Series 1 Episode 13
Steel and Ice
“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.”
“Run,” the Doctor shouted turning and shoving the three of them back outside. The door slammed shut as the Doctor sealed himself inside with the Cyberman.
“Doctor, no,” Alana screamed hammering on the door.
“Get out of their now Hayley,” O'Regan aid down the comm. “Drag Alana away if you have to.”
“Come on Alana, there isn’t anything we can do,” Hayley said pulling her from the door.
“Doctor!” she screamed again. She broke free of Hayley and ran for the door again, barging it with her shoulder. “I won’t lose a friend.”
“We already have,” Joey exclaimed. “Now for Gods sake come on!” The two of them pulled Alana away and dragged her back down to the floor. As they descended the stairs the door swung open and two loud stomps filled the air.
The Cyberman turned and stomped after its prey. Alana turned to see it approaching. She shook her head not quite being able to believe what the Doctor had just done.
“You will be deleted,” the Cyberman informed them as it gave chase. Something occurred to Alana. She again broke free from Hayley and Joey and ran for the transmat.
“Where are you going?” Joey shouted as the Cyberman drew closer.
“I’m going to use the transmat,” she shouted as two more of the metallic creatures emerged from sealed rooms above them. “If we can’t beat them we flee from them.” She turned to face the other two. “You coming to see what’s on Pluto or not?”
“Go with her,” O'Regan ordered. “That’s a direct order.”
Hayley motioned to Joey and they dodged the attacking Cyberman, following Alana inside.
“Do you know how to work one of these things?” Hayley asked. Alana inspected the controls.
“I worked a Sycorax teleport once before. I shouldn’t imagine it’s much different.” She pressed several buttons as the Cybermen approached. “Get in the cubicle quickly,” she shouted. She pressed a final button and shut the door. It began to power up as the first Cyberman emerged in the door way. It extended its arm and a gun emerged from its wrist. A red laser shot out.
As this happened Alana heard a familiar voice shout her name from up above. She smiled and jumped out of the cubicle, dodging the incoming bolt. While this was happening the transmat activated and Hayley and Joey were both propelled through space towards the icy rock of Pluto.
“You are a rogue element,” the first Cybermen said. The two others joined it. “You are incompatible. You will be deleted.” Two more guns emerged and the three of them pointed at Alana, who pressed against a wall cowering.
“Hey, Tin Man,” the Doctor shouted. The Cybermen turned to face the Time Lord. “It’s not a wise idea to kill us you know. I’m a Time Lord.” The Cybermen took a step back.
“Is the element correct?” one asked.
“Increase levels heart rate would suggest a binary vascular system. Detection of local alien technology would support the theoretical assumption. Identify yourself.” The Doctor allowed himself a rare smile.
“I’m the Doctor,” he said. At once the Cybermen arms lifted up again and aimed at the Doctor. “We surrender,” he said lifting his arms in the air, winking at Alana who stood behind them. “Take us to your leader.”
“Bring the female,” the first Cyberman said as it approached the Doctor. Alana was more or less dragged and thrown at the Time Lord who caught her and hastily placed her out of the way.
“Plans must be advanced,” one Cyberman said. “Recent communications with the criminals indicate that the awakening is almost ready to commence.” The Doctor frowned at the statement. “Plans must be accelerated. Appearance of the anomalies was not expected.”
“Two rogue elements have landed at the Ice Mining facility.”
“They will be dealt with accordingly with the unit Radford.”
“We must activate the guard and proceed to the Mines,” the first Cybermen told its colleagues. It ordered one to activate the guards. “Scan the time machine,” it ordered the other. “Confirm its current state.” The second Cyberman walked off.
“You brought the Tardis here?” Alana asked. The Doctor nodded inconspicuously.
“That’s what I was doing in the room,” he muttered. He held out the sonic screwdriver. “I recharged the batteries. Remote control again.” Alana nodded as the Doctor kept his eyes on the first Cyberman which approached a large control panel and inputted several commands.
The conveyor belts and machinery rumbled to life and began to lurch as if commencing some form of operation. The Doctor frowned again.
“What is this place?” he asked. “None of this is Terran.”
“It was sent here through time,” the Cyberman replied. Again the Doctor replied.
“The Cyber race doesn’t have access to time travel technology.”
“The technology was acquired from our enemies,” the Cyberman explained. “It was used to transport this, the first of many emergency Cyber-conversion facilities.”
