Chapter 17

"I'm not going anywhere with you!" Tegan shouted, even as she was forced to march across the pasture at gun point. Thankfully she'd missed stepping in any cow pats. She didn't fancy being locked up in some alien prison, reeking of cow dung.

The group of black and white cattle looked on placidly. A few interrupting their grazing, lifting their heads to give curious stares. The dog man in the combat fatigues stopped. He leaned towards Tegan, thrusting his gun into her face.

"I can track down the Doctor with or without you. But should that be without you, human, then I will leave you here. As a corpse. Your choice." He shrugged.

"Listen, Roger..." Tegan said.

"The name is Rogerious!" He snarled.

"Rogerious, Rover, whatever." Tegan told him defiantly, as she began walking again towards the waiting space ship. "Alright. You can take me as a hostage, but I should warn you. The Doctor has a lot bigger weapons in his TARDIS than that pistol.. Time Lord weapons" She bluffed, hoping the bounty hunter was ignorant of the Doctor's pacifist tendencies.

The dog man snorted. "So?" He sneered, sounding almost childish in his defiance of this unknown threat. Though the truth was, he was a little afraid of the Time Lords. There was an air of mystique, of untold power about them, that he couldn't quite put his paws on."As it happens, I have something even mighty the mighty Time Lord would cower at." Rogerious bragged.

"Oh really?" Tegan said, trying to sound unimpressed.

"Come!" Rogerious said proudly. "I shall show you, human."

"I have a name, you know." She said, as they reached Rogerious' ship. "It's Tegan. Not human. Tegan. You got that?"

"What care I if you have a name, Human?" Rogerious shrugged. "You will stay here. Move not, or I shall be forced to kill you."

"You know, that's really beginning to annoy me. Look." Tegan huffed, as he forced her down on the grass beside the ship. "Either you stop calling me human, or I'll start calling you...Mr. Woofy."

The Dog man was about to go up the ramp into his ship. He paused, frowning and giving a low growl of disgust. "Mr. Woofy? Is that supposed to be some kind of human insult?"

"Short answer: yes." Tegan retorted.

"Than your insult is wasted. I will not give in to your petty attempts at baiting me. However, I have decided to humour you. Tegan. Stay here, if you do not wish to be killed. And you will see precisely how I shall deal with your Time Lord friend."

Holstering his pistol, the bounty hunter marched solemnly into his ship. Moments later, Rogerious returned. He was carrying what appeared to be a large silver suitcase. Kneeling down on the grass, he carefully unlatched the case. Inside, nestled in a velvet midnight blue cushioned lining, was something which made Tegan raise a skeptical eyebrow.

"You're going to give the Doctor a toy action figure?" She asked, puzzled. "What are you then? Some kind of canine Santa Claus?"

"This, Tegan, is hardly a children's play thing." He admonished.

Reaching into one of the many pockets on of his black combat fatigues, Rogerious produced a small, flat black device. It looked to Tegan almost like one of those new television remote controls she'd seen. The bounty hunter gingerly picked up the 'toy' and set it on the grass, well away from the ship. Stepping back, he held out the device in his hand and pressed a button.

Suddenly, the 'action figure' shimmered. It began to grow in size, until it was over four metres in height. What Tegan saw was nothing less than astonishing to her.

Standing there on the grass was some sort of robot. It had a gleaming, black flexible body suit. The sides of its slender, sturdy legs were decorated in gold Chinese style scroll work. The ornate breast plate covering its chest was decked out with a small red and gold dragon. Beneath the dragon was some sort of corporate logo bearing the words: 'Hwang Robotics Ltd.'.

Draped across the upper part of the breast plate was a bandoleer holding what looked like some type of small grenades. And while the black gloved right hand was similar to that of a human, there was no left hand at all. In its place, was some sort of revolving machine pistol.

However, it was the robot's head which caused Tegan's jaw to drop. For the head was that of a fierce looking dragon. Shining gold armoured scales reflected the crimson of the setting sun. It's eyes glowed ruby red. The thing's jaw opened, revealing a mouthful of silvery metal blades instead of teeth.

"What is that thing?" Tegan asked, gaping at the sheer size of it.

"What you so coarsely refer to as 'that thing', is the latest model from Hwang Robotics." Rogerious told her proudly. "The KB-12. Better known as a 'kill-bot.' The best assassination robot ever invented. Highly illegal to possess on most of the civilized worlds, of course. But, you can't have everything. Permit me to give you a demonstration, Tegan."

Rogerious pressed another button on his device. The kill-bot came to attention. It then began to go through a series of Ninja kicks, somersaults and other maneuvers, all with the grace of a ballet dancer. The bounty hunter pressed another button. Red laser beams shot from the kill-bot's eyes, severing part of the pasture's barbed wire fence as if it were made of paper. Another press of a button and the dragon robot suddenly stopped and spat a glowing fireball from its mouth. It shot like an arrow through the air, and hit a nearby pine tree, instantly setting it aflame. Bellowing in fear, the herd of cows bolted in all directions.

One of the creatures, in its panic, made a fatal mistake. It ran towards the robot. The robot leaned down and spewed a shower of green goo from its nose. It splattered all over the cow. The animal barely manged to give one single, terrified bellow, before the acid from the robot caused the cow to dissolve into the grass.

All the noise had disturbed a flock of crows. As they passed overhead, the robot reared up and gave a great mechanical roar. In place of fire, it belched a cloud of yellow smoke from its mouth. Several of the crows flew through the poisonous gas, instantly dropping dead.

"Stop it!" A distressed Tegan shouted. "Those poor things. You didn't have to do that! They were no threat to you."

"Very well." Rogerious said, reducing the robot to toy size once more. Scooping up the robot, he put it back into its case. "Though I fail to see why you should worry about creatures of such a low order. Perhaps you humans prefer spending your time with things that are as empty-minded as you are."

"They have a right to live, the same as you and me." Tegan told him, remembering something the Doctor had told her once, when the earth was being threatened by a hostile alien race.

"Not if I have any say about it, Tegan." Rogerious said ominously, drawing his pistol with his free hand. He gestured with it towards the ramp. "Now into the ship. I've wasted enough time on this miserable planet. Once I have nixed the Doctor, I can retire to the beaches of Hasti, where I'm told their gorgeous males go about un-attired. You may even be allowed to live, after the deed is done. I could use a slave to peel my fruit for me."

"Ha! That'll be the day. You just wait, Roger. The Doctor won't be stopped by some super space robot."

He only laughed, as he settled into the pilot's chair. "The kill-bot is made to be unstoppable. Nothing can harm it. It answers only to me. Ah, I can almost smell all those credits that bounty will fetch me. Let's face it, Tegan. Your Doctor is as good as dead."

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