Series 1 Episode 11
Death, Our Saviour
1916. A bloodthirsty year. Misery pain and suffering ran rampant through France. Shells whizzed through the air. Men ran across the ground. Men drowned in the mud. Death was ripe within the trenches of France. Death was going to be their saviour.
He had woken the dead. He had brought the lost back again. He told them he could do it again and again and again. The dead were going to be the cannon fodder. The dead would save the living. Or so they would have done, had it not have been for that blue box slowly appearing within a dugout.
The noise outside could not be heard of inside. The Doctor stood at the Tardis console watching a control flick back and forth again and again. Alana sat watching him with a frown on her face.
“I mean why on Earth did he suddenly become Mister Angry?” Alana asked. “What suddenly possessed him to take a stand?”
“Barnois was threatened with death. You humans get so very aggressive when that happens. He just let go of his self-restraint,” the Doctor explained.
“It was just a sudden turn around. It surprised me. And then of course you stormed off in a huff very abruptly.”
“I don’t like murderers,” the Time Lord said firmly.
“I don’t like murderers.”
“Is it murder when in self-defence?” Alana said, not really expecting an answer, just wanting to make the Doctor the think. He didn’t look at her but simply focussed on the console.
Suddenly the two jolted forwards. Now he looked up at her and smiled almost inanely.
“We’ve arrived,” he said.
“Let’s find out.”
He turned and left the doors closing behind him. He didn’t come back in. After a moment Alana also stepped outside.
She turned after closing the door and found herself stood in a trench. It was grimy and mucky and she found it hard to walk in it. She looked up to see the Doctor stood deathly still and silent. She slowly and carefully took a step forwards and gently put a hand on his shoulder.
“Where are we?” she asked. “When are we?” A whizzing noise slowly filled the air, first quietly and gradually growing louder and louder until it erupted in a deafening bang makig the roof of the small room shake slightly as dirt fell from the ceiling. Alana let out a massive scream only to be comforted by the Doctor.
“It’s ok,” he said. “It’s fine. It’s nineteen sixteen. We’re in France.” She looked up slowly at him.
“World War One?” she asked almost stuttering. The Doctor nodded grimly. She shivered holding her hands to her mouth. Her eyes slowly began to glisten in the grim light. Another whiz and another bang, this time slightly fainter as it was further off. Again Alana jumped and screamed and again the Doctor had to calm her down.
A faint noise could then be heard. It got louder as it came closer. It was a screaming. Someone was screaming in pain so loudly. It must have been tremendous. A man passed the exit of the dugout on a stretcher, his right leg missing pouring blood like water from a split dam. Alana stood frozen.
She began to then shake her head. She turned and quietly began to cry, the tears running down her cheek. The Doctor put his hands gently on her arms but she shrugged them off.
“I can’t,” she managed to choke as she ran back inside the Tardis crying. “I just can’t.”
“Alana,” the Doctor said as the door closed. He went to open it but suddenly paused.
Alana never heard the commotion outside. She never heard the yells of `who are you?` and `where did you come from?` and `are you one of them?`
For a long time she stood leaning against the Tardis doors, her head in her hands crying. Eventually she managed to choke back her sadness. She managed to bury her fright deep down and sniffed. It was then she realised that the Doctor had never followed her inside. She turned and opened the door a slight crack. A massive bang so loud it almost deafened her erupted knocking an avalanche of dirt from the roof.
Startled she quickly slammed the door shut once again. She stood in the Tardis again panting heavily. She placed her shaking hand back on the door handle again but found she just couldn’t bring herself to open it.
She turned and walked over to the console. She pushed the enter button on the computer and an image of the immediate area outside appeared. Alana didn’t know much of the military but she did recognise a soldier when she saw one and the man sat at the table smoking a cigar was defiantly a soldier.
Strangely enough she couldn’t see the Doctor. Now what was she supposed to do? She stood thinking for a moment when something on the monitor caught her eye. She saw a group of a dozen men, all dressed in uniform just without the hats or helmets walk into the dugout, the apparent leader going up to the Tardis door. He knocked slowly on the door but loudly. Alana suddenly stopped breathing. Her heart skipped a beat. Why was she so frightened of a man knocking on the door of a machine that he would never be able to get into?
