Glasgow Nights (Doctor Who RPG)

Episode #14: Assault on the Grey Vault
15th December, 2016

The morning after the team’s interrogation of Henry A. Taylor, Alice is checking in at headquarters and finding Fiona awake but in her usual state. Trevor is passed out in the laboratory, but one of the tables has a sheet over it. As she turned to walk away, Trevor stirred to life. He dragged the sheet off the table, revealing more rifle-sized versions of the laser pistols. Just then, Charlie and Henry arrived.

Elizabeth checked in with Charles Rogers, still in the insurance-funded hotel. He’s doing fine following the bombing of their former flat, but he has not done much hunting for a new place without Elizabeth present.

Elizabeth arrived to see the rest of the group holding laser rifles, and was a little taken aback at first. But then the group went to the “range” (a safehouse owned by Torchwood Two).

In the news, the team noticed that tomorrow is Election Day, and Katherine Byron is widely expected to become the next Prime Minister.

Elizabeth set up a “dead man video”, to leave something behind in case the team doesn’t make it out of the base. But the team didn’t know who they wanted to send the message to, because their prior contact, Katherine Byron, had just been revealed as a Zygon duplicate. So she left it in the headquarters for whomever might come next.

In order to prevent possible friendly fire, Trevor and Elizabeth implanted everyone with RFID tags to mark them as human in case of friendly fire.

The team drove up to Killiecrankie in their two Land Rovers, headed for the rogue UNIT base they had visited before. This time would be the final assault, though, now that they had upgraded their weapons and now that the Zygons War had come to a head.

Elizabeth, Charlie, Henry, and Alice climb the mountain to find Susan Pham’s helicopter and the hut, both covered in heavy snow. Meanwhile, Trevor drives up the side road toward the cave, ready to launch explosives toward the cave entrance.

In a coordinated assault, the team raided the second floor, finding a gallery, with empty paintings and command area. There, they killed Zygon duplicates of Susan Pham, Mr. Franklin, Kiera Smith, Neville Brown, and Samuel Grayson.

After a lengthy fight, the team made their way into the underground level of the base, where they found fifty Zygon tanks, most of which contained people. They released each of the human prisoners from the Zygon tanks, one by one. Mr. Franklin, as it turned out, had been taken before the fall of Torchwood Two, in which the Zygon duplicate had apparently been deleted. Samuel Grayson instinctively went with his paranoia and pretended to have no memories at all, until he pulled Trevor aside to confirm he wasn’t about to be killed.

Because Henry A. Taylor had fled by then, the real Katherine Byron kept Henry Taylor on her staff. In the coming days, Katherine announced that a UNIT plot had attempted to usurp British sovereignty. Becoming the new Prime Minister, she began work to bring Torchwood back into the light of day, working openly for the good of Great Britain.

Episode #13: Clearing the Cast
13th December, 2016

Following the incident at the Islay ferry, the Torchwood team took Fiona back to HQ, while Marvin Patterson and Tucker Avery continued up to the lighthouse at Islay. Elizabeth Davies began to treat Fiona, who was still unconscious following her apparent psychic manipulation of the Weeping Angel.

Trevor Rothberry spent his time in his laboratory, drinking and trying to make sense of what had just happened. It seemed to him that his daughter had all but thrown Melanie, her own mother, into the Angel’s arms. And now Melanie was lost to Trevor for good.

Around 6pm that day, Sophie MacIntosh called Elizabeth to report that Lydia Barrows had shown up at Club Pandemonium, mere days after being abducted just outside the club. Elizabeth and Henry decided to investigate Lydia, while Charlie and Alice monitored from the Land Rover at a distance.

When Henry entered the club, he saw Lydia and Henry A. Taylor sitting at a booth. Afraid his presence might be explosive, Henry turned around and left the club. Resolved to keep the investigation going, Elizabeth took his place and entered the club. By that time, however, Henry A. Taylor had gone to the restroom, leaving Lydia in the booth by herself. Elizabeth took the opportunity to read Lydia’s mind, discovered the mind of a Zygon inside, and concluded immediately that this was part of a trap for the team. Nevertheless, Elizabeth needed this lead to find the real Lydia, so she gave the thumbs-up for Henry to re-enter the club.

Henry cased the club, looking for a place to monitor the evolving situation and hoping to round up any other Zygon agents in the club. He immediately noticed two tables of interest. The first table of two couples seemed to be covertly watching the club in general and Lydia in particular. The second table was just one couple, and Henry thought he could chat them up. He hit on Enrique Valasquez and Julia Ellis for a while, came to discover that they were dating and that Enrique was interested in any drugs Henry might have to sell, and bought them a couple of drinks.

Elizabeth approached Lydia and talked with her for a while, in part trying to discern her relationship with Henry, and in part stalling for time to see what might happen.

Outside, Charlie and Alice noticed Henry A. Taylor leaving the club. He got into his BMW and drove off. Charlie and Alice resolved to follow him to see where he might be staying in town. He led them to the Crowne Plaza hotel, where he left his car with a valet and went inside.

Meanwhile, back at the club, Lydia finished her conversation with Elizabeth and left. Elizabeth and Henry followed her as she walked down the street. Just then, a van pulled up to them and its door slid open, revealing the group of four Henry had spotted at the club. One of them pointed a weapon at Henry from inside the van. “Surrender, and you’ll live through the night.”

At that point, Charlie and Alice pulled around a corner, just down the street from the incident. And all Hell broke loose. In the fight that followed, Henry was stunned into unconsciousness. Lydia ran, but Elizabeth caught up with her and stunned her out. Charlie and Alice gunned down the four assailants with laser pistols. They all turned into Zygons upon death.

Following the cleanup, Henry read Lydia’s mind, hoping for more information. What he saw was a flashback. He saw through Lydia’s eyes, looking at herself in a Zygon storage tank, and then looking to Dr. Susan Pham.

“Go get him,” Susan ordered Lydia, “and his twin will lose bargaining power.”

Then, through Lydia’s memory, Henry saw her kidnapping and installation into the tank. He also got a little look around and saw Neville Brown, Keira Smith, Katherine Byron, and Mr. Franklin, all in storage tanks. He also saw a tank with the guard he had seen at the cave before, Michel Rickson.

At that point, so much had been downloaded from Lydia that she died in some sort of psychic overload, and then she turned into a Zygon.

That night, the team had one more loose end to deal with: Henry A. Taylor.

They went to the Crowne Plaza hotel, and Henry got a key to “his” room from the desk agent, as he read her mind to find out what room “he” was in. The team immediately went up to the room, and they wasted no time tying Henry A. Taylor to a chair.

At first, Henry A. Taylor remained haughty and arrogant, as if he were still in control of the situation. It was clear he meant to use Henry’s presence to an explosive distraction if things got out of hand, so Henry kept his distance. The team revealed parts of what they knew, especially with Lydia’s mission to compromise Henry—Pham knew Henry was playing both sides and sought to end that by any means necessary. Once that became clear, his arrogance abated somewhat, and he became more willing to help the team. Eventually, he pointed them to the desk drawer.

In a secret compartment in the desk drawer, Elizabeth found Mr. Franklin’s Torchwood credentials—potentially good enough for entry into the Grey Vault.

Episode #12: Touch of an Angel
11th – 12th December, 2016

Henry dropped his Sunday morning paper and coffee. “Son of a bitch…” He had just read the news story of his “wingman,” Lydia Barrows, being taken by force from Club Pandemonium.

Charlie and Alice had just looked up the license plate Elizabeth gave them from her memory (and dreams) of the night before, and the team decided to visit Club Pandemonium to investigate.

When they arrived, the club was closed, but Henry looked around the outside. There were tire tracks, as if a car had skidded to a stop in front of the club and then sped off again. There were also two cameras with a view of the scene, but both had been shot out.

