Series 1 Episode 12
The people playing in the park never noticed. That blue box slowly appeared and yet no one noticed. It was as if it happened every day. Either that or no one really cared.
The door opened with a creak and out steeped the Time Lord in his black velvet jacket and snakeskin shoes. He looked around with a frown on his face as his companion, Alana Trent, dressed in a fitted black suit and white shirt followed him.
“Where are we? When are we?” she asked.
“2006,” the Doctor replied. He turned to her and smiled. “You’re home. Well, your own time. As for the location, looking at the skyscrapers…” He bent down picked a blade of grass and tasted it. “And by the taste of the grass I’d say London. East End most likely.” He got back to his feet and brushed his hands.
“You can tell just by tasting the grass?” Alana asked astonished. He smiled and nodded.
“It’s a skill I’ve developed over the years.” He looked around again. “Though there’s something different,” he mumbled. “Something in the air. Something isn’t right.”
“I don’t know,” he said simply. “The Tardis was pulled here by temporal distortions, just like when we materialised during World War One. We’re here for a reason. What that reason is, well, I guess we’re going to have to find out.”
“Right, come on then,” Alana said briskly. She brushed her hands together and she went to walk off only to stop halfway down the park path when she realised the Doctor wasn’t following.
“After a coffee break,” he said. “I’m parched and I think we’ve earned one.” He turned the opposite direction and strode off, Alana having to run to catch up.
“I though you didn’t like coffee,” she said.
“Oh ok then, tea, if you really want to be pedantic.”
The beer bellied man of average height and pale skin sat at his computer in the darkened room. He sat there playing Space Invaders when a red light began to blink in the bottom corner of his laptop. He hit several buttons and the game switched off to reveal the network of city security cameras. Behind him a tall thin man wearing glasses with long hair walked in.
“What is it?” he asked, pronouncing every word. The man at the computer took another bite of his doughnut.
“Just got an alert through,” he said through the food. “A materialisation somewhere within the area. I’ve patched into the camera network and…”
“There!” the tall man exclaimed pointing at something on the screen. In one of the small windows a box could be seen standing in the corner of the park. The man at the computer smiled as he enhanced the image.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” he said rhetorically turning and looking up at the man stood before him. The tall man smirked.
“At long last,” he said, “the mighty Doctor and we’ve got him.”
“I’ll trace the exact location.”
“Then contact HJH,” the tall man said. “Tell them to track him down. I want him here as soon as possible. Maybe some of our questions will finally be answered for us.”
“Here’s hoping,” the computer guy replied. The tall man patted him on the shoulder.
“Good work,” he said before turning and leaving. The man at the computer set about tracing the location.
The familiar sounds of coffee shops filled the air. The rushing of the coffee machines, the jingling and clanking of cups and saucers, the pinging of the till, the idle chatter of the customers. It was just another coffee shop on just another street corner. Only in this one the Doctor sat drinking tea.
“I do love the smell of coffee,” Alana said sniffing the air. The Doctor raised an eyebrow as he took another sip of his beverage. He replaced the cup on the saucer, sat back and started tapping a finger on the table. A waiter walked over with the muffin Alana ordered. The Doctor looked at the sickly chocolate cake.
“Should you be eating that?” he asked. Alana shrugged.
“A girl’s got to live Doctor,” she replied as she peeled a bit of the muffin off and placed it on her tongue which disappeared inside her mouth.
“But I bet it’s so fattening,” the Doctor said.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Alana snapped. The Doctor smirked and shrugged and carried on drinking the tea. The cup stopped before his mouth, tilted as if he was going to drink from it. The Doctor frowned as his eyes narrowed, staring in the distance. Alana was too immersed in her muffin to notice.
The Doctor placed the cup back on the saucer and slowly got to his feet, walking over to the door and outside amongst the silver tables glinting in the sun.
On the opposite side of the square a black car was parked outside a house. It was typically ominous, a back car with blacked out windows sat silently unmoving a house. Then the door to the house opened a man wearing black shades and a black suit stepped outside escorting a woman firmly by the arm. She was bundled into the car before the man walked to the front and stepped inside. The moment the door had closed the car engine sparked to life and the car silently drifted away, no one any the wiser.
