Killer Bees Episode Seven;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 7

The Clark paid the indignant taxi driver as Jo climbed out. He quickly followed her. She ran to the middle of the neighborhood street and seemed to be casting around. But her face was white, her eyes preoccupied and slightly disoriented.

"What do you remember?" he asked her. "Come out of the middle of the street, girl. You'll attract unwanted attention." The taxi roared off with the indignant speed of a cabbie going for the police. The Clark grimaced.

"An iron lion's head," she said. She turned to him suddenly.

"Come out of the street," he said distinctly.

"Why did you separate us?" she asked him. "He's suffering. He's dying and he's alone in a dark room."

"He will not die for a long time yet," he told her. "And he's got a lot of fight left in him."

"You're a cruel and horrible man."

"I am a time lord!" he barked, and then just as quickly he strode to the middle of the street. "Listen to me!" he said, with a strange, stern restraint that fixed her attention. "His mind is calling for his TARDIS instinctively, because he can't help but do it. And when it fails to come, he calls out to you, for anything or anyone that will answer him. He can't help himself."

"I know that!" she snapped, and her eyes became wet.

"It would break your mind," he told her. He took her by the shoulders and made her look at him. "Yes, it's comforting for him. You love him. But you were mistaking yourself for him. Reading his sense impressions and confusing your identities. The human brain cannot handle that type of electrical trafficking. The breaking apart was traumatic for you, and I'm sorry. I had no idea you would establish that strong of a contact with him. But if I had let you go on, then the breaking apart would have shattered your mind. It's the exact same thing that BOSS did to Mike Yates. It would have the exact same effect." He let her go and backed away. "Come out of the street," he said again. And she followed him to the sidewalk. She seemed dazed.

After a moment, he took her hand by the wrist. She was trembling. "I'm sorry I hurt you," he said. "I have the syringes ready for the Doctor. He should still be in good shape, but if he's not, we can help him."

"Why is your face red?" she asked him suddenly. "Both your cheeks are red. "

He hesitated as he saw that she could not clearly remember what had happened. "I scraped it on the carpeting in the taxi."

She gazed around at the high hedges and old, trees, now bare in the winter cold. "A wrought iron lion's head," she said. "That's what we have to find."

"Well let's start looking. Come on; this way."

* * * *

The police did not take Mike Yates to UNIT. Nor did they take him to the police station. He was pushed into an ambulance, and the Brigadier came after him. While a medic bandaged the shallow gash in his chest and the slightly deeper furrow in his side, another cleaned the glass out of his arm and taped up the long cut there. The Brigadier remained silent, looking at him with a sort of non-committal regard. Mike had nearly forgotten that Lethbridge-Stewart--though impatient in situations he did not understand--was patient in waiting out his adversaries. He was an excellent chess player and had beaten Mike in most of the games they had played in happier times. In fact, he had even beaten the Doctor once or twice by tempting the Doctor to rash and easy victories on the board. In some ways he was a master of the psychology of warfare.

"You look like you could use a drink," the Brigadier said at last as the medics cleared away the paper wrappers from their wares.

"A bit of neat scotch would do me wonders," Mike conceded. "Or even a dark Guiness." He shifted his wait to get more comfortable in his sitting position on the stretcher. His tattered shirt was in his hands, and he glanced at it ruefully. "That fellow in the police van is one of the men who kidnapped Jo Grant."

"Have you been tracking her?" Lethbridge Stewart asked. "Is there hope that she's alive?"

"She's alive," he confirmed. "Or she was as of seven o'clock this morning. We were hiding out in that deserted building. I left to attend to some matters, and when I came back, that fellow was waiting for me."

"And he's one of the Master's goons," the Brigadier said.

"Look, where are you taking me, and why?" Mike asked. "I haven't broken any laws."

"No indeed. In fact, I understand from Sgt. Benton that you saved his life," the Brigadier said. "Those flying things were swarming all over UNIT H.Q. We had to evacuate, but I've lost several people. If you know about those creatures and what they are, you must tell me."

