Continuum City

susanA Doctor Who Fan Fiction Spinoff
by Michael Anthony Basil.

My name, or at least my Earth human name, is Susan Foreman.  My planet or origin is the Time Lord home world of Gallifrey.  When I was 15, at least in Earth years of age, and in my first incarnation, I escaped with my grandfather from Gallifrey in a TARDIS and after shared adventures, including with two Earth friends, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, I parted with my grandfather and settled with my 21st-century Earth human husband David Campbell who was a survivor of the Dalek Invasion of Earth.

After an Earthly lifetime with my human family, including my half-human/half-Gallifreyan children who are now, after the passing of my husband, are now in hiding for their protection from the Time War, I have reached the natural end of my first incarnation and now exist in my second thanks to the Time Lord powers of metamorphic regeneration.  I have completed the construction of my own time-and-relative-dimension- in-space mobile home known as a TARDIS.  I must find some new meaning to my life in the wake of the Time War which, in honor of my grandfather’s universal wisdom, begins on the Gemingan utopia known as Continuum City.

Although I miss my children and grandchildren and hope to reconnect with them when it was safe, I do not travel alone.  I share my travels at present with a young human man named Vanello, whose full name I must keep enigmatic for his own safety, because he too needs protection, not just from the secret heritage that he cannot yet know until he can fully understand, but from his own emotional trauma and battery caused by the Dalek tragedy on Earth and his human family.  He is a good man.  But he must know it himself and hopefully the Gemingan oasis of alien diversity will help him conquer his xenophobia and reclaim his rightful path.

But most importantly, Vanello and the Gemingans must understand a more crucial reason for my revisit to Continuum City, which I once visited with my grandfather, because according to envisioned dangers, this monumental city’s advancements may be transformed from a technological reward into a cataclysmic nightmare.  It may also be no coincidence that I will once again crossing paths with the Terrible Zodin, a woman of rare guile and devilish cunning.  They don’t make villains like her anymore.

SCENE ONE (IN THE TARDIS)

Susan pensively paces around her TARDIS console. A haunting image flows in her mind. It is a gravity whirlpool spreading through space devouring stars, planets and galaxies. Another image appears. It is an immense space city spiraling into the whirlpool followed by the rest of the universe.

Susan: (quoting from MacBeth) “If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me.”

Vanello is in the TARDIS library reading a book. He reads a paragraph aloud. It reads:

Gray is an illusion, a color hidden by the inability to see it. All the grays are camouflages for colors we know nothing about. Maybe we can’t define all the unknown colors. That doesn’t mean they don’t define us.

Vanello (Closing the book) “I must ask Susan who wrote this book.”

He hears Susan in the console room.

Susan: “I almost dread how you’ll disguise yourself this time.”

Vanello enters the console room. The console makes quirky sounds.

Vanello: “Susan?”

Susan: (whispering) “You wrote it, Vanello. Actually you will write it.”

Vanello: “What did you say?”

Susan: “Whatever you’re about to ask, it can wait. But did you enjoy the book?”

Vanello: “Yes, even though I could hear you quarreling with the TARDIS again. What is it this time?”

Susan: “I just asked the TARDIS that question in my Shakespearean dialogue.”

Vanello: “Perhaps the TARDIS doesn’t like Shakespeare.”

Susan: (eyes him sternly) “Just because this is quite alien to you doesn’t warrant your sarcasm.”

Vanello: “Sarcasm can be a normal human reaction.”

Susan: “Human is normal, I suppose.”

Vanello: “It works for me.”

Susan: “It always depends on how you choose to define normal, Vanello, although…” (The console signals their arrival) “Ah!”

Vanello: “Ah what?”

Susan: “Now we’re getting somewhere.”

Vanello: “Somewhere in particular?”

Susan operates the TARDIS screen. On it appears the space city in Susan’s image. It has highly advanced gravity-shifting technology and is orbiting a blazing sun.

Vanello: “Whoa! What’s that?”

Susan: “That, Vanello, is the city of Continuum City in orbit around the star Geminga.”

Vanello: “Its size and curvature are amazing.”

Susan: “Yes, Vanello. It’s a masterpiece in gravitonics. It looks completed now. They’ve even adapted their gravitonic force field to protect the city from the sun.”

Vanello: “I studied gravitonics. But I’ve never seen anything so advanced. So who dwells in Continuum City?”

Susan: “The population of the Gemingan system.”

Vanello: “Gemingans? You know them?”

Susan: “They’re embarking upon a long voyage. Geminga is on the verge of a supernova. They’ve spent twelve centuries constructing Continuum City bound for another system to colonize. We’ve arrived at the right point in time before they embark.”

Vanello: “You mean this is our destination? Why didn’t you tell me? Were you just saving it for another one of your surprises?”

Susan: “Aren’t I always fun to be with?”

Vanello: “I wouldn’t argue with that. I’ll never understand why you always keep things like this to yourself. Do you have a reason or will you keep that to yourself as well?”

Susan: “Would you prefer me to spoil you about everything in the universe?”

Vanello: “Now that you mention it, it won’t hurt.”

Susan: “The opposite problem is never a solution.”

Vanello: “The exact opposite?”

Susan: “Unless there’s another kind of opposite I wasn’t aware of.”

Vanello: “I’m just saying you can’t have the same solution for every problem.”

Susan: “Actually I know a wise person who once said that.”

Vanello: “Was this wise person a Time Lord?”

Susan: (elegantly) “A Time Lady.”

Vanello: “Don’t tell me. I’m looking at her.”

Susan: “You get credit for being close.”

Vanello: “Geminga. I’ve heard that name somewhere before.”

Susan: “Geminga is a pulsar in your time.”

Vanello: “That’s right. Geminga was a supernova in Earth’s prehistory.”

Susan: “Circa 300,000 BC. It was a spectacular phenomenon. Or do I mean ‘will be’? You’ll have the best view of it any Earth human has ever had.”

Vanello: “Now that’s what I call credit for being close.”

Susan: “We’re landing on Continuum City.”

Vanello: “What are the Gemingans like?”

Susan: “The Gemingans are a most uniquely multiracial species, an oasis of diversity. They’re the product of many millennia of crossbreeding, a prominent people in breaking down all racial barriers. Thankfully they all breathe our air. They can inspire you further to forsake your Multiple upbringing.”

Vanello: “Then I look forward to meeting them.”

Susan: “They’ve detected the TARDIS by now. We’ll park near a pedestrian intersection. President Twaar with whom I’m acquainted will meet us. Twaar is a humanoid head with arachnid appendages. Please, Vanello, resist that extravagant impulse of yours to say ‘Whoa!’ when you see him.”

Vanello: (annoyed) “Why of course, Susan. When it comes to good manners, you’re my role model.”

Susan: (amused) “It touches both my hearts to hear you say so.”

Vanello: “I should have two hearts. It might make me as understanding as you are.”

Susan: (in her mind) “You do, Vanello.”

SCENE TWO (STREETS OF CONTINUUM CITY)

The TARDIS, in the guise of an Earth internet phone booth, materializes near a pedestrian intersection. Susan steps out followed by Vanello. Vanello gazes at the city and its gravity shifts.

Vanello: “Whoa!”

Susan: “Like I said, Vanello, a masterpiece.”

They see the guise of the TARDIS.

