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THE TENTH REGENERATION ADVENTURES
• SPECIAL EDITION – WRITER'S CUT •
Doctor Who: The Infection
By Jeff Walker
Canada, British Columbia.
The mountainous range of the western part of the country is surrounded in a veil of misty fog. The grey clouds in the sky give sign of a cold and damp mid-day, as the lone screech of a hawk carries itself on the wind in the eerie silence. In the lush green thick forests that seem to go on forever in this area of the province, a two people can be seen rushing though the dense woodlands as they dart between the trees. Both are wearing light brown uniforms with matching coats to keep them warm in the cold climate. A Caucasian female officer with blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail and her Caucasian male counter part having dark brown hair with a touch of grey on the sides. Both are carrying handguns and keeping them tightly gripped in both hands. The badges they wear on the coats are that of the local small town police force, the man stops suddenly to give it a quick shine as he notices the leaves clinging onto it.
The female officer notices him lagging behind and also halts in her tracks as she takes a moment to breath with him.
"Damnit! I swear he was right around here... I had him! It's like he just vanished." The male officer snarls in his wheezing.
The woman also out of breath, simple laughs at his grumbling and wipes her cold dripping nose.
"Well...maybe aliens took him? Happens a lot out here right? Hah!"
"This is no Joke Andrea." He says rising back up from his bent position. "If we don't find this guy he's going to kill again. That's the third time he's struck in a week. I mean who the hell kills people like that? I hate these whackos...that's why I left the big city...no more psychos."
"Well, this isn't the big city, Chief. Welcome to B.C...It's a whole new type of whackos out here. But I agree with ya...I've never seen anything like this before..."
"I don't know how you can stand living out here in the middle of nowhere." The Chief Constable says as he slicks his wet hair back. "I thought you were a city girl yourself?"
"Yeah, I'm a Vancouver chick." She snickers. "But I came out here for a sense of adventure. I was pretty bored being a cop there. I mean there's nothing but crime, drug addicts and murderers. I came out here to get away from it all."
"Good choice there Deputy." The man scoffs as he rolls his eyes. "And what do you mean get away from it all? Even here we've got the same problems."
Deputy Constable Andrea Blaine wipes her sweat-laden brow and nods in agreement.
"Yeah that's true. Guess I can't run away from all of it huh? I dunno…I just want more out of life ya know? I need some new challenges…different settings…just for once I'd love to see something that I haven't before."
"Well…" The senior officer says looking around the dark forest. "I'd say that murder back in town was something like that. I've never seen a person get killed like that before."
"I know." Andrea replies with a nervous voice.
The sound of twigs breaking in the distance makes them both turn and strain to see in the distance. They draw their guns back up and being running towards the sound. As they get closer to it they notice that it now begins to sound more like feet running on the wet leafy ground. This causes them to increase their speed and keep up with each step they hear.
In an open area of the forest, not to far from where the officers are, a whooshing sound fills the air as a faint light blinking on and off becomes visible. In the center of this small patch of open field, a blue police box materializes as the light above it keeps blinking, until it finally takes form and stops making a sound. The light above switches off and the misty air around the object fades as it now rests in the grass. From out of the trees just beyond it, both Andrea and the Sheriff suddenly run out as they still try to catch up with their murder suspect. Having not witnessed the TARDIS landing, both were quickly shocked to see such a thing before them.
" What the hell is that? " Andrea says as she stares at it with confusion. "Where did this come from?"
She keeps her gun aimed out as she moves forward towards it with caution.
"I dunno..." The man gawks. "There was a loud noise coming from this area."
Andrea tilts her head slightly as she reads the letters on the box lit sign.
"Police box? What's a police box?"
"I don't know." The Chief Constable shrugs. "But it's not ours that's for sure."
As she starts to take closer steps to it. The senior officer begins to look worried and keeps his gun pointed at the object.
"Careful Andrea! I'll bet you they guy we're after is around here. Watch yourself girl...he could be in it or behind it. "
Suddenly, no sooner had he warned about it, a man in odd clothing pops out of the TARDIS doors and drops to the ground in front of it. His hands covered his face and gave an exasperated sigh as if he is overcome with fatigue. Andrea points her gun towards the man lying down; she slowly draws closer until she can see him in full view. Keeping a close eye on him, she notices he's laying face down with his arms at his sides.
"Hey Chief? I don't think he's armed...in fact I think he looks hurt." She says with concern.
"Don't let that fool you Deputy. Come on now, stay professional here. He could be faking it, just watch his movements and try to strap on the cuffs."
The Chief starts to walk up towards her and realizes that the guy isn't moving at all.
"Shit. I hope he's not dead already."
"I don't' think he is." Andrea quickly gazes over at him. "But he doesn't appear to in any condition to move at all."
The male officer leans in for a closer look and pokes the clothing on him.
"What the heck is he wearing? Kinda light clothing to be out in this weather don't ya think?"
"You the fashion police or something?" Andrea snickers.
She kneels down and puts the gun back in her holster. She stares at the man laying in front of her, leans in and starts to roll him over. As the Chief Constable hovers over to look, they both gaze upon his face. The face is contorting, shifting around; strange blurring effects and light beams are all within the area of his face. Soon they quickly stop and his face gains a normal appearance. The Chief is in awe.
"Who the hell is this guy?"
Andrea with a blank look utters her response under her breath.
"I…I don't know..."
She feels around his person and takes out odd trinkets from his coat pockets. The coat she notices is dark leather, yet badly burned, as if it had been set on fire. His pants had some burns, a beige pair that's looked like dress pants to her. And he was also wearing a navy looking t-shirt that had large scorch marks on them with holes all over his chest.
"I don't think he's the one we're looking for Chief." She says rubbing her chin. "I don't see a weapon...no blood stains, just a burnt shirt and jacket. But take a look at his shoes; they don't appear to even be muddy. I doubt he went in here to change his shoes." Andrea looks up for his approval.
The man squints at her and looks at the man lying there. He gives an exhausted sigh; the chase has worn out not only his body, but also his state of mind.
"Look, I don't know if its him or not. But finding this box out here in the middle of nowhere, our suspect gets away and this guy collapses in front of us just when we're about to nab the murder. I think he's in on it some how."
"What? Why Chief Constable Bill Palmer..that is the dumbest conclusion I've heard from you."
"Well if you have a better explanation I'd love to hear it Deputy? Its pretty obvious our suspect is gone by now, this guy was a diversion or something."
"Oh come on, I think you're really pushing it." Andrea glares at him. "This guy is in need of some serious medical help here. And your saying he's in on it?"
Palmer places his gun away and paces for a second. Looking back down at her, he gives yet another frustrated sigh.
"Alright…alright. Let's just get him back into town then, get the doc to fix him up and then we can question him about it. Hm? Sound reasonable to you?"
Andrea rolls her eyes and starts to pick up the unconscious man.
At the base of the mountainous range of forestry, sits a small rural town, the fresh looking paved roads give a sign that the town is hardly been visited by too much traffic. Small groupings of houses sit near by the main part of the town; limited shops and facilities give the appearance of a place that lives in simple comfort. As the police vehicle drives though to the small local hospital, the two officers give a simple wave to the local pedestrians greeting them as they pass. Arriving to the rustic and log cabin looking Hospital, Andrea and Palmer step out of their vehicle as well as taking out the unconscious passenger they found in the forest. A middle aged native Canadian female nurse comes out with a gurney and they place the man on it. The nurse quickly checks his pulse and gives a confused look at the two officers.
"He sounds erratic…like his heart is beating in two places. Let's get him inside, quick"
They wheel him in and put him on a bed in the awaiting emergency room. The town's doctor, a young looking Asian man, begins to examine the patient as the nurse starts to hook up an I.V. to his arm.
"Where did you find him?" The young doctor asks as he checks the man's pupils.
"We were chasing the suspect and we ran into this guy in the middle of the woods." The Chief replies.
"This isn't the guy you were chasing?"
"No. He got away." Bill Palmer states. "Look doc, we need answers from him. He might know the killer or possibly be involved somehow."
"That's the running theory." Andrea says sarcastically.
The Asian doctor gives a slight snort to her humor and grins as he continues to check the patient.
"Well…he's not too bad. Burns are everywhere on his clothes but I can't find a mark on him. Nurse help me remove his clothing…I want to make sure that there's no other wounds we're missing."
"Yes doctor." The woman nods.
As they start to undress him, removing his jacket, t-shirt and pants, Andrea and the senior officer step out of the room while they undress the man.
"Ok, here's the deal." Palmer says as he checks his watch. "I've got to go and call this in to the main office and get the paper work ready. You stay here and keep an eye on him."
"Ok you got it." Andrea nods.
Andrea hands him a brown envelope and slips in a silver chained object.
"Take these with you while you're at it. I don't know what that one is…looks like a key or something."
The officer nods and walks out back to his car. Pulling out the silver key, he studies is a bit and shakes his head negatively as wonders what that is about. Andrea returns to the man now lying on the emergency bed dressed in a hospital gown and leans over to look at his face more closely. As the doctor continues to take the man's pulse and talk to the nurse beside him, Andrea notices that the man starting to move his eyes.
"Mmmm..where…where am I?" The patient starts to moan as if coming out of a drunken stupor.
"Hey doc?" Andrea says to the young Asian doctor.
He darts away from talking the nurse and grabs hold of the mysterious man's arm as he tries to feel his pulse.
"What's going on? Let…let go of me sir." The patient again demands. "I said unhand...unhand me! "
"Well, it looks like he's coming out of it. I don't see any real trauma for now..." the young Asian doctor smiles. "I think you can ask him some questions, but don't over do it."
The woman nods in agreement. The young doctor is called over by the nurse as she leads him to another patient waiting for him. Andrea nudges the shoulder of the awakening man as he soon makes eye contact with her.
"Hey! Can you hear me? Do you know where you are?"
"Of course I can my dear, and this is...oh god. Let me look for a second….uhm, Earth no doubt. I think...primitive Earth most likely." he scowls.
Andrea shakes her head at his answers.
"British huh? What are you a tourist that got lost? Hey…come on now, listen, what where you doing up there in that...that box? Who are you? "
"Me? Who am I? Why…I'm…I'm The Doctor! And that box as you so call it my dear...is my TARDIS." He rolls his eyes as he lowers his head back onto the pillow. "Oh…oh never mind, you wouldn't understand."
"The Doctor, eh?" She smirks in a coy manner. "The Doctor of what? What are you a Doctor of?"
"Many things child, many things." He states in a groggy voice.
"Can you tell me what you were doing up there in the woods? We found you falling out of that box of yours with your burnt clothes. Yet there doesn't seem to be a mark on you from it. Can you explain this?"
"Hm? No…no I can't sorry."
Andrea sits down next to him on the bed and rubs her blonde hair that's' trying to dry from all the outside moisture.
"I don't ever recall seeing you in this town before, nor any message about a new Doctor coming here either. I know just about everyone that lives here and not one of them I'll bet knows anything about you. A face like yours wouldn't be too hard to spot in a small community like this." Andrea says with authority.
The Doctor smiles with his new toothy grin as he opens his eyes wide at her.
"Why Officer Andrea...I do believe you're making a pass at me! "
She quickly denies his absurd observation and tries to refocus herself by standing back up.
"Oh please...I was not! You're just avoiding my questions by saying that. Now tell me what you were doing up there? Are you responsible for these deaths? Are you helping someone? Cause if you're involved in anyway I'll cuff you right now and make you wish you went even born! "
The Doctor sits up on the bed, rubs his hand on his head and looks at her with disappointment.
