The Buccaneer Chronicles:
The Iytean Menace
By Keith Dunn (despite interference by Tony Gallichan and Adam J Purcell)
Part Two - You see he didn't believe in himself, or the world, or anything he heard.
The Beast Comes A Calling...
Everyone stopped and stared at the ships double doors in shocked silence. In the gap of quiet that followed that followed there was another rap at the door
"Aren't you going to answer that?"
Macfadyan scowled at Blanche, slammed down the door lever and watched as the great doors swung open, then stalked through them.
The fog was gathering as Macfadyan stuck his head out of the TARDIS doors. In front of him was the young lady he saw hiding at the top of the stairs at Colonel Fraser's house. In the gaslight she looked about seventeen. Her long brown hair had been piled up in to a demure bun and a lavender hat had been pined at a fashionably rakish angle on top. The hat matched the colour of the jacket and off set the cream, white and gold of the wide flowing dress, that for some reason reminded Macfadyan of the Millennium dome (circa 1999). Just peeking out of one sleeve was a monogrammed hanky.
"Yes can I help you? Though I am a very busy man, societies to visit, plans to foil, villains to vanquish."
"Eyebrows to grow."
"Yes thank you Blanche, now get back inside. Well come along Miss Fraser out with it."
"How did you ..?"
"Oh its all very simple when you know what to look for but as I said I'm a busy man!"
With a shifty grin Blanche said
"Don't mind him love he's in a bit of a snit. Why don't yer come inside, sit down and explain yerself."
Macfadyan turned to give Blanche a piece of his mind when Miss Fraser slipped past him in to the ship. With a cry of anguish he shot in after her.
He found her just beyond the double doors looking around taking everything in, the roundels, the console, the candles, the arches, the grove, the rock pool and waterfall.
"Oh my. Its bigger on the inside!"
She promptly collapsed. Macfadyan turned on Blanche
"You did that deliberately!"
"Well she was a Toff, all hoi paloy, didn't expect that to happen though."
* The primitive female is broken? Shall we clone her now? *
Macfadyan made a shushing motion. Blanche looked up from her examination of Miss Fraser.
"Nah, she just fainted, typical of a toff, I'll get some brandy".
Macfadyan bent over her to take her pulse, not trusting Blanche.
"Nonsense Blanche, what she needs is hot, strong, sweet tea, just the thing for shock".
Blanche muttered a reply.
"Not for her, for me!"
"You need it even less. I've heard quite enough about the little goblin thank you very much."
He lifted the vile of green powder up to the light, there was perhaps enough for three or four more drafts of the solution left. He would have to procure some more if he wanted to proceed. He could return to where he got the last supply to see if they had any more but he needed to find where the source was located.
'When we find the ship we can synthesise much more'
He didn't know where that thought came from. It was happening more and more, thoughts spoken in a blubbering voice that was not his own, arching across his mind. It had started soon after he had started taking the solution. There could be manifest dangers in any side effects and perhaps he should stop taking this stuff. He looked at the beaker of milky white liquid that sat cooling on the bench. He looked at it long and hard, the sweat beading on his forehead and upper lip. His resolve was firm; he would throw the latest batch of solution away, along with what was left of the green powder chemical. He walked unsteadily to the lab sink and turned on both taps. As the twinjets of water blasted down he stood and watched them for countless minuets. Then in one fluid motion turned back to the bench, grabbed the beaker and drank the contents in two gulps. He then tottered to the corner of the lab and dropped boneless in to the armchair that sat there. Already a warm glow was spreading through him, his extremities were beginning to tingle and his skin was started to feel tight. As his thoughts were starting to loose cohesion, the strange bubbling hypnotic voice was back
"First we will look through Jellico's notes, then we will look for Caruthers!"
Macfadyan regarded Julia Fraser, as she lay sprawled in his favourite armchair. She shouldn't have had such a violent reaction on entering the ship, probable a latent emphatic element to her genetic makeup. He lent forwarded and lightly slapped her face
"Miss Fraser, your tea is getting cold".
It was almost as if a switch had been pulled and she started to gather herself.
After a few moments she started to speak. "I'm sorry to have disturbed you at, er, home, Lord Macfadyan, but I overheard your conversation with grandfather and I think you can help him."
