“You are inferior. Man will be reborn as Cyberman, but you will perish under maximum deletion.” The Cybermen held out their deadly arms towards the group. “Delete. Delete. Delete.”
Mentally, Lilith swore in Gallifreyan.
The Doctor pointed the recharging TARDIS power cell at the Cybermen, who get bent backwards then atomized by golden energy.
“What the hell was that?” Rickey asked.
“We'll have that instead. Run!”
A van’s horn sounded. “Everybody, in!”
“I've got to go back. My wife's in there!” Pete protested.
“Anyone inside that house is dead. If you want to help, then don't let her die for nothing. You've got to come with us right now.” The Doctor ushered Pete into the van.
“Come on! Get a move on!” the woman behind the wheel yelled.
“Tyler,” Lilith said, taking Rose’s hand, “she's not your mother.”
Rose nodded. “I know.”
“Come on.” They got in the back of the van.
“Finished chatting? Never seen a slower getaway in my life!”
“What was that thing?” Rickey demanded as they drove away.
“Little bit of technology from my home,” the Doctor said.
“It's stopped glowing,” Mickey noted. “Has it run out?”
The Doctor shook his head. “It's on a revitalizing loop. It'll charge back up in about four hours.” He stuffed it back in his pocket.
“Right. So, we don't have a weapon anymore.”
“Yeah, we've got weapons,” Jake said. “Might not be one of those metal things, but they're good enough for men like him.” He glared at Pete.
“Leave him alone. What's he done wrong?” Rose protested.
“Oh, you know, just laid a trap that's wiped out the Government and left Lumic in charge.”
“If I was part of all that, do you think I'd leave my wife inside?” Pete demanded.
“Maybe your plan went wrong. Still gives us the right to execute you, though.”
“Prick,” Lilith coughed as the Doctor snapped, “Talk about executions, you'll make me your enemy. And take some really good advice. You don't want to do that.”
“All the same,” Rickey said, “we have evidence that says Pete Tyler's been working for Lumic since twenty point five.”
“Is that true?” Rose asked her parallel father quietly.
“Tell them, Mrs. M.”
“We've got a government mole who feeds us information,” said the woman driving the van. “Lumic's private files, his South American operations, the lot. Secret broadcasts twice a week.”
“Broadcast from Gemini?” Pete said quickly.
“And how do you know that?” Rickey sneered.
“I'm Gemini. That's me.”
“Yeah, well you would say that.”
“Encrypted wavelength six five seven using binary nine. That's the only reason I was working for Lumic. To get information. I thought I was broadcasting to the Security Services. What do I get? Scooby Doo and his gang. They've even got the van.”
“No, no, no. But the Preachers know what they're doing,” Mickey said. “Rickey said he's London's Most Wanted.”
“Yeah, that's not exactly…” the parallel man trailed off.
“Not exactly what?” Mickey asked.
“I'm London's Most Wanted for parking tickets.”
“Parking tickets,” Lilith snickered.
“Yeah, they were deliberate!” Rickey said defensively. “I was fighting the system. Park anywhere, that's me.”
“Good policy. I do much the same,” the Doctor said brightly. “I'm the Doctor, by the way, if anyone's interested.”
“And I'm Rose. Hello.” Rose gave a little wave.
“Even better. That's the name of my dog,” Pete said. “Still, at least I've got the catering staff on my side.”
“Little rude there, Mr. Tyler,” Lilith snorted.
“They took my wife.”
“She might still be alive.”
“That’s even worse. Because that's what Lumic does. He takes the living and he turns them into those machines.”
“Cybermen,” the Doctor clarified. “They're called Cybermen. And I'd take those ear pods off, if I were you. You never know. Lumic could be listening.” Pete handed the ear pods to the Doctor and he zapped them with his sonic screwdriver. “But he's overreached himself. He's still just a businessman. He's assassinated the President. All we need to do is get to the city and inform the authorities. Because I promise you, this ends tonight.”
“What the hell?” Jake said, getting out of the van.
“What's going on?” Rickey asked, right behind him. The people were walking like zombies, all headed in one direction.
“It's the ear-pods. Lumic's taken control,” the Doctor said.
“Creepy,” Lilith muttered, studying the blank expressions of the people. “It’s straight out of a sci-fi movie.”
“Can't we just, I don't know, take them off?” Rose suggested.
“Don't!” the Doctor warned. “Cause a brainstorm. Human race. For such an intelligent lot, you aren't half susceptible. Give anyone a chance to take control and you submit. Sometimes I think you like it. Easy life.”
“Hey,” Jake called quietly, “come and see.” Around the corner were more people and a squad of Cybermen.
“Where are they all going?” Rose wondered.
“Lumic must have a base of operations,” Lilith mused.
“Battersea,” Pete confirmed. “That's where he was building his prototypes.”
“Why's he doing it?”
“He's dying. This all started out as a way of prolonging life, of keeping the brain alive at any cost.”
Rose frowned. “The thing is, I've seen Cybermen before, haven't I? The head. Those handle shapes in Van Statten's museum.”
The Doctor nodded. “There are Cybermen in our universe. They started on an ordinary world just like this, then swarmed across the galaxy. This lot are a parallel version, and they're starting from scratch right here on Earth.”
“Makes you wonder what else exists in the universe,” Lilith murmured, shuddering at the thought.
“What the hell are you two on about?” Pete asked.
“Never mind that,” Rickey cut in. “Come on, we need to get out of the city. Okay, split up. Mrs. Moore, you look after that bloke. Jake, distract them. Go right, I'll go left. We'll meet back at Bridge Street. Move.”
“I'm going with him.” Mickey kissed Rose on the cheek and followed Rickey.
“Come on, let's go,” Mrs. Moore said.
“There!” They took off running down a side street.
