Welcome! to Issue 2 of the DOOMWATCH fanzine. This issue features background information on the fan produced series and Brian Gorman has contributed a short story and an illustrated introduction. If you’d like to contribute just post a message in the Forum. Enjoy!!
Index Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3 Interview with Scott Burditt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5 Susan Surman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fan produced Season 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-12 Darkest before the dawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 A New Morning (Comic strip) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-16 The Plastic Rain (story) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17-23 Worldforce 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
The DOOMWATCH FANZINE is designed by Scott Burditt. This fanzine is dedicated to the classic BBCtv series "DOOMWATCH" which originally ran on BBC One between 1970 and 1972. It includes information on the Channel 5 TV Movie (1999) and the Tigon Feature Film (1972). Doomwatch is BBCtv copyright and no infringement is intended. Doomwatch.org is a non proﬁt making site, but donations are welcome to continue the upkeep of future projects. Please support the BBC in any DVD, Audio or Book releases. New Stories are works of fan ﬁction. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are solely those of the authors.
Image supplied by David Tulley. Artwork by Andrew Skilleter
A Richard Thomas feature
Interview with Scott Burditt creator of DOOMWATCH.org The episode Tomorrow, the Rat, in which the Doomwatch team confront man-eating rats, is another episode well remembered by fans for it's graphic and hard-hitting ﬁnal moments as Doomwatch's own macho dandy about town Doctor John Ridge, discovers that his date Doctor Mary Bryant is involved in genetically engineering rats and ultimately eaten alive by them. Unfortunately, it is also remembered for the scene in which Toby Wren and Colin Bradley ﬁght oﬀ sewn on rats to their trousers with saucepans, which is very Pythonesque. The series itself is typical of most of the BBC's output at the time and although it lacks in the ﬁnance department, it is more than made up for by the wealth of it's creative writing team, the legendary Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis and stalwart producer Terence Dudley.
Created by Cybermen co-creators Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, DOOMWATCH is a largely forgotten cult hit that deserves better recognition. The series centred around a scientiﬁc government agency (Doomwatch) responsible for investigating and combating new ecological and technological hazards to mankind. The groups' leader, Doctor Spencer Quist, was riddled with guilt for his part in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the Atomic Bomb. In its time, Doomwatch was every bit as popular in Britain as Doctor Who is today, or, at the very least, Who's sister series Torchwood. Unfortunately, unlike Who, there is very little material available for fans to consume. Only four episodes were ever oﬃcially released on VHS and only two of them ever made it to DVD. So, when I discovered Scott Burditt's excellent fan site, doomwatch.org, in a mad search for more, I was thrilled to discover that he was planning to do fanzines to celebrate the shows. Excited by this news, so here is an interview with Scott to get you up to speed with one of the most intelligent sci-ﬁ series ever made.
Richard Thomas: There are very few Doomwatch sites on the web and the few there are seem to be in a state of decay, so it was a pleasure to ﬁnd yours. How did the website ﬁrst come about and is there anything you're particularly proud of?
Richard Thomas: First things ﬁrst, thank you so much for giving me the time to answer these questions. I'm a big fan of Doomwatch and I'm sure that, after reading this, many of the readers will be too, so it's really appreciated. Scott Burditt: I ﬁrst heard of Doomwatch because of its connection to Doctor Who. What most impressed me about the series was that it wasn't so much Science Fiction as Science Fact: raising legitimate concerns about the dangers posed by unregulated developments in technology. With the advent of the internet, genetic engineering and stem cell research. There are still plenty of potentially dangerous issues that could be used in a new series today.
Scott Burditt www.doomwatch.org
Richard Thomas: How did you ﬁrst become a fan of Doomwatch and why do you think the series is still so fondly remembered today, despite the fact that the BBC haven't released all the surviving episodes on DVD yet and there haven't been any reruns in years?
Scott Burditt: I set up the website for two reasons: the ﬁrst was my shared frustration with yourself that there didn't seem to be an up to date website and the second is that I felt that a central location for discovering the series while being able to share views and opinions with others was long overdue. The BBC's Doctor Who is quite rightly well served on the internet and I felt something similar to the sites that fans have built for that series should also be done for this classic BBC TV series. Doomwatch.org is my ﬁrst ever website and I was determined to build a new community for such an important series. I am most proud of the support I have received since the site was built. A lot of good people have come forward and helped me make this happen and hopefully new people will discover the series and also inquire as to why the BBC have not
released it as yet on DVD. Richard Thomas: Looking back on it, I think my personal favourite episode has to be In The Dark starring Patrick Troughton (the second Doctor) as a man trying to cheat death forever using technology. Sadly, though, he gradually loses his humanity, piece by piece, as he becomes more and more machine, becoming little more than a human head on top of a box of tricks. What is your favourite episode or moment from the series and why? Also do you have a favourite actor from the series?
Scott Burditt: I ﬁrst became a fan of the series 7 years ago. A friend of mine at the time had VHS copies of a series he thought I might like. I watched The Plastic Eaters and The Red Sky episodes over a couple of bottles of red wine and loved them (and the wine as well!). Always a good way to introduce someone to a series, I think. From that point onwards, I was hooked. I am lucky enough to have copies of the UK Gold repeats of the programme and I even have the infamous untransmitted episode Sex and Violence. The show only ran for three series in the early 70's, so I am not surprised if people ask, "Doomwatch, what's that?" Those that did see it the ﬁrst time round, never really forgot it. It achieved impressive ratings for it's ﬁrst season as it really captured the public's imagination, with the fears of potential scientiﬁc disasters in the face of progress. It's a fascinating series and is fondly remembered for it's opening episode where a plastic eating virus causes a plane to melt in mid-ﬂight and crash, shortly followed by another potentially fatal ﬂight for Doomwatch's new recruit Toby Wren (played by the frighteningly young Robert Powell) who introduces us to the world of Doomwatch perfectly.
Scott Burditt: Yes, In the Dark shows a frightening potential future in which people could end up, basically, as Cybermen. My favourite episode is The Web of Fear. The episode opens with two minister's sweating in a sauna, how's that for a shocking start! It follows the outbreak of Yellow fever spread by hundreds of blue coloured spiders carrying the disease. The scene where Ridge produces a feather duster to clear away the deadly cobwebs and the spiders in order to aﬀect a rescue attempt of a fellow scientist is sheer class. Simon Oates (Doctor John Ridge) is on top form in this story. Ridge is deﬁnitely my favourite character in the series. His humour and
the concerns of everyday people, while informing and educating them at the same time as entertainingly as possible. There is no shortage of stories, anything from cloning, toxic waste, global warming and genetically modiﬁed food and corporate greed which never go out of fashion. I feel it is essential to introduce a new recruit to the team to help explain to the viewer what Doomwatch means and what it's purpose is. I have worked with Grant Foxon (author of The Dark), where we have devised a new fan ﬁction story called The Plastic Rain, which is a direct sequel to Doomwatch's premier story The Plastic Eaters. Set in the present day, it features Adam (our ﬁctional son of Spencer Quist) following in his father's footsteps, despite a rocky start to his life and eventually the reformation of Doomwatch following the use of the Plastic Eating Virus by an ecoterrorist organisation. Scenes of melting aircraft, cars and bank cards feature as the virus aﬀects members of the public during one of the attacks on government and corporate greed.
personality, not forgetting his eye for the ladies proves to lighten the tone in all of the episodes he features in. Richard Thomas: Sadly, like the black and white episodes of Doctor Who, most of Doomwatch was lost during the infamous BBC tape purges of the 1960s and 1970s. However, all is not lost as missing episodes of Doctor Who turn up from time to time. If you could pick one lost episode from each of the three seasons of Doomwatch to be found, which would they be and why? Scott Burditt: From Season One, I think many Doomwatch fans would agree that the return of Survival Code would be most welcome! Mainly to fully appreciate the ﬁnal episode of the season and the somewhat explosive departure of Robert Powell. Season Two is thankfully complete but a UK 625 line version of The Web of Fear would be nice, as good as NTSC to PAL conversion is you can't hope to match the original format. Season Three is a tough one, but I would choose Cause of Death, as this is potentially one of the most touching episodes of the much maligned Season 3, featuring the death of Ridge's father. Richard Thomas: The creators of Doomwatch Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis were, of course, also the original creators of the iconic Cybermen of Doctor Who. Personally, I'm a little concerned by what is called 'Transhumanism,' a growing movement advocating upgrading the human race via genetic engineering and similar advances in technology. It's still a very long way oﬀ but I think there needs to be some kind of international law banning the creation of a Trans or Posthuman (basically a Cyberman) as well as strong laws limiting the use of the technologies involved. What do you think Doctor Quist's thoughts on the matter would be? Scott Burditt: This is a fascinating subject. I think as a scientist, Quist would be fascinated with the concept but he would be appalled with any execution of it. I am sure he would argue that nature and evolution should ultimately be allowed to decide man's future development. For a start, where do you draw the line? Would only the rich be the benefactors from this? Humans would eﬀectively would make themselves extinct as a species. Kit Pedler thought up the Cybermen, one Summer, when he was out relaxing in the garden and I am sure no one would want to foresee a future where we live as cold unfeeling machines.
Richard Thomas: The original series certainly didn't suﬀer from a lack of original ideas: plastic eating viruses that can reduce an aeroplane to liquid muck, genetically modiﬁed rats that can outsmart a human being, and a plague carrying spiders with Yellow fever venom. What scenarios do you think could most eﬀectively be reused for any revived series and do you have any ideas of your own for possible new ones?
Richard Thomas: 'Transhumanism' might be a good topic for a revived series. Back in 1999, Channel Five tried to revive Doomwatch with a TV movie. Why do you think they failed and, if you were writing the pilot for a new series, what would you do diﬀerent?
Scott Burditt: There are simply loads, open up any newspaper today, they are all there in the open, ready to use! Doomwatch lives on in print and on the internet. The news in general loves downbeat doom and disaster stories, so obviously the public must do too! The only downfall with this approach is that stories quickly date a s new technology and laws come into place. It’s probably best to be as forward thinking as possible in this respect.
Scott Burditt: I think the Channel 5 TV Movie was a bit of a missed opportunity. The central plot concerning a man-made black hole was never going to connect with the audience in the same way that stories about drugs, surveillance technology or subliminal messaging did and still do today. Although, exploring the potential dangers in providing an alternative cheap source of power is very Doomwatch. Despite its decent production values and eﬀective and eery music the story is quite frustratingly muddled and never really bothers to introduce the characters properly, so you end up not caring much about them. You never get the sense that they are working as a team either until the end. Some aspects, such as the talking super computer with Angels on strings completely jar with the viewer. If I was writing a pilot for a new series, I would ensure that the series would go back to basics in its approach. As was the case back then, newspapers and scientiﬁc journals would still be a central source of stories. I feel in order to attract an audience you Brian Gorman taking an need to address important call as “Adam Quist”
Richard Thomas Richard Thomas lives in Swansea, South Wales, and graduated from Swansea University with a BA in American Studies in 2007. Richard grew up watching science ﬁction shows, including his all-time favourite program: Doctor Who. As a child, this enthusiasm for Sci-Fi evolved into an interest in space, UFOs and other esoteric subjects. In 2008, Richard began to write his regular 'Room 101' column for the popular esoteric website Binnall of America, a bi-weekly column focusing on parapolitics and the unexplained, in addition to interviews with some of the leading researchers in these ﬁelds, including among others, Nick Pope, Timothy Good and Nick Redfern. Soon after that, he started writing a Sci-Fi / TV related column for Stuart Miller's Alien Worlds Magazine. In 2009, he expanded his contributions to BoA with a second column, titled 'Sci-Fi Worlds,' exploring the connection between science ﬁction and the esoteric. Recently, he’s contributed feature articles for publications such as the glossy Paranormal Magazine and Scott Burditt’s Doomwatch Fanzine.
Richard Thomas BoA UK Correspondent and Columnist. www.binnallofamerica.com
Richard Thomas: Do you know if the BBC have any plans to celebrate the series? I'd love to see a Doomwatch Night on BBC 4. Scott Burditt: Well, I think a Doomwatch night on BBC4 would be just fantastic. An updated documentary would be very welcome and even if they could stretch to it, a new episode of Doomwatch. I will ask the powers at be at BBC4, but I suspect the answer will be no! The DVD release of the series has long been mooted since 2006 and it still hasn't been scheduled. Apparently some research work has been done for a potential DVD release, but there are still some issues holding up a release. At least the Channel 5 TV Movie Winter Angel has been released, which is something.
Strapping in for the flight proved to be the least of the passengers worries...
Susan Surman in DOOMWATCH 'The Plastic Eaters' 1970 Season 1, Episode 1 story. The thing is, it was pretty exciting as an ex-patriate, to ﬁnd I was actually going to be able to work in Britain. I'd been doing one woman shows, trying to meet as many people as possible. I worked for Peter Cotes, the producer/director for awhile, assisting him on two West End productions - Janie Jackson and Staring at the Sun. Then I got work in Hazell, a Thames TV production (Nick Ball); Hefetz in Edinburgh (Simon Callow); Company (Her Majesty's Theatre; some BBC Radio Plays (Ed Bishop). Crazily and foolishly, Gracie Luck became Susan Kramer, the writer. So many neat things happened at that time. I was invited to write material for Tracy Ullman for her ﬁrst TV special; "George" was performed at La Bonne Cafe and commissioned by the BBC (never aired) and I was banned from rehearsals. I've learned to keep my mouth shut since then. Howard Pays and Sonny Zahl were my agents at diﬀerent times.
Susan Surman, who at the time Doomwatch was broadcast, went by the name of Gracie Luck. Susan played one of the very ﬁrst people you see in the premiere episode of Doomwatch, appearing as the First Stewardess in the Season 1, premiere episode - “The Plastic Eaters”. "At the time of Doomwatch, I was living in London as an actress, later writer. (60's to 80's) Gracie Luck may or may not be familiar. I had 3 diﬀerent agents, can't remember who arranged this job. Pity about Simon Oates. It's odd - I can remember what I wore in 1956 as a summer stock apprentice in Connecticut, but as the First Stewardess, in Ep. 1, it was such a brief brief moment, I can't remember much. I never had a script. And regrettably, I have no pictures.
Then for some reason, novels took over from plays once back in the States and I decided since a book is around forever, I'm going to drop all pseudonymns and use my birth name of Susan Surman. (Max and Friends; Sacha:The Dog Who Made it to the Palace; The Australian Featherweight (also a play); The Noble Thing; and in progress: Dancing at All The Weddings. Just recently, I completed work on a little independent pilot for a TV sitcom called Beautifully Departed. The ﬁrst time in front of the camera in 20 years (Susan Kramer). If it gets picked up, it would be a recurring role so ya never know!"
I think I was introduced to Powell and Oates at a rehearsal (they were very polite) and then for ﬁlming, I was in and out.I don't think I had any lines. I buckled up someone's seat belt on the ﬁrst ﬂight out. I think it was my ﬁrst job with the BBC, although I had been living and continuing my acting studies in London since the early 60's and was working my way up to becoming an Equity member. Other work followed Doomwatch. I moved to Sydney in 1981. And in the late 80's, returned to the States and culture shock. My published novels are as Susan Surman. But the name changes are a diﬀerent
With thanks to Susan Surman (Gracie Luck) 6
A fan produced continuation of DOOMWATCH quite literally takes off!
