Cause and Effect [Doctor Who WIP Part Three]

The story continue-continues.

Scorpius Five was a gloomy little world, cast in an almost perpetual twilight, and with a far greater than could be considered normal planetary rainfall, due in part to the sheer amount of water that covered its surface. Even the Earth had more (and greater) land mass than this place. The single continent, whilst comparatively large, was in the planet’s northern hemisphere and the four major habitable areas were markedly different from one another in culture and attitude. The weather, however, was the same wherever you went (dismal), so at least at political functions they had something to talk about.

“So then, Kale. Impress me. What do you know about Scorpius Five?” The Doctor was rifling through the rails of the wardrobe room in the TARDIS in an effort to find Kale a coat of some description. The boy had entirely failed to pack one, probably due to the fact that when one was born and raised in a space station, rain wasn’t something that you prepared for.

“I can tell you the chemical composition of the atmosphere down to the last miniscule percentage,” said Kale, after a few seconds contemplation. His little face was so hopeful that he’d given the correct answer, that the Doctor softened what would have otherwise been a snappy, impatient response.

“To the last percentage. Well, well. That’s – ah – that’s very helpful Kale.” He pulled down a raincoat that looked for all the world like it had been rejected by the costume department of ‘Columbo’ on the grounds that it was too scruffy. He held it up and scrutinised Kale through squinting eyes. “I know that the atmosphere is breathable for people like you and me, and that’s the really important part. How about the inhabitants, what can you tell me about them? Here. Try this on for size.”

“The four major cities of Scorpius Five are set at almost the exact cardinal points,” recited Kale, sounding disturbingly like a walking text book. “Meridian City, in the north, is the largest of the four and considered the centre of politics for the entire planet. The citizenship is governed by a democratically elected president and is largely comprised of bipedal warm-bloods, with one or two other evolved life forms as well.” Kale puzzled at the coat for a few moments before finally working out how to put it on. When he did get his arms into the sleeves, it was back to front.

The Doctor shook his head and demonstrated the correct way to wear it. The young man pretty much disappeared into the coat, but at least it should keep him dry.

“Brevity,” said the Doctor as he pulled on his own overcoat, “is said to be the soul of wit.” He was rewarded with a by-now familiar look of confusion. “Learn to summarise! Get to the point! Chop, chop! Skip to the end. Don’t let yourself get bogged down with the details if you can possibly avoid it. Remember, Kale. Not everyone that you come into contact with is blessed with the same level of intelligence as you and I. Ooh, did I just blow my own trumpet? Oh, yes. That was a definite toot.”

He grinned maniacally.

“So. You’ve read the data. What do you suspect is the problem?”

“The Meridians have over-mined the minerals on their fourth moon. The molecular stability of the celestial body has been compromised by deep mining and it is breaking down from within. Soon it will break up all together and Scorpius Five is likely to be seriously battered by the resulting meteoric fallout as it burns through their atmosphere and strikes the landmass and, worse, the oceans, where it will cause tidal waves beyond imagining. Statistical chance of rectifying the damage caused to the orbiting satellite…”

He frowned briefly, made a quick internal calculation, then nodded. “Two percent. Statistical probability of structural failure – eighty five percent give or take a decimal place or two. Unknown factors mitigating the circumstances to a different, unknown outcome rest at thirteen percent.”

The Doctor stared at Kale all the way through the little speech. He sounded so cool, so sure and so clinically matter-of-fact that he was temporarily speechless.

“A night out with you must be fun, Kale,” he said. “What do you do for fun, conjugate in Sycoraxian? No, don’t answer that, I’m being sarcastic.”

The Doctor too had hypothesised – almost word for word – what the young man had just said. The collapse of the moon would be due almost certainly to the greed of the terinium miners who had torn the moon apart for the precious metal. As precious to the star travelling universe as gold and diamonds were to the human race, terinium was rare – almost as rare as a tabloid that didn’t publish a story on either Angelina Jolie or David Beckham for more than a week.

Used largely in the manufacture of force shields, it was a highly sought after – and extremely valuable metal. It therefore meant that Scorpius Five was one of the wealthier planets in this sector. Two of its orbiting moons were known to be terinium rich and now it looked like it was all for nothing. They had set up the first lunar mining colony some twenty years previously.

They had all but destroyed the moon in twenty years.

They could almost have been human with a destructive capability that unerring. The thought came and went and the Doctor shuddered inwardly as he remembered Martha Jones’ casual explanation of what would happen should she use the Osterhagen Key.

