Series 1 Episode 6
Just Killing Time
The Doctor was laid underneath the console as the Tardis materialised, inspecting the makeshift repairs he had made just in time to escape the fifth Predon Lunar Colony.
“We’ve landed then,” Alana told the Doctor as she stumbled forwards. This Doctor had never been any use at landing. “Are we going to go and see what’s waiting for us out there?” she added after the Doctor ignored. He peered up at her, taking off his glasses and the sonic screwdriver out of his mouth.
“What?” he snapped.
“We’ve landed,” Alana repeated. “Didn’t you feel the thud?”
“I don’t appreciate your sarcasm,” the Doctor replied getting to his feet and taking a look at the monitor.
“Well I have to put up with it from you,” Alana replied. The Doctor shot her a look.
“Well I am boss here,” he retorted. “I am allowed.”
“Some one’s in a bad mood.”
“If I am,” the Doctor said, crawling back underneath the console, “it’s because somebody doesn’t know when to be quiet.”
“Aren’t you coming outside then?”
“No,” the Doctor replied. “You’re very welcome to go exploring but don’t wonder too far.”
“Well what about you?”
“My dear Alana, I have just found out the repairs I made won’t be able to withstand a second dematerialisation so I need to spend some time fixing this. But don’t let my problems stop you having fun without me.”
“You can be so difficult,” Alana said loudly as she turned and exited the Tardis. The Doctor put his glasses back on.
“At least I’m not human,” he said to himself before swamping himself once again in wires and components.
Alana closed the door behind her and turned to look around. She immediately stopped in wonder. The Tardis had materialised inside an absolutely gigantic hallway, carpeted in rich red and the bottom half of the walls made of mahogany wood with the top half wallpapered and littered with huge portraits. A golden rail separated the two halves and ran the length of the hallway.
Alana slowly made her way down the corridor, looking warily for someone. A building this large couldn’t be empty surely.
“Hello?” she shouted as she neared the corner. “Is any one here?” She neared the room at the end of the corridor and as she did she paused when she saw a shadow moving on the floor. “Erm, hello? I come in peace,” she said, feeling rather cliché.
“Of course you do my dear,” a vaguely familiar voice said. A woman appeared in the arch leading to the room.
A red haired woman appeared. She wore a deep purple fitted shirt with black trousers with purple heels on her feet. Her red hair was tied up. Alana recognised from somewhere before.
“You…” she started. Then it dawned on her. “You’re the woman from the Mafia building,” she said. “Viola!” Viola smiled at her.
“How observant of you,” Viola replied sardonically. “Of course I remember you insulted me, didn’t you? And just for that my friend will have to take care of you I’m afraid.” She clicked her gloved fingers and something grabbed Alana from behind, almost crushing her in its vice like grip. Alana screamed for help but the scream soon became muffled as she was carried off.
The Doctor heard something from outside, something very faint. With a sigh he put the sonic screwdriver in his pocket and got to his feet. He walked over to the monitor and pressed a couple of buttons. It showed a view of outside. The Doctor pressed another button and the view moved. It showed a blank corridor and nothing more. The Doctor sighed heavily.
“I told her not to go far,” he moaned, leaving the Tardis to find her. He too paused to look around when he got to the outside. “Alana, I told you not to go far,” he snapped. “Where are you?”
The Doctor walked forwards and spotted something on the floor. He bent down and picked it up realising it was Alana’s necklace.
“Poor girl struggled as best she could Doctor,” Viola Taimada said from the entrance to the room at the far end of the corridor. The Doctor looked up slowly, recognising the voice at once.
“Well, well,” he said, “small Universe. Of course, that is if the Tardis landed here by coincidence.”
“You know full well Doctor that as a Logician I do not believe in coincidence,” Taimada replied.
“How did you get it to come here then? And why did you kidnap Alana?” the Doctor snapped.
“All will be revealed in time Doctor.” She laughed. “Of course you know all about time don’t you?”
“Give her back right now!”
“Pushy aren’t we?” Viola said. “Come Doctor, have a drink with me.” The Doctor straightened up.
“Me drink with you?” The Doctor laughed. “I never knew you had an interest in comedy Violet.”
“My name is Viola.”
“Yes, yes I know your name,” the Doctor said irritably and fully aware of the mistake he had made, “but quite frankly that has nothing to do with anything. The point is you are going to give Alana back to me and then we are leaving.”
“What, even before you’ve repaired the Tardis?” Viola replied. The Doctor frowned and Viola smiled. “Do not ask how I know Doctor, merely accept the fact that I do know. I also happen to know you have a liking for human beverages. Perhaps a glass of red wine for you?”
“I don’t drink with murderers.”
“Who said I was a murderer?”
“Oh please, you’re a Logician. If they don’t get what they want they kill. I’m betting that’s how you got all of this isn’t it Armada?”
“Taimada Doctor,” Viola snapped. “Viola Taimada.”
“I know you’re name,” the Doctor snapped back.
“Please have a drink my friend,” Viola pressed, gesturing into the room.
