Saturday, 8 October 2016

"The Two Bens" Part Ten

OK people, here is the classic final part of this classic anniversary story.


Reality started to implode in on itself as everything became distorted and unreal. Through the misty recesses of his distorted mind Ben could see shapes and colours that he did not recognise. A whole kaleidoscope whirled round inside his head at a fantastic speed as he could hear the colours and see the sounds. His whole life passed before his eyes in an instant and he collapsed to his knees, weeping for the lost opportunities and false dawns. Suddenly the strange sensations began to lift and he saw the alternate Ben was himself distraught and shaking. Ben managed to crawl across to him and hug him:
"It's ok .... that was close but it wasn't the end."
"But next time we won't be so fortunate. We have one more chance that's all", the alternate Ben replied. Kyle dragged himself to his feet as a car pulled up beside them. Corinne Shaw lent out of the window:
"Hey guys, that was too darn close for comfort. I only just managed to slow the car down in time. Come on!"
She flung the car door open and they all jumped in.

A short time later, in London, UNIT forces led by Kate Lethbridge-Stewart were mounting their assault on Buckingham Palace as Corinne, Ben, Ben and Kyle arrived. The car zoomed up to the soldiers and skidded to a hault, throwing up dust. Corinne threw the car door open and strode out, brushing the dust off the shoulders of her power suit. The two Bens and Kyle got out of the car as Kate approached them:
"What is occurring?" Ben asked her.
"We don't seem to be getting anywhere here. They seem to have an endless supply of fresh troops in there."
"Can't you fire off friggin' bazookas into the place or bomb it from the air?" Kyle asked her. Kate frowned at him sternly:
"Young man, that is Buckingham Palace. Her majesty's main royal residence. It is bad enough that we are putting bullet holes into it."
Corinne rounded on her:
"What? You mean to say that you are holding back on those grounds when two universes are at stake?
Kate held her ground:
"Miss Shaw, the fact that we do not let our standards down in moments of crisis is what makes us a great nation."
As she spoke, Shakey Jake's van arrived carrying most of the rest of the Operation Delta team. They all jumped out, including Katie Ryan and Barry Tuck who were both armed with huge futuristic looking guns which were strapped to them with leather belts.
"Where did you acquire those?" Ben asked curiously.
"We raided the old Torchwood warehouse", Katie replied.
"Yeah they're the dog's bollocks these are pal. More friggin' power than a vindaloo fart", Barry Tuck said with a grin. Ben grimaced:
"Please moderate your language Tuck."
Kate Lethbridge Stewart turned angrily to Ben:
"You are not using those things to assault the palace."
Katie Ryan strode in front of her and stared firmly at her, her hand on her hip:
"Shut up or ship out", she firmly stated. They she and Tuck ran towards the palace letting rip with the guns. Futuristic rays shot out and blasted huge holes in the palace walls as a series of huge explosions rang out from inside.

Within the palace, Richard IX sat elegantly on his throne, a slight hint of worry in his demeanour:
"We do not like the sound of these explosions. What is your status report?" He asked his courtiers, who were staring at their futuristic IPhones:
"Not good your majesty. The enemy are using technology beyond their capabilities to blast their way inside", one of then replied.
"Really? Then we will deploy our ultimate defence tactic. Bring me the communicator."

Outside, the two Bens watched as Barry and Katie Ryan blasted their way into the palace, followed by scores of UNIT troops. Ben looked at Kate Lethbridge Stewart with a sense of pride:
"My team may be a disparate bunch but when it comes to achievement and professionalism, you need us."
"Well said Ben", the alternate Ben stated, flicking his golden hair out of his eyes.
Suddenly an audio/visual image appeared in the sky of Richard IX. He began to speak:
"Citizens of London. We are offended by your impertinence. Therefore unless you desist from your attack on us, we will order the immediate execution of your former Queen".
Suddenly the picture changed to the horrifying image of the Queen standing in front of a firing squad on tower green. Everyone went silent with complete shock. As they did so a car sped up and halted. Out got Paul Farraday with Richard IX's brother Giles.
"Ben, we have to get this guy inside the palace. He's the brother of that madman in there and the only one capable of talking some sense into his followers."
Quickly the two Bens ran up to Giles, shook his hand and then ran with him into the burning building , followed by the rest of the team. On seeing Giles, the King's men began to drop their weapons and kneel before him. They walked through the corridors and into the main hall, where Richard IX sat with his councillors. Giles and the two Bens strode forward:
"What is the meaning of this? Did you not hear our message?" Richard IX asked.
Ben stared at him:
"I am horrified and very disappointed that you should threaten our Queen. You are clearly a monarch of refined tastes and elegance however your behaviour is reprehensible."
Giles also spoke:
"Councillors, please listen. Our brother is ill. You must have realised this by now. We stand on the brink of the apocalypse, of total universe collapse. We have over reached ourselves coming here. This world is better on its own. We cannot flood it with our people . Moreover we will destroy both it and ourselves. That is why, for the sake of our brother's mental health, we are assuming the throne."
"Treason, TREASON!" Richard IX shouted. However one by one the councillors kneeled before Giles and a group of soldiers gently seized Richard.

