Associated Links

Recent Blog Entries

Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Commentary #192: Babylon 5 – Between the Darkness and the Light
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 28 May 2017 08:33

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, sprung, in front of the Season 4 Babylon 5 episode Between the Darkness and the Light, and spout our usual nonsense! Sheridan is sporting a fetching head band, Garibaldi is looking for mercy and Ivanova is feeling crushed. But enough of their problems, please […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #263: Musical Helmets
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sat, 20 May 2017 14:03

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 2017 Doctor Who episodes ‘Knock Knock’ and ‘Oxygen’, tell of their recent visit to the Doctor Who studios in Cardiff and the Capitol 2 Doctor Who convention, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #191: Doctor Who – The Pilot
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 14 May 2017 09:46

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, puddled, in front of the 2017 Doctor Who S10 premiere episode, ‘The Pilot’, and spout our usual nonsense! This Doctor is a lecturing security guard, Bill is fattening up the locals and Heather has a very moist fixation. But enough of their problems, please […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #262: We Are Pete
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sat, 06 May 2017 16:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith and the Real Keith Dunn review the 2017 Doctor Who episodes ‘Smile’ and ‘Thin Ice’, and the 2017 film ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’, find some general news, play a game and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:12 — Welcome! 01:39 […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #190: Babylon 5 – Intersections in Real Time
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, interrogated, in front of the Season 4 Babylon 5 episode Intersections in Real Time, and spout our usual nonsense! Sheridan is feeling strapped in, William is just doing his job and, well, that’s pretty much everyone. But enough of their problems, please sit down […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #261: Of Companions and Pilots
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sat, 22 Apr 2017 17:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Jean Riddler, Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 2017 Doctor Who episode ‘The Pilot’ and discuss what makes a Doctor Who companion, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 02:29 — Welcome! 02:21 – News: 02:36 — Star Trek: Discovery narrowly avoids Worf. 04:41 […]

Website works best with

Firefox Download Button

Google Chrome

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

Doctor Who Logo

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!