Doctor Who – Conspiracy on Delta Tisan (novel)
Working titles: Conspiracy on Delta Tisan, Emergency, The Cyberman Factor, Conspiracy
Van Turner, 1988
The Doctor (Sixth): Curly reddish hair and blue eyes. Tall and thickset Clothes: Ugly patchwork coat, black and yellow striped pants, blue tie.
Vralenda: Long red hair and blue eyes. Tall and pretty. Well proportioned. Clothes: Pretty plaid jacket, tan pants, lavender shirt.
Lt. Comm. Zefir
Prime Minister Nelpret
The Doctor and Vralenda materialize in the hold of a freighter bound for Delta Tisan. While on board, they are taken prisoner as stowaways after discovering the crew is conspiring with some mysterious contact on the planet. Their aim was to take over the small Earth colony and vital star port. But there is an even more mysterious third party. The Doctor and Vralenda escape to the hold through the air ducts of the ship and go to Delta Tisan. Almost immediately they are taken prisoner again for strange circumstance (they have no pass). They finally manage to convince the port’s public defender, Retsam, to let them see the Prime Minister by showing him a letter from Eltach. They are only minutes too late when the third party arrives in the cargo hold of the ship. The third party is the Cybermen who need the star port as a vital strategic position to take over Earth by crippling the colonies in that sector, a major source of Earth’s trade, simply by keeping that port in their possession. The few Cybermen on board the ship signal for more hidden on the dark side of Delta Tisan’s moon. Before they can get there, the Doctor discovers that Retsam is the mysterious contact when he reveals himself as the Master. And again the Doctor and Vralenda are taken prisoner. After the ship lands and the Cybermen take over, Retsam shows the letter to Torbek and the Cyberleader. The Cyberleader kills Eltach. Now the planet’s defense shields are off and the Cybermen are free to come as they please. But before they can land they must hold just outside the planet’s atmosphere. While the Cybermen hold in orbit, the Doctor and Vralenda escape to main control through the air ducts and activate the shields which are set just outside the planet’s atmosphere. The Cybermen are destroyed except for the few on the planet. The colonists and technicians destroy them. The Master, seeing his plan fail, escapes in the turmoil. The Doctor and Vralenda find the TARDIS and leave unnoticed.
Through the depths of time and space there drifted, of all things, a 1950s Earth police box. Inside the police box there was the impossible. In a huge room with a door that lead to miles of corridors was where the main control console of this impossibility called a TARDIS there paced a tall man simply known as the Doctor.
In a chair beside the multi-faceted console there sat a woman named Vralenda.
The Doctor was in his sixth persona and being so he wore a multicolored patchwork coat over his tall thick frame and yellow and black striped pants. The contrast between the coat and the white walls of the TARDIS interior could compare with the two sides of the Doctor’s temperament. In his current form the Doctor could be, at one moment, very much the red head he was, and at another, very subtle.
At the present, he was brooding. The Doctor hadn’t said a word to Vralenda in hours, not that she minded really. She was busy absorbing a sample of Earth’s literature.
Vralenda looked up, startled by the Doctor’s sudden whoop of delight as the time rotor came to a standstill. The TARDIS had materialized.
“You’re going to absolutely love this, Vralenda,” said the Doctor in a frenzy of excitement and delight.
“Where are we?” asked Vralenda suspiciously. “You’ve been in the clouds since we left Vulcan.”
“Just wait and see,” answered the Doctor huffily. The Doctor turned one of the thousands of knobs on the console. The viewer shields parted.
Vralenda got up and walked to the viewer. Her eyes were met with a small, dark room filled with tall, narrow crates.
“Not a word. Not one word do I want to hear about the TARDIS or how I pilot it,” warned the Doctor, his face clouded.
“I didn’t say anything,” said Vralenda, feigning innocence knowing the TARDIS and the way the Doctor piloted it.
She ran her fingers through her red hair. On the reflective surface of the viewer she could barely discern the likeness of their features. Both had fair complexions and red hair and blue eyes. The Doctor was taller and stockier while Vralenda was tall but slender. This wasn’t the first time she had contemplated upon this since their first meeting.
