At least 10 meters underground, in a secrete passage way that linked the medical university to the old abandoned morgue at the other side of the street, two figures were walking side by side. Dressed in their long white coats, they looked like strange ghosts strolling in the semi-darkness of the ill-lit tunnel.
"I told you, contact them yourself!" Grant said, keeping a firm pace. He sounded irritated. "You made the mistake of letting two unauthorized persons into our lab. So you tell them." Van der Kamp was trying to keep up with the younger scientist, but was soon getting out of breath.
"But I did! I did check their papers! They showed their IDs and everything. It all looked like the real thing. If it wasn't that you asked me to make that phone call to the health and safety office, we wouldn't even know that they were frauds."
"So that means there is even more reason why the Corporation should know about those two."
"But I can't contact them Felix. They don't trust me. At least not as much as they trust you."
They reached the end of the tunnel, which apparently ended into a blind wall.
"Oh don't tell me that you are getting nervous." Grant punched in a hidden button that lifted a tile in the wall to reveal a small keyboard.
"Afraid of heavy footsteps that follow you in the dark?" Grant told him with a cruel grin as he typed in the code. "Grow some balls George. You knew the risks for getting involved. You took the money and therefore the responsibility. Don't try to hide behind me now that you have fucked up. I am not your bullet-proof buddy."
He looked straight into the tiny screen to complete his retina scan. The system recognized him without problems and activated a secrete door to grant both men access.
"Please Felix." Van der Kamp tried as they stepped inside the elevator. "You know what they are capable of. You have to help me!"
"Then you should have helped me by doing your bloody job!" Grant snapped at him, turning from normal to psycho in a blink of an eye. It scared the old professor so much that he immediately shut up.
The elevator doors slid open, revealing a vast underground chamber, sterile, with concrete walls and a high arched ceiling. There were rows of tall glass tanks with pink liquid bubbling up from the bottom. Inside, naked humanoid forms were submerged in a thick soup. Their eyes were closed, and tubes and wires snaked out of their backs through puncture-holes in the skin. They were actually connected to the spinal cord to register their vital signs. The humanoid figures look very disturbing. Most of them were riddled by tumors that sprouted like malignant mushrooms out of their skin. Others lacked eyes, or ears, or had limb-like protrusions coming out of their stomachs. Inside the hidden chamber, white-coated scientists and technicians were dashing around, busy with monitoring the dormant creatures inside the tanks, while a small armyforce of soldiers silently guarded the entrance and patrolled around the room.
Grant picked up a clip-pad from tank nr 15. "Status." He muttered, and the pad switched on, providing him the required information. He wasn't too impressed by what he learned. Aggravated, he swiftly he moved on to the next tank. "Status." He repeated, and after reading the results of the tests, rolled his eyes and again moved on to the next. This was repeated a couple of times till he had enough and smashed the clip-pad on the floor in complete frustration. "This is all rubbish!" He yelled to everyone and no one in particular. "How many have we now tested? Over a 100? They are riddled with disease and imperfections, every single one of them!"
"It's the sequence." One of the senior scientists dared to speak to him. "We tried to fill in the small gaps, but some are just too big. We don't know the coding for at least 4% of the entire strand of that alien DNA. That is the problem sir."
"I know that the sequence is not complete, but that's all we got. Thank you for pointing out the fucking obvious." Grant raged.
"Having trouble professor?" Came a voice from behind him. "Is miracle day suddenly over?" The Doctor appeared out of the blue, wearing a white coat and a big confident smile on his face.
"You?!" Grant hissed like a deflating balloon. "How did you get in here?"
"Told you I was going to come back!" The Doctor replied with a silly grin. "Well not you directly, but I told him." Nodding at professor van der Kamp. " Just assuming that he will tell you. Otherwise I can image this would be rude. Anyway, what a charming place you've got here. Shame on you professor van der Kamp, you didn't show us this on the grand tour! What is it? No don't tell. Let me guess. It looks awful lot like a secret underground laboratory. A testing ground for illegal experiments on –wow – Human subjects. I mean look at this!" The Doctor said, leaning against one of the incubators and knocking on the glass. "I bet my life that you don't have a license for this."
