Chapter 1

"Brigadier!" The Doctor exploded as he burst back into the scientific base barely ten minutes after he had left. The Brigadier's head shot up as the Time Lord sought him out from the crowd of people who had gathered in the small room as the base had been rocked by the recent explosion, and made a bee-line towards him. The expression upon his face was both terrifying and thunderous, and there was a burning rage within his bulbous eyes the likes of which the Brigadier had not witnessed from his friend before, and it filled him with an impending sense of dread. But still, true to rank and character, he held his ground.

The room began to clear rapidly as the Doctor approached the commanding officers side, and people began to realise that the angry Time Lord was only interested in one man. Most of them not wanting to get involved with an ensuing argument, the men and women silently crept from the room one by one, and then in small groups of three or four as angry voices promptly erupted behind them, until only a handful of some of the more braver UNIT officials lingered. All of whom remained completely ignored by the Doctor.

"That was murder!" He snarled, as the Brigadier got to his feet in order to face him and Liz Shaw hurried in behind, immediately putting herself between the Doctor and her commanding officer in an attempt to try and separate the two men. It was not in either man's nature to react to a situation with violence unless provoked, but she had never seen the Doctor quite this angry before, and the Brigadier was bound to have been made to feel threatened by this rather uncharacteristic tantrum and therefore more inclined to feel the need to defend himself.

Nobody noticed the Brigadier sway, overbalancing as he got to his feet, nor how his one hand gripped the edge of the desk next to him in order to steady himself. The other hand reached up to rub his warm forehead, fraught as he was and feeling increasingly unsteady on his own feet, but the Doctor was far too angry and Liz too busy doing her best to calm him, in order to notice.

"When I think of the things they might have taught us." The Doctor was saying, as Liz struggled to pacify his outburst of fury without much success. "They were a sensitive, intelligent race, and you destroyed them!"

"I had my orders!" The Brigadier declared, clear of his duty and swallowing hard as he prepared to defend his actions against the Doctor's tirade against him. "UNIT has a duty to protect the human race against any hostile threat, alien or otherwise, and I am an officiator of UNIT. I do not have the authority to override an official order… and besides," he ventured, "the Silurians had their chance, they could have approached us in peace and I for one would have been prepared to listen, but instead they decided to try and wipe out the entire human race. Still more innocent people may die before we can be sure that the plague has been effectively contained. Did you really expect us to take that risk with millions of people's lives?" He asked.

The Doctor glared at him, taking in the Brigadier's glowing cheeks, but passing off their rosy blush as a side effect of the past few days. He muttered something under his breath about 'You humans', and 'always too ready to blow something up,' and something about 'the most dangerous race in the universe', which the Brigadier didn't think was entirely fair. Even so the Doctor having been presented with such a reasoned argument could hardly dispute nor deny the validity of the Brigadier's statement. As time had gone on and with their alpha mercilessly slaughtered it had become increasingly apparent that the Silurian's had turned their battle into a clear case of 'us or them', with no room for compromise, and little hope of a diplomatic solution.

Having been presented with the facts he had to concede that the Brigadier probably hadn't had much of a choice in the matter. But this didn't stop the thought of such a pointless waste of intelligent life making his blood boil. The Brigadier meanwhile found his strength waning and he began to find himself weakening at the knees as the Doctor held him in a fierce gaze, finding it increasingly difficult to match the Time Lord's tenacity. But he remained confident in his own conviction that he had ultimately done the right thing, and this seemed to give rise to an inner strength.

Finally the Doctor swept away with a defeated growl and the Brigadier breathed a deep sigh as Liz too blew out her cheeks in relief. The Brigadier's heart was by now hammering away within his chest in a most alarming manner, giving fruit to an intense throbbing in his head and an acute dizziness which made it almost impossible for him to maintain his façade for much longer, and as Liz turned to look at him she noticed that there was blood dribbling down the back of one of his hands.

"You're hurt." She exclaimed, reaching instinctively for the sticky, oozing appenditure, but the Brigadier fixed her with as calm a look as he could muster under the circumstances and slowly shook his head.

"I don't think so." He smiled.

It was only now that Liz began to notice the angry flush of red to the Brigadier's cheeks set against the canvas of an incredibly pale complexion, and the sweat plastering his dark hair to his burning forehead and trickling down the sides of his neck. She noticed the unmistakable fluid filled swellings, only just visible beneath his sleeve cuff – the tell-tale first sign of the plagues manifestation – and her heart skipped a beat, leaping into her mouth. Some of the blisters had already burst, and were responsible for the sticky flow of dark blood now dripping in thin droplets from the tips of the Brigadier's fingers.

"I think I'd better sit down." The Brigadier wheezed as he began to lower himself to the ground.

"Doctor?" Liz called out urgently.

"What?" The Time Lord snapped, turning around just in time to watch the Brigadier slump to the ground, carried by the full force of his weight. His chest was rising and falling erratically as he struggled to take shallow breaths, and Liz struggled to support him, holding him up as best she could, in a bid to try and stop him hitting his head as he fell.

The Doctor was by her side and had taken her place in an instant, cradling the Brigadier gently in a remarkable display of strength as he carefully lowered his friend to the ground.

"It's alright Alistair." He soothed, his tone surprisingly tender and broken by deep concern considering his recent angry outburst as he too observed the oozing blisters protruding from just below the Brigadier's sleeve cuff. He looked back at Liz and where there had recently been an intense fire born of flaming fury burning behind his blue eyes she now only registered his alarm and ill-concealed fear. Neither said a word, they both knew what the infected pustules meant, and there was nothing to be said. Words could do nothing to help them now.

"Take it easy, everything's going to be alright." The Doctor did his best to reassure his friend. The Brigadier looked up at him helplessly, but was now only barely clinging onto consciousness. He coughed weakly.

The Silurians had just claimed their next victim.