Doctor Who: The Internet Adventures - #9 REVOLUTION 9 Chapter Three - 'When Conspiracies and Planets Collide' by Tyler Dion "Oh my God...Has the Doctor regenerated into a woman?" Dr. Browning frowned in confusion. "I'm sorry, I don't understand. How did you link these men," she gestured at the photos on her desk, "with my patient? Who is this 'Doctor'? And what do you mean by 'regenerated'?" "Never mind just what I mean," Bambera said impatiently. "Just show me this patient of yours." "Very well," Browning replied, seeing Bambera's expression and not bothering to argue. "Follow me." From Browning's office the two women rapidly traversed a labyrinth of drab, gunmetal gray corridors, pausing only at various security checkpoints. The Brigadier was struck by the fact this place was built more like a high security prison than a hospital, even allowing for the fact it was a mental institution. As they turned one final corner, Bambera could see a door ahead on the right side of the hallway marked simply '461.' She could also see the door was ajar. They both rushed ahead to the door and Browning pulled it open. Peering inside, they could tell the occupant was long gone. Browning quickly ran to a phone unit at the corner they had just passed and punched in a code. "Security?" she asked, suddenly tense. "Patient 461 has escaped. Alert the guards; I want her found *now.*" Deciding dual-hearted aliens who spoke of Daleks to be more her field than Browning's, the Brigadier spun the psychiatrist round to face her and shouted over the klaxons, "Seeing as this is more my area, I'm going to call in UNIT to find her." Browning took offense to this and said so angrily, "Brigadier Bambera, this is an internal affair and I would appreciate your departure from here so we may find my patient without outside interference." "The moment the Doctor, or whoever, or whatever it is, showed up, spouting off about alien invasions and other worlds, it became my business," Bambera shot back. "Now, are you going to let me help, or do I have to waste time and get permission through other channels? This may be a private institute, but I guarantee I'll have that authority." Bambera finished her tirade and glared at Browning. The psychiatrist sighed and motioned back towards her office. "Fine. You can call your people from my office." * * * * * In the office, Bambera dialed the number for UNIT's London office. Finally, the operator switched her to her second in command, Captain Wildemen. "Wildemen!" Bambera barked, trying to make herself heard over the alarm klaxons that were blaring in the hallways. "We've got an unknown EBE on the loose in or around the A&E Institute. I'm faxing you a physical description and photograph now. I want Hound and and Beagle squads on ground patrol here. Also, get Windmills 745, 123, and 928 in the air. The EBE is, for the moment, to be considered nonhostile. Use force only if it resists." Slamming the phone down, Bambera turned to the fax machine to look at the patient's file as it slid back out. A young woman's face, frightened and pale, with brown eyes, and incongruously framed by wavy, shoulder-length, dirty grey hair, stared back at her. All attempts to trace the woman's identity had been fruitless. Bambera sighed. If this was the Doctor, he or she would have some explaining to do. * * * * * Putting the phone down, the blond-haired man surveyed the dim room and the shadowy figures seated at the oval table. They all sat in shadow because here anonymity was the standard. However, the blond man knew exactly who everyone was. He knew their names, their homes, even their routines. If it was required, he would be the one to kill any of his 'fellows' at a moment's notice. "Experiment 461 has escaped," he said, the slight lisp in his pronunciation of the letter 's' apparent. One of the men, the newest member the blond man noted, shifted in his chair for a moment and glanced around at his fellows before venturing to ask, "Just what is Experiment 461?" The blond man paused for a moment, his smoky black glasses remorselessly boring into the inquirer's eyes. Then he shifted his gaze back to the room at large and replied, "Experiment 461 is one of several projects we are currently funding that concerns the Subject." There was no need of clarification as to just who the Subject was; even the youngest member of the Directory - as the group was referred to by the few conspiracy theorists who barely guessed at their existence - knew just who the Subject was: a man who flitted in and out of history like a humming bird, there only for a second, then gone again. He was the man always in the margins of history. "Since the Experiment has been relatively quiet for some time," the blond man continued, "allow me to update all of you as to its status before its escape last night. "Initially, the Subject was an unknown variable in our affairs. We had very little with which to form any sort of dossier, except he had an unerring habit of being the side of good." The blond man to sneered slightly at that. "With at least ten separate identities and innumerable assistants, it was impossible to tell just what to expect. At one point, the Subject arrived on Earth, and remained for a period of some 10 years. Marooned, apparently, by his own people as a form of punishment. It was during this time that we were able to gather most of our information about the Subject. A number of abilities and facts came to light about the Subject that made such a person in our employ highly desirable. This inspired the creation of Experiment 461, that is, a clone of the Subject created as an...'employee.'" The blond man paused here, and again surveyed the collection of silhouettes before continuing. "Genetic material was relatively easy to - " "Thank you," a female voice interrupted from the far end of the room. "But I believe I