‘The Tree of Riverloth’, Part Two, Chapter 6

6. Meeting the Rebels

SCENE #46 – INT – RIVER MANIPULATOR ROOM, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
At the crack of dawn, in the River Manipulator Room, Sarumane and Bonncere finish work on their tests. They power down the system at their control terminals.

BONNCERE
“Residual power initialised. Temporary power supply fed into river tributary. It’s being maintained, Sarumane.”

SARUMANE
“It won’t be temporary for long, Bonncere. Soon, our ally will give us a permanent supply of power once we’ve given him the last collection of tributes he needs.”

BONNCERE
“Are we doing the right thing, Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
(exasperated) “We’ve gone through this over and over again, Bonncere. How many more times? This is for the good of Riverloth, remember?”

BONNCERE
“I know, I know.” (Pause) “But…all the same…I wonder why he needs those tributes and why we keep giving him fresh supplies.”

SARUMANE
“We’ve been doing it for weeks, Bonncere. I don’t see why we should question it now.”

BONNCERE
“But the way he speaks. The way he talks. Talks to you and me. You, especially. It’s like he’s some foul entity that should never be released. That should never be unleashed.”

SARUMANE
“Don’t trouble your thoughts, Bonncere. It doesn’t become you.”

At that moment, the doorbell rings.

SARUMANE
“Enter.”

The doors to the River Manipulator Room open as Glorfini enters. He closes the door behind him once he’s in.

GLORFINI
“Consul Sarumane; Consul Bonncere.”

SARUMANE
“All quiet tonight is it, Glorfini?”

GLORFINI
“All quiet, Consul. The three visitors to Riverloth have been captured. No doubt, you knew about that already of course.”

BONNCERE
“No doubt about it.”

SARUMANE
“What of the tributes? Have they been well attended to, Glorfini?”

GLORFINI
“Yes, Consul. My brothers and I have followed your instructions. The tributes should be fine for tonight.”

SARUMANE
“Good. Refrain from telling Consul Protector Rondus and his wife about this business, Glorfini. Just like we’ve done before hey?”

GLORFINI
“Yes, Consul Sarumane.”

SARUMANE
“No questions asked?”

GLORFINI
“No questions asked, Consul.”

SARUMANE
(gradually) “Very well!” (Pause) “Here is your payment. Use it well.”

Sarumane hands a bag of gold to Glorfini. Glorfini takes the bag of gold gladly from Sarumane.

GLORFINI
“Thank you, Consul Sarumane. You and Consul Bonncere are kind.”

SARUMANE
“Now! Go about your duties, Proctor!”

GLORFINI
“Yes, Consul.”

With that, Glorfini leaves the River Manipulator Room. The door opens as Glorfini goes out and it closes once he’s gone.

BONNCERE
“Is he to be trusted, Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
“He has served us well, Bonncere. Do not fret! The power of money is enough to sway our good Proctor into silence.”

BONNCERE
“But suppose we run out of the money, Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
“It’s the beginning of a new dawn. By the night, we won’t need to pay Glorfini any more for his services. The reward shall be greater from the one who will save us all.”

BONNCERE
“So you say.”

SARUMANE
“Do you doubt my word, Consul?”

Just then, a door in a wall slides open. Melkurs enter the room. Bonncere backs away, whilst Sarumane remains still as the Melkurs enter.

BONNCERE
(panics) “Sarumane! There are Melkurs in the room with us! Melkurs!”

SARUMANE
“Yes, Bonncere! I can see that!”

BONNCERE
(panics) “They’re so terrifying to look at! Why have they come here?!”

SARUMANE
“They were supposed to go back to the gardens!”

BONNCERE
(challengingly) “Well they obviously haven’t! Have they?!”

Sarumane and Bonncere remain still. Once all the Melkurs are in the room, Sarumane steps forward towards them.

SARUMANE
“Well, Melkurs? Why have you come here? What do you want?”

MELKURS
(in unison) “We were unable to dispose the three fugitives as you commanded, Consul. We were turned away. The good force of the Tree drove us away!”

BONNCERE
(shocked) “Dispose?! You instructed the Melkurs to dispose of them?!”

SARUMANE
(ignores Bonncere; to Melkurs) “Tell me, Melkurs. How was the Tree able to sway you away before you had your chance to ‘deal’ with the Doctor and his friends?”

MELKURS
(in unison) “The Tree used the girl called Nyssa to speak its words through her. The force of the telepathic field increased around the girl. The power of good from the Tree through Nyssa was too strong for us!”

SARUMANE
(to himself) “So the Tree used the girl as a medium then. To use her voice to speak.”

BONNCERE
“What are you getting at, Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
(thinks; gradually) “Melkurs! Return to the gardens and stand by. Receive my instructions once I’ve contacted you. I will tell you on behalf of your master what to do next.”

