‘The Tree of Riverloth’, Part Three, Chapter 10

10. Collecting Master Plans

SCENE #86 – INT – CORRIDOR, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
Outside in the corridor, the Doctor and the others go with Saloga and Milgi as they make their way out of the penal wing.

MILGI
“We’ll make our way back to the tunnel where we came from. It links from this part of the penal wing to the gardens of Cordow outside.”

WERNA
“Well done, you two! I was afraid the Fosters might find us using those tunnels since Morguth and the Melkurs’ arrival.”

SALOGA
“They may well do, Werna. We’ve still got a way to go before we’re back in the gardens again.”

NYSSA
(to Doctor) “Doctor, you said you’d talk about what you had in mind as to where we go from here. I think the time is now.”

BILLY
“Do we know where we’re heading though?”

WERNA
“Back to the rebels’ hideout of course!”

DOCTOR
(interjects) “I don’t think that’d be a wise idea, Werna.”

RONDUS
“My sentiments exactly, Doctor. I’m glad we agree on something.”

GALADIO
“Rondus dear, be quiet!”

WERNA
“Why? Where had you in mind to go to, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Back to the TARDIS actually.”

BILLY
“Won’t they have Fosters or Melkurs guarding it, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“The TARDIS is the safest place to be in compared to the rebels’ hideout, Billy. Beside I doubt the Fosters, Melkur or Morguth know about the TARDIS. Not yet anyway.”

WERNA
“I disagree, Doctor. I believe Billy’s got a point. The Fosters and Melkurs probably have your ship guarded by now. Either of them could have seen Billy, Saloga and Milgi leaving the TARDIS when they came out.”

DOCTOR
“Not necessarily. Besides it’s a chance we’ve got to take!”

NYSSA
“Are you sure of that, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Nyssa, please! This isn’t the time for debate! The TARDIS is the safest place to be in away from Morguth and the Melkurs’ influence! Believe me, I know!”

BILLY
“Doctor. I’ve got this tingling feeling.”

NYSSA
(shrewdly) “Billy, don’t say things like that!”

BILLY
(retorts) “Not that kind of tingling, Nyssa. I mean…a sense of danger. A warning instinct in me.” (Pause) “What if Morguth knows that we’ve already escaped?”

GALADIO
“Escaped?!”

RONDUS
“Morguth?!”

BILLY
“And if he does…would he have sent Melkurs after us?”

Suddenly, at that moment, Melkurs appear in the corridor behind them. They stalk towards them, lumbering as they advance in the corridor.

MILGI
“Melkurs! Right behind us!”

DOCTOR
“Short answer to that question, Billy. Yes!”

BILLY
“Me and my big mouth!”

NYSSA
“We must get away from here! Come on! Run!”

The Doctor and friends run onwards as they head off down the corridor, with the Melkurs chasing them. The Melkurs open fire with their red eyes.

DOCTOR
“Everyone duck as you run! Melkurs are firing at us over our heads!”
Everyone ducks as they keep running, with the Melkurs firing upon them.

Eventually, they come to a stop outside the tunnel on the side of a wall.

SALOGA
“Here it is! Here’s the tunnel Milgi and I came out of!”

WERNA
“Quick, Saloga; Milgi! Open the lid! Open it!”

Saloga and Milgi open the lid of the tunnel, whilst the Melkurs, advance lumbering slowly towards them. The lid of the tunnel swings open.

SALOGA
“Done it! We’ve got it open!”

MILGI
“Right! Everyone, get inside!” (to Nyssa) “Nyssa, you first!”

NYSSA
“Right!”

Nyssa gets inside the tunnel through the wall.

MILGI
“Then you Werna! Then Saloga, then Billy, then the Doctor! Then…”

Suddenly, Rondus and Galadio scream as they get caught and captured by the Melkurs. The Melkurs manhandle them.

WERNA
(cries) “Mother; father!”

DOCTOR
“We’ll have to leave them, Werna! They’ll be coming after us shortly! Come on, get inside!”

WERNA
(protests) “But my mother and father…”

SALOGA
(forcefully) “Come on, Werna! Inside!”

Saloga forces Werna inside the tunnel.

SALOGA
“There!”

MILGI
“Now Saloga! You next!”

SALOGA
“Yes!”

MILGI
“Then you Billy! And you Doctor!”

BILLY
“You don’t have to tell me twice!”

DOCTOR
“Right behind you, Billy!”

Billy and the Doctor get inside the tunnel. Meanwhile Rondus and Galadio cry out despairingly whilst the Melkurs manhandle them.

GALADIO
“Please Doctor! Please help us!”

RONDUS
“You can leave us here, Doctor! You can’t leave us to die at the hand of the Melkurs!”

DOCTOR
(apologetically) “Sorry, Consuls Rondus; Galadio! We’ll come back for you! I promise we’ll come back for you!”

The Doctor disappears inside the tunnel.

DOCTOR
(calls from within) “Milgi, inside the tunnel with you!”

MILGI
“Right you are, Doctor!”

Milgi gets inside the tunnel. The Melkurs advance just as they get close to Milgi already inside the tunnel.

GALADIO
(pleads) “Don’t leave us! Don’t!”

But it’s too late. Milgi swings the tunnel lid shut tightly, just before the Melkurs get close to them. The Melkurs fire their eyes at the metal tunnel lid. It has no effect.

RONDUS
“It’s too late, Galadio. The Doctor, our daughter Werna and their friends have abandoned us! Left us to the mercy of these…monsters!”