“I don’t think so,” the Doctor replied, turning to go back inside the Tardis. He did, however, only come face to face with a ten foot monster.
It was a mechanical exoskeleton, made up of steel rods and pipes and resembling the form of a human. It had human flesh literally stapled to its hands and head and on its feet were a pair of large black boots. It had no synthesised eyeballs however, meaning there were simply two holes where the eyes should have been. It also had no apparent mouth or nose, making the `face` itself featureless.
“I am afraid I must insist Doctor,” Viola said smugly. The Doctor turned to her and smiled.
“You know what, I think I am rather thirsty. Red wine did you say?” he added as he brushed past her and into the large room, “because I’d much prefer a nice glass of brandy.”
“You may have whatever beverage you wish,” Viola said as she followed him into the room.
The room was to scale with the corridor, meaning it was massive in size. The huge walls were of the same design but were littered with bookshelves instead of portraits, each one touching the ceiling. Huge glass chandeliers hung from the roof and the room was carpeted with rich red like the hall. It was also littered with sofas, armchairs, tables and puffs. A massive fireplace was in the middle of one of the rooms and roaring away.
The Doctor sat down in a particularly large armchair near the crackling fire. Viola sat opposite him, clicking her fingers. In walked another of the ten foot automatons, this one dressed in a makeshift butler’s suit. It poured out two brandies, handed them to the guests and left.
“What are those things?” the Doctor asked, genuinely intrigued.
“I call them Mechronoughts,” Viola answered. “They were created by Logician scientists.”
“What is it with you lot and your obsession with mechanics?” the Doctor replied rhetorically. “How do they work?”
“If you think I am that stupid Doctor you are a fool,” Viola replied. “I tell you how they work and you figure out a weakness which you then undoubtedly exploit with your sonic device that you love so fondly.” The Doctor met her gaze and held it. “I know all about you Doctor. Since our first meeting I have been doing my research.”
Viola pointed to the bookshelves around the room. “The contents of my shelves are very useful you know.”
“I bet they are,” the Doctor replied as he took a sip of brandy.
“You’re a very bitter man,” Viola said. She laughed. “Then again I suppose I would be if I knew I had killed my own entire race.”
“You want to take that back Violin,” the Doctor said.
“No, I do not,” she replied flatly. She looked him directly in the eyes. “And my name is Viola.”
“I know!” the Doctor shouted. “And to be as obsessed with one’s name as much as you are is often the sign of egotism.”
“Perhaps it is Time Lord,” Viola shot back angrily, “but you’d know all about that.” Viola sipped her brandy and sat back in her chair.
“Where’s Alana?” the Doctor said with unnerving seriousness. Viola smiled once more.
“Her presence shall be revealed according to when and how I see fit.”
“No it won’t, it shall be revealed here and now because I say it will!”
“Just because you can get some slow minded, half witted fools to take orders from you Doctor seems to have made you believe you can order anyone around. Well I am afraid it doesn’t work like that. In here I give the orders.”
“Then perhaps I’m in the wrong place,” the Doctor said as he finished his brandy and began to walk off.
Silently and calmly Viola took a small device out of her pocket and pressed the button on it. Suddenly the Mechronought from the corridor appeared in the entrance way. Even more came out from under the floor on small singular lifts, surrounding the Doctor.
“Perhaps you are,” Viola said sinisterly. “In that case you may want to try and leave. You are, after all, very welcome to try. Only then you will never survive this encounter and you will never again be able to see your companion.” The Doctor turned and faced her, a very serious look on his face.
“What do you want Molar?” the Doctor asked.
“It’s Viola!” the femme fatale almost screamed. She regained her composure and exchanged steely gazes with the Doctor. “But then you know that Doctor and you are simply trying to rile me.”
The Doctor gave her a smile and shrugged his shoulders. Viola, with the same steely look carved on her face, got to her feet and clicked her fingers, sending the Mechronoughts back to wherever they had come from.
“What do you want?” the Doctor repeated, losing more patience as the seconds
“Me?” she asked. “I want the world.”
“Say it as it is why don’t you,” the Doctor replied sarcastically.
“Let’s not beat about the bush here Doctor, you are no fool. You know I kidnapped your little companion for a reason and you know I brought you here, even though I won’t tell you how quite yet. It is clear I can not deceive you, at least not for very long. I want the Earth and everything and everyone on it. Sadly however the Mafia have decided to step in.”
“That’s why you were at their headquarters,” the Doctor said, clicking on. “They want to stop you?”
“Oh no Doctor, but being the Mafia they think they can run everything that goes off in what is apparently now their galaxy, now that your race have decided to become extinct.” She looked for a reaction from the Doctor but she got none. “They stepped in and told me I couldn’t just lay claim to the planet, even with my army of invincible robotic servants. I call them Mechronoughts.”
“Never heard of them,” the Doctor replied.
“Oh an old friend of mine created them,” Viola told him dismissively. “The point is the Don, who I have learnt was a Raxicoricofalapatorian whom you killed…”
“Well you know me,” the Doctor said.