MELKURS
(in unison) “Understood. We will go now.”

With that, the Melkurs walk away and head out of the River Manipulator Room. They head back through the door in the wall where they came in. Sarumane and Bonncere watch, as the Melkurs leave. The door in the wall slides shut.

BONNCERE
(challengingly) “Now they’ve gone good Sarumane, perhaps you can explain why you instructed them to…”

SARUMANE
(dismissive) “I must finish the rest of my work, Bonncere. We’ll talk about this later.”

Sarumane attends to a control terminal, ignoring Bonncere as he works.


SCENE #47 – INT – TUNNEL, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile, in the secret tunnel, Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor follow Werna as they crawl to reach the rebels’ hideout.

BILLY
“I wonder how long it’s going to be before we reach this hideout of yours, Werna. I feel that we’ve been in this tunnel for hours.”

WERNA
“It does feel like that, doesn’t it? But I can assure you, we are nearing the end of our journey.”

NYSSA
“What do you think the rebels will do to help us to save Riverloth from destruction, Werna? I assume you’ve tried many times to deal with this terrible evil on Riverloth.”

WERNA
“Yes. But before, we did not have the Tree to communicate with. To understand all that was going on. We’re not latent telepaths like you, Nyssa. But since you have had contact with the Tree…”

DOCTOR
(finishes) “You and your rebels are able to move ahead with your plans to stop this madness on Riverloth.”

WERNA
“Exactly, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Well, I do hope my friends and I won’t disappoint you, Werna.”

WERNA
(realises) “Here! We’ve reached the end of our journey.”

NYSSA
“Yes. I can see a light ahead of me now!”

WERNA
“I’ll push against the wall at the end of the tunnel to lead out into the open. That will take us into the rebel hideout!”

Nyssa; Billy and the Doctor follow Werna to the end of the tunnel.


SCENE #48 – INT – REBELS’ HIDEOUT, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
In the rebels’ hideout, Werna pushes the wall out as she comes out of the tunnel. She gets out of the tunnel and stands in the rebels’ hideout.

NYSSA
“Here we are, thank goodness!”

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy get out of the tunnel in the rebels’ hideout.

NYSSA
“I’m glad we can stand on our own two feet! It looks bright outside…” (stops mid-sentence)

BILLY
“Yes. It must mean that it’s morning outside…” (stop mid-sentence)

DOCTOR
“Oh day-times and nights are different on Riverloth compared to your world, Billy…” (stops mid-sentence)

The Doctor; Nyssa and Billy with Werna find guns trained on them by two young rebels before them. A young man called Saloga and a young woman called Milgi.

SALOGA
“Who are you people? What are you doing here?!”

MILGI
“How did you find our hideout?! You’d better come up with a good story!”

SALOGA
“Or else we shoot you dead!”

BILLY
(protests) “Hey, hey! There’s no need to threaten us like this!”

NYSSA
“Indeed not. We came here as requested. By your friend, Werna!”

DOCTOR
“Yes, so you’d better not shoot us when we have much to help you with.”

MILGI
“A likely story!”

WERNA
(protests) “Saloga; Milgi! Do not harm these three! Lower your weapons!”

SALOGA
(surprised) “Werna! It is you! Why have you brought these three intruders into our encampment?”

MILGI
“Indeed! And so strangely dressed!”

WERNA
“They’re not our enemies, you two! These are the three strangers that came to Riverloth yesterday!”

SALOGA
(astounded) “What?!”

WERNA
“And the girl here! She is Nyssa of Traken! Where our society was modelled on. We should respect her presence among us and not harm her or her friends!”

SALOGA
(astounded) “She is of Traken!”

MILGI
“Those ancient traditions of Traken are what caused Riverloth to fall into ruin, Werna! You should know that we oppose what the Consuls have imposed on us in this state of oppression.”

WERNA
“That maybe so, Milgi! But the Doctor and his friends have also been summoned by the Tree of Riverloth. The Tree made contact with Nyssa. It asked her and her friends to help save Riverloth from destruction.”

DOCTOR
(reassuringly) “That’s right. We’re only here to help! We know Werna’s parents, the Consuls of Riverloth, have imposed their laws on this society. My friends and I are now condemned criminals after we went to see the Tree on the hill last night.”

SALOGA
“You had contact with the Tree?!”

NYSSA
“I did! There’s a lot of danger here. Concerning the Tree; the River; a false Consul and the Melkurs. We’re willing to help and to put a stop to this crisis of yours.”

BILLY
“But we won’t get far by helping you if you threaten us with guns like that. Give us a chance, please!”

Moment of silence.

WERNA
(reassuringly) “Please Saloga; Milgi. I know this is very unorthodox of me. But I honestly believe I can trust these three. Please give them the benefit of the doubt.”