"How did you get in?" Grant repeated the question, glaring now at the Doctor with cold hostility.
"I just followed you." The Doctor shrugged. "You were so busy sneering at your old professor that you were not paying attention." In fact, he had made a chameleon pendent for himself to sneak around Grant's laboratory unnoticed. When he saw Grant and van der Kamp leave, he followed them down into the secret tunnel. The Doctor was standing right behind Grant when he typed in the access code and entered the facilities. Getting in was actually the easy bit. The Doctor had been very busy with preparing for something huge behind Grant's back.
"Where do you get your guinea pigs from?" The Doctor inquired. "And don't tell me that you've grown them from a petridish."
The smile that appeared on Grant's face was that of a shark. "Tramps, hookers, drug addicts, just the average human scum from the streets that no-one will ever miss. Isn't it better to put them to a good use for society than to let the poor buggers die of an infection by a dirty needle or freeze to death in the depths of winter?"
"Is that how you justify yourself?" The Doctor replied, turning stern. "You are performing medical experiments on human beings!"
"Whole countries did it in the second world war. Can't see the problem." Grant shrugged.
"The problem is you Felix Grant. If this gets out, and I swear it will, your career is over. You'll be spending the rest of your life locked up behind bars, and that would be a blessing for the whole of humanity."
Grant seemed hardly impressed by the Doctor's threats. "Funny of putting it. Don't think my sponsors will ever allow that to happen. They have arranged everything you see. Paid for the facilities and the equipment. Assembled the best team of scientists a man like me could ever desire. They also took great care to supply me with the right kind of testing material." He stepped closer to the Doctor. "The Infinity is a multinational business corporation worth over a whopping 100 trillion dollars. I don't think they will allow some sad little health-care paper-pusher with a conscience to ruin one of their most important projects, do you?" He warned.
The Doctor stared back hard, trying to read him. "What are you doing to these people?" His carefree calm started to worry the Doctor. This man's monstrous secret was out, shouldn't he be sweating right now?
"Oh lots of things." He mocked the Doctor. "Ever heard of stem cell therapy? I am trying to get them healthy again."
"You lied about the stem cells." The Doctor said, dropping yet another bomb on him. "You didn't design them. The cells carry alien DNA of an ancient race. That's why your cells have such an incredible healing ability. Where did you get it from?"
With this he got Grant's attention. "Who are you? Really?" He asked, finally realizing that the Doctor was not some dull civil servant.
"I am the Doctor. I am a Timelord. I belong to the same ancient race of people from which you have been messing with the DNA. What did the corporation exactly tell you? Did they tell you about their goal to bring back a dangerous alien god? Do you even know that they are just using you for that purpose, to develop the technology to enable them to reconstruct his body?"
"Oh don't you worry about me." He lifted up his sleeve to show him a tattoo on his arm. It was the mark of the Infinity. "I am not a pawn, Doctor, if that's your name. I know more than you think. The Infinity…It's not just a company. It's a cult. We worship the father of the Timelord race. I've been listening to Lord Rassilon's instructions since I was a small child. But I was not the only one who could hear him. Josef Mengele, Watson and Crick, and finally dr. Rachel Boekbinder. They all knew what was going on. Like me, they were blessed, and received the sacred whispers of our lord, disguised as the sound of drumbeats. Bit by bit, they recorded it, writing down on paper the genetic code that was needed for his resurrection. I am just the last one to put the pieces together."
The Doctor froze when he realized what the arrogant scientist was telling him. Like the ever-expanding echo of the big bang, Rassilon's essence had traveled across the universe, entering the minds of those who he needed and were receptive to Rassilon's manipulations. They received his DNA coding sequence through the sound of drums, and now the Infinity corporation had gather all that information and had handed it down to Grant for the final step.
The Doctor panicked. "Grant, listen to me, and I do realize that I am talking to a total lunatic, but you can't do this! You have no idea how dangerous Rassilon is! You have to destroy this information!"
"Right." Grant muttered, amused by the Doctor's reaction. "Let me think about it… Nope. I don't think so."
"If you're not going to destroy it, I will." The Doctor's threatened.
"Pfff. I would like to see you try. Look around you, you dimwit. These army muppets aren't for show. In fact, I can predict quite accurately that you won't be able to get out of here alive. Let alone that you will be able to ruin anything for me."
