with Juliet Aubrey
and Ben Miller
5.1: Public Relations
5.2: The Next Step Forward
5.3: Buy One, Get One Free
5.4: A Deadly Foretelling
5.5: Back From the Grave
5.7: Hitting Home
5.8 Prequel: Running Faster Than Ever Before
5.8: On the Run
5.10: Back in Business
5.11: School's Out
5.12: The Masterplan
5.A: The Intruder
“Anytime now Connor!”, Abby shouted. A Raptor was walking towards her. She felt her back against a wall. Connor was taking his time, making sure he aimed at the right place. One time before, he shot Abby with a tranquilliser instead of a baby Raptor. But this Raptor was full-grown. The Raptor was face to face with Abby. Connor shut one eye, and pulled the trigger. The Raptor groaned, and dropped unconscious to the floor. Abby breathed a sigh of relief. So did Connor. They hugged each other. Abby’s now shoulder-length hair was in Connor’s face.
“I’m so glad we’re still close friends”, Abby smiled.
“Me too”, Connor grinned.
“Let’s go join the team”, Abby decided.
James Lester and Claudia Brown had a lot to deal with. The anomaly operation had made the press, and they were not best pleased. They called a meeting with the team, who had just arrived back, in the Main Operations Room. Apart from Abby and Connor, amongst them were Nick Cutter, a professor who founded the team, Danny Quinn, joint leader with Cutter and an ex-policeman, Connor’s wife Mia Turner, Egyptologist Sarah Page and trainee Harriet Stafford, plus PR supremo Jenny Lewis, soldier Captain Mitchell and field co-ordinator Jess Parker. They were chatting amongst themselves about the situation.
“Right everyone, quieten down please”, Lester spoke above the level of noise.
“We have a PR emergency. The anomaly operation is now known to some of the public through a tabloid newspaper”, Claudia explained. Connor put his hand up.
“What is it, Connor?”, sighed Lester.
“It’s just a tabloid, who believes what’s written in them? They could write about an alien invasion and no-one would believe them. Well, maybe I would, but you get the…”, Connor got cut-off.
“Thanks Connor…”, Claudia butted in, “James and I will be having a meeting with the Home Office in the coming weeks, and our meeting with the Minister is today”. Connor put his hand up again.
“Is it important?”, Lester sighed, again. Connor nodded.
“What are we meant to do?” Connor asked.
“You are meant to keep this place secure. Jess can watch the CCTV on the Detector, and Mitchell and his soldiers will guard all exits. The press will be arriving, we all know what nosey people they are”, Lester explained.
“What if an anomaly comes up?”, Mia queried.
“Then only some of you shall go out to deal with it, and the rest will stay here”, Lester explained. Then he muttered under his breath, “Common sense”. Claudia heard and elbowed him.
“I think that’s all. Go on, get on with whatever you do all day”, Lester finished the meeting. The team all stood up, picked up their chairs and returned to work.
Around ten minutes later, Lester and Claudia arrived at the Minister’s headquarters. They showed their ID passes at the door, and were allowed access. They walked inside and were shown to the Minister’s office. They had to wait outside, and the man who showed them there knocked on the Minister’s office door to alert him of the duo arriving.
“Ah yes, send them in please”, the Minister said, in his quite posh voice. Lester and Claudia were escorted in.
”Good morning James, lovely to see you again. And Ms. Brown, pleased to meet you”, the Minister shook their hands, and offered them a seat. The Minister was wearing a smart suit, with a yellow tie. He had dark, short hair, a lot like Lester’s really. And so their meeting began…
Meanwhile, at the ARC, Jess was paying close attention to the Detector. She had the CCTV cameras of outside up. Mitchell and his soldiers were keeping a few members of the press contained.
“Jenny?”, Jess called out.
“She’s in her office”, Abby shouted back. Jess got up and walked past Lester’s office, to the ARC corridor. She bounced down to Jenny’s office, knocked on the door, heard a reply and went inside.
”Jenny, I need your help. Well, not me personally, but Mitchell does. Well, I think he does, I don’t know cause I’m not actually with him, but you’re an expert in PR, right?”, Jess was extremely hyper. But Jenny was used to it. She loved Jess, as she was always so happy. A quality she wished she had.
“Yeah, that’s my job”, Jenny smiled.
”Well, do you think you’d be able to go down and help Mitchell get rid of them?”, Jess pleaded with Jenny.
“OK, I will. But I’m going to tell Lester it’s your fault if I don’t have this work done by later today”, Jenny laughed. Jess realised it was a joke about 10 seconds later. They both left the room.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
Jess heard that familiar noise, and it set of her own alarm bells in her head. She started running to her chair, but struggled with the bright blue shoes she was wearing. She ended up slipping them off. Jenny, who was walking behind her, found this amusing.
Jess reached her chair, and spoke into the tannoy connected to the Detector.
“Anomaly detected, location…unknown…”, Jess paused. She was completely confused by this. The anomaly’s location was not displayed on the Detector. And then the signal completely stopped. The Anomaly Detector resumed the CCTV footage. Sarah, Abby, Mia and Connor were already to go, and Harry was just picking up her bag from her locker. They walked over to Jess.
“What happened?”, Connor asked.
“I don’t know, it just cut out”, Jess replied.
“Where’s the anomaly?”, Cutter asked, walking over to them. Danny also joined them, as did Harry.
“It said the location was unknown. Then it just lost the signal completely”, Jess told them.
“Check the log, it should have recorded it there”, Connor suggested. Jess did so, yet the log showed nothing.
“That is some weird signal”, Mia laughed.
“It’s no laughing matter, there could be a Raptor or two roaming around a shopping mall right now, and believe me, we know what that’s like, don’t we?”, Abby explained, looking at Connor and Cutter. They both nodded.
“I guess we’re just sitting ducks then”, Danny commented.
“You guys get back to work. I’ll keep an eye on this”, Jess decided. They all went back to their workstations, but Jess called back Sarah and Harry. She asked them to go and help Jenny and Mitchell, as they weren’t having much luck with the press.
Outside, Mitchell and Jenny were having a bad time with the press, as Jess knew.
“I’ve sent Sarah and Harry down to help you”, Jess said, through to their earpieces.
“Thanks Jess”, Jenny replied.
Jenny put the megaphone she brought out to her mouth, and spoke into it, “Right everyone. I know you’ve seen some weird and rather abnormal things in the press, but I’d suggest you all move away right now, unless you want to be arrested”. The press listened to Jenny, for once, and backed off, just as Sarah and Harry arrived.
“Should we go back inside or keep guard out here incase they come back?”, Sarah asked.
“We should stay, we know what they’re like”, Mitchell decided.
“So James, I’m led to believe that the anomaly operation has been leaked to the papers. Is this correct?”, the Minister questioned.
”Yes sir, it is. The previous anomaly operation had several members of the public evacuated from a library. It could’ve been any of them”, Lester told him.
“But how serious some people take this is a completely different matter, as the tabloids did publish it. If it were a broadsheet, maybe it would be more credible. But who’s really going to believe that dinosaurs exist?”, Claudia added.
“You bring up a good point there, Ms. Brown”, the Minister praised Claudia’s comment.
“Please, call me Claudia”, Claudia smiled. The Minister nodded.
“The good side to this disaster is that there is no photographic evidence to say that this is true. And it was just one person, we assume, who overheard what your team were saying”, the Minister was trying to look on the bright side.
”Yes, that’s what we believe”, verified Lester.
“Right, I think we’re safe for the moment. But James, please bear this in mind, that you must make sure your team keep this as secret as possible. If, or when, there is photographic proof, this could spell the end of the ARC, at least under your control”, the Minister left it on a dark note. Lester and Claudia exchanged worried glances.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
“Here we go again guys!”, Jess shouted out, “But still no location. It’s the same anomaly, presumably”.
The team rushed over.
”Can you quickly search for any faults in the system?”, Connor asked.
”Sure. But I doubt it’s the Detector that’s causing this”, Jess ran the check. No system bugs.
“What can be causing something like this?”, Cutter sounded puzzled.
At the nearby town, where the team first encountered Mia, an anomaly had opened. But it was a different anomaly. It had some sort of a bubble around it. And standing next to it was none other than Helen Cutter…
James Lester and Claudia Brown were on their way back from their meeting with the Minister. For the moment, the ARC was safe, but the problem now was to get the anomaly operation out of the press somehow.
“I’m sure Jenny will be able to sort something out”, Lester commented.
“I sure hope so. I have total faith in Jenny”, Claudia agreed, “Wait, what’s that?”. They were waiting at traffic lights, and they looked down the alley to find…an anomaly…
“Leave it, Cutter and that lot will be on their way soon”, Lester moaned.
“But wait, it looks different. Drive down to it”, Claudia ordered.
“Err, no! I don’t want my new Jag getting scratched by some dinosaur”, Lester was making excuses.
“And you were the one going on about professionalism to me…”, Claudia noted.
“Oh, alright. Just to stop you moaning”, Lester gave in, and drove the car down the alley.
“I’ll call Jess to check that they’re coming”, Claudia decided.
“Claudia, is everything OK?”, Jess asked Claudia over the phone.
“Yes, are the team on their way?”
“On their way where?”
“To the anomaly, I assumed you’d know about it”
Jess smiled, “Hold on one minute”, she called over to Cutter, “We’ve found the anomaly! Claudia and Lester stumbled across it”.
“Perfect. Where is it?”, Cutter asked.
“Just getting the co-ordinates now”, Jess replied, “OK, it’s in an alleyway down the nearby town, you’ll find it easily with the Detectors”.
“Great, thanks. Connor, Abby, let’s go”, Cutter ran off with Abby and Connor to the cars. The others got informed about it aswell, by Jess over the comms.
“Jenny, you’re needed here”, she added over the loudspeaker.
Jenny ran up to Jess as fast as she could in her high heels.
”What is it?”, Jenny asked, wondering why she was here.
“As you know, the operation’s out in the press. We need you to think of a cover story”, Jess informed Jenny.
“You think I can do something like this?”
“Jenny, you’ve had years of experience. Of course you’ll be able to do it”
“Is everything OK?”, Sarah wandered over. She stayed behind to catch up on some work.
“There you go, you’ve got a volunteer to help you”, Jess joked. They explained it to Sarah. Her and Jenny went off to sort out the cover story.
“Do you have any weapons?”, Claudia asked Lester, despite her knowing the answer. She liked to check. Both were standing in front of the anomaly.
“Yes, of course I do. I just bring a gun into a meeting with the Minister that will decide the fate of the ARC, at least under my control, just incase an anomaly opens and dinosaurs come and start eating people”, Lester was being very sarcastic.
“I only asked…”, Claudia replied.
“How long does it take for them to get here?”, Lester moaned.
The team arrived at the town. Soldiers had arrived just before and were escorting people away. The road was blocked off. Cutter got out of the car and slammed the door. He walked to the boot and picked up a tranquilliser gun. He picked up a small one each for Abby and Mia. Danny got out of the other car and sorted everyone else’s guns.
“Where’s mine?”, Connor asked.
”Where do you think”, Cutter replied.
“I normally get one”, Connor argued.
”Errr, every now and then…but I got one last time”
Cutter walked off. Connor wasn’t best pleased.
“Feels weird being here again”, Mia started a conversation with Abby and Harry.
“Why?”, Harry asked.
“She first met us here. I actually saved her from being squashed by a T-Rex”, Abby explained.
“I know, it’s pretty unbelievable that Abby saved me. I mean, we’re OK with each other now, but I don’t think we liked each other at all from the start”, said Mia.
“Shows that you shouldn’t judge people straight away”, Harry was always the wise one.
They all arrived at the actual anomaly and were greeted by Claudia and an angry Lester.
“What took you so long?”, Lester moaned.
”Nice to see you too”, remarked Danny.
“What is up with that anomaly?”, Connor was intrigued. It was in a blue bubble-type thing. The anomaly was of normal size, however.
“Jess, you wouldn’t believe this anomaly”, Connor told her through his earpiece.
“Try me. Must be something special if the Detector can’t find it”, Jess replied.
“It has a bubble type thing around it”, Connor tried touching it. He got an electric shock, “It’s electricity. Like it’s been locked, but there’s no locking mechanism or anything…”
Cutter spotted something on the ground. He picked it up, and showed Connor.
”What do you make of this?”, Cutter asked.
“It’s an Anomaly Opener, but it looks like it’s an upgraded version”, Connor was interested in new technology.
“Exactly. Look at that button”, Cutter pointed, “It’s an anomaly with a bubble around it”.
“This is what caused the anomaly to be like this?”, Connor thought.
“Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but can we just get on with it?”, Danny questioned.
“Yeah, of course”, Connor took the Opener from Cutter’s hands, pressed the button, and sure enough, the bubble disappeared and the anomaly was back to normal.
“Wow. That’s…that’s massive!”, Connor was shocked.
“Guys, I can detect the anomaly now”, Jess informed them.
“So it was the bubble all along?”, Claudia queried.
“Seems like it”, Jess replied through their earpieces.
“Right, now that’s all cleared up, let’s go back”, Lester was getting very worried about the open anomaly and his new Jag.
“Lock the anomaly again, but with the device, not the normal Locking Mechanism”, Mia suggested.
“What difference does it make?”, Harry asked.
“I don’t know, but I like the idea of an anomaly opener, closer and locker all in one”, Mia joked.
The team all went back to the ARC.
“Right guys, Jenny and Sarah have got us a cover story!”, Jess bounced up to the team as they walked in.
“We’ve issued a statement saying it is just the work of kids messing around, and that the claims were completely false”, Jenny told them.
”As long as it does the job”, Lester replied.
“It should do. Well, we hope so”, Sarah added.
Helen Cutter was standing with a woman, dressed in a smart suit.
“Your meeting with Lester is in a week’s time. You need to be prepared”, Helen told her.
“I am well prepared. The ARC will be closed for good, I will assure you on that”, she replied.
“All those deaths they’ve caused. Stephen Hart, Captain Becker, Lily Nash, almost Lloyd Daniels and Lester himself, plus many other people from the public. But also the deaths they will cause”, Helen lied, as most deaths out of them were down to her anyway.
“I will remember that for when my meeting with Lester and Brown comes along”, the woman told her. Helen smirked.
