From the journal of Mrs Mina Harker
27th December 2000
I hid in the prison library, crouched behind the desk, listening for any sound to indicate that I was being pursued. So far my escape had gone unmolested. I was forced to conclude that the sphere had chosen Celaine as its target and I silently wished her luck.
When it became clear that nothing was going to enter the library after me, I got to my feet, steadying myself on the glass that protected the library's books from tourists. It seemed strange to me that a prison could become a tourist attraction, but Celaine was adamant on that point and I must confess to an understanding of the fascination with the darker side of human nature.
I opened the library door and looked out. I could see nothing so I cautiously emerged. My steps seemed to echo in the cavernous space. I hurried along the corridor, past the empty cells, looking for an exit. There was a caged walkway along the top of the far wall with a door beneath it. I tried the door.
I found myself in the prison dining room, confronted by row up row of chairs and tables. There appeared to be an exit at the far end of the room so I began to make my way across. That was when I noticed them. Standing against the far wall, motionless as statues, were half a dozen Yeti.
* * *
Chapel led Grace, the Doctor and Celaine out of the prison building and on to the military parade ground at the east end of the island. She was accompanied by two mind-controlled humans and a Yeti.
'So you're the Doctor,' Celaine said. 'You're not what I expected.'
'I'll take that as a compliment,' the Doctor replied. 'Is Mina safe?'
'She was the last time I saw her,' Celaine answered guardedly.
A black helicopter had landed in the centre of the yard.
'Is this the point at which you explain your cunning plan?' the Doctor asked Chapel.
'I think that you already know my plan,' Chapel said. 'I have to return to the city now to act as a focus for the Intelligence's return, but first I'm going to tie up some loose ends.'
She beckoned one of her slaves forward and passed a sphere into her hands. The woman cradled the sphere and pressed it against her chest. There was the sound of cracking ribs and the woman forced the sphere deep within herself. Grace winced. She wanted to turn away, but found herself horribly fascinated by the spectacle.
The woman tipped back her head and roared, a deep, animal sound. Her hair lengthened and thickened, deepening to a dark red. Fur blossomed over her body as her limbs twisted and stretched. She hunched and her hair fell forward over her eyes, now glowing an angry red.
'What's happening to her, Doctor?' Celaine asked.
The Doctor swallowed. The sight had left him temporarily speechless.
'She's becoming a Yeti,' he explained hoarsely.
'I thought you said that the Yeti were robots,' Grace said.
'They are,' the Doctor replied. 'The Intelligence can, however, exert some control over molecular structure. It's temporary, but in the short-term it allows for rapid growth of its armies. Chapel must be very confident of victory if she's prepared to spare that sort of power now.'
'What are you planning to do with us?' Grace asked. 'We're your loose ends, aren't we?'
'Yes, you are and it's past time I dealt with you.' Chapel replied. 'You're all going to die.'
* * *
Mina cautiously approached the Yeti. They were frozen, like toy soldiers that had not been wound up yet. She reached out a hand to examine one of them.
The Yeti burst into life and Mina stumbled backwards, falling over one of the tables as she did so. Six pairs of red eyes flickered into life and the creatures bore down on her, arms raised.
Mina crawled backwards along the tabletop. In her haste she slid off of the edge and collapsed amid the chairs. She tried to get to her feet, but her leg was trapped. The Yeti continued to stalk towards her
And continued past her, filing out of the door she had entered by. With a grunt of effort, Mina managed to heave the chair off of her leg and clamber to her feet. She glanced back towards the exit and freedom. Then, shaking her head at her own stupidity, she turned and followed the Yeti.
* * *
Half a dozen Yeti marched on to the parade ground behind Chapel.
'And now I think it's past time we disposed of you, Miss Eliot,' Chapel said. 'We can't have you interfering with our plans.'
A Yeti raised a claw and advanced towards Celaine.
'Wait!' the Doctor shouted, interposing himself between the monster and the woman in the leather jacket. 'I won't let you harm her.'
'And how do you plan to stop me when you're dead?' Chapel asked. She turned to the Yeti. 'Kill him.'
