 02:09 – News: 02:20 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #255: The Six Idiots
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 29 Jan 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the Big Finish Doctor Who boxset ‘Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Vol. 1’ and Sherlock Series 4, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:35 — Welcome! 02:49 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #254: Bad Awakenings
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and the Keith Dunn review the 1966 Doctor Who story ‘The Power of the Daleks’ and the 2016 film ‘Passengers’, say what we’ve been up to recently, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:14 — Welcome! 02:18 – […]

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Buccaneer Chronicles

The Buccaneer Chronicles:
The Iytean Menace

By Keith Dunn (despite interference by Tony Gallichan and Adam J Purcell)


Part One - "Daisy, don't drown me this time."

Chapter Two:
Of Gods and Godlike

 

Two years later...

It was a bright autumn morning, the busy streets of London carried on as normal. It had grown naturally through the centuries so the streets had an almost organic feel to them, twisting and turning, ending in courtyards and dead ends. In one of these small off-branching roads, a distant bleeping started. It was rapidly joined by a wheezing, groaning sound, rather like an elephant in labour. It grew in volume, with the noise a dependable blue shape faded in to a solid. With a loud bang the dark blue telephone police box settled as if at rest. After a few moments a small blonde haired female stepped out, her round face a vision of pure joy, her hair was cut short in a boyish stile. She wore riding boots over tight jeans and a white and blue checked blouse. But a body warmer circa 1980's hid all this and a man's rain mac and hat that were popular in the 1930's. Her strong round face was looking around, her blue/ grey eyes taking every thing in, breathing the not so sweet London air

"Its always great to return to home and hearth".

Blanche turned round to round to regard her travelling companions. One was Cre'at of Sot'm. He was a floating metal head, which was roughly drum shaped with a metal face, spiky beard and mirrored sunglass like eyes. He was also equipped with a head cannon for defensive purposes and extendable arms where his ears should have been. Of course given the time period he had at Macfadyan's insistence adopted one of his cunning disguises - well, he thought they were cunning. As yet, no one had had the heart to tell him they were a bit rubbish. This was no exception, despite the amount of effort that he had taken in preparing it. A small steam engine furnace had been attached to his back, complete with smoke and steam, with a small zeppelin shaped balloon full of helium (It was that or he hung a cardboard body beneath him and pretended nothing was wrong).

The other figure to emerge from the Police Box was Lord Macfadyan otherwise known as the Buccaneer (only Blanche called him that and much to her enjoyment it annoyed him intensely). He wore bucket boots, black trousers, and white shirt with balloon sleeves, sapphire blue waistcoat and large stylised overcoat. He would have been a fashion hit in the 1980's. He was continuing a conversation that had started in the TARDIS

"I don't mind it being in there, I just object to left in the middle of the console room. I mean I don't mind how many candles you have just put them back after you. Oh, and perhaps a slightly less depressing colour than black, hmm?" Macfadyan turned back to lock the TARDIS doors, noting the shape. Blanche noticed it at about the same time,

"Wots that supposed to be?" but Macfadyan had already tuned her out. He had noticed something on top of the Police Box in place of the lamp. It was a CCTV enclosure.

"No, no, no! That's a nineteen nineties Police Box, we're in the Victorian era, you silly ship!" he said. Then he remembered Blanche's question. "This is a London Police Box. They were all the rage once."

"Well I'm from London how come I've never seen one? "

Cre'at went in to lecture mode,

* The first Police Box was constructed in 1929. The TARDIS exterior is modelled after a design that was introduced in the late 20th early 21st century. We are currently located in the 19th century * He was completely oblivious of Macfadyan's slowly reddening face. The Time Lord made a flapping gesture with his hands in exasperation.

"Shall we go? After all, this is your test Blanche!"

With an impudent smile Blanche set off.

"Yeah, come on Mr Balloon" with joy she mouthed the words as Cre'at said them

* Not balloon. Sot'm! *

With a flourish Macfadyan conjured up a pocket watch

"Right my child, we commence your test... Now, what's the first thing we have to worry about hmm?"