Professor Nick Cutter was sitting in his office. The last week had been extremely hectic. The anomaly operation reached the press, an undetectable anomaly opened, Jenny and Sarah worked on a cover story for the press, and worst of all, Lester’s new Jag nearly got damaged. Cutter knew that Lester would be unbearable if his car got scratched.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
The Anomaly Detector went off. Cutter heard this sound most days of his life. He ran and got to Jess before the sound could give him a headache.
“Where is it?”, Cutter asked.
“It’s in the nearby Sainsbury’s store”, Jess informed him.
“Oh god”, Cutter commented, “Thanks Jess”. He picked up a black box, and went to the cars.
Cutter was joined by Abby Maitland, Connor Temple, Mia Turner and Jenny Lewis in his car.
“Jenny, you’ve got your work cut out for you today”, Abby told her.
“Got to admit, I wasn’t exactly ‘buzzing’ when I found out where this one was”, Jenny replied.
“I was. There’s a game I need to buy”, Connor joked. Abby, Mia and Jenny all glared at him.
They arrived at the store within five minutes. The rest of the team, comprising of Danny Quinn, Claudia Brown, Sarah Page and Harriet Stafford, arrived just after them,
“So, where is it?”, Danny asked.
“Just in there”, Connor told them. He pointed to the main entrance.
”That helps. A massive Sainsbury’s store, and you tell me the anomaly is through the entrance. Well done Connor”, Danny sarcastically replied.
“You’re welcome”, Connor didn’t get the joke until about ten seconds after.
They walked inside. Straight in front of them were a few aisles of magazines and a stand for newspapers.
“Any idea on a direction?”, Mia asked.
“My one’s playing up a little, is yours the same, Connor?”, Sarah queried.
“Yeah, it’s not telling me a great deal”, Connor told her.
“Looks like we’ll need to split up”, decided Cutter.
Abby, Claudia, Sarah and Harry went in one direction, and the others went the opposite way.
“So it looks like we’re Mystery Inc. now, splitting up and all that”, Harry laughed.
“Shush Harry, we need to look for clues!”, Abby added.
“Cutter reminds me of Fred, don’t you think?”, Claudia thought.
“Yeah. Claudia, you can be Daphne! Sarah can be Velma”, Harry joked.
“Connor can be Scooby-Doo”, Abby continued.
“Who can be Shaggy?”, Sarah asked.
“Danny”, all four said in unison. They laughed.
“Wait, which one’s Velma?”, Sarah asked. Just after asking that, she looked down and saw a page of a newspaper.
“Guys, look at this. It’s from the Victorian times”, Sarah informed them.
“So that means the anomaly’s to that time?”, Harry asked.
“Most likely. But that doesn’t mean we’re safe from creatures, there could be another anomaly through that one. We best find it and lock it to be sure”, Sarah decided.
“Plus we don’t want any random Victorian person walking through and wandering what the hell Sainsbury’s is”, laughed Abby.
“Jess!”, Lester called across the Main Operations Room.
“What now?”, Jess shouted back.
“My office - now!”, Lester ordered.
Jess sighed, swivelled round in her chair and got up. She walked past everyone’s desks, up the three or so steps and into Lester’s office.
“Take a seat”, Lester said to her, “Right. Claudia and I have a meeting with the Home Secretary that will ultimately decide what will happen with the ARC. At this moment in time, things don’t sound so good, so when we return, just be prepared for the worst”.
“Like…redundancies?”, Jess sounded worried.
“That’s possible, but it could be a whole lot worse”, Lester didn’t like saying this, but he knew he had to, “I could be sacked, and you may get a new person in charge. Or worse…we could be closed down”. Jess gasped.
“Cutter!”, Claudia called. Cutter came running out of an aisle.
“Did you find it?”, he asked her.
“No, but Sarah found this”, she handed him the newspaper cutting.
“So it’s to the Victorian times?”, he asked.
“That’s what we think”, Claudia replied.
What they didn’t notice was something walking along the top of the aisle behind them. It’s vision was poor, but instead, it saw sound. It was about to pounce on Cutter.
“Cutter!”, Sarah shouted. She took his tranquilliser and shot the creature.
“Thanks”, Cutter said to Sarah.
“No problem”, she smiled.
“Jess, we’ve got an incursion. It’s the Future Predators”, Abby informed her.
“OK, would you like me to lock the store down?”, she asked. Abby looked at Cutter, he nodded.
“Yes, that’d be great thanks”, Abby answered.
The team continued to search for the anomaly, and eventually found it in the very back corner of the store.
“I think we need to go through, the Predators must’ve come from there”, Cutter thought.
”Who’s going to go through?”, Danny asked.
“I want to”, Sarah volunteered.
“Are you sure?”, Cutter asked her.
“Positive”, she smiled.
“Connor and I will”, Abby said.
“OK, I think that’s enough”, Cutter decided. He briefed the trio on what to do and what not to do, and they set off.
On the other side of the anomaly, it was without a doubt the Victorian times. The anomaly was in an ally, and as soon as they walked out, they saw horses and carts, aswell as men with top hats.
“Let’s do a quick search and get back as quickly as possible”, Sarah decided. They walked round the town, getting a few stares from people because of their clothes and guns.
“Up there!”, Connor shouted, and he shot the Predator. A few people saw and were scared. They ran away. Others took the hint and also did so. The whole street was empty within minutes.
“We need to be quick here”, Abby thought, “We can’t let anyone be hurt”.
They carried on walking, looking around for creatures. They turned a corner and were greeted by another anomaly.
“What are we gonna do with this?”, Sarah asked.
“Use the new Anomaly Opener, I can seal it in a bubble. I can’t close it as I don’t have the correct code”, Connor said.
“Nice one Connor”, Abby smiled.
Connor pressed some buttons, and the anomaly was sealed away.
“Right, one last look around, and then we’ll head back”, Connor decided.
After another half an hour of searching, they decided to walk back home. On their way, they looked inside a house. The windows were smashed, and it looked deserted. They thought they’d take a look inside. The house was dark and deserted. They went up the old fashioned stairs. They heard a woman screaming. The trio ran as fast as they could and entered a room to be greeted by a Future Predator. A young woman was sitting in the corner, crying and screaming. Abby shot the Predator and it fell unconscious on the floor.
“Are you OK?”, Sarah asked the woman. She nodded.
Abby, Connor and Sarah walked back over to the anomaly and walked through. On the other side, Captain Mitchell locked it.
“All done and dusted”, Connor told them. They went back to the ARC after telling Jess to lift lockdown.
In the drains of Victorian London, the trio didn’t notice something waiting there…
A baby Future Predator…
‘At least we know where our taxes are going…’ Claudia muttered under her breath. They were in the home secretaries office, for a ‘re-evaluation’ (as the home secretary had put it) of the ARC operations, after the last few disastrous escapades. Lester and Claudia had been shown to green leather chairs surrounding a beautifully carved wooden desk. The room was reasonably small and looked out onto the River Thames – the morning sun glinted on the river, as it shone through the heavy green curtains, draping to the floor. Claudia did not want to be in this meeting, she wanted to be with the team – she felt out of her depth here - enclosed in this box-like room with people who turned their noses down at her. If only they knew what she and the others had to battle everyday!
‘I hope I have your full attention Ms. Brown…’ The home secretary was glaring dangerously at Claudia, her glasses resting on the peak of her nose. She wore a black suit to match her jet black hair and she was in her 30’s, powerful and at the top of her game.
‘Of course...’ Claudia put on her fake smile. ‘Fire away…’
‘Oh I will, but not yet - a prompt investigation and then, yes Claudia, people will be fired.’ She flicked through the wad of paper in front of her. Lester and Claudia exchanged a worried glance.
Harry was sprinting through corridors. An anomaly had opened in an East-London school and she, Danny and Abby had been sent to investigate – little had they known about what was waiting for them. Five baby Megators (a cross between a Future Predator and a Megopteran) had infested in the school’s heating system - Danny and Abby had put most of them back through the anomaly but Harry was chasing the last one through the science block. And it was a fast one. A very fast one.
It buzzed around in front of her, teasing her almost, as if it wanted to play tag. She had thrown various chemicals at it, but most of them had missed, burning up exercise books and bags instead.
She lunged for it one last time but it flew straight threw her arms and over her head. It was only 30cm long, but it was causing a vast amount of trouble – half the school would have deteriorated by the time she caught it.
Then she had a brainwave. She ran over and turned all the gas pipes on, frantically grabbing the nearest Bunsen burner. Danny and Abby turned up behind her.
‘What’s the plan?’ Danny asked casually.
‘Duck!’ Harry turned and winked. She flicked the Bunsen burner on and they ran out of the building – the Megator tried to follow but it was too late. The air set alight and the whole of the science block exploded, sending flames high into the air and a wave of heat across the school.
Harry, Danny and Abby ran out of the dust coughing. ‘You blew up half a school just because of one, tiny, creature?’ Danny looked at her bewildered.
‘It was a fast one.’ She replied in her defence.
The evacuated school children, who were waiting at the gates, cheered in happiness and their teachers gawped in horror. Danny strolled over. ‘It’s okay, were the government.’ He swiped his ARC pass in front of the head teacher’s eyes and strolled out of the grounds. The anomaly had been locked, the creatures dealt with and they had just made 1000 school children very happy.
Abby ran over to Harry. ‘Look what we found’ She handed it over and Harry had a close examination.
‘It’s a camcorder, what’s so special about that?’ Harriet replied.
‘From the future!’ Abby was getting excited. ‘I know it’s dusty and in a very bad way, but Sarah’s an archaeologist. She’ll probably be able to put it back together.’
‘Where did you find it?’ Harriet was becoming more interested now.
‘It was just on the floor next to the anomaly. I don’t know how it could have got there.’
‘It could be a trap. Someone could have put it there for us to find?’ Harry replied.
‘Harry…It’s a camcorder, not a bomb!’
They jumped into the car and sped off at top speed. Little did they know about what the camera was, why it was there and who put it there, but events were unravelling very fast and soon, the ARC would change forever…
Lester and Claudia filed in behind the home secretary, into a bigger and full conference room. They sat down in the middle of the table and the home secretary sat opposite, powerful and motionless men and women surrounded them. Lester was fiddled with his collar. He was beginning to feel uncomfortable too, they weren’t re-evaluating them, they were grilling them – slowly and painfully.
‘I’m just going to open a window…’ Lester got up, cutting through the tension.
‘Sit down James.’ She spoke in a harsh tone.
‘We’re not in the prehistoric anymore. I’ll just turn the air conditioning on…’ She got up and walked over to a box on the wall.
‘We may not be in the prehistoric, but there is certainly one dinosaur in the room!’ Lester whispered to Claudia, pointing at the home secretary. The home secretary gave him one of her signature ‘death stares’ as she returned to her seat.
‘Enough of the dinosaur wit James.’ She looked at Lester. ‘Unless you want it to affect this re-evaluation, I suggest you keep your mouth firmly closed.’
Sarah examined the camcorder Abby had just given her. ‘Yes, I can easily put this back together.’ She placed it down onto her desk. ‘Are you sure it’s important?’
‘Of course... It’s from the future. It may be interesting to see what’s saved on its memory.’
‘Well, I’ve got nothing else to do… I guess I’ll get to work.’
‘Thanks Sarah, see you later!’ Abby dashed out of the room.
An anomaly had just opened at a Safari Park and the team were on their way now.
Sarah scrubbed of some dirt, revealing a logo. ‘Helmont cameras. Hmmm... This may be interesting after all.’ She grabbed some of her tools and began prizing open the camera’s reel. After a few minutes, the side suddenly popped open and a camera reel flew out and onto the floor. Sarah picked it up and walked over to Jess and the Anomaly detector.
‘Jess… Can you plug this into the detector please?’
She swivelled round in her chair. ‘Sure… though it may take a while to recognise the software.’
‘That’s fine; tell me when it’s done.’ Sarah walked off down the corridor to fetch Jenny, wondering what could be stored on the reel. But she wouldn’t have to wonder for much longer. All would be revealed it a few minutes and it would tear the ARC down, one brick at a time…
Connor tried to lock the anomaly again. It failed again. ‘What the hell is up with you?’ He banged his fist on the anomaly locking mechanism. It made no difference.
They were at a Safari Park in the midlands and for some reason, to Connor’s anger, the anomaly was not locking.
‘Do you think something could be interfering with the anomaly?’ Mia suggested.
‘Possibly, I just don’t know.’ He banged the machine again. Mia, Harry and Cutter surrounded him. He was working under pressure. Abby and Danny came running in…
‘We’ve evacuated everyone on the west section of the park, though the attractions remain open. The owner has only given us two hours so we haven’t got long, do we know what’s the matter with this?’
‘Nope.’ Connor stated.
‘Guess that cleared everything up.’ Danny walked over to the car and began trying to radio in to Jess.
‘One thing I did notice…’ Abby began. ‘The animals all over the zoo were going crazy. The openly-grazing animals have run as far away from this anomaly as possible. Could that be something to do with it?’
‘The 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. All the elephants ran to the highest ground possible before the tsunami stuck.’ Harriet replied.
‘Animals have an instinct we can’t detect, something that tells them when a disaster is about to happen. Maybe that’s why they’re trying to get away now…’ Cutter added.
The team looked round at each other. ‘Something bad is going to happen… and it’s got something to do with this anomaly…’
‘So the way I see it we have two options...’ The home secretary began, taking her glasses off and rubbing them with a cloth. ‘Option one: A re-evaluation of the ARC operations and its employees. She paused. ‘Option two… the closure of the ARC with immediate effect.’ Claudia spat out the drink in her mouth, the water splattering the Home Secretary’s laptop.
‘You have no authority to do this.’ Claudia declared.
‘We have every authority – the PM himself organised this meeting.’ She remarked, wiping the water off her laptop.
‘And under what grounds could you operate this closure?’ Lester leaned in closer.
‘I have all the grounds needed.’ She began. ‘The influence of Helen Cutter on the ARC operations, the death of Captain Becker and Stephen Hart, Lily Nash, the hiring of an un-trained individual from a television talent show…?’
Claudia butted in defending Lloyd, ‘He showed great abilities in our field of work.’
‘Yet, he still got trapped in the future and so did you, James. The dealings with Aplo Sparks?’
‘That is all forgotten.’ Lester muttered.
‘Not by me…’ She continued.
'And Lily Nash? Who's that?' Claudia asked.