"Look, all this shouting is giving me a rightful headache. I have no idea what you're talking about first of all, and second of all I've only just arrived myself you know. For a policeman...oh pardon me...policewoman your awfully pushy to someone whose just been through a rough time."
"Ok..fine." Andrea rolls her eyes and clams down a tad more. "But you were found in an open field, next to a blue police box and just happened to be in the exact place we where chasing our suspect too. So tell me...how does that look to you?"
"Ah." The Doctor pauses as he rubs his chin. "Well now...that does sound a bit, out of the ordinary doesn't it? But I can assure you my dear; I have no idea of what you're going on about. A murder was it?"
His tone now changed to his inquisitive nature about Andrea's claim, as too does his body posture as he sits up in the bed more.
"That's right." She answers back. "For the past week or so people have been ending up missing and then found in a horrifying mess. We just found another body when we called to the scene and saw the suspect flee up into the mountains when we pulled up. We chased him for a good while in that forest and we all most had him...but then that's when we encountered you. So guess what? That makes you the prime suspect now and the only lead we've got in this case for the moment."
She lowers down to him and leans in.
"Make it easy on yourself and us...are you responsible?"
"No. I have no connection with it what so ever. ", He says with stern conviction. "But from the sound of it, I gather you don't believe me anyway. "
He pauses for a second and then looks at her again with eyebrows rising up.
"I have only one thing to say to you. Have you got a mirror I can borrow?"
On the outskirts of the small rural town, closer to the edge of the forest area, a woman is seen hanging up her laundry at the back of her house. An older native woman who seems short in height and looking rather worn for her years. As she hangs the clothing up and humming to a traditional native song, a dark figure stands in the bushes close by watching her as it breathes heavily in an almost low hissing noise. The sound of her humming the tune seems to make the hissing of the mysterious figure grow louder. She suddenly stops humming as she hears the awful hissing being made from behind. She is unsure of what is making the noise and looks around her freshly hung linen to see if it's someone in front of her. The hissing becomes louder still and soon she becomes aware that it is coming from directly behind her. The woman's old eyes dart about with curiosity, a streak of terror now fills them as she continues to listen and as she quickly turns around to see where the sound was coming from, the figure leaps out over to her sending the woman into a vocal shrill in sheer horror.
Back at the local log cabin-like hospital, Andrea is still trying to get answers out of the Doctor, who is sitting in the emergency hospital bed waiting for her to give him a mirror. Andrea looks around and finds one on the table next to her. She forcefully hands him the mirror as he continues to smile away like a madman. The Doctor nods in thanks to her and holds it up. He beings to study his newly regenerated face, giving a poke to his cheeks and contorting his mouth as he gives the sound of disappointment.
"Oh my, my, my...look at that face. Pudgy isn't it? Oh and that short hair...funny I don't recall having a trim. Oh and look at nose! " The Timelord sighs. " You'd think after all these changes I'd get a look that suits me better. Oh well I suppose it will have to do..."
Andrea takes back the mirror as the Doctor returns it to her and gives him a questionable gaze. She's not sure about what to make about this strange man, but she still has to find out what he was doing up on the mountainside. Shaking off his odd behavior, she gives a slight rub to her face and sits back down on the bed.
"Ok. This is getting boring. You've seen your face, you hate your look, now tell me what you were doing up there!"
"Look...Andrea wasn't it?" The Doctor says as starts to get out of the hospital bed. "Look Andrea, you've obviously got the wrong man. If you were running after someone, his shoes and clothes would have been a wreck. Muddy soles, tears in the fabric from rubbing on the branches, and seeing how it was a rather misty, cold and wet day. All of it would have been drenched, soaked as it were, along with his hair, yes?"
All of which seemed to make sense to Andrea, she had a look on her face as if she were lost in thought about those key things he just mentioned. While she pondered those bits of information, the Doctor stood up and began to look around his bedside area. Andrea still muddling around about his observation, tries to dig a bit deeper, but notices that this man is distracted as he looks around.
"Well...that's true." She says scrunching her nose. "I did mention that earlier, you could have overheard me as you where lying there. But Doctor, you were the only one there. You're clothes were tattered and burnt. Yes they weren't wet, neither was your head, but…I mean its not as if the other person just vanished into the forest. You were right there! How do you explain that?"
The Doctor continued to look around his bed, under the table, in the drawers and even leaned over another bed near by as his gown opened slightly from behind showing his bare butt. He quickly closed it back up as he noticed her averting her eyes from the white British posterior.
"Uhm…what are you looking for?" She inquires.
The Doctor paused for a second, his face gave a look of frustration, and then he glanced up at her.
"I'm looking for my things dear girl. I had objects and trinkets…delicate stuff your kind shouldn't be messing around with."
"Oh, you mean the weird looking objects I took out of your pockets and that odd shaped key you had around your neck?" She quips.
The timelord gets a glimmer of hope in his eye as he runs over and holds her by the arms.
"Yes! That's them, tell me do you have those items with you?"
"No, I'm sorry..." Andrea nods negatively looking nervous from his quick grab. "The Chief Constable took them over to Police Headquarters near by. I think he's probably filed them away for now."
His hope fades after hearing that. He then looks down and sees his shoes and gives a clap of enthusiasm at seeing them. He sits back down on the bed reaches down to grab those dressy style type shoes and begins to put them on. Andrea feels that the investigation is going nowhere at the moment, she gives a frustrated sigh and notices the man wearing nothing but a hospital gown and a pair of good brown shoes. The man apparently does not seem to care about what he's wearing, nor is he paying any attention to her anymore. Suddenly the Doctor stamps his feet and gives a little wave to her.
"Well.. it's been a fun time Officer Andrea. But now I must depart. Cheerio!"
"Where do you think your going? I haven't finished with you yet. Keep those shoes off! " She says raising her voice at him.
"I've had enough time with your questions my dear, I need to find my things and be off on my merry way. You know you have quite the keen mind; I noticed how you summed me up when you were hovering over me. Yes...yes you're quite good."
With quick wink of his eye, he gives a smile and walks out of the room with his brown shoes and a hospital gown on. All the while he's whistling the tune, 'I'm Singing In The Rain'. Andrea is slightly taken by that bit of flattery, but then snaps out of it as she sees him walk out the main doors.
"Holy crap! Hey! Hang on a minute! Come Back Here! "
She strides after him as he walks out of the hospital and out into the small town. For a man wearing nothing but a pair of brown shoes and a green hospital gown, he seemed quite up beat and walking with confidence. She finally starts to catch up to him as he curiously looks around the town; he seems puzzled by something, a look of a man who's not sure about the place he's in.
"Doctor! Wait up! I can't have you running around here! And with no clothes on!" She exclaims out of breath.
"Strange isn't it. The town is very quiet...I thought this was thriving community? Not too many people I take it? " He states to Andrea, who finally keeps up as she tries to cover his backside from showing.
" Well, no. This town used to be a lot busier then this, but after a few strange things happening lately, a good portion have taken off. "
"Strange things? Strange things, hm. What sort of strangeness are we talking about here? " The Doctor asks with an interested gaze.
"Oh...ahhh...well, for starters…" She continues while trying to keep his gown from flapping in the breeze. "There've been these odd murders. Actually before all that, some people started reporting sounds of animals creeping close to their homes. Uhmm…there were also some calls we kept getting from the local native people here, about some of their family members being found wandering the streets in a daze. But by the time we show up, they're denying it happened. "
"Hmm. Interesting." The Doctor listens with great interest. "And what about these murders? What's been happening about those?"
"We've had a few…sometimes the bodies go missing by the time we get there, but there's always evidence that it was laying in that spot. We just finally got to the scene in time today of a recent murder, but the guy took off before he could run off with the body this time."
"Sounds rather morbid." The Doctor simply states.
"This town has been going down hill ever since the Chief Constable Baker died."
The Doctor stops in his tracks and looks at her.
"You failed to mention that one. What happened to him?"
"You know…I'm not sure." She says squinting at him. "I was assigned here the day he was killed nearly a year ago. Me and Chief Constable Palmer."
"Palmer and I." The Doctor says trying to correct her English.
"Nothing, go on."
Just as Andrea was about to continue the conversation, Bill Palmer pulls up in his squad car along side Andrea and the Doctor as they stand in the street. Palmer looks furious at Andrea as he notices the Doctor standing there with almost nothing on.
"What the hell is he doing up and about? I told you too keep at the hospital, not take a tour! For god sake's Andrea…he's got nothing on!"
Too lost for words, she opens her mouth to find an explanation as she looks back and forth between the two men. The Chief rubs the temple of his forehead with his right hand and looks too concerned to worry about it for now. The look in his eyes shows something else is weighing on his mind.
"Ok never mind all this right now then. I need you to get in right away! They've lost another one...looks like old lady Red feather is missing this time."
"Oh no…not that sweet old woman." Andrea frowns.
"Ed is going out of his mind right now about his grandmother. Well stop your gawking and get a move on will ya!"
Palmer looks at the Doctor as Andrea glances over at him standing beside her. The Chief Constable gives a shake of his head and thumbs the Timelord to the rear door.
"Man what a day. Alright, you'd better come with us too buddy. Obviously if we can't keep you at the hospital at least I can keep ya near so you don't run off. "
As the Doctor grins and gets into the back of the cruiser, Palmer looks at him in the rearview mirror and winces at his appearance.
"I think we'll stop off at the local store first. Can't have you running around like that."
The Doctor looks at himself and his eyes suddenly grow wide at Andrea getting into the front right hand seat.
"Oh my god! I'm not wearing anything! You let me leave a hospital looking like this?"
Andrea turns to shout back at him in anger, but Palmer grabs her hand back and forces her to turn around.
"Never mind Andrea, never mind. Save it for later."
The cruiser takes off down the road with its lights flashing.
A short time later, the squad car ventures down towards Red feather's house. The Doctor is now fully dressed in a brown corduroy jacket, a plaid vest and a simple white t-shirt underneath it all. He wipes his beige cargo pants with a happy glee, as he seems rather pleased with his ensemble. Andrea and Palmer just watch his reaction in the rearview mirror; the woman can't help but smile at the sight of him, while Palmer is just shaking his head as he drives.
"So Andrea tells me you call yourself, the Doctor?" The Chief Constable says loudly for the Timelord to hear.
"Yes. That's me."
"Is that all we're suppose to call you? Don't you have a real name? Something we can identify you with on the computers?"
The Doctor stops his self-grooming and leans back with his arms spread across the car seat as if to relax.
"You can look up a John Smith if you like. Not that it would do you any good."
Palmer leans over to the computer built into the cruiser's dashboard and punches in the name. Andrea starts to giggle uncontrollably and peers over at the officer looking up at her while she covers her mouth from laughing.
"What? What's so funny?" Palmer inquires.
"You." She says lower her hand and smiling. "Don't you get it? He's British?"
"John Smith?" She says raising her eyebrow. "That's like getting 'John Doe' here from people with no identity."
The Chief Constable looks back at the Doctor who just stares back with a grin on his face. The officer gives a grumble as he spins back around to focus on driving.
"Unbelievable." He states. "We find a guy in the woods with no other name other then 'The Doctor', a town of dying native Canadians, and our suspect is still on the loose. I tell you Andrea…we're in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Come on Chief." She snorts. "Where's your sense of adventure? This is a mystery…something to solve…something to tell other officers during your next outing back to the city."
"Please." Palmer breathes out in disgust.
