Miss Lara Croft stared wide-eyed into the corridor in front of her. She was still not quite sure what had just happened. She had tried every thing that she could think of to open the large metal door in front her but nothing had worked. Then the Doctor, conceding that they were nearly out of options, decided to try the last thing that he could think of, a simple knock. To the surprise of both of them, it worked.
Moments after the time lord had banged on the door it slowly began to peel away, revealing a long hallway. It was not, however, anything that either the Doctor or Lara expected. Instead of the cold brick and mortar that they had been traveling through it was metal.
It was plain, almost too plain. The sides, which were painted a basic white, extended up into an arch shape ending about four feet over the explorers' heads. A few feet below, on either wall, two bright, nearly florescent, lights were fixed into place, one near the floor and one just below the apex of the ceiling. What ever had created the castle they had just been in could not have made this.
"How did you do that?" Croft asked, still amazed that a simple knock had succeeded where she had failed.
The Doctor only chortled slightly to himself. "Simple." He replied. "It was the one thing that should never have worked."
Lara raised an eyebrow. "I'm not sure I understand you logic there." She answered.
"Not many can." The Doctor explained arrogantly. "Not many can, my dear you. Like most people in the universe you see a locked door and automatically assume there is a key."
The young lady turned and stared back at her companion. "Why lock a door if you can't open it?" She asked.
"Why use a key when there is somebody else at home?" The old man answered.
Croft drew her pistols and whirled around pointing them down the bright hallway in anticipation of attack. "So, somebody let us in?"
"No no no." Grumbled the Doctor, resting his hand on Lara's arms and gently pushing the weapon down. "It's a puzzle. You see, you were intent on finding a way to open this door and the most obvious thing to do never occurred to you did it?"
"Never." Lara answered from behind a sudden smile of revelation and returning her pistols to their holsters. "So," she reasoned, "that is why knocking was the right thing to do, because no sensible person would believe it would work and-"
"And would not even bother trying." Continued the Time Lord. "Shall we go?" He asked, stepping into the new corridor.
Lara nodded cautiously and followed suit, taking the opportunity to glance around the walls. The power was obviously still on because the lights and there was no sign of cobwebs or dirt or unkemptness of any kind. It was obvious that it was still being used for something. "Do you still think this Odg fellow is all that?" She asked suspiciously.
The Doctor shook his head. "Dear girl." He said. "Even if this is his, it by no means condemns him to any sort of a crime."
The young lady rolled her eyes. "Whatever." She sighed. "Let's just have a look about shall we? I have a feeling that the scepter is somewhere around here."
"Very well." The older man agreed.
With that, the both of them set off down the corridor. Strangely there was no sign of a door leading out of the hall anywhere. In fact, the whole passage way seemed to stretch out forever without any sign of deviation.
It did not take long for the two explorers to realize this. After nearly ten minutes of walking straight ahead Miss Croft began to have suspicions. An hour later she had nearly given up hope. There was absolutely nothing anywhere that could be a considered a door. And then they came to a dead end.
"This is unexpected." The Doctor said, examining the wall in front of them. "I suppose there could be another catch to it somewhere." Slowly, he ran his hands all over the obstacle looking for something that would indicate a way around. Finding nothing, he turned back to his companion. "Do you have he ideas?" He asked.
Lara did not move. She just stared blankly ahead as if she were in some sort of a dream. There had to be something somewhere. And where did that scream come from? In only a matter of seconds the questions built up into frustration until she could not take it anymore. Something had to give. Angrily, she turned to the side wall, reared back her arm and through a punch it as hard as she could.
To her surprise she found herself flying head first through the wall and to the ground with a thud. She immediately rolled over to see what had happened only to find that the bottom half of her had disappeared. It was still there, she could feel it but her torso seemed to end at the wall. "Um, Doctor?" She called, wondering if she were still in the same dimension.
"Miss Croft?" Came a muffled answer. "Are you still all there?" The Doctor was on the other side of the wall staring at Lara's back half which seemed to have been cut completely off at the waist. Carefully, he bent down and grasped the young lady's ankles as tight as he could and, with all his might, attempted to pull her back through. Unfortunately, the task was slightly beyond the old man's abilities and nearly broke him in too. At least it proved to Lara that all of her appendages were, indeed, still attached even if she could not see them.
In a matter of moments, both of the confused parties managed to pull Lara back to the side where they had begun. When they had done so, she pulled herself up to a sitting position where, for several seconds, simply stared at her companion with a look of apathetic wonderment.
"Why didn't you think of camouflaged doorways?" She finally asked. "I mean, you came up with that knocking trick relatively easily."
The Doctor shook his head. "My dear girl," he said, "I can't think of everything. You have a mind too you know."
"Yes," Croft retorted, climbing back to her feet, "but according to you it's clouded with a lot of rubbish and can't be trusted." With that, the young lady turned around in a most premadonna like fashion and, flipping her ponytail around, marched right back through the hidden door.
At last, she could get a halfway decent look at the new area. The hallway looked very much like the old one. The only difference between the two were the three large gray spaces, presumably actual unconcealed doors, which lined the new area all the way down the right side. The left wall was simply identical to what she had already seen.
After recent events, Lara was not about to take any chances. Confidently, she stepped to the left and began to meander down the hall, dragging her hand along the wall. She was looking for more hidden passages.
Just then, the Doctor stepped through the invisible door. It took him a moment to realize what his companion was doing and even afterward he had serious doubts about the condition of her mind. In any case he decided that she knew what she was doing, at least in part. So, to satisfy his own curiosity, he turned around and began to examine the barrier he had just walked through. This was accomplished by a series of pokes and prods which ultimately proved nothing at all except that even Time Lords can be distracted, from time to time, by mindless frivolity.
