Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum


“Angel, Angel! Thy Byron has returned! I do hope you’re agreeable because we’ve to put the kettle on! I pray it’s a D-cup problem… would that I should fear it, but to be perfectly demure, I find the bouncing rather quaint!” the Eighth Doctor Flesh murmurs as he examines his blushing blue bride, addressing himself to the fluid copper walls and the glass and the columns and the see-through. And the steampunk lines.

A rumble from the deep. He’s come to notice those, recently. Better for the health and pocket!

“What? Whatever is the matter?” he mumbles, as though always under his breath, pursing his sharpening lips as he flourishes his hands and whirls about the console, being the dervish he is, “…River’s always telling me to notice her more. And you, my dear- always you.”

“TARDIS voice interface!” he sings out, like a dreamy cloud of good wishes.

…and a no.

A sputter happens, slicing through something in the air.

But stillness, and a clang of ‘no’ pervade.

“Ah, my hopes are scuttled, dashed, gashed upon the rocks of my despair! But look this!” he breathes, circling round the console once and twice and three times, spinning about again, “…I’ve the finest anime hammer space ever in my pockets; so verily, thusly, and what have I brought us?” He turns once more, stuffs his long slender hand into his trousers pocket and comes out with…

A large, slim silver hammer with a mahogany haft.

“Why, ladies and gentlefolk, it’s a hitty thing!” he squeals brightly, animated now as, in flying green velvet of coat and tails, he willingly applies the conch.

Or rather the conk.

Three times west; one right, and somewhere upwards to the left of him, careful to miss the viewscreen!

If he gives her a black eye, she won’t be Pleased.

“We have somewhere to be, my darling rouger,” he says softly, less petulant now in manner as he has taken a good deal of it out on the furniture, “… in essence, a hurried entreaty would be most…”

That swift flicker of light behind him causes his tongue to stop wagging.

A hologram in a blue Victorian party dress, beloved to see in her mess of hair and slightly sunken cheeks, sputters into view.


He squirms beneath the onslaught, stuttering and trying for speech, “What? Wait, what are you… what are you, saying, ma petit four?”


“Hello, I’m… is it my name?”

“Hello, I’m… is it my name?”

“…Old dark.”

“You… every time…”

“… never time… You…”

With big eyes, he glimpses it, a dark jet of octopus ink in a crystal tide pool.

“Well, there’s something we can do, still. He’s got us right where he wants us, but we’ve got each other, my pastry. If we can disrupt this space-time trap enough, send something special out, perhaps get something small out, if not ourselves. We can do this. Together, like always. Let’s go then!” Finishing up, he pats her on the side of the console, near the typewriter, then taps the panel beneath with the side of his foot.

The shiny glass pops open, and a… violin pops out, inscribed with the words ‘Kaku Inko’ on the back of the bridge.

“Canister!” he cries, and a silvery capsule falls into his upraised hand. He touches the smooth wooden instrument, and the violin disappears inside.

A series of sequential clangs erupts from somewhere far off. Obvious Morse code for, “You watch too much anime.”

He smiles.

“Yes dear, but I get bored when I can’t hear you, sometimes. And it’s not always fun to leave the house. Well, open the hatch and fire up the catapult; we’ve got to send our friend Parrot here into orbit, but first… can we do the thing? The opposing barrier… thing I just thought of? Someone out there will see the flare, and if I’m right, it’s those two.”

A little light above the words, SPATIAL-TEMPORAL SHIELD NOW ACTIVE, blinks a resolute pink.

“Excellent dearest! Good on you, have it waiting for my signal, there. And tell the Pagoda to synchronize, too; we’ve got to have hers or there’s no getting out of here. I have to be back at the Cloud to retro-position the Pagoda, and… what’s that? You’ve to pretend to be a shuttle? Well, with any luck, the backlash should create a small window for us to do it and get out. Remember that time we snuck between those two stars just to get that special photograph for Rose and were almost caught in the opposing gravity fields? Well, it’s nothing like that…”

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