“It's getting lighter,” Tegan observed.
“The attack's nearly over. Let's get out of here. Come on, the TARDIS.” They got up and moved out from under the tent.
Lilith’s eyes went wide. “Um, Dad?”
“The TARDIS!” Tegan gasped. “What's happened?”
“It's gone!” exclaimed Turlough.
All that was left was the hat stand.
The Doctor took a deep breath. “The TARDIS has been destroyed.”
“The TARDIS can't just disintegrate!” Tegan gaped.
“I'm afraid it has,” Turlough whispered.
Plantagenet approached with one armed and the rest unarmed orderlies.
“Oh, marvelous. You're going to kill me. What a finely tuned response to the situation,” the Doctor said, sarcastically.
“Best to dispatch him now,” Brazen suggested.
Lilith put herself between the gun and the Doctor, and aimed her blaster at Plantagenet. “Don’t even think about it.”
“Lilith, put that away,” the Doctor chided.
“My priority is the safety of you and your companions, Dad,” Lilith snapped. “If they’re going to point a gun at you, I’ll point a gun at them.”
“Kill them both.”
“Wait!” Norna stood in front of Lilith.
“Get out of the way,” Plantagenet snapped.
“Be careful, Norna,” the Doctor warned.
Norna stood straight. “Why did Captain Revere dedicate the whole of his life to analyzing the rocks of Frontios?”
“Remove her!” ordered Brazen.
“No, wait,” Plantagenet said. “Why do you ask when the reason is well known? My father sought the precious minerals beneath the soils.”
“What precious minerals?” Norna asked. “Did he find any?”
“He knew there must be some reason for the perpetual carnage our neighbors inflict upon us.”
“Well, if the Doctor is an invader, he has the answer to that question,” she reasoned.
Range stepped out of the crowd. “Oh, Norna, I need some help with the lighting.”
“No, wait.” Plantagenet pointed to Tegan. “You go.”
“I don't know anything about lighting,” Tegan protested.
“Get on with it.”
“Best do as they say,” the Doctor told her. “We'll be safe as long as we remain calm. Now trust me.” Tegan and Range left. “Lilith, you can lower your blaster now.”
Grumbling, Lilith holstered her weapon.
Plantagenet crossed his arms. “Well, Doctor. Can you enlighten us as to the reason for these bombardments?”
The Doctor nodded. “In time, if you let me investigate. If, on the other hand, you're going to kill me, you'd better get on with it.”
Two orderlies grabbed Lilith’s arms before she could grab her blaster again, and two more took hold of the Doctor.
“No!” Norna tried to wrestle the rifle from the orderly.
“This wasn't what I had in mind at all,” the Doctor said.
Turlough backed away and grabbed the hat stand. There was a small explosion as he pulled it out of the ground and everyone scattered. Turlough brandished the foot end at the orderlies.
“What was that?” Norna gasped.
“Oh, just residual energy from the TARDIS,” the Doctor said, dismissively.
“What is it?” Plantagenet whispered to Brazen
“The thing that brings down the bombardment,” Brazen answered.
Lilith face palmed. “Just how stupid are you people?”
“Now, at last the colonists of Frontios are face to face with their persecutors. For my father's sake, Doctor, I should like that question answered,” the leader demanded.
The Doctor raised his eyebrows. “What, the precious rocks under the soil business? Well, so would I. Whatever's going on here has put paid to my TARDIS.”
“You deny you're at war with us?”
“If it is war, and I'm not so sure about that, then you and I, Plantagenet, are in the same shell hole. Now, does anyone know where these are coming from?” The Doctor picked up a piece of meteor,
“How is that not burning hot?” Lilith wondered.
“Well, we know it's one of the other planets in the Veruna system,” Norna said. “Without instruments, it's impossible to tell which one.”
“This rock analysis.” The Doctor studied the piece of meteor. “You've been investigating the why fors. I think you should be looking into the where froms. Mister Range tells me you have a research room.”
“The research room was sealed up, by the orders of the late Captain Revere,” Brazen informed then.
“Well, if you want answers, you'd better unseal it.”
“There's nothing in that room that could possibly be of any use to us,” Plantagenet argued.
Turlough shook his head. “That's not true. It's full of invaluable equipment.”
“You've been inside it?” Lilith asked.
“It's where we found the battery.”
“The trouble is, if these good people don't want us inside,” the Doctor said.