'Wait!' the Doctor shouted again. 'Don't you know who I am? I am the Doctor. I have personally defeated your master on three separate occasions. Don't you think he'll want to take revenge on me personally? Kill me now and he'll be most displeased with you.'
Chapel paused. 'My master would not want any interference in the plan,' she said.
'Are you sure?' the Doctor asked. 'There may be a little sliver of the Intelligence controlling you, but it's not enough to let you know what the main body really thinks. Are you prepared to take the risk of killing me now?'
Chapel cocked her head to one side as if listening to some unseen voice.
'Doctor, you and Miss Eliot shall accompany me back to the pyramid,' she said. 'I shall offer you as sacrifices to the Intelligence as soon as he manifests.'
'I look forward to meeting him again,' the Doctor commented. 'Not much of a conversationalist, but he has a better way with dialogue than you.'
'Doctor Holloway will remain here,' Chapel continued.
'Grace is not to be harmed,' the Doctor instructed.
Chapel shrugged. 'What does it matter. Soon we shall all be pawns in the games of my master.'
The Doctor turned to Grace.
'If you get a chance, try to find Mina,' he said. 'Trust me, I know what I'm doing.'
Grace leaned closer so that she could whisper in his ear.
'Really?' she asked.
'Not a bit,' the Doctor admitted softly. 'Still trust me?'
'Always,' Grace replied.
The Doctor offered his arm to Celaine.
'Miss Eliot, if you'd be so kind, our chariot awaits.'
* * *
Mina watched the flying machine carrying the Doctor and Celaine take to the sky. She did not know who the strawberry-blonde being guarded by the Yeti was, but she had seen enough to decide that she must be a friend. Half a dozen Yeti stood between the two women, however. Mina needed a diversion.
She looked back up the hill towards the prison complex. If this used to be a prison then presumably it had some form of alarm system, something suitably advanced beyond her time that it might be of use to her. Hidden from view by the darkness, Mina began the long climb back up.
* * *
The Doctor leaned close to Celaine.
'I take it that you have some kind of psionic talent,' he said. 'That's why the Intelligence is so keen to get rid of you.'
'I'm not sure I know what you're talking about, Doctor,' Celaine replied.
'Really? Never had any strange dreams, sudden flashes of insight? Predictions of the future?'
Celaine looked away and the Doctor grasped her shoulders and forced her to face him. He had blue eyes, Celaine noticed, very sad blue eyes.
'It's nothing to be ashamed of,' the Doctor told her. 'You're not a freak, you're somebody with a special gift. Never let anybody tell you otherwise.'
'Doctor,' Celaine asked, 'what are we going to do?'
The Doctor managed a small smile. 'I'm working on it. It would help if I had a better idea of what was going on.' He turned to Chapel. 'I take it that you're planning to use psionic energy as a tether to draw the Intelligence back to Earth. I'm also assuming that you've been using the Yeti to eliminate those with psionic talent to prevent any interference with your signal. That would explain the Yeti sightings.'
'Doctor, are you telling me that they've killed everyone in San Francisco with some kind of 'psionic talent'?' Celaine asked.
'No, not everyone,' the Doctor replied. 'They wouldn't have had time. No, they've eliminated just enough people to bring they total psychic potential just below a critical mass, isn't that right, Ms Chapel, or whatever it is that you're calling yourself these days.'
'We had to be certain that nothing could interfere with our master's return,' Chapel replied.
'And that gives you the right to commit mass murder?' the Doctor demanded.
'When the Intelligence returns, that will be the least of your concerns, Doctor.'
* * *
Mina had found her way into the prison's Control Room. Most of the equipment was no longer operable, being merely there to show the tourists. As for the rest, it was all so strange to Mina that she had no idea where to start. She had no other option but to start pressing switches at random.
* * *
A strident alarm cut through the night sky and echoed across the island. The Yeti surrounding Grace moved off to investigate. Grace felt a twinge of wounded pride that they did not consider her important enough to guard, but she supposed that it was not as if she had anywhere to go.
'Psst, over here,' a voice called. Grace strained her eyes in the darkness and could just make out a figure sliding down the bank at the edge of the parade ground. She hurried to join her.