'Oh you don't know do you, I suppose it's better if you don't know who she is... or rather, was.' she giggled, ‘Not to mention the leak of the ARC Operations over the internet and in the media across the globe.’ She paused for a moment. ‘I think that’s all the grounds covered… how about a vote?’ The table muttered and nodded their heads in agreement; Claudia and Lester didn’t know what to say. ‘All in favour of option one?’
Claudia and Lester shot their hands up; a few other members of the board raised their hands slowly.
‘All in favour of option two?’ The majority of the table raised their hands, including the home secretary.
‘That’s decided then. The ARC operations will close with immediate effect. Miss Brown… James, you may return to the home office, the rest – well they can find their own way. All operations will be handed over to the secret service until a permanent alternative placement can be created.’
‘How dare you…’ Lester began. ‘You cannot do this… this isn’t even a proper hearing.’
She ignored him and continued. ‘Thank you for your time, meeting adjourned.’ The members began to leave as the home secretary loaded her case up with files.
‘Thank you for your time, Ms. Brown and Mr. Lester’ She snapped her case closed.
‘Time? TIME?’ Lester began. ‘Next time I face a Velociraptor, I’ll be sure to send it your way.’
‘But you won’t will you James? You’re fired…’ She giggled, slamming the door behind her; the vases on the plinths wobbled dangerously.
‘What are we going to do?’ Claudia asked, turning to James, her eyes welling up with tears. ‘Everything we’ve faced, everything we’ve done and everything we’ve been through.’
‘I don’t know - it all happened so fast…’ James muttered. ‘I really don’t know…’
‘Sarah! Jenny!’ Jess called out over the building’s loudspeaker. They came running in; Sarah had informed Jenny all about the camcorder.
A news bulletin was playing on the Anomaly Detector’s many screens.
‘What’s this?’ Sarah asked.
Jess turned, tears running down her face.
‘What’s the matter?’ Jenny walked over to Jess and put her arm round her. ‘What is it?’
‘On the camcorder… from the future - it was a news bulletin. It’s from later today.’
‘What?’ Sarah walked over, her eyes transfixed on the screen. It was an aerial shot of the safari park that the team were at, but it didn’t look right. Hundreds of huge crocodiles were charging across the park, fires were burning and people were screaming.
‘When is this from again?’ Sarah asked, a tone of fear in her voice.
‘Today…at 19:42.’ Jess was crying heavily now.
‘What time is it now?’
Jenny looked down at her watch. ’20 past three.’
‘Oh my god, we need to contact them now.’ Sarah replied.
‘That isn’t the worst part…’ Jess began.
‘What?’ Jenny asked. A man’s voice came over the clip.
‘We are also deeply sad to report the death of Nicholas Cutter and the injuries of three other civilians’
The team were too shocked to speak or do anything. They were transfixed, their eyes blankly staring at the terror that was unfolding before them and the terror that was about to begin.
‘What was that?’ Harriet asked Connor, who was desperately trying to fix the anomaly locker, but had looked up.
‘Did you hear that roar aswell?’
‘Yeah… it was very close.’
‘Guys…’ Connor shouted. ‘May want to check this out?’ The rest of the team rushed over.
‘What is it?’ Cutter asked.
‘Something’s coming through the anomaly. Something big.’
The anomaly rippled into life as a huge head poked its way through.
‘Run!’ Danny shouted. The team split in opposite directions. A huge twelve metre crocodile pounded its way through the anomaly. It was a Saurosuchus. But this wouldn’t be the only creature coming through - on the other side of the anomaly was a whole herd of these creatures, ready and waiting - they were going to attack and only one thing would be certain….
People were going to die.
ONE WEEK LATER…
Jenny sat down in the church as the rain splattered against the stained glass window. The figures imprinted on the window were crying – or was it just the rain?
The light shone through the open door and thunder rumbled overhead. People were talking, yet Jenny didn’t want to hear. The ARC team had been torn apart; her world had collapsed in on her. It was all their fault, they hadn’t got there in time, when they had got there, it had all been over. Lots of people had come to the funeral, most of which she didn’t know, although, Sarah, Claudia and Jess had turned up to show their support. Lloyd also came to pay his respects, which she had appreciated, but she didn’t want to speak to him… or anyone for that matter.
She wanted to pay her respects to the death of a remarkable man. Nick Cutter.
‘May he rest in peace…’ She muttered, throwing soil down on his coffin.
She stepped over the various gravestones and statues and made her way back to the car. Government officials surrounded the church; their suits were soggy and wet from the storm raging above them. It was only midday, but the sky was as black as night. As Jenny put one foot in the car, she noticed something. A blinding light and a flash, then a figure – a woman, beckoning her to come closer.
Jenny got out of the car and trudged back through the Church gate. The woman turned and began moving deeper into the graveyard. ‘Wait!’ Jenny shouted as she started to run – the rain lashed down like bullets, smashing into the ground at an unstoppable speed and rebounding water back up. Then, as she came to the top of the hill, she saw the woman, just a few metres away. She was staring at her, Jenny recognised her, yet she couldn’t remember who she was.
‘Who are you?’ Jenny shouted across the graveyard. The woman didn’t reply.
‘Why are you here? Are you here for the funeral?’ This time, the woman did reply.
‘I’m doing what I have to do and what you just told me to do.’ She sounded very frail, almost as if her life was completely drained from her, like she had been defeated. She clicked something in her pocket and an anomaly opened.
‘How?’ Jenny was confused to say the least. She approached the anomaly, it was like she was in a trance – she couldn’t stop herself from going through, the anomaly was pulling her in. She turned for the woman’s help, but it was no use. She had disappeared. Jenny screamed as she was engulfed by the anomaly. It whizzed to a close shortly after.
Previously in PRIMEVAL STORIES…
A Camcorder from the future has revealed a deadly future truth, a Saurosuchus made a dramatic appearance, the anomaly wouldn’t close and the future of the ARC lies in the balance.
One week later and Jenny’s life has changed forever, the ARC has been closed down and Nick Cutter is dead. Can she go back and change time… or is he lost forever? And just who was the mysterious woman?
- - - - - -
‘JENNY!’ Danny shouted. She was curled up in a ball on the wet grass, her head to her ears, which were still ringing. Danny rushed over. ‘Jenny are you okay?’ He heaved her upright. Her eyes were red with tears, she couldn’t stop crying. He whipped his head round as he heard a huge roar from behind them. ‘Connor get those Saurosuchus’ under control!’ He shouted across the enclosure.
Jenny’s eyes flickered open slowly. ‘Where am I?’
‘Err…. you’re at the Safari Park. With the anomaly, you know, the one we got sent to investigate.’
‘Oh god…’ Jenny stood up and spun herself round. She could faintly remember what happened – Nick, the woman, the church, the anomaly. Who was the woman? How did she know to bring her here?
‘Are you sure you’re okay?’
‘No… I’m not okay – what time is it?’ Jenny asked frantically.
‘Errr…’ He looked down at his watch. ‘Nearly half-past three.’ He paused. ‘Why are you here Jenny – shouldn’t you be at the ARC?’
‘It’s complicated…’ She didn’t know what else to say. ‘Where’s Cutter?’
‘Over there…’ Danny pointed to the anomaly. ‘Are you…’ Danny began, but it was too late, Jenny had dashed over to Nick.
Jenny grabbed Nick by the arm. ‘You’re okay?’
‘Sure I’m okay, what’s the matter?’
‘I thought I’d lost you…’
‘Why…’ Nick began, but he couldn’t finish. Jenny threw her arms round him, embracing him in a kiss.
‘I love you so much, remember that. I love you; I always have and always will. You mean everything to me and I’m going to love you forever.’ She kissed him again, wrapping her arms around his head.
Danny wolf-whistled at them, as he tried to sedate one of the creatures. Tears streaked down Jenny’s cheeks.
After a few seconds, she pushed him away reluctantly… and then swung her arm round and slapped him in his face.
‘Don’t EVER do that again…’ She walked off, taking Nick’s phone with her.
‘You NEED to teach me how you do that!’ Danny muttered shaking his head in disbelief.
Lester and Claudia stepped out of the lift; they were in the Home Office foyer. Phones were ringing, clocks were ticking, people were talking and doors were opening. They plonked themselves down on a sofa in the outer wing of the reception. The television was blaring loudly – Sky News. BREAKING NEWS! The reporter barked. ‘We’ve just had some breaking news, there’s been a sudden animal outbreak at the Smiley Safari Park in West London, little details are known at the moment, but, we have these pictures.’ The television showed an aerial view of dozens of crocodiles, running out of a shining light. An anomaly. Claudia tapped Lester on the arm. ‘James…’
‘What?’ He put his phone down.
‘Look...’ Claudia replied transfixed by the television.
‘What it’s just some outbreak at a Zoo? Happens all the time…
‘They’re not Zoo animals… they’re dinosaurs…’
In the ARC, a tearful Jess grabbed her phone. ‘Hello?’ Her voice was distant, she was defeated.
‘Jess, it’s me, just listen.’ Jenny spoke loudly down the phone.
‘Jenny?’ Jess quickly span round in her chair, the only person behind her was Sarah. ‘How did you…? Jess asked in disbelief. ‘You were here a second ago…’
‘It doesn’t matter… we can save Cutter, it’s not too late, just get some back-up down her as fast as you can.’
‘Sure, I’ll do it straight away.’
‘Back-up’s on its way.’ Jenny told Connor, who was still trying to fix the Anomaly Locking device despite the dozens of Saurosuchus’ rampaging around them.
Danny, Harry, Mia, Abby and Nick ran over.
Jenny spotted Nick, ran over to him and kissed him again. ‘I Bl**dy love you and don’t you forget it.’ She whispered in his ear. The others stared open-mouthed, disbelievingly.
Jenny returned to Nick’s right. ‘Right we’ve got a plan.’ Nick shouted, over the chaos ensuing around them.
‘More kissing?’ Danny remarked, Nick and Jenny ignored him.
‘If Connor, Danny and you…’ He pointed to Jenny. ‘… go and herd them into a group. Me, Harry, Mia and Abby can take a car each and nudge them through the anomaly.’
‘Sounds good…’ Danny began. ‘Now… where to start? Hopefully not with kissing.’ He chuckled to himself.
Fire was burning all around them and the Saurosuchus’ were rampaging through the area, eating any animals and tourists that were too stupid to get out of the way. The team had tried to evacuate all the animals, but it was no use – there was too many. They just had to hope the crocodiles would lose their appetite soon.
Danny, Jenny and Harry grabbed their guns from the back-up team who had just arrived.
Danny ran off back to the team, but Harry stopped Jenny before she could run off too.
‘Are you okay? You seem to be acting a little weird… The kissing?’
‘You don’t seem fine to me…’ She sat Jenny down. ‘You can tell me… we’re friends.’
‘You wouldn’t believe me even if you tried…’
‘I’ve just been to Cutter’s funeral.’
‘Okay…’ Harry was slightly bewildered. ‘Care to explain?’
‘I can’t… not yet anyway. I don’t know half the story myself.’
‘Oh okay, that’s fine.’ Harry replied, as Jenny walked back up the hill.
‘But Jenny!’ Harry added.
Jenny turned. ‘Yes?’
‘Whatever it is… just be careful. This… anomaly thing, well, it could all end for anyone one of us in a wrong move.’ She paused for a second. ‘We’re messing with time Jenny… It’s wrong. Just…just be careful.’
‘I will.’ She put on a faked smile and walked up the hill. Should she be doing this, should she let Cutter die? For all she knew, this could spell disaster. She was reversing time, the ultimate paradox. If Cutter hadn’t of died then she would never have been to his funeral, and then she would have never see the woman and then…and who was the woman? Someone from the future, possibly – but she was sure she had seen her somewhere before…
‘Shut up Jenny.’ She said to herself. ‘Just stick with him, protect him, keep him out of harm’s way. It shouldn’t be too hard? Should it?’
Mia rammed the vehicle into place, nudging the Saurosuchus a bit further into the anomaly. ‘God…just move you stupid reptile.’
‘Careful!’ Shouted Nick through the radio.
‘Oooh, are you worried about me Cutter?’
‘Nope… just the creature.’ Nick replied.
‘Great…’ She sighed.
Meanwhile, outside the vehicle, Jenny and Danny were tempting some of the prehistoric crocodiles through the anomaly. Connor was bait.
‘Keep looking tasty Connor!’ Danny smirked.
‘I’m sorry Danny, but you’re really not my type.’ The crocodile lunged towards him, but it was too slow - Connor jumped out of the way and it tumbled through the anomaly.
‘I think it fancied me…’ Connor remarked. Mia gave him a stern look out of the windscreen.
Jenny glanced down at her watch, nearly half-past four. The time was approaching. She had to keep a close eye on Nick, she thought to herself. ‘Time hasn’t changed yet…’ she muttered under her breath.
‘Looks like that’s the last one Cutter!’ Danny shouted to Nick. They had been doing this for three hours now and they had finally got to the last one, but this one was more aggressive than the others – angrier, hungrier.
‘Steady…’ Connor shouted. The car wobbled dangerously, angering the Saurosuchus.
‘It’s okay; I’ve got hold of it.’ Cutter replied.
Another nudge. The creature was so close to home now.
Jenny looked down at her watch, 19:30. 12 minutes to go.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
One more nudge. The creature’s head was half-way through the anomaly.
Then, to Nick’s despair, the brakes slipped and the car hurtled into the back of the creature.
‘No!’ Jenny shouted. She knew what was about to happen. This was it. This was how he was going to die.
The creature whipped its head round and clambered on top of the vehicle, jaws widening..
‘DRIVE!’ Abby screamed.
Nick took the order at once and span round the park, twisting and turning, speeding off down the field. The creature was still on the roof, its sharp claws ripping through the metal framework.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
‘Just let go!’ Nick shouted. The Saurosuchus smashed its tail through the windscreen and poked its head through.
Nick, hit the brakes (which worked this time) and the creature flew into the air.
Jenny clambered into another car, turfing out a member of the back-up team. ‘Out of the way.’ She shouted as she sped off down the field, the team preparing to follow her.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
She looked back down at her watch. 2 minutes to go. Would she make it?
Nick smashed through the door and fell out of the vehicle, collapsing onto the floor – a shard of glass from the windscreen had dug into his leg. ‘AHHHH!’ He screamed, as the glass smashed inside his leg. He couldn’t move at all.
