Georgia and Conner ran back around to the TARDIS doors, which flew open. Russell leapt at Conner, and the pair were forced to run into the Doctor’s ship.
“We need to end this, now!” Georgia yelled.
The Doctor nervously entered another corridor, almost running into someone. He leapt backwards, jamming the door shut in surprise.
“Naomi Green, it is you!” the Doctor beamed. “It seems like almost yesterday when we were… Well, you know.”
Naomi nodded – she worked for Torchwood, and the Doctor had last seen her while stopping the Kritzanthians, where she was killed when the ship exploded. But for Naomi she had met him many times before, and even saved the world.
“What are you doing here, anyway?” he smiled.
“Coming to help you, of course,” Naomi said. “This is the 51st Century, right?”
“Yeah,” the Doctor replied. “But I thought you lived in the 32nd Century? How did you get here?”
“You took me here,” Naomi frowned. “Said you needed help with something, you picked me up from Torchwood headquarters, and then you left. I guess you haven’t done that yet, huh?”
“I don’t really know you,” the Doctor admitted. “But we’ve dabbled. Listen – this little reunion is all very nice, but you’ve got to get out of here – the Drifter’s going to kill us.”
“I think I can help with that,” Naomi said. “If we can get down to the storerooms, we can find weapons to defeat the Drifter – you told me.”
The Doctor nodded, and led the way down the corridor.
“I’ve got a plan!” Adele yelled, as she dodged Katrina Flout.
“What?” Robyn asked, watching from a safe distance.
“Attract the machine guns!”
Robyn laughed, and began waving at the nearest camera with Freddie. Sure enough, a machine gun shot from the wall, and began to spray bullets everywhere. Freddie pulled Robyn to the floor, and Adele dived out of the way as the bullets headed in her direction. She crawled towards the door with the others, and as it opened, they watched Katrina Flout’s body take the bullets that were thrown at it. Her animated corpse collapsed to the floor, and she moved no more.
“Success!” beamed Freddie.
Georgia headed over to the TARDIS console and looked at the scanner. Leon and Russell stood, staring directly at her outside the TARDIS. Suddenly, they began to move, and Georgia could see them each grabbing an edge of the TARDIS.
“We’re moving!” she cried as the whole room shook.
“Where are they taking us?” Conner asked.
Georgia shrugged, and held on to the console as the continued to move.
“But we’ll be safe, won’t we?” Conner continued. “The TARDIS has full protection, right?”
“I hope so,” Georgia muttered.
The Doctor pulled his communicator from his pocket as he headed to the storeroom with Naomi. As they walked, Naomi used her camera-disabler to knock out the other cameras, preventing the machine guns from detecting they were there.
“Calling all boys and girls!” the Doctor called. “Except the dead ones, of course. Now, how are you all getting on?”
“Leon’s somewhat dead,” Georgia replied.
“I’m with Robyn and Freddie,” Adele said. “We managed to stop Katrina Flout, and we’re in the corridor outside of the tank room.”
“Tank room?” Conner asked.
“The Drifter tried to drown us in a tank,” Robyn explained. “What about Russell, is she still knocking around?”
“Unfortunately,” Georgia sighed. “She and Leon are dragging the TARDIS somewhere.”
“Keep me updated,” the Doctor frowned. “Freddie, how far are you from the storeroom?”
“There’s not gonna be anything there,” Adele interrupted. “What would the Drifter want to store?”
“Weapons,” Naomi smiled. “Just in case it needs to replace its machine guns, I guess. So we arm ourselves.”
“Hang on, who are you?” Georgia asked.
“Naomi Green,” the Doctor explained. “We’re old friends.”
“Ahh, Georgia Bell,” Naomi said. “I remember you… Are you still with Conner Bennet?”
“I’m here, yeah,” Conner smiled. “Wait – what do you mean, with me?”
The Doctor turned off Naomi’s communicator before she could reply. Conner sighed, and put his communicator onto the console, and blushed as Georgia looked at him curiously.
“Right,” Freddie said. “We go to the storeroom. Come on!”
He took Robyn’s hand, and they led Adele along the corridor. They reached the storeroom at the same time as the Doctor and Naomi, and shook hands with Naomi as the Doctor used the Sonic Screwdriver to open the storeroom door – which was more like a safe in a bank.
“Tight security,” the Doctor muttered. “Which confuses me – you three didn’t have any trouble getting here, did you?”
“No, we were fine,” Robyn replied. “The machine guns didn’t bother us once. Why?”
“Because that means the Drifter’s up to something,” Naomi said. “If it’s being quiet, we can’t trust it.”
“Here we go,” the Doctor announced, finally pulling open the door. “Be careful.”
He entered, and the four others followed. As they walked into the room, they saw why the Drifter had been so quiet – it was busy programming a series of lasers that shot across the room in all directions.
“We can get through those,” the Doctor said confidently. “Guess where the weapons are?”
“On the other side,” Adele mused.
“Exactly,” the Doctor replied.
He made his way to the lasers, and began to climb over and duck under them. Naomi followed, as did Robyn and Freddie. Adele, however, hesitated, and headed back to the door.
“Oh come on, it’ll be a breeze,” the Doctor smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”
“I’m not,” Adele replied. “But the Drifter’s gonna be concentrated on the storeroom, isn’t it? So it seems like a good idea to use that distraction to get to the control room.”
“See you later, Captain,” the Doctor saluted. “And good luck.”
Adele nodded, and departed from the room. Georgia let go of the console as the shaking stopped. Nervously, she looked at the scanner, to see where they were. Outside the TARDIS, Russell was programming the airlock to open. Her dead fingers jabbed at the buttons in a frustrated manner, but her cold, dead fingertips were not recognised by the Drifter’s computer. She left the airlock, and pushed the TARDIS back along the corridor.
“We’re moving again!” Conner cried. “And we’ve stopped. What are they playing at?”
Leon looked at Russell, and took the other corner of the TARDIS. With an almighty push, they smashed through one of the walls of the ship, and were promptly sucked into space. As soon as they went outside the Drifter’s signal range, they deactivated, becoming silent bodies once more. Inside the TARDIS, Georgia and Conner were thrown around as the Doctor’s ship spun and locked on to the nearest centre of gravity – a star.
“We’re being pulled into a star!” Georgia screamed.
“Call the Doctor!” Conner cried back. “He’ll know what to do!”
The Doctor’s leg balanced dangerously over a laser as his phone began to ring. Sighing, he pulled it out of his pocket, and answered it.
“Doctor, oh my Christ, help us!” Georgia screamed.
“Calm down!” the Doctor ordered. “Where are you?”
“Russell and Leon pushed us out of the ship – and the TARDIS locked onto the nearest centre of gravity – which is a flipping star!” Georgia yelled.
“Right, you’re gonna have to pilot the TARDIS,” the Doctor said, as he leapt over a laser. “Here’s what you’ve got to do…”
Adele reached the control room with little difficulty. She sealed herself in, and disabled the cameras. As she had suspected, the Drifter was concentrating on the storeroom. She disabled the cameras there too, when the control panel blared into life.
“Oh no!” she gasped.
Turning off the cameras in the storeroom activated the lasers, and Adele was forced to watch as the Doctor, Naomi, Freddie and Robyn dived to the floor. Fortunately, she managed to turn off the lasers – but not before they had destroyed the weapons the Doctor had needed in order to survive.
“Freddie!” Adele said into her communicator. “Tell the Doctor I’m sorry – I caused the weapons to be destroyed.”
“He’s a little bit busy at the moment,” Freddie replied. “He’s trying to save his companions. Naomi wants to talk to you – she says it’s important.”
“Hi Adele,” Naomi said, taking Freddie’s communicator. “The Doctor sent me here specifically to give you a warning – and I guess to help him destroy the cameras and stop the machine guns.”
“What was the warning?” Adele asked.
“Look behind you,” Naomi said quietly. “That’s all it was, sorry.”
She turned off the communicator, and handed it back to Freddie. Adele stood up, and slowly turned around. She knew she had stopped the machine guns, but she didn’t know about a back up weapon – the ceiling parted, and something circular descended from the ceiling, before stopping, in mid air, to float threateningly.
“~This is a bomb~” the Drifter announced. “~If you even move towards the console, it will be detonated, and you will all be destroyed~”
“And you’ll go with it,” Adele realised. “Do you really want to kill us that much?”
“~Yes~” the Drifter said. “~You and your team wanted to destroy me – it’s only natural that I return the favour. You will replace the machine gun system, and allow me to kill you, or your friends will die~”
“No!” Adele shouted. “The Doctor’s gonna stop you. He might not have any weapons – but he has his mind. And I believe that’s enough. He will defeat you, even if he has to sacrifice my life to do it.”
She pulled her communicator from her pocket, and turned it on.
“Doctor,” she said. “You’ve got to leave – take everyone with you. I’m gonna to destroy this ship forever.”
“But that’s suicide!” the Doctor yelled. “Come on Georgia…”
“Just save yourself, and my crew – that’s all I ask,” Adele replied. “Good luck.”
“I can save you, I can stop the Drifter, just give me 10 minutes!” the Doctor begged. “Don’t do anything stupid. What did Naomi say, by the way?”
“Look behind you,” Adele frowned. “Wait, behind me…”
She turned around, back to the console, but there was nothing there.
“Doctor!” Robyn cried. “I can hear your ship! That grating noise!”
“Ha!” the Doctor grinned. “Hold on, Adele, I’m coming to save you.”
Adele was about to reply, when she felt the tapping on her shoulder. She turned around once more, only to come face to face with Katrina Flout.
“But you… You died…” she said.
Katrina didn’t reply. Adele gasped as she felt the glass slide into her stomach. She looked down, and saw blood seeping into her clothes. She staggered, and fell back against the console. Katrina now had a gaping hole in her chest, and finally collapsed – dying for the last time.
“~When her team arrived~” the Drifter explained. “~I shot her to death. Did you really think that she wouldn’t be able to withstand more bullets? I can animate her no matter what~”
“Then why is she still alive?” Adele asked, feeling her own life slipping away.
“~I had no use for her~” the Drifter said coldly.
Freddie and Robyn hugged each other as the TARDIS appeared. Georgia and Conner opened the doors, and welcomed them in. Naomi followed, and the Doctor came up the rear, closing the doors as he entered his ship. He immediately ran over to the scanner, and brought up the control room.
“Captain Adele MacDonald, how are you?” he beamed.
“Dying,” Adele explained. “That bitch Katrina – we never could finish her. Piece of glass in the stomach, not the most admirable death, but it’s mine. I’m sorry everyone, I tried, but in the end the Drifter will always win. It cannot be destroyed – so I’ve got a plan. Leave, now, and never come back.”