"The ben-o-thingey-whatsit. Wot's the year, 1885? I'm already here, if I see myself I shouldn't touch or otherwise ZAPP! You take me home in an urn. No problem there, around this time I was running with the gang around Cheap side". The party moved off in to the morning sunshine, with Blanche pointing out places of interest.

 

They spent the entire morning in and around greater London, with Blanche pointing out places that was important to her personal history. The afternoon was spent looking at London's great museums (with the curator of the science museum wanting to buy Cre'at).

It was early evening before Macfadyan noticed some thing was wrong. They were in Regent's park feeding the Ducks on a loaf of bread that Blanche had produced. Macfadyan did a double take, looked from the loaf to Blanche's innocent face, then to the black Gladstone bag down at her feet,

"Alright Blanche, where did you get that!"

"Get wot?" came the innocent reply.

"Alright, just what have you nicked?"

After a few moments she had a small pile of lose coins, pencils, note books, pocket watches and sandwiches wrapped up in wax paper. But the look of innocence hadn't slipped from her face.

"It's not my fault, you told me to act natural!"

Macfadyan bent down to retrieve the black Gladstone bag and opened it, noting that it was monogrammed R.L.S. He clicked the clasp, pulled it open and rummaged inside. There was a history book on the south seas and one on the Barberry coast, a map of the same area a couple of note books full of spidery hand written notes, a few letters and a paper. Blanch snatched up the paper and opened it up

"Great! As we're here can we go see a show? I enjoyed that last time sitting among all the toffs".

"This won't do at all Blanche, we are going to take all this stuff to the local police station. Are you listing to me Blanche?" He looked at Blanche, who had her head buried in the paper ignoring him. Reaching up he snatched the paper from her unsuspecting fingers. The headlines screamed at him about another hideous murder in the east end. Macfadyan started to mutter to himself.

"It's to early for the Ripper and we got in to one hell of a mess with Aberline last time. We dealt with Springheal Jack last time we were here, though with the temporal deviation that was involved his shade will be giving people the whiles for a few decades yet".

He folded the paper up to hand back to Blanche when he noticed the advert on the back page "Colonel Malcolm Fraser presents a demonstration of Atlantian artefacts at the Montifure hall on the 27th of October". It also included a line drawing of two pistol like weapons. In that moment Macfadyan froze, Blanche looked at him slightly concerned.

"That's not right!"

"Wot's wrong?"

"Well if this illustration is correct than that's a type six neural stunner and that's not right at all. No, no, no". Macfadyan gazed in concern at the advert, while Blanche started to scoop things up and started to stuff them back in to her pockets. Macfadyan seemed to come to life with a start, looking at Blanche he handed over the Gladstone bag "Yes that's it Blanche, you take all this stuff back to the TARDIS, we'll deal with it later. Cre'at and I are going to pay a visit to the offices of the Chronicle to see if we can find out just where this Colonel Fraser lives". He looked at Blanches smiling face for a few moments,

"On second thoughts, no we'll all go back to the TARDIS, then on to the paper!" He looked up at Cre'at, who had been sky writing his name in smoke much to the delight of the surrounding children. No one could understand it because it was in binary but it entertained them non-the less. Macfadyan groaned when he saw this.

"Come along Cre'at, stock your furnace the game is afoot".

 

They spent a frustrating half an hour in the offices of the Chronicle with Macfadyan trying to brow beat the editor into giving them the Colonel's address by pretending to be from the ministry. It finished with a fifteen minute shouting match, after which Blanche bundled them out of the building.

They were walking down towards Portman Square; Macfadyan was still seething

"Of all the small minded, parochial arrogance. You would think that the small minded little ape would have done anything to help Queen and country. I've half a mind to nip back and loop his time stream! Where are you two going?"

* Colonel Malcolm Fraser's house, Twenty-three Portman square. *

"And you know its Colonel Fraser's house do you?"

* While you where yelling at the smelly, ink stained primitive, Blanche extracted the information from the human's primitive paper file."

Macfadyan just glared at Blanche, who smiled demurely back at him.

