Chapter 6 – Ilkona (Part 1)
9 February 2710
Ilkona City, Ilkona, Terran Empire of Planets
Deep in the seedy underbelly of Ilkona City 2 people met.
“You have the information?” one of them asked.
“Yes,” the other said.
They exchanged information on their personal electronics
“Is this all the information?” one of them asked.
“Yes,” the other said, as she vanished into the night. The other also went back the way he had come.
Outside Ilkona City
The TARDIS materialised beside a road in on a forested hillside not far from Ilkona City.
“So, where are we?” Felicia asked, looking at the Scanner screen as the Doctor activated it.
“The Terran colony of Ilkona, in the year 2710. It is a rather peaceful year,” the Doctor said.
“If we are here, I doubt that will remain true for much longer,” Tamsin said, with a cheeky tone.
“Very true, Tamsin,” the Doctor said.
“Is there any more information we should know?” Felicia asked, wondering how dangerous it could be.
“Not really, but you should be careful, and be ready to run if I tell you too,” the Doctor said.
“He always says that,” Kiara said.
“My Doctor sometimes says it too,” Felicia said, wistfully.
“Let’s go,” the Doctor said, opening the main TARDIS door. “Wait a minute,” he said.
He pressed a button on the console and waved the sonic screwdriver. “There. Your phones will be able to access the local internet now, Tamsin and Felicia,” the Doctor said.
“Thanks, Doctor,” Tamsin said. She quickly opened the browser on her phone, connecting to the local version of Google...
“But that’s not very fair for the other two, is it?” Felicia asked, as they left the TARDIS.
“I share! Besides, Kiara has a Tyrian artefact that performs a similar function,” Tamsin said.
“TARDIS location recorded,” Kiara said, as the Doctor locked the TARDIS door behind them.
“I suppose,” Felicia said. ‘I don’t think it is fair that Tamsin gets to access the internet and Nathan doesn’t,’ she thought.
“With the TARDIS location recorded, we can teleport back here if we want,” Kiara said.
“Interesting, so the device has a teleporter built into it?” Felicia asked.
“Yes, although that is more the Doctor souping it up than its native function. On Tyria it interfaced with the teleportation systems in the settlements. Choose the settlement and away you go. The teleporters were distributed through the settlements and hardly needed maintenance,” Kiara said.
“OK, that sounds interesting, but it is still not fair for Nathan,” Felicia said, looking Kiara in the eyes.
“His choice,” Kiara said, not flinching. ‘Rather headstrong isn’t she?’ she thought, not for the first time.
“I don’t mind,” Nathan said.
“Are you sure?” Felicia asked.
“Yes,” Nathan said.
‘He doesn’t seem that convinced,’ Felicia thought.
“There, he says that he doesn’t mind!” Tamsin said.
Kiara nodded in support of Tamsin.
“Sorry,” Felicia said to Kiara.
“You thought something was unequal and wondered why. Don’t worry about it,” Kiara said, hoping to put her at ease.
10 minutes later they entered Ilkona City. They approached the city and crossed the crest of a ridge, leaving the forest in which the TARDIS had materialised behind. The vista that they saw was magnificent.
“Amazing,” Tamsin said.
“It looks fantastic,” Kiara said.
“An Architectural masterpiece,” Felicia said. ‘There really is no other way to describe it, and I have seen dozens of cities on a score of planets...’ she thought.
“Absolutely,” the Doctor said.
The vista they saw was, the skyscrapers and other buildings blending in with the natural environment of the city.
“Beautiful,” Nathan said.
“Definitely.” Tamsin said.
“An understatement,” Felicia said.
Another 20 minutes later the Doctor and his companions were in a park watching birds.
“Is anything going to happen?” Tamsin said, clearly bored.
“What do you mean?” the Doctor asked.
“We have been here for over half an hour and nothing of interest has happened. Usually there is something that has interested you, and we are in the thick of it,” Tamsin said.
“She does have a point,” Kiara said.
“Yes, it is. Access some news site and see if there is something happening that is out of the ordinary,” the Doctor said.
“Right,” Tamsin said. She quickly used the local version of Google to find some reputable news sites.
Kiara and Felicia quickly did the same.
5 minutes later. Tamsin had found something.
Mysterious Explosion at Laboratory
A Mysterious explosion has rocked a laboratory in the Van Stattan District at 1 AM. The laboratory, owned by the Moss Corporation, was almost completely destroyed by the blast. Given the time of day it was nearly deserted, yet a few people were caught in the blast.
Little information is forthcoming at this time.
...Police are still investigating, nearby security AIs were affected by EMP around the time of the incident and didn’t record any suspicious activity before or after the occurrence.
She handed the Doctor her smartphone.
“You are right, this is definitely something that needs some looking into,” the Doctor said after he had read the article.
