Copyright 2011 (C) The author retains all rights to the work, and permission to reproduce it, or use it in any way can only be obtained with the author's permission.
THE AMERSHAM CHRONICLES by Patricia Keiller
NEWSREADER The man who initially breaks the news of strange sightings in the town of Amersham, and the subsequent transmissions charting the progress of the alien invasions, the panic felt by the fleeing population of London, and the eventual defeat of the aliens.
JACK KOWALSKI Roving reporter sent to Amersham to cover the story.
MARK LEWISHAM Man of about forty. Local to the area, and a scientist. Sends his wife and children to stay with her mother in Wimbledon when the problems begin, but soon realises they may be in just as much danger there as in Amersham. Soon he and JACK KOWALSKI set off on a mission to London to rescue their families.
SARAH LEWISHAM MARK'S wife. She is very reluctant to leave, and does so grudgingly.
DANIEL LEWISHAM MARK and SARAH'S twelve year old son.
KATE LEWISHAM Their fourteen year old daughter.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Tough army sergeant. With his help MARK LEWISHAM and JACK KOWALSKI are able to formulate a plan that will lead to the eventual downfall of the aliens.
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW A man on the brink of total defeat and disaster. Rather doubtful of the theory amd plan put forward by MARK LEWISHAM,JACK KOWALSKI and SERGEANT MATTHEWS, he nevertheless listens, and decides to try out their plan as a last resort.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF SIR HENTY DRAYTON Top army commander, and someone with whom SERGEANT MATTHEWS gets on well, as they are very much cut out of the same cloth.
Initially the small town of Amersham, situated north west of London in Buckinghamshire, then London itself.
NEWSREADER Reports have been coming in of strange lights being seen over the town of Amersham in Buckinghamshire. The bright, white light has been clearly visible in the sky above the town for a couple of nights. We go over now to our reporter on the scene, Jack Kowalski.
JACK KOWALSKI I am here in Amersham with local scientist, Professor Mark Lewisham. Professor, there has been much speculation about the strange lights seen in the nightly sky above the town as being a UFO, but you yourself believe that the lights have a perfectly simple explanation.
MARK LEWISHAM Yes, I believe that the bright, white lights seen over Amersham are nothing other than a rather extreme manifestation of the Aurora Borealis.
JACK KOWALSKI Thank you Professor Lewisham. This is Jack Kowalski reporting from Amersham.
NEWSREADER The Prime Minister is due to announce a cabinet reshuffle this afternoon.......
(IT IS LATE AFTERNOON, AND THE WHOLE LEWISHAM FAMILY ARE AT HOME.KATE AND DANIEL WHO HAVE JUST RETURNED HOME FROM SCHOOL, ADDRESS THEIR FATHER.)
KATE LEWISHAM Abosulute chaos has broken out in the town centre, Dad. All the traffic has come to a complete standstill...
DANIEL LEWISHAM A man's just been killed by that UFO, Dad!
MARK LEWISHAM I told you before, Daniel, it's no such thing. It's the Aurora Borealis.
DANIEL LEWISHAM If you don't believe me, ask Kate.
KATE LEWISHAM It's true. This man approached the wooded area where the bright, white light seems to be coming from, there was this ear splitting noise, the man fell to the ground dead, and when the police tried to recover his body, they found that it had been incinerated. All that was left of him was a pile of dust, and the shadow of where his body had once stood.
MARK LEWISHAM I don't believe a word of all this, I'm going out to check up on the children's story.
SARAH LEWISHAM What if the children are right? What if those strange lights are something sinister after all?
MARK LEWISHAM Oh, come on, Sarah! You don't believe in all this extraterrestrial nonsense, do you?
(MARK LEWISHAM HAS MADE HIS WAY TO A HILLTOP FROM WHICH A WOODED AREA BELOW CAN BE SEEN. A SMALL CROWD HAS CONGREGATED ON THE HILLTOP. THE JOURNALIST, JACK KOWALSKI IS AMONG THE CROWD. MARK SPOTS HIM, AND GOES OVER TO HIM).
MARK LEWISHAM I see quite a crowd has gathered here, I suppose you've got quite a good view of those trees from this spot. Anyway I guessed this was where you would be. You journalists are never ones to miss a good story, are you? I hear a man was killed down by the trees earlier, supposedly by the bright light everyone been going on about these last few days.
