‘The Austen Code’, Part One, Chapter 1

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1. Holiday In Bath

SCENE #4 – INT – BATH ABBEY – NIGHT – N/A
Storm clouds gather and crack with horrendous thunder during the night. A night of horror and terror ensues, as the thunder and lightening occurs frequently over the city of Bath. The thunderclouds gather over the pinnacle towers of Bath Abbey. Within the abbey, the Doctor wakes up by the storm with a jump, as he takes in his surroundings.

DOCTOR
(startled; shudders) “Where…where am I? Who’s brought me here?”

No-one answers, as the thunder and lightening grows worse by the minute. The Doctor runs down the abbey as he makes for the altar in the centre. Once he reaches the altar he stops to takes a look at the state it is in.

DOCTOR
(shudders) “What does it all mean?” (Pause) “An altar wrenched in blood!”

Blood drips from the edges of the altar, making the Doctor shudder.

JANE
“Doctor?”

The Doctor turns to see a familiar figure standing behind him.

JANE
“Pray Doctor, why have I been brought here?”

DOCTOR
“Miss Austen?” (astonished) “Jane Austen?!”

JANE
“I have been brought here against my will and better judgement? Why is this?”

But before the Doctor can answer, he then finds himself lifting Jane Austen up in his arms and carrying her towards the altar. There seems to be no resistance from Miss Austen, as the Doctor lays her on the altar covered in blood. Very soon, the Doctor pulls a knife out from his coat pocket and begins to lay it across Miss Austen’s body.

JANE
(pleadingly) “Please Doctor sir, I beg you! I implore you, don’t do this!”

DOCTOR
(blankly astonished) “I…I’m sorry, Miss Austen!”

The Doctor raises the knife in the air, as he is about to strike her down.

JANE
(terrified) “No! No, please! Don’t! Don’t! No! Doctor! Doctor!”

But the Doctor is unable to control himself as he strikes the knife down. Silence ensues and the Doctor lets out a horrified gasp. Suddenly mocking laughter echoes and the Doctor twists and turns round to detect where the laughter is coming from. The laughter then causes the roof of the main abbey tower to crack, with lightening bursting through. The Doctor falls over from the altar and lands face down into one of the front pews. Startled, the Doctor looks up to see the lightening crackling, whilst the mocking laughter goes on.

DOCTOR
(trembles) “Stop! Stop this! STOP THIS!”

A terribly loud thunder crack echoes, with heavy rain pouring into the abbey. This causes the Doctor’s clothes and body to get wet. He lets out a wretched cry of despair as the rain grows worse.

DOCTOR
(cries) “Rain! Heavy rain!”

Suddenly, the tumult of rain turns into something far more terrible than the Doctor realises.

DOCTOR
“No! Not rain! A tidal wave!”

A massive tidal wave surges through the cracked tower roof and engulfs the whole abbey. The Doctor gets caught up in the wave and he rides through the pews which are immersed in water. He lets out a cry as he goes round and round in a whirlpool. The thunder and lightening goes on and the mocking laughter grows louder. The Doctor then starts to choke and cough as he becomes dehydrated.

DOCTOR
“The water! The water!” (Pause) “It’s draining me!”

The Doctor coughs even more, as rasping gurgling snarling noises surrounds him. Creatures within the water close in on him.

JANE
(calls) “Doctor! Doctor! Can you hear me? Doctor?! Doctor?!”

DOCTOR
(cries) “Jane! Jane!”

The water monsters grab hold of the Doctor and he lets out a cry of terror whilst Jane calls to him.

JANE
(calls) “Doctor, can you hear me? Doctor?! Doctor?!”


SCENE #5 – INT – ROOM 205, FRANCIS HOTEL – DAY, MORNING – SEPTEMBER 2011

NYSSA
(cries; anxiously) “Doctor? Doctor, can you hear me?! Doctor?!”

The Doctor wakes up with a start which also causes Nyssa to jump.

DOCTOR
(cries) “Jane! Jane!”

Billy steps in to calm the Doctor down.

BILLY
(reassuringly) “Hey easy, easy Doctor! You’re alright! You’re okay!”

Slowly coming round, the Doctor soon calms down as all that had happened in the Bath Abbey was a dream. The Doctor sighs with relief, whilst Nyssa and Billy comfort him in Room 205 on the second floor of the Francis Hotel in Queen Square, Bath.

DOCTOR
(shaken) “Where…where am I?”

NYSSA
“You’re in your room, Doctor.”

BILLY
“At the Francis Hotel. In Bath! Remember?”

DOCTOR
(thinks) “Oh yes. I remember now.” (Pause) “What happened?”

NYSSA
“I came into your room using a spare key from reception to see how you were. You were supposed to meet me and Billy for breakfast. When you didn’t show up I thought something bad had happened to you.”

BILLY
“We were really worried about you, Doctor! For a moment I thought you were going to get a heart attack!”

The Doctor breathes deeply as he calms himself down from his terrible ordeal.

