‘City of Monsters’, Part Two, Chapter 7

7. Dodging Ogrons and Autons

SCENE #75 – INT – THRONE ROOM, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – DAY, EVENING
Back in the throne room of Teruvada 16…

BORK
(to Garnik; Ernpic) “There you are! You see, your majesties? Those Tellurians won’t stand a chance now.”

GARNIK
“Thank you, Bork. You have pleased the King of Teruvada Sixteen.”

TULU
(mutters; to Bork) “Just as you’ve displeased me, Bork. Talk about principles of maintaining life expectancy.”

BORK
(hushes; to Tulu) “The customer is always right, Tulu.” (to Garnik; Ernpic; Kovut) “Now your majesties; Minister Kovut. It’s time to demonstrate to you the prize of my collection!”

ERNPIC
(interrupts) “Just a moment!” (Pause) “That piece of technology on the side of your machine. What is its purpose? Answer!”

TULU
(shrewdly) “Oh! Surprised you hadn’t noticed it there before, your majesty!”

KOVUT
“I recognise it, dear prince. It’s…”

ERNPIC
(angrily) “I know perfectly well what it is, Minister Kovut. It’s a processing unit modifier. It belongs to us. It is Nargdu technology!”

BORK
“Why yes of course, your majesty. It is all legal I assure you.”

ERNPIC
(angrily) “Legal?! To have matrix computer technology of the Nargdu Empire adapted to your own is felony! Glory to Empire! You have breached the terms of peace between us!”

BORK
“But it was a gift! A gift from your royal court!”

ERNPIC
(berserk) “Lies! How dare you insult us! We would never give technology to your kind!”

GARNIK
“Relax, my son! There’s no need to go berserk!”

ERNPIC
(berserk) “I have every right to be berserk, father! These people have stolen…”

GARNIK
(interrupts) “I gave it to them!”

ERNPIC
(shocked) “You father?! You gave our technology to these…alien creatures?!”

GARNIK
“It was a gift like Bork said. They needed it.”

BORK
“And very generous it was of you too, your majesty.”

KOVUT
“This is remarkable, good king. If not disturbing. You would give matrix computer technology to these two to adapt to their machine?”

ERNPIC
(aghast) “Father, what’s happened to you?! What’s possessed you, father?!”

GARNIK
“The matrix computer’s running slow on its purpose. You should all appreciate that.” (Pause) “Also our livelihood has become far too dependent on the computer for as long as we Nargdu live. We need invigoration. For the people of this planet to see a new light. It was only a small piece of technology in order for Bork and his assistant to…enhance their equipment.”

ERNPIC
(angrily) “This is not like you, father! Why?! Why give technology to our enemy?!!! Why, father?!!!”

GARNIK
“They are not our enemy, Ernpic!”

KOVUT
“You can’t be sure of that, your majesty.”

ERNPIC
“Of course he can’t! My father’s not the man he was, Kovut! These creatures have poisoned him with their childish ways! They should be struck down!”

GARNIK
(scolds) “Son, I think it’s time you should take your medication!”

ERNPIC
“I don’t need medication, father! I am perfectly…”

GARNIK
(interrupts) “Time for you to go to bed!”

ERNPIC
“I don’t want to go to bed. I’m not tired…”

GARNIK
(interrupts; bellows) “I the King command it!”

A moment of tense silence ensues.

GARNIK
“It is getting late anyway. The demonstration will resume tomorrow.” (to Bork; Tulu) “I hope that is agreeable with you two.”

BORK
(to Garnik) “Oh yes, your majesty. We don’t mind stopping for tomorrow.” (to Tulu) “Do we, Tulu?”

TULU
(glumly) “I suppose not. Happy to oblige.”

GARNIK
(to Bork; Tulu) “My servants will see to it that you have accommodation for the night.” (Pause) “My son and I will leave you now.” (to Ernpic) “Come, my son!”

With that, King Garnik and a reluctant Prince Ernpic leave the throne room. Meanwhile, Bork and Tulu remain confused with Minister Kovut watching them.

BORK
“Well, what was that all about? I think the king’s son gone nutty.”

TULU
“Are you sure that transaction you made with the king was legal, Bork?”

BORK
“Of course it was, my dear. I never do anything criminal.” (Pause) “I shouldn’t worry about it too much, my dear. The king will sort it out.”

TULU
“And what’s this matrix computer you were on about?”

BORK
“How should I know?” (to Kovut) “Err…excuse me…err…?”

KOVUT
“Minister Kovut.”

BORK
“That’s the one. Minister Kovut. We’re not familiar with this matrix computer you’ve got. May we ask what it is?”

KOVUT
(abruptly) “I must go. I have things to attend to.”

With that, Minister Kovut leaves the throne room.

TULU
“Charming. Doesn’t want to talk to us.”

At that moment, a number of servants enter the throne room.

BORK
(delighted) “Ah! Room service! Come to take us to our rooms, have you? Oh I hope I get a double! I feel lucky today!”


SCENE #76 – EXT – 42ND STREET, MANHATTAN – DAY, AFTERNOON
On 42nd street in New York, the Ogrons and the Autons run in pursuit of the Doctor and his friends. They’ve been running for some time until they come to a corner and find them disappeared. They stop running and look around. The Ogron leaders, Kharshak and Wrarshak, grunt annoyed whilst the Autons are blank.

KHARSHAK
“They go! They escape us!”

WRARSHAK
“But we follow! They cannot escape!”

KHARSHAK
“We keep going! They must be hiding!”

AUTON LEADER
“Resources must be retained. Our Nestene masters suggest patrolling all areas of the city.”

WRARSHAK
“No! Too long! We should smash city into pieces!”

AUTON LEADER
“Your minimal intelligence is obvious. We shall patrol to find the fugitives.”

