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Sir Wearer of Hats

The Mysterious Mr “S.S. Day”

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Sir Wearer of Hats

Police Sergeant Helena Grey despised Monday mornings. Not, mind you, out of any particular sense of loss for the weekend or lack of anticipation for the week ahead, but rather because more people died over the weekend and often no one noticed until Monday morning. Today was no different. Three calls to the police and three cars dispatched to scenes of death. This was call four and it meant that she and a wet behind the ears constable had to report to the scene alone. Caboolture Station didn’t warrant it’s own on staff SOCO team, so calls had to be made to Brisbane each and every time a suspicious death was reported. That meant three quarters of an hour delay before the crime scene analysts arrived, leaving the Caboolture patrols to seal off the scenes and just take notes and keep the local stickybeaks and busybodies away. 
Today started out no different, but would end extremely differently.

They were south of The Caboolture River, into the strange grey area that some locals called “Caboolture” and others “Morayfield”. Helena was a Bribie girl, so had no dog in the fight, unlike her constable who grizzled “typical Morayfield bogans,” upon seeing the already gathering crowd of onlookers. She’d patrolled the area long enough to know that the locals called the area “the sacrificial Stone” because of an obscure piece of artwork that resembled nothing more than some ancient ritual murder site. Today a body lay spread eagled upon it, and she prayed to any listening god it wasn’t some serial killer or lunatic responsible. She scanned the crowd, the usual mix of joggers, pyjama-clad locals and reporters for the local rags. No one stood out as unusual. They started hammering in star pickets to to establish a secure perimeter. She noticed that the smell of wattle was particularly strong this morning, she couldn’t stand the smell of wattle.

Helena took a cursory look at the dead man. He had a still smouldering wound on his back, stereotypical jogger‘s gear and a look of terror on his face. She sighed and shook her head. The poor sod was wearing a two sizes too big for him outfit, clearly he’d be working on losing weight, and successfully. She and thr constable strode over to the crowd and said to him in passing, “Someone has to know something about what happened.” before the Constable could answer, an oddly demur cough emanated from the crowd. “Excuse me, Officer,” Helena looked around to see a tall, powerfully built man in a sharp suit waving at her. He would have passed for a lawyer or some other muckety-muck if it wasn’t for his wild shock of red hair and bushy beard. He had, she noticed, the sort of eyes that always seemed to be laughing. He then opened his mouth and proved himself to be utterly insane when he said, “It’s clear he was killed by some sort of projected energy weapon fired from the river.”

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Sir Wearer of Hats

And here is “Mr S.S. Day” in all his glory.7BC887C0-529F-49DD-8231-EE2D73722362.jpeg.c9de91ed8bb63c84d2bcb5c3c5711b7c.jpeg

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Piney
24 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

And here is “Mr S.S. Day” in all his glory.7BC887C0-529F-49DD-8231-EE2D73722362.jpeg.c9de91ed8bb63c84d2bcb5c3c5711b7c.jpeg

Mad Sweeney? 

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Sir Wearer of Hats
10 minutes ago, Piney said:

Mad Sweeney? 

Tormund Giantbane from GOT.

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Piney
1 hour ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

Tormund Giantbane from GOT.

Your story is exceptionally well constructed and makes you want to keep reading.

Not bad for a phys ed teacher. :yes:

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Sir Wearer of Hats
1 minute ago, Piney said:

Your story is exceptionally well constructed and makes you want to keep reading.

Not bad for a phys ed teacher. :yes:

My thanks, it’s my first real foray into totally original characters. 
This one’s pretty much plotted out and is a bit sci-fi, the rough sketch of the next one exists and a bit more “”Devil Rides Out” without the racism”.

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Desertrat56
4 hours ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

My thanks, it’s my first real foray into totally original characters. 
This one’s pretty much plotted out and is a bit sci-fi, the rough sketch of the next one exists and a bit more “”Devil Rides Out” without the racism”.