"I like you're thinking Andrea." The Doctor beams. "Adventure and mystery is something everyone should have in their lives. Otherwise it makes for a dull life."
"No talking back there." The Chief Constable says raising his voice at him. "I don't need you to be the back seat cheerleader for her. So cut it out."
"As you like." The Doctor responds as he leans his head back and closes his eyes. "Wake me up when we get there."
As they arrive at Red feather's house, they observe the condition of the building, an old home that's had a few updates, but not too many to make it worth selling to anyone else. The old woman rarely left her home, other then to do grocery shopping, she never left to visit any other in the town. This puzzled both Andrea and Palmer, they knew this woman and her grandson, Ed, and felt that this was very strange to get a call from the likes of them. Outside the home, standing near the back where the dirt driveway rides up to the rundown garage, a group of natives await them as they turn to see them coming up slowly. Varied in ages and looking very unemotional, the men and women continue to talk amongst themselves as the car arrives. Parking just at the end of the driveway, Palmer and the others get out as they witness the group of people sitting around.
"Hey Bill! Bill! Man I hope you can help..." The youngest teen shouts as he gets up out of his chair on the porch to greet them.
" Hey Ed, what's with the gathering? Looks like the entire community is here. ", The sheriff asks in a humorous tone.
Ed looks back, snickers and turns at Palmer again.
"Oh yeah, well they wanted to see what they could fine too. I called you guys first...then they showed up. Weird huh man? I don't know half of them, but I guess Gran' did."
Ed was a goofy looking kind of kid, long black hair braided that was braided in traditional Native American style, yet wearing a black t-shirt that had the logo of a marijuana leaf on it. His jeans were ripped and rather worn looking and wore a pair of thick glasses that seemed to make his eyes larger then they were. Ed was one of the many Indian kids that grew up in this small town with nothing better to do but hang around the shops, toke up and do odd jobs to help his grandmother pay for her home.
"Hey Ed. Your Grandma doesn't usually wander off right?" Andrea nods to him as she walks up. "I mean she's not usually taking off without telling you right? "
"Oh no way, hell..." Ed snickers and snorts as he laughs at the female officer's questions. "She wouldn't even walk off this property ya know? No she's usually the one yelling at me for not telling her where I am half the time ya know? "
Ed notices the Doctor walking upward towards the back end of the house. He gives the Timelord a scan with his eyes and starts to giggle at him as he takes note of the clothes he has on. Nothing matches on the Doctor, not even the socks he has on. Red and blue they were, something that made Ed think this guy was high himself. The Doctor walks beyond the officers and looks at the backyard where the other natives are starting to move into.
"When's the last time you saw her?" The Timelord asks the kid from the distance he's at.
"Uh..I dunno." Ed shrugs his shoulders at him. "She was doin' laundry back there for some time, man. I wasn't home ya know. Just…kinda hangin' out with my buds at the time."
The Doctor rolls his eyes at the boy's answer and gives sigh.
"Ok then." He says pursing his lips. "When you were done hangin' with your buds…how long was it, after you got back, that you noticed she was gone?"
"Uhmm…" Ed struggles to think, scratching his head and snapping his fingers on the other hand. "Oh yeah! It was just around the time I got back. That wasn't more then like…ten...fifteen minutes later."
"So it's been pretty recent then." Andrea deducts.
"Think so, man." Ed nods in agreement.
They all begin to move into the backyard as they follow the other natives. The Doctor takes notice of the non-fenced area around the back of the house that leads into the forest further away. The curious Timelord wanders over to the scene of the crime and examines the area where the woman was attacked. Chief Constable Bill Palmer walks over to the other people and begins to ask them routine questions, the natives give him any answers they can and remain rather serious in their tone. Andrea keeps close to the Doctor as she watches his curious actions, the man brushes the grassy mud ground with his and rubs the dirt between his fingers. As she crouches down beside him, she too notices the various signs of struggle that must have taken place. Blood marked the muddy ground where the attack occurred; the freshly washed linen was littered about the lawn and a pair of drag marks that seemed to be only around the free standing clothes hanger the woman had. The Doctor stroked his chin in thought as his brain began to focus.
"Looks like she was attacked by something." Andrea observes. "Maybe one of the wildlife near by dragged her off? A bear or bobcat?"
"Or the murder?" The Doctor adds.
"Yeah, that too." Andrea says hanging her head. "He must have dragged her off into the woods. Poor Mrs. Red feather…."
The Doctor halts that train of thought with his own observation.
"No, there's no sign of such a thing. You see there would have been a pair of drag marks taking her away into the forest, the woman was short no doubt, but probably too heavy for the likes of him…or her…to drag alone. Plus there's not enough blood here to assume she was mauled by anything. Just a few specks and the one stand off here. Interesting..."
The Doctor gets up from staring at the ground and looks over his shoulder to notice an old native man staring back at him. The old man, sitting on one of the old woman's rusted patio chairs, is smoking his hand carved wooden pipe. The smoke swirls around him and his eyes peer out from his very wrinkled skin. The frail looking old man is wearing dark suit pants, a white collared shirt that looks yellowed from all the smoking, and beige knit coat with ancient Native American symbols printed on it. With their eyes locked, the old man starts to crack a smile at the Doctor and gives a slight cackle in his old raspy voice. The Timelord just raises his eyebrow at him and returns to talking to Andrea as they look around the yard again.
"The demon has come. I know you...yes…I know you very well. My demon of time." The old man utters to himself in a smoke filled breath. "And it is here…that you will at long last…die."
The old man slowly begins to laugh as the smoke rises out of his mouth from all the inhaling from his wooden pipe. The Doctor looks over at the man again as his laughter catches his ear. As Ed happens to walk by the Timelord, he quickly grabs his arm and looks up at him.
"Tell me Ed, who is that man sitting there?"
"Oh him, yah that's Tom Crowhead." Ed acknowledges as he smiles and points to the old man. "He's kinda the old wise elder of our community here. "
" Really..." The Doctor utters. "Wise men are full of answers. I'd very much like to meet him if you don't mind Ed. "
"Eh, sure guy." Ed says shrugging his shoulders. "Best thing to do is walk over and introduce yourself. That's what my Gran' says is the best way of meeting someone. At least, she use to... "
Noticing that Ed was getting upset about his grandmother, the Doctor stood up and gave him a comforting grasp for his loss. The young native teenager gave a wipe to his eye and walked away slowly from the Doctor. The death of Red feather was finally beginning to take its toll on the young man; he had to remove his glasses and hold his face as realized she wasn't coming back. The Doctor gave the young man his privacy and instead focused back at the wrinkled old man staring at him. He starts to walk over to the smoking Indian and starts to put on the Doctor charm machine again.
" Hello there sir!" He says with a cheerful grin. "I was wondering if I could talk with you? That is if you don't mind me asking of course? "
The old man stops sucking on his pipe and clears his throat.
"I don't know what I can tell you. For I'm not sure what it is you think I know. "
The rather smug answer from the old man makes him ponder about that wrinkled smiling face. Instead the Doctor smiles back with equal smugness and continues to talk to him.
"Well I would think as the leader of you community, you would have some insight as to what has been happening around here in past week or so. Has no one mentioned odd things happening to you? What about those reports of some of your people wandering around town in a state of confusion? And what about Ed's grandmother here? You don't seem so overly concerned that she's missing or in fact possibly dead."
Crowhead just starts smoking again. He squints his eyes and holding the pipe tightly between his teeth as he gives the oddly dressed man an answer.
"You ask a lot of questions and rightfully so. But what I have to say isn't what you need to hear. I cannot give you the answers you seek, because I wasn't here to witness any of these things. They're a certain problems that many must deal with."
"Problems are all around my friend." The Doctor says looking at him with curiosity. "Are you trying to hide something about these attacks? Are you not willing to share with us your…wisdom…as Ed seems to think you have much of?"
The old man rises out of his chair and glares into the Timelord's eyes.
"Wisdom?" The old man laughs. "Wisdom is something few have."
The Doctor remains puzzled by the old man as he continues to glare sharply into his eyes.
"You're a man that has lived a long time, I see so much regret in them, so much wisdom. But something else is there. A demon, a dark shadow, evil that awaits to be unleashed."
"I beg your pardon?" The Doctor winces.
"You better be careful demon, there are some things that are never forgotten by the ones you betray. Good day to you, sir."
Tom leans down and grabs his hand carved walking stick, the stick looks old and adorned with many native symbols. On the top of the cane a beautifully carved crow's head sticks out, with two black polished eyes on either side of it. The old man starts to walk away slowly making his way out of the yard; a few of the other natives start to walk out with him as they too look at the Doctor. Ed thanks the group for coming and receives an Indian blessing from Crowhead as he speaks in the ancient language. The Doctor still standing in the spot where the old man left him, gazes at the group leaving and then turns his head to Andrea who walks up beside him.
"Interesting conversation. Strange...But interesting." The Doctor says raising his eyebrows in comedic form.
"I've never heard him talk to anyone before." Andrea snickers a bit. "Usually he just sits there and stares at you rather than giving a word back. I find him a bit creepy really. "
"Oh don't be silly, that's just your imagination. He's harmless." The Doctor assures as he rests his arm on her shoulder. "No I think there is something more happening here then we're lead to believe. "
Andrea shocked by his answer, looks up at him as he stares off into the distance with a rather smug look.
"With who? The Indians? You think they're hiding something?"
"I'm not sure. But I could swear they think I'm some sort of evil that's come for them or something."
After the Doctor states the fact, he pats Andrea on the back and turns back to the crime scene. Andrea shakes her head in disbelief and walks over with him. The Doctor asks the Deputy Constable for a knife, she looks over at Palmer who disagrees with that request, but she ends up handing him one anyway. The Chief Constable walks over in anger just as the Doctor leans down to scoop up a sample of the blood on the ground. Palmer walks over and snatches the knife out of his hands, takes out a clear plastic bag and places the evidence into it.
"I thought you were a Doctor…not a police officer." Palmer snarls at him.
"Well, I'm a man of many talents." He smiles back.
Andrea giggles as she takes the plastic bag from Palmer. And looks at the sample.
"Don't be so paranoid Chief. The Doctor seems like he…really wants to help."
"Absolutely!" The Doctor smiles. "Now then, lets have a good look at this and see what we can find shall we?"
"You've got to be kidding." The Chief Constable scoffs. "That's not going to tell you anything, besides we're not some big city crime unit you know. Hell, we don't even have a lab to take it too anyway. No, I'm getting professionals to look at it. That's got to be processed and shipped to a station that has a proper forensics lab. "
"Oh come on now…" The Doctor says grabbing him by the shoulder and turning him away from Andrea. "Surely you have a microscope or some sort of small lab we can look at this in? I mean you do have a hospital…they don't look at blood work with nothing now do they?"
Andrea enters in the conversation, feeling frustrated at her partner's reluctance to aid the Doctor.
"Come on Bill, that's going to take weeks! The hospital may be small but it does have a lab we can use. We need all the help we can get. If this guy really is a doctor then I say let him do his thing. I want to find this wacko before he strikes again."
Hours later, on the outskirts of the small town.