MILGI
(gradually) “Very well. Since you brought them here Werna, they should be trusted, shouldn’t they?” (to Saloga) “Saloga! Lower your weapon.”

SALOGA
“Yes, Milgi. And you.”

Both Saloga and Milgi lower their weapons and insert them back into their holsters on their sides.

WERNA
“Thank you, Saloga; Milgi. Thank you for putting your trust in me.”

SALOGA
“We’ve trusted you this far, Werna. You haven’t led us astray.”

MILGI
(to Doctor) “We apologise for our behaviour, Doctor, Lady Nyssa; Mr…”

BILLY
“Billy.”

MILGI
(continues) “…Mr Billy. We had to be sure you weren’t our enemies.”

WERNA
“Doctor; Nyssa; Billy. Allow me to introduce my friends and fellow rebels, Saloga and Milgi.”

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “How do you do. Nice to meet you both.”

SALOGA
“We’re honoured by your presence, dear Doctor. And by you, Lady Nyssa. We’ve heard so much about the good people of Traken in stories and tales told to us by our parents.”

NYSSA
“Thank you. I’m pleased to be in your presence, friends of Werna.”

MILGI
(gradually) “Well, it’s morning now! It’s time that we should have some breakfast.” (to TARDIS trio) “Doctor; Nyssa; Billy. Will you join us for breakfast this morning?”

DOCTOR
“We’d be delighted, wouldn’t we Nyssa; Billy?”

NYSSA
(pleased) “Absolutely. I do feel hungry!”

BILLY
(eagerly) “Oh I’m looking forward to a Traken-like breakfast this morning.”

The Doctor; Nyssa and Billy are eventually escorted by Werna; Saloga and Milgi further into their hideout.


SCENE #49 – INT – RONDUS’ HOUSE, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile in Rondus’ house, Rondus and Galadio wake up refreshed after their sleep during the night. They yawn away, as they wake up.

RONDUS
(cheerfully) “Morning, dear wife!”

GALADIO
(cheerfully) “Morning, dear husband. Did you sleep well?”

RONDUS
“Yes I did. Thank you, my dear. And you?”

GALADIO
“Yes. I managed to sleep alright in the end.”

Both kiss each other affectionately.

GALADIO
“I’m looking forward to a good day on Riverloth.”

RONDUS
“Me too. I hope nothing unpleasant will happen today.”

GALADIO
“Do you think Sarumane will find us a permanent solution to this problem we have with the Tree and the power supplies we need on Riverloth.”

RONDUS
“He assures us he will, my dear. We have to wait and see.” (reassuringly) “Come, my dear. Let’s get out of bed and continue with the day.”

GALADIO
“Yes. Let’s.”

Both Rondus and Galadio get out of bed to prepare for the day.

GALADIO
“We have that unpleasant business to sort out with the three strangers, my dear?”

RONDUS
(grimly) “Yes. That will be very unpleasant.”

GALADIO
“I’ll go and fetch Werna from her bedroom. Then I’ll prepare the breakfast for today.”

RONDUS
“Good. Thank you, Galadio.”

Galadio goes to Werna’s bedroom door and knocks on it. No response. Galadio knocks on the door again.

GALADIO
(calls) “Werna? Werna my dear, are you awake?”

Still no response.

GALADIO
(calls) “Werna, please answer me! I’ve got to prepare breakfast today.”

Galadio knocks on Werna’s bedroom door profusely.

GALADIO
“Werna?! Werna?!”

Still no response. Galadio then opens the bedroom door to look inside Werna’s room. After a short while, Galadio closes the bedroom door.

GALADIO
(anxiously) “Rondus! She’s gone! Werna’s gone!”

RONDUS
(annoyed) “What?! Oh not again!”

GALADIO
“Her bed’s not been slept in! We should have checked she was in her room when we came back from the Consul chamber last night!”

RONDUS
(frustrated) “She’s become so disobedient of late. This is frequent!”

Just then, a persistent knock occurs at the door.

RONDUS
(calls) “Who is it?”

GLORFINI
(from outside) “It’s me, Consul Protector! It’s Proctor Glorfini! I must speak to you, Consuls! This instant! That is…if you’re decent of course!”

GALADIO
“You may enter, Glorfini!”

Glorfini enters, puffed out as he addresses Rondus and Galadio.

RONDUS
“My, Glorfini! You’re in such a state!”

GALADIO
“What’s the matter, Glorfini? Tell us!”

GLORFINI
(puffed out) “It’s the three prisoners! The Doctor; Nyssa and Billy! They’ve escaped from their cells in the penal wing!”

GALADIO
(shocked) “What?!”

GLORFINI
(puffed out) “They weren’t there when my brothers, the Fosters, went to see them this morning. The cell door was open and we found it empty. I don’t know how they escaped! But they have!”

