I'm sorry it's been such a long time, I've been really busy with exams.
I'm hoping this will be the start of a new series about my OC Sergant Tom Howlett, UNIT and the Third Doctor.
This is the first of a few stories, though I doubt you'll have to read them in order, they'll just be stories set in different times whenever I can think of them.
This story is set between Inferno and The Terror of the Autons. So at the moment, the Doctor does not have an assistant.
This chapter is just setting everything up, so I hope you enjoy it.
Right, first day in a new job, I have to make a good impression. This was all that was going through Sergeant Tom Howlett's mind as he took stock of his uniform for the fiftieth time whilst waiting outside of his new superiors office. After checking his shirt, shoes, jacket, and raising a hand to make sure his black hair was still in order, he allowed his eyes to travel once more to the door in front of him, silently reading the plaque which resided on it; Brigadier Lethbridge Stuart; the leader of UNIT. His new boss. Again, he looked away, choosing to instead study the pale white skin of his hands, for lack of anything better to do. He wasn't the sort of person you'd expect to be a soldier, let alone a member of UNIT. He was medium height, not particularly muscular and, thanks to his pale skin, he gave the impression of being sickly, even though he scarcely even caught colds. Yet, here he was in UNIT headquarters, the newest recruit. Only 2 weeks ago, he'd been a regular soldier in the regular army, but then it had all changed.
There had been rumours going around that UNIT was recruiting for a while, but somehow no one had yet taken the position, which was odd in itself. Normally a position in UNIT was snapped up straight away, everyone wanted to be a part of the "Hush Hush" divisions, so even if no one was completely sure what UNIT did, they wanted a piece of the action. He'd asked his superior about it on a whim, almost certain he'd be told he wasn't the right rank to apply, or that it had all just been rumours, and there was no job available. However, to his surprise, his superior had said neither of these things, instead he'd told him, that he'd been thinking of putting him forward for it and that he'd set up an interview for him. From then, he'd had an interview with the man he was currently waiting to see, The Brigadier, being asked everything and nothing: ambitions, intellect and strangely his beliefs about alien life. He'd then been put through a physical examination and some sort of IQ test, before he was told he'd been accepted, and that they expected him in 2 weeks time; today.
When he'd first arrived, he'd been met by a fellow Sergeant; John Benton. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and after the introductions he'd been more than happy to help Tom, showing him to his quarters, and giving him little snippets of advice about the running of UNIT. He'd told him where to find the canteen, various offices and the best locations to hide in, should the need arise, though Tom was sure he'd been joking about that. Overall, Tom liked the man, however one thing he'd said earlier, just after they'd met, put Tom slightly on his guard.
"Oh. So you're the one that's going to be keeping an eye on the Doc?" Benton had asked just as he'd introduced himself, though Tom had, had no idea what he'd meant by that. He hadn't actually been told what his position entailed, however when he'd told Benton this the man had simply smiled at him, knowingly.
"I think you're going to have you hands full." He'd commented slyly, before changing the topic, but still Tom was trying to figure out what he'd meant. Who was "the Doc"? Then Benton had told him where to find the Brigadier's office, and left him to it, so here he was, waiting to be addressed and told what he was supposed to be doing here. Just as Tom was thinking all of this through, the door in front of him was pulled open, and a figure stepped out into the doorway. There was no mistaking who it was: the impeccable uniform, the steely eyes and the neatly cut hair and moustache; Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart. Instantly Tom was on his feet and at attention, something he'd had driven in to him since he joined the army. The Brigadier looked him up and down, then at last spoke,
"At Ease." He said, his manner casual, but still stern. At the command, Tom allowed himself to relax, looking at his Superior officer expectantly.
"Sergeant Thomas Howlett?" The Brigadier asked, pushing his hand out in front of him.
"Yes Sir." Tom replied, automatically reaching out to firmly shake the Brigadier's hand, which seemed to earn him an satisfied glance from the man in front of him. Tom's mum had always told him that you could learn a lot about a man from his handshake.
"Good." The man in front of him responded, his lips quirking upwards, "Come in and take a seat." Letting go of the man's hand, Tom made his way into the office, and sat down in one of two chairs placed opposite a large wooden desk. The room was cluttered, but still seemed to be organised. Files, which were bursting at the seams sat by the desk on the floor, but it seemed as if they belonged there. Shutting the door, the Brigadier sat himself down in the seat on the other side of the desk, reaching into a draw and pulling out a brown file, which he placed in front of him and opened before looking up at Tom.
"Your name is Thomas Anthony Howlett, correct?" He asked, clearly checking to make sure that it was Tom's file he was reading, and not somebody else's.
"Yes Sir." He answered calmly. He loved his name, his mum had chosen it the day he was born. She always said that you had to give a baby a name the day it was born, or it wouldn't know who it was, though his dad had just said it was rubbish.
