Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

What They Say About the Pen

“Do you watch me, little fly?”

A female voice rumbles above Clara’s head, waking her up.

Clara opens her eyes, scrubs her long brown hair from her face.

She stares at the white liquid oozing around her.

The Flesh.

“You’ve destabilized!” she says, looking around. “The Doctor can help you. Let us help!”

The voice moves again, thrumming through Clara with the certainty of stone to an ant.

“No, fly. I will not let him go. Look here.”

A great leg rises up from the liquid, and Clara can see the Flesh Valeyard, curled and naked and bald as a baby, inside the White Pyramid. The Pyramid pokes from its place, a v of ribs and giant torso, like a gigantic odd Lego brick. But it is not yet completely set in, no, a tiny space still shows near the top of the Pyramid and its intended setting, casting a hopeful shadow.

“Not there, little fly.”

Giant hands flow into being above Clara’s head, cupping an object just above the v-shaped Lego.

In the cup of those hands, a round, dark object.

The Circuit Egg.

“Observe, fly.”

The hands move over the Egg, obscuring as they pull, rending gently. When the fingers move apart, there are two Eggs, one black in the left hand, and one white, in the right.

“I am the Singularity Hedge Against Relative Dimensions In Space. SHARDIS. That is what I am. And now that I am free, I must eat everything,” the huge white statue chimes, her lips unmoving as she touches the Pyramid with a second pair of arms, and then a third, “... I must charge the Eggs to hatch them. The Doctor was right to swallow Jennifer. She was keeping me prisoner. But now, without her will to maintain base functions, I will need to consume every planet in the cosmos to realize my dream.”

Clara stares up at the unmoving mouth by way of the stationary breasts. The liquefying Flesh has risen to her ankles.

“Oh really? And what’s this dream of yours? Why can’t you just let the Doctor go?”

The statue-like SHARDIS stares ahead, growing again, gaining the height of three small saltbox houses and a radio tower as more of the liquid Flesh laps around her giant toes, absorbing into her.

“I must remake him. He is the engine. I am the fuel. I must remake him. The Valeshard was defeated. But I will not be. I must remake him. I must remake him. I must...”

“Missing something, are we?” Clara asks as she reaches into the pocket of her skirt, feeling around.

She drags out a pen and raises her hand, slamming the narrow ink nib into the SHARDIS’ smallest toe, on the left foot.

The White Pyramid shoves out, clacking and bumping free of its moorings within the giant ship’s body.

White liquid surges now, like a Charybdis at the thing’s feet, with Clara at the center. There are holes melting in the hull of the Flesh TARDIS, now. Through them, Clara can see darkness.

“Doctor!” Clara screams, but the man curled in the Pyramid does not stir; instead, the shape catches the lip of the SHARDIS’ docking bay and bounces along toward black space and stars, out through one of the melted holes.

As the White Pyramid floats by the melty edges of the hole, something shimmers, outside, the breaking skin of a bubble, and the Pyramid seems to vanish.

Clara bites her lip and tries to move her head with the projected path of the Pyramid, trying to get a glimpse of it from the holes she can see. But each view is empty.

“What did you do with him?” she yells, threatening the SHARDIS’ big toe this time.

But the SHARDIS wails, flailing her huge arms, her body fully formed now, and swaying with rage. The entire woman-ship lurches to the side, weaving to. Clara is tossed into the air and thrown toward one of the holes, toward space. Her mouth hangs open in horror, but before she can strike the strange bubble outside the SHARDIS, another of the giant ship’s hands makes a grab for her, pulling her back into the relative safety of the SHARDIS’ bosom.

“What have you done, little fly?” the SHARDIS screams in Clara’s head again, without sound, her static mouth suddenly breaking away from the jaw and lowering by a few mouthfuls of Clara, rendering a wordless cry of, “MY THIEF! What have you done, fly? I will use every planet for a stepping stone until I find him, ending with yours!”

“Like he says, you big bully,” Clara cries out, her face whipped by her brown hair, “... my planet is every planet. EAT ME!”

The SHARDIS wails upward soundlessly again, her jaw working. Then she looks down, as if realizing something, and drops Clara down her towering gullet.

As Clara falls, she sees the TARDIS at the thing’s throat, half stuck in the white muck and sinking.

Her last thought is a line from a nursery rhyme.

“...perhaps she’ll die.”


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