Episode 2: Construction of the Satellite
Cast of Characters:
The Dude, amnesiac savant, played by D.
Doc Mox, biology-specialized scientist, played by G.
Professor Joe Frazier, adventuring archaeologist, played by me.
Fattius, a near-human, shapeshifting alien, played by M.
The Doctor, everyone’s favorite Time Lord, played by K.
“What do you mean, imploded? Like the moon just crumpled in on itself and turned to dust?”
“No, it’s not a true implosion, it’s more like… What’s the word for when a raw egg’s shell breaks apart and sinks into the gooey bits?”
“Uh, a mess?”
“No, no, that’s not the word, but yes, yes it is essentially a mess.”
After the events on Emicar IV, the Doctor and companions decide to let the fate of the Dude be a mystery. Although the Doctor did perform a scan of the ships surrounding the imploding moon and had a rather knowing look as the group debated their actions. They decided on going after the source of the problem: the Lugs Corporation. After a bit of research, the Doctor feels like he knows where to go, and sets the Tardis on a course.
The Tardis lands on level 39 of an under-construction space station in orbit above Earth. Scans reveal a striking similarity to Satellite 5, which, since they were in the era of the Third and Great Bountiful Human Empire, shouldn’t really be active for quite some time. There is outdated technology present, far behind what should be available in the current age. With something of a shrug, the group steps out.
Fattius is instantly uncomfortable on the well-populated satellite. This is his home era, and his people are on the lookout for him. He doesn’t say anything to the group, but becomes somewhat paranoid and constantly eyes the people around him. Fattius notices that the security around here is obviously subcontracted out to a mercenary company. This, he points out.
As he does so, Doc Mox’s smartphone begins jingling from his lab coat. He pulls it out, and receives an update and news bulletin, giving the group confirmation that this is essentially the headquarters for the Lugs Corporation, and also a breakdown of what’s on each level of the station. The lower levels (25 downwards) are recovering from a recent Sycorax attack, Dalek ships have been spotted in the area, there are some levels for temporary refugee housing (starting on level 98), the communications array sits on levels 120-124, with the security team HQ on level 125. Oh, and there’s a food festival going on level 58! Sounds fantastic!
They mill around level 39 and the group notices some down-trodden workers about. Professor Frazier approaches one, a woman who identifies herself as Nancy. He engages her about the injustices committed against her and others by the Lugs Corp, but she seems to accept her lot in life. The professor extends an invite to the Food Festival, but is turned down with an odd look.
Fattius decides to shapeshift into the form of one of the mercenary guards, and sneaks up on the guard and chokes him out and steals the merc’s stun gun. Frazier notices and hurries on to join the Doctor & Mox, who are making their way to the elevator. Fattius manages to catch up as well, but Joe pretends to not be associated with the shapeshifted alien.
* * *
Meanwhile, the Dude, having teleported away last episode, wakes up and finds himself strapped to a table. There are intravenous needles and tubes stuck in him. The teleports on Emicar IV were not from benevolent saviors, but Saturnynians, and he is being prepped for transformation into one of them! Thinking on his feet, the Dude manages to pull some paper clips and rubber bands from his clothes and clamps the IV tubes shut, stopping the process. Not feeling well, he still wriggles out of the bonds, only to be confronted with a Saturnynian nurse or guard, it’s hard to tell which.
Dude puts up a fair charade of being partly through the process, but it is only a matter of time before talking is not enough. Despite some rather impressive stunts using paper clips and rubber bands, he is eventually beaten down, as more of the vampiric fish aliens enter the room and assault him.
As his last breath escapes his lips, a terrific memory fills his mind…
* * *
Back at the Satellite 5 construction site, the Doctor and companions partake of the food festival. While the Doctor and Fattius each find something tasty, Professor Frazier barely keeps his sample down and Doc Mox can’t even swallow any future alien food. The group doesn’t dally long, though, and after some research on Mox’s smartphone, they discover the executive branch resides on level 174. Wanting to confront the CEO of Lugs, they head on up in the elevator.
They are somewhat waylaid by security and secretaries, even with the use of psychic paper, but eventually they get to the closed door of the executive office. Fed up with being delayed, the Doctor and Frazier storm in Mox and Fattius in tow. Within, the CEO can’t be more apathetic. Professor Frazier lays into him, expressing sheer outrage at the crimes committed by Lugs. The executive all but laughs at the group, and goes on about the amazing communications array on the satellite, enabling them to control what comes in and out, media-wise. He says that it doesn’t matter about the wasted planets, they supply refugee housing and all that.