“Hello?” he shouted. “Is there anyone inside?” Alana began to breathe again but erratically and quietly. It was the sort of breathing kids did when they were hiding from an abusive parent. “We know you are in there. Your friend told us everything. Come out, spy! Come out and we promise we won’t kill you.” Alana remained quiet. She watched as the soldiers turned to each other apparently issuing orders. They did it quietly so she couldn’t hear what they were saying.
She watched as one of the men disappeared, only to reappear a moment later holding the nozzle of his rifle behind the Doctor’s back. He pushed the Doctor forwards. Alana listened as the men shouted orders at the Time Lord to open the Tardis doors. The Doctor stood still with his arms folded.
“Please,” he said, “there’s nobody in there. I came alone. So stop wasting my time and return me to…”
“Open the door of the box now!” one of them boomed. He was clearly an officer, or at least a ringleader amongst the men, as he was the one commanding the group throughout.
“I will do no such thing,” the Doctor replied with a scoff. “Who the hell do you think you are? You come running at me with rifles raised, ready to shoot anything that walks, you…”
“Very well,” the man said. He turned to face the Tardis, effectively looking at Alana from out of the monitor. She looked back. “You shall come out of your hiding place at once,” he said. He nodded at his man with the rifle to the Doctor. He threatened the Doctor, and Alana, by raising the gun. “You shall come out or we shall kill him. I give you to the count of three. One.”
Alana stood there wondering what to do, panic slowly taking over. She rubbed her hand through her hair and took a step towards the door before stopping.
“Two,” the voice said. Again Alana stood there, placing her head in her hands. She eventually made her decision and ran to the door.
“Three,” the man finished, just as the doors opened and Alana stepped outside. The Doctor sighed in exasperation and his eyes slowly closed. “Ah, there you are,” the man said snidely.
“Why the hell did you come out?” the Doctor snapped.
“They would have killed you,” Alana shouted back in protest.
“Please, give me some credit,” the Doctor shot back. “These idiotic delinquents couldn’t kill a…” The Doctor trailed off. “Yes well,” he said after a pause, “what’s done is done.”
“You shall both remain silent,” the officer almost screamed. He turned and began issuing orders to his men.
“Doctor, why are our own…”
“They’re not British,” the Doctor replied in a whisper. Alana shot a look at him.
“Germans,” the Doctor said answering the unasked question.
“But they speak English. It’s just like the English trenches were. I mean…”
“They speak English because the Tardis translates all languages into one you can understand. As far as the conditions being the same, I’m surprised you hadn’t already come to realise that Alan. All these men, on both sides, went to Hell and back. Decent men died on both sides. Men who didn’t need to.” The officer turned to them.
“You will come with me,” he ordered before striding off. Two German soldiers came up behind Alana and the Doctor and pushed them forwards with their rifles.
Alana and the Doctor traipsed through the trenches, the mud caking their shoes, the rain drenching them and plastering down their hair. They were led past rows and rows of disheartened looking soldiers. Men who were now simply shadows of who they once had been. Grimy faces, ruffled hair, dirtied clothes and low morale infected the trenches like a disease, one that can only grow and never dissipate. The sad thing was not one of these men knew that the War would last another two years.
Eventually they were led into a dugout far back from the front lines, the bombing and shelling now being a faint and distant noise that was still all too close.
Behind a desk sat another German. He was a burly man, broad shouldered and square chinned. He had black hair plastered down to his head and a neatly trimmed beard.
“These are the two intruders sir,” the first officer said. The high ranking man sat and stared at Alana and the Doctor.
“Where did you come from?” he asked.
“They are English spies, sir,” the first officer replied.
“Thank you corporal,” the higher ranking man said. “But I asked them.” He turned to face his underling now. “And you are wrong.”
“They are not from the trenches; they are not even from the War I do not think.”
“How can you tell, sir?”
“They have hope in their eyes,” the man replied. The Doctor looked back into the eyes of the man on the other side of the desk grimly. The two shared a bond. The Doctor didn’t know why but he did know they understood one another.
“We are not from the War,” the Doctor replied. “We do not come from this….time,” he said hesitantly. The first officer laughed harshly.
“What nonsense,” he spat.
“Then when are you from?” the higher ranking officer asked.
“You believe me?” the Time Lord asked astonished.
“I have come to terms with things of…..unnatural elements. Out here a man finds himself. When you stare death in the face every day you soon come to…” He trailed off. “I repeat my question.”
“A long, long way in the future,” the Doctor replied.
