The Man Who Regrets β–Ή Doctor Who [1] βœ“

𝟘𝟚𝟟 β–Ή π•Šπ•šπ•π•–π•Ÿπ•”π•– π•šπ•Ÿ π•₯𝕙𝕖 π•ƒπ•šπ•“π•£π•’π•£π•ͺ (ℙ𝕒𝕣π•₯ 𝟚)

THE DOCTOR IS USING his Sonic Screwdriver on the security camera, Violet receiving the readings from his Screwdriver with her Sonic Watch. β€œNice door skills, Violet,” the Time Lord appreciates.

β€œYeah, well, you know, boyfriends and girlfriends,” Violet says half-jokingly, the pain evident in her voice. β€œSometimes you need the element of surprise.”

β€œWhat was that? What was after us?” Donna demands. β€œI mean, did we just run away from a power cut?”

β€œPossibly,” the Doctor says, not expanding on his answer, or answering Donna’s other questions.

β€œAre we safe here?”

β€œOf course we’re safe. There’s a little shop.”

A sign on the wall says β€˜The Shop’, and β€˜Entrance This Way’. The Doctor gets the camera open, and words scroll across a little panel on the camera. β€˜No, stop it. No. No.’, it reads, and that makes Violet frown in confusion.

β€œOoo, I’m sorry. I really am. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” the Doctor apologises. β€œIt’s alive.”

β€œYou said it was a security camera,” Donna says.

β€œIt is. It’s an alive one.”

More words scroll across the panel. β€˜Others are coming. The Library is breached. Others are coming.’

β€œOthers?” Donna cries. β€œWhat’s it mean, others?” Donna goes to a Node. β€œExcuse me. What does it mean, others?”

β€œThat’s barely more than a speak your weight machine, it can’t help you,” Violet sighs.

β€œSo why’s it got a face?”

β€œThis flesh aspect was donated by Mark Chambers on the occasion of his death,” the node explains in a monotone voice.

Donna’s eyes widen in horror. β€œIt’s a real face?”

β€œIt has been actualised individually for you from the many facial aspects saved to our extensive flesh banks. Please enjoy.”

β€œIt chose me a dead face it thought I’d like? That statue’s got a real dead person’s face on it.”

β€œIt’s the 51st Century,” the Doctor sighs. β€œThat’s basically like donating a park bench.”

β€œIt’s donating a face!” Donna screeches, backing away from the node.

β€œNo, wait, no.” The Doctor grabs Donna as she backs away.

β€œOi,” she warns. β€œHands.”

β€œThe shadow. Look.”

β€œWhat about it?”

β€œCount the shadows,” Violet reminds the woman, her own eyes pinned on the darkness.

β€œOne. There, counted it. One shadow,” Donna sasses.

β€œYeah, but what’s casting it?” the Doctor asks.

It is a triangular shadow, but there’s nothing around to be casting it. Violet can’t help but smile slightly as the Doctor lets out an exclamation as the light in the adjoining corridor starts going out. He explains to Donna how The Library runs on fission cells that will outburn the sun, and that it’s not actually dark.

β€œWe need to get back to the TARDIS,” Violet warns.

β€œWhy?” Donna asks, worry beginning to rise in her voice.

The Doctor has a grim expression. β€œBecause that shadow hasn’t gone; it’s moved.”

β€œReminder: The Library has been breached. Others are coming,” the Node recites. β€œReminder: The Library has been breached. Others are coming. Reminder: The Library has been breached...”

Before Violet, the Doctor and Donna can get back to the TARDIS, a door is blown open in a flash of bright light, and six space-suited figures enter. The leader adjusts her polarising filter so they can see her face. Violet goes completely still and she feels tears sting her eyes, a smile working its way onto her face as the other blonde-haired woman smiles.

β€œHello, sweetie,” River greets.

β€œGet out,” the Doctor barks. β€œAll of you. Turn around, get back in your rocket and fly away. Tell your grandchildren you came to The Library and lived. They won’t believe you.”

β€œPop your helmets, everyone. We’ve got breathers.”

β€œHow do you know they’re not androids?” a woman asks.

β€œBecause I’ve dated androids. They’re rubbish.”

A man speaks. β€œWho is this? You said we were the only expedition. I paid for exclusives.”

β€œI lied, I’m always lying,” River tells the man. β€œBound to be others.”

β€œMiss Evangelista, I want to see the contracts.”

β€œYou came through the north door, yeah? How was that, much damage?”

β€œPlease, just leave. I’m asking you seriously and properly, just leave,” the Doctor pleads. β€œHang on. Did you say expedition?”

β€œMy expedition,” the man says. β€œI funded it.”

β€œOh, you’re not, are you? Tell me you’re not archaeologists.”

β€œGot a problem with archaeologists?” the blonde with wild hair sasses.

β€œI’m a time traveler,” the brunet man retorts. β€œI point and laugh at archaeologists.”

β€œAh. Professor River Song, archaeologist.”

Violet bursts out a sharp laugh, clapping her hands over her mouth as she tries to stifle her laughter. River looks over at the younger girl and winks.

β€œRiver Song, lovely name,” the Doctor says, barely registering the name. β€œAs you’re leaving, and you’re leaving now, you need to set up a quarantine beacon. Code wall the planet, the whole planet. Nobody comes here, not ever again. Not one living thing, not here, not ever. Stop right there. What’s your name?”

β€œAnita,” the second woman who spoke says.

β€œAnita, stay out of the shadows. Not a foot, not a finger in the shadows till you’re safely back in your ship. Goes for all of you. Stay in the light. Find a nice, bright spot and just stand. If you understand me, look very, very scared. No, bit more scared than that. Okay, that’ll do for now. You. Who are you?”