When will we get the next installment?  I would buy this book.  Please keep writing.

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Sir Wearer of Hats
4 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

When will we get the next installment?  I would buy this book.  Please keep writing.

Soon, I like the serialised format. 

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Sir Wearer of Hats

Helena rolled her eyes. It was far too early in the day to deal with lunatics, but politeness prevailed over her instinct to tell him where to go and how to get here. “Thank you for your suggestion sir, no please. Leave the professionals to our work,” she said in such a way as it rhymed with “wrack off you nutter,”. He didn’t get the hint and ducked under the police tape. “You can see the burn on his back,” he pointed as he sailed past the ‘sacrificial stone’ and towards the trees lining the river. This part of the Caboolture River was lined by thick vegetation and the ground fell away quickly to the level of the tidal river. The madman was now walking backwards down the hill, his finger right under his nose and aimed directly at the victim. Helena had had enough, and was only a moment behind Constable Rhys Bauchman in reaching the man. “Hmm, yes. It had to be fired from about here,” he said. Bauchman was an impatient man and simple growled at the lunatic saying, “you know what? I’m too tired and too hungry for this crap. You’re nicked son.” He grabbed the man’s arm in an attempt to place him in handcuffs, but the man slipped out of his grip. “I’ve not broken any of your laws. I think what you’re doing is either illegal or immoral. Either way,” his eyes twinkled, “naughty.” 
“You’re the one seeing bloody aliens, son. It’s either a quite sober up at the Cab Nick or a trip to the hospital for a check up and a lock up. You choose.” 
The stranger let himself be handcuffed, but it didn’t stop him from talking, “who mentioned aliens? All I said was projected energy weapon.” Rhys growled at him and he shrugged, but allowed himself to be lead off, leaving Helena to looked up at the victim, and then turn to look down at the river. She took a deep breath and slowly exhaled as she took in the broken branches and scuffed soil leading directly back to the river. 
“Damn.”

Edited by Sir Wearer of Hats
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Sir Wearer of Hats

Things seemed to calm down after the intruder was handcuffed and secured in a patrol car, but something niggled at the back of Helena’s mind, and it wasn’t just the strong scent of wattle bothering her. He couldn’t be right, surely? And if he was right, how did he know? It would be easy to say he was responsible, but something didn’t ring true about that. Helena had met her fair share of murderers, and he didn’t seem to fit the bill. He reminded her of a teacher she had in high school, mad as the day was long, but someone who knew exactly what he was talking about. But still... the thoughts swirled. She was glad when SOCO finally deigned to grace her with their presence because that meant finding answers weren’t her problem anymore. She was even gladder when replacement officers arrived so she could return to the station and the inevitable pile of paperwork waiting for her in her role of desk sergeant. Which was ironic, as Helena viewed paperwork as the only necessary evil of policing under normal circumstances. Her gladness and enthusiasm for mundanity evaporated instantly upon seeing an empty patrol car and a pair of handcuffs lying in the gutter. Helena was furious. She was so furious that she never noticed that the strong scent of wattle had disappeared, nor had she wondered why there had been such a strong smell, given that there were no flowering wattle in the vicinity. 
 

No one ever goes to a police station willingly. It was one of the first things taught to trainee officers, drilled into them so that they never forget that what is to them a place of work is to everyone else a place where they only go when something has gone terrible wrong, one way or another. The fact that only victims and criminals (alleged criminals, another thing drilled into trainee officers) only ever entered also explained the bizarre dichotomies in police station architecture. Imposing front desks with thick glass designed to make people have to look up at the presiding officer on the one hand, and pastel colours and soft music on the other. It was why officers like Helena Grey, capable of both barking out orders and offering soothing platitudes in equally believable ways, rather than perpetually miserable and misanthropic officers like the recently graduated but born misanthrope Rhys Bauchman, were given the responsibility of being the duty officer. The duty officer had to deal with recalcitrant drunks, argumentative recipients of driving violations, violent offenders and weeping victims all within minutes of each other, sometimes all at once. In addition to being duty officer and dealing with the public and the “guests” in the watch house, Helena was desk sergeant and so had to manage the books and ensure all the paperwork was up to date. Under normal circumstances, Helena juggled all these responsibilities with skill and dignity. Not today. She misspelt five words on formal reports, lost an Apprehended Violence Order so had to weather the ire of Mrs Justice Beatrice McMahon, The Grand old Dragon of Caboolture Courthouse and finally burnt her lunch in the staff room microwave. so it was with great relief when she clocked off and drove, perhaps a bit too quickly and a little too distractedly, home. 
 

