Doctor Who: The Cybermen Apocalypse

( The Adventures of the Tenth Doctor )

By Jeff Walker

In the depths of space, a silent look of the stars soon pans in closer as two ships come racing across, both are wide and bulky looking, completely laden with gun large gun turrets and futuristic weapons. The grey and white ships look battle scared and are full of quickly made patch works over the worst areas of damage. We pull in close to the first ship and soon see the interior of the main bridge. Soldiers are busy all about the large, heavily computerized room. Behind a man sitting in a torn and rather tattered black command chair, are crescent shape rows of computer terminal tables, various male and female officers man each one. In front of him, a large console with two pilots sits a few feet away, and beyond them is a massive screen showing them the space outside the ship. The grey haired captain carefully stares at the screen as they all work diligently around him. All the officers are wearing drab monotone pale blue fatigues, the large crest of an Earth with a "EC "graphic on it shows on all of their uniforms. The room is full of flashing small lights from the various computers, and a noise of a low hum as the ship's engines vibrate off the metallic hull. Each one of them looks preoccupied and rather frightened, like any soldier going into battle they put on a brave face, but minor weaknesses in their eyes give away their true fears. The captain however, is looking more confident and very entranced by the main viewer. He rises out of his worn-out chair and walks towards the large screen in front of him as he strokes his chin in thought.

"Steady as she goes Mr. Raynard. ", the Captain says in a commanding tone.

The young officer to his left operating the main console nods, "Aye Sir. "

Raynard is a young chap who looks a tad too young to be in service, a slight sweaty brow indicates that he's only a rookie trying to do his best. Beside him sits a black female officer, looking more in her late thirties and operating her station with the greatest of ease. Perhaps more seasoned then her fellow officer beside her, but certainly just as nervous as the rest of the crew.

"They're out here.... somewhere they're out here...", the Captain says in a low breath.

The black female pilot hears him, "They managed to get by the first two flanks in the outer rim.... it will be a few hours before they're in our space, sir. "

The grey haired leader snickers, "Hours.... they'll go by fast, you might as well be saying minutes.... their ships have a better rate of speed then ours. Keep the sensors on at full power; I want to know about anything that comes with in our path. "

The Black woman acknowledges him, "Aye Sir. A grain of dust won't get by us.... count on it! "

The ships fly deeper into space side by side, both looking ready for whatever awaits them. The roar of passing ships engines drift off as they soon go out of sight.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In a off white room with built in large round grayish perforations, the Doctor is seen laying on the cold off white floor tinkering underneath his console table. The table full of flashing lights, switches, keyboards and tactile controls, continues to busily work away while he works down below under it. His shoes, miss-matched gaudy looking bowling pair, only match his pair of argyle socks that clash with his pair of neat pin striped black and white slacks. His coat is that of a burgundy smoker's jacket unbuttoned, with his question marked laden grey-brown sweater vest. All of which is being kept hidden under the table as he fumbles away, like a man fiddling with his car, he is heard humming a tune, one that doesn't sound too familiar to Andrea standing over him. She is wearing a pair of brown leather boots, a very comfortable pair that go very well with her blue crushed velvet pants. A nice red belt holds them up, with her light green tank top just barely showing her bellybutton as it clings to her snuggly. She has a half sized matching blue velvet jacket that makes it all come together. No matter what she wears, she always ends up looking like a fashion model; her shoulder length blonde hair seems to sit on her shoulders like a waterfall.

"Doctor? ", she says nervously.

"Hmmmm..." he says back as he breaks his humming melody.

"Is that something you should be doing.... humming I mean.... suppose the device doesn't like that either? "

The Doctor stops, and peers out from underneath the table, "Well...I've never known a machine to be a critic. But if it eases your mind.... I'll stop. "

Andrea sighs of relief, "Thank you..."

The Doctor smiles and starts to go back under, "Yes...maybe some Mozart would be more to it's liking..."

Andrea rolls her eyes as the Doctor begins to hum a Mozart classical tune, as he continues to hum and work, she suddenly looks over to the antique wooden cabinet sitting on the far side of the room. She walks over to it slowly and soon sees a black glove sitting on top, the same black glove she's seen before, and the kind like the mysterious stranger wears. The dark figure has been following them and been using the Tardis to guide them to places he determines, even now, the Doctor is gently trying to remove a component called, a time coder, an old device used by the Timelords to control one of their crafts. It cannot be removed by ordinary means, security around the device is super sensitive and could be programmed to do any number of things, even destroy them if need be. Andrea stares at the black glove, her look of shock soon gives way to an outburst towards the Doctor.

"D...D...Doctor!! ", she hollers at him.

He springs up suddenly at tries to shout back, but in a rather low voice, " Shhh...don't scream Andrea!! You nearly made me lose my tempo...and then we would have been, Blammo! "

Still he could see she was terrified by something, her pointing at the cabinet and glancing at him with wide eyes gave him reason to go over and have a look. Approaching the wooden antique he too soon saw the glove sitting there. He knows those gloves, having once been taken from behind by the hands wearing them; it sends a streak of horror in him. He reaches over and picks it up, gazing at it he looks for any markings, and then in his detective style of quirkiness, he sniffs them.

"What are you doing? ", Andrea asks as she sees him perking his nose at the evil glove.

"Checking for residue my dear.... sometimes a person's sweat odor is more memorable then their voices. I learned that on Draken two, following a Kinarin Olander...wonderful noses they have...managed to spot the murderer in a large crowd standing near by. "

Andrea asks, "An Kinarin Olander?? What the hell is that? "

The Doctor stops sniffing the glove and jerks his head towards her, "A five legged animal that has large nostrils from its head to its mouth. But if I had to compare it with a human animal.... a Dog "

"A Dog...", she starts to smile.

"Well...more like a large spider really, over five feet in length, extremely hairy with two large fangs on either side of its mouth.... if you can call it that. ", he says to her smiling back and then walking back to the console again.

Andrea didn't like that description, spiders where on her top list of most hated creatures of all, especially if they were like the size he mentioned.

"Five feet in length!!" She said in a grossed out tone.

As she lay back against the cabinet, she suddenly could feel something, the wooden antique almost seemed like it was gently vibrating. Quickly moving away, she recoiled back to touch it with her hands again. It was humming, just like the noise inside the room they were in. The Doctor was busy looking at the glove, but she soon broke his concentration as she called him over again.

"Doctor.... this cabinet, it's vibrating! "

The Doctor squinted his eyes at her as if he didn't believe it, "What? Don't be silly girl...."

Motioning to the object again she said it to him again, "It's vibrating! I'm not making this up...come here.... feel.... come on..."

The Doctor sighed and walked over to it to amuse her, placing his hand on the cabinet he gave his estimations about it, "Hmm...that's odd...."

She awaited his answer, "What's odd.... what..."

He turned around and looked straight at her, "You. Your odd.... honestly it's not vibrating. It must be that imagination of yours, a result of trauma I should figure..."

"Then why is it vibrating?!" she yelps back.

The Doctor sighs again and tries to reason with her, "I don't know...perhaps the Tardis is causing a reverberation...or it's very wobbly.... or maybe...just maybe...you're still shaking from your discovery. Hmm? "

"But you said it yourself Doctor...", she starts to point out to him, "...how did this person know where we were all the time. How did he or she program the Tardis...or put that device on.... maybe this is another Tardis sitting here. "

His face crumpled with thought, staring at the object again, he could finally see what she meant. He found it odd that he didn't come to realize that, but as he walked over and felt the cabinet again, his eyes soon became nervous. He slowly backed off from the antique and leaned on his console. Andrea didn't know what to make of his reaction, but soon listened to what he had to say.

