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where dead men slumber page 2

Some time later the Doctor and his companion, whose name he had finally established as being Layton and after a very long walk through endless narrow, metallic corridors, arrived at a computer terminal which was positioned by an airlock which went through into yet another section of the station.

'Why has this section been closed?' asked the Doctor, as he tip-toed to see through the glass panel that was set within the solid airlock doors.

'The Cybermen...' Layton indicated beyond the door, '...they're in there...'

'So the airlock was secured to stop them.'

'No. They're everywhere!' he declared.

'Oh well,' said the Doctor, 'let's see what I can do with this, shall we?' he said indicating the computer terminal.

~~~

Deep within the hold of the space station one of the cargo holds contained a little more than its usual contents: amongst the usual food supplies, water and electronic equipment were several life support machines, which were used for the great journey that the human occupants of the station had made from Earth to the great 'wheels' in space while travelling aboard the supply ships. These life support machines, however, contained no ordinary human life forms but the remains of human life and what had been replaced by machine...the Cybermen.

Amongst the silver, coffin-like shapes a monitor sprung to life: "INITIATE ACTIVATION MADE" it flashed as the power surged through its electronics. And as it did so, so did the occupants of the life support machines.

As they emerged the creatures raised their metallic bodies to full height and slowly began to take in their surroundings. They wore blank, emotionless faces: two dark circles for where their eyes once were and a lipless mouth which moved as an electronically enhanced voice emerged. They had no ears, but large handle-like bars that emerged from the side of their heads that met at the top where a large sphere-shaped light sat. Their arms and legs were a mixture of materials, plastics, metals and flesh... their hands were still made of flesh, which busied themselves over the large electronic chest units.

One of the first to speak asked 'Controller, why have we been reactivated?'

The answer came from another Cybermen who was very similar in appearance except the handle-bar like protrusions were black in colour indicating its rank of Cyber-controller: 'The computer has detected a large Earth force approaching the station,' it said, 'We must prepare our trap to increase our forces.'

Other Cybermen busied themselves with their 'robotic' life amongst the endless computer terminals, one such Cyberman broke away from its usual mundane task and approached the Cyber-controller:

'Controller. The scanners indicate there are two Earthlings aboard the station and that one of them is known to us'

'Who would know of the Cyber-race?'

'The one known as the Doctor is aboard the vessel.' The Doctor's face appeared on a screen before them. It showed the picture of an old man, with white hair; the Doctor they had known and encountered on Earth when their home planet, Mondas had entered the Earth's orbit and was consequently destroyed. 'We must capture the Doctor before he is aware of our presence here,' rasped the Cyber-controller and indicated to two other Cybermen, 'Bring the Doctor to me, alive.' and with that the two Cyber-units left the cargo hold.

~~~

While the Cybermen prepared for their task, the Doctor was still trying to get the computer terminal working. When he finally did the terminal's screen glowed into life and showed a map of the solar system in which the 'wheel' the Doctor had found himself, spun.

'This looks familiar,' he mused, 'Yes, very familiar indeed. The Fifth Galaxy' he declared as he turned to look at Layton for confirmation, but none came. He continued with his examination looking for more information of the whereabouts of the Cybermen aboard the vessel. But he failed.

He moved over to the airlock and peered out through its glass window. He could see the dead men that Layton had spoken of but saw no sign of the Cybermen amongst the massacre beyond.

However, as the Doctor began to turn away from the scene a laser bolt of energy hit the airlock door, 'Oh my giddy aunt!!' he declared ducking down for safety as another bolt struck. Then suddenly it stopped as the great heavy airlock door 'whooshed' open and the two Cybermen entered.

When he he looked up from his hidden position behind one of the terminals, the Doctor could see that Layton's fate had been sealed: another bolt of energy hit the poor fellow square in the chest, the force of which knocked him backwards against the wall of the room and then finally to the metallic floor.

'Oh dear, there was no need for that!' shouted the Doctor, 'the fellow was of no threat to you!'

'He was not important,' said one of the Cybermen.

The other said, 'Where is the human known as the Doctor?'

'Tell us,' said the first, 'or die!' it rasped and they both levelled their weapons at the Doctor.

END OF PART ONE

written by
COLIN JOHN
from an original idea by
JAMES WATTS
copyright 2009

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