Mike leaned back against the side of the ambulance and regarded the Brigadier thoughtfully. "Where are we going?" he asked.

"To temporary headquarters," the Brigadier told him.

"I want my freedom."

"Because you're ashamed to be at UNIT?"

"Yes," he said. "What did you expect?"

The Brigadier hesitated and after a long moment offered a smile. "You always were direct. I cannot hold you for longer than twenty four hours. I'm asking you to help us. You don't have to tell us everything about this case, but tell us enough to enable us to defend ourselves."

"So you believe I'm an agent," Mike asked him.

"You're obviously some sort of agent," the Brigadier replied. "Whose, I don't know, but I am confident of your motives."

"From what I learned yesterday," Mike told him. "The bees--"

"They really are bees?"

"No, I just call them that. They're the product of what is called sub micronic technology. Crystalline structures are grown in precise conditions and are formed into semiconductors. Not just semiconductor material, but complete semiconductor networks. These networks can be planned out, and the crystalline structures grown to very exact specifications, so that logic and power transfer can be carried out in them to exact specifications. "

"Micro chips," the Brigadier told him. "Flying micro chips."

"More than just chips," Yates told him. "Complete assemblies. These killer bees have logic programmed into them to surround a target and generate some type of field. It's what the Do-- what can be called an extraction field."

"They do it randomly?" the Brigadier asked. "Or do they pick their targets?"

"It was random when we were attacked in the detention area yesterday," Yates told him. They homed in on that soldier just because he was closest to them. Maybe because he moved. I'm not sure what it is that they detect to pick a target."

"That was Gleason, poor blighter," the Brigadier said. He glanced out of the window. "Here we are. We can at least give you a spare shirt, Yates. Come inside." He turned back to Mike Yates as they climbed out of the ambulance. "Is earth really up to that technology yet?" he asked.

"Not for mass production," Mike told him. "And not commercially. You never can tell what research labs might come up with, though. Or it could be something of the Master's engineering."

"Only the Master would have the dark humor to test those creatures out on UNIT," the Brigadier said. "I'm assuming it was a test run."

"If it was, then he's getting ready for a large scale attack," Mike told him.

"Then we'd better find a sure defense," the Brigadier said.

Yates looked thoughtful as he came out of the ambulance. The cold wind on his bare chest and back made him wince, but he hesitated for a moment in thought. "I think I might be able to come up with a weapon," he said. He suddenly grinned at the Brigadier. "Shielding is heavy, and those things are light enough to fly. So they can't be shielded very well. A little high school physics might just be enough to do them in."

* *

"I think that's the place--" Clark 42 said, peering around a hedge at a great house whose drive ran around to the back. The houses on that street were all set well back from the road, so there was not much danger of them being observed, as long as they stayed close to the hedges. "Look at that back section. The windows are barred with black paper taped over the glass. An excellent prison."

"No lion on the wrought iron fence," she objected.

"You're looking in the wrong place," he told her. "Can you see the door knocker on the front door?. Looks like a lion's head to me, welded onto a wrought iron lattice."

"Oh, I wish I had my keys," she whispered. "I'm super at picking locks. I could get him right out of that place."

"He told me you were a famous escape artist," the Clark agreed, checking the pockets of his immaculate suit. "Even after three years and with your hands bandaged?"

She nodded. He produced a set of miniature screwdrivers. "These belong to him" he told her. "He made me hold them while he was fixing something or other in that TARDIS of his. Will they do?"

She opened the tiny case and looked at them carefully. They were the type of screwdrivers used to repair eye glasses or computer boards. She held up the two tiniest. "It's a start," she said hopefully.

They were interrupted by the sight of the sleek, shining nose of a huge, expensive car that pulled aroudn from the back of the house. They both ducked back around the hedge.

"That's the car," Jo hissed. "Into the hedge!"

