Friday, 3 January 2014

Klein and the Smoking Man (my fan fiction)

A Doctor Who/ X-Files crossover featuring Elizabeth Klein and the Cigarette Smoking Man.

Klein watched as the alien corpses were pulled out of the wrecked flying saucer. The grey-skinned aliens had small thin bodies and rounded heads, with bulbous oval eyes. Klein had seen many strange creatures during her work with UNIT, but these aliens just looked- she struggled to find the word. Generic. Yes, in contrast to Krynoids, Axons and Quarks, these creatures seemed rather dull.

The bodies gave off a very strange odor. A sickly green fluid flowed from them.

A man also stood watching the Blue Berets carry out their work on the crashed spaceship. She supposed he was one of the men from some shadowy government branch. The British government left UNIT to mess around with alien debris, but the American government were heavily involved in the extraterrestrial business and jealousy kept the American branch of UNIT in the dark.

The man was in his sixties and wore a dark suit. His hair was grey and his face was worn and weathered. He was attractive in a rugged sort of way. He was smoking a cigarette and looking very thoughtful. Klein felt a sense of danger about the man. He had seen a lot of frightening things and had probably done a lot of frightening deeds.

He discarded a used cigarette butt, and then lit another light from his packet of Morleys.

"It makes you feel very privileged, doesn't it?" said the smoking man. "To see things that every other human being will never know a thing about it. You and I carry such a weight of responsibility."

Klein had expected the smoking man to have a deep and hoarse voice, but his voice turned out to be smooth and delicate, with a hint of an Irish lilt.

"You're Dr Elizabeth Klein from UNIT?" said the smoking man. It was a statement not a question. He took another puff on his cigarette. "I'm very much an admirer of your work, Dr Klein."

"I'm flattered. Might I ask who I have the pleasure of meeting?" asked Klein.

The man drew heavily on his cigarette and gave a mysterious look.

"I could tell you my name, Dr Klein," he said. Klein expected him to add 'but I'd have to kill you,' but instead he continued "but you would have no way of knowing if it was really my name, would you? Is there really any point?"

"You have me there, I suppose," replied Klein.

The Blue Berets work was almost complete. The bulk of the crashed flying saucer was covered with a tarpaulin and then lifted into the air by helicopters. The rest of the debris had been gathered into trucks.

"Why don't we go for a coffee, Dr Klein?" suggested the smoking man. "I think it would be quite helpful to develop the relationship between my organisation and UNIT."

"I dare say it would," replied Klein, though she doubted she would learn much from this obtuse fellow.

The smoking man drove Klein to a roadside cafe.

After they had sat down, the man was about to light another cigarette.

"Those things are dreadfully bad for you," said Klein. "Must you insist on smoking then in here?"

The man looked quite hurt. Nevertheless, he returned the cigarette to its packet.

"I don't suppose I should refuse a lady," he said charmingly.

As they waited for the waitress to take their order, Klein glanced at the menu.

"You Americans do shove some very unhealthy things into your stomachs. I can't see anything on this menu that could be described as a light snack," complained Klein.

"I've had some very unhealthy breakfasts on my visits to England," replied the man.

"Don't go thinking we eat that sort of thing all the time. Anyway, you probably know my parents are German. I have always preferred a continental breakfast."

When the waitress arrived, they ordered two coffees.

The man asked her some questions about some of the cases she had been involved with, with specific referring to Sea Devils and Quarks. The Eurpopean scientist was unsurprised at his access to classified United Nations intelligence.

"I have people in the United Nations," he said, as if justifying his knowledge.

"Thanks for telling me. I shall be sure to let my superiors know."

"As is your duty, Dr Klein," he said with a smile.

"I have to tell you, my people have a lot of concerns about some of the activities on this side of the pond. We have heard some worrying rumours about your people. Rumours of unilateral negotiation with alien races. Negotiations that would contravene international laws," said Klein.

The man was about to instinctively reach for a cigarette, but stopped himself.

"We are acting only in the interests of humanity, Dr Klein," he said coldly.

"I dare say. I'm all for acting in the interests of humanity. The problem I have is with shadowy branches in the US government making decisions about the best interests of humanity. There is an expectation that such matters are decided on an international level these days."

The man looked thoughtful. Ignoring or forgetting Klein's earlier request he took up a cigarette and lit it.

"We would be happy to let UNIT in on our project, we just have to be sure you won't go public with the information," he said, puffing on his cigarette.

"Go public?" spluttered Klein. "UNIT have hushed up countless alien invasions. I think you can rely on us to keep the public in the dark."

"Indeed. Do forgive my lack of confidence," he replied. "Our main concern is alien-human hybridization."

Klein raised an eyebrow.

"Fascinating. That would be an incredible achievement- if you can do it," she commented.

"We can. I'm not a scientist, I'm not the best person to talk to you about the details. I would be quite willing to give you a tour of one of our facilities," he offered.

"I should very much like that."

"I hope that you would report back favourably to your organisation, Dr Klein."

"We shall see," she replied coolly.

"There was something I wanted to ask you about, Dr Klein," said the smoking man. "I've heard a lot about somebody who has worked with your organisation. A man they call 'the Doctor.' I would very much like to know more about him."

"The Doctor," said Klein coldly. "You know, I'm suddenly feeling like I'd like one of your cigarettes. I don't normally smoke, but I wouldn't mind one now."

The man smiled and passed her his packet of Morleys and his lighter.

Klein lit the cigarette.

"You probably know the Doctor worked as unpaid scientific adviser for UNIT. You may also know that he was an extraterrestrial."

The smoking man nodded.

"The Doctor is a law unto himself. He manipulates the lives of others as easily as a child plays with a toy. He's certainly manipulated me. He frightens me sometimes. It seems like he knows more about me than I know about myself," continued Klein.

She took a deep puff on her cigarette.

"I resent his manipulations and his subterfuge. But I do admire him. His schemes are necessary, not only for the good of this planet, but also for many others."

"Other planets? You can't say that about many men," said the smoking man.

"He is quite unique."

The man puffed heavily on his cigarette.

"I should very much like to meet this man," he said. "Perhaps we might have things in common."

"I think the two of you have a lot in common. Both of you share very little, including your names."

He lowered his cigarette and smiled.

"I think you and I have a lot in common, Dr Klein. We both work in secrecy, dealing with strange and disturbing things. We both understand that the fate of humanity is in our hands. Neither of us can allow others to know the truth about what we deal with."

"That is so true," replied Klein. "It is a lonely path we walk."

"I live a lonely life. I've no wife, no family. The work I do is everything to me. I know that is the same with you. You've never married. Your work with UNIT is your whole life."

"You know all about me, don't you? You are so much like the Doctor," mused the scientist. "We're both lonely people, you and I. Perhaps we should ease each other's loneliness while we can."

"Why not."

"I have a hotel room booked. Will you come back with me for a few drinks in the bar? I think you'd be better company than the Doctor ever was," suggested Klein.

"Dr Klein, I'd be delighted to join you. It's not often I get to spend time with an elegant British woman."


  1. I like this idea very much. Might I suggest that you divide the story into several miniature chapters which happen months or even years apart so that these two secretive agents can moregradually open up to each other (just indicate the time passed with phrasdes like "the next autumn" or something more subtle and literary if you prefer)?

    1. I'm glad you liked it.

      Thanks for the idea, though I think I am most likely to leave this as a short story. I prefer writing short one-off episodes rather than longer works.