Thursday, 22 December 2016

"The Monsters Within" Part 4

Ok people: here is the final part of this challenging tale:


As the Professor issued his warning several of his assistants, wearing lab coats and carrying guns, entered the room. Ben was led out into the hall and down a flight of stairs to the underground laboratory while Kyle and Katie remained in the drawing room with Professor Garson, who held a gun in one hand and a cognac in the other.  Ben saw, on entering the lab, a much larger apparatus than the other machine.
"You will sit in that chair and let me strap you down", one of Garson's assistants, who physically resembled the actor Boris Karloff, instructed. Ben frowned:
"I am not in the habit of being strapped down by strange men I'll have you understand", Ben wryly stated. The assistant laughed coldly:
"That will disappoint the Professor I'm sure. However enough of this nonsense, we are here to test this machine. The professor is certain that your unconscious mind will be of great experimental use."
The other assistant pushed Ben violently down into the chair.
Meanwhile, back in the drawing room, Garson sipped his cognac and smiled sinisterly at Kyle and Katie:
"You must surely admit that it will be fascinating to see what monsters Ben's unconscious mind will dredge up this time. I should draw back the curtains so that we have a good view of the action." Katie gave him an icy stare:
"What you mean to repeat that horror we witnessed earlier when those wolf things killed that farmer? You really are a piece of shit."
"Oh no MIss Ryan. That was an accident, this will be a real experiment. My assistants are right now guarding a group of children from the local care home down the road. We bunged the manager ten grand to let us have them and they're unlikely to be missed."
"Ere, you mean your gonna let them things loose on a bunch of bleedin' kids?" Kyle exclaimed. Garson chuckled and went over to the curtains, drawing them back to reveal a group of children being led out into the garden and given rounders bats and a ball to play with.
"There is no need to be emotional about this. There have always been sacrifices in the name of science." As Garson spoke the electric side light dimmed a little then came back on:
"Ah, I see my assistants downstairs have flicked the switch so to speak. Ben is now creating from the depths of his unconscious mind."
Kyle leapt up from the sofa with such rapidity that the Professor had no time to raise his gun before Kyle punched him in the teeth, before grabbing the gun:
"Katie you try an' 'elp Ben, I'm gonna get to those kids."
Katie ran out into the hall, grabbing a large poker from the fireplace first. She saw the staircase leading down to the lab and strode feistily down it. As she entered the lab, one of the assistants went for his gun, however Katie jabbed the poker into his left eye and he fell to the floor, writhing in agony. She grabbed the gun and pointed it at the other assistant:
"Turn off that machine and take that headset off Ben now".
"It is too late, once the process has begun, to halt it early could be fatal", the assistant stammered.
Out in the garden, the children were screaming as a large creature, like a cross between a wold and a bear came out of the bushes. It had already caught a rabbit and it bit the head off before tossing the carcass aside. It growled and went for one of the children. Kyle shot it three times in the head and it collapsed to the ground. He herded the screaming kids into a conservatory and shut the door. More creatures appeared out of the woods and they started sniffing around the carcass of the dead animal. Kyle gestured to the children to crouch down low, however the creatures' attention had been grabbed by the sight of Professor Garson staggering to his feet within the house. The frenzied animals ran towards the house and the first one launched itself at the large window of the drawing room, the glass shattering and shards flying everywhere. The creature grabbed Garson's throat in its jaws and bit into it, blood spurting out in a fountain. The other creatures clawed and ripped the room apart before bounding into the rest of the house. Kyle turned to the terrified kids:
"Right' I've gotta leave you 'ere ok. Them things could be about to kill everyone in the house."
In the lab, Katie heard the sound of banging and animalistic howling from upstairs. She scowled:
"Ok shitface you need to hut down that machine now, whatever ben is conjuring up is in the house. Just do it."
"But he could die". Katie paused for a moment in reflection then held up the gun:
"Ben will not die. Ben is resilient. Do it." The assistant flicked down the switches and pulled the headset off Ben's head. Ben gave a scream of agony and slumped down into the chair, limp and cold. Katie grabbed his arm and tested for a pulse:
"Come on Ben, don't give up on me now. You can make it through this Ben, come on."
"I'd give up if I were you miss", the assistant stated.
Upstairs the creatures faded and vanished. Kyle glanced round at the dismembered pieces of Professor Garson that were strewn around the room then went into the hall and down into the lab. He found a distraught Katie whose usual hard composure had melted in the face of her concern for Ben. She shook his limp body, tears welling up in her eyes:
"Come on Ben, don't give up *to the assistant* fucking do something, don't just stand there."
The assistant gave Ben an adrenalin  injection:
"This might help."
Kyle rushed down and lifted Ben's arm:
"Ere I can feel a pulse. Cam on Ben...."
Slowly Ben lifted his eyes open. He looked at Katie and Kyle and sighed listlessly:
"Oh well, this vale of tears called life has dragged me back into it."
Later, Ben, Katie and Kyle were discussing recent events in the Mermaid Wine Bar in Cambridge:
"So how come those creatures like vanished so bleedin' quick?" Kyle asked.
"Clearly because the process wasn't complete unlike the first time. Katie was quite right to stop the experiment even though it risked my life. Thankfully I'm completely fine now and not some dribbling, brain-damaged cabbage. Unfortunately this just gives people yet another excuse to tell me that I should count my blessings or be optimistic about myself or some such nonsense." The others laughed:
"Oh Ben, how could we exist without you. Don't ever change will you", Katie said with a laugh, hugging Ben.
The End.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Monsters Within: Part 3

OK people: Here is part three of this dark story:


Ben writhed in agony as Professor Mike Garson held a gun at Kyle and Katie:
"Ere stop this you nutter!" Kyle shouted. The Professor remained calm:
"There is no need for hysterics young man. Anyway, as you can see the process is near completion."
They looked down as the humming noise subsided and Ben lapsed into quiet unconsciousness.
"Look you piece of ¤¤¤¤, I want an explanation for what just happened to Ben," Katie demanded, hand on hip, throwing her blonde hair to one side and fixing Professor Garson with an icy glare. Garson lowered the gun and smiled politely:
"Now look Miss Ryan, I'm sorry I had to resort to a course use of firearm threat. However it was essential that we test the machine. I assure you that Ben here will be perfectly fine again after a short sleep. Anyway, shall we look to see what he has created?"
"I'll give you a bleedin' knuckle sandwich in a minute mate if yer don't....." Kyle stopped his angry tirade short as he glanced at the glass box and saw within it an elaborate gold crown, encrusted with sapphires, rubies, pearls and emeralds:
"Ere it's a friggin crown".
"Oh yes, and you will find that it is as real and authentic as any crown in any museum", the Professor stated, lifting the object from the box.

Later, a recovering Ben was resting on the Professor's sofa in the drawing room as Katie and Kyle sat round the large wood fire. Katie sipped her brandy and frowned:
"We need to get out of here as soon as Ben is fit to walk. Probably a case for UNIT I'd say." Ben lifted his head languidly and sighed, his eyes tired and sad:
"No. We have no evidence yet that this is a UNIT related case. Given how bureaucratic they are we'd get no help from them. So Garson has designed some futuristic technology and used a gun on us to ensure I acted as guinea pig. More a matter for the regular police really. We need to stay and find out more. Anyway, on a more important note, where is my crown?"
Kyle lifted the crown out of a plastic bag near his side and handed it to Ben:
"Trust you to think of creatin' a bleedin' crown for yerrself Ben" he said, laughingly throwing the crown to Ben.
"And trust you to put a priceless gold crown in a Tesco plastic bag Kyle", Ben replied. They both laughed. Ben examined the crown carefully:
"I've always wanted to wear a real crown. I need to be surrounded by beautiful, expensive objects. They act as compensation for all of the loss, hurt and loneliness that I have suffered in my life. I deserve this."
"You will always be a true Prince Ben", Katie remarked and they all laughed. Suddenly they heard a frightful howling from outside the house, like a pack of wolves . It was accompanied by a frightful screaming sound. Kyle rushed to the window and they were horrified to see a man being torn apart in the grounds of the house by several huge wolf-like animals. One of them had ripped his throat out and was gorging itself on the exposed flesh.
"Jeez what the hell are those things? If it ain't a case for UNIT now then what is?" Kyle shouted. As he did so, the Professor entered the room with Payanda, the latter carrying a tray of food.
"Oh come and sit back down by the fire. The entertainment will be better enjoyed in the warm."
"Entertainment? You call that sight entertainment?", Ben exclaimed. The Professor smiled:
"There is no need to be frenetic about this. Now come and sit down, shocks are much better absorbed with the knees bent you know".

