Friday, 17 July 2009

Doctor who special story- Blue Moon Chapter two

17th July, 1969.
The Mission Control that greeted the dawn of July 17th was a very different one to that which the Doctor had so cheerfully infiltrated the day before.
News crews waited impatiently outside the main doors, their press access withdrawn, hefty cameras standing useless outside. Inside the main hall the excited buzz had been drained, radio messages exchanged with the crew on encrypted channels. The only noise came from the back room where the Doctor, Cliff and the agents were engaged in animated discussion.
The Doctor wasn't happy.
Neither was Cliff.
'You told them that all they were seeing was discarded fuel tank debris? Those are my men out there! They could be in danger and you're convincing them that there's nothing to worry about!'
Agent Spencer had the most 'I don't care' look about him possible. 'We don't want radio messages going back and forth about aliens. It'd cause a public panic.'
'What, and throwing out the press isn't going to raise suspicions? You're shooting yourselves in the foot. We're beating the Russians to the Moon and no ones allowed to film it!'
Milledge snorted a dry laugh. 'Mr Boxworth, if this mission was nothing but a propaganda stunt we could have filmed it in the Nevada desert and saved ourselves a few billion dollars.'
Cliff was outraged. 'It means nothing to you, does it? The achievement of those three men. That's what I signed on for, to put a man on the Moon, nothing less. Who needs anything more?'
Spencer couldn't stand idealistic people. 'I don't know if you've noticed, Boxworth, but we are in the middle of a war. At his moment in time America could be nuked several times over within four minutes and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Planting a flag isn't going to save your life, my life or the lives of every United States citizen. But you know what might? Whoever's flying those spacecraft circling your three astronauts.'
'And what's to stop those 'spacecraft' blowing Apollo out of the sky?'
'I wouldn't worry about that, Cliff. I don't think they're in any danger.' The Doctor had been quiet for so long that the other three men had forgotten he was still there. He stood up from the edge of the table he'd been perched on. Cliff thought he seemed somewhat taller than before.
'You see, I have a special gift. I can understand what that rather beautiful piece of ambient techno is actually saying.' The Doctor was squaring up to Spencer, who was feeling rather uncomfortable about this invasion of his personal space. 'The question is, how do you know? And please bear in mind I have authorisation from the President, so I'd like the truth.'
Spencer growled. 'The President has no idea what's going on here, and I'm pretty sure when Kennedy was approving the Blue Book project he never expected something like this to happen. We knew already, even before that. But he never asked and we wouldn't tell.'
'You've known for a decade? Why wasn't I informed when this mission started?' Cliff was getting more and more confused. His hand clicked the biro in his breast pocket nervously.
'So the Russians could get their hands on the information? Something like this could never have been risked outside of Blue Book; it'll win us the cold war. We had to keep it top secret until we were certain there was no way they could get to the Moon first, six years of frantic research into deciphering the transmission so that when first contact happens it will be with American ambassadors.'
The Doctor turned to Cliff. 'It's a peaceful invitation. The beings in those spacecraft have been patiently waiting on the Moon to begin negotiations with Earth all these years. A selfless offer of technology and knowledge to aid human development.'
'And these men...' The look the Doctor gave to Spencer and Milledge made them shiver. He stepped forward. 'These pathetic, small minded, top secret, classified, expensive suit wearing secret service agents have locked this transmission away in a box for their own ends.' The Doctor nearly spat each word. 'To try and pervert a pure and innocent gesture of faith into a weapon to win a war.' He pointed an accusative finger at the agents. 'How dare you!'
Suddenly he grabbed both of them by the lapels and, before they could protest, he had hauled them out of the doors into the control room like a teacher with two disobedient pupils. A sea of faces turned to look, wondering what all the commotion was about.
'This is what you get for refusing tea from a presidential official.' Milledge muttered to Spencer. His colleague rolled his eyes.
The Doctor ignored them and swept his hand across the room.
'Look at these people. Look at every single face here: Justin, Sean, David, Dan, Colin, Jake, Trevor, Barney... Each one of these people whose only motivation is to test the limits of what humanity can achieve. Imagine what could have happened if you had left them to it. If it was one of these men that had received the message once Apollo had landed. Do you think any of them would have done what you have? Do you think their first thought would have been to use this gift as a weapon? I don't think so. And now you have taken that opportunity away from them.' He paused. 'Who knows, if it had been one of these people, first contact might have unified the world.'
'As it well might, thanks to us.' Milledge was feeling very unappreciated right now. 'It's better if power like this is wielded by people who know what they're doing.'
The Doctor pressed his nose against the agent's.