Elizabeth knocked on the door, in the hope that someone would be there before opening hours. A young woman looked out the window at her, and Elizabeth flashed her MI-5 credentials. The woman opened the door and introduced herself as Sophie MacIntosh, junior bartender and daughter of the club’s owner. Sophie wasn’t there last night, so all she had were the rumors she’d already heard and the news story. But she knew Lydia by first name, as she had been there many times before, each visit picking up a different guy. She thought she recognized Henry as one of those guys, but he quickly moved the conversation back on topic. In the end, she did agree to burn a copy of the camera footage for the team. The ride back to HQ was awkwardly silent, as Alice, Charlie, and Elizabeth tried and failed to pry information from Henry about how he knew Lydia.

Once back at HQ, they watched the camera footage to try to get more details and possibly a license plate. In the footage, a sedan drove up to the front door of the club. The driver, Keira Smith, held a pistol in her lap. The passenger, Neville Brown, jumped out and grabbed Lydia Barrows as she was on her way into the club. When the two bouncers attempted to intervene, Neville shot both of them while Keira shot the two cameras. But Elizabeth was able to isolate and enhance a frame of the footage to grab a license plate.

The team found the license plate to belong to a rental car, owned by Enterprise Rental, and rented by Keira Smith. Keira’s driving license indicated a London address, but a credit check indicated relatively little activity within the last month.

At that moment, Trevor Rothberry emerged from his laboratory for the first time in many days. He held a pair of devices, prototypes of a scanner, so he claimed. He handed one to Elizabeth as he told her, “You’re the smart one. This scanner should tell if someone is a Zygon and should be able to read psychic energy.”

Elizabeth immediately put her scanner to the test. She scanned Henry, but read negative for both psychic and Zygon. She then read herself as she concentrated on her psychic abilities, and the psychic meter sprang to life. Apparently, it only read active psychic abilities. Then she went to scan Fiona, and the device burned out. If the scanner in fact read active psychic abilities, she reasoned, Fiona must always be plugged in. An interesting piece of information, to be sure, but it left only Trevor with the only remaining scanner prototype.

Trevor immediately began scanning people, hoping to once again make sure no one here was a Zygon. The surprise came in scanning Melanie, who read as human but was emitting a lot of psychic energy. Struggling to keep the finding under wraps, he turned the scanner off and headed to Fiona’s office. “Why didn’t you tell us about Mel?” Trevor demanded of Fiona.

For the first time he had seen, Fiona seemed to pause and think about something. “Close the door…Dad.” She paused for a moment more while the door closed. “I still don’t know how it happens, but she is my mother. I am in her now.”

“I’ll tell you how that happens,” Trevor’s dry wit kicked in.

“That’s not what I mean. I know how people are made. I don’t know how this situation arises. But Mom dies in 1998, when I am eleven.”

Trevor didn’t remember the rest of the conversation, if there even was anything more, as his face went white and he reached for the door. He was starting to piece ideas together, as if the weight of what was to come suddenly fell upon him.

Meanwhile, Alice sought to confront Melanie about her alcohol abuse. Melanie was frantically searching her desk for the bottle she had hidden.

“What are you looking for, Mel?” Alice led.

“Uh, nothing important.”

“Looking for this?” Alice held up the empty whisky flask that Fiona had knocked away from her the previous day.

Melanie paused, as if she suddenly felt the consequences of her sins fall around her. “Maybe.”

“You have to stop this. You have a kid on the way.”

Trevor found Elizabeth to see if she had any Disulfiram, a drug used in aversion therapy to treat alcoholism, that she could administer to Melanie. Elizabeth didn’t have any on hand, but she knew a NHS doctor, Abigail Benning, who could prescribe some.

The next day, the team drove up to Killiecrankie to visit the home of Kurt Ashley, who had driven the van for the group responsible for blowing up Elizabeth’s flat. They found no one at home; although there were old dishes and stagnant water in the sink, it was clear from the garage that a vehicle had been parked here recently. Upon canvassing the neighborhood, they found that Kurt had left for work this morning, and that he worked as a bartender at the Treeside Inn.

Upon visiting the Treeside Inn, they found a sort of double establishment. During the day and into the early evening it was a tourist restaurant, but at night it turned into a bar and hipster poetry room. The owner, Alfred Stainton, was working as host, and there were two servers working the room, Zachary Ephron and Andrew Mullens.

Trevor walked around the room, scanning people with his new toy, and found that Alfred and Zachary were Zygons, while Andrew was human. When he finally rejoined the group, he picked up the check and added his business card to the payment. He handed it to Andrew, told him he was in danger, and asked him to call when he could get free.

They eventually met up with Andrew a couple of blocks from the Treeside, and Andrew told them Kurt hadn’t been to work in about a month. When Neuromancer told Trevor that its drone had detected Kurt’s van headed toward his home, the team dismissed Andrew and headed there.

The team arrived at Kurt’s house just as the garage door was closing, and they quickly set up and burst in through the front and back doors. Henry shot Kurt in the leg, taking him down. He and Trevor cuffed him with several pairs of handcuffs, just in case he transformed into Zygon form, and Elizabeth bandaged the wound so he wouldn’t bleed out. Henry started to interrogate him, but instead read his mind and then shot him twice, once in the genitals and then once in the head. Kurt’s body reverted to Zygon form as he died.

Henry got some information from the Zygon: his group had found a way to track the Ayr group of Zygons to the safehouse in Glasgow, though he didn’t know the particulars of the tracking method. Neville and Keira were on their way to Glasgow with “the angel” to take out their enemies as a sort of “final solution”.

This left the group in a bit of a quandary. Should they continue and raid the cave, since they were already in Killiecrankie and were looking for Lydia? Or should they rush back to Glasgow to save their allies? After some brainstorming, they created a third option: send Rev. Patterson and his group to the lighthouse in Islay to hide. Henry made the call to send them.

About halfway, the team received an update from Neuromancer. It couldn’t narrow down for certain which vehicle Keira and Neville might be driving, but one van had just diverted its course toward the ferry to Islay.

It seemed most of the dramatis personae had descended on the Islay ferry at once as the team arrived. Marvin was just driving the car onto the ferry, with Tucker Avery and Ariane Walters. Kiera’s van pulled up just behind them, with Neville in the passenger seat. Finally, Melanie and Fiona were already on the ferry, in one of the Torchwood vehicles. And there were some bystanders and ferry crew.

Henry hopped out and yelled for everyone to get down which, as much as possible, which cleared the field of non-combatants.

Neville opened the back of the van, revealing a Weeping Angel. Elizabeth thought back to the Torchwood files she had read about creatures like it. She remembered that it was impossible to kill while being watched, but at the same time it could not move or act. This one seemed different, though, as it seemed to have chains built into it.

The angel reached out for Neville, causing him to disappear. It then quantum-locked as the rest of the group stopped blinking.

Elizabeth and Alice both pulled out the devices they had discreetly tucked into their coats: Laser Pistols. Elizabeth shot Keira through the head, killing her instantly.

Trevor closed to melee with the Angel, hoping to shove it into the water while many eyes were still on it. He threw all the adrenaline he could muster at it, and he succeeded in pushing it into the water.

In that moment, Ariane revealed herself as a traitor to the team and her own people. She ran over to Melanie and Fiona, and she pushed them into the water. The last thought she ever had was that she wanted to clear more of the field of players, but Alice shot her, bisecting her from the shoulders on up with the new weapon.

Shocked at this sudden betrayal, Henry tried to reorient himself by leaning once again on his powers. He read Marvin and found much the same in his mind: “What’s going on? Why did Ariane betray us?”

Alice tossed her weapon to Charlie, and then she and Trevor jumped in the water after Melanie and Fiona. Charlie and Elizabeth looked into the water, holding their weapons ready. Then they all saw the angel, hovering in front of Fiona, but not quantum-locked, as Fiona concentrated on it. Somehow, she was interfering with its ability to quantum-lock. But Melanie was gone.