With a cry of pain, she staggered over to the engines, and activated them. With one last sigh, she died, as the TARDIS faded away. In space, all seemed quiet once more, until the Drifter began to move.
“This is Adele MacDonald,” Adele announced. “Captain of the Drifter, reporting for duty.”
With a groan, she pulled the glass from her stomach, feeling no pain. She looked at a computer screen, where a pair of eyes watched her.
“I can sense the beginning of a great partnership,” she continued.
“~As can I~” the Drifter replied.
“I can’t say I imagined ever becoming an animated body, captaining a ghost ship,” Adele said.
“~I approve of my new captain~” the Drifter smiled. “~Take me to all the best places, and I’ll keep animating you. It’s a great partnership – the Drifter and Adele MacDonald, floating through space, forever.”
Adele nodded, and set the Drifter on course. She’d already decided on a destination – of course she had – and the great ghost ship drifted through space, to somewhere a whole lot sunnier, where people didn’t often try and blow you up.
“I guess this is goodbye, Doctor,” Freddie said, departing from the TARDIS.
“Take good care of Robyn,” the Doctor smiled.
The Doctor leaned against the TARDIS doors, as Freddie took Robyn by the hand, and, together, they began to walk off, onto better things. The TARDIS faded away, and soon appeared in the 32nd Century.
“Next stop, Torchwood!” Georgia smiled. “I hope I managed to land her right – we could be anywhere!”
The Doctor laughed from his place beside the doors, which opened. Naomi left her seat beside Conner, hugged Georgia, and headed out of the doors.
“Will I see you again, Doctor?” Naomi asked.
“Oh, you will,” the Doctor grinned. “But will I see you again?”
“Yes, in five minutes,” Naomi replied. “You’ve got to take me to the Drifter, and tell me to give Adele a message.”
“To look behind her,” the Doctor nodded. “I already asked. So what will you do now?”
“Oh, continue to work at Torchwood,” Naomi shrugged. “I recently received a report – the government estimates that these new aliens that are visiting, the Kritzanthians or something, will bring a new golden age of prosperity.”
“Don’t always believe what the government tell you,” the Doctor frowned. “Just do what you think is right.”
“I think you’d better tell Georgia and Conner about what I said before,” Naomi laughed. “About them being together – I made it up. It’s just Conner seemed a little worried about it.”
“I think I might forget to mention that to them,” the Doctor smiled. “Goodbye, Naomi Green.”
He closed the TARDIS doors once more, as Georgia began to pilot the TARDIS. Smiling, he watched her guide Conner in how to fly the TARDIS, and he walked towards them.
“I should never have told you how to fly that thing,” he said.
“I’ve got plans,” Georgia shrugged. “We’ll be going to Portugal if I can work out Earth-bound flights. Are you alright, Doctor? About Adele, it wasn’t…”
“I’m fine,” the Doctor nodded. “I don’t expect the Drifter will keep Adele dead. In fact, I expect they’re heading somewhere right now.”
“Where?” Conner asked.
“To the nearest service station,” the Doctor laughed. “Oh, they’re gonna tour the universe. And you know what? For an animated dead body and an evil ship, they’re gonna be surprisingly fantastic…”
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Georgia and Conner ran back around to the TARDIS doors, which flew open. Russell leapt at Conner, and the pair were forced to run into the Doctor’s ship.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Freddie and Robyn stayed silent, watching the wreckage of the SS Recovery float through space. Suddenly the sound of the universe ripped into existence, and the familiar blue box materialised in front of them. The door opened and the Doctor staggered out, covered in Russell’s blood.
“So it’s true,” Freddie sighed. “Russell’s…”
“Yeah,” the Doctor said quietly. “And it was my fault.”
“But you saved us,” Robyn smiled.
“I guess,” the Doctor nodded. “Come on in. This ends now.”
The three stepped into the TARDIS, and it dematerialised, before materialising at the control room. The Doctor flew out of his ship and raced to the controls.
“Oh yes!” he cried. “I’m gonna fight you!”
Adele heard a click and gasped as the doors swung open. She climbed to her feet and raced through one, as the Doctor’s voice chattered from her communicator.
“Captain MacDonald, get yourself to safety,” he grinned. “I’m running this ship now. Georgia, Conner? Get back to the control room; I’ve got the TARDIS here. Oh, wait, that’s not supposed to happen! Freddie, Robyn, get out! The control room’s sealing itself!”
“Doctor, come on, run!” Robyn screamed.
The Doctor abandoned the desk, and leapt across the room. He slid under the sealing door, making it out just in time. Suddenly the sprinklers activated, showering Robyn, Freddie and the Doctor with water.
“The Drifter’s gonna seal the other door!” the Doctor yelled. “Run!”
The three ran to the other end of the corridor, making it out of the door just in time. The Doctor led the way down the next corridor, watching out for traps.
“The ship’s getting predictable,” he said, smiling slightly. “Which means it’ll be easier to defeat. Let’s just get everyone else and find a way to get to the TARDIS.”
Georgia and Conner pulled Leon to his feet, and they made their way to the exit. The control panel beside the door flashed, and emitted sparks. The three were knocked off their feet as the Drifter sent out electrical instructions in a fierce wave of light. Georgia looked around, to see Russell and the other bodies climb from their boxes. She gasped, and saw the sealed boxes begin to crack open.
“The Drifter’s animating the corpses!” Leon cried. “Get out!”
He climbed to his feet, and kicked the door open. Conner yelled and pulled Georgia from the room, as Russell and the others began to advance.
“Oh no…” Adele muttered.
She raced back the way she came. The Drifter was animating the bodies of Katrina Flout and her crew, and they had started to advance on Adele. As she ran, she pulled out her communicator.
“The Drifter’s animating the corpses of Katrina Flout and her crew!” she told the others. “Be careful!”
“Russell’s alive too,” Georgia sighed. “Oh Christ! She’s breaking down the door!”
There was a crackle, and Georgia’s communicator went off. The Doctor cried out and shook his, hoping to hear his companion once more.
“Georgia?” he muttered, to no answer.
Robyn and Freddie dived out of the way as a machine gun swung around, facing the Doctor. He pointed to the door, and they quickly ran towards the exit. The machine gun tilted to face a wall, which opened. With a small frown, the Doctor stepped through the opening, and into a control room, with a computer.
“Ahh,” he realised. “The Drifter’s new control room, where it… Well, controls everything.”
“~Hello Doctor~” the Drifter said, the voice coming from a small speaker grill.
“Hello,” the Doctor beamed. “Why are you doing this?”
“~I want to be left alone~” the Drifter sighed. “~People always try and blow me up, why is that?~”
“I know the feeling,” the Doctor grinned. “Because you’re space junk, if I’m honest. People don’t like you taking up space in their space. If that makes sense.”
“~No, it doesn’t~”
“Well, what I meant was –” the Doctor began.
“~I know what you meant~” the Drifter growled. “~I meant, it doesn’t make sense that they would do this to me~”
The Doctor nodded, and leant against the console. He patted it soothingly, watching the screens out of the corner of his eye. The animated corpses had stopped advancing on Georgia, Conner and Leon, while Freddie and Robyn were running down a corridor, and Adele was trying to get through a door, the animated corpse of Katrina Flout watching her passively.
“Hang on a minute,” he muttered to himself.
An airlock door opened, and a figure stepped through it. He peered in for a closer look, but the camera fizzled and the picture became white.
“~What are you looking at? Doctor?~” the Drifter asked. “~Why is one of my cameras faulty?~”
“Nothing to do with me,” the Doctor assured it. “Oh, you’ve bought the machine guns out. I’d better run – woah!”
He dodged a round of bullets, and leapt from the room. Leon was approaching Russell nervously, when she snapped at his neck. He dived back, and dragged Conner and Georgia from the room. Katrina Flout began to advance on Adele, just as she forced the door open.
“Miss Flout, I have to say, it is an honour!” she cried as Katrina swung for her. “But your communication skills are terrible! Good day!”
With a cry, she slammed the door in Katrina’s face. Georgia, Conner and Leon raced along the corridor, and almost ran slap bang into the TARDIS. Several machine guns appeared from the ceiling, and turned to face them.
“Georgia, get the door open!” Conner yelled.
“I’m trying!” Georgia cried.
Conner shoulder barged the door, and it flew open. He pushed Georgia inside, and Leon leapt inside after him. He looked around; stumbling as he took in the magnitude and size of the spaceship he’d just stepped into.
“This is the TARDIS,” Georgia smiled. “Welcome aboard. Conner, I’ll try and contact the Doctor, you make us some tea. Or possibly something stronger.”
“Right,” Conner nodded, hurrying off. “Leon, sit down!”
Leon climbed onto a seat, still looking around in awe. Georgia glanced at him, and he blushed.
“Go and help Conner if you want,” she smiled. “You’ll get a better look around that way.”
“Which way did he go?” Leon asked, standing up.
“That way,” Georgia pointed.
Leon wandered off, and Georgia pulled out her phone, dialling the Doctor’s number.
“Doctor!” she said. “Where are you?”
“I’m a bit busy at the moment,” the Doctor cried, running from the spray of bullets. “Where are you?”
“I’m in the TARDIS, with Conner and Leon,” Georgia smiled.
“You got into the TARDIS?” the Doctor frowned. “But it’s locked inside the old control room.”
“It wasn’t,” Georgia replied. “We ran into it in a corridor.”
“You’re sure it’s the real TARDIS?” the Doctor asked quietly.
“Yeah, hundred percent,” Georgia grinned. “Now, if you just tell me how to pilot it…”
“Oh I don’t think so,” the Doctor laughed. “Do you really think I’d let you destroy the universe? Even in an emergency? No, you’ll be far too busy to do that.”
“Why? What do you want me to do?” Georgia asked.
“I don’t want you to do anything, except stay there, and stay safe,” the Doctor said. “But the Drifter… it obviously let you in because it’s a trap. So be careful, and… Do. Not. Leave. For. Anything.”
“Not even milk?” Georgia smiled.
“Bye Georgia,” the Doctor sighed, hanging up.
As Freddie and Robyn ran down the corridor, the floor opened up, and they fell through it. Robyn screamed, and Freddie felt a strange whooshing feeling in his chest. They both looked down and saw a tank full of water, and both held their breath as they landed in it.
“Freddie?” Robyn called out. “You there? You can’t swim, can you? Oh God!”
She dived under the water, and grabbed an unconscious Freddie. As she swam to the surface, she realised the tank had closed at the top, and there was no way out.
“Miss Flout, you’re back I see!” Adele said, as Katrina Flout burst through the door and staggered towards her. “You really are persistent, but I’ve got to insist that you stay away from me!”
