A chance meeting leads the Doctor into a world of secrets, and lies. Will he survive a stay at the Asylum?
The boat rowed up to the bank its cloaked occupants shrouded in the dark. The water lapped against the creaking wood. One leapt out and tied up the boat as the other led the mysterious figure that accompanied them through the gates into the courtyard of the house. The three of them moved quickly as if afraid of being spotted. The only person other than the owner of the house that saw this strange sight was the young maiden who watched from the window of a vacant chamber, peering round the heavy velvet curtains.
The Doctor strolled out of the TARDIS into a busy market, hands in pockets and bounce in his step. A wide brimmed sunhat and glasses ornamented his visage.
“Well this isn’t a dig in Cairo,” he commented to himself, removing his glasses and glancing around. “Looks like Earth though.”
As he walked along the street he got a few odd looks from passers by. He stopped at the various stalls examining the produce and surreptitiously pocketing one of the apples. The Doctor noticed a young woman flitting about the market she stood out from the crowd in her red dress, honey gold hair tied in a loose bun and long black cloak. She sidled up next to him at the stall.
“You should put that back or pay for it,” she said out of the side of her mouth. “The constable over there saw you.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” he replied with a grin.
“Well if you want to lose your liberty, then so be it.”
She turned with a swish of her skirts and walked off back down the street. The Doctor replaced the apple with a nonchalant whistle. Then strolled along hands in pockets after the person who had given him the warning, he hoped she wouldn’t think he was stalking her. He could see the tail of her dress disappear round the corner. He pushed his way through the crowd as they seemed to close in on him. The Doctor thought he saw her dart down a side road, he turned down the street. It was empty apart from a load of bins and old crates. He heard a scuffling then the sound of knocked over rubbish bins.
“Hello! Anyone there?”
“No,” came the reply, accompanied by a giggle.
“It’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you, just wanted to say thank you, you know for earlier.”
There was a long silence.
“That was all. I’ll be going now,” he rocked back slightly on the balls of his feet, before spinning round on one foot, “Bye.”
Suddenly there was a crashing metallic sounds and faint curse from behind the old wooden fence at the end of the ally to his right. The Doctor ran to the fence and jumped up arms over the top and feet scrabbling at the wood as he tried to push himself up and over the fence.
“Oooff,” he exclaimed as he tumbled over the top and slid down to the pavement beneath. “I’m getting too old for this.”
“Watch it! Fool,” snapped the woman. “Now you’ve just ruined everything.”
“I didn’t realise,” he replied with a grin, getting to his feet and brushing himself down. “You want a hand?”
“No! I can manage by myself adequately thanks.”
She got to her feet, peeling an old cabbage leaf off her shoulder and flicking it at the Doctor.
“Disgusting primitives,” she mumbled.
“There was no reason to run from me-, I didn’t catch your name madam?”
“You are highly presumptuous young man.”
“And you are a blithe young lady.”
“Then I was named aptly,” she replied with a wink. “I’m afraid I do have a tendency to flirt outrageously and dance with death.”
Blythe took a definite step forward a hint of menace behind her nonchalant manner. The Doctor instinctively slid backwards a little intimidated.
“That’s an unusual bracelet,” he suddenly blurted out trying to break the uncomfortable atmosphere. “Made of Sivernium-trendate from the looks of it. Haven’t seen anything like that in centuries. Awww…..look at that intricate engraving,” his voice suddenly dropped and became serious, his face darkened gravely. “Where did you get it?”
“None of your business.”
“That isn’t from this world. That makes it my business.”
She gave him a look that could cut steel.
“I should have known a thief like you would go straight for the jewellery.”
“I’m no thief-,”
“Police! Help! Thief,” she cried suddenly, a smug smile on her face.
In the distance he heard the piercing wail of a policeman’s whistle.
“What did you do that for?”
“If I were you, I’d run.”
“Police! Over here!”
“I’m not running. I’m not going to play your mind games.”
The Doctor lay on his back on the hard bed in a police cell, looking up at the ceiling. His mind was somewhere else. Pondering firstly on the strange events of the day and secondly, more morosely the recent loss of his companion. He felt more than heard the footsteps of the policeman as he approached the door. There was the clinking of keys and a clank as the door unlocked and swung open with a creak. The Doctor looked over to see the three people enter. One was the policeman the other looked like the ‘Inspector’ sort and the third was a middle-aged gentleman. He noticed this man had one blue eye and one brown which gave him a disconcerting air.