“Interrupt me again Doctor and I shall have every bone in your body crushed and scattered like dust,” Viola snapped.
“Touchy, touchy,” the Doctor commented.
“Carry on pushing me Doctor,” she told him threateningly, “only it won’t be so easy when you’re in a grave six feet underground. But anyway, not to stray from the point, the then Don stepped in and declared, by decree of Mafia rule, that Earth was allowed a champion to defend itself. If I was able to defeat this champion I would inherit the Earth, but should this champion defeat me I am to go into exile.”
“I see,” the Doctor said as the truth became real to him.
“After a month of deliberation the humans have looked in the history books and seen how one man has consistently protected them from alien threats. That man is you Doctor. So they chose you as their champion.”
“I guessed,” he mumbled.
“So that left me with a dilemma,” Viola went on. “After all you told me yourself that you always win. How am I to defeat the legendary Time Lord that is the Doctor? Well it seemed quite simple when it struck me.”
“Before you go any further Taimada,” the Doctor said, holding a hand up to stop her. “Tell me, please, why you want to rule the Earth.”
“Power, Doctor. It is as simple as that, I want power. I want to be a leader, a goddess among men. I want to be worshipped.”
“But you have the Logician movement,” the Doctor argued. “Surely they follow you blindly.” A sullen mood seemed to strike Viola. She turned and slumped back into one of the armchairs by the fire.
“It doesn’t exist any more,” she said in almost a mumble. “You haven’t been to this period for a very long time Doctor. The movement crumbled shortly after I inherited it from my father.”
“You must not have been a very good leader,” the Time Lord retorted.
“It was nothing to do with me Doctor,” Viola snapped. “It was down to the Galactic Secret Service. Between them they and Mafia think they can boss us all around. They placed an insider into the movement and they ate away at it like a cancer. We were like an infected wound, hardly getting better and always becoming worse. We eventually imploded and I am the last Logician, much as you are the last Time Lord. So I turned to an old friend for help, he is a scientist much like yourself, and he granted to me the first thirty of his new robotic warriors, the Mechronoughts. To them I am more than a goddess.” She turned to face the Doctor. “And now I will take the Earth for my own and then I will have organic worshippers, living breathing disciples. They shall revel in my beauty and bow before me.”
“Well we’ve managed to ascertain that you are officially a lunatic,” the Doctor retorted.
“Your attempts to break me will fail,” Viola replied quickly. She got to her feet. “So I had to decide how I am to beat you Doctor. Neither of us rely upon our physical prowess, but we do take pride in our intellectual ability. The mind’s eye for us Doctor is much more potent than our material strength, don’t you agree? So I ask you Doctor, have you ever played chess?”
“Chess?” the Doctor replied in confusion.
“Chess,” Viola confirmed.
“I’ve been known to play a game or two yes.”
“Then that is how we will decide the fate of planet Earth and the fate of humanity itself.”
She gestured towards a table on which was laid an ornate chess set. Viola sat down on one side and the Doctor stood opposite her. He inspected the chess set and looked back up at her.
“If you think I am going to play any of your insane games you are wrong,” he said, turning to leave. Viola laughed.
“I thought you may say that,” she said, the Doctor turning to face her. “Which is why I have secured myself a, erm, shall we say, insurance policy. It is only to make sure you defend the Earth against my genius.”
Viola clicked her fingers and the giant curtain covering the nearby wall dropped to the floor, revealing a large chamber with a huge glass front on. Inside Alana was attached to a central chair, sitting limp and unconscious.
“Alana!” the Doctor shouted, running up to the glass and banging on it. He turned to Viola. “Let her go now,” he snapped.
“I must warn you I am quite the expert at this game,” Viola said, ignoring the Doctor. “If I were you I would take the time to find out, before you lose your friend for good.” She didn’t look up at the Doctor but merely finished arranging her pieces on the board.
The Doctor took another look at Alana and turned to sit down. As he did so he watched his opponent very carefully. He looked at her in the eyes, refusing to be intimidated by her or her mechanical servants.
“I will play your game,” he said. Viola smiled and went to move one of her pieces. “If I remember rightly,” the Doctor interrupted, placing a hand on her arm, “white always moves first.” He smiled smugly and Viola sneered, not having gotten away with her cheat.
The Doctor moved his pawn forward two spaces and Viola mirrored the move. Soon the game was well underway with the two intellectual giants locked in not only a game of chess, but a war of minds and duel of wits at the same time.
“Be warned Viola,” the Doctor said as he took the first piece of the game, one of Viola’s bishops, “I came second in the Universal Tournament.”
“Well that is most impressive Doctor,” she replied as she took his first knight, “however I came first two years running.” She looked him in the eye with a smile. “Your move Time Lord.”
The Doctor looked carefully down at the game before moving and taking one of Viola’s pawns. She managed to do the same to the Doctor who countered by removing her second bishop from the game. It was clear these two would wind up playing a very close battle. However the Doctor refused to let Alana die, or allow the Earth to be taken by this evil woman.