Young Ed is driving down the wet paved road in his beat up old Chevy red truck. He's had time to get past his Grandmother's disappearance and freely lights up his joint as he sits there listening to his favorite radio tune. Feeling the affects of the drug, he lets out a large grin and starts to sing along to the music. Driving under the influence is nothing new to Ed. He's been arrested numerous times for such a stunt and shouldn't be driving at all after having his license revoked. Still, he drives anyway as he's the only one able to fix homes in the town. A trade he learned from his dad before he died from cancer. As he continues to swerve around the road in a happy glee, he suddenly spots a figure walking along the side the road. The daylight has decreased and falling into night, and even as high as he is right now, he knows the person walking along the side of the road. He quickly turns off his radio and gawks with wide eyes as he realizes that it's his grandmother. He slams on the brakes as he just passes by her and parks up the truck as he flings out of the truck. Running towards her, screaming out her name, he notices she's all wet and muttering something incoherent.
Her skin is pale and her eyes are fluttering and rolling back. Yet she almost seems dazed and walking in a rigid manner. The young teen gives her a hug at seeing she's alive and puts his jean jacket over her that he was wearing.
"Grandma! Grandma! " Ed says as he shakes tries to break the woman out of the stupor.
The old women stared at him with those vacant eyes and began talking to him in a language he'd never even heard before. Figuring she was in need of medical help, he grabs her and puts her into the truck's passenger seat. Climbing back into the driver seat, Ed turns back around and drives quickly back to the hospital in town.
At the hospital, the Doctor, Andrea and Palmer all file into the small lab the young Asian doctor leads them into. The room isn't anything elaborate. The hospital itself isn't too big, but the lab room is more like a small storage area as boxes are up against the walls. The Doctor looks at the place and seems unimpressed with the layout. But rather then get an 'I told you so' from Palmer, the Timelord clasps his hands together and tires to look happy about the setup.
"Thanks Chen." Andrea says as she puts her hand on the young doctor's shoulder. "Sorry we have to ruin your storage space, but we need to look at this sample pretty quick."
"Hey no sweat, gives me a chance to finally use this place anyhow." Chen nods to her. "Anything you guys need...besides I'm kinda curious about that sample myself."
Chen looks at the Doctor as he surveys the room and moves some of the boxes off the two small tables.
"So you're a doctor too? Well, no wonder your bedside manner was lousy, doctors make the worst patient. " Chen smirks.
The Timelord looks back at him with a disapproving face based on that remark. He takes out the ancient looking microscope and plunks it down on the table near Chen. Chen nods as he notices the Doctor not making much of his small humor and pulls a chair up to the table. Andrea takes the sample out and gives it to the young Asian doctor to look at. With great curiosity, the Doctor hovers over him as the young man places the blood sample on a small peetrey dish and flattens it out with another piece of small glass. He then puts it under the microscope and looks at the results as he zooms in adjusting the knobs.
Just then a voice can be heard screaming out side the lab room. Chen and the others go running out, as they see Ed bringing in his Grandmother on a gurney. The nurse is pushing from behind to get the old woman into the emergency room, while Ed blubbers away as he holds her hand. They all give a hand helping to lay her down on the hospital bed as she continues to rant on and sweat in a delirium.
"Ok Ed, Where did you find her?" Chen asks as he checks her pulse.
"I found her outside of town, she was walking along side when I came down the road." Ed replies holding his head in a state of panic. "Man I hope she's ok...oh man...oh geez. Gran! I love you Gran!"
"Its ok Ed, calm down...we're gonna take care of her. " Andrea says trying to calm the young teen down.
They bring her over to the curtained area of the Emergency room and doctor Chen starts to hook up all the monitors and I.V. to her. Red Feather still rants on and on, her words become louder and louder. The Doctor stands at the foot of the bed with Ed as he rolls back his brown jacket sleeves, he wonders what she's saying as she continues on in the weird dialect that Ed had heard before.
"Ed help us out here, what's she saying..." Andrea asks.
"I...I don't know, man? She's not making any sense dudes! I've never heard of that..."
Suddenly the old woman's eyes become focused on the Doctor standing there at the foot of her bed, her face becomes furious with anger and struggles to speak as Chen tries to hold her down. The language is muttled at first to all of them, but soon she manages to spit it out in an almost recognizable English language.
"The Demon! The Demon! You musssst die! Die Demon Die!"
The Doctor is horrified by her howls and looks at her with his eyes wide open in fear.
"Kill the Demon! Kill Him! He Must Die!" Red feather continually screams at the Doctor. And before Chen can sedate her, she suddenly collapses back onto the bed in an unconscious state.
The young Asian doctor looks at Red feather with deep concern and starts to turn on his small flashlight into her pupils. He then takes her pulse again and looks over at the monitors.
"I don't understand. She's out like a light, it's as if she's lapsed into a coma. Her skin…the skin is very slimy."
The Doctor walks over cautiously, and puts his hand on Red feathers arm. The sound of his fingers pushing down on her skin sounds mushy and very wet. Bringing it up to his face and sniffing it curiously like a cat, the Doctor soon wipes it off on a sterile cloth sitting near him.
"Yes...yes its very slime laden isn't. The odor is quite awful too."
"Perhaps she's just dehydrated?" Andrea looks at the Doctor. "She has been walking around for a good few hours out in the cold, moist night air."
"That's strange." Chief Constable Bill Palmer leans in a bit. "Hey doc, what's this on her hand?"
Both Chen and the Doctor look down at her hand. Chen examines it more closely.
"It looks like a skin irritation...or..."
"Or the beginning of a very nasty virus." The Doctor says taking over Chen's observation. "See how it's spreading up towards the wrist already? And on the other arm too. See? Looks like it's spreading through her system. "
"A Virus? What's a virus got to do with her missing?" Ed screams frantically at them all. "And what about that maniac running around? Did he do this to my Gran? What's happening to this place! Huh? What the hell is going on man!"
Chief Constable Bill tries to calm young Ed down; he grabs hold of him and brings him out of the grandmother's bed area.
"Listen Ed, we're gonna get to the bottom of this alright? So just cool it for now, ok? Now what I want you to do is give me the exact spot you found her, I'm going to go out and see if I can turn up any clue she might have left behind out there. Ok buddy? Come on now..."
Ed starts to calm down more and nods in reply to the Chief Constable's words. He lets out a long breath and rubs his tearful eyes.
"Ok...you're right man. God, I hope she'll be all right. "
Ed and Palmer walk out of the hospital as the young teen tells him of the location he found her. Both Chen and the Doctor are still looking at Red feather's body; looking puzzled by her condition, the two give a shake of their heads on what the problem is. The Doctor reaches over to the table and finds a hypodermic needle; he uses it to take a blood sample from the woman lying there and then takes it out after he's drawn out enough.
"Lets continue the research in the lab shall we? It appears that this mystery is deepening further." The quirky Timelord says to both Andrea and Chen.
They all start walking over towards the room containing the other sample of blood, Ed returns to his grandmother's side after Palmer leaves in his police car and begins to chant an Indian prayer for her protection. As they enter the lab room, the Doctor slides over a chair for himself where the microscope is sitting.
"Doctor?" Andrea asks inquisitively. "Why is she pointing to you calling you a demon? I could almost see the determination in her eyes that you were a threat or something?"
The Doctor puts the sample of blood found at the crime scene under the scope and begins to study it. Hearing Andrea's question, he calmly gives his answer while looking at the specimen intensely.
"Yes, curious isn't it? That's the second time someone has called me that here. Crowhead, the old gentleman, seemed rather ticked off at me too. Perhaps I resemble some sort of ancient demi-god of their culture or some such nonsense. A face of death perhaps?"
"Maybe your too white for them." Andrea sort of chuckles.
The Doctor raises his head up to her and gives a look of disapproval of that comment she made. Chen tries to break the racist remark by asking the Timelord for his analysis.
"Uh…ok. Is there any indication of a virus in that sample?"
"Not in that one." The Doctor looks over at him, with more professional demeanor. "This bit of blood we found at the site seems normal enough. You know, I find it rather odd that there wasn't any bite marks, cuts or wounds of any sort on her body to leave such a sample as this."
"That's what Palmer and I found so curious about the other victims. Even the last one we discovered." Andrea says to him. "We came just after the attack and saw the body lying there. There was no stab wounds or strangle marks of any sort. Not a mark on the person yet the place was torn up with some blood marks on the ground as if they had been brutally wounded."
"Interesting." The Doctor says touching his chin in thought. "And what of the body?"
"It vanished." The woman sighs as she folds her arms together. "Palmer went to check on it after he dropped us off at the hospital and said it wasn't there."
"Was that before or after he when to do the paperwork at the police station."
"After. Cause he seemed pretty sure you were the culprit at the time and there was no sense in rushing to get the body."
The Doctor raises his eyebrow at her.
"That was sloppy. Should have gone to get the body first and bring it back here."
"I know." Andrea says looking over at Chen with disappointment.
"Bodies disappearing, blood being found with no marks on the victims and now this virus infecting an old woman…" The Doctor thinks to himself out loud. "I wonder. Lets have a look at the next one, shall we? "
Picking up the needle with the blood sample just taken minutes ago, he places a few drops on a new clear dish and presses another flat clear dish on top of it. Placing it back into the microscope, after removing the other one, he then looks into the eyepiece again to have a look at it.
The Chief Constable pulls up in his police car along side the road in the same area that young Ed found his grandmother wandering. Getting out of the car, he brings with him a flashlight and zips up his jacket. Nighttime has come and made the area dark and hazy looking. The mist from the forest filled mountain near by fills the roadway like a blanket of fog. Palmer walks along side the road as he turns on the flashlight; scanning the road, he looks for clues, tracks or anything at all that might bring about an answer to this mysterious riddle. The sound of his shoe crunching on the rocky dirt from the roadside, almost feels forbidding. As he walks along, his face gives the sign that he's not sure of what he should be looking for. His ears perk as hears the bushes next to the roadway rustling; it gives him a momentary pause, as it doesn't sound like the wind blowing them about. For there was no wind at all from where he was standing. The roadside is full of brush and tall trees; the darkness didn't help to show him what was beyond them. Feeling it was nothing more then the local wildlife rummaging though the woods, the man returned to peering at the ground with his light.
More sounds start to emerge all of a sudden, heavy breathing it sounded like and snapping of branches on the ground. As he tries to flash the light onto the dark wooden area, he starts to feel a bit un-nerved not being able to see what or where the sounds are coming from. A deep hissing that almost sounds too big to be a small snake or rodent begins to fill the air now. Far too booming for a woodland creature to make and not at all anything he's ever heard before. The hissing becoming louder and louder, that alone gives him enough fear to start running back to his car and trying to locate the keys in his pocket. It didn't seem that far to him when he was just beginning his search, but realizing that he's a good stretch away makes him run just that much more. The hissing becomes more intense and starts to follow him at the same speed. In shear panic, the Chief Constable begins to quiver like a man too afraid to look back at a nightmare. He finally reaches his car, gets in and quickly shuts the door just as the hissing almost reaches him. After shutting the door completely, the hissing stops immediately.
He finally sighs in relief and starts laughing like someone whose just out run the devil. He soon gathers his wits and starts the car up. Just then, a massive slimy looking tentacle crashes through the windshield and wraps around Palmers throat. He screams in a high pitched squeal as it latches on to him, then with a big pull forward the creature brings the horrified policeman right though the rest of the window. The man screams loudly as his entire body is ripped out of the vehicle and grows silent instantly as the last blood curling howl from him rings out in the night air.
The Doctor tightens in on the microscope's adjustment knobs, as he gets a stronger resolution on the sample taken from Red feather. In the scope, he can see cell structures mutating and some sort of green spore covering the cells. They begin multiplying in front of his eyes in a pattern that seem to cause him to gasp at the sight.
"Fantastic!" He says with a scientist's wonder.
"What...what's fantastic?" Chen now inquires as he stares at the oddly dressed man.
