|Doctor Who Companion Internet Adventure #06 - "New Traken"
by The Outsider
Nyssa regained consciousness by means of a stinging slap delivered by Lynalla. "Wake up, bitch," she hissed.
Nyssa blinked back at Lynalla. Her regal experience enabled her to bite back the gasp of pain, and she kept her features steady.
But her eyes... her eyes were angry.
* * *
It was near dark when there came a pounding at the ship's main hatch. "Open up! It's me, Travis!"
After a few minutes, the hatch obligingly opened, and Travis bolted in, making his way quickly to the bridge, where Captain Baluchard was having an... interesting conversation with Solax. Ensign Marnett stood behind them, unsuccessfully trying to contain his amusement at the conversation. Captain Blanchard had cut him off before he had had a chance to explain that, while Solax was third in command, she was also a gelatinous life-form from the lower subterranean levels of the second planet in the Teso Peope system, and only communicated telepathically.
By tactile telepathy, at that. Which meant, in order for Captain Blanchard to communicate with Solax, he had immerse his hand into a beaker that seemed to be filled with a light-turquoise coloured gelatine.
As Travis rushed on to the bridge, the captain quickly pulled his hand free from Solax, as though he had been caught doing something unseemly for his rank.
"Travis! Where the hell have you been?" bellowed Blanchard.
Travis gasped, catching his breathe. "It's Nyssa, sir. She's being held hostage by the natives." He swallowed, his face fearful. "They said they'd kill her at dawn if we don't meet their demands."
Blanchard frowned. "And what are their demands?"
"They want the Keeper machine."
The beaker bubbled slightly.
* * *
After an hour of questioning, Lynalla finally left Nyssa alone. Bruised, Nyssa retained her pride and regal bearing until the door had slammed shut, then collapsed onto the cell's bunk in pain. She took a few minutes to regain her composure and centre herself, and then walked quietly to the door. Placing the ear that wasn't bleeding to its surface, she listened closely.
There was no sound. whether this meant there was no guard was a risk she would have to take. Slipping off her left boot, she pulled out the surgical laser she had hid there during the chase, and began to work at the door.
* * *
"How the hell could they know about the Keeper machine? I don't even know what it's for!" Captain Blanchard bellowed.
Travis shrugged. "Somehow, they found out about it and all of Nyssa's plans for the creation of New Traken, and they're terrified. They are a superstitious lot, and believe that the environmental calamities that have befallen the planet are a result of the sale of the planet. They want the machine to destroy in a sacrifice to their gods."
"It's y'alls machine... do with it what you will."
Travis left the bridge, waiting until he was alone in the hallway to smile.
* * *
Nyssa had been creeping around stealthily for hours, trying to discover what she could. She had looked through offices, a mess hall, some sort of game room, even the laundry room, with no luck. The only interesting thing she had found was an amazing lack of personnel.
She was beginning to tire when she rounded a corner and found herself face to face with Travis.
"Nyssa! Thank goodness you're... in one piece." He had been going to say 'all right', but upon seeing the bruises on her face, he couldn't.
"Oh Travis... " Nyssa sagged against the wall. "I don't know whether to hug you or hit you. I don't know what's happening anymore."
Travis frowned. "Who did this to you? That witch, Lynalla?" Nyssa nodded.
"I'll kill her myself for this," Travis thought to himself. While he couldn't allow Nyssa to get in his way, he did care for her in some ways, and this abuse was uncalled for.
He took Nyssa's hand. " Come on," he said, "Let's have some tea, and I'll explain everything to you."
* * *
In another part of time and space, or more accurately, outside of them both, a shadowy figure watched Nyssa and Travis on a glowing view screen.
* * *
"So you're saying that this planet is dying, that the collapse of its core is sucking all of the bio-energy from it's surface, resulting in the environmental changes and the decay of its inhabitants, and that you've been working here for over a year trying to find a way to reverse the process?"
Nyssa carefully sipped at her tea with her split lips. "But why not tell me from the beginning? Why all the secrecy?"
Travis shrugged. "It was wrong, I know... but I didn't want to distract you from your work at the Foundation... or, more importantly, your work on the Keeper machine."
Nyssa frowned. "The Keeper Machine? Why is it so important?"
"I need it to stabilize the core... using its biomechanical properties to harness the planet's energy, stabilize it, and redistribute it properly."
Nyssa's head was beginning to swirl. It was too much to take in... but she had come to trust Travis... so he had to be telling the truth, right?
"Nyssa... time is critical. If we don't do this soon, the core will implode, and it will be too late."
"But the machine isn't completed yet!"
"It is sufficiently so for these purposes."
"It's on the ship!"
"I've had it brought here."
Suddenly Nyssa smiled as best she could with her battered mouth. "Of course I'll help you, Travis! I'll do anything you need!"
Travis smiled back. The drugged tea was working perfectly
* * *
The Keeper Machine, in all actuality, was an unimpressive collection of wires and green, organic-looking tubes that pulsated with a sickly light. It was also unexpectedly small, measuring only about 3 cubic feet.
Nyssa connected a universal input device to the machine. she shook her head... everything seemed so cloudy. Travis brought a cable from the control panel by the wall to the table the machine was resting on, and Nyssa connected that to the universal output slot.
"Hurry Nyssa... there's not much time..." Nyssa's thoughts seemed enshrouded in fog... she concentrated on Travis' voice as she made several adjustments... something didn't seem right.. Travis didn't seem right... she didn't seem right...
"I'm finished..." she whispered, as her head finally began to clear.
Travis rushed over to her, and hugged her tight. "Thank you Nyssa." He smiled at her.
His smile turned dark. "Thank you for giving me unlimited power!" He spun her around to the waiting arms of Alex, who grabbed her tightly.
"Travis! No!" He walked away, through a glowing portal in the opposite wall, ignoring her plaintive cries. "What have I done?" she whispered, tears beginning to roll down her face.
She slumped in Alex's arms. His laugh was cut short, however, as she suddenly straightened, slamming her heel into the small of his foot, then driving her elbow into his groin.
He groaned and fell to the floor. "Thank you Tegan for teaching me that move... you certainly knew your way around men..." Nyssa said to herself as she ran from the room through the door they had originally entered from. Of the glowing portal, there was no longer any sign.
She ran down the hallway, finding herself on a bridge spanning a deep bored hole. Looking over the edge, she could see... nothing. As though she was... no, she was looking to the centre of the planet.
A terrible whining sound began high above her head. Looking upwards, she saw a giant glowing sphere slowly beginning to pulsate, rotate, and descend.
Foot steps behind her... then a voice... "My, Nyssa! How much you've grown!"
She spun around, her hand flying to her mouth. Regal bearings forgotten, she gasped in astonishment.
To be continued...
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