“Well the emergency explains why it’s so old,” Alana said. “Desperate times and everything.” The Doctor nodded.
“Who are your enemies?” he pressed. “What emergency? What are you talking about?” The Cyberman turned to face him but said nothing. “Did you build the Mines? No, wait, don’t tell me. You sent those through time as well.”
“That is correct,” the Cyberman replied.
“Scans indicate the machine is active,” the second Cyberman reported from above. Suddenly another half a dozen Cybermen stomped out of their rooms from above and stood at attention. The first Cyberman stomped over to the Doctor.
“You will pilot your vessel to Pluto or you will be deleted.”
“Oh I’ll go willingly,” the Doctor replied heading for the steps.
“Doctor, you can’t let them…”
“Oh for pities sake, be quiet woman,” the Doctor snapped. The Cyberman pushed Alana towards the stairs.
“Cybermen units 4 through 10 will take charge of the emergency conversions,” the first Cyberman said as it stomped towards the Tardis, accompanies by its two original allies. “Conversion operation to proceed as originally planned.”
The Cybermen stomped inside the Tardis, the doors shutting behind them. The Doctor was working his controls frantically.
“So, we want to go to Pluto in the year 2006,” he said. “Let me just set the temporal coordinates and…” He rammed the control with his sledge hammer and the panel sparked before it lurched into action.
“Doctor,” Alana whispered. “Doctor we can take them down here. They can’t hurt us remember. Their guns won’t work.”
“Their strength still does,” the Doctor replied quietly. “I don’t intend to go crushed between the arms of a tin man. And anyway, I want to know what’s going on.”
The Tardis landed with a thud and the Doctor and Alana stumbled forwards. The Cybermen didn’t move.
“You will go outside,” the first one said. The Doctor nodded and ran to the outside followed by Alana and then their three captors.
It was freezing in the Mines. The walls were the ice and every now and again a vague outline of a figure could be made out in the ice. Metal panels and posts scattered the duck board flooring and control panels littered the rooms. It all had a very heavy industrial feel to it.
It was then a short woman emerged round the corner flanked by two armed guards. She stopped dead in her tracks at the sight before her. The first Cyberman approached.
“Plans will be accelerated,” it stated. “Have the first two rogue elements been dealt with?”
“Yeah,” the woman replied curiously eyeing the Doctor.
“The awakening will occur very soon,” the Cyberman said. “Begin making preparations.”
“I thought I was in charge here.”
“Your authority has now been superseded,” the Cyberman replied. Its two companions stepped forwards. “Proceed as ordered.”
“I will,” the woman said back, “but remember this is a partnership.” The Doctor let out a harsh laugh. The woman faced him scornfully. “And you are?”
“The Doctor,” replied the time traveller. “I’m the one who’s gonna’ beat you. And you are?”
“Now I’m annoyed,” she said back in a disquietingly kind voice. “My name is Radford. I’m in charge of the Elite and of the human side of this partnership.”
“No one has a partnership with the Cybermen,” the Doctor told her.
“Proceed as ordered immediately,” the Cyberman stated. The Doctor raised an eyebrow.
“As I can see,” he said. Radford sneered and stormed off. The second Cyberman approached a control panel and placed its hand on it. A whirring noise could be heard before it turned to its leader.
“Map downloaded,” it said. “Presence of the Cyberleader is confirmed.”
“How many Cyber units?”
“Scans indicate thirty five Cyber units encased in ice.”
“Then all units are accounted for. Escort the prisoners to the cells.” The two Cybermen pushed the time travellers forwards and took them down several corridors, each one indistinguishable from its counterparts.
They approached a room sealed shut with a giant iron door. A Cyberman placed its arm before the C on its chest and the door rumbled open. The Doctor and Alana were both thrown inside and the door slammed shut. The Doctor took out his flashlight and looked around in the darkness. He found two unconscious bodies on the ground. They were Hayley and Joey. The two were woken up by their two allies who then filled both of the Third Section field operatives in on the situation.
“So the factory and these mines were both sent through time?” Joey asked. The Doctor nodded. “And how did the Elite end up here?”
“They must have encountered one of the first three Cybermen,” the Doctor said. “The Cybermen were only three in number and they needed allies. They recruited the entire syndicate and sent them up here to wake up the other thirty five Cybermen.”
