Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - Rise of the Cybermen (i)

Serial 204 – Silver Finish
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Steel Nurseries

"YOA's Discontinuity Guides - Inaccurate But Caring."

Serial 204 – Silver Finish -

"ATTENTION PREACHERS - JANUS CALLING!! John Ross Ewing Jr, Head of Cyber Industries, established in 1982. In 1985, Co-Founder Bill Gates dies mysteriously in horrendous swarfega accident. 1991, Cyber Products flood the market and swallows all opposition within six years. By 2001, Cyber profits reach seventy-eight billion dollars. 2004, South American State report 265,000 missing. Today, JR Ewing Ultimate Upgrade Project underway. Mobilize all preachers now! Attack location at grid A64! JR EWING MUST BE STOPPED!!"

This is just another spam email on a laptop sitting in the passenger seat of a van while two figures have hot man-on-man sex in the back of the vehicle – and thus miss the sight of silver humanoid shapes marching across the globe, one of which reaches out, its claw-like hand blocking the camera. The picture turns to static.

"Interdict Janus Classified," booms a female voice. Cyber Industries -working for you. Coming soon - the ultimate upgrade. What did one hat say to the another hat? I’ll go on ahead! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Finally one of the figures in the back notices the insane laughter and slams down the laptop, cutting it off. "Guess we better actually do something about all this," he mutters and starts the van engine.

It’s Mickey Smith! Or, at least, someone very like him...


Parte the First

However, Mickey Smith is aboard the console room of the TARDIS, trying to use his amazing mechanic skills to fix the uncontrollable time machine to return to his hedonistic lifestyle of MILFs, hard drinking, recreational warfare and ASBO-collecting.

Amused at how pathetic her ex-boyfriend-cum-common-law-father has become, Rose reminisces with the Doctor over past adventures that Mickey proved completely useless and stupid in, in particular a weird munchkin lady with a big eye that nearly killed Mickey by breathing fire at him. They laugh, remembering that this was actually a kind of sexual advance amongst the fire-breathing munchkin people.

Mickey, somewhat angered, accuses the Doctor and Rose of being a pair of "arrogant, freeloading, self-serving scum choking to death on their own ignorant smugness without the brain cells to learn a damn thing from the life they lead".

"Who the hell are you and how did you get inside my TARDIS?!" demands the Doctor, having completely forgotten who Mickey is, yet again.

Mickey programs the TARDIS to return him to the Powell Estate, insisting that Time Lord is a piece of piss and that he has managed to get the time machine working better than ever. "I know EXACTLY what I’m doing!" he boasts and throws a re-calibrated switch.

Suddenly the console explodes in a blinding light and a pool of sparks as inside the Doctor, Rose, Arthur the horse and Mickey are thrown to the floor. The Time Lord wrestles with the controls and Rose asks what is happening.

"WHAT DO YOU BLOODY RECKON?!" the Doctor replies, the TARDIS thundering downwards through clouds of smoke and raw energy.

The ship crashes to a halt and again they are thrown to the floor. The
lights go out and all that is left are blackened walls, the clicking sound of cooling engines, a burnt out console and the three occupants, dazed and confused. Then six airbags finally inflate from across the smoking console and a strange, banshee-moaning fills the room. But that’s just Mickey doing a crap owl-impression to scare the other three time travelers.

Dazed, the Doctor gets to his feet and looks around the gloomy console room in horror. "She’s dead!" he whispers, hyperventilating. "The TARDIS is dead! I can’t fix it because there’s nothing to fix! She’s perished! The time rotor’s shattered! The last TARDIS in the universe thanks to BBC editorial policy... extinct! Lifeless! Passed on! Ceased to be! Rung up the curtain and joined the choir invisible! THIS... IS AN EX... TARDIS!"

The Doctor futilely tugs a lever and the control room springs back to life, the lights coming back on as it begins to hum again.

"Oops. My bad," the Doctor says, relieved. "Just blew a fuse."

The Doctor checks the coordinates and discovers the TARDIS has fetched up in the Solar System, on the opposite side of the sun to Earth, leaving them suspended in space. "We fell out of the vortex, through the void, into nothingness. We’re in some sort of no-place... the silent realm... the lost dimension... Just the place!" he laughs, grabs Mickey by the scruff of the neck and hauls him to the door. "Bye, Mickey!"

"What are you doing?" he protests.

"You nearly blew us all up, you idiot-shaped twat! You’re out! Sorry, but rules are rules. I turfed Aaron and Captain Jack for exactly the same thing – cutting in on my shagging time!"

"You can’t chuck me out the airlock!" Mickey screams

"Can’t I? Let’s find out!" the Doctor laughs insanely, rips open the door and hurls Mickey bodily from the TARDIS... land on the grassy knoll beside Cardiff docks.

"Not exactly the dark Godless void on the outer reaches of human misery I was expecting," the Doctor muses, surprised. "But I checked, we’re on the wrong side of the Solar System, but this is still Cardiff, just as we left it. Apart from the zeppelins of course. There was a big international zeppelin festival going on, wasn’t there?"

Rose, Arthur and Mickey look up to see the sky is full of art deco floating air balloons. There other differences – the lack of ground traffic, the overgrown bushes and general state of decay, the billboards saying "CONSUME", "REPRODUCE", "SLEEP", and the discarded newspapers marked "Royal Bigamy Shock – Nobs Have Sex!!"

"It's parallel, right? Am I right? Like a parallel Earth where they’ve got Zeppelins, am I right? I’m right, aren’t I?" Mickey babbles hysterically. "You see it on films! Like an alternative to our world were everything’s the same but a little bit different, like traffic lights are blue, Tony Blair never got elected, the Nazis won the war and Fleetwood Mac got back together!"

"Stop talking crap, Ricky," the Doctor sneers. "This is quite clearly just a temporal echo of the planet Earth summoned into existence by the awesome godlike powers of the entire space time vortex continuum, created at a whim and shaped by the unconscious desires of some 21st century chav girl."

"Who could that be?" asks Rose brightly.

The Doctor, Arthur and Mickey stare at her.

