After ‘Price’, the mysterious stranger, steps through the semi-permeable time frame, as he likes to call it, Ivan and Jack look on at first not sure what to do. ‘Price’ looks back once through the gateway, the sense of reality distorting around him and time slowing. He can see his companions looking from a doorway behind him, all colour seems devoid within this space. He takes another step and feels his feet hit more solid ground, the imagery vanishing from his mind. Both Ivan and Jack soon follow behind him. All three now standing on solid ground, a landmass somewhere else. Not within another room but in the outdoors. It feels and looks a lot like good old terra firma of Earth, in the middle of nowhere. As they take in their surroundings they see how barren and desolate the location is. There is a cold wind steadily blowing through, almost biting through to the bone. Dust is being kicked up with the wind. In the distance a faint sound of what seems to be lapping water can be heard. When they turn around to face where they came from, all they see is a ruined remains of a building of some kind. There is not enough left of it to make out what it was. Only the partial metal skeleton of the structure still stands with the odd stone wall clutching to the frame, clinging on to what it once was.
Pulling out his trusty torch-like device, ‘Price’ waves around his sonic Screwdriver and takes the readings, giving his chin a slight gentle rub as he mutters to himself. He then turns to the others and begins a little speech.
“You know how in situations like this, it is best to split up and cover as much ground as quickly as we can, well don’t do that. Come here we need a power huddle.” He stretches out his arms so as to accommodate his companions. They look at him at odds, Jack questioning what exactly a ‘power huddle’ is. ‘Price’ assures him that it is an important act that needs to be done for the situation they are in. “Now. One, you are both brave people. Yes?” Ivan nods in agreement, Jack looks a little confused but notices how ‘Price’ is waiting for an answer so verbally agrees, asking him to carry on. “Well here is the most important thing I am going to communicate with you right now. If you see anything here that you can not identify what it is, and is moving….runaway, and if need be, scream. A bit like this if it helps.” ‘Price’ holds both his arms up in the air and waves them about randomly as he demonstrates with a scream. “That tends to attract the attention of people who can help you. Have you got that?”
“So it is a dangerous place then?” Jack asks flippantly.
“Not necessarily, but I am preparing for the worst.” After a pause he continues. “Second, I want to check. I am sure you have.” He nods to Ivan, then turns to look at Jack. “You know when you look up at the sky and see lots and lots of pretty little specks of light?” Jack confirms this using the word stars, contempt dripping from his tongue.
“Oh that is good, you are educated. And you know how there are probably other things rotating around the starts, a bit like Earth?” Once again ‘Price’ pauses for confirmation, but Jack just carries on watching him, looking a little confused now. “What are you talking about?” ‘Price’ rolls his eyes slightly and explains how the planet Earth revolves around the sun along with many other planets. Jack partially agreeing with this, suggesting how that is what some people believe, but he is not so convinced. ‘Price’ carries on explaining that all the other stars also have many planets revolving around them too. He then asks Jack what his views on whether he had thought how there could be other life forms populating some of those planets. Jack stammers and finally just states no.
“Right okay then, I guess nothing will be in the way there then. Right we had best get investigating.”
“Yes. Lets do that Mr. Strange man.”
“Well we may go around and come across some that are from other planets, say like the Cybermen, or even those Terileptil. Well they are not from Earth, but another Earth like planet. And if we see any of them, then we run as fast as we can away so as not to die. Everyone with me now?” Ivan nods and mutters in agreement. But Jack carries on questioning the situation, “So people from other planets are dangerous then?”
“Generally no, most are friendly, but to be on the safe side, if we come across the Terileptils it is best to get some distance and then talk. As they may feel like war in art form is on the agenda.”
As they are busy discussing this, ‘Price’ catches a movement in the corner of his eye, turning his head to see a mechanical humanoid figure step out from around the wrecked building, a gun raised in it’s hand. ‘Price’ quickly raises his hands in surrender, stating how he believes this person to not be a Librarian. Jack turns his head to see what ‘Price’ is looking at, as this reaction he is used to when he normally points his weapons at his ‘victims’. He also sees this tall, odd-looking metal humanoid figure standing there, not a stitch of clothing covering it’s form, and a strange-looking gun clasped in it’s hand. He can make out how this is not a human or one in a suit, the proportions are all wrong in most of the joints.