She leapt towards Katrina, and almost rugby tackled her to the ground. Except, there was no ground, and the pair fell through the air, grappling as they did so. There was a cracking as they hid something solid – a glass tank. The tank smashed into pieces, and water thundered out, as did the unconscious bodies of Freddie and Robyn.
“Robyn, Freddie?” Adele muttered.
She looked sharply to her left, as Robyn gasped and opened her eyes, spitting out water from her mouth. Freddie woke up behind her, blinking to wipe the water from his eyes. Adele looked up at the remainder of the tank – Katrina lay, impaled on some glass.
“At least she won’t come back to bite us anymore.”
As she spoke, Katrina leapt up at her, the glass still sticking out from her chest.
“You know you want to,” Conner grinned. “I don’t see why we don’t just have a look around outside, and then come back in. The Doctor doesn’t even have to know.”
“It’s tempting,” Georgia admitted. “He really won’t find out?”
“Oh, go on then,” Georgia laughed.
Georgia headed towards the doors, Leon and Conner following. She pulled open the doors, when the entire TARDIS shook. Conner fell to the floor, while Leon grabbed the doorframe, falling out of the TARDIS. Georgia slipped and fell on top of Conner, who grunted.
“You’re heavy,” he moaned. “Geroff!”
“Sorry,” Georgia replied. “What was that, anyway?”
She stood up, and poked her head out of the doors. The corridor was empty, so, quietly, she stepped out, smiling at Conner, who followed behind. While Conner headed around the right side of the TARDIS, Georgia headed around to the left, almost bumping into something. She faltered, saw what it was, and screamed.
“Oh my God,” Conner said quietly, joining her.
They looked, open mouthed at the pair in front of them – Russell, covered in blood, was hacking away at Leon, whose gasp of shock barely had time to disappear from his face before he was dead. Conner took Georgia’s hand, trying to pull her away. Her eyes were drawn to Leon, who suddenly snapped his head and stared at her, eyes wide and bright. He brushed Russell aside, and stood up, making his way to Georgia, arms outstretched.
“You’re kidding,” Georgia sighed. “We really have to go. This is serious, isn’t it Conner? We really are going to die here.”
To be continued…
Monday, 24 May 2010
The Doctor opened the doors of the TARDIS and stepped out, Russell following.
“We’re on the Drifter,” she said.
“But in the 46th Century,” the Doctor added. “Before it crashed.”
“You think it’ll happen soon?” Russell asked.
“What, crash? It’s a possibility,” the Doctor nodded. “Knowing me, I’ll probably make it happen…”
Russell laughed, and followed the Doctor along a corridor, into a large dining room. The guests below stopped eating to glance up at the pair on the stairs. The Doctor took Russell’s arm, and led her down the carpeted steps to join the guests at the table.
“Don’t mind us,” he grinned.
Leon accessed a computer, and tapped the screen. Georgia leant over, and looked at the pictures.
“This is a full scan of the ship,” Leon said. “Look, there’s Robyn and Freddie. And that’s Adele and Conner… Oh, but, where’s Megan?”
“I don’t think the scan works properly,” Georgia replied. “The Doctor and Russell aren’t on the scan at all!”
“And no Lucia either,” Leon sighed. “Let’s get back to the body room – she’ll know where to find us.”
Georgia nodded, and they stepped back into the room with the bodies. Leon opened another box, and coughed once more.
“They really do stink,” he frowned. “How can all these people have died? Look at this body – it’s got holes in it! What did that?”
“They’re bullet holes,” Georgia said quietly. “Most of the people in this room were shot to death.”
Conner dropped the dusty objects he was examining, and headed over to Adele.
“I think you should go to the control room,” he said. “Try and turn off the ship. Everyone died on the Drifter, and it’s been running all this time, which means it has records of what happened. If you look through those, then shut the ship down. We don’t know what’s causing all this, but we’ve got to think the ship could be involved. Shutting it down will keep us safe, for a while.”
“And what do you think you’ll be doing?” Adele asked.
“I’m going to see if Lucia’s alright,” Conner replied. “And I’ll take Meg. Where is she, anyway?”
“She was following you, wasn’t she?” Adele shrugged. “She’s a smart girl; she knows how to use her communicator when she wants to get in touch.”
Conner frowned. Everyone seemed to just think everything was okay. Earlier, he’d heard Leon tell Georgia that everything was fine, and Russell had repeatedly said that the previous deaths were an accident.
“Why are you all so convinced nothing’s wrong?” Conner asked. “Meg’s missing, Lucia’s ill, and yet you shrug it off. Why is that? Meg could be hurt, but you think she just wants time on her own or whatever…”
“It’s called lying to yourself,” Adele sighed. “I’m just as worried, but if I let the others know that I’m scared Meg and Lucia are dead or going to die, they’ll panic too. If we can just get out of here, we’ll be fine. No need to panic anyone.”
“Well I’d prefer it if we looked for Meg,” Conner said. “I’ll see you later.”
And he turned and walked off. Russell and the Doctor finished eating, as the rest of the table departed to their rooms.
“I haven’t had a nice meal for a long time,” Russell laughed. “Where are you taking me?”
“To get us a room,” the Doctor said. “Wait – that sounded wrong. I want to access the computer, see if anything’s wrong.”
He led her out of the dining room, and ran over to a robot, which was cleaning.
“Hello, sorry to bother you,” the Doctor beamed, turning on the charm. “But we seem to have not been given a room. We paid for the best, with computer access and everything!”
“Please show identification,” the robot hummed.
The Doctor whipped out the Psychic Paper, and dazzled the robot with his teeth.
“Everything seems to be in order,” the robot hummed. “Follow me.”
Russell took the Doctor’s hand, and they headed to their rooms. When the robot reached their destination, he hummed something to the door, and it opened.
“Enjoy your stay,” the robot hummed. “Sorry for any inconveniences.”
“That’s okay,” Russell smiled. “It’s fine, isn’t it Doctor?”
She turned around, to see him already at the computer terminal. Shutting the door in the robot’s face, she slid over to see what was going on.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong,” the Doctor frowned. “The Drifter’s just registering our room, nothing else. Air’s fine, no illnesses.”
“What’s that?” Russell asked, pointing to some sort of clock on the screen.
“A countdown,” the Doctor muttered. “But to what?”
“Five minutes,” Russell noticed. “What happens then?”
“I’d love to say I know,” the Doctor replied. “I guess we wait.”
Conner stepped into the body room, joining Georgia and Leon.
“Hey,” he said. “Is Lucia here? I heard she was ill; and the Doctor…”
“She’s not here,” Georgia interrupted. “Don’t tell Adele. We lost her a while ago. She just walked off…”
“Meg’s disappeared too,” Conner frowned. “This isn’t good.”
Georgia sighed, and opened another box. Several bodies fell out, littering the floor and causing Conner to cough.
“What happened here?” he asked.
“These are the victims from when the Drifter crashed in the 46th Century,” Leon replied.
“They were all shot to death,” Georgia added. “We’re looking for any signs or identification on the bodies.”
“Fun,” Conner said sarcastically. “That crate there – let’s get it open.”
“What I don’t understand, is how all these bodies are fresh,” Leon frowned. “They died in the 46th Century, why aren’t they rotting skeletons?”
“Maybe the Drifter’s keeping them fresh for something,” Georgia shuddered. “It’s cold in here – the temperature must keep them fresh or something.”
Adele reached the control room, and attempted to shut down the ship. Instead of complying with her request, the Drifter locked the controls.
“How is it doing this?” Adele muttered. “The Drifter seems to have a mind of its own!”
A countdown appeared at the left hand corner of the screen. Adele studied it, but it offered no clue as to what it was counting down to.
“Five minutes,” she muttered. “I guess I’ll have to wait.”
Russell looked back at the computer screen, centuries earlier.
“Ten seconds,” she announced. “Doctor, are you ready for the worst?”
“We should get back to the TARDIS,” the Doctor said. “Just in case.”
Russell nodded and followed the Doctor to the door. They stepped out into the corridor, as the countdown reached 0. Suddenly, all over the ship, walls and ceilings opened, to reveal large machine guns. Passengers screamed and ran for cover, but they could not escape the spray of bullets that flew like raindrops.
“Watch out!” the Doctor yelled.
He dived for the bedroom door, but it had sealed itself. He slid sideways as a machine gun shot bullets along the wall. He heard a scream, and Russell collapsed.
“No!” he yelled, skidding over to her.
He saw the blood spilling from her jacket, and knew there was no hope. The machine gun coming from the ceiling turned in his direction once more, so he staggered to his feet and ran off.
“Pull!” Conner cried.
He heaved the lid of the crate, with Leon and Georgia. It was slightly stuck, and the side cracked when they finally prised it open. Bodies spilled onto the floor, and when Leon saw one particular body, he ran off to be sick. Georgia coughed, and watched Conner heave the body out of the pile, and fully examine it.
“It’s Russell,” he confirmed.
The countdown was reaching 2 minutes. Adele decided she couldn’t wait any longer – she had to confess her doubts to the others.
“Everyone!” she said into her communicator. “Meg’s dead. She got lost, and you’re all coming up on the scanner, except Meg, and Lucia. I didn’t want to admit this, but I’m scared. If we can get out of here as soon as possible!”
“Sorry,” Georgia sighed. “It’s our fault about Lucia…”
“No it isn’t,” Adele replied. “The Drifter has a mind of its own – I don’t think it wants us to leave. There’s a countdown, and I don’t know what’ll happen when it finishes. Brace yourselves.”
“Russell’s dead too,” Conner frowned. “We found her body in a box, along with the dead from the 46th Century.”
Everyone fell silent as they took this information in.
“And the Doctor?” Robyn asked. “He was supposed to be saving me and Freddie!”
“He’ll be fine,” Georgia hoped. “Otherwise we’re stuck here.”
“1 minute,” Adele added. “Good luck everyone. The main mission now is to survive – make it back to the ship, and if you get a chance, shut down the Drifter! 45 seconds!”
As the remaining 45 seconds ticked away, Adele ran from the control room. The doors slammed shut behind her, and as she ran, she saw the doors far in front seal too. Reaching them, she tugged at the handle, only to find she was trapped. Running back down the corridor, she tried another door, which was open, and ran through it.
“I’ve got to get out of here,” she muttered.
The lights flickered and turned themselves off as Adele ran through more doors. Finally she entered a small room, with a large window looking out onto space. The door behind her sealed shut, as did the only other one in the room, which led back to the ship. She sighed, and slumped to the floor.
“I’m trapped,” she said into her communicator. “Just make sure you all get out of here. No more deaths. I’m so sorry.”
“10 seconds,” Robyn sighed. “Look – I think you’d better leave me and Freddie here – there’s no way out for us.”
“I’m not leaving without the Doctor,” Conner said firmly. “And Georgia’s staying too. Well, if she wants to.”
