|Doctor Who Companion Internet Adventure #05 - "Point of Destruction"
by M. Elizabeth
Keith found himself deep in the woods. He barely remembered how he had got there from the hotel. His last memory was of going towards Alison's and his room, then everything blurred. He next recalled walking down a quiet town street. From the front porches, adults and elderly people quietly chatted while their children played.
Yet, when he passed by they became silent and stared at him with accusations on their faces. He must have hallucinated that for it felt so surreal and nightmarish. A great compelling force in his mind drove him towards the edge of Eagleton. Towards the woods... and the cemetery.
His mind became clear again and he stared at the surrounding trees with their yellowed and browned autumn leaves. Excitement and panic flooded his veins. He wondered if this would be his first paranormal experience. Would the aliens come here, perhaps the fabled Greys that he had heard rumors about? Who else could have controlled his mind? I certainly wasn't nipping the brandy, he thought wryly. The chilled wind dried off his sweat, and he considered going back to town.
He sank to the ground holding his head. "No... no," he said crying, "let me go..." Yet Keith rose from the meadow and he forced his heavy legs to move.
* * *
Alison Knight finished her story by saying, "The townspeople must have done something to him. He would never have left me like that."
Liz was sceptical, for Keith sounded like someone who could get carried away investigating a paranormal mystery. Maybe he had gone back to the place where Alison said the boy had been so he could find out why the ground had moved. But this was the place the MIBs had sent her to investigate. Anything could happen here, so the woman's suspicions were probably correct.
"Right." Liz thought briefly how much she should tell her without endangering her life with all those special government agents. Discretion would be the better part of valour, she decided wryly. "Let's go see the hotel manager."
The two women walked out into the hallway. A hotel maid in her teens hustled by them. The girl gave a razor-sharp smile and said, "Hope you'll be at the parade tomorrow. It should be fun."
Alison shuddered and started running.
Liz followed her, wondering if she was letting paranoia get the better of her.
* * *
The teenager stared after the two visitors with her eyes narrowing. A busboy entered the hall. "Tell Lorraine," she hissed, "that we have more nosy out-of-towners than she suspected." The boy's skin paled, and he nodded.
* * *
By the time they got there, the manager was talking to a tall man with an expressionless face and ice-cold grey eyes. His demeanour, let alone his uniform, clearly marked him as the sheriff of the town. The police officer noticed them and tipped his hat in their direction.
"Excuse me, ladies, I'm Sheriff Howard Taylor. There seems to be a problem with vandalism on the hotel grounds..."
Alison folded her arms and scowled. "I don't care about that! I want the manager to tell the truth about what happened to Keith."
"I don't know what you're talking about," the man said indignantly. "Mr. Keith Brown left the hotel saying you decided to stay..."
Liz noted that her companion seemed to be on the verge of hysteria. Alison's hands trembled, and she visibly clenched her teeth.
"Liar!" she spat. The manager and the sheriff only looked befuddled. She wondered briefly if maybe the proprietor and his employees were not involved in a conspiracy, at all. If something else had happened to Keith ...
She walked forward and took hold of Alison's elbow. I must be discreet. This could be dangerous either way. "Alison, if they're in on his disappearance then they're likely not to help us, at all," Liz whispered.
The police officer stared at them suspiciously. "She's a bit upset about her boyfriend abandoning her," she explained with a false smile. "I'll see that Ms. Knight gets settled after this shock. I'm an old family friend..."
The two women quickly left the hotel under the Sheriff's intense glare.
* * *
Moonlight bathed the decayed gravestones in a soft light. He felt like a zombie reject from a George Romero film with the way his limbs were controlled.
I'm a puppet. God knows who's controlling the strings. He now stood in front of the tomb of Josiah Eagleton and tried to keep his feet from taking one step after another towards it. Finally, his hands brushed against the statue of the town's founder. Keith trembled from the ice-cold touch of the stone.
Suddenly, a warm hand clasped his, and he almost fainted. The fingers were long and bony, not quite human at all, and the hand was strong enough to pull him away from the monument on top of Josiah's grave.
"Hello, I'm Lorraine," said a soft, child-like voice.
Through the evening's dim moonlight, he saw what looked like a woman with pale hair in a shabby, long dress. Her face seemed too angular, her eyes too wide, yet she almost looked like a human woman. Keith was disappointed for he had expected something... more exotic. Though he supposed it was his luck that it wasn't a Purple People Eater or Cthulhu.
Yet, the strength in the alien's hand was real, as was the mental command in his head. //Kneel//. Lorraine released him as his knees buckled under. She chuckled warmly.
"Now, it begins..."
* * *
"Someone's following us."
"Which ones?" Liz replied.
The townspeople were up at an unusually late hour celebrating the founding while the Eagleton Council set off special fireworks. Alison squinted at the crowd around them on Main Street.
A nondescript man in a dark business suit seemed to be waiting at the crosswalk just behind them for an unusually long time. An elderly tourist couple in loud Hawaiian shirts were talking very quietly at the street corner to the left of them. Their heads turned towards the two women from time to time. A teenage boy smoking a cigarette a few blocks away to the right kept sneaking glances at them.
"I don't know," said the young woman in despair. "It could be any of them or all of them." She was sure that one of their followers was an MIB. But the others... aliens in disguise, or townspeople involved in some sort of conspiracy? What was going on here?!
They began to walk faster down the sidewalk, yet more and more people seemed to be unwilling to get out of their way. Liz and Alison began to shove violently, almost running through the thick mass of the crowd. Someone shoved Alison who stumbled and fell. Liz tried to grab her hand, but Eagleton residents and tourists alike with sudden, blank eyes surrounded them and pushed them apart.
Sheriff Taylor's voice rose behind her. "Dr. Shaw and Miss Knight, you have made a terrible mistake..."
To be continued...
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