A Life in Pieces
edited by Gary Russell
Cover Blurb
A Life in Pieces

Benny is on holiday. Dealing with sand, sea and sunshine. Oh, and intrusive reality TV camera crews...

Adrian and Bev are on a secret mission, trying to be subtle and undercover. Yeah, that’ll work...

Irving Braxiatel is on Earth, helping an old friend solve a political problem with his usual tact and diplomacy...

And linking all of these little sojourns is one Jason Peter Kane. He’s on trial for his life, accused of stealing the legendary Purpura Pawn -- and somehow everyone else has to try and find a way to help him. But is someone out to stop them doing so, no matter what the cost?

  • This is a collection of 3 novellas in Big Finish’s novel range The Adventures of Bernice Summerfield.
  • Released: December 2004

  • ISBN: 1 84435 108 4
Zardox Break by Dave Stone

Jason storms away from the Collection following a petty argument with Benny, and upon his return, he apologises and offers to make it up to her by paying for an expensive vacation to the exclusive tropical resort world of Zardox. Benny leaves Peter in Adrian’s care, and she and Jason set off through the Dargon-Welkes dark matter field on a PanGLOSS ship, said to be the ultimate in luxury starliners. However, PanGLOSS caters to that segment of the rich and elite who want no inkling that they’re travelling through space, and Benny thus spends the “journey” bored out of her mind. When the ship arrives on Zardox, Benny is set upon by a hostile customs office who questions her about recent terrorist activity on the Braxiatel Collection, but his attitude changes completely once he realises that she’s there with Jason Kane.

Somehow, Jason has acquired two bodyguards named Delbert and Tarquentine, and when he emerges from the arrivals lounge, a mob of raving adolescent girls is waiting for him. Benny demands an explanation, and Jason reveals that he’s been to Zardox before, using his experience as a noted xenopornography author to act as consultant to a casino that wished to branch out into adult services. While here, he helped to clear up a sticky situation that was not made public for fear of frightening off the tourists, and the story ended up being recycled through the Aventures de la Frontière Nouvelle, sensationalistic pulp entertainment based very, very, very, very, very, very, very loosely on the lives of real people such as Benny and Jason. He thus became an overnight celebrity amongst the staff on Zardox.

Benny and Jason are then greeted by a bizarre harridan named Lolita de Salamo, a producer with MegaStel Productions, and Benny finally learns that Jason can afford this holiday because he’s agreed to let MegaStel film a reality programme with himself and Benny as the stars. She has little choice but to play along, and Lolita thus whisks her off to the exclusive Monsieur Hooty beauty salon for a makeover. Jason subsequently learns that, despite her aged appearance, Lolita is only 32 years old; the garish, stretched appearance of an old hag clinging to beauty is the height of fashion on Zardox. It occurs to Jason somewhat belatedly that Benny has been through several traumatic experiences recently that have caused her to question her identity, and that being made over to look like Lolita may push her over the edge. He rushes off to Monsieur Hooty in a panic, only to find that Carlo Hooty is far too good a stylist to give Benny such a completely unsuitable look; he’s merely given her a small trim, which is all that she needs to look as beautiful as she’s ever wanted to be.

Jason and Benny then visit their hotel’s beach area, but Jason wanders off on his own, suddenly feeling horribly depressed for no apparent reason. On a deserted stretch of beach, he encounters five girls who are apparently under attack by the vicious gang known as the Clan of the Star Goat or the Jumping Shoggoths, but when he leaps in to rescue them, he discovers that he’s inadvertently interrupted filming on a tri-dee movie starring the girl group known as the Glitta Bitches. Fortunately, since Jason is a local celebrity, the band’s manager -- a demon named Damian Agrazoth, who hails from the Demon Dimensions in which Jason was once trapped -- is able to film a few pick-up shots so that he can pass off Jason’s appearance in the movie as a surprise cameo.