“Forty five of them,” Alana said. She laughed. “We have no chance.” It was then something occurred to her. “But that said the transmat was destroyed. They’ve got no way of going back.”
“They don’t intend to,” the Doctor explained. Alana frowned. “The Cybermen down on Earth will be the only ones down there, that’s why they were harvesting new recruits. The ones up here want to stay here. Why, well I don’t know. That’s what we’re going to find out.”
“And what about the Elite?” Hayley asked.
“As soon as the other Cybermen are awake they can wave goodbye to their lives,” the Doctor explained. “But what’s this emergency all about? Who are their enemies?”
“Well first things first how do we get out of here?” Alana pressed.
“Oh, that’s simple,” replied the Doctor. “Our friends were in here for a fairly lengthy amount of time which means there’s an air vent somewhere.” He searched the walls with his torch as he talked. The light landed on a grating. “Up there.”
“That’s not big enough,” moaned his companion.
“I could fit in,” Hayley said.
“Indeed you could,” the Doctor said patronisingly, as if suggesting Hayley was stupid for stating the obvious. “You two give her a leg up. Hayley just drop down outside the door and open it up.”
Meanwhile Radford was stood in the main control room with a group of colleagues and the three Cybermen. As her men worked controls she stood looking out over the surface of the asteroid. She was staring at a massive dish on the surface, aimed directly at the Earth.
“Remind me again,” she said, “what the dish is for.” She turned and the Cyberman looked blankly back at her figure, clothed in a fitted white shirt, a pair of black and grey pin stripe trousers and a pair of red converse.
“That information is not data you require,” the Cyberman replied.
“I think you’ll find it is,” Radford replied. She clicked her fingers and her men stopped working. “I don’t like how things are moving so quickly. I don’t like the fact you’re amending our agreement by coming here, and bringing the two people in the blue box. I think I’m owed some answers.”
“The Doctor is an extremely hostile element. The Doctor is a very dangerous element and one that must be contained until conversion. His allies will also prove to be good Cybermen.”
“What conversion?” Radford asked.
“Your men will continue their work.”
The two other Cybermen stepped forwards and placed their hands on the shoulders of four workers. Electricity shot through their bodies as they screamed and collapsed limply to the ground.
“Your men will continue their work or be deleted.” Radford sighed heavily. She clicked her fingers and the men carried on.
“I want to know more about our prisoners,” she said. “I think I’ll pay them a little visit.” She walked out of the room followed by an armed guard. The Cybermen stood watching hollowly over the workers.
The alarm blared out when Radford discovered the prisoners had gone. She cursed the crude design layout of a supposedly advanced building before heading to her office in order to enter the secure security network of the station, in order to track unrecognised life signs.
The door swung shut behind her and she was suddenly startled by the man perched on the edge of her desk dressed in black with snake skin shoes.
“Hello Radford,” the Doctor said. The criminal ran over to a communication terminal but only got static in reply. “I’ve cut off communications with this room. The door is sealed shut, we’re totally isolated.”
“What do you want?” Radford asked, still in her unsettling calm voice.
“Oh I only want a chat,” the Doctor told her. “You don’t honestly think the Cybermen will let you live when all of this is done do you?”
“No, which is why I did a bit of research into them. I’m prepared for a possible insurrection. Our guns are loaded with gold bullets.” The Doctor smiled.
“Oh that is clever,” he replied. “But…”
“Who are you?” Radford interrupted. The Doctor paused, thinking to himself for a moment.
“I’m an alien,” he told her. “A traveller from another world, a long, long way away. I’m the last of my kind and how do I spend my life? Defending your species who seems to always want to destroy themselves!”
“You know the Cybermen?”
“I’ve met them once or twice over my lifetimes, yes.”
“It’s a long story. What do they want?”
“I don’t know,” Radford replied.
“You what?” the Doctor snapped, shouting.
“My part of the deal was to wake them up. I was promised a share in their spoils and that was it. They won’t tell me what the dish is…”
“Dish? What dish?”
“Oh…” Redford said trailing off. “Erm…”
“Look, I’m not going to lie to you Radford, the probability is all they are after is Cyber converting the human race. In which case their spoils will be an army of Cybermen. You get a share in it because you will be in it. I’m here to stop that happening, so please, what dish?”
“It’s a giant silver one, like a massive radar only bigger.” The Doctor grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and scribbled down a drawing.
“Like this?” he asked urgently.
