Ten Seconds

by Masterpwn [Reviews - 1]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • Teen
  • Swearing
  • Action/Adventure, Introspection, Mystery

Author's Notes:
Eherm. Measurements are in imperial form. Sorry for those who use the SI system, but I was never taught anything else, or if I was, it didn't stick because we don't use it where I live.

Chapter Summary:

Things go to Heck in a hand basket really fast.


"We'd need to unseal the hospital for this," claims the only medical officer on staff, "We need access to more advanced equipment, she appears to be dying."

The manager nods. "Come quickly then." He leaves the room and the Doctor and medic follow, propping her up between them. He issues orders to some staff to keep everyone contained to this room and sets a quick pace towards the medical wing. Just before they make it to the hall, the Doctor feels a dark presence settle on the back of his neck, like he's being watched by... something truly evil. He turns his head, but all he can see is a confused and worried crowd and Donna, equally worried. He shakes it off and keeps going. Something horrible is hiding here.


Noises. All around her are noises but she can neither see nor name their sources. Everything is dark now. There was one very clear sound. There was a voice, a cold and ancient voice. It said one word.


So she did. She stopped everything and died. She can't even remember what she was doing before she did. Seems a reasonable side effect of death though.


It's a bit bland actually. No light at the end of the tunnel, no angels taking her up to pearly gates or tossing her into a fiery pit, there's just dark. If she tries hard enough, it seems as though remnants of light are swirling through it. Purple flowing patches, like if it long since forgot how to shine. She has the oddest feeling of someone dragging her through the void, but she started from nowhere and there's no place to go.


A strange sort of humming begins all around her and she slips into utter oblivion, not a thought left to think.


The hospital doors unseal with a very loud hiss while the medic scans her again. The little machine hums as they wait for the pressure seal to decompress. He announces his findings whilst the manager leads them through the now open doors that have slid silently into the wall.

"Her lungs are still functioning normally, which is odd because everything else is failing. Only thing keeping her alive I think, but brain activity is still fading."

The Doctor frowns. "Picking up any form of radiation?" he asks, remembering after the vampire's attack how it was mostly depleted.

He shakes his head. "Nope, not a single rad."

"What happened?" asks the medic as he and the Doctor arrive at their destination and hoist her onto a bed next to machinery.

"I don't know. She was fine, talking, normal. Next moment, she cried out and fell."

The medic starts up something and takes a small device shaped a bit like a shower head and swipes it back and forth over her head. Then it hangs by his side. The machine is too blank. "Too late. There's no brain activity, nothing's functioning."

The Doctor slams his fist on the table. "Dammit!" he yells.

"I'm sorry," he apologises. "Only so much I can do, we have yet to invent miracles." He backs up to give the Doctor space and he swears again and hangs his head.

Then the Doctor snaps his head up again. Maybe... He moves forward and places both hands on either side of her head and cautiously pokes at the edge of her mind. Two presences shove him back. Two? He tries again, with a little more urgency. This time only one attacks him, the other shrinks back. Ignoring the vicious stinging, which is getting slightly worse every moment, he chases down the weaker consciousness. It keeps fleeing, but the vast expanse full of memories that is normally the extent of a signal mind has been compressed into an arena of sorts, and not a very big one, which is entirely empty.

Then he gets close to it and is dragged into a nightmare.

Phwew! Some unidentified object whizzes by his head and there's howling and screeching. He takes a form without trying to. Wind is blowing heavily and he leans into it to compensate. She's manipulating this world in her head. The second he had hit the edge of this hurricane of dark, the stinging has lessened dramatically. She's using this place to combat it, ha! She hasn't given up yet, but her body is still inactive. He starts walking, he needs to convince her to get it working again or she won't survive this. It seems first he'll have to find her.

Almost immediately he's confronted with something he can't see. A deep growling begins just in front of him, startling him to a stop. He stands stock still as it continues growling. The irritating sting increases again followed by a loud hiss of discomfort from something not far behind him. The second presence has entered the storm and is far too close. It will most likely be forced into form the way he was, and he doesn't want to stick around to see it.