Vanello: “Does this look inconspicuous to you?”

Susan: “If the Gemingans won’t mind then why should we?”

A crowd of Gemingans, all multiracial alien beings, gathers around the TARDIS.

Susan: (tipping her hat and pocketing it) “Hello. Good morning, afternoon, evening, night, whenever. I’m Susan. This handsome youth is Vanello. It’s good to be here in Continuum City again.”

Vanello: (humbly) “Greetings.”

President Twaar, as Susan described him, approaches. He is accompanied by Vice President Zodin, a statuesque reptilian female with cybernetic skin implants.

Twaar: “Welcome back, Susan. So you’ve regenerated.”

Susan: (surprised) “Hello, Twaar. You recognize me?”

Twaar: “Why, Susan. You know of the Gemingan ability to see beyond physical identity.”

Susan: “Of course. Thank you, Twaar, for a timely reminder. It’s wonderful to see you again.”

Vanello: “Regenerated?”

Susan: “I’ll explain later, Vanello. I’m sorry my grandfather couldn’t be with us, Twaar.”

Twaar: “I was looking forward to meeting him again to reminisce.”

Vanello: “I’m Vanello. It’s good to meet you.”

Twaar: “Likewise, Vanello. Are you an Earth human?”

Vanello: “Now I’m a wanderer in eternity like Susan.”

Twaar: “As Susan’s companion, you too are welcome.”

Susan: “Speaking of wandering, Twaar, I hope my TARDIS doesn’t bother anyone by parking here, especially with a chameleon circuit that’s still not working properly.”

Vanello: “You should have seen some other disguises her TARDIS has been using. Susan says if you won’t mind then…”

Susan: “Vanello is a former member of the Multiples. He’s not as accustomed to alien cultures as I am. No insolence intended to your people.”

Twaar: “We’re all natives of the same universe. There’s no insolence in diversity.”

Vanello: “Thanks. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me.”

Susan: “We should proceed to your chambers. I’m afraid this isn’t entirely a social visit. There’s a matter of importance we must discuss regarding Continuum City.”

Zodin: “Wait!”

Twaar: “Zodin! This is not the time.”

Zodin: “I won’t submit to any interference from this intergalactic meddler. She has caused us all enough trouble.”

Susan: “It’s good to see you too, Zodin. You sound as scrupulous as you did the last time we met.”

Zodin: “And your flattery, Susan, is as arrogant as ever.”

Susan: “I see that your resentment of me still hasn’t cooled off. I’m sorry for that.”

Zodin: “Not as sorry as you shall be if you don’t avoid me.”

Twaar: “Zodin! These are our guests, not our enemies.”

Zodin: (grudgingly) “By the Klanx, your blatant favoritism for this alien is unspeakable!”

Susan: “Well spoken, Zodin.”

Twaar: “Please, Susan, this way to my chambers in the new Central Tower.”

Twaar refers to the tallest building at the center of the city.

Susan: “It’s very appealing, Twaar.”

Vanello: “A knockout.”

Twaar: “My transport shall take us there.”

Zodin: “You will all excuse me. There are duties I must perform.”

Zodin walks away into the crowd.

Vanello: (muttering) “Creepy. They should call her the Terrible Zodin.”

Susan: “Indeed. Her new cosmetic implants are unsettling as well.”

Twaar: “I apologize, Susan. Zodin has become so embittered recently. I can’t understand.”

Susan: “It’s probably in my best interests to keep my distance from her.”

Twaar: “It’s probably in everyone’s best interests. This way please.”

Susan and Vanello follow Twaar. After the crowd disperses, Zodin plants a crystal on the TARDIS. Twaar leads Susan and Vanello to his chauffeured gravity car. They drive through the city’s gravity-shifting streets.

Vanello: (beholding the gravity-shifting monuments of Continuum City) “A thousand times, Whoa!”

Twaar: “I’m not familiar with such expressions of appreciation from humans. But thank you.”

Vanello: “You’re welcome.” (Privately asking Susan) “What’s the Klanx?”

Susan: “A great silicon-based bird in Gemingan mythology, a religious symbol.”

Vanello: “That’s something I’d like to see. It’s curious that the name my people gave their sun is the same name these people gave it. How’s that possible?”

Susan: “There’s a power of inner translation the TARDIS endows us with. We couldn’t comprehend Twaar’s delicate communication without it. The name of their sun in the Gemingan languages is unpronounceable. The human equivalent is ‘Geminga’.”

Vanello: “Life in this universe is one valuable lesson after another.”

Susan: “There has never been a truer proverb. Or do I mean ‘never will be’?”

Zodin is following them in her chauffeured gravity car.

SCENE THREE (TOWER CORRIDORS)

Twaar leads Susan and Vanello inside the Tower of Continuum City. They walk through gravity-shifting corridors. There is gleaming artwork, enhanced by gravitonics, along with holographic pictures of Gemingan history.

Vanello: “Why are there no zoos, aquariums or even gardens in your city?”

Twaar: “All Gemingan life, animal and plant, has evolved into dominant stages. We no longer exploit lower forms of life for attractions or other uses.”

Vanello: “Not even for food? I’d like to try one of your meals.”

Susan: “I’ll recommend their best. How’s Shongo? I’m considering challenging him to another swimming match.”

Vanello: “Shongo?”

Twaar: “He’s our highest court officer and our gravitonic swimming champion.”

Vanello: “Gravitonic sports? That sounds like an evolutionary leap.”

Twaar: “All of our achievements in gravitonics and Continuum City are an affirmation of our next evolutionary leap beyond Geminga.”

Vanello: “You’ve been preparing for Continuum City’s journey for twelve centuries Susan said. I couldn’t prepare for the death of my world so easily.”

Susan: “You must excuse his misunderstanding.”

Twaar: “Oh, it’s quite alright, Susan. Tell me, Vanello. How did you become one of those known as the Multiples?”

Vanello: “They were xenophobic humans who called themselves the Multiples because of their multiplying influences. They persecuted aliens because they believed all aliens to be hostile. I was one of them because the Daleks invaded Earth and caused the deaths of my family. I didn’t know then that an alien, Susan, helped save Earth from the Daleks. She saved me too.”

Susan: “One of the most formidable human attributes, Twaar, is their struggle to overcome all prejudices as Vanello overcame his own.”

Vanello: “Continuum City is opening my mind wider to the universe’s variety of life as Susan was hoping for.”

Twaar: “We’re pleased.”

Vanello: “Don’t we make a pleasing team, Susan?”

Susan: “Invincibly, Vanello.”SCENE FOUR (TWAAR’S CHAMBERS)

They arrive at Twaar’s chambers. The door dematerializes and rematerializes as they enter. Twaar’s chambers are spacious with more gravitonic artwork. Twaar’s desk chair is back to the wall window viewing Geminga.

Susan: (quoting from Sonnet XV) “Everything that grows holds in perfection but a little moment. An Earth artist named Da Vinci would paint a magnificent portrait of your dying sun seen from Continuum City.”

Vanello: “I should dedicate one of my poems to it. It’s fantastic.”

Susan: “Vanello’s poetic talent would do it justice.”

Twaar: “I’d like to read it.”

Vanello: “Thanks. I wish we could see the Gemingan worlds before they vanish forever.”

