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Doctor Who: Progress

By Ashley Miles

He sat on the console room floor, his massive scarf draped in a heap around him, his head cradled in his arms. He really hated not knowing the TARDIS destination, and his thoughts were about whether it had been worth fitting the Randomiser in the first place. Still, if it kept the Black Guardian out of his curly hair, it would be worth the hassle. Suddenly, the Doctor jumped to his feet and approached the console. As he watched, the central column began to slow its rhythmic rise and fall. The TARDIS was about to materialise...

It was a very drizzly day on the planet. It had once been a most tranquil place, until the Humans had arrived. They brought their machinery and pollution and they brought death. The Humans had come to mine the soil for the valuable minerals and elements below it. This was the present, but they had also had come before. They had promised when they left to keep secret the planets great mineral wealth. In the present they returned with massive mining machines and claimed the planet in the name of Earth, in the name of IMC.

The peace loving people of the planet were herded from their majestic cities using the power of the dark, and the weapon of sharp sounds. IMC troopers then ruthlessly exterminated them, and then the company executives calmly filed a claim on their planet. They claimed the indigenous population had been wiped out by a mysterious virus. There were no objections to the claim because the company practically owned the Earth. Besides, what was good for IMC was good for Earth.

The drizzle had finally abated, and the sun was desperately trying to peek through the dark clouds of pollution. A feeble ray of light touched the city. Meanwhile, on the steep hill that overlooked the ruins of the once noble city, the population of which had been supplied with water from an impressive Aqueduct, there stood a statue... This statue was ancient and pitted. It was a most amazing sight. In front of its imposing looks, a blue box was just appearing. The noise of its arrival echoed around the devastated valley that surrounded the ruins. After a while, the door of the TARDIS opened and out stepped the Doctor, slowly followed by Romana. He sniffed the air and his face creased in disgust. Romana did the same, she then coughed. The air was rancid with by-products of the mining industry. The Doctor and Romana stood for a while, with the chilly wind lashing at their bodies. The Doctor surveyed the scene before them. Large scars were gouged out of the once fertile soil; smoke billowed from large ugly factories that were scattered around all over the landscape. As the Doctor looked, he noticed the words "PROPERTY OF INTERPLANETARY MINING CORPORATION" stencilled over all the equipment and buildings. This sparked an old memory, a memory of a bleak and barren planet and the suffering of its innocent colonists at the hands of the tyrannical IMC. As he switched his view to the city ruins, his vast memory got another jolt. He looked at Romana and said, "I do believe I have been here before, but I cannot for the lives of me remember what this benighted planets name is!" Romana questioned him thus; "Do you want to stay in this slag heap to find out?" The Doctor looked at her and shook his head, and then they both turned and entered the TARDIS. Just before he followed Romana inside, he paused and turned, then he said sadly, "SOMETIMES HUMAN GREED REALLY REVOLTS ME."

As the TARDIS melted back into the vortex, the sun broke fully through the filth. It shone on the statue that had been hidden by the TARDIS; its features were now visible to the valley. The statue was vaguely human in shape. It had a bald head fringed by fine wispy hair. It wore a one-piece coverall with thin black overlapping sashes across its chest. The strangest thing about the statue was its feet. They resembled two large plates...