Alit in Underland was the sixth and final short story published in The Missy Chronicles.

Summary Edit

While the Twelfth Doctor recovers on Floor 507 of the Mondas Colony Ship, Missy and the Master hunt for their way out - with a stowaway in tow.

Plot Edit

On Floor 0507 of the Mondasian colony ship, the night after the Twelfth Doctor, Bill, Nardole, Missy and the Master arrived in a shuttlecraft from Floor 1056, Alit sneaks out of the farmhouse to follow the Master and Missy, who are attempting to travel to Floor 0508 to stop the prototype Cybermen from Floor 1056 attacking the solar farm and find a means of escaping the ship, despite Nardole and Hazran’s protests that travel to the lower levels was too dangerous. Alit follows the duo to the crashed shuttle and hides behind it whilst the Master and Missy investigate the hole made by the shuttle. Missy recovers the shuttle’s rope ladder, and begins climbing down into the walkways between Floor 0507 and Floor 0508 along with the Master. Alit attempts to flee only to run straight into a prototype Cyberman; she escapes down the ladder and is confronted by the Master and Missy. Eventually the trio begin journeying down one of the walkways, with Missy reassuring Alit that she shouldn’t be scared of the Master, the scarecrow or the dark as there’s something much scarier than any of them.

On their journey, the Master speculates that a service lift is nearby that will take the group to Floor 0508. Alit thinks the Cyberman she ran from earlier - who Missy has begun to call "Topknot" - is still following them, and the group speeds up after hearing it. Eventually, Missy detects a nearby service-cradle, and the Master quickly burns through its seals with his laser screwdriver. Suddenly, Topknot emerges from the darkness and tries to grab Missy; the latter begins parrying it in defence with her sonic umbrella. As Alit dives for the open hatchway, the Master rips off Topknot's chest cloth and burns a small incision into the Cyberman’s chest with his laser screwdriver; it stops, allowing the Master to locate its voice box and alter its settings. The Master then orders Topknot to recognise his voice, before unbuttoning the back of its cloth to change the Cyberman’s root command so that it no longer recognises beings with two hearts as human, allowing the trio to use Topknot however they wish.

Noting that the service-cradle is still locked in place, Missy tells Alit to climb through a small gap in the hatch‘s bars, the latter quickly doing so and unlocking the door. The Master and Missy enter as well, and Topknot operates a control that causes the cradle to begin descending into the floor’s sky. As the Master complains about his successor’s upbeat attitude, Missy questions him about their plan, knowing that he isn’t really going to stop the Cybermen or find an escape; the Master states that he intends to alter the Cybermen’s definition of humanity so they no longer recognise beings with two hearts as human, allowing him to regain control over them and use them to conquer the galaxy. Alit questions them out of confusion.

As dawn breaks, the service-cradle lands by a huge rail network. A large machine with various control panels on its sides arrives, and the group follow it in order to find a means of accessing the ship’s systems; Missy suggests to Alit that she should let Topknot carry her, but she quickly declines. After at least twenty minutes of walking, a cultivator arrives that the group hitch a ride on. As they travel through the fields, dusk begins to fall, and the Master observes a collection of tall, green storage silos in the distance. Eventually the cultivator passes an assortment of warehouses near the silos, and the group departs the machine, Alit ripping her shoe in the process; Topknot also twists its leg after falling off. The Master then orders the Cyberman to scan for technology that can be used to access the ship’s systems so he can hack into the prototype Cybermen on Floor 1056. Topknot points to a tower at the centre of the buildings, and the group discover it to be a huge edifice containing storage bays, silos and warehouses.

