Killer Bees Episode Nine;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 9

"Look," Mike said to the Doctor and threw a notepad down on the lab table at UNIT. "Why not create a gun that would do what those discharge units were doing? You could shrink the size and range of the capacitors and increase the speed of the recharge. We could wage war on the bees. Hunt them."

"Mike, you don't understand," the Doctor said wearily. He sank onto one of the lab stools. The old lab was stuffy inside, and dust had accumulated everywhere. The Doctor glanced around at it, the tight circular stairs in the corner, the worn out sofa where he had occasionally catnapped while working on projects. The water damage in the aging building had worsened, and the smell of mildew hung in the dusty air.

"You all right now Doctor?" Yates asked.

"Not as keen as I would like," he admitted, then said, "It's the bees, Mike. It's a progression."

"They're loose in London! And we're just sitting here!" Mike reminded him, then glanced sharply around. "Where's Clark 42? He should be here."

"To look after me, you mean? Never mind," the Doctor said dismissively, "What's the weather forecast? Rain?"

"Tonight, I think," Mike replied.

"Heavy rain?"

"Showers, according to the radio," Mike told him.

"Then we'll be all right from the first wave. The rain will drop them." But he looked grim.

"The first wave?" Mike echoed.

The Doctor shot a severe look at him. "These clumsy devices have almost no shielding. Static electricity, rain, even a good swat will ruin them. The Master had to know that, once we were aware of them, we would be able to combat them with minimal losses. Out in London!" he laughed a humorless laugh. "Police radio, microwave broadcasts, FM stations--they will quickly diminish the ability of the killer bees to locate targets and each other. They are practically defenseless once they are detected or exposed to a normal city environment." He sighed heavily. "He's been taunting us. It's all a big joke to him, because we really have no clue as to what he's been up to. He set the bees on UNIT for his amusement, knowing the bees would be expendable." He glanced sharply at Mike. "The bees are just a beginning, a prototype, a sketch of something else. Something far worse. "

"But I shot him," Mike reminded the Doctor.

And what about whoever he was working with?" the Doctor asked. "If we don't find where he was manufacturing those creatures, it won't matter at all if he's dead or not. Somebody else may very well step in and fill his shoes."
* * * *
Jo finally realized what had been so noticeable to her about the way the Master had been thrown up the hall from Mike's gun blasts. High speed bullets from a powerful gun were designed to cut right through a body and almost never would throw a person that far forward--unless the person were wearing a bullet proof vest. Against a surface that flattened them, the bullets would disperse their energy in an instantaneous push.

He forced her down the short hallway to the door at the very end. To her surprise, it opened as soon as they approached. Inside, she saw the familiar round console of his TARDIS. She might have known; the Master's TARDIS retained its ability to blend in with its surroundings.

"A short trip, Miss Grant," he said, trying not to gasp. "I don't intend to take you very far."

"Look," she began. "You're wounded badly--"

"Be silent!"

The Master had his TARDIS ever ready to carry unwilling passengers. Jo had been a prisoner in it before. There were a couple metal loops attached to the console panels, and he had entire cabinets devoted to manacle devices. He produced a set of handcuffs and attached her by one wrist to the console. Then he made her help him out of his bloody tunic with her free hand. As they pulled the blood soaked tunic away, she saw that he was indeed wearing a bulletproof vest, but Mike had fired closer than the design allowed, and with a powerful gun. At least one of the bullets had pierced the dense cloth shielding somewhere between his shoulder and the side of his neck.

"Yes," he said through his teeth as he saw her look of comprehension. "But the vest slowed the bullet. And it deflected the other. Get it off me. "

She pulled the velcro fasteners apart and stripped the sodden vest from him. A fresh well of blood splashed down his chest and right arm. He had the molecular compression device in his left hand. She wondered if he would kill her before he collapsed from the loss of blood. He smiled at the expression on her face.

"Were I human, you would have a good chance of surviving me," he acknowledged. "For I don't intend to kill you just yet. But it will not be a contest, Miss Grant. I can survive fairly long even with a wound like this. And now let us go." He activated the central piston unit of the console.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"Not far," he told her. He spoke the truth. The piston unit pumped up and down less than ten times and then he stopped it. He staggered to the door and it swung open.