Later, the two Bens were discussing the case in the Blue Angel Jazz Café, while enjoying a celebratory meal. The Bens had ordered the vegan falafel option, which the waiter Kian duly arrived with.
"Thank you Kian. Your service is impeccable as always", Ben stated, stroking Kian's arm. Katie Ryan grimaced with distain.
"... and so we have both decided that for multiple ethical reasons, we are both becoming vegetarians, " Ben stated. Chiara Smith, who now ran the Operation Delta office, gazed proudly at Ben:
"I'm so proud of you for doing this Ben, *to the others* I've been trying to persuade him to go vegan for months. This is the first step."
Barry Tuck took a large gulp of beer and belched loudly:
"You can say what you like love but I ain't goin' veggie, I likes my bacon sarnies and there ain't no beatin' a few beers an' a real ringstinger curry. Mind you I'd be tempted for a nice feel of them jugs of yours *winks at Chiara* *canned audience laughter*"
Corinne Shaw stared at him icily:
"Do you always have to be so crude Tuck?"
"Only banter love, only banter", Tuck replied, biting into a burger.
Paul Farraday seized the chance to change the subject:
"I propose a toast. Not to one Ben but to both Bens. For saving the universes. TO BEN! AND BEN!"
They all stood up and clinked their glasses, toasting Ben.

Shortly afterwards the two Bens slipped away from the meal and into a quiet part of the club. A lone trumpet player was softly playing, "I'm a Fool To Want You".
"So this is it then. Goodbye. It's been great meeting you Ben and I'm delighted to know that there is another version of me that I can feel really proud of," the alternate Ben stated, tears welling up in his eyes. Ben gave him a hug:
"I'll really miss you Ben. I hope you find the inner strength to keep going, as I have. You know that you're the only person who really understands me and that gives me a sense of real solidity knowing that somewhere out there you, or rather I exist. Brave heart Ben!"
"Brave heart Ben", the alternate Ben stated, wiping away tears as he left the club.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 9

OK people. Here is the penultimate episode of this classic story:


The strange shuddering subsided and the two Bens, who had fallen to the ground, staggered to their feet. They looked at each other.
"Yes I know. That was a close one. Each time the displacement will get worse until eventually it passes the point of no return and we get total universe collapse. We've got to stop this mad king of yours", Ben exclaimed.
"Of mine? Hardly Ben", the alternate Ben said with a sad smile. Ben gave him a hug and the two Ben's and Kyle walked to the perimeter fence and sat down on the grass.
"Ok I've just had a text from Paul Farraday. He's sending a car to pick us up and UNIT are also on their way here. Another UNIT force is about to mount an assault on Buckingham Palace", Ben stated.

Ben lay back in the grass and let the sunlight warm his face:
"You know Ben, I've reached a point in my life where I just don't think anything is ever going to change. This is it, the last station reached, the final destination. I'm alone and bored and that's how my life will now be as far as I can see. That awful marriage experience was the last straw, it's knocked the wind out of my sails. I scrape bits of enjoyment wherever I can find it."
The alternate Ben gazed down at Ben and patted his arm:
"Tell me about it. Every guy I've ever been out with has let my down and my life is in a complete rut." The alternate Ben flicked his golden hair out of his sad eyes. Kyle frowned:
"Ere you two are a right barrel of laughs when together, I don't think." Ben looked up at him:
"Did we ask for your opinion Kyle. No. Life must be so easy for people like you. Ordinary, undemanding, lumpen people who drift along easily through life because they don't want much and have no real passions or desires." Kyle shot Ben an angry look:
"Yeah right. Because I'm such a boring lumpen drone that I ain't capable of passions or feelings right?"
"Well you said it", the alternate Ben said tersely. Kyle felt a sudden desire to hit him however he quickly suppressed it and walked towards the road.

