The Escape Plan
Sarah Jane slammed open the hospital door and ran down the corridor. It was a hauntingly familiar feeling, only this time she was running towards someone, not away. Almost sliding as she came to a stop Sarah Jane caught herself as she got into the reception.
Haresh was talking to two policemen as his wife, Gita sat there. It was like she was trying not to cry 'Oh Sarah, you're here!'
'Of course I am. Oh Gita I'm so sorry.'
'He took my child! Oh Sarah he came into school and took my child!' Gita gave up and buried her head in Sarah Jane's shoulder weeping. Sarah Jane put a hand on the woman's shoulder.
She didn't know what to say, but tried anyway. 'It will be alright Gita, where ever Rani is I'll find her.'
'I know you will.' Gita sobbed 'You and Rani, with all your secrets. If anyone will help it's you.'
'Look I've told you all this!' Haresh shouted. 'He had all the credentials needed. I checked myself! He asked to see the records, went through them. Picked out two, Clyde and Rani, asked to see them. I was not two feet from the door, when I heard them shout. I had to brake it down to get in. I found Langer on the floor, Rani and Resam had vanished.
'Then they obviously went out the window.' the police officer said, as if talking to a lunatic.
Haresh looked as if he was about to fly apart. 'I checked that, I'm not an idiot. now what are you doing about finding my daughter!'
'As soon as we have interviewed Mr Langer I'll get to the office. We already have a description of your daughter circulated.' The other one said helpfully.
'Now if you could describe…' the rude one began to ask when Clyde suddenly burst into the room, his mother just behind him.
'Clyde!' Sarah Jane shouted.
'Sarah Jane, thank God you're here!' The young man ran to her side. Clyde looked awful.
'Ahh, Mr Langer,' the rude officer began, but Clyde ignored him.
'We have to find her, that Resam guy was bad news. Could tell it as soon as I saw him, and that laser of his. Sarah Jane we have to find Rani!'
'We'll be doing that sir.' the police officer said gravely, all but ignoring Sarah Jane. 'Now perhaps you can give me a description, Mr Chandra has been rather vague…'
'He looked just like Harold Saxon, except he had a beard. A goatee.'
Sarah Jane felt as if someone had torn the world out from under her. 'Saxon?' she whispered.
'Yes, yes he's right. The man looked almost exactly like Harold Saxon. Why didn't I see it?' Haresh gasped.
Sarah Jane's mind was running at a mile a minute, gently pushing Gita away she flipped open her watch and scanned Clyde, much to everyone else's confusion.
'What is it?' Clyde asked as she read the results, Sarah Jane's worry must have shown on her face. Laser based, meta-psychic, energy. This was dangerous, extremely dangerous.
She'd never been able to track down what or who was behind Harold Saxon. Was he alien or just a puppet of forces from beyond earth. When Sarah Jane had tried to dig a little deeper she'd bumped into UNIT, Torchwood and about a thousand conspiracy nuts. Mr Smith had no record of the Toclafane.
Now, apparently, he had access to technology far beyond anything humanity was even close to.
'What, what is that?' the Officer asked pointing at Sarah Jane's watch.
'Er. It's a watch, with a few extra bits.' She explained. 'A gift from a friend. The point is Clyde's going to be fine.' Looking back and forth Sarah Jane swallowed.
'Well that's what the doctor said.' Clyde said, 'But I should go home, and stay away from school for a while. So let's go, Sarah Jane can give me a lift!'
'We still have questions, lot's of questions to ask you.'
'Well it will have to be later, I need my rest.' Sarah Jane knew he was lying. He just wanted to get out of there and find Rani and knowing Clyde he probably didn't trust the police.
Nether did Sarah Jane, especially not with this, but they weren't having any of it.
'As soon as you've answered some questions.'
Rani woke up with a start, jumping out of a chair she looked around. She was in what looked like a closed down old furniture shop. Posters with dates and brightly colours announcing the final few hours of a clearance sale hung off the pillars and from ties in the ceiling.
The windows were boarded up, save for little bits at the top that let in light. The whole place had that dusty, empty, feeling. Trying to hide a shiver she looked back at the chair, it was one of the old stock. Faded, out of fashion and the leather was cracked badly. She spun around again to see Mr Resam crouched over a kettle and what looked to be a gas-cooker.
'Hungry?' he asked shrugging. 'I have eggs, some cheese, a bit of ham. I'm very good with omelettes. Learnt from some of the best.'
Rani backed off, not taking her eyes from his hands. 'What did you do? To Clyde, what did you do?'
