Aisha pushed open the door to the TARDIS wardrobe and stepped out. She shivered and then started to walk down the corridor towards where she’d been told to come. As she walked slowly towards her fate she reflected on how she’d ended up in this mess…
“No! You cheated!”
Aisha and Adric had been playing a game of basketball, and in the heat of the moment they’d made a bet. Now Aisha had lost, but she was adamant that she wasn’t going down without a fight.
“How did I cheat?” Adric asked, as he floated by the hoop, ball under his arm.
“You can’t use your floating abilities,” Aisha said. “That’s cheating.”
“What, like you used your Gallifreyian breathing advantages before?” Adric said. “Isn’t that illegal too?”
Damn. She thought he’d not noticed… now she was feeling very awkward. There was no way out of this one…
“We both used our abilities to give us an advantage, and I won,” Adric said. “That means you have to pay the forfeit!”
Aisha flinched as she remembered how nervous and twitchy his words had made her feel; although she’d tried to hide it at the time from Adric, who had been radiating waves of strong excitement. Honestly it was as if she’d had her memories wiped all over again! She felt so unsure of herself, and like a little child…
“Come to Steve tonight, and wear a loose fitting shirt and some black trousers,” Adric had told her, before he’d gone through the wall. “Then I get to have my way with you!”
So that’s what Aisha was now wearing, along with her similar looking but different coloured shoes and white socks. Before she’d gotten changed she’d searched the TARDIS’ memory banks to see if there was anything that would give her a hint to what Adric was planning to do to her. What she’d found hadn’t exactly made her feel warm and comfortable inside…
She had asked the TARDIS to search the memory banks. Two memories had come back, one of Tegan’s and one of Nyssa’s. Since she no longer had her cyberear to plug in, she watched them on the monitor. She didn’t get any emotion back feed, but what she saw made her terrified. The bits of the girls and Adric in her recognised what they showed…
“The Game!” she said, as she finished watching them. “Oh hell…”
As she came to the outside of Steve she took a deep breath. She walked forward to open the door, but some instinct (a bit of Nyssa she guessed from the memory of hers she had just watched) told her to knock first. So she did.
“Adric?” she called.
“Ah, Aisha,” Came Adric’s voice back. “Come in!”
“…No,” Aisha said. “Come here, I want to see you first!”
“Aisha, Aisha, Aisha…” Adric teased. “You don’t get it do you? Tonight I don’t do what you ask me to, you do what I tell you to! That was what you agreed to when we made the bet! Now come in!”
Aisha gulped and did as she was told… nothing fell onto her as she entered. The room, usually lit by flaming torches was in darkness. As Aisha stepped inside the door slammed shut behind her. As she tried to see something suddenly something grabbed her arm, scared out of her wits she let out a cry. Suddenly torchlight turned on and Aisha saw it was Adric, he was holding the torch under his face and his young face was grinning evilly at her.
“It’s only me!” he said. “Why did you scream? Are you scared of me?”
“Usually, no,” Aisha said, trying to regain her composure. “But right now, maybe a little…”
“Well…” Adric said, awkwardly. “I’m not actually ready for you right now…”
“I’ll go then…” Aisha said, trying to pull her arm out of his grip.
But Adric hung on, and then pulled her over to a stool, hidden in the darkness.
“Oh no, you’re staying here so I can keep an eye on you,” he said. “Sit down, I’ll be with you shortly.”
Aisha however grabbed the torch off him and shone it above the stool, but nothing was there. Adric shook his head as he took the torch back.
“You’ve been watching Tegan and Nyssa’s memories about the ‘Game’ incident,” he said. “Don’t be stupid, I wouldn’t put a pipe above that stool!”
“Good,” Aisha said, as she sat down.
“No, I’d need something I could tie you to,” Adric said as he walked away.
“You what?” Aisha cried, but Adric had turned off the torch and once again Steve was plunged into darkness.
As she sat there, waiting, Aisha tried not to think about the memories she’d watched. She tuned into her late father’s third self, as he was the most sensible in her opinion. She pulled her legs up onto the seat of the stool and crossed them, she then closed her eyes and meditated… but it was no good. The small part of Adric in her head seemed to be trying to keep her calming measures at bay. She kept her eyes shut and sighed.
“The part of you in me is stopping me from calming down!” she yelled into the darkness. “I hope you’re pleased with yourself!”
She heard Adric laugh, and smiled despite herself. At least he was having some fun… she just wished it wasn’t at her expense. As she sighed again suddenly she heard Adric’s footsteps, he didn’t usually have footsteps so she assumed he was trying to spare her more scare and opened her eyes. Suddenly he switched on the torch under his face again, and because his face appeared almost in front of her Aisha jumped again. She lent back against the wall; hand on her heart.