KHARSHAK
“You won’t find them! We Ogrons smash city whilst you patrol!”

AUTON LEADER
“Your assistance is not required. We shall carry out the patrols.” (to Autons) “Autons. Retreat path and scan the area.”

The Autons comply as they turn and march back the way they came. The Ogrons meanwhile remain vigilant if confused.

WRARSHAK
“Where do we start?”

KHARSHAK
(thinks) “We go back! Smash city from where we started! We go!”

WRARSHAK
(barks; to Ogrons) “All you! Head back!”

The Ogrons turn around and head back the way they came. They march over a sewer lid as they head back. Their stomping footsteps die away as they head back. A short while later, once the Ogrons and the Autons have gone, the sewer lid comes off. The Doctor pushes it off and climbs up out from the sewers with Nyssa, Billy and Jo climbing up behind him.

DOCTOR
(reassuringly) “It’s alright, you three! They’ve gone!”

As the four come out and get back onto firm ground in the city, Nyssa and Jo get a whiff from the sewers.

NYSSA
(disgusted) “Ugh, the smell! It’s so vile! I’m so glad we’re back in the open air.”

JO
(disgusted) “I didn’t think the sewers in New York would be so rotten. They’re worse than London’s sewers.”

BILLY
“Supposing those monsters stayed above our heads, we would have had to find another way out. Through another tunnel. Hey, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Quite right, Billy. But thankfully we didn’t have to.”

NYSSA
“We still have to carry on to forty-second street, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Yes.” (puzzled) “You know, this is quite unusual.”

JO
“I thought that was obvious, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“No, no, I mean…back where we were in Times Square. The place seemed so crowded yet…here in this street…everything seems deserted.”

NYSSA
“Like a graveyard.” (Pause) “Perhaps the people scattered once the Ogrons and Autons appeared.”

JO
“That is bound to happen, Doctor. Everyone gets scared and they scatter when monsters are about.”

DOCTOR
“Maybe. But since we’re no longer in London and are in nineteen fifties New York, it begs to wonder.”

BILLY
“Look, Doctor. Shouldn’t we get to this forty-second street diner place before we get caught again.”

JO
“I agree. Not wishing to complain, but I’m actually finding the air rather stale.”

NYSSA
“I feel the same. The atmosphere doesn’t seem fresh as it was before in London. Provided we are on Earth.”

DOCTOR
“I still have my doubts.” (Pause) “Interesting you mentioned about the air being stale. Jo.”

JO
“Oh really, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Yes indeed.”

Moment of silence.

NYSSA
“Why Doctor? Why do you find it interesting?”

DOCTOR
“Hmm? Oh just wondering, Nyssa. Just wondering.” (Pause) “But Billy’s right! Let’s make for the Top Hat diner and hope we get more local information. Come on!”

JO
“I suppose it’s a fair walk from here. Perhaps we should call a taxi.”

The Doctor leads the way with Nyssa, Billy and Jo following him.


SCENE #77 – EXT – 42ND STREET, MANHATTAN – DAY, AFTERNOON
On the top of a building in 42nd street, an army man named Corporal James Darby watches the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo as they make their way for the Top Hat diner.

CORPORAL JAMES
(to himself) “I’ve never seen these four in this sector before.” (Pause) “I wonder.”


SCENE #78 – EXT – BALCONY, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – NIGHT
It’s night-time in the city of Grondor on Teruvada 16. Prince Ernpic stands on the balcony next to his bedroom, watching the night sky. King Garnik then appears and joins his son on the balcony.

GARNIK
(gradually) “My son?”

ERNPIC
“The city is at rest, father. The lights are shinning. All the houses with its people asleep.”

GARNIK
“My dear son Ernpic.”

ERNPIC
“It won’t last forever though, father. The bombardments will begin again. The enemy will attack. If things don’t work in our favour, Grondor will be lost. No hope for the Nargdu left.”

GARNIK
“You must understand me, my son…”

ERNPIC
(interjects) “People are starting to get restless.”

GARNIK
“I have concern for our people, son. Never lose sight on that.”

ERNPIC
(angrily) “Then why give technology to aliens when it’s been held in our ancient laws that no Nargdu should give it to any outsider? It’s forbidden!”

GARNIK
“There’s much you do not understand, Ernpic. You really must control your temper. Have you taken your medication?”

ERNPIC
(irritably) “Yes father, I have. My lovely medication. I have taken it.”

GARNIK
“You still sound foul with your words.”

Ernpic then shows a container of tablets in his hand.

ERNPIC
“You, see? The last number of tablets in this container was thirty-nine. It’s now thirty-eight. I’ve taken my medication. Happy now?”

GARNIK
(gradually) “Yes. Well, I hope you’ll be more hospitable to our guests tomorrow.” (Pause) “It’s a shame you cannot find love on this planet.”

ERNPIC
“Love?”

GARNIK
“Love for yourself, Ernpic. You’ve met all the fair maids ready to be queen. Yet you do not show interest.”

ERNPIC
“War and love don’t mix, father. I am a warrior! The Nargdu Empire is at stake! Glory to Empire! I have little time to think about women.”

GARNIK
“It’s a shame that once the Nargdu Empire was so great – Glory to Empire – that you could have taken a girl unto yourself and declared her as your mate. Yet those days are gone now.”

ERNPIC
“Times change, father. As I do. I’m no longer the boy you cared for and played with in the Shiren gardens. I have lost that longing.”

GARNIK
“Your childhood days were gone at the age of eight when your mother died. Something I wished never happened.”

ERNPIC
(gradually) “I’m tired now, father. I wish to be alone. I will say goodnight to you now.”

GARNIK
“My son…”

ERNPIC
(abruptly) “Goodnight, father.”

GARNIK
(gradually) “See you in the morning, son. Be there at the demonstration.”