Ben and the others returned to the sofa and Ben glared angrily at the Professor:
"Look I demand that you explain immediately and fully exactly what the hell is going on here Garson". The Professor poured Ben a brandy:
"You know you are a most attractive young man when you are angry Ben. Here, have some brandy. It's a curative you know. I do apologise for the experiment earlier being a little demanding however I hope that you will see the bigger picture."
Katie fixed him with a cool stare:
"Cut the genial crap Garson and get to the point."
"The point, Miss Ryan, is that those creatures out there, and isn't it delightful to see wild nature in action, those creatures are the product of Ben's subconscious. My machine has the power to create not just objects projected by the conscious mind, such as Kyle's gold chain and Ben's crown, but also manifestations from the inner mind. The monsters within so to speak. Earlier I let Ben thumb through my library and pick up a book on werewolf cults by Montague Hesketh. That planted the seed of an idea in Ben's mind. And my machine watered that seed. Ben here is a natural sensitive, he has a most superior mind, both conscious and unconscious. Kyle here with his courser, more primitively evolved mind could only manage to conjure up a few supernatural manifestations. But Ben created those creatures out there. Don't worry about the dead man, he was only a local farmer who comes here to supply us with logs for the fire."
"Ere, he was a person with a life. And look dude you'd better cut the primitive mind crap or I'll conjure up a manifestation of my fist hitting your teeth", Kyle shouted. The Professor smiled:
"You know some of my friends at Cambridge would find the combination of your aggressive realness and good looks very exciting, in a bit of rough kind of way. However let us focus on the big picture. I want to see exactly how far I can go with this. To test this technology to the limits. I have designed a larger and more powerful version of the machine which you have seen. And I want Ben to test it." Ben swallowed his brandy and glared at Garson:
"I am not your guinea pig. That last session created those creatures out there and has led to a man's death. More importantly, it rendered me unconscious. I am not prepared to risk harm or either death to myself in order to further your monstrous schemes", Ben firmly stated. Professor Garson frowned:
"Oh that is sad, it really is. I was hoping force would not be necessary. You will do as I say Ben or die. Your choice......." be continued.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

"The Monsters Within": Part 2

Ben was intrigued:
"Hmmm. I have heard that scientists are working on this kind of technology and that a new industrial revolution is supposedly about to change everything. If this device does what you are claiming it can do then it will indeed revolutionise society."
"If? You doubt it Ben? But surely you saw with your own eyes how your friend here made this gold chain", Professor Garson replied bemusedly.
"I have learned to treat grandiose claims with a healthy pinch of sceptical salt Professor. However I must admit that your demonstration seemed convincing and......"
Ben's response was cut short by the sound of a woman shrieking from upstairs:
"Ahhh , screeeeeeeem, screeeeeeech..."
"What the hell was that?" Katie exclaimed. The Professor gave them a forlorn glance:
"I apologise. That was my mother. She has dementia and gets completely hysterical when the nurse goes in. She was such a sweet lady, but she is in her 90s so won't have much longer to endure the condition."
"Can't you just shove her into a home or something?" Katie asked. Ben frowned:
"Please excuse Katie's blunt manner Professor."
As Ben spoke, the lights suddenly went out, plunging the room into darkness.
"This must be some kind of power failure. Try and locate the door out of the lab Kyle", Ben wisely instructed. Kyle fumbled for the door, however as he did so, Ben felt something touch the side of his face. A hand. A hairy hand.
"Quick Kyle, I think that there is something in here with us. Something non-human...."
Suddenly the lights came back on but dimly and flickering. The Professor was nowhere to be seen. Ben looked at the others:
"I don't like this. Something definitely stroked by face just then. Something animal. I suggest that we explore the house."
They left the lab and wandered out into the old house with its wood panelled walls and paintings of the Professor's family. Ben led the way upstairs, the wooden stairs creaking under their feet. As they walked along the dark landing a strange yellow glow in front of them slowly transformed into the figure of a young boy glowing with a strange yellow light and dressed in urban street wear with a baseball cap turned the wrong way round. Instead of eyes, he had empty black sockets. He pointed at Ben.
"What the hell is that thing?" Katie shouted.
"I fear that it is what is known as a radiant boy Katie. The spirit of a child murdered by its parents and a harbinger of death. The eminent 19th century politician Viscount Castlereagh saw one before he committed suicide by slitting his own throat", Ben explained.  Suddenly the ghostly image vanished and the strange, eerie female shrieking started up again. A door flew open on the landing and an extremely elderly lady dressed in black staggered out , carrying a meat cleaver, and lunged at Ben, trying to hack his skull. However Kyle managed to grab her hand and wrench the cleaver off her. The old woman broke free and ran screeching down the stairs.
"Ere this place is a friggin' loony bin Ben. I say we leg it."
Ben scratched his handsome head and sighed:
"I think you are right Kyle. Come on, let us depart."
However as they walked downstairs to the hall, the Professor appeared from the study with an apologetic demeanour:
"I'm so sorry, please forgive me. It was just a minor power cut. This machinery soaks up a lot of electricity. And don't mind mother, she just gets a little confused."
"A little confused? That old woman is murderously insane," Ben responded.
"Again, I do apologise Ben. Surely a boy of your refinement and taste can understand the need for a family of standing to avoid the scandal of having a relative in the care of a mental health institution. Come now, why don't we all have a drop of brandy."
Later they all sat in the Professor's sitting room as the servant Payanda served them brandy and soul cakes. Ben examined the Professor's extensive book collection and took down a book:
"I see you have a first edition of "Journeys into the Occult" by Montague Hesketh. Wasn't he a believer in an esoteric cult of wolf worshippers?" The Professor smiled:
"He was indeed young Ben. And a believer in the existence of a sacred lineage of werewolves. And who can blame him. I mean who would not want to worship a man who can transform into a powerful wolf at night?"
Katie nudged Ben and whispered:
"I wouldn't mind a man like that between the sheets."
The Professor continued:
"Anyway, Ben I have a proposal. Why don't you have a go with the machine. Try to create something. That way you will know for sure that I wasn't hoaxing you.
Later, back in the lab, Ben was sat in the chair of the machine, with the headset on.
"Ok, I'm not going to reveal in advance what I intend to create. I want no tricks, just to see for sure that this works."
"Fine by me Ben", the Professor said. He activated the machine and Ben started to concentrate. However a strange humming sound began and Ben threw back his head, writhing in obvious agony. Kyle and Katie watched in horror:
"Ere something's wrong here. Stop that thing, It'll kill Ben," Kyle exclaimed. However the Professor pulled out a gun:
"Nether of you move", he coldly stated.......

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

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Ben Chatham 2016 Halloween Special: "The Monsters Within"