"You're leaving me here?" she asked.

"Indeed I am," he gasped as he leaned against the doorway and looked back at her. "I am in no condition to tolerate escape attempts, and I have the perfect solution to keep you completely at my beck and call." In spite of the blood and his apparent pain, he smiled at her to show her his defiance of his wound. "I won't be long, Miss Grant."
* * * *
"What do you mean they're a sketch of something else?" Mike demanded. He was interrupted as Clark 42 entered. The Clark had a small sack which he set down on the lab table. It rattled like a bag of BB pellets. The time bracelet clacked against the table top as he set the bag down. Mike had never seen him without the bracelet and paid no attention, but the Doctor looked from it to him for a moment.

"What is that creature doing here?" Clark 42 asked indignantly with a nod of his head at Mike Yates.

"This creature saved his life!" Mike retorted sharply. "And where were you when the bees were attacking? Keeping watch here at UNIT?"

"You may go home now," the Clark said.

"Why did you bother to collect those?" Mike asked him. "Sgt. Benton is out scooping them up."

"We don't want to bother signing them out from the Brigadier, Mike," the Doctor said. "We have no time for the beauracracy of the UN."

"Don't you intend to share your findings?" Mike asked.

"No," the Doctor said wearily, and the Clark exclaimed sharply, "No!"

Just as Mike started to stand up and protest, the Doctor interrupted him. "This is a terrible weapon. We can try to save earth from it, but neither the Clark nor I have any intention of letting any human agency get its hands on this technology. The Master developed this and used the mass resources of earth to produce the bees in swarms. If we are to be successful in protecting humanity, we must make sure that humans do not get a jump on submicronic technology. They'll develop it themselves soon enough. Too soon."

"But you said the bees were ridiculously easy to stop," Mike said.

"At this stage, yes," the Doctor told him.

"Silence, Doctor, you have said quite enough," the Clark ordered. He looked disdainfully at Mike. "Young man, we will consent to save you, but not to take you into our confidence--"

"Where is Jo?" the Doctor asked suddenly.

"She stayed with the mopping up detail at the house," Mike said.

The look of disdain was instantly wiped from the Clark's face. "Whatever for?" he asked, in a very different voice.

"You'll have to ask her," Mike snapped.

"Why? What's wrong?" the Doctor asked the Clark. "She's in no danger there. The Master's either dead or badly wounded."

The Clark hesitated for so long before speaking that Mike and the Doctor were both puzzled.

"Of course," the Clark said at last. "Let's get your equipment out of storage, Doctor."
* * * *
The loop on the console was too high to allow Jo to sit down during her confinement. As the next hour ticked away she could only wonder what he was up to and where he had now taken her. He had left the TARDIS door open, so apparently he was in some secured place where he felt invulnerable. But she was at the wrong angle to be able to get a look outside the open door.

He returned to find her bored and leaning against the console. Though still bare chested, he had managed to wrap a heavy and tight bandage around his shoulder and chest, and as he strode into the TARDIS interior, the heavy smell of disinfectant radiated from him.

"Did you get the bullet out?" she asked, for she doubted that he had.

"It is not for you to worry about, Miss Grant," he told her. He was more composed, more his urbane and condescending self, and she unexpectedly felt a stab of recognition. How like the Clark he was in some moments--the same superiority, the courtesy that was at some moments snide rather than sincere. She immediately dismissed the comparison without a second thought other than a twinge of guilt for thinking ill of an ally.

Looking at her, he walked carefully across the control room towards her and stopped just out of arm's reach from her.

"This may be better," he said at last. "First I wanted the Doctor to be my prisoner and watch his allies be killed. But now it is even better. He shall be free--free and powerless."

"He doesn't even know I'm here," she reminded him bravely, attempting a bit of a sneer on her own.

"But he will recognize your corpse," the Master told her. "And when he sees it, then he will know. You are just the first. The first brick of a long bridge of death that will stretch from here to Gallifrey, and then to the universe."

"I say, you'd better get that bullet out," she said bravely. "You're babbling, you know." But her voice shook.