"Having fun?" Lara asked when she returned from her trek. Her exploits had revealed nothing of interest and she was ready to see what was behind the three gray doors.
For his part, the Doctor was so wrapped up in what he was doing that he barely noticed the young lady's presence at all until she spoke. It startled him into a near frenzy. "My goodness, child!" He yelled, swinging around and placing his hand over his heart. "Are you trying to kill me?"
"Sorry." Croft apologized. "What do you think; door number one, door number two, or door number three?"
The old man crossed his arms and looked ponderously at area in front of. Finally, he turned to the young lady, shrugged his shoulders and marched directly toward the nearest door.
However, he soon discovered that there was no apparent latch with which to open it. "This entire place continues to be one big mystery after another." He said in frustration, dropping his hands on to his hips.
At the same time, Lara came up beside him and methodically examined the whole scene. Finding nothing, she resorted back to old tactics. She reached out and touched the surface of the door. Suddenly, she could feel the scepters presence from behind the wall. At the same time she began to feel an overwhelming urge to get to it, almost as if it was calling to her.
She could feel a wave of frustration beginning to settle in. It was nearly just like the Doctor had said; the place was one big mystery. What was it even doing, being attached to a medieval type civilization?
For that matter, she began to wonder what she was actually doing there at all. Without delay, her mind answered for her. She was getting the scepter for Atans or was it for her? Even the question brought out more questions. It was like she was trying to piece together a puzzle that she did not even know she was working on. She felt like she was in a weird nightmare where nothing made sense at all. Slowly, almost incoherently, she turned and began to walk away to clear her mind.
Upon doing so, she felt a small twinge in her head, causing her to stop. After a moment the feeling disappeared. She took another step. The twinge returned. Unhindered, the young girl took another step and then another. Then, all at once, a great pain thrust right through her head sending her stumbling off balance.
As quickly as he his reflexes would allow the Doctor stepped forward and grabbed Miss Croft by the arm to steady her. "Are you all right?" He asked warmly and looking her over for possible causes of the problem.
Lara's eyes had glazed over slightly and sweat was streaming down her face. She opened her mouth to try to answer only to find that she could not say anything. Then, in her mind, a voice began to speak to her. It was Atans. "Help." It pleaded low and soft.
From that moment, all of the questions flooded out of her mind leaving only one thought, the scepter. Aggressively, she threw her arms up and pushed the Doctor to one side. "Well," she said, in a far more aggressive ton than she had been using, "we're going to have to blast it open." With that she pulled out both of her pistols and aimed them directly at the door.
"What are you doing?" The other yelled, grabbing onto his Croft's arm before she could fire. "How do we know these are even doors?"
Lara swung around, knocking the man to one side and focusing her weapons on him. Even in the course of a few seconds, she looked worse than before, almost like a zombie. "They are doors." She gasped. "And one of them leads to the scepter so stay out of my way!"
The Doctor, casually and intelligently, stepped backward to give the young lady some room. She took it, and rolled back around to face the door. Without a second thought she fired. . The bullet ricocheted back, nearly taking the young lady's ear off, and ended by sticking its self into the ceiling.
"My goodness!" The old man yelled from a ducking position. "Get a hold of yourself."
Not hearing a word of it Miss Croft turned and resorted to a series of swift sidekicks to the obstacle in her path. It did not move an inch. The frustration began to wear on her. At the same time voice in her head began to grow louder until it seemed as though it were screaming at her to get through the door by any means necessary.
By now the small twinge in her head had grown into a migraine. Worse yet, Atans's voice continued its soft cry for help from inside her head. The frustration was too much. Suddenly the young lady whirled around, clamped her hands to her head, and screamed as loud as she could before falling limply to the ground.
As fast as he could, the Doctor rushed to her aid. Kneeling down beside her he placed two fingers over a vain young lady's neck. There was a pulse. It was faint but her heart was still beating. How long it would last, however, he did not know.
Thoughtfully, the Time Lord closed his eyes and began to meditate to clear his mind. At the same time he stretched his hand back and placed it on the door behind him to steady himself. He was not very well balanced at his age.
Suddenly, the door began to vibrate slightly. Then, for no apparent reason, it suddenly swung open, sending the Doctor rolling backward into the room beyond. For a time, he just laid there on his back, motionless, attempting to discern what had just happened. Either by a twisted coincidence or by some unknown force, the door that Lara had been unmercilessly attacking had opened to a mere touch.
After a bit of thought the old man conceded, considering all that had happened up to that point, that it was a relatively normal occurrence. Of course, traveling around with a half brain - washed human that had been sucked out of her own space and time and helping her look through a very high tech structure, that was attached to a medieval type castle, for a powerful artifact was nearly a slow day for him.
Still, he decided that he had best examine the door just in case there was actually a reasonable explanation for it. The only problem was making it to his feet. It had been ages since he had last crawled around on the ground.
He was by no means to be considered feeble, however, for his health was relatively excellent. It was simply that getting up off of the floor at his age, especially after being sent rolling backward, was not the easiest of tasks. Despite all of that, however, he finally concluded that he had better do something before he was finally considered to be dead.
Slowly, he rolled himself over and started to push himself up to his knees when, seemingly out of nowhere came a bright flash of light. Instantly, The Doctor could feel a great weakness overtake his body. His eyes rolled back underneath there lids until all was dark. Then, he fell quietly back to the ground.