Elizabeth and Charlie both took advantage of the Angel’s vulnerability. They shot, disintegrating the Angel where it floated. Fiona collapsed into unconsciousness, one last breath leaving her as water flooded into her.

Alice and Trevor dragged Fiona to the shore, and Trevor administered CPR. “I’m not gonna let you drown today,” Trevor swore, whether because he felt he had been played, because he was frustrated at this inevitability of the event, or because he had loved Melanie. “You’re not getting off that easy.”

Episode #11: Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!
10th - 11th December, 2016

After rescuing Abigail Williams from an apparent kidnapping, Alice quickly went about securing the scene while Charlie made sure her sister was unharmed by the incident. While searching the kidnappers’ van, Alice discovered Dylan Tate’s tablet PC. She also discovered a second object, which she discreetly tucked into her coat.

Fiona revealed her vision, in which Abigail was being stuffed into a van, and that she had cajoled Melanie into driving them to the train station to stop it. Alice and Charlie decided that it might be best to gather the team together as much as possible, so they all drove to Ayr to meet up with Elizabeth and Henry. Trevor, it seemed, was still working to the point of obsession on something at Torchwood HQ and refused to join the team in Ayr.

Meanwhile, Henry and Elizabeth were discussing how they might go about keeping their Zygon prisoners sedated indefinitely. As they had found from Marvin Patterson, Zygons seemed to be largely immune to Retcon, so some other sedative would have to be used if they went that route.

Following the discussion, Elizabeth returned to the hotel room of Albert Dreyson to search for more information. Indeed, a thorough search of the room turned up in Dreyson’s bag a tablet PC and a second object that Elizabeth discreetly tucked into her coat. This tablet PC had several warnings active on the display, each indicating the incapacitation of Dreyson and his agents.

Once the rest of the team gathered in Ayr, they took Dylan Tate to Tucker Avery’s “dungeon flat,” where he was currently holding Dreyson’s team captive. Hoping to gain some sort of psychic reading that he had somehow missed, Henry walked Fiona through the flat. As they walked in, Fiona grasped his hand, pointed to the tracking chip he had implanted, and said, “They have one of these, too.” Fiona grew more uncomfortable in the flat and so she went outside to sit with Alice, Melanie, and Abigail in one of the Land Rovers.

Elizabeth examined Dylan, and confirmed that he had a tracking chip implanted subcutaneously behind his right ear. Suddenly, tensions went up as the team worried about how long their locations had been known to the Zygons. Finally, it was decided to remove the chips, and Elizabeth started with Dylan’s chip. But once she removed it, Dylan’s tablet PC sprang to life with a warning that Dylan had gone offline and pinpointing his last known location.

As they suddenly grew desperate to rid themselves of their Zygon prisoners, Henry placed a call to Tucker Avery, but his phone went to voice mail. Henry then called the church and reached Marvin Patterson, the rector, who informed him that Tucker had left the church about thirty minutes ago.

While Henry and Charlie were “disposing of” their prisoners, Alice noticed a suspicious-looking van drive by. She decided to tail the van, just in case something was about to happen, and she wasn’t disappointed. As the van rounded the corner, an Artron explosion rocked the back of the van, flipping it forward, tossing Tucker Avery out the back, and knocking out the driver, passenger, and a second Tucker Avery and another man in back. All were knocked unconscious by the blast and the resulting crash.

As the rest of the team arrived, Fiona helped guide Alice to the Tucker Avery they had known before. Elizabeth and Henry read the minds of the others and confirmed that they were Susan Pham’s agents, sent to strike at Patterson’s faction. Worried that there were already too many Zygons hanging around, Charlie threw more petrol on the car fire to make sure the four agents burned to death.

Immediately, the team headed back to the church to warn Rev. Patterson about the attack. Ariane Walters tended Tucker’s injuries, as she seemed to have some medical training and a strange scanner device.

Henry began working to persuade Patterson to leave Ayr. “War is upon you.” At last, Patterson agreed to leave, and Elizabeth gave him the address and a key to their secondary safehouse in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Charlie and Abigail began to talk through some of the problems that had separated them, and they eventually hugged and even began to laugh together. Then the conversation took a turn when Fiona suddenly struck out with her hand and knocked a metal whisky flask out of Melanie’s hand. “Stop that!” Fiona’s normal whisper of a voice suddenly jumped in volume and pitch. This had the effect of drawing the sisters just a little closer together, as they laughed over what seemed like slapstick comedy while at the same time both resolving to keep an eye on Melanie.

After this, the team returned to their HQ in Glasgow. As they all sat down to talk, Henry confessed to Abigail about the team’s affiliation with Torchwood.

“So you’re part of a cell, then?” Abigail responded, following the day’s adventures.

As she left the rest of the group to their conversation, Elizabeth decided to have a night in at home, and called her boyfriend, Charles Rogers. He explained that he had just started preparing dinner.

Fiona interjected in the one side of the phone conversation she could hear. “You should go out for dinner. Didn’t he promise you tickets to the theater?”

“That’s right, he did,” Elizabeth recalled.

“Oh, that was tonight!” Charles confirmed as he retrieved the tickets from the refrigerator door. “I’ll put things away and get ready.”

So Elizabeth and Charles went to the play first, something tragic about bucket brigade firemen in Roman times, but Elizabeth couldn’t concentrate on it enough to remember more after the Zygon day she had had. After the attempted kidnappings in Ayr, she finally put it together that Pham was beginning to target family members of the team. But why wasn’t Charles targeted? Surely, it wasn’t a secret the two of them were dating seriously.

Then Elizabeth looked up, and she was sitting across a restaurant table from Charles. Worry and paranoia took her momentarily, and she read him psychically. She tried her hardest to focus the reading so she didn’t invade too much, but she was relieved to confirm that Charles was human.

After dinner, they returned home. But as they were approaching their building, Elizabeth saw a strange light flashing in the window of their flat. So she drove around the corner and parked, suspecting intruders inside, and she called the rest of the team for backup.

As Charlie, Alice, and Henry arrived, Elizabeth instructed Charles to stay in the car while they cleared the flat. They went upstairs to the second-story flat, and posted ready to burst in.

At that point, Charles called Elizabeth. “Some people in masks just got into a van, and they’re driving off.”

In response to the call, Alice headed outside to follow the van. Charles started his car and began to tail it, just like he’d seen in the movies.

Then there was an explosion from the flat.

The door exploded out into the corridor and fragments of the building collapsed, throwing Elizabeth, Henry, and Charlie to the floor. Having reached the exit, Alice was largely unaffected. Shocked by the explosion, Charles jumped the curb and one of the wheels detached from the car, bringing it to a stop.

As those upstairs picked themselves up off of the floor, the police began to arrive. Once police and firefighters had arrived and made sure the scene was safe, it was found that the explosion was pretty well localized to the single second-story flat and, while that flat was demolished, the rest of the building suffered relatively little damage. After being cleared to leave, Elizabeth and Charles checked into a hotel for the night.

Elizabeth had a restless sleep as she replayed the incident over and over in her dreams (or nightmares). But whereas she didn’t get a good night’s sleep, the nightmares fueled her memory and she did remember seeing the van as she and Charles had parked. And she remembered the license plate.

While Elizabeth and Charles spent most of Sunday morning talking with police and insurance investigators, the rest of the team ran down the license plate:

  • The van is registered to UNIT, with a Killiecrankie address.
  • According to CCTV footage, there were four individuals involved: three masked men and a driver, identified as Kurt Ashley.

While Charlie and Alice did the investigative work back at HQ, Henry read the paper over coffee and scones. But Henry was in for a shock of his own, as he stumbled across a news story about a woman kidnapped at Club Pandemonium last night during a shootout. The woman—his wingman, Lydia Barrows.

Henry dropped the paper, spilling the coffee. “Son of a bitch…”

Episode #10: Sisters
10th December, 2016

The next morning, everyone met up at Torchwood Two to compare notes. Elizabeth received a rude awakening when she realized that Nigel is a Zygon.