Back at the main resort, a stranger offers to buy Benny a drink, and Benny instantly falls in love with him -- and, eventually realising what this means, she beats the hell out of him before the Security Service intervenes. Reunited with Jason, she confronts Lolita and forces her to admit that the reality show she’s filming is called Celebrity Split; MegaStel Productions is trying to break up Benny and Jason’s relationship for the entertainment of the viewing audience. Jason admits that he knew this all along, but that he believed he and Benny could weather it without difficulty; however, Benny has realised that the viewing audience consists of Zardox’s service staff, who spend their every waking hour catering to the whims of the rich and elite, and who derive amusement out of seeing their celebrities suffer real pain and anguish. MegaStel has been using electromagnetism and other influences to induce extreme emotional states in Jason and Benny, and they tried to trick Benny into cheating on Jason with the help of a Lounge Lizard, a native of Prastabelan IV who is capable of using telepathy and pheromones to cause any human to fall instantly in love with him.

Benny refuses to play along any further, but Lolita warns her that she’ll be sued for breach of contract if she quits. Benny therefore points out the fine print in the contract, which states that she and Jason can’t be filmed during the act of sex, and drags Jason off back to their hotel room. Of course, they’re not going to spend the entire week in the act, but MegaStel can’t afford to send in a camera to find out what they’re really doing in case they inadvertently film something compromising and find themselves in breach of contract. However, Lolita has a contingency plan. Since Benny is also a heroine in the Frontière Nouvelle adventures, she has acquired an obsessed stalker named Humphrey Pumpkin. Lolita has been keeping him in reserve, and she now releases him, intending to put Benny and Jason in a life-threatening situation in order to stir things up and create an excuse to send in the cameras. However, since she’s from Zardox, she unconsciously regards Jason as the celebrity and Benny as the sidekick, and when she orders Humphrey to attack Benny, the enraged Humphrey stabs her instead, putting her in hospital and landing himself in prison. Following this incident, MegaStel calls off the show and agrees to pay for the rest of Jason’s and Benny’s vacation to compensate for the trouble they’ve caused.

However, when Benny and Jason next step into their hotel lift, they are stunned by knockout gas and awaken aboard a helicopter taking them to what looks like an oil platform but is in fact a Floating Lair of Villainy (straight out of the Acme of Evil™ catalogue, which supplies super-villains with all their working needs). Aboard the Lair, they are confronted by a sneering, bald man who is holding a white cat in entirely the wrong way, as he finds out when it claws at him, leaps out of his hands and bolts, unfortunately into an escape pod launching mechanism. Benny and Jason are locked up while the bald man’s minions clean up the resulting mess, and Benny concludes that the super-villain recognised them by reputation, assumed they were here in order to investigate him, and pre-emptively kidnapped them before they could interfere with his nefarious plans. Fortunately, Jason now finds a note that was slipped into his pocket during the incident on the beach, and realises that he has a way out.

The bald man has Benny and Jason brought before him, and though he soon realises that they have no idea who he is or what he’s doing, he decides to kill them anyway. Jason thus speaks the name of Damian Agrazoth three times, summoning the demon to the Lair. Agrazoth then rips a hole through reality, allowing the Glitta Bitches to leap through and attack the villain and his minions. Agrazoth assures the stunned Benny that this was just a stroke of good luck; when he met Jason on the beach, he realised that the super-villain would probably learn of his presence and draw the wrong conclusions, and since he knew that Jason had spent time in the Demon Dimensions and knew it was possible to summon Agrazoth by speaking his name three times, he told Jason what to do in case of trouble.