"You were born on 13th September, and you are 25 years old. Is that right?" The Brigadier asked again, after quickly skimming the file in front of him once more.
"That's right sir." Tom replied again, he'd been one of the oldest kids in his year at school, a few days earlier, and he would have been in a higher year all together. At this the Brigadier nodded before looking up at the nervous Sergeant before him.
"Sergeant, now you have been accepted into UNIT, I believe it's time you learnt what UNIT does." He stated calmly, clearly having had this conversation many times before. He reached down and pulled one of the large files up from the floor, and passed it to Tom, clearly indicating he should look through it. Tom opened it and began to skim through some of the sheets, as the Brigadier continued to speak.
"UNIT stands for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. It was set up to investigate and protect from extraterrestrial phenomenon." At this Tom automatically looked up from the file he was studying. Extraterrestrial phenomenon? Aliens? Suddenly the Brigadier seemed to smile slightly, and Tom realized his expression must be betraying the shock he was feeling.
"As unlikely as it sounds," The Brigadier continued, "that is what UNIT looks into and specialises in. As she can see in that file, we have looked into many cases in the past." Looking more carefully at the papers in his hands, Tom's mouth almost fell open. The page he'd just been skimming over, detailed an attack by something called "The Nestene Consciousness" which could control plastic and created creatures called "Autons". A picture of these creatures was attached to the paper, and they looked to be shop window dummies, but they had guns where the right hands should have been. Tom remembered hearing something about strange dummies being found all over the country, but they hadn't been alive or killing! Aliens! There were so many cases here, he couldn't help thinking it had to be true. UNIT was definitely real, it had been around since he'd joined the army, and it was a very secretive branch. This explained why. Good grief, aliens were real!
"I have little to convince you, except those files." The Brigadier stated, gesturing towards the file in his hands, "However I'm sure you'll be more inclined to believe when you encounter your first one. Everybody is." Here Tom took the opportunity to ask a question, not sure about how the older man would react to being interrupted, or to the question itself.
"Sorry Sir," He said hesitantly, "but how do you keep this from the public view?" The Brigadier didn't seem angry with him, more pleased for some reason.
"It is very simple." The Brigadier stated, "People don't look for things they don't believe in, or want to find. If you keep the press away, the public never come looking." Thinking this through, Tom realised it did make sense. He hadn't believed in aliens, or actively looked for them, and he hadn't found out about UNIT's purpose. Aliens were considered a myth, and people wanted it to stay that way.
"Now," The Brigadier started, once again looking at the younger man, "your duties. Your main responsibility will be an escort for UNIT's Scientific Advisor. You are to stay with him, and make sure I know his whereabouts at all times. As well as normal field duties, with the rest of you platoon." That didn't sound too bad, Tom thought to himself. Perhaps a bit dull having to follow a man around, but he could handle it. What had Benton meant by having his hands full?
"Our Scientific Advisor," The Brigadier continued slightly hesitantly, "is called The Doctor. He can be difficult and rather stubborn. He likes to leave and lose him for hours on end, hence the reason you will be escorting him. Also he will not tolerate what he believes to be stupidity." Stupidity? What did that mean? Why had they chosen him if they thought he was going to be stupid?
"That is the reason we took so long to fill the position," The Brigadier explained carefully, as if trying not to offend, "we needed someone who was not just a robot and could think for themselves. That is also why you had to undergo that IQ test, and why we finally selected you." They had singled him out? Tom was halfway between being shocked and flattered, he wasn't that intelligent. While he was thinking this through the Brigadier had stood up, and almost automatically Tom followed his lead.
"Come along." The Brigadier ordered, walking towards the door, "I'll introduce you to the Doctor." Tom followed along, thinking through everything he had just found out, when suddenly, something began to bother him.
"Sir," He asked hesitantly, still walking beside his superior, "Doctor Who?" It seemed a stupid question, but surely he had to know the man's name.
"Doctor John Smith." The Brigadier replied calmly and slightly too quickly, "But just call him the Doctor, he prefers it." They then lapsed back into silence, Tom still obediently following the Brigadier. John Smith? That couldn't be his real name, could it? It was probably a false name, though why he'd need a false name was beyond him, he was just a scientist. As these thoughts continued Tom realised that the Brigadier had stooped outside a pair of blue double doors. Thinking back, Tom realised that Benton had said something about blue doors and "The Doc's lab" it seemed he was about to meet the man he'd be escorting.
"Doctor..." The Brigadier started pushing the door open, and walking in followed by Tom. However, just as he got past the threshold, he heard a voice shouting,
"Stay Out!" And he caught a glimpse of a man standing by a work surface, when suddenly a explosion filled the entire room, and he went flying.
So, that's Chapter 1. The Doctor comes in properly in the next chapter.
Also, I don't know much about the army, so I'm sorry if I got a few of the relationships wrong.
Please Alert, Favourite and Review.
I'll try and update as soon as possible.
Til' then TTFN (Tah Tah For Now)