Three short science fiction stories.
- 1. TORCHWOOD TRILOGY Geraint J Day
2. CONTENTS 2Kingdom14Power26Glory 3. KINGDOMPierre Mlotte strained for the fifth time to look up at the imposing grey stonyedifice. He was getting really tired after his long journey. His neck had begunto ache as well.Am ... gu ... ed ... fa, he muttered slowly. Non. He stopped and frowned.Je rpte. Am ... gwed ... far. Merde! ... et encore ...He struggled to remember the rules. It was not a problem in his country. Twomain official languages. Pas de problme. Yet here he was, tryingdesperately to remember the rules for pronunciation of the local language.Am ... ji ... ed ...fa, he tried again.Am ... gee ... edth ... va ... It means Museum, said the young womandressed in black leather who rushed closely past him coming from theBoulevard de Nantes and heading for the front steps of AmgueddfaGenedlaethol Cymru.Merci beaucoup, he said with genuine appreciation. He then shouted afterher in the minority tongue of the region he resided in, Dank u voor u helpen.By then all he could see of her was a mane of flowing black hair disappearinginto the entrance of the National Museum of Wales. She hadnt heard him.Pity. Cest la vie, he shrugged.Then it began to rain. It seemed so like Brussels.At the reception desk on the left-hand side of the imposing entrance hallway,Gwen Cooper stopped to ask the attendant the way.Up by there, love, said the man. He thought for a moment and added, Oh,didnt you used to work for the police or something? Honest to God, Im sureIve seen you here before. Some trouble with yobs trying to nick rocks or thelike, I think.Yeah, something like that. Tell you on the way out. In a bit of a rush justnow, was Gwens answer.When she arrived outside the Head Curators office she knew that she had adifficult job ahead of her. So she paused for a moment. This could be tricky. Itshouldnt be, but it always seemed to take a while to explain to officialdomexactly what Torchwood did. Not that she intended to elaborate on theexactly part during this afternoons conversation.Mr Lloyd-Evans has made time to see you now, said the woman seated atthe desk, rather condescendingly, Gwen reckoned.2Collection Geraint Day, 2010 September 9 4. Has he, now? Well, well see if Im free to see him, retorted Gwen. ... Ohyeah, Ive checked my engagements and I see that I am free.Mr Lloyd-Evans is a very busy man, said the woman.He is, is he? Maybe. Well, well see how busy he is after hes listened to me,snapped Gwen, not to be outdone by some aspiring Lady Muck. Tell him Imon my way in, will you? Gwen glared at her for a moment. Ta, she added.The woman at the desk looked gobsmacked. She was enraged. Then shetook a deep breath. Whos she think she is? she muttered faintly beforepicking up the phone to call the Head Curator. Sounds like some Valleys girl.Not the sort we want barging in here. No way. After all, Cardiff was verymuch on the up and up these days.There were very few living dinosaurs in Cardiff nowadays. (Unless youcounted some of the members of the City Council, according to somecorrespondents to the South Wales Echo.) That was mainly because most ofthem had become extinct about 65 million years before the present. IantoJones knew from personal experience of only one species that was classed inthe popular mind as dinosaurs. That actually wandered the streets of Cardiffin 2009. Well, not so much walk the streets so much as fly about under someof them. It was the pterodactyl that now had the caverns of the TorchwoodHub in Cardiff Bay as its home from home.When he had picked up a message from the museum curator in Cathays Parkhe had not really been paying attention. He had been trying to sort out someof the voluminous Torchwood archive boxes full of alien and human artefacts.The man had been babbling about dinosaurs being on the loose. Cleanerswere getting terrorised. The man had eventually told Ianto at length and ingreat detail that the whole thing could get out of hand and lead to all sorts offrightening outcomes. He certainly didnt want the Welsh AssemblyGovernment to withdraw any funding. Or any of the private benefactors hehad so closely worked with, he shuddered to think, to persuade them tosupport the Museum. Things were tight enough already.Eventually Ianto had managed to shut him up and get him to explain what theissue was.The whole thing had originally been referred to Torchwood by the desksergeant at police headquarters. That was why Gwen had ended up rushingoff to the Museum that morning. At any rate, she had to, as Captain JackHarkness was away in London.That, and the fact that about half past nine the previous evening her formercolleague, PC Andy Davidson, had phoned her directly. He had asked her to3Collection Geraint Day, 2010 September 9 5. come down to Lavernock Point near Penarth. Some idiot had been reported torunning around there shouting his head off about the dinosaurs that weregoing to kill him. That was what Andy had told her, anyway.She