Login   Sign Up 


Captain ghost and the warriors of evolution, Ch2 (Unsorted)

by Swike 

Posted: 16 September 2003
Word Count: 3866
Summary: This is unfinished, but I'd still like some feedback (Feels like I've been a long time away...)

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Chapter two

Revelations over breakfast

Alex raced to the front door. Her heart was pounding, somewhere between her stomach and the knot in her throat. Sprinting down the dusty hallway, she glanced furtively through the high sash windows. The replacement butler was about to arrive with a bang.
Alex stopped in mid stride as the sound of the motorcycle engine changed and an audible thump, thump twang, sounded in muffled tones from without. “Oh dear,” agonised Alex as she broke into a run once more. “I do hope that wasn’t what it sounded like.”
She gained the huge oak double doors that marked the threshold of her family home, an flung them open.
Alex was ill prepared for the scene that greeted her. Firstly, she was hit in the face by billowing clouds of thick, acrid smoke. Then she saw the source of the smouldering. Her worst fears had come true. The tangled wreckage of the replacement butlers bike was wrapped around a nearby tree. Alex threw her hands up to her mouth in horror and began to shout at the top of her vocal range. “Help! Help, there’s been an accident.........”
She peered, searching through the smoke and flames, looking worriedly for signs of an injured rider. To her astonishment, the bike appeared to be without a rider. “Oh, no. He must have been flung! SOMEBODY CALL AN AMBULANCE.....”
“There really is no need,” said a smooth voice from behind. “I jumped clear before the bike hit. I never could get the hang of braking.”
Alex spun around, and there, apparently unhurt and smiling broadly, stood the new butler. He was dressed in tight black bike leathers that appeared very old and battered; scuff marks on elbows and both the knees. The man himself was tall and slim. It was difficult to get a proper look at his face because a mass of black shoulder length hair was obscuring it.
“I’m sorry if I alarmed you Miss. My name, by the way, is Jayden Keefler.” The butler offered a grubby hand, which Alex shook.
“Mr. Keefler, you’re....”
“Late, yes, I know,” he said abruptly.
“I was going to say welcome,” replied Alex. The butler said nothing, but continued to smile broadly. “Er, let me show you to your room, I’m sure you’ve had a long journey.”
Mr. Keefler looked over towards the smouldering wreckage of his motorcycle.
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” began Alex. “I’ll get Bill to clear it away.”
“Very well, lead on Miss Chambers.”
“I prefer Alex, if you don’t mind. I never was into all that servant stuff.”

“I will try to remember that,” said Keefler with a smile. The two of them began to trudge back to the house, when suddenly the butler stopped in mid stride. “Miss Chambers, I am a complete stranger.”
Alex was puzzled by this sudden statement.
“I mean, if you’ll forgive me, you are inviting me into your home, and I haven’t even shown you any identification.”
“Oh, it’s ok, really it is,” she replied with a smile in her voice.
“But Miss Chambers, I could be an axe murderer.”
“You could be,” came the blunt reply. As Alex and the new butler climbed the steps to the house, she nodded towards Barney. The guard dog stared at Mr. Keefler with a steely gaze. “But, as you can see, around here, we don’t worry about things like that.”
The two passed into the house in silence, after that.
Jayden Keefler had arrived.............on planet earth.

* * * * *

Being a computer was confusing. People expected information and impartial advice there and then. They expected you to perform on demand and without question.
C.A.T.U was no exception, only he was less confused and more annoyed of late. Not only had his security been compromised, he had also been programmed with some very confusing information indeed. It was obvious and slightly ironic, he thought, as to who had performed the crime in question. The butler did it. (Hmm, that does have a certain ring to it, computed the teaching unit.) It was obvious. He had seen him on the security camera, that new Keefler fellow (something dodgy about him, keep your beady eye on that one!) He had caught him red handed, unashamedly breaking the code to Alex’s laboratory, messing with his memory banks. It just wasn’t on. It just wasn’t possible. It just wasn’t.............( Hang on, I’ve got a processor capable of calculating infinity, and counter infinity, and navigating an atom accurately onto and exact spot, anywhere on the planet! And I let an intruder into the mistress’ laboratory! How? Why? Oh, this is too confusing, even for me! Should I tell miss Chambers? No, don’t want to appear stupid........)
The computer began to calculate just why he had been letting Jayden Keefler into Alex’s laboratory. It made no sense. He had always maintained the highest standards of security. He was infallible? Wasn’t he?
And then it came to him, like a memory. His programming dictated that he wasn’t to let any other person than Alex into that room. Logic dictated that Jayden Keefler simply wasn’t a person at all but something else altogether. That is how he was able to enter, un-molested by the countermeasures.
(Now, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?)
But, for the first time in C.A.T.U’s existence, he was wrong! Well, not wrong as such, just barking up the wrong tree.

