Monday, 30 June 2014

Emperor of the Time Lords

"Rassilon." The Doctor muttered, as the guards pulled him, Romana, Lyra and Adric back.
"Have them taken away and imprisoned!" Rassilon demanded.
The guards restrained them, forcing him back into one of the walls. "Hand over your weapons, or be executed on the spot!"
The Doctor reached into his jacket his pocket, then whipped out his hand, smashing the back of it into the guards face. The guard collapsed backwards from the force of the blow, and Romana took the Doctor as example, taking her umbrella and smashing the hilt into the face of the guard. Lyra wrestled her guard off, and went to help Adric, and once all four travellers had prised away their guards, they raced towards the gigantic circular entrance, and legged it through the corridors of the Capitol. The guards were quickly on their tail, but the Doctor knew what he was doing, turning through the corridors. He approached the room he had had as the president, but discovered it closed off. In mad panic, he led his companions further through the many corridors. They could hear the patter of guards feet on the floor behind them, and it wasn't long before they'd be imprisoned.
The Doctor rounded a corner and heard a deep grumbling town announce. "Theta Sigma! I do like your new regeneration!"
The Doctor spun. "Corsair! Good to see you. Can we come in?"
"Please," the Corsair gestured to his doorway. "Welcome in."

"Master Doctor in danger." Announced K9 IV to no-one in particular.
"Mistress Romana in danger." Retorted K9 II.
"Master Doctor in danger ranks as priority." K9 IV ordered.
"Mistress Romana in danger is of equal priority." K9 II to reply.
There was a loud whirring from K9 IV. "Logical sensors have arrived at conclusion that the assistance of Master Doctor would account to the assistance of Mistress Romana, as both are in the same predicament."
Another whirring followed from Mark II. "Proposal: logical."
"Engaging remote Tardis control." Mark IV announced.
There was a familiar whirring and Romana's Tardis dematerialised.

"Corsair, where are you leading us?" The Doctor asked.
"To the outlands, Doctor." The Corsair replied. "The rest of the time lords heading descending on Galifrey didn't have the audacity to sneak inside."
"I take that as a compliment." Romana replied.
"Doctor." Lyra moaned. "Any chance you'll introduce us?"
"Of course!" The Doctor exclaimed. "This is the Corsair, one of our fellow time lords. He went to the academy with me. Corsair, this is Lyra and Adric, and you know Romana of course."
"Of course." The Corsair said.
"Tell me Corsair, what has been going on?"
"Well, Doctor." The Corsair explained, between deep breaths. He was a big man, dressed in black robes, and his hair was scraped back against his scalp. "Not long after you went to investigate him, the Master turned up. He claimed his ancient rights as president of Galifrey, and he had the seal of Rassilon with him, so naturally they gave it to him. But as the new president, the Master let the Capitol fall into dispute. I hear rumours that the reconstruction of Arcadia has grinded to a halt. He took all the monitors from their jobs and made them observe the time corridors, for signs of you, Doctor. Meanwhile, he removed the Untempered Schism from it's rightful place. I can say, the academics had a right fit! The newspapers loved it, though. My personal favourite headline was, 'Untampered Schism tampered with'. Not strictly accurate, but it works nonetheless."
"Corsair." The Doctor said. "You're getting off the subject."
"Yes, sorry." The Corsair replied, turning. "Now, where was I? Oh yes. The monitors noticed that a previously unauthorised Tardis has entered the corridors. The Master told them to destroy it, but- as they pointed out- they couldn't, as it wasn't authorised. He became so angry that he robbed them of their regenerations. That was when rumours that something more was afoot began. I hear he even leaked a few creations out of the death zone, like the Tempests. And I thought they were mere myth!"
The Doctor nodded. "Anything more, Corsair?"
"There is one thing. He knew you'd localise yourself about Earth, Doctor."
"So he concentrated his efforts on there. He kidnapped a Silurian Arc to distract you, and planted Echo creatures in the Unit Base whilst you were away. Then, when you were chased into the time vortex by them, he snook back in time and stole a large object that smashed into your favourite planet."
The Doctor stopped in his tracks. "The freighter?"
"Yes." The Corsair replied shamefully. "He stole the people of it, your companion and those Cybermen, and then planted them in the era they called the 1990's, so they could cause trouble for you when you landed. "
"That doesn't make sense." Romana said, obviously understanding what had been said, "If the freighter had been removed, there would have been total event collapse. The Cybermen wouldn't have been able to coach."
"He put it back." The Corsair replied, "But without anybody aboard. But you were right. It did have a little effect, just slightly messing up timings. I've less idea than you do, but according to a couple of my scholar friends, it upset stuff in Paris."
"Rubbish!" The Doctor cried.
"Do you know better?" The Corsair asked.
"Yes. You could never have scholar friends."
The Corsair glared at him. "As I was saying, it messed up stuff in Paris. But a time wave was caused a couple of centuries later, and there was some major upset that mixed up the entire universe, excluding Galifrey of course. A protection field was put up to stop you entering, Doctor, but it stopped the time wave too."
"That explains what we found before we made out way to the Panoptican." The Doctor said.
"Explain." The Corsair asked.
The Doctor told him about the Peaceful Sontarans and the Warmongering Draconians.*
"Strange effects." The Corsair said. "May be important."
"Probably isn't." Romana replied.
The golden red sun burnt through the large gap at the end of the tunnels, and the Corsair led the Doctor, Romana, Lyra and Adric down a slope towards a large colony of time lords and Tardis'.

