Wednesday, 26 May 2010

"DOOMWATCH 2010": Meet the Team!

"DOOMWATCH 2010" : Meet the Team!

OK, I thought I'd provide a more visual description of the new team so that people can picture them better :

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.Aged around 59, Ashton Scott physically resembles the late politician Michael Foot: longish white hair, thick glasses and prone to passionate gesticulating when speaking.

Steve Allen

Environmental campaigner, idealist and disillusioned science advisor to the government.Steve is in his early 30s with short hair and a muscular frame. Phsically resembles Lee Majors in his heyday in the 1970s when he played 'The Bionic Man' .

Charles Furness

Young, attractive Oxford graduate and brilliant chemist and technician. Struggling to accept his sexuality.Aged 21, Charles is slim with long, shoulder-length dark hair. He wears casual clothes, jeans and thin sweaters.

Abby Hanson

Feisty twenty-something geologist and ecologist. Gave up teaching to join the team.Abby is around 25 years old, slim with dark hair. She is attractive and businesslike.

Genna Miles

Genna is a 23 year old History graduate who formerly worked at Bosworth Battlefield Centre. She has short blonde hair and is attractive and personable. She wears smart casual clothes.

Brian Eddows

Sixty-something lab technician. An ex-prisoner seeking a new life and redemption from his crimes. Brian is 62 years old and is a thick-set stout man with very short grey hair. Has a sense of the reformed villain about him.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

"Price Worth Paying" Part 5

OK : the story continues:


Charles, Genna and Abby were led by gunpoint to an office where an angry Walker was waiting:
"So, not content with going through the normal process to secure an interview, you also see fit to break into this centre. I will obviously be making formal compaints to the appropriate authorities." Abby stepped forward:
"Yeah and we will also be speaking to the authorities. About how you know damn well that your GM grain is toxic to primates".
"Its all in these documents" Charles added, waving the papers. Walker laughed sardonically:
"The documents in that cabinet refer to the very earliest prototype of our modified grain. I presume you didn't bother to check the date or the details. Those documents are seven years old and refer to Zentar wheat sample 1, while the product we actually now grow is sample 7, which is perfectly safe". Charles checked the documents and saw that Walker was telling the truth:
"That does not alter the fact that your product in its early stages was highly dangerous and we only have your word for it that it is not so still", Charles stated, flicking his long dark hair from his eyes. Walker got up and stared at him:
"You know, you do-gooder student types make me sick. Look at you, standing there with your foppish hair and self-righteous manner. Never done a proper days work in your life no doubt, just sponged off your parents and then got a non-job with a pointless quango run by a sad old lefty." Abby intervened:
"You don't know what you're talking about", she shouted. Walker stared at her:
"I despise people like you. Wet behind the ears pseudo radicals. The fact is that the world needs more food and we are helping to provide it. Who cares about a killing a bit of wildlife in the process or causing a bit of collateral damage to local populations. They are a price worth paying for greater yeilds. And the public want more and better food, not organic lentils."
"So as far as you're concerned, any damage to the environment or to the public itself is just collateral damage" Charles asked.
"Yes , *to the security guards* escort these overgrown children off this site."

Meanwhile in Suffolk Steve had given a brief interview to the police and returned to the site of the crop test. Using his initiative he borrowed a ladder that was proped up beside someone's half completed garage extension and carried it across the wasteground to the perimeter fence. He climbed up and carefully navigated himself over the barbed wire and jumped down over the other side. He landed badly and fell backwards, banging his head. Picking himself up, he couldn't believe his eyes. A field full of wheat was growing through the snow and entering the stage of starting to ripen, in the middle of winter. As he looked around he felt someone grab his arms. Two men dressed in white plastic overalls and gas masks grabbed him and escorted him to a grey building at the side of the field. He was thrown on the floor in front of a suited man who smoked a cigar:
"Hmmm. You're from Doomwatch at a guess. The boss just rang me to warn that you lot could be on the prowl" the man stated.
"Who the hell are you?" Steve asked.
"Andy Powell, Zentar Director of Research. It seems that your collegues have caused a right stir with Mr Walker."
"Why the hell are they wearing gas masks? You know don't you? You know that this stuff is dangerous" Steve shouts. Powell laughs:
"Oh don't be so po-faced. Have a cigar. Those masks are purely to prevent our staff carrying pollen out of the site in their lungs and then contaminating nearby organic farms".
"Bullshit" Steve shouted.

