Doctor Who: The Internet Adventures - #9 REVOLUTION 9 Chapter 9 - 'The Vindicated Guidebook' by Jennifer Pinyan LAST WEEK: Still glaring at each other, the Doctor and Bea each took one step into the cave-- "Um, guys--" Wil's voice broke off, a peculiar retching noise coming from where he'd just spoken. The two Time Lord's heads snapped around. Wil was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a darkly-shrouded figure was standing in front of them. As they gawped, it raised its arms... ...and the Doctor grabbed both its hands with his own. "How do you do? I'm the Doctor. And this is... my assistant," he said, indicating the young girl clad in a forest green T-shirt and lavender Osh-Kosh overalls. She wore a sensible pair of sneakers and blue socks covered with yellow smiley-faces named Bob. "Oh, um," the figure replied wittily. "I'm... I'm," it assumed a menacing stance, "your worst nightmare!" "Well, if that's all, then," said the Doctor, "we'll be on our way. We'll see you at the ball later, though, won't we?" he asked as he grabbed Beatrice's hand and bowled past the darkly-shrouded figure. "I don't know... I don't think I got an invitation..." "Here, you can have mine," offered the Doctor, handing the mysterious alien a folded slip of paper. The being gratefully accepted it and opened it to find out what the R. S. V. P. date was. When it looked up, the Doctor and Beatrice were gone. ******************* The Doctor and the young girl followed the corridors hastily, occasionally turning when prompted by the life-form-tracking gizmo in the Doctor's hands. Beatrice skipped ahead of the Doctor, singing, "This is the way we find the Ferris, find the Ferris, find the Ferris. This is the way we find the Ferris, all day long!" The Doctor caught Beatrice by the arm. "Come on," he said, "try to keep in mind where and who you are." Beatrice turned tired, cloudy eyes up to the Doctor, and, for a short while, they cleared. "It's hard to stay focused, you know. Even if I weren't a clone, this isn't the most agreeable time for post-regenerative stabilization." "There are few hours in life more agreeable--" "-- than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea. Henry James," completed Beatrice. "But joking aside, Doctor, you're not making things any easier for me; you're broadcasting too much." "I am not. No one should be picking up on my thoughts...but I guess since you're me..." He sighed. "And I've never gotten along well with myself." "Stop saying things like that, Doctor," Beatrice demanded, placing her small hands on her hips, her eyes full of fire now. "I am not *my* fault! It's hard enough for me to stay centered without your thinly-veiled recriminations. I'm fading away. And I'm so confused. It's hard to tell what I'm thinking, what I'm remembering. What *you* are remembering." He couldn't help recalling, when he looked at his clone, the last time he had seen Beatrice. Suddenly, he remembered what he'd told the young girl about clones in the hospital that day: "It would look like you, it would walk like you, for a short time it would even think like you. But it wouldn't be you." She'd been made from his DNA, yes, and she'd even resembled his third body for a while. But she wasn't him. With a mental shake, the Doctor pushed the death of Mike's daughter to the back of his mind. "Come on, now. We have to keep moving," he said briskly, grabbing her hand and continuing down the corridor. Beatrice stumbled. "Carry me, uncle," the little girl requested. The Doctor bent down and scooped Beatrice up in his arms. She rested her head against his shoulder, and they moved on through the tunnels. "I'm sorry, Bea," he whispered. ******************* "Well?" demanded the Rutan not currently plugged into the console. "Patience..." muttered Angela, as she continued to twist and turn through the system. She was actually making a bit of progress. Now, if there were only no more distractions... ******************* "We're here," said the Doctor, gently putting Beatrice down. "Thanks," she replied, lucid once more. They were at the entrance to another cavern, this one containing several computer consoles. The Doctor's scanner indicated a human female and two Rutans, but as far as he could see, only Ferris and one blob (which he presumed to be a Rutan) were in the room. "It's time to find out what this is all about," announced the Doctor. "You might want to stay here..." "We discussed this before leaving the TARDIS, Doctor. I'm coming with you." Together, hand in hand, they stepped into the cavern. "Um, excuse me, I'm the Doctor, and I was just wondering if you could--" "The Subject!" exclaimed the blob. Angela spun around and, through the haze of data streams, saw the Rutan begin to glow with an eerie, but now familiar, green light. *No, not again!