Background image by Matthias Wewering from Pixabay. Character courtesy of Easy Pose.
A brand new creative writing prompt from the Sean Tanner spy universe, copyright-free as
usual – so if you want to develop your own stories, comics,
animations, games or whatever, using the characters from this
universe, then you are free to do so (please don’t claim that you
came up with the characters yourself! A mention would be nice, but is
not necessary – I am giving these characters freely to encourage
the art of creative writing.)
ooo START ooo
With a heavy heart, Sean Tanner slowly walked to the reservoir. He was due to help Volgier look into accounts of minor contamination incidents to the town water supply. It was going to be the first time Sean had seen his version of Volgier for over thirty years; Sean had become very close with Volgier’s doppelgänger in the alternative dimension, and Tanner was missing him terribly. Tanner wasn’t as close with the Volgier he was about to meet; they were still on insulting banter terms, so he was going to find it awkward dealing with him.
-----“Tanner, you pig!” Volgier shouted from the walkway that spanned the reservoir dam.
-----“Good to see you too!” Sean shouted back.
-----“You can do better than that, my friend!”
-----“I’m trying to be nice!”
-----“You’ve never been nice. You insult me terribly!”
-----“I’ve changed, old boy!” Sean sighed as he got closer. He felt like hugging Volgier, but it wouldn’t be received well by this version. Tanner figured he would probably be able to within the next ten years if lucky.
-----“You English dog, how the hell are you?” Volgier said, slapping Tanner hard on the back.
-----“Better for seeing you. We must meet up socially sometime, maybe for cocktails; how about that?”
-----Volgier gave Tanner a quizzical look, then laughed out loud. “You joking with me, yes?”
-----“You know me, Volgier. I’m a barrel of laughs.”
-----“I know good English song – Barrel of Laughs; I like very much.”
-----“Me too, old friend,” Sean whispered. He swallowed down the lump in his throat and wiped the corner of his eye.
-----“Let’s get down to business. Follow me to the office.” Volgier led Sean to a small office situated at the end of a narrow lane. Inside they were met by the site manager Lorenzo.
-----Lorenzo explained that for months, the water quality had sporadically dropped below government standards. He and his team had investigated all common causes of water contamination and searched a twenty-five-mile radius surrounding the reservoir for possible causes of pollution. When he drew a blank, Lorenzo decided to contact his old friend Volgier. Volgier had ordered a Dry Combat Submersible, which could easily fit the three of them. It was due that afternoon and was to be delivered by helicopter. In the meantime, the men went to a local burger joint for lunch.
-----“You don’t seem yourself, Tanner. You look a bit peaky. I don’t want you puking in my sub!” Volgier and Lorenzo roared with laughter and clinked their beer tankards together.
-----“I think my stomach can just about cope with the fine cuisine served here.”
-----“What did I tell you, Lorenzo; he dines with the Queen!” The two friends continued with their jibes while Tanner looked around the diner. Sean was glad to see Volgier, even if he was much more obnoxious than the alternative Earth version. Sean felt comfortable now and would make every effort to speed up his bond with Volgier, even if it wasn’t going to be the same as the one he had with the other Volgier.
-----Volgier’s phone buzzed, and he downed his drink. “My sub’s arrived.”
-----They walked back to the reservoir, all the time Volgier and Lorenzo joking and play-fighting. Tanner was now back to his old self on the outside but was far from it on the inside. He was struggling to readjust to life as a forty-year-old. Sean had become used to being older, kicking back with Volgier of an afternoon: Watching sport on the veranda with a few drinks. The company of his friend had become something comforting and valued, and now he was mourning it. He was also finding it difficult to slot back into his relationship with Rebecca. She had noticed the difference in him and kept questioning him about it. He tried to sweep it under the carpet, but as he could barely remember what life was like with Rebecca thirty years ago, it was not easy.
-----“Come on, slow bus!” Volgier shouted as Sean trailed behind.
-----“It’s slow coach, not bus,” Tanner said, catching up with the men.