Concode Sierra Delta F-BTSD has a nasty surprise on board in one of the most audacious terrorist attacks to date. Can the new DOOMWATCH team save the day?...
Concorde renders provided by Youtube user TardisTimegirl. Her amazing work can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/TardisTimegirl. A particular highlight is Doctor Who - 2001: A Who Odyssey (Pictured right) 7
In 2009 an exciting fan produced DOOMWATCH project begun... As with all great things they often start oﬀ small. Grant Foxon (a published author of “The Dark”, contacted Doomwatch.org with a short classic series story called “The Inheritors” featuring Dr. John Ridge, in memory of the late great Simon Oates. Scott Burditt and Grant Foxon concocted a new DOOMWATCH team set in the present day as a direct continuation of the television series featuring the son of Dr. Spencer Quist, called Adam. A short fan produced ﬁlm called DOOMWATCH - A New Morning has been produced (available on Youtube) and features as an introduction to the new fan written adventures. Some of which have been adapted into audio readings. Brian Gorman plays Adam Quist in the short ﬁlm and Karl Cleveley has also produced a new title sequence for future productions. The short sequence features new music especially composed by Dementio13 at CutMat Records. Check it out at www.youtube.com/snhbuk
Brian Gorman Writer, artist, sometime actor and ﬁlm-maker. ‘BORDERLINERS: Ceremony Of Innocence’ written & drawn by Brian Gorman. It’s a fast-moving 21st century espionage tale with more than a nod to TV’s ‘Spooks’ and the Jason Bourne movie franchise.The grittily realistic tale ﬁnds double-crossed government agents ﬁghting to recover their sanity, and hit back against a corrupt department of M.I.5. Brian produced the ﬁrst pilot issue (available at www.doomwatch.org) and was overwhelmed by the positive industry response to it.
Brian Gorman in character as “Adam Quist”
The new Doomwatch logo used for the fan produced “Season 1” designed by Scott Burditt Doomwatch originally ran on BBC One for three seasons between 1970 and 1972. A TV Movie was produced in 1999 for Five (Channel 5 as it was then known).
Behind Season 1 Dear reader I’d like to welcome you to a look behind the making of season 1 and the various plots and sub plots that were used to bring back one of the most important and iconic series of all time. Season 1 began when Scott Burditt emailed me about an idea for a “new” Doomwatch season. He had a great idea how it should begin and that was with a terrorist organisation using the Variant 14 plastic virus from the very ﬁrst episode of Doomwatch The Plastic Eaters. It was a great idea but I pitched back to him that an eco-terrorist group would be more ﬁtting and give us greater ﬂexibility. That’s how our main antagonists the LCF (Liberation Conservation Front) was born. The LCF’s name is actually taken from two real life eco-terrorist factions. With that the genesis of the idea was born. Scott then came up with Adam Quist as the lead. (Played by Brian Gorman in the teasers we ﬁlmed). All we needed now was a plot and some more characters. Including Dr John Ridge (played by the late great Simon Oates on TV). Personally this character was a real pleasure to write for. A seventy something, smart, impeccably dressed anarchist who likes to throw in the most wonderful sarcastic one-liners and still has his sexist streak. What writer could ask for more? For the villain of the piece we created Clive Sellers, a former Doomwatch member who suﬀered some form of breakdown and after gun running in Africa for many years secured funds to launch the LCF as a eco-terrorist group and grab a sample of the Variant 14 which he plans to distribute all over the world and damage our delicate society forever. He wants to reset the world to year one and doesn’t believe man has the right to rape, plunder and poison the Earth and all life upon it. With our ﬁrst story completed we followed with more stories. Tackling a variety of important issues like Legionnaires disease, Powerlines causing cancer, Teenage bloodlust, A revolt of the middle classes, alcoholism and many others. There was however one story which both Scott and I worked on that we decided not to publish. Ghosts became a bit too controversial and too unpleasant. The story which was concerned with the paranormal (of course where was another ration explanation) and people in a small village community going mad and doing very bad and disturbing things. It’s weird we never set out to make controversial stuﬀ although quite often we do with our stories but in a good way. Like the season 3 story that was banned Sex and Violence, Ghosts is just too intense. Perhaps though if Scott receives enough enquires it may get published. May. We have also built up a very important story arc concerning the LCF and although Clive Sellers died at the end of The Plastic Rain the organisation continued under his protégée Carly Whyte. They continue to grow and terrorise. More and more people lost and dispossessed turn to them for help, thinking they oﬀer salvation. They do but their price is far too high. Unconcerned with how many people die they deal only in death and destruction even if their own beliefs are amiable and even right? It has been a pleasure writing for Doomwatch I owe it all as does this fanzine to Scott Burditt. A true gent with a deep passion for Doomwatch. Long may it continue. Grant Foxon A very cold morning.
Unimaginable. Horror. Nightmares. Violence. Psychopath. Disturbed. Sexuality. Feelings. Sombre. Death. Dying. Poodle. Flowing. Gauging. Blood. Blackness. Melancholy. Alliance. Corpse. Talking. Communication. Investigation. Attention. Terriﬁed. Dreaming. Help. Outside. Inside. Fleeing. Investigation. Wanting. Needing. Where. Despair. Crying. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday. Zombie. Comatose. Comfortable. Sitting. Here. There. Nowhere. Freedom. Slavery. Perverted. Deviant. Deviants. Dominant. Submissive. Weak. Strong. Male. Female. Both. Ways. Pressure. Saw. Cut. Blade. Slash. Deep. Shallow. Depth. Perception. Around. Sight. Blind. Sense. Senseless. Torture. Tortured. Annoyed. Happy. Angry. Kill. Genocide. Dildo. Sexless. Foreplay. Forced. Strapped. Shaved. G-Spot. Negative. Positive. The Dark by Grant Foxon Contains these words. Inside more words. This book has the power to kill you and others. No liability is accepted if you read The Dark. Painful. Painless. Drug. Drugs. Cure. Disease. Parts. Whole. Dismembered. Alive. Agony. Ecstasy. Heroine. Pleasure. Reﬂexes. Bled. Drained. None. Left. Right. One. Two. Many. Few. Burning. Candles. Rites. Ceremony. Paranormal. Paramilitary. Operation. Anaesthetics. Sleeping. Beauty. Ugly. Thing. Think. Act. God. Obese. Starved. Embarrass. Hexed. Swallow. Pride. Lies. Nevermore. Neverless. Stranger. T Goodliness. Dog. Fetish. Chin. Wagging. Denial. Punk. Rock. Heavy. Smashed. Brain. Matter. Blow. Toe. Job. Foe.
All of the “Season 1” stories are available for FREE download at www.doomwatch.org
A selection of Season 1 books... The Plastic Rain by Grant Foxon & Scott Burditt
It Takes Two by Grant Foxon
The eco-terrorist organisation L.C.F (Liberation Conservation Front) led by former Doomwatch member Clive Sellers, have stolen the information to produce Variant 14, a plastic eating virus developed in the early 70’s. This and the actions of the L.C.F, prompt the government to reform Doomwatch, as a escape goat in case the L.C.F get to release the plastic eating virus. No one wishes to lead Doomwatch, so an aged member of the original team, (Doctor John Ridge) contacts Adam Quist, the son of the late great Doctor Spencer Quist. Doomwatch liases with M.I.5 via Security Agent Timmons. Another young recruit to the Doomwatch team is Paul Grover.
A new condom called Synthlite is being tested in Scotland. However, after a young man is castrated seemingly by the product, Doomwatch step in. They examine the condoms and ﬁnd its composition unusual and alarming. Miranda and Paul meet with Mr Lartner head of the company and ﬁnd themselves unable not to like him. Adam meets with him and discovers that Mr Lartner has corrupted various skin grafting technologies and has become a symbiotic life form. Adam manages to prevent distribution of Synthlite but Mr Lartner threatens that this won’t stop him from using the technology in the future. Faction 9 by Grant Foxon & Scott Burditt
Bloodlust by Grant Foxon Doctor Faye Chantry, a former member of the original Doomwatch team, receives a visit from Paul Grover at her home. He takes a Dictaphone back to Doomwatch and discovers the details of an old Doomwatch case ﬁle called Faction 9 involving Hepatitus A being discovered in Shropshire’s water supply.
Miranda a new member of Doomwatch joins the team as Paul asks for leave to investigate a strange case of vampirism in the small village of Harwick Green. There, he meets a Kate a writer and a loner. The two form a close bond. The killer is young lad who suﬀers from bloodlust. Tracking him to an abattoir they manage to knock him out and he’s arrested.
Vermin by Louse Taylor
Orme by Grant Foxon
Children in various nurseries over London all become ill. All have similar symptoms. All suﬀer Avian Flu. How is the virus being transmitted and why is it eﬀected some children and not others? Adam realises it’s the seagulls on the playground. Investigation at a near by rubbish tip shows that the virus is very much active there. The plays is locked down whilst it can be cleaned. Most of the children are able to recover.
Doomwatch are asked to check the safety on an oil rig owned by the billion dollar company Dezak Oil, oﬀ the coast of Scotland. Everything seems safe until there are various reports of a sea monster. People crack up and are found dying of fright. Paul and Adam hear what sounds like a sea monster, although Adam is unconvinced. Further investigation reveals the noise is connected with the drill head. And the fear of the sea monster is because the diagetic drill sound has been driving the workers slowly insane.
Strawberry Flavoured Death by Scott Burditt A new Strawberry Flavoured mouthwash causes a stir on the Wirral.Sales are through the roof, but people are falling ill. Scott Black been temporarily assigned to Doomwatch on loan from M.I.5, as all but Adam is oﬀ sick. He is sent to investigate the originating company, a PURETASTE and a Jim Harrington discovers that his carelessness and a selﬁsh lifestyle can kill.
Wednesday’s Child by Grant Foxon Miranda is investigating autism and if it is growing in the UK among new born and young children. She meets a case study, a young mother living on a kitchen sink estate and she learns that there are many stereotypes and misnomers amongst children suﬀering the condition.
Fall of Empire by Grant Foxon
The Day the Bomb Finally Exploded by Grant Foxon
A secret thinktank of logicians who are able to mathematically predict world events are attacked. Ridge raises the alarm but Adam and Timmons are sceptical. In reality they have been captured by L.C.F who want to manipulate there work for their own means.
All over the UK the middle class begin to revolt. In some cases working class people are murdered by them. The middle class believe they have been downtrodden long enough. Doomwatch speaks with a spokesperson for them, a Dr Matthew Spencer and they quiz him. Adam realises that they must listen and negotiate else things will get worse. A temporary cease ﬁre is called whilst the government speaks with them. Paul also meets up with Kate and she agrees to move in with him.
Endgame by Grant Foxon A hitman attacks Doomwatch. The explosion kills Kate and her unborn baby and sends Eve into a coma. The method of the assassin is curious and complicated. Miranda reasons that he wasn’t using ratiocinate logic so his actions couldn’t be predicted. Then, she theories that the L.C.F must be involved. Adam turns back to drinking but Ridge rallies the troops and Timmons ﬁgures he knows more than he’s letting on. The L.C.F have resurrected an old program of bonding man and machine. Their operative Ahmed has secretly warned the government through the Mainframe computer system. He wants to lead humankind into its destiny and become the next stage of evolution. Ridge shows Paul the identity of the killer.
M.D.K by Grant Foxon. In South Korea children are dying through playing so much computer games that they stop bothering to eat or sleep. The U.S asks Britain for Doomwatch to investigate this international issue. Initially, sceptical Adam realises they can be addictive. Kate discovers she is pregnant and unbeknown to Adam L.C.F members are watching his house.
N E W D O O M WATC H M U S I C
He has also recorded under the alias of ‘Sal Boca’ with main collaborator, graphic artist and ﬁlm-maker Neil McCann. All Dementio13 tracks are available for download at Bandcamp.com on a ‘pay as you wish’ basis.
This is the CD Cover artwork for the DOOMWATCH audio adventures. You can listen to this excellent album at dementio13.bandcamp.com
CutMat Records produce quality eclectic independent music. Based in Cardiﬀ, Wales, UK, CutMat is home to electronic musician, Dementio13, occasional trip-hop band, Sal Boca and global electronica duo Cwtch.
The original theme tune for the 1970's BBC series was composed by Max Harris. Max was probably best known for his theme tune to the BBC comedy series "Porridge" and "Open all Hours" both starring Ronnie Barker. He sadly died in 2004. When the 1999 Channel 5 (Five as it is now known) TV Movie was shown Debbie Wiseman provided a fantastic score for the entire ﬁlm. Debbie has created and continues to produce many fantastic scores for both ﬁlm and television.
2010 2010 2010 2004
Stills taken from Karl Cleveley’s Title Sequence featuring Dementio13’s music. Search for “Doomwatch Fan Produced Titles” at Youtube
The Soundtrack has been specially composed and there are a lot of references to BBC Radiophonic Workshop and composers such as Wil Malone, Barry Gray, Roy Budd, etc; as beﬁts the classic series Doomwatch.
Foster has remixed tracks by Northcape, Foals, Mary Weldon, Corrientes and Imogen Heap.
Paul has been involved in various collaborations and remixes with diverse artists, and has more recently been working on a project with Marie Craven entitled ‘Cwtch.’
Dementio13 is the alias of Cardiﬀ-based electronica producer Paul Foster. Drawing on inﬂuences as diverse as Joy Division, Aphex Twin, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Can; Dementio13’s music is an eclectic mix of postrock, epic electro, psychadelia, trip-hop and drum n bass.
A Question of Existentialism? Today times are getting hard. Now everyone depending on their own beliefs or political aﬃliations can blame other people. And we do. But is there any real point in this. Finding a source to blame does not change the basic fact that the excrement has hit the fan somewhat. Nietzsche said that “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. There is a relative truth in that. However it fails to take into account happiness. Happiness is more important to the human being longterm survival than food or sex. Despite these being are “real” reason for existence. And I can prove it. The number of people who kill themselves through not having proper food or enough is nothing. The amount of people who kill themselves because they don’t get laid is equally very, very small. But the amount who kill themselves because of melancholia is a large percent. Happiness would appear to be the key to a happy and long life. You might think this very obvious. But think about it. Who is really happy? You fall in love your euphoric. Then you either get heart broken when you split are your emotions gradually lose the power. Your happiness becomes void. Religious peoples can never truly be happy because they don’t achieve this until they die. There would be little point living in paradise and then dying would there? You might develop a sense of free will. However I believe the more intelligent and more wisdom a person has the less chance they have of ever reaching a Nirvana. Happiness contradicts intelligence. The more we know, the more we see. A simple equation. I recently watched what could only be described as a family of moron gypos who were buying huge amounts of alcohol. And had yet to discover soap. But they were content, they had reached their own apex of existence. Their world consisted of daytime TV, booze, reproduction and not washing. But that’s all they needed. They had no reason to question their own existence. Sometimes I envy that when I ﬁnd myself having various political revolutions of my own in my head. Sartre believed that man was cursed to forever question himself and that all political and religious systems were just troubled and confused ideas though up by someone else. If your reading this hoping that now I come to what will help or an answer then I’m sorry. I don’t intend to write one. All I ask is that you think about my words and question everything. Mans biological point on this planet is no longer the driving force of our conscience. Think, Question and Challenge! And most importantly keeping reading this fanzine. Sorry couldn’t help that last bit.