With that, Garnik leaves his son standing on the balcony. Once his father has gone, Ernpic remains looking at the night sky as he sighs away.

ERNPIC
(gradually; to himself) “I am the man who’s going to win the war. Not my father. I shall save the Nargdu Empire from extinction! Glory to Empire!”


SCENE #79 – INT – BORK AND TULU’S ROOM, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – NIGHT
Meanwhile, Tulu and Bork settle into their room in the citadel of Grondor. Tulu gets herself changed whilst Bork attends to their machine.

TULU
“Such a shame we couldn’t get separate rooms. Why should I have to share a room with you, Bork? A lady needs her privacy! And a gentleman like you has no respect.”

BORK
(distracted) “Hmm? What’s that, Tulu darling?”

TULU
(sighs) “Haven’t you finished with that darn contraption of yours? You’ve been working on it non-stop since we got in here!”

BORK
“I’m checking the circuitry’s presentable for tomorrow. Don’t want to have any more upsets like we’ve had today.”

TULU
(scornfully) “You mean with the Tellurians?”

BORK
“Those Tellurians are safe and sound from us. The Ogrons and the Autons have sorted them out.”

TULU
“Have you checked the circuit they’re in?”

BORK
“Well…not recently.”

TULU
“Then how can you be so sure?”

BORK
“The Ogrons and the Autons are vicious monsters! They can’t be outrun!” (laughs) “Speaking of which, I’d still like to show those majesties of theirs and the other one my favourite set of monsters in the next demo. With their gnashing and gnawing away at…”

TULU
(interrupts) “Never mind your favourite monsters, Bork. What about those four Tellurians? Are you going on check them? To see that they don’t get up to any more trouble?”

BORK
(sighs) “Oh alright then. I’ll switch over to circuit four.”

Bork presses a switch and the 1950s New York setting in Circuit #4 comes up on the monitor screen.

TULU
“Well, where are they?”

BORK
“Be patient, my dear. I have to check their life patterns first.”

Just then, a bleeping sound echoes from the machine. Bork presses a switch to check.

BORK
“Ah! Here we are! There are the Tellurians!”

TULU
(puzzled) “What are they doing sitting in a tatty old café?”

BORK
“It’s called a diner, my sweet. An American diner. The young lad and girls are having meals whilst the tall chap with the fair hair…”

TULU
(interjects; enchanted) “And with good looks! Have you noticed that, Bork?”

BORK
(dismissively) “Yeah, yeah alright. And with good looks.” (continues) “He’s being attended to by someone at the bar. Seems like they’re having a good conversation.”

TULU
“I wonder what they’re saying.”

BORK
“Shame we haven’t got audio as well as visual on this machine.”

TULU
“But we have. We’ve got that new sound-speaker system if you want to try and test it out. Might impress our beloved crowd tomorrow.”

BORK
(thinks) “Well…I don’t see why not. Fetch it for me will you, Tulu dear?”

Tulu goes off to fetch the new sound-speaker system whilst Bork continues to watch the monitor screen on the machine.


SCENE #80 – INT – TOP HAT DINER, 42ND STREET – DAY, AFTERNOON
In the American diner on 42nd street, the Doctor chats to someone at the bar.

DOCTOR
“Good afternoon! Excuse me, Mr….?”

NICK
“Ratzenberg. Nick Ratzenberg.”

DOCTOR
“Ah! Mr. Raztenberg. How long have you worked in this diner?”

NICK
“What?!”

DOCTOR
“A simple question. How long have you been working here?”

NICK
“What’s it to you?”

DOCTOR
“Well, just simply I want to know…has it ever felt like a long time? As if it’s been long as you can possibly remember.”

NICK
“I don’t know what you’re on about, buster! Now do you wanna order or not?!”


SCENE #81 – INT – TOP HAT DINER, 42ND STREET – DAY, AFTERNOON
At that same time in the diner, Nyssa, Billy and Jo have their meals and chat to each other whilst the Doctor’s at the bar with Nick Ratzenberg.

JO
(satisfied) “Hmm. This is really scrumptious. Glad we came to this place.”

BILLY
“I know. This chicken thing I’m having. A…” (thinks) “…Route 66, It’s really nice. Don’t think I’ve ever tried American food before.”

NYSSA
(teasingly) “Does that mean food in England or Wales isn’t as good as American food, Billy?”

BILLY
“I wouldn’t like to judge. And you’re just making fun of me, Nyssa!”

NYSSA
(amused) “You and your food, Billy.”

JO
“You two are as sweet and loving as when I first met you all those years ago.”

NYSSA
“And how about you, Jo? How’s married life for you?”

JO
“Oh pretty good thanks. Happily married of course. There have been a few occasional bouts. People had wild theories about us when we were married going across the Amazon and all over the world. But Cliff and I have never left each other.”

NYSSA
“It sounds like you’ve had an eventful life, Jo.”

JO
“Well, when trying to save the world from global devastation and handling seven children at the same time, how could I not? It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been the happiest of my life.”

BILLY
“I’m so pleased to hear that, Jo.”

Moment of silence.

JO
“So…how about you two? When are you getting married?”

BILLY
(startled) “Married? Us getting married?”

JO
“Yes. I mean…I assume you’re planning on getting married sometime.”

BILLY
(apprehensively) “Err…well…we haven’t really talked about it…”

NYSSA
(interjects) “Yes Billy? How come you’ve never asked me to marry you?”

BILLY
(startled) “You…you want to marry me?”

NYSSA
“I’m asking the question. Billy. How come you’ve never asked me?”

BILLY
(apprehensively) “I…I just haven’t thought about it, Nyssa. I mean…we’re happy as we are, aren’t we?”

NYSSA
“I don’t know.”

BILLY
“What do you mean you don’t know? I’m happy!”

