Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Warhead of the Daleks 1 (b)

10. INT. TARDIS CONTROL ROOM (NIGHT)

Turlough is now lying in the recovery position, the Doctor checks his pulse.

DOCTOR
He’s alive. He should be all right. Get Kamelion to find the medical kit.

The Doctor rises and crosses to the console. Tegan stays where she is.

TEGAN
Kamelion? We don’t even know if he’s still on board after Frontios...

DOCTOR
Then this is your chance to find out!

TEGAN
Why? Where are you going?

DOCTOR
Tegan, someone or something has punched two holes through the fabric of the space-time continuum and scorched a corridor between them. Not the sort of thing you’d expect to find on twentieth century Earth.

Tegan’s voice is surprisingly bleak.

TEGAN
Earth?

The Doctor speaks brightly, missing her distress.

DOCTOR
Yes, home again. 1984 I think, but the instruments are still slightly out of synch.

The Doctor thumps the console with his fist.

DOCTOR
Turbulence... Right, I’ll be off. You stay here until I return.

He opens the doors and crosses to them.

TEGAN
But what are you going to do?

DOCTOR
I want to find out what all this about, now for the last time, Tegan, stay here!

He strides out. Tegan scowls and closes the doors.

TEGAN
I’m getting sick of this...

She crosses over to Turlough and starts to tend to him.

11. EXT. DOCKLANDS (DAY)

There is no sign of the policemen. The Doctor steps from the TARDIS and looks around, taking his hat from his pocket and unfurling it.

DOCTOR
The River Thames... and the Tower Bridge just upriver... we’re on the South Bank.

He winces and scratches the back of his hands. Frowning, he puts on his hat and starts to walk away. His footsteps are soon lost in the sound of the breeze.

12. INT. TARDIS ROOM – KAMELION’S ROOM (NIGHT)

An otherwise empty room in the TARDIS. It contains only a Louis XIV chair and an occasional table on which lies a guitar. KAMELION, in his default silver android shape, sits in the chair, staring into space. There is a knock at the door. Kamelion turns his face to look at the doorway.

KAMELION
Yes, Miss Jovanka?

The door opens and Tegan enters cautiously.

TEGAN
Are you all right, Kamelion?

KAMELION
I am functioning within my specified parameters, if that is what you mean, Miss Jovanka. Is there any service I can perform for you?

TEGAN
Turlough’s hit his head. I need help to get him to bed. Do you know first aid?

KAMELION
I know many things, Miss Jovanka.

TEGAN
Well don’t just sit there, you great pile of nuts and bolts, do something.

KAMELION
Yes, Miss Jovanka.

He is enveloped for a moment in sparkles of silver light, shimmering before assuming a new form – a middle-aged man, short, stocky with muddy blonde hair. He wears casual clothes of the 1980s.

TEGAN
Who’s that supposed to be?

KAMELION
It is a new form I have been compiling from data in the TARDIS computers. Entirely original, even down to the vocal patterns.

TEGAN
At least you’re not copying me again.

KAMELION
You implied there was some urgency, Miss Jovanka?

Tegan still stares at him.

TEGAN
Yes. Come on.

She hurries off. Kamelion follows.

12. MODEL SHOT

A large, fearsome-looking space cruiser hangs in the void. Zoom in on it.

13. INT. FLIGHT DECK (NIGHT)

Similar is appearance to the reception area. A brightly glowing crystal sphere is mounted on a pedestal in the centre of the chamber. There are various items of equipment that troopers are working on. Lytton is now dressed similarly and is studying the sphere. It clears to show the stars outside. Grogan approaches.

LYTTON
Yes, Grogan?

GROGAN
The checklist is completed, Commander. All systems are functioning.

Lytton nods.

LYTTON
What about the time corridor?

GROGAN
All interference has been cleared and the androids have increased their patrol around the warehouse for any disturbances.

LYTTON
They are not to shoot first, is that understood?

GROGAN
Commander.

LYTTON
Very well. Prepare for transference. Power up the warp drive. Coordinates – 341 by 986, the orbit of the planet Cassius.

There is a background whir of engines. The troopers move quickly between controls. Lytton continues to stare into the crystalline sphere.

14. INT. CAPTAIN’S OFFICE (NIGHT)

A rather grubby room containing a bunk and a desk. Several crude artworks are propped up against the wall, and some strange electronic version of Baker Street plays from a console. CAPTAIN DORAN is leaning back in the chair, reading a clipboard-sized computer monitor, whistling along with the music. He is in his late thirties, with ragged blonde hair and mocking, brown eyes. There is a chiming noise. Doran looks up, picks up a bit of an engine part on the table and hurls it at the wall. There is a clang and the wall judders and slides up to reveal Mercer, who is startled at the sudden change.