He needed no second urging, and he followed her through the stickers and branches into the yard next door.

"You said you had the syringes," she whispered. "Give them to me!"

"What in the world for?" he asked.

"I'm going to go get him. You go for UNIT. Tell the Brigadier. They'll come right away. They know that the Master is operating in London."

"My dear young lady, have you any idea what the Doctor will do to me when he finds out I've gone and left you to break into that den of darkness alone? " he demanded. "Dying or not, he'll wring my neck in his bare hands. He's very protective of you."

"Just hurry!" she hissed. "There's no other way! I can't leave now, and somebody's got to go get UNIT!" She took a breath as he hesitated. "The Master is leaving!" she reminded him.

"You should stay in the hedge," he ordered her, handing over the syringes anyway.

"So that the Doctor can die while I'm waiting only a hundred yards away?" she asked him. "Hang on." They waited in breathless silence as the sound of the Master's car grew louder. It came to the edge of the driveway, pulled out, and drove past their hiding place.

"The way is clear now," she whispered. "Go get UNIT. I'm after him. If I can get him out of the house, we'll meet you right here."

"Oh that's a likely prospect." And he rolled his eyes. But he nodded. "I'll be back as quickly as I can," he said. He peered through the hedge and then made to push his way through to the street.

"Clark," she said suddenly. He glanced back. She took in her breath, hesitated, and then said, "Don't screw it up."

He let out his breath, torn for a moment with a desire to smile and the tempation to think of a retort. Instead of either, he reached out and pinched her nose. "I'll do my best to get it right. You be careful. Think before you make a move anywhere." He went through the hedge to the street, and she crept along it down the length of the yard and finally squeezed through when she saw the way was clear.

The Clark's inexperience with humans was--in some ways--beneficial. Jo knew perfectly well that neither the Doctor not Mike would allow her to enter the Master's domain alone, regardless of circumstances. But there was no time for chivalry. Her brief link with the Doctor's mind and senses--though broken--still bound her to him. She knew that he was in pain and weakening, and a despair she had never sensed in him before had him in its grip. She wondered if he were actually dying. Her passion to find him was nearly a frenzy that she could barely control.

She came out of the hedge cautiously. A tool shed stood at the back of the large yard, but she dismissed it. She knew what she was looking for--someplace nearly entirely underground, dark and isolated. Cautiously, she crossed the lawn and got into the lee of the house. It was hemmed on one end with a large and high deck.

Just as she got to cover under it, she saw a glimpse of a figure walking towards her. She crouched down and stayed still. Not seeing her in the darkness under the deck, a man walked past, head down, gun in hand. He was looking the weapon over, and her heart froze for a moment. But then he broke it open and she realized that he was merely inspecting it, as a man does when he is on guard duty and is bored.

He reached the steps of the deck and slowly climbed them. She heard the click and rattle as he took the weapon apart. It was a golden opportunity. She cautiously came out from the cover of the deck and crept up after him.

The deck had a sun porch, walled in with reinforced glass. It was warm in the cold late-winter morning.

She stayed on the third step from the top and lowered herself to hands and knees, her eyes and the top of her head barely visible to anybody inside the sun room. Inside the room, the man set the pieces of the gun down on a glass topped table, took up a mug and glanced at it, and went inside the main house--in search of coffee, she guessed.

As soon as he went through the door into the house proper, she moved. Staying low, she quickly covered the distance from the stairway to the gun. She dropped to a crough by the table, scooped up the pieces, and quickly reassembled it, nervously glancing around. As no sound came from the house, she hurried back down the steps, trying to slip the bullets into place in the cylinder.

She never did know how he did what he did, but suddenly he was in front of her on the steps, and the back of his hand struck her full force across the face. Half of the bullets flew out of her hand, and she nearly lost the gun as well, but she grabbed it before it flew out of her hand. Almost accidentally, she clapped it down on the rail as she fell backward and flipped the cylinder closed.

