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.
"Hot in the city, hot in the city, tonight!"
Macfadyan was feeling quite pleased with himself as he watched the central rotor slow to a stop. That was six hours well spent and what's more, six hours without Blanche!
He had nipped back about two weeks local time sent off the introduction cards to the relative people. Found out who Lord Curruthers was, (M.P. for Noorward and regional district). Taken in a show and had finished with a very fine dinner at the Royal Society. He had just returned the ship to its starting point when Blanche yawned her way through the inner doors just wearing one of his old shirts (one of those disgustingly loud numbers his previous self used to ware).
Slapping a hand over his eyes as if he had been blinded Macfadyan bellowed,
"My eyes have been soiled! Take that thing off and put some proper clothes on child, we've got work to do. I, myself, need to wash my eyes. I cannot believe that I used to wear such disgusting apparell!"
Padding away grumbling, Blanche did as she was bid, Macfadyan then thumbed the internal intercom and called Cre'at to the console room.
Some ten minuets later he was locking the outer doors.
"Can't you smell that crisp autumn air? I think this is going to be a short little escapade, then we can get on with the rest of your test Blanche!"
* All I can detect is burnt flouro-carbons! *
MacFadyan gave Cre'at a sour look, and walked out into the main street proper to signal for a cab. They passed a paper vendor on the corner who was shouting the headlines to the world in general. Blanche ideally read the billboards as Macfadyan tried to attract a cab.
"Who is it we are going to see?"
"Oh please try and keep up child. Its Lord Reginald Curruthers, M.P."
Blanche steered MacFadyan round so he could see the billboard just as the vendor started shouting again,
"Extra, extra read all about it Lord Curruthers found murdered in cold blood in own home".
"Oh, Ploppy the Yak!"
There was a constable stationed outside the door, outwardly the only sign anything was wrong. The range finder picked up party as they exited the hansom cab. The heads up display giving details of the distance and angle of the shot. It followed them to the house with the policeman on the door and watched while Macfadyan argued with the man.
"And you say that your expected sir?"
Macfadyan looked up at the policeman standing on the step, blocking the entrance
"Yes, that's right Comfortable. Lord Macfadyan and party from the Royal society."
The constable wasn't buying any of it
"The family has just suffered a sudden death. I don't think that they're up to seeing any on at the moment sir!"
"That's very good, very astute of you Comfortable, very forward thinking. Who is your superior officer, is he here and can I speak to him, it is important?"
The constable paused for a few moments looking at each of them in turn
"If you will wait here 'sir'".
And went inside for a few moments.
A small be-whiskered man appeared on the doorstep. He wore a faded bowler hat, tan coloured over coat and a faded suit. He peered up at Macfadyan,
"What's this?What's all this shouting? We'll have no trouble here!"
"There is no one shouting or indeed making any trouble here, detective..?"
"Detective Inspector George Chinnary of Scotland Yard."
"Oh how awfully jolly for you".
Narrowing his eyes, Chinnary looked up at Macfadyan.
"Just what is your business with the Curruthers household?"
"Its something that the late Lord Curruthers was working on. A matter national security for the Royal Society".
Chinnary turned away dismissively.
"A bunch of degenerate cigar chomping, port swilling buffoons."
Macfadyan was about to reply when the constable reappeared at the door.
"There's no communiqué from a Lord Macfadyan or the Royal Society, sir".
Chinnary glared back at MacFadyan in triumph.
It was MacFadyan's turn to narrow his eyes,
"I'd like to say that I'm sorry to do this to you, Defective, but as I'm not..."
"Yes, yes, I know, but this is of great importance to Her Majesty's Government." As Macfadyan was saying this he delved into his pocket and pulled out an official looking document, which he then passed to Chinnery, he also flashed him a shield like chrome badge. Chinnary looked at the document,
"You realise that I will have to check the validity of this ...sir"
"Yes, yes, of course Defective, But for the moment lets proceed as if it were genuine, shall we?" At this Macfadyan swept into the house. Blanche caught up with him,
"Where did you get those things from?"
"The shield was a fee gift from a packet of Sugar Puffs and as for the official paper work, well lets just say its amazing what you can get in Christmas crackers these days!"
"He's gone inside the building now!"
"That's no problem, we planned for this contingence, switching to deep scan". The prone finger on the floor next to the attic window pressed a pad on the side of the high tech sights and then sighted himself down the period infantry rifle. The other finger knelt down so that he was almost level with the first.
"Are you sure this is within the remit of our mission?"
"You worry far to much Galva. We have both seen how he is a dangerous rogue element that must be contained".
The inside of Carruther's property was an example of an affluent town house, thick carpeting, fine furniture and not a spot of dust. Macfadyan rushed into the hall and up to the table, to start rummaging through the envelopes that were stored there. With a sour look on his face and a disparaging noise at the back of his throat when he didn't find what he was looking for, he turned back to the others.
