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The Roadcone Invasion of Earth

by Matthew Newton


THE STORY SO FAR: The Doctor and friends have landed in London in the year 2166 (or 2150 if this is based on the film); it is now impossible to get into the TARDIS and Susan has sprained her ankle. You haven't missed much, have you?

The Doctor and Ian Chequerboard dashed towards the river, pursued by the robot-like Men-With-Flower-Pots-On-Their-Heads. "We might be able to swim for it," said Ian heroically.

"Who do you think I am, the Man From Atlantis?" snapped the Doctor.

But this friendly banter was stopped when both men noticed something surfacing from underwater. Horrified, they recognised the pepper-pot shape and bands of colour. As it emerged fully their worst fears were confirmed - it was a Roadcone.

"AH - THAT WAS A NICE SWIM," said the Roadcone. It's eye-stalk swivelled as it noticed the Doctor and Ian. "TAKE THEM TO THE SPACE WAGON" it ordered the Men-With-Flower-Pots-On-Their-Heads.

As they were being shepherded away, Ian managed to speak with the Doctor. "I thought we had destroyed the Roadcones on the planet Sparrow."

"Oh, yes, I say, I say, oh, oh, yes, yes," replied the Doctor, forgetting his lines. "It would appear that we have travelled back in time, and these are earlier Roadcones, yes, yes, that's it, yes, yes."

Meanwhile Barbara Wrighteous was safely hidden in the secret base of the few resistance fighters that were holding out against the Roadcones. Here she had met a girl called Jenny and a wheelchair bound scientist called Dartmoor.

"You see, prior to their invasion, the Roadcones weakened Earth by dropping clones of Russell Grant on all the major cities, so there was little resistance when the Roadcone space wagons arrived," explained Jenny.

"They captured millions of people and turned them into those Men-With-Flower-Pots-On-Their-Heads that you've seen," continued Dartmoor. "They are mindless slaves, with no will of their own."

"Oh, you mean like Star Trek fans?" said Barbara.

Before anyone could reply, Susan Forefinger entered from another room, with hunky young David Campbell. "Er..Dave's just been showing me his battle plans," said Susan, buttoning up her blouse. "But what are the Roadcones doing on Earth?" asked Barbara.

"We don't know," replied Dartmoor, "But they have taken a lot of slaves to do some excavations in Bedfordshire, but we don't know why."

"Maybe they just don't like Bedfordshire," said Barbara.

"Perhaps they are building a motorway," suggested Susan brightly. "Or perhaps mining the Earth's magnetic core in order to turn the planet into a giant spacecraft." Everyone glared at Susan. "No, you're right. Silly idea."

"Well, this is what we need to find out, so we should head off to Bedfordshire," said David heroically.

"But is there any way of fighting the Roadcones?" asked Barbara.

Dartmoor replied. "Well, we have guns, but they have no effect on the Roadcone shells. Fortunately, I have acquired these specially strengthened shells." Dartmoor indicated the portable Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile launcher that lay on his lap.

"Right, when do we leave?" said Barbara.

The Doctor and Ian had been imprisoned in a small room on the Roadcone Space Wagon, along with another miscellaneous character that I can't be bothered to give a name to. The Doctor was studying a large chess-board with magnetic chess-pieces attached to it that covered one wall.

"Mmmm, yes, yes, I say. I think this is the interior of the door control, yes, of course it is, yes, " said the Doctor.

"It looks like a chess board to me," said the Miscellaneous Character before Ian hit him heroically.

The Doctor carefully manoeuvred the chess-pieces, muttering to himself. He then stepped back and the door slid open. "You see, you see, my boy, it was all quite simple - these are the insides of the locking mechanism of the door, I just had to move them all in line, yes, yes."

"I still say its a chess puzzle that he's solved," said the Miscellaneous Character, ducking as Ian tried to hit him again.

The three men stepped out of the cell only to be greeted by two triumphant Roadcones. "YOU HAVE SOLVED OUR SUBTLE PUZZLE," grated one. "THIS PROVES THAT YOU ARE SUITABLE TO BE TURNED INTO A MAN-WITH-A-FLOWER-POT-ON-YOUR HEAD."

"Well, I'm going to escape," said the Miscellaneous Character, making a run down the corridor, only to have a large concrete statue suddenly fall on him. That's why I didn't give him a name.


The Resistance fighters were stood out in the street outside their base, when Dave spotted two Roadcones heading their way. "You go on," said Dartmoor. "I'm no use to you, I'll try out my new shells."

Without any argument, the others ran off, and Dartmoor shifted the portable Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile launcher on to his shoulder as the Roadcones approached. He pulled the trigger and two missiles flew into the Roadcones - but didn't explode.

"Bloody second hand goods!" cried Dartmoor as two Roadcone death rays smashed into his body.

Back on the Space Wagon, the Doctor was being prepared for his transformation into a Man-With-A-Flower-Pot-On-His-Head. "What can I do, Cheeseboard, my boy?" he asked Ian.

"Not much," replied Ian. "Besides, I think the flower pot is quite a fetching a fashion item."

Ian was herded away by another Roadcone, as the Doctor was lay on the bench and the transformation process was started. "Well, he can't be much worse than he is now," said Ian heroically.


Originally published in Think Tank issue 20 (April 1991).

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