[B]THE MONSTERS WITHIN: Part One[/B]
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......."