Gridlock Part 2

The Doctor comes to the Motorway, where he discovers thousands of Volkswagen-like hover vans in a traffic jam. He starts to get a cough and chokes from the fumes. A cat man invites him inside his car, introducing himself as Thomas Kincade Brannigan and his human wife as Valerie. Their kitties, two months old, have never seen daylight or walked with the ground beneath them. The Brannigans told him they’ve been driving for twelve years and have traveled only five miles in that entire time.

As Milo, Cheen and Martha start to descend into the Fast Lane, the Doctor calls the police but is put on hold. Brannigan talks to some old friends, the Cassini “sisters” (a married same-sex couple), who know the car from Pharmacytown that has traveled to the Fast Lane. The Doctor discovers that some people been able to leave their cars in upwards of twenty years. Milo, Cheen, and Martha are beginning to drop down towards the Fast Lane, but there are unfamiliar noises. Cheen tells Martha of tales about cars disappearing, but Milo maintains they are only hearing the ventilation system.

Brannigan and Valerie protest to go to the Fast Lane, worrying for the safety of their kittens. The Doctor questions whether they or the Cassinis have ever seen any authorities. The Cassinis grudgingly admit they have never seen any police or emergency vehicles in over23 years of driving. The Doctor believes that these citizens have been confined in the under-city and abandoned. Making his own way toward Martha, he opens the shaft on the floor of the car and drops down to the car below. He then proceeds through several cars, opening the roofs with his sonic screwdriver and advancing through the floor to the next car below. In this fashion, he engages several characters including hippies, a Bertie Wooster-like business man and a nudist couple.

Martha’s car starts to enter the Fast Lane, which has no exits at all since there closed. A nearby cat driver tells him to leave to the above lanes, but Milo does not understand the danger their in until he hears the other driver’s cries. Meanwhile, Novice Hame reaches the Brannigan’s car and demands information regarding the Doctors whereabouts.

The Doctor arrives the lower levels, just over the Fast Lane. He removes the fog to learn what’s down there: the Macra. The Doctor reveals to the car’s driver that the Macra once survived by feeding upon toxic gas. Once in history, they had created an empire using human slaves to mine gas to feed them, but years trapped in the dark have forced them to devolve into hungry non-sentient beasts. As Martha’s van races forward through the Fast Lane, the Macras’ huge claws struggle to crush it. Assuming that the light and motion of the vehicle draws their attention, Martha has Milo turn off the power. It works, but they only for a limited time because the air can only be off for eight minutes.

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