‘The Prime Factor’, Part One, Chapter 7

7. Why Do Trolls Look Like Rhinos?

SCENE #56 – EXT – GREEN FIELDS, UNIDENTIFIED PLANET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Elsewhere with Amanda and Chester, they explore the planet together. They tread over the green grassy hills that were walked upon already by the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.

AMANDA
(scared) “I don’t like this place at all, Chester. It’s too quiet here.”

CHESTER
“You’re not scared, are you?”

AMANDA
“Yes I am. I also have the distinct feeling that we’re lost.”

CHESTER
“Oh come on! We can’t be lost!”

AMANDA
“Then where are we?”

CHESTER
“Well…” (Pause) “Err…”

AMANDA
“Yes?”

CHESTER
“Err…” (Pause) “We’ve been following the footsteps of the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy, haven’t we?”

AMANDA
“And can you see the footsteps now, Chester?”

CHESTER
“Well I…no. I can’t.”

AMANDA
“Exactly! We can’t find our way through all this grass covering up our footsteps. Face facts, Chester. We’re lost!”

CHESTER
(excitable) “Oh no! It can’t be! I was so sure! Now we’re lost! It’s my fault! This is my entire fault!”

AMANDA
(soothingly) “Calm down Chester, calm down. There’s no need for you to get so excited.”

Chester takes very deep breaths to calm himself down.

CHESTER
(calms down) “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean for us to get lost.”

AMANDA
“I know you didn’t. Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. It’s just…” (sighs) “…I wish we were back home. I can’t believe how this day’s turned out. I hoped to get on with some homework after school.”

CHESTER
“I know. I didn’t expect today to be like this either.” (Pause) “Don’t worry, Amanda! I’m sure everything will be okay soon!”

AMANDA
“I wish I had your confidence, Chester.”

At that, a teleport occurs behind them. Chester and Amanda turn around to see Mr. Lewis with four android school teachers accompanying him. They train laser guns at them.

CHESTER
“Oh no!”

AMANDA
“It’s Mr. Lewis! And those phoney teachers of his!”

CHESTER
“Come on! Run!”

With that, Chester and Amanda make a run for it. Chester runs very fast with Amanda at his side.

LEWIS
(calls) “Chester! Amanda! Come back here at once!”

Chester and Amanda ignore Mr. Lewis as they keep on running.

LEWIS
(barks) “Androids! Open fire! Open fire I say!”

With that, the android teachers Mr. Childs, Mr. Hopkins, Miss Spencer and Mr. Henderson open fire on Chester and Amanda with their laser guns. Thankfully, Chester and Amanda avoid the shots fired upon them as they keep on running. They’re soon out of sight and the android teachers stop firing.

LEWIS
(to teachers) “Why have you stopped firing? Stop them I say!”

CHILDS
(monotone; to Lewis) “We were unable to stop them, sir.”

HOPKINS
(monotone) “They are out of firing range, sir.”

LEWIS
(angrily) “Idiots! Call yourselves androids? You can’t even hit two school children running on a green field!”

HENDERSON
(monotone) “They were too fast, sir.”

SPENCER
(monotone) “The boy was especially fast.”

LEWIS
(bitterly) “I knew I should’ve acquired better androids from Androzani Major!” (Pause; to Childs; Hopkins) “You two! Go after the boy and the girl. Bring them back alive.” (stops; thinks) “Well, the boy anyway. I don’t care about the girl. Kill her if you want.”

CHILDS; HOPKINS
(monotone) “Yes, sir.”

With that, the Childs and Hopkins androids go off to chase after Chester and Amanda. Once gone, Lewis turns to Spencer and Henderson.

LEWIS
(to Spencer; Henderson) “You other two! Come with me! We have other business to attend to at the duplicate school.”

SPENCER
(monotone) “Yes, sir.”

HENDERSON
(monotone) “Yes, sir.”

With that, Lewis leads the way as he and the Spencer and Henderson androids go to the duplicate Churchwood School on the alien planet.


SCENE #57 – EXT – GREEN FIELDS, UNIDENTIFIED PLANET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Meanwhile with Chester and Amanda, they continue running to escape.

AMANDA
(breathlessly) “Chester! We can’t keep running like this! Especially with you dragging me with your fast running.”

CHESTER
“What else can we do?”

