Act 1: Marseille
Part 2: Playing the Pawn
They moved out into the corridor, the Doctor taking the lead. As they softly climbed the stairs, making every effort to remain quiet, the Doctor held the sonic screwdriver out, ready to defend himself if needed. It was possible that one of the Torchwood Five members was hiding upstairs, but it was more than likely that they were walking straight into a trap.
They reached the top of the stairs and the crackling from the sonic screwdriver became more intense. The Doctor turned to Soelle.
"I want you to go downstairs."
She shook her head defiantly.
"Listen to me, Soelle. Whatever was created is up here. I don't know what it is and I don't want you at risk."
His tone was the most commanding she'd heard from this Doctor, and the look he gave her backed it up. But she stood her ground.
"What would Karla say if I got you killed?" the Doctor asked. That stopped Soelle in her tracks. She loved Karla, and would never do anything to hurt her. Reluctantly, Soelle nodded her head.
"Shall I wait in the car?"
The Doctor nodded.
"If I'm not out in ten minutes, get back to your apartment. Use the redial on your phone, it'll put you through to Torchwood Three. Talk to Jack Harkness. Tell him what's happened."
Soelle nodded and quietly moved down the staircase.
The Doctor waited until he heard the front door close before moving. He slowly strode down the corridor, the crackling of the sonic screwdriver growing stronger by the second. It reached a peak as he passed the second door on the right, then began to drop off again. The Doctor stepped back and deactivated the sonic screwdriver. He kept it in his hand, ready to use. The door was labelled 'Storeroom B' in French, and it was unlocked. The sight that greeted the Doctor's eyes inside the room was one of organised chaos. He was reminded of the sorting room of Henry Van Stratten's lab in Utah, where that idiot Adam had worked. Several shelves of the bare metal type sold at hardware stores were set up in four rows, with a gap in the middle wide enough for one and a half people to fit through. Each shelf was full of assorted alien paraphernalia. A large window, about two thirds the height of the wall, looked out onto the driveway between the final two shelves. The Doctor recognised one of the devices on the shelf to the left and grabbed it, holding it up in his other hand, ready to use. He then stepped forward cautiously and stopped between the first two shelves, looking for any signs of life.
"I know you're in here," he said. A figure stepped out from the last row of shelves, and the Doctor flicked the sonic screwdriver on. A steady tone confirmed this was what he was looking for, and he quickly deactivated the sonic screwdriver. He then looked closely at the figure.
He was human, which surprised the Doctor slightly. Appeared to be in his mid-thirties, with black hair and blue eyes. He was about the same height as the Doctor, and was wearing a black tuxedo over a white shirt with a red bow tie. The Doctor suddenly realised that this man was a dead-ringer for a certain Irish-born actor. The next thing he noticed was that the other man was holding a gun. The Doctor met the other man's gaze and recognised the coldness of a man who has killed.
"You're not what I was expecting," the Doctor said slowly.
"What were you expecting?" the man replied evenly.
"Something else. Oh, and who are you, by the way?"
"The name's Bond. James Bond. You?"
The Doctor wasn't completely surprised. He didn't know the details, but he knew it was possible. He'd found where the psychic energy had gone. But who had done it, and why?
"I'm the Doctor," he replied. Bond immediately brought up the gun and flicked off the safety catch. The Doctor slowly put his hands up.
"What? I haven't done anything," he protested. Bond shook his head slightly.
"According to the CIA, you were at the assassination of two world leaders, and are known to be working with terrorists."
The Doctor frowned, confused. He must have been referring to the Saxon business. The Doctor had been there, yes, but as a witness.
"What? Torchwood aren't terrorists, Mr Bond. Someone's been giving you bad information."
Bond's expression remained unchanged.
"Do you expect me to believe that?"
"Did you expect M to believe you about Electra King?" the Doctor countered. Bond frowned.
It was the moment the Doctor needed.