Ben Chatham drifted in and out of sleep as the morning sunlight shot through a narrow gap in the curtains, seeming to flaunt its rude intrusion into the cold comfort of Ben's dreams. He groaned as he buried his handsome head deep into the pillow . He did not want to face another day on the treadmill of work while the space beside him in the bed remained empty and bereft. As Ben tried to drift back into sleep, his mobile phone started ringing, the ringtone being David Bowie's "Sense of Doubt". Ben tried to ignore it, however whoever was ringing was persistent. Eventually he flung the bed sheets back, his smooth skin gleaming in the morning light, and he reached for the phone:
"Hello. Look now is not a good time." The voice on the end of the phone was vaguely familiar:
"Oh hello Ben. It's Professor Garson, Mike Garson. From Cambridge." Ben rubbed his eyes:
"Oh, yes I remember. You taught the science module of my Archaeology degree. I couldn't understand what you were talking about most of the time, you were a terrible lecturer. Unprepared and incapable of holding an audience. Anyway, what do you want?"
"Er, I'm sorry Ben if I've caught you at a bad time. Look I've followed your career as an investigator of the paranormal and so on. Look I've been working on a project that I think will interest you greatly...."
Later, Ben, Katie Ryan and Kyle were driving through the Cambridgeshire countryside towards Professor Garson's house with its inbuilt laboratory.
"So why are we bothering with this Ben? You never liked the guy and it's not as if he explained what this damn project is", Katie snapped, applying a fresh later of lipstick and pouting firmly.
"We've got nothing better to do Katie. Which is my life now isn't it?" Ben tersely replied.
"Ben you really need to pull yourself out of this dark mood you're in. It's affecting everyone in the team. We need you", Katie said sharply.
"Yeah right. Lets just get there and humour the old goat for half an hour and then drive to somewhere nice for lunch."
They arrived at Garson's 17th century house and met the professor, who was dressed in a casual brown suit and resembled the actor Peter Cushing. He showed them into a large sitting room with oak-panelled walls and an extensive library on the occult.
"Hey this is like summat out of Harry Potter", Kyle remarked.
"You'll have to excuse my colleague's lowbrow cultural references Professor Garson. Anyway, what is it you want to show us?"
"Oh come now Ben, wouldn't you like a drink and some lunch first. It's so good to see you again. You were one of my brightest and most attractive students you know. I'll ring Payanda."
The Professor rang a gold bell and a tall Indian woman entered the room with a dinner trolley laden with extensive meat dishes, salads and  Indian falafel. She gave Ben and the others a cold look and then strode out of the room.
"Funny woman", Katie remarked.
"Oh don't mind Payanda. It's just her way.  Her family have served mine for generations. Now Ben, please help yourself."
Ben and the others started to choose their dishes and Kyle grinned as he tasted the curry:
"Hmm, hey this is a good 'un Ben. What Barry would call a real ringstinger."
"I'd rather you didn't remind me of him right now Kyle. Or any time for that matter...." As Ben spoke, they heard the sound of a woman screaming from upstairs:
"Ere what the hell is that?" Kyle exclaimed.
"Oh don't worry. It was only my mother. She's.... well she's suffering from an acute form of dementia. She won't be here much longer poor soul. Payanda will see to her. Now eat please", the Professor said firmly.
As Ben ate, the Professor stared intensely at him:
"You are such a handsome young man Ben. Most delicious". Ben felt unnerved.
Later, after Ben had sampled the Professor's excellent French brandy, they were showed into the laboratory.  In the corner was a piece of extensive, futuristic machinery with a seat in the middle. Nearby was a glass box on a table.
"So hear it is Ben. The culmination of a lifetime of research. This is a greater technological leap than the industrial revolution. Now I need a volunteer. How about young Kyle here", the Professor said smiling. Kyle grimaced:
"Yeah like what exactly are you gonna do to me?"
"Oh really young man there is nothing to be afraid of. Now go and sit in that chair and put the headset on. It's perfectly safe."
Kyle grudgingly went and sat in the seat:
"Look I ain't sure I like this...."
"Oh stop whining Kyle. It's so chavvy", Katie snapped.
Kyle put the headset on and a strange humming sound began. The Professor turned to the others:
"This is the device that will create the greatest revolution in production capacity that mankind has ever seen. *To Kyle* Now young man. I want you to visualise an object. Any object. As expensive as you like."
"Yeah ok. I'm thinkin' of some solid gold bling...." As Kyle spoke his head suddenly shot back and the humming sound became intense. Inside the glass box appeared a solid gold chain. The humming subsided. The Professor opened the glass box, took out the chain and handed it to Kyle:
"It is yours. You see, with this device, anything can be made with the power of the mind. There will be no factories, no inequality and no poverty anymore. This machine can make anything......."

Saturday, 8 October 2016

"The Two Bens" Part Ten

OK people, here is the classic final part of this classic anniversary story.


Reality started to implode in on itself as everything became distorted and unreal. Through the misty recesses of his distorted mind Ben could see shapes and colours that he did not recognise. A whole kaleidoscope whirled round inside his head at a fantastic speed as he could hear the colours and see the sounds. His whole life passed before his eyes in an instant and he collapsed to his knees, weeping for the lost opportunities and false dawns. Suddenly the strange sensations began to lift and he saw the alternate Ben was himself distraught and shaking. Ben managed to crawl across to him and hug him:
"It's ok .... that was close but it wasn't the end."
"But next time we won't be so fortunate. We have one more chance that's all", the alternate Ben replied. Kyle dragged himself to his feet as a car pulled up beside them. Corinne Shaw lent out of the window:
"Hey guys, that was too darn close for comfort. I only just managed to slow the car down in time. Come on!"
She flung the car door open and they all jumped in.

A short time later, in London, UNIT forces led by Kate Lethbridge-Stewart were mounting their assault on Buckingham Palace as Corinne, Ben, Ben and Kyle arrived. The car zoomed up to the soldiers and skidded to a hault, throwing up dust. Corinne threw the car door open and strode out, brushing the dust off the shoulders of her power suit. The two Bens and Kyle got out of the car as Kate approached them:
"What is occurring?" Ben asked her.
"We don't seem to be getting anywhere here. They seem to have an endless supply of fresh troops in there."
"Can't you fire off friggin' bazookas into the place or bomb it from the air?" Kyle asked her. Kate frowned at him sternly:
"Young man, that is Buckingham Palace. Her majesty's main royal residence. It is bad enough that we are putting bullet holes into it."
Corinne rounded on her:
"What? You mean to say that you are holding back on those grounds when two universes are at stake?
Kate held her ground:
"Miss Shaw, the fact that we do not let our standards down in moments of crisis is what makes us a great nation."
As she spoke, Shakey Jake's van arrived carrying most of the rest of the Operation Delta team. They all jumped out, including Katie Ryan and Barry Tuck who were both armed with huge futuristic looking guns which were strapped to them with leather belts.
"Where did you acquire those?" Ben asked curiously.
"We raided the old Torchwood warehouse", Katie replied.
"Yeah they're the dog's bollocks these are pal. More friggin' power than a vindaloo fart", Barry Tuck said with a grin. Ben grimaced:
"Please moderate your language Tuck."
Kate Lethbridge Stewart turned angrily to Ben:
"You are not using those things to assault the palace."
Katie Ryan strode in front of her and stared firmly at her, her hand on her hip:
"Shut up or ship out", she firmly stated. They she and Tuck ran towards the palace letting rip with the guns. Futuristic rays shot out and blasted huge holes in the palace walls as a series of huge explosions rang out from inside.

Within the palace, Richard IX sat elegantly on his throne, a slight hint of worry in his demeanour:
"We do not like the sound of these explosions. What is your status report?" He asked his courtiers, who were staring at their futuristic IPhones:
"Not good your majesty. The enemy are using technology beyond their capabilities to blast their way inside", one of then replied.
"Really? Then we will deploy our ultimate defence tactic. Bring me the communicator."

Outside, the two Bens watched as Barry and Katie Ryan blasted their way into the palace, followed by scores of UNIT troops. Ben looked at Kate Lethbridge Stewart with a sense of pride:
"My team may be a disparate bunch but when it comes to achievement and professionalism, you need us."
"Well said Ben", the alternate Ben stated, flicking his golden hair out of his eyes.
Suddenly an audio/visual image appeared in the sky of Richard IX. He began to speak:
"Citizens of London. We are offended by your impertinence. Therefore unless you desist from your attack on us, we will order the immediate execution of your former Queen".
Suddenly the picture changed to the horrifying image of the Queen standing in front of a firing squad on tower green. Everyone went silent with complete shock. As they did so a car sped up and halted. Out got Paul Farraday with Richard IX's brother Giles.
"Ben, we have to get this guy inside the palace. He's the brother of that madman in there and the only one capable of talking some sense into his followers."
Quickly the two Bens ran up to Giles, shook his hand and then ran with him into the burning building , followed by the rest of the team. On seeing Giles, the King's men began to drop their weapons and kneel before him. They walked through the corridors and into the main hall, where Richard IX sat with his councillors. Giles and the two Bens strode forward:
"What is the meaning of this? Did you not hear our message?" Richard IX asked.
Ben stared at him:
"I am horrified and very disappointed that you should threaten our Queen. You are clearly a monarch of refined tastes and elegance however your behaviour is reprehensible."
Giles also spoke:
"Councillors, please listen. Our brother is ill. You must have realised this by now. We stand on the brink of the apocalypse, of total universe collapse. We have over reached ourselves coming here. This world is better on its own. We cannot flood it with our people . Moreover we will destroy both it and ourselves. That is why, for the sake of our brother's mental health, we are assuming the throne."
"Treason, TREASON!" Richard IX shouted. However one by one the councillors kneeled before Giles and a group of soldiers gently seized Richard.

