Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Panoply in Blue

“Knock-knock!” sings the Eighth Doctor Flesh, as he raps a slender knuckle to the inside doors of the Jade Pagoda. To his free hand, which he holds in front of his face like a long sock puppet, he says, “I’ll tell you what happened in the cave later, I promise. Now, with luck, Queenie, we’ve arrived at the precipice. Or at least her mother-in-law’s. Shall we about? There’s bound to be that storage room somewhere… and judging by the trouble we had getting in here -that bottleneck was something, by the way- it’s probably a space/time trap of some kind. Not too conspicuous, or those who monitor the Citadel would notice the blip- especially if it’s old scenery. Out the way we go!”

Settling the issue, he thrusts the Pagoda’s vestibule open, swinging her great hinges wide toward the left and right walls of the little storage room they’ve just landed in.

Across the way, a rhapsody in blue.

“My dearest! Is it time for tea yet? Or have they rumplestiltzkin’d you with a ransom tied to the spinning wheel, like in the old days?” he murmurs to the familiar wood of the TARDIS’ frame, touching her here and there, running a chaste finger along her squarish chin of wood beam.

“What’s that you say, my pet?” he adds, almost to himself, walking humdrum over the silvery floor on his way to the grey, uninspired walls of the storage. He touches those, too; in fact he observes the dust there as it settles into his fingertips and smiles, then frowns.

“You say you can’t calculate a way out of here, and they’ve temporally sealed you inside?”

The Eight Flesh turns again, a flurry of green velvet and questioning gaze and droopy laugh lines ‘round the mouth. “Oh, it’s been here for a while, hasn’t it? Haven’t -we-? Well,” he mutters, fluttering his hands like a gamboling dandy out of someone else’s habit, “…we’ll just have to theorize a way out then. You’ll adopt us again, won’t you? Allow us inside after a long absence? All right, all right- I know. I was gone a good time and I worry you, but I’m here now. Let me see if they took anything. I keep telling them not to put me in traps, but do they listen, oh no, they never listen! Why, just the other day I was…”

He disappears inside her.

The Jade Pagoda disappears inside her as well.

And now, the dust takes notice, rising up to pool in the middle of the room, a fine greyish swirl of not-dust sprinkling itself over everything, but really, just… pooling in the middle of the floor.

In a not-anthill.

Then the TARDIS doors open again, and the Flesh of the Eighth Doctor stands there, staring down at the hill of not-dust.

“And I’ve been wondering where you had vanished to, as well…” he breathes, careful not to disturb them. “What is it they say? Oh yes,” he says gently, smoothing his velvet lapels with the care of a tailor, “The Doctor will see you now.”


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