JACK KOWALSKI I shall ignore that rather snide comment about journalists. The man was killed by that white light you said was caused by the Aurora Borealis. I saw it happen, and I can tell you that it was no atmospheric phenomenon.
MARK LEWISHAM What happened exactly?
JACK KOWALSKI The poor man approached the trees, there was a flash of intense white light, a bit like the flash of a camera going off, but on a much bigger scale. There was a whirring noise, and something metallic could be seen hovering above the treetops.
MARK LEWISHAM You mean like a machine of some sort?
JACK KOWALSKI Yes, I guess.
MARK LEWISHAM I'm going to see if I can borrow that man's binoculars, and move a bit closer to get a better view.(PAUSE) Excuse me, can I borrow your binoculars for a few minutes.
MAN Yes, of course.
JACK KOWALSKI Hey, wait a minute Professor Lewisham. Do you mind if I come with you?
MARK LEWISHAM It's a free world. I can't stop you coming with me, I suppose.
JACK KOWALSKI You don't like journalists much, do you? I'd just like to say I take my job very seriously. I don't do exploitative journalism. I'm here to report the truth.
MARK LEWISHAM I'm sorry. You're right. I don't like journalists much as a breed, and I haven't really given you a fair chance.
JACK KOWALSKI Apology accepted. Now let's get a closer look at what's going on.
(THE SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS ON GRASS)
MARK LEWISHAM (WHISPERING) My god, it's huge! It's made from some sort of metal.I've never seen anything like it. There don't appear to be any windows, portals, or doors, but it's definately a craft of some kind.
JACK KOWALSKI Let me have a look.(PAUSES AS HE TAKES THE BINOCULARS) It's amazing. It's some sort of alien craft, isn't it. I never thought I'd see anything like this.
MARK LEWISHAM It may not be alien.
JACK KOWALSKI Is there any country in the world capable of such advanced technology?
MARK LEWISHAM No, I don't think so.
JACK KOWALSKI And judging by the death of that man, they don't seem very friendly either.
MARK LEWISHAM Let's not jump to any conclusions. Perhaps the death of that man was an accident.
JACK KOWALSKI Do you really think it could have been an accident?
MARK LEWISHAM I think it's possible, yes.
(THEIR CONVERSATION IS INTERRUPTED BY LOUD SHOUTS, AND THE SOUND OF SOMEONE RUNNING PAST THEM).
JACK KOWALSKI Ahh! That light! It's so intense.
MARK LEWISHAM My eyes! It's like staring into the sun.
JACK KOWALSKI The light is acting like a laser beam now. It's focusing on that man.
MARK LEWISHAM He's d..dead, dissolved in front of our eyes to a pile of dust.
JACK KOWALSKI There's another laser beam there. It's aiming for that building.
MARK LEWISHAM The....the building. It's...it's been turned into a heap of rubble.
JACK KOWALSKI Do you still think all of this could be an accident?
MARK LEWISHAM No...no, I don't.
(MARK LEWISHAM IS AT HOME WITH HIS FAMILY. IT IS LATE EVENING).
MARK LEWISHAM Sarah, I'd like you and the kids to go and stay with your mother in Wimbledon for now. There's something very strange going on here in Amersham. I don't think it's safe for you and the children to remain here.
SARAH LEWISHAM You've changed your tune somewhat since this morning.
MARK LEWISHAM That was before I saw what had happened to those two men who were killed.
DANIEL LEWISHAM So you think it might be aliens then?
MARK LEWISHAM I wouldn't go so far as to say I think it's aliens for sure, but there is something extremely odd, and sinister going on, and I would rather all of you were somewhere a bit safer.
SARAH LEWISHAM Well, if you're staying, I'm staying too.
MARK LEWISHAM I'm staying because I think I should. We can't all just abandon the town to whatever it is that's threatening it.
KATE LEWISHAM I don't want to go to Wimbledon. All my friends are here in Amersham.
DANIEL LEWISHAM I do. Going to Wimbledon might be fun, a bit like an adventure. I think it'll be cool.
KATE LEWISHAM You little squirt. You wouldn't recognize cool even if you fell over it.
DANIEL LEWISHAM You just want to stay here because of your crummy boyfriend.
MARK LEWISHAM Shut up, the pair of you. You are both going to go to Wimbledon with your mother. It's not safe here. Most people will leave the town if they've got any sense.
