Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Tea Time

“Flamina? Is that what she’s called? What a lovely name… did you keep the lead-lined walls?”

“You rhymed.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes you did. You rhymed.”

“Really? Oh… meh; didn’t notice. I must be tired.”

“You? Tired? From what? Shagging the TARDIS?”

“Don’t be so vulgar, Koschei. There’s no one around right now to impress.”

“Don’t dodge the question. You said you were tired. Maybe it’s the professorial getup. Are you wearing one of those ridiculous man-corsets?”

"If you’re going to tease me, at least get the eras right. Corsets were Victorian Earth. And bowties are cool.”

“… I bet you are, aren’t you?”

“I’m not sleeping with you Koschei. I came here for a reason.”

“Oh, you’ve got a reason, now? I’m only being this beautiful for your benefit, you know. ‘Cause I can, you know… be beautiful.”

“Beautiful? Oh! Yes. Right… water under the bridge! Knew you could do it.”

“I’d still have the drums if not for you, you fucking sod. I owe you a proper send off at the very least.”

“Oh, blah blah blah. I didn’t do anything.”

“Whatever suits your delusion, you stubborn git. So where’d you stash the Ducks?”

“Ducks? Oh you mean the Ponds. Honeymoon planet. Temporary installment at the hotel.”

“Oh that’s original. Did you rent them our suite, too?”

“Well… it is the best one there.”

“So you admit you still pay for it. Does it still have the…”

“Yes. And the…”

“That too? You’re a gem. Oh that does make me giddy. Now why are you here, again?”

“Not sure yet. I was attending Christmas dinner with a large group of my companions when I felt a sudden stabbing in my left heart and collapsed.”

“And it wasn’t a hearts attack? And you collapsed? Really collapsed, not just faked it to get out of eating dinner with the in-laws’ family collapsed? Good grief, man, you’re younger than I am! Do you know what it was?”

“I was hoping you could tell me. While I was out, I suffered a nasty bout of foresight. It led me here.”

“Troubling news… what did you see, Theta? Tell me. Gallifrey has not risen from the ashes of hell only to die in the frozen dust. As President I will not allow it.”

“I saw… nothing, Koschei. Nothing but dust. Quite a lot of the stuff; in fact, all of Gallifrey seemed to be full of it. Reminds one of the Great Dust Bowl, circa Earth 1930’s.”

“Theta. Dust. Dust! Don’t you see? It’s Traken and Logopolis all over again! Sweet Mother of Chaos...”

“Exactly. But this time it isn’t your fault. It isn’t anyone’s fault, so far. That’s what makes this so dangerous. So unsettling. Anyway, that rhyme we learned as Time Tots, the one that always scared you so. Do you remember it?”

“Of course."

“Could you recite it, for me? I need… I need to hear it again.”

“I’ve a mouth don’t I, you great bumbleheaded ninny! But drink your tea first. That strange look on your face scares the staazula out of me.”

“Frost in the fire and the rocking chair

Frost in the hearth, frost in the ladle

Children’s voices in the air

Wind that rocks the empty cradle.”

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