For all of MJF's Primeval and Doctor Who stories
Series 6 Episode 6
Waiting patiently around the corner, Freddie was alarmed at just how long Drew was taking. He never dithered – he simply got straight to the mission and he always succeeded.
However, this time felt different. He hadn’t seen them return to the lift, and they surely should have by now. Freddie wasn’t sure how much longer he could cope, either. The fear in his body was insurmountable, coupled with the overbearing anxiety of seeing those horrific scientists again. He wanted this over and done with.
“Can you hear that?” Monty questioned.
“Hear what?” Freddie wondered. He couldn’t concentrate well enough.
“Listen closely,” he instructed. Freddie did his best to focus his hearing. He picked up on a harsh whirring sound. One that sounded familiar, but very out of place in a hospital.
“It sounds like some kind of drill,” Freddie suggested.
“That’s not a drill, it sounds too aggressive for that,” Kamilah corrected, “It sounds like chainsaw.”
“Oh shit,” Freddie began to panic, “We better help.”
“No, that won’t work, it will give the game away,” Monty advised, “Look, I’ll distract them, you two sneak in and see what you can find out.”
Freddie nodded – it made sense. They had to act quickly. All three of them dashed down the corridor to the lab. Monty bravely entered straight away, while Freddie peered around the corner. Immediately, they saw Drew being pressed against the wall, chainsaw aimed at his head.
Monty dived on top of the scientist, shoving him to the floor, the chainsaw landing safely next to them – just about.
Freddie and Kamilah rushed in and hid behind the operating table. Freddie’s heart was beating like mad. He was scared to peep above, but he could hear the pitter-patter of footsteps against the hard floor.
The room fell silent. Not even a single breath was audible. Freddie checked underneath the operating table, through the gaps. Nobody in sight. Now was their moment.
Cornered in the janitor’s closet, Dylan’s mind was racing. He was desperate to try and figure out an exit route, but it was a tiny room, and Sammi was blocking the only exit.
He could hear his and Yasmin’s hearts beating like crazy, almost in sync with each other, and way faster than they should have been. He was beginning to panic, and there was no easy way out.
“What are you?” Yasmin began to use her best weapon – her voice. She could fire water jets from her hands, and see visions beyond Dylan’s comprehension, but nobody was better at talking their way out of sticky situations than Yasmin was.
“I am Anpao,” Sammi answered.
“Okay,” Yasmin tried to keep her cool, “What is Anpao?”
“It is irrelevant,” Sammi responded, her eyes radiating their fierce bright orange. Dylan glanced away. He wasn’t allowing himself to be the next victim. He had to fight back. Spinning his head back around, Dylan glared his red, powerful alpha eyes back at her.
“Dylan Drummond, the famous alpha. Even you and your pack can’t stop me,” Sammi’s eyes glared further, light beaming out of the eye sockets.
“Can’t stop you doing what?” Dylan questioned.
Sammi said nothing. The ambiguity was painful. They had to act fast, or they would end up a pile of dust on the floor.
She directed her glare at Yasmin first, who shielded her eyes. However, nothing happened. Yasmin was unaffected by the same glare that killed the receptionist.
“Behind me,” Yasmin directed, picking up on it. Dylan took cover. For some reason, Yasmin wasn’t affected.
“What are you?” Sammi looked aghast.
“Exit, now,” Yasmin ordered, not keen to answer the question. After all, the less Sammi knew, the better. Together, they sprinted out of the closet and down the corridor. Dylan kept in front of Yasmin as they ran, knowing Sammi was likely following.
“What the heck?” Dylan was so confused.
“I don’t know,” Yasmin was just as in-the-dark, for a change.
Jono always knew there was something fishy about Sammi’s arrival in Crystalshaw. Her excuses never quite checked out, and gaping holes padded out her story.
That said, he wasn’t quite prepared for the sight at her house. The derelict state of it genuinely shocked him. He had no idea about how she had been living. It opened up so many questions, too – where was her dad? Uncle David would never have just abandoned her. Jono only had a select few memories of him, but they were all positive moments from time together at family birthdays and Christmases.
“It’s not been cleaned in…I don’t know how long,” Jono swiped the handrail of the stairs, a thick layer of dust sticking to his finger. Lily pulled a repulsed expression, which tied in well with the entire house – it was horribly unclean. Nobody could have been there for months, at the very least.
“Let’s check upstairs. The bedrooms will be our giveaway,” Lily suggested. She jogged up the wooden staircase, every sound echoing around the abandoned building.
The first door on the landing led into what looked like a guest bedroom. The walls were bare, the bedding was plain, and no personality had been injected into the room.
Into the second room, and it was much the same. No personality splattered into it. It didn’t look like it had ever been lived in.