β€œEr, Dave,” another man says.

β€œOkay, Dave-”

β€œOh, well, Other Dave, because that’s Proper Dave the pilot, he was the first Dave, so when we-”

β€œOther Dave, the way you came, does it look the same as before?”

β€œYeah. Oh, it’s a bit darker.”

β€œHow much darker?”

β€œOh, like I could see where we came through just like a moment ago. I can’t now.”

β€œSeal up this door. We’ll find another way out.”

β€œWould you-”

β€œWe’re not looking for a way out,” the first man growls. β€œMiss Evangelista?”

β€œI’m Mister Lux’s personal everything,” a young girl greets, stepping forward with pieces of paper in her hands. β€œYou need to sign these contracts agreeing that your individual experience inside The Library are the intellectual property of the Felman Lux Corporation.”

β€œRight, give it here,” the Doctor says, Violet nodding in agreement.

β€œYeah, lovely,” Donna agrees. β€œThanks.”

The Doctor, Violet and Donna tear up the contracts, and River smiles in amusement.

β€œMy family built this Library,” the man, Lux, informs. β€œI have rights.”

β€œYou have a mouth that won’t stop,” River sighs at the man before turning back to the Doctor and Violet. β€œYou think there’s danger here?”

β€œSomething came to this Library and killed everything in it,” Violet says.

β€œKilled a whole world,” the Doctor agrees. β€œDanger? Could be.”

β€œThat was a hundred years ago. The Library’s been silent for a hundred years. Whatever came here’s long dead.”

β€œBet your life?”

β€œAlways,” both Violet and River reply with matching smiles.

β€œWhat are you doing?” Lux demands.

β€œHe said seal the door,” Other Dave informs.

β€œTorch,” the Doctor orders.

β€œYou’re taking orders from him?” Lux asks.

β€œSpooky, isn’t it?”

The Doctor takes Lux’s torch and shines it into the far recesses of the round room. β€œAlmost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark.”

β€œBut they’re wrong, because it’s not irrational,” Violet tells the archaeologists. β€œIt’s Vashta Nerada.”

β€œWhat’s Vashta Nerada?” Donna wonders.

β€œIt’s what’s in the dark. It’s what’s always in the dark,” the Doctor explains. β€œLights! That’s what we need, lights. You got lights?”

β€œWhat for?” River asks.

β€œForm a circle. Safe area. Big as you can, lights pointing out.”

β€œOi. Do as he says.”

Lux gives River a confused look. β€œYou’re not listening to this man?”

β€œApparently I am,” River snaps back at Lux. β€œAnita, unpack the lights. Other Dave, make sure the door’s secure, then help Anita. Mister Lux, put your helmet back on, block the visor. Proper Dave, find an active terminal. I want you to access the library database. See what you can find about what happened here a hundred years ago.” She smiles widely at the Doctor and Violet. β€œPretty boy and cute girl, you’re with me. Step into my office.”

β€œProfessor Song, why am I the only one wearing my helmet?”

β€œI don’t fancy you.”

The Doctor goes over to Dave at the terminal. β€œProbably. I can help you.”

β€œPretty boy,” River calls, making Violet laugh. β€œWith me, I said.”

β€œOh, I’m pretty boy?”

β€œYes,” Donna says quickly and then pauses. β€œOoo, that came out a bit quick.”

β€œPretty?”

β€œMeh.”

β€œDon’t let your shadows cross. Seriously, don’t even let them touch. Any of them could be infected.”

β€œHow can a shadow be infected?” Other Dave asks.

Violet listens to Other Dave and Anita shoot down Miss Evangelista’s offers to help, and she fights the urge to bash their heads together. She hears how she apparently β€œcouldn’t tell the difference between the escape pod and the bathroom” according to Anita, and Violet’s harsh breath hisses out through her clenched teeth. Evangelista moves over to where Lux stands and talks with her boss. River takes a battered book from her backpack. Its cover is blue with eight squares, and more than just a familiar book.

β€œThanks,” River says, eyes moving over the pages as she flicks through the book.

β€œFor what?” the Doctor asks.

β€œThe usual. For coming when I call.”

β€œOh, that was you?”

β€œYou’re doing a very good job, acting like you don’t know me. I’m assuming there’s a reason.”

β€œA fairly good one, actually.”

Violet’s stomach falls. β€œRiver, hold on.”

β€œOkay, shall we do diaries, then? Where are we this time? Er, going by your face, I’d say it’s early days for you, yeah? So, er, crash of the Byzantium. Have we done that yet?” River searches the Doctor’s eyes. β€œObviously ringing no bells. Right. Oh, picnic at Asgard. Have we done Asgard yet? Obviously not. Blimey, very early days, then.” She flips back more pages. β€œWhoo, life with a time traveler. Never knew it could be such hard work. Look at you. Oh, you’re young.”

β€œI’m really not, you know,” the Doctor replies.

β€œNo, but you are. Your eyes. You’re younger than I’ve ever seen you.”

β€œYou’ve seen me before, then?”

β€œDoctor, please tell me you know who I am.”

β€œWho are you?”

Violet watches as River’s heart shatters and she hurries over to the other woman, giving her a comforting hug.

Brng, brng. Brng, brng.

β€œSorry, that was me,” Other Dave apologises. β€œTrying to get through into the security protocols. I seem to have set something off. What is that? Is that an alarm?”

β€œDoctor?” Donna calls. β€œDoctor, that sounds like...”

β€œIt is,” the Time Lord replies. β€œIt’s a phone.”

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