Meanwhile in Buckingham Palace, Richard IX was enjoying roast quail with roasted vegatables and a glass of champagne.
"I think we will take afternoon tea in the gardens later before the meeting starts to initiate formal preparations for our coronation as King in this world."
One of the King's advisors leant towards him:
"Sire, what do you desire we do with the former Queen and her family?"
Richard looked up and elegantly wiped his lips with a napkin:
"Oh Thomas must we discuss that now?"
"Well I was just thinking your majesty may wish to have that matter dealt with before the coronation takes place", Thomas replied. King Richard moved his head slightly to the side:
"Yes Thomas you are right. It has to be dealt with. Arrange for the former Queen to, how shall I put it, pass away in the night of 'natural causes' and her heirs to , as it were, disappear within the tower. The people will soon forget them as the masses have short memories in these matters."
The King's brother Giles interjected:
"Look this is madness Richard. The people here will never easily accept you as their ruler, especially if you bump off their royal family. More to the point, are you just going to ignore what happened earlier? Are you? The time displacement? You were warned it would happen. You're risking complete universe collapse. Stop this madness now Richard. And you cannot flood this universe and this England with our people. There isn't room for them here."
King Richard IX threw down his napkin in a rare display of anger:
"You forget once again Giles that you are addressing your King as opposed to just your brother. We have reached the end of our patience with you. We have forgiven every past misdemeanour and slight of yours however you are incorrigable. We are deepy saddened that our brother should treat us with such disrespect. Free movement between our universe and this will enrich this world with our more refined and cultured values."
Richard clicked his fingers and a group of armed guards approached:
"Kindly escort our brother Giles to the Tower of London. Thomas, kindly prepare the necessary papers charging our brother Giles with high treason."
Giles was violently grabbed by the guards:
"This is an outrage. Richard, for God's sake see sense".

Back at the barracks, the Two Bens were lying in the grass discussing medieval history. The alternate Ben was describing the alternate universe royal family line of succession so that Ben could acertain the lineage of Richard IX.
"I think I see now where the break with our history happened. You state that King Edward IV was succeeded by King Edward V, who died young of probable consumption and was succeeded by his brother King Richard III. He reigned until 1522 when he was succeeded by his son Edward VI and so on. No Tudors". Ben stated. The alternate Ben looked puzzled:
"Exactly. You avoided them. In this universe Edward V and your Richard III became the Princes in the Tower and their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, took the throne from them and made himself Richard III. He was defeated in the Battle of Bosworth by Henry Tudor."
The alternate Ben looked puzzled:
"How strange. I seem to recall now that Henry Tudor was a minor exiled nobleman, the Earl of Richmond I think. He never amounted to anything. As for Richard Duke of Gloucester, he was killed by a stray arrow fighting in Scotland the year before Kind Edward IV died".
Ben stood up and grinned:
"And that is the break. Ha! You and I make a great team Ben. *Grinning* poor Kyle doesn't understand a word we've been talking about does he?"
Both Ben's laughed and hugged each other. Suddenly however the shuddering began again and the two Bens and Kyle fell to the floor:
"It's ha.... ag....ain. Wo.........rse this time....."

In London, the car carrying Giles to the Tower of London crashed into a wall as the shuddering and time displacement began. Giles managed to crawl from the wreckage as the universe neared total collapse.............. be continued.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 8


Ben, Kyle and the rest of the team ran through the corridors as the pursuing soldiers fired shots at them. They found an exit which was guarded by a young soldier armed with an AK47. The soldier raised the gun:

"Hey, you can't leave through here....."

The inexperienced soldier's warning was cut short by Kyle who smacked him one in the teeth and decked him. Ben and the team ran outside:

"Nice work Kyle. Shame though, he was pretty", Ben shouted with a grin. They ran through the grounds of the barracks and into some woods, eventually finding the perimeter fence which was topped with barbed wire. Beyond it was a road.

"How the hell do we get over that?" Katie exclaimed. Shakey Jake grinned:

"Hey babe, we don't need to." He rummaged through his hair and pulled out a homing device concealed within it.