“Doctor?” Alana said from the table inside. The Doctor turned to see Alana spun around in her chair leaning over to find the Doctor.
“Nothing,” the Doctor replied walking back inside and sitting down. “It’s nothing, really.”
“You saw something didn’t you?” Alana asked. He shrugged and took another sip of his tea. “What was it?” she pressed. The Doctor remained silent, deep in thought. “What did you see?” she repeated more firmly now. The Doctor looked up at her still thinking to himself. He looked around conspiratorially as he placed his tea back on the saucer.
“Let’s go for a walk,” he told her as he got up and placed a handful of crumpled notes on the table. He left quickly and Alana quickly grabbed her muffin and followed, again having to run to catch up with him.
The Doctor strode through the square twisting and turning to dodge the people bustling around their busy lives. Alana kept accidentally barging into people and apologising in a somewhat flustered manner. She was several hundred years younger than the Doctor yet he somehow seemed so much more agile than she was.
“I saw something,” the Doctor said.
“I’d guessed,” his companion replied, “Sorry,” she added as another person clashed bodies with her.
“Something most people put in movies, films, make believe, fiction.”
“Sorry…oh sorry…sorry about tha….sorry.”
“The thing is I know for a fact that sort of thing never happens in real life, never.”
“I do beg your pardon…sorry, sorry.”
“So the question is why on Earth is it happening?”
The Doctor swiftly turned a corner down a sodden back street lined by old terraced houses. The pavement was cracked and the houses neglected. The street was empty and Alana stumbled onto it, the sudden change coming by surprise. The Doctor stopped abruptly and turned to face her.
“I mean it’s simple run of the mill conspiracy theory. Nothing special. If they want to keep it secret they’re doing something so obvious they might as well paint what ever it is they’re up to on a giant placard and parade up and down the streets.”
“What are you on about?” Alana panted. The Doctor turned and stormed back down the street.
“So why? That’s the question isn’t it? Why? All that black, all the secrecy, the speed and the precision. It can’t be it’s too obvious.”
“Tell me what it is,” Alana exclaimed. The Doctor stopped and spun round to face her.
“Men in black whisking people off in unmarked cars. Typical cliché conspiracy rubbish. Only it isn’t rubbish is it? It’s far more than that. It’s real. They’re doing something, but the question is what?”
“It might be nothing Doctor.”
“Oh shut up,” he scoffed. “I wouldn’t be like this if it was nothing.”
“You could be making a mis…”
“Do not finish that sentence,” he snapped. “I am never wrong.”
“I am not wrong. Something is going on. Men in black and temporal distortions and you say it’s coincidence? No, someone wants us here, someone wants me to find out. But, like I said, the question is why.”
“Doctor…” Alana panted as the Doctor took off again, turning another corner to a longer emptier road. The only thing by the side of the road was a large wrecked factory.
The Doctor continued to storm forwards, talking to himself all the time. Alana sped after him. Suddenly, just as Alana caught up, the Doctor stopped.
“What now?” Alana asked exasperated. The Doctor was frowning again when he looked at her. “What?”
“That sign,” the Doctor said pointing to a sign posted on the gates blocking off the grounds of the factory.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“What does it say?”
“It says derelict. The factory is abandoned. What’s so strange about that?”
“If it’s derelict how come it’s still billowing smoke?” the Doctor asked.
Alana looked up slowly and indeed, columns of smoke were churning up from the large thick brick chimneys.
“Let’s investigate,” the Doctor said with that familiar gleam in his eyes.
“Excuse me,” someone said from behind them. The Doctor spun round after sighing rather heavily.
He saw before him three women, rather short in height. One had brown hair and a white smile, the other was a red head who possessed a kind of unique studious look and the third was of oriental origin with long flowing black hair.
“Yes?” the Doctor snapped.
“I’m sorry, we seem to be lost,” the smiling woman said in her soft kindly voice. “Do you know…”
“No idea,” the Doctor replied sternly. “Now please, go away, I have business to attend to.” Alana rolled her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said stepping forwards, “My friend is not all that much of a people person. Perhaps I can help you?”