NYSSA
“And being happy doesn’t make you want to marry me, does it?”

JO
(apologetically) “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything…”

BILLY
(ignores Jo; to Nyssa) “Nyssa, I’m just saying I’m happy being with you the way we are. I like what we’re having together in terms of a relationship.”

NYSSA
“But how come you don’t want to take the next step?”

BILLY
“Because…because…because it’s not going to happen!”

NYSSA
“Not going to happen? What are you talking about?”

BILLY
“Well…you’re a lady of Traken and I’m just a middle-class boy from nineteen sixty-three. I don’t match to your standards. What we’re having is great, but you’re bound to get bored of me. You may think about wanting to marry somebody else. Somebody on your level in terms of science and class.”

NYSSA
(dismayed) “If that’s what you think of me Billy, then I must be a snob to you. What’s the point of loving me if you think that way?”

BILLY
“I don’t think you are a snob, Nyssa. I’m just saying…” (realises) “Hey, where you are going?”

Nyssa stands up to leave.

NYSSA
“I’m going to join the Doctor. To see how he’s getting on with finding information.”

BILLY
“Nyssa, wait!”

Billy stands up from his seat to stop Nyssa.

NYSSA
“I’m finding the air staler here more than ever.”

BILLY
“Nyssa, please! Don’t leave like this! Come back!”

But Nyssa leaves as she heads off to join the Doctor. Upset; ashamed and puzzled, Billy sits back down in his seat at the table opposite Jo who looks at him. Billy then hides his face in his hands, despairing.

BILLY
(groans; despairingly) “Oh dear! I’m an idiot! I’m such an idiot!”

JO
(amused) “Funny. I thought I was the idiot!”

Jo laughs. But Jo’s attempts to cheer up Billy don’t work whilst he’s upset.

JO
“Never mind, Billy. You can always make it up to her.”

BILLY
“But what if she won’t forgive me. What if what I said just now was the last straw?” (Pause) “I hadn’t even considered marriage. I just…wanted to enjoy things as they were now.”

JO
(gradually) “You know Billy; you’re very sweet. But you have a lot to learn about women.”

BILLY
(surprised) “You think so?”

JO
“Girls expect a lot from men. And that’s me saying it. You have to let Nyssa know how you feel if you really want to make up with her.”

Billy sighs becoming sad whilst Jo comforts him. He then looks up to see Nyssa with the Doctor.

BILLY
“Perhaps I should go and make it up with her now.”

JO
“Leave it for a bit, Billy. Besides…you might interrupt something very important with the Doctor.”


SCENE #82 – INT – TOP HAT DINER, 42ND STREET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Meanwhile, Nyssa joins the Doctor as he has an argument with Nick Ratzenberg.

NYSSA
“Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(startled) “Nyssa!” (frustrated) “Oh please, Nyssa! Don’t tell me Billy wants another coke?” (agitated; to Nick) “Now listen to me, Mr. Ratzenberg! I need to know what the shift from London to New York is all about! You don’t realise how serious this is!”

NICK
“You bet I don’t! You’re just talking a lot of garbage!”

NYSSA
“How are you getting on, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(wryly) “Oh smoothly, Nyssa. Very smoothly! This diner owner idiot doesn’t seem to register my concerns about what’s happened to New York! To this city! He’s being very uncooperative; he’s rude and he’s rather vile!”

NICK
(interrupts) “‘Ere? Are you with him?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “Yes, I am.”

NICK
“Well, get him out of my diner, will you? He’s not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” [(rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…”]

Nyssa and the Doctor become astonished when they see this.

NYSSA
“Doctor, he’s repeating the same phrase over and over. It’s like he’s caught in a loop. A continuous time loop.”

DOCTOR
“Fascinating and disturbing. Like a gramophone record stuck and rewinding itself.” (to Nyssa) “Nyssa, get Billy and Jo here. They must see this.”

NYSSA
“Yes Doctor.”

Nyssa goes off to fetch Billy and Jo whilst the Doctor watches Nick Ratzenberg in a loop.

NICK
(rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” [(rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…”]


SCENE #83 – INT – BORK AND TULU’S ROOM, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – NIGHT
In Bork and Tulu’s bedroom on Teruvada 16…

TULU
“‘Ere Bork! I found the sound-speaker system!”

BORK
(hushes) “Ssh, Tulu! I’m trying to watch this!”

TULU
“Why what’s happening?”

BORK
“The Tellurians. Or at least one Tellurian.”

TULU
(panics) “Oh no! They haven’t…”

BORK
“No, no. It’s not that. One of the Tellurians is malfunctioning.”

TULU
(puzzled) “Malfunctioning?”

BORK
“Yeah. Keeps repeating itself.”

TULU
“How can you tell when the sound’s off?”

BORK
“Well, we’ll put the sound speakers in to check it out, shall we? I’m going to fiddle about with these controls to get it working properly.”

TULU
“Bork, you shouldn’t fiddle around with the contraption when it’s switched on.”

BORK
“It’s alright, Tulu. I know what I’m doing. Now if I can just fix this switch here…”

Bork flicks a switch on the machine whilst Tulu attends to inserting the sound system.


SCENE #84 – INT – TOP HAT DINER, 42ND STREET – DAY, AFTERNOON

NICK
(rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” [(rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…”]

Back in the Top Hat Diner in 1950s New York, Billy and Jo with the Doctor and Nyssa watch as Nick keeps on repeating himself.

JO
“I don’t understand. Why does he keep doing that? Repeat the same phrase over and over?”

BILLY
“The other people don’t seem bothered by this.”

DOCTOR
“Perhaps you should ask them, Billy. Find out why they’re so disinterested.”

Billy does that as he addresses the other people in the diner.

BILLY
(calls) “Hey! Everyone! Do you see what’s happening?! This man’s repeating himself here!”