Cautiously, Jono and Lily both approached the third and final bedroom. It was the final room at the end of the corridor, and it immediately gave Jono a bad feeling.
Pushing the door open, Jono saw the same thing once again. Another unused, plain room. It looked like it hadn’t been slept in at all. How could Sammi have lived here?
“This is definitely the right place, yeah?” Jono felt doubtful. They had found the address in their dad’s address book, and it was definitely the most up-to-date address he had for his brother.
“I think so,” Lily said worriedly, picking up a photo frame from the dusty bedside table. It had a cute photo of Sammi and Uncle David in it. Much to Jono’s horror, they were definitely in the right place.
Glancing around the now-empty laboratory, Freddie felt surprisingly at ease now the plan had gone to plan. He had already seen just how impressive their range of technology was, but now he could focus and absorb the sights without worrying over being caught.
Kamilah looked excited by all of the equipment. After all, she was a medic who likely knew the use of each individual utensil. Freddie, on the other hand, could barely handle a thermometer.
“Woah,” Kamilah examined several labelled bags of liquid on the counter, “There’s stuff in here that shouldn’t exist. This is an anaesthetic, made for oral consumption by supernaturals.”
“So they can hack body parts off with a chainsaw,” Freddie made himself shudder. He couldn’t get the vision out of his mind.
“Why though? They’re obviously smart, so they’re making supernaturals for a purpose,” Kamilah considered, “Like Sammi.”
“There’s got to be something around,” Freddie only became more motivated whenever he thought about Sammi. The more they could find out, the stronger chance they had of saving her.
A row of filing cabinets lined the far wall, all protected by a lock and key. Freddie yanked at the top drawer on the first cabinet, breaking the lock. Instantly he jumped back. Disgust took over his entire body.
“What the fuck is that?” Freddie exclaimed.
“Oh god,” Kamilah peeped inside, looking just as horrified, “They’re eyes.”
There were so many of them inside the draw, just sitting there, waiting to be used. Way more than there should have been, from the corpses they knew about.
“Where did they come from?” Freddie wondered.
“I think this has been going on longer than we thought,” Kamilah suggested. Freddie felt repulsed. All things considered, it seemed like Sammi got off lightly.
Safely on their way in Yasmin’s car, Dylan was feeling a slight relief, mixed with a huge heap of confusion. He and Yasmin had stumbled upon a potentially game-changing revelation, yet neither of them understood it.
Sammi was still on the loose, but the positive was that both of them were still alive, for now. It was time to educate.
The car pulled up at the side of the road, just next to the entrance to the tunnels. Both of them had the same idea on their mind, and this was where they needed to look,
Underground, it took both of them to heave open Drew’s bunker door. Dylan was sure it got heavier every time he went there. Inside, however, it never changed. The bunker was still the same, freezing cold collection of supernatural organised chaos. Thankfully, by this point, Dylan knew exactly where the necessary item was.
“It’s just about the only thing in here that’s not dusty,” Yasmin commented as Dylan pulled the Bestiary book off the shelf.
“It doesn’t get enough time to gather dust between uses,” Dylan chuckled. He started flicking through the book, knowing time wasn’t on his side, looking for ‘Anpao’, “How do you spell it?”
“I don’t know,” Yasmin looked stressed. Dylan knew when she was struggling. Her mind was going into overdrive trying to think everything through.
“Listen, you’re okay, and we can do this. We’ll figure it out, like we always do, but I need you on our team,” Dylan tried to encourage her, using the words she had taught him regularly since they first met. Yasmin nodded.
“It could be spelt ‘A-N-P-O-W’, or ‘A-O’ on the end, it makes the same sound,” Yasmin replied intelligently. Dylan kept both in mind, continuing to rapidly scour the Bestiary pages.
“It would help if it were sorted alphabetically,” Dylan complained. There was no logic to the order of that stupid book; it made no sense.
“Wait, look there,” Yasmin pointed onto the page. Sure enough, there it was – the Anpao, spelt with ‘A-O’ at the end. The article was instantly interesting.
“Hey, read this,” Dylan pointed it out,” The Anpao dances with darkness.”
“We know, it kills people,” Yasmin responded bluntly.
“It is a spirit with two faces,” Dylan continued.
“Sammi and the Anpao,” Yasmin suggested, “It means she’s still in there.”
“That’s all it says. How can we stop it?” Dylan felt lost. He still didn’t feel prepared enough.
“Come on, we’ll think of that later, but why was it stopped by me?” Yasmin was still fretting. The Bestiary hadn’t provided any answers.
Dylan still had no idea. Yasmin was a nix, a water-based creature. What did that have to do with the Anpao?