The Doctor stops gazing at the specimen and brings Chen over to have a look. He moves out of the chair and lets the young doctor have a seat in his stead. Chen watches intently and also is alarmed at the sight. Andrea was too busy being bored from waiting to hear the results. But as the Timelord walked away from the microscope, she noticed him standing there in pure thought. His right hand rubbing against his chin and a giving blank gaze in the distance, the man taps the other table with his fingers. Andrea wonders what it is he's discovered talks to him while is in mid-thought.
"Ok...do I have to wait for the book to be published? Or are you going to share with me what you've found out?"
"It's fantastic, absolutely fantastic." The brown coat wearing Timelord states to her. "Its a virus just as I said, but its spreading at such an alarming rate..."
"Doctor! What is it? What have you found? " She gawks at him with greater curiosity.
"The infection she has, it's spreading, so much so that it's changing the very molecules in her entire body. It's literally rewriting her DNA and taking a whole new form. I dare say that this is no ordinary virus we're dealing with here, much more non-terrestrial. "
"He's right, it's beyond all logic" The young Asian doctor concurs. "I've never seen anything that could do this before. This isn't human, animal or anything I've ever seen in medical science."
"Are you kidding me?" She says with disbelief at the both of them. "Are you trying to say that this sickness...this infection…its what? Alien? "
"Yes my dear." The Doctor nods firmly. "Totally alien. Not of this Earth so to speak."
"Doctor…" Chen says as he looks over at him. "How is it you can tell? You act as if you've seen it before."
"Before?" The Timelord utters under his breath in a curious manner. "Before…of course before! Oh god…I have seen this before."
Andrea and Chen are confused at the Doctor's mutterings, almost as if a lightening bolt had struck him in the head and given him a clear vision.
"What! What is it? Tell us!" Andrea shouts, as she can't stand his odd behavior anymore.
Just then a screams are heard out in the emergency room. Chen instantly rises to his feet, as he knows the voices crying out in sheer pain.
"Ed? That's Ed! And my Nurse!"
They all leap to their feet to see what the commotion is all about. Just as they all whip around the corner, they come in direct view of the disturbance. On the floor lay the nurse and young Ed, dripping full of slime, their bodies shriveled and looking as if they had been drained of all the fluid in them. The Doctor and the others start to look up and see the mass standing over them. A huge creature with a greenish slime covered body with multiple tentacles. They're all full of small sharp tooth like points coming out of the skin, while the main body is thick with three massive black eyes. The mouth is large and full of razor like teeth, it snarls and snaps at the sight of the three of them as they stand there in horror at its mere sight.
"Good GOD! " Chen shouts out.
"No…no it's not possible! It can't be! It can't BE! " The Doctor howls as Andrea looks to him.
The creature slowly starts to make its way over to them all, its slime dripping all over the floor and slithering over the victims. As it draws in closer, an almost human voice can be heard as it shrills out to them,
"DOCTOOOOR! THE DOCTOOOOR MUSSSST DIE! DEMON OOOOF TIME MUSSSST DIE!"
Andrea screams in terror as she quickly draws out her gun. She begins firing wildly upon the massive alien coming at them, trying to kill the beast before it makes its way over. The bullets don't even slow it down; they all seem to pass through its sloppy looking skin and right out the backside with out so much as a shrill in pain from the being. Chen, The Doctor and Andrea quickly start to run for the main emergency hospital doors, as they reach it, a large tentacle whips out and latches onto Chen.
"AAAHHH! Andrea! Doctor! Help! Help me!"
The Doctor spins around just as he's exiting the door way with Andrea, nothing he could do now would help, all he could do is see Chen get dragged towards the mouth of the alien creature. The young Asian doctor screams as the beast chomps down on him, a terrifying sight that makes the Timelord look away in disgust. Andrea screams at the Doctor to keep going and grabs him by the lapels of his odd brownish corduroy jacket. They rush out of the building and straight into the darkness of night that shrouds the entire town. As they race for her car, the two pause as they can hear multiple screams happening all around the town.
"Wha--What is that! Oh god, what's happening! " She begins to whimper in fear.
"Don't stop Andrea!" The Doctor now shouts as he now grabs her this time and runs down the street. "Don't stop…keep running girl! RUN! RUN!"
Andrea's police car sits near the station and she frantically gets out her keys. The two of them dive into the cruiser as the automatic doors unlock and turns on the interior light to see what she's doing with the keys. As Andrea tries to start up the car, the Doctor struggles to strap on his belt buckle and then pops his head up to see some one in the street light off in the distance. He strains to see the person as the chaos happens all around them; it's the old native man he had talked to earlier. He was standing in the light, like a spotlight shinning down on him, simply smoking his pipe and glaring at the Doctor. His hand clasping the wooden walking stick with the carved Crow's head on the top of it. And his mouth holds the hand carved pipe that he's puffing, the smoke encircling him in an eerie manner, all the while smiling and laughing in the raspy voice of his.
The Doctor seems fully aware of what is happening, but rather then explain it to his blonde haired female companion, he can only think about saving the two of them right now.
"We must get going, Drive! For Pete's sake...DRIVE!" The Doctor howls at her.
"I'm Trying! I'm Trying!" Andrea says in hysterics as she struggles to get the engine to turn over.
The car finally starts and Andrea frantically shifts the car in drive. Slamming down hard on the gas, Andrea peels on out of the area with the tires screeching and rushing down the town's main street like a bat out of hell. Creatures start appearing out of the darkness and try to get in the path of the car, but speed is on their side as they whisk past every one of them entering the road. Tentacles try to reach out for them, but only get slapped off the speeding car as they make their escape. Old man Crowhead still stands there as he watches them flee for their lives. A few simple puffs from his weed filled pipe surrounds his head; the old man peers out of his wrinkled slit eyelids and gives a chuckle.
" Now it has begun. You see my demon? This is what you and your kind has done. The end of us all."
Andrea still clutching on the driving wheel for dear life, is breathing heavily with eyes wide open in terror. The Doctor starts to settle down from his panic, and relaxes himself by slumping down in the seat. Looking over at Andrea, he sees she's still shaking in fear.
" Oh..oh thank goodness. Whew! Andrea...Andrea its alright now...slow down, slow down."
He starts to put his hand on hers that's grasping on the steering wheel. They were cold and clammy hands to touch. But the feeling of Doctor's warm hand seems to calm her down a bit. She starts to breathe in and out slowly, winding down from the panic mode she was in.
"Ah...oh...geez...I...I can't believe what I just saw! Why? Why is this happening to me!" She starts to cry.
The Doctor takes off his seat belt and moves over to Andrea to give her a reassuring scrunch.
"There, there...the moment has past my dear. Ease down girl. Thaaat's it. Just keep going till we get till the outskirts of town. Then we'll pull off to the side for a moment. "
"No. No way...I'll take this car all the way to the states if I have too. " She trembles out of her quivering mouth.
"Mmm...sounds lovely." The Doctor humorously states. "What sites will stop off to see on the way? I hear L.A. is the place to be this time of year."
Knowing he's having fun with her, she gives a laugh of relief and starts to pull to her senses. She wipes off a few tears and smiles back at him for cheering her up.
"Ok. Maybe not that far. Up at the end of the road then."
"Good girl." The Doctor says rubbing her cheek.
Back in the center of the now dead quiet town, the creatures huddle close together outside in the main street. Quivering with slime and dripping steamy slops of goo all over the road, the other creature from the hospital makes its way over to the group and speaks in their alien tongue.
"The Doctor hassss come at lassssst. I knew it would only be a matter of time before he would sssshow up. We sssshall finally have oooour revenge. Now that the great transssssformation hassss begun, ooour dessssstiny awaitssss."
"He mussssst die before we begin oooour planssss." The other slime-covered alien says beside it. "Nothing musssst stop ussss…not even him."
"Patience my Brothersssss." The leading alien says as its tentacles move about. "He will die very ssssoon…and then we will take ooover the planet assss planned. Infect we sssshall…infect the entire sssspecies ooof this misssserable planet."
They all chortle as the main creature leads them on into the forest-covered mountains. The group grows larger in numbers as they all slither and slide out of the surrounding dwellings. They leave the town hissing and waving their alien tentacles around; trails of blood are all that are left in the now empty roads, the only remains of those that once lived there.
Out on the road, driving close to the town border, Andrea drives the car up with her lights shining on the path ahead. They soon start to pull over to the side of the road and notice that the Chief Constable's car is sitting alone in the darkness where they are. The lights are still on and the door wide open. Andrea brings the car back onto the road and drives up slowly beside it; she looks at it curiously and sees the Doctor looking at it too. She pulls in front of the other vehicle and sets the car in park.
"Bill. Oh god, I forgot all about Bill. I bet he's still out here somewhere looking for those clues. Boy have I got a whopper of a clue for his noodle huh? "
The Doctor looks back at the car and then out of his side window to the dark forest not too far away.
"Hmmm." He mutters. "I'm not sure about all this, doesn't seem right some how?"
"Don't worry, I'm not going far." She says to him as she steps out of the vehicle. "This night has been pretty weird. If I build up enough courage, maybe I can go back with Palmer and kill those things somehow."
"I don't think you and he could my dear." The Doctor glares at her. "It would take more then your primitive weapons to stop them."
Andrea hadn't heard a word he was saying, she was too busy looking around and at the other cruiser behind them.
"I wanna see if Bill left his walkie-talkie in the car. Maybe I can still reach him…if he hasn't wandered off too far."
The Timelord also gets out with her, feeling his company would be gratefully comforting to have around these dark wooded areas. As she walks over to the open door and looks inside the police cruiser. She takes quick notice of the shattered glass and the gaping hole in the windshield. The Doctor struts by the vehicle as well and strolls around to the other side. Andrea gulps in fear as she sees the blood left behind and of course - the slime.
"No. Please oh, please...Bill...not him too, please no."
Taking steps away from the open door, she sees the Doctor standing on the other side and looking down with a disgusted look on his face. Andrea starts to walk over to see what he's looking at, but then he rushes over pulling her away.
"No! No child...you must not witness this! Trust me Andrea!" He says forcefully. "Don't look, you'll only regret it."
Her curiosity is deepened by his reluctance to show what he's found.
"What? Why? What is it?"
She still walks past him and sees the horror he's been staring at. A wave of nausea comes over her and she turns away from the sight with her hand over her mouth. Controlling her sick feeling, she slowly removes her hand from her lips.
" Is...is that who...who I think it is?"
"Was rather, yes." The Doctor nods in a grim fashion. "Yes, my dear. I'm so sorry, from what I can make out of the remains...it looks as though he was...I'm so terribly sorry Andrea."
Her eyes well up with tears. Sniffling her nose, she walks back over to the man she's come to know as only named The Doctor. She begins hitting at him wildly, breaking down in a stream of tears and screams of grief. The Timelord doesn't move and lets her take it out on his chest. Emotions of humans has always puzzled him so. But grief is something that any being with sympathy could share, especially with those that had lost ones so close to them. As the woman pulled away from him and controlled herself again, she turns back and looks him in the eye.
"You've got some explaining to do Doctor." She sniffles. "Who or what are those things? Don't lie to me anymore Doctor! I want to know the truth this time! From the look in the hospital, you seemed to know right away what it was. So tell me...everything!"
"Everything?" The Doctor asks.
"From the start Doc." She says looking angry at him.
The Doctor sighs a bit, but knows that he must finally explain to her what's been happening, even though she may not understand it all.
