For all of MJF's Primeval and Doctor Who stories
Series 1 Episode 6
Isaac wasn’t sure how to look Harry in the eye. His brain was struggling to formulate any words.
Harry had spoken a full sentence. Until now, he had used one, or maybe two words at a time. There was no way he could jump ahead to full sentences and fluency that quickly.
It wasn’t like normality had been a feature of Isaac’s life since Harry’s arrival, but he was beginning to adapt to his new normal. He had a new routine, with a new special person, and now it was all change again.
“What?” Isaac stuttered, breaking the silence.
“Thanks,” Harry smiled his typical cute smile, “You found the ring.”
“You’re talking. Fluent English. How?” Isaac questioned. Harry shrugged. He still seemed to be just as in the dark as before.
“Do you remember anything?” Isaac wondered. Perhaps the ring had triggered a memory or two? It wasn’t impossible if it had helped him to speak.
“I remember crashing,” Harry answered, “Then I saw you and your mom.”
“What do you remember about the ring?” Ava interjected.
“I don’t know, Harry looked to be in despair, “I just knew I needed it. I’m sorry, I can’t remember much.” He sat back down on the bed, defeated. Isaac sat next to him.
“It’s okay. We’re all here for you,” Isaac consoled, “And we will get to the bottom of this.”
“I’m sorry,” Harry apologised again, “I feel like I’ve made things worse.”
Isaac still felt protective. He was still the same ball of nerves, worry and confusion as before. Isaac gently rubbed his thigh, as he always did. He had to prove to Harry that he was always by his side.
There were so many questions being thrown at him, and Harry desperately wished he could answer them all. However, he just couldn’t. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t delve back any further than his first meeting with Isaac.
On one hand, that didn’t bother him too much. After all, nobody mattered more to him than Isaac, and this was the life he had started to live.
On the other, he hated not being able to think back any further. There were things Isaac needed to know, and quite honestly, Harry wanted to know them too.
Besides, Harry’s head was confused enough already. Suddenly, it was filled with so many words, and he knew exactly how to use each and every one of them perfectly. His head felt so busy.
Isaac had asked for a little bit of privacy between the two of them, so they had headed up to the attic for a chat. Harry understood that Isaac was more than a little bewildered.
“I just need to ask,” Isaac began as they sat on the edge of Harry’s bed next to each other, “Are you still you?”
“I’m still me,” Harry replied as sincerely as he could, “We watched Miranda together, you showed me how to take selfies, and earlier today, I kissed you.”
Isaac’s eyes began to well up. It was Harry’s least favourite sight – it always broke his heart. Isaac was so strong, and Harry just wanted him to be happy. He was Harry’s rock, and when the rock started to crumble, so did Harry.
Gently, Harry wiped the tears from Isaac’s cheeks. He wanted to look out for Isaac in the same way Isaac had looked out for him.
“It’s funny,” Isaac smiled from behind the teary and emotional expression on his face, “All I wanted was to be able to talk to you, you know, properly. Have a conversation.”
“I wish I could tell you more,” Harry sighed. He was beating himself up inside.
“I’m just glad you’re okay. I can’t lose you,” Isaac admitted.
“Me neither,” Harry smiled. It felt so good to be able to shower Isaac with the praise he had received, “I love you.”
“It’s so good to hear you say those words,” Isaac beamed, “I love you too.” Isaac leaned in to kiss Harry. His lips had never felt so good. Harry would fight to defend that feeling forever.
In the corner of his eye, Harry spotted a light blast by the skylight. It looked like a shooting star.
“Did you see that?” Harry questioned, wondering if Isaac had spotted it too. It was a matter of urgency.
“Yeah,” Isaac replied, sceptically, “That looked like…,” he paused, considering his wording, “…someone new arriving.”
There were so many theories spinning round and round in Ava’s mind, but she couldn’t find a plausible enough explanation for what she had just seen.
Perhaps the ring wasn’t just Harry’s so-called “lifeforce,” but it helped him with language? Surely not, a tiny ring like that could never have had that much power. That said, Ava was starting to question just about everything she knew and believed in.
Either that, or Harry had played them the whole time. Though Ava’s heart told her he wouldn’t and couldn’t have done that, her head couldn’t let it go as an option.
