Doctor Who Internet Adventure #03 - "Altered State"

Chapter 06
"Ya Gotta Be Cultured; Know What I Mean?"
by William Howells


OK, here goes. I've tried to clear up what's going on, so there's 
some recapping and explanation. About two thirds of the way though 
it goes surreal, and I apologise unreservedly in advance for the 
ending. I'll leave the action to Jeff :-)

Grace watched the Doctor working at the console. He reminded her of her own, passionate Doctor, which she realised, on reflection, should be fairly unsurprising. He hadn't seemed a very good kisser, but then he seemed taken aback by her advances.

       At least the TARDIS was its familiar self. The roundelled walls and bright light were strangely comforting. It was only the Doctor that was a little out of place, and he soon looked at home with the TARDIS console.

       "Bingo!" He slapped the console triumphantly.

       "You know where to go?"

       "I do indeed, Grace. According to the databanks for this universe, there is an annual celebration on the planet Necros."

       "Necros? As in necromancer, necrophilia...?"

       The Doctor smiled. "The planet is alien in this universe. Its name wouldn't have a Greek root." He frowned. "At least, I doubt it..." He turned back to the console and began typing.

* * *

Two robed figures stood a few feet apart. They felt each other's presence, but with their heads bowed reverentially and the ambient light level as low as it was, they couldn't see one another.

       A spotlight shone down on one of them.

       "Report, Mortimus." The voice echoed around the two men.

       "I tracked the Doctor as instructed. He has departed from Skaro."

       The was an embarrassing pause. A moment later the disembodied voice said, "What was its course?"

       Mortimus didn't like to be the bringer of bad tidings. "I'm afraid it's heading towards Necros." He heard a reverberating grunt and wondered what it meant.

       Another spotlight illuminated the second figure.

       "Report, Mortimus."

       The second man spoke. "I met the Doctor as instructed. He didn't appear to remember me." He felt the light beating down on his head and began to sweat. "His course is also for Necros."

       "They must not find Ulysses. That is imperative. The switch has been less successful than I had hoped."

       The second Mortimus raised his eyes. "I have taken steps."

       The first Mortimus followed suit. "I believe the Doctor can be suitably distracted."

       "I hope so."

       The lights went out.

       While trying to avoid colliding with one another, Mortimus and Mortimus headed away, arms outstretched, feeling for their respective TARDISes in the darkness.

* * *

Refreshed after a shower and a change of clothes, Grace marched through the ornate cloisters and into the spacious, gothic console room. The Doctor from the other universe - complete with silly mustache - was seated in his comfortable chair, asleep and snoring loudly. Trying to repress the memory of a particularly boring medical school lecture on the subject of somnial respiration, she flicked his ear. "Wake up."

       He opened one eye. "Hmm? Oh, it's you," he said drowsily.

       "Have you found out where we're going?"

       "Ages ago," he said. He waved his hand at the display on the high ceiling. "I see your Doctor uses an architectural configuration different from mine. I don't like it. However, this viewing window is an interesting touch." His words were slurring slightly. He seemed tired. Grace felt guilty for having woken him.

       Grace was looking at the greenish blue planet displayed at the zenith of the roof. "Is that our destination?"

       "Yup. Necros. The TARDIS databanks are still pretty screwed, but from what I can make out it's a fairly pleasant little planet. Protein-based agriculture." He yawned.

       Grace was still gazing at the star scape when he asked the question. She considered finding out whether he meant "How long ago....?" relative to her own time line or their current space-time coordinates. Instead, she slapped him.

* * *

Grace sat cross-legged on the console room floor, waiting for the Doctor to say something interesting. Eventually, he stopped typing and looked up from the console.        "Don't worry," he told her, "the information was still there."

       "You know the co-ordinates now?"

       He looked puzzled. "I set them ages ago. No, I checked, and Necros isn't from the Greek. In my universe, it's an Earth colony, but here it appears to be one of the perimeter worlds of the Cyber-Sontaran Alliance. According to the TARDIs, the word is derived from the Sontaran 'Neccro', meaning 'happy flowery thing'. Obviously it loses something in the translation."