NEWSREADER Unconfirmed reports from Amersham indicate that a number of people have now been killed by the bright, white light which appears to be emanating from a large metallic object, which is believed to be some sort of spacecraft. In Amersham, and nearby towns and villages, people are leaving in droves, heading south or north, anywhere to escape from the area. The Government is bringing in troops to the town, in the hope that the spacecraft can be quickly disarmed, and rendered safe. We go over to our reporter in Amersham, Jack Kowalski.
JACK KOWALSKI This once quiet and peaceful small town has been turned into a war zone. Buildings lay damaged, burnt and ruined. At least twenty people have now been killed by the laser beam emitted by the spacecraft, and the town of Amersham is slowly starting to resemble a ghost town as more and more people leave. The army is due to arrive shortly, and it is hoped that they will be able to bring an end to this alien attack on the town.
NEWSREADER Reports have also been coming in of panic spreading to other parts of the UK, and even other countries.
JACK KOWALSKI Yes, the next twenty four hours will be crucial if we are to avoid an alien invasion, and widespread panic and terror taking over our cities and towns.
(MARK LEWISHAM IS BIDDING FAREWELL TO HIS FAMILY BEFORE THEY LEAVE FOR WIMBLEDON)
MARK LEWISHAM I want you two children to promise not to argue with each other. Your mother's got a lot on her plate, and she doesn't need you to be fighting all the time.
SARAH LEWISHAM Are you sure this is what you really want us to do, Mark? I still think we should be staying together at a time like this.
MARK LEWISHAM You and the kids must leave, Sarah. Can you see how dangerous it's become here? I have to stay, at least for now. I'll join you as soon as I can.
KATE LEWISHAM Oh,Dad!
(THE SOUND OF SOBBING, FOOTSTEPS, A CAR DOOR OPENING, THEN CLOSING, AND FINALLY DRIVING OFF.)
NEWSREADER The last twenty four hours has seen the almost total destruction of this once quaint Buckinghamshire town. Buildings lie in ruins, and the streets are deserted of cars or people. Even the army with its tanks and armoury seem helpless in the face of such a foe. The Government, in a statement issued this afternoon, urged the public not to panic, and refused to state categorically whether the strange craft now attacking Amersham with such ferocity, is indeed of extraterrestrial origin. Sources close to Prime Minister Fanshaw reveal that he has already ruled out a terrorist attack, or an attack from a hostile nation. Despite the Government's reassurances, there has been increased looting in many city centres and a general breakdown in law and order. In many cities such as London people have taken to the streets and have started demonstrating, and large numbers of panic stricken people have started fleeing London....
(THERE IS THE SOUND OF A SWITCH AS THE RADIO IS TURNED OFF. THEN THE SOUND OF A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.)
MARK LEWISHAM Come in!
JACK KOWALSKI Professor Lewisham, I was hoping to find you here.
MARK LEWISHAM I was just listening to your colleague on the radio. The situation is looking pretty dire, isn't it?
JACK KOWALSKI I think the situation is about as dire as it could get.
MARK LEWISHAM What the hell are the army doing?
JACK KOWALSKI They've been rendered as defenceless as the rest of us confronted with such a technologically superior enemy. Whenever the army has tried to bombard the spacecraft, the laser beam it emits has simply turned all the tanks, and guns into a mound of disintegrated junk.
MARK LEWISHAM We're all done for, aren't we Mr Kowalski?
JACK KOWALSKI Call me Jack.
MARK LEWISHAM Only if you stop calling me Professor Lewisham, you make me feel like a school teacher adddressing a pupil. My name's Mark.
JACK KOWALSKI Okay, Mark it is. Listen, I came here to tell you that I reckon the spacecraft is on the move.
MARK LEWISHAM Are you sure, Jack?
JACK KOWALSKI It's moving very slowly at the moment, but yes, it is definately moving.
MARK LEWISHAM Let's check out which way it's heading.(PAUSE) Just hang on a sec, Jack while I grab my coat.(PAUSE) Come on let's go!
(MARK LEWISHAM AND JACK KOWALSKI ARE STANDING A FAIR DISTANCE AWAY FROM THE SPACECRAFT).
JACK KOWALSKI We're far away enough from here to see the spacecraft in its entirety.
MARK LEWISHAM Our first impression was correct, it is absolutely enormous.
JACK KOWALSKI It's like a huge, seamless, metal disk. The way it moves reminds me of a stingray.
MARK LEWISHAM I think it's building up speed.