 

They arrived at number twenty three at about six o'clock with the gas lamps being lit by men with long poles, as night started to fall with a vengeance. It was a town house that was starting to turn to seed. The iron railings needed a lick of paint; the garden boxes were begging to look over grown. They walked up the short steps and Macfadyan rapped on the door. It was opened after a few minuets by a crusty grey butler, who looked at them as if they had just dumped a pile of manure on his doorstep.

"Can I help you ... Sir?"

Macfadyan looked at the Butler.

"Ah yes, my man go tell your master that Lord Macfadyan is here to see him". The Butler just looked at him

"I see... Sir and the Colonel is expecting you sir?"

Macfadyan looked smug

"The Colonel should have received my card by this morning's post". At this the Butler's smile increased.

I'm sorry... Sir but we have received no such card, good evening".

Macfadyan grabbed the door before the butler could close it and spoke earnestly to the butler

"Listen to me its important that I talk to Colonel Fraser about the Atlantian artefacts. I'm attached to the Royal society, I assure you that this is very, very important". The butler looked long and hard at Macfadyan, then,

"Very well, your lordship, madam and... head?"

* Cre'at. *

"I see, sir. If you would care to wait in the study, I shall inform the Colonel you are here".

 

Colonel Malcolm Fraser was hunched over his writing desk in the drawing room making meticulous notes in a leather bound book. He had greying haired with a military bearing, dressed in reserved clothing of the period (with the colour black predominating). His complexion spoke of someone who had spent most of his adult life in Africa or the West Indies putting down the natives. His movements hinted at some long-term illness that had probably been picked up at the same place. He was an old warhorse who against his best efforts was slowly fading away.

There was a knock at the door. Fraser's waxed moustache twitched in annoyance. He put down his pen, leaned back and in a gravely voice barked

"Come".

The Butler slipped into the darkened room

"I'm sorry to disturb you sir but there is a 'gentleman' to see you".

"As you well know, Carlshaw, we are not at home to visitors".

"Yes sir but this gentleman claims to be from the Royal society".

"Claims? Do you think the fellows lying?"

Carlshaw pondered the question for a few minuets

"It's not my position to judge sir but he is in the company of a rather disreputable young lady. You can see her calculating the price of the fixtures and fittings. However a mechanical contrivance in the shape of a large metal floating head also accompanies him. Also, he has no eyebrows!"

Grabbing his cane Fraser struggled to get up

"A metal head you say? Well if there from the Royal Society they can't be any worse than those dullards from the ministry. Lets go and see them".

Macfadyan looked around the study. Like the out side of the house standards were beginning to slip. The surfaces hadn't been dusted for some time. He turned round to his companions

"We need to know where these anachronistic weapons come from. Fraser is our only lead so far, so its best you let me do all the talking. It needs some one of my lightness of touch to bring him round. Blanche no sticky fingers if you please and Cre'at he will have eyebrows and they are not detachable, so don't offer to remove them. That's what got us thrown out of the editors office".

* Incorrect. The ink stained, smelly humanoid was already belligerent before I offered to remove his eyebrows. *

Macfadyan crossed to the door and opened it, gazing up and down the hall

"Either way, just don't do it!" He saw a flicker of movement from the darkness near the top of the stairs. He peered up in to the gloom to determine what it was. A young woman, some where between sixteen and twenty-one sat at the top step, wrapped up in one of those flowing Victorian dresses, listening intently. Macfadyan frowned and closed the door.

Within moments Carlshaw opened the door again and Fraser puffed his way into the room. He was the wrong side of sixty-eight and the years had not been kind to him. He peered almost myopically in to the gloom of the study, eyes widening at the sight of Cre'at

"Good grief! What is it?"

Macfadyan leaped up from the chair he was sprawled in.

"It's an invention, its clockwork, aren't you, Cre'at?" He delved in to his pockets to pull out a large silver butterfly shaped key and waved it under Fraser's nose.

"Show the nice colonel your clockwork Cre'at". Cre'at stopped floating around the room to look at Macfadyan for a few moments then turned to Fraser and said

* Tick, tock, tick tock. * in a totally unconvincing fashion. Macfadyan groaned.

" Er yes, um, sorry." He said, sheepishly. Not at all convinced Fraser hobbled to one of the chairs and lowered himself in to it

"Now how can I help you sir?"

