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Staggering Stories Podcast #354: Battle Beyond the Creature from the Pits
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Nov 2020 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: Creature from the Pit and the 1980 film Battle Beyond the Stars, discuss a couple of recent episodes of The Mandalorian, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #353: Holmesian Horror
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 08:43

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: All-Consuming Fire and the 2020 film Enola Holmes, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:08 — Welcome! 01:39 – News: 01:49 — Doctor […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #352: Animated Ensigns
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: Pest Control and the first season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 00:56 — Welcome! 01:49 – News: 01:58 — […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #351: Fury of the Fantasy Films
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 04 Oct 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Jean Riddler and Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: Fury from the Deep and the 1982 film The Sword and the Sorcerer, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:20 — Welcome! 02:33 – News: 02:46 — Doctor Who: New York Comic […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #350: Masters of Beasts
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 20 Sep 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon and the 1982 film The Beastmaster, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:22 — Welcome! 02:16 – News: 02:29 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #349: When Machines Get Murderous
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 06 Sep 2020 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: The War Machines and the 1973 film Westworld, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:24 — Welcome! 02:21 – News: 02:33 — Doctor Who: Troughton double […]

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Doctor Who: Royal Oak, Chapter Nine

By Hrolf Douglasson


“Yon… thing… canna move, Doctor,” whispered Tam as he hurried to the Time Lord’s side. “So if there’s another place we have tae gae tae… who’s in there doin’ all th’ work?”

“Probably more Slabs,” ruminated the Doctor, rubbing his chin. “But they’re not up to delicate work – or not without direction, at any rate.” He turned and looked back at the forlorn remnants of the Dalek. “Pitiful, isn’t it?” he murmured. “Just sitting there, unable to move, unable to stop us… unless…”

He suddenly ran back to the alien creature’s side. “You’re not planning on calling for help now, are you?” he asked accusingly. His head darted around like a cormorant looking for prey. Then he reached into the battered casing and dug around amid the slime and machinery. “I’ll just disconnect this…” he jerked something loose in the depths of the Dalek, bringing a squawk of protest from the creature. “And I think I’ll take that as well.” He withdrew his hand and looked almost happily at the slime and muck that covered it. “Now: that should’ve stopped you communicating with your little friends, shouldn’t it?” He turned back to Tam. “This ought to have disconnected the Slabs upstairs, too. I just hope none of your friends have suffered in the meantime.”

“They’ll be fine,” said Tam uncertainly. “Let’s get this finished, eh?”

The Doctor nodded approvingly. “Good man.” He jerked his head towards yet another doorway.

Tam had no idea what he had been expecting to find: vague thoughts of hospital-like surroundings seemed appropriate, with clean walls and lots of pipes and tubes and… stuff. Instead, he faced a partly-dismembered human corpse, just tossed on the floor without care, with a handful of grubby buckets and what looked like seed-trays clustered around it. They appeared to hold slices of flesh taken from the body – until Tam looked closer, and noticed that some of them appeared to have vestigial tentacles similar to those on the creature they had just left. Against one wall on a single ancient table were a handful of plastic containers with chemicals in them; lengths of plastic tube ran from some of these containers into some of the buckets holding what looked like more advanced specimens. A Slab stood motionless with a scalpel in its hand. The Doctor noted that last detail with satisfaction.

“Right then,” he said as he surveyed the scene. “We appear to have arrived at an early stage,” he went on, as much to himself as to Tam. “These are… well, they’re not really anything yet: just human DNA grafted onto Dalek – or maybe the other way round? Hard to tell; they’re very undeveloped. And they certainly don’t pose any threat to us… yet we have to dispose of them.”

“How’s that then, when you wouldna’ let me jus’ kill that other thing?”

“Even the Dalek eventually accepted it had no purpose,” answered the Doctor grimly. “It was developed enough to acknowledge its own free will; these things haven’t grown enough to even have much of a brain of their own yet. So the same rule doesn’t apply; besides, if these samples are left to grow and develop unhindered, they’ll just take up where their parent through there left off – and then it won’t just be the Orkney Islands that are in trouble. Do you want to have the death of your entire species on your hands, Tam?”

The farmer looked reluctantly into one of the buckets. “It moved!” he gasped as he jerked backwards suddenly. “It waved one of its… limbs…”

“That seals it, then,” replied the Doctor. “They have to be destroyed. Embryonic movement suggests embryonic brains after all; embryonic brains grow into big, real brains – and there’s not enough human tissue in there to let me even hope that those brains will be human. We’re looking at the next generation of Daleks, and these ones won’t be so crippled as the one in the other room.”

Tam reached into his boilersuit and pulled out a cheap lighter. “I reckon there’s enough chemical in here to start a fire,” he said uncertainly. “Don’t go tellin’ me these things would be immune to bein’ burned…”

The Doctor shook his head. “Fire is good,” he said curtly. “Fire is good.”

 

Royal Oak: Chapter Ten - The Finale!