"Yes...your right of course. Maybe I didn't want to believe it. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.... damn...is my mind going?! You know...I've come to realize something Andrea.... something I really haven't faced. I'm getting old. The older I get...the more I think I'm losing my mind. "

"Don't say that.... you look.... well you look young to me."

The Doctor laughs abit, and turns to face her, "Yes...outwardly I am. But deep down Andrea, I'm nearly a thousand years old. Time seems to be catching up to me, and the more I come closer to that time...the more I fear it. "

"Why would you fear it? ", she says as she walks over and pats his head like a caring mother.

"I've seen what I'll become....", the Doctor looks up at her again, "...in the end...I'll become evil. I never truly believed I would ever be that way...but I had an encounter that...some would say...opened my eyes to the possibility. Back during my sixth regeneration, I was put on trial for meddling in time. My accuser was a Timelord I'd never laid eyes on before, a dark dressed man who seemed to know everything about me and of my weaknesses. It was finally revealed that that man...the one who accused me of breaking every law of the Timelords.... was in fact.... me. "

Andrea stood shocked, the Doctor saw it in her eyes and finished, "My twelfth and final regeneration, there he...I...was. I struggled with him as he went on and on about how things got worst, about how the Timelords rejected him and how he despised them in return. I could see the evil in him.... a blackened heart...the soul gone.... a man, a Timelord.... a renegade devil clawing for more life like a selfish child. But the realization for me is...I am destined to be that man. "

As the Doctor sat there a pitiful man, Andrea shook her head and put her hand on his cheek, "I don't believe you could be capable of such a thing. You always strive for the good in people, even in the face of such dark moments you've encountered, because you deeply care and believe in those who doubt themselves. If there is a darkness within you, I don't think it will take over, this.... future self of yours.... could be a result of something entirely different. You've always shown me that the future is never as it seems, I don't think you should either.... possibilities are endless in where you turn next. "

The Doctor just slightly giggled at her, wise words for someone so young. This poor woman has been through many horrors and yet she is the one showing more strength and courage then he. Earth humans never cease to amaze him, a species full of surprises and stupidity...but rare wisdom nonetheless. Suddenly the center column of the console stops motion, the sound of the Tardis no longer makes its usual noise. The Doctor whips around and checks his controls.

"We've materialized. But...the question is...where have we stopped at? "

As he flicks on a switch, the main large view on the wall behind Andrea opens up. Like looking into a large flat screen television, they see what the outside looks like. All that is seen is the vast, emptiness of outer space. The Doctor walks all around his console and tinkers with his flashing lights and many controls. Andrea walks up to the large screen and stares at the big nothing outside.

"We're in space. ", She observes.

"According to the Tardis, we're just on the cusp of your solar system. Interesting. For some reason that's the only bit of information the Tardis can give me. It must be that device strapped on...."

The Doctor leans into the console and pats it like a loving child, "There, there old girl.... I'll take it off of you soon enough..."

Andrea continues to stare at the monitor and soon sees two small objects heading towards them. Squinting at it, she can being to make out their forms as it seems that the objects keep growing larger.

"Doctor...", she says to the Timelord who now is back under the console having a look at the Time Coder device again.

"Yess.... very crafty work. Who ever is trying to do this must be a Timelord....", he says as if he's talking to no one else but himself.

Andrea tries to talk to him again, her eyes do not move from the screen as the object continue to come closer and closer, "Uhm...Doctor..."

The Doctor touches the device and gets a static electric shock, "OW! Damn...what a foolish thing for me to do! Steady ol' boy...bound to loose fingers that way...not to mention the old girl here. "

Andrea's eyes now grow wide with panic, the objects now look like two massive spaceships, and they're not slowing down in the least, "DOCTOR!! "

Banging his head on the console, the Timelord gets up and begins to scold the woman for shouting out, "GAH!! For pity's sakes dear woman are you trying to get us all killed!! "

She looks back to him an points, "But Look..." the ships look as though they are going to ram right through them as they race even closer now, Andrea makes him realize that very notion. "They're heading straight for us! "

The Doctor sees the ships and dashes over to the screen, his gaze is fixated at the mammoth sized vessels heading straight for them, and turns around to Andrea without even staring directly at her, as if he is calculating it all in his brain.

"They're moving at an incredible speed! If they don't slow down they'll plow right into us! I.... I can't maneuver the Tardis fast enough...if those ships don't see us in time..."

He turns to look at the monitor again, eyes full of panic as the ships fill up the entire viewing area of the screen, "...we'll all be destroyed!! "

•••••••••••••••••••••••••

On the ship flying at them at full speed, the officer monitoring the sensors picks up the Tardis dead ahead of them.

"Sir I have an object in our path! "

The Commander looks up at the screen and sees the small object quickly coming towards them. He stands out of his chair and shouts out to the helmsmen.

"Activate the tractor beam!!"

"Sir?!" the helmsman questions in a panic tone.

The Captain rushes down behind the pilot "Do it! It's the only way to avoid a direct collision! DO IT NOW!!"

Outside the vessel, a light beams out from the front area of the ship, it surrounds the Tardis floating in space a few feet ahead and directs it out of the way. Both crafts just narrowly escape destruction as the large space ship pushes through and now carries the Tardis in its beam as it now gets dragged along with them. Inside the Tardis, both Andrea and the Doctor are thrown about. The whipping motion of the tractor beam has caused them both to toss around inside like a couple of rag dolls. Andrea screams from all the commotion and reaches over for the Doctor's hand as he tries to grab hold of her as well. Back inside the Earth ship, the captain relaxes and gives a well-deserved sigh of relief. The rest of the crew also become less tense as the near fatal crash was averted, now they go about back to their business and continue in their tasks.

"That was a close one Sir." the black female helmsman calmly states.

The Captain snickers, "Well, they'll be a lot more closer then that once we reach our target. So stay sharp Lieutenant Adelia."

She nods to him looking back, "Aye sir."

The young co-pilot nervously points to the flashing button on his console, "Ah...ah...sir?! The tractor beam still has the object in tow, should we turn it off now and let it float away?"

"No chance kid, I want to see what it was we just missed. It could be a mine or a probe sent to stop us..."

The Captain returns to his main chair and taps on a button at the side, as he activates it the screen in front of them all shows the blue boxed object they're carrying along. The graying commander stares at it and just barely makes out the letters that are spelled out on the box.

"Pol.... Police box. What the hell is that?"

The young Raynard pilot giggles about it, "Maybe they're our reinforcements? Hahaha!"

"As you were Ensign!!" The captain bellows to him.

At the back of the room, a metal door opens up and a young woman walks through it. The woman is Caucasian with sandy light brown hair, it comes down just beyond shoulder length and wears a uniform similar to the rest of the crew. The only difference is her stripes on either shoulder is green in color, and on her breast pocket is a strange symbol of two snakes wrapped around each other with an atom diagram circling it. She walks over to the captain's area and stands behind one of the table consoles surrounding him. She looks over at the screen and sees the Tardis being dragged in their tractor beam.