RONDUS
(frustrated) “This is insufferable!” (Pause) “Glorfini! Call out a search! Then take me and Galadio to the cell from where they escaped! We must find out where they’ve gone to before our world of Riverloth falls to ruin!”


SCENE #50 – INT – REBELS’ HIDEOUT, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
Meanwhile, in the rebels’ hideout, the Doctor; Nyssa and Billy enjoy their breakfast with Werna; Saloga and Milgi. There is a calm atmosphere as they eat their breakfast.

WERNA
“We hope you’re enjoying your breakfast, you three! It’s not exactly the same standards as the feast you had last evening. But it is good Trakenite food.”

DOCTOR
“Oh I’m sure it is. Thank you very much, Werna.”

NYSSA
“Yes thank you, Werna! I’m enjoying my breakfast very much. And so is, Billy.” (to Billy) “Aren’t you, Billy?”

BILLY
(eating food) “Hmm! Oh yes indeed! I’m pleased with the varied selection you’ve got here for breakfast. Wholemeal bread; fruits; cheeses and fruit juice. This is the first time I’ve had a Trakenite breakfast! I’m enjoying it.”

SALOGA
“We’re very pleased to hear that, Mr Billy. We maybe rebels, but we like to keep some Traken traditions alive.”

MILGI
“At least the ones we believe are agreeable. Not the ones forced on us.”

DOCTOR
(changes subject) “Yes well now we’re fulfilling our breakfast needs, I think it’s about time we got talking business, don’t you Werna?”

MILGI
“Where had you in mind to start from, Doctor?”

DOCTOR
“Firstly a few questions.” (to Werna) “Werna, how come you and your friends have turned into rebels on Riverloth? You don’t seem to be the rebellious type to me.”

WERNA
(gradually) “We didn’t intend to be rebels, Doctor. We were first a peaceful protest group. My friends and I, we were once students at the Cordow University on Riverloth. Before we were disgraced.”

SALOGA
(grievously) “Our Educators at our university took away our student privileges. Thereafter we were looked down and frowned upon by Riverlothian society. We couldn’t say a word and object to the ways our leaders had enforced upon us.”

MILGI
“We soon met up in secret and decided enough was enough. Hence why we formed this group of…’rebels’, as the Consuls called us. We came here to this hiding place since our disgrace. We’ve kept it secret for the past eight months.”

BILLY
“You’ve been rebels for eight months?!”

WERNA
“We formulated strategies to uncover what was really going on with Riverloth and why the Consuls had become so rotten to the students. Sometimes it cost lives. A few of us were gunned down by the Fosters in the gardens and a few were sent to prison for days on end and no chance of escape. We’ve learnt from our mistakes since then. But the deaths have been too grim to remember.”

NYSSA
“I’m so sorry for your losses, Werna. I’m appalled by such atrocities laid on you and your friends.”

WERNA
(gradually) “Yes. But during those times, we’ve made discoveries. Discoveries that we’ve tried to find more information on. But not having a chance of success.” (to Doctor) “Doctor, I mentioned to Billy that the key to all this is in the River Manipulator Room. I suggest that we go there as soon as possible.”

DOCTOR
“I intend to visit the River Manipulator Room, Werna. My friends and I decided after we saw the Tree on the hill last night.”

NYSSA
“When we saw the Tree, she said for us to go and seek for this River Manipulator Room. She warned us of the false Consul and for us to be careful of the Melkurs.”

BILLY
“Is there another place we should know of that can help us with solving the mystery of this crisis on Riverloth? Something that connects to the River; the Tree; the River Manipulator Room and the false Consul altogether perhaps?”

SALOGA
(gradually) “There is a waterfall. A waterfall that churns the energy particles of the River’s water from the Tree into the River and back again. It’s on the outskirts of Cordow away from the main court building.”

MILGI
“The waterfall is like another contact point for the River Manipulator Room to generate power. There may be something that’s feeding into the water through the waterfall and back into the Tree via the river that is so unnatural and dangerous. We sensed it when some of us visited the waterfall a few days ago.”

NYSSA
“A few days ago?”

BILLY
“Then perhaps we should go there too. Check out what’s happening with this waterfall of yours.”

DOCTOR
“Very good idea, Billy.” (Pause) “Best thing would be for us to go in two groups. One to the River Manipulator Room and one to the waterfall.”

WERNA
“I can take you to the River Manipulator Room, Doctor. Saloga and Milgi can take Nyssa and Billy to the waterfall.”

DOCTOR
“Good, good. That’s fine by me.” (to Nyssa; Billy) “Nyssa; Billy?”

NYSSA
“Yes, Doctor. I’ll go along with that.”

BILLY
“It’s fine by me, Doc.”

SALAGO
(wearingly) “We’ll have to move carefully though. There is a tunnel that leads to the waterfall. But there is a period of the journey where we have to walk on foot and out in the open.”