DORAN
Ah, evening Lieutenant, er... Roylan Mercer, isn’t it?

MERCER
Yes sir.

DORAN
I thought you’d be in the recreation centre with the rest of the new intake.

MERCER
I swung by, but it wasn’t my idea of a good night.

DORAN
Oh, no. Don’t tell me Tarrant had started stripping the newbies naked and strapping them to the snooker table again, has he? It doesn’t matter how many statistics he shows you, it is not and never has been an initiation ceremony...

MERCER
Uh, no, sir.

DORAN
Well, you know what they say. 37% of all statistics are useless.

MERCER
Sir, I wanted to your permission to send a communication to Earth. If I may.

DORAN
On your first day? You forgot to say goodbye to someone?

MERCER
No.

DORAN
Well, what is it for?

MERCER
It’s personal, sir. You don’t need to know.

For the first time, Doran doesn’t seem entirely friendly.

DORAN
Act like a fool all you like, Mercer. But don’t treat me like one.

MERCER
All right. I want to contact the Prison Station Control Authority.

Doran smiles broadly.

DORAN
Well, you only had to say. Permission granted.

Mercer double takes, unable to believe this.

MERCER
Uh, I, er, thank you, sir.

Doran picks up his clipboard again.

DORAN
No worries, Mercer. Close the door on your way out, though, would you?

Still slightly dazed, Mercer nods and heads for the door. Doran doesn’t look up from his reading as he calls out.

DORAN
You want the Internal Investigations Core, it’s on frequency 434. Ask for Sonheim.

Mercer freezes.

MERCER
Styles told you, didn’t she?

DORAN
Styles and I don’t talk much, Mercer. You think I’m an idiot? You’re a new security officer, outside the system for the first time. Of course you’re going to try and follow the rule book. Even though the book is only useful when there are rules.

Mercer turns to face Doran.

MERCER
I don’t pretend to understand this game you’re playing, Captain, but I am going to contact Earth and you are going to replaced and this station pulled into order.

DORAN
I don’t doubt you’ll contact Earth. But I do doubt I will be replaced and I have no illusions this station will be ‘pulled into order’ as you put it.

MERCER
Why? Do you have blackmail on everyone in the empire?

Doran looks up, chuckling.

DORAN
Blackmail? Oh no. Just truth. If there’s a difference. Do you know why Cassius Four was converted into a prison, Lieutenant Mercer?

MERCER
Oddly enough, sir, yes I do.

DORAN
Your friend, what’s his name, Phin told you?

Mercer frowns.

MERCER
Yes. He always researches his assignments.

DORAN
Well?

MERCER
Some Empire prisoners managed to escape Dalek space and capture a mutant humanoid. They managed to rig up a cryogenic unit to put him in suspended animation so he couldn’t signal for help or try to escape. He taken to Earth, tried for crimes against all sentient life and he was condemned to be contained here – close enough to Earth so no one would be prepared to attack and far enough away so if they do attack, the home world will be threaten.

DORAN
And how long has the prisoner been frozen?

MERCER
A century?

DORAN
Ninety-three years, but close enough. How long before he’s defrosted?

MERCER
I don’t know.

DORAN
Neither do I. Mercer, this station won’t last forever. We can’t keep the prisoner frozen forever. And we weren’t meant to. He was supposed to be here for as long as the Last Dalek War – which ended within the month, if you’ll remember. But we kept on with the prisoner in cold storage for several reasons. First as a hostage to stop any further aggression. Secondly, in the hope he might break and reveal some useful information. And thirdly, and most importantly, it was too difficult to do anything else.

MERCER
Earth knows about the situation here?

DORAN
The Empire’s not doing too well. That blight on the outer colonies, the third consecutive recession, the Draconians’ sudden hypochondria about more space plagues... It’s too much trouble to fix Cassius Four or close it down. We’re left out here until things change. And it won’t. I’ve been here twelve years. Trust me on that.

Mercer snorts in disbelief.

MERCER
So this is all some big conspiracy?

DORAN
If it makes you feel better, you can look at it that way.

MERCER
And what about the last few security officers. If they were never going to challenge you, why did you have them killed?

DORAN
Killed? I didn’t kill them. Or, through inaction, allow them to come to harm.

MERCER
So it was just a happy accident that all these troublemakers died conveniently?

DORAN
A wise man defined life in the universe as a happy accident.

MERCER
Very philosophical, Captain, but I’m not giving up. So, what are you going to do with me then? Kill me?

