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___D_O_C_T_O_R___ _ _ __ / \\ ^ /|_|/ \ / \\/ \/ | |\_// \__________/ The Trial of a Time Lord by Pip and Jane Baker Part Eleven The guard moves from his position a little to allow Professor Lasky to get past him as she comes out of the isolation room wearing a surgical mask. As she removes it, the Doctor and Melanie squeeze past, with the Doctor looking back at her quizically as she walks in the opposite direction. He asks Melanie quietly what a thremmatologist has been doing in an isolation room wearing a surgical mask. Melanie tells him that as there's only one way to find out, the Doctor has two problems. "Two?" asks the Doctor. Mel tells him that apart from getting rid of the guard, he's going to need a mask, and he can hardly ask the Professor to lend him hers. The Doctor has a "huh, piece of cake" expression on his face. He goes towards the wall. A rattling sound in the wall vent catches Mel's attention, and she asks what the sound is. The Doctor doesn't seem to hear her. He almost casually reaches towards a fire fighting section of the wall and reaches for an axe. He pulls it off the wall and uses the base to break the glass on an alarm. The entire ship seems to resonate with a trill alarm sound. The guard from the isolation room rounds the corner suddenly, and the Doctor hands him the axe. "Quickly!" shouts the Doctor. "The lounge! There are passengers trapped!" The guard turns and runs down the corridor, as the Doctor shouts for him to hurry as there are lives at stake. The Doctor turns back to Mel and next pulls two gas masks off the fire fighting section. He hands one to Mel, and they both head for the isolation room. With both wearing the black gas masks, the Doctor and Mel cautiously enter the cramped isolation room. The room appears to be like any other cabin except that the furniture and fittings have been removed to accomodate a large tent on the side of the wall. Amidst sounds of life support equipment, the Doctor and Mel bend over to examine the black, opaque tent cover. The Doctor and Mel exchange looks, and the Doctor leans over to pull the cover away. Inside is a bed, and someone is lying on it. . . . The person appears to have once been a healthy young woman. The right side of her face appears mostly normal, but the left is horribly overgrown with green and orange plant material, including a giant insect-like eye. Green veins pulse across her face, and her single human eye opens suddenly and looks straight at Mel and the Doctor. . . Melanie screams and the Doctor stares in shock. . . The woman mutant leans forward and speaks with a voice that sounds like its speaking through the blades of a whirring fan. "No!" she shouts desperately. "Stop her! Stop Lasky! Stop her!" The Doctor leans forward, looking at her in confusion. Mel turns suddenly as the entire scientific team of Lasky, Doland, and Bruchner enter wearing masks. Bruchner is the principal person who removes them physically from the room, but the other two give helpful shoves. Doland follows them out of the door. Lasky takes a mask that has a gas cylinder attached to it and forces it over the mutant's nose and mouth. She presses a button on the mask and gas hisses into the woman's face. She struggles for a moment, and then collapses into the bed. The Doctor and Melanie walk away from the isolation room, furiously demanding from the following Doland to know what they are trying to hide. Doland shoves the Doctor a little more, and the Doctor rounds on him. He whips off his smoke mask and demands that the man stop mauling him. Doland advises the Doctor to drop the innocent party act as any minute from then, the guard will return, and he will be even less enchanted by the Doctor's actions than he is. The now silent fire alarm seems to confirm this prediction. Melanie is distraught, and she demands to know what the monstrosity in the isolation room is. The Doctor angrily asks if the Commodore knows what's being isolated in that room. Doland looks at the Doctor with equal anger, and says he'll tell him what to stop his meddling, even though he has no authority to ask. He explains that that "monstrosity," as Mel put it, is his lab assistant, Ruth Baxter, and that they are taking her back to Earth in the hope that they can reverse her condition. Their facilities on Mogar were too primitive for that task. Melanie asks how she got in that state, and Doland explains it as a calculated risk that goes along with the experimental nature of their work. "Calculated risk?!?" scoffs the Doctor. "Are you telling me that that sad travesty is a statistical possibility?" "The word should be 'criminal!'" adds Melanie. Doland corrects himself, saying he should have said "unforseen." He