Grant Foxon 12
The Journal of Adam Quist... "They say one day blurs into another here. They were right. Blur is the right word. How the hell did I end up here, anyway? I have two degrees, for God's sake, and any number of doors would not only be open to me, they'd also have some subservient ex public schoolboy holding them open for me to glide right on through. Anywhere I liked. My father saw to that. Oh, not by using any immoral inﬂuence like the old boy network. Nepotism never appealed to Spencer Quist. No, it was merely the name that would do it for me, such was the high esteem in which the now sadly deceased head of DOOMWATCH was held. My name is Adam Quist, and I feel I'm letting the family name down rather badly at the moment". The journal of Adam Quist (May 2011)
Darkest Before The Dawn by Brian Gorman windows. They're all very nice. They talk nice, they smell nice; they probably ARE nice. All I'll do is disappoint them. Ridge stays in the car. I don't think he can get out. Perhaps he doesn't want to appear weak. Too late for that, Mr John Ridge. The girl places a firm hand on my arm, and guides me along. Where are we? West London somewhere, I imagine. A big old house. Boarded-up windows. The smell of tramps, dogs, and something I'd rather not think about. Where is this place? The girl says something about appearances and low profiles, but I hardly make out her words. My head buzzes. Why do they want me? What can I offer? Ridge hasn't got long. That isn't my problem. Why are they trying to make me think it's my problem? It damn well isn't. He'll join us later, she says. She smells nice. Nicer than anyone at the hostel. Maybe the outside isn't too bad after all? She gets me a drink. Mineral water. She didn't ask me what I'd like. I would have liked her to ask. She goes away again, and I'm alone. I'm sitting in an empty room. Bare walls. A sheet of cardboard covers the window, and a naked light bulb illuminates me. Where is this place? I'm cold, and this room is damp. The girl returns with Ridge. He looks a little better now. I stand. He apologises for the 'delay', and ushers me out again. I feel the warmth now. The heating is on in the corridor, and we head down a flight of concrete stairs. It gets warmer as we descend. Ridge talks about his work. About the government. About my father. The air smells cleaner the lower we go. We reach a steel door. The girl taps what is obviously a code. The door swings open, and we're in another world. “Welcome to the new Doomwatch, Adam Quist”, Ridge says with a theatrical flourish. It's a big room. A very big room. So, what happens next?
“A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”. Really? I don't think so; I really don't think so. Not today, anyway. And not for some considerable time. How long have I been here? A month? Six? I don't care any more. The longer I'm in this place, the less I become. I may just fade away completely before the year is out. And who's to stop me? Who wants to stop me? I'm better off in here, away from the world. Away from the shadow of Spencer Quist. Away from the shadow of my father. I never liked shadows. They're very cold to be in. They're letting me out today. I don't want to go. Not really. I've gotten used to the routine. To the food. To the bells and the locking of the doors. The drawing of the curtains. Secure. Safe. Now they want me to leave. To walk out. I'm not sure I can do it. I have to learn all over again, the simple things. Why are they expelling me? It's a second birth. Spewed forth into the light again. Blinking. Too much noise. Too many voices. Traffic. Unwanted and unneeded traffic. Ridge. That was his name. He came to see me at the cottage. A friend of my father's. My father had a lot of friends. He wanted me, Mr John Ridge. Wanted me to take my father's place. Crazy. We share a few genes, but we're not the same. Not remotely. All I can ever do is NOT be him. Not be Spencer Quist – heroic leader of DOOMWATCH. They'll be waiting for me today. Probably have a car all ready at the gate. Whisk me off. Tinted windows, no doubt. Soft tones, and tedious pleasantries. Lovely. All I'll do is disappoint them. Here they are. Ridge can hardly walk. I see the pain in his eyes as he hobbles up the path, hand outstretched. Skin like tissue paper. I see the bruises. I try not to squeeze too hard. He motions me to the car, and in seconds we're speeding far too fast along the motorway. Yes, tinted
This is a short illustrated adaption of the ﬁrst scene from the book “The Plastic Rain”. Some of the artwork features in the introductory ﬁlm on Youtube.
even knowing it. He already has a Timmons from M.I.5 keeping this new group in check and he will report back to Sir Graham, who in turn will report back to us.’ ‘So, What does the L.C.F want from us?’ ‘Well, they want an end to mankind’s thoughtless destruction of the planet. They see companies like ours as a direct target, they…’ Des interrupted him. Des knew where this conversation was leading and it made him angry. ‘Good God man, I am sick of this line of thinking. These Luddite groups make me angry. Progress. We need oil and we need plastic. The modern world can’t cope without it.’ Oil is finite, but until the day it dries up we can tackle these people with whatever it takes. I don’t think they have thought this through. If they destroy large amounts of plastic, they are actually helping us!’ ‘That’s exactly my point Mr Marker. Sir Graham has links with the L.C.F. He is going to allow them to hack Doomwatch’s computers to discover the formula for recreating the plastic eating virus Variant 14. In so doing, the L.C.F will invariably attack and large amounts of plastic will be destroyed. So, who do you think will ultimately benefit from all this destruction?’ ‘We will. When they need to rebuild, our orders for oil will hit the roof. So, I suggest we raise our prices per barrel now in preparation and cash in.’ ‘Brilliant. Mr Mortimer!. See that Sir Graham is well rewarded for this won’t you?’ ‘Quite, besides the L.C.F are stupid. The public won’t stand for it, the people want their plastic. Try taking their mobile phones oﬀ them, their precious computers, see how long that lasts, they will soon come around then!’
DOOMWATCH: THE PLASTIC RAIN Written by GRANT FOXON and SCOTT BURDITT The tube station was packed at Birmingham. Mostly gangs of students in woollen hats and TShirts featuring The Rolling Stones in reflective materials. Arun Jones an uptight banker, looked at them with distain and disgust. He wondered to himself “How many Rolling Stones albums could they really name? The train pulled into Birmingham a mere three minutes late and it was packed. Arun’s heartbeat rose as he suddenly noticed an aged television actor squashed in his seat, trying to read a newspaper. Arun wanted to say hello to him, a grin all over his face spreading uncontrollably, but with the train as over crowded as it was, it just wasn’t the right time to start a conversation with a childhood hero. He would probably make a fool of himself anyway. What is it they say? You should never meet your hero as you will always be disappointed. With all the people on board, squashed together cruelly like battery farm chickens, the train set oﬀ. It wasn’t long though, before people had begun to notice something strange was happening. A curious dripping sound was becoming more prominent. Arun looked around the carriage and could not believe what he was seeing. The plastics on the walls and the safety pictures for rail saving tickets were…dissolving? Maybe one of the teenagers had sprayed acid on them or acetone? It certainly wasn’t that hot enough on the train to melt plastic! Arun coughed. He immediately dismissed such thoughts as irrational but they still lingered. Anyway, it wasn’t his problem, he would just try to move to another seat. He was keeping an eye on the stations when he noticed the train was missing all of its stops. This was wierd. What the hell was going on? It wasn’t apparent at first, but chairs suddenly began to look distorted as they melted. He had to blink twice to take it in. Panic spread along the train in the next carriage a lot of loud exclamations could be heard. The lights then went out briefly as people screamed and swore, banging on the door to the driver’s cabin. “What the hell is going on?” he said suddenly feeling the fear. The youths in The Rolling Stones T-shirts were now crying pathetically as they had been beaten to the floor by a stampede of crazed passengers. A woman holding her baby had dropped her son in the blind panic. She screamed as its young fragile body had been crushed to death in the rush of passengers making towards the doors. Some of the passengers fainted as the train began to rock from side as whole sections of the carriages began to melt away. A cold sweat dripped down Arun’s back. People were being crushed as they banged on the drivers door. The door began to buckle under the force. The driver sat silently. Panic stricken, literally frozen in his seat in disbelief as the controls that stopped the train melted in his hands. The noise from the passengers was deafening and he was afraid to leave his seat, stricken in terror as he passed one red light, then another, then another… One youth terrified for his life produced a knife and lashed out at nearby people to get them to move away from the doors. He lashed out at an elderly lady and sliced an artery in her arm. Blood flowed as her body fell to the floor but Darren Jenkins was getting oﬀ this train no matter who stood in his way. Soon the floor of the train was soaked in the old ladies blood. This caused even more panic and fear from the nearby passengers as they backed away from Darren. Darren flashed the blade as a warning and then tried to open the door with his bare hands as the nearby control box was now smashed, but inoperative. The button had melted and jammed. All the time the train appeared to be speeding up. The door protecting the driver finally caved in. The driver sat still, not even daring to turnaround. Then, the angry and terrified mob panic stricken started to smash the windows with their bare hands to get out, screaming in terror at the sight they now saw approaching the out of control train. Suddenly, the train that was ahead of his came closer and closer. In what felt like slow motion the two trains smashed into each other and the last carriage of the train in front buckled and slipped oﬀ the tracks and down the embankment. With it, the two trains fell in unison sending the passengers who had no safety protection out of windows and onto the ceiling of the train as it tumbled down the embankment flinging them all to their deaths. Four hundred people lay dead in a heap of twisted metal and dripping plastic.
The black and white television droned on quietly in the background, completely ignored. The wooden case that surrounded it was covered in stains from shot glasses that had for years been placed on top of it with no thought for any electrical safety or the protection of the wood. The television was in no danger of being polished either, even now a half full tumbler of single malt was precariously balanced on the edge of the set. ‘History. It has a habit of repeating itself. Man learns from his mistakes, but not all mistakes are remembered….’ The presenter Nigel Chanter, was having another rant on Channel 6. Yet another ‘Media Connections’ piece of Doom-mongering Adam thought. He wondered if anyone listened to this kind of stuﬀ anymore. Surely people preferred to sit at home and do nothing and expect the government to sort everything out if it was that important. It was a miserable July morning. A typical British July, it was pouring down. Adam Quist sat alone in his cottage staring out of a small window looking quite miserable watching the rain. A shadow of his former self, he had surrounded himself with books and artefacts of a time long since gone. At 37 he’d consigned himself to a life of solitude. Enough had been set-aside in his father’s will for him to live the rest of his life. He stared at his father’s photograph. His father Spencer Quist, had died a decade ago and Adam had suﬀered with depression, especially as he’d never joined Doomwatch when had the chance. Something he tried not to think about. The sheer weight and notoriety of his father’s scientific and academic legacy hung heavy over him. Unfortunately for Adam, he now sought solace in a bottle. He always intended to follow in his father’s footsteps, but Doomwatch was dissolved shortly after his father died following the actions of a certain ‘radical’ member known as Clive Sellers. Clive Sellers had ruined everything for Adam. If Clive hadn’t attempted to go to the press over a now much covered up White Hall story and severe cutbacks, Doomwatch would probably still exist. The road Adam was supposed to follow had been taken away from him. Drink. It was an obvious alternative road to take. A road that many had trodden before, wasting life’s opportunities. Why didn’t he just get over the fact that Doomwatch was gone and his father’s work was done. He’d given up. Even now , he still thought about his father, but could never bring himself to open the boxes that were given to him when he died. He’d put them in the attic. Maybe some day he’d look at them. Adam was never going to be very close to his father. Spencer Quist was very forthright and was far too consumed with his work, spending long hours at the oﬃce. When he finally did come home he never really seemed to know how to express his love to Adam but Adam always knew his father was a good man even though his mother said a lot of his problems stemmed from his guilt over his involvement in the Manhattan Project and the death of his first wife for many years. His father still felt like a hero to him. He cared about the planet and it felt like his father regularly tried save the world. If only he still had that purposeful road to follow. ‘If only…’ he would often say to himself as he took another swig of Whiskey straight out of the bottle. It didn’t seem to matter now and the rain pouring down wasn’t helping his mood. Adam had shook hands with the devil. He had sold his soul and now lived alone with his books and his bottles. Desperate for a way out. Desperate to be able to feel like a useful member of the human race. His mother tried her best but Adam wanted to be left alone. He needed help and little did he know that salvation was indeed on its way. The car sped through the countryside with ease. Faster and faster, the elderly driver showing no fear. The map that lay on the passenger seat suddenly flew oﬀ onto the floor as the driver braked sharply. ‘I love the country!’ he exclaimed. The cow just looked at him and stood in the middle of the road unflinching. A quick blast of the horn had no eﬀect. This was going to be fun. He wound down the window, stuck his head out and shooed the cow out of the way. The weather didn’t improve, although in other ways the day did. At midday the doorbell rang and it startled Adam. An elderly flamboyant dressed man wearing a respectable colourful pink shirt, expensive suit and cravat was standing there sheltering from the rain in the porch. He was slightly gaunt but still had a fire in his eyes. He also had a walking stick and a mile wide grin. ‘Hello?’ said Adam. The elderly man didn’t reply straight away, instead he studied Adam. ‘Yes… Yes you’re Quist’s alright. No doubt about it’ He said. A thought stuck Adam. This man knew his father so he must be a reporter or maybe someone more dangerous. Spencer Quist and Doomwatch had made many enemies. Adam decided to get rid of him quick. ‘Look, who ever you are I’m rather busy and…’ ‘No you’re not’ interrupted Ridge. The man pointed with his stick to a three quarters empty whisky bottle on the table near the door. Adam felt a pang of shame go oﬀ like a firework in his stomach. ‘Look who are you?’ said Adam. ‘My name is Dr John Ridge. I worked with your father many, many years ago now. You may have heard of me?’ said Ridge proudly. Adam couldn’t quite take it all in, he was acutely aware of a strong smell of Whiskey coming
Dezak Oil was unsinkable. The Oil Company was seriously rich. Occasionally, the Arabs would cause a headache but nothing the all encompassing Dezak Oil couldn’t cope with. In the Texan head oﬃce, Des Marker was a proud oil baron. Money was a toy and Houston was his plaything. He had everything. He sat in his luxurious oﬃce eyeing up Sally, his beautiful leggy blonde secretary as she dropped yet more yawn-worthy paperwork on his desk. The phone rang. Sally hit the intercom. ‘It’s Mr Mortimer, to see you Sir’. ‘Send him in.’ ‘Good morning Mr Marker’ Mortimer looked worried. ‘Call me Des.’ They shook hands. Des noticed Mortimer’s sweaty palms. ‘I have some interesting news for you Sir.’ ‘News?, what do you mean? Des wiped his hands on his jacket. ‘I have it on good authority that a threat to our somewhat extravagant lifestyle has reared its ugly head again.’ ‘What are you talking about man?’ Des was listening now. ‘Have you ever heard of an Aminostyrene called Variant 14?’ ‘Can’t say I have, but nothing crushes the spirit more than poverty Mr Mortimer.’ ‘Quite. I have just spoken to our British colleague, Sir Nathaniel Graham M.P. In no uncertain terms I have told him to get the situation under control.’ ‘What situation?’ Des was listening now. ‘We have had a number of threats from the terrorist group the L.C.F. ‘What’s this got to do with us?’ ‘Let me explain. A Sir George Holroyd was the Minister in charge of a government department for the observation and measurement of scientific work back in the 70s, codenamed ‘Doomwatch’ They tackled an accidental outbreak of a virus called Variant 14 that specifically consumed plastic on contact. Recently, the department has been ordered to regroup under Sir Graham’s watchful eye as the British government is under pressure to tackle groups like the L.C.F using their best scientific minds as direct military action has proven long term to be ineﬀective. It looks like we could manipulate Sir Graham to get this new Doomwatch to work to our advantage without them
Adam once more and then strolled over to his bright red Jaguar S type and climbed in. He then drove oﬀ. Adam’s heart sank. Yet again the opportunity to sort his life out had now gone. Why didn’t he jump at the chance? Maybe if he had a clear head, things would have been diﬀerent. Slowly, Adam walked back into the living room. ‘What have I done?’ He decided to make himself a coﬀee and sober up. He hoped he actually had some coﬀee let alone any fresh milk. It was then he then noticed a small card on the coﬀee table. He picked it up. Run out of cigars! Just popped to village to buy some more. Be back in half an hour, pack a bag old chap. Ridge. Adams heart beat began to rise as he found himself unable to suppress the smile.