As the team deliberated their next action, the thought occurred to Elizabeth to go back to the roots of Torchwood, as an investigative agency. Surveillance of the city of Ayr seemed a better option than a frontal assault on Pham’s secret base, and perhaps the team could deplete Pham’s numbers with less risk because they were so focused on striking at the parish in Ayr.

Elizabeth, Charlie, Henry, and Alice settled on a potentially long-term surveillance, and they began by checking into an inn in Ayr, run by Tiffany Myles. As they entered the inn, Henry noticed another trio of operatives, trying to blend in but not quite succeeding, checking in ahead of them. He telegraphed his keen observation to the rest of the team, who quietly slipped to the lounge area to wait for the trio to finish. Once they checked in, Alice tailed them to find and place a camera outside their room so the team could track their movements.

Meanwhile, Charlie got a mysterious text message from her sister, Abigail: “999”. A brief exchange followed, in which she found that Abigail was in potential danger and was on her way to Glasgow by train. She would arrive at the main Glasgow train station at 1730.

Once the team checked into their rooms, Elizabeth wandered out on a “constitutional” to walk by Holy Trinity Church and place a camera across the street so the team could help guard them against further problems. As she returned, the team noticed one of the trio of operatives sneaking into the living space of the concierge, Tiffany Myles, possibly waiting for her as she was still working at the main desk.

Immediately, the team sprang into action, posting outside Tiffany’s door. When she inquired about the situation, Henry flashed his fake MI-5 credential, but otherwise was honest—someone was in her room, and the team needed to apprehend him. Tiffany was happy to cooperate with the team, and helped the team access her room. Fortunately, the team ushered her to the back of the group, as Henry opened the door and was immediately attacked by the intruder. But Charlie made quick work of the intruder with her stun gun, knocking him unconscious and taking him prisoner. When asked, Tiffany happily provided Henry with a key to the intruder’s room, remembering that he had accomplices and now wanting the entire trio out of her inn.

The team posted up to raid the operatives’ room; Henry would unlock the door and Charlie would kick it in. Charlie and Elizabeth stunned out one of the two remaining operatives, but the last one jumped out the window. Charlie quickly followed, while Alice went out the front door to intercept in case he got away. First Charlie and then Alice caught up with the last operative and stunned him out. They then called Tucker Avery, their more militant ally at Holy Trinity Church, to help contain the trio of unconscious bodies. Not wanting to take them to the church, Tucker took them to another safehouse he had set up, an unfurnished basement flat set up almost like a dungeon.

Henry awakened the first one, Taylor Flanders, with a bucket of cold water. When he didn’t respond to questioning, Henry read him psychically, but all he knew was that he needed more subjects, that Tiffany was the designated target, and that the trio’s leader reported to Susan Pham.

After checking on the second one, Justin Anderson, and finding him still unconscious, Henry and Charlie went about interrogating the oldest of the trio, Albert Dreyson. They found him somewhat more talkative but also more manipulative and more arrogant as he began to make demands of them. Eventually, Henry and Albert came down to business and Henry asked why they wanted Tiffany.

“Pham said she was going to feed her to the angel.” With this startling revelation, it seemed that Pham’s group was now beyond the intelligence-gathering phase and now was interested in simply disposing of the Ayr group.

Henry entered his mind, and found two phrases: Grey Vault and Black Archive. Apparently, these were UNIT assets to which the original Susan Pham had access, so this group had some access as well. Further, the Grey Vault seemed to be the secret base the team had surveilled recently.

After the interrogations, Charlie told the rest of the team that she needed to go back to Glasgow to take care of something. Finding herself on the business end of an interrogation, she finally confessed that she was going to pick up her sister, Abigail, who had found herself in some unspecified danger. Alice insisted on accompanying her to provide backup.

Charlie and Alice arrived on the platform just in time for Abigail’s train to arrive. In the chaos of many people embarking and disembarking the train, Charlie noticed two people who were approaching the train side-by-side in an attempt to force Abigail back on the train. Charlie tackled the male, knocking him onto the train, while Alice hit the female just enough to make a hole for Abigail to take up position behind Charlie. Whether they had done so accidentally, or were pretending to be random collisions, the couple boarded the train and the doors closed.

As Alice, Charlie, and Abigail got into their Land Rover, another Land Rover screeched to a halt behind them. The driver of one of the vans the second Land Rover blocked apparently was disgruntled and laid on his horn. It was then that Alice and Charlie recognized Melanie and Fiona in the second Land Rover, and Abigail recognized her third tail as the van’s driver. The driver realized the jig was up and dismounted to run, but the adrenaline of having her sister nearly kidnapped possessed Charlie, who ran him down and tackled him so hard that he hit a parking lot wheel stop and fell unconscious.

As Charlie cuffed and stuffed the driver, Fiona revealed to Alice that she had experienced a vision, in which Abigail was being stuffed into a van by the guy they had just captured. She had a feeling that she couldn’t just let that happen, so she cajoled Melanie into driving them to the train station to stop it.

Episode #9: A Walk in the Snow
9th – 10th December, 2016

Neuromancer had just informed Trevor Rothberry of using CCTV footage to track a lorry that had left the hospital and was headed into Cairngorms National Park.

While Trevor stayed behind to monitor the situation and to work on his many technical projects, Alice Kingston, Henry Taylor, Charlie Williams, and Elizabeth Davies drove out on a field trip to Cairngorms to try to narrow down the destination of that lorry. As they got closer, driving became a bit more hazardous as it was snowing in the area.

While they stopped in the town of Killiecrankie, Charlie noticed another lorry driving past and turning off into the forest. The team immediately gave (casual) pursuit. The lorry drove a few more miles into the forest and turned into a ravine; Charlie drove past so as to avoid telegraphing anything to its driver. She continued on to a small picnic area a couple of miles further up the road.

The team opted to skirt the edge of the ravine instead of going up the makeshift road, so as not to be seen. But Henry and Alice both found a bad slope in the trail and slipped down into the road, Alice landing on top of Henry. “I hope that’s your gun,” Henry grunted out from below. As they found a better path to climb back up, Charlie and Elizabeth looked past them to see a large cave entrance. Tire tracks led into the cave, but those tracks were being covered by the falling snow, so they might not have seen the tracks at another time.

As the team pondered how to get more reconnaissance of what was looking like a secret base, Elizabeth activated the one drone the team had brought with them and began flying around to get a look from a different angle. Through the drone’s camera, Elizabeth saw the mountaintop was roughly level and a helipad perched atop it. There was a helicopter there—the same one with which Susan Pham and her UNIT team had arrived at Islay. A small cabin sat about twenty meters away from the helicopter. One guard sat at the window, gazing out.

Meanwhile, Henry reached out with his mind in an attempt to get an idea of how many minds were inside the cave. As he was not accustomed to reading multiple minds, or reading minds of people he couldn’t see, he strained himself to “hear” those minds. He dropped to one knee as he was nearly overwhelmed by the minds of his three teammates, but he eventually filtered them out as he reached out further. He felt a family of four in another direction, hiking. The son slipped in the snow, and his sister laughed as she threw more snow on him. Henry reached out further. Just inside the cave entrance, he sensed two men—no, Zygons—with less-recreational attitudes and carrying weapons. He reached out further, and what he found was indeed some sort of secret base. He counted another twenty Zygons roaming about three levels inside, plus two more atop the mountain. And then he estimated fifty humans in a subbasement complex, perhaps five levels underground, all unconscious. Having greatly exceeded the usual limits of his powers, he snapped back to his body with a force that might have knocked him out if the environment were more highly populated.