In Leicestershire, Charles, Genna and Abby had returned to the Black Swan. Charles stared mournfully at the documents:
"So these are just useless. They prove nothing". Abby looked up:
"They at least prove that the crops carried dangers at the start. But yes, we need much more. Anyway, right now I'm ready for a drink.Charles? Genna?"
"I'll have a white wine" Genna replied.
"None for me tonight. I want to keep a clear head for tomorrow. Anyway I don't drink much. I prefer a good book to alcohol" Charles stated.As Abby went to the bar, Genna smiled at Charles:
"So what do you like reading"?
"Oh all sorts, history, ecology, anthropology, fiction, poetry. Right now I'm juxtoposing "Silent Spring" with "Jude the Obscure".Genna laughed:
"So tell me about this Chris" she asked. Charles looked away:
"I don't want to talk about that. Its too painful still. Like raking up the shattered shards of broken dreams".Abby returned from the bar:
"As I see it, we now have no options left here other than to find someone in that organisation who will whistle blow" she states......

..... to be continued.

"Price Worth Paying" Part 4

Here it is folks:


Steve Allen is driving through the Suffolk countryside towards the experimental GM test site. He had felt frustrated after another altercation with Ashton-Scott during which he had insisted on using the car. However it was crisp, blue-skied winter’s day and Steve now felt uplifted by the sunshine gleaming off the thin covering of snow on the fields that he passed. Eventually he arrived at a huge green metal perimeter fence which was topped with pointed spikes and barbed wire. He stopped the car and got out , climbing on top of the car to try and get a view of the crop, however the fence was too tall.
“There ain’t no use in doin’ that, you need a stepladder” an old woman’s voice calls out. Steve looks round and sees an elderly woman dressed in ragged clothes with unkempt hair. She carried a cat in her hands which she stroked:
“I’m Elsie. It ain’t natural whats growin’ behind there. Them there enviromentalist protesters where down here again last week . Good luck to em I say.” Steve smiles:
“Do any of these protesters ever get over the fence and inside Elsie?” he asks.
“They gets in but they soon gets shoved out again. They must have hundreds of them security men in there. And then the bobbies come and take the protesters away in big vans”.

As Elsie speaks, Steve hears a woman scream and a commotion coming from some terraced houses separated from the fence by a patch of unkempt wasteland. Running across he is shocked to see a large, overweight man in a white vest attacking a woman with a plank of wood. Spittle and foam was dribbling from his mouth as he lunged at the woman who was also in a furious rage. The woman ran down the small garden and out of the broken gate . She picked up a half-brick from a pile of fly-tipped rubbish on the waste ground and threw it at the man, cracking his nose open. He fell to the ground grunting and screaming. The crazed woman turned on Steve, lunging at his face . Steve managed to grapple her to the ground as a police car drew up……..

Meanwhile in Bosworth, Charles is sitting in the lounge of the Black Swan with Genna and Abby Hanson, who has just arrived. He explains recent developments to Abby:
“Its clear from what you say that Walker will tell us nothing .” Abby observes.
“So what do you suggest that we do now? There is no actual evidence that Sansom was working for the protesters.” Charles replies.
“Then we find some. We break into that centre and we damn well find the evidence” Abby suggests. Genna looks up:
“I know a way that you can get in. Part of their centre backs onto our battlefield centre’s grounds. They were not allowed to build a massive wall or anything so theres only a thin fence. They do have guard dogs though.”
“We can drug them safely using some steak laced with dizaphane.” Abby responds. As they enjoy a coffee, Genna asks how Abby became involved with Doomwatch:
“After uni I spent a year teaching Geography in Hampshire. However it just wasn’t for me. I could handle the kids but I wanted to make a difference and the syllabus was just too narrow and restrictive. When I heard about Doomwatch I knew I had to get involved.”.
Charles sighs:“I wish I had that certainty. I had absolutely no idea what to do after uni. I just knew I had to get away from living at home.”

Later, Charles, Abby and Genna have cut through the wire and are inside the Zentar Corporation’s HQ grounds. Around them lie the unconscious dogs, having nibbled the beef.
“It is perfectly safe. Those dogs will be perfectly ok again in half an hour” Abby assures Charles.
“I’m pleased that Doomwatch has an ethical approach to dealing with guard dogs. However this means we must move fast” Charles comments. He and Abby use a skeleton key to get inside the building while Genna keeps a lookout. Inside they wander through deserted corridors and come to a side room full of large freezers. Charles opens one up and is shocked to see it is full of frozen monkey corpses in plastic bags. Abby and Genna rifle through some papers kept in a grey cabinet. Abby suddenly gets excited:
“Look at this. Its some of Sansom’s pathology notes on the monkeys.”Charles looks at the papers which are handwritten autopsy notes signed by Sansom. He reads aloud:
“…… it is clear to me that subject 23 died of the same symptoms as 13-22. Intense cerebral haemorrhaging following a long period of severe anger and violent rage. It is also clear that the symptoms are only present in those subjects exposed to the GM grain……..”
Charles is cut short by a voice behind him:
“None of you move”.They see two security guards with guns raised…….…

……… be continued.