"I kept this groovy thing hidden and activated it in the cell. Far out ain't it?" Ben grinned:

"Jake, you are an asset to the team. I should tell you that more often" he stated.

"You should tell us all that more often Ben", Katie added with a barbed look. As she spoke, a car sped up and out jumped Corinne Shaw and Paul Farraday. They quickly used wire cutters on the fence and soon the whole team were speeding away from the base.


As they drove along a deserted road, Paul briefed Ben and the team:

"Ben we have discovered that there is an underground resistance movement already in operation, led by UNIT operatives who the invaders have failed to apprehend. We're heading to their HQ now, which is in a disused nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch, Essex." Kyle scowled:

"Ere 'ang on mate. There are injured soldiers and the alternate Ben back there who need our help like."

"I have to agree with Kyle on this Paul. We cannot just leave my alternate self back there", Ben added.

Paul pulled the car to the side of the road and stopped.

"Ok so what do we do? Just go back in there and get ourselves captured?" he asked. Ben thought carefully:

"No. You drive to Kelvedon Hatch and persuade those UNIT resistance fighters to mount an all out assault on that barracks. Meanwhile Kyle and myself will sneak back in there and rescue my other self. I'm a very altruistic guy.

Corinne jumped out of the car and opened the boot, lifting out a bag.

"Ok Ben but take these with you", she stated, handing Ben the bag of guns and grenades."

Meanwhile the alternate Ben was thrown back into the cell with the injured soldiers. Fortunately the bullet had only slightly grazed the side of his head. However he was tired and slumped down in a corner, holding his head in his hands.

"Hey, you ok?" one of the soldiers asked him.

"Do I look ok? I'm suffering from extreme stress and trauma", the alternate Ben shouted. He lay down and slept for a while until the sound of explosions and shooting woke him up.

"What... what's happening?", he asked. The cell door flew open and Ben and Kyle rushed in:

"Whoooh, the dynamic duo to the rescure dudes" Kyle shouted laughing. Ben frowned:

"Excuse Kyle's plebian cultural references. Come on, we need to get out fast.

They all ran through the corridors and out of the base , the two soldiers helping their seriously injured comrade. As they ran through the grounds however a strange shuddering began. It was as if the whole earth was shaking not just the ground and Ben felt a strange sense of out of body displacement.


In London, Richard IX sat elegantly on his golden throne as his Privy Councillors knelt before him. One of them stood up:

"Sire, our forces have secured virtually the whole of the UK. So far there have been no issues with the cross dimensional transfer operation." The King looked up elegantly:

"We assured you that there wouldn't be. Our science committee were unanimous that the inter-dimensional interface rationaliser would work once the minor difficulties had been ironed out."

*whispering* Yes because you purged them, " a senior councillor whispered to a colleague. Unfortunately the King overheard:

"Giles, step forward", the King firmly stated. The councillor stood up and moved forward.

"Giles, were you not our brother we would have lost patience with you a long time ago. We focus your attention on the fact that we are your sovereign liege lord as well as your brother." Giles looked at the other councillors and then at King Richard:

"Brother.... sire, you must understand the dangers we are all in. I have seem the evidence presented by the scientists whom you got rid of. There is a real risk that the interface rationaliser can only produce a temporary tranference corridor. The mathematical equations suggest that sooner or later the universes will close it. However the greater dangewr is that this process will trigger a chain reaction leading to the total collapse of both universes."

King Richard reached for his pet monkey, which was sat on a low perch, and stroked it:

"Giles, we are saddened by your jealousy of us and your coverting of our throne. We see now that you must be restrained......"


As the King spoke a strange shuddering began. Everone felt a sense of bodily displacement:

"You see? You see now? Its starting", Giles shouted................ be continued.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 7