“It’s ok,” the smiling woman replied. She looked around. “We thought we knew this place but I’m afraid we don’t.”
“Well I can show you which way we came,” Alana said, “if that’s any use.”
“Oh hurry up, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved inside that factory,” the Doctor moaned. Something suddenly occurred to him. He grabbed the woman by the arm and pointed at the black smoke. “Do you know anything about what’s going on in there?” he demanded.
“We don’t,” the black haired oriental woman chirped in. “We’re as lost as you are.” The Doctor suddenly looked at her.
“What?” he mumbled. “How did…”
“We know all about you Doctor,” the red head said attracting the Doctor’s attention. “We’ve studied you for years.”
“Please come with us,” the first woman requested. “Perhaps an exchange of names will help. I’m Hayley.” She pointed to the black haired woman. “This is Joey.” She then gestured towards the red head. “And this one is Hannah. Together we’re called HJH.”
“Never heard of you,” the Doctor said. Hayley smiled.
“I’m glad,” she told him. “Now please come with us Doctor. Our leader would like to ask you a few questions.”
“Do you have anything to do with the bl…”
“Oh come on Doctor please. And Alana may come also.”
“We are not going anywhere,” Alana protested. Hayley, still smiling, sighed.
“Oh dear, I was afraid it would come to this.” She gestured to Joey who reached into her small handbag and withdrew a small canister. The Doctor frowned as Joey held it up into the air and pressed a button.
The next thing the time travellers knew a flash drowned out the sky and they feel unconscious to the floor.
The unmarked black Sedan pulled up outside the council estate. No one was in the car park playing and the nearby streets were empty. Almost an entire estate had been snatched away without anyone apparently noticing.
The front passenger door opened and a black suited man stepped out. He straightened up and pushed his black shades up to the top of his nose again. He straightened his tie and brushed down his suit before slamming the door shut behind him and heading for the entrance.
He fastened his jacket up as he approached the main entrance and then pushed the door open with the palm of a single hand. He stepped inside and looked around. It was again eerily quiet. He walked over to a corridor and walked down it softly.
When he reached the desired room he rasped his knuckles on the door gently and rhythmically. The latches clicked as the various locks were undone and the door opened a crack to reveal a cragged old male face looking at the young tall broad black suited figure before him.
“Yes?” the man asked hesitantly.
“It is time,” the one in the shades replied in his gravely voice. The old man gulped.
“But I don’t want to,” he stumbled.
“You are the final one. You have no choice. Come along now.” The OAP shook his head with his eyes closed.
“No, no, I don’t think I will,” he stumbled nervously before trying to close the door. A shining black shoe was in the way of it closing. The old man got anxious and nervous and tried slamming the door shut to hurt the foot but it remained there.
“You have no choice,” the shaded man repeated. “Come along now.” His speech was so robotic.
“I don’t want to!” the man exclaimed. The shaded man sighed and placed both palms on the door. He then used his mighty strength to force the door off its hinges and it sent the old man stumbling backwards.
The black suited man stepped inside calmly and grabbed the OAP by the arm, going to drag him outside but the man struggled. Still the black suit persisted and still the man resisted. Then a sudden pain shot down his right arm. The black suited man let go as the OAP stumbled backwards against the wall in tremendous pain, clutching his arm and then his chest.
“H….h….help m…me,” he managed. The shaded man simply stood and watched as the OAP fell to the floor unconscious. Moments passed and the OAP never moved. The black suited man got to his knees and felt for a pulse. He found none. He lifted the OAP and carried him outside back to the car.
As he approached a second man in a black suit jumped out from the drivers seated and ran round to the other side, opening the rear passenger door. The first black suit threw the OAP inside and the second one slammed the door shut. They both got back into the front of the car and sat a moment.
“Is he dead?” the second one asked.
“He is,” the first one replied. “However his brain is still intact. He is still good stock. He is compatible.”
The second man nodded and turned the ignition key. The car rumbled to life and slowly, gently drove out of the compound of the council estate and back onto the road.
