'Dean James.' beamed the chisel handsome young man, stretching out his hand. 'Captain Dean James.' he added for extra notability, as his two fellow female pilots behind him laughed. All three were dressed in white jumpsuits.
'Hello.' she grinned, taking his hand, which he then placed a light kiss on the back off. "Oh." Susan blushed, taking back her hand and holding it.
'What are you doing here?' she asked.
'We’re Space Rats,' he said indicating to the circular badge on his jumpsuit, 'you haven’t heard of us?' he asked, a little taken aback at Susan blank faced response.
'No.' she innocently replied.
'Only the greatest stunt team in the Galaxy. This is Nola and Cherry. Say "hi" girls.
'Hi,' said the girls, giving Susan little waves.
'Hello.' she replied.
'We’re recruiting. For new members.' he continued.
'She’s a bit young, Dean.' said Cherry. Dean reluctantly nodded his head in agreement.
'I’m not!' replied Susan trying to reassure them.
'Have you been in an X type fighter before?' asked Nola.
'No, no I haven’t.' admitted Susan, disappointed that she seemed to be being dismissed as a possible future Space Rat.
'Well, there’s a first time for everything!' said Dean, putting his arm around her in attempt to cheer her up.
'I thought everyone would want to be a Space Rat,' said Susan, 'it sounds like so much fun.'
'It is fun.' Dean assured her. 'And great green too!'
'It’s very dangerous,' added Cherry, puncturing Dean’s pitch and rolling up the leg on her jumpsuit to show Susan her metal limb below.
'Oh, that’s terrible.' said Susan, reaching forward to touch it and feeling the smooth cold surface. "How did it happen?"
'A collision. You should see the other guy. Actually you can’t, his fighter exploded.'
'Oh,' replied Susan, thinking that she wasn’t in any hurry to be killed.
'Listen, this is all getting a bit heavy. Why don’t you come out for a spin?' suggested Dean.
'Oh I don’t know about that. My Grandfather...'
'He won’t even know you’ve gone.' he drawled. 'You’ll be back before you know it, I promise.'
'That’s a "Dean promise" Susan.' interrupted Nola, who giggled.
'Hey, my word is good!' protested Dean.
'Well, I guess.' said Susan.
'Great, come on girls lets show Susan what we’re all about!'
The girls, Dean and Susan headed for the docking bay at the end of the level.
The Doctor had finished his food, cleaned his cloak and was now in search of his Granddaughter, but the crowd and his inability to find his relative were quickly disorienting him. He walked over to the glass barrier that looked out into space and wiped his brow as he leaned against a rail before it. 'My, my,' he said to himself, 'what a situation.'
As he looked out onto the vastness of the Galaxy he saw three ships shoot out from the station. He watched the slim white crafts that had ‘Space Rats’ proudly emblazoned on each side fly away before one dramatically turned and in a display of arrogance and daring, twisted round and flew close to the glass wall of the station. The Doctor was shocked to see Susan sitting behind the pilot; his face instantly filled with anxiety, disbelief and anger.
'Woo hoo!' cried Dean, as the fighter zoomed past the exterior of the space station.
Susan screamed in excitement and terror as the Dean pulled the ship up and rejoined his colleagues.
'Oh that was fun!'
'That’s what we do.' said Dean. 'Displays, personal trips for bored paper pushers to get some excitement into their dull lives.'
'Sound good?' he asked.
'Sounds splendid.' she replied, glancing around.
'Young man! Young man!' called the Doctor as he stood at the foot of the steps to the entrance of the Zolan craft.
'Oh, it’s you.' said the nasal voiced creature appearing at the doorway of the ship.
'Yes, I need your immediate assistance.'
'You do huh?'
'I do. My Granddaughter has been kidnapped!'
'Kid-napped?' he replied in disbelief.
'Yes, the perpetrators: Space Rats!'
'Mmm money?' questioned the Doctor, optimistically checking his trouser and coat pockets.
'Yeah, if you want to hire the ship it’s gon-na cost ya.'
'I don’t carry currency on my person.' he told the alien.
'Well, I can’t help you.' the alien replied, shrugging his shoulders.
'Young man, this is a matter of grave importance.'
'You said Space Rats?'
'She’ll be fine. I know them. They’re a lit-tle cra-zy but…'
'But what?' The Doctor jumped in.
'No I do NOT!'
'I see, I see.' replied the Doctor, trying to calm himself. 'So, you think she’ll be…'
'She’ll be fine, they’ll give her a tour, a few stunts, she’ll come back feelin’ a bit sick and wobbly on her feet.'
'Yes, maybe, maybe. But I do worry so.'
'Sure. I’m Kobeck, by the way.' said the vibrant alien, holding out one of his eight hands.
'Oh, yes, the Doctor.' replied The Doctor, shaking the limb, whilst looking towards the docking bay.
'Come and have a cup of tea, whilst you wait?' offered the Zolan.
'Yeah, don’t sound so sur-prised. We have tea.'
'Well,' began the Doctor, once again checking towards the docking bay, 'I suppose that would be quite delightful.' he admitted, cordially accepting the invitation.
'Come on up!'
The Doctor once again glanced towards the docking bay and pulled an exasperated face before climbing the stairs into the craft.
The three X type fighter’s shot across the star dotted Solar System. Although a traveller herself Susan had never been just reinforced glass away from the coldness of space. She marvelled at the stars and the formation of the Milky Way in the distance.
'This is breathtaking.' she gushed.
'Is it?' replied Dean.
'Yes, don’t you think? The stars, the space, the freedom.'
'Yeah, I guess. I suppose I’m use to it.'
'It’s all beautiful.'
'What’s so funny?'
'You’re enthusiasm.' replied Dean.
'Is it contagious?' she asked.
'Erm, no, not yet. So where do you and your Grandfather come from?'
Susan paused, thinking before giving her answer.
'Oh nowhere in particular.'
'No. But we have been there.'
'You’re not fugitives are you?'
Susan shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
'Nah, you’re too sweet for that.' said Dean when he received no reply.
'Do you think so?' flushed Susan.
Nola voice came over the intercom. 'Dean. Fancy trying the Amelda manoeuvre?'
'Sounds good. Sounds good to you Susan?'