AMANDA
“We’ve got to hide somewhere! Somewhere to stop those fake teachers getting at us!”

Chester and Amanda eventually run down to the bottom of a hill.

CHESTER
(realises) “Hey! Look over there! There’s a cave!”

AMANDA
(realises) “Yes you’re right! Good spotting, Chester. We can hide in there!”

CHESTER
“Come on! Inside!”

With that, Chester and Amanda go off inside the cave.


SCENE #58 – INT – CAVE, UNIDENTIFIED PLANET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Inside the cave, Chester and Amanda keep quiet as the android Mr. Childs and Mr. Hopkins walk past the cave entrance. The two androids stop in their tracks as they consider their options.

CHILDS
(monotone) “The trail has gone cold. They are nowhere to be seen.”

HOPKINS
(monotone) “We must retrace our steps.” (Pause) “Take a look back up the hill. I will search around the mound.”

CHILD
(monotone) “Understood.”

HOPKINS
(monotone) “Report back here in ten minutes.”

With that, the android Childs and Hopkins go separate ways to search for Chester and Amanda. Once gone; Chester and Amanda sigh with relief.

AMANDA
(relieved; quietly) “Thank goodness they’ve gone.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “Yeah. But is it safe for us to get out?”

AMANDA
(quietly) “They’re looking up and down the area, Chester. We can’t get away before they get back in ten minutes’ time.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “If we go out there, they’ll probably spot us before we get the chance.”

AMANDA
(quietly; realises) “Yes.” (Pause) “We’d better not go out there then.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “No! Definitely not!”

AMANDA
(quietly) “So what do we do then? How do we get out without being seen?”

A moment of silence ensues as Chester and Amanda think about this.

CHESTER
(gradually; realises; quietly) “We go deeper into the cave!”

AMANDA
(gradually; quietly) “You’re joking.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “I’m not!”

AMANDA
(quietly) “I can’t go deeper into the cave. It’s too dark!”

CHESTER
(quietly) “Don’t worry! I have a torch!”

Chester takes out his pocket torch. He switches it on and off a few times.

AMANDA
(quietly; protests) “But it’s too far in! There’s probably no way out.”

CHESTER
(thinks; gradually) “Hold on! I’ll check!”

With that, Chester zooms off deeper into the cave, leaving Amanda behind for a moment. Eventually, Chester zooms back to return to Amanda.

CHESTER
(quietly) “It’s okay! There’s a way out! I can see it!”

AMANDA
(quietly; protests) “Don’t leave me like that again, Chester!”

CHESTER
(quietly) “Sorry. But I had to see!”

AMANDA
(quietly; protests) “I’m not going deeper into the cave anyway, Chester! I want to be able to see where I put my feet.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “It’s alright! I’ll carry you!”

AMANDA
(quietly; shocked) “What? No Chester, don’t!”

But with that, Chester lifts Amanda up in his arms and carries her. He switches on his pocket torch as he does so.

CHESTER
(quietly) “That’s it! Off we go!”

AMANDA
(calls; terrified) “No, Chester! No!!!”

But it’s too late as Chester carries Amanda and zooms off down into the cave like the Road Runner from ‘Looney Tunes’ to find a way out.


SCENE #59 – INT – SCIENCE LABS, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
Back at the duplicate Churchwood School, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy find themselves in the science labs. They look around to find anything significant.

NYSSA
“Here we are in the science labs, Doctor. And they’re empty too.”

BILLY
“There must’ve been somebody here though. Some of the equipment is still on. Not the bunsen burners of course. But the projectors and two microscopes have definitely been used.”

DOCTOR
“Haven’t you two noticed anything peculiar about these labs though?”

NYSSA
“No? What, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“There are computer terminals. Anachronistic to Billy’s time.”

Nyssa and Billy look around to see.

BILLY
(realises) “Yes, you’re right, Doctor. These wouldn’t have been used in my school. They’re too sophisticated.”

NYSSA
“And too advanced. Who would have computer terminals like these in a duplicate of Billy’s school?”

DOCTOR
“Probably the aliens running the simulations in this place. To keep records of the rehearsals for an Earth invasion.”

BILLY
“Could we access these computers?”

DOCTOR
“I don’t see why not.”

Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor go over to one of the computer terminals. Nyssa switches it on and is about to access it when…

NYSSA
(realises) “Ah. It’s password protected.”