“What a con,” Newton vented as soon as Isaac and Harry left Arlen’s bedroom.
“Shut it, dumbass,” Arlen leapt to Harry’s defence.
“You think all that was genuine?” Newton scoffed, “He’s played you all. This alien shit is a load of bollocks.”
“You saw one with your own eyes,” Ava reminded, not wanting to get too involved in their squabbling.
“Have you heard of prosthetics?” Newton rebutted. Ava wasn’t in the mood to argue back. All she could think about was her one-on-one chat with Harry at Isaac’s house. He had such a childlike innocence to him. He still did.
“Look into his eyes. Have a conversation with him. Then you’ll see the pure innocence of Harry,” Arlen wasn’t letting up. The more she listened in, the more Ava agreed. It was time to speak up.
“He’s right,” she said, facing Newton, “You don’t know him like we do. He’s as naïve as they come. He’s not some mastermind con artist.”
Ava jumped as she saw a burst of light fire past the bedroom window. Immediately, a rush of realisation fled through her body.
“A shooting star,” she realised.
The attic steps sounded as a rumble of footsteps made their way nearer and nearer. Isaac burst into the room with Harry tagging along behind.
“Did you see that?” Isaac questioned.
“Yes, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Ava wondered.
“That we need to get there right now?” Isaac smiled devilishly, “Hell yeah.”
The trail of smoke from the new crash site was easy for Isaac to follow. Though it was dark outside, the smoke was easy enough to see, much like the reflections of the flames in the distance.
They were making their way to the school, a place Isaac was hoping he wouldn’t need to see again for a couple of days. It was weird to think it was only earlier that day when he and Harry were hiding in that building from the guards. A few hours since Harry first kissed him. So much had happened.
“Round the back,” Ava noticed as they reached the school grounds.
“It’s quicker to go through,” Newton suggested, “The changing room door is never locked.”
Once again, the group sprinted through the school. The corridors were depressingly empty; school at night was an eerie and rather unsettling place. Isaac had never done so much running, either. Somehow, he didn’t feel that tired, as he knew he had places to be, but he still had his tote bag with his inhaler and a bottle of water handy.
Much to Isaac’s relief, Newton was right – the outside door in the boys’ changing rooms was open. Isaac wouldn’t have known himself – he was the least sporty person going.
Immediately as they reached the field, the wreckage was clear. The centre of the school field had been near-enough obliterated, and even the nearby bleachers had caught fire.
“Can you see anyone?” Isaac asked Harry. Maybe he’d meet one of his own kind?
“No,” Harry responded, keeping his eyes focused on the wreckage.
“Maybe it was a false alarm?” Arlen optimistically wondered.
“It would be a little coincidental,” Ava mentioned, “Did you not see the massive burst of energy coming from Harry? Someone had to notice that.”
“Get down on the ground,” the authoritative voice of a guard yelled as several of them flooded the perimeter. Isaac obeyed, wanting as little trouble as possible.
“We’ve got incoming,” another guard yelled. Isaac glanced up, his chin resting on the patchy grass that tickled his neck. He saw a familiar sight – a figure emerged from the smoke. It was a girl, aged similarly to Isaac, naked and unscathed. Exactly like Harry.
Amazingly, right in front of Isaac’s eyes, clothing materialised over her body. Dark, tight-fitting trousers and a black leather jacket to match her straight, jet-black hair.
“I demand to speak to whoever’s in charge,” she ordered.
“That would be me,” the first guard replied confidently. He was the guard that had led the interview with Isaac earlier that week.
Without further chat, the girl pulled out a futuristic-looking gun and shot him ruthlessly. His body disintegrated on the spot. Isaac couldn’t believe his eyes. His heart started beating rapidly out of his chest. He felt scared.
Other guards went to advance, but she did the exact same to them. Isaac was frozen to the spot.
“Everybody else, clear the building,” she ordered.
“Take them back,” one guard said as Isaac was hauled up. Though he felt horrified, Isaac was pleased he was, for now, safe, and so were the others.
Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to be so close to where the action was.
Terrified to have ended up back inside the security precinct, Ava felt uncomfortable. All five of them had been given a room to sleep in – three bunk beds in a line, but one wasn’t in use; Isaac and Harry were cuddling up in the same one.
