Killer Bees Episode Six;Always the Third Doctor!;Welcome to Jeri's Dr. Who fiction Page!;Doctor Who;UNIT;TARDIS;Third Doctor;Katy Manning;Jo Grant;The Master;Roger Delgado

Killer Bees

Episode 6

Yates decided that the safest course in placing the receiver boxes was to avoid UHF and microwave broadcast generators. So instead of planting them on the more modern office buildings, he settled on older, less technologically updated structures. The condemned bell tower of an old church was his first target, and he climbed up the rotting steps and ruined rafters to plant the first box. Nothing disturbed him except for mice and spiders--and the bitingly cold wind of the crystal clear morning. He made it down safely.

He took buses to the north side of town, scanning the skyline for some likely structure. At last he decided on the abandoned scaffolding that clung tenaciously to a ruined apartment building. The scaffolding was unstable, and the metal framework burned with a searing coldness into the palms of his bare hands as he climbed up, wedged the box in a cross section of the framing, and scurried back down.

With only one box left to place, he trotted anxiously down the hill below the apartments in search of another bus. Partway down, he passed two police constables who stood at the curb talking. Both of them shot him sharp looks as he passed by.

Mike Yates was too experienced of an agent to miss the startled, sharp glances that were quickly hidden. A light truck was parked along the curb. He glanced at the rear view mirror that jutted out at right angles from the window. The policemen were behind him and closing fast. He broke into a run.

Negotiating a frozen patch on the hill, a lorry skidded a few paces closer to him before righting itself. He took instant advantage of the opportunity, leaped from the sidewalk into the street, and seized the ladder bolted onto the back. He swung himself up and looked back. But the driver was oblivious to the police calling and whistling as they ran down the hill.

At the bottom of the hill he jumped off. Just as he did, he saw a police van make a tight circle in the street--cutting off oncoming traffic--and begin trundling purposefully in his direction. He turned around and ran the other way.

He was in a net that was tightening around him. As though to confirm his suspicions, two UNIT soldiers suddenly came out of the doorway of a restaurant. They were unarmed but purposeful. They strode towards him.

He darted into the first doorway that he saw and found himself in a narrow and pinched hallway of flats. He ran up a short and smelly set of steps and raced down the hall. Behind him, the loose door banged open as the UNIT men came after him.

He scrambled down a set of back steps and came into a dark and very damp basement. The faint smell of naptha hung in the air. He ran up the hallway checking the few heavy doors, and at last one gave for him and admitted him to a laundry room.

The few windows were narrow and panned with greasy glass. They looked out at ground level. The door was the old fashioned type with a round knob and a tumbler type locking mechanism. He locked it and pulled a wooden chair over and wedged it under the knob.

As he climbed on top of the washing machines, the door shuddered under the blow of a man's shoulder, but it held.

He stripped off his coat, wrapped it over his arm, and smashed his muffled fist through the window. A few quick scrapes with the coat over his forearm, and he cleared out most of the broken glass. It was going to be a tight fit. He threw the coat out first, and accidentally sliced a long rivulet up his arm as he withdrew his hand. With a grimace, he grabbed the metal frame, hoisted himself up, and jammed himself through the narrow opening. There was a moment when he was awkwardly and ridiculously hanging from the window sill, legs flailing behind him and arms flailing out in the cold air. Then his hands grabbed hold of the piping that ran across the small bit of yard and led from the laundry into the drains.

The pipes held, and he heaved himself through onto the damp ground as his pursuers burst into the room below. He stood up, swung the coat up, and ran towards the heart of the city. He wrapped the coat around his bleeding arm as tightly as he could. Blood was the worst possible thing for a man being pursued. It was an inescapable trail, and an injured man could not get by in a crowded city without attracting notice. But there was nothing to do but try to get away from the pursuit, lose them in the web of the city, and get back to the Doctor, Jo, and Clerk 42.

The realization that he was still a target of UNIT nearly panicked him, and he had a few bad moments when he realized that he had found Jo only to be humiliated before her and then lose her to the Doctor again, and he had regained status as an agent of the crown only to be arrested by UNIT and brought before his former comrades in handcuffs.