Benny and Jason still have no idea what the villain’s plans are, but decide the hell with it and board an escape pod in order to return to the resort and finish their holiday. Perhaps fortunately for all concerned, they thus never learn that this was in fact the final set-piece for the Glitta Bitches’ tri-dee movie, and that Agrazoth simply tricked Jason into believing that he was in danger so that he would summon Agrazoth here, saving the moviemakers a fortune on special effects. As it happens, since the Lair of Villainy was a movie set, the escape pod was just a prop with no global positioning system, and Benny and Jason thus end up drifting aimlessly for five days before being picked up by the rescue services, by which time their vacation is over. As they enter the PanGLOSS departures lounge, they still feel somewhat disoriented and cut off from reality -- but reality crashes back in on them when they are confronted by Dick Strangely, Pirate Investigator, who arrests Jason on charges of murder...

The Purpura Pawn by Paul Sutton

A collector named Preston R Antrim meets a man named Oleson in one of Earth’s squalid undercities to purchase the valuable artefact known as the Purpura Pawn. The Pawn is said to have adorned Primearch Ceatul XVI’s sword pommel during his final battle with Instigator Terastin in the war that resulted in the collapse of Ceatul’s empire, and thus led to the opening up of that sector of space to human colonisation and the current unstable political situation in the Domus system. The Pawn was recently stolen from Governor Mark Morton’s hotel room, and Antrim assumes that Oleson and his gang have stolen it and framed another man for the crime. Antrim purchases the Pawn for his private collection, but Oleson’s associates are waiting outside the tavern: the hired killer Acél, and Oleson’s apprentices, Windcott and Boyling. Acél kills Antrim and his two bodyguards, and the gang retrieves the Pawn to sell again. However, Windcott is upset that Oleson does not trust him, and has laid his own plans for a sting that will enable him to break away from this gang and set up his own.

The next morning, in the upscale area of the city, Braxiatel attends a meeting with his friend Matthew Barrister, the minister in charge of Earth’s Acquisition of Alien Artefacts department. Barrister is just showing out a detective inspector named Braughtigan; Braxiatel finds the detective stolid and unimaginative, while Braughtigan finds Braxiatel arrogant and suspects that, as a collector, he may have some connection to the case Braughtigan is investigating. Once Braughtigan has gone, Barrister explains that a mysterious blackmailer calling himself Purpurin has threatened to expose Barrister’s extensive gambling debts, but has not yet said what he wants in return for his silence. Braughtigan is investigating rumours that the Purpura Pawn has surfaced on Earth, and he approached the AAA to find out if Barrister knew of any collectors who might wish to buy the illegal artefact; however, Barrister drew a connection between “Purpurin” and the Purpura Pawn, and he fears that Braughtigan noticed his reaction and now believes him to be involved in the theft. Barrister called in his old friend Braxiatel to ask him for help, but now fears that Braughtigan will start to investigate Braxiatel in connection with the crime. Braxiatel claims that he can’t commit to helping out Barrister just yet, but invites him to the Luxus Casino, where he’s staying while on Earth, to discuss it further. Braxiatel then receives an urgent call from Benny, who tells him that Jason is in serious trouble...

Meanwhile, Bev Tarrant has convinced Adrian Wall to leave Peter in Clarissa Jones’ care and accompany Bev to Earth to help her sort out an ex-boyfriend. In fact, she’s heard rumours that the Purpura Pawn has surfaced for sale on Earth, and she intends to acquire it for Braxiatel; however, she’s also heard that the gang employs a ruthless killer named Acél, and she needs Adrian to protect her. Adrian reluctantly agrees to help, but then Braxiatel contacts him and informs him that Jason Kane has been arrested for the murder of Mark Morton and that Benny is about to plunge herself into trouble to get Jason out of it. Adrian’s first instinct is to rush off to help Benny, but Bev feels that she needs his help more, and she drugs him and takes him down to Earth. To her surprise, Adrian does not fly off the handle after he recovers, and she is ashamed to realise that she’s been subconsciously regarding him as a particularly bright animal rather than an intelligent alien being.