“I do,” Georgia smiled. “We’ll wait for the Doctor.”
“I’m staying with Georgia,” Leon added.
“Four seconds,” Adele muttered, turning off her communicator.
She watched the SS Recovery floating beside the Drifter sadly. Meanwhile, in the control room, the Drifter smiled, and with one foul swoop, destroyed the SS Recovery, blasting it into pieces and watching the wreckage float through space. Adele placed a hand over her mouth in shock, and Leon collapsed to the floor. Even if the Drifter didn’t kill them, there was no way out – they were trapped, forever.
To be continued…
Saturday, 22 May 2010
“Lucia’s been gone a long time,” Georgia noticed. “Maybe I should go back and see where she is?”
“Adele told us not to split up,” Leon said. “You’re staying with me.”
“True,” Georgia sighed.
Leon forced the door to the cargo room open, and allowed Georgia to step inside. Immediately, she wrinkled her nose.
“It stinks in here,” she gasped, holding her breath.
“Rotting bodies?” Leon guessed.
Georgia shook her head.
“They would have completely disintegrated by now,” she said. “No, I’m thinking that it’s a deterrent.”
“Something to keep us from looking too closely in this room,” Georgia replied. “Come on, check all the boxes. We need to salvage it all anyway…”
The Doctor tapped on the keyboard, frowning.
“What?” Adele asked.
“The communication’s gone,” the Doctor replied. “The ship’s stopped talking.”
“Can you find it?”
“Sure,” the Doctor smiled.
He typed some more, and brought up a map of the ship. He pointed at a room, where a red dot was bleeping.
“There you go,” he said. “Whoever was talking is in there. Well, I expect they’ve left the room, cos the ship isn’t talking anymore.”
“Then it’s pointless us going there,” Adele sighed. “Maybe we should ask Leon and Lucia? They’re closest.”
“No point,” the Doctor replied. “Let’s just get on with what we’re supposed to be doing and leave. You don’t think the other crews died for no reason, do you? I’d like us to leave before the same thing happens to us. But we’ll be fine. Probably. You’re not worried, are you?”
Adele shook her head, and continued to work.
“Run!” Robyn screamed.
Freddie abandoned his equipment and ran after. As they ascended a rotting staircase, Robyn pulled out her communicator.
“Adele!” she cried. “We’ve got a break in the ship! It’s about to pull all the oxygen out of the west wing!”
“Get out of there!” Adele yelled.
“We’ve nearly made it,” Robyn said breathlessly. “Freddie get the door open!”
Freddie yelped and tried to open the door. Robyn sighed and pulled him along another corridor until they reached an Airlock. She punched in the code above the door and it opened. Pushing Freddie inside, Robyn climbed in and sealed the door. There was an explosion outside, and parts of the west wing were thrown into space. With a scream, Robyn felt the escape pod detach itself from the Airlock and be ripped apart.
“Captain, we’re alive,” Freddie said into his own communicator. “But we’re trapped – the escape pod got ripped apart and we can’t go back into the west wing without spacesuits. I’m sorry.”
Adele slammed her communicator down in frustration. The Doctor looked up from his work, and looked at her.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“Robyn and Freddie are down,” she sighed. “There was a breach in the west wing and they lost all the oxygen.”
“They’re dead?” the Doctor gasped.
“It’s worse,” Adele said. “They’re trapped in an Airlock, and they lost the escape pod. They can’t go back into the ship, as there’s no oxygen. They’re gonna starve to death and I’ll get the blame for it! After all, I’m Captain of this operation.”
“I think I’ve got a solution,” the Doctor smiled. “Call everyone here, I’ll need help.”
Adele looked confused, but pulled out her communicator nonetheless.
“Everyone, get back to the ship, immediately, we have an emergency,” she said.
“We can’t, remember?” Robyn sighed.
“You and Freddie are excused,” Adele replied.
“We can’t either,” Leon said. “Lucia’s not feeling well and she wants to sit down.”
Georgia looked at him, with a frown.
“What are you on about?” she asked.
“We can’t tell Adele we let Lucia go,” Leon hissed. “And Lucia knows she’ll get in trouble just as much as us. She’ll find us.”
Georgia nodded, and spoke into her communicator.
“I need you back here,” Adele repeated. “Carry her if you have to.”
“Actually it’s alright,” the Doctor said. “You carry on Georgia.”
“Thanks Doctor,” Georgia smiled, glad that he realised when something was wrong.
“We’ll be there in a minute,” Russell told Adele.
A few minutes later, the Doctor, Adele, Conner, Megan and Russell were stood outside the ship.
“We’ve had a problem,” Adele announced. “The hull of the ship broke in the west wing, and Robyn and Freddie are trapped in an Airlock. The Doctor thinks he has a solution, which we’re all waiting to hear now. Doctor?”
“I’ll take my ship, and collect them,” the Doctor grinned.
“Couldn’t they just take their ship?” Conner asked.
“No,” Adele said. “We haven’t got enough fuel to find them. We’ve only got enough to travel here and back exactly.”
“Cos that’s a good idea,” Conner replied sarcastically. “I’ll come, Doctor.”
“I need you to stay here actually,” the Doctor said. “Georgia and Leon think there’s something wrong with Lucia, and I’m worried, and I trust you to be able to check it out and ring me if something’s wrong.”
“You think there will be trouble?” Russell asked.
“The crew of the SS Groundbreaker didn’t just drop dead,” the Doctor shrugged. “Maybe it was an illness, and if Lucia’s caught it…”
Russell shuddered, and the Doctor nodded.
“Bad times,” Conner sighed. “Why don’t you go with Adele? You were paired with her.”
“Because Adele is in charge,” the Doctor said. “And if something is wrong, she needs to make the decisions for her crew.”
“I’ll go,” Russell smiled.
“Alright,” the Doctor grinned. “We’ll be back in a minute.”
“Get back to work Megan and Conner,” Adele ordered. “Actually, you two had better come with me – I did say nobody is allowed on their own, and that rule applies to me too.”
Conner and Megan waved at the Doctor and Russell and ran after Adele. Russell smiled nervously and followed the Doctor to the TARDIS.
“So what’s your ship like?” she asked along the way.
“Surprisingly roomy,” the Doctor grinned. “We’ll get them back, you realise that, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” Russell smiled, leaving the Doctor unconvinced.
“Wait till you see my ship – then you’ll be convinced.”
Russell swung her torch around, and gazed at the blue box. The Doctor grinned, and stepped inside, unlocking the door with his key.
“Roomy?” Russell frowned.
“Come on in,” the Doctor chuckled.
She nervously stepped into the TARDIS, and gasped. Immediately behind her, the TARDIS doors slammed shut, and the sound of the universe ripping into life threw Russell and the Doctor to the floor.
“What’s going on?” Russell shouted.
“The TARDIS is taking us somewhere!” the Doctor shrugged. “Hold tight!”
“But it’s bigger on the inside!” Russell cried. “What’s that even about? I thought you were just a perv trying to get me into a tiny box!”
The Doctor sighed, and waited for the TARDIS to land.
“I think you were right Leon,” Georgia coughed.
She opened to reveal several bodies stored in it. Leon shuddered and opened the box next to it, which also contained bodies.
“We’ve hit the body jackpot,” Leon muttered.
“I’ll tell Adele,” Georgia said.
“Wait!” Leon cried. “If you tell her, she’ll come and look. And then she’ll realise we left Lucia behind. We need to find Lucia before we tell her.”
Georgia nodded, and placed her communicator back inside her pocket. Leon led the way out of the storage room, and back the way they came.
“Where are we going?” Conner asked Adele.
“The east wing,” Adele replied. “We need to finish the work you, Meg and Russell started.”
“So you found the control room?”
“Yes,” Adele said. “And we discovered the Drifter’s still running.”
“Like its engine and everything?” Conner frowned.
“Yes,” Adele said once more.
They were walking to the east wing, chatting as they surveyed the damage. What they didn’t notice was that Megan had vanished.
“Hello?” Megan called, entering an empty corridor. “Is that you, Conner?”
She’d heard a noise, and followed it until she’d arrived in the corridor. Adele and Conner were miles away by now, and there was nobody else around.
“Is there somebody here?” she asked again.
In the room above Meg, a desk creaked, and slid along the floor. There was a crack, and the floor began to break apart. Meg looked up at the ceiling as dust flittered down. She screamed, and ran as a desk fell through the ceiling.
The rest of the ceiling began to collapse, and as Meg ran along the corridor, the floor began to collapse too. She screamed once more, and fell through the floor. She missed a large chunk of something heavy, before hitting a second desk and sliding off it.
“Urghhh,” she groaned, losing consciousness.
High above her, the first desk tilted, half falling through the floor. In the room above Meg, the sprinklers activated, water pounding against the floor, until, with one final crack, the desk fell through the floor and crushed Meg. Meanwhile, in the control room, the Drifter began to smile.
To be continued…
Friday, 21 May 2010
Attila the Hun
Synopsis: The Doctor, Georgia and Conner land in the year 449 BC, where a Germanic town has been attacked and conquered by the Huns. While the Doctor makes friends, ahem, Georgia and Conner find themselves in the countryside, where they come across the farmer, who has found a sword.
Spoilers (two are red herrings):
Lions aren't found in Germany... are they?
There's a spaceship underground.
Attila makes the Doctor head of the guards.
Georgia and Conner fall out... again
Georgia and Conner fall in a trap.
Zac makes a brief cameo.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Katrina Flout led her team through the wrecked ship. The floorboards and wooden panels creaked ominously in the space breeze. Katrina kicked a rotting door aside, and shined her torch into the room beyond. What she saw made her scream in terror.
“Oh God, no!”
She turned around, in an attempt to run, but the door sealed itself, trapping her crew and herself in the room. There was a snapping noise, and something in the shadows activated. Within a few seconds, the entire crew was dead.
Captain Adele MacDonald saluted to her crew, and stepped onto the ship. The scientists working all around her waved and nodded. Her crew followed her onto the ship – Freddie Burke, Robyn James, Leon Strong, Russell Walker, Megan Kel and Lucia Garcia – also waving at the scientists. For several of them, it was their first mission, a fairly simple operation – to salvage the Drifter.
“Buckle up,” she ordered. “We leave in five.”
“Do as she says,” Freddie added.
Freddie headed over to the nearest computer, and accessed the files on the Drifter. His position of vice-captain meant that Adele was especially strict with him, and he didn’t want to be caught out not knowing anything on the mission.
“The Drifter crashed in the late 46th Century…” Freddie read. “But no team has been able to salvage it since. The SS Groundbreaker and its crew, captained by Katrina Flout, all disappeared, never to be seen again. The Earth hopes and prays that the SS Recovery will manage to remove the ugly old ship from our owned space. Christ, it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll succeed…”
Nonetheless, he returned to his seat and prepared for the journey.
