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Life after regeneration

Chapter 2

Alec was shown to CS Jenkinson’s office by a WPC, who was giving him the eye but he wasn’t there to make friends, well he’d no clues as to why he actually was there, he’d barely had time to think since waking up in that hotel room and the owner telling him he tried to chat her up on his arrival, which he didn’t remember. The ID he had on him had indicated he’d come from a place called Sandbrook and he was a detective inspector but not many other clues as to why he was in a town called Broadchurch, by the sea of all places when he knew one thing, that he hated any kind of water.

When he’d woken up, gasping for breath as the knocking on the door had increased, he’d been in a river and was fighting to get to the riverbank and he was carrying a child, a young girl but that’s all he knew. Maybe he needed to see a shrink? He’d not worried too much on his way to the station about the other details such as the strip of pills he’d found in his other pocket and he’d not looked at his phone properly to check for any missed called or contacts. Why had he no memories though? Had he been suffering some kind of trauma, from being in the water? Maybe his new chief could shed some light.

“Ah, Alec, have a seat. Have you settled into your hotel?” the CS asked as she’d called for him to enter.

“As well as can be expected. Am I supposed to find my own accommodation?”

“We can keep you in the hotel for now while you find something suitable. You have an excellent record despite what happened in your last case, that was very unfortunate but since you were not entirely to blame, I’m willing to give you this chance to redeem yourself. There is one thing though.”

He thought there always was. “What might that be?”

“I’ve had to let one of my officers down, DS Miller, she was expecting to get a promotion when she returns from leave, she may be a little hostile towards you but she’s a good officer, she’ll work well with you. You may have some misgivings about working with a woman though.”

“Oh, why is that then?”

“Come on Alec, everyone knows what happened between you and your ex wife.”

He wasn’t one of them. “What does everyone think happened?”

“That you took the blame for what happened over Sandbrook to cover for her so your daughter wouldn’t find out, that was very noble of you.”

That was news to him but now he thought about it, why didn’t he know? Had he suffered a blow to the head or had he fallen down a rabbit hole? At least now he knew he had an ex wife and daughter, how old she was supposed to be, he’d no idea but maybe that was her photo he had in his wallet?

“Yes, well, I’d rather forget about that and concentrate on the future. Do you want me to start right away?”

“You can start on Monday, get settled in.”

“Well I would rather make a start, if someone can show me my office? I do get one?”

“Yes, you do and I’ll get your new ID with Wessex Police sorted out for Monday plus a work mobile. Do you need a car?”

He had a driving licence in his wallet, did he actually know how to drive?

“Not now, someone can take me around until I get to know the area.” That was as good an excuse as any.

“Very well, your office is on the next floor, I’ll let you get to it then, any questions?”

“Not at the moment but one thing puzzles me. Why give me another chance?”

He thought it might give him some idea why he’d accepted the job or had he been forced to take it?

“I told you, the press were less than kind on your last case but when the truth came out, I expect you didn’t want to hang around and it was thought best you should leave the area.”

“Right, like I said, it’s best forgotten.” He’d certainly forgotten but yet he knew the basics.

He was shown to his office, getting a few looks from those who were interested and probably couldn’t wait for the sparks to fly on DS Miller’s return. Elaine Jenkinson had decided to go with him and did the introductions, warning one and all he was in charge now.

“Oh and furthermore, DS Miller will be working directly with DI Hardy, any problems with that, see me.”

They nodded to each other and Alec went into his new office and closed the door. He felt like he was in a goldfish bowl with the glass frontage and quickly pulled down all the accessible blinds, leaving just the door, which wasn’t too bad. He found the access code for his computer and logged on, being presented with the ‘Wessex Police’ logo. Then a name sprung into his mind – Rose Tyler. He typed the name into a search engine and got surprising results.

She had quite a following as a socialite, heiress to a fortune by her mother’s marriage to a prominent businessman but what intrigued him most was the restricted access when it said she was associated with something called Torchwood. Why had he thought of the name though? He didn’t even know what his ex wife and daughter were called but somehow, it wasn’t bothering him as much as finding out about this Rose Tyler, like it was imprinted on his brain yet he’d not thought about her when he’d woken up or anything else for that matter.

What was wrong with him? Why did he have medication he couldn’t pronounce the name of in his jacket pocket and what was this Torchwood? He clicked the link to get access to the front page of the Torchwood website, the public one. There were links to the profiles of the director, whom he noted was Pete Tyler, this Rose Tyler’s stepfather, heads of the departments and security and since Rose had called Pete after her conversation with Jake, the police liaison consultant, Rose Tyler herself.

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Mickey had left Rose’s office after he had failed to get her interested in the fact one of the several devices Torchwood had come up with to travel across the void and to different worlds was indeed functioning. So far, they had only been measuring timelines again and not sending anyone through, not that there weren’t enough volunteers but Rose and Mickey always got first pick, which was why Rose was still annoyed her boyfriend Ryan Cooper, a cousin of her friend Gwen had got priority to make a trip when Rose had returned from narrowly missing the Doctor and hoping it was some sort of alternate reality.

Rose had picked up her desk phone and called her stepfather, who was half expecting her response to Mickey’s offer to go bring Ryan back and probably find the Doctor at the same time.

“So, have you made your choice Rose?”