"Oh." The Doctor muttered, then smirked cheekily. "- but I already did."
The lights suddenly switched off followed by a complete electricity shutdown. Grant rolled his tongue over his lips and stared accusingly at the Doctor. "Very clever." He muttered. "Assuming this is you, but not clever enough."
A couple of lights came back on, and most of the computer consoles went back online. "Emergency generators are now switched on." Reported one of the technicians who monitored the power grid of the entire facility.
"You hear that Doctor?" Grant replied triumphantly. "You don't think that that little trick was going to stop me, do you?"
"Of course not. It only slows you down a bit, still slowing down is good." He replied, watching two men run up to Grant with anticipation. "But this on the other hand…will probably make quite a dent."
Grant turned around and saw steam coming out of the cryopreservation room. "The cryo-units!" Reported one of the men as he tried hard to breathe and speak at the same time. "They are heating up sir!"
"Yeah, I might have messed with the generator a bit." Confessed the Doctor, not without a cockish smile. "Reversed and amplified the circuits, pumped up the voltage. Your deep-freezers must be reaching boiling point by now, not very good for your DNA."
"Get the samples out." Grant ordered the scientists. "Don't just stand there, get them out now!"
"We've already tried, but it's locked." Replied one the two men. "The access-code stopped working."
Everybody in the room jumped and dived for shelter when a massive explosion above them shook the foundations of the underground chamber. As pieces of the ceiling rained down on Grant's horrified crew, the Doctor calmly remained standing, and wheeled his sonic screwdriver in the air.
"Yeah…that would be the animal facilities." He admitted, giving Grant another one of his cocky smiles. "A gas leak this time. Strange that nobody noticed it before they went home. I must say, for scientists you lot are incredible sloppy."
"You have destroyed my mice!" Grant raged.
"I did those poor animals a favor. Who the hell wants to live forever when doctor Felix Grant is around."
The scientific staff started to panic when they noticed that the pink soup inside the tanks was bubbling violently. All of the warning lights turning red.
"Felix, they're cooking inside." Van der Kamp shouted. "The Doctor is destroying our human test subjects!"
"Yes, and for that I am sorry." The Doctor answered, although he was fully aware that Grant's cruel experimentation methods had killed off their sense of self years ago, leaving only the tissue alive like an emptied house waiting for the next owner to move in.
"You've destroyed my entire life's work and you're sorry?" Grant shouted at him, deranged with anger.
"I wasn't talking to you!" The Doctor shouted back.
"You are killing them!"
"They already have died by your hands. I am merely ending the suffering of their flesh."
Grant's voice suddenly changed, and a red glow came to his eyes. "Lord Doctor. Lord Victorious."
A pressing darkness descended upon room. "What made you change? The man who never could fire a gun?"
"Rassilon." The Doctor tried to control his own voice when he spoke his name, but he was shaking inside. "Where is Anne? Where are you hiding her?"
As quickly as the red glow had appeared, it vanished again, leaving Grant blinking and staring incoherently, before he focused back on the Doctor.
"The sequence! The Sequence stored in the central computer system." He muttered, holding on the railing to steady himself. "Don't get him near the consoles!" He shouted at the men in arms.
"Can't we just shoot him?" Opted one of the guards, who was not very eager to get anywhere near the dangerous Timelord.
"Right, excellent suggestion." Grant raised himself straight. "Shoot the Doctor." He ordered.
The guard was taking aim when van der Kamp intervened. "No stop! We can't!"
Grant stared at him like he had completely lost his marbles.
"Why not?!" He fumed.
For a moment, the old professor was opening and closing him mouth like a gold fish blowing bubbles. "We…we might need him."
Meanwhile, the Doctor was fiddling his sonic behind his back, keeping it out of sight of Grant and his gun-yielding brutes. He pressed in the last button and an eardrum shattering sound boomed through the chamber. The humans were forced to cover their ears. The consoles flashed off and on, while on screen the DNA code started to disappear.
"No!" Grant shouted, he pulled the riffle out the soldier's hands and was about to fire at the defenseless Doctor, when a blast shot him in his hand. He screamed in pain and frustration, and dropped the weapon on the floor.
