This is the scene-by-scene breakdown that I used when writing my BBC novel Kursaal.
Amy’s POV. Late afternoon. Amy Saraband breaks into the Jax Palace with a struggle, and is taken aback at what she sees. She sees heiroglyphics, two talismans- yin and yang? male and female? – near the “birthing” altar, and the “skylight” to the surface – though which they she can see the waxing moon.
She can hardly take it in, and decides to call Olivier (Amy imagines Olivier’s physical reactions to the find – cocking his head on one side quizzically like a dog, etc). But she gets through to Maximilian Gray, who has the communicator. This pocket communications link – which bleeps and blinks to show where he and the others are located. We learn here that Gray isn’t a welcome member of the expedition, but that they have him along because he brought her onto the Kursaal project – and he’s accompanied her on this dig for PR reasons.
Gray joins her, away from the others now – struggling through an awkward, high crack in the wall. Gray: “I’m trying for controlled confidence, but it’s coming across as just bossy.” (Something here when she first sees him about his dull grey eyes.) He puts away his comunicator, having traced her with it – she is partway up a wall. Gray explains that her colleagues want to pack up and go home for the night, especially as a storm is brewing (climate control not online yet). Hint here about the previous media murders – they’re worried about HALF.
One talisman is missing, and Gray takes the second with him. Amy has persuaded him to come to the site so as not to destroy it in his building work – he is not so convinced yet.
Amy is clearly scornful about the HALF threats. Besides, they are self-sufficient, and can communicate with each other via their comms devices which don’t rely on clear skies and satellite access and not being deep underground, because of some technobabble. And at the moment, Amy has stumbled across an amazing scene… They are taking it all in, when they hear terrible screams from outside as Olivier, Sharstone, and Jon are attacked by something. They go to investigate.
Amy’s POV – late afternoon. Amy is surprised to find Gray is armed. They find a couple of dead bodies, horribly wounded. Suddenly Amy is knocked aside, her arm broken. She is taken by surprise – the animal comes in from bright to dark, and its green eyes adjust faster than her human eyes. Gray struggles with the creature – he manages to wound it, and it scuttles off into the dark crack in the wall. Amy gets off an emergency message, then the pain renders her unconscious and she collapses.
Waiter’s POV. Early evening. Kadijk is having a beef dinner, obviously unhappy about having been given a tie to wear in the restaurant – he is not in uniform. “Whack off its horns, wipe its arse, and stick it on a plate.” “Rare sir?” “Like a Sin City virgin.” He is also studying case notes: path lab reports about a murder suspect; drug-running infiltration of the new police force; the accidental deaths in suspicious circumstances earlier in the day of a media crew. He is interrupted by an (offworld) news report: it’s about the a Greenpeace-style direct action campaign against Gray Corp by HALF (Helping All Alien Lifeforms), which has successfully disrupted work all over the planet so that the project is running well behind. The latest attack is on a digging site for the new Aqua World. Some background on HALF: an ecological pressure group rumoured to be funded by a shadowy billionaire and led by the charismatic Bernard Cockaigne. And tomorrow, an exclusive report from our on-planet media crew. “They have a surprise coming.”
“We have a 24-hour service.” “I can’t wait that long.”
Kadijk is then interruted by his dumb sidekick Zaterday. (Flashback to Gray appointing him. “He couldn’t find his own backside if you let him use both hands.”) There’s been another attack, and this time Gray seems to be involved. His boss, who he warned about being involved in such madcap archaeology schemes and that mad xenobiologist.! They rush off.
Kadijk’s POV. Dark. He remembers Zaterday as the dullard that Gray forced on him. Zaterday chatters away, but Kadijk puts him straight. Amy had been brought in to the Kursaal project by Maximilian Gray, Chief Executive Officer of Gray Corporation. This is one of two ways that the wily Gray approached the HALF problem: in a PR scoop, he’s employing the famous xenobiologist Amy Saraband to research the Jax, and to devise ways of incorporating them into the finished Kursaal project – and he’s accompanied her on this dig for PR reasons too.
Secondly, however, Gray has beefed up his on-site Security Team, including Commander Paul Kadijk. Since his arrival, Kadijk has been having much more success halting the HALF activity, though he left his wife back on their home planet – “Go and marry bloody Gray, why don’t you. You see more of him than of me.” “And I’ve been blessed with a lot of new staff.” “Like me, sir,” says Zaterday. Kadijk grits his teeth.
Kadijk wants to link it to HALF (HALFwits). “I’ll have ‘em” etc.
Kadijk POV. Filthy weather, dark. Zaterday and Kadijk on the way. Other vehicles are on their way, but it seems the rest of the local force are away investigating a previous killing of the media crew. Kadijk can see the buildings behind him as they travel (establish the “official” area of the planet). In the middle distance, we can see Gray Corp HQ, with a section poking out at a jaunty angle – this is where Gray would usually be sat, surveying his planet taking shape.
Discussing the paperwork he’s been reading – gives it to Zaterday. “Tell Garrick we’ve receive the path lab report on the blood found at the scene of crime. Tell him we’ve got good news and bad news for him. The bad news is that it that the results show it’s Garrick’s blood on the victim and all round the murder scene. The good news? His cholesterol level is low.”
Zaterday is driving, because Kadijk has been drinking. (He hands over his car ident card to Zaterday. Doesn’t it have an isomorphic response built in, so that only Kadijk can use it? “You can’t believe everything you read in the sales literature,” says Kadijk. “I try to be open-minded,” says Zaterday. “Yeah, but not so much that your brain falls out.”
We get some insight into Kadijk’s background – the garrulous Zaterday can fill us in on the other media murder stuff. He tells Zaterday that he talks too much – sometimes you can learn a lot just by listening, allowing someone to fill the uncomfortable silence with their own words, volunteering information despite themselves.Kadijk is furious about the new report – how did the information get off-planet if the media crew were murdered? At least they’ve managed to hush up the deaths of the on-planet media crew so far – first reporting the news, and now making it – in a suspicious accident. Recently a number of small bombs have destroyed key Gray locations on the planet – the communications network, the spaceport, several gigantic earth movers. The only reason the crew didn’t get the report of their own deaths on air was that their local comms network had been sabotaged previously.
Sam’s POV. The Doctor and Sam are making their way through poorly-lit caves. They are hiding from the terrible storm that’s blown up. Sam isn’t impressed – they were supposed to come to the pleasure world, Kursaal, a kind of “Disneyland meets Babylon 5”. But the Tardis seems to have landed in a muddy field. The Doctor insists that they must have landed in a theme area, and reminds her about the archaeological vehicle they saw on the way in – besides, they’d get drenched going back to the Tardis through the storm, and they may as well take shelter here. Her Nike trainers are ruined.
Then they come across the first body (Bill). Sam: “Cripes!” (or “Gordon Christ!”) – explanation about her father’s views on language (she’s babbling to keep her mind off the death) and also explaining that it looks like an animal attack (her school project on sheep worrying – she rather upset her teacher and class with her detailed shots of animals attacked by dogs and feral animals,, but it’s a bit more distressing when it’s real life and real people). The Doctor’s reaction. They explore further, and just as they find Pat and John they hear security people arriving.
It’s Kadijk and Zaterday, who have arrived first. Kadijk’s furious – even if the police squads were elsewhere on the planet, surely the police surgeon could have got there in time, he had already finished at the media murders scene. Staffed by incompetents, this planet’s never going to be finished in time! They also overhear him complaining about being dragged away from his dinner – “steak in loganberry sauce”.
Where are Sam and Amy going to hide? They don’t want to be found with these dead bodies – they don’t have the right paperwork, and they can’t pretend to be tourists… they get around Kadijk and Zaterday, and are making their way out of the crime scene when they run straight into an arriving police squad.
Sam stopped, her Nike trainers scuffing the powdery soil underfoot. The Doctor would have carried on, but she tugged at the sleeve of his coat.”Er… Doctor…” He looking at her, and brushing her hand away with his fingers. So she nodded in the opposite direction, beyond him.
The Doctor turned, and then stared at the oncoming troopers. “Cripes!” he said.
Click here to see how Chapter 3 appeared in the published novel.
Kadijk’s POV. The Doctor and Sam stride in ahead of the police squad, and the Doctor pretends to be the pathologist, Sam his “intern” assistant, and takes charge (using the info that Sam provided above!) – victims of savage attack by wild animals, etc as they go towards the bodies.
