Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Hoist the Black Flag

“What are you doing in there! Get off the floor!”

The guard in silver bangs on the door, clanging a silvery baton against the bars of the Doctor’s cell.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.




The key clicks in the lock. Old lock, old key.

Old cell.

Dank, dusty. Musty with old death smells.

“Oi! What is this?” the guard smirks, irritated at the audacity of the Doctor’s fell hand, lying in the muddy dirt like that.

He kicks at the shadow where the Doctor is slumped.

But, his boot sticks there; he pulls.

“You! Let go of my foot you idiot! You’re not allowed to play stupid games with us guards down here! I bring you food and this is how you thank... agh!”

The shadow crawls along his leg, sucking up the light. Darkness creeping and crumpling along.

And out of the darkness, five white fingertips and a hand.

“I’m sorry,” the darkness says softly, parting to allow the face of the Doctor to appear as the man himself stands up, brushing off flecks of shadow that reattach to him in disconcerting, magnetized little streams, “... but these are hostage negotiations. Sleepy time.”

The Doctor’s too-pale face reaches down, running just beside the guard’s.

The last thing the guard sees before the tiny black specks enter his helmet is a line of the stuff running from the Doctor’s left eye.

He screams, and then the helmet visor fills with black.

The Doctor smiles a cardboard smile and steps over the man’s body. Then he holds his hands out, turning them over and back again, staring at his palms.

“You could have warned me, you naughty things,” he murmurs, mesmerized by the black swarm flowing over his fingers and under his nails, “It’s a fine thing I’m pretty, or this would be the worst case of blackheads I’ve ever had. Thought I had bad skin before!”

He turns back to the guard on the floor, briefly, before leaving the cell door swinging.

“You really ought to get that dermatitis looked at by a Doctor... Ah well, time for my exit.”

Once outside the cell completely, he shoves his body to the wall, playing Bond against the stone, with his finger poking upward like a gun.

Suddenly, sweat beads on his face.

“Didn’t like that, huh? I know, I know, stupid joke. But I always wanted to do that bit. Hold on.”

He holds his hand up to his nose, circling his gun finger round in a half moon. The Nerada swarm slips over his hand, growing into a glove over his fingers. He cups his ear.

“Sounds like Jennifer knows we’ve flown the coop. Work with me,” the Doctor sends mentally, feeling the itch over his body of ‘message received’, “... there’ll be several waves. I can feel them through the floor.”

Then he shoves himself away from the stone wall, swinging his arm out with the Nerada in tow around his humerus area, swirling lopsidedly in irregular orbit around him.

Black flies around his wrist like a silk ribbon, careening forward, growing down his arm. Then the sharp onyx cloud whips the helmet off one guard as she rushes him from the corner.

“One down, several thousand to go! What’s it going to be, girls and boys?” he cries to the crowd, gauging the response by the universal quotient of silence divided by footstep.

The Doctor places his foot to the right, toe to heel, pulling back his black arm to strike again.

“So many footsteps!” he says softly, grinning a mad grin with his wide open lips and his shining teeth glooming in the shade of the hallway leading to the stairs, “... it’s going to be a long night.”

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