“You’re doing this deliberately!” she said.
“Of course,” Adric said. “All part of the forfeit. I have to at least work your fear nerves a little before the main event.”
There was a pause, and Adric cleared his throat dropping the torch to waist level.
“I’m ready for you now,” He said. “Come on.”
Aisha got up and carefully followed him down the stairs. She was expecting to see one of the two chairs that were usually there in the centre of the room, but instead Adric stopped at the centre of the room. He shone his torch up and pulled down a loop of rope.
“Hands through this please,” he said.
“What?” Aisha said, taking it in her hands. “Why?”
“Don’t ask questions, just do it,” Adric said. “Don’t you love me?”
As she looked into his wide eyes she recognised the technique, she’d used it enough on him and other people… she sighed.
“Fine,” she said, slipping her hands through the loop.
Adric grinned and suddenly the torch went off, as Aisha looked around suddenly she felt the rope tighten fast around her wrists, binding them together. Then suddenly her arms were being pulled upwards, and soon she was only touching the ground with the toes of her shoes. As she pulled and struggled suddenly Adric was there, torch on, by her feet.
“Shoes and socks?” he said. “I said just wear the shirt and trousers!”
“You never mentioned not wearing anything on my feet!” Aisha said, as she wriggled desperately.
Adric grabbed her right foot, making Aisha swing alarmingly to the left side. As she tried to pull her foot away from him he pulled off her shoe, still fully laced and then pulled off the sock. He then dropped it and took advantage of Aisha’s return swing to grab her left foot and do the same. Then he dropped her other foot, leaving her swinging from side to side.
“Let me down!” she said.
“Oh no, this is just where I need you,” Adric said, as he walked away. “Hang on, one more thing…”
Aisha followed his torchlight all the way to the side of the room, where he picked up something. He then walked back and, holding the torch low so she couldn’t see what it was, shoved it into one of her bound hands. Aisha looked confused as she gripped the solid object.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“You’ll see,” he said, standing back. “Now, where to start?”
Aisha didn’t bother struggling, her arms and wrists were already beginning to go slightly numb. Moving would just make it worse she told herself. And maybe if she didn’t resist, he’d let her go without much happening to her… Suddenly she noticed that Adric had come close to her, clutching something black in his free hand. The torch was put down and he stepped behind her. Then he proceeded to blindfold her completely. Suddenly he started to push her round, and round and round. He did this till the rope would turn no more and the ropes cut deeper into Aisha’s wrists. As she grimaced at the pain she suddenly realised what he was planning to do.
“Hang on!” she said. “Don’t…!”
As she tried to protest suddenly Adric let go, the little bit of her feet on the ground was not enough to stop Aisha going round. She pulled her feet up to stop them scraping the stone floor, and closed her eyes as she gained speed. When she stopped spinning round both ways she opened her eyes, dizzy and disorientated, and put her feet back on the ground to stop herself swaying. She still gripped the object in her hand, and as she regained her senses she heard annoyance in Adric’s voice.
“Damn, I was hoping that would work. How’re you still holding it?” he said, asking a rhetorical question.
“What?” Aisha murmured, her dizziness making her confused and a little sick.
Adric thought, and then had an idea. As he walked behind her Aisha shook her head, trying desperately to regain her senses to face the rest of whatever Adric had in store for her. He’d taken the torch with him but she couldn’t see anything through the black material of the blindfold. She couldn’t exactly tell how far away Adric was behind her. Fortunately he was lowering her slightly so her arms wouldn’t be damaged… Suddenly his hands attacked her feet, drawing his fingers up and down her soles, and god it tickled! She wriggled as he kept on going.
“Stop it!” she laughed, as she pulled her feet up out of his reach.
She heard him putting something down, and suddenly his hand grabbed an ankle and tied a rope to it. He then tied the other ankle and Aisha was afraid to put her feet down now, but she knew she was about to be forced to do so… even if she hadn’t her arms were aching even worse now and she would have to drop her feet eventually. Suddenly the ropes around her ankles pulled her feet down and straight onto the surface of something thick, cold and slimy that her feet began to sink into slowly. She yelled, and shivered.
“That’s disgusting!” she cried. “ADRIC!”
“Oh come on, stop moaning,” Adric said, close to her ear. “Worse is yet to come! Now, let’s start with what you’re holding in your hand…”
Aisha thought about the object in her hand, and feeling it something hit her with a jolt. It had occurred to her what it was now. So she wasn’t surprised when she heard Adric’s next request.