They were the first to make it to the rendezvous point. Jake came running over next. “I ran past the river. You should have seen it. The whole city's on the march. Hundreds of Cybermen all down the Thames.”
One of the look-a-likes ran up.
“Here he is!” Jake’s smiled slipped away when he noticed that the man was alone. “Which one are you?”
“I'm sorry. The Cybermen. He couldn't...”
“Are you Ricky?” he demanded. “Are you Ricky?”
“Mickey, that's you, isn't it?” Rose said quietly.
Mickey hugged Rose, and then turned to Jake. “He tried. He was running. There was too many of them.”
“There was nothing I could do.”
“I said just shut it. Don't even talk about him,” Jake snapped. “You're nothing, you are. Nothing.”
“We can mourn him when London is safe. But now, we move on,” the Doctor said.
They stood on the embankment looking across the water at Battersea. “The whole of London's been sealed off, and the entire population's been taken inside that place. To be converted.”
“We've got to get in there and shut it down,” Rose said.
“How do we do that?” asked Mickey.
“Oh, I'll think of something,” the Doctor said.
“You're just making this up as you go along!” Mickey accused.
“Yep,” the Doctor responded, popping the p, “but I do it brilliantly.”
Mrs. Moore took out a laptop and pulled up a diagram of a factory. “That's a schematic of the old factory. Look. Cooling tunnels underneath the plant. Big enough to walk through.”
“We go under there and up into the control center?” Lilith guessed, pointing to a route on the screen. Mrs. Moore nodded.
“There's another way in.” Everyone turned to Pete. “Through the front door. If they've taken Jackie for upgrading, that's how she'll get in.”
“We can't just go strolling up.” Jake pointed out.
“Or we could, with these.” Mrs. Moore pulled out a pair of ear pods. “Fake ear pods. Dead. No signal. But put them on, the Cybermen would mistake you for one of the crowd.”
“Then that's my job.”
“You'd have to show no emotion, none at all,” the Doctor warned. “Any sign of emotion would give you away.”
“How many of those you got?” Rose asked Mrs. Moore.
“Just two sets.”
“Okay. If that's the best way of finding Jackie, then I'm coming with you,” she decided.
Pete looked at her. “Why does she matter to you?”
“We haven't got time. Doctor, I'm going with him, and that's that.”
“No stopping you, is there?” the Doctor asked.
Rose shook her head. “No.”
He tossed her the fake ear pods. “Tell you what. We can take the ear pods at the same time. Give people their minds back so they don't walk into that place like sheep. Jakey-boy? Lumic's transmitting the control signal. It must be from over there.”
He waved his sonic screwdriver in the direction of the power station. The Zeppelin is parked on top, with a circle of red lights blinking on its bow. “There it is. On the zeppelin, you see? Great big transmitter. Good thing Lumic likes showing off. Reckon you could take it out?”
“Consider it done.” Jake nodded.
“Mrs. Moore, would you care to accompany Lilith and I into the cooling tunnels?”
“How could I refuse an offer of cooling tunnels?”
“We attack on three sides, then,” Lilith concluded. “Above, between, and below. We get to the control center and we stop the conversion machines.”
“What about me?” Mickey asked.
“Mickey, you can… er…” The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck.
“What, stay out of trouble? Be the tin dog?” Mickey snorted. “No, those days are over. I'm going with Jake.”
“I don't need you, idiot,” Jake snapped.
“I'm not an idiot! You got that? I'm offering to help.”
“Whatever.” Jake stalked off and Mickey followed.
“Micks!” Lilith called after him. He looked back. “Good luck.”
“Yeah, you too. Rose, I'll see you later.”
“Yeah, you'd better,” she said.
The Doctor shot him a grin. “If we survive this, I'll see you back at the TARDIS.”
“That's a promise.” Mickey walked off.
The Doctor hugged Rose. “Good luck.”
“It's freezing.” Mrs. Moore complained as they descended into the cooling tunnels.
“Any sign of a light switch?” Lilith asked.
“Can't see a thing. But I've got these. A device for every occasion.” She handed Lilith a headband with a flashlight on it.
“Put it on.”
“Haven't got a hotdog in there, have you?” the Doctor asked. “I'm starving.”
“Of all the things to wish for.” Mrs. Moore laughed. “That's mechanically recovered meat.”
“I know. It's the Cyberman of food, but it's tasty.”
“A proper torch as well.” She pulled out an actual flashlight and handed it to the Doctor.
He flicked the light on. “Let's see where we are.” There were Cybermen ranged along both sides of the tunnel. “Already converted, just put on ice. Come on.” He tapped on one Cyberman's face. No reaction.
“Go slowly,” Lilith suggested. “Keep an eye out for trip systems and things.”
“How did you get into this, then?” the Doctor asked after a stretch. "Rattling along with the Preachers?”
“Oh, I used to be ordinary,” Mrs. Moore said. “Worked at Cybus Industries, nine to five, till one day, I find something I'm not supposed to. A file on the mainframe. All I did was read it. Then suddenly I've got men with guns knocking in the middle of the night. Life on the run. Then I found the Preachers. They needed a techie, so I, I just sat down and taught myself everything.”
“What about Mr. Moore?”
“Well, he's not called ‘Moore’. I got that from a book, Mrs. Moore. It's safer not to use real names. But he thinks I'm dead. It was the only way to keep him safe. Him and the kids. What about you? Got any family, or?”
“Lilith and I have Rose. Who else do we need?” The Doctor shrugged. “We've got the whole world on our shoulders. Go on, then. What's your real name?”
“Angela Price,” Mrs. Moore said after a moment. “Don't tell a soul.”
“Not a word.”
None of the three noticed the Cyberman behind Lilith turn to watch them walk away.