from him, so he quickly shook his head to clear it. He fumbled in his pockets for some mints. The man Ridge just smiled and made his own way into the cottage. He then sat down on an armchair while Adam stared at him in disbelief. ‘Very nice Adam, but a bit cluttered for my tastes’. Ridge said raising an eyebrow and rubbing his finger over the dusty coﬀee table. ‘Look, what do you want?’ Adam was annoyed. He knew the place needed tidying up but he just couldn’t be bothered, but all of a sudden he felt embarrassed. Ridge looked up at Adam and realised for the first time Adam wasn’t happy to see him. ‘Me? Nothing. You on the other hand are in luck my friend’ said Ridge. ‘Luck? How? Have I won the lottery? I doubt it as I never play.’ ‘Doomwatch. Now surely that rings a bell?.’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Well that’s something. As you know, it was oﬃcially incorporated into various ministry departments. However, its eﬀectiveness and public awareness as moral crusaders for the truth is long since gone. But now we need it back more than ever and to do that we need you’. ‘You’re barking up the wrong tree. Now if you’ll kindly leave me alone I am busy.’ Ridge rubbed his forehead in frustration. ‘Listen you idiot, you studied science at Edinburgh. You are Spencer Quist’s son. You are a natural born leader, you can do this and we need you…’ Adam shook his head violently. ‘I’m getting old disgracefully, I’m probably an alcoholic and I have little in the way of people skills left.’ ‘Excellent. Well you could be perfect for a local MP. But I think you are perfect for a new invigorated Doomwatch.’ Adam sighed. Was this guy for real? Turning up out of the blue claiming to be a friend of his deceased father, even though his mother had never mentioned him? Ok, so his mother never liked to discuss Doomwatch and even attributed the demise after his father’s death. And yet something compelled Adam to listen to this man. Ridge watched Adam intently. Studying him. Ridge thought ‘Was he ready? Just because he was the son of Quist was he really ready for the challenge? The files he had read confirmed it, but was Adam Quist too far gone…’ Neil Tannahill was assigned to another department but he was still available should he not be able to convince Adam. He decided to go nuclear. ‘What do you know of the L.C.F?’ Ridge studied Adam carefully. The words L.C.F resonated through Adam’s fuddled mind. Then he remembered. ‘The L.C.F, isn’t that…. Weren’t they responsible for the recent train crash on the news using a chemical weapon? Wasn’t it actually reported later as an acid attack? Ridge sniﬀed and pulled a cigar out of his pocket and lit it up. Adam couldn’t believe the man. ‘Do you mind?’ he said. ‘Oh you don’t like smoking. I forgot, nowadays we’re the lowest of the low. Social lepers as it were!’ This comment had no eﬀect on Ridge as he continued to smoke while Adam dumfounded, just listened to what Ridge had to say. ‘The L.C.F. It stands for Liberation Conservation Front. An organisation set up some time in the nineties. It’s run by a man I am ashamed to say I used to know, as did your father… Ridge paused. ‘Clive Sellers. I don’t suppose that rings a bell either?’ ‘Yes. Yes that does. Wasn’t there some cover up, which led to Doomwatch being split up?’ ‘Yes, oﬃcially. Clive attempted to go public with a story about a navy military operation that even now, cannot be openly discussed. The government threatened the paper’s editor and the story was suppressed. Word was put out quietly that if the story was printed, heads would literally roll. Clive was a liability. Clive was fired, denied a pension and some of his colleagues were put out of a job. Despite a tarnished reputation your father tried to help him. It was a case of train and detrain with Clive. I know how he felt. I had a breakdown in the seventies. I said and did some very stupid things which to this day I deeply regret, but I thought it was for the greater good. You can’t hold society to ransom, it doesn’t work and the L.C.F need to learn that too. Of course, they didn’t reckon on Clive’s darkest intentions. He wasn’t about to give up. He decided to take matters into his own hands. Usually by force. Clive is an impatient man and wanted his revenge. He travelled to somewhere in West Africa around 1992 and began gunrunning for quick profit. He founded the L.C.F. An extremist unaccountable to any government version of Doomwatch. The Liberation Conservation Front as they are known is a force to be reckoned with Adam. They are an eﬃcient covert eco-terrorist organisation. They claim to believe in protecting the Earth above all else no matter what the human cost.’ ‘Not exactly the good guy’s right?’ said Adam. ‘No. They believe in eugenics and Clive Sellers promotes himself as the idealistic founding leader of the L.C.F. Those closest to Clive obey him without question. His beliefs make him feel like a messiah amongst ordinary morally challenged people. Clive wants to protect the earth from the abuse of man and eco-terrorism seems the only direct and immediate way of doing it. As I said, Clive was a previous team member at Doomwatch, but he proved himself to be too much an idealist to be trapped by restrictions of this government funded organisation. Form filling, bureaucrats created, auditors and oﬃcials were of no interest to him. To Clive, our world is dying, raped of its mineral wealth and poisoned by man and his insatiable greed whatever the cost. Clive sees most of the people in this world as selfish ignorant sheep. The L.C.F is now a formidable worldwide organisation and is linked to many political murders spanning the globe. The F.B.I and C.I.A are particularly keen on crushing the leaders where Britain has shown little interest in their global aﬀairs until now. All this would be easy that is, if we could actually find them. Word is, they are planning something big, some sort of spectacle, so they are vulnerable. So far the damage they’ve done has totalled to millions. But it’s not just about the cost. People are sympathetic to their cause. They respect their independence. They have somewhere in the region of a million supporters world-wide through a large network if internet sites proxied through legitimate servers. This time Clive might be planning a mass murder.’ ‘A virus?’ said Adam ‘Of sorts. That train accident wasn’t so a straight forward chemical attack as reported in the news. It was biological. We believe a plastic eating virus called Variant 14 might be playing a big part in his plans. The Virus itself is harmless to humans so we have no idea how they will be applying it. The train crash might simply have been a test.’ Adam sat back shocked. Ridge continued to puﬀ on his cigar. ‘Anyway. I’ve said too much. Are you coming back with me old chap?’ ‘No.’ Adam said to quickly. Ridge suddenly looked crestfallen. ‘No? Are you mad? I’ve just contravened the oﬃcial secrets act for you!’ ‘Well I never asked you too.’ ‘Don’t you crave adventure and excitement? You won’t find that in the bottom of a bottle Adam’ ‘Now look!’ ‘I supposed the apple fell a bit too far from the tree didn’t it?’ said Ridge getting up. ‘Just get out!’ Adam couldn’t take anymore and his head was still buzzing. Adam staggered to the front door and held it open inviting Ridge to leave. Ridge slowly stood, checked himself in the dusty lounge mirror and slowly strolled to the front door. He looked at
The impressive mirrored glass media centre building reflected the bright sunshine over the passers by in London’s West Bank. Little did they know what darkness lay within this facade. From the humble beginnings of the women’s magazine ‘Lucy’, the company grew year on year, as it had done now for over a decade making its shareholders very wealthy. The Company transformed itself from print into broadcast media and it produced high profile adverts and documentaries for radio and television, whilst gaining an ever-increasing Internet audience for its many promotions. Media Connections is the dream place to work. It’s a high profile, eﬀective media giant. It’s respected and loved by millions. It’s also a perfect cover for the L.C.F. Despite the poor economy, people still read and they still listened. The company was able to use this eﬀective media front to put across its idealist messages. The message of conservation, preservation and working with nature, above all else was always strong. Always keen on anti pollution and the dangers of overpopulation stories, many listened. Those who followed spanned class, race and culture. They listened because they cared. There were even a few in the police force who were sympathetic and one very important British civil servant. Clive knew that in the East they always had very little intention of helping in the plight to save the world. Indeed, their own people who were starving in there millions. The West was no better, there was still a huge amount of red tape to overcome, especially in the current health and safetyconstructed nightmare that governments used to discuss issues to death while eﬀectively doing nothing. Supporters of the L.C.F knew that they would always take swift and direct action. Indeed its membership was always on the rise. Members enjoyed the relative freedom to make a diﬀerence, no matter the cost. Clive sat in his glass walled oﬃce staring intently at his computer monitor. The images of the documentary on the screen did not make for pleasant viewing. Nigel Chanter was as ever narrating. ….mankind is still destroying everything around it with little thought to the consequences of such actions. The Earth is going to become a gigantic slagheap. The virus called man is raping the Earth, all in the name of ‘technological progress’. In reality mankind is getting lazier and stupid. The populace have been weaned onto technology and its never-ending upgrade cycle and the mountains of rubbish this produces. While you play with electronic gadgets and sit vegetating in front of the TV, the government has you exactly where they want you. In your own private ‘pen’, spied on using the internet. The world’s resources are continually shrinking under the human population boom and Plant and animals are disappearing. Nature has tried to cull human growth unsuccessfully with disease. But humans are clever at self-preservation, no matter what the consequences. People are living longer. Something needs to be done to address the balance and for man to live in harmony with the planet… Clive was angry. This was a terrifying concept. It could only lead to inevitable annihilation. If mankind wanted to die amongst its own rubbish then let it. But the holocaust that would ensue would almost definitely kill all of the remaining life on the Earth. This ‘virus’ had no right. Clive had taken this moral crusade on himself and was determined to find the answer. His team of scientists had tried to replicate the formula for the plastic eating virus he knew would wreak havoc. The test on the train was successful, but the virus died within minutes without finishing the job. This was no use for what Clive planned. As ever, the answer lay hidden. One of the files dated back to 1970, which involved his long dead friend and social ally, Toby Wren. In this file contained details of a top secret virus labelled ‘Variant 14’ aka ‘The Plastic Eater’. The instructions to make it forgotten in a rusting filing cabinet. Forgotten by all. Except Clive. The file documented in detail the circumstances out of which a virus created out of the desire to breakdown the plastic in waste products was produced. The problem was the virus was incredibly eﬀective, too eﬀective. It had an insatiable appetite for all plastic. It caused havoc. It had escaped accidentally a couple of times in the 70’s, resulting in an accidental plane crash. Which had given Sellers another idea that he couldn’t let go of. Despite the outbreak, the virus was contained and ‘oﬃcially’ destroyed. In reality the bacterial council who dealt with these contagions rarely disposed of them. If there was the slightest chance it could be used as a weapon for defence of the realm it would be safely filed away. Variant 14 was much more eﬀective than any mere missile or nuclear device and much cheaper too but far too uncontrollable and dangerous to deploy. Sellers had an associate, Karl Womak. A loner all his life who didn’t understand people and instead sought pleasure in the artificial world of computers. He was a misunderstood genius. Clive saw his hidden potential and recruited him. Sellers gave him confidence and a point to his existence. Karl was an eﬀective malleable ally. With the information Karl had obtained, the L.C.F were able to hack into a little known supercomputer at the newly re-opened government Department for the Observation and Measurement of Scientific Work. ‘Doomwatch’ were originally setup to investigate any scientific research public or private which could possibly be harmful to man. The computer was also referred to simply as ‘Doomwatch’. The same codename given to the department. The Doomwatch computer was a machine originally built by Colin Bradley and his team in the beginning of the 70’s for predicted disaster. The machine was decades old but still proved to be an amazingly eﬀective tool and stored a lot of legacy information that badly needed transferring. Unfortunately, it wasn’t built to resist the attacks of Karl Womak. ‘Doomwatch’ was at one time attached to the military ARPA network of computers and it still had the information on its antique tape reels concerning Variant 14, until budget cuts and progress took over and the machine was simply turned oﬀ and stored for many years until its usefulness was properly realised. The computer was now reconnected and hooked up to a brand new Linux server nicknamed ‘Mainframe’ while all of the information was being transferred. Karl had used his hacking skills to access Mainframe and discovered the location of the original Variant 14 microbiological research station at Beeston Laboratories and the files on the subsequent results from a secret test at Dungeness. Tonight, with the help of a team of trained L.C.F supporters he had he would steal the original chemical formula to recreate the virus. The training of the men and women wasn’t hard. Clive had been in the military prior to Doomwatch. The recruits were passionate about fighting for a cause they believed in. One of tonight’s team was Clive’s closest associate and sometime lover Carly Whyte. A beautiful disillusioned 27 year old, she was smart and still in love with Clive and believed in his ideology. In fact she saw their relationship now as very much a master and his pupil. Clive shut his computer down and closed his eyes. Mentally he was preparing himself for what must happen tonight. The laboratory in Beeston was deliberately unassuming in appearance.
‘But why wasn’t it just destroyed?’ ‘Come on you’re not that naïve. If it can be used as a weapon by the military… anyway we’ve got an antidote that we think may work. However, the original virus is incredibly contagious and once it’s released it spreads like wildfire. Can you imagine what would happen to this modern world we live in? We are surrounded in the stuﬀ, our entire world as we know it would melt around us in hours.’ ‘That’s bad...’ ‘Bad. Bad! It’s catastrophic! The recession has got nothing on this blighter. No, the L.C.F has to be stopped now, once and for all. Ridge was getting excited. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Take a look in that glove box there.’ Adam opened the glove box and was shocked to discover a gun and a case of bullets. Adam wasn’t familiar with guns but it looked like a high quality, but slightly antiquated weapon. ‘It’s a Colt 45’ Ridge smiled. ‘You’re not seriously going to use that are you?’ ‘I don’t think you fully understand the gravity of the situation old boy. We’re talking about the end of the modern way of life and these people are absolute fanatics and you have to carry protection.’ Adam couldn’t take anymore. He was under the belief he was asked to assist to make a diﬀerence and to stop a corrupt organisation. Not become a killer. After all it was L.C.F who are the real killers. Not Doomwatch. ‘Stop the car. Stop the car! I want to get out, this is too much. You are too much!’ Ridge sighed and pulled over. Adam jumped out the car and looked around. Ridge emerged after a minute and lit up a cigar, then oﬀered it to Adam. He declined. ‘Look, Adam there is no other way. They’re insane. Variant 14 was a mistake. You’re right, it should have been destroyed, but it wasn’t. Now the L.C.F has it and who knows how they will try and abuse it now they have the real thing. ‘Is it really such a bad thing?’ ‘Come on you don’t mean that.’ ‘But murder...’ ‘Look this isn’t what Doomwatch stands for. But Sellers must be stopped.’ ‘I thought he was a friend.’ ‘You listen to me. Your father and Toby, two very dear friends I lost who would be appalled at murder. But they would agree that the stakes are just too high. It’s just the sort of thing your father would turn a blind eye to. It’s for the greater good.’ ‘Isn’t that how the L.C.F justify their actions?’ ‘For God’s sake I’m not justifying murder. It can never be justified.’ ‘I thought terrorist organisations are like hydra? Cut the heads oﬀ and another crops up in its place...’ ‘No, Sellers is the L.C.F. Believe me there is no other way and time is running out! Adam was convinced. He climbed back into the car and it sped away down the road towards London and towards the new temporary headquarters for Doomwatch.
