“What do you want, Petr?” the Doctor asked.
“Conner Bennet,” Petr replied. “You have one hour. Give us Conner Bennet, or you will all die.”
He reached for something on his ship, and the screen vanished. Immediately, people began to scream, and everyone looked at Conner, who backed away in horror.
“Don’t even think about it,” Georgia warned the crowd. “Claire, don’t call the quarantine office – we’ll need all the protection we can get.”
“Sure,” Claire nodded.
“Everyone else, you can either fight, or hide,” Georgia told the crowd. “But we’ll need to know where everyone is. I’ll take a list – if someone can tell me the names of everyone here?”
“I’ll do it,” Angela said.
She emerged from the crowd, and headed over to Georgia.
“There are the three Hastings brothers,” she pointed. “Samuel, Robert and Edgar. And that’s Jessica Sanders, in the sunglasses, and next to her are Faser Brown, Jay Stickley, and Paolo and Carla Moretti.”
The group of people Angela had just pointed out moved to the left of the hall, and waited patiently for the others.
“And there’s Nathan Peterson, Matt Agnew, Simone Monroe, Maya Romero, Monica Ross, the three Monks and Claire Fisher,” Angela continued. “That’s everyone. Oh, and that’s the Doctor, and that’s Conner.”
“Yes. Thank you,” Georgia sighed. “Right, so I’ve got everyone on the list. Those willing to fight, form a group over to the right. The Doctor will take you through to the museum, where he will tell you of his strategy. Those who want to hide, stay there, and then go and hide.”
“Cos they couldn’t work that out for themselves,” Conner muttered. “Oh, except Claire! I need to talk to you in private.”
“I’m staying to fight,” Claire smiled, heading over to him.
“Thanks,” Conner said. “But I’ve got something I need to do first.”
He led Claire away, leaving Georgia looking suspicious. She turned back to the group, to see they were all still waiting patiently.
“Are you lot staying?” she asked.
“Of course,” Maya Romero replied. “Now, where’s this Doctor?”
“Here!” the Doctor waved. “If you’d all like to follow me to the museum…”
Before Georgia could point out that it would be easier if they stayed where they were, the group had departed. On her own, she twiddled her thumbs, and looked around. Suddenly, the screen reappeared, and Petr frowned.
“Where is everyone?” he asked Georgia.
“What do you want?” Georgia snapped.
“I was just taking a look,” Petr shrugged. “So where are they?”
“In the museum,” Georgia replied. “I don’t know if you’ve seen, but there are rather a lot of us. Do you really think you and Pippa will be able to kill us all?”
“Possibly not,” Petr smiled. “But it’s not just me and Pippa, there are three others. And I’m fairly confident that five will be enough.”
The screen disappeared, and Georgia sighed.
“Petr?” Pippa called, entering the control room. “Did you speak to the Doctor?”
“It was just Georgia,” Petr replied. “They’re thinking of fighting us.”
“Then I’d better get the other three prepared,” Pippa smiled, leaving the room.
She walked along the corridor of the ship that they’d borrowed from the boss not even an hour ago. She entered the large common room, where two males and one female were seated.
“What are your names again?” she asked.
“Isabella Rossi,” Isabella sighed. “And those two are Aleksandr Orlov and Dmitri Ivanov. You could at least be bothered to learn our names.”
“When you are appointed by boss as personal followers of the Doctor, I will,” Pippa replied.
“You English are very stupid,” Aleksandr growled.
“When do we attack people?” Dmitri asked.
“Soon,” Pippa promised. “Petr wants to give the Doctor time to hand Conner over first.”
“We don’t care about that so much,” Isabella said. “We just want to kill.”
“Well, you are Italian,” Pippa shrugged. “And for you boys, well, let’s just say the Russian reputation proceeds you.”
She threw six guns onto the table, and stalked off. Isabella, Dmitri and Aleksandr each grabbed two guns, and placed them in their belts and jackets.
