Tuesday, 22 December 2015

THE TWO BENS: Episode 1 "Reality Implodes"

It came from the sewer. A twisted, deformed inversion of a human being, dragging itself along the dark, rain-drenched street in search of food. It stumbled quickly, breathing in deep, rattling, snore-like gasps. As it turned a corner it saw two young women stagger out the side door of a club, the first one tripping on the pavement and falling over. It moved back into the shadows and waited. One of the girls helped the other to their feet and they stumbled along:

"Hang on San, I'll phone us a taxi" one of the girls spoke. It heard but did not register the words, which could no longer penetrate the misty recesses of its shattered mind. It moved quickly, leaping on the girl with the phone, clawing, tearing. It bit deep and felt the warm blood spurt....

Niko put on his motorbike helmet and rode out of the side exit of the Pizzaland car park, five large pizzas in his shoulderbag. He hated his job but most of all he hated delivering to students in their posh Cambridge halls of residence. Maybe he'd stop along the way and spit on the pizzas but then again maybe not. He couldn't be bothered. Tomorrow would be his last day in this dump. He was heading for London and a proper job training in a Michelin star restaurant. As Niko drove fast down Lonsdale Street, a brilliant white light flashed out in front of him. His bike skidded on its side and crashed into a parked car, bits flying into a shop window. Niko was gone.

Ben Chatham and Katie Ryan arrived at Ben's Cambridge apartment to the sound animated discussion and raised voices. As Ben entered the apartment, he saw the whole Operation Delta lead team seated around on the sofas in the midst of a tense discussion. Paul Farraday stood up and greeted Ben:

"Hi Ben. Sorry we had to end your night out but something serious has come up and I thought it warranted a full emergency meeting. Can I get you a drink?"

Ben saw that Paul had brought a range of refereshments for the meeting:

"Thanks Paul, I'd really like a Martini with ice". Paul fetched Ben the drink while Corinne Shaw handed out briefing notes to the rest of the team. She began the introduction:

"As you can see if you glance down the first page of the handout, there have been over a hundred unexplained disappearances in the south-east in the last two weeks. Far higher than average and all of them able-bodied young men and women in their early twenties. Most of them are in London but really these cases cover a wide area. There have been six in Cambridge...."

"Hey babe, tell Ben about the void activity reading. This is heavy stuff", Shakey Jake interrupted, smoking a roll up cigarette between his browned fingers. Corinne cast him a stern look:

"I was coming to that Jake. Please let me explain, then we can have a general discussion."

"Hey babe, don't get heavy with me ". Corinne continued:

"As I was saying before Jake interrupted me, these cases are far too numerous to be usual void activity and Jake's void monitoring equipment confirms this. However this is only the beginning of our problems. Ben, we have detected problems with the very fabric of reality. Another universe is trying to break into ours."

Ben sipped his Martini:

"How do you know this?"

"As you know Ben, when Torchwood became defunct, they passed much of their equipment on to us. Jake and Keith have been keeping a close watch on void activity."

Paul Farraday pulled some photographs from a file and threw them across Ben's coffee table:

"And there's these...."

The photos depicted a series of mauled and mutilated corpses. Katie Ryan frowned:

"Paul do we really need to see these again."

"I'm trying to impress on everyone what has been happening. A spate of unexplained deaths, each victim horribly mutilated."

Ben stood up:

"OK, thanks for the briefing Corinne and Paul, but I think we need a short break after the sight of those. How about I order up some food, as I suspect this meeting will be a long one. The Blue Angel has a home delivery service. Luigi will take the orders *gestures to Luigi*. Meanwhile I'll play you my exclusive advance copy of David Bowie's new cutting edge jazz influenced album "Blackstar". It isn't officially released yet, but David sent me a personally signed copy".

Ben put the CD on while Luigi phoned out for the food. Ben went over to Adam Wooten, who was sat talking to Chiara Smith:

"Adam, can I have a word please." They went into the kitchen.

"Look Adam, I wanted to say how good it is to see you again. I'm sorry I haven't phoned you for ages, but you know how it was. I was wrapped up in that awful marriage." Adam put his hand on Ben's shoulder and the kissed.

Back in the lounge, Corinne was sipping a large glass of white wine:

"In many ways I'm pleased to have a major work case to throw myself into. Otherwise it would be another Christmas of listening to my parents moaning about the state of the economy and their business problems. Not a pleasant fate". As she spoke the doorbuzzer went. Paul was standing near to the door and opened it. Kian from the Blue Angel came into the apartrment carrying a large tray of food, followed by another youth.

"Hi , We've come to deliver this order for Ben Chatham".

Ben emerged from the kitchen:

"Can someone please clear space on the table for the food. Hello Kian." Kian winked at Ben and placed the food on the table. He gestured for Ben to follow him out into the hallway:

"Will you be wanting any special services ? This is Joe by the way." Joe smiled at Ben.

"I'm sorry Kian but I'm too busy tonight unfortunately."

"Ok not to worry, see ya".

Ben went back into the apartment and started eating a greek salad.