Susan: “I suppose I could bend the laws of time and take you back earlier. You would envy the sights even more when Continuum City is eclipsing the sun.”

Twaar: “Thank you, Susan. I too am envious. Adjusting to their loss will be hard. Now then, you said this wasn’t entirely a social visit.”

Susan: “Yes, Twaar. I don’t wish to seem overbearing all of a sudden. But I’m concerned about Continuum City’s gravitonics. Specifically, I’m concerned about the dangers they might have.”

Twaar: “Dangers?”

Susan: “I must address that with all technologies, there must be safety factors.”

Twaar: “Of course. But to what dangers are you referring?”

Susan: “You’ve harnessed the power to shift the gravity throughout your city. But you must realize that control over power can be threatened. If this enormous city ever approached an anomaly, Continuum City’s shifting gravity can cause severely distortions. I’d hate to see anything disastrous result from Continuum City.”

Twaar: “As would we. When Continuum City comes into contact with any threat, our gravitonic shield will automatically deflect us around it and propel us back onto our original flight path. I’m sure you’re justified in your concerns as you’ve always been. But I can assure you that every gravitonic safeguard is repeatedly tested.”

Susan: (turns shockingly serious) “I have something very distressing to tell you, Twaar. I’ve received an image from the future. This image is of a cataclysmic black hole that shall engulf the whole universe. The TARDIS has traced the source and I’m afraid, Twaar, that the source will be Continuum City.”

Twaar: (startled) “I beg your pardon, Susan.”

Susan: “This black hole will be Geminga.”

Twaar: “No! It’s impossible. Geminga isn’t massive enough to become a black hole.”

Vanello: “Right, Susan. You told me it would be a supernova.”

Susan: “Continuum City will change the death of your sun. The image of this black hole is located at Geminga. I know this is very difficult to believe.”

Twaar: “Too difficult! How can Continuum City cause this dreadful cataclysm?”

Susan: “The city’s gravitonics will disturb your sun’s molecular structure. The imbalance will be too turbulent even for your gravitonic safeguards to contain. Nothing in the universe will withstand it. We must stop it here and now.”

Twaar: (pondering) “I’m sorry, Susan. I must have proof.”

Susan: “You’re telepathic, Twaar. Look into my mind and see what I’ve seen.”

Twaar looks into Susan’s mind. He sees the same image that prompted Susan’s return to Continuum City.

Twaar: (confounded) “How can this be? We’ve devoted all our efforts to making our Continuum City a technological harmony. No negligence whatsoever could have gone unnoticed.”

Susan: “Unless the negligence is deliberate.”

Twaar: “Are you implying sabotage? Who would dare? The culprits would be Gemingans if they had any understanding of our gravitonics. What would be the motive?”

Susan: “Whatever or whoever the cause of the black hole will be, Twaar, we have until the death of your sun to investigate. There’s no time to waste.”

Twaar: “My optimism for Continuum City urges me to disbelieve even you, Susan. But I shall not refuse my total cooperation. You’ll have paramount assistance from every Gemingan in the city.”

Susan: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Twaar. You’re the best President your people have ever elected. My help will be with you too every step of the way.”

Vanello: “Mine too, Twaar. I may not have known you as long as Susan. But if she has faith in you and your people, I do too.”

Twaar: “We shall fulfill your faith. Now I must ask you to wait in the reception area. I must report this to the Council so that we can make a thorough inspection.”

Twaar shows them to the door. Susan makes a Gemingan gesture with her hands signifying the Klanx. Vanello makes the same gesture.

Susan: “Thank you, Twaar.”

Twaar: “May the Klanx smile on you.”

Susan and Vanello exit and Twaar returns to his desk.SCENE FIVE (RECEPTION AREA)

Susan and Vanello enter the reception area.

Susan: “This wasn’t the way I would have liked to see Continuum City again. Thank you for your support back in Twaar’s chambers.”

Vanello: “It’s always my unconditional pleasure.”

Susan: “And what seems to be the problem?”

Vanello: “You know what the problem is. You didn’t tell me the reason we came here. Why?”

Susan: “Really, Vanello. I couldn’t just announce to Twaar as soon as he came to meet us that Continuum City could destroy itself along with the universe, now could I? I didn’t have time to prepare a speech.”

Vanello: “But why couldn’t you tell me? You had plenty of time for that.”

Susan: “I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence.”

Vanello: “Intelligence is at least one thing you and I have in common. Still that’s never enough for you, is it? So why should your intelligent reasons for keeping secrets be enough for me?”

Vanello sits down on one of the chairs. Susan sits down beside him.

Susan: (with tenderness) “I’m sorry, Vanello.”

Vanello: (looking at Susan and smiling) “Me too. There’s something I’m confused about though. We know Geminga is a pulsar my time. So then it must become a supernova and not a black hole.”

Susan: “Time possesses an infinite number of alternatives. That’s what makes freedom in this universe possible. It always depends upon our choices.”

Vanello: “You knew whether or not Geminga would be the black hole depends on our choices now. This point in history is our responsibility.”

Susan: “Every choice is a responsibility. As a Time Lady, I take that responsibility very seriously. That’s why I saved you. You were pitted against me because I was an alien and therefore a target of the Multiples whom you belonged to. That made you my responsibility.”

Vanello: “I think I understand now. You always make the right choices, don’t you?”

Susan: “I always like to believe so.”

Vanello: “Don’t you know so?”

Susan: “We can’t be absolutely positive about everything. Sometimes belief is more powerful than knowledge. My belief that good in the universe will always prevail gives me power.”

Vanello: “Then I choose to believe in you, Susan. That’s my responsibility.”

Susan: (Smiling and then quoting from Measure for Measure) “Virtue is bold and goodness never fearful.”

Vanello: (smiling back) “You must have gotten along very well with Shakespeare.”

Susan: “When this point in time is mended, Vanello, I’ll introduce you to him personally.”

Vanello: “Thanks for saying ‘when’ and not ‘if’.”

Susan: “It’s always a privilege.”

They do not notice Zodin as she sneaks passed the entrance to the reception area toward Twaar’s chambers.

SCENE SIX (ZODIN MURDERS TWAAR)

Twaar: (at his desk over his speaker) “Find Zodin! It’s imperative that the Council meet in my chambers at once.”

After Twaar switches off the speaker, Zodin enters.

Twaar: “Ah, Zodin. A grave situation has come to my arisen. It may be the worst peril in our history. I’ve summoned the Council to…”

Zodin comes around the desk and lays her hands on Twaar in a seemingly seductively way.

Twaar: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Zodin: “I’m preparing you for your inevitable downfall.”

Twaar looks into Zodin’s mind.

Twaar: “You!”

She brutally pushes him out the shattering window. He falls screaming down into the streets. Zodin runs to the nearest wall and merges through it just before Susan and Vanello enter after hearing Twaar’s scream. They run to the shattered window and look down in horror.

Vanello: “What happened?!”

Susan: (angrily) “It was no accident!”

Zodin returns through the door followed by two guards armed with blasters.

Zodin: “Guards, execute these two alien assassins for the murder of our President.”

Vanello: “We didn’t do it!”

Zodin: “Execute them now!”

Susan: “Not without a trial, Zodin!”

Susan hypnotically looks into the eyes of the two guards.

Susan: (in a deeply intimidating tone) “Not without a trial!”