NYSSA
“You had a nightmare didn’t you, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
(feigns reassurance) “Oh come on, Nyssa! Time Lords never have nightmares.”

BILLY
(wryly) “Oh right. Of course not. The way you were shoving yourself so violently in the bed you could have fooled me. It’s a good thing Nyssa called me when she did.”

DOCTOR
“Alright Billy! I apologise for the deception.”

NYSSA
“Are you alright now, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(breathes deep) “I think so, Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“Do you want a cup of tea? I made it especially.”

BILLY
“You mean I made it, Nyssa.”

Billy passes the cup of tea to Nyssa, as she passes it to the Doctor.

NYSSA
(to Doctor) “It has two sugars.”

The Doctor doesn’t seem to take any notice of the tea, as he gets out of bed.

DOCTOR
(thinks) “Tidal wave.” (Pause) “Bath Abbey.” (Pause) “What does it all mean?”

Once out of bed, the Doctor walks slowly away from Nyssa and Billy as he becomes deep in thought. Nyssa and Billy confer with each other.

BILLY
(quietly) “Nyssa? I haven’t seen the Doctor this worried before.”

Nyssa ponders on this too, as she gradually approaches the Doctor.

NYSSA
“Doctor? Is there any way we can help?”

The Doctor is deep in thought before he eventually turns to Nyssa.

DOCTOR
“Is that my tea there?”

Nyssa discovers that she’s still carrying the cup of tea meant for the Doctor.

NYSSA
“Yes. Here you are.”

Taking the tea from Nyssa, the Doctor looks at the cup for a moment before he puts it to one side on a chest of drawers.

DOCTOR
“Thank you very much. Much appreciated.”

The Doctor returns to his pondering, whilst Billy stands next to Nyssa.

BILLY
“He didn’t even drink the tea!”

NYSSA
“It must have been something terrible that he dreamt about.”

BILLY
“Or maybe he doesn’t like the way I make cups of tea.” (gradually; to Doctor) “Doctor? Do you want to tell us about your dream?”

DOCTOR
“Hmm. Oh it’s nothing to worry about!”

NYSSA
“It can’t be ‘nothing’ not to worry about if it was a nightmare. Please tell us about it so that we can help you!”

BILLY
“Yes definitely! Once you’ve told us your nightmare, it won’t be real after all.”

DOCTOR
(puzzled) “Are you an expert on dreams then, Billy?”

BILLY
“No. But I find that if you reveal some of the details about a dream they probably won’t come true. If it’s a really good dream you dare not tell anyone about it in order for it to really happen. If it’s a nightmare you had better tell all in order to save yourself from sadness.”

NYSSA
“Does that really happen?”

BILLY
“Well…it has for me.” (Pause) “So come on, Doctor. Tell us all about it!”

The Doctor becomes quiet for a moment, thinking about what he should tell Nyssa and Billy.

DOCTOR
“Well I’m not really sure what to make of it, you two.” (Pause) “I saw a tidal wave in my dream.”

NYSSA
“A tidal wave?”

DOCTOR
“Yes. No, no. First I was in the abbey. Bath Abbey. And I found myself soaked to the skin when the main tower roof collapsed.”

BILLY
“Bath Abbey?”

NYSSA
“Tower roof collapsed?”

DOCTOR
“Well there was a storm in the dream. It was night time, and the thunder and lightening cracked through the tower. And heavy rain came plummeting down. And that was when I was soaked to the skin.”

NYSSA
“Don’t tell us Doctor. The rain turned into a tidal wave.”

DOCTOR
“That’s right.”

NYSSA
“That’s an oddity about reverie experiences. Imagery and depiction are grained together. It can play tricks on the mind.”

BILLY
“Now hold on, Nyssa. Dreams can be odd granted. But there may be something in this tidal wave.” (to Doctor) “Do you have any idea what the tidal wave could mean, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“No I don’t, Billy. Unless it’s going to be raining today and it’s going to feel like a tidal wave approaching.” (Pause) “What I can’t understand is why I would be in Bath Abbey at that time of night. More to the point, what made me put Bath Abbey into my dream?”

NYSSA
“Maybe because we were talking about it last night while we were having dinner?”

DOCTOR
“What?”

BILLY
“Yeah. Don’t you remember, Doctor? We finished our main course at dinner and we went on to talk about what we were going to do the next day here in Bath.”

DOCTOR
(realises) “Oh yes. I remember now.”


SCENE #6 – INT – DINING ROOM,  FRANCIS HOTEL – DAY, EVENING – SEPTEMBER 2011 (FLASHBACK)
This scene is now a flashback as the Doctor remembers having finished his main course at dinner whilst Nyssa and Billy have finished theirs.

DOCTOR
“Well. That was delicious!”

NYSSA
“Yes delicious!”

BILLY
“Yeah I never tried rib eye steak before! The fries were not all that bad.” (to Nyssa) “How was your meal, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Oh very nice. I think they put too much rosemary sauce on the potatoes. But in fairness the vegetables were fine.”