-----“Whatever. We shouldn't need diving equipment, but I’ve got some in the car just in case.” Volgier said as they approached the reservoir.
-----“Is it safe?” asked Lorenzo as they neared the submersible.
-----Volgier mocked indignity, “Of course it is, it’s brand new!” he spoke to the helicopter pilot awhile before helping Lorenzo and Tanner on board. Volgier opened the hatch, and they entered. The submersible was roomy and accommodated them easily. It was built for up to five crew members and was state-of-the-art in its design.
-----Sean looked around, scrutinising each instrument panel in turn. “Very nice!”
-----Volgier puffed out his chest, “Well, what else would you expect for the country’s finest Captain?”
-----“So why didn’t they send him?” Lorenzo joked.
-----Volgier pretended to be angry, “Very funny, I’ll kick your butt once we dive. No one will hear you scream, except the fishes!”
-----Tanner sat in one of the seats, “Now, now ladies, shall we focus on our mission?”
-----Volgier clapped Tanner on the back as he walked forwards, “We’re checking out the reservoir, not going into space!” Volgier sat in the pilot’s seat and began flipping switches and turning dials. “OK, girls, let’s dive!”
-----For the next twenty minutes, Volgier surveyed the reservoir, looking for signs of illegal dumping. When he found none, he set about checking the walls for damage.
-----When Volgier found no obvious sign of damage to the reservoir walls, Tanner came up with an idea. “Is there any way we can check the thickness of the walls?”
-----“We have a prototype device which is still being beta tested,” said Volgier. He powered it up and calibrated it. “It shouldn’t take long to map.” Volgier piloted the submersible around the concrete edges of the reservoir. The results were startling; there was a void in one section of the reservoir wall.
ooo End ooo
It started the day the government fell…
My name is Master Tenjin. Ling is my adopted son; his Mother and Father were murdered by kidnappers two years ago. I decided to move to London so I could provide a safer environment in which my traumatised ward could heal. For a while, we lived in peace. But, then The Swarms came.
I tried to teach Ling that the pen is mightier than the sword, that it is correct to turn the other cheek, but my fatherly instinct came to the fore when The Swarms unleashed an evil wave across London. I reluctantly went against my own teachings and became the thing I’d been warning Ling about. I did it to protect my son.
Monday (late afternoon).
I was fishing with Ling along the banks of the Thames when I first noticed something was wrong. It was almost as if the birds knew it too. A silence descended like a blanket; not a cosy blanket in winter, but a stifling, suffocating blanket that almost takes your breath away. Ling picked up on my altered state and asked me what was wrong. I told him everything was fine, but deep down I realised it wasn’t.
I had my fishing knife with me and stuck it in my back pocket. I was ready, but not sure of the threat. I could feel it, creeping up, seeping from the ground; something wasn’t right.
Without warning, a body fell from the sky and landed at my feet. Ling screamed in shock. I tensed. I looked around and saw a well-built man on a balcony of a nearby tower block; he looked more than capable of throwing someone off of a building.
Minutes passed and then a din like nothing I’ve ever heard before filled the air. People were running in all directions away from crazed young men who looked intent on dishing out some serious violence. The young men were armed with everyday items, but that did not diminish the churning in my stomach.
Ling clung on tight to my leg, so I soothed him by stroking his head. I gathered only what I thought we might need and ran with Ling.
We soon saw an office block, so I burst in with Ling under my arm. A receptionist looked us up and down.
"Can I help you?" she said in an unfriendly tone.
"Can me and my son stay here a while? It isn’t safe outside.”
"It’s a lovely day outside. I wish I was able to get out and enjoy the sun. If you haven’t got an appoint…" she broke off, as bricks smashed through the windows and landed in front of her desk. "Good gracious me. What’s going on?"
"That’s what I’ve been trying to explain…"
Many emergency vehicles roared past outside with their sirens blaring.
The lady on reception sprang up and locked the door. “Come with me,” she said, rushing upstairs.
