Products

Read an exclusive excerpt from 'Doom's Day: Extraction Point'

The universe's greatest assassin encounters not one, but TWO Doctors in the next adventure in the Doom's Day saga from BBC Books.

Extraction Point, written by M.G. Harris, is the next instalment in the Doom's Day multi-platform saga. To celebrate its release, you can read an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter here on the Doctor Who website.

Get your copy of DOOM'S DAY: EXTRACTION POINT here.

Doom's Day: Extraction Point

Read an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter of 'Extraction Point' below...


VM2076

Doom sneaked a glance at the timer on her wrist-mounted vortex manipulator.
Fifty-nine minutes.
Then she’d be siphoned into the timestream to the next mission. With luck she’d finish this mission early and spend an easy ten minutes researching the next, picking from a shortlist she’d already prepared in the Lesser Order of Oberon’s dispatch app. This job’s location looked promising: a ski resort named ‘Svoda’. Mountain resorts catered rather well to her preferred level of luxury.

Doom already felt uneasy about how little prep she’d managed for assignment VM2076, which was none, nada. She’d fallen well below her own standards. Most self-respecting ‘knights’ – or, as she preferred, ‘hitters’ of the Order – prided themselves on starting each fresh sixty minutes fully up to speed with relevant details. It’d been a long, stressful day and almost half of it was still left. She was desperate for a break. But if she stopped now, she probably wouldn’t survive until tomorrow.
If I do, it’s two consecutive jobs from now on, absolute max.

Every job in her app’s shortlist had been flagged for signs of temporal distortion – a basic safety feature of the vortex manipulator. It was intended to warn people against visiting time-places where they might run into other time travellers. Doom was actively looking for one – ‘the Doctor’ – so she’d hacked it as a ‘TARDIS sniffer’. As such it was rough and ready and thus far mostly good for hurling her into the timeline of time travellers that were not the ‘Doctor’ she sought. But locating a needle in a haystack meant sifting through a lot of hay. She was determined to snag any mission flagged for temporal distortion before other assassins could.

‘You’ve done this before?’ asked Mandra. The earnest young humanoid had shown up to represent Doom’s client, who’d opted to remain anonymous. Two honey- brown eyes gazed out of a face with soft features, straight black hair and brown skin. Black-ink tattoos (or perhaps birthmarks) on her forehead and continuing to below her right ear were the only feature that distinguished her from trillions of ‘bog-standard’ humans in the known universe.

‘I’m a professional,’ Doom began, a little shy. It could get weird around people who knew she was there to carry out a hit. She rarely met a client and only occasionally their representative. She decided to throw back her shoulders and go with ‘confidence’. ‘Your boss made the right choice, going with the Lesser Order. “Where there’s a kill, there’s a way,” we like to say.’

Mandra looked surprised. ‘You’re a professional skier?’
That’s when Doom noticed they were standing behind a group of people wearing black or grey ski suits, all shuffling towards a counter dispensing boots, goggles, helmets and skis. She paled. Skiing? On actual snow, not virtual? It’d been a minute.

‘Skiing, you say? Yeaaa ... Not a pro. More of a ... solid B.’
‘The ski gear comes with haptic feedback and augmented reality. You won’t need to be proficient. But your bio mentioned a job at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain resort on Earth? I noticed you “took care” of things by arranging an unfortunate incident on the ski slopes?’
‘I did, I did. Yup.’

Doom could feel the prickle of sweat beneath her collar. That particular ‘unfortunate incident’ had been pure luck – an accident. She’d intended to slip the target a mickey before they went speed-riding together (the target’s idea) but he’d skied away rather briskly and when she’d tried to catch up, they’d collided. They’d both gone over the edge and the speed-riding wing had saved her but not him. Looked good on a bio but it wasn’t something Doom had planned to repeat.

‘Just out of interest, Mandra, the mountain job – your idea? Or was that your boss?’
Mandra’s grin gave the game away. Not only had it been her idea, she wanted praise for it.
Great. That’s just . . . Perfect.

Doom hated when a client tried to specify the method. Even when they didn’t actually write it into a contract, they often got snippy if she didn’t try it their way. Their way was usually half-baked and often not entirely aligned with the ethos of the Lesser Order of Oberon. She was no extremist but she had her pride. In a universe where assassination was an unfortunate necessity, the Order’s principle of ‘efficiently, justly, quickly’ dispatching a target struck her as objectively good.

She followed as Mandra stepped up to the counter and tapped a handheld device to a console. A disembodied voice announced, ‘Miz Doom, one mountain pass plus full equipment hire for the final ride of the season.’

‘We have eyes on your target,’ Mandra said, leading her out of the rental area to where skiers were stashing shoes in lockers and snapping their feet into boots and skis. The air was cool and fresh with a hint of something astringent.

Not pine, Doom thought. Tantalisingly familiar, yet strangely out of place.
‘Stalgon is skiing on the glacier,’ continued the client’s rep. ‘There’s a section of woods on one side. If he takes a wrong turn there, it’s an 800-metre drop.’ Mandra looked expectant.
Ohhh, I get it. ‘Be impressed! Tell me how clever I am!’

But Doom wasn’t and she wouldn’t. Interfering to this extent with an assassin of her calibre was both ill- mannered and wasteful. Why bother to hire a so-called knight of the Lesser Order of Oberon if you were so very cunning at arranging a death? With a terse smile she removed her cloak, stashed it in the backpack, exposing the sleek line of her holosuit, which she’d set to project a one-piece thermal ski outfit.

‘I’ll keep my shoes,’ she said, stowing them on top of the cloak in the backpack. They were made of wickedly expensive, butter-soft linen-leather but even had they been grubby trainers, assassins of the Lesser Order didn’t leave possessions behind.

Ten minutes to ride up the mountain leaving forty- some to find her target, Stalgon. She tucked the skis under her arm.
‘Ta-ra for now,’ Doom said, stepping onto a moving belt leading to the gondola.

‘Sending our data to your tracker,’ Mandra called out.
At the turnstile, ‘Farewell Ms Doom’ scrolled across the barrier. Bit odd. Then she remembered – the mountain pass bore her name. Just before she stepped into the packed gondola, a random skier wearing mirrored goggles and dressed like several others handed her a backpack, then disappeared into the huddle. She handled the dense bundle uncertainly. Inside was a speed-riding wing and a harness. Slinging her own kitbag round to her chest, she put on the speed-riding backpack.

The client literally expected her to recreate the Jade Dragon incident?
No one tells me anything.


Get your copy of DOOM'S DAY: EXTRACTION POINT here.

More on Products

More From Read and Watch

from the store

More from the store