As the clock in the room ticked slowly away the game progressed. When it occurred to Viola for the first time the Doctor may win she called in two of her Mechronought servants, just to make sure the Time Lord didn’t try anything brave. She then, in her eyes, clinched the game by taking the Doctor’s queen. She smiled up at him.
“I do think you just lost your most powerful piece Doctor.”
“Oh I prefer being the underdog,” he replied. “I work better under pressure.” He moved his knight and took out another of Viola’s pawns, only to have the knight snatched from him by her queen.
“It appears you are outmatched,” she said. The Doctor sat staring at the board and was forced to agree with her. It may simply be she was the better chess player and this was what the Doctor kept telling himself. He looked up at her.
“Why do this Viola?” he asked, trying to appeal to any sense of fairness within her. “Why do you want to take the Earth? And what good was capturing Alana? If you kill her then what? You’d be a murderer, and no better than a run of the mill baddie.”
“I told you why Doctor,” she replied. “I had my empire snatched from under me by some stupid farce of an organisation who thinks they have the right to do what they want, to police who they want! Well I will not suffer them, do you hear? I will take the Earth and build a new empire for myself, a greater empire and my name, the Taimada family name, will go down in history as the greatest family to have ever graced god’s green Earth! As for capturing your companion, it was the logical thing to do, in order to secure you as my opponent.”
“I pity you,” the Doctor said as he looked back down at the chess board. “I pity you for having to have power and influence to be happy. Do you know what that shows Viola? It shows you’re no better than every blasted dictator in your species’ past. Yeah they secure power, but they then lose it.” The Doctor managed to take Viola’s queen away from her and smiled back. “Don’t count me out just yet.”
“But let’s talk about you Doctor,” Viola replied with venom. “You’re no better than the Mafia or the Secret Service. You prance around the galaxy policing places and people because you see fit to and not waiting around to find out the consequences. You move from place to place altering things and changing the very structure of history. Hah! I suppose that’s the worst part of it all really isn’t it? You don’t only gallivant about space, but through time as well. The last of the Time Lords, and we’re left with the renegade. I suppose Doctor,” she said as she took another of the Doctor’s pieces, “the question to be asked is why? You asked me why do all this and I told you. Now you tell me, Time Lord, why do what you do? Is it not, after all, a thankless job? All it gives back is pain and suffering so why do it?”
A glazed look appeared in the Doctor’s eyes, as if remembering ten life times of adventures and action, losses and gains.
“Just killing time,” he sighed with a vague smile, removing another piece from the game. Viola laughed. “Is something funny?” the Doctor snapped, clearly resentful of the fact he had to survive while his race burned through time and space.
“I am merely laughing at the irony Doctor,” she replied. The Doctor frowned. “It’s ironic, that is all. You say you’re just killing time. Well time is killing you too. It is killing all of us but perhaps it is ironic how it is killing you. You don’t fit in anywhere anymore do you? You’ve merely become calloused, weathered. And it’s ironic how, when you die the Time Lords die with you. You will undoubtedly be killed by time as you said yourself, you always win. That means that the race that is the Time Lords will be killed off by time itself, the very thing you claimed to have mastered. It just goes to show, Doctor, how time hunts us all.” Viola took another piece, leaving the Doctor with only three left. “Check.”
“It’s killing you too,” the Doctor argued feebly.
“Maybe it is Doctor, but when I have beaten you here today I will become a goddess and I shall be remembered throughout history as the first Empress of Humanity.” The Doctor took a look at the chess set and then turned back to Viola.
“I can see now you’ve been playing this game for a long time Viola,” he said, “and you are very good at it. Sadly, however, I have been playing it for longer and I am that much better. Checkmate.” He moved his remaining knight and took out Viola’s king. She looked on in horror while the Doctor smugly grinned at her. “You seemed to have gotten lost in your own monologues and forgot how to play logically. I, however, did not and to use your own words Viola, even gods must bow to logic.” She sneered.
Screaming she leaped to her feet, throwing the chess set across the room in a fit of rage. The Doctor’s face didn’t change.
“The Earth is mine!” she snapped. The Doctor leaped to his feet.
“You lost Taimada,” he said. “By your own rules the Earth is mine and I set it free. Now let Alana go.”
“I will do no such thing,” she spat. “Kill her!”
“NO!” the Doctor roared. He went for his sonic screwdriver but one of the Mechronoughts clamped its hands on his shoulder-blades and crushed, sending the Doctor to his knees in pain.
He watched a green smoke began to fill the chamber, causing Alana to splutter to life. The Doctor shook his head as his eyes fell. He had killer her. There was no two was about it, he had brought her into his life against her will and had killed her. He was a murderer.
As all looked lost and as Alana fell back unconscious as a result of the smoke both the Doctor and Viola were surprised when the Mechronought began to smoke before exploding and collapsing to the floor to reveal, in its wake, Farol Hanson stood with gun drawn.
