Doctor Who and the Flame of Terric Boew
Created | Updated Jan 5, 2004
The echo of an alien engine sounded through a green valley on a grey cloudy day. A blue hazy image began to appear on the side of a large hill. As it finally appeared solid, it lost its purchase on the hill, and toppled slowly towards the valley floor...
'Is everyone alright?' Inside the TARDIS the Doctor scrambled nimbly to his feet and looked at his young friends.
'I think so,' replied Zoe. 'Jamie?'
'Oh, my head,' groaned the young Scotsman. 'What in heaven's name was that, Doctor?'
'I think the TARDIS must have landed on something that wasn't very flat, I'm afraid.'
'It's never happened before, Doctor.'
'Well, it really shouldn't have happened at all, Zoe. There should be mechanisms to stop it. I think the, ah, TARDIS might need a spot of repairing.'
'Aye, well if you ask me it's been needing that for a long time,' said Jamie dourly.
'Oh, come along, Jamie,' the Doctor said, looking affronted. 'It's rarely let us down before. I'm sure all it needs now is a little... ah...tinkering.' That said, he produced his sonic screwdriver from a capacious pocket and advanced rather timorously on the control console...
Felguard was almost asleep. He still needed sleep - a weakness increasingly scorned by the brass and not one Greel's super-warriors were prey to. But he revelled in his ability to escape the grim routine of the war, even for only a few hours a day. He'd cultivated his ability to sleep, even in a bunker under plasma bombardment, or here, the vibrating interior of a Wyvern in flight.
But the squall of the alarm up on the flight deck cut into his near-dream state. A priority communication from Boew. Something urgent. His belly lurched in a way that had nothing to do with the far-from-smooth flight of the transport. He heard the major arguing over the transcom, arguing and losing. Felguard stifled a sigh and started checking his
rifle, ready for use.
'Doctor?' Zoe asked.
'Mmm...' The Doctor's head and shoulders had almost entirely vanished into the control console.
'Doctor, what are you going to do about these birds?'
The Doctor emerged from the access panel and attempted to salvage some dignity. 'Er... I'd forgotten about those,' he mumbled with a sheepish look. 'We'd better see if it's safe to let them out, I suppose.'
The Doctor ran his hands over the controls, pausing only to periodically thump the console, trying to ascertain what the conditions outside were like. 'Well judging by the gravity and the composition of the atmosphere I'd say we were on Earth, probably somewhere in the southern hemisphere. It seems as safe as anywhere,' the Doctor said with a smile. 'I think we'll let them out here.'
He pulled the lever that opened the doors. There was a brief scramble as they tried to shoo all the birds out of the TARDIS, as some of them were distinctly reluctant to leave. Eventually they all left, but not before the time travellers had worked up a sweat.
The Doctor mopped his forehead with his hankerchief. 'Well that was more difficult than I would have liked. Next time, Jamie, please don't touch cages when you're in the aviary.'
'Hrrrmm.' Jamie still wasn't prepared to take sole responsibility for the escape. The Doctor showed every sign of preparing to dive back into his repairs of the ship and the young Highlander couldn't suppress a groan. The air that had blown in through the TARDIS doors smelt of green things and nature, almost like his home.
He glanced at the doors longingly and tapped his friend's shoulder .'Doctor, can we go out and have a look around?'
'I can't see any reason why not, just be careful. Are you going too, Zoe?'
'Well, it might be interesting to see where we are.'
'All right, well off you two go, but don't be too long. I wouldn't want to leave without you,' the Doctor said with a mischievous grin. After they'd gone he turned back to the console. 'Now, let's see what's wrong with you...'
Major Rotfeld looked angry and resentful as he appeared in the accessway from the Wyvern's cockpit. He was a stocky, prematurely grey man, whom Felguard had served under for what seemed like a lifetime. His premonition had been right. This was bad news.
'Alright lads,' the major addressed the entire craft. 'New mission. Boew's picked up... some kind of disturbance close to them. Too close. We're to go in and check it out. Any hostiles we find are to be taken alive, cen-com was very clear about that.'
'Why didn't the sensor grid pick this 'disturbance' up on its approach?' a scarred non-com wanted to know.
'Good question - I asked it myself,' Rotfeld said with a thin smile. 'Pity I could only get half an answer. Apparently the grid didn't pick this up at all, it registered on... on one of Special Projects' systems.'