But the people in the diner are unresponsive. Billy turns back to the Doctor, Nyssa and Jo.

BILLY
(astonished) “They’re not taking an interest!”

NYSSA
“Perhaps they’ve been programmed not to take an interest.”

JO
“You mean…these people could be not real people? That they could be made out plastic! Like the Autons!”

DOCTOR
“I don’t think it’s straightforward as that. But the scenario does seem striking.”

The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo watch as Nick Ratzenberg keeps on repeating himself in a loop.

NICK
(rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not funny…” (rewinds) “…not…”

Eventally, he stops. A moment of silence ensues.

NYSSA
“Doctor, he’s stopped!”

DOCTOR
“Yes. I’m not sure that’s a bad or a good thing.”

Just then, Nick reverts back to normal.

NICK
“Now, where was I? Ah yes!” (to Doctor) “Hey! You! You wanna to order or not?”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
“Let’s walk away from here.”

The Doctor guides Nyssa, Billy and Jo away as they become worried.

BILLY
“Doctor, I take back what I said. You’re right. This isn’t Earth.”

JO
“But it’s real! It has to be Earth!”

NYSSA
“Does it, Jo? For all we know this could a holographic simulation.”


SCENE #85 – INT – BORK AND TULU’S ROOM, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – NIGHT

DOCTOR (V’O)
“You know, I’m starting to get a sense of déjà vu here.”

Bork and Tulu watch the monitor screen as they can now hear what the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo are saying with the new plugged-in sound system on their machine.

TULU
(pleased) “There we are, Bork! Got the new sound system plugged in! Sounding like a beauty, isn’t it?”

BORK
(astonished) “Well I’d be blowed! They know, Tulu! They know what’s happening! They know they’re not in a real place!”

TULU
“I told you something was odd about those four, Bork.”

BORK
(panics) “I’ve got to silence them! I can’t have these four spoil everything!”

TULU
“You’re not going to kill them are you, Bork?”

BORK
(panics; to Tulu) “Look at me, Tulu! I’m panicking! What else can I do?” (to himself) “Now let’s see!” (Pause; checks) “The Autons are the closest. Let’s see if we can divert their attention to the Tellurians, shall we?”

TULU
(protests) “Bork, listen to me! You can’t! Bork, stop!”

But it’s too late as Bork presses a switch on the machine.


SCENE #86 – INT – TOP HAT DINER, 42ND STREET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Back in the Top Hat diner in 1950s New York…

NYSSA
“What do we do, Doctor? We have to stop all this! Get out to safety!”

JO
“And get to the TARDIS, yes. If it’s still around somewhere.”

DOCTOR
“Oh I’m pretty sure the TARDIS is around, Jo. Close by in fact. We’re just not following all of the right clues.”

BILLY
“Perhaps if we were to head back to that clock workings we were in earlier, we can retrace our steps and find more answers.”

NYSSA
“We’d just be going around in circles if we do that, Billy. No sense in wandering around aimlessly is there?”

BILLY
“It was just a suggestion, Nyssa.”

DOCTOR
“One which can we come to once we cross that bridge. But for now, let’s get out of this diner.”

JO
“Doctor, if we go outside we’ll be attacked by those Ogrons and Autons. They’re still looking for us!”

Just then, the diner’s glass windows smash as the Autons come crashing through. Their wrist guns are armed and ready.

DOCTOR
“I’m afraid they’ve already found us!”

NYSSA
(shocked) “Autons! But how did they know where to find us?!”

JO
(urgently) “We have to get out! Through the back door!”

BILLY
(perplexed) “Why aren’t the customers reacting to this?! They’re just stuffing themselves with cheese burgers [and…”]

DOCTOR
(impatiently) “It doesn’t matter! They know they’re not being attacked. But we are! Come on! Run!!!”

The Autons open fire with their wrist-guns as the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo escape, heading for the back door. They dodge the shots fired at them by the Autons.


SCENE #87 – INT – BORK AND TULU’S ROOM, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – NIGHT
Back on Teruvada 16, Bork is pleased with himself.

BORK
(laughs) “Done it! The Autons have crashed in and are hunting the Tellurians! Now they won’t stand a chance!”

Bork chortles for a bit before he switches off the machine’s monitor screen and begins to wind down.

BORK
(yawns) “Well, I must get some sleep. Got an early start tomorrow.” (to Tulu) “Thanks Tulu for plugging the sound system into the machine for me.”

Bork starts to get himself ready for bed.

TULU
(scornfully) “You’re not going to watch the rest, Bork? See how the Tellurians get slaughtered by the Autons?”

BORK
“I don’t like seeing people get killed, Tulu. You know that. Besides I only hope that they get out alive. So long as they don’t ruin tomorrow’s demonstration.” (Pause) “Goodnight.”

With that, Bork gets himself into bed, wrapping the bedclothes over him. He soon snuggles down to sleep. Tulu remains unnerved by what’s happened.


SCENE #88 – EXT – 42ND STREET, MANHATTAN – DAY, AFTERNOON
Out on the New York streets, the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo run for their lives as they’re being chased by Autons. The Autons fire their wrist-guns. Nyssa and Jo scream startled whilst they, the Doctor and Billy dodge the shots.

JO
(pants) “Doctor, we’ll be chased to the end of time by those things! They’ll never give up!”

DOCTOR
(fearlessly) “Brave heart, Jo! We run for as long as it takes!”

BILLY
“How many streets have we been running in? We’ve past too many street corners without a rest-bite!”

NYSSA
“Who’s counting, Billy?! We’ve got to keep running before these…Autons kill us!”

DOCTOR
“We’re coming to another street corner. We’ll turn there and see where…”

They eventually turn a corner but find themselves up against…

JO
“A garage! A huge garage door! We’re at a dead end!”

