The New Team:
Dr Peter Ashton-Scott = team leader. An experienced chemist and ecologist from Cambridge university who left academia to set up a self-sufficient community in the hebrides. Coaxed out of retirement by Allen.
Steve Allen: Environmental campaigner, idealist and disillusioned science advisor to the government.
Charles Furness: Young, attractive Oxford graduate and brilliant chemist and technician. Struggling to accept his sexuality.
Abby Hanson: Feisty twenty-something geologist and ecologist. Gave up teaching to join the team.
Brian Eddows: Sixty-something lab technician. An ex-prisoner seeking a new life and redemption from his crimes.
OK folks, here is the first part of a brand new Doomwatch story with a new team:
"DOOMWATCH 2010: Price Worth Paying" : Part 1
Winter in Suffolk. The cold February wind blows snow across the farmyard as Brian Coley goes out to feed his pigs. He hasn’t felt well for days and he had a strange headache that never seemed to go away. As he reaches the pigsties Brian spots an axe in the yard that he had been using to chop logs earlier in the day. A strange feeling of rage hits him, as if all the world was his enemy and out to destroy him. He grabs the axe and swings it around. As he does so Stan Henson, one of his labourers emerges from the tool shed:
“You ok Brian? You look a bit stressed.”Brian swings the axe and buries it in Stan’s head. He is now foaming at the mouth. Driven by pure rage he takes up the axe and heads towards the farmhouse…….
Rural Leicestershire.In the Zentar Corporation’s Research Laboratories near Bosworth, Doctor Paul Sansom is working late. As he stands over his equipment shaking his head a figure approaches behind him. A gun is raised and then fired. Sansom falls down…..
Charles Furness was feeling very nervous as he walked into the Doomwatch Centre in London. This was his first job interview since leaving Oxford and one he was only reluctantly attending. He had left with no idea of what he wanted to do for a career other than something related to science and chemistry. Work was the last thing on his mind. All he could think about was Chris, whom he had fallen in love with during that final year amid the dreaming spires. However Chris had treated him with derision when he had told him of his feelings and was now about to get married. Charles’ confidence had been shaken and the last thing he needed was to have to get a job. However he couldn’t stand the stifling atmosphere of home any longer. As Charles enters the main office he sees two men having a florid argument. The older one sits behind a desk and has long white hair and thick glasses:
“I tell you I cannot spare you at the moment Steve, its all hands on the pump as regards the Dungeness nuclear leak” he shouts. The younger man slams his fist down on the table:
“Look this can’t just be a coincidence Peter. A spate of bizarre murders in the space of weeks and all in the vicinity of the Zentar Corporations’ experimental field of GM winter-growing crops. And now one of their scientists is murdered in his lab.”Dr Ashton Scott sighs in frustration:
“My dear man , they’ve arrested two Greenpeace activists for that. They had broken into the site. And there is not one shred of evidence to link those murders with the GM test.”
Charles clears his throat so that they notice him:
“Excuse me. I’m Charles Furness. I’m here about the job.” He flicks his luscious dark hair out of his eyes. The old man stands up:
“Ah the new boy. I’m Peter Ashton Scott and this is Steve Allen. Welcome to Doomwatch. You’re just in time in fact. Steve here thinks that theres a problem with the Zentar Corporation’s GM testing . I’m not sure I’m convinced and I can’t spare Steve at the moment so you’ve got your first case.”
“You mean I’ve got the job?” Charles asks.“Of course. You’re a brilliant chemist; first class honours from Oxford. And very attractive as well I might add”. Charles blushes:
“So what do I have to do?”
“Do you drive?”
“Then don’t. Too many cars on the road is one of the greatest threats to our environment. Take public transport to the Zentar Corporation’s HQ in Leicestershire and interview their Director, Andy Powell. All of the details and background info is in this file”. Peter hands the file to a puzzled Charles:
“But I’ve no idea about what to interview him about” Charles states.“That’s why I’ve given you the file. I presume your generation can still read.”
Charles leaves the building not sure whether to be pleased or not. He heads towards St Pancras and takes the first train out to Leicester.……
…… to be continued.