Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Through Me, Thy Blue Heaven

Flashback.

Stepping against shifty clumps of red grass sitting ripe in the crumble of rocky gravel-silt hillside, a figure in a greyish dust cloak clings to the opposite wind, falling into its flare of biting cold air brushing up from the mountains to the north.

Down in the dust-ash bowl below him, there is a lonely dock building, half-buried in the fine grit of sand-like soil.

Sensing no more worries in his future, he makes his way to the stout spiral ruin set into the trickle down hill on the far end of the bowl, the Shrine.

The slightly isosceles bulk of the sonic rifle he shoulders with ease, dropping into a lurching stride toward the body lying just outside the leggy tower doors carved with rutting animals.

His feet mark the way, shifting halfway into the piling grey dust to make sidereal half-melted cups full of boot in the dunes.

He pushes his fingers against the smooth doors, his hands managing a carved breast and some kind of foreign meat from the surprises hewn into the stone of the two portals.

The twin vestibule flaps open on an oblivion of dust and dead leaves, and he finds himself wondering what the old ones had been thinking, serving the bitch back when.

He takes the stairs over a barrel, hopping up each delicately carved step as though each were a bed notch rather than a precisely hewn masterpiece cut from the bedrock of what had once been a deep and thunderous sea.

His eyes, as he climbs, do not glimpse the myriad of corals perched in loving screams against the infinite wisdom of the limestone walls, curled in rictus, frozen in a wasteland, unmoving amongst countless varieties of extinct fish.

No. He himself is committed to a single act of murder against the man lying in repose on a stone bench some fifty footsteps away.

He can see the man sleeping there, his white shirt close to his chest but for a hand against the unnatural bulge of his stomach. Soon he gets to one knee on the second to last step, sets the rifle to his aiming shoulder again, clicks the catch, pulls the primer switch on the tannish shell of the pulse-scaling vascillator, and...

A finger-shaped pressure on his opposite shoulder drive shim to sheath every noise he might make too suddenly; his breathing becomes a memory under such a grasp. His thoughts escape like little bits of char afore a fire.

“You won’t be needing that thing where you’re going, Ykarcynthioncalavishtarmiotracolix- give it here.”

The soft voice comes to him from the side, whispering into his ear like the sweet air of a puppet as hands slide like scurrying tafelshrews along the braces and barrels and catches of the sonic rifle, disarming it.

“Are you going to kill me like me like you killed the Ten Billion, my Lord?” Ykar asks, reaching up to cover the Doctor’s strangely gentle hand where it lies against his cheek with his own.

Funny, so funny, Ykar realizes, as he considers the fact of such a pause... the Doctor’s hand is not moved from the bench, but Ykar can feel his presence behind him as surely as if he were truly standing there now.

“I’m very cross with you just now, so I’m not at liberty to say... go to sleep and we’ll see in the morning.”

Ykar closes his long eyelashes over his eyes then falls down the stairs, a tumbling weed as his bones and body ricochet bluntly off the stones of the walls. A crack is heard- his neck, catching itself on the last step.

Krrik.

The Doctor sighs, then reaches for the wall nearest his free hand. His dull peridot eyes and limbs, heavy with too much sleep, glance limply toward the leaning shadow groping along the opposite span of wall-stone.

“Kenny?” he breathes, huffing slightly with the effort as he sits up on the bench.

The other man does not answer, but his fine length of emerald hair bobs like a fiddlehead fern, dripping blood in all the particulate places, and dangles a lovely bit of gory scalp, besides. His long hands meddle idly with his chest, pressing here and there with flighty, numb-ed movements.

“You don’t have long- all right all right, I’m coming, don’t do anything!” the Doctor murmurs, sliding off the bench and rushing to wrap his elbows around the man’s waist, the Rose Ring on his finger sliding somewhat in the drain of Kenny’s body fluid down onto him.

Together they drag down the stairs; the Doctor holds his elbow to the stones, hoping for a...

“One, two, three, four... five... got it!” he cries, breathing hard under Kenny’s extra weight as a catch clicks somewhere and one of the old grey blocks retreats into the wall, disappearing most of two fossilized conch, a fist of tiny anemones and a spray of plankton.

Predictably, a secret staircase ambles down into darkness.

“The trap door to the Hennal Bay Docks is just a little down here... my boy, just... try to keep up...” the Doctor gasps as he drags Kenny with the aid of the walls down the roundish tunnel, which dangles a plethora of old dead roots and strange stone figures of people with rounded heads.

Sweat spills from his hair, stinging his eyes with his own salt as he struggles along the narrow way.

Suddenly, a singular and damningly painful unpleasantness erupts along his left psoas, a uniquely unforgettable annoyance obviously originant in the non-extant Gallifreyan equivalent of the wolffian duct, as it bites at him with flailing nerve-ending fangs more relation to the blades of some sharp knife given leave to plunge into his back then mere mortal autonymous tissue.

“Kenny...” he murmurs, adjusting the man’s mostly unconscious body and hanging his mouth wide open to catch the most oxygen with each step as he breaths and moves, breathes and moves, breathes and moves toward the dim square of light falling down the steps at the end of the tunnel, “... I’m having a few minor pains, just a little bit of difficulty, just wanted to let you know! We’ll be at the trap door before you know it, just a few... more... steps, just a few... more... steps! Just... don’t regenerate... on me yet, I don’t... think I can... I think I can... I think!”

The tunnel’s egress looms closer, a right angle mouth of scornful pyrite teeth.

The Doctor decides the trap door must be mocking him as he leans Kenny’s briefly stirring shape against the wall full of strange globe-headed figures again, this time near the musty exit step stones, then clambers up, hoping to apply himself to the lovely exit trap and win a prize.

Sweat slicks his hands however, and when he presses his full weight up against the sticking door in a Brazilian high kick he has absolutely no business trying in his state, instead of the lock giving, he feels another pain charge its way through from spine to nethers, and he falls down the stairs, back into the greyish brownish dust, right where he left Kenny.

As the Doctor looks at Kenny’s fish-gaping lips, a small stream of light steals across the man’s tongue and through his staring eyes, filling his mouth with infelicitous gold beams that pour from him.

“Oh damn, oh damn! Kenny you wake up this insta-”


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