"Very well. First off, I'm not of this planet either my dear Andrea. I'm actually from a planet called Galifrey. I'm a Timelord...well... one of many that is." He looks at her to see if she's still following him. "You know that box as you so call it? The blue police box you found me near? It's called the TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. A ship that goes through every corner of time and space in the universe…even into other dimensions. And there are things and places I've been where horrors like this are often found."
" Go on..." she replies, as her stance doesn't change.
"Those creatures..." He continues. "Those vile things we witnessed, they're called the Vestnok. Long ago...when I was newly appointed on the seat of the science council of my home world, there was a species called the Vestnok. They were spreading throughout the entire galaxy, invading worlds, causing wars and even drinking...other species blood for food."
That made Andrea cringe, as she looked disgusted by the description the Timelord gave her. She quickly sat down on the hood of the near by cruiser and continued to listen to his story.
"That's why you found these people like that; they feast on the bodies and drain them of all the liquids within them. Shriveled empty shells are all that's left as they squeeze every ounce from them. It's the blood their after mainly, blood of organic beings. The feed a lot like their distant cousins, the stone beings called the Ogri. And they will not stop until they've drained every being on this planet. They hunger beyond any other. Which is curious to me…they've waited for this very moment to show their true forms and begin feeding again."
Andrea had listened to him as best she could, the story was so bizarre and horrible, yet she managed to believe every word he meant. She took her hair of the tight ponytail and allowed it to cascade over her shoulders. A shoulder length crop of beautiful blonde hair that seemed to be radiant even in the cold night air.
"So why you then?" She asks.
"Eh?" He says back.
"Why you? They seem to know you very well. They call out your name and call you the Demon of Time. Why is it they hate you so much?"
The Doctor picks up a few rocks from the ground and start chucking them off into the distance.
"My people considered themselves, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Banning other races from time and space travel, trying to control the species that try to engulf other worlds and so on. The Vostock where one of those creatures. The Time Lords were furious at them; they saw the destructive pattern they were doing to other systems, killing millions for their own glory. The Timelords made sure that ever last one was sent back to their home world. Of course this took many years to collect them, some would try to hide and even begged the Galifreians to allow them to stay on the world they were on. But that was not to be. With great protest from me, they decided that these creatures shouldn't be allowed to continue in their ways. They were very threatened by them. A danger to all kind they said. That's when a rival of mine, a man I would come to know as my greatest enemy, the Master. He was a young new member of the science council such as myself back then, full of hate for other races and trying to dictate foolish ideals. Well, it was he that managed to persuade that we, the supreme beings of the galaxy, should choose their fate."
"And what was that decree from the almighty Timelords?" She said with interest.
"Total obliteration. The decree was death." He says sorrowfully.
"Sounds good to me." Andrea said folding her arms, as she took no sympathy.
"Really." The Timelord stared at her. "An entire species…gone. You don't have a problem with that?"
"Not at all Mr. Smith." She says in a cold manner. "I mean look what they've done here? My friend is dead. The town is dead. They left nothing…nothing!"
"And nothing is all they have now." The Doctor snaps. "They don't have a world, they don't have a race, and they simply have nothing at all. With a blink of an eye, it was over for all of them."
The Doctor, not proud of that confession, starts to walk away bit and look up at the night sky gleaming with all the stars above. He gives a long sigh and wipes his nose from the cold air making it dribble.
"Oh it was a dark time for all of us then." He continues to say. "An entire planet destroyed...all those lives lost. And for what... a measure of safety. "
"They must have taken it to a vote, right? I mean, you just don't choose to blow up an entire world without everyone agreeing to it."
"They did." The Doctor snickers sarcastically. "The vote was split…they only needed one to end the tie."
"Who's was it?" Andrea asks.
The sigh coming from the wildly dressed man, turned around and had a blank stare on that newly regenerated face he'd been given.
"Mine. I willingly and without hesitation gave them my vote to end them forever."
Andrea's eyes lit up in shock, as the Doctor just stood there with an unremorseful face. She could see it pained him to admit it, yet in her heart she felt he was right for doing so. She couldn't even bring herself to look over at where her dead partner lay. Just knowing that those creatures were still out there made her wonder if the Doctor was ever going to do anything at all about them.
"So much death…yet they're the ones that started it all really." The Timelord spoke again as he chucked a large rock into the forest beyond. "If they hadn't been so overly aggressive they probably wouldn't be in the spot they're in now. Don't you see Andrea? They're trying to survive. They've come here to survive and start again. Can I be the one to end them all again? They hate me because they heard about my vote. I was the Demon that destroyed them all."
Andrea walks away from the cars and holds her arms for warmth. She too gazes out in the vast wooded wilderness and gives a long sigh.
"But Doctor, look what they've done. Instead of learning from their mistakes, they're repeating them. The Timelords warned them, they gave them the chance to change and they blew it. You at least gave them some benefit of the doubt. But even you had to know that they wouldn't have changed in all that time. It's in their nature."
She takes a long pause and taps her finger to her chin in thought. Suddenly her face contorts with an inquisitive look.
"I don't understand something…"
She walks over to him and makes him look at her.
"If they were supposed to be dead and none survived, how did they get here then?"
"We must have under estimated their kind's mutagenic properties" The Doctor hypothesizes. "They must have reverted themselves into a more spore-ish sort of life form. They do have the ability to change their forms. Yes...that would explain a lot. A chunk of the planet must have soft-landed here on Earth, near by I would think and they lay dormant until they came into contact with a species they could latch on."
Andrea now beginning to struggle with his explanation just sits and listens as he babbles on. The Doctor starts to get that look in his eye again, the wheels in that crafty Timelord brain of his spin as he thinks; again he rubs his hand on his chin as he talks to himself about the process.
"Reverting to spores, becoming a virus... interesting. They must have been here for hundred of years. And the Indians...yes the Indians! Why haven't we seen any of them killed in some unspeakable fashion? They only seem to get infected and mutate..."
He snaps his fingers to Andrea and motions her over to come conference with him, Andrea decides she'll humor him for the most part and join him. If only to see if he'll start making more sense.
"Tell me Andrea, have you ever seen any of the Indian elders die in such a gruesome state? I don't mean to sound morbid or anything, but think about all that's going on here. The body you found as the murderer ran…was it like Ed's Granny or like just like the others like the Chief here."
Andrea seemed rather hesitant to compare, but her mind suddenly got the gist of what he was saying.
"It was like the old woman…like Red feather."
"Now tell me…was this person on the council of elders for the native community?"
"Yes. He was. But wait, Red feather wasn't."
"Never mind that, never mind that…" He says rubbing his hands fiendishly. "I'm beginning to see the bigger picture here. They must have some sort of symbiosis with the local natives here. I'll bet their ancestor families were exposed to the very spore that crash landed here and created a bond with the local inhabitants. And now...they're all beginning to take they're old forms again, yes... no doubt to take over the world and find a way target the timelords for termination."
"Hey yeah!" She starts to agree. "And without your people, the Vestok will have nothing to stop them from trying to reclaim the galaxy again. Transforming bodies into theirs, surviving as spores on a meteor? God Doctor...this is mind bending stuff man! "
"Yes...mind bending alright." He smirks. "You're so right Andrea. We gave them the chance and now their just repeating it all over again. Well, I won't let them take over this planet just to satisfy their hunger, nor spread this infection to anyone else."
The Doctor gives her a quick flash of a smile and suddenly darts into the forest-covered mountain.
"Come on Deputy Constable Andrea, it's time to lay down a bit of justice! "
Andrea grins at the thought of some pay back and follows him into the dark woods.
Together they sprint up and through the dense, dark forest. It seems like they've been running forever as they try to make their way through this maze of trees in the dark. The Doctor soon finds it hard to get his bearings. That is until Andrea turns on a flashlight and hands it to him as she catches up. The Timelord nods in thanks and uses it to guide their way further.
"Ok…ok…so tell me, what's the plan? Where we off to in such a rush?" She wheezes as she leas next to a tree.
"I need to find the TARDIS!" He says to her as he takes out a black device from his coat pocket.
Andrea looks at it with interest, the device is small, thin and almost looks like a cell phone.
"Wait a second." The woman blinks rapidly. "How did you get that? That's one of the strange gadgets we took from you. That's supposed to be at the police station."
"Hm?" The Timelord says as he continues using it. "Oh well, you mean this envelope here."
Reaching in with his free hand, he pulls the brown envelope out from the inside pocket area from his coat. It was the pouch that Andrea had given Palmer to take back to the station. She was utterly in awe that he had it on him.
"That's not possible. I saw him take it, he took it to the station, there's no way you can have that!"
"My dear girl." The Doctor smiles. "I haven't been traveling this long without knowing how to keep a hold of my belongs."
"But how? How?" She gawks at him.
"Sorry. Trade secret. Houdni would never forgive me for spilling the beans on his tricks." He says placing his finger on the side of his nose.
"Right, ok…never mind." She says rubbing her forehead looking bewildered by the fact. "So what is that thing you're tinkering around with then?"
"A trans-dimensional beacon locator." The Doctor says in his savvy techno-jargon. "It locks onto the signal the TARDIS makes and shows me the direction it's in. I'm the only one who knows its identification code of it's transponder, which is what this device's sole function is and…" He pauses pointing the object in the opposite direction. "There we are! Come on then!"
The two sprint up the mountainside again and finally come to the small grass field plateau where his TARIDS sits. The eerie look of the foggy area around the blue police box makes the Doctor stop before stepping out of the forest. Andrea rushes up to him and looks out at the open field just as he is doing.
"What..." She breathes out. " What's the matter?"
The Doctor frantically looks about the grassy open area. The night air is filled with such a low level foggy haze; it makes him feel like he's looking out across the moors in England. Hot from all the running, the Doctor as a slight chill from the feel of the sweat going down his back. Andrea is also looks slightly chilled, but at least her heavy brown police coat is keeping her warm. Benefits of living in a northern country, the people know how to dress for any climate, although sometimes that's not always the case. Feeling his apprehension, she draws out her standard issue police gun again. Not realizing that she's used it before on those creatures with no results, but still its better then no protection at all.
"What's wrong now?" She asks as he keeps looking out at the TARDIS.
"Never trust an empty field... better to be safe then sorry I say."
One more quick glance around gives the Timelord reassurance that nobody is there. Stepping out quickly, the Doctor rushes over to the blue box. Andrea follows up behind him, but keeps ever vigilant with her gun pointed out. He takes out his key from the brown envelope and opens the door. Andrea parks herself down at the foot of the door while the Doctor slips in. Keeping her eyes open, she scans the field around for any sudden movement. What could he possibly have inside that could stop these things? Why was coming here more important then skipping town and notifying some sort of military that specializes in this stuff? Her mind was racing with so many questions that she barely knew what to make of all of this. It seemed her fate was tied to this man, the one person she could trust and he just happens to be another alien. She wanted to find adventure and excitement, but never had she ever thought it would turn out like it has.
"Doctor! Hurry up..." She squeamishly whispers. "Oooh I don't like this, I don't feel good about being here Doctor. Please hurry!"
In behind the dark wooded areas, a figure sits in the shadows watching the Timelord's police box and the very frightened Andrea. A puff of smoke billows from the figure; a pair of wrinkled eyes are lit up as the person takes a match and uses it to keep the pipe weed burning. The pair of eyes remains focused on Andrea as the match flame soon dies down. A gruff sounding snicker from the person is all that is heard as the figure takes a second long puff and disappears from sight as the vaporous smoke stays behind like the mist in the open field.