NYSSA
“We can’t be! They must be a way out!”

BILLY
“There must be a van or a car inside! Let’s get these doors open…”

DOCTOR
(interrupts) “Too late, Billy! The Autons have caught up with us!”

The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo look back and see the Autons blocking their path to escape. The Autons raise their wrist-guns at the four TARDIS heroes menacingly.

AUTON LEADER
“You have been ordered by our leader to be destroyed. Total destruction.”

JO
(anxiously) “Nyssa; Billy; Doctor…?”

NYSSA
“I’m sorry, Jo. I wish for a miracle that someone would save us.”

At that moment, gunfire rings out as the Autons get attacked. The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo turn to see Corporal James jump out and fire his two rifles at them. Corporal James stands facing the Autons with rifles in his hands.

CORPORAL JAMES
(shouts; to Autons) “Alright, you plastic mongrels! Get away from these people! They’re mine and I want them alive! So back off!”

BILLY
(astonished) “Nyssa; where did he come from?!”

NYSSA
“I don’t know, Billy. He’s well-armed for certain!”

JO
“Look! The Autons are marching towards him!”

The Autons advance towards Corporal James whilst he holds his ground.

CORPORAL JAMES
(threateningly) “Don’t even think about it!”

The Autons raise their wrist-guns at him.

CORPORAL JAMES
“I warned you!”

Corporal James fires his rifles first and the Autons get burst into smithereens. They explode all over the place. The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo get gooey bits of the Autons splattered all over them. The companions react in disgust.

BILLY
“Ugh! Plastic guts!”

NYSSA
“The Autons blew up as soon as that man fired his weapons!”

JO
“What were in those bullets? I’d wish he gave more warning!”

The Doctor picks up one of the remains of the bullets to examine it.

DOCTOR
(gradually; realises) “Anti-plastic!”

JO
“Anti-plastic?”

DOCTOR
“Yes! These bullets are filled with an anti-plastic liquid. Very ingenious if you want to kill an Auton.”

Billy makes his way over to meet Corporal James.

BILLY
(cheerfully) “Hey! You saved our lives, mate! Thanks!”

As Billy reaches out to shake his hand, Corporal James strikes Billy’s hand with the butt of one of his rifles. Billy cries out in pain once he gets hit.

CORPORAL JAMES
(shouts) “Back off!”

Shocked, Nyssa and Jo run over to check on Billy as he holds his hand in pain.

NYSSA
(concerned) “Billy, are you alright?!”

JO
(concerned) “Your hand, Billy!”

BILLY
(reassuringly; to Nyssa; Jo) “I’ll be fine.” (to Corporal James) “Oww, what was that for?!”

NYSSA
(to Corporal James) “That was my boyfriend you just hit with your weapon!”

JO
(to Corporal James) “So much for gratitude!”

CORPORAL JAMES
(shouts) “I said back off!” (Pause) “Now tell me who you are?! Why did you come? Where did you come from?!”

DOCTOR
“Excuse me, I’m the Doctor. And these are my friends Nyssa, Billy and Jo.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“I don’t want your credentials! Tell me why you’re here and I might let you go!”

NYSSA
“Might?! Are we your prisoners then?!”

CORPORAL JAMES
“I’m asking the questions here!”

DOCTOR
“You’re a corporal, aren’t you? A space corporal from the Earth Empire. Around the…sixty-second century, isn’t it? Very far out of your time, aren’t you?”

CORPORAL JAMES
(puzzled) “You know about the space fleet? About the Earth Empire?”

DOCTOR
“Oh I’m very familiar with your Earth Empire’s history. And I must say I’m not too pleased with the outcomes of some of your victories.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“You speak as if you’re not human.”

DOCTOR
“Right on the dot. Yes, I’m not human. I’m alien. If that satisfies your curiosity I don’t know what else will.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“Then you are the ones who brought me here against my will! You kidnapped me!”

JO
(protests) “We didn’t kidnap you! We’re victims just as you are!”

NYSSA
“The Autons were chasing us! Your logic about us being your abductors is ridiculous! We’re trying to find a way out!”

BILLY
“Yeah! We were in London a while ago and got chased by monsters…”

CORPORAL JAMES
(interrupts; startled) “L-London? What’s London?”

JO
“Another city. It’s where I come from. And these three are my friends. They came to rescue me.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(puzzled) “You four come from another city?”

NYSSA
“That’s right. We came out of London before we found ourselves here in New York City.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(gradually) “What are your names? Answer!”

JO
“A minute ago you weren’t interested in our names!”

CORPORAL JAMES
“Answer the question! Your names!”

DOCTOR
“I’m the Doctor. This is Nyssa of Traken; Billy Walker and Jo Jones. We came here by my TARDIS.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“TARDIS? What’s that?”

BILLY
“It stands for Time and Relative Dimensions In Space. It’s the Doctor’s time machine.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(puzzled) “You are not…Nargdu?”

NYSSA
“Nargdu? What’s a Nargdu?”

DOCTOR
“Who might you be, sir?”

Moment of silence.

CORPORAL JAMES
(gradually) “I am James Darby. Corporal James Darby of the Seventh Division of Space Fleet Nine-Twenty. A soldier of the Earth Empire. I had a mission but now I’m lost.”

JO
“You don’t say.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“This matter is serious. You will all come with me! Back to my hideout…my base of operations…immediately!”

With that, Corporal James leads the way back to his hideout, taking his rifles with him. The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo remain as they watch Corporal James go, feeling confused.

NYSSA
“Should we go with him, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t see why not, Nyssa. He may give us the answers we need.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(calls from a distance; impatiently) “Come on, you four! There isn’t much time! Hurry!”

BILLY
(apprehensively) “I’m not too sure about this.”