“You’re crazy!” Claire frowned. “You can’t do that, not when everyone’s prepared to fight for you!”
“I’m not gonna endanger everybody’s lives!” Conner replied. “If you take me to that escape pod the Monks mentioned, I can hand myself in, and no one has to get hurt.”
“Well I’m coming with you,” Claire decided. “It’s through here.”
She entered a room, and Conner immediately saw what looked like a large glass, circular room. Claire headed towards the door, and opened it. Conner stepped inside, feeling as if he was in a gold fish bowl.
“Are you sure about this?” Claire asked, sealing the door.
“Let’s go,” Conner nodded. “As soon as we’re at the ship, you stay in the pod and fly it back to the Monastery.”
“I’m coming with you,” Claire repeated firmly.
“Start her up,” Conner said.
The Doctor had finished his strategy, and was leading Nathan Peterson, Matt Agnew, Samuel Hastings, Simone Monroe, Monica Ross and Georgia up to the Astronomy Base.
“I’m pretty sure Petr and the others will first attack from here,” he said as they walked up the stairs. “It’s the highest point of the Monastery, and the easiest to penetrate.”
“So shouldn’t we be blocking it off?” Georgia asked.
“The quarantine won’t be enough,” the Doctor replied. “So you lot are there to defend it.”
“I’ve never held a gun before,” Monica Ross said quietly. “I don’t know if I could kill someone with one.”
“You’ll be fine,” the Doctor promised.
“What about Conner?” Georgia asked. “Where is he? He was supposed to be with Claire…”
“I have seen either of them,” the Doctor frowned. “Wait, what did the Monks mention earlier…? When I was telling them about the battle plan?”
“No idea,” Georgia shrugged.
“Didn’t they mention an escape pod?” Simone Monroe asked.
“Yeah they did,” Nathan Peterson nodded.
The Doctor gasped, and began to run up the stairs. Georgia began to follow, but he held up a hand to stop her.
“You’ve got to get this lot to the Astronomy Base,” he said. “You’re in charge, from now on Bells.”
Georgia gulped, and nodded, watching the Doctor run into the darkness.
“We’re moving,” Claire announced, as the escape pod began to vibrate.
“Can you hear footsteps?” Conner frowned. “Hurry up!”
He clutched the control panel, as the Doctor burst into the room. With a quick movement of her hand, Claire sealed the escape pod.
“Sorry Doctor, but you can’t come in,” she said.
“Let me in!” the Doctor yelled. “Conner!”
Conner shook his head, and turned his eyes away. The Doctor pulled out the Sonic Screwdriver, and raised it threateningly. The control panel burst in a shower of sparks, and the escape pod door opened. The Doctor reached in and grabbed Conner by the collar, heaving him from the room.
“Doctor, please!” Claire pleaded, running after them.
Petr and Pippa walked along the corridor of their spaceship, and entered the common room.
“It’s time,” Petr announced.
“Good,” Isabella smiled. “Let’s go.”
“We aren’t coming with you,” Pippa said. “We’ll be attacking from a different angle.”
“Then we see you later,” Dmitri replied. “Go now.”
Aleksandr nodded, and led Dmitri and Isabella from the room. Petr looked at Pippa, and smiled.
“I dunno if I can do this…” Georgia muttered.
She was standing near the door, holding a shot gun, which shook under her grip. Nearby, Monica, Matt, Simone, Nathan and Samuel waited for Petr and the others to arrive. Suddenly the whole room shook, and Georgia almost fell to the floor. She clutched the door frame, and the door popped open.
“They’re here,” Simone announced.
“We’ll be fine,” Matt told everyone. “I used to be a police officer – I’ve got instinct.”
“And I’ve got two brothers,” Samuel added. “Edgar and Robert need me.”
There was an explosion, and the wall shattered into bricks and debris. Matt raised his hand, and everyone waited, as smoke filled the air.
