|Doctor Who Internet Adventure #14 - "Endless Night"
"Careful, You Never Know Where Some Minds Have Been"
by David Evans
In the Royal Court of Denurys, a battle was going on between a King and a Fool — but neither knew who was who.
Gwilym Young had always led himself to believe that he was a fool — a simple jester. Because it made his discoveries lighter. Calling himself a fool hid the real purpose that he knew was his to claim — the crown. But he had to prove it. His Path to the throne was ahead of him except for something blocking it. A giant boulder of a something- evidence.
Gerund had launched himself at Wil. Sword raised above his head he slammed it down, but his lack of agility — and Wil's abundance of it — allowed the jester to move out of the way of the would-be fatal blow and the sword's blade met with the stone floor making a painful metallic clang.
Wil turned, seeing the look of horror in the faces of the courtiers as they saw the two men battle. Then Wil thought of the Doctor — always trying to use non-violent means to achieve a purpose — and thought of how he always triumphed... eventually. Turning to Harsferd he yelled: "Stop!"
Wil turned to the courtiers, pausing for breath.
"Don't you see?" Wil said. "He's trying to stop me from undergoing a test. He fears what will happen if I take a test. He fears what the test will show!"
* * *
Typical, just bloomin' typical, Jadi Morok thought to himself as he stood over the Doctor. He'd followed the Doctor's plan — that they'd have to get to the TARDIS — and was running down another intersection when the Doctor had yelled in pain and collapsed. Jadi had run back to him only to find the Doctor in a crumpled heap on the floor, sweating pouring down his face. His eyes were shut, his mouth closed and he was rocking up and down like a patient in an insane asylum.
"Doctor!" Jadi said, standing over the rocking figure of the Time Lord.
"Jadi," The Doctor mumbled — his voice was quiet and his face was twisted — as if fighting some distant force, "Jadi-- it's in my mind."
"What it is?" Jadi asked.
"Nemesis-- it's in my mind."
"I connected telepathically with Grace," The Doctor said, struggling to say the words, "I told her to go to the TARDIS — I connected with her mind — and now Nemesis is inside my mind!"
Jadi turned in horror. He knew that there would be a hell of a mess if the Nemesis thing — whatever it was — used the Doctor's brain to interact with the TARDIS.
Through his travels with the Doctor, Jadi had made up a code based on the Doctor's tone. A cheery tone meant that whatever thing he'd been asked to do was not important so he could take a bit more time, have maybe a drink or two and be with Angela before getting down to work. A standard tone meant it was important but it wasn't worth busting' a gut over. The low, almost growling tone meant move it sunshine get it done quick smart. It was this very tone that the Doctor had used when describing the plan. But now the plan's designer was rocking in cloud cuckoo land... in fact he'd just passed out on the floor.
* * *
Shadowmaker-00 could sense the moisture in the air that comes with a new morning.
She felt it strange that her reactions were controlled by statistics and data. She had a fully functional mind with emotions. Currently she had none... well, none of her own, any way. Tired of walking, she decided to hover — her feet just above the ground — with her escort beside her. Besides, she thought it would look more menacing if she hovered- especially to the humans who were staring at her.
She would have liked to have shouted something cocky out at them — such as 'Haven't you seen a flying weapon of mass destruction with legs before?'. But she couldn't. She was unaware of what she was, what she was doing, Was just passively thinking as statistics and data came in, letting somebody else decide what she did.
* * *
Grace sat, head down, trying to remember. Many victims of harrowing hardship at least had their identity; they knew who they were and what they stood for.
She had learned her name from Essen: she was called Stefre Holloway. The first name wasn't something she'd have chosen for herself, as there was nothing amazing to it. But it seemed something she was stuck with. Or maybe she wasn't. She just didn't know.
She had tried to remember what the hell a 'TARDIS' was, where the hell it was, and who the hell had told her. All she knew was that if she went there, then she would be safe. But she didn't know what it was she would be safe from.
* * *
Harsferd's head was aching. It had been aching for a while and had been driving him insane. Little did he know that it was more than just a mere headache. Turning he glared angrily at Gwilym with pure contempt that this 'fool' dared to try and take his power away from him. He had heard the rumours that King Roland and Queen Shanna had had a son and had hidden him away for his own good. He smirked as he ran the thought past himself; next they'd be saying Wil'd been found in bull weeds and had returned to lead a rebellion against his rule.
Gerund heard the Jester talking to the courtiers and stomped towards them, then shoulder barged Gwilym out the way before taking
a goblet of Vinyar. He drank loudly, aware that all eyes were upon him before slamming down the goblet, wiping his mouth with his sleeve and turned to the court.
"Well, Well. The little Jester thinks he should be king," Gerund said and burst into loud, thunderous laughter which wasn't returned by his court. Gerund frowned, angry that his own group of subjects were betraying him before his very eyes.
"You believe the words of this Joker?" Gerund yelled, lowering his voice to reveal the contempt he felt for Gwilym. "He who is chased by bounty hunters across Paracastria?"
