Tardis

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The Uncertain Shore was the second story in the audio anthology Susan's War, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Simon Guerrier.

After The Elite, this story was the second Big Finish story set on Florana, a planet first mentioned in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. It also featured the first appearance of the Anti-Dalek Force, a military team who appeared throughout Terry Nation's Dalek annuals between 1976 and 1979, in performed media.

Publisher's summary[]

Susan and Commander Veklin are on the trail of a spy. Under cover on a ravaged world, they find a weary population, trapped, and waiting for the inevitable. But one among them is a traitor.

The Time War is coming to Florana, and Susan will face a struggle to simply survive...

Plot[]

Susan and Veklin have been on Florana for some time, trying to work out which of three suspects at a resort is a Dalek spy, and Susan tries to get her colleague to paint and appreciate the desert. Earlier, Susan had allowed Monty to record her and pretended that she and Veklin were humans who gave up their seats on the last ship from Florana to a family as the Time War began to approach. As they return to the resort, Yeorgi gives them apples even when Susan's payment is declined, saying that the systems are not working and that he trusts her.

In Monty's recording of Yeorgi, Yeorgi introduces himself as manager of the Grand Draconian Hotel, until the last guests left, and that he has been running Meer's stall. His message to the people is a request not to forget about him and the other people who remained behind on Florana.

In the bar, Susan goes to speak with Lootsa whilst Veklin gets them both drinks from Faith. Veklin asks about Monty's whereabouts, but Faith does not know where he is nor what he does all day.

In Monty's recording of Faith, Faith showed no interest in sending a message to the people outside and asks him to carry a keg upstairs.

Susan keeps Lootsa company as she tidies up the bar and talks with her about Faith, who had been on a holiday to Raven's World recently. Lootsa too was off-world recently, having returned home for a short while whilst the bar was closed. When customers arrive, Lootsa returns to playing the piano.

Lootsa records a second video with Monty. She addresses her mother, saying that she is not sorry about anything and says that she loves her.

Susan and Veklin discuss what they have learnt about Faith and Lootsa; Veklin has seen pictures of Faith's holiday on Raven's World, which they consider an unusual place to holiday, but they are all of her in a hazard suit. Monty is now in his corner and Susan suggests that Veklin goes over and talks to him.

Monty records Veklin, who says that she is not comfortable sharing her feelings with people that she does not know. Monty says that, if he made his own message, he fears that he would not be able to stop.

Susan takes Monty a drink and asks him about his intentions towards Veklin, whom she describes as a "delicate soul". He says that he is a washed-up journalist who has been to the battlefields of Corbeth, Afresha and the Satellites of Brik and that, as of today, he has spoken with everybody at the resort and has no way of sending what he has recorded off-world.

Susan and Veklin talk more about the three suspects: a woman who went for air on an airless world, the singer who never sings and the journalist who does not file copy. They decide to go and look for the relay station that Monty mentioned to Susan as it could be of use to the Dalek spy. They detect a trace of signal, making Susan wonder if it is a trap and decide that they will have to pretend to be amateur painters who learnt about triangulation at school and are helping Monty by finding the station. They find it and enter, watched by Yeorgi who asks somebody if he should follow them or shoot them when they leave.

Inside, Susan and Veklin find a rack of guns favoured by snipers, as well as explosives and paired comms. They find the relay, which is sending a large file which contains Monty's interviews. The final recording shows Monty being killed by a gun. They find his body and wonder whether it was Faith or Lootsa who killed him. Yeorgi watches them leave and Faith tells him not to confront them yet and to continue to listen for information. Veklin gives Susan a gun, but Susan reminds her that Rasmus wants the spy alive. They return to the bar.

Veklin bangs on the bar's door and, when Faith answers, she tells her that Monty is dead. Faith lets her and Susan in and says that she was there after closing time and that Yeorgi can prove it. Having discounted Faith as a suspect, Veklin says that she is going to see Lootsa but learns that Faith has sent her to a cavern in the desert to be safe if the Dalek invasion is tomorrow. Faith looks for a stylus to draw a map; Veklin waits with her whilst Susan goes to find Lootsa. Faith agrees to talk exclusively to Veklin and smashes both of their paired communicators.

Susan has reached the cavern and found that there are gun installations and automated defences around it. The guns track her as she goes towards the cavern and fire.

Faith explains that she had a friend who came to Florana as a tourist before deciding to stay. Her friend returned to Corbeth when the Daleks attacked and Faith went to Raven's World in order to look out at the planet and say goodbye. There, she was approached by a group and contracted to maintain a stock of weapons at the relay station. She draws her weapon, accusing Veklin of being a Dalek agent and believing that she killed Monty.