Must find out who Osterhagen was.

Best not to dwell on those thoughts.

“That’s … still a pretty detailed answer, Kale. Want to give me the short version?”

“That was the short version.” Kale managed to look slightly put out.

“Right. Well, here’s what I mean. This is MY version. Unless we find some way to prevent the moon’s collapse, Scorpius Five is doomed, Captain Mainwaring.” The Doctor adopted a pseudo-Scottish accent for the last three words and waggled his eyebrows meaningfully.

“My name isn’t…”

“Oh, shut up. So, then. Thirteen percent of variables to play with, eh? Well, you know what they say about the number thirteen, Kale.”

An awkward pause.

“It…comes between twelve and fourteen?” Kale hazarded anxiously. Despite the frustration, the Doctor grinned even wider. This kid was absolutely priceless and right now, displaying about as much potential use as an inflatable dartboard.

“Nope. Thirteen. Unlucky for some, lucky for others. Let’s go exploit those unknown factors, shall we? You might want to put your hood up – it’s pretty good weather for ducks out there.”

Almost immediately, the small, plastic duck emerged from Kale’s pocket and a determined expression came onto his face. The Doctor considered explaining the metaphor, but the sight of Kale in his ludicrously over-sized raincoat and clutching a small, plastic duck was far too entertaining.

“Let’s go,” he said, opening the door of the TARDIS and waving the young man through. “Welcome to your first taste of life outside of the Shadow Proclamation.”

The view from outside the TARDIS was quite spectacular. Meridian City was set in a deep vale, with steep sided, heavily wooded cliffs surrounding it on three sides, opening out to the vast ocean on the fourth side. Had this been Earth, flood insurance would have been at a premium – especially with all this rain. This was not Earth, however.

The Meridians, a reasonably technologically advanced race, had long ago developed a flood shield, based on the force field technology created from their own terinium and it held the high tide at bay. That high tide, royally screwed up by the haphazard, dying orbit of the fourth moon was presently an insanely high tide and was clearly only going to get worse. The force field was holding strong, but that would not be case forever. Once the moon fully collapsed, the resulting tsunami would obliterate certainly Meridian City and likely its counterpart on the southern shores, the city of Bhantar.

And when it did happen, the floodwaters would prove to be the least of their problems.

Bizarrely to those not in the know, it often came as a surprise to discover that despite Scorpius Five being an ocean planet, there was no sea-bound shipping. All trade with the other cities was carried out overland.

For those in the know, of course, this was perfectly understandable. The oceans of Scorpius Five were teeming with some of the most terrifying predatory sea life imaginable. Proper sea monsters. The sort that Hollywood could only dream about and which the BBC could never budget. The sort of monster that the force fields around the continent’s coastline kept out. If the distribution of that force field was compromised by – oh, say, a massive flood, then the predators would break free and would roam the island freely. Those who didn’t drown straight away would be faced with a perpetual nightmare of avoiding what amounted to walruses the size of killer whales, with teeth like crocodiles.

The Doctor explained all this to Kale – briefly, of course – as they stood at the top of the cliff looking down over the city. Kale still had the duck held warily in one hand, held out slightly in front of him like a gun – and finally – finally – the Doctor was rewarded with the fly-catching expression he so loved to see on the faces of those he took anywhere new. Kale’s mouth was slightly open and he turned almost childish circles as he looked around, taking everything in.

“Welcome to your first new planet, Kale,” said the Doctor softly, watching the young man as he raised his face to the rain. “What do you think? Better than the Biodome, right?”

“It’s…a bit damp, isn’t it? Are all other worlds like this? The Biodome never simulates pain.”

“Rain. And no. No, no, no, no! And, for the book, Scorpius Five can actually be quite temperate if you get it in the right season. Why, I could take you to places that are stuck in permafrost and where it’s always snowing. Snow’s like rain – this stuff – only much colder and LOADS more entertaining. Or there are arid, barren deserts that have never seen so much as a DROP of rain. Or there are planets that have never seen the sun and are in permanent darkness. And then…” The Doctor paused dramatically. Then there’s Skegness.”

He glanced over at Kale, pale, bedraggled and clutching onto the small, plastic duck and shook his head sadly. “I’m really not sure that you’re ready for the horrors of Skegness.”

Kale nodded politely, clearly not fully comprehending, and some of the verve and vigour went out of the Doctor’s enthusiasm.

“Come on,” he sighed. “Let’s get to the city.”