MILGI
“We’ll have to avoid Fosters chasing us when we head for the waterfall.”

NYSSA
“We understand, Milgi; Saloga.” (to Billy) “Don’t we, Billy?”

BILLY
“Yes. Absolutely.”

DOCTOR
“Excellent!” (Pause) “Well, once we’ve finished our breakfast, we’ll make tracks for setting off, hey?”


SCENE #51 – INT – CORRIDOR OF CELLS, PENAL WING, RIVERLOTH – NIGHT
In the penal wing of the court building, Rondus and Galadio with Glorfini see where the Doctor; Nyssa and Billy’s cell is and see it’s empty.

GLORFINI
“This was where they were kept prisoner, Consul Protector; Consul Galadio. I made sure this was the most securely escape-proof cell in the penal wing for them.”

GALADIO
(ruefully) “Apart from the electronic lock on the control panel of the door.”

RONDUS
“The Doctor must have had a sonic device to open the door.” (scolds Glorfini) “You should have confiscated any weapon the Doctor and his friends might have had, Glorfini.”

GLORFINI
“They couldn’t have penetrated the lock even if they tried, Consul Protector. The control panel is outside of their reach from within the cell.”

GALADIO
“Then someone must have come into the penal wing to help them out.” (to Rondus) “But who, husband? Who?”

RONDUS
“I wonder.”

Galadio then goes over to check a wall in the corridor of cells in the penal wing. She thumps her fist on the wall to check something.

RONDUS
(curious) “What are you doing, dear wife?”

GALADIO
“Just an instinct, my husband. I suspect there must be some weakness in these walls. For the person who helped the Doctor; Lady Nyssa and Mr. Billy to escape.”

Just then, Galadio thumps on something fragile. She thumps it again. A secret panel is then opened to reveal a cavity in the wall.

GALADIO
(triumphant) “As I suspected. A secret panel. Leading to a passage out from the penal wing into the garden areas.”

RONDUS
“Well spotted, Galadio.” (to Glorfini) “How come you didn’t find this spot when you searched the place earlier, Glorfini?”

GLORFINI
(hesitates) “I…I didn’t think of that, Consul Protector.”

RONDUS
(sighs; annoyed) “If only you were born with brains, Glorfini.”

GALADIO
(frustrated) “This must be Werna’s doing! She must have helped the Doctor and his friends to escape from the penal wing. That must be why we found her bedroom empty this morning.”

RONDUS
(frustrated) “Agreed. That girl is insufferable!”

GALADIO
“What do you suggest we do, dear Rondus?”

RONDUS
(thinks; gradually, to Glorfini) “Glorfini! Start a search to find our daughter! And also the three fugitives. If you find them all at once, bring them to the Consul chamber. Inform us of their capture once you’ve found them.”

GLORFINI
“Yes, Consuls! I’ll attend to it immediately.”

RONDUS
(warningly) “See they’re found, Glorfini! Or you’ll answer to me!”

GLORFINI
(dejectedly) “Yes, Consul Protector.”

With that, Glorfini leaves. Just then, Sarumane and Bonncere enter.

SARUMANE
“Consul Protector; Consul Galadio! We heard the news!”

BONNCERE
(surprised) “My goodness! So they did manage to escape an impregnable cell! These three strangers must be very resourceful.”

GALADIO
“My husband and I believe our daughter had some part to play in this, Consul Sarumane; Consul Bonncere.”

BONNCERE
“Your daughter?!”

RONDUS
“Consul Sarumane? Did you and Consul Bonncere achieve what you had in mind to do during the night? With the access privileges you had with my Consular key?”

SARUMANE
“I have a report to give to you and your wife about the results of our tests soon, Consul Protector Rondus. At your convenience, I’d like to share our information with you.”

RONDUS
“Very well. Meet us in the Consul Chamber after breakfast.”

SARUMANE
“Consul Protector! Bonncere and I finished our breakfast ten minutes ago before we came to see you and Consul Galadio in the penal wing here.”

GALADIO
“That’s as maybe. But my husband and I haven’t yet had breakfast. The news about the Doctor and his friends’ escape distracted us.”

RONDUS
“Wait for us in the Consul chamber, Consul Sarumane; Consul Bonncere. We will be there shortly once we’ve finished our breakfast.”

SARUMANE
“Understood, Consul Protector.”

RONDUS
“Now. You may go, you two.”

SARUMANE
“Thank you, Consul Protector; Consul Galadio.” (to Bonncere) “Come, Bonncere! Come!”

With that, Sarumane and Bonncere leave the corridors of cells in the penal wing.

BONNCERE
(quietly) “Will we be able to achieve our next tests for today without the access privileges of Rondus’ Consular key, Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
(quietly) “We achieved all we wanted to do last night in the River Manipulator Room, Bonncere. Or at least I achieved all I wanted to do. I managed to let our ally in during the night via the River Manipulator where no one was watching.”