Rondus and Galadio quiver as the Melkurs advance on them and look at them with menacing intent.

MELKURS
(in unison) “You are to be taken to the Consul chamber! There our master Morguth will speak to you! He and his associate Sarumane! Come! You are to come with us!”

Rondus and Galadio struggle in the Melkurs’ grip, as they’re taken away to the Consul chamber.


SCENE #87 – INT – TUNNEL, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
Inside the tunnel, linking the penal wing to the Cordow gardens, the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy, Werna, Saloga and Milgi crawl for a while before eventually coming to a stop. They breathe deep to recover their wits.

WERNA
(gradually) “My mother; father! They were…”

MILGI
“Yes! Taken away by the Melkurs.”

WERNA
(sighs; distressed) “I know I didn’t approve of what they did in governing us as people of Riverloth! But I wish we could go back and save them!”

DOCTOR
“The Melkurs in those robot forms are too powerful for us to content with. We couldn’t do anything to save your parents, I’m afraid. We will go back for them, I promise.”

NYSSA
“At least they didn’t burn the tunnel lid when we got in and closed it securely in time.”

DOCTOR
“The Melkurs in robot form aren’t necessarily powerful as the real thing. There are bound to be limits with Melkur spirits inside robots. Although I’ve never encountered real Melkurs to prove that theory.”

BILLY
“Just hope and pray that you don’t run into any ‘real’ Melkurs in your travels, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“I hope so, Billy. I hope so.”

SALOGA
“But what are we to do? Now that we know that Morguth has Melkurs looking out for us at every corner we turn. How do we know which is the safest place to go? Rebels’ hideout or TARDIS?”

WERNA
“I still say the rebels’ hideout is the best place to go.”

DOCTOR
“No, Werna. I must strongly disagree with that!”

WERNA
“Why, Doctor? What makes the TARDIS a better place to keep ourselves safe than the rebels’ hideout.”

DOCTOR
“The TARDIS has temporal defences to prevent anyone from getting inside. Including the Melkurs. ‘Course, they can stand outside the TARDIS waiting for us to come out…”

BILLY
(finishes) “But they can’t get in whilst you have your temporal defences up surrounding the TARDIS when we’re inside, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Precisely, Billy!”

NYSSA
“Then it’s just a matter of making sure we don’t get caught when we head back to the TARDIS, isn’t it?”

DOCTOR
“Yes, I’m afraid so Nyssa.”

MILGI
“You seem to have already decided on us going back to the TARDIS, haven’t you three?”

DOCTOR
“Unless you’d prefer the Melkurs to interrupt our conversations whilst we’re at your hideout! Well Milgi; Saloga; Werna?”

Moment of silence.

WERNA
(sighs) “Very well. We’ll make our way to your TARDIS then.”

DOCTOR
“Good, good. Now it’s still the gardens of Cordow, I take it. Hopefully nobody will be around when we try to get inside.”

NYSSA
“Unless we have Fosters and Melkurs chasing after us.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. Well, we’ll worry about that when we cross that bridge shall we?” (keenly) “Come on! We’ve rested enough in here! Let’s move on!”

The six of them continue crawling through the tunnel, as they make their way out to the gardens of Cordow at the other end.


SCENE #88 – INT – CONSUL CHAMBER, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
Inside the Consul Chamber, Rondus and Galadio are brought in by the Melkurs. Rondus and Galadio struggle in the Melkurs’ grip as they’re being brought in.

RONDUS
(protests) “This is most outrageous! Unhand us you ugly evil statues! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Consul Protector of all Riverloth! I have a high responsibility…”

GALADIO
“Please, Rondus my dear! Don’t aggravate these Melkurs! They’re not interested, you know!”

RONDUS
(to Melkurs) “How is it you can walk; talk and attack people whenever you want to? You’re just robots! Robots under our command! The command of Riverloth! How is that you can…?”

MELKURS
(in unison) “You will be silent! Our master Morguth and his associate Sarumane will come to deal with you. Unless you keep silent and desist in provoking us, the power of the Melkurs shall overcome and destroy you both! Is that understood?”

The Melkurs have Rondus and Galadio standing in the centre of the room. Rondus and Galadio reframe from responding to the Melkurs once spoken to by them. Moment of silence.

GALADIO
(quietly) “It seems that we’re in their power, Rondus my dear.”

RONDUS
(quietly) “I can’t understand all this is happening, Galadio. Why is all of this happening?!”

GALADIO
(quietly) “I’m at a loss too, my dear.”

Just then, the doors open from the other side and Morguth enters with Sarumane behind him. They step towards the centre of the Consul chamber to meet Rondus and Galadio.

MORGUTH
“Melkurs! Malador’s children! You captured these two Consuls of Riverloth! They were trying to escape?”

MELKURS
(in unison) “Yes, our master! They were escaping with the Doctor and his five young friends into a tunnel in the wall of the penal wing. We captured these two. But the Doctor and the others managed to escape.”

MORGUTH
“How distressing and inconvenient this is!” (ridicules; to Sarumane) “You didn’t put any Fosters on guard in the corridors to prevent the Doctor and his friends from escaping in the tunnel, Sarumane!”

SARUMANE
(defensively) “We didn’t know there was a tunnel in that corridor, Great One O Morguth!”

MORGUTH
“I had Melkurs sent to infiltrate their escape. Even that wasn’t enough. You should have been prepared for any eventualities, Sarumane. I do not tolerate incompetence such as that.”

