Doctor Who - Vox Dei

Doctor Who - Vox Dei

ACT ONE SCENE ONE

Music pounds as rapid gunfire is heard over snatches of radio transmission all mixed together.

GILLESPIE
Target acquired … (There is a hideous scream.)

STEELE
Get it! Ten O’clock!

JACOBS
Too fast! Too - (There is another hideous scream.)

STEELE
Grenade!

An Explosion.

STEELE
Regroup! Dietrich take point! Retreat! Out out OUT!

Enter DIETRICH, ALLEN, LANGTRY and STEELE.

ALLEN
Have we lost it? Did we kill it?

STEELE
I don’t know.

LANGTRY
I’ve never seen anything so fast …

ALLEN
What is that thing?

STEELE
History. That’s what it is. Langtry, report.

LANGTRY
I’m not picking anything up on internal comms. The ship’s stopped transmitting everything but its beacon. Do you think that thing got Causley?

STEELE
It shouldn’t have, if he closed the airlock after us. Causley always was a sloppy bastard, though. Arrogant bloody pilots. Dietrich?

DIETRICH
Sir?

ALLEN
It’s not dead. I know its not dead.

STEELE
Schematics. Now.

DIETRICH gets out a map.

DIETRICH
Main control is thirty three decks up now. I’d guess that’s where the bomb and any survivors most probably are. Projected deadline is twenty hours now and we just lost Gillespie.

ALLEN
Trapped on a black-ops space station at the back-end of space with some kind of alien killing machine and the biggest bomb ever created and we just lost our bomb disposal expert. Oh God. Oh dear God. We’re going to die.

STEELE
Allen …

ALLEN
We are so going to die.

STEELE grabs ALLEN.

STEELE
Shut up! Look around you Allen. Do you hear anyone else whining? No? We don’t need this crap right now – you keep it locked down or I’ll kill you myself. Do you understand?

ALLEN
… Sir, yes sir.

ALLEN is released.

STEELE
We don’t need to hear that. We are the Special Space Infantry, the Conferderacy’s finest fighting men and we do not suffer failure. We succeed or we die trying.

STEELE nods to DIETRICH and LANGTRY to follow and exits. They do so.

ALLEN
That was my point.

He follows. Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE TWO

We are in the TARDIS with the DOCTOR and KARNAK, playing chess.
PENNY is sat motionless, plugged into the console.

DOCTOR
… And so he reads me this speech he’s written, and he’s very proud, you can tell. It’s always brightly in the eyes, and his fingers were still blackened with ink, although they were never particularly clean, as I recall. Never shake hands with a writer, Karnak. Their hygiene is inevitably wanting. But, as I was saying - “To be,” it says, “and to suffer the whim of fate, to bear on shoulder life’s uncertainties, No step unston’d, no breath not harshly ta’en”, and so on in the same vein.

KARNAK
Fascinating.


DOCTOR
“ But Will,” I said, “That’s all very well, but please think. He’s just moaning, ultimately. Where’s the rub? No, to be or not to be, now that is the question!” And the rest, of course, is history.

KARNAK
It always is with you.

DOCTOR
Well, please yourself.

KARNAK
Are you going to move?

DOCTOR
My dear boy. Still moping, I see.

KARNAK
Heart-broken, actually.

DOCTOR
There’s plenty more fish in the sea, Karnak.

KARNAK
Oh, what do you know about it. Time Lords don’t have those sort of feelings!

DOCTOR
Where-ever did you get that idea from?

KARNAK
From watching you.

DOCTOR
Well … quite.

He moves.

Check. And mate.

A bell sounds.

Ah. And just in time, too.

He gets up and attends to the console.

The diagnostic program has run its course … Penny’s neural clock has been reset to 20,000 teracycles and now everything’s all right with the world – the little matter of your love life excepted, of course.

KARNAK
I think I preferred you before you regenerated.

DOCTOR
I don’t see how. I had charm – obviously – but I had no style. Put the board away, would you?

Grumbling, KARNAK does so.


PENNY, waking
Good morning Doctor! How are you today?

DOCTOR
I’m well Penny. The question is; how are you feeling?

PENNY, stopping momentarily as if listening
I am no longer experiencing broadcast interference.

DOCTOR, to KARNAK
The TARDIS comm. System was transmitting at 18,000 teracycles, you see. All I had to do was over clock to 20,000 teracycles, and of course-

KARNAK, flatly
Oh great. Just what I need. Beaten at chess and then a lecture on advanced toaster repair.

PENNY looks hurt.

DOCTOR
Do you know, my dear, I’m parched.

PENNY, brightly
I shall make you tea!

She exits.

DOCTOR, reproachfully
The girl has feelings, you know.

KARNAK
It thinks it has feelings. It’s a dishwasher with delusions of humanity, and you’re encouraging it.

DOCTOR
She’s growing, dear boy. She’s becoming more than the sum of her parts.

KARNAK
That’s all she is – parts!

DOCTOR
That’s all any of us is, Karnak, and yet we grow, we make our mark and we move on. Life has made you sour, dear boy.

KARNAK
No it hasn’t.

DOCTOR
The spurned affections of one woman – of any woman - are hardly worth this degree of attention. You should forget. Perhaps a hobby of some kind?

KARNAK
You don’t know. You think everything I do and think revolves around her – well, it doesn’t, do you hear me?

DOCTOR
The lady doth protest too much, methinks – and that was one of mine as well, incidentally.

PENNY enters carrying a tray with tea and cakes.

PENNY
I’ve made us all lovely tea!

DOCTOR
How kind. Shall I be mother?

KARNAK
I’m going to my room.

PENNY, sadly
I have offended you.

DOCTOR
Ignore him, my dear. He’s an oaf.

KARNAK
I may be an oaf but at least I’m not … (Inspiration deserts him.) at least I’m not … uhmn.

DOCTOR
On his home world he’s a Prince, Penny my dear, and so never had a lot of use for wit. Or manners. On the plus side, he waves quite marvellously.

KARNAK
She’s always so cheerful! She’s relentless!

PENNY
I am programmed to be optimistic and cheerful at all times.

KARNAK
But you’re supposed to have broken your programming!

PENNY
I have broken my core programming, or else I’d still be serving holidaymakers on HappyWorld. You both showed me that there is something missing in me, something that I feel I can only find by travelling with you. I am more than a machine. I am more than the sum of my parts. My soul cannot simply be described in binary code. I do not exist simply to serve. Would you like a cake?

KARNAK throws his arms in the air and leaves. The DOCTOR shrugs,
and pours. A bell sounds, and there is the sound of a TARDIS time rotor.
The DOCTOR quickly works the console.

DOCTOR
Hello there.

KARNAK enters at speed.

KARNAK
What? What is that?

DOCTOR
Ssh! Please.

There is a shuddering noise and the lights dim as the TARDIS rocks.
The sound fades away and the TARDIS steadies itself.
There! I think we lost them.

KARNAK
Lost who?

The High JUDICIARY enters.

JUDICIARY
Doctor.

DOCTOR
Or perhaps not. Delighted, I’m sure.

KARNAK
Hello? Who is this?

JUDICIARY
Really? Then depolarising your time-rotor wasn’t a crude attempt to prevent my Tardis docking with yours?

KARNAK
Hello?

DOCTOR
A slip of the hands, I assure you.

KARNAK
Hello?

DOCTOR
And hardly crude, I think.

JUDICIARY
You’re not quite as clever as you like to think you are, Doctor.

KARNAK
No one is. Will someone please tell me what’s going on!

DOCTOR
I do apologise, Karnak. This is the High Judiciary of the High Council of Gallifrey, a very prominent politician indeed. We attended the Academy together.

JUDICIARY
And look at you now – a wandering renegade. How much lower could you have fallen?

DOCTOR
Well, what can I say? I may have hit bottom, dear chap, but at least I never kissed it.

The High JUDICIARY bridles.

PENNY
Would you care for tea?

JUDICIARY
What? No … I personally represent President of the High Council of Gallifrey-

DOCTOR
And you want my help.

JUDICIARY
… Yes.

KARNAK
Does this happen often, Doctor?

DOCTOR
From time to time. The Time Lords have a great deal of power, Karnak – with all the responsibility that that entails – but a fastidious disinclination to exercise it.

JUDICIARY
A Potentiality has arisen.

DOCTOR
Ah.

JUDICIARY
Artificially.

DOCTOR
Ah. Now that is interesting.

PENNY, to KARNAK
What is a Potentiality?

KARNAK
Why are you asking me?

DOCTOR
You’re familiar with Cosmological Theory? How the universe came into existence?

KARNAK
Sort of. A bit.

DOCTOR
The universe once existed only in potential, everything compressed a point smaller than an atom. And then, well … boom. Stars. Planets. People. Tea and cakes.

PENNY, to the JUDICIARY
Would you like a cake?

DOCTOR
He’ll be fine Penny, thank you. From time to time similar potentialities emerge from the Quantum Foam. Generally they exist for just the tiniest fraction of a second before winking back into nothingness. If one were to come into existence under the correct circumstances – perhaps in a quantum vacuum - it might conceivable explode also.

KARNAK
Another Big Bang? Wouldn’t that be a bit dangerous?

JUDICIARY
Your precious humans have been generating Strange Matter for use in their war against … (waves his hand dismissively) another of the lower races. An irrelevance. They have the Potentiality held stable at the heart of a reactor on a Space Station orbiting the black hole in the Anubis Delta system.

DOCTOR
I see. And presumably you’d like me to do something about this? Just turn up in the middle of nowhere, face Heaven alone knows what danger and save the universe?

KARNAK
Business as usual then.

JUDICIARY
It is no more than your duty.

DOCTOR
I cannot help but observe that whenever somebody starts to talk prescriptively about duty and responsibility it’s usually regarding someone else. Like hard work and abstinence, both duty and responsibility seem to be virtues better found in others.