“Greetings under the treaty of the Shadow Proclamation. I wish to open peaceful communications.” ‘Price’ volunteers. Ivan takes a step away from the others, making sure he is aware of the surroundings, watching what is unfolding. Jack Also takes a step away from the others giving himself a little distance.
Ivan being the first, by a split second, to move, the automaton instantly reacts, moving it’s gun and firing off a blast. A laser blast narrowly missing Ivan, scorching the ground at where he once stood before his instincts kicked in and he dodged the shot. The automaton then takes a step forward towards ‘Price’, the gun still aimed at Ivan.
“These are travellers from the planet Earth. Under the Shadow Proclamation, these are peaceful creatures and should not be fired upon unless they first initiated conflict. You are in violation of said treaty.” ‘Price’ insists, keeping his arms held in the air in show of surrender. The automaton turns its focus on ‘Price’ while still keeping it’s gun aimed on Ivan. Ivan keeps himself stock still not moving, just keeping an eye on the proceedings. Jack makes a grab for ‘Price’, pulling him away from where he stands. Again the automaton reacts instinctively firing off another shot, Jack managing to move so as not to get hit, however ‘Price’ is pulled in line, taking a glancing blast across his side, his precious threads being scorched where he was hit. ‘Price’ winches in pain and then quickly freezes again, telling his companions to do the opposite of what he told them early, and instead of running stay still instead. “Freeze where you are and smile in a happy fashion.”
Again the automation takes a step forward, this time towards both ‘Price’ and Jack. ‘Price’ tells Jack to put down any weapons he has. Jack shows his open empty hands, not having placed any within, raising and waving his arms above his head as ‘Price’ did earlier. However he stands taller and takes a step towards the automaton, stating how unarmed and an easy target he is. “Just stand still will you.” ‘Price’ urges through gritted teeth from the corner of his mouth. Ivan still keeping himself unmoving away from the others and watches. The automaton carries on moving towards them until it is within six feet, where it stops and turns it’s head towards Ivan, the gun still aimed towards Jack and ‘Price’. ‘Price’ asks it if it can communicate, both Ivan and Jack look confused. But he carries on looking directly at the android machine before him, again asking it, “Can you talk? I am a Gallifreyan and am here to talk peacefully. The head turns back to face ‘Price’.
“Can you speak, indicate, flash lights, or respond with a yes or a no?” The automaton turns it’s head back to Ivan and waves the gun in it’s hand, indicating towards both Jack and ‘Price’. Ivan picks up on this and slowly inches back towards ‘Price’ and Jack. The head slowly follows the progress of Ivan’s movement, the gun now trained on Jack.
“Are these things super humanly strong by any chance?” Jack asks ‘Price’.
“I am afraid this is the first time I have encounters these delightful beings.”
“Do you know what it is?” ‘Price’ thinks on this question for a mere moment, then realises what these could be, he then replies directing his sentence to the automaton.
“Take us to the Terileptil. We are a wondering mime troupe of great mastery, and wish to be presented to them.”
“Mime troupe?” Jack repeats, unsure himself what ‘Price’ is going on about.
Still no initial response from the automaton, but as they all gather together, even Ivan now placing his hands in the air as he joins the others, it waves it’s gun towards them, focusing it’s attention on all three and indicating for them to move on, in the direction behind them and away from where they are stood.
“Oh of course, lead on. See how friendly it is.” ‘Price’ suggests to his companion’s fears. He then turns about in a hundred and eighty degrees and begins to walk away from the building. Then both Ivan and then Jack follow suit. The automaton bringing up the rear, it’s gun still trained up on them. For about twenty minutes the automaton leads them on in a slow march, the sounds of lapping water still faint off in the distance, the wind picking up and blowing debris about. Every so often, when the automaton needs them to veer off in a certain direction, it fires a warning shot to the opposite side, suggesting for them to move a desired way. They soon head towards a rough rocky location, which soon builds up to sheer cliff like edges. Eventually coming upon an opening, a cave like entrance in the cliff face.