DOCTOR
“Well I had a splendid roast. Never thought I would have one again since eighteen fifty-six. In my old lives.”

BILLY
“You know sometimes Doctor; I don’t know whether you mean to be serious or whether you’re joking. You mean to say you’ve haven’t had a roast in over…err…a thousand years.”

DOCTOR
“That’s the trouble with travelling in time, Billy. There’s always something getting in the way to deny you the pleasures of the universe.”

NYSSA
“That’s an understatement.”

Just then, a French waiter comes to take their plates away.

WAITER
“Did you enjoy your meals, monsieurs; madam?”

DOCTOR
“Oh yes. We were just saying…”

WAITER
“Would you care to see the dessert menu now?

NYSSA
“Well…”

WAITER
“Good. I will return shortly.”

The waiter walks off, as he carries the empty dishes back into the kitchen. Once he’s gone, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy resume their conversation.

BILLY
“So. What do we hope to do tomorrow?”

DOCTOR
“Well there’s plenty to offer in Bath. So we might as well make the most of it while we’re here.”

BILLY
“Yes but, what are we going to do? We could look around the shops.”

DOCTOR
“They have a bus tour here, so we can see all of Bath in two hours. And yes Billy, we can definitely go and see the shops. Milson Street certainly is the busiest part of Bath according to the guide books.”

NYSSA
“I’m interested in seeing things of significant value. Do they have a library here Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“They certainly have Nyssa, but why would you want to go there? The books on bioelectronics aren’t as advanced as your libraries on Traken.”

BILLY
“Yeah, why would you want to go to a library, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Curiosity on my part. How Bath came to establish itself in Earth society. Whether it was built on scientific foundations or spiritual means. Like Traken was when I grew up.”

DOCTOR
“Ah. Now if you want to see historical Bath, I’d try the Roman Baths.”

BILLY
(thrilled) “Oh the Roman Baths! I really would like to see the Roman Baths!”

NYSSA
(bemused) “What are they?”

DOCTOR
“All will be revealed Nyssa once we go down there. We can even go to the Pump Room which is close by to the Roman Baths itself, as it’s considered the social heart of Bath since seventeenth hundred and six. Or even visit Bath Abbey.”

NYSSA
(intrigued) “Bath Abbey?”


SCENE #7 – INT – ROOM 205, FRANCIS HOTEL – DAY, MORNING – SEPTEMBER 2011

DOCTOR
(realises) “Yes I do remember. We had our desserts before we agreed to decide on what we wanted to do today. We were hoping to get an early start!”

The Doctor sits on a chair in Room 205, whilst Nyssa and Billy sit opposite him on the bed.

BILLY
“Nyssa and I went downstairs for breakfast at eight o’clock as the hotel staff recommended.”

NYSSA
“When you didn’t come down to join us I was beginning to wonder if something terrible had happened to you.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. So you told me, Nyssa. And here we are.”

NYSSA
“You have must have been really anxious and suffered from your nightmare. A form of paranormal mental disorder.”

DOCTOR
“And I didn’t get that much sleep. Not that a Time Lord needs to; he can endure many hours without sleep. Must have forgotten I’d loads on my mind.”

BILLY
“Hey?”

NYSSA
“Well. There goes our early start to a day out in Bath.”

DOCTOR
“Yes.”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
(casually) “Still never mind. We can walk around Bath and the town centre before we get back here for tonight’s evening meal again. What time is it now, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“About nine thirty.”

DOCTOR
(to himself, quietly) “Nine thirty; nine thirty; nine thirty.” (out loud) “That’s good! So if we go out now into the town centre straight away we should make the most of it as we all intended.”

NYSSA
“You’re not troubled by your dream anymore, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Certainly not. I’m as fit as a fiddle.”

NYSSA
“Well that’s a relief to hear.”

BILLY
“Definitely!”

DOCTOR
“Come on, you two! Let’s see the joys of Bath!”

The Doctor immediately gets up out of his chair and makes his way to the door. He opens it and heads out whilst Nyssa and Billy follow.


SCENE #8 – EXT – QUEEN SQUARE, BATH – DAY, MORNING – SEPTEMBER 2011
The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy step outside into the open as they exit the Francis Hotel and walk on the streetway of Queen Square in Bath. Cars drive around the square, as the TARDIS trio observe their surroundings.

DOCTOR
(dignified) “Bath – the city of unusual stone. Constructed by the Romans, standing still through to the Georgian times till the stone work was protected under the Conservation Order of the Planning Act of nineteen ninety. And it took a lot of persuading with the managers believe me.”

BILLY
“What year is this Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Ah! Well this is two thousand and eleven. Twenty-one years since the Conservation Order took place.”

NYSSA
“Do we need to get anything from the TARDIS, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“No, no. Of course not. We’ve got everything we need for our little holiday.”

BILLY
“Doctor, if police boxes were out of date by this time, surely somebody’s going to notice and wonder what a police box is doing in Queen Square.”