Helena lived far enough outside of Caboolture as to be away from anyone who might recognise her as a police officer, but still close enough to get home within 15 minutes. Her house wasn’t much to look at, and needed more than just a lick of paint, but it had two things going for it. Air conditioning that could turn a typical Queensland summer’s day into something that wouldn't be out of place in Antarctica and a large swimming pool. Helena’s father used to joke she was part fish and if she was still on Bribie, she’d be in the surf as soon as possible, so a large salt water pool was the next best thing. She clicked on the pump, evaporation having had taken it’s toll on the water level, as she slouched inside. As she stripped off her uniform and slipped into her togs, she tried very hard to also strip off the concerns of the day. To put aside the bollocking she and Rhys had received for losing a suspect. To get the reek of burnt flesh out of nose. To stop grinding her teeth at the memory of broken branches leading toward the river and the echo of a lunatic’s comment about aliens and laser guns. She padded out to the pool as something plopped in the water. She stopped and looked. It must have been a bird getting a mouthful of salty water. She slid into the water and began to float, just letting her body relax. 
It was at that moment that scaly reptilian hands burst from the water to seize her by the throat....

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Sir Wearer of Hats

The human brain is an amazing thing, capable of the most sublime arts of creation, but also of the most staggering acts of self-deception. Take, for example, Helena Grey. She was the sort of person who when asked to choose the evening’s entertainment would choose a documentary. The sort of person who has the news playing the background while preparing her dinner as opposed to a soap opera. It made her an excellent and practical police officer. But all that fled the moment the impossible occurred and she was being asphyxiated by a pair of seemingly disembodied reptilian hands and, instead, as her vision began to blacken and fade, she had almost convinced herself it wasn’t happening and instead she had somehow fallen asleep. She was so distracted by being throttled and attempting to rationalise it as anything but being throttled, that she didn’t notice a ginger-haired giant of a man vaulting her fence and running to her aid. She would never remember him grabbing a loose fence paling and wading into the pool, swinging the paling like sword at her attacker’s hands. The first she would remember was lying on the ground sucking in lungfuls of air and an overwhelming relief at not being dead. 
Naturally, her first instinct upon seeing the same man from the crime scene now in her back garden, and feeling the agony in her throat as well as groggily recalling that all she was wearing was a pair of togs, was to shout at him for being a pervert and attempt to arrest him for unlawful entry and assault. All he offered in his defence was to point at the large reptilian nightmare pulling itself out of her swimming pool. If it were to stand at it’s full height, it would have been seven or eight feet tall, but instead it was hunched over and glaring at Helena and the stranger with large, wet eyes full of intelligence and malevolence. It had great frilled gills on either side of it’s head that flittered in time with it’s stentorian breathing. It stood, leering at them for a long time, gulping in air. 
The stranger shouted at someone to open a door and ran towards Helena, grabbing her arm but because she was still wet she slithered out of his grip and ran towards her car. Realising she wasn’t following, and that the reptile was now lumbering towards them, the stranger raced after Helena, and as she was gunning the engine leapt into the passenger’s seat. He hadn’t even managed to to buckle his seatbelt by the time Helena roared off in a cloud of dust and terror. 
