>> Sunday, 16 November 2008
Running down the narrow corridor, Beth tripped and stumbled over clumsily. The danger that was stalking her was just inches behind her and she just wanted to escape it and be released from its grasp. Beth screamed in terror.
The dim lights which illuminated the area suddenly flickered and darkness clouded Beth’s eyes. She wailed in panic, knowing the Doctor wouldn’t come to save her.
Tumbling forward, she suddenly tripped over an object and slapped onto the cold floor. Her knees ached and a sharp jab of pain flooded her body. She lay motionless on the floor as she felt the chilling hands grab her foot…
The Doctor watched as Beth shot up with beads of sweat on her forehead. Her breathing was frantic due to her clear distress.
“You alright?” the Doctor asked as Beth looked around. When her eyes caught the Doctor’s, a look flashed through her that the Doctor thought was sorrow.
“Nightmare,” Beth whispered.
“You were wriggling like a worm,” the Doctor joked, trying to lighten the tense atmosphere.
Bait… Beth thought to herself. She half smiled and stood up. She felt her head spin and nearly fell over, but the Doctor caught her in his arms.
“Woah there,” the Doctor said, sitting her back down, “You need a rest.”
“I’ve just been asleep, Doctor,” Beth replied, slowly standing up. She rubbed her eyes then clapped her hands together, “Right, where now?”
The Doctor eyed her warily then grinned, “OK, where do you f….”
He stopped when the TARDIS beeped, “Ooh,” he said, pulling a lever, “Distress signal.”
Beth frowned, “Where from?”
“Dunno,” the Doctor shrugged, “Wherever it is, we’re being pulled there.”
The Doctor stepped back helplessly and crossed his arms. The pair waited for the TARDIS to steady and once it did, they raced for the doors, smiling.
“This is even more exciting than when you fly it!” Beth laughed.
The Doctor looked shocked, “My flying is amazing, quite frankly. Do you know it really takes 6 people to fly this? Doing it by myself is quite an achievement,” he smiled proudly.
“Yeah, OK,” Beth sighed and stepped outside.
A cold, sea breeze hit them as the Doctor closed the TARDIS doors. Seagulls hovered above, squawking, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting fish. Clouds covered the sky and waves splashed against the shore. The TARDIS had taken the Doctor and Beth to a small island full of dusty sand. The Doctor winced as he tasted the salt in the air.
“Well….” Beth pondered, “This is a first…”
“Mmm…” the Doctor agreed.
“Can you tell where we are?” Beth queried.
“Strangely,” the Doctor said, “No… which is a first also.”Beth nudged the Doctor in the ribs, “You’re losing your touch,” she teased.
“Yeah well, no one’s perfect,” the Doctor said quickly, “Anyway, where did that signal come from?” he asked himself.
He spun around on the spot then suddenly clicked his fingers, “Oh!”
“What?” Beth asked.
“I think there’s some old diving equipment tucked away somewhere in the TARDIS…” he shot off, disappearing into the ship.
“Diving equipment?” Beth repeated, “You’ve got to be joking!”
Two minutes later, the Doctor stepped out with some goggles, suit and an oxygen cylinder.
“How on earth have you got that?” Beth asked.
“Well you know,” the Doctor said casually, “I’ve been around a fair few places… thought it would come in handy one day and what do you know!?” he grinned. Beth couldn’t help smiling.
“There’s only one set of equipment,” Beth said, “Are you going on your own?”
She tried her hardest to sound disappointed.
“Yup,” the Doctor said, “’Fraid it’s not safe.”“Then why are you going?” Beth asked.
The Doctor just grinned and Beth knew the answer, “OK, shall I just stay in the TARDIS and wait for you then?”“Yup, that’s the general idea,” the Doctor said, slapping on the goggles, “Don’t fly her or anything though.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Beth smiled.
The Doctor took off his jacket and handed it to Beth. He then put on the diving equipment and seconds later, Beth barely recognised him.
“You do know how to use that don’t you?” Beth asked, getting slightly worried now.
“Well… no, but…” he said quickly, before Beth could protest, “I can last a little while without oxygen so I should be OK.”
“What if you can’t find the ship or whatever it is?” Beth asked.
“I will find it,” the Doctor answered firmly and he waved, “See you later.”
“You’d better,” Beth said as she watched him dive into the water. When he was gone, all sorts of thoughts flooded Beth’s mind. What if he was attacked by a shark? What if he got stuck? What if he drowned? She would be stuck here if he was… killed…
Beth bit her nails, and then turned to the TARDIS. She knew she would be comforted in there.