She opened a heavy oak door and startled the woman sitting at a large desk.
"Can I help you Grace?"
Grace, the receptionist, ushered me and my ward into the office.
"I haven’t got any appointments have I?" the woman asked.
"No. Didn’t you hear the windows smashing downstairs?" Grace said.
"I had my headphones on, I was going through the notes for the Stentford report."
"There’s some sort of riot going on. This gentleman can tell you more," Grace said, gesturing to me.
Before I had time to answer a crash from downstairs startled us all.
Grace gasped. "It sounds like the door’s been smashed open!"
I looked down the stairs and saw intruders coming up. "Quick! Help me barricade the door."
We moved the heavy office desk up against the door, which bought us some thinking time. I scoured the office and saw a case on the wall that held two ceremonial samurai swords. It was locked, so I prised it open with a metal letter opener. The others looked at me in horror when I practised a few moves. It had been many years since I had held a sword in my hand, but my body had not forgotten. The swords may have only been decorative items, however, in skilled hands, they were still capable weapons. To my shame, a wave of excitement swept through me…
I'm bringing The Sean Tanner Chronicles to an end with this closing text. If you wish to carry on the Chronicles yourself, then feel free to do so, but I don't want to labour the storyline and wish to introduce new writing exercises, including some that touch on darker themes. I am also hoping to include prompts that parents can use together with their children. I am also hoping to produce new textbooks in the New Year. Sean Tanner and friends on our Earth will continue their missions, and I hope I can keep them grounded, at least for a while!
At Seventy-Years-Old, Sean Tanner was helped into the experimental spacecraft sitting on the launchpad. The head technical assistant asked Tanner one last time if he was sure he wanted to take the risk…
Tanner was tired; yesterday he had said his goodbyes to his alternative Earth friends. Volgier looked lost when Sean bear-hugged him. They had been friends for thirty years, and it was obvious to Sean that the old man was going to miss him dearly. Red was her usual aloof self, but Sean was sure he spotted a tear welling up, she blamed the wind. Bridey, could hardly contain herself; Brandy Taylor’s counterpart was as close a friend as Brandy herself. Sean would miss them all. Steve Minott had passed away over ten years ago, but Sean appreciated the bonus time he had been granted with his old boss. Now it was time to go; even though he’d found Rebecca’s double living in London, and he’d grown fond of her, she wasn’t his Rebecca.
Sean squeezed the technical assistant’s hand and shook it, he welled up and spluttered, “Yes.”
The assistant signalled Sean’s answer, and a flurry of activity commenced. The mobile gangway retreated with the technical assistant atop. The now belted in Tanner looked on as the door slowly closed. He was alone and felt it. It seemed an eternity before the engines erupted and the g-force pinned him down. Now, he was on his way.
The space anomaly was still active; it had been active for thirty years. However, it took almost thirty years for space travel to become a reality on the alternative Earth. Tanner had assisted where he could, with his limited knowledge of the science. It was a long haul to create a reliable space vehicle, and obviously, the government were not just building the craft to help Sean Tanner to return home, they wanted the technology for themselves. Tanner had to weigh up the consequences of accelerating the space program on the alternative Earth. He thought long and hard about it and figured he would only be pushing it forward by about ten years, and he didn’t foresee any pitfalls in doing so.
The anomaly was coming into sight, and Sean Tanner breathed easy. Scientists had developed a piece of equipment to detect and lock-on to it automatically, and it was working. The craft gradually positioned itself for entry, and Sean felt a tear running down his cheek. The Seventy-Year-Old’s heart began to beat faster as the spacecraft entered. He felt a tingling sensation all over his body as his cells changed. He was becoming younger. As he exited the anomaly, he had the body of a Forty-Year-Old. He spotted a space shuttle in the distance and remembered Misha Bardoe. He switched to manual control and gave her a wide birth.