As they enter it is initially dark, but a faint light can be seen up in front. The ground is uneven and rough under foot, making the going slow, the cave looks very natural except for the brilliant bright white light glowing from a head. They are lead on towards the light, and as they enter the ground becomes smoother and more crafted. The walls become smooth and decorated, an almost artistic flare to the design along the walls and ceiling, the colouration and sculpting making it easy for ‘Price’ to tell at a glance of an educated and cultured race crafted this part of the cave. It all eventually becomes a passageway, a corridor for them to traverse, with intervening routes heading off in different direction.
‘Price’ becomes talkative once again, suggesting that how their captor is not one for conversation, and how it doesn’t seem to mind they talking, he would like to finish off what he was getting at when they were in a group huddle.
“We are on a different planet right now.”
“Right…” Ivan voices suggestively in the hopes of more information. However Jack asks directly.
“What do you mean?”
“Well you know I was talking about planet revolving around other sun. Well we are on one of those. Probably travelled through time and a great distance.”
“Yeah but what are we doing here. Where is that writer chap?”
“Ah well you see, that I am unsure of right now, but I do believe we are being taken to the Terileptil’s, who should be able to shed some light on that matter. Oh and we must remember the mime act, they will really appreciate it. They like nothing more than great art and performance, which is only equalled by their love of war.”
“But I don’t know what a mime is, so I don’t think I will be much help. But if you have a violin well…” Jack trails off. ‘Price’ assures him that all he will have to do is to just stay quiet and he will fit in to the act.
As they are being led along the passageway, ‘Price’ catches in the corner of his eye a chamber off to one side, it was not very clear to see, but he thought he saw a glimpse of a human within. He stops and turns towards the automaton, asking if the fellow human back there could be brought along with them for interrogation. The automaton stops short and raises the gun, pointing it directly at ‘Price’.
“I don’t suppose one of you could do something heroic like, against what I had said earlier. You know, so that this being will direct the gun at them instead.” Jack groans and steps off to one side, waving his hands in the air and asking for attention. However the automaton is so entranced by the verbal diarrhea coming from ‘Price’s silver tongue, it pays no heed to what Jack is doing. So ‘Price’ quickly mouths from the side of his mouth, suggesting for Jack to go off while he has the chance, to investigate where the human being is, and try to get him out of here. Then with that ‘Price’ carries on with the verbal assault, talking about the importance of such actions, going in to minuscule details, and quoting clauses and treaties, along with their numbers, and then to just add confusion starts to speak in binary. Jack sneaks off, back down the corridor and away from the others, giving the automaton a wide berth. Ivan takes this opportunity to edge towards the metal machine holding the gun at them; however he quickly freezes when he spots the automaton move its head slightly his way. The gun moves and points at Ivan while its head focuses back on ‘Price’.
Down the corridor, Jack has managed to sneak away without being noticed and headed off to the chamber. Even though he knows he walked in to a cave, he doesn’t feel like that now. How the carved corridor seems to have this resonance, and the colours appear so real, it almost feels like his mind is playing tricks with him as he looks about. However he focuses his attention on his destination, arriving soon enough upon the chamber ‘Price’ had mentioned. Looking in he can see a man bound to an odd-looking chair, a chair made from metals and plastics. Strange looking devices attached to the walls, with odd lights and read-outs emitting from them. Jack can not really see, but can sort of perceive an energy being drawn from the man on the cold hard chair, flowing in to this odd-looking machine standing beside and over him.
As Jack walks towards the opening to the chamber he feels a resistance against him as he tries to enter, like some kind of invisible wall baring him from entry. He steps back from this and finds a loose pebble/stone lying on the floor of the corridor, this he picks up and tosses at the entrance. The stone easily bounces and reflecting off from the invisible wall, a ripple emanating from the impact point across the surface, like ripples on a pond. “Hello.” He calls out, “Can you hear me?” The sound of his voice reflecting back at him. The only sound he can hear is his own voice, nothing from within the room can be heard. Looking more closely inside he can see moving pictures hung on the walls, and peculiar oblong little boxes fixed high up on the wall. Some of these boxes point towards the man in the centre of the room, another box on the opposite wall from himself appears to be pointing directly at him. Jack carefully moves back and to the side away from the entrance, seeing the little box slowly tracking his movement.