After discussing their findings briefly, the team decided that the four of them would be insufficient for an effective assault on the base, so they headed back to Torchwood Two. On the way back, they called Trevor, who confirmed that Pham and her team had raided Denise Grassi’s flat just before skipping town, and they had taken Grassi’s replica of the Evolution Artifact. Once back at HQ, the team split up; Elizabeth and Alice would drive to Carlisle, where Katherine Byron and the other Henry Taylor were on the campaign trail, while Charlie and Henry would drive to Ayr and speak with Marvin Patterson and his people.

As Charlie and Henry arrived at the church in Ayr that evening, they saw that the lights were on in the priest’s office. As they entered the church, they overheard part of a conversation happening in the office. The conversation involved three of their number who had been kidnapped recently.

“These natives have declared war on us!” Tucker Avery, the churchwarden, shouted.

“Please, Tucker, we need to approach this rationally.” Marvin Patterson, the priest, tried to calm him down.

Finally, Ariane Walters, the more enigmatic verger, chimed in. “This third faction has possibilities. You can come in now…” She seemed to be inviting Charlie and Henry to take part in the conversation.

They entered, and Henry greeted the assembled group.

The priest cocked his head, as if he were finally figuring something out. “I think I finally know who you are.”

“Henry Taylor.”

“No, sorry, perhaps I should say I’ve figured out what you are.”

“A man from your universe?”

“Torchwood. You’re far friendlier than your predecessors. Five years ago, they injected me with something. When it didn’t work, they did it again, five times in total. After they said the name, it still took me a bit to work it all out. Retcon. When I finally caught on and pretended to be unconscious, they dropped me back into the world.”

Henry cut to the chase and told the assembled group about the secret base he had just seen.

“What exactly do you propose, Mr. Taylor?”

Tucker stood up. “We now know where they are. We should strike at them!”

Marvin again tried to calm him. “We should not go off half-cocked. We don’t have the resources to mount an assault like that.”

At that point, Tucker stormed out. Henry concluded—or hoped—that he was just blowing off steam and wasn’t about to do anything stupid.

“Who was taken?” Henry finally asked.

“Here are pictures of our three missing comrades,” Marvin replied as he handed over a trio of pictures: Denise Grassi, Daniel Lawrence, and Nigel Thurston.

Meanwhile, in Carlisle, Katherine Byron had the podium in City Centre, while the other Henry Taylor stood nearby. Elizabeth parked about two blocks away, in the closest space she could find, and she and Alice approached. Because there was a crowd, plus Metro Police, plus the speech going on, Alice and Elizabeth agreed that it would be better to wait until the end of the speech to approach Henry.

Finally, the speech ended, and Katherine came down from the stage to greet people in the crowd. Elizabeth waved to get Henry’s attention and asked to meet. Henry agreed and gestured toward a Starbucks across the street, so Henry, Elizabeth, and Alice met for coffee in a secluded corner of the coffee house.

“Have you made any progress on the Durdin File?” Henry asked.

After talking about their investigations vaguely for a few moments, Elizabeth decided to try to read Henry psychically. She hoped a good question might steer relevant thoughts to the surface and make them easier to read. “What do you know about Zygons?”

In Henry’s mind, Elizabeth learned some things and confirmed others:

  1. He is human. This confirmed the idea that the explosions of Artron Energy between the two Henrys require alternate-universe versions of the same person.
  2. He is playing both sides against the middle in this Zygons War. He hopes to amass enough power to become the true power behind the Prime Minister.
  3. He has had people looking for the Evolution Artifact, so far unsuccessfully.
  4. He knows the Blue Star works somehow with the Evolution Artifact, and he knows Melanie Bryers stole the Blue Star from his flat in Glasgow.
  5. He had a knife with his shrine because he thought it was needed to shed blood for the ritual to activate the Evolution Artifact.
  6. The shrine in his flat is not a shrine but actually is a sort of conspiracy board, which he was using to try to figure out how to use the artifacts.
  7. He had a number of surveillance photos of Melanie because he wanted to track her and see who she gave the Blue Star.
  8. He first got access to the Durdin File through one of this world’s Zygons: Mr. Franklin.

With that realization, Elizabeth dropped her coffee. As Henry went off to get a replacement and a towel, Elizabeth and Alice beat a mysterious and hasty retreat.

The next morning, everyone met up at Torchwood Two to compare notes, and Elizabeth received yet another rude awakening when she realized that Nigel is a Zygon.


Episode #8: Reflections and Deflections
7th – 9th December, 2016

“I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me about being a Zygon?” Trevor Rothberry accused Elizabeth Davies with all the dramatic flair he could muster. He then set up a plasma screen TV in the office and used it to display the MRI images he had received from Dr. Susan Pham. Charlie, Henry, and Alice seemed not to understand what was being displayed, leaving Elizabeth to defend herself against Trevor’s accusation. After nearly an hour of arguing and examining the images, Elizabeth convinced Trevor that perhaps there was something amiss in the data, as if it might have been altered for their benefit. Eventually, the team decided that all of them should be scanned, just to allay further suspicions among them.

Elizabeth called her old professor, Nigel Thurston IV, in the hope that he had some contacts in a nearby medical school. “I’m too claustrophobic to use one of those things myself,” Nigel responded, “but I do know someone here at Glasgow. Howard Cloverfield is a professor in the Department of Medicine. I’ll see what I can arrange.”

The team arrived early Thursday morning at the University, along with Melanie, Sally, and Fiona. There they met Dr. Cloverfield and his postgraduate research assistant, Zell Miller, who maintained the MRI. Zell pointed the group to a small changing room, where he insisted each subject leave his or her electronic or metallic devices while being scanned.

Trevor went into the scanner first, then Elizabeth, and then each told the other that they were not Zygons. After that, both Trevor and Elizabeth monitored the MRI results as each other teammate was scanned. They wanted in particular to see what Fiona’s brain looked like, out of curiosity regarding her psychic abilities. Fiona responded that she should go last, and they agreed, though they might have been a bit suspicious of her request. In turn, each of the team was scanned and cleared—none of them was a Zygon. It came to Fiona’s turn at last, but the machine shorted out when it tried to scan her, creating an electromagnetic pulse that plunged the building into darkness and fried all of the team’s electronic equipment. At that point, the team made a hasty exit rather than explain that Fiona’s psychic abilities had somehow interacted with the MRI system.

Once back at Torchwood Two, Elizabeth pushed through the paperwork to appoint Melanie as an administrative assistant. Melanie’s first task would be pushing the paperwork to get replacements for the team’s destroyed equipment.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team sat down to talk with Sally Sparrow once more. While Sally was anxious to leave, Charlie placed a hand on her shoulder and forced her to remain seated. Henry peered into her mind and discovered two things:

  1. She does not like Charlie.
  2. She still remembers the blood on Henry’s hands when they first met. This is why she had refused to shake his hand.

After talking a bit more, Sally gave them a phone number, and Elizabeth and Henry recommended she check out the church in Ayr.

Next, the team went about interrogating the guard they had taken prisoner from the Kelvingrove, the Zygon who had stung Elizabeth. “Daniel Lawrence. My friends call me Danny,” he said to Henry, “but you can call me Daniel. So…how did you cross over?”

Henry peered into Daniel’s mind, and found that a fissure had taken his entire village, crossing its inhabitants over to this world about a year ago. Before that, he had been a cop. Henry also got the first indication that the totalitarian government that had taken over his own world was, in fact, a sort of Zygon invasion. But because his world’s Zygons didn’t have to kidnap the subjects they were impersonating, they were better able to coexist with the humans of that world. A difference between the two worlds, Henry began to remember, was that on his world “twins” arose at a much greater rate starting in about the 1600s. So the mimicked people are still walking around on his world. Finally, some of the people of his village had found solace in a church in Ayr, under the leadership of Marvin Patterson.

After a brief conversation, Daniel agreed to be blindfolded so he couldn’t lead anyone back to Torchwood Two, and the team released him back into the wild (after Trevor took a tissue sample for further research).

It was then that Henry realized the team was sending Sally Sparrow into a Zygon nest in Ayr, and he frantically texted her to avoid that church.

