site banner

saros five page 2

Jezak shook her head and sat down at a table nearest to her. 'No, I thought I'd get some help first.'

Before Napier could say anything, Valla said: 'Well, what are we waiting for folks? Let's go and check it out.' and with that she upholstered her side arm and moved towards the door.

'Valla!' shouted Napier. He looked at her with anger in his eyes. She'd never seen him like it and it took her quite by surprise.

Things were serious, he thought and it was about time he did something positive. 'Lodge, you go with Valla and checkout airlock nine. That's where Zaran said he was sending Ridge.'

'Yes, sir!' said Lodge and gave a mock salute as he followed Valla.

'And Valla,' called Napier, 'look after your pet poodle here.'

Valla looked back and smiled at him. 'And what about me? Who's going to look after me?' she asked.

'You can look after yourself,' and with that Valla and Lodge left the room as Napier turned to the others. 'Malikyan and Lindley checkout the other airlocks while Dr.Jezak and I check in with communications.

As they all turned to leave they were all unaware as one of the creatures observing from outside the window, its jaw dripping saliva as it viewed the crew members leaving the rec-room.

~~~

The Doctor and Ace meanwhile had entered through the airlock door and into the base itself. As they entered the corridor they noted that, like the airlock, it too was engulfed in the eerie glow of the emergency lighting.

As they looked up and down the length of the corridor, Ace could make out several doors leading off to other parts and the corridor itself was cluttered with various pieces of equipment not recognisable to her, and several large crates stacked up against the concave walls.

'Bit small, isn't it, Professor?' asked Ace.

'They seem to be an advanced party of colonists.'

'Advance party?'
 
'Yes. Probably here to study the planet and prepare it for future colonisation.'

'Well, they won't get many in here!' said Ace as she examined the crates to see if there was anything of interest.

'By the time the other colonists arrive this place will have grown in size,' moaned the Doctor, 'and don't touch anything!' he snapped.

'Anyway,' said Ace as she moved back over to the Doctor's side, 'It's time you answered a few questions.'

'Must I?' mumbled the Doctor.

'Like for instance, what were those things out there which nearly had us for dinner?'

'Well,' began the Doctor, 'the creatures are called Armarytes and they originate from the planet Tiaun.'

'So what are they doing her?' whispered Ace, as she cautiously looked about her, looking for any sign of life.

'Good question,' replied the Doctor. 'I believe they were put here.'

Ace gave him a slightly puzzled look. 'How?'

'You remember those capsules we found?'

'Yes - you mean they travelled here?'

'Yes, but they don't have the capabilities nor the intelligence for that matter.'

'So, somebody brought them here,' said Ace.

'Not brought. Sent. Those creatures were incubated within those capsules and once here they "hatched" open.'

'You mean those creatures were a sleep inside, while they travelled through space.' said Ace. Yet she was somewhat astonished to think that anything could survive such a journey. 'So how far is Tiaun from here?' she asked.

'No, no. they never travelled from Tiaun, no they came from somewhere quite near here.'

'What about that space ship, the one I saw before the shuttle blew up?'

'Possibly-' The Doctor stopped. He had sensed something and he looked from left to right in order to see what it was that he had heard.

'What is it, Professor?'

The Doctor hushed her and cautiously moved down the corridor away from the airlock. Ace followed behind him. Something moved in the shadows behind them of which Ace caught a glimpse.

'Professor, there!' she called and suddenly took after whoever it was that had been lurking in the shadows.

'Ace! Wait!' shouted the Doctor as he ran after her.

They hadn't run far but they inevitably lost their prey, but had discovered something else of interest:

'Blood.' said Ace.

The Doctor knelt down and examined the floor and could see a trail of blood leading further down the corridor and around a corner and into another.

'Looks as if something had been dragged along here,' observed the Doctor and began to follow the trail. Ace followed close behind.

The trail ended at a door marked with the words "Communications Room". The Doctor moved to open the door but Ace grabbed his arm preventing him from doing so.

'What if one of those creatures is in there?' she asked. Ace was clearly frightened at the prospect of finding one of the creatures behind the door.

'Then this calls for desperate measures,' he suggested at which point Ace took the hint and pulled out another can of Nitro-9 and prepared for the worse.

'Right,' she said, 'I'm ready.'

The Doctor continued to operate the panel and the door slid open and they both entered together, Ace ready for anything at all. The Doctor moved forward following the trail of blood which appeared to disappear with the continued glow of the emergency lighting flashing on and off. He suddenly said: 'Ace, wait there.'

'What is it?'

'Just do as you are told' snapped the Doctor.

'Okay, okay. Keep your hat on,' Ace peered back into the corridor to make sure that there was no-one around. 'Well, what is it?' she asked, slowly edging her way over
towards the Doctor's side.

'A body, humanoid - what's left of it.' He was aware that Ace was standing beside him. 'I thought I told you to stay over there!' he shouted.

Ace ignored him. Something else had caught her attention. 'Doctor, look over there.' and she indicated to the other side of the room to a body lying slumped against a chair. It was Santo.

The Doctor moved over to the body of Santo to see if he was still alive. 'He's dead also, thou he appears to have been shot, unlike the poor fellow over there; he's been attacked by one of those creatures judging by the wounds inflicted upon it.'

'But why would someone go to all that trouble of dragging him in here? Why not leave him where he was?' asked Ace.

'God question.' said the Doctor and began to examine the console and its monitors, 'looks like the communication system is down also.'

'Doctor, what if those bodies were put here for us to discover-'

The Doctor looked at Ace, realisation dawning on his face that the suggestion could very well be right. 'It would explain why the airlock door was opened.'

'You mean you didn't?'

'No.' The Doctor looked worried. 'Come on, Ace, let's get out of here before...'

It was to late, Napier and Dr.Jezak now stood in the doorway. Napier's gun aiming straight at them both. 'Before you're caught.' he said.

'You've taken the words right out of my mouth.' said the Doctor to himself.

'We had nothing to do with this!' said Ace quickly in defence, but her words fell on deaf ears. Napier took a hold of his com-link and immediately called for Valla and Lodge to report to him immediately.

Dr.Jezak moved over to the bodies of Ridge and Santo to confirm what everybody knew, that they were dead.

Napier began to push Ace away from the door and up towards the monitor console where the body of Santo lay.

'Who are you pushing around, scum-bag?!' shouted Ace.

< PAGE 1          PAGE 3 >