The growling stops. He starts taking a step. Growl begins again. He puts his foot down, it stops. Lift, growl, down, stop. Forgetting the urgency for a moment, he plays with it by quickly picking up his foot and putting it down again. Then he hears a hiss closer and turns without moving his feet to look. Whatever it is is fighting taking a solid shape and appears as a cloud of grey mist, swirling and sliding along the ground. The growling begins followed quickly by paws slapping the ground as it moves. The Doctor stands between the mist and creature and, noticing dirt moved by it's running, jumps out of the way just as it reaches him. It tackles the mist that had moved up directly behind him.

Sounds of fighting ensue, but he doesn't look back as he gets up and takes off. His eyes have adjusted to this dark, but a solid wall of black about thirty yards across blocks his vision in the distance, but he can see around either side of it. It reaches up into the sky indefinitely. He keeps running before slamming into an invisible barrier. His extended hand hits it first, giving him a split second to turn his head before the rest of him hits it, therefore sparing his face. He bounces back and slams to the ground.

Getting up again, he more cautiously moves against it to the right. Sliding his hands gently along the perfectly smooth surface. His right hands meets empty air and he moves forward some and holds his arms out to either side, meeting the same smooth nothingness on both sides before he can fully extend his arms. Keeping his arms out, he slowly moves forward, exaggerating his steps by throwing his feet out far enough to make sure he doesn't run into something again.

His left hand meets empty air and he turns. Not even going ten yards, the Doctor can tell with thorough examination with his sense of touch that he has reached a dead end. He turns around and sees the shadowy form coming towards him very quickly. It writhes like a snake to move and it's more compacted together than the last time he saw it. It moves full speed straight toward him and slams into the same obstacle he met. It pauses in confusion and feels along the wall. Yeah, it's definitely a snake, it's nuzzling the wall with its head. Finding no way over, it moves along the wall opposite the way the Doctor moved when he figured it out. Hopefully there's only that one entrance.

He continues back to the hall he was previously in and turns left to continue his forward journey. Eventually it splits into a T intersection. Bloody Fantastic. He hears a dull thud and turns to his left to see the serpent has entered the maze some distance away and keeps banging into walls at a dead end, facing him. It raises up high and finds a hole in the wall. It slithers up onto a second layer of the maze. Oh boy. He goes right.

This hall goes on straight for several yards with no turns or breaks in the smooth surfaces beside him. They do seem to be getting colder. A slow misty shape passes above him then stops. He stops too. It wriggles back some a noses though a hole in the ceiling, its case floor. Please don't be big enough to pass through, he prays in his head. It tries forcing itself though and fails. Then the mist loses shape and it pours into the hole with a struggle. Finally it gathers at his level and with a lurch retakes its forced shape, taking on a red-ish tint as well.

It turns to him and lashes out, but all it does is push him bluntly, and he falls to the ground, back to the left wall. He feels a space missing from the wall and flips over, crawling on his stomach under the obstacle and away from the creature. It attempts to dissipate and follow him, but fails. With a screech, it turns from him and continues down the hall.

The Doctor keeps crawling and the tunnel goes black and solid around him. Finally he comes out into light, bland light, all grey, and gets up. There stands Amanda with her back to him holding a rapier in each hand. The blades glow red hot and small tongues of flame lick up and down them. Without warning she lashes out at something in front of her and blackness gushes from something unseen as it catches fire. He can see it's shape now, a massive dog.


She turns towards him as the blazing creature staggers back. "Heya, Doc. You burnin' for it too, huh?"

He shakes his head. "Amanda, your dying."

Her eyes are blank. "I already died. Something told me to. Figured this must be an afterlife. Possibly hell. Not what I expected it to be like, figured there'd be more fire and brimstone."

"No, listen, you're in a dream state but your body isn't functioning anymore, you've got to wake up!" he exclaims while steadily approaching.



She cuts him off. "Problem," she says again.