Later, the two Bens were discussing the case in the Blue Angel Jazz Café, while enjoying a celebratory meal. The Bens had ordered the vegan falafel option, which the waiter Kian duly arrived with.
"Thank you Kian. Your service is impeccable as always", Ben stated, stroking Kian's arm. Katie Ryan grimaced with distain.
"... and so we have both decided that for multiple ethical reasons, we are both becoming vegetarians, " Ben stated. Chiara Smith, who now ran the Operation Delta office, gazed proudly at Ben:
"I'm so proud of you for doing this Ben, *to the others* I've been trying to persuade him to go vegan for months. This is the first step."
Barry Tuck took a large gulp of beer and belched loudly:
"You can say what you like love but I ain't goin' veggie, I likes my bacon sarnies and there ain't no beatin' a few beers an' a real ringstinger curry. Mind you I'd be tempted for a nice feel of them jugs of yours *winks at Chiara* *canned audience laughter*"
Corinne Shaw stared at him icily:
"Do you always have to be so crude Tuck?"
"Only banter love, only banter", Tuck replied, biting into a burger.
Paul Farraday seized the chance to change the subject:
"I propose a toast. Not to one Ben but to both Bens. For saving the universes. TO BEN! AND BEN!"
They all stood up and clinked their glasses, toasting Ben.

Shortly afterwards the two Bens slipped away from the meal and into a quiet part of the club. A lone trumpet player was softly playing, "I'm a Fool To Want You".
"So this is it then. Goodbye. It's been great meeting you Ben and I'm delighted to know that there is another version of me that I can feel really proud of," the alternate Ben stated, tears welling up in his eyes. Ben gave him a hug:
"I'll really miss you Ben. I hope you find the inner strength to keep going, as I have. You know that you're the only person who really understands me and that gives me a sense of real solidity knowing that somewhere out there you, or rather I exist. Brave heart Ben!"
"Brave heart Ben", the alternate Ben stated, wiping away tears as he left the club.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 9

OK people. Here is the penultimate episode of this classic story:


The strange shuddering subsided and the two Bens, who had fallen to the ground, staggered to their feet. They looked at each other.
"Yes I know. That was a close one. Each time the displacement will get worse until eventually it passes the point of no return and we get total universe collapse. We've got to stop this mad king of yours", Ben exclaimed.
"Of mine? Hardly Ben", the alternate Ben said with a sad smile. Ben gave him a hug and the two Ben's and Kyle walked to the perimeter fence and sat down on the grass.
"Ok I've just had a text from Paul Farraday. He's sending a car to pick us up and UNIT are also on their way here. Another UNIT force is about to mount an assault on Buckingham Palace", Ben stated.

Ben lay back in the grass and let the sunlight warm his face:
"You know Ben, I've reached a point in my life where I just don't think anything is ever going to change. This is it, the last station reached, the final destination. I'm alone and bored and that's how my life will now be as far as I can see. That awful marriage experience was the last straw, it's knocked the wind out of my sails. I scrape bits of enjoyment wherever I can find it."
The alternate Ben gazed down at Ben and patted his arm:
"Tell me about it. Every guy I've ever been out with has let my down and my life is in a complete rut." The alternate Ben flicked his golden hair out of his sad eyes. Kyle frowned:
"Ere you two are a right barrel of laughs when together, I don't think." Ben looked up at him:
"Did we ask for your opinion Kyle. No. Life must be so easy for people like you. Ordinary, undemanding, lumpen people who drift along easily through life because they don't want much and have no real passions or desires." Kyle shot Ben an angry look:
"Yeah right. Because I'm such a boring lumpen drone that I ain't capable of passions or feelings right?"
"Well you said it", the alternate Ben said tersely. Kyle felt a sudden desire to hit him however he quickly suppressed it and walked towards the road.

Meanwhile in Buckingham Palace, Richard IX was enjoying roast quail with roasted vegatables and a glass of champagne.
"I think we will take afternoon tea in the gardens later before the meeting starts to initiate formal preparations for our coronation as King in this world."
One of the King's advisors leant towards him:
"Sire, what do you desire we do with the former Queen and her family?"
Richard looked up and elegantly wiped his lips with a napkin:
"Oh Thomas must we discuss that now?"
"Well I was just thinking your majesty may wish to have that matter dealt with before the coronation takes place", Thomas replied. King Richard moved his head slightly to the side:
"Yes Thomas you are right. It has to be dealt with. Arrange for the former Queen to, how shall I put it, pass away in the night of 'natural causes' and her heirs to , as it were, disappear within the tower. The people will soon forget them as the masses have short memories in these matters."
The King's brother Giles interjected:
"Look this is madness Richard. The people here will never easily accept you as their ruler, especially if you bump off their royal family. More to the point, are you just going to ignore what happened earlier? Are you? The time displacement? You were warned it would happen. You're risking complete universe collapse. Stop this madness now Richard. And you cannot flood this universe and this England with our people. There isn't room for them here."
King Richard IX threw down his napkin in a rare display of anger:
"You forget once again Giles that you are addressing your King as opposed to just your brother. We have reached the end of our patience with you. We have forgiven every past misdemeanour and slight of yours however you are incorrigable. We are deepy saddened that our brother should treat us with such disrespect. Free movement between our universe and this will enrich this world with our more refined and cultured values."
Richard clicked his fingers and a group of armed guards approached:
"Kindly escort our brother Giles to the Tower of London. Thomas, kindly prepare the necessary papers charging our brother Giles with high treason."
Giles was violently grabbed by the guards:
"This is an outrage. Richard, for God's sake see sense".

Back at the barracks, the Two Bens were lying in the grass discussing medieval history. The alternate Ben was describing the alternate universe royal family line of succession so that Ben could acertain the lineage of Richard IX.
"I think I see now where the break with our history happened. You state that King Edward IV was succeeded by King Edward V, who died young of probable consumption and was succeeded by his brother King Richard III. He reigned until 1522 when he was succeeded by his son Edward VI and so on. No Tudors". Ben stated. The alternate Ben looked puzzled:
"Exactly. You avoided them. In this universe Edward V and your Richard III became the Princes in the Tower and their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, took the throne from them and made himself Richard III. He was defeated in the Battle of Bosworth by Henry Tudor."
The alternate Ben looked puzzled:
"How strange. I seem to recall now that Henry Tudor was a minor exiled nobleman, the Earl of Richmond I think. He never amounted to anything. As for Richard Duke of Gloucester, he was killed by a stray arrow fighting in Scotland the year before Kind Edward IV died".
Ben stood up and grinned:
"And that is the break. Ha! You and I make a great team Ben. *Grinning* poor Kyle doesn't understand a word we've been talking about does he?"
Both Ben's laughed and hugged each other. Suddenly however the shuddering began again and the two Bens and Kyle fell to the floor:
"It's ha.... ag....ain. Wo.........rse this time....."

In London, the car carrying Giles to the Tower of London crashed into a wall as the shuddering and time displacement began. Giles managed to crawl from the wreckage as the universe neared total collapse.............. be continued.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 8


Ben, Kyle and the rest of the team ran through the corridors as the pursuing soldiers fired shots at them. They found an exit which was guarded by a young soldier armed with an AK47. The soldier raised the gun:

"Hey, you can't leave through here....."

The inexperienced soldier's warning was cut short by Kyle who smacked him one in the teeth and decked him. Ben and the team ran outside:

"Nice work Kyle. Shame though, he was pretty", Ben shouted with a grin. They ran through the grounds of the barracks and into some woods, eventually finding the perimeter fence which was topped with barbed wire. Beyond it was a road.

"How the hell do we get over that?" Katie exclaimed. Shakey Jake grinned:

"Hey babe, we don't need to." He rummaged through his hair and pulled out a homing device concealed within it.

"I kept this groovy thing hidden and activated it in the cell. Far out ain't it?" Ben grinned:

"Jake, you are an asset to the team. I should tell you that more often" he stated.

"You should tell us all that more often Ben", Katie added with a barbed look. As she spoke, a car sped up and out jumped Corinne Shaw and Paul Farraday. They quickly used wire cutters on the fence and soon the whole team were speeding away from the base.


As they drove along a deserted road, Paul briefed Ben and the team:

"Ben we have discovered that there is an underground resistance movement already in operation, led by UNIT operatives who the invaders have failed to apprehend. We're heading to their HQ now, which is in a disused nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch, Essex." Kyle scowled:

"Ere 'ang on mate. There are injured soldiers and the alternate Ben back there who need our help like."

