Marco crouched behind the remains of what had once been a wall. The dark gloomy sky and the storm that raged overhead provided the perfect cover. For hours he and his men have waited. Waited for their targets to come into their sights. Information gathered from other resistant groups reported that the enemy would be moving a large consignment of workers through this sector, and Marco was determined that this time, it would be his side with the advantages. It had been a long and hard battle. Several of his closet friends and comrades had already given their lives to prevent this injustice. Several of his friends had told him it was an impossible mission. But as long as there was a chance of saving even one human life, then he was determined to try.
As he waited, with the storm brewing overhead, he remember the earlier times, before the meteorites fells, before the plagues, before they invaded. He remembered his childhood, playing with his friends, struggling with his class assignments, and summers visiting the fairs and museums that made 5th Avenue the most popular tourist spot in the civilized world. He remembered his father, holding his hand as he gazed at the landing section of the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander. It had been recovered from the Moon’s surface and just recently installed at the Astronaut Fair. He remembered his father explaining to him how back in the early days of space travel, it took three days, and not 4 hours to reach the Moon. Marco was amazed by science and technology, and he dreamed of one day himself, traveling out beyond the confines of the solar system, exploring new worlds, and maybe, even discovering alien life. He chuckled at that last though. How could a 12 year old boy ever have dreamed that a mere 10 years later he would be fighting with that alien life for the survival of his planet.
Williams nudge in the shoulder interrupted Marco’s thoughts. He quickly steadied his gaze in the direction his friend was pointing. “There,” Williams motioned, “coming just around the ruins of the factory.” From around what had once been a factory and warehouse sitting in what had once been the southern section of town, the enemy came. The men, if they in fact could still be called men, walked in the slow labored motions of the living dead. Their clothing, what was left of it, hung in rags around their figures. Slung over each shoulder was a machine pistol, and on top of each mans head, sat the silver helmet of the Robomen. Behind them, struggling along in a straight line, were 30 to 40 people. Men, women, children; the old and the young, all in tattered cloths, their faces streaked with dirt, and weary from years of hardship.
“How many can you make out?” Marco asked.
Williams peered over the wall which was providing them with protection. “Five Robomen, two in the front, three behind. About 35 prisoners, 40 tops.”
Marco checked once again that his weapon was loaded. Then he called to his fellow resistance fighters. “Remember, not until they reach the intersection.” All around him, his men, their fingers poised on their triggers, watched, as the precession of guards and prisoners made their way down the street. Above them, the storm, with its accompanying wind and rain, was getting worse Eventually, with Marco and Williams watching, the group of prisoners and their escorts reached the intersection.
“Now!” Marco hollered.
The Robomen never knew what hit them. From three directions, a hail of bullets cut into the first two rag-clad figures, their bodies quivering as they lie, dying on the street. Shocked, but only momentarily, the prisoners began to run for cover. The three remaining Robomen un-shouldered their weapons, but before they could take aim another round from the resistance cut one of them down. The last two remaining soldiers began firing wildly, not quite sure where they should aim their bullets.
“We’ve got them now!” Shouted Williams.
“Ramos, Carlos,” Marco shouted over the sounds of his own firing. “Get the prisoners out of here!”
Ramos and Carlos, who had been stationed a few feet up the block from where Marco has positioned him and Williams, gave a nod to indicate they had heard his command. With Carlos providing covering fire, Ramos climbed out from behind the automobile which had been providing both of them cover. The rain was coming down heavily not and the sky screamed with thunder. Slowly Ramos made his way round towards the now panicking figures which had, until a few minuets ago, been prisoners But just as he was halfway across the intersection his body froze in horror and pain, as a white light engulfed him. Screaming, his lifeless body slumped to the floor.
“Daleks!” Williams shouted.
Everyone of the resistance fighters quickly turned their attention toward the end of the street. Coming about around the warehouse were five of the fighting machines which had caused so much terror to 22nd century Earth. The five Daleks made no sound, but continued up the street towards the now dumb-founded resistance workers. This was definitely not in the plan, and no where was it ever considered attacking prisoners under Dalek escort.
“What are they doing here?” Williams shouted. “There was no mention of Daleks working with this consignment.
“They must have been on patrol and heard the firing,” was all that Marco could think of. The group of prisoners, who up until this point had been scurrying for whatever cover they could find, and quickly began to run in blind terror at the sight of the metal monsters. Two of the machine creatures immediately changed direction to pursue them, their gun sticks cutting down a third of the prisoners as they ran out into the open.
The remaining resistance fighters did not fare any better. Carlos, who had been trapped within the Dalek line of fire was quickly cut down. Robertson and James, who had been stationed on the second floor of the old Department Store, began lobbing grenades down upon the travel machines, but they too were also cut down. Although the remaining hail of bullets from Marco’s gun made short work of the last Roboman, they bounced harmlessly off the Dalek casing.
“We have to get out of here!” Williams yelled.
“No!” Marco yelled back. “I will not loose another group of prisoners.”
Williams began tugging at his friends arm. “This is stupid. We can’t fight machines.”
Marco ignored his friend’s plea, unholsters the pack of grenades he had been carrying over his shoulder, and began lobbing bombs into the intersection. “It ends here!”
The Daleks realized that most of the resistance fighters had been killed by the diminishing in the number of bullets and explosives that were being thrown at them. A third unit moved off towards the first two to help in the cordoning of the few remaining prisoners, as the last two bore down on Marco and Williams’ position. Marco was determined to stay and fight, even at the risk of his own life, and Williams was not about to abandon his last remaining friend. As the Daleks approached both Williams and Marco threw everything they had at their enemy. Grenade after grenade was lobbed at the pepper-pod shaped figures until there were no more grenades to lob. The two Daleks realized this, and trained their gun sticks on the center of the wall that had been providing this last pocket of resistance with cover. The wall exploded in a barrage of mortar and bricks, and Marco found himself flung almost 15 feet. He lay in the middle of the intersection, and as the two Daleks approached his prone body, his only thoughts were of that of his father, and that day at the Astronaut Fair.
The lead Dalek focused its gaze on Marco’s prone body, as its gun stick came to bare. But just as Marco heard the power building up within the weapon, something incredible happened. The Dalek’s eye-stalk shot straight up into the air, and the machine began twirling wildly. From within the Dalek creature made the most horrendous of sounds and it quickly became evident to Marco that it was in incredible pain. Marco quickly looked around. All of the other machines were acting in exactly the same manor. And then, one by one, each of the machines came to a halt. The eye sticks fell towards the ground as did the gun stick and manipulator arm. The street, which had been the scene of tremendous killing, was silent, save for the sound of the storm raging overhead.
Williams offered Marco his hand and helped his friend to his feet. Marco noticed the deep gash on the side of his friends head. With a stab of pain Marco himself realized that he too had not escaped injury. There was blood staining the left side of his tunic. The wound in his side was serious, but it would heal. Slowly, the two walked over to the now still Dalek machines. “What do you think happened?” William asked.
Marco, examining the prone figures, just shook his head.
“They lost power some how.”
“Are they dead?”
Marco shoved one of casing, which slowly glided across the intersection. “Yea, they’re dead.”
Three thousand mile across the Atlantic, under the ruins of a London bridge, a small blue box in the shape of a Metropolitan Police Box slowly fades away. Watching it are two prone figures. One had, until recently, traveled in the time machine. The other was native to 22nd century London. Slowly David walks up to Susan and takes her hand, leading her off to their new life together.
Story © 2003 Alina Jones/Visagraph Films International.