Second Chances by Gary Merchant
Summary: Ben and Polly are more connected than they realised.
Rating: All Ages
Characters: Ben Jackson, Polly Wright
Genres: Drama, General
Chapter 1: 1. Reunion
Chapter 2: 2. Memories
Chapter 3: 3. Confession
Chapter 4: 4. Shared Information
Chapter 5: 5. Epilogue
Chapter 1: 1. ReunionREUNION
She had been waiting nervously for some time. It was her own fault — she had arrived much too early, and was still nursing the drink she had bought ages ago. She took in her surroundings. It was strange, she thought, coming back here. For The Inferno was the place where it had all started for her, all those years ago.
Of course it was no longer called The Inferno. A good few years had passed since those heady days of the sixties. Now it was just one of many ‘trendy’ wine bars that had sprung up. It didn’t even look the same.
Suddenly tonight didn’t seem like a good idea. She downed the remainder of her drink and was about to leave, when a familiar voice halted her. “Oi, Duchess! Where d’you think you’re going?”
Her gaze led her to the top of the winding staircase, where a smiling figure looked down at her. It was a grin that reassured her, as if to say that everything was going to be all right. “Hallo, Polly,” said Ben Jackson. “Put the kettle on.”
To be continued...
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Chapter 2: 2. MemoriesMEMORIES
Ben watched Polly return to the table she had almost vacated, while he made for the bar to buy some drinks. It was weird, seeing her again; especially after all they had been through together. But he could well understand her caution, if only because he felt just the same. The difference being that he hid his concerns better. At last, with a drink in either hand, he joined her at their table. “There you go, Pol,” he smiled. “What shall we drink to?”
“Answers.” Her reply was short and to the point.
Ben’s cheeky grin was replaced by a frown. “Yeah. Answers,” he agreed, sipping his beer. The atmosphere was becoming strained.
“Ben, I’m not sure this was a good idea.” Polly was noticeably tense.
He shushed her. “Polly, all we’re doing is going over old memories, and see if we can fill in some gaps.” She shuddered at that word. “Now, calm down. No point in drawing attention to ourselves. Let’s put our heads together, go over what we both know, and see where that leaves us.”
She was calmer now, and offered a smile. “That’s what the Doctor would do, after all.”
Ben nodded. “We learned a lot from him. Let’s see how much has rubbed off onto us.”
She had been at a loose end after leaving Professor Brett’s employ, so Polly was glad to have secured a job at London Television. The only dark cloud was someone who was a bit too smarmy for his own good. On her second day he had cornered her at the tea-point. “Well, who have we here?”
“Oh hello. I’m Polly,” she replied.
“Polly, eh?” His charm was as oily as his hair. “What a pretty Polly you are. I’m sure we’ll get on famously.” He moved closer, blocking any means of escape. “We’re all friends here.”
“I’m not sure I want to be that friendly.” The cup in her hand offered her a way out, as she up-ended its boiling contents across his front.
“Arrgh!” He leapt back in shock. “You stupid girl.” He looked down at his suit. “This’ll take an age to clean!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Polly said innocently. “But you did make me jump.” Nevertheless, she couldn’t help stifle a giggle as he glared at her, then marched off in search of a dry cleaners’, having lost all sense of dignity.
The other secretaries gave Polly a cheer as she returned to her desk. She smiled back and relaxed. “Who is that odious man?” she asked one of the girls.
“You don’t know?” She shook her head. “That, Polly, is our ‘roving reporter’...”
“...Harold Chorley?” Ben exclaimed. “Wasn’t he the bloke on the spot when Central London was evacuated in ‘68?”
“The very same,” Polly answered. “The thing is, once the emergency was over, and we were allowed back into work, Chorley was dashing around the office like a man possessed. He was trying to convince anyone who would listen to broadcast his story.”
“What story?” Ben scoffed. “There was never anything in the papers?”
“I know, but he asked me to type up his notes.” Polly reached into her handbag and pulled out a sheaf of papers. “These are copies I took at the time. Read the second page — about halfway down.”
Ben did so. “... and on the scientific side were Professor Travers and his daughter, Anne. They were joined at a later stage by someone only referred to as the Doctor...” Ben smiled. “The wily old devil.” He read on, taking in the references to the Yeti and the Great Intelligence.
