Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

After the Hávamál, Where Goes the Door-Dwelling Stranger?

“Damn it!”

The Assassin storms out of the comms room. His small feet echo down the hall, ding ding, ding ding.

It’s been only a few hours since his nice ending erupted like a boil all over his shoes.

“My Lord Rassilon?” a passing Dromiean asks, holding out a hand.

How cute. She’s concerned. That makes this grand, a bit of an appetizer before his exit then. An idiot, because she doesn’t know him yet. Doesn’t know yet. Hasn’t heard. Head in a book librarians! Fucking imbeciles, worrying about what kind of glue keeps moisture away all day!

He makes a grabbing motion, thrusting his elbow out to the side as his thoughts direct murder.

The woman’s thick mop of greasy grey curls scrabbles over her head in little chunks as she squirms. Her feet flail. Her silver-draped arms shimmer like two big fish lifted out of the water. Then he flicks his wrist. Her neck breaks, in little crunches, and then she doesn’t twitch anymore. Like a bloody great bird.

His hand falls to his side and he walks along the hall, touching a finger to the smooth surface. Trailing it. He’s always hated birds.

Somewhere behind him, the woman regenerates.

She screams for the Doctor, but it comes in a gurgle. Stupid chit. There are ways to disable future regenerations.

As he reaches the last corner before the Infirmary, he begins to let his memory drift over a certain moment he enjoyed. Ah, yes- that day a few weeks back when he’d found that damn Myrtlegull in his office. He’d stuffed the Terrorist’s ring down its gullet and sent it elsewhere. That had been nice. Stupid thing wasn’t even fit to eat.

The Infirmary door is unguarded; the fools must have rushed off during all the fun in the Panopticon.

He slips inside. There is only one bed being used. Everything is tidy. There are glass cabinets with food pills everywhere, and canisters of grow-skin gas capsules for the handheld medical scanners. Spanners, more like. Perhaps he should fill those with spectrox concentrate before he leaves?

The Doctor’s wife, that gun-happy bitch with the curls. She’s left a book open on the pull-out tray near her husband’s monitor. Whore must have run screaming when the dung hit during The Testimony. What a shame, he thinks as he skirts the Doctor’s bed, fingering the white sheets from which one of the annoying Time Lord’s toes are poking out, that interference from his little parting gift to Gallifrey had fried the comms just as he’d been about to watch them all get blasted into the Void. Oh well. At least it was over. He can just see the green of Hitchemus coming over his readouts, filling the screens of the little ship he’s -borrowed- from Confiscation and Storage. All he has to do is retrieve the Node fixed to the Great Seal, then use it to teleport off-planet.

Oh, how he’s missed her, his White Lady.

He’s going to be with her soon.

His hands reach toward the Time Lord on the bed, feeling for pulses. The man is barely breathing, mired in the throes of a healing coma perhaps. Well, he won’t need that where he’s going. And he’s so still- yes, definitely some level of coma.

The Assassin punches a fist through the grey wall near the left side of the bed, then yanks at some silver, blue and red wires, tearing them from their moorings. The monitoring console attached to the Doctor’s pregnant body, giving him nutrient fluids and bloods through a series of translucent, fleshy tube-like connectors fitted up through the bed’s back, goes blank; first, one last blink, and then a crawling blue line worms its way across the darkening glass, running.

“Well there’ll be no more…” he pauses to grab more wires, “… of that!” and yanks the last lines free from the right side panel, this time.

The man on the bed shivers and turns pale as the sustaining organic cannula eject and smack the floor, flopping around beneath the bed like headless little silver snakes and smearing blood everywhere. So the wound had been deep then. Good for Kenny. The clingy git finally got something right.

“Get up, fool.” he murmurs, crushing the Doctor’s arm as he slowly curls one finger then two, then three and the rest around the man’s tricep.

Pale-faced and grey around the mouth like an old woman, the Doctor screams, his jaws crunching up and apart in a rictus. The wild and rolling green grapes of his irises turn to melons as he and his quavering limbs are dragged down the hallway to the Panopticon.

