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Consequences - Joseph Lidster

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Consequences - Joseph Lidster Consequences - Joseph Lidster

     Table of Contents

    Cover Copyright About the Authors Acknowledgements Recent titles in the Torchwood series from BBC Books: Contents

     Torchwood: Consequences

    The Baby Farmers: David Llewellyn Kaleidoscope: Sarah Pinborough The Wrong Hands: Andrew Cartmel Virus: James Moran Consequences: Joseph Lidster Torchwood Consequences: Nina Rogers

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed,

    leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in

    writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was

    purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution

    or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights and

    those responsible may be liable in law accordingly. Epub ISBN 9781409071808 Version 1.0 www.randomhouse.co.uk ?? 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1 Published in 2009 by BBC Books, an imprint of Ebury Publishing A Random House Group company ? David Llewellyn, Sarah Pinborough, Andrew Cartmel, James Moran and Joseph Lidster, 2009 The authors have asserted their right to be identified as the authors of this Work in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. Torchwood is a BBC Wales production for BBC One Executive Producers: Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner Original series created by Russell T Davies and broadcast on BBC Television. ‘Torchwood’ and the Torchwood logo are trademarks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009. Addresses for companies within the Random House Group can be found at www.randomhouse.co.uk A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 978 1 846 07784 5 The Random House Group Limited supports The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the leading international forest certification organisation. All our titles that are printed on Greenpeace approved FSC certified paper carry the FSC logo. Our paper procurement policy can be found at www.rbooks.co.uk/environment Commissioning Editor: Albert DePetrillo Series Editor: Steve Tribe Production Controller: Phil Spencer Cover design by Lee Binding @ Tea Lady ? BBC 2009 Typeset in Albertina and Century Gothic Printed and bound in Germany by GGP Media GmbH

About the Authors

     series, David Llewellyn is the author of the fifth novel in BBC Books’ TorchwoodTrace Memory

    , and has written the short stories and for the official The Book of JahiMrs AcresTorchwood

    magazine. His other published fiction includes , and ElevenEverything Is SinisterDoctor Who:

    .The Taking of Chelsea 426

    Sarah Pinborough, writer of Supernatural Mystery, Horror, Thriller and Crime fiction, is the

    author of Torchwood: Into the Silence. Her first novel, The Hidden, was published in 2004, andshe has since written The Reckoning, Breeding Ground, The Taken and Tower Hill, alongside manyshort stories. A Matter of Blood, the first book in a new trilogy, will be published next year.

    Andrew Cartmel was Script Editor on Doctor Who from 1987 to 1989. He has written a novella, anaudio adventure and several novels and comic strips featuring the Seventh Doctor, plus fiction

    based on The Prisoner and characters from the 2000AD comic. His first play was staged in 2003,and his memoir of his time on Doctor Who came out in 2005.

    James Moran co-wrote Day Three, the third episode of Torchwood: Children of Earth, with RussellT Davies, having previously scripted Sleeper for Series Two of Torchwood and The Fires of

     for Series Four of Doctor Who. He wrote the screenplay for the movie Severance alongPompeii

    with episodes for several television drama series, including Primeval, Crusoe, Spooks and

    Spooks: Code 9.

    Joseph Lidster is the author of the Torchwood Series Two epsiode A Day in the Death, the first

    Torchwood radio play, Lost Souls, a Torchwood audio original, In the Shadows, and a short storyfor the official Torchwood magazine’s 2008 Yearbook. As well as contributing stories to thesecond and third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures for BBC Television, he has writtennumerous audio adventures and short stories for Big Finish’s Doctor Who, Sapphire and Steel,

    The Tomorrow People and Bernice Summerfield ranges.

Acknowledgements

    Our thanks go to:

    John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, for giving us suchwonderful toys to play with.

    Julie Gardner, Richard Stokes, Peter Bennett and the rest of the production team, for making itall happen.

    All the writers, especially Helen Raynor and Phil Ford (hope you’ll join us next time), andChris Chibnall, for allowing us to resurrect some of his creations.

    Mark Morris, Guy Adams, James Goss and Trevor Baxendale, for helping bring Nina to life. AndMark, again, for contributing Rianne Kilkenny to Torchwood’s world.

    Gary Russell and Brian Minchin at BBC Wales and Albert DePetrillo, Nicholas Payne and CarolineNewbury at BBC Books for constant advice and support.

    And, of course, Russell T Davies for.?.?. so many things.

Recent titles in the Torchwood series from BBC Books:

    9.???ALMOST PERFECT

    James Goss 10. INTO THE SILENCE

    Sarah Pinborough 11. BAY OF THE DEAD

    Mark Morris 12. THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

    Guy Adams 13. RISK ASSESSMENT

    James Goss 14. THE UNDERTAKER’S GIFT

    Trevor Baxendale 15. CONSEQUENCES

    James Moran, Joseph Lidster,

    Andrew Cartmel, Sarah Pinborough

    and David Llewellyn

    Contents The Baby Farmers David Llewellyn Kaleidoscope Sarah Pinborough The Wrong Hands Andrew Cartmel Virus James Moran Consequences Joseph Lidster Acknowledgements About the Authors TORCHWOOD CONSEQUENCESJames MoranJoseph LidsterAndrew CartmelSarah PinboroughDavid

    LlewellynBOOKS

The Baby Farmers

    DAVID LLEWELLYN

    ??