‘Price’ is still busy talking rubbish to the automaton, slowly running out of babble to spew, aware that over five minutes has passed since Jack had gone. The gun still points towards Ivan as the head of the automaton looks at ‘Price’. Ivan stays stock still while the gun carries on pointing at him. Slowly the head turns to where the void is that once occupied a human called Jack. ‘Price’ quickly points his Sonic Screwdriver towards the automaton’s head, the device emitting a low frequency whine as it vibrates, a change in pitch happens as it works against resistance. A noticeable reaction is visible from the automaton as it tries to re-orientate itself back to ‘Price’. “GET THE GUN! Ivan, keep it pointing down. Please.” The gun arm of the automaton begins to wave about, aiming in the general direction it believes ‘Price’ to have last stood. The head of the automaton appears to be locked in place, unable to move which is fortunate for ‘Price’ as the gun fires. However not so fortunate for Ivan, who steps forward and takes a blast across his ribs.
Ivan leaps forward, lunging out with his swagger stick, striking the chest plate of the automaton with the metal ball end of his stick. A metal clang rings out from impact, Ivan feeling a strong resistance from the chest. The automaton tries again to move its head, and has to move the upper torso in an attempt to see its attacker. ‘Price’ steps to the side and forward, again using his Sonic Screwdriver against the head joint. Again the gun waves about in the automaton’s hand as it tires to orientate its aim on its attackers.
Jack can hear from back down the corridor some shouting and expletives, along with the odd but now familiar blasts from the strange gun in the automaton’s hand. Aware how the man within the chamber will not be going anywhere, he quickly turns and heads back up the corridor, stopping and peering around the corner, seeing the engagement unfold before him. Ivan is within arms reach of the automaton, striking with his stick, and ‘Price’ is waving his torch-like device towards the head. Suddenly the automaton’s head turns loose and falls off from the neck, hitting the floor with a heavy dull thump and rolling several feet before coming to a stop. However the gun hand is still waving about and fires another blast.
Ivan takes another blast to his side, but less direct this time, more of a glancing shot. Jack rushes in and swings his blackjack directly at the gun hand, leaping over the automaton’s head that lays in the way in the corridor. The force of resistance from the strike is a shock to Jack as he hits with all his might, and appearing to cause no damage what so ever.
‘Price’ cautiously steps towards the headless automaton. The metal being now seemingly motionless, standing there with no movement, gun and arm pointing, finger on the trigger. No head attached, and no blast being sot. Once ‘Price’ is within range he tries to move the trigger finger away from the gun, but finds he can not move the digit, not even a mere millimetre. He then tries to push over the body of the automaton, finding it not such an easy task, aware how well made and balanced this thing was, but eventually with persistence the body topples.
Standing tall and straight, brushing himself off, ‘Price’ turns to the others. “Well everyone, what have you learned today?”
“Lasers hurt.” Ivan states obviously. ‘Price’ nods in agreement and then turns to Jack.
“Well that man we came looking for is sat on a very uncomfortable looking chair, surrounded by invisible walls.”
“Very good. But the lesson I was thinking about was. Don’t be a hero, as it really hurts.”
As they are stood there in their discussion, they become aware, probably a little late, how something is coming down the corridor towards them, and this time it sounds like more than one. They can not see anyone yet, but that will soon change. Quickly Ivan turns and beings to run off down the corridor in the opposite direction to the approaching sound, shouting ‘SCATTER’. ‘Price’ turns to find a dark passageway to step in to, hoping he can blend in to the shadows. Jack turns to find his own shadowy recess to hide within, blending in with the darkness. Jack’s clothes now seem to be an advantage in this situation, helping him to be cloaked in the black. ‘Price’ is not as lucky due to his dress sense, especially his handkerchief seeming to act like a beacon in the shadows. Both of them seeing Ivan disappear down and around the corner of a corridor.