DOCTOR
“Hang on a minute. Let’s see if we can…”

The Doctor takes out his sonic screwdriver from his coat pocket. He points the sonic screwdriver at the computer terminal and it buzzes away. Eventually, the computer terminal gets bypassed and Nyssa is able to access it.

DOCTOR
(pleased) “There we go!”

NYSSA
“It worked! Thanks Doctor. Your sonic screwdriver comes in very handy.”

Nyssa swiftly types away at the keyboard to gain information from the computer terminal. After a few moments…

NYSSA
(gradually) “Hmm. I think I’ve found something already.”

BILLY
“That was quick! Well done, dear.”

DOCTOR
“What is it, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Take a look, Doctor.”

The Doctor looks to see for himself.

DOCTOR
(gradually; realises) “Yes, I see what you mean, Nyssa.” (Pause) “Whoever’s on this planet has been conducting tests to infiltrate and replace the Churchwood School staff and pupils with androids.”

NYSSA
“This confirms what we already know, Doctor. They must’ve spent weeks or perhaps months to achieve this.”

BILLY
“Excuse me; I’m going to check the cupboards over there…”

Billy goes off to explore the cupboards nearby whilst Nyssa and the Doctor examine the information they’ve found on the computer terminal.

DOCTOR
“It depends on how much they’ve spent in Billy’s time period to pre-arrange everything. It seems they’ve been on Earth far longer than anyone else anticipated. Even you and I didn’t anticipate it, Nyssa.”

Billy opens a cupboard, finding it empty. He closes the cupboard whilst Nyssa talks to the Doctor.

NYSSA
“But they would’ve needed to gain the trust of everyone in Billy’s school to achieve what they wanted. To never get caught out despite replacing people with androids.”

DOCTOR
“You’re forgetting the force-field surrounding the Churchwood area, Nyssa. Whoever co-ordinated this was able to block out any outside interference. What they’ve done with the tests here on this planet, it’s nothing short of impossible to achieve everything they wanted to do within a week.”

Billy opens and closes another cupboard door to find it empty as the Doctor talks to Nyssa.

NYSSA
“I suppose so. But wouldn’t it have helped if Lewis was nicer to obtain the school’s trust instead of treating everyone with force and oppression?”

DOCTOR
“It must be some hypnotic power Lewis has to gain control of everyone at the school, including young Billy. Like Chester Blurr does with his speed. The people of Cybeross must have a unique ability for each to coexist.”

Billy opens and closes another cupboard door to find it empty whilst Nyssa speaks to the Doctor.

NYSSA
“I take it you’ve never visited Cybeross before, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Never saw the need for it. Besides there’s too much war happening on that planet. Not very appealing for me.”

Billy opens one more cupboard door before he gasps with shock and horror.

NYSSA
(realises) “Billy, what is it? What’s wrong? What have you found this time?”

BILLY
(insistently) “Doctor; Nyssa. Come and look over here!”

The Doctor and Nyssa come over to join Billy and see what he’s found. They too are equally shocked and horrified.

NYSSA
(shocked) “The teachers and pupils! They’re all here in this large cupboard!”

DOCTOR
(shocked; gradually) “Well, at least we know where they are now. They’re in storage.”

BILLY
(shocked) “There’s young ‘me’ there among them. And Sean and Alexandra.” (Pause) “I can see now why I couldn’t remember what happened to me on my last day in that week at Churchwood School with Mr. Lewis. I was out cold.”


SCENE #60 – INT – CAVES, UNIDENTIFIED PLANET – DAY, AFTERNOON
Inside the caves of the alien planet, Chester carries Amanda as they zoom deeper to find a way out. Chester zooms along into the cave very quickly whilst carrying Amanda.

AMANDA
(calls; exhausted) “Chester! Please, can we stop for a minute! I feel so exhausted the way you’ve been carrying me in this cave! You must be too!”

CHESTER
“No! Not at all! I’m fine!”

AMANDA
(pleads) “Chester, please stop!”

CHESTER
(sighs) “Okay! We’ll stop!”

With that, Chester stops running. He puts Amanda down onto the ground who staggers on her feet before she regains her balance.

AMANDA
(worn out) “Thank you.” (Pause) “Oh, this is taking forever to get out of this cave. I thought you said you saw the way out.”