He headed back to the TARDIS, followed by a small, bedraggled Kale. Water dripped around his small, pale face and the cold was seeping through the coat to his clothes beneath. He let out an involuntary shiver.

“Are you sure the word isn’t pain?”

“Quite sure.”

As the boy splashed his way back into the TARDIS, the Doctor paused to look up at the threatening sky. A distant rumble made him sigh heavily.

A storm was coming.

* * *

The first thing Kale observed about His Most Lawful Eminence, the President of Meridian City was that he was tall. Very tall. Taller even than the Doctor, whose lanky frame towered above Kale. Unlike the Doctor, however, the President was heavily, even powerfully muscled. Of a humanoid, bipedal appearance, as he had recited to the Doctor barely minutes earlier, this particular creature’s animalistic beginnings were very apparent in the slightly slanted, yellow feline eyes. On second rather shy glance, Kale deduced that the copious quantities of rich, golden fur that covered the parts of the President’s body that weren’t covered by robes of state were also another screamingly obvious clue.

“Greetings to you,” said the President in a voice that was something of a low rumble. Kale was immediately put in mind of a cat purring prior to being fed and tried to put the thought at the back of his mind as he and the Doctor rose from the comfortable seats where they had been told to wait. “My name is Gelamane. I am the President of Meridian City and thus the elected Speaker of my People on this world.”

“This is Kale and I’m the Doctor. And – ah – that over there in Kale’s hand is a small, plastic duck which he was just going to put away, weren’t you, Kale?” The Doctor held out a hand to shake Gelamane’s own, but the President merely stared at it, his eyes narrowing slightly suspiciously. The Doctor let his hand drop back to his side again. “We were in the area and noticed your little problem. Wondered if there’s anything we can do for you.” “

To what end?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What is it that you hope to gain from such an offer?”

The Doctor shook his head. “Ah, you misunderstand me, Your Presidentship. Kale and I aren’ t out to profit from your planet’s misfortune, not at all. We’re here to do anything we can to help you solve the problem.” He moved a little closer and spoke to the President conspiratorially out of the corner of his mouth. “Between you and me, and without wanting to sound like a veritable brass section, I’d say we’ve got a pretty dynamic brain. And we’ve got a water pistol as well, but I think that might still be back in the TARDIS.”

“The TARDIS?” Gelamane narrowed his eyes to bare slits as a connection was made. “The Doctor. The TARDIS. You – “ Here, he pointed at the Doctor with a long, clawed finger. “You are the Last Child of Gallifrey. They call you the Destroyer of Worlds.”

“Ah. That name’s slipped into the timelines already, has it? They also call me the Oncoming Storm, the bloke with the sideburns and on occasion, the ‘skinny boy in a suit’, but you and I both know, don’t we, your Most Lawful Eminence, that names can be deceptive.” The Doctor grinned cheesily and thrust his hands into his pockets. “I have to say, that if that’s what you’re going to believe then I’m going to have to find some way to prove to your that we’re here to help. Tell him, Kale.”

“What?”

The young man, who had been carefully stowing the small, plastic duck away looked up, startled as the President’s suspicious gazed turned onto him. A dusky rose tint touched his otherwise colourless features and he shuffled uncomfortably. A few moments of silence passed and then Kale stared intently at the floor. He began to mumble something incomprehensible, only one word in four being even vaguely coherent.

“Speak up, Kale.” The Doctor playfully nudged the young man with a bony elbow and Kale cringed slightly. He took a deep breath and raised his head. The Doctor felt a brief surge of pride to witness the sudden change in demeanour.

“My name is Kale. I am the third and youngest son of the Shadow Architect, present head of the Shadow Proclamation for whom I am representing interest in your situation. Under the Covenant of Hours, I have been bound to apprenticeship with the Doctor and I can gladly vouch for his trustworthiness. What you may have heard is incorrect, President Gelamane. The Doctor is no Destroyer of Worlds. He is here to fix yours.”

It sounded so confident that the Doctor gave Kale a friendly pat on the back. “Nicely worded,” he said, encouragingly. “Nice try.”

The President, however, continued to stare at Kale with expressionless eyes until the poor, bewildered young man shuffled uncomfortably under his gaze. Without looking away, the huge creature continued to address the Doctor.

“Your exploits have become the stuff of legend, Doctor,” he said. “For every bad thing I have heard about you, there is always a balance, something worthy that you have done, some service you have performed. So tell me, Doctor.” At this point, Gelamane turned back to consider the Doctor who met the yellow-eyed, slightly predatory gaze without fear. “What should I believe? The good or the bad?”