The Doctor woke up in a daze. He was sat in a large somewhat overly comfortable chair. He felt himself sliding down deep into the soft cushions. He shook himself out of his daze and straightened up. He took in his surroundings while regaining his composure.
He was in a large room. It was clearly somewhere that minimalists lived as there was very little furnishing in the room. It had white walls, light laminate flooring, a white fire place, several large chairs and a glass coffee table in the middle of the room.
The Doctor got to his feet, holding his head, and walked around. He inspected the coffee table. Strangely it was not of human design. He leaned in closer for a better look. He ran his fingers along the carvings.
“A Meken coffee table?” he muttered. He took a step back, astonished this item was where it was.
He walked over to the fire place and ran his finger along the top of it. He tutted at the dust on his finger tip before brushing it off into the air. He stood there, hands in pockets, looking around him. He wondered where Alana was.
The door handle turned and the door creaked open. The Doctor spun around quickly and aimed his sonic screwdriver at the figure who walked inside. The man smiled and closed the door behind him calmly.
“The fabled sonic screwdriver,” he said. “I know it can’t hurt anyone so put it away,” the long haired bespectacled man said. He pushed his glasses up his nose.
“Quite,” the Doctor said unsure of the situation as he placed the screwdriver back in his pocket. The Doctor gestured around the room. “It’s not a very effective prison,” he said. “Very hospitable.”
“You’re not our prisoner Doctor,” the man replied. The Doctor frowned. The man smiled. He walked forwards and offered his hand. “O’Regan,” he said. “My name is O’Regan.” The Doctor shook his hand.
“I’m the Doctor,” he replied clearly confused.
“Oh I know that,” O'Regan replied.
“Ok, alright, time out,” the Doctor said pulling away. “I need to know a few things. First, where is Alana? Is she alright?”
“Your companion is as healthy as when we retrieved you,” O'Regan replied.
“How can I be sure?”
“You can’t.” The Doctor narrowed his eyes. He took a step forwards.
“What happened to us outside the factory?” he asked.
“It was a Lunar Pulse capsule,” O'Regan informed him.
“Instantaneous knockout,” the Doctor commented to himself. “How on Earth did you get one of those things?”
“All those people who say they’ve been abducted by aliens,” O'Regan told him. “Those ones who claim to have been, ahem, probed. Well some of them brought things back with them, things lodged in rather unsavoury places. One of them carried a Lunar Pulse Capsule, for what purpose we have no idea but at least we have one.”
“That very neatly leads me onto my next question,” the Doctor said. “Who are you?” O'Regan smiled and gestured towards a seat. The Doctor sat back down and O'Regan sat opposite him.
“Most people would say we are conspiracy theorists,” he said. “People who believe in aliens are written off as social rejects, internet recluses, geeks and freaks. You see the majority still deny the existence of alien life despite the Sycorax Incident of December 25th last year.”
“You humans are good at that,” the Doctor said. “You’ll spend your lives searching for something then when it’s put right in front of you, you simply deny it. It’s a fake. Someone made it up. It’s a farce, a joke, a political ploy, a conspiracy.”
“I’m most inclined to agree with you,” O'Regan replied. “Well I suppose you could say we are part of the select few who don’t do such a thing.” He uncrossed his legs and leaned forwards. “Earlier this year there was an incident, at a hotel, owned by Alana I believe, in which everyone on sight was killed. At least that was what the official UNIT report stated.”
“How did you…”
“We have a most able computer technician,” O'Regan interrupted. “We knew that you had survived at least Doctor, because that is what you do. We were then unaware of the presence of Miss Trent but we discovered that later. Since we found that report many more things have crept up. We’ve discovered reports spanning back hundreds of years. You’ve been reported at places such as the Torchwood Estate in the 1800s, an Indian colony in the same century, in Paris not so long ago, in vague rural American villages, at the assassination of JFK, you are everywhere Doctor. The moment we found your Tardis it wasn’t that hard to track you down.”
“You still haven’t given me a definitive answer,” the Doctor interrupted. O'Regan smiled.
“You are as good as they say,” he commented leaning back in his seat.
“We call ourselves Third Section,” O'Regan said. “As in we are the third secret service of the United Kingdom.”