DOCTOR
“Ah the thing about human nature, Billy is that nobody would notice certain oddities. Makes one wonder why the human race has survived all these centuries. No need to worry, Billy. The TARDIS is safe where it is and no one will disturb it.”

NYSSA
“You can’t be too certain about that, Doctor. Remember our time at Heathrow.”

The Doctor clears his throat in reaction to Nyssa’s remark.

BILLY
(puzzled) “Why what happened at Heathrow?”

DOCTOR
(anxiously) “Never mind, Billy! Forget about that!”

BILLY
(puzzled) “Okay.”

NYSSA
“So what are we doing first?”

DOCTOR
“Geographically or philosophically?”

NYSSA
“Geographically, I suppose.”

DOCTOR
“I want to have my breakfast. But first I need to go to a card shop in….” (whispers) “…Quiet Street.”

NYSSA
“What did you say, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(whispers) “I said Quiet Street, Nyssa.”

NYSSA
(out loud) “Oh Quiet Street!”

The Doctor hushes Nyssa up, whilst Billy takes pictures with his camera.

NYSSA
“Billy, what are you doing with that camera of yours?”

BILLY
“Taking pictures of Queen Square. The TARDIS looks good in the frame where it’s standing.”

DOCTOR
(impatiently) “Oh never mind that. Come on!”

BILLY
(intrigued) “Did you say…a card shop in Quiet Street?”

The Doctor hushes Billy.


SCENE #9 – INT – CARD SHOP, QUIET STREET – DAY, MORNING – SEPTEMBER 2011
Indeed there is a card shop in Quiet Street. The Doctor browses through a selection of cards. Nyssa walks by to see the card that the Doctor is getting.

NYSSA
“Who’s this you’re sending a card to, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“An old friend I used to know and work with. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. I think I have mentioned him to you a few times, but you’ve never met him.”

NYSSA
(puzzled) “No I haven’t.”

DOCTOR
“It’s his birthday today. At least I think it’s his birthday. He’ll probably be in his eighties. Or is it his seventies?”

Whilst the Doctor looks through the cards, Nyssa goes over to join Billy who’s just purchased something.

NYSSA
“Billy, what have you been doing?”

BILLY
“Just buying a little something.”

Billy shows to Nyssa what he’s purchased. She’s delighted to see it.

NYSSA
“Why…that’s lovely! He looks so sweet.”

BILLY
“It’s a cuddly toy dog. It’s for you!”

Billy hands the cuddly toy dog to Nyssa.

NYSSA
(thrilled) “Oh you shouldn’t have! Thank you, Billy!”

BILLY
“That’s alright. It’s my pleasure!”

NYSSA
“But why? Why buy it for me?”

BILLY
“I didn’t. At least not intentionally. I was curious about the price tag. The girl at the counter said it cost five pounds. I objected at it being so expensive. The girl gave me a curious look when she checked to see how much money I’d got. I showed her what the Doctor gave me for money and she said I had enough to buy a…Café Rouge meal? Or something like that”

NYSSA
“Earth currency is very different in this time period. The Doctor showed you when we went to twenty sixty-three.”

BILLY
(wryly) “Yes. Don’t I remember?” (Pause) “Anyway, once we’d sorted it out I decided to buy the toy dog for you. I couldn’t leave without being polite.”

NYSSA
“You didn’t have to buy it.”

BILLY
“Yes I did.”

NYSSA
(softly) “Well it was very sweet of you, Billy. Thank you.”

BILLY
“I’m glad you like him. I certainly picked the right cuddly toy dog.”

Just then, the Doctor comes to join them once he’s chosen his birthday card.

DOCTOR
“Right. I have the card I want. Just going to pay for it.”

BILLY
“Okay Doctor.”

The Doctor is about to move off, before he notices Nyssa cuddling the toy dog that Billy’s got for her.

DOCTOR
“What’s that you have there, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“It’s a cuddly toy dog! Billy bought it for me.”

DOCTOR
“I see.”

BILLY
“Where do we go from here, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“I told you! We’re going for my breakfast.”

NYSSA
“Yes but where Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“I feel like having a Cornish pasty. There’s a shop not far from here in Burton Road.”

NYSSA
“Cornish pasty? What’s that?”

DOCTOR
“Oh you’ll love them, Nyssa. If you care to give one a try.”

NYSSA
“Very well. I don’t see why not.”

DOCTOR
“And you Billy? Cornish pasty?”

BILLY
“Oh Cornish pasty! Yum, yum!”

Suddenly the whole card shop shudders and shimmers rather strangely, as the place seems to be fading. The Doctor is the only one to notice this. He begins to groan as he’s affected by a sudden change in the atmosphere.

NYSSA
(concerned) “Doctor? Are you alright?”

DOCTOR
(disorientated) “Nyssa, Billy. I…”

But the atmosphere soon reverts to normal and the room stops shuddering and shimmering. The Doctor finds himself well again and notices that the customers and workers in the card shop don’t seem to have noticed what’s happened.