“Don’t you see, Ben? That story couldn’t be published due to security. Who would have believed then that Earth was under threat from alien invaders?”
“This Colonel Lethbridge Stewart,” Ben noted. “He’s a Brigadier now, isn’t he?”
Polly nodded. “Part of a top secret military organisation.”
It was as though a light flickered on in Ben’s eyes. “UNIT!” Polly looked at him blankly. “I knew I remembered the name from somewhere. UNIT — United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.”
He leaned across to Polly, conspiratorially. “While I was still in the Navy, I was transferred to a ship called HMS Reclaim,” he explained. “We were stationed in the South of England and we were asked to help out on a diving exercise. This bloke comes along, dressed in fancy clothes, and gets permission to use our diving bell...”
“...Alright, Jackson. No hanging about.”
“No, sir.” Ben stood by with the other ratings, as the diving bell was manoeuvred over the side of the ship, then lowered into the sea, sinking slowly beneath the waves.
He couldn’t help but notice the young girl staring helplessly as the diving bell sank further until it could no longer be seen. He strolled over. “You alright, miss?”
She looked up at him, smiling bravely. “Oh, I’m fine, thanks. Just a bit worried, that’s all.”
“About your friend?”
She nodded. “He’s been in some tight spots before — well, we both have — but here,” she indicated the water, “if anything went wrong...”
“Well, nothing will,” he assured her. “These diving bells, they’re safe as houses.”
“Even so...” Their conversation was broken off as an alarm sounded, and the diving bell began its ascent to the surface. “Why is it taking so long?” The girl was now very much concerned.
“They can’t bring it up too quick,” Ben explained. “All to do with the air pressure — look, here it comes!” The bell broke the surface of the water. Soon it was hauled up and manoeuvred back to the ship until it hung just a few feet above the deck. The girl ran across, dipping under the huge metal globe to enter the interior.
When she came out, her face was a white as a sheet. “He’s gone,” she said. “The Doctor’s gone...”
“...And you’re sure it was the Doctor?”
Ben shrugged. “It had to be. Sure, he had a different face, but we went through all that once before, Pol.”
She put the memory of the Doctor’s first regeneration to the back of her mind. “And you think they were part of this UNIT thing?”
“Definitely. Later on I caught the girl’s name — Jo Grant. Turns out she was a UNIT operative, not that she looked much like an agent. Nice though.”
Polly let the remark pass. “And the Doctor?”
“Well, from what I heard, he was their scientific advisor. Helping the Royal Navy to deal with some problem. We weren’t given any details.”
“But if the Doctor was involved, it had to be something big.” Polly was deep in thought. “Isn’t it strange how the Doctor’s still a part of our lives after all this time?”
“Yeah, but we’re still left with some gaps. Remember that day, Polly?”
“Ben, don’t.” She didn’t want to relive this.
“Pol, we have to, if we’re going to make any sense of it...”
“...Hey, Pol. Look!” A London Police Box had been tied to a lorry, being driven away at high speed. Behind the departing vehicle were two men running after it. One was young, wearing a kilt, the other was older, dressed in a baggy frock coat. In other circumstances the scenario might have looked rather comical. But Ben and Polly could see this was deadly serious.
“Someone’s stealing the TARDIS,” Polly realised. “We ought to help, Ben.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” They were still travelling in the Commandant’s car, which was now taking them through Gatwick Airport, and away from the scene they had just witnessed. Ben rapped on the glass partition. “Oi, driver,” he called. “Do a quick u-turn, will you. A couple of mates need our help.”
There was no sign that the driver had heard. The car continued on its route.
Ben and Polly shared a worried look. “Something’s wrong here, Duchess.” He hammered on the glass. “I’m talking to you,” he shouted. “Now turn back.”
The driver reached forward and flicked a switch on the dashboard. With a click, the car doors were locked. Then a pungent smell began to fill the back of the car. “Gas!” The two friends quickly covered their faces with handkerchiefs, as Ben tried in vain to force one of the doors open. But it was no use. Within seconds the gas had overcome them both as they lay slumped in the back seat of the car...
“...Ben, it was horrible!” Polly was shaking.
Ben place a protective arm around her. “Polly, it’s alright. It was years ago, and it’s over.”
“But we never found out who was responsible. Or why.”