Macfadyan narrowed his eyes, "Help him? In what way?"
"He has been collecting these 'Atlantean artefacts' for about two years. Everything was fine until about a few months ago when grandfather was examining one that fired a beam of light that destroyed another piece in his collection. Since then he became obsessed with the possibilities of the power of these weapons. He has dismissed nearly all the staff on the most flimsy of excuses, maintaining that anyone could have been spies for foreign governments."
Macfadyan made a sour noise at the back of his throat,
"If you'll forgive my indulgence? How did your grandfather come by these artefacts in the first place?"
"He was contacted by two scoundrels, Jack Bannister and Bert Jenkins. A couple of boarder line criminals if ever I saw them!"
Macfadyan frowned inwardly to himself,
"Yes at least one of these people is already known to me. But what I do have to ask is who put them in contact with your grandfather?"
"That would have been grandfathers one time friend, Lord Reginald Caruthers"
"One time friend? Did they have some kind of falling out?"
"About a month ago Lord Caruthers suffered a break in, in which some of his more exotic items were stolen. For a time Lord Caruthers believed grandfather was responsible and they have not spoken since".
Macfadyan came to a decision,
"Thank you Miss Fraser, you have been very helpful". Well, for a pathetic human, that is, he thought.
"Please call me Julia, Lord Macfadyan. You do promise to help me, don't you? We must do what we can to save grandfather from himself."
"I assure you I promise to do my best to see your grandfather out of this dark path safely, Miss Fraser." With a wave of his hand he sent Blanche out to get a hansom cab for Julia.
"If you can think of anything more or anything else happens don't hesitate to get in contact."
Blanche stomped back into the room,
"Her holiness's cab is waiting".
Macfadyan escorted her out muttering a few more platitudes to calm her fears. He strolled back in to the console room and announced,
"Its too late to call on Caruthers tonight. We will do it first thing in the morning. You may as well get some sleep Blanche."
"Yes, oh glorious leader!" Blanche stalked out of the console room
"That girl is really beginning to get unbearable. Right Cre'at We are going to pop back a few weeks and drop off a few... What are they called erm, small pieces of paper?" He flounded for a second, searching for the correct name. "Business cards! We won't get caught out like this morning!" He began setting co ordinates on the console.
The lock on the French windows shattered easily. It pushed them open and stepped into the room. There had been changes since the last time it had been here; things were no longer kept on open display. It walked round to one of the locked cabinets, grasping the handle, with one savage pull ripped it off its hinges. Roman pottery and Tibetan prier bowls fell out, to smash to pieces on the ground.
At that point the dominant male of the house burst in through the door
"What the deuce is going on here?"
His jacket was off and shirt collar was undone in preparation for his sleep ritual and its search had disturbed him. It spun round to face the human, who drew back slightly when faced with some thing intrinsically alien. It brought round the heavy brass handled walking stick in a sweeping motion that connected with the joint in the human's knee. It revelled in the sound of crunching bones and pleasure in the scream that escaped from the human's lips. As his ruined leg could no longer hold him and he collapsed to the floor.
It reached for him, but hesitated. This was not like the last times, it was not here to satisfy its own bloodlust and hunger, and it needed information. It had to hurry; it could already hear the other occupancy of the house stirring. Quickly it crossed the room, closed and locked the door. Crossing back to the prone and lonely finger on the floor. Its voice bubbling in its thought
"Where are the ampoules of JM3?"
When it got no response it reached out to grasp the shattered joints, to apply pressure, making the broken bones grind together. The human shouted his response that he didn't know what he was talking about.
"The ampoules of green powder. Are they still here, have you bought any more?"
Another prod brought forth a scream of "NO".
It executed a hard punch to the chest that broke three ribs.
Raising its hand to strike again, it asked,
"Where is the patrol vessel?"
The slap of the hand broke the bone in the check.
"Wrong answer! Where is the patrol vessel?"
"I... I don't know where this vessel is"
The next blow broke three ribs on the other side of his chest
"Where are the humans Jenkins and Bannister?"
"I don't know!"
By this time other people had reached the door to the study and were trying to force it open.
This blow fractured the human skull.
"Where are the humans Jenkins and Bannister?"
"WHERE ARE THE HUMANS JENKINS AND BANNISTER?"
TO BE CONTINUED...