Security would be the key issue. There was no room for error. Therefore he had told his people and prepared them to shoot to kill. Tonight thirty people would be dead. More blood on Clive’s hands, but everyone had the blood of the world on theirs. Clive’s conscience still hurt him. He would look into their eyes and pull the trigger. It was necessary. He had to. He has to change the world before it’s too late. Clive thoughts were interrupted by a shallow and weak knock at his door. ‘Come in’ he called. Clive watched as Pete Wilks slinked into the room, his elbows up and his body language rather submissive. Clive was a good judge of character and knew that Pete was weak and immediately guessed he was attempting to back out of tonight’s attack. This was totally unacceptable. ‘Pete, hi how are you? What can I do for you?’ he smiled wryly. Pete smiled in return nervously and hesitantly sat down. ‘Clive. It’s just…well I don’t know how to tell you this but, I can’t go tonight. I’m really sorry I thought I could but I, I just can’t do it.’ Clive paused a moment and then smiled. ‘No problem Pete. You of course won’t mention tonight to anyone?’ Pete vehemently nodded his head. ‘Oh God Clive, of course not. No, I’m with you 100% I just…can’t kill’. ‘Of course, after all the L.C.F cares about the world and its people. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got work to do’. Pete immediately stood up and oﬀered his hand. Clive just smiled and opened the door. Pete nodded and headed outside. Clive then closed the door and walked over his phone he dialled Carly’s number. ‘Hello Clive?’ ‘We have a little problem’. Half an hour later and Pete had arrived home at his modest abode near central London. He walked in and collapsed on the settee. He wished he had the courage to follow Clive tonight into the fray and kill in the name of justice, but he just couldn’t, he felt like a failure. Pete was too much of a coward and he hated himself for it. He looked down at his enormous rotund belly and then around his living room that echoed the word, ‘loner’. He was an empty shell of a being. Maybe it wasn’t too late to call Clive and say he had made a terrible error. Just then the phone rang. Pete answered it but the phone was immediately put down. Pete dropped the phone confused and walked into the kitchen heading towards the Sara Lee he had saved for tonight in the fridge. Just then there was a knock at the door. Pete walked over to it and answered it. Pete recognised the beautiful lady standing before him. She was there with Clive at the training sessions. She smiled. ‘Hi, Pete isn’t it?’ ‘Yeah. You were there at the training session’s right?’ Carly smiled at the recognition. ‘That’s right. I heard you can’t go through with tonight. Well, I can’t either. In fact I’m worried, can I show you something?’ Pete nodded and Carly led the way to her black Land Rover. She opened the boot. Pete peered inside. Without warning, she picked up a jack from inside the boot and clubbed Pete over the head with it. She then threw him into the boot with ease and then tied his hands together with rope and closed the boot. With a quick look around she then ran back to the house and locked the door using the keys she had grabbed from Pete’s pocket. After getting back in the Land Rover, she then removed her gloves and threw them into the glove box and drove oﬀ at great speed. Slowly, Pete awoke just as the boot lid was opened. He recognised Carly standing over him. His head ached and he felt blood trickling down his face. She helped him out of the boot. He noticed he was in either a forest or woodland. ‘Wha.., What are you doing?’ ‘Move this way’. Carly gripped Karl’s arm and led him through an area of the woodland at gunpoint. The pain cleared for a bit and he kept trying to engage her in conversation but she ignored him, shoving him most of the way. Finally Pete froze in terror as he saw the already dug hole in front of him. He tried to scream but Carly pushed him into the hole. ‘It’s no good screaming. There’s no one here’. As calmly as she spoke she walked away. Pete desperately tried to get out of the eight-foot hole. It was no good. He couldn’t. There wasn’t enough time for Pete to even scream before a bullet was fired into his head and he collapsed, dead. It was 02:17 p.m. All was ready. Slowly L.C.F’s team led by Clive in black clothes and balaclavas approached the perimeter. One solitary security guard paced the grounds. With the wire cutters Clive created a hole just large enough for his team to break in one by one. When the guard was close enough they grabbed him and forced him to the ground. ‘The access code for the terminal. What is it?’ Clive screamed as he held the knife to the guard’s throat. ‘I can’t tell you’. ‘What is it?’ Clive pressed the knife into the guard’s neck until it began to draw blood. ‘Alright! 684391 Delta’. Clive signalled to an operative who ran to the terminal and entered the code the door then opened. Clive smiled and cut the guards throat. He then led his men inside into the complex as they hid the body among some nearby bushes. The operation was over in just 20 minutes. Taking each person by surprise with their brute force. The mission was easy. Later, Clive sat down with a neat Vodka and ice. He was wrong. 47 people actually died that day. But he now possessed the correct formula for plastic virus Variant 14. All was ready.
Karl Womak had really enjoyed poking around Mainframe’s files. He had created himself and invisible backdoor key and despite the computer regularly having security password and codex changes, each time Karl knew how to crack it with ease and was always straight back in. It had already paid oﬀ as Clive now had access to the virus he said would always bring about L.C.F’s ultimate victory over the so-called ‘advanced’ world. Karl enjoyed this thought and that he, an ignored figure would ultimately play such a pivotal role in the reshaping of the human race. The early 19th century building was rather unassuming. Inside it was very diﬀerent. A state of the art laboratory was set up. Adam followed Ridge’s lead inside looking around in awe at all in front of him. He was then introduced to his new fellow scientists. Ridge seemed to vanish distracted by a file he’d been given. Instead he met Paul, a smiling pleasant well-built man with a slight Manchurian accent. He shook Adam’s hand with quite some force. He immediately engaged Adam in a conversation about his thoughts on Variant 14 and explained he was a chemist/biologist and very proud that he graduated from Oxford with majors on atmospheric chemistry and synthetic biology. Adam immediately felt inferior and embarrassed, but once again it seemed his father’s reputation preceded him and Paul was in perhaps more of an awe of Adam than the other way around. At this point Ridge reappeared with another man. The man looked lean with an aggressive face, but a slightly camp voice. Adam would discover this was Timmons sent on detachment from a security section of M.I .5. ‘Are you sure?’ said Ridge ‘Yes. It’s seems that is how L.C.F found out about Variant 14.’ said Timmons Ridge seemed worked up and annoyed. ‘Paul, shut down that infernal abacus! Do it now!’ Ridge ordered ‘What?’ ‘Just do it man, pull the plug on that overgrown calculator right now!’ ‘No, we don’t want them to know we tracked their entry point.’ replied Timmons ‘Entry point?’ said Adam ‘The L.C.F has broken into our super computer.’ said Ridge. ‘What?’ said Paul. ‘We’ll attempt to trace their geographically location.’ Timmons picked the phone up ready to dial. ‘Oh come on, they’re not going to advertise their presence man! They’ve been too clever. Unlike your department, Einstein.’ said Ridge Timmons put the phone down and skulked away. ‘If we’re trying to get Doomwatch fully re-established should we really be upsetting him like that?’ said Paul. ‘Never mind him. Me, on the other hand, I’m going out. In the meantime look after Adam would you?’ said Ridge ‘Where are you going?’ Adam looked confused without looking back Ridge replied ‘Out’. ‘Don’t worry, he does that a lot. He is somewhat unorthodox.’ Paul rolled his eyes.
The car journey had proved fascinating. Ridge was pleasant company. Sardonic and slight eccentric, he had filled Adam in on his previous adventures. He also reminded Adam that he should be proud of his deceased father and that he was one of the greatest characters Ridge had ever met. Adam had begun to wonder whether all this was because Ridge had made a promise to his father before his death. There certainly was a huge amount of respect between Ridge and his father. Ridge had also briefed Adam on the possible likelihood of Doomwatch being reformed as an independent body if the L.C.F where stopped. ‘So this virus. Are you going to tell me any more about it?’ Adam studied Ridge for a moment. ‘I’ve just received news that Variant 14 has recently been stolen and we believe it was the L.C.F who attacked, and killed everyone at Beeston and took the virus. A very eﬃcient job it was too. ‘Do you think Sellers was there?’ ‘Undoubtedly. He’s a control freak with military training. Probably paranoid too. He’d have to be.’ ‘And this plastic eater. It attacks plastics, right? ‘You catch on fast don’t you Adam? Yes, all plastics and probably some other similar chemical structures are at risk.’ ‘Then what happens? ‘It breaks them down on a molecular level. There were a couple of incidents in 1970 with passenger aircraft in San Pedro and Variant 14 was shelved. The chemical used on the train attack seems to be an attempt to recreate Variant 14, it obviously was supposed to cause more damage but the formula used was wrong’
Ridge stared down at the malt whisky in front of him. He was an enigmatic man but when there was no one around to impress, he became a prisoner of his own neurosis. He no longer felt great shame for his actions in 1972. Time was indeed a healer, and after all mental illness was no longer taboo. Despite that, it had made him feel weak. A weakness that still lurks in the shadows of his mind. Ridge never happily discussed his depression. Ridge knew Quist never looked and thought of him in the same way after threatening the world with phials of anthrax. But who could blame him? Thankfully, he had been stopped. The government paid for his private treatment and Ridge was saved. But he was no longer the same man. He had become damaged. In future, Quist reconsidered certain assignments because he didn’t want to run the risk of sending Ridge in. Risk. The words echoed around Ridge’s mind like some evil black dead weight. Threatening to pull him under and drown him at any moment. Instead, Clive got the assignments. An idealist who was once school friends with Toby Wren. They had similar ideals and maybe because of the guilt Quist felt he put upon too much on Clive. Certain psychological mandatory examinations stated that Clive had suppressed sociological disorders and tendencies. He would
formula. To man and other known living forms of life it was quite harmless. Clive couldn’t wait to unleash Variant 14. The incredible contagious nature meant it would only be a matter of time before it spread across the country. It was an eﬀective weapon that would spread havoc fast.
even go on to make the same foolish mistake as Ridge. Only Clive would take it one step further. One day, Clive would take too much interest in a file simply marked ‘Variant 14’. Adam sat in the laboratory, his mind in a thousand diﬀerent places. None of them good. As yet, no one had any clue what to do next. Forensics confirmed Clive was present at the raid but no other DNA matches had yet to be discovered. The accomplices to the raid were believed to be foolish members of the public, fighting for a cause they really didn’t fully understand. Many of which probably never even returned a library book late. There was no time to find them. The L.C.F would already have the new batch of the virus prepared and they would certainly use it. It was only a matter of where and when, but no matter what transport was again a possible target. It worked once before, and Clive thought that there was nothing better than an encore. The one hope would be if M.I.5 could trace the leak from the Doomwatch computer, but that was a small hope. Clive Sellers details had been released across the country to police stations and to military barracks and was now classified as the countries most dangerous man on the loose. A press conference was due to be called this afternoon, however, no one dare tell the truth. A fake cover story was being prepared. Something, which hopefully would cause dissention in his own ranks. The story would link him with sexually molesting young boys and girls in the eighties and nineties. This would definitely lead to his capture. Adam felt repulsed at the actions being taken by the government ‘for the greater good’ which is what Clive Sellers hated too. Adam decided he needed some air and made his excuses and headed outside. The sun was shining and a mother was walking down the street with her two young children. A far away ice cream van could be heard playing ‘popeye the sailor man’. Adam wondered if wasn’t all a dream. Whether the virus really would change anything or whether he was just another insane fanatic. Was there really was any hope for the human race or human society? When the diﬀerence between the good guys and bad guys becomes blurred can Doomwatch really make the diﬀerence? Become a force for good like it was in the past? Adam was determined that in a sick society any heroes are desperately needed, regardless of the situation. Adam’s thoughts then turned to Ridge then the gun and their conversation earlier. Unbeknown to Adam, he was being watched. In a nearby car sat Carly. She studied Adam. She wasn’t at all impressed. Of course she had never known his father. Clive was desperate to get this Adam involved. As if he craved Quist’s acceptance. What with Spencer Quist dead his son was the next best thing. He couldn’t believe his luck when Karl found Adam’s details on the Doomwatch computer. Clive honestly believed Adam might join his cause. He wanted to rub Doomwatch’s nose in it. It was early days and recruiting Adam would do that perfectly. But Carly had diﬀerent ideas. Maybe it was jealousy, maybe the thought of Clive trying to impress someone other than herself evoked jealous emotions? One thing for sure, Carly didn’t like this idea, especially with so much at stake. This was a time they had to be extra careful and involving Adam was just crazy. It would be easier to just kill him. Adam was oblivious to Carly. He was too busy imagining what it would be like if society as we knew it was to simply melt away. So many of life’s luxuries would disappear, so much progress, and Adam wasn’t a Luddite. For every truly great accomplishment- an end to small pox, man landing on the moon, Penicillin, the list was endless, there were pointless wars, genocide and above all, pollution. Pollution of the planet and pollution of the mind. The Variant 14 plastic virus was created as a biological weapon which actually had the power to do good. It could have helped to tackle the build up of plastic waste. The government creating their own chimera to stop another man made problem. Could there even be a future if society continued where it was going? And what of man? What monstrous, greedy demon would man become in 100 years? Whilst in the third world starvation, leprosy and dysentery kill in their millions, what of Western man? Will 80 or 90% of the population suﬀer from obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease? Teeth rotting in the mouth and AIDS on the increase? It was then that Adam doubted that maybe this had all been a big mistake. Maybe Ridge shouldn’t have contacted him. Adam started to believe that there was nothing that he could do. One man could not make a diﬀerence. Could he? So why try? No. This was doing him no good at all. He very quickly pulled himself back from the abyss. You can’t think like this. This is illogical. In reality there is no black and white. Only grey. The L.C.F may be pure in their own beliefs but not their intent. Eco-terrorists profess to value all life. They don’t kill. But the L.C.F was something new. They had to be stopped. Clive Sellers was mad. The destruction of the world’s plastics would inevitably lead to millions dying and mass hysteria. Human society would not change without a significant prod in the right direction. It would just heal and carry on. Politicians are ineﬀective. Clive must believe that if something is to be done to bring about change, the L.C.F must do it and they must do it now. He had a point, but the wrong doers would still be in control and those in the right would still suﬀer. That would always be true. At least in the present climate Doomwatch could do some good. No, Clive Sellers had to be stopped like Ridge had said. No matter what… ‘What? Are you insane?’ Paul looked deep into Timmons eyes and saw he did indeed mean it. ‘The leak came from this department. It stands to reason that it’s Ridge’. Timmons replied with dedicated venom. Paul and he suspected everyone else but knew very little about Ridge. He was the only remaining member of the original Doomwatch outfit. He still liaised with the government on certain matters. But he seemed so dedicated. Too dedicated surely? ‘You’re sure it was him?’ said Paul. ‘I have just got oﬀ the phone with Sir Nathaniel Graham MP and he assures me that Ridge looks like the guilty man. We’re currently tracing the hacker who got into Mainframe. As soon as we do, Ridge, Sellers and all the other eco-nutters will be locked away for a very, very long time’. Timmons looked pleased with himself. ‘What about Adam?’ Timmons pondered this before replying. ‘I don’t know. But we should assume that he is in on it with Ridge. I’ll send him away. A long flight I think to keep him out of the picture while we investigate’.