"Oh. Right," she says. "You told me about that. But what makes you think I created this whole world?"

The Doctor and Mickey point. Looking behind her, Rose finally notices a giant statue of Pete Tyler holding the severed head of a reckless driver has been erected, a sight visible from space. A plaque at the base reads "PETER TYLER – THE MAN WHO SANG BOURGEOIS BOOGALOO!"

"Plus, you mispelled 'Earth' as 'Irth'," the Doctor notes.

"Cool. A parallel world and my dad’s still alive... and rich! He’s a success! He was always planning these daft little schemes, health-food drinks and stuff. Everyone said they were useless. But he did it!"

"According to this, he’s now third richest man in the world ever since the stock market crashed and refused to reboot after the world was devastated by a biological plague," Mickey observes.

"Close enough!" says Rose happily. "Wow! A whole world tailor made for me! I could stay here forever!"

The Doctor suddenly grasps Rose by the shoulders and bends slightly to look into her eyes. "Rose, if you’ve ever trusted me, then listen to me now!" he says urgently. "Your father’s dead. He died when you were six hours old. That is not your Pete. That is A Pete. For all we know, he’s got his own Jackie - his own Rose. His own daughter who is someone else, but not you. You can’t see him. Not ever. And you definitely can’t dump me just because you created a perfect reality while high off the time vortex! You’re got to leave him alone, d’you understand?"

"Awwwwwwww!" Rose pouts.

At this point, any mood established is ruthlessly slaughtered by Murray Gold as he screams "And now - some incidental music!" and slaps the audience repeatedly around their faces.

At that exact moment, at the Irth equivalent of Buckingham Palace which is for some reason in Wales, a posh carriage (registration "Pete 1") drawn by cyborg horses emerges through the overgrown fields and woodland. Sure enough, the occupant is Rose’s dad Pete, who steps outside on his artificial legs holding a bunch of similarly artificial flowers and – like everyone else in this stunted macrocosm, is wearing a tinfoil hat.

Pete makes his way inside the supremely trashy Footballer’s Wives interior full of leopard prints and onyx and candelabra. Once there he calls out to his sweetheart, hiding the flowers behind his back. Jackie Tyler appears at the top of a grand staircase, dressed in an elegant gown which shows off all seventeen breast enlargements she’s had. She descends amongst a crowd of busied slaves, and begins to bitch at him for around fifteen minutes without once ever giving a single clue what the hell is wrong.

"Oh, the bad penny!" she rants. "Was this your idea? Don’t deny it, it’s got your fingerprints all over it. 'Don’t you trust me?' Oh, I can trust you all right. Trust you to cock it up!"

"What the hell are whining about now?" Pete demands. "At least I remembered this time!"

"We live in a huge house, no kids, and the best you can afford is a simple banner from Kinkos?" Jackie raves.

"Well, YOU try finding some decent decorations with all the artists and artisans forced to become slave workers for the technocrats! It’s a banner, it’s big, it’s in the drawing room, it says Happy 40th Birthday, so what in the name of Queen Victoria’s septic werewolf bite is actually wrong with it?!"

"40! It says 40!"

Pete stares at her. "You ARE 40, you brain-dead tart."

"Well, I don’t want the whole world telling, do I?"

"Why do you want a party tonight then?!"

"It’s my 21st!"

"It’s been your 21st ever since 1980! No one’s fooled any more!"

"My official biography says I was born on the same day as Cuba Gooding Junior!" Jackie protests.

"First of all, blondie," Pete snaps, "Cuba Gooding Junior was born on the second of January, not the first of February – you got the numbers mixed up again. Worse, he was born in 1966, so officially, that makes you 39, so the banner might as WELL be accurate you gormless tit!"

"JR Ewing thought I was only seventeen!"

"You know for a fact he was high on horse tranquilizers at the time."

"And he gave me this nifty tinfoil hat! Look, you didn’t even notice, did you? Special delivery. Got sent round today. Birthday present, latest modal diamond studded and can pick up signals from Venezuela."

"You don’t even know where Venezuela is!" Pete groans. "Look, bimbo, these flowers are from the girls in the office. Happy birthday."

"I’ve got hand-sculpted non-biodegradable arrangements by Veronica of Reykjavik, and your secretary stopped off at a garage? I don't think so. How is Booki anyway?"

"Capable of three-dimensional thought," Pete retorts.

Jackie tries to understand this for a few minutes, then gives up and has a temper tantrum demanding she get a zeppelin coz everyone else has got a zeppelin and it’s not her fault she’s a spoiled brat bitch since she lost her only son in 1989 as been on a hormonal roundabout ever since and she wants her zeppelin now!

Pete throws the flowers at her and walks off, just as his own tinfoil hat starts to speak to him in an incredibly stilted and unconvincing manner – for Irth’s JR Ewing is now speaking to him via THE POWER OF THE HUMAN MIND!!!

"Hey, JR," Pete says, oiling his artificial legs. "Jackie was just saying thank you for the tinfoil hat and falling for her plastic surgery. That’s very kind of you. You gonna turn up to the party and do your hilarious Arthur Megapode Flying Circus part pieces?"

"Your parties suck," JR Ewing sneers across the ether. "They restrict and curtail the intellect and logic of the mind. Some of us have work to do now that my plans have advanced and President Philip Smith has promised to stop pissing about and making a decision. So get your bio-assisted ass over to the air strip now."

"Mmm. A choice to sitting in a zeppelin with you and the President of Wales or helping the wife out with party decorations... try and keep me away."

Elsewhere, the Doctor has dragged his three companions back into the TARDIS and is preparing to create a huge quantum force field to engulf the entire Irth so that they can never return there – lest Rose finally ditch him forever to play in a world specifically created for her.

"Parallel worlds with all those temptations calling out, it’s like gingerbread house... goes straight to the thighs," the Doctor mutters darkly as he resets the controls.

"Oh, so it’s just Rose then?" complains Mickey. "Nothing out there to tempt ME?"

The Doctor looks at him in horror. "Who the hell are you and how did you get inside my TARDIS?!" he demands, having forgotten who Mickey is once again.