JO
(apprehensively) “Me neither.”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
(reluctantly) “Come along, you three! Let’s not keep good Corporal James waiting.”

With that, the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo follow after Corporal James as he takes them back to his hideout.


SCENE #89 – INT – DINING HALL, CITADEL OF GRONDOR – DAY, MORNING
It is now early in the morning on Teruvada 16. In the Grondor citadel, Prince Ernpic comes down for breakfast in the dining hall. As he enters, he finds Tulu there as she’s just had breakfast already.

ERNPIC
(bitterly) “You!”

TULU
(cheerfully) “Me!” (realises) “Oh! Hello there! I was expecting Bork. You haven’t seen him, have you?”

ERNPIC
“Your working partner. No, I have not seen him.”

TULU
“Oh.” (Pause; cheerfully) “Ah well, you’ll do. Good morning to you, your majesty.”

ERNPIC
“You should bow before a prince of Nargdu.”

TULU
(playfully) “Oh, must I indeed? Very well.”

Tulu then does a little curtsey before Ernpic as she tries to seduce him.

TULU
“Was that good enough for you? My little curtsey?”

ERNPIC
“You insult me! You insult the name of Nargdu! I don’t wish to be in your presence! Understand me?”

TULU
“Oh come on! I’m very decent! I mean, I’ve never had the opportunity of talking to a real prince before.”

ERNPIC
“Leave me at once before I get angry!”

TULU
“But don’t you want to talk to me? To little Tulu. I mean, we’ve got two hours to spend before the demonstration commences. Perhaps we can spend some quality time over breakfast.”

ERNPIC
“I don’t think so.”

TULU
(gradually; slightly annoyed) “Don’t you try to be polite to a girl? Haven’t you ever fallen in love? It doesn’t hurt to chat to a girl once in a while. Saying how pretty she is or how much you want to be with her. You could even like a girl.”

ERNPIC
“Women and relationships are not on my list of priorities. I seek war and victory! Sentimental value has no place in my heart.”

TULU
“Ah well. I can change that.”

ERNPIC
(shouts; angrily) “Go away, you scandalous witch! Go away now!!! Now!!!”

TULU
(affronted) “Alright, I’ll go away. I was trying to be friendly. Can’t blame a girl, can you?”

Tulu leaves the dining hall in a huff. Minister Kovut then enters to meet Ernpic. Ernpic becomes annoyed as he covers his face.

KOVUT
“Your majesty?” (puzzled) “Your majesty?”

ERNPIC
(groans) “Why?! Why does life have to be so hard?! Why can’t we just have this war over and done with?!”

KOVUT
(gradually) “Your majesty? You wanted to see me.”

ERNPIC
(startled) “What?” (realises) “Oh yes. Yes, Minister Kovut. You just witnessed what happened I take it.”

KOVUT
“Yes, your majesty. The alien woman tried to seduce you. I saw it.”

ERNPIC
“It was grotesque and ugly. Obviously her way of diverting me from learning more about her and Bork’s plan to help the human spies. Well, she’s not going to outwit me. Not once. I won’t fall for her charms!”

KOVUT
“You still intend to keep watch over her, your majesty?”

ERNPIC
“Of course! How could I not? It’s a prince’s duty to maintain law and order. For the kingdom of the Nargdu. Glory to Empire!”

KOVUT
“Of course, my lord.” (Pause) “Is there anything else you want?”

ERNPIC
“Yes. I wish to have your opinion about my father, Garnik. What do you think of his motives in this…affair with Bork’s machine?”

KOVUT
“Well, your majesty. To put it mildly…his motives have become…rather curious if not disturbing. I’m uncertain about him. I fear for the king’s mind.”

ERNPIC
“Yes. That’s what I thought.” (Pause) “But that’s as far as we go, Kovut. We will speak no more of this. Never speak ill of my father again. Or you have me to answer for it.”

KOVUT
“Is that a threat, your majesty?”

ERNPIC
“Yes. It is a threat. Have you a problem with that, Kovut?”

KOVUT
(thinks) “No, your majesty. Anything else?”

ERNPIC
(gradually) “That’s all for now.” (Pause) “Now go. I want to have my breakfast.”

With that, Minister Kovut leaves the dining room. Prince Ernpic contends to have his breakfast alone. He sighs away whilst he does so.

ERNPIC
“Soon, I shall unravel my father! I shall make him see the error of his ways!”


SCENE #90 – INT – CORPORAL JAMES’ TENT, 34TH STREET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Back in New York City, the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Jo are inside Corporal James’ hideout which is a tent on 34th street. They’re being provided food and shelter by him as Corporal James becomes hospitable towards them. The food is like wafer bread that’s very crispy and crunchy.

DOCTOR
“Nice tent you have here, Corporal.”

Jo munches away on her wafer bread with relish.

JO
(delighted) “Hmm. It’s very nice of you to be hospitable to us like this. I don’t know what these wafers are but they’re very tasty.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“They’re field rations. For army patrols. They’re not much but…it’ll satisfy all the necessary carbohydrates; proteins; vitamins; the lot.”

NYSSA
“If you have an army then where is it, corporal? You seem to be your own army at the moment.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(gradually) “My troops were killed by those monsters. Ogrons; Autons; the like. I’m the only one that managed to survive.”

NYSSA
(apologetic) “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you, Corporal.”

Moment of silence as Nyssa turns to Billy.

NYSSA
“How are you feeling now, Billy?”

BILLY
“Oh much better now, thanks. The hands feel better and these crispy wafer breads do the treat.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(to Billy) “I do apologise for my hasty reaction in striking you, young man.” (to everyone) “And for the way I mistreated you upon arrival. I’ve been alone for so long that I’ve forgotten to trust anyone.”