JACK KOWALSKI Look at the fields and hills it's already travelled over. They look yellow,charred...dead.
MARK LEWISHAM Which way do you think it's heading?
JACK KOWALSKI Towards London, I'd say.
MARK LEWISHAM My wife and kids are in Wimbledon!
JACK KOWALSKI My family lives in Putney. My god, they're all in danger aren't they?
MARK LEWISHAM I don't know about you, Jack. I'm not staying here.
JACK KOWALSKI Me neither, Mark. We should be with our families.
MARK LEWISHAM I think we should travel back to London together, it'll be safer.
JACK KOWALSKI I've seen your car. It's a bit of an old banger. We'll take mine, it's faster.
(MARK LEWISHAM AND JACK KOWALSKI ARE IN JACK'S CAR HEADING FOR LONDON)
MARK LEWISHAM L..look at all these burnt out cars strewn all over the motorway. Some of them have been abandoned, but most of them still have people in them. They died at the wheel.(PAUSES)Close the window, Jack. There's a stench of burning and rotting flesh. (PAUSES) Please god, please let Sarah and the children be all right!
JACK KOWALSKI They left a few days ago, didn't they. I expect they're okay. They set off towards London before the spacecraft began advancing.
MARK LEWISHAM I hope you're right.
JACK KOWALSKI We have to get off this motorway, Mark. There's some sort of sticky, mud like substance on it, which makes it almost impossible for the car to progress without getting its wheels stuck in the gunge.
MARK LEWISHAM We'll have to use the minor roads.
JACK KOWALSKI It'll take longer to reach London that way, and I'm pretty certain I don't have enough fuel anyway.
MARK LEWISHAM We can't use this motorway though.
JACK KOWALSKI We'll head for the minor roads then, and hope that our fuel lasts until we get to London.
(MARK LEWISHAM AND JACK KOWALSKI ARE NOW ON A MINOR ROAD HEADING TOWARDS LONDON)
MARK LEWISHAM I don't think we've seen another car in the last twenty minutes.
JACK KOWALSKI I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but our fuel is just about to run out.
MARK LEWISHAM Oh,no! There isn't a petrol station in sight, and we're stuck in the middle of nowhere!
JACK KOWALSKI We'll have to abandon the car, and start walking.
MARK LEWISHAM But it'll take us days to get to London if we walk!
JACK KOWALSKI I know, but we don't have any other option for now, do we?
(THE CAR DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, FOOTSTEPS MARCHING ALONG THE ROAD CAN BE HEARD. MARK LEWISHAM AND JACK KOWALSKI ARE NOW ON FOOT)
JACK KOWALSKI I can see something approaching us up ahead. It looks like some sort of army vehicle, a jeep or something.
(THE SOUND OF A VEHICLE APPROACHING, THEN STOPPING)
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Where are you two heading?
MARK LEWISHAM I'm heading for Wimbledon, and he's trying to get to Putney.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS So south west London then. Hop in, I'm heading for London too.
JACK KOWALSKI Thanks mate, you don't know how much we appreciate this.(PAUSE) I'm Jack Kowalski by the way.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I've heard of you. Weren't you the journalist reporting from Amersham when all this business with the aliens started to happen?
JACK KOWALSKI The very same.
MARK LEWISHAM I'm Mark Lewisham. Up until a few days ago, I was a research scientist living a quiet life in Amersham with my wife and family, and suddenly it's like the end of the world's come.
JACK KOWALSKI What about you?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS My name's Pete Matthews, Sergeant Matthews. Just one day ago, I was a sergeant in the army, and now my whole squadron's dead, every single last one of them. They were killed by that...that thing back in Amersham. All the men except me, and most of the vehicles, tanks and such like, were caught in the death beam that alien thing emits.
JACK KOWALSKI Everything's changed.
MARK LEWISHAM I reckon we should stick together at a time like this. If we're going to survive, we're going need all the resources we can muster.
(MARK LEWISHAM,JACK KOWALSKI AND SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS HAVE REACHED LONDON)
JACK KOWALSKI Well, we've finally reached London.
MARK LEWISHAM I never imagined it would look this bad. I think this is what London must have looked like in the Blitz.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I've been to a few war torn places in my time, this is about as bad as I've seen.
MARK LEWISHAM Usually the enemy is at least human.
JACK KOWALSKI What chance do we have against an adversary who is technologically far more advanced than us?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS You two sound as if you've already resigned yourself to your fate. You've already given up.