What Bev does not yet know is that she’s not been dealing with the real Oleson, but with Windcott. He thus breaks into Oleson’s home, intending to steal the Purpura Pawn so he can sell it to Bev on his own. Oleson is aware of Windcott’s intentions and ambushes him, but while Oleson has often ordered other people’s deaths, he’s never had to carry out the act himself -- and while he’s working up the nerve to shoot, Windcott attacks him, wrestles the gun away, and kills him. When Oleson fails to show up at the appointed time to divvy up proceeds from the Antrim sale, Boyling and Acél investigate and discover what has happened. Vowing revenge, they set off after Windcott, who has fled to an abandoned and decaying hypermall where he is to meet with Bev.

Braughtigan is suspicious of the arrogant Braxiatel, but his subordinate, Hopkins, is unable to turn up any dirt on the collector. An anonymous phone call then directs Braughtigan to the Luxus, where Barrister has arrived for his meeting with Braxiatel. Apparently taking pity on his friend, Braxiatel offers to sponsor Barrister’s night out so he can take a spin at the casino and forget his troubles. However, when Braughtigan arrives and sees Barrister at the gambling tables, Barrister panics and flees. Braughtigan is unable to catch him, but Barrister’s behaviour confirms to his satisfaction that the minister is involved in something shady.

Windcott contacts Bev, impersonating Oleson, and sets up their meeting, but Bev realises that there’s something odd about his behaviour, as if he’s trying to put on airs. She and Adrian attend the meeting in any case, but Adrian takes along a pack of explosives in case of emergency. Bev soon realises that Windcott is not the real Oleson, and their negotiations are interrupted when Boyling and Acél arrive. In the subsequent exchange of gunfire, Bev is shot, but Adrian holds off Acél until Bev can shoot one of the explosives they planted earlier, taking out the wall and apparently burying Acél. Adrian carries Bev out of the mall to find that the police have arrived, led by Braughtigan, who learned of Oleson’s murder and traced his associates here. Back in the hypermall, Boyling shoots and kills Windcott, and he and Acél make good their escape. They continue to work together for the next few years, but they eventually go their separate ways, and Boyling settles in the former Hungary to work as a toymaker in a small village.

Barrister has resigned himself to the end of his career, but Purpurin then contacts him and reveals that he’s the one who lured Braughtigan to the casino. Now that Barrister knows how easily Purpurin can manipulate people’s lives, he accepts that Purpurin is in control of his fate, and he thus gives in and agrees to do whatever Purpurin wants. Meanwhile, Braughtigan contacts Braxiatel and reveals that Bev and Adrian were injured last night in an attempt to buy the Purpura Pawn from a fence. In his shock, Braxiatel lets slip that he already has the real Pawn, just as Braughtigan suspected. Oleson was in fact a master forger; whenever a prominent artefact’s theft made the headlines, Oleson would create a copy and fence it to different collectors who each believed they were purchasing the genuine artefact. The whole business with the Pawn was just a red herring; however, it’s clear to Braughtigan that Barrister is susceptible to blackmail, and he believes that Braxiatel is the one who sent him to the casino in order to put further pressure on Barrister. Braxiatel agrees to go downtown with Braughtigan for an interview -- but they never reach the precinct, and Braughtigan never gets the chance to tell his theory to anyone else...

On Trial by Joseph Lidster

The year is 2647, 40 years after the murder of Mark Morton, a significant event in the history of the Domus system that has come to obsess historian and playwright Kristoffa Taillor. Taillor had all but ever given up knowing the truth, but two years ago he was inspired to pull himself together after meeting a Human named Claire Marsh, who believes that Morton’s death and the theft of the Purpura Pawn were connected to the mysterious disappearance of her grandfather, Dexter Braughtigan. Taillor has since learned little more about the tragic events surrounding the governor’s death, but he refuses to give up -- and eventually, a mysterious figure contacts him and supplies him with new evidence in the form of Professor Bernice Summerfield’s diary...