"Lord Macfadyan of the Royal society". At this Colonel Fraser straightened up in his chair slightly.

"What can we do for you Lord Macfadyan?"

"If its not too much trouble we would like to take a look at the Atlantian artefacts".

Fraser's face took on a cautious tone.

"And why would you want to examine the artefacts?"

"Well as you can see I' am something of an inventor and I was wondering if we could reproduce them."

Fraser narrowed his eyes,

"And what would you do with that knowledge sir?"

"Nothing, nothing at all, Information is the means to an end in itself."

Still staring wearily at him Fraser passed a bunch of keys to Carlshaw

"From the top shelf I think Carlshaw".

With a mutter of confirmation he disappeared out the door. Macfadyan leaned forward to land the fish.

"If you don't mind me asking how did you come across such items?"

Fraser seemed to regain some of his composure

"It is well known that I am in the trade for such curios. A ruff rogue approached me by the name of Jack Bannister, owner of an import company." At that moment Carlshaw came back in with what look like stylised dulling pistols and at Fraser's request laid it on a low table. Macfadyan fished in his pocket and pulled out his jeweller's eyepiece. Fixing it in place, it gave a small electronic whirl as the lenses came in to focus.

"Well, What do you make of this Cre'at?"

The Sot'm floated closer, * It is too big for a body ornament! *

Macfadyan shot him an ugly look

* However the particle decay in the energy sources indicate great age somewhere in the excess of one billion years. *

Fraser snorted at this,

"I think your toy has thrown a sprocket. It's a scientific fact that the planet Earth has only been in existence for no more than a thousand years before the birth of Christ".

Cre'at looked up. The Colonel heard a faint sound of warping metal. If he had been able to see Cre'at's face he would have seen the Sot'm give Macfadyan a slight, yet wicked grin.

* A religious primitive smelling of burnt vegetable matter. *

Macfadyan pinched the top of his nose and sighed.

"You just can't let things go can you?"

 

They were walking back to where the TARDIS had landed. They were almost there, and Macfadyan hadn't said a word on the way back. Instead he was not so silently fuming to him self. As the ship came in sight he finally turned to Cre'at,

"You couldn't let it lie! You just have to educate these lesser primitives, don't you?"

* To let them continue in dangerous ignorance is an error. *

"And now thanks to you we've lost our only source of information."

Blanche couldn't stand the unnecessary blasting that Cre'at was getting

"Actually Buccaneer..."

Macfadyan seemed to wince at this. However Blanche continued,

"The Colonel seemed to enjoy what he called an intellectual discussion with an analytical thinking machine. It was your laughing when he said the reason the dinosaurs died out was because they couldn't fit on the ark that upset him."

Macfadyan unlocked the door of the ship and waved everybody inside with an angry flick of his hand. Cre'at floated over to the console while Blanche announced to the world in general that she was going to make a cup of hot chocolate. Macfadyan glared in fierce anger at the collection of four candles that had appeared in the corners of the room. Dribbles of solidified wax have cascaded down the side of the holders like moments frozen in time.

A burbling sound from the console brought him out his contemplation. Cre'at was typing at the console

"What are you doing to my ship, hmm, Sot'm?"

Without looking round Cre'at replied.

* A keyboard, how quaint! I am using the data banks to research some information. I think I recognised something about the energy weapon the burnt weed smelling human showed us. But then, when you reach our age you always recognise some thing. *

"True, very true." replied the Time Lord.

The air above the console blurred and a light brown tube about ten centimetres long slipped into reality then began to unravel like a parchment.

* The isotope decay indicates Iytean technology. *

"Iytean? Never heard of them "

* Their civilisation was destroyed in one of the first Rutan / Sontaran engagements. It is all listed in your copy of 'Sinister Slurping' a paper on the Iytean civilisation by Professor B. Summerfield, Della University Press, 2597 *

There was a few moments silence as they both absorbed the information displayed in the virtual scroll. Blanche ambled back in drinking hot chocolate from a mug that was designed to be held by something with two thumbs on each hand. It was a rare, peaceful moment.

Then someone knocked on the door.

 

The Iytean Menace: Chapter Three