Meanwhile, Rose manages to tune the console into the local TV stations – and the scanner screen shows Richard Pritchard newsman on IS24 scrolling news: "And it's good news for Wales as JR Ewing returns to the country of his tax dodge."

"Typical," the Doctor mutters. "You create a brand new planet and who do you put in charge? That alien-collecting dentist nutter! And he’s even worse off in this reality... mind you, at least he’s not wearing a stupid tinfoil hat like everyone else."

"Mr Ewing, the inventor of high-content metal, has denied allegations of ill health," Pritchard continues while Mickey tries to work out all the continuity references being made around him.

"We’re all flesh and blood," JR Ewing notes. "Well, not ALL flesh and blood since most people use Cyber Industries Body Shops to get cybernetic replacement limbs at low, low prices. I myself have colossal strength for a man of 75 thanks to my patented massive plastic-metal bionic limbs. But the brain is what makes us human. And my mind is more creative than ever. For example, having board meeting aboard zeppelins means that dissident executives can fall from the emergency airlock and never vote against their CEO ever again. Slaves no longer work from 9 to 5 but 24 hours a day thanks to my wonderful Sleep Replacement System, which benefit the Great British population – especially the rich. People may say that the rich have it easy while the rest suffer, but Cyber Industries are working on a way to change that."

"All these realities and not one of them can get a decent infomercial," the Doctor sighs wistfully.

"Men of little vision and even less courage will never understand how a visionary such as myself takes the world around him, sees it wanting, and changes things. I have a greater perspective on the world. That is why I live on an airship, so that I may look down on things. And so that you on the ground may look up at me."

"This is boring, can we watch cartoons instead?" asks Rose hopefully.

"People often ask me that as the richest man on Irth, in control of the media, the arms trade, computing, medical research, the Ethernet, the telecommunications industry, the space program and all fashionable government - what is there left to do? To which I reply: The hardest job of all. Every one of us, great or small, rich or poor, important or unimportant, me or you, will wither and die whether we like it or not. Mortality is the universal enemy, and until mortality itself is beaten and subjugated, until I discover the cure for death, then my work on this world is incomplete. The Cybernetic Upgrades available at all Body Shops are part of this development, and the final result will be a clean, industrial Art Deco style, and if you are lucky enough to see one of the Ultimate Upgrades in action, then you will not be disappointed. Terrified, yes, but not disappointed..."

The Doctor finally changes the channel, only to find ANOTHER streaming news broadcast on!

"At the same time as the government has announced that the numbers of homeless on the streets of Night City have reached an all time low, the Touchwood Institute has published a report saying that male fertility rates are now non existent and the average lifepsan throughout the West is decreasing to the point that few of our viewers are expected to live through this bulletin. The so-called Barren Earth Scenario has sent shockwaves through the scientific community, causing more deaths by heart failure and disease. A spokesman said, 'It’s Children of Men FOR REAL!' before shooting himself through the head..."

The Doctor switches off the scanner, disgustedly noting that Rose can’t even summon a planet into existence without leaving it a post-apocalyptic wasteland doomed to total destruction. He then realizes that he is alone in the console room!

Running outside he sees Rose riding off the back of Arthur. "My parents are rich! They’ve got a house and cars, and everything they want!" she calls over her shoulder. "I’ve got the address and everything. I’ve gotta see them, if only to get all the allowance they owe me."

"Chances are the currency won’t be accepted on Earth!" the Doctor protests, running after her. "You can’t become their daughter, that’s not the way it works! The ATMs won’t buy it!"

"Well, if SHE can go off to get rich," Mickey grumbles, "I can do what I want. And you don’t know anything about me, do ya? It’s always about Rose. I’m just a spare part. Go on then. No choice, is there? You can only chase after one of us, and it’s never gonna be me, is it?"

"Yeah, whatever," the now-frantic Doctor mutters as he sprints off after his girlfriend and his horse, leaving Mickey alone.

Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Night City/Cardiff (delete as applicable to your reality) is the ruins of Heathrow airport... actually, it wasn’t ruined by the viral Armageddon of 1970, but rather the Cyber Industries answer to Woodstock, and Terminal Three was demolished to make way for a mosh pit for all the fans of eleXtrix dReamurz, Girls Girls Girls, The Pantry Shelf, No Midget and Sad Dog. It was after this orgy of drug-taking, violence, orgiastic sex, tents, ticket gouging and dodgy toilets that Cyber Industries started broadcasting the music straight into the tinfoil hats of the populace. You ever got a song stuck in your head? Well this is 500 times worse, people!!!

Anyway, JR Ewing’s Cyber-zeppelin is coming into land, where Pete Tyler and the President of Wales are idly passing the time by playing I-Spy and bitching about the quality of the canapes Jackie has for her birthday parties. Soon they start to complain to each other that Pete made his money by selling soda as a health drink to the increasingly desperate and ill populace, while the President only got to where he is today after JR Ewing bought his government and appointed Smith because he was really good in "Rising Damp".

Finally they wonder if JR Ewing is completely insane or has just forgotten about this meeting he’s arranged and invite themselves inside the zeppelin like they freaking own the place. Bloody upper class bastards scrounging off the working man.

Left to his own devices, Mickey heads down on of the cold, run-down streets by the ruined Cyber Industries housing estate where he used to live, and is mildly surprised to find the road ahead blocked by grey-uniformed policemen on cyber-augmented horses, talking with oddly distorted voices to each other as they discuss the rising prices of beetroot juice. This is made all the more disturbing the fact their mummified faces wrapped in metal skeletal frames with glowing cupcake holder eye-pods.

"Am I all right to get past?" Mickey asks the policeman.

"Yeah no bother," the augmented policeman replies in an emotionless sing-song lilt. "C-u-r-f-e-w doesn’t start til ten."

"There’s a curfew?" asks Mickey, finding this more amazing than talking to an augmented human on a mirror-copy of the planet Earth.

"Course there is. Where’ve you been l-i-v-i-n-g mate? Up there with the toffs?" the policeman asks, looking up at the zeppelins.