“Doctor, why do we have to watch the news?” Conner sighed. “It’s boring!”
“It’s interesting,” the Doctor corrected him. “Anyway, I want to hear this article on the Drifter…”
“The what?” Georgia asked.
She walked into the console room and sat on the chair between the Doctor and Conner.
“The Drifter crashed in the 46th Century,” the Doctor explained. “It’s a spaceship, but it looks like a pirate ship, with sails and everything, but obviously Airlocks and the like. Anyway, it crashed, and salvage teams were sent to take anything of value and destroy the ship – it was taking up valuable space in areas owned by the Earth – but every time a team tried to salvage the ship, they disappeared, as did their ships. The Drifter’s been in space ever since. Now they’re sending a new team out to salvage it – members of the SS Recovery, apparently.”
“Do you think they’ll manage to salvage it?” Conner asked.
“No,” the Doctor replied. “Nobody’s ever managed it. I just feel sorry for them – they’re doomed to vanish like the old crews.”
“Unless we help,” Georgia pointed out. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Let’s do it,” Conner grinned.
“Fine,” the Doctor sighed. “Come on!”
The Drifter silently drifted in space, and as the SS Recovery parked beside it, Freddie wondered what the problem was. It looked harmless enough, but there could be something on board, maybe creatures…
“Come on everyone!” Adele said, leading the way.
“It’s a bit cold,” Russell complained.
“Girls,” Leon sighed.
“Woah,” Lucia muttered. “It’s so dark and quiet…”
“Aren’t you gonna say mamma mia?” Leon teased.
“I’m Italian, not an Italian stereotype,” Lucia sighed.
Leon chuckled and pulled a torch from his belt. He shone the torch at the walls and floor, allowing Adele to inspect everything. Suddenly there was a crash behind them, and the group turned around in fright.
“Sorry!” Megan called, climbing out from the ship. “It’s just me – I was securing the ship in place.”
“Where’s Robyn?” Leon asked as everyone sighed.
“Here,” Robyn replied. “I’m just checking the Airlocks are secure. Everything’s fine.”
“Good,” Adele said. “Now, let’s get on. The sooner we salvage the ship, we can leave.”
Everyone fell silent once more, and continued through the ship. A few corridors from the Airlock where they had parked their ship, they heard a rasping noise. Adele, at the front, held up a hand and stopped the group.
“Keep quiet,” she ordered. “Freddie, Robyn, with me. The rest of you, stay here, and if there are any problems I want you to get back to the ship. Russell, you’re in charge.”
“Yes Captain,” Russell said. “Good luck.”
Adele nodded and led the way to the source of the noise. As she reached another corridor, she swung her torch around, and the Doctor’s face was lit up.
“Hello!” he beamed. “I’m the Doctor.”
“Captain Adele MacDonald,” Adele replied. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m Georgia,” Georgia added. “And this is Conner. We’re exploring. What’re you doing here?”
“My name’s Robyn, and this is Freddie,” Robyn smiled. “We’re salvaging the Drifter.”
The Doctor leaned forwards and shook theirs hands. Adele looked confused for a while, but eventually warmed to his smile.
“We’ll be glad to have your help,” she said. “If you’d like to meet the rest of the crew?”
“Sure,” Georgia smiled. “Lead the way!”
Adele turned and took them back to the Airlock. She introduced the Doctor, Georgia and Conner to Russell, Megan, Leon and Lucia, who all smiled and shook their hands. Leon grinned at Georgia, excited to have another pretty girl working with him.
“Now you’ve all had a rest,” Adele said loudly. “I want you to get to work. Remain in pairs or threes at all times, and do not wander off. Russell, go with Megan and check out the east wing, take Conner with you. Freddie and Robyn, check out the north and west wings. Leon and Lucia take Georgia to the lower quarters and begin salvaging the cargo in the south wing. Doctor, come with me. We’re looking for the control room.”
“Yes ma’am,” the Doctor saluted, following her.
Conner grinned happily and followed Russell and Megan, who tripped over her feet as they walked. Georgia sighed and followed Leon, ignoring him to talk to Lucia.
“What’s it like, being a salvager?” she asked.
“The pay could be better,” Lucia smiled. “But the work’s fairly exciting – you never know what you might find.”
“I just realised,” Georgia said excitedly. “You’re Italian!”
Conner pulled open a rotting door, and allowed Russell and Megan to step through it before following them.
“It’s mouldy in here,” Russell complained.
“You didn’t join the job for the glamour, did you?” Conner asked.
Before Russell could shoot a reply, Megan screamed and pointed a few metres ahead. Conner gasped and looked at where she was pointing.
“Bodies…” he muttered. “Let’s see if they’ve got identification.”
He crouched beside one of the bodies, and read the tag attached to the jacket. Katrina Flout. Conner remembered the Doctor mentioning her as they left the TARDIS.
“It’s the previous salvage team,” he said. “Katrina Flout and her crew.”
“The SS Groundbreaker,” Megan whispered.
“I’ll contact the others,” Russell said. “Conner, you should take a communicator – you might need to talk to the others at some point.”
Conner nodded and took the small black object from her. She lifted her own communicator, and spoke into it.
“Umm, hey everyone,” she said. “Could someone give the Doctor and Georgia a communicator each? I just wanted to say, we’ve found something…”
“What?” Lucia asked, from somewhere else on the ship.
“Bodies,” Conner replied, speaking into his own communicator. “The crew of the SS Groundbreaker – Katrina Flout and her team.”
“Oh God…” Lucia gasped. “They were never found…”
“Until now,” the Doctor said helpfully. “Ow! Don’t hit me!”
“Don’t be so insensitive then,” Adele scowled. “Keep the communications to necessary ones only. Thanks Russell.”
Russell placed her communicator into her pocket and led the way out of the room, still in shock.
“You’re not the only Italian person I’ve met in space, you know,” Georgia said. “You aren’t related to Ysabelle Quadrelli are you?”
“Who?” Lucia asked.
“She worked on the SS Hurricane,” Georgia replied. “She was killed by a Rawrx.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Lucia said. “Leon, I’m just gonna… Do a scan of the area, okay? Check for more bodies.”
Leon nodded, and Lucia walked away.
“Was it something I said?” Georgia asked.
Robyn placed her communicator back into her pocket, and bit her lip. Freddie attempted a smile and led the way to the north and west wings.
“Adele had to give us the furthest away places, didn’t she?” Robyn sighed.
The Doctor and Adele found the control room, and accessed the main computer.
“It’s still working,” the Doctor noticed. “The main computer is working full pelt.”
“But the Drifter crashed centuries ago,” Adele said. “There’s nobody on board except us. Why would it still be working?”
“Maybe the Drifter isn’t as silent as we first thought,” the Doctor shrugged. “There could be anything on board…”
“You said that with a smile on your face,” Adele observed. “Who are you?”
“Just the Doctor,” the Doctor replied. “Nobody special.”
“It doesn’t seem like it to me,” Adele said. “That form of computer hasn’t been used since the 46th Century, and you used it like you do it all the time.”
“Well, maybe I’m a little bit special,” the Doctor grinned. “Ask Georgia. Though I don’t suppose she’ll use the word special…”
“Hang on, what’s that?” Adele asked.
She pointed to a series of coding in the right hand corner of the screen. The Doctor slipped his brainy specs on and read the code.
“It’s the ship,” he said. “It’s sending out some form of communication.”
“To who? A distress signal, maybe?”
“No,” the Doctor frowned. “The communication is being sent within the ship. Someone, in this ship right now, is communicating with the main computer. I’m really not convinced that we’re alone…”
Lucia stepped into a quiet room, hoping that Georgia and Leon would stop pestering her with questions. She looked around the room, and saw a computer. With a frown, she headed over to it. This was the first sign of technology she had encountered on the Drifter.
“The wiring, it looks like spaghetti,” she laughed. “This computer must be really old to still use wiring.”
A message appeared on the computer screen, so Lucia read it, and, after deciphering the keyboard, replied:
Computer: The 46th Century, to be precise.
Lucia: Who is this? Adele?
Computer: I am the Computer.
Lucia: Who’s typing this?
Computer: You’re Italian, right?
Lucia: Maybe. Who wants to know?
Computer: I like the sound of Italy. You’re nice.
Lucia: Thanks. Err, you’re nice too…
Computer: Thank you very much. I’d like to give you a gift.
Lucia: Maybe you could tell me who you are? That would be a nice gift.
Computer: I’ve got a better gift – let me show you.
There was a clanging behind Lucia, and she turned around in time to see the door seal itself. Running over to it, she attempted to open it, but it was too strong. She returned to the computer and began to type.
Lucia: What have you done? Please, open the door!
Computer: I can’t – you won’t see your gift. Let me show you.
Lucia: Let me out!
Computer: Here comes your gift! Let me show you.
There was a swishing sound, and water erupted from the ceiling. Lucia moved out of the way and looked up. A small metal cube was the culprit. It was an old fashioned sprinkler system.
Lucia: But the computer will get wet! I won’t be able to talk to you anymore. Please let me out!
Computer: Oh, hang on. Your gift isn’t complete. Let me show you.
Suddenly the small metal cube exploded, and water gushed into the room at an alarming rate. Lucia screamed and ran for the door. It was still locked tight, and none of the water seemed to be getting through it. Lucia began to cry, and her tears mixed with the increasing volume of water, that, in a few seconds, would have drowned her completely. She looked at the computer once more, and read its final message.
Computer: This is your gift. Let me show you. Let me show you. I hope you like it. Let me show you.
To be continued…
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Catherine Ford happily walked along the street, looking around at the weaving trees and clouds. She headed up the path to Beth Grant’s house, and knocked on the door. A few seconds later it opened, and Mr Grant appeared.
“Oh, hello Catherine,” he smiled. “Is the doorbell not working?”
“I forgot you had one,” Catherine replied. “Is Beth there?”
“Just a second,” Mr Grant said. “Beth!! Catherine’s here! Come on in, do you want a cup of tea? I’ve got to dash off; you know where the kitchen is? Actually, perhaps I’d better show you, it’s been a few days since you were here last.”
He showed her to the kitchen, before heading out of the house. Beth grinned and thumped down the stairs, entering the kitchen.
“Catherine!” she beamed. “What are you doing?”
“Making Ribena,” Catherine smiled.
“You make it with water, not milk,” Beth said helpfully.
“What do you want to do today?” Beth asked. “I figured we could go shopping with Kaylie and Hayley Smit, the Dutch girl.”
“I don’t remember a Hayley,” Catherine frowned.
“She’s your partner in Biology,” Beth said, rolling her eyes. “You tried to speak Dutch to her once and ended up insulting her in Welsh.”