CHESTER
(confused) “I just don’t understand! I thought we got close to the exit! I thought I saw the light earlier.”

AMANDA
“Maybe we’ve been going around in circles, Chester.”

CHESTER
“No! I never go round in circles!”

AMANDA
“Well, at least we’re far away from those two fake teachers chasing after us.”

CHESTER
(gradually; realises) “Amanda!”

AMANDA
(concerned) “What is it, Chester? What’s wrong?”

CHESTER
“Don’t look!”

AMANDA
“Why, what is it…?” (gasps) “Oh dear God!”

CHESTER
“I told you not to look!”

AMANDA
(terrified) “There are bodies! Dead bodies all around us!” (Pause; confused) “But…they’re not human. These ones are made out of metal. Like the ones we knocked out when we saved Billy and that girl of his…Nyssa.”

CHESTER
“They must be android bodies. They must be damaged!”

AMANDA
“And left to rot. I’m scared, Chester. I want to get out of this place!”

CHESTER
(reassuringly) “Don’t worry, Amanda. I’ll look after you!”

Just then, footsteps echo nearby.

AMANDA
(hushes) “Ssh! There’s someone coming. I can hear footsteps.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “It’s coming around the corner.” (Pause) “Stay quiet, Amanda. I’m going to take a look!”

AMANDA
(quietly) “Be careful, Chester.”

CHESTER
(quietly) “I will!”

At that, Chester carefully creeps up to whoever’s coming around the corner in the cave they’re in. Eventually, the person comes around the corner and Chester is about to knock him out before…

MAXIL
“Don’t try knocking me out again, Mr. Blurr. I have my staser pistol ready.”

Chester sees Maxil with his staser pistol, pointing directly at him.

CHESTER
“You! But you’re supposed to be back at the TARDIS!”

AMANDA
“How did you find us? We’re deep inside this cave!”

MAXIL
“I used my tracker to follow Mr. Blurr’s Cyberossian energy signature.”

Maxil takes out his tracker to show that it’s bleeping furiously.

CHESTER
“Oh no! I should’ve realised!”

MAXIL
“I found another way into the cave close to where you two were. I assumed you two would come out via that way. When you stopped in your tracks according to my tracker, I had to come in and find out what had happened to you and why you hadn’t come out.”

AMANDA
“So you came in via the exit Chester and I had meant to come out of. We must be close to it then.”

MAXIL
“Indeed. Now it’s time you two came with me back to the TARDIS…”

CHESTER
(protests) “No! I’m not going back! You’re not taking me back to your planet to be used as a weapon! No way!”

MAXIL
“You have no choice in the matter! You are coming back to the TARDIS and you are coming back to Gallifrey! Whether you like it or not.

CHESTER
“No! Bye!”

With that, Chester zooms off into the cave, leaving Amanda and Maxil behind.

AMANDA
(annoyed) “He’s gone! You’ve scared him away!”

MAXIL
“Typical! Children who don’t do as they’re told.”

AMANDA
(annoyed) “You could’ve handled it better! Not scared him away like you did just now.”

MAXIL
“I have my orders. Come! We must go after him!”

AMANDA
“What if I don’t help you?”

MAXIL
(forcefully) “You will come now!”

Maxil forcefully drags Amanda with him as he takes her by the arm.

AMANDA
(annoyed) “Alright, alright! No need to be so rough!”

Maxil ignores Amanda as they go deeper into the cave to chase after Chester.


SCENE #61 – INT – SCIENCE LABS, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
Back in the duplicate Churchwood School science labs, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy are still astonished before Lewis and the android teachers Spencer and Henderson enter.

LEWIS
“There they are! Spencer; Henderson, apprehend those intruders!”

NYSSA
(panics) “Doctor, they’ve found us!”

DOCTOR
(urgently) “Quick, Nyssa; Billy! Get out of here! I’ll go out this way! You go out that way!”

LEWIS
(shouts) “Stop them! Stop them!”

Spencer and Henderson open fire with their laser guns. But they miss as the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy split up and escape. The Doctor goes out through the right door and Nyssa and Billy go out through the left door of the science labs. Spencer and Henderson stop firing.

SPENCER
(monotone) “It is no good. They have gone. One has gone right…”

HENDERSON
(monotone; finishes) “…and two have gone left.”