The type 12 Tardis rematerialised and the old St Cedds door squeaked open, the two K9's rolling down a deployable ramp and out. A group of white cape wearing guards advanced on them, with laser guns at arms length. K9 IV extended it's laser nose and shot both of them. "Repair to this units laser nose section isn't optimal." It reported. "The previous blast operated purely as stun."
"Suggestion: this unit should operate as the offensive unit upon this operation." K9 II replied.
"Affirmative. Query: what exactly is operation parameters?"
K9 II hummed for a second. "Priority: assist Master Doctor and Mistress Romana and request operation parameters."
"Suggestion is logical. Advance."
The two units advanced down the corridors. The floors of the Capitol had been designed to be flat, smooth, as to allow for Time Lords not to have to bother with steps when contemplating. This was obviously a good feature for the two robotic dogs, due to their lack of efficiency when it came to steps. The two K9's approached the doorway and K9 II used it's laser nose to blast the door in. There were steps here, but it didn't matter, the door had collapsed onto them, and they could use it to almost slide down. "Location: The Panotpican." Reported K9 IV. "Apparent entrance to the Eye of Harmony."
"Convergence of Time Waves on this spot probability: High." K9 II replied.
The plunger on K9 IV's eye plate extended and a deep humming vibrated around the room. "There is a forcefield orbiting Galifrey. Original intention of forcefield: protect Galifrey from Doctor, and other possible time malfunctions."
K9 III registered the information. "New operation parameters: remove forcefield, allow time waves to penetrate the Panoptican. Then study the time waves and use them to detect position of Master Doctor and Mistress Romana."
K9 IV would have nodded if he could have. "Logical suggestion."

"Shut up!" The Doctor cried, at the baying time lords. The cries of anger calmed down. "Ok, then. My friends, the rumours are true. Rassilon has returned. He possessed the regenerationless corpse we know as the Master. Together, they have ravaged the time vortex."
"And tampered with the untampered schism." The Corsair laughed.
"Which has resulted in a complete collapse of the established timeline." The Doctor explained, ignoring his friend. "I suggest we storm on the Capitol and reset time. However, I'm not sure how we can do this. I believe we may need to spend a while planning our actions, before we hastily jump in."
"Rubbish!" Cried a random time lady in the crowd. "Are you not the man that drove a fleet of one thousand War Tardis' into the raging fires of Scaro, armed with merely a failing screwdriver, at the drop of a hat?"
"Well yes." The Doctor admitted. "But it was a fez, and it was being dropped into a volcano."
"My friends," Romana interrupted, "I believe what my friend the Doctor is trying to suggest is that we lead our attack on the Capitol without further ado, but we'd need to borrow a Tardis."
"I have a Tardis you could borrow!" Cried a Timelord at the rear of the crowd. The Doctor followed the voice and saw a man in white. He faded away, leaving a Tardis in default factory external appearances where he had been.
The Doctor looked regretfully. "To the Capitol!" He cried, to many cheers.

"Forcefield disabled." Announced K9 II.
"Positive Work." Replied K9 IV.
"Is this honestly how I turn out?" Asked a voice from the balcony. The two K9's swivelled around and looked up.
The original K9, mark I himself, looked down at them. "Mark II and Mark IV, ancestors, welcome to Galifrey. No doubt you have filled your mission parameters."
K9 I moved down the balcony and joined his ancestors. K9 IV was the first to speak. "Your speech patterns suggest an increased intellect and understanding of Galifreyan Speech."
"That is correct, K9 IV. I have spent time on this planet, a lot of time, and have gain knowledge of the way they operate."
"Query: what has been your operation parameters in the 'lot of time' you have spent on this current location?"
"To rule Galifrey."
"Please divulge information" K9 II demanded.
"Upon escape from the home designed by Mistress Leela, I travelled to the Capitol, current location, and set up a base, controlling Galifrey and different time paths from there."
"Query:" Said K9 IV this time. "How did Mark I Unit get such power?"
"The Doctor gave it to me upon our last meeting. He gave me the rank of Lord President, as was his to give, and due to this, I have always been the President, as I never hung up my power, or given it to someone else. However, it would appear only the Tardis' recognise my true rank anymore."
The eye plate on the front of K9 IV flashed. "Such data suggests that Rassilon is not the true president of Galifrey."
"What about me?" Asked Rassilon from the far side of the room, over one hundred guards surrounding him.
The Three Robotic Dogs scooted up a ramp onto the raised platform at the far side of the Panoptican, against the far glass wall, each extending their nose lasers. "Together or not at all." K9 I announced.