Doctor explains that Pathologist Pete has been trapped by the storm, so he’s been sent. They don’t appear to have any medical equipment. The Doctor is vague – doesn’t need them to diagnose a wild animal attack etc. etc. Kadijk: don’t seem to need to have examined them either? Clothes – not medical? Doctor says he was called away – isn’t that why Kadijk’s wearing a lounge suit? And isn’t that gravy down his tie – beef gravy? With maybe evidence of loganberry sauce? Zaterday gives away the name of the hospital, and the Doctor agrees.
Amy and Gray are found near to a strange portal. A paramedic team from the hospital arrives, and the Doctor gives a few meaningful medical comments to them.
Policeman asks if they shouldn’t track down the wild animal. No need, says Kadijk, the dig will be declared unsafe, and buried. Shouldn’t you try to capture it for study – it may be an indigenous species, says Sam, showing off her environmentalist credentials (Doctor shushes her). Kadijk gives her a funny look. Isn’t that what got the team killed in the first place? Now, they’re needed at the hospital to carry out the post mortem, and to get Amy and Gray to safety. Just as they are going, he asks the Doctor when he got the call to come to the dig. The Doctor distracts him, pointing at another spot on his shirt: “Is that pea soup?”
Kadijk asks one of the police about the pathologist. “We bumped into them on the way in. She called him “doctor”.” Kadijk puts in a call to the hospital – is there an intern program? There is lots of interference on the wrist device – reception because of the caves and the storm is terrible, and the comms satellite is rather fragile at the moment (not properly tested) so he has to record a message – “I’m sorry, I’m not here to take your call at the moment.”
Kadijk brushes at the stains on his shirt and tie as Zaterday looks on. “How could he tell that was roast beef and pea soup?” asks Zaterday. “Don’t you know the difference between the two?” says Kadijk sarcastically. “I mean, any fool can roast beef.”
Sam’s POV. Night, howling gale. The whole dig is being cordoned off. The Doctor and Sam are chaperoned into the waiting ambulance to the hospital morgue – unable to escape from the scene as they are shuffled into the ambulance by police escorts. (The Doctor explains to Sam he hates hospitals. “Midwife dropped you on your head as a baby,” says Sam, “that would explain a lot.” “Not exactly,” says the Doctor. “But I suppose you could call it a birth trauma.”)
From overheard conversations, we learn about Gray Corp being a multiplanetary company, and that this is Saturnia Regna in the Cronus system.
Their chaperones speculate on what could have caused the deaths. The Doctor won’t be drawn. The chaperones chat together – probably that monster Cockaigne, head of the ecological pressure group rumoured to be funded by a shadowy billionaire, which has run a Greenpeace-style direct action campaign against Gray Corp. He’s a monster – supposed to have murdered dozens with his bare hands. “Bear hands, more like – he’s a huge, gorilla like man…”
Sam’s POV, night. They travel on to the hospital, observing what’s happening outside – the planet has part-completed facilities all over it for transport, accommodation, residential, infrastructure, entertainment, and the usual paraphernalia of a theme park writ large. The construction work is also more radical than a Barratt Homes site: the diggers are the size of office buildings, the cranes are like rocket gantries, and the blasting equipment is on an H-bomb scale. Much of this is explained to Sam by one of the paramedics, because she’s “new” to the planet as an incoming intern.
As they drive through the cordon, the Doctor and Sam realise that the Tardis is the other side of it.
Sam’s POV. Middle of night. The Doctor and Sam are in the hospital morgue. They’ve been carrying out a post mortem on Olivier, Sharstone, and Jon.
Pathology labs: Chemistry/Toxicology, DNA analysis (Garrick’s blood match), Forearms/Tools, Hairs/fibres, Explosives, Photography, Polygraph, Latent fingerprints, Materials analysis, Biological analysis. Stereomicroscope.
Like the restaurant, this is a temporary facility for the current staff until the official stuff is opened up on the moon. “What are you a doctor of?” “Oh, lots of useful things.” (Compared by Sam with home economics, history, and Latin – her least favourite subjects). Latin usages: “dead language”. “For dead people.” “We can learn a lot from dead races,” says the Doctor. “You sound like Mr Phillips,” says Sam, “he’s got an answer for everything too. Time travelling must make ‘dead races’ a relative thing.” “Well, if we bump into any, you’ll be equipped to greet them,” says the Doctor. “I presume you’ve learned the vocative. Did you know that ‘alien’ comes from Latin – alius means ‘other’.” He paused thoughtfully. “ “I can greet their furniture too,” says Sam. “Mensa – table, oh table! The headmaster caught us talking to the school desks, and told us that education was wasted on today’s youth.” She used to think she was his blue-eyed girl, head prefect material. Well, I suppose he was right about the blue eyes bit. She fluttered them prettily at the Doctor.
All this punctuates the Doctor’s study of the corpses – comparing the media crew with the attack victims, he’s surprised that there is no rigor mortis – stiffness of joints caused by depletion of ATP in the tissues – in the latter. “Rigor mortis – The rigidity of death,” says Sam. “Who says education’s wasted on the youth of today?” Mind you, her schooldays seem a lifetime ago. ATP = adenosine triphosphate, a nucleotide found in the mitocondria of all plant and aminal cells, the major source of energy for cellular reactions, released during its conversion to ADP – adenosine diphosphate (liberation of energy used in performance of muscular work (perhaps Sam should have paid more attention during biology”. “Only during sex education, to watch James Watford’s ears going pink with embarrassment). The Doctor seems to know a lot about human biology. He’s just showing off his medical qualifications. When did he get a medical degree? Several lifetimes ago.
Learning from the Doctor in their trips in the Tardis? “See the universe, learn about alien cultures, learn another language – you couldn’t pay for this kind of education.” “Doctor, you’d need to guarantee full refunds if not satisfied. And travel insurance.”
The Doctor checks the levels of ATP with scanner equipment – they are actually abnormally high!(Of course, this is because it’s building for their conversion into werewolf Jax!) Sam: “I thought we were going to do the minimum possible, and then find a way back to the Tardis before we’re rumbled.” Doctor: “But this is baffling, I need to know more.” (Getting engrossed in a mystery.) He notices that the hair, which grows after death, has started sprouting on the face, there is distortion to the limbs, and the nails seem to be deforming.
Amy is shown in, accompanied by police guard. She has been brought (very unwillingly) to the morgue to identify the bodies of her colleagues. The Doctor is intrigued by the deaths, and wants to know more about how they happened. Amy says that it’s almost a shame that they died and Gray survived… they were the most alive people she’d ever known, while he was a cold fish… with an accountant’s mind, and cold accountant’s eyes. Sam remembers one of her dad’s accountant friends like that – his eyes matched his suit, calculator grey. Amy is baffled that there are only five bodies: Olivier, the first man killed in the attack, is not there. They check the gurneys – five were occupied, but now only four.
Doctor sends police guard away, significantly. Nurse Sam will accompany Amy until she leaves the building (hospital policy).
The Doctor wants to examine Amy, but she’s very keen to leave. She survived the attack on the dig team apart from her broken arm, which has been crudely repaired and is now in a setting sling (will be OK in two days – that’s how crude!). Doctor explains that the bodies are not decomposing, and there is something very wrong… he will go to check on Gray, insisting that Sam “stay with Amy” – he thinks there is something suspicious about the xenobiologist.
Amy decides to leave the hospital in a hurry, and Sam follows her.
Sam’s POV. Night. Making conversation, Sam asks about the huge planetary works they saw – doesn’t the government have a say in all of this, controlling it? Amy is amazed: the whole planet, aturnian Regna, is in the Cronus system, and the Gray Corporation owns all of it. Gray Corp is a development conglomerate on a galactic scale, and in a series of massive building projects is turning the planet into Kursaal. Sam is horrified – aren’t people upset, or opposed to this? Amy looks at her in a new light.
On the way out, they see the real pathologist turn up and check in. Sam feels very awkward, and Amy realises this – Sam confesses to Amy that she’s not an intern at all, which doesn’t now surprise Amy, who suggests that they get away from the hospital together. Sam is torn – should she follow Amy, or warn the Doctor… she decides to follow Amy (remembering the Doctor’s advice).
