Doctor Who
The Internet Adventures #9
Chapter 10 - Pop Rocks and Mysterious Robed Guys
by Jeffery Beuck

Angela Ferris shook her head in a mediocre attempt to reorient herself
after the jolting disconnection from the alien cyberspace.  Abrupt
separation from cyberspace was known to be fatal to jackers whose
minds remained in the virtual environment when connections were
suddenly snapped.  Luckily, Angela had installed a few safeguards in
her jack, but even they could not prevent the inevitable disorientation
of being thrown unexpectedly back into the real world.  She had been
so close to unlocking the secrets of the alien power accumulator ... a
few more codes and she would have had access to the central control.
There was some fantastic alien technology in there -- she had found
herself both fascinated and frightened by the complex alien programs,
safeguards, and locks against which she had battled ... but just as she
had been about to hack into the central AI, she had found herself in a
swirling cavern where some mysterious robed guy was cackling evilly
at an eccentrically dressed man and a little girl ....  Where had these
strangers come from, and what had happened to her Rutan adapter
and Kuldor's progeny?  Lady, her head was swimming.
     "Why did you have to do it?" Weird Clothes was saying
indignantly.  "The beings on this planet would have left peacefully.
There was no need to kill them."  She could see him stalking towards
the mysterious robed guys, who anxiously backed away.  As her
eyesight focused, she could see that his face was burnt, as if he had
been out in the sun too long.  Or been scarred by a heavy blast of
radiation.  O Great Holy Woman!  The alien bastards had incinerated
the planet's surface!
     "This planet was ours," retorted a robed-guy defensively.  "We
built it as a mass power converter for our fleet, along with several
thousand others.  When our fleet stopped by to refuel, we found the
power transmitters blocked by crude, purposeless structures built by
you alien scum."  The hooded figure spat at the taller man
     "Besides, what kind of moron builds a home on top of a
hyperspatial tachyon reactor?" chipped in the other robed guy.  "I
mean, really?"
     The burned man looked away angrily, and turned to Angela.  As
she got her first good glimpse of his face, she was momentarily taken
aback -- she had seen him somewhere before ... "Ms. Ferris, I
presume?  A few of my friends have been going to a lot of trouble to
find you."
     "St--stay away from me," Angela said, backing away from him,
towards the mysterious robed guys.
     "I'm here to help," said the man, extending a gentle hand and
looking into her with charming, alien eyes.  Oh, lady -- that's where
she'd seen that face before -- in the top secret files she'd stolen in
last hacking job.  This man was the highly classified subject whose
database the Rutan Alternative Collective had paid her a hundred
thousand grotzis to lift from the Secret Earth Dossiers stored on
Alcestus!  He was the reason she now had half a dozen bounty
hunters chasing her across the universe, including that bumbling,
incessant Morok.  What the hell was this man doing here?
     "Who are you?" Angela cried, backing away even further.
     "A friend," the man replied, drawing steadily nearer.  "You need
medical attention, Angela.  You've been badly burned by the
radioactive side effects of the nuclear inferno these fu ... *fulsome*
aliens used to destroy the surface of this planet.  There's nothing more
you can do here.  Come with me."
     "You're a bounty hunter!  You're with Morok!" she accused.
     The Mysterious Robed Guys watched the confrontation with a
mixture of amusement and concern.
     "Well, yes, I'm unfortunately acquainted with Mr. Morok, but I
promise I won't let him hurt you; and besides ... I rather seem to have
lost old Jadi and my young friend Wil at the moment."
     "Haw, haw, haw!" cackled one of the MRGs.  "Your two
human friends are currently my prisoners, aboard my ship!"
     "You mean *my* prisoners," interjected the other one.
     "Well, yes, whatever ... the point is, we have your friends, and if
you ever want to see them alive again, you will do exactly as we say!"
     Angela rolled her eyes.  Were these aliens for real?  Were these
the same super-technologically advanced aliens who had built this
entire planet and whom even the Rutan Alternative Collective
     "I think you'll find they learned human speech and mannerisms
from studying Earth television shows broadcast into space many
centuries ago," the little girl piped up.  Angela could see now that
too, had signs of radiation burns.  "Unfortunately, they also studied
human psychology from the same source, and as you can see, they
received a somewhat melodramatic, but inaccurate picture."
     "Silence!" roared Mysterious Robed Guy Number One.
     "Oh, allow me to introduce my ... companion, Bea," Morok's
friend said.  "And let me introduce myself.  I am known as  the
     "The Doctor?"  Angela strained to recall the deep, dark secrets
about this man she had hacked from his file on Alcestus ...
     "Silence!" roared Number One again, but he himself fell silent
as a hologram of yet another MRG rezzed into existence near the
console to which Ferris had been jacked.
     "Number Nine ... Number Nine ... Number Nine ... come in,
Number Nine."
     "I am here, Number Three," answered the Mysterious Robed
Guy Angela had thought of as Number One.  Well, she had only been
off by two.
     "Your ship has broken formation and appears to be headed
toward the flagship.  Complete activation of the power transference
protocols and return to your ship immediately.  This is an order."
     "Yes, Number Three."  The hologram dissolved.  The
Mysterious Robed Guy turned toward the three humanoids.  "Well,
 Doctor,' it seems your friends are making a futile attempt to
commandeer our ship.  Their effort will be in vain, however."  The
figure turned toward the console, lifted a small control ball from its
surface, and popped it into what was probably its mouth, although it
was difficult to tell for sure since its hood obscured anything that
might have been construed as a face.  "Tranthmurring noww,"
mumbled the Robed Guy.
     "Doctor, now might be a good time to use the  secret weapon,'"
whispered Bea, closing her eyes from the pain of the radiation burns.
     "I agree," replied the Doctor, who produced what appeared to be
a garden gnome from under his thin coat.  Angela could have sworn
there hadn't been a bulge there a moment ago ...


