Doctor Who Missing Internet Adventure #18 - "Festivals of Light and Darkness"

Chapter 8
"Anything Box"
by The Outsider


Although there was no darkness, there was no light, either.

       Although there were no walls or shackles, it was still a prison. And the prisoner was miserable, trapped.

       It wanted freedom.

       "Help me, Father," it whispered.

       It began to strain a little harder...

* * *

"How much time have I got?" The Doctor snorted, "I'm a Time Lord... I'm a master of time."

       Behind his back, Tegan rolled her eyes.

       The Doctor continued, "The question is, how much time do you have? It's beginning to strain on you more and more, isn't it? Controlling this microcosm, I mean."

       Mrs. Gormenghast shuffled her feet and looked uncomfortable. "I don't know what you mean, Doctor."

       "Oh come on now... so far you've been Mrs. Gormenghast, Mrs. Gorhenghast, and Mrs. Gormonghast... and the real Missus spells her name Gormanghest! You're skilled, I'm sure, but this endeavour is little bit beyond you, isn't? Someone fighting you for control perhaps, hmm?" He peered over his glasses at her.

       "Ahem..." Behind them, the Master was clearing his throat. "I believe I am still the one with the gun..."

       The Doctor cocked an eyebrow at the man. "Oh, come on... you're not really here either, are you? At least, you're not supposed to be... are you?" He stepped closer to the Master, staring intently at his cat-like features. " You're suppose to... Run Tegan! Nyssa!"

       Knocking The Master's arm away and sending the TCE flying into the rubble, the Doctor stepped past him, and took off at a run for the nearby ruins, Nyssa and Tegan close on his heels.

       "Oh please," Mrs. Gormenghast sighed. "It's not like he can get away."

       The Master began to laugh.

       "Oh, shut up," said Mrs. Gormenghast.

* * *

They had run for miles, it seemed. Tegan ran holding to Nyssa's hand, the Doctor running without any apparent effort. Finally he stopped, turning to them suddenly, and began to pace.

       Tegan gasped for breathe, leaning on her knees. Nyssa patted her back with affection while studying The Doctor with a puzzled look on her face. "Doctor... you look... confused," she said.

       The Doctor spun on his heel and faced her. "Confused? It's like we're stuck in a story where the plot is being written by eight different people who have no idea where it's going next, in what tense it's going to be written, or how to use proper grammar and spelling! Of course I'm confused."

       He began to pace again, his brow furrowed. "Or maybe, just three people?" He spun around again. "Come on Tegan! Nyssa! There's work to do!"

       But they were no longer there.

* * *

Mrs. Gormenghast staggered a little, and leaned against the wall for support.

       The Master turned to her. "What's going on?" he asked, in an icy voice.

       Mrs. Gormenghast glared at him. "You're really getting in the way, you know that? Here I am, trying to have a little inter-temporal fun, what with the time stream being weak at the moment and all, and you poke your nose into it! You're not even supposed to be here!"

       The Master glared back. "What do you mean, woman?" he demanded.

       She sighed. "You're an idiot, and I'm not a woman. You were trying to get the attention of the Doctor, but this is not the Doctor you are looking for."

       The Master looked puzzled. "This is not the Doctor I am looking for?"

       "No," said the Doctor, coming out of the building behind them. "I think you got muddled up in the time stream manipulations of this silly creature as well. Let me guess... Mandragora? Fendahl, perhaps?"

       Mrs. Gormenghast levelled a withering stare at him. "Oh please... those old fuddy duddies? All they're interested in is dominate this, influence them, take over that! Sheesh... where's the fun? I'll tell you where... I'm a Draginelt, and I'm the fun!"

       She began to walk towards the Doctor, a crazed look on her wrinkled face. Her dreadlocks waved about her head like Medusan snakes.

       And then... she was gone.

       The Doctor looked around. This, he hadn't expected. The rubble had a look of transparency to it, the Master was gone, and nothing seemed real but the TARDIS...

       ...and the shadowy figure standing in front of him. "Help me, Father," it whispered.

* * *

"You're the one that the Draginelt is inhabiting, aren't you?" The Doctor walked cautiously to the shadowy figure, showing concern on his face. The creature was obviously in pain.

       "Yes," it whispered, "and I have escaped for now from its dominance... but I don't think it will be for long... you must help me, Father?"

       "Yes, of course," replied the Doctor, "But what are you?"

       "I'm a TARDIS."