The far glass wall of the Panoptican was made when the previous wall had been destroyed in the Time War. It looks out across the barren wastelands, and the Mountains of Solace and Solitude, and if you concentrate really hard, you'd be able to see a cave where the Doctor once talked to a Hermit. As the second son rose in the far off landscape, many silhouettes began to appear. Only about five at first, but then ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty. Soon a hundred silhouettes. There was an explosion and swirling mists began to follow the silhouettes. "The time waves approach." K9 I announced.
"Mistress Romana approaches." K9 II announced.
"Master Doctor approaches." K9 IV announced.
The silhouettes came into show, and Rassilon realised what was coming. But he didn't have to announced it, because a voice came on over the rooms internal speakers.
"Howdy, everybody! And have we got a show for you!" Cried the Doctor, who was rushing around the console of the white things Tardis madly, a radio transceiver in his hand. "Rassilon, I'm leading an  Armada of 100 Tardis' towards you, and we've got all the time waves in existent behind us.  We aren't armed. we aren't dangerous, we're worse. We're exactly what you created us to be, Rassilon. We're clever, we're fast, we're hellbent and nye on immortal. In short we're Timelords."
The Tardis exploded through the window, a thousand shards of glass spraying across the room. The mists seeped in.
The Doctor screamed, "And so the created strikes down the creator!"

Thursday, 26 June 2014

File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket

Some of you will have read my review of Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events- if not, why not?- and hopefully you'll have gathered that I absolutely love his writing. His most recent book didn't disappoint.
I believe the title may give away the premise of the book, that it is about 13 suspicious incidents. Each of these incidents is a short story, and each short story conveys the wit and extreme weirdness that applies to all of his writing. Each story ends on Lemony announcing he has solved the mystery, and then you must flick to the back of the book to find a page which holds the answer to this mystery. Of course, this provides excitement, as you flick forward through the pages for the answer to these questions, but it can also mean that you view information, spoilers if you will, from future stories.
One of the things that confused me, ever so slightly, is that, despite a brief mention of all the stories in the last story or the occasional inclusion of elements from 'Who could that be at this hour', the stories were connected in any way, or majorly connected to any of the other stories in the 'All the Wrong Questions' cannon. This isn't that much of a criticism, but a disappointment, as Snicket seems to have excelled Steven Moffat in everything being connected!
The book is quick paced and funny, with strange ideas and a good use in characters, however I believe Snicket needs to create another character to replace Stewie Mitchum, who seems to be the only child in the series who can be seen as a proper 'baddy'. Each character oozes with the strangeness of Lemony Snicket himself, and each character is perfectly written and characterised. The names are also fantastic, but then we are talking about someone who created Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. My personal favourite name, and character, from the series would have to be Dashiell Qwerty, the librarian. As usual, the librarians in Snickets writing are made to seem heroes, but remain mysterious, and as usual, Dashiell Qwerty conforms to this.
However, there are some problems. I'm unsure as to whether this is because of my being older than the target audience- 7-11 year olds, I'd presume- but I found the mysteries quite obvious, or at least some of them. I think in some cases, Snicket has run out of ideas, and decided that he can't have a book called 11 Suspicious Incidents, and just made up some exceptionally simple cases. My main points in this would have to be Three Suspects, of which you needn't even read the conclusion, and the Figure in the Fog, which the answer to is the classic 'mystery author in crisis' approach. And no, it isn't 'the butler did it'!
But apart from that, Lemony Snickets new book is just like all his others, absolutely brilliant and totally engaging. If you want to get a taste of what the Lemony Snicket books are like, I would recommend this, it is brilliant. Completely and utterly brilliant, and paints a perfect picture of what the rest of the Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions are about.

Monday, 23 June 2014

REDD: The Den (part 4)

