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Doctor Who Internet Adventure #02 - "Six Sides to Every Story"


Chapter 4
"In The Dark"
by Jenifer Jennings Hancock


---


"I will hide and you will hide,
and we shall hide together here,
Underneath the bunker in the row."

Underneath the Bunker -- R.E.M.


* * *


"STOP!" a voice cried. "If we kill them, then we won't know how to bring back the Colossus!"


       All the guards looked away from the trio for a split second, to see who spoke.


       A man, dressed in total black. That was odd enough, but in his hand there was a black tube of some sort.


       The man pushed his sunglasses up on his nose, said "Surprise!" and pushed a button on the tube.


       All the guards began to scream horribly as they began to shrink. Their screams finally died when each guard had shrunk to about six inches tall.


       The man, gloating over his accomplishment, looked up to where the Doctor and his companions were.


       There was no one there.


       "Damn you, Doctor!" he growled. "I know I will get you soon!"


       He then kicked the doll-like bodies towards the stunned people in the building and set off after the Doctor.


       He ran...until he reached the bright sunlight outdoors.


       The man let out a shriek of agony as the sun hit his exposed flesh. The people watched in horror as the man blistered, then burned.


       Quickly, he ran back into the building. Taking care to trample on a couple of the bodies on the floor, he ran upstairs and towards a black pillar.


* * *


"Doctor! That was the Master! You told me he was dead!"


       "Well," the Doctor said while trying to adjust his robes which had gotten somewhat tangled and loose during their flight, "I thought so too. It's generally a very reasonable assumption, seeing that he fell into a black hole, don't you think?"


       Merak looked at the two of them. "He did help us escape. Maybe he's on your side now?"


       "I doubt it," the Doctor grumbled. "We had best run for the TARDIS, the Master can't be far behind."


       The Doctor then looked behind him. "Wait. Where is he? This is usually the point when the Master chases us, yelling, 'I am the Master! You will obey me!'"


       Grace started pulling on both Merak's and the Doctor's arms. "Come on! Before more guards show up; never mind the Master!"


       The Doctor looked at Grace and smiled sheepishly. "Of course, Grace. How silly of me. Let's go!"


       The three of them started down the road towards the TARDIS, clutching their robes.


       Merak, in between lungfulls of air, gasped, "The why did the Master help us escape?"


       "Easy -- he gets rid of the guards, captures us, tortures us, and he gets a part of the Key. A rather nice catch, don't you think?"


       "He dislikes you that much?"


       "Afraid so."


       "Wonderful."


       Eventually, they made it back to the TARDIS. The Doctor quickly unlocked the door and pushed Merak and Grace inside. He then quickly scanned the immediate area - there was no one.


       "Hmmm. Odd." he muttered to himself. He then joined his friends in the TARDIS, scratching his back with the wand as he did so.


       As soon as he got inside, he clapped once and said, "All right! Everyone, let's get changed into something more suited to us and go to find another piece!" He tossed the crystal up in the air and caught it a few times before he noticed that his companion's faces were watching him with horror as he did so.


       "Doctor, stop that! What if you drop it?" Grace said while watching him toss the crystal as casually as one would handle a Nerf ball.


       "What? You mean like this?" He tossed the crystal high up in the air and made no attempt to catch it. Before either Merak or Grace could react, the crystal hit the floor with an impressive clatter. It was unhurt.


       Grace bent down, picked it up, and examined it. "It's not even chipped!"


       "Of course not," The Doctor laughed. "It's a powerful artefact! Would you make an all-powerful item such as this with thin china?"


       Grace pursed her lips and roughly handed him the crystal, making good and sure that it hit him in the solar plexus.


       "OOF! Er...thank you, Grace." The Doctor said while rubbing the spot where Grace had hit him.


       "So, after we change, where to?" Grace asked, still looking very annoyed.


       The Doctor inserted the wand he had previously used as a backscratcher and said cheerfully, "To wherever this device takes us! Quite exhilarating, not knowing where you'll end up next."


       "Then you must be exhilarated a lot." Grace grumbled.


       The Doctor suppressed a grin and headed off to the Costume room, motioning for his companions to follow.