He whipped up his left hand and activated the device he'd grabbed off the shelf, a Delanian personal forcefield. A green-gold wall of energy appeared between the two men. Bond instinctively let off two shots. They both bounced off the forcefield. He lowered the gun and the Doctor dropped the forcefield, then lunged forward with the sonic screwdriver, going for the gun. Bond brought the gun up again, but it clicked, jammed. He quickly shifted his grip on the weapon, so that he was holding it by the barrel, then swung it at the Doctor. The Doctor ducked into the nearest row of shelves and turned, searching for something he could use to render Bond unconscious. After a couple of seconds, he realised Bond wasn't attacking him. And he could hear a high-pitched whining sound...almost like a laser cutter.
He peeked around the edge of the shelf in time to see Bond finish cutting the glass out of the window with the laser cutter built into his watch. Bond quickly put his watch back on and whipped off his belt, holding it by the buckle. He glanced back and threw the Doctor a slightly victorious smile. The Doctor lunged forward but Bond was already moving. He kicked the window and it fell forward, shattering across the roof of the car below, then he fired his belt buckle. A small grappling hook latched onto the stone at the top of the window. The Doctor dived forward as Bond jumped through, using the cable attached to the hook to swing himself into the driver's seat of the BMW Z4 parked outside.
"No no no!" the Doctor exclaimed. He turned and bolting from the room.
The Doctor took the steps two at a time on the way down. Bond was their only lead to the Torchwood Five crew, they couldn't let him get away. The sound of a car engine starting reached his ears, followed a few seconds later by another. He recognised the second one as that of Soelle's car. The Doctor jumped off the bottom of the staircase and sprinted down the corridor. He burst through the front door in time to see the silver BMW Z4 disappearing down the driveway. There was a screech of brakes and Soelle's Citroen C3 skidded to a halt in front of the door. The Doctor wasted no time getting in and Soelle floored the accelerator. The Doctor was thrown back into the passenger seat as the car took off. The chase was on.
Bond glanced in the rear-view mirror, hoping he hadn't lost them. Once they'd completed the initial raid, his mission had been simple. Get the Doctor interested, and lure him in. Bond skidded the BMW out of the driveway onto the street, narrowly missing a cyclist. Bond shifted up a gear and hesitated a little longer on the clutch than necessary. This wasn't a Q branch car, it didn't have the array of gadgets he was used to. It was just him, the road, and the Doctor. Another glance in the mirror showed the Citroen skid out onto the road behind him, an unfamiliar woman at the wheel. Bond returned his gaze to the road ahead and accelerated. But as he sped along the road, Bond couldn't help shake the feeling he was missing something. That name the Doctor had mentioned, Electra King. He'd never heard of her, but the Doctor had expected him to know the name. Bond pushed it aside. He could deal with it later. Right now, he had a job to do.
Soelle's face was a mask of concentration as she followed the BMW.
"Who are we chasing, Doctor?" she asked.
"One of the best killers known in fact or fiction."
She glanced over sharply.
"What?" she asked sharply, horrified. The Doctor nodded forwards.
A van was pulling out from the side of the road ahead of them, and the driver obviously hadn't seen them coming. Soelle slammed on the brakes and spun the steering wheel. Horror filled her as she realised it was already too late. There was a flurry of movement and suddenly the Doctor was in the driver's seat. His feet flew between the pedals and the steering wheel. Soelle was thrown against the passenger door as the Citroen skidded around the van, and suddenly they were past it.
"You don't mind if I drive?" the Doctor asked calmly. Soelle shook her head.
The road curved sharply ahead and the Doctor braked into the curve, taking the little Citroen around it as fast as was safely possible. The road now ran parallel with the ocean, with an embankment carrying a railway line separating the two. The shape of the BMW was visible ahead and the Doctor quickly came up behind it, settling a couple of car lengths back.
"Who is that, Doctor?" Soelle asked. The Doctor glanced over at her for a second, then turned his attention back to the word.
