|Main setting:||London, 2040|
|Part of:||Short Trips: 2040|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Outsourcing||The Last Emperor|
The Doctor and Chris make their way through several regions of 21st century London. They are following a girl and a hooded figure, thought the Doctor hasn't explained why. They are unaware that they themselves are being followed.
They reach Battersea Power Station, which is the office of the president of London. Inside, a contest is under way. The President is holding a contest for the best android, the winner of which he will take into his household staff. The Doctor explains to Chris that the president is "in the pocket" of Perseus, and that their entry is favoured to win.
The Doctor interrogates the Perseus entry, known as a Household Assistance Device. It seems to have little self-awareness, though Chris thinks that some of the Doctor's questions have provoked it to anger.
Before the President can announce the winner, the girl whom the Doctor and Chris had followed steps forward. She has an entry for the contest. The hooded figure with her is revealed to be Anteus, an advanced android. The Perseus representative questions Anteus, trying to prove that its apparent self-awareness is not real. When the President reluctantly declares Anteus the winner, the Doctor tells the girl the android is dangerous. He offers to buy it, and he and the Perseus man enter into a bidding war. The Perseus man wins and takes the android with him. When the Doctor yells at the girl, Chris notices a twinkle in his eye.
The Doctor and Chris arrive at the Perseus offices to find them a shambles. All of Perseus' HAD androids have been destroyed, their AI blockers destroyed. The Perseus man refuses to admit defeat, saying he still has Anteus. The robot is at the center of the destruction, lying on the ground. The Doctor tells Anteus it can rest now. The Perseus man removes the outer casing of the android, revealing only mud underneath.
Later, the Doctor explains to Chris that Anteus something Perseus could never understand: "something different".
- The Doctor and Chris pass through several regions of London: one celebrating Hanukkah, one that is Buddhist, one that forbids anything non-organic and one full of gangs.
- Chris recognises Battersea Power Station from a Pink Floyd album.
- The Doctor and Chris drink coffee.
- Roz Forrester is not present in this story, though at the end Chris suggests they collect her and leave.
to be added