“You should believe whatever you wish, Gelamane. I am not here to be showered in your trust, nor to receive your undying gratitude. I am not here to win you over with a flash of a smile, or by producing a rabbit from a hat – shut up, Kale, I’ll tell you what a rabbit is later – or by proclaiming to be some sort of saviour, or hero. I have come here to offer you my assistance if you want it. If you don’t…well, then, we’ll be on our way and good luck to you.” He finished the little speech with a lazy salute.

Gelamane considered, then nodded sharply and smiled. The way the expression revealed two rows of exceptionally disconcerting, razor-sharp teeth, the Doctor wished, deep down, that he’d not bothered.

“You speak well, Doctor, and your understanding of my race’s culture is to be highly commended. Please forgive my former suspicion. Come. You and your – “ He looked at Kale. “Your apprentice are to be our honoured guests for as long as our city survives.”

The President swept away, moving with a long stride and easy, cat-like grace. Kale slid to the Doctor’s side and looked up at him. “How did you change his attitude like that?” he asked, impressed.

“By understanding what he is, knowing his culture and beliefs. Gelamane’s people are almost insanely proud. By telling him that his decision was his own to make, he was able to accept neutrality in the matter. Had I demanded he accept me at my word, I would have called into question his ability to make his own decisions.”

“So I erred. I insulted him.” It was a statement, not a question. Kale looked crestfallen and the Doctor felt pity.

“No, Kale, you didn’t. There’s a lot more to learning than just what you read from the books. It’ll come to you in time, don’t you worry.” He patted the boy’s shoulder. “Plus, you are young, yet. Gelamane’s race are impatient, certainly, but not unforgiving.” For probably the first time, the Doctor felt true, genuine sympathy for Kale. He had been so conditioned by his early life with the Shadow Proclamation, a collective who were all about logical thought and clinical thinking. Learning the complexities of emotion would be hard for him.

Was I like that, once? Was I ever so coldly logical and linear that I didn’t feel?

The Doctor was more than a little perturbed to acknowledge to himself that the answer to that question was ‘yes’.

He allowed himself a moment’s self-righteous irritability at the closeted, uncaring manner in which Kale had been raised. The Shadow Proclamation had ever been the universe’s judges and impartiality was a key constituent of their being. But Kale was nothing more than a boy. He deserved to fill his life with the rich tapestry of the world beyond his ken, to grow beyond the constraints of his upbringing. To become…someone. He’d agreed to teach Kale the principles of time travel, the fundamentals of the laws of continuum – but why not throw in a few extra lessons that the Covenant of Hours hadn’t covered?

There was a young Time Lord who once stood before the High Council and spoke almost those exact same words. You would wish that on this boy?

His daydreaming was interrupted by Gelamane.

“These here are the most recent maps of the terinium mines on the moon,” the President stated, touching an all-but invisible screen which threw up a three-dimensional image of Scorpius Five and its orbiting moons. With a few deft movements of his clawed hand, Gelamane swiftly zoomed in on what looked to be a maze of mine tunnels that wormed their way beneath the lunar surface. The Doctor took out his glasses and, perching them on his nose, peered intently at the schematics. Kale also brightened noticeably and paid close attention.

“Our engineers believe the problems began with the collapse of the Grand Tunnel, here.” A claw indicated a spot on the map. “As you can see, it was rather unfortunate in that it offered a strategic support point.” The President shook his head and his tone became bitter. “It lost us access to the richest terinium seam we have ever seen. We would never be able to dig through all that rock again in this generation.”

There was terrible regret in Gelamane’s voice at the loss of the terinium seam and something nagged at the Doctor’s mind. He hoped that Kale felt it, too and bit his tongue. His silence was rewarded a few moments later when the young man spoke up, timidly.

“Forgive my asking, sir, but were there many deaths?”

“Deaths?”

“When the tunnel collapsed?”

The President was dismissive. “Oh. Some fifty or so of the Malfori, I believe. But since the collapse of that tunnel, the others have begun to break down as well. The resulting earthquakes have caused a small, but vital orbital shift…” The diagram zoomed out to demonstrate. “You can see, here.” He pointed again at the image, and the Doctor watched Kale from the corner of his eye. “We anticipate six days until the instability of its new orbit, coupled with the structural collapse causes our moon to quite literally fall out of the sky. A great tragedy. A terrible accident.” Gelamane shook his head sadly.