explains that during a particularly delicate cross-fertilization a minute speck of pollen penetrated a minute scratch on his assistant's thumb. He begins to explain that she should never have left the wound uncovered, when he is interrupted by the returning guard pointing out the Doctor to Security Officer Rudge as the man who activated the false fire alarm. The Doctor almost begins to run away, until the guard tells him to halt under threat of being fired on. His gun is pointed right at the Doctor. Rudge steps forward with a smile, noting that the Doctor has a knack for landing himself in hot water. "'Satiable curtiosity,' like the Elephant's Child," quotes the Doctor. "Nevermind the _Just So_ stories," advises Mel, "that guard looks trigger-happy to me!" Rudge tells her that the guard is simply doing his duty. He adds that regulations are quite specific that anyone setting off a false alarm on an intergalactic liner is to be arrested, forthwith. The Doctor says there is no need to quote the book as he can explain. Rudge tells him not to explain to him, but rather the Commodore, who is waiting to see him. The Doctor sets off, saying its alright as he knows the way, until Mel tugs at his sleeve and tells him he's going the wrong way. He says, "Of course, its that way," then points in the appropriate direction. He hangs the smoke mask on Mel's pointing finger and heads down the correct corridor. The guard follows with his gun drawn. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Valeyard asks that the Matrix playback be stopped. This is done. He stands and addresses the Court, saying that he fails to comprehend this evidence. "The Doctor is on trial for his life, yet in his defence, he presents us with a situation in which he is deliberately flounting accepted authority." The Inquisitor turns to the Doctor and does note that much of the evidence seems to be contradicting the Doctor's stated aims. She asks if he is again saying the Matrix is being falsified. The Doctor stands slowly with a small smile, and tells her he is not doing so, and adds that if the Valeyard will exercise the same restraint he showed during his presentation of his case against him. . . The Valeyard scoffs. "And could suppress his blood lust!" shouts the Doctor angrily. The Inquisitor immediately cuts him off, telling him that this Court is dedicated to giving him a fair trial, and warns him not to abuse its indulgence. The Doctor apologizes gently. The Inquisitor tells the Doctor to restart the Matrix. Everyone turns to watch the screen as the playback resumes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Defence Interface One "Terror of the Vervoids" Continued The Hyperion III continues through space, but it is no longer alone with the stars. In the distance and off its main course is a spinning whirlpool of colors, most of those red, with spots of white rotating about a dark center point. The Commodore regards the phenomena on the viewing screen at the head of the bridge, and he tells the Duty Officer at his side to bring them closer, reducing the safety margin from a factor of point nought one to point nought two. A yellow square with the diagonals alighted appears on the image, and the center of the square moves slightly closer to the left of the screen, towards the phenomena. The Doctor stands behind the two men, and the guard stands at a distance with his gun still trained on the Doctor. The Doctor is very casual, however, and he tells the Commodore that this is a very narrow margin of safety he's setting up here. The Commodore says its not narrow to a ship of the Hyperion class. The Doctor thinks its still risky, as black holes are quirky phenomena that can gulp with unpredictable turbulence. The Commodore angrily turns in his chair and tells the Doctor that when he wants his advice, he will ask for it. He then turns to the guard and tells him to return to duty, as he will handle that. The guard does so. The Commodore stands and circles his chair. He asks the Doctor for a reason why he shouldn't throw him in the brig, as fire alarms are not playthings for irresponsible buffoons. Melanie is helping Rudge stow away the smoke masks she and the Doctor used. Janet runs as fast as her shoes will allow down the corridor calling for Mister Rudge. He asks her what the problem is. She tells him anxiously that Mister Kimber is missing. He failed to report to the fire assembly point, and he is not now in his cabin. Rudge begins to look a little worried as well now, and he follows Janet back the short distance down the corridor to Kimber's cabin. Janet enters the cabin ahead of Rudge, and shows him that Mister Kimber never touched the drink she left for him. Rudge suggests with a smile that perhaps Kimber only