He smiled slightly at her sarcasm and did not bother to answer. "I shall put on a show for you, first," he said. "A sub micronic showcase." He drew a tube from his pocket and dropped it on the floor. It smashed to bits.

"Splendid show!" she chirped.

"Ah," he said lightly, playing along with her. "But you did not see it, did you? They are not visible to the human eye are they?" From his other pocket, he drew out what looked like a sophisticated pocket calculator. "This handheld control box emits all the signals I shall need," he told her. He punched up a few buttons and looked at her in smug triumph. She realized that the air around her was suddenly shimmering.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Oh, just the bees," he told her. "Sending out short energy waves to show me their location. You're seeing the slight distortion of the light, that's all."

"This is a weapon?" she asked.

He pressed another sequence. "Indeed it is." And the cloud closed in on her. She ducked away, turned her head away, but at her first gasp of fear, she inhaled part of the shimmering cloud. She twisted to get away, alarmed at what she had just done, but the cloud seemed to whisk inside her, through her nose, mouth, even on her lips and in her ears.

Horrified, she turned to him.

"By now they have taken up the appropriate positions," he told her. "Oh, don't worry about the shimmering. That was just a stage show. I've switched it off." He stepped closer and took her by the chin, surveying her face with satisfaction.

"Shortly they will be in your lungs, your heart, your brain, along every mucous membrane in your body," he told her. "In the liver, the kidneys, the spleen."

"What will they do?" she asked.

"Whatever I command them," he told her. "It would be pathetically simple to have them execute the extraction field--and by the way, I can command that as an emergency measure at any moment and over quite a long range. So even if you escape I will kill you from a distance. You would be reduced to dust like the others." He let her go. "But there is no point in a pointless death," he said. "These generation two creations are much more sophisticated than their predecessors because there are more of them per target. Their electronic signaling is capable of so much more."

"Like what?" she asked.

"Well, we'll have to experiment, won't we?" he said, turning away and studying the handheld control device. "I think that we ought to try for a complex routine," he said. "Let the Doctor see what it's capable of. Satisfy myself of the time intervals between health and death."

He turned and surveyed her.

"First, since you are such an escape artist, I shall ensure that you do not escape me." He pressed up a sequence, and Jo felt the muscles in her legs stiffen and then become rigid. It was painful. She shot him a look of fear.

"Yes, that makes the handcuff rather redundant," he said. He came over and unlocked it, freeing her hand, but she did not have the power to raise it. Though her legs were locked, her arms were limp and useless.

"And now," he said. "The experiment itself. I think I shall be bold and daring, Miss Grant. It means a somewhat lingering death for you, but the knowledge gained through your death will certainly advance my understanding of the weapon that I now possess. You see," and he punched up a sequence and then paused in thought. "Some diseases kill some speciea, and other diseases kill other species. But I think I can find a common denominator for all species."

He pressed another sequence. "Good," he said in satisfaction, surveying the device and then looking at her. "And now, I must rest and contemplate how to get this bullet out. But I am greatly comforted. One small bullet is not a heavy price to pay for the sacking of Earth and the ransom of the High Council of the Timelords."

He walked out.
* * * *
"You're saying that the Master will develop an even smaller killing machine than the killer bees?" Mike asked while the Brigadier cocked a doubtful eyebrow at this amazing conversation.

"I'm saying that now that he can mass manufacture creatures of that small of a size, the rest becomes academic!" the Doctor exclaimed. "It's like skyscrapers, but in reverse. Once you build a skyscraper--a building that relies on modern architectural theories--you can build them bigger and bigger indefinitely. Well, now that he's perfected submicronic crystal growth and mass production, he can get those creatures smaller with each successive generation."

"Too small to see?" the Brigadier asked.

"Yes, certainly. He could build them small enough to enter the human bloodstream and mimic a virus or infection. In theory, he could build them so small that they could be parasitic attackers of viruses and bacteria."

"What do you say to this?" Mike asked the Clark, who sat on a stool against the furthest wall. "You're supposed to be the medical expert."

"Look, would you stop worrying about the Clark?" the Doctor asked. "It's the Master we've got to worry about. If he turns these killer bees into infectious agents, then we are doomed. Earth is doomed, anyway. You two are doomed. And so is the rest of this planet."