Soon two more automatons come in to the corridor followed by a Terileptil. The Terileptil walking behind the automatons, speaks something in a strange peculiar language, and one of the automatons heads on down the corridor in the direction where Ivan had gone. The one remaining automaton, followed by the Terileptil, walk on and stop next to the hiding place where ‘Price’ is hid. The automaton stops and turns, facing directly at where ‘Price’ is stood. ‘Price’ smiles and waves a hand in greeting. “Hello, I was just looking for you. Someone who can finally talk with me. But could you please ask this thing to not shot me repeatedly in the head. I tend to find that quite painful.” He steps out in to the corridor with the automaton and the Terileptil. “By the way, travelling mime group.” He gives a very short and brief demonstration, as if he is walking in to a very strong wind. “We are here to entertain.” The automaton raises and aims its gun at ‘Price’, the Terileptil just stands and watches this play out, a small sparkle in its eye seeing ‘Price’ act out. Eventually the Terileptil speaks, asking what ‘Price’ is doing there, and why such a mime act would be there.
“Well do you mean here, within this cave, or do you mean here on this planet. Because as you probably know one of your automatons had brought us here. Strange thing happened though, as its head just suddenly fell off its shoulders, must be some design flaw. Otherwise it is due to us hearing how the Terileptil do enjoy a good mime act, which we heard from a friend back on Earth. Where we stepped through a time membrane that was woven in a mathematical corner of a room, which I have to say I was very impressed. And as we are a travelling mime troupe, we thought it a good idea to come along and ply our trade.” ‘Price’ picks up a reaction to the mention of Earth. And now becomes aware of a slight greyish white gas in the air, which he hadn’t noticed before, it has a musty smell to it. ‘Price’ then carries on, sharing how he is a renowned mime act from Gallifrey. Again there is a reaction from the Terileptil. He then continues to share how is colleagues should also not be blasted in the head, and how one is an athletic mime act from Russia on Earth. The other is a novelty act from the forests of Britain.
The Terileptil states how interesting it all sounds. ‘Price’ then pushes it by asking after another human he is aware of that is within this location, one that had also came through the gateway.
“Oh the spy. Like you.”
“No we are not spies. Let us put on a performance for you.”
“No you spies. Spies for this planet.”
“No, if I was a spy then I would have to dedicate my life to it, but I have dedicated it to mime. No one can get such mastery of mime and spy.”
“You trying to stop us taking the planet. This Mondas.”
“MONDAS!” ‘Price’ slaps his forehead. He then goes on to explain how he has no problems with them having the planet, none of them do. Sharing how glad he is for them to have it.
Ivan carries on running down the corridor, turning this way and that, not sure of where he is going or how far, just looking for a place to hunker down behind. Eventually he comes across an open area that has a recess and several stacked crate like objects neatly placed. Ivan stops and buries himself at the back, within the shadows, crouched down to wait. He slowly calms his breath, breathing slow and deep. The minutes dragging by as he waits, feeling his heart pound within his chest. Minute by slow agonising minute passes by.
Jack stands still and listens, watching from his shadows, totally aghast at what he is hearing. ‘Price’ carries on stating how he nor his colleague have a problem with them having the planet, especially as there is no one else on the planet. The last part he asks more than states. Something that the Terileptil had mentioned is niggling the back of ‘Price’ head, but he is preoccupied with sweet talking is way out of the current situation.
“Why do you think we are trying to take your planet?”
“You are in cahoots with those metal men.”
“What, no. No, you are talking about Cybermen aren’t you? No. If you look up London. England. Year 2412. You will see that me and my Russian friend sent them packing.” The Terileptil mutters an unheard word and makes a gesture, causing the automaton to bring the gun to bear.
“Look I am here to investigating those Cybermen. We found a document that indicated something about them. And that human you have seems to know something about them. We want to stop them. They have my Russian colleague’s friends. We should work together to go against those Cybermen.”
“Do not take the Terileptils as fools, you trying to enchant me with that tongue of yours. You are spies, like that human from the mirror planet. You spy on us to stop us taking the planet.”
“They have people like you, use people like you. That human knows something, you are like him.”
“Then let me talk to him, see if I can get the information. Put us in that room, trapped behind the force field. We are no threat to you. I am not going to call upon the Gallifreyans.”
“Why are the Gallifreyans here?”
“Ah well you see, you may not believe this, but I was assigned here as it was believed it would be safe for me and I would not get in to any trouble.”
“Then why do you lie, saying mime troupe and then something else.”