LEWIS
“Spencer, go after the boy and the girl! Henderson, you come with me! We’ll go and get the Doctor.”

With that, Lewis and Henderson chase after the Doctor whilst Spencer chases after Nyssa and Billy.


SCENE #62 – INT – CORRIDOR, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
In a corridor with Nyssa and Billy, they run getting chased by Spencer the android as she shoots at them.

NYSSA
“Keep running, Billy! We can’t slow down! Androids are faster than us!”

BILLY
(anxiously) “That’s Miss Spencer back there! I like her! She was one of my favourite teachers…”

NYSSA
(interrupts) “She’s not real, Billy! She’s an android! And she won’t spare lives!”

As Nyssa and Billy continue running down the corridor and avoid getting shot at, they eventually come to a dead end.

BILLY
(panics) “Oh no!”

NYSSA
“A dead end! In a corridor! How does this happen?”

BILLY
“Wait! Let’s try one of the classrooms! We might be able to get away by…”

SPENCER
(monotone; threateningly) “Stay where you are! Do not move!”

Before Nyssa and Billy can get a chance, they find themselves trained upon with a laser gun by the android Miss Spencer.

NYSSA
“It’s no good, Billy. We’re trapped!”

BILLY
“This doesn’t look too good, does it?”

SPENCER
(monotone) “You will come with me now. To the duplication chamber.”

Reluctantly, Nyssa and Billy do as Miss Spencer says as they get escorted to the ‘duplication chamber’.


SCENE #63 – INT – CORRIDOR, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
Meanwhile with the Doctor, he runs down a corridor before he comes to a dead end.

DOCTOR
(exasperated) “No! It would have to be a dead end, wouldn’t it? Never mind! I’ll try one of the classrooms and…”

But before the Doctor gets a chance, Lewis and the Henderson android turn up. Henderson trains his laser gun on the Doctor.

LEWIS
“That’s far enough, Doctor! Stay where you are! Move and Mr. Henderson will shoot you!”

HENDERSON
(monotone) “Move and I shoot. Yes.”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Okay. I’ll come quietly. That’s what you want isn’t it, Mr. Lewis?”

LEWIS
(bitterly) “You’ll do more than just come quietly, Doctor. You’ll be taken to the interrogation room this instant.”

DOCTOR
(surprised) “You have an interrogation room in this Churchwood School? Or is it a torture chamber? It usually is in my experience.”

LEWIS
“You will suffer for all the interference you’ve made in our operations, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Don’t worry. There’s more interference where that came from.”

LEWIS
(to Henderson) “Henderson! Take him to the interrogation room!”

With that, the Doctor gets taken away by Henderson the android with a laser gun pointed at him. Lewis has a moment of contemplation with himself as the Doctor gets taken away.


SCENE #64 – INT – DUPLICATION CHAMBER, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
Meanwhile, in the duplication chamber, Nyssa and Billy are wired up and strapped in cubicles. The two struggle to break free.

BILLY
“Nyssa!” (Pause) “Nyssa, we’re trapped inside these cubicles. Shaped like curved benches. With holes around the side.”

NYSSA
“Yes Billy, I know. There are wires through these holes. They’re connected to us. We must be connected to the machines via those wires.”

BILLY
“We’re also restrained! I can’t break free!”

NYSSA
“Neither, can I”

BILLY
“How are we going to get out of here, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Don’t worry, Billy. We’ll find a way [out…”]

SNOKAR
(interrupts; bellows) “Silence!”

Nyssa and Billy look to see who stands nearby.

BILLY
(disturbed) “Okay. I see trolls. Thankfully they’re not Sontarans.”

NYSSA
(terrified) “They look rhino-like as trolls.”

JEGRAGG
(bellows) “Snokar said silence, the pair of you!”

A moment of silence ensues.

BILLY
(nervously) “Aren’t we allowed to know who you are? And what you want?”

SNOKAR
“I am Snokar. This is Jegragg. And our business does not concern you.”

NYSSA
“It does when you have us trapped inside these cubicles.”

SNOKAR
(to Jegragg) “Jegragg! Commence the procedure.”

JEGRAGG
“Is this wise, Snokar?”

SNOKAR
“Do not question my authority, Jegragg!” (Pause) “We must obtain the Doctor’s trust if he does what we expect him to do.” (Pause) “Now do as I say! Commence the procedure!”