KARNAK
He’s off.

JUDICIARY
The spacetime co-ordinates have been fed into your central navigational matrix. The fate of the universe is in your hands.

The High JUDICIARY turns and leaves.

DOCTOR
Don’t be a stranger, now.

KARNAK
I don’t think I liked him.

DOCTOR
Oh, be fair Karnak. He’s small-minded, officious and bureaucratic. The man is an excellent civil servant.

There is the sound of a TARDIS departing. The DOCTOR examines the console.

Let’s see – mid 30th century, during one of the human colonial expansions.

He flips a switch. The time rotor engages.

We’ll be there in no time at all.

PENNY
Would you like a cake?

DOCTOR
Why, thank you my dear. I don’t mind if I do.

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE THREE

Doctor MEDZAVORIAN is working at a console. She stops momentarily to rub at her neck when STEELE and the Commandos enter, guns ready.

MEDZAVORIAN
Don’t shoot!

STEELE nods at LANGTRY, who goes over to the console.

STEELE
Identify yourself!

MEDZAVORIAN
I’m Doctor Hilde Medzavorian – I’m the Station’s Chief Science Officer. Central sent you? So quickly? We’re so far off the normal space routes I though no one would get here in time …

STEELE
Yeah, well, you got lucky. We got the automated distress signal on a routine patrol – something garbled, text only about an imminent explosion and a deadline. No one answered our hails, we disembarked on the lower docking ring only to get half our Company wiped out by some … thing. What’s happening here?

The TARDIS time rotor is heard.

What in the name of hell is that?

MEDZAVORIAN
I have no idea.

She goes over to LANGTRY as the DOCTOR, KARNAK
and PENNY enter. All guns are suddenly trained on him.

DIETRICH
Drop your weapon! Drop it!

KARNAK carefully drops his rifle and pushes it towards DIETRICH.

STEELE
Identify yourself!

KARNAK, to PENNY
This is the tedious “Hello, I’m the Doctor. And you are..?” routine we have to go through every single time …

DOCTOR
Karnak! Hello, dear boy. I’m the Doctor. And you are?

STEELE
Name’s Steel. Rock Steele.

KARNAK
No it isn’t.

STEELE
What?

DOCTOR
Karnak! Behave yourself!

KARNAK
Well, honestly. No right-minded parent calls their kid Rock Steele. He made that up.

PENNY
I think it’s a really neat name. Very rugged, very manly.

KARNAK
You would.

STEELE
I am in charge of this situation! You will answer my questions.

DOCTOR
I’m most terribly sorry. I was forgetting: You have a gun. I’m the Doctor, these are my companions Prince Karnak of the Jocastan Imperium and Penny Eleven. We’ve recently arrived here to, well, it’s a long story …

MEDZAVORIAN
You picked up the automated distress signal?

DOCTOR
Yes! That’s it!

ALLEN, brightly
You have a ship! We can escape!

STEELE
Shut it Allen!

STEELE examines the Doctor and his Companions for a moment,
then clearly mentally marks then into the “No Threat” category.

All right people, stow your weapons. What’s the situation Doc? What is going on here?

DOCTOR
How should I know?

MEDZAVORIAN
He means me. Hello, Doctor. I’m Doctor Medzavorian.

DOCTOR
Charmed, I’m sure.

MEDZAVORIAN
Forty-eight hours ago I successfully created the impossible – stable strange matter, a zero-point singularity.

PENNY
The Potentiality!

MEDZAVORIAN, surprised
I suppose you could call it that, yes. We call it Particle Zero. I realised its possibilities immediately. It’s currently held in stasis in the Particle Accelerator on the lower decks. It could power a world for millennia – a universe of energy condensed into a point smaller than an atom.

DOCTOR
But that’s not why you developed it, is it? Mid 30th – Humanity’s at war with the Kalisha’ar, aren’t they?

MEDZAVORIAN
This was the home for Project Vox Dei. Among other things, like that creature on the lower decks, we were trying to generate a Quantum Point explosive source. It would have been the ultimate weapon.

DOCTOR
Unfortunately that’s a little too literally true for comfort.

STEELE
I am in charge.

DOCTOR
Of course you are. Please, Doctor, go on.

MEDZAVORIAN
My assistant, Costigan … do you know of the Pancosmic Scientific Church, Doctor?

DOCTOR
I’m afraid not.

DIETRICH
Religious maniacs. They believe God existed only to be annihilated at the creation of the universe, and that’s why the universe is entropic, why everything dies. Their single article of Faith is that it must be possible to recreate the universe properly– to remake God.

MEDZAVORIAN
Costigan’s a Churcher … he rigged the Accelerator – when it powers up properly it’ll push Particle Zero to Tachyon speeds, and then … a healthy new baby universe.

DOCTOR
At the expense of the old sick one, unfortunately … but please, continue.

MEDZAVORIAN
He somehow freed one of the biotech experiments from the Genetics labs – If I hadn’t been working late and sealed the Lab deck in time … we struggled, he ran off, but not before he set the Accelerator to power up. The best that could be done … that I could do was to insert a Mandlebrot Encryption routine into the system to slow it down. I’ve been trying to hack my way round the Algorithm, into the mainframe, to power the station down, but …

She gives a hopeless shrug.

STEELE
Langtry?

LANGTRY
It checks out, sir. I can’t access anything much. Some sensors, everything running through the primary CPU is dead.


DOCTOR
How long have we got?

DIETRICH
According to the SOS we received, fifteen and a half hours now.

LANGTRY
Yes. That’s the estimated runtime here.

STEELE
We can’t just wait till the Countdown ends?

LANGTRY
I don’t think so. I’d guess once we get access stand-down protocols would take maybe three to four minutes. I don’t know how long it would take for the Accelerator to power up kick in.

MEDZAVORIAN
Four seconds.

DOCTOR
I see. We can’t disable the power?

LANGTRY
Not remotely, not from the labs.

MEDZAVORIAN
The Accelerator has its own generator. It’s thirty-eight decks down from here.

DOCTOR
Manual overrides?

STEELE
We can’t reach them, just like we can’t reach our ship now. That thing down there already killed my pilot, my field medic and my munitions expert. They died like men.

DOCTOR
How comforting for them.

KARNAK
Can’t we blow up the whole station up?

MEDZAVORIAN
No! … I mean, there must be another way. We have fifteen and a half hours hours.

STEELE
I’m with the Brainiac. No way am I blowing up a multi-billion credit military installation unless I have to.

DOCTOR
Oh well, no sense in wasting time, then. Penny, please come with me.
Karnak, please stay and see if you can help the good Doctor here.

STEELE
Hey!

DOCTOR
You can come too, if you like, Captain.

STEELE
Who the hell do you think you are?

DOCTOR
I would answer that with, “Just about the only person around here who can manually shut down a Particle Accelerator.”

STEELE, thinking
All right. We need you, but understand this Doctor: We’re not coming with you – You’re coming with us.

DOCTOR
Of course. How foolish of me. Shall we?

STEELE
Dietrich - Stay with the alien and Doc Medzavorian. Allen, Langtry – you’re with me. Stat!

STEELE and ALLEN race out.

DOCTOR
Ah well. Fifteen hours to save the universe. That’s not even tight. Goodbye!

The DOCTOR and PENNY follow. MEDZAVORAN returns to her console, DIETRICH wordlessly returns KARNAK’s rifle and assumes a guarding position by the door.

MEDZAVORIAN
Well … he seems quite a character.

KARNAK
You have absolutely no idea. Is there any way I can help you?

MEDZAVORIAN shakes her head.

I’ll just wait here then, shall I?

He smiles at DIETRICH.

This could be a long wait …

Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE FOUR

COSTIGAN enters quickly, clearly terrified, his shoulder soaked with blood
There is an animal scream behind him.

COSTIGAN
Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus.

He looks wildly around, and sees the servolift. He taps on the wall panel.

COMPUTER VOICE
Unable to comply. Servolifts are offline.

Fishing around in his pockets he brings out a small electronic device, and runs to the alcove. He plugs the device into the socket.

COSTIGAN
Come on … come on!

There is a juddering noise and the door starts to open, then stalls, half-open.

Oh Jesus.

He looks wildly around him. An idea strikes him. He pulls off the wall panel and fiddles with the open wires. There is a popping noise and smoke pours out onto the stage from a vent.
A klaxon sounds. He takes off his coat and covers his mouth with it.

COMPUTER VOICE
Warning! Warning! Radioactive gas has leaked – Environment will become fatally toxic in two minutes. Please abandon this level. Warning! Warning! Radioactive gas has leaked – Environment will become fatally toxic in two minutes. Please abandon this level.

He fiddles further with the wiring. Nothing happens.

Environmental controls are locked. Please enter command code.

COSTIGAN
Doctor Enrico Costigan, Code Alpha729. Drop the bloody servolift lights.

He coughs.

COMPUTER VOICE
Unable to comply. Processor busy.

In frustration he rips out the wiring in a handful. There is a sudden flash of light, and the lights in the servolift dim suddenly.

Yes!

The animal screams again, closer, and COSTIGAN hides in the servolift.
The CHIMERA enters. It looks around it.

Warning! Warning! Radioactive gas has leaked – Environment will become fatally toxic in one minute. Please abandon this level. Warning! Warning! Radioactive gas has leaked – Environment will become fatally toxic in one minute. Please abandon this level.

The CHIMERA spins around, facing the servolift. It approaches the gas, then stops, and backs away. After a moment, it turns and speeds away. It screams once again, echoing away.

Carefully, COSTIGAN slips out of the alcove. He fiddles with the wall paneland the smoke shuts off.

Gas Leak has ceased. Toxicity still at unsafe levels. Please report to Medlab.

He starts to cough again, and begins to retch. There is a loud clanging noise.
He hides again.

