Stories are always about "what if's"… I took my inspiration from Christopher Lee and Jon Pertwee - both being involved in espionage during the war and thought, what if Marcus Scarman was not only an archaeologist but also a British spy? He even looks like Ian Fleming with his beaked nose and white linen suit.

I wanted to set it shortly after the events of Pyramids Of Mars and see the aftermath of Scarman's death. 1911 ''a splendid year, one of my favourites'', somehow I was able to throw so many other Doctor Who elements into the story; Churchill, City of Death, all of which were accurately within the timeline. K.B.O.
Downing Street, August 1911. A Top Secret meeting is taking place.

As the Mahogany grandfather clock struck 9:00am, the immaculately polished double doors of the conference room at No.10 Downing Street opened and the party of men silently entered. Leading them was Reginald McKenna of the Admiralty, his bald head catching the flicker of the lamps. He was followed by Jack Pease, a man who's eyes looked like a disappointed bloodhound, watery and apologetic, by his side was a nervous looking gentleman by the name of Walter Runciman. Last to enter was the home secretary Winston Churchill, a nod from McKenna and the men all sat at the conference table.

"Well?" said McKenna leaning forward looking sternly at the three cabinet members.

"Well, errrr, what, eerrr, what?" said Pease, like a schoolboy in the headmaster’s office.

Mckenna let out a disgruntled "hmmph" and opened a red file which Churchill handed him. "I will ask in plain English, Sir, is Marcus Scarman a German spy??"

The contents of the red file spilled out onto the table. Photo’s and documents slid their way across the smooth surface.

The room remained silent, only the ticking clock could be heard. Pease could swear it was getting louder.

"By God, I’ll have an answer! We are meeting the Prime Minister in half an hour to discuss the possibility of war with Germany and one of our best spies goes missing, his estate, family and friends up in smoke! Does that not sound suspicious to you gentlemen?" barked Mckenna.

Runciman and Pease started babbling over each other. They caught McKenna’s eye and both fell quiet.

"There is another possibility we have yet to explore, no pun intended gentlemen…"

McKenna half smiled at Churchill then narrowed his eyes, more fact, less wit thought McKenna.

"Winston, pray tell old chap" he said softly, almost with a hint of sarcasm, almost.

Churchill leaned back and lit up his pipe, he savoured the short drags and the look of anticipation from his colleagues, well... two of them at least.

"There is the possibility that Scarman could have been eliminated by the Germans. You will all agree he was one of our best spies. He had the perfect cover – archaeology. I think gentlemen, Scarman was murdered."

"Why?" asked Runciman timidly.

"As a warning, it’s their way of saying ‘we know’. It’s a rather unsubtle message".

McKenna took a large intake of air through his nostrils. He perced his lips and finally…

"Hmmmmm, it certainly is a typical shabby trick of the Hun, but why burn down his estate? Surely they wanted to destroy evidence that would condemn or expose Scarman as one of theirs?" McKenna took out his pipe and wedged it at the side of his mouth.

"I think the destruction of the estate was to say that they have spies here on British soil, it was directed at us, a sort of two fingered gesture to this cabinet". Churchill lowered his two fingers at McKenna and chuckled.

"What is the lay of the land with the French?" asked Pease.

"The French are too busy trying to find out who stole their ‘Mona Lisa’ to be worried about Germany" laughed Churchill.

The smoke from McKenna’s pipe rose and danced with the smoke from Churchill’s, rudely dispersed by Runciman who blew it away.

"The question is, what do we do now?" coughed Runciman.

McKenna thoughtfully rubbed some tobacco between his thumb and forefinger.

"There was one witness report apparently" said Pease quietly, hoping not to be heard.

"What do you mean, Pease - witness? What witness?"

Pease gestured to the red file on the table.

"I read that an Egyptian labourer said Scarman disturbed a burial chamber in some pyramid and…well…the wall ate him up"

"I read that too, and the same labourer was thrown in an asylum for claiming he was chased by men with Jackal heads, utterly preposterous. Let us stay in the land of the living gentlemen" Growled McKenna refilling his pipe.

"Do we know anything of the Egyptian? Was he Scarman’s factotum?" asked Runciman, desperately trying to add to the conference.

Winston riffled through the papers and found the page he was looking for.

"Hmmmm, according to our intelligence he was assisting Scarman in Egypt. Translating, hiring diggers, transport that sort of thing. He brought back all those relics for Scarman, no links to Germany, but the intensity of the blaze was so great it was difficult to identify who was who in that manor house. The brother and local Doctor were identified, both strangled, oh and the Doctor was also shot too, poor chap. Game keeper of some sorts was found on the estate, neck completely shattered."

McKenna shook his head. "Good God, it sounds like a ruddy massacre, I swear there will be repercussions. We cannot allow this to go on in British soil".

Pease and Runciman looked at each other, willing each other to speak.

Churchill put his palm on the end of his pipe and drew back a gulp of air to extinguish it. "What do you want me to do?" asked Churchill.

McKenna sat back in the leather chair. "At this stage, nothing. The admiralty is simply not ready-"

"Ready for what Reginald?" said a voice in the doorway.

The four men turned to face the keen, intelligent features of H. H. Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith and their Prime Minister. The men all stood up and bowed their heads slightly.

"It’s nice to see you all punctual, but judging from the smoke in the room perhaps a little too punctual?" He sat down at the head of the table, he looked at the empty spaces and raised his eye brows.

"We are early Prime Minister" said Pease.

Mckenna glared at Pease. "Yes prime Minister a small matter of domestic security to attend to, before we begin with the affairs of state, you will of course have a full report from me by the end of today, a few loose ends to tie up" he nodded to Churchill.

"Very good Reginald, very good. Now did you read that the Mona Lisa was stolen! The frogs are up in arms about it! I don’t know what all the fuss is about m’self, someone told me it was a fake". The men of course all laughed at the Prime Ministers joke as the rest of the cabinet arrived taking their places round the table.

© Copyright David Bickerstaff, Andy Clift, Matt Rooke & Doctor Who Online, 2013.
Page Updated: 13/4/2013

Written by:
David Bickerstaff

Artwork by:
Andy Clift

Coloured by:
Matt Rooke

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