"That's only because you're paying them, fatso" Wil said, grinning.
"Insolent wretch, I shall cut out your tongue!" Gerund said leaping up at Wil.
Wil smiled and turned his back on Harsferd, and was about to retort when A tall, old nobleman dressed in a elegant red robe stepped forward and spoke.
"Harsferd, if you have nothing to fear then you will allow this test to take place."
Harsferd sighed in resignation and accepted the old man's wisdom.
"Fine, do as you please. But allow me some rest." With that he walked out of the room and the crowd of courtiers followed him. Wil, alone in the throne room, sat down on a wooden block and waited.
* * *
Grace felt a slight tapping on her shoulder and awoke to find Essen looking down at her, her face showing concern.
"Stefre Holloway, you have slept for many cycles," Essen said.
"Many cycles!" Grace exclaimed, jumping up before calming down, "How long's a cycle?" She muttered to herself.
"Have you found where this 'TARDIS' is yet, Stefre?" Essen asked.
"No, I'm sorry... I just don't know. I feel some sort of connection... faint but I... I..." She stared down at the ground, head bowed in shame. The room had descended into silence, which was broken by Grace's sobs.
"Why can't I remember anything!" She screamed, banging her fist down in anger on the nearest surface. "If only the Doctor could help me," Grace said before pausing.
"The Doctor...? Who the hell's the Doctor?"
She turned and grabbed Essen.
"Essen, I don't know where the TARDIS is, I just know that I'll know it when I see it. Let's go for a walk. You too."
Essen turned, aware of somebody else in the room. She glanced behind her to see Sophie, who had appeared almost out of nowhere. Sophie grinned at her and turned towards the exit. Essen helped up Grace and they set off after her.
* * *
Gwilym Young sat alone and silent in the throne room. All his life he had thought of what he could do to get at Harsferd. Throughout his travels with the Doctor he had seen evils that had to be fought. But no evil affected him more than this one which was 'on his own door step'. Three years ago he'd left this world which had been in chaos. Today he returned to the world which was in more chaos than before. He had always wanted to challenge Harsferd before, but he had never had the courage. Now he felt he could battle him and claim the throne.
Claim the throne.
The thought echoed round his brain.
Claim the throne.
Only now did he think about the consequences.
For the people of Denurys, they would be freed from Gerund's tyrannical regime. Wil would be a fair ruler — but would he be a strong one? Would he like others fall victim to laziness and rule by other's advice?
But, Wil also thought, what would the consequences be for him?
He would be able to follow his destiny, follow his parent's will. He would have respect that no other Fool or Jester could ever have.
But he would have to leave the TARDIS. He could no longer travel with The Doctor through time and space. He would have to say goodbye to Jadi and Angela.
He would have to decide what he really wanted from life and which was the best way to go about it. Despite this, he still also deep down had doubts about his past: was he really the missing heir, or just a misguided Fool?
His reverie was broken by the old man, who returned to the room. He gestured to Wil.
"If you want to prove you are, you'd better come with me," the old man said.
Wil said nothing. Instead he just stared at the old man.
The old man frowned.
"Well! Are you coming or not?"
* * *
Jadi Morok returned from his little scout around the immediate area to find the Doctor sitting up, legs crossed, head on hands, looking glumly at an unknown point ahead.
"Doctor!" Jadi exclaimed, "You're awake!"
The Doctor nodded his head.
"He's going to leave, isn't he?" The Doctor said.
"Who?" Jadi asked, puzzled.
"Wil. He's going to leave our little gang"
"Why would he do that?"
"He's going to be a King"
"What, Wil... Royalty...? Get out of here!" Jadi laughed.
"I'm serious Jadi. He's going to be a King... and I'll lose another companion." The Doctor said, sounding resigned to the fact that it seemed like it was written in stone and destined to happen. He turned and looked straight at Jadi.
"I don't know why I do it, you know."
"Do what?" Jadi puzzled.
"Have companions. I make friends with them, journey with them... but yet it's always goodbyes that are the saddest things I know"
"Hey, we're only human."
"Most of them have been... except for the odd one or two."
"The Good Time Lady Romana."
"Yes, Romana. You've met her then?."
"I bumped into her once," he said.
"Ah, well" The Doctor said, standing up with a huge grin on his face, "I can't stay here and be morbid, Paracastria's calling... again."
He started to walk off but was stopped by Jadi asking him a question.
"Doctor, what happened to you before?"
"My mind was being attacked by the Nemesis — but it stopped."
"At least we know your mind can defeat Nemesis," Jadi said cheerfully.
"But can we, Jadi? Can we?" the Doctor puzzled.
"What do you mean?"
"My mind didn't stop Nemesis just then — somebody else's did."
With that, he turned on his heels and walked off at a lightning pace. Jadi paused, milling over what the Doctor had said. "The question is," the Doctor shouted, "whose?"
To be continued...
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