“Open your hand now.”
“W-what?” she said.
“Do it Aisha. Your agreed forfeit was for you to do what I asked of you tonight,” Adric reminded her.
“But… no!” Aisha said. “For god’s sake stop this! You’re scaring me…”
“That’s sort of the point,” he said.
There was a pause, in which Aisha sensed rather knew Adric had walked around to the front of her. Her feet were now almost totally submerged in whatever he had put underneath her (she dared not try and guess, she really didn’t want to know). She shivered more as it covered her skin.
“Do it now. Open your hand.”
Aisha thought about a way to prevent it, and had a silly idea. But it was the only one her stressed brain could think of right now. She opened her empty hand, which had bunched into a fist. Suddenly something cold hit her face and body, he’d thrown something at her. She cried out involuntarily, and flailed as the tray tied to her feet clattered just off the ground and back again.
“ARGH!” she cried. “Okay, I’m sorry for being smart! I’ll do it!”
“That’s better,” Adric said.
Aisha took a deep breath and let go of the egg, it fell down and smashed on her head. She could feel the torch beam cast on her head and heard Adric laugh a bit.
“Very good,” he said.
Aisha didn’t say anything, she was desperately trying to use her psychic techniques to try and visualise herself out of there… to stop the cold feeling that was penetrating through her hair to her scalp from getting to her…
“Aisha?” Adric said, seeing that her head had dropped down onto her chest. “Hello?”
…But she still had trouble with anything psychic… God her arms were so numb! She shivered…
“Aisha?” Adric was sounding worried now.
“I’m fine,” Aisha muttered. “I’m alright…”
There was silence, and then Aisha felt the rope coming down even more and her arms fell to her stomach. Feeling started to return to them.
“Thank you,” she said.
“A minute,” Adric said. “Then we carry on.”
“So, I don’t get let off the rest then?” Aisha asked, wearily.
“Nope,” Adric said.
“Damn,” Aisha said.
After Aisha had regained all feeling in her arms Adric pulled up her arms to her face level. She wanted to make a run for it, to fight, but she was a Time Lady of her word… that and her hands were still tightly bound together in front of her. Adric had loosened it slightly though, so her circulation was coming back into her hands.
“What now?” she asked.
“Well, now you wait for the next thing,” he said, and Aisha knew he was grinning as he said it.
By now Aisha knew that Adric wasn’t going to play the ‘Game’ with her (at least not the way he had with Tegan and Nyssa), but she also knew that she had no choice other than to do as she was told. Even if she could get away, Adric wouldn’t forget what he was owed and she could make it worse by resisting… She sighed and tried not to dwell on the cold, sticky feeling in her feet she now had…
“I think I’ve overdone the dark dungeon look thing now, don’t you?” he asked.
Aisha’s head looked up towards his voice. Did this mean he was about to light the torches and show her what else he had in store for her by removing the blindfold?
“Well, maybe,” she said. “How you can find your way without that torch of yours I don’t know.”
“Ghost abilities,” he said. “Very well… hang on…”
He walked away from her and Aisha didn’t even bother to try and see anything by trying to hitch up the blindfold. She was a little afraid of seeing what else Adric had prepared for her, but then again it would be nice to see again… She saw the slight light pricks as he lit the torches, and by the way the light pricks were hidden she knew he’d come back toward her. But he made no attempt to remove the blindfold.
“What about the blindfold?” she cried, trying to pull her bound hands down to remove the bit of black material.
“I thought you understood,” Adric said. “Turning the lights on is for my benefit, I’m still not going to let you see the rest of my plans for you that easily. That and the blindfold means you really have no clue what I’m about to do.”
Aisha cursed her stupidity at thinking he’d be lenient, and hung her head again. Her feet were touching the stone floor, but she couldn’t use her arms to resist whatever was about to happen next. That was the worst of it…
“Why do I need to have my hands held up here anyway?” Aisha said, as she pulled at the bonds uselessly. “This is bordering on torture you know!”
“Just a little longer,” he said. “I need your arms out of the way for this next bit… and the next.”
She knew she wasn’t going to like this ‘next bit’, she just knew it. But she also knew that her hands were useless at this moment, and she was even more nervous because he’d blindfolded her just to make sure she had no clue what was coming next… So when she felt him pulling the back of her shirt collar she panicked, twisting and struggling.
“Stop it or I’ll drench you again,” he scolded her. “Or would you like another egg on the head?”