The Brigadier said nothing, only fixed the Doctor with a look of skepticism. Yates turned away and was lost for a moment in thought. "But what is the size he will get them to?' he asked after a moment. "I mean, I think you hit it, Doctor. Every creature is subject to parasites smaller than itself that victimize it."

"Jo should be back by now," the Doctor said suddenly. The Brigadier glanced at him sharply. Before he could speak, Sgt. Benton burst into the lab, stopped to salute, and said without waiting, "Sir, the Master's body has been taken. The ambulance crew are dead, and his body is gone."

"Gone?" the Doctor echoed, and the Brigadier bellowed, "Body taken, did you say Benton? What were you doing out there?"

"That body wasn't taken!" the Doctor exclaimed, standing up. "It got up and walked away."

"Not with those slugs I put into him!" Mike said. "And what about Jo?"

"Gone too," Benton reported. "We searched the grounds. We can't find any blood leading away from the cellar, no footsteps, nothing. The two of them are just gone."

"He didn't just disappear man!" the Brigadier shouted. "And what about the ambulance crew? Gone to dust?"

Benton shook his head soberly. "Molecular compression, sir."

"He did get up and walk away!" the Doctor said. "He must have had his TARDIS nearby." He shook his head. "He's not dead, Yates. Somehow he's contrived to get away, and he's got Jo."
* * * *
By nightfall the lab was a litter of sketches, diagrams, microscopes, glass slides, and the scattered remains of scores of dead killer bees.

"If he's got Jo, why doesn't he call me?" the Doctor asked nobody in particular, looking up from his microscope. "I mean, if he didn't kill her at the house, what's he keeping her for, except to bring me back as his prisoner?" Mike had been dozing, propped on a straight back chair leaned against the wall, but the exclamation from the Doctor woke him.

"You realize that under no circumstances you must go to him," the Clark said, not seeing that Mike was awake.

So far, the Doctor had seemed remarkably meek around the Clark, but suddenly the familiar regal temper blazed out. "I know no such thing!" he snapped. "D'you think I'm here to dance to the tune that the Council pipes? " the Doctor demanded of Clark 42. "Well think again. I will save her. Or die with her anyway. I'm not leaving her to die alone."

"Even if your death brings down the council of the timelords? All Gallifrey--and the rest of the universe?" the Clark asked him coldly. "That is friendship indeed."

"You have forgotten friendship," the Doctor said bitterly. "Forgotten loyalty, forgotten the helplessness of the people you would choose as companions. We owe something to them. But I will not defend it to you, or explain it." He stood up from the stool. Mike, fascinated by this conversation, closed his eyes to feign sleep. It stung his conscience to eavesdrop, but so far there had not been enough said by the Clark for his motives to be revealed, and this was an opportunity too good to miss.

The Doctor walked over to the old sofa in the far corner and sat down on it.

The Clark followed him, but spoke again with more restraint and respect. "You will condemn earth as well if you die with her, Doctor," he said gravely. "If we fail against these weapons of assassination, all your other companions will die, as will the population of this planet." Mike opened his eyes and watched them silently.

The Doctor slid back on the sofa so that he could lean back comfortably. With his head against the wall, he looked up at the Clark. "But now you know most of it," he said. "You know what the plague is. It's a submicronic infestation. Go back to Gallifrey and save them."

"There's nobody left to build a cure," the Clark told him. "And if I return at that late date, it will be too late for half the galaxy. We must stop him now."

"All right," the Doctor said, then added. "But only until the call comes for Jo's life. I'll get back to it for now."

"No," the Clark said suddenly. "Sleep, Doctor."

The Doctor looked annoyed. "Sleep is the worst possible thing right now. It will speed up the cell repair functions, increase the breakdown rate--"

The Clark moved past him, hand in pocket, and as he approached where Yates was sitting, he unexpectedly turned a half turned and moved with the action of a man flicking at a fly. The Doctor's voice was cut off in mid-sentence. Mike started and then caught himself as Clark looked around. He feigned sleep again and heard the Clark ease the Doctor onto the sofa, unconscious from a lightning jab with a hidden syringe.