“On your feet,” barked the policeman.
The Doctor continued to lay there smiling smugly. He enjoyed watching the policeman shuffle his feet agitatedly obviously frustrated that this prisoner was showing him up in front of his superiors.
“You didn’t say Simon says,” quipped the Doctor.
“Enough,” suddenly interrupted the strange gentleman. “I don’t have time for facetiousness. Inspector I have things to be doing.”
“Of course Mr Grim, we-,”
“I’ll ask him. What’s your name,” asked Mr Grim, impatiently.
“Now you didn’t say please either.”
“You despicable fool, this is important your games have no place here! My daughter has gone missing and you were the last person to see her before she disappeared. So I want you to tell me your name and everything you know or otherwise you will be transferred into a facility under my control,” he leaned in towards the Doctor menacingly. “You don’t want that, scum of the universe.”
The inspector and other policeman both seemed a little perturbed by his harsh words.
“You are overreacting.”
“Overreacting! Tell me where she is!”
“I don’t know,” shouted the Doctor, getting to his feet. He managed to make himself appear to be double the size as he stood there, scowl on his face.
“This is impossible. Leave him to rot.”
He turned to leave the room, the constable rushing to unlock the door. He was on the threshold when the Doctor said something which made him halt.
“Sivernium-trendate, how did your daughter get hold of a sivernium-trendate bracelet? It’s not exactly local.”
“I should have known,” said Mr Grim, the whole expression of his face changing. “A thief would notice jewellery.”
“I can see where your daughter gets her attitude from.”
“Inspector he’s just as much confessed to the crime. I will have him transferred to the institute immediately.”
“All the paperwork will be dealt with. Her majesty appreciates your patriotism.”
The Doctor opened his eyes, slowly at first, the drug in his system still wearing off he felt a little fragile. In the background he could hear inhuman cries, against the ambient pitter-patter of rain punctuated by the rumble of thunder. He glanced around him he was in a dark, dank, dingy cell, mould covering the damp walls. He assumed there must be a leak somewhere letting in the water. As he went to sit up he found that he was shackled hand and foot, they were obviously taking no chances. The Doctor pulled at the chains but they were solid enough. He shivered slightly, they had taken his coat, tie, socks and shoes maybe they were afraid he would commit suicide. He almost broke into a smile at that thought. Whoever it was didn’t know him well enough. The Doctor heard the grating of metal against metal as the cover of the grill in the door slid open.
“You are up I see,” said Mr Grim.
There was a loud clank that echoed through the Doctor’s head. The door swung open. In walked Grim, followed by two rather unscrupulous looking. square built porters, dressed in shabby greyish white uniforms. A familiar symbol etched on their pocket.
“No thanks to you,” replied the Doctor, “What was it in that stuff?”
“A little concoction we have been working on here at the institute.”
“What is this place? I guess you want me to talk,” he said, in a mock accent, with a smirk on his face.
“Certainly. First let’s have a name from you-,”
“Bond, James Bond….No, No…Captain James T. Kirk…Brian! Luke Skywalker, No, Robin Hood!”
“I was right, he’s obviously in need of treatment,” replied Grim. “Don’t worry this won’t hurt…much.”
He took out a syringe filled with a viscous black substance and gestured to his lackeys who held the Doctor down. The Timelord struggled to get free but it was no use as the needle plunged into his carotid artery. He felt the room spin around him in a nauseating way, his mind becoming cloudy. He was shouting…something over and over again but he wasn’t sure what was coming from his mouth the words made no sense. They weren’t even English.
The Doctor lay on the plank of wood that served as a bed in his personal hell. His face was pale, and bearded, his grubby clothes were in tatters and his physique even more cadaverous than usual. He didn’t know how long he had been here or why they had locked him up. He wasn’t even completely sure who he was anymore. Everything was hazy and distant. His only company was exhaustion, confusion, hunger and pain. He moved his head slowly. He could see a battered pewter bowl filled with a putrid thin gruel sitting on the stone floor by the bed. He was hungry, agonisingly so but he couldn’t face the food they served here. Even the rats in this place refused to eat it. And if he did eat it they would inject him with that stuff and he would only vomit it back up again. An unavoidable side effect according to Grim. The Doctor shivered; there wasn’t even a blanket in his cell. He closed his eye, fatigue enveloping him as he listened to the wailing of the other patients, sure that some of the cries could not have come from humans.