Jenny’s car quickly pulled up a few metres away and she got out. ‘CUTTER!’ She shouted. Then she froze.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
The Saurosuchus was back on its feet, walking towards Nick, and claws at the ready.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
1 minute to go – she had to think of something quickly.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
The creature was inches away and Nick was crying out for help. ‘JENNY DO SOMETHING!’
TICK TICK TICK TICK
She flicked her foot out of her shoe and ran over to the creature. It didn’t see her coming until it heard Jenny’s shout; ‘NOT TODAY YOU BITCH’ she screamed as she dug the heel of her shoe into the creature’s neck. Improvisation – she wouldn’t normally kill a creature, but these were extraordinary circumstances. The creature collapsed onto the floor. Blood trickled out of the creature’s mouth. Jenny lent down towards Cutter and kissed him on the mouth. ‘I love you’ She had saved him, she had changed time. Everything was okay, she had thought. But it wasn’t, in fact it was far from okay. The minute still wasn’t up…
TICK TICK TICK TICK
Behind her and Nick, another Saurosuchus was approaching. The glint of joy in its eye. Death, death was coming.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
Jenny spotted the creature out of the corner of her eye. She hastily grabbed Nick’s arm. ‘Come on, we need to go now. We need to go, get up.’
‘I can’t’ He whispered. ‘My leg…’
‘Come on… please just get up.’ Tears ran down both of their faces.
‘Go please…’ Nick told Jenny.
‘Never… I’m staying with you right till the end.’
The creature was feet away, claws raised.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
‘I love you so much.’ Nick told her. ‘And I never realised till now.’
‘I love you too.’
TICK TICK TICK TICK.
Jenny closed her eyes and put her head on Nick’s chest.
‘Together’ She whispered.
‘For eternity.’ He replied.
TICK TICK TICK TICK
The creature threw it’s claws downwards, digging them into the ground. Blood trickled out of it’s head as it collapsed to the floor.
‘Perfect shot!’ Danny shouted.
Jenny looked up, Nick had fallen unconscious. ‘Don’t leave it so late next time…’ Jenny replied.
She glanced down at her watch, the minute was up, he was alive. Time must have changed, from her just being there. She smiled.
As the team ran in, none of them noticed the darkening sky above them and the screams of time cracking throughout the park. None of them noticed the two onlookers. Laughing.
The team were followed by the ambulance, which quickly loaded Nick into their van and began the removal of the glass. Harry patted Jenny on the shoulder. ‘Well done.’
‘I didn’t do anything!’ Jenny replied.
‘You were there… I’m sure it had some affect.’ Harry added. ‘Now, you better be going with him, I’m sure he would appreciate it.’
‘Yeah.’ She sighed and sat down in the Ambulance, as it sped out of the park.
Everything was still racing around in her head. Had she saved him? Hadn’t she? Wasn’t that just a huge paradox? Was it all part of a trap? She knew Helen would revel in any pain she could cause for Cutter and her. She kept thinking as the ambulance pulled into the hospital.
‘Now, let’s get home.’ Danny added. ‘One problem there…’ The team turned. It was Lester with Jess, Claudia and Sarah.
‘Where the hell have you lot been?’ Abby asked angrily.
‘It’s a long story.’ Jess replied. ‘We’ve been… well… displaced. Chucked out.’
‘Sacked’ Sarah added.
‘How? Why?’ Connor asked worriedly.
‘Because of us, because of everything…Helen, Lloyd, the media.’ Claudia answered.
‘I’m very sorry to say this, especially after the fantastic work you’ve done today. But the operations are terminated.’ Lester added ‘Permanently.’
Featuring Lloyd Daniels
“Yeah, that’d be great, thanks mate!”, Connor Temple put Abby’s home phone down.
“Sorted?”, Abby Maitland asked him.
“Absolutely”, Connor smiled.
“Shall we let the others know?”, Mia Turner posed another question.
“Of course”, Connor replied. The girls got out their phones and started texting the team. Rex flew down and perched himself beside Abby, and Sid and Nancy came to Connor’s feet. He bent down and petted them.
Ten minutes later, the whole team had gathered outside a semi-detached house not far from the now shut down ARC. The Home Secretary had closed the ARC Operations, and the team now had no jobs. Lester had joined them aswell. Connor walked up the front garden path and to the door. He stood on the step, rang the doorbell and stepped back down. A familiar face opened the door.
”Hey, nice to see you again!”, Connor said. He’d gone to ex-team member Lloyd Daniels. Lloyd invited them all in, saying hello to everyone again.
“Right, fill me in on what’s happened”, Lloyd asked them.
“Basically, the imbeciles known as the press found out about the anomalies, we had to go to several dull meetings when I had better things to do, and we got shut down by the Home Secretary”, James Lester explained.
”OK, and you’re all meant to be sacked?”, Lloyd dug deeper.
“Meant is the key word in that sentence”, Mia told him.
“But we can’t just let untrained people deal with these creatures”, Cutter added.
“We’d all be doomed if some civil servants went to deal with the anomalies”, Danny joked.
“Danny, don’t forget, there is a civil servant sitting right here”, Claudia raised her eyebrows.
“Where?”, Danny jested. Claudia rolled her eyes and smiled.
“Anyway, I’ve got the ARC software on my laptop. I can load all the systems you need, Jess, for the Detector”, Connor informed her.
“OK, sounds cool. I’m guessing I’ll be staying here?”, Jess asked.
“I suppose you could come if you want to”, Cutter told her.
“Really?! Thanks!”, Jess grinned.
”I’ll see what I can do with this Detector thing”, Lester commented.
“Lloyd, wanna join us, for old times’ sake?”, Danny offered.
“Go on, just this once. But don’t be making a habit out of it!”, Lloyd accepted.
“Now, all we’ve got to do is wait”, said Sarah.
The team just surfed the internet and watched television while waiting for an anomaly. Lloyd, Connor, Danny, Abby and Mia went outside and played football in the back garden. Connor was ridiculously bad as a goalkeeper, and Abby and Mia wished they weren’t on his team! Danny and Lloyd won 5-0. Meanwhile, Claudia and Jenny were looking on Facebook. They were looking through Cutter’s old photos.
“Wow, he looked so different!”, Claudia laughed.
“What’s this?”, Cutter walked over. Jenny shut the laptop.
“Err, nothing!”, Jenny lied.
“Hrm, OK”, Cutter knew she was lying, but he went along with it.
“Don’t you feel that we’re doing the wrong thing, by doing this being the Home Secretary’s back?”, Jenny asked her new boyfriend.
“In a way, but we could save many many lives by intervening. There are pros and cons for this, I suppose”. Jenny nodded, and Cutter went to see what Sarah and Harry were watching.
During this, Jess was busy teaching Lester how to work the ARC systems. Lester was incredibly bad with computers, but he was learning quickly.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
A slightly quieter sound came out of Connor’s laptop, but still familiar nonetheless.
“Where is it?”, Danny asked, running in from the garden.
"Lester?”, Jess nudged him.
“Oh, yes, it’s, erm, bear with me, erm, Jess?”, Lester had forgotten it all.
“You press Enter”, Jess told him.
“Ah yes, just testing”, Lester lied. Jess rolled her eyes.
“It’s in the middle of…this street?”, Lester sounded confused.
“It’s true”, Sarah muttered to herself. She wandered over to Danny, “Danny, can I stay here? I’ve got something I want to go over. It’s to do with my theory about the anomaly and genes in your body”.
“I’ve got a feeling you may be helping Lester more than working on that, but go on then”, Danny smiled, “Catch you later”.
The team, including Lloyd and Jess, stepped outside the house. Captain Mitchell was not with them, and he had to return to the Home Office. However, Cutter carried out the Anomaly Locker.
“Woah, woah, why do we need that? I’ve got the…the…”, Connor was checking his pockets, “Where’s the Anomaly Opener? You know, the new one, that we found?”
“I don’t know, you must’ve left it at the ARC”, Harry told him.
“Damn! I needed that”, Connor cursed.
“Connor, it’s just a piece of technology. We’ll get the ARC back soon!”, Abby reassured him.
“But we don’t know that, do we?”, Connor moaned.
“Look, why don’t we go back and sneak in, have a little search?”, Danny suggested.
“What if you get caught? You could be sent to jail for breaking and entering!”, Claudia argued.
“But who’s really going to be there?”, Danny argued back, “Come on. Connor, Lloyd, you two come with me”. Those two followed Danny around the corner.
Sarah sat at Lloyd’s dining table. She had all her papers from the ARC in front of her. She ran over all her theories on the matter so far. This anomaly was perfect evidence. The anomalies always happen closer to people that got through them. There are still the odd anomalies that open in weird areas, for example the first anomaly in the Forest of Dean, and the first Lincoln anomaly. It does explain, however, why most anomalies do open up near them. She added this to her notes.
“Sarah!”, Lester called.
“What now?”, she sighed.
“How do you speak into this earpiece?”, Lester asked.
Sarah walked over to him. “You click this, and type the password”.
“What password?”, Lester was confused.
“Didn’t Jess tell you?”
“I thought she was joking”
“What, because the password is JamesLester, with no space?”
“Dear God, it’s true!”, Lester was raging.
Connor, Danny and Lloyd were walking to the ARC, when Lloyd spotted something.
”Quick, in there!”, he pushed the other two into an alley. He’d seen a van with the ARC logo on it. It was the soldiers. They’d detected something from the Home Office, where the Detector was now placed.
“We’ve got to warn them”, Connor decided. Danny spoke to Cutter through his earpiece and informed them.
“Quick, let’s get this over and done with!”, said Danny.
“The soldiers are on their way. We need to get out of here!”, Cutter ordered. They started running for the house.
“What about the cars?”, Lester spoke through the earpiece, “They know to make sure you don’t come anywhere near the anomaly”.
Abby decided to get into her car, and she drove it past the anomaly and turned left, so it was out of sight. Harry and Cutter did the same. They both met in one place, and informed the others. They now had to sneak out without the soldiers, who had just arrived, seeing them.
“Right, here we are!”, Connor announced.
“Wait, this isn’t the ARC!”, Lloyd was confused.
“Oh, we’ve moved since you left”, Danny announced.
“Looks flash”, Lloyd complimented the building. It looked more like your usual office block than a secret government organisation, which was a good thing in reality.
“No soldiers on guard. Perfect”, Danny smiled. He strolled up to the gates, waving at the CCTV cameras.
At the Home Office, the Home Secretary was watching the CCTV cameras from the ARC. She saw Danny waving, and was not happy.
“Get them out of there now!”, she commanded. A soldier on her right replied, saying “Yes ma’am”.
“Keep calm, they can’t cause too much trouble now. They’ve already fallen into the trap”, a voice from behind her came. The Home Secretary looked around, and no-one was there.
The soldiers were setting up another locking mechanism. One pressed a few buttons and the anomaly was locked. They turned around to guard it for a little while, and they didn’t notice it spring open again. Abby was watching from round the corner, and had the old style Anomaly Opener in her hand. She was going to play with it to distract the soldiers, but nothing yet.
“Hope something comes out”, Harry commented. And as if on queue, a bird like creature flew out. It flew down and attacked a soldier. Others primed their guns and started shooting. It flew off into the air and on top of Lloyd’s house.
Meanwhile, inside Lloyd’s house, the others were packing everything up, ready to make their exit.
“Is it safe yet?”, Mia asked through her earpiece.
“No. I think it might be best to go through the back. There’s an alley leading from the garden to where we are”, Abby remembered from playing football outside.
“What are we waiting for?”, Jess smiled. She led the way outside. Claudia was the last out, and she locked Lloyd’s house.
They were running down the alley, making as little noise as possible, to Cutter, Abby and Harry.
“Not the nicest weather. Oh well, that’s not stopped us before”, Lester mentioned.
“It’s been like this since the Safari Park. Like the sky has turned against us”, Cutter thought. The weather was almost certainly unusual, especially for the summertime. It was cloudy and cold, with a bit of a breeze.
“Something doesn’t feel right”, Jenny added.
Lester snorted, “Oh do be serious. It’s just the weather, how is that of any significance?”
“It’s a Nyctosaurus, Seems to be causing them a lot of trouble”, Cutter said after a moment’s silence, pointing to Lloyd’s chimney.
“What can we do?”, Jenny asked.
”Nothing, we can’t do anything”, Cutter replied, “We have no weapons”.
“So we’ll just stand back while it devours soldiers, or sits on Lloyd’s chimney?”, Sarah asked.
“You could put it that way”, Cutter smiled.
“Look Cutter, I thought the idea was that less people got killed”, Lester moaned.
“And they will. I’ve got a plan”, Cutter revealed.
Danny had gained access to the ARC, and Connor was leading the way to his lab. It was weird to see the ARC completely cleared of everything.
Lloyd heard a noise come from the door, “They know we’re here”.
“Hurry up Connor!”, Danny rushed him.
”OK, it’s just round here”, Connor led the way. He pressed the buttons to gain access to his lab. He opened the door, and saw the Anomaly Opener lying on the desk. But as soon as he picked it up, they were joined by two angry looking soldiers. Danny squared up to one, and Lloyd took another. Connor was trying to think of a way out. Danny threw a punch, and Lloyd started fighting his soldier. After many bruises were gained, the two soldiers were unconscious on the floor.
“Right, let’s go!”, Danny hurried them. They ran outside, and were trapped with more soldiers blocking their entrances. Connor pressed some buttons on the Anomaly Opener.
”No offence Connor, but that’s not gonna do us any good right now”, Danny was looking one soldier straight in the eye.
”You think?”, Connor pressed one more button and an anomaly opened. The trio stepped through it and Connor closed it on the other side. They were in Lloyd’s house. They wondered where the team were, and peaked out the window.
“Back door!”, Lloyd suggested. They followed the route that the others took, and met them at the end of the alley.
”What are you three doing here?”, Jess asked.
”Doesn’t matter. All that matters is how we’re going to get rid of them soldiers”, Danny told them.
“And our friend up there”, Cutter mentioned.
“Yes, we know!”, Mia cut off Connor, and took his hand.
The trio had Cutter’s plan explained to them, and it then got put into action. Abby got inside her car, and drove out behind the anomaly. Soldiers noticed, and followed her, running. Abby drove back past the anomaly and out of sight. The soldiers had followed her. One soldier lay dead on the floor, and Jess volunteered to go and pick up the gun.