'Let me guess, you're Mina, right,' she said when she had reached the dark-haired woman hiding in the shrubbery.
'That's right,' Mina said. 'You have me at a bit of a disadvantage.'
'Grace Holloway,' Grace explained, offering her hand. 'You know, I'm supposed to be rescuing you.'
'I won't tell the Doctor if you won't,' Mina suggested. 'It seems as if ever since I arrived in your city someone's been trying to lock me up. It would be nice if someone would tell me what's been going on.'
Grace smiled. 'I'm not sure we've got time for the full version. The important point is that somewhere on this island is a weapon capable of levelling San Francisco.'
Mina appeared to consider this. 'Well, what are we going to do about it?'
Grace's smile widened. 'You don't muck about do you?'
'Grace, since I arrived here I've been threatened, locked up, chased through your city by strange silver balls, nearly killed by a Yeti and forced to endure a ride in a ridiculous flying contraption,' Mina explained. 'I am in serious danger of losing my temper.' She smiled at Grace to show that it had been a joke. She had a small smile, the sort that might belong to a person who did not smile very often. 'I don't know much about weapons, particularly not in this century.'
'I don't know much about weapons in any century,' Grace commented.
'Presumably they would need somewhere with a good view of the city.'
'Somewhere high up,' Grace agreed.
They looked at each other.
'The lighthouse!' they said together.
* * *
'Ready weapons,' Kramer shouted over the noise of the helicopter.
The two helicopters were flying low over the bay approaching the Rock. Including herself there were eleven UNIT personnel split between the two vehicles. The twelfth place was filled by Chang Lee. Kramer hated bringing a civilian with her, but the boy was not going to leave her any choice. He was probably safer with her, anyway, than searching for the Doctor on his own.
She could see the box-like structure illuminated by the beam of the lighthouse. It seemed peaceful and quiet. Kramer knew that was not going to last.
'Masks on,' she called and her troops slipped their gas masks into place. She turned to the pilot. 'Fire when ready.'
The two missiles impacted with the hard surface of the parade ground releasing a mixture of smoke and tear gas.
The helicopters swooped in to hover over the exposed space.
Kramer released her harness.
'Go, go, go!' she shouted.
* * *
'What was that?' Mina asked over the explosion.
'The cavalry,' Grace replied, pointing out the lights of the helicopters.
The explosion had drawn the attention of the Yeti and they poured out of the prison building heading down the path towards Mina and Grace.
'This way,' a voice called and they both dived into the undergrowth.
Captain Knight helped them both to their feet in the yard beneath the lighthouse.
'Boy, are we glad to see you,' Grace commented.
'Yes, we're very grateful,' Mina said. She was doubled over, sucking in deep breaths. 'But what are you doing here? I thought that you'd be with the rest of the soldiers down there.'
'Oh, I've got some unfinished business to take care of,' Knight explained.
Mina raised her head. She was staring down the muzzle of a gun.
* * *
'Oh very nice. Do you do floral displays as well.'
The Doctor and Celaine were standing on the ledge that ringed the Transamerica building, the spire of the pyramid glowing even more brightly than usual. Chapel was arranging a stack of Yeti sphere to form a pyramid on a stand she had brought with her from the helicopter.
'Don't you think you can come up with something original,' the Doctor continued. 'I mean, pyramids are all very nice, but after the Egyptians I feel that they've been pretty much done to death, don't you?'
Chapel continued to ignore him so the Doctor turned his attention to Celaine.
'Celaine, listen to me,' he whispered. 'I've got an idea, but I need your help.'
'What is it?' Celaine mumbled back.
'I need you to concentrate,' the Doctor said. 'I need you to interfere with the Intelligence's transmission.'
'But I thought you said that we needed a critical mass for that?' Celaine commented.
'That was assuming that none of you were aware of what you were doing,' the Doctor replied. 'I'm gambling that just one person, concentrating on their goal, will be enough.'
'Yes, I admit it, I've no idea if this will work, but have you got any better ideas?' the Doctor snapped. 'Now, will you do it?'