EPISODE 7: MY POWER IS ABSOLUTEThe two Ben's glared angrily at the regal presence in front of them. The King was sitting elegantly on a golden throne and dressed in elaborate robes of fine silk and gold thread. He lifted his head slightly:
"You must accept the new reality of our rule. That we, King Richard IX, have brought the benefits of wise and prudent service to this troubled England of this dimension. Soon we hope to extend this to your world as a whole".
The King gave a slight, though not ostentatious, smile and adjusted one of his golden rings. The alternate Ben flicked his hair out of his eyes and strode forward:
"How dare you risk the existence of two whole universes because of your crazy lust for more power. The technology that you are using is unstable, even the Time Lords have never perfected an inter-dimensional interface rationaliser. If it fails we get total universe collapse."
Two guards moved forward and grabbed the alternate Ben, dragging him back from the throne. The King lifted his hand:
"We feel that we should remind you that crude displays of emotion and shouting are most churlish and emblematic of the lower orders".
Tears filled the alternate Ben's eyes and Ben put his hand on his shoulder to comfort him. He stared at the King:
"How dare you. Ben here is an alternate version of me and we both come from very good backgrounds. My parents have land and property in Wiltshire and my father is a well respected classical musician. In no way are we lower class and I am disgusted that you could stoop so low as to suggest it. I am also shocked and appalled that you have imprisoned her majesty the Queen in the Tower of London of all places. Plus you are threatening the existence of two universes as well."
The King remained calm and serene:
"We see that there is some spirit about you Ben that is most attractive to us. However you must realise that our power is absolute and will remain absolute. One gesture from our hand to our household guards and you can be dead within the hour, along with all of your companions. We have taken such disciplinary measures against whole peoples' in our universe for less than your displays of rudeness. However you engage our interest."

Katie Ryan and Kyle looked on in anger and Katie strode forward feistily:
"Look I'm fed up of this. Who the hell do you think you are? This is England in 2016 not the middle bloody ages. You look ridiculous and you're clearly a complete fruitcake and I don't know about your England but in this one we have something called mental health services and they might be able to do something for you."
The King raised a hand and several guards grabbed Katie, one of them trying to kiss and grope her. Kyle rushed up and punched the guard, decking him, however was soon overpowered by others.
"Gerrof me, (to the King) hey mate, call off these goons ..." Kyle shouted. The King gave a slight smile:
"Ah, the diction of the common artisan and the coarseness of Miss Ryan. We are disappointed Ben that your choice of companions is no more discerning in this world than ours".
"¤¤¤¤ off...." Katie shouted. The King nodded to his guards:
"Take them to one of our new military centres. We will decide their fate in due course."

The two Bens and the others were driven some distance in a prison van before they arrived at a barracks, now in the hands of the invaders, and were thrown in a holding room. Several soldiers were already in the cell, one of them bleeding profusely on the floor and near death. Katie and Kyle tried to help him, however Katie shook her head:
"This guy needs proper medical attention or he's dead. Mind you I think he's had it in any case."
The other two soldiers had been beaten up but were still awake and lucid. Ben approached them:
"I guess that these invaders overran this place and took you prisoner."
One of the soldiers spoke:
"No. We were part of the invasion force. We are not from your universe. We tried to sabotage their attack on this base and failed. We're part of the underground resistance movement."
The alternate Ben approached Ben:
"Not everyone agrees with the King and his insane plans. My organisation Operation Alpha is part of the resistance movement, and the resistance as a whole has agents within the army and the scientific community . There is much opposition to the King and his plans."
Meanwhile Kyle was banging on the door of the cell:
"Ere, there's a fella in here dyin'. Came on, he needs help....."
"You're wasting your time Kyle. They clearly have no conscience these people", Ben observed. Jake fiddled with his long, greying hair and pulled out a skeleton key, hidden in the hair and fixed with an elastic band:
"Hey dudes, you need this man. They never think to search in the hair."
Ben grinned:
"I never thought I've have cause to praise your scruffy hippy hair Jake. Kyle, you know what to do."

Kyle picked the lock and they all ran outside the room.
"We need to get some help like for that injured soldier fella", Kyle shouted. The Bens looked at each other and shook their heads:
"Pointless Kyle. It will just result in us being re-apprehended. No one here is likely to be on our side, " Ben stated, thinking practically. As he spoke, a series of armed men appeared from round a corridor:
"Hey, you lot, stay where you are!" The Bens and the others started to run. A shot rang out and the alternate Ben fell to the ground.........

.............. to be continued.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 6

Ok, here is the next part of this ground-breaking story:


The sound of Bowie's "Blackstar" filled the car:

"In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle,
Ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all...."