“Then tell me…”
“I’m so sorry, but I can’t,” the Doctor interrupted before he asked the question. The man sat there and grimaced.
“I must, however, be bound by rule of the Kaiser. You are prisoners of war and we are short of men. In a matter of hours there will be a run over the top. You will help.”
“What?” the Doctor and Alana both asked simultaneously.
“You will be given a rifle at the last possible moment and then you will accompany the men over the top. I do not who you are or what you are but out here I can’t afford to care. That is all. You have your orders corporal.” With that the man turned back to what he had been doing.
“No,” Alana said quietly. “No,” she repeated louder as the corporal led them out of the dugout. “No you can’t! No please, no!” The Doctor remained silent and almost numb.
They were led back down the way they came, once again passing the low morale and grimy faces which stared at them like a grim visage of the past. All the while Alana screamed and screamed and drew more and more attention to herself. All the while the Doctor remained silent pondering how he had survived one war only to most likely die in another, one he wasn’t even supposed to be fighting.
Suddenly, as the two reached their position, the officer grabbed Alana roughly and brought his face close to her own. She at once stopped screaming and took in a sharp intake of breath.
“Keep screaming woman and I will shoot you here and now. These men have been forced to fight a War they don’t want to every day. These men have ran up those ladders and proceeded through Hell more times than you can imagine. So shut up.” He turned to leave.
“Shut up!” the officer spat loudly.
Several tense minutes passed with only the sounds of the German shelling filling the air. Coughs and sneezes littered the trench as many Germans stared intently at the Doctor and Alana, these two strangers, clean and hopeful not yet having had a taste of Satan.
“I can’t,” Alana mumbled. “I can’t do it Doctor.” The Time Lord looked up at her and she looked back. “I’m a hotel manager, not a soldier. I’m not ready for this.”
“Neither are they,” the Doctor replied gesturing around him. “But they’ve survived.”
“I’m not ready to stare death in the fact,” Alana protested almost weeping.
“Why not? You’ve done it before.”
“The first time I ever met you everyone in your hotel was murdered. You fought a three headed dog. You voluntarily came down to rescue me from the hand of a madman. Back when Viola captured you and put you in that gas chamber you were on the verge of dieing, but you survived. At least these men have gas masks. In the Torchwood moon base it was I who stopped thinking. You were the one who got us going, you were the one who made sure we lived. Don’t you see Alana? Since you’ve met me you have stared death in the fact more times than many care to imagine. This is no different.”
“But it’s all so real.”
“So were those other times. All of them.” Suddenly a whistle blew in the distance and the men were soon climbing the ladders and ascending over the top.
“Doctor, I can’t,” Alana cried.
“Alana, listen to me, we have no choice. We have to go over. The minute you get over there run as fast as you can, just run, don’t look back, I’ll be right behind you all the way ok?” The Doctor reached into his pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver, handing it over to Alana after adjusting the setting. “Use this when you get to the barbed wire. It should just get rid of it in one.”
A troop walked over and tossed two rifles at them. The Doctor caught them in both hands as the soldier barked for them to go over the top.
Alana wiped away her tears as the Doctor handed her the hefty weapon. He looked her straight in the eyes, a serious appearance spread across his face.
“You will make it through this Alana,” he said. “I didn’t bring you along just to let you die. Now, go!” He threw Alana at the steps and she climbed them running out into the already rampant gun fire.
The men before her had broken rank and were running around formlessly. Alana screamed as she ran forwards. She zigzagged to help avoid being shot. The screams of the German troops around her filled the air, to her they towered above even the powerful gun fire and exploding shells. They were so vivid. The tears began to fall down her cheeks again but still she ran forwards, just as the Doctor had told her, never looking back.
Suddenly her foot caught something it didn’t intend to. She fell for what seemed like a life time. She ended up lying in the mud face down. The gun fire and screams continued. She summoned all of her strength and slowly began to crawl forwards. She gave up. Alana Trent lay there in No Man’s Land, 1916, France, hiding from the gun fire, trying to shy away from the horrendous murder being wrought around her. She began to weep once again as the truth hit her. It truly was a tragedy. It was a tragedy she had failed to accept. Then a noise, in her head, rose above even the screams of the innocent soldiers around her. It was the voice of a friend; it was the voice of the Doctor.