“Yeah, I know.” Ben stopped short. “Hang about, I’ve just remembered something.”
“What is it?”
But there was no immediate reply. “Come on, Duchess. We’re out of here.”
Before Polly realised what was happening, Ben had grabbed her coat, draped it across her shoulders and led out of the Inferno, and into the cold evening air. “Ben, where are we going?” she asked, when he allowed her to catch her breath.
“Home, for now,” he replied. “Tomorrow, we’re off to the only place that could have the answers we need.” In the back of Ben’s mind, something had clicked...
To be continued...
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Chapter 3: 3. ConfessionCONFESSION
...Ben was never quite sure how it had happened. One minute he and Polly were out to the world, the next thing he knew he was back on board ship. He was relieved to find he had not been absent without leave. Apparently he had returned to the ship in good time. But how? Discreet conversations with his shipmates had drawn a blank, and after a few days he was still none the wiser.
The only clue of sorts was a slip of paper tucked inside the lining of his cap. He had found this on the second day of his return. All the paper contained were a few words and a date. It wasn’t much, but there had been times, he recalled with a smile, when the Doctor had had even less to work with...
Polly had been waiting outside Ben’s house for some time. He had answered the door almost immediately, but asked her to wait. “Give me another minute,” he begged. “I shan’t be long.” True to his word, it was barely a minute before he joined her outside, closing the door behind him. As he led her to his car, Polly noticed his old seaman’s cap in his hand. “I had to ring a few people. Call in a few favours for the address we need,” he told her.
“What do you need that for?” Polly asked, indicating the cap.
“Something I should have remembered at the start,” he replied mysteriously. “It’s a bitter-sweet reminder of the old days.” The car pulled away from the kerb side, as the two friends set off on their journey.
Polly looked at him. Beneath his cheerful smile, she could tell there was something wrong. Ben noted the look. “I s’pose you ought to know — I didn’t leave the Navy voluntarily. I was pushed.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Nor did I, at the time,” he continued. “I only found out later that I’d been made a scapegoat for someone else’s mistakes. Nothing could be proved either way, but someone had to suffer. And that someone was me.”
Polly felt wretched. “Ben, that’s terrible. Couldn’t you appeal, or something?”
Ben shook his head. “Not a chance. It was like everyone banded together against me. Even those who knew I was innocent. That’s what really hurt — when I found out just who my real friends were. And d’you know what, Pol? None of them had the guts to tell me to my face. They just ignored me, as if I didn’t exist.”
“But surely, if they knew you were innocent...?”
“They weren’t prepared to take the risk, in case they went down with me,” Ben replied. “Like I said, they needed a scapegoat, and I was the one they picked.”
Polly was shocked, and could think of nothing more to say. The rest of the journey was made in silence, as the two friends wrestled with their own private thoughts.
Thanks to the light traffic, within an hour they were parked outside a large, unobtrusive building. Ben turned to Polly. “Look, I’m sorry about earlier. I just needed to...”
“It’s alright, Ben.” Her expression was unreadable, but she offered an encouraging smile.
They looked up at the building and exchanged a glance. “Well, this is the place. Ready, Pol?”
She nodded. “As I’ll ever be.”
They exited the car and walked in step towards the imposing doors. A sentry barred their way. “Sorry sir, miss. This is a military training area. I’m afraid you’ll have to move on.”
Ben had been prepared for this. He pulled out a carefully folded slip of paper from his cap. He opened it up, and read the words written on it. “Tell Greyhound that Trap One is here.”
The sentry hid his surprise well. “Just wait there a minute.” He stepped back a few paces and spoke into his two-way radio, awaiting instructions.
Polly turned to Ben. “What was that all about?”
He smiled, his good humour now returned. “When I’d recovered from the gas attack in the car, I found I was back on board ship. No one knew how I’d got there. But a few days after, I found this piece of paper in the lining of my cap.” He handed her the paper and she read the message — ‘Greyhound to Trap One’. “Now read the other side.”
She turned the sheet over and read:-
You may not need this for some time, but be sure never to loose it.
The note was unsigned. “Ben, you don’t think...”
He shrugged. “I don’t know, Polly. I honestly don’t know.”
The soldier turned away from the intercom and gestured to the now open doors. “You’re to go straight in.”