"Watch out for the P-e-a-c-h-e-r-s!" laughs another as they lift the barrier and Mickey goes through.

"Come to think of it," the first notes, "isn’t that Night City’s most wanted criminal stroke t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-t?"

"I dunno," the other shrugs. "The lower classes all look the s-a-m-e to me don’t you find?"

On JR Ewing’s airship the President and Pete are watching a disgustingly graphic PowerPoint demonstration while beside them JR Ewing grins dirtily and breathes heavily. On the presentation, Nicholas Briggs can be heard getting worryingly excited:

"The most precious thing on this Earth is the human brain, and yet we allow it to die. But now Cyber Industries has perfected a way of sustaining the brain indefinitely within a cradle of copyrighted chemicals. The mind can live on, suspended, and the latest advances in synapse research allows cyber-kinetic impulses to be bonded onto a metal exoskeleton. A durable human form with greater strength, added longevity and free from the weakness of mere flesh! Science has at last created immortality – illness, age and disease will be things of the past and focus on what’s really important: SEX! This is the ultimate upgrade! Our greatest step into cyber-sex! Just look at this brand new Karma Sutra positioned invented specifically by Cyber Industries..."

"I’m sorry. Could we stop it there?" says the President urgently. "I think I’m going to be sick. I think we all know that this 'ultimate upgrade' is just a big excuse for you to finally lose your virginity in one massive global orgy. And I'm here to tell you, JR - the answer is no. My government does not give you permission. And I think no government ever will."

"Mister President, if I might make a personal plea," the tycoon says desperately. "I am dying for a shag, sir!"

"I’m aware of that. And I’m very amused."

"Without this project, you have condemned me."

"Oh, go to a brothel like everyone else!

JR Ewing stares at him. "Didn’t I buy your government?"

"Buy yourself a hooker if you’re so damn rich," President Smith retorts. "You want to transform all of humanity into so much tinned leftovers and smother everything in cold logic so no one will critique your sexual technique!"

"I prepared a paper for the ethical committee..."

"Oh, get real! It’s not just unethical! It’s obscene!" President Smith snaps pointing at the hardcore scenes on the projector screen. "I think we should end it there before we all go blind. Mister Tyler, I’ll see you tonight to get completely rat-arsed and forget the fact the world is dying around us for a few hours."

The President storms out, leaving JR Ewing staring straight ahead, horror-struck. Pete turns to him, keeping the tone light. "Still, shit happens. Wales isn’t the only country in the world. Course Africa, the Middle East, Russia, India, South Europe and Ireland aren’t up to much what with all the accelerated environmental destruction following World War III... but there’s always New Germany."

"There’s hardly any land on Irth left to grow crops and raise cattle!" JR Ewing snaps. "And that food shortages make people more prone to criminal behavior, stealing what little there is to go around and also of course creating a black market. Why do people think there are troops on the streets? And curfews? The Ultimate Upgrade can solve all of that AND get my end away! THIS IS LOGICAL!!"

JR Ewing wipes a tear from his eye and tells Pete to fuck off and leave him alone. As Pete wanders off, JR Ewing straightens up and says, "And Peter? Enjoy the party. Bwahahahahahaha!"

"Freak," Pete mutters under his breath as he leaves.

JR Ewing turns to a computer and signs in. He activates the Tinfoil Hat Controller, laughing evilly - the tinfoil hats he sold to the public in the belief it would stop aliens reading their minds are actually devices that allow HIM to read their minds! Activating the mental override control, JR Ewing decides to go to lunch while his evil machinery bores through Jackie Tyler’s psychic defenses. He is a bit put out when it manages it in less than a second and also complains Jackie Tyler is a 'non-human lifeform'.

He demands to know the security codes and encryptions for the house tonight and the information pours from her brain, into the screen before him. Once the information is fully downloaded, he calls for the computer to restore her. Unfortunately, this has the strange effect of effectively removing Jackie’s brain for a brief period, so by the time she snaps out of it she has already striped naked and jumped off the roof of Buckingham Palace while making chicken noises.

JR Ewing opens a video link with some of his associates, two shaven-haired mocking-smiled East End thugs called Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt. "Events are moving faster than I anticipated. Not that I’m stupid or anything. Go on a recruitment drive. I need extra staff. I WANT THEIR BODIES!!!"

"Very good, sir," says Mr. Takis.

"You sick fuck," says Mr. Lilt.

But nevertheless, they drive off in their lorry marked "INTERNATIONAL SEXTROMATICS" to an abandoned scrap yard where all the homeless of Night City are left mill around and warm themselves by burning consumer goods. Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt emerge to greet the homeless people like the psychotic Laurel and Hardy parody they are, and call to the lousy bums in their best showman voices:

"Ladies and Gentlemen! I beg your attention!"

"It’s the First of February! And that means it’s the Feast of Saint Bridig’s Day! So come and get it!"

"Ah, smell that, comrades! Burgers and chips - sausage and beans! Pork! Chicken! And hot, sweet tea."

"All for free. All from charity!"

"All you can eat, free of charge. Don't just stand there! Fill your faces with pasty and vitex..."

The starving vagabonds hurry up into the back of the open van, but one man remains suspicious of a global marital aide producer celebrating the Celtic equivalent of Groundhog Day especially what with the mysterious spate of homeless people disappearing of late for which no obvious explanation has yet to arise.

The man, a 20-year-old punk called Jake Simmonds, turns to one of the tramps, a raddled old has-been called Harriet Jones and urgently whispers, "Don’t go! They’re gonna take you away for experiments! They’re EVIL!! EVIL FROM THE DAWN OF TIME!"

Harriet Jones kicks Jake in the bollocks and hops into the lorry with other down and outs as Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt shout, "Feast yourself, brothers and sisters! Feast yourself!"

Soon yells and shouts start to emit from the lorry and Harriet Jones struggles to get out but is pushed roughly back inside by the Holmesian double act, who slam the door on the screaming mob.

Jake laughs insanely and reveals that he has been filming them all on his mobile phone and their evil diabolic schemes are thwarted!