“Fascinating!” the stranger said, in order to fill the tense silence in the car. Helena grunted, which he took as an excuse to continue. “Utterly fascinating. Obviously you’d not have gotten into a pool with an antediluvian reptilian sentient, but how did it get there? Some form of natural camouflage concealing it in the water perhaps?” 
“Shut. Up.” Helena growled. The stranger looked at her intently and nodded his consent. “I was almost killed, and you think that’s fascinating?” 
“You weren’t, so you’re welcome, but yes. Fascinating. How did it get there? Where did it come from? Why did it go after you? So many intriguing questions, and so many interesting possibilities to answer them.” 
“I was almost killed,” Helena sobbed. Despite all her training, despite the danger of it, she put her head in her hands and cried. The stranger’s hand shot out quickly and grabbed the steering wheel and guided the car to the side of the road, pulling to a stop right next to the ‘Welcome to Caboolture’ sign. 
Cars passed, a number of drivers honking or indicting their displeasure with pointed gestures towards Helena and the stranger. 
Helena sat in the passenger’s seat, her bare feet on the brown grass and the stranger’s coat wrapped around her shoulders protectively. He lay on the roof of the car, eye’s closed in meditation. Helena shivered despite the warmth of the afternoon. The stranger snored. 
“What the **** just happened?” Helena said eventually.
With a soft waking snort, the stranger said “you were attacked by some form of reptilian who had hidden itself in your swimming pool.” 
“And why were you there?” Helena still didn’t quite believe what had happened, but she couldn’t deny the evidence of her own eyes. “I tracked a phobic discharge.... OH! OF COURSE! It wasn’t hiding in your pool. It was teleported INTO your pool. Makes sense when you think about it.” 
“And who the hell are you?” Helena’s police sense was returning. 
“What’s a name but a label someone’s given you? I know who I am,” he paused and a smile crossed his lips and passed into his voice, saying “besides you’d never believe me if I told you who I was.” 
“Try me.” The stranger rolled off the roof of the car and fussed over his clothes, dusting off his waistcoat and trousers. He sighed when he saw the state of his patent leather shoes, now ruined by the salt water of Helena’s swimming pool. 
“I am Someone Someday,” he said with pride. Helena scoffed. “Told you you’d never believe me,” he added, with just a hint of wounded pride. 
“Who the hell named you that!” Helena said, wilfully focusing on something other than murderous reptiles. 
“What’s wrong with my name? It could be worse, after all my sister’s name is Someone Somehow!” He laughed at a private joke. “You know what, I don’t care what your name is. You’re coming with me to Cab Nick.” 
“Two things, firstly why?” Someone Someday said with mock offence. 
“Because .... because.... JUST BECAUSE!” Helena said, trying to regain control of the situation. She didn’t want to say she wanted to go to the station so she could hide in her office until she worked out what was going on. She stood up and walked to the driver’s side of the car doing what the locals call the ‘summer time Jig’, stepping on grass that concealed hard rocks and tenderly skipping across burning bitumen. She hissed as she touched the steering wheel. “Get in!” she commanded, “and what's the second thing!?” 
“Ohh that. You’re wearing a swimming costume.” He indicated her bare legs and arms. Helena was prepared for that. “No worries. I used to be a scout,” Helena offered a wane smile, the first levity she’d felt since slipping into her swimming pool, what felt like hours ago. Helena had long since learnt to carry a spare change of clothes in her car after a disastrous day early in her career in the watch house involving an unconscious ‘guest’ who had the trots. 
 

