CAVES OF OBLIVION
Ben Chatham is lying languidly across the sofa in his apartment eating strawberries and listening to Radiohead’s “Kid A”. He flicks his thick blonde hair out of his eyes and throws down the book on the archaeology of the Shetland Isles that he has been reading. As he does so, Kyle Scott walks in carrying a tray of cups, milk & coffee:
“Thanks Kyle. I’m bored out of my skull. I think my head will solidify at any moment.”Kyle grins:
“Oh cam on Ben. You were goin’ on yesterday about lovin’ all the peace & quiet with Craig & Isobel bein’ away stayin’ with your folks like.”
“Well yes, I’m hoping they’ll have Craig for the whole school holiday and give me some space. However look at me Kyle. My love life’s in ruins, I’m bored with everything and to cap it all there have been no new cases for Operation Delta for weeks. You know if it wasn‘t for you being here I really would be fed up. I do like having you around you know. ”
Ben dips another strawberry into the cream and elegantly eats it.
“Hows about we do sommat together today Ben? Theres a new bowling alley opened in town” Kyle remarks. Ben frowns:
“I am not going ten pin bowling Kyle. Such places are only one step up from dog racing and other chav sports.”
Ben gets up and goes to his computer, checking his email. Instantly Ben is spung out of his melancholy:
“Hey theres an email here from Jed! Jed Braithwaite, one of my university friends. He’s an archaeologist as well now.” Ben reads the message:
"Hi Ben,Hope you are well, long time no see. It would be great if all the old crowd from Cambridge could meet up again some time soon. We only seem to meet up at weddings and the unfortunate funeral.Anyway, the reason for this email is to pick your brains. I’m currently working on an excavation in some caves near Brangem in the Derbyshire peaks. Something very bizarre is going on. We have discovered several chambers within the cave complex which are decorated with strange paintings of what look like space craft yet can’t be as the chambers have been enclosed for centuries. There are also unusual metallic objects here and some strange crystals. The crystals are light blue in colour and radiate a luminous glow. Oddly they emit a very faint sound , as if a violin is being played in the house next door……….."
Ben stops reading and looks at Kyle:
“Well it looks like we have a case now Kyle. Come and read this!”Kyle comes over and starts to read the email. Ben points at the line about the crystals:
“Those crystals sound exactly the same as those on Alzaneran 4 surrounding the Museum of the Crystal Caves. How the hell could Alzaneran crystals be here on earth? That planet is in another galaxy and the Clanac Empire of which it was once part never expanded anywhere near this one. Unfortunately the Doctor is off on his travels so we’ll have to investigate this ourselves.”
Ben reads on:
"Our dig has been complicated by the disused mines that link onto the caves. The shafts are partly flooded and very unstable and dangerous. Two days ago two 16 year old lads helping on the dig vanished. They are both staying at an outdoor pursuit centre near here; their instructors agreed to let them work on our dig for educational purposes. Ben I fear that they have fallen into a flooded caven or something. There is going to be an almighty fuss over this and the whole project could be cancelled. Obviously I’m devastated about the two lads however if the authorities close down this project then we may never find out what else is down here.I know you & your organisation have connections.
NB: I’ve sent a link with a map of the area. I hope you can come soon.
Ben leaps up excitedly:
“Kyle there is no time to lose. We’ll pick up Jake & Katie and drive to Derbyshire immediately. I’ll text Corinne Shaw & Paul Farraday as they are in the midlands on another matter and it would be good to touch base with them. I fear that the disappearance of those boys may be no accident and that extraterrestrial forces are at work.”……
….. To be continued.