“The secret agent,” Viola snapped. She clicked her fingers and the other Mechronoughts emerged from beneath the floor. The Doctor, however, was already on his feet and sprinting for the door. The Mechronoughts advanced on Farol who tried desperately to shoot them down. These, however, appeared to be invulnerable to the weapon for some reason.
“Farol come on,” the Doctor shouted at the doorway. The agent ducked as a Mechronought swung for him and ran towards the Doctor who unlocked the door with his sonic screwdriver.
The two ran down the corridor and through another door leading to the access point to the gas chamber.
“I see you’ve recovered then,” the Doctor said as he began inspecting the solid steel doors.
“Thanks to the Tardis. Why couldn’t hurt those things?” Farol panted.
“I’m guessing those ones are armour plated. Then first was a servant they are her soldiers.”
“I’ve seen her before,” Farol said.
“We met her in the Mafia headquarters. She wants to take the Earth but she made the mistake of taking me on at chess,” the Doctor smiled. The smile soon fell and turned into a frown of confusion.
“What is it?” Farol asked.
“Give me your gun,” the Doctor said, hand outstretched. Farol handed it to him.
“I thought you didn’t use them, as a rule you said.”
“I’m not going to use it,” the Doctor replied, fiddling with it and scanning it with his screwdriver in several differentiating places before handing it back. “You are. Shoot the door.”
“The bullets won’t be able to…” Suddenly a smash came and a flesh covered hand smashed through the door.
“Just do it!” the Doctor shouted as another hand appeared, sending splinters of wood flying. “I don’t have time to explain!”
Farol stood back and aimed his gun at the doors. He pressured the trigger and wasn’t prepared for what happened. A small charge sounded and a bullet was propelled forwards, trailing blue vapour as it went. It hit the steel doors which erupted in smoke, revealing a gaping hole. The Doctor rushed inside as the Mechronought began to barge its way through the door. Farol spun about and shot it, sending pieces of metal and fake flesh flying. The machine collapsed half way through the doorway, smoking and sparking.
The Doctor emerged coughing and carrying the limp body of Alana. Farol ran to help, slinging her arm over his shoulder. The three headed for the wrecked door only to see a second Mechronought appear and step inside. Farol raised his gun and fired, only to find it was firing normally once more. The bullet ricocheted off the body of the approaching, hulking, mechanical menace.
“Now what?!” Farol shouted.
“Take Alana,” the Doctor said, removing her arm from around his shoulder and pushing the limp body into Farol’s arms. He took out his sonic screwdriver and ducked as a fist flew at him. He rammed the Mechronought which wrapped its arms around him and squeezed, trying to crush the Doctors chest.
He managed to insert the sonic device between the exposed rods and servos and activated the screwdriver. It buzzed and the parts inside the machine sparked and smoked and exploded. The Mechronought was sent into a spasm, flailing and stumbling.
It collapsed through the door and took out the other two Mechronoughts lying in wait.
“Come on,” the Doctor gestured, running through the door. Farol followed as Alana slowly began to wake up, coughing and spluttering. Farol and the Doctor turned to see Viola approaching them in a power walk with two of her robotic soldiers flanking her.
“You will die Doctor!” she snapped.
“Not today I don’t think thanks,” the Time Lord replied. He turned and ran off down the corridor, Farol carrying Alana fast behind him.
The Doctor slid to a halt when he saw another Mechronought turn the corner to which they were headed. Without hesitation he opened a nearby door and entered, locking it behind Farol.
“Barricade the door,” the Doctor said urgently as he started pacing chairs in front of the door. Farol placed Alana against the wall in the corner and helped move a large set of drawers in front of the door.
“It’s oak so it should last longer than the last one,” Farol commented. Alana coughed violently and the Doctor ran over to her, patting her on the back. She looked at him, her eyes watering from the gas.
“What did I miss?” she croaked.
“I told you not to wonder far,” the Doctor snapped.
“I didn’t,” Alana objected.
“Well how do you think she managed to grab you!” the Doctor shouted.
“Come on Doctor,” Farol said, “she couldn’t help it.”
“Farol!” Alana exclaimed. She got to her feet and hugged him tightly.
“When the pleasantries are done this is yours,” the Doctor snapped, handing Alana her necklace.
“Oh thank you,” she replied, placing it around her neck. Suddenly a fist banged against the door, making Alana jump. “What are those things?” Alana asked.
“Mechronoughts,” Farol said before the Doctor could open his mouth.
“How do you know?” he asked.
“The Service has encountered them once before. Their creator is one of the most wanted men in the galaxy, even though at the time we had no idea he was still alive.”
“Who is he?” the Doctor asked with a hint of urgency to his voice.
“I’m not allowed to disclose that information, not even to you Doctor,” Farol replied sternly.
“Damn it man I must know! Anyone capable of creating those things is capable of so much more! Tell me damn you!”
“I can’t,” Farol replied.
“Well Viola is right about one thing,” the Doctor retorted. “The Secret Service does consider themselves the highest authority about. Well you’re not, I am so tell me!”