“Third Section?” the Doctor asked. “I’ve never heard of any such organisation.”
“You won’t have. The government is unaware of our existence. We’d be surprised if MI5 knew of us to be honest. We are a self determined group, self employed if you will, our motivation stems from our patriotism, we are dedicated to protecting the interest of British citizens, not just form external alien threats but from internal threats as well, namely Torchwood. The fools have messed up too many times to be considered seriously. They are a liability.”
“Someone finally agrees with me,” the Doctor said. “So how many of there are you?”
“Only five,” O'Regan said. “Our finances aren’t all that great as you can imagine. However we are very resourceful. We have managed to secure several items before Torchwood even knew they were there. I suppose you could say we are Torchwood as it should be.”
“A self organised group of patriotic defenders,” the Doctor said in admiration. “Normal people defending the Earth. Now that’s what I call amazing.”
“The thing is Doctor we can’t do it alone anymore. We need help. We need your help.”
“Are you the people who created the temporal distortions?” the Doctor asked with a smile. O'Regan frowned and shook his head in confusion. “Oh never mind, go on,” the Doctor then said.
“We were lucky to catch you when we did Doctor.” O'Regan got up and revealed a hidden safe in the middle of the wall. He opened it and withdrew a laptop, placing it on the coffee table and activating it. He brought up a window displaying a map of the solar system. He pressed the image of Pluto and it zoomed in displaying a large complex on the surface burying deep underground.
“Let’s just say we acquired a Loomard Stellar scope,” O'Regan interrupted. The Doctor couldn’t help but smile again. “Now as you can see Doctor we’ve detected the presence of an advanced mining complex on Pluto.” The Doctor frowned.
“That shouldn’t be there,” he said.
“We know,” O'Regan replied.
“No, you don’t understand. There will be Ice Mines on Pluto eventually but that won’t be for hundreds of years. I don’t know how but someone has managed to put them there before their time.”
“Well no matter how they got there Doctor we intend to remove them. As far as we are concerned humanity is moving too fast for its own good. We have a feeling something strange is going on over there.” He pressed the space bar and the window minimized to bring up a picture of the outside of a council estate in which a black car was parked and a black suited man was escorting someone towards it.
“I’ve seen this before,” the Doctor said. “Earlier today.”
“It’s been going on for a while,” O'Regan told the Doctor. “It started around the same time we detected the Ice Mines. It has to be more than coincidence, they have to be related somehow don’t you think?”
“Blacked out unmarked Sedans, men in black shades bundling people into cars?” The Doctor shook his head. “It’s too painfully obvious. We’re meant to know about it.”
“What are you suggesting?”
“These kidnappings are happening for a reason. Do you know where these cars go?”
“We’ve been tracking them for a while,” another voice said as the door opened. It was the woman called Hayley. She walked over to them. “We’ve managed to trace them back to the factory we found you standing outside of. But why they go to a derelict factory we don’t know.”
“It isn’t derelict,” the Doctor told them. “Black smoke was billowing, pouring out of the chimneys. There is something happening inside that building. If that’s where the black cars go then they have something to do with what is inside that factory. Whether or not any of it has to do with these Ice Mines I have no idea.”
“They must be related,” O'Regan mumbled. The Doctor brought the image of the mines back up and stared at it for a moment.
“Who built these? Who’s occupying them? Torchwood?”
“That’s what we thought,” Hayley said.
“But we were wrong,” O'Regan added. The Doctor turned to them. “It’s a criminal sect. They call themselves The Elite. They think of themselves as above all other people on the planet. They’re like British Neo-Nazis.”
“How did they get up there?”
“We have no idea.” The Doctor sat in thought for a moment.
“Could these abductions have anything to do The Elite?” he pondered to himself. “It would seem logical.” He turned to the others. “I want to have a look inside that factory. It’s vital I know what these people are being used for.” O'Regan nodded.
Suddenly a resounding knock echoed through the halls. O'Regan and Hayley looked at each other.
“Who’s that?” the Doctor asked. O'Regan didn’t break his view from Hayley.
“It’s them,” he said. “The black suits.”