He threw her down beneath him on the steps. Jo's reaction was far more instinctive than rational. Scrambling to get the gun between them with the muzzle pointed at him, she pulled the trigger again and again and nothing happened. Just as he grinned, and she realized that it was surely empty, it went off.

A rose suddenly blossomed on his chest; blood sprayed over her. His chin went skyward. Arms spread as though he were invoking the sky, he fell backward. His body rolled down the steps, and stopped as it hit the ground.

She shrank from herself, from the blood that had rained down on her. Shaking, she fell onto the step beneath her. She wrapped both bandaged hands around the gun, felt the warmth on the muzzle seeping through the tape on her fingers like a strange and terrifying comforter. But the body below did not move, and she knew he was dead from the powerful blast through his heart. For a moment she thought she was going to be sick. Abruptly, she pulled off the jacket she had been wearing, and threw it over the rail.

She stood up shakily and forced herself to go down the steps and around him. She had to find the Doctor.

Once past the dead man, Jo found a garden spigot and washed off the blood. She dried her face and hands on her sleeves. Only then was she able to walk without her knees shaking. She had used firearms before; in fact in her early days as an agent with UNIT, she had depended on them as the best means of defense. But her years with the Doctor had slowly schooled her away from that logic. And though she still approved of guns and their use, the actual shooting of a man, even a bad man with designs to kill her and the Doctor, made her nauseated and weak.

She crept carefully around the back of the house, but nobody else was in sight. A very short flight of four wooden steps at the back of the house led to a single heavy door that was padlocked. With her hands shaking she was clumsy, but it was not a difficult lock, and she got it open in less than two minutes, relying on the impromptu picks that the Clark had given her. She opened the door a crack, looked inside at a dark hallway, and then opened the door the rest of the way to admit as much light as possible.

The hallway led straight back to a similar door, also padlocked, but there was another, unlocked door on her left. She doubted it could lead to the Doctor, but she tried it anyway. She opened it cautiously and poked her head inside.

The cell was dark because of the dark paper on the windows. Narrow slits of light filtered in through rents in the paper. In the dimness she could just make out the Doctor's form. He lay on his back, one leg bent at the knee and propped against the wall. Faint slits of light fell on his white and gray hair, and she saw that his eyes were open and staring.

Her last contact with him had made her aware of the pain that he was in, and it did not really surprise her to see that he had died in the dark, closed in cell. Bitter dismay washed over her. For a moment she forgot about regeneration. She softly crept closer to him and knelt by him.

The blank eyes did not see her. "Doctor," she whispered. She framed his face in her hands and gently lifted it and turned the staring eyes towards herself. But the eyes remained fixed.

She leaned over him, brushed the hair back from his forehead, felt the remains of cold sweat lying on his clammy skin. With the cuff of her sleeve she gently patted the skin dry. But she could not bring herself to close the staring eyes, could not bear to bring down the last wall of separation between them.

"Doctor," she whispered. The expression on his face was as it must have been when the Clark had so forcibly separated them--grief, dismay, shock. It was hard to decide if she had been with him in his last moments, or if she had deserted him in his last moments. Was that the heartbreak that had done him in, there in the dark cell? His whole personality was one of light and cheer and companionship. Darkness and solitude at the end seemed like the cruelest form of death for him.

"I'm sorry," she whispered to the staring eyes as she swept back the hair from his forehead. She felt the tears start down her face. They fell onto his, running down the sides of his cheeks and the creases around his eyes as though he were weeping. She couldn't bear to be so close to him and see him so remote. She leaned down and kissed his still lips, then his cheeks, and then his forehead, as though somehow there were a way to comfort him still. At last. she lay down alongside him and rested her head against his shoulder and neck and held onto him. "Doctor, I'm sorry." She began to cry in earnest until she sobbed out loud in grief. "I'm sorry."