'I would rather die than live on a planet run by people like you,' he growled. 'I have walked the length of the Berlin wall, Agent Milledge, have you been there? A city divided in two, can you imagine? Neighbours who will never see each other again, a corner shop whose regular customers now reside on the other side of seven inches of concrete. A permanent reminder of impossible peace. Neither side deserve this gift.'
Agent Spencer pushed the butt of his revolver into the Doctor's back. The crowd stopped breathing.
'And what are you going to do about it, Doctor?'
The Doctor's smile held no mirth.
'I'm going to stop you.'
Before anybody could blink the Doctor had ducked away, leaping from desk to desk toward the main speakers.
Spencer raised his gun, only to find it had been replaced with a banana.
'Good job I brought a packed lunch today!' The Doctor yelled over his shoulder, 'Justin, turn the transmission up, turn it up loud!' He was at the front now, dancing anxiously in front of the screen. A Dictaphone in his left hand.
Milledge reached for his gun. 'Nobody move, do not help that man! He is a communist spy!'
The crowd were stuck, unsure of what to do.
'Somebody help me, please!' The Doctor was suddenly worried. Eyes scanning the room, searching for a friendly face.
'Dammit,' muttered Justin and cranked up the speakers.
Every man covered his ears as the chord screamed out. Milledge's gun wavered. Utter confusion took hold, until,
'Everybody on your feet! That's an order!' It was Cliff, pale and sweating. The staff obeyed and suddenly Milledge's view of the Doctor was blocked by a few dozen NASA staff. He yelled in frustration and started pushing toward the front.
Justin was by the Doctor's side, 'I don't know what you're doing, Doctor, but you're not going to get out of here, you know that?'
'Just a few more seconds, Justin, that's all I need.' He clicked the tape. 'Got it!' With a flourish the Dictaphone vanished. The Doctor raised his arms in surrender as the two agents barged up to him.
'Okay, I surrender. Take me away.' He smiled a smug smile which swiftly vanished as the butt of Spencer's gun collided with his face, sending him sprawling across the floor.
It was several hours later when the Doctor came to. There were no windows in the side office he had been locked in, but he could taste evening in the air. He rubbed his bruised face tenderly then leapt to his feet.
'I haven't got time to be lying around here! Too many things to do!' He said.
'You and me both,' came a voice from the corner.
'Justin?' said the Doctor, 'What are you doing here?'
From his huddle Justin held up his hand. 'Two words: aiding and abetting.'
The Doctor made his sympathetic face. 'Oh right. Sorry about that.' He crouched down to meet the man's stare. 'But if it's any consolation, those few seconds you bought me may have just saved millions of lives.'
What? Just from recording that sound?'
'Exactly! Well, sort of. I have a plan you see.' He tapped his nose slyly. 'But it kind of involved me being on the outside rather than locked in here. Still, a small inconvenience.' He started fumbling for the sonic screwdriver.
Justin sighed and looked away. 'I'm not even sure I've done the right thing. Maybe those agents are right; we do need something to help us win the cold war. I'm so tired of living in fear Doctor; I want it to be over.'
'Ah!' The Doctor produced his screwdriver. He placed it carefully on the table and pulled a plastic chair up by his cellmate. 'Look Justin, I don't know how to tell you this, or whether you'll understand, but here goes. I've seen how the cold war ends, I've been there, lived through it, how it would be without the alien technology.' He clasped his hands together in earnest. 'And it's fine. No-one dies in a nuclear holocaust, you'll live, all of you.'
'But how would you know that?'
'You just have to trust me, Justin. It'll be fine.' The Doctor rubbed his chin and winced. 'But if Milledge and Spencer succeed, a rogue faction of the government. Who knows to what ends they could exploit these extra-terrestrial gifts. A country that could rule the world? Wipe out entire cities? And what happens afterwards, when there are no more people to conquer?'
Justin shivered. 'I've read Nineteen Eighty-four. I think I know what you're implying. But just because they could doesn't mean they will.'
'True, but I'd prefer not to take the risk. Humanity can choose its own path. You don't need an alien intervention to tip the balance.'
'Who are you Doctor?' Justin breathed.
The Doctor stretched his legs. 'Someone who is bored of sitting around here all day!' He snatched the sonic screwdriver from the desk and buzzed the lock. With a smooth click the door opened and he sauntered off down the corridor, leaving behind his incredulous companion.
He bumped into Agent Milledge around the next bend.
'Ah, Milledge, I was just wondering if there was any chance of tea any time soon?' The Doctor used his most disarming of smiles.
It didn't work.
'Do you really think we'd be stupid enough to not keep an eye on where we'd locked you up Doctor? Get back in the office.'
'What, no tea?' The Doctor frowned.
'Office, now.'
The Doctor spun on one leg and walked back the way he had come. Milledge followed. 'We have a few questions to ask you.'
'Really? Well I'm not actually in the mood for question answering at the moment, Milledge. I really should be sleeping off this concussion. It's the best thing for it. Trust me, I'm a Doctor.'
The door slammed and agent Milledge was left standing alone in the corridor.
Inside, the Doctor rested his forehead against the frame.
This wasn't going too well.

No comments:

Post a Comment