On the top bunk above Arlen, the bed was cosier than Ava would have expected, but she still couldn’t sleep. They weren’t locked in, and technically weren’t prisoners, but it felt like they were, especially with that woman on the loose. She was horrifying – if Harry’s species were like that, Ava was much less keen to meet them.
“Ava?” Newton whispered from the top of the adjacent bunk bed.
“Hey,” Ava responded.
“Did I wake you?” Newton queried. He seemed exhausted, much like Ava herself.
“No, I’ve not slept,” Ava confessed.
“Me neither,” Newton replied, “I can’t stop thinking about earlier. When is this going to stop?”
“I don’t know, but we can’t give up now,” Ava encouraged, “We’re in too deep.”
“I don’t know who’s in the right,” Newton confessed, “The guards, or her.”
“Maybe neither of them,” Ava considered.
“So what? We sit on the fence?” Newton didn’t seem any less confused.
“We play it by ear,” Ava advised, “Keep your eyes and ears peeled for anything. We still basically know nothing about what’s going on.”
Not knowing was Ava’s biggest hate. If she knew the facts, she could start thinking about a plan, but there were too many variables to succeed.
Eyes drifting open, Harry watched as Isaac woke up. He looked so elegant and peaceful when he slept. He had spent much of the night quietly watching him. Somehow, Harry had been lucky enough to land himself with someone as amazing as Isaac, and it made him so unbelievably happy.
“Is it morning?” Isaac slurred. Harry already knew he didn’t cope with mornings well, so a gentle approach was best.
“I don’t know, check your phone,” Harry suggested. He didn’t have a phone of his own yet, but he really wanted one. He could finally take his own selfies of him and Isaac together.
“They’ve not taken our phones?” Isaac pondered as he almost blinded himself with the bright phone screen in the dark room, "Half seven.”
“The door isn’t locked either, I saw Arlen try it earlier,” Harry responded.
“Have you slept? Has anyone other than me slept?” Isaac queried.
“No, and I don’t think so,” Harry replied, “I couldn’t, I can’t calm down.”
“So much to adapt to, huh?” Isaac related. They really did understand each other on the same wavelength. It filled Harry with joy to know he had someone else who understood him in the world.
“There’s so much going on, so many words in my mind, it’s so crowded,” Harry described in the best way he could, “Is this what your minds are like? How do you cope?”
“Welcome to my world,” Isaac smiled knowingly, “I don’t know how to answer your question. I’m not exactly like everyone else.”
“Neither am I,” Harry responded. They were both outcasts in their own separate ways.
“My social skills aren’t great,” Isaac opened up, “I’m awkward, I don’t always know what to say, and I guess I like my own company.”
“Sorry, I’ve kinda gotten in your way,” Harry felt bad. He would hate for Isaac to feel uncomfortable because of him.
“Not at all,” Isaac quickly corrected, “My autism isn’t getting in our way. Besides, I signed up to this the minute I laid eyes on you. You’re my responsibility.”
“I shouldn’t have to be,” Harry mentioned. He didn’t want to be dependent on Isaac. They should have been able to rely on each other.
The door opened. Two guards filtered into the cell.
“Rise and shine,” one guard said, “Breakfast this way.”
Isaac shrugged. None of them knew what was going on, so Harry had to assume they were going along with whatever was happening.
The traffic in the morning along Riverhampton town centre was always quite congested, but Elenore had never seen anything quite like this. Cars were piled up the whole way along, and the street was weirdly empty for a Saturday morning; not even a single elderly person on the hunt for the morning paper.
Elenore had had to call Dr Asahd to let her know she would be late. It wasn’t often she worked on a Saturday, but with an ever-growing waiting list and the chance for overtime, Elenore couldn’t turn it down. However, she had a full day of appointments, but at least her patients were likely to be stuck in the same traffic as she was.
Suddenly, the tranquil street filled with panic as a swarm of people began running back out of town, abandoning their cars and scarpering.
Elenore felt concerned. Their faces looked genuinely petrified, as if they were running for their lives. Elenore had to get a glimpse of what was ahead, but she couldn’t see anything.