The alternate Ben looked up and smiled glowingly:
"I see you share my taste in music. What a terrific album this is, one of David Jones' best. Looking forward to seeing the live shows, he's looking so great for his age. Why did you call him Bowie?"
Kyle, Katie and Jake breathed sighs of relief as Bowie was clearly still alive in the alternate universe. Ben frowned at the alternate Ben:
"I take it that Bowie didn't change his name in your universe. That isn't right. Jones didn't suit him as a name, it is too commonplace with shades of the banal. Bowie is a more fitting name as it is both unusual and at the same time, with its Bowie-knife connotations, symbolic of the cutting-edge nature of his art."
The alternate Ben flicked his golden hair out of his eyes and stared angrily:
"David Jones is a genius and does not need a silly stage name to make him so. Your attitude here is rather Cambridge, elevating the superficial."
Katie Ryan slid her hand over the alternate Ben's inner thigh:
"I'm finding it very refreshing to be surrounded by two Bens rather than one, *whispering into the alternate Ben's ear*, I hope that some other things are different in your universe... if you catch my drift...."
A tense silence followed as they drove on towards London. Kyle broke the silence:
"Ok we're on the outskirts of London like. So what are we gonna do? Why are we here?"
Ben looked up:
"We are here to see the King Kyle. The alternate universe King is using an unstable inter-dimensional interface rationaliser to attempt inter-dimensional conquest. I realise that I've used big words there that you won't understand but basically their mad King is in danger of blowing up both universes by using dodgy unstable technology."
Kyle scowled:
"You really can be a condescending bastard sometimes Ben. I ain't that thick that I can't get what you mean. So what's the plan?"
"We confront him Kyle", Ben replied.

They drove quickly through the streets of central London as there was little traffic. People were too nervous to leave their homes. Occasionally they saw groups of armed alternate universe soldiers on patrol, however the soldiers ignored them as they drove through a near empty Trafalgar Square.
"London is almost tolerable in this deserted state, unlike the usual overcrowded mess we're used to", Ben commented.
"So where are we heading to specifically?" Katie asked.
"To Buckingham Palace of course. I recognised the desk and the room that this fake King was speaking from when I saw him on the television. I know what the rooms of Buckingham palace look like, unlike most people", Ben proudly stated.
They drove down the Mall however were stopped at the end by a road block and armed soldiers:
"Halt. Please turn around and leave. This area is out of bounds", a young dark-haired soldier stated. Ben leaned out of the car window and held up his Operation Delta ID card:
"I am Ben Chatham and I have come here to see your King." The soldier's dark eyes met Ben's and there was an instant attraction.
"I...I'm really sorry but this card means nothing to me", the soldier stated.
The alternate Ben leant out of another window and held out his Operation Alpha card:
"I apologise for my brother, he was just being flippant. I am Ben Chatham, as you can see." The soldier stared at the card and at the two Bens:
"Ok, I'm sorry. We are under clear instructions from the King that if Ben Chatham should show up, we are to let you in."
The alternate Ben smiled at the soldier:
"Thank you. I'm pleased to meet such a good looking member of the King's guard". The soldier blushed before ordering his colleagues to let them through.

They arrived outside the palace and were escorted inside by a group of alternate police officers in dark uniforms with gold dragon badges on their lapels. They were shown into a large drawing room and offered glasses of wine by a footman. After a short wait a door opened and in walked the man they had seen on the television (to be played by Ben Whishaw).
"Greetings Ben. And this must be the other Ben and his companions. We have been expecting you. We are sure that you will come to realise that the new reality is the best way forward *looks at Ben* We are pleased to see that the other Ben is as attractive to the eye as our Ben."
Ben stood up angrily:
"Where is the real Queen? Our Queen? What have you done with her?" The alternate King smiled:
"Oh come now, you must know that it is a breach of protocol to fire questions at us. However we have no desire to antagonise you. Your former Queen and her family are in a fitting place where they are being well cared for. The Tower of London........" be continued.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