"It's your own fault," he said out loud to himself. He cut himself off from talking out loud, but he admonished himself silently to simply bear it. UNIT could not be blamed for mistrusting him, and Jo could not be blamed for her deep attachment to the Doctor. And the Doctor, certainly, could not be blamed for dying. With a slight shock, Mike realized that the Doctor's involvement with the spiders had been his fault as well. He had called the Doctor to look into the matter.

A cue of people was filing onto a bus. He quickly joined them and climbed aboard. Once safely in a seat, he lowered his head into his hand as though exhausted, but he quickly put himself into the routine that he had described to Jo: to pray and seek forgiveness and guidance.

Meanwhile, at the train station, Jo and Clerk 42 were having a frenzied and largely unproductive consultation.

"When the boxes that Mike's set up are working," she asked. "Won't they lead us to the Master? If he's got the Doctor, then we can effect a rescue. "

"Young lady, the apparatus for collecting data from the boxes is still sitting in that foundry basement," Clerk 42 reminded her. "It is too dangerous to go back and get it." He paced nervously back and forth and swung the umbrella in agitation. "Besides, I don't know how to operate the Doctor's equipment. Do you?"

"No," she told him, startled at his ignorance. "I understand a little bit about electronics--only a technician's level I suppose. I thought you would know all about it."

He shook his head. "Not my field, young lady. What I want to know is, how did that villain find us? How did he even know to look for us? Surely he thought you were dead. He has no idea that the Doctor is here. How could he?"

The bracelet that he wore on his wrist attracted Jo's attention. Hesitantly, she touched it. He drew back, offended. "Do you mind?"

"Steady on," she snapped, and she seized his wrist and touched the bracelet. "That thing is live," she said.

"What a quaint idea," he observed acidly. "Do you think I feed it dewdrops, my dear?"

"Oh, don't be an oaf!" she snapped. "I mean it's powered. It's generating a field of its own."

"If you mean is it switched on, then yes, of course," he told her. "I can direct it telepathically, but it does need some power to operate."

She threw his wrist down and looked at him in exasperation. "That's how he traced us!" she exclaimed. "And he's probably getting a fix on us right now. "

He glanced at it with the hurt expression of a man who has been betrayed by his dearest friend. "Do you think so?" he asked in genuine wonder.

"Of course!" she exclaimed. "There's probably nothing else on the planet that runs on the same frequency as it uses. I mean, it's ever so sophisticated, isn't it? I'm sure he homed right into it."

Clerk 42 looked at her in a kind of sorry astonishment. A train was coming in. He quickly stripped the bracelet off his wrist and skimmed it across the platform. It went over the edge onto the tracks below. The train came in over it. Jo gasped. She stared at him in open mouthed astonishment.

"But the Doctor said that was your TARDIS!" she exclaimed.

"Yes, well, it's no good if it's giving me away," he told her. "Besides, I can always get it back. No matter where it goes." He had to shout over the noise of the train. "Now what about rigging up some--er interim equipment to get the readings from those boxes," he asked her. "Can you manage that?"

"Me?" she exclaimed. "Of course not!

"We've got to get off this platform anyway!" the Clerk exclaimed. "We can't risk having him pop up after us. We'll have to track the Master down by some other means. Come on; we'll try the river. Maybe we'll spot the boat."

"Can you find the dock the Master used when he took me onto the river?" she asked.

"I think so. Come on. We mustn't delay." He hailed a cab, and they got in.

It was a relief to be out of the noise and the cold. "Mike!" Jo exclaimed suddenly. "He'll make for the foundry once he's got the boxes in place! What if the Master is waiting for him there?"

"That's hardly likely," Clerk 42 said. "I'm sure that by the time Yates returns, the Master will have finished gutting the place and will be focusing his attentions on the Doctor. I say, driver, make for the river, if you please, just up and down alongside her for a while. We are looking for a dock."

"It's your money," the driver grumbled.

The Clerk glanced at Jo. "We'll give it an hour to find the boat," he said. "Then double back to the foundry to head off Yates. It should be safe by then--or safe enough if we're cautious." He shook his head and looked grim. "The Doctor must be our first concern right now. It's a shame you don't know more about tracing those boxes."

"Me!" she exclaimed. "You know, you're the first timelord I've ever met who's so technologically pig-ignorant. What gives?"