“Yes, Doctor. I think I know how to change their minds.” Turlough threatened Plantagenet with the hat stand.
Plantagenet gulped. “Order the research room to be opened.”
“A hat stand as a weapon.” Lilith chucked. “I freaking love you.”
Orderlies removed the grill from the door to the research room. The Doctor and Norna went in, followed by Brazen and Plantagenet. Lilith took the hat stand from Turlough. “I got it from here,” she said and placed it in the corner.
“Well, here we are then. This should keep us busy.” The Doctor brought a small microscope to a bench while Norna got a rack of test tubes. “Turlough, you can help.”
“Er, I don't know a lot about chemical tests,” Turlough said.
“I do,” Norna offered.
“Good, good. I want to run a series on halides and silica.”
Plantagenet raised a crowbar to whack Turlough.
“Look out!” Norna shouted.
But before he could strike, Plantagenet collapsed, clutching his chest. The Doctor went over to him. He removed Plantagenet's jacket and bared his chest. There was a red mark in the middle of his pale flesh. “Medical centre, quickly!”
Lilith frowned. “Shouldn’t he have gotten hurt when he was hit?”
“Delayed effect of a glancing blow.” Two orderlies carried Plantagenet away. The Doctor handed the meteorite to Norna. “I want you to stay here and start those tests. Lilith, come along.”
They brought Plantagenet back to the medical center. Lilith held the door open.
“Tegan!” the Doctor called. “Ah. Those wires.”
“What about them?” Tegan asked.
“Rip them down.”
“I've only just put them up!” she protested.
“Jolly good. Now you can rip them down again. Damp cloths. Anything damp.”
Plantagenet was laid on a mattress on a metal frame.
“What’s the matter with him?” Brazen asked.
“Fibrillating,” the Doctor said.
“It's his heart,” Lilith explained. “He’ll get it going again.”
The Doctor put the damp cloths either side of Plantagenet's ribcage then put the bare ends of the wires to them. “Are we ready?”
“Ready,” Range confirmed.
Range pushed the electrodes into the acid jar. Plantagenet's back arched with the jolt of electricity.
“Again!” The Doctor checked for a heartbeat, and then sat back.
“You've killed him,” Brazen accused.
Plantagenet opens his eyes. Lilith smirked. “Yes, he looks very dead to me.”
“I admit it was touch and go for a minute,” the Doctor said. “Try to get some rest.”
“Rest.” Plantagenet sighed. “Death is the only kind of rest you bring to Frontios.”
“Don't exert yourself, Leader. We have everything under control,” Brazen said.
“I have responsibilities. Frontios depends upon me.”
“Nevertheless, I should take the Doctor's advice.”
Plantagenet looked at his second in command. “You've changed your mind about him too?”
“I wouldn't commit myself on that, however it was the Doctor that saved your life.”
“Doctor's all right. You must have realized that by now,” Tegan insisted.
“You saved my life? Is this true?”
‘If just being here was going to cause issues, how much trouble are we in now?’ Lilith asked.
‘Not a word to the Time Lords,’ the Doctor replied.
‘They won’t hear it from me.’ She wondered what the Council of Gallifrey would think if they found out that, not only was the Doctor interfering where he shouldn’t be (not that that was anything new), but he was being helped by a Time Lady from his personal future whose mere presence was breaking at least ten laws.
“You see, Doctor, Frontios is not the easiest planet to rule,” Plantagenet said.
“After thirty years of bombardments, yes, I take your point.”
Tegan brought another pillow to prop Plantagenet up. “Your friend Brazen doesn't trust us an inch.”
“Ah, he's a good man, if a little narrow in his outlook.”
“Where have I heard that before?” Lilith muttered. “Good man, narrow minded…”
“He's planning to move you to your quarters in the colony ship,” Tegan told the leader.
“The colony ship?” Plantagenet shook his head. “No, I must stay here with my people.”
The Doctor stood. “The democratic touch, eh?”
“Hardly democracy, Doctor. I must remain in public sight. If the people of Frontios think for one moment that I am dead, there will be anarchy.”
“Now, what's making you so vulnerable to attack is the thin atmosphere on Frontios.”
“Why do they come so frequently now?”
“Yes, I have some theories about that, and with your permission I'll return to the Research room and confirm them.”
Plantagenet nodded. “Thank you, Doctor.”
“Tegan, Lilith.” The Doctor inclined his head towards the door.