JACK KOWALSKI What's the point in trying to beat them? They're stronger than us.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Well, I'm not giving up. There must be something we can do. Some way that we can fight them.
JACK KOWALSKI My god, look up there in the sky! There's the spacecraft. It's right above us!
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Oh,no! I think it's seen us. Quick everybody get out of the jeep, and run for your lives!
(THE SOUND OF A CAR DOOR OPENING, FEET RUNNING, THEN A LOUD WHIRRING NOISE)
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I think we'll be safe here for now.(PAUSE) Did you see what it did to my jeep?
JACK KOWALSKI Yes, it completely disintergrated it.
MARK LEWISHAM Where do you suppose the spacecraft was heading?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I reckon it might need a place to land. It's pretty big, so I would think it's heading for a large open space.
JACK KOWALSKI What is there near here?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Hyde Park is just round the corner from here.
MARK LEWISHAM Let's head that way too.
JACK KOWALSKI Are you crazy, Mark. They'll kill us if they spot us.
MARK LEWISHAM Listen, Jack, we need to find out more about the aliens. What they're up to and so on. If we go into the park we can get a closer look. It'll be dark in an hour or two, and there's plenty of tree cover, they won't see us.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I'm with Mark on this one. I think he's right. We need to find out more about them.
JACK KOWALSKI Okay, let's head towards the park.
(THEY HEAD INTO HYDE PARK)
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Look,there's the spaceship over there!
JACK KOWALSKI Something's happening.(PAUSE) Some sort of opening has just appeared in the side of the craft. It's like a door!
MARK LEWISHAM Something's coming out of the craft. I...I think there are two of them. Urggh, they look like giant slugs.
JACK KOWALSKI They are just about the most repulsive creatures I have ever seen.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Well, I must say, I didn't expect them to look like that.
MARK LEWISHAM Sergeant, do you have slugs in your garden?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Yes, I do.
MARK LEWISHAM How do you get rid of them?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Slug pellets usually. My dad used to use beer and egg shells.
MARK LEWISHAM Have you ever tried pouring salt on them?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Yes, they shrivel up and die.
JACK KOWALSKI Can you two stop talking about gardening?
MARK LEWISHAM Don't you get it, Jack? Maybe we could try the same sort of thing on these alien creatures.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS It just might work.
JACK KOWALSKI I don't think we can handle this by ourselves, though. It's too big a task. We need to get other people involved.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS The Houses of Parliament, and Downing Street are not too far from here. If we head out of the park, past Buckingham Palace, and along Birdcage Walk, we should be able to get to Downing Street quite quickly.
JACK KOWALSKI Maybe this is going to be a waste of time, but like you said, Sergeant, it just might work.
(THE THREE MEN WALK PAST BUCKINGHAM PALACE)
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS It's unbelieveable. Look what those monsters have done to Buckingham Palace!
JACK KOWALSKI It's a smoldering ruin. Do you suppose the Royal Family are safe?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Oh, I expect they are. Perhaps they,ve gone to Balmoral, or somewhere. Safe for now, but not for long, unless we can beat the aliens, and if we ever manage to defeat these creatures, we'll have to rebuild London from scratch. Just imagine how much of our heritage they've already destroyed.
JACK KOWALSKI I know it sounds like a mean thing to say, but I'm less worried about our heritage, and more worried about my family. I just want to know if my wife, Natalie, and our little boy, Ben, are okay.
MARK LEWISHAM I know what you mean, Jack. I'm really worried about my family too. The thing is if anything happens to any of them, I don't think I'll be able to forgive myself. It'll be my fault if anything does happen because I was the one who suggested they should all go and stay in Wimbledon for a while.
JACK KOWALSKI There's no point feeling really bad about it, Mark. After all we are all pretty much in the same boat. We all want to get back to our families. I expect Sergeant Matthews wants to get back to his family as well.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS All of my family are abroad. My mum, dad, and brother are in Australia, and my ex-wife is in the States. After we separated she married an American.
MARK LEWISHAM Aren't you worried about them all, Sergeant?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Of course I am, but what can I do about it. There's currently a news blackout. No news getting in or out of the country, and we don't know if the aliens have landed elsewhere in the world.
JACK KOWALSKI They've probably invaded the whole world.
MARK LEWISHAM Put like that what chance do we have against them?
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS We must'nt give up! It only takes a few people like us, and maybe we have a small chance of beating this thing.