Sean Tanner contacted HQ2 to request permission to land on the waste-ground outside the research and development hanger. An hour later, the spacecraft sat outside the hanger with a crowd of HQ2 trainee technicians looking it over. Sean was looking at them whilst drinking tea from a flask.
The head of research and development was looking at Sean suspiciously. “How come I wasn’t told about this?”
“Need-to-know, old boy, Need-to-know,” said Tanner tapping his nose.
A fun writing exercise is to pick two or more photos from a website like Pixabay (images can be used free for commercial or non-commercial projects, with or without attribution). I’ve included an example below:
Writing exercise example – I picked two images from Pixabay (they happened to be next to each other!), and from those two images, I wrote the following story.
My story begins four years ago when, during a terrible snowstorm, my plane lost power. I had two passengers to save, so I decided to crash land. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but as I was taking my two scientist friends to a remote outpost in Antarctica, I was pretty sure I was about fifty miles short of our destination. Anyway, with the twin engines refusing to restart, I battled to keep my plane level. I instructed my passengers to brace themselves for the crash, but it turned out there wasn’t much of an impact. The plane punched its way through a thin layer of melting ice and splashed down into a lake below.
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay.
To my amazement, the three of us not only survived the crash but, we were unscathed. We exited the half-submerged plane and took in our surroundings. My small aeroplane had settled the right-way-up inside an ice cave entrance. I pulled out the emergency dinghy from the plane, and we clambered in and started to paddle with our hands towards the rocky shore. The astonishing thing was that deeper into the cave, where the roof had obviously collapsed, we could see grass and trees had started to grow. As we explored further, we realised that we had discovered a small unknown landmass; it stretched far into the distance, with high walls of stone and ice either side of us.
I should introduce you to my fellow travellers, the two scientists. Both of them are great friends of mine, and I had flown with them as passengers many times.
Robert Yendelson is one of the worlds leading experts in Geology. He was studying the emerging solid landmasses that were increasingly being exposed due to the rapid thawing happening in Antarctica.
David Colechester is an expert in Microbiology and had been studying the occurrences of green snow algae blooms in coastal snowfields.
Anyway, back to my story; we carried on exploring the shore when Robert called to us. He was looking at a very smooth area of rock that stood out from the random, jagged formations around it.
“Take a look at these!” he said excitedly.
I followed David and was surprised to see cave drawings next to the smooth stone.
“They’re enough to give you nightmares, eh?” said Robert.
David and I took a good look and agreed they were. The drawings depicted humanoid figures with the heads of lizards. The figures were leading people out of a cave and into something that looked like a beam of light that came from a cloud. We looked at each other puzzled. I had a frost-proof digital camera in my backpack, which I used to photograph the drawings.
We set off again, moving further into what would have been a cave system in the past. The vegetation was getting thicker and more varied as we travelled. We also noticed the temperature was rising, possibly due to the abundance of plants. David took soil samples along the way and studied any unusual plants he noticed. We stopped a few times for a break; we had some water and food in our packs but were mindful of our predicament, we thought we would have to ration the remaining supplies in case we couldn’t replenish our stock.
It wasn’t long before I got the surprise of my life. I was admiring some white flowers growing on a bush when I came face to face with a beautiful young woman. She froze momentarily, then bolted. I told David and Robert, but they just laughed at me.
Image by Anastacia Cooper from Pixabay.
After about an hour and a half and what seemed like about five miles further on, we could see a settlement in a shallow bowl-shaped valley. Smoke rose from central openings in round huts which were scattered in vast numbers; I roughly counted about eighty. One larger hut I guessed was for communal meetings, worship or perhaps a school. It didn’t take long for the menfolk to spot us. A group of athletic men ran up the sides of the valley and surrounded us. They had spears with flint heads. Some dogs wandered up and sniffed at our feet.
“Good day to you,” I ventured.
The young men looked
bemused. They began speaking to us in a strange language, unlike
anything I’ve heard before. However, their intent was clear. They
wanted us to walk down to the settlement below. As we were walking
down, elders began gathering outside the large hut. They sized us up
and down, and I think they considered us to be of no threat to them.