Andrea shakes like a leaf as she hears a twig breaking in the darkness, her hand firmly on the gun and shaking just as much as her body.
"Doctor..." She quietly squeals.
"FOUND IT!" The Timelord shouts as he suddenly pops out of the TARDIS and scaring poor Andrea out of her wits.
"AAAHH!" She cries out. "Don't do that! God, I'm having a hard time trying to keep it together as it is..."
She looks at the smiling buffoon as he takes some joy out of making her wet her pants. In his arm is a black cylinder, smooth with a couple of red buttons protruding from the top. No bigger then his arm it was; yet to the female officer it looks like it's as light as a feather as he fiddles about with it.
"That's it? That's your big surprise? I got a tell ya…that doesn't look too impressive." she scoffs.
"What? Why? What did you think I was getting?"
"I dunno Doc, I guess I was thinking you had some sort of lazer or even a bigger gun then mine to use. Something complex and gadgety." She says with a disappointing tone.
"Humans." He sighs. "You watch too many science fiction programs...you know that?"
She shakes her head in disbelief as he gives her a quick wink of his eye. He then taps at her head with his hand and then takes out another device in his pocket. This one is full of electrical lights, with a low hum coming from it and annoyingly sounding beeps. The thing does look more like what she had envisioned, those futuristic movies and TV shows she had seen during her lifetime almost gave her an acceptance of his wonderful devices. But still the inquisitive human she was, she had to know what it did.
"Ok...now we're talking here." She says, not trying to raise her voice too high. "That looks much more promising! Now, what does that do?"
The Doctor almost humors her; leaning in close to her face he utters back in the same low sounding tone she gave him.
"Ha-ha...Doc. Come on..." Rolling her brown eyes at him.
The Timelord starts walking with the device in hand and holds it out at arms length. The gadget starts to beep repeatedly in one direction making the Doctor grin and taking a few steps to keep the signal strong.
"It is in fact another locator." He explains to Andrea coming up beside him. "Only this time...we're locating something else."
"Aaand that would beeee...?" She says in a curious look.
Seeing a massive red blip activate on his device's screen panel, he lowers it and gives a big sigh of relief. As he pockets the scanner back into his coat, the takes the black pod-like device out from under his arm and points in the direction the red dot was flashing before.
"The Vestok!" He says loudly. "That's where they all are. They've gathered at the top of that peak. Come on! We have to hurry."
"Wait why are we going there?" Andrea nervously says tugging at his arm.
"Vestok need to purify the blood before it can be ingested by them. They simply gather it up and then slowly go into a stasis as the body converts it into a food they can ingest. But to do this they need the aid of each other as they shift it from one host to the next…it's their way of filtering out the impurities. "
"I see..." The woman says. As she now tries to get him to explain it further. "So the only place they could do that... is at the..."
"Meteor chunk from which they came. Yes." The Doctor states finishing her sentence. "The one place that feels like home and the only comfortable environment for them."
"Ah." Andrea answers back in a coy glance.
"Not only that…but I do believe it's housing more of the spores."
"More?" She questions.
"Yes, you heard me right. They're getting ready to unleash more of them." The Doctor stands to think. "Infect the human race and be reborn. A new civilization created out of another. No wonder they've survived for so long."
He turns back to the direction that the locator showed them where they were, and begins to walk confidently to the area. Andrea seemingly hesitant carefully walks behind him. His stride is brisk, as though he's enjoying the challenge. Andrea is still amazed at the man's pace, she's almost out of breath from all the panicking and the running, makes her wonder just what this so called Timelord has for organs to give him such cardiacal boost.
As the two of them disappear into the dark forest and make their way to the evil slimy green creatures lair. The mysterious figure that had watched them walks out into the open field when they leave. Crowhead, still smoking his pipe and holding his walking stick tightly with is one hand, gives a strange smile as he chortles at the Doctor's enthusiasm.
At the top of the cold, mist-filled mountain, a sunken area of the rocky side looks deep as if something massive had struck it hundreds of years ago. The sides are full of grass, trees and up rooted rocks. At the center of this massive ditch, is a rock shaped cavern. Looking more like a hollowed out massive boulder with moss growing all over, it sits there like temple of old and shows only one entrance to the hollowed out rock. A strange green glow can be seen coming out of the entrance hole, with hissing sounds both loud and soft pulsating from its inside. The Doctor and Andrea sneak into its nightmare-ish ravine and soon come along side the massive rock-like structure. As they run in quickly to it and place themselves along the outside of it, Andrea is pressed to know what his plans are for the moment.
" Doc..." She whispers. "What are we doing here? Won't they try to kill us if we go in?"
"We're not going in my dear. That would be suicide."
"Then how are you going to stop them?"
"You know I've discovered that you tend to ask far too many questions." The Doctor says to her as he tries to figure out the device in his hands. "What is this? Who is that? Why is this happening? Makes me think of the old phrase 'Curiosity killed the cat'…just remember that."
Looking at her again, he can see she's not impressed with his snappy comeback and gives a long sigh as he tires to humor her inquisitive nature.
"Oh alright. See this?" Holding up the pod and then lowering it down again. "This is called Tipris T-R-A 130. Trust me when I say...and never doubt me my dear...that this is by far the one thing you never want your lovely silky skin to come in contact with."
"No." The Timelord rolls his eyes in disapproving manner. "It is in fact a biological particle resonator that can liquefy organic material in ever nook, cranny and area that life happens to exist in."
"Whoa..." Andrea gawks, trying not to speak to loudly. "You mean it's...a biochemical weapon!"
The Doctor quickly covers her mouth with his and then puts his own right finger to his lips.
"Shhhh...keep your voice down girl. Yes, it's something along those lines. And if you value our lives don't ask me any more questions after I activate this device. Its not just any bio weapon...its THE biological weapon never to trifle with."
Watching him look at the casing, she notices him pointing at the two buttons that don't seem to have any markings on them. His low muttering doesn't inspire much confidence in her that he knows what he's doing. Rather then ask another question, which she knows she'll only get in trouble with him for asking, she lets him sit there figuring out the sequence.
"Dear me. Oh my…it has been a long time since I've tried one of these. Not that I ever used the much. Ah...yes that's right...red, red, red...then left, red, red, and then one right, red. Simple." he smiles to himself after realizing the combination, or so he hopes.
Then he motions to Andrea with his hand for her to stay put, then points up to the top of the closed structure to tell her that's where he's going. The quirky man begins to climb up the rocky enclosure trying to maintain a grip on the jagged surface and the black device clutched in his other hand. Andrea watches him at the base with much unease, his constant slipping at times makes her nervous; after what he said about the weapon, she hopes he doesn't drop it.
Reaching the top of the rock dome like peak, he quickly brushes himself off and places the pod off to the side. He's noticed his shoe has become full of pebbles and tries to empty it out. But as he sits down and shakes them loose, the device begins to roll away, inching ever closer to the side. Andrea looks up and sees the black thing starting to fall off; she dare not yell in such a dangerous setting, but the sight of seeing it roll down makes her shout out in a whisper that is far too loud to go un-noticed.
" Doctor! Look out! " She tries to warn him.
The Doctor looks over and sees it just about to fall off the side. He leaps towards it and manages to grab the tip of it before it completely drops off. But the pod is so slippery it's beginning to grease out of his hands, his brow is now totally sweaty, he can't hold on much longer. And with that being said, the black bio-bomb drops down towards the ground!
"NO!" The Doctor inadvertently screams.
Andrea knew that if that thing drops and cracks open, they're all dead. She quickly angles herself underneath the falling device and manages to catch it in her arms. She had taken off her jacket and held it between her arms for it to land softly. She lets out a sigh of relief and shows the doctor above that it's all right. The sound of the Doctor's scream caused two of the Vestok to come slithering out of the meteor. Not sure as to what they heard, they use they're tentacles to probe the air and the ground as they step out. Andrea notices them and clings back against the rock hoping they don't see her there. The Doctor on top of the rock mound also remains still, hoping his presence goes un-noticed. The hissing the creatures make is loud, perhaps like a form of sonar much like whales use to locate they're prey the Doctor begins to think. They slowly start to go around the rock walls, closer to where Andrea is standing with the Bio bomb. Completely filled with fear, she moves her jaw as if she wants to cry out for help.
"Doc...Doctor..." She quietly whimpers.
The Timelord standing above feels helpless, as he's almost certain she'll be discovered.
"No...no don't move Andrea." He whispers to himself as he watches above. "You don't see her. Come on please. You don't see her…go back…go back."
Just as the one creature almost reaches its long slimy tooth laden tentacle around to where Andrea is, a voice is heard shouting out from the front of the forest.
"No! Go Back!"
The Doctor looks down and sees the old man Crowhead calmly walk out of the forest. His leathery face is fierce in his shouting, as he strolls out with his walking stick giving him something to lean on as he strides.
"Go back inside! There is nothing...only me."
"Sssso ooold man…" The creatures hiss as they turn to face him. "Have you come to join ussss at lassst?"
"I will do as you ask." The old native Indian bows. "I shall join you in this grand plan of yours. But first you must all feed now. Return to feeding and I shall stand watch for all of you."
"Yessss. You will keep a look oooout for the Doctoooor. The Demon ooof Time musssst Die!"
"He will. He will. He cannot hide from us."
They slowly back off with each step he takes towards them, his eyes peer right at them and his voice commands even more strongly.
"Now go back inside…join with the others and purify the blood you have taken. Return to your feeding! I will protect you!"
The two Vestok obey him, and slither back inside. The Indian man stares right up at the Doctor who is in a most vulnerable position, the Timelord fears the worst right now. He should have known the old man was one of them all along. The old man raises up his staff, the eyes on the carved crow head at the top of his cane, glow a bright red. The power surging from it builds into a bright light; the look on Crowhead's face is that of a look of hatred. Before he strikes at the Doctor he utters his final thought.
"I told you Demon! Some things...we never forget! Now we end this once and for all. Timelord!" He howls at him in a raspy angered tone.
The Doctor prepares himself for the brunt of the lazer's blast. A fitting end, the Timelord reasons in his thoughts, for this is bittersweet justice that he saw coming from the Vestok. He destroyed their world, now they are going to destroy him. Andrea was full of fright as she saw him being targeted by Crowhead and as the old man took his strike with the weapon, Andrea shouted in horror.
The blast hits the rock face in front of the Doctor, to which the whole front collapses in and seals off the cave entirely. The Doctor, who had ducked with his arms over his head, looked up to see the end result of the old man's target. He had totally shut in the Vestok inside the cave personally with his own weapon. Andrea looked totally confused, as did the Doctor; they weren't sure just whose side Crowhead was on. But shaking his head and focusing back on the task at hand, the Doctor shouts below to Andrea.
"Quickly Andrea! Get up here with it, now! "
" But...but..." She stutters, looking back and forth to either men.
"Blast you woman! Get up here this very instant! "
Not at all happy with his barking, she mutters to herself as she quickly climbs up the side of the rock.
"Oh don't you say that to me you f'n little…ugh. Men! You're all the same."
Having lived in a mountainous town and the adventure seeker that she was, Andrea considered herself to be an experienced climber. She'd done many rock climbing trips in her days and reaches the top in a more timely fashion then the Doctor had. Looking impressed and jealous of her abilities, he snatches the black pod carrying the Bio-matter from her in a comical manner.
"Show off." He mutters.