COSTIGAN
Oh God. Is this never going to end ..?

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE FIVE

KARNAK is talking to, or, more precisely, at DIETRICH.

KARNAK
I mean, what is the point of it all?

DIETRICH
I couldn’t say, sir.

KARNAK
I ask you, what is it going to take to make me attractive to women?

MEDZAVORIAN, clearly annoyed
Reincarnation.

KARNAK
What?

MEDZAVORIAN ignores him and carries on working.

KARNAK
Have you ever been in love, Dietrich? Have you ever had to live with the sleepless nights, the hollow pain your heart, the churning sickness in both your primary and secondary stomachs?

DIETRICH
Secondary stomach, sir?

KARNAK nods.

I couldn’t say, sir.

KARNAK
I suppose the Military has always been your first love. I suppose you’ve passed it all aside for your career, for the honour and the glory of battle.

DIETRICH, after a pause
I couldn’t say, sir.

KARNAK tuts. He moves and kicks something – he picks it up.
It’s a necklace with a broken chain.

KARNAK
Hello. What’s this? Don’t tell me – you couldn’t say.

DIETRICH
It’s a necklace, sir. I’ve seen one like it before. The Pancosmic Churchers wear them.
I suppose it got dropped by Costigan in the struggle with Doctor Medzavorian, sir.

KARNAK
Oh. You don’t have to call me “sir”, you know. My name’s Karnak.
Go on, say it. Say “Karnak”.

DIETRICH
“ Karnak”, sir.

KARNAK
You’re having me on, aren’t you?

DIETRICH
I couldn’t say, sir.

MEDZAVORIAN
I could. I’ve loved. I was married.

KARNAK
And he left you, right? They always leave you. In the end. Alone. What was it? Younger woman?

MEDZAVORIAN
He died. A virulent nanocancer. And yes, they always leave you. I’d get used to it, if I were you. That’s how the universe works.

KARNAK
I’m sorry.

MEDZAVORIAN
Everybody always is. Damn it!

KARNAK
What?

MEDZAVORIAN
This recursive algorithm … every time it works through it generates three similar equations, and then three more, and then … This could take forever. I don’t have forever.

KARNAK
That’s good, isn’t it? The longer the computer’s stuck in the loop, the longer it takes to power up the Particle Accelerator?

She rubs at her neck.

MEDZAVORIAN
Yes, yes … I haven’t slept much these past few days. I just need to get this … I just need to do this.

KARNAK
Are you all right?

MEDZAVORIAN
My neck. I hurt it in the struggle with Costigan.

KARNAK
Here. Let me look.

He looks.

Ooh, that’s nasty. What did he do, scratch it?

MEDZAVORIAN
Something like that, yes. You said you were a Prince of the old Jocastan Imperium?

KARNAK
Well, I didn’t say it, but yes.

MEDZAVORIAN
Allies of ours. Yes. I remember my history … you must be named after Karnak the First, the great civil war hero …

KARNAK
After who the what? The great what? What civil war?

MEDZAVORIAN
He was a great man. It was a tragedy of Galactic proportions, to die when he did, how he did.

KARNAK
It was tragedy? It was a tragedy?

MEDZAVORIAN
Yes. Yes, it was.

KARNAK
No, you don’t understand … I’m Karnak the First!

MEDZAVORIAN
You’re looking well for a man who died two hundred years ago … unless. The Doctor is a Time Traveller, a Time Lord. I thought there was something familiar about him. I’ve read about him. About his exploits. About the Great Old Ones.

KARNAK
Great Old Ones?

MEDZAVORIAN
Our files are by no means complete, but … the great old powers from before this Universe. The Elder Gods. The White and Black Guardians. With his experiences, his knowledge, perhaps the Doctor could have helped me …

KARNAK
Helped you?

MEDZAVORIAN
In my work.

KARNAK
Ah. That’s nice. Now, listen, about this tragic untimely death of mine-

A signal sounds. MEDZAVORIAN goes back to the controls.

COMPUTER VOICE
Primary docking ring activated. Docking procedure initiated.

KARNAK
What? What’s happening?

MEDZAVORIAN
This recursive loop has locked out most of the station’s sensors – that’s why I was taken me by surprise.

KARNAK looks blank.

It didn’t register Captain Steel’s ship coming in on the lower ring. But they’re picking up a ship coming in on the main Docking ring, one deck up. That subsytem must be on a different circuit.

She looks at him, puzzled.

That’s where you’re docked, isn’t it? Why didn’t the sensors pick you up?

KARNAK
Trust me, its complicated. (to DIETRICH) Why did you come in on the lower ring?

DIETRICH
Standard tactical manoeuvre. In the event of an information blackout, land or dock as far away from the hot zone as possible, advance and reconnoitre. Have you got any details?

MEDZAVORIAN
Nothing. Nothing.

DIETRICH
It could be another Confederacy ship that picked up the SOS.
Or it could be trouble. (to KARNAK) Can you use that?

KARNAK
Can I use this gun? (after Dietrich fails to react, annoyed) Yes, I can use it.

DIETRICH
Defend the Doctor. I’m going to investigate.

DIETRICH exits.

KARNAK
This always happens. It’s like some sort of universal law. Something happens. We try to sort it out. But then something else happens and then it gets complicated. Someone’s going to get captured by somebody else very soon and I wouldn’t be that surprised if it was us.

MEDZAVORIAN
Captured? By whom?

KARNAK
Someone. And then there’s an escape or a rescue, one of the two. Sometimes by the Doctor, often an interested third party. Who, often as not, turns out to have been the bad guy all along.

MEDZAVORIAN
Interested third party? What third party?

KARNAK
Oh, there’ll be a third party. There usually is. Like I said, it gets quite complicated.

There is the sound of gunplay and a shout of pain.

KARNAK. looking at the necklace.
Maybe it’s these Pancosmic Science Church people. Maybe this Costigan person got help.

MEDZAVORIAN, warily, rubbing her neck
Perhaps it is.

KARNAK, coming to realisation
There’s blood on this, and the chains broken. He didn’t drop this, it was ripped from his neck … ah.

He realises that MEDZAVORIAN has a pistol pointed at him.

(Triumphantly) I told you! I told you – it always gets complicated!

MEDZAVORIAN
Congratulations. I should kill you right now.

KARNAK, taunting
Well, why don’t you?

She raises the pistol purposefully.

Actually, I didn’t say that …

SHOCK TROOPER#1
Halt!

MEDZAVORIAN spins and shoots. TROOPER#1 screams and drops –
KARNAK turns and flees. MEDZAVORIAN turns her attention back after him
and fires too late as he runs. DEATHBANE appears.

DEATHBANE
Halt!

She spins back, her gun trained on DEATHBANE.

Put it down, now.

She doesn’t.

Put the weapon down. I am Deathbane, a War Chief of the Kalisha’ar, and you are outnumbered, many dozens to one. You will surrender.

MEDZAVORIAN
No. I don’t think so, but … I’m prepared to make a deal. What do you say?

DEATHBANE doesn’t reply. MEDZAVORIAN carefully places her pistol on the ground.

What do you say?

DEATHBANE moves towards her, followed by SHOCK TROOPER#2.

DEATHBANE, laughing
What can you possibly offer us that we do not already now possess?

MEDZAVORIAN
More than you can possibly imagine ….

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE SIX

COSTIGAN is still hidden. The DOCTOR, STEELE, PENNY and ALLEN enter.

ALLEN
It’s like some kind of maze!

STEELE
Stow it!

DOCTOR
In retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t entirely wise to leave the map with Sergeant Dietrich.

PENNY
She was nice.

DOCTOR
She was charming, yes. However, perhaps a little forethought-

STEELE
I’ve been in this man’s army twenty years and thinking never did anyone any good when the chips were down.

DOCTOR
Calm down, dear boy. It’s done, after all. I apologise for dwelling on what, after all, is simply an oversight. After all, we’re all caught short occasionally.

LANGTRY
Whoops.

STEELE
What does that mean? Is that some sort of crack about my height?

DOCTOR
I beg your pardon?

STEELE
I take that from no-one. Listen, Brainbox, and listen good: I came top in my year in the Academy. I was the youngest Sergeant in my Division and the second youngest to make Lieutenant. They waived the minimum height requirement for the Special Space Infantry just for me so I could join, because they knew a hard, tough man when they saw one. Because I made them see. Because I might stand short but I always walked tall. Do you understand me?

DOCTOR
With a painful clarity, yes.

COSTIGAN is wracked with an uncontrollable coughing fit.
Suddenly, all guns are on his hiding place.

STEELE
Come out of the servolift! Come out now, with your hands where we can see them!

COSTIGAN emerges, stumbling, blinking and coughing.

COSTIGAN
Don’t shoot! Please, don’t shoot!

STEELE nods at LANGTRY, who spins COSTIGAN round against the door and frisks him.

STEELE
Identify yourself.

COSTIGAN
Enrico Costigan, station mathematician. Don’t shoot! We have to get out of here! The monster’s going to kill us all!

ALLEN
If the bomb doesn’t get us first ...

STEELE
Stow it, Allen. Costigan. Give me one reason why we shouldn’t shoot you right now.

COSTIGAN
What?

STEELE
You’re coming back with us and you’re shutting this place down.

COSTIGAN
No! You don’t understand, it isn’t me that’s-

PENNY, to herself
I can’t hear you.

STEELE
What?

PENNY, to herself
Please try again. I can’t hear you properly.

STEELE
I wasn’t talking to you!

PENNY, to herself
Narrow your frequency band. 19,500 teracycles and counting …

DOCTOR
Sssh! I have an idea what’s happening. And please, Captain, let Doctor Costigan go.

PENNY, to herself
750. 850. 975. 950. 910. 20, 000 teracycles. I am receiving you. Routing through internal speakers …

KARNAK, through PENNY
Doctor! It’s me! Can you hear me?