“When you two have finished we’re about to be killed,” Alana snapped as a fist rammed through the oak door.
“There’s no way out of here,” Farol said.
“Well observed,” the Doctor commented.
“At least I’m…”
“You two! Please!”
“Why won’t my gun fire those sonic bullets?”
“The modification will only last about a minute or so,” the Doctor explained as the fist turned into an arm. “And I don’t have time to do it again!”
“Well what do we do then?” Alana asked.
“When it breaks through you two just run,” Farol said, getting out his gun again. “I’ll try to buy you some time.”
“No heroics today please,” the Doctor said as the arm gained a companion and the two metal constructs began to tear a wider hole in the door.
“What then?” Farol asked. The Doctor looked around. He had no idea at all. He’d have to try his default fall back plan.
He ran over to a nearby book shelf and began throwing the books to the floor.
“What are you doing?” Alana screamed as a shoulder appeared through the wood.
“There might be a secret passageway,” the Doctor explained. “There always is in a big house like this so don’t just stand there help me! Get these books off the shelves!”
As a head appeared through the doorway Alana and Farol joined the Doctor in wrecking the bookshelves. The Mechronought managed to haul its body through only to be blocked by the drawers. With no effort at all it lifted the drawers up and threw them at the travellers. They moved away and the drawers rammed straight through the bookshelves which were revealed as hiding a hollow wall, beyond which was indeed a secret hall.
“Through there!” the Doctor shouted as the machine approached and was joined by a second companion. “Move, move!”
The two companions leaped through the hole followed by the Doctor. They had walked into a giant factory filled with machines and conveyor belts and stairs and offices. They were stood on a balcony.
“Go down the stairs!” Farol shouted to Alana. She ran as fast as she could. “Go on Doctor, I’ll take the rear,” Farol said pushing the Doctor down the stairs as a Mechronought emerged through the gap. Farol ran down taking two steps at a time. He reached the bottom and followed the Doctor and Alana into the vast maze of machinery and belts.
The Doctor slid to a halt and called to Alana. She turned and joined him as Farol approached his two companions.
“If we stand any kind of a chance we need to split up,” the Doctor panted. “We could lose them in this place. We’ll meet back at those stairs in ten minutes; make sure they don’t catch you.” He went to run off but Farol stopped him.
“What if we get into trouble?”
“Shout for help and keep shouting,” the Doctor replied.
“Isn’t it a bit risky to go back the way we came?” Alana added.
“Our only hope is if we can get to the Tardis,” the Doctor said.
“Use the sonic screwdriver,” Alana said back. “It’s a remote control isn’t it?” The Doctor shook his head.
“It won’t work in here. The Mechronoughts will be giving out signals as well. The sonic waves won’t get through. Now go, run.” With that the Doctor disappeared into the mechanical maze. Alana ran off in one direction and Farol took a third.
Alana ran past a large green machine and down a row of conveyor belts. She looked behind her to see if she was being chased. When she saw the coast was clear she carried on, turning a corner to emerge in a giant empty space, with giant claws hanging above her. She sprinted down the hall heading towards the other side of the factory. She skidded to a halt when a Mechronought appeared before her, with no flesh or armour. It was a bare mechanical structure ready to kill. Clearly the skeletal machines that should still be on the production line had been activated to help hunt them down.
Alana turned to run the other way only to sprint towards a second Mechronought. As the two mechanical creations advanced Alana had only one chance. She searched for the controls to the conveyor of claws above their heads and on seeing them she headed for them, ducking past a mechanical arm as she went.
She bashed the green button and the mechanical claws hummed to life. The conveyor began to spin around but that was all it did. Alana looked at the control pad and noticed a second button. She hit that one and several of the claws began dipping down to the ground, spinning and returning back to its original position, as if it was supposed to be fixing something to something else.
One of the Mechronoughts advanced only to have a claw grab its head, spin and rise, pulling the head from the body and sending the mechanical automaton crashing to the floor in sparks and smoke. The second didn’t learn from its comrade’s mistake. It too approached only to be picked up by one shoulder, spun about, and sent crashing to the ground.
Alana took off back the way she came. She turned the corner to se one of the Mechronought soldiers approaching with intent to kill. She decided to try and outrun this one. She leaped over one of the conveyor belts and the next and the next before diving under the next one. She stopped and looked if her enemy was pursuing. Indeed it was but its uneasy joints made it difficult for it to give chase effectively.
It gave up attempting to step over the conveyor belts and instead walked through them, sending shards of metal and hot sparks flying through the air.
Alana started running again, ducking and diving and jumping over the belts, hoping against hope to be able to reach the other side before her pursuer caught up. She jumped over the last conveyor belt and turned. Her enemy had not given up.
She went to carry on sprinting off only to head straight into the chest of a ten foot robotic menace. It grabbed her by the shoulders and squeezed, causing her to scream and fall to her knees.