Turns and corners all begin to look alike, a grey line here, a green chair here. A yellow chair there, a grey line here. Orange chairs in rows like candy sticks.

The familiar, boring walls of the Citadel are rushing by.

The Doctor, in considering his bare feet while the rest of him trails from the Assassin’s hand by way of wrist, feels as though his eyes will explode. Both hearts are thrumming in his chest, humming slightly out of time like an engine about to stall. “Can you hurry it up,” he whines, dabbing his foot in his own blood for fun and spreading it behind them every so often. It’s like Hansl and Gretl for grown-ups, he tells himself steadfastly as his vision whites back and forth again in a to and fro fog, only with a blue box instead of a house and a nicer bitey mad lady who would never consider children good eating.

The Assassin drags on, one of the Doctor’s arms over his shoulder now. He calls back to his prize, but the Doctor blacks out again, his punishment a vicious jerk of the Assassin’s arm which sends him sprawling.

“What are you doing? Wake up, you useless animal. Wake up or I’ll gut your wife.”

At this the Doctor smiles. “Oh go ahead- but…you won’t…enjoy it much, I’m afraid. She was taught to skin… to… skin… small animals as a child. Bit of… bit of negligence in her upbringing…” Despite his weaving in and out, he slides a shaking hand across his throat in a slicing motion, and his lips curl in a nasty grin.

A foot finds the wound in his side and kicks. The Doctor archs his body at odd angles, aiming for a corner of wall, and crumples in a heap like a wet newspaper.

“Be quiet! Fucking sod. You are a non-entity!” yells the man who is dragging him down passage after exhausting passage.

But still, he smiles, whispering, “Are we there yet?”

The Assassin stops, reaches down.

The Doctor can see his hand dimly in the flickering light. It’s not the lights really, but he can pretend. In any case, they’re a few meters from the door. He’s going to black out again…

The fingers fall through mist, to grab his hair and wrench him up.

“Say hello, Doctor,” the Assassin says, holding up the Time Lord’s wrist and flapping it at the gaggle of Time Lords standing on the Seal as he hops from one foot to the other, always turning, always switching stance as he heads for the Seal.

It’s only a few meters away. A few more bloody footsteps. He’s been swimming in meat for too long.

His short hand slides in for his garrote; digging in his heels at the circle of the Seal, the styled figure eight of Rassilon’s symbol, he steps over the edge, right onto the Node he has hidden there.

“Why aren’t you trying to stop me?” he breathes, remembering to be winded after lugging the other Time Lord all the way from the Infirmary.

The wire pulls more tightly around the Doctor’s neck, cutting in. A line of blood forms.

River Song breaks the line of Time Lords by her mere presence, her figure a starkness among all that red and grey and black and blue and purple. And brown.

A flood of eyes are on him now.

Good, he thinks, as his lips curve up and his eyes slip wide on the gathering crowd. It’s how he wants this.

Rain is cascading down on them, as it often does. The fickle ceiling clouds are blocking the view of on high.

“Be gentle, Dallyrasse!” cries the Doctor, wrenching one hand in between his neck and the garrote just before the Assassin has the time to pull it closer together and cut off his life. ‘He’s been lost a long time! I’m dizzy now- you have to help me!” he raises his hand, and remembers Hitchemus, when he called the storm and left those watching to wonder if it was really just the armband he used, or whatever had driven him to play that violin until the strings had burned and snapped and furled like fern leaves.

With a nod to the Doctor, Rassilon too thrusts out his hand, palm up, as if expecting a tithe long withheld. In the clouds high above, lightning crackles, buzzing through the metal work lacings of the Citadel dome like a spiraling, vast aurora, in so many colors, that only a few can be seen. Yellows mixing into golds and greens like ribbons, great seas of orange fire spinning into red curls like clay on a wheel, red crashing into violet sky and blue sapphires, all of it distilling into silent symphony on crystal and stone and metal, on arches and doorways, on faces. On eyes.

For a moment, the Assassin is blinded; transfixed. He cannot take it in. His body shudders.

Particles crack and fall, showering on all the players in the Doctor’s little game.

From the heavens, there falls an egg-shaped shadow…


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