This unexpected treachery nearly called the young intelligence officer to his feet. But he realized that his gun was in his coat, across the room, and Clark 42, being a timelord, was an intimidating adversary--especially armed with a syringe of narcotic. Mike waited, eyes narrowed to slits. But the Clark followed up the brief attack by simply pulling a chair closer to the Doctor and sitting down. He intently watched the Doctor, and Mike intently watched him.
* * * *
Jo woke up with a sensation of dryness at the base of her throat, a painful reminder of how she had screamed herself hoarse when she had been drowning in the Thames. She realized that she had fallen asleep standing up.

The pain in her legs now extended up her spine as her locked muscles slowly collected lactic acid without dispersing it. She gasped in her breath, felt the air rush down her raw throat. But instead of the sense of satisfaction that normally came from drawing a deep breath, she felt just as breathless. She gasped in another breath with the same effect, and then another. After a few tries at deep breathing, she was forced to pant--still to no effect. She could not catch her breath. Only then did she realize that the Master was in the TARDIS with her, looking at her intently.

A weight was over her lungs. She rallied her strength and her will and drew in another deep breath. But even as she struggled, she saw that his face was flushed, that a sweat stood out on his forehead, and that his right arm, though hung in a sling, looked greyish and useless. But he seemed satisfied at seeing her distress. "Experiencing difficulty, Miss Grant?" he asked her. "Inflammation of the bronchioles, I believe. You are experiencing an asthmatic attack. I'm not sure how severe it will be, but I am learning a great deal from observing it."

"Can I have water?" she gasped.

He smiled and shook his head. "It would not help anyway."
* * * *
At the lab at UNIT, the Doctor tossed on the sofa as he slept under the influence of the drug. Clark stiffened, and Mike thought he heard a familiar groaning and wheezing sound, but after a moment it stopped, and he saw that the Clark was pale and rigid, eyes closed, as though going through a great internal struggle. With the Clark's eyes closed, Mike Yates stealthily let his chair touch back down to the floor and made ready to spring forward.

The Doctor thought that he saw his TARDIS down a long, dark tunnel. He welcomed it as a long lost friend, the familiar control room, the sight and sounds of her, the comfort of the familiar interior, that sense of simply being in the TARDIS, being whole. The door opened, and he saw the lighted interior, only a glimpse, and then the door slowly closed. The hall seemed to lengthen. His sense of despair was arrested as he saw something that drove the TARDIS out of his mind entirely. His breath became short, panting, and somebody was watching him, looking into his eyes intently, a face like Satan's face.

Unexpectedly, he found the Clark at his elbow. "Don't run away," the Clark told him. "This is what you said you wanted. Look harder."

"You've forgotten what friendship is," the Doctor accused him.

"Look harder you idiot!" the Clark exclaimed. "You'll ruin everything!"

"Jo!" the Doctor exclaimed, and instantly realized that the Satanic face was the Master's face, and the Master was not looking at him, but over his shoulder at Jo.

"Clark, I can't breathe!" the Doctor exclaimed, but Jo's eyes were wide and staring. "Do you see her?" The Doctor asked him.

"No you idiot! Stop thinking about him or anything. Just find her!" the Clark exclaimed.

"Jo!" the Doctor called, and she was down the long tunnel, rigid as though a soldier at attention, eyes staring. "Jo!" the Doctor shouted. "Clark, do something!"

"Find her you fool! You're afraid, blast you! Stop being afraid!" the Clark shouted. A wind kicked up, a whipping, wild wind. "Blast it Doctor, you're sending her away in fear! If you're going to die with her, do it now!"

Instantly Jo was closer, nestling in his arms in a dark cellar, and he felt her trembling gradually quiet into stillness. She looked up at him, eyes wide with grief and pain for him, and she was hesitant and vulnerable. He steadied her chin with his hand and hesitantly kissed her.

"I've found her!" Clark exclaimed, and the shout of triumph broke the spell, woke the Doctor up with a great jump of startled surprise. He leaped up to a sitting position just in time to see Mike Yates throw himself across the room in a determined tackle against Clark 42.

"Peezy Wheezy!" the Clark exclaimed. He slapped his hand over the time bracelet and disappeared. Mike crashed onto the chair and fell to the floor. The Doctor collapsed back onto the sofa, gasping for breath.

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