They welcomed us, probably, we were something of a novelty; children
gathered to examine our storm-suits and packs. It wasn’t long
before the whole village was passing our things around to each other
to study. The elders showed the children our items one by one and
seemed to be hazarding a guess as to what each item was used for. It
was quite comical; it was obvious they had no idea what the items
were, but I stifled a laugh. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings,
and I decided their status as elders mustn’t be undermined.
Presently, I spotted the young lady I had seen earlier behind the bush with white flowers. I caught her eyes, and she blushed nearly as red as her hair. Later, when Robert, David and I were offered a meal, the young lady was one of the women serving food. She filled my wooden bowl with a stew and gave me two slices of dark brown bread. As she left our table, she flashed me the warmest smile I’d ever seen.
Over the weeks, I spent more and more time with the young lady with flame-red hair. Although we couldn’t communicate very well, we fell deeply in love. I learnt to say her name – Livia. She learnt to say mine – Paul. As time went on, the elders seemed concerned about Livia spending time with me and did everything they could to try and keep us apart. Of course, they did not want to seem rude, so they would come up with plenty of tasks for Livia and me to do, but making sure we were as far away from each other as possible. Months passed, and Livia looked as concerned as the elders. She seemed to have lost all her radiance. She looked sad.
I managed to get her on her own when Robert, David and I were collecting water from a melt-water stream. She was washing clothes in a dammed off area. I went over to her, and she burst into tears. I knew she wouldn’t understand me, so I hugged and comforted her as best I could.
She put her hand on my forehead, and I saw a moving image in my mind. The perfectly smooth rock face we saw close to the cave lake flashed into view. Suddenly the stone shimmered, and a craft began slowly moving through the rock and out near the shore. It was hovering slightly above the ground. A door opened, and three figures dropped down. They were dressed in grey suits, and my heart raced when they came into view; they each had a head like a lizard. They didn’t look at all friendly, and as I thought it, Livia sobbed uncontrollably.
Have a go at finishing the story. I was going to take it further, but I think it stops at a good point, ready for you to carry on.
Now you’ve read my example, have a go yourself; look for free-to-use photos that inspire you to write. Pick a couple that will enable your short story to develop. It is a good exercise that will stretch you and improve your writing skills. You might have to do some research, as I did. Antarctica is frequently in the news and is a current issue. I used a little bit of artistic licence concerning the temperature of the area, and the light plane used by the charter pilot; when researching flights to Antarctica, I found it highly unlikely that this type of plane would be used. However, with the thawing happening so quickly, and if the story is set in the future, lighter aircraft might be in operation.
I have taken the story so far, leaving enough scope for you to continue. Don't forget the prompt text is copyright free, so if you want to branch off and create your own episodes using any of the characters and background information I've provided, then feel free to do so, that's the whole point of this website.
Going back to this episode, to carry on from where I've left it, you have months of fighting left before the dome is entered by Sean Tanner and Bridey Tyler. You need to think of a way to get in! Also, the Goblins have to be overpowered and freed from their masters. What technology will you find in the dome? How did the dome arrive? Was it an experiment gone wrong?
Sean Tanner now exists in another dimension. He is on a different Earth. Someone takes pity on him and gives him some clothes and shoes. Whilst exploring, he bumps into a familiar face.
---"Tanner you English dog, you're meant to be dead!"
---"Volgier, am I glad to see you. What the hell is going on? One minute I was in space, the next I'm here."
---"What are you rambling about?"
---"Everything's changed, this is not my London!"
---Volgier prodded Tanner. "You're real, not a ghost?"
---"Of course I'm real."
---"No, you died in the line of duty. You've been dead for five years!"
---Tanner was lost for words.
---Volgier thought for a while. "Since you're here, and not dead, you can help me with something. There's been trouble outside the bubble, I'm heading there now."
---"I've no idea what you're talking about, I've only just arrived and I don't understand what's happened - I don't recognise anything."
