Doctor Who Internet Adventure #03 - "Altered State"

Chapter 08
"The Plot Schtick-ens"
by Chris Nelson


The Doctor flailed frantically as the marble tombstone smashed him to the ground. He caught one last glimpse of his nubile American companion before the end. _What a looker,_ he thought. And then--splat.

       Grace sighed and checked her watch again.

       The Doctor struggled to his feet groggily and looked around him.

       The horde of haemovores was homing in for the kill. His only hope was to concentrate--absolute faith was required.

       "Er. Ummmm. . . well. . ."

       "Come on, Doctor, we don't have time for this," said Grace.

       "Now listen here!" he shouted. "We can't have those reptile men on the loose, Alistair.        We'll simply have to blow them up."

       "Doctor! Snap out of it." Grace was beginning to lose patience.

       "Oh my giddy aunt..."

       "I hate to do this, Doctor, but it seems to be the only thing that does the trick." She braced the Doctor's head with one hand and then slapped him with the other.

       Suddenly the Time Lord's eyes began to blink wildly. "Thank you. Attention--wandering. My attention seems to be wandering," he said with an effort.

       _So are your hands_, thought Grace as she moved a step back. "What exactly is going on?" she asked anxiously.

       The Doctor's speech was still a little slurred. "Drugged. Said that already. No time to waste. Memories--haunting. Disoriented. Peptides. Look at the size of that bloody green maggot!"

       Grace slapped him again.

       The Doctor rubbed his cheek thoughtfully. "Have to wait. My system--neutralize toxin--wait." He began to writhe wildly across the console room, bending over in hallucinatory pain. Grace moved to help him, but he cringed when he saw her face.

       "No, not you again! You're the surgeon who lost this damn catheter in me in the first place!"

* * *

Meanwhile, another Doctor in another universe was taking a breather. After the revelations of the last few hours, he felt he quite deserved it. He sat quietly in the alley, leaning back against one of the landing struts of the Dalek shuttlecraft.

       In the distance, he could see Mel and Grace poring over an old yearbook together. The Master sidled across the pavement to join them. A crowd of Daleks milled about quietly, murmuring exciting new rhymes to each other to pass the time.

       Little Susan sat next to the Doctor, staring into his face intently. He was aware of her presence, but he didn't quite feel ready to tackle her _implications_. But she just kept staring. . .

       "Well," began the Doctor awkwardly.

       The little girl looked up into his face uncertainly.

       "Yes,' he continued, flailing his hands about his head. "And then all of this..." he finished sadly, gesturing around him.

       A little peep of a smile crept onto Susan's face. "I think you are my Daddy after all," she said.

       The Doctor began to smile as well. "Why is that, Susan?" he asked gently.

       "Because you like everyone to be quiet and happy," she said. "And I do, too." She shook her red curls a little and hunched in closer to whisper. "Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one."

       The Doctor leaned in and looked her right in the eye. "Confidentially," he whispered back, "I was just thinking the same thing."

* * *

Blood and wine mingled in the gutters.

       The small flotilla of Daleks rumbled over the cobblestones of a street in Paris. In order to achieve the fullest artistic impression, they attempted to keep in a strict formation. That is, the beret-ed Dalek set the pace, with three others completing a simple diamond formation behind it. The remaining six Daleks traveled on overdrive, forming an ever-rotating circle around the central Dalek core.

       Whenever the group noted something of interest, it was assessed by their on-board tactical computers. Aesthetic value was weighed against potential threat. Depending on the resulting calculation, either a volley of super-charged plasma or a volley of decorative verse was discharged. After spying a rubbish pile burning by the side of the road, they unanimously began to chant the Ballad of the Blind.

        "The sun is shining brightly, but the world is dark and dim.
        I wait and sing politely, but the end outlook is grim.
        I long for sight, with all our might,
        I wish to fight--for light, for light!
        But no!  Alas!   It came to pass!
        I look out through a shrouded glass!
        Calamity!   My eyestick is ensnared.
        I cannot see.  My vision is impaired."

       And with the final word, the Daleks simply faded out of existence, one and all. The battered beret fell to the ground.

       Fate had granted Paris a reprieve.

* * *

Grace led her still-hallucinating Doctor by the hand.

       "One day, I shall come back. Maybe. If I ever figure out how to steer this fricking TARDIS. I guess you're on your own, kiddo."

       She'd been dragging him across the surface of Necros for almost an hour now.

       "I'm the Doctor and this is my drunken lout of a mistress Bernice."

       Hopefully, the TARDIS had brought them here for some logical reason.

       "What're you doing with that crystal? Get the hell out of my ship, you whining traitorous imposter 'English school-boy!'"

       Otherwise, this could all get tedious quickly.

       "So, my big strapping Scottish lad. If I may be so bold, what exactly are you wearing under that fetching kilt...?"

       Oh look. There's something up ahead.

       "Of course we did good! We blew up Skaro, didn't we?!"

       It's a...

       "It's the end. But the moment has been prepared for. Clever of me to wear this parachute, eh?"


       "No Ace! Don't try to blow up that giant flea!"

* * *

The disembodied voice echoed quietly in its chamber. It seemed to be talking to itself, in a rather oblique fashion.

       "Mortimus was not, perhaps the wisest choice."

       "No. Mortimus has proven less than useful."

       "He works too much from the fringes."

       "He uses poisons."

       "He uses pawns."

       "The Doctor may find Ulysses before him."

       "The Doctor will almost _certainly_ find Ulysses first."

       "I may have to take a more direct role."

       "Yes, I think I'll have to make an appearance soon."

       And a disembodied hand (or was it two?) flicked a switch.

* * *

The Doctor patted Susan gently on the head and then decided that he'd had more than enough. He'd lost his companion, his composure, and a good deal of his patience. The Mayfair clue had led him to this planet, but he didn't see any signs of Ulysses having been here. Worse than that, he seemed to have become surrounded by the entire contents of a carnival side-show. It was time for him to do something Doctorish, to turn the situation on end, take control and _win_.

       And just as he made that decision, several things happened at once.

       Susan let out a wild piercing shriek.

       A fierce wind began to blow through the alley-way.

       Daleks scattered like bowling pins.

       The Master lost his wig.

       And a swirling vortex of energy enveloped the Doctor.

To be carried on...

To be continued...

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