Sunday, 11 November 2012

The new Ben Chatham story: "WAR & PEACE"


OK folks, here is the first part of a gripping new Ben Chatham story. Someone is trying to disrupt a conference of world powers designed to end conflict in the middle east. Who and why?...........


Ben Chatham was lounging seductively and wistfully on his sofa, enjoying a continental breakfast and a cup of exclusive Columbian Blue Ridge coffee.

“Here is your newspaper Mr Chatham”, his houseboy Luigi said, handing Ben the Daily Telegraph. Ben gazed down at the leading article:


Delegates have continued to arrive for the World Peace Conference which opens later today at Brockton Hall in Suffolk. The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said last night that this was an historic chance to end the conflict in Afghanistan, tension over Iranian nuclear pretensions and to finally put an end to conflict in the Middle East. The delegates from Israel, Iran and China are due to arrive from Heathrow shortly and the conference will open with a large welcoming banquet where her Majesty the Queen, who is visiting Canada, will be represented by the Prince of Wales. The Prime Minister has expressed his hope that the conference will be a turning point not just for conflict in the Middle East but for world tensions in general.......

Kyle emerged from the kitchen holding a peace of toast and saw Ben reading the paper:

“Ere Ben, does it say owt about us being invited to the conference?”

“Of course not Kyle. Our involvement is strictly confidential. We are there simply to give advice as regards alien threats to the earth and the impetus they add to the need for global co-operation and understanding. The powers that be hardly want to alarm the public by advertising such matters. However I am immensely proud that we have been asked.”

Ben sipped his coffee and flicked his golden hair back from his dark eyes with pride.

“ We had better get ready Kyle. Please wear a shirt and tie, I do not want you looking like we are going to the studio to record an episode of your namesake Jeremy Kyle's unpleasant show.”

A short time later, Ben, Kyle, Katie Ryan and Corinne Shaw were driving to Brockton Hall. It was a bright, sunny morning and the air smelt fresh and enticing. The sound of David Bowie's “Moonage Daydream” emanated from the car stereo. Ben's mobile started to ring and he glanced down and saw that it was Emma calling:

“Kyle, please answer that and tell her that I'm going to a World Peace Conference and will be too busy to converse with her for an indefinite period.”

Kyle looked embarrassed but answered Ben's phone:

“Hi Emma.... soz but Ben's on his way to that peace conference that’s bin on the news a lot, ain't he told you?..... Ere look I'm really sorry Emma...”

Katie jabbed Kyle in the ribs:

“Why are you apologising to that woman? Ben doesn't have to answer to her for everything.”

Corinne looked up and flicked back her hair:

“She is so needy. Pathetic really.” Kyle continued with the call:

“... yeah ok Emma I'll tell him. See ya babe ends call ere Ben that was dead embarrasin'. Don't you two talk to each ather?”

“We are married Kyle. Of course we don't”.

“I still think its like dead odd that you don't even live together” Kyle answered. Ben frowned:

“Emma understands fully that I am unable to alter my domestic circumstances to suit her as my apartment also serves as a hub for Operation Delta activity. Its a matter of priority. What we do is essentially saving the earth time and time again from extraterrestrial threats.”

They later arrived at Brockton Hall, a huge stately home that was once owned by the Dukes of Suffolk. Ben admired its architecture:

“what a magnificent building. The de la Pole family were such wonderful patrons of the best in English architecture. As I hope to say to the Prince of Wales when I meet him.”

They showed their cards to the security men and drove closer to the house however there seemed to be a commotion going on outside. Several armed men of Asian appearance were ushering someone into a car and shouting in an animated way at security staff. A man with grey hair and a woman were trying to remonstrate with the man getting into the car. As Ben drove closer he recognised the woman.

“I know that woman. Its Chiara! Chiara Smith. She used to work for us.” Katie frowned.

“So it is. Mediocrity personified. Wonder what she's doing here....”

Chiara saw them and walked towards the car:

“Hi Ben, its great to see you again. Look, we've got a bit of an incident going on here...”

“Why are you here? You are still theoretically a member of my organisation and I have not asked you to come” Ben tersely pointed out.

“Oh don't be like that Ben. I work for the diplomatic service now as a liaison officer.”

“Why are those people shouting at each other?” Corinne asked her.

“Oh God its really bad. The Iranian ambassador is threatening to leave claiming that the American ambassador came to his room and punched him. The American ambassador denies it.” Ben frowned:

“Obviously an Iranian stunt” Ben firmly stated.

They got out of the car and Kyle unloaded the luggage as another commotion broke out at the main doorway as a group of armed men ran out.

“Look I'd better go, catch up with you later Ben” Chiara said, going over to the men. Ben tried to catch what they were saying:

“More trouble by the look of it” Kyle observed. As they walked up to the entrance Chiara returned:

“Whats going on?” Kyle asked her.

“Big trouble. The American ambassador has been found dead in one of the men's lavatories. Stabbed to death.”

“This is serious” Ben solemnly stated.

… be continued.

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