Doctor Who_ Underworld Part 14

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'You're making a terrible mistake,' said the Doctor.

'Those aren't what you want at all!'

Rask laughed. 'You can do better than that, Doctor.' He hurried away.

'Ah well,' said the Doctor thoughtfully. He looked at the Guards. 'Killing me won't solve anything, you know.

Those cylinders were bombs.'



The Guards levelled their blasters.

There was a sudden crackle of blaster fire from behind behind him and the Doctor promptly threw himself to the ground. him and the Doctor promptly threw himself to the ground.

When he looked up the Guards were fleeing or dead, and Leela was running towards him. 'Doctor, are you all right?'

He straightened up. 'Yes, I think so. Let's get out of here, we've not got much time... Idas, bring your people.'

Idas turned to the cowering slaves. 'Listen to me, all of you. The prophecy has been fulfilled, our gods have come to save us. We can escape to the stars. Skyfall in Tunnel Seven. Bring your families, tell the others. Our gods await us!'

Lakh hurried up to the Oracle with the cylinders. 'They have been found, great one.'

'Replace them, quickly. They must never leave my keeping again.'

Ankh replaced the cylinders in the casket, and it sank slowly out of sight.

There was an astonishing scene outside the airlock of the Minyan patrol vessel. A long line of slaves, men, women, old people, children, was filing through the airlock, bustled along by the Doctor, who was acting as a kind of commissionaire, helped by Leela and Idas. 'Come along now, come along,' shouted the Doctor cheerfully. 'Plenty of room for everyone. Everything's going to be all right. Move along now!'

A furious Jackson pushed his way out through the airlock. 'What's going on here, Doctor? Get these people off my ship. We can't carry all this weight, we're too low on fuel.'

'You'll have to carry them,' said the Doctor grimly.

'This planet's about to explode.'

'Get them off,' insisted Jackson. 'I'm sorry, Doctor, but I must safeguard the Race Banks-for the future of the Minyan people.'

The Doctor gripped his arm. 'Listen, Jackson, these are are your people. They're descendants of those who came on the P7E.' your people. They're descendants of those who came on the P7E.'

'We can't take the weight,' said Jackson desperately.

'You've got to. Your only hope is to go, and go now. Get back to the command deck.'

Jackson hesitated, then turned and forced his way through the crowd.

The Doctor went on chivvying the slaves. 'Come on now, everyone inside. When you get in, just sit down and stay calm!'

They got them all in at last and a furious Herrick slammed and locked the airlock. 'Outer section sealed.'

The Doctor looked round the command deck. There were slaves everywhere, against the walls, across the floor, leaning against the consoles. Most of them were out of sight, stowed away in the holds and the storage areas, but there were still enough left over to overflow into the control room.

Jackson picked his way through the litter of prone bodies to his command chair. 'Run up on drive.'

'Drive running!'

'Prepare to blast off!'

Orfe began counting. 'Ten... nine... eight... seven, six, five, four, three, two, one-blast off!'

Slowly, painfully slowly, the Minyan space ship broke free of the soft planetary surface and launched itself towards the stars. Ankh watched it go on a surface monitor, and looked triumphantly at Lakh. 'They have cleared the surface. Soon they will be blown to dust!'

The frantic clamour of an alarm bell sent him running to the main control room.

The Oracle's lights were flashing in a frenzy of agitation. 'I have analysed the cylinders. These These are the bombs. Get rid of them or we shall all be destroyed.' are the bombs. Get rid of them or we shall all be destroyed.'

Lakh took the cylinders. 'How-where?' he asked helplessly. 'There is no time.'

'Defuse them-now!'

The space ship rose, rose... hovered for a moment, and began to fall back towards the grey surface of the planet.

The combination of extra weight and low energy-levels made it impossible for the ion-drive to pull the ship free...

'More power,' shouted Jackson. 'We're falling back!'

TaIa looked up despairingly. 'There is no more.'

The Doctor and Leela entered from the hold, where they had been trying to reassure the panic-stricken slaves.