“Thanks,” Ben smiled affably. The soldier chose not to return the smile.
Inside, a man in the uniform of an army Colonel met them. “Colonel Crichton,” he introduced himself. “How can I help you?” His tone was not unfriendly, but guarded.
“My name’s Ben Jackson, this is Polly Wright,” Ben replied. “We’re looking for Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart.”
“Does he know you?”
“No,” Polly admitted. “But you could say we have a mutual friend.”
“I see.” Crichton wasn’t exactly being obstructive, but he seemed prepared to be less than helpful. “And how did you get that call-sign?”
“From the same mutual friend,” Ben answered. ‘This is like pulling teeth,’ he thought. But if the positions had been reversed, he knew he would have been just as suspicious. So he bided his time.
“How did you know the Brigadier would be here?”
This question threw Ben slightly. “Well, this is UNIT. And he’s the man in charge, isn’t he?”
“Until recently.” Crichton noted their confusion. “Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart retires from active service today,” he explained. “You’ve arrived on the day of his official sending off.”
“Blimey,” Ben sighed. “Talk about cutting it fine.”
“Quite.” Crighton regarded the two people with a mixture of curiosity and amusement. “Can anyone else help?”
Ben and Polly exchanged a look. “I’m afraid not,” Polly insisted. “It has to be the Brigadier.”
“Very well,” he decided. “This way.” They followed the Colonel through a maze of corridors, until eventually, they arrived outside a laboratory. “He’s in there, reminiscing with two of his former staff. If you’ll excuse me?”
Crichton abruptly marched off, presumably in search of something better to do, Ben decided. Through the door he and Polly could hear the sound of voices.
“...he’ll be off in that TARDIS of his.”
“Come on, sir. You’ll be late for your own speech.”
“And that would never do.” The door then opened, and the man who was obviously the Brigadier came out from the laboratory, flanked by two other men. Though these two were dressed in civvies, to Ben they were definitely army types. “Hello, what’s this? Friends of yours, Mike?”
“Nothing to do with me, sir.”
“Nor me, before you ask, sir,” answered the second man.
“Thank you, Benton.” He turned to the newcomers. “Well, speak up!”
“Sorry,” Polly apologised. “Are you Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart?”
“I am indeed.” The Brigadier was curious. “And who might you be?”
“I’m Ben Jackson, and this is Polly Wright,” Ben answered, for the second time.
“And what are you? Press? Autograph hunters?”
Ben was now at a loss to explain himself. He had come to UNIT with a barely thought out plan of action. Now he and Polly were actually here, he wasn’t sure what his next move should be. But it was Polly who broke the uneasy silence. “We know the Doctor,” she blurted out.
This announcement brought a mixture of expressions from the three men. The Brigadier was the first to find his voice. “Do you now? I think perhaps we should continue this conversation somewhere more private.” He turned to his associates. “Yates, see if my old office is free. Benton, see if you can obtain some provisions for our guests.”
Benton spoke up. “Sir, haven’t you forgotten something?”
Lethbridge Stewart looked at him blankly for a moment, then realised. “Good Lord, my farewell speech!” He turned back to Ben and Polly. “We’ll talk later,” he promised. “If you are telling the truth, we could be in for a rather long evening.”
To be continued…
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Chapter 4: 4. Shared InformationSHARED INFORMATION
It was another two hours before the party broke up. After ensuring that Doris was driven safely home — and an assurance that he would join her later — Lethbridge Stewart headed back to his old office, where Yates and Benton were waiting outside. “Have they both signed the Official Secrets Act?”
“Yes sir,” Benton replied.
“Good. Come inside, gentlemen.” Ben and Polly were waiting patiently. They had been glad of the food Benton had provided, realising that they had hardly eaten all day.
“Sorry to keep you both waiting,” Lethbridge Stewart apologised. “Now, you must understand that none of this goes outside these four walls. Is that clear?” They nodded. “So, what’s this about the Doctor?” And so Ben and Polly told him their story, relating their experiences, both together and individually. In return, the Brigadier obliged by filling in a few gaps for them about the Doctor’s time at UNIT, without actually giving away details about specific cases.
When Polly handed over Harold Chorley’s notes that Ben had seen hours before, a look of surprise passed across the Brigadier’s face. It later transpired that Polly had held the only other copy of those notes. The originals, thought to be destroyed long ago, had instead been safely stored in the UNIT archives, in a file referred to as ‘The London Event’.
