Trouble - A Doctor Who Story

Chapter 10


River and The Doctor walked quickly into the Betherstons backyard, exiting through the open sliding glass doors that led out from the home's family den. River pulled her gun out and Gladys looked at it oddly.

The Doctor noticed and interceded quickly. "New issue from Her Majesty's secret service. Very, hush, hush." He pulled out his screwdriver and opened it. "Very James Bond..." he said, referencing his screwdriver.

The woman, they now knew as Gladys, nodded her head awkwardly and hugged her robe closed.

"Where did you get that?" River inquired with surprise.

"After the Pandorica I try to carry a spare."

"She's in the bushes…" Gladys pointed towards a row of bushes, more like a hedge, at the back of the yard in front of a large brown fence.

River and the Doctor slowly made their way through the yard, he checking with his sonic, she holding firm with her gun. Two steps behind River, The Doctor almost tripped over a garden gnome statue and then tried to recover as if it had never happened. He pushed his hair back, away from his face and resumed looking for readings with his sonic, praying River hadn't seen what had just transpired.

Having recovered, a thought came to The Doctors mind. "River? I keep meaning to ask you….wherever did you ever get the Arnickleton from?

"To make the locket? Where else. I killed a cyberman for it," she said, as if it was as easy as taking out the trash.

"You killed a Cyberman… " The Doctor leaned In and whispered, "While pregnant?"

"More like ten. They do come in packs." River took out her hand link and checked some readings.

As they got closer to the fence, River looked up and noticed a red and purple electrical spot in the sky.

"Doctor, look…" She got his attention and they both focused up at the purple, blue and now red light above them.

"That can't be." He squinted at it.

"It's a burn hole... could we have caused that on our way in?" She seemed perplexed by her own conclusion. "We would have seen it already, wouldn't we?" She busied herself back with her computer.

"Impossible." The Doctor pointed his screwdriver toward the sky.

"It must be why I can't seem to get any life form readings at all. Interference?" She remarked regarding her hand link. "Not even ours are showing up. Everything else is working perfectly." She checked her Vortex manipulator on the wrist. " life signs on the manipulator, either. How 'bout you?"

The Doctor checked his sonic. "Same." He looked back at the burn hole. "You're right, if we created this burn hole or signature, it would have happened immediately after the Tardis broke through. It wouldn't be an after effect. This has to be from something new."

"Kovarian? Maybe she wasn't left behind here after all."

The Doctor turned toward the hedge. "Best way to find out…" He started to dig around as River stared up at the hole in the sky with suspicion – Something wasn't right. She focused back on her hand-link.

Clara, Daphne and Amy heard the door creak open followed by sound of Joe's feet racing down the stairs. The next sounds were Rory locking the door shut behind him in tandem with Joe's frantic

footsteps towards the bottom of the stairs. Joe finally appeared at the end of the staircase and Clara went white with a shudder. She felt a terrible uneasiness at the pit of her stomach and Clara took a fearful step back, while Amy took a step forward.

"Joe, what happened?" Amy inquired with concern for her friend.

Joe was still frenetic with fear. "Amy... Amy I don't know what it is. A thing… from outta space, like something out of one of Bobby's comic books. It chased me all the way here; I didn't know where to go." He took a staggering step in Clara's direction.

"Stay there, stay away." Clara directed him forcefully. "Don't trust him." She put her hand up in defense causing Rory's jacket to fall off her shoulders.

Amy looked at Clara confused. "Clara, this is Joe, it's alright - he's been our neighbor for years. His son Bobby grew up with our son Anthony."

Clara wasn't convinced and she made a mad dash to Rory and snatched the sonic from his hands.

"Hey!" Rory shouted in surprise.

Clara positioned the screwdriver towards Joe in a determined attack mode.

"Listen, little girl." Joe put his hands up.

"Don't call me little girl." Clara answered and blew a few strands of hair off her face with a puff of air.

Joe put his hands up. "Amy and Rory are right; I'm one of the good guys."

"Clara…" Rory put his hands up and then towards Clara. "It's alright. Just calm down and hand the sonic back over. You're just spooked. It's alright." He put his hand out and slowly took two steps toward Clara.

"I can't explain, just something… something's wrong." Her hands shook a bit, but then she regained her focus and the shaking stopped.

Joe was starting to sweat. "What is that?" He turned to Amy and Rory. "Can that even hurt me?" He turned to Clara. "Listen, little girl," his tone wasn't as nice this time.

"Stay back!" Clara put herself in front of Amy and Rory. "Daphne, go with Amy." She motioned with her head and Daphne ran to Amy and hugged her waist.

Joe pleaded with her. "I ran here as fast as I could, but it was too quick for me. And it will be too quick for you, too. Maybe if I took more walks around the yard like Gladys told me too…" He took a handkerchief out from his robe pocket and dried his moist temple. He then folded it into four squares and carefully put it back in his pocket. "….It wouldn't have killed me."

"Killed you?" Rory wasn't sure he had heard that right.