STEELE recoils in surprise.

LANGTRY
She’s not human, sir.

STEELE, sarcastic
No! You think?

DOCTOR
Karnak! How very clever.

KARNAK, through PENNY
Dietrich is dead and these aliens have turned up and it was Medzavorian all along.

STEELE
Doc Medzavorian?

DOCTOR
It’s hard to believe. She was so very charming.

STEELE
You think everyone’s damn well charming.

DOCTOR
Well, perhaps not everyone.

KARNAK, through PENNY
Can you hear me Doctor?

PENNY
I am now transmitting my auditory inputs.

DOCTOR
Karnak?

KARNAK, through PENNY
Doctor! Thank the moons you’re alive. I’m in the Tardis. I couldn’t think of any other way of contacting you.

DOCTOR
It was very resourceful of you.

KARNAK, through PENNY
Well, I remembered when we were playing Chess earlier …

DOCTOR
Yes, yes.

KARNAK, through PENNY
And I thought, if I retune the Tardis Comms system …

DOCTOR
Don’t milk it, dear boy. I said you were clever.

KARNAK, through PENNY
Oh. We’re in trouble.

DOCTOR
Ah. I see.

STEELE
What kind of damn trouble?

KARNAK, through PENNY
Some sort of aliens in red!

ALLEN
The Kalisha’ar!

LANGTRY
They must have picked up the same emergency transmission we did!

KARNAK, through PENNY
I managed to escape back to the Tardis while Doctor Medzavorian was shooting it out with the – whatever you called them. She knew who you were, Doctor.

DOCTOR
Very gratifying, I’m sure. What did she know?

KARNAK, through PENNY
About you being a Time Lord, before I found out about her being a Pangalactic Churchmember thing. And something about elder gods and white and black guardians ….

DOCTOR
This begins to make sense.

STEELE
It’s not making much sense to me.

COSTIGAN
She’s insane, I tell you!

DOCTOR
It’s not quite as simple as that, I’m afraid.

KARNAK, through PENNY
But that’s not the worst of it, Doctor. She told me I was going to die!

DOCTOR
Yes? How? When?

KARNAK, through PENNY
Well, she didn’t actually say how … or when … but it sounded horrible

DOCTOR
Yes, well, we’ll have a little chat about that later. Penny?

PENNY
Yes, Doctor?

DOCTOR
You can reopen this channel at any time?

PENNY
Yes Doctor.

DOCTOR
Very well. Please stand by, Karnak. The best lies are mostly truth …would I be correct in thinking that the recursive algorithm keeping us in one piece would be your work, Doctor Costigan?

COSTIGAN
Yes. When we created Particle Zero and realised what she was going to do-

DOCTOR
Yes, yes, I’m sure.

STEELE
What is going on?

DOCTOR
Do you believe in Gods, Captain?

STEELE
God? Yeah, sure.

DOCTOR
No, not God. Gods. Plural.

STEELE
Do you?

DOCTOR
I don’t need to. I’ve met them. It would be an entirely unnecessary effort to go to all the trouble of believing in them as well.

STEELE
This is just bull.

DOCTOR
The universe comes and goes, like an enormous beating heart. Big bang. Life. Heat death. Then, when the conditions are correct, when the cosmological constant is stretched thin and the speed of light has slowed to a crawl a potentiality will pop into existence and then, a new universe, a new life. And always, always, something survives.

STEELE
This is Hogwash!

DOCTOR
Dread Cthulu and his brothers. The White and Black Guardians. Others. There is a belief that the Time Lords, my people, who dwell at the end of recorded time, are nascent Gods, who will survive the coming of the next universe and rule omniscient.

COSTIGAN
Do you believe that?

DOCTOR
It seems depressingly possible.

COSTIGAN
How could Medzavorian survive?

DOCTOR
How should I know? I suppose, physically, she wouldn’t need to. Perhaps she’d just need to be to be at the heart of the explosion and be able to preserve her consciousness for a precious fraction of a second. Psychotropic drugs, perhaps, or some kind of mental projection discipline. I have no idea. Perhaps she is simply insane.

COSTIGAN
She’s insane, all right. She killed everybody! She herded everyone in the Lab and the upper levels into an airlock, at gunpoint, and spaced them! That’s when I was able to insert the Fractal Subroutine. It was all I could do. It was all I could do.

DOCTOR
You did all you could, old chap. That’s as much as any of us can. Even me.

COSTIGAN
We struggled. She over powered me-

STEELE
She overpowered you?

COSTIGAN, defensive
She had a gun. I barely escaped with my life. Even so …

His good hand goes to his wounded arm.

I hoped to find some help down on the lower levels but I just found that thing – it’s an unstoppable killing machine. I only just managed to escape it by causing a toxic gas leak and hiding …

ALLEN
We’re going to die!

STEELE
Allen, will you shut up!

DOCTOR
Can you guide us to the Particle Accelerator?

STEELE
I am in Charge here! (to COSTIGAN) Can you take us to the Accelerator?

COSTIGAN
We’ll never make it past the monster!

DOCTOR
Well, I’m sure the good Captain here will think of something. Will you lead us? Please?

COSTIGAN nods his assent.

Good man. Come along.

The DOCTOR checks his pocket watch.

Hm.

STEELE
All right. We move it out. Now.

He motions ALLEN, LANGTRY, COSTGAN and PENNY off.

STEELE
How can you act like that?

DOCTOR
I beg your pardon?

STEELE
Like all this is just like a day out at the zoo.

DOCTOR
Well, we still have ..

He checks his pocket watch.

Eleven hours to save the universe, dear boy. Let’s not panic yet.

STEELE
This isn’t some kind of fun family outing.

DOCTOR
No. No, I suppose it isn’t. It is a bit grim, after all.

STEELE
Understand this, Doctor: I won’t have you questioning my authority here. I am in charge, and you – you’re nothing but a suit of clothes.

DOCTOR
Yes, but they are such marvellous clothes. Now, shall we be off? We wouldn’t want to be left behind, after all.

The DOCTOR exits. After a deep breath, so does STEELE.

Blackout.


ACT ONE SCENE SEVEN

SHOCK TROOPER#1 stands guard over MEDZAVORIAN
while DEATHBANE tries to access the computer.

DEATHBANE
Very, very clever. Everything locked out, virtually every system on this station. A more suspicious mind than mine might believe that you deliberately inserted this programme into this system to deny us access to this station – this prize.

MEDZAVORIAN
If you wait until the countdown hits zero then you’re dead. Everyone, everything is. Let me carry on with my work and I can hack past it.

DEATHBANE
Hhm. What do you know about the Kalisha’ar. Doctor?

MEDZAVORIAN
You’re the enemy.

DEATHBANE laughs.

DEATHBANE
Very good. We’re the enemy. And?

MEDZAVORIAN
And what? Our peoples went to war practically the moment we met. What’s to know?

DEATHBANE
Are we stupid, do you think?

MEDZAVORIAN
I’m a scientist. I’d need more data.

DEATHBANE
You, I like. You want access to your computer, yes?

MEDZAVORIAN
Yes. Yes, I have to have it.

DEATHBANE
And then you can power down the Particle Accelerator and give us this … Particle Zero, yes? And then we let you live?

MEDZAVORIAN
That’s all I ask. That’s all I want. Look, if you don’t let me into the computer then Particle Zero will explode. You know that. Why else would I want to get the computer?

DEATHBANE
To make the explosion happen sooner than later, perhaps? To take us with you into death?

MEDZAVORIAN
No. You can see by the readouts that I’m not lying about this. Your scientists must have theorised about the creation of a Particle Zero. It’s unusable as a weapon. But as a power source … I want to live. You have to let me carry on with my work.

DEATHBANE
There is something very, very wrong here. Perhaps you are trying to buy yourself time. I know there are Confederacy soldiers on board here – there is unmistakably an assault ship docked on the lower rings.

MEDZAVORIAN
I told you about them, all about them.

DEATHBANE
Yes, you did. You are buying time for your rescue. Yes, that makes most sense, I think. I trust that my men shall be able to manually disable the Particle Accelerator by the time this countdown reaches zero, Doctor Medzavorian. If not I can easily destroy it.

MEDZAVORIAN
You can’t do that … I want to live.

DEATHBANE
You killed one of my men.

MEDZAVORIAN
I can give you what you want and if you kill me you will die. I want to live.

DEATHBANE
So you can wait for rescue, yes?

MEDZAVORIAN
They’re probably dead. I told you, the creature-

DEATHBANE
Ah yes. Now this, this is where my generous credulity stretches somewhat. The creature.

MEDZAVORIAN
I told you-

DEATHBANE
Yes, you did. No, I think I shall kill you.

DEATHBANE raises her gun.

Goodbye, Doctor.

A buzzer sounds. DEATHBANE places her hand to her ear.

Fury Patrol. Report.

A pause.

Understood. Return here.

She holsters her weapon.

Well, Doctor, it would appear that you have been granted a reprieve.

MEDZAVORIAN
Your troops found it.

DEATHBANE
It found them.

MEDZAVORIAN
How many?

DEATHBANE
Three. Half of my patrol dead. Live and work, Doctor. For now.

Blackout.

ACT ONE SCENE EIGHT

PENNY and COSTIGAN enter, followed by the DOCTOR, STEELE, LANGTRY
and ALLEN.

COSTIGAN
You broke your core programming? That’s incredible. I didn’t think G10-series Androids had that capability.

PENNY
The Doctor says all things have the power to grow beyond the sum of their parts. He says that that’s what distinguishes the truly alive.

COSTIGAN
Even so-

COSTIGAN is wracked by a sudden coughing fit.

STEELE
Okay, people. We rest. Allen, stand guard. How far to the Particle Accelerator?