His words echoed in her head. She remembered back to her adventures with him as she lay in the mud crying. She thought back to how she had nearly been burned alive by frenzied villagers, how she had almost been turned into a pile of ash on the Eiffel Tower, how she had been taken literally into her worst nightmare by the Sandman and how she had been on the verge of death in the Predon Lunar Colony. She truly had faced death, perhaps more than some of the men that stood dieing around her.
Alana summoned all of her strength and with renewed effort pulled herself along the muddy floor. She crawled and pulled and crawled until she met with a wall of wire. She used the sonic screwdriver to drill a hole in the wall, to bring down the defences of the enemy. She continued to crawl. She continued to pull herself forwards.
She soon found herself before a drop. She managed to drop down into a trench, caked in mud and muck and the blood of men she did not know.
Panting she looked around to see several men in khaki uniforms staring at her. Blood drenched the floor beneath her, men lay screaming in various parts of the trench, stretchers pulled past people squeezing between flesh and mud to escort the wounded. The frenzy of the attack was in full force.
Alana pushed past the bewildered soldiers as she shouted for the Doctor. She looked around as she ran down the trench searching desperately for the one man who would allow her to feel safe. Suddenly she felt a thud on the back of her head and everything went black.
The Doctor sat there, just a grimy as Alana, watching her as she lay unconscious. He had only just survived the run over the top. He was frowning at the state of his clothes. The velvet jacket had looked so pristine before. Now it was bloodied, now it was muddied. After the run over the top it had become ruined. Alana stirred.
Bleary eyed and dazed she looked around taking in her surroundings. She noticed the Doctor.
“What happened?” she asked.
“You survived,” the Doctor replied. He looked around. “From one prison to another,” he sighed. He looked back at Alana. “I told you that you’d live.” Alana sat up holding the back of her head.
“I…” She trailed off looking down at the floor. It had been the most traumatic moment of her life.
“It’s quite alright,” the Doctor said softly. “You just went through something that would reduce a man to a bundle of nerves. You’re allowed to be….affected.”
“Where are we now?” she asked.
“Oh now the English have captured us,” the Doctor moaned. “Apparently now we’re German spies.” Alana buried her head in her hands. “Are you ok?” the Doctor asked.
“When…” she started. She choked back her emotions. “When we were in India, fighting the Sandman, when he took me into my deepest nightmares, I saw a world without…”
“No,” the Doctor said simply. He shook his head. “No.” Alana frowned. “What ever it was he put you through you should not tell a soul. It was your nightmare. It was personal. I’m sure whatever it was that happened, it was comparable if not worse than what you just experienced. The point is Alana you survived them both and through those experiences you have become a stronger, a better woman than the person you were when we first met.”
Before Alana could say anything the door to the dugout opened with a soldier waiting for them.
“Get up,” he ordered. “The boss wants a word with you.”
The two travellers were led out of the dugout down a long trench filled with low morale and grimy faces. It was as if they had not moved from the last trench. They were soon led into another dugout in which sat an officer behind a desk, just like when they were in the German trench.
This time behind the desk sat a fairly thin man with a neatly trimmed moustache, pale skin and pursed lips. He sat and finished off his letter before calmly folding it and placing it in an envelope. He put the envelope to one side and looked up at the Doctor and Alana. He cleared his throat.
“Jameson,” he said introducing himself.
“I’m the Doctor, this is Alana.”
“Just the Doctor.”
“How very cryptic,” Jameson replied in hostility. “You look like you’ve been dragged through Hell backwards. Smarten yourselves up.” The Doctor looked back at him incredulously.
“You will smarten yourselves up or…”
“Or what? You’ll kill us? That isn’t anything new,” Alana snapped. “You’ll send us back over there? Well at least we can then get away from this Hell!”
“Alana,” the Doctor snapped. “Now is not the time.”
“I can see neither you are overly willing to cooperate with me,” Jameson said. “Why are you here? What on Earth are the Jerries up to now?”
“We’re not Germans,” the Doctor said.
“Oh, then what are you?”
“Travellers. We came here by accident.”
“Please, the whole world knows of this damned War in Europe, and you end up here, in this trench, having run over from their trench, by accident?” He shook his head. “I somehow doubt that.”
“Then doubt it,” the Doctor said. “But you’d only be denying the truth.”
“Very well. If you did wind up here by accident perhaps you would be so kinds as to tell me how you ended up with us.”
“You’d never believe us,” Alana said.
“We came in a time machine,” the Doctor said. Jameson stood staring at him. The Doctor stared back. They carried on staring.