The pathologist enters the hospital, and the Doctor’s cover story is about to be rumbled.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Doctor sees that Gray is being treated for wounds he sustained during the attack – they appear to be like Amy’s from being thrown aside by the attacking animal as it fled. Doctor finds out information from Kadijk about his recent successes against HALF. Lazy scroungers from the system worlds with nothing better to do than prevent the creation of millions of new jobs. “I’m not known for my tolerance, as my ex-wife will testify. In fact, as my ex-wife did testify. When I’m asked by the media team how many people are working in HALF, I say “about half of them”. Not that I get asked anything by the media team any more. The irony is, they might even have reported live on their own deaths, except that the satellite system was disrupted since HALF bombed the comms network. The Doctor points out this would have been a pretty dumb move by the HALF terrorists – cutting off their publicity – why would they do that? Kadijk’s motivation again: beating HALF, and now he’s closer than ever.
Gray has not come round since the attack, and vital signs are fading. The Doctor seems strangely interested in Gray’s case notes – something doesn’t smell right. Kadijk gets a call on the room communicator – Doctor Webber is waiting to see him in reception.
Kadijk’s POV: night. Kadijk travels through the corridors, and when he sees a video screen playing he remembers to stop off briefly to pick up his video messages: the first is a reply to his question about the intern program – there isn’t one on Saturnia Regna. The second tells him that three of the five bodies have been stolen from the morgue – including Olivier and Sharstone. He dispatches a couple of people to find out what’s happening, and then tries to contact the Doctor on the same wrist communicator, but the thing cuts out suddenly.
At reception, he half notices that a nearby video screen has gone blank too. Kadijk is expecting to meet a medical doctor, but discovers that Webber is actually the real pathologist – he can smell the mortuary disinfectant on his skin, even thought he’s not been to work today. “Something doesn’t smell right,” he realises. The Doctor doesn’t smell like a pathologist! So if this is pathologist Webber, who is messing around in Gray’s room? I just called through to check you were on your way, explains Webber, and I explained who I was to your man there. He said he was the doctor in charge.
Kadijk hares all the way back to Gray’s room. Gray is still as he was, but despite the guard on the door, the Doctor has vanished. Where’s Sam? She was seen leaving the building with Amy Saraband. Kadijk thinks they must all be in it together – the Doctor, Sam, and Amy.
Gray wakes up, sitting bolt upright in bed suddenly. Something about his eyes being green and alive.
Sam’s POV: night. The storm has cleared up. Amy and Sam flee to one of the completed areas of Kursaal, a group of areas each a dozen acres across and themed on different cultures from the Cronus system: an ice world, a technological city block, a desert world full of nomadic dwellings, a sea world, etc. Amy steers carefully with her bad arm still healing. Their way is well lit by the full moon.
Where are they going? To Amy’s home base (but why isn’t this near to all the other accommodation near Gray HQ?). Sam wants to have a go, so Amy allows her to have a try (not too bad, reminds her of driving her dad’s beaten-up second-hand car). “They’re supposed to be idiot-proof,” says Amy. “Cheers,” says Sam, “very flattering.” “OK, crash-proof.” “Like the Titanic?” Amy looks baffled. Flying: five hours of boredom followed by five minutes of terror.
Later in the conversation, Amy seems to suggest that she may as well give up on the preservation, take the money, and allow Gray Corp to destroy the planet by redeveloping it. This offends Sam’s conservationist sentiments, and she argues with Amy – until she realises that Amy has been testing her beliefs.
The transport delivers them to a Wild West-style rancher town.
Sam’s POV – night. A small, nervous, bearded man lets them into an underground service system, and through to a set of cramped officeds hidden in the Wild West town. Amy explains as they go that she too wants to preserve the true archaeological sites, not just document them before they are redeveloped, and certainly not to redevelop them as these fakes. Sam is increasingly respectful and unquestioning about Amy’s methods and motivations, and asks Amy why is working for Gray Corp – and isn’t she worried that the HALF terrorists will kill her in their violent attacks, as they have with the media crew? She would hate to meet Bernard Cockaigne, the monster who runs HALF. “You can’t believe everything you hear,” says the bearded man, Amy is not worried about being harmed by HALF. Why not? Because she and the rest of the dig team were secretly working for HALF. Welcome to our hideaway – and by the way, meet Bernard Cockaigne.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Kadijk is talking to Gray who is making a completely unexpected recovery. He lies there, awake but quiet, though he seems more alert when Kadijk flicks idly through some of Gray’s belongings in the beside cabinet – and finds two interesting items. One is the Jax talisman – which Kadijk doesn’t recognise as important, but Gray takes from him and clutches to his chest. The other is a communications device, which is still bleeping away. Kadijk puts it down. Gray is reluctant to explain too much about the archaeological dig, and seems strangely detached – studying his hands, looking around himself warily. He doesn’t ask anything about the others, and doesn’t seem interested when Kadijk explains some of this to him.
One of Kadijk’s men, Porlock, rushes in with an urgent message. Kadijk wants to know why he didn’t just call. Porlock explains that he couldn’t – HALF have just destroyed a ground transmitter station, and the explosive pulse has knocked out the whole area’s comms satellite – the datapulse outran the destruction of the explosion by a millisecond. Kadijk studies his wrist communicator – dead, no longer bleeping. Kadijk is furious, but realises that the comms device is still working because of some technobabble. He is about to hurl it across the room in a temper – no use for communicating with his men – when Porlock stops him..
Sam’s POV – night. They go into the HQ. Cockaigne explains to Amy that they knocked out the comms satellite. It has blinded the HALF HQ, of course, but that’s not a problem since this whole quadrant of Saturnia Regna will now be in disarray. Amy explains something about the attack, and Cockaigne is saddened – he knew Sharstone very well, they had worked together for many years.
Sam’s POV – later in the night. Amy has been checking some HALF records with Sam, and is furious with what she’s found. She tells Sam that the financial backers are pressuring Gray Corp to complete ahead of schedule, but HALF are holding up the completion – Sam is curious as to why this information should be in the HALF records, but Amy is evasive, asking instead why Sam travels with the Doctor. Sam explains about her school teacher – “like him but didn’t like like him. A mentor.” Australian, exotic, different, not dishy, only eight years older than her – but that’s half a lifetime. (Mrs Chesterton was head teacher?) (Women exchanging troubles for troubles.)
Does she miss her family? A bit. Amy explains how hospitals remind her of her father. She had an accident when she was about Sam’s age, and was taken to hospital. She and her father rarely spoke of how they felt, they were just there. In hospital, she couldn’t find a way to explain or apologise. She knew that he wouldn’t go until she was settled, so pretended to go to sleep. She could feel her father sitting next to her on the bedclothes. Then she could hear him crying softly, kissed her on am unmarked part of her face, and left. (Sam sees Amy as vulnerable too.)
Sam’s POV – morning. The night goes by, and Sam gets some sleep. She worries about the Doctor, but knows she can’t go back to find him yet, since he’s asked her to stick with Amy – and she’s finding out so much! Early the next morning, she spends some time learning about the history of Saturnia Regna with Cockaigne, examining some of the artefacts that HALF have discovered. She checks out some of the HALF information – Cockaigne shows her how to use the equipment. (“I’m hopeless at computing. When I bought a mouse mat for my dad, I asked the guy in the shop if it was Macintosh or Windows.” (Blank look from Cockaigne.) She learns Saturnia Regna is also supposed to be the last part of the Cronus system inhabited by the Jax, a humanoid race which died out thousands of years ago. So the planet is considered to be a kind of “heritage site” by HALF (Helping All Life Forms), an ecological pressure group. Sam says she heard they were funded by a shadowy billionaire. Gray asks how reliable this was – what had they said about him? (A gorilla.)”I expected you to be… taller,” says Sam.
Cockaigne explains that HALF has run a Greenpeace-style direct action campaign against Gray Corp, and successfully disrupted work all over the planet so that the project is running well behind. This is a bit awkward, since the financial backers are pressuring Gray Corp to complete ahead of schedule. How does he know this, wonder Sam, but she doesn’t have time to ask. Saturating a world with alien toxins, changing it and destroying an environment that they want to manage and control. “Past races talk to us softly down the ages, but we’re not listening, and their voice pass us by. Dead whispers unheard.” “Like Sooty,” muses Sam (bafflingly). Cockaigne says that the leisure facilities are “humanoidist” in design.
Suddenly, the Gray Corp security forces, led by Kadijk, attack the HALF base, and now start to break up the base, brutally subduing the activists. They are digging up the whole area with two huge excavation machines the size of office buildings (from a nearby area).
Sam tries to find Amy, but Cockaigne and two other activists (Denis Lambton and Claire Johnson) drag her away to safety.