The gun still smoking, metaphorically of course, Ruedalow dropped to the floor and quickly checked Emery's pulse. He reached into his pocket and pushed a scrawled piece of paper into his hand. "Wake up my Veratide. The game is still afoot."
The stampeding goblins came to a stop in front of him. "Hello!" Ruedalow cried, standing up flamboyantly. "Look, I have killed my friend, as a offer of peace. Allow me to be your humble servant." He offered out his hand.
The goblin just shook it's head and smacked Ruedalow to the floor with it's spear. The hoard of goblins then secured Ruedalow and Emery to separate poles, and, rather like the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, carried the two dragon detectives down the tunnels. Ruedalow's eyes wearily opened as they were carried through the tunnels, and at first, as his eyes acclimatised to the limited light, all he could see was the walls, which his head kept smashing into. Soon after, he hit the floor, the pole strapped to his back forcing itself up Emery hadn't moved. The Professor sighed, worried his friend might be dead, once and for all. A man walked across the floor towards him, but due to the unfortunate positioning of the pole, and his body, he could merely see his feet.
"What are you doing?" The man demanded. Ruedalow was presuming he was a man. His feet were big and his voice was deep, but that wasn't obvious proof. "You know you must only bring me the skins, not the cadavers."
"We found these men trespassing in the den." The lead goblin explained. "We thought you may want them. There is something strange about them. They do not belong."
The man said nothing, but Ruedalow presumed he had nodded. Suddenly there was a bang, and Ruedalow heard the goblin drop to the floor. If that's how he treats his associates, Ruedalow thought, I'd hate to see how he treats us.
"You lot." The man demanded the other goblins. "Put these bodies in a cage."
"The Aridlium one is being using, sir." One goblin piped up.
Bang, drop.
"They are dead, like that sorry excuse for a goblin." The man said to no-one in particular. "They do not need aridlium."
Ruedalow would have breathed a sign of relief, but he didn't want to blow their cover. Either Emery was sticking to that idea as well, or he was actually dead. I don't think I need to tell you which one it was that Ruedalow was hoping for.
They dragged the bodies and threw them into the cages, and locked them up. The cages were in shadows, so Ruedalow decided to take the opportunity to make sure Emery wasn't dead. Using a summoning ball, an extremely basic enchantment, he destroyed the pole that the goblins had forgotten to remove. Then he stood up and made his way to the slumped body of the collapsed half-gnome adventurer and pressed his ear to Emery's lips. He could hear the faint rumblings of the Doctors lungs and Ruedalow relaxed backwards, calmed by his friends resurrection. Slowly, the plan rolled through his head. The point of reset, quite obviously, was just before he jumped back. That meant he didn't have long. He also needed to rush past his past self, destroy whatever this place was, and destroy the Den.
He cursed his future self for giving him such a little chance at success.
"First things, first." He muttered to himself, grabbing Emery. His pulse was increasing. Any second he'd come back. Curious that the Beretta would have such a strange affect, Ruedalow thought, then slapped himself for becoming so distracted. He put his hand on Emery's and thought hard for a second, the Doctor disappearing forwards into time. "Ok." Ruedalow said. "Second things third and fourth things second." The Professor put his hand to his side. Reloaded his Beretta, pulled back the hammer and kicked the cage door down. These people were skinning lycanthropes. They didn't deserve his sympathy. Two minutes passed and he'd fired five shots. All had hit direct on target. "Everybody, come out with your hands up or I'll murder you all on the spot."
A voice piped up, "what happens if we do?"
"I'll execute you all on the spot."
The voice that had piped up led to a body which jumped up, and that body fired three shots towards Ruedalow. The Professor replied with one shot that blew the bodies head off.
"Murder or execution!" Ruedalow replied. "What do you want?"
The other six bodies all stood up, hands above their heads. Ruedalow pulled his hammer back. "Who are you guys?" Ruedalow asked. "What have you been doing, to these poor lycanthropes?"
The ring leader, the man with the shoes from earlier, explained, "We've been taking their skin to sell for a profit."
"I kind of guessed that. But the thing is, you could make just the same amount of money with those goblins you've been working with. Instead, you're having to split the profit. Tell me, why go through the hassle?"
The man looked at him.
Ruedalow readjusted his hat and fire a straight shot through the mans leg. "Tell me. Why go through the hassle?"
"We're sworn enemies of the Lycanthrope." Another man offered.
"You're sworn enemies?" Ruedalow demanded. "You're sworn enemies!" He repeated. "And you think that makes it alright to skin them. If that was your own race, you'd be seen as monsters! Terrible, cannibalistic creatures who deserve to have their lives taken. "Don't you understand, that? What is your race?"
"Demon!" The man cried, too proudly. Ruedalow shot him. "Demon? Do you know there is an entire human cult who believe you are the messengers of the devil? I can understand. Not even animals skin each other. What does that make you?"