The four planets of the Domus system, abandoned after the fall of the Ceatul Empire, were settled by the first wave of human colonists to leave Earth. Over the centuries, the colonists developed a separate culture of their own, and no longer considered themselves Human. A second wave of colonists arrived and demanded that the Domus system be incorporated into the Earth Empire, and after several bloody battles, Generosum, Perfugium and Salvum gave in and joined the Empire. The planet Aequitas was allowed to keep its independence, but its own colony on the moon Verum was forced to join the Empire, resulting in several decades of guerrilla fighting and terrorist activity. Finally, a native of Verum named Marck Morton entered politics, founded the Verum Peace Party, changed his name to “Mark” to appease the Humans, and, once elected governor, began to negotiate a lasting peace. However, just as Verum is about to gain its independence, Morton is murdered on 23 September 2605 by a Human named Jason Kane, presumably because the opportunistic Kane sees an opportunity to steal the priceless Purpura Pawn, one of the few surviving relics of the Ceatul Empire, from Morton’s hotel suite.

Kane escapes when the car taking him to the police station crashes, but the VPP hires a private investigator named Dick Strangely to track him down. Kane is recaptured on the planet Zardox and returned to Verum to stand trial. The trial begins on 12 November, with Judge Roja Konelli presiding; as is the practice on Verum, there are no juries or attorneys. Kane seems confused and upset throughout the proceedings, and when things seem to be going against him he frequently collapses with crippling migraines -- or so he claims. Terrorist activity on Verum has sharply increased in the wake of Morton’s death, and continues to do so as the trial proceeds.

According to bargirl Trasi Lyeden, Kane met Morton at the bar of the Ritz Hotel, and deliberately got him so drunk that Morton invited him back to his suite after the bar closed. Morton’s PA, Elayne H’Iggyns, testifies that she saw Kane carrying Morton into his suite, as if Morton had been drugged; some time later, she heard a commotion from the rooms, and when she entered with security guard Matthias Gerlacht, they found Jason standing over Morton’s body, holding a needle pistol. Gerlacht -- a former Aequum policeman who resigned from the force after a minor scandal involving a prisoner who died in captivity -- claims that he was forced to restrain the raving Kane until the police arrived. Sergeants Clipperto Ridge and Nykolas Dy were to take Kane back to the station, but a car swerved in front of them on the road, and they crashed while trying to avoid it; Dy was killed and Ridge paralysed for life, but Kane escaped. Dick Strangely -- either a Pirate Investigator or Private Investigator, depending on the sources -- was hired to track him down, and he claims to have found Kane on holiday, starring on a reality TV show with his girlfriend, the unmarried mother of a half-breed alien baby.

Konelli makes plain his disgust with Kane’s behaviour. Concluding that he’s had too much time to practice his story, Konelli refuses to let Kane speak in his own defence, and instead plays a recording of Kane’s statement to Sergeant Maree Byrd following his extradition. In the recording, Kane claims to have left home in a snit after arguing with Benny; for some reason he found himself on Verum, where he visited the nearest bar to drown his sorrows and bumped into Morton, who also seemed to have something on his mind. The two of them hit it off immediately, and they returned to Morton’s suite to keep drinking after the bar closed, much to Elayne H’Iggyns’ irritation when she saw them together. However, Kane claims that he can remember little of what happened afterwards, and after claiming that Morton poured three drinks instead of two, Kane suffers yet another migraine and is unable to recall subsequent events in any detail.

Kane’s testimony directly contradicts that of other, respected witnesses, and Konelli does not believe that he’s really suffering from migraines and memory loss as he claims. Before Konelli can pass sentence, however, his secretary, Natalay Amudsen, delivers a note from Jahn Davees of the Aequitas Security Service requesting that Konelli hear testimony from an expert witness. On the last day of the trial, 14 November 2605, a woman named Monica Dagellan demonstrates before a packed courtroom that the needle pistol that Kane was holding would have caused serious damage to the hotel suite as well as to Morton’s body; in other words, it is not the murder weapon. Once Dagellan has left, Konelli announces that he has no choice but to find Kane innocent of Morton’s murder. Moments later, the courthouse explodes, killing everyone inside, including Konelli, H’Iggyns, and Kane. Evidence linking the explosion to Aequum terrorists is found in the rubble, and it is concluded that those who opposed Verum’s independence murdered Morton, framed Kane and blew up the courthouse to cover their tracks when he was found innocent.