Lift going back up, Drew felt tense. The scientists were hot on their heels, but they couldn’t get upstairs without using the lift. This gave them enough time to create some distance, providing the best possible distraction for Freddie and Kamilah.
Drew’s adrenaline levels were sky high. He was ready to fight. The scientists were ready and willing to attack him with a chainsaw, and that wasn’t okay. This was his chance to get payback.
He could almost taste the adrenaline among the rest of the group, too. Josh, Allyn, Monty and Noah were a formidable team, and similarly-minded to him. While Drew understood Dylan’s “think first” approach, he was always more of an action guy.
The lift arrived. No time to waste. Drew led the charge through the hospital.
“Wait,” Monty stopped the group, “We’re not thinking this through.”
“There’s no time,” Allyn corrected.
“But we want them to follow us. I’ve done this so many times before. We need a trail,” Monty mentioned.
“He’s right. We need bait,” Drew concurred. Rule number one of making a trap was that you had to lure your enemy into the trap in the first place.
“Fear,” Monty mentioned, “We can all feel fear, but why can’t humans?”
“They can track it,” Noah suggested, “They only experimented on supernaturals, right? That’s how they found us, by inciting fear among every single supernatural.”
“Okay, brainboxes, that’s great, but how can we use fear as bait?” Josh was feeling antsy.
“We don’t need to, they can already find us,” Monty explained. Suddenly, it all made sense, “And if we stay together, their signal is amplified by four. If they can’t track that, they can’t track anything.”
“This way,” Allyn took them deeper into the ground floor. Now they had to hide.
Heading back downstairs, Jono was desperately trying to make sense of Sammi. The house was making less and less sense the more time he spent there, and he was all out of logical explanations.
“Where did she live?” Jono thought aloud, “It couldn’t have been here.”
“And where the hell is Uncle David?” an exasperated Lily shared his confusion.
“They lived here at some point,” Jono continued trying to complete the jigsaw, “So there must be a clue somewhere. They had a photo, there must be other clues.”
“Where? We searched the bedrooms,” Lily was stumped.
“Anywhere. Think outside the box. If you wanted to hide yourself from everyone, where would you put the evidence?” Jono thought like a reporter working undercover.
“Somewhere nobody else would think to look,” Lily replied, “We could be here all night.”
“You take the living room, I’ll take the kitchen. We’ll get it done quicker this way,” Jono directed.
Jono immediately noticed the state of the kitchen. The bright side was that there was no food, because he couldn’t imagine just how repulsive it would have been by then, but there were still enough utensils gathering dust, scattered around the dirty worksurface.
Opening the top cupboard on the left, dust immediately showered the surface below. Jono moved cautiously out of the way, protecting his precious curls bouncing just above his eyes.
“Anything?” Lily called back.
“Nope,” Jono responded, moving to the next cupboard. Inside was a biscuit tin – undoubtedly empty. Jono picked it up to move it out of the way, though it felt unusually heavy. It surely couldn’t have been full of biscuits when there wasn’t even a crumb of food anywhere else, “Hey. Come here.”
Lily jogged back in as Jono shifted the tin onto the dining table. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting to find, but it was a pretty good hiding place.
Jono twisted the lid off, exposing a tin full of small black or dark grey granules. It was full to the brim, as if it were burying something deep inside. What scared Jono was that he recognised the granules. He had seen them before, more than once, and it spelt bad news.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Jono caught Lily’s hand just before she attempted to dive into the pot, “That’s mountain ash, we’ve got no chance of getting in there.”
“You, maybe,” Lily corrected, much to Jono’s confusion, “I’m only part werewolf, maybe I can get through.”
Jono hadn’t thought about it that way. He had no idea if mountain ash affected Lily or not. She was unique.
“Worth a try,” Jono admitted. Much to his amazement, Lily’s hand slid into the tin with ease, submerging into the mountain ash.
“Someone really didn’t want us in here,” Lily remarked, feeling about inside. Her hand re-emerged holding what looked like a wooden pendant. A crescent moon symbol was engraved on it.
“What is that?” Jono queried. It didn’t look like anything much, but it was sure to be important.
Snapping his final shot of the eyes, Freddie felt sick. He needed evidence, because they didn’t have much longer before the scientists undoubtedly returned. However, there was an entire row of cabinets, all similarly locked. Kamilah and Freddie glanced at them with the same apprehension. Neither of them wanted to look inside.
“We need more evidence,” Kamilah mentioned. She was trying to convince herself to investigate further.
“Let’s get it over and done with,” Freddie sighed. He pulled open the draw below. Somehow, another pile of eyes was looking back at him. How could there have been so many?
