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saros five

PART TWO 

Ace counted the seconds to the explosion. When it finally came it knocked the creature to the ground stunned, but not dead, but it served their purpose of gaining some more time in order to get the door open.

"Ace!" shouted Ace. But her joy at her successful attack upon the creature was short lived, for as the dust cloud began to disappear and settle, she could see several other creatures now beginning to emerge from their shell-like cocoons.

Ace tapped the Doctor's shoulder.

"Not now, Ace!" he snapped, "I'm busy!"

"Doctor, it didn't work," she began.

"I know it didn't that's why I'm trying again."

"No. The Nitro it hardly touched them." Ace pulled hard at the Doctor's shoulder forcing him to turn around.

As he turned to face the creatures, it became all too clear to him that they were trapped. Their access to the TARDIS was completely cut off, and his failed attempt at opening the airlock door did very little to improve their situation. Taking Ace by the arm he slowly moved back against the airlock door as the creatures before them roared their pleasure and began to advance towards their prey…

The cold metallic door suddenly began to rise. The Doctor was puzzled at this but his further most thought was to get inside and to safety. He grabbed Ace by the arm and pulled hard. Ace thought her arm had been pulled out of its socket at the sudden jerk which nearly sent her crashing to the ground.

The Doctor and Ace crawled frantically beneath the ever increasing gap which now appeared and into the dim glow of the emergency lighting that engulfed the airlock. As soon as they were inside, the Doctor hit a panel to the right of the door to close it before it even reached its full open position.

Ace rubbed her arm to ease the pain caused by the Doctor's reaction. The Doctor asked her if she was okay, but the look was enough.


A shadow suddenly appeared to pass the observation window that viewed the inside of the airlock from within the base itself. Both the Doctor and Ace looked at each other, then suddenly Ace dived beneath the ever descending airlock door.

'Ace!' shouted the Doctor, 'No!', trying to make a grab for her the best he could. The door to the airlock would be closed within seconds.

'Hang on, Professor!' she shouted back as she crawled beneath the ever decreasing gap.

Ace suddenly appeared with a broad smile across her face and a very dusty, but still intact rucksack, just as the metallic door slammed shut behind her.

'That was very foolish!' he snapped at her.

'Sorry, Professor.' The smile now gone from her face and she looked forlornly to the ground.

After a brief pause, the Doctor said, 'Right, let's see if I can get this door open.'

'It shouldn't be too hard. You managed to open the door, eventually.' Ace said with a light wry smile.

'That wasn't me.'

'Then who?'

'The answer, Ace, may well be behind this door.' and with that the Doctor continued to examine the door panel.

~~~

Santo had been maintaining a vigilance of the base. He had ceased his mundane call-out for Sterne and Brent the two base engineers upon the discovery of Sterne's body by Ridge in airlock nine. Zaran in the meantime had left the communications room to go and find Ridge as he hadn't reported in as ordered, leaving Santo to run a complete systems check on the monitoring equipment due to certain anomalies which had recently arisen with the landing platform and airlock nine following the meteor-storm.

Having got himself a fresh cup of coffee from a dispense machine he finally sat down. Time to relax, he thought, but as ever it was short lived. A light flashed on the console before him. 'What now?' he asked himself. He checked the readings before him on the monitor and immediately put a call-out for Zaran.

Zaran's voice crackled over the inter-com; 'Yes, what is it?'

'Sir, there appears to be three life forms in airlock six. Internal monitoring systems are down, but readings indicate three hearts - three life forms.' he said matter-of-factly.

'Okay, I'll check it out.' came the reply and then the com-link crackled again.

Silence followed.

Santo called out Zaran's name several times but received no reply. He decided to let it go and leave Zaran to sort out the problem himself and returned to his coffee. Pushing his seat back, Santo lifted his feet up onto the console and momentarily closed his eyes.

Behind him, Santo could hear the door to the communications room slide open.

'Where've you been? Everyone's been...'

Santo turned in his chair to face the door and the blast from a laser-pistol greeted him. His cup of coffee was thrown over the console causing it to spark as his body slid to the floor and the door to the communications room closed behind the murderer.

~~~

In the crew's rec-room, concern was mounting as to the whereabouts of Sterne and Brent. As they were engineers, they were needed to repair the damaged caused by the meteorite storm and thus regain full lighting to the base.

At the moment the crew members that had gathered in the rec-room sat in the dim red glow of the emergency lighting. They were all hoping that Napier, their Commander, was going to make a more positive move by finding out for himself.

Amongst the crew was Valla. A tall very attractive woman with long jet black hair; one of the scientists assigned to Saros 5 to determine whether the planet was capable of supporting life. She was very head strong and didn't take to being ordered about very easily by anyone - including Napier.

'Well?' she said, 'What the hell is going on? When are we likely to get back to work around here?'

Napier looked at her nervously, he was aware of what she was like when things weren't going well and he tried to make the most of it by finally suggesting repairing the damage himself.

'You're hardly experienced enough for that,' said Lodge, Valla's assistant - a short balding man in his late thirties who clearly wasn't as head strong as Valla and in whom Napier found to be an easier target when he wasn't able to get to Valla.

'Nobody asked you for your opinion,' snapped Napier who glared at Lodge and who quickly looked at Villa for support, but none came.

The two mineralogists, Lindley and Malikyan sat quietly at one of the tables beneath the large window that viewed the landscape of the other side of the base. Neither decided to join in the banter that was ensuing amongst the other three, but both agreed with Valla, as they too wanted to return to work.

The door to see the rec-room opened and everyone turned to see Dr.Jezak, the base Medical Officer enter. She caught their somewhat awkward stare, all seeming to expect something from her. She paused momentarily before moving over towards Napier and gently ushering him to one side and began to whisper something in his ear.

'Look, dear, if you've something to say, just say it.' said Valla sarcastically.

Jezak looked up at the others before her. 'Alright,' she said, 'but I thought it was right that I should inform the commander-'

'Just get on with it!' snapped Valla.

'I was on my way from Medical, when I heard someone screaming.'

'They probably saw you coming,' said Valla to herself, but Napier heard her. She realised this as she caught a glare from him.

Jezak continued: 'There was also laser-fire...sounded as thou someone was being attacked.'

'Did you check it out?' asked Lodge.

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