DORAN
Oh no.

MERCER
Then what?

DORAN
I’m going to put your enthusiasm and skills to the best of all possible uses.

Mercer’s stern glare starts to crumble as Doran smiles happily up at him.

15. MODEL SHOT

The cruiser rotates and begins to move. It suddenly shifts, ripples and fades away. A smear of light continues moving before that two disperses entirely.

16. EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT (DAY)

We see an area in shadow due to the second story of the warehouses connect above the road, making a dark tunnel. The Doctor emerges into the daylight. He looks around, absently scratching the back of his hands. He pauses at the intersection of two roads, then turns and looks up at the doors to the warehouse.

DOCTOR
There.

The Doctor moves forward then stops. The noise of a van can be heard – shockingly loud in the silence. The Doctor retreats into the shadows. A large van turns the corner with a familiar UNIT emblem on the side. The Doctor sees it and smiles, but still keeps out of sight as the van pulls to a halt.

DOCTOR
UNIT...

The passenger door opens and COLONEL ARCHER, a fit, middle-aged man with greying hair and in uniform, emerges and crosses to the back of the van. He bangs on them with the palm of his hand, and SERGEANT CALDER, a portly, red faced and genial man emerges, followed by three younger SOLDIERS and PROFESSOR ANNIE LAIRD – a middle-aged bespectacled woman in a blue parka and dark trousers.

As the Doctor watches on, we zoom out to see the rusty iron catwalk high above them. Standing there, effectively invisible to those below (who aren’t even looking, after all) are the two policemen. They look down, expressionless and silent.

Calder is checking down things on a clipboard as the three soldiers carry boxes of equipment from the van into the warehouse. Laird helps. As the Doctor watches, Archer closes the van doors and waves to DRIVER of the van. It U-turns and drives off as Archer and Calder enter the warehouse. Calder closes the doors.

DOCTOR
Well, well, well... UNIT already investigating. How convenient. Or perhaps not.

The Doctor creeps up to the doors. He takes the rusty handles in his hands, then whips back as if burnt. He stares in pain at his hands – unmarked. Suddenly, his eyes widen and he whirls around, looking up at the walkway high above. It’s empty. The Doctor stares up at it, absently scratching his hands.

17. INT. CASSIUS FOUR BRIDGE (NIGHT)

A rather gloomy chamber lined with computer consoles and displays – most non-operational. Its not particularly tidy, and several other CREWMEMBERS are present, playing cards, reading or listening to music. It’s more like a student squat than the bridge of a space ship. Mercer sits in a chair, marking a clipboard with a pen. OSBORN, a young woman in a similar uniform enters, sipping from a tankard.

OSBORN
Hey.

Mercer glances up at her, smiles weakly, then looks down at his clipboard. Osborn leans forward. She is ever-so-slightly drunk and smiles at him.

OSBORN
How long’s your tour of duty?

Mercer is startled by her voice. And just how close she is.

MERCER
Oh, er, two years.

OSBORN
How long you been here?

MERCER
Two days.

OSBORN
And you’re already Officer of the Watch? The Captain usually lets the new arrivals settle in before forcing you into that tedium. How did you upset him?

Mercer shrugs, trying to make light of it.

MERCER
I complained.

Osborn cackles.

OSBORN
Someone shoulda warned you.

MERCER
They did.

OSBORN
Well, there ya go.

MERCER
I had every right!

A large, friendly-looking man, PHIN, approaches, very much relaxed. He slips an arm affectionately around Osborn and she giggles.

PHIN
Roylan letting his paranoia out for a walk again?

MERCER
You’ve adapted quickly, Phin.

OSBORN
You really should learn to lighten up, Roylan. Go with the flow.

MERCER
Go with the flow? I’m sitting in the command chair, in control of the entirety of Cassius Four and over thirty other people – and I still can’t change a damn thing.

OSBORN
Aw, poor little lieutenant. Young, idealistic, and frustrated.

PHIN
These things are not unconnected.

They both laugh. Mercer scowls.

MERCER
Have we been introduced, Phin?

Osborn is definitely paying more attention to Phin’s neck.

OSBORN
I’m Aliza Osborn, pleased to meet you.

MERCER
Roylan Mercer, security officer.

PHIN
Why did you have to go and complain, anyway, Roylan?

MERCER
Why didn’t I, more like. Have you seen the state of the defense system?

OSBORN
There’s a defense system?

She laughs.

OSBORN
Oh, relax Mercer. The Exclusion Zone around us and Cassius is a dozen thousand kilometers in all directions and no one and nothing goes through. The only ship we ever see around here is our own supply vessel. And there isn’t going to be one for another two months.