Shockingly, Elenore saw why people were running. A flash of light shot across the street, hitting a man. His body disintegrated into dust on the spot, in front of Elenore’s eyes.
The panic whacked Elenore in the chest. More shots were being fired, ruthlessly killing people as she saw a woman wearing all-black and holding a gun through the car windows in front. Leaving the car would be far more dangerous than staying inside, so Elenore had to hide. Carefully, she clambered into the back of the car and laid on the floor. She pulled the picnic blanket over her, shrouding her from view.
With no doubt in her mind, Elenore knew who to call for help.
Isaac was surprised at just how big a range of breakfast options were being offered in the precinct. The canteen was stocked like a café, with options for cereal, toast, or a full breakfast, or all three if desired. Politely, Isaac asked the guard on duty for tea and toast – his mum’s Britishness rubbing off on him.
Harry had ordered the same – it was what he was used to at home. His experience of food wasn’t very broad yet, after all. Together, they sat at one of the canteen tables, adjacent to each other. One-by-one, the others joined them. Each and every one of them looked shattered – Isaac really was the only one who looked like he managed any sleep.
“This is pretty glamorous for a prison,” Arlen commented.
“It’s not a prison,” Ava replied, “Trust me, the cells are a lot worse.”
“So…why are we here?” Newton thought, “If we can leave at any time, why don’t we?”
“Because we’d like your help,” a lady came and sat at the head of the table. She was dressed very smartly, in a posh, grey suit, with her tight curls tied into a perfect bun on top of her head.
“It’s you,” Ava reacted.
“Hello again Ms. Reilly, Mr. Sheppard,” she spoke professionally, “I’m sorry for the trouble before. I see some new faces have joined you. I assume you must be Isaac Avery,” she stared directly at Isaac.
“Yeah, how do you know my name?” Isaac wondered.
“We’ve been watching,” she answered ominously, “And we’ve not met yet.” She faced Arlen.
“Arlen Edison,” he introduced.
“Thank you for your co-operation, Mr. Edison,” she smiled without losing the professional boundary she was keeping so well.
“What about me?” Harry interjected, not wanting to be left out.
“3-4-2, we were hoping you would find your way here soon,” she said. Isaac was confused – how did she know Harry’s real name?
“My name is Harry,” Harry reminded, not rudely but firmly.
“Of course. Don’t worry, you’re not going to be harmed here,” she assured, much to Isaac’s relief.
“What help do you need?” Isaac questioned.
“You saw another arrival last night. We need all hands on deck, because this is just the first,” the woman informed, “Harry was the advance guard, testing the waters to check they would land safely. We think he was literally born in the sky, in flight, which is why he looks human. He was designed to blend in.”
Isaac was trying to keep fully focused on her words, because what she was saying was imperative.
“I’m a weapon?” Harry was also trying to process everything. Isaac couldn’t imagine just how confused he must have been, learning so much about himself.
“Not as such, but more are coming and they will definitely have weapons,” she continued.
“How do you know?” a sceptical Ava queried.
“Because it’s happened before,” she informed, “I don’t know the full story, it’s classified beyond me, but the being you saw, Ms. Reilly, and the others here, they were stranded here fifty years ago.”
“What happened?” Arlen questioned.
“Slaughter,” she responded simply. A shiver travelled through Isaac’s body. Having seen the weapon the lady the previous night was holding, he fully believed slaughter was on the cards again, “We can’t fight. We need to negotiate and find out what they want. It’s why we need you, Harry. It’s why we desperately needed you and your ring.”
“Me?” Harry unassumingly said.
“No way,” Isaac defended. They couldn’t put all of that pressure on Harry.
“Take some time to think, but we need to negotiate as soon as possible, and they may be more willing to talk to someone of their own species,” she reasoned, before standing up ready for two guards to escort her out.
Isaac felt sick. He had a horrible feeling in his stomach. He was worried for Harry – he didn’t ask for any of this, but he might have no other choice.
This was the last thing Harry needed. As if his mind wasn’t enough of a mess already, he now had to consider whether he should talk to the scary woman from the night before, who was apparently of the same species as him, who wasn’t afraid of using a gun.