SARUMANE
(apologetically) “My apologies, great Morguth! I will do better next time.”

MORGUTH
“Oh spare me your subservience!”

Morguth advances slowly towards Rondus and Galadio.

MORGUTH
“You! The male Consul!”

RONDUS
“That’s Consul Protector Rondus to you, Morguth whatever you are!”

MORGUTH
(gradually) “Where are the Doctor and his friends heading for?”

No response.

MORGUTH
“Answer, Consul!”

RONDUS
“I refuse to say anything! Especially to the likes of you!”

Moment of tense silence.

MORGUTH
(menacingly) “Very well. Since you refuse to tell me anything, I shall probe into the recesses of your mind to obtain the information. It would have saved you a lot of bother if you had answered my questions!”

Suddenly, Rondus lets out a cry of pain as Morguth probes into his mind. Morguth laughs out loud maniacally whilst he does this.

RONDUS
(cries; agonised) “My…my head! You’re hurting me! My brain! It’s on fire!”

MORGUTH
(laughs maniacally) “And I thought this planet would be so dull!”

Morguth keeps on laughing, whilst Rondus cries out in agonising pain. Galadio tries to step in between Morguth and Rondus.

GALADIO
(pleads) “Stop! Please stop, Morguth! You’re hurting my husband! Let him go! Let him go at once!”

But Morguth ignores Galadio, as he keeps on probing his mind, laughing out loud as he does so. Rondus still reels in agonising pain.

GALADIO
(pleads) “Morguth, please! I’m begging you! Stop this! Stop this now!”

MORGUTH
(gradually) “Oh very well!”

Morguth eventually sets Rondus free of his pain. Rondus collapses to the floor, groaning. Galadio comes beside Rondus to tend and care for him.

GALADIO
(concerned) “Rondus? Rondus, my dear? Are you alright?”

Rondus groans in response.

GALADIO
(reassuringly) “It’s alright, Rondus my dear. It’s alright. I’ve got you! Your loving wife Galadio is here! I’ve got you!”

Galadio comforts her husband Rondus in his weak state, whilst Morguth looks on at them disapprovingly.

MORGUTH
(scornfully; with disgust) “He’s so weak, that Riverlothian Consul! They all are here on Riverloth! I shall be pleased to remove the scum of this planet once and for all, once I’ve taken control of the River from the Tree!”

SARUMANE
(gradually) “Did you find the information you wanted from him, O Great One Morguth?”

MORGUTH
(gradually) “There are two choices for the Doctor’s group. The rebels’ hideout and the TARDIS.” (Pause) “They will be making for the TARDIS. It is in the gardens of Cordow now.”

SARUMANE
“The Cordow gardens! Shall I send Glorfini and his Fosters there?”

MORGUTH
“Glorfini and his Fosters will already be there, Sarumane! They will see the Doctor and his friends to try and catch them!” (Pause) “It will not be enough!” (to Melkurs) “Melkurs!”

MELKURS
(in unison) “Yes, our master!”

MORGUTH
“You will go to the garden of Cordow…for now! Observe the Fosters attempts to capture the Doctor and his friends as they make for the TARDIS. Do not attempt to help capture them unless I say so.”

MELKURS
(in unison) “As you command, our master!”

With that, the Melkurs stalk and lumber away, as they leave the Consul Chamber to find the Doctor and his friends in the gardens of Cordow. Meanwhile, Rondus recovers with Galadio beside him.

RONDUS
(weakly) “Galadio! Galadio, my dear!”

GALADIO
(relieved) “My husband! You’re still alive!”

RONDUS
(weakly; distressed) “His mind! His mind, Galadio! It’s so strong! I can feel him inside my head! And in my body! He was inside me all over! Burning me as he read my head! I wanted to scream! Scream out the agony!”

Galadio comforts Rondus, whilst he’s distressed in the Consul chamber.


SCENE #89 – EXT – GARDENS OF CORDOW, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
In the gardens of Cordow, the Doctor and friends make their way through the gardens to find the TARDIS.

MILGI
(anxiously) “Here we go again! We’re walking through the gardens of Cordow exposed to anyone who might see us! The Fosters and the Melkurs will come right after us any minute!”

DOCTOR
“Patience, dear Milgi! Have patience! We’re nearly back at the TARDIS! There’s no need to fear.”

NYSSA
“Are you sure about this, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Please, Nyssa! Don’t spoil my concentration! And don’t doubt my assurance. I know what I’m doing. We’re nearly back at the TARDIS.”

NYSSA
“I have a feeling we’re lost, Doctor.”

BILLY
“No, Nyssa! Look! Up ahead! There’s the TARDIS before us!”

DOCTOR
“Excellent! Well spotted, Billy! Well done!”

Just then, Fosters appear and see the Doctor and friends from a distance. They raise their weapons at them.

FOSTER #4
(shouts) “Halt! In the name of Riverloth!”

SALOGA
“Fosters!”

WERNA
(despairingly) “Oh no! They’re found us!”

FOSTER #4
(shouts) “You six people are under arrest! Don’t run or we fire!”

DOCTOR
“Now! Run!”

FOSTER #4
(shouts) “I said ‘don’t run’!”

NYSSA
(protests) “Doctor, we can’t just…”

DOCTOR
“To the TARDIS! Run!”