“Yeah,” Radford replied. The Time Lord slumped backwards almost numbly. “Why? What is it?”
“They must have overpowered the men in the future,” the Doctor mumbled. “Sent it here through time. The Cybermen were frozen in the ice. They didn’t think it would happen which was why the other Cybermen were sent, the ones in the factory. They built the dish to….what?”
“So we’re being used?” The Doctor ignored her. “What is the dish?”
“The dish is powerful weapon of the future. It’s found mostly on Terran warships, used to break down other vessels defence fields. But why would they want to it here? They must want to power it up but why?”
Suddenly the door exploded to reveal a massive metal figure stood in the smoke. The Doctor shot a look at Radford and noticed her hand over a hidden button in the doorframe. He shook his head.
“I was stalling,” she explained. “But thank you for all your information Doctor.”
“Very good,” he said bitterly. He put his hands in the air. “Put me back in the cell.” The Cyberman stomped inside.
“You will be processed,” it said.
“What?” The leading Cyberman followed its comrade inside and turned to Radford.
“It is time to wake the other units,” it said. “Commence operations.” It turned and left followed by its fellow Cyberman which was escorting the Doctor by the arm.
Hayley and Joey ducked round a corner as the armed guard walked past. They cautiously reappeared and stalked down the corridor reading the signs above the doors.
They found the one labelled Surveillance and entered, checking to make sure the inside was clear. Hayley walked over to a control panel and inspected it. She took out a small device from her pocket and placed it on the side of the panel, inputting several commands. The device shot a green energy through the terminal and the touch screen buttons disappeared, replaced by ones Hayley could understand. She smiled.
“Now what?” Joey asked.
“Now we find out what the plan of attack is,” Hayley replied. She pressed several buttons and drew up a blueprint of the base. She noticed the dish outline. Wondering what it was for she brought it up and read the information.
“It says the dish is able to break down energy fields, particularly ones made of radiation,” she said.
“Look at where it’s aiming,” Joey said. “It’s pointed straight at Earth.”
“It’s not something you’d find in your everyday mines is it?” Hayley added. “It must be here for a purpose.” She clicked on the confidential link and was asked to download the correct access code. “The lock pick,” she told her friend.
Joey stepped forwards and took out a small device. It consisted of two palm size modems linked by a thin cable. She attached one modem to the system and held the other in her hand. She clicked a button and a small timer appeared on the modem on the panel. A bar appeared on the one in her hand and slowly began to fill. The modems were extracting the necessary digital data. When the bar filled “success” appeared on the modem in her hand.
Joey then attached the second modem on the control panel and pressed several more commands. A faint buzz could be heard before a final click. Joey removed the modems and Hayley peered back into the control panel display. She read the information intently and her eyes widened more and more.
“What is it for?” Joey asked.
“It’s going to be used to break down the radiation barriers of the Earth,” she said with a gasp. She turned to Joey. “The Cybermen want to expose humanity to the Sun’s radiation.”
“They’re going to wipe everyone out?” Joey asked.
“We’d better talk to the Doctor.” Hayley took back her gadget and pocketed it. The two ran outside and turned a corner only to find a Cyberman waiting for them. They turned to run the other way only to be met with a second.
“We surrender,” Hayley said raising her arms in the air.
The doors to the control room opened and Hayley and Joey were both thrown into the Doctor. He looked at them both.
“Fat lot of good you did then,” he retorted snobbishly.
“The generators are ready,” Radford said. The leading Cyberman stomped over to where she was stood.
“Activate them. The Cyber units must be awoken as soon as possible.” Radford sighed.
“Here we go,” she said. She pressed a button and a nigh on deafening whir and buzz filled the air. The temperature heightened almost instantly.
In the corridors the ice began to melt. The guards stood waiting to escort their new allies to the control room. Radford upped the power to the generators and the ice began to crack. The Doctor watched the surveillance footage grimly. Radford inputted some more commands and electrical energy was sent surging through the iced walls.
In the walls the shapes began to jerk into action. Their fists clenched and unclenched and their heads jerked from side to side. Soon the fists were sent shooting through the ice sending shrapnel flying through the air. The awaking Cybermen pulled themselves from their cold captivity and stomped in unison onto the metal flooring.