As he glances around the top of the rock cavern, he can hear the creatures hissing and trying to dig themselves out. He spots a hole a few meters away that's big enough to drop the device into. The hissing and cries of the creatures grows louder as the Doctor frantically tries to remember the red button sequence. Andrea can hear faint cries coming from the rock as well. But these don't sound like hisses any more, these sounded more like the cries of the native people she had once known and lived with from the town.
"Doctor! Doctor!" She frantically tugs at his pants. "They're still in there. The people they're... they're alive! We have to save them. Don't use the device, there's people still living inside the cave!"
The Doctor finally pushes the buttons in the right order; the ticking of the device can be heard as it starts the countdown to detonation.
"No!" He says forcefully as he grabs her arm. "No my child it's to late...You hear me? They're already dead...It's not them, its not! "
She shakes her head as the voices continue to call out. Even the old woman, Red feather, pleads for someone to let her out.
"No you could be wrong...you could be wrong! " Andrea cries.
"No I'm not...I wish I were." The Timelord tries to assure her. "Those people are long gone. They're trying to trick us into letting them go. No. This must end...at all costs."
The Doctor drops down the bomb through the crack and grabs hold of Andrea. They quickly run down the meteor rock and drop to the ground. With no time to waste on worrying about the scrapes and bruises, they bolt out of the mountain crater area.
"How far?" Andrea screams at him.
"What?" The Doctor shouts as a high pitch sound begins to start.
"How far do we have to run to be at a safe distance?"
"To tell the truth I don't know!" The man giggles. "I think this is the first time I've ever used the bloody thing for real!"
Andrea didn't seem too happy about that and tried to stay ahead of the Doctor. He quickly hears the device's whine dimming down and scoops Andrea under his arms and dives to the ground with her. The creatures hissing are loud and very agitated, but it's soon met with a very powerful explosion. It lights up the rock dome, piercing through the cracks with a flash of bright orange-yellowish light. The cries of the creatures can be heard as they all lay dying and burning away from the toxin that disintegrates them all in an instant. Soon a green mist fills the crater, seeping out all over like a great ghost covering the land. But the green fog never reaches the Doctor and his companion. Safe on the high plateau above the crater, the two keep low as the bio-weapon completes its destructive task. The bright light soon dies down and the fog begins to evaporate as it reveals the damage done inside the impact site.
The Doctor rolls over with Andrea still in his embrace and lets out a sigh or relief. The woman remains tight to his body as she keeps her eyes closed and face scrunched.
"Is that it Doctor? Is it over?" She asks peering out of one eye.
"Over…for good this time." He replies.
She removes her arms and sighs a relief; her head lies down on his chest.
"You know…" The quirky Timelord begins to say with his arms folding behind his head. "I think I could stay like this for awhile. The stars are lovely this time of the night."
Andrea looks up at him as he suddenly wiggles his eyebrows.
"Ugh…men are such pigs." She merely spits out at him in disgust, and then pops open her eyes as she listens to his heart beat, or rather his two hearts beating. " What the holy hell! Is that-? Do you have-? No way!"
She leaps off of him and stands up pointing at his chest.
"Its true! I mean you're an…you've got...you've got two...I mean...your not from..."
"Oh my dear girl." He starts to laugh as he stands up brushing himself off. "I told you…I'm not from this Planet at all. I'd like to suggest one thing to you though. The next time a strange man drops out of a police box and is rushed to a hospital…at least get a gown that cover the bottom properly. Hmm? "
They both laugh as they soon wrap their arms around each other's back. She nods to his suggestion and pushes her loose blonde hair back. Taking one last look at the crater below, they see the many dead trees, plant life and shattered remains of the meteor burning like ash in a fireplace. They soon turn away from it and walk off down the side of the mountain.
In the quiet open field where the TARDIS sits in the mist, the darkness slowly begins to turn a deep purple as the hint of the coming dawn approaches. Talking away and laughing as they go, Andrea and the Doctor appear out of the woods and calmly make their way to his craft. As they take a moment to pause from their on-going chatter, Andrea begins to stir more questions in her mind. She rubs her chin in thought and rolls her eyes a bit as she begins to ask the man a question yet again.
"Hmm?" He simply responds.
"I'm not sure I understand something here. Why did Crowhead do that? You know...save our lives? Was he helping the Vestok?"
As the Doctor struggles to give her an answer, another voice booms out from the front of the TARDIS.
"I am the Vestok."
Both of them look up and see Crowhead standing there in their path. The old man did not die with the others, as they so believed, but now stands there in front of the Timelord's machine. He lights up his pipe again, sucking out the smoke as it wreaths past his head and gives a smile. The wrinkled face old man stares at the two of them, as he leans down on his crow head shaped cane with his other hand. The Doctor slowly approaches him and watches Crowhead snicker in delight at their surprised faces.
"You are the only survivor aren't you?" The Doctor says as he rest his hands on the coat's lapels. "That meteor didn't carry all of them here, it was only you that was left inside that rock. Wasn't it?"
"I was." The old man sighs as he takes the pipe out of his mouth. "The only survivor of my people. But I managed to mutate and multiply my cells to create others. Drifting in space tends to make one lonely doesn't it Demon?"
"It does indeed." The Doctor nods.
"I will admit to being furious with you. All those years I held the deepest grudge and passed it on to the others I helped to create. I wanted to kill you so much."
"So what changed your mind then?" Andrea asks now.
The old man took another puff from his pipe and licked his lips as he answers her question.
"We ended up landing here nearly 400 years ago. There was a large native community living around the mountain at that time. They thought we were a special harvest from their gods and devoured us into their systems. A ceremonial event, as it was only meant to be taken by the elders, the wise men and women of the tribes. So we began to spread into their bodies quickly and took over their forms. And as I shared the mind of this being, Crowhead, I began to see the delicate wisdom of these people. Most chose not to bond with the host's mind, but I could feel Crowhead accepting me, almost like a kinship between us."
The old man began to pace between the two of them and smoked his pipe as he continued his story.
"Sacrifices were often made by the tribe to appease the gods. Men would spill blood over the years and sustain us. But it was the pride and the tragedy of the Indians that moved me so much. Extermination loomed over them at every corner of the west, yet they thrived and carried on. They didn't want the white man destroy the one thing they had left…their spirit. I felt humbled by this experience. I alone could see the irony, none of my children could. They were too busy feasting and preparing others for the time we would rise up and infect the world. But I grew to hate that plan and wanted nothing to do with it anymore."
The Doctor places his hands in his pockets and reflects as well.
"Sounds familiar. Not wanting to go along with others who want to destroy a world."
"Indeed." Crowhead nods. "I remember you coming to us all those years ago, how you wanted us to change, pleaded us to find other resources of food. I know of your regret...I know you did your best. But in the end... you where right to end us all."
Andrea keeps behind the Doctor, still in fear of this frail old man who happens to be a deadly alien. Crowhead looks up at the sympathetic Timelord, who in turn, gazes at the old wise alien with soft eyes.
"I didn't want kill your kind you know. But you left me no choice; the others wouldn't stand for your people ravaging the universe like that. And neither could I."
"I know my Demon, I know." The old man smiles. "I finally understood why you did what you did. I've had a long time to think about that, we could have changed; it would have been possible to find another source of food. But the hate was too strong in my kind, too arrogant and we paid the price for our vanity."
The old man shakes the Timelord's hand and pats him on the back.
"I forgive you Timelord. And I was grateful to see you here today to put an end to this bloodshed at long last. I only ask that you spare my life, allow me to live out my days in this host and promise you and the Galifreians that I shall not infect any on this world."
"As you wish." The Doctor says shaking his hand back. "As far as I and the Timelord council knows...you don't exist."
"I live for peace now. Not to do harm." The old man nods.
"I hope you have a happy life my friend." The Doctor replies. "Good luck to you."
"And to you my Demon...I mean...Doctor. " He says with a wink.
He also gives a quaint wink to Andrea and returns to smoking his pipe. Crowhead starts to walk away from them as he journeys towards the forest. Andrea looks up at the Doctor and shrugs at him.
"This has got to be the weirdest nights of my life. So what do I do now?"
She walks around the TARDIS and feels it with her hand.
"The town is dead, my superior officer is dead…and I'm going to face an inquiry about all this too. I'll be the chick that gets put on the news about killing everyone…they'll blame me for all this won't they?"
"They just might do." The Doctor admits to her. "I doubt people here will believe the story that you confronted alien viruses bent on world domination through the common cold."
She rubs her face and looks back up at him.
"I need to get away from here. I need to go hide for awhile and find a new life or something."
"Yes that would be the best thing for you right now wouldn't it. Well, I suppose I could give you a lift with me? Take you in the TARDIS and show you the time of your life. Adventure, new experiences, sandy beaches on resort planets…"
"You know what?" She smiles. "That sounds pretty damn good to me. I think I'd like to see what the universe has to offer before I settle down and truly have to wake up from this nightmare. If...if that's alright with you... that is?"
He mildly chuckles, and bows down towards the door as he opens it up.
"Madame…the universe awaits you! "
She laughs at his humor and come near the open TARDIS door.
"So how many people can fit in his crate? Doesn't look big enough to be a space ship…hell it doesn't even look like a ship. Are you sure that…"
"Andrea!" He interrupts. "Get in there or I'm leaving both you and your ultra-inquisitive mind on this spot."
"Oook." She says with a smirk.
As she enters the TARDIS the Doctor stands outside of the craft as he waits to hear her expression.
"Whoa! " She exclaims.
The Doctor smiles and giggles to himself as he soon begins to step in as well. All of sudden the old man calls out to him.
The Timelord looks over to the forest where the wise man is almost barely visible.
"Doctor...I forgot to tell you something! There is another Demon waiting for you, one that you cannot see, but will always know. There is darkness my friend, a darkness covers over you like the uncertain waters of time, one day…one day the Demon within will be unleashed. Remember it my friend. Your regeneration did not come without a price as well."
Bothered by the man's words, he struggles to comprehend what the man was trying to imply. How did he know about his regeneration? Did he know how it happened? Even the Doctor didn't remember how he came to be on this planet, in this time, and even of the last moments of his previous self. It was rather odd to him that he couldn't remember. But he was rather puzzled on how this Vestok seemed to more then him. Perhaps it was the wisdom of the native man, Crowhead that saw something in his eyes to give him warning. As the Doctor raised it head to ask the old man how he came to know this, Crowhead had vanished into the woods. All that was left was empty field with the dawning sun coming on the mountainous horizon.
The Doctor retreated into his TARDIS with confused eyes. As he closed the door the blue police box shone it's light on and off. The loud whooshing sound of the Timelord's craft began and it started to de-materialize into thin air. It was time for the Doctor and Andrea to travel to new places, different worlds and visit all the various times in history. As the TARDIS disappeared completely, and the whooshing noise of the craft vanished, the old man pops out of the forest again as he smokes his pipe and stares up at the stars above.
"Be careful my friend. And beware the darkness within you."
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
Theresa Alley: right from the start it is of the genre I love!! And it doesn't slow down from there!! I love that it kept me reading til I had no more story left to read!! I finished it in one day!! love this book!! looking forward to more from this author, if not about ASTA, more of the same style!! PLEASE!!!???
Stevie Smith: Wow What a story i like the way this writer has took the time and went into every detail to explain what was actually happening in this story and i also found that the writer made sure that all of the characters had been described very well and it could be really intense as the story went on and ...
TonyHeredia: I've been reading science fiction and fantasy for many years and I still don't think I've read a story like this before. It is realistic, lusty and techy all at the same time. It jumps back and forth in time giving the reader two different versions of the same man. I found myself reading for h...
mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...
Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...
Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...