She slipped through the doors and sat down, watching the console screen. Gallifreyan symbols which she didn’t understand flashed across the screen and she stared, trying to block out her worries.
Deep down in the sea, the Doctor was struggling to identify his surroundings. The water was cloudy and unclear; he couldn’t see the dangers ahead of him.
His breathing was heavy as he continued to swim further down, unaware of what was coming. He suddenly noticed a flashing red light in the distance, then realised it was coming from a submarine. He grinned, “Allonsy!” then swam towards the ship.
When he reached it, he tapped on the side and, to his surprise, he noticed an entrance. He clambered into the ship and was amazed by its size. It was as big as a cruiser ship.
Once inside, he was surrounded by plenty of buttons and controls. He took off his goggles and equipment, when he was spotted by a man.“Who the hell are you?” he asked, brandishing a gun.
“Oh, hello!” the Doctor said cheerily, “I’m the Doctor, I received your distress signal and I’m here to help you…”The man seemed to relax a little and lowered the gun, “Follow me.”
Back in the TARDIS, Beth gasped as a familiar face appeared on the TARDIS screen. Her whole body tensed as he looked at her with that evil look in his eye.
“Hello Beth,” he chimed.
“Hi,” Beth said, her voice a whisper.
“Did you get the distress signal?” he asked.
“How did you know about that?” Beth asked.
“Did you get the distress signal?” he persisted.
“And he’s on the ship now?”
“Good… that gives me time to talk to you….”
Back on the ship, the man introduced himself as Captain Smith and the Doctor smiled to himself. Another Smith…
They entered a room full of men busily tapping away at controls. The Captain cleared his throat and all the men stopped and stared at the Doctor.
“Crew, this is the Doctor,” the Captain began but was interrupted by a flurry of voices.
“We need UNIT, not a flipping medical man!” a butch man yelled.
“What use is he? He can’t stop that thing!” another shouted.
“Can’t stop what?” the Doctor asked, ignoring the comments.
The Captain turned to him, “I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but you’re the only help we’ve got.”
“Go on,” the Doctor encouraged. “Well we have a problem. In the main engine room we’ve discovered… a creature,” the Captain began.
“A creature?” the Doctor repeated.
“Yes,” the Captain continued, “On our Camera System we noticed it scurrying around and sabotaging our engines, sooner or later it’ll completely destroy them and maybe even worse, create a hole in the ship.”
“What does it look like?” the Doctor asked.
“It’s metal, we think,” the Captain said with worried eyes, “Metal and strong. No one has been brave enough to even go near it, so we don’t know what to do. We can’t abandon the ship; it means so much to me…”“Basically…” the Doctor said, “We need to get rid of this creature.”
“Yes,” the Captain said, “But we don’t know how.”
“Take me to it,” the Doctor ordered.
Gasps spread around the room but a sense of trust was also present. “If you’re sure,” the Captain said, leading him to a door, “It’s in there.”
The Doctor slowly opened the door and stepped inside.
“He must be crazy…” a man muttered.
“Crazy, but brilliant,” another said.
The Doctor looked and saw a small metal creature grabbing some wire. It turned around immediately when it sensed the Doctor and lunged at him. The Doctor dived out of the way and the creature slammed against the wall, leaving a dangerous dent.
The Doctor examined the creature as it recovered; it was completely metal and had red, ravenous eyes. It was about half the Doctor’s height but twice his width. The creature’s arms consisted of hundreds of what looked like wires which could easily snap any of the Doctor’s limbs in half. The Doctor looked at the creature’s body; it seemed to have a screen in the middle of it. He frowned; what on earth was this thing?
He slipped his hand in his pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver. He adjusted the setting then aimed it at the creature which jolted back and collapsed against the wall. The dent became deeper and the Doctor walked over to examine it. He had simply turned it offline for a while. The Captain stood reluctantly at the doorway and slowly stepped in.
“What is it?” he asked.
“A robot of some sort,” the Doctor said, opening the robot’s insides. His eyes lit up.
“Gosh, that’s high tech!” he smiled, “This is amazing! What’s it doing here?”
“We don’t know,” the Captain said impatiently, “But can we dispose of it now?”
The Doctor’s face grew angry and he stood up, “We can’t possibly destroy this, it’s a work of art!”