The group of six run forward as they make for the TARDIS. The Fosters open fire whilst they run. Eventually, the Doctor and friends arrive at the TARDIS. The Doctor gets his key into the lock to turn and open the TARDIS door.

MILGI
(anxiously) “They’re right behind us!”

BILLY
“Doctor, we’ll never get in!”

Eventually, the Doctor opens the TARDIS doors inwards.

DOCTOR
“Never say ‘never’, Billy!” (to everyone) “Quick, everyone! Inside!”

The Doctor bundles his companions into the TARDIS, as the Fosters come up charging guns blazing. The Doctor eventually gets inside the TARDIS, before looking out to the Fosters.

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “Sorry, Fosters! I can’t let you in! There’s only about room for six of us!”

The Doctor closes the TARDIS doors on the Fosters before they can get in. The Fosters thump their fists and weapons onto the doors of the TARDIS to get in.

FOSTER #4
(barks) “Open up! Open up, Doctor! Let us in! Open up and let us in!”

They keep thumping on the TARDIS door. But it is of no use.


SCENE #90 – INT – TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM – N/A
Inside the TARDIS, the thumping on the exterior door can be heard from within. The Doctor and his friends stand around the console to debate on what to do next.

NYSSA
“Thank goodness we’re safe in here. For now at least.”

SALOGA
“Will the Fosters be able to get into the TARDIS now that they’re outside banging on the doors, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Those TARDIS doors are impregnable, Saloga. Nobody can get in or out unless I will the old girl to.”

MILGI
“What about these temporal defences you talked about, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Those are the temporal defences, Milgi.”

WERNA
“Alright, Doctor. So now we’re inside your TARDIS machine of yours, what do we do now? We can’t stay stuck in here.”

NYSSA
“Werna’s right, Doctor. I don’t want to put a damper on your confidence in the TARDIS’ capabilities. But I doubt even the temporal defences you mentioned will keep the Melkurs and Morguth out.”

BILLY
“Crikey, you don’t mean to say that they can actually get in here, do you?”

NYSSA
“It could come to that, Billy.”

DOCTOR
“Then it’s imperative we must see that they don’t. At least not while we’re inside the TARDIS anyway. And that both Morguth and the Melkurs can’t get in through the ship’s temporal defences.”

WERNA
“Agreed. So what are we going to do?”

Moment of silence.

DOCTOR
(gradually) “I wonder why Morguth wants to control the River. Surely he can think of better planets to control that are so vulnerable. Why this one? Why this particular planet.”

BILLY
“We did say the Tree of Riverloth could be the key, Doctor. The Tree is from Traken after all originally.”

DOCTOR
“No, Billy. That’s too obvious. Morguth’s a malicious, primordial being. He has an infinite amount of power to control the Melkurs. He can summon anybody to his will. Even Sarumane. If he wanted to take control of the River and the Tree, he could have done so instantly.” (Pause) “No. There’s something else here. Something that’s nagging in the back of my head about what Morguth’s up to. But I can’t think what it is.”

NYSSA
“It could be to do with the fact that Morguth increases radiation.”

DOCTOR
(puzzled) “I’m sorry what, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Radiation. When Sarumane was in the water particles in the river coming from the waterfall, my pocket scanner picked up that he as the unknown malign intelligence could increase radiation. What that means though, I can’t say.”

WERNA
“Surely that would be radiation from the machines Sarumane uses to give him bodily water particles and energies from those victims in that induction chamber.”

NYSSA
“It could be that. But like the Doctor, I’m guessing there’s something more to it than that.”

DOCTOR
(gradually) “Well it seems our options are clear.”

BILLY
(puzzles) “Options? What options are they, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“The way to defeat Morguth is to tackle his Achilles’ heel. The apparent weakness that Morguth has, as you Riverlothians and you Nyssa as a Trakenite would say. We have to find a way to put a spanner in the works in Sarumane’s technology. That is of course what Sarumane has used to enable him to enter into this world of Riverloth.”

WERNA
“The River Manipulator Room!”

DOCTOR
(approvingly) “Good suggestion there, Werna. And a good place to start.”

NYSSA
“We should perhaps collect the master plans for the River Manipulator, Doctor. That is if there are any.”

DOCTOR
(approvingly) “Good idea, Nyssa. That way we’ll be able to pinpoint where exactly to put the spanner in the works for the River Manipulator and defeat Morguth.”

BILLY
“Then where are these River Manipulator master plans then, Doctor; Nyssa? Where are they kept?”

DOCTOR
“Good questions, Billy?” (to Werna; Saloga; Milgi) “You three? Any ideas?”

MILGI
“Sorry, Doctor. No.”

SALOGA
“Sorry, no.”

WERNA
(gradually) “I know where they’re kept, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“You do, Werna? Good for you! Where? Where are they kept?”

WERNA
“My mother and father have them. They keep the plans in a safe inside our house.”

NYSSA
“Your parents keep the master plans, Werna. Not Sarumane.”

WERNA
“It was my father’s idea. One of my father’s ‘wise’ ideas as Consul Protector on Riverloth. He said that the River Manipulator master plans were to be kept in the high-ranking Consul’s home and not in the technicial Consul’s, which is Sarumane. This is in case something goes wrong with the security of the River Manipulator by outsiders or in case something goes wrong with Consul Sarumane.”

BILLY
“And of course the latter has happened. Yes. Very appropriate.”

DOCTOR
“Do you know where this safe of your parents is, Werna?”

WERNA
“Yes. I’ve seen it. I know where they keep the plans, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Could you show us if we go to your parents’ house.”