As the sun begins setting, Missy uses her sonic umbrella to access the nearest building, and the Master uses Topknot as a guide through the various chambers. After a short while, the group here voices. Missy immediately ducks, pulling Alit down with her whilst beckoning to the Master; Topknot simply stands hidden from view. The Master notes that whoever are nearby are looking for life-forms with two hearts, realising they are looking for him and Missy. He then begins walking towards the voices, Missy and Alit following. They find the source of the voices to be a group of six Cybermen, all significantly more advanced than the prototypes on Floor 0507. The Cyber-Leader and Cyber-Lieutenant recognise the Master as their former ruler, and when questioned by Missy, the Leader explains that the Cyber-Planner has noted that the Cybermen’s definition of humanity has been altered, and that the source of such tampering must be found in order to prevent its reoccurrence; the patrol has been assigned to capture the two Masters for interrogation. Each Cyberman then draws a Cyber-gun, and the Leader orders the group to follow them to the lifts back to Floor 1056. At the lifts, Missy enquires as to the purpose of a guarded storage cupboard, and a Cyberman explains that the trio will be held within until the lifts arrive. The Master then realises that the Cyber-Leader has secondary orders, and as two Cybermen move to trap them, Missy stuns the entire patrol with her sonic umbrella while the Master uses his laser screwdriver to destroy the Cyber-Lieutenant. Alit and Missy hide in a closet down a side corridor, and witness the Cyber-Leader render the Master unconscious before throwing him into the cell, whilst the other Cybermen form a defensive position around the lifts. The Leader then orders one pair of Cybermen to locate Missy and Alit, and the other to activate the Cybermats before returning to Floor 1056. Missy and Alit escape by opening a far wall and venturing down another corridor.

Missy and Alit lead the Cybermen on an erratic path to the central control tower, stopping by a nearby grain store on the way; Missy stuns a group of mice and contains them in small fence wire cages that the pair wear around their necks, two for Alit, one for Missy. The latter explains that the grouping of multiple life signs so close together will briefly trick the Cybermen’s scanners into registering the pair as life forms with three hearts, and as they are searching for life forms with one or two hearts, they will ignore Alit and Missy for a short while. Eventually the duo find Topknot, and Missy orders the Cyberman to locate the control tower and to keep watch for the Cyber-patrol. The pair take a lift to the top of the tower to the hub of a weather system across the entire floor.

Missy explains to Alit that the Cybermen intend to use the Cybermats to weaken the humans on Floor 0507 so that the solar farm can be conquered more easily. Upon hacking into the ship’s systems via the room’s service hatches, Missy discovers that all the cyber-technology the Master set up on Floor 1056 has a failsafe system; in the case of the prototype Cybermen, the system forces them to remain in the hospital if turned on. After discovering this system in the Cybermats, Missy activates it, forcing the Cybermats back to Floor 1056 and preventing their attack. Missy then has another idea, one that she believes will greatly please the Doctor. She instructs Alit to fetch some boots they passed earlier while she informs Topknot of their plan to rescue the Master.

In his cell, the Master observes the ceiling to try and find an escape route, when Missy unlocks the door. She explains that she used Topknot to distract the Cybermen, when Alit arrives wearing some black rubber boots and carrying identical pairs in each hand. The two Masters put on their boots and the trio run for the nearest exit. Outside, a storm drenches the entire floor. Missy opens her umbrella, the Master and Alit taking shelter with her. Missy notes that although they'll have to leave Topknot behind, they’ve located the lifts, and can use such knowledge to find them on Floor 0507 and reach the Doctor’s TARDIS. The Master then enquires as to Missy’s plan, the latter pointing upwards. Suddenly, the Cyberman patrol reappear and begin firing at the trio. The Master pulls out his laser screwdriver and fires at the metal deck. The resulting electrical discharge causes the Cybermen to freeze on the spot as the lamps on their heads explode; they all fall to the ground, dead, save for the Cyber-Leader, who takes a few more steps towards Alit before also dying. As the Master poses victoriously, Alit stares in shock at the dead Cybermen, realising that hers, the Master’s and Missy’s rubber boots protected them from the discharge.

The trio manage to locate a conveyor belt system feeding straw bales to the higher floors, and use it to quickly return to Floor 0507. As they ride up and away from Floor 0508, Alit asks Missy why she didn’t stop the Cybermen if she managed to stop the Cybermats, but Missy simply dismisses the idea as a long shot, before telling Alit to keep it a secret between them. At Floor 0507, the group arrive inside a large storage barn and find a stable of horses and carts. They harness a cart to one of the horses and the Master takes the reins while Missy and Alit ride in the back. Missy wonders how the Doctor is doing, and the Master asks her about why she is travelling with him. Missy explains that she was imprisoned, and the Master believes she intended to betray, or even kill the Doctor. Alit notices a sinister look in Missy’s eye, as the latter speculates that killing her previous incarnation is the only way things can end...

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Continuity Edit

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