'Everything all right, Jackson?' asked the Doctor cheerfully.

'No, it isn't! We don't have enough power to reach escape velocity. You know why, don't you, Doctor? It's the extra weight!'

'Oh, come on, Jackson, don't despair. Be brave! Why don't you sit down?'

Despairingly Jackson sank into his command chair. On the monitor the planet surface rushed ever closer.

Ankh clawed desperately at the gold sphere. 'It is not possible to defuse this.'

'Why? Why? Why? ' '

'Because you made it so!'

There was a silence. The Oracle whispered wearily, 'I have failed in my duty. I deserve destruction.'

The cylinder in Ankh's hand began to glow. The glow grew brighter, brighter, till it consumed the control room, the P7E and eventually the planet itself.

The planet exploded into a billion fragments of rocky debris.

The Doctor watched the explosion on the ship's monitor screen. 'There she goes. No planetary gravity to hold you now, Jackson-no planet! Prepare to ride the blast!'

Released from the pull of gravity, the P7E bucketed for a moment in the shock-wave, then streaked out into deep space.

In the control room there was an atmosphere of jubilation.

'We've made it,' shouted Orfe. 'We've made it!'

'Speed?' asked Jackson.

'Four-sevenths light.'

'Course?'

'One, two, zero.'

'How long to Minyos II?'

'Three hundred and seventy years,' said Herrick. He grinned. 'That's nothing, is it, Captain?'

The Doctor was unloading a series of strangely shaped objects on to the top of the console. 'I picked up one or two spare parts for you on the P7E-including a spare set of guidance crystals.' He bent down and patted K9. 'So you won't need my friend here any more.'

The Doctor and Leela began leaving the control room, K9 trundling after them.

'Aren't you coming with us to Minyos II?' asked Jackson, astonished.

Hurriedly the Doctor shook his head. 'Sorry, no time.

I'm very busy, you know.' He paused, and smiled.

'Goodbye-Jason!'

'Goodbye, Doctor.'

A chorus of thanks and farewells came from the crew.

But the Doctor and his companions had gone.

A few minutes later a strange, wheezing, groaning sound echoed through the ship. Then it died away...

Chapter Fourteen.

The Legend Magnificent in painter's smock and floppy beret, the Doctor was preparing to get on with his decorating. Leela watched him resignedly. A sudden thought struck her.

'Doctor?'

The Doctor was busily cleaning an enormous brush.

'Um?'

'Why did you call him Jason?'

'Who?'

'Jackson! When you were saying goodbye, you called him Jason.'

The Doctor scratched his head, leaving a streak of white paint in his hair. 'I called Jackson Jason?'

'Yes!' said Leela, exasperated. 'Is Jackson Jason?'

The Doctor put his paintbrush down, and stared into space. 'No, no, no. Jason was another captain. He was on a long Quest, too...'

Not surprisingly, the legends of Ancient Greece meant nothing to Leela. 'I don't understand, Doctor.'

'Ah!' The Doctor smiled. 'He was looking for the Golden Fleece.'

'Did he find it?'

'Oh yes, he found it in the end. Hanging on the Tree at the End of the World. You know, Leela, perhaps those old legends aren't so much stories from the past as prophecies of the future...' Pleased with this rather fanciful idea, the Doctor glanced down. 'What do you say, K9?'

Automatons have no time for imaginative theories.

'Negative!' said K9 firmly.

'Negative?' The Doctor was outraged at this abrupt dismissal of his new theory. He stared at Leela. 'What did he say?'

'He said, negative!'

'Negative?' spluttered the Doctor. 'What does he know, eh? Can he... can he paint?'

Flourishing his paint brush triumphantly, the Doctor marched out of the control room.

Leela knelt down and kissed K9 on the end of his nose.

Doctor Who_ Underworld Part 14

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Doctor Who_ Underworld Part 14 summary

You're reading Doctor Who_ Underworld Part 14. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Terrance Dicks already has 179 views.

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