Fifty miners dead and Gelamane had barely been aware of the fact. The Doctor felt a word come to his lips, but he didn’t want to be the one to say it. Instead, he kept his gaze half on the schematics, half on Kale.

As though there were a psychic link between them, Kale spoke the word that was in the back of the Doctor’s mind and he felt like letting out a whoop of delight. The young man looked from the Doctor to Gelamane to the schematics and then back to the Doctor.

“Sabotage,” he said, softly.

“I reckon so,” the Doctor replied, gleefully.

Following the joint pronouncement of potential sabotage, there was a resounding, faintly sinister silence, broken only by the low hum of the machinery. It was the sort of silence that carried weight. Kale had often read the expression in books, but had never experienced it. He was surprised his shoulders didn’t sag under its extreme heaviness.

“I suggest you explain that statement, boy. And I suggest that you make it a good explanation.”

Kale’s glee at having struck on the idea dissolved rapidly at the expression on Gelamane’s face as the feline eyes glinted dangerously. He looked anxiously at the Doctor who shrugged almost imperceptibly.

“What my young friend is saying, Gelamane, is that there’s every possibility that the mining ‘accidents’ may not be, in fact, accidents and that perhaps there is more under the surface – if you’ll pardon the mining metaphor – than you might think.”

“Explain further.” Gelamane made an almost-unnoticed gesture that Kale watched, faintly hypnotised. He’d not noticed the claws sliding out, but he most assuredly noticed them going back in. They didn’t make a ‘ZING’ noise. They looked like the kind of claws that should make a noise. He stared at the President’s hands anxiously, then forced his eyes up to look the huge creature in the eye. Judging from the extended silence, it appeared that the Doctor was going to let Kale do the explaining.

In fact, he noted as he glanced sideways, the Doctor was otherwise engaged with poking at the three-dimensional map of the moon and demonstrating, for all intents and purposes, no interest whatsoever in the proceedings.

This is a test, the young man realised. What he said now might forever form the Doctor’s opinion of him.

No pressure, or anything.

Kale took a deep breath and did something that he’d never trusted himself to do before. He went with his instincts.

“I studied many cultures during my time with the Shadow Proclamation,” said the young man, his voice shaking slightly with nerves. “Yours was just one of them. I am aware, for example, that you have long employed the services of the Malfori as…”

The Doctor glanced up, waiting for the next word.

“…as miners and heavy labourers. I am also aware that in recent times, you have experienced increased difficulties in maintaining order amongst the Malfori community. They feel that as citizens of Scorpius Five, that they should be entitled to the same rights and privileges as the other races.”

Gelamane snorted in derision, a noise that irritated Kale, however, he kept his composure. The Doctor nodded to himself. Kale had carefully avoided use of the word ‘slaves’. He knew that the President’s fierce sense of pride would not have reacted well to that. And, after all, Gelamane hadn’t introduced the concept of a slave class.

He had merely perpetuated it.

“I see. And you, little more than a child, a newcomer to our ancient civilisation, think that the brainless, mute Malfori have somehow engineered the destruction of their own planet as a way of achieving equality. That’s a most interesting theory. Tell me, boy, where would they live when the planet is flooded?”

The Doctor’s head shook, just ever so slightly, a movement that Kale only just picked up at the very periphery of his vision and instinctively read accurately.

“You are correct, of course,” he said, injecting what he hoped was a sheepish tone into his voice. “It was a foolish idea. My apologies, sir.”

Gelemane considered Kale thoughtfully, then scowled and growled his acceptance of the young man’s apology. The Doctor continued to poke at the three dimensional map, a look of profound glee on his face as he played with the gadgetry. Aware that Kale and Gelamane had stopped talking, he forced himself to set aside his intrigue for a few moments.

“Well, right this second, I’m stumped, your Presidentfulness,” he said, cheerily. “However, if you could let me have access to the mining logs, your most recent news archives, anything at all, then I might be able to research a bit deeper for you. If we can work out exactly what caused the collapse, we can figure out a way to reverse it.”

“You are a man of extreme contradictions, Doctor,” said Gelamane, sounding faintly exasperated. “I will give you limited access to our core systems, however, I am not in a position to grant you full access.” The Doctor put on a sombre, serious face and nodded his understanding. “I will leave you in this office for the time being. In the meantime, I need to go and oversee the evacuation process. We cannot save everyone, but we can save many. Scorpius Two are sending shuttle craft to empty Meridian City as we speak.”