Aisha could still feel the bits of shell in her hair and the cold yolk and white was dribbling down her face along with whatever he’d flung at her before, so she stopped. She couldn’t experience that again…
“Thank you,” Adric said.
She forced herself to relax as he pulled back her shirt collar again, and then jammed something against her back. She felt the cold slime running down her back, thick, lumpy and foul but she refused to cry out again, instead gritting her teeth…
Suddenly the TARDIS shook, and Adric fell to the ground, the container of slime he’d been pouring down Aisha’s collar had been flung to one side and its contents were lying useless over the floor to the side of him. Aisha looked around, despite the fact she couldn’t see anything.
“What was that?” she asked.
“I… don’t know,” Adric admitted.
Suddenly the TARDIS shook again, and a rumbling noise came from deep within the TARDIS.
“I think we’re under attack!” Adric said.
“Untie me!” Aisha cried. “I have to steer us away!”
“No way, you’ll try and get away!” Adric protested. “I’m not finished with you yet!”
The TARDIS seemed to shake under the force of explosion again, and Aisha tugged at the ropes around her wrists.
“If you don’t there may not BE anyone to finish with!” she said. “Addie, please!”
Adric paused, and then grudgingly undid Aisha’s hands from where they were being held. She rubbed her sore wrists, and then pulled down the blindfold to around her neck.
“Right, let’s go to the console room,” she said.
“How do I know you won’t try to get away?” he asked her.
“I’m a Time Lady of my word,” Aisha said, shaking her head good-naturedly. “You can always come with me if you don’t believe I’ll come back!”
Together they raced down the corridor, towards the console room like they had done many times before… But as they got nearer and Adric took his usual shortcut through the thin wall…
The dimensional forces within the wall pulled him away from the console room; Aisha smiled guiltily. The only psychic technique she was any good at was sending mental messages from herself to another being… even a TARDIS.
“Sorry I lied to you Adric, but I couldn’t take any more…” she said. “Thanks TARDIS, just as I asked you to… Now I’m going to hide…”
Adric was flung out of the wall into Steve again; he stopped in shock at what had just happened and then laughed.
“Damn, she tricked me!” he said, then he smiled evilly. “Guess I’ll have to find her before the night is over. I still need to give her the piece de resistance of my fun…”
Aisha was all too aware that now she was the mouse in a game of cat and mouse, and she didn’t know if she could rely on the TARDIS to help her for long… She’d come down to the oldest, dustiest part of the TARDIS, hoping to hide among the clutter. As she slipped into the room and sat behind a pile of boxes she clutched her knees to her chest. She could still feel the slime covering her naked feet and down her back… she was even more terrified now… of what else he’d been planning for her if this wasn’t the height of it… the egg was clinging a lot of her hair together where it had hit and she had now discovered it was custard covering her front… Despite her fear though, there was a bead of excitement at the fact that she was now being chased. Her only hope was that it struck midnight before she was found again…
“Hurry up…” she muttered at the clock in the wall that was coated in a layer of grime and dust.
Adric had been baffled at first, but then he saw the drips of custard and porridge going down the corridor. And he knew that he’d be able to find her. By now he was grinning.
“A new ‘Game’,” he said. “Interesting, this should make it a little more fun.”
When he found the dust disturbed around the door handle of a room he knew she was in there… he opened the door.
“Come on!” he called. “I know that you’re in here! You know I won’t forget; if you dodge it now you’ll suffer in some other way! Don’t you like me playing with you anymore?”
Aisha had stiffened when the door had flown open and Adric had walked in. Now she knew she’d blown it. He was talking about ‘playing with her’; she knew what that meant… He was seeing her as slime fodder, a tester like Tegan and Nyssa. Shit.
“Aisha, I’ll find you if I have to,” he said. “Even if you won’t honour your word you won’t resist capture, because you feel guilty about that trick don’t you?”
Aisha had to admit, right in the centre of her terror and excitement was a little knot of guilt that was tightening. It was almost choking her… maybe she should give up. After all, could it really be that bad?
Suddenly there was another massive explosion, and the TARDIS quaked, throwing boxes over both of the people in the room. As Aisha coughed out the dust in her lungs and shoved off the boxes she could hear the TARDIS’ constant shrill whistle. She was screaming.
“Oh no…” she muttered standing up.
“There! I knew you were here!” Adric said, standing up and pointing at her. “Come on, I still have more things for you!”
“Not now!” Aisha hissed. “We’re in trouble! The TARDIS is being attacked!”
“That was a trick you pulled to get out of Steve,” Adric frowned at her.