"Reporting in sir...Medical and Science is ready. Can I ask why we're dragging that thing or are you just fishing in space?" she asks him in a quirky tone.

The captain turns his chair over towards her direction, "We nearly ran into it. Thought maybe it was a space mine or something, but looking at it...I dunno...should we risk bringing it aboard I wonder?"

The young officer woman looks at the image again and sighs, "It's your call cappy, but I would insist that I be allowed to have only myself examining it. That way if it goes off, you can eject me and the cargo bay into deep space."

The old man sits there and thinks, then quickly raises his head and nods, "Sounds like a plan to me. Hopefully it won't come to that, I'd hate to lose my only Sci-med officer."

"I'd hate that too sir." she says smiling back to him.

The woman walks over to the metal door again and walks out, the whooshing sound of the sliding door closes back in as she leaves. The captain turns to his two pilots and gives his instructions.

"Ok...Raynard, guide that thing into the second cargo bay and keep your finger ready on the ejector. Lieutenant Adelia, maintain course and increase speed to sub-light factor 4. Lets all remember they're still out here...so lets find them before they reach our space."

••••••••••••••••••

Inside the Tardis, the Doctor and Andrea recoup from the violent shaking, both notice the craft has become stable again and rise to their feet. The Timelord rushes over to the controls and frantically searches the computer for information. A long sigh and collapsing on the console gives him the appearance of someone grateful at the results.

"Thank god...we didn't end up as space debris!"

Andrea holds her arm in pain, "Ow...oh Doctor...what just happened? I thought we were goners for sure!"

The Doctor stands up and smiles to her, "Not today my dear girl, it seems the ship managed to push us aside as they charged through. A tractor beam as they say.... grabbing us and ..."

Andrea interrupts him, "Yeah, yeah...I know what it does..."

He recoils in shock that she understands what it does; he didn't even have the chance to explain. The quizitive look on his face made Andrea chuckle abit and gave him an explanation.

"I have seen science fiction stories you know....'Tractor beam won't activate captain!' and all that junk. They always have it in there."

The Timelord's eyes dim at her remark, "Whom do you think gave some of those writers those stories? Hmm? Did any one of them ever mention me...hooo no. Not even Mr. Gene R., I explained the whole method to him and look what he did with it...wagon to the stars...my word."

Andrea's eyebrows lifted as he dropped that bit of news, the cocky Timelord went back to his controls and tinkered around with some of the switches. The Doctor continued to muddle on under his breathe about the various writers that he talked too.

"H.G. Wells...last time I take him on a trip. And the nerve of Asimov stealing my rules for robots...I was really only joking about them. Humph! That's gratitude for you..."

He let out a large sigh and looked over to Andrea still in awe he knew all those writers, he gave her a quick wink and flipped on one of the switches without even looking at it.

"Ah well...lets see what story is shaping outside of us, hm?"

On the white wall of the Tardis, a large panel opened up and soon a screen displayed the view from outside. The Tardis cameras slowly scanned around and showed nothing but a large cargo hold full of large metal boxes and various other canisters looking items. Then it stopped and panned below as it caught the image of the young female sci-med officer using her scanning equipment directed at the blue box they were inside of. The Doctor and Andrea gawked at the view screen and wondered where they were.

"Well...guess we're not in space anymore it seems. Good!", the Doctor quipped.

"Good?!" Andrea scoffed, "We're inside the space ship now! They'll try to pry us out of this thing.... once again!"

The Doctor laughed, "Again?! Please...when was the last time anyone did that."

"Uh...hello? Am I the only one that remembers the various times we've encountered danger or what? "

Once again the Doctor laughed, "Oh my dear girl...danger lurks in every corner, it's those that face it that become un-wavered by it."

Andrea snorts, "Yeah...you're a pillar of courage alright."

The Doctor's eyebrows rise as she laughs at his comment and watches her pass by. He seems somewhat surprised by her insult and in his only reaction; he sticks out his tongue at her.

"Brat!"

••••••••••••••••••

The young Sci-med woman scans outside the strange blue police box, she's keeping a good distance away from it as a precaution, but hovers around holding out her device. The hand held scanner she has is letting out a sonic pulse as she walks around; the small monitor attached to it shows various thermal readings and energy output levels. As she carefully walks around, she shifts her eyes from the scanner to the Tardis sitting there in front of her.

"Man this thing is weird." she says aloud, "its generating an energy signature I've never seen before...and scanner can't penetrate its hull. Whatever it is...we didn't build it."

A small device in her ear has a thin microphone stretching out to her cheek, through this earpiece she can hear the captain talking to her.

"So it is a bomb then..." he says to her as the sound crackles from the static.

She shakes her head, "No, not really.... its hard to tell. I need to do some more tests on it before I can say that."

The captain sighs, "Look, we can't afford to make a detailed study of the thing. It could be a well-designed trick and blow all of us up the minute we touch it. I say we eject it back out and deal with it when this war is over."

A long pause happens between her and the captain, so he talks to her again, "Doctor Kesley? Megan...did you hear what I said? "

The woman sighs in a disappointed tone and rolls her eyes, "Yes Mike...I heard you."

She turned off the scanner and began to step away from the blue box, that's when the door began to open up and she could hear the creak behind her. Quickly spinning around, she took out her side arm laser weapon and pointed it at the opening door. She gulped in anticipation as the door now fully open and heard someone coming out of the object. The captain on the bridge and the other crew men saw it all happening on the view screen as well, the cameras were watching the woman as she did her work and now saw that the strange box was opening before their eyes. The light brown haired woman stood there with her gun pointed at the door and finally saw to figures step out. The Doctor and Andrea casually walked out and suddenly stopped as they saw the sci-med officer pointing a weapon at them both.

"Why do we always have to meet people like this?" Andrea says whispering over to the Doctor.

The Timelord stood there with his hands up and grinned, "Funny...I was about to say the same thing."

As the Doctor tried to take a small step forward, Megan pointed her gun up to him in a threatening manner again. He quickly stepped back and smiled once more.

"Hello there, uhm.... I say...do you mind not pointing that thing at us? My young lady friend here has had her fill of weapons of late and I must say...I'm not too keen on them myself anymore."

Megan stood there serious, "Who are you? Are you spies? Humanoid Androids sent to kill us? Answer me!"

"Well I'm the Doctor...", he says to her in a cheery manner, "And this bright young woman is my traveling companion Andrea. We're not spies.... and uhm...what was the other part again?"

The woman struggles to understand, "What? Uh...uh...Androids...are you androids sent to kill us? Cause if you are I must take you out...if your human give me your Earth Security clearance code! NOW!"

Andrea flinches at the woman's nervous shout, "We're not androids! Trust us we're human...please don't shoot us!"

The Doctor lowers his one hand down and tries to get to his left pocket, "Look, I might have something that will calm everyone down and give you a chance to let me explain things a bit better. Hmmm? Ever seen a jelly baby before?"

Andrea snaps at the Timelord, "Oh come on Doctor...this is not the time to push your snacks at them!"

On the bridge the crew watches everything unfold, the captain sees the Doctor reaching down and assumes the worst is going to happen.

"Good god...he's reaching for a weapon!"

The young pilot Raynard nervously panics, "It's them! They're here to kills us! Oh God!!"

"Shut up Ensign!!" The captain screams at him.

Over the ear radio Megan was wearing, she could hear the captain barking at her.