PHIN
In short, Roylan, relax. We’re all alone up here.

MERCER
That’s not the point.

Phin rolls his eyes and finally releases Osborn and sits down beside Mercer.

PHIN
It never is. OK, Roylan, what’s really bugging you?

18. MODEL SHOT
The cruiser shimmers back into existence into space, slowing down almost a halt.

19. INT. FLIGHT DECK (NIGHT)

As before.

GROGAN
Reorientation complete. Targeting systems have confirmed the location of the Cassius Four space station. Plotting course to intercept now.

A tall, gaunt and sinister trooper enters. This is KISTON.

KISTON
Commander Lytton?

Lytton glances at him.

LYTTON
What is it, Kiston?

KISTON
Foreign object re-materialized at the other end of the time corridor. An unidentified humanoid has emerged and is investigating the area. What action is to be taken?

LYTTON
None as yet. Keep him monitored. Download all relevant information from the androids into the main battle computer here.

KISTON
What about our masters?

LYTTON
You don’t need to bother them.

KISTON
All outside information is to be reported to them.

LYTTON
There’s little point. They won’t come up with any useful strategy – that is why we are here, remember, Kiston?

KISTON
We have our orders.

Lytton glares at him.

LYTTON
Then do so, but the attack run begins now. Whatever madness they come up with, it will have to wait until after we have taken the station. Grogan!

GROGAN
Commander?

LYTTON
Raise the force shield. All troopers to battle stations.

Kiston turns and leaves.

GROGAN
Force shield raised. All troopers at battle stations confirmed.

The lights dim and turn blood red.

LYTTON
Intercept the station at battle speed on my mark.

GROGAN
Confirmed.

A beat. Lytton almost smiles.

LYTTON
Mark!

20. INT. CASSIUS FOUR BRIDGE (NIGHT)

A red light flashes on the console. Absolutely no one notices.

OSBORN
You’re joking, right?

MERCER
It could happen! That’s why the prisoner was brought he in the first place – he’s the progenitor, they’re bound to want him back.

OSBORN
But they’re all extinct. Aren’t they?

PHIN
Course they are. After they wiped out the Sirian space colony, the deep space fleet went to attack...

MERCER
Three years after the attack, though!

PHIN
It still counts. Not one of the metal gits. Nothing. Ships deserted. Slaves free. Their ‘territory’ is now part of the terrestrial empire. They are gone. Caput.

MERCER
You’re the history fetishist, Phin, why did they die out?!

PHIN
How should I know? Maybe they just ran for it – and smart move. Our forces would have wiped the spaceways with them. Whatever happened to them, they are in no position to enter the galaxy, let alone attack the solar system of all places.

MERCER
We’re around Cassius, the outermost point...

OSBORN
Are you always this neurotic?

MERCER
Anyone with a pulse is neurotic compared to you, Osborn.

Osborn tutts.

OSBORN
You’re not even trying to fit in, are you?

A run-down-sounding klaxon blares. A crewmember cranks up the music, irritated. Mercer rises and crosses to the console.

PHIN
He never tries to, Aliza. High and mighty, has been ever since the academy...

OSBORN
You know him well then?

PHIN
You will too at the end...

They snuggle and laugh dirtily. Mercer frowns and checks the controls.

MERCER
Oh, control yourselves, you two!

PHIN
Jealous, eh, Roylan?

MERCER
Phin, shut up! The sensors are detecting warp drive movements inside the Exclusion Zone.

OSBORN
Inside?! There isn’t anything for the next two months.

MERCER
Well, there is now. All the systems confirm it!

PHIN
Maybe it’s the freighter coming back for some reason?

MERCER
Why haven’t they contacted us, then?

PHIN
I dunno. Maybe there’s a problem with their comms...

MERCER
We should inform the Captain.

Osborn seems to snap out of her daze. She rises and tries to block Mercer from reaching the communications section.

OSBORN
We shouldn’t bother him! Not yet, anyway. It could be anything.

MERCER
Oh, has Doran got blackmail on you too?

OSBORN
It’s page one, you idiot – you never distract the Captain until absolutely necessary.

MERCER
The regulations specifically state that the Captain is to be informed!

OSBORN
Look what happened the last time you spoke to him.

PHIN
We’ve got those one-seater fighters, don’t we? Send them to check it out.

MERCER
Oh, Phin, either go and shut up or sober up! Preferably both!

PHIN
I’m serious. If it’s hostile, they can deal with it.

MERCER
Those tin cans couldn’t deal with an Alpha Centaurian that had been dead for a week!