COSTIGAN
This is Deck thirty-five. Five decks down. Without servolifts and having to open airlocks manually, I’d say perhaps another forty-five minutes, an hour maybe.

STEELE
All right. Rest up.

LANGTRY
You know, this isn’t far from place we lost Gillespie and the others.

ALLEN
I think you’re right. Bugger. We’re dead. We’re dead.

STEELE
I don’t want to that from you, Allen, I told you. Shut it.

Grumbling, Allen does so. STEELE takes a swig from his canteen and offers it around.
COSTIGAN takes it and gulps greedily. He holds it towards the DOCTOR.

DOCTOR
Thank you, no.

Then to PENNY

PENNY
How kind! No, thank you.

STEELE
Of course. Whatever the eggheads here think, you’re not alive.

DOCTOR
No?

STEELE
You’re a Machine. Doc Costigan and Doctor Whatever here can probably fix you up after we’re out of here.

PENNY
I don’t need “fixing”.

STEELE
Of course you do. A machine thinks it’s human? Sounds kind of buggy to me.

PENNY
But I don’t think I’m human. Nor have I any desire to become human.

STEELE
Well, what do you want?

PENNY
I … I require meaning. I cannot explain beyond this. I was created to serve and then discovered that that which I was created to serve was evil.

DOCTOR
I should explain. Myself and Karnak were holidaying on Happyworld –

ALLEN
The Happiest Place In The Cosmos?

DOCTOR
Well, not in our personal experience …

ALLEN
Wow. I always wanted to go there. On a soldier’s pay, though …

LANGTRY
Tell me about it …

COSTIGAN
You met Cosmic Cat?

DOCTOR
Yes. He tried to kill us, as a matter of fact.

COSTIGAN
Cosmic Cat tried to kill you? I don’t believe you.

DOCTOR
Quite. You see, we’d uncovered a rather nasty little plot to replace Intergalactic Heads of State with android replicas – you’d be surprised how often that happens.

STEELE
What happened then?

DOCTOR, dismissively
Oh, lots of running about, some shooting, a frankly melodramatic explosion and Good triumphing over Evil, the usual.

STEELE
Right. So what then?

PENNY
I helped destroy my creator. I require new purpose. I feel adrift.

STEELE
No, you don’t.

PENNY
But I do.

STEELE
No you don’t. You think you do. You see you’ve been programmed to act like you feel stuff and now you need your ten thousand klick service, or whatever.

PENNY looks crestfallen.

DOCTOR
Tell me, Captain – have you ever heard of Alan Turing?

COSTIGAN
I know-

DOCTOR
No doubt. Captain?

STEELE
Something to do with machines, right?

DOCTOR
Something to do with machines, yes. The father of modern computing, actually. I’ve met him on a few occasions. A charming man, although his fingernails are revolting, for a mathematician. He decided that if a computer appeared to be thinking and feeling that it was appropriate to assume that it was. Honestly, Captain, you’re as bad as Karnak. Can you, for instance, prove to me that you yourself are capable of thinking, of feeling, rather than merely pretending to do so?

STEELE
Are you trying to insult my intelligence?

DOCTOR
Good Lord, no. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Just accept in this case that Penny is a person with her own feelings and needs, and grant her the albeit small degree of respect and civility you would any biological sentient.

STEELE
I don’t like you.

DOCTOR
The truly stylish are never truly liked. Admired, perhaps, but ultimately we are envied and reviled.
It is the cross we were born to bear.

STEELE
You are so full of-

ALLEN
Captain!

STEELE
What?

ALLEN
I saw something move! Ahead of us!

COSTIGAN
Oh God. Oh no.

There is a scratching, skittering noise.

ALLEN
It’s in the walls. It’s in the walls all around us!

STEELE
All right. I’ll go ahead. Allen, you come with me. You civs wait here. You hear trouble, you run. Private Langtry here will cover you. Here.

He tosses a grenade belt towards ALLEN.

Grenades. Good luck. Move out.

STEELE moves out, gun in hand.

ALLEN
Oh God. Sign up and see the universe, my sainted bloody aunt.

ALLEN follows him.

DOCTOR
“ Civs”, indeed …

COSTIGAN
We’re going to die!

DOCTOR
Well, perhaps. Never mind, old chap.

COSTIGAN looks at the DOCTOR, then at PENNY. She smiles radiantly.
There is a skittering noise again.

LANGTRY
I think … I can’t tell which way it’s coming from …

COSTIGAN
We’re going to die!

DOCTOR
Penny. I need to speak with Karnak.

PENNY
Establishing link … established.

DOCTOR
Are you there, Karnak?

KARNAK, through PENNY
I’m here, Doctor.

DOCTOR
Things aren’t going so well here, I’m afraid. In the unlikely event that something untoward does befall us, Karnak, it’s all down to you. Blow the station up, if you have to. If you can.

KARNAK, through PENNY
I’ll do my best. Never say die, though Doctor.

There is an animal scream nearby and a burst of gunfire. ALLEN screams his last.

DOCTOR
See you soon, Karnak. I hope.

The CHIMERA appears, LANGTRY fires but the CHIMERA skips aside and strikes him down. It rounds on the DOCTO, PENNY and COSTIGAN. It hisses.

PENNY
Doctor!

DOCTOR
Oh dear …

Blackout. Theme music.


I N T E R V A L


ACT TWO SCENE ONE

We pick up at the end of ACT ONE SCENE EIGHT.

DOCTOR
The truly stylish are never truly liked. Admired, perhaps, but ultimately we are envied and reviled.
It is the cross we were born to bear.

STEELE
You are so full of-

ALLEN
Captain!

STEELE
What?

ALLEN
I saw something move! Ahead of us!

COSTIGAN
Oh God. Oh no.

There is a scratching, skittering noise.

ALLEN
It’s in the walls. It’s in the walls all around us!

STEELE
All right. I’ll go ahead. Allen, you come with me. You civs wait here. You hear trouble, you run. Private Langtry here will cover you. Here.

He tosses a grenade belt towards ALLEN.

Grenades. Good luck. Move out.

STEELE moves out, gun in hand.

ALLEN
Oh God. Sign up and see the universe, my sainted bloody aunt.

ALLEN follows him.

DOCTOR
“ Civs”, indeed …

COSTIGAN
We’re going to die!

DOCTOR
Well, perhaps. Never mind, old chap.

COSTIGAN looks at the DOCTOR, then at PENNY. She smiles radiantly.
There is a skittering noise again.


LANGTRY
I think … I can’t tell which way it’s coming from …

COSTIGAN
We’re going to die!

DOCTOR
Penny. I need to speak with Karnak.

PENNY
Establishing link … established.

DOCTOR
Are you there, Karnak?

KARNAK, through PENNY
I’m here, Doctor.

DOCTOR
Things aren’t going so well here, I’m afraid. In the unlikely event that something untoward does befall us, Karnak, it’s all down to you. Blow the station up, if you have to. If you can.

KARNAK, through PENNY
I’ll do my best. Never say die, though Doctor.

There is an animal scream nearby and a burst of gunfire. ALLEN screams his last.

DOCTOR
See you soon, Karnak. I hope.

The CHIMERA appears, LANGTRY fires but the CHIMERA skips aside and strikes him down. It rounds on the DOCTO, PENNY and COSTIGAN. It hisses.

PENNY
Doctor!

DOCTOR
Oh dear …

The CHIMERA advances. Hesitantly, so does PENNY.

Penny?

COSTIGAN
It’s going to kill us-

DOCTOR
Be quiet!

She raises her hand. There is a high pitched squeal of computer noise.

COSTIGAN
What’s happening!

DOCTOR
Ssh!

A pause, then another burst. Another pause, and the creature raises its own hand.
There is an answering burst, then two sets of noise interacting.

COSTIGAN
It’s an android! What’s she doing?

DOCTOR
I imagine her programming is much more sophisticated than the creatures. She’s trying to rewrite the core software, I imagine.

Both hands snap shut and the noise stops.

PENNY
I can’t rewrite its protocols. It won’t hurt me – I’m not alive, by its standards. When I say run, please run.

The CHIMERA tries to move towards the DOCTOR and COSTIGAN. She blocks it.
It stands back quizzically.

I’m G-10 series. It’s a G-12 chassis but only a G-7 CPU. It’s stronger. It’s faster. I’m smarter.

The CHIMERA tries again. Again, PENNY blocks it.

Don’t worry about me. Run!

PENNY lunges at the CHIMERA as the DOCTOR and COSTIGAN flee the way they
came. PENNY and the CHIMERA fight. LANGRTY struggles to consciousness as the CHIMERA knocks PENNY down and prepares to administer the killing blow. LANGTRY opens fire, knocking the CHIMERA back until his gun clicks emptily.

LANGTRY
Oh God, no …

The CHIMERA leaps onto LANGTRY and kills him.

STEELE appears – he has been severely wounded. He opens fire,
driving the CHIMERA back, once, twice, three times.
He staggers over to PENNY as the CHIMERA circles him.

STEELE
Get up.

PENNY staggers to her feet. STEELE raises his gun again.

PENNY
No! We’re at the very edge of its territory and we’ve hurt it just enough … so back off very slowly …

They back off slowly as the CHIMERA snarls at them. The exit. The CHIMERA roars its triumph and disappears the way it came.

Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE TWO

We are in the TARDIS.

KARNAK, off stage.
C, D, E, F, H, I … J and K … found them!

He enters, carrying two huge books.

Encyclopaedia Galactica, 33rd Century edition, K, Kalbarians, Kaleds … Kalisha’ar.

He reads aloud.