'I'll try,' Celaine agreed.
'Good girl.' There was a rumbling that seemed to flow up through the building and they had to lean back against the spire in order to maintain their footing. 'While you're at it you might want to pray that this building's earthquake protection holds.'
* * *
Kramer hit the ground and stumbled as the ground shook beneath her.
'Remember,' she shouted to her troops, 'your priority is to find and destroy this THUNDER device. Everything else can wait.'
'Look,' one of the soldiers shouted.
The Yeti were marching out on to the parade ground. Startled pelicans took flight behind them.
'On my mark,' Kramer ordered. 'Fire!'
Bullets cracked through the air accompanied by the roars of the monsters. The Yeti, however, did not back down.
One raised its arms and a fine mist shot out and engulfed the nearest soldier. When Kramer could see him again, he had collapsed to the ground, covered in web.
'Hold your positions,' Kramer shouted.
She held her Browning in a two-handed grip and fired three times into the nearest Yeti. It staggered back, but refused to fall.
'Aim for the chest units,' Kramer instructed. If they could damage the control spheres then they might be able to shut down the robots. It was a plan, but as long as the Yeti were holding them here, who was going to destroy the THUNDER?
* * *
The quake shook the earth beneath their feet and Knight stumbled, his gun arm flailing wildly. Both Grace and Mina ran for the safety of the lighthouse. Grace tore open the door and put a foot on the steps inside.
A bullet ricocheted off of the wall beside her head.
'Stay exactly where you are,' Knight ordered. 'I've got a bullet here for each of you.'
The women turned. Knight was down on one knee, but his aim was steady. Grace began to back up the steps.
There was a shot and Grace felt a sharp pain in her left arm. She placed her hand on it and it came away covered with blood.
'I told you not to move,' Knight snapped. 'Now, why don't you both come out where I can see you.'
Slowly, the women left the lighthouse and stood in the yard. Knight's gun wavered between the two of them.
'Well now, who gets to go first?' he asked. 'Eenie, meenie'
Something struck Knight in the side of the head and he collapsed, the gun flying from his grip. Grace dashed over and picked up the gun in her good hand. She kept it trained on Knight, but he did not move. Finally, she gave his comatose body a savage kick.
'That's for Jameson,' she spat.
Mina was examining the object that had hit the captain.
'It's a bag of gold dust,' she exclaimed.
'I always knew that would come in useful,' Chang Lee commented as he emerged from the shadows. 'Well, are we going to save the world or what?'
* * *
Celaine closed her eyes and tried to block out the rest of the world. She could no longer feel the wind on her face or the ground shaking beneath her feet. She could not hear the Doctor taunting Chapel nor the sound of the first buildings collapsing. There was only her.
Normally to enter alpha she would find a quiet place and slowly count herself down. That gave her the greatest control over the power. Unfortunately, her current circumstances were not conducive to patient, methodical work. Fortunately, there were shortcuts.
Celaine crossed the middle finger of her left hand over the top of her index finger. Instantly she could feel the power building in the middle of her forehead, her 'Third Eye'. Celaine could feel the power washing over her. She could taste it on her lips. She could feel herself flying. Riding this power she could go anywhere, do anything, but she had to tame it, to control it or it would control her.
The Doctor had not asked her to perform any specific task so she focussed all of her energies into one basic meditation. She could see the sky through her Third Eye, tinted a sickly orange by the city's lights. She could see the brightest stars and there, just at the edge of her vision, she could see one star that was brighter than all the rest. Its light grew and the star swelled and the energy poured into Celaine, entering at her feet, sweeping up her body and surging out of the crown of her head like a fountain.
At the top of the stream of light was a lotus flower and Celaine allowed herself to follow this flower as it floated up into the sky and out into space. She could see the planets disappear behind her as she soared out into the uncharted regions of the universe and just up ahead she could see a star glowing with a warm pink light. It called to her and filled her with life. The energy flowed through her and around her, charging her. She drank deep of the starlight.
Then she noticed a green pyramid floating towards her.
* * *
'How did you know Knight was the traitor?' Grace asked as the three of them raced up the spiral staircase within the lighthouse.