‘I’ve got it!’ shouted Paul as he looked up from his microscope, looking particularly pleased with himself. Adam who had been lost in thought suddenly snapped back into the real world. ‘Got what?’ ‘We’ve been looking at this all wrong. Instead of worrying about stopping L.C.F, we should be concentrating on an anti-virus’. Adam nodded in agreement. ‘Obviously. Does that sample help you?’ ‘Yes, but it is going to take months, maybe years to find an eﬀective antidote and even then, how do we go about deploying and preventing further attacks? Adam thought for a moment. This was getting serious. The silence was broken by a phone call. Adam answered the phone. ‘Hello?’ ‘Adam, it’s Timmons. We have a problem. We have information that leads us to believe Sellers will attempt to use the virus on an airliner. That’s not all though, a certain oil company has been leaning on the government. This could cost the oil industry billions. We need a result fast’. ‘I think we’ve got something Timmons…. What? You’re sending me where?’ Adam left the room making his apologies. Paul continued to stare down at the metal microscope at a metal dish containing a dead sample of Variant 14. He was making notes on a notepad with a pencil as Timmons entered in a fluster. ‘Well have you made progress?’ Timmons demanded. Paul waited a moment before looking up from his microscope enjoying the moment. ‘Variant 14 attacks plastic on a molecular level. It seems to be made of various vinyl acetates, chlorofluorocarbons and maleric anhydride’. Paul smiled at the blank expression on Timmons face. ‘Of course Mr Timmons I wouldn’t expect any of that to mean anything to you’. Paul had succeeded in aggravating Timmons. ‘What do you mean by that?’ he said attempting to assert his authority. ‘Nothing Sir. You do know Adam is nothing to do with the L.C.F don’t you?’. ‘That leak came from mainframe’. ‘And I suppose it is inconceivable to you that the leak could have come from M.I.5?’ Timmons seemed even more annoyed by Paul’s implication that the leak could have come from his department. Paul couldn’t help but wonder if he had touched a raw nerve. ‘Maybe you’re right. Maybe some one else in this department was responsible. Would you like to own up to anything?’ ‘Oh for God sake Timmons! Just go away. I’ve got an antidote to work on. Why don’t you make some optimistic plan about catching L.C.F and assist your M.P. friends in their expenses?’ Now Paul had really done it. Timmons got right into Paul’s face as he spoke softly and menacingly. ‘If you dare make a comment like that when Sir Graham is here I swear I shall have you in a cell’. He then walked out the room in a huﬀ. Paul wished he hadn’t pushed him so much. But there was no place in life for regrets and he had an important job to do. Clive sat alone. The room was barely lit by energy saving bulbs. In front of him lay a collection of books. He was composing his thoughts. His mind was currently roaming an astral plane and thinking about the teachings of Hsi Yu Chi. The teachings of change. Modern life would change and L.C.F would force the entire globe into a greener way of life. Man has no right to treat the Earth as badly as it did. We do not own this planet we merely inhabit it as a disease might inhabit a host. If we continue to devour, then we too shall kill the host. When the Earth finally breaks apart man shall finally learn an important lesson. Too late. But the L.C.F can and will change all that. For decades, man could have put planned to take make steps to help save the planet. But he didn’t. Instead he let the problem worsen whilst he grew fat of the profits. He was a man obsessed. Ridge arrived at Doomwatch. His I.D pass was refused by the guard. ‘Now wait a bloody minute!’ Ridge began to protest as Timmons appeared. ‘Ahh… Mr Ridge. I was wondering if we might have a word with you?’ ‘Certainly. I’ve got two for you Timmons’. The guard laughed but Timmons shot him a look. ‘I think you should come inside’. The conversation was caught short by the arrival of Sir Nathaniel Graham M.P. Timmons looked at Ridge, his eyes displaying weakness. ‘Oh, doesn’t your master know about mainframe? Shall we include him in our little chat Mr Timmons?’ Timmons glared at Ridge and then rushed over to Sir Graham. Sir Graham was a healthy if a little thin gentleman. He had a disarming air about him. He waved Timmons away and then headed towards Ridge. ‘I know you Ridge. Ridge isn’t the leak. You were in the original Doomwatch. You chaps were real trend setters back then. I did try and get certain green issues pushed through the houses of parliament… of course most were swept under the carpet I’m afraid. I don’t know why they never got rid of me’. ‘Well Sir Graham, if all the green issues were pursued and proved unprofitable, they’d need a fall guy’. Ridge used his best winning smile. Timmons blood went cold until Sir Graham suddenly laughed. ‘I like you Mr Ridge. Why don’t you join us?’ ‘I’m afraid Sir Graham I am a little tied up, Mr Timmons here was just about to arrest me for… what was it…industrial espionage’. Sir Graham looked Timmons up and down distinctly unimpressed. ‘Nonsense. Have him join us Timmons’. Sir Graham. His chest puﬀed out, began to march ahead. Ridge smiled sarcastically as Timmons had no choice but to allow Ridge to enter. Timmons blood began to boil. ‘Nice try Timmons’. Ridge muttered as he walked on ahead. Ridge then waited and turned to Timmons as he caught them up, then looked back at Sir Graham. ‘Forgive me Sir Graham, but you don’t mind if I smoke do you?’ ‘Not at all. That is as long as Mr Timmons has no such objection?’ They both glared at Timmons. ‘Well…I…’ ‘Jolly good, as you were Mr Ridge’. Ridge’s smile beamed across his face as he lit up a cigar and overly dramatically took his first drag. ‘Now this is real quality. Would you like one Timmons. Oh wait you don’t smoke do you?’ Timmons could feel himself losing control. ‘Look, there are more important matters at hand. Please gentlemen follow me!’ Timmons led the way and Ridge and Sir Graham followed. Inside the conversation continued. ‘So you see Sir Graham. The leak came because someone
Ridge stared at himself in the mirror long and hard. He noticed he was looking particularly old. Living alone was not good for Ridge. He wasn’t a natural loner, but his old school values made him feel like a dinosaur in a modern age. He was actually beginning to feel like an extinct species. He reached for his jacket and decided to head back to Doomwatch headquarters. He had allowed himself too much time to waste and now he needed to get straight back into the thick of it. He had fulfilled his promise to Quist about his son and now he had a madman to stop. With that Ridge decided not too look at himself in the mirror again. Clive Sellers was busy. His newfound infamy had neither particularly disgusted or worried him. His image was now being circulated as a dangerous paedophile that should not be approached. The aﬀect on his fellow L.C.F members had backfired. They believed him more than ever now and less in the corrupt government that now ruled over him. He also suspected that the government would welcome some drunken, yobbish lynch mob who would murder him. He had gone into hiding in a laboratory he had set up a few years ago. He planned how the virus would be unleashed. ‘Variant 14’ was such a harmless name and he’d tried many times to recreate the
on board were having a field day. Champagne and chocolates were plentiful and excitement levels were high. Clive knew the aircraft was either unlikely to make the whole journey or may even be shot down by the military when they discovered what was going on. But it didn’t matter, by that time it would be too late. His team of scientists had mapped the journey the aircraft would take and drawn up maps of the most eﬀective target spots to release the plastic eating chemical, the bonus was the release of Variant 14 into the clouds which carry the virus for many hundreds of miles completely unstoppable in its spread. The sound of the jet engines was impressive, as Sierra Delta finally left the runway and soared into the sky at an astonishing 250mph. On board Variant 14 was sloshing around in the tanks, hungry and dinner was on its way… In seat 1A on Flight 272, Adam sat frustrated. He had to get back to Doomwatch, fast. He had discovered his new mission was a decoy. The plane’s seats were uncomfortable to say the least. Cutbacks had to be made and economy travel was the now the standard. It was too late to save the passengers on Concorde. It just wasn’t good enough. The briefcase containing a sample of the Variant 14 killing solution he’d taken with him for further tests sat by his side. Adam found it hard to take his eyes of it. Onboard Sierra Delta, Susan Haversham admired herself in a plastic cased compact mirror. Her looks meant everything to her. Age wasn’t going to defeat her and at 38, she still looked hot and she knew it. The plastic surgeon’s had done a great job. Cost was no barrier to Susan, as she always got what she wanted. She felt 16 again. Susan sat with her entourage of fashion models and designers and snapped at the stewardess as she walked by. ‘You. Bring me a Coﬀee, now, with milk and no sugar and be quick about it.’ Her rudeness astonished her fellow passengers and despite her beauty, she suddenly looked quite ugly. The stewardess pulled a face briefly, and then said ‘Certainly madam’ and then she head oﬀ towards the front of the plane. A very ‘special’ coﬀee was going to be made. Luanne had dealt with many a celebrity before, and knew how to get her own back. The journey across the channel was swift and Emily sat in the rear baggage hold waiting for the signal. Her stomach was rolling, she wasn’t feeling well. Then the signal came. The Captain announced they were flying low over London. Emily pushed the metallic lever hard. Emily loved every minute of it. As she pushed the lever to the open position and the jets outside of Concorde began to spray their deadly cargo, Emily didn’t notice the leak from the mechanism. She touched Variant 14 without even realising it. Emily suddenly felt the need to go the toilet. She felt sick. She made her way to the toilets in the middle of the plane. Emily looked green. She started running but it was too late. She bent over double and was sick in the aisle. Luanne was an eﬃcient and sensitive steward, she spotted Emily from the front of the plane and quickly grabbed some cleaning materials and a sick bag. As she made her way towards Emily, Susan grabbed her arm. ‘Where’s my coﬀee?’ she snapped. ‘Excuse me madam I have another passenger to attend to, I will be with you as soon as possible’ and pulled herself free from Susan who now let go easily as she stared down the isle at a women bent over making disgusting retching sounds.’ Just hurry up’ she called after her. Something was wrong. As Luanne helped Emily to her to her feet and handed her a sick bag. Quickly, in order to not upset other passengers, she bent down and used her assortment of paper towels and cleaning equipment to clean up as fast as possible. The smell was rancid. As she tied the plastic bag up and sprayed a lemon disinfectant, she asked Emily if she was feeling better and gave her a mint from her pocket to chew on whilst she helped Emily back to her seat. ‘Where are you sitting madam?.’ Emily just ignored her and started oﬀ towards the back of the plane. Undeterred, Luanne made her way to the front of the plane and put the rubbish bag quickly with the rest of the passenger’s cartons, cups and used dinner plates. As she turned away, she didn’t notice the purple swirling liquid break free from the bag. As it oozed out, it appeared to spread quickly around the plastic trays and slowly they began to dissolve. Variant 14 was free again and it was hungry. The cups and then the plates were quickly reduced to sludge. Still unnoticed by all, Sierra Delta was now doomed. Fifteen minutes later, a yellow light went on in the flight cabin and Captain Jim French looked suddenly worried. Concorde’s Engine 1 shut down for a couple of seconds and then came back on line. The Passengers noticed. A slight panic crept over the plane and some people started to laugh nervously, trying no to look concerned. Susan didn’t notice, or care for that matter what was going on around her. She had been on many flights before. Turbulence was nothing. She took a sip of her Coﬀee and nearly spat it out. The milk was oﬀ. She stared at the cup in utter disgust and was about to complain, when the cup suddenly dissolved and hot Coﬀee spilt over her legs. She screamed in pain. In the streets of London below, Michael was fed up. Shopping was boring, life was boring. But he needed to eat. He looked into the window of the cake shop at a very large jam doughnut. Concorde roared overhead with a strange intermittent high pitched whirr. He looked up in the bright sky at the plane as it flew overhead and Michael clasped his hands against his ears.
