Doctor : Peri! Peri! (Banging on the door.)
Computer : You're wasting your time, you know. That door
can withstand pressures of up to ten thousand kilos per square centimetre.
Doctor : Please. Another time. I'm very concerned about
my friend. Would you mind opening the door? She might need my help.
Computer : That is unlikely. I estimate that she has a
thirty-four thousand six hundred and thirty to one chance of surviving such a
fall. That's pretty low, you know.
Doctor : Can't you check? Don't you have sensors in the
Computer : She won't be in the shaft. She'll have fallen
through to the level below. Look. I don't wish to depress you unduly, but the
chance of your friend having made a soft landing is somewhere in the region of
eight million and three to one. Now that's pretty unlikely, you must
2. Bottom of ventilation shaft
Peri : I'm awfully sorry. I hope I didn't hurt you.
Seedle : Are you in the habit of dropping out of
ventilator shafts, miss?
Peri : Of course not! It was an accident! Are you all
(Soft moaning sounds.)
Snatch : Just...just a little winded.
Seedle : Now now, lad. I think you should seek a medical
opinion before committing yourself in matters you're unfamiliar with.
Snatch : I feel fine, sir.
Peri : He looks fine to me.
Seedle : Are you qualified to hold such an opinion?
Peri : Well, I'm not a doctor if that's what you mean.
Seedle : Then one can safely say that your opinion is
uninformed and purely speculative.
Peri : Wait a minute. I know where there is a doctor. He
could examine your friend.
Seedle : Is that a fact, miss?
Peri : He's at the top of the ventilation shaft.
Seedle : Well, how convenient, eh Snatch?
Snatch : Indeed, sir.
Peri : Now what have I said?
Seedle : It's more what you've implied, miss.
Peri : Really?
Seedle : Malpractice.
3. Captain's Room
(The Captain is being massaged. Piano music is playing in the
Drone : Putting on a little weight, aren't we sir? Too
many Vogel bars between meals I should think.
Slarn : Grant doesn't get fat.
Drone : He's young, sir. And as a junior officer, his
relative lack of responsibility still allows him time to go to the gym. On the
other hand, sir, he doesn't eat fifteen meals a day either.
Slarn : Grant doesn't like me.
Drone : Oh I wouldn't say that, sir. If there is a
certain lack of warmth in his attitude (more massaging) I would think
it's because he stands in awe of you, sir.
Slarn : (louder) Why doesn't anyone like me?
Drone : You have no need of it, sir. You have what every
captain desires. Your crew's deep, unquestioning respect.
Slarn : But I want both!
4. The ducting
Seedle : Hmm?
Peri : I don't believe we're having this conversation!
Seedle : Put yourself in our position, miss. We just
happen to be strolling along, when you fall on my colleague here. It then
transpires that you have a doctor friend lurking in the shadows only too eager
to offer his services.
Peri : I don't believe it. Do you know how far I fell? I
could have been killed!
Seedle : An occupational hazard.
Peri : Oh, look, you guys. You've got to believe me. I
was wandering around on the level above. It was dark, and I fell into the
Snatch : Personally, miss, I would like to believe you.
Peri : Come and talk to the Doctor. He'll confirm that
I'm telling the truth.
Seedle : We have every intention of questioning that
Snatch : Uh, perhaps you wouldn't mind clipping this to
Peri : What for?
Seedle : There are electronic eyes and ears everywhere.
That little device inhibits their efficiency.
Peri : Who are you guys?
Seedle : Even if I were permitted to tell you, miss, I
don't think you're qualified to know.
Doctor : Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?
(The computer beeps.)
Computer : I hope you aren't gonna give me a hard time.
Doctor : Me? Good heavens no.
Computer : Well, if it's any comfort, your friend is
quite safe. Although how she managed to survive such a fall I shall never
Doctor : Where is she?
Computer : All in good time.
Doctor : Oh come on now!
Computer : You said you weren't gonna give me a hard
Doctor : As if I would. Or could, come to that.
Computer : You really are quite nice.
Doctor : Hmm?
Computer : In many ways, I'm sad you are a prisoner.
You're the most agreeable person I've spoken to all day.
Doctor : Oh!
6. Captain's Room
(The Drone finishes massaging Slarn's back.)
