The steps were steep and seemed like they’d never end, existing to get as many as you could in the narrowest space you might manage. Lorna’s whole body ached as Daleks kept trying to obliterate it, firing at the Scott Monument for the chance they could fire on her.
“YOU ARE AN ENEMY OF THE DALEKS,” shouted the nearest of them, “YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!” Its laser smashed through a thin glass window, just missing Lorna on the stairs.
“I like these ones more,” said Lorna as she caught her breath. “None of that politics rubbish. Just happy to say what they mean.”
“EXTERMINATE!” came a cry as if to illustrate. “EXTERMINATE!” Another laser slammed into the monument, destroying a historically important gargoyle. But even though there were endless steps squeezed into the tall spire, it didn’t take so long to reach the top, and Lorna hadn’t been fired on many more times before reaching the cramped space at its tip.
As she’d scaled it the monument had become incredibly narrow and claustrophobic, so she’d had to breathe in tight to keep on climbing at all. She’d wondered as she’d pulled herself on through how you’d get laser controls in at all, but it was a lot less technological than she’d expected. There were just five slots in the wall encased in stiff, thick plastic, with a small blue plaque beside them commemorating their role in fighting the Negavores.
A huge sound rumbled through the space as another blast hit the monument, and Lorna pulled out her chisel with a sigh.
“This is going to be a bit violent,” she muttered. “Never seems violent, when she gets to do it.”
She hit the plastic screen with the chisel repeatedly, until it cracked, then smashed and came away. Panicking, she thrust the chisel into the nearest slot, until the tool’s handle bleeped quietly and glowed.
From the tiny window beside her, Lorna saw a small blast of light scream out of a corner spire, causing an airborne Dalek to explode. It was beautiful, in its way, but the sight made a hundred others spin round to the place where she stood.
Lorna sighed, and rammed the chisel into another hole.
Before she thought it had even gone in, everything turned into the light–