Loz (lozenger8) wrote,
Loz
lozenger8

The Scorpian's Sting!!!

Sorry, guys, but this is how I deal with fiction that annoys or depresses me.

Title: The Scorpian's Sting!!!
Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1200 + words.
Notes: Sort of based on the ongoing Daily Mail Life on Mars fic.
Summary: This was supposed to be a report about the burglary down at McGinty's Corner Shop.



‘Put that bloody Howitzer away!’ Sam yelled at him as they ran together along the corridor. ‘This isn’t Dodge City!’

‘Daddy needs his baby,’ Gene snarled back, and shoving past Sam he powered ahead.


Sam looked up from the paper on his desk and frowned. This was supposed to be a report about the burglary down at McGinty's Corner Shop. According to witness accounts three crooks had got away with two bottles of lucozade, three cartons full of cigarettes, and a box of marathon bars. It hadn't, strictly, been a case that should be under the purview of CID, but the aforementioned McGinty was Superintendent Rathbone's brother-in-law. Gene had given the case to Ray and Chris, saying with all certainty that there wasn’t a lot they could botch up, it all looked fairly cut-and-dried; the culprits were almost definitely newly-released Teddy Wilson and his brothers Francis and Jason.

Perhaps the case hadn’t been, to use Gene’s terms, ‘botched up’, but something must have been, because, instead of a report, Sam was reading the strangest and most off-putting piece of fiction he had ever come across. And he’d read everything Dan Brown had magically managed to get published. The story was emblazoned with the title 'The Scorpian's Sting!!!' Sam supposed the exclamation marks were intended to add drama.

‘Easy, guv,’ Sam urged. ‘Let’s not let things get out of hand.’

‘Why not, Tyler? I like things getting out of hand. Right, Joey, explain why we’ve just found one of your posey shirts burning in a courtyard out back?’


The so-called characters in this story bore the names of people Sam knew, but they none of them acted the same. The Gene character was an appallingly bland pastiche of Gene as played by Danny Dyer; all false bravado and bullshit. The Gene that Sam knew might sometimes act like a boor, but he had intelligence and quick wit with it, a depth that Sam would like to discount, but never could. The Sam he read about was a bloody muppet, stupid enough to get himself trapped by the world’s biggest and most sexist stereotype. And Annie. Annie was not Annie at all. Not a hair on her head was the same.

Ray and Chris, on the other hand, were fairly true to life. This part depressed Sam most of all.

‘Stop talking about yourself in the third person, Joey. Gene Hunt, he doesn’t like it,’ said Gene. ‘So — you’ve been sowing wild oats. I’m amazed your ugly conk doesn’t put them all off.’

The more Sam read, the sicker he felt. It was all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It made him want to throttle the writer. The worst thing was that he knew exactly who the writer was.

It was Chris’ handwriting. Sloping down at the left of the page and with hearts instead of dots above the ‘i’s (something that Sam hadn’t yet succeeded in eradicating from Chris’ writing, no matter how often he harped on about professionalism.) There were sketches in the borders, spilled coffee and what Sam hoped was chocolate smeared in the lower right corner. The spelling and grammar errors were rife.

“Span as the past tense of spin,” Sam muttered, shaking his head. “Who taught him, eh?”

Sam gazed up at the ceiling and wondered what he should do. Ignore it, ask Chris for the report, and quietly secret this frankly disturbing and fawning ode to an exaggerated version of the Guv back on Chris’ desk? To wave the story around whilst reading excerpts in the style of a beat poet? (Well, maybe if it’d been written by Ray. He’d have had it on the ditto machine and posted it on every noticeboard had this been Ray’s concoction.) To talk to Chris privately about his obvious homoerotic adoration of Gene and need to sublimate it by turning him into the fictional equivalent of a blow-up doll? (With added blow-up doll women so it was obviously not gay, not at all gay, oh no, not gay at all.)

It was a conundrum.

In the end, Sam decided the kindest thing he could do was correct the errors and give Chris a more realistic version of how the story should go down. He got his pen at the ready, acquired a clean piece of paper, and began to write.

‘Put that bloody Howitzer away!’ Sam yelled at him as they ran together along the corridor. ‘This isn’t Dodge City!’

‘It’s a fake, Simple Samantha,’ Gene snarled back, and shoving past Sam he powered ahead. ‘Do you really think I’d be stupid enough to bring a gun where there are innocent lives at stake?’

‘Well… I’ve seen you in action before, Guv.’

‘You wish. You haven’t seen any action, yet, Sammy-boy. When I get ready and raring, by gum, you’d better watch out.’


Sam looked up from the paper on his desk and frowned again. Since when did Gene say, ‘by gum’? That was more Andy Dalziel --- and there was yet another reference lost on everyone around him, even though he’d found the first three books already published. Not much for reading, his colleagues. As evidenced by their writing skills. He screwed his paper up and watched as it went sailing into his bin.

Damn. This writing lark was hard.

Sam sucked in a deep breath and wandered over to Chris’ desk, delighted to see that the report was there, written up after all. He took it hurriedly and slid Chris’ story under the paper to the right of the telephone (in which the words ‘plunder’, ‘stretch’, ‘slick’ and ‘suckle’ fought frantically to catch his eye, but he refused by God, he refused!) Sam made his way back to his own desk again and sat down with another blank piece of paper, tapping his pen against his lower lip as he thought. Eventually, he pressed the nib of his pen to the expanse of white.

‘Put that bloody Howitzer away!’ Sam yelled at him as they ran together along the corridor. ‘This isn’t Dodge City!’

‘It’s a fake, Simple Samantha,’ Gene snarled back, and shoving past Sam he powered ahead. ‘Do you really think I’d be stupid enough to bring a gun where there are innocent lives at stake?’

‘Sometimes yes --- yes I do think that.’

Gene narrowed his eyes, looking simultaneously angered and hurt. ‘You underestimate me.’

‘Not always, Gene, it's just that sometimes you’re unreal.’

‘You say that like it’s a bad thing.’

Gene spun on his heel and slammed into the fire escape door, the only place their culprit could have disappeared behind. The door creaked ominously, but didn’t go anywhere.

‘This needs two, Sammy-boy,’ Gene yelled. Sam ran to stand beside him, nudging into his shoulder. ‘On the count of three. One, two…’

They kicked in unison.


Sam wrinkled his nose. There was no getting away from it. It looked like Chris had got a lot wrong, but at least some things right, and he really shouldn't criticise too harshly. Obvious homoerotic adoration of Gene was clearly a prerequisite of being a male member of CID. And now he was very curious as to what the paper at the right of Chris' desk might say.

Tags: life on mars, this may be a sickness, writing
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