On 1 December, Aequitas announces that it is cutting all ties with Verum, and on the next day, Earth Empire “peacekeeping” forces arrive, disband Verum’s government and seize control. An Earth official named Matthew Barrister then arrives, demanding reparations for the crimes against Kane’s family, and confiscates all of the remaining Ceatul artefacts. On 2 January 2606, Barrister’s ship, the Galloway, launches from the Verum spaceport -- only to explode in mid-air moments after a garbled transmission which seems to imply that the artefacts have vanished. These events mark the start of a new era of paranoia, hatred and terrorism, and Morton’s hoped-for peace never comes to pass.

As far as Taillor is concerned, Kane was a lone gunman, and his world’s history was forever devastated simply because a noted politician got in the way of an opportunistic Human thief and murderer. But then he reads Benny’s diary...

The diary confirms that Jason stormed off after a petty argument with Benny and then tried to make it up to her with the holiday on Zardox, only to end up getting arrested. Benny returns to the Collection for help only to find that Braxiatel, Bev and Adrian are all away on another matter; she thus leaves Peter in Clarissa Jones’ care and sets off for Verum herself, although Braxiatel has advised her to stay out of the dangerous situation. She is convinced that Jason cannot have murdered Morton; if nothing else, he’s far too clever to have committed the act in such a public manner, as proved by his experience in fooling the Fifth Axis. When she arrives on Verum, she finds that Jason is being demonised by the media, and thus decides to go incognito. While chatting with Trasi, the barmaid at the Ritz Hotel, she soon gathers that Trasi is upset because Jason turned down her advances. Trasi also claims that it was Morton who helped the drunk Jason out of the bar, rather than the other way around, but when Benny points this out, Trasi gets flustered and changes her story.

Benny attends Jason’s trial in disguise, and is appalled by the unfairness and the judge’s blatant anti-Human bias. Trasi has clearly been coached before giving her testimony, and afterwards, Benny learns that she has handed in her notice at the bar and vanished. Elayne H’Iggyns’ grief seems genuine, but she’s also obviously using that grief to inflame the public against Jason. Benny must leave to avoid giving herself away when Jason collapses with another migraine; he is presumably still suffering the effects of his encounter with the mirror entity. Convinced that the married Elayne was having an affair with Morton and killed him out of jealousy, Benny breaks into Elayne’s hotel room and finds a letter addressed to a Marter Taillor. When she investigates, she discovers that Marter, Elayne’s mother, is taking care of a child named Kristoffa -- the illegitimate son of Mark Morton and Elayne H’Iggyns. Benny admits her true identity to Marter and begs her to help find out who really killed Mark, but instead, Marter drugs Benny’s tea and delivers her to Jahn Davees of the Aequitas Security Service. Davees explains that some inhabitants of Verum wish to remain part of the Earth Empire; if Verum gains its independence, there will still be terrorist activity, but now it will be directed against Aequitas. Davees believes that Jason is indeed the killer, but it is in his interest to prove that this is not the case so that the Empire is not blamed for Morton’s death and Verum does not secede.