"I have to agree with Kyle on this Paul. We cannot just leave my alternate self back there", Ben added.

Paul pulled the car to the side of the road and stopped.

"Ok so what do we do? Just go back in there and get ourselves captured?" he asked. Ben thought carefully:

"No. You drive to Kelvedon Hatch and persuade those UNIT resistance fighters to mount an all out assault on that barracks. Meanwhile Kyle and myself will sneak back in there and rescue my other self. I'm a very altruistic guy.

Corinne jumped out of the car and opened the boot, lifting out a bag.

"Ok Ben but take these with you", she stated, handing Ben the bag of guns and grenades."

Meanwhile the alternate Ben was thrown back into the cell with the injured soldiers. Fortunately the bullet had only slightly grazed the side of his head. However he was tired and slumped down in a corner, holding his head in his hands.

"Hey, you ok?" one of the soldiers asked him.

"Do I look ok? I'm suffering from extreme stress and trauma", the alternate Ben shouted. He lay down and slept for a while until the sound of explosions and shooting woke him up.

"What... what's happening?", he asked. The cell door flew open and Ben and Kyle rushed in:

"Whoooh, the dynamic duo to the rescure dudes" Kyle shouted laughing. Ben frowned:

"Excuse Kyle's plebian cultural references. Come on, we need to get out fast.

They all ran through the corridors and out of the base , the two soldiers helping their seriously injured comrade. As they ran through the grounds however a strange shuddering began. It was as if the whole earth was shaking not just the ground and Ben felt a strange sense of out of body displacement.


In London, Richard IX sat elegantly on his golden throne as his Privy Councillors knelt before him. One of them stood up:

"Sire, our forces have secured virtually the whole of the UK. So far there have been no issues with the cross dimensional transfer operation." The King looked up elegantly:

"We assured you that there wouldn't be. Our science committee were unanimous that the inter-dimensional interface rationaliser would work once the minor difficulties had been ironed out."

*whispering* Yes because you purged them, " a senior councillor whispered to a colleague. Unfortunately the King overheard:

"Giles, step forward", the King firmly stated. The councillor stood up and moved forward.

"Giles, were you not our brother we would have lost patience with you a long time ago. We focus your attention on the fact that we are your sovereign liege lord as well as your brother." Giles looked at the other councillors and then at King Richard:

"Brother.... sire, you must understand the dangers we are all in. I have seem the evidence presented by the scientists whom you got rid of. There is a real risk that the interface rationaliser can only produce a temporary tranference corridor. The mathematical equations suggest that sooner or later the universes will close it. However the greater dangewr is that this process will trigger a chain reaction leading to the total collapse of both universes."

King Richard reached for his pet monkey, which was sat on a low perch, and stroked it:

"Giles, we are saddened by your jealousy of us and your coverting of our throne. We see now that you must be restrained......"


As the King spoke a strange shuddering began. Everone felt a sense of bodily displacement:

"You see? You see now? Its starting", Giles shouted................ be continued.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 7

EPISODE 7: MY POWER IS ABSOLUTEThe two Ben's glared angrily at the regal presence in front of them. The King was sitting elegantly on a golden throne and dressed in elaborate robes of fine silk and gold thread. He lifted his head slightly:
"You must accept the new reality of our rule. That we, King Richard IX, have brought the benefits of wise and prudent service to this troubled England of this dimension. Soon we hope to extend this to your world as a whole".
The King gave a slight, though not ostentatious, smile and adjusted one of his golden rings. The alternate Ben flicked his hair out of his eyes and strode forward:
"How dare you risk the existence of two whole universes because of your crazy lust for more power. The technology that you are using is unstable, even the Time Lords have never perfected an inter-dimensional interface rationaliser. If it fails we get total universe collapse."
Two guards moved forward and grabbed the alternate Ben, dragging him back from the throne. The King lifted his hand:
"We feel that we should remind you that crude displays of emotion and shouting are most churlish and emblematic of the lower orders".
Tears filled the alternate Ben's eyes and Ben put his hand on his shoulder to comfort him. He stared at the King:
"How dare you. Ben here is an alternate version of me and we both come from very good backgrounds. My parents have land and property in Wiltshire and my father is a well respected classical musician. In no way are we lower class and I am disgusted that you could stoop so low as to suggest it. I am also shocked and appalled that you have imprisoned her majesty the Queen in the Tower of London of all places. Plus you are threatening the existence of two universes as well."
The King remained calm and serene:
"We see that there is some spirit about you Ben that is most attractive to us. However you must realise that our power is absolute and will remain absolute. One gesture from our hand to our household guards and you can be dead within the hour, along with all of your companions. We have taken such disciplinary measures against whole peoples' in our universe for less than your displays of rudeness. However you engage our interest."

Katie Ryan and Kyle looked on in anger and Katie strode forward feistily:
"Look I'm fed up of this. Who the hell do you think you are? This is England in 2016 not the middle bloody ages. You look ridiculous and you're clearly a complete fruitcake and I don't know about your England but in this one we have something called mental health services and they might be able to do something for you."
The King raised a hand and several guards grabbed Katie, one of them trying to kiss and grope her. Kyle rushed up and punched the guard, decking him, however was soon overpowered by others.
"Gerrof me, (to the King) hey mate, call off these goons ..." Kyle shouted. The King gave a slight smile:
"Ah, the diction of the common artisan and the coarseness of Miss Ryan. We are disappointed Ben that your choice of companions is no more discerning in this world than ours".
"¤¤¤¤ off...." Katie shouted. The King nodded to his guards:
"Take them to one of our new military centres. We will decide their fate in due course."

The two Bens and the others were driven some distance in a prison van before they arrived at a barracks, now in the hands of the invaders, and were thrown in a holding room. Several soldiers were already in the cell, one of them bleeding profusely on the floor and near death. Katie and Kyle tried to help him, however Katie shook her head:
"This guy needs proper medical attention or he's dead. Mind you I think he's had it in any case."
The other two soldiers had been beaten up but were still awake and lucid. Ben approached them:
"I guess that these invaders overran this place and took you prisoner."
One of the soldiers spoke:
"No. We were part of the invasion force. We are not from your universe. We tried to sabotage their attack on this base and failed. We're part of the underground resistance movement."
The alternate Ben approached Ben:
"Not everyone agrees with the King and his insane plans. My organisation Operation Alpha is part of the resistance movement, and the resistance as a whole has agents within the army and the scientific community . There is much opposition to the King and his plans."
Meanwhile Kyle was banging on the door of the cell:
"Ere, there's a fella in here dyin'. Came on, he needs help....."
"You're wasting your time Kyle. They clearly have no conscience these people", Ben observed. Jake fiddled with his long, greying hair and pulled out a skeleton key, hidden in the hair and fixed with an elastic band:
"Hey dudes, you need this man. They never think to search in the hair."
Ben grinned:
"I never thought I've have cause to praise your scruffy hippy hair Jake. Kyle, you know what to do."

Kyle picked the lock and they all ran outside the room.
"We need to get some help like for that injured soldier fella", Kyle shouted. The Bens looked at each other and shook their heads:
"Pointless Kyle. It will just result in us being re-apprehended. No one here is likely to be on our side, " Ben stated, thinking practically. As he spoke, a series of armed men appeared from round a corridor:
"Hey, you lot, stay where you are!" The Bens and the others started to run. A shot rang out and the alternate Ben fell to the ground.........

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

Sunday, 5 June 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 6

Ok, here is the next part of this ground-breaking story:


The sound of Bowie's "Blackstar" filled the car:

"In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle,
Ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all...."

The alternate Ben looked up and smiled glowingly:
"I see you share my taste in music. What a terrific album this is, one of David Jones' best. Looking forward to seeing the live shows, he's looking so great for his age. Why did you call him Bowie?"
Kyle, Katie and Jake breathed sighs of relief as Bowie was clearly still alive in the alternate universe. Ben frowned at the alternate Ben:
"I take it that Bowie didn't change his name in your universe. That isn't right. Jones didn't suit him as a name, it is too commonplace with shades of the banal. Bowie is a more fitting name as it is both unusual and at the same time, with its Bowie-knife connotations, symbolic of the cutting-edge nature of his art."
The alternate Ben flicked his golden hair out of his eyes and stared angrily:
"David Jones is a genius and does not need a silly stage name to make him so. Your attitude here is rather Cambridge, elevating the superficial."
Katie Ryan slid her hand over the alternate Ben's inner thigh:
"I'm finding it very refreshing to be surrounded by two Bens rather than one, *whispering into the alternate Ben's ear*, I hope that some other things are different in your universe... if you catch my drift...."
A tense silence followed as they drove on towards London. Kyle broke the silence:
"Ok we're on the outskirts of London like. So what are we gonna do? Why are we here?"
Ben looked up:
"We are here to see the King Kyle. The alternate universe King is using an unstable inter-dimensional interface rationaliser to attempt inter-dimensional conquest. I realise that I've used big words there that you won't understand but basically their mad King is in danger of blowing up both universes by using dodgy unstable technology."
Kyle scowled:
"You really can be a condescending bastard sometimes Ben. I ain't that thick that I can't get what you mean. So what's the plan?"
"We confront him Kyle", Ben replied.

