Following the initial wave of settlers that had already begun to colonise the planets in the new Terran Sector, there was a drop in the number of applications arriving at the recruitment centres back on Earth. An indifference towards the ‘aliens’ had now begun to develop, spread by those who had their applications rejected, or just simply refused to be part of this new world order. This situation was not helped by the Galactic Council’s insistence on keeping a very low profile, with all contact being kept to a bare minimum.
After the initial shock of first contact, most people had therefore settled back into their normal everyday lives, with the only tangible evidence of this new ‘alien’ presence being confined to the odd documentary or piece of new technology, which had appeared on the market. However, the appearance of a mystery planet in close proximity to the Earth was about to change all of that…
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Following the initial wave of settlers that had already begun to colonise the planets in the new Terran Sector, there was a drop in the number of applications arriving at the recruitment centres back on Earth. An indifferent towards the ‘aliens’ had started to develop, spread by those who had had their applications rejected, or just simply refused to be part of this new world order. This situation was not helped by the Galactic Council’s insistence on keeping to a very low profile, with any contact being kept to a bare minimum.
After the initial shock of first contact, most people had therefore settled back into their normal everyday lives, with the only tangible evidence of this new ‘alien‘ presence being confined to the odd documentary, or piece of new technology which had appeared on the market. The Galactic Council had kept such a low profile in fact, that some people doubted that they even existed at all!
A twig snapped breaking the silence, as a couple of police constables stood on the rough ground behind the garden centre wall, observing two figures working in one of the outbuildings.
“I’ll give you sorry in a minute!
The larger of the two constables moved the branch of the small tree, which was providing them with cover, glaring at his colleague. “We don’t want to give the game away, do we?”
He moved the branch back, just as a silhouette passed the window. It was difficult to get a clear view of the inside of the building through the frosted glass, although they could see things more clearly through the half open doorway.
Light streamed out towards them, as an elderly man walked past carrying a demijohn, casting a long shadow out across the gravelled driveway. He was only slight, and was almost swamped by his ill-fitting overalls. Even his cap seemed a little too big for him, as it sloped down over his face. Another larger man followed on behind, stopping to open the door fully. He looked really tired yawning and stretching his arms, as he reached for his handkerchief.
The constables ducked down, as the man tucked his green polo shirt into his matching trousers. Then after blowing his nose on his handkerchief, he disappeared back inside.
The constables looked at each other, both nodding their heads in agreement. Now seemed as good a time as any to proceed, and they gently moved away from the tree
“Now, give me a hand up, and try not to make any noise!” The first one cupped his hands, as the other placed a large boot onto them waiting to be hoisted up onto the wall.
“Do you think that this is a good idea?” The one who was about to do the hoisting was having second thoughts.
“You know what the sergeant said. He’s had a report that they’ve got a still in there, and you know how strongly he feels about that sort of thing!”
He looked back at his colleague, remaining unconvinced.
“But I can’t see that the odd bottle of moonshine can do any real harm?”
The other one looked at him in disgust.
“It does when they’re making it by the gallon, now are you going to give me a hand up or what?”
He placed his large hands on the top of the wall, bending his knee ready to spring up.
“On the count of three, and be careful!”
He took a deep breath whispering.
“One, two, three!”
With one massive effort the other constable managed to take the strain of his colleague’s quite considerable weight, loosing his helmet in the process.
There was the chink of brickwork as one of the coping stones moved as he swung his leg over the top. Then as it took his full weight, the wall started to move, swaying slightly as it began to buckle. A loose brick slipped out of position half way down the wall, which destabilised the ones sitting above. There was another chink of brickwork as it worked its way loose, falling to the ground with a thud.
The constable was loosing his balance, as he tried to swing his other leg over the top. He caught his boot on a copingstone, pushing it off, as the wall began to give way. Then with a rumble of crashing masonry, they both disappeared in a cloud of dust.
“What was that?”
A voice cried out from inside the building, as the man in the green polo shirt appeared in the doorway.
“Blimey we’re being burgled!”
He ran forward, shouting back towards the older man who was just behind him.
“Quick Sid, send for the police!”
The man was about to get his mobile phone out of his pocket, when this voice appeared form the behind the rubble.
“We are the police!”
The two constables emerged all covered in brick dust, their uniforms plastered with muck and rubbish.
The man looked at them in amazement.
“Couldn’t you have at least used the gate?”
They looked at each other, before looking back towards him.
“We have reason to believe that you are in the process of brewing illicit alcohol.”
The man looked baffled as they approached, and before he knew what was happening he found himself being led back into the building.
“There you are, you see!”
The larger constable who had just demolished part of the wall, pointed towards a lot of pipe work connected to an old boiler. He could also see a stack of bottles, waiting to be placed into a series of packing cases.
The man was about to offer an explanation, when the constable picked up one of the bottles that were filled with the colourless liquid.
“It’s water, ionised water.”
The constable shook his head.
“A likely story!”
He unscrewed the cap, and was about to taste the liquid when the man tried to stop him
But the constable would not listen, and took a small swig.
There was silence, as they all waited for his reaction.
The constable just stood there for a moment, as the liquid passed over his tongue. Then he coughed, becoming unsteady on his feet.
“Wow, it’s got quite a kick!”
The man looked horrified, still in shock after their less than grand entrance.
“Are you the owner of these premises?”
The man pointed to the small badge on his polo shirt.
“Yes, My name is Digweed, and this is my handyman Sid!”
The constable took his pocket book out, and started making some notes.
“Have you a license to brew alcohol on these premises?”
Mr. Digweed shook his head.
“Do you know that it is an offence to brew alcohol without a license?”
The constable was about to start reading him the caution, when Mr Digweed tried to explain.
“It’s “Ionised water, which we use to make the plants grow!”
He just shook his head.
“It has more electrons within the atoms. Normal water has only one, but this stuff has three which means that it is full of energy!”
The policemen looked at each other.
“Ionised water!” They started to laugh.
“Yes, look I’ll show you.”
He took his handkerchief out of his pocket, and gently unscrewed one of the light bulbs from the fitting in the ceiling. It was very hot, and he had to place it on the side. Then he picked up a bottle of water, filling a small container. He then placed the bulb into the water, and it lit up.
“Just a minute.”
The larger constable looked a bit suspicious.
“What’s going on here then?”
Mr Digweed tried to explain.
“I told you that it’s full of energy. If you like it’s a bit like heavy water, although that has deuterterium in it as apposed to hydrogen atoms.”
“Heavy water eh?”
The constables looked at each other again, as both of them had the same thought.
“Don’t they use that stuff to make the atom bomb?”