Survival

by vegetables [Reviews - 0]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, General, Horror, Series

The corridors deep under the High Dalek were still lit with clean, white light, but it all seemed to dim the further you went underground. Chris, Lorna and the Doctor were running through something as craggy as rock, and the glow that came from its surface was getting extremely faint.

“This is bad,” said the Doctor. “There’s no security.”

“Isn’t that good?” said Chris.

“Not at all,” said the Doctor. “It means they’ll have something much worse”–

There was an awful sound like the scream of a piano as it broke. The last TARDIS ever was coming in to land.

“The President,” said the Doctor. “Must’ve done a U-turn on the bit where he lets us live.”

Chris went pale. “Is there anything we can do?” she said.

“Run faster,” said the Doctor. “There might be a few seconds left.”

Just in time they ran into a round, white room, a cavern that looked like it could also be part of a spaceship. The past and the future, smashing together at last. Something that travelled in both was fading in.

The awful screaming was everywhere and the President’s TARDIS was too. It was materialising into every bit of the cavern, a hundred police boxes overlapping as they spun through the wrong dimensions. In the open door of each of them, a weapon was preparing to fire.

A part of Chris gave up as death filled up into everywhere. She’d been trying to hide how scared she was for so long– she wanted to burst into tears, not to fight. She kept thinking of the people she knew who the Daleks would have killed. People in her class; teachers; the strange old lollipop lady who’d had lots of funny ideas. She’d seen so much death and nobody had even noticed. Adventures weren’t fun or exciting. Adventures were awful.

But if Chris was sure of anything now, it was this: that dying sounded worse than an adventure. However bad things got, she didn’t want to die. And she knew all over the universe there were others who wouldn’t want to die either, and all of them would if she were to give up right there. And so that meant that she had to fight, and for now it meant she couldn’t cry.

She put herself a million miles from it all. Her hand didn’t shake as her screwdriver started to whine. Its noises were distant. It was better that everything was.

Light was firing from TARDIS doors right at her. It all bounced away, like she already knew that it would. She was lancing sound up and down into a wave: to peaks and troughs that swept out from her screwdriver like ripples. All the danger was above the wave, and everything below it was safe.

The wave was still only at her height, though, and she was shorter than her mother and the Doctor. They were rolling and moving into its peaks and away from the blasts of the weapon. Huge metal blades spat out of doors and glanced off the wave, embedding themselves into the walls.

“This isn’t the sort of thing you can fight with a bloody paintball gun,” groaned her mother from flat on the floor. But she could stand up again soon enough, Chris could see. It was taking all Chris’s mental energy to do it, but she was gently rising the screwdriver above her head, the wave rising with it as she did. Less and less of the space in the room was made up of half-emerged TARDIS, and if she got her arm high enough there’d be none of it left there at all–

Her mother and the Doctor got to their feet, protected under the amplitude of the wave.

“You do know you’re brilliant, right, Chris?” the Doctor said. “‘Cause I’m not sure that we ever say it, when really we should do a lot.”

The President’s voice boomed out of nowhere, cutting off Chris’s reply.

“Good job!” it laughed. “You’ve got it all sorted, haven’t you? But it’s time to put a spanner in the works, I’m afraid. I’m going to pull the rug out from under your feet.”

“That’s a double meaning,” said the Doctor. “And if that’s a double meaning it means”–

She looked down past her shoes to the thing that was forming beneath them, the open door of a TARDIS come into the world. It was like she was standing suspended over its console room, and now she saw clearly what its console was. A great circle of metal with a steel column rammed down the centre, the edges sharp and serrated, forming teeth. A circular saw. He was planning to mince her to bits.

“Oh Hell,” she said. “That doesn’t look fun to end up in.”

The teeth disappeared as the whole sawblade whined into life.

The Doctor turned to Lorna and Chris, desperate.

“Keep fighting,” she said. “No matter what happens to me do not stop fighting”–

And then she was gone, falling down to the grinder below.