NYSSA
“Doctor, you look pale. Are you alright?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Did you two feel that?”

NYSSA
“Feel what?”

BILLY
“Yeah feel what, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“This place seemed…to fade out of existence. Just for a moment.” (Pause) “A greyish…mist was forming all over. In this card shop.”

BILLY
“How can there be a grey mist? It’s a clear day today.”

DOCTOR
“No not mist as in what you get in fog, Billy.”

NYSSA
“Then what was it?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “A temporal oddity. Like something’s amiss with time.”

NYSSA
“What are you trying to say?”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
“I’m saying…”

NYSSA
“Yes Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“I’m saying…Nyssa and Billy….”

BILLY
“Go on Doctor.”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Cornish pasty!”

NYSSA
“Sorry?”

DOCTOR
“I want a Cornish pasty! I’m in the mood for a Cornish pasty and I’m going to get a Cornish pasty! So come you two! Let’s not worry about it!”

BILLY
“Good. I hardly know what there was to worry about.”

NYSSA
“But Doctor! You need to pay for your card.”

DOCTOR
“What card?”

NYSSA
“The card you’re holding in your hand.”

The Doctor looks to see the card he has in his hand. He looks at it curiously before realising…

DOCTOR
(realises) “Oh. Sorry I forgot. Yes of course I’ll pay for it. Be with you shortly.”

The Doctor makes his way to the counter, before he bumps into somebody.

DOCTOR
(apologetic) “Oh sorry. Didn’t mean to bump into you?” (puzzled) “It’s not raining is it? The way you’re wearing that dark hood? Excuse me!”

The Doctor excuses himself from the person he just bumped into. Nyssa and Billy watch the Doctor go off to the counter.

BILLY
(puzzled) “The Doctor’s very odd at times.”

NYSSA
“We’d better not judge too harshly by what he says, Billy. He may have sensed something without us realising it. I don’t know how Time Lord minds work.”

BILLY
“You’ve got me there!”

NYSSA
(determined) “Come on! We’d better follow him.”

BILLY
“Yeah.” (calls) “Hey Doctor!”

Nyssa and Billy follow after the Doctor, as they pass the person who was bumped into. The person stares after them, as he begins to chuckle quietly. He then speaks with a strong Spanish accent, without the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy hearing.

SALVADOR
(sinisterly) “Go! Go you three! Wait until you fall into my trap. My tale for you is being written!”

Salvador’s quiet chuckles turns into soft laughter.


SCENE #10 – INT – LECTURE HALL – DAY, MORNING – SEPTEMBER 2011
In one of the lecture halls at Bath University’s school of physics, Dr. Richard Moore is giving a lecture to his students. It’s been at least an hour since Dr. Moore began. The subject of the lecture is temporal physics and Dr. Moore gives a brief summary.

DR. MOORE
“So. As we’ve been discussing; time is defined by its measurement. Most specifically it is measured in tiny little bits which are often categorised as seconds – which is simple for all of you to understand I’m sure. But there are many underlying principles and concepts to support how time flows such as the well famous Galilean and Newton theories, which have progressed to the point of traditional and dated…” (Pause) “Yes?”

Moore stops in response to somebody wanting to ask a question.

FEMALE STUDENT
“Are you saying Dr. Moore, that Galileo and Newton theories should be dismissed completely?”

DR. MOORE
“Not at all, young lady. On the contrary, Galileo and Newton have been the stepping stones in our development of understanding temporal physics. It is important to note without them scientists wouldn’t be able to progress their knowledge and understanding of the nature of the universe.” (Pause) “Now quantum mechanics; thermodynamics; paradox of irreversibility, entropy, etc have certainly come out of the experimentation and development of theories made by those two men. But Einstein’s space-time physics are what makes temporal theories today more intriguing. Now who can tell me what the two forms of Einstein’s theory of relativity are?”

A moment of silence, before Dr. Moore notices somebody raising their hand.

DR. MOORE
“Yes! I see someone up there at the back! Go ahead, young man!”

MALE STUDENT
“Einstein’s theory of relativity included special relativity and general relativity. Special relativity challenges Newton’s linear time theory whilst general challenged Galileo.”

DR. MOORE
“Very good. Couldn’t have put it better myself.”

Just then, the door opens as Tracy Gibbons enters the room. Dr. Moore continues his lecture.

DR. MOORE
“But it should be noted that with regards to space-time, the concept of time depends on the spatial reference frame of the observer and the human perception as well as the measurement by instruments such as…clocks, which are different for observers in relative motion. The past being the set of events sending light signals to the observer whilst the future sets events for the observer to send light signals from.” (Pause) “Well looking at the clock I can see we’ve passed the hour. Thank you all very much for your attention. See you tomorrow.”

The students gather up their lecture notes and rucksacks, before making their way out of the lecture hall. Groups of students talk heartily amongst themselves as they walk out. The lecture hall is almost empty as the last of the students leave. Dr. Moore and Tracy Gibbons are left behind, as Tracy meets up with Dr. Moore.

