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Assassins was the fourth and final audio story in Time War: Volume Two, the tenth series of Gallifrey.

Publisher's summary[]

Pushed to the brink by Rassilon's actions, Romana is thinking the unthinkable.

A new threat has breached Gallifrey's defences. And its target is clear. A race of assassins has evolved at the heart of the Time War, dedicated to one purpose. The Sicari are coming for Rassilon...

Plot[]

At a meeting of the War Council, Romana interrupts Rassilon as he gives a speech on the message that the destruction of Ysalus has sent and is told to wait until he has opened the floor for discussion. Rassilon notices that Livia is not in attendance and is informed by Cantico and Mantus that she is reviewing security in the Capitol but supports any decision he should make. When Romana gets permission to speak, she expresses her concerns about the Academy being closed and its resources redirected to weapons research under Ollistra.

After the meeting, Mantus tells Cantico to ask Livia to give him the resources that he needs and to have her send Romana to him, presuming that Romana has gone to see her.

Romana tells Livia what happened at the War Council and is frustrated that, despite Livia wanting checks and balances for the War Council, she remains neutral in all matters. Livia says that they will speak soon elsewhere and, when Cantico arrives, Romana heads off to speak with Mantus.

Narvin meets with Mantus in the cloisters and agrees to stand in for Eris as the CIA's liaison with the War Council. As Mantus expected, the Sicari appear, searching for Rassilon, and fight with the IDU. Once the Sicari are all killed, Mantus has Narvin follow him to his headquarters where Romana is already waiting. Mantus sends Commander Vrail to evacuate the next area that the Sicari are due to appear and informs Romana and Narvin that there have been twenty-six attacks; the Sicari were created by the Time War and are armed with Time Lord weapons. Rassilon is unconcerned.

Romana and Narvin enter a CIA mountain station which was closed long before the Dogma Virus. There, they are free from the possibility of being spied on and are able to talk about Narvin's attempts to find their lost friends; Braxiatel has covered his tracks, Ace's time trace has become blurred and contradictory all the way back to her departure from the Seventh Doctor and Leela seems to be deep within the Time War. Romana suggests that they allow the Sicari to assassinate Rassilon, shocking Narvin. He refuses to consider it.

Unbeknownst to the two of them, their conversation has been listened to.

Mantus tells Narvin that Rassilon has considered the CIA's role in the Ysalus incident and that the organisation will be disbanded and its duties absorbed by the IDU. Narvin is outraged, but Mantus offers him a new regeneration cycle in return for his loyalty. They are interrupted by Cantico, who is looking for Narvin as Livia wants her to escort him to meet with Rassilon. In the Presidential Throne Room, Rassilon tells him that he was impressed by his plan to have the Fourth Doctor avert the creation of the Daleks and appoints him to the War Council in his own right.

In the Panopticon, Mantus contacts Romana and asks for assistance in defeating the Sicari. She despatches all available agents and heads there herself.

A general alert sounds and Narvin and Cantico head to the High Council chambers. The Sicari arrive and Mantus puts Narvin in charge whilst he and Romana go down into the cloisters where another wave is attacking and one Sicari has been cornered. Mantus also has Livia ensure Rassilon's safety, but Rassilon refuses to leave and dismisses his guard to assist at the Panopticon. He eventually agrees to remain in his chamber with Livia to await news, although he plans on making a public appearance as soon as the crisis is over.

A Sicari has been caught in a stasis field, allowing Romana and Mantus to examine it; Romana describes it as a "hotchpotch" of technology and biology from worlds caught in the Time War and tries to take a biodata sample, but it self-destructs before she can do so. Although no organic matter could be retrieved, she plans to take some of the componentry to the CIA for analysis before saying that Mantus should have first dibs. Once the emergency is over, Mantus tells Narvin to meet him in the War Council Control Centre to discuss his offer.

Rassilon and Livia are joined by Romana, whom Livia asked to update them on the situation. Rassilon reveals that he is aware of Romana's security requisitions thanks to Cantico and that he knows that the Sicari are seeking him out with her blessing.

In the Control Centre, Mantus analyses the Sicari componentry with Narvin. They find that the technology comes from the vaults of Gallifrey and Mantus shows Narvin a hologram of Ace within the time lock on Earth, confirming her survival. He also presents him with temporal-spatial coordinates in the Time War visited by Leela and invites him to enter an enhanced Zero Booth to have his regenerative powers restored. He does so and experiences pain as he absorbs regeneration energy.

Romana tells Rassilon that she was visited by a delegation of Sicari and helped them, showing them how to conceal themselves from the Matrix and supplying them with Time Lord technology at their source. Since she started helping them, they have not killed any guards. Livia reveals that she decided to help Romana when she listened to her and Narvin at the mountain station; she took a TARDIS to the station after Narvin left and, whilst he declined to help, she was willing to. Livia activates the Great Key and opens a Matrix door through which the Sicari emerge.

Narvin has Mantus stop the machine and hurries away, having realised something about the Sicari.

The Sicari attempt to kill Rassilon, but he is protected by force fields which their weapons attempt to adapt to. The Sash begins to degrade. Narvin enters using a CIA code, having come to save Romana from her own actions, and Mantus soon follows with his guards to defeat the Sicari. Rassilon is wounded and says that he needs people who will stand up to him and kill for their beliefs, taking Livia's hand and telling her that she has proven herself and that she should own her rebellion. Mantus arrests Romana and Narvin and has them taken away. Before Rassilon regenerates, he has Mantus hand him the Gauntlet of Rassilon and uses it to kill Cantico for being a politician rather than a warrior. Mantus, the guards and Livia tell him that they are all warriors.

In their cell, Romana despairs at having failed and Narvin tries to comfort her. They are visited by Mantus, who informs them that Rassilon has been taken to a Zero Booth so that his regeneration can be properly managed as a public spectacle. He takes them from their cell to a TARDIS, as exile will make them enemies of Gallifrey whilst executing them would make them martyrs. Romana says that this is not the Gallifrey that she knows and that she does not intend to return. Once they dematerialise, Mantus shoots Vrail to make it look like Romana escaped.

In the Panopticon, Livia assures everybody that the Sicari have been defeated and informs them that Rassilon's regeneration will be shown across Gallifrey as well as to soldiers in every battle zone, proving that he is still behind every one of them and cannot be conquered by death. Privately, she is terrified of him, which Mantus says is just how Rassilon likes it.

Romana finds that the TARDIS has been pre-programmed and is taking them into the heart of the Time War. She and Narvin manage to bypass the navigation circuits and take control, deciding to go in search of Leela.

Cast[]

References[]

Notes[]

Continuity[]

External links[]

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