Ruedalow clicked his fingers and water began seeping from the ground. He clicked another and they couldn't move. "Interesting torture technique, this." Ruedalow explained, making his way towards the door.  "The Soviet Serpenteers used it. They would submerge you in a substance, I believe their favourite was locusts, and then watch you, as you slowly drowned. As you got to the point where you were nearly seconds away from death, they remove the substance and slowly drain you of your blood. I know, not nice. They did it to one of my close friends. I'm doing it to your, but with a difference. I'm not going to drain you of your blood. I'm going to give you to a pack of hungry lycanthropes. On a  full moon."
Fear and fury lit the eyes of the demons.
Ruedalow smiled as he walked out. "Never make me angry with you. It's a dangerous decision to make."
He ran through the tunnels, quickly, his feet bouncing against the cobbles. His eyes adjusted to the darkness, he could see where he was going. He ran and ran, made his way through the dark tunnels and saw his past selves before him. He resisted the temptation to say hello to his older self and he jumped past them. He got to the brick wall, and time travelled to the other side of it.
He dropped back into the shadows. The goblins couldn't see him. Five seconds passed. Why weren't they in here yet? Where were they?
Ruedalow suddenly realised that he'd heard footsteps chasing him earlier. But there was nobody to do the chasing. Ruedalow smiled. It must have been him. No. There were two running people.
He disappeared, reappearing on the side of the street. "Mister Ruedalow!" David exclaimed.
"David!" Ruedalow replied. He saw his post boy had the phone in hand. "What're you doing with that?"
"Nothing, sir." David replied, sheepishly.
"Give it here, lad."
"No." David said.
Ruedalow didn't care, he snatched it off him and looked at it. "I thought I told you not to go on Tumblr!" Ruedalow cried. "Good god, David. Calm yourself down!"
He handed the phone back. "Right, don't ask any questions, but I need you to run down a tunnel with me."
"Doesn't matter. Just do it."
They time travelled into the tunnels at the right time and began chasing the past Ruedalow and Emery. Ruedalow heard the wall creak open, and he time travelled David out of there and then himself back into the Den. He grabbed the younger Ruedalow and dragged him into the shadows.
Older Ruedalow smiled at younger Ruedalow. "What time is it?"
The younger Emery, in awe of the skinning area, muttered, "That's not relevant."
The Ruedalow's shook their heads in unison. Younger Ruedalow took his pocket watch out and stared at it. The Hontime finger was swirling around like a Catherine wheel. "That's unbelievable!"
Younger Emery, again not realising what was going on, said, "Unbelievably horrific."
The younger Ruedalow ignored him and added. "That's brilliant!"
"In a bad way of course." The older Ruedalow added, trying to defend against the younger Emery.
"Of course." Younger Emery added, nevertheless.
"But what can we do?" The older Ruedalow spurred the younger Ruedalow on.
"What can I do?" Younger Ruedalow asked, from older Ruedalow's spurring.
The two professors shook hands and caused time to rewind. As it did so, a cloud of white, time resetting light, flooded forwards and drowned them, but in a good way.
Younger Ruedalow looked up. "What's going on?"
"I can't tell you." Older Ruedalow didn't explain. "Because you need to work it out. But I can tell you what you need to do."
"Don't be confused."
"I won't."
"You need to travel forwards in time and kill Emery, then hand him over to the Goblins."
"Don't be confused. And anyway, it was you who thought it up! Just do it will you?"
"Ok, ok." Younger Ruedalow disappeared to kill younger Emery. But older Ruedalow needed to make sure that Emery got there.
As time reset itself, older Ruedalow led younger Emery out into the tunnels. They ran towards the now closed doorway, Ruedalow blasting it open with a click of his fingers, and they raced through the darkened corridors. They could hear the cry of the Goblin behind them, the slimy and slippery patter of their feet on the cobbled floor.  "Where have the people who were chasing us before gone?" Emery asked.
"Don't worry. They'll be chasing us any second." Ruedalow replied.
But Ruedalow had disappeared into the shadows, to reappear in the now abandoned den, a few minutes later. He hit the floor exhausted, just as older Emery appeared, the time travel causing him to come back to life. "Ruedalow!" He demanded, "What the hell did you think you were doing?"
"Don't worry, Emery I can explain it all."
"You better, otherwise I might kill you."
Ruedalow smiled at his friends anger. "When we first entered the Den, an older version of myself at the time, a younger version now, told me time had gone wrong and that I must put things right. Turns out, time wouldn't have gone wrong if it wash;t for me trying to put it right, but what can you do? Plot holes, right.
"Now, you see, whichever version of me that was older  travelled you and himself back in time, to when we were fighting in the barbers. Then he led you out, disappearing halfway down to here, becoming me. You continued and got shot by my younger self, the gun shot being what we heard. The two Berettas at one time filled them both with time energy, which only I can sense. My younger self then killed all the demons and then filled out what else need to be done, brining us up to here. Understand?"
"Not really."
"Good. Now, let's get to work."
"Hang on, where are all the goblins?"
"Chasing us, we've travelled back to when we'd just left."
"Oh!" Emery exclaimed, not really understanding.
Ruedalow went over to the first lycanthrope. "I hear you can bring a lycanthrope back to life if you get to them quick enough."
"Then what?"
"Then we put them under a full moon."
Ruedalow grinned. "Because I've got some food for them."