“Really?” Jameson said eventually. “Then perhaps I should really ask, when are you from?”
“Well as far as I’m concerned that’s a long story and one I do not intend to tell. For Alana here, she’s from the twenty first century.”
“I won’t be born for another, oh, thirty years.” Jameson sat staring at her.
“Then it will work,” he said. The Doctor frowned.
“What will work?” Jameson looked at him.
“You say you are from the future yet you do not know the outcome of this war?”
“Oh I do. I just want to make sure…it happens.”
“Oh we will win Doctor,” Jameson told him. “With our new weapon, exclusive to the British Empire, there is no way we can lose.”
“What?” the Doctor snapped. “They have tanks too you know.”
“Tanks? Oh I’m not talking about tanks,” Jameson replied. “I’m talking about the dead.”
“The dead?” the Doctor replied, an urgency now peppering his voice. “What dead, what are you talking about?” Jameson smiled.
“So there you have it,” he said. The Doctor frowned.
“What?” Alana asked.
“They send you over here to discover our secret weapon.”
“Stop speaking nonsense!” the Doctor roared. “You know full well we are both English! Well, she is, but if I were from this world I like to think I would be too. Don’t you think that if we are German spies we’d have been far more careful not to get caught? Don’t you think that if we are German spies our English is impeccable? Don’t you think, that for just one tiny second, we are victims of this war just like everyone else, that we shouldn’t be here, that we don’t deserve to be going through this. That this, all of this, has been caused by a few men in offices giving orders to men such as yourself, like you’re nothing more than ants, expendable elements used for the sole purpose of giving those politicians, those stinking corrupt politicians, bragging rights? They bleat on about patriotism and stopping the spread of democracy or dictatorship but at the end of the day you are all the same. We are all the same. Not one of the men out there deserve to be here, but they are, and they were meant to be because that’s what was meant to happen. It’s my job to make sure it happens. I’m the only one who can. This War ends when it is supposed to end and not one second before do you understand me? So if there is something different, if you are using the dead for something then you will tell me now!”
This outburst had taken everyone by surprise. Even Alana had never seen such rage burn in the eyes of the Doctor. It was as if he was talking from experience. It was then that it struck Alana that the scars, the wounds left by the Time War had started to bleed again. Jameson was clenching his jaw and he was not attempting to hide it. The Doctor had gone red. He was glaring intently at Jameson. Jameson slowly rose to his feet.
“Follow me,” he said quietly, leaving the dugout. The Doctor and Alana followed and for the first time found themselves free from the gaze of the barrel of a gun. Again they walked down trench after trench, passing troop after troop. It seemed to last forever.
Eventually they came into a long wide trench far from the front lines. Across one line of the trench stood a row of soldiers, still and pale as stone. They stared emptily at the mud wall before them. Jameson led Alana and the Doctor down the trench past the row of soldiers. As the Doctor passed them he stared up into their eyes. They truly were empty. They were emotionless and vacant.
Jameson led them into another dugout but this one was neat, tidy, furnished. This time there were strange machines lining the walls and papers and blueprints scattered across the desk. A scientist stood inside in a white coat, but one that seem to be made a long time after 1916. The Doctor could tell by the design.
“What is this?” he demanded.
“This is Doctor Umbria. He created the first of our saviours.”
“Saviours?” the Doctor snapped. “You mean those men out there?”
“They looked so pale,” Alana said. “They looked like they were dead.”
“They are,” the Doctor said staring intently at Jameson. “Men that fell where they stood. Men who should have been laid to rest were resurrected, turned into walking zombies. They’ve been mutilated.” The Doctor looked at the scientist called Umbria. “You’ve essentially raped them.” Umbria looked back.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I’m the Doctor, this is my companion Alana.”
“I’m the Doctor here,” Umbria replied.
“No, you’re a doctor but I am the Doctor,” the Time Lord told him. Umbria turned to Jameson.
“You know full well this is a restricted area. You should not have brought them down here.”
“I had my reasons,” Jameson replied. “The Doctor wished to know exactly what you were doing.”
“You should not have told him,” Umbria snapped.
“Turning the dead into walking cannon fodder,” the Doctor sneered. “It’s a violation!” he roared.
“You’re monsters,” Alana said vacantly. “All of you, you’re all monsters. You’re worse than the Germans. You’re in a completely different league.”