Kadijk’s POV – morning. The security team has located HALF using Gray’s comms device which sits bleeping prettily on the dashboard. They are attacking in the small hours, because that’s when HALF will be most vulnerable – and they seem to have no detection radar. Zaterday, unsurprisingly perhaps, didn’t turn up in time for the raid. “He wrote the book on being stupid. Needless to say, it’s a picture book.” Porlock is with Kadijk. At last he’s tracked down the HALF miscreants. Now they can go in and destroy their facility. “I want them alive.” The huge digging machinery moves in…
Sam’s POV – morning. In the street of the Wild West Town, Sam, Cockaigne, Lambton and Johnson are cornered by a security vehicle…
Sam’s POV – morning. The Doctor is driving the security vehicle! He followed the Gray Corp team, knowing they would lead him to Sam. He tells them to get aboard, he wants to go back to the archaeological dig where Gray was attacked – because there is something very wrong about the victims of the original attack, and he suspects that the corpses at the morgue are not what they seem. But Sam insists they have to rescue Amy first and, despite the Doctor’s protests, jumps out of the vehicle and goes back into the base with Lambton.
Sam’s POV – morning. The HQ is in ruins – huge earth movers have dug up the Wild West town, revealing the underground service passages beneath it. The security forces have moved on.
Sam finds Amy scrabbling around amid some Gray Corp records, cursing Gray and shoving a sheaf of papers at Sam. Her only pleasure is that the fakery of the Wild West town has been dug up and destroyed, to get at the HALF activists like digging up an anthill.
Sam and Lambton drag Amy out of the building, but another security vehicle has come between them and the Doctor’s vehicle. Sam is forcing Amy out of the building when Amy stumbles beneath the wheels of a security vehicle. Her bad arm hampers her – she reaches back to recover a data cube, and then has to pass it to Sam before reaching out to take her hand for rescue… by the time Sam turns back and reaches out to rescue Amy, Amy has been accidentally crushed to death beneath the wheels.
Sam is mortified, and believes she is responsible – but she and Lambton are seized and bundled into the other vehicle. Kadijk orders that all the HALF vehicles be confiscated.
Cockaigne’s POV, morning. The Doctor, Cockaigne, and Johnson flee in their security vehicle. First they shoot up into the lower atmosphere, but the vehicle can’t take it, and the Doctor decides to skim the surface of the planet through several areas – from high up, they can see the planet has part-completed facilities all over it for transport, accommodation, residential, infrastructure, entertainment, and the usual paraphernalia of a theme park writ large. The construction work is also more radical than a Barratt Homes site: the diggers are the size of office buildings, the cranes are like rocket gantries, and the blasting equipment is on an H-bomb scale.
They are pursued in an exciting chase through the neighbouring fake areas – wheat fields, dive into water, through a “glass” wall into an industrial landscape – eventually escaping by hiding out in the planet’s partially-built zoo. (This is the Doctor’s “draw a circle and a triangle with your hands” bit while Cockaigne is talking to him and he’s steering the ship, overriding the crash control, and deactivating the forcefield.)
Cockaigne’s POV, day. In a quiet moment while they hide, Cockaigne explains to the Doctor about the history and artefacts that he had shown Sam – including what they have learned about the Jax, a vulpine, perhaps lupine race which appears to have died out on the planet a thousand years ago. The Doctor becomes very worried, and decides they must carry on to the archaeological dig instead of trying to rescue Sam – she should be safe enough in custody.
Sam’s POV – day. Sam has been taken for interrogation by Kadijk. Kadijk finds the data cube, and says that Gray will be very interested to learn more – they are clearly smear tactics by HALF, since they suggest that Gray Corp is funding HALF, and that the share price of the Gray Corporation has been nosediving as the delays in building Kursaal continue. Zaterday comes in, and points out that Gray has discharged himself from the hospital. Sam warns Kadijk not to let anyone near the corpses in the morgue. Kadijk is incredulous – he thinks that HALF have been stealing the corpses, since two are missing.
He takes Sam off to the hospital morgue to show her. (He harangues Zaterday for his absence at the raid. Where was he? Chasing the trail of dope. “The trail stops right in this office, Zaterday. I know where the only dope in this building is, and I’m looking at him right now.”) While this is happening, Sam palms the data cube, like the Doctor showed her once. She can’t help but notice the crafty look that Zaterday gives Kadijk. “If he worked really hard for the rest of his career, he might make his way up to moron.”
Zaterday has spent the whole day doing “paperwork” on the computer and wandering around with cups of coffee. “Why?” “We’re out of tea.”
Cockaigne’s POV, day. The Doctor, Cockaigne and Johnson have reached the archaeological dig, which is strangely deserted – though there has been extensive new excavation nearby. This isn’t the painstaking archaeological excavation of the original team, though, but the crude earth-moving of the huge development diggers. Cockaigne is appalled – the site is being destroyed forever. They go into the caves.
Cockaigne’s POV, day. They break through the remains of the police investigation.Near the site of the attack on the archaeological team, they find the husk of a wolf-like humanoid. This was the creature which attacked the archaeology party, wearing a talisman around its neck. They find a deep narrow industrial excavation, like a bore hole in the rock, which has accidentally connected via a crack in the side to an enormous buried chamber.
Cockaigne’s POV – day. Inside, they find the origin of the wolf-like creature in the remnants of the Jax vulpine culture, a cavernous underground palace abandoned a thousand years ago. It seems that at least one of the wolf creatures survived, and attacked the archaeology team. As they investigate, there’s a fall of earth – it has tumbled down the “skylight”, which was part covered by the recent excavations. Then the Doctor investigates further to see if there are more survivors.
Sam’s POV – afternoon. Sam and Kadijk enter the hospital and make their way towards the morgue, talking about the Doctor’s concerns they find that the security guards posted there have been brutally murdered. They go in to the morgue to see the four corpses – which alarmingly come to life from under the sheets – they are half-man, half wolf monstrosities, and they are moving to attack them.
Cockaigne’s POV – afternoon. The Doctor continues to search the site, and discovers from heiroglyphics how to start up a hidden information system. Consternation from Cockaigne – he thought they were just animals. We’re all just animals, says the Doctor.
The information reveals that the Jax were a race like werewolves which went up an evolutionary dead-end and could only reproduce by infecting other humanoid life forms. When they ran out of the limited number of humanoids a thousand years ago, they died out and this is their last memorial. (They look again at the “rebirth” area, the altar with the “skylight” to the surface in it.)
Cockaigne makes a worrying discovery further down the bore hole – it seems to be wired with explosives – he recognises the type, because HALF stole similar equipment from Gray Corp to use for their campaigns. He and the Doctor start to make their way out of the palace to escape the coming explosion, but when they reach the exit they discover Johnson is dead, and there are three animated corpses standing over her body – wolves, but still with recognisable elements (like the eyes or a puzzled look or a quizzical head gesture) of Olivier and Sharstone. The crazed corpses try to kill them in a frenzied attack! The Doctor explains about the corpses in the morgue, and how they must have been slowly metamorphosing. Cockaigne manages to slice the head off Olivier with a shovel, but the other knocks him down. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to frighten the other two wolves, and Cockaigne struggles free – but the wolves have become wise to the trick, and close in for the kill again.
The Doctor and Cockaigne struggle back into the Jax Palace, and block themselves in. Now they are trapped in the Palace, and there’s a bomb ticking away down the bore hole. It’s designed to excavate that area, not this, explains the Doctor. Yes, but it will bury us forever in here, explains Cockaigne.
Sam’s POV – afternoon. Kadijk’s security staff arrive to help Sam and Kadijk fight off the animated corpses in the morgue – shooting them down with projectile weapons. The drones are thrown against the mortuary walls.
Sam explains to Kadijk the Doctor’s warning, and that there may be similar dangers at the excavation site where they were originally attacked. Kadijk says that the original attack site will not be a problem much longer, as Gray Corp plans to build a huge recycling plant on the archaeological site – it has therefore been evacuated for an enormous explosive excavation which will collapse the cave system and level the area. Sam is horrified, and explains that the Doctor and Cockaigne planned to go there. Kadijk plans to set off immediately – as the comms network is not working. He tells Porlock to return Sam to custody.
As Porlock is about to do this, the Jax drones suddenly rear up again – they’re not dead! While Porlock is killed, Sam flees the scene, and hides in a records office.
Sam’s POV – afternoon. Sam is at a loss – she can’t reach the Doctor before Kadijk – who can rescue the Doctor, even if he arrests him. She thinks about Amy’s death, and how she couldn’t save her. This reminds her of the data cube. She slots it into a records system, and looks at the Gray Corp information that Amy gave her at HALF HQ.