'Easy,' Lee replied. 'He was the only UNIT guy unaccounted for when the base was blown up.'
'Yeah, he was too busy stealing a tank at the time,' Grace agreed.
'Assuming that we survive this,' Mina began, 'you are going to have to tell me exactly what I've been missing.'
'Almost there now,' Grace said, as she hurled open the door to the lamp room.
Next to the lamp was a metal box with a strange nozzle projecting from it. Cables trailed from the box out of the windows and down the outside of the lighthouse.
'Come on, Grace, what's the hold up?' Lee asked from further down the stairs.
Next to the machine was a Yeti.
* * *
The pyramid was glowing; its light had changed from yellow to a bright green. The tremors were getting more severe, but the Doctor managed to maintain his balance as he shuffled along the ledge towards Chapel.
'It's over,' he shouted. 'Mina and Grace will shut down the THUNDER and Celaine will stop the Intelligence. Why don't you just surrender now and save us all a lot of bother?'
'Surrender?' Chapel laughed. 'You really don't understand, do you? My master is coming and you puny resistance is a minor inconvenience that he will sweep aside. He's going to recreate this world in his own image.'
'And that's a good thing, is it?' the Doctor asked. 'A world populated by mindless zombies, slaves to a war-mongering dictator. I've seen your brave new world and it's nothing to write home about. Listen to me. We can stop this before it's too late.'
'Listen to you?' Chapel exclaimed. 'Doctor, why should I want to listen to you after what you've done for me. You had the chance to destroy the Intelligence and you failed. Because of you my father was driven mad, left to wander as an empty shell of the great man he once was. Until the Intelligence killed him, of course. And then there's me. Dame Anne Travers OBE, an obsessive spinster. Until the Intelligence got me too. We trusted you, Doctor, and you failed us. So maybe, just maybe, we're better off working for the opposition.'
* * *
Grace edged her way around the edge of the lamp room, shielding her eyes with her arm every time the lamp revolved to face her. The Yeti stalked after her. Grace increased her pace to keep the lamp between her and the creature.
Mina stood in the doorway, Chang Lee peering over her shoulder.
'Any time you two want to help, you just jump in,' Grace suggested.
'We'll let you know,' Lee called back.
The THUNDER was almost close enough to touch, but if she paused long enough to do anything then the Yeti would be on top of her.
The Yeti raised its arm and a fine white mist shot at Grace. She jumped to one side and turned to see the windowpane she had been standing in front of covered with thick white cobweb.
'Has this thing got any other tricks I should be aware of?' Grace asked allowed.
'Run, Grace,' Mina shouted.
She was running into the room and clambering on to the THUNDER.
'Over here,' she cried. At first, Grace assumed that she was talking to her, but then she realised that Mina was waving at the Yeti.
The creature lumbered towards her, crossing the room in a few long strides.
'Mina, look out!' Grace shouted as the Yeti's claws descended.
Mina jumped and the Yeti smashed down on the THUNDER.
Mina lifted her head up off of the floor.
'You have no idea how good that felt,' Mina commented as she surveyed the wreckage.
'Mina!' Grace shouted.
The Yeti was getting to its feet. Much of its fur had burned away to reveal the shiny metal skeleton beneath and only one of its eyes was alight, but it was still active and still hungry for the kill.
'Mina, get down,' Lee shouted.
He pushed past Grace and hurled himself at the Yeti before it had time to turn and face him. His momentum carried them both across the lamp room and out of the window.
'Lee!' Grace shouted.
She ran to the window. She could see the remains of the shattered Yeti on the rocks below.
'Hey, could somebody give me a hand up,' Lee asked. 'I don't know how much longer I can hold on here.'
* * *
Celaine watched the pyramid approach and somehow she knew just what she had to do. She turned towards the pink star and grasped two large handfuls of its light. Then she plunged the pink light deep into the pyramid. The creature, for Celaine was sure that it was alive, recoiled and Celaine poured more energy into it, drawing strength from the stars around her. The pyramid wavered and shrunk and its light faded until it was gone from view.
Celaine let out a deep breath and allowed herself to be drawn back to her physical body.