JEGRAGG
(reluctantly) “Yes Snokar!”

NYSSA
“What procedure? What do you mean?”

But the two aliens ignore Nyssa and Billy as Jegragg goes over to a control panel nearby.

BILLY
“You can’t just ignore us! We demand to know what’s going on!”

JEGRAGG
(to Snokar) “Initiating body scan, Snokar.”

With that, Jegragg operates a squidgy alien-like control on a console. An awful eerie sound echoes from the console and soon Nyssa and Billy are bathed in a pulsing light.

BILLY
(disorientated) “Nyssa? I see blue…all around me. Is this…what being scanned feels like?”

NYSSA
(disorientated) “Don’t give in to it, Billy. Just…keep calm…and don’t succumb. This is them…scanning our body print. But don’t black out!”

As the pulsating blue light continues to glow around them…

SNOKAR
“Commence brain analysis, Jegragg!”

JEGRAGG
“Yes, Snokar!”

Jegragg then operates another control. Soon Nyssa and Billy get bathed in a yellow pulsating light instead of blue. The awful sound becomes terrible as Nyssa and Billy gasp in pain.

BILLY
(in pain) “Nyssa! My head! It’s hurting me!”

NYSSA
(in pain) “Billy, don’t give in to it!”

BILLY
(in pain) “I feel…my head’s on fire!” (faint) “I think…I’m going…to…pass…out!”

NYSSA
(in pain) “No Billy! Don’t pass out!” (faint) “Whatever you do, don’t…”

But it’s too late, as Billy passes out.

SNOKAR
(gloatingly) “It’s too late, human female! He’s already passed out! And soon…you will too!”

At that, Nyssa slumps and passes out. Snokar becomes satisfied until…

JEGRAGG
(interrupts) “Snokar! There’s something peculiar with these readings.”

SNOKAR
“What is it, Jegragg?”

JEGRAGG
“The computers register that the boy’s body print has been scanned already. And the girl’s readings are not registered as human. She’s an alien. Not a native to the planet Earth.”

SNOKAR
(dismissively) “Bah! It does not matter. These two will serve our purpose! Continue the scans, Jegragg!”

With that, Jegragg continues to scan Nyssa and Billy as they’re unconscious in their cubicles.


SCENE #65 – INT – INTERROGATION ROOM, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
Meanwhile, the Doctor finds himself in a dark, foreboding room where he’s being interrogated by Lewis.

LEWIS
“So, Doctor. Perhaps we should start with the fairly obvious question. How exactly did you come to know about this invasion operation…?”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “You clearly weren’t expecting me to turn up. Oh I mean; you did expect me, but you were expecting the one with the long scarf, weren’t you?”

LEWIS
(annoyed) “Don’t turn this interrogation around…”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “I mean, my cricketing gear and cream coat isn’t a long scarf, but I do have a cricket ball that could be more fitting. Or my hat. Or the stick of celery on my lapel. Fancy some celery, Mr. Lewis?”

LEWIS
(bitterly) “Don’t be flippant, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“I hate eating celery mind. But it comes in handy with healing properties to be put at my disposal. Such as when the celery turns purple once a certain gas in the praxis range of the spectrum comes along. Not that frequently happens, but still. Always best to be prepared.”

LEWIS
(angrily) “That’s enough, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“I’m very surprised you haven’t confiscated my cricket ball. That’s very careless of you, Mr. Lewis. I could easily use it to escape if I wanted to.”

LEWIS
“You can never escape this interrogation room so easily, Doctor. I have android guards outside!”

DOCTOR
“Yes, I saw them as we came in here. Very human-like, aren’t they? I’ve had enough experience of androids to know it is best not to antagonise them.”

LEWIS
“Very wise, Doctor. I’m also certain the reason why you haven’t tried to escape is because you wish to know more information about us as much as we want to know about you.”

DOCTOR
“Very perceptive, Mr. Lewis.”

LEWIS
“Which of course you know isn’t very easy to come by. Especially from the likes of me.”

DOCTOR
“There’s no harm in trying is there, Mr. Lewis?” (Pause) “Is that your real name? Maybe you should drop the school teacher pretence and allow me to address you by your proper name. If you wish to get any answers out from me. And vice versa.”

A moment of silence ensues.

LEWIS
(considers; gradually) “My name is Galvakon.”