WERNA
“Yes. Willingly.”

DOCTOR
“Splendid! Then let’s go!”

NYSSA
“Where to, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “To Werna’s parents’ house of course, Nyssa!” (out loud) “Werna’s parent’s house! Here we come!” (to everyone) “Hold on tight to something, everyone!”

Everyone holds on tight, as the Doctor sets the TARDIS to go to Rondus’ house on Riverloth.


SCENE #91 – EXT – GARDENS OF CORDOW, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
Outside, the Fosters, despite trying to get in have very little success. They’re suddenly taken aback, as the TARDIS makes a whooshing, wheezing sound that’s exhilarating for them.

FOSTER #4
(startled) “Something’s happening!” (calls) “Fosters, get back! Get back!”

The Fosters back away, as they see the TARDIS dematerialising and taking off. The TARDIS fades away and all that is left is an empty dent in the ground. The Fosters are astonished once they’ve seen the TARDIS gone. Moment of silence occurs.

FOSTER #4
(astonished) “What in the Tree’s name was that? I never saw anything like it!”


SCENE #92 – INT – CONSUL CHAMBER, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
Back inside the Consul Chamber, Morguth gloats over Rondus and Galadio as he declares his victory.

MORGUTH
(gloatingly) “Very soon, Consuls of Riverloth! Soon, there will be no need for Consuls anymore! Once I’ve taken over, I shall see to it that all of Riverloth is wiped of Consuls. They will become extinct. You two will become redundant!”

GALADIO
“Then why don’t you do it now? Stop gloating over us and get on with it!”

RONDUS
“Don’t give him any ideas, Galadio! That’ll only encourage him!”

MORGUTH
(gleefully) “Ah but I won’t wipe you out so instantly, Consuls. Not yet. Oh no! I still have my altar and cognitive aggrandizer array to be built before I can actually take over from the Tree and control the River. Once that happens, then I will wipe out all Consuls.”

Morguth laughs out loud maniacally.

GALADIO
(upset) “Why are you doing this to us, you rotten fiend?! Riverloth is supposed to be a peaceful Traken-like haven! We were happy until you came along and spoiled it! What is it you’re trying to do here?!”

MORGUTH
(cruelly) “Riverloth will fall, Consul Galadio! It will fall to the new order I will revive from the dark times that were on Traken. The new order…of Malador. Malador’s reign will be revived. Evil will reign supreme! Nothing will stand in its way, with my Melkurs at my side!”

RONDUS
“You fiends just don’t understand, do you? Evil never wins, Morguth! Very soon you’ll have those words eating at your hands! Evil never wins, I say!”

MORGUTH
“Oh?! And you have so much experience of evil, have you Rondus? Have you?! In your sheltered, enclosed, comfy environment here on Riverloth? Where you’re so selfish in the luxury of being a ruler. Whereas in fact you don’t rule anything. You rule nothing. Your subjects don’t follow you!”

RONDUS
“That’s not fair!”

MORGUTH
“Your Riverlothian citizens don’t care for you, Consul Protector Rondus! Just as you don’t care for them!”

RONDUS
“No! Stop it! I don’t want to hear you!”

MORGUTH
“Denying the truth won’t make it easier, Rondus. You fear your people will turn against you! That they’ll never support you in your campaigns! In your quest to secure Riverloth for a better future as a Traken empire!”

RONDUS
“Leave me alone, Rondus! Just go away, will you! Go away!”

MORGUTH
(viciously) “But the thing is, Rondus! You are right! Those pesky Riverlothians you rule ‘so well’ will never help or support you in your campaigns. They’ll never listen to you! And why should they? After all the oppression and pain you put on their souls. On their lives. When they can’t say what they want to say about what’s wrong with Riverloth!”

RONDUS
“No!”

MORGUTH
“Including your daughter, Rondus! Your daughter will never support you!”

RONDUS
“No! NO!!!!”

MORGUTH
(viciously) “You’re weak, Rondus. And do you know why you’re weak?” (Pause) “You…are…a bad…ruler!”

RONDUS
(despairingly) “NO! NO!!!!!”

GALADIO
(protests) “Stop it! Stop it, Morguth! Leave him alone! Leave my husband alone! You’re upsetting him!”

MORGUTH
“And you Galadio! You’re just as bad as him! You say you support your husband in any campaign of his! Whereas in fact, you believe they’re all a joke. A farce. And you just play along in order to please him.”

RONDUS
(shocked) “Galadio! How could you?! I can’t believe it!”

GALADIO
“It’s not true, Rondus my dear! You know it’s not true!”

MORGUTH
(viciously) “And you sometimes think you’re a good example to follow, don’t you? That you are a good role model for ladies in Riverlothian society.” (Pause) “Whereas in fact…you are a dunce!”

GALADIO
“A what?! What did you call me, Morguth?!”

MORGUTH
(cruelly) “You heard me! A nothing! A shambles! Women on Riverloth don’t want to look up to you, Galadio! They don’t care about you anyway! They think you’re just a subservient person who is First Lady of Riverloth with a surgical smile.”

GALADIO
“No! Don’t you say that to me, Morguth! How dare you say that?!”

MORGUTH
(cruelly) “You’re both weak, the pair of you! Why can’t you just admit it! You are a pair of bad rulers of Riverloth! You say you know about evil! That it never wins!” (Pause) “Well I tell you something, Consuls of Riverloth! You are nothing! And you will always be nothing! Always!”