“It was before, but now I’m free the TARDIS should stop!” Aisha said. “No, this time she’s screaming…”
“You’re not leaving, unless you come back to Steve,” Adric said, as if that was the end of the matter.
Aisha darted at her boyfriend and shoved past him, running down the corridor. He gave a snort of annoyance and flew after her, to catch her. When he came into the console room it was to find Aisha desperately trying to stabilise the TARDIS’ flight. When the TARDIS was hit again this time Adric believed it, they were being attacked!
“I materialise into normal space for a day!” Aisha moaned. “Damn these Sontarans!”
“Okay… maybe you weren’t lying,” Adric said, awkwardly.
“Gee, you think?” Aisha snapped. “Now give me a hand!”
Adric rushed around the other side of the console, and under Aisha’s direction he pressed various buttons or pulled a lever or two. He dwelled for a second on how cool this would be; steering the TARDIS, if it was actually happening 300 years ago when the Doctor was in his Forth incarnation and he was still alive… then another explosion brought him back to the present.
“Hold on!” Aisha cried. “Trying something a little mad!”
“Will it get us out of this?” Adric cried over the TARDIS’ screams.
“If I time it right,” Aisha yelled back, a manic smile on her face. “Hold on! Here we go!”
She grabbed a pair of levers and pulled them towards her, sending the TARDIS flipping over. Suddenly it broke through the time barrier and the TARDIS flew into the time vortex, flipping the right way up. As they picked themselves up from the ground Aisha punched the air.
“Yes, I don’t believe that worked!” she cried. “Somersaulting to get the necessary speed works!”
“You. Are. Brilliant!” Adric said, happy but surprised at the same time.
“I know,” Aisha said, with a dash of fake smugness.
Adric ran forwards and they hugged tightly, but suddenly he pushed back.
“Eww, now I’ve got custard all over me!” he said, looking down at the slime that he’d just transferred onto his front.
Aisha took a look at him, yellow stain on his front, hands covered in porridge and coated in dust all over and she started to laugh, collapsing into the beat up old chair by the console. It was just so comical, and she knew that she probably looked worse with the egg in her hair and the porridge down her back… Adric looked at her in shock, not quite understanding why she was laughing, then he started to laugh too.
“It always takes something like a near death experience to make you really appreciate what you have…” he said, as he wiped away some of the tears his laughter had forced from his eyes, leaving a streak of grime and custard on his face.
“Well, are you going to take me back to Steve then?” Aisha asked.
“What?” Adric asked.
“You said that you weren’t finished ‘playing with me’,” Aisha reminded him..
She stood and put her hands up in front of her. Adric looked baffled and then his face softened to a grin.
“Well, I’ll let you off a bit,” he said, with a devious grin. “Let’s just skip to the end.”
Aisha took in a nervous breath. The end of his plans for her? What on earth could that be, if what he’d already done to her was any indication.
“What is it?” she asked, as he walked up to her.
He leant close to her ear and whispered into it. Her eyes went wide in recognition and understanding. So THAT’S what tonight’s events had been about!
“Oh, right!” she said.
After they were done they both exited Steve, trying to smooth out their clothes. Somehow the remaining custard Adric had prepared had ended up splattered over them and the walls of the room along with the other five eggs from the egg carton, and at the moment both were on a serious happiness high.
“That was worth the torture you put me through tonight!” Aisha laughed.
“Yeah, but what would the Doctor have said?” Adric said, looking back at the mess they were leaving behind them as they walked down the corridor.
“Well, inside he’d be feeling happiness for us, he’d also be annoyed at me in a fatherly way, and probably also annoyed at you in an almost-fatherly way…” Aisha said, as her eyes misted over. “He’d also be shocked at the amount of mess we’ve made and he’d be confused at your method of getting me to agree to finally doing it with you. I know I am a little…”
“It helped to turn me on,” Adric explained. “So what would he say?”
“He wouldn’t, he’d just stand there in shocked silence and then leave us to it…” Aisha said. “Then he’d have second thoughts, come back in shielding his eyes and bellow at us to get some clothes on.”
They both laughed at the mental image of this, and as they came to the bathrooms Aisha put her hand on Adric’s shoulder.
“Next time, tell me if you want to do it,” she said. “Don’t terrify me half to death first.”
“Understood,” Adric said. “And tomorrow I’ll go back to guarding you, and doing as you ask me to.”
“Yeah, about that last bit,” Aisha said. “You know you don’t have to do what I ask don’t you?”
“I want to,” Adric said.
“Even if it involves wearing a bed sheet and a wire halo?” Aisha teased him.
“Even that,” Adric said, before walking off into the shower.