“Oh Hayley!” Catherine realised. “I thought she was from Swindon.”
Beth poured Catherine’s Ribena down the sink, and pulled out her phone. She dialled Kaylie’s number and began to talk to her.
“Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Really? Have fun! Kaylie can’t come,” she said sadly. “Zac decided to take her to that new romantic comedy at the cinema.”
“I thought that was supposed to be rubbish?” Catherine asked.
“Yeah,” Beth agreed. “They want to sit at the back and make out.”
Catherine thought this through as Beth led her out of the house and into the sunlight. Fifteen minutes later they met Hayley at the park.
“I don’t want to go shopping,” she said with a slight accent.
“Oh. Great.” Beth sighed.
She didn’t like Hayley, but put up with her for Catherine’s sake.
“Why don’t we stay here?” Catherine asked. “Dôs adra i farw i'r gath gael bwyd!”
“I don’t know what that means,” Hayley said. “But I imagine it’s Welsh. I’ll have to ask Mrs Davies – the Welsh teacher.”
“Actually, I’ll ask Conner next time I see him,” Beth smiled. “He took Welsh for his GCSE. Got an A* too…”
She mostly mentioned this to annoy Hayley. Everyone in the school knew that if Conner belonged to anyone, it was Beth, and Hayley couldn’t stand it. She had an obsession with Conner that appeared healthy on the surface, but was slightly strange if you looked deeper. Most of her books had C.B. or Conner written over them, and she screamed at anyone who spelt his name as Connor.
“It’s C-O-N-N-E-R!” she would yell. “It means wolf-lover in Celtic, you stupid English fool!”
Catherine glanced sideways at Beth, who had just snorted.
“It means wolf-lover you stupid English fools!” she whispered.
Catherine laughed, not fully understanding what was going on.
“Anyway,” Hayley continued. “I think we should stay at the park and meet with Gareth Daniels and Hattie Simpson. I am going to show them proper Dutch cigars – you stupid English don’t make proper cigars.”
“You can,” Beth snapped. “Me and Catherine are going back to my house.”
She grabbed Catherine by the hand, and pulled her away. As they were walking back, Beth received another phone call. It was Bradley Taylor.
“Hey Bradders,” she smiled. “Did you want to speak to Catherine?”
“Hiiii Bradley,” Catherine shouted, leaning over to the phone.
“He says hi,” Beth grinned. “He’s too embarrassed to talk to you. What was that? Shut up Bradley. Really? I was gonna come, but I was too hung over.”
“What’s that?” Catherine asked.
“Hattie Simpson’s party,” Beth explained. “He put mirrors on his shoes? To look up Hattie’s skirt? I suppose Eric Newton is a bit weird. Who invited him anyway? Oh. Yeah well we all know Liam Fairway secretly loves chess. So what did Hattie say when she caught him?”
Beth suddenly burst out laughing. Catherine looked at her strangely.
“What did Hattie say when he tried to look at her knickers?” she asked.
“Well joke’s on you cos I’m not wearing any!” Beth laughed. “Trust Hattie. I can actually believe that. I heard… After the turkey baster thing… Bye Bradders.”
“So who was that?” Catherine wondered.
When they reached the house, Beth made Catherine a new Ribena and they sat in front of the sofa.
“So I asked Miss Grimes to let me try out for the Hockey team,” Catherine was saying. “But she said she didn’t think anymore hits to the head would do me any good.”
“Bradley’s joined the football team,” Beth said. “Mr Sims says he wants some pretty girls to stand at the side and pretend to be interested. He says it helps them score goals or something. I think it might be like cheerleading, and Miss Grimes could teach us.”
“Is cheerleading the thing with the rackets?” Catherine asked.
Beth shook her head, and stood up to go to the bathroom. Catherine sat whistling happily to herself, when Beth returned. Instead of sitting down, however, she remained stood in the doorway.
“Aren’t you coming to sit down?” Catherine called. “We should watch The Little Mermaid! I never understood that film…”
Beth gurgled, swaying slightly. Catherine walked up to her, and prodded her nose.
“What’s happening?” she frowned. “Beth, you’re scaring me… I don’t understand, what’s going on?”
Beth collapsed to the floor, and Catherine screamed, running out of the house. Suddenly everything seemed darker, more confusing. She looked around, and saw that everyone had collapsed. There was an old lady twitching and gargling on the floor, and her pet cat next to her did the same.
“Mrs Crawford, are you okay?” Catherine called. “I’m so confused… More than usual… And I thought dog sign language was the most confusing thing ever…”
There was a splintering crash, and thousands of flying saucers began to descend from the sky. Catherine fell to the floor, gazing at the saucers, which hovered in mid air, opening up at the hatches. She screamed when the tip of a large brain appeared from the nearest one, and one by one, large brains emerged from the saucers.
“Oh my God!” Catherine cried. “It’s the invasion of the brain… The… Brainandions!”
She screwed her eyes shut as one of the brains floated down towards her. It hovered for a moment, before floating off. Sighing with relief, Catherine dashed back inside the house, almost running slap bang into someone.
“Watch it!” Petr Costravalos complained.
“Who are you?” Catherine asked. “Everyone’s gone funny.”
“I know,” Petr said. “But that’s not my problem. I’m making sure Pippa correctly erased Beth’s memories of her stay with us.”
“Are you a Travelodge?” Catherine frowned.
“Yeah, that’s it,” Petr sighed. “And we took Beth in, towards the end of February. But now I need to make sure she can’t remember what happened.”
“What did you do?” Catherine asked.
“Just asked her some questions,” Petr shrugged. “Do I have to erase your memory too? Actually, I don’t think you’ll remember, you’re too… smart, that’s it, you’re too smart.”
“But what’s happening here?” Catherine cried. “I don’t know what to do. Why didn’t I collapse too?”
“Your brain is special,” Petr announced. “Well, special’s one word for it. Slightly empty are two other words for it. What you need to do is find the main brain and somehow confuse it, or stab it. You can cope with that, right?”
Catherine shook her head. Petr sighed, and wondered how the human race had ever survived with people like her.
“I’ll give you a hint – the main brain is at the Library. You know; the one by the Church?” Petr asked.
“I don’t know where the Library is,” Catherine said sadly. “I don’t know where the Church is either.”
Petr sighed, and took a teleport from his pocket. He slipped it around Catherine’s neck, and she disappeared. A few seconds later, she appeared once more. Petr sighed again.
“Don’t press the button,” he said.
“Sorry,” Catherine replied, vanishing once more.
She reappeared at the Library, behind a bookcase. The main brain glowed blue across the room, emitting a pulse that made everyone stupid. She dropped to the floor, and began to crawl towards the brain. When she was nearing the brain, it shot a ray of blue light out from its side, which lifted Catherine off her feet.
“Let me go!” she screamed, hovering in mid air. “I need to think of a plan to stop you!”
Suddenly, the brain shivered, and dropped Catherine. She screamed and hit the floor, before wondering what had happened. As she thought, the brain creature continued to shiver.
“Me thinking hurts the brain!” she laughed. “Woah!”
It aimed another blue bolt at her, so she dived to the side, landing on a pile of books. Picking one of the books from the pile, she examined it, before throwing it back and replacing it with another book.
“Biff and Chip’s too hard,” she frowned. “Ahh, the Very Hungry Caterpillar!”
She began to read aloud, struggling with some of the words, and the screeching and shivering of the brain increased.
“And the Very Hungry Caterpillar turned into a beautiful Butterfly!” she read.
With one final shudder, the brain exploded. All across the world, millions of brains vanished into thin air. Catherine laughed, and looked around at all the books, and the mess she’d caused.
“So…” she said to herself. “This is what a Library looks like…”
“Why isn’t my wig attacking?” Sefarina asked, as the people around her writhed and shook.
“I don’t know, just make your way over here,” Mina replied.
“Be careful,” Milford muttered, as Sefarina began to make her way through the people on the floor. A group of hairs from Acacia’s wig grabbed her foot and Sefarina fell to the floor. Georgia jumped into the room through the window, and fell on her face after tripping on her dress. Milford ran over to her and helped her out as Mina attempted to help Sefarina.
“Thanks,” Georgia told Milford, as she ripped the bottom of her dress off, which made it look like a skirt and made it look even tattier. Milford looked at Georgia in a surprised way, before they both helped Sefarina away from the wigs.
“Can’t we just take their wigs off?” Milford asked.
“No, I think that would kill them,” Georgia commented seriously, as the a hair-tentacle from a wig made snatches at her feet.
“Let’s get out of this room,” Sefarina said.
“But we have to help them,” Milford said.
“I don’t know how we can...” Georgia muttered.
“Well let’s get out of here,” Mina said, slapping a hair-tentacle as it tried to grab her arm. Georgia nodded, and she, Mina, Milford and Sefarina ran from the room into the hallway, where they found Travis and two other footmen writhing on the floor.
“Next room!” Georgia called, and they ran from the hallway.
When the Doctor and Conner’s coach had finally reached the Cooper’s wig store, the Doctor tipped the coach driver, and then found that the store was closed.
“There are no lights on,” Conner said looking at the windows in the shop and above it.
“They didn’t have electricity, they had candles and...” the Doctor began to explain.
“All right they haven’t lit any candles or you’d see the glow through the windows,” Conner interrupted, “But I bet they’re in a top secret villain alien base thing.”
“These aren’t villains from batman films,” the Doctor commented.
“I bet it’s in the cellar,” Conner said, ignoring the Doctor’s comments and marching forward. He reached the door and tried it.
“It’s locked,” Conner said.
“Did you expect them to leave it open?” the Doctor asked exasperated, pulling out the sonic screwdriver, “I’ll open it.” The Doctor unlocked the door to the shop with his screwdriver and they walked inside. It had wigs lining the walls. The wigs were different sizes and shapes and colours.
“Hello?” the Doctor called, but there was no answer. Instead, every single wig in the store burst into life and jumped down from their shelves.
“Run!” the Doctor told Conner, as clumps of hair from the wigs formed tentacles and the wigs started to growl menacingly. The Doctor pulled Conner towards the back of the store, as a particularly large wig made a snatch for Conner’s head from a shelf.
“This way,” Conner said, pointing towards a door, and they both ran for it, as the wigs began to move surprisingly quickly across the floor towards them. The door led into a hallway; once inside the Doctor locked the door with his sonic screwdriver.
“Look in here,” the Doctor said, pointing into the next room, which had some sort of alien computer on a desk.
“Yeah, these people are alien,” Conner commented.
“Oooh, look a family tree,” the Doctor said excitedly, as he rummaged through papers on top of the desk, “That’s interesting.”
“What is?” Conner asked.