Fattius, Doc Mox, and Professor Frazier all exchange looks.
“Hey, Fatt, stun this motherfucker and let’s go to communications,” Frazier says.
“I’m calling security!” the CEO cries as he slams a panic button.
Before anything else can happen, the Doctor sweeps out his arms and guides the group towards the elevator.
Inside, Mox asks, “Where are we going?”
The Doctor turns toward him, straightens his coat, and says, “Communications, of course.”
Fattius nods, and shapeshifts into a spitting image of the CEO.
“Nice,” remarks Doc Mox.
Between Fattius’s looking identical to the CEO and a couple wallets of psychic paper, the party manages to get to level 120 without incident, and is even given unfettered access to the communications array. Quickly the Doctor, Fattius, and Mox begin running diagnostics and searches, looking for planets that, statistically speaking, are close to “implosion.” Just as quickly they send “official” orders that all mining on all planets is to be stopped, and the “near-death” planets are to begin evacuations.
Unfortunately, the group then realizes that these commands need to be manually processed through the entire array. There are four other consoles they must access on floors 121-124 above them. Security is looking for them, and time is of the essence. Keeping their wits about them, they formulate a plan. The Doctor will go to 124, Mox to 123, Fattius to 122, and, since Professor Frazier has little to no knowledge of this level of tech, whoever finishes first will handle 121. The plan is to not only relay the messages, but to also disable the array so that no contrary orders will be sent soon and set the Lugs Corporation back a few steps in their agenda. The timing has to be perfect.
With Joe Frazier staying at level 120, milling about and pretending to be busy, the techies of the party head up the elevators to their respective floors. In a cinematic montage, they each send their messages and disable their respective consoles, with Fattius bringing up the rear and handling level 121. After a few moments, Frazier begins pacing nervously, deciding that he will use his “squareness gun” to delete his console out of existence, but only until he sees at least two of his party come from the elevator. Doc Mox and the Doctor are first, gesturing to Professor Frazier to “do it now, come on, now.” With a quick look around, Joe fires the blaster, leaving a clean, square section of empty space and smoking wires where the console once was.
Rapidly they enter the elevator to find Fattius waiting. Back down they head to their Tardis on level 39 to make their escape. The lift dings as they arrive, and upon exiting the elevator, an alert rings out over the intercom, and the elevator deadlocks shut behind the group. Unconcerned, they rush to the corner where the Doctor parked the Tardis.
It is gone!
While Professor Frazier blows some holes in, and Fattius disables the wi-fi of, some Smilers, the Doctor performs a scan with the sonic. The Tardis is nowhere on Satellite 5. He manages to hone in and put a lock on his box, stranding it between Satellite 5 and its new location, which the Doctor determines to be roughly early 20th century Earth…
* * *
The Dude, lying on the floor, feeling his blood pool around him, begins to feel something else. Something he had forgotten. Something he has not felt in a long time: he remembers his life, and who he is. Left alone in the bunk next to the bed, golden energy begins to swirl around his body. A bloody grin crosses his scruffy face before it contorts into a scream as the energy envelopes his entire body. As his long hair burns and his skin changes, Dude focuses and is able to send this energy throughout the Saturnynian ship, miraculously, and horribly, forcing every other living being into cardiac arrest.
As the energy dims and clears, the Dude’s form becomes visible again. No longer is he a long-haired, disheveled man of middle age, but an older, more attractive, and ginger-haired man. He stands up, dusts himself off, and walks over to the nearest terminal. All the memories flooding his mind are almost too much, but he focuses enough to operate the computer. The Saturnynian ship has docked with an orbital space station, currently under construction.
Casually and confidently Dude strides through the now-ghost ship, stepping over dead and dying Saturnynians. He exits the air lock, onto the station where his ship has docked. He breathes deep, closing his eyes, as if sensing his surroundings. His renewed senses direct him to level 39. There is a blue box in the corner. Dude walks over to it, runs his hands over the doors. He pushes, trying to open them. They don’t budge. Using his regained memories, he pulls out his remaining paper clip and manages to jimmy the Tardis lock, and enters.
Remembering how confounding the console was to him, before, Dude smiles. Not anymore. He is a Time Lord, awakened, aware, and capable. He manages to set a course and takes off…
*cue sting and outro music*