“Okay, so I’m guessing this whole cabinet is for eyes,” Freddie presumed. He didn’t really want to look any further down. Cautiously and apprehensively, Freddie moved to the next set of drawers and heaved the top one open. The sight was just as gruesome; this draw was full of hacked-off ears. It was repugnant. Regretfully, Freddie took some more saps of them. Though Freddie knew it would be the last thing he would want to see, Dylan needed evidence.
“Hey, come and see this,” Kamilah had found a folder in one of the drawers below the counter, “It’s a record of every patient they’ve operated on.”
“What supernatural keeps a goddamn record?” Freddie was low-key impressed at the efficiency.
“They aren’t supernatural, remember? I think that’s the point,” Kamilah suggested, “They don’t understand how the supernatural world works, so they’re meddling with it.”
“Look, there’s pages of this,” Freddie was gobsmacked. They were right – this had been going on a lot longer than they thought.
“It goes back to 2003,” Kamilah flicked backwards through the file, “We could use this to cross-reference, build up a case, so we can predict where they’ll strike next.”
“You think they won’t notice it’s gone?” Freddie was unconvinced. The scientists had had no trouble tracking them down so far.
“Oh, I’m counting on it,” Kamilah snapped the book shut and started pacing to the exit. They needed to make their getaway as quickly as they could.
Rushing into the intensive care unit, the operating room was thankfully empty. However, Josh was alarmed by how sparse hiding places were. There were five of them all in need of a place to take cover, and there was barely enough space for one of them to duck for cover.
That said, they couldn’t risk splitting up. The scientists needed to track a signal that was as strong as possible, to provide the best distraction for Freddie as possible. That was Josh’s only goal, and it was best achieved by amplifying the signal by five.
“Where do we go?” Josh panicked.
“Ready to fight?” Drew checked with him.
“Sure,” Josh tentatively replied.
“Then that’s what we’re going to do. No more hiding away,” Drew decided.
Josh gulped. He didn’t feel ready to go against the scientists yet. He couldn’t lie – they absolutely terrified him, more than the fear they seemed to automatically instil.
All five stood in a procession behind the operating table. Surely five supernaturals could take two human scientists? They were vastly outnumbered, and Josh was well aware of just how strong his side was.
The door slammed open. The scientists had arrived. Immediately, one raised its hand, sweeping a heap of operating equipment across the room with some sort of magnetism. Josh was terrified, but that was his fuel. He needed to keep it together, just like he used to.
Successfully, he ducked out of the way, lunging forward at one of them. Both collapsed to the ground, but the scientist somehow kept control of the situation, rolling over so Josh was underneath. The scientist wrapped its hand tightly around Josh’s neck. He couldn’t breathe.
As he struggled under the weight of its grip, Josh looked into its eyes. They were as human as he’d ever seen, yet not even an ounce of compassion was visible. Even in some of the most awful people he had met – even in Clara – he could spot even a tiny conscience in them. Here, there was nothing. It alarmed him. They were in too deep.
Taking refuge at the sheriff station, Dylan felt like he was being watched. They hadn’t seen Sammi since they escaped the school, but it was surely only a matter of time. Nowhere was a guaranteed safe spot.
In the meantime, both Dylan and Yasmin needed their own answers. There was still so much they didn’t know. Exactly what was the purpose of the Anpao? What would the scientists get out of it? Why was Yasmin so significant?
“Hey, look at this,” Yasmin was already examining the Bestiary. Open roughly halfway through the thick, tatty book was the entry on nixes, as if Yasmin had the page number memorised. In fact, knowing her, Dylan wouldn’t have been surprised if she had known it off by heart.
Dylan took the book and inspected the open page. There were drawings and sketches of the nix myths – all pretty and pristine, unlike most creatures in that book.
“What am I looking at?” Dylan couldn’t digest everything. He needed Yasmin to be specific.
“Harbinger of death,” Yasmin mentioned, “That’s why I see things nobody else can. Remember what it said about the Anpao?”
“The Anpao dances with darkness,” Dylan recalled. It felt like those words were engraved onto his brain.
“What’s darker than death?” Yasmin enquired, like she knew the answer but expected audience participation.
“Nothing,” Dylan responded, hoping he had got the answer right.
“Exactly. That’s why it couldn’t kill me,” Yasmin figured out. Darn, she was good – Dylan was impressed.
“Is that good or bad?” Dylan pondered. It could mean two things – she was their weapon, or exactly what the Anpao wanted. Both left Dylan feeling a little uneasy, he couldn’t lie.
“I don’t know, but for now, I can keep us all alive,” Yasmin suggested sensibly.
Bursting into the office, Freddie panted heavily, Kamilah following just behind.
“Just you wait ‘til I show you what we found,” Freddie teased between breaths. Dylan wasn’t sure whether to be excited or nervous, but this had to be a step in the right direction.