---"No matter, you're still the same Tanner I knew, even if you've gone a little mad."
---Tanner decided it was sensible to stick with Volgier. "You're going to have to fill me in, this is all new to me."
---"There's been some sort of skirmish just outside the dome. There are fliers on the hill, just standing still; it looks like something from the bible!"
---Volgier led Sean to his car. It was a petrol-engined heap that coughed and spluttered all the way to the hill. Tanner looked at the scene. He'd glimpsed the dome from above when he was lowered to the ground, but this thing was enormous. Fires were burning around the perimeter, and now the sky was becoming overcast, it did indeed look biblical.
Can Red and the others be surgically removed from their fliers? It's over to you now. Finish this episode and look out for more episodes coming soon!
Software used: Painnt, Daz Studio, Gimp 2.10 and KumaKuma Manga Editor.
Following on from the Interactive Fiction story "Rescue" I'm revisiting the colony planet Mercia Minor which is now occupied by Raiders. In the following writing exercise, write episodes which carry on once the Space Marines and Mercenaries gain control of the planet.
As a reminder, the link below takes you to the Interactive Fiction story "Rescue".
Major Liam Radd stands in the flight tower watching the last of the space marines board the troop carrier.
"Is the bomb set up?" he asks his assistant.
"Yes, Sir. It's hidden and primed. Once the mercenaries send word the planet's taken, then we can send the signal."
NOTES: A small team of mercenaries are leading a secret operation to win back the colony planet Mercia Minor from Raiders. The team includes four highly skilled leaders who are coordinating the operation.
They have over a thousand space marines with them half male and the other half female.
The major is planning to explode a bomb on board the troop carrier once the space marines secure the planet. Mercia Minor is rich in natural resources and with no means of escape, the space marines will be forced to set up a new colony. After twenty years, there should be a thriving population who will be utilizing those natural resources. The major hopes to seize all assets in another operation to free the planet of "Raiders" - but this time it will be the space marines and their offspring who will be cleansed.
Sean Tanner was told by Sarah Serking, that HQ(2) bigwigs had purchased a camper van for operatives to use for weekends and holidays. She suggested that Sean and his work colleagues should be the first ones to book it, as she thought they needed a well-earned rest. Sean negotiated a weeks break for them, which was unheard of in all the time he’d worked for HQ.
The four operatives gathered all they would need for a week-long camping holiday and headed over to Logistics to pick up the van. Go to Logistics.
Copyright free Creative Writing Exercise by Antony R James.
Set in the spy world of Sean Tanner, Alex Farrington, Brandy Taylor and now featuring Rebecca Towley.
Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/ufo-spaceship-alien-futuristic-5203805/
Sean Tanner and Rebecca Towley sat at a table for two in a small multi-cuisine restaurant. They had just ordered when Alex Farrington and Brandy Taylor entered the restaurant. Brandy waved to Sean and he beckoned them over.
---’Why don’t you join us, I’ll ask if we can move to a bigger table,’ he said.
---Brandy grinned. ’Aren’t you
two having a romantic dinner?’
---’It’s fine,’ said Rebecca.
---A waiter came over and asked if everyone was together.
---After the move to a bigger table, the four friends settled down and ordered meals. Halfway through, everyone’s phone began ringing at the same time. They quickly checked their messages and all of them were required to return to HQ2 immediately.
Their separate journeys back to HQ2 were enlivened by the sight of squadrons of helicopters and other flying transporters heading the same way as them.
---Back at HQ2 the two couples stood and stared as helicopters and transporters landed one by one in adjacent wastelands.
---’Something’s going on,’ said Alex, stating the obvious. ‘Let’s get inside and see what’s happening.’
---They headed for HQ2 but were stopped at the entrance by new security men dressed all in black. The men asked to see their security tags before letting them in.
---Inside, Sarah Serking hurriedly ushered them into one of the small briefing rooms.