Billy acknolwedges Corporal James’ apology as he takes a bite from the crispy bread he’s having. The Doctor eventually addresses Corporal James.

DOCTOR
“So Corporal. Now we’ve told you who we are and where we come from, perhaps you can tell us more about yourself.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(thinks) “Well, I suppose I can trust you. After all you haven’t tried to kill me…yet.” (Pause) “I’ve been here for goodness knows how long. Probably two years of my life. Maybe more. I don’t know. I’ve lost my memory, you see.”

BILLY
“So you’re definitely saying this isn’t Earth. That this place doesn’t bring you home comforts.”

CORPORAL JAMES
“Home comforts?! I know Earth when I see it. And believe me, this is not how I left Earth. It’s all changed. Ancient. Like seeing something from an old photo.”

NYSSA
(to Billy) “He’s from the future, Billy. Remember that. He’s not going to have the same human standards as you have.”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “Tell me Corporal, you called us Nargdu at one point. Why’s that?”

CORPORAL JAMES
“You don’t know about the Nargdu?” (scoffs) “If you don’t, that’s absurd. Every sane person knows about the Nargdu!”

DOCTOR
“Oh I know about the Nargdu Empire. I just want to know why you thought us being from that society. Are you on a mission in their sector?”

CORPORAL JAMES
(gradually) “The Earth Empire was considering making an alliance with the Nargdu. I was part of a peace envoy to the Nargdu’s main planet of Teruvada Sixteen. Our ship was ambushed along the way by anti-human fanatics. Before I had the chance to fire my weapons, I found myself here. In this strange city.”

JO
“Sorry for being so dim but what is the Nargdu Empire? And how come I’ve never heard of it before?”

CORPORAL JAMES
“Never heard of it?! You mean to say you know nothing of the Nargdu Empire?!”

BILLY
“Hey don’t be hard on her, mate! Nyssa and I don’t know anything about the Nargdu Empire either!”

NYSSA
(to Doctor) “What is the Nargdu Empire, Doctor? Please tell us.”

DOCTOR
“The Nargdu Empire is like a cross between Stalin’s Russia and Nazi Germany. Medieval in some respects but certainly advanced with warp drive technology. I have visited Teruvada Sixteen and the Nargdu Empire a number of times in my previous incarnations. But I’ve never stayed around for a holiday. There always seems to be a war going on when I’m there.”

JO
“And the Nargdu and Earth Empires are on cross borders. Like when Earth and Draconia were.”

DOCTOR
“Something like that, yes. I don’t really keep up to date with Nargdu history.”

CORPORAL JAMES
(baffled) “You lot are babbling! Everybody knows about the Nargdu Empire and its history! Where have you been?”

DOCTOR
“James! May I call you James?”

CORPORAL JAMES
(baffled) “I…yes. I suppose so.”

DOCTOR
“James, tell me more about your mission! What’s the current status of the Nargdu Empire? Who runs it these days?”


© Tim Bradley, 2019

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2 thoughts on “‘City of Monsters’, Part Two, Chapter 7

  1. Timelord 007

    OMG….AWESOME TRULY FLIPPING AWESOME LOL.

    What a brilliant debut for my alter ego Corporal James Darby, i/he walks in like Clint Eastwood from The Good The Bad & The Ugly shoots a gang of Autons then strikes poor ole Billys hand with his rifle butt “ouch” lol.

    Loved the scenes with Nyssa & Billy & surprisingly Nyssa wants to move forward with there relationship not Billy when it was Nyssa who was initially reluctant to get involved with Billy there seems a shift here & it’ll be interesting how this develops over the story I’m feeling for Billy in this adventure he’s trying to do the right thing, say the right thing but seems to put his foot in it, come on Nyssa be kind to our Billy.

    Told ya Ernpic going to kill his dad & take over to try & win the war he’s rash & impatient which will no doubt be his eventual downfall.

    So Corporal James lost his memory (interesting arc) there seems more to him than meets the eye as he obviously got a heart despite his tough nature by helping others, i love how you wrote this character Tim & i look forward to reading more about him/me over the course of this excellent exciting story.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed Corporal James Darby’s debut into the story here. Not that I saw Clint Eastwood from ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ when writing this story and uploading it to my blog, but I’m glad it gave you that visual image when reading Corporal James’ introduction to the story. 😀 Glad you enjoyed it when he shot down Autons with anti-plastic bullets. Yeah that moment when Corporal James strikes Billy’s hand with a rifle butt. Seriously that hurt. Oww! 😀

      Yeah I wanted to present a situation where Billy seemed really comfortable in his relationship with Nyssa but it seemed like to Nyssa that Billy hadn’t thought far ahead in terms of their relationship together in the long term. Thus why I had it seem like Billy didn’t consider marriage to Nyssa and was enjoying it while it lasted, yet Nyssa seemed keen for them to move to another level. It is interesting how you point out that Nyssa was reluctant at first to have a relationship with Billy and yet here she seems keen for it to progress to another level whereas Billy isn’t so willing. i think romantic relationships can be complicated like that. Glad you like how Billy tries to say the right thing but puts his foot in it. Hopefully things will work out okay between Nyssa and Billy later on in the story. Did you like how Jo seems to be a part of that conversation between Nyssa and Billy and when she seems to encourage Billy despite his naivety?

      There is a lot more to the situation on Teruvada 16 where there’s war in the background and Garnik and Ernpic are watching the miniscope show presented by Bork and Tulu. I wonder how you’ll react to what the real agenda is and what the motivations of the main enemies are in this adventure.

      Very pleased you like how I’ve written Corporal James in this adventure, Simon. I’m glad I’ve gained your approval here. I’m sure Corporal Jame will come up top trumps in the rest of this adventure. He seems to know a lot about what’s going on with the Nargdu and Teruvada 16, doesn’t he?

      Many thanks Simon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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