There was uproar in the jury room as the Dalek opened fire on the Drahvin.
Only it didn't.
There was a whine of power as it charged its gun then, click-click. Nothing happened. The Dalek eyestick looked down at the weapon and it tried again. Whine...click- click.
The was a hiss from the Ice-Lord that may have been a chuckle. "The Dalek representative seems to have forgotten that a Hostile Action Dampner field operates here. No weapons will function."
The Drahvin looked up coolly at her would-be assailant. "So this is Dalek 'justice', " she said.
The Cyberman at position 4 spoke. "Resume your position. Remain there until we give you leave. Or there will be...consequences."
There was a moment's hesitation then the machine glided wordlessly back to its position.
"This is outrageous," shrilled Arcturus. "We have all agreed to the protocols of this place, which do not include assassination of fellow jurors! I wish to change my vote. Not Guilty."
"And I." This from the Slitheen. "We will not be coerced."
"The vote is now 8-4 in favour of acquittal." said the Morok.
The Sontaran cursed and banged the table.
"You fools!" snarled Morgaine. "We will never have a better opportunity to dispose of Merlin!"
"Who?" said a couple of jurors, simultaneously.
"The prisoner. Merlin. Oh, I forget. He is called the Doctor in this universe."
There was a momentary silence. Then the Ice-Lord raised a hand. "Mr Foreman. On a point of procedure. I would like you to check the juror eligibility conditions under the articles of the Shadow Proclamation."
"Certainly. I think I know the section." The Morok crossed to the terminal and operated the keyboard. He scrolled through a dense legal text and suddenly gave a muffled exclamation.
"Extra-dimensional jurors are ineligible to serve. It is quite clear that there has been an administrative error here."
"How is this rectified?" asked the Ice-Lord.
The Morok returned to his position at the head of the table. "At the discretion of the foreman a mis-trial may be recommended or," he smiled briefly at the Drahvin, "the foreman may administer the ineligible vote as he or she deems fit."
He turned to face the surprised-looking Morgaine. "I opt to administer the vote in this instance. Juror 5 votes Not Guilty."
"Well!" exclaimed Morgaine, and sat back in her seat, arms folded and furious.
"The vote is 9-3 for acquittal."
Another desk-rattling thump from the Sontaran.
The Drahvin looked across at the Cyberman juror and addressed him directly. "Well, in view of this are you going to hold out for your revenge after all?"
There was an electronic rasp, almost as if the silver giant was clearing his throat. "You have made several interesting points that are well taken. However, there is one fact that outweighs all others. The Doctor is a proven world-killer. He destroyed the whole of the Skaroan solar system with a stellar manipulator. For this reason alone he must face the ultimate punishment."
"What he said!" agreed the Sontaran, loudly. "You can forget all of the other evidence."
"Interesting you should say that," hissed Alixxyr. He was at the terminal and turned to face the jurors. "I have just been communicating with my fleet who are awaiting my return at a safe distance. During the course of the communication I had cause to check the Universal Positioning System to facilitate the Trans-Mat coordinates."
"So ?" asked the Sontaran. "What has that got to so with anything?"
"I double-checked the spatial and temporal coordinates for this place. I would like to read them to you." The Ice-Lord intoned a long series of numbers and vectors.
After he had finished the Dalek swung his eyestalk to look at him. "Impossible," it grated flatly.
"What's impossible?" asked the Drahvin.
The Cyberman answered. "Those are the coordinates for Solaris Skaroa."
"The Dalek sun!" shrilled Arcturus.
" This is a trick.." muttered the Sontaran.
"No. The cordinates are verifiable. The temporal element confirms it as contemporary. This is no trick. We are on the surface of the Dalek sun which the Doctor was supposed to have destroyed."
The Drahvin gripped the Ice-Lord's arm and spoke quickly. "It is possible that the Doctor only claimed to have destroyed the Dalek sun. He probably detonated an uninhabited system. This is entirely consistent with his known philosophy. He is no world-killer!"
"How can you know such a thing. Where is your evidence?"
The Drahvin faced the Sontaran coolly. "We are standing on it."
She turned back to the Cyberman. "This changes things." It wasn't a question.
"Yes. I now have a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the prisoner. Cybermen do not engage in acts of revenge. Not Guilty."
"And you?" To the Sontaran.
He stared back at her, defiantly.
The Ogron spoke. "You said we could forget all the other evidence." The gutteral words hung in the air.
There was a long silence. Then the Sontaran slumped back in his seat like a deflated balloon. "Not guilty," he said. through clenched teeth.
There was a movement at the head of the table as the Dalek glided over to the shuttered wall. All eyes were on it as it passed its sensor pad over the photocell and the shutters opened. The machine looked out at the surface of the star.
There was a noise at its side.
"It's beautiful," said the Drahvin.
"Solaris Skaroa." The Dalek's normally strident voice was hushed, almost awed. "Somewhere out there is my home." The eyestalk swung around until it rested on the Morok foreman. The words when they came, were quiet, barely audible, but noble.
The Doctor awoke with a start, rising from the battered couch like a jack-in-the box. Around him the Tardis control room purred with suppressed power.
He passed a hand through his mass of hair and made a face at his companion. "Pheew! What a bonkers dream!"
"Yep. There was this...hold on...darn it!" He snapped his fingers and looked frustrated. "It's gone. You know what dreams are like." The Doctor stretched then examined the back of his left hand in some detail. He held it out for the girl to see.
"Look at that. See the hairs standing up? Residual static. Like you sometimes get in a charged-ion environment or as a result of a Trans-Mat beam."
His companion leaned forward, carefully keeping her own hands concealed behind her back. "Oh yes, I see."
"I hope the Tardis isn't throwing a wobbly." The Doctor turned away and scanned the console. " No faults showing. Hey! We've landed!"
"I didn't like to wake you."
"Nice atmosphere. A bit warmish. Two suns. You'd better be careful with that skin of yours...hello." The Doctor turned to his companion." So you've been into the Tardis database, have you?"
The girl shrugged. "You were snoring your head off. I was bored."
The Doctor flicked a switch on the console. "Hmm. Interesting that. Your final hit. The Drahvins." The Doctor seemed to be looking into the middle-distance. " I only met them once. A long, long time ago." He pulled on his distinctive jacket and turned for the exit. He paused for a moment. "You know, you could pass for a Drahvin. Except for the hair of course. The Drahvins were all blondes."
The girl with the luxurious red hair; with a hint of freckles around her green eyes and who burned way too easily in the noonday sun allowed herself a tight smile of satisfaction as she followed the Doctor outside.