As the rain poured down on the Cambridge street, the manhole cover was slowly raised and thrown to oneside. It pulled itself up into the street, foam dripping from its twisted mouth as it panted. It heard voices in a doorway. A young couple, out on their first date were kissing and laughing. It moved towards them fast......

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

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Two Bens: Publicity Poster

The Ben Chatham 10th Anniversary Special: "THE TWO BENS" Prologue

OK people. Its ten years since Ben Chatham first appeared. His first ever story was the alternate "The Christmas Invasion" which appeared at Christmas time, 2005. Its been a long journey since then. Originally Ben became a companion to the 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler, who became romantically attached to Ben. Later he travelled with the Doctor and Martha Jones. Eventually Ben left the TARDIS team for his own spin off series, the first of which was "Operation Delta". He gradually gained his own team: Corinne Shaw, Paul Farraday, Katie Ryan, Kyle Scott, Shakey Jake and others.

Now its time to celebrate! With the 9th series of Doctor Who over its now time for the 10th anniversary Ben Chatham special. This will see Ben face his most dangerous enemy to date. Its an epic that will see not just the earth in danger, not just the universe in danger but infinite reality itself under threat. So here is the prologue:



Ben Chatham sat in the corner of the downstairs bar of the Blue Angel jazz cafe in Cambridge, swirling a dry martini round and round in the glass. The lights were dim and a small jazz combo were playing "One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)". Ben knocked back the martini and gestured to the young barman to come over:
"Bring me an absinthe please Kian. And make sure that the water you use is ice cold", Ben said. He gazed longingly at the barman's pert buttocks as the latter went to prepare the drink. The barman turned round and caught Ben's stare, giving hin a coquettish smile. He slowly poured the water over the burning sugar lump and into the absinthe, then took it over to Ben.
"I hope you enjoy it. By the way, is there anything else I can do for you sir, later I mean. All the staff here provide a full service, if you catch my drift."
Ben was about to reply when Katie Ryan came flouncing through the door of the bar. She saw Ben sitting at the corner table and stormed over:
"Ben we've been looking for you everywhere. Why the hell did you leave your phone behind at the apartment. I've been round the Mermaid, the Three Gowns and Twisters. Kyle and Luigi are searching the bars by the river. You're damned irresponsible Ben."
Ben mouthed "sorry about this" silently to Kian, who tactfully withdrew, then stared at his absinthe:
"Look I'm sorry Katie, ok. I just needed some time to myself. Its coming up to Christmas and look at my life. I mean look at it really. You lot will go swanning off to see your relatives while I'm facing a choice between Christmas alone or Christmas with my boring parents, which would include my father lecturing me about my divorce. I feel completely hollow inside Katie. Life is passing me by."
"Ben we don't have time to mull over the state of your life. While you've been sitting in this dreary hole an emergency has cropped up. Paul and Corinne have called an urgent meeting . They're at the apartment now. Its serious Ben."
Ben stared at Kian, who gave him a seductive glance:
"Oh for pity's sake, can't it wait Katie? Its late. Furthermore this place is not a 'dreary hole', its a sophisticated jazz club."
Katie noticed Kian gazing at Ben:
"Hey, that barman's giving you the eye."
Ben sipped his absinthe:
"I know. The staff here provide special discreet services."
Katie snatched the absinthe out of Ben's hand glared at him:
"Ben you need to damn well pull yourself together. You need saving from yourself. Sitting here drinking yourself into a stupor and eyeing up trade like an old fruit, what the hell has happened to you? Come on."
"Ok ok. Look I need to use the gentleman's room then I'll come with you."

Ben walked through the bar, as the jazz band played "The Thrill is Gone", and through to the corridor which led to the toilets. He could hear moaning sounds from the rooms upstairs as one of the bar staff , holding a tray of drinks, followed behind Ben with a smart looking gentleman and headed up the staircase. As Ben entered the gents he felt a strange swirling sensation, as if he were falling down a steep slope. He fell to his knees and as he did so a vision appeared before him of a humanoid figure walking from one of the cubicles towards him. The figure was dark and hazy, yet it slowly became more defined. Ben was shocked to see who it was. It was Clara Oswald.
"Ben. Please don't be afraid", Clara said. Ben rubbed his hand over his eyes:
"Hey this can't be happening.... must be the absinthe. You're currently travelling through time with an immortal woman in a stolen TARDIS. The Doctor told me in his last text."
"Ben this is really happening. Look there isn't much time. I have to go as our TARDIS is locked in a cross-dimensional void interface loop. I wish I could stay longer Ben as... as I think I'm falling in love with you... I'm sorry Ben I just had to tell you this. I've never felt like this before and I've only just seen you. But I've got to tell you that you and everyone on earth is in great danger. He is coming and he won't be alone. He is prepared to risk fracturing the whole of reality and you've got to stop him. Ben you've got to stop hi.......mmmmm............"
In a whoosh Clara was dragged back into the interface loop and disappeared.

Ben staggered back into the bar and went up to Kian:
"I'd like a glass of ice cold water please".
Kian gave him a cheeky smile and handed him the water. Ben threw it over himself. He shook his head, the water flying from his luscious hair:
"Thats better. I'm refreshed. Come on Katie, we've work to do."