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Doctor Who Pirate Planet

Doctor Who Pirate Planet

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Published by Cheri Francis

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Published by: Cheri Francis on Sep 27, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PrologueThe boy was running for his life.His bare feet pounded muddy pathways as he desperately tried to elude his pursuer. The boy's fragile chest heaved for air and his throat was raw, with a taste like blood assaulting his senses. Behind him the heavy breathing of his hunter grew ever closer and the terrified youngster increased his frantic pace.The boy began to sob uncontrollably as he ran, gasping sobs racking his lungs and pulling away valuable breath. Tears streamed down his cheeks, flowing into fierce trickles of sweat. Then he fell, his limbs sprawling in muddy mire...A smile flickered sadistically across the face of a woman watching the chase - the younger boy was caught. She considered the pursuit as an amusement, a plaything. Once all the inhabitants of this wretched world had been her playthings, forthe watching woman was Xanxia, Queen of Zanak. No velvet glove had softened theblows struck by her iron-fisted monarchy of terror, crushing all spirit or hopefrom her subjects.But the once mighty Queen was now merely a memory on Zanak. Her reign was already becoming a black shadow over the planet's past, the stuff of legend. Still Xanxia lived on to plot and scheme, alone in her rotting royal residence high in the mountains above Zanak's largest settlement.The tyrant ruler turned away from the window, instantly forgetting the miniaturedrama being played out below. She had more important things to do - a final ploy to play in her duel with that unbeatable foe, death. Summoning the last vestiges of her failing strength, she activated a control on a wall of complex circuitry. An invisible beam was thrown up into the heavens, like a grasping talon of death.The Queen stumbled to her throne and collapsed into its cobwebbed elegance. Sheclosed her eyes and breathed outwards with a sound like the rattling of old bones...The younger boy closed his eyes tightly, waiting for the inevitable blows. But the blows did not come - instead he heard a gasp from his tormentor and felt thegrip on his garments slacken. The boy took his chance and was away and running before his hunter even realised. Only when the lad was well away did he look backover his shoulder at what had distracted his pursuer.A huge silver vessel was falling from the sky, flames and smoke pouring out behind it. The craft plunged across the dusky horizon into the mountain range overlooking the settlement. The darkness was suddenly ablaze with a light so bright the boy had to look away for a moment. Then came a great crashing like thunder booming back and forth across the plain, echoing from mountain to mountain.Balaton clasped his hands over his ears and ran home, trying to block out this unworldly wail of death and destruction. But the echoes of this event would resound far beyond this night...Chapter 1 The Pirate Captain
...The angel blazed white, aflame with fury. ‘Die you fool, die!
’ she screamed and brought her hands together with a sound like thunder. Thousands of sensors criedout inputs of pain, systems and sinews collapsing...Suddenly the Captain was shouting.‘Mr Fibuli. Mr Fibuli! By all the x-ray storms of Vega, where is that nincompoop?’ The Captain blinked and realised he was still alive. But what was that recurringvision and what did it mean?While the Captain mused, a vexed voice filled the multi-sided chamber of metal and glass. ‘Calling Mr Fibuli, Mr Fibuli required on the Bridge immediately.’The Captain pushed aside thoughts of the deadly angel of darkness and let looseanother bellow for effect.‘Moons of madness, why am I encumbered with incompetence?’The subject of all this shouting entered the Bridge, striding briskly.‘Captain, sir -’‘Your report, Mr Fibuli...’‘Yes sir, I have it -’‘... Is thirty seconds late!’‘Yes, sir.’‘My qualities are many, Mr Fibuli...’‘Oh, yes sir -’‘... But an infinite capacity for patience is not among them.’ The Captain used hishumanoid right hand to punch a button on the private console beside his commandseat, the com. On his shoulder the robotic parrot Polyphase Avitron whirred intolife and regarded the hapless Fibuli as its next potential prey.The second-in-command bobbed about like an escape pod in an asteroid storm, thought the Captain - nervous and about to be struck down. He was tempted to end that wait immediately but good deputies were hard to find on this soulless rock. The Captain realised his mind was wandering and tried to focus on Fibuli
s words.‘I apologise most abjectly, Captain, b-but I do have good news, sir.’‘I hope you do!’‘Well, sir, all deposits of the minerals Voolium, Galdrium and Assetenite 455 havenow been now been mined, processed and stored, sir. Good quantities of aluminas, the usual, sir, carbon isotopes, etcetera, etcetera, and the residue has beenprocessed...’‘In the normal way!’ bellowed the Captain to cut short the prattling of his deputy.Fibuli paused for an uncomfortable breath then continued, proffering a glossy manifest to the Captain. ‘Here is a list of the minerals, sir.’
The Captain looked over the document with his humanoid eye. Before it could evenfocus on the data detailed, his other eye - an infra-red robotic sensor implanted in the metallic left side of his head - had already analysed the information,correlated it and transmitted the relevant data to his computerised brain. He responded to this input by tossing the manifest aside. ‘Hah! Baubles, baubles, dross and baubles! We must find Vasilium! We must find Madranite 1-5,’ said the Captain urgently.‘Well, sir, we have located a new source.’‘Excellent, excellent.’‘That
s what caused the delay, Captain. We wanted to be absolutely certain.’ The momentary relief on Fibuli
s face faded as he voiced a concern. ‘It
s in an unexpected sector - here, let me show you this chart...’It was proffered and just as quickly thrown away.‘We
ll mine it. Make immediate preparations.’‘Well, there is something rather curious, Captain,’ ventured the first officer. ‘Hereis a detailed description of the sector -’‘I said we
ll mine it, Mr Fibuli.’‘But sir -’‘Make immediate preparations. Now! Or I
ll have your bones bleached.’ The Captain
slogic circuits regained control of his fiery temper and lowered the volume of his vocal output. ‘Is that clear?’‘Aye, aye, Captain. Thank you, sir.’ Fibuli saluted ineffectually and turned to consult with the other technicians on the Bridge about the impending manoeuvre.The Captain watched him for a moment then regarded his robotic parrot. ‘Who
s a pretty Polyphase Avitron, then?’ he murmured softly to his mechanical pet. After a pause, the Captain swiveled the com round to his private console. From here he could speak to all within the huge structure of the Bridge and also to the citizens of the planet
s major settlements.The largest settlement lay in the valley below the Bridge
s mountaintop perch, ajumble of low stone buildings clustered on a wide alluvial plain. Citizens gathered in courtyards to hear the latest proclamation from their unseen leader as the one-way communications system crackled into life.‘Hear this. Now hear this. This is your Captain speaking.’ After these few stock phrases to announce his speech, the Captain began in earnest. ‘Citizens prepare yourselves. Watch for the Omens. I declare a new golden age of prosperity for all. Isay again, I declare the dawning of a new golden age of prosperity - watch for the Omens.’Most of the affluent and well-dressed citizens cheered these words. But in one courtyard stood a young man whose face had a pallor of death about it. He seemedfrightened by the announcement greeted so eagerly by the others.‘Under the benevolent leadership of your Captain, a period of unparalleled wealthand affluence will begin. The mines will once again be full of riches,’ continuedthe Captain. ‘Richer jewels, finer clothes, food in great abundance. Wealth beyondthe dreams of avarice will be yours! Watch for the Omens!’

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