Saturday, 9 February 2008

Fiction - A Sense of Irony

"A Sense of Irony"
by David Ronayne

'A quick trip into the future' he said. It was certainly the oddest birthday Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart had ever had, except possibly for that time when he was twelve, and he thought he had seen a ghost. Thoughtfully he sucked on his drink — if you could call it that, and stared over to where a couple of tourists were sharing a joke, or at least the Swiss and Canadian girls were, while their male companion jotted something frantically down in his notebook. It was all most peculiar, although things had been very odd recently. Captain Yates and Jo were still flying a kite in the nearby square, Benton was wolfishly attacking his third 'meal', and the Doctor ... The Brigadier turned back to see his old friend smiling benignly at him. The Doctor had changed in the passed few months since he had regained control of his TARDIS. During his increasingly infrequent return visits his temper had mellowed considerably, and the Brigadier had found that during his absences he missed their arguments.

"So Brigadier, what do you think?"

"I think Benton's request to try the kebab place next door may have been a good idea." He replied dryly, thankful he had been able to discourage the idea of party hats after the Doctor had told the staff at the counter it was his birthday in perfect Mandarin.

"Now Alistair, I thought this would appeal to your sense of irony." He gestured dramatically around the room. "These people have managed to do what the CIA, UNIT, MIS have wanted to do for years, they even have a place like this in central Moscow."

The Brigadier looked confused, and the Timelord's face softened.

"Look, all I wanted to show you is that things change, and that everything you do, every threat we face, as thankless as our job seems, things will improve in the end."

The Brigadier looked suspiciously down at the Styrofoam box in front of him. "I don't know about improve Doctor, at the moment I'd rather be facing an Auton or a Cyberman. Are you sure we can have a kebab?" After the briefest of pauses they both laughed.

"Happy Birthday Brigadier."

"Thank You Doctor."

McDonalds, Beijing, 30 April 1996


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