GALADIO
(tearfully) “Please Morguth! Just leave us alone!”

RONDUS
(upset) “Yes! Go away you horrible, calcified thing!”

At that moment, whilst Morguth has Rondus and Galadio scared, afraid and upset, Sarumane enters.

SARUMANE
(calls) “Great One Morguth! It is I, Sarumane! I came here to tell you…”

MORGUTH
“That the construction of the altar progresses well, yes! And that some Riverlothians have commenced on the cognitive aggrandizer array set up I have asked for! Yes, that is what you were going to tell me isn’t it Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
(surprised) “Yes, Morguth. Exactly what I was going to say. How did you know all that?”

MORGUTH
“I know all things, Sarumane. I can read your mind, you know.”

SARUMANE
(disturbed) “Can you? Oh. I see.”

MORGUTH
“You’re disturbed by the fact I can read your mind. Don’t let it bother you, Sarumane. It isn’t worth it.”

SARUMANE
“It isn’t? Oh. I see.”

MORGUTH
(demands) “Order your Riverlothian workers to work faster! Increase the pace! Is that understood?”

SARUMANE
“Yes, Morguth! That is understood.”

MORGUTH
(gradually) “Well? Anything else you wish to say?”

SARUMANE
“You can read my mind, Morguth. Don’t you know?”

MORGUTH
(menacingly) “I’m asking you the question, Sarumane! Anything else?”

SARUMANE
“Yes.” (snaps out of it) “Yes. The Fosters chasing the Doctor and his friends reported in. They said they tried to capture the Doctor and friends before they got into their ship. The ship disappeared before their eyes. The Doctor and his friends have escaped. We’ve lost them.”

MORGUTH
“Just as I anticipated.”

SARUMANE
“Your Melkurs didn’t do much to stop it, Morguth. They didn’t even get there in time.”

MORGUTH
(gratified) “That is attended to even now, pitiful putrid Sarumane.” (Pause) “I shall go and supervise the matter myself. If you’ll excuse me.”

With that, Sarumane excuses himself from the Consul chamber. Sarumane remains.

SARUMANE
(confused) “It is attended to even now? I’ll go and supervise the matter myself. What did he mean by that?”

Sarumane then turns to look at Rondus and Galadio, whimpering on the floor of the Consul Chamber.

SARUMANE
(confused) “Hey? What’s the matter with you two? Why are you on the floor like that?”

RONDUS
(trembles) “Sarumane! What have you done?! What have you done to condemn us all on Riverloth?!”

GALADIO
(trembles) “You’ve brought a monster upon us, Sarumane! A monster!”

Sarumane remains confused, before he goes off to return to the construction site, leaving Rondus and Galadio in the chamber.


SCENE #93 – INT – RONDUS’ HOUSE, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
Meanwhile the TARDIS lands in Rondus’ house. The TARDIS whooshes and grinds before making a loud thump as it lands in the living room. Eventually, the Doctor and friends step out of the TARDIS to find themselves in the house.

DOCTOR
“Hmm. Neat landing, wouldn’t you say?”

NYSSA
“Very neat landing, Doctor.”

BILLY
“Yes. Very neat indeed.”

WERNA
(to Saloga; Milgi) “Saloga; Milgi! Check that the front doors are shut and locked! See that no Fosters or Melkurs come in here if they haven’t been in here already.”

SALOGA
“Right you are, Werna.”

MILGI
“Come on, Saloga.”

Milgi leads Saloga with her as they head for the front door of the house. Meanwhile, Werna takes the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy to a safe on the far wall of the house.

WERNA
“Here we are, Doctor. This is the safe that contains the master plans for the River Manipulator.”

DOCTOR
“Good. Now open it.”

WERNA
(realises) “Ah. I’m afraid I can’t do that, Doctor.”

NYSSA
“Why not, Werna?”

WERNA
“Well you see…the safe can only be opened by a certain sequence of codes that only my mother and father know. Since they’re not here and I don’t know the codes myself, I can’t open the safe, Doctor.”

BILLY
“Aww, that’s a shame!”

WERNA
“I assumed you had a means of opening the safe for us, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“As a matter of fact I have. Sonic screwdriver here.”

The Doctor shows his sonic screwdriver to everybody, as he takes it out from his coat pocket.

NYSSA
“Of course, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Everyone! Stand back!”

Everyone stands back, as the Doctor raises his sonic screwdriver and points at the safe. He switches the sonic screwdriver on and it buzzes away. There is then a sequence of bleeping sounds from the safe as the lock gets decoded. Eventually, the safe swings open. The Doctor puts his sonic screwdriver back into his coat pocket.

DOCTOR
“There we are, Werna. You can take the master plans out of there now!”

Werna, startled and surprised, goes over to fetch the master plans and take them out of the safe. The master plans are in the form of a scroll. Werna hands the master plans over to the Doctor.

WERNA
“I promise not to tell my mother and father that you opened their safe and not tell how you managed to open it, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“I’m much obliged to you, Werna.” (Pause) “So, these are the master plans for the River Manipulator then.”

WERNA
“Yes. The original design of the River Manipulator. Certainly not a secret of the Tree’s power. But of Consul Sarumane’s family from long ago.”

DOCTOR
“So I see. Let’s take a good look at them, shall we?”

BILLY
“It’s in the form of a scroll, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, Billy. Indeed it is.”

The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Werna sit at a table on chairs to look at the River Manipulator master plans.