The man sighed, sitting back he suddenly seemed a lot older. 'I needed someone to send a message to Sarah Jane. It could easily have been him here. Luck of the draw, my dear.'
Rani kept backing away. 'Please stop that.' he said, sounding very bored and tired at the same time. 'I woke you up so we could at least have a conversation. Otherwise,' something spun in his hand, there was a flash of orange light and the pillar near Rani exploded. It was his Laser, She remembered what happened when he shot Clyde. 'Are you sure I can't interest you in an omelette?'
Rani shook her head but didn't move. There was something very sad about the man in front of her. Even though he'd attacked Clyde, kidnapped her and was now threatening to shoot her she almost felt sorry for him.
'Shame.' he shrugged and looked around. 'It never ceases to amaze me where the tides of time take a man. They can rise a human child like you amongst the gods and strike one like me down amongst the lost of this world.'
'You're an alien?' Rani asked, almost nervous of the answer.
'Alien is just another world for foreign my dear. Comparing your people to mine is on par with you saying you're an alien to a house cat. My people conquered this universe's greatest secrets long before this world was spun out of the dark and the dust.' He stood up and Rani felt something shiver up her spine. He wasn't lying, she could almost feel it. His age, his power, but most of all his presence. It was like being trapped in a room with a lion on the prowl.
'There was a time child, a billion years ago, when the mere mention of my world caused fear. We saw the Dark Times, fought Racnoss, banished the Great Star-Vampires, spun black holes out of the nothingness between the empty galaxies.' He suddenly laughed and Rani jumped back. Shivering with fear. 'I went to school with a girl called Rani. She didn't listen as well as you. Ignorant, egotistical and arrogant, but never a good listener.'
Rani wanted to ask what happened to this woman, but the words died in her mouth. 'She's dead now of course. Same as my wife, my son. They are all dead now. Well as good as dead.'
'If… if it's help you need…' Rani started.
He smiled, a wicked cruel thing that didn't have any humour in it at all. 'Sarah Jane Smith, helping me. My dear don't you think I've thought of that? I am one of the most evil, vile and despicable monsters you'll ever meet and I'm well known to miss Smith. We even met once, oh so long ago.'
'So you need Sarah Jane's help, you've even met her before but you can't just ask us. You have to kidnap me instead. That doesn't make any sense.' He spun on her. 'Not that I'm criticising.'
He smiled that creepy evil grin of his, flicking his screwdriver back and forth. 'Let's just say that you're my… invitation. This is my signal flare and Miss Smith is my knight in shining armour. I had hoped she would be a bit quicker, then again she's still human. How quaint.'
'If… if she doesn't come?' Rani asked.
'So little faith. Have a bit of patience child. After all we have a lot of omelettes left. I won't resort to eating you until at least Tuesday.'
Rani wasn't sure if he was joking.
Clyde jumped out of Sarah Jane's car, and ran to the door. he friend threw her house keys at him. Catching them and unlocking the door Clyde practically flew up the stairs.
Stairs really sucked, especially after getting shot by a lunatic with a funky screwdriver, but Clyde dragged himself up the last few steps. 'Mr Smith, I need you.' Clyde gasped falling to his knees.
Sarah Jane was two steps behind and helped him up. 'Clyde, are you absolutely sure you should be out of hospital.'
'Wild Jadoon couldn't keep me away Sarah Jane. That lunatic grabbed Rani while I was there. I should have done something then.' Clyde tried to sound responsible.
Mr Smith ran a spot light on him. 'Clyde I'm detecting traces of the effects from a nerve disrupting energy weapon on you bio-rythem. What has happened?' The multi-coloured patten on the screen flickered to show an outline of a man, with a closing orange mark in the middle
'Someone has kidnapped Rani Mr Smith.' Sarah Jane announced, taking off her watch. 'I got a scan of the weapons energy signature, if we can track it.'
'I will attempt to do so.' Even Mr Smith sounded concerned as Sarah Jane put her watch on the little tray.
Clyde sat down on the couch, catching his breath. 'Mr Smith, are there going to be any side effects.'
'From the Bio-energy disruption?' he paused for a moment. 'Negative. No long term damage.'
'That's good. I thought I'd feel like this forever.'
Mr Smith's analysis flickered up on his screen. 'Energy signature located Sarah Jane.' the map showed the high street and a large building just off it.
'Isn't that place that bargain furniture shop. I got my bed from there.'
'Indeed Clyde, it has been abandoned for several months.'