am best qualified to explain the Experiment. I was one of its progenitors." The blond man nodded and sat down in his chair at the far end of the oval, content to let the new arrival continue the lecture; she was, as she said, best qualified to do so. "As my colleague was saying," the woman continued, her greying auburn hair the only visible thing about her in the gloom of the conference room. "Genetic material was easy to obtain. The Subject spent hours working on his own devices in UNIT's labs, supposedly trying to render his transportation operational again. One well-placed operative easily gathered viable DNA samples. "However, while the procurement of the samples was easy, being able to manipulate and emulate them was not. The DNA chains were completely unlike anything we had encountered before, both terrestrial or not. It was fully twenty years of research before we understood even the basics of the Subject's genetic make-up. But we still had years to go before we made any useful discoveries. "Eighteen months ago," she continued as she moved over to a television monitor set flat in the wall, "we established a breakthrough that allowed us to complete our objective." The woman touched a button on the screen's control panel. The screen snapped on, showing a video recording of a lab setting; the date at the corner read 3/12/2003. There was a tank in the center of the lab. In the tank was an embryo-like creature, pink and curled up, as if in a natural womb. "This is the Experiment at 8 days after creation," the woman said, her eyes fixed on the screen. She touched the control again, showing a video dated 8/12/2003. The tank in the middle of the room had been replaced with a large plastic bassinet. A small child lay inside, gurgling at the buzzing fluorescent lights overhead. "Two months after conception," she said, "the Experiment had matured to the equivalent of a human three year old." The video clips began to flicker past at a faster rate; they showed the Experiment at various stages of development as the dates progressed towards the end of 2003 and beyond. Abruptly, the montage stopped, the date frozen at 6/18/2004. The Experiment had moved beyond the appearances of childhood and would have resembled a human male in his late thirties, if not for the mess of silvery white hair that covered its head. At the moment of the video being taken, the Experiment was floating in a tank of water, with monitoring and breathing apparatus attached. The woman now began speaking again. "Up until now, the Experiment had proceeded to grow at roughly the expected rate, if slightly more accelerated than projected. As far as we could tell, it was responding accordingly to the subliminal education program to which it was subjected. It was aware of us, but showed little interest. "From what was known of the 'donor's' biology," the woman sounded slightly sarcastic there, "the Experiment was maturing into an exact copy. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, at 1753 hours on June 18, the Experiment suffered from dual cardiac arrest. Both of its hearts stopped and the Experiment was pronounced dead at 1757 hours." The video had by now progressed to the appropriate time and paused there. The speaker paused as well, then continued, her voice sounding slightly strained. "The Experiment was left in the monitoring tube for disposal after an autopsy was conducted to discover the cause of the simultaneous heart attacks. However, at 1600 hours, the Experiment began to breathe again of its own accord, and one minute later, it *changed.*" She pressed the 'play' control on the panel again and watched with the others in silence as the limp, floating corpse of the Experiment twitched, and then stiffened completely. The Experiment began to shudder, and its skin seemingly rippled, although most of the watchers passed it off as an optical illusion due to the water. But what happened next was no illusion. The Experiment shuddered again, and then relaxed as its limbs began to contract. The hands became smaller, the fingers longer and more delicate. The hair visibly lengthened and became darker, an ashy grey of sorts. The camera zoomed in on the face and watched as it rippled. And then the nose was smaller, pert and slightly upturned, unlike the beaky thing that had been there before. The lips became fuller, and the cheekbones were less defined than before, leaving a rounder, softer face. The rest of the body changed as well, the hips wider, the chest bigger, the legs shorter, but more slender now. The Experiment shuddered one last time, and then went limp, leaving a fully- functional, grey-haired, 20-something woman quietly floating in the tank. The speaker paused the video again as the camera's view was blocked by a crowd of scientists as they rushed to examine various monitoring instruments around the tank and conferred excitedly with each other. "That was four weeks ago," the blond man abruptly interjected, after remaining silent through the woman's lecture. "Six days ago, it was arranged for the Experiment to be left in the care of the A&E Mental Institute when its previous holding facility was compromised. Earlier tonight, London UNIT's commanding officer, a Brigadier Bambera, visited the institute, mistakenly believing the Experiment was actually the Subject. Instead, she discovered the Experiment had escaped. UNIT forces are now scouring the countryside for it." The blond man paused here, smiling a small smile. "We are going to help them, only our men will make sure the Experiment is brought back to our facilities...alive, preferably. But dead will do just as well." * * * * * "Bright Lady!" Angela exclaimed. "You just love doing that, don't you?" Kuldor remained still for a moment, then said, "It was necessary. He was in the way." "Oh shut up," Angela hissed. "You attracted the attention of