“FIRE!” he cried.
Isabella ran into the fray, raising her gun. With a bang, Nathan collapsed to the floor, and Aleksandr dodged a bullet. Samuel also went down, and Monica screamed as a bullet hit her in the shoulder. Georgia backed away, horrified, almost stumbling as she reached the door. She raised her gun shakily, before turning and running down the stairs.
“Oh no, oh no, oh no!”
She stumbled down the steps, tears running down her face as the gunshots faded away. Very soon, she was in the Main Hall, sobbing and hugging the Doctor and Conner.
“You’re okay?” Conner asked, trying not to cry too.
“I’m fine,” Georgia cried. “But everyone else… I left them there!”
“It’s not your fault,” the Doctor sighed.
He turned to the remaining fighters – Claire Fisher, Angela Hawkins, Father Gabriel, Father Noah, Father Isaac, Edgar Hastings, Robert Hastings, Fraser Brown, Jay Stickley, Paolo Moretti, Carla Moretti, Jessica Sanders and Maya Romero.
“I’m afraid the others are dead,” he told them. “And three of Petr’s men are coming here. You still have time to leave.”
“Our brother just died,” Edgar spat. “We’re staying.”
“Actually,” Georgia said. “It was two men and a woman. The men were Russian and the woman was Italian. Petr told me… Isabella, Aleksandr and Dmitri, he told me they were called.”
The Doctor was about to continue, when the door to the museum burst open. Everyone gasped as Tracy Carter walked into the room, still in her handcuffs.
“Let me fight,” she said. “They’re destroying my Monastery – I want to help.”
“You should have stayed in your cell,” Claire spat. “Doctor, didn’t you lock it properly?”
“I’m good at locks,” Tracy shrugged. “Now release me. This place has been my home since I was eleven years old; I can’t see it be destroyed now.”
“Fine,” the Doctor nodded. “But we lock you up afterwards.”
“Okay,” Tracy said. “Now, hurry up – they’re coming.”
The Doctor raised the Sonic Screwdriver, and Tracy was released. Reluctantly, Claire handed her a shot gun, and Tracy joined the others, raising it towards the door where Isabella, Dmitri and Aleksandr would enter.
“Wait!” Conner cried. “I just want to speak to Georgia for a moment. George?”
Georgia nodded, and followed Conner down the hall. Once they were in a large office room, they began to talk.
“I don’t want you to do this,” Conner sighed. “If you can go back to the museum room, you can wait in the TARDIS.”
“No,” Georgia said firmly. “I’m not leaving you to die here.”
The pair heard footsteps nearby, and hurried into a nearby, roomy cupboard. The footsteps died down, and Conner continued.
“Please,” he begged. “Just go back to the TARDIS, and wait for us.”
“What if you don’t come back?” Georgia asked.
“Then you’ll be safe,” Conner smiled. “And Petr will look after you. I know he will.”
“He’s trying to kill you!” Georgia sighed.
“But he cares,” Conner said. “You know he does. Think back to when you were in that hospital, and the Gold was trying to kill you. He saved you, didn’t he? He didn’t have to, but he did. And when he made the Scarecrows chase us, he captured you – but he turned you into a tree, he didn’t kill you. And when we were running from the Borsht, him and Pippa helped us escape from the maze, and left when we asked them to. If that isn’t caring, then I dunno what it is.”
Georgia thought for a moment, and nodded.
“But I’m still staying,” she said firmly.
“Fine,” Conner sighed. “I can see there’s no convincing you…”
He left the cupboard, shutting the door behind him. Georgia reached for the handle, but the door wouldn’t open. There was a scraping outside, and Conner pushed a desk in front of the door, trapping Georgia in the cupboard.
“Conner!” she screamed. “Don’t do this! I can help! Please, CONNER!”
To be continued…
Friday, 1 October 2010
“What do you want, Petr?” the Doctor asked.