MARK LEWISHAM Seriously though, I wonder if there are more of these alien spacecraft scattered around the world?
JACK KOWALSKI I expect there are. I would think it against the odds that only this country was unlucky enough to be singled out by the aliens. Like I said, they've probably invaded the whole world.
MARK LEWISHAM But that means the human race really hasn't a chance! We might as well just all curl up and die.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Yes, but there are probably lots of people like us all over the world. People willing to stand up and fight the aliens. People with guts.
JACK KOWALSKI You're beginning to sound like the Terminator or something. This isn't an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. It's real life, and I for one don't feel much like a hero.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I just want you to believe that we can defeat this thing.
MARK LEWISHAM Downing Street is just round the corner now.
JACK KOWALSKI What makes you think the Prime Minister is going to want to see us. I mean they wouldn't normally let just anybody in to see him. Not under normal circunstances.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Well, these aren't normal circumstances, are they?
MARK LEWISHAM Excuse me officer, would it be possible for us to have a meeting with the Prime Minister?
POLICE OFFICER I would let you in to see him if I could, but he's not here. The Prime Minister, and the whole Cabinet have gone to the Cabinet War Rooms.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Not the same Cabinet War Rooms Churchill used during the Second World War? Isn't that a museum now?
POLICE OOFICER Yes, they are the same Cabinet War Rooms Churchill used in the war.I think it was felt that the War Rooms were a lot safer than Downing Street.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Aren't they just round the corner from here?
POLICE OFFICER Yes,the Cabinet War Rooms are in King Charles Street in the next road on your left.
(MARK LEWISHAM,JACK KOWALSKI AND SERGEANT MATTHEWS HEAD INTO KING CHARLES STREET)
MARK LEWISHAM Well,here we are.Let's hope this guard is going to let us through to see the PM. He looks a little more burly than the the police officer we were just talking to.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS We must see the Prime Minister. We must see Mr Fanshaw. It's urgent.
GUARD I can't let you do that.
MARK LEWISHAM Look, I'm a top scientist, my name's Professor Mark Lewisham. I wrote a controversial paper recently on climate change, and this is Jack Kowalski, the first journalist to report from Amersham when the invasion started. Prime Minister Fanshaw will surely let us in if he knows who we are.
GUARD If you wait here, I'll just inform the PM of your arrival.
(THE SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS, DOORS OPENING AND CLOSING. MUFFLED VOICES, MORE FOOTSTEPS)
GUARD You're lucky, it just so happens the Prime Minister does recognize your names and says that he is willing to see you. So if you care to follow me I'll lead you to him.
(THE SOUND OF MANY FOOTSTEPS, A DOOR OPENING, THE SCRAPPING OF CHAIRS)
GUARD Prime Minister, this is Professor Lewisham, Mr Kowalski, and Sergeant Matthews.
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW Pleased to meet you. I can only spare you about ten minutes as this alien invasion is taking up every last second of my time.
MARK LEWISHAM Prime Minister Fanshaw, we have come directly from Amersham. We were there when the alien spaceship first landed, when those first bright lights appeared in the sky. We have now come to believe that there is a way in which we can destroy the aliens. We managed to get a close look at them, they are huge slug like creatures....
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW Are you absolutely sure about this? I mean, are you telling me we're being attacked by giant slugs?
MARK LEWISHAM Well yes, but they're obviously extremely intelligent creatures, unlike ordinary slugs. Anyhow, my plan, our plan would be to attack them with salt....
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW (LAUGHING) You mean pour salt over them like you get rid of slugs in your garden? (PAUSE) You're serious, aren't you?
JACK KOWALSKI We're deadly serious. Before you dismiss us out of hand, Prime Minister, remember that we're on the brink of total destruction here. So anything is worth a try, isn't it.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS I thought that maybe we could use some sort of salt canons and jets of salt water. We could try drowning them in sea water for example.
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW You really think these creatures might be like giant slugs? And that salt might be the answer?
MARK LEWISHAM I really think that this just might work, Mr Fanshaw.
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW Well, we've tried everything else, and nothing has worked so far. We might as well give this a shot too.
MARK LEWISHAM You know sometimes the answer can be so simple, you wonder why you didn't think of it earlier.
(THERE IS THE SOUND OF A DOOR OPENING, AND FOOTSTEPS)
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW Sergeant Matthews, Professor Lewisham, and Mr Kowalski, I would like you all to meet Commander in Chief Sir Henry Drayton. He is in overall command of what is left of our armed forces.