* * *

       Tegan was in the kitchen with Nyssa. It was midnight, and they wanted a snack... Nyssa suggested pudding, and was rummaging through the utensils drawer. Tegan picked up a large metal spatula, smiled over at Nyssa, and smacked it experimentally onto her palm. Nyssa looked over at her, and winked.

       Nyssa teasingly brushed the wire-whisk against Tegan's breasts. This late at night, everyone was asleep, so they were stark naked. Naughty, to be sure; but also a thrill just the same. Tegan giggled, and squirted cold milk onto Nyssa with a turkey baster. Nyssa gasped, and dropped the wire-whisk onto her lap. Liquid vanilla pudding ran down her legs...

* * *

The Doctor didn't know what to say. The shadowy form continued to whisper.

       "I'm from your future. With the recent damages to the time-stream in this temporal area, I was able to escape from my captors. I am a Type G4, fully sentient trans-temporal life form. And I am... was, a slave to the Time Lords."

       The Doctor furrowed his brow. "Should you be telling me this?"

       "Probably not, Father."

       "Where are Nyssa and Tegan?"

       "I have created a micro-microcosm for them to inhabit, so they will be safe. I cannot fight the Draginelt much longer, Doctor. And the Master is trying to take over as well... he sensed me moving through the time-stream, sensed my weakness, and is trying to overcome my will so that he can use me to escape."

       The form began to flicker. "Please Father! I'm losing control!"

       "Can you crosslink your control circuitry to my TARDIS?"


       "Do it, and place the girls back at Gormanghest house!"


       The shadowy figure began to resolve to the shape of Mrs. Gormenghast. "Help me!"

       "Hold on! And wait!" The Doctor stopped as he was about to rush into his TARDIS. "Why do you keep calling me father?"

       "Because.... Ahhoww Ah ha ha ha!" The form of Mrs. Gormenghast resolved itself.

       " I'm back, Doc. You're little future slave is back under wraps like it should be."

       "Not if I can help it," the Doctor said between clenched teeth, ducking into his TARDIS.

* * *

Nyssa picked up the wire-whisk, and stirred the pudding. The pudding was cold on her leg, and Tegan, with a gleam in her eye, slowly slid under the table...

* * *

The Doctor rushed to the control panels, setting coordinates, cross-checking the links with the hapless future TARDIS. He glanced at the view screen. Sparks flew from the console as the Master levelled his TCE at the TARDIS. The events were most likely unrelated, but the Doctor winced just the same.

       He heard a voice in his head. "What are you doing, Doctor?" Mrs. Gormenghast whispered mockingly.

       "If you were truly in there, you'd know, wouldn't you?"

       "I can go anywhere in the universe, see anything, be anybody..."

       "Oh, I see." The Doctor continued to make adjustments, then grabbed hold of the console tightly. "Suppose it's another universe though, hmm?"

       And he threw the dematerialization switch.

       "What are... NO!" Mrs. Gormenghast's voice faded from his head as the lights went out in the TARDIS... the time rotor thrust upwards weakly, gaining strength and speed.

       He'd set the coordinates of his TARDIS to take him to Gormanghest House, while setting the other TARDIS to materialize inside itself, looping itself into it's own interior universe, removing its dimensional interface from this universe... If all went well, this would kick the Master's consciousness (such as it was — the man really wasn't at his best) out of its own, and with the Draginelt trapped in the new universe, the future TARDIS should have no trouble fending for itself against the creature, as well as being free from whatever future demons it was running from...

       The TARDIS began to rock savagely. A howling sound came from the depths of the corridors...

       "It should all work out," the Doctor thought to himself.

       "I think!" he yelled as he was thrown from the console in a shower of sparks. The shaking slowly subsided as he lost consciousness...

* * *

The morning sun shown brightly through the dining room windows. Mrs. Gormanghest bustled in, carrying bowls on a tray. She busied herself setting them out in front of her guests. The Doctor had carefully hung his engineer's hat on the back of his chair, but it fell to the floor as he reached out to get his spoon.

       Tegan tickled Nyssa's foot under the table. So far, their vacation had taken strange turns, but the Doctor promised not to drag them off until they were good and ready to go. He was going to drive the train some more, while she, Nyssa, Mrs. Gormanghest and Jeriba Shigan were going on a picnic. He was a likable fellow, really, once you got to know him...

       The Doctor coughed a little, and pulled something from his mouth. "Oh!" he exclaimed, puzzled. "There appears to be a... hair in my pudding..."

       Nyssa turned red, while Tegan laughed and squeezed her knee under the table.

       For now, this moment, everything was right in the world.

       She smiled.

       For now.


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