    Through driving rain and howling wind she walked, the shawl barely covering her head andshoulders, let alone the baby in her arms. The skies above the town were lit up withincandescent flashes of lightning, followed soon after by percussive drum rolls of thunder,each sounding for all the world like a monstrous funeral march. And yet the baby slept.

    The young woman, Mary, passed the jeering patrons of the Vulcan Hotel and walked beneath therailway bridge, trudging her way through deep, dark puddles before she reached the meetingplace on the banks of the canal.

    They were already waiting for her: the black carriage drawn by a pair of stout black horses,the coach driver hidden from view by a thick scarf and the brim of a misshapen stovepipe hat.As Mary drew near, the carriage door opened and an older woman, matronly and severe, her facepinched and without make-up, stepped out.

    ‘Mrs Thomas?’ she asked, unfolding an umbrella to shield herself from the pouring rain.

    Mary nodded, and curtsied.

    ‘I’m Mrs Blight,’ said the older woman. She gestured towards the bundle in Mary’s arms.‘And that is the child?’

    The younger woman nodded sheepishly.

    ‘And Mr Thomas?’ asked Mrs Blight.

    ‘He doesn’t know,’ said Mary. ‘He’s in Natal. With the army. He’s been there a yearnow.’

    Mrs Blight nodded with a vague air of disdain. ‘I see,’ she said curtly.

    Mary unfolded the shawl a little so that Mrs Blight could see the baby.

    ‘And it’s a boy?’ asked Mrs Blight.

    Mary nodded. There were tears in her eyes. ‘You’ve found a home for him?’ she asked.

    ‘Yes,’ said Mrs Blight, without a trace of warmth. ‘A very wealthy couple. The husband is inshipping. They’ve wanted a son for many years but have not been blessed. He’ll go to a lovinghome, you have my word.’

    Mary nodded once more, and looked down at her infant son, bowing her head and trying her bestnot to cry. ‘His name is Michael,’ she sobbed, wiping her eyes with a handkerchief.

    ‘His name shall be chosen by his parents,’ said Mrs Blight coldly. ‘And now the issue of our

    fee?’

    ‘Of course.’ Mary reached into her purse, taking out a handful of coins and handing them toMrs Blight. ‘It’s all I have.’

    Mrs Blight inspected the money, flaring her nostrils. ‘It’ll do,’ she said. ‘Though Lordknows, for any less I’d have sent you to the workhouse on Cowbridge Road and told you to keepit.’

    ‘Thank you,’ said Mary. Closing her eyes to fight back further tears, she kissed the babyjust once on the forehead, stirring him from his slumber, before passing him to Mrs Blight.

    Cradling the baby in one arm, Mrs Blight nodded. ‘Good night, Mrs Thomas,’ she said, climbingthe steps into the carriage, and closing the door behind her with a loud clunk.

    With a crack of his whip, the coach driver turned the carriage, the hooves of the horsesclopping and sploshing along the waterlogged street, and they drove off into the night.

    Mindless of the rain and the puddles, Mary fell to her knees and wept. She would never see herbaby again.

    It was all wonderfully gothic, she had decided. The flashes of lightning, the rumbling ofthunder, and the ruins of the old house. Rather like a scene by one of the Brontës. Of course,

it was hard for Emily Holroyd to imagine the eponymous heroine of Jane Eyre climbing over a

    wrought-iron fence after nightfall, and all but impossible to picture Wuthering Heights’ Cathy

    searching for unimaginable monsters and fantastical creatures in the dim glow of a zinc-carbonpowered flashlight.

    Still, as much as Emily searched, no such creatures or monsters could be found. The grounds ofHerbert House, an abandoned edifice on the edges of Crockherbtown, were filled with ferns andivy and unkempt trees, but little else.

    What, then, could have caused Torchwood’s instruments to act so very strangely? Everythingabout the data collected back at the Hub suggested that the Rift had once again opened, andthat something had come through. Emily would take no chances; in one hand she held the torch,the light from which grew fainter by the minute, while in the other she grasped her revolver.

    When she had been exploring the ruins for almost an hour, and was close to giving up the searchaltogether, she came across something quite unexpected.

    There, nestled between the tangled, thorny nest of a rosebush and the walls of the old house,was a book. Had the book been there for any length of time, in this weather, she might haveexpected its pages to be drenched and sodden. Instead, the book was in pristine condition, asif it had been left there only moments ago.

    Emily lifted the book, careful not to catch herself or the sleeves of her overcoat on thethorns, and opened it. A small sheet of paper fluttered to the ground, and she bent down toretrieve it.

    ‘Dear Lord,’ she whispered, as she started to read. ‘I.?.?.’

    But try as she might, there was nothing more to say. She was speechless.

    Jack Harkness opened the office door, striding out into the Hub, and Alice Guppy followed.