Unit and Judoon soldiers came marching. They immediately opened fire with their laser guns at the Infinity soldiers. Quickly heavily outnumbered, Grant's armed men had no chance to hold the place and went into retreat. Grant, with his hand blasted to a bloody stump, attacked the Doctor in blind rage. He grabbed a syringe from the closest table and was about to stab him in the neck with it. The Doctor was forced down to ground. Looking over Grant's shoulder, he saw a silhouette of a woman holding a lasergun. "River, no!" He yelled.
River Song fired and Grant, warned by the Doctor's shouting, wheeled around and held his enemy in the way of the blast. The doctor was hit in the shoulder. River immediately rushed over to his aid, and found him bleeding, lying on top of the criminal scientist. She pushed Grant off the Doctor.
"You son of bitch." River muttered, and aimed her weapon at the mad scientist, but before she could restrain him, Grant's soldiers opened fire at River, and Grant scrambled away, retreating with van der Kamp to the back of the chamber.
River Song's men kept flooding in and soon Grant found himself surrounded, forced with his back against the wall with only a handful of remaining soldiers to protect him. As the enemy troops were closing in, van der Kamp searched frantically and finally found the hidden controls. The wall behind them suddenly dissolved, revealing an emergency escape route. Not keen to let their targets escape, the Unit and Judoon soldiers stepped up their assault. As the Infinity soldiers shielded off the worst of the attack, Grant and van der Kamp fled through the open portal. As soon as they had passed through, the wall began to reappear again and closed up completely, leaving the last Infinity soldiers trapped at the wrong side.
A UNIT captain ordered an immediate cease-fire, intending to take the Infinity soldiers alive. The Judoons however, had a completely different strategy in mind.
"You are being catalogued." A senior Judoon soldier spoke through his translator to the last three enemy soldiers who had already put down their weapons and had their hands raised up in surrender. "Charge: Affiliation with the Infinity and physical assault. Plea: Guilty. Sentence: Death." The Judoons fired at once and the three men were vaporized.
"Oh no not again." River Song sighed, rolling her eyes. "Can someone get these hot heads out of here! I need prisoners who can still talk, not people who can fit inside the bag of a vacuum cleaner!" She gestured to the Unit soldiers to lead the Judoons away and more in particularly out of sight of the Doctor, who was starting to regain consciousness.
"Hello sweetie." She greeted him warmly as she cradled his head in her arms, feeling so very relieved that he wasn't too badly hurt. She had already checked the wound. Despite the blood loss, it was only superficial. She had seen him gone through much much worse. "Oh don't try to get up now." She gently pushed him back. "I can handle this. You just lie down and count the tweedy birds circling around your head." She turned to the Unit officer who came to her for a report.
"Mam." He saluted her. "We checked. They've escaped through an inter-dimensional fluctuation portal. It has completely resealed itself and there is no way of tracking down where it had opened to the other side."
"A fluctuation portal? Where the hell does the Infinity Corporation get these things from?" River wondered. "Secure the parameters." She told the officer. "Arrest the scientists. Get them all in for interrogation. And don't let the Judoons loose on them. Tell them to go back to their barrack ships and wait for new orders. Leave a small team behind to clean up the facility. Get me captain Bulrop to report to me on that. Not a trace of Felix Grant's work must be left after we're done. Although I must admit, you've not left us much work to do." She turned her attention back to the Doctor. "My have you have been thorough this time."
The Doctor struggled back up. "River."
She gave him a radiant smile. "Yes sweetie."
He looked around, amazed by the sheer number of Unit and Judoon troops that had invaded the underground secret laboratory and the efficiency of the operation. Typical River Song. He thought. It rather suited her, not that he knew her too well…not yet. "How did you know I was here?"
She showed him the spybird. "Next time when you try to spy on someone, don't use a badly converted homingbot."
"Ah. I did wonder why they took so long." The Doctor muttered, getting back up on his feet. His shoulder hurt like hell, best to pretend that it wasn't. He had learned over the years that he could spare himself a lot of pain simply by ignoring it. "River, what are you doing here?"
