She was aware of movement up above. There were shouts and laser bolts.
“Help!” she shouted, hoping to get somebody’s attention. “Help!”
A man’s face peered down. “Damn it!” he said.
“Can you get me out please?”
Verash jumped down and helped Ivy out of the hole and onto the surface. He looked frustrated. “Looks like the General wasn’t lying when he said you’d wake up during the funeral.”
“Oh,” said Ivy, her heart sinking, “so you’re with him then?”
“Time for us to get out of here,” came a female voice. Standing there was Alice, a smile on her face and her hands on her hips.
“And you are?”
“You can call me Tylaya,” said the woman.
“We need to get off Mars,” said Verash as the huge bulk of the Nautilus drifted into view and began aiming it’s weapons at the surface of the planet
“Where’s the Doctor?” said Alice, looking around her, hoping to see him somewhere nearby.
“He and your friend, Dennington, escaped,” said Tylaya. She suddenly winced and dropped to her knees. “She’s fighting me!”
“What? Who is?” said Ivy, becoming more and more confused.
“Fight back,” said Verash. “You’re stronger than she is.”
“It’s so hard,” she said, tears in her eyes. “Can’t you just put me back into my body now. Send the recall signal.”
Verash gulped nervously. He couldn’t tell her the truth. He couldn’t tell her that while she was possessing Alice Stokes’s body, her own body had died, unable to survive without it’s mind for so long.
“You need to be closer to your body,” lied Verash. “It won’t work this far away.”
“Then hurry up and get us back!”
The dots were beginning to join up for Ivy. She hadn’t travelled with the Doctor for so long without spotting the effects of body possession. This woman had presumably been travelling with the Doctor and at some point had become possessed by an Eyeglass goon.
She looked at Verash, knelt down beside the woman and eyed up the blaster attached to his belt. In a flash she had launched herself at him and knocked him to the ground, grabbing the blaster and aiming at him. Verash jumped out of the way as Ivy pulled the trigger. He activated a device on his wrist and he slowly dematerialised, presumably beamed up to the ship that was now beginning to fire down at the colony base.
The woman, still knelt on the floor, screamed and collapsed to the ground.
The Doctor, Dennington and Saraxx had been transported up to the Nautilus and were now being marched along a corridor, to a lift and then into a small holding room with energy beams for prison bars.
Dennington sat down on the bench, his head in his hands, and rubbed at his temples. “How did this happen?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” said the Doctor. “I was a fool.”
“The both of us were fools,” said Dennington. “I should have asked for another medical examination to have been done on Ivy.”
“And I should have been weary when I first took Alice away. She was too eager.”
“Don’t mistake her eagerness for a false feelings. Believe me, Doctor, after what Ivy’s told me about your box, I’m quite tempted to join you myself.”
“All this is mere talk,” said Saraxx. “The real question we must be asking is how we get out of here.”
The Doctor got up and crossed over to the bars. He held the palm of his hand close to them. There was a warm, prickling sensation in his skin, like static electricity. “Not through that way. Those bars would cut you to ribbons.”
“Vicious things,” said Dennington.
“I can’t understand why they’ve taken you,” said the Doctor, spinning around and pointing at Saraxx.
Saraxx shook his head. He knew exactly why. “I was attending a conference with the head of the colony. I was negotiating buying back the land that we lost to the Humans. Talks were progressing well.”
“But Eyeglass has just bombed the entire complex,” said Dennington. “Taking you hasn’t changed anything.”
“It’s because I’m a threat,” said Saraxx. “Anyone who goes up against the Humans is a threat.”
“We don’t all side with them,” said Dennington. “I’ve heard of the things they do. The government used to turn a blind eye, but even they can’t ignore them now.”
“But you’ve wasted your time and now they’ve gotten too big to handle.”
“Okay, you two,” said the Doctor, sitting on the bench and interlocking his fingers, “there’s no point in squabbling over things.”
“Especially when they’re out of our control,” said Dennington with a sigh.
“They’re not necessarily out of our control,” said the Doctor.
“No,” he continued, gazing at the bars, “in fact, we may be exactly where we need to be.”