“I have found the address of the devastated laboratory,” Kiara said, less than a minute later.
“Good,” the Doctor said, as he handed the smartphone back to Tamsin and glanced at Kiara’s device.
“Good, we will be there in an hour or so,” the Doctor said.
“Or we could take the subway. We would be there in much less time,” Felicia said.
The Doctor sighted a subway entrance less than 30 metres away. “That is convenient, let’s go,” he said.
“Yes, it is,” Felicia said.
“What do you mean?” Tamsin asked.
They entered the subway to find the station deserted. “No one else is here,” Kiara said.
“Of course, it appears to be entirely automated,” Nathan said. ‘We are far enough in the future for that,’ he thought.
“The train will be here in less than 5 minutes,” Felicia said, looking at the timetable, which was posted next to the entrance.
“That is also convenient,” the Doctor said.
“Maybe,” Kiara said.
“What do you mean?” Tamsin asked.
“I am not sure yet,” the Doctor said.
“OK,” Kiara said, she didn’t know what the Doctor was getting at. ‘He’s more mysterious than usual.’
‘What is he thinking, that Felicia will change events for the worse?’ Tamsin wondered. ‘I hope that she could help make it better.’
They remained silent until the train arrived. They quickly got into the maglev train which left the platform a minute after they got on. As the train started moving, the holographic system activated, showing the train’s progress through the subway. They would arrive at their destination in less than 15 minutes.
Whilst they were waiting, the Doctor and Felicia used the holosystem to access the broadcast news channels.
After over 5 minutes of channel surfing, they found more news about the laboratory explosion.
“...about 10 survivors have been found, and taken to the nearest hospital...”
“Doctor, I don’t think that my being here and then changing this incident so that you are here earlier would change much,” Felicia said.
“I don’t think it would, but changes could be important. After whatever situation that is happening is resolved I will attempt to find your Doctor,” the Doctor said.
“Is that a good idea?” Tamsin asked.
“I don’t think that would be a good idea. The TARDIS had been going off course, consistently for a while prior to my encounter with that anomaly. I also don’t know where the TARDIS was headed after we left where we were,” Felicia said. ‘It would be like trying to find a needle in an infinite haystack,’ she thought.
“Ok,” the Doctor said, in thought.
“It is likely that my Doctor would begin his own search and thus meet us at some future point,” Felicia said.
“That is a good point,” the Doctor said.
“I agree,” Nathan said.
‘Of course it is,’ Felicia thought.
They quickly arrived at the station closest to the laboratory (only stopping at 2 other stations on the way) and disembarked.
As they exited the subway they saw the police cordon around the site of the explosion in the distance.
‘That’s a lot of damage,’ Felicia thought.
The Doctor took his psychic paper out of his pocket as they approached, ready to get past the officers.
“Investigator Smith and assistants, Asheru, Daniels, Davis and Lovell, we have been called to help in the investigation of this incident,” the Doctor said, holding the psychic paper up for the officer to see.
“Go ahead,” the officer said.
“Good!” Tamsin said.
“We’ll find something,” Kiara said.
“You can count on it,” Tamsin said.
‘There could be anything,’ Felicia thought.
The Doctor and his companions walked past the cordon and came close to the laboratory building. They could see that the explosion had ripped through the structure, demolishing most of it. Only a third of the original building was still standing.
The Doctor scanned the ruins with the sonic screwdriver. “Interesting, but strange,” he said.
“What is strange?” Tamsin asked.
“Strange, I am picking up traces of trinitrotoluene and nitro-glycerine,” the Doctor said.
“How is that strange?” Tamsin asked.
“Why would someone wanting to destroy this lab use such primitive explosives?” the Doctor asked.
“To hide other more advanced explosives?” Nathan asked.
“To cover up an accident?” Felicia asked.
“I have no idea,” Kiara asked.
“Both of those are good ideas. But what was the function of the laboratory?” the Doctor asked.
“According to the official web site; the laboratory was used for genetic engineering,” Tamsin said.
“I wonder if that was all it was used for, and what type of genetic engineering was being pursued there,” the Doctor said. The sonic screwdriver beeped again.
“Now it is showing microscopic traces of more advanced explosives, and also acrylamide gels.”
Felicia and Tamsin knew what the latter was for. “The latter is what you would expect really,” Felicia said.
“Absolutely,” Tamsin said.
“Does the website say anything
about the genetic engineering that was being conducted?” the Doctor asked.
Tamsin consulted her phone again. “Increasing the strength of the immune system and digestive efficiency, but then that could have been a cover for something else,” Tamsin said.
“Quite true,” the Doctor said.
“We may have to question the survivors,” Felicia said.
“True,” the Doctor said.
“Absolutely,” Tamsin said.