No Future

No Future

by Paul Cornell
No Future
            General Norton fanned himself with his clipboard as he and Captain Alex Pike sauntered across the tarmac. "I'm pleased that you're going to be our man at UNIT, Alex. The President's been talking about exchanging information concerning ET incursion, so I guess you'll be party to that."
            "Within national security considerations, sir. I'll be working with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart to decide what's permissible between allies, and to figure out what we can give the Soviets."
            "Some of the hawks at the Pentagon want them to take it on the nose. You heard that they had some bugs near Leningrad last year?"
            "Vodyanoi took care of them, I heard. Lost eighty troopers before one of their Special Forces teams took them out. We can learn from them in that respect, sir. The Kremlin train teams specially to get abducted and then -"
            "I don't hold with this abduction business, Alex. Foreign Hazard units globally have never reported a single instance of it.
            "Maybe so sir, but that's why I think that the Brigadier's Broadsword plan is so great. When you've got the Special Forces unit, you can put it on swift response, get to where the bugs are before they head off home." Pike's cheerful features cracked into an easy grin. "Hey, I heard that the President was kind of freaked to hear that it's all true..."
            "He went ballistic, Captain. Right before he got elected, you remember he was going on about making all the UFO stufF public? All it took was one look at the Axos file to make him clam right up. Then we showed him this. Okay, Lieutenant."
            Norton flicked a pass at a guard outside the hanger doors. The guard clicked to attention and unlocked a side door, allowing them inside.
            Powerful spotlights shone within Hanger 13 twenty-four hours a day. In the centre of the great space stood an alien craft, held up by scaffolding. Its hull shone silver. "Blue Room's through here..." Norton muttered smiling at Alex Pike's awed expression. "Get used to it, Captain. This is Above Top Secret, UNIT's everyday business."
            Are there, er, ETs working here, sir?"
            Norton laughed. "No Greys here, Alex. UNIT have got one on their books though. Hey, I love yout face. No he's really humanoid, and he's one of the things that we won't get them to open up about, so be nice to him when you meet him, okay?"
            "I'll try not to shoot him, sir." Pike grinned. They passed through a door into the Blue Room. It lived up to the description. The walls were shining blue and two technicians in blue overalls moved between blue tanks. In them strange alien shapes bubbled, suspended in nutrient liquids.
            "Hey, are they alive?"
            "No. The blue is to stop them decaying. They actually scem allergic to certain frequencies in the spectrum. We found them in New Mexico in the Fifties, and haven't learned a lot since. In fact we know very little about - hey!" The door had slammed behind them. "Be more careful, Haig, we -" The guard from outside was walking towards them.
            Pike lanced over his shoulder. Behind them, the two technicians had turned to watch. Like they were waiting for -
            Alex Pike snatched for his automatic.
            The three men ran at them.
            Norton grabbed the guard before he could bring his rifle to bear throwing his weight at the man only to find his hands flailing through a haze of iridescent light. The General stumbled, then screamed, falling to his knees and clutching his head as the blaze that had been a man engulfed him.
            Pike feinted a move to the right, then dived between the technicians ans sprinted for the door. It opened a second before he got thcrc. He fired twice, and an MP flew backwards, throwing his rifle into the air.
            Blinking in the sudden glare of the sun, a bolt of light shot through the air and solidified in thc front seat. A technician lunged at Pike, so he let go of the wheel, sending the vehicle skidding off at a dangerous angle. Pike grabbed the man and found himself wrestled into the back seat as the jeep screeched randomly over the tarmac.
            "So," Pike yelled. "Which planet are you from?"
            The man only laughed in reply. Pike kicked suddenly upwards, sending the alien spinning off the back of the jeep. He vanished in a blast of light before he hit the ground. "Yippie ky-ay " Pike muttered, struggling to get into the front seat.
            Another ray of white light flickered over his shoulder, through the dashboard and into the engine which cut out. Pike leaped out and started co run. Behind him, a line of marching figures had appeared. In front of him lay the perimeter fence of the base. Back in the jeep, a human figure flashed into existence once more. "Give it up, Pike!" it shouted. "We're in charge of Hanger 13 now!"
            "Yeah?" Pike kept running. "You ought to be exhibits in it!"
            The man flashed into lightening, and appeared in front of Pike, between him and the fence.
            Pike stopped, seemingly despairing, bending to rest his hands on his knees. "So what you gonna do with me?"
            "You will be converted to the glorious cause."
            "I usually hide behind he couch when guys like you come calling." Pike looked up. "Hey, isn't that - " He jumped at the man, shoulder charging him towards the fence. At the last second Pike threw himself to the ground.
            The alien hit the electrified fence at full tilt. There was a flash of light and he vanished. The fence section crumpled into fizzing black strands. Distant sirens began to sound.
            "Life is hard, and then you die," muttered Pike glancing back at the approaching line of marching figures. He ran towards the fence, and leaped at it. He pulled himself up, stamping down on the mesh with his boots.
            A jeep was speeding along the outside of the perimeter, and Pike grinned as he recognised a familiar voice calling from the front seat. Frankenheimer. The figures behind him broke into a run at the sight.
            Pike ran towards the jeep.
            "Hey," the soldier called from the front seat. "I tought you were going to England?"
            "That's still the plan," Pike jumped into the jeep and Frankenheimer accelerated away. "But wheter I get there... we're just gonna have to wait and see..."
Source: Doctor Who Magazine #209