And that was when the Dalek eye stalk began to emerge from Joe's head and everyone in the basement, except for Joe, screamed in terror.

"Them too!? Brilliant!" Rory roared. "What are we going for here, the Doctor's greatest hits?" He put his body in front of the Amy and Daphne.

Amy's face was stern and she took Daphne's hand. She spoke softly to Daphne without looking at the girl, giving her laser focus in the puppet's direction. "Now, Daphne. You're going to have be very, very brave. Like all the Pond women who came before you." Daphne nodded her head. "Good girl." Amy held tighter to Daphne's hand.

"You're sonic equipment will not hurt me." Joe teased in a very robotic way, yet still sounding like Joe.

"It's human; it's Dalek. A Dalek puppet," Clara said to herself. "Why do I know this?" she continued speaking to herself. "I remember…" she said more confidently and positioning her eyes fully on Joe, who was now slowly walking towards her. "Oh, you think you're clever, eh? Force field, huh? Nice addition…" She played with a few buttons on the sonic. "See, you may think you're clever, but I'm more." She raised her eyebrow. "You know why?" She smirked and set the sonic straight out at the puppet's eye stalk. "Because, I used to be you."

The Doctor dug his hands every which way into the hedge, but came up empty handed. "There's nothing – there's nothing here…" he shouted in his turbulent state and turned back towards River and Mrs. Bethersonton

"Oh…" River quipped, her gun ready and aimed straight in front of her. "There's something here."

The Doctor and River were now face-to- face with Gladys Bethersonton and a Dalek eye stalk breaking through the center of her forehead.

"Oh, dear, Yes, well, I think we found out the cause of that burn hole." The Doctor cracked. "Interesting…."

"Doctor, Doctor, Doctor." Gladys said manically. "Our records indicate you would not and could not turn down a life form in need."

"So, you remember me now, eh?" The Doctor commented. "I suppose I should have figured I'd start a new file at some point."

River readied her gun.

"River, no –" The Doctor put his hand out to her.

"It has a force field." River let him know she wasn't going to do anything.

"Still, she could still be alive inside there." He directed his attention to the Dalek Puppet.

"Why are you here? what do you want?"

"Negative. Human brain indicates giving away our reason for being here will only compromise our mission."

"Our mission?" The Doctor asked.


"Are your friends here with you?"

"An advanced team was sent down first. More ships are coming – trying to get through."

"Doctor..." River motioned at the sky above, the hole was getting bigger.

The Doctor nodded his head at River that he saw it; his face was filled with grave concern.

"Gladys!" The Doctor shouted at her with great volume and passion. "If you're in there, you need to fight it. You need to remember who you are – your children and grandchildren I saw in those pictures on the mantel when we came in." He slowly walked closer to her. "Your husband. Your house – anything and everything that you hold dear." He was even closer to the puppet now. "Think of your family, Gladys!" Suddenly, Glady's eyes looked human again and her face appeared frightened. "Where am I?"

The Doctor's face was full of joy and that was when River shot a blaster stream hitting Gladys right in the chest. No longer having a Dalak force field to protect her, Gladys fell backwards to the ground.

"River! Please, tell me that was a stun-setting!?" He was aghast.

"Yesss, Sweetie." River walked over to Gladys and checked her pulse with her fingers. "Look at that, it worked." She looked up at The Doctor. "Never used the stun setting before."

"Never used it before!?" The Doctor wasn't happy.

"There's a first time for everything." She smirked and stood up. "Never had a need until now."

The Doctor went back to business. "We should tie her up before she regains consciousness – who knows whom she'll wake up as..." River and The Doctor each took an arm and dragged Gladys over to an indoor porch.

"That burn hole can't be big enough to be caused by an entire ship for sure," River commended.

"Yes, but it appears it will be soon. Thanks to our little messenger here." The Doctor seemed to be straining as they were just about to reach the porch. "Blimey, she's heavy. Does she look that heavy?"

"You need to work out more," River scolded him as they both let go of Gladys having reached the porch.

"I work out," he said, very offended.

"I mean more than running." River stood. "Put her arms around the pillar for me." She gestured to a large wooden leg of the porch.

The Doctor did what he was told. River then took her handcuffs out and handcuffed Gladys to the porch leg.

"Seriously, what is with the handcuffs?" The Doctor gestured with his hands.

"Spoilers." She sure loved saying that word in certain contexts. River stood, took out her hand link, and began to fiddle with it with furry. "I'm getting vital signs again; she must have been blocking life sign signals to keep us in the backyard. She's alive in there for sure... for now at least."

The Doctor was more focused on the ribbing River had given him before. "That's the second time this trip you've made a comment about how fit I am–" The Doctor wasn't happy as he dusted off the dirt that had collected on his hands.

"I suppose there isn't a chance this one came alone?" River said sarcastically, referring to the Dalek tech inside of Gladys.

"Who goes on a mission without a partner?" The Doctor answered almost like a reflex.

River and the Doctor each had a grave look on their face. "The house!" They spoke in unison and they both ran off like a bolt of lighting.

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