“They must have come for one of us.”
“Don’t answer the door,” O'Regan yelled. “Don’t open it.”
“No,” the Doctor shouted leaping to his feet. “I’ll open it,” he said as he stormed out of the room. O'Regan and Hayley exchanged looks and ran after him.
They tried to grab him but the Doctor pushed them off.
“Hide everyone now,” he ordered. “I want to speak to our friend. Go, hide, I won’t let him find you.”
“But…” O'Regan started. The Doctor grabbed him.
“Please, trust me, I know what I’m doing.”
“He does,” Alana said from another doorway. The Doctor looked across to her, smiled and nodded. He turned back to O'Regan as another knock came.
O'Regan nodded unsurely and turned leading Hayley then the others off somewhere to an obscure rear room. The Doctor looked over to Alana and told her to stay there. He turned as a third knock rasped on the door. He unlocked it and unchained and opened it with his best fake smile plastered across his face.
“Yes?” The man in the shades tilted his head and looked back at the Doctor.
“It is time for the one called Hannah,” the man said.
“Oh I don’t think so,” the Doctor replied still smiling.
“There is no choice. It is time for her.” The Doctor put on a face as if he was thinking. He shook his head.
“No, I don’t think it is,” the Doctor repeated.
“Bring her or I shall take her.” The Doctor smiled wider.
“Just try it,” he said.
The man rammed through the door, sending it crashing to one side and the Doctor flying backwards through the air. He banged on the floor and the man stepped inside. Alana ran over to the Doctor and helped him up.
“Impossible strength,” she murmured.
“Impossible for a human,” the Doctor mumbled back. The man stepped forwards again and surveyed his surroundings.
“Bring her.” The Doctor sighed.
“When are you going to get the point?” he asked exasperatedly. “She isn’t going with you.”
“No choice, right, got it,” the Doctor interrupted.
“It’s automated,” Alana said to herself. “Doctor it’s…” The Doctor nodded, shutting her up before she carried on.
“No,” the Doctor snapped as he ran at the man in black. The man simply extended a hand and grabbed the Doctor by the throat, squeezing tightly. The Doctor began to choke. Alana ran forwards and tried to pull the arm off. The man let go of the Doctor, turned and grabbed Alana by the shoulders. He lifted her up and began to squeeze tightly.
The Doctor grabbed the sonic screwdriver and ran up behind the man. He placed the screwdriver just underneath the back of the man’s hair and pressed it. Something whirred and then clicked and the man fell limp, Alana dropping to the floor. As she clambered to her feet rubbing her back the Doctor knelt down straight away and began to inspect the man in the black suit.
O'Regan, Hayley and the others emerged from a back room. O'Regan looked confused as to why the Doctor was feeling his way around the face of the unconscious man.
“You beat them?” he asked astonished.
“It’s what we do,” Alana replied.
The Doctor stopped as he found something. He dug his fingers into the skin of the man and peeled it backwards to reveal a metallic head with two glaring blue lights as eyes and a small hole for a mouth. The Doctor lifted the fake skin, lined with fake blood, in the air with as few fingers as he could before he threw it to one side and brushed his hands together.
“What is it?” O'Regan asked in awe as Alana looked physically repulsed.
“It’s a robot,” Alana said before the Doctor could get in a word, trying to prove to him how good she had gotten at this.
“An android really,” the Doctor added. Alana sneered and sighed. “Robot made to have a human appearance.”
“How did you know?” Hayley asked.
“It sounded like one,” Alana said, once again answering before the Doctor.
“And I can recognise fake flesh when I see it,” the Doctor added. Alana turned and rubbed her hands on her face to stop herself having a raging fit. “After almost one thousand years of this kind of thing you kind of get used to it.”
“Androids…” O'Regan said once again astounded.
“Nothing to be proud of,” the Doctor said still inspecting the android. “It really is a simplistic crude design. It’s almost too simplistic. Simple mechanised auditory system, filled with pre recorded responses. Simple cerebral processing unit, designed to search for the correct reaction from a preset list. Jerky movement, nothing to overly complicated. Not very sophisticated at all.”