BONNCERE
(quietly; puzzled; troubled) “What do you mean?”

No response.

BONNCERE
(quietly) “Consul Sarumane, what do you mean?”

Sarumane chuckles, as he and Bonncere leave the penal wing building.

SARUMANE
(chuckles) “Soon! The conversion of new water particles in the river via the River Manipulator will be achieved, Bonncere! Riverloth’s survival is assured. The Great One will save us all!”


SCENE #52 – INT – REBELS’ HIDEOUT, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
In the rebels’ hideout, the two groups get ready. Werna is about to take the Doctor to the River Manipulator Room, whilst Saloga and Milgi are about to take Nyssa and Billy to the waterfall. Werna uses a computer tracker on the door to a tunnel for a short while. It bleeps loudly before she eventually switches the tracker off.

WERNA
“No life-signs. That’s good.” (to Doctor) “Right, Doctor. We’ll take this tunnel to the River Manipulator Room. Saloga and Milgi will take Nyssa and Billy to the other tunnel on the left to the waterfall area.”

NYSSA
(astounded) “You have a lot of tunnels to get in and out of your rebel base, Werna.”

WERNA
“There’s a piping system held under the manufactured river tributaries. They’re connected via the River Manipulator Room. Right now, we’re directly underneath the town settlement of Cordow.”

BILLY
“So that’s why your parents and the Fosters can’t find you. You’re underneath where they would least look for you.”

WERNA
“It’s a well-guarded hiding place, our hideout.” (sighs) “I fear though that it won’t last a secret forever.”

SALOGA
“We were almost caught, Milgi and I. We avoided the Fosters chasing us whilst we managed to get into a tunnel to get to our hideout. It was a close shave.”

MILGI
(to Werna) “We’ll have to move on from the confines of Cordow, Werna. I know the River Manipulator Room is our key. But there’s a risk to our secret once the Fosters find us. You’ll know what will happen then.”

WERNA
“Calmly, you two. I’ll work on a way to keep our secret hideout a secret for as long as possible. Before our crony Consuls and Fosters find us out.”

DOCTOR
(impatiently) “Yes well while you’re thinking of a way on this matter, I suggest we make a move, hey Werna. If the Tree was right in her connection with Nyssa earlier, then we haven’t got much time. The devastation of Riverloth could come at any moment.”

WERNA
“Of course. Follow me, Doctor. Through this way, in here!”

Werna opens the panel door to lead into the tunnel to the River Manipulator Room. The Doctor turns to Nyssa and Billy to say goodbye.

DOCTOR
“Goodbye, Nyssa; Billy. Good luck to you both.”

NYSSA
“Goodbye, Doctor. You take care of yourself.”

BILLY
“Yeah! Good luck to you too, Doctor. I hope we’ll see each other again!”

DOCTOR
“I hope so, Billy. I hope so.”

WERNA
(insistent) “Come on, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Yes, Werna. Just coming.”

The Doctor climbs in after Werna into the tunnel.

DOCTOR
(cheerfully) “See you soon, you two.”

SALOGA
(reassuringly) “We’ll look after them! Don’t worry, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Thank you, Saloga; Migli. See you soon!”

With that, the Doctor closes the lid. The Doctor and Werna are gone.

SALOGA
“Come, Nyssa; Billy. Follow us. We’ll take you to the waterfall.”

MILGI
“Yes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep watchful eyes for any Fosters that come our way. Let’s hope we won’t be caught by them.”

NYSSA
“I hope so too, Milgi. The Fosters…and the Melkurs too.”

BILLY
(worried) “The Melkurs? You’ll think they’ll come back again, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
“Oh they will, Billy. Trust me! They will.”

Nyssa and Billy follow Saloga and Milgi, as they go into the tunnel that leads to the waterfall.


SCENE #53 – INT – TUNNEL, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
In the tunnel with the Doctor and Werna, they crawl to reach the River Manipulator Room. Werna switches the lights on as they go in the tunnel.

DOCTOR
“I’m pleased you’re able to have lights on in the tunnels. Don’t the Fosters; scientists or engineers notice any anomalies in the tunnels?”

WERNA
“All the power for Riverloth is monitored by the energy meters in the River Manipulator Room, Doctor. It’s the usual day-to-day job for an engineer to come and inspect the pipes. To make sure no-one has tampered with them. It doesn’t bother me and my friends.”

DOCTOR
“Isn’t that a little careless? Surely you’re bound to bump into an engineer on your way in a tunnel like this?”

WERNA
“We are careful, Doctor. We have monitoring equipment to detect the presence of others. Hence, that’s why I used my computer tracker earlier on in the tunnel.”