---’Thank you for getting here so quickly,’ she said. ‘We have a situation that’s arisen in the last hour. A craft of very unusual and advanced design landed in wasteland not far from here. The Americans turned up straight away, hence the men in black at the door. The craft is under armed guard at the moment. The thing hasn’t opened yet, so we don’t know what we’re dealing with.’
---’Is it from space?’ Alex asked.
---’Sorry, I should have said. It was tracked by the Americans entering Earth’s atmosphere earlier this evening.’
(That’s because he’s Human not of Alien origin. He and a group of top scientists left earth in 1939 just before the war after building a craft using a design stolen from Nikola Tesla. They found a habitable planet rich in resources and built a thriving colony. The now huge population is under threat of annihilation from a very large asteroid heading towards their planet.)
Continue the episode: The man wants to bargain new technology for sanctuary for his people but is trying to pass himself and his people off as Aliens. He left Earth at a time of mistrust just before the Second World War. He doubts the citizens of Earth will accept a large influx of people whose forefathers ran away instead of fighting for their countries.
Rebecca sat in her hotel room looking out of the window. She’d just
turned the television off. She was bored with the constant chatter about
celebrities she didn’t know. Sean had told her to pick a surname as she
didn’t have one. On the island many people didn’t have last names, it
was common. Here, in London, she wouldn’t be able to function without a
second name. There would be forms to fill in, she’d need to register
with a doctor and dentist and look for work, no one was going to be able
to deal with her properly unless she had a second name.
---She eventually set about the task of choosing a name for herself. Sean had left numerous magazines for her to look through and an article about an artist called Susan Towley had caught her eye. She read through the piece about her move to Norfolk after a hectic life as a company director. Apparently, Susan had wanted to be an artist from an early age but different career opportunities cropped up or life’s usual obstacles had always gotten in the way. Rebecca was feeling an affinity with Susan Towley and decided she would take her name, well, her surname at least.
The fresh breeze and smell of the pine
trees were helping Rebecca to unwind. The past week had been
overwhelming for her. The move from the island to London was proving
difficult. Rebecca’s mother had been desperate to get her only daughter
off the island, and Rebecca had wanted to escape just as much, but now,
with reality hitting hard, she was glad to escape London, if only for a
---She stood still, listening. She was missing this. Being able to hear the sounds of the forest, sensing all around her, being at one with nature. Her mother, Servaein, had taught her daughter all the skills needed to survive in such an environment and this was going to serve her well in her chosen career route. Whilst looking through some magazines Sean had left with her, she saw a job opportunity in the classifieds; the advertisement had been for a Forest Adventure Leader, which involved teaching groups of children about forest shelter/survival techniques. Sean’s organisation was going to provide all the references and paperwork she would need to take up this opportunity and if the job was offered to her, she would be starting the following month.
Rebecca didn’t know what to do. It had been five hours since a group of children had wandered off on their own and it was now starting to get dark. She had only been in the job two months and thought that this was going to be a black mark against her before she’d even reached her six-month appraisal. She didn’t want to call her superiors, so decided on a very drastic action. She reached in her pocket and pulled out her mobile phone. His name popped up and she hesitated, should she do this or not? She decided to go for it; she pressed the screen and Sean answered. Once she’d explained the situation he calmed her down and said they’d be on their way as quickly as possible.
Sean Tanner had called in a few favours and was now lead helicopter pilot of a small squadron of five. He had Brandy Taylor next to him who was flipping switches until she found the infra-red camera. The helicopter screen turned green and the way was visible. They arrived at Rebecca’s forest school in a formation and quickly adopted a planned search pattern.
Sean led Rebecca down some steps. She struggled to see as they wound downwards. The musty smell was causing her to shallow breathe.
---’We’re nearly there now,’ said Sean, realising that she was beginning to hold her breath.
---’I thought you said it was high tech?’ she said as they reached the bottom.
---’It is, but we have to use part of the old sewer to get there.’
---Rebecca looked down at her shoes but struggled to see if she’d stepped in anything. They were walking in the dried up sewer and there was more light available; every third wall light was illuminated and helped them pick their way along.