the whole lobby with that little light show. Grab Morok's feet, we've got to get him out of sight." The pair grabbed the unconscious bounty hunter by the feet and hands and dragged him back into the elevator, both painfully aware of both the staring people and the hotel security guards who were jogging towards them. "Hey! You two, stop!" one portly rent-a-cop shouted as he and his partner jogged towards the elevator. "Sorry," Angela muttered with a wry smile as the doors swooshed shut. "Ride's full." Propping Jadi against a wall, she turned to Kuldor and asked, "So now what do we do? We must be trapped in the smallest building on the planet; this place only has 20 floors." Kuldor, continuing to stare straight ahead at the doors, then replied, "We go back to your room and leave from there." "Oh, yes, of course," Angela said sarcastically. "I forgot all about the transmat station hidden in the shower stall. How silly of me." "Levity is neither needed nor helpful, Ms. Ferris," Kuldor said stiffly. "I possess sufficient biomass to create an escape route to the ground." "Oh goody," Angela said. "I love sliding down squirmy ropes made of flesh." "As I said, Ms. Ferrisss..." Kuldor trailed off. His face contorted into one of bewilderment, then it began to run like half-melted wax. His chest rippled slightly, as if something were trying to get out. "The hell...?" Angela breathed, watching in horrified fascination as the Rutan slowly melted before her eyes. Kuldor pulled himself upright and lent against the wall, clutching his chest. "It would appear, Msss. Ferrisss," he gasped, wheezing like wet cement being poured a bag, "that the male iss not asss innne...bri...ated asss we supposed." With that, Kuldor's chest bulged this time and a hand forced its way out with a sickening *shhhlurrppp!* The hand remained there for only a few seconds, desperately scrabbling for something to hang onto. But Kuldor grasped the hand with both of his and pushed it back in, struggling against the wildly flailing hand. Ultimately, Kuldor succeeded in forcing the errant appendage back inside his chest cavity, but his face turned pale and he slowly slid down to the floor, rasping and wheezing. Just then, the elevator *binged!*, signaling their arrival on the appointed floor. Angela looked up from the mesmerizing sight of Kuldor melting like a Sloathe on a hot plate just in time to see the doors slide open and reveal a trio of couples, who's gazes were fixed on the dissolving Kuldor like people passing by a horrible car wreck. Angela groaned softly to herself. *Honestly, hack one little planetary defense computer. Have you done enough yet, Lady?* * * * * * High above Paradise, in the womb of the prime ship, the communications synapses were activated. The operator spoke into the receiver, which would carry his words through the crystalline relays that would then convert his voice to radio waves. The waves would pass onto the world below and commandeer any device capable of receiving even the most primitive form of radiation, using it to bombard the body below with their message - thus surprising a number of people when their microwave ovens began to threaten them. It was like that all over Paradise, people everywhere were interrupted by the ultimatum from the planet's newest, and temporary, moon. The operator took a gulp of oxygenated fluid and began the broadcast. "To all sentient organisms currently occupying power accumulator 75492/J - the planetary body colloquially known as Paradise - you are trespassing on our property. You have twelve local hours to evacuate our property. At the end of which time we will sterilize our accumulator of all organic infestation. Any organisms still remaining will be eradicated. That is all." It's really quite a sight when an entire planet breaks into a panic. But, the people of Paradise really couldn't appreciate that fact at the moment, they were too busy panicking. * * * * * It was past midnight, the dawn still an hour away. People were asleep. Except for the people outside the A&E Institute. They were wide awake, especially the Brigadier, as she doled out orders from the temporary field base set up just outside the main building for the various search parties patrolling the surrounding countryside and the institute itself. "Beagle 5! I want you out in Sector 4A!" she barked. "Hound 7! Level 5! Now!" All around her soldiers were rushing to and fro, organizing, planning, and strategizing. Out of the whirling madness stepped a young man. He had shoulder length, curly light brown hair, with blue eyes. He was wearing a tan safari jacket - the kind that has lots of hidden pockets - with a deep green shirt and dark brown trousers. He had a cultured face, straight with curved features. Normally, his face was soft and kind. Right now, it was drawn and stormy. "Doctor!" Bambera shouted. "What's going - " "Not right now, Brigadier!" the Doctor shouted right back. "What have you done with me?" The Brigadier was momentarily taken aback by this. "What do you mean? You're right here." The Doctor shot her another dirty look. "Not me me. The fourth me that shouldn't be!" Bambera paused for a moment, then plowed right ahead. "Doctor, now is not the time for rhymes. Just tell me this, what are you doing here? And why now?" "Look, just listen for a moment - " the Doctor began. "No, I think all of you had better listen to me right now," said a new voice. The two turned to see a grizzled man dressed in night camouflage exiting out of the forest, leading a large party of well-armed, equally camouflaged soldiers. Every one of the guerrillas drew beads on the UNIT personnel. Overhead, searchlights snapped on as a flock of helicopters flew in silently from the east. "If you wish to continue to live," the grizzled commando continued, "I would recommend that you all listen...*very* carefully."