wandered off. Janet doesn't think that holds water, as he left his jacket and his watch. Rudge asks Janet when she last saw Mister Kimber. She explains that she didn't actually see him as he was in the shower, and she spoke to him through the door. Rudge steps forward to look into the bathroom. He gives it a cursory look as Janet begins to panic, wondering where he went, and worrying about all these killings. Rudge turns to her and tells her to pull herself together as going to pieces isn't going to help. Janet composes herself as Rudge comes to a decision. He tells her they will search the passenger quarters before they start assuming the worst. Janet and Rudge leave the cabin. Rudge is second, and he neglects to shut the door behind him. Standing within earshot of the door is Melanie. She turns and watches them go, then enters the cabin herself. Once inside, Melanie looks around the main room and then heads for the bathroom. She enters and looks around carefully. She spots a single green leaf stuck to the grill of a ventilation duct at the base of a wall. She reaches down and takes it, then runs out of the cabin altogether. The missing bodies of Edwardes and the guard lie slumped at the base of a wall. The wall is in a dimly lit section of the ship that appears from the cramped conditions and the large hoses about to be a part of the ducting. Scattered around the bodies are some loose leaves. Four creatures carry the body of Mister Kimber between them. They lie him on top of the other bodies with little or no care, and then turn back towards the better light. In the light, they can be better seen. They are humanoid-shaped. They are like animated flowers. Their bodies would be the stems and their heads would be the blooms. Their bodies seem completely composed of green, tightly-packed leaves. They move with jerkily in reflection of their vegetable origin rather than animal. Their heads seem collared by a pale white formation. The heads themselves seem to have pink, brain-like material on the top. This material forms the top edge of what seem to be dark slit-like eyes that run along the entire length of the "face." Where a nose and mouth would be are instead a dark red solid material. Specifically at the point of the mouth are several red translucent rods, like shoots. The Commodore seems more at ease now with the Doctor, and at the conclusion of the Doctor's story, he says that he's painted a grim picture. The Doctor says he has no reason to lie. The Commodore explains he's not questioning his honesty, but rather his methods. He admits, however, that has little alternative but to begin to co-operate. "Begin?" asks the Doctor. "I take it you mean begin _overtly_ to co- operate. You've been using me Commodore! I would never have been allowed to run free if you hadn't condoned it." The Commodore smiles and says this is a fair comment. The Doctor calmly advises the Commodore to inform Earth of the death of the investigator Hallet and to ask for full details about his mission. "You underestimate me to that extent, do you?" asks the Commodore. The Doctor apologizes, and then realizes that they refused to do so. The Commodore confirms this, saying its top secret, and that by the time they've gone through channels, they will probably have docked. "That can't happen," insists the Doctor calmly. The Commodore assured the Doctor that no one will be allowed to disembark, and that the murderer will not escape. "The murderer," considers the Doctor. "Yes." He turns and bounds for the door. He stops there and asks to make sure that the Commodore will tell him about a reply as soon as he gets one. The Commodore answers, "Certainly Doctor. I'll match you for candor." The Doctor frowns after the Commodore as he leaves. Rudge enters the lounge and steps to Janet's desk. Janet puts a phone-like device down as she asks if he found Kimber. Rudge says there's no sign of him. He asks Janet if she found him, and she nods that she didn't. Rudge admits that they'll have to report they've lost another passenger, and gnashes his teeth as he realizes aloud that this will not improve the Commodore's temper. From across the lounge, the two Mogarians turn towards Rudge. The one with the red translator device stands, turns on his translator, and asks for Rudge to join them. Rudge tries to excuse himself, asking that they talk later. He passes them on his way out, and they stop him. He nervously glances at Janet once as the two Mogarians demand to know what's been happening. The second Mogarian activates his translator and asks where the fire was. Rudge tries to calm them, telling them it was a false alarm and that there is nothing to worry about. He tries to leave again, saying that he has urgent things to do, but again