Felguard heard groans up and down the Wyvern. It was an open secret that 'Special Projects' was another name for Minister Greel's work. This got worse and worse.
'I know we're all tired and have just come out of a rough combat zone,' Rotfeld spoke over the sounds of despair, quelled them. 'This could be just a couple of snapes tunneling in. But if the enemy have found a way of dodging the grid Boew itself could be a sitting target. This needs doing and we're the best placed to do it. Let's get it right. No deaths on either side. We touch down in three
Felguard wondered to himself whether the poor souls whom they were about to capture would prefer it if their mission was a routine search-destroy after all. It was more humane than the torture they would inevitably have to endure...
Outside the TARDIS was a very green hilly area. The sky was grey, but the place looked quite healthy.
'I say we go over this way. I want to see the view from the top of that big hill,' said Jamie.
'Well alright, but I don't want you slowing me down.'
'Slowing you down!? I think it much more likely to be the other way round. There's no one faster in the highlands than Jamie McCrimmon.'
'Yes, but we're not in the Highlands are we?' Zoe said. 'Come on.' With that she set off at a brisk pace.
'Hey hang on!', said Jamie as he started after her.
The two travellers crested the top of the hill and looked out across a rolling vista of hills and valleys, with mountains never far distant in any direction. Rich green vegetation covered all the lower slopes.
'It looks sort of like home,' Jamie said, finding himself more wistful for the Highlands than he'd expected to be. 'Hey, do you think it could be Scotland?'
'The Doctor said southern hemisphere, remember?'
'Oh aye.' Jamie tried to hide his disappointment. 'So where are we?'
'I don't know. Maybe New Zealand or somewhere in South America.'
'Hey, Zoe,' said Jamie, noticing something in the sky. 'Can you see that thing up there?' He pointed in the general direction of a flying vehicle. Jamie had become aware of such things during his time with Doctor, otherwise it would have terrified him just as much as his contemporaries from the 18th century.
'It looks like we're not alone then,' Zoe replied. 'I wonder what it's up to?'
'Do you want to get a closer look?,' asked Jamie, indicating that they could see better from another, higher hill close by.
Zoe shrugged her shoulders. 'Why not?'
They set off, only to notice the craft descending.
'Where do you think its going to land?' pondered Zoe.
Jamie tried to work out where it was going. 'It seems to be coming this way.'
The craft moved closer, until it became obvious it was heading straight for Jamie and Zoe.
'Hey, I think we had better get out of here,' said a concerned Jamie.
They turned and started going back down the hill. Zoe stumbled and fell, and Jamie tried to help her up as quickly as possible. Behind them they could hear the engines getting louder.
'Come, on we need to get to the TARDIS!' said Jamie.
They started to run again, but it was obvious the craft was much faster, and landed a few hundred yards in front of them. The two time travellers turned around and started running in the other direction.
Out of the craft came somewhere between one and two dozen well armed soldiers, most of whom split up and tried to catch Zoe and Jamie in a pincer movement.
'We need to split up,' yelled Zoe, with the noise of the engines and their pursuers still in the background.
'I'm no leaving you!' insisted Jamie as they stumbled around a small hill.
'We have to! One of us has got to get back to the Doctor and warn him.'
Begrudgingly Jamie agreed and they split up - thinking even as they did so that it looked hopeless.
'Over this way' yelled the lieutenant, as his squad pursued Jamie.
'Where did he go?' Felguard muttered as they rounded yet another hilly outcrop.
'Creig an tuir!'
The lieutenant was starled by the ancient Highland war cry and knocked easily to the ground as Jamie dropped into their midst. He turned on one of the troopers, wrestling him to the ground, but while his back was turned he was knocked out by the butt of a pulse-rifle.
'Come on,' said Felguard as he bound the semi conscious Jamie's hands.
The trooper was about to kick Jamie, but Felguard interceded. 'We're here to capture them nothing more.' He looked down at Jamie with a sardonic smile. 'Nice try, chum.'
'At... at least Zoe got away,' Jamie managed to mumble.
'Who? Oh... the girl.' Felguard smiled and looked up as a tiny, elfin figure was carried around the nearest outcrop, her struggles easily resisted by two burly troopers. 'Sorry. Looks like you're both coming back to Boew with us. Word of advice: don't give them an excuse. Talk early.'
Jamie groaned and sank into the brief respite of unconsciousness...
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