It's an Oxygen Factory
"Turn!" The Doctor bellowed as the Clerics opened fire on the Angels. Their bullets seemed to be having very little effect on the creatures as, each time the smallest amount of light illuminated the corridor, they seemed to be advancing.
"Doctor, quickly!" Evie shouted as she helped Amy wrench the metal wheel around on the hatch.
As it began to slide open, Amy gave a triumphant cry. "It's opening, it's working."
River bundled her daughter through the small gap that had appeared between the hatch and the wall before moving through as well, closely followed by Amy. After the three women came the Clerics.
"Doctor!" The brunette shouted again, a split second before the Time Lord slid through the tiny gap and the hatch closed, trapping the Angels on the other side. Evie let out a sigh of relief, an emotion which was echoed on the faces of her mother and grandmother.
They retreated along the next section of corridor, eyes glued to the hatch as a loud banging noise filled the area. The Angels seemed to be trying to get through the metal shutter. Scanning the next door with his screwdriver, the Doctor managed to override the system and open it. Octavian and a couple of his men went in first, ensuring that it was safe, before the others followed.
"Doctor, quickly!" River snapped, as the last of the Clerics moved through the door and into the control room. Evie glanced around quickly, taking in the technology and controls.
"Doctor!" Amy called as well, realising that he was the only one who hadn't come inside. The sound of the sonic screwdriver could still be heard in the corridor outside.
"Hurry up!" Evie urged.
As soon as the sonic stopped, the hatch began to close. The Doctor dodged through with split-seconds to spare. It was so close that the edge of his tweed jacket almost got trapped between the metal. Without even noticing, the Time Lord sprinted through the control room, heading straight for the mainframe. Amy followed, joining River and Evie who were already tapping at the monitors, checking readings and manipulating the controls.
As they all watched, the wheel-handle on the door began to spin. "Doctor!" Amy called out, terrified at the sight. Evie paused for a moment, glancing at the hatch, before resuming her furious tapping at the keys on the control panel in front of her. "What are you doing?"
There was a clunk, a hiss and the wheel stopped moving at once. Octavian had attached a magnetic clamp. It glowed red, signalling that it was working.
"Magnetized the door. Nothing could turn that wheel now." He explained.
"Yeah?" The Doctor said, not sounding convinced. Evie had a sinking feeling that something as basic as a magnetic clamp on the door wouldn't hold the Weeping Angels out for long. Her resolve deepened and her fingers moved faster still over the keys. Beside her, River was working on the mounds of loose wiring that covered the console.
Almost at once there was a loud clank and the wheel jerked clockwise in odd, spasmodic movements. Everyone froze, staring in horror at the door.
"Dear God!" Octavian exclaimed as the movements became more steady.
The Doctor grinned. "Ah, now you're getting it! You've bought us time though, that's good. I am good with time."
"Seal that door. Seal it now!" Octavian ordered his men as there was a large clunk and the wheel on a second door started moving.
The cleric did as he was told, attaching a magnetic clamp and standing in position, his gun raised and aimed at the door.
"We're surrounded!" River pointed out.
"Seal it, seal that door." The Bishop snapped as a third door started moving as well. "Doctor, how long have we got?"
"Five minutes, max."
Evie glanced up, shooting Amy a curious look as the red-head spoke. Her eyes met her mother's for a moment and she saw the same question reflected there. Why?
"Five." The Doctor repeated.
"Five, right yeah."
"Why d'you say nine?"
"We need another way out of here." River pointed out as loud clunking noises filled the room and the wheel-handles on each of the doors started moving. She looked around, her eyes darting over the room looking for any un-blocked exit. Evie's fingers paused on the controls as she followed suit.
"There isn't one."
"Yeah, there is, course there is." The Doctor said, ignoring Father Octavian's words and dancing around agitatedly, thinking. "This is a galaxy class ship, goes for years between planet-falls. Sowhat do they need?"
River, who had returned to the wiring, looked up and gasped. "Of course!"
"Of course, what? What do they need?" Amy asked, glancing between the Doctor, River and Evie. The brunette had no idea what her parents were getting at, either. She shrugged and looked around, furrowing her eyebrows as she tried to work it out before they said. Evie hated them telling her things she should have been able to work out for herself. What was the point of having a Time Lord brain and everything that went with it if you couldn't figure things out without being told!
"Can we get in there?"
"Well, it's a sealed unit, but they must have installed it somehow. This whole wall should slide up…there's clamps. Release the clamps!" The Doctor went to work on the devices with his sonic screwdriver as Evie continued to rack her brains for the answer.
"What's through there? What do they need?"
"They need to breathe." River said simply. Then it hit Evie. A split second before the hatch raised and revealed a mass of vegetation, the young woman knew what she would see. She gasped, wondering at the sheer size of the forest, the amount of trees and just how natural it all looked.
Amy stepped forwards, her mouth dropping open in surprise. "But that's... That's a..."
"It's an oxygen factory."
"It's a forest."
"Yeah, it's a forest, it's an oxygen factory." River agreed with a slight smirk. She glanced at Evie and winked. Her daughter rolled her eyes, knowing that River knew that the reason she had been so quiet had been because she didn't know the answers. This made the archaeologist smirk even more.
"And, if we're lucky, an escape route."
Amy exhaled sharply, unable to believe what she was seeing. "Eight."
"What did you say?" River demanded.
Turning to look at her blankly, Amy shook her head and shrugged. "Nothing."
"Is there another exit?" The Doctor asked, glossing over the strange moment. "Scan the architecture; we don't have time to get lost in there."
"On it!" Octavian said, moving through the hatch and into the forest. "Stay where you are until I've checked the Rad levels."
"But trees! On a space ship?"
"Oh, more than trees, way better than trees… you're going to love this.Tree-borgs!" The Doctor exclaimed, moving into the forest and plucking at the moss growing on the side of one of the trees. It opened up to reveal a complicated looking mass of gently pulsating wires. "Trees plus technology… branches become cables, become sensors on the hull; a forest sucking in starlight, breathing out air. It even rains! There's a whole mini-climate. It is an eco-pod running through the heart of the ship. A forest in a bottle on a space ship in a maze! Have I impressed you yet, Amy Pond?"
She laughed and shook her head, definitely impressed. "Seven."
"You said seven."
"No, I didn't." Amy replied, screwing up her face. She shot Evie a glance and noticed that the younger girl was staring at her with concern on her face. This realisation shook Amy and she looked back at the Doctor warily, obviously realising that something strange was going on.
River glanced at her daughter as well, before nodding. "Yes, you did."
"Doctor!" Octavian called from the forest, momentarily breaking the tense atmosphere in the control room. "There's an exit, far end of the ship, into the Primary Flight Deck."
"Good, that's where we need to go." The Doctor replied distractedly, still staring into Amy's eyes.
"Plotting a safe path now."
"Quick as you like!" He agreed, barely looking away from his companion.
River looked sideways at Evie, who shot her an anxious look back and shrugged, before moving to see if she could help with the alterations her mother was making to the wiring.