The guards hesitate. Zodin in frustration realizes Susan’s advantage.

Zodin: “Very well, Susan. Your trial won’t save you from execution. Take them.”SCENE SEVEN (TRIAL)

Susan and Vanello are taken to a courtroom and placed upon a circle. They are enclosed within a column of energy. The Gemingan Council enters and sits evenly in the symmetrical rows around the column. Many other Gemingan citizens sit in the rows behind them. Zodin sits before them in prosecutor’s chair with a sadistic grin on her face.

Vanello: “Zodin really has it in for you. What happened with her when you were here before?”

Susan: “I’m more occupied with the present. It might be just a hunch. But my instincts tell me Zodin murdered Twaar.”

Vanello: “To become President of Continuum City?”

Susan: “More than that if my instincts are right.”

Vanello: “What else are your instincts telling you?”

Susan: “Zodin always seems sinister to me. What’s her agenda in all this? It can’t solely be the Presidency of Continuum City or settling scores with me.”

Vanello: “Do you think she’s implicated in the black hole?”

Susan: “If Zodin is capable of murder then it’s likely. She has some expertise in gravitonics.”

Vanello: “Does she plan to use Continuum City against the universe?”

Susan: “Zodin’s scheme, whatever it is, is precisely what we must find out.”

Shongo, a luminously colorful and pulsing octopus-like being within a telekinetic bubble of water, enters onto the bench behind Zodin’s chair. He extends through his bubble a tentacle gloved with an electronic gavel gauntlet and it flares green.

Shongo: “This court is now in session. Susan and Vanello are charged with the murder of our President.”

Zodin: (rises) “As President, your honor, I demand that these two aliens be executed at once for all Continuum City to witness for murdering President Twaar.”

Shongo: “You’re now President, Zodin. But I command this court. Don’t interrupt again.”

Zodin irritably sits down.

Susan: “Zodin may be the prosecutor. But I’m relieved we can rely on Shongo. He’s always been an authority of basic fairness.”

Vanello: “How can he speak inside a bubble of water?”

Susan: “Aside from his telekinetic power over his bubble to breathe in, Shongo also has the power to convert his thoughts into our grammar and vice versa.”

Shongo: “Susan? How do you plead to the charges against you?”

Susan: “We still plead not guilty to President Twaar’s murder, your honor.”

Shongo: “Very well. You’ll have ample opportunity to present your defense. Remember, you’re under polygraphic surveillance.”

Susan: “Yes, your honor.”

Zodin approaches Susan and Vanello.

Zodin: “You came to Continuum City for what reason?”

Susan: “To see President Twaar.”

Zodin: “Just a reunion?”

Susan: “If you mean about anything except for you, Zodin, yes.”

Zodin: “Your humor, Susan, has no place here.”

Susan: “Oh, I’m in no more of a humorous mood than you are, Zodin. I’m afraid seeing President Twaar again wasn’t the only reason for my being here.”

Zodin: “You came to murder President Twaar.”

Vanello: “No, we didn’t.”

Zodin: “You didn’t come to murder him or you didn’t murder him?”

Vanello: “We’re not murderers.”

Zodin: “Then why are you here?”

Susan: “We’re here to prevent the destruction the universe in a cataclysmic black hole that Continuum City will create.”

Commotion stirs. Shongo again extends his gauntlet and it flares blue.

Shongo: “I shall not tolerate disorder in this court.”

Everyone comes to order.

Shongo: “The polygraphic system registers that you believe what you’ve just stated. Can you substantiate your claim?”

Susan: “According to a possible future I’ve seen, Continuum City will change Geminga from a supernova into an endlessly expanding black hole. This will mean the end of the universe. You have my word as a Time Lady.”

Zodin: “This insane perjury is unthinkable.”

Susan: “You think so, Zodin?”

Zodin: “You think we’ll believe this nonsense that our glorious city will destroy the universe because you tell us it will? Your honor, I must insist…”

Shongo: “Overruled. We shall hear Susan out.”

Susan: “Thank you, your honor. We informed President Twaar of this. He was as alarmed as you all are. But he was most willing to help us. He didn’t provoke us into murdering him. Vanello and I are innocent. But someone else is guilty.”

Vanello: “Speaking as someone whose life was saved by Susan, you have my word too that she’s telling the truth.”

Zodin: “Silence, Earthling!”

Vanello: (irked) “Why? You’re not being silent.”

Susan: “Vanello?”

Zodin: “This delinquent’s testimony must be stricken!”

Vanello: “I’d rather be a delinquent than what I’d like to call you, Zodin.”

Susan: “Vanello!”

Vanello calms down.

Susan: “Your honor. Please excuse Vanello. I request that his outburst be overlooked.”

Shongo: “It shall be overlooked with sympathy. Couldn’t you be lenient, Zodin?”

Zodin: “Forgive me, your honor. I believe it prudent to allow the defendants to establish the truth for themselves and determine the outcome of this trial. The prosecution rests.”

Zodin sits down.

Susan: “Thank you, your honor. Vanello and I know the truth and so will all of you. Let me ask you something, Zodin.”

Zodin: “President Zodin!”

Susan: “Do you know anything of gravitonics, President Zodin?”

Zodin: “You know I’m also Continuum City’s technical supervisor.”

Susan: “Of course.”

Zodin: “If you’re asking whether or not I’ve seen any sign that our city would (with a faint laugh) create a cataclysmic black hole in our sun, I most certainly haven’t.”

Susan: “Not really. I’m inquiring about your supervision of gravitonics involving surface security.”

Zodin: “Yes. What’s your point?”

Susan: “Is it likely that President Twaar would fall from his window when the gravitonic safeguards should have saved him?”

Zodin: (suddenly panicking) “I can’t account for it.”

Susan: “Are your implants sweating?”

Zodin: “I can’t account for it!”

Susan: “Someone must be accountable. Continuum City is constantly shifting its gravity in every way possible. Twaar should have landed gently on the Tower just below his window. I can’t conceive that your President is dead because of defective safeguards. I must conclude that Twaar’s murder was committed by someone with supervision of the city’s gravitonics. Now you tell me, President Zodin, how could that ever slip by you unless it didn’t because you already knew about it?”

Zodin: (springing up) “Objection!”

Susan: (triumphantly) “The defense rests.”

Shongo extends his gauntlet and it flares red.

Shongo: “Order!”

Shongo extends another tentacle through his bubble and touches a panel releasing Susan and Vanello from the column of energy.

Shongo: “I’m dismissing the charges against Susan and Vanello and I order Zodin to be taken into custody.”

Vanello: “Yes!”

As the two armed guards at the door to the courtroom approach, Zodin pounces from her chair and runs to the nearest wall merges through it as she did before.

Vanello: “Whoa!”

Shongo: “How?”

Susan: “Zodin must have an atomic sifting device. Now we know how she left the scene of the crime without anyone seeing her.”

Shongo: “What’s all this about.”

Vanello: “Zodin may cause the black hole that will destroy the universe.”

Susan: “It would be too much of a coincidence if there wasn’t a connection. Your honor, Zodin must be captured.”

Shongo: (using the city speakers) “All Continuum City patrols. Vice President Zodin has been charged with the murder of President Twaar. She must be found immediately. The integrity of Continuum City is at stake.”

Computer: “Attention. Geminga’s supernova is in one hour. Continuum City will depart in one second before the supernova.”