Amy was going to confront Gray with this information – she feels that she should now do this, and decides she must go to Gray Corp.
Cockaigne’s POV – late afternoon. The Doctor and Cockaigne have retreat from their attackers, and scramble into the palace, blocking the narrow route in with some furniture. (Note that it isn’t the same as before because of all the excavations.) The Doctor explains to Cockaigne that the two corpses have been reanimated by the Jax infection. The Jax could only reproduce as intelligent life by infecting live hosts. These are only mindless Jax drones, since the infection was only able to reanimate a dead body – they are operating solely on instinct to return to their palace and defend it. “So this wasn’t a good place to retreat to,” says Cockaigne, “I thought you were the expert on the Jax.” “I thought you were the expert on the Jax” retorts the Doctor. The Jax drones howl outside, and scramble to get in.
Cockaigne’s POV – early evening. The Doctor is hunting through all the Jax technology in the palace to see what he can use for an escape – there seems to be an extensive amount of Jax technology deeper underground.
Meanwhile, Cockaigne is worrying about the bomb. He is a bit put out to discover that the culture he wanted to preserve wants to destroy him – either the Jax drones will break in and kill him, or they’ll trap him in the palace until the excavation bomb goes off. There is a renewed set of howls from the doorway, and suddenly their makeshift block is blown away explosively into the room. They turn to look.
Cockaigne’s POV – evening. Kadijk’s group have arrived, and blew the Jax drones aside to rescue the Doctor and Cockaigne. In the excavation outside, the Jax drones lie in a crumpled heap. The Doctor is able to defuse the bomb just before the drones lurch back into life again. Kadijk explains that they have delayed too long, and that the other bomb was set to go off at the same time. “The other bomb?” asks the Doctor.
As they flee the site, Cockaigne notices that the Doctor is looking at a corpse – it is Olivier, his head crudely severed from his shoulders, and rapidly decomposing. Kadijk: “And this is no time for a post mortem, Doctor.”
They all flee the site in a security shuttle.
Cockaigne’s POV, evening, getting darker. By the light of the full moon, they can see the excavation site laid out. The bombs go off and they see the site collapse into the ground from a distance.
Confrontation between the Doctor and Kadijk. He has the him at last, the HALF troublemaker! They Doctor dismisses all this – he explains about the cadaverous wolf husk they found in the Palace – the Jax drone wolves revert back to their human selves, but that was something different – the leader. And now they have crudely buried the remnants of the dead Jax race beneath the surface. Kadijk is not impressed – more HALF nonsense, putting animals ahead of human beings. He says their morality is screwed up, since they will kill people to save animals – and they will swing for the murders of the media crew, the bombings of the facilities… and now that the HALF HQ has been destroyed, and unfortunately one woman died in the attack on the HQ – all the rest were locked up. The Doctor asks about Sam – no, she’s under lock and key at the police station, says Kadijk. They haven’t yet identified the ringleader, Cockaigne.
Cockaigne says to Kadijk that his reputation has been built up – and rumours of his death have been just as greatly exaggerated. He disputes that they killed the media crew – they never put people in danger. Kadijk argues that putting out the comms satellite put people at danger in the hospital, emergency services, vital communications. It’s not as simple as “people” or “property”. It’s all collateral damage.
Cockaigne: this planet (he never calls it Kursaal) is the property of the Jax and the people, not Gray Corp. Kadijk is dismissive – the Jax who were killing people, and turning them into walking corpses. Cockaigne says that the Jax must be instinctive, they cannot help themselves – like any predator. The Doctor interjects – they’ve seen from the technoloy they just buried far underground that the Jax were a sentient race, and that Gray appears to have killed the last one. Cockaigne regreats that the dead archaeologists became drones. Kadijk also says that Gray was lucky – if his wounds from that final Jax had been any worse, he’d have gone the same way. The Doctor is horrified, as he thought that Gray had not been injured during the original attack. He survived the attack – but he was infected, so he could now be very dangerous indeed. Kadijk: what makes you think I’m not just going to throw you into jail? The Doctor: we’re the only people on the planet who have seen the Jax technology, and have any idea what to expect. “No deals, Doctor.” They have to confront Gray.
The vessel turns back towards Gray HQ, the moonlight glinting though the viewscreen.
Sam’s POV – night. Sam has got into the building using Amy’s security clearance in the data cube, and confronts Gray in his office. Preamble: She’s not used to the huge buildings, like mountains. The towers in London, the rolling hills – the same kind of difference she noticed when she went to France on a school trip, and the mountains always seemed close enough to touch, and got impossibly large as you approached them.
She accuses Gray of betrayal: he hired Amy for purely political reasons, but what she worked out for herself at HALF just before she died was that HALF receive their funding from the same bank route – in other words, Gray is also funding HALF to work against him. It seems that Gray wanted to destroy the Kursaal project from within.
(They can see across the dark surrounding countryside from Gray’s little eyrie in the sky, jutting out from the main building.) It’s a financial scam to bankrupt the project; it can then be picked up at a bargain price by another of Gray’s companies which would complete the work and make a huge profit unencumbered by its crippling previous debts. What’s more, he seems to know more about these dangerous werewolves than he’s letting on.
What did she hope to achieve by confronting him – a confession? (Sam nervously fiddles with the data cube that she’s carrying.) Gray is surprisingly open, talking at some length, spinning things out while waiting for something. He tries to engage Sam in conversation, suggesting that her heroine Amy would have tried to money out of her discoveries – share options in the purchasing company, perhaps? (All the time, Gray is toying with his talisman.)
Sam is about to leave, but Gray keeps her there by asking whether she’d like to hear more – how and why he arranged the deaths of the media crew. (Sam feels she can’t miss recording this bit.) The media crew were getting too interested in his financial arrangements in – and it was just convenient to blame HALF. He arranged for an explosion in the media crew’s comms network to prevent them filing some of their incriminating evidence. What’s more, he personally killed the security guards who had carried out that contract – they were the same ones guarding the hospital morgue.
Sam is baffled: weren’t the guards killed by the Jax, by those drones? Yes and no, says Gray, and the plan for Kursaal has changed. Sam finally attempts to leave, but Gray indicates that the lower floors are now protected by Jax drones – the former archaeology team members, plus the dead security guards – she can see them on Gray’s security monitors. And she won’t be wanting that incriminating data cube, will she? He snatches it and crushes it, scratching her arm. She throws some things which break. He complains about the mess: in the current financial climate on Kursaal, good help is so difficult to find. “Ah…”
Sam has been detained just long enough… The full moon finally appears from behind a cloud, visible through Gray’s fiftieth floor office window, which slides open at the touch of a button. This is the moment for which Gray has been delaying her: before Sam’s eyes, Gray metamorphoses into a full Jax wolf. (Because his human body survived the original Jax attack, the infection has metamorphosed him into a rational, thinking Jax creature and not just a drone. Gray has provided a strong new body for the Jax pack leader instead of the thousand-year-old one which it shrugged off as a husk-like cast at the dig site. Hard to convey this in the text, just bear it in mind!) In between groans, he can talk about how he thought he was ill in hospital, but then after his body relaxed under sedation and the infection took hold, he realised he needn’t fight it, he was being reborn, stronger… his destiny.
As the Gray/werewolf transformation completes (bone china white of his eyes, like a newborn child), he stands before her. “Grrr. I’m trying for terrifying, but I worry that it may just come across as petulant.” Gray howls and lunges for Sam – and she impales him on his letter opener, just beside the talisman around his neck. He howls. Deep in the building, the Jax drones howl back and start to make their way up to the fiftieth floor. Sam tries to judge the escape routes – the door, behind Gray? the personal lift (code locked)? the window?
Gray staggers, howls and flings himself at Sam.
Cockaigne’s POV – night. The Doctor, Kadijk, and Cockaigne arrive at the Gray HQ to hear the howling going on from the building. They are just in time to see a body hurled through a fiftieth floor window – recognisably Gray’s suite, as it sticks out of the building at a jaunty angle.
Kadijk’s POV – night. The Doctor, Kadijk, and two officers rush up to the office to find Sam in the room, with the Jax drones cowering in a corner. They are still infectious, but no longer seem motivated. Kadijk calls for zoo staff to come and take the drones into captivity.