"I am working for the Shadow Proclamation, remember? We've been spying on Felix Grant for ages. We didn't want to show our hand too soon before everything was in place, but of course, after I found out that you were in trouble, we had to improvise."
"How did you know I was in trouble?" The Doctor asked with a baffled frown.
"Are you ever not?" Her smile disappeared. "You left me. You abandoned me in that painting back in Cole manor."
"I had to." The Doctor replied with good dose of guilt. "You would have gone after him."
"And I've been searching for you ever since. I've been following you two, all across the universe and through the timevortex, but every time I was one step behind, until now."
A Judoon marched up to her. "Reporting for orders professor Song."
"The shadow proclamation and UNIT. You have been busy." The Doctor whistled. "And since when is professor a military rank?"
"Since they have recruited me." River answered cheekily, before she continued to explain. "The Shadow Proclamation has been going after this a long time now. Ever since you brought the Master back, they had registered disturbances in time. Signs were popping up all over the place, indicating that reality was being altered and history reshaped to secure Rassilon's resurrection. Events that the Master had a hand in coming to be."
"That wasn't his fault." The Doctor defended the old Master. "He was tricked by Rassilon."
"Nevertheless, the results are the same. Over the ages the Infinity cult has become more and more powerful. In this last decade they have come to own half of this planet. Even the most secret government divisions are now working for them."
"They bought themselves an army?"
"Armies Doctor, as in multiple. NATO, the CIA, UNIT. They are all working for the Infinity now. Lucky for us, some of these men weren't so dumb to believe everything they were told, and switched sides. On the last count, one third of the old UNIT is now fighting for the Shadow Proclamation, although there hasn't been much open warfare…not yet. The corporation is keeping a low profile, but something is brewing Doctor. A storm is coming, and you and the Master are right in the middle of it." She paused and gazed at him. "Doctor, look at me. You can't run away forever. You can't protect him forever. I know what I saw through the prophesy of the Oods. He's the man who is going to kill you, the same man who will cause the end of the entire universe. Now I can't let that happen. So please…Tell me. Where is he?"
"I don't know." The Doctor stared at the ground, making it difficult for River to read if it was a lie or not.
"Right." She said, realizing that she was getting nowhere with him. "Captain Bulrop. Are you still waiting for orders? Arrest the Doctor." She told the Judoon officer. "Don't harm him in any way!" She added, remembering that she was talking to a Judoon.
"You are arrested in the name of the Shadow proclamation." The Judoon barked and wrapped his thick muscular arms around the Doctor's torso, fixing his arms by his side.
"Take his sonic screwdriver and hand it over to me." River ordered another Judoon soldier.
"River! What are you doing?!"
"If I don't know where your killer is, at least I can now know where you are." She explained, stepping away from him as she was handed the sonic. "By the authority vested in me by the Lady of the Shadow proclamation, I hereby declare the Doctor's arrest for aiding the escape of the dangerous intergalactic criminal known as the Master."
"Sentence?" The Judoon inquired.
"Imprisonment." River decided.
"No! No River! No!" The Doctor begged as the Judoon literally lifted him from the floor and carried him away. "You can't do this!"
"Cuff and link him up. Take him on board with the others." River ordered, ignoring his pleas.
The door to Cathy's apartment was left wide open.
"Cathy?" Rob tried as they climbed the last few steps up the staircase. "Are you home?" He was followed by Donna and misses Lauren who had opened the front door for them after they rang Cathy's doorbell but received no response.
"Oh how many times did I tell that girl to lock the door?" Misses Lauren complained. "She doesn't want my cats to get in, you see, but she keeps leaving a gap for them to sneak inside." As if to prove her point, a white cat slipped between Donna's legs and sprinted up the steps. "Oh no…Crissy, no don't!" Misses Laurens shouted, but cats of course seldom listen to their human masters, and this one sniffed her way into Cathy apartment before the elderly lady could get a hold on her.
"We're just worried about her." Roy explained to misses Lauren. He had introduced Donna as one of Cathy's colleagues. He didn't want her landlady to think that she was in trouble with the police. "She has not showed up at work for a couple of days. So we thought she maybe caught the flue or something."