"I had no idea you were so highly connected! How many timelords have you met?" he asked acidly.

"Loads!" she exclaimed defiantly. "And they all know how to fix a TARDIS and generate signals in coffee cans and make signal detectors out of lemons and plastic spoons. I don't believe you know anything at all!"

The cabby, stolidly uninterested in this amazing argument, spoke up: "Here's t'river."

"Thank you, just keep going," the Clerk said. He fixed Jo with a glare that reminded her sharply of the Doctor. "My dear young lady, I speak 32 languages and have created a lexicon of the Venusian language, not to mention scores of translations of love songs and ballads across the galaxy. Furthermore, I am expert at radiation sickness, which is one of the reasons that I am working with the Doctor. He needed my expertise in his condition. He was supposed to have watched out for the physics end of this. " He frowned. "I think the time bracelet never caught his attention. I mean, he still thinks of time travel in terms of that great big TARDIS of his. Switch it on; switch it off: it's amazing how I ever got around in one of those things!"

"Where is his TARDIS?" she asked suddenly.

"Standing out," he told her. "The Doctor has a telepathic link to it. He'll call to it as his condition worsens, and it will come to him. If it does, in his weakened state he will instinctively go to it, and it will automatically take him back to where he was before he received his death wound--to what he would recognize as home."

She looked at him in silent amazement. "The TARDIS is a lady," he reminded her. "Hasn't he told you that?"

"Yes," she said. "He has. But I don't know what it means."

"He is linked to his TARDIS. It is programmed to bring him home when he's wounded, or dying. And in his current condition, if he becomes weak enough, his instinct will drive him to seek it out and go into it. We must keep them apart, or he will abort his own mission without realizing it."

"But how can you do that if it's programmed to find him when he's dying?" she asked.

"He calls to it telepathically." the Clerk told her, for once dropping his sarcasm. "It's an unconscious thing he does, and so far it's mostly been when he's tired or weak--as you saw him last night. I'm able to override his telepathic communication to it. I keep the TARDIS standing out in the Vortex for right now--sort of in park." He abruptly looked out the taxi window. "There's nothing at all on this blasted river," he observed.

"What if the Master's killed him already?" she asked.

"That's possible, but not likely," he said. "The Master will want answers, first."

She had a sudden idea. "Could we use the TARDIS to find him?" she asked. "I mean, if it's programmed to go to him, maybe we could bring it in and use it to rescue him."

"But we would never get it to leave him," he objected. "Blasted, stubborn machine. It's all I can do now to keep it out. If I bring it in, I'll never override his calls enough to send it away again. It will act on its own as he gets weaker, and take him back."

* * * *

The gentle patting against the Doctor's face became slightly more insistent. As his eyes fluttered open the final pat turned into a light slap. It left a message of good natured contempt. His eyes focused in time to see the Master straightening up over him. The Doctor's eyes narrowed, but before he could speak, the Master said, "Well Doctor, feeling a bit under the weather?"

His eyes darted over the Master's shoulder, taking in the presence of another man, a human, who seemed to be carrying some sort of mechanical paraphenalia. They were in a dark room that smelt of earth and very old wood.

"Can you hear me, Doctor?" The Master asked.

"Yes," the Doctor said. He realized that he was lying prone on a dirt floor, where they had dumped him after transporting him.

"How did you find me?" he asked.

"Ah Doctor, the question is-how did you find me?" the Master asked, smiling. "You don't need me to answer your question. Anybody foolish enough to leave a field from a TARDIS operating should know he is an easy mark. Whatever were you thinking?"

The Doctor did not answer him.

"You are in a bad way," the Master observed cheerfully. He glanced around the dim room. The Doctor's eyes followed his glance. It seemed to be some type of cellar. The windows had been papered over, blotting out the daylight. A single naked bulb by the door cast a yellowish glare in one corner of the room.

"Not a very cheerful place to die, is it Doctor?" the Master asked. "Still, death is not cheerful. And from the readings I've taken from you, you've chosen a particularly unpleasant way to die. Why radiation? What were you doing? What were you thinking?"

"It's not important," the Doctor whispered.