“And this,” the Doctor snapped pointing at the machines and computers. “All of this, this is far too advanced for you. This isn’t from this time period. Where the hell did you get this sort of stuff?” Umbria smiled back at him. “Where?” the Doctor boomed as furious as he had ever been.
“The light,” Jameson replied. The Doctor turned sharply to him.
“You will be court marshalled,” Umbria snapped.
“Oh shut up,” Alana almost screamed.
“Show me it,” the Doctor told Jameson. Jameson looked back and, after a moment of thinking to himself, nodded. He led the Doctor through a door at the back of the chamber and into an empty cave of mud and grime. On the far slanting wall a long fluorescent light shone which could only be described as a gash in the mud. It subtly changed from blue to green to orange to yellow to blue again. The Doctor frowned.
Alana instinctively passed him the sonic screwdriver having kept hold of it after fighting through the barbed wire. The Doctor walked carefully towards it and scanned it before looking at the readings. Still frowning he looked up at the gash and slowly moved his hand inside it. He flinched and withdrew it at once. He sighed as he turned.
“It’s a Tear,” he said simply. “A Tear in the fabric of space and time. Luckily it’s too small to be a major threat. But it is big enough to send things through.”
“Things?” Jameson asked.
“Anything, up to a certain size.”
“Like the size of the computers,” Alana said clicking on. “Someone has sent them through the Tear.” The Doctor nodded.
“Why I do not know. It must be why the Tardis materialised here. It was pulled in by the heavy temporal fluctuations.”
“What are you suggesting?” Jameson asked. The Doctor looked up at him.
“Someone wants to distort history. This Tear needs to be closed, now before something else changes.”
“Doctor…” Alana said gesturing towards the Tear. The Doctor turned and watched as the light suddenly began to fade. A great high pitched squeal filled the air, like that of the tools of a dentist. The light eventually vanished and left crackling static in the air.
“What a coincidence,” Jameson said lightly.
“Indeed,” the Doctor mumbled apparently taking the event far more seriously.
“What is it Doctor?” Alana asked seeing his distress. He looked at her.
“What have you done?!” Umbria screamed. “You’ve ruined everything! We were going to win the War. They were going to send us weapons.” He ran over to the now featureless wall and felt it desperately looking for some remnant of the Tear. He found nothing. “Now we have to accelerate the plans,” he said storming back through into the first dugout. The Doctor frowned and followed. “We must begin the awakening now,” Umbria said as he rapidly began to flip switches.
“What?” the Doctor said. “No! You have to bury those men now!” He turned to Jameson. “You can’t let him do this!”
“It is too late,” Umbria replied. “Jameson has been given direct orders from London.”
“In a result of any complication I must instigate the plan at once. I have no authority to countermand the order. I am sorry Doctor but it has to be this way.” Umbria began to speed around the room flicking switches and turning knobs and checking readings. The Doctor grabbed Jameson by the shoulders.
“Jameson listen to me. You are wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way. The past has already been forged. This is not how the War ends. If it does end this way, if this army of dead men simply waltz over No Man’s Land and into the German trenches there’s not telling what the future may be like. Every decision we make creates a parallel universe, but if you let this happen then…”
Umbria suddenly hit the Doctor over the head with a hefty piece of metal. He looked down at the unconscious body. He turned to Jameson.
“You have your orders Captain,” he said. “The awakening will go forwards. We are going to win this War. This time next month you can be back home in your house with your wife and kids. Isn’t that what you want?”
“Get on with it,” Jameson said looking down at his feet as he left. Alana looked down at the Doctor, up at Umbria and ran outside.
“Captain,” she said. He turned to her. “I know how you must feel, believe me I do. I know you must long to see your family again, to make sure that men stop dieing, to end this war now. But you can’t. You mustn’t. If you do twice as many people may die then if this War was allowed to run its course. The future could change for the worse. I could never be born!” He shook his head.
“I can’t disobey my orders,” he said.
“You must,” Alana pleaded. “These men don’t deserve to be used as cannon fodder. They need to be laid to rest.” Jameson turned his back on her. Alana looked at the nearest dead soldier. Suddenly an electric surge filled the air and shot along the row of dead men. They all suddenly straightened up. They began to flex their hands. Jameson turned and grabbed Alana.
“We have to go,” he said. “These things have been told to kill anything in front of them. The trenches ahead of us have been evacuated. We have to leave now or we’re going to die.” Alana took back her hand and shoved him backwards.