In one of the corridors one Cyberman emerged after the others. One black fist rammed through the ice and the arm began to twist. It slammed itself against the ice, as if beating its chest, before bringing its other arm out and doing the same with that one. Its left leg jerked to life followed shortly by its right and it smashed through into the corridor. Its fists and handle bars were both black.
“The Cyberleader has awoken,” the Cyberman in the control room said. The Doctor sighed and shook his head.
“There’s something we need to tell you Doctor,” Hayley whispered. He nodded slightly in recognition.
Back in the corridor the Cyberleader brought its fist before its chest as one of the guards approached.
“I’m here to escort you to the control room,” he said. The Cyberleader looked down at him.
“Downloading commands,” it said. “Sharing files. All human elements to be deleted.” It grabbed the man by the shoulder and electrocuted him. Soon the other Cybermen followed suit and the small Cyber force headed for the control room.
“Seal the doors,” Radford shouted. “Cybermen listen to me.” The Cybermen in the control room stopped in their advance for a moment. “Our guns are loaded with golden bullets. One step closer and we’ll destroy every single one of you.”
“Human elements will be deleted,” the Cybermen replied. They surged forwards. Radford and her men opened fire.
Golden bullets sped towards their targets only to simply disappear. The Doctor started at this. The control room door exploded and in stepped the Cyberleader.
“Halt your advance,” it ordered. The Cybermen stopped.
“How the hell didn’t you suffocate?” the Doctor demanded. The Cyberleader turned to him.
“You are the unit known as the Doctor,” it replied. Its voice had a slightly more human tint to it though essentially it remained mechanical. It had a slight expression to it. It stomped towards him. “You will prove useful.”
“How did you survive their guns?” the Doctor repeated stonily.
“We have learned from our enemies,” the Cyberleader replied. “As we stole the time travel technology so did we steal their forcefield technology. We adapted to the war.”
“What war, what enemies?” the Doctor said now getting irritated by the vagueness of his answers. The Cyberleader didn’t reply. It turned to Radford and her men.
“These units have shown tactical adeptness,” it said. “Their minds will be useful for the war. They will not be deleted. They will be converted.” It turned to one of the Cybermen. “Take the units for Cyber conversion.” The Cyberman, along with a couple of others, forced Radford and her men outside into the corridors and stomped off towards their destination.
“We will require units to energise the dish,” one Cyberman told its leader. The Cyberleader turned to the Doctor and his two companions.
“Shared files indicate there were four rogue elements,” the Cyberleader said. “Where is the fourth?”
“No idea,” the Doctor replied. A Cyberman placed its hand on his shoulder.
“No, do not delete him,” the Cyberleader said. The hand removed itself. The Cyberleader stomped closer to the Doctor. “Biological indications prove he is being truthful.” The Cyberleader turned to Hayley and Joey and back to the Doctor. “The Time Lord is known for showing emotion towards those he travels with. Take them to the energising room.”
“Wait,” the Doctor shouted. “I thought you said you needed me.” The Cyberleader raised a hand. The guards stopped.
“It is true your knowledge of the enemy would provide useful information,” the Cyberleader said. The Doctor narrowed his eyes for a moment. “Energise the body but salvage the mind. It will be Cyber converted.”
“No, you can’t,” the Doctor shouted. “No, please!” His shouts went unheeded as they disappeared down the corridor.
The Cyberleader turned to a Cyberman.
“Are the spatial coordinates locked?” he asked.
“Affirmative,” the Cyberman replied.
“Report on the progress of the Conversion Units on Earth.”
“Downloading files,” the Cyberman said as it placed its fist before the C on its chest. “Twelve successful conversions so far.”
“The plan is progressing well. Alert the Conversion Units that the dish will be powered within twenty four Terran hours.”
“Doctor, we found something out,” Joey whispered as they stood in a large hall waiting to be energised.
It was a large metal room directly adjacent to the dish. In the centre of the room was a tall cylinder with a closed door. Around the cylinder was a fiery inferno bridge by a walkway leading to the cylinder door. A large hum came from the cylinder.
“What?” the Doctor replied flatly.
“We found out what they want to use the dish for.” The Doctor turned, his attention focussed solely on Joey and Hayley. He waited for the next sentence.
“We think they are going to use it to break down the Earth’s natural radiation barriers,” Hayley said. “But we don’t know why?” The Doctor frowned and stood in thought for a moment.
“I think I do,” he said. “I just need to find out one more thing before I can do anything.”