Pulling himself off the sofa Clyde was ready to go. 'Clyde, stay here.'
'But Sarah Jane.'
'I know how you feel Clyde, but I need you to stay here.' Sarah Jane picked up her watch and Sonic Lipstick. 'Sky's going to be back any minute and I need you to stay here for her.'
'Yeah, like I'd be any use.' Clyde said under his breath. 'I let him take Rani, what makes you think I'll be any good protecting Sky.'
'Because I trust you Clyde.' Sarah Jane put both hands on his shoulders. 'You did everything you could then, and I trust you'll dod the same for Sky.'
'Plus she could just fry the guy.'
'Clyde.' Sarah Jane gave him a smile as Mr Smith suddenly flashed a bright red his screen.
'Attention Sarah Jane!' the computer almost had a panic attack. 'I'm detecting non human life-form in the area.'
'So he is alien, Mr Smith, can you identify the species?'
'Indeed I can, I have only encountered this sort of readings once before. It is a Time Lord.'
Rani sat, with her back to the pillar with a ugly black burn mark on it. Resam flicked his screwdriver on and off a few times before putting his feet up on the coffee table. 'How long do you think she's going to be. We are in a rush you know.'
'It's only a matter of time until Tuesday.' he said lightly. 'But seriously sooner or later words going to get back to UNIT that I was here. They'd tear this city apart to get me. Especially these days, they lost a lot of their humour when the Americans took over. Then again isn't that always the way?'
'If UNIT do find you?'
Resam seemed very tired for a moment. 'They'll probably kill me, or find some creative way to lose me in a dark hole somewhere. He looked at her and grinned. 'Don't feel sorry for me. This isn't the last act of a desperate man, persecuted for his mistakes. Just because I'm self aware doesn't mean I'm not evil, or that I want your pity.'
Rani swallowed nervously, she didn't doubt him for a second.
A handful of seconds later the door burst open. It was Sarah Jane, sonic lipstick in hand, pointed at Resam. 'Alright hold it right there!'
'Sarah Jane! Watch out!' Rani shouted but Resam already had his screwdriver pointed at her.
'Sarah Jane Smith. So good to see you again.'
She kept her lipstick pointed at him, but Rani could see it almost shaking. Sarah Jane was nervous, Rani couldn't blame her. The guy was insane and incredibly dangerous. 'Do I know you.'
'We have met, oh so long ago my dear.' He admitted stepping out from around the little den he'd made for himself. 'In the Death Zone, on Gallifrey.' 'The Death… you I remember you, but how?'
'How did I escape the Time War? That is a long and complicated story. Let's just say it's not the first time I've been trapped in the shadow realms and I've escaped them before.'
'And you ended up here. On Earth?' Sarah Jane asked as Rani carefully slid towards her.
'Cardiff actually, there is a rift in space and time running through that quaint little hamlet. The Rift extends not just through this reality but others deeper, darker.'
'That's how you escaped, but why kidnap Rani and attack Clyde?' Rani threw caution to the wind and ran to Sarah Jane's side 'Oh Rani, are you alright?' her friend asked.
'Y… Yes, I'll be fine Sarah Jane.'
Resam smirked. 'Proof, if more was needed, that I can be reasonable.'
'Reasonable?' Sarah Jane said stunned.
'Of course.' he laughed lightly, taking a few steps towards them. 'I could have killed young Clyde, or left young Rani here a mental vegetable.'
'Don't come any closer.' Sarah Jane warned.
'Oh please,' Resam rolled his eyes. 'First of all I doubt my old school friend would give a weapon that could hurt me. Secondly, you're the great Sarah Jane Smith. You couldn't kill me even if you wanted to.'
For a heartbeat Sarah Jane didn't do anything, before reluctantly lowering her Lipstick. 'Why, why did you do all this?' She asked eventually.
'You can't imagine what it's like Miss Smith. I am a Time Lord, I strode space and time as easy as you would cross a room. There was a time, oh so long ago, when I could smite the very stars with a whispered word. We were the legends of legends, the stories fairy tales told in the darkest hours of night.' Rani couldn't help but feel a sort of wonder. 'To be trapped on a single world, an unimaginable distance from my true home. No longer adrift in time and space, but clinging to a wet ball of rock infested by ignorant creatures. Scurrying like ants dreaming they were giants.
Spinning the screwdriver between his fingers the weapon snapped shut as he offered it, handle first, to Sarah Jane. 'Miss Smith, as surprising as this is I surrender to you.
End Chapter One