       Grace stood up, ignoring his spiel. "What's this got to do with Mayfair?"

       "Necros apparently has a celebration in the capital each year - its May Fair. Ulysses Drive was labeled as costing 465 credits, so I've set the time co-ordinate for 465 on the CSA calendar. Simple really."

       The oscillating Time Rotor at the centre of the console shuddered to a halt. Recognising the sign of materialisation, Grace breathed a sigh of relief.

* * *

"Doctor, are you all right?"

       Grace was leaning over the Doctor where he had fallen. She rubbed his cheek gently. "I didn't mean to hit you quite so hard."

       He opened his eyes groggily. "Not you," he murmured. He rolled his head from side to side before trying to speak again. "Slow action. Tea drugged. Mortimus."

       Grace attempted to recall the small amount she knew about dealing with toxins in the blood.

* * *

"Nice day for it," the Doctor said as he and Grace stepped out of the TARDIS into the gleaming sunshine of Necros.

       In the distance, Grace saw a tall, thin structure in bright colours. "What's that?"

       The Doctor recognised it and smiled. "Come on," he said, "let's take a closer look."

* * *

Ten Daleks trundled through nineteenth century Paris until the leading Dalek, wearing a beret gleaned from the body of a native who had crossed their path a few minutes earlier, stopped abruptly. The other Daleks quickly braked and narrowly avoided a pile-up in the cobbled street. The front Dalek spun round with a short, mechanical whir.

       "The Doctor has left the planet. It is futile to search."

       The other aliens muttered their agreement. One of them rolled forward a few inches. "I suggest we take this opportunity to sample the local arts scene before the Doctor returns and we ex-term-in-ate him," it said monotonously.

       A consensus was reached, and the Daleks began moving along the street again, singing in unison:

  "We can do worse than what you've seen,
   Each a perfect killing machine
   Thanks to Davros, we've a gene
   That makes us really mean
   But we can still be keen
   On personal hygiene
   Though we have no teeth to clean
   We can still help each other preen."

The Parisian citizens sprinted away as soon as the creatures approached, most hoping never to hear such a cacophony of grating melody and badly improvised foreign lyrics again.

* * *

"It's called a May Pole," the Doctor explained.

       Grace boggled as she watched the Cybermen and Sontarans dance round the maypole, each holding a long, multi-coloured ribbon. "And they put a day aside especially for this?" she asked, incredulous.

       "It's a tradition," the Doctor explained. "Apparently, many years ago it was a dance to the gods, asking them to increase cloning rates on Sontar." He smiled at her astonishment. "I know it's a shock to the system," he said. "I felt the same way the first time I saw Morris dancing."

       Before Grace could ask him to explain what Morris dancing was, the maypole dancing concluded to rapturous applause from the onlookers, a group consisting of the tall, silvery Cybermen and squat, armoured Sontarans mingling in roughly equal proportions. A Cyberman stepped from a small marquee onto a platform just beyond the maypole and approached the microphone there.

       "Comrades, I know what you're thinking: how can we follow such an impressive display? Well, I'm glad that I don't have to myself, other than to introduce a man renowned throughout the galaxy. He earns his keep with his expertise in the legal profession and his acclaimed critiques of poetry from twenty systems, but we know him best as his popular alter ego, one of the greatest entertainers of his generation. Please make some noise with your limbs for Florentina La Palma!"

       Someone stepped out of the marquee and walked slowly across the stage. They wore high heels, a frilly red dress, and a long blond wig.

       Grace's jaw dropped. "I had no idea..."

       The Doctor looked on in amazement. "The Master is not only my brother, *and* clean shaven, but also a part-time drag queen in the backwater parts of the galaxy?"

       "Do you think he'll know where to find Ulysses?"

       The Doctor just opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish.

To Be Continued...

To be continued...

Prev | Up | Next