DR. MOORE
(impatiently) “Yes Tracy Gibbons! What is it?”

TRACY
“I’ve just received a message from Mr. Vernon, Dr. Moore.”

DR. MOORE
(impatiently) “Well?”

TRACY
“He wants us to meet him in Science Lab Four in an hour’s time. At two o’clock. He wants to begin the experiment as soon as possible.”

DR. MOORE
(annoyed) “Oh that’s all we need. Our bureaucratic servant weighing down his authority so that we can speed up his little project. Somehow I wonder he’ll keep his end of the bargain. Did he say anything else?”

TRACY
“Just to meet him in Science Lab Four in an hour’s time.” (Pause) “Oh. And he’s bringing his manager with him. To observe our progress as well as our findings.”

DR. MOORE
(sighs; annoyed) “So, it’s not just an experiment. It’s a demonstration.” (Pause) “Well you’d better get everything set up hadn’t you, Tracy?! Go to it! I’ll join you in a minute.”

Tracy complies, as she heads out and leaves the lecture hall. Dr. Moore remains, having a moment to grumble to himself.


SCENE #11 – INT – WEST CORNISH PASTY CO., BATH – DAY, MORNING – SEPTEMBER 2011
At the Cornish pasty shop in Bath on Burton Street; the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy enter to find the place quite empty except for a few people sitting at one small table together.

DOCTOR
“Ah! Plenty of room. Do you want to choose a table Nyssa; Billy?”

NYSSA
“Yes alright. How about that one over there in the corner?”

BILLY
“You mean by the window?”

NYSSA
“Yes. It seems quite a nice place to sit at.”

BILLY
“Yes, it is actually. I rather like that picture hanging on the wall above it.” (to Nyssa) “Very good choice, Nyssa.”

DOCTOR
“Well, you two go over there and sit by the window and I’ll buy the Cornish pasties. Provided I’ve got the right money with me.” (thinks) “Err, its three Cornish pasties and three teas is it, Nyssa; Billy?”

BILLY
“Works for me.”

NYSSA
“That’s absolutely fine, Doctor. No sugar for me in my tea though please.”

DOCTOR
“I didn’t think you’d ever have sugar in your tea, Nyssa.”

BILLY
“No sugar for me either please, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Just as both of you say. I’ll buy the pasties and teas at once!”

The Doctor goes to the counter to make the order of pasties and teas. Meanwhile Nyssa and Billy sit at the table next to the window. Once they’ve sat the table, they look out of the window.

NYSSA
“This street’s got busy now. More and more people are out shopping.”

BILLY
“Yeah. I’ve never known any place to be this busy. It’s hardly like this where I come from.”

Moment of silence.

BILLY
“So you really like that little cuddly toy dog I bought for you today from the card shop?”

NYSSA
“Yes! I shall certainly treasure it.”

BILLY
“You’ll be able to have something to cuddle in bed when you sleep now, won’t you?”

Just then, someone enters the shop.

NYSSA
(quietly; uncomfortable) “Oh no!”

BILLY
(concerned) “W-What is it? What’s the matter, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(whispers) “Don’t let that man see me! I had trouble with him on our first night at the hotel and I don’t…” (Pause) “Oh dear. He’s seen me.”

The man, who happens to be Alex Vernon, approaches Nyssa very casually.

VERNON
(casually) “Well, well, well! Miss Nyssa! How very pleasant to make your acquaintance again!”

NYSSA
“Mr. Vernon! I didn’t expect to see you here!”

VERNON
“Oh my heart led me to find you here, my dear. I so much wanted to renew our acquaintanceship. You hardly gave me the chance to make a date to meet you.”

NYSSA
“That’s very kind of you, Mr. Vernon. But you needn’t have bothered. For I gather you’re a busy man.”

VERNON
“Not so my dear little lady, when I’m in the company of friends. For we talked so much the other night, I wish to re-experience that enjoyment.”

NYSSA
“I don’t think we talked that much, Mr. Vernon. I know that you were talking and I was just sitting there waiting to get a word in edgeways.”

VERNON
“Then I apologise for my impoliteness. Perhaps you’ll do me the honour of accompanying me to walk in the botanical gardens in this fine city.”

NYSSA
“Thank you Mr. Vernon, but I’m afraid I’m rather occupied today.”

VERNON
“Oh what a shame. Perhaps tomorrow.”

NYSSA
“I’m afraid not.”

VERNON
“The day after tomorrow?”

NYSSA
“No.”

BILLY
(interrupts) “Excuse me, mate! But could you not annoy her?! She said she’s rather busy!”

VERNON
(disapprovingly) “And…who might you be young man?”

Before Billy answers, Nyssa grabs his hand.

NYSSA
(to Billy) “Uh Billy, this is Mr. Alex Vernon. He’s a member of the ministry of physics in London and is on a temporary visit to the university of Bath.” (to Vernon) “Mr. Vernon, this is Billy Walker…my boyfriend.”