"There's more to this then meets the eye. Someone else has been sticking their noses in!"
Blanche looked up,
"What's the problem, Mac?"
Macfadyan ignored her and turned to the butler who was hovering in a door way
"There you are my man. Who found the body?"
"That would have been the young master sir, but I really don't think..."
"That's alright your not employed to think. Just show Mr Curruthers through to the library would you?"
Besides the large windows and matching fireplace there was not an area of wall space that was not covered in books. Part of the shelving hinged inwards as the butler showed the group into the library.
"I will show Master Thomas through shortly" After a few moments the door crashed open and Thomas Curruthers stormed in.
"By all that's decent, what the hell do you think you are doing sir?"
Macfadyan turned round from flicking through one of the books; Blanche however jumped and gave a little squeak.
"Ah there you are, Mr. Curruthers, please take a seat".
"I would prefer to stand sir. Now explain yourself!" Thomas Curruthers stood at an easy posture, he was dressed in black, but with an elegant and fashionable cut to the cloth. His brown hair was cut short but with prominent sideburns. His age was about twenty-one. His rosy fleshy skin spoke of a healthy background. He glared at Macfadyan. Unabashed, the Time Lord replied,
"But of course, Mr. Curruthers, or is it now, Lord Carruthers? Er, we are her to investigate the death of you're father. It's a great matter of importance to Her Majesty's Government."
"And that gives you the right to barge your way in here, disrupt a grieving family, throwing your weight around, does it?"
"Frankly Mr. Curruthers, it does. Now the sooner you tell us what happened here, the sooner we can leave."
Curruthers looked at Macfadyan with conflicting emotions raging within him. After a moment he seemed to subdue his inner demons and come to a decision. He sighed. "I think that this incident is connected with the burglary that we had some months before"
"And why is that, young man?"
"Last time certain items were taken from my father's collection, small glass bottles full of green powder." He held up his thumb and forefinger to show the size of the ampoules. "When that thing, that person, was murdering my father..." For a few moments the façade broke along with his voice, and he struggled to regain himself in front of these strange, unknown people. Blanche instinctively felt the need to help and comfort this hurting young man. Macfadyan reached out and snatched her hand, holding it fiercely, slightly shaking his head.
"I was the first person to the study. I can still hear his wet voice asking questions."
Macfadyan leaned forward, interested,
"What questions and more importantly what were the answers?"
"'Where is the patrol ship, where are the ampoules of JM3, where are Jenkins and Bannister, where are the ampoules of green powder?'"
"Hmmf, what a memory you have. What were the answers?"
"That he didn't know, he didn't know anything and that thing killed him for it. And I remember it, sir, because my father died because of it. I shall never forget it."
"There, there, never mind. Did any one else know about the green powder?"
"Colonel Fraser and Doctor Henry Jellicoe. I believe that father had a falling out with both of them over the burglary and also father gave one of the bottles to Doctor Jellicoe, to attempt to analyse. He failed. He also failed to return it."
"Thank you, Mr. Curruthers, you have been most patient with us, well, for a Hu...er, yes, most patient. You can return to your family. The constable can show us to the study, then we will leave."
Before Carruthers left, he paused and looked straight at Macfadyan.
"Promise me, sir, that if you are being truthfull, you will find this monster and bring him to justice!"
Macfadyan just nodded. He'd already dismissed Carruthers. Why was the pathetic Human still snivelling around him? After Carruthers was gone, Macfadyan called out to the constable.
"Ah, there you are, comfortable, would you be so kind as to bring the autopsy and incident reports in here please".
The constable fumed slightly, but complied with his wishes. It took Macfadyan only a few moments to speed read the documents pointing out to Blanche and Cre'at the fact that Lord Curruthers had been pounded to a pulp, the fact that the door lock had been powdered, the fact that when Thomas had finally got into the room the intruder had picked up a heavy arm chair and thrown it at him. Whatever it was, it was incredibly strong. Thomas had described the figure as a large, heavily set, stocky man. Macfadyan stood up.
"Right, let's go and scrutinise the study with an intense scrute. Comfortable, hallo and welcome to being of use to us. Which way to the study?" With a resigned look the constable lead them down the corridor and opened the door to usher them in. Again it was a room that spoke of money, Display cabinets covered the walls, two deep-seated armchairs sat near the centre of the room (one of them had been displaced). The group walked into the room followed by the constable, something was wrong. Macfadyan was trying to trace what it was; the smell of gas, and no, that was only a small part of it.
Blanche sniffed deeply.
"Does that smell like gas to you?"
Macfadyan turned to fire off a quick retort, when he saw a red dot of light travelling across her chest. It travelled on and alighted on a small chair side table. From a cross the street came the crack of a service rifle and from behind Macfadyan came the sound of a breaking window pane. He didn't need to turn round to know there was the fury of an expanding cloud of burning gas behind him.