DOCTOR
“Oh I see! I did see you use your computer tracker, yes. So that’s like a ritual for you and your friends to check for any life-signs in the tunnels wherever you go.” (curious) “How did you and your friends acquire this technology then?”

WERNA
(slyly) “When you’re a daughter of a Consul Protector and a Lady Consul, you’re bound to get lucky sometimes, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
“Yes, I’m sure you do.” (Pause) “Tell me, Werna? How did the River Manipulator come about? From what I understand, it was built by the Riverlothians to maintain the flow of water out of the River via the Tree by mechanical means. Rather than letting the Tree do it herself.”

WERNA
“That’s more or less right, Doctor. It started with a royal noble family of Riverloth. They built the River Manipulator. At first it was a simple device. It didn’t mean any harm and it wasn’t imposing on any Riverlothians.”

DOCTOR
“So what went wrong then?”

WERNA
(grimly) “Now, it’s housed in this gigantic chamber where everything on the Tree and the river is monitored. Wires are stuck into the Tree through its roots. The Tree has no overall guiding control over the source of power in the River. Not like it once used to have. It’s a travesty to nature!”

DOCTOR
“Tell me, Werna. How is Consul Sarumane involved in this? How come he’s in charge of the River Manipulator?”

WERNA
“That’s easy. Sarumane comes from that royal noble family who built the River Manipulator. By rights, the charge of controlling the River Manipulator goes to him. That’s what my parents told me.”

DOCTOR
“Is that so? Well, well. That is most intriguing.”

The Doctor and Werna move on, as they continue crawling in the tunnel.


SCENE #54 – INT – CONSUL CHAMBER, RIVERLOTH – DAY, MORNING
In the Consul Chamber, Sarumane and Bonncere wait.

BONNCERE
(frustrated) “What’s taking so long? Surely it can’t take them this long to have breakfast.”

SARUMANE
“They’re high-ranking, Consul Bonncere. They’re entitled to the privileges they have. Have patience!”

At that moment, Rondus and Galadio enter the Consul chamber.

GALADIO
“Sarumane; Bonncere! Sorry to keep you waiting.”

BONNCERE
“Did you enjoy your breakfast, Consul Protector; Consul Galadio?”

RONDUS
“Very much. Now, Sarumane. Perhaps you can share with us what you have to say in your report.”

Rondus and Galadio take their seats as Sarumane begins his report.

SARUMANE
(gradually; grimly) “Consul Protector; Consul Galadio. Bonncere and I have been assessing the situation regarding the crisis of Riverloth. We have carried out some action in our tests.” (Pause) “But I’m afraid the situation is very grim indeed.”

GALADIO
(confused) “What do you mean, Sarumane?”

RONDUS
“Yes, Consul Sarumane. What do you mean?”

Moment of silence.

SARUMANE
(lies) “I’ve been in communication with the Tree. The Tree relayed some disturbing revelations to me. The tributes we give to the Tree as a source of power are good.” (Pause) “But it’s not good enough.”

RONDUS
(disturbed) “Not good enough?”

SARUMANE
(lies) “The Tree demands that we give more tributes. It must be more than what we give to it regularly. Perhaps a double dozen more.”

GALADIO
(shocked) “A double dozen! Isn’t that extreme, Sarumane?”

RONDUS
(disturbed) “The Tree cannot expect us to make such a commitment, Sarumane. To sacrifice more lives for the sake of Riverloth’s survival.”

SARUMANE
(lies) “I’m only telling you what the Tree said to me, Consuls.”

GALADIO
(worriedly) “Are you sure you didn’t mishear the Tree, Sarumane?”

SARUMANE
(lies) “Consuls, I know how distressing this must be for you two to hear this. But trust me! I heard the Tree’s voice clearly in my head. The Tree spoke the truth! It happened when I was in the River Manipulator Room with Bonncere.” (to Bonncere) “Isn’t that right, Bonncere?”

BONNCERE
(unsettled) “Well…”

SARUMANE
(repeats) “Isn’t that right…Bonncere?!”

BONNCERE
(hesitates) “Yes. Yes I’m afraid so, Consuls.”

GALADIO
(anxiously) “This is too distressing to hear, Rondus.”

RONDUS
“Indeed it is, Galadio.” (Pause; to Sarumane) “Will the crisis be over, Sarumane? If we give more tributes to the Tree, will the crisis be over?”

SARUMANE
(lies) “Yes, Consul Protector. The Tree assured me the crisis would be over if we do this thing for it. The crisis will end by the afternoon. I promise you, Consuls. That is what the Tree said.”

Moment of silence.

RONDUS
(gradually) “I don’t like it, Galadio my dear.”

GALADIO
“Me neither, Rondus. But if it must be, then it must.”

RONDUS
(gradually) “Very well.” (to Sarumane) “See to it that the tributes are taken care of, Sarumane. I leave the responsibility to you and Consul Bonncere. Make it speedily as possible.”

