EPISODE ONE: 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.