A brief and simple analogy would have been that he was barking up a water-melon, instead.

*** ***** ***

The new butlers papers all appeared to be in order, in fact his appointment letter had been signed by both Father and Alfred.
It was a couple of weeks before Alex began to trust the new Butler, however. He had wasted no time in making himself at home. Mr Keefler moved with a confident strut that Alex and the other members of staff found slightly irritating. They largely ignored this, however, for the sake of Alfred. To all concerned if the old butler’s signature was on the letter, as Alex had told them, then this should be proof enough that Jayden Keefler was employed
with good reason.
She had questioned him, also on the subject of his frequent disappearances. He had been vanishing mysteriously, sometimes for hours on end, since his arrival at the Hall. Alex had never been into all that servant stuff, but she did think that a family butler should be around a little more. Keefler had bluntly, but politely pointed out that there; “Are certain things that do not concern you as yet. With greatest of respect, of course, Miss Chambers.” This answer had irritated Alex beyond belief and set her mind racing suspiciously.
One morning, at the start of the third week of Jayden Keefler’s appointment as butler, Alex was seething at him as he served breakfast. His back was turned as he fiddled scrupulously with the breakfast tray. It was a bright day, the early sun casting long shadows on the mahogany floor. The snow was beginning to melt; the sun was ablaze, bringing colour back into the world. With the life came thought. With thought came suspicion.
Alex knew somehow that Keefler could sense her angst towards him. As he turned towards her to serve the morning meal, he smiled.
He was a slim man with a raw-boned sharp angular face. His ebony hair was combed neatly in a centre parting and hung down to his shoulders. His eyes shone with something indefinable. It was almost as if he had permanent mischief in mind. It was one of the things that Alex thought she liked about him, though she couldn’t explain why. Maybe it was something she saw in herself. Or maybe, deep down, she knew that there was no real harm in Mr Keefler.
Suddenly, he spoke. He was the type of man that seemed to do a lot of things suddenly. “I owe you an apology, Miss Chambers.”
“Please, call me Alex, Alfred always used to.” She was now smiling back at him, waiting for him to speak again.
“It would seem that you were less than impressed with my entrance the other week. For that I am truly sorry.”
“Hey,” replied Alex, “let’s forget it. You’re here now.” She shrugged and her face told Mr. Keefler that, as far as she was concerned, there was no harm

“Well, I’m pleased to inform you that today is the day that you will find out.”
“Find out? Find out what?” said Alex.
Jayden Keefler was beaming from ear to ear. “Today I recieved instructions, via letter, to explain to you why Alfred has been temporarily replaced.” As he spoke he delivered a plump fried egg onto Alex’s plate.
“Thank you.” She lifted her knife and fork, all this had made her forget how hungry she was. “Was there also a letter for me?”
“Not on this Occasion, Miss Chambers, I’m sorry. I feel that your father had
to write to me with some urgency. He has many pressing matters of late.”
Alex found it hard to hide her disappointment. “I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Still, let‘s hear it then, where‘s Alfred”
Keefler fished around in his jacket pocket and pulled out a grubby, screwed up piece of writing paper. He cleared his throat, theatrically, and began to read in a loud clear voice. “............Bla, bla, bla,.........sorry about the sudden departure.............bla, bla,..............long lost uncle.........archaeological dig.........bla, bla, bla,................deepest Peru..........will be back at Hedgerow Hall before you know it.” Keefler nodded in satisfaction that he had conveyed the message in full, but Alex was far from satisfied.
“Wait a minute, was that letter from Father or Alfred?”
It seemed to take a couple of moments for the butler to reply. It appeared that he was considering his answer carefully. “Both,” he alleged.
“May I see the letter?”
“No. No, I think it best that you don’t, if it’s all the same to you. There is information therein of a rather sensitive nature.”
“My father has no secrets from me.” Alex was angry now and finding it very hard to conduct herself in a lady-like fashion.
“No matter, Miss Chambers, he will be home sooner than you think. You can talk to him about it then, and that‘s the end of it.”
Alex sat upright, suddenly full of misgiving. She certainly wasn’t used to being spoken to like this by a member of the staff. “When? When will he be home?”
“Soon,” came the butlers reply.
“Why do I get the feeling that you’re not telling me.” Alex had replaced her smile with a frown. Then a relevant question entered Alex’s head. A question that, if answered, would put her mind at rest about a great many things. “Just exactly who are you, Mr Keefler? I don’t believe for one second that you really are a butler! There is something about you that is just, well, strange. And I don’t like it. And I’m not going to trust anything that you say until you tell me who you are, right now!”
Keefler seemed to consider this outburst and then smiled once more. “I am here for you, on your fathers’ instruction. That is all you need to know about me for the time being.” Keefler made a huge show of shoving the letter slowly back into his jacket pocket. The point of this did not go un-noticed.