had turned up around half ten. Andy had been first on the scene.They were greeted by a man who said that he had his own show on one ofthe local radio stations.What do you mean, youve never yeard of it? Cosmo Probert looked aghastat the woman in the black leather jacket. Funky, yeah?Gwen and Andy looked at each other with an expression of more than justsurprise. It was more like irritation.Ive got my own show, repeated the radio presenter. He then began staringinto the distance dreamily.He did indeed have his own show on Dragon FM, so he was already not verypleased to have been used by the technical department to try out somesignal-boosting tests for their outside broadcasts. His own show, he thought tohimself with pride. If only he had not insulted that pompous bloke from Londonhe had bumped into in the foyer in Llandaff he might well have got thatprimetime BBC job instead. So what if he had turned out to be one of thedeputies to the Director General? Or was it an assistant to the deputy?Anyway, he felt sure that the BBC did not make its presenters traipse aroundSouth Glamorgan carrying a load of wires and radio antennas in the middle ofthe night.Gwen broke his reverie. Look, whats this about a bloke and dinosaurs? Andby the way, Ive been listening to Nation Radio lately. Thats when I get achance, which isnt often, mind you.Oh, yes. Over here. Cosmo was slowly coming back to reality.The crew found him. He kept rushing around and getting the soundengineers all worked up while they were doing their measurements. I had torecite some standard script and they had to look at the numbers on themeters. All very proper. But we had to do it hundreds of times. I ask you.Cosmo looked very dejected. I was the only one with a working mobilephone. Typical. Among a load of techies, too.Yes, but where is he? interrupted Gwen. She was beginning to feel gladabout her listening choice. This man could well drive her bonkers if she had aregular dose via the airwaves.Cosmo pointed to a huddled figure just visible in the shadow of a streetlight.He looked exhausted, with streaks of dirt running in all directions over hisshabby jacket. And terrified. Another drunk, thought Gwen. That sort tended 4 Collection Geraint Day, 2010 September 9 6. to hang out in the City centre these days, rather than round here. But anythingwas possible, of course.When Gwen and Andy had calmed him down they did manage to prise someodd pieces of what looked like knurled and dried meat from his shakinghands.Theres alright now, soothed Gwen. Lets be having you.Keep him away from me! He wants to bloody lock me up. The dishevelledman glared at Cosmo Probert out of the shadows cast by a streetlight. Gwenrevised her opinion. Terrified and drunk? No, just terrified.No, I dont. I just wanted to make sure you were all right, Cosmo said,looking quite hurt.Perhaps he wasnt so bad after all, thought Gwen for a moment. She began tofeel a little sorry for this Cosmo fellow.No, Im not ... bloody ... alright, muttered the man on the ground. ... Not ...used to having to run around being followed by ... , the ruffled up manpaused for breath. ... some sort of things out of that kids dinosaurprogramme. Whats it called?Primeval, suggested Andy helpfully.Well bloody evil, I tell you, said the man.Look, give me that rock youve got there, said Gwen. She held it up towardsthe light.I think Ill put that in the sample bag, she said slowly after looking at it closelybut gingerly.Getting a pair of protective gloves from the holdall she was carrying, she liftedthe piece of rock or meat or whatever it was and dropped it into the plasticpouch. Sealing it, she quickly closed up the bag. Andy, Ive got to be off now, announced Gwen Can you look after the poorbloke and get him home?Oh, I suppose so, answered Andy. Do I get to know what that thing is andwhat all this is about?No, sorry. Actually, she had no idea herself what was going on. Mind you,Owen will have some dating to do this evening, after all, she thought. Of theradioactive kind, probably, rather than Owens own usual preferences.Well, I suppose Ill see you about.5Collection Geraint Day, 2010 September 9 7. What? Oh, yes. Andy was looking as mystified and as left out as usual.Yes, see you, and you too, Cosmo Probert, waved Gwen with a smile. Bestof luck with the programme. And on helping Andy with his enquiries.PC Davidson will take down all the details, she added as she disappearedback towards the road in the darkness.It had reminded him of something. Years before he had looked at a similarobject. It was when he had decided that he really had to pass an exam inbiology in order to get on the path to study medicine at university.Doctor Owen Harper looked once more into the eyepiece of the microscope.What he looked at - for about the tenth time resembled something he hadseen before. But what was it?Cutting up frogs had been an essential prerequisite to getting his biologyqualifications. The small piece of limb that he was look