the Mogarians insist he remain. They practically order Rudge to sit down and tell them exactly what is going on. "And I suggest you do so right now," completes the first Mogarian. A vent in a corridor rattles from something banging against it from behind. The guard that escorted the Doctor earlier leaves his post and crosses the corridor to see what the sound is. He seems to believe that someone or something is behind it, and he draws his gun. He opens the vent on a hinge like a door and peers into the darkness inside. Suddenly from behind him, one of the vegetable creatures sneaks up on him. The guard turns and stares in horror at the creature. He fumbles on his belt for his communication device, when a second creature reaches forward from the ventilation shaft. The guard manages to activate the com device when the creature in the vent reaches forward suddenly and with a popping sound injects something from its hand into the man's neck. The guard cries out as he slumps dead to the floor. . . The communication device causes a bleep on the Commodore's console on the bridge. He answers the call and asks, "What is it?" The two creatures bend over the dead guard. His gun lies discarded beside him. The Commodore's voice calls over the com device asking for the caller to state his position. One of the creatures speaks. Its voice is male, but it otherwise sounds much like Ruth Baxter's voice did. It asks its fellow creature to help him with the corpse, and the two lift the body into the ventilation ducting. The Commodore seems to have heard the creature's voice, as he asks his Duty Officer, "Who the blazes was that?" He then tells the officer to trace the call. Doland walks through the main gate of the hydroponic center, and then hears a noise coming from the shed. He runs into the shed and is appalled to see Bruchner violently trashing the room. He is currently engaged in ripping as many papers from files as he can at once. Doland asks Bruchner is he's gone mad. He answers that he's only just now regained his sanity. He continues tearing at a very large pile of papers, until Doland takes most of it away from him. The rest fall on the floor. Doland reminds Bruchner that other people have contributed to this, meaning he has no right to do this. "You long ago lost sight of the difference between right and wrong," accuses Bruchner angrily. Doland asks why he's doing this and saying this. "Because of some unexplained incidents?" Bruchner tells him that on his way down here, he heard of another unexplained incident. "That harmless old man is missing! How many more, Doland, before you and Lasky accept responsibility?" He grabs the papers back from Doland and starts shredding with his bare hands again. Doland steps back and looks him up and down. He then runs out of the shed and slides the door shut. He puts he lock on the door, fastens it, and runs out of the center. Melanie holds the leaf she found in Kimber's quarters in her palm, asking Professor Lasky to tell her what it is. Lasky is currently pedalling furiously on an exercise bike and refuses to discuss it or anything else until her work routine is complete. Doland enters the gym and urgently tells the Professor he must speak to her now and in private. Melanie retreats from them a little, across the room. Lasky is extremely furious about being interrupted again, but she does stop cycling. Doland tells her he knows how much she doesn't like her routine interrupted, but she has to speak with Bruchner and calm him down. "Can't you?" demands Lasky. Doland tells her Bruchner won't listen to him. Lasky frowns and pulls a towel around her neck. She asks where Bruchner is. Doland quietly tells her he's in the hydroponic center. Lasky gets up from the bike, handing the towel to Doland. She leads the way out of the gym. Mel stops Doland before he can leave with a call to him. She lifts a large plastic bin cover to remind him he's still holding the towel and that it belongs in the waste. Doland throws the towel into the bin, and Mel suggests they pick up where they left off while he's in the mood for explanations. Doland asks if he gave her that impression. Mel asks what the pods in the hydroponic center are. Doland looks bemused that she cares, and tells her they are simply the result of another experiment. Mel says she could have made an educated guess at that. She asks what was inside them. Doland answers, "Giant fruit. And anticipating your next question, we left the fruit on Mogar. We're simply taking the shucks as an example to other agronomists in Earthbound laboratories. Now, if you'll excuse me. . . " Doland rushes out through the main door. Mel considers what he's said for a moment, and then her attention is drawn to a noise she hears from across