Doctor Who Missing Internet Adventure #24 - "Endorra"

Chapter 6
"Episode Six"
by Philip Alderman


By the time the fire crew had gone, there wasn't much of the med-bay or Pitney left.

       Gingerly, Drake and The Doctor made their way around the smouldering remains of equipment and medical detritus, until they came to a charred, man-shaped lump, which was all that remained of the unfortunate security officer. Drake squinted at the thing for a moment as if unsure what it was he was looking at — then realization dawned, and his face fell.

       The Doctor was already on his knees, eyeglass in hand as he sifted through the young man's ashes. "This was certainly no accident. Look - traces of some kind of accelerant, unless I'm much mistaken. What do you make of this, Sergeant?"

       He held his hand aloft for Drake's inspection, but then noticed the Sergeant's shaken expression and stopped. "Sorry, rather tactless of me. Had you known Pitney long?"

       "Not long," admitted Drake. "But he was a friend, and a good one. You tend to value them in a place like this." Then the Doctor's words sank in. "Wait, what are you saying? That this was deliberate?"

       "Almost certainly."

       "How can you be so sure?"

       "Mr. Drake, surely it must be obvious that when a parasite takes control of a new host, its first instinct is very rarely to commit suicide." He stood and brushed off his burgundy coat. "The question you should be asking yourself is, who knew about Pitney's condition apart from us, and was in a position to do something about it?"

       "Spiegel." Drake's face darkened with rage. "That ruthless bastard! I'll make him suffer for this, so help me!"

       The Doctor laid a restraining hand on his shoulder.

       "No, sergeant," he commanded. "At least, not yet. We have to know for certain just who or what we're dealing with before we can take action against them." Actually, that was something of a lie – he had a fairly good idea of what it was they were dealing with, but it wouldn't do to have Drake charging off on a revenge mission and getting himself killed. "Probably best not to let Spiegel know we're on to him, eh?"

       Before Drake could respond, a mop-haired teenager pushed his way past the guards into the ruined med-lab, knocking over several pieces of undamaged equipment in the process.


       "Ah, there you are," said The Doctor distractedly, not even looking in Adric's direction. "I need you to run an errand for me..."

       "Doctor, this is important..."


       "You see, there was this girl Elizabeth and she's a princess, and we were just talking and this man in a cloak grabbed her and said her father had committed crimes against his family or something and I tried to fight him but he got away and I think she might be in danger, and...."

       "ADRIC!" bellowed the Doctor, holding up his hands. "Slow down and tell me exactly what happened."

       Adric did.

       When he had finished, the Doctor said - "Look, I realize you're concerned for this girl's safety, but if I'm right, what's going on here could be catastrophic for the entire galaxy! Would you be prepared to risk the fate of millions over a schoolboy crush?"

       The boy shrugged. "I suppose not."

       "Right then," said the Doctor, as if that was enough to settle the matter. "Now, do you know anything about a species called the Krynoids...?"

       He turned. The boy had gone.

       "What was all that about?" said Drake, who had been looking on bemused.

       "Never mind," the Doctor sighed wearily. "Oh, Adric will probably be okay. He's quite self-sufficient for a boy his age. I just hope he's not planning on doing anything reckless or heroic."

* * *

Adric ran down the corridor, breathing hard.

       Some small part of him knew this was a really stupid thing to do, but that part was currently being overruled by a larger part, which was comprised mostly of hormones.

       He really didn't like to disobey the Doctor, but if the Time Lord was unwilling to help, then there didn't seem to be any choice in the matter. That girl was going to die, and he was the only one who could do anything about it.

       But what was he going to do? If the hooded man had taken her to a ship, they'd could be long gone by now.

       But wait: Hadn't he heard someone say something about an orbital lockdown? That meant the ships weren't going anywhere – Elizabeth and her kidnapper were somewhere on Endora. He could still be in time to rescue her! All he had to do was go to the spaceport and lie in wait for Mister Skullhead to appear, sneak onto his ship somehow, and then, and then...

       Fantasies of improbable heroism began to form in his mind's eye; he saw himself single-handedly tackling a whole cadre of would-be assassins, while Lady Elizabeth gasped at his martial arts prowess and the Doctor stood by smiling approvingly. From reading Earth literature he'd found on the TARDIS, he gathered that they had a man called Bruce Lee who did stuff like this all the time.

       It took five minutes before he realized he didn't actually know where the spaceport was.

* * *

Back in the med-lab, the Doctor absently scratched at the wound on his neck, which had started to ache. A vague thought crossed his mind that he ought to get someone to examine it. Later, perhaps.

* * *

Suddenly, Adric caught a glimpse of a familiar figure on the walkway below. It was Lady Elizabeth's friend from the hyper-roulette game - Gianna, or whatever her name was.

       He leant over the balcony and called out "Hey!", but she didn't seem to hear him and kept on walking.

       Puzzled, Adric headed for the stairs down to the lower walkway and made to follow her. He had to let Gianna know her friend was in danger, at least.

       Now he came to think of it, she looked *different* to when he'd last seen her. Her hair was pulled back tight in a bun, and her expensive dress had been exchanged for something sleek and figure hugging. The expression set on her face was something like determination - or anger.

       The young woman was going at a remarkably brisk pace and it was all the boy could do to keep her in sight. The route she took was an eccentric one – up one staircase, down another, crossing from service corridors to public walkways, and occasionally doubling back as if to make sure she wasn't being followed.

       Adric would've been the first to describe himself as a bit naïve, but even he was starting to get highly suspicious. Just what was she up to?

       Soon, she gave him his answer.

       They came finally to the entrance of a huge, hangar-like chamber – the spaceport, it had to be. The girl scanned the ranks of docked ships carefully as she entered, then set off purposefully towards one in particular.

       Keeping to the shadows as best he could, Adric crept after her.

       The craft was some kind of small, utilitarian vessel. When Gianna reached it she halted and stood silently in the dim light. Waiting.

       Adric was just preparing to emerge from his hiding place and confront the girl, when he saw something that caused him to dart behind the nearest pillar.

       The Skull-Faced Man was approaching from the other end of the chamber.

       Behind him, some kind of automated luggage carrier hovered, containing only one item: a large, bulky sack.

       Gianna noticed his arrival and smiled thinly.

       "Any problems?" she asked as he got near.

       "Nothing I couldn't handle," hissed the hooded man. "There was a boy with her. Fancied himself the hero, but security grabbed him and I was able to slip away."

       "Describe him."

       "About fifteen. Bad hair, yellow tunic."

       "Hmm. Sounds like our little friend from the hyper-roulette game."

       "Want me to deal with him?"

       She shook her head. "No, forget about him. He's no threat to us now, and he'll give some credibility to her story."

       "Do you think she bought that stuff about her father wiping out my empire?"

       Gianna laughed. "Believe me, she will. Not too bright, these society girls. You wouldn't believe how hard it's been to think down at their level these past few months."

       She walked over to the sack and stroked it gently. "Sleep soundly, darling. We're just going for a little ride."

       They were preparing to leave, Adric realized. If he were going to do something, it would have to be now.

* * *

The hostess looked up as a smartly dressed man entered the reception of the Casino Endora, the eight fungoid creatures tumble weeding along behind him.

       "Welcome back, sir," she said, smiling. "Would you like your usual suite?"

       "Thank you, Elaine. And accommodation for my friends, if you would be so kind."

       "Of course, sir," said the hostess, not even blinking. "Of course."

To be continued...

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