He wasn’t sure how long he had been asleep for -day and night passed as one in his cell- when he heard a scratching sound. At first the Doctor assumed it to be a rat, nothing unusual in the depraved conditions he was kept in but there was something different about the noise. The scratching grew louder until suddenly with a grating sound one of the flagstones that made up the floor, lifted up and was pushed to one side. As the Doctor continued to stare at this event in amazement a head appeared through the hole in the floor where the stone had been. He heard it curse, loudly.
The Doctor attempted to speak, his mouth dry and his mind out of practice in speaking, his words came out as a long low groan of pain.
“Hello,” asked the visitor, cautiously. It was a female voice. “Is anyone there?”
He moved, trying to roll onto his side to face her directing the chains of his shackles jangling.
“Help me,” were the pained words which passed his dry cracked lips. The only phrase he could think of his mind still hazy with the drug they had injected him with.
The figure climbed out of the hole, moving closed to the bed. Hoping perhaps to get a look at him in what scarce light there was available. The Doctor felt a hand reach out and stroke his face. The girl -for now he could see that she was only in her late teens, early twenties maybe- leaned in, her eyes were a vibrant purple.
“Oh, you poor creature,” she said, her voice almost a whisper, “What have they done to you?”
“I have to get out of here,” he replied.
“Of course you do. We all have to leave this place. What did they get you for?”
“Why did they lock you up?”
“I-I can’t remember. Its….the stuff they injected me with, my mind it’s all hazy. So tired-,”
“Hey, you don’t fall asleep on me,” she said, slapping him round the face. “If you want to escape, that is?”
The Doctor blinked, slightly shocked. He recognised the deceptively slight alien girl.
“There’s no need for violence-,”
“Shush,” she put a finger to her lips.
They could hear the sound of footsteps and the chink of a ring of keys on a chain. Mr Grim and his colleagues were on their way to the Doctor’s cell. Destiny glanced around the cell then her gaze fell on the ceiling. She then proceeded to climb up the wall and along the ceiling so that she lay flat above the door.
The heavy metal cell door swung open with a teeth grinding squeal.
“Hello, its time for another session. I know how you enjoy entertaining us with your stories,” said Grim, making a show of drawing the viscous black liquid into the syringe. “We will get the dosage right, and then you will talk sense to me. Hold him down.”
Grim went to inject the substance; The Doctor closed his eyes and tried to pull away. He heard the sound of in impact and Grim shout out. He opened his eyes to see Mr Grim lying unconscious on the floor and Destiny flattening the two goons with a flying roundhouse kick. She smiled her eyes now a bright blue, as she picked the keys from where they had spilled across the floor.
“Now,” she brushed his hair from his face. “Do you feel strong enough to keep up with me?”
“I think so,” he replied, weakly.
She unlocked his shackles and helped him to his feet. He rested some of his weight on her shoulders his legs almost buckling beneath him.
“Sorry,” he apologised.
“That’s alright,” she replied, eager to move on. “Let me help you.”
They struggled out of the room. Destiny shut the door behind them remembering to lock it, delaying the discovery of their escape.
“So, I remember you but do you know me,” asked the Doctor. The chemical cloud which had muffled his thoughts was beginning to clear as they moved swiftly through the corridors.
Destiny suddenly stopped, amazingly not out of breath, and looked at him closely. She peered into his eyes and her face altered the corners of her mouth almost smiling.
“There’s something in your eyes that is familiar. You remind me of someone I once new.”
She rested her head to one side as if pondering him. The Doctor grinned, a familiar sparkle there.
“You know me.”
“I knew you from the first moment you burst into my cell. Should have known you’d take the first opportunity to escape.”
“Doctor,” she exclaimed giving him a kiss on the cheek. “It is you! We have so much to catch up on.”
“And we have people catching up on us, unless that is we get moving,” replied the Doctor.
Grim woke up in the cell his head thumping and bones aching. The attack had taken him by surprise. He hadn’t known how Destiny- for he knew it was her, the only one capable of such an audacious plan- had gotten out of her cell. He had allowed himself to become soft, and had been affected by his hosts’ affections. This would no longer be permitted. He banged on the door calling for aid. He must recapture his specially created host or recover his present hosts mate and create a replacement as soon as possible.