DOCTOR
“Ah! And I suspect you come from the same planet as Chester Blurr does. Cybeross, isn’t it?”

LEWIS
“Correct. How exactly did you know about the boy’s identity?”

DOCTOR
“A colleague of mine identified him with a portable tracker.”

LEWIS
“One of your friends of course.”

DOCTOR
“He’s not my friend. We’re of the same species and we use the same technology, but that is all.”

LEWIS
“But the two young ones. They’re friends of yours, aren’t they?”

DOCTOR
“You’d better not have harmed them.”

LEWIS
“Your friends are being dealt with. Is that how you came to know about our operation? One of your friends requested coming here? Was it the girl…?” (Pause; realises) “Wait! The boy…”

DOCTOR
(interrupts) “I guess you’re on the other side of the civil war between your people and Chester’s people on Cybeross, aren’t you? The evil side, I believe.”

LEWIS
(outraged) “There’s nothing evil about my kind! We’re fighting for conquest on Cybeross! There is no shame in that.”

DOCTOR
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely, Galvakon.”

LEWIS
“That is a ridiculous statement!”

DOCTOR
“It’s an old Earth one actually. By a man named John Dalberg-Acton. You should check him out. He’s a nice man. I had tea with him once.”

LEWIS
(bitterly) “Your words are meaningless, Doctor. You and your friends are meaningless. Very soon, our people will conquer Cybeross as well as the entire sector of the galaxy for the greater good.”

DOCTOR
“And beyond? It usually is the case with you people. You go beyond once you’ve conquered a part of the galaxy.”

LEWIS
(ruefully) “One step at a time, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“How exactly was an Earth invasion of androids going to help you in that cause, Galvakon? Why have androids to replace the school full of teachers and pupils that you now have in your custody? Who are you working for?”

LEWIS
“You’re a real piece of work, Doctor. You ask so many questions.”

DOCTOR
“And don’t get many answers as is usually the case.”

LEWIS
(gradually) “It does not matter. Very soon, this operation will be complete. Now we have you in our custody, you can do little to interfere.”

DOCTOR
“Don’t be so sure about that, Galvakon.”

Just then, Lewis/Galvakon’s communicator bleeps. He takes it out; switches it on and holds it to his ear to speak into it.

LEWIS
(through communicator) “Go ahead. I’m listening.” (Pause) “Yes, I see.” (Pause) “I’ll bring the Doctor over now. Out.”

With that, Lewis/Galvakon switches off his communicator and pockets it.

LEWIS
“You will come with me now, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Why, where are we going? Off on a little jaunt, are we?”

LEWIS
“You will be taken to see your friends. They are expecting you.”

DOCTOR
(surprised) “Nyssa; Billy? You’re taking me to see Nyssa and Billy?”

LEWIS
(barks) “Guards!”

At Lewis/Galvakon’s command, two androids enter the interrogation room.

LEWIS
(to androids) “Escort the Doctor to the control centre.”

The Doctor is soon taken away by the two androids as they escort him out of the interrogation room. Lewis/Galvakon takes up the rear as they go.


SCENE #66 – INT – PRISON CELL, CHURCHWOOD SCHOOL – DAY, AFTERNOON
In a prison cell at the duplicate Churchwood School, Nyssa and Billy get pushed in.

BILLY
(annoyed; protests) “Alright, alright, there’s no need to push!”

The prison cell doors get slammed shut once the androids that brought them in lock it from the outside. Locked in, Nyssa and Billy have time to recover, feeling disorientated.

BILLY
(concerned) “Are you alright, Nyssa dear?”

NYSSA
“Yes Billy, I’m fine. Just disorientated.”

BILLY
“Me too. What was it they put us through? That process with the machine was agonising and brain-numbing. I nearly had all my hair out!”

NYSSA
“They’re clearly advanced humanoids, whatever they are. I’ve never come across them before.”

BILLY
“Me neither.” (Pause) “Also, they have a prison cell in this place? My school never had prison cells.”

NYSSA
“I suspect this is an addition by our captors in case of an emergency. To keep hold of unwelcome visitors to this planet.”

BILLY
“Like we are.”

NYSSA
“Yes, exactly.” (realises) “They don’t even have convenient windows for us to climb out of and escape. That one above is very high for us to reach.” (Pause) “Most inconvenient.”