"And who ya gonna show that to, sunshine?" asks Mr. Lilt, utterly unimpressed. "Newspapers? Television? Police?"

"We own them all," Mr. Takis retorts.

Realizing this is true and he’s wasted the last three days wandering around the scrapyard filming people for absolutely no reason at all, Jake swears loudly and runs off as Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt laugh uncontrollably at their own evil.

The Doctor and Rose are riding Arthur through the rubble-strewn streets, houses partially destroyed and boarded up but still lived in as weeds and creepers grow over the terraced buildings. Rose intends to go to the nearest ATM and collect all the cash from Pete Tyler’s account, and, though the Doctor is dead against this, as this world isn’t real and laws must be obeyed, has agreed on the condition Rose buys him some balloons to play with.

However, this cunning plan is spoiled by the fact they can’t find any ATMs or cash points anywhere. In fact, there are no street lights, and the dwindling population are seemingly able to see in the dark, although their 'Conformity Is The Only Freedom' T-shirts suggests they get dressed in the dark anyway. Plus the way people are plugging themselves into the walls to draw energy from the mains rather than, say, eating, is kind of creepy...

The Doctor muses on the populace of Night City/Cardiff needing specially processed energy to power their bionic attachments bought from all the Cyber Industries Body Shops, then decides it’s probably coincidence and they should return to the TARDIS.

"What about Mickey?" asks Rose.

"What ABOUT Mickey?" the Doctor replies, baffled.

There is a sudden beeping ringing out in the street and the people walking about their everyday lives stop in their tracks. The mounted TARDIS crew move through the crowd. "It’s the tinfoil hats... like everyone’s connected together! JINGS! All those conspiracy nutters were right! They’re being brainwashed! If this was actually Earth, I might possibly give a damn about this. Still," the Doctor shrugs and races Arthur away, "you lot are completely gullible and will fall for anything. I remember that time Richard Whitely tried to conquer the Earth with Autons..."

Mickey finally finds his flat, only to discover in this reality it is a backstreet shop with a sign saying "RICKY SMITH, PURVEYOR AND FITTER OF NECESSARY BODILY PARTS AND HOMEMADE PIES – DISCOUNTS NEGOTIABLE". Even more disturbing is the fact an elderly woman called Rita-Anne – Mickey’s drunken, abusive grandmother who tormented her grandson for a decade before he snapped and, in 2000, threw her down the stairs and snapped her neck. In this reality, the bitch is not only ALIVE, she can SEE thanks to the artificial eyes she bought from Cyber Industries.

"You total bitch!" Mickey snaps, having worked out that his counterpart in this world is running a good old-fashioned natural transplants business and his grandmother is going around endorsing artificial organs and globalization. And business is already bad enough what with humanity being on the verge of extinction.

Rita-Anne starts to beat Mickey violently with her otherwise-useless white cane, screaming he is a stupid boy. As Mickey howls in agony, we take a moment to consider that maybe this is the reason why Rose chose Rita-Anne to survive on Irth – to have someone devoted to beating the living crap out of Mickey morning, noon and night.

"Stop hitting me, you cyborg bitch!" wails Mickey. "I shoulda killed you way back! I guess I’m just kinda useless!"

"Don’t play games with me!" shrieks Rita-Anne, trying to smash his skull in with her white stick.

At the last second, the blue van from the pre-credit sequence comes tearing round the corner and slams into the elderly woman, flinging her through a nearby wall. The van draws up sharply before Mickey, and Jake leaps out of the van and grabs Mickey by the collar and pushes him inside the van without waiting for Mickey’s thanks.

"StUpId... StUPId... bOY... I - wILl – sURViVe..." buzzes the mortally-wounded Rita-Anne...

...before the van reverses over her head, then drives off.

Parte the Second

As the theme music from 24 blares pointlessly from the van radio, Jake scolds "Ricky" for hanging around his homicidal cyborg grandma without backup and at least three electrified chainsaws – after all, his bloodchilling tales of Rita-Anne Smith are well known to the rest of the gang – Paula Moore, the driver and Esme Jones, hardcore military bitch and weapons expert.

Mickey, struggling to keep his attention off Esme and her disturbingly erotic machine gun maintenance, goes along with what Jake is saying, taking the place of the absent Ricky.

"I saw them!" Jake says enthusiastically. "I taped them gathering up the homeless like some performance art job, but the fat guy and the thin guy pointed out the whole filming thing was pointless."

"Thanks for another stupid idea," Esme sneers, "Ricky the Idiot!"

"Bad news is," says Moore, "they’ve arrested Sad Tony. So that just leaves you."

"Leaves me what?" asks Mickey, eyes still fixed on Esme.

"The Number One," says Jake idiotically, like this is some thing to be pleased about. "Top of the list. London’s Most Wanted!"

"Okay, cool," says Mickey before his brain finally ticks over. "Say that again?"

As his zeppelin chugs over the Thames, JR Ewing dials up the Conversion Factory Formally Known as Albion Hospital Also Mysteriously Relocated In Cardiff, where Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt stand with an army of the homeless, all with tinfoil hats grafted onto their unwilling skulls. Since they have total control over the tramps’ minds, the duo are having fun by making them do robot dancing and recite Monty Python routines.

"Are you having FUN?!" JR Ewing demands coldly. "Fun is an emotion!"

"Sorry, sir," says Mr. Takis, "but it’s irresistible."

"Then RESIST!!" JR Ewing retorts, showing the dazzling wit that got him where he is today. "And start the upgrade!"

"We don’t actually HAVE permission, though, do we?"

"I am governed by greater laws, old friend. The right of a man to survive and have lots of hardcore steel-on-steel sex!"

"That’s not REALLY an answer, is it?"

"Screw the government and their permission! With my tinfoil brainwashing system in control, I can take over the entirety of Cardiff in a single blow! I will turn these dregs of society into indestructible warriors with superhuman strength, greatly increased brain function and impervious to cold, heat, the vacuum of space or certain sexually transmitted diseases. An army of such beings could conquer the universe! NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG NOW!"