They crept out of the back door after having negotiated the myriad corridors that led from the dungeon to the first ground floor. It was a bright moonlit night. Stopping a moment the Doctor turned to Destiny curious.
“So, your husband-,” he left the question hanging in the air.
“He died a long while ago, Doctor. I’ve coped so far,” she replied, gently. “Of course the kids gave me a reason to go on.”
“Kids? You’re a mother?”
“Yes, still hopefully-,” she looked away.
He could sense that she was worried, afraid even.
“Don’t worry, if they are anything like you they will survive.”
In the background the sound of shouts, booted footsteps and dogs barking came from the building.
“I think I can hear our escape being discovered.”
“Yep, erm…I gave you a bracelet-,”
“This is no time to discuss jewellery,” she replied as they sprinted across the courtyard.
The Doctor lagging behind slightly still not fully recovered from his ordeal.
“It’s important! Where is it? What did you do with it?”
Destiny didn’t reply. Instead she made swift progress towards the gates and freedom. She pulled at the gates but they were locked.
“You don’t have your sonic screwdriver with you do you?”
“I wouldn’t have still been here if it hadn’t been taken from me.”
She let out a curse that would have made the crudest sailor blush.
“Language,” chastised the Doctor. “That’s not going to help our escape.”
Destiny glanced along the gate and peered through the metal bars, the only thing between them and freedom.
“Are you feeling fit,” she asked.
The Doctor nodded, he wasn’t a hundred percent yet but the adrenaline was already pumping through his body, ready for the next challenge. Destiny made a stirrup with her hands.
“Do you think you can make it over the fence if I give you a bunk-up?”
“That’s a fantastic idea-,”
“Can you? Yes or no!”
“Yeees,” he replied, “You ready?”
He backed up, and then took a run at her, pushing off of her hands with his foot as she heaved his weight upwards. The Doctor was launched higher than he had anticipated, arms and legs flailing he managed to grab hold of the top of the gate. Unfortunately this particular portion of the gate had been garnished with rather nasty looking barbed wire. He let out a cry of pain as the barbs ripped into the flesh of his hands.
“Are you alright,” asked Destiny.
“Fine,” he remarked through gritted teeth, his tone a little testy. “Just holding on by my hands from BARBED WIRE covered metal! What could be more pleasant?”
“I’ll be there in a moment.” She climbed swiftly up the gate, coming up underneath where he was dangling from the top of the gate. “Push yourself up using my shoulder as a platform.”
The Doctor did as he was told placing his bare feet carefully on the top of the gate this time avoiding the barbed wire. He swayed precariously trying to balance.
“Jump you idiot! Jump,” urged Destiny.
He took a deep breath and leapt. Rolling as he landed on the unyielding earth. Destiny landed lightly beside the Doctor a few moments later. She dragged him to his feet and they ran together. It appeared that the place that they had escaped from was outside the city.
“We should head for that copse of trees,” said the Doctor, pointing in the distance. “It might give us some cover.”
“Here,” offered Destiny. “Take my arm. You don’t look too well.”
“You’re bleeding, Doctor. Let me see to that.”
Destiny managed to rip strips of material from her petticoat whilst running, and bandage the Doctor’s hands. From behind they hear shouts and the barking of dogs. They soon entered the copse of trees, their pursuers not far behind.
“We have to split up-,”
“But first tell me…the bracelet I gave you, where is it?”
“We don’t have time,” she replied, avoiding the question.
“Tell me. It’s important-,”
“I gave it to my daughter.”
Before he could reply she dived off to the left, disappearing amongst the trees. The Doctor stood there for a moment a little taken aback, but soon began running again, swerving in and out of the trees. He could hear the sound of water in the distance, spurred on he soon reached the river. The banks were covered in plenty of foliage he could use as cover. He waded into the water amongst the reeds. Suddenly he heard a gun shot, the sound ricocheting off the trees, sending the birds scattering into the sky. He gulped. His heart sunk, fearing the worst.
The Doctor struggled across the muddy ground toward the small farm in the distance. He ached from having had to lie still for hours in order to evade his captors. They had given up by sunrise and he had been able to make his way back to civilisation. He had hesitated a while contemplating going back to see what had happened to Destiny, but he reasoned that the people who had imprisoned him weren’t the type to leave evidence behind. He staggered up to the farmhouse door and banged on it with his fist before falling to his knees with exhaustion and blacking out.
The End….for now.