The women stood in the expanse of golden-white sand, her thin, white dress billowing around her, fixed in place only by a black belt. Her blonde hair was tied up at the back and she wore some sort of headband across her forehead. She held two crudely cut curved swords in each hand and she quickly spun around, cutting through the air and striking defensive poses.
She stood there for a moment, still and cat-like, ready to pounce on her invisible prey, when suddenly she was distracted. Somewhere up above was the sound of distant rocket engines. She frowned and turned quickly to look for the source.
Zooming from out of the clear blue sky was a cylindrical object - an escape pod. She had seen one of these in the picture books when she was at school. It was bearing down on her location. For a moment she thought it would soar just over her head, and then she realised it was getting a little too low for comfort.
Like a panther she leapt out of the way as the pod came crashing down where she had been standing, burying itself in the sand and causing waves of grains to fly up and shower her face.
She coughed and wiped her face clean, spitting out the tiny grains of sand that had gotten into her mouth.
The door of the escape pod opened and a confused woman with long brown hair staggered out, shielding her eyes against the sun. She was followed by a taller, red-headed women with freckles and curls. She was wearing a combat suit and looked a little more confident.
“Nice,” said the first women.
“A desert. Joy!” said the red-head. She had an Irish accent.
“Oh, hello,” said the brunette, clocking the onlooker.
“Hi,” she said, a little flatly.
“Where on Gods Green earth - or brown Earth - are we?” said Ivy.
“Small island in the middle of the Pacific,” said the blonde, her hand still gripped firmly on the sword. She wasn’t willing to let her guard down even though the two women looked harmless.
“Looks familiar,” said Ivy, looking around. “Of course! This is where the Doctor took me on my first trip.”
“Ivy, we need to find a way to help him.”
“We will, love, don’t worry,” said Ivy. She nodded to the blonde women. “What’s your name?”
“Why do you want to know?” said the woman. She still hadn’t relaxed her grip.
“Jesus, what’s up with people? My name’s Ivy Coldstone and this here is Alice Stokes. We’ve just escaped from Mars.”
The blonde woman continued to stare at them, her face cold and calculating.
“Look,” said Alice, “we need to get to the Earth government and tell them all about the Eyeglass.”
“What do you know about the Eyeglass?” said the blonde woman.
“Bunch of pricks,” said Ivy. “They’re currently bombing the colony up there.” She pointed up to the sky.
“On Mars? Why?”
“How they hell should I know?” Ivy was becoming more and more frustrated with this woman. “Look, can you just tell us the way to the nearest sail dock?”
“There’s no way off this island,” said the woman.
“What do you mean? There has to be.”
The woman sheathed her sword and extended her hand. “My name is Anna. I’ve been stuck on this island since my family dumped me here when I was 12 years old.”
“That’s harsh,” said Ivy. “Why did they dump you?”
“Because I was a rebel.”
“Most parents find better ways to discipline their kids. Boot camp?”
“Maybe,” said Anna. “Not me though. I was a very big threat to my parents.”
Alice was becoming impatient. “Look, can you help us or can’t you?”
Anna smiled for the first time. “To destroy the Eyeglass? I’m a rebel. Of course I can.”
The Doctor had been marched up to the bridge of the Nautilus where he found himself stood in the oak-panelled office of General Helix. It was definitely different from the last office he had been in that belonged to the General. This one was more homely and even quite cosy considering it was a war ship.
“Ah,” said the Doctor, gazing around himself, “much nicer than the one on the Victorious. What happened to that ship?”
“It’s still out there,” smiled the General, nodding for the guards to leave them. “I just decided on an upgrade.” The General poured the Doctor a cup of Earl Grey tea and pulled out a chair. “Please, sit.”
The Doctor smiled and sat down. “How courteous of you.”
“I always like to treat my VIP’s with the utmost decency.”
The General sat on the other side of the large oak table and leaned back in his chair. “You’ve caused me quite a lot of hassle.”
“Not half as much as you’ve caused me,” said the Doctor, taking a sip of his hot tea. “Mmm, that’s good.”
“Eventually, Doctor, you will learn that you’re my tool. You’re my key to the rest of this miserable galaxy.”