She was noticed by the Nyctosaurus, and it swooped down to her. She got knocked over, but she wasn’t hurt. She lay on the floor, reaching for the gun. It was just out of reach. The Nyctosaurus was on its way back, and it was hungry. She grabbed the gun, and she shot it, just in time. It landed with a thud on the ground. Lloyd ran over and helped Jess out.
“Thanks”, Jess smiled.
”No problem”, Lloyd replied. He gestured to the others, signalling that it was safe to come over. They all shifted the prehistoric beast back through the anomaly, and Connor got to use his device.
Mia let Abby know that she could come back. The soldiers had given up and gone back, Abby told Mia, so they decided to make themselves scarce. They went back to Lloyd’s house, and had a cup of tea. The soldiers were guarding the now locked anomaly, not that they even noticed a difference. Before long, a posh black car pulled up outside. Out got the Home Secretary. Lester and Claudia recognised her, and told the others that this was bad news. They ran out the back way. Lloyd said he’d stay there. He promised he’d be alright.
“I’ll be fine!”, he insisted.
“I’ll stay with you”, Jess decided.
”No, you must go with the others. As I said, it’ll all be fine!”, Lloyd grabbed her hand. She let go of his hand and ran off.
Lloyd answered the door.
“Lloyd Daniels?”, a woman asked.
“Yes”, Lloyd replied.
“I’m arresting you on suspicion of breaking and entering”, she told him.
“What?! You can’t!”, he was totally shocked, but he knew how she found out. She had sent the soldiers to the ARC and they informed her. After all, Lloyd wasn’t an ‘unknown’, was he? A police officer escorted him to a car. Lloyd struggled a little, but he realised there was no way out. Jess and the others watched from the corner of the road. Jess was crying. She’d developed a very good relationship with Lloyd and this broke her heart. She started to run, and Lester ran after her to pull her back.
“You can’t give our game away”, he told her.
”But…but…”, Jess stuttered.
Lester put his arm around her.
“Why are you doing that?”, she asked him.
”I don’t know. I’m not even this kind to my wife”, he was totally serious about his comment.
Lloyd was driven away to the police station. The team went home, after a mostly good day’s work.
The team from the ARC had found a new base. It was a little closer to home, especially for Abby, Connor and Mia, as it was their house. The Home Secretary, who closed the anomaly operations down, had chucked the team out of the ARC, and they now had to operate at secret locations.
As they entered the house, Rex flew down and perched himself on the dining table. Rex was a Coelurosauravus from the Permian era, and was Abby’s pet. Also, Sid and Nancy, Diictodons also from the Permian era, ran over. A pregnant woman in a hospital described them as ratty, chipmunk, beaver things, but Connor especially loved them dearly.
The team fled in and shut the doors. Curtains were drawn to make it look like no-one was in. No-one could find out the team were there, or they’d be arrested.
Jess wasn’t in a good mood. She’d just seen ex-team member Lloyd Daniels arrested, not long after he saved her life. She felt a connection with him, like she’d never felt before. They were a similar age, with Lloyd being 18 and Jess being 19. She sat down at the table, took out her laptop and logged in to the ARC system that Connor had uploaded there. The Anomaly Detector had been scanning whilst the laptop was off, and no anomaly had been found. Jess wasn’t taking in anything after that. All she could remember is Lloyd being carted off by the Home Secretary’s men. That moment ran on repeat in her head. Tears dropped down her soft cheek.
"Jess…”, a voice came from beside her. Jess heard it, but wasn’t listening.
“Jess!”, the voice repeated itself, louder. A female voice. Jess sat up, and looked to her left. Standing there was Mia Turner.
“Jess, are you alright?”, Mia asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine”, Jess replied, tears still forming in her eyes.
“You don’t seem it. What’s wrong?”, Mia showed her concern. She looked into Jess’ deep blue eyes. The colour was like that of the sea.
“Oh, it’s Lloyd, isn’t it?”, Mia remembered. Jess nodded.
“Come here”, Mia put her arm around Jess and pulled her gently in to her chest, giving her a friendly hug.
“I’ve been heartbroken many times. At 28, I’ve had about 5 relationships, about three before I was 20. The heartbreak doesn’t get any easier”, Mia confessed.
“I’m not heartbroken”, Jess lied.
“Jess, I know when someone’s heartbroken. I’ve seen it a thousand times, and felt it about that many times aswell”
“It’s…it’s just I’ve never felt like this before. There was something special. I know he felt it too”
“Lloyd’s a good lad. He’ll be released before long”, Mia added. Jess nodded, wiped her tears and started typing things on the laptop. Mia stood up, and was approached by Harry.
“Is she OK?”, Harry quietly spoke.
“Yeah, just a little shocked”, Mia revealed.
“She’s a soldier, she is. Normally when I’m in a bad mood I just take a day off”, Harry confessed, then realised what she said, “…not that I do it often…”
“Yeah…”, Mia sarcastically replied. Both laughed together, “But we’re all a little shocked. The best thing we can do is move on and not let it phase us”.
Meanwhile, Jenny was listening to one of Cutter’s stories about his days working at the Central Metropolitan University. Since Jenny had saved Cutter from certain death, they’d been in what the team knew was a relationship, even though they’d never admit it themselves. Claudia watched them both. She was happy for Jenny. She’d been lucky in love since coming into this reality. Claudia not so much.
James Lester was being shown some more techniques of the Detector by Jess. She wanted to go out on the team whilst they were without the ARC, so Lester had to do field co-ordination. He was useless with computers, so Jess was giving him lessons.
Connor, Abby and Mia were watching TV. It was their house, they could do whatever they wanted whilst they waited for an anomaly signal. Life without the ARC was certainly hard, as there was basically nothing to do in the meantime. Sarah sat with Harry looking through papers. Harry let out a mighty yawn. And Claudia was chatting with Danny about the recent events. Both were extremely different people so they both found it interesting to learn the opposite person’s view.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
The quieter and poorer quality version of the Detector rang off, and as the team were about to move to tend to it, they saw an anomaly open in the flat.
“Not again…”, Abby sighed. An anomaly had opened in the flat before, and a Gorgonopsid came through and wrecked it.
“We need to get out”, Danny decided.
“What? We can’t just leave this open and let the flat get wrecked again”, Abby defended.
“We’ll come back. We can’t let the soldiers from the Home Office see our stuff here. We’ll get arrested. Just like Lloyd was”, Danny continued. Abby nodded, and led the team out the front door. They quickly plonked their stuff across two cars, and Cutter and Abby hid them. They all met back inside, and Connor set up the locking mechanism. Just a moment before he pressed the button, he spotted a car pull up outside, through a tiny gap in the curtains.
“Guys…”, Connor started to tell them.
“Connor, just lock the anomaly”, Cutter ordered.
“A car has pulled up outside”, Connor announced. They could hear soldiers talking.
“There’s no back door”, Abby told them.
“Hide!”, Sarah quickly thought. The team pounded upstairs and found themselves hiding places. Connor’s especially was ridiculous - the bath tub.
The door was bashed open. The soldiers were greeted by an anomaly locker, aswell as the unlocked anomaly.
“They’re here”, one soldier said.
“Temple, Maitland and Turner live here”, a familiar voice announced. Sarah was listening from Abby’s wardrobe. She recognised that voice - Captain Mitchell!
“I’ll go and search the flat. They can’t be found here”, Mitchell spoke. Each member of the team sighed. They were as stuffed as a teddy now. Soldiers pounded up the stairs. Connor was found instantly, due to his poor hiding place. Mia was found in the shower, and Abby found under her duvet. The soldiers then retreated back downstairs, thinking the rest of the team wouldn’t be there. Sarah heard Abby being taken away and was worried. She opened the wardrobe door slightly, and peeked. No-one was there. She crept out, being as quiet as a mouse (well, even quieter). She sneaked out of the bedroom, and bumped into someone. She leapt back in fright, and saw it was Harry, doing the same, but from Connor and Mia’s room.
“They’ve taken Abby”, Sarah told Harry.
“Oh dear. We need to cause a distraction”, Harry thought.
“Is anyone else in there? They must be. Only I was in there”, Sarah questioned.
“Basically everyone, apart from Connor, Mia, Abby and yourself. There’s loads of Connor’s tosh to hide behind”, Harry joked.
“So Connor and Mia were in the bathroom. OK, thanks”
“Now, how do we sort out this distraction?”
“I’ve got an idea”, Sarah said.
”What are you doing here?”, Mitchell asked Abby, Connor and Mia. They were sat on their sofa, handcuffed.
“We live here”, Mia laughed. Mitchell pointed his gun at Mia.
“This is no laughing matter. You’re not meant to be anywhere near an anomaly”, Mitchell stuck to the rules.
“Ever heard of a coincidence?”, Connor replied. Mitchell was silenced, until he heard a large growl.
“What’s that?”, Mitchell asked.
“Sounds a lot like a Dromeosaurus. Not that you’d know what that is. You’re just a soldier”, Connor teased.
“That’s a Raptor, right?”, Mia whispered to Connor. He nodded back to her.
“Lock the anomaly”, Mitchell ordered a soldier about. But before he finished that sentence, a Raptor ran through the anomaly.
”Shoot it, now!”, Mitchell threw yet another order. The soldiers were getting annoyed with him taking control. He wasn’t usually like this. But they obeyed him like he was their master. They shot the Raptor dead.
“You could’ve just altered history by doing that”, Abby teased Mitchell. She managed to keep a straight face whilst saying that. The anomaly was quickly locked, and they were yet again distracted by something - creaking from the stairs.
“Woah, woah, what are you doing here?”, James Lester asked when he saw Mitchell. Lester was part of Sarah’s plan.
“We could ask you the same. Arrest him. Check upstairs for the rest of the team, they must be here too”, Mitchell threw orders left right and centre.
“Don’t bother, it’s only me here. I promise”, Lester claimed.
“Where were you when we searched the place?”, Mitchell queried.
“I hid. I didn’t know who you were”
“Why are you here?”
"I was told to come here by someone”, Lester lied.
“Who?”, Mitchell asked.
“Errr…Harry…Cairns. Yes. Harry Cairns. I believe he works for the Home Office?”, Lester made this up as he went along.
“HC - Helen Cutter”, Abby whispered to the other two. They laughed.
“Never heard of him”, Mitchell replied.
“Not your department”, Lester continued.
“Let’s take him back to the Home Secretary. See what she makes of this. There are clearly no creatures here, so let’s go”, Mitchell decided. He then looked at Abby, Connor and Mia, who were handcuffed and sitting on the sofa, “As for you three, stay away from this operation. You have nothing to do with it anymore”.
“What happened to you, Mitchell?”, Connor asked. Mitchell looked at him and then walked away. The two remaining soldiers in the house un-cuffed the trio. Once the house was clear of soldiers, Connor called the others down.
”Where’s Lester?”, Cutter asked.
“They took him for questioning”, Connor answered.
”This is dangerous”, Claudia mentioned.
“Let’s find somewhere new”, Jenny thought.
”My house”, Claudia suggested, “It has a back door, at least”.
“Our houses are too risky”, Cutter said.
“We just need somewhere for the moment. It’s unlikely there’ll be another anomaly today anyway”, Claudia argued her point.
“Right, let’s go”, Danny decided. The team went outside, just as the soldiers’ cars were about to leave.“Stop right there”, Mitchell shouted as soon as he saw them. The team started legging it to the cars. Jess took off her high heels when she did so. Guns were being fired, and windscreens being shattered. The team narrowly escaped round the corner, and scrambled into the cars. The soldiers ran after them, and moved right out of the way as the cars sped off.
“Follow them, QUICK!”, Mitchell was angry. Lester watched from the car window, and smiled to himself.
A set of three identical four by fours were parked outside a seemingly small flat in central London. Each four by four had the Anomaly Research Centre logo on it, and had four seats. A lot of cars wouldn’t seem amiss in London, but as they were identical it didn’t go unnoticed, or so that was what Claudia thought as she saw a Metropolitan Police car passing outside for the third time through the narrow gap in her flat’s curtains. Connor and Mia were set up at the table, fiddling about with the laptop and the rest of the team were either sitting down board or watching a window.
“Any news team?” Cutter asked, already having said those words far too often.
“A blue van has just parked up opposite the house Cutter. Looks suspicious.” Abby called.
“Same, there’s a Police car out front.” Claudia yelled.
“Connor, start packing up.” Cutter ordered.
“Sure thing professor!”
Connor unplugged his laptop from a socket in the wall and gave his Wife a half-hearted kiss on the cheek.
“We’ll be fine.”
“Cutter!!” Claudia bellowed, a tone of fright in her voice.
Cutter leaped over the wooden table and ran to Claudia.
“What’s up?” He demanded.
But she didn’t need to answer, he could see for himself through the gap. Armed police officers were beginning to leave the blue van and were approaching the house, weapons ready.
“Danny, Abby, you’re with me. The others, go out the back way”
Cutter reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a Glock pistol, cocking it and shoving a magazine into it. Danny reached under the sofa and pulled out an assault rifle, switching it to “ Automatic” and grabbing a handful of clips. Abby drew a different type of pistol and loaded it.
“With me.” Cutter said.
He bounded down the stairs and with a strong, swift movement kicked the door open.
The others were in a cold and grubby back alley, with a fairly sizeable road leading from it. Jess shivered and hugged her shoulders.
“It’s cold!” She shrieked.
It was true, a chilly breeze had hit the group and all of them had felt it. Harriet was okay as she had a warm leather jacket on, but the rest were in t-shirts, shorts or trousers. Connor lay the laptop down on the floor and took off his jacket, wrapping it around Mia’s cold shoulders. She smiled and kissed him on the nose.
“I love you.” She said.
“Come on Cutter.” Claudia said to herself.
She turned and smiled at the group when the bullets began.
“Get down!” Danny yelled, a spray of bullets flying into the cars.
“Put the weapons down!” An armed police officer yelled before ordering his men to fire another barrage.
Danny leant out from cover and fired a few shots, one hitting an officer who went crumpling with a cry, but Danny made sure he would only shoot them in the leg.
“Cutter, Abby take two cars to the back.” He said.
At once the two hopped in their cars and started them up, ignoring the constant spray of bullets coming at them.
“Go now!” Danny yelled.
Cutter and Abby sped off in their battered vehicles, stopping to pick up the team.