"You’re a loony," Mr. Lilt points out.

"Why, thank you! Now BEGIN!"

Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt exchange looks, before deciding they don’t really give a damn either way, and force the homeless to march out into the smoke-filled conversion, where conveyor belts carry them off to a CGI montage of swooping blades, laser beams, buzz saws and gutters running with blood...

At this point, Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt break the fourth wall completely and remind everyone at home this is all pretend and to ensure everyone is relaxed, they will play The Lion King soundtrack over any such disturbing sights. And thus the Young Ones tradition of covering up screams of fear, pain and dismemberment with The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

Meanwhile, Mickey, Jake, Esme and Paula Moore arrive at the abandoned Tal-y-Garn Manor, one time rehabilitation centre and OAP brothel. When they see a light is on, Jake’s cunning mind concludes that this means that there is someone inside their base. Paula Moore suggests they sneak down the side of the house like spies while Mickey suggests running away incredibly quickly.

Rolling her eyes, Esme kicks down the front door and aims a shotgun at the figure standing by the fireplace with a Cyber Industries Pot Noodle. "What? I can’t even have a snack any more!" complains Ricky Smith, and Esme, realizing that Mickey is an evil duplicate, spins to blow the head off the doppelganger.

"I can explain!" Mickey protests. "Actually, no. I can’t."

Fleetingly remembering the main characters, we cut to the Doctor, Arthur and Rose who have hurried through the fields towards Buckingham Palace, mentioning their exciting encounters with Cyberhorses, wild Cyberdogs and shambling plague zombies in lots of exciting sequences the director COMPLETELY forgot to film.

As limousines pull up at the Palace, the Doctor and Rose decide to use Jackie’s birthday party as a distraction to raid the palace for any cash and stuff. Rose suggests they head back to the TARDIS and set up some funky Mission: Impossible style ropes and pulleys to lower themselves into the vault. The Doctor likes the idea, but doesn’t have any crap like that, and even if he did, wouldn’t know how to use it. Thus, they must infiltrate the party, get Rose’s alt-parents drunk and trick them into revealing all their nifty security codes.

The Doctor thus produces his handy-dandy-all-purpose-telepathic-psychic-paper to bluff their way inside... Dr Casanova Caligari and Billie "the Kid" Piper, the world’s only BBC Radiophonic Workshop tribute band! Quickly they set up in the corner to play one of Jon Pertwee’s best-loved death-metal-poems, as Rose bitches that they’ll have to provide music all day long rather than being able to mingle with the guests.

"We could’ve been anyone. We could’ve been guests. Celebrities. Sir Doctor, Dame Rose. We end up doing 1980s requests! You know, I started traveling with you so I could get away from this sort of crap..."

"Less whining, more accompanying!" the Doctor says, smiling politely to the party guests of important people. "Besides, this bunch of snobs all know each other on sight and without those tinfoil hats, we’d stick out a bloody mile!"

"Why not kitchen staff, then!"

"Jings, you know, that WOULD have been a good idea..."

The duo are then forced to thrash out a version of "Happy Birthday to You" as Pete calls for attention and introduces Jackie who descends from the stairs. "Um, I’d just like to say, er, thank you to you all, for coming on this er, this very special occasion. Especially what with the population of Irth being drastically decreased by the whole bird flu thing in the 1950s and another sterilizing pandemic on the horizon – you didn’t have to come down from your airships and risk infection for some free food and booze, especially as you’re all rich and powerful, but you did it anyway. Just to scrounge me off before humankind is wiped out for good... So, without any further ado - here she is. The birthday girl... my lovely wife... Jackie Tyler and her Amazing Cleavage!"

Rose looks on and the Doctor keeps an eye on her, as her would-be mother welcomes her guests. "My cleavage and I thank you! Let’s all get drunk on black-market whisky before we all die from Barren Earth syndrome! All the girls form a queue to give me presents, and all the boys form a queue to satisfy me sexually in the way Pete never managed."

This makes the crowd laugh again – and the Doctor is quietly sick.

A similar stomach-churning sight can be seen at Chez Resistance, where Esme has had Mickey stripped naked and suspended from the ceiling by chains, whereupon she repeatedly jabs him with a burning cigarette. Jake and Rickey are completely turned on by this as Paula Moore tries to work out a decent plot reason for Mickey’s very existence.

"It could be that Cyber Industries have perfected the science of human cloning? Or your father had a bike and Mickey is really an illegitimate brother?" She frowns. "Or is that cliched?"

"Actually, I’m from a parallel version of the Earth!" Mickey suggests between being brutally slapped by Esme.

"Don’t pull that Sliders-crap on us!" she snarls. "We’re are the Preachers. As in Gospel Truth. You see? No tinfoil hats. While the rest of the world downloads from Cyber Industries, we - we have got freedom. And fashion sense. You know what means? Huh? You know what that means?"

Mickey shouts in agony as Esme kicks him in the balls. Repeatedly.


Ricky and Jake finish their torrid lovemaking and check their emails and belatedly realize that there’s been an urgent upload from 'Janus' which informs them that JR Ewing has finally gone completely nuts and is going to make his move to conquer the whole world.

Realizing that their enemy is already striking and they’ve been left behind because her gang cannot control their baser instincts, Esme takes out her frustrations on Mickey, gouging out his eye and requiring him to wear an eyepatch from now on. Huh? You Pertwee fans satisfied NOW?!

Esme turns to the others and tells them, "Pack up. We’re moving! And this duplicate can wear Ricky’s spare dungarees – if they start shooting, HE can take the bullets and be a body double."

"Plus I could get a three way," Jake marvels. "Or an Oreo as the situation is often described in adult publications!"

Esme bitch-slaps Jake, who whimpers like a baby-man.

Back at Albion Hospital, the International Sextronmatics lorry is being loaded with the robotic creatures JR Ewing has created: a horde of great silver giants marching in an orderly line and too out of focus to get any screencaps of these robot-human hybrids.

"So we have created whole platoons of these things just to crash a party that JR was already invited to, but was too shy to actually visit himself? He’s a total fucking nutter!" Mr. Lilt complains.