The President moved to the console and tapped a few keys. He moved back from the console and folded his arms across his chest. “Access is now yours, Doctor. I trust that you will not abuse it.” Then he cast a scornful, belittling glance at Kale that made the boy want to sink into the ground, before sweeping gracefully from the room.

 “Surprisingly nice bloke,” commented the Doctor as the door swished closed behind Gelamane. “He liked you, I reckon.” As he moved towards the console, he nudged Kale with a bony elbow so hard that the boy nearly fell over. He trailed the Doctor to the computer, glanced at the door to make sure it was closed, then opened his mouth to speak. The Doctor raised a hand to forestall any comment and cast the briefest of glances to the ceiling.

Surveillance camera, he mouthed. Kale nodded, understanding perfectly. He watched as the Doctor held up his sonic screwdriver and, fiddling briefly with the controls, pressed it into life before setting it down on the console.

“Signal jammer,” he said. “It’ll scramble the sound enough for it not to be stupidly obvious that I’ve done anything.”

He beamed.

“Now tell me what you’re thinking about this sabotage attempt. And might I just add that you’re pretty smart, thinking what you’re thinking. At least, if you’re thinking what I think you might have been thinking when you said you’d been thinking of it.”

Kale blinked.

“As I understand it, the species known collectively as the Malfori have been – ah – employed by Gelamane’s people for many generations as indentured servants…”

“Slaves.” The Doctor smiled grimly. “You can say it now.”

“…yes. There have recently been a number of half-hearted uprisings from the Malfori who have, quite frankly, finally had enough of so many generations of repression and cruelty. But what Gelamane said is right. Why would the Malfori deliberately cause what amounts to the destruction of their own world?”

“A very good question, Kale. What’s the answer?” The Doctor was making a great show of peering at the computer and would occasionally exclaim something like ‘blimey’ or ‘brilliant’. Glancing over his shoulder, Kale mentally noted that the Doctor appeared to be playing this planet’s equivalent of a card game.

Kale looked at the Doctor with helplessness apparent in his expression.

“Come on, come on, think it through logically. Logic’s what you do, right?”

“Yes, I …”

“So then.” The Doctor slapped his hands down on the console and stood up straighter, folding his arms over his skinny chest. “The Malfori want equality, correct?”

“Yes.”

“And to achieve this, they’ve engineered a situation where Gelamane and his people have to leave the planet or die. Yes?”

“Yes. But…”

“What do you know about the biology of the Malfori?”

“They’re evolved from ocean-going lifeforms who developed the ability to breathe above water and learned to communicate through a series of methods including, but not limited to the ability to chameleon-change the colour of their skins according to their moods. They…”

“You’ve already answered your question, Kale. I KNOW you know the answer, you were the one who thought ‘sabotage’. Come on.” The Doctor waved a hand encouragingly, bouncing slightly on his feet as he waited.

I’m going to be sent home in terrible disgrace. Kale bit his lip and stared at the Doctor.

And then came the moment of epiphany.

“The Malfori,” he said, slowly, “have evolved over thousands of years from creatures that came from the oceans.”

“Exactly.” The Doctor beamed. “And what will happen when the moon collapses?”

“The planet will flood.”

The Doctor moved around the console towards Kale, the grin decidedly maniacal.

“And what will happen when the planet floods?”

“Then the ocean predators will have dominion over the land.” “

Hence…?”

“Sabotage.”

“Exactly!” The Doctor clapped his hands. “Of course, the Malfori on the moon will all die at the time the moon disintegrates, but they are clearly prepared to sacrifice themselves so that their aquatic relatives might live.” He stared at the console thoughtfully.

“Is there any way to stop the moon collapsing, Doctor?” Despite himself, despite the fact that at heart Kale disagreed with slavery in principle, he couldn’t help but feel that the attempted annihilation of the planet wasn’t really much better.

The Doctor looked up and for once didn’t smile.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “Oh, yes, there’s a way to stop it. The question is, Kale, do we really want to?”

REALLY to be continued – that’s actually as much as I had written...

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One thought on “Cause and Effect [Doctor Who WIP Part Three]

  1. Murray says:

    So, the game’s afoot! From that offhand “Oh. Some fifty or so of the Malfori, I believe”, you know something unpleasant is going on. I like the character of Kale – just the right mixture of innocence and cleverness for a Doctor Who companion (too innocent, and they just end up needing to rescued after collapsing into a screaming heap; too clever and, like Romana in the late Tom Baker stories, they just seem like a duplicate Doctor)… So, are you going to finish it? Now you’ve got us hooked!

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