Alex continued to boil with rage.
“I know that Alfred’s leaving has been a shock to you. I had some part in it and for that I am truly sorry.” This did little to calm the mood of the inventors daughter. Alex, however, was now poised, hanging on his every word. “I have much to share with you. Most of it will be impossible to believe at first.”
“What are you on about?”
Keefler raised a single eyebrow at Alex, probing for a response. It never came, the teenager sat, poker faced, all set to cross-examine the butler if she suspected he was lying. “First I need you to promise me that you will listen carefully to what I have to tell you. You must not interrupt. Time is very short. What I have to tell you is of vital importance to the human race. So listen well, Alex Chambers. Listen well, on this it all depends!”
And so Alex listened.
Her mind was racing.
She was itching to speak, itching to question. But something instinctive suppressed this urge. She remained muted. She listened.
Keefler’s deep, confident voice broke the hush. “Have you ever wondered, Alex, why you have lived your life the way you have?”
It was a strange question. Alex responded with shrugged shoulders. Keefler continued; “I’ll put it another way. Your life is in no way normal. Your father
insisted, since the death of your dear mother, that you remain here. He took it upon himself to isolate you from the wide world and keep you and educate you here. Have you ever wondered why?”
“I guess,” began Alex, tentatively “it’s just down to the nature of Fathers work. He wanted to shelter me from the press.” Her response to this question was a well informed guess, or so she thought.
Keefler was shaking his head. The mystery surrounding him was becoming irritating.
“No,” said Keefler in a loud clear voice. “You are here, Alex because you are too precious a thing to lose.”
Alex blushed “But what do you......?”
“What do I mean? Later, Alex. I will tell you later. Now finish your breakfast, we have a busy day ahead of us.”
Not really knowing what any of this meant, Alex did as she was told.

*** ***** ***

Things had gone from bad, to worse. Swike Doonahay had been roughly escorted down several dank alleyways, into a confusing maze of corridors, and thrown into a cell. It was unlike any of the prisons he had ever been in. the room was about three meters square and was devoid of windows. There was nothing in there except a dull light on the ceiling.

Swike had been stripped of all his weapons and devices and waited for what seemed like an eternity until finally he heard voices from without.
Suddenly the sliding door came open with a swoosh and the hooded stranger entered. Luminosity rained into the cell, flooding his eyes so that he instinctively shielded them. Outside the room he recognised the hulking shapes of his other captors. As usual he tried to make light of the situation. “Nice place you’ve got here! I rang for room service earlier, and I must say you need to have words with the staff. They’re rubbish!”
Beneath the cowl he could sense the strangers malicious leer, although the hood was so dark inside he wondered whether there was anything behind it at all. “My apologies, Mr Doonahay. We are not here to exchange pleasantries.” The strangers’ voice was barely more than a whisper.
“Then why am I here?” Swikes’ tone had itself suddenly become serious and full of confident menace. The two protagonists faced each other, neither daring to move.
Suddenly the stranger spoke again. “You are here,” he began, “to perform a task. You have been specially selected by the organisation I represent to help us fulfil our goals!”
“And if I refuse?” Swike had played this game before. He guessed it was a
game of ‘who will blink first?’! (Swike had no eyelids to blink with. Strangely enough this gave him hope in this situation.)
“That is not an option, Mr Doonahay.”
“I suppose you’re are going to kill me if I refuse to do whatever it is. Is that it?”
“Come now, Mr Doonahay. I think by now you should realise that we are more than capable of doing much worse than that!”
The confidence began to drain out of Swike, but he tried not to let it show. “Tell me then, what do you want?”
Again he could sense the strangers mocking smile. “First we must, shall we say, prepare you!” Swike did not like the sound of that one bit. It wasn’t long before he found out what the stranger was speaking about. One of the Large figures entered the room. He was carrying a small metal tube, about two inches long. On the end Doonahay could distinctly see what looked like a sharp needle. As the monstrous shape advanced upon him, he tried to struggle but found himself, once again, in the grip of an invisible force. He was unable to move.
The large being placed the device at Swikes’ neck and depressed a small button on the side. White hot pain coursed through Doonahays’ body. He screamed, and then was still.
“What was that?” He yelled furiously. “What have you done to me?”
The stranger spoke. “We have made sure that you fulfil the task which I am about to set you. The poison now running through your veins will not kill you instantly. It has been specially designed. You have exactly one year before it takes effect. After that there is no stopping it. You will die, very, very slowly!” From the folds of his long, black sleeves, the stranger drew a