“They’re here!” Jenny yelled.
Cutter opened the passenger door and Claudia got in as Jenny and Sarah got in the back. Mia, Connor and Harriet got in with Abby.
“What about Danny?” Abby yelled.
“We need to go now!” Connor replied. “ There’s an anomaly.”
Suddenly Danny arrived behind them in his car, window open and he yelled:
At once the cars sped off down the motorway, leaving a mess of confused armed police in their wake. The sergeant swore and grabbed his Radio.
“Get James Lester here now!” He spat down it.
“Where to?” Cutter asked.
“The old ARC.” Abby replied. “ It’s shutdown but I know a way in.”
The Convoy sped off, not noticing the unmarked Police vehicles following them. One of the officers grabbed his radio.
“We know where they are going. Tell them now.” The officer said with a sly smirk.
Oh, what they had in store for the ARC team!
James Lester and Captain Mitchell arrived at the crime scene later on in the day, to be greeted with a fuming Sergeant.
“Your people opened fire on us!” He yelled angrily.
“They didn’t kill your men, just wounded them.” Mitchell pointed out.
“You better hope I don’t catch them.” He spat, and marched off.
As the pair turned they found Army Officers with Pistols aimed at them, and a truck behind them.
“Come with us. The Minister wants a chat.”
And as they drove off the men cocked their guns.
Featuring Lloyd Daniels
“How I’ve missed this place”, Connor Temple stated as he walked into the old ARC’s Main Operations Room. The place was deserted, and locked up outside. Danny drove straight through the gate to get inside. The facial recognition system that allows interest was still active, and that’s how the team got inside. They were on the run from the Home Office who had taken Lester and Lloyd already.
James Lester and Captain Mitchell were sitting outside the Minister’s office, waiting to be called in. Mitchell was wearing more formal attire for the Minister, whilst Lester was in one of his many many suits. Even he lost track of how many he had.
"James, Captain, come in”, a voice from next to them said. The Minister had opened the door and allowed them in. Lester got up and lead the way, with Mitchell going in last and closing the door behind them.
"Please, take a seat”, the Minister offered. He had a darker tone to his voice, compared to when Lester and Claudia met with him before.
"So James, I hear your team are rebelling”, the Minister started the meeting.
"It appears so”, Lester replied.
"Why aren’t you in control of them?”
"I was fired by the Home Secretary. I had no control, I wasn’t in charge. I was just helping them out”, Lester confessed.
“They are not meant to be anywhere near the anomalies, James, you know that”, the Minister’s voice raised in volume, before lowering down again, “I strongly suggest you tell me everything, James, if you even stand a chance of gaining back the ARC”. Lester looked to Mitchell, and sighed.
Cutter and Danny had set their team to work. Sarah and Harry were outside, disabling all CCTV cameras. Jess was tracking the soldiers from her laptop, and Claudia and Jenny were supervising everyone. Abby, Connor and Mia collected everyone’s mobile phones, and were told to dispose of them somewhere. The two leaders were offering support where they could, but were mainly discussing plans together. It was a difficult situation, and no-one really knew what to do.
Lester explained to the Minister about what the team had done. The Minister saw it from Lester’s point of view, and partly, came round to his way of thinking. He agreed to see Lloyd’s charges dropped, and Lester reinstated in some way or another. Sadly, he couldn’t guarantee anything about the team, as they had operated illegally.
Lloyd Daniels was sitting in a cell at the local prison. He was on the cold, stony floor.
“Cheer up mate”, his cellmate told him. He was young aswell, early 20’s. He had brown, shaggy hair, and didn’t look like the type to be banged up. He was in their for shoplifting, and was nearing the end of his sentence. Lloyd got on with him, but would still rather be out of the place. He couldn’t stand being locked up around loads of dangerous men. He was terrified around them, and found the cell much safer than the rest of the prison. Lloyd stood up and stretched his arms.
“Sorry. I’m just missing someone”, Lloyd told his cellmate, whose name was Tom.
“Your mum? Me too”
“No, not her. Well, I am missing her, but she lives in Wales, so I don’t see her anyway. No, it’s a girl”, Lloyd confessed.
”Well, she’s not my girlfriend. I worked with her, and saved her life. Then I got arrested. I felt something with her, like I never have with any other girl”
Just at that moment, a police officer entered the room.
”Lloyd Daniels?”, he verified. Lloyd nodded.
“You’re free to go. The charges have been dropped. The Minister has informed us to let you know it was because of Sir James Lester”, the officer told him. Lloyd smiled.
”Now, pack up your stuff quickly”, the officer continued.
“Lloyd, before you go, I always wondered, what actually was your job? Where this girl was?”, Tom asked Lloyd.
“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you. It’s classified”, Lloyd told him. He then looked to the officer, “Could we have some time to say goodbye?”. The officer nodded and left the cell for a minute.
“We investigate rips in time called anomalies. Sometimes, creatures come through. Prehistoric creatures, or maybe ones from the future”, Lloyd revealed.
“No way!”, Tom couldn’t, and didn’t, believe his ears. Then he saw Lloyd’s face - totally serious.
“Oh my god, you’re telling the truth?!”
”Completely. Now, you must promise never to tell a soul, yes?”, Lloyd made Tom agree.
”See you around”, Lloyd said goodbye to Tom, then was escorted out by the officer.
Waiting at the desk was a very impatient James Lester, with Captain Mitchell. Mitchell had taken off his tie and blazor, untucked his shirt and undid his top button. He hated wearing formal clothes.
“Great to see you guys again”, Lloyd said as he saw them. He needed to collect his valuables, such as his mobile phone, from the desk. They were given to him in a plastic clear bag. They then strolled outside. Once inside Lester’s Jag, he revealed all to Lloyd.
”We need your help to find the team. As you know, we lost the ARC. They are now being hunted down by the Home Office. The Minister has told us that if we can track them down and bring them to him, he will personally appeal for us to gain the ARC back”, Lester explained.
“Have you tried calling them?”, Lloyd asked.
“Yes. I got no reply from any of them”
“Let me try”, Lloyd called Jess’s number first. No answer. Then Connor’s. Again, it just rang and rang and rang, but no-one answered. He tried all of the team, one by one, and it was the same.
“No answer”, Lloyd announced.
Sarah and Harry were finishing up disabling the CCTV cameras. It was a long task. They were in a booth just next to the broken gates. Harry decided to step outside and check for the soldiers. A car was coming into view. Harry squinted due to the bright sun in the horizon.
“We’ve got soldiers incoming, I repeat, we’ve got soldiers incoming!”, Jess alerted the team through their earpieces. It took a few moments for Harry to digest what Jess had said, and then she scrambled inside the booth to check Sarah heard. She had heard, and they both ran inside quickly. But as they were walking inside, the car stopped at the smashed down gates, and three soldiers got out. They ran over to the girls, who sprinted the rest of the way to the door. Sarah activated the facial recognition system, but not quick enough. The soldiers had grabbed Sarah and Harry, and escorted them off. The duo were struggling like hell, but it was nothing compared to the strength of the soldiers.
“You, take these away. And you, come inside with me”, one soldier ordered the other two about. Sarah and Harry were carted off.
Inside the ARC, the team were priming their weapons. Jess, Jenny and Claudia round the corner of the door to the lab just next door to the Main Operations Room. When the soldiers came in, they would run out and get Sarah and Harry to help. Little did they know that they had been carted off.
Beep beep! Beep beep! Beep beep!
The handheld Detectors rang off, just a moment before Jess’s laptop went off with the usual DING DING sound.
“Now?”, Connor sighed.
Lester’s handheld detector beeped aswell.
“I’ve got it! Type in their phone numbers into that detector, it will track them!”, Lloyd had an idea.
“Excellent!”, Mitchell praised him, just as they drove past the old ARC, “Wait, people are here. Drop me off and you guys go and find where they may well be, or at least where their phones are. Then we have two places covered”. Mitchell got out of the car, and jogged into the ARC, with his pistol ready.
Two soldiers walked past the room Jess, Claudia and Jenny were in. They weren’t noticed. They crouched down and watched from the large window that looked into the Main Operations Room. They then ran outside.
The soldiers went through the doors to the Main Operations Room, and were greeted by Cutter, Danny, Connor, Abby and Mia holding guns at them.
“What are you doing here?”, one soldier asked.
”We could ask you the same”, Mia replied.
“Put the guns down, you’re under arrest”, the other soldier ordered.
“You think it’s going to be that easy?”, Danny added.
Lester and Lloyd got out of the Jag, and wandered down an alley.
”They’re obviously not here”, Lloyd said.
”Well, I think I can see that, do you think I’m blind?”, Lester moaned.
Lloyd went to the end, and saw 10 mobile phones on the floor. Then they looked around the corner. There was the anomaly. A noise came travelled through. Lloyd recognised the sound immediately. It was that of a Future Predator…
Jess, Claudia and Jenny ran outside, and were met by Mitchell.
“Get away!”, Jess shouted.
“It’s OK, I’m here looking for you. Lester and Lloyd are out tracking your phones. I’ll just call them and let them know you’re here”, Mitchell explained.
“Two soldiers are in there. And we can’t find Sarah and Harry”, Claudia told Mitchell.
”Right, I’m going in”, Mitchell decided.
”Like the shirt”, Jenny joked.
“Not funny”, Mitchell wasn’t too impressed with Jenny’s comment.
They walked inside.
“Put the guns down, that is an order”, the first soldier shouted.
“How about no?”, Mia was being very defiant. The soldiers looked at each other and pulled out their guns.
“Put the guns on the floor and your hands in the air”, the second soldier commanded.
BANG! BANG! Mia felt like she had been shot, even though she hadn’t. She opened her eyes to see the soldiers lying on the floor with tranquilliser darts next to them. And behind them - Captain Mitchell. Mia ran up to him and hugged him.
”We got an anomaly signal, it’s still going strong. Let’s get to it quick”, Abby thought.
“Lester and Lloyd are looking for you. The Minister said if we find you, we may get the ARC back”, Mitchell told them. They all smiled.
“Where are Lester and Lloyd then?”, Cutter asked.
“They traced your phones”, Mitchell informed them.
”Ah, we’ll lead the way. It’s not far from here”, Connor suggested.
They ran as quick as they could to Lester and Lloyd. Round corners, up roads, until they got to the alleyway. Lloyd was sitting on the floor, his legs out straight, and Lester lying injured. Jess ran straight up to see Lloyd. He smiled when he saw her. Mitchell and Danny helped escort Lester to the car. Jess helped Lloyd up, their hands stayed together once he got up.
”Sorry”, Jess smiled. She went all giggly and shy.
“It’s OK”, Lloyd smiled back. But before anything else could happen, a Future Predator appeared behind them. Lloyd and Jess backed off, but found themselves against the wall. They could try to outrun it, but they both knew they wouldn’t be fast enough. Cutter and the team watched from the alley. Cutter put his finger up to the team, signalling to them to wait there and be silent, but they knew that already. Jess and Lloyd were terrified…
Featuring Lloyd Daniels
The Future Predator snarled as it crept over to a terrified Lloyd and Jess, who both knew to be absolutely silent. They backed against a wall, and Jess felt something against her leg, she looked down, and saw some sort of metal pole.
Jess hit the Predator’s head as hard as she could with the metal pole. Lloyd breathed a sigh of relief as the Predator fell lifeless on the floor. The anomaly closed afterwards. Lloyd and Jess hugged each other, relieved to still be alive.
“Thanks. You saved our lives”, Lloyd smiled.
“No problem. You can pay me tomorrow”, Jess laughed.
Bleep bleep! Bleep bleep! Bleep bleep!
The sound of the handheld Anomaly Detectors went off.
“It’s in the field, just about 10 minutes away”, Sarah told them, by looking at her Detector.
”Wait, there’s a music festival there today. I’m performing later on”, Lloyd told them.
”We better get down there, pronto”, Danny made a click-click noise with his mouth.
Backstage at the festival, the crew were busy making sure their performance went as smoothly as possible. But their job wasn’t made easy, when a bright light appeared in the corner. Each person backstage went over to it to investigate.
One person reached their hand out to touch it, and they felt nothing. He moved closer, and closer…
The person was submerged into the anomaly, much to the other people’s shock.
The people backstage heard a really loud scream from through the anomaly, and they were joined by a snail-type creature. It slithered over to them, leaving a trail of slime behind it. It was massive, about as tall as an average person. It opened its mouth, and a tongue like a frog jumped out, and wrapped itself around the nearest woman. She was pulled inside its mouth and devoured.
The team arrived and heard screams straight away. They ran round the back and through the back door.
”Split up, keep in two’s at least”, Cutter ordered. He and Jenny went round to the left, with the rest of the team splitting up aswell.
”Round here!”, Claudia shouted. Her and Danny had found the anomaly, in the corner of the room. In the opposite corner, two people stood, terrified. Claudia went over to them.
”Don’t worry, whatever was here has gone now. Can you describe what you saw?”, Claudia asked them. She was given the description of some massive snail with a tongue like a frog. Jenny then escorted the team out.
“What type of creature is that?!”, Connor was confused. He couldn’t think of anything that matched the creature in the fossil records.
“It’s either an undiscovered prehistoric creature”, Cutter explained, “…or a future one”.
“Wait, the anomaly, it closed, and this one opened. Coincidence?”, Connor brought up.
”The anomaly faultlines. It didn’t close, it moved here”, Cutter added.
“So that means the Predators could come through there?”, Mia verified.
“Yup, so let’s get this anomaly locked. Chop chop!”, Danny smiled.
The locking mechanism was set up, all ready in place, when Connor noticed something weird about the anomaly. It was slightly more blue in colour. He had seen this before, at the Oxford Street anomaly, when it re-opened.
But it wasn’t like this a minute ago?, Connor thought. He locked the anomaly, but it unlocked itself. Connor tried yet again.
“What’s wrong?”, Abby asked, walking up to him.
“I don’t know. It’s not locking”, Connor was getting a tad annoyed.
“Wait, that anomaly’s blue. It wasn’t earlier. Is this new?”, Abby fired another question at Connor.
“Err…yeah, it’s just happened. The colour of an anomaly isn’t quite the top of my priorities right now, Abby”
“Sorry. You just keep trying”, Abby smiled, patted him on the back and walked off.