Now fully dressed Helena walked into her office having introduced Someone Someday to the other officers as “a witness” to the recent events that she was going to take a statement from. Someone looked around the station with a critical but curious eye. “So much nicer with pastel colours,” he said sitting down. Helena just looked at him, an eyebrow raised. “Police stations. Once upon a time they used to be all monochrome and full of hidden corners where dark deeds were done daily. Far less Stasi-chic these days.” Before she could answer, someone knocked on her door and stuck their head in saying, “Hel, someone’s smashed up all the loos.” The sheer bizarreness of the situation was almost too much for Helena. The fact that Someone added smoothly, “wasn’t me officer, I’ve been here all the time,” with a look of utter innocence on his face finally broke Helena and she burst out laughing uproariously. Someone’s eye’s twinkled, Helena was coping nicely. Tears. Anger. Laughter. Acceptance usually came next in his experience. Wiping tears from her eyes, Helena said breathlessly “I’ll get onto it,” the other officer nodded but said “what’ll we do if we need a p***?” 
“Go to Maccas,” she waved him away. Something niggled at the back of Someone’s brain. ”Right now. “Someone Someday”,” she even added air quotes to signify her disbelief of his name, “where do you live?” She was intent on finding out more about him. “222 Margaret Street, Brisbane.” Helena’s eye’s widened as she Googled the address. Someone shrugged immodestly, “I like the view. It shows humanity in microcosm. Art and practicality hand-in-hand, the old and the new jostling for space. The best and worst of you all in one glorious vista.” Something crashed outside Helena’s office as Someone spoke. He raised a curious eyebrow and quietened down. Helena is eye’s narrowed and she shuffled her chair closer to the gun safe. Someone gently eased her door open and peered out. “Ahh,” he said gravely. A smell wafted in. An all to familiar sickly reek of cooked meat. Now armed, Helena joined him and looked out at a scene of devastation. There were burn marks on computers and chairs, on the walls and door and worst of all, on the bodies of Helena’s colleagues. Standing, hunched and glaring at one side of the room were three of the reptilians, all armed with large saucer-like hand weapons. All of which were quickly pointed at Someone and Helena....

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Dejarma

i like this Mr. Hats..very well structured imo 

i look forward to the next instalment ;)

Peace.

dej...

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Sir Wearer of Hats
2 hours ago, Dejarma said:

i like this Mr. Hats..very well structured imo 

i look forward to the next instalment ;)

Peace.

dej...

Cheers Dejarma.

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Sir Wearer of Hats

“Not today, thank you!” Someone shouted, pushing Helena to the ground and pulling the door closed behind them. 
“We’re trapped now you ginger berk!” Helena, previously keeping herself in check, finally lost her temper and lashed out. Someone humphed, fixing her with a steady, piercing gaze. “Can you smell the strong scent of wattle?” Helena looked at him as if he’d grown a second head. “What!?!” 
“The strong scent of wattle. It’s important that you can smell the strong scent of wattle.” Helena barricaded the door as the creatures crashed into it. The door shook as they pounded it. “The strong scent of wattle. Come on. Smell it, SAY IT!” he commanded loudly. Helena couldn’t help herself, she was unable to ignore the authority in his voice. She tried.
No. Nothing. His face was tense, but his gaze steady. and then, just as the door started to smoke, yes she could. Just a hint. “I can smell.... something,” she offered, but it wasn’t the strong scent of wattle. “A scent of wattle?” Someone offered, as a hole began to appear in the door. 
“Yes,” Helena had to admit. 
“Say it,” something twinkled in his eye. Something ageless and terrible. “Say you can smell the strong scent of wattle,” the hole in the door was complete and the back wall started to smoke as well. 
“YES I CAN SMELL THE STRONG SCENT OF WATTLE!” she cried. Someone smiled. 
“Good. Cordy, we need a door. Now” he stood and straighted his clothes. Helena was aghast when impossible a door appeared on the wall opposite her desk. Someone opened the door and held out a hand, watch out for the first step.” He pulled her inside the door just as the creatures burst in.

Helena’s neat, ordered world shattered.

