The Brigadier's stuffy office seemed stuffier than usual. Or maybe it was the company. An awkward silence reigned, and the Brigadier was finding it difficult to break.
The Brigadier looked down at his paperwork and then up at the man sitting sheepishly in front of him. He arranged his papers for the umpteenth time and cleared his throat.
"Dr. Smith was it?" he asked.
"Dr. John Smith, yes," said the other man.
"Is that Doctor of medicine? Or something else?"
"I'm Doctor of quite a few things actually. I'm a professor at Cambridge. Well, I used to be, before…" he trailed off, looking around the room, at the walls, anywhere but the Brigadier's face.
"Cambridge, yes. You may have rubbed shoulders with Liz Shaw. She used to work here, you know."
"Dr. Shaw? Yes, I might have met her once or twice."
The Brigadier cleared his throat again. "Yes, well. You understand why you're here, Doctor?"
The Doctor nodded, looking down.
"Those farmers are going to miss their animals."
The Doctor swallowed.
"UNIT deals in the strange, the unexplained. So you can see why we would be interested in your case. For public safety, " he added.
The ticking clock seemed unnaturally loud.
The Doctor swallowed again. And then, "Are you going to kill me?"
The Brigadier smiled thinly. "I think you've got the wrong idea about our little organization, Doctor. No, I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to offer you a job."
The Doctor looked up. "I'm sorry?"
"As far as we can see, you've done no wrong other than a bit of willful destruction of property. You can help UNIT with your unique set of skills. You're a brilliant scientist, skilled with technology, and you have certain…abilities…due to your condition that could greatly aid our cause."
"And that is?"
"To investigate. To make sure the monsters under the bed aren't threatening national security."
"You're living proof, Doctor."
"More like unliving."
"Quite. And in return we can offer you a steady supply of blood. You won't have to feed on unsuspecting cows anymore. We can also give you a decent salary."
"I…see." The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck and stared at his shoes. His eyes narrowed. "Now, look here. I'm not going to be some pawn in your little game of battleships. I don't agree with all this military hoopla and I'm certainly not going to be your soldier."
"Nevertheless, this could be your only chance to lead a normal life."
"When you put it like that you make it sound as if I have no choice."
"On the contrary, Doctor. You have all the choice in the world."
The Doctor snorted and folded his arms. He stared at the clock and pursed his lips for a while. Finally, he turned back to the Brigadier.
"All right. I accept. But on one condition."
"And what's that?"
"My car. I want it brought to UNIT."
It's short, but it will get longer. What do you think so far?