* she silently cried. The Doctor barely had enough time to shove Beatrice away from him before the lightning engulfed him. ******************* Slowly, Jadi opened his eyes. The room was too bright at first, but once his pupils had contracted he was able to see again. There were several exciting things for him to notice, and his brain registered them in order of importance. First, the bunch of robed figures were gathered on one side of the room, conversing. Second, he was not the only bound and stunned human lying on the ground of the control chamber. Wil sat up slowly and put a manacled hand to his head. He started to groan, but quickly stopped upon seeing Jadi make a rather threatening gesture. "Shut up," the bounty hunter hissed at Wil. Considering his current predicament, Wil decided to sulk quietly rather than publicly denounce the combined ill effects of getting drunk, swallowing Rutan, and being transported by a... well, by whatever had transported him. He shot Jadi a look that he hoped would be read as an inquiry about their plans of escape. Jadi nodded his head toward the plotting figures as he slowly eased into a crouch. Nevermind that his hands were bound; he'd think of something. "...Besides, Ferris is in the core, where she'd survive." "Yeah. And she's working on the security system." "Don't worry about that," the figure took a swig of oxygenated fluid, "two agents are down there now." "So can we fry the planet, then? Oh, come on, can we? Can we?" Jadi glanced at his watch; there were still two hours until time zero. He glanced over at Wil and was surprised to see that the young jester was extending a blaster to him, hands unbound. Perhaps the kid did have his uses, after all. But wait, that wasn't just any blaster, it was one of his! Jadi grabbed the gun with a scowl, wondering what else of his Wil still had. "Oh, I guess so." "Could you say, 'Fire away!' or something like that?" And just at the moment when the leader gave the requested order, Jadi obeyed. The robed figures in the control room were plowed down by the streams of death coming from Jadi's weapon. A shimmer of light surrounded two of the figures, and then they vanished. In their place, a thin cable and a shapeless blob lay on the ground. Jadi stepped over the bodies to join Wil at the giant view screen. Alternately, he stared outside and at his watch in disbelief. Wil had watched everything with a certain detachment. One can only take in so much in a twenty-four hour period. Carnage surrounded him, but he found he couldn't even focus his eyes on the bodies. It was horrible. All of it. *If this is *vacationing* with the Doctor...* But then, Wil already knew what not vacationing with the Doctor was like. When in doubt... "So," he asked the bounty hunter, "what do the J and D stand for?" "There were still two hours. Cruk!" was the only reply. ***************************** If one had been sitting somewhere out in space and observing the fleet of mysterious-robed-guy ships, one would have seen the same thing that an unfortunate group of Sontarans had witnessed only about ten hours earlier. That is, a bunch of bright, not-so-friendly looking lights gathered at the crown of the out-stretched portions of the largest ship. A stream of light so white that it was almost blue shot towards Paradise. It was soon joined by other, smaller beams from the lesser ships of the fleet. Plasma engulfed the former vacation planet. The result of the attack was wondrously (if a tad inaccurately) described a few years later by the eminent vacation guide author Kekx Kondick: "[StarHols] folded after its star attraction, 'Paradise,' was reduced to a lump of lifeless radioactive ash." ***************************** It was hot. And painful. The Doctor had never really smelled burnt frock coat before, and so a certain portion of his brain filed away the new smell for future reference. Then, just as suddenly as it had all started, the searing light was gone, and the Doctor found himself on the ground. It was very tempting to just shut down his senses and enter that peaceful, quiet, painless meditative state... But there was no way he could do that now. He struggled to push himself up and noticed that his hands were bright red. One would have thought that he, not Wil, had just spent weeks sitting on the beach. Beatrice was quickly at the Doctor's side, helping him up. His face was scarlet, just like his hands, and he was mumbling about wishing he hadn't changed from the safari jacket to the frock coat when they'd left Tim. She noticed that where the blob had once been, now stood a figure like the one who had accosted them in the other cavern. Also, Angela was now looking around, dazed, a loose cable dangling from her cranial port. Inelegantly spread across the console was another robed figure. The mysterious stranger on the computer terminal straightened itself and addressed Angela, "You have all failed! Your friends may *be* on my ship, but that hardly means they *control* it. Besides, there's a whole fleet still under our power up there, and I'm now in control of what's really important." It paused dramatically, as if gathering its strength for maniacal laughter. "What, do you expect us to beg for mercy?" asked the Doctor, now standing and approaching Angela and the mysterious figures. The black-robed figure laughed evilly. "BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Mercy is something one only grants to the defeated-- Oh, wait, that would be you!"