SARUMANE
“Thank you, Consuls of Riverloth. Bonncere and I will return to the River Manipulator Room to do as you say.”

RONDUS
“Good. You may go now.”

SARUMANE
“Come, Bonncere!”

With that, Sarumane and Bonncere leave the Consul chamber. The doors slide open and close as they go.

RONDUS
(disturbed) “Let my bones rot with granting a ghastly request!”


© Tim Bradley, 2016

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4 thoughts on “‘The Tree of Riverloth’, Part Two, Chapter 6

  1. Timelord 007

    Hmmmmm it’s building into a clever mystery Tim, i had to laugh Riverloth at stake but everyone’s having there brrakfast first lol great little scene that mate.

    These tributes being sacrificed i don’t think it’s for the tree & I’m intrigued to find out where?

    I like Werna she’s fighting against her oppressors to make Riverloth a better place even going against her parents, i forsee great drama & a sacrifice with this family maybe Rondus will attempt to sacrifice Werna as a tribute & Galadio will have to make a choice the love for her daughter or her duty to the cause, causr i maybe a mile off the mark.

    Great story this it fires the imagination & has many possible outcomes.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed Chapter 6 of ‘The Tree of Riverloth’.

    I’m glad you found it funny with Riverloth at stake and everyone else having breakfast. It’s trying to make the characters real and believable on both sides with the Consuls and with the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy, Werna and the rebels.

    I’m pleased you find this story a clever mystery to solve as you read it. That means a lot to me! 🙂

    I’m sure you’ll find the reason for the tributes being sacrificed on Riverloth disturbing when you come to it later on in the story.

    I’m pleased you’re enjoying the drama with Werna trying to save Riverloth by going against the oppressors. Interesting how you imagine the outcome with Werna and her parents. I’m looking forward to finding out what you think happens between Werna and her parents by the time you come to the end of the story.

    I’m glad that this story has fired your imagination whilst you’re reading it.

    I hope you enjoy reading Chapter 7 next!

    Thanks!

    Tim. 🙂

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  3. IWishIHadATardis

    My goodness, we are seeing some skullduggery going on now, aren’t we?

    Bonncere and Sarumane are working for some ‘good’ of Riverloth that they think is coming, but I suspect Sarumane is really working for some glory of his own.

    I like that the Melkurs are also working for them, but ultimately they believe they are working for this unknown other person who requires the tributes, too.

    I liked it when Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor arrived at the hideout, and each started but didn’t finish their sentence, as they each realise one by one that they are being covered by weapons. That was very funny.

    Rondus and Galadio seem determined to close their eyes to what’s going on in their society; it’s interesting to see how they try to live what they consider a normal life, while ignoring all that’s going wrong around them. They’ve managed to convince themselves that everything must be wrong because of the arrival of the three strangers, ignoring the fact that things were going wrong before that. It’s easy for them to use the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy as scapegoats and hope that everything else sorts itself out.

    We can see things really ramping up now, can’t we – the Doctor heading for the Manipulator Room, Nyssa and Billy going to the waterfall, the Consuls lying about the Tree talking to them, and Sarumane letting their ‘ally’ in. Looking forward to the next chapter, Tim, this is a really great story, and it’s an excellent read.

    Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Leigh.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the skullduggery in this story! 😀

    Yes Sarumane is clearly doing some dirty dealings with someone dodgy in this story. Bonncere seems to know about who Sarumane is working with, but he’s clearly not happy with the arrangement is he?

    Well the Melkurs serve their real true master don’t they? They’re only working with Sarumane and Bonncere to satisfy their own master’s needs, aren’t they? Are you any the wiser about who this master of theirs is yet?

    Oh good! I’m glad you enjoyed that scene and found it funny when the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy didn’t finish their sentences when they’re were being surrounded by people with guns trained on them. I was inspired from watching an episode of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ in that moment when I was writing it. 😀

    Yes Rondus and Galadio are caught up in their own ‘safety’ and what they call ‘haven’ on Riverloth. It’s a conceit that runs through this story when the Consuls try to emulate the paradise that was on Traken, but not realising that there are dangers and risks to their society when not taking into account some of the evils outside their spheres of influence and protection. It was something Johnny Bryne addressed when he wrote ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and was in his story for ‘The Guardians of Prophecy’, and ‘The Tree of Riverloth’ is my take on some of those issues in a new setting and atmosphere.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying how things are coming together in the story with the Doctor joining Werna in the River Manipulator Room and Nyssa and Billy joining Saloga and Milgi to the waterfall. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy seem to be in the company of good friends and allies in Werna, Saloga and Milgi who know what’s going on and are victims of this oppressed society, aren’t they?

    I hope you’ll enjoy more of this story in the next chapter when you read it, Leigh!

    Thanks for your comments. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon!

    Tim. 🙂

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