* * *


"I can feel the call of part of the Key. It's much closer than we had anticipated." a man dressed in black whispered.


       "Hush, Trevor!" Another figure, female, turned towards the man and said, "If you make any more noise, I'll personally make sure that you are tied to the ground outside. I haven't seen one of our own ever immolated - it would be an interesting experience."


       Trevor kept his mouth shut... for a few seconds.


       "Maria, I can feel the calls of two keys!" Trevor whispered, an almost blissful look on his face.


       "Two?" Maria looked stunned. "There is only one piece on this planetoid. You said there was only one!"


       Trevor looked Maria in the eyes and said, "Now I feel two. There must be one coming..."


       "Yes, well we had best get the one we are sure of first. Then we will hunt. There's not much time before sunrise."


       Trevor nodded and they both scurried off into the shadows.


* * *


Eventually, Trevor and Maria came to a derelict building. It once had been an art museum, but countless years of neglect had proven it to be just as susceptible to decay.


       Quietly, they went up the front stairway and headed towards the door. Trevor took a moment to look at the city he was in. It was dark, decaying, and empty except for the rotting bodies strewn around as far as the eye could see...It reminded Trevor of the city he'd grown up in before it had killed itself, dying from the rot growing on the inside. Of course, that had been over eighty years ago, before he'd met and fallen in love with Maria.


       "Come on, Trevor!" Maria hissed. "I need your help."


       Trevor turned and saw Maria struggling with a fallen chunk of wood which covered the main entrance. Together, they moved it far enough that they could get in. That's when Maria noticed a drunk, lying on the side of the road. She couldn't believe it! All the other humans and humanoids had either been killed, turned into one like herself, or had fled. Maria licked her lips, it had been a long time since her last meal, stale blood from a Blood Donor Clinic. And she couldn't count how many days it had been since her last meal from a fresh host.


       She leaned back and tugged on Trevor's sleeve. "Look, love!" she whispered, gesturing to the unconscious man. "Do you think he'll be enough for the two of us?"


       "What about getting the piece of the Key?"


       "The Key can wait just a little longer; it's been too long between fresh hosts. Besides, what if he's dead when we come back out? Stale blood, again. Or worse, one of the *others* will nab him before we get a chance. There are too many others to let such an opportunity go to waste."


       Trevor wasn't sure of the wisdom of the plan but he was very hungry and he never liked contradicting Maria. "You go first, love," Trevor whispered in her ear. "Just save some for me, all right?"


       Maria smiled and swooped down on the unsuspecting drunk.


* * *


The Doctor, Grace, and Merak exited the TARDIS and looked at the destruction and decay around them. The crumbling buildings and roads, the rusting vehicles strewn around, the decayed or decaying bodies littering the roads and cars. It was a dark night, the only light coming from a moon overhead, bathing the surrealistic scene in silver.


       The Doctor brushed some imaginary lint off his green velvet jacket and pulled out the wand.


       "Where are we, Doctor?" Grace said, huddling in her jacket. Merek, too, sensed the...unnaturalness of the place, and it was making him edgy. The Doctor, on the other hand, didn't seem to find it as disturbing as his friends.


       "We are on the remains of a old Earth colony. About 10 earth years ago, this planet was ravaged by a nasty virus. It killed two thirds of the population instantly. The 'lucky' one third were split between those who fully recovered and those who suddenly acquired a taste for... er... blood."


       "WHAT?" Grace shouted, "We're on a planet currently populated with VAMPIRES?"


       "Shh, Grace. There can't be many left, but we don't want them to hear us — just in case."


       "In case of WHAT?"


       "In case someone hears you." The Doctor remarked casually.


       Grace opened her mouth and shut it again. There was no point in trying to get a half-decent answer from him. She'd never gotten one before, what was she expecting now? A sudden change of heart?


       The wand began to make soft, clicking noises. The Doctor then started to move around slowly in a circle until he'd determined where the clicking was more insistent.


       "That way," the Doctor finally said, pointing northwest.


       "How far?" Merak piped in.


       The Doctor shrugged. "As far as we have to go to retrieve it."


       Grace and Merak looked at each other and sighed, resigned to their fate of never knowing what was going on, or at least whatever the Doctor was meddling with.