Having failed to scare Susan away and aware that she is a Time Lord thanks to her scanner, Lootsa lets Susan into the cavern which she and Faith have turned into a bunker and says that she and Faith have dispensed weapons amongst those prepared to fight the Daleks. Susan and Lootsa find that they cannot contact Veklin or Faith and an alarm sounds; the invasion is imminent.

Veklin tells Faith that Lootsa is the last remaining suspect, but Faith believes that it is an absurd idea that she would be a Dalek agent and prepares to shoot Veklin to induce a regeneration and confirm that she is a Time Lord as she claims. There is knocking at the door and the invasion begins, the building collapsing and knocking Veklin out. When she comes to, Faith helps her up and says that the body nearby is that of the person who had been knocking at the door. They leave to find Lootsa, although Faith has forgotten about Veklin's mission and recommends a way to the cavern that is not the quickest.

Susan returns to the resort with Lootsa and finds that the Daleks are not taking slaves nor conducting their invasion in a methodical way as she would expect. A ship lands in the market square and Veklin and Faith see that the attackers are robotised Ogrons. Susan and Lootsa reach the bar and find Faith's body in the ruins. Veklin and her Faith run into Yeorgi, who tells Veklin that Faith is with the Anti-Dalek Force. After Yeorgi is shot and wounded, Faith surrenders to the Ogrons, telling Veklin to trust her.

Susan and Lootsa find Yeorgi, who tells them that Veklin and Faith have been taken prisoner.

The Ogrons identify Veklin as a soldier based on her bearing and lack of fear. Presuming that she is with the resistance, they plan to induce her to share information. Whilst Veklin insists that she is not a soldier and only came to Florana to paint, Faith says that Veklin is still of value and refuses to speak to anybody but the Daleks.

Due to her telepathic link, Susan believes that Veklin is dead and decides to leave with Lootsa and Yeorgi in the TARDIS. However, Veklin appears, having used her respiratory bypass system to feign death in order to escape the Ogrons, and says that they have to save Faith. Susan is confused, having found Faith's body in the bar, but realises that they have to save keep Faith from being taken to the Daleks whether she is ADF or a spy. To do this, she takes Veklin's gun and shoots Faith to prevent her from boarding the ship.

Susan, Veklin, Lootsa and Yeorgi flee from the Ogrons and hide. Susan is confident that the real Faith is dead and has only stunned the pretender. Before going with Veklin to collect her, she tells Yeorgi to spread the word about the Ogrons through the ADF; Lootsa decides to join him.

The Ogrons, having failed in their mission to find the Dalek spy and the ADF, head to the next populated world to exterminate its inhabitants.

In the TARDIS and travelling to Gallifrey, "Faith" wakes up and realises that Susan and Veklin have seen her true form whilst she was unconscious. She is a Brancheerian shapeshifter captured by the Daleks and forced to work for them with the promise of her enslaved people being freed. She took the Dalek-Sensorite parasite to the Interior and, after leaving, met Monty McKenzie and killed him before taking his identity as part of a plan to infiltrate the ADF on Florana. She faked her death as Monty to draw out the ADF and later determined that it was Faith thanks to Susan and Veklin's suspicions.

Susan and Veklin tell "Faith" that the Daleks will never free her people, but that she can help them liberate the camp and assist in the Daleks' defeat by providing information to Gallifrey. Telling "Faith" that she has to choose between trusting her or the Daleks, Susan gives her time to think, although she still has not decided by the time they arrive. Rasmus congratulates Susan and Veklin and has had the videos "Faith" recorded as Monty recut to serve as propaganda. The ninety-four survivors of Florana are willing to fight and spread the word that the Ogrons do not check to make sure that people are dead.

Susan tells Rasmus that she would like to help the hundreds of people behind enemy lines, but he says that he has other plans for her.

Cast[]

References[]

  • Susan's mother produced landscapes in oil of the mountains where they lived. She taught Susan how to paint, but she never got past watercolours.
  • While claiming to be a human from Earth, Susan says she visited Florana in her youth.
  • Yeorgi was born on Florana. He was manager of the Grand Draconian Hotel before the people left. Since then, he has been running Meer's stall as she left a week ago.
  • Faith recently visited Raven's World.
  • Lootsa's mother does not approve of her daughter working on Florana.
  • As a journalist, Monty has been to the battlefields of Corbeth, Afresha and the Satellites of Brik. Brik was known for its starlight, but its atmosphere has now gone.
  • The ruins of Corbeth are visible from Raven's World.
  • Yeorgi names the robotised Ogrons "Robogrons".
  • A Brancheerian colony lived on Donahey's Moon and was attacked by the Daleks, who took prisoners.

Notes[]

Continuity[]

External links[]

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