"Megan shoot them! It's a trick! We'll all be dead in minutes!"

She strains to hear the captain as he yells, "But...But sir..."

"Shoot them woman!!! SHOOOOOT!!!"

She aims her gun at the Doctor's head and gets ready to blast away at him; both he and Andrea open their eyes in fear and surprise.

"Oh my. ", the Doctor says.

Just as Megan prepares to fire the weapon, a sudden jolt hits the entire ship. The shaking causes her to loose balance and lean forward into the Doctor, as she collapses into him, the gun is pulled away from her hand by Andrea and aimed at the other woman's head for a change. Another sudden quake affects the ship and soon the sirens fill the air with warnings of hull breaches. The captain's voice overlaps the loud ringing noise and alerts the entire ship of what just happened.

"This is the Captain speaking! All hands on deck! I repeat...all hands on deck! Enemy attack in progress!"

The Doctor, still holding the woman in his arms to break her fall, looks directly at her face and raises his eyebrows at her.

"I believe that means you my dear...don't let us keep you from your duties."

Megan retreats from him all flustered, "I can't leave you here...you're spies for the enemy!"

Andrea holds the gun out at her, "We're not spies! Why won't any of you believe us? We only just arrived here in this space and time!"

The Doctor holds his hand out to silence Andrea; she's not supposed to tell people that sort of thing, a lecture that he's given her a few times during their time together. He shakes his head and looks back at the young, but very nervous, angel faced woman with a relaxed attitude.

"I have a suggestion my dear...since we are under your charge, perhaps we should be escorted to the bridge with you? Yes?"

Megan thinks about it for a fraction of a second and walks over to Andrea holding the weapon. Looking straight at her, she opens up her at her and gestures for the laser gun.

"Give me the gun and I'll believe you then. I don't have time to argue this anymore, I've got to be on the bridge."

Andrea slowly hands it over to the woman again, as soon as it is in her grasp she quickly snatches it away and places it back into the holster from which it came. Megan eyes them both and sighs.

"Ok...lets go then. If your not spies...then you've got one hell of an explanation to do. Follow me."

The woman turns from them and heads over to the metal door leading out into the ship's corridor. The Doctor adjusts his dark red velvet smoking jacket he always wears and grabs Andrea firmly around with his left arm. He gives a comforting wink to her and smiles.

"So far so good eh?"

Andrea rolls her eyes and shakes her head in disbelief. Hard to believe the Doctor could look so calm after what almost just happened, but then again, she's sure he's done this sort of thing far too many times to even care. Not so for Andrea, ever since she's met him it's been one hostile capture after another. She's still not quite over her ordeal with the last adventure, which very nearly killed her ( - See The Lost World). But as the grinning Timelord looked at her, she realized she had no choice but to always trust his judgment, and they proceeded to walk out the door with the female officer waiting for them.

As they walk through the never ending corridors of the large ship, Andrea notices how non-clean and white it should be, science fiction ships she's seen or read about always seemed to be in the best of conditions even during battle. But this one wasn't at all; it looked more like a messy version of...well...a scrap yard. Walls looked re-fabricated and bent out of shape, chunks of steel laid on the floor and even wiring. The Doctor casually walked over the debris as if he had seen all this before, to him, this was nothing new. Being on every ship imaginable in the known universe has dulled him to any sort of shock to the state of any space cruiser. Megan brushes a few strands of her hair away as she walks in front of them and apologies for the obvious lack of care.

"Sorry bout the mess, but most of our crew is reassigned to other areas of the ship. Repair crews are needed elsewhere and well...right now...cleanliness isn't that big of a priority at the moment."

The Doctor listens to her with great interest as she dodges the scrap blocking her path. Andrea seems to focus on keeping herself clean and uncut from all of it, scanning where she's stepping and jumping over the parts that look particularly nasty. Every corner and new direction they take is the same, but most obvious to both of them is the fact that hardly any crewmen are seen walking down the areas they are, as if the ship doesn't seem to have as nearly a large capacity of crew to maintain it's operation. The Doctor gazes at the metal and notices the wear and tare of the structure. The weld spots are almost one on top of the other and bits of older panels are still attached to the new sections tacked on. The scraps weren't fresh that's for sure, he noticed the dust and rusting on them almost as if they'd been laying there forever. They all stepped into a small elevator and watched the doors slowly close behind them. Standing with very little room, Andrea tries to push herself back more by leaning against the metal. Something that Megan doesn't like too much.

"Watch it! You'd better not do that!"

Andrea gets snotty on her, "Why not? It's just a wall and there's no room to breathe."

Megan leans over to her as the Doctor helplessly stands there listening, "Because...if a blast hits us the shockwave would reverb throughout the ship and cause massive vibrations on all metal. Just think about what it might do to your spine..."

Andrea scoffs at her, "But this whole ship is made out of metal...are you telling me that none of you would be affected... only this elevator wall?"

The Doctor slinks over to Andrea and gives her better advice, "Uhm...just do as she says and lets not make a fuss him? A shockwave would do great harm to everyone on this ship...something tells me there's a lot going on then just a simple cruise around the solar system."

The Elevator opens up and they continue on down more corridors with half burnt signs pointing to the direction of the bridge. Now some of the marks and burns look fresh, or recently replaced. The Doctor is now confident this ship is built for only one purpose...to wage war. It's sheer size and obvious military overtones are all dead giveaways to anyone that have seen this structure of command. The tension is thick and crew is nervous about someone or something. Continuing his conversation with Megan, the Doctor tries to bring out further details about the situation they have gotten themselves into.

"I take it you're in the midst of a major interplanetary war. How long have you been out here?" the Doctor asks inquisitively.

Megan snickers, "Would you believe that this is our tenth time out here? Seems like every time we go out we keep coming back for major repairs, the captain is determined to end this war by any means necessary. Hell the whole Earth Coalition is out to end this war..."

Andrea scratches her leg on one of the sharp edges and lets out a small yelp, she quickly recovers and tries to keep up with the conversation.

"So...what is this? Earth is at war with another species? Colony of humans? Some un-known enemy that is bent on destroying you?"

Megan gives a look back, "Where the hell have you been the last one hundred years?"

The Timelord has been silent all this time and finally snaps back to reality as he tries to cover for his companion's lack of knowledge of this time.

"Oh uh...we've been out of this region of space for some time. Now tell me something my dear, "he says to the woman in an attempt to switch the conversation," You say you've been fighting this war for over a hundred years? Then these ships must be almost antiques by now."

Megan nods, "Antiques...yeah I guess they are aren't they. No time to build new ones and not enough engineers to at least overhaul the systems. This ship has been good to us though, she maybe old...but she's the finest ship of the fleet."

Andrea smiles at the military woman's nostalgic outlook of the vessel; at least now she knows the woman has a soft spot somewhere in that rather stern figure of hers. They finally reach the bridge and enter through its main doors. The Doctor and Andrea gaze around the large room and see that it's just as run down as the rest of the ship. Still it manages to impress the both of them and give them a sense that it won't be breaking down any time soon. The Timelord walks over to the round computer center where the captain sits in the middle. The graying man sits stiff in his chair as he glares out with great tension towards the main viewer in front. The oddly dressed Timelord tries to extend his hand at the occupied captain as he stretches over the computer console to introduce himself.