"I had noticed," Mr. Takis retorts.

JR Ewing’s zepplin is looming overhead and the voice of aforementioned total fucking nutter rings out, "Send the Children of JR forth and let the good work begin! The future is now! Isn’t technology wonderful?"

The lorries leave Albion Hospital and head through the streets of Night City towards Buckingham Palace, followed by the blue van where the eye-patched Mickey joins the Preachers as they arm themselves with machine guns and Jake and Ricky have another illicit snog.

Rose meanwhile is rather pissed off at the lack of alternate version of her and is therefore startled when Jackie calls out to her Rose – a Cyberbrat, the ultimate evolution of the Cabbage Patch doll that cries, craps itself and needs to be fed regularly. The Doctor sees Jackie fussing over her glorified toy and bursts out laughing until he collapses from oxygen starvation, totally ignoring the sharp looks Rose keeps giving him.

Finally, Rose storms off and demands to know why the hell he doesn’t have a proper daughter called Rose? Taken aback, Pete finds himself explaining his life story to a complete stranger...

"Well, it was 20 years ago now, when I got both legs crushed in a mystery hit-and-run, but my Vitex sales paid for artificial legs. My young son, Ross, was accidentally switched at birth for a pet orangutan, and we kept putting off having another kid because Jackie could afford plastic surgery and didn’t want to spoil her figure. We never saw Ross again, and now everyone’s sterile, no more kids. I moved out last month, because her breasts fill up most of the bedroom. We’re gonna keep it quiet, you know - it's bad for business."

Pete blinks and stares at her.

"Why the fuck am I telling you all this anyway? We haven’t met before, have we? I dunno, you just seem sort of..." Pete considers her. He can’t put his finger on it. "I dunno, just sort of... hot."

Suddenly he lets out a strangled whimper and runs off.

"I don’t suppose I could borrow your credit cards?" Rose calls after him hopefully as she is left alone.

Outside, Ricky and Jake are watching the lorries arrive at the party and realize they must have al fresco sex on the lawns of Buckhingham Palace. As they emerge from some bushes, the vans are opened and a squad of strange figures march out, with metal attachments sprout from all over their humanoid bodies - arms, legs, heads, chests.

"What the hell are they?" asks Ricky, no doubt wishing he’d been paying attention during the pre-credit sequence. After a few more moments, Ricky and Jake decide to make a hasty retreat as the tall, thin, metallic machine-figure make their way towards the Palace.

Outside, Jackie sits on a bench and sighs at how no one actually cares about her or what she thinks, merely her mammoth mammaries and broods that maybe she wasted the last 20 years trying to turn into Jordan what with the utter end of Mankind mere years away.

Rose joins her and asks if she can get her anything, like for example her vast hordes of wealth from an underground vault perhaps? However, it is clear that Rose’s concentration is waving as she stares at Jackie’s cleavage, finally muttering, "Technically... in this universe... she's not REALLY my mum...." and licking her lips disturbingly.

Jackie turns on her, asking her is she is trying to sleep her way to the top and tells her she will not get paid then goes back inside, leaving Rose alone. Before her, on the lawn, floodlights suddenly turn on and she sees a line of figures noisily marching towards her.

Rose watches the line of creatures advance long enough for this iconic shot to be used for publicity version and lets Murray Gold go apeshit with Wagnerian opera, before rushing inside and confronting the Doctor, who has finally stopped giggling.

Suddenly the creatures begin to smash through the windows, storming inside and encircling the frightened guests. They crowd cowers as more silver figures step through the full length windows. Soon, they have everyone in the room circled with no way out.

The beings before them are the same tramp extras from part one, now all clad in flattering silver lycra uniforms, the ubiquitous tinfoil hats, ram-like cylinders connecting their elbows to their metal shoulder pads, metal pipes along their legs and, most bizarrely, their forearms are transparent plastic tubes full of flashing lights. Their chests consist of an interactive-screen juke box with a test-your-skills claw attached for no real reason at all whatsoever.

The Doctor and Rose look at the leader of the figures in horror.

"Is that Harriet 'Hellfire' Jones?!" Rose exclaims.

Just then, JR Ewing communicates to them via the tinfoil hats from his tastefully-furnished control chamber in Albion Hospital. "Mr President. I suppose a remark about crashing the party would be appropriate at this point? HAHAH! Hey, that was funny! Laugh!"

"JR, you son of a bitch, what part of 'I forbid this' didn’t you get you kinky, false-limbed virgin?!"

"These are my children, sah! Would you deny my family?"

"I just DID, asswipe! Who were these poor sods, anyway?"

"Who cares? I sure don’t! They were homeless, wretched and useless until I saved them and elevated them and gave them life-eternal and forced them into ready-made steel suits of undying flesh and form as they screamed and begged for mercy! But enough of that. These Upgrades will be offered to the Great British public for free, whether you like it or not! They are both beautiful and compulsory! The Future’s Bright. The Future’s Steel. And now, I leave you in their capable hands. Goodnight! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!"

"Pyscho fuckwit," the President mutters as JR Ewing 'hangs up'.

Cyberleader Harriet Jones addresses the crowd in a hideous, buzzing mechanical voice not unlike that of Nicholas Briggs. "We ~ have ~ been ~ upgraded ~ into ~ the ~ next ~ level ~ of ~ mankind. Every ~ citizen ~ will ~ receive ~ a ~ free ~ upgrade. Upgrading ~ is ~ compulsory. You ~ will ~ become ~ like ~ us."

"Get real!" President Smith sneers. "This experiment ends. Tonight. Frankly, I don’t give a damn about you poor people being cut up and tinned, but proper, important people are going to enjoy themselves until the world ends."

"Those ~ who ~ refuse ~ to ~ become ~ Cybermen ~ are ~ not ~ compatible."

"Oh, I’m SO scared!"

The Doctor taps the President on the shoulder and tells him that this course of action will not lead ANYWHERE good and it’s best not to be spoiling for a fight. Ignoring him, the President challenges the Cyberleader once more. "What happens if we’re not compatible?"

