“Doctor, did that one just move?” Mrs. Moore asked suddenly.
“It's just the torchlight. Keep going; come on,” he said and they continued walking. A Cyberman moved near them. “They're waking up. Run!” They ran along the row, which fell in behind them and started clomping along. They got to a ladder at the end of the tunnel.
“Get up! Quick! They're coming! Open it! Open it!”
The Doctor opened the trapdoor.
“Get up! Quick! Quick!” insisted Mrs. Moore.
“Come on! Come on!” the Doctor called.
They beat the Cybermen up the ladder and closed the trapdoor again. The Doctor sealed it with the screwdriver. “Oh, good team, girls!” he said with a grin. They continued down a random corridor until another Cyberman stopped them.
“You are not upgraded.”
“Yeah? Well, upgrade this.” Mrs. Moore threw a small rod with copper wire wrapped around it at the Cyberman. It stuck to the metal and the Cyberman jerked, then sparked and collapsed.
“What the hell was that thing?” Lilith asked.
“Electromagnetic bomb. Takes out computers, I figured it might stop the cyber-suit.”
“You figured right,” the Doctor said. “Now, let's have a look. Know your enemy. A logo on the front. Lumic's turned them into a brand. Heart of steel, but look.” He removed the logo boss on the chest. Inside was not just electronics.
Mrs. Moore made a face. “Is that flesh?”
“Hmm. Central nervous system. Artificially grown then threaded throughout the suit so it responds like a living thing. Well, it is a living thing. Oh, but look. Emotional inhibitor. Stops them feeling anything.”
“But why?” Mrs. Moore asked.
“It's still got a human brain,” Lilith explained. “Imagine its reaction if it could see itself, realize itself inside this thing. They'd go insane.”
“So they cut out the one thing that makes them human.”
“Because they have to.”
“Why am I cold?” the Cyberman asked.
“Oh, my God. It's alive. It can feel.”
“We broke the inhibitor,” the Doctor said. “I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.”
“Why so cold?”
“Can you remember your name?”
“Sally. Sally Phelan.”
“You're a woman,” Mrs. Moore breathed.
“Who’s Gareth?” she asked.
“He can't see me,” the Cyberman said. “It's unlucky the night before.”
“You're getting married,” Lilith said quietly.
“I'm cold. I'm so cold.”
“It's all right. You sleep now, Sally. Just go to sleep.” The Doctor put the sonic screwdriver inside the chest cavity and switched her off. “Sally Phelan didn't die for nothing, because that's the key. The emotional inhibitor. If we could find the code behind it, the cancellation code, then feed it throughout the system into every Cyberman's head, they'd realize what they are.”
“And what happens then?” Mrs. Moore asked.
“I think it would kill them. Could we do that?”
“We've got to. Before they kill everyone else. There's no choice, Doctor. It's got to be done.” Mrs. Moore stood up. A Cyberman grabbed her shoulder and electrocuted her.
“No!” Lilith cried.
“You didn't have to kill her!” the Doctor shouted angrily.
“Sensors detect binary vascular systems. You are unknown upgrades. You will be taken for analysis.”
“I've been captured, but don't worry, Rose and Pete are still out there. They can rescue me. Oh well, never mind,” the Doctor deadpanned as they were led into what Lilith assumed was the control room. She elbowed him. He glared at her, and then turned to Rose. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” she said. “But they got Jackie.”
“We were too late,” Pete said stiffly. “Lumic killed her.”
“Then where is he, the famous Mister Lumic?” the Doctor asked. “Don't we get the chance to meet our Lord and Master?”
“He has been upgraded,” a Cyberman said.
“So he's just like you?”
“He is superior. The Lumic Unit has been designated Cyber Controller.”
A door opened and a Cyberman was wheeled out in an upgraded wheelchair. “This is The Age of Steel and I am its Creator.”
Suddenly, screams were heard. Outside, people swarmed out of the factories.
“That's my friends at work. Good boys! Mister Lumic, I think that's a vote for free will,” the Doctor said almost gleefully. He clicked his tongue.
“I have factories waiting on seven continents. If the ear pods have failed, then the Cybermen will take humanity by force. London has fallen. So shall the world,” the Cyber Controller intoned. “I will bring peace to the world. Everlasting peace and unity and uniformity.
“And imagination? What about that?” the Doctor asked. “The one thing that lead you here, imagination, you're killing it dead!”
“What is your name?”
“I'm the Doctor.”
“A redundant title. Doctors need not exist. Cybermen never sicken.”
“Yeah, but that's it. That's exactly the point!” the Doctor cried. “Oh, Lumic, you're a clever man. I'd call you a genius, except I'm in the room. But everything you've invented, you did to fight your sickness. And that's brilliant. That is so human. But once you get rid of sickness and mortality, then what's there to strive for, eh? The Cybermen won't advance. You'll just stop. You'll stay like this forever. A metal Earth with metal men and metal thoughts, lacking the one thing that makes this planet so alive. People. Ordinary, stupid, brilliant people.”
“You are proud of your emotions?” the Cyber Controller asked.
“Oh, yes,” the Doctor said.
“Then tell me, Doctor. Have you known grief, and rage, and pain?”
“Yes. Yes I have.”
“And they hurt?”
“I could set you free. Would you not want that? A life without pain?”
