Doctor Who Benny Internet Adventure #01 - "The Slay"

Chapter 9
"Kill or Cure"
by David Robinson


       The small yellow moon of Gash is rising, for the third time since Benny has arrived. Benny, Rech'y'van and Ariadne are being lead through the street of Serenity to a death by vivisection. Jason and Emile are standing on top of a crashed shuttle arguing about what to do next. Underground Changetown is burning. Waim is meeting with his party back at their base. Ponretto, Kem and Del are bringing death to Serenity.

* * *

       'Tell me something Protector,' said Benny as she was being lead along, 'if you could cure the Changed, would you?'

       'There is no cure!' replied Orn.

       'But if there was?'

       Orn replied by pushing her forward.

       'Yes, I was afraid of that.'

       Come on Professor Summerfield, after the shit you've been through it should be easy to get out of this one.

       'I don't suppose I could have a look at this Slay thing by any chance?'

       Ariadne gave Benny a puzzled look.

       'Why?' asked Orn bluntly.

       Professor Summerfield's first rule of getting away with things: Lie.

       'It may well provide a clue to find the Nanite Failsafe Program.' Well, okay, so it wasn't a lie. The Slay would have been her first choice if she was looking for the failsafe or a cure.

       Orn smiled.

       'I knew you'd see things my way.'

       Yes, I'm sure you did.

       They turned the corner, Benny was impressed. The Slay was a large cylinder that stuck up out of a metal platform. Also in this platform was a pit filled with still glowing coals. What the people of Serenity failed to realise was that the platform and the pit were also part of the Slay.

       Benny walked up the steps to the platform, glancing back at her friends. Both of them looked like they needed a weeks sleep, and they were both being guarded by two Peace each. Benny turned to Orn.

       'So how does it work?'

       Orn stepped over to the tester, Benny followed.

       'Simple, you put your arm in this hole.' Orn demonstrated. 'A yellow light means healthy, blue means Changed.'

       Orn looked at the Slay, yet again the light took an unusual amount of time, then it lit. Blue.

       Now that's going to make things complicated, Benny thought

* * *

       Jason and Emile are still standing on top of the shuttle.

       'Well, now what?' asked Emile.

       'How the hell should I know?' replied Jason.

       'You're the space hero, remember.'

       'Space heroes don't know everything!'

       'Well, that just destroyed all my fantasy.'

       Jason said nothing.

       'Should we go after them?'

       'How, we don't know where they're going?'

       Oh boy, thought Emile this guy could be quite thick really.

       'There aren't all that many options. They are either taking it back to Changetown, or Serenity. So we just go to one and if it's not there then we go to the other.'

       Jason was about to tell Emile what a completely stupid plan that was when he realised that it wasn't that bad.

       'Well, Changetown is closer. Come on, we can't hang around here all day.'

* * *

       Benny leaned in close to Orn.

       'Still not interested in a cure? Your guards haven't see the light, perhaps they shouldn't know.' This town would fall apart without someone in charge, she thought, but the threat of revealing him gives me a chance to get something done.

       Orn realised the full implication of the light and quickly remove his arm. She must have done something, tricked the Slay. But he didn't dare raise the attention of the Peace; they would act rashly.

       'What have you done?' he whispered.

       Benny stepped back from him and started looking around the machine for a control panel or access hatch. Professor Summerfield's second rule of getting away with things: Lie.

       'I thought the Slay was a gift from your God?'

       'Yes, it is,' Orn stated, failing to see what she was getting at.

       'How is it possible for something from the God of Order to fail?'

       Orn could not answer.

       Benny stopped and looked closer at a panel on the side.

       'Why don't you press there.' She pointed to just below a seem.

       Dumbfounded Orn pressed and the panel moved in and melted away. Orn pulled his finger back quickly. From inside the cylinder a control board moved out.

       'You have broken the Slay,' Orn shouted.

       'Don't be stupid, a mortal, even a Changed one, can't break a gift from God. I don't suppose you can read this script?'

       Orn looked closer.

       'That read "Power", that one "Material".'

       The power display indicated full charge. Solar power or something. The material display showed almost empty. Benny touched the material column. It expanded and showed more technical information. Orn was unable to translate all of the information, but it quickly became obvious that the Slay could use almost anything as a material source. At the bottom of the display a button reading "Input" pulsed encouragingly. Benny pressed it.

* * *

       Without the stabilizing influence of Cordelia, and with Benny not yet having mastered her powers the Changed of Changetown had quickly reverted back to their previous, brutish selves. The Peace no longer guarded the entrances. The town was on fire and few made it out alive.

       Those that did went back to roaming the desert in search of food and unChanged.

* * *

       From the Slay came a loud scraping of metal and then a thump. The Peace were quickly up on the platform. The pit had closed, some sort of iris mechanism sealing it. A humming sound was now emanating from the Slay.

       Benny moved back a few menus to the main controls.

       'What have you done?'

       'The Slay is able to cure the Changed. But to do that it needs material. The hot coals from the fire are just fine, but there is still something missing.'

       'I'm not sure, maybe we can find out.'

       'Touch that machine Professor and you die.'

       She spun around to see the voice had come from one of the people in the environmental suits.

       Benny was confused.

       'I thought you people wanted me to find the failsafe?'

       'We do, we don't want you to find the cure.'

To be continued...

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