She gestures with her chin, sticking it up quickly and lowering it again. "Behind you."

He turns. The serpent is slithering out of the dark into the calm.

"It seems Apophis has joined us," she says calmly. Then louder: "Begone serpent, there is nothing for you here, I keep order in this place." It halts its progress. A calm wind steadily blows the ashes of the creature that burned flat over a smooth ground. "I said begone serpent, your work is failed here."

It hisses in laughter. "Certainly not, I have accomplished all I have needed and lured the Doctor into my trap. Now you will both die."

Suddenly, with a great roar, the wind picks up. Everything outside the eye is torn up and crushed to dust. The whole storm shifts directly away from them. She is running, that's why it's moving. She is the centre. This is going to be fun. The Doctor runs after her, but the serpent is too slow and gets caught at the edge of the storm, and winds up being torn away from them.

She runs for about ten minutes then stops. The dust picked up in the wind settles into burnt out buildings, monsters, and other obstacles. The wind digs out trenches across the newly made landscape and the stones and dirt stay swirling through the air. That must've been what flew by his head when he first entered. The snake is lost in the gloom.

He stops running about two feet from her. She has her back to him.

He's starting to feel dazed. "Amanda."

She turns to face him, a bit of surprise on her face. "Heya Doc, you dead too?"

"You're not dead, but you are dying, you have to wake up."

She shakes her head slowly. "Doesn't feel like I'm sleeping."

"You said someone told you to die, who was it?"

"Something ancient. Don't know what it was really."

"So why did you listen to it?"

She cocks her head. "It told me to."

"You shouldn't listen to it."

Her head straightens. "Yeah... Yeah, okay. Now that I think about it, it seems silly."

He nods eagerly. "It is, really silly. Not worth listening to."

"Yeah, really silly I guess."

She seems to be in a trance, making her easy to manipulate. He hates it, but he gives her a direct order anyways. "Stop."

The storm, buildings, trenches, monsters, everything, disappears in an instant.

He opens his mouth to order her to wake up when he's interrupted by a cold, sharp voice, nails on a blackboard sharp.

"Do not listen to this one, he will lead you into flame."

She furrows her brows.

The Doctor speaks quickly. "It's that silly voice, now listen to me. Wake up."

Detail begins shimmering out like a mirage.

The voice threatens and curses him. "It is too late Doctor, I have accomplished my goal, the damage is done. The trap you have fallen into is much deeper than this Doctor. You may have escaped this part, but you will never escape entirely."


The Doctor stumbles back from where she is and leans against a wall until the real world returns to him.

"She's breathing!" exclaims the medic, clearly suprised.

He looks up at the monitor, where vital signs are recovering. She still seems to be sleeping, and he hopes she's no longer trapped in that nightmare.

Then the machine starts beeping loudly.

The Doctor looks at it again. "What?"

"She's emitting radiation."

He looks at the medic. "What?"

"You had us scan for radiation before, is this why?"

He shakes his head. "She normally has radiation present, but she normally doesn't emit any." He mentally asks the TARDIS for an update. She's emitting radiation alright. About 5 rads per minute for them. That may not seem like much, but Cericians can't withstand much radiation. At this rate the medic could be dead in less than an hour if he stays.

"The amount is very dangerous, she must be moved to quarantine immediately."

"Yeah, go."

The medic nods and presses buttons on the side on the bed. It detaches from its platform and begins hovering after him as an energy field flickers into place over her, containing it temporarily. The Doctor follows. The manager moves to meet them.

"You may want to stay back, sir, we are moving her to isolation. If you could please safe seal that room too, sir." says the medic to the manager.

He nods in response and moves to a panel by the door, entering commands when he reaches it.

She scowls in her sleep upon hearing the hiss made by pressuriser on the door.