"Ah good! You must be the captain of this fine ship. Hello, I'm the Doctor and this is my wonderful companion Andre..."

The harsh captain silences the Doctor, "Quiet you fool! They're coming around for another attack!"

Insulted by the captain's words, the Timelord retracts his hand and grabs hold of his red smoking jacket as if to straighten it in defiance. But it was rather understandable to him, the graying man was responsible for lives and for the safety of this area of space, now that they are under attack, he realizes that introducing himself was a bit bad timing. Every crewmember on that bridge was silent and trying to do their duties quickly as possible. Every now and then a few members would glance over at the screen and catch a view of what the captain and the other officers were staring at on the monitor.

Megan quickly stares at the screen and looks at it in fear, "Already? My god they're not wasting any time! They must have destroyed the bulk of our forces at the front line...we're being slaughtered! There's only a handful of us left to protect Earth...how many captain? How many enemy ships came through?"

The aging captain rises to his feet as he continues to stare at the screen, "Three...I don't know how many the front encountered, but at least theirs only three of these bastards left to deal with. Still...against their fire power, I'm not even sure how long we can hold out."

As the Doctor swings around the computer console he turns his head over to the main viewer that they all seem fixed on. On the dark screen, that fizzles and crackles from time to time, is an image of space beyond them. On it are three small white objects getting larger as they approach rapidly. Andrea soon joins by the Timelords side and asks her usual dumb question. One that even she knows is too much to ask at such a tense moment but feels compelled to do so just the same.

"Who are they? Who are you fighting?"

The black female pilot sneers at Andrea's foolish question, "Do you really need a hint? Or will it take a trillion more lives to make you realize who it is?"

Megan sighs, "The last hundred years...we've been fighting them. They are relentless, efficient and most of all the hardest to kill. We thought the Daleks were bad enough...but these guys are hell bent on taking us all out for good."

The Doctor and Andrea stare out again to the screen, and now the faint white objects have become fully viewable alien ships. These ones look undamaged, a grayish-white and bulky from all of it's metal armor. The design is very simple, yet precise, no flaws or even scorch marks. The engines look almost built into the ship's skin as it peaks at the back of it and a string of energy cannons line the top, side and bottom of the ship's hull. It is a monstrous sight to behold and sends a chill down everyone's spine just by looking at it.

The Doctor just gasps in realization, "No...no it can't be. Not again..."

Andrea holds on to the Doctor in a desperate attempt to get an answer out of him, "Who are they Doctor?! "

His eyes stare blankly at the screen as he responds to Andrea clutching on to him, "I am sorry my girl...so damn sorry.... I should have never brought you along. It seems we've been led into the fire once more..."

Suddenly a loud beep snaps on in the room, a booming monotone voice fills the whole place like a loud stereo.

"Earthmen! This day is no longer yours...the fleet you sent to alpha zero nine two mark three is no more. Nothing will stop us from reaching your miserable planet; no human shall be safe from our revenge...you've wasted our time long enough and now the final battle draws near. Death is upon you all, may you die horribly and be erased from all time.... the Cybermen are finally...home!"

The Doctor looks down at his scared companion, who still has the brutal violence of the Cybermen in her mind from the last encounter (-see The Lost World). Her widening eyes and jarring mouth gives the Timelord a complete loss for words as he has surely brought her back into an unforeseeable doom.

The captain shouts out to the pilots, "Fire all weapons!!"

The Earth ship points all of it's guns at the on coming Cybermen vessels and blast away at them as they approach rapidly. The targeting was poor and strikes them with almost no result, some shots managed to hit the alien ship's hull but showed no sign of damage or scaring on it. A futile effort on their part, the Earth vessel is too under powered to make a significant dent against their enemies and now are too late in stopping them from returning fire. The three massive Cybermen ships aim their cannons at the human vessel and fire all of them at once at the slightly smaller ship. The impact strikes the hull in storm of explosions; it causes everyone to jolt back and fall everywhere. The Earth ship bridge is sparking and causing bursts of flames to come shooting out of the computers around the room. The Doctor shields Andrea on the floor as the debris narrowly misses them both; the captain has been flung out of his command chair and lies on the ground trying to get his senses back. The crew screams in panic as many of them become seriously wounded and even die from the massive strike against them. The shrill of the warning sirens fill the now quieting room as the red lights accompany the sound as well, the explosions die down and the ship stops shaking violently. The captain quickly returns to his command chair and screams out to his crew in order to get them back to their stations.

"Report!! All Stations! Helm? HELM! Lieutenant Adelia give me a report damnit!!"

The black female officer rises up off of her console with a fresh gash in her forehead, she holds on to it with her left hand and types away on the complex button computer.

"A...Aye...Aye Sir. Helm still on line..."

The captain looks over to the fallen younger pilot cowering in fear under the console.

"Get up Ensign Raynard! Assume your position!"

The well-cut blond kid just wails away under the computer, "God! God save us!! We're all doomed...Bwaaahahahah...DOOOOMED!!"

The captain leaps out of his chair and grabs the frightened boy from his hiding spot; he forces him to stand up and gives him a strong strike across the face. The slap was so loud the Doctor got up off of Andrea and took notice of it.

"Leave the boy alone! He can't help being frightened!"

The captain just grabs Raynard and looks at him deeply, "I will not have cowards! Do you hear me?! Earth can't afford to have such drama! Now get back to your post and do your job soldier!!"

The boy wipes the tears and strokes the red cheek the captain gave him, a quick nod and he collects his wits. Sitting back down beside Adelia, he helps her punch up the computer and resumes steering the ship. The captain returns to his command chair and looks over at the Doctor with a most angry glare. The Timelord gives no reaction to the man, just stands there staring back at him with equal contempt. Andrea rises up from the floor and looks around the room. The carnage is everywhere, but notices the crew continues to work away...even while the men lay there dead or wounded. Megan is seen running around checking all the crew and even stepping over the numerous bodies.

"Where are they Helm?! Talk to me!" the captain bellows out to them.

Young Raynard talks with a jittery voice as he answers his commander, "They've past over us and are proceeding to continue on."

"Sir, "the black female pilot shouts back, "We've taken heavy damage to many of our forward guns.... our aft side is nearly pulverized and engines seem to be badly damaged."

Megan listens to her earpiece again as a message is relayed to her directly, closing her eyes she calmly walks over to the captain and tells him of the bad news.

"First Engineer Brandon is dead sir. It seems there's only a handful of inexperienced children down in the engine room right now. They're reporting that they don't have enough experience to bring the main drive back online."

The captain slaps his fist down hard, "Blast! Damn those bastards.... Helm re-route power to any system that is working and pursue at full speed with whatever you can muster. We'll fix it on the way...if we can."

The two pilots nod, "Aye Sir."

The graying commander sighs as he tries to rest his eyes for a second, "We should have never wasted our energy on picking up that stupid police box."

The Doctor walks over and stands directly in front of him, "I beg your pardon?! That stupid police box happens to be quite valuable."

The captain sits there looking up at the Timelord, "Energy is valuable! Not picking up hitchhikers during wartime. We're on the brink of extinction here and can't worry about every insignificant travelers we come across!!"

The Doctor points his finger at the stubborn man and becomes cross, "Now see here you small minded human, just because you couldn't hold your own during the Cybermen/Dalek war should come as no surprise why you're on your way on becoming a burnt out cinder! You had plenty of time to prepare for this incident and blaming some 'insignificant' travelers like us for your terrible woes isn't going to help you win this war."