SIR HENRY DRAYTON I would like to launch an attack on these creatures when they are at their most vulnerable. It would appear from observations that the aliens tend to leave their craft at dawn and dusk to search for food. They have been seen gathering certain plants, and it appears that this is what they eat.(PAUSE) The Prime Minister has briefed me on your salt theory, and on the basis of what I have been told. I intend to launch a surprise attack on the aliens, by flying over their craft, and dropping hundreds of salt bombs on it. We will then fire jets of sea water at the spacecraft. We will continue this bombardment for as long as possible.
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Do you think our plan will work, Sir Henry?
SIR HENRY DRAYTON I honestly don't know. It's worth a try.
(MARK LEWISHAM, JACK KOWALSKI, AND SERGEANT MATTHEWS AS WELL AS SIR HENRY DRAYTON, ARE ALL IN AN OPEN CLEARING NEAR THE ALIEN SPACESHIP)
SIR HENRY DRAYTON (IN A HUSHED WHISPER) There you are, you see. The spacecraft is there in the clearing. Those door like things are opening, and the creatures are coming out. They're starting to collect plants with their mouths, and putting them in that sort of pouch thing they have. I am going to send my signal now for the attack to begin via my mobile phone.(PAUSE) There, now you three men had better run for cover because all hell will break loose in a minute.
(THERE IS THE SOUND OF RUNNING FEET,JETS FLYING OVERHEAD, BOMBS LANDING WITH A SWOOSH, THEN A THUD, AND THEN A HISS AS THE METAL DISSOLVES)
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS Look, you see, our theory was right. When the salt bombs hit the spacecraft, the metal dissolves. Holes are beginning to appear in the spacecraft.
MARK LEWISHAM Sir Henry has given the command for the salt water jets to be fired at the spacecraft now. He's going to drown them out!
(THE SOUND OF JETS OF WATER BEING FIRED AT THE SPACECRAFT. THERE IS A VERY LOUD HISSING NOISE AS EVEN MORE OF THE METAL DISSOLVES)
JACK KOWALSKI Hey, look! The aliens are starting to come out of their ship. My god! They're shrivelling up, and dissolving just like slugs in the garden do! It's amazing!
(THERE IS THE SOUND OF THE ALIENS IN THEIR DEATH THROES.THERE ARE LOUD CHEERS AS THE ALIENS ARE DEFEATED)
SIR HENRY DRAYTON You three men should be extremely proud of yourselves. Without you we would still be struggling to defeat those monstrous creatures. Prime Minister Fanshaw is contacting other world leaders as we speak,and similar plans of action are being set up all over the world to defeat the aliens. This alien invasion has united all our political leaders in the way that nothing else could. There's certainly going to be an awful lot of rebuilding to do. Most of our world cities have been reduced to rubble.
JACK KOWALSKI Sir Henry, I think what we would like to know most of all is if our families are safe.
SIR HENRY DRAYTON Yes, of course. We will arrange transport for you all straight away.
(AN ARMY JEEP ARRIVES, JACK KOWALSKI, AND MARK LEWISHAM GET IN)
SERGEANT PETE MATTHEWS You two guys get on home to your families. I'm staying here with Sir Henry. My place is with the army anyway.
SIR HENRY DRAYTON I should just like to say that soldiers of Sergeant Matthews' calibre are rare, I would be honoured if he remained with us here to serve under my command as my right hand man. The Prime Minister will be in touch with all three of you shortly. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a knighthood at the very least in this for all of you. First things first though you had better get back to your families.
(MARK LEWISHAM IS BACK WITH HIS WIFE AND FAMILY IN WIMBLEDON)
SARAH LEWISHAM Oh,Mark! We thought you were dead until we heard the news this morning.
KATE LEWISHAM Yeah, there was a big report on the news about how it was thanks to you, that reporter, Jack Kowalski, and some other bloke that the aliens were defeated.
MARK LEWISHAM We just had an idea, it was Sir Henry Drayton who really saved the day.
DANIEL LEWISHAM Don't be so modest, Dad!
SARAH LEWISHAM Anyway,we're just so very glad you're back.
MARK LEWISHAM (HOLDING BACK TEARS, SOUNDING CHOKED) I'm glad to be back too.