The Doctor frowned. “You do realise that you still work for the Human race, yes?”
The General nodded. “I don’t work for the Human race. I am the Human race.”
The Doctor laughed. “What on Earth is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that amongst my fleet I have the best of the Human race. The best warriors, best thinkers, best doctors…I have no need of anything else.”
“So you’ve separated yourself from the actual Human race on Earth then?”
“Not just that,” said the General, leaning in and blinking slowly. “I’m about to show them what they’ve been missing.”
“What are you planning?”
The General smiled. “Right now the Nautilus is on a course back to Earth. We’ve just destroyed the colony on Mars. We’ve made our point.”
“By killing innocents.”
“By sending a message.”
“That it’s time for the government to step down and for the Eyeglass to take control.”
Central City. England.
What was once London had changed, evolved and become what was now known as Central City. A city that spanned across most of the southern part of Britain, incorporating towns that had once stood on the outskirts of London.
But the centre of old London was still there. Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Thames. It was all still familiar, albeit slightly different with sky scrapers and towers surrounding the old buildings.
Towering over the old Houses of Parliament was Central Column. A building that was narrow, but high. At the top of its 250 floors was the main office for the Earth Government, led by President Walter Carpathia.
Carpathia was a man in his late forties. He had dark, slightly greying hair and wore wire-rimmed glasses. He always wore the same grey suit every day, but was always, always smart and pleasant.
He sat there at his office table viewing the holographic projection of the atrocities on Mars.
The 3D image showed the Nautilus pounding the planet with torpedoes, obliterating buildings and levelling structures and the faces of the people - Martian and Human alike terrified and fearing for their lives.
“Turn it off,” said Carpathia with disgust.
“YES SIR,” said the computer voice.
He sat there for a long time, his fingers interlocked.
“WE HAVE REPORTS COMING IN FROM MULTIPLE FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE COLONISTS.”
“I can’t deal with them now,” said Carpathia. He wanted to deal with them, to try and explain why their relatives and friends had died on the colony, but he didn’t know what he could say to them. How could you explain the fact that a company who were supposed to be doing good things for Humanity, could turn against it’s own people.
He needed to deal with the General and Eyeglass. He was receiving pressure from the rest of the planet, and, as Eyeglass was essentially British-born, it was he who needed to reign them in.
The door to his office swished open and a dark-skinned woman walked in with a data pad.
“Everything alright, sir?” she said.
“Jenny,” smiled Carpathia. Somehow seeing his PA always warmed his heart. She had been with him right from his first day in office four years ago and they had grown close over the years. “I wish I could explain the words I want to say right now.”
“Did you have friends on Mars?”
“No,” said Carpathia, “but my brother did. His wife’s cousin works up there for the mining corporation.”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
“Mark’s a tough man,” said Carpathia. “He’s been through a lot over the last few years. If I know Mark he’ll be up there right now helping with the survivors.”
“About that…” said Jenny, looking a little worried to breach the subject.
“We’re preparing a few relief ships to help out the colonists.”
“Excellent,” said Carpathia. “Get them up there right away.”
Jenny shifted uncomfortably and handed her data pad over to Carpathia.
“We received a transmission from the Nautilus. The General says that any aid sent to Mars will be dealt with swiftly.”
“I beg your pardon?!” spat Carpathia. “They’re our own kind. They’re Humans!”
“What do we do?”
“Get Helix on the communication channels right now,” said Carpathia, directing his question to the computer.
There was a error beep. “ALL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN EARTH AND THE EYEGLASS FLEET IS BEING JAMMED.”
Another error beep. “ALL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN EARTH AND THE-”
“Yes, yes, yes,” said Carpathia wearily.
“That’s not all, sir,” said Jenny, handing him another data pad. “It seems that around six of the Eyeglass fleet are heading towards Earth, led by the Nautilus.”
The data pad was flashing that a message was waiting to be read. Carpathia looked at Jenny and then at the pad and pressed down on the flashing orange envelope symbol.
On it were the words: “WE ARE COMING”
Next time: The Nautilus arrives and the Doctor is faced with a terrible choice. Coming Saturday May 17th 2014.