Susan: “Oh no. If only it occurred to me sooner.”

Shongo: “What do you mean, Susan?”

Susan: “The gravitonic warp. The city’s departure from Geminga could transform the sun into the black hole.”

Vanello: “Can’t we stop it?”

Shongo: “Continuum City is programmed to engage gravitonic warp one second before the sun dies. The computer is on lockdown.”

Susan: (quoting from Henry VI) “Defer no time. Delays have dangerous ends. Come on, Vanello.”

Vanello: “Where are we going?”

Susan: “To the core. It’s where all of the city’s power emanates so it must be where Zodin is headed.”

Vanello: “Can we get there before she does?”

Susan: “With her atomic sifter, she’ll get there faster. We’ll use the TARDIS.”

Shongo: “I shall order all Gemingans to their homes and have Zodin’s technical staff apprehended. That should buy you more time.”

Susan: “Thank you, your honor. Let’s go, Vanello.”

Vanello: “I’m with you, Susan.”

Susan and Vanello leave the courtroom and head for the TARDIS.

Shongo: “May the Klanx guide you both.”SCENE EIGHT (BACK TO THE TARDIS, FIGHT, JOOTZ’S GRAVITY CAR)

Susan and Vanello are making their way back to the TARDIS.

Vanello: “Why is Continuum City programmed to depart one second before Geminga explodes?”

Susan: “Speed from gravity is how gravitonic warp works. The theory is that it will manipulate the sun’s supernova phase into a slingshot.”

Vanello: “You said it’s a theory. Gravitonic warp has never been done before?”

Susan: “You’d make a good scientist, Vanello. You ask many questions.”

Vanello: “How else does one get answers?”

Susan: “The math is accurate. The only flaw is Zodin unless we can get to the core in time. It’s the only place left for her to hide. So far we have a good chance of stopping her.”

Vanello: “Let’s defeat some evil!”

They arrive at the TARDIS. As they approach, they both get heavier.

Vanello: “Whoa! What’s happening?! I can’t get any closer!”

Susan: “Grab hold of me, Vanello!”

They grab each other and jump away.

Vanello: “Why can’t we get near the TARDIS? Why do we get heavier?”

Susan: “Look.”

She points to the crystal that Zodin planted on the TARDIS.

Vanello: “What’s that?”

Susan: “A gravitonic accelerator. Zodin must have planted it. It’s intensifying the gravity all around the TARDIS. It will squash us if we get too close.”

She takes out her bag of Callisto mints and drops it within the vicinity of the TARDIS. It drops, not vertically, but diagonally to the base of the TARDIS.

Susan: “See what I mean?”

Vanello: “So what do we do now?”

Susan: “Continuum City doesn’t have teleportation. It would be too dangerous with all the gravitonic shifts. We’ll need a gravity car that can take us to the Tower. On the roof is a shaft that’s the city’s only access to the core.”

Vanello: “Can we still make it in time?”

Susan: “This city has its methods of getting somewhere quickly. Come on. It’s a long way.”

They are suddenly approached by a group of five Gemingans. They surround Susan and Vanello and train their blasters at them.

Susan: “I would assume Zodin has sent her followers to stop us.”

Vanello: “I thought Shongo had all of Zodin’s agents arrested.”

Susan: “All of her technical agents, yes. See their uniforms and badges? They’re Gemingan police.”

The police officers leveled their blasters at their heads.

Vanello: “I think we can also assume their blasters are set to kill. What now?”

Susan: (quoting from Coriolanus) “Action is eloquence.”

Susan springs up her leg and kicks the blaster out of one Gemingan’s hand. She then instantly redirects her kick to his jaw knocking him out cold.

Taking advantage of her distraction, Vanello grabs the hand of another Gemingan holding a blaster and twists it hard. The Gemingan yells as his blaster is forced down.

Susan then thunders the bottom of her boot into the chests of the two Gemingans beside and behind her. Vanello then elbows the yelling Gemingan in the stomach and knees him in the head.

The last Gemingan standing throws away his blaster and draws his sword.

Vanello: “Know any other useful Shakespearean quotes?”

Susan: “What quote would be useful with someone who’ll kill you anyway?”

Before the last Gemingan can do anything, another blaster fire thrusts him into the dangerous gravity around the TARDIS. He screams as he is squeezed into a singularity.

Vanello: (turns away) “Horrible.”

Susan: (compassionately) “Yes.”

The one who saved them comes forth. She is a very pretty part humanoid and part plant adolescent female. Her name is Jootz. She is holding the dead Gemingan’s blaster she shot him down with.

Jootz: “Are you both okay? I only meant to stun him. I picked up his blaster and…”

Jootz is distraught and Vanello comforts her.

Vanello: “It wasn’t your fault.”

Susan: “What’s your name?”

Jootz: “Jootz.”

Susan: “What are you doing here? Shongo ordered all Gemingan citizens to their homes until the crisis was over.”

Jootz: “I was on my way home. I came by this way and I saw what these Gemingans were going to do to you.”

Susan: “Thank you for saving our lives. Can tell us where we can find a gravity car?”

Jootz: “I have one now.”

Vanello: “Now?”

Jootz: “It was a present for my birthday?”

Vanello: “We’re twice in your debt.”

Susan: “Please take us to your car, Jootz. We must get to the core of Continuum City via the Tower.”

Jootz: “This way.”

Jootz takes them to her car (which resembles the Whomobile).

Vanello: “You have a neat set of wheels here.”

Jootz: “It’s the newest design.”

Vanello: “I may want to borrow it.”

Susan: “Get a licence first.”

They get into the car. Jootz sits in the driver’s seat. Vanello sits across from her. Susan sits behind them.

Vanello: “Let’s roll!”

Jootz: “Let’s what?”

Susan: “That’s human politeness for ‘let’s make haste’.”

Jootz: “Then let’s roll!”

They drive through the gravity-shifting streets heading for the core of the city.SCENE NINE (CAR CHASE TO CONTINUUM CITY’S TOWER)

Susan: “Good driving, Jootz. I trust you know your way around Continuum City.”

Jootz: “Yes. I know many routes to the Tower. We’d better fasten our seatbelts.”

She presses a button and bars of energy secure them to their seats.

Susan: “I like these gravity seatbelts.”

Jootz: “What are your names?”

Vanello: “I’m Vanello. That’s Susan.”

Jootz: “You’re Susan?”

Susan: “The very same.”

Jootz: “Your story was the best in my history class.”

Vanello: “Speaking of which, Susan, you still haven’t told me the reason for Zodin’s vendetta against you.”

Susan: “When my grandfather and I first came to Continuum City, Zodin was campaigning for gravitonic modifications in the city’s defense systems. We convinced Twaar that the city’s gravitonic shield would provide appropriate defenses.”

Vanello: “So Zodin was outvoted.”

Susan: “And she was furious. It was her plan to make a battleship out of the city. Twaar suspected her ambition as we did. We weren’t suspicious enough.”

Jootz: “Zodin was always a ruthless conspirator. We’ve all distrusted her over the years.”

Vanello: “If Zodin lacks popularity, what’s kept her in power?”

Susan: “Zodin was a vital asset to the Gemingan community. She has no ethics. But she had charisma with governing strategic morale. The city wasn’t manageable without her.”