the room that seems to be coming from an air vent high on the opposite wall. The vent is just above several bars that exercisers can use for chin-ups or just for climbing. Mel runs across the room and climbs the bars so that her ears are nearest the vent. She seems to hear an odd whispering sound coming from the vent. She jumps down from the highest rung and turns to the nearby rack of headsets. She picks one with a microphone on it and steps back up to the vent. She places the headset and its mike into the vent grille so that it won't move and then leaps down to the floor. She runs into the recording studio and thinks aloud for a moment. She finds the amplifier on the control board and turns it up as far as she can, triggering some other controls in the process, including a light marked "RECORD." She listens to the now amplified sounds and can clearly discern them as an alien voice. "We must not make animalkind aware of our existence. They still outnumber us. If we are to kill them all, we must hunt them down secretly." A hand reaches around Mel's face with gas mask and forces it over her nose and mouth. Her scream is muffled by the plastic as the hiss of gas knocks her out almost immediately. The Doctor bounds into the completely empty lounge. "''Is anybody there,'' said the Traveler.'" quotes the Doctor. He turns and tells himself, "Perhaps she's in the gym." He leaves. The unconscious Mel lies slumped in the corner of the large, yellow waste disposal bin, marked 126. A towel is thrown over her body, completely obscuring her. The lid is placed on the bin. The door to the gym opens and a black and white uniformed attendant enters pushing another such bin on its wheels. He parks it next to the bin marked 126. He takes the 126 bin and starts pushing it towards another set of doors further down he wall. The doors open before he gets there as the Doctor enters. He holds the door open for the attendant, joking, "Allow me. Wish I could get rid of my waist as easily, eh?" The attendant ignores him, and the Doctor's face seems to agree as he realizes how bad the pun was. He looks around the empty gym with some curiosity and spots the recording studio. He enters it almost casually and sees a red RECORD light still flickering on the console. He stops the tape and rewinds it. He presses the playback and then listens intently as he hears the alien voice say the words Mel has already heard. . . The attendant pushes the 126 bin down a corridor. Another similarly uniformed attendant is dumping similar bins into the metal maw of the pulverizer. . . . On the tape, the Doctor hears Mel's muffled scream. The attendant pushes the 126 bin down another corridor. The Doctor hears himself on the tape making his waste joke. He looks at the door in realization and runs at top speed out of the studio. The 126 bin is pushed down a ramp towards the pulverizer. There is a backlog of three or four other bins, and it stops when it hits the last one. The Doctor runs into the lounge and over to the reception desk where Janet is working. He slaps his palm on the desk and demands quickly, "The waste bins! Where do they go?" Janet begins to ask why he wants to know, when he slams his hand again quickly, yelling, "Quickly, woman! Where are they taken!?!" "Well, the pulverizer. . . " answers Janet. "The pulverizer!!!" shouts the Doctor as he runs straight across the lounge towards a door. A bin marked 3 is dumped into the pulverizer. The 126 bin is next in line. The Doctor runs as fast he can down a corridor. The circular pulverizer door opens again and the attendant bends over to pick up the next bin. He stops when he hears the Doctor's voice shouting, "Stooooooop!" The Doctor runs in behind his voice and leans over the 126 bin. He looks up at the surprised attendant and then opens the bin. He is relieved to see a person-sized mound underneath a towel, and he pulls it off of Mel's unconscious form. She slowly begins to wake, and the Doctor sighs, telling her, "Don't throw the towel in, Mel!" The Hyperion III is beginning to close on the swirling black hole. . . The Commodore is shouting down Rudge, using his greater elevation on the console desk to help him. "Why in Hades haven't you reported before now? As a Security Officer, you're an unmitigated disaster!" "That's hardly fair, sir," stammers Rudge. The Commodore won't hear it. "We've had a passenger murdered, according to you, another one's disappeared! Three crew members are missing, unaccounted for, and you haven't any idea where they've gone or where they are!" Where they are is in a heap against a wall in what appears to be service ducting. Four of the plant creatures, breathing heavily, carry their latest victim, the guard, over to the heap and only slightly carefully