"This may sound hard to believe, but hear me out."
"We're chasing James Bond."
"Don't ask me how, but that psychic energy was used to draw him into reality."
They sped past some houses on the right, between the road and the railway.
The road joined another up ahead, and the BMW took the turn hard, the rear wheels skidding across the road before gripping. It shot off towards Marseille and the Doctor watched it, thoughtfully. He began to slow down as they approached the intersection, and even turned on the indicator. There was a cry of protest from Soelle.
"Doctor? What are you doing?"
The Doctor steered the Citroen around the corner at a leisurely pace, scanning the road ahead. The BMW was up ahead, just within sight, but it had slowed down. The Doctor nodded, his suspicion confirmed.
"We're driving into a trap."
Soelle looked from the BMW to the Doctor and realisation dawned.
"So someone brought James Bond to life to trap you, oui?"
"Something like that, yes."
"Who would go to such effort? It is a big effort, oui?"
The Doctor nodded.
"That's a good question," he replied. They were rapidly approaching the BMW, and Bond accelerated again as they drew near.
"I've got lots of enemies, Soelle. And most of them are a bit more obvious than this."
Soelle considered the Doctor's words carefully.
"You must have someone in mind."
"Yes, but I saw him die months ag-"
The Doctor broke off, as if suddenly remembering something. The colour seemed to drain from his face for a second, then his look became one of pure determination.
"Doctor?" Soelle asked, uncertainly.
"I know who we're facing."
The Doctor turned to her.
"Soelle, I understand that you're devoted to Karla. But if I'm right, we're heading into a trap masterminded by one of the most dangerous minds in the universe and sprung by a trained killer. Do you want me to pull over and let you out?"
Soelle shook her head firmly.
She spoke again, in a slightly gentler tone.
"We promised to be together until death do us part, Doctor."
They drove on.
Bond kept up the pretence of trying to escape and they cruised along, approaching the city of Marseille. A couple of cars slipped in between the BMW and the Citroen, but the Doctor kept on Bond's tail. After a couple of minutes, they passed a marina on the right, then came up on a roundabout. The BMW screeched around in a hairpin turn and the Doctor quickly followed, swinging the Citroen around in pursuit. They were heading down an industrial driveway and Bond swung left almost immediately after the curve, down the driveway leading to a dockside warehouse. The Doctor continued straight ahead and swung the Citroen into the nearby staff parking lot, steering it into a spare space. The Doctor and Soelle climbed out and the Doctor locked the car. He tossed the keys to Soelle.
A few minutes later, they'd skirted another of the warehouses and reached the edge of the driveway Bond had taken. On the other side was a series of four warehouses side-by-side, each built out of corrugated steel. There were three or four forklifts parked around, and about a dozen shipping containers stacked outside. The furthest two warehouses were on a peninsula which jutted out into the water, with a bit of land around them. The Doctor noticed a boat tied up at the end of the peninsula, and was slightly surprised to see it was a medium-sized luxury yacht. The BMW was parked outside the third warehouse, turned outwards as if to make a quick getaway. The Doctor glanced over at Soelle, who was taking in the scene.
"Point of no return, Soelle."
"How many times will I have to say it, Doctor?"
The Doctor raised his hands defensively.
"Alright, just making sure."
The Doctor pulled the sonic screwdriver out of his pocket and aimed it at the third warehouse. It crackled softly, confirming Bond's presence within.
He kept the sonic screwdriver in his hand as they approached the warehouse, Soelle staying close behind him. They kept to the walls and slowly, quietly approached the entrance. The Doctor peeked in, then turned back to Soelle.
"No signs of movement. Stay close to me."
Soelle nodded, and they stepped into the warehouse.