"... as the priest said to the actress," finished Wil.
     "Thanks for trying to lighten me up, kid, but I could use your
help ... in ... trying ... to ... turn ... this ... ship .... from ....
this ...
freakin' collision course!" finished Jadi as he pulled so hard on what
looked like a control lever that it broke off.  The alien flagship grew
steadily larger in the forward viewscreen.  "You know, this might be
a nice time for your Doctor friend to show up.  I'd even be willing to
settle for the sixty thousand mazumas he owes me and cut my losses
on Ferris at this point."
     "Sixty thousand!  I thought it was forty thousand?"
     "Inflation.  Besides, the mazuma isn't worth what it was a year
ago.  Damn Deremarian stock market collapse ..."
     "Hey, how about this?" suggested Wil, holding up a small rock
curiously similar to the one the Doctor had picked up in the cave.
     "Oh, no!  I ain't puttin' no alien rock in my mouth."
     Wil shrugged, closed his eyes, and popped the stone into his
mouth.  It was curiously smooth, and felt tingly, like the little pop
rocks candy Gareth had made him eat once as a child ...
     "You did it, kid!"  Wil felt the ship stop moving, and opened his
eyes to see Jadi grinning inanely at him.  Wil tried to smile back, but
it was difficult with a large rock in his mouth.  "I bet you never knew
your tongue could do such fantastic things."  He whacked Wil on the
back playfully, and Wil gulped.  The ship began to move again.
     "Whoa -- what's happening?" Jadi asked.
     "I think I swallowed it," Wil muttered shamefacedly.


Tim Matheson couldn't wait for the debriefing from UNIT.  He
didn't really care too terribly much what had happened to the Doctor
and the woman who had been with him, but he felt the overwhelming
urge to tell the world how his friends had been brutally murdered, and
to make sure the people responsible rotted in a deep, dark, dungeon
for the rest of their lives.  He had never really believed in government
conspiracies, but he knew there was something rotten in London.  The
people from UNIT had been nothing but kind to him so far, and he
would do whatever he could to assist them in exposing this decay at
the heart of the nation.
     So it came as a bit of a shock when the Doctor entered the room
and, well, shocked him.


"Mommy, tell us the story about the monster once again."
     "And the old brigadier, before you."
     "Yes, please, momma!"
     "Now, children, there will be plenty of time for tales later," said
Ancelyn, coming up to Winifred and kissing her.  "Now hurry off to
bed."  The twins ran off to their bedrooms, and Ancelyn embraced
Winifred and began to shake her violently ...
     "Brigadier!  Wake up!  What happened?"
     "Huh?" mumbled Winifred, attempting to reorient herself after
the jolting separation from her dream.  Sergeant John Lock was bent
over her, shaking her awake.  "Stop that.  I'm awake now," she
ordered.  She climbed groggily to her feet, trying to recall what had
happened.  "The Doctor.  There's a fake Doctor in the building!  And
he's trying to get to Matheson!  Quick!  Seal off all the exits!  Have
anyone looking like the Doctor arrested on sight!  If he offers
resistance, you are authorized to use lethal force!"
     UNIT soldiers scrambled to find the false Doctor, but they were
too late.  They combed the building and grounds but found no sign of
the ersatz Doctor or the young man, Matheson.  They did, however,
find the dead body of one Captain Wildeman, whose shape the
renegade Rutan had assumed in order to smuggle out the prisoner.


The thing in the shape of a blond man smiled as the two scientists
were thrust into the room.  "Sit down, sit down," he gestured.  Drs.
Browning and Booth sat down uncomfortably in hard-backed plastic
chairs.  "Tell me, doctors -- do you know who I am?"
     "Certainly not," replied Booth.
     "Afraid not," added Browning.
     "Good."  The blonde man stood up.  "You recently came into
contact with the subject of an experiment we were performing here.  I
would like to know just how much you learned about the subject
while ... she was in your care."
     Booth stood up indignantly.  "Look, what is the meaning of
this?  Where are we?  And who are you?  Are you some kind of secret
government agency?  If so, I demand to phone my solicitor.  You
have no right to keep us here!"
     "I have every right," hissed the blond man, pulling an automatic
from under his desk and lining up the laser sight upon the balding
man's forehead.  A bead of sweat trickled down Dr. Booth's scalp.
The blond man turned to Dr. Browning.  "What did you discover
about the subject?"
     "We know the subject had two hearts, a body temperature of 60
degrees Farenheit, and a blood type unlike that of anyone on record,"
Rebecca replied stonily.  "That's all we know.  Was she some kind of
     "I'm afraid not," the blond man said, lowering his gun.  "I'm
afraid you know too much, though."  The door opened, and a pair of
soldiers in camouflage fatigues entered, manhandling the two
protesting scientists from their chairs.  "Take them to the Darkhouse."
     As the cries of indignation faded down the corridor, the blond
man wondered just how long it would take he and the other members
of the Rutan Collective to learn the secrets of the Doctor.  There were
only four Rutans on Earth at present, but any more would have drawn
suspicion from an already suspicious secret organization.
     He sighed a strangely electronic sigh.  His other half was
returning with the human boy picked up by UNIT.  They'd put him
into the Darkhouse too.  Once they were finished with him.
     No one ever left the Darkhouse.

To Be Continued . . .

"I'm a Zarbi girl,
In a Zarbi world.
Ants of plastic
Aren't our webs fantastic?
Don't have any hair
Got pinchers everywhere,
Controlling collars,
Acid pools and flowers.
Come on Zarbi, let's go party, ah-ah-ah-ah ..."
-Lesser known Menoptera folk song

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