Vanello: “I’m sure she won’t be missed now.”

Susan: “Of course, there are some Gemingans still loyal to her somewhere.”

Sirens sound. A Gemingan patrol car is pursuing them.

Susan: “I think we’re about to meet more of them?”

A voice transmits from the patrol car. “Stop in the name of Zodin! We shall crush your car in our gravity beam! This is your first and last warning!”

Susan: “Quaint. But not to be taken likely.”

Jootz: “What do we do? This car’s too fragile for their gravity beam.”

Susan: “Not if I can help it. Whatever happens, don’t stop.”

Susan opens a panel beside her seat. Inside is instrumentation for the car’s gravitonics. She begins tinkering with it.

Jootz: “What are you doing?”

Susan: “I have some expertise in gravitonics like Zodin.”

Vanello: “What do you have in mind?”

Susan: “I’ll try to suppress their gravity beam. But that will mean letting them catch us with it first.”

Jootz: “That’s risky.”

Susan: “It’s also necessary. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

Vanello: “Don’t worry, Jootz. She always knows what she’s doing. Please don’t make a fool out of me, Susan.”

Susan: “I’ll do my best as usual.”

The patrol car seizes their prey with an envelope of energy. Jootz’s car buckles.

Jootz: “This car’s about to crumble.”

Susan: “If we stop, they’ll kill us for sure. Keep going.”

Susan’s plan works. The gravity beam is pressured into receding by another beam emitting from Jootz’s car. In a brilliant flash, both cars are thrust away from each other. Jootz’s car turns back on course and the patrol car persists.

Vanello: “You did it again.”

Susan: “Thank you, Vanello. I think their gravity beam is impaired now.”

Jootz: “It’s not far now. We’ll just go up the vertical streets along the Tower.”

Vanello: “Whoa! This is like an amusement park.”

Susan: “The car’s gravitonic motion control should relax us.”

Jootz: “Maybe not. That gravity beam has caused deterioration.”

Vanello: “She’s right. Our seatbelts are fading.”

Susan: “Try to use some of your reserve power. We should be safe all the way up if that patrol car can’t do anything else.”

Vanello: “Why don’t they just shoot at us?”

Susan: “It might rupture the gravitonic safeguards of both cars if we crashed.”

Vanello: “That’s one miracle.”

Jootz turns up along the Tower and drives through the vertical streets leading to the roof. The patrol car turns up after them.

Susan: “How’s this car holding out?”

Jootz: “So far everything seems to be okay.”

Susan: (looking up at the sun) “By the look of your sun we haven’t much time.”

Jootz: “We’re almost there?”

Their car slows down and becomes heavier. Their seatbelts fade.

Jootz: “I was afraid of this. This car is strained. We’ll never make it up this last street.”

Vanello: “We can’t be beaten now. There must be something we can do.”

Susan: “There is. We can jump.”

Vanello: “We can what?”

Susan: “If Shongo’s technicians now have the gravitonic safeguards along the Tower functioning again, we should land safely.”

Vanello: “What if they haven’t?”

Susan: “What other options do we have?”

Jootz: “I’ve never been scared of heights in Continuum City. But that was when I knew for sure the safeguards were always working.”

Susan: “Let’s trust our luck and be ready to jump.”

Vanello: “I just hope our luck trusts us too.”

Susan: “Just a few more seconds…”

They prepare to jump.

Susan: “Jump!”

They jump and land safely on the side of the Tower. Their car falls and collides with the patrol car. The impact causes both cars to disintegrate.

Susan: “It seems the safeguards are only strong enough for people, not for cars. That’s a tragedy for them and a blessing for us.”

Vanello: “Sorry, Jootz. I liked your car.”

Jootz: “It’s okay. It’s insured.”

Susan: “Come on. We’ll walk the rest of the way.”SCENE TEN (RUNAWAY CORE SHAFT)

They arrive on the roof of the Tower. There they see the shaft leading to the core.

Susan: “We’ve made it. This shaft will take us to the core.”

Vanello: “Let’s hope it won’t take too long.”

Jootz: “Let’s also hope it will be safe.”

She holds them back and carefully approaches the shaft.

Susan: “Just to be sure it’s safe, I’ll go inside first.”

The shaft door opens. She enters the shaft and the gravity inside is safe. She jumps to be sure.

Susan: “Come on in.”

Vanello and Jootz enter the shaft.

Susan: “Going down.”

The door closes as Susan’s voice activates the shaft. They descend and the motion is harmless.

Vanello: “This seems safe enough.”

Susan: “Gravitonic motion control again. It shouldn’t be as risky as the ride here in your car, Jootz. No offense.”

Jootz: (giggling) “None taken.”

Vanello: “The only risk I can think of is saying ‘nothing can go wrong’, because that’s when something goes wrong.”

Susan: “Then let’s not say that nothing can go…”

Suddenly the motion of the shaft becomes aggressive. They are thrust against the ceiling.

Susan: “Wrong!”

Vanello: “Now what?!”

Jootz: “The gravitonic motion control is off line!”

Susan: “Zodin’s ambush! Hold on!”

Vanello: “We don’t have to! The ceiling’s holding on to us!”

Susan sluggishly makes her way along the ceiling toward the shaft panel. She makes it and takes from her pocket her tachyon tool. She realigns the motion control and they land safely on their feet.

Susan: “We must always expect the unexpected. But that was a little too close.”

Vanello: “I don’t know how many more narrow escapes I can take.”

Jootz: “What’s that gadget you saved us with?”

Susan: “My tachyon tool. It can reverse time particles.”

Jootz: “You mean it reversed the shaft’s motion control back before Zodin’s tampering?”

Susan: “Exactly, Jootz.”

Vanello: “Let’s hope it can reverse all of Zodin’s tampering.”

The shaft arrives at the core.

Susan: “We’ll see. We’ve made it to the core.”

SCENE ELEVEN (CONTINUUM CITY’S CORE)

The door to the core opens. It is vast with machinery all bustling with sounds. They enter.

Vanello: “Whoa! Look at this technology.”

Jootz: “This is the first time I’ve ever been down here.”

Susan: “Look around. Zodin’s sabotage may be visible. She could still be invisible with her atomic sifter.”

They move through the core. Vanello notices another crystal, like the one Zodin planted on the TARDIS, on one of the units.

Vanello: “Over here.”

Susan examines the sabotage.

Susan: “A gravitonic amplifier. It’s increasing the core’s efficiency to the amplitude she requires.”

Jootz: “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”

Susan: “Zodin’s work.”

Vanello: “Can we neutralize it?”

Susan: “Not without squeezing the three of us into singularities like that poor Gemingan near the TARDIS. It’s rigged.”

Vanello: “So now what do we do?”

Susan: “I’ll try reversing the effects of this amplifier from inside the unit.”

She opens a panel and begins tinkering inside the unit with the tachyon tool.

Susan: “I’d better set a new record for caution to not trigger anything nasty.”

Vanello: “You’ve saved us twice so far.”

Jootz: “We’re sure you’ll be able to set everything with Continuum City right again.”

Zodin’s voice is heard from behind them.

Zodin: “I wouldn’t be so sure of that. All of you get away from the unit.”

They turn and move away. Zodin emerges from a nearby machine aiming a blaster in their direction. She lifts her other arm revealing on her wrist her atomic sifter bracelet.