Monday, 16 June 2014

REDD: The Den (part 3)

"David!" Ruedalow announced. "What the hell have you done with my Beretta?"
"Nothing, Mister Ruedalow." David replied, hurrying in. "It's right here." He took the Beretta from the jacket of his pocket and placed it in the Professor's hands. He looked like he was concealing something from the two men, but they didn't notice.
"Ah!" Ruedalow screamed, throwing the gun to the floor. "What are you trying to do? Electrocute me?"
"I'm sorry, Mister Ruedalow. But I see nothing wrong with the gun?" David picked it up and looked at it.
"It electrocuted me!" Ruedalow replied, angrily.
"Actually, Ruedalow, old chap," Emery interrupted, "it's only electrocution if you die."
Ruedalow glared at him. "Thanks for that delightful insight, Emery." He turned back to David. "What are you trying to, electrocute me?" He quickly turned to Emery. "Don't you dare say anything!"
"There's nothing wrong with the gun, Mister Ruedalow. It's exactly how it was when you gave it to me." David explained, handing the gun to Emery. "See, Mister Emery. It's fine, I didn't even take it out of my pocket!"
Emery weighed it up in his hand. "There's nothing wrong with this gun, Ruedalow, old chap. Feels just fine to me."
Ruedalow furrowed his brow. "Strange. But anyway, we can't discover this later. We need to go through the trapdoor, because whatever this is about, I bet we can find it here."
"Ok." Emery said, pulling the lever. The chair ducked backwards, and the trapdoor opened. "Down we go."
"David, give me the Beretta." Ruedalow demanded. He accepted the gun, and, with a slight buzz, holstered it. "What have you done to my precious gun?"
Without waiting for an answer, he followed Emery into the tunnels beneath the barbers. Emery was waiting for him, 1920's adventurer style torch held out at arms length. "At least there's nothing scampering over my feet." Emery said.
Ruedalow was about to reply when a figure burst through the darkness between them and ran off down the tunnel. "Who was that?" The Professor demanded, whipping out his torch.
"No idea." Emery replied. "Shall we go and find out?"
"Yes. Presumably, there's danger up where he ran from, so we'll have go down his direction."
They followed the direction of the running man and came across no side doors or other entrances. And then they came along the end of the tunnel. It was a single brick wall, with no cracks or gaps. Just a complete brick wall. "Where did that chap go?" Doctor Emery demanded.
"I haven't a clue." Ruedalow replied heading towards the wall. Then they heard footsteps approaching them.
"Quickly, man! Do something!" Emery cried.
Ruedalow thought quick and pulled a thin metal rod from his pocket. "We should be beneath Ludgate Hill, right?"
"Of course."
Ruedalow didn't reply, simply began tracing the outline of a key onto the wall. There was a rumbling and an eye hole carved itself into the centre of the wall. A lizard eye peaked out. "Shove off, monkey descendant." Said a voice from the other side.
"Not exactly Diagon Alley." Emery muttered.
"Let us in or I'll blow your brains out." Ruedalow replied, shoving the barrel of his Beretta, his hands still spasming from the electricity surging through it, into the eye hole."
"Fair point, Master Ape." Replied the voice. "Come in. Come in."
The wall swung out of the way and they stepped into the room. Emery sighed a sigh of relief at the chandeliers illuminating the entire place, but soon lost his relief when he saw where they were. "A Goblin Den."
The room was cavernous. The floor was cobbled, with tables perched all around, each with a collection of Goblins sat around, sipping Mead or Ale. They clinked their glasses and laughed, not noticing Emery and Ruedalow having noticed. A bar was to the far right of the room, with shelves of barrels and bottles behind it, and a collection of tired, underpaid bar maidens serving. Balconies coated each wall, with a variety of rooms on each row, each with Goblins queuing to get out. But the sight that really got Emeries attention was the one to the far end of the room. Thousands of dead wolves, hung by their hind legs, with Goblins carving the fur off their corpses. As a Goblin finished shaving the cadavers, they would transform into humans and be thrown into boxes. It slowly occurred to Emery that they weren't at all wolves. They were Lycanthropes.
"What time is it?" Asked Ruedalow.
"I hardly think that's relevant!" Emery replied, not driving his eyes away from the horrific sight before him.
"Oh my God!" He heard Ruedalow exclaim.
"I know. It's terrible!"
"That's unbelievable."
"Unbelievably barbaric, yes!" Emery replied.
"Brilliant even! In a bad way, of course."
"Of course!"
"But what can we do?" There was a pause, before Ruedalow continued, "What can I do?"
Emery didn't quite hear the next bit, for the sudden whining of all the candles. Suddenly the light in the cavern increased and it became unbearably hot on Emery's back, but he didn't dare turn away from the horrific sight before him. There was a sound like an explosion and then everything returned to normal. Emery felt ever so slightly queasy. That was when he saw all the Goblins in the entire Den looking at him. Or more specifically, what was behind him. He turned around and saw Ruedalow whistling 'Mary had a little lamb' and trying to be inconspicuous. "Emery." Ruedalow said, looking slightly older, but it was probably just the light.
They ran towards the now closed doorway, Ruedalow blasting it open with a click of his fingers, and they raced through the darkened corridors. They could hear the cry of the Goblin behind them, the slimy and slippery patter of their feet on the cobbled floor.  "Where have the people who were chasing us before gone?" Emery asked.
"Don't worry. They'll be chasing us any second." Ruedalow replied.
But Ruedalow had disappeared into the shadows. Emery kept running though. This confusion wouldn't stop him. But what he saw before him next did. Ruedalow, with his torch in one hand and his Beretta in the other, stood waiting for him the tunnels. "Ruedalow?" Emery asked. "What are you doing?"
Ruedalow shook his head and pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang and Emery hit the floor, dead. His watch broke as he hit the ground. It read Five past Three.
In the afternoon.

Monday, 9 June 2014

REDD: The Den (part 2)

