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Doctor Who Whoniverse Internet Adventure #01 - "The Cold Darkness"


Chapter 9
"Cacophony of Silence"
by Kris 'The Antiwesley' Herzog


---


"Well," Jane said, "I'm not sure, but I think we're doing OK. If I read this right, these blue blips here are Dalek forces, and there's definitely a lot fewer of them than before. That big thing over there, by the way, is the moon. That confused me at first, I asked why they didn't shoot it, but... but... Why is the moon turning blue?" When nobody answered her, she asked again, in a tone of rising panic. "Why is the moon turning blue?"


       One of the station personnel answered, although not talking to her.


       "Fleet, we have multiple contacts, I repeat, multiple contacts in sector 1!


       The moon's been riddled with them all along - it must have been a back-up plan! Another--" he broke off, then started again. "Another two fleets are arising from the moon's surface! I repeat, two more fleets, this is not a sensor error!"


       Ronin nodded to herself. "The Dalek fallback plan... overwhelming numerical superiority. All this...has been in vain."


       Jane looed at Ronin in horror. Tears began to well in her eyes. Ronin looked at her and slowly nodded. Jane began to cry.


* * *


EXCERPT Encyclopaedia Galactica (Vol.12,3300)


       'It was said that the battle for the station known as 'Krios' took days on end. By the time Dalek re-enforcements reached the moon the station orbited, word had gotten back to the respective governments and they dispatched ships of all shapes and sizes to defend the station. Earth Central responded quickly, sending all the available capital ships for immediate defence of Krios. The Draconians responded in like. The fleet that amassed drove a mighty blow into the Dalek fleet. Then it all changed. Reports differ on the actual events that occurred that fateful day in 2567, but this remains to be the clearest of all pictures. The Dalek fleet was defeated at great costs to both Draconian and Human fleets. But Station Administrator Lan Henricksen came out of the battle a changed man. Reports also vary on the cause of said incident, but popular reports place him in contact with a race of unknown origin and location.


       END EXCERPT


* * *


Lan stared at Lt. Jou for a moment. His jaw dropped. She looked at him with contempt in her eyes.


       "You don't understand, Lieutenant, your bosses want us to help them. They helped save you.. now you want to save them this way?" Lan looked into her eyes.


       "You are the one failing to understand, Captain. The Draconians saved my people. Yes. This we acknowledge, they are a strong race, we only want to ensure that they remain a proud race. A race that did not come to inferiors for help."


       "What you fail to understand, Jou.. Well, let's just say you couldn't." A new figure entered into the hall.


       "Who the hell are you?" Lan looked at the stranger with anger.


       "Is that a way to talk to one of your benefactors, Lan Henricksen? Someone who has come to give you a... hand, shall we say?" the stranger walked into the mass of people in the hall.


       "Galt?" Lan looked puzzledly at the figure. The silver hair had gone, replaced by a head of shoulder-length red hair, and a younger-looking person underneath it.


       Galt turned and looked at Lan. "Yes. I'll explain later. A certain element of my government has taken it upon themselves to, ah, shall we say, establish a firmer presence on the station."


       "This quite isn't a good time right now, Galt." Lan glanced over at an irate Jou.


       "Yes. Well. Right." Galt turned and bowed to the Draconian prince. "If I may, your majesty?" he spoke in Draconian. Lan turned and nodded at the prince.


       "Very well," the prince nodded his assent.


       "Jou Gri'gangi. First Officer of Krios. Born 2525, F'aeleen Province." Galt began to recite her life story in front of her. She looked at him in amazement.


       "Are you crazy?" she asked and brandished her gun at him.


       "Yes, yes.. that's all very well, gun and all. Oh.. and that as well.." Galt pulled a rod out of his pocket. Pressing a stud on the rod, the cloud began to thin out and fade away. This drew a gasp from the crowd. He then reached over and pressed the rod to her forehead. She began to shimmer and a cloud of silver began to funnel out of her into the rod.


       "Aha! Just as I thought. A Rutan spy." Galt smiled. Jou fainted and fell to the floor. Tucking the rod away in his pocket, he turned to Lan and the prince.


       "The Rutans were hoping to use the mass-extermination of the Dalek, Draconian AND Human forces to bolster their own vendetta against the Sontarans. Their war's been going on much longer than any of your conflicts. With a whole battlefield of ships to pick from, they hoped to rebuild their fleet with different parts than in the past. They captured the Lieutenant on her way to the station, planted a sleeper into her and hoped to use the advantage of the whole war AND the station in their own war. Unfortunately, your races have not yet had much contact with either of the two races. You weren't able to detect the change, as it happened before she even got here."


       "What will happen when she wakes up?" Lan looked at her.


       "She'll remember nothing. She'll be very confused and not know where she is. Best if you get her down to the MedBay and get her help." Galt replied.


       A blast rocked the station. Lan and the prince were forced to brace themselves on a nearby table. When they turned back, Galt was gone.


       "What a strange man." the prince said.


       "I don't think we've seen the last of him." Lan nodded.


* * *


EXCERPT: Encyclopaedia Galactica (Vol.12,3300)


       KRIOS: Space Station opened in 2567 to combat the menace of the Dalek threat. Funded by private sources and the combined Earth/Draconian governments, the station came on-line and immediately found itself embroiled in a controversy involving the assassination of the Draconian Emperor and a large fleet of Dalek ships. It survived the attack, and went on to form a valuable alliance of the Earth/Draconian forces that was instrumental in the defeat of the Dalek threat.


       END EXCERPT


* * *


Personal Log: Captain Lan Henricksen.


