Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Look Ye On All Thy Works

Eyes may gleam out of the dark, but how many of them have stared into the deeps of hell and laughed?

Marking his territory with a hard roll of strong, steady shoulders, Rassilon ventures deeper into the Hydrax’s innards, rubbing fingers against walls full of old, rotted ivy, traipsing carefully through floors touched with the dust of ancient, pallid mosses. As he journeys inward, he gathers flatly, at least he ought to provide the scuttling somethings lurking hither and about with a nice meal.

Krak.

His foot trembles over a dusty, fragile, now-cracked object. He doesn’t have to look; he knows what it is, having been in wars where people lost various body parts often enough.

It’s the calcified remnant of a finger bone; the smallest finger, to be precise. This large, once ornate area is where the last vampires fell.

A sudden urge to break into song grips his guts.

He murmurs an old lullaby, softly at first, then belts it out madly, taking the Doctor’s examples to heart and finding his own voice inside the song.

He still sounds like a dullard, just like that night in the Other’s room, after his wife’s… demise, before they had… fallen out. Singing wasn’t his strongest point, and the Other had never missed an opportunity to tell him so, all the while trying so desperately to teach him the finer points while sitting on the man’s simple wooden bed.

As he recalls that bed, stooping to pick up the finger and crunch it to dust in his hand, there had been one blue pillow, with gold thread.

As he considers the thread of that pillow, a brightness beckons at the end of a dirty, darkening hall, swaying a light back and forth. He knows the way, but just the same, it’s nice to have a guide.

“Well, lead on,” he murmurs to the setting trap, “…somewhere the liquor’s getting cold, and I have a schedule to keep.”

So he follows to the end of the hall, the flickering lamp a post of illumination.

He reaches a large room.

The light, produced from an old style hanging lantern, temporarily extinguishes; in its place, a note drops to the floor. He picks it up.

It reads like a comical death notice, in a hand he knows well:

“Hello, Rassilon! Welcome to the bonus round. My old cloak is still clutched in the old bat’s cold, dead hand. Why don’t you come down here among my pets and find it?”

Rassilon grins. He slips his foot inside the handle of the lantern and kicks it out, so that the light flutters over the droning pit hidden beyond the cliff face.

Then he smiles on them all, all those stone faces, waiting.

Waiting for him. Waiting to devour the residue of his chronotic signature. And his would be a feast, indeed.

Rassilon cracks his neck from side to side. Rassilon sighs. He has no intention of dying here. But, in accordance with the Doctor’s blue note, his Flesh has other plans.

Then Rassilon takes a running leap, cutting a swathe through the Weeping Angels, running for the Fist with the Robe in it.

Almost there. He brings out the White Pyramid, clicks it once. It’s counting down.

Almost… there. The eyes and claws and fangs are closing in, like a water drip.

His hand, made of the white stuff of the Flesh, becomes the Stellar Manipulator, and with it, he grabs the Robe, and crawls up the giant hand to make a perch and watch the show.

Then he ties the Robe around the Pyramid, which disappears as a bundle, then hits a button on the Flesh Manipulator, takes a deep bow, and dive-rushes the crowd.

The boom ricochets for three light-years, throwing his orbiting shuttle, where his body resides, out of orbit and back toward the CVE.

And the Other had said he couldn’t throw a party.

The little troll.


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