“Right, I need to go to makeup now, I’ll catch you all later. Good luck with the anomaly”, Lloyd smiled. He ran off round the back to find the makeup department.
“See! Things didn’t turn out too bad after all”, Harry nudged Jess.
“You were right. Thanks Harry”, Jess smiled, and she hugged her.
“At least there’s one person here who’s the expert in relationships”, Cutter mentioned to Harry, once Jess had bounced away.
“Jealous?”, Harry joked.
“I’m the one who married a psychopath who’s tried to kill me many times, and apparently has in another universe. You think I’d be jealous?”, Cutter told Harry.
“Gosh”, Harry was in amazement, “I knew she was bad, but I didn’t think she’d actually kill you, you know what I mean?”
“Ask Abby, Connor, Sarah or Jenny. They know more than I do”, Cutter smiled, before walking over to Connor. Harry was intrigued, and decided to talk to her best friend, Sarah.
“Cutter’s just told me about him being killed by Helen once before, and said you’d know more?”, Harry asked her.
“Yeah, that was in another universe. Jenny’s world. Without Claudia. Cutter died. The ARC was formed long before it was here. Things were just so different”, Sarah explained.
“Was I there?”, Harry was interested.
“Yeah, you were there. Pretty much the same as you are here. Don’t worry, you’re no different”, Sarah told her.
“Phew. I thought you’d be best friends with that Marion woman in that world! What’s happened to her, anyway?”
“Not sure about here, but in the other world, she was killed by a creature”
“Oh. Sorry about that”
“Don’t worry. Wasn’t your fault”, they were interrupted by another large scream, this time loud enough to be heard by the audience.
Lloyd was inbetween songs when the scream was heard. People in the audience started wondering what that was.
“Don’t worry guys, just a technical difficulty”, Lloyd lied.
“What the hell was that?”, Mia asked, running up to Connor. The others joined, and were greeted by the large snail creature.
“What is that?”, Jenny looked disgusted at the creature.
“I HATE snails!”, Jess screamed.
“I’m going to have to shoot it”, Cutter decided. He pulled out his tranquilliser, but before he could shoot, the creature shot its tongue out, and it wrapped it around Cutter.
”NO!”, Jenny shouted. She took the gun from Cutter and fired at the creature. Unfortunately, just one tranquilliser didn’t work on this creature, and it let go of Cutter and took Jenny instead. It pulled her through the anomaly. Connor held Cutter back.
“It’s too dangerous to get her. We’ll go through in a bit”, Connor told him.
Lloyd finished his set of songs, and ran off stage.
“What’s happened? What was that scream?”, he asked as he met the team.
“It was a creature. It took Jenny”, Connor announced.
“Oh dear. Are we going to go and get her?”, Lloyd asked.
“I am. I’m taking Abby, Connor and Harry with me. The rest of you, stay here and watch this anomaly”, Cutter decided.
The Home Secretary strolled into the Minister’s office.
“Why are the ARC team at the scene of the anomaly again? My soldiers are fed up of sorting them out”, she moaned.
“Oh, did you not get my e-mail? They’ve been reinstated, thanks to James Lester, Lloyd Daniels and Captain Mitchell”, the Minister explained.
“You think you can get away with it?”, she asked him.
“You have no authority here. Security!”, the Minister called out.
“No-one’s going to help you”, the HS said, before clicking her fingers. The two soldiers either side of her took the Minister away.
“Mission accomplished”, the HS spoke into her earpiece…
Cutter, Abby, Connor and Harry stepped through the anomaly, into the familiar place of the future town. Buildings were destroyed, cars were rusty, and no sign of anyone or anything.
“Keep extremely quiet. Don’t make a sound”, Cutter whispered to his small team. They crept through the down, keeping an eye out for Future Predators, amongst other creatures. This place was also the home to Megopterans, and Future Mutts. Connor tripped over something on the ground, but managed to regain his balance before hitting the floor. He still made a slight bang. The team started moving slightly faster than before, incase Predators were on their way.
They spent half an hour searching, looking in every place they could see, but saw absolutely no sign of Jenny, or any creatures for that matter.
“We’re going to have to go back. We’ve looked everywhere”, Abby said.
”No. We’ve not checked underground”, Cutter thought.
“HELP!”, Jenny cried out. She was underground, as Cutter suspected. The snail had left her there, and she was terrified of the larvae creature just nearby. It was like the Giant Worms that they had faced in the past. But then she noticed something else, coming down the wall. A more familiar creature.
”Oh my god”, Jenny whispered.
Abby and Connor led the way to where they found Jack (Abby’s brother) when he was lost in this world.
“He was down there”, Abby whispered.
“Right, I’m going in”, Cutter decided. Cutter climbed down the stairs, and was greeted by a terrified Jenny, aswell as a Future Predator about to attack her.
“Damn”, Cutter said, as he saw the Predator. He jumped from the rope down to the ground, which was only a few feet, and ran to Jenny.
“My leg”, she told him, “It’s trapped”. He tried to move the plinth, but he couldn’t do anything. But that didn’t stop him. He heaved and heaved, and the plinth budged off her leg.
“Come on, I’ve got you”, Cutter lifted up Jenny. He tried to carry her up the stairs, but it wasn’t working.
”I think I can go myself”, Jenny thought.
”Off you go then”, Cutter tried to hurry her. He would watch her back. He took out a gun (bullet, not tranquilliser) and shot the Predator. It fell on the floor. Jenny slowly reached the top and was helped out by Connor. Abby and Harry then helped Cutter.
”Run!”, he ordered. They ran as fast as they could, with Cutter carrying Jenny, back to the anomaly. They shot a few Predators here and there, but as they reached the blue anomaly, there were an army of the snails forming in front of it.
“Wait, I’ve got a notepad! I’ll write a message, throw the pad through the anomaly and the team can help us!”, Harry thought.
“Brilliant idea!”, Cutter praised. Harry wrote “Surrounded by snails. HELP!” on the pad, and aimed it at the anomaly. She threw it as best she could, and it went straight through.
Waiting on the other side of the anomaly, Mia jumped back as the pad fell through.
“Surrounded by snails. HELP”, Mia read.
“What are we waiting for?”, said Danny.
Cutter and his team were crossing their fingers and toes that the others would come through soon. The snails were approaching, rather fast.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Danny shot the snails one by one.
“Great, you’ve just alerted loads of Predators”, Harry shouted.
“You’re welcome, by the way! I just saved your life and all you can say…”, Danny was cut off.
“The anomaly’s closing!”, Connor shouted. They then legged it to the anomaly, and jumped through. One by one, they landed on the floor, backstage of the festival. The anomaly snapped shut.
“Welcome back to the ARC”, Captain Mitchell said, as he and the team walked back into the New ARC for the first time since they were sacked.
“Feels like we’ve returned home after a long holiday”, Connor compared. Jess ran over to her chair, and sat down. Lloyd went over to join her, as she booted up the Detector again.
Waiting inside his office was James Lester. He had recovered from his Predator injury and was discharged from hospital. Claudia walked in, as it was her office too.
“Are you OK?”, she asked him.“Never better. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually missed normal work”, he remarked.
But during this, the Home Secretary was meeting her real boss, Helen Cutter. She had the Minister tied up, and now she wanted Lester. He was the next highest figure associated with the team. With them gone, they’d have no-one to run to…
James Lester was sat back in his office in the ARC. He was happy to be back in somewhere that’s safe and away from the harm of the Home Secretary. However, he knew that the battle wasn’t over. The Home Secretary was still out there and she could strike anytime. He and the team had to be on their guard at all times.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
“Anomaly detected”, Jess smiled as she announced the first anomaly they had detected since they returned to the ARC. The loud, blaring sound of the Detector was something she hadn’t heard for ages, and it gave her a bit of a headache, but she was relieved all the same. Abby and Connor ran over to her, grabbed their black boxes so Jess could track them, and ran out to the cars. The rest of the team weren’t far behind.
Little did the team know, the Home Secretary was sat in her office with a laptop in front of her. She had hacked into the ARC’s system and sent a fake signal to get them out of there. She wanted Lester, and she wasn’t going to have the team in her way...
“Where exactly are we going?”, Lloyd asked. He was temporarily staying with the team until they had sorted out their problems with the Home Secretary. They knew as much as Lester that it wasn’t over yet.
“The secondary school”, Danny replied.
“Children are in school at this time of day. We’ll have our work cut out for us”, Jenny mentioned.
“Well done Jenny, but to be honest, we weren’t going there to have a little nap and top up our tans, were we?”, Danny joked.
Cutter parked his car, and Connor pulled up in the other car just behind.
“Right, we’ll need to split up. I’ll go with Jenny, Connor, Abby and Mia to evacuate the building. Danny, you take the others to find the anomaly”, Cutter decided. Danny’s team went to go and get their tranquillisers, whereas Cutter’s team went straight in to the reception desk.
“Good morning”, the receptionist smiled.
“Hi. I’d like to speak to the headteacher, it’s urgent”, Cutter answered.
“May I ask you name, sir?”
“Nick Cutter. I’m from the government”, Cutter wanted to make a good impression, so he smiled when he spoke. After a minute of waiting, the receptionist announced that she would take them to the headteacher’s office.
Danny’s team followed the readings on the Handheld Detectors to an empty classroom. Jess had used the main Detector to open any doors and get security access for them.
Lester sat in his office. The ARC was pretty empty without the team, and he could only see Jess. He was watching her run up to his office. She looked extremely flustered. She knocked, and Lester allowed her in.
“It’s the Detector, I think there’s something wrong. There are no bugs reported, but, but…”, Jess explained at high speed.
“Jess, what’s up with the Detector? What’s it doing?”, Lester asked.
“It’s showing loads of anomalies. All over the world. No news reports or anything are coming through, and I doubt all of these wouldn’t have been picked up by someone”, Jess added.
“But if they’ve only just opened, how could there already be news reports?”, Lester queried.
”I first noticed one this morning, in South Africa. I dismissed it, but just kept checking it. I know we’ve had a few ones abroad in the past, so I thought nothing of it. But there’s still no report on that, or any other ones that have been there a while too”
“Are you saying someone’s sending false signals?”
“Quite possibly. Should I try and track it?”
“No Jess, you should let them send us loads of false signals that will overload the system and crash it - yes of course you should try and track it!”
Jess rolled her eyes before bouncing out. She perched herself in her comfy red chair, and started tapping away at the keyboard. She ran a trace. It would take about 10 minutes to run, so she minimised the window and continued watching the team, just as she got a message from Danny through her earpiece…
Danny and his half of the team were completely confused. They reached the room, but found no anomaly.
“Jess, we’re at the location, but there’s nothing here”, Danny announced.
“That’s not unexpected. I’ve been getting false anomaly reports all day. The Detector has no bugs. It’s only really started since you left here”, Jess explained.
“Something’s going on. We need to get out of here”, Danny decided, but the door had been closed and locked. All windows were also locked and there was no fire exit. They were trapped.
Cutter and his team were sitting with the headteacher of the school. He had to explain the situation without giving away any classified information. He got distracted by Danny on his earpiece.
”Cutter, we’re trapped in a classroom. The door is locked”, Danny spoke.
“Excuse me”, Cutter smiled as he stood up from his desk. Jenny continued speaking with the headteacher.
“Where are you?”, Cutter asked as he stepped outside.
“Not sure, we let the Detectors lead us here. Maybe if you followed that route you could get to us?”, but after that sentence, the phone line cut out.
“Danny? DANNY?”, Cutter was concerned. He went back into the office.
“Sorry, do you mind if we put this on hold? Something really important has cropped up”, Cutter asked.
Jess noticed an alert pop up. Someone from the ARC had sent her a link to the CCTV cameras. She opened it and she saw soldiers from the Home Office outside. She put on the alarm, which sent red lights and loud sounds around the whole ARC. But before she knew it, those soldiers had made their way up the lift and onto her floor level. She knew she had opened the link too late. The soldiers barged into Lester’s office and grabbed him. Jess ran up, but was pushed aside. She took off her shoe and threw it at a soldier.
”Arrest her too”, the main soldier commanded, and she was carted off with Lester. Jess especially was struggling like her life depended on it. For all she knew, her life did depend on it…
Danny woke up. He was unconscious, and he saw Lloyd, Harry and Sarah next to him, still unconscious. He went over to Lloyd and tried tapping his cheek to wake him up, and surprisingly, it worked.
“What happened?”, Lloyd asked.
“I have no idea”, Danny replied. Lloyd sat up, and saw the two girls lying on the floor.
“Oh my god”, Danny muttered as he realised she wasn’t there.
Infact, Claudia had been taken to the same place as Lester and Jess. They were in an underground hideout, and were made to kneel down. They were handcuffed. A shadowed figure appeared before them.
“Good work”, she spoke to the soldiers, and they left.
“Helen?”, said Claudia.
“Yes Claudia. Now you’re out of the way, and half of the team is locked up, I’m one step closer to getting Cutter to me without any interference”
“Why us?”, Jess asked.
”Lester and Claudia are the only two with any connection to the government. Jess, you’re just collateral damage. Don’t worry, you won’t be harmed…yet…”
Featuring Lloyd Daniels
“Helen, I demand answers!”, James Lester shouted. Helen Cutter had kidnapped him, Claudia Brown and Jess Parker as part of her massive master plan-type thing. Helen clicked her fingers, and two soldiers brought the Minister in. He was dirty and looked rather ragged.
“We’ve placed people in positions of power. The team are helpless. There are only a few members left now”, Helen explained.
“What, people have died?”, Claudia asked. She was concerned for the team, as they were like her second family.
“No-one is dead yet. Danny, Lloyd, Sarah and Harriet are locked up. The rest will be dealt with”
Danny and Lloyd tried to budge open the classroom door. They had been sent to a fake anomaly site, and now they were trapped. Sarah and Harry were out cold still.
“I’ll phone Cutter”, Lloyd decided. He went to his pocket, but his phone had gone. Danny searched for his, but it had gone aswell.
“Right, whoever trapped us in here clearly doesn’t want us escaping”, Danny stated.
“Well done”, Lloyd replied, sarcastically.
“What about the windows? If we can get them open, we could get out”, suggested Danny.
“It’s worth a shot. Just count ourselves lucky we’re not on the first floor”
They wandered over to the other side of the room, but the windows were locked. The boys raided the teacher’s desk drawers, but there were no keys for either the windows or the doors. They sat down, exhausted and out of ideas.