The captain looks at him curiously, "What are you on about? What time did we have? Just look around here..."

"Doctor", the Timelord says to him as he can see the man straining to remember his name.

"Look around, Doctor. Time is something we never had. We've been at this for a long time now and never once have we ever had the time to prepare."

The Doctor leans in at him, "Oh but I beg to differ. I know what happened here captain...I know why the humans are so behind in their ship technology. And more to the point...I'm here to help you. So stop giving me your brutish military attitude and welcome us aboard."

Megan heard every word the Doctor was saying from across the room and stared at him with great confusion. So too did the captain sitting there eyeing the strangely dressed man lecturing him.

"Who the hell are you?"

The Doctor leans in closer to the man and lowers his voice to an almost whisper.

"I told you...I'm the Doctor."

••••••••••••••••••

The Three Cybermen spacecrafts continue to venture deeper into the solar system, inside the lead ship, the Cybermen crew work away at the controls. The room is sliver and white, chromed almost as much as they themselves are. Oddly built, the room is round and has no real sort of command seating. Computers fill the entire room and each Cyberman stands attending to each one. In the center is another slivery robot, huge holographic images are wrapped all around him as he turns to each one floating round and touches them. They shift and move around the officer and almost appear see-through, probably as a means to talk to others as the creature works. No chairs to be found on this spacecraft, Cybermen do not need rest and don't need any sort of comfort at all; they maintain their duties at all time and work constantly. A large door opens at the back of the room, the sliver-plated wall like thing slides open and another Cyberman steps into the room. This one has black markings on some of his body and even has black colored head handles that attach to his chrome like helmet. All of them move very robotic like, jerky and somewhat stiff, the one entering the room is no exception. He approaches the center of the room and talks to the Cyberman operating the holo-imager.

"What is the status of the ship we encountered?"

The sliver robot nods, "Leader. It has fallen behind, scans indicate it has suffered major damage and is unable to pursue us much longer."

"Excellent!" the sliver leader says with an almost monotone emotional response.

"The humans have become weaker then we could have anticipated. There is but only a small grouping of their vessels near the planet, but they will pose no threat to us."

The Cyberman officer continues to look at his leader, "Our forces have also suffered severe losses. The humans managed to take out nearly all of our fleet before we entered the system."

The Leader just clasps his metal fist, "It was a necessary action. We have managed to break through this time and can now begin our conquest of the Earth. Our position needs to be close by as we begin our final plan, nothing must stand in our way of taking back what is ours!"

The pilot just lowers his head in a quick nod, "Leader."

Returning to his holo-imager, the Cyberman continues to plot a course for the human home world. The black marked Cyberman walks off to the side and finishes his thought.

"Our world is gone...but soon...so will the Earthmen's be as well. Punishment for their stupidity and revenge for all of us!"

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Back on the crippled Earth ship, the Doctor and Andrea help clean up the bridge, Megan manages to get most of the crew patched up and the captain continues to question the strange man.

"Doctor...what are you a Doctor of? Exactly?"

"Everything...well mostly everything.... Science, biology, mechanical engineering...But I do come highly qualified, trust me my good man.", the Doctor says smiling at him.

"I see.", the captain says stroking his chin, "Do you know how to repair interstellar stardrive engines?"

The Doctor laughs aloud, "HA! I knew you'd ask me...now that you mention it, I do. Uhm...which generation? Mark IV? Nimbus V? Wait! Wait...don't tell me.... ooh.... Deltacore Saturn VIII! Am I right?"

The crew seems impressed with his knowledge of various engine types, but also snicker at the fact that he's such an odd person. The captain can't help but break a smirk as the quirky man as it appears he does know the various engine models.

"Actually...its Nine now."

"Ah...well...", the Doctor says brushing off his clothes and folding his arms behind his back, "Nine just happens to be my lucky number. Technically it's ten...but I don't think anyone here will care too much if I just bend the rules for now."

A quick wink from the short brown haired Timelord made Megan chuckle at his foolish behavior. The graying captain looked over at her and pointed.

"Well since you find it so amusing Doctor Kesley, I think you should be the one to show him to the engine core. I can't waste my time throwing him into the brig...might as well take all the help I can."

Andrea just raised her hand like a lost school girl, "Uhm...what about me? I can help too you know."

The Doctor turned around at her and patted her head, "Ah well as my assistant you need to help me...so.... you'll be staying here with the captain, while I go and tinker with an obsolete engine."

Megan walks over to him with confusion, "Obsolete? That's top of the line..."

"Mmm...yes...two thousand years ago. I mean really get with the times humanity." The Doctor says looking at her.

Both Megan and the captain glance at one another as this strange individual calls their technology obsolete. Andrea sighs at the Timelord's instructions, she plops herself down in the chair and begins to dust off one of the computer terminals. Megan turns around to guide the Doctor to the engine room, but soon finds that he's almost out the door as he starts shouting back at her.

"Well come on, come on! Haven't got all day you know. There's Cybermen to stop..."

Megan runs quickly to catch up to the man as he sprints out of the room as if he knows where he's going. The captain just shakes his head at the absurdity of the odd person and looks over at Andrea.

"Is he always like that?"

"Huh? Like what?", she asks.

"You know...full of himself."

She sighs again, "I think all Timelords must be."

The captain squints at her, "Time what?"

"Ugh...nevermind.", she says rolling her eyes, "Let's just work on getting this place up and running again. Before the Doctor comes back to chew us out for slacking off."

Walking through the corridors again, Megan tries to catch up with the Doctor as he frantically walks down to the elevator. Hard to believe he's so quick, it seems that she's more out of breath then he'll ever be. Finally he stops in front of the elevator shaft and pushes a button for service. Megan arrives behind him and finally has a rest; she looks at him and can see his mind is on something else entirely.

"Credit for your thought", she says jokingly.

"Penny", the Doctor says back sharply.

"I beg your pardon?"

The Doctor sighs, "The phrase is 'a penny for your thought'...oh nevermind."

Shaking his head, the Timelord realizes it's useless trying to correct this woman's misquote. Humans love to change phrases to fit the times and even create new ones that almost sound exactly like the ones spoken before. It's the typical double talk he's come to expect from this species and often wonders how any of them know what the hell they are saying to each other at all. Megan still looks curious as they wait for the elevator and tries to question the Timelord further.

"Something you said puzzles me Doctor."

"Oh? Is that so...Doctor...Kesley?"

She smirks, "You mentioned the Cybermen/Dalek war...that you knew what happened about that. What did you really mean?"

Rubbing his head he exhaled rather coyly, "I meant that...I know why your planet didn't prepare better for the war."

The elevator doors swung open and the two of them walked in. As the doors shut and the elevator began moving down, she continued her inquest on the matter.

"Why didn't we? I mean...I've heard some rumors...that we were having financial troubles...that the countries couldn't agree.... but I'd like to hear what you know. If you don't mind that is."

The quirky man snickered and gave in, "Technology my dear girl.... technology. It really does consume your race a good deal you know. Whatever someone else has, you have to have it more. The Daleks and Cybermen are the same way. They began a war with each other that lasted for many centuries and even many time streams. The humans tried to end the war on both worlds long ago, but failed miserably. So they sat on the fence as it were and waited for them to finish each other off. I suppose they wanted to scoop up whatever was left and become just as powerful as they were."