    ‘Jack.?.?. Stop right this instant. That’s an order,’ she said.

    Jack turned on his heels. ‘You forget,’ he said, grinning, ‘I’m freelance. I don’t takeorders.’

    ‘More the reason to wait until Emily returns,’ said Alice. ‘That telegram is addressed toher.’

    ‘And she’s not here,’ said Jack. ‘So I’ll go.’

    Sitting at his desk, flicking through the pages of a dossier, Charles Gaskell looked up at themand sighed.

    ‘What’s the matter?’ he asked. ‘Is our pet freak misbehaving again?’

    ‘Pet freak?’ said Jack, in a tone of mild outrage. ‘Who’re you calling a pet freak?’

    Gaskell raised an eyebrow, and then turned once more to Alice.

    ‘We’ve received a telegram,’ she explained, ‘addressed to Emily. From some journalist at

    the Western Mail. William something-or-other.’

    ‘Mayhew,’ Jack told her. ‘William Mayhew. He wants to meet Emily at the Coliseum Music Hallin Butetown at 9 p.m. Tonight.’

    ‘And you’re going?’ asked Gaskell.

    Jack nodded.

    ‘I’m not sure Miss Holroyd will be happy about that,’ Gaskell mused. ‘If it’s addressed toher, I mean.’

    ‘But she’s not here,’ said Jack, ‘and I am. And I don’t see anyone else volunteering togo.’

    Gaskell inspected his pocket watch and turned to Alice. ‘It’s almost a quarter to the hour,’he said, and then to Jack: ‘What does the telegram say, anyhow?’

    Jack unfolded the piece of paper and read from it.

    ‘Please meet at Coliseum Theatre, Butetown, 9 p.m. I shall be wearing white carnation. Balconyrow F. Important information re: HMS Hades. Urgent.’

    Gaskell sighed. ‘Let him go,’ he said. ‘Anyway.?.?. Gentleman wearing a white carnationsounds much more like Jack’s kind of liaison than yours or Miss Holroyd’s, if you catch mydrift.’

    Alice rolled her eyes and shook her head.

    Jack turned to Gaskell, smiling. ‘Sure you don’t want to come along?’ he said with a wink.

    Gaskell folded his arms, leaning back in his chair, and shook his head. ‘No, thank you,Harkness,’ he said. ‘I’m not really a fan of musical theatre.’

    ‘Sure about that?’ asked Jack.

    ‘Yes, Jack,’ Gaskell replied, wearily. ‘No matter how hard you try to convince meotherwise.’

    Holding an oil lamp in one hand and fumbling with his keys in the other, Mr Crank, the nightporter at the University College, muttered under his breath.

    ‘What sort of an hour do they call this?’ he grumbled. ‘It’s blowin’ a gale and rainingcats and dogs and still there’s somebody knockin’ at the blimmin’ door.’

    When he’d finally found the key and unlocked the large wooden door, he was surprised to see,standing on the library steps, a smartly dressed woman carrying a large leather-bound book. Shewas soaked through from the rain but showed little sign of being in any way distressed, as MrCrank might have imagined a woman should be, stuck in the rain on her own.

    ‘Can.?.?. can I help you?’ he asked, holding up the lamp to get a better look at her.

    ‘You must let me in,’ replied the woman. ‘My name is Emily Holroyd. I am here on a matter ofthe utmost urgency, in the name of Her Majesty’s Government.’

    Crank chuckled softly to himself. ‘You don’t say?’ he laughed. ‘What is it? Chineseinvading, are they? Or maybe the French?’

    The young woman shook her head dismissively and pushed her way past Mr Crank.

    ‘Look here,’ said the old man, flustered. ‘Did I say you could come in?’

    She wasn’t listening to him. Instead she was making her way through the labyrinthine walkwaysof the library, lighting her way with what looked like one of the new-style electrical torches.Mr Crank tried his best to follow, but she was too quick for him.

    ‘Hang on a minute, Miss,’ he said. ‘This is University property. If the Dean finds out aboutthis, he’ll have my guts for garters.?.?.’

    It was too late. He’d lost her. The ground floor of the library was vast, with too many darkand unknowable corners at this hour of the night. She could be anywhere. His heart began torace, and he found himself short of breath. What if she was a thief? There were volumes in thelibrary worth a small fortune. He could wave goodbye to his pension, that was for sure, not tomention the chances of finding another job anywhere within fifty miles of Cardiff. As panicbegan to set in, Mr Crank the night porter was startled by the woman’s voice.

    ‘There,’ she said, appearing at his side and smiling sweetly. ‘All done.’

    Mr Crank now noticed that she was no longer carrying the book. Before he could ask her what shehad done with it, the woman nodded graciously.

    ‘Thank you so much,’ she said, walking out into the rain. ‘Good evening.’

    And with that, she was gone.

    With her face painted white and her cheeks daubed with circles of bright pink, the young womanmade her way towards the centre of the stage, a parasol perched daintily on her shoulder. Toone side of the stage, the piano player, a Chinese gent in a bowler hat and waistcoat, playedthe opening chords before she sang:

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