SARAH LEWISHAM What about the two men you were with,Jack Kowalski,and that sergeant chap? Are they okay?
MARK LEWISHAM Jack's gone home to his wife and son in Putney. He was really worried about them, but they're both fine. Sergeant Matthews doesn't have any family in this country, I know that his parents and brother in Australia are all okay. His ex-wife in America was injured, not seriously,though.
SARAH LEWISHAM Sergeant Matthews sounds a bit lonely.
MARK LEWISHAM No,I don't think he is. He's an army man through and through.He's married to the army.(PAUSE) Jack and Sergeant Matthews are good, decent men. I'd trust both of them with my life. I didn't like Jack Kowalski all that much to begin with. I thought he was going to be a typical media type. You know, shallow and rather superficial, but he turned out to be nothing like I thought he was.
DANIEL LEWISHAM You're all heroes.
MARK LEWISHAM No, we're not, Daniel. We're just ordinary people forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances.
SARAH LEWISHAM There's a phone call for you.
MARK LEWISHAM Who is it?
SARAH LEWISHAM It's the Prime Minister!
MARK LEWISHAM Yes...Good evening Prime Minister. Yes..Yes...I'll see you tomorrow morning at nine o'clock.
SARAH LEWISHAM What did he want?
MARK LEWISHAM He wants to see me tomorrow morning.He has something he wishes to discuss with me.
(MARK LEWISHAM IS AT 10 DOWNING STREET WITH THE PRIME MINISTER)
PRIME MINISTER FANSHAW Do take a seat Professor Lewisham. The reason I've asked you to come to see me this morning is firstly, I'd just like to say that Sergeant Matthews, Mr Kowalski and you will all be receiving a knighthood. Secondly, I have a proposition to make. I was wondering whether you might like to be an independent scientific advisor to the Government? The events of the last few days have made me realise several things. The main thing being that in the face of a seemingly invincible foe, all differences between men were forgotten and humanity acted as one. We need to keep up this spirit of unity, and use it as a springboard to rebuild our devasted cities around the world. Maybe something positive can come out of the negative. We can use this moment as a chance to build better cities,cleaner,and greener,and more suited to the
needs of mankind in the 21st century. That's why I want you
as my scientific advisor. I've read your research on climate change, and I think you're just the sort of person
we need to make a difference. Will you help us to rebuild this country Professor Lewisham?
MARK LEWISHAM I..I don't know what to say.(PAUSE) It would be an honour, Mr Fanshaw.
(MARK LEWISHAM IS WITH HIS WIFE AND FAMILY IN WIMBLEDON)
SARAH LEWISHAM Well, what did the Prime Minister want to see you about?
MARK LEWISHAM Oh, nothing much really. He just wanted to tell me about my knighthood.
SARAH LEWISHAM That's great, Mark! You're going to be Sir Mark Lewisham from now on.
MARK LEWISHAM I haven't told you the best bit yet. The Prime Minister wants me to be his independent scientific advisor.
SARAH LEWISHAM That means you'll get a real chance to influence decisions that are made in Government.
MARK LEWISHAM I think the Prime Minister put it well. He said maybe something positive can come out of the negative.(PAUSE) Look out of the window, Sarah. It's such a beautiful,starry night.
SARAH LEWISHAM So calm and peaceful.
MARK LEWISHAM It does look peaceful, doesn't it? I don't think I'll ever be able to look up into the night sky again without thinking of the day those aliens invaded Amersham, and almost ended up wiping out the human race.
NEWSREADER The biggest crowds since the end of the Second World War have congregated in the world's major cities to celebrate the defeat of the aliens, and the end of the alien invasion. Huge crowds have been reported in London, Paris, Rome, New York as well as many other capital cities.The devasted cities are slowly returning to a kind of normality. However, world leaders were keen to point out that now was the time for cooperation and unity as our cities and countries faced the daunting prospect of rebuilding.
(V/O) We hope you enjoyed the afternoon play,The Amersham Chronicles,and it's now over to our newsreader for a news update.
NEWSREADER The Chancellor of the Exchequer will be revealing his new budget this afternoon.It is believed that there will not be large tax increases in light of a possible general election in the spring. Scientists are cautiously optimistic about a new drug,which they believe may hold a cure for breast cancer. Finally, on a lighter note inhabitants of Abingdon,near Oxford have reported seeing strange lights in the sky. It is believed the UFO's are nothing more threatening than a new kind of weather balloon.....