DOCTOR
“Hold on. Just bear with me a minute while I put on my glasses.”

The Doctor takes out and puts on his glasses whilst he, Nyssa and Billy study the plans. Just then, Saloga returns to meet them.

SALOGA
“Werna! Werna, Milgi and I have been at the front doors and all is clear. No Melkurs or Fosters are in sight. Milgi is on guard for anybody who approaches the house should we need to give you four a warning.”

WERNA
“Well done, Saloga. Thanks for telling us.”

SALOGA
“I’ll go back to join Milgi. Excuse me.”

Saloga goes off to return to Milgi at the front door. The Doctor meanwhile opens the scroll of the River Manipulator master plans. He, Nyssa and Billy study them for some considerable time.

DOCTOR
(to Nyssa) “Well, Nyssa? What do you make of these plans then?”

NYSSA
(gradually) “It’s certainly not like the ones for the Source Manipulator on Traken, Doctor. The wiring technology; the piping systems and the Tree have no overall control of this technology despite being connected to it. It seems cruel. Almost like torture for the Tree.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. But thankfully it’s always been one Tree. The people of Riverloth do have a habit of keeping her maintained, nourished and cherished over the years. It is a mercy that they haven’t cut down the Tree from its roots.”

NYSSA
“A small mercy, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. There is that, I suppose.” (to Billy) “Billy, what do you make of these plans then?”

BILLY
(gradually) “Well…I think they’re very impressive.”

DOCTOR
“Just very impressive? Is that all you can say, Billy?”

BILLY
“Well I’m not as technically minded as you and Nyssa are. What else can I say?” (Pause) “Except how do we use these plans to help us to defeat Morguth? Is there anything you and Nyssa can see that will help us to defeat him?”

NYSSA
“There’s an interesting conduit here, Doctor. It connects directly to the Induction Chamber from the River Manipulator Room.”

DOCTOR
“Ah yes! That must be how Sarumane was able to inject power from the river into the Induction Chamber to drain the life-force and water particles from the tributes he was collecting to give to Morguth to manifest himself.”

WERNA
“That fiendish scoundrel! He had the conduit installed for the sake of draining life and water from people so that Morguth could live?!”

DOCTOR
“Yes. It’s a crude way of doing it but it’s very effective.”

BILLY
“Is there a way we can cut off the supply of power from the River Manipulator into that conduit? So that it stops the Induction Chamber from…working or something like that?”

NYSSA
“We could try to disable the River Manipulator. Then we might be able to find a way of how to reverse what Sarumane has done to bring Morguth into existence.”

WERNA
“But that could be disastrous. With the River Manipulator disabled, there’ll be an excess of unstoppable power from the River by the Tree. The River banks could break up and decay. Erosion would be very rapid.”

DOCTOR
“Not if we can find a way to contain it.” (to Nyssa; Werna) “Nyssa; Werna! Your scientific skills and knowledge of the Tree, River and River Manipulator could help in utilising a strategy. See if we can put a spanner in the works of Morguth’s plans.” (to Billy) “Billy, give Werna your seat.”

Billy reluctantly gets up from his chair, to let Werna sit down. Werna joins the Doctor and Nyssa as they study over the River Manipulator master plans, whilst Billy walks away.

BILLY
“Right. I’ll leave you three to it, shall I?”


SCENE #94 – EXT – CONSTRUCTION SITE, RIVERLOTH – DAY, AFTERNOON
On the side of the right wing of the court building, the Riverlothians forced by the Fosters build the altar and directional altar for Morguth at the designated construction site. They work hard and suffer grievously. Meanwhile Sarumane joins Morguth as he shows him around the construction site. There are Melkurs accompanying Morguth.

SARUMANE
(eagerly) “So you see, my lord Morguth! Your obedient servants, the Riverlothian people are building your altar and cognitive aggrandizer array as you requested. I hope that you approve, Great One O Morguth!”

MORGUTH
(gradually) “It is not fast enough!”

SARUMANE
“I’m sorry, what?”

MORGUTH
(impatiently) “The rate these workers are building my altar and cognitive aggrandizer array is not fast enough! See to it that the workers are working faster than usual, Sarumane. Or you will suffer for it!”

SARUMANE
“I assure you, my great Morguth! The Riverlothians are working as fast as they can and to the best of their ability.”

MORGUTH
“Their best is not good enough, Sarumane. I want to see blood pouring out of their knuckles as they work. I want to see them sweat and gasp for water. I want them to suffer like slaves as slaves should surely suffer.”

SARUMANE
“But Morguth, my great one! The Riverlothians work for you willingly.”

MORGUTH
“Don’t try to bandy words with me, Sarumane. I know these people despise me as much as they despise you!”

SARUMANE
“That’s not true, Morguth! All of us work to keep Riverloth surviving…”

MORGUTH
“Cease your excuses, Sarumane! The work flow is slow and it must be quickened! See to it, or I’ll have you removed instantly.”

At that moment, as they walk past a group detail, a Riverlothian man stands up and charges towards Morguth from behind.

RIVERLOTHIAN #1
(shouts) “Die, you monster! Die and leave us alone!”

But as the Riverlothian man tries to attack Morguth, the Melkurs open fire with their eyes glowing red. The Melkurs’ fire hits the Riverlothian man. The Riverlothian man screams out loud in agony and collapses to the floor dead. Everyone gasps in horror once they see this.

MORGUTH
“Excellent Melkurs, my servants! Excellent! See that the body is removed from this place.”