"Well isn't that sweet." Misses Laurens totted. "That's really touching. You don't often see that anymore that young people nowadays care so much about others. You don't need to really worry about Cathy though. I'm sure that her new flatmate, mister Oakdown, is taking excellent care of her. He's such a nice man! Very good with animals too. He just adores my cats."
"Cathy's flatmate is a bloke?" Robert asked, getting even more worried about his friend now. "How can you let an attractive single young woman share a flat with a guy she doesn't know?"
"Never mind that." Donna shushed. Her heart skipped a beat. "Misses Laurens, did you say Oakdown?"
"Yes." The elderly lady confirmed. "Funny name isn't? I am sure it's British. It's not a Dutch name."
"He called himself Oakdown. Are you absolutely sure?"
"Yes. Martin Oakdown, that's his name. I am old but not senile dear."
Donna turned away from her and stepped inside the flat. "Cathy? Cathy Summerfield! Are you there?" She quickly checked the living room, the two bedrooms and the bathroom, before she walked into the kitchen. Unlike the rest of the apartment that seemed pretty much normal, this little area of the flat looked like something that the Doctor could have left behind after a week of intensive tinkering in one of the Tardis spare rooms. The sight of it made all of Donna's doubts vanish like snow melting in the hot sun.
"This stuff, it's all coming from our lab." Robert muttered, noticing the tray-racks filled with labeled tubes, the operation instruments and the bundles of electrodes. "What the hell is this? What has she been doing in here?"
Donna picked up a notebook from the messy kitchen table. She couldn't understand any of the notes, and she didn't recognize the handwriting, but what she did recognize are the strange circular symbols in which the scribbles were written. It's Gallifreyian, the language of the Timelords.
Something furry darted underneath the table and misses Lauren shrieked. Donna jumped and dropped the notebook.
"What was that? Was that a dog?" Robert opted. From the three people in the room, he was the only one who got a good look at it.
"A dog? What is a dog doing in here?" Misses Lauren muttered, getting upset. "I've told them both quite clearly that I won't rent the flat out to people with pets, and certainly not dogs! I rent this place out half-furnished. These ill-mannered beasts can complete ruin my carpet."
"Misses Lauren would you mind just to shut up." Donna told her. A barking sound came from below. She cautiously approached the kitchen table and lifted the tablecloth. Curious, they all looked under there.
"Tommy?" Misses Lauren mumbled, baffled to find her cat hiding in a corner. "Oh my dear, where have you been? I've been looking for you for days now." She wanted to pick her up, but Donna held her back.
The cat flattened her ears and growled, baring her teeth at misses Lauren. When the landlady recoiled her hands in fear, Tommy started to bark aggressively like a dog trying to scare away an intruder.
"Oh my God!" Misses Laurens shouted, covering her mouth in shock. Oh my God!"
"What is wrong with it? " Rob asked, backing away from the cat from hell. "It's like it's bloody possessed or something."
"It's a cat who thinks it's a dog." Donna concluded, remembering in the surgical equipment that lay scattered over the table. "Or maybe a dog in a cat's body. Anyway, it's a real freakshow. He must have been experimenting on it. What the hell is the Master up to?"
"Wait a minute, did you say experimenting? On my poor Tommy!?" Misses Lauren yelped. She looked like she was about to faint.
"Who did this?" Robert asked, looking at Donna. "It can't be Cathy. I know what you think, but we're not mad scientists that go out to abduct people's pets to do whatever the hell we want in their own flat. There are tons of rules and regulations for this, and Cathy knows that very well."
"I know it's not her." Donna replied. "It's her flatmate."
"What? You mean that British guy?"
"Robert, listen to me. I can see that you care about Cathy a lot. So I will be frank with you. Your friend is serious danger."
"What? What do you mean? What kinda of danger?" Rob rambled.
"That man she's been living with is a murderous psychopath. If you have any idea where she is, where she could be…please…think. Think and tell me."
For a moment, Donna thought that Robert wouldn't be able to help her out because he looked like he might be too much in a state of panic, but then he managed to come up with something.
"The hospital." He blurted, it was the only other place he could think of where she could be right now, if she was still unharmed. "She must have gone to her sister Anne."
Donna gave him a wide-eyed stare. "Anne?"
"Yeah. She has a little sister who has been in a coma since they were little." Robert explained. "Cathy lost both her parents. The only one she's got left is Anne."