“Well,” the Brigadier declared, “from what you’ve said, it’s clear to me that you did indeed know the Doctor, and have certainly been aware of some of his later exploits. But that doesn’t explain why you’re here.”
“Well, you could say it’s a matter of memory,” Polly replied. Lethbridge Stewart was no less enlightened.
“You see,” she added helpfully, “shortly after we left the Doctor and Jamie at Gatwick Airport in 1966, we were kidnapped.”
“But you got away,” the Brigadier assumed.
“That’s what we don’t know,” Ben answered. “We were hit with some knock out gas and passed out. The next thing I remember was waking up back on board ship.”
“And I ended up back in my London flat,” Polly chipped in. “But neither of us can account for the time in between.”
Lethbridge Stewart considered their story. He’d heard more fanciful tales, which had turned out to be true. And with their connection to the Doctor, he could not dismiss this particular story. “Quite a mystery,“ he agreed. “And you thought you might find the answers here?”
“Either that, or see if the Doctor could help,” Ben replied. “We both need to know what happened that day.”
The Brigadier glanced at his watch, and realised the time. “My word, it’s getting rather late. Doris will be fuming — my wife, you understand.” He seemed to reach a decision. “Look, I may have a proposition for you, but I can’t go into details just yet. Would you be willing to meet me tomorrow morning, around 10.00?”
“I s’pose so, but...” Ben was curious. “For someone who’s just retired, you’re taking a pretty active interest in all this.”
“A fair point, Mr Jackson,” Lethbridge Stewart conceded. “But where UNIT and the Doctor are concerned, I find it pays to have, as you say, an active interest.” He quickly forestalled any further questions. “Now, you’ve both given us a lot to think about. I hope you will keep the appointment.”
Somehow, without uttering a word, Ben and Polly felt they had already agreed.
It was close to 10.00 when they arrived at the location the Brigadier had suggested. After receiving security passes, they were escorted to an opulently furnished room — it could hardly be termed an office, such was the vastness of it. The Brigadier — wearing civvies this time — and two others were waiting for them. “Glad you could make it.” He set about making introductions. “You know Captain Yates, of course.” He turned to the woman beside him. “I don’t think you’ve met..."
“Ms Patricia Haggard.” She shook hands with each of them. “Delighted to meet you both.”
Morning tea had been arranged, so the next few minutes were taken up with small talk between the two groups. The Brigadier, Yates and Ms Haggard were deep in conversation, though only the slightest of whispers could be heard. Across the room, Ben and Polly took in their surroundings. “This is a bit of alright, eh Pol?” he whispered, more in awe than anything else.
“Absolutely,” she agreed. “But what’s it all for? What are we doing here?”
“I think we’re about to find out.”
Lethbridge Stewart indicated two empty chairs, as Ben and Polly took their seats alongside the main group. “Well now, you two have proved yourselves to be quite resourceful.”
Ben shrugged. “We were just in the right places.”
“And in different times,” Polly added. Both Yates and the Brigadier smiled knowingly, leaving Ms Haggard slightly left out of the joke.
“You said something about a proposition,” Ben remembered.
“Ah yes.” The Brigadier picked up two files from a side table. “We’ve been doing some checking on the two of you — just to clarify a few points.” He read from the first file. “Ben Jackson. Joined the Royal Navy at eighteen. Served for ten years, until...” He glanced across at Ben. “Well, you know the rest.”
He opened the second file. “Polly Wright. Attended secretarial college in London. Worked for Professor Brett, then on to London Television... I say, that business with Chorley and the tea. Was that really an accident?”
“Of course it was.” Her face was a picture of innocence, but there was a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, which the Brigadier noted, and approved of.
“Sorry if you think we’re prying,” he apologised, “but it’s all a matter of security.”
Yates entered the conversation. “The fact that you have, shall we say, other qualifications, would seem to make you ideal candidates.”
Ben wasn’t quite sure if he was hearing correctly. “You make it sound as though you’re interviewing us for a job.”
“I suppose we are,” Yates admitted.
“Until recently,” the Brigadier stated, “I’ve been in charge of UNIT. And although I’ve officially retired... well, to coin a phrase, UNIT looks after its own.