MELKURS
(in unison) “As you command, our master!”

The Melkurs see to removing the Riverlothian man’s corpse from the ground, whilst Sarumane protests to Morguth.

SARUMANE
(protests) “That wasn’t necessary, my lord Morguth! You didn’t have to kill that man!”

MORGUTH
“I shall kill anyone who opposes me! Just as I will kill you if you question my authority. That is how I will remove you, Sarumane!”

SARUMANE
“I do not oppose you, my lord Morguth!”

MORGUTH
“Then have these people working faster! Grind them to the bone, Sarumane! That is what I command!”

Moment of tense silence ensues.

SARUMANE
(sullenly) “Very well, my great Morguth. Very well.”

MORGUTH
(ridicules) “You are so weak, Sarumane. So gullible. You think that by sucking up to me you can gain a great reward! You have to go a long way to prove your worth to me, Sarumane. May I remind you that you failed to capture the Doctor and his friends?”

SARUMANE
(reassuringly) “I can assure you, Morguth! They will be captured! Glorfini, his Fosters and I will see to it that the Doctor and his friends are found and brought to you soon!”

MORGUTH
“That won’t be necessary, Sarumane. Already I can see the Doctor and his friends in my mind. I know where they are heading. That is where I shall send my Melkurs to.”

SARUMANE
“How do you mean, my great Morguth?”

MORGUTH
(scornfully) “Enough of your questions, Sarumane. Go off and attend to your duties. See that the work rate is increased as I command it.”

SARUMANE
“Very good, great Morguth. I shall go and see to the matter now.”

With that, Sarumane leaves. Once gone, Morguth communicates through his mind to the Melkurs he sent off earlier from far away.

MORGUTH (V’O)
“Melkurs, my servants! Can you hear me?”

MELKURS (V’O)
(in unison) “Yes, Lord Morguth, our master! We hear you!”

MORGUTH (V’O)
“The Doctor and his friends. They are now at Rondus’ home. Make your way there! Go there! But do not attempt to apprehend them! Just scare them! Quickly! Go now! The time draws nearer! The time…for my ascension of leadership on this world!”

MELKURS (V’O)
(in unison) “As you command, our master! We will go now!”

Once the Melkurs have obeyed him, Morguth finishes his communication with them and relaxes his mind. He then lets out a triumphant laughter.

MORGUTH
(laughs) “Yes! Yes, Doctor! Very soon, I shall have you and your friends humiliated! Very soon, I shall be….avenged!”


© Tim Bradley, 2016

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2 thoughts on “‘The Tree of Riverloth’, Part Three, Chapter 10

  1. Timelord 007

    Flipping heck Tim this was a very very darkly written chapter & I LOVED IT, Tim is this you channeling Robert Holmes style of storytelling because i had goosebumps throughout reading this chapter.

    You have written a amazing terrifying villian in Morguth who thrives on power, he psychologically breaks down people’s will & his mental attack on Rondus was chilling, he just crushed his spirit & gave the character a dark edge.

    I think Doctor Who at it’s best when the Doctor has a strong protagonist & Morguth is definitely a match & one of the best villains to be introduced into Doctor Who.

    Sarumane will definitely turn on Morguth & either die a hero or get a gruesome death, i think he now knows the mistake he made & will try & rectify his actions.

    I wonder if Morguth is a descendant of Morgana from King Arthur, just a feeling i get dunno why?

    Great humour from Billy, i hope he’ll continue to travel with Nyssa & the Doctor he’s a fully rounded three dimensional character who one can easily warm too.

    A outstandingly excellent written chapter Tim, I’m loving reading this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed Chapter 10 of this story and I’m glad you’re finding it a darkly written story at the moment.

    I hadn’t intended to write the story in a Robert Holmes-style at all. I was aiming for a Johnny Byrne-style of atmosphere in the story, but it’s nice of you to say so if you find it a Holmes-style of writing.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying Morguth as a villain so far in the story. He was a challenging villain to write as I didn’t want to make him 2-dimensional. But it was great to write for him and those scenes where he’s mentally crushing people’s minds were a challenge to write. There’s more of that to look forward to later on in the story. I’m glad you found Morguth’s mental attack on Rondus chilling to read in the story.

    I’m pleased you find Morguth as one of the best villains introduced in ‘Doctor Who’. My sources of inspiration came from Kwaundaar in ‘Primeval’, Malador in ‘The Guardians of Prophecy’ and of course the Master from ‘The Keeper of Traken’.

    Yes Sarumane is beginning to feel uncomfortable about his association with Morguth. It was something I wanted to explore with his character when he originally wanted to save Riverloth’s future with a dark god and then he realises the mistakes he made later on.

    Hmm, interesting you think Morguth would be a descendant of Morgana from King Arthur. That never occurred to me whilst I was writing the story and it certainly wasn’t a source of inspiration. The idea that Malador and his disciples come from legends of King Arthur is an interesting one. 😀

    Say Simon! How does this sound in terms of casting for the voice of Morguth! – Gabriel Woolf!

    I’m pleased you’re enjoying Billy at the moment in the story, in terms of his character and humour. Whether he’ll continue travelling with the Doctor and Nyssa is to be revealed later on. Perhaps he can be persuaded to stay by Nyssa, if she gets to talk to him about it in the next chapter.

    Very pleased you’re loving this story at the moment, Simon. Many thanks for your comments. Hope you continue to enjoy more!

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

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