Harry knew that going along with this plan would put himself in danger, but that along wasn’t the worst bit. If Harry got himself killed, it would also affect Isaac. He wouldn’t want to put him through any of that, and the thought of them being apart terrified Harry.
He had spent five minutes pacing up and down the bedroom they had spent the night In, trying not just to consider the plan, but also the revelations about who he really was. No wonder he couldn’t remember anything else – he didn’t exist a week ago.
“Hey, room for a little one?” Isaac knocked twice on the door. Isaac was the one person Harry had any interest in talking to.
“Sure,” Harry sat down on the bed. As always, Isaac sat next to him. Through it all, they were a team.
“I knew it was too much,” Isaac despairingly commented.
“My head wants to explode,” Harry sighed.
“Listen,” Isaac looked as if he were going to give a pep talk, "You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You’re Harry Simpson, and no matter where you’re from, or how old you are, you’re your own person. You have free choice, and I will back you on whatever.”
Darn. It was a pretty great pep talk. Harry nodded in response, taking it in. Isaac had certainly managed to make things clearer for him.
“I’ll do it,” Harry decided, “But I want you nearby.”
“Duh, you’re not shaking me off that easily,” Isaac chuckled. It warmed Harry’s heart. He was too lucky. He kissed Isaac to show his gratitude, though he could easily have stayed there forever.
Now it was time for action.
It didn’t take long for reports to come in about a woman causing chaos and killing people in Riverhampton town centre, but Isaac still felt uneasy. He had insisted on coming along to the scene, but he couldn’t stand directly by Harry’s side the entire time; Harry had to do this on his own.
Instead, Isaac was hiding around the corner of an alleyway at the end of town. Alongside him was the suited woman, whose name he still didn’t know, and two guards. More guards had circulated around the eerily empty town. It was as secure as they could make it without giving the game away, but Harry was still too exposed for Isaac’s liking. He just had to trust in the plan, and in Harry’s instincts.
Harry had Isaac’s phone on an open call in his pocket so they could hear everything said. At least they weren’t completely in the dark.
Isaac peered around the corner. He could see Harry walking ahead. He was approaching her, not far from the alleyway.
“I was wondering how long it would take for our paths to cross, 3-4-2,” she began, the phone successfully capturing her speech.
“Who are you?” Harry interrogated.
“This is who I am,” she responded. Isaac watched on as her form shifted slightly. Her skin switched from a succulent tanned beige colour to a magical sea blue. She looked really pretty to Isaac’s eyes – a vision of beauty.
“What are you?” Harry wondered.
“We,” she corrected, “We’re the same, 3-4-2.”
“Okay, so what’s your name?” Harry queried.
“1-3-9,” she replied, “But you can call me Bella, Harry.” She shifted back to human form.
“Can we go somewhere to talk? I don’t know what you want, but there has to be a better solution than this,” Harry reasoned. Isaac was impressed at how good he was with words.
“It’s too late, they’re on their way, we need this planet,” she explained.
“Why? What about our home?” Harry continued.
“Our home was lost, we need a new planet,” Bella continued.
“Then we need to talk with them here. We can come to an agreement. There’s no need for more death,” Harry continued.
Bella looked around, as if she were examining the area. Inspecting for a trap.
“You’re not alone,” she deduced.
“No, but we’re all here to help, I promise,” Harry reassured.
“You’re on their side,” she said. Isaac’s heart dropped. Bella had cottoned on, “Those who fought us before. They took our kind and experimented on us.”
“I’m sorry, but this time it’s different. Me and my friends will make sure,” Harry continued, not giving up. Isaac was so proud of him.
“The others had low expectations of you. Our little experiment,” Bella seemed furious, speaking through gritted teeth, “But I thought you could be our perfect insider. It seems you’re disposable after all.” She held the gun to Harry’s forehead.
“No!” Isaac yelled, rushing out of the alleyway before he could think again. Protecting Harry was his number one reflex.
As he did so, a rumble sounded from above. Looking up, Isaac saw another shooting star whoosh across the sky. And another. And another. In fact, there were so many that he couldn’t count them all. Harry ran towards Isaac as the shooting stars provided the perfect distraction.
“Watch your kind arrive as you and your lover die,” Bella rotated to face them both. Side-by-side, Isaac knew he and Harry shared the same primary feeling.