“Then I guess I’m going to die.”
“Don’t be a fool.”
“You’re the fool,” she snapped. “Don’t you get how important it is you don’t see this through? I am not moving so you’d better call off the plan.”
“So will they!” Alana shouted back gesturing towards the enemy lines.
“But that’s different…”
“It’s no different. Those men are exactly the same. They’re no different. I know I’ve been there, I’ve met them!”
“I’m not going to…” The zombies began to crack their knuckles and necks getting used to their new existence. “They’re waking up,” Jameson pleaded.
“It’s about time you did to,” Alana shot back. “The Doctor fought in a war,” she added. “He saw people die. The war was so terrible it wiped out his entire race. A whole race of beings dead!” Jameson was clearly visibly affected by this. Alana saw it was working and persisted. “Every single one of them wiped out. But it didn’t end there. Their enemies were all wiped out to. Two species completely eliminated. They were wiped from existence.” She chose not to tell him that the Daleks had indeed survived. “If you go through with this you will be no different. These things will not stop until every German is dead. They won’t distinguish between man and woman and child, between innocent and guilty, between good and evil. They’ve been told to wipe out everything before them! Who knows where the massacre will end?”
“I am not a murderer,” Jameson mumbled.
“If you don’t stop this now then you will be,” Alana told him. He looked at her before making a decision. He strode back down the trench towards the dugout. Umbria stepped outside laughing.
“It is beginning,” he shouted. “I have made the dead walk! Death is our saviour! The war is won!”
“Umbria, stop this now,” Jameson snapped. Umbria looked at him. He shook his head.
“Even if I wanted to I couldn’t,” he said. “It is too late. They have woken up.”
Indeed the zombies were awake now. They stepped forwards as one unit and flexed their hands. Their eyes, though white and blank, seemed to be aflame with a desire to maim and kill. Jameson turned to see them stepping forwards to climb over onto the top. Alana had been cornered as one of the dead men advanced on her.
“Alana, run!” Jameson shouted. It was no use.
The zombie grabbed Alana by the neck with both hands and slowly began to apply pressure choking the young woman. Jameson grabbed his revolver and aimed it carefully at the dead man. He applied pressure to the trigger and the bullet flew through the air.
The metal projectile rammed into the head of the zombie. Dust spilled from the wound instead of blood. The zombie slowly turned to face Jameson as the others climbed out of the trench.
It let go of Alana and marched towards Jameson who began to step backwards, emptying the chamber of the pistol into the attacker to no effect. Umbria was laughing.
“You can’t beat it,” he said. “It’s already dead. This is why we are going to win this war Jameson.”
“I’m not ready to die…” the officer choked as the zombie grabbed his throat. Its hands were like clamps.
Alana ran forwards and jumped onto the back of the creature. It let go of Jameson and spun round trying to find her and grab her. Jameson turned to Umbria and rammed his fist into the jaw of the scientist before grabbing him by the collar.
“Call it off,” he said through gritted teeth. Umbria simply laughed and shook his head.
“Don’t you understand, I can’t,” he sniggered. “It won’t stop until everything before it is dead.”
Jameson through the scientist back down to the earth and turned. The creature grabbed the foot of the woman on it and threw her hard against the side of the trench. It turned to again attack Jameson.
“Captain, inside now,” the Doctor barked as he got back to his feet and launched a small computer out into the trench. “I have an idea. Get in now!”
Jameson led the creature inside the dugout as fighting erupted. The Germans had spotted the advancing lines of dead men. The War was on its way to being won.
The Doctor suddenly ran towards the creature and shoulder barged it but the zombie did not move. The Doctor crashed to the floor, much harder than Jameson was expecting. The creature picked the Doctor up and launched him against one of the machines. The metal casing shattered and crumpled as the Doctor again fell to the floor. He pulled himself to his feet as the zombie advanced towards him. It rammed its fist into the machine but the Doctor dodged. The fist went straight through the object exposing several wires and components as sparks showered the floor. In a flash, before the creature could remove it appendage, the Doctor was on his feet and he shoved the sonic screwdriver into the innards of the machine. He looked into the eyes of the zombie.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I am so sorry.” He activated the screwdriver and the machine exploded. The Doctor fell to the floor shielding his face as electricity shot through the creature. It fell to the floor smoking and unmoving. One by one the machines and computers erupted into flames and exploded. Soon the whole dugout was aflame. The Doctor crawled to the exit and turned. Jameson was stuck on the other side looking back at him. The Doctor went to take a step forwards but Jameson shook his head.