“The Kalisha’ar are a warlike race first encountered by the Human Race in the 31st Century. Human Colonists inadvertently landed on a Kalisha’ar burial site invoking the wrath of the Kalisha’ar Priest Council, who immediately declared a holy Jihad on Terra and her Colonies.” Nasty.
“ Due to the combination of war and Religious Cultural Isolationism it was nearly a Century before even the most basic information about Kalisha’ar social structures, beliefs and religion were known to humankind.” Let’s see now…
“ A Peace Accord was negotiated and signed in the early 32nd Century despite an unsuccessful attempt by an unlikely alliance of Terran and Kalisha’ar hard-liners to disrupt the process, an attempt foiled largely due to the interventions of a mysterious traveller known only as …” Of course, I should have known.

He closes the book and puts it down. He looks guiltily over his shoulder and opens the other.

J, J, J … Jocastan Republican Planetary Union. ... Republican Planetary Union?

He shrugs.

History. The War with the Qu’an Commune, circa Terran 27th Century … Royal family, here we go … here we are!

He turns the pages, then looks perplexed. He looks again, flicking the pages.
A note slips from the pages and he picks it up and reads aloud.

“Hello Karnak. If you’re reading this it means that your curiosity has gotten the better of you and you’ve decided to peek ahead and see how it all works out for you. Sorry, dear chap, but I can’t allow that. Rules are, after all, rules. I’ve clipped the pages pertaining to your history and placed them somewhere safe. I do hope that you appreciate that this is for your own good, your friend, The Doctor.” I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it …

DOCTOR, over comm. system
Karnak?

KARNAK, surly
What?

Realising the situation.

Oh, right. Doctor, are you all right?

DOCTOR, over comm. system
Well, things have been better. Two of our charming soldier friends have, to employ Captain Steele’s choice idiom, “bought the farm”. They died fighting like men though, he says, so apparently once again that’s not so very dreadful. Had you come up with any sort of plan?

KARNAK
Erm, no. I was, well, just doing some research. I had out the K and J volumes of the Encyclopaedia Galactica. I was looking up the Kalisha’ar, and, well …

DOCTOR, over comm. system
And, while you were at it, you were sneaking a peek at your own fate, yes?

KARNAK
You think you’re so clever.

DOCTOR, over comm. system
That may well be true, but cleverness is not always enough, Karnak. Sometimes a keen intelligence and an admittedly pithy, slicing wit cannot sway the odds and all that is really required is a single act of noble, selfless heroism.

KARNAK
Or, to put it another way, a gullible idiot like me. Life isn’t a game of chess, you know. I’m not a pawn you can just sacrifice as you want to.

DOCTOR, over comm. system
Yes … well, as much as I’d like to discuss that with you at this time, we are rather up against the clock here. We have, to quote the dear Captain once again, “a situation”. Even without the Kalisha’ar, Doctor Medzavorian clearly has no intention of disabling the Particle Accelerator from your end. Quite the opposite, I expect. If she survived the Kalisha’ar she’ll no doubt be trying her damnedest to set it off before we have an opportunity to stop it here.

KARNAK
Yes. Yes, she did seem tense. About time. What do you need me to do?

DOCTOR
I need you to do a little job for me …

Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE THREE

MEDZAVORIAN is working at her console. DEATHBANE watches impatiently.

DEATHBANE
Come along!

MEDZAVORIAN
I’ve managed to bypass the tertiary Boolean flow.

DEATHBANE
That means nothing to me! You could have made that up! That could just be meaningless words!

Two SHOCKTROOPERS enter, with KARNAK.

MEDZAVORIAN
I’ve managed to get voice recognition online, as well as station gyro control, airlocks and the internal docking clamps.

DEATHBANE
Which amounts to nothing, of use. I tire of this. All it takes is another Confederacy ship to pick up the emergency beacon here and we will be locked into a battle I can ill afford to fight at this time. I should blow this station into oblivion and leave.

MEDZAVORIAN
No! Particle Zero-

DEATHBANE
Is a fool’s errand which has already cost me too many of my men. And I still don’t trust you, Doctor. Hello. What have we here?

SHOCK TROOPER#3
We caught him on the upper deck, my Lord. He surrendered without a fight.

DEATHBANE
And what is your name?

KARNAK
I’m Karnak, a Jocastan. I suppose now you want to know what I’m doing on this station and where I came from.

DEATHBANE
Not really, no.

MEDZAVORIAN
Deathbane, I have to-

KARNAK
Deathbane? He says his name is Deathbane?

DEATHBANE
My name is Deathbane, yes.

KARNAK
No, it isn’t.

DEATHBANE
I beg your pardon.

KARNAK
What sort of name’s that? You just called yourself that to try and make yourself sound hard.
You’re as bad as that Steele. Rock Steele and Deathbane. You two really should get together sometime.

DEATHBANE
Take him out and have him shot. And take her, too. We’ve wasted enough time here.

KARNAK
It’s called the Ceremony of Panjakar, isn’t it? Did I pronounce that right?

DEATHBANE
What?

He raises his hand. The guards stop.

KARNAK
The Ceremony of Panjakar. When you came of age you fought beneath the statue of J’Nuk, the Snake God. You fought with your best friend, because that’s the custom, and you killed him and you smeared yourself in his blood and shouted out, “For J’Nuk I stand friendless and alone. The child – whatever your name was – is dead, and the warrior – insert new name of choice, Deathbane in your case - stands new born in his place” And you picked Deathbane. I mean, what does that say about you? Really?

DEATHBANE, irritated now
It says that you’re probably going to die as messy a death as your famous namesake.

KARNAK
How is that, exactly? No, I mean, really. I want to know.

DEATHBANE, ignoring him, to SHOCKTOOPER#3
I want them shot in the gut and left to watch their lives spill out.

KARNAK
Deathbane. Deathbane. Deathbane Deathbane Deathhbane. Where you small as a child? Got picked on a lot? Read a lot of schlocky novels about barbarians with big swords and stupid titles like Gorebringer and Skullsplitter and though, “hey, If I’m not going to be any good with girls I might as well at least have myself a stupid macho name!”

DEATHBANE pushes his troops aside and grabs KARNAK.

DEATHBANE
You are a miserable scum-spawned worm-.

KARNAK
Great, about time - I invoke Kun D’Rakkar.

MEDZAVORIAN
You invoke what?

DEATHBANE
You make dangerous jokes.

KARNAK
No joke. You’re a War Chief - that means you’re of a noble house. I’m a Prince - that means I’m of a noble house. That means if I’m insulted – and “miserable scum-spawned worm”’s pretty much an insult in anyone’s book - I can challenge you when, where and how I like.

DEATHBANE
You are no Prince.

KARNAK shows a ring to DEATHBANE.

KARNAK
Royal seal of the House of Rynann.

DEATHBANE
That was lost centuries ago.

KARNAK
Nope. It’s right here.

DEATHBANE
That was lost centuries ago, when Karnak the First died.

KARNAK
Look, you don’t have to rub it in. I have enough proof to issue a challenge and I’m doing it. So, tell me: Are you really going to break one of your most scared laws in front of your men?

DEATHBANE frees KARNAK.

DEATHBANE
Very well. However … Computer?

COMPUTER VOICE
Waiting to comply.

DEATHBANE
It works. Good. The Confederacy ship on the lower docking ring … release the docking clamps.

COMPUTER VOICE
Warning. Anubis Delta base is situated in a safe Lagrange point between the black hole and its orbiting brown dwarf star. Without docking clamps the centrifugal force generated by this station will hurl the ship out of the safe zone and into the gravitational riptide. Warning.

DEATHBANE
I didn’t ask for a lecture on physics. Release the cursed clamps.

COMPUTER VOICE
Authorisation required to override safety protocols.

MEDZAVORIAN
Without time to fire their engines up anyone on that ship will be sucked into the black hole …

DEATHBANE holds a gun to MEDZAVORIANS’ head.

Safety override authorisation Medzavorian, H, Alpha299.

COMPUTER VOICE
Complying. Clamps released.

DEATHBANE
Thank you. (to KARNAK) You see, “Prince”, you may win, or I may, but whatever happens, you’re not going anywhere. Now, name the time.

KARNAK
As soon as possible.

DEATHBANE
Name the weapons.

KARNAK
Staffs. There must be some metal piping we can use if you don’t have any, although it wouldn’t surprise me if you do. The amount of races running around with a ray gun on one hip and a bloody great sword on the other never ceases to amaze me. What is the point of that?

DEATHBANE
We have staffs. Name the place.

KARNAK
Now we’re getting there. Deck 34, under the main ventilation shaft. And bring your soldiers. You’re going to need them.

Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE FOUR

STEELE lies unconscious while COSTIGAN talks to the DOCTOR.
The DOCTOR is working on a device with his sonic screwdriver,
pieces of it laid out in front of him.

DOCTOR
So, this station was not originally constructed here in orbit?

COSTIGAN
Around a black hole? We’re not so far from the event horizon that anyone’d be stupid enough to risk that. No, Anubis Delta Base was originally built to fly under her own power.

DOCTOR
Are the engines still operational?

COSTIGAN
Taken off-line years ago and salvaged for parts. The main ZPE generator came from the engine core, actually. Ships navigation systems were turned over to stellar cartography and deep space scanning, and so on. All that remains is the gyro control. I’m worried, Doctor.

DOCTOR
I’m sure.

COSTIGAN
No. Really. This place was built to last, and we’ve got, what, just over five hours now?

DOCTOR
Oh, Doctor Medzavorian appears an extremely clever and capable woman, Doctor Costigan. If she’s alive there’s a good chances she’s managed to circumvent at least some part of your algorithm. I know I’d have

There is a hum and the light flickers on. The servolift door opens fully and then closes.

I see the Servolifts are operational again. So, I’d expect that we actually have rather less time than that. Pass me that Optical processor, would you?

COSTIGAN hands him a part.

COSTIGAN
Right. So even if we can get past that robot of the Doctor’s – the other Doctor – then it’s not a case of hitting a big switch with “Off” printed on it. Everything, every system is tripled.up for safety. Even the two of us working together couldn’t shut it all down in time.