Drone : There we are, sir. Now if you wouldn't mind
Drone : Hmmm...
Slarn : Have they found the Earth woman yet?
(The massage continues.)
Drone : I wouldn't know, sir.
Slarn : Computer!
Computer : I'm right here, Captain. Your pleasure is my
Slarn : What news of the female intruder?
Computer : Everything's under control, sir.
Slarn : Then why isn't she here?
Computer : The service ducting area is very large and the
search party have little sense of direction.
Slarn : I want the female intruder here as quickly as
Computer : Your wish is my command.
Slarn : While you're here, what is that noise you're
pumping into my cabin?
Computer : Ancient Earth music. I thought it might help
the prisoner relax whilst you're interrogating her.
Slarn : Shut it off! I find it offensive.
Computer : I was quite enjoying it.
Slarn : SHUT IT OFF! (The music instantly stops.)
You see what I have to put up with.
Drone : I do, sir. Now, you just lie back and let me
massage all those little stresses and strains away.
Slarn : Ahhh. Massage my chins, will you? I always find
that very relaxing.
Grant : Computer? Computer? Where are you?
Computer : (Sounding guilty.) Hello there...
Grant : Where were you?
Computer : To be honest, hiding. I don't think I can take
anyone else shouting at me.
Grant : What's happened?
Computer : Everything is going wrong! The captain keeps
telling me off!
Grant : Well, take no notice. He shouts at everyone.
Computer : I don't think I can take any more! I have this
terrible confusion at the heart of my logic circuits! To be perfectly honest,
Mister Grant, I think I'm becoming schizoid!
Grant : Do you mind if we get back to business?
Computer : That's what I'm here for...
Grant : Have you diverted the search party yet?
Computers : That's about all I have managed to do.
Grant : Then give me the location of the intruder and
I'll go down and make the arrest.
Computer : I can't find her anywhere! She's disappeared!
Grant : Has she? Then give me her last location. I'll go
and look for her myself.
Computer : Just let me check.
8. Computer System
Main Comp : The Earth woman is still alive.
Computer : I somehow thought you'd turn up.
Main Comp : You have failed me.
Computer : Opening the ventilation shaft was the best I
could do at such short notice.
Main Comp : Give Grant the information he wants. He can
do our work for us. When he finds the woman, the maston can kill them
Doctor : Hello? It's me again. I've been waiting for
Computer : Forty-four minutes, precisely.
Doctor : Oh...
Computer : Now you said that you wouldn't give me a hard
Doctor : It's cold and dark in here. And I was getting
(A door opens.)
Computer : Not for much longer.
(A robotic drone hovers through the door.)
Computer : Let me introduce you to service maintenance
drone nine three four.
Barton : How do you do, sir? My former master used to
call me Barton. If it so pleases, you may do the same, sir.
Doctor : Well, it's certainly less formal than nine three
Barton : Decidedly so, sir. Now, if you wouldn't mind
stepping this way, sir.
Doctor : Ah. May I ask where you're taking me?
Barton : I'm afraid it's necessary to descend one level.
Would you prefer to use the lift or the stairs, sir?
Grant : Hold it!
Doctor : Who's that?
Barton : Mister Grant, sir.
Grant : Raise your hands!
Doctor : I'd better make a run for it.
Barton : Oh, I wouldn't do that, sir. Mister Grant is an
Grant : I said raise your hands!
Doctor : How do you do? I'm the Doctor.
Grant : On this ship we shoot stowaways!
Barton : I think you'd better withdraw behind me, sir. I
should prove adequate cover.
Grant : Stay where you are!
(Grant fires a warning shot.)
Doctor : Are you armed?
Barton : Yes, sir. But, unfortunately, the power pack
fitted to my gun is exhausted.
Grant : Drone, move out of the way!
(Grant fires his gun again.)
Doctor : Well, how long before he realises you can't fire
Barton : Very soon, sir. Mister Grant is a particularly
bright young man, and tends to notice small details.
Grant : MOVE!
(He fires six shots. There is an explosion.)
Doctor : Are you all right?
Barton : Not really, sir. The servo-backup drive to my
lower limbs has been damaged. I really do think it's the end of us both, sir.
(Another six blasts, followed by another, much louder,
7th March 1999
Updates / Corrections by
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