“Yeah, I’ll take the consultancy job, I’m not going to risk getting lost like Ryan did.”

“That was a fluke and you know it Rose, everything told us we’d got it right that time. We’re almost ready to send someone.”

“Well it’s not gonna be me, I’ve lost too much already and what if I get stuck and don’t come back? Mum’s gonna be so angry with you.”

“I know, that’s why I understand why you won’t go until someone comes back, with or without them. How are you coping, really?”

“It gets a bit easier I suppose, I mean I hadn’t really got that close to him but he was still my boyfriend. It’s like when Mickey stayed here the first time and I went back, it’s something that won’t go away entirely but I think if he’d stayed, I would have gone steady with Ryan, his Welsh accent was really cute but I’ll never know, will I?”

“You still hold me responsible,” Pete stated, not as a question.

“I hold Mickey responsible, he was in charge of the project, I still can’t understand why he let Ryan go, even if he was trying to prove he loved me.”

“We all know that was the reason he went, after you were devastated thinking the Doctor had died in that other reality. Right, I’ve put the word out, you are our new spokesperson for the police, any calls that come in from them other than anything that they don’t understand will go to you. I’ll have your extension put on the switchboard and make sure reception knows about it, you’ll also be on the directory within the hour so you may start getting a few calls.”

“Fine, I need something else to do, looking at online reports of people saying their cat has evil eyes is not my thing. Haven’t we found any new alien artefacts recently?”

Pete laughed. He knew Rose was interested in anything that was unusual, anything they knew for a fact was not of this world and if Rose recognised it as from one she’d visited or from her own world, she could identify it and stop if falling into the wrong hands. Pete had declared even when there was only Mickey here, anything that had been invented in that world and not this was dangerous.

Back in Broadchurch, Alec had followed the link for the police consultant, hoping to get more information. There was a number to contact if her services were required and he made a note of it, he may decide to call her at some point, just to see if she knew him. He came off the Torchwood website and fished in his jacket pocket for the pills, wondering if he should look them up but his search may be recorded so he decided to leave it and see if there was actually anything wrong with him.

His phone rang and he squinted at the screen, getting his specs out of his top jacket pocket and seeing the name ‘Tess’. Not knowing who it was, he just answered with “Hardy.”

“What’s wrong with you?” a female voice asked.

“Nothing, should there be?” He had no idea who he was talking to other than it being his supposed ex wife.

“So, have you checked in with your new boss yet?”

“Are you implying I would not show up?”

“Nothing of the sort, you couldn’t get away from here fast enough. I was mainly calling to say Claire has disappeared, you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”


“You know more than one do you? Have it your way then, I’m referring to Claire Ripley, wife of your main suspect who’s probably left the country by now.”

He knew he had to just play along if he wanted any answers as to who she was talking about, it could have been the mysterious daughter he was supposed to have, with Tess, apparently. He’d not even met her and he didn’t like her. How old was their daughter meant to be?

“How would I know?”

“Well she left town a few days ago and you took your time leaving, have you been stashing her away somewhere?”

“Why would I do that?”

“Well, you could be hiding her from Ashworth, she did take a big risk turning on him and you promised she’d be safe, maybe she got scared and went to you for help?”

“Well, if I were helping her and hiding her away, I’d not be likely to tell anyone, would I?” he snapped.

“That’s just typical of you, I defended you from almost everyone in the station who said you and Claire had something going on.”

“Am I supposed to thank you?”

“You could have denied it a bit more fervently than running to the chief and asking for a transfer. It got to you, didn’t it?”

“If you mean carrying a body out of the river than yes, it got to me. Let me know if you find Claire then.”

“You’re more likely to see her than I am, she won’t come to me for help. When are you going to bother coming back to see Daisy?”

“I’ll call you.” At least he knew the girl’s name now.

“Well don’t leave it too long or she’ll forget what you look like, she’s fifteen Alec.”

He silently thanked her for those pieces of information. Was this how it was going to be? Relying on other people to tell him his life story? How the hell had all this happened? Surely he must have friends, a family doctor or someone close that knew what had happened? Whoever it was, he’d have to find them and fast before he tripped himself up over something, he wouldn’t be able to fool people for that long, they might think he was a fraud or he’d come from another reality or something equally stupid.

Then it struck him – he was the one who was being stupid. That was it, that explained why he had limited memories, he’d either been in some sort of accident and had his memory wiped but if that were the case, he wouldn’t be in this job or he’d been deposited here, from another reality or whatever and taken over this Alec Hardy’s life or even been invented.

Maybe Torchwood would come in useful after all, that was what they specialised in according to their public website. He decided he’d had enough since he wasn’t officially starting work until Monday. He looked at the date on the computer monitor, Friday 11th July 2013. It didn’t seem of any significance but he somehow thought the year seemed odd.

Once out of the station, he saw some catering stalls opposite and crossed over, getting himself a tea to take away but it got him noticed by the town’s junior news reporter, Olly Stevens. He walked around the corner and came to the seafront and sat down on a bench, away from the sea. It wasn’t only the fact he’d dreamt of being pulled under the river but there was something else, a beach and someone with blonde hair, Rose Tyler had blonde hair but try as he may, that was all he could recall.

Whatever was wrong with his memory, it was selective because he knew plenty of other things.

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