Megan blinks for a second, "Were? You sound as if they're already gone or something?"

"They will be...eventually. If there's one thing that's constant in the universe it's that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nobody should expect to have more then what they already have.", the Doctor says like a wise elder.

Megan just nods at his wisdom, "I suppose that is true. Wait, how do you know all this?"

The Doctor just smiles brightly at her and taps his nose, "Experience my dear...let's just say I've been around the block and back."

The elevator stops and the doors open. They both step out and see a fiery mess down the corridor to the engine room, bodies are everywhere and debris is either smoldering around them or embedded in the hallway walls. Megan and the Doctor run into the engine room and see the very young crew trying to douse the fires and repair the equipment. Not many have survived the ordeal, and looking at them the Doctor can tell not many have the experience to rebuild a sophisticated engine. Taking off his red smoking jacket and laying down on one of the chairs nearby, he helps a youth lift up a panel crushing his friend on the ground. Megan begins to search the various crew for injuries and even tries to care for those that are dying. The dirt begins to smear on the Doctor's yellow-ish sweater vest, that are full of question marks knitted into its fabric. After helping the young man save his friend, the Doctor pats him on the back and leans in to talk to him. The room is too full of noise to even talk normally, sirens are blaring, people are screaming out and the sound of equipment popping and sparking is everywhere.

"Where's the Engine core?", the Timelord screams at him.

"Back there, behind that blast door...we had to close it because of the radiation."

The Doctor looks over and sees the dual hydraulic doors shut tight; he nods to the young boy and begins to walk over to them. The kid thinks the man is a fool for going over there and tires to stop him.

"Are you nuts?! You can't go in there! The engine might flare up and turn it into a fireball!"

The Doctor takes the young boy's hand off of his person and just places back at him.

"Don't fret child...I'm not going to be long. And besides...I'm not built like all of you."

The Doctor pushes the flashing button on the side panel beside the door and it opens up. The room looks totally red and full of fire, but showing no fear on his face, the Timelord steps in and lets the black dual doors close behind him. Megan sees the fool going in and quickly runs over to the young kid who's standing there in awe.

"What the hell is he doing? You should have stopped him!"

"I...I warned him. I warned him..." the kid kept saying over and over as he was still in amazement the man went in.

Megan quickly tried to open the doors with the side controls, but nothing was happening. She then ripped off the panel and tried re-wiring them in a vain attempt to force them open. But even that did nothing. Pounding her fists on the door, she screamed at the insane man inside.

"Doctor! Doctor! Get out of there!"

Suddenly a large explosion was heard inside of it and more warning signals rang out, the young boy snapped out of his stupor and looked at the information being displayed on the computer console. His eyes widened and looked over at Megan with a grim face.

"My...my god.... It flared up! I think...I think..."

Megan ran over and pushed the boy aside, looking at the computer, she suddenly realized what the boy was trying to say. In her ear communicator, the captain was calling for her.

"Doctor Kesley? What's going on down there? What's happening?"

Megan stares out blankly and gives him the news, "The Doctor...he was in the engine room...it flared up sir. And well...I'm sorry to report, The Doctor is Dead."

Looking over to the black doors, Megan can't believe the person she was just talking to minutes ago is now gone. Perhaps the only man that could have helped them in their hour of need.

On the Bridge of the ship, Andrea collapses to the floor in disbelief, the Doctor was her dearest friend and the only one who could save them from the Cybermen. The captain stood over her and reached down to pick her up.

"Get up woman! Come on! We can't have all this emotion...we've got to pick up and move on!"

He stands her up forcefully and shakes her to get the woman out of her stupor. Andrea doesn't like his rough handling and grabs the man's arm and twists it around behind him. The gruff captain was surprised by her strength and found that he was now being put in an uncomfortable position. Andrea held on to his arm and clasped him around the chest with her other arm.

"Don't touch me!",she says angrily, "You can't bully around like one your crew. You got that? The Doctor was my friend and someone that understood things a lot more then you will ever know in your own lifetime."

The captain squirmed and tried to ease the pain she was inflicting on him, but since he was unable to find the words to answer her, he simply nodded. Seeing he acknowledged her, she released him and took a few steps back to give him space. The captain nursed his arm like a wounded animal and stared at the crew who did nothing to help him. The men and women standing all around had been watching the whole senario play out, but once they saw he was back in command again, they quickly returned to their duties. Looking at this fairly beautiful woman, the captain chuckled slightly and wondered where the hell she and the Doctor came from.

"Nice moves...Andrea was it? I suppose you were in the Earth Army Marine unit...."

Andrea kept a good stare at the captain and only raised her eyebrows, " Acutally...It was the canadian police force. "

Her statement confused the captain. Countries and nations no longer exist in this future, for the wars with the Cybermen and the Daleks have made them all one species under one flag. Earth is considered their only unity and for now their only concern. The U.S., Britain, Canada, etc...nations of old are long gone, the continents still inhabit the race, but there are no titles on these lands anymore. Which is why the captain is confused by Andrea's words and why he simply shakes off what she says, he returns to his focus on the task at hand and the Cybermen. Andrea leaves the bridge as the captain no longer takes interest in her and heads down to the engine room to find out what happened.

Down in the Engine Room, Megan and the other young crew with her try to evacuate the area as the place becomes dangerous after the deadly flare up. As Megan guides the others out a sudden shift in the power snaps on, the room becomes well lit and the computers once again function, as they should. The young crew runs back in and checks out all the circuitry as well as the engine read outs.

"I don't believe it!", the young black male shouts, "The engines are falling back to norm!"

Megan runs over and looks at the same computer again, "I don't believe it, the engine is back at full capacity.... the radiation and plasma gases are venting. But how? The explosion would have destroyed that room."

Andrea suddenly comes running in and stands next to Megan, "Where is the Doctor? We need to get his body out of there at least. Don't let his corpse burn for pity sakes!"

Megan smiles at her, "Andrea...I think...I think he might have saved the ship."

Suddenly the engine core's emergency blast doors slide open and the Doctor comes running through unscathed.

"Dear god! Who the hell put the pressure up that high! It's no wonder your ship isn't at full speed."

Andrea and Megan's eyes light up and both shout joyfully out in unison, "DOCTOR!!"

The Doctor bushes himself off as if he soiled his suit a bit, once he was finished he looked at the many faces gawking at him as he just stood there.

"Hello? What's all this then? You look as if someone had died?"

Andrea runs over and gives him a hug, "You twit! We thought you had...there was an explosion and...and..."

The Timelord chuckled at her, "Oh that...well I had to expel some of the plasma in order to give the engine some breathing room...otherwise this whole vessel would have been a fire ball. Always duck and roll when attempting such a feat...I almost forgot and it nearly too my eyebrows off."

Megan smiled, walked over and patted him on the shoulder, "Amazing Doctor...but what about the radiation in there...it should have killed you."

"Ah...yes...", the Doctor smiles and pulls Andrea way from him, "That I didn't escape from, but nothing a few minutes in the de-contamination chamber won't fix, at least in this century you've got the means to cure it.... and you too Andrea."

"Me? Why I didn't get exposed?"

The Doctor grabs her arm and lifts it up to her face, "Yes you did...you just hugged me. So now you're exposed as well.... as are you all."