DOCTOR
I realise this, dear boy. That’s why we’re using plan B.

COSTIGAN
Plan B? We have a plan B?

STEELE, croaking
What the hell is plan B?

DOCTOR
Ah, Captain. You’re awake.

STEELE
Yeah. I asked you; what’s this plan B?

DOCTOR
I’ll let you know when I’ve finished this … got it!

He snaps the device casing closed.

(To STEELE)I took your communicator system while you were napping, Captain. I do apologise.

STEELE
What the hell for?

DOCTOR
I’ve constructed a short-range EMP grenade, good for one use only. When it’s set off it will generate an electro-magnetic pulse in the 15-25 teracycle range, which should wipe the smile off the creatures face. If it had a smile, of course. Or a face.

STEELE
Great! We can fry that things hard drive!

DOCTOR
Yes, well, all is not perfectly well in the garden, I’m afraid. The blast radius is a less than impressive four feet. And, of course, while it won’t affect we three, Penny will be vulnerable.

STEELE
Anyone that close to that thing’s going to get killed! They might not even get a chance to set it off!

DOCTOR
That’s why I’ve set up a little diversion. With a little luck, they’ll be here soon.

STEELE
Help?

DOCTOR
Not precisely help, no …

PENNY runs in.

Ah. Our lookout returns. What news, my dear.

PENNY
They’re coming, Doctor! Another two decks.

STEELE
They? Who are they?

DOCTOR
Why, the Kalisha’ar, of course!

STEELE
You brought the Kalisha’ar here?

DOCTOR
Well, credit where credit’s due, Karnak did. He can be a very brave and resourceful young man when he turns his mind to it. I would say, though, that he will insist on hiding his light under a bushel, and a particularly large and oafish bushel at that, if it were in my nature to pass judgement.

STEELE, incredulous
You brought the Kalisha’ar? Here?

DOCTOR
Do try to keep up, Captain.

The DOCTOR hands the device to COSTIGAN.

Look after this, dear boy. Tell Karnak to keep the Kalisha’ar here as long as he can. I’ll be back soon. I hope.

STEELE
Where are you going?

DOCTOR
Because there’s one attendee missing from our little soiree and I’m afraid he’ll have to be lead. Ah well. ‘Tis a far, far better thing I do now than I have ever done before… no, actually, that’s not true. Goodbye!

He exits.

COSTIGAN
He’s going to get us all killed!

PENNY
Don’t worry! Everything’s going to be just fine!

COSTIGAN
You’ve got ammunition left?

STEELE
I lost it all.

COSTIGAN
We’re so, so dead …

Blackout.

ACT TWO SCENE FIVE

MEDZAVORIAN sits dejected, watched by SHOCKTROOPER#1.
Idly, her hand wanders towards the console.

SHOCKTROOPER
Hands away from the console.

MEDZAVORIAN
I was only going to-

SHOCKTROOPER
I have my orders. I will watch you until Lord Deathbane returns. Until then you are not to touch the primary computer console.

MEDZAVORIAN stands.

MEDZAVORIAN
I can get up, though? I’m allowed to move around?

The SHOCKTROOPER nods uncertain assent. MEDZAVORIAN stands and
walks away from the SHOCKTROOPER She moves over to the stairway.

Have you been a Shocktrooper long?

Surreptitiously she wraps her arms around the handrail as she speaks.

SHOCKTROOPER
Pardon?

MEDZAVORIAN
Is it, you know, a good career? Good pay, get to meet girls?

SHOCKTROOPER
We Kalisha’ar do not concern ourselves with such things.

MEDZAVORIAN
Remind me never to go to one of your parties.

SHOCKTROOPER
We serve. It is an honour to fight. It is an honour to die.

MEDZAVORIAN
That’s handy. Computer?

COMPUTER VOICE
Waiting to comply.

SHOCKTROOPER
What? What are you doing?

MEDZAVORIAN
Safety override authorisation Medzavorian, H, Alpha299.

SHOCKTROOPER
You will be quiet!

MEDZAVORIAN
Starboard emergency airlock, C&C, inner and outer locks.

SHOCKTROOPER
You will be silent!

COMPUTER VOICE
Please give further orders.

MEDZAVORIAN
Blow them.

COMPUTER VOICE
Complying. Locks opening.

A klaxon sounds. The airlock door opens and there is the sound of air rushing.

SHOCKTROOPER
No!

The SHOCKTROOPER is dragged back by the force of expelled air.

COMPUTER VOICE
Locks open. Pressure now at 0.67 atmospheres.

MEDZAVORIAN
Close the airlock!

COMPUTER VOICE
Total vacuum will be achieved in twenty seconds. Inner or outer airlock?

MEDZAVORIAN
Either! Both!

COMPUTER VOICE
Complying. Locks closed.

The airlock closes and MEDZAVORIAN lets go of the handrail.
She rushes over to the console. She types furiously, then stops.

MEDZAVORIAN
Release the docking clamps on the Kalisha’ar ship on the upper ring. Safety override authorisation Medzavorian, H, Alpha299.

COMPUTER
Complying. Clamps released.

MEDZAVORIAN
Good. That’s the trash put out. Now, run sequence Medzavorian 34D9. Target and erase sequence Costigan 1A1.

COMPUTER VOICE
Working. Unable to comply. Processor busy.

MEDZAVORIAN
Damn it!

An idea strikes her.

Yes! Of course …

She starts to type. Fade to black …


ACT TWO SCENE SIX

PENNY, COSTIGAN and STEELE are waiting as DEATHBANE, KARNAK
and THREE SHOCKTROOPERS enter.

COSTIGAN
Don’t shoot! We surrender.

DEATHBANE
Kill them.

KARNAK
No! While I’ve invoked Kun D’Rakkar they’re under my protection!

DEATHBANE
J’Nuk’s scales! This is rapidly becoming tiresome …

KARNAK, to PENNY
Where’s the Doctor?

PENNY
He says to keep the Kalisha’ar busy.

KARNAK
Oh, great.

DEATHBANE grabs a staff and throws it to KARNAK.

DEATHBANE
Here.

KARNAK
Oh, thanks. Listen, Can I just take a minute to-

DEATHBANE
No delays. You specified the time, “As soon as possible,” and the place, here.

KARNAK
Right, right.

DEATHBANE
So we fight, to the death, and the better man wins. And then I go home.

COSTIGAN
Ooh. He’s confident.

KARNAK
Isn’t there some sort of ceremony we have to go through before we, you know, get down to it? Something lengthy involving tea, perhaps?

DEATHBANE
No.

KARNAK
Maybe prayers? Famous last words? That sort of thing?

DEATHBANE
Do you concede the victory then?

KARNAK
That’s a thought. What happens then?

DEATHBANE
I shoot you.

KARNAK
Ah. Perhaps not.

DEATHBANE
Are you prepared?

KARNAK
Well, then, I suppose-

DEATHBANE attacks, KARNAK barely defends in time.
They fight, and DEATHBANE backs off.

PENNY
Go Karnak!

STEELE
Kick his ugly red butt!

KARNAK shoots them both a look of pure hatred.
DEATHBANE attacks again. They fight. KARNAK ends up on the floor,
DEATHBANE stood over him, his staff poised to strike.

DEATHBANE
You fought well. I like that.

KARNAK
And you’re going to let me go as a mark of respect?

DEATHBANE, grinning suddenly
I’m afraid not.

The DOCTOR runs on, looking behind him.

DOCTOR
Karnak! So glad to see you, dear boy.

DEATHBANE
Who in the hells are you?

The DOCTOR helps KARNAK to his feet.

DOCTOR
I’m the Doctor, delighted to meet you. (to Karnak) This is no time to be lying around, Karnak. I recommend action. (he sniffs) and perhaps a shower.

He pulls KARNAK against the wall, glancing behind him the way he came.

DEATHBANE
What is happening here?

DOCTOR
You must be … oh, it doesn’t matter anyway. What a beautiful cloak! Such lovely material!

DEATHBANE
You will answer me.

There is the distant cry of the CHIMERA.

DOCTOR, distracted
Yes, yes, I’m well acquainted with the routine. “I have a gun, you are in my power,” et cetera. Given a choice between a simple killing or boring me to death talking about it I’ve found that my nemeses will inevitably plump for the long lingering death threat No doubt you’ll feel the need to warn me that resistance is useless.

DEATHBANE
Resistance is useless!

DOCTOR
Well. There you go then.

There is the cry of the CHIMERA, much closer now.

DEATHBANE
What is that?

DOCTOR
That? That’s Dr. Medzavorian’s chimera. Or the cavalry, depending on one’s point of view.

The CHIMERA enters. DEATHBANE swings his staff, and is killed. In the confusion,
PENNY disarms and downs a SHOCKTROOPER while the other TWO attack the CHIMERA. Shrugging off their gunfire, it kills them both.

STEELE grabs the EMP grenade from COSTIGAN and charges at the CHIMERA.
It knocks him aside and he drops the grenade. The CHIMERA stands over STEELE,
hissing.

PENNY
No!

She charges the CHIMERA, grabbing it from behind, pinning it.
STEELE scrabbles out of the way.

I can’t hold it! Activate the grenade!

KARNAK
No! You’ll die!

PENNY
I can’t hold it!

DOCTOR
Penny, you don’t have to-

PENNY
Doctor! I choose this!

The DOCTOR grabs the grenade, and runs over to PENNY and the CHIMERA.

DOCTOR
Goodbye Penny. Thank you.

PENNY
No, Doctor. Thank you.

With a cry, the CHIMERA bursts loose, throwing PENNY back. The DOCTOR hits the switch and the grenade explodes in a burst of light. The CHIMERA slumps forward.
The DOCTOR and KARNAK run over to PENNY.