Thoughtfully, the Master folded his arms and regarded him. There was no need to be careful, for the Doctor was weakened from the cloud of poisonous gas. He could not have gotten to his feet without assistance, and he was so langorous that the thought of trying to escape did not even occur to him.

"What is important is why you've come here," the Master told him. "Why now-at this juncture of your life? What is so important to you that you would return here with your dying breath?"

The Doctor was silent. The Master paced thoughtfully. The man in the back stayed still, faced fixed. The paraphanelia he was carrying resolved itself into a tank of some sort, of the sort used for storing gases, and some kind of wand. But the Doctor could not focus his eyes to distinguish the rest, and the Master interrupted his observation.

"Could it be the girl?" he asked. He looked inquisitively at the fallen timelord. "Jo Grant?" and he affected a face of mock pity. "If so, I have some rather bad news for you, Doctor."

The Doctor still said nothing. The Master came and stood over him. "She's dead, Doctor. I got to her first. She died very prettily, though. But I'm afraid her last words were for that other fellow, the army Captain."

* * * *

Jo sighed and was silent as they both watched the river while they cruised along. After a long pause she said, "With that telepathy of his--"

He shot her a glance. "Yes?"

"Well, I mean, last night when I was in bed and he was on the floor. I thought I saw the TARDIS."

The Clerk turned to her. "Why didn't you tell me this?"

She ignored the question. "For a minute or two, I thought I was the one on the floor." and she hesitated. "Like somehow for a moment or two I was seeing everything through his eyes."

The Clerk's face sparked with recognition and sudden, deep satisfaction.

"The Doctor has hypnotized you before?" he asked.

"Not--not like the Master," she faltered.

"But he has established a link from your mind to his?"

"Yes. The first time was when the Master had hypnotized me--subdued me entirely to his will," she told him. "You must think that's very funny."

He actually looked hurt for a moment. But then he said, "Not funny. Just predictable. Go on."

"The Doctor was very gentle with me afterward. But he broke the Master's hold on me." She thought for a moment. "Then there was Axos. Well, and other times. But it was never overpowering like the Master's way."

"No, of course not," he said, and his voice was more subdued. "What matters is that he has established a link between his mind and yours." He leaned back, satisfied. "Last night when he was so weak he was putting out that telepathic call, and you were responding," he told her. "Not very clearly, but we can make you more receptive to his call." He suddenly smiled at her, and Jo was surprised that when the Clerk did smile, he was as charming as the Doctor himself. "You see, my dear, I knew you would find a way to home in on him!"

* * * * The morning was getting on. Mike Yates gingerly bent his arm at the elbow and flexed it slightly. In the tight but clumsy wrap of his coat, the arm was tingling slightly. The blood seemed to be slowing down, and luckily for him, none was showing outside the clumsy bandage. He should have been cold without his coat on, but his quick walking and moments of jogging had warmed him up. He glanced around anxiously as he came off the city bus. There was no sign of pursuit. For the moment, he had lost them. But he could not afford to spend even a spare moment out in public view, not with the police and UNIT joined hand in glove to detain him.

He jogged towards the older, less populated section of the city on the other side of the train station. Deserted buildings and factories were interspersed with those still living and functioning. It was a wonder to him that Clerk 42 had found such a good hiding place so readily.

But ever wary, he kept an eye out for pursuit. The streets seemed deserted except for the occasional heavy vehicles that trundled back and forth from building projects or the docks. Entry into their basement was by means of a long narrow staircase that cut into the ground. He found it, took a last look round, and plunged down the dark steps. It was his first moment of carelessness--to assume he was home safe once he got down to the stairs.

The swipe of a switchblade across his chest made his first payment for his momentary lapse. Yates dodged back instinctively but felt the sudden cold air that told him it had scored on him, slicing through his clothes and skin. Before he could react, a man flew on top of him, the knife up to strike again.

Yates fell backward into the stairs and desperately worked his legs to trip his attacker. He succeeded only in pushing his feet against the bigger man's legs, driving him back only for a second. Without thinking, as the man rushed in again to stab him, he flung the coat off of his arm and into the man's face.

He followed it up with a quick and ineffective punch with his bleeding right arm, looked down and saw his own chest covered with blood, and then followed again with a left cross. But it was like hitting stone. The man turned and shook away the coat, also shaking off the effect of the punches, and came in again, but Yates was not there. He hurried back up the steps in full retreat, and the man came after him.