The Doctor can't help but worry for the planet at this time, as they move quickly through the halls. He didn't think it would be a problem since the radiation was never released from her system, but effects of this type of radiation could be devastating. Setting off a single modern day atomic bomb could ravage a whole continent, possibly the planet. Balance here is delicate, mostly because of the flora, it'll burn when exposed. If a single animal was irradiated with only a few rads, then traveled, it could do major damage to plant life anywhere it went. A few minutes' exposure would do the trick, make a living death machine, and the animal wouldn't die from it, it would just keep going. If plant life died, animals relying on it would die, and the exposed creature would keep moving because there would be no life left.

He just hoped there won't be any other living thing in the hospital that has the potential to escape.

The TARDIS sends him a warning, emission rate increase by two rads per minute for them. The field is still holding well, but the Doctor strengthens it with his sonic as an extra precaution. The Cericians have developed methods of cleansing residual radiation from objects in the event such a thing would happen. Cleanup will be easy as long as this stops soon, but there's no sign that it will. He slips the sonic back into his pocket.


They stop and the medic inputs a code into a device on the wall. A door slides open and he enters. Inside is what looks like a control and observation room. Through the observation window he sees a small box room inside a larger box. Cericians are really edgy and over-protective when it comes to matters with these things because they understand how delicate everything is on their planet. Their tendency to put in extra and seemingly unnecessary measures will come in handy today.

"I will place the bed into the isolation box and seal it. We must then cleanse ourselves of radiation, decontamination chambers are there," he says, pointing, "The chief manger will call this in with the local government and they shall send a crew to clean everything."

He nods. "Good."

He does as he says, carefully sealing everything up, then leads the Doctor to the decontamination chambers. When that's done, they sit for a moment.

The medic hesitantly begins asking questions. "How can she normally be irriadiated?"

He shakes his head. "I've been trying to figure out that myself. Technically, she generates it. Never any ill-effects, never any emission. Whatever was here, something I don't think belongs on this planet anyways, caused this. Like it tore down a barrier that was in place. Another I don't know as to how it did that too."

"A living being that generates radiation without any ill-effects," the medic ponders in wonder. Eventually, he speaks again. "She died in that room back there. Died. Then you held her head for a few seconds and suddenly she starts breathing again. How did you do that?"

A few seconds that felt like an hour. "Just... I told her to wake up is all."


The manager was heading towards the main office to contact the city when a young boy stepped out in front of him from the shadows.

"Oh, my my now, where did you come from?" the manager asks.

"Someone sent me here," he replies in a squeaky voice.

"Who? And for what purpose?"

"My Lord sent me here, he sent me here for you."

The manager is slightly confused now. "What would he require me for?"

Rather than answering, the boys reaches out and takes his arm, holding it in a vice grip. "To destroy the world of course."

The manager struggles at first, but can only freeze and watch in horror as a strange tattoo wriggles off the boy's arm and onto his.


The Doctor asks the TARDIS for another update. She's emitting some serious curies right now. Effectively 12 rads per second for human tissue. A healthy man could walk in there and die in under a minute. In fact, the walls of the quarantine chamber were designed for someone contaminated, not someone giving it off. Radiation could possibly begin leaking through the walls, despite the designed resistance. There should be layers and layers of concrete between the room and the soil beneath the building. It really shouldn't, but if the aquifers get contaminated... No, he'll have figured something else out by then. And with the multiple layers of radiation resisting material top, bottom, and sides? He'll figure something out.

Suddenly, the manager opens the door and steps in. "You two are required in the lobby. Guests are getting unruly and someone has been injured in a scuffle. I'll keep watch here for now."

The medic gets up immediately. "Coming Doctor?"

With one more pause, he stands. "Yeah."

They both leave and the manager stands in front of the controls peering out of the glass. Pure destruction lies just down there, sleeping comfortably but not peacefully. "The Doctor believes he has won a great victory," he says to open air as he deactivates every lock and safety measure, "But he was wrong," Amanda's eyes snap open and she rises, moving quickly to the observation room. The manager turns to her. "Go outside and run far, far away. Don't stop." With a nod she leaves.

The manager smiles, a cold and cruel grimace. "He was very wrong, wasn't he, Lord Mara?"