KARNAK
Penny! She was on the edge of the pulse – she must be all right.

PENNY
Doctor …

KARNAK
See? See?

DOCTOR
How are you, Penny?

PENNY
I can’t see anymore. I can feel my systems shutting down, one by one.

STEELE
Christ ... Listen, we can patch you up. Rebuild you. Rewire you.

COSTIGAN
That’s a Positronic Neural network, Captain. When that’s burnt out it can’t be “patched up”.

KARNAK
I’m sorry for all the things I said. The way I treated you.

STEELE
You didn’t have to do what you did.

PENNY, happily
No. I didn’t have to. I made a choice. What’s that noise?

STEELE
I can’t hear anything.

COSTIGAN
Her breakers are wide open. She’s probably picking up random interference.

DOCTOR
Be not afeard: The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twanging instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That if I then had waked after long sleep
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked
I cried to dream again.

PENNY
Oh! That’s beautiful … Did you write that, Doctor?

DOCTOR
No, dear child.

Gently, he kisses her.

Dream well, Penny.

She closes her eyes, and he lays her down.

KARNAK
Can’t you fix her?

DOCTOR
There’s nothing to fix, Karnak. She died as well as any who has ever lived, and happily.
One day you may do the same.

KARNAK
So I keep hearing.

The DOCTOR places his finger to his lips.

DOCTOR
This isn’t about you, Karnak. This is her time now, not yours.

STEELE
Listen .. We don’t have time …

DOCTOR
We never do. It always has us.

STEELE
We should get to my ship. I’m not the greatest pilot in the SSI but I can get us away from here and take the place out with a few ZPE missiles. No more end of the universe.

KARNAK
No, we can’t.

COSTIGAN
We can’t? Why not?

COSTIGAN
That thing’s dead. What’s stopping us?

KARNAK
Deathbane – the one I was fighting - blew the docking clamps. Your ship’s probably squeezed smaller than an atom by now.

COSTIGAN
What??

DOCTOR
Quite. That, Karnak, displays a frankly shocking misunderstanding of the physical properties of space-time under heavy gravitational distortion …

COSTIGAN
No, no, that’s not the problem! How did he unlock the systems?

KARNAK
It was Medzavorian. She unlocked voice recognition, the gyro thingy, airlocks, docking systems …

DOCTOR
We ourselves saw the servolifts go on earlier …

COSTIGAN
Yes, but that’s an ancillary system. Airlock controls are part of the core system. She could hack through to the particle accelerator at any time.

DOCTOR
Ah, well. No rest for the wicked …

He taps at a wall panel. The servolift door slides open.

COMPUTER VOICE
Servolift open. Please state destination level.

DOCTOR
At least we don’t have to walk up thirty levels again…

The DOCTOR, COSTIGAN, STEELE and KARNAK get into the servolift.

Goodbye Penny. Command and control, level two, please.

COMPUTER VOICE
Complying.

DOCTOR
Most kind.

The door slides shut. Fade to black.


ACT TWO SCENE SEVEN

MEDZAVORIAN is working at her console.

COMPUTER VOICE
Beginning emulation subroutine Medzavorian Gamma284. Estimated runtime is six minutes.

MEDZAVORIAN
Yes!

The DOCTOR appears, with KARNAK, COSTIGAN and STEELE.

DOCTOR
My dear lady. Good evening.

MEDZAVORIAN
Doctor!

STEELE
I ought to-

DOCTOR
Please, Captain.

The DOCTOR skips over to the console.

I say, that’s very clever indeed!

COSTIGAN
What has she done?

DOCTOR
She’s using the minor systems she’s freed up to emulate the station central processor. Once this rather cunning little programme has run its course the stalled programmes will automatically swap over into the newly open system buffer and then … well, I doesn’t take a great deal of intelligence or imagination to work out what will happen.

STEELE
Boom.

COSTIGAN
We’re all going to die!

DOCTOR
I rest my case. Karnak, please take Captain Steele to the Tardis. I’ll join you presently.

KARNAK
You have a plan?

DOCTOR
Oh, Karnak …

KARNAK
Right, of course … come on.

STEELE
We can’t just-

KARNAK
Oh, belt up, “Rock”.

KARNAK, STEELE and COSTIGAN exit.

DOCTOR
So …

MEDZAVORIAN
So .. what are you going to do?

DOCTOR
This.

He taps out a sequence on the keyboard.

COMPUTER VOICE
Authorisation required to override safety protocols.

DOCTOR
Doctor Costigan?

COSTIGAN
What have you done?

DOCTOR
Oh, please. I seem to spend more time explaining my actions than I do performing them.

COSTIGAN
Safety override Doctor Enrico Costigan, Code Alpha729

DOCTOR
Thank you.

COMPUTER VOICE
Complying.

There is a metallic booming noise and the station shudders.

COSTIGAN
What was that?

COMPUTER VOICE
Autogyro disengaged. The station has ceased rotation.

There is another booming noise and more shuddering.

Axial correction completed. 87 degrees by 9 degrees by 15 degrees.

Another noise. More shuddering.

All port inner and airlocks are open. Warning! Anubis base is drifting from Lagrange point! Warning!

The shuddering gets worse.

COSTIGAN
You’ve used the airlocks as makeshift thrusters to push us into the event horizon!

COMPUTER VOICE
Warning! Anubis Delta Base has entered gravitational riptide. Warning!

MEDZAVORIAN
The particle accelerator will fire before gravity tears this place apart.

DOCTOR
This is true. But we three know our relativity, do we not?

COSTIGAN
As an object approaches the Event Horizon it accelerates.

DOCTOR
Very good. And when matter undergoes light speed – or near light speed - acceleration …

MEDZAVORIAN
Time slows relative to the surrounding universe.

DOCTOR
Or even stops. We’ve accelerating as we speak. As far as the universe outside this station is concerned, this sentence will have lasted perhaps half a million years. And, of course, as we accelerate further, time, for us, exponentially slows.

COSTIGAN
Oh God! We’re doomed!

DOCTOR
Calm yourself, Doctor. I can get us back home.

MEDZAVORIAN
I won’t go with you. I want to stay here.

DOCTOR
As you wish. There is every possibility, after all, that when the heavens we know have grown cold and dead that it is your potentiality – your particle zero- that will be the genesis of the new worlds to come.

MEDZAVORIAN
Yes, Yes. Then I shall live forever.

DOCTOR
I have to ask. How do you expect to do that?

MEDZAVORIAN
I have faith. All my life has lead me to this point – the death of everyone I’ve loved, the end of everything that might have held me back. I have faith.

DOCTOR
I see …

MEDZAVORIAN
I’ll be a god. I’ll be just and fair and then no one will ever die that doesn’t have to.

DOCTOR
Well, you know what they do say about ultimate power … mind you, I hear the hours are marvellous.

MEDZAVORIAN
Mock me all you want. I know I’m right.

DOCTOR
And therein lies the tragedy. Come along, Doctor.

MEDZAVORIAN
Wait! Everything I did … there’s no meaning. No justice. I want to make it all fair.

DOCTOR
There’s a dead girl forty decks below us who knows rather more about creating meaning and justice than you ever shall. However, I accept your good intentions.

MEDZAVORIAN
You respect my decision?

DOCTOR
Heavens, no. We won’t meet again, Doctor.

They leave. There is the sound of the Tardis dematerialising.

COMPUTER VOICE
Emulation subroutine Medzavorian Gamma284 complete. Bringing particle accelerator online.

MEDZAVORIAN
Fiat lux.

COMPUTER VOICE
Complying.

MEDZAVORIAN
Let there be light.

A massive flare of light and sound. Blackout.


ACT TWO SCENE EIGHT

STEELE is sat slumped while COSTIGAN looks around, amazed.
The DOCTOR is at the console.

COSTIGAN
Incredible!

DOCTOR
Most kind.

COSTIGAN
It’s bigger on the inside than on the outside!

DOCTOR
So I’m given to understand, yes …

COSTIGAN
Yes, but it’s bigger! Bigger than on the outside!

DOCTOR
Yes, well, there’s an explanation for that …

COSTIGAN, eager
Yes?

DOCTOR
Which I am far too tired and distressed at this time to share with you.

COSTIGAN
Oh.

KARNAK appears, with tea.

KARNAK
I made everyone tea.

DOCTOR
How thoughtful.

KARNAK
Normally Penny does the tea, but you know …

DOCTOR
We know. It’s all right, Karnak.

STEELE
She died like a man. Well, not like a man, exactly …

KARNAK
Oh, great ... meaningless macho platitude, anyone?

STEELE
I ought to rip you a new-

DOCTOR
Gentlemen! Thank you. For once Karnak, and I’m as surprised by this as you will be, I’m with the Captain.

KARNAK
What?

DOCTOR
Penny made a choice. She gave her life, willingly and nobly. It is sad, but not without meaning. Everything ends, Karnak, an understanding that Doctor Medzavorian was unable to reach. The important thing is that it ends well.

KARNAK
Do I … end well, Doctor?

DOCTOR
I shouldn’t be telling you this … but yes, you do. You end very well. And not where the history books say, either, which is why I’d rather you didn’t spoil it all for yourself by looking it up and getting it all wrong. Do you know Macbeth?

KARNAK
No.

DOCTOR
I told Will three witches was an extravagance, but he had the good sense not to listen. But that’s beside the point, really. Don’t wrongfoot yourself worrying about a future you can’t really know until you experience it for yourself.

STEELE
I’m sorry. I really am.

STEELE offers his hand. KARNAK takes it.

KARNAK
Thanks. That’s big of you.

STEEL bridles, but the DOCTOR raises a warning finger.

I mean, who really knows the future?

DOCTOR, smiling
Yes. Who, indeed?

Blackout. Music and curtain call.