“Your assistant may stay here with me.” Plantagenet said. “That way we'll all trust one another.”
“Then perhaps you'll come with Lilith and I, Mister Range?” the Doctor asked the scientist.
“Yes, of course.”
“Good.” He looked back at the man on the floor. “See you later.” Range and Lilith followed the Doctor back to the research room.
“You know, Mister Range,” he said, conversationally, “if I'm right these so-called missiles of yours are nothing more or less than natural meteorites.”
“Meteorites?” Range questioned. “In such quantities?”
“Oh, it's unusual, I grant you,” the Doctor admitted. “But one of the planets in the Veruna system may have disintegrated with long term fall out.”
“Surely Captain Revere could have detected that?”
“I bet he did,” Lilith muttered, her fingers brushing against her blaster. She had the distinct feeling that they were being followed.
The Doctor looked around the colony ship. “What puzzles me is how it managed to crash in the first place with all that autonomous guidance on board.”
“The systems failed,” Range said.
“Before the crash?” Lilith questioned.
“Yes. Without the failure, there would have been no crash. The guidance systems, everything, all went together.”
“Did they now?” the Doctor said, thoughtfully. “I see why you call it the day of catastrophe.” He pushed the door to the research room. It was empty.
“They've gone!” Range exclaimed. “Exploring, by the look of it.”
The Doctor went over to the lab table. “Ah, the rock analysis. They look like Widmanstaatten patterns to me, which would seem to confirm that—” He joined Range in looking down at the hole in the floor. “What's the matter?”
“I'm afraid they may be in danger down there,” Range said.
“Turlough wouldn't risk an unsafe tunnel.”
“No, not that. I've suspected for a long time that Captain Revere ordered the quarry closed because of something he found.”
“What sort of something?”
“A geological feature, perhaps. Something beneath the surface it might be dangerous to disturb.”
Lilith looked from her father to the scientist, and then started climbing down into the hole.
“What are you doing?” the Doctor asked.
“Going to find your companion.” She squinted down the dark tunnels. “I really don’t like the looks of this.”
The Doctor climbed down too and Range handed him a phosphor lamp. “Are you sure, Doctor? I want to help.”
“You will, Mister Range,” the Doctor said. “By staying here. These sorts of adventures depend on a well-manned home base.”
“Left or right?” Lilith pondered. She looked at the Doctor. “Left,” they decided together and headed down one of the tunnels.
“So why exactly are you coming into my past?” the Doctor asked her. “All you’ve ever said is that you’re preventing a paradox.”
Lilith shrugged. “That’s what I’m doing. Making sure history happens the way it did when he was you.”
“‘He’ being your father.”
“‘He’ being future you.” They heard a noise behind them. The Doctor hid and Lilith drew her blaster. “Who’s there?”
It was Range with another phosphor lamp. “It’s just me.”
“I thought you were supposed to be staying behind,” she hissed, putting away the blaster
“It's my daughter, young lady. I can't let you and the Doctor take all the risk.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re trigger happy?” the Doctor asked with the slightest bit of a smirk playing on his lips.
“I’m being cautious. For me to be alive, I have to have been born. And for me to have been born, you have to be alive. So excuse me for having more than just a passing interest in keeping you not dead,” Lilith snapped.
“I haven’t died yet,” the Doctor pointed out.
“You’ve died four times in the past eight hundred and fifty years.”
Range cleared his throat. “I don’t think bickering is helping.”
Lilith took a deep breath. “He’s right. We need to find Turlough and Norna.”
The Doctor shushed them. “Listen.”
“Argh!” Turlough came running, wild-eyed and staring, straight into Lilith’s arms.
“Turlough? Turlough, are you all right?” she asked.
“Tractators,” he breathed. “I've seen them!”
“Lilith, look after Turlough. I'm going on alone,” the Doctor instructed.
Lilith shook her head vehemently. “Range can look after him. You should know by now that where you go, I go.” She handed the still frightened Turlough off to Range and followed the Doctor farther down the tunnel.
They reached a cavern where Norna was being held in a purple force field by what looked like a bunch of giant termites. “So they're Tractators,” the Doctor whispered. Tegan entered the cavern from the other side. “No, Tegan, get back!” he hissed.
She obediently backed away, and the Doctor and Lilith ducked down behind a pile of black globes. When the put his head up again, a Tractator got him in a purple field and dragged him out to join Norna.