Osborn nods thoughtfully and picks up a communications headset and

OSBORN
The pilots would be grateful for practice...

MERCER
I can’t believe this. Are you all out of your skulls?! This is serious!

Phin unsteadily jabs Mercer in the shoulder.

PHIN
You have said that, oooh, fifty-eight times now. You were wrong each and every time!

21. MODEL SHOT

Four silver shapes leave the four sides of the space station.

The battle cruiser approaches.

22. INT. CASSIUS FOUR BRIDGE (NIGHT)

Osborn takes off her headphones and plugs them into a console. Mercer shouts at the rest of the crew, who are still relaxing deeply.

OSBORN
This station has been here for over a hundred years. Not even the big meteor storm of 43 budged it. This place is as stable as... something very stable.

PHIN
Terra firma?

OSBORN
Even more stable than that.

MERCER
Red alert! Go to red alert, you bone-idle time-wasting parasites!

The crew jeer at him and go back to their various activities.

OSBORN
Ejlan, are you receiving me?

EJLAN (VO)
Hey, Aliza, we’ve sighted the ship. Big grey, mean looking thing.

MERCER
That’s all you got? You’ve made visual contact, what is it?

EJLAN (VO)
Can’t you patch into our scanners?

MERCER
No, that system has been cannibalized for the easy-listening music system!

Phin laughs aloud at the thought. Mercer glares at him.

MERCER
Is it a battle cruiser, Ejlan?

EJLAN (VO)
Well, it might not be. But if it isn’t, it’s doing a very good impression of one...

MERCER
Have you been on the voxnic?!

EJLAN (VO)
Yep. Thirteen years now. Never had a hangover.

MERCER
Try to communicate with the ship.

EJLAN (VO)
You wanna know how?

MERCER
Osborn, tell him to hail the cruiser.

EJLAN (VO)
I never stopped drinking it! How smart is that?

OSBORN
Ejlen, focus! What is the ship doing?

EJLAN (VO)
Oh, it’s turning to face us. Those pointy, gun things are aimed at us. Is that bad, do you think?

Mercer can’t believe he’s hearing this and tries to think of something to say.

MERCER
... get out of there! You don’t stand a chance!

EJLAN (VO)
Sorry? I can hardly hear you.

MERCER
Can we give them any supporting fire?

OSBORN
With what?

MERCER
The laser canon, you idiot, what else!

There is a loud, building crackling noise to be heard.

EJLAN (VO)
Maybe I am having a hangover after...

There is a loud crackle, an explosion that is suddenly cut off. Silence.

OSBORN
Ejlen? Ejlen! Report! Tarnig? Polard? Jame!!! Answer!

A beat. Phin looks ill, and not just from alcohol poisoning. The crew have all fallen silent. Music blares inappropriately. Mercer swallows and crosses to an isolated, dusty control.

MERCER
Anyone got an objection to informing Captain Doran now?! Phin! Operate the deflector shield, seal the airlocks!

He presses the control. A stronger-sounding alarm cuts through the music.

PHIN
Uh, where are the airlock controls?

MERCER
Didn’t you pay attention at the briefing? Over there!

Phin stumbles over in the direction Mercer points. Six levers are illuminated. He hauls down one and it extinguishes. He repeats this again. Mercer turns to Osborn who is staring at the speaker in shock. Mercer speaks to her gently.

OSBORN
Eljen...

MERCER
Osborn, please. We need to move.

OSBORN
They’re dead.

MERCER
And we’ll be joining them, now please. Help me charge up the laser canon and the shield.

She numbly crosses to the controls and adjusts them. Phin pulls down the last lever. It moves very easily – but stays illuminated. He tries again. Same result.

PHIN
It’s not working! Airlock three won’t seal!

MERCER
Airlock three? That’s the one... next to that damaged area! THE IDIOTS!

Mercer gnaws his knuckles in anxiety.

23. INT. FLIGHT DECK (NIGHT)

As before.

GROGAN
Scanning complete. 80 per cent of life signs register in area designated recreation centre, on the outer hull of the ship.

LYTTON
Target and fire two barrages. I want total...

Lytton laughs coldly.

LYTTON
...extermination.

to be continued...

2 comments:

olivia newton john said...

This post is too long.

In Xanadu, verbosity is as serious a crime as importing a pet without following proper quarantine procedures. We jail people for hundereds of years for that.

Youth of Australia said...

In Australia, arrogant minded shit is as serious a crime as mispelling the word "hundreds".

If the posts are too long for your infantile mind to comprehend, fuck off to the land of Sparacus.

And your music sucks, Olivia.