The Doctor is astonished to see Sam – she should be locked up. “Thanks Doctor.” “No, I mean, I was told you’d been locked up.” Kadijk is furious – he harangues the absent Porlock, who was supposed to lock her up. “The number of prisoners and bodies that have gone missing, we may as well just provide an answering service saying Sorry, there’s noone here at the moment.” The Doctor takes Sam aside, and explains about the destruction of the Jax palace which is now buried again. Kadijk is a bit sneery about HALF’s failure to save the Jax or the Palace. Sam howls tearfully for the archaeological loss. This makes the Jax drones restless, and Kadijk and his policemen move warily, retreating until they calm down again. It is only later that Kadijk will realise that the Doctor and Sam sneaked out at this point.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Floodlights have been turned on to illuminate the front of the building. Kadijk is going to get into his vehicle (the one from the opening sequences), when he realises he hasn’t got his ident card. Where’s the Doctor? Damnit, get after him!
Cockaigne is examining the broken body on the street. He is surprised to find that it is the husk of a man-sized wolf, just like the one they found at the archaeological dig. Except, of course, that one was carrying a talisman, wasn’t it?
Sam’s POV – night. The Doctor throws Kadijk’s ident card on the driver seat, and then he and Sam wade the last few muddy steps to the Tardis. Sam has been very quiet during the whole journey, consciously not being her chatty self, he mind whirling, her arm itching.
The Doctor offers to take Sam somewhere. Sam wants to go back and prevent the destruction of the palace. The Doctor says he can’t take her to her own past, nor save Amy and the dig team from the original attack. Sam asks whether he can take her to her future instead. She scratches her arm – which itches. The Tardis doors are opened, and light streams out, brighter than the stars and the moon. As they go in, we find out Sam is carrying the Jax talisman – reflected in its silvery surface, she can see her eyes are green.
Doctor’s POV/third person? – day. The Doctor and Sam are travelling in a packed short-range space shuttle. An unexpected power fault kills the shuttle pilot, and the Doctor and Sam rush forward to take the controls in an effort to save themselves and their fellow passengers from a fiery death on planetary reentry. They are all thrown around the cabin. Despite the Doctor’s best efforts, the shuttle burns up explosively in the planet’s atmosphere – we see the heat shield flaring up on the screen.
They’re OK, of course, because actually they’re participants in a theme park ride. (The Doctor is very cross, because he thinks the ride is rigged to fail no matter what you do – why isn’t there an escape pod, for example? Because you couldn’t fit all forty people on the ride into it, points out Sam reasonably.)
Doctor’s POV/third person? – day. Sam has persuaded the Doctor to take them fifteen years ahead to see the finished Kursaal and to sample some of the fun. To her apparent chagrin, the Doctor has taken her rather literally at her word. They are in the Adventure Rides part of Kursaal. The Doctor is aware that Sam seems unwell, but she shrugs it off – she wants to seem strong, though we see a few symptoms. “I can tell you’re unwell – I can see your eyes starting to glaze.” “It must be listening to you going on about my health.” When he persists, she says she didn’t sleep well – a nightmare. What about? Well, you can never remember properly when you wake up, can you? She thinks it was about her pet dog, which she had when she was a little girl, getting rabies!
The Doctor can provide a few details of what’s happened – he’s read it in the Tardis data banks. What does he know about her future, having read this Online History of the Everything Ever, she wonders – doesn’t cover everything, explains the Doctor, I could only afford the abridged version. (Full of useless information – example here of irrelevance against necessity?)
Kursaal was completed, and struggled through its first few years encumbered with huge development debts. Nevertheless, its spectacular combination of white-knuckle spacerides, themed leisure holidays and fake exotic locations slowly established it as the major attraction for Cronus and surrounding systems. (They’ve seen some of this since arriving, we are told in narrative.)
As the Doctor is explaining all this, they are crossing the road and a police vehicle explodes. Sam and the Doctor are thrown aside by the explosion.
Doctor’s POV/3rd person – day. The Doctor comes round, and finds he is being appraised by emergency services. Police are there too. He overhears snatches – a terror group working for a drugs cartel is responsible. He has his hand pressed against a scanner, to check for his recorded medical records. Sam is being loaded into an ambulance shuttle, destined for the hospital.
He is about to get into the ambulance, as he is uninjured, when the police stop him – he’s been recognised from his hand scan as one of HALF’s former “eco-warriors”, and he is hauled off to a police vehicle on suspicion – the Commander will want to talk to him. Sam’s ambulance leaves without him.
A familiar loud voice is haranguing his staff (in the middle distance): “It’ll take more than a few car bombs from these drug barons to put me off the case.” “Not a whole lot more,” mutters the Doctor’s police guard. “And besides, it isn’t him who has to walk home.” “I’d be more afraid of telling my girlfriend that I’d lost her car,” says another. “Ah, the Commander will see you now…”
The Doctor looks across to where they are indicating the Commander – he is surprised to see (from a distance) that, fifteen years later, a familiar figure is in charge of Kursaal’s security company. It is Kadijk
Suddenly the Doctor clutches at his chest – “my hearts!” and collapses.
Police inspector’s POV – day. “Tell me again how it happened.” He is interviewing the ambulance paramedic. The paramedic expains that the patient (the Doctor) had been causing them no end of worry. He looked human, and so they took him to the human part of the hospital, but his heart appeared to be arhythmic, his temperature was low, and they were not sure he could survive. As they wheeled him into the hospital, under guard, the Doctor flatlined. So they shooed the police guards away and rushed him into the crash room, calling for support.
They got him in there, but just before the team arrived, the patient sat up and said: “I’m feeling a great deal better now, thank you.” The crash team crashed into the room. The chief medic, Brandt, was not very pleased at this, and harangued the paramedic – they have enough difficulties with the bomb outrages, the number of drug overdoses, the flaky communications systems run on a shoestring by Kursaal Corp. They are understaffed, under-resourced, and most of their junior staff are only allowed to live on the dark side of the moon in crummy conditions and have to travel huge distances in antiquated short-range shuttles to get to work. Brandt says can do without practical jokes, thank you. Then he swepts out, trailing his crash team with him like chicks following a fussy hen.
The paramedic immediately got another bleep to attend another call, and was about to turn back to give the patient a piece of his mind – but discovered that the patient had slipped out of the room.
Doctor’s POV, late afternoon. Sam seems to have vanished. The Doctor has posed as a concerned relative, but she is not where the reception people said she would be. He has found his way to a consultant’s office (Brandt’s), and tried to access the medical records. He tries to remember which bugs are current in computer systems about now. He decides he’ll have to hack in directly, and feels in his pockets for the sonic screwdriver – and finds Kadijk’s security card. The accesses will have been revoked, but the personal details will still be valid. He fiddles with it, and uses it to access the police files on the drug barons.
He find several files private to Kadijk. One is about the drug running in the new Kursaal, and the fight between several barons (hence the bombing campaign). Kursaal is seen as an ideal site – the report says that instead of having to spread their drugs all round the Cronus system, the barons can have their customers come to them – and take it with them. One of the drug barons is Zaterday, who spied on the set-up of security on the planet. They had to revamp their security system after they discovered this, and they have been suffering from a poor redesign ever since.
Another file reveals that the planet has been infested by the Jax drones, several of which escaped from captivity into the wild, though this fact is kept secret from the tourists. Kadijk is now secretly working with Cockaigne (of HALF) to hunt down the Jax drones. (Kadijk got Cockaigne’s cooperation by offering him remission on his prison sentence after his capture.)
The “Jax Palace” file is empty. The Doctor tries to recreate it, but comes up against a brick wall.There are several other files private to Cockaigne – the Doctor cannot access them. One says “Maximilian Gray – deceased”, other say “Doctor ? – whereabouts unknown” and “Samantha Jones – danger”.
The Doctor wants to know more, so he videophones Cockaigne from the office. Cockaigne thinks it is Kadijk, and is amazed to see the Doctor.
Cockaigne: is this a secure line?
Doctor: he accessed it via Kadijk’s personal details. Wants to find Sam, and Cockaigne has a file on her.
Cockaigne: why should I believe you.
Doctor: as proof, he explains what he’s seen in the files – that Gray Corp is under new management, headed by a group of hoodlum businessmen who want to make Kursaal the centre of a drugs processing and distribution network “I imagine a privately-owned planet is ideal, since it has financial and transport links to all parts of the Cronus system.”
Cockaigne: Quiet, the line may not be secure! The criminals who made money while the complex was being built are now integrated into the planet’s society as an informal parts of the various security forces.
Doctor: So if they’re turning Kursaal into the drugs centre of Cronus, arrest them.