The touch of his hand on her shoulder almost made her scream, and then she collapsed in surprise--and some fear--as she felt him tenatively take hold of her in his arms. For a moment the impossibility of his being alive made her fear that this was some sort of monstrous trick of the Master's. But his hand patted her hair, identifying her by its length and texture, and she heard his breath as he gasped.

He made a sound of pain. "Oh," he said after a moment. "You're hurting me, Jo. You're cutting off my breath."

She slid away from him. He used his other hand to touch his own face, and he wiped away the tears from her that had fallen onto his cheeks and forehead. Unsteadily, he got up on one elbow and looked at her.

"It really is you," he whispered. "I fell asleep a while ago. I dreamed that you came in here, and that Clark 42 was angry because I'd let you come into this cell. He was so angry that I woke up." He glanced around at the dark room. "It's just as well: sleep is very bad for me right now."

"Why?" she asked. She was trembling from head to foot.

"Why are you shaking? How did you get in here?" he asked her. "You've got to get away from here."

"I came to get you," she whispered. "I picked the lock and got in. Can you walk?"

He shook his head. "I'm chained to the wall. It's welded, not locked. I can't get away. See for yourself." And he nodded down at his leg. She saw a short, thick chain that ran from his leg into a bolted bracket on the wall. The chain was simply wrapped around his ankle. Thick and clumsy welds fused the links together on the loop around the ankle. Underneath, his flesh was burned very badly.

"That's the pain I felt," she said, seeing the burns. "This is terrible. " She tried to get a better look at his ankle in the bad light.

"This is death," he said. "My death. You've got to get out of here, Jo. "

"Never!" she exclaimed. "I want to stay with you."

"Where is the Clark?" he asked her.

"Gone to get help from UNIT. I'm staying right here until they come for us. "

He shook his head. "Find a jimmy or crow bar. This wall is wood. We can pry that bracket off. What--what about the fellow guarding me?"

She glanced down. "I took care of him."

"Hurry, Jo. The Master is preparing something terrible. We must enlist the aid of UNIT."

She got up on her knees, but her legs were shaking, and as she tried to stand she fell back over, then tried again.

"What is it? What's wrong?" he asked her.

"Nothing--just shoo--doing the man out back. And thinking I was too late, " she gasped. She did get up then, and she carefully hurried out, leaving the gun with him. There was a tool shed in the back. With little difficulty she got the door to it open and found a nice, heavy crow bar with a pry on the end.

She returned to his cell and the darkness, and then suddenly, certainly, as she saw him slumped against the wall, she knew he was going to die. There was no hope this time.

But his spirits were much improved at the sight of her and the pry. "Good girl!" he hissed as she came in. He sat up straighter. He already looked better. Her presence had driven away some of the despair. And yet, as though for the first time, she realized that he was never going to look like he had once looked, never lead her blithely into the unknown as he had once led her. Whether they won out this time or not, his end would be the same: death. And her own future would be just as uncertain and lonely. Even if good were to triumph, good would not really triumph, not in the ways it had before.

"What is it, Jo?" he asked.

"Why were your eyes staring like that?" she asked him as she bent over the bracket that held the chain to the wall. She tried to set the pry tightly behind the bracket, but it slipped off and cut the wrap on her bandaged thumb.

"Self hypnosis," he told her. "Trying to block out the pain. Look, sit down a moment. You're shaking too hard to use that thing half right." He made his voice more authoritative. "Jo, you've got to calm down."

"It's just that I thought you were dead," she said, sitting down and not looking at him. "I thought I had failed you again. I thought I had lost you. I just couldn't bear it. I can't bear it, yet."

He looked at her for a moment in dismay. As always, success at the moment was enough to bouy his optimistic nature. He hesitated. "You must lose--" he began, then cut himself off. He tried again. "You haven't ever failed me." As she said nothing, he tried yet again: "I imagine it was a little shocking to see me with my eyes wide like that."