add him to the pile. One of the creatures addresses its fellows and says they are doing splendidly. When it speaks, its entire face seems to move rather than a specific mouth. Another creature with a lower voice answers that congratulations must be delayed until the heap is full. The first creature answers that they will not have long to wait. The Doctor bounds into the recording studio for the gym and shakes his arm in frustration and cries out when he sees that the tape is gone. He tells Mel its the proof they need to force Lasky's hand. Mel says that would be a waste of time as the killer's obviously removed it. "Just as he tried to remove you," says the Doctor. "He?" asks Mel. "Why not she?" "Lasky?" asks the Doctor. "Or the stewardess Janet," adds Mel. "Janet?" laughs the Doctor. He stops as though frightened he hadn't thought of her, but then poo-poos the idea and leaves the studio. Mel follows him and reminds him that it wouldn't take a man's strength to lift her weight. "A woman could've dumped me in the waste bin." The Doctor turns and climbs up to the ventilation grill where the headset is still attached. "What are they?" he asks. Mel joins him, and he goes on to wonder how they link with these murders. Mel adds that whatever they are, they are not human. "We're all to be destroyed, remember?" The Doctor and Mel jump back to the floor and he then asks her if she's still got that bit of leaf. She takes it from her pocket and shows it to the Doctor. He compares it with the first leaf he got from Hallet, considering, and then places them both in his pockets and heads for the door. Mel asks where he's going, and he answers he's heading to the hydroponic center, as there has to be a connection. Mel asks what she should do, and the Doctor suggests that she follow her lead and see if Janet has the tape, but he admonishes her to be careful. "You too, Doctor," answers Mel. Janet carried a tray of drinks over to a table where the Mogarians are sitting. She asks if she can tempt them with a coffee. The Mogarian with the red translator turns his on and says, "No, thank you." She turns to the second Mogarian and asks if he wants one. The second Mogarian raises his arm quickly, hitting the bottom of the tray and knocking the whole thing from Janet's hand and to the floor. Some of the glasses break, and Janet is startled. She kneels down and begins to pick up the mess. The second Mogarian turns on his translator and apologizes. Janet says he doesn't have to worry as its easily changed. Mel is searching Janet's cabin, and is having little luck. She turns to her closet and starts searching her clothes' pockets. ...outside the door marked "STEWARDESS" a creature's shadow darkens the title plate... The communications room is in a shambles. Equipment is wrecked, consoles have been smashed, static sounds from everywhere, and monitor screens roll with unintelligible information or with blank screens. The Doctor stands over it all with a fire axe. He looks around with a gleam in his eye and huffs in pride. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "I didn't do that!" shouts the Doctor from his seat. The Inquisitor turns and tells the Doctor to stop the Matrix. The Doctor operates his controls and then stands in confusion. The Valeyard almost wearily gets to his feet, asking if they are to be subjected to more chicanery. The Doctor insists that it wasn't him in the there. The Inquisitor asks if he means that the communications equipment was not sabotaged. The Doctor says that's not what he means. It was, as it had to be to prevent the Commodore from getting information from Earth, but he insists that he didn't do it. "Then who did?" asks the Inquisitor. "The murderer," answers the Doctor. "The murderer?" asks the Valeyard with a smile. "I think, Inquisitor, the Doctor is telling us more than he realizes." The Doctor rolls his eyes. "The prosecutor delights in scoring cheap victories, my Lady. I swear to you, that when I viewed that section earlier, I was nowhere near the communications room." "So once again the defendant is accusing the Matrix of being wrong," intoned the Valeyard like its an old tune he's sick of saying. "Are you, Doctor?" asks the Inquisitor. The Doctor breathes heavily, then seems to figure, "what the hell," and he says that he is. "Yes I am!" The Inquisitor asks that if the Doctor doubts its voracity, what is the point in continuing with the Matrix. "Well, what else have I got?" asks the Doctor, throwing his arms wide. "Without evidence to prove my innocence, I'm condemned!" "And with it," answers the Valeyard with a small smile, "it seems you are also condemned, Doctor. Shall we continue?" The Inquisitor asks the Doctor is they will continue. The Doctor stops regarding the Valeyard carefully and turns to the Inquisitor. She tells him that he had, as before, sent his companion into danger. She and the rest of the Court turn to the screen as he operates the Matrix controls. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Defence Interface One "Terror of the Vervoids" Continued Mel searches the last of Janet's uniforms and finds nothing. She turns in disgust and hears a noise at the door. She looks at the doorknob and sees it slowly turning. She runs and hides in the shower in the bathroom as the door opens. One of the plant creatures enters and waves its arms around in search. Mel sees it from the shower and she ducks behind the shower curtain. The Commodore and his duty officer look over the remains of the communications equipment. The Commodore hopes aloud that they don't need to call for outside help as there's no way they can repair this. He turns and heads out the room, saying they're completely isolated. Lasky pours a waste basket full of charred documents out over a desk and tells Bruchner that what he's done here is sheer vandalism that is utterly useless. Bruchner seems calm now, as though he's finished what he came for. "Is that how you see it, Professor?" he asks. "How else," answers Lasky. "Because I put an end to this obscene experiment?" asks Bruchner. ...outside, one of the creatures listens intently... Lasky tells Bruchner that there were undoubtedly people who were appalled about the discovery of fire back in early times, and that if they had prevailed, the human race would still be cowering in caves. "To use your own phrase, that's all academic now," answers Bruchner. Lasky tells Bruchner that if he were rtional, he'd see how pointless this all is. "We can't unlearn knowledge. You're no illiterate. How often has a great advance produced this reaction? Think of Galileo!" Bruchner seems to realize something. "Galileo? Oh, is that it? You see the name Lasky inscribed in the history books?" Lasky flinches, and then says this is rubbish and that this has been a team effort. "With you as leader," completes Bruchner. "Well, you've fulfilled that role to the last. You've led me to see the fault in my strategy. You, me, Doland, even the creatures we've spawned. . . the sole representatives of this great advance are all encapsulated on this ship." He speaks more quitely and slowly. "On. . this. . . SHIP!" He suddenly grabs a blunt instrument and hits Lasky on the side of the head with it. The Doctor enters the hyrdoponic center and is shoved aside by the rapidly running Bruchner. Bruchner makes for the exit from the hold. The Doctor looks at his back and quips, "I didn't even hear the dinner gong." He enters the center and sees the mess in the shed. He runs in and finds Lasky laying on the floor. He feels for a pulse on her neck. Four of the creatures stand in conference near their heap of dead bodies. The first creature says, "That man must be stopped. We are unique. The only members of the Vervoid species. If he succeeds in eliminating us, Vervoids will cease to exist." The second Vervoid (with the low voice) tells the others to forget their previous orders, as Bruchner's death is now their priority. "He cannot be permitted to prevent us from reaching planet Earth." Bruchner sneaks up on a guard in a corridor from behind him. He hits him cleanly at the base of his head and the guard slumps to the floor, unconscious. Bruchner reaches down and takes the guard's gun. Lasky is awake and lucid. The Doctor is helping her nurse the nasty bruise on her forehead. She is telling him grumpily that she doesn't care what he heard on some mythical tape. The Doctor tells Lasky that she's letting arrogance blinker her, and that it may not be her intention, but she is in danger of joining an extensive roll of dishonor. "Misguided scientists who claim the pursuit of truth as an excuse for immoral experiments." Lasky gets to her feet, saying this is no time to debate ethics, and that they have to get after Bruchner. She shoves the Doctor ahead of her out the door, saying that Bruchner is demented and is out to destroy this ship and everyone on it. Bruchner runs into a corridor intersection, and at the corner is a large vent grille. The grille opens quickly like a door, and a Vervoid shoots its arm out at Bruchner. Bruchner screams. Bruchner ducks it, and with wide eyes, he continues running for the bridge. The Vervoid in Janet's room begins to slap its arms on the walls and shake material off of Janet's shelves. Mel continues to hide in the shower. The Doctor and Lasky stop to look at the unconscious guard that Bruchner attacked. Lasky gets up after only a cursory look and insists they find Bruchner. The Doctor lags back a bit, wanting a better look at the