Now the team was ready to confront Dr. Pham about her apparent ruse. Trevor sent her a message requesting a meeting, but there was no response. Growing more impatient, he then sent a drone to the hospital, where he found there was no activity in Amy Rothberry’s room. Finally, he broke out his old wedding ring and the picture of Amy that he still carried. “I’m going to see my wife.”

Arriving at the hospital, the team found Amy was gone, as were Denise Grassi and Susan Pham. Immediately Trevor demanded to speak with someone higher up the chain and he met with Dr. Susan Summers, the hospital’s Chief of Medicine. She revealed that UNIT had scooped up all three of them just within the last few hours, and over her strenuous objections. “I have filed an official complaint with the NHS about this incident. Unofficially, I’m pissed as hell that this shite has been going on in my hospital, on my watch.” As Trevor looked around her office, he noticed things were strewn on the floor and little remaining on her desk, as if Dr. Summers had cleared her desk in a fit of rage.

It was then that Neuromancer informed Trevor that it had used CCTV footage to track a lorry that had left the hospital at about the time in question and was headed into Cairngorms National Park.

Episode #7: The Zygon(s) War
4th – 5th December, 2016

Having filled Dr. Grassi’s loft with surveillance devices, the team set Neuromancer to the task of monitoring the footage. Grassi had returned home from the Kelvingrove at around 0300, following the team’s failed break-in of the museum, and sat immediately to work for about an hour in her small art studio on the stone sculpture that, while still far from complete, bore a definite resemblance to the Evolution Artifact. One part of the sculpture was quite detailed—the socket for the Williams Necklace—and Grassi seemed content to leave that part alone. While sculpting, she seemed to have almost trance-like focus. But she did finally go to bed at around 0400.

Elizabeth Davies tossed and turned that night, almost grasping at the strands of the events her team was investigating. Finally, a solution came to her. The usual Torchwood strategy in the past was one of intimidation and mystery. So the team would use that to gain entry into the as-yet-unseen bowels of the Kelvingrove, where Elizabeth felt sure some villainy was afoot.

At 0700, Grassi’s alarm went off. Still tired from the night before, she hit snooze until 0715. After dressing and having a light breakfast of tea and scone, she was at the Kelvingrove before 0900.

That morning, Elizabeth set Trevor Rothberry to the task of forging some MI-5 credentials for the team, and she pitched her idea. The team would simply walk in as if they belonged there and would brook no interference, presenting their new MI-5 credentials if intercepted. They would count on Henry Taylor to do any talking, Charlie Williams would provide armed backup, and Alice Kingston would provide her extensive knowledge of strange events as the touchpoint to her internet forum. At last, a direct plan of action began to take shape, and the team rolled out.

The five agents of Torchwood Two, decked out in trenchcoats and black suits, walked into the front door of the Kelvingrove and straight toward one of the employee-only areas. When intercepted by a security guard, only Henry broke stride to give a gruff response, “Government business,” as he flashed his MI-5 credential. The guard was stunned by what was going on, and he only snapped out of it once Henry had joined the rest of the team on the other side of the employee-only door. Beyond the door was a hallway, with a small restroom on one side and a stairwell door on the other. The stairwell led down to the basement.

Trevor checked to find the restroom empty and then posted at its door in case someone followed, and then the rest of the team headed downstairs. As they rounded the corner, the door opened at the bottom of the stairs and Agnes Worley stepped into the doorway. “You shouldn’t be here,” she croaked ominously. When Elizabeth and Henry both stared into her mind, they found she was a Zygon. Knowing the jig was up, Agnes stepped backward, allowing the powered door to begin closing, and then hit an alarm.

Before the door could close, Charlie popped off a double-tap, blowing off part of Agnes’ head and killing her. But although the team thought Agnes was a Zygon, she did not revert to Zygon form. However, Elizabeth thought the brain matter might look different from a human brain.

Alice held the door open and poked her head through the doorway and into the middle of a hallway with two doors at each end. To her left, Alice saw movement as Dr. Grassi ducked into the closest doorway on the left. Alice and Charlie immediately ran toward that door, but by the time they got there, all they saw was an empty interrogation room. There was an open door in the back of the room, and a recently-discarded set of handcuffs laying on the floor behind the far chair. Henry dashed past Charlie and Alice and through that far door, to see Grassi chasing another woman.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth disabled the alarm, which wasn’t a fire alarm but had been confined to the basement. However, two security guards popped out of the far doorway to the right and threatened to attack the team. Elizabeth brandished her pistol and MI-5 credential, but she really was concentrating on reading one of the guards. Time seemed to slow around her with this deep psychic connection, in which she then discovered the guard was another Zygon but had not snatched a human corresponding to the face he wore. These Zygons were unusual.

The two guards finally pulled out tasers and shot at Elizabeth and Alice, but both missed their targets. Alice started to duck into the interrogation room, but she noticed the woman being chased by Grassi run past the door at the end of the hall, so she darted toward her. Henry continued in pursuit of Grassi, while Charlie and Elizabeth engaged the two guards in a short firefight. They warned Trevor that Grassi was running for a fire exit in back of the museum, so he ran toward it on the ground level.

Alice caught up with the other woman just as she hit the fire exit, sounding the fire alarm. Charlie downed her target, but the second guard jumped Elizabeth and stung her with something on the back of her neck. Finally, Charlie ran back to the melee and knocked out the second guard.

Alice grabbed the hand of the unidentified woman as the two of them ran from the building, but it seemed they wanted to flee in different directions. Finally, the other relented and allowed Alice to escort her to the team’s Land Rover. Alice introduced herself as they were getting in, and the other finally introduced herself as Sally Sparrow, MI-5.

Trevor arrived at the fire exit just in time to greet Dr. Grassi, who kept running. Trevor and Henry both opened fire on her, but whereas Trevor shot to disable rather than kill, Henry just shot and instead hit her in the neck. Grassi dropped and began to bleed out. Trevor set Henry to the task of slowing the bleeding, but he knew time was short, both before Grassi would bleed out and before first responders would arrive. He called Neuromancer, who had been monitoring the situation and responded, “Ambulance will arrive in thirty seconds.”

As Charlie came outside, Trevor realized Elizabeth was now searching the basement alone and decided he should join her. When he found her, she was in what appeared to be Grassi’s office, which had a number of trinkets Elizabeth found familiar. But Elizabeth picked up what appeared to be an identification case, much like the team’s own MI-5 credentials, and slipped it into her pocket. Trevor confiscated the laptop from the office and the team left.

Elizabeth gave the identification case to Henry before leaving with Trevor and Grassi in the ambulance. Charlie took over driving, while Henry, Alice, and Sally rode in the Land Rover. Henry looked at the object Elizabeth had given him, but it seemed more like a small book to him, as his psychic powers somehow interacted with the object. The book was titled The Sideways Book, written by Jackson Lake. Alice took the book and looked at it, but only found it to be a MI-5 credential with Sally’s name and picture, so she gave it to Sally. Henry introduced himself and held out his hand for Sally, but she refused to shake it, either because she feared he might somehow be involved with the Zygons or because he still had Grassi’s blood all over him.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Trevor arrived with the ambulance at the same hospital they had recently visited. Sure enough, Dr. Susan Pham was still monitoring the condition of Amy Rothberry. Trevor immediately began talking with Dr. Pham. He told her about the “investigation at the Kelvingrove” and advised her to dispatch a UNIT team post-haste. He also suggested that a MRI scan might reveal neurological differences that might help distinguish a Zygon from a Human. Dr. Pham told Trevor that Amy was still unconscious but in stable condition, which was probably connected with her exposure to Artron radiation. Trevor warned her that Grassi, who had just arrived at the hospital, might in fact be a Zygon. They agreed to test Trevor’s theories by performing the MRI scan on Grassi after her surgery for the gunshot wounds sustained at the Kelvingrove. The MRI confirmed a definitely non-human brain structure in Grassi, which further confirmed both of Trevor’s theories.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team arrived with Sally Sparrow at HQ. Henry and Charlie took the knocked-out guard to a holding cell and then cleaned up, while Alice took Sally across the street to get curry for the team. Finally, Sally, Alice, Henry, Charlie, Melanie, and Fiona sat down for a silent meal. Fiona was the first to speak, “So you met the Doctor? What was he like?” After a bit of bonding with Alice over their respective meetings with the Doctor, Fiona brought them all back to topic. “I’m sorry, Henry was about to say something.”