They drove quickly through the streets of central London as there was little traffic. People were too nervous to leave their homes. Occasionally they saw groups of armed alternate universe soldiers on patrol, however the soldiers ignored them as they drove through a near empty Trafalgar Square.
"London is almost tolerable in this deserted state, unlike the usual overcrowded mess we're used to", Ben commented.
"So where are we heading to specifically?" Katie asked.
"To Buckingham Palace of course. I recognised the desk and the room that this fake King was speaking from when I saw him on the television. I know what the rooms of Buckingham palace look like, unlike most people", Ben proudly stated.
They drove down the Mall however were stopped at the end by a road block and armed soldiers:
"Halt. Please turn around and leave. This area is out of bounds", a young dark-haired soldier stated. Ben leaned out of the car window and held up his Operation Delta ID card:
"I am Ben Chatham and I have come here to see your King." The soldier's dark eyes met Ben's and there was an instant attraction.
"I...I'm really sorry but this card means nothing to me", the soldier stated.
The alternate Ben leant out of another window and held out his Operation Alpha card:
"I apologise for my brother, he was just being flippant. I am Ben Chatham, as you can see." The soldier stared at the card and at the two Bens:
"Ok, I'm sorry. We are under clear instructions from the King that if Ben Chatham should show up, we are to let you in."
The alternate Ben smiled at the soldier:
"Thank you. I'm pleased to meet such a good looking member of the King's guard". The soldier blushed before ordering his colleagues to let them through.

They arrived outside the palace and were escorted inside by a group of alternate police officers in dark uniforms with gold dragon badges on their lapels. They were shown into a large drawing room and offered glasses of wine by a footman. After a short wait a door opened and in walked the man they had seen on the television (to be played by Ben Whishaw).
"Greetings Ben. And this must be the other Ben and his companions. We have been expecting you. We are sure that you will come to realise that the new reality is the best way forward *looks at Ben* We are pleased to see that the other Ben is as attractive to the eye as our Ben."
Ben stood up angrily:
"Where is the real Queen? Our Queen? What have you done with her?" The alternate King smiled:
"Oh come now, you must know that it is a breach of protocol to fire questions at us. However we have no desire to antagonise you. Your former Queen and her family are in a fitting place where they are being well cared for. The Tower of London........" be continued.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

"The Two Bens" : Episode 5

Ben froze and stared at the familiar figure before him:
"Who the hell are you? Why are you impersonating me and using my name?" The alternate Ben flicked his golden hair back and stared sadly at Ben:
"I'm sorry Ben, I think I've underestimated how much of a shock this will be for you. I should have known. After all, I know you Ben. I am you Ben.
Ben sank down onto the bed and held his head in his hands for a while. Eventually he looked up:
"Ok, lets see if I've got this right; you are me in another dimension.... or rather from another dimension. You're an alternate me who has come through with this invasion force and that madman claiming to be the king. You're helping him. How the hell have you done this?"
The alternate Ben sighed:
"You're partly right. I am not helping him, quite the opposite. I've been trying to damn well stop him with my organisation Operation Alpha. Its a long story Ben, but the king has this vision for inter-dimensional conquest. He's using technology stolen from the Time Lords by the Cybermen and hidden away on earth."
Ben looked up:
"This is so depressing and disconcerting. Looking at you is making me question my self-worth. You are so good looking."
"What and you don't think I feel the same Ben? Your face is so handsome and well proportioned. I feel diminished in your presence. However I had to come to this dimension because what the king is doing is so dangerous that it risks the very fabric of multiple universes. He has built an unstable inter-dimensional interface rationaliser", the alternate Ben replied.
"What the hell is that? This must be what Clara Oswald was warning me about?"
The alternate Ben smiled:
"You have a Clara here too? I hope she's not as irritating as the version we have to endure. Anyway, the point is that this technology is not stable. It risks an interdimensional collapse and explosion."
Ben sighed:
"What are these creatures that have been appearing here and killing people? Anything to do with your crazy king?"
"Oh yes. They are the victims of his initial experiments testing the interface rationaliser. He removed people from your universe to our then sent them back. They should have been fine but the glitches in the system scrambled their DNA. They have now fixed that problem but the whole technology remains unstable as it was only ever built to use in short bursts. The king plans for permanent conquest", the alternate Ben replied. He also sank onto the bed and buried his face in his hands:
"You have no idea how stressful this has been. I could cope more easily with this job if I wasn't so alone."
Ben went over to him and put his hand on the alternate Ben's shoulder:
"Look Ben, I'm sorry to hear that. I'd have hoped that any alternate version of me had found happiness, not been continually let down and stabbed in the back by others, as I have. However you've got me now Ben."

Meanwhile Kyle and Shakey Jake were downstairs in the Blue Angel, waiting in the bar area. Kyle was enjoying a pint and chatting to Kian at the bar while Jake rolled a large cigarette.
"Ere Ben's takin' his time up there. We'd better see what's up", Kyle observed. Kian smiled:
"I'd give him a bit longer if I were you mate. Mr Chatham and his brother are probably enjoying our extra services and wouldn't take kindly to you barging in."
"His brother? Ben ain't got no brother".
"Oh? I just assumed that this was the cause of all the confusion."
"Nah , I'm goin' up. Cam on Jake, hurry up."
Kyle strode towards the stairs, followed by a grumbling Jake and puzzled Kian. As he climbed the stairs, he was shocked to see the two Bens appear in front of them.
"Kyle, Jake, there is no time now to explain. This is Ben. He is me. Just deal with it. We need to drive to London immediately. Kyle mouthed 'what the fuck' silently while Kyle shook his head:
"Hey man, this is really heavy shit man, " he mumbled.

Jake drove his van, the Love Mobile, as fast as he could through the driving rain heading for London. As they drove, Ben did give them a fuller explanation of why there were now two Bens. "So if there is an alternate you like then why ain't there an alternate me an' Jake?" Kyle asked. The alternate Ben sighed wearily:
"There are. However they have stayed behind as they are not as important as me and they have work to do at that end. There is also an alternate Katie Ryan, Joe Dyser and the rest. I presume you have them here?"
Ben looked up:
"There is no Joe Dyser in my team. Clearly some people only exist in one universe due to alternate histories. Which reminds me, why the hell are you ruled by a king? What about parliament? Queen Elizabeth II? "
The alternate Ben looked confused:
"We've never had a monarch called Elizabeth. The last Queen Elizabeth was Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV and she was only a consort. I have a History and Archaeology degree, first class from Oxford."
Ben sighed:
"Oh no. Oxford's History and Archaeology departments pale beside those of Cambridge where I took my degree. Moreover, mine was pure Archaeology and therefore superior in terms of my chosen vocation as an archaeologist."
There was an uneasy silence before Ben asked Jake to put David Bowie's 'Blackstar' album on the stereo. Kyle and Jake looked at each other and both instantly saw the danger; what if the alternate Ben had found out about Bowie's death and told Ben all about it? Then again, had Bowie even died in the alternate universe? Ben's fragile state might not be able to cope with two huge shocks in one day. Jake placed the 'Blackstar' CD into the car stereo. He pressed the play button. They held their breath......

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

Sunday, 7 February 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode 4

Ben and his team crowded around the television screen at the sight of soldiers rounding people up on the streets of London and chaos breaking out. Suddenly the screen went blank for a few seconds before the image of a young man appeared (played by Ben Whishaw). He was sat behind an expensive looking desk and was dressed in a smart suit and tie. He was softly, but firmly spoken and attractive, with a short, dark beard. He began to speak:

"People of England. This is your King speaking. Do not be alarmed and stay within your homes. Do not attempt to go out onto the streets until order and tranquility have been restored. During the period of transition you may feel disorientated, confused and concerned. We will endeavor to minimise any disruption to your lives and assure you that normality, within certain parameters, will soon be restored. I will speak to you all again later to clarify with you the new reality and address the concerns which you may be feeling. Warm blessings."