“Which means what exactly?” Hayley asked.
“Well…” Alana started.
“One of two things,” the Doctor interrupted. Alana bit her lip. “Our enemy lurking in the factory is a very technologically inferior species that I could probably beat in a matter of seconds or we’re dealing with a dangerously sophisticated enemy using these mechanical slaves for the menial task of gathering people.”
“Like shelf stackers,” Alana commented. The Doctor looked up at her with a frown.
“Interesting…” he mumbled.
“Well what now?” O'Regan asked.
“Well as we said earlier these things come from that factory so we go to find out what is inside that factory,” Alana answered. “Right Doctor?” The Time Lord nodded.
“But there’s still one of those machines out there,” Hayley commented.
“Leave that to me,” the Doctor replied as he got up and walked outside.
Moments later he emerged back in the hallway and slumped the second android on the floor.
“What if they reactivate?” O'Regan asked.
“They won’t,” the Doctor explained. “They’re an old design. There isn’t a self-reactivation circuit. Unless you wake them back up they won’t. Now, we have one of those black cars, let’s go.”
“Hayley, Hannah, Joey, got with them,” O'Regan ordered. “They made need back up.”
HJH followed the Doctor and Alana into the black car which rumbled to life and drove slowly off, Hannah behind the wheel.
O'Regan turned and walked back into the dark room, the curtains drawn, and approached the computer guy, Chris.
“Activate the tracers,” he ordered. “I want to maintain a connection at all times. If they should get into trouble I want a visual and audio connection. This is too dangerous for them not to have home support.” Chris nodded and set about his work.
They pulled up in the unmarked black Sedan as close to the entrance of the factory as they could. The gate had automatically opened when they had approached. It was a good job the cars had blackened out windows.
The door to the factory was already open. The Doctor reached into the glove box and found what he was hoping to, a pair of black shades. He put them on and told the others to remain there. He told Alana to get inside when he called for them.
He got out and walked quickly inside the factory, closing the door behind him.
Inside it was as abandoned as he thought it would be. Dusty conveyor belts remained still and unmoving. The windows were plastered in dust so thick the light barely seeped inside. There were several heavy duty doors littering the walls, each one closed hiding whatever was behind them. Balconies ran above the Doctor and these too led to more rooms behind closed doors.
“Hello?” the Doctor shouted, his voice echoing as if he was inside a cave. There came no answer. He shouted again and nothing happened. He turned and opened the door, gesturing for the others to come inside.
When they entered the Doctor was already heading over to one of the closed doors. Hayley and Joey began to inspect the conveyor belts as Hannah looked for someway to get up onto the balconies. Alana walked over to the Doctor who was searching for something to trigger the door.
“What’s that smell?” Hayley asked sniffing the air. She gagged. “It stinks,” she added as Hannah ascended up onto one of the balconies.
The Doctor, seemingly ignoring Hayley, finally found something to open the door. At once he got out the sonic screwdriver and triggered the mechanism. The large metal door lifted up with a great rattle to reveal a pitch black room. The Doctor reached back into his pocket and pulled out a small flashlight. He turned it on and went to walk inside only to pause as Joey said something.
“What’s this symbol mean Doctor?” she shouted over. He sighed and passed the torch to Alana.
“See what’s inside,” he ordered walking over to Joey.
He practically barged her away and dusted off some dust and cobwebs. He could barley make the logo out so he pulled out a pair of glasses and put them on, leaning closer and tracing the outline to define the symbol a bit more. It resembled a C. He continued to dust it until it became unmistakably clear. His eyes widened and he took a step back, taking the glasses off. It was indeed a C, a large C with a tear drop coming off of the top end of the curve.
“What does it mean?” Joey asked. He turned and looked at her wide-eyed.
Alana had ventured inside. She was aiming the light at the floor so as not to trip over anything. She noticed the wall meeting the floor, looked up and took a deep breath. She slowly raised the light and found a series of shelves, each lined neatly with large metal unmarked cans.
Alana looked around the other walls and found exactly the same. She looked up and found nothing but cobwebs. She shrugged, picked up one of the jars and walked back outside.