Vralenda came out of her daydream when she realized the Doctor had gone outside. She grabbed her plaid jacket and followed.
“Well?” the Doctor said expectantly.
Vralenda simply arched her eyebrows as if to say “What?”
“What do you think?” said the Doctor.
“This looks like some kind of storage room or maybe the hold of a ship.”
“Yes, the metal walls do suggest that.”
“I take it this isn’t where you had planned for.”
“No. The place I planned for has blue skies, blue trees, blue grass. Everything is blue.”
“The TARDIS should’ve felt right at home.”
The Doctor opened his mouth to protest but he was interrupted by the door at the far end of the room opening. Through it stepped a tall muscular man dressed in black leather carrying a small hand phaser.
“Thought I heard something,” he said. “Alright, how’d you get here? What the hell is that?” he asked, seeing the TARDIS.
“Well, you see -,” the Doctor began.
“Don’t bother, mate. Just come with me.”
The Doctor and Vralenda moved out of the hold and found themselves marched down a long, brightly lit, door-lined corridors. They were marched through a door at the end of the corridor and onto the bridge of a ship. The bridge was a high-ceilinged affair with a wide rear and narrow front and two sides longer that the others.
“Here they are, sir,” said their captor. “There was also some kind of blue crate.”
“Very good, lieutenant,” said a tall, husky, light-haired man dressed in black leather.
The Doctor soon noticed the entire crew consisted of tall, muscular men dressed in black leather.
The lieutenant left the bridge and the captain approached the Doctor and Vralenda.
“How did you get on my ship?”
“We arrived by mistake,” said the Doctor.
“I’ll say,” said the captain. “A very big mistake. When did you come aboard?”
“With the last consignment,” said Vralenda.
“And is the blue crate yours?”
“Yes,” said the Doctor. “We were inside it when you picked up your cargo.”
“Liar!” shouted the captain, grabbing the Doctor by the collar. “There are a dozen different monitors in that hold and none of them registered anything until you turned up. I’ll ask you one more time how you came aboard. The truth this time.”
He released the Doctor.
“Transporter malfunction,” said Vralenda.
“No dear, the nearest transporter in range is on Delta Tisan, a trading post,” said the captain, “six hours away.
“Eltach, take them to the brig.”
A dark-haired man stepped up to take them.
“A brig? But we told you – “
“Oh, come on,” said Eltach, who shoved the Doctor and Vralenda into the corridor.
The captain turned to his crew.
“They’re a strange pair.
“Bact, get our contact. I wonder if he knows anything about these two.”
“Why should he, sir?” asked the man with curly light hair.
“Son-Tor, those two are just the type of fools our friend would hire as spies.”
“Spies,” asked the commander. “Why would he need spies?”
“That is what I plan to find out.”
Eltach led the Doctor and Vralenda to a door on the right side of the corridor not far from the hold. He opened the door and motioned for the Doctor and Vralenda to go inside. They went inside to find two bunks, a desk, a chair and a lamp in the small room. There was another door that led to the bathroom.
“Must we?” asked Vralenda of Eltach.
“I’m afraid so, miss,” he replied.
“For six hours?” asked the Doctor.
“That’s right. Now stop stalling and go on. It’ll be over before you know it.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” said Vralenda.
“Now, look, love. It’s not all that bad. You’ll be tried and sentenced. Not executed.”
With that, he closed the door.
The Doctor sat down on the lower of the two bunks. Vralenda turned to attack him.
The Doctor was quite for a moment, then he quietly said: “I don’t know.”
On the bridge, Captain Torbek was talking to his contact on Delta Tisan. Eltach came onto the bridge to find the crew hanging on every word said between their captain and his contact.
“Prisoners secure, captain,” he said.
“Very good, lieutenant,” said Commander Son-Tor, quietly.
“You mean you didn’t send them?” said Torbek to his contact.