The image on the screen faded and was replaced with the image of a blue flag with a yellow crown within it, blowing in the breeze.

Kyle turned to the others:

"Ere what did he mean, "This is your King.." , who the hell is that nut job? And what did he mean, "the new reality?"

Ben frowned:

"Well I presume that the guy is behind what has been happening. We are under inter-dimensional attack, of that much I am certain."

"But ain't that s'pposed to be impossible?"

"Yes Kyle it is. But has happened before with both the Cybermen and the Daleks and it is happening now."

"So what the hell do we do about it", Katie interjected angrily. Ben thought for a moment, knocking back his martini.

"We need to get to Jake's place. We need his equipment. Kyle, Katie, Jake and myself will go. The rest of you need to stay put here and await my instructions."

Outside in the street, they piled quickly into Shakey Jake's van, the Love Mobile, as the sound of gunfire could be heard in the distance. As they drove through Cambridge they passed the Blue Angel Jazz Cafe and Ben saw a youth having an altercation with two police officers, which was turning violent.

"Jake stop the van a moment, that was Lewis, one of the bar staff at the Blue Angel being attacked by two of these invaders."

Jake stopped and reversed back as Lewis thumped one of the policemen on the jaw. Ben and Kyle jumped out of the van:

"Leave Lewis alone. Kyle here is handy with his fists . Where the hell are you from and who was that madman on the TV?"

One of the policemen answered him angrily:

"Look Sir, we are nothing to do with these enemy soldiers. This lad is drunk and has been attempting to use the situation to loot. We are taking him back to the station. We've all been recalled." Ben showed the officer his Operation Delta ID card.

"I'm Ben Chatham. I'll take charge of Lewis. You two get back to the station as ordered."

"OK Ben. Pleased to meet you", the officer replied before leaving. Ben turned to Lewis:

"Do you realise that the country is being invaded? Looting?" Lewis glared back drunkenly:

"I weren't lootin', just takin' some fags from the offy as the bloke weren't there. I got lucky earlier, a punter gave me £300 plus a £50 tip. Hey, he had the same name as you, Ben Chatham, ain't that weird. Looked a bit like you an all. Floppier hair though. He were a real gent. Made me feel like I was....."

"Where did you meet this man?" Ben interrupted angrily.

"In there, in the Blue Angel. We went to one of the guest rooms upstairs. Hey, he wanted a room for the night....."

Meanwhile the streets of the UK's major cities were overwhelmed with soldiers. People were ordered to go home and stay there or face summary execution if found on the streets after dark. Meanwhile battles were taking place around every major barracks in the UK as hoards of fresh soldiers appeared out of the void and tried to storm the buildings, throwing grenades. Groups of police officers were rounded up and marched away. Those who tried to resist were overpowered, forced to kneel down and shot in the back of the head.

Ben and Kyle rushed into the Blue Angel Jazz Cafe. Kian was at the bar:

"Hello Mr Chatham. Can I get you guys a drink?" He winked at Ben and smiled.

"There is a guy staying here who was with Lewis earlier. What room?" Ben sharply asked. Kian looked puzzled:

"Er I'm not sure, I wasn't on shift with Lewis. Hang on a mo." He looked at the guest book.

"That's odd. It says Ben Chatham is staying in Room 4." Ben and Kyle rushed upstairs, past the large function room where a drag act was performing and down the landing to the guest rooms. They found Room 4.

"Kick it in Kyle!" Ben said angrily. Kyle kicked the door in and they saw a young man with blond hair and his back to them pouring a drink. The man span round and flicked his hair out of his dark eyes:

"Hi Ben. I was wondering when you'd get here. I'm Ben."

Ben Chatham (played by Adam Rickitt) held out his hand to Ben Chatham (played by Ryan Hawley)....... be continued.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

"The Two Bens" Supplementary Scene

The Two Bens: Supplementary Scene
Kyle Scott lay half asleep in bed in the early hours of the morning. He briefly opened his eyes to see two empty beer cans on his side table before dozing off again. Suddenly he heard a violent hammering on the door. He pulled the pillow round his head to muffle the sound of Luigi answering the door of the apartment. In what seemed like a split second, the door to his room flew open and Katie Ryan strode in, tossing her hair to one side feistily. She pulled Kyle's duvet off him:
"Wake up Kyle, its serious. I take it you haven't heard the news" , she whispered loudly.
"Ere what the 'ell you doin'. You after a piece or summat?" Kyle mumbled angrily.
"Kyle I do not do chavs, as you well know. Although I am rather impressed. However this is serious; its all over the news *whispering* Bowie's dead", Katie exclaimed.
As she spoke, they heard Ben shouting from his room:
"Luigi who the hell was that hammering on the door at this unearthly hour?"
Katie ran to the door of Kyle's room and shouted:
"Its OK Ben, its just me. I need to speak to Kyle about a professional matter", she shouted.
"This is completely unfair Katie. I need my sleep", Ben tersely replied. Katie went back to Kyle's bedside:
"Ok, there is no way that we can let Ben find out what's happened. The shock will devastate him, especially coming so soon after that dull bitch nearly caused him to have a complete breakdown by dragging him through the courts. Therefore here's what we'll do: you Kyle will text all of the team right now instructing them not to tell Ben anything about Bowie and to keep him away from all newsagents and ensuring that he's kept too busy on the case to watch TV. I'll give him ten minutes to go back to sleep then I have work to do in his room."

Katie waited ten minutes, then she snuck into Ben's room and quietly removed Ben's radio-clock alarm and his smartphone. She had a word with Luigi about the situation, then she went outside the apartment into the exclusive foyer and used the phone to ring the Doctor. After a short while the phone was answered:
"Och, och, who's that?"
"Hi Doctor, this is Katie Ryan."
"Katie Ryan?"
"Yes, Katie Ryan. You know. Ben Chatham's attractive partner in leading Operation Delta."
"Och, oh that Katie Ryan. How did you get my number?"
"I've borrowed Ben's phone. Now listen Doctor, this is serious. David Bowie has died. We are very worried about Ben. We can't let him find out suddenly like this, not in his state. You must know what a wuss he is. Myself I believe in the pull yourself together school of counselling but we are on an important case. I don't want Ben going into meltdown over this. Get it Doctor?"
"Och I see, yes. Poor Ben. I feel for the laddie, I really do. I met Bowie once, indeed it was me who gave him the idea for 'Space Oddity'. Och you see Major Tom was....."
"*Interrupting* Doctor, I'm not interested in a dreary anecdote, what I want you to do is to block all info about Bowie's demise from reaching Ben's phone. Do it now please".
"Och alright lassie, there's no need to be rude. I'll just get onto it now. Poor David. And poor Ben. Please give him my regards."
"I will Doctor. Oh by the way, Ben says that he was visited by your old companion Clara. In a toilet."
"Clara in a toilet? Lurking after men? Och dear".
"No she gave us a warning. But that's our business. Ben will ring you if he needs your help. But don't say we had this conversation."
"Och do you think I'm stupid lassie? Of course I won't. Poor David. And poor Ben."
"Goodbye then Doctor".

Sunday, 24 January 2016

"The Two Bens" Episode Three: "MUTATIONS"

Ben sortly arrived at Shakey Jake's new laboratory, accompanied by Kyle, Katie and Corinne. Jake had bought a run down farm in rural Cabridgeshire and converted one of the barns into a lab. They walked in to find Jake sat behind a sophisticated computer screen, surrounded by technology. The laboratory was full of equipment, there were psychedelic posters on the walls and towards the far end of the room, rather incongruously, an old vinyl turntable was playing a vinyl copy of Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland". Jake looked up:

"Hey cats, like you won't believe what I've found out. Come and look at this."

They crowded round the computer screen which featured a map of Cambridge with a series of red and blue glowing dots and complex annotations.

"So what are we looking at Jake?" Ben asked.

"Hey man, like the red dots are where there is residual void displacement following someone recently being taken by the void. The blue indicate residual void displacement after someone has been returned by the void. Note that they are in the same place virtually, almost joined. Crazy man."

Ben looked bemused:

"I don't get it Jake."

"Man, the void like never returnes people in the exact same locations not when its like natural void activity. Its always like random. This is weird man, far out. I reckon something's co-ordinating all of this. Wow."

Ben was about to reply when Corinne Shaw held up her smartphone:

"Ok, its looks like there's just been another incident. One of these mutations has just attacked a group of schoolkids the other side of town. Its all over the internet. The music teacher fought it off but was killed in the process, it wrenched her head and broke her neck. According to this it then went into the nearby Tescos and made off with a load of liver from the fresh meat counter."

Ben was concerned:

"These things clearly crave blood and offal for some reason, based o the injuries we've heard are inflicted on the victims. Eyeballs too for some reason. Not pleasant and rather unsavoury. We must stop this one before it attacks any more children. Any ideas?"

"Like yeah man, I know just the guy. Come on", Jake exclaimed.

A short time later Ben and the others were following Jake's van in their car. Jake owned an old Volkswagen van which was painted in psychedelic colours. He called it the Love Mobile. Eventually the Love Mobile turned down an old farm track and after hald a mile they came to a dilapidated farm house. They stopped by some rusty farm equipment as an old farmer hobbled towards them:

"How do young Jake. What brings ye all to these 'ere parts?" he exclaimed.

"Like hi Len, great to see you man. Hey cats, this is my buddy Len. He's groovy" Jake enthused. Katie Ryan frowned:

"He must be going senile or need glasses if he calls you "young Jake" she tersely stated.

"Hey babe, Len's 89 years old. Like respect babe, respect".

Ben stepped forward:

"Can we cut to the chase please Jake. Why have you brought us to this dump?" he asked.

"Hey cats, Len here has a huge jar of strychnine in his shed. He used to use it to kill rabbits and foxes. Bad vibes all round. I turned him onto a new way, growing organic herbs for enhancing the positive mansions of the mind. Its a groovy project of mine to help small farmers turn away from destuctive methods to new more profitable ventures."

Ben frowned:

"Much as I admire your altruism Jake, exactly where is this leading?" he asked. Len prodded Ben with his finger:

"Now look 'ere young 'un. I recon Jake 'ere wants me jar of Strychnine. I still keeps it in me shed in case I needs it for me woife an meself if we goes senile. I ain't goin' in no home."

Later, having visited a butchers on the way back from the farm, Kyle helped Jake to tip some of the strychnine into buckets of offal, then stir it in.

"OK, we'll leave these buckets in strategic places around Cambridge after dark. The police are imposing a curfew for us. This will deal with the immediate problem of the mutations. However we still have the bigger issue to wrestle with; namely what is causing these people to be taken by the void and to return in this state."

They drove around Cambridge in the Love Mobile, leaving the buckets of offal on the pavements and in darkened alleys. Then they returned to Ben's apartment for a business meeting. Paul Farraday had prepared some bagels and salad and poured himself and Ben a large Martini each.

"While you've been away Ben, we've discovered something rather alarming. Adam here *gestures to Adam Wooten* has just returned from examining the bodies of that couple found by the milkman. He tested them with the void residue amogrifier. There is no doubt about it. Those corpses have not just been in the void. They've been in another dimension."

Ben swirled his glass of Martini round and round, deep in thought. Suddenly he sprang up:

"This is impossible. There must be an error*flashing Adam a look of desire* not by Adam I emphasise. Adam always makes the right moves. I mean with the equipment."

As Ben speaks, Corinne rushes in from the kitchen holding her smartphone:

"Ben turn on the television now. You won't believe what's happening".

Ben picks up the handset and turns on his large, high definition plasma smart-tv. He sees images of soldiers appearing out of nowhere and people running and screaming. Accross the screen is written, "BREAKING NEWS: UK UNDER ATTACK" .

Ben is concerned:

"This is serious guys. Those soldiers are just materialising there. I suspect that we are being invaded by forces from another dimension...."


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

Saturday, 9 January 2016

"THE TWO BENS" Episode Two "Deadly Dangerous Now"

It was a milkman on his early morning rounds who found the bodies. As his milk float glided down the dark Cambridge street, he saw two figures slumped in a shop doorway. Initially he thought that it was a couple of down-and-outs until he caught sight of the young man's mutilated face and held his mouth in a vain attempt to avoid vomiting. The couples' eyes had been gouged out and their faces and hands clawed to ribbons.

Ben Chatham was enjoying his continental breakfast of croissants, organic jam and Columbian Blue Ridge coffee while lounging on his leather sofa wearing his exclusive Harrods dressing gown. The digital radio was tuned into Radio Cambridge which was playing an excerpt from Faure's Requiem. Then the local news came on and Ben sat up sharply:

"Police are investigating the discovery of two bodies in the doorway of Lasson's Art Dealers in Long Wyre Street. Unconfirmed reports suggest that a young couple have been the victims of a vicious fatal attack."
Ben looked across at Kyle who was munching a bacon sandwich:

"Am I right in my recollection that there was a similar incident only a few days ago Kyle, a young couple killed in a frenzied attack with no obvious motive?" Ben asked.

"Yeah. It was in the Cambridge Echo like. Katie was bangin' on about it."

Ben sipped his coffee:

"I suppose it could be a coincidence. Anyway, we need to pay a visit to Shakey Jake this morning as he indicated at the end of last night's meeting that he may be able to trace the source of all this void activity."

As Ben spoke his mobile rang. He picked it up and heard the distinctive voice of Barry Tuck, waiter at the Mermaid Wine Bar (played by Johnny Vegas):

"Ay its me, Barry. Ere I hope your sober and not pissed up as its all kickin' off round 'ere and you lot will wanna see what's in our back yard. The coppers are here."

In a short while Ben and Kyle were outside the Mermaid Wine Bar, joined by Katie Ryan and Corinne Shaw, whom Ben had texted. A row of police vehicles were outside and a cordon, however Ben showed the police his Operation Delta card.

"What's occuring officer?" he asked.

"We've got some kind of creature cornered in the yard behind there. Deformed."

Ben and the others ran down the side alley and saw a group of policemen standing by some old beer barrels. In the corner of the yard was a monstrous distorted man or creature which looked like a cross between the elephant man and Quasimodo. It snarled and clawed at the air like a dog, huge slivers of saliva dripping from its twisted mouth. It wore jeans and a tee-shirt, which were ripped and bloodstained. Ben gazed at the figure:

"Ok, that is certainly a man there, or once was", he shouted.

"Bloody hell, that thing is a man? Its more like a friggin' ape" the police officer replied.

Ben approached the snarling figure:

"I'm Ben Chatham. We are not here to harm you. Please try to calm down."

The creature made a gurgling sound and stood to its feet. It made a lunge for Ben, however the policeman pulled out a taser and fired. The creature fell to the floor with a shrieking sound and a group of officers fell upon it, holding it down. Barry Tuck approached Ben:

"Ay I told you you'd wanna see that fucker. Horrible innit. *Noticing Corinne* Hey up love, I ain't seen you 'ere for a bit. Hows about we go for a drink later, you've got a crackin' arse and that skirt shows it off well an' proper. Hows about a quick feel."

Corinne shot him an icy stare:

"Mr Tuck. Please feel free to drop dead. *To Ben* Ben I assume that you've reached the same conclusion that I have."

Ben looked up, concerned:

"Oh yes. That unfortunate guy looks like a void mutation."

On the way to Shakey Jake's, Ben explained to Kyle what a void mutation is:

"Occasionally when the void sucks in someone it deposits them somewhere dangerous, such as a burning planet or a war zone riddled with chemical weapons. Then at some point the victim is returned but deformed or injured. The problem with that guy however is that the deformities looked beyond normal burns or war wounds. His eyes were literally in the wrong place, his hands were animal claws."

"So like what do you think did that to 'im?" Kyle asked.

"I'm not sure. Its worrying me Kyle."

The other side of Cambridge, the children were arriving at Riverside Primary School, where the Headmistress, Anita Dobson, was ferrying them into the main hall for assembly. Miss Ethersley, the music teacher, was playing the tune of "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" on the old school piano. Once the children were inside the hall, Mrs Dobson strode to the front, clapping her hands:

"Children, please be silent. We will now all say the Lord's Prayer together *pointing* John Hodges, kindly refrain from punching Tommy or you will be made to stand in the bin in the corner for two hours. Now, after me children:

"Our father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name....."
Suddenly the door to the hall flew open and a grotesque, deformed wreck of a man staggered in, making unnatural grunting sounds, it lunged at the children with its claws......... be continued.