Susan: “Hello, Zodin. Just passing through?”

Zodin: “You were suicidal to come after me, Susan. Time has grown too short for your pitiful heroics and damnable sense of humor. My conquest of the universe is now at hand.”

Susan: “I can see it is. Your atomic sifter is very ingenious. It’s a shame you couldn’t use your ingenuity for good instead of the sabotage we’ve just discovered.”

Zodin: “Not sabotage, Susan. This is the Gemingan apotheosis.”

Jootz: “You ignoramus, Zodin! How can you revel in unleashing insurmountable consequences?”

Susan: “Megalomaniacs usually are ignoramuses in my experience.”

Zodin: “Continuum City shall spare Geminga from becoming the black hole you envisioned. I can cause it wherever the city goes unless the universe surrenders to my dictatorship.”

Susan: “Oh yes. I’m sure you can create the black hole anywhere and blackmail the universe into slavery. Well, Zodin, you can forget it.”

Zodin: “Oh, quite the contrary, Susan. I can do anything I wish to the universe. Twaar had no appetite for the limitless potential of Continuum City. That’s why I killed him. Now he’s out of my way and soon, Time Lady, you will be as well.”

Susan: (quoting from Antony and Cleopatra) “The nature of bad news infects the teller, Zodin.”

Jootz: “Careful, Susan. She looks homicidal.”

Susan: “Most monsters are.”

Zodin: (grinning sadistically again) “Now you’re dead, Susan.”

Vanello: “How do we get out of this one?”

Zodin: “Yes, Susan. How are you getting yourselves out of this one?”

Susan: “Let me put it this way. Get down!”

She crouches into a huddle. Vanello and Jootz follow her example. Before Zodin can realize why, sparks explode from the unit filling the core. Zodin is flung back into the machine behind her and falls to the floor. The sparks then disappear one by one.

Vanello: “Whoa!”

Susan: “Newton’s revenge.”

Jootz: “We must be loved by the Klanx to be fortunate so many times.”

Vanello: “You planned that, didn’t you?”

Susan: “Oh, a mere gravitonic whiplash. Not the simplest trick. But it’s the simplest to trick Zodin with.”

Zodin: “No more tricks, Susan!”

Vanello: “Look out!”

Zodin is about to fire her blaster at Susan. Susan jumps out of range as Zodin fires and hits the unit. Space trembles through the core.

Vanello: “What’s happening?!”

Susan: “Zodin damaged the gravitonic stabilizer!”

A shining rip in space forms in the core.

Susan: “A space-time quake!”

Jootz: “What does that mean?!”

Susan: “It’s puncturing the fabric of time and space all around us!”

Vanello: “And what does that mean?!”

Susan: “We’ll be pulled out of the universe! Brace yourselves!”

The space rip enlarges and swallows all four of them.

SCENE TWELVE (FIGHT BETWEEN SUSAN AND ZODIN)

Vanello and Jootz find themselves lying near each other on a smooth surface of nothingness. They cannot move. The void shimmers brightly and the gravity is randomized. Their voices echo along with every eerie sound within the void.

Jootz: “Where are we?!”

Vanello: “Susan?! Where are you?!”

Susan makes her way to them through the rippling mist.

Susan: “Vanello! Jootz! I’m coming! Stay where you are!”

Vanello: “We can’t move!”

Susan: “Hold on!” (She approaches them) “I’m here! I’ll help you!”

Before she reaches them, Zodin appears from behind Susan.

Vanello: “Susan, behind you!”

Zodin viciously wraps her arms around Susan’s neck from behind and attempts to throttle her.

Zodin: “Die, Susan! Die!”

Susan: “Thank the universe for a Time Lady’s respiratory bypass!”

Susan taps some of Zodin’s implants on her arms. Zodin screams in pain and Susan breaks free. The two opponents are thrust away from each other. They begin fighting against the random gravity and each other as Vanello and Jootz watch helplessly.

Zodin lunges at Susan. Susan springs and stamps her feet into Zodin’s chest. Zodin flips backward several times and then poises for another assault.

Zodin charges like a locomotive at Susan. Susan’s stops Zodin with her hand. She tries to hold Zodin back as the gravity contorts between them. Zodin grows stronger until Susan, with an inrush of agility, leaps like lightning over Zodin and lands on foot safely behind her.

Just as Zodin turns, Susan grabs her by her legs and swings her around over and over before tossing her away. Zodin then straightens and prepares to strike Susan like an arrow.

As Zodin makes her move, Susan leaps again from where Zodin’s feet land a split second after. Susan then bounces off the surfaces of the void all around Zodin. Susan finally comes to a halt high above Zodin and looks down upon her.

Susan: “It’s time to finish this, Zodin!”

Zodin: “It shall be finished, Susan!”

Susan and Zodin dart toward each other. They are caught in each other’s grasp at the center of the void. Their eyes lock fiercely as they try to overpower each other. With a burst of energy, Susan grips Zodin’s arm, slides the atomic sifter from Zodin’s wrist onto her own and then hurls Zodin over onto her back.

Zodin lands heavily on the surface. She becomes trapped by the gravity pinning her. She begins screaming in rage. Susan realizes that she cannot help her and makes her way to Vanello and Jootz. She helps Vanello up and they both help Jootz up as the gravity suddenly releases them.

Susan leads Vanello and Jootz to the space rip. They make it and with one last advantage of the void’s gravity jump through. Zodin remains trapped.

Zodin: (echoing loudly) “Susan! We shall meet again at the end of eternity!”

The space rip seals and a great silicon-based birdlike being, the Klanx, appears and looks down upon Zodin.

Klanx: (in a powerful female voice) “I, the Klanx, shall keep you until then, Zodin!”

Zodin is petrified now that her comeuppance is more inescapable than ever.

SCENE THIRTEEN (BACK IN CONTINUUM CITY’S CORE)

Susan: “Vanello?”

Vanello: “We’re right here.”

Jootz is unconscious. Susan and Vanello check her.

Susan: “No concussion. She’ll recover.”

Vanello takes off his jacket and uses it as a pillow for her.

Susan: “We made it back.”

Vanello: “What was that weird place?”

Susan: “A void outside our universe. The gravity was randomized. We’re safe now. The breach sealed as soon as we got back and just in time.”

Vanello: “What about Zodin? Will she be back?”

Susan: (sighs) “No. She won’t.”

Computer: “Attention. The supernova is in five minutes.”

Susan: “We may not have enough time.”

Vanello: “Can’t we do anything in five minutes?”

Susan: “We’ll see.”

They rush over to the unit damaged by Zodin. The crystal is burned and cracked.

Susan: “Zodin’s sabotage isn’t the problem anymore. The damage she caused with her blaster is in the gravitonic compensators. Let’s see if I can repair it by tachyon reversal.” (Susan searches for her tachyon tool) “Where’s my tachyon tool?”

Vanello: (giving Susan her tachyon tool from his pocket) “How…”

Susan: (patting Vanello on the cheek) “I’ll explain later, Vanello. Thank you.”

Susan begins reversing the damage with her tachyon tool. Vanello notices her hands merging through the debris into the machine thanks to Zodin’s atomic sifter now on Susan’s wrist.

Vanello: “Zodin’s atomic sifter.”

Susan: “I got it off her wrist during the tussle. I thought it might help in all this debris.”