---’It’s just through this door,’ Sean said, pressing a small fingerprint reader. The door lock clunked and he pushed hard to open it. Inside the room was well lit and very modern looking compared to the Victorian sewer they’d just passed through.
---Rebecca was starting to have second thoughts about the training programme she was about to embark on. The forest school hadn’t worked out well once she realised she didn’t like working with children; although the ones that were sent to forest school acted more like delinquents than the regular well behaved children she was expecting. But now, she was thinking it was a case of out of the frying pan into the fire; literally, thinking about what she was about to do. She had agreed to attend operative training in the highlands of Scotland. Sean told her she’d be using all the latest tech including laser rifles, which sounded like something from a science fiction film. That was the attractive part, the less appealing part was she was about to board an experimental transportation chamber that would take her from London, where she was, to the highlands of Scotland in five minutes twenty-seven seconds. The pod could travel at approximately seven thousand miles per hour matching the speed of NASA's X-43A scramjet. Sean had assured her it was quite safe, although he was not sure how it worked.
man met them once they’d entered the room. He was dressed like a
doctor and it came as no surprise to Rebecca that he was,
fact, a doctor.
---Sean Tanner sat next to Rebecca Towley on a hospital bed. The doctor filled a large syringe with an amber liquid from a small bottle and checked one last time if Rebecca was OK to go ahead with the journey north. Rebecca answered she wanted to go and the next things that happened seemed like a dream. She remembered Sean holding her hand and being pushed on a trolley. She could also remember seeing the pod they strapped her into; it was pure white, so white it blurred her vision. Then she remembered her stomach and the lurching feeling, a queasy sensation and then nothing.
---She opened her eyes and saw men coming towards her. They fussed around her and ticked off things on sheets of paper attached to clipboards. Once they were happy she was alright, they unstrapped her and held her up when her legs gave way. A wheelchair quickly appeared, and she was wheeled away with her head still swimming from the journey.
Continue the episode: Rebecca is now in the Scottish Highlands. She is about to start her operative training so that she can become a spy like her friends Sean Tanner, Alex Farrington and Brandy Taylor.
It took me a while to work out how to calculate the time of the journey from london to the Scottish Highlands as Mathamatics is not my strongest skill.
Hopefully I'm correct in my workings which use the speed of 7000 mph as a constant.
If travelling at 7000 mph how long would it take to get from London to the Scottish Highlands.
You can travel 7000 miles in 60 mins (1 Hour)
7000mph / 60mins = 116.6 miles per minute.
568.87 miles is the Distance from London to a particular destination in the Scottish Highlands
So 568.87 / 116.6 = 4.87mins
Which is 5 Minutes 27 Seconds to travel from London to the Scottish Highlands @ 7000mph.
(Copyright free exercises.)
Alex Farrington is sitting at the back of a store sobbing. He has a handgun next to him. Complete a chapter for the previous month leading up to this point.
Brandy Taylor and Alex Farrington had been seeing each other for over six months. A month ago she told Alex she was expecting and wanted to terminate the pregnancy so she could carry on her career as an operative. Alex desperately tried to convince her to keep the baby. Brandy went ahead with the termination, leaving Alex devastated. He refused to see her and wouldn’t answer her phone calls. When he doesn’t turn up for work and can’t be found at his flat, operatives are sent to Dark Stream to search for him. When he is not found there the operatives scour London looking for him.
Alex has dropped under the radar. He hangs around with the homeless of London. When they queue up at church soup kitchens he joins them. He has lost all motivation and his faith in relationships is in tatters. He loves Brandy but cannot forgive her decision to end the pregnancy. Having a son or daughter means everything to him even if it would have happened earlier than planned. He is suffering terrible grief for his lost dream.
Brandy loves Alex and is starting to regret her decision. She misses him terribly and is worried sick about him.
See the previous Alex Farrington prompt at:
You will get a DOC (1MB) file