The Doctor was urgently sweeping the dust off of one of the machines. He was sweeping with his hands and arms, blowing with his mouth. He got out the sonic screwdriver and began scanning, unscrewing a panel on one of the machines.
“What is it Doctor?” Joey pressed. “What does it mean?”
The Doctor ignored her as he placed the sonic screwdriver on the floor beside him and removed the metal plating. He placed it on the floor and took a deep breath before turning.
When he did his worst fear was realised. Inside was machinery years beyond twenty first century Earth technology. It glowed blue and had what looked like mechanical components off of which protruded reams of gelatine flesh. He closed his eyes as if in pain.
“Doctor,” Alana said walking over, “I found this.” He looked up and snatched the jar from her grabbing the sonic screwdriver. “Woah,” Alana exclaimed.
“Was there anymore of them?” the Doctor snapped.
“Yes!” Alana shouted. “The whole room was filled with them. Why, what’s inside it?”
“The Doctor ran the screwdriver around the rim of the top and removed the lid. He found exactly what he was expecting inside. He showed it Alana who instinctively gasped and took a step backwards hands over her mouth.
“Oh my god,” Joey said with wide eyes. Hayley inhaled deeply and turned to look away.
“A human brain,” the Doctor said answering Alana’s earlier question. “A room full of brains just waiting to be encased in armour. That’s what you could smell Hayley.”
“Armour?” Joey asked. “What do you mean? What does the C mean?”
“Then could they be the reason for the Elite being on Pluto?” the Doctor mumbled to himself as he started to pace.
“Does he always ignore you?” Joey demanded.
“Usually when he gets going like this yeah,” Alana replied.
“But if they are the reason for why those Elite are up there then why are there factories down here? What does it all mean? Could it be like during the Torchwood incident? An advanced guard? What for? Coming before what? Did the Elite send them here? Do they want to convert humanity? But how could they get from…” He trailed off as a thought occurred to him. “A transmat.”
He turned and looked at Alana thinking. He thrust the jar into her hands and turned taking off. Alana placed the jar on one of the conveyors and took off after him.
“What’s going on?” Hayley and Joey both exclaimed in unison.
The Doctor began to open door after door. All he got time after time was a room of jars, a room of jars and a room of jars, every jar containing a human brain.
“O'Regan here,” he said down a comm link in the ear of Hayley. “What’s he doing?”
“He won’t say,” Hayley replied running over to the two time travellers. “But he’s found something.”
“Oh it certainly is something,” the Doctor said as he opened a final door. It rose to reveal a cubicle and control panel inside the large room. The Doctor sighed as his shoulders sagged.
“Not what you were looking for?” Alana said.
“Quite the opposite,” the Doctor said solemnly. “It’s confirmed my worst fear. This is a transmat cubicle. Instantaneous transport from point a to point b.”
“Where’s Hannah?” Hayley asked suddenly spinning around.
“Hannah?” Joey shouted her voice echoing. Joey got an answer, just not the one she was hoping for. The answer came in the form of a high pitched scream.
The Doctor span around and sprinted off, making the others give chase. They struggled to keep up with him as he ascended the stairs two at a time up onto one of the balconies where the scream had come from.
He sprinted towards the door on the far end as another scream came. The door was locked. The door was unlocked by the sonic screwdriver and the Doctor rushed inside.
The others were right behind him. Hayley reached it first followed by Alana then Joey. Each one ran in after the other but skidded to a halt when they saw what they were confronted by.
Before them Hannah lay unmoving on the floor and the Doctor stood, arms outstretched before them as if to protect them from the figure before them.
O'Regan frowned when he was what was on the screen. A giant metal figure stood with clenched fists and handlebars on the head.
“What is that thing?” he asked down the comm. “Hayley, ask him what that is?”
“Doctor, what is it?” Hayley asked.
“Joey, you asked what the C meant. It meant these were here.”
“What are they?” Alana pressed.
“Cybermen,” the Doctor replied.
The Cyberman stood before them imposing and dominant. It raised a fist before the C on its chest and then extended its hand.
“Rogue elements will be deleted,” it said mechanically. “You have been targeted for maximum deletion.”