Vanello: “Clever as always.”

Susan: “I hope my cleverness is enough now.”

SCENE FOURTEEN (MOMENT BETWEEN SUSAN AND VANELLO)

Geminga begins to spew solar radiation into space. Continuum City’s force field is intact as its engines prepare for the gravitonic warp. Susan finishes her repairs.

Computer: “Continuum City departing in one minute.”

Susan: “There. I did my best. I hope it’s enough.”

Vanello: “How can we be sure?”

Susan: “The only one way we can know for sure is when the gravitonic warp engages which is very soon.”

Vanello: “So what do we do now?”

She sits down backed against a machine with her arms folded.

Susan: “We wait.”

Vanello sits down beside Susan with his arms folded.

Susan: “The only other way to save the universe was to let Continuum City and the Gemingans be destroyed by the supernova. I was never prepared to let that happen.”

Vanello: “I understand, Susan, that there are some things even you can’t change. I understood that the Dalek Invasion of Earth that cost me my family was one of them. You were obligated by the laws of time to save Continuum City though, weren’t you?”

Susan: “There may not be a way this time. After all my adventures with my grandfather, battling the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master, I never thought I’d see the day when the universe can’t be saved.”

Vanello: “We saved the universe from Zodin. That should count for something.”

Susan: “Yes. But not for everything right now.”

Vanello: “You did your best and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As someone once said to me, the most dangerous person to underestimate is oneself.”

Susan: “And who said that?”

Vanello: “Who do you think?”

Susan: (impudently) “Oh yes, I did. It was said to me by my grandfather.”

Vanello: “I’d like to meet him.”

Susan: “Maybe someday you will. Maybe someday I’ll see him again.”

Vanello: “There’s always a maybe, isn’t there?”

Susan: “It can be the most pivotal word in the universe.”

Computer: “Countdown in twenty seconds.”

Susan: (Quoting from Hamlet) “The time is out of joint. O cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right.”

Vanello: “To be or not to be? That’s the eternal question I suppose.” (Thinking) “Susan? How did your tachyon tool find its way into my pocket?”

Susan: (in her mind) “He has a right to know.”

Susan looks at Vanello and almost responds before the countdown begins.

Computer: “Gravitonic warp engines engaged.”SCENE FIFTEEN (CONTINUUM CITY DEPARTS FROM GEMINGA AS IT PERISHES)

The gravitonic warp is engaged and Continuum City zooms away. Geminga dies, not as a black hole, as a supernova. The gravitonic warp roars through the core.

Computer: “Departure from Geminga supernova successful.”

Susan and Vanello rise to their feet in relief.

Vanello: “Thank God.”

Susan: “Gallifrey should never have abandoned tachyonics.”

Jootz is awoken by the computer’s announcement.

Jootz: “Did we make it?”

Susan: “Yes, Jootz, and we’re safe.”

Vanello: “It’s a supernova, not a black hole. We did it.”

Jootz: “Whoa!”

Vanello: “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

Susan: “That’s saying something.”

Vanello: “Just like your grandfather, Susan, you saved the universe.”

Susan: (smugly) “And like all my grandfather’s companions, Vanello, you have a punctual habit of confirming the obvious.”

Vanello: “You knew all along we’d stop the black hole, didn’t you?”

Susan: (quoting from Much Ado about nothing) “When the age is in, the wit is out.”

Vanello: “So what now, Mrs. Shakespeare?”

Susan: “If we have until the end of eternity before we confront Zodin’s wrath again, we might as well make the best of it. Come on.”

Vanello picks up his jacket and they return joyfully to the shaft.SCENE SIXTEEN (FAREWELL TO CONTINUUM CITY)

Shongo: “We’re grateful for your attending Twaar’s funeral.”

Susan: “Twaar’s funeral was a memorable service, Shongo. I’m glad you’ve been elected President of Continuum City. You’ll be as good a leader as Twaar was.”

Shongo: “Thank you, Susan. As for Zodin, her punishment for her sins is most fitting.”

Susan: “I must disagree with you, Shongo. Zodin deserved to be punished. But in my opinion, her eternal punishment is undeserving for anyone, even for her.”

Vanello: “I agree with you, Susan. In Zodin’s case, that’s saying something.”

Shongo: “It’s always possible to confuse justice with vengeance, I suppose. But thanks to Zodin, we now have the wisdom to never again allow our technology to fall into evil hands.”

Susan: “I’m pleased. Twaar would be also. The universe is one valuable lesson after another.”

Jootz: “The Klanx would have judged Zodin fairly.”

Vanello: “I wish we could have seen the Klanx.”

Jootz: “That would have been awesome.”

Susan: “Oh, Shongo? Were your technicians able to detach Zodin’s accelerator from my TARDIS?”

Shongo: “Normal gravity has been restored around your TARDIS. I believe these are yours.”

Shongo extends a tentacle through his bubble with Susan’s bag of Callisto mints.

Susan: “Ah, my Callisto mints. Thank you so much, Shongo.”

She takes her Callisto mints, giving one to Vanello and one to Jootz. They eat them and they are all squished.

Jootz: “Delicious.”

Susan: “Delicious? They’ve been affected by Zodin’s accelerator.”

Vanello: “I like them this way.”

Susan: “It’s nothing time in the fridge won’t cure, I hope.”

They arrive at the TARDIS. The crystal has been removed.

Susan: “It’s time to say goodbye again. We wish you all the best.”

Shongo: “Thank you both.”

Vanello: “Goodbye, Jootz.”

He kisses her on the cheek and she blushes. He turns to Jootz’s parents who are with her, a humanoid male and a female plant being.

Vanello: (maturely) “You have a very brave daughter.”

Susan is pleased that Vanello is clearly inspired even more to embrace alien diversity.

Susan: “Continuum City has been a breakthrough for you, Vanello.”

Vanello: “And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Susan: “Shall we see what’s next on our journey?”

Vanello: “If the TARDIS is fine, I’m up for it.”

Vanello pauses before going near the TARDIS and then jumps into the spot where the Gemingan died.

Vanello: “Seems fine to me.”

The TARDIS makes a cluttering noise.

Vanello: (nervously) “I just hope it’s in a good mood.”

Susan walks over, unlocks the door and opens it.

Susan: “We’ve said the word ‘hope’ a lot today, haven’t we? I suppose hope is how the cosmic dice works.”

Vanello: “So long as the cosmic dice works for us.”

Susan: (charmingly) “You have a most extraordinary attitude, Vanello.”

Vanello: (charmingly) “And the universe had better start getting used to it.”

Susan: (gracefully) “In a classic example of poetic justice, Whoa!”

After a wave to Jootz and Shongo, Vanello goes inside.

Susan: (quoting Dickens) “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”

Vanello: “That’s not Shakespeare. That’s Dickens.”

Susan: “Yes, Vanello, and I actually met him once too. But that’ll be another story as usual.”

Vanello: (pleasingly) “There’s always another story as usual. That’s why there’s always another ‘Whoa!’ for the unusual. Amen to that.”

Susan follows Vanello into the TARDIS and it dematerializes.

She has great adventures throughout space and time.She is a formidable opponent against universal crime.She can escape death many times by changing her form.She is the Time Lady who always keeps my hearts warm.

Vanelodvoratrelundar

MB