Cockaigne: Kursaal apparently untouchable – people have invested too much in the project to risk doing anything which might cause it to fail. I shouldn’t be discussing this with you like this.
Doctor: You’re talking about several planetary governments.
(At this point, there’s a trace started on the computer system – and the Doctor realises that someone has spotted his illegal access, and is trying to hunt him down. Cockaigne also realises.)
Cockaigne: Refuses to say more over an open line. He will discuss it in person.
Doctor: suspects a trap – but he has to find Sam, she may be injured, or lost, or looking for him.
Cockaigne: All the more reason to meet in person – he knows where Sam will be going, but refuses to say more over an insecure line.
Doctor: How can the Doctor find him then?
Cockaigne: If he really has access to Kadijk’s files, then he’ll find the address there. Best be quick before the Doctor’s location is traced. (Cuts connection.)
Kadijk’s POV – late afternoon. The alert on his system came through fifteen minutes ago, and he’s been tracing the details. He recognises several key things from the access – an old system – and remembers who stole his card all that time ago. “So, you are back, Doctor. Show me where you are.” He identifies where – the hospital. His sidekick Bandros says that the daily costume parade is about to start, and many officers are staffing that. Kadijk says they are therefore near to the hospital – get across there. He looks at a computer-aged picture of the Doctor. “It’s been a long time, Doctor.” He wants this out on all security channels, if the satellite is still up. “Mobilise the troops. And I want him alive.”
Doctor’s POV – late afternoon. He is hunting through the files. New ones are popping up with intriguing titles. “Jax history”, “Gray Corp financial”, “Doctor and Samantha Jones”. The Doctor has to break into each of them, but they are empty. “Oh, very clever,” he says. “You’re trying to delay me.” He locates Cockaigne’s address, but the screen suddenly flashes up an emergency message – it’s the picture of himself, head and shoulders, aged by fifteen years. As the screen clears, the Doctor realises that someone else is tracing him – and from the computer next door in the secretary’s office. He goes through – to see the secretary has been horribly killed, and the screen is showing Cockaigne’s address file. The door is swinging closed.
The Doctor rushes out of the room – the police are coming towards him – and go right past him. He walks more nonchalantly towards the exit. As he goes out of the ward, he faces Kadijk – who is the only one to stop, as he has had a terrible shock. He recognises the Doctor – impossibly unaged.
Kadijk’s POV – late afternoon. Kadijk issues a new description, and troops start coming up the stairs. The Doctor flees for the roof. Kadijk pursues the Doctor up to the roof, and the Doctor escapes via an old-fashioned emergency ladder which he drops down clankingly all the way to the ground.
Kadijk and Bandros meet in the grounds. Bandros asks how it’s possible that the Doctor has not aged. It could be something to do with the Jax infection, explains Kadijk. Or he could have had a face lift, says Bandros. After 15 years, he might need two or three, says Kadijk.
They see the Doctor at a distance, but the Doctor eludes them in the big carnival parade which is passing by the hospital (people getting into costumes ready to march through the main tourist areas). When they call for backup, the comms satellite starts playing up again – climate control isn’t working, and the weather is causing interference.
Kadijk dialogue: “What is wrong with this picture?”
Cockaigne’s POV – early evening. Cockaigne is now hiding in service quarters near the Theme Park. He’s been waiting fifteen years for this, and must tread cautiously. The doorbell rings, and bwhen he goes to it, it is kicked in by two Jax drones. Through the gap between them steps Sam!
Cockaigne despairs. How did she find him? Sam (not herself at all) explains that she spied on the Doctor getting information from the police database, and got here first.
She wants information from Cockaigne. Her two Jax drones loom over him. “Don’t worry, I won’t let them kill you. But I might let them hurt you a great deal.” She gets the two pieces of information she wants from him: that the Jax Palace was incorporated into a tacky Jax theme ride; and that the Jax which HALF have recaptured are at the Zoo. (He gets these details in hardcopy form – so much more difficult to hack than on a computer.)
“You’ve served your purpose,” she tells him, and she and the Jax drones loom over him again.
“You said you wouldn’t let them kill me,” he whimpers.
“That’s right,” says Sam. “I want to do that myself.”
Doctor’s POV – evening. The Doctor hears the scream as he enters the building, and rushes in – past a woman shouting up the stairs to keep the racket down. The lift is stuck at the top, so he launches himself up the stairs. The lift goes down the stairwell as he runs up. When he reaches the apartment, the door is smashed open, and Cockaigne is dead.
He scrutinises the blood-spattered documents – they reveal the location of the Jax Palace, hidden below the Theme Park. He realises the killer must have just left. He peers out of the apartment window, and sees Sam being escorted by two dark shapes – the killers must have kidnapped Sam! He can’t open the window, he smashes it – but they have gone around the corner.
Cockaigne’s neighbour has arrived, having heard the noise – “I asked you to keep the racket down.”. She sees the broken window, the scattered belongings, and the Doctor – then says “I’m calling the police.”
The Doctor races out and down the stairs, madly chasing to try and catch up with Sam. He sees them across the street, using Cockaigne’s identity card – it opens up a flyer, and they hop in. The Doctor watches it take off. He looks at the bunch of papers he picked up from Cockaigne’s apartment – they show where the Jax Palace is, and he knows that’s where they’ll be taking Sam.
From the apartment above, through the broken window, he hears the neighbour scream – she must have found the body. The Doctor studies his map – he has to reach the Jax ride, and by foot (or public transport).
Kadijk’s POV – evening. When Kadijk heard a report that a man had been killed in the service areas, and his flyer stolen, he investigated it himself – knew it would be Cockaigne. He is distressed. “I always believed this planet had potential, even back in the days before the first major buildings went up, before weather control. You know, back at the start there were powerful ice storms here, right here where we’re standing. The meteorologists used to describe them in terms of velocity, direction, timing. We used to describe them by how long you’d survive outside the hut. ‘What is the weather today? Oh, about two minutes.’ That was back then. Before I got so involved. Before I got in too deep…”
The neighbour/cleaner comes in and interrupts, and Assistant Bandros dispenses with her. “What will I do now?” “Well, you’ll need to shampoo the carpet.”
To try and cheer Kadijk, Bandros reports news that the bust of the Zaterday drug operation – planned over the last six months – is a success, and Zaterday is in custody. He was surprised that Kadijk hadn’t wanted to be in on it. He sees Kadijk is preoccupiedBandros also says (as though it’s a trivial matter) that a there’s been a break-in at the zoo; the stores have been broken into, and the wolves have escaped. Kadijk is unexpectedly violent – smashing a piece of furniture. Anger bloomed in him like a flower, tended and watered. He despairs: “it’s starting.” Out to the waiting car.
Bandros wants to know more – Kadijk is looking a bit crushed. He explains things to Bandros in a resigned air. We learn that Kadijk knows a lot about the Jax, and he knows Sam is infected.
He shows Bandros previously unreleased evidence from fifteen years ago: the pathologist recognised the husk of Gray’s body on the pavement outside Gray HQ, and when they checked the security camera in Gray’s office they discovered that Sam had not defeated Gray, she had been injured and possessed by him! So ironically, Kadijk is actually trying to capture the Doctor to save him from Sam.
Bandros wants to know why this evidence hasn’t been brought forward sooner. Kadijk says it was suppressed, so as not to scare off investors and tourists. The mindless Jax drones, all finally metamorphosed into wolves, were rounded up and put into the zoo complex, and Sam and the Doctor seemed to have vanished into thin air, so the danger seemed to have passed – and he had secretly seconded Cockaigne to keep an eye on the Jax in case the situation changed.
Bandros listens, and doesn’t interrupt. Kadijk recognises the technique, but doesn’t care now. When the new owners of Gray Corp had offered Kadijk the security job, and substantial share interest in Kursaal, he decided it was in his interests to play along – and not to depress the stock and lose everything in a Corporate takeover – whether legitimate or drug-based.
Now, he’s realised the birds are coming home to roost. (Or the wolf is returning to its lair?) He thinks that people like himself, who hide the truth in the name of authority, are just as bad as those like Zaterday and the drug runners, who also work illegally within the system for their own ends.
A call comes in, and says they have traced Cockaigne’s flyer – it is at the Jax ride.<Must come up with a suitably naff title for this ride.> Kadijk says that he wants his official police shuttle prepared. Bandros says they can get there faster in this police flyer. Kadijk insists on going back to the station for his own.