here allowed hackers to…’ ‘No. Not true’ Ridge interrupted Timmons. ‘What?’ Timmons replied yet again, annoyed by Ridge, he checked his gun was still hidden in his waistcoat. Yes, it was, that made him feel better. ‘The hack could have been external. Look only a few months back an autistic middle aged bloke hacked his way through the C.I.A’s database. ‘There didn’t have to be a leak to allow someone to access mainframe’ explained Ridge. Timmons could see his words were having the desired eﬀect on Sir Graham. Damn you Ridge. ‘Sir Graham, that was an isolated incident. And we are not the C.I.A’ said Timmons. ‘You can say that again. I imagine if you were Sellers I would be in a cell awaiting execution long before now. But no, you gave him a low profile. Well you don’t give fanatics low profiles. Because this happens. Maybe you should read some history books Timmons. Might learn something there’ Ridge then tutted. ‘How dare you!’ snapped Timmons. Sir Graham finally stepped in. ‘Gentlemen please. It’s clear you have some issues you two need to iron out. Well that’s fine. But we have a more serious problem here. Now we accept Mr Ridge’s theory holds certain validity. But it’s less likely than what Mr Timmons is suggesting. Therefore we look for our leak’. Timmons jumped in. ‘And I say we start with you Ridge. I read your file. You nearly started world war bloody 3. If anyone is with the L.C.F it’s you. You’ve been behind the scenes for years. Planning with Sellers no doubt!’ Ridge immediately went for Timmons but missed. Timmons then punched Ridge in the chest and Ridge went down. ‘Your way too slow old man’. ‘Now that’s enough. The pair of you. Timmons get out now’. ‘But he…’ ‘I said get out!’ Timmons marched out. ‘I’m sorry about that’ said Sir Graham ‘Don’t worry. I think the stupid prat had a point. I am too old.’ said Ridge. ‘Nonsense.’ Ridge smiled and Sir Graham helped him up. ‘Do you really think the hacking was an outside job?’ ‘Maybe, I don’t know’. She was beautiful. Her long and slender body a sight to behold. Men found her attraction irresistible, but she was cold to the touch. She stood quietly in the hanger waiting, utterly wasted, waiting for chance to show the world how great she really was. To many she was a symbol of pure extravagance for those with too much money and not enough time. To others, she was an environmental disaster. How apt. What a perfect symbol she would make once again. This time, for the L.C.F. It was an impressive display of technological advancement that always drew a crowd with her raw power and sex appeal. In that crowd Clive Sellers, stood in awe of the machine and wondered what it would look like with a large L.C.F banner on the tail. He couldn’t contain himself anymore and a broad smirk spread across his face much to the bemusement of his fellow onlookers. This was going to be unforgettable. The world was going to love this. Posing as an onlooker, gave him the insight into what this once magnificent aircraft achieved as he was shown around the impressive collection. He couldn’t wait to abuse it. Concorde F-BTSD Sierra Delta. One of the youngest of the remaining Concorde’s. She was kept lovingly in near-airworthy condition. Le Bourget Air and Space Museum in Paris was an easy target. Where else could you get a supersonic aircraft that wasn’t in possession of the military? The operation had taken over two years to come to fruition and leaving cold rain soaked Britain and arriving in France in the bright sunshine to see his new baby fly gave Clive butterflies. It was just perfect. The L.C.F was ready to strike. All the preparation would now pay oﬀ. Despite the safety fears the tickets for an exclusive Paris to London and then New York, were sold out in just two minutes. ‘How quickly people forget’ thought Clive. It was the perfect cover for the operation and an added bonus that they could do some low flying for the entertainment of the public on the ground below whilst delivering a nasty little surprise. The public on both sides of the channel obviously still loved her and both thought they owned her. A once in a lifetime opportunity to fly on Concorde for one final time. The golden ticket sales brought in a nice unexpectedly large profit too. Little did they know how final that flight would be. Albertine Dice had done an excellent job. His operations team had proven ruthlessly eﬃcient and the operation had gone with few setbacks. The L.C.F staﬀ had gradually replaced over half the original members of the museum as most had unexpectedly left or disappeared without any formal notice. Another L.C.F specialist trait. However, a high turnover in staﬀ in just six months didn’t go unnoticed, but it was necessary. If anyone discovered their plans it would all be ruined. Those that did talk about their suspicions about the ‘restoration work’ being done on Sierra Delta were taken care of. The large fuel tanks were filled to the maximum. Over 4500 miles in the tank, it would be more than enough for this special trip. The container tanks were fitted to Sierra Delta in stages at night. Over three quarters of the hold was converted into liquid storage space and the metal spray jets were fitted spanning the wings of the aircraft with metallic control levers fitted for operation. All that was needed was the new Variant 14. The night before the flight a black tanker pulled up at the gate and with a wave of a security pass from the driver and a knowing smile, it was let straight through. The tanker slowly made its way to the hanger, its liquid contents sloshed in the giant tank. Inside the cabin were five L.C.F engineers wearing protective suits. The hanger doors were opened and the tanker disappeared inside. The doors were slammed shut and all entrances to the hangar were locked. The men jumped out and immediately set to work. One of them attached a hose to the container and the other to the tanks in the cargo bay. The pump was started and the brown liquid flowed while the men checked to make sure there were no leaks. As the tank was emptied as quickly as the tanker came it left. They were ready for the morning.
As rain inexplicably started fall, he swore as he'd forgot to bring his umbrella. After the shock of the Concorde passing overhead, the doughnut he was eyeing up suddenly became less interesting. Drip, drip drip. ‘What on earth is that’ he exclaimed. He picked the gooey substance of his exposed shoulder and studied it for a moment. As he felt the tackiness he suddenly started to feel queasy. He had a pacemaker fitted many years ago and for some reason this immediately sprang to his mind. Inside Michael's body, a feast was going on. Variant 14 was absorbed into Michael’s skin and gorged on the plastic in his Pacemaker. Michael felt light headed, his arms began to ache and he fell to the ground, panic stricken. Someone spotted him and rushed to help, but it was too late, Michael wasn't going to be miserable ever again... Within minutes of the rainfall, the scene in the street was one of utter chaos. Cars narrowly avoided people, slamming into what shop windows remained intact as the PVC that bound them together started to dissolve. People were running to avoid falling glass, women and their children, rushed into the safety of the shops, watching in amazement at the scene around them unfolding. In a clothes shop, coats and trousers fell to the floor one by one, the melting hangers giving way. Outside, yet more cars pathetically ground to a halt, bumpers dragging behind them dripping over the tarmac. Fern Stenson couldn’t believe what was happening, all she wanted was £20, to buy her son some cheap black shoes. The little pain had managed to lose one at school the day before and had come home in his socks. He claimed Barry the school bully grabbed him and pulled it oﬀ his right foot and ran oﬀ. As Fern stood at the cash machine, she entered her pin, tutted at the balance on the screen and went to retrieve her card. As she pulled it, half of it oozed and stretched from the machine like bubble gum. ‘What on earth?’ She suddenly was aware of the chaos around her and had to move sharply as a car skidded passed her and her son. And yet, Sierra Delta carried on its journey of destruction, much to the amusement of Sellers, who watched the local news story unfold on Channel 6 as the chaos spread. No-one knew what was happening. It was all going to plan.
The sun rose at the end of the Le Bourget airfield and despite the early hours, crowds had begun to gather. Not a single person didn’t have either a video camera or a mobile telephone at the ready to film the day’s event. As the hanger opened, Ambre, a small girl in the crowd stopped eating her chocolate bar and pointed shouting ‘Regarde, Regarde! Her father cheered and clapped as the low pointed nose of the aircraft emerged into the sunlight, momentarily glinting in the sun. A fine haze appeared to surround the craft as she was slowly towed from the hanger. It was forty five minutes before she was in position and it proved to be an extremely popular photo opportunity for the crowd as fathers lifted their children up onto their shoulders, so they could see the lucky passengers boarding the aircraft. Their arrival in sleek high powered cars was to be expected. Only the seriously rich were going to be on this flight, plus a few lucky winners and bidders on eBay. Sierra Delta’s engines roared into life as she unleashed her power. The watching crowd roared and cheered louder in delight as the sleek aircraft taxied slowly down the runway. The passengers
Sierra Delta was in chaos. After cleaning herself up as best she could, Susan was furious. She made her way to the toilets and was even more annoyed when she discovered the mirror in the toilet lay broken on the floor. It looked like the plastic around the frame had melted. She snorted in disgust. She had grabbed her bag and was determined to get changed in the toilet. As she put on a fresh set of clothes, she went to grab her compact mirror to do her makeup. As she unzipped the compartment and put her hand in, she was presented with a gooey mess. The mirror was
been suﬀocated. Timmons stepped forward. ‘They have left nothing to chance. Search the place and get a forensic team in here. Be careful’. Timmons then suddenly noticed the back of the computer monitor had begun to melt and the power cables were dripping on the floor. Suddenly the monitor went oﬀ as the insulation to the power supply was gorged on by the plastic eating virus and the bare cables touched each other. ‘Variant 14. It’s in here! Quickly get out! The virus is in here!’
covered in its own plastic. ‘What the hell is going on!’ she said, she was now livid. As she turned to open the toilet door, the handle came oﬀ in her hand. ‘Right!’, she had had enough. Susan started bashing on the door, ‘Let me out, you idiots!’ But her cries went unheard amongst the rising sound of panic in the plane. The no fly zone around the houses of parliament was strictly enforced, but today this enforcement was relaxed by the arrival of an icon. Flying low over London, crowds cheered and people pulled over in their cars scrabbling around in their pockets for their mobile phones. Just to get a blurry pointless picture. Why didn’t people just enjoy the moment instead of trying to record everything? Surely it was the whole point of saying you were there in the first place? Clive was struggling not to jump up and down with sheer joy as the chaos ensued as Concorde roared overhead.
Clive Sellers was still one step ahead of M.I.5. Variant 14 was being released and Clive could see no possible way that any government could stop it in time. It was mere hours until the western world as people knew it would collapse. He watched the six o clock news on the television screen and downed the rest of his Vodka. Sir Graham sat in his oﬃce looking at a photo taken of him in South Africa when he was a younger man. The world of the past seemed like such an alien place. His heart and soul yearned for it. But he knew it was impossible. Now the world was suﬀering. All his life he had wanted a better world. Believed in the ecological issues. But he had been shunned and ignored. L.C.F seemed like the only way to save the world. Which is why he joined them. Maybe in 365 days from now the world will be closer to the world he yearned for. He was tired of red tape too and no one would suspect him. Sir Graham sat back and closed his eyes. He waited for the end of society as he knew it.
On board Concorde, Lance was inconsolable. Lance was listening to his mp3 player. He had grown tired of listening to the latest top 40 chart he had torrented oﬀ the internet when the player inexplicably stopped. He swore he had enough charge for twenty four hours and he’d only had it on for a couple of hours. He pulled the player out of his pocket and he was presented with a stick mess. As he tried to pull the earphones out to investigate further, the two leads fell either side of him and the speakers remained in his ears. He started panicking and shouting when he realised he couldn’t get them out. Susan was now going ballistic too. She had sat down on the toilet in order to take her shoe of and use it to bash on the door. Before she could raise her arm, the window in the toilet began to rattle and the glass began to crack. Susan slowly turned around in horror as the glass gave way and she let go of the shoe she was holding only to watch it being sucked out of the gaping hole in the plane. She jumped to floor terrified, instantly deafened by the escaping air. The toilet door began to buckle. The planes engines were erratic. Lights blinked on and oﬀ in the cabin. The plane started to descend lower and lower. They needed to land and fast. Captain Jim French tried to use the intercom to reassure the passengers, but it would just make a clicking sound. Sounds of commotion could be heard from the passengers. The models were all screaming in unison. Their faces, hips and breasts and lips began to change and melt on a molecular level. They began to resemble zombies. As the plane approached Heathrow runaway, Emily knew it was going to crash and burn. She began to prey for mother earth. As Concorde approached the runway in near silence as its engines failed completely, the passengers couldn’t strap themselves in. The interior of the plane looked like it had completely melted. Just 400ft from the runway the steering mechanism collapsed. People’s prayers were overshadowed by the screaming and sniﬄing of the passengers. Then as the ground came ever closer, there fell an almost calm silence. The news camera crews watched on the ground. This was GOLD. Opportunities like this didn’t come often. The footage from this incident would make Media Connections a fortune. What an unexpected bonus this would prove to be. The plane slammed down hard on the runway and the passengers on board were thrown into the seats in front of them. As the plane skidded uncontrollably on the tarmac for what seemed like forever, its landing gear crushed and massive wings damaged it came to a halt, right next to a group of four budget airline planes.
Clive began what was to be, his final L.C.F Internet broadcast. With all the media attention around the devastated towns and villages around the country due to the rainfall carrying Variant 14, what better way to force the information down their throats. He had the public in the palm of his hand. He had their real attention now. ‘Plastic is a poison. Worldwide plastic in various forms is dumped into the oceans of the planet. Countless wildlife, from sea-lions, whales, birds and turtles ingest this poison and die a painful death year after year. The world’s eco system is suﬀering. This Plastic poison will take up to 1000 years before it decomposes in the environment. This is totally unacceptable. Plastic is buried in landfills or thrown into the oceans and surrounding ecosystems. But there is an answer. The process of polyethylene degradation can be used on an industrial scale for the biodegradation of plastic. As a result, this would save the lives of millions of wildlife species. The development of a biotechnological approach to PE degradation should be adopted and the reliance on oil and plastic reduced. The world must change. All over the world the press and the public read this. Adam knew these words were true, there was no denying the fact. Despite their Machiavellian behaviour of late, at the core of L.C.F there was a very real eﬀort to change the world, but at what cost? Would the world be a better place covered in melted plastic? ‘I have word back from Sir Graham. Doomwatch are attempting to create an anti-virus’. ‘Clive. They will do it!’ ‘Carly, Doomwatch will be too late. Anyway they’ve probably spread it back to their mainframe when they found Karl dead, and I am already planning a second wave of attacks.’ ‘Did Karl have to die?’ ‘Yes. He was operating out of control. We can’t aﬀord to make mistakes’. ‘But he was useful’. ‘He had served his purpose!’ Clive looked at her. Could even Carly still be trusted? Clive knew the endgame was fast approaching. He still wished that he could involve Adam Quist. Sir Graham had provided the useful information and of course had allowed Womack initial access to Mainframe.
Emily was alive. She held her breath. 50 passengers around her were now dead. The virus was free, free to consume. Life would never be the same again and Emily would walk away alive. As the fire engines and rescue crew raced towards the plane. Emily studied the scene around her. She was trapped between a mother and her son. As she was rescued, she looked back at the crippled plane on the runway. News teams raced to the scene. The threats of L.C.F were real, they would be heard. She knew that people would listen and they must adapt to a new world. A world that wasn’t so reliant on plastic. As the few remaining survivors departed the plane, something strange began to happen. The sirens on the fire engines faltered and died. Drip, drip, drip, Variant 14 was having a field day. All around the Virus spread. It was too late, so many people, so little time to stop the spread. Before anyone knew what was going on, all around planes internal parts started to melt and drop oﬀ. The Army and Police were present and they sealed oﬀ the area, letting no-one leave. Emily knew that this wasn’t the end. Only she knew how many more flights would bring what the press were now calling excitedly calling ‘THE PLASTIC RAIN’.
Ridge continued to read the report on his desk. It was not pleasant. Variant 14 had begun to cause wide spread damage not only all over the UK, but Europe also as the rain fell. Sometimes small the damage was small, credit cards, stationary and a few toy shops and warehouses had their contents turned into liquid paddling pools. Sometimes it was serious. People had died when their replacement plastic body parts poisoned them.
Later that day, as Emily sat alone on the hospital ward, she felt a failure. Her one saving thought was she had apparently gotten away with it. The authorities had no idea who she was. She had to get up. She lay back on her bed barely able to move. Just then she noticed a nurse approach and with a needle and injected straight it into her drip. The nurse then put her hand over Emily’s mouth. The needle had been full of air and Emily watched as the air bubble worked its way quickly down into her vein. Then smack into her heart. Emily was dead. Returning from his flight Adam answered his mobile. It was Ridge. ‘Ridge. They’ve sent me on a….’. ‘Just shut up and listen ok? I’ve just cleared with that M.P Sir Graham that your OK. M.I.5 finally got a lock on whoever had hacked into Mainframe. A Karl Womack. Mean anything to you?’ Adam thought for a moment before replying. ‘No. Should it?’ ‘No. Nothing. A loner with large spells of unemployment, but just possibly a computer genius. We’ve just heard that a woman, Emily was a survivor of the plane crash that the virus was used on. She has been found dead, murdered by an air bubble administered through her drip whilst in hospital. It looks as though this Emily was the operative who accidently spread Variant 14 on the plane. And guess what? You wouldn’t know her either. Another loner who led a sad existence. No known lovers or friends. L.C.F certainly knows how to pick them’. ‘Do you realize how many sad lonely people there are in the world?’ Adam looked around the airport. There were so many people standing there lost and alone. Looking around waiting for… nothing? How many of these were members of L.C.F? ‘Man is born to believe. And if no church comes forward with its title deeds of truth, sustained by the sacred ages and by the convictions of countless generations to guide him, he will find alters and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.’ ‘Benjamin Disraeli’. Ridge finished the quote and there remained an awkward silence. ‘Maybe the threat of L.C.F was far greater than imagined. ‘The L.C.F must have an enormous underground internet presence’. Adam muttered in awe at the concept. ‘We must find out how they are recruited, How soon till you get Womack?’ said Ridge. ‘Any minute now hopefully’.