The inside of the warehouse was full of wooden packing crates, arranged in various sized piles around the warehouse. They'd been deliberately placed that way, the Doctor knew. It was keeping in with what he knew of the mastermind behind this little operation. The Doctor kept his ears open, for any sound of movement. He led Soelle forward, keeping behind the crates where possible and quickly dashing across the open spaces in between. He didn't know how many others were in the warehouse besides Bond, but the Doctor knew the odds were against him. The Doctor was concentrating on locating any possible enemies. So intent was his focus that he didn't notice when a thug stepped out from behind them and grabbed Soelle, clapping his hand firmly over her mouth and dragging her away. It was only a few minutes later, after the Doctor had moved between another couple of stacks, that he turned to speak to Soelle. He blinked and looked around, searching for her. He was alone. The Doctor groaned, annoyed at himself. The same thing had happened with Donna, too, back during that encounter with the Racnoss. Well, the ball was in Bond's court now. He went over what he knew of the man, all the movies he'd seen over the years. There was one scene in particular that stood out, from The Living Daylights. Bond only killed professionals. And it was obvious that Soelle was a civilian. He wouldn't harm her. The Doctor stayed hidden, listening. Waiting to make his move.
The thug grabbed Soelle around the waist as she tried to get away. She tried to twist out of his grip, and the thug's other hand closed around her throat. He began to squeeze and Soelle's struggles became more frantic.
"Let her go. There's no need for that."
Bond's voice was soft, but there was no mistaking the steel in it. He was covering Soelle with his gun, and the thug released her. She slowly put her hands up, and Bond shot her a smile that didn't reach his eyes.
"Do as I tell you and you won't get hurt..."
He shot a meaningful glance at the thug.
"...or mistreated. Is that clear?"
Soelle nodded, but she had a feeling that the question was directed at both of them. She nodded.
"Oui, Monsieur Bond."
"I'm glad we understand each other," Bond replied. He gestured forward with the gun and the thug took the lead. Bond then indicated that Soelle should follow next and she did so, falling into step behind the thug.
They led her out into the middle of the warehouse, into a five metre square amidst the crates. Bond stepped up beside Soelle, keeping his gun in her back. He turned and spoke to the thug.
"Get the microphone."
The thug nodded and ran off, returning a few seconds later with a radio microphone. Bond flicked it on and spoke into it, his voice echoing through the warehouse's PA system. His instructions had been to capture the Doctor alive, and Atheroma had told him the Doctor's weakness.
"Doctor, this is James Bond, agent 007 of her majesty's secret service. We have your associate. You have until the count of ten. Come into the middle of the warehouse with your hands on your head."
Bond wasn't really going to shoot her. He may have had a licence to kill, but as he'd said before, he only killed professionals. And it was obvious that this girl was just a civilian.
The three of them turned, to see the Doctor emerge from behind a nearby crate. He had his hands on his head and he approached them slowly, stopping a couple of metres away. Bond adjusted his aim so he was covering the Doctor. The Doctor shot a confident smile at Soelle before speaking.
"Just one question, Mr Bond."
"By 'CIA', you meant the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America, right?"
Bond nodded, but it was another voice that replied. A female voice.
"The Celestial Intervention Agency went up with Gallifrey, Doctor. You of all people should know that."
The Doctor glanced back, to see a woman standing behind him, holding a gun.
The body had once belonged to Grace Holloway, but the entity within was well known to the Doctor.
"What name are you using now?" he asked.
"Atheroma Wollys," she replied. She indicated with her gun that for the Doctor to stand next to Bond and he did so. He then looked over at Soelle.
"Soelle, allow me to introduce one of my best enemies. She likes to be known as 'the Master'."
The Doctor then turned to Bond.
"You realise you're being manipulated by one of the most devious minds in the universe, 007? You're not even supposed to exist."
Bond wasn't convinced.
"I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that, Doctor."
The Master cleared her throat.
"Actually, James, the Doctor's telling the truth. Every word of it."
She adjusted her aim slightly, so she was now covering Bond.
"I'm afraid you've outlived your usefulness. Goodbye, Mr Bond."