"The Two Bens" : Episode 5

Ben froze and stared at the familiar figure before him:
"Who the hell are you? Why are you impersonating me and using my name?" The alternate Ben flicked his golden hair back and stared sadly at Ben:
"I'm sorry Ben, I think I've underestimated how much of a shock this will be for you. I should have known. After all, I know you Ben. I am you Ben.
Ben sank down onto the bed and held his head in his hands for a while. Eventually he looked up:
"Ok, lets see if I've got this right; you are me in another dimension.... or rather from another dimension. You're an alternate me who has come through with this invasion force and that madman claiming to be the king. You're helping him. How the hell have you done this?"
The alternate Ben sighed:
"You're partly right. I am not helping him, quite the opposite. I've been trying to damn well stop him with my organisation Operation Alpha. Its a long story Ben, but the king has this vision for inter-dimensional conquest. He's using technology stolen from the Time Lords by the Cybermen and hidden away on earth."
Ben looked up:
"This is so depressing and disconcerting. Looking at you is making me question my self-worth. You are so good looking."
"What and you don't think I feel the same Ben? Your face is so handsome and well proportioned. I feel diminished in your presence. However I had to come to this dimension because what the king is doing is so dangerous that it risks the very fabric of multiple universes. He has built an unstable inter-dimensional interface rationaliser", the alternate Ben replied.
"What the hell is that? This must be what Clara Oswald was warning me about?"
The alternate Ben smiled:
"You have a Clara here too? I hope she's not as irritating as the version we have to endure. Anyway, the point is that this technology is not stable. It risks an interdimensional collapse and explosion."
Ben sighed:
"What are these creatures that have been appearing here and killing people? Anything to do with your crazy king?"
"Oh yes. They are the victims of his initial experiments testing the interface rationaliser. He removed people from your universe to our then sent them back. They should have been fine but the glitches in the system scrambled their DNA. They have now fixed that problem but the whole technology remains unstable as it was only ever built to use in short bursts. The king plans for permanent conquest", the alternate Ben replied. He also sank onto the bed and buried his face in his hands:
"You have no idea how stressful this has been. I could cope more easily with this job if I wasn't so alone."
Ben went over to him and put his hand on the alternate Ben's shoulder:
"Look Ben, I'm sorry to hear that. I'd have hoped that any alternate version of me had found happiness, not been continually let down and stabbed in the back by others, as I have. However you've got me now Ben."

Meanwhile Kyle and Shakey Jake were downstairs in the Blue Angel, waiting in the bar area. Kyle was enjoying a pint and chatting to Kian at the bar while Jake rolled a large cigarette.
"Ere Ben's takin' his time up there. We'd better see what's up", Kyle observed. Kian smiled:
"I'd give him a bit longer if I were you mate. Mr Chatham and his brother are probably enjoying our extra services and wouldn't take kindly to you barging in."
"His brother? Ben ain't got no brother".
"Oh? I just assumed that this was the cause of all the confusion."
"Nah , I'm goin' up. Cam on Jake, hurry up."
Kyle strode towards the stairs, followed by a grumbling Jake and puzzled Kian. As he climbed the stairs, he was shocked to see the two Bens appear in front of them.
"Kyle, Jake, there is no time now to explain. This is Ben. He is me. Just deal with it. We need to drive to London immediately. Kyle mouthed 'what the fuck' silently while Kyle shook his head:
"Hey man, this is really heavy shit man, " he mumbled.

Jake drove his van, the Love Mobile, as fast as he could through the driving rain heading for London. As they drove, Ben did give them a fuller explanation of why there were now two Bens. "So if there is an alternate you like then why ain't there an alternate me an' Jake?" Kyle asked. The alternate Ben sighed wearily:
"There are. However they have stayed behind as they are not as important as me and they have work to do at that end. There is also an alternate Katie Ryan, Joe Dyser and the rest. I presume you have them here?"
Ben looked up:
"There is no Joe Dyser in my team. Clearly some people only exist in one universe due to alternate histories. Which reminds me, why the hell are you ruled by a king? What about parliament? Queen Elizabeth II? "
The alternate Ben looked confused:
"We've never had a monarch called Elizabeth. The last Queen Elizabeth was Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV and she was only a consort. I have a History and Archaeology degree, first class from Oxford."
Ben sighed:
"Oh no. Oxford's History and Archaeology departments pale beside those of Cambridge where I took my degree. Moreover, mine was pure Archaeology and therefore superior in terms of my chosen vocation as an archaeologist."
There was an uneasy silence before Ben asked Jake to put David Bowie's 'Blackstar' album on the stereo. Kyle and Jake looked at each other and both instantly saw the danger; what if the alternate Ben had found out about Bowie's death and told Ben all about it? Then again, had Bowie even died in the alternate universe? Ben's fragile state might not be able to cope with two huge shocks in one day. Jake placed the 'Blackstar' CD into the car stereo. He pressed the play button. They held their breath......