BILLY
(surprised) “I am?” (gradually realising; quickly to Vernon) “I mean I am.”

Moment of silence. Vernon is obviously disappointed about what he sees and what he hears from Nyssa and Billy. He seemingly bears it and makes out he’s not bothered by it.

VERNON
(gradually) “Well. That I did not know.” (Pause) “Well, Mr. Walker. You most certainly are a lucky young man.”

BILLY
“Thank you.”

NYSSA
“I’m a very lucky  young woman!”

BILLY
(cheerfully) “Yes. We’re both lucky!”

Moment of silence.

VERNON
(gradually; disapproving) “I see.” (Pause) “And what do you do, Mr. Walker? What line of business are you engaged in?”

BILLY
“Uh…I’m a freelance photographer for a local newspaper where I come from.”

VERNON
“And do you earn much from your income?”

BILLY
“Well…I earn about…fifty pounds a month for every pic I take.”

VERNON
(scoffs) “Fifty pounds?” (Pause) “Not really the sort of earning you should have to support yourself and Miss Nyssa, sir. Particularly if you are intent on seeking marriage.”

BILLY
“Marriage?”

NYSSA
(interrupts; to Vernon) “Oh money isn’t important, Mr. Vernon. Billy and I, we’re quite content with what we have. We both like to share certain interests that we enjoy. That is more than enough for both of us in a relationship.” (to Billy) “Isn’t that right, Billy dear?”

BILLY
(gradually; realising) “Yes. Yes it is, Nyssa dear. It is.”

Moment of silence.

NYSSA
(gradually; to Vernon) “You see, Mr. Vernon. I personally don’t consider money as a top priority in a relationship or even in a marriage.”

VERNON
(gradually; coldly) “No. But it can lead to a good fortune for both you and Mr. Walker to have in the world. As well as a state of security.” (Pause) “If you’ll excuse me. I shall leave.”

Bowing, Vernon eventually leaves the Cornish pasty shop in a huff. Nyssa and Billy keep on pretending to be a couple until Vernon has gone. They both relax, as Nyssa lets go Billy’s hand. Nyssa sits back in her chair while Billy watches her.

NYSSA
(sighs with relief) “Thank goodness that man’s gone. You’ve no idea how that man annoyed me the other evening. It was before we went in for our meal and he’s done nothing but chat me up! And whilst having dinner, he was waving at me…” (Pause; concerned) “Billy? Are you alright?”

BILLY
“You…you touched my hand, Nyssa! You touched my hand!”

NYSSA
“Yes I know.”

BILLY
“You said I was your boyfriend!”

Before Billy can raise the subject any further, the Doctor returns carrying pasties and teas on a tray.

DOCTOR
“There we are! One Cornish pasty and tea for you, Nyssa – no sugar. One Cornish pasty and tea for you Billy – no sugar as well. And one Cornish pasty and tea with two sugars for me.”

The Doctor passes the cups of tea and plates of pasties from the tray to Billy and Nyssa on the table. Eventually he sits down at the table with Nyssa and Billy.

DOCTOR
“I’m certainly looking forward to this!”

NYSSA
“Thank you very much, Doctor.”

The Doctor starts getting into his Cornish pasty meal as does Nyssa when she drinks her tea. Billy is preoccupied momentarily, before he starts his Cornish pasty meal.

DOCTOR
(with mouthful) “So, have you two been talking much since I’ve been away?”

NYSSA
“Well we…”

BILLY
(apprehensively) “No, no, Doctor we…we haven’t talked that much at all!” (Pause) “Nyssa said she liked the cuddly toy dog I bought for her today, but that was all.”

DOCTOR
“Oh.”

Moment of silence, as they continue eating their meals.

DOCTOR
“Enjoying your pasty, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Yes! It’s the first time I’ve ever tried a pasty before and I’m beginning to quite like it.”

DOCTOR
“That’s good to hear.”

The Doctor sips at his cup of tea and breathes a sigh of contentment. Another moment of silence.

BILLY
“Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Hmm?”

BILLY
“Who’s Jane?”

DOCTOR
“Sorry?”

BILLY
“You were calling for somebody called Jane when you woke up from your nightmare. Did you dream about a Jane at all?”

DOCTOR
(puzzled) “Jane?” (thinks; realises) “Oh err…did I say Jane?”

NYSSA
“Yes you did, Doctor. You were calling for someone called Jane in a moment of panic. Is it someone you know?”

DOCTOR
(thinks) “Err…no I don’t think so.”

BILLY
“You don’t remember calling a Jane in your sleep?”

DOCTOR
“Not really. I can’t remember much about that part of the dream. Perhaps it was a Jane somebody or other that I use to have travelling in the TARDIS before I met you two. Maybe that’s why I was saying her name.”

NYSSA
“You don’t seem sure.”

DOCTOR
“Oh it must be, Nyssa. It must be somebody from my past. There can’t be any other explanation.”

JANE
“Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Yes Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“I didn’t say anything, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Then who did?”