"You ~ will ~ be ~ deleted."

The Cyberman reaches out and grabs the President’s neck, a bolt of electricity cackles through his body and slowly he sinks to the
floor, dead by a lethal orgasm.

"Uh, OK, well, the rest of us don’t refuse," says one of the guests.

"You ~ totalitarian ~ aristo ~ fascist ~ junta ~ scum!" Cyber-Harriet buzzes. "Even ~ now ~ you ~ try ~ to ~ ignore ~ the ~ anger ~ of ~ modern ~ society! Let ~ us ~ see ~ the ~ police ~ and ~ the ~ government ~ and ~ the ~ army ~ ignore ~ a ~ Cyber ~ Force ~ if ~ they ~ can! I ~ bet ~ you ~ hate ~ gay ~ people ~ too! Why ~ don’t ~ you ~ just ~ go ~ and ~ live ~ in ~ Iran? Or ~ Russia? But ~ finally ~ after ~ years ~ of ~ stagnation ~ Cyber ~ Industries ~ have ~ woken ~ up ~ to ~ the ~ need ~ for ~ indestructible ~ cyborg ~ warriors ~ of ~ death! It ~ is ~ important ~ and ~ it ~ is ~ now ~ and ~ you ~ are ~ all ~ going ~ to ~ be ~ deleted! Revolution! By ~ this ~ time ~ tomorrow ~ everybody ~ will ~ be ~ free ~ and ~ there ~ will ~ be ~ no ~ more ~ racial ~ prejudice ~ or ~ hatred ~ or ~ emotion ~ at ~ all! RIGHT ~ ON!!"

It’s hard to tell whether it is the lethal joy-buzzers of death or the anarchist manifesto that scares the establishment more, but the guests panic and run for their lives. Which isn’t very far as the Cybermen begin to electrocute more of the clientele and, in the confusion, the Doctor and Rose run through the open windows and out of the palace.

Back inside, we get more lovingly-filled Cyber carnage and chaos as the homeless take their revenge on their oppressors... FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!! As the screaming people desperately run around, looking for a way out, the Cybermen remorselessly continue to dispose of their victims. Jackie manages to use her mighty breasts to fend off the Cybermen as they close in on her.

Outside, another row of proto-Cybs stomp towards the Doctor, Rose and Pete, chanting "Smash ~ the ~ State! Smash ~ the ~ State! Smash ~ the ~ State!" to themselves. The trio manage to scramble atop Arthur and gallop around the front of the Palace to the main gates but yet another identical row of Cybermen are waiting for them...

Just when this can’t get any more predictable, the Preachers and Mickey sprint from the shadows and open fire on the onslaught of Cybermen, who all collapse lifeless. "Hah! Eat lead, Cyber bastards!" Esme laughs easily. "They’re not even bullet proof!"

"Don’t count on it," the Doctor notes as the Cybermen just get back up again and mercilessly advance. Very slowly. Slowly enough for a predictable "huh, which one’s Mickey?" scene where the eye patch thing causes even MORE confusion than before.

"Oh, as if things weren’t bad enough – there’s two Mickeys!" the Doctor wails unhappily. "Double the Mickeys, double the pain!"

By now, the Cybermen are surrounded, lead by the ranting Cyber-Harriet: "As ~ revolutionary ~ ideas ~ go ~ you ~ can’t ~ beat ~ raising ~ a ~ People’s ~ Army ~ and ~ taking ~ over ~ the ~ state! Blood ~ runs! Flags ~ wave! Come ~ everybody ~ throw ~ down ~ your ~ tools ~ and ~ knock ~ up ~ a ~ barricade! The ~ oppressed ~ working ~ classes ~ of ~ Great ~ Britain ~ will ~ rise ~ up ~ and ~ seize ~ control ~ of ~ the ~ Irth! WATCH ~ OUT ~ DAVID ~ BLUNKETT!!"

"We surrender!" the Doctor shouts hopefully. "There’s no need to damage us, we’re we’re children of the recession, we’ve got hate in our eyes. Ask for us tomorrow and we’ll be gone cause we’ve got a one-way ticket to oblivion and we’re going to raise hell getting there! We volunteer for the upgrade program. Take us to be processed."

"Tough ~ luck ~ fascist!" laughs the Cyberleader. "You ~ are ~ rogue elements."

"But we surrender!"

"You ~ are ~ incompatible."

"But this is a surrender!"

"You ~ have ~ performed ~ an ~ illegal ~ operation ~ and ~ will ~ be ~ shut ~ down. You ~ will ~ be ~ deleted. That’s ~ what ~ happens ~ to ~ people ~ who ~ aren’t ~ working ~ class!"

"But we’re surrendering!" the Doctor shouts frantically. "Listen to me, WE SURRENDER! You see anyone resisting you? No, because we SURRENDER!"

"Your ~ information ~ is ~ irrelevant!"

"Hang on, you’re supposed to upgrade us, that’s what your boss said!" Rose points out annoyed. "You’re not following orders!"

"CONTROL! ENTER ~ ENTER! RETURN!" chant all the Cybermen en masse, raising their lethal joy buzzer hands. "SHIFT! ENTER ~ ENTER! UP! DOWN! HELP! END!"

"Jings! They’ve frozen up!" the Doctor wails unhappily as the Cybermen march to close in on them, letting out their battle cry.


Next Time...
"There are reports of an army, an army of bondage freaks!"
"This ends tonight because it’s final episode!"
"We have evidence that Pete Tyler has been a total wanker since 20.05!"
"The entire population is being taken inside that place to be converted. Which is rather stupid, when you think about it."
++ Arouse-the-army. ++
"Yep, they’re aroused all right! RUN!"
++ Take-them-roughly-from-behind. ++
"If you’re hearing this, stay in your bathrooms and lock the door!"
"Then where is he, the famous Mr. Loony? Are we going to get the chance to meet the nutter and retard?"
"I will upgrade. I promise. Tomorrow. If I’m not busy."
"The one thing that led you here: GPS. You’re killing it stone dead!"
...another 45 minutes of Silver Finish...

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