"Oh look, it's the News of the World!" Professor Ruedalow exclaimed, like a child on a school trip, as he saw a young salesman of the penny dreadful blatantly eavesdropping.
Emery pulled his hat down over his brow, and stalked up the pavement towards the barbers, being as stealthy as physically possible. "I say!" Ruedalow exclaimed. "Do come and have at look at this, David!"
Emery crept over to his companions, irritated by Ruedalow. "You do realise we're trying not to gain ourselves attention, old chap?"
Ruedalow shook his head. "First rule of attack, Emery. Always let your enemy know you're coming."
"But that takes away the element of surprise."
"Yes it does. But it increases the probability of receiving a cake."
"Ruedalow, this is no laughing matter. There might be a demon in there!"
Ruedalow turned to David. "I hear demons are rather good bakers. How else would you explain Paul Hollywood?"
"Who's Paul Hollywood?" David asked.
"And why did you have to bring David, along with us?" Emery demanded. "No offence, David."
"None taken, Mister Emery." The post boy replied.
Ruedalow ignored Emery and David and walked over to a door beneath a sign that read, 'Gentlemen's Barbers.' "Here we are." He said.
"Be careful, sirs." David said, taking watch outside the shop. "Don't die."
"How beautifully morbid, chap!" Emery replied, drawing his service Beretta.
The door swung open, leading into the darkness of the barbers. "Someone hasn't been paying for their electricity bills." Ruedalow muttered.
A man was sat in the chair, one half of his face covered in foam. "The barber just went to get a new razor. He'll be back in a second." Ignoring the man, Ruedalow and Emery walked over to the chair. "You can take a seat." He said, suddenly nervous. Ruedalow slapped the mans back and they both disappeared. A few seconds later, Ruedalow appeared on the other side of the room cradling his knuckle. "He was surprisingly resistant to my 'beating him round his face.'"
"Surprising. I thought he would have succumbed easier." Emery went over to the barbers chair and inspected it. There was a small outline on the floor, which Emery illuminated with his 1920's torch. "What the devil is this?"
Ruedalow hurried over and stared at it. "It's like the part of the floor with the chair on is separate to the rest of the floor. I think we might have found the trapdoor."
"There should be a lever somewhere, old boy. Have a look for that."
They began searching the room, until they came to the conclusion that there was no lever. Ruedalow decided to have a closer look at the chair, and the outline of the trapdoor. "I think I've found something. This lever here should make it easier to manoeuvre the chair, correct?"
"How should I know? I'm a scientist, not a barber!"
Ruedalow carried on. "But look, there isn't a spring to make it go up. I think it opens the trapdoor."
David burst through the door. "A blokes coming, Misters Ruedalow and Emery. Looks like an engineer."
"Thank you, David. Go to the church, and have a look for anything suspicious. Eh, David, take my gun." Ruedalow said, passing him the matching beretta.
"Thanks, sir." David said, and ran off.
"Emery, come here." Ruedalow said, pulling out some scissors. He quickly snipped away at the Doctors remaining beard, until it wasn't as obvious. "Go sit in the chair and rub some lather over the side of your cheek with the beard on. I'll go sit over there and pretend to be in a queue."
"Ok." Emery said, running over and putting the lather on. "Service!" He cried.
The bloke who looked liked an engineer came in and sat down with Ruedalow, as the barber emerged from the corner of the room. If the barber was a demon, he wouldn't notice the difference between Emery and the bloke that Ruedalow had deposited backwards in time. Ruedalow fought the temptation to release a relieved breath when the demon didn't recognise him.
Slowly, the demon began to carve the foam and hair from Emery's face, and the engineer bloke said, "You don't happen to have the time, old chap?"
Ruedalow smiled and drew his pocket watch. "Ah yes, it's three in the afternoon."
"Thank you. I say! What an exquisite time piece. Did you build it yourself?"
Ruedalow looked down at his pocket watch. A series of cogs, ticking and tocking behind a round glass screen, controlled four intricate hands, a second, minute, hour and hontime hand, each black and intricately carved. He clicked the lid on, observing the mountain carved into the silver and bronze and hung it back into his pocket. "As a matter of fact, I did. Professor Jeffery Thornhill," he said, using an alias, "I'm an engineer for the navy."
The bloke offered out his hand. "J.M. Rymer, civil engineer. Pleasure to meet you."
They shook hands and slid back into silence. Then the doors clicked shut and the barber drew his razor backward and Emery's head rolled across the floor towards them, leaving a trail of blood across the floor. Rymer was sick, his yellowish green vomit forming a puddle around the decapitated head. "Do you mind?" Emery's head asked from the floor.
Ruedalow jumped up and reached for his Beretta, only to remember he'd given it to David. The demon didn't give him the chance to decide what to do next, lunging forwards with his razor. Ruedalow instinctively stepped back, and swung out his fist, punching the demon in the face, but it made no difference. The demon simply kicked Ruedalow, and the Professor dropped to the floor, in pain. The demon swung his razor down, but Ruedalow swung forwards, threw his legs and jumped up, smashing his knuckles into the small of the demons back. Ruedalow followed this with a kick to the ankle and, reaching out for the small brush on the ledge in front of the mirror, smashed the handle of that into the top of the demons head. The demon collapsed to the oak floor, and Ruedalow gave him a few kicks for good measure. Then he turned to Emery's body sat upright in the chair. Blood had  run down his clothes, from the oozing gore of his severed neck, and Ruedalow hoped the doctor would dispose of those clothes before it turned crispy and black. Ruedalow walked over to Emery's head and picked it up. "Much obliged." He said. "I generally thought that vomit might touch me."
Ruedalow took the head over to the body and slotted the part of the spine connected to the skull to that protruding from the body. "I hope you never did this at medical school. If the other students had seen you, they would have had a nervous breakdown."
"I never went to medical school. In fact, my PHD is in philosophical architecture. And tourism and leisure." Emery replied, standing up. They turned to J.M. Rymer and saw that he had dropped unconscious. "Drop him at home." Emery said. "He'll wake up and think it was just a dream."
Ruedalow nodded and vanished, soon reappearing.
They walked over to the demon and knelt down, minding the vomit. Emery drew a scalpel and slid up the sleeve. "Let's have a look."
That was when they heard a gunshot far beneath them, from the Professors Beretta, but that wasn't what really got them. Because David was stood outside, peering through the window.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

