Part 5: Out of the Dark

by Soldeed [Reviews - 30]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Action/Adventure

Marched along at gunpoint, Alison sullenly approached the Tardis doors and delved into her pocket for the key.

"This is stupid," she protested, turning to face Carstairs. "The Doctor reckons there's twenty or thirty of those things. They'll kill us both."

"Quiet!" ordered Carstairs, wide-eyed, standing well back to keep her safely in his sights. "Open it."

She turned away bitterly, then with a surge of frustration turned back for one last try.

"For pity's sake! Think! You're supposed to be Lord of the Manor, Justice of the Peace and all that rubbish. And you're standing there swaying on your feet, dripping with sweat, aiming a gun at a woman. Look at yourself!"

"I..." Just for an instant he seemed to be listening to her. His staring eyes flickered and came alive. Then he was screaming again. "Shut up! Shut up! Do as I say!"

Despairingly, she brought out the key and inserted it into the lock. Made the subtle twist the Doctor had taught her and with deep foreboding pushed open the door.

The console room was dark and still. Nobody here. She had a second's relief before she was pushed roughly forward.

"Where are they?" demanded Carstairs, following her in. "Where..."

He stared open-mouthed for a moment at the impossible dimensions of the Tardis' interior. For a second it seemed that his mind had closed down completely. Then with a kind of mental click he was back, as if nothing here was out of the ordinary.

"Where are they?" he asked again.

"How should I know?" she replied ill-temperedly. "Off exploring the corridors somewhere I suppose."

"Good. Fine." He nodded quickly. "Then they're trapped in here with me. Close the doors."

She did as she was told, and turned from the console to find him advancing upon her.

"So..." he gritted out. "Now I don't need you any more, either."

Her eyes widened and she flung up her hands to protect herself from the butt of the gun swinging at her head.

The clublike weapon smacked into the palm of a pale, well manicured hand.

"Really, now," came the Master's sepulchral voice. "Is that the act of a gentleman?"

He emerged out of the darkness as if he had been a part of it, retrieved the shotgun from Carstairs as if taking a toy from a child, and while he cracked it open and emptied out the shells onto the floor, turned his attention to Alison.

"I wouldn't recommend staying here, Miss Cheney. Our visitors will find your warm blood a tempting proposition."

"I know that," she said impatiently. "I'm only... look out!"

She had seen Carstairs grabbing for the revolver concealed beneath his coat. The Master followed her gaze and in the same smooth motion swung the shotgun in a wide arc and... stopped. Just inches from impact with Carstairs' head. The restrictions of his programming held him as securely as bands of steel.

"Oh, come on." He glanced over at Alison, looking mildly vexed. "Just because I would have enjoyed it a little."

Three bullets from the revolver smashed into him, blowing scorched holes in his chest and sending him staggering back to crumple into a corner. Carstairs turned with a triumphant clenching of his teeth, in time to see Alison haring off down the passage and vanishing around a corner.

"Damn it!" he hissed out. He took a step in pursuit, but then restrained himself. "Ah, it's all right, she doesn't matter now. Finally I have those little monsters where I want... them?"

He hesitated. A sibilant hissing, as of a whole nest of snakes, and a drumming of many feet, was approaching at daunting speed. He looked down at the revolver, down to three shots, and the shotgun discarded and empty on the floor, and a terrible sense of reality threaded its way into his tormented mind.

Sharply he dug down into his pockets for spare cartridges, came up with a handful, and clicked out the drum of the revolver. Fingers fumbling in his haste, he pushed one bullet into place and with a cry of dismay watched the other three slide out of their chambers and rattle onto the floor. He dropped desperately onto his knees, scrabbled for them in the dark, and with a lurch of his heart found himself staring at a highly polished black shoe. From his kneeling position, he stared up in fearful awe at the Master's bearded, satanic features.

"You have made holes in my only tunic," the Master said softly. "And I think you may have dented my chest."

The vampire horde came pouring into the console room, and Carstairs could only scream and flail uselessly as they crashed into him. Their scrawny bodies piled onto him and pinned him down. Their outsized hands knotted about his limbs and held him still. Their chitinous, puckered mouths sought exposed flesh to tear and suck.

The Master took a step back, folded his arms, and watched.