       Humming softly to himself, the Doctor raked some of his hair off his face and headed off in the direction the wand was indicating, Grace and Merek close behind.


* * *


Trevor and Maria were now inside the building, both feeling happier and a little sleepy after their meal. They carefully made their way past the rotting displays and walked gingerly on the rotting wood floor.


       "Where now?" Maria said.


       Trevor concentrated for a moment. "Upstairs," he finally said.


       Maria nodded and head towards the stairs. She carefully put one foot on the first stair and the middle almost dissolved into a pile of wood dust. Muttering to herself, she then tried to put some weight on the side of the stair. That remained solid, no matter how much weight she put on. "Trevor, I figured out a way to get upstairs; follow me."


       Trevor obliged and soon they were cautiously moving up the stairs towards the part of the Key.


       Maria chuckled to herself. All they had to do was find a piece of some key! Just that key and the Great Vampires could descend over the galaxies again, just like in their glory days before the Time Lords had flushed them out, killing most in the process. Luckily, a few had not been not involved in the conflict and they, the sole survivors of the War, had spent most of their time since hiding, scrounging for food, and plotting their retribution against the Time Lords. Maria sighed happily -- after countless thousands of years of hoping, wishing for an opportunity to hurt those pompous bastards like they'd hurt her. They'll pay for it, she thought, they'll pay.


       They'd finally reached the second floor and Trevor was getting more and more jumpy the closer he got to the piece.


       "Where to now?" she asked, gently probing the floor to see if it was safe to walk on.


       "J-just down here," he said and ran for it, despite Maria's cries for him to stop.


       Trevor ran down the left hallway, avoiding the worst of the obvious looking weak spots and jumping nimbly over the holes until he came to the room at the end of the hallway.


       "Trevor?" Maria called. "Trevor, are you all right? Answer me!"


       Trevor was too absorbed in what he saw to pay much attention to Maria's voice. Inside this large, rotting building there sat on a pedestal the most beautiful gem he had ever seen. He knew that this was it! The piece of the key! With a cry of joy he dashed into the room, not paying any attention to anything other than the feel of the Key so close to him and the other part of the Key coming closer. Trembling with joy he reached out and picked up the gem. When he had it fully in his hand he watched in awe as the gem shifted forms and turned into a oddly-shaped piece of crystal.


       "Trevor?" Maria called again.


       He turned around and said, "I'm coming! I found the pie--"


       There was a loud, spine tingling CRACK and the floor gave under Trevor's feet. With a screech, he fell onto the debris on the ground, landing on a sharp piece of wood that narrowly missed his heart.


       "Trevor!" Maria dashed down the stairs as quickly as she dared until she saw what had happened to him. Panicking, she lifted him as gently as possible off the piece of wood and laid him down on one of the sturdier parts of the floor. She tried to staunch the flow of blood but with no luck; it just kept pouring.


       That's when she noticed that the piece of the Key wasn't in his hand.


* * *


The Doctor was watching the wand carefully while walking when suddenly, the clicking noise became almost unbearable.


       Consequently, the Doctor didn't notice the piece of jagged crystal that he stepped on causing him to fall flat on his face.


       "Doctor!" Grace immediately ran to him to see if there had been any damage done.


       "Oh, I'm fine," he said, shooing her away while trying to dust off his jacket. Then he picked up a mangled piece of electronics. "The wand needs some help, though..."


       Merak went to investigate what the Doctor had tripped on and nearly choked when he recognized it for what it was.


       "Doctor," Merak said in shock, "You just tripped on the second part of the Key!"


       The Doctor got up and took it from him. "You're right!" he exclaimed.


       "Yes," said a new voice, "And it's mine. Give it back."


       They all turned towards the new voice and saw a woman, wearing a black cloak with dark blue clothes underneath. At her hip was a pistol of some sort. Surrounding her were many people dressed in approximately the same way.


       "Well, Doctor?" she said mildly, are you going to give to us what is rightfully mine? Oh, and as interest, I want you to give us the other piece of the Key that you have... NOW!"


       "How did you know that I'm the Doctor? Or about the other piece, come to think of it..."


       She smiled malevolently. "We vampires have our little ways on keeping up to date with current events. By the way, congratulations on beating the Celestial Toymaker. Very well done."


