Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Stand Alone Complex

Red gold curls limp for lack of velvet splash from the quiet of the Pagoda’s hidden crèche room, and naked flesh stings itself on cold green jade as something like blood begins to pump again through disused muscles made of... what had the Master called it once? Ah yes. Glorified almond paste.

Breath comes lighter and lighter, and so, so soon the Eighth Doctor’s Flesh avatar crawls toward the small clothes cabinet sticking just off the wall to his left.

Grumbling, he roots through the leavings he’s left himself.

Double blinds used to be fun.

No velvet.

A black jacket and a grey jumper, but-

No velvet.

Ah wait, what is that at the bottom, stuffed under the empty crisps bag?

His beloved green coat.

He slips it on.

Only half naked now, he stumbles to the console and deactivates the white pyramid standing atop the column in the center of the console room, then taps a few buttons on a wall reader. The screen shows a blip on the map of the Citadel, somewhere near a storage area.

“Ah, the node and the rings, excellent,” he chirps, swirling around the room in nothing but his green velvet coat and some white boxers with red hearts on. And the nice warm dark socks- let’s not forget them. Thankfully no one is going to be returning to the shuttle for a while; else they would notice there is quite a bit more room than before…

He talks to the console, patting it as he continues on pushing buttons, trying to get the little Pagoda to play nice and take him where he wants to be, which is in that storage room near the Citadel.

“It’s the Cloud, isn’t it?” he murmurs, half to himself, and begins to set temporal coordinates instead of mere spatial ones. “Well we’ll just see about that. Take us to a place in time before the Cloud’s temporal gravity was altered. There’s my fine girl! We’ll mosey on over from there and then hop skip back to this point in time once we’ve got what we came for. Bird in the hand and lickety-split! In order to fix the rings, we ‘ve got to have the rings… of course.”

When he reaches the Pagoda doors, he flings them open.

The first thing he sees… broken columns of marble scattered against a shattered landscape.

Oh god, the Museum… he’s gone and landed… there. And what is that, a little form picking among the rocks?

Rassilon preserve us, indeed.

He feels chill, suddenly, and ducks back inside. He retrieves his trousers from the cupboard, puts them on, and steps back out, waiting patiently for the explosion that he knows will come, because the Pagoda is parked right in the missing section of wall…

The boom erupts near his ear, ringing through him like the tolling of some monstrous bell.

His clothing is rendered into strips by the blast, like a sick joke played on a Dadaist.

His flesh is flayed bare-angry red streaks mar the Flesh’s once pristine skin.

But then, he looks down… to see her staring at him.

In her hands, the Bird.

The silver ring is in its mouth, but with something Else fused to it.

The Eye.

Is it to be this way, then? He asks himself silently. He’s got to get both rings somehow; perhaps the other one is in the cave… did she find the Node as well? If they are here, then… what is in that storage room? Unless they built the transdimensional storage around the… and rerouted it through the… oh my word. They rerouted it here. Those bastards. An oversight caused all of this, this… all of it.

With a small, lingering breath, he reaches down to swat her away from the bauble.

To save her.

To give birth to her nightmare.

Maybe he could use the other ring and the base-node to restore…

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