Up above, there was more room to afford the type of fighting that the smaller, slender man needed to win. He knew better than to go toe to toe with this giant, and he recognized his attacker as one of the men who had carried off Jo.

Yates burst up onto the street and fell forward, just as the man came up behind him. This time the young intelligence officer was successful in executing a perfect leg trap that brought the bigger man down on his face on the hard street. But just as Yates rolled up to pin the man's leg up behind him, the big man rolled with him, and the switchblade plowed a second, shallow furrow down his intended victim's back. Yates rolled off without hesitating; and as they both leaped up, he was the first one to hit, striking that granite face with a left roundhouse punch that seemed to do nothing but hurt his knuckles. He ducked as the switchblade came at him and looped over his head, and struck again with his right, drops of blood flying out of his cut arm in a small arc. It was no good. Here he was going toe to toe again.

But suddenly he saw the back of his attacker's head as the big man abruptly turned and fled. Yates automatically took off in pursuit, and then realized what had prompted the man to turn from almost certain victory. A police man's whistle warned them both to stop. Yates launched himself desperately after the man and brought him down, just as two policemen ran to stop them. Another car--clearly a police vehicle--came around the corner. Though he was desperately holding the big man down, Yates had time to see that the Brigadier was on the passenger side of the vehicle.

* * * *

"Y'don't mind if I smoke, do you?" the driver asked, thrusting a cigarette between his thick lips.

"No, not a bit, just be quiet," the Clerk told him. They were parked along the roadside for the moment.

Clerk 42 looked directly at her unguarded eyes, and Jo ducked her head away and closed her eyes. "No!" she said it without thinking.

The Clerk drew a sharp breath. "Don't you want to save him?"

"Yes." She turned and looked at him, but as he looked at her, her eyes insistently darted away.

"You may not like me, but I am not the Master, you know," he reminded her. I will not rip apart your mind."

"I can't do it," she whispered.

"I did save your life," he added. "I am on your side."

She nodded.

"This is just to make you more receptive to the Doctor's call, my dear," he said awkwardly. "It's a little like dozing, isn't it? Think about nothing in particular for a moment. You don't have to think about me or worry that I will be reading your thoughts."

"I'll try." She steadied herself with an inner resolve and looked at him again.

He brought his face closer to hers and looked at her eyes. She tried, and she realized she was trying too hard.

He sighed, drew back, and looked at her in chagrin. "You are a difficult subject to hypnotize," he declared, not accusingly, but rather helplessly.

"I used to be a very good subject," she told him ruefully.

"Hmm, well, you've learned to protect yourself, it seems. I'm sorry to say that you have become self conscious, Jo." It was the first time he had used her given name. He looked thoughtful. "It's what comes, I suppose, of disappointments and hurt feelings and loneliness perhaps." He said it awkwardly and looked out the window as he did. Then he looked down and said, "I know you've lost your husband. Been betrayed."

She stiffened at the personal commentary, but when he looked up at her, there was something in his face that she recognized that stopped her sudden resentment. But she wasn't sure what it was--an expression that suddenly flitted away. But it puzzled her enough to keep her looking at his face. He gentled his voice and held her eye with his.

"We came," he said quietly. "To set some things right. But there are some things that even a time lord cannot set right. But I want you to forget your own self for a moment. Completely. Focus on your friend, the Doctor. Don't try to hear his call. Just think about him, and that he needs us both right now, and that I want us to find him as much as you do. We must be a team, and we are a team, because we both want to find him."

"All right," she said, calmed by the calmness in his voice. "I will."

The driver snorted and lit a fresh cigarette. He opened his newspaper.

Moving with quiet deliberation, the Clerk took her face between his hands. The gesture startled her, and she instinctively put her bandaged hands up on his wrists as though ready to push him away. But she did not, and in a moment she yielded to his eyes and the focus of his voice.

"Close out the rest," he said softly. "We are a team in this--each as vital as the other. Neither of us alone can find him. But we can help each other."

To her surprise, two big tears welled up and spilled out of her eyes as she met his gaze and listened to him, but he said nothing either way, only held her eyes with his and let the two tears trickle down his hands. After a moment, she relaxed. She lowered her hands. Her breathing, which had been tight, slowed and became a trifle more shallow.