       The Doctor preened. "Thank you!"


       "Now... I want the two pieces you have now!"


       "I don't have it with me..." the Doctor began but was cut off.


       "Fine," she said. She looked over her shoulder to the twenty or so humanoids behind her. "Get them."


       "RUN!" the Doctor yelled, and they turned and fled, the other humanoids following in close pursuit.


       As they ran, the woman pulled out her gun, aimed at Merak, and fired. Suddenly, Merak found himself entangled in a web of multiple metal wires, binding every part of him. Before he had a chance to shout at his departing friends the woman shoved a rag into his mouth and said, "You are going to be my insurance, boy. The Doctor'll pay up just to get you back. But until then, there is a person I need you to heal for me. His name is Trevor..."


* * *


The Doctor and Grace kept running until Grace just couldn't go any further. "Doctor, is there a place where we can wait it out until dawn?"


       "Hmm... where's Merak?"


       Grace looked around, surprised. "I don't know!"


       The Doctor muttered something under his breath and said finally, "We'll look for him tomorrow, during the day when they're all asleep."


       "But... but what if they kill him before sunrise?"


       "I don't know... I doubt they will. They want the pieces of the Key; if they kill him, they won't have much leverage, will they?"


       Grace shook her head. "I still don't think we should hole up somewhere while Merak's in danger!"


       "Grace, be reasonable. We just CAN'T take on that many beings at once!"


       She sighed, "I know, but..."


       He gave her a short, gentle hug. "It'll be all right. We'll find him tomorrow morning; we'll start right at dawn, all right? But right now we need to find a place to hide."


       "Yeah, I know. You're right; they won't be hurting him if they want to trade."


* * *


Maria pulled Merak into the art museum next to Trevor. Merak, his eyes wide in terror, whimpered as he saw her pull out a wickedly sharp looking surgical knife.


       "Oh, don't worry, you baby. I'm not going to kill you, I just need some of your blood for my friend, Trevor, here." She gestured over to a man, lying in a large pool of blood.


       She pulled Merak closer to Trevor and positioned Merak so that the barely conscious man could drink from his wrist.


       When she was satisfied with the position, she grabbed Merak's wrist, sliced his wrist quickly, then put the wrist over Trevor's mouth. Trevor gulped down the blood eagerly and Maria watched, satisfied, as she saw the wicked wounds he sustained from the fall heal up as if nothing had happened.


       She then took Merak's wrist away and quickly stitched it and wrapped it in gauze. She then smiled and said, "Thank you, Merak. And I suggest that you get some sleep; you look so pale!" Laughing at her joke, she sat, cross-legged, waiting for Trevor to come to.


* * *


They'd only had a few moments of rest when Grace spotted a mob of humanoids running their way.


       "More are coming, Doctor!" Grace gasped as she ran with the Doctor away from the mob, who had just sighted them.


       Suddenly, the Doctor said, "Quick! Over here!"


       Grace followed, and they entered a place which looked as if it had been used as a butcher shop. The Doctor pulled her in and locked the door. Then, still holding on to Grace, he ran to the back and found a large freezer. The Doctor quickly opened it and they both ran inside. The Doctor then shut the door.


       She felt him pressing something into her hand. She immediately recognized it as a flashlight.


       "Here, point this where I'm working...locking the doors gives us a few more seconds, nothing more..."


       So, Grace did exactly that while the Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and started fusing the door and the wall together.


       Just as he finished, they heard the door being beaten upon and cries and curses from the other side.


       Grace moved to the back of the freezer. She then laughed nervously. "Kind of ironic that we're stuck in a meat locker, isn't it?"


       The Doctor looked confused. "What's ironic about it?"


       "Oh, never mind," she muttered.


       Meanwhile the pounding on the door became more insistent.


       "How long until dawn, Doctor?"


       "About two hours. We should be fine here."


       That's when they saw an arm punch *through* the solid metal door and start fumbling with the door latches.


       "Or...not..." the Doctor said, worried.


* * *


"I've got water, I've got rum.
Wait for dawn and the dawn shall come.
Underneath the bunker in the row.

Underneath the Bunker -- R.E.M.


---
To be continued...



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