"It was," and her voice quavered in spite of her best attempt to steady it. "And even if we cheat it here, it's what has to be. Just like that. It's horrible." She suddenly drew up her knees and put her face down onto them. "Is that really why you came back, Doctor? Because he wins in the end? Did you come to die with us?" She looked up at him. "You would; I know you would."

"Jo, I travel in the future; I don't predict it," he said quietly. "But it is certain that if you give up now, you will certainly die."

"I'm not sure I want to live any longer," she said. "I can't even cry when I say it. So many bad things have happened, and so many bad things are happening right now. I can't find my way any more. Not even in the present."

For a moment he looked at her with an expression she had seldom seen in him: sharp dismay, a pity of the sort that only a person hundreds of years old can show. For a moment they only looked at each other, neither one knowing what else to say.

And then he spoke suddenly, seriously. "Tell me something."

"What?" she replied.

"You'll kiss me only when I'm dead?" he asked.

She looked down again after a moment, not sure how to answer.

"What does a kiss mean? Do human women kiss only the men that they--that they marry?" he asked her gently.

"No, they kiss the other people they care about, too. It doesn't quite mean the same thing," she told him. "But it does mean a lot."

"It's how one person comforts another, I think," he said.

She nodded. For a moment they were both silent, and then he took her hand, her fingers cold from shock and fear, in his. "Come here, Jo." The gesture did not surprise her. Carefully, he drew her closer and then gathered her to himself. For a moment she wasn't sure what to do, and then she simply let him gather her in, in to the rustle of his clothing and the warm, seasoned scent of starch, faint cologne, and heavy clothing that was all the Doctor.

"Like this," he said, half to himself and half to her, and he guided her head into his neck, under his chin, and held her there. "It's the sound of the breathing resonating in the chest cavity that comforts humans," he said softly. "They're conditioned to it as children, even as infants in the womb." He hesitated and then asked, "Is that better?"

"Yes," she said. She felt her trembling stop.

He stayed absolutely still, saying nothing, until she felt the quietness of his breathing, the rhythmic matching of his two hearts beating. When he spoke, his voice was calm, gentle, and good natured. "You know, I have every hope that you'll fall in love with Mike Yates and put that poor boy out of his misery," he said quietly, holding her head against himself so that she could hear his voice resonating through his chest as he spoke. He was right. It was comforting. "But I suppose it was bad form just to drop you right in his hotel room after Clark and I patched you back up in the TARDIS."

She smiled faintly and said, "Not very subtle."

"Oh, I knew he would be a gentleman." He stroked her hair. "He truly loves you, Jo. As only a human can. He will always love you."

The words were true, and she knew it.

"Sometimes love is found simply in giving, Jo. Not in the human ideas of fireworks and starlight, but in the divine idea of simply giving all your best to another, and finding it taken with thanksgiving and genuine gratitude." He looked down at her, his face and voice quiet and sober. "Mike Yates loves you with the best of loves, and he will offer you the best of himself, and comfort and consolation after these things are over."

Her head safely against him, she nodded but didn't speak.

"You may yet live," he whispered. "And see better days than these."

"But without you," she whispered, and it wasn't a question. Tears rolled down her eyes.

"He will love you, Jo. And you will love him. I know you will." But he held her tightly for a moment. "He won't survive without your love. He knows that. I know that." He took her face in his hands. "I think you know that," he whispered. She didn't answer, but her eyes told him that she did know it. He looked down at her for a long moment. "But before my end comes," he whispered, "I will be the one to comfort you. For I'm the one who has to leave you behind, though I don't want to."

He fell silent, leaned closer, and hesitated. They both hesitated, but then he steadied her chin with his hand and kissed her lips with the warm, soft, unpracticed kiss of a timelord.

And then he looked at her, his face a mask of tenderness and puzzled incomprehension. "Does that really make it better?" he whispered.

In spite of herself, she had to smile. "It does," she whispered.

"Can you get me free, now?"

"I think so."

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