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Sir Wearer of Hats

Helena hadn’t stepped through the wall into the front office. 
Helena hadn’t been shot dead. 
Helena hadn’t, despite what she was currently thinking, gone mad. 
Instead, Helena stepped into a surrealist nightmare of thrusting crystals, strange angles and a distant throbbing that she wasn’t sure wasn’t some Godzilla sized heart. Someone Someday somehow appeared perfectly at home in this Fortress of Soliture designed by HR Giger. She looked behind her to find only a footpath that curled away behind an outcropping of softly luminous crystal. She wasn’t sure if the changes in colours she was seeing was the result of the place she was in or some subtle stroke she was having. Someone stopped and turned around. “Well?” 
“No no no...” she sucked in a shuddering breath. 
“Take your time, you’re perfectly safe here,” he said softer than she’d ever heard him speak. The soft glow seemed to swirl around him, moving as he moved. “where....” she managed. 
“Are we?” Someone finished and Helena nodded. “it’s my CORDIS. Conveyance Of Repeating Dialogue In Space-time.” 
“How... how is it so big?” She asked. She was desperately clinging to the fluttering rational thoughts that her mind was throwing around equally with a desire to go insane and quotes from TV series she used to watch as a girl. “It’s an idea, how do you measure the size of thought?” Helena barked a laugh. 
“So we’re inside an idea? What’s the idea, “how many drugs can a set designer take before it goes too far? Because it’s too far!” she laughed another brittle laugh. Someone sighed,  
“I didn’t want to bring you here yet. You weren’t ready. I’m sorry. The CORDIS can be confronting.” 
“Confronting!” Helena giggled, “confronting is alien lizard men killing my friends! Confronting is some reject from the black lagoon trying to drown me! THIS PLACE!” she started to shout, “this place is something fecking Lovecraft would reject as too much!” She then curled up into a ball and sobbed. 
 


Helena opened one eye and hoped she was back in her office having passed out. 
Helena opened both eyes and saw she was lying on a well upholstered leather bench seat. Slowly she rose. Carefully she looked around. Gone was the nightmare landscape and in it’s place was the Orient Express. “Riigghtt.....”she said quietly. 
“Ohh you’re awake,” Someone Someday said from behind a small drink’s counter tucked into one corner of the room. The room was longer than it was wide, and it did resemble an ornate train carriage, even down to the series of windows behind drawn curtains. this part of the carriage was lined with tables, each with lace tablecloths and leather chairs. Helena was stretched out on the one closest to Someone. Her shoes had been removed and tucked carefully under the table. Helena sat up and drew her knees up under her chin. Someone kept fussing behind the counter. “I’m not the best host, do you want a drink?” he offered. 
“Umm, orange juice? I don’t feel up to anything harder.” Helena said, whereas in reality she wanted to drink until she forgot the last day. Someone smiled and poured something out of the martini shaker he’d been playing with. “Nothing alcoholic,but try this. My mother’s secret recipe.” He expertly poured two glasses, stepping up to Helena’s table to present her with her drink and then back behind the counter. Helena sipped her drink, it was fruity, it was a subtle dance of flavours and it was exactly what she needed. “Where are we?” 
“Finish your drink first,” Someone said softly.

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rachelkleypassparrow

I would love to read more!!! This is brilliant and a good read. IT would be great to learn more. It's a bit like Doctor Who, but has it's

own ideology and characters.  

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Sir Wearer of Hats
1 hour ago, rachelkleypassparrow said:

I would love to read more!!! This is brilliant and a good read. IT would be great to learn more. It's a bit like Doctor Who, but has it's

own ideology and characters.  

More is on the way, I find it difficult to focus on one story at a time though, so the next story is currently sitting mostly written on my PC, ideas for a third sketched out and I’m mucking about with an entirely different story for a charity fanthology.