“Approach the amputation chair,” the Cyberman said as it stomped over to him. The Doctor noticed a chair, similar to the one found in dentist surgeries, above which was a wheel of vicious looking implements. “Now.” The Cyberman grabbed the Doctor and pushed him towards the chair.
“No,” Hayley shouted, but the Cyberman through her backwards to the ground. The Doctor stopped still.
“I don’t suppose I could have one last wish,” he said. The Cyberman jerked its head. The Doctor spoke before it could answer. “Who is it you’re fighting in the war?”
“The universal enemy of the Cyber race,” the Cyberman replied. “An old enemy of your own. The Dalek Empire.”
The Doctor went numb. His face fell into an emotionless state. They were still at war. Ever since Canary Warf they’ve been at war. Now it was clear to him. Now he knew what the Cybermen were going to do. The Doctor thought his Time War would be the last one. He had been wrong.
The Cyberman pushed the limp Doctor forwards again.
“Hey tin man,” a voice suddenly shouted. The Cyberman and the Doctor both turned to see Alana stood there with a machine gun in her hands. “Need any more food?”
“Rogue elements will be deleted,” the Cyberman said stomping towards Alana. She screamed and opened fire with the rifle. The bullets did nothing. They simply disintegrated when they hit the forcefield.
Alana ducked as the Cyberman went to grab. She ran to the edge of the furnace surrounding the cylinder and reloaded. The Doctor joined her as the Cyberman headed straight for them again.
“Where’ve you been all this time?” the Doctor demanded.
“Preparing like you said,” Alana replied. She roared again and opened fire. Once more the bullets did nothing. The Cyberman went to grab her again but she ducked and dodged as did the Doctor. The Cyberman stumbled forwards and Hayley and Joey pushed it into the furnace.
It exploded with a mighty bang as metal shrapnel flew everywhere.
“So you found the charges then?” the Doctor asked. Alana nodded.
“Five EMP charges have been planted on the places you told me. The Tardis is set up to remotely detonate them.”
“They’re a last resort,” the Doctor told Hayley and Joey. “Anything electrical will be rendered useless.”
“Have you figured out what they want to do yet?” Alana asked.
“Yeah,” the Doctor replied. Even Hayley and Joey looked at him in surprise. “That dish…” he started. He was, however, interrupted when one of the walls exploded and several bodies flew through.
Radford and her men had managed to escape. They backed into the room firing bullets relentlessly and throwing grenades.
“Run Doctor,” Radford shouted. “There’s too many, we can’t win, just run!” The men ran into the room as several were shot dead.
A group of Cybermen stomped inside, relentless in their pursuit. The remaining humans joined up with the time travellers. It was then that the Cybermen suddenly stopped fighting. Radford and her men held their fire.
“It’s time for that last resort,” the Doctor said snatching the trigger from Alana’s belt. He pressed the button. Nothing happened. Frowning he pressed it again and again and again but still nothing happened. It was then that doors on the balcony above burst open with an explosion and numerous Cybermen walked in, aiming their guns down at the rebels.
The doors behind them opened and in stomped more Cybermen. They parted to
make way for the Cyberleader. It stomped forwards and dropped the five EMP charges on the floor before it. The Doctor raised an eyebrow.
“An ingenious attempt Doctor,” the Cyberleader said. “But your assistant is not quite good enough. Sadly your attempt remained just that. Now it is time to end this nonsense. Our enemy…”
“I know it’s the Daleks,” the Doctor replied. The Cyberleader said nothing. “I thought I’d stopped it.”
“The war continued elsewhere Doctor,” the Cyberleader said.
“That proves how useless the last me was,” the Doctor retorted. “I’m a much greater improvement.”
“It would appear not Time Lord,” the Cyberleader replied. “You have been beaten. You will all now be used as fuel to energise the dish.”
“How do you use humans as fuel?” Joey asked.
“Oh the human body is just bursting with electrical impulses and energy of all kinds Joey,” the Doctor said. “Electrical, heat, kinetic. You’re a treasure trove, the lot of you.” The Doctor turned to the Cyberleader. “And as for you,” he scoffed, “I am an improvement because you haven’t won. Oh no. I know exactly what you’re up to.”
“Explain,” the Cyberleader ordered. The Doctor allowed himself a cocky smile.