A moment of silence ensues.

BILLY
“There was some talk about body prints when we were being scanned.”

NYSSA
“I suppose the scans they were getting of us were to create android duplicates. Like when we were on Earth with the human teachers and pupils being replaced by androids at your school.”

BILLY
“These troll-like creatures don’t seem smart. One of them dismissed that I’d been scanned already as my younger self.”

NYSSA
“They’re probably trying to advance forward. Not think about the consequences.” (Pause) “Besides, you’re years older than your younger self. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Another moment of silence ensues.

BILLY
(anxiously) “I’m anxious though. What would they use android copies of us for? To fool the Doctor?”

NYSSA
“It’s very likely, yes.”

BILLY
(anxiously) “We’d better think of getting a way out of here then.”

NYSSA
“My thoughts exactly. If only we had the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.”

BILLY
“If only we could climb up high to that window. There aren’t any tables for us to get up that high.”

NYSSA
“We don’t want to get ourselves injured, Billy.” (Pause) “One way or another, our mission seems to be in jeopardy. To find out what happened to you on the day you lost memory as well as collecting this Prime Factor the Doctor and Maxil seem very concerned about.”

BILLY
“Yeah. What do you suppose is going on at their end? What is this Prime Factor they’re hiding from us?”

NYSSA
“I’ve no idea.” (Pause) “Still, I trust the Doctor. I’m sure he’ll come to tell us in his own time.”

Just then, something slips underneath the prison cell door. Nyssa and Billy see it once it’s slipped through.

BILLY
“Nyssa? Was that there before?”

NYSSA
“No Billy, it wasn’t.”

BILLY
(gradually) “It looks like a card of some kind.”

Billy kneels down to pick it up.

NYSSA
(gradually) “Be careful, Billy.”

BILLY
(reassuringly) “I will Nyssa, I will.”

Eventually, Billy picks the card up from the floor. Billy shows it to Nyssa as they both read it.

BILLY
“Here it is.”

NYSSA
“It’s an invitation.”

BILLY
(puzzled; intrigued) “An invitation?”

NYSSA
“Yes. You can see it on the card.” (reads)‘You are cordially invited…’

BILLY
“I see.” (Pause) “But where are we invited to?”

Nyssa takes a moment before reading the card further.

NYSSA
(reads)‘You are cordially invited to the Intergalactic Restaurant at the End of the Universe.’

BILLY
(intrigued) “Hmm. Sounds classy.”

NYSSA
(realises) “Wait! There’s more.” (reads) “It says…‘That restaurant is next to the edge of the Maldovarium galaxy. The classy one. Not the one in the dumps.’

BILLY
“Does it say who sent the invitation?”

NYSSA
(checks; gradually) “Yes, here it is.” (reads)‘From the policewoman and the Roman Centurion.’(Pause; ruefully) “Not much to go on, is there?”

BILLY
“Does it say what time we’re supposed to meet them? What century?”

Nyssa turns the invitation card over to check.

NYSSA
“It says here on the back.” (reads)‘Come meet us in the middle of June. We’re having our second honeymoon. Be seeing you.’

BILLY
(confused) “In the middle of June? That’s not very helpful. When in the middle of June? What year?”

NYSSA
“They must be friends of the Doctor’s to send us this invitation.”

BILLY
“Unusual friends at that. A policewoman and a Roman centurion?”

NYSSA
“There does seem to be a pattern going on. Past and future Doctors as well as past and future companions getting involved with what we’re doing. I wonder what all this could mean.”

BILLY
“I don’t know. But I can’t help feeling nervous about it.”

NYSSA
“Me too.”

BILLY
(gradually) “There is one thing that puzzles me though.”

NYSSA
“Oh? What’s that, Billy?”

BILLY
“Well, how come we weren’t let out by whoever sent that invitation? Was it the policewoman or the Roman Centurion that sent it? Why weren’t we set free in order to escape?”

Just then, the prison cell door opens. A creaking noise occurs as the cell door open outwards. Nyssa and Billy are astonished.

NYSSA
“You were saying, Billy?”

BILLY
“Nyssa? Our captors…haven’t let us out, have they?”

NYSSA
“I very much doubt it, Billy.”

Nyssa and Billy become curious with their prison cell door now open.


© Tim Bradley, 2019

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