“I’ll find them and I’ll tell them,” the Doctor shouted to him. He was referring to the Jameson family back in England. The Doctor turned and jumped out into the trench as an explosion tore out of the dugout.
Alana ran over to him and helped him up, taking them both away from the flames. The Doctor brushed himself down and shielded his eyes from the heat and light of the fire.
“The guns have stopped,” Alana told him. “Did you stop them?”
“I destroyed the machines that were keeping them reanimated,” the Doctor told her. “It’s over. The War will continue.”
“I don’t know whether or not you could call it a happy ending,” Alana said. The Doctor looked down at her and nodded solemnly. Slowly a noise grew louder in the air. It was a kind of whizzing, a whistling that slowly grew louder and louder. The two travellers turned to each other.
They suddenly leaped to the floor as a shell landed in the dugout and caused a huge eruption, sending wood and metal flying everywhere. The Doctor shielded his head with his hands as Alana almost crawled into the mud wall to hide from the shrapnel. The Doctor looked up after the debris had settled. The dugout was now a gaping flaming hole.
“Rest in peace Captain Jameson,” he said quietly. “Rest in peace everyone.”
“I never even knew his first name,” Alana added. Suddenly something dawned on her. “Doctor, it isn’t over yet. The Tardis is back in the German trench. We have to get back over there.” The Doctor looked at her and smiled. “I don’t find this funny,” she snapped.
The Doctor got to his feet and brushed himself down. He walked over to the fiery debris, picking out the computer he had thrown into the trench earlier. He walked away from the fire and placed the computer on the floor, smiling all the time. After opening it up and making several different modifications the Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to activate the computer. Blue waves of energy flew high up into the air before arching down into the trench. Slowly the familiar groaning filled the air as a friendly looking blue box slowly appeared before them. The computer sparked and exploded into a plume of smoke and the Doctor got to his feet smiling at Alana who smiled back.
“Do me a favour next time,” he said. “You should know I always plan ahead.”
“The computers looked obsolete to your eyes but they are far more advanced than anything you’ve ever encountered,” the Doctor explained as he led the way to the Tardis console. “The advanced technology allowed me to reanimate the temporal distortions that first brought the Tardis here. A little jiggerypokery and Bob’s your uncle.”
“But if it’s more advanced…”
“Oh come on, you’ve heard of being retro haven’t you?” the Doctor sighed, exasperated at needing to explain. “In the future people will decide to go retro with computers again.” The Doctor paused what he was doing and looked up before turning to Alana. “You humans are such faddy people.” He turned back to his work, flicked several switches and the column started to move.
“Where are we going?” Alana asked.
“There’s one more thing I have to see to before we move on,” the Doctor replied. “Jameson is owed that much.”
“I guess he was right,” Alana mumbled. The Doctor frowned at her. “Umbria said that death would save them all. I suppose, in one way, he was right.” The Doctor looked into space pondering the thought before nodding slowly.
“He was right,” he replied. “And dieing is the one thing I can never seem to do. Maybe I’ll never be…” He trailed off as the column stopped moving.
Alana watched from the Tardis as the Doctor told a young looking woman the news he carried. The woman, stood in her doorway, put her hands to her mouth and stepped backwards. They talked for a moment before the Doctor put a hand on her arm, turned and headed back towards Alana.
Alana watched as the woman wiped something from her eye before she turned and closed the door behind her.
“How did she take it?” Alana asked as the Doctor stepped back inside the Tardis.
“As well as can be expected,” the Doctor replied shortly before working the console again. Alana closed the door and the column started moving again.
“Just one thing Doctor,” she said. “How exactly did you know where he had lived? I mean it’s not like your Santa or something,” she joked. The Doctor raised an eyebrow as he stood looking at her. Alana laughed again. “Come on, how dumb you think I am?” The Doctor simply shrugged, smiling slightly, arms folded. “Oh stop it, there isn’t such a thing as Santa.”
“All I’ll say is how many men do you know are capable of going all the way around one planet in one night?” the Doctor replied with a smile. He turned and walked into the back.
Alana stood thinking for a moment. Suddenly everything seemed to have been unimportant. She was once again caught in the moment. She was caught there with the Doctor.
“Wait a minute,” she said as she walked into the back, “how come I never got that radio then?”