Messages from Gallifrey

Episode #4: Sorath Nights

c. 2010

The TARDIS lands on a luxurious beachfront balcony at the Planetrise Terrace Hotel & Casino, on the tropical moon Sorath. It’s night, but instead of Sorath’s planet, in the sky are 26 other planets, including Earth. A few hundred meters down the shoreline is an unidentifiable wreckage.

The balcony door is locked, but Sun Tzu uses his sword to gain entry into the room proper. Jodana Kelzor flips on the television, but all the channels are static, so he finds a network to log into. According to the news, the planet and its sun disappeared from the sky a couple of days ago, and Daleks invaded shortly after. Most of the ruling body was killed during the invasion, and the remainder are in “an undisclosed location”.

As Al Capone, Ian Fleming, and Cali Armstrong enter the room, Sun faintly hears some Dalek weapon fire from the ground level on the other side of the building. Cali knocks on the room across the hall, but there is no answer, so she sonics the lock to gain entry. She looks out the window and sees a group of Daleks chasing a man down the street toward the hotel. The Daleks fire several more times but miss the man as he fumbles with something on his wrist.

Ian pulls chairs from the rooms to block open three of the four elevators, leaving only one for a return trip to the 23rd floor, and the group walks down the stairs. They look into the lobby through the small window from the stairwell, and they see a firefight between three Daleks and a number of Cybermen.

The group skips the lobby and goes to the basement, where they find a number of plastic sheets hanging across the hallway, as if someone were blocking the view. They hear a drill-like sound that chills Ian to his core, as he has dealt with Cybermen before. Then they hear footstomps, and they encounter a Cyberman. Al and Ian shoot it but do only a little damage. Sun swings his sword and chops off an arm. Cali manipulates her sonic watch and creates a magnetic pulse that wipes the Cyberman’s memory, killing it.

Jodana continues forward, sweeping aside the curtains with fresh abandon, until he reaches the source of the stomping. Two cybermen have seized the man they saw running toward the building, who they now identify as O’Bannon. They shock O’Bannon into unconsciousness, and O’Bannon reverts to his natural Zygon form. During the transformation, his wrist strap rips and his Vortex Manipulator falls to the floor.

The Cybermen drag Zygon O’Bannon and strap him into a cyber-conversion station. The group considers leaving him to be converted, but a last-second bit of compassion (or fear of what havoc a Cyber-Zygon might wreak with the memories of a Time Agent) spurs them on to save him. Sun cuts him free as Al and Ian distract a third Cyberman long enough for Cali to disable its emotion inhibitor with another magnetic pulse, leading the Cyberman to kill itself. Jodana takes a glancing blow from one of the other Cybermen. Sun and Al scoop up the Zygon O’Bannon and Cali pockets his Vortex Manipulator, and the group run from the remaining Cybermen.

They return to the TARDIS via the elevator from the second floor, and then they wait for the Zygon O’Bannon to awaken from being shocked. He is as evasive as usual, until the alternative is made clear to him that they’ll leave him on this planet full of Daleks. Then he begins to cooperate, though the group is somewhat disappointed in his answers because he doesn’t know as much as they want.

The Zygon O’Bannon tells them that his people are without a home following the Time War. The Zygons are fractured into two factions; the larger faction holds out hope that they will be able to settle on Earth, with the help (“salvation”) of the Stasis Cube, and a more militant smaller faction has infiltrated the Time Agency, one of whom has taken Agent Klaus, O’Bannon’s supervisor. The Zygon O’Bannon recently turned on and later escaped from Klaus (after the group turned him over to Klaus in 1562), but he was rushed in his escape and accidentally stumbled onto this planet and could not leave (as Cali had seen him fumbling with his Vortex Manipulator).

At this point, Cali attempts a TARDIS takeoff, but it seems to be locked in place, so the group decids to check out the unidentified wreckage they had seen along the shore. They take the emergency grav chutes (fire escape) down to the beach and walk to the wreckage, which they then identify as a Cyber ship, both by the controller signals coming from the ship and the Cybermats swimming in the sand like miniature land sharks. They consider disabling the controller but figure the Cybermen are keeping the Daleks busy and that’s better than unleashing the Daleks on the populace or, worse, them.

They start to return to the TARDIS, when Jodana’s data pad detects several Dalek ships leaving orbit. Cali adjusts the TARDIS to use the signal from the Dalek ships to help plot a course, and the TARDIS takes off.

The Maldovarium – c. 5044

The TARDIS lands, and the group exits into a large metal room lined with boxes and crates. It’s the same cargo bay as their last visit. Cali goes off to find Dorium Maldovar, thinking to now make the trade of the Vortex Manipulator for the Stasis Cube, while the rest of the group follow joyous shouts to a casino. Jodana stays with the Zygon O’Bannon, who is still with them.

Cali makes the trade, just as the one-year-from-now Dorium told her she had, and Al, Ian, and Sun begin gambling using as seed money the silver coins Sun had stolen in 1562.

Cali returns to the TARDIS with the new, apparently functional Stasis Cube, and figures someone is inside. She lets him out, and he introduces himself as Jimmy Hoffa.

Next time: Mob Ties?

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