Megan takes out a medical scanner from her pocket and tests the room, "He's right...we'll all need some time in the chamber for a few minutes...or even hours."

"Right!", The Timelord shouts out.

He clasps his hands and looks at all of them with a big toothy grin, "So then shall we all have a spot of tea while we wait in the chamber? Hm?"

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

The Cybermen ships continue to close in on Earth as it passes by Saturn's defenses. The various numbers of human vessels launch out of the planet's rings and follow closely behind them firing their laser cannons at the invading ships. The Cybermen vessels don't stop moving and point their cannons at the ships closing in behind. Inside the main ship, the Cyberman controller views them on the floating holo-imager, the Cyberman leader standing behind him looks on as well.

"Co-ordinate our ships, Destroy them...immediately!"

"Yes, Leader. All ships are targeting vessels.... cannons online.... Executing!"

Outside the three ships, the large weapons blast huge bursts of energy that hurl over to the smaller human vessels and shatter them into pieces. The debris flies across space as each one is destroyed by their hit; each human ship tries to cause damage to the alien vessel before the blast wave crushes them to death. As soon as the last one is gone, the Cybermen increase their speed and continue towards Earth.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

The Doctor, Andrea and Megan return to the main bridge, they enter the room to see the captain strolling around it very proudly. As he turns around, they notice the man is smiling and nearly running over to shake the Doctor's hand.

"Good job Doctor...very well done! I'm so sorry I ever doubted you..."

The Doctor smiles and becomes modest, "Oh it was nothing my dear sir...think nothing of it. A few tweaks here and there..."

The graying captain laughs, "A few tweaks. You are a blessing in disguise Doctor! Do you know you've brought this ship back to full power in a matter of minutes? We're finally catching up towards the Cybermen thanks to you."

Andrea and Megan both give a "what the-?" kind of look at each other as the captain's reactions is far different then either one has seen on him before. The Doctor smiles and pats him on the shoulder.

"Enough captain...you'll inflate my ego to no end. Now then...how close are we to catch up, hmm?"

The captain looks back at the monitor and points to the graphic display, it has images of two ships, one is theirs in blue and the other three are the Cybermen ships in red.

"They're almost in range of Earth, we'll be there in a few minutes as well...I just hope this isn't our final hour."

The Doctor folds his arms behind his back as he looks up as well, "Oh I somehow doubt that captain...humans are nothing but resourceful. But I would advise a course of action you should take with your surviving fleet. Your weapons are far too ill-equipped to take out one vessel alone...no, no...you need concentrate on each ship and fire at them all together."

"That's insane Doctor.", Megan blurts out, "We can't stop one at time, they'll have the other ships that are unoccupied to fire on the Earth. "

The Timelord walks over to her and frantically explains his reasoning.

"Think about the damage you haven't done, hmm? You've seen how much your weapons have not been able to pierce the skin of those thick hulls. The ships that confronted them outside the solar system must have figured out the same thing...sadly, their efforts only managed to stop all but three. But thanks to their efforts there are only three left!"

The captain strokes his grey beard as he listens to the Timelord's ranting. His eyes light up as he begins to realize the Doctor is speaking the truth. But as he stands there ready to agree with the oddly dressed man, Aidela shouts back at the commander in hysterics.

"Captain!! One of the ships is turning round at us! I think they've discovered us closing in!!"

The commander races back to his captain's chair and barks orders at them all.

"Steady helm...bring all batteries to full, increase the hull shielding and prepare all decks for battle. Sound the alarm."

The woman nods, "Aye, sir."

The red flashing lights re-appear and the sound of alarm bells ring out again. On the main viewer, the lead Cyberman ship has finally come into their space and begins to aim their weapons at them. The Doctor and Andrea look on in horror as the ship comes in to full view of the screen, it looks even more deadlier then last time and now has every cannon pointed directly at them. The Doctor reaches into his pocket and takes out a white handkerchief to wipe his brow from all the tension.

"Good lord, we don't have the power to stop them. I think I need to return to engineering and see about boosting the main weapons to full power."

Andrea grabs onto him for dear life, "How will that help us? "

"Perhaps channeling the entire energy of this ship into one focused blast will give us the means to damage them. Or at the very least puncture them in a devastating way..."

The captain looks back at him with great anger, "Well for heaven's sake man, get down there on the double!!"

"Right!" the Doctor screams out, "Andrea stay here and help Megan...I must try to give them the edge they need!"

Andrea nods, "Ok...but hurry back Doctor!"

The plump-faced Timelord scurries out of the room and down the corridor in a flash. Andrea runs over to Megan and watches her work on one of the computers surrounding the captain's chair. Young pilot Raynard trembles as he studies his scanner and gives the commander an update of the Cybermen's position.

"They're closing in on us sir.... I'm reading a massive build up of energy in their main guns...man we are so fried!!"

The captain shouts at the nervous boy, "Pull it together kid...target all our guns and prepare to fire on the Doctor's signal."

The Cybermen ship continues to inch in on the screen and everyone looks extremely nervous as they wait for the Timelord to work his magic.

"Come on Doctor.... Come on...", the captain says under his breath.

The female pilot sees a flashing light on her board and taps on the button next to it.

"Sir!", She shouts out to the captain, "Someone has open shuttle bay one...."

The captain runs over to her and looks at the controls, "Well shut it then!"

The woman taps away at the controls, "I can't sir...it's too late. One of the shuttles is leaving..."

Andrea looks down at the ground and sees the Doctor's handkerchief sitting right where he was standing not more then a few minutes ago. She walks over to it and picks it up. Suddenly a small black glove drops out of it and she once again lowers herself to pick it up. Studying it carefully, she soon has a look of confusion, as it looks almost like the one they found in the TARDIS. Her eyes grow wide with fear and starts to run out of the room and screams away for the Doctor. The captain and Aidela stare up at the screen as they see the small craft heading way from the ship.

"Who's in that thing? What's it's heading?"

Young Raynard looks at his scanner, "Unknown life form reading sir...but it's heading straight towards the Cybermen ship. I'll be damned.... the Cybermen are opening up their shuttle bay..."

The captain looks angry and pounds on the computer, "We had a damn spy on board all along! "

Inside the Cybermen ship, the shuttle begins to land in the open bay and the doors quickly close in behind it. A large group of Cybermen soldiers walk over to the small craft and aim their weapons at the back door of the ship. The shuttle powers down and the back end section lowers down a door with steps leading out of the shuttle. The main Cyberman soldier steps ahead and waits for the person to appear out of the craft. In the shadows of the shuttle's interior, a silhouette of a man can be seen as he stands near the exit.

"You are to be destroyed! Remove yourself from the craft and be prepared for execution!", the tin man says out loud.

The shadowy figure inside chuckles, "I think not...you are here to do my bidding. Lower your weapons and take me to your lab."

The Cyberman is astonished at the man's stupid remark, but the curious side of the being makes him step forward and stares the man down.

"Who are you?"

The man steps out of the shadows and now becomes totally viewable in the lights.

"I'm the Doctor."

It is indeed the Doctor, the mauve smoking jacket and miss-matched clothing are the very garments he was wearing not more then a few moments ago. Smiling away like a madman the Doctor soon begins laughing to top of his lungs in an overly evil tone. The Cybermen look at one another in confusion as the Timelord laughs away, the echo bouncing off the metal interior of the shuttle bay making it sound deep and forbidding.

To be continued...