“No, of course I didn’t,” came the male voice over the speaker. “I believe I can trust you to do what you’re supposed to do.”
“Very well, then,” said Torbek. “What do I do with them? Hold them under normal procedure?”
“Yes, until you get here. After that, I think I may be able to work them into the plan as scapegoats.”
Torbek smiled, impressed by his contact’s intellect.
“I never thought of that.” He paused for a moment. “Everything else is according to plan.”
“Good,” came the reply. “All here is calm. I will begin phase two in three hours. Check back then. Delta Tisan out.”
Torbek turned to his crew.
“Phase two in three hours.”
(Nobody noticed Eltach, who had been moving slowly toward the rear of the bridge, leave the room.)
The crew let out a sigh of relief.
“Well, Captain, has our contact said what our payment is?” asked Commander Son-Tor.
“Not yet, Son-Tor. It must be substantial the way he carries on about …”
As the talk and question went on, Eltach went to his quarters and took a piece of paper from his desk and a pen and wrote a brief letter. Once finished, he left the room and made for the brig. He walked to the door, bent over and slipped the paper under the door and hurried back to the bridge.
Inside, the Doctor, who was lying on the bottom bunk, was showing the other side of his personality. He was pouting. Vralenda had scolded him fiercely for getting her into another fine mess. It was Vralenda who saw the paper. She stood from the chair then bent over to pick up the paper.
He didn’t answer.
“All right, I’m sorry I yelled at you. Would you look at this, please?”
The Doctor smiled then took the paper and read in aloud:
“I don’t know who you are or how you got here but you’ve got to get off. Delta Tisan is about to be invaded in about five hours. Torbek has a contact on the planet, I don’t know who. I don’t know who the invaders are. I think it has to do with our cargo. And if you don’t go, they’ll use you as scapegoats. You can go through the air ducts. Good luck.”
“It’s signed by Lieutenant Eltach,” said the Doctor.
“Invasion?” asked Vralenda. “Why should someone want to invade a trading post?”
“I don’t know yet but we must hurry if want to warn them in time.”
The Doctor climbed onto the top bunk and began searching his pockets for a screwdriver. Upon finding one, he took down the air duct cover from the ceiling.
“Come on,” he said to Vralenda.
Vralenda climbed up onto the top bunk where the Doctor assisted her through the vent. Once she was through, he climbed in after her.
On the bridge, Captain Torbek was discussing with Commander Son-Tor an idea he had for using the Doctor and Vralenda as scapegoats when Eltach came back after having been out only very briefly. The captain noticed his return and turned to Son-Tor.
“What do you suppose he’s been up to?”
“He is acting rather strange, isn’t he, sir?”
“I don’t like it, Son-Tor. Keep an eye on him. I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Doctor,” said Vralenda suddenly, scaring the Doctor so he jumped and banged his head on the metal vent housing, the noise echoing loudly in the dark.
“What?” he hissed quietly, stopping briefly.
“What about the motion detectors?”
“I wondered when you’d think about that.” Then he was quiet and began to move on.
Vralenda reached out and grabbed his foot.
“What?” the Doctor called back, stopping again.
“Well?” Vralenda asked. “What are we going to do about them?”
“We’ll just have to be quick won’t we?” the Doctor piped cheerfully.
They continued their trek through the vent, scraping their knees and occasionally banging their heads.
The Doctor stopped suddenly, crying delightfully: “Ah-ha! Light!”
“Good. Let’s get out of here. I’m getting claustrophobic,” said Vralenda.
They came to the grill. Unlike the grill in their brig, which was in the ceiling and therefore horizontal, this one was vertical, therefore in the wall. Another problem presented itself when the Doctor started remove the screws.
“Uh-oh,” said the Doctor.
“Now what?” asked Vralenda, obviously aggravated by the whole episode.
“The screws are on the outside. This is where we test our track shoes,” said the Doctor, who was trying to maneuver himself where he was sitting down making him haunch over.
“Oh, that hurts,” gasped the Doctor. The position was putting a strain on his lungs.