“My guess is that you found yourselves losing the war. Daleks are stupid enough to create forcefields that can’t be penetrated by their own weapons. So despite you stealing that technology you were still on the back foot. I bet your numbers were dwindling weren’t they. So you needed emergency conversions and fast.
“That’s when you take, somehow or other, their time travel technology. Of course it’s all very crude and unprofessional but it works nevertheless. You send these mines here with the addition of your dish and you send your factory down to Earth. At first I thought the factory was sent after, to wake you all up. Then I realised differently.
“You see, Alana, they knew the Cybermen would end up frozen, so three active ones were placed inside the factory. These active ones could entice some destructive humans, as there are so many of you, into working for them and waking up the frozen ones here. The Cybermen would oversee the awakening to make sure the criminals could be overpowered.”
“Very good Doctor,” the Cyberleader said. “But…”
“Shut up,” the Doctor snapped. “I’m not done you fool.” He winked at Alana who smiled. The Cyberleader surprisingly remained silent. “Then, while the three active units were here, the inactive ones would oversee the conversions of new units.
“While this was happening, the awoken units here on Pluto would activate the dish. Now this is the real ingenious part I must say. The dish is used to break down the Earth’s barriers protecting it from the Sun’s radiation. Humanity is exposed and within a matter of days that most promising of races is turned into a civilisation of vegetables ready to be harvested. The newly converted units down there then do the harvesting and hey presto you’ve got a ready made army of six billion Cybermen. It really is quite clever.”
“But why send things through time?” Alana asked.
“Because the war must be in the future. They send everything back to a time when humanity is at its worst and most destructive, to a time where they can’t possibly defend themselves and Bob’s your uncle.”
“And now you will be the fuel to allow us to enact that plan,” the Cyberleader said.
“Wow, wow, wow, wow,” the Doctor said, “I’m not done quite yet. No, you see there’s the matter of your getting back to the future. Now this is impressive ladies. They distort time via their travelling to bring me here just in time to oversee the plan being enacted. They create the crude androids to lure me to the factory. The Cybermen there then bring me here and the Cyberleader and his army have time travelling technology they can then replicate in order to transport their army back to when it is most needed.”
“Incorrect,” the Cyberleader replied. “Your presence here was not expected. Your presence has accelerated our plans.”
“What?” the Doctor replied in shock. “Then who made the time distortions?”
“It was not us. We intend to never return to our time. Our theft has ensured the Dalek Armies would follow us here. They will rampage through this system only to find an ambush of six million waiting for them. The Cyber race will win the war in one fell swoop.”
“The Daleks are coming here?” the Doctor snapped.
“Who are the Daleks?” Alana screamed.
“Everyone’s worst nightmare,” the Doctor replied. “And they’re coming here. They’ll destroy everything in their path. Even now, when I stop these fools, the Daleks won’t know. They’ll come here. I just have to make sure I’m here in time to stop them. But who distorted the time vortex then?”
“It is of no matter,” the Cyberleader replied. “Now you will be energised.” The Cybermen stomped forwards and grabbed the rebels. Radford and her men were taken to the brink of the cylinder entrance to be turned into energy when the Doctor broke free and brandished his sonic screwdriver.
“Rogue elements will be deleted,” the Cyberleader ordered. Several Cybermen marched forwards.
“Not on more step,” the Doctor shouted. “You see you don’t live as long as I have without learning to always have a plan b.” The Cyberleader ordered its men to a halt. “I’ll take every single one of us back to your time,” he said. “All I need do is activate this little goodie here in my hand and boom!”
“Try me,” the Doctor snapped harshly. Nothing happened. “You see while we were coming here I knew you’d take over this facility. By that time I knew time travel was involved so I rigged up a little special feature with my Tardis. If you don’t give in here and now I will send this whole facility crashing through time so quickly everything and everyone in it will be crushed into atoms.”
“Impossible,” the Cyberleader said. “You would need an energy source so powerful…”
“It would have to be like a Tardis,” the Doctor replied with a smile. “Yeah it’d sap almost all of her energy but I’d still have enough to perform a last emergency landing. You, however, will be split and scattered across time. Your war will be lost and your precious Cyber race will become extinct.”
“State your demands.”
“Just let us all go.”
“No. You have been targeted for maximum deletion.” Suddenly the Cybermen surged into action and again fighting broke out.
The Doctor jumped down and ran out. He grabbed Alana’s hand as he did so with Joey and Hayley in close pursuit. They ran from the men’s screams and the bullets and lasers and explosions.
