The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh

Something ancient and evil is awakening under the sands of Egypt


12. Chapter 11

"No!" A shocked Donna shouted. She turned to the Doctor, tears in her eyes.

However, the Doctor wasn't looking at Ahmed. He was intent on trying to free himself.

"Ahmed's gone, and you're just standing there, making like Houdini. Like his death doesn't mean anything. Sometimes I forget how alien you really are, Doctor." She accused him.

Not looking up from his work, the Doctor frowned deeply. "I thought you knew me better than that, Donna. I care about every death. Including ours."

"Sorry, Doctor."

"It's OK, Donna." He said quietly, as he kept working away at his chains. In his frenetic movements though, the Doctor accidentally elbowed Donna in the side.

"Ow! That hurt! Who's side are you on, anyway?" Donna gasped.

In her disquieted state following Ahmed's sudden death, she reacted without thinking. Donna automatically jabbed the Doctor in the arm with her own elbow, in return. Giving a slight grunt of surprise, the Doctor dropped the keys. They gave a loud jangle as they hit the stone floor.

"You've lost the keys!" She told him.

"Er—yeah. I kinda' noticed that." The Doctor said dryly, his fingers still toiling away. "You know, I think maybe I should try to grow an extra set of hands, in my next regeneration. And longer arms." He pondered the idea for a second, shook his head. "Nah! That'd just look silly."

"But, they're completely out of reach, now. It's not like Cyber-pope over there is gonna' get the keys for you." Donna complained.

It was only then that she noticed that the Cyber-priest wasn't coming after them. It had gone back to progamming the conversion device, as soon as Ahmed had been taken care of by the robot mummy. It didn't even seem to notice that the keys were missing.

"Working on it!" The Doctor said impatiently, still frantically trying to undo his chains.

"How do you expect to free yourself without those keys?"

"Nag, nag, nag." He muttered, then said out loud. "I have the sonic, Donna."

"Oh. Yeah."

Donna paused. Then said warningly, "What about that robot, then? Can you free us before it bashes our brains in?"

"Eh?" The Doctor looked up, an eyebrow raised in consternation, as a huge shadow fell across him.

"Do you mind? You're blocking my light."

The robot mummy reached for him. Only to be stopped by the same vibrating high-pitched buzz from the sonic, which threw off its fellow guard back in the passageway. Yet this time, the robot merely staggered backwards, holding its bulky, bandaged hands to its head.

"It's not working!" Donna shouted.

"I know!" The Doctor responded. "It's their programming. It automatically downloads information from robots who've been disabled, then finds counter-measures to prevent it from happening again."

"You mean you can't stop them?"

"Oh, I can stop them. Only it'll take longer each time. Because I'll have to continually find a new subsonic resonating frequency."

"And that's not good, is it?"

"Not especially Donna, no."

The robot came at the Doctor again. Donna heard a low buzz from the sonic, followed by an audible click. The Doctor was free! Leaping clear of the mummy, he whirled about and squinting his eyes, aimed the sonic at Donna's bonds. With a loud clank, the chains fell away. Reaching past the deadly robot, he grabbed Donna by the arm and pulled her safely away from their guard.

"So, why isn't that Cyber-thingy trying to stop us?" Donna asked, as they made a dash for the doorway leading to the stairs.

"Not sure. I suspect its single-track mind isn't very given to independent thought. Obeying Pharaoh's every command is hardwired into its brain. It wasn't told to guard us, but to supervise the robot and operate the conversion chamber. The Cyber-priest will attack, Donna. But only if it's told to, or under a direct threat."


As they reached the doorway, they both came to a crashing halt. Their way was blocked by Pharaoh and yet another robot mummy. And coming up from behind them, stalked the Cyber-priest. The Doctor's head swiveled this way and that, as he gripped the sonic, frantically searched for a way out.

"Well, isn't that just wizard! It's being told to attack." Donna moaned,"We're trapped...again!

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