“Hands in the air or I shoot,” Eirlys Cooper said, pointing her gun at Conner’s head. The Doctor placed the papers back on the desk and put his hands in the air
“You stole the wig, I’m guessing?” the Doctor asked.
“It’s impossible to steal off humans, since we deserve whatever they have,” Eirlys snapped, “Now let’s move, the one with the weird hair can go at the front I think.”
“I don’t have weird hair,” the Doctor replied, before quickly adding, “Do I?”
“Yes, strange, odd hair, it looks like you’ve been dragged through a hedge, or maybe several hedges,” Eirlys said smiling nastily, “Now, come on, and don’t touch anything.” The Doctor walked in front, followed by Conner with Eirlys holding the gun behind them. She ordered them down a flight of stairs and into the basement, which the Doctor gaped at.
“It’s bigger on the inside!” the Doctor gasped, as he and Conner stared around at the basement that had to be much wider and longer than the house above them. There were wires on the floor and some pipes on the wall, and in the centre of the room was a huge wig with wires attached to it.
“No, its not, you weird man,” Eirlys snapped, “We extended our basement a bit, although in the laws of England we aren’t technically allowed to do that without permission, but we aren’t humans so we can’t count.”
“How can you not be human?” the Doctor asked.
“Don’t play silly games with us, I know you’re an alien too, you own the superior technology that woke up the Wheltrch, I’m also pretty sure it’s Time Lord technology, that’s right I know what you are,” Eirlys said quickly.
“You killed the Wheltrch, why?” the Doctor questioned.
“Because it was a nuisance ‘tis all, and also my idiot husband was angry at it,” Eirlys explained, “Anyway, I’m guessing you worked out we were controlling the wigs who are not extracting the thoughts and memories of most people in Buckinghamshire and several people elsewhere too, we couldn’t get the King.”
“Who’s the King now?’ Conner asked the Doctor quietly, “Is it William?”
“Conner, why do you think it’s called the Georgian age?” the Doctor whispered back.
“Because they’re Georgians,” Conner shrugged.
“All the Kings were George,” the Doctor replied.
“So when William was King, was it called the Williamian age?” Conner questioned.
“Emmett, is it nearly ready?” Eirlys called, as a man, who had been fixing a pipe in the shadows stepped out into the light.
“Lift off in approximately 10 minutes,” Emmett muttered, not looking at the Doctor and Conner.
“That’s my idiot husband, if you hadn’t realised,” Eirlys said smiling.
“What species are you?” the Doctor asked, “Actually let me guess, the wigs are tearwiguns, and they are the pets of Tousekaniums, so that’s what you are.”
“He’s knowledgeable, as I expected,” Eirlys told Emmett, still staring at the Doctor with a smirk on his face, “Unfortunately if I shoot him, he may regenerate, the other will die though. But should I kill them, or not.”
“We don’t need to kill anyone innocent,” Emmett muttered.
“They broke into our house, they brought the Wheltrch back to life, that’s not that innocent” Eirlys replied, still looking at the Doctor and holding her gun up, “And I don’t see you complaining about me killing all the innocent humans just to get our spaceship away from Earth.”
“That’s because if I do say something you’ll just bring it up again,” Emmett snapped.
“Bring what up exactly?” the Doctor asked, still holding his hands in the air.
“He need not know,” Emmett snarled, and Eirlys smiled gloatingly back.
“He’s a right nasty piece of work him, they think I’m bad, but I ain’t been sleepin’ around,” Eirlys replied smiling, “I weren’t enough for him, so he runs off with some human he met, they go out; once she’s pregnant, he wants to support the baby, but I ain’t havin’ none of it!”
“Conner, meet Mina’s father,” the Doctor said.
“I’m not Mina’s father, I’m her... ex... now she’s dead, I... well, I don’t know...” Emmett muttered.
“Oh shut it you,” Eirlys hissed at Emmett, “That blithering idiot don’t even know what ‘is daughter’s called, tells you what kind of freak he is. I suppose I did chain him to the fridge when I found out what he’d done; she was dead by then though, as was the Wheltrch. I didn’t realise at the time why he was so intent on killing it.”
“You didn’t own the Wheltrch, did you?” the Doctor asked.
“No, ‘course I didn’t, dunno who did, Emmett probably does, don’t like to talk ‘bout it though,” Eirlys said, turning to Emmett for the first time, as she did the Doctor walked forward and out on his brainy specs. He began examining the wig intently.
“Oh no you don’t Doctor,” Eirlys snapped, spinning round to point her gun at the Doctor again.
Georgia, Mina, Milford and Sefarina found their way up to a sitting room on the first floor, where Georgia guessed Lady Adlington had her posh food on posh platters when she didn’t have any guests. They passed several writhing footman and a couple of scared cooks, who weren’t wearing wigs, who Georgia instructed to go home.
“Well, I hope we’re safe here,” Georgia said, breathing heavily.
“I haven’t run like that since I was young,” Sefarina commented, as she fanned herself and sat herself on a large red seat.
“I run all the time, away from guests, Lady Adlington, and my friends, who are few,” Mina said sadly, and Milford patted her on the shoulder comfortingly.
“What’s that noise?” Georgia asked, “It’s coming from the cupboard.” Georgia heard a low growling noise coming from a cupboard on a side of the room, and she walked slowly towards it.
“Wait,” Sefarina ordered.
“What is it?” Georgia asked.
“That’s the cupboard where Lady Adlington keeps her wigs,” Sefarina replied.
“Oh,” Georgia muttered, as several doors coming off the room began to shake, “And what about those other doors, do they lead into wig cupboards too?”
“I do hope not,” Sefarina commented.
“I second that,” Milford said fearfully, as the doors burst open and wigs surged into the room, hair-tentacles reaching out.
“Get in the centre of the room,” Georgia said.
“We’re in the centre of the room,” Mina replied, as the wigs grew closer and closer.
“We could run for one of the doors, and try and get past the wigs,” Milford suggested.
“We’re surrounded, so unless one of you has a medal in long jumping, then that’s a rubbish idea,” Georgia said, looking around the room for a means of escape.
“We could try and get out of the window,” Mina muttered.
“Mina!” Georgia exclaimed.
“I’m sorry,” Mina apologised.
“What for?” Georgia questioned.
“Whatever made you shout that way, Miss Georgia,” Mina replied.
“Oh, no, tell them to stop Mina,” Georgia ordered.
“What?” Mina asked.
“Before, didn’t you get angry at Sefarina and her wig attacked her, tell them to stop!” Georgia pleaded.
“That won’t work,” Mina whined.
“Why were you angry at me?” Sefarina asked interestedly.
“Tell them to stop!” Georgia begged, as a wig seized her leg and sent her falling to the floor, “Mina! Please!”
“Mina, it’s worth a try,” Milford told Mina.
“STOP!” Mina shouted, and immediately the wigs stopped, and Georgia kicked the wig wrapped around her leg away. Milford and Sefarina gave Mina looks of interest and surprise.
“That worked,” Georgia said brightly.
Eirlys’ finger poised on the trigger of her gun, and the Doctor’s hands shot straight back into the air, while Conner moved into the shadows of the room unnoticed.
“I’m sorry, I was just examining it,” the Doctor commented, “It’s an Alpha Tearwigun, right? They share psychic links with all their children, and they can also be fed by their children through telepathy, I’m guessing that’s what’s going on here?”
“Correct,” Eirlys commented.
“So everyone wearing a Cooper wig is writhing on the floor?” the Doctor questioned.
“Well done,” Eirlys snapped, “Now back off!” The Doctor began to back away from the Alpha Tearwigun, and Eirlys followed him away, still holding her gun.
“I’m guessing your names aren’t actually Cooper,” the Doctor said, hands still up.
“No, we’re Eirtrstigyrefat and Emmughaersat Vafritan,” Eirlys replied.
“I bet it was hard remembering your names for the wedding,” the Doctor said smiling.
“I am not amused,” Eirlys replied, narrowing her eyes.
“So the Alpha Tearwigun is attached to your spaceship, which is the basement!” the Doctor explained to himself more than to anyone else, “This whole basement is your spaceship, the house was built above it by you, or is the top of your ship camouflaged so when you crash, the bottom, the basement, buries itself in the soil and the top of the ship, the shop, camouflages itself in the surroundings, nice crash landing plan.”
“Thank you Doctor, but I don’t care about any compliment that comes from you,” Eirlys said, “The plan did work very well though, our ship was losing power and the gravitational pull of the Earth pulled us in. But still I don’t want no compliments off you, seeing as you are going to die.”
“The Alpha Tearwigun is wired to your ship, so if you cut the blue one then the link with the ship will be broken,” the Doctor continued, “And as the little wigs feed, big momma wig gets very full, and you use its new brain power to power you into space.”
“Well done, since you know everything, we might as well kill you,” Eirlys said smiling, as she raised her gun.
“And the blue wire is cut,” Conner said smiling, holding up the sonic screwdriver that the Doctor had given him. Eirlys spun round to see that the Tearwigun was shrinking and Emmett was holding his head in his hands.
“Emmett, you idiot!” Eirlys roared.
“I’ll take that thanks,” the Doctor said, snatching Eirlys’ gun off her as she wasn’t looking.
“Give that back!” Eirlys snarled, “Emmett, fix the wire! We can still take off!”
“Actually you can’t, sorry,” the Doctor said shrugging, “You see the Alpha Tearwigun’s shrinking, because you disconnected it with the ship, so it can’t power the ship, but it’s still being fed, and what happens when you eat too much?”
“You explode?” Conner asked grinning.
“No, not when you eat that much, basically you vomit,” the Doctor explained, “But the Alpha Tearwigun doesn’t have a mouth, so where does the brain extracts go? Back to the other Tearwiguns, but they were only feeding momma because they were too full too, so they vomit, but where do they vomit? Back into the heads of the people wearing them. The power of all these thoughts passing through them so quickly knocks them out, so there’ll be taking their wigs off any minute now..."
“Nooo!” Eirlys roared, launching herself at the Doctor, as she opened her mouth to reveal purple, glowing fangs. In a flash, Emmett had pulled out his own gun, and a second later Eirlys was lying on the floor dead.
“I’m sorry Doctor, but I promised to do... and for what I have done, goodbye,” Emmett muttered.
“NO!” the Doctor shouted, starting forwards, but Emmett had already pressed the gun to his head, and then there was a gunshot.
“I don’t understand,” Conner muttered, staring down at Emmett’s body.
Lady Adlington brushed herself down and straightened her wig, as the other room’s occupants rubbed their heads and saw that they were bleeding, as Sefarina had before.
“Dear me, I must fetch my private doctor,” Lady Adlington decided.
“Mother, don’t you think you should take your wig off?” Paul asked.