“What are you doing?” asked Vralenda, horrified, knowing perfectly well what the Doctor was about to attempt. “Do you want us to get caught?”
“This is where we have to be quick.”
He kicked the grill three times before it fell out with a loud clatter. The Doctor shot out right behind it, racing for the TARDIS, forgetting about Vralenda who sprained her ankle and the balls of both feet on landing. The Doctor got the key in the door and Vralenda caught up with his when –
- on the bridge, on Lieutenant Commander’s Zefir’s panel a light came on, followed by
a pulsing buzz. The Doctor and Vralenda had been detected.
“Captain, there’s someone in the hold again,” said the lieutenant commander in amazement, his eyebrows up.
“Bact, Son-Tor, see about it,” ordered Captain Torbek in an angry voice, jumping up. Torbek stopped Son-Tor with a hand on his shoulder. “I’ll give odds on who it is.”
Son-Tor nodded his agreement and hurried after Lieutenant Bact.
The Doctor turned the key, pushed open the door and hurried in followed by the limping Vralenda who was nearly closed up in the massive white doors. The Doctor danced and raced around the control console desperately trying to set co-ordinates for the planet in peril
At last the central column began its steady rise and fall.
Son-Tor and Bact arrived in time to see the light on top of the police box begin to flash. Then, to their amazement, ears were assaulted by a most excruciating wheezing grinding noise. And to shock and amaze them further, the blue box simply faded from existence.
Torbek arrived to see Son-Tor and Bact staring into space.
“Well, what the hell are you looking at? Where are they?” he shouted insanely at them.
“It just… disappeared, sir,” said Son-Tor in a high pitched voice, eyes widened in sheer disbelief.
Then Torbek noticed the TARDIS was missing.
“How…” he started, but the question went unfinished and unanswered.
“I suppose I’d better tell our friend on Delta Tisan.
Delta Tisan was fairly small as planets go and being at its location in space, orbiting around a huge star, it was perfect for a trading post. Delta Tisan was located in what was considered neutral space between the Federation and the rest of the universe. The nearest star system was K’tara, eight point six light years away.
But Earth and the K’tarans had to trade goods vital for each other and Delta Tisan was the nearest planet that could support life forms. K’tarans were about as far from being humanoid as a species could get.
In 2984, the Federation set up, in cooperation with the K’tarans, the space port, trading station, intergalactic way station/hotel Delta Tisan, named after the supreme prime counselor of K’tara’s fourth planet, T’sal. At the present there were just over three thousand inhabitants (though only a fourth of that was permanent on the planet).
In one of the many corridors of the main living quarters of the staff two patrol men were doing their duty and making their rounds when the TARDIS materialized.
“What was that noise?” asked one of the other.
The other blue dressed patrolman replied: “I don’t know,” picking up his pace and drawing his gun, “but I think we’d better find out.”
The corridor the TARDIS materialized in was at an intersection to the one the patrolmen were in so they didn’t see the TARDIS. Nor did the Doctor and Vralenda see them. The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS and began walking toward the place of intersection of the two corridors.
“Where are you going?” asked Vralenda, hurrying to catch up with the Doctor.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m hoping we can find someone who can take us to the commander of this space station.”
Vralenda stopped. “What was that?”
“What?” asked the Doctor, also stopping.
“I thought I heard something. Doctor, I don’t think we’re alone.”
“Yes, you’re quite right,” the Doctor shouted. “We are quite alone. Everyone must be at a convention.” Then he said quietly, “I heard it, too. Come on.”
They walked quickly toward the intersection. The two patrolmen now doubled their pace, guns drawn.
“There’s somebody in that corridor,” said the Doctor, pointing to the intersection. “Come on,” he shouted again. “We’ll just find someone to ask where we are.”
Just then the two patrolmen ran into the intersection, phasers aimed at the Doctor and Vralenda, who stopped immediately.
“And just where do you think you’re going, now?” asked a burly, mustached patrolman.
“How good of you to find us, officer,” beamed the Doctor, hands folded in front of him.