“Hang on! Does Sarah have an Anomaly Opener?”, Lloyd thought.
“Possibly. I’ll check her bag”, Danny decided. He felt a bit rude doing so, as a gentleman should never go through a woman’s bag, but desperate times call for desperate
“Found it!”, Danny grinned, “Now how do you work it?”
Cutter had rapidly finished the meeting with the headteacher. As far as he was concerned, the team were more important, and he knew Danny was in trouble. Was it a creature? Regardless, he and the others followed the (fake) anomaly signal on the Detectors.
Bleep bleep. Bleep bleep. Bleep bleep.
They strolled through the corridors, admiring the displays on their way through.
Bleep bleep. Bleep bleep. Bleep bleep.
“Ah, I see Nick’s trying to rescue Danny. Isn’t that lovely”, Helen noticed. She had hacked into the ARC systems, and was viewing exactly what Jess would be seeing.
The signal cut off. Cutter and the team were lost. They had no idea where Danny was, and couldn’t help him. The phone kept ringing and had no answer.
“I think we need to split up”, Cutter decided.
“No, something fishy is going on. We need to stay together”, Jenny suggested.
“She has a point”, Connor added.
“OK then. But we need to be quick. Danny could be in serious danger”, Cutter agreed.
Danny and Lloyd were fiddling around with the Opener. In all fairness, it wasn’t hard to operate. Danny finally pressed the button, and there was an anomaly.
“Right, we need to get one to the ARC”, Lloyd mentioned. The new style Opener was able to accept addresses, so they put in the address of the ARC.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
An alarm (not the Detector) went off in Helen’s base. The anomaly was interfering.
“Oh, they think they can get away that easily?”, Helen smirked.
The fire bell rang, and children were evacuated out of the school. Little did the headteacher know, and Cutter for that matter, that the original anomaly signal was fake…
Cutter’s team’s Detectors started beeping again, and they followed the sound. The only difference this time - they ran.
The anomaly was right there in the classroom, all ready to go.
”Ready?”, Danny smiled. He picked up Sarah, and Lloyd picked up Harry, and they carried them through the anomaly….just as Cutter and the others reached the classroom. They walked up to the anomaly, but before they could go through, it closed.
Danny and the rest of them didn’t see Cutter, but things went from bad to worse as they found themselves in the Late Cretaceous era, but of course neither Danny nor Lloyd knew that.
“This isn’t the ARC”, Lloyd stated the obvious. The anomaly automatically closed behind them.
“Well, let’s get out of here”, Danny said, but when he held up the Opener, it had died. They had no way back, and no way out.
Helen had diverted the signal, and had drained the power from the Opener. She had everyone out of her way, and now her mission was to get to Cutter.
“Nick - he created the future world. I’ve never been more sure of it. And I know that it’s my duty to sort this out”, Helen spoke. Claudia, Lester and Jess were extremely worried.
Previously in Primeval Stories:
Danny and Lloyd tried to escape the classroom, but ended up in a prehistoric era with no way back. Helen had diverted the signal, before revealing that it was her intention to kill Cutter for good.
Featuring Lloyd Daniels
3 months later…
“I’m so thirsty”, Harry moaned. Her and Sarah were unconscious still when Danny and Lloyd went through the anomaly. They had to have the whole story explained.
“I’ll go and get some water”, Danny decided. He had a beard now, as did Lloyd. None of them were equipped for something like this. They had no medical kit, so had to be very careful with wounds. They had a small selection of food, and they had to kill fish from the nearby river to get food. Sarah thankfully had her asthma inhaler, as she’d struggle without it.
Meanwhile, Lester, Jess and Claudia had been imprisoned by Helen. As she’d stated before, they had connections to the government, and contacting them is exactly what she didn’t want. The Minister was also chained up.
On the other hand, Cutter, Jenny, Abby, Connor and Mia were still free, but they had returned to the ARC with half a team, and without Lester or Jess to help them. Lloyd’s manager came calling round, wondering about him as he had his new single to promote, but the team couldn’t tell him anything. As if he’d believe the true story.
Danny had ran to get the water, being very careful as to not be spotted by any creatures. Sarah had told them that they were in the Cretaceous era, and Danny recognised it. He had been there before with Abby and Connor, before Claudia and Cutter “came back”. Creatures around at this time included pterosaurs, Spinosaurus and Raptors, and all could be dangerous if they feel threatened. He filled up Sarah’s little water bottle to the top from the river, and crept back.
“Any news back from the Minister yet, Jenny?”, Cutter asked.
“No, not a word. I’ve checked Lester’s e-mails, and he’s not had an e-mail for him in three months”, Jenny replied.
“Wait, three months you say?”
“Yup, three months”
“Hang on, there’s something fishy going on here. He’s not sent an e-mail in three months, and that was when we last saw Lester and the others…”
“Cutter, they’re gone, there’s no point thinking about it anymore, it won’t bring them back”, Jenny tried to reason with Cutter.
“But that’s exactly what could happen. We could help get them back, I just need to work out how. Right, I think we need to pay the Minister’s office a little visit”
The prison cells at Helen’s lair were guarded by her soldiers. But neither the soldiers nor Helen or the Home Secretary were around at night, so the trio had been talking and working a way out. Today was the day. Lester and Claudia were going to distract Helen, whilst Jess grabbed the keys from the soldier in front of her cell’s keys.
“So Helen, you say that Cutter created the future world. Why haven’t you bothered killing him yet?”, Lester asked.
“It’s important that I wait for the right moment. There are four more people in the way, I need to make sure they’re not around then”, Helen revealed.
“OK, sounds fair enough. But are you sure that he even caused it? For all you know, it could be you that caused it”, Claudia mentioned.
”I just know. I have this instinct inside me”, Helen explained. By this point, Jess had retrieved the keys, and did a cough to signal this. She silently sat on the keys, as putting them in her pocket was too risky, and noisy.
Cutter and the team arrived at the Minister’s office, and were greeted by his secretary at the desk. After some questions, it turns out she doesn’t know where he is either and hasn’t seen him in three months.
“Do you mind if we have a look around in his office?”, Cutter asked.
“No, not at all. I hope you find something that can help us track him down”, the secretary smiled.
They entered his office, and flicked on the lights. It looks as if the office had been left unintentionally. The laptop was open, but was out of battery now. The police had been in before to investigate this disappearance, but had found nothing. But the team knew things the police didn’t, so that could work in their favour. Cutter went over to the desk, and saw two initials scrawled onto the laptop. H.C. He called the rest of the team over.
“I think someone wants our attention…”, Cutter hinted.
“Wait, I’ve got an idea”, Connor ran out to the secretary again, and got to the CCTV cameras. They went to the day of the anomaly at the school, and whizzed through the tapes, until they found a car, and out stepped the Home Secretary. Connor noted down the number plate.
“We can tap this into the Anomaly Detector and find out where it’s located”, Connor told them. He did it on his Handheld Detector, and it started beeping. The five of them ran out to the car.
“It’s getting dark”, Lloyd said. The four of them huddled together at this time of night, it was cold and they had no blankets. Life was tough, and they dreamt every night of finding an anomaly and being able to go home. But as they were snuggling up, they heard stomping, and looked up to see a Spinosaurus. They quickly packed up what little they had, and ran as fast as they could.
“Get into the trees!”, Danny ordered. They ran into there, because the Spinosaurus was too big to follow them in.
Helen, the Home Secretary and the soldiers had left the room for the night, and Lester, Jess and Claudia launched their escape. Jess quietly unlocked her door, before helping the others. Just as they were doing this, they heard a noise, and they quickly found a hiding place. A man burst in with a gun in his hand, but it wasn’t a soldier. It was a familiar man.
“Cutter?”, Claudia said. She ran out of the hiding place and into his arms. The other four walked in, and Lester and Jess came out too.
”We need to get out of here. Helen’s upstairs”, Jess explained.
“No, we need to find Danny. He opened an anomaly, but I have no idea where to”, Cutter mentioned, “Also, where’s the Minister?”
“He’s upstairs, we can’t get to him, I have no idea where Helen goes when she’s not here”, Claudia said.
“Also, Helen diverted a signal to the Late Cretaceous not long after we got here, the co-ordinates should be on this computer!”, Jess added.
“Fingers crossed they’re doing OK. It was terrifying when we got stuck there, even though it wasn’t for long”, Abby remembered.
“Exactly. That’s why we need to get to them soon”, Cutter concluded. Jess was tapping away at the computer system, and she found the co-ordinates in the computer’s history. Connor tapped it into his Anomaly Opener, and opened the anomaly. But just as he did so, the door burst open and soldiers walked in. Cutter shot the computer and it died completely, and the team went through the anomaly, rapidly closing it on the other side.
“So…late Cretaceous. What creatures could there be?”, Mia queried.
”Well, anything from Raptors to pterosaurs. There could even be a T-Rex”, Connor listed.
“Never mind the creatures, let’s just find them, and quickly”, Abby suggested.
They wandered into the trees, as it was probably the safest place there was.
Meanwhile, Danny and the others heard rustling, and were woken up by this sound. They moved closer together, wondering what was there. When they saw Cutter, they knew all was good. Everyone said hello to each other, and they went through an anomaly straight to the ARC, before telling each other their stories from the last three months.
“Do we think Helen’s giving up?”, Harry asked.
“No chance. She’s done all of this for a reason. There’s more to this story than we know, and we need to be ready for whatever she does next”, Cutter explained.
Helen had unchained the Minister, and had put him in the cells where Lester, Claudia and Jess were. She was angry. She knew exactly where they were, but was waiting for the right time. Everything would fall into place. They’d fall into the trap…again…
A special episode written for the doctorwhotoys.net fan-fiction awards.
Featuring Lloyd Daniels
Connor Temple was standing at the Anomaly Detector. The team were reunited after spending three months apart thanks to Helen Cutter. On the down side, Helen was still out there. Connor was upping the security in the ARC, as Jess Parker watched on. She knew she was quite bright, but half the stuff Connor was doing was completely beyond her. It was like he was talking to her in French or some language she couldn’t understand.
DING DING! DING DING! DING DING!
Connor stepped back from the Detector and turned to Jess.
“How do you cope with this noise?”, he said with his hands over his ears. Jess smiled.
“You get used to it. I don’t see what your problem is, you made this Detector so it’s your fault it’s this loud”, Jess joked. Connor picked up a black box, and one by one the rest of the team did so. Lloyd was also there, as he knew it wasn’t safe anywhere else right now with Helen lurking around. Jess read out the co-ordinates, but as she did, alarm bells went off in the ARC, and a pop-up saying “INTRUDER ALERT” appeared on the Detector.
“What in the name of Helen Cutter is going on?”, James Lester moaned as he strolled out of his office.
“No idea. But we have an anomaly to sort out”, Danny replied.
“Some of us could stay here and deal with this alert. It could be Helen, so I’ll stay”, Cutter volunteered.
”No, you’re needed in the field. I’ll stay here”, Connor said.
“I will too”, Sarah smiled.
”OK, that’s enough of you. The rest of you can go and shoot Raptors or whatever you do”, said Lester.
“Right, we need to go into lockdown. We can’t let whoever this person is escape”, Jess decided. She typed a few things into the Detector and the ARC glowed red. Everyone was evacuated, apart from Jess, Connor, Sarah and Lester, plus of course the intruder.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team had arrived at their location - a bowling alley. It wasn’t the same bowling alley that the Raptors caused trouble at, though. They unloaded the Anomaly Locker, which often saved them half the job with the creatures.
“I think we should split up”, Connor suggested.
“We’re not on Scooby-Doo. Jess, can you check the CCTV cameras?”, Sarah commented.
“Sure”, Jess smiled and bounced over to her chair. She again started tapping at the keys on the keyboard, and the CCTV system came up. Sarah spotted a man in the creature menagerie.
“Let’s get down there straight away”, Sarah suggested.
“I’ll wait here and…err…keep an eye out”, Lester decided. The other three walked down to the menagerie. It was lockdown, there wasn’t any hurry for them.
Mia and Cutter led the way towards the anomaly.
“I hope Connor’s OK”, Mia worried about her husband.
“He’ll be fine. Whatever this intruder wants, they’ll deal with them”, Cutter reassured her.
“Connor’s not the most threatening person though, is he? At times he can be a right chicken”
“That will work in his favour. If the intruder isn’t threatened, he won’t attack them or anything”, Cutter smiled to Mia. The anomaly was in the middle of one of the lanes.
Jenny turned around and was face to face with a man in a suit, and she jumped
“Sorry, I didn’t see you there. Who are you?”, she asked.
“I’m the owner of this place. I got everyone evacuated when that appeared”, he explained.
“Thanks for that. Did anything come through?”, Jenny questioned.
“Nothing that I saw. What are you looking for? I can check the CCTV for it”, he wondered.
“That won’t be necessary. Thanks for your help, we can take over from here”, Jenny smiled.
Captain Mitchell set up the Anomaly Locker with the help of Danny. They pushed the button and the anomaly was locked. The whirring sound was heard as the anomaly was sealed in a little ball of electricity.
When the trio reached the creature menagerie, they had a look through the window. Sarah pressed the tannoy button and she spoke to the intruder through the speakers in there. It was lockdown, they couldn’t enter the room as it was sealed.
“Who are you?”, she asked him.
“Why does it matter?”, the intruder replied. The voice was male, but that’s about all they could gather. The intruder had a mask over his face, as a stereotypical thief would wear.
“Who sent you?”, Jess queried.
“Helen. Helen Cutter”
“Why?”, Connor continued.
“To retrieve something. A camera. Marked Helmont Cameras”
“What…that camera? No way are you getting that. But it all makes sense…”, Sarah remembered the camera. It had footage of the anomaly site where the team went to visit, but it was a news report, confirming Cutter’s death. Jenny ended up saving him and the whole incident was prevented. Maybe this was all a trap?
“Lester, release lockdown”, Sarah spoke through her earpiece, “Connor, guard this door, I’ll go and get some soldiers to arrest this guy”. Sarah walked off with Jess. She was completely surprised by this, but she knew it fitted together like a jigsaw.
The team at the bowling alley returned, as no creatures had been found. Soldiers were left guarding the anomaly until it closed, but the problem with these anomalies was that they could re-open. Nowhere was safe from them, similar to the fact that the team are not safe from Helen Cutter…