The Cyberleader alone gave chase, making constant exclamations of delete, delete.
“Why didn’t you use the screwdriver?” Alana panted as she ran.
“I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy being thrown across time,” the Doctor replied.
They turned a corner and the Tardis stood at the opposite end of the corridor. The stomps of a Cyberman were coming closer. The Doctor turned as the Cyberleader appeared. It fired a laser which only just missed.
“Delete,” the Cyberleader exclaimed.
“Get inside, now,” the Doctor ordered pushing Alana, Hayley and Joey away. He turned and the Cyberleader stood facing him. “I warned you.”
“You are a worthy adversary,” the Cyberleader said. It raised its laser. “But now you will be deleted.” The Doctor laughed.
“Took the words right out of my mouth,” he said. He turned and dashed into his Tardis.
Whizzing around the panel he dodged the showers of sparks and small explosions. The smoke of blown fuses filled the air. The column began to move and he stopped still over a single button.
“Brace yourselves,” he said. He pressed the button.
The Tardis dematerialised into the time vortex but as it went a beam of green energy shot out from the light on its top. The light hit the crust of Pluto and the mine began to glow green. It lifted from the surface and the metal crumpled. The beam surged and the metal shattered. It exploded into a shower of atoms which slowly but simply disappeared.
The Tardis shook wildly sending its passengers flying onto the floor. It spun out of control and materialised above a familiar house on Earth. It fell vertically down through the air smashing through the roof, the top floor and the first floor and down into the basement. As the rubble floated over it and beams of wood and bits of plaster crashed to the floor the people inside the ship regained their orientation.
“Now go,” the Doctor said. “You have a friend to mourn.”
“Is that it?” Alana snapped. “You just tell them to leave.”
“Good point,” the Doctor said. He turned to the two of them. “Thank you for your help I suppose. Now take this message back. Do not look into things that don’t concern you. There are people there for that, people like me. You carry on acting so foolhardy and careless and you’ll get wiped out. The Universe isn’t a playground. It’s a battlefield. You’d be wise to remember that. Now go.” He turned back to his console.
Hayley and Joey lingered for a moment wondering if this was some sort of joke or not. The Doctor turned to them.
“Is this a…”
“No it isn’t,” he snapped. “Don’t you understand English? Go, get out! Go! Your friend is dead, shouldn’t you be mourning her?”
“Doctor!” Alana snapped. The Time Lord turned and slammed into his chair in his anger. Alana turned but Hayley and Joey had already gone. The column began to move. Alana turned to her fellow traveller. “I hope you’re happy now Doctor. They did nothing but help you and now you’ve probably upset them.”
“It isn’t my problem.”
“No you just make a problem then fly off to your next adventure don’t you?”
“Don’t you understand Alana?” the Doctor snapped.
“What? What’s gotten into you Doctor?”
“The Daleks are still on their way. We’ve got about enough energy to land once more but when and where that is I don’t know. I don’t even know if it’ll be near an energy source. Hope that it is otherwise your precious little species will die quickly. The Daleks won’t show them mercy, or leniency. They’ll kill every single one of them and I won’t be there to stop them because I, once again, had to clean up the mess you stupid apes made for yourselves!”
Alana stood silently for a moment. She walked over and sat down next to him. She gently laid her hand on his arm and the two looked into one another’s eyes.
“A long time ago now you tricked me into coming on board this ship,” Alana said. “At first I wanted to go home but you didn’t let me. If I’d have known then, what I know now then I wouldn’t have thought twice about coming with you. You are the most remarkable man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.” She smiled warmly. “You’re bloody annoying but I love travelling with you all the same. I’ve learned two things about you Doctor. One, you take each problem as it comes and two, you win. You win because that’s what you do.
“Now think back to what Taimada once told you. She said even Gods must bow to logic. Well Gods may have to, but you’re the Doctor, and the Doctor does what ever he likes.” The Doctor looked into her eyes stonily for a moment.
“I knew I picked you for a reason,” he said. Alana smiled.
“So where are we off to next?” she asked.
“Didn’t you hear?” the Doctor said harshly. Suddenly, when Alana’s face dropped, he smiled inanely. “Wherever fate may take us.”
The Eleventh Doctor will return in……
The Final Stretch (Christmas special)
followed by Series Two, beginning with....
Murder on the Stellar-Lunar Express!