While Henry had perhaps been thinking to lock Sally up and keep the Sideways Book, he seemed to settle for her letting him thumb through it for a few minutes. Inside, he found what appeared to be a handwritten (or perhaps psychically transferred) record of the Doctor as Jackson Lake knew him. Jackson Lake had called himself the Doctor around Christmas of 1851, during an attempted invasion by the Cybermen, after having accidentally downloaded an infostamp database of the Doctor into his head. Henry found that while he was able to read the book he could not seem to transfer any of the information therein, either by reading aloud or by writing. Somehow, the spoken words became gibberish, and the written words became the flowing circular patterns of Gallifreyan.

At the hospital, Elizabeth collapsed as a result of the poison from the sting she had received during her fight. Upon finding out Elizabeth had been stung by a Zygon, Dr. Pham’s stepped out for a moment to retrieve something. Her UNIT connections (or her own experimentation) had apparently gained an antidote for the venom, which saved Elizabeth’s life. Then Dr. Pham suggested a MRI scan just in case something else had happened.

Once Elizabeth began to recover, she was released into Trevor’s care. On the way out, Trevor received a message from Dr. Pham: THOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT TO CLEAR THIS UP IN-HOUSE. Attached was a copy of Elizabeth’s MRI scan…a Zygon. He kept this to himself in awkward silence during the drive back to HQ.

Elizabeth went for curry before rejoining the group, and Trevor went in to take Melanie out for a drink so the rest of the team could discuss serious business.

Sally began to disclose the information she had discovered. She had worked in a video shop in London until a few days ago, when an older black woman entered, shifted into “cone head and suckers mode” (as she put it), and attacked. Sally did what she could—she ran. In the days that followed, she had discovered that there seemed to be two factions of Zygons: the “cone head and suckers” type and a faction that stayed human-looking no matter what. She had the vague indication that one faction perhaps was from a parallel universe, which she thought sounded implausible but suddenly explained some things to the team. She had heard of the Cult of Durdin operating out of the church in Ayr, but she hadn’t yet paid a visit.

Trevor returned, and the conversation turned to speculation of the nature of Zygons and whether some might not know they were Zygons. Elizabeth asked how that might even be possible, and Trevor responded, “I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me?”

Episode #6: The Thing in the Museum
1st – 3rd December, 2016

Having finished their work at Once in a Blue Moon, Elizabeth, Charlie, Henry, and Alice began thinking about how to handle the situation at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. First taking a bit of downtime, Henry and Fiona went out for dinner to get to know each other better. Fiona confided that she constantly felt disconnected from her surroundings, as if her mind were outside her body. This fact of life was apparently how she dealt with the psychic powers she had gained through a lifetime of exposure to Artron Energy from the fissure at her lighthouse.

Later, Elizabeth made a proposal to the group to try to prevent the other Henry from entering Torchwood Two as he had several weeks ago. In addition to biometric scans, Henry’s biometrics would require a signal from a subcutaneous RFID tag that she would implant in his arm. The rest of the group seemed overjoyed by the prospect of tagging Henry like a pet and whereas Henry wasn’t as enthusiastic about this “elective” surgery, he agreed it was for the best of the group.

Then Elizabeth asked Trevor to build her a Betamax player, as she had found a Betamax tape at Once in a Blue Moon. Happy to build another gadget, Trevor built the device while Elizabeth performed the implantation of Henry’s RFID tag. Then Trevor and Melanie left on a dinner date.

Once Trevor and Melanie had left, Elizabeth plugged in the Betamax tape. A face appeared in the television screen and asked if she were sitting comfortably. It shot out tendrils of energy, which wrapped around Elizabeth’s face in an attempt to pull her away. At the last moment, Elizabeth managed to hit the breaker on the power strip and turn off the device. Wondering how an intelligence came to be imprisoned in a Betamax tape, Henry tried to read it psychically and nearly got sucked away himself. Elizabeth tried to burn the tape but it wouldn’t burn, so she decided to throw the Betamax tape in a Faraday cage and wait for Trevor to return from his dinner date.

After seeing their faces almost get sucked away, Alice remembered a series of messages on the conspiracy site she and Trevor managed. In these messages was a couple of urban legends:

  1. There has been a Betamax tape out there since before Betamax was a thing. If you watch that pre-Betamax tape, you die within 24 hours. This legend was the original inspiration for the death video in The Ring but was created by Torchwood.
  2. There is a being stalking the Kelvingrove Museum at night, known only as the Thing in the Museum. It is reportedly a faceless humanoid female.

Elizabeth remembered a Torchwood file she had read about a television-based being that had appeared briefly during the televised coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. According to the file, the Doctor was involved in the incident and had worked with some Metro PD inspectors on a case involving Magpie Electronics in the Muswell Hill area of north London.

Once Trevor returned from dinner, the rest of the group told him about the incident with the Betamax tape. He immediately took it to the lab where he was constructing an MRI machine; the magnet was assembled, but the imaging scanner and tunnel were not yet completed. He threw the tape into the magnet and turned it on, hoping to erase the tape. A flash of light burst from the tape as it melted into a plastic soup, the MRI magnet melted, and the lab’s primary breaker tripped.

Satisfied that the Betamax tape had been disposed of, the group turned their attention back to the Kelvingrove.

The next day, Elizabeth and Alice visited with the intention of bugging the museum with miniature cameras. As they arrived at the Kelvingrove, they noticed an ambulance in front of the building and Dr. Denise Grassi escorting two paramedics out of the building as they wheeled a gurney. On the gurney was the unconscious form of Amy Rothberry. Trevor went silent in shock as he saw the surveillance footage, as he had buried his wife last year. Elizabeth and Alice continued their mission without a hitch, and Elizabeth bought a reproduction of one of the museum’s paintings to hang in her office.

As the team was about to leave, they saw another sight that gave Elizabeth pause: Charles Rogers, her boyfriend, walking into the museum with another man. She immediately reentered the museum and pretended to have a random run-in with her boyfriend, wanting to know what he was doing there. Charles explained that the other guy was Frederick Howell, a new accountant at his firm, freshly-hired from Oxford, and that he had the afternoon off to help orient Frederick to the sights of Glasgow. Despite the teasing from some of her colleagues in her earpiece, Elizabeth accepted that explanation and left the gentlemen to their sightseeing.

The next stop, Trevor insisted, was the hospital to which the paramedics had taken Amy Rothberry. They apparently weren’t quick enough, as the redoubtable Dr. Susan Pham had beaten them to Amy’s room and was posing as her physician while scanning her with an advanced instrument. Elizabeth and Trevor entered the room, while Henry failed to stay out of sight. “I thought he wasn’t supposed to be around anymore,” Dr. Pham said flatly while staring directly at him. Before he left, Henry read her mind and found that she knew the woman in the bed was Amy Rothberry and that there was some residual Artron Energy around her, leading Dr. Pham to believe Amy was from another universe…perhaps his own universe. Dr. Pham confirmed this when she said to Trevor, “This is not your wife, Dr. Rothberry.”