.......... to be continued.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 4

Ben and his team crowded around the television screen at the sight of soldiers rounding people up on the streets of London and chaos breaking out. Suddenly the screen went blank for a few seconds before the image of a young man appeared (played by Ben Whishaw). He was sat behind an expensive looking desk and was dressed in a smart suit and tie. He was softly, but firmly spoken and attractive, with a short, dark beard. He began to speak:

"People of England. This is your King speaking. Do not be alarmed and stay within your homes. Do not attempt to go out onto the streets until order and tranquility have been restored. During the period of transition you may feel disorientated, confused and concerned. We will endeavor to minimise any disruption to your lives and assure you that normality, within certain parameters, will soon be restored. I will speak to you all again later to clarify with you the new reality and address the concerns which you may be feeling. Warm blessings."

The image on the screen faded and was replaced with the image of a blue flag with a yellow crown within it, blowing in the breeze.

Kyle turned to the others:

"Ere what did he mean, "This is your King.." , who the hell is that nut job? And what did he mean, "the new reality?"

Ben frowned:

"Well I presume that the guy is behind what has been happening. We are under inter-dimensional attack, of that much I am certain."

"But ain't that s'pposed to be impossible?"

"Yes Kyle it is. But has happened before with both the Cybermen and the Daleks and it is happening now."

"So what the hell do we do about it", Katie interjected angrily. Ben thought for a moment, knocking back his martini.

"We need to get to Jake's place. We need his equipment. Kyle, Katie, Jake and myself will go. The rest of you need to stay put here and await my instructions."

Outside in the street, they piled quickly into Shakey Jake's van, the Love Mobile, as the sound of gunfire could be heard in the distance. As they drove through Cambridge they passed the Blue Angel Jazz Cafe and Ben saw a youth having an altercation with two police officers, which was turning violent.

"Jake stop the van a moment, that was Lewis, one of the bar staff at the Blue Angel being attacked by two of these invaders."

Jake stopped and reversed back as Lewis thumped one of the policemen on the jaw. Ben and Kyle jumped out of the van:

"Leave Lewis alone. Kyle here is handy with his fists . Where the hell are you from and who was that madman on the TV?"

One of the policemen answered him angrily:

"Look Sir, we are nothing to do with these enemy soldiers. This lad is drunk and has been attempting to use the situation to loot. We are taking him back to the station. We've all been recalled." Ben showed the officer his Operation Delta ID card.

"I'm Ben Chatham. I'll take charge of Lewis. You two get back to the station as ordered."

"OK Ben. Pleased to meet you", the officer replied before leaving. Ben turned to Lewis:

"Do you realise that the country is being invaded? Looting?" Lewis glared back drunkenly:

"I weren't lootin', just takin' some fags from the offy as the bloke weren't there. I got lucky earlier, a punter gave me £300 plus a £50 tip. Hey, he had the same name as you, Ben Chatham, ain't that weird. Looked a bit like you an all. Floppier hair though. He were a real gent. Made me feel like I was....."

"Where did you meet this man?" Ben interrupted angrily.

"In there, in the Blue Angel. We went to one of the guest rooms upstairs. Hey, he wanted a room for the night....."

Meanwhile the streets of the UK's major cities were overwhelmed with soldiers. People were ordered to go home and stay there or face summary execution if found on the streets after dark. Meanwhile battles were taking place around every major barracks in the UK as hoards of fresh soldiers appeared out of the void and tried to storm the buildings, throwing grenades. Groups of police officers were rounded up and marched away. Those who tried to resist were overpowered, forced to kneel down and shot in the back of the head.

Ben and Kyle rushed into the Blue Angel Jazz Cafe. Kian was at the bar:

"Hello Mr Chatham. Can I get you guys a drink?" He winked at Ben and smiled.

"There is a guy staying here who was with Lewis earlier. What room?" Ben sharply asked. Kian looked puzzled:

"Er I'm not sure, I wasn't on shift with Lewis. Hang on a mo." He looked at the guest book.

"That's odd. It says Ben Chatham is staying in Room 4." Ben and Kyle rushed upstairs, past the large function room where a drag act was performing and down the landing to the guest rooms. They found Room 4.

"Kick it in Kyle!" Ben said angrily. Kyle kicked the door in and they saw a young man with blond hair and his back to them pouring a drink. The man span round and flicked his hair out of his dark eyes:

"Hi Ben. I was wondering when you'd get here. I'm Ben."

Ben Chatham (played by Adam Rickitt) held out his hand to Ben Chatham (played by Ryan Hawley)....... be continued.