The Doctor, who was hiding against a large machine used for heating metal, heard the scream. He immediately appeared from his cover and looked to see if he could catch sight of his companion. He had just saved her life and he wasn’t going to let her die now. He ran forwards and straight away a Mechronought appeared from the other side of the same machine the Doctor was hiding behind. He slid to halt and turned to run in the other direction as the machine went to grab him. However he turned in vain as he only ran towards a second deadly robotic monster. He stopped at once, holding his hands behind his head and accepting defeat. If he was caught and Alana was caught there was still a chance Farol could still reach the Tardis. Problem was he wouldn’t know how to pilot it.
“Come out Doctor,” Viola shouted from the place they had entered. “I have your female friend.”
One of the Mechronoughts grabbed the Doctor by the shoulder and led him out from the factory maze towards the stairs. It halted and stopped him as soon as Viola was in eyesight. She stood at the balcony at the head of the stairs next to a Mechronought holding Alana by the shoulders.
“Looks like you win,” the Doctor said with a grim smile.
“Oh no Doctor,” she said. “Don’t think I am a fool. Mr Hanson!” she called. “I have your two friends here! You may want to give yourself up before I do something unpleasant to them!”
“Don’t listen to her Farol!” Alana shouted back. “Stay hidden! Get to the…” Her voice was muffled as the Mechronought guard covered he mouth with its giant hand covered in fake flesh.
“You idiot!” the Doctor snapped. Both Viola and Alana were surprised by this. “You just told Farol she was right! He may have thought she was bluffing and hence not come out! That way we would have stood a chance!”
Inside the mechanical maze Farol heard all of this. He knew he couldn’t give himself up because then Viola would have won without a doubt. But he knew it was only a matter of time before the remaining Mechronoughts found him hiding where he was. He decided he would have to risk it.
Quietly he sneaked to the factory wall opposite Viola, in an attempt to find another exit. There had to be one.
“Are you going to come out Mr Hanson?” he heard Viola call.
Viola stood watching the factory floor carefully. She saw no sign of him emerging. She sighed.
“He won’t come out Taimada,” the Doctor said.
“Oh very well then,” Viola sighed. “Then he leaves me no choice.” She reached behind her and detached from her belt a metal exoskeletal glove. It was shaped like the bones in the hand and had a strap designed to be fastened around the wrist. The fingers of the glove turned into long vicious claws, more like knives than anything else. Viola slowly attached the glove at her wrist and flexed her fingers.
“What are you going to do?” the Doctor asked, worried for his female assistant.
Viola nodded to the Mechronought which released Alana from its grip. Viola looked at the distressed woman before slapping her with the back of her free hand. She then grabbed Alana’s hair and pulled her head backwards so it hung over the balcony.
She raised one hand into the air and sneered at Alana.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment since the moment we met,” she growled.
“No!” the Doctor shouted trying to run forwards, only to be brought to his knees by the Mechronought grabbing his shoulders.
Viola went to bring down her clawed hand only to be stopped when she was alerted to Farol’s presence.
“Wait!” he shouted emerging from the factor floor. “Don’t touch her!” The Doctor’s eyes fell and he sighed.
“Why the hell did you come out?” the Doctor snapped. Farol looked at him and winked almost unnoticeably.
“Ah Mr Hanson!” Viola spat. She let go of Alana and threw her back into the arms of the Mechronought. “So glad you could join the fun. This is all just one big party after all. Only you’re missing your party pal.”
Farol felt two vices grab his shoulders and tighten, sending him to his knees in pain. He grimaced in pain and the Doctor saw Viola enjoying every moment of this.
“No you listen Doctor!” Viola spat. “You have been given the run of the galaxy for too long now and it ends today! You and your companions will die here, unnoticed and unheard in the factory of some dingy underground secret base. Any last requests?”
“Yes,” the Doctor said quickly. Viola shot him a look. “Before you kill us tell me how you managed to get the Tardis here?” She smiled.
“I see no harm in you knowing that Doctor,” she said. “In the room where we played chess, behind the fireplace, is a large Multi-temporal distorter. I used it to distort the space-time continuum and to lock on to the Tardis’ signal. I basically brought you here in a temporal tractor beam.”
“Oh that’s clever,” the Doctor replied. “I thought as much.”
“And after I have destroyed you Doctor I will sell it to the highest bidder and use the profits to build an even bigger factory and create for myself an army of Mechronoughts which I will use to enforce my will and conquer neighbouring planets. I will not just be Empress of Earth. But of the entire Earth Dynasty!”
“You’re right of course. A piece of technology like that would really make you a lot of money. So it would be a shame if this entire building was to, erm, blow up.”
“What do you mean?” Viola replied nervously.
“Well if there was to be an explosion in here it would undoubtedly set off a chain reaction that would level this entire building and the surrounding area, I’d say about ten miles. You’d lose your family’s legacy as well as your Mechronought factory and you would die unknown and unmentioned in the history books, with no power at all.” Something occurred to Viola.
“Search the factory!” she snapped to her mechanical servants. “He planted a bomb!” she spat, pointing at Farol. “Kill him!”