* * *
The sickly green light faded and the spire of the Transamerica building returned to its more natural yellow hue.
'I didn't kill you,' the Doctor said, continuing to shuffle forward. 'I may have failed to stop the Intelligence, but that does not make me guilty of any of its crimes. Besides which, you're not Anne.'
Chapel stepped back, away from the pyramid of spheres. The Doctor stepped closer.
'You're nothing, but a corpse, animated by a fragment of the Intelligence left over from its last visit. That's why UNIT couldn't kill you, because you're not alive in the first place. You're just a puppet. And you need practice in tying knots.'
The Doctor took another step forward and swept his arms out in front of him, his wrists free of their bonds.
'Look around you,' he said. 'The Intelligence isn't coming. Mina and Grace have put a stop to your earthquakes. Your scheme is over. So what are you still here for?'
The Doctor darted forward and swept his arms through the pyramid of spheres, scattering them off the building. Chapel collapsed in a heap.
There was a groan from behind the Doctor.
Eyes closed, Celaine stretched her hands out in front of her, muttering, 'I heal myself.'
Then she stood up, opening her eyes.
'What happened to her?' she asked, indicating Chapel.
'She had her strings cut,' the Doctor replied.
* * *
The six of them were sitting round a table in Celaine's favourite jazz club, just off Union Square.
'So, when you stopped the Intelligence the Yeti all switched themselves off,' Grace was explaining.
'Is that the last we'll see of the Great Intelligence, Doctor?' Kramer asked. She looked uncomfortable out of uniform.
The Doctor had his eyes closed, enjoying the music. 'Hmm? Oh, I doubt that. It's not dead, if that's what you mean. On the other hand, it's still stuck out at the edge of the universe and it'll have to make its way back under its own power this time, no shortcuts, so it's unlikely to reach Earth in our lifetimes. Still, you never know.'
'Thanks for reassuring me,' Kramer commented sourly.
The Doctor simply smiled in response.
'Hey, lighten up, Adrienne,' Celaine said, giving the brigadier a dig in the ribs. 'This is a victory party, remember. Cocktails, cool tunes and good company right through till morning.'
'Doctor,' Grace asked, 'how did you know that the Intelligence wanted you alive? You told me that you didn't know what was going on.'
'I didn't,' the Doctor confessed, 'but neither did Chapel. Sometimes a good bluff can go a long way, isn't that right, Mina?'
'You've made your point, Doctor,' Mina replied, but there was no ill humour in her voice.
'Well, who's for another round?' Celaine asked, getting to her feet.
'Not for me, I'm afraid,' the Doctor replied. 'Mina and I really should be getting back to the TARDIS. That is, assuming you don't want to stay?'
Mina rose to her feet. 'I think I've had just about as much of the twenty-first century as I can take, Doctor.'
The Doctor beamed. 'Now, is there anyone else who'd like a lift. Lee?'
'I'll be staying here, Doctor,' Chang Lee replied. 'Kramer's offered me a job with UNIT.'
'Is that so?'
'We've had a couple of vacancies open up,' Kramer explained.
'I'm not sure I'm cut out for your lifestyle, Doctor,' Celaine said.
The Doctor rooted around in his pockets and produced a stack of twelve plastic squares, which he gave to her.
'Well, if you ever change your mind you know how to contact me. Grace? Ready to see the wonders of the universe?'
Grace shook her head. 'Not just yet, Doctor. I think I've got some wonders to explore at home first.'
The Doctor leaned over and planted a quick kiss on her forehead.
'I'll miss you,' he said softly.
'I know,' Grace replied.
The band struck up a slow number and couples began to drift to the dance floor.
'Are you sure you've got to go?' Celaine asked. 'I've only just got to know you all.'
'You could stay,' Grace said.
'It's tempting,' the Doctor agreed wistfully.
'Just for one more dance?' Grace suggested.
'Why, Doctor Holloway, was that an invitation?' the Doctor asked, feigning surprise.
'You bet,' Grace replied.
She dragged him, unresisting, onto the dance floor where they stayed in each other's arms until dawn.