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Assets of War was the third story in the audio anthology Susan's War, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Lou Morgan.

This story featured the return of the Orrovix, a race which first appeared in Morgan's Time War 3 story Nevernor. It also featured a resident of the Drylands as a major character, a first in a Big Finish story set during the Time War, as Morgan wished to show how the war also affected non-Time Lord natives of Gallifrey.

Publisher's summary[]

Cardinal Rasmus believes that Susan's special abilities will help him assess a new weapons project.

On a secret military base, creatures from the vortex are being bred for war. Gallifrey's scientists think they can be used as assets against the Daleks.

But the Orrovix are not easily tamed...

Plot[]

Rasmus takes Susan and Veklin to Oreseia for them to sign off on a new weapon developed at a facility there. Susan is surprised by how many refugees are at the facility and, as Commander Apanna is held up in a security meeting, Rennis leads the group to the council chamber and shows them the weapon: a pack of purpose-bred Orrovix. Lord Vibax explains how the Orrovix can track time energy and never give up, being incorruptible and knowing no fear, and that Susan is here to look into their heads and determine if they are obedient.

Susan is appalled by what the Time Lords have done with the Orrovix and tells Rasmus that she will not support their release upon the universe. During a break, Rasmus goes to speak with Vibax and Susan goes with Rennis to see the Orrovix, noticing on the way that he is wearing a time pendant and learning that he is the sole survivor of the Fifth Gallifreyan Infantry and chose to be sent here rather than return to caring for his brother in the Drylands. The pens contain two adult Orrovix and a litter of six pups. Susan hopes to get closer to them to read their minds better, but the inner lock is biocoded to Vibax for security. Nevertheless, she can sense that they have been experimented on and are wrathful, but there is somebody that they trust.

Veklin has Rennis escort Susan back to the chamber where she speaks out against the Orrovix being used as weapons. Vibax accuses her of being a pacifist like her grandfather and Rasmus impresses that they are running out of options to respond to an imminent temporal attack on a major supply line, but discussion is interrupted when an alarm sounds and Rennis informs everybody that the Orrovix are loose in the command compound, which is now on lockdown. The only secure place is in Apanna's chambers where there is a secure door. Privately, Vibax tells Rasmus that this is an opportunity for Susan to be taken out of the equation.

Rennis directs Susan, Veklin, Rasmus and Vibax to Apanna's rooms but disappears before they enter. Apanna is not present and Veklin runs a bioscan to locate her in the corridor where she is attacked by an Orrovix; Susan leaves the room and tries to calm the Orrovix, but it drags Apanna away and she returns to the room, only just managing to keep it out. They receive a message on a data terminal from Rennis, who says that he is hiding from the Orrovix at the south end of the compound, confusing Veklin as he had not appeared on her earlier bioscan but now does. Vibax blames the equipment.

The group manage to contact Rennis and Susan asks him about where the Orrovix currently are, hoping to be able to trap them. They are able to identify where most of the Orrovix are and Susan tells Rennis to use his time pendant to lead them to the armoury; as he does so, she will use her powers to try to influence them. The Orrovix outside of Apanna's office is drawn away, allowing Susan to exit and follow them, passing a regenerating Apanna as she does so. The Orrovix begin to feel different to Susan.

Rasmus thinks that it is time to call for support, but Vibax says that the Orrovix are far too important and that questions would be asked which could implicate the two of them. Veklin interrupts, telling them what Susan said about the Orrovix changing.

The entire pack have surrounded Rennis and are treating him like one of them. He explains to Susan that, because of how he treated them, the Orrovix trust him and will do anything that he says. She realises that he released them, using his time pendant to get around the lock.

Veklin feels that something is wrong and looks up Rennis, finding that there is no record of anybody from the Fifth being assigned here and that his personnel record has been corrupted by an attempt to overwrite it with additional data. Due to this disparity, the initial biosearch did not find him. Vibax says that Rennis arrived on a transport one day, saying that the council had assigned him to serve as his attaché but that there had been a mix-up with his papers, which Rasmus' office corroborated as he had other things on his mind. Rasmus tells Veklin to warn Susan about what they have learnt.

Rennis tells Susan that he almost liked her, but that he hates all Time Lords and will let the Orrovix kill her. He leaves to open the outer doors of the compound and Susan tells Veklin to stop him rather than save her. She gets into their heads and sympathises with them about how they have been treated like property, soothing them and convincing them to stay there. She then chases Rennis, who cannot open the doors and expresses how much he hates the Time Lords for forcing his brother to look into the Untempered Schism, an experience which left him a husk. Veklin arrives and Rennis taunts her about her closeness with Apanna, drawing a comparison between losing his brother to the Schism and Veklin losing Appana to regeneration. She attacks him.

Rasmus arrives with Vibax and orders Veklin to stand down and to tie Rennis up. When Rennis attempts to use his time pendant to escape, Susan destroys it and Rasmus has him taken away, planning to deal with him on Gallifrey. Vibax asks Susan for a preliminary report on the Orrovix; she says that the weapons program should be stopped with immediate effect and the Orrovix taken somewhere they can be held securely and cared for. However, Rasmus takes Vibax to one side and tells him that his influence reaches higher than hers and that he will see what he can do. He believes that the project has shown promise and asks him to send the data him that he has.

Veklin takes Rennis into a TARDIS, ready to take him to Gallifrey to be court martialled and executed. Susan is sympathetic to him, however, and tells Rasmus that she believes he should be exiled somewhere far from Gallifrey and the war. When he says that people would not like that, Susan rhetorically asks if his influence reaches higher than hers. Susan and Veklin take Rennis to Njagilheim, where Susan advises him not to try to return to Gallifrey.

Cast[]

References[]

  • Rennis comes from a farm in the Drylands and claims to be the sole survivor of the Fifth Gallifreyan Infantry.
  • Rennis' brother's mind did not survive looking into the Untempered Schism.
  • Veklin knew Commander Apanna at the Time Lord Academy. Apanna was wounded in the last assault on a Dalek outpost.
  • Vibax was set up with a lab in the Capitol by the Celestial Intervention Agency at the beginning of the war. Some of the Time Lords' best weapons came from his designs, but he was suddenly seconded one day to Oreseia.
  • The council use data pads.
  • Susan had a time pendant when she was a girl and used to play a game with it.
  • The Brancheerian corroborated reports that the Daleks are planning a temporal attack on a major supply line.

Notes[]

to be added

Continuity[]

External links[]

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