On the tank's monitor, General Orryx surveyed the ruins with keen yellow eyes. Kanda was once a proud, beautiful city. Now it was little more than rubble; only the charred skeletons of homes, temples and shops still stood. By dawn the war would be over, and the loba would reclaim their world. "Lobos for loba," she often told her troops. Kanda was the last stronghold of the rebels and Orryx had them surrounded. The tank bumped and shuddered as it ploughed over the debris. Hers was one of a fleet, all closing in on the city. For the human scum, there would be no escape.
'General Orryx,' said Captain Brun. 'Incoming. From above.'
Orryx checked her radar and, sure enough, a small flying object – possibly a drone of some sort – approached.
'What is that thing? Intercept it. Blast it out of the sky.'
There was only room for two personnel in the tank, but they were flanked by hundreds of foot soldiers, ready to storm what was left of Kanda Plaza on her command. tank. Orryx covered her ears and Brun yanked the headphones off his head. The tank stopped rolling, its engines dead. The few lanterns that still worked on the street flickered and went out. Even her scanners dimmed until the aux
batteries kicked in.
'Who is that? Where is it coming from?' Orryx snarled, her eyes almost glowing in the gloom of the tank. 'Whydid you stop?'
'I didn't, General! The controls are frozen. It won't move.'
'Where are the floodlights? Get me visual!' All she could assume was that the humans had somehow got their furless paws on alien technology. 'And destroy that drone!
Orryx's heart pounded. This wasn't possible. The rebels didn't have the means to . . .
'IT'S ME. PLEASE. CEASEFIRE.'
Orryx recognised that voice very well.
'General?' Brun said quietly. 'It sounds like . . .'
'Stop the assault. Now! Halt!' She spoke into the comms system. 'Fleet. Halt and ceasefire. That's an order. Over.'
The tank had enough power for her to use the visualiser. Orryx scanned the district. In the east, the suns were starting to rise, the sky almost violet-purple. With the tanks and bikes now still, the dust started to settle on Kanda Plaza. In the sky, a single light shone from a spherical drone. It hovered like it was waiting for her to make a move. 'What is that device?' Orryx growled.
'Negative, general. The scanner doesn't recognise the technology as human.'
'Is it a weapon?'
'I . . . I don't know, General.'
'MOTHER.' His voice once more blasted all around them. 'PLEASE. CAN WE TALK?'
There was a sudden flurry of movement on the deserted street. A drain cover popped open, rolled across the street and came to a stop with a clang. 'Hold fire!' Orryx commanded, trying to keep panic out of her voice. 'But train your guns on that storm drain.'
'Someone's coming out,' Brun told her.
A makeshift white flag emerged from the sewer. It appeared to be an article of clothing – a cotton shirt with the words FRANKIE SAYS RELAX in black, human script – attached to a bamboo cane.
This is a preview of Doctor Who: The Good Doctor . Want to read on? Grab a copy here: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1116709/doctor-who--the-good-doctor/9781785943843.html
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Doctor Who: The Good Doctor by Juno Dawson (Preview)Science Fiction
For a Good Doctor there's only one rule: first do no harm. On the planet of Lobos, the Doctor halts a violent war between the native Loba and human colonists. Job done, the TARDIS crew departs - only for Ryan to discover he's left his phone behind...