small bottle. It appeared to contain a slightly glowing, blue liquid. “I have here, in my hand the antidote. Complete the task that I set you, and it shall be yours. Do as I ask and I will save your worthless life.”
Swike was beside himself with rage. But all of a sudden an incredible calm fell over him. He was strangely at one with his mind, if not his body. It was instinctive. It felt natural. It was the Phlengtarksi way.
This instinct had helped Swikes’ race to perform under extreme pressure and against great adversity. And it was helping him now, just for a moment.
Slowly, almost invisibly, Swike flexed the hand on his tail.
And that was all it took; for Phlengtarksi have the ability, if they concentrate really hard, to allow their tails to act as separate beings. They could convince the tail that it was able to act independently.
Swike had chosen to use this skill now, but he knew that there was one ingredient to his plan that was vital to its’ success.
He needed one of his captors to step closer to him.
“Ok,” he began, stalling for time. “I’ll do it, whatever it is.” He paused and gave a strange, lop-sided smile to the cloaked figure. “But I want paying!”
“Paying!? You want paying!?” The hooded figure sounded more than a
little surprised. “I’m offering you the means to save your own life, and you ask me for payment!”
“Indeed, I do.” Swike whispered so quietly that the stranger automatically craned his neck forward.
“What did you say?” asked the hooded figure.
Swike whispered again, so quietly. Again the stranger leaned towards him.
The silence broke.
With impulsive, blurred accuracy, Doonahays’ tail struck! It happened so suddenly that the stranger was lifted off the floor with enormous force, the strong hand crushing at his wind pipe.
Swikes’ eyes flashed dangerously as the two huge henchmen came forward to protect their master. “Back off!” he snarled. Then he turned his attention to the choking figure in his tails’ grasp. “You didn’t think I’d work out your powers that soon, did you, huh? Well I know your weakness now don’t I! You can only use that mind control trick on one being at a time, can’t you? Well you‘ve obviously never annoyed a Phlengtarksi before, have you? That‘s it, isn‘t it? I’ve found your weakness, havn‘t I?”
The hooded figure fought for breath. “Yes,” he rasped, “now release me! We can do a deal, I swear!”
“Oh no, I’m not that stupid, buddy! Call them off first!” Swike glanced towards the two hulking forms, who, it seemed would be turning him into mince meat by now if he didn’t have their master in such a tricky situation.
The vice-like grip of Swikes’ tail-arm continued to press the advantage. The hooded figure gagged his answer in desperation. “Ok, what is your price.”
When the tail-arm relaxed its‘ grip, the hooded figure sank to the floor, still choking. The two other figures started forward to do Swike some damage, but were halted by the wave of their masters hand. “Leave us!” he ordered.

There was a moment of stillness. nobody moved. “I said leave us!” The hulking forms turned from the room and marched slowly, back down the corridor.
The cloaked figure turned to Doonahay. “Come,” he said, “walk with me for a while and we will discuss your fee.” Doonahy was mistrustful all over again. There was no fear in the strangers voice.
“I want my guns back first,” demanded Swike, mindful that he might be needing them, if only to get himself out of this situation.
“All in good time my friend.” The cloaked figure stood an beckoned Swike out of the chamber.
They began to walk; for at least a minute neither of them spoke. And then all of a sudden Swikes’ curiosity got the better of him. “So, just what is it that
you want me to do?”
The stranger smiled (from beneath his gloomy cowl) and replied with a single word: “ Kidnap!”
“Kidnap? Sorry bud, you’ve got the wrong guy!”
“But, as I have already said, Mr Doonahay, this matter is not up for discussion, despite the little stunt you pulled back there.”
“But I don’t do, you know, stuff like that! Not any more!”
“ Let’s just call it one last job then, shall we?” Swikes’ tail arm flexed but he got the feeling that any other tricks would not be tolerated. He had been around long enough to know that there were a lot of very dodgy and dangerous beings in the universe. And this guy just might be one of them.
“Ok, ok! I’ll do it,” lied the Phlengtarksi. (This was, for all intents and purposes, becoming rather tedious, and wasn’t helping at all in his search for the VIREX!) “So,” he began, “who is it that you want to kidnap?”
“A human. A very special human.”
“Oh, c’mon!” Swike looked at the hooded figure like he was a flit-snail short of a grundiloid! (Swike Doonahay had been to many places in the universe, but had seen no evidence that supported the existence of the legendary creatures known as “Human beings!”) “You are kidding, right?”
The way the stranger turned to face him left Swike in no doubt that there was definitely ‘no pun intended!’ “Mr Doonahay you must take this seriously, now here is your instruction pack, and the location of your space craft.” The stranger handed Swike a small metal case.
“The VIREX?” Swike was taken aback, just for a moment.
“We are not entirely unreasonable.” Swike couldn’t see, but he was sure that the stranger was smiling. “Now, go out into the universe, Mr Doonahay. Go, and bring me back the creator. Bring me back the one they call Alex Chambers.”



Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

No comments at present.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .