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.

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