"Look with your eyes," he told her. "He's calling for the TARDIS, and calling for you. Your eyes will show the direction. Search for him, Jo. Watch for him. Where is he?"

Her gaze turned from his face to look over his shoulder.

Without releasing her, he glanced at the driver, who was deeply immersed in the paper. "Quick man, that way!"

The driver opened his mouth and nearly lost the cigarette. "T'river's that way," he objected.

"Get us over a bridge, then. Hurry up." He glanced back at Jo, who--no longer seeing him at all, started towards the direction she had indicated.

"It's all right," he said, holding her back. "We're going now. We'll get there faster by taxi."

A few minutes fast driving brought them to the other side, but her eyes shifted again.

"That way!" the Clerk exclaimed, "Almost due north, man!"

"Beggin' yer pardon, guv, but there ain't no road due north, just buildin's!" the driver objected, expertly weaving into traffic.

"Get us up in the direction somehow," the Clerk insisted.

"Awright, awright. Hold on!"

In spite of his taciturn and stolidly unimpressed nature, he was a good driver. He quickly found a northerly route.

"Doctor!" Jo said softly, urgently. "I can't see you--"

"We're going to him, Jo," the Clerk said. A tremor suddenly ran through her. Then another.

"The Master! He's hurting us! He's hurting me! He's--he's burning me!"

"Jo!" the Clerk said a little more sternly. "It's not you."

"I'm coming--I--no, he's making me afraid. He'll find out that Jo's not dead. He's--he's set the bees onto UNIT--"

Clark turned her face to force her eyes onto his, but she struggled to look away from him. "Not you. It's not you. You're the wrong one. Where is he?" She shot another look down a side street on her side, suddenly jerked away from the Clerk, and grabbed the door handle. The Clerk fell on top of her and pulled her back as she got the door open.

"Stop! The cab is moving!" he warned her. "Driver, take that turn back there!" he shouted.

The driver abruptly swung the cab around.

"Doctor!" she shouted.

"Jo, come back!" Clerk 42 exclaimed. The inertia of the cab turning swung the door closed.

"Blimey!" the cabby muttered.

She rolled onto her back and blindly slapped him with her bandaged right hand as he struggled to hold onto her face and force her eyes to his. "Let me go to him. Why are you holding me back. He's dying now!" The Clerk barely flinched under the slap. "Oh, this was a good idea!" he muttered. She slapped him with her other hand, gasping as the slaps hurt her raw hands through the bandages.

He pushed himself forward and came down on top of her and they both rolled to the floor of the cab.

"'Ere now!" the driver exclaimed. "What are you two doin' back there!"

Clerk 42 at last got a look at her eyes. The quarters were too close for her to be able to slap him or wriggle away from him.

"Doctor!" he shouted, and his own eyes blazed into hers. "Stop it! Wake up! Stop it! You'll hurt her! You are hurting her!"

"No, don't leave me! Doctor!" she shouted, and she moved with one last action of desperation and struck him full force in the face. For one moment their eyes locked together, and then he saw that she was back. She sobbed in grief and rage at him. The driver pulled the car to the curb with an indignant shriek of brakes.

"'Ere now, what are you doin' to her?" he demanded.

"You took me away from him and he's suffering!" she sobbed as the Clerk pulled her back up to the seat. "How could you do that to him? How could you do that to me?"

"Tell me where he is!" the Clerk exclaimed severely. "How dare you reprimand me! Tell me where he is or we'll be too late. Stop babbling in hysterics!"

The driver was clearly on Jo's side. He decided to take a hand. "You talk to that child again like that, Mister, and I'll punch you in the nose!" he exclaimed. Then, more gently, "Here, here, Miss, are you all right? You ought not keep such company."

Jo got a hold of herself. "No, it's all right," she said. "He's right." She brought herself under control and looked around the tree-lined street. Elegant houses--of the sort that had been home to her as a child--surrounded them.

"He's here somewhere," she said. "We've got to go find him. He's nearby. But he's in terrible pain."

Click here to go to Episode 7

Click here to go to back to Jeri's Dr. Who Fiction page