Davees allows Benny to have a conjugal visit with Jason, but Jason’s spirit has apparently been broken by his time in prison and by his continuing migraines and memory loss. Benny is in a foul mood when she returns to Davees’ office, and as she pauses outside, trying to calm herself, she overhears a conversation between Davees and a mysterious figure named Purpurin. Apparently, Purpurin had been forcing Morton to supply him with Ceatul artefacts in exchange for Purpurin’s silence about his affair with Elayne; however, after the birth of his son, Morton intended to go public whatever the political consequences, which upset Purpurin. Purpurin has evidence that Davees committed atrocities against young women during the struggle for Aequum independence, and he also has a hold over Judge Konelli; he thus orders Davees to work with Konelli in order to ensure that Kane is found innocent and then murdered in his cells, supposedly by Verum terrorists. The Empire will then send in troops to pacify Verum, ensuring that it does not become a problem for Aequitas. Purpurin also orders Davees to ensure that Benny survives these events, as he has other plans for her.

Fortunately, Benny has been recording everything she’s experienced on Verum, and thus has a recording of this conversation. She sends a copy to Braxiatel, who is upset to learn that she’s involved herself in these dangerous events and jokes, deadpan, that she’s placed her life in his hands. Nevertheless, he accepts that, if Jason dies, she won’t rest until she’s exposed the truth behind this conspiracy. Benny then confronts Davees, reveals what she’s done, and demands that he allow her to deliver the evidence that will clear Jason’s name. Under the name of Monica Dagellan, she visits the courtroom and demonstrates that Jason’s needle pistol could not have been the murder weapon. This is not true -- it’s quite simple to set the pistol to a finer setting -- but her “expert” testimony provides reasonable doubt, and Konelli has little choice but to find Kane innocent.

Benny returns to her shuttle to wait for Davees to deliver Jason into her hands, but the courtroom explodes, and she realises that Davees has just killed everyone involved in the case. However, Jason suddenly materialises in the shuttle, rescued from the courtroom by transmat technology that is not available in the Domus system. Presumably the mysterious Purpurin was responsible. Sickened by the carnage and relieved to have Jason back with her, Benny decides to wash her hands of the whole terrible conspiracy and return home. As Jason sleeps off his experiences in the shuttle, Benny contacts Braxiatel to let him know they’re coming back -- but when Braxiatel casually asks if she’s sure that Jason really is innocent, Benny realises that there’s a small doubt in her mind...

Kristoffa Taillor is raised by his grandmother, and becomes obsessed with the events that altered his world’s history and cost his parents their lives. If Benny’s diary is to be believed, this all happened just because Morton threatened to go public about his son’s birth, which means that if the conspiracy theory is true, then the mere fact of Kristoffa’s existence resulted in his parents’ deaths. Despite the weird contradictions and unexplained events, Taillor refuses to believe that this could be the case. However, when he sends a copy of the diary to Claire Marsh, she reveals that one of the people mentioned in the diary also appears in her grandfather’s case files, connected to the matter of the Purpura Pawn. Taillor travels to Earth to discuss the matter with Marsh, but moments after they have met in an orbiting restaurant named The Final Rest, they have both been fatally poisoned. The waiter who delivered the poisoned wine to their table subsequently collapses with a crippling migraine and falls into a coma. The truth remains buried -- and elsewhere, Braxiatel sits content in his Collection, with his pawn back in place...

Source: Cameron Dixon

Continuity Notes:
  • Braxiatel’s dark side began to surface explicitly in The Mirror Effect, and has also been seen in the short stories Fear of Corners, A Summer Affair, and Fragments. There are many other stories in which, in retrospect, it may have been implicit, most notably The Extinction Event and Reparation -- and it’s probably worth noting at this point that the first time the character appeared, in Theatre of War, he had arranged to protect his Collection with a trap that would have killed the entire ruling class of the Heletian Empire as well any innocent bystanders who happened to be walking past the theatre at the time. Developments in the Gallifrey audio Pandora should probably also be taken into account here. Presumably this is building up to something in the Benny universe; watch this space.
  • While rushing to save Benny from Monsieur Hooty’s, Jason ponders that she needs her hair cut like she needs a hole in the head, without realising that this is exactly what occurred in The Draconian Rage.
  • The planet Perfugium was the setting for the Doctor Who audio Master, but it’s not certain whether those events took place before or after the events in On Trial.
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