“You might as well kill me,” the Doctor hissed.
“Then I take that option.”
“It's not yours to take! You're a Cyber Controller. You don't control me or anything with blood in its heart.”
“You have no means of stopping me. I have an army. A species of my own.”
“You just don't get it, do you? An army's nothing.” the Doctor spat. "Because those ordinary people, they're the key. The most ordinary person could change the world.” The Doctor glanced at a security camera and Lilith picked up on his plan. “Some ordinary man or woman, some idiot. All it takes is for him to find, say, the right numbers. Say the right codes. Say, for example, the code behind the emotional inhibitor. The code right in front of him. Because even an idiot knows how to use computers these days, knows how to get past firewalls and passwords, knows how to find something encrypted in the Lumic Family Database, under er. What was it, Pete? Binary what?”
“Binary nine,” Pete supplied.
“An idiot could find that code. Cancellation code. And he'd keep on typing, keep on fighting. Do anything to save his friends."
“Your words are irrelevant!” the Cyber Controller snapped.
“Yeah, talk too much, that's my problem. Lucky I got you that cheap tariff, Rose, for all our long chats on your phone."
“You will be deleted.”
“Yes. Delete, control, hash. All those lovely buttons. Then, of course, my particular favorite, send. And let's not forget how you seduced all those ordinary people in the first place.” Rose phone beeped. “By making every bit of technology compatible with everything else.”
Rose held out her phone to the Doctor. “It's for you.”
“Like this.” The Doctor put the phone into a docking station. The code was transmitted and the Cybermen cried out in pain. Cybermen everywhere clutched their heads in pain. One near the Doctor caught sight of itself in a shiny piece of metal.
“I'm sorry,” the Doctor said.
“What have you done?” the Cyber Controller demanded.
“I gave them back their souls. They can see what you've done, Lumic, and it's killing them!” the Doctor shouted.
He, Lilith, Rose and Pete ran out with the Cyber Controller yelling, “Delete! Delete!” behind them.
Everything in the factory was starting to explode, panicking Cyberman were everywhere, blocking the exits. “There’s no way out!”
Rose suddenly put her phone to her hear. “It’s Mickey!” she said. “He said head for the roof.” They all ran off. Lilith snatched the phone from Rose.
“Micks, where did you learn to fly a freaking zeppelin?”
“PlayStation,” he replied. A ladder dropped down from the zeppelin.
“You’ve got to be kidding!” Pete shouted.
Lilith grabbed the ladder and climbed up, Rose right behind her. The Doctor and Pete grabbed onto the ladder before the zeppelin started rising into the air, but, unfortunately, so did the Cyber Controller.
“Pete!” the Doctor yelled. “Take this!” He dropped the sonic into Pete’s hand. “Use it! Hold the button down! Press it against the rope! Do it!”
“Jackie Tyler! This is for her!” cried Pete as he used the sonic to break the rope. The Cyber Controller fell back to the roof, screaming as the factory exploded.
The group clung onto the rope ladder as the zeppelin flew away to safety.
Back in the TARDIS, Lilith sank onto the jump seat as the Doctor went about restoring power to their timeship. The Doctor beamed, looking around as the lights came on. “Brilliant,” he said. He went over to the door and poked his head outside. “Rose?” Lilith followed him out into parallel London. “We’ve only got five minutes of power, we got to go.”
Rose said something to Pete, who shook his head and left just as Mickey and Jake came over.
“Here it is. I found it. Not a crease.” Mickey handed the Doctor a pile of clothes.
“My suit!” he grinned. “Good man. Now then, Jake, we've got to run. But one more thing: Mrs. Moore. Her real name was Angela Price. She's got a husband out there, and children. Find them. Tell them how she died saving the world.”
“Yeah, course I will.” Jake nodded.
“Off we go, then,” Lilith said, clapping her hands.
“Er, thing is, I'm staying,” Mickey said hesitantly
The Doctor frowned. “You're doing what?”
“You can't!” Rose protested.
“It sort of balances out, because this world lost its Ricky, but there's me. And there's work to be done with all those Cybermen still out there,” Mickey reasoned.
Rose shook her head. “But you can't stay.”
“Rose, my gran's here. She's still alive. My old gran, remember her?”
“She needs me.”
“What about me? What if I need you?”
“Yeah, but Rose, you don't. It's you and him, isn't it. We had something a long time ago, but not anymore.” Mickey hugged her.
Rose pulled back and wiped away a tear. He turned to Lilith. “Mickey Smith,” she said with a smile, stepping forward and hugging him too. “You find a way back,” she whispered in his ear. “You’ll see her again.”
“Doctor,” Mickey said, turning to face the last of the trio.
The Doctor shook Mickey's hand. “Take Rose's phone. It's got the code. Get it out there. Stop those factories. And good luck, Mickey the idiot.”
“Watch it.” Mickey warned, voice breaking.
The Doctor went back into the TARDIS. “Goodbye, Micks.” Lilith said and followed.
You’re being stupid and emotional, Lilith told herself, wiping away a tear as she entered the ship. You’ll see him again.
Rose came in, crying. Lilith wrapped her arms around her friend. “Come on, let’s go home."
Somewhere, in a different universe, Mickey Smith grinned. "Nothing wrong with a van. I once saved the universe with a big yellow truck."