Clive Sellers was still at large despite the widespread manhunt. Adam then came through the door. ‘Some parts around the globe appear to be infected too?’ Ridge just looked at him and nodded. ‘Somehow, the bastards are spreading the virus all over. By the time we have worked out an eﬀective anti-virus the economy will be crippled. Damages are estimated worldwide to be over seven billion. With the UK suﬀering the brunt of the damage and most of the rainfall, not forgetting the loss of life’. Ridge threw the report down on the table. Adam just looked at him. ‘Where do you think Seller’s would be?’ said Ridge. ‘He must know he can’t leave the country. So he’s still in the country hiding. With Karl Womack dead and his computer melted there’s no leads there either.’ said Adam. ‘Maybe Clive is here under our noses in London?’ Ridge speculated. ‘Makes sense. He would have to be involved in some sort of media outfit? That way they could use it as a cover for their Internet activities. It would require a large amount of resources. If only Womack’s computer wasn’t damaged!’ Adam cried. ‘Well it’s no use now’. ‘Look Ridge the whole country, no several countries are searching the globe, he’s the most wanted man. What makes you think we can find him?’ ‘Because old boy, we’re a lot smarter then they are’. Just then the phone rang. Adam answered it. ‘Hello, Adam Quist. Yes minister. Yes. I see. Thank you, minister’. Adam put the phone down. ‘It seems the upper echelons of our good country are also blighted with Variant 14. There’s been an outbreak in the House of Commons’. ‘What?’ ‘Sir Nathaniel Graham’s oﬃce is infected’. Adam replied. ‘Sir Graham?’. Said Paul. ‘Oh yes, Sir Graham. I think Timmons should know that we might have found our leak’. Sir Graham was arrested less than twenty minutes later. Under the circumstances, Timmons was allowed to use a certain degree of ‘pressure’. Contravene to the human rights act Timmons threats of violence proved unnecessary and Sir Graham’s own self doubt made him confess very quickly. Crucially he confessed to the location of Clive Sellers.
Timmons led the teams as they crashed into Karl Womack’s flat. The place stank of sweat and general lack of good personnel hygiene. Posters donned the walls of old horror movies. The computer screen lit up the bedroom. Sat in the chair with his head back was Karl. Dead. He had
The swat team got to the unassuming house as quickly as they could. But as soon as they opened the door and stepped inside they were greeted with a homemade incendiary device. The explosion was enormous, killing two members of the team straight away.
‘Well, no doubt you’re keen to know what is going on Adam Quist?’ Adam looked at Timmons in the eyes. ‘To be honest I don’t’. ‘Well, where to begin? You’ll be pleased to hear the anti-virus has worked its magic and Variant 14 hasn’t been spotted for over a week. Not just here but worldwide’. ‘I’ve told my superiors about Doomwatch and your eﬀorts and you’ll all be receiving commendations for your eﬀorts, and Doomwatch shall be a fully funded permanent department. I have also put your name forward as the leader’. ‘Thank you’. ‘Now there are a few other things. Sir Graham. He will somehow be remaining in Parliament. He deeply regrets his actions and we’ve decided that there is no need to cause him further embarrassment’. Adam smiled at the devious nature of the government. ‘You decide that or your superiors?’ Timmons just smiled. ‘It says in your report that Clive muttered something in Latin. What did he say?’ ‘Sadly I don’t know, my Latin is rather rusty these days’. ‘Oh. Nevermind. Thank you and good luck with Doomwatch’. Adam shook Timmons hands and then headed to the door. He then turned. ‘What now for the L.C.F?’ ‘I think without Clive as a leader, they are finished’ said Adam Adam then left Timmons oﬃce. He greeted Paul and Ridge in the hallway. ‘How did it go?’ Paul enquired. ‘Ok. Doomwatch is back. We’re all on the ministers Christmas card list and somehow Sir Graham walks away scot free’. ‘You’re joking?’ Paul queried. ‘Bloody champagne socialists’ muttered Ridge. ‘And I’m going to have a very large drink. Would you two care to join me?’ ‘I’ll grab my coat’ with that, Paul disappeared to find his coat. ‘Thank you Ridge’. ‘What for? I knew you’d be a natural’. ‘Can I oﬀer you a job here?’ ‘I’m afraid it takes it out of me a bit, not as spritely as I once was! I’m an old man. This is a young man’s world now and I should really be enjoying my retirement. You must take on Doomwatch and make a diﬀerence. You have my number, but don’t call unless it’s an absolute emergency’. Adam smiled as Paul returned. ‘Right lets get drunk’. Adam said as he and Paul headed oﬀ.
At Doomwatch Paul took the call shortly after. ‘We’re back at bloody square one again!’ Adam shouted thumping the desk in frustration. Just then the phone went again. Adam answered. It was Clive Sellers. Clive wanted to meet Adam. Adam raced down the road to the hotel where Clive wanted to meet. His mind was a maelstrom of thoughts. He remembered Ridge wanting to do the ‘decent’ thing and kill Sellers. However he knew that Ridge wasn’t a killer. It would make him no diﬀerent to the L.C.F. However, a man like Sellers could never be stopped. He was the parochial mad dog. Arrest seemed the only way. Adams blood chilled. He wondered how long the L.C.F had tapped into mainframe and to the state of mind of Clive Sellers. Adam arrived at the hotel and parked the car and then headed inside. At the reception desk a rotund camp man greeted Adam and was told that a Mr Sellers was indeed expecting him in room 319. The man then rang through to tell Mr Sellers Adam was here. Adam pushed the door to the room and found it open. He paused for a moment, preparing himself and then went inside. Clive was sitting opposite, he had shaved all his hair away and had begun to grow a beard. ‘Adam Quist. You have no idea how much this means to me.’ ‘You know you’re the most wanted man in the country’. ‘Come now, I signed in under Arnold Sellers. I haven’t changed that much, just another face in the crowd’. Adam looked around the room. There wasn’t much, just a few clothes and some books. ‘Tell me Adam have you come to put me in custody?’ Adam realised he didn’t know what he was here to do. ‘Why?’ ‘Why? Why what Adam?’ ‘All this. How many members of your own cause have you killed? And for what?’ ‘You couldn’t understand?’ ‘Oh no I know the arguments. Some of them make good sense. Eugenics due to over population. Our governments scared to tackle the issue rather ignore it, unlike China where it’s dealt with’. ‘So you agree’ ‘On paper yes. But when it comes to placing babies and foetus’s in bins then I’m afraid it stops being palatable’. Outside a shadowy figure arrived. With a long coat and leather gloves he made his way into the hotel. There was only a handful of staﬀ in the lobby. The camp man smiled but the figure pulled out a gun with a silencer and shot them all. He then produced two petrol cans and began to pour them liberally over the hotel. ‘You’re week Adam. Just like all the rest. Your a socialist. All very well in practice isn’t it. I used to be like you until I realised it doesn’t work’.
At Gatwick airport Carly had booked a plane to Switzerland. Under her arm was her laptop. She was now running L.C.F and she was sure to make the world pay one day. She would do it for Clive.
In the lobby the figure lit a match and dropped it. Fire immediately erupted. It reached the bar and all the alcohol exploded. ‘What was that?’ Adam queried. He opened the hotel room door and the smoke was already on their floor. ‘Bloody hell the place is on fire!’ Adam screamed. Clive jumped up and ran to the door. ‘You see? They act in the same way? Yet they’re justified’. ‘There’s no time for this!’ They ran down the corridor but the flames were too strong. Clive reached for a fire extinguisher but Variant 14 had made the plastic coil melt rendering it useless. Uncontrollably Clive giggled. ‘Come on! We need to find a way out!’ ‘No. Not for me Quist. This is it. Don’t you see?’ Clive jumped up and walked towards the flames. He then turned to Adam. ‘Res dura, et regni novitas me talia cogunt Moliri, et late fines custode tueri’. Clive then threw himself into the flames. He barely screamed as his flesh began to melt. There was no time Adam doubled back to the hotel room. The smoke was too strong. He tried to open the window but it would only go so far. He then picked up the television and threw it out the window. Gasping at the air Adam then threw himself out of the window.
At Dezak Oil, Des Marker was furious. He put the phone down and buzzed for Sandra. 'Sandra, get me Mark Tucker on the phone and do it now!' 'Yes, Sir'. A minute later the internal phone rang. Des picked it up. ‘Tucker, I have a little problem that needs taking care of. Mortimer was about to be up to his neck in it, literally. Dave stood behind Mortimer. Tucker threw his unconscious body into the large tank of oil swirling below. 'One down, one to go!' Dave loved his job. His next job was a trip to London. A certain Nathaniel Graham MP was about to disappear… THE END
Ridge had hit the records hard. In his mind something was nagging him. Something about Variant 14. Toby Wren was the one who Quist had assigned to clear up Variant 14. Toby Wren was many things but he was certainly no fool. He would have known the dangers if Variant 14 was ever to have been released again. Then again this information would have been available in Mainframe when the L.C.F tapped it. Wouldn’t it? Maybe Toby did have some insurance that he never put in mainframe? Where would it be now? Family, friends? Ridge paced erratically as his mind raced thinking about Toby. It couldn’t be that obvious that it would still be in his file. Although, if you want to hide a tree put it in a forest. Ridge persuaded Timmons that he needed to see the archives. Ancient dusty files were fetched from rusting filing cabinets. After over three hours of searching through beurocratic red tape, Ridge found a yellowing file marked Dungeness Failure Report : Tobias Wren. Ridge opened it and flicked through. A big document full of Variant 14 data. As Ridge sifted through the paperwork he discovered one file with Toby's unmistakable articulate handwriting. 'Since the disaster that befell the Dungeness test (see attached documents), I have been working closely with Beeston on a chemical anti virus that will kill Variant 14 after the unsuccessful Dungeness test. So far, tests have been successful with a formula codenamed TP4Q. It is water soluble and should an outbreak of Variant 14 occur it can be easily deployed to the aﬀected areas. The chemical formula for TP4Q is also attached for reference. I have contacted Beeston and they have confirmed they have discontinued research on Variant 14 and the project has been permanently shelved, so I am keeping all the research data at Doomwatch ready for Bradley to transfer to his computer’ and in the margin (when he’s fixed it!).'Ridge laughed. 'Excellent, Well done Toby! Adam, take a look at this!' 'Fantastic!' said Adam as he read through the file. 'This means that should the L.C.F attempt to strike again we can be prepared in literally hours. We must distribute this information immediately. I will fax these documents through to our team and get this stuﬀ mass produced as quickly as we can. We have beaten Clive! Ridge, ensure that Whitehall is made aware of this development.' 'Sure, it looks like Doomwatch has come up smell of roses this time!, It certainly makes a change, I can tell you!’ said Ridge with a raised eyebrow. Within hours TP4Q was being manufactured and distributed up and down the country using a network of chemical firms on direct emergency powers instructions from the government. Fire engines were deployed to any aﬀected areas and TP4Q was added to the water tanks as needed.
Adam Quist Head of the new DOOMWATCH team
Two weeks later, Adam sat in the waiting room at Doomwatch alone. Lost in his thoughts. His arm was in a sling and he had cuts and abrasions all over. Timmons then opened the door and beckoned him in. Adam slowly, slightly limping followed him into the room.
! y r r So
D E S O CL TEAM H C T A W M O O D E TH
WORLDFORCE 5 Beyond Doomwatch by Jean Riddler disaster situation and effective ways of dealing with each crisis. The problem is what to do with this knowledge. The solution lies in the hands of the third member of the team, Nils Madsen, the Danish Secretary-General of the United Nations and friend of Arnold Kramer. Madsen is respected and feared by all the nations, East and West from Russia to Afro-Asians. He derives his authority from this knife-edge position as the one thing that all the nations fear is Madsen’s resignation. If he goes, then it would be practically impossible to find a replacement acceptable to all sides. The series would open a year from this point. Worldforce 5 are now known internationally, operating from a lake-side chalet in Geneva, although Kramer also retains an office at the United Nations building in New York. Their work is appreciated by some and, naturally, of great interest to the world press, who ask some embarrassing questions if Kramer’s group are not called in in emergencies. But like any good idea, it has its adversaries and enemies from International big businesses to political leaders, for Kramer does not really care whose toes he treads on. In many cases the action of the Disaster Squad has had to be completely ruthless and objective, for example one of the plot outlines in the original series proposal reads: When a munitions train in France crashed and caught fire on a high viaduct, the group found that the imminent explosion threatened an entire village at the level of the viaduct. They immediately dynamited the viaduct and the train blew up in the valley below, killing the trapped train crew, but saving the village.” Another incident listed is a fire in a mercury factory (with a note to the effect that Kit Pedler would supply the technical details), and the fact that the computer can come up with nine ways to handle the situation in nine seconds. Local based scientists and supporters inform the main team of imminent disaster and if there is time they will go through the official channels. However, Kramer will not think twice about the use of kidnapping, assassination and blackmail as viable weapons in their fight against entranced villainy and stupidity. Part of this enables funds for Kramer’s team to be collected, since Kramer asks the governments he assists for large donations. If a disaster will not occur again, he will keep the incident a secret - for a price. “Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. Their battlefield is the last great frontier of our times... the issue at stake nothing less than our survival.’’
“The world has always had to face disasters of one kind or another, from volcanoes to tidal waves. From the Black Death to the night the Titanic hit the iceberg. “In the 1970’s, however, it is not the natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes that we are concerned about; the most terrifying disaster of their future will come from man himself” This is no selling prose for DOOMWATCH, but for its never born descendent, WORLDFORCE 5 and the Disaster Squad team. Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler had combined their writing talent and scientific knowledge in a phenomenally successful way to create DOOMWATCH, but despite unused stories being ready for scripting, a fourth season was not forthcoming. The pair had drifted away from DOOMWATCH after disagreements with Terence Dudley during the second season and had already begun formulating ideas for the next logical phase. What would happen if the Doomwatch team failed in stopping the disaster or it was an area out of their realm? Who goes in to clear up the mess afterwards? Who attempts to minimalise the environmental and human cost? Answer: the Disaster Squad. The series never developed beyond the original document DISASTER SQUAD by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, although the title of the proposal was later altered by hand to WORLDFORCE 5. Arnold Kramer is an astute businessman and political animal. From his early twenties, he spent fifteen intensive years of wheeling and dealing, intrigue, politics and non-stop hard work to become a millionaire. Then he sat back to let the money come rolling in and it did. His life seemed ideal and complete. Happily married, a pretty daughter and rich. That is until his daughter is poisoned from mercury effluent whilst swimming in the sea off the New Jersey coast and dies. Kramer spends thousands of dollars to try and trace the source of the pollution. The final discovery is almost too much, as the effluent was discharged from one of his own subsidiary factories. His marriage breaks down and so does he. Whilst Kramer’s life is falling apart, John Whale, a scientific genius and idealist, is working on a computer to beat all computers. Whale is unorthodox in his manner, unacademic in his approach and untidy in his appearance. He is the one thing that the unmotivated Kramer needs. Kramer offers Whale a home for his computer and, financed by Kramer’s immense fortune, they set to work. After five years of around-the-clock shift work, aided by a dedicated team of scientists, they have programmed the computer with every conceivable