“Well I am a mime act. In my previous regeneration I was impetuous and well…it was thought best that I would be assigned somewhere more safe, which is where I met my new friends, who also happen to be good. Just like yourselves, art and war. Me a Gallifreyan and mime. It is all about combining things.”
“No you do not understand. War is art, a most beautiful of all arts.”
“Look how can you possibly lose in this situation,” ‘Price’ begins quietly, “if you put us in that room with the other human, behind your barriers and talk to this man, you will lose nothing and could gain from it. There would be no way for us to escape your confines.”
Ivan still finds himself crouched behind the crate like object, his leg beginning to get cramped, the minutes just slowly dragging by. Eventually an automaton slowly walks along the corridor towards the crates. It stops next to the crate which Ivan is crouched behind. Then the hand with the gun rises up and points directly at Ivan. Ivan stays crouched there hoping he has not been spotted. The automaton carries on standing there pointing the gun directly at Ivan, only moving slightly to the side to get a better line on Ivan, its eyes piercing in to him. Ivan soon gives up, standing up and raising his hands to the air. The automaton steps back and turns, indicating with the gun to move back along the corridor. Ivan’s shoulders slump as he begins the march back, the automaton following, directing Ivan back the correct way to the others.
The Terileptil reluctantly agrees with ‘Price’ request, indicating for him to move out and head down the corridor towards the chamber. Jack waits and then sneaks out and follows them. The Terileptil directs ‘Price’ down and past where he believes the man to be, and on to an adjoining corridor and room. The automaton keeping its gun trained on ‘Price’. The Terileptil asks ‘Price’ to step on in to the room and to wait.
“I can’t help but see the lack of humans in there.”
“Oh, ok that’s fine.” ‘Price’ steps in and waits, the automaton stands in the doorway, the gun still trained on ‘Price’. The Terileptil turns and heads off. ‘Price’ calls out in a loud voice in the hopes of Jack hearing, saying how it would be good if he was followed to make sure we are not being betrayed.
The Terileptil heads back up the corridor, pausing for a brief moment, almost looking directly at Jack as he passes him, but then continues on as if stepping to one side to avoid bumping in to him. The other automaton soon comes up the corridor, Ivan out in front, directing him in to the same room as ‘Price’. The two automatons both stay stationed at the entrance to the room now. ‘Price’ acts out a little mime upon seeing Ivan, pretending his hand is stuck to an invisible wall. He winks at him. Ivan gives a brief quizzical look before returning the mime with a shrug. ‘Price’ claps silently.
One of the automatons leaves the entrance, leaving only one to guard the room. The Terileptil walks on towards the room containing the human. Jack closely follows the creature, doing as ‘Price’ suggested. He follows the creature, now aware of the automaton coming along the corridor behind him. The Terileptil walks up to and past the chamber that the man is held within, carrying on and around a corner. Feeling the pressure of following and the automaton behind, Jack carries on up the corridor after the Terileptil. As he turns the corner he comes face to face with the Terileptil who is turning to face him, it almost seems like the creature has a smile across its face, the mouth slightly open showing all its nasty pointed teeth. It’s arms are folded before it. The automaton still moving along the corridor behind him.
“Hello.” A nervous laugh escapes Jack’s open mouth. “Fancy seeing you here.” The Terileptil points back the way they had come, the automaton waiting in the corridor, gun point at Jack.
Jack is directed back to the room where Ivan and ‘Price’ are waiting. ‘Price’ greets him saying how nice it is for him to join them. Jack steps in, the two automatons pointing the guns waiting, the Terileptil standing behind.
“Any others I should know about?” ‘Price’ thinks before replying, saying that he doesn’t believe there to be, but can not be sure if anyone else stepped through the mathematical gateway. The Terileptil presses something on the outside of the room on the wall. The entranceway to the room closes, creating another wall before the three within. They come over with a sickly unease with in their stomach and minds, as the walls spin around them, totally disorientating them. And as they stand there regaining the composure, they are aware of having four solid walls before them and no entrance.
“That was not very friendly. I do believe he does not trust us.” ‘Price’ states a little upset.
The end of Session 3.
The Doctor Who Role Playing Game (FASA)
run by me
Mysterious Stranger/’Price’ – Chris (alcoholandaphorisms)
Companion Ivan – Jason (jymmijamz)
Companion Jack – Will