“One move and I’ll detonate the explosive with my sonic screwdriver!” the Doctor shouted. “You lose everything!”
“What do you want?”
“Let us go Viola and forget about owning the planet, it’ll never happen.”
“Is that it? You want live Doctor?” She laughed. “But your existence is meaningless, pitiful. You belong nowhere, with no one. Your days are like the setting sun! Your very life is a joke!”
“Maybe it is,” the Doctor replied, “but by god it’s a joke that’ll go on for a good few years yet. Now let us go.”
“You’re bluffing,” Viola said. She laughed. “Clever Doctor but foolish. I know for a fact that your sonic device couldn’t possibly work because of my Mechronoughts send out sonic signals of their own. I have been briefed on how they work Time Lord. They have sonic cores, work on sonic waves. The explosive couldn’t possibly define your signals from those of the Mechronoughts.”
“You’re quite right of course,” the Doctor said, though not lowering the sonic screwdriver. “So really, if you think about it, it’s only a matter of time before it goes off.” Viola’s face dropped. “A bomb waiting for a sonic signal in a room full of them. If it can’t distinguish the right one it’ll presume the right one is being transmitted. That’s where we say bye bye to your dreams.” The Doctor smiled smugly. “Your only chance is if you run now.”
Suddenly a high pitched piercing sound shot through the air. It was followed almost immediately by a deafening explosion behind Farol and the Doctor. Flames shot up into the air and spread over the machines. Viola was sent to the ground by the force of the explosion.
The Mechronoughts went to kill the Doctor and Farol only to be sent to the floor by the force of a second explosion. The Doctor and Farol headed straight for the stairs. The third Mechronought lifted its arms in order to crush Alana. Alana, however, avoided the blow and the Doctor and Farol joined her, running out of the factory as the flames spread and another explosion thundered through the complex.
Viola pulled herself to her feet and gave chase. She ran through the wrecked room and saw the three travellers heading straight for the sitting room.
As flames tore through the walls and yet one more explosion erupted the Tardis came into the view of the time travellers.
“Wait!” the Doctor shouted. “Get into the Tardis! I need to get something!”
“But…” Alana started.
“Don’t argue!” the Doctor snapped.
“Come on!” Farol shouted, dragging Alana into the blue box.
The Doctor went up to the fireplace and, ignoring the heat, searched for some device to reveal the Multi-temporal distorter.
“Your companions may survive but you won’t Doctor,” Viola spat. The Doctor spun around to see Viola Taimada aiming a small pistol at him.
“Don’t do it Viola,” the Doctor said, hands in the air.
“Why shouldn’t I?” she asked as the heat became almost overwhelming. The flames were now causing the wallpaper to bubble and fall to the floor.
“I can get you to safety,” the Doctor explained. “Just let me get the distorter to fix the Tardis and I’ll take you out away from her.”
“You expect me to believe that?” she replied snidely. “Die now Doctor!” As she fired a gun an explosion tore through the wall, sending the bullet wide and Viola crashing to the ground along with the Doctor.
The Time Lord was quickly up on his feet. He turned at once and again looked for a switch. Knowing he had very little time left he threw everything on the mantle to the floor. It worked as a switch appeared above the mantle on the wall. The Doctor tried pushing it but it didn’t move. He pulled out his sonic screwdriver and scanned it, happy it was working once again. The mantle suddenly creaked and moved up to reveal a huge generator in the centre of which was a small chip.
Snatching it the Doctor turned to head back to the Tardis.
“Damn you Doctor,” Viola screamed. He looked down at her pitifully.
“Come with us and you’ll live,” he said as flames surged through the gap in the wall.
“Live with no power and a debt to you? Never,” she croaked. “Go Doctor and never forget that I will have my revenge.” The Doctor sighed and shook his head. He went to help her anyway only to be sent flying backwards as another explosion turned the remaining wall into rubble. He got to his feet and, where Viola had been, now saw nothing but a pile of rubble.
“Doctor, you’re alright!” Alana exclaimed as the Doctor ran inside the Tardis.
“You expected something less?” he replied arrogantly. He jumped under the console and ripped open the inside. He pulled out countless wires before removing some strange looking device which was the repair he had made previously. He replaced it with the chip and hooked the chip up with several wires before replacing the cover.
As an explosion rocked the Tardis the Doctor hectically rushed around the console inputting commands and avoiding sparks.
“Come on, come on,” the Doctor mumbled. “Work, damn it, work.” He pulled out the sledge hammer and banged the console with it as hard as he could. After a massive shower of sparks flew from the controls the column slowly began to move and groan and the familiar sounds of the Tardis dematerialising went through the air.
“It worked!” the Doctor shouted. “It worked, by god, it worked!” He laughed ecstatically and smiled inanely at his two companions.
“Well done Doctor,” Farol said. The Doctor carried on laughing and collapsed backwards onto the floor.
“I knew he could be happy,” Alana said. The Doctor’s laughs resounded through the Tardis as it went zooming through time and space to take the travellers to yet one more dangerous adventure.