Doctor’s POV – evening. The Doctor has been watching the Jax ride, and watches a crowd of customers scared away by a snarling half-woman, half-wolf – it is the dead secretary from the hospital! Then he sees Sam entering the Jax ride with two Jax half-wolf drones, who are discarding the remnants of their tattered clothing. He follows her in, and pulls her aside from them – trying to rescue her by dragging her away.
But a shot from behind them takes her in the shoulder, and throws her down on the ground. She snarls up in a bestial fashion at the Doctor – who backs away into Kadijk and Bandros. Kadijk and Bandros fire shots at the two wolf-men. Kadijk is about to shoot Sam again, but the Doctor knocks his gun aside – and Sam flees into the tunnels, pursued by the wolf-men.
Kadijk explains that they arrived in his police shuttle. Communications are failing underground, or is it the satellite? So Kadijk sends Bandros back – to use the shuttle to get reinforcements and to evacuate the area. Bandros leaves.
Kadijk explains to the Doctor what has happened – and confesses that he and Cockaigne had been unable to properly contain all the Jax drones left behind after Gray’s death and Sam’s disappearance with the Doctor fifteen years ago. Whenever new ones turn up, they put them in the zoo – at the last count, there were more than sixty. (Too difficult to explain that, when you kill them, they revert back into human beings again. But it’s easier than explaining the deaths of people who go missing.) The Doctor speculates that some of the Jax drones infected visitors to Kursaal, spreading their infection in a limited, mindless way around the galaxy – and perhaps this is where the werewolf legends of so many worlds arise. Now however there is a more profound danger: Sam is metamorphosing into the Jax leader, and may unleash a more dangerous, sentient Jax lifeform on the Cronus system. They try to track her.
Bandros’ POV – night. Bandros is about to leave the ride when he sees a pack of wolves scurrying towards the ride. He backs away, and to avoid them he hops into one of the ride carriages to hide. He fumbles for his communicator, to call for the reinforcements as the wolves move past. But he realises, too late, that the previous occupants have been eaten – and that there’s a wolf in the carriage behind him.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Kadijk and the Doctor are moving further into the Jax ride when the Jax wolves rush past them in a pack.
In a spooky sequence in which they never quite know which are models/actors in the ride, and which are the real Jax drones, they follow them. Eventually, they see the wolves scrabbling in the dirt while Sam watches – and the entrance to the Jax Palace is revealed.
The Doctor and Kadijk are suddenly surrounded by Jax drones . “Things are getting ugly.” “These things started out ugly.” They are shuffled forwards into Sam’s presence. She holds back the wolves – don’t kill these two, bring them in.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Sam talks, in a mockery of confidentiality, to the Doctor and Kadijk. The Jax wolf-drones are willing, but not very bright. But good help is so difficult to get these days, isn’t it, she says. She freed the wolves from the zoo, and others are slowly making their way towards her as the full moon approaches this evening. They’ve travelled a long way, and they’re hungry, but she has other plans for the Doctor and Kadijk than to make them into Pedigree Chunks.
She is about to be reborn as the Jax leader using dormant Jax technology in the Jax Palace, which is why she has brought them here. The Doctor: How does she know all this? Sam: She doesn’t know it, she just understands it – something she knows from her dreams, a race instinct bone-deep. She knows too that the Jax are not dead – the dormant last-generation Jax they have merely been hibernating for over a thousand years below the surface. Kursaal will provide new hosts and drones, visitors from all over the Cronus system – instead of travelling all over the system themselves, people from all over Cronus will come to them! The Doctor and Kadijk can be the first.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Sam activates a device which will start to revive the dormant Jax. It all seems to come instinctively, she says – if only learning things at school had been that easy! The moon will be coming up, shining through the fakery of the Jax ride, bringing the moment when Sam will start to metamorphose into a fully-fledged Jax – and she activates a control which opens the “skylight” to the surface.
Unfortunately, the “skylight” to the moon has been buried by all the excavation and building work, and she is disoriented by a rush of earth from it – it piles up by the entrance, and the Doctor and Kadijk are able to escape as the Jax are temporarily blocked in.
Kadijk’s POV – night. The Doctor and Kadijk can hear Sam’s screams of bestial rage from inside.Kadijk wants to leave her there, but the Doctor insists on getting her out: she didn’t die when Gray attacked her, so – unlike the animated Jax drone-corpses – her mind and body can still be helped to fight off the infection, so long as she is not exposed to moonlight. No moonlight no metamorphosis yet.
They have scurried around a corner, near to where the ride-track still carries empty carriages. The Doctor is worrying about how to get Sam out of the palace, but Kadijk spots a carriage coming towards them with someone in it. And sees that it’s the mutilated remains of Bandros.
Kadijk will have none of this “saving Sam” routine, and explains to the Doctor that he will use his contingency plan. He knows about this place from 15 years ago – and that the huge, long-buried second excavation bomb is still in the undergound bore hole. And he plans to activate it from his shuttle, which (since Bandros never reached it) will still be parked outside.
The Doctor wants to stop him, but Kadijk won’t listen. At least clear the area, begs the Doctor. No communications down here, says Kadijk. The Doctor takes Kadijk’s communicator, and lashes it up with his sonic screwdriver to create the kind of communicator that Gray and Amy used in the opening. Using this, he patches a warning message to the Kursaal emergency services – pretending to be his notorious alter ego, the HALF eco-terrorist, and threatening to bomb the Jax ride, so that the emergency services will immediately evacuate the public and staff from the vicinity.
They hear a scrabbling from the Jax palace nearby, and run for it. But they get penned in by more Jax drones arriving through the ride. They hide out for fifteen minutes, eventually making their way out of the ride – which has been evacuated, along with much of the rest of the park. The sky is cloudy – no moon visible.
A couple of wolves are prowling round the ship, but the Doctor and Kadijk (who is out of ammunition) sneak in and slam the door after a quick sprint.
Kadijk’s POV – night. Kadijk and the Doctor enter the shuttle, and Kadijk zooms the ship off directly up to get away from the bomb area – toasting the wolves as he does so. The Doctor attempts to defuse the bomb activation device – he wants to save Sam. Kadijk argues that the Jax have had their time – they came to an evolutionary dead end, but now they would spread and consume the whole Cronus system, and beyond, if they came back from the dead. Kadijk doesn’t give the Doctor chance to argue further – he breaks his fingers, knocks him aside, and the Doctor sprawls unconscious on the floor.
Kadijk returns to his steering, but Sam springs in from another part of the ship. Kadijk says she’s defeated – no moon, and soon no Palace. But the clouds part behind his head on the viewscreen, and Sam stares at it beatifically. “No,” shouts Kadijk, turning to see. Sam attacks Kadijk at the controls before he can hit the activation button, and he falls into the controls which explode in a shower of sparks.
Doctor’s POV – night. He sees what is happening. Sam is standing before the screen, puzzled. He says: “It’s a view screen, a projection.It’s not direct light from the moon.” Sam snarls round at him. When she leaps for him, he ducks and she falls into the escape pod, which he locks shut from the outside. He peers in – she is dazed in the corner. Then he checks the controls – the shuttle is racing up into the lower atmosphere.
As in the fairground ride earlier (scene 43?), the Doctor has to struggle to control the ship’s reentry – his broken fingers causing great pain. At the last minute, he locks the controls and abandons ship via the escape pod .
Doctor’s POV – the ship goes down in a fiery ball into the remains of the Jax Palace ride, setting off the excavation bomb which wipes out the entire Jax underground complex in an explosion which rocks the escape pod.
There’s a tense moment in the escape pod as the Doctor confronts the Jax-Sam… until Sam comes round from her daze, her link to the Jax technology and the rest of the dormant Jax race finally cut off.
Sam’s POV – day. A month later, the Doctor and Sam take a final ride on a Kursaal event, a more relaxing and leisurely river cruise now that Sam has properly recovered from the infection. Then as night starts to fall, and the full moon becomes visible, they decide to go back to the Tardis and leave.
Unknown observer’s POV – day. The Doctor and Sam enter the Tardis and it dematerialised. The queue which had formed around it disperses, disgruntled. A couple argue about where they should go next. A straggler at the end of the queue looks at his Kursaal Guide myopically. From the darkness, the observer follows him. All the observer understands is an instinct to survive, and hunger – always hunger. He doesn’t know where he wants to be – that feeling has long gone – and he doesn’t even know that he was once called… Cockaigne! Licking its thin lips, the wolf moves swiftly after the tourist…
© Peter Anghelides 1996, 1998, 2009