       I don't quite know what's happened in these last few days. The station's been on a full, constant alert for some time now. It's been so long, I've lost track. Earth Central and Draconia have sent reinforcements and are expected shortly. I don't know how much longer she'll hold together. The fighters and what ships we had in orbit around the station are fighting valiantly to drive off the Dalek fleet. I only hope the ships arrive soon.


* * *


Lan stared at the holo-tank watching each and every blue and red dot fly around in a dance that seemed to never end. As a red dot would disappear, it would take a group of blue ones with it. And vice-versa. Jane had come and gone a few times, bringing coffee, sometimes lunch, all things he tended to avoid when he became so engaged by the display on the holo-tank. Some smaller Draconian ships had just come out of hyperspace and entered the fray from the outer reaches, firing smart torpedoes into the crowded blue menace that loomed on the holo-tank's display. Lan just wished he could do more to help the fight. Granted, Krios was armed and he was able to fire his own torpedoes and lasers, but advisors warned him to save them for last-ditch defence. The battle wore on and on. Finally, just as Lan was about to fall asleep at his post, a message came in.


       "Sir?" a tech came over and nudged him in the shoulder.


       "Yes, what is it, Williams?" Lan looked up at the holo-tank. Jane had fallen asleep next to his chair, and she looked at peace for the first time since he had met her. The picture still looked nearly the same, although the red dots had decreased as had the blues as well.


       "The Earth ships. They're arriving." Williams almost sounded happy.


       "They are?" Lan perked up. "Open a channel." Williams reached down to the holo-tank's panel and punched a few buttons.


       "Channel open, sir." Jane woke and stood up. She stretched and looked at the display.


       "This is Captain Lan Henricksen to arriving Earth vessels. On any other occasion, I'd welcome you to come aboard, but you'd have to get through them to do that.." he smirked a tad tiny bit. He was tired and it showed.


       "This is Fleet Captain Wasserstrom, Captain. I hear you could use a bit of help." a voice crackled from the speaker. "We even brought an old friend of yours. Alex, if you'd do the honours?"


       "Captain, sensors indicate a kill-cruiser coming out of hyperspace. They must be expecting some real trouble now..." Williams reported.


       "A kill-cruiser? Don't see many of..." the holo-tank's view switched to an external camera. Lan began to smile. Exiting hyperspace in a rainbow spectrum of colour was his old ship, the _Achilles_.


* * *


EXCERPT: Jane's Encyclopaedia of Ships (3312)


       Kill-Cruiser: Terran designate. More powerful than the standard Cruiser class, the Kill-Cruiser was designed to specifically handle a firefight of tremendous proportions. Armed with the latest weapons, Kill-Cruisers logged in more kills than any other ship in the history of space combat. Essentially hulks of armour and weaponry, they would drop in at almost point-blank range and open fire. Armour plating and electromagnetic shielding kept most weapon systems at bay for some time. Only 25 of this ship were ever in existence. Although rumours placed a Super-Kill-Cruiser design on the drawing boards even as of late 2575, unfortunately the design proved to be cost-prohibitive and hard to produce. One prototype existed and was destroyed in 2625.


       END EXCERPT


* * *


Personal Log: Captain Lan Henricksen:


       With the arrival of the Achilles, much to my surprise, upgraded to Kill-Cruiser status, the Dalek fleet was shortly dispatched. It was of no surprise to me that it made short work of it. Once it was all over, I got to go back aboard and see what they had done to the old girl. She looked brand-new. No wonder they wouldn't give her back to me. Once the Dalek fleet was destroyed, the combined might of the Earth/Draconian scrap fleet was called into play. They sifted through the remains of thousands of ships, hoping to gleam some new insight into Dalek technology. Scrap was hauled back to processing plant to be re-used for reconstruction. Life settled down on Krios after the battle. The war still continued. But for us, it was back to the status quo.


* * *


Lan stood on the hangar deck. Jane stood beside him and they both hugged Ronin goodbye.


       "Sure I can't convince you to stay on? I need a new security chief, and I think you might do a heck of a job at it." Lan asked.


       Ronin looked at Lan. "I can't. I belong out there. Fighting them. It's all I know." she reached over and grabbed Lan by the collar. Pulling him close, she kissed him. "But who knows. Maybe I'll come back soon enough."


       The door closed on the ship. The gravitic motors kicked in and it lifted silently off the floor and out into space. The Draconian government had given her the ship as a 'token' of appreciation. It moved with speed and accuracy, forming up with precision with the small fleet of support ships and sped off into hyperspace.


       Lan turned and looked at Jane. "What am I going to do with you?" he looked at her. "I'm sure you can catch the next ship out... Probably some new story out there waiting for you. I'll set it all up for you.."


       Jane looked at Lan. "I think I want two things more than anything else in the universe right now."


       "And that would be?"


       "A nice, long bath."


       Lan nodded.


       "And a nice, long interview with the Administrator of Space Station Krios. Preferably in the restaurant up on the observation floor. Right near a window. So we can see the stars for once."


       "The stars?" Lan asked, holding out his elbow.


       She nodded. "So I can see the vast emptiness out there. See that it's for real. No more Dalek ships readying to take us to our doom. The quiet darkness of space."


       Linking her arm in his, they walked out of the hangar. And for the first time since he arrived, the darkness wasn't so cold for Lan anymore.


* * *


This exit for adventure, intrigue, and excitement.

This exit for hope, love and glamour.

This exit for a resting place along the roads of the galaxy.

This exit for Space Station Krios.


---
Fin.



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