The Fall of Yquatine
Roots: Babylon 5 (The effect of the Omnethoth is reminiscent of Shadow planet killers). The novel opens with quotations from John Fowles' The Aristos and Michael Stipe. There is a reference to Austin Powers.
Dialogue Disasters: "You must be joking, y'tart!"
Dialogue Triumphs: "You're just a politician, not a human being."
Continuity: The Omenthoth is a sentient weapons system designed millennia ago by a species it called the Masters, who created it with universal domination in mind: the Omnethoth eventually destroyed them, and then died out. Colonisation clouds of the living, corrosive gas, survived and one found its way to the Minerva system, where it totally destroys Yquatine. The Omnethoth is a gestalt composed of tiny gaseous particles or spores, and can exist in three states: the gaseous form, which is lethal to organic life; a liquid form, which is similar to acid; and a solid form which is used to make ships and probes. Only the gaseous form is sentient. The Omnethoth is programmed to spread out, destroy and colonise. The Doctor reprogrammes the Omenthoth to make them tame and harmless, after which President Vargeld has them destroyed.
Yquatine is located in the Minerva system and has an elliptical orbit that gives it long summers and short winters. A year on Yquatine lasts 417 days, with 10 months of roughly 42 days each. The spring months are called Stormstide, Petalstrude, and Cicelior, the summer months Sevaija, Jaquaia, and Lannasirn, the autumn months Perialtrine and Shriveltide, and the winter months Forlarne and Ultimar. Yendip is a costal city on the eastern coast of Julianis, the largest continent of Yquatine; Pierhaven is a seafront region in Yendip. Lake Yendip is located to the west of the city. The Palace of Yqautine is located on an island in Lake Yendip, and is the seat of government for the entire system. Yquatine University is located in the mountains to the west of Lake Yquatine. Treaty Day is an annual holiday. The President of the Senate of the Minerva system is the highest authority in the system. Minervan is the common language of the system. Xaxdool is an uninhabited gas giant in the system. Beatrix is the eighth planet in the system and its industrial heart. Muath is Yquatine's sole moon. Aloysius Station was built on the border of Anthaurk/Yqautine space shortly after the Treaty was signed.
The Anthaurk are tall, top-heavy and scaly reptilians, with wide mouths filled with small teeth and purple tongues. They have snakelike heads and three-fingered hands. They settled in the Minerva system after their homeworld was invaded by the Daleks, taking over the desert planet Kaillor and renaming it New Anthaur. They arrived in the system a hundred years after the humans, with whom they fought a two-year war before the treaty celebrated by Treaty day was signed. They live in labyrinthine stone cities. They are ruled by the Grand Gynarch. Anthaur had more than one sun. Thoth is the Anthaurk god of learning and art.
The Ixtricite are a crystalline gestalt of the Krotons, Rhotons and another species, which lives on the planet Ixtrice. The insectoid Kukutsi rule the insect-dominated planet Chitis. The Adamanteans are a silicon-based life-form from Adamantine, which the humans terraformed for them. The Eldrig are cervine quadrupeds from the ice-world of Oomingmak, and along with the Rorclaavix are one of the only two sentient indigenous species in the system. The tiger-like Rorclaavix are from the jungle planet Zolion. The Izrekt are reptilian with bird-like faces. Other species include the blue-skinned Ikapi. Luvia is a small planet in the system populated almost entirely by humans.
The Doctor buys a Randomiser off Lou Lombardo, to prevent the Time Lords from being able to track Compassion: he fits it against her will, causing her intense pain and promoting her to expel the Doctor and Fitz back onto Yquatine. He made the original Randomiser from bits and pieces from the TARDIS (The Armageddon Factor). He uses the sonic screwdriver to stun a pair of Anthaurk guards by using a frequency he knows will be painful to them. He used to keep a notebook detailing all the types and classes of spaceship he'd seen, but it was lost with his TARDIS. He traps a portion of Omnethoth in his respiratory bypass system. He drinks several cups of Luvian tea to recover. He still carries jelly babies.
Fitz has devilled mud-maggot in gruntgoat cheese sauce on Yquatine, as well as a pork pie. He later gets drunk on Oomingmak honey-brandy. He visited Brighton and Weymouth as a child. The mother of the girl who worked in his local green grocer had a crush on him. Fitz grows a beard whilst held prisoner on Yqautine. He dons black leather trousers and a baggy black shirt from Compassion's wardrobe.
Compassion's appearance has changed slightly since she became a TARDIS - her hair has darkened. She uses her real name, Laura, when she consults Petersen, whom she accidentally kills in a fit of agony whilst he's trying to remove the Randomiser. She uses her chameleon circuit to pose as Anthaurk M'Pash, Arielle, and President Vargeld. Whilst materialising at random throughout space and time, Compassion encounters creatures like flower-headed lions with armour plating, and a giant singing butterfly. She spends decades trying to get back to Yquatine, trying and failing to control the Randomiser: she eventually manages to bypass it by fixing onto Fitz's biodata signature.
Links: The Shadows of Avalon. The Adamanteans use Ogri as bodyguards (The Stones of Blood). There are references to Draconians (Frontier in Space), Faction Paradox and Cybermen. Fitz is briefly reminded of Sam.
Location: Yquatine, Muath, Beatrix, New Anthaur and Aloysius Station, 1st Jaquaia to 16th Lannasirn, 2992.
Future History: The colony ship Minerva landed on Yquatine in 2893, where Julian de Yqautine founded the colony. The Markhof Mining Corporation is based on Yquatine. Admiral's Old Antisocial is an alcoholic beverage on Minerva. Anthaurk ale has a strong, peppery taste. By 2992, most meat is artificial and grown in vats.
Unrecorded Adventures: Lou Lombardo is an old friend of the Doctor, who has visited Yqautine before and was President Vargeld's inauguration during a previous incarnation. Lombardo is a dealer in black-market temporal technology. The Doctor was invited to the King's coronation on Everdrum.
The Bottom Line: "We are Omnethoth. All solid mortals will be dissolved." Action-packed and apocalyptic, with some worthy attempts at world-building, despite lashings of "Jungle Planet", "Ocean Planet" clichés. In the midst of the dense plot, Walters handles the regulars well, especially Compassion who is forced to deal with the consequences of being inadvertently violated by the Doctor and who becomes something dark and scary as a result.