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Sir Wearer of Hats

“Where am I?” Helena asked as she sipped her second glass of what she was starting to think of as ‘Ma Someday’s Surprise’. Someone raised and eyebrow as he sat down opposite her. “You’re a clever person, you tell me.” He was leaning back in the couch seat, his jacket hanging on a nearby coat hook and his sleeves rolled up. “We’re still aboard your CARDIS, we’re we?” She couldn’t help the shiver that ran down her spine. “CORDIS,” he corrected, “and yes. This is my …” he waved his hand as if searching for the best word. “Man Cave?” Helena suggested. His look suggested otherwise. “Lair?” she tried, a look crossing her face quickly. Someone started and looked at her seriously. “Boudoir?” she added, keeping her face neutral with some effort. “I preferred ‘lair’,” Someone said, finally catching on to Helena’s ribbing with a small smile. “What happened to the Forest of Solitude?”
“It’s still here. Outside this carriage, the CORDIS maintains this space as a refuge for me and my guests. As you know, the CORDIS can be unsettling.”
“Alien is the word you’re looking for. Something totally and utterly alien.”
“Because I am,”
“I worked that out myself thanks. I’m a police officer after all.”
“I had noticed. The uniform was a bit of a give-away.” He teased. Helena was still surprised to find herself proven right despite her suspicions. “Where do you come from?”
“Elsewhere and Elsewhen,” he answered with an air of vague definitiveness. Helena realised he wasn’t going to be pushed to provide any further answers on that front. “Why are you here? Are you looking for the reptilians?” Someone pursed his lips as hie thought about how to answer the question. “My people have great power, but little need to …” again he looked lost for words. “… strive. Little need to struggle and overcome. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I forget that those with power have a responsibility to those without. So when I need to remind myself, I come here.”
“To Caboolture?”
“To Earth. Usually it’s the 20th century, fascinating period. But this time I hung around to see what you did next. It’s been eye-opening.”
“Why the 20th century?”
“Your species goes from what amounted to sophisticated farmers to an interplanetary civilisation in less than a hundred years. That’s impressive and awe-inspiring, even to someone like me.” He nodded in appreciation.
“Now what?”
“What comes next? In 2020?” A wicked smile crossed his lips. “You really do not want to know. Although shares in toilet paper might be an idea.”
“No, what now do we do about the murderous reptile people?”
“Ohh them,” Someone pursed his lips, “We’ll ask them to go away politely. Otherwise, Someone might have to make them.”
“Someone can do that, can they? Someone can tell the reptilians to go home, and they’ll leave?” Helena mocked.
“He can now,” Someone said triumphantly. Helena shook her head.

******

Morayfield High School was to the south of the Caboolture River, ten minutes or so away from where Helena had first encountered the handiwork of the Reptilians. Behind the school, tucked into a copse of paperbark trees was what was optimistically called “the billabong”, an indigenous word for a water hole, but was universally referred to by the students of the high school as “the swamp”. The strong scent of wattle pervaded the swamp, and Helena breathed a sigh of relief to be literally back on Terra Firma. Someone was all business with the exception of a series of increasingly complexly worded complaints about how the mud of the swamp was ruining his patent leather shoes. “You saw the readings, the rivers of Caboolture are suffused with phobic energy, they’re being turned into a teleport network. I want a backdoor into the network that they might not be monitoring, thus…” he directed an impressive wave towards the decidedly unimpressive morass of mud and tangled tree roots.
“How do you know it’s even connected to this network?” Helena wondered, surprised how quickly she’d gotten used to this mad world she’d fallen into. “Well, two reasons. Firstly the CORDIS detected traces of phobic energy in the water here,”
“And secondly?”
“Well, the corpse with a steaming hole in it’s stomach was a bit of a clue,” Someone deadpanned. What she’d taken for a muddy log, wasn’t. It was an adult male with a terror-stricken face. He’d been shot and rolled down into the mud. A lonely, battered hat floated not far away in the swampy water. Instinctively, Helena’s hand went for her phone to call the police, but she remembered that Cab nick would be in chaos after the reptilians attack. A dog’s incessant yapping interrupted her train of thought. She heard someone shout “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and a terrified older man with a mane of silver hair rushed into the copse of trees where Helena and Someone Someday were standing. So much, Helena thought, for the unmonitored back door.

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Sir Wearer of Hats

And there's an author cameo!
Or at least, a cameo by the author's hat ;)

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