Once Henry left, Elizabeth and Trevor continued their conversation with Dr. Pham. Trevor asked why one universe in particular seemed to be preferred for the rifts they had seen so far. She confided in them that she believed there was an “initial event” that caused a scattering of rifts between this universe and that one, so the preponderance of the rifts would be between those two. That seemed to barely satisfy Trevor’s curiosity, and he gave her a number to a drop line in exchange for her promise to keep him in the loop. He had thought to instigate a “waiting game” with Dr. Pham, hoping for her to leave, but it soon became clear from her lab coat that she planned to continue her pretense of being Amy’s physician.

It was shortly after this that the topic of the Doctor came up, especially with regard to whether the blame for the Betamax tape lay with the Doctor or with Torchwood. Henry claimed there was no Doctor in his universe. When asked about what else was different in his universe, Henry revealed that he had been fleeing a totalitarian government in the UK when he fell through his particular rift but was vague about what his own previous job had been.

Next came the subject of increasing surveillance of the Kelvingrove. The team wanted to get some drones inside, but they were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to smuggle them in during opening hours, so they resolved to dress as local hooligans, smash a window, and simply drop the drones inside. The plan fell apart after they had spray painted “Free Scotland” on the museum wall, when they realized the windows were shatter-resistant (if not bulletproof) as the janitor, Agnes Worley, stared at them from the other side of the unbroken glass. The plan a failure, the team returned to their vehicle to watch the camera feeds they already had.

Within a few minutes, the police arrived. A few minutes after that, Dr. Denise Grassi arrived. Knowing the incident would hold her attention at the Kelvingrove for at least an hour, the team adjusted their plan and decided to break into Dr. Grassi’s home, a chic loft with huge windows facing King’s Theatre in downtown Glasgow.

They arrived to find the place was fancy enough to have a doorman. Henry approached nonchalantly, flashed a badge, and said only, “Police.” It seemed to startle the doorman, who opened the door for the team without a word. They went upstairs to Dr. Grassi’s loft, Charlie picked the lock, and Trevor disabled the alarm system. Upon entering the loft, the team found little to pique their interest, and certainly nothing so gauche as the Zygon biocontainment tank they had hoped to find. They did, however, find in the small art studio a sculpture being carved out of stone. The sculpture, while a rough work in progress, bore a definite resemblance to the Evolution Artifact. One part of the sculpture was quite detailed: the socket for the Williams Necklace.

Episode #5: And Get the Priest As Well
25th – 27th November, 2016

Having found Chris Parsons dead outside Once in a Blue Moon, the team decided to retrace his steps. He had called his backup number, which had rung to the Holy Trinity Church, in Ayr, so Elizabeth, Charlie, Henry, and Alice piled into a Land Rover and drove to the church. They arrived to find a service in progress, and Henry’s alternate-Earth “eccentricity” came to the fore, as he applied water from the baptismal font as if it were perfume. He and Alice had a heated, though whispered, discussion about it as the four of them headed for the fourth-to-last pew (the last three pews had already been occupied).

Following the service, the team stuck around, waiting for the other parishioners to depart before approaching Rev. Marvin Patterson, the rector. As Charlie had already met him before, she made the introductions for the rest of the team and they all strolled to Marvin’s office. The Father closed the door, but left it barely ajar, and asked the group how he could help them. Henry asked him immediately about extraterrestrials, and told the priest a wild story about shapechanging aliens, then the Father responded to Charlie in apparent disbelief, “Is he really with you?”

Just then, there was a knock at the door, and Tucker Avery poked his head in to remind Marvin that there was a vestry meeting in about 25 minutes. Marvin thanked him and he left, but not before Henry took a glimpse inside Tucker’s mind. Within his mind, Tucker revealed that he had recognized Henry’s method of applying holy water—he was from Henry’s world!

The conversation continued, but Marvin didn’t seem to have any information (or didn’t want to part with any). Quite the opposite, he seemed to be watching the team’s responses carefully for any clues or hints they might drop. As the conversation drew to a close, Henry tried to read Marvin’s mind, but found him psychically trained enough to block the attempt. He did, however, read his response well enough to tell he was lying when he denied knowing any “displaced individuals”.

Meanwhile, back at Torchwood Two, Trevor Rothberry was once again examining the Tesseract. In this latest round of experimentation, he found that its setting depends on the orientation of the case with respect to a local magnetic field (in this case, the geomagnetic field), and that it somehow amplified and transformed the local magnetic field to channel Artron energy. He came to the conclusion that there were two ways to deactivate the device: use a psychic who is trained to use the device (but whereas the team had a powerful psychic in Fiona Seathanach, she did not seem to have the necessary training to use the device sufficiently well to turn it off), or put the device into a Faraday cage for a long enough period of time that its residual magnetic field would dissipate.

As the rest of the team were about to leave the church, they noticed the vestry assembling in the conference room and the verger, Ariane Walters, just about to close the door. Henry and Elizabeth decided to take this last opportunity to use their psychic powers, for which they had to see their target. They discovered the verger had also recognized Henry’s method of using baptismal water, leading them to the conclusion that she is also from Henry’s world, and that she is the eyes and ears of the church and intends to keep her eye on the group in the future. With that revelation, the group set back on the road to return home.

The following day, Henry and Elizabeth went to UNIT to talk to Dr. Susan Pham and to interrogate the other Henry. The other Henry revealed that the note he had delivered (the Durdin File) was given to him by his boss, Katherine Byron. Unsatisfied with the amount of information they were getting from him, Elizabeth dropped the bombshell that Melanie Bryers is pregnant.

This allowed Henry to slip into the other Henry’s mind and find out that whereas Melanie was not a target of the Cult of Durdin at first, she is definitely a target now. While the cult doesn’t want Melanie dead, they clearly have some reason for wanting her desperately.

At that moment, the other Henry leapt across the interrogation room table, getting just close enough to Henry to trigger an explosion of Artron energy. Apparently, he hoped it would cause enough mayhem that he could escape, but Dr. Pham and her UNIT troops were too well prepared, and they bound both Henrys.

It fell to Elizabeth to help defuse the situation enough to persuade Dr. Pham to release Henry. In doing so, Elizabeth confessed that the Henrys are from different dimensions, while barely avoiding discussion of which Henry was from which world. At that point, Dr. Pham’s phone rang, and she became visibly displeased as her phone conversation concluded. She turned to Elizabeth and said flatly, “I have to release them both. You’ll get your Henry, but the other Henry’s political connections got him free. Be sure I don’t see either of them again.”

Meanwhile, Charlie and Trevor once visited Once in a Blue Moon, only to find it closed down. They found some blood in the rubbish bin around back, just as Eugene Wesley came out of the bookstore next door with a couple of bags for the bin. He seemed friendly enough, and told them he’d seen Tonya Watson leave the day before. “She said she was going on holiday to London.” A search of CCTV footage confirmed the story that she had gone to London, but Tonya’s vehicle was found dumped in an alleyway there.

The group decided to take the opportunity to look into the shop, and set themselves to do a nighttime break-in of Once in a Blue Moon. They used Neuromancer (now connected to the internet) to hack the alarm system and Fiona as a psychic lookout, while Charlie picked the locks along with Trevor and Elizabeth. In the shop itself, Elizabeth found ITEM and Charlie found The Crystal, while Trevor took the computer and found the register had only coins and no bills. On the chance that Tonya might eventually return, Trevor bugged the shop.

Then the group descended to the basement, where they found a sealed off room locked with Zygon bioelectronic locks. They eventually unsealed the room, in which they found some shocking items:

  1. The real Tonya Watson, stored in a stasis tank, apparently for the Zygon’s use. Upon pulling her out, the group found that her last memory was of closing up the shop one night…five years ago.
  2. Eleven paintings, three on each wall, minus the space for the door. Each painting had a blank spot, as if a vaguely humanoid silhouette had been cut out of it. This reminded Elizabeth of a painting she had seen a few weeks ago at the Kelvingrove.

The team turned over the shop to UNIT, which cordoned off the entire block around the shop in a rather obvious display of force. Meanwhile, the team thought about their next move, probably to investigate the Kelvingrove and its curator, Dr. Denise Grassi.


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