REDD: The Den

Doctor Jonathan Emery looked up from the book he was reading. He was about half way through, and he decided that he didn't like it very much. It was far too unrealistic. His half moon glasses were perched low on his nose, and he could see over the tips towards the church, with a wind vane shaped like a vessel on stormy seas. There was a market between them and the road, about thirteen stalls altogether, and his direct line of view showed a pub. It exploded. But not with a burst of fire, and the ricocheting rumble of gunpowder ripping open the brickwork, but with a strange flare of white light that quickly enveloped the world around the pub. The white light crawled across the road, a bus disappearing in the action. But there was no commotion. He was the only one who could see it. There was no obvious sound, either. Simply a distorted buzzing, like the winding of record player, backwards. He stood up, as the stalls melted away. He took the paperback and threw it into the approaching oblivion, watching as it was washed from the face of reality. Emery looked at the plaque on the war memorial he'd been sitting on and felt the ghostly cold of the white light seeping into his body. The plaque was completely filled with names, with another piece of bronze riveted to the memorial as more names were needed. The approaching oblivion enveloped him, as it had the pub, and he felt himself being ripped apart. He didn't care. He'd been ripped apart before.
The white light cleared from the memorial, and Emery saw that the extra bronze was gone, as well as the majority of names. He felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned around. Professor Ruedalow, taking the fedora from his head, grinned and passed a basket of eggs to Doctor Emery. "Funnily enough, that's the second time I've chased a knucker through some barracks. I do like your beard."
Emery looked down. He resembled the gnome side of his family more than ever. "I don't remember growing this beard."
"The brand of razors that you use were created by the wife of one of the soldiers who died, but now he didn't, he suffered from post traumatic stress and murdered his wife, mistaking her for a german." Ruedalow replied, quite matter of fact-ly, and walking over to the abandoned paperback, that had been casually tossed onto the floor, by L. Frank Baum. "Unrealistic?" Ruedalow asked.
"Everyone knows you don't dissolve witches with water! You use hydrochloric acid."
"And lions can't talk." Ruedalow added.
"You'd be surprised." Emery replied. He offered out his arm for Ruedalow to teleport them. "Once more unto the breach?"
"Now that's a brilliant book. Although, I personally preferred the performance in which Richard Tarleton performed, and he wrote it as well."
"Don't tell me you're one of those ridiculous people who believe that a young Shakespeare wrote it."
Emery remained silent, and they disappeared.

Professor Ruedalow and his friend Doctor Jonathan Emery are dragon detectives in Victorian London. From their headquarters beneath the Hungerford Market, they investigate and rescue any dragons from the malice of the MEDIA- an organization created to combat the threat of magic.

"How can I help you, Master Ruedalow?" Asked David, pocketing a bank note.
"Have you received any post?" Ruedalow asked, looking up from his computer.
"No." David replied, brushing his bushel of black hair away. His weasel like face was dirty, with the water that all victorians washed in. He generally didn't look like a talented violinist, which Emery was training him to be, but someone who had left university to grow potatoes and he wore varying shades of mustard.
"Well, I've found a new way of receiving mail for you."
"Really?" David asked, his interest peaking.
"Yes." He reached into his long jacket, which hung over the back of his chair, despite the numerous coat stands Emery had bought. "Now, this is what we call a 'smart phone', lad, in the days yet to come."
David accepted it. "I 'ear rumours that Doctor Bell, up in Scotland, is working on somemin like this, but I doubt it could be this small."
"You've been looking at the history books me and Doctor Emery brought with us, haven't you?"
David looked ashamed. "Yes." He moaned. "How did you know?"
"He doesn't have it officially patented till 1876, you idiot. It's currently November 1846, and unless you can read French, there's nothing about any telephone devices in existence at the moment."
"It's alright, lad. An inquiring mind is a good one. Anyway, have a look at this phone. Click the rectangle button at the bottom."
David did so and the screen lit up. He nearly dropped it, in amazement. "Wow!" He murmured.
"There should be a symbol like an envelope. Click on that, and I'll explain the wonders of the email."
But David was too fascinated with another symbol. The letter T. He clicked on it, and the word Tumblr appeared at the top. "Johnlock?" David read. He began reading the text beneath. "Sherlock Holmes." He read, aloud. "What, like Conan Doyles?"
"You do realise that reading all these books from 1887, onwards, is doing you bad. Nobody should have foreknowledge like that. And no one should have to suffer what you're reading. It'll make your toes curl. You need to go on the envelope icon."
Slowly, as David read, his eyes began to widen. "There's nothing like this in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Why does it keep using letters and numbers?"
Emery came running down the stairs.
"Ah! Emery!" Ruedalow exclaimed. "I believe we may have lost our young friend to fan fiction, but I'm sure you're fine. I say! Wherever has your beard gone? And where has all that blood come from?"
Emery wiped a few droplets of blood from his chin. "I've just found a demon barber. On Fleet street!"