"Oh my God.' Donna gasped, covering her mouth.
"What? What's wrong now?" Rob asked, getting really nervous now.
"Take me! Take me to that hospital right now!" She told him, well aware that she was half-ignoring the Doctor's warning that she should not go after the Master on her own. Robert, fearing for Cathy's safety, agreed and they left the apartment in a hurry. When they were half-way down the staircase they both jumped when they heard a horrified scream coming from the Cathy's kitchen, followed by loud swearing.
"What the heck is happening now?" Robert asked, glancing back over his shoulder.
"Oh that sounds like misses Lauren." Donna said. "I think she might have found the rest of the dog." She ran past Robert and slapped him on his back to make him hurry up. "Come on Cathy's friend. Don't worry too much about misses Lauren. She can't help it that she's not a dog person."
The Doctor was pacing up and down restlessly inside his prison. River's goons had locked him up inside a stormcage. The thing was made of Judonian steel bars of at least an arm thick, and without his sonic screwdriver, it would be hard for the Doctor to get out.
"Hello sweetie." River greeted him, appearing at the other side. "I must say this is a rather strange sight. Usually I am the one who's staring at you from the other side. Can't say I don't like it though." She added with a naughty smile.
"River!" The Doctor ran forward and grabbed hold of the bars. "Let me out of here, now!"
"I don't think so. Not as long as the Master is still around. You are safe in here my love." She explained to him with confidence.
"If you don't let me out I'll break out." The Doctor threatened, really anxious now and so very aware that he was wasting valuable time.
"Ha, not a chance!" River answered, resting her hands on her hips. "I've designed this cage myself. It has multiple layers of security, timelocks, forcefields, matterlines, you name it, not to mention that it is made out of ten inch thick Judonian steel. It's got everything I could think of that my own lousy cell doesn't have, and let me tell you, after so many breakouts it's hard not to become an expert. Of course I had it made with someone else in mind, but as long as I got one of you two boys behind bars, and keep you both miles apart from each other that's fine by me. You're not going to come out Doctor, not unless I let you out."
"River, listen to me." The Doctor begged, realizing that she was serious. "You are not a murderer. Don't go after the Master."
"Oh but I am." Her voice became grave and tense. "You don't know me as well as you one day will Doctor, but I am a murderer. I have killed before, good people, and I am not proud of that. But today I can choose. Either stand by and watch a brave man, a good man, who has touched so many lives and has saved the universe so many times die…Or I can prevent that from happening, and get rid of the deranged psychopath who's out to destroy us all." She paused, gazing at the Doctor. "Now that's a no-brainer, don't you think?"
"River, don't! He's not the same man that you've met before. He has changed!"
"Oh please. Not that conversation again. Not now my love." She told him with renewed determination.
"No that's not what I mean!" The Doctor slapped his hands on the bars in frustration. "The Master died...I've met the new Master, and trust me, that man is not going to show you any mercy. If you stand in his way he will kill you, and he will do so in absolute cold blood. You cannot face him alone."
The Doctor nodded fervently. "He has turned into a soulless monster. To make matters worse he has also absorbed the powers of a long dead Timelord god. River, you cannot and you must not go after him on your own."
"Absorbed the power of a…What the hell have you two been doing?" River asked, baffled.
Alarms suddenly went off, and a UNIT soldier came running towards her.
"What is it?" She asked him after he had saluted her.
"Mam, it's him." The officer reported. "We've found him."
A sly grin appeared on River's lips, and her eyes glistened with keenness.
"Prepare two battleships and 1000 armed men and Judoons. We're going to bring this bad-boy home." She ordered, and followed the officer to the teleporter.
"River, what is going on?" The Doctor asked anxiously. "Who did you find?! Tell me what's happening!"
"Seal the doors." River told the officer, while she ignored the Doctor's pleas. "No-one comes in and speaks to the Doctor while I am away." She stepped on the teleporter and activated her wristband. "That man can talk his way out of absolutely anything. We can't take the risk." She added with a small smile before she vanished.
River!" The Doctor shouted helplessly after her, and rattled the bars in utter frustration.
TBC, meanwhile please review and comment.