guard, but then realizes the man will live and he goes after Lasky. A different duty officer with a thick black beard stands beside the Commodore in the bridge. Bruchner is facing them both, pointing his gun at them both. The Commodore reaches for a control on the console, and Bruchner fires the weapon at his arm. A bolt of light hits the Commodore's arm and he winces with pain. Bruchner shouts for them both to get out of here before he kills them both. Noting his almost hysterical tone, the Commodore and the officer leave, with the Commodore nursing his wounded arm. Once they've gone, Bruchner takes a seat at the bridge and operates a control that closes a large set of doors across the back of the bridge. He turns back to the controls and begins operating them. On the viewscreen, the yellow square appears, and he causes it to change position towards the center of the black hole ahead. The duty officer begins to try to help the Commodore with his arm, but the Commodore tells him to nevermind and go get the laser lance. The officer heads off to do so as the Doctor and Professor Lasky join the Commodore outside the sealed bridge. Lasky looks over his damaged arm and asks if it was Bruchner. The Commodore nods and then asks what his motive is. The Doctor tells him his intention is the more vital question at the moment. The Commodore begins to rebuke the Doctor again when he winces with a surge of pain from his arm. He changes his question and asks the Doctor to just tell him the intention. The Doctor says Bruchner is out to destroy this ship. The Commodore asks if the lunatic knows anything about piloting a spacecraft, and Lasky answers that he's been trained as an astronaut, as an obligatory requirement meant that one of her team had to be. The Commodore notes how very thorough that was. It is clear the Bruchner has turned the ship and it is now heading for the black hole, both from the crosshairs on the screen. .. . . . and from the ship's heading in space. .. The Doctor asks if the power to the bridge can be cut off, and the Commodore answers there's no chance of that as it was designed to be hijack-proof. The ship begins to shake. Janet's room, like the rest of the ship, begins to shake, and anything the ervoid hasn't already shattered begins to rattle. The Vervoid stands in the middle of the room and begins to belch out a misty gas from the shoots in its face. Melanie smells the gas and covers her mouth with her hand as though holding her breath. The lounge begins to shake. The two Mogarians and Rudge stand near the reception desk, behind which stands Janet. Cups and saucers begin to rattle and spill their contents, and a tray crashes to the floor from the desk. The Hyperion III continues to head toward the black hole. . . . Bruchner confirms the position of the crosshairs on the screen again. They are aimed dead center on the dark spot in the center of the vortex. Bruchner stands and looks at the screen. His face alights with a red glow as the hole fills the screen. . . Bruchner stares into the center in awe. . . The Hyperion III nears the center of the black hole. . . The ship shakes violently again, and Lasky asks what's happening. The Commodore says its obvious they're running into turbulence. The Doctor paces down the corridor and mutters that its rather more than turbulence. "Don't talk in riddles, man," demands Lasky. The Doctor turns and tells her straight up. "Your colleague is aiming the Hyperion III into the eye of the Black Hole of Tartarus!" The Doctor COLIN BAKER Melanie BONNIE LANGFORD The Valeyard The Inquisitor MICHAEL JAYSTON LYNDA BELLINGHAM Professor Lasky Commodore HONOR BLACKMAN MICHAEL CRAIG Rudge Janet DENYS HAWTHORNE YOLANDE PALFREY Doland Bruchner MALCOLM TIERNEY DAVID ALLISTER Atza Ortezo Guard SAM HOWARD LEON DAVIS HUGH BEVERTON First Vervoid Second Vervoid Ruth Baxter PEPPI BORZA BOB APPLEBY BARBARA WARD Incidental Music Special Sound MALCOLM CLARKE DICK MILLS BBC Radiophonic Workshop Production Manager Production Associates IAN FRASER JUNE COLLINS JENNY DOE Production Assistant Assistant Floor Manager JANE WELLESLEY KAREN LITTLE Visual Effects Designer Video Effects KEVIN MOLLOY DANNY POPKIN Technical Co-ordinator Camera Supervisor ALAN ARBUTHNOTT ALEC WHEAL Vision Mixer Videotape Editor SHIRLEY COWARD HUGH PARSON Lighting Director Sound DON BABBAGE BRIAN CLARK Costume Designer Make-Up Designer ANDREW ROSE SHAUNNA HARRISON Desinger DINAH WALKER Producer JOHN NATHAN-TURNER Director CHRIS CLOUGH (C) BBC MCMLXXXVI First transmitted on 15 November, 1986. This synopsis by Steven K. Manfred Synopsis copyright Aug. 3, 1994. Permission is given to all to copy this synopsis as long as it is not for reasons of profit.
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