“Well what do you intend doing with it th…”
Before he could finish his question the robot jumped to life. It was dazed however and started dashing around the room. “Stay back,” the Doctor warned, and before he could do anything, the robot once again bashed against the wall. The dent became bigger and the Doctor winced as he heard a suddenly whoosh. Water suddenly began to filter through the gap and as it enveloped the robot, a spark flew up and it collapsed on the floor, motionless.
“No!” the Doctor said, sitting by its side, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!”“It was its own fault,” the Captain said, “Now come on, this place is going to flood if we don’t do something!”The Doctor glared at him, and then stood up, “Let’s get everyone out.”
They raced out the door and a man shouted, “We need to abandon ship.”
Men started running around panicking and the Doctor frowned, “You said we couldn’t get out!” he paused, “What about the hole I came through?”
A blast of water rushed through the door knocking over a computer and blocking the entrance for another door.
“You can’t get to it now,” a man said hurriedly.
“What are we going to do then?” a man asked.
“I don’t know!” another snapped.
The Doctor looked around, “Can’t you drill a hole somewhere?”
“And let more water in?” he snapped again.
“Well there’s got to be some sort of emergency exit?” the Doctor asked, the water filling his converse.
“We could try it, but we’ll have to get through that flooded room,” the Captain said.
“Then let’s do it before it becomes completely flooded!” the Doctor said.
They trudged through the ever increasing amount of water and men behind were tripping over and coughing.
“Come on!” the Doctor yelled.
They struggled through the room and as they entered another, the Doctor noticed a hatch up above.
“Come on!” he yelled, “We can get through here.”
As the men approached, the Doctor asked, “Got your masks?”
The men reached into their pockets and grabbed their oxygen masks. They each put it on and the Doctor did so also.
“Ready?” he asked, hand on the hatch.
There was a flurry of nods and he opened the hatch. Water flooded in and pushed the Doctor down to the floor. The men scrambled out through the space and swam to the surface. The Doctor slowly got up and realised the Captain was clinging on to a rail, without a mask.
“Come on!” the Doctor yelled, the water splashing him.
“I can’t!” the man yelled through the water. Bubbles escaped his mouth, “Leave me Doctor, this ship is my life, if it gets destroyed, so do I!”
The man choked as the whole area became flooded with water.
“Go!” he could just make out the man yelling.
The Doctor hesitated; he couldn’t let this man die, but it was his own wish. He pondered for a moment, and then swam off, fighting back the lump in his throat.
He reached the surface and clambered to the shore, joining the other men. As he removed his mask and they all caught their breath, the men gasped.
“Where’s the Captain?” they asked.
“He’s dead, I’m sorry,” the Doctor said, looking at the floor, “He asked to stay, he wouldn’t let me save him.”“There was no choice! You should have saved him Doctor!” one man yelled.
“Murderer!” another yelled.
“You should have helped him!”
Beth stepped out of the TARDIS after hearing the commotion and noticed the crowd of men. She looked at the Doctor whose face was full of sadness.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, walking up to him.
“He murdered our Captain,” a man yelled.
Beth looked shocked for a moment, then said, “No he didn’t, he wouldn’t do that.”
A ship was in the distance and a man said, “That must be someone else who detected our distress signal, we’ll be saved by them.” He glared at the Doctor.
The Doctor walked towards the TARDIS, Beth slowly followed. She looked at the men who were frowning at her, then closed the doors.
As the Doctor slowly sat down, Beth said, “What happened?”
“The ship had a robot in it, it was sabotaging the engine room and I stopped it,” the Doctor said.
Beth looked at the floor, “What was it doing there?”
“I don’ know,” he paused, “Then the ship flooded and the Captain insisted on staying, saying that the ship was his life; if it was destroyed then so must he be. I tried to make him go, but he wouldn’t,” his voice broke and he looked at the floor.
“It was his choice Doctor,” Beth said softly.
“But I made it for him…” the Doctor replied.
“It wasn’t your fault,” Beth assured him, guilt tugging away at her.
There was silence for a moment and the Doctor felt an overwhelming memory of all the people who had died in his name, as Davros once pointed out to him. He fought back the lump in his throat.
“Doctor?” Beth asked.
The Doctor just sighed and said, “Anyway, always moving on, where to next?”
Beth looked at him and had to look away to hide the glisten of tears in her eyes, “Anywhere!” She said half-heartedly.
The Doctor forced a smile and set the controls once more.