“Where’s Mina?” Acacia asked, “And Milford!”
“And where’s my mother?” Marie questioned. Suddenly, Georgia, Travis, Milford, Mina and Sefarina burst into the room smiling. Mina hugged Paul and Velda, and Milford hugged Acacia, while Georgia and Lady Adlington swapped looks of hatred.
“We hoped you were all fine, we found Travis, rubbing his head,” Milford told Acacia.
“Mina saved us all from a swarm of wigs,” Georgia explained.
“Ridiculous,” Lady Adlington snapped under her breath.
Around half an hour later the Doctor and Conner had returned to Adlington hall, and everyone had sat themselves down in the drawing room, wigs thrown into cupboards.
“I don’t know why you ever wore a wig Acacia, your hairs a lovely colour,” Georgia told Acacia.
“But it isn’t the fashion, you seem like a fashionable person,” Acacia replied.
“That girl has no idea of fashion,” Lady Adlington snapped, “She is a fraud, as is the Doctor and the so-called Lord Conner.”
“Is that true, Doctor?” Milford asked.
“But Georgia seemed too nice to be a fraud,” Marie commented.
“None of us are from around here, they’re from London, but for those of you with open minds consider this,” the Doctor said, “We come from the future, and I’m not even human.”
“What rubbish,” Lady Adlington snapped, “Do not listen to anything he says.”
“There are alot of liars in this room, or alot of people with secrets,” the Doctor continued, “Secrets concerning many of us, a secret story, which I think I’ve worked out. It starts with two people, who are in love; Mina Adlington and another.”
“My daughter never was in love,” Lady Adlington said through gritted teeth.
“Actually she was, right Paul?” the Doctor said.
“That wouldn’t be right, that’s just disgusting!” Paul exclaimed.
“No not you, but you know who Mina loved,” the Doctor replied.
“Well... yes, but I promised not to tell,” Paul muttered.
“The person who Mina loved also loved her, but they never could tell each other, even though it was Mina’s mother’s wish for them to marry,” the Doctor continued.
“N-no, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Lady Adlington stuttered.
“The thing is this person was already married, he’d fallen in love when he was much younger, with a woman called Nymph,” the Doctor explained, “He never told anyone, because soon after they met she revealed that she wasn’t a human. They lived secretly together for a while, until one day when Nymph was called home, but she never returned, ever. She left her husband a present, a brown, hairy monster, called a Wheltrch. He couldn’t control the monster and it escaped. That’s right, isn’t it Wilbur?”
“What?” Velda and Lady Adlington exclaimed and everyone turned to stare at Wilbur, who stood frozen in his seat.
“All right, it’s all true, I married a woman not of this Earth, and when she had gone I fell in love with Mina,” Wilbur muttered.
“Isn’t that like inbreeding?” Georgia asked.
“Not that much, he was her second cousin,” the Doctor replied.
“Still...” Georgia muttered, “So does that mean living Mina is Wilbur and Nymph’s daughter?”
“No, she isn’t she’s Mina and...” Wilbur began but stopped.
“The thing is, Mina Adlington was tired of waiting for Wilbur to confess his love, and she met a much more forward man, who she liked alot,” the Doctor continued, “Whether she preferred him to Wilbur I don’t know, but out of mere coincidence, Mina fell in love with an alien too, Emmett Cooper.”
“That must be how the alien wigs got around,” Milford exclaimed.
“Yes, that is, me and Conner managed to stop them,” the Doctor explained, “They’d crash-landed and their ship disguised itself as their shop. They had some pets on board, which looked just like wigs. Basically, they sold their pets and waited until they’d sold enough that the pets would have enough thoughts and memories to power their ship. They’d send their thoughts to the ship using their link with the Alpha wig pet thing.”
“I didn’t get a word of that,” Acacia muttered to Milford, who shrugged.
“Anyway, Mina fell in love with an alien and she got pregnant,” the Doctor continued.
“What?” Velda exclaimed, “But... but...”
“Where’s the baby?” Marie asked, and then everyone in the room turned their heads to stare at Mina.
“I’m half-alien?” Mina asked surprised.
“That’s why the wigs obeyed you, they could tell you were related to Emmett Cooper, their master,” Georgia told Mina.
“But how does Sefarina fit into this, she knew something, you thought she was Mina’s mother,” Conner told the Doctor.
“Well, basically, Mina Adlington was scared about her pregnancy so she told Wilbur, who agreed to let her stay with him until she had the baby,” the Doctor explained. “Seriously, you looked after her even though she’d got knocked up by someone else?” Georgia asked Wilbur.
“I loved her, this thing couldn’t stop that, obviously the father didn’t care much about her, and she was very sad,” Wilbur explained.
“You should have shunned like I did,” Lady Adlington snarled.
“How did she know?” Marie asked.
“Sefarina told her, you see Wilbur already had a house guest when Mina turned up,” the Doctor continued.
“Well, it was Sefarina and Dolph’s wedding in a couple of weeks and she needed somewhere to stay,” Wilbur replied, “I had no idea she saw Mina come in, she must have heard us arguing. It was a short argument though.”
“It was very loud,” Sefarina muttered, “I couldn’t help overhearing, and as a near-Adlington I felt like I had to tell the head of the family, Lady Adlington.”
“You did well there,” Lady Adlington told her kindly.
“No I did not,” Sefarina replied angrily, “That was wrong, it was because of that Mina was treated so badly for all these years, it was because of that that Mina left...”
“Mina, had the baby,” the Doctor said, after a slight pause, “And she knew Lady Adlington had decided to cut her from the family, as she wouldn’t even let her see her. The rest of the family had no idea, except for someone we’ve forgotten to mention.”
“Someone else is involved,” Marie said exasperated, “Was it Grandfather Adlington?”
“No, it wasn’t, it was Mina’s best friend, and brother, Paul,” the Doctor replied, causing everyone to look at him with shocked faces, “She was worried about everything and she asked to see Paul, he saw that she was pregnant and she told him everything. He agreed to take care of the baby, and together with Wilbur they arranged to drop it off.”
“Wilbur and Mina decided to drop the baby off on my doorstep,” Paul explained.
“They found Wilbur’s Wheltrch in the woods, and it followed them to the house,” the Doctor continued, “They left the baby, and then Mina decided to die, she wanted the Wheltrch to do it. Wilbur knew that it could not disobey a direct order from him, since it was within earshot. He let it do the dirty work.”
“It wasn’t like that, that was the saddest moment of my life,” Wilbur said tearfully.
“Paul, all these years and you didn’t tell me anything!” Velda moaned.
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell you the darkest secrets of my family,” Paul said, bowing his head. Acacia and Marie were gazing around the room at all the people who had been involved in the story with surprised looks on their faces.
“Wilbur told Emmett what he had done, and Emmett was very angry,” the Doctor explained, “So Emmett found the Wheltrch and injected it with an alien disease, by then Eirlys had found out and then she locked him up.”
“Tied him to the fridge,” Conner added.
“But how did it come back to life?” Georgia asked.
“We landed on its grave, the TARDIS resurrected it; the Wheltrch broke out of the ground and found Milford walking by,” the Doctor explained.
“Of course, I forgot, I saw a hole in the ground, where it may have come from,” Milford interjected.
“But what happened to Mina’s body?” Sefarina asked.
“Who chose the place of Mina’s memorial tree?” the Doctor questioned.
“Wilbur...” Paul muttered.
“That’s her final resting place,” Wilbur muttered.
“So is my father still alive?” Mina asked.
“No, I’m sorry, he’s killed himself, I guess because he couldn’t face up to everything that’s happened,” the Doctor said, “I’m very sorry.”
“How could nobody have told me any of this?” Mina asked the room.
“Nobody knew except Paul, and Wilbur,” Marie told Mina.
“Actually, I’m pretty sure that Sefarina and Lady Adlington had worked it out too,” the Doctor replied, “Which is why Lady Adlington treated her so badly, and when Sefarina grew close to you when you were young, Lady Adlington warned her against it, so Sefarina treated you badly too.”
“Do you remember everything now?” Marie asked Sefarina.
“Yes, I do, but... how?” Sefarina said aloud.
The next day all the Adlingtons, Milford and Wilbur stood around Mina’s memorial tree and together they placed flowers beside the tree.
“We must also remember Dolph,” Sefarina said, placing flowers down.
“And Tyrone,” Acacia added.
“And Emmett,” Mina finished, placing the final flowers down.
“None of this is ever going to get out,” Lady Adlington was telling everyone.
“Unless you treat me nicely, it will,” Mina replied triumphantly, “Blood-related Grandma.” Mina walked off with a smile on her face, but Velda and Paul caught up with her.
“Mina, we understand that as I lied to you, then you might want to leave us,” Paul told Mina.
“And that now you know who your real parents were you might want to just call us Velda and Paul,” Velda added.
“I grew up thinking you were my parents, and I love you, and to me you are my parents, I will never leave you,” Mina replied, and they hugged.
“Hey, wait for me!” Acacia called, and she joined in the hug, dragging Marie and Milford with her.
“Mina will always be in my heart,” Wilbur told Sefarina.
“And mine too,” Sefarina replied, “I’m sorry for what I did, so sorry.”
“Don’t worry, you just wanted to be accepted by the family,” Wilbur muttered. “It looks like somebody else wants to feel accepted now,” Sefarina replied, as she and Wilbur saw Lady Adlington marching away, with a sulky expression on her face.
The TARDIS soared through space as its passengers enjoyed some tea and small cakes. Georgia joked that she was feeling Georgian again, but when Conner mentioned that she was getting like her mother again, she shut up.
“Doctor, I don’t understand how you know all that about Wilbur and Nymph,” Georgia mentioned.
“Emmett had alot of documents on the Adlingtons in his study, there was a family tree, and beside Wilbur’s name was Nymph, which I though was interesting,” the Doctor explained.
“But how did you know she was an alien?” Georgia asked.
“Well, I guessed that Emmett had written the family tree himself, so he must have known who Nymph was, and he knew someone who owned the Wheltrch and since Wilbur...” the Doctor began.
“Please stop, I don’t understand any of it,” Georgia muttered.
“Thick,” Conner said, before taking a sip of tea.
“Basically, I did guess alot,” the Doctor said nothing, “But all my guesses were right.”
“Except your original guess that Sefarina was the mother of Mina,” Conner added, smiling.
“And that time when you thought Mrs White was an alien,” Georgia laughed.
“That wasn’t me,” the Doctor replied.
“Oh,” Georgia said quietly.
"Buckle up, we leave in five."
"The Drifter crashed in the 46th Century."
"Now they're sending people out to salvage it."
"Captain Adele MacDonald."
"I've just realised - you're Italian!"
"You didn't join the job for the glamour, did you?"
"This is your gift, let me show you."