“For some time, we’ve been working to create something new. Where UNIT has been primarily concerned with the unknown, we’ve come to appreciate that not all life from other worlds seek conquest. To that end, Captain Yates will be in charge of a new section of UNIT in the field known as First Contact.”
“And you want us to be involved in some way?” Ben realised.
“Well, we don’t normally recruit from ‘outside,’” the Brigadier stressed, “but you both have certain qualities which may be of benefit — to us and to yourselves.”
Ben and Polly were at a loss for words. “We realise it’s a lot to take in,” Yates said. “And, Mr Jackson, the question of your discharge from the Navy would be investigated as a result.”
At last Ben found his voice. “You — you could do that?”
“We have our methods,” the Brigadier assured him. “You could be a great help to us. As for you, Miss Wright — well, I’ll let Ms Haggard explain.”
“Miss Wright — Polly,” Ms Haggard began. “I’m the head of a new government backed organisation called PROBE — the Preternatural Research Bureau. Our remit is to investigate unnatural, unexplained phenomena, anything which falls outside UNIT’s expertise. After what I’ve heard from the Brigadier, I’d like to offer you a post in our investigations branch.”
“Ms Haggard has already poached a scientist from Cambridge,” Lethbridge Stewart informed Polly. “A former colleague, in fact.”
“Who knows,” Haggard suggested. “PROBE may have the facilities for you to investigate this memory gap.”
Polly was still trying to get her head around all this. “I’m really not sure...”
“Hang on a mo,” Ben interrupted. “It’s alright for me, I’ve got no ties. But you can’t ask Polly to get involved in all this. I mean, she’s got commitments — a husband, for one thing.”
“No, Ben.” Her voice was barely audible. “I’m divorced.”
He stared at her, unbelieving. “It’s been almost three years now.” She looked back at him, the others temporarily forgotten. “I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you before. It’s hardly something to bring up in conversation, and no one wants to admit that their marriage has failed. Even harder to bring the subject up in the first place. That’s why I never mentioned it until now — there was never a right time.”
“I suppose...” Ben gathered his thoughts. “I suppose there never is a right time — not that I’d know, Pol. I was too busy with the Navy at first, then afterwards... well, I wouldn’t have been the greatest of company.”
Then Polly smiled at him. “Oh, Ben. Aren’t we a pair?” And she reached for his hand. And he took it. Not out of love, but for the purest and best of reasons. Friendship.
Yates and Haggard watched the proceedings with interest, while Lethbridge Stewart felt slightly awkward. He was on the point of breaking the mood, when Yates stopped him. “Give them a few moments, sir,” he quietly suggested. Haggard nodded her agreement.
Ben and Polly were still holding hands. “What a mess,” he sighed. “Can things get any worse for us?”
“I don’t know,” Polly replied. “But they could get better. This job, for instance.”
Ben was undecided. “Pol, are you sure about this?”
“Ben, I don’t know about you, but these last few days have been the best of my life for a long time, just like the old days.” Her eyes were alight with excitement. “Like you, I’ve got no ties, no family to look out for. This feel like a second chance for both of us.”
“Well, when you put it like that...”
The Brigadier could see this was the right time to approach them. “Would it be fair to assume that you’ve made your decision?”
They turned to face him, and in that moment, he knew their answer. “Ladies, gentlemen, I think this calls for some sort of celebration.”
“Er, no more tea for me, thanks,” said Ben. “Any chance of a pint?”
Patricia Haggard never quite understood why everyone suddenly dissolved into fits of laughter.
To be concluded...
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Chapter 5: 5. EpilogueEPILOGUE — SOME YEARS LATER
It was late in the evening, and a UNIT radar technician was coming to the end of his shift. He yawned and stretched in his chair, dreaming of a warm bed, when a blip appeared on the screen. Immediately alert, he double checked, then put a call through to the main office.
Within minutes, Mike Yates had been informed. A first contact situation was confirmed. Except that it wasn’t a UFO in the strictest sense.
When Ben Jackson joined Yates at the radar station, he had an idea of what was coming. And when he saw the picture on the vid-screen, his thoughts drifted back to the Doctor, Polly, and the coldest place in the world.
As far as Ben was concerned, it had happened over twenty years ago. It was about to happen all over again, but this time he knew what the outcome would be.
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