JANE
“Doctor?!”

BILLY
(astonished) “Doctor?!”

DOCTOR
“Yes Billy; what is it?”

BILLY
“Who’s that standing behind you?”

The Doctor turns round to see who’s behind him. He immediately stands up from his chair, appalled and astonished at who he sees. It’s Jane Austen.

DOCTOR
“It’s you! It’s really you! Exactly as I remember you from my dream.”

JANE
“Doctor, what is happening? What is this place?”

DOCTOR
(bewildered) “How can you be here? How can you possibly be here?”

NYSSA
“Doctor, do you know this woman?”

JANE
“I insist you explain yourself, Doctor. Why have I been brought here against my will?”

DOCTOR
“I could ask you the same thing, Miss…”

JANE
“Why won’t you help me? Why must I have my life in disarray caused by the ones I encounter?”

DOCTOR
“You mean…you mean I’m responsible.”

Suddenly the presence of Jane Austen starts to shimmer and fade away.

JANE
(panics) “No! Doctor, assist me please! Save me!”

DOCTOR
“Miss Austen! Wait, come back!”

Very soon, Jane Austen fades out of existence. It causes everything around the Doctor in the Cornish pasty shop to fade and shimmer as it did before in the card shop earlier.

DOCTOR
“It’s happening again! The temporal oddity!”

This disturbance goes on for quite some time. Whilst this occurs, the Doctor begins to see more of what occurs during this temporal oddity.

DOCTOR
“Now hold on. There’s something shifting through.” (Pause) “I can see images of people; and places…and times. Something’s happening. Something…dangerously terrible is happening!”

But the Doctor is unable to see more of what’s coming through the time barriers, as the shimmering and shuddering eventually stops. Things revert back to normal. The whole state of the Cornish pasty shop is stable and the environment is calm. All within the pasty shop, including Nyssa and Billy, don’t seem to be affected by what’s happened except the Doctor. Whilst the Doctor ponders on this, Nyssa and Billy approach him.

NYSSA
(concerned) “Doctor, are you alright?”

The Doctor doesn’t answer Nyssa for quite some time as he ponders further.

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Do you know what you two?”

BILLY
(concerned) “What? What is it Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “I think I’ve just seen a ghost.”


© Tim Bradley, 2017

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‘Part One, Prologue’ of ‘The Austen Code’

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‘Part One, Chapter 2’ of ‘The Austen Code’

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2 Responses to ‘The Austen Code’, Part One, Chapter 1

  1. Timelord 007 says:

    What a fantastic opening chapter, talk about a epic opening very gothic & surreal, love the nod to the Brigader & you write these three characters effortlessly & bring to the table witty dialogue, the scene when Nyssa says Billys her boyfriend i can see Billys facial expressions being somewhat exasperated lol, this toy dog is it a red herring or are you teasing us with a plot device?

    I’m looking forward to reading this trilogy, sorry haven’t got around to reading it sooner but there’s been a lot bad stuff going on in my personal life, I’m getting back on track slowly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley says:

    Hi Simon.

    I’m very pleased you started reading ‘The Austen Code’. I hope you enjoyed it!

    Very pleased you enjoyed the opening to this story. I’m glad you found it gothic and surreal. There is a kind of gothic atmosphere occurring in this story, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy. What did you make of the ‘prologue’ at the beginning of the story?

    Glad you like the nod I made to the Brigadier in this chapter. It wasn’t long after dear Nick Courtney passed away in February 2011 that I wanted to make a tribute to him in this story. What better way than have the Doctor mention the Brigadier to Nyssa when he’s buying a birthday card for him from a card shop in Bath. And of course it’s set before Nyssa meets the Brigadier in ‘Mawdryn Undead’, isn’t it?!

    Very pleased you like how I write for the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy in these stories and that you like the witty dialogue. I find it easier to write for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy in these stories. I’m currently writing a new short story with the trio at the moment and hoping to write a new full-length story later in the year, but that’s to tease you.

    I’m pleased you enjoyed the scene where Nyssa says that Billy is her boyfriend to Mr. Vernon. I wanted to have a scene like that where Billy comes to Nyssa’s rescue from an annoying admirer. I like to think Nyssa wanted to have Billy as her boyfriend in that moment without him realising it.

    Ah! The toy dog! Well, it’s a gesture for Billy to buy a gift to Nyssa who he’s clearly fallen in love with. It’s not a red herring (as I’m intending) or a plot device as such, but the cuddly toy dog does reappear later on in the trilogy in connection to Nyssa and Billy. This cuddly toy dog has appeared on my blog lately in case you didn’t know! 😀

    I’m so pleased you’re reading ‘The Salvador Trilogy’, Simon. That’s okay. I understand you’ve been busy lately with family and health issues. I’m sure you’ll enjoy more when reading this trilogy. These stories will keep you engaged and entertained, I’m sure!

    Hope you enjoy Chapter 2 next!

    Thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you’re enjoying ‘The Austen Code’ so far!

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

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