Part 10 – Ultimatum
An alarm on the central console started to beep, signaling the commencement of a tractor beam shift which had locked on to the TARDIS. The Doctor reached far across the controls and slammed him palm on a large circular button which cancelled the movement of the ship “Oh no you don’t!” he said hurriedly. Martha stepped up next to him
“What do we do now?”
“We send him back Martha, back to the Shadow Proclamation to face justice”
“But how? He’s got all those weapons and prisoners at his disposal”
Reelog interrupted “Prisoners irrelevant!” they looked at him intriguingly “Crew members of Hybrid Locker will fight for freedom just as we did”
“Those prisoners want to be free of Critidan as much as we do, they’re just waiting for the right time to make their stand”
The navigation screen flickered and blurred, a grey field of noise and interference overtook the previous statistics image and then a new image faded into view – it was Critidan, broadcasting from the bridge of the Hybrid Locker.
“Surrender, Doctor” his tone was triumphant
“Oh hello there” the Doctor smiled
“There is no escape”
“Well,” he mused highly “You’ve got me there, but who needs to escape when I’ve got this TARDIS?” Critidan looked confused “Ya see, this ship isn’t just for travelling, it’s a vessel of war. It’s fought off armies and hordes and crusaders, and I know how to use it, which gives me the upper hand” he chirped, then his voice deepened “Now go Critidan, leave this planet or you’ll see what Time Lord technology is known for”
The jailor looked into the camera and then away, then back again
“Try me” the Doctor aggressed, then the whole TARDIS shook from a blast of the Hybrid Locker’s ultra-cannon; a crude port side weapon that had been grafted on from a crashed Metal-Lord Trunk Cruiser. It fired again and the TARIS rocked heavily as the crew tried to keep a hold of their footing. The Doctor pulled himself back to the screen “Don’t do this Critidan, just stop”
The jailor yelled back “If you will not surrender then under the strictures of the shadow proc…” then he stopped, realising his own mistake, adhering to the old rules which he professed so much to hate now
“Aha!” the Doctor shouted “You were saying, Jailor? Or should I say, renegade? It’s all a bit of a joke really isn’t it?” Martha saw the charm and wit of her companion returning “See, for someone so intent on breaking away from law and obedience you do such a brilliant job of demanding it from your own crew! The really silly thing is though, the longer you force people into doing your bidding the more likely they are of finding a way to strike back at you, like the infamous prison break of…” he turned “what was it Reelog?”
“Surface 669” the Judoon grunted
“Surface 669!” he repeated quickly “And if there’s one thing you shouldn’t have done, it’s lock up a Time Lord and his companion, because the first chance he gets he might end up doing something like this!” he cranked a large handle on the control pad towards him, sending out an electrical pulse which shot through the Hybrid Locker and made everything cut out for a few seconds. Their plummet towards the surface was halted as the system came back online and the engines fired up once more. The Doctor’s voice deepened when Critidan returned to the screen “Now go, or I’ll make that disruption permanent”
“You’ll regret this, Time Lord” he snarled and then the screen returned to static. The four travelers left the TARDIS to watch the Hybrid Locker gain altitude as it began to leave Earth, then two large circular missile bays opened and fired down on the planet.
“GET DOWN!” Martha shouted as they all dived for cover. The explosion threw the clock shaped TARDIS into the sky and then it landed upright on the river’s edge. The ground here was unstable at best and the surface began to crumble and give way before it suddenly dropped the TARDIS into the water with an almighty splash!
“No no no no!!” the Doctor shouted running over to the waters edge and dropping to his knees. He caught a glimpse of the large clock sinking into the blue depths, followed by the emergence of a few bubbles. He stood up and ran his right hand through his hair, holding it at the back of his head while gritting his teeth “That’s stuck a spanner in the works, I was going to use that to get back to our TARDIS”
Reelog stepped forwards “Apprehension system will take us”. He pressed a switch on his wrist as he had in the junk room and in the blink of an eye they were all back in the meadow just a few metres from the Doctor’s glorious blue box, the sight of which made Martha smile inanely despite being thrown to the floor by the teleport.
She stood up and brushed herself off “Phew!” then looked across to the Doctor “So what do we do now?” The Doctor hesitated for a moment, he wanted to leave these events as they were, but he knew he couldn’t, luckily Taan stepped forward and did it for him
“We will chase them down, for the glory of Earthfall and Sonta!” he said, the Doctor looked at him, utterly dumbfounded at the new world that this bloodthirsty warrior now found pride in being a part of, never had he seen a Sontaran prize life in this way, but he looked at the bigger picture and knew that Taan’s race would not always be so generous in realising the value